The Chicago Syndicate

Magee 1866 Heritage Month

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Lennon, the Mobster & the Lawyer: The Untold Story #TheBeatles #OrganizedCrime #NewReleases

Before John Lennon retreated peacefully into private life in 1975, he fought a major legal battle that went under the public radar.

Just as his Rock 'n' Roll oldies album hit the market, Morris Levy, the Mob-connected owner of Roulette Records, released Roots, an unauthorized version of the same record. Levy had used rough mixes of John's unfinished Rock 'n' Roll recordings-and claimed the former Beatle had verbally agreed to the arrangement. The clash led to a lawsuit and countersuit between Levy and Lennon.

Attorney Jay Bergen, a partner in a prestigious New York City law firm, represented John in this epic battle over the rights to his own recordings. Millions of dollars were at stake.

Jay tells the intimate story of how he worked closely with John to rebut Levy's outrageous claims. He also recounts how John explained his recording process in poetic, exacting terms before a judge who knew little about the Beatles and John's solo career.

Lennon, the Mobster & the Lawyer: The Untold Story, catches the high drama of the courtroom skirmishes in this previously untold story. It also paints a detailed personal picture of John and his world in 1975-76, when he was soon to have a new son and went into happy seclusion to be a husband and father.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Federal Agent Felix Cisneros Convicted of taking Bribes from Organized Crime #HomelandSecurity

A former special agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was found guilty by a federal jury of dozens of criminal charges for accepting cash payments and other benefits to help an organized crime-linked person, including taking official action designed to help two foreign nationals gain entry into the United States.

Felix Cisneros Jr., 48, of Murrieta, was found guilty of 30 felonies: one count of conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official, one count of bribery, 26 counts of money laundering and two counts of subscribing to a false tax return. After the verdict was read, Cisneros was ordered immediately remanded into federal custody.

According to evidence presented at his five-day trial, over an 18-month period that started in September 2015, Cisneros accepted cash, checks, private jet travel, luxury hotel stays, meals and other items of value from a person identified in court documents as “Individual 1,” who was associated with a criminal organization. Cisneros received approximately $100,000 in checks and gifts from Individual 1 in 2015 and 2016.

Cisneros accepted the cash and other bribes while employed as a special agent with HSI, which is an agency within the United States Department of Homeland Security. In exchange for the bribes, Cisneros performed a series of official acts at the behest of Individual 1, including:

  • Accessing a DHS database for information about a German national identified as W.R., and telling Individual 1 he removed a “hit” on W.R., “thus indicating derogatory information had been removed”;
  • Placing an alert in a law enforcement database for an address associated with an illegal marijuana grow operation so Cisneros could learn of law enforcement interest and warn Individual 1;
  • Obtaining an official DHS letter signed by an HSI assistant special agent in charge to allow the parole of Individual 1’s brother-in-law into the United States from Mexico, and later providing updates about the brother-in-law’s asylum application; and
  • Collecting information on an associate of Individual 1 whose home had been searched by law enforcement and later providing Individual 1 with information about the investigation. 
Cisneros also underreported his total income on his federal income tax returns by at least $20,000 for the year 2015 and at least $73,404 for the year 2016.

Judge R. Gary Klausner has scheduled an August 1 sentencing hearing. The conspiracy charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, the bribery count carries a sentence of up to 15 years, each money laundering charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, and each tax count carries a statutory maximum sentence of three years in federal prison.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Joel Tucker, White Supremacist Gang Member with Killer Kracker Pride and Affiliated with Ghost Face Gangster, Pleads Guilty in Project Safe Neighborhoods Case #Georgia

A documented member of a white supremacist organization that is sometimes affiliated with the Ghost Face Gangsters pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a firearm in a Project Safe Neighborhoods case.

Joel Nelson Tucker, 32, of Moultrie, Georgia, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon before U.S. District Judge Louis Sands on Tuesday, April 19. Tucker faces a maximum ten years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for July 27, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. before Judge Sands. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Our region’s most violent and repeat offenders who continue to possess firearms illegally will be held accountable at the federal level,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Through the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, federal prosecutors are working with law enforcement agencies to concentrate enforcement efforts on violent career offenders in an effort to reduce crime and ultimately make our communities safer.”

“Gang members like Tucker continuously plague our communities even after being charged and convicted of multiple crimes,” said Philip Wislar, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI is proud to work with our law enforcement partners to enforce federal laws that can provide serious prison time for criminals who refuse to learn from their mistakes and continue to possess firearms and endanger others.”

According to court documents and other evidence, a Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a citizen’s call about two individuals driving a truck on property behind his residence, which had been the target of several recent thefts. The deputy recognized the driver as Tucker, who had outstanding arrest warrants, was a known convicted felon and had led deputies on a high-speed pursuit in recent months. Tucker, who was wearing a shoulder holster while seated in the front seat, gave a false name to the deputy. The officer saw a gun resting inches away from Tucker’s right hand. When he asked the defendant to exit his vehicle, Tucker replied with an expletive and refused to get out of the truck. The deputy, who had called for law enforcement back-up, gave numerous commands for Tucker to exit the truck. Tucker failed to comply. Tucker moved his hand toward his holster and the deputy deployed his taser. Tucker was handcuffed by another responding deputy and was combative during the arrest.

Tucker, who is a convicted felon, was in illegal possession of a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 special revolver at the time of his arrest. Tucker was on probation at the time of the arrest and has multiple convictions in Colquitt County, Georgia, Superior Court, including for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and burglary. Tucker is a known and validated member the KKP (Killer Kracker Pride), a hybrid gang that originated in the Colquitt County Jail. KKP is a white supremacy organization that is sometimes affiliated with the Ghost Face Gangster.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Freezing Order: A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder, and Surviving Vladimir Putin's Wrath #Russia

Following his explosive New York Times bestseller Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice, Bill Browder returns with another gripping thriller chronicling how he became Vladimir Putin’s number one enemy by exposing Putin’s campaign to steal and launder hundreds of billions of dollars and kill anyone who stands in his way.

When Bill Browder’s young Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was beaten to death in a Moscow jail, Browder made it his life’s mission to go after his killers and make sure they faced justice. The first step of that mission was to uncover who was behind the $230 million tax refund scheme that Magnitsky was killed over. As Browder and his team tracked the money as it flowed out of Russia through the Baltics and Cyprus and on to Western Europe and the Americas, they were shocked to discover that Vladimir Putin himself was a beneficiary of the crime.

As law enforcement agencies began freezing the money, Putin retaliated. He and his cronies set up honey traps, hired process servers to chase Browder through cities, murdered more of his Russian allies, and enlisted some of the top lawyers and politicians in America to bring him down. Putin will stop at nothing to protect his money. As Freezing Order reveals, it was Browder’s campaign to expose Putin’s corruption that prompted Russia’s intervention in the 2016 US presidential election.

At once a financial caper, an international adventure, and a passionate plea for justice, Freezing Order: A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder, and Surviving Vladimir Putin's Wrath, is a stirring morality tale about how one man can take on one of the most ruthless villains in the world—and win.

Friday, April 08, 2022

King Bam of the Latin Kings Sentenced to Prison for Racketeering

A former leader of the Boston Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) was sentenced to prison on racketeering charges.

Angel Calderon, a/k/a “King Bam,” 29, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release. On Aug. 5, 2021, Calderon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.

During the investigation, Calderon was identified as the Inca, or leader, of the Morton Street Bricks (MSB) Chapter of the Latin Kings. Named for the Morton Street housing project in Boston, the MSB Chapter included approximately half-a-dozen members. The MSB Chapter, in turn, reported to the Massachusetts State Leadership of the Latin Kings, providing information, structure, funds and other resources to further the Latin Kings goals and directives in the state. Additionally, Calderon conspired with members of the Latin Kings regarding the commission of criminal acts and discussed efforts to murder a rival gang member using poisoned narcotics, also known as a hotshot, in 2019. In June 2019, Calderon assaulted a woman at gunpoint and threatened to kill her and her family based upon the belief that she was providing information to law enforcement.

The Latin Kings are a violent criminal enterprise comprised of thousands of members across the United States. The Latin Kings adhere to a national manifesto, employ an internal judiciary and use a sophisticated system of communication to maintain the hierarchy of the organization. As alleged in court documents, the gang uses drug distribution to generate revenue, and engages in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to further its influence and to protect its turf.

In December 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and firearms charges against 62 leaders, members and associates of the Latin Kings. Calderon is the 49th defendant to be sentenced in the case.

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