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Showing posts from April, 2009

Seven Plead Guilty to Supporting Iran Terrorist Group

According to the Miami Herald, seven people in California has pleaded guilty to providing material support to an Iraq-based terrorist organization. Each of the seven face up to twenty years in prison.

According to prosecutors, the defendants raised funds for the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). According to the State Department, the militia was supported by Saddam Hussein and works against the Iranian government. The group was designated a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.

Al Qaeda Sleeper Agent Pleads Guilty to Terror Charges

According to FoxNews, Ali al-Marri, a man held since 2001 as an alleged Al Qaeda sleeper agent, has pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism. The plea was entered in United States District Court in Peoria, Illinois. According to the report, Marri pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

Marri, a legal U.S. resident, was declared an "enemy combatant" in late 2001 and held without charges for more than five years at a Navy brig in South Carolina. The designation of "enemy combatant" was later dropped when a grand jury in Illinois indicted him. Marri will be sentenced in July.

The Washington Post had a story regarding Marri this morning in anticipation of his possible guilty plea.
Prosecutors and lawyers for Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri are engaged in negotiations that could produce a guilty plea by the suspected al-Qaeda associate in a federal courtroom as early as today, according to sources…

US Army Soldier Pleads Guilty to Desertion

Jurist reports that a US Army soldier, Spc. Cliff Cornell, who fled to Canada to avoid serving in the Iraq war has pleaded guilty to charges of desertion. Cornell received a one year prison sentence and an bad conduct discharge.
Cornell spent four years in Canada, but was denied asylum by the Canadian government in February. Canadian advocacy group War Resisters Support Campaign decried Cornell's sentence, calling the Iraq War "illegal and immoral." Cornell had reportedly become actively involved with the group. Several other US soldiers have sought asylum in Canada. In 2005, US Army Pvt. Brandon Hughey, who fled to Canada after refusing a deployment order to Iraq and deserting his unit at Fort Hood, formally asked the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board for asylum. Hughey's application was denied, and he is currently waiting to find out whether he will be allowed to remain in Canada. Several others are also appealing denials of asylum.

Marc Dreier to Plead Guilty

According to the defense counsel for Marc Dreier, a prominent New York City attorney accused in a $700 million fraud, his client will plead guilty on May 11 to securities fraud and money laundering charges. The AP, courtesy of Forbes.com, had this regarding the deal.
Shargel says Dreier wants to enter the plea to demonstrate his acceptance of responsibility and his profound remorse.Until December, Dreier had led a law firm with 250 attorneys and celebrity clients. He was arrested after hedge funds complained he was stealing from them.Prosecutors say the 58-year-old could face a maximum of 30 years to life in prison.

Guilty Plea in New York Pension Fund Investigation

According to the WSJ Law Blog, Barrett Wissman entered a plea of guilty this morning to charges of paying kickbacks in exchange for state pension fund investments. The guilty plea was part of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's ongoing investigation into how state officials sold access to billions of dollars held by New York's state pension fund in return for kickbacks and other payments.
Earlier today Barrett Wissman, who managed Texas-based Hunt Financial Ventures Asset Management, which manages money for the Hunts, the prominent oil family, pleaded guilty to charges of paying kickbacks in exchange for state pension fund investments in HFV. Raymond B. Harding, a past Chair of the former New York State Liberal Party, was also criminally charged for being a “sham placement agent” for three pension fund investments when, allegedly, he was only being paid for doing political favors for state officials. Harding allegedly obtained over $800,000 in illegal fees on state pensio…

Former Senator Ted Stevens Rejected Plea Offer

Law.com is reporting today that former Senator Ted Stevens rejected a plea deal early in his public corruption case. According to Law.com, Stevens rejected the offer and made clear that he had no interest in pleading guilty regardless of the offer to serve no jail time.
Defense lawyers and their clients routinely face this dilemma: Take a plea for leniency, or roll the dice with a jury. The Ted Stevens case was no different.Stevens was offered a deal -- sometime before his indictment in July -- to plea to one felony and stay out of prison. Stevens' lawyer, Williams & Connolly partner Brendan
Sullivan Jr., said the deal was rejected, according to a transcript of a bench conference that had been sealed until now. Sullivan did not elaborate about the decision to reject the offer."I'd like to make it clear on the record that there is no offer at this point," said Brenda Morris, principal deputy chief of the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, who spoke a…

The Resurrection Plea

According to news reports, a former member of a religious cult, Ria Ramkissoon, pleaded guilty to starving her one year old child to death with the condition that her plea will be withdrawn if the child is resurrected. Under the deal with prosecutors, Ramkissoon will also testify against four other members of the cult, formerly known as 1 Mind Ministries, who are also charged in the death.

According to abcnews:
[T]he cult members stopped feeding the boy when he refused to say "Amen" after a meal. After Javon died, Ramkissoon sat next to his decomposing body and prayed for his resurrection. Ramkissoon's attorney, Steven D. Silverman, said Ramkissoon believes the resurrection will occur. She agreed to plead guilty only after prosecutors said they would drop the charges if the child comes back to life, Silverman said."This is something that she absolutely insisted upon, and this is indicative of the fact that she is still brainwashed, still a victim of this cult," h…