Modern Day Thievery
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California June 25, 2002Modern Day ThieveryEvery year the Federal Government seizes millions of dollars worth of merchandise from its citizens. Have you ever wondered where all those goods go?Just a week ago I attended a computer class on how to make money from use of the internet, having in mind to learn how J.A.I.L. could use its own website to help generate financing to assist in underwriting passage of the J.A.I.L. nationwide.I was horrified to see the prime example used in the class of a website designed to encourage people to get involved in selling off government seized goods from U.S. Citizens. Moving these government seized cars, trucks, and homes are a major business in America, with big profits. This is so profitable that former Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles once said, "Drugs are helping Los Angeles." I asked myself, why would Los Angeles ever want to destroy a profitable industry that is causing it to prosper.Well, the below article will provide you a clue of what is going on from the inside. Government, of course, would like us to believe the below account is a rare incident, but as we all know the adage, "Follow the money," and that the nature of man is consistent.Let's not forget that a couple years ago an investigation of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department revealed one-third of the drug agents on the force were involved in stealing and/or selling drugs acquired from their competitors. -Ron Branson.~ ~ ~
U.S. marshal is charged in forfeiture sales
Wednesday, June 12, 2002BY JOHN P. MARTIN
A longtime deputy U.S. marshal in Newark was arrested yesterday on charges that he secretly sold government-seized cars and land to friends and relatives at a discount, then shared the profits when they resold the items at market value.
Federal prosecutors said the officer, Dominick Russo, was able to pull off the scheme because for nearly a decade, he had the sole authority to sell millions of dollars of property seized by federal agencies in New Jersey and parts of New York. ....
In one case, Russo allegedly approved the sale of an Ocean City home to a friend for $465,000, nearly $200,000 less than the property was worth. In another, prosecutors say, Russo sold a forfeited 1990 Pathfinder to his mother for $4,200, but altered the paperwork to suggest that a different buyer purchased it. The car was soon resold for $5,000.
The grand jury returned its 21-count indictment last Friday, but the document remained sealed until yesterday, when federal agents arrested Russo at his home in Union.
Russo faces charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, embezzlement and witness tampering. The most serious counts carry penalties of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. ....
The indictment outlines the sale of five cars and three properties that Dominick Russo approved between February 1998 and July 1999. Under Marshal Service policy, seized cars were to be sold at auction and properties publicly listed for sale. But in each case, prosecutors allege, Russo arranged for the deals privately, and submitted false paperwork to appear that the sales and buyers were legitimate. ....
The office's forfeiture program typically oversees the sale of more than 100 cars and a handful of properties seized from defendants each year, he [Plousis] said. ....
John P. Martin covers federal courts and law enforcement. He can be reached at 973-622-3405 or jmartin@....
Copyright 2002 New Jersey Online. All Rights Reserved.
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