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Wednesday
Apr242019

Texas family accused of obtaining Masters tickets with fake IDs: DOJ

wellesenterprises/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A Texas family is accused of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in a scheme to re-sell tickets to the annual Masters golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, the Department of Justice said.

The indictment, unsealed in the Southern District of Georgia on Tuesday details a pattern from 2013 to 2017 in which Steven and Diane Freeman and their children Christine Oliverson and Stephen M. Freeman took steps to defraud the prestigious golf tournament's through its selective ticketing system.

According to the indictment, tickets are distributed in a lottery after information is submitted on the Augusta National Incorporated website and only one account per household is allowed.

Prosecutors allege that the family "defrauded ANI by creating false user accounts in order to purchase spectator tickets to attend the Masters Golf Tournament held annually in Augusta, Georgia." They went on to say, the family was hoping to "re-sell the tickets at a substantial profit.

The government alleges that the family created "false user accounts by purchasing mailing lists that included the actual names and addresses of individuals who did not grant their authority or permission for the creation of these accounts," the charging document says. They also created fake IDs, utility bills and credit card statements to go with fake accounts, and mail them to Augusta for a change of address, the prosecutors said.

They also purchased emails, "in bulk" to use to register online, authorities said.

The government says the family created a document in which they could all see information pertaining to the scheme at the same time.

"Mom, this links to a document that we can all see at once. this is how chrissy requested i send her the info," reads an email included in the indictment allegedly sent by Stephen M. Freeman. "we'll see how this works. i found a fairly basic utility bill in NY state. the link to the bill is on the document along with the changes that need to be made," the email reads.

Stephen Michael Freeman is also charged with identity theft.

If convicted, each member of the family could face up to 20 years in prison.

No attorneys for the family members were listed in court records.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr242019

Olympic runner discusses training her mind for success

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The physical demands professional runners endure are both grueling and awe-inspiring. For Olympian Deena Kastor, becoming a successful long distance runner was about more than just training her body; it was about training her mind, too. She outlines the lessons she learned about competing, life, and discovering her winner's mindset in her new book, Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory.

In an exclusive conversation with ABC News, Kastor discusses some of the lessons she took from years of competing on the national stage.

She says whether people are competing on the race course, at school, or their jobs, they must find ways to reframe their perceptions about failures and shortcomings. "It may take a lot of work to get there," she concedes, "but the work is worth it."

Kastor recounts one of her worst losses as a moment when she learned that she could use failure to push herself to succeed. In an eight kilometer cross country national championship race early in her career, she believed she was going to come in first place after months of intense training. Instead, she says, "I was absolutely demolished. I went from confident to crushed in just thirty minutes."

Her coach would not let her wallow in the unexpected failure. He wanted her to use her failure to increase her desire to win and find ways to improve before her next competitive race:

"My coach told me, 'I'm glad you're disappointed because it means you care.'"

It was following this loss that she improved her times and became a world class runner, competing in national and Olympic races.

Kastor looked to fill her book with a variety of lessons she learned at different points in life. They include how becoming a mother reframed the way she thought about competition, and how she was able to move on from the grief she endured in losing her family dog.

With her memoir, she hopes some of what she learned will empower others to endure through their own challenges and reach their potential:

"The lessons of bravery and courage and enduring can be related across the board. At any given moment, we can choose to throw in the towel, give up... I think it's really important to pass along the message we can reshape and redefine our perceptions. And the best way to share that knowledge is to write a book... not so much for people to learn about me, but discover more about themselves through using thoughts, and perspectives, and more of their mental game to get an edge on their running and their lives."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Apr242019

Scoreboard roundup -- 4/23/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:

INTERLEAGUE
Miami 3, Cleveland 1
San Francisco 7, Toronto 6
San Diego 6, Seattle 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Detroit 7, Boston 4
Baltimore 9, Chicago White Sox 1
Tampa Bay 5, Kansas City 2
Detroit 4, Boston 2
Houston 10, Minnesota 4
N.Y. Yankees 7, L.A. Angels 5
Oakland 11, Texas 5

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Cincinnati 7, Atlanta 6
Arizona 2, Pittsburgh 1
N.Y. Mets 9, Philadelphia 0
St. Louis 4, Milwaukee 3
Chicago Cubs 7, L.A. Dodgers 2
Washington 6, Colorado 3

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Toronto 115, Orlando 96
Philadelphia 122, Brooklyn 100
Denver 108, San Antonio 90
Portland 118, Oklahoma City 115

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Boston 5, Toronto 1
San Jose 5, Vegas 4

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr232019

Serena Williams posts video of daughter Olympia trying out tennis racquets

TPN/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The apple certainly doesn't fall from the tree!

Tennis superstar Serena Williams posted this video of her daughter Olympia hitting the racquet closet not once, but four times!

"History in the making," she wrote in the caption as little Olympia gave each racquet a smash test!

Some of Williams' celebrity friends commented on the post. Singer Justin Timberlake wrote "Uh oh!" while actress Olivia Wilde said, "Already better than me."

Williams' husband, Alexis Ohanian, remarked: "Smash that racquet, baby girl!"

No matter what Olympia puts her young mind to, she will certainly have a wealth of coaches and supporters along the way to guide her.

If young Olympia does follow in her mother's footsteps, she will be hitting the court in just a few short years. Williams was just 4 years old when she started playing tennis and was a professional by the age of 14.

Olympia turns 2 in September.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr222019

Tom Brady shares heartfelt note on his parents' 50th wedding anniversary

Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Tom Brady often speaks about his deep appreciation for his parents and the hand they've had in his great success.

The New England Patriots quarterback shared a lengthy post to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday.

Alongside Galynn Brady and Tom Brady Sr.'s wedding photo and a more recent photo of the couple, the football star wrote, "The strength of their marriage has always been an inspiration and the best example to me and my sisters of what true love, respect and commitment mean."

He explained that their union has helped him and his three sisters navigate life's challenges.

"Life always has its ups and downs and their togetherness in good and bad taught us teamwork," he wrote. "Their trust, love and dedication as parents taught us how to become the parents we are today."

He went on, "They have always put our family first and instilled in us the values they were taught from their parents, which we now carry on and teach our own kids. They have always encouraged us to attain milestones and we’re honored to celebrate this one they’ve achieved."

"We love you so much, mom and dad," he added. "Happy anniversary!!!"

Brady is extremely close with his family. They were at Super Bowl LIII in February to watch him get his sixth ring after the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr222019

Yankees star Aaron Judge joins team’s growing injured list

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Thirteen is proving to be an unlucky number for the New York Yankees.

Aaron Judge, who dons the number on his jersey, is the latest player to join the team’s injured list. With his addition to the list, the Yankees now have 13 players who are battling injuries.

The 26-year-old right fielder strained his left oblique while swinging in the sixth inning of Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Royals. Judge was placed on the 10-day injured list the following day.

The Yankees recalled infielder Thairo Estrada from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to step in for Judge during his absence from the lineup.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr222019

Flyers remove Kate Smith statue, drop her version of ‘God Bless America’

Aneese/iStock(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia Flyers have joined the New York Yankees in ceasing to play Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” during games.

The move comes after the Flyers “learned that several of the songs Kate Smith performed in the 1930s include lyrics and sentiments that are incompatible with the values of our organization, and evoke painful and unacceptable themes,” the team said in a statement Sunday.

Last week, the Daily News reported that the Yankees stopped playing Smith’s version of the song during the seventh inning stretch this season because of her history of occasionally singing songs that appear to be racist and embrace slave culture.

"The NHL principle 'Hockey is for Everyone' is at the heart of everything the Flyers stand for," Flyers President Paul Holmgren said in a statement. "As a result, we cannot stand idle while material from another era gets in the way of who we are today."

In addition to dropping Smith’s rendition of  “God Bless America,” the Flyers also on Sunday removed a statue of her that was located outside of the team’s arena.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr222019

Scoreboard roundup -- 4/21/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Sunday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE
Atlanta 11 Cleveland 5

AMERICAN LEAGUE

NY Yankees 7 Kansas City 6, 10 Innings
Minnesota 4 Baltimore 3
Detroit 4 Chi White Sox 3
Boston 4 Tampa Bay 3, 11 Innings
Texas 11 Houston 10
Toronto 5 Oakland 4
LA Angels 8 Seattle 6

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Washington 5 Miami 0
San Francisco 3 Pittsburgh 2
LA Dodgers 6 Milwaukee 5
St. Louis 6 NY Mets 4
Chi Cubs 2 Arizona 1
Colorado 4 Philadelphia 1
San Diego 4 Cincinnati 3

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Boston 110 Indiana 106
Golden State 113 L.A. Clippers 105
Toronto 107 Orlando 85
Portland 111 Oklahoma City 98

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Boston 4 Toronto 2
SO San Jose 2 Vegas 1

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
New York City 2 D.C. United 0

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr192019

Florida officials accused by defense attorneys of peddling alleged Kraft sex tape to the media

Adam Glanzman/Getty Images(JUPITER, Fla) -- Attorneys for the owner and manager of a Florida day spa, where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and other men were allegedly caught on camera receiving sexual favors are claiming either prosecutors or police are trying to profit from the unauthorized sale of the footage "to the highest bidder," according to newly filed court documents.

"I am deeply disturbed that someone in the Palm Beach County attorney’s office or Jupiter Police Department — who are the only ones with access to these video — would attempt to sell and profit from these videos and be in contempt of the courts orders," attorney Tama Beth Kudman told ABC News on Friday. "It’s disgraceful."

Kudman, who represents Hua Zhang, the owner of Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida — charged with multiple counts of running a brothel — in an emergency motion for an order to show cause filed on Thursday evening. The motion seeks to hold officials in criminal contempt and "for violation of this Court's order prohibiting the release of the video surveillance in this case," according to filing.

"The motion is asking the court to get to the bottom of whoever attempted to sell these videos and hold whoever it is in contempt because they are violating the judge’s order. It's disgraceful," Kudman told ABC News.

Emails and phone calls from ABC News to the Jupiter Police Department and Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office requesting comment about the allegations were not immediately returned.

Zhang's business was one of numerous Florida spas targeted as part of a larger human trafficking investigation which installed hidden surveillance cameras in spa massage rooms and allegedly captured Kraft seeking and receiving sexual favors from spa staffers on Jan. 19 and 20. Kraft has denied the charges.

The secretly-installed cameras were set up by the Jupiter Police Department during a human trafficking investigation of the spa. While prosecutors with the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office have not filed any human trafficking charges related to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, Kraft and two-dozen other men who had visited the facility were arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution.

The latest drama began earlier Wednesday, when Palm Beach County prosecutors indicated that they were preparing to release the potentially embarrassing surveillance video from inside the spa.

County officials said that the video would be released in response to public records requests in the cases of Zhang and another women accused of facilitating the alleged prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa. Officials said they would "pixelate or blur depictions of obscene or pornographic images before releasing such records to the public, absent a court order."

Kraft's attorneys responded swiftly, filing a letter to the judge to apprise him of what they described as "an extraordinary and alarming development involving what appears to be gross prosecutorial misconduct" and accused law enforcement officials of trying to circumvent the judgment of the court. Kraft's attorneys had previously filed a motion with the court to suppress the video evidence, and a hearing had been scheduled.

"I don’t want this released until I’ve ruled," Florida Circuit Court Judge Joseph Marx said in an emergency hearing on a conference call with the two parties and the media late Wednesday afternoon.

That hearing is now scheduled for April 29 at 1:30 p.m. local time.

Defense attorneys for the National Football League (NFL) team owner have said that they intend to argue at that hearing that a search warrant that allowed investigators to install hidden cameras inside the spa's massage rooms was improperly obtained.

Defense attorneys also filed motions on Wednesday requesting to seal the videos not only to “protect Mr. Kraft’s right to a fair trial” but to prevent it’s released to “millions of people around the world to see."

"If that were to happen, it would immediately and irretrievably taint the jury pool not just in Palm Beach County, but in neighboring counties (and states) as well. Sealing is the most sensible option,” according to court documents.

Under Florida's Sunshine Law — enacted in 1995 — any records made or received by any public agency in the course of its official business are available for inspection, unless specifically exempted by the Florida Legislature.

Yet on Thursday, the New York Daily News first reported that TheBlast.com published an article saying that the newspaper's reporters, along with "multiple media outlets" were contacted by an unidentified party trying to sell the footage of 77-year-old Kraft with a masseuse.

"In a blatant derogation of this Court's Order, a (presently) unknown individual, or perhaps even a group of individuals, is now attempting to sell, to the highest bidder, the materials subject to this Court's order," wrote Kudman in the motion along with Kathleen S. Phang, who represents the spa's manager, Lei Wang. "Obviously, this information creates yet another emergency necessitating immediate judicial intervention."

Kudman and Phang are further requesting the judge to have the police and prosecutors pay for their fees and costs for prosecuting their motion.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Apr192019

Conor McGregor seen in new bodycam footage getting arrested after phone altercation

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- Prosecutors have released new footage of UFC star Conor McGregor getting arrested at a Miami Beach home after allegedly smashing and stealing a fan's phone outside the Fountainebleau hotel.

The police bodycam footage shows McGregor calmly being led from a private home to a police vehicle, where he is handcuffed before getting inside.

McGregor is facing one felony charge of strong-armed robbery and one charge of misdemeanor criminal mischief after allegedly getting into an altercation with Ahmed Abdirzak, who was attempting to take a photo with McGregor on March 11, prosecutors say. He has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

McGregor was exiting a Miami nightclub at 5:20 a.m. when he encountered Abdirzak, police stated.

McGregor "slapped the victim's phone out of his hand, causing it to fall to the floor," the arrest affidavit states. "The defendant then stomped on the victim's phone several times, damaging it."

McGregor then picked up for the phone and left with it, according to police.

Federal prosecutors released surveillance footage from the incident, which they say captured the altercation.

In a statement to ABC News, McGregor's team acknowledged the incident, saying McGregor "was involved in a minor altercation involving a cell phone that resulted in a call to law enforcement. Mr. McGregor appreciates the response of law enforcement and pledges his full cooperation."

Abdirzak filed a civil suit against McGregor that has since been dropped after reaching an out-of-court settlement, The Miami Herald reported.

McGregor seemed to acknowledge the incident on Instagram the day after it occurred.

"Patience in this world is a virtue I continue to work on," McGregor wrote. "I love my fans dearly. Thank you all."

Two weeks later, McGregor abruptly announced his retirement on Twitter. "Hey guys quick announcement, I've decided to retire from the sport formally known as 'Mixed Martial Art' today," McGregor wrote. "I wish my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement"

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