The Scott Ritter Sting ::: The former UN weapons inspector has been convicted... but I have a problem with authorities duping people so they can arrest them. Have you ever had an oddball thought about doing "something wrong"? I'd guess 99% of humanity once in a while thinks about soemthing evil or taboo or crazy, but 99% of that 99% woul dbever act on it. But what if an "artifical opportunity" presented itself? Call it a sting or call it entrapment or call it whatever you will, technically speaking, Mr. Ritter may have had a lapse of common sense when he gave an online performance, but the circumstances under which it was given come into question. He's going to jail for something he did in an adult chat room where he claims he made contact with a person he thought was playing the role of a teenage girl.
Hmmmm... the chat room and its organizers should be scrutinized: if it was, say AOL, (and I'm not saying it was) don't they bear responsibility for letting a "15 year old girl" make advances to men in a chat room? Holy smokes, when I used to go in chatrooms long ago on IRC to talk about softwaare or chess, there was always a moderator lurking, waiting to kick anybody out who got abusive or went off-topic. There was a show on one of the cable TV channels about 11 years ago where they talked about moderators in adult chatrooms.
OR are we looking at a "double standard" where the chat room "knew" the "15 year old" was an undercover investigator, so they get let off the hook? If you're gonna catch and crucify somebody, do it the right way: catch them in a REAL act, not a ficticious sting.
The Albany County Executive ::: Earlier this week MikeBreslin raised a few eyebrows when he announced he would not be seeking re-election to another term. People are asking: does this have anything to do with the welfare fraud ring announcement?
via the Albany County DA's office:
ALBANY - District Attorney P. David Soares today announced that search warrants were executed at four locations in the City of Albany and four individuals were arrested as a result of a six-month long undercover investigation into foodstamp fraud in Albany County.The people are asking: how come it took FOUR YEARS to figure this out?
ROBERTO CASTRO, 56, of Franze’s Market located at 53 North Swan Street in the City of Albany; RICARDO FABIAN, 54, of New City Market located at 561 Clinton Avenue in the City of Albany; and LATERIO SANTOS, 43, of Frank & Giovanni’s located at 80 Morton Avenue in the City of Albany were all arrested and charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a Class “D” Felony. ELHADI ABDALLA, 47, of the South Pearl Street Deli located at 267 South Pearl Street in the City of Albany was charged with Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a Class “E” Felony.
It is alleged that the four individuals stole foodstamp payments from the USDA Foodstamp Program – administered by the Albany County Department of Social Services – by enabling foodstamp recipients to exchange their benefits for cash with the remainder of the cash, usually about 50%, remaining in the account of the store and its owner.
This investigation uncovered that over the last few years, the four stores had more than $6.1 million in suspicious foodstamp activity. While most corner stores in the City of Albany have an average transaction of $5.50, these four stores had an average transaction of $107.75 for transactions considered suspicious.