The U.S. government this morning unsealed indictments in a New York federal court against high-ranking officials and corporate executives affiliated with FIFA, the governing body of international ...
International Soccer Officials Indicted
The U.S. government this morning unsealed indictments in a New York federal court against high-ranking officials and corporate executives affiliated with FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, for their roles in a decades-long scheme to corrupt the sport through bribes, kickbacks, and other criminal activity aimed at controlling lucrative marketing rights to international tournaments such as the World Cup.
Nine FIFA officials—including two current vice presidents—along with five corporate executives were charged with racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering, among other offenses.
The FBI today is announcing a reboot of its popular Child ID App, which provides parents with an easy way to electronically store their children’s pictures and vital information to have on hand in ...
FBI Releases New Version of Child ID App
The FBI today is announcing a reboot of its popular Child ID App, which provides parents with an easy way to electronically store their children’s pictures and vital information to have on hand in case their kids go missing.
The application, which works on most Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, allows users to store up-to-date images and physical descriptions—like height, weight, birthmarks, etc.—that could help responders in the event of an emergency. The information is stored only on your device—not with your mobile provider or the FBI.
The latest version of the Child ID App contains updated features, including high-resolution image capability, a default recipient field (where you can enter your local police department’s e-mail address, for example), and optional automatic reminders to update your children’s profiles.
Current users of the Child ID App are encouraged to download the latest version for improved performance and capabilities. Please note that if you had been using an older version of the app (prior to 2.0), you will need to re-enter all relevant information after installing the update.
The app has been downloaded more than 250,000 times since it was released, first on iTunes in 2011 and then for the Android operating system in 2012. The current version, released in April, has been downloaded more than 50,000 times onto devices around the world.
The Child ID App also includes tips on keeping children safe as well as specific guidance on what to do in those first few crucial hours after a child goes missing.
For more information and to download:
FBI Director James Comey spoke to legal professionals and scholars this week at the American Law Institute and Georgetown University Law Center about cyber threats and the FBI’s abilities to counter ...
Director Discusses Encryption, Patriot Act Provisions
|FBI Director James Comey discusses cyber threats with interviewer Benjamin Powell at the Cybersecurity Law Institute at Georgetown Law Center on May 20, 2015.
FBI Director James Comey spoke to legal professionals and scholars this week about cyber threats and the FBI’s abilities to counter and investigate those evolving threats.
In remarks at the American Law Institute on Tuesday and at a cyber security summit on Wednesday at Georgetown University Law Center, Comey said the group calling itself the Islamic State, or ISIL, represents the FBI’s most urgent threat. He described the organization’s use of social media to motivate troubled people in the United States to engage in acts of violence—either by traveling to the so-called caliphate or killing where they are. Comey said ISIL reaches out to individuals on Twitter and elsewhere, then moves their more sensitive communications to encrypted platforms.
“The threat we face has morphed,” Comey said on Wednesday. “It’s a chaotic spider web through social media—increasingly invisible to us because the operational communications are happening in an encrypted channel.”
Comey later elaborated on the issue of encryption, which is a process of encoding messages—on mobile phones for example—that only authorized parties can access. While it can be effective at thwarting digital thieves, strong encryption also limits the amount of information—or evidence—that law enforcement can effectively gather from a device.
“Increasingly we’re finding ourselves unable to read what we find, or unable to open a device,” Comey said, “and that is a serious concern.”
The issue of “going dark,” as the Bureau calls it, is worthy of a larger public conversation about the balance between privacy and public safety, Comey said. Momentum toward universal encryption, he explained, may have unintended consequences.
“As all of our lives become digital, the logic of encryption is all of our lives will be covered by strong encryption, and therefore all of our lives—including the lives of criminals and terrorists and spies—will be in a place that is utterly unavailable to court-ordered process,” he said. “And that, I think, to a democracy should be very, very concerning.”
The Director also pointed to provisions of the Patriot Act of 2001 that, if allowed to expire on June 1, could hobble the FBI’s investigative abilities. One of the provisions is Section 215, which authorized the National Security Agency’s database of telephony records and metadata.
Comey said the FBI relies on that provision fewer than 200 times a year—in particular cases to get particular records. “If we lose that authority,” Comey said, “we can’t get information that I think everybody wants us to attain.”
Two other provisions include:
- Roving wiretaps. The FBI has had authority since the 1980s to use legally authorized roving wiretaps in criminal cases—allowing authorities to follow surveillance targets rather than their phones, which can be easily trashed and replaced. The Patriot Act extended that authority to terrorism and counterintelligence cases.
- The Lone Wolf provision. In 2004, Congress amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to authorize intelligence gathering on individuals not affiliated with any known terrorist organization.
“These three are going to go away June 1,” Comey said, “and I don’t want them to get lost in the conversation about metadata.”
Agreements by Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, and UBS AG to plead guilty to felony charges were announced today by the FBI, the Department of Justice, ...
Five Major Banks Agree to Plead Guilty to Felony Charges
Agreements by Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, and UBS AG to plead guilty to felony charges were announced today by the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during a press conference in Washington, D.C.
Four of the banks—Citicorp, JPMorgan, Barclays, and RBS—have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros exchanged in the foreign currency exchange spot market and will pay criminal fines totaling $2.5 billion. According to Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer, “The dollar-euro spot market is as big as it gets. Every day, about $500 billion worth of dollars and euros are traded in this market. Trading on the dollar-euro spot market is five times larger than all U.S. stock exchanges combined.”
The fifth bank, UBS, agreed to plead guilty and pay a $203 million criminal penalty for breaching the non-prosecutive agreement it had previously entered regarding manipulation of the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR), a benchmark interest rate used worldwide.
The investigation, conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO), uncovered illegal activity that began as early as December 2007. Currency traders from four of the banks—self-described members of “The Cartel”—used an exclusive electronic chat room and coded language to manipulate exchange rates. The result of their actions inflated the banks’ profits while harming countless consumers, investors, and institutions around the globe. Said WFO’s Assistant Director in Charge Andrew McCabe, “This investigation represents another step in the FBI’s ongoing efforts to find and stop those responsible for complex financial schemes for their own personal benefit.”
In addition to paying large criminal fines, all five banks have agreed to a three-year period of corporate probation which, if approved by the court, will require regular reporting to authorities. The banks will continue cooperating in the ongoing investigation, and the plea agreements don’t preclude the prosecution of individuals for related misconduct.
The case, said U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, serves as a reminder that the U.S. government intends to “vigorously prosecute all those who tilt the economic system in their favor, who subvert our marketplaces, and who enrich themselves at the expense of American consumers.”
Today, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released its annual report highlighting the numbers and common types of complaints it received during 2014 on suspected Internet frauds and other ...
IC3 Releases Annual Snapshot of Internet Crimes
Today, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released its annual report highlighting the numbers and common types of complaints it received during 2014 on suspected Internet fraud and other Internet-based crimes.
The report mentions two new trends that took shape during 2014: criminals increasingly taking advantage of personal data found on social media to start relationships with victims and scam them out of their money; and the emerging popularity of virtual currency, which has attracted perpetrators who capitalize on the vulnerabilities of the developing digital currency system.
Other common scams reported to the IC3—which received an average of 22,000 complaints a month during 2014—included auto fraud, impersonation e-mails, intimidation/extortion scams, real estate fraud, confidence fraud/romance scams, and business e-mail compromise schemes.
According to the report, the IC3 adapted its approach to handling complaints during 2014: Analysts began reviewing more recent complaints first and then looked back at older submissions to better identify urgent threats, recognize new trends more quickly, and disseminate information to law enforcement and the general public based on the most recent data.
The IC3—which houses well over three million complaints from consumers in its database—continues to encourage anyone who thinks they’ve been the victim of an Internet crime, regardless of dollar loss, to file a complaint through the IC3 website. The more complaints it receives, the more effective it will be in helping law enforcement gain a more accurate picture of the extent and nature of Internet-facilitated crimes.
The high-powered leader of a large and deadly street gang was sentenced to multiple life terms in prison on a host of narcotics and weapons offenses.
Leader of Violent California Gang Sentenced
|The cash, weapons, and drugs seized from a hidden compartment in the so-called “trap car” used by California drug trafficker and gang leader Luis Manual Tapia.
Luis Manuel Tapia was a high-powered leader of one of Ventura County’s largest and deadliest gangs—the Colonia Chiques. He was often heard encouraging younger gang members to assault rival gang members, kill suspected informants, enhance the gang’s drug and weapons trafficking operations, and maintain territorial dominance by any means possible.
But after an extensive investigation by the Ventura County Violent Crimes Task Force—made up of FBI agents and officers from the Oxnard and Ventura Police Departments—Tapia, 39, was convicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles and sentenced last month to six life terms without parole plus an additional 55-year consecutive term. Four other key Colonia Chiques members and associates who were charged with Tapia previously pled guilty. (A fifth person charged is a fugitive believed to be in Mexico.)
The long-time pastor of the Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma was recently sentenced to 37 months in prison for embezzling close to $1 million from a community center he helped ...
|The Cornerstone Community Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma sits largely empty due to the embezzlement of nearly $1 million in funds meant for the project by the pastor who helped establish it.
The long-time pastor of the Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma was recently sentenced to 37 months in prison for embezzling close to $1 million from a community center he helped establish to aid the church’s struggling neighborhood.
Director James Comey was among the thousands of people who participated in this week’s annual candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. During the vigil, ...
FBI Director Joins in Tribute to Fallen Police Officers
|A law enforcement colleague assists Director Comey during the annual candlelight ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.|
Director James Comey was among the thousands of people who participated in this week’s annual candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. During the vigil, held during National Police Week, the names of 273 officers—including those who died during 2014—were formally dedicated on the memorial wall.
Comey—along with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) President Madeline Neumann, and National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Chairman Craig Floyd—joined family members, friends, and colleagues of fallen officers to honor the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial now contains the names of 20,538 officers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and federal, corrections, railroad, and military police agencies who died in the line of duty in the U.S., dating back to the first known officer death in 1791.
An Alabama case serves as a warning to criminals: No matter how long it takes or how careful you are, law enforcement will eventually come knocking.
Alabama Jeweler Caught Pawning His Own ‘Stolen’ Diamonds
|A loose 1.11 carat oval “blue diamond” worth $620,000 was among the purportedly stolen items.
An Alabama case serves as a warning to criminals: No matter how long it takes or how careful you are, law enforcement will eventually come knocking. In this case, The total value of the merchandise supposedly stolen was $2.8 million.
In a video message during National Police Week, FBI Director James Comey expressed his personal thanks to our law enforcement partners. Comey’s remarks coincide with the release today of preliminary ...
Director Thanks Law Enforcement Officers in Police Week Message
|Transcript | Download|
This week, National Police Week, thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world gather in Washington, D.C to honor and remember colleagues who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
FBI Director James Comey, through a video message, expressed his personal thanks to our law enforcement partners—those who have “made the ultimate sacrifice to try and make their communities safe...and those of you who continue to do this work in the name of those we have lost.” Of the law enforcement profession, he said, “There are lots of ways to make a living. There’s no better way to make a life.”
Comey's remarks coincide with the release today of preliminary 2014 statistics on the number of law enforcement officers killed doing their job. The preliminary figures, compiled annually by the FBI, show 51 officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty. Another 44 officers were accidentally killed on the job.
In his video message, the Director described the “especially challenging relationship between law enforcement and the communities we serve" and called for law enforcement to “do our absolute best to try to see clearly those people we serve and to look for opportunities to have them see us."
"I’m confident," he said, "that if we have that conversation, and we have good clear seeing in both directions, we will heal some of the divisions we’re facing now around this country."