Jan. 28, 2013 Associated Press
ABUJA, Nigeria — A man who formerly helped oversee Nigeria's police pension program pleaded guilty Monday to stealing $145 million, but walked out of court a free man after agreeing to a plea bargain that saw him pay only a fraction of it back.
The plea deal given to John Yakubu Yusufu and read out in court sparked immediate anger across Nigeria, a nation where many feel government officials pilfer pension funds and oil revenue without any fear of prosecution. Yusufu will pay only a $14,000 fine, forfeit some properties and pay about $2 million in restitution, something that the nation's top anti-corruption agency immediately criticized.
Justice Mohammed Talba, who agreed to the plea deal in a Federal High Court, sentenced Yusufu to serve two years in prison. However, Talba said Yusufu could pay the fine and the restitution, which also includes turning over 32 properties he allegedly purchased with the stolen money.
In asking for the plea deal, Yusufu's defense lawyer, Theodore Bala Maiyakim, said his client had a serious heart condition.
"He has saved the time of my Lord and being a first offender, with no previous record of conviction, I urge the court to temper justice with mercy and sentence him with least possible terms," Maiyakim asked, according to an account provided by Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Prosecutor Rotimi Jacobs, however, called for Yusufu to serve prison time to "send out the message that the era of stealing public funds with impunity is gone."
Charles Starkweather & Caril Fugate
On January 28, 1958, Charles Starkweather, a 19-year-old high-school dropout from Lincoln, Nebraska, and his 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, kill a Lincoln businessman, his wife and their maid, as part of a murderous crime spree that began a week earlier and would ultimately leave 10 people dead.
Jan. 27, 2013 NBC News
Two days after Christmas 2003: A man walking his dog through the woods on Whidbey Island in Washington state spots a yellow Chevy sports utility vehicle, its door open, its driver with a bullet in the head.
The victim is Russel Douglas, 32, and when police search his cell phone records, according to court documents, they find that he has recently been in touch with Peggy Sue Thomas – a 6-foot-tall, single mother of two who was crowned Ms. Washington in 2000.
She won the evening gown division at the national competition, where she proclaimed, according to a profile in the Seattle Weekly, that the greatest ethical challenge facing women was “raising children with morals, even with all the violence, sex and drugs in the media.”
Years after she graced the national stage with that sobering message, prosecutors alleged that she lured Russel Douglas, the estranged husband of a longtime friend, to the woods under the pretense of giving him a Christmas gift. There, investigators claimed, her lover shot Douglas point-blank.
On January 27, 1955, wealthy Russian businessman Serge Rubinstein is found dead by his valet. He had been tied up, gagged and strangled in the bedroom of his 5th Avenue New York apartment. He was the son of Dimitri Rubinstein financial lender of Tsar Nicolas II of Russia. During the revolution of 1917, his family fled the country with a fortune in diamonds.
Jan. 27, 2013 Huffington Post
A grand jury voted to indict JonBenet Ramsey's parents in 1999 on charges of child abuse resulting in death but the prosecutor never signed the indictment, according to a new report by The Daily Camera.
Then-Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter told media back then that he did not believe his office had enough evidence to file any charges, though the Ramsey family remained prime suspects for years before being absolved in 2008.
Child abuse resulting in death charged with "knowingly and recklessly" is a Class II felony that could have resulted in up to 48 years in prison.
On Dec. 26, 1996, 6-year-old JonBenet was found bludgeoned and strangled to death in the basement of her family home. A ransom note from an anonymous group of individuals "that represent a foreign faction" asking for $118,000 in exchange for the safe return of JonBenet was found just hours before, but no call ever came from a kidnapper and it was never linked to a murderer.
The entire Ramsey family was cleared of any involvement in the murder of JonBenet back in 2008, thanks to then newly discovered DNA evidence, according to 9News. Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet's mother, died 2 years earlier in 2006 of ovarian cancer, tragically, she was still considered a possible suspect when she died.
Beginning in 2010, investigators reopened the case and launched a fresh round of interviews with witnesses that could provide more insight into the murder, according to ABC News, but nothing fruitful came of those interviews.
The DNA evidence still points to an "unexplained third party" that serves as a vague lead for authorities still pursuing the case, TIME magazine reported.
Jan. 26, 2013 Associated Press
TAMPA, Fla. — Casey Anthony filed for bankruptcy in Florida on Friday, claiming about $1,100 in assets and $792,000 in liabilities.
Court records show that Anthony, who was acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2011, sought Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in federal court in Tampa.
Her listed debts include $500,000 for attorney fees and costs for her criminal defense lawyer during the trial, Jose Baez; $145,660 for the Orange County Sheriff's office for a judgment covering investigative fees and costs related to the case; $68,540 for the Internal Revenue Service for taxes, interest and penalties; and $61,505 for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for court costs.
The filling also states that she is a defendant in several civil suits, including one brought by Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez for defamation in Orange County Circuit Court.
Fernandez-Gonzalez claims her reputation was damaged by Anthony telling detectives that a baby sitter by the same name kidnapped Caylee. The detectives were investigating the 2008 disappearance of the girl, who later was found dead. Anthony's attorney said details offered by Anthony did not match Fernandez-Gonzalez and clearly showed Anthony wasn't talking about her.
Court papers list Anthony as unemployed, with no recent income.
Jan, 26, 2013 ABC NEWS
Activists from the hacker collective known as Anonymous assumed control over the homepage of a federal judicial agency this morning.
In a manifesto left on the defaced page, the group demanded reform to the American justice system and what the activists said are threats to the free flow of information.
The lengthy essay largely mirrors previous demands from Anonymous, but this time the group also cited the recent suicide of Reddit co-founder and activist Aaron Swartz as has having "crossed a line" for their organization. Swartz was facing up to 35 years in prison on computer fraud charges.
Prosecutors said he had stolen thousands of digital scientific and academic journal articles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the goal of disseminating them for free.
Anonymous says Swartz was "killed because he was forced into playing a game he could not win - a twisted and distorted perversion of justice - a game where the only winning move was not to play."
With the purpose of writing about true crime in an authoritative, fact-based manner, veteran journalists J. J. Maloney and J. Patrick O’Connor launched Crime Magazine in November of 1998. Their goal was to cover all aspects of true crime: from organized crime to serial killers, from capital punishment to prisons, from historical crimes to celebrity crime, from assassinations to government corruption, from justice issues to innocent cases, from crime films to books about crime. Read More