Wednesday, March 21, 2018


How about a hearing on child welfare policies that have obviously been demonstrated to be ineffective and riddled with fraud?

Washington, D.C. - Today, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland, Security, and Investigations conducted a hearing examining school safety issues and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) inadequate response to tips concerning the man who shot and killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14.  Among the issues examined in the hearing, Republicans focused on the reform of school disciplinary policies by Broward County, Florida in 2013 and guidance on school discipline issued by the Obama Administration in 2014, emphasizing the duty of schools to comply with civil rights laws. 

Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) released the following statement after the hearing:

“On a day when our country has suffered yet another horrific school shooting, Judiciary Committee Republicans held a hearing that did not consider how to address dangerous flaws in our gun laws, but instead sought to blame commendable efforts to reform school disciplinary policies for the Parkland, Florida school shooting.  School disciplinary policies and practices should be unbiased, but many have not been and reforms to address discrimination based on race, color, and national origin are long overdue.  If statistics show that the imposition of certain forms of discipline have dropped in some districts, we would only hope that those who called for this hearing would at least consider that the reforms are achieving their intended, constructive purpose of making these policies more fair, while not reducing student safety.  To suggest otherwise and, furthermore, to claim that reducing bias in school discipline has led to the terrible tragedy in Florida last month, is offensive.” 

On March 7, 2018, during a House Judiciary Committee markup, Ranking Member Nadler called for the House Judiciary Committee to address gun violence in America.

On February 21, 2018, all House Judiciary Committee Democrats, led by Ranking Member Nadler, urged Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to bring gun violence prevention legislation before the House Judiciary Committee for a vote.

On November 7, 2017, Judiciary Democrats sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to request that the Committee’s ATF briefing be conducted as a public hearing, and that the FBI be included to discuss background check issues. 

On November 1, 2017, all House Judiciary Democrats sent a letter to Chairman Bob Goodlatte, urging him to hold hearings on gun violence in America.

On October 2, 2017, immediately following the Las Vegas shooting, Judiciary Democrats sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to renew their call for hearings on these issues.

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JUDICIARY: Statement of Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler for the Hearing on “Assessing the Effectiveness of the Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents”

Did you know that:

There are even patents for adoption?

Did you know that you can leverage patents as assets?

I am just going to sit back, eating my popcorn, to see if anyone in Judiciary is going to drop the dirty on human trafficking, foreclosure and TARP patents.

Have no fear, if they do not broach the topics of stealin', I shall address the issues with delight! 

Washington, D.C. - House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delivered the following opening statement during a Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Assessing the Effectiveness of the Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents”:

Mr. Chairman, the United States leads the world in innovation because our strong patent system helps translate creativity into economic growth by enabling creators to protect and to exploit their inventions.  But maintaining a strong patent system also requires that only truly novel and useful inventions receive this protection.

Over the last two decades, business method patents have posed a unique challenge to this vibrant patent system.  For a variety of reasons—including the difficulty in identifying prior art where business methods are concerned, the lack of clear guidelines for what was eligible to be patented, and an overburdened Patent and Trademark Office—a significant number of poor-quality business method patents began flooding the system starting in the late 1990s, when the courts first ruled that business methods could be patented.

Many of these business method patents were overbroad or unclear, and they became prime targets for so-called “patent trolls”.  With these low-quality patents in hand, the patent trolls could extort financial settlements from defendants, who might reasonably conclude that it made financial sense to settle even a bogus claim, rather than to engage in costly litigation.  Although later court decisions and new Patent Office procedures limited the impact that future business method patents would have on the patent system, these improvements could not address the existing patents that were still wreaking havoc, particularly within the financial services sector. 

It was against this backdrop that Congress created the Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents as part of the 2011 America Invents Act, which ushered in a host of reforms to strengthen the patent system and to promote innovation.  At the time that the CBM program was created, proponents argued that the financial services sector was being especially harmed by low-quality business method patents, and that the other post-grant review procedures established by the AIA were insufficient to address this category of patents.  Therefore, a special temporary program, expiring in 2020, was created specifically to weed out those financial services-related patents that, in hindsight, should never have been granted in the first place.

By most accounts, the CBM program has successfully carried out its mandate of offering a cheaper and more efficient process than district court litigation to challenge this subset of business method patents, and to filter out the poor-quality patents.  This success has spurred some proponents to advocate for a long-term, or even a permanent, extension of the CBM program.  Some have even argued that CBM should be expanded to include other types of patents.

Opponents of extending the program point out that the number of CBM challenges has declined significantly in recent years, and they argue that this is evidence that most of the weak patents have now been eliminated from the system.  They also note the value of uniformity within the patent system, which can be upset by carve-outs for certain industries and specific types of patents.

While I have supported a limited extension of the CBM program in the past to ensure that the program can fully complete its job, I am skeptical of any effort to expand it beyond its limited scope, or to significantly lengthen the life of the program.  The CBM program was enacted, in part, on the promise that it would be temporary, and I have not seen evidence to date that a dramatic expansion is warranted.

The GAO has written a thorough and detailed report evaluating the CBM program and I appreciate the opportunity to hear from Mr. Neumann today about its findings, and to hear the perspectives of our two stakeholder witnesses as well.  I thank the Chairman for holding this important hearing, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents

The transitional program for covered business method patents (TPCBM) is a trial proceeding conducted at the Board to review the patentability of one or more claims in a covered business method patent. TPCBM proceedings employ the standards and procedures of a post grant review, with certain exceptions. For example, for first to invent patents only a subset of prior art is available to support the petition. Further, a person may not file a petition for a TPCBM proceeding unless the person or the person's real party in interest or privy has been sued for infringement of the patent or charged with infringement under the patent. The procedure for conducting TPCBM review took effect on September 16, 2012, but only applies to covered business method patents. The program will sunset for new TPCBM petitions on September 16, 2020.
Chairperson: H.E. Mr. H.E. Eduardo Muñoz Gómez (Colombia)

I. Questions regarding Section I on the Economic Environment.
1.  In Section 2 (Monetary Policy...) of the Report by the Secretariat, paragraph 9 outlines the fiscal stimulus measures adopted by the U.S. administration to buoy the economy. With regard to the Trouble Asset Relief Program, the Report mentions that funding for this program expired in 2010, but states that one quarter of the available funds are outstanding and are allocated to support public investment "in the auto industry," among other sectors. Could the U.S. describe in detail the funds, recipients, programs and implications of said disbursements?
RESPONSE: The Office of Financial Stability, which administers the TARP, maintains a website that provides comprehensive information about TARP,, that includes pages with descriptions of each program, monthly reports that detail major transactions, and a chart updated daily that shows exactly how much has been expended or recovered in each program under TARP.

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Nadler to Goodlatte: “Your applause validates the President’s worst instincts.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sent a letter, below, to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), urging him to investigate attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigators, and to call in Christopher Wylie, a whistleblower who helped found Cambridge Analytica, the Trump Campaign data firm that acquired the personal information of millions of U.S. Facebook users.

In his letter, Ranking Member Nadler condemned Goodlatte for applauding the firing of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, noting that the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General’s (IG) review of the Department’s handling of the Clinton investigation is still ongoing, the DOJ IG has not produced a report, and that the House Judiciary Committee has not read the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility’s review of McCabe:“As you know, President Trump has used Mr. McCabe as a political foil in his effort to undermine the leadership of the FBI and the Department of Justice. I was not surprised when President Trump took to Twitter to gloat...I was surprised, however, that you joined President Trump in “applaud[ing]” the Attorney General’s decision…”

Ranking Member Nadler called on Goodlatte to protect the Department of Justice from political influence, warning that Goodlatte applauding McCabe’s firing “validates the President’s worst instincts.” Nadler, instead, urged Goodlatte to focus on oversight by calling in Cambridge Analytica founder, Christopher Wylie, for a hearing:  “I write to request a hearing on the alleged theft of U.S. person user information, the use of that information in the 2016 presidential campaign, and the continued security risk that information poses in the hands of Cambridge Analytica and its associates.  Each of these issues falls squarely within the Committee’s jurisdiction.  At the very least, I ask that we invite Mr. Wylie to appear before the Committee for a transcribed interview.”

Reports have stated that Cambridge Analytica and possibly other members of the Trump data operations team actively solicited Wikileaks -- a known hostile foreign intelligence actor -- to acquire stolen information. Cambridge Analytica also appears to have business connections to the Russian government.
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"The Fat, Dumb & Happy Network": When Ghetto-Fab Goes Horribly Wrong In Unions

I first identified the phenomenon of "what happens when ghetto-fab goes horribly wrong in Detroit" some years ago where it seems Wilbourn-Snapp was quite forthcoming in her statement on child welfare fraud:

All one has to do is follow the "fashion show selfies" or the political aspirations of those who have expressed desire to become the successor of the currently vacant 13th Congressional District seat, and you will find the network of the "Fat, Dumb & Happy." ~ not my words, but the words of federal prosecutors.

I like the term "Ghetto-fab", better.

There is more to this investigation than just being ghetto-fab, there was child welfare fraud...

... and there is also money laundering through the Michigan Democratic Party.

Were DNC, MDP & UAW Manipulating Elections?

All you have to do is show up for the leadership meetings...before they kick you off the political committees and go dark on all future meetings...and parties.

Yes, I said that because that is what they do.

That is how they identify and make their chosen political candidates" Fat, Dumb & Happy" who are easily distracted with "pretty shiny" elections, caring nothing about the people they are supposed to represent.

Some candidates are just propped up to launder money through their fake campaigns.

Some candidates are just "Fat, Dumb & Happy" and have no clue as to what the Emoluments Clause means to them.

Stay tuned.

Feds: UAW official blew $6,900 at steakhouse with FCA workers' money

Feds charge ex-UAW official in widening scandal

nancy photo fbDetroit – A high-ranking former United Auto Workers official spent thousands of dollars in worker training funds on $1,100 designer shoes, first-class flights to California, resorts and limousines, according to federal prosecutors.

The former UAW official, Nancy Adams Johnson, 57, of Macomb Township, was charged in an indictment unsealed Wednesday and is the sixth person charged in a widening scandal that takes aim at the luxury lifestyle of UAW officials who traveled excessively and used training center credit cards to buy luxury items with money meant for blue-collar workers, according to prosecutors.

Johnson traveled, golfed, dined and shopped by using training center funds provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV under a policy created by the auto company’s officials to keep UAW leaders “fat, dumb and happy,” according to the government. The policy was designed to wring concessions favoring the automaker, according to the government.

Johnson served as the top administrative assistant for former UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell. She was charged in a five-count indictment that also raises questions about the sanctity of labor contracts negotiated between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler.

Adams Johnson was charged seven months after The Detroit News first linked her and Jewell to the corruption investigation. Sources described Adams Johnson as one of the more egregious abusers of the training center’s credit cards, saying she charged more than $75,000 from 2014 to 2016 for personal items, including $1,000 Christian Louboutin shoes, clothes, jewelry, luggage, meals and more.

She was charged with conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act and four counts of receiving and accepting prohibited money and things of value from a union employer. Both are five-year felonies.

Adams Johnson also was linked to a $2,180 shotgun purchased with training center funds for Jewell as a birthday present in 2015. She told former UAW official Virdell King to buy the shotgun with her training center credit card, sources told The News.

After The News reported about the shotgun and the widening investigation, the UAW announced in November that Jewell would retire Jan. 1, roughly six months before the scheduled end of his current term. Jewell has not been charged with a crime during the ongoing investigation.

The UAW said that Jewell didn’t know the shotgun was purchased with training center money and later reimbursed the training center.

Jewell also factored into other questionable expenses.

Former Fiat Chrysler executive Alphons Iacobelli approved spending more than $30,000 in worker training funds on a party for Jewell, a bash that included “ultra-premium” liquor and strolling models who lit labor leaders’ cigars, The Detroit News has learned.

The training funds covered the $7,000 cigar purchase and a $3,000 tab for wine in bottles with custom labels that featured Jewell’s name, sources told The News. The party was described by federal prosecutors as an example of a cozy relationship between the automaker and UAW leaders designed to corrupt the bargaining process and implementation of a contract for thousands of workers.

Johnson is the sixth person charged in a widening scandal that increasingly is focused on UAW officials who served on a committee that negotiated a union contract with Fiat Chrysler in 2015.

At least three UAW officials on the committee have either been charged or linked to the investigation, and that figure could climb, The News has learned. Jewell and King also served on the committee.

Jewell and Adams-Johnson were two of the UAW’s top negotiators during 2015 contract negotiations with Fiat Chrysler.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DOJ Kicks Off Child Abuse Propaganda Month Featuring Opioids, But Not Fraud Or Poverty

In preparation for the Annual Child Abuse Propaganda Month, Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio delivers remarks at the National Children's Advocacy Center's 34th National Symposium on Child Abuse.

In the spirit of fuchsia...

Thank you, Alan, for that introduction.  I am so pleased to be here in Huntsville with you, and with Chris Newlin, and with First Lady Hutchison of Arkansas—each of you dedicated community servants.

I am also delighted to join this distinguished group of children’s advocates and professionals.  Flying down here from Washington, I was thinking about your jobs—about what your day-to-day responsibilities must be like.  The kind of work that you do, the things that you see and hear, the horrors you confront on a daily basis—I am sure there are times it leaves you feeling fairly pessimistic about the world, and perhaps thinking that evil that lurks in every corner.

That evil is called Child Protective Services.  Say it.

But to that I would say: look around you.  Here this morning is an army of good—of men and women who have dedicated their careers and lives to helping the most vulnerable among us.  Men and women who get up every morning just so they can stand eye-to-eye with evil and say: “today, I will fight for the life and future of this child.”  It is remarkable to see so many people from across the country and from around the world—from big cities, and suburbs, and rural hamlets—who work so tirelessly to protect our children.  Thank you for the incredible work you do.

How about getting DOJ and FBI on board to stop Medicaid fraud in child welfare?  All it simply is, is just public corruption through privatization policies to make people poor.

If people were not forced into a life of poverty, you just might find that there is no need for the side business of selling drugs, human trafficking, and your basic false claims through fake corporations called Public Private Partnerships, people might just be happy and thrive, including the kids, and not have to take drugs to numb the pain of their short existence, predicted through social impact revenue maximization bond analytical programs.

What do these CACs do with all the data?

What about the procurement issue with third party providers, particularly those Faith Based contractors?

I want to specifically recognize Chris, his executive team, and all of the staff of the National Children’s Advocacy Center for their hospitality and for their work, each and every day, on behalf of our nation’s children.  Alan Hanson and I had the pleasure of touring the center yesterday, and we were both so impressed by the wealth of resources available on the NCAC campus.  With its combination of child-friendly surroundings, state-of-the-art forensic and treatment services, and expert staff members this is an extraordinary place, making a real difference for children and families in northern Alabama and throughout the United States.

I guess the parents and family members are not allowed in the exclusive CAC clubs.

Perhaps the best way to appreciate the value of this center, and the need for it and for the more than 950 children’s advocacy centers across the country, is to put yourself in the shoes of a child who uses the services offered here.  Everyone can think back to some difficulty in childhood—some personal or family struggle, something that made you feel alone or frightened or worried about the future.  But for the average person, I would wager that you could take his or her worst day as a child, multiply it by some significant factor, and it still would not approximate what some of the children who come here have faced.  They have been physically, or sexually, or emotionally abused—often repeatedly.  Their thoughts may be dominated by how to make it through the day without suffering some new trauma.  Some of them wonder whether they will be fed.  Some of them, when they go to sleep each night, wonder what new horror the morning will bring.  No one, no matter how old or how experienced, is fully equipped to absorb the physical, emotional, and psychological blows of such victimization.

What about the victimization of children who went through these CACs and its child welfare system?  Would you put your kid in foster care?  I did not think so.

While we are always learning more about the damage caused by child maltreatment, we already know that, beyond the immediate harms, it sets up a lifetime of adverse consequences.  It can impair mental and emotional development.  It can negatively affect school performance.  It can influence future relationships, often in very destructive ways.  It can cause both short- and long-term medical problems, and possibly a lifetime of poor health.  When we think of child maltreatment, we think of immediate cuts and bruises and tears.  We don’t always think of the life and the potential that is slowly, tragically slipping away.

Here is free research that will only take 3 to 5 seconds to figure out how to help children thrive in school performance.

Stop making them poor.

And that is why your work is so vitally important, and why we should be especially grateful for the network of children’s advocacy centers across our country and across the globe—centers in communities large and small, serving kids from every background and facing every conceivable, sometimes unspeakable hardship.

In 2016, advocacy centers served more than 320,000 children, providing them services that run the gamut of needs in the criminal-justice and human-services systems. Advocacy center staff make their encounters as painless as possible.  They give comfort and refuge in a time of great need and terrible crisis.  And while they cannot erase the damage completely, they can and do help heal wounds—physical and psychological, seen and unseen.  They help create a new future for these children, restoring hope and the potential for a full life.

What about the kids in foster care and adoption?  Oh, wait, that is the CAC targeted population.

I wish that I could report that the steady march of human progress means the need for these services has peaked and is now on the decline.  Sadly, as we know all too well, the opposite is true.  The threats faced by our children seem graver and more pervasive than ever, with cyberspace and its underbelly seemingly exacerbating every problem and creeping into every facet of their lives.

People only care about profit, or rather garner a profitable return from their social impact bond investment.

In recent years, one particular menace has been devastating American communities, with an outsized impact on our kids.  Drug abuse, and in particular opioid abuse, is destroying families across the nation.  Opioid abuse has become one of country’s most pressing public health and safety crises.

In 2016, an estimated 64,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses, with about 750 deaths here in Alabama alone.  That follows a record increase in fatal overdoses from 2015, and preliminary data suggest that 2017 was even worse.  For Americans under 50, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death.  And the vast majority of overdose deaths, some 42,000 in 2016, were the result of opioids—prescription painkillers, heroin, and deadly synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

These toxic substances threaten everyone in their path—users, their families, first responders.  And especially children.

About half of opioid overdose deaths occur in people between the ages of 22 and 44; in other words, opioid abuse is significant among the cohort most likely to be parents of minor children.  Opioid addiction thwarts even the most basic parental instincts, as the unquenchable thirst for the drug displaces all other desires and responsibilities.  Children are left to fend for themselves—and, worse still, to care for their parents or to watch in horror as their parents’ lives slip away to a ruthless master.

Imagine coming home from school one day to find your mother or father unconscious from an overdose, making the tearful 911 call, waiting in terror and helplessness for aid to arrive, watching as your parent is whisked away in an ambulance, and being left behind in the care of police and social services.  Sometimes, these parents never return.

No.  Not social services.  Say the proper term.  Identify the source of the problem with children.  Say it.  The child welfare system.  Foster care and adoption.  Education.  Say it!!

Here is how a December 2016 Washington Post story by Eli Saslow, reporting on the plight of so-called “opiate orphans,” described one West Virginia teenager’s experience on Easter morning 2015:

It had been so quiet in his parents’ room that morning, even though his father always snored.  He had knocked on the door and gotten no answer.  He had sent his sisters to wait in the car and then walked around the back of the house to look through a window into his parents’ room.  They were both lying on the floor.  He thought they were passed out.  He opened the window and leaned into the room to push over a fan, but his parents still didn’t startle.  He ran back into the house, called 911 and slammed into the locked door.  He knew CPR.  Maybe he could save them.  He busted through the lock and fell into the room, landing on his father, whose body felt cold.

Because of a drug, two people were dead and three children were left without parents.  It’s a chilling and heart-wrenching tale.  And it’s playing out over and over again across this country.

The result of the opioid crisis is that the children of addicts are being removed from parental custody at alarming rates, and with the skyrocketing deaths comes skyrocketing and permanent additions to the foster-care system.   According to a recent story in The New York Times, the number of children in foster care since 2010 has doubled in Montana, and has increased by eighty percent in Georgia and forty-five percent in West Virginia.

Say it!!  Say foster care and adoption.  Say it.  Parents automatically will have parental rights terminated, with no laws for reinstatement, legacies stolen.  Think about that when you have lost everything in the world to the state.  That is why these parents use opioids.

These numbers highlight some of the devastating derivative effects visited upon the children of opioid addicts.  But opioids, tragically, are also directly affecting children.  According to a study released earlier this month in the journal Pediatrics, the number of children admitted to hospitals for opioid overdoses nearly doubled between 2004 and 2015.  A substantial percentage of these patients are ending up in the pediatric ICU—that is, they are admitted as severe, life-threatening cases.

And hospital emergency rooms are now regularly seeing opioid-addicted newborns.  The number of babies with a condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome—which describes newborns born as opiate addicts—increased a whopping 383 percent from 2000 to 2012.  For an infant affected by NAS, the average length of a hospital stay is almost three-and-a-half times as long, and the costs are more than three times greater, than for a non-affected infant.

And, of course, even if children of addicts aren’t born addicted, if they enter the foster care system they face the stark reality that children in that system are five times more likely to abuse drugs—creating a vicious cycle of drug abuse, child neglect, drug abuse by the child, and on and on.

The stark reality of children who enter the foster care system is that they will age out to live on the street, turning tricks to eat, using drugs to dull the pain of what happened to them.

The line between drug abuse and child maltreatment is short and direct.  It has always been the case that in homes where there are drugs, children suffer.  But with opioids, the problem seems particularly pervasive and menacing—and like an aggressive malignancy it is metastasizing across the nation.

Some of you, perhaps many of you, know exactly what I’m talking about, because you have seen it first-hand.  Children’s advocacy centers are seeing this crisis up close and with far too much regularity.  Let me tell you about one.  Lily’s Place is a children’s advocacy center in Marion, North Carolina—a community that has seen a surge in the number of children devastated by the opioid crisis.  The center offers social services and a therapy dog, and their staff is doing heroic work to help the kids who come to their attention.  But with many of these children already testing positive for drugs themselves, sometimes for multiple substances, the challenges are daunting.

What about Family Advocacy Centers?  Why just prepare for the worst of poverty?  Why not end poverty?

Closer to home, Chris tells me that not a week goes by without at least one child being brought to the NCAC because a parent or caregiver has overdosed on opioids in the Huntsville area.  Think about that.  Every week, right here in this city, one new child has to watch a parent lose all control to a merciless, deadly drug.  A monster destroying children’s lives is supposed to be the stuff of horror fiction—of Pennywise in Stephen King’s IT—but for so many children in America today, the monster is very real, and it is the opioid. and poverty.

We cannot overstate the urgency of this deadly and growing crisis.  That is why President Trump and Attorney General Sessions have made fighting the opioid crisis a foremost priority for the federal government.  Yesterday, they were both in New Hampshire, where the President outlined the pillars of this Administration’s initiative to combat the opioid crisis.

Say it.  They made us poor.  They stole our children.  They stole our land.  The DOJ cannot even say it, but I do see they are slowly coming around to the concept that there are no civil rights for children or the poor.

One of these pillars is to cut off the supply of illicit drugs, and the Department of Justice is committed to being a leader in that fight.  Across the country, our U.S. Attorneys have been tasked with aggressively prosecuting traffickers of fentanyl and other opioids.  In 2017, our prosecutors charged more than 3,000 defendants with opioid-related crimes. 

The other pillar is to stop child welfare fraud from funding political campaigns to put in place sardonic laws to expand the population of "The Poors" (always said with clinched teeth) in order to maximize revenues through false claims.

The Department’s new Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement team, or J-CODE team, has been scaling up efforts to prosecute illicit online sales of opioids.  Last summer, the Department announced the largest ever takedown of a dark net marketplace—the notorious AlphaBay, which hosted some 220,000 drug listings and led to countless overdoses from synthetic drugs.

In still another major effort, the Department’s new Prescription Interdiction and Litigation, or PIL, Task Force will focus on targeting opioid manufacturers and distributors who have illegally contributed to this epidemic.  It doesn’t matter where someone is on the supply chain; if they broke the law, then we will hold them accountable.  We will use every criminal and civil tool available to the Department.  Whether someone is a drug trafficker, a corrupt doctor or pharmacist, or a manufacturer using illegal marketing, the Department is determined to bring them to justice.  We want them to hear this message: if you break the law and contribute to the opioid crisis, we are coming for you.

This is hot but will they go after the pharmaceutical industry using children as lab rats, too?  I am waiting.

In addition, from those who have broken the law, the Department will seek to recover the high costs that federal healthcare programs have borne as a result of the opioid crisis.  To that end, for example, we recently filed a statement of interest in the ongoing, multi-district litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors, alerting the court that the federal government may have a substantial recovery interest in those actions.

The Department is going after Medicaid fraud in child welfare? The Department is going to get the States Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Units to step up their games?  That is going to be a political football, unfortunately.  Just look at the campaign finance records.

I mentioned that the President’s initiative has several pillars, and supply-side interdiction is just one.  The Administration is also committed to reducing demand and over-prescription.  And we are determined to help those struggling with addiction.

Finally, but how?  I hope no gruel fed labor camp programs.

At the Department of Justice, our grant programs help with these other pillars.  The Office of Justice Programs, led by Alan Hanson, awarded almost $59 million last fiscal year to support a range of programs, including drug courts and programs designed to prevent the misuse of prescription opioids.  A substantial portion of that funding went to state, local, and tribal jurisdictions under our new Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program.  We’re also funding training and technical assistance and an online resource center.

Some jurisdictions are making real progress.  One of our grantees in Oregon set up a tri-county opioid safety coalition that monitors and tracks overdoses and other related problems.  The goal is to use this to determine how to reach high-risk populations.  We’re also supporting special opiate courts, including one in Buffalo, New York, which has shown promising results.

The Administration is focused on multiple fronts because the opioid crisis is more than a criminal-justice problem.  It is more than a substance-abuse problem.  It is more than an economic problem, or a healthcare problem.  It is more than a child-welfare problem.  It is all of these things at once, and it must be tackled through a multidisciplinary approach—the kind that children’s advocacy centers use every day—by bringing together our law-enforcement professionals, our medical and mental-health experts, and our child-welfare specialists.

By George, I believe the DOJ has finally got it!  Dilly, dilly!

And that is why everyone here today, and everyone in the children’s services community, should know that you are an important part of this fight.  We are looking to you, as we have so many times before, to bring your expertise, your conviction, and your courage to address the specific problems faced by youth caught up in this latest crisis.

And the Department of Justice will support and embrace you in this work.  Last year, through our Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, DOJ awarded nearly $2.1 million to the National Children’s Advocacy Center to support nationwide operations and to provide training and technical assistance that strengthens the multidisciplinary response to child maltreatment.  Part of that assistance is tailored to children who experience multiple forms of trauma, or polyvictimization, which is so often the case with young people caught up in the opioid epidemic.

We’re also exploring a program through our Office for Victims of Crime designed specifically to help children who become crime victims as result of parents’ drug use.

Is there going to be any Office for Victims of Crime designed specifically to help children who have aged out of child welfare who were victims of crime as a result of being drugged, raped, tortured, murdered and suicided, some suicides being unsuccessful?  

We’re committed, administration-wide, to fighting this epidemic from all sides.  We know it won’t be easy.  Opioids have taken a firm hold in far too many communities, tearing apart families and leaving children hurt, traumatized, and alone. The need for comprehensive services, spanning all systems, is urgent.

Children’s advocacy centers have proven time and again that there is a way to handle violence, victimization, and abuse so that these traumas don’t leave an incurable mark on the children subjected to them. With collaboration and compassion, by seeing the pain and experience through a child’s eyes, we can work to help make it right for our kids.

Open up those CACs to the public.  Stop making everything a secret when it comes to the future of children.

You are doing heroes’ work, and we are grateful.  Keep up the fight.

Thank you for your service to our children, to your communities, and to our country.

We have so much work to do.  Stay tuned.

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Michigan Medicaid Targeted Population Cost Reimbursed Self Sufficiency Workforce Training Revenue Maximization & Asset Forfeiture Model

Whoever said the 13th Amendment abolished indentured servitude or slavery lied.

There is the exception of being duly convicted of a crime, where poverty, is codified in Michigan as a crime.

In our next exciting adventure into the national policy diffusion of  asset forfeiture model through an
access to health care model
 from"The Poors" (always said with clinched teeth), Medicaid, we have Michigan in play.

Michigan Medicaid Targeted Population Cost Reimbursed Self Sufficiency Workforce Training Revenue Maximization Model

It is about time we stop labeling people.  Seriously.  Stop it.  We have the technology to make it end.

I have no problems with generating opportunity for individuals to participate and flourish in society, however they ultimately decide; it is the lack of opportunity to discuss, or at least identify the doctrine of cui bono?"

Who benefits?  The Public Private Partnerships or the individual?

Michigan, being the privatization think tank of the nation, has been pushing the proverbial envelop on targeted populations, the formal term for Medicaid revenue maximization.

How to find a Medicaid revenue maximization free labor workforce.


Who determines the boundaries for meeting the criteria of able-bodied adult?

Is this an GAL model?

Is this the Shared Parenting model, where Jim Runestad refuses to address anything to do with the State sharing parenting through the current child welfare model in Michigan.

What does "capable of working" mean?

Is this the new low wage manufacturing workforce, human currency, with the hourly wages paid through Medicaid, as life self-sufficiency training through social impact bonds, of course.

Does this mean the "able-bodied adult" who is capable of working will have to work off the Medicaid debt for being previously classified as disabled, having received benefits, considering the disability criteria is about to change.

If this is the case, then we have ourselves asset forfeiture of the trust funds because every corporation should hire a child.

Well, actually, these Privateers really did want to convert children into its new workforce and even attempted to change child labor laws, but it did not go over so well.

So, what they did was start to change the entire concept of disability to include age, or rather, children.

This is an Industrial Organizational predictive analytical model to maximize revenues and seize assets.

Someone is going to make a whole bunch of money off this population of chattel through social impact bonds.

I am quite sure there will be those highly sought after, lucrative database, third party contractors who will eventually sell off our data and intellectual property.

Why would there be a penalty provision of stripping one of opportunity to medical access if there is a procedural error?

Whether you like it or not, I am going to make the world go blockchain. 

That way, if someone suspects you of stealin', we can trace it right back to the original mines the copper for the pennies you got by filing false claims for fraudulent cost reimbursements.

Oh, and if your programs suck, you will be shuttered, immediately because the world will know.

That is how you start building procurement policies.

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More Breadcrumbs From Investigator General Report

Is there bribery?

Is there blackmail?

Does Perkins Coie suck?

Stay tuned.

The Horowitz IG Report is coming.

Here Are The Largest Congressional Payments The House Has Admitted

A House of Representatives fund paid $1 million to secretly settle complaints by staffers. Here are the largest.

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings in Miami Gardens, Florida in August 2011. REUTERS/Joe SkipperThe House has disclosed settling 41 complaints of workplace mistreatment for a total of some $1 million since 1997. The list published by the House does not include names, but The Daily Caller News Foundation used court documents to reveal the offices behind some settlements and then cross-referenced with news articles to rank them. The list also omits the largest settlement the settlement office ever handled, involving Rep. Alcee Hastings.

TheDCNF’s analysis found that a seldom-mentioned settlement involving the office of Rep. Gregory Meeks appears to be one of the largest settlements in decades while also involving some of the most serious allegations — including not just sexual harassment, but firing a staffer who said she was physically sexually assaulted by someone connected to a campaign donor.

The data is entirely based on Office of Compliance (OOC) payouts, and so omits some of the most notable settlements, such as one by Rep. John Conyers. The omission is because the Committee on House Administration disclosed only payments that came out of the OOC’s special settlement fund, whereas numerous members hid settlements in their office budgets. TheDCNF analysis of the list of OOC settlements found that much of the $1 million comes from a handful of large settlements, while others are for only a few thousand dollars.

1) $220,000: Alcee Hastings (D-FL), alleged sexual harassment, 2014
The Office of Compliance mysteriously omitted the largest settlement it ever handled from its list of settlements with member-led offices, likely because it involved a commission. The settlement, however, involved an accusation against Rep. Hastings by an employee of the Helsinki Commission, a member-led body of Congress chaired at the time by Hastings. The staffer alleged that he repeatedly invited her up to his hotel room when they were traveling, asked what type of underwear she was wearing, and made other inappropriate gestures. Hastings denied the charges and said he did not even know that Congress settled on his behalf. The size of the settlement seemingly suggests that authorities may have viewed the evidence as particularly damning or were highly motivated to make it go away. The amount is 88 times larger than another settlement for sex discrimination and retaliation and 25 times larger than the median settlement involving sex or gender. Hastings’ office did not return a request for comment.

2) $150,000: Benghazi Committee, alleged veteran status discrimination & retaliation, 2016
Benghazi Committee investigator Bradley Podliska filed a lawsuit alleging his bosses were unhappy the Air Force reservist had to leave to perform military service. He also said he had been unfairly pressured to focus on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He later withdrew that claim. Then-committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said in 2015 that Podliska was fired for mishandling classified info; Podliska said that was untrue and defamatory, Fox News reported. He was reinstated to his job after 16 months, and TheDCNF has learned the payment was calculated as back pay based on his salary.

3) $85,000: Eric Massa (D-NY), alleged sexual harassment & retaliation, 2010
Massa resigned after being accused of tickling and groping male staffers.

4) $84,000: Blake Farenthold (R-TX), alleged sexual harassment, 2014
A staffer alleged that Farenthold would talk about his “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about his spokeswoman. Farenthold denied some of the allegations, but acknowledged that he “allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly unprofessional,” and that he had “angry outbursts” and didn’t always “treat people with the respect they deserved.” Farenthold has said he will reimburse taxpayers.

5) $65,000: John J. Duncan Jr. (R-TN), alleged age discrimination, 2011
Duncan’s office terminated Shirley Taylor on her 66th birthday after colleagues mocked her for her age and Duncan “expressed his displeasure” about another employee working into her 80s, according to a lawsuit. Bob Griffitts, the chief of staff, told Duncan that the staffer had Alzheimer’s disease, which was not true, it says. The chief of staff told Taylor she was forgetful, but when Taylor asked him for examples, Griffitts said he couldn’t remember any, according to the suit. Taylor alleged age discrimination, but Duncan said he’d leave the decision to his chief of staff, the lawsuit says. Duncan’s office did not return a request for comment.

6) $50,000: unknown office, alleged disability discrimination & retaliation, 2008-2012
This settlement remains a mystery. A staffer to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee sued her in 2011 for allegedly discriminating against her based on a disability during this time period (“I don’t give a damn about her disability,” she said, according to the lawsuit). However, that court case dragged on to 2015, and nothing indicates it was settled. Therefore, it does not appear to be this case. Jackson Lee has been called an abusive employer on Capitol Hill and had the highest turnover in her office, according to a 2013 analysis. Spokesman Mike McQuerry would not tell TheDCNF if she had ever settled with any employees.

7) $40,000: Gregory Meeks (D-NY), overtime & retaliation, 2006
The list does not name the member, but this is the only settlement fitting the description of the Meeks case in the relevant time period, and Meeks spokesman Jordan Morris did not deny that it is the same settlement.

Andrea Payne, a former Meeks staffer, filed a lawsuit “to recover for damages sustained by plaintiff when Representative Meeks violated her Constitutional rights by retaliating against her, and ultimately terminating her employment, because of her sexual assault lawsuit,” attorneys wrote. Payne underwent physical therapy at a medical office owned by the spouse of Joan Flowers, a Meeks donor and political operative who at one point served as treasurer of Meeks’ campaign. She said she was physically assaulted there, and she pursued criminal and civil charges.

Flowers “came to Representative Meeks’ office in an agitated state,” and Meeks said “when he received complaints from one of his campaign contributors he must treat the matter very seriously” and told Payne he was not going to pay her for overtime work she had performed, the lawsuit says. Meeks fired her and denied her unemployment insurance by saying she’d left voluntarily.

Meeks later said in a deposition that she was fired for writing a letter to the Federal Election Commission flagging improprieties in his campaign finances. But according to the lawsuit, that letter wasn’t written until after she was fired, and Meeks’ own wife contradicted his testimony on that point.

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Day 152.1 The Blackberry 20 Revisited - Awan Contra

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Day 151.1 Inspecting the Inspectors General - SES or Vacant?

U.S. Intelligence Shuts Down Damning Report on Whistleblower Retaliation

Andre Taggart found hard drives tied to Imran Awan and turned them over to the FBI. / Provided photo
Andre Taggart

Soon after the House of Representatives found that Democratic IT aide Imran Awan and his family made “unauthorized access” to congressional data, Imran hurriedly vacated his house, renting it in February 2017 to a former Marine. Imran angrily told his new tenant, Andre Taggart, that he was homeless and to refuse any certified mail in Imran’s name, Taggart said.

A lawyer contacted Taggart about some items Imran left behind in the house and threatened to sue if he didn’t return them, saying he’d accuse Taggart of theft, Taggart said. The equipment included Blackberries and “hard drives they look like they tried to destroy,” as well as laptops and “a lot of brand new expensive [printer] toner,” he said. Based on his military training, they appeared to Taggart to be government equipment, and he called the police.

The Capitol Police and FBI arrived to collect the computer equipment, and Taggart moved out of the house in May, he said. In late August, Taggart felt that there was enough distance between Imran and his family that it was safe to tell his story publicly.

He received a letter days later from Jesse Winograd, whose law firm Gowen Rhoades Winograd & Silva was hired by Imran to deal with the congressional matter. The letter demanded some $15,000, citing a laundry list of damages, including killing a tree in the yard. Taggart denies the charges and believes Awan may be trying to intimidate him.

The House Office of Inspector General claimed in late 2016 that the Awan family logged into members’ servers they had no business accessing, in some cases after they’d been fired. Prosecutors allege the family also ordered equipment – sometimes shipped to their residence – using invoices falsified to make it easier for equipment to disappear, and took measures to cover their tracks.

The FBI began surveilling them, but prosecutors contend in court papers that the Awans likely “knew they were under investigation,” and they wired $300,000 to Pakistan. Federal agents arrested Imran at the airport in July trying to fly to Pakistan, and charged Imran and his wife with bank fraud involving money they wired overseas. 

However, months later, authorities have not charged the couple with the more serious “unauthorized access” described in the IG’s investigation and backed up by server logs. Capitol Hill officials involved in oversight of the case say the reason is that Democratic employers are acting like “hostile victims” and are refusing to press charges.

TheDCNF emailed a summary of the IG’s findings — which were never made public — to 40 Democratic offices tied to Imran or his family members. Only one responded, and none would say the office was interested in finding out more or pressing charges if warranted.

Given Democrats’ keen attention to political cyber breaches in the wake of the hack of the Democratic National Committee and other high-profile incidents, fellow IT aides and Republicans have offered theories to explain their uncharacteristic silence in this case: Blackmail or fear of retaliation by the Awans, who could read all the emails and files of 1 in 5 House Democrats, in the form of releasing that data or other information if they dare speak out against them.

That theory is strengthened by a yearlong investigation by TheDCNF: Court filings and interviews show Imran has been accused of allegedly invoking his congressional position to intimidate immigrants, summoning political favors to make criminal charges go away, ordering witnesses not to cooperate with police, and enlisting police resources to bully people.

The most egregious incident of possible obstruction came after the IG determined that the House Democratic Caucus server was the epicenter of the suspected cybersecurity breach. There were indications the server might have been secretly collecting data from numerous offices, and it was uploading data offsite, an IG presentation said. Soon after, that entire server-turned-evidence  was physically stolen, according to three government officials.

Imran’s entire family, plus a couple associates, were on the House payroll ostensibly working as IT administrators until they were banned from the House network on Feb. 2, 2017. The group collected a total of $7 million in salary even though some did not have any background in IT, and there are indications some were no-show workers, or “ghost employees.” Democrats have refused to say whether they ever saw some of the crew, such as Rao Abbas, whose most recent job experience was at McDonald’s. Abbas appeared on the payroll of numerous House Democrats soon after the Awans owed him money in a potential lawsuit, according to court documents.

“They weren’t used to seeing their technicians,” one IT aide who took over some offices after the family was banned said.

There’s one man who could testify about a potential “ghost employee” scheme: Haseeb Rana, a bona fide IT specialist who briefly worked for the same offices as the Awans. Though the aides were individual W2 employees and hiring authority rested only with congressmen, Rana’s father said Imran hired him and “made him do all the work” of multiple people but with less pay. Payroll records confirm that Haseeb quit months later.

Despite what his father called a “very charged” relationship with Imran, investigators interested in using Rana as a witness might encounter a problem. Documents in a civil lawsuit reveal he has retained a lawyer: Winograd, the same one representing Imran.

In April 2017, months after Imran was banned from the congressional computer network, staff doing a midnight sweep of the House buildings found that he left a laptop with the username RepDWS in a phone booth along with a note that said “attorney-client privilege,” according to a police report.
One of Imran’s most longstanding employers and vocal advocates was former Democratic National Committee Chair and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Winograd began his law career in Miami and advertises experience in the Espionage Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In a televised exchange during the Capitol Police’s budget hearing, Wasserman Schultz threatened the Capitol Hill chief of police with “consequences” if he didn’t return the laptop, which authorities were holding as evidence. She hired an outside lawyer to try to block prosecutors from accessing it, paying him with campaign funds, according to campaign finance records.

Imran’s attorneys later argued to invoke attorney privilege on the laptop in court, setting up a situation where the fate of Wasserman Schultz’s laptop would rest in his hands. Prosecutors have been going back and forth on the issue for months.

Meanwhile, in media comments that could be interpreted as a warning shot to members, the Awans’ attorneys blamed congressmen for the altered invoices, saying they had “ordered” it, and “in a fluid situation you do what you’re ordered to do.”

Taggart said police and prosecutors would be naive to think that witnesses and victims not being forthcoming with evidence in the Capitol Hill probe meant that it was all some harmless misunderstanding, and that they need to keep in mind that people might be afraid.

“It’s ridiculous that he’s only being investigated for bank fraud. He’s a con artist,” Taggart said of Imran. “Let’s say he gets a slap on the wrist, he goes home happily ever after with the millions of dollars he’s siphoned from this country.”

In an email to TheDCNF, Chris Gowen, another of Imran’s attorneys and a former personal aide to Hillary Clinton who also hails from Miami, lashed out at the former Marine: “LOL! Oh is that what Taggart says? Mr. Taggart is a thief who did not pay his rent or for the furniture he took and agreed to pay for and he destroyed the house! Imran still is owed that money. You should ask law enforcement what they think about Mr. Taggart.”

Taggart said he believes the demand for $15,000 “went back to the interview I’d conducted two days prior, which he’d undoubtedly seen, and I don’t know if it was an intimidation factor, but it had the complete opposite effect.”

But most people don’t have the courage of the Marine, and others have said Imran told them not to cooperate with law enforcement.

A couple who rents an apartment from Imran’s wife Hina Alvi in Alexandria, Va., told TheDCNF Imran demanded that they refuse to cooperate with police.

The couple, who asked TheDCNF to withhold their names because Imran has keys to their home, said he wanted to sell the house at a fire sale price in November, soon after the IG report. “He tried to do a quick sale in November [2016], he was going to make us move out in two weeks,” they said. “He wanted $110,000, now he wants $200,000.”

Other times, Imran was accused of using his federal job to strike fear in the hearts of immigrants unfamiliar with the U.S. system.

In an April 2017 civil court case, Imran’s own stepmother alleges that “Imran Awan threatened that he is very powerful and if I ever call the police again, [he] will do harm to me and my family members back in Pakistan and one of my cousins here in Baltimore. [He] threatened that he has power to kidnap my family members back in Pakistan … Imran Awan introduces himself someone from U.S. Congress or someone from federal agencies.” She also charges that legal papers necessary for her to advocate for herself were stolen.

Imran’s own wife, Hina Alvi, said in a suit filed in Pakistan on September 13, 2017, that he “threatened [her] of dire consequences, he also threatened to harm the lives of family of [Hina] if she intervenes.” Prosecutors in the U.S. sat her across from Imran as a co-defendant weeks later, on Oct. 6, where Imran’s lawyer Gowen used the presence of his wife to paint him as someone who would not flee because he was a loving family man. Gowen said the husband and wife were living separately in Virginia, but asked if Imran could sleep at Hina’s house if he wanted. Prosecutors didn’t object, and the judge consented.

There is evidence that his alleged threats are not just bluster.

In 2015 and 2016, two other immigrant women staying in different apartments in a complex in Virginia separately called police on several occasions. Officers found the women bloodied, and one said Imran was keeping her “like a slave.” Neither pressed charges. It is not clear that they were employed, and court records show at least one was dependent on Imran to pay her rent.

Twenty Democratic congresswomen who employed the Awans, many vocal in the “me too” anti-sexual harassment movement, declined to express concern about the police reports.

Laurel Everly, another tenant in one of the several rental properties the Awans owned, said “he threatened me, all these attempts to get money from me in different ways,” such as demanding payment because the house’s garden was dead in the winter.

She says she believes the reason congressional employers refuse to acknowledge the case is that they may fear repercussions from Imran, including the release of troublesome emails and files.
“I went through some stuff with him that lends itself to the idea that he was capable of doing something bad in Congress,” she charged. “He’s a bad person is the point, an extortionist … he absolutely is capable of trying to extort or blackmail.”

“The basement flooded from a bad storm and his sump pump was broken. He said I was going to have to pay $10,000 for the drywall and how dare I question his integrity, he was a high ranking federal employee who had passed background investigations,” Everly said.

Imran also used House email addresses when conducting side businesses. When the landlord of one of the bloodied women faulted Imran for nonpayment, he told him he “worked for the U.S. House of Representatives and his email address was”

At times, the Awans – who have been involved in at least a dozen lawsuits while on the House payroll – have appeared so confident in their ability to manipulate the justice system that they have sicced it on people who were accusing them of fraud, according to interviews and lawsuits.

While making $165,000 salaries on Capitol Hill, Imran and Abid Awan operated a fly-by-night car dealership that took $100,000 from an Iraqi government official who is a fugitive from the Department of Justice, discharged $1 million in debts in bankruptcy, and was not disclosed on mandatory House ethics forms.

Brian Jenkins of Silver Springs, Md., said in a lawsuit that the dealership sold him a car that it turned out would not even start without jumping the battery. Abid advised him to simply leave the car running at all times. Abid sold it to him with a warranty, so Jenkins brought it back. Abid had the car blocked in and refused to let him retrieve his personal belongings from the vehicle, the lawsuit said.
After hours of discussions, Abid only allowed him to have the car back if Jenkins modified the car’s sales price to agree to pay even more, it said. Despite Jenkins agreeing to this, “defendant has reported the vehicle as stolen to law enforcement,” causing Jenkins to be harassed by police “numerous times” as he drove the car that he had paid for twice over, the lawsuit says.

“Defendant is aware of the falsity of this report to law enforcement.”

Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported in 2009 that Awan’s father was arrested for fraud in that country after allegedly stealing a large tract of land from elderly farmers, but that police were “reluctant” to proceed after powerful people “in the [Pakistani] federal capital as well as in the provincial capital had phoned the local police to lend all sorts of help” to Imran, who it described as a White House staffer with political sway.

“Imran got another fraud case registered against the majority of claimants with Sargodha Road police apparently to force them to withdraw potential cases against his father,” the article said, saying the police were “harassing the complainants” after then-28-year-old Imran claimed that the farmers, who were as old as 70, “subjected him to severe torture and snatched Rs 4 million from him,” the article said. One of the farmers said that was impossible and that they would swear on the Quran that none of them were even near the location of the supposed torture.

Bushra Bibi, whose husband was one of Imran’s father’s business partners, said that immediately after her husband died, “Imran was threatening her with dire consequences for not transferring the remaining properties to his father’s name” and “they have also implicated my brother-in-law, Saeed, who lives in Lahore and works in the agriculture department, in a false case.”

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