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Today's Date: U.S. Attorney News Feed
Supreme Court to review light cigarette dispute
Headline News | 2007/01/13 03:31


The US Supreme Court Friday granted certiorari in four cases, including one that will determine if tobacco companies are protected from judgments in state courts on the grounds that cigarettes are federally regulated. The appeal, Watson v. Philip Morris, Cos. (05-1284), was filed by two Arkansas women who found their state court case against Phillip Morris for advertising claims of low tar and nicotine in “light” cigarettes, being removed to federal jurisdiction. Phillip Morris argued that the “unprecedented, detailed, and direct control” exerted by the Federal Trade Commission over cigarette advertising made the company a “person acting under” a federal officer, and convinced the US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals that removal on those grounds were justified.


Spain arrests Argentine ex-president Isabel Peron
Legal World News | 2007/01/13 03:30

Spanish police arrested former Argentine President Isabel Peron on Friday for her alleged involvement in the disappearance of political opponent Hector Aldo Fagetti Gallego in 1976. Argentine Federal Judge Raul Acosta issued the order for her arrest on Thursday. An anonymous source within the judge's chambers told that Peron, who has lived in Spain in exile since 1981, is also wanted for questioning related to decrees she issued ordering police to eliminate "subversive elements."

In November, Argentine officials announced that the investigation into abuses committed during Argentina's "Dirty War" from 1976-83 would be expanded to include the tenure of Peron, who succeeded her husband Juan Peron when he died in office in 1974. After the announcement a lawyer for Isabel Peron told a local television station that accusations shouldn't be made against her 30 years after she left office. Peron was ousted from office in a bloodless coup in March 1976 and held under house arrest for five years before being exiled to Spain.



Investigator in HP spy probe pleads guilty
Court Feed News | 2007/01/13 00:28

Bryan Wagner, the private investigator involved in the Hewlett-Packard corporate spying scandal pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges of conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. Wagner was accused of using used the social security number of a targeted reporter to obtain the reporter's telephone records, which Wagner provided to other co-conspirators. The charges carry a possible five-year sentence for conspiracy and a mandatory minimum of two years imprisonment for the aggravated identity theft charge. Under Wagner's plea agreement, he will cooperate with prosecutors in future investigations in exchange for a lighter sentence.

In November, Wagner pleaded not guilty to state charges of using false or fraudulent pretenses to obtain confidential information from a public utility, unauthorized access to computer data, identity theft, and conspiracy to commit those crimes stemming from his role in the corporate spying scandal. The scandal prompted Congress to pass anti-pretexting legislation in 2006, criminalizing obtaining phone records through fraud or lying.



N.Y. City Man Pleads Guilty to Human Trafficking Charge
Lawyer News | 2007/01/13 00:27

A man from Queens, N.Y., pleaded guilty today to attempting to recruit a Korean woman whom he believed to be a minor to work as a prostitute, the Justice Department announced today.

Do Hyup Bae pleaded guilty to charges relating to the operation of a network of over 25 Korean-owned brothels that were located throughout the northeastern part of the United States, including New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Several of these brothels were located in Queens, N.Y.

"This case illustrates the complexity and scope of human trafficking operations," said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department is committed to investigating and prosecuting those who would profit from the systematic abuse of others."

According to the superseding indictment, the brothels, which were operated under the cover of legitimate businesses, typically employed between two and eight prostitutes, the majority of whom were Korean nationals who had entered the country on tourist visas. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution payments for human trafficking charges.

The prosecution of individuals involved in human trafficking is a top priority of the Justice Department. In the last six fiscal years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with U.S. Attorneys' Offices, has increased by six-fold the number of human trafficking cases filed in court, compared to the previous six years.

The case was investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Solette Magnelli of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Chen of the Eastern District of New York.



N.Y. City Man Pleads Guilty for Human Trafficking
Criminal Law Updates | 2007/01/12 23:27

A man from Queens, N.Y., pleaded guilty today to attempting to recruit a Korean woman whom he believed to be a minor to work as a prostitute, the Justice Department announced today.

Do Hyup Bae pleaded guilty to charges relating to the operation of a network of over 25 Korean-owned brothels that were located throughout the northeastern part of the United States, including New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Several of these brothels were located in Queens, N.Y.

This case illustrates the complexity and scope of human trafficking operations, said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. The Justice Department is committed to investigating and prosecuting those who would profit from the systematic abuse of others.

According to the superseding indictment, the brothels, which were operated under the cover of legitimate businesses, typically employed between two and eight prostitutes, the majority of whom were Korean nationals who had entered the country on tourist visas. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution payments for human trafficking charges.

The prosecution of individuals involved in human trafficking is a top priority of the Justice Department. In the last six fiscal years, the Civil Rights Division, in conjunction with U.S. Attorneys' Offices, has increased by six-fold the number of human trafficking cases filed in court, compared to the previous six years.

The case was investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Solette Magnelli of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Chen of the Eastern District of New York.



German court refuses Moroccan's appeal
Court Feed News | 2007/01/12 23:25

Germany’s highest court, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, announced Friday that it will not hear the appeal of the 15-year sentence of convicted September 11 conspirator Mounir al-Motassadeq. Moroccan-born Motassadeq has another appeal to German appellate courts filed, but it is unknown when it will be considered. Lawyers for Motassadeq have also said they may take the case to the European Court of Justice.

Motassadeq admitted to attending an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and being friends with some of the Sept. 11 hijackers, but denies knowledge of the attack. The court found Motassadeq guilty because he knew his accomplices planned to hijack planes, even if he remained ignorant as to the details of the attacks. The court also found that Motassadeq aided the hijackers by funneling money and helping them maintain appearances of being university students. Motassadeq's defense team hoped to force a new trial with witnesses previously prevented from testifying by the United States government. Motassadeq's first conviction was overturned in 2004, in part due to concerns over access to witnesses, but on retrial American officials refused to allow terror suspects in US custody to testify in court, instead agreeing only to provide summaries of its interrogations of prisoners.



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