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January 2012 Archives

Former Pittsburgh-area man faces new white collar charges

A man facing sentencing in what authorities described as a fraudulent real estate scheme has been charged with fraud in connection with an unrelated business, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Jan. 31. The IRS is accusing the man, a former resident of McCandless, of charging customers to create websites for their businesses but not delivering. The accused man is expected to be extradited from Arizona back to Pittsburgh to face the new white collar charges.

Man faces federal felony charges related to fire at liquor store

The U.S. Attorney's Office is filing a federal charge of arson on top of existing state charges in a reported arson case. The defendant is accused of setting fire to a liquor store in December after being refused service. If convicted of the federal charge, the man could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.

Pennsylvania man says he accidently downloaded child pornography

The Pennsylvania State Police recently arrested two Fayette County men on charges of distributing child pornography over the Internet. In one of the cases, the defendant has said that he did not purposely download the images, but that they were delivered without his knowledge through online file-sharing software.

Court: indictment's lack of evidence not enough to toss gun charge

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently overturned the decision of a Pittsburgh judge to dismiss gun charges against a local woman due to what the judge saw as a weak case against her. The appellate court's objection to the dismissal on procedural grounds means that the woman could once again face charges related to an assault rifle police found at her house.

Supreme Court declines to hear challenges to student speech cases

A pair of cases out of Pennsylvania that dealt with whether schools have the power to punish students for Internet speech they make while at home were brought to the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal, but the high court declined to hear the cases. Attorneys for one of the punished students called the decision a de facto victory for those who believe schools' power over student's Constitutional rights do not extend past the schoolhouse door.

Police search of car leads to drug charges against men

A police search of a Pittsburgh-area man's car during a traffic stop early on Jan. 11 led to criminal charges against the man and his passenger. The men face an array of charges, including possession of marijuana and Xanax.

Western Pennsylvania man charged in threat to FBI agent

A Youngwood, Pennsylvania, man has been charged with making threats to an FBI agent over the telephone. FBI agents conducted a raid of the home the suspect shares with his parents late on Jan. 6, which led to an affidavit of probable cause to be filed in federal court the following Monday. The suspect, a former dentist, has a pattern of unusual behavior related to federal government officials and the allegedly threatened agent.

Two members of bank overdraft ring sentenced to prison

The son of a Pittsburgh-area woman who discovered an accounting glitch that allowed PayPal users to withdraw more than $1 million from Dwelling House Savings & Loan without paying it back was sentenced to more than four years in prison on Jan. 5 for his role in the financial crime. Also sentenced was a 55-year-old woman who participated in the illegal withdrawals. The federal judge presiding over the case handed down nearly six years in prison for her.

Pittsburgh-area car dealer employee to plead guilty to embezzlement

A Pittsburgh-area woman will plead guilty to wire fraud in connection with federal charges that she embezzled perhaps millions of dollars from the car dealership at which she used to work. The woman admitted using the money to buy several houses, cars and luxury items such as jewelry, fine art and a mink coat.

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