Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Monday, July 25, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Coming Home, Carmen Cleans Closet

For US attorney, another legal challenge

Bulger trial is Ortiz’s latest high-profile case

She is the United States attorney who barked back at former city councilor Chuck Turner, and it was her administration that convicted former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, once one of the most powerful political figures in Massachusetts.

US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz took office only 18 months ago and already she has amassed a list of successes, highlighted by the new flier in her office listing notorious fugitive James “Whitey’’ Bulger as captured.

Her next goal, she says with a smirk: to crack the mysterious Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist.

“I’m still holding out hope on that one,’’ said Ortiz, tapping the wooden coffee table in her ninth-floor office in the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse, overlooking Boston Harbor.

“Knock on wood,’’ she added. “I always knock on wood.’’

Ortiz, 55, has quickly become a high-profile figure, with her short tenure in office marked by the successful prosecutions of Turner and DiMasi on corruption charges as well as the conviction of former state senator Dianne Wilkerson for bribery. And she now will be watched closely as she prosecutes Bulger on a racketeering indictment that includes accusations of 19 murders.

Ortiz said it was always part of her plan to maintain a public presence, even if she never expected it to be in such a bright spotlight.

“It’s one of my key priorities, being public, to really let the community know what we’re about,’’ she said in a recent interview. “The most important part of my job is seeing the ability to make an impact, to make an impact on the community.’’

She added, with a deep breath, “It’s gone by extremely quick, in so many different arenas.’’

The more difficult task, she and others say, is to sustain the attention on her office with the work she vowed to do when US Senator John Kerry and the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy nominated her for the post.

While keeping the core philosophies of her predecessors to prioritize terrorism and corruption, she has also made her imprint on the office, strengthening the white-collar crimes unit to prosecute more economic and health care fraud, and creating a new civil rights enforcement team.

In addition, she has worked with police officials at the local level to promote youth programs and to prosecute violent crimes, a deterrent strategy because of the tougher sentences at the federal level.

“A lot of people don’t understand the role of the US attorney and the substantial impact it has, especially at the most local level,’’ said Michael Sullivan, Ortiz’s predecessor as US attorney, for whom she worked as a prosecutor in the economic crimes unit.

“I think as part of that she’ll have to communicate herself, in terms of where she wants to move the office and where she is right now,’’ Sullivan said.

Ortiz began making headlines when she was first nominated and appointed, becoming the first female - and the first Hispanic - US attorney in Massachusetts.

A mother of two daughters, she lost her husband, Michael, to cancer in 2000. On Saturday she married Thomas Dolan, an IBM employee.

Ortiz has spent her career as a lawyer, serving for 12 years as an assistant federal prosecutor and before that as a state prosecutor. She has also worked on social rights issues, such as a US State Department program two decades ago to help reform the legal system in Guatemala.

She is at once personable and guarded, watching her words as an attorney would, while speaking with the passion of a public servant. She is the federal prosecutor who lashed out at Turner for comparing his plight to that of civil rights activist Rosa Parks, saying “Mr. Turner is no Rosa Parks, he’s a convicted felon.’’

A graduate of Adelphi University and George Washington University Law School, Ortiz says her work is defined by her humble roots in New York City’s tough Spanish Harlem.

She has instituted a diversity hiring committee. And she works to serve as a role model for women and minorities.

“I hope I’m leading an office that really represents justice for all,’’ she said.

Recently, she played a more intimate role, in Bridges, a sort of collaborative in which federal law enforcement officials and members of the Muslim-American community meet regularly to establish and maintain relations. From that collaborative, several Somali women have formed their own group and meet regularly with representatives of Ortiz’s staff.

“We’re not just about law enforcement,’’ she said. “We should be playing a role in the community; that’s part of our job.’’

Ortiz may be enjoying her recent successes, but the future holds challenges, too.

Defense lawyers continue to question whether federal prosecutors should be handling so many low-level crimes, such as drug offenses, as has been the practice. Some argue that federal resources should be dedicated to more serious issues such as fraud and white-collar crime.

Individual groups have spoken out against prosecutorial decisions, too. Just last week, tens of thousands of supporters of open and free access to information on the Internet rallied behind a Cambridge man who was indicted in federal court on computer fraud charges, saying that criminal prosecution is too severe and Ortiz was being overzealous.

And dozens of supporters of Tarek Mehanna are expected to make headlines in the coming months as they plan to protest Ortiz’s office in support of the Sudbury native, who goes to trial in October on terrorism-related charges.

Martin Weinberg, a respected local attorney, whose client Richard Vitale was the only defendant acquitted in the DiMasi trial, said it is too early in Ortiz’s tenure to determine what stamp she will leave on her office. But he said she gets high marks for the team she formed, with prosecutors who have served in the Massachusetts district for years, including James Lang, head of the criminal division, and Jack Pirozzolo, the first assistant attorney.

“Eighteen months is a start, and she is at the beginning of a start, rather than at the end of a tenure,’’ Weinberg said. “But you want to look at the history, the character identity of those she’s put in positions of authority; it is skilled prosecutors who are running the office. It’s a professional office.’’

Ortiz welcomes the scrutiny and even the criticism, saying it’s one of the reasons she has sought to stay in the public’s eye.

It’s what she promised Kerry and Kennedy, as she recounts a heartfelt conversation with the late senator in which she told him she would “make him proud.’’ She keeps a photo of Kennedy’s old Washington, D.C., office near her desk, among mementos of her accomplishments.

“He was enormously impressed by her, her life story,’’ said Eric Mogilnicki, Kennedy’s former chief of staff, who met with Ortiz recently. “She’s no stranger to the ups and downs of life, so I’m very confident she’ll be able to handle whatever the future holds for her.’’

Art Hostage Comments:

Carmen Ortiz knows full well who committed the Gardner Heist, who handled the Gardner art afterwards and what it will take to recover the Gardner art. This has been known for many years to Law Enforcement but they did not want to concede one inch of ground in recovering the Gardner art. That is about to change so to speak and much will be revealed very shortly.

Gardner Degas on paper is already in the bag and has been for quite some time.

Things are happening on several fronts which will provide good news very soon.
Art Hostage does not want to reveal all just yet but will do so as soon as the coast is clear.

Carmen News conference is on the agenda pretty dam quick if all goes to plan, but there is enough Gardner art news to report already, so, over to you Carmen Ortiz, go on, throw it out there !!!

to be continued..................

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Heist, Charles Vincent Sabba, Patrick Nee, Blessed Be The Peacemakers

Did Whitey Bulger just drop William Youngworth's name to the Feds as a past possessor of the stolen Gardner artworks?

Did Whitey Bulger just drop William Youngworth's name to the Feds as a past possessor of the stolen Gardner artworks? Obviously immunity is completely out of the question for Bulger who is facing multiple homicide charges, so even if he could (and he cannot!) negotiate the artworks return it would not benefit him one bit. But he must know something about America's most tragic cultural loss. We are Gardner Gossips hear from the street that Whitey is whispering about who was involved. Here is what Billy Youngworth has to say:

"And its strike three-They finally had to haul Whitey in and “No Art”. How sad for the Gardner. Maybe you're still holding out hope. Sometimes its all you have. I bet the “world’s biggest crime scene” attraction is even petering out. The original racketeering indictment against Whitey has been dismissed so we won’t have to go through 30 years of dirty laundry. How convenient! What still dumbfounds me is you had it (the art works) all in your hands. This all could have ended where everyone walked away happy and now its an investigative text book on failure. The are even going to that ass clown who wrote that silly Gardner book as an authority here. Face it-its all gone, gone, gone! If there ever is an ending it won’t make a bit of difference to anyone around now. After I’m gone come see my son and explain to him why he had to grow up without his mother then maybe he’ll tell you something I’ll pass onto to him. But for right now, save it. I can’t help you anymore. "

William P. Youngworth, III

Myles Connor: New England's most notorious art thief

Charles Vincent Sabba says: "The last time I saw Myles, we spent a nice day together in his hometown of Blackstone, Massachussetts. We ate Thai food and he fascinated me with his stories, which I had recently read in his book. It was nice hearing them first hand. Myles invited me into his home and showed me some of his antique Samurai sword collection. Alot of people believe I should hate Myles because he caused alot of problems for the police over the years (he broke out of jail, he shot a cop, he admits to pulling off over 20 art heists, he blew up a house in Mexico, to name a few). "A very famous and genuine master of martial arts (Bagua Quan to be precise, a version of an original Daoist Temple martial art that retained its temple standard in the modern era) stated that there exists a code of ethics based on respect for mastery; an appreciation for, and recognition of, the discipline it has taken, regardless whether one is on the side of good or evil, to reach a command of awareness and control. I respect Myle's grasp of beauty and art and his deep understanding of art and beauty. Many good citizens, the butcher, baker and candlestick maker could give two sheisse about art and beauty. And, Myles knows how to use those Samurai swords with expertise! So, if he shows me respect I show him respect.

Funny thing is, I don't think his lawyer, Marty Leppo , approved of me and didn't trust me because I was a cop. I think this is hillarious! Think of the irony of a defense lawyer who defended many, many mob guys and, and helped some beat their charges, saying you can't trust a cop. I hope you have a sense of humor Marty, I'm just joking ;-) One problem was my friendship with Youngworth. You see, Billy and Myles once were very close friends (in fact, I think Myles taught him Japanese Karate when he was only 16 years old). Billy claims he was the one who stole the Rembrandt from the Boston MFA on Myle's behest (the Rembrandt that Myles used to negotiate a lighter sentence back in the day). A kid with a pair of sneakers doing a sort of daytime smash-and-grab worth big denaro. I would love to see them actually become friends again, but I guess I can be to positive some times (they had a BIIIG falling out)."

The Feds offered Myles full immunity to talk about the Gardner Heist last year and they boasted the fact that he had nothing to say. But, one catch they didn't add to the news story is that along with granted immunity one would have to reveal everything he knew about the heist, including involved persons. Guys like Myles Connor don't talk. He would never, never accept immunity if he had to drop names of past friends or acquaintances. Note that at the end of his book, he thanks many people, including Mr. Patrick Nee. Mr. Patrick Nee is a big shot in Boston and was the leader of the Mullins (and he would be more valuable in tracking Gardner artworks then Whitey Bulger could ever be). Connor, who knows big people, and believes enough in his outlaw code to boast about his outlaw life in a book, would never, never talk. So the offer of immunity was a feeble attempt.

Art Hostage Comments:

Whilst others have wained and dissmissed William Youngworth, Art Hostage has always had faith that William Youngworth can help recover the Gardner art.

It would come as no surprise to learn Whitey Bulger has named William Youngworth as someone who had access to the Gardner art.

Above all else and cutting to the chase, the one person who stands tall above all else in the whole Gardner art debacle is Mr Patrick Nee, the one person who commands respect from all quarters and still retains the gratitude of the Irish Republican Movemant in Ireland from the soldiers right up to the leadership of the IRA and Sinn Fein.
Patrick Nee has always been the number one Boston guy to brocker a deal for the Gardner art.

"Pat Nee would lay down his life for Irish freedom"
Martin Ferris Senior Sinn Fein Politician

"Paddy Nee stood tall as others fell by the wayside when it comes to the Irish Struggle" Gerry Adams Sinn Fein President

"Pat Nee is one of the few who I would have welcomed into the IRA South Armagh Brigade"
Thomas Slab Murphy IRA Chief of Staff

"An ocean away did not stop Patrick Nee from waging his own war for Irish freedom" Bobby Storey IRA Intelligence Chief

Memo to William Youngworth and Myles Connors:

The Irish ended the war with a peace deal and they put bitter differences behind them for the greater good.

In a similar vain Art Hostage extends an Olive branch to William Youngworth and Myles Connor to end their dispute and begin the negociating process that will see a peace deal agreed.

I am certain Charles Vincent Sabba is ready to brocker the deal and allows both William Youngworth and Myles Connor to agree to a ceasefire followed by a signed peace deal.

Charles Vincent Sabba also stands ready to bridge the divide between the Gardner Museum and those who can help recover the Gardner art.

Charles Vincent Sabba is depicting the Gardner Art Heist on canvas, recording the Gossip that has followed the Gardner case since 1990, see link to keep up with devlopments:

Charles Vincent Sabba, Patrick Nee Blessed be the Peacemakers !!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Joe LaFratta jr. Balls of Steel, Names Mark Rossetti as Whitey Bulger-esque FBI Informant !!

Mafioso Mark Rossetti arraigned in court

LYNN (FOX 25 / - In Lynn District Court, Essex county prosecutor John Dawley confirmed what FOX Undercover has already reported. Law enforcement believes Mark Rossetti is a captain In the Italian mob.

Rossetti currently holds the rank of capo in la cosa nostra. He has been a member of the Boston mafia and that arm for more than 20 years.

The prosecutor says Rossetti used his position in the mafia to help run a heroin ring.

FOX Undercover was there when a handcuffed Rossetti was brought into the state police barracks in Danvers Thursday. The culmination of a months-long investigation.

Rossetti is charged with trafficking heroin. The prosecutor says Rossetti brought a heroin supplier and a drug dealer together in the driveway of Rossetti’s East Boston home.

That's where state police arrested Rossetti and some of his five co-defendants. Rossetti’s clout with the mafia was clear last fall when we recorded this exclusive video at rosette’s mother's wake in East Boston.

The men believed to run the mafia in New England gathered to pay their respects.

There was Peter Limone, the boss of the New England mob, and Bobby Deluca, the underboss, up from Providence, R.I.

Rossetti’s attorney says her client is severely disabled with arthritis and surviving only on a social security benefit.

She said police didn't find drugs or other evidence at his house and questioned whether he was the kingpin prosecutors made him out to be.

FOX Undercover obtained Rossetti’s criminal record and it's long. It dates back to the 1970s and includes convictions for armed assault with intent to kill and multiple firearms charges.

The judge cited Rossetti’s record when he ordered him held on $250,000 cash bail.

Boston Mafia Capo turned rat | The Next Whitey Bulger | FBI up to its old tricks

Joe LaFratta jr says: "Word on the street is that a Boston Mafia Capo (MARK ROSSETTI) has been a top echelon informant for the FBI for the past 10 years"

It would seem that the FBI is up to its old tricks. This guy was selling heroin out of his mother's house, extorting people, robbing drug dealers and is a suspect on multiple murders all while working with the Government.

I thought all of those Congressional hearing on informat procedures and the new guidelines were supposed to curtail this kind of thing. Then again I bet the FBI just doesn't care about "laws" and "rules". Those things have NEVER applied to them.

I guess they don't care about the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been paid out by the Government to all of the men they wrongfully convicted and the family's of victims of their informants. And why should they? It is all coming out of your pocket, the American tax payer, not theirs.

The Mass State Police arrested this guy for selling heroin last year along with a bunch of hispanic males. The Mass State Police have a long history of going up against FBI informants like this going back to Whitey Bulger. The Mass State Police actually want to charge people for committing crimes, unlike the FBI. The FBI don't care if you commit crimes as long as you work for them. Even murder is acceptable.

This case is going to get uglier and uglier as it goes on but remember you heard it here first MARK ROSSETTI is a RAT and has been working with the FED's for YEARS.

LET THE FUN BEGIN. Joe LaFratta jr

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, FBI Foxes Guarding The Whitey Bulger Hen-House !!

Livid Reward Seeker Says FBI Ignored His '08 Tip About Whitey Bulger in L.A

In today's 15 minutes of fame news, comes a newly re-circulating story of a man named Keith Messina who is miffed the FBI didn't do anything about his hot tip that he saw Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger in Santa Monica in 2008. Now, of course, Messina wants a cut of the $2 million reward cash.

The call was fielded by "America's Most Wanted," who have aired 16 pieces about the fugitive over the years. Those broadcasts resulted in 2,000 possible leads. The night Messina called in there were about 200 tips about Bulger logged by the popular crime-stopping show.

Messina, who hails from Las Vegas, is "livid" the feds ignored his tip in 2008. He told his tale to the Boston Herald:

“The FBI should at least come out and say that they did get a call three years ago. If they had called me back, they would have struck gold. But you know how they play their games, the feds. I guess this whole hunt for Whitey Bulger was a game. Now they are saying someone in Iceland found Whitey? Who is that person? I found Whitey three years ago.”

“I didn’t make the call for the reward. I just wanted the guy caught. But now the FBI is lying and saying the reward is going to Iceland. I saw the guy. I did the right thing and called. I left my name and number. I should be at least entitled to something."

Bulger was arrested, along with his girlfriend, on June 22 at their Santa Monica apartment. He pleaded not guilty to 19 counts of murder this week in a Boston court. The FBI is sticking by their guns; the reward bucks are Iceland-bound.

Mexican authorities want to prosecute officials responsible for program
by Jack Minor

Lawmakers from both houses, investigating Operation Fast and Furious, fired off a terse and angry letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, accusing him of issuing "false denials" and "distorting the truth."

On Independence Day, acting ATF head, Kenneth Melson, testified before Congress with his own attorney present. Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said Melson chose July 4 to show the public he was appearing voluntarily and on his own time.

Melson was scheduled to appear before Congress July 13, with DOJ and ATF lawyers present. According to Issa, Melson was never told by the justice department that he was able to attend a voluntary interview with his own lawyer present.

During the interview, Melson said when he first learned of the operation, he was, "sick to my stomach." He went on to say that he moved to reassign every manager involved in Fast and Furious; however, he was not allowed to tell Congress of the reason for the reassignments.

Following Melson's testimony, Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary, fired off a five page letter to Holder.

Grassley and Issa said in the letter, "If his account is accurate, then ATF leadership appears to have been effectively muzzled while the DOJ sent over false denials and buried its head in the sand. That approach distorted the truth and obstructed our investigation." It went on to say, "The Department's inability or unwillingness to be more forthcoming served to conceal critical information that we are now learning about the involvement of other agencies, including the DEA and the FBI."

Holder's office responded with a letter, saying, "We reject entirely any suggestion that our extraordinary efforts have been designed to limit rather than facilitate the committee's access to information."

Operation Fast and Furious involved government officials permitting straw purchases to members of Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to identify higher-ups in the organizations. Over 2,000 guns were sold and they have been linked to the death of at least two Americans, border patrol agent, Brian Terry, and ICE agent, Jaime Zapata. Last week, ABC News reported Fast and Furious weapons were used in several crimes in Arizona.

The "higher-ups" authorities who were attempting to identify with the operation were already known to other agencies and may even have been paid as informants. Melson said other agencies, including the FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency, kept them in the dark. If they would have informed the ATF it could have had a material impact on the Fast and Furious investigation as far back as late 2009 or early 2010.

Appearing on the Hannity show, Issa said, unlike members of the justice department, Melson was very cooperative and answered all of the questions asked.

"His attorney never, never, never asked him to stop or have extensive consultation. He simply answered the question with his counsel present." Issa continued, "That's the opposite of what we've had in the previous interviews" with justice department officials with their attorneys present. "Essentially, they're trying to limit our discovery; they're trying to counsel their people to only give us certain things."

Holder has repeatedly said that he only became aware of Operation Fast and Furious a few weeks before being asked to testify before Congress. Issa told Hannity he found it hard to believe Holder's claim. "It's almost impossible to believe that everyone, including CBS news, big newspapers and Fox had already reported on Fast and Furious and yet Eric Holder still didn't know anything about it."

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo, who served during the Reagan administration, told the Gazette that while it is possible Obama knew nothing about the operation, Holder would have had to have known about it. "It is impossible to think that Eric holder did not know about it. It is likewise unlikely and almost impossible that Janet Napolitano did not know" , Tancredo said.
Lawmakers warned Holder against forcing Melson to resign or taking any other action against him. Melson is currently serving as an interim director of the ATF, which is a temporary job.
"Given his testimony, unless a permanent director is confirmed, it would be inappropriate for the Justice Department to take action against him that could have the effect of intimidating others who might want to provide additional information to the Committees."

The letter continued, "Knowing what we know so far, we believe it would be inappropriate to make Mr. Melson the fall guy in an attempt to prevent further congressional oversight."
Mexican lawmakers have said they will press for the extradition of any American officials who authorized and ran the operation.


Art Hostage Comments:

Shame Law Enforcement didn't stick by the 30,000 guns sent to Mexico !!!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, James "Whitey" Bulger Roadshow Rolls

As those who follow Boston politics well know, there’s no love lost between Billy Bulger and Alan M. Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Here, Dershowitz offers his characteristically pointed take on the government’s decision to drop a 1995 racketeering case against Bulger’s alleged mob boss brother, Whitey, to focus on separate murder charges.

The government’s decision to drop racketeering charges originally brought against James Whitey Bulger in 1995 may not have been motivated by a desire to continue the cover-up of William Bulger’s role in Whitey’s crimes, but the effect is likely to be just that. By throwing out these broad-based charges, the government achieves two results: it takes the case away from Chief Judge Mark Wolf, who had been assigned to handle the racketeering case; and it narrows the scope of the evidence that will be heard in court.

Judge Wolf is the courageous jurist who first exposed the massive corruption among law enforcement and political officials that enabled Whitey to continue in his murderous ways. Judge Wolf wrote a lengthy decision connecting dots that were always there for probing minds to see but had never quite been put together. He understood, as many politicians persisted in denying, that Whitey Bulger could not operate in a vacuum, and that a wide array of FBI agents, Massachusetts State Police, local policemen, prosecutors and politicians all contributed to the atmosphere in which Whitey’s power assumed legendary proportions as he persisted in his murderous ways.

Judge Wolf is known as a fair-minded judge who is equally tough on the prosecution, for which he worked for many years, and the defense. I have heard many prosecutors complain that Judge Wolf is too tough and too demanding on them. Current prosecutors apparently decided to go “judge shopping” to try to come up with a judge who would make their lives easier and serve their interests better.

What, then, are the prosecutors interests? To convict Whitey Bulger on the narrowest range of crimes — the multiple murders — without opening up a can of worms. These “worms” would almost certainly include past and present political figures and law enforcement agents.

Primary among them is Whitey’s younger brother Billy, who recently visited with him. When Billy was the most powerful political figure in Boston, corruption permeated every aspect of public life, from the FBI, to federal prosecutors, to the state judiciary, to Beacon Hill, to building inspectors, to the State Police. Everyone — from governors, to justices of the state’s highest court — kowtowed to “The President,” which in Boston meant Billy Bulger. And everyone knew that messing with Billy was messing with Whitey. Even more important, everyone knew that messing with Whitey was messing with Billy. Billy believed his job was to protect Whitey and to keep him out of prison. Without Billy there would not, in my opinion, have been a Whitey — at least a Whitey who could persist in his murderous rampage for so long.

Those who went after Whitey — like an unfortunate state trooper at Logan Airport — were punished. Those who closed their eyes to Whitey — like FBI Chief John Morris and longtime agent John Connolly — were rewarded. The fix was always in when it came to Whitey (and to Billy as well.)

More than a decade ago, I was among the very few who wrote about these connections. In June 2000, I wrote this in Boston magazine:

It was Connolly’s friendship with William Bulger and Connolly’s hope of capitalizing on it financially that led him to give Whitey a blank check on committing crimes, a heads-up on wiretaps and a head start in evading arrest. Informants simply don’t get that kind of deal, even if they provide invaluable information. Whitey provided little and got everything in return. But it was not only in return for the meager information Whitey provided. It was also in return for what Connolly received and expected from William Bulger.

And in May 2006, I wrote, based on the evidence at the time, that:

I believed Godfather Billy made his homeboy Connolly an offer he couldn’t refuse: cash, career opportunities, and other considerations in exchange for protecting his bad brother Whitey from the real cops.

When I started to write about Billy and Whitey, I got an anonymous late night phone call from somebody who said, “When you mess with Billy, you’re messing with Whitey. Watch your back.”

Not only did John Connolly — who’s now serving a long prison sentence — keep the mass-murdering Whitey out of prison and in business for decades, but he also tried to keep Billy out of prison. Billy was suspected of extorting a quarter-million-dollar bribe from the Boston developer who was building a skyscraper at 75 State Street. Business as usual! According to an assistant U.S. Attorney who testified at Connolly’s trial, during the 75 State Street extortion investigation, Connolly improperly lobbied him to drop the scrutiny of this “special person.” Connolly also tried to milk the prosecutor for confidential information about the probe. It turned out, moreover, that the Chief Federal Strike Force Prosecutor in charge of investigating Billy Bulger’s corruption happened to be Whitey’s handler, Jeremiah T. O’Sullivan. The entire “investigation” of William Bulger was a scandal.

None of this is likely to come out at Whitey’s newly sanitized murder trial. They might have surfaced a broad-based racketeering case, had the original charges not been dropped. Suspicion will persist as to the mixed motives behind this move.

A recent anecdote seems to suggest that at least for some state troopers the Brothers Bulger still remain heroes. After Jay Carney — who boasts that “I limit my practice to the innocent” — was appointed to represent Whitey Bulger, he told the Boston Globe that he was driving aggressively to Plymouth, switching lanes illegally, when a state trooper pulled him over and asked him why he was in such a hurry. Carney said he was going to visit his new client, Whitey Bulger, at the Plymouth House of Corrections. The trooper offered the lawyer “congratulations, good luck and Godspeed,” and sent him on his way without a ticket. Business as usual on the highways of the Brothers Bulgers’ Massachusetts. Let’s see whether this attitude also persists among some elements of law enforcement in the courts.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Greig wants to be free while awaiting trial on charge of harboring James ‘Whitey’ Bulger

The attorney for Catherine Greig said the former dental hygienist was only James “Whitey” Bulger’s “traveling companion’’ during their years on the run from the law and argues in a legal motion that she should be free while awaiting trial on harboring a fugitive charges.

“There is no evidence of harboring or providing aid to Mr. Bulger,’’ Kevin J. Reddington wrote in papers filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston. “The conduct of this defendant falls far short of the activity … necessary to convict on the harboring charge.’’

Reddington also said that Greig and her sister, Margaret, are willing to post homes they own in Quincy and South Boston, respectively, as collateral so Greig can be released.

He estimated Greig’s Quincy home at 16 Hillcrest Road to be worth $350,000 while McCusker’s house at 889 East Fourth Str. is valued in excess of $500,000.

He wrote that the 60-year-old Greig is not likely to flee before trial because the case against her is weak, and the maximum she faces is five years in prison.

Reddington insisted that Greig was not a fearsome criminal whose freedom would put the public at risk.

“By all accounts, she is considered by family, neighbors, and acquaintances as a kind, gentle person with a loving personality,’’ he wrote. “She has no criminal conduct and the support of her family and close personal friends.’’

Greig was arrested by the FBI last month in Santa Monica, Calif., where she had been living with Bulger for years. Inside the two bedroom apartment, authorities found $800,000 in cash that Bulger claimed as his own during one court appearance. Authorities also found 30 firearms.

Following their arrest, Greig was ordered held pending a detention hearing now set for Monday afternoon in the South Boston courthouse. Reddington said Greig is willing to be placed under house arrest and to wear electronic monitoring equipment if released.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Sarkozy's "Mon ami Guy" Dr No Don't Exist..... Moon Made Of Cream Cheese

Nicolas Sarkozy's wealthy friend accused over 'stolen' art

A billionaire friend and financial backer of Nicolas Sarkozy is facing a possible jail sentence for allegedly accumulating “lost” and stolen paintings worth millions of pounds.

Guy Wildenstein, 65, was accused yesterday of “obtaining goods through abuse of trust”. If found guilty, the art dealer faces up to three years in prison.

Police seized works by artists including Degas and Manet when they raided the Wildenstein Institute in Paris in January.

They included Edouard Manet’s “Cafe Concert Singer”, which is valued at more than a million pounds, and “La Chaumière en Normandie” (“The Concert in Normandy”), by Berthe Morisot, which is worth around £750,000.

Yves Rouart, the cousin and heir of Anne-Marie Rouart, a descendant of Manet, claimed that some of the paintings were his. Mrs Rouart bequeathed the antique furniture from her apartment to her relation, while also appointing Mr Wildenstein as an executor.

According to Mr Rouart, the dealer went to Mrs Rouart’s home following her death in 1993 and removed paintings, including La Chaumière en Normandie by Berthe Morisot, which was valued at £750,000.

Mr Rouart filed a writ when the painting appeared at the Wildenstein Institute, alleging that it had effectively been stolen, which led to the police raid. Alexandre Bronstein, a descendant of Joseph Reinach, whose collection was looted by the Nazis during the Second World War, also claimed that several missing works appeared in the Wildenstein collection.

Mr Wildenstein was also under investigation over allegations of tax avoidance on the family’s £3 billion estate.

In 2009, Mr Sarkozy personally awarded Mr Wildenstein the Legion d’Honneur, one of France’s highest awards.

Hervé Temime, a lawyer for Mr Wildenstein, had no comment to make over the charge. However, his client had previously claimed that paintings such as La Chaumière en Normandie had appeared at his Paris institute because of an “oversight”

The family's estate is conservatively estimated at being worth around three-and-a-half billion pounds and includes a whole island in the Virgin Islands and a vast ranch in Kenya where the film Out Of Africa was filmed.

While disastrous for Guy Wildenstein, the latest charge could also have wide-ranging political implications.

The dealer, who is now based in New York, is among the gilded First Circle of super-rich financial backers of Mr Sarkozy.

In 2009 the President personally awarded Wildenstein with a Legion d'Honneur - one of France's highest honours - after publicly referring to him as 'Mon ami, Guy'.

The Wildenstein case is potentially as compromising to President Sarkozy as the so-called Bettencourt affair, which also involves a billionaire family known to have given financial support to the ruling UMP party.

L'Orial heiress Liliane Bettencourt is said to have personally handed brown envelopes full of cash to Mr Sarkozy before he ran for president - something he vehemently denies.

Herve Temime, lawyer for Guy Wildenstein in Paris, had no immediate comment to make on the latest scandal.

However, Wildenstein has in the past claimed that paintings like La Chaumihre en Normandie had appeared at his Paris Institute because of 'an oversight'.

A Paris police spokesman confirmed that Wildenstein had been charged on Wednesday and then released on bail.

Art Hostage Comments:

Art Hostage posted this story back in March 2008:

Jean Marie Messier "Trainee Dr No" was the subject of an enquiry:

Boston FBI agent Geoff Kelly flew with a colleague to Paris to discuss with French prosecutors a tip that discredited French business magnate Jean-Marie Messier had bought several of the stolen Rembrandt's from the Gardner Art Heist. Jean Marie Messier close friend with Sarkozy.

Still believe the so-called Dr No figure's don't exist.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, James Whitey Bulger, Chained, Arraigned, & Fighting Fit

Bulger, in a clear soft voice, pleads not guilty to federal indictment alleging 19 murders

With his two brothers looking on, James “Whitey” Bulger this afternoon pleaded not guilty to a 32-count federal indictment that alleges he participated in 19 murders in a brief court appearance.

Bulger appeared in US District Court wearing the orange jail uniform and New Balance sneakers issued to federal pre-trial detainees while they are being held at the Plymouth County jail.

He answered “not guilty’’ multiple times in a clear voice that was soft and just above a whisper and was closely watched by some of the relatives of people who were murdered.

The 81-year-old Bulger was flanked by his court-appointed attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., who introduced himself to Bulger’s brothers and asked them if they wanted a private moment with their notorious sibling.

The hearing took just 15 minutes to complete and Bulger is not scheduled to be back in court until Sept. 14.

Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler today rejected a request by Carney to let him add Janice Bassil to the Bulger defense team. Carney and Bassil have been partners in a Boston law firm since 1989.

Bowler said from the bench that Carney can tap Bassil’s expertise without formally adding her to the taxpayer-financed defense team.

Bowler appointed Carney as Bulger’s lead counsel last week after concluding the mobster could not pay for his own defense attorney. At the time, Bowler wrote she would consider adding Bassil, or another lawyer, to Bulger’s case because of the legal complexities involved.

Bulger arrived at the South Boston courthouse earlier today by car. Last week, Bulger traveled from the Plymouth County jail via a US Coast Guard helicopter, which landed at Logan International Airport where a caravan of heavily armed US marshals drove him to the court.

The US Marshals Service defended the use of the Coast Guard helicopter, saying it cost just $1,500 in fuel. The Coast Guard, while stressing the helicopter would have been in use anyway, said a trip on a Jayhawk chopper costs about $7,500.

The Coast Guard said they are not involved in Bulger’s transportation today.

At the same time that the criminal prosecution of Bulger finally got underway, an attorney for relatives of one of Bulger’s alleged murder victims were in another courtroom asking for a lien to be put on $800,000 cash seized from Bulger in his California apartment.

In papers filed in US District Court, Walpole attorney James E. Riley Jr. is asking that the family be given legal standing to tap into that cash to settle a $2. 2 million wrongful death judgment against Bulger.

Milano was 30 years old and a bartender at a North End restaurant when he was shot and killed while driving his Mercedes-Benz in Brighton in 1973. Confessed hitman John Martorano admitted in court that he shot and killed Milano at Bulger’s orders, but also acknowledged he was supposed to shoot the restaurant’s owner, who drove a car like Milano’s.

The Milanos are the second of Bulger’s alleged victims to ask the federal courts for the cash, which is currently being held by federal authorities. Riley noted in court papers that courts in the past have rejected claims by Bulger’s alleged victims for access to Bulger cash seized by federal authorities during his years on the run.

Late today, the US Attorney Carmen Ortiz filed papers urging US District Court Judge Richard Stearns to reject the Milano family request, and any others that may be filed.

The government wants Bulger to forfeit the cash as a result of his criminal activity, and no money should be distributed until Bulger’s criminal case ends, prosecutors wrote.