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December 2014 Archives

Let's Not Make Any Mistakes! HBO Retains An Army of Lawyers to Consult On New Scientology Film

HBO is researching a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood, and isn't taking any chances with the legal side of things. "We have probably 160 lawyers looking at the film", HBO Documentary Films President Sheila Nevins told The Hollywood Reporter.

Murder Charges in Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

It's been over two years since a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak killed dozens of people and sickened hundreds. Nearly 750 people were infected by tainted steroids, leading to the deaths of 64 people across several states. The outbreak eventually led investigators to Framingham, home of the now-defunct New England Compounding Center Inc. (NECC), who produced the tainted steroids. 

Food Stamp Fraud in Springfield

In Massachusetts, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is intended to allow families on a limited income to buy nutritious food from local grocery stores. Benefits are provided in the form of an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which works like a debit card. However, some of those neighborhood stores are fraudulently letting customers exchange their EBT credit for cash-in-hand. 

Federal Judge May Soon Throw Out 4 Guilty Pleas In High-Profile Insider-Trading Case

According to the AP, U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. notified attorneys of his plans on Thursday that he's leaning toward tossing out four guilty pleas in an insider-trading case, the latest fallout from a recent appeals court ruling criticizing prosecutors' tactics.

Boston FBI Will Introduce Corruption Hotline

With casino gambling finally coming to the Boston area, gamblers are hoping to strike it rich playing legalized games of chance. Casino owners are also seeing dollar signs, but concern over where those dollars end up has caught the attention of federal law enforcement. Out of concern for the gaming industry's potential for fraud and government corruption, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is introducing a new anti-corruption program. 

Campus Sexual Assault Comes Before Senate

A recent Rolling Stone magazine article published a horrifying account of a sexual assault occurring at the University of Virginia. The accuracy of the account was later brought into question, with the magazine even backing away from story, apologizing for the poor reporting. However, the story has brought to light the complicated and difficult to discuss issue of sexual assaults on campus. 

State Trooper Investigated for Pepper Spray Incident

We previously reported on the Boston-area protests which took place after grand jury decisions came out in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City. Both cases concerned the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of white police officers, surrounded by claims of excessive police force. The Massachusetts protests were reportedly peaceful, however one protester has come forward alleging a trooper sprayed him with pepper spray. To back up the claims, the protester posted a video of the incident on YouTube. 

US Attorney Dealt Major Defeat as Insider Trading Convictions Overturned

In a 28-page decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan overturned two of the government's signature convictions, the case against the former hedge fund traders Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson, who were tried together. Citing the trial judge's "erroneous" instructions to jurors, the court not only reversed the convictions but threw out the case altogether.

Renewed Boston Protests After Eric Garner Decision

We recently reported on the protests taking place across the Boston area after the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury announcement. Now, another controversial grand jury decision has caused local residents to rally together to speak out against police violence. Thursday night saw thousands of people coming together to protest the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City.

Auto Insurance Fraud Scheme in Western Mass

Many people accept the high cost of auto insurance as a necessary cost associated with owning a car in Massachusetts. The average cost of an insurance premium varies greatly by city and even by zip code. If people were able to fraudulently give a home address in a lower cost insurance area, they could save thousands. That is just what an insurance fraud scheme touted to individuals in New York, to claim residence in lower cost areas of Western Massachusetts to save them big money on their auto insurance premiums.

Boston Fire Official Indicted for Fraud and Larceny

A district chief for the Boston Fire Department was indicted on larceny and fraud charges for allegedly using taxpayer money for his personal benefit. Edward A. Scigliano, 45, is a Kingston resident and has been with the Boston Fire Department since 1996. Scigliano was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury for five counts of procurement fraud and five counts of larceny over $250.

Bomb Threats and Eminem's Lyrical Violence

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined state police in the investigation surrounding a rise in the number of bomb threats in Massachusetts over the past months. Recently, five Massachusetts schools received bomb threats on the same day. At least two of the threats were called in by telephone. The five bomb threats at four high schools and a preschool, were all later determined to be hoaxes.

Over 50 Arrested in Boston Protesting Ferguson Decision

Nights of protest and unrest continue in Ferguson, Missouri after the announced decision not to indict a Ferguson police officer for killing an unarmed black teenager. Here in Boston, as in cities across the country, hundreds of people gathered in protest, joining in the frustration over the grand jury's decision. While largely peaceful, more than 50 individuals were arrested by police, mostly for disorderly conduct.

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