Kim Dotcom: I’ll extradite myself to US if they give my money back

July 12, 2012

The Guardian on July 10, 2012 released the following:

“Megaupload founder fighting extradition from New Zealand says he is determined to beat American authorities at their ‘foul game’

Toby Manhire in Auckland

From a semi-rural suburb north of Auckland, Kim Dotcom is mounting an increasingly belligerent counter-offensive against US authorities’ efforts to prosecute him over his now defunct Megaupload file storage site.

In an interview with the Guardian, Dotcom, who remains on bail in Coatesville, New Zealand, awaiting an extradition hearing, declared himself to be in “fighting mood” and eager to refute a “case built on malicious conduct”.

The charges against him, he said, were part of a “foul game” on the part of the US government, and that funds permitting, “I am going to war.”

Dotcom is being sought by the US to face criminal copyright charges related to the MegaUpload file storage site, which at its peak amounted for an estimated 4% of all internet traffic.

Prosecutors allege he and his co-accused associates were complicit in and encouraged the distribution of copyright-protected films, music and other material.

The German-born New Zealand resident’s remarks, in an email interview with the Guardian, follow Tuesday’s announcement that his extradition hearing, scheduled to begin in less than a month, has been put back until April next year.

On Wednesday morning Dotcom laid down the gauntlet to the US department of justice, offering to travel to the US under his own steam and faces charges – with conditions. “Hey DOJ,” Dotcom said on his Twitter account, “we will go to the US. No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers and living expenses.”

He told the Guardian that the offer was genuine but he was not holding his breath. “Considering the way the US government has conducted their case and the way I was treated, I never expect to get a fair trial in the United States,” he said.

“We are not expecting to hear back regarding the offer and I remain committed to fighting extradition in New Zealand.”

Dotcom has 22 lawyers working on his case in different countries. He says he faces a mounting legal bill, exacerbated by the rescheduled extradition hearing.

The delay was made inevitable by the need to first resolve a clutter of outstanding legal disputes. The Auckland high court ruled last month that the January raid on Dotcom’s mansion was conducted illegally, that evidence has been wrongly withheld from his legal team, and that the FBI had inappropriately cloned hard drives and taken them from the country.

An earlier district court instruction for the FBI to provide copies of cloned drives to Dotcom’s lawyers is expected to be appealed, and other decisions may also be taken to higher courts.

Those who interpreted the postponement as a victory for Dotcom were mistaken, he told the Guardian. “People might think it’s good news. But it’s not. Justice delayed is justice denied. And that’s the foul game the US government is playing. They have terminated my business without a trial. They have frozen my assets without a hearing.

“They are appealing the decision of a New Zealand judge who has ordered the US government to provide evidence before the extradition hearing starts.”

US authorities had dragged other countries into a vendetta driven by special interests, he said. “They have been misleading the Hong Kong and New Zealand government to destroy a legitimate business and 220 jobs by telling them stories about child pornography and terrorist propaganda on Megaupload,” he said.

“This whole case is built on malicious conduct. It is a stillborn case and everyone can see it. I am in a fighting mood and if I get my assets unlocked or somehow find funding to defend myself I am going to war.”

The Megaupload founder last week alleged that the pursuit of Dotcom was directly ordered by the US vice-president, Joe Biden, at the behest of Hollywood studio executives – a claim the Motion Picture Association of America has rejected.

Next in Dotcom’s sights is Biden’s boss, in a rather more colourful medium. Dotcom, who has been recording an album with the help of Black Eyed Peas producer Printz Board at studios belonging to Crowded House’s Neil Finn, is expected to release a new song and video this week pointing the finger directly at Barack Obama. The song reportedly includes the lyrics “”We must oppose / those who chose / to turn innovation into crime”.

The track, Dotcom wrote in an email to the Guardian, would mark “the birth of a powerful movement and CHANGE””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and New Zealand here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Nigeria: Court Extradites Ctizen to U.S. Over U.S.$30 Million Fraud

May 29, 2012

allAfrica.com on May 29, 2012 released the following:

“BY DAVIDSON IRIEKPEN

Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Lagos Monday granted the request of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), for one Mr. Godwin Chiedo Nzeocha, to be extradited to the United States of America to face criminal charges over an alleged $30 million Health Care Benefit Fund fraud.

Nzeocha, 54, worked with the City Nursing Services in Houston, Texas, US as a Physical Therapist Aide between 2007 and 2009.

In US, he was alleged to have conspired with others and submitted claims worth $45 million to the Medicare and Medicaid for health care services on behalf of some patients who were beneficiaries of the health insurance claims.

Nzeocha and his accomplices were paid $30 million but failed to remit the funds to the beneficiaries.

Consequently, he was dragged before a US District Court in the Southern District of Texas, Houston by the US Department of Justice on October 19, 2009 for offences bordering on conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, money laundering and mail fraud.

Rather than face his trial, Nzeocha fled to Nigeria. In his ruling, Justice Tsoho agreed with the prosecution that the extradition application was competent and that the alleged offences which are the basis of the extradition request are returnable offences.

He therefore ruled that accused be extradited to US to face trial within a period of one month. Nzeocha was arrested in June 2011 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following a petition from the Legal Attaché to the US Consular Office, Lagos, on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Part of his extradition charges read: “Conspiracy to commit health care fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, carrying penalty on conviction of a fine of up to $250,000, or imprisonment of not more than ten (10) years, or both; supervised released of not more than three years; a special assessment of $100.00 for each convicted offence.”

• Indictment with health care fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347, carrying penalty on conviction of a fine of up to $250,000, or imprisonment of (10) years, or both; supervised released of not more than three (3) years; and a special assessment of $100.000 for each convicted offence.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Nigeria here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

           Office Locations

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Lead Defendant in Operation Luz Verde Extradited from Mexico

May 24, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 23, 2012 released the following:

“United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that today Armando Villareal Heredia, aka Gordo Villareal, was successfully extradited from the Republic of Mexico to the United States to face federal racketeering (RICO) and drug charges in the Southern District of California. According to court documents, Villareal is the lead defendant in a 43-defendant racketeering prosecution against the Fernando Sanchez- Arellano Organization (FSO) which has been ongoing in the Southern District of California since July 2010. Villareal was arrested by Mexican law enforcement officers on July 9, 2011 at the request of the United States. Since his arrest in Mexico, Villareal has remained in custody pending extradition to the United States. According to the indictment, Villareal was one of the top leaders of this criminal organization, which evolved from the now-defunct Arellano-Felix Organization and is headed by the nephew of Benjamin and Javier Arellano-Felix.

“Today’s extradition of Villareal, a top-lieutenant in the FSO who answered directly to Fernando Sanchez Arellano, highlights our continued successful efforts to work with the government of Mexico to combat organized criminal activity along the southwest border,” United States Attorney Duffy stated. To date, 38 defendants have entered guilty pleas in the case. During those guilty pleas, the defendants admitted to participating in a violent transnational racketeering enterprise controlled by Fernando Sanchez- Arellano and to committing murders, kidnappings, robberies, assaults, money laundering, and a wide range of drug trafficking offenses. Four defendants are fugitives and the only other remaining in-custody defendant is scheduled for trial on June 5, 2012.

The indictment in this case resulted from a long-term investigation conducted by the multi-agency San Diego Cross Border Violence Task Force (CBVTF). The CBVTF was formed to target those individuals involved in organized crime-related violent activities affecting both the United States and Mexico. Law enforcement personnel assigned to the CBVTF made extensive use of court-authorized wiretaps and other sophisticated investigative techniques to develop the significant evidence which led to the charges in this case.

United States Attorney Duffy praised the Mexican government for their assistance in the extradition of Villareal. She also commended the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for the coordinated team effort in handling this investigation, Operation Luz Verde. Agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; San Diego Police Department; Drug Enforcement Administration; San Diego Sheriff’s Office; Chula Vista Police Department; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; San Diego District Attorney’s Office; and California Department of Justice participated in this OCDETF investigation. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in the extradition. The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and utilize all law enforcement resources in this country’s battle against organized crime and major drug trafficking organizations.

The defendant is expected to be in federal court in San Diego tomorrow, May 24, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. before United States Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes.

An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

           Office Locations

Email:


American held for extradition over alleged subprime fraud

April 13, 2012

BrisbaneTimes.com.au on April 13, 2012 released the following:

“Leonie Lamont

THE fallout from the US subprime crisis has washed up on Australian shores – the Gold Coast – with US authorities seeking to extradite an American accused of money laundering and wire and bank fraud.

The US proceedings came to light after James Scott Taylor, 51, who is described as a real estate consultant and property developer on the Gold Coast, made an unsuccessful application to the Federal Court to release him on bail after he was taken into custody last week.

In court documents, the US Government alleges that during 2001- 2002 Mr Taylor ”knowingly executed and attempted to execute a scheme to defraud issuers of residential home loans” in Colorado, and named eight banks in the indictment.

It claimed he prepared home loan applications in the names of people that contained ”materially false and fraudulent representations,” including representations about the applicants’ employment, income and intention to use the homes as their primary residences.

Many of the applications were to so-called low-doc lenders – those willing to issue loans without extensive documentary evidence of income and employment. However, it alleged that in some cases Mr Taylor prepared documents to support the fraudulent representations.

The indictment further claims that, while it was put to the lenders that many of the applicants were using their own funds to pay deposits, ”in most instances Taylor or his associates provided the funds used to make down-payments,” through his company Dingo Trading Ltd.

It claims the funds were returned to Mr Taylor through disbursements when the loans were released to the borrowers. Finally, it alleges it was part of Mr Taylor’s scheme that the applicants used the loans to buy properties owned by his company JJReal Estate Investments Inc.

Mr Taylor told the court his wife and adult children were Australian, that he lived at Mermaid Beach and had substantial business, commercial and property interests in Australia. This was both through his private company 3JL Pty Ltd and as a consultant to other property developments on the Gold Coast. BusinessDay understands he did some work for Colliers on the Gold Coast.

He said he had migrated to Australia before he received any notice of the charges against him. There had been a four-year delay between the grand jury indictment in 2007, and he said he had co-operated with the authorities in the US during their investigations. He denied he was a flight risk.

Mr Taylor was originally arrested last October, but was on bail pending the outcome of an extradition hearing heard by Magistrate Duroux in the Southport Magistrate’s Court.

The magistrate determined last week that Mr Taylor was eligible to be surrendered to the United States, and cancelled bail.

While Mr Taylor had originally sought a review of the magistrate’s decision, lawyers acting for Mr Taylor yesterday filed a notice of discontinuance.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Australia here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


ANALYSIS-U.S. civilian courts await extradited militants

April 11, 2012

Chicago Tribune on April 10, 2012 released the following:

“Reuters

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) – When the Obama administration declared it wanted to put suspects involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on trial in a New York federal courtroom, cries of outrage erupted in the U.S. Congress.

Both Democrats and Republicans worried this would put New York City in the crosshairs for new al Qaeda attacks. Congress eventually passed a law forbidding the administration from trying alleged Sept. 11 conspirators, or any other militantsdetained at the U.S. military facility at Guantanamo, Cuba, in U.S. civilian courts.

But when it comes to the cases of five alleged top militants whose extradition from Britain to the United States a European human rights court approved on Tuesday, the White House will have no choice.

British and U.S. officials said the Obama administration had given ironclad assurances to Prime Minister David Cameron’s government that the five militants would be tried in the U.S. federal court system, and they would not face a potential sentence of capital punishment.

Three of the five to whom the European court ruling on Tuesday applied – Abu Hamza, Khalid al Fawwaz and Adel Bary -have all been under indictment for years in the U.S. Southern District of New York.

Law enforcement officials said that prosecutors, whose courtrooms are only blocks from the site of the World Trade Center towers downed in 2011, are prepared to try the cases if the suspects finally are extradited from Britain.

The officials noted that several notorious militants, including Ramzi Yousef, alleged mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, were prosecuted and convicted in the same courts and are now serving lengthy U.S. prison terms.

Some are being held in ultra-secure “Supermax” prisons where the European court said U.S. authorities might be entitled to jail the five extradition subjects if they are convicted.

But for political, as well as other reasons, civilian trials for alleged militants lately have been the exception rather than the rule in high-profile counter-terrorism cases.

Tuesday’s European court action appears unlikely to permanently change that – or alter President Barack Obama’s preferred approach in fighting militants, which centers on clandestine operations and lethal drone strikes.

Indeed, just last week, the Pentagon announced that the accused Sept. 11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and a handful suspected co-conspirators will be tried before a U.S. military tribunal at Guantanamo, and could face the death penalty.

1998 U.S. EMBASSY BOMBINGS

The extradition cases demonstrate how what President George W. Bush once called the “global war on terrorism” has evolved in the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In fact, the cases of all the men whose extraditions the European court approved have their roots in events that took place before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Two of them, Fawwaz, a Saudi citizen, and Bary, an Egyptian, face charges in connection with 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, a case which also included the first U.S. criminal charges against Osama bin Laden. At the time of the embassy attacks, Fawwaz was alleged by investigators to be acting as one of bin Laden’s principal Western spokesmen.

The charges against the best known of the five – a former London-based preacher known as Abu Hamza – also date back before 2001. The Justice Department alleges that he was involved in a conspiracy to take hostages in connection with a 1998 attack in Yemen in which four hostages died, and also claims Abu Hamza was involved in a scheme to set up a training camp for militants in Bly, Oregon, in 1999 and 2000.

Once evidence began to accumulate after the Sept. 11 attacks, – some of it in the form of Abu Hamza’s public behavior – he was connected to Zacarias Moussaoui, a French militant linked to some of the Sept. 11 suspects, and Richard Reid, a British militant who tried to attack a U.S.-bound airliner with a bomb hidden in his shoe.

Under U.S. pressure, Abu Hamza, who has a hook for one of his hands which he said was blown off in Afghanistan, was eventually driven out of his pulpit at the Finsbury Park mosque in North London. U.S. authorities did not file charges against him until 2004.

The two other suspects whose extradition was given a green light both face trial in federal court in Connecticut for offenses that also pre-dated the Sept. 11 attacks.

Babar Ahmad and Syed Ahsan are accused by U.S. authorities of operating pro-al Qaeda websites from 1997 to 2004, and also of being in contact with a sympathetic U.S. serviceman.

All five suspects were detained in Britain for years without trial. The case of Ahmad, detained for seven years, became a cause celebre for human rights activists and some British members of Parliament.

From the point of view of U.S. counter-terrorism officials the cases surrounding the five are too dated to be relevant to their current efforts.

Still, the Obama administration would undoubtedly like to use any U.S. trials of the extradited subjects to showcase the openness and equities of the U.S. legal system.

The cutting edge of the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism policies, however, is not the criminal justice system, but the use of clandestine operations, and particularly expanding drone warfare campaigns, against militants in suspected sanctuaries in Pakistan and Yemen.

Even smooth extraditions and U.S. trials of the suspects held in London are unlikely to alter that policy.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Christopher Tappin Extradition: US Judge Rules Businessman To Remain In Jail

March 5, 2012

The Huffington Post UK on March 5, 2012 released the following:

“A US judge’s decision to remand a retired British businessman in custody while he awaits trial on arms dealing charges was “heartbreaking”, his wife said tonight.

Elaine Tappin said it was an “outrage” that her 65-year-old husband Christopher has been refused bail after he was extradited to the United States two weeks ago.

Judge Robert Castaneda ruled Tappin must remain in custody after US prosecutors told the federal court in El Paso, Texas, he may be a “danger to the community” if released.

Mrs Tappin, 62, of Orpington, Kent, said: “This is an outrage. God only knows how he’ll bear up. It’s heartbreaking.”

Tappin has spent 23 hours a day locked in his cell at the Otero County detention centre in New Mexico since he was extradited to America.

His wife went on: “I am shocked and deeply disappointed.

“He’s a man of his word and is certainly not at risk of fleeing – where would he go?

“He doesn’t have his passport or access to money.

“Why has the British Government allowed him to be incarcerated in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day before he’s even been tried?

“Tony Blair helped the NatWest Three, why can’t David Cameron help Chris?”

Mrs Tappin added: “He’s not a danger to anyone – he’s a 65-year-old granddad.

“How is he supposed to prepare a proper defence when he’s only been allowed to communicate with his lawyers from behind a plastic screen?”

Tappin lost his two-year battle against extradition to America two weeks ago and denies attempting to sell batteries for surface-to-air missiles which were to be shipped from the US to Tehran via the Netherlands.

The president of the Kent Golf Union, who faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted, was escorted into the courtroom on Friday wearing an orange-red prison jumpsuit, with his feet and one hand shackled.

US marshals allowed the other hand to remain free so he could use a cane he needs to walk.

Assistant US attorney Greg McDonald asked the judge to keep Tappin in jail for the remainder of the proceedings.

“The risk is not that he’ll punch somebody in the face, but through the use of a computer and the knowledge he has, he might pose a danger to the community,” Mr McDonald said.

Tappin has no ties to the US and failed to disclose to court officials his frequent travels to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, he added.

But Kent Schaffer, representing Tappin, said if released, his client would have complied with any restrictions imposed by the court and his family was ready to post bail of 50,000 dollars (£31,600).

His case fuelled the row over the fairness of the extradition treaty between the UK and the US.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC said Tappin’s extradition highlighted problems with the treaty which were not “readily curable”, warning that many Britons were left uneasy when faced with the seemingly harsh and disproportionate sentences in the American justice system.

Other critics of the 2003 treaty, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, have described it as “one-sided”, but an independent review by retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Scott Baker last year found it was both balanced and fair.

Tappin’s extradition follows an investigation which started in 2005 when US agents asked technology providers about buyers who might have raised red flags.

Those customers were then approached by undercover companies set up by government agencies.

Briton Robert Gibson, an associate of Tappin who agreed to co-operate, was jailed for 24 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to export defence articles.

Gibson provided ICE agents with about 16,000 computer files and emails indicating that he and Tappin had long-standing commercial ties with Iranian customers.

American Robert Caldwell was also found guilty of aiding and abetting the illegal transport of defence articles and served 20 months in prison.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Alleged Guatemalan ‘drug lord’ Juan Ortiz Lopez faces US extradition

February 29, 2012

BBC on February 29, 2012 released the following:

“A Guatemalan court has approved the extradition to the US of Juan Ortiz Lopez, alleged to be one of Guatemala’s main drug traffickers.

Mr Ortiz, captured in March 2011 by US and Guatemalan agents, is accused of smuggling cocaine into the US.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina is stepping up efforts against organised crime.

He has ordered the army to join the fight but also called for the possible decriminalisation of drugs.

At the time of his arrest, Mr Ortiz was described by Guatemalan officials as a “big fish”.

A federal court in Florida has charged him with trafficking large amounts of cocaine into the US.

Mr Ortiz has said he is innocent and that he will appeal against the extradition ruling.

Guatemala is struggling against the growing influence of Mexican drugs cartels in large areas of the country.

Mr Perez Molina, a retired general, took office in January, promising an “iron fist” against crime.

But he has also urged a regional rethink on drugs policy.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Mexico here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Israeli judge: Fugitive can’t be deported unless U.S. prison provides kosher food

February 14, 2012

Haaretz.com on February 14, 2012 released the following:

“Jerusalem judge apparently did not try to ascertain whether Lawrence Seth Wayne, who had been sentenced by a Florida court to 19 years in prison for a 1998 hit-and-run, is actually religious.

By Tomer Zarchin

An American hit-and-run driver who was finally found in Israel last year, after fleeing Florida over a decade ago, may not be extraditable because Florida does not allow its prisoners to receive kosher food.

Jerusalem District Court Judge Ben-Tzion Greenberger on Sunday ruled that Lawrence Seth Wayne, who had been sentenced by a Florida court to 19 years in prison for the 1998 road accident, could not be extradited to a state that would violate his right to practice his religion.

Greenberger thus accepted Wayne’s argument that sending him back to Florida would violate Israel’s Extradition Law, which forbids extradition to a foreign country if this is liable to “harm public policy or a crucial interest of the State of Israel.”

If he was not assured kosher food, extraditing Wayne would constitute “a serious violation of his most basic rights to freedom of religion and worship,” Greenberger said.

He could only be extradited if Florida provided him with kosher food in prison, or allowed him to serve out his sentence in one of the 35 U.S. states that do provide its prisoners with kosher food, Greenberger said.

Florida has refused to allow Wayne to receive kosher food in prison even if he pays for it privately, and insists he must begin serving his sentence in Florida while awaiting the proceedings to transfer him to another state.

In February 1998, Wayne, a twice-convicted drunk driver, was again driving drunk when he slammed into Donald Cantwell’s pickup truck in Delray Beach, mortally injuring him. Wayne fled the scene but was apprehended by police. Cantwell died two days later.

Wayne was convicted of DUI manslaughter and sentenced to 19 years, but was let out on $50,000 bond while he appealed the case. He lost the appeal and fled the country before he could be brought to prison.

He entered Israel in 2000 using a forged passport and an assumed name. He was located and arrested last year after a decade-long manhunt conducted by the FBI that was finally concluded with the help of the Israel Police.

Apparently Greenberger did not attempt to ascertain whether Wayne, who has married and started a family here, is actually religious or whether he was trying to use the kosher food problem as an excuse to avoid extradition.

His attorney, Eric Bukatman of the Public Defender’s Office, said on Monday he didn’t know how long Wayne had been observant. Since taking on the case last year, he has always seen Wayne wearing a knitted kippa and the matter was not raised in court, he said.

The Supreme Court in several instances has recognized the right of those being extradited to be able to observe religious tenets – including kosher food, prayers and the right to wear a kippa – in the requesting country.

Two years ago, for example, Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein conditioned the extradition of a suspect to Ukraine on his receiving kosher food, even though the suspect wasn’t Jewish, because only his father was Jewish. The Ukrainian authorities complied.

In the past Florida had an arrangement for supplying kosher food to prisoners, but canceled it, even though it recognized that this would violate some prisoners’ rights.

When this was challenged in a federal court, the court accepted the state’s arguments that the inconvenience to individual prisoners was reasonable when balanced against the expense providing kosher food entailed. The court also cited the risk of disorder that could occur in a prison when some prisoners are seen receiving special food that might be better than what the others receive.

Greenberger said he had examined the rulings of the Supreme Court in similar cases and “could not find a single case in which it was declared so unequivocally that the fugitive would not receive kosher food if extradited to the United States.”

But the case is not necessarily closed. “The country requesting [Wayne’s] extradition is not the state of Florida, but the United States of America,” Greenberger noted. “It is in its power to provide a simple and fitting solution to his legitimate need for kosher food, if not in Florida, then in one of the 35 states, or in the federal system, where kosher food is provided to kosher-observant prisoners.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Israel here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.