Entries in Indictment (6)


Anonymous Attacks Justice Dept. Website After Indictment

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Justice Department website was down Thursday after annoucing the indictment of seven individuals and two companies behind the popular file-sharing website  About one hour after the announcement, the Justice Department's website,, came under cyberattack with a denial-of-service attack. Anonymous, the hacktivist computer group, is claiming responsibility.

The indictment alleges that the website, which has been touted by stars, Kim Kardashian and Puff Daddy, and a shell company associated with the website, Vestor Limited, caused an estimated half-billion dollars in copyright losses and made an estimated $175 million in proceeds. The website was established in 2005 and at one point ranked as the 13th-most-visited website on the Internet.

The feds indicted the site's founder, Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz, a 37-year-old resident of Hong Kong and New Zealand. He was arrested in New Zealand by New Zealand authorities.

Also indicted were employees Bram van der Kolk, aka Bramos, 29, Julius Bencko, Finn Batato, Sven Echternach, Mathias Ortmann and Andrus Nomm. New Zealand authorities arrested Batato, Ortmann and van der Kolk. Bencko, Echternach and Nomm remain at large, officials said.

The indictment accuses the suspects of being members of "the Mega Conspiracy, a worldwide criminal organization whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale."

The case comes a day after Internet companies and websites such as Google, WordPress and Wikipedia protested about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).

The indictment returned by a grand jury in Virginia alleges, "In exchange for payment, the Mega Conspiracy provides the fast reproduction and distribution of infringing copies of copyrighted works from its computer servers located around the world. Premium users of the site...are able to download and upload files with few, if any, limitations."

Describing the operation of the site and relations with users, the indictment noted, "For much of its operation, the Mega Conspiracy has offered an 'Uploader Rewards' Program, which promised premium subscribers transfers of cash and other financial incentives to upload popular works, including copyrighted works, to computer servers under the Mega Conspiracy's direct control and for the Conspiracy's ultimate financial benefit."

The seven suspects have been charged with participating in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.

If convicted they could face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio 


Brooklyn Boy's Alleged Killer Charged with Murder, Kidnapping

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The man accused of killing and dismembering Leiby Kletzky, the 8-year-old Brooklyn boy whose dead body was found last week, was indicted in a New York courtroom Wednesday.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes announced that a grand jury handed down an eight-count indictment charging Levi Aron, 35, with two counts of murder in the first degree.  The first-degree murder charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.

Aron also faces three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping in the first degree and one count of kidnapping in the second degree.

The next court date is set for July 28, when Aron is likely to be arraigned, Hynes said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the New York City medical examiner determined that Kletzky was given a lethal cocktail of drugs and then was smothered.  An autopsy revealed that the boy had traces of a muscle relaxant, cyclobenzaprine; an antipsychotic drug, quetiapine; Vicodin, and Tylenol in his blood.

The medical examiner said Kletzky died from suffocation after being smothered, and ruled the death a homicide.

Kletzky's dismembered body was found on July 13, two days after he was he was allegedly abducted by Aron while walking back home alone from camp the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.  Body parts were found in a refrigerator in Aron's home and inside a suitcase discarded in a dumpster.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Grand Jury Indicts 'Grim Sleeper' on 11 Counts

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A grand jury indicted a man accused of being the "Grim Sleeper" serial killer in Los Angeles Thursday.

Lonnie David Franklin Jr., 58, was indicted on 10 counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Franklin was arrested on July 7 after DNA evidence linked him to the murders.

The "Grim Sleeper's" first killing spree lasted between August 1985 and September 1988 and left seven girls dead. The second occurred between March 2002 and January 2007.

Franklin will return to court for a pre-trial hearing on April 4.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jared Loughner Indicted in Tucson Shootings

Photo Courtesy - Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- A federal grand jury has indicted Jared Lee Loughner in the attempted killings of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and two of her aides.

The shooting left six people dead and at least 13 others wounded Saturday, Jan. 8, at a Tucson, Arizona shopping center.

The indictments for attempting to kill Giffords and two of her aides, Ron Barber and Pamela Simon, are expected to represent just the start of the federal case against Loughner, 22, of Tucson. He is expected to be charged in the six killings, but prosecutors continue to build those cases before pressing the charges.

Additional charges likely will be added later in superseding indictments, officials said.

Loughner could face life in prison if convicted of the attempted killings, according to a media release announcing the indictments.

The initial indictment came as the FBI reviews surveillance video of the Tucson shooting rampage that shows the horrific scene in clear detail.

It also shows acts of heroism, including federal Judge John Roll being gunned down as he tries to help another man.

The tapes are in the custody of the FBI and won't likely be released until trial.

The video obtained from the Safeway supermarket shows the area where Giffords was holding a "Congress on Your Corner" event. Authorities said Loughner is seen walking into the picture at 10:10 a.m.

According to officials who have seen the video, Loughner quickly moves around a table and shoots Rep. Giffords in her left forehead, just above her eye. At the time the shot was fired, Loughner was within three feet of Giffords.

Then, Loughner reportedly turned to his left, faced the crowd, and continued the shooting, officials said.

Officials said the crystal-clear video footage shows muzzle flashes as the gun is fired.

Besides Roll, five others were killed, including nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, Giffords' director of community outreach Gabriel Zimmerman, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwan Stoddard and Dorothy Morris.

Giffords survived the shooting and her condition has been upgraded to serious from critical.

In all, sources said Loughner allegedly fired 32 rounds before he was tackled by participants in Giffords' public event.

"I ran over to him and I knelt down and put my knee in his back, pulled out my cuffs and handcuffed him in place right there," said Pima County Sheriff Deputy Thomas Audetat. "As far as my recollection goes, he did not struggle with us at all."

Since his arrest, sources have described Loughner as calm, detached and often smiling.

The tapes may provide additional evidence that the assault was pre-meditated.

Loughner reportedly had ear plugs and was seen on tape talking calmly to a Safeway clerk in the moments before the shooting.

Sources said his parents have cooperated with the investigation and apparently had no idea what he had been planning.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


John Edwards Affair: Grand Jury Indictment Decision Expected Soon

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A long-running federal grand jury probe of John Edwards' 2008 presidential campaign is nearing its conclusion as investigators wrap up an inquiry which has been broadened to include issues beyond the money allegedly used to conceal the affair between Edwards and his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation tell ABC News that a decision on whether to seek an indictment of Edwards is expected within the next several weeks.

"I think it's very close," says one source involved in the case, noting that the government has recently dedicated significant resources to gathering evidence and interviewing key witnesses in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.

Former Sen. Edwards and his attorneys have acknowledged the grand jury investigation, but have denied wrongdoing.

The focus of the investigation remains on the more than $1 million allegedly spent to seclude Hunter and former Edwards staffer Andrew Young, who had falsely claimed paternity of Hunter's child, as Edwards continued his pursuit of the nomination.

Investigators are leaning strongly toward the legal conclusion that those payments should have been reported as campaign contributions since they supported -- albeit indirectly -- Edwards presidential campaign.

To bolster the case, sources indicate that the federal government has also been digging deeper into Edwards' past, scrutinizing the transactions of a web of loosely-connected political committees, corporations and non-profit organizations associated with his failed campaign, looking for potential violations of campaign finance and tax laws.

Among the groups facing scrutiny is a non-profit organization -- created by former Edwards' staffers and advisers -- known as The Center for Promise and Opportunity.

Tax records show the center received more than $2.2 million in 2006 from undisclosed donors and spent nearly all of it funding events and travel for Mr. Edwards and associates as he sought to enhance his credentials prior to officially entering the race.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Costa Rican Man Indicted in US Phone Scam Case

Courtesy - Getty Images(MIAMI) -- A federal grand jury Tuesday indicted a Costa Rican man for alleged ties to one of the largest and most pernicious telemarketing sweepstakes scams in recent American history, marking the first new arrest in the case since federal agents attempted to shut down the boiler room operations in 2006.

The 25-year-old defendant, Emilio Jose Torres, was detained at a Miami airport last month and has been accused in Tuesday's indictment of running an illegal call center in Costa Rica.

"The defendant and his co-conspirators would falsely inform victims by telephone that they had won a large sweepstakes prize but that they needed to pay certain order to collect their prize," the indictment says. "This process would continue for as long as the particular victim could be persuaded to send additional funds."

Authorities tell ABC News they believe Torres is one key player in a much larger scam operation that has been targeting mostly elderly victims in the U.S. for several years. The swindlers have stolen more than $20 million from people who thought they were paying luxury taxes or other fees in order to receive sweepstakes winnings, authorities said. Last month, law enforcement officials in Costa Rica said they believed as many as 20 boiler rooms were operating, though they are difficult to track because they change locations about every three months.

Frank A. Rubino, a renowned criminal defense attorney in Miami -- best known for representing former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega -- has taken on Torres as a client. He told ABC News his client is "a nice educated young man who has never been arrested or had any legal problems in his life.""He's been accused," Rubino said. "Now the government has to prove it."

Rubino markets himself as a top-tier white collar defense attorney who "limits his practice to the most serious and complex state, federal and international charges." When asked how a 25-year-old with no clear legal source of income could afford Rubino's services, the attorney said Torres's parents have made a good living in the Costa Rican real estate market. "His parents love him dearly and they're doing what they have to in order to help him," he said.

Torres is currently being held in a North Carolina jail and is scheduled to enter a plea at the end of this month.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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