September 29, 2020

USA: Disney Parks To Layoff 28,000 Employees; Cites California Governor Newsom's "Unwillingness" To Reopen Disneyland. Marxist Democrats Are Destroying Livelihoods, Businesses, And Americana.

The Hollywood Reporter
written by Ryan Parker
Tuesday September 29, 2020 

The Southern California destination has been shuttered since mid-March.

The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday announced that 28,000 employees from the Parks, Experiences and Products segment "at all levels" will be laid off. What's more, the company placed the blame for the decision on California not allowing Disneyland to reopen at this time.

The news comes exactly one week after Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences & Products, essentially demanded that Disneyland be allowed to reopen. Gov. Gavin Newsom did not respond.

"In light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic – exacerbated in California by the State’s unwillingness to lift restrictions that would allow Disneyland to reopen – we have made the very difficult decision to begin the process of reducing our workforce at our Parks, Experiences and Products segment at all levels, having kept non-working Cast Members on furlough since April, while paying healthcare benefits," reads a statement from D’Amaro released Tuesday.

Approximately 28,000 "domestic employees" will be affected by the decision, according to the company. About 67 percent of that figure are part-time workers.

"We are talking with impacted employees as well as to the unions on next steps for union-represented Cast Members," reads D’Amaro’s statement. "Over the past several months, we’ve been forced to make a number of necessary adjustments to our business, and as difficult as this decision is today, we believe that the steps we are taking will enable us to emerge a more effective and efficient operation when we return to normal."

A request for comment from Newsom's office about the layoffs was not immediately returned.

Last week D’Amaro said to the state and lawmakers, "Help us reopen. We need guidelines that are fair and equitable." He went on to say that the "longer we wait" the more "damage" would be done economically to the local economy and furloughed employees.

Currently, every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its test positivity and adjusted case rate, which is what the state is using to allow businesses to reopen. Orange County's current tier allows for indoor shopping and outdoor dining, which is how the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district is allowed to operate.

Disneyland has been shuttered since mid-March. A plan was in place to begin reopening Disneyland in July, but that was all sidelined when novel coronavirus cases skyrocketed statewide, forcing state and local officials to roll back business operations permissions.

The Walt Disney World Resort in Flordia has been reopened — albeit with strict health measures and decreased capacity — since July.

UPDATE 9/29/20 at 5:29pm: Added info below.

USA: JPMorgan Chase & Co. Agrees To Pay $920 Million in Connection with Schemes to Defraud Precious Metals and U.S. Treasuries Markets

US Dept of Justice
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPMorgan), a New York, New York-based global banking and financial services firm, has entered into a resolution with the Department of Justice to resolve criminal charges related to two distinct schemes to defraud: the first involving tens of thousands of episodes of unlawful trading in the markets for precious metals futures contracts, and the second involving thousands of episodes of unlawful trading in the markets for U.S. Treasury futures contracts and in the secondary (cash) market for U.S. Treasury notes and bonds.

JPMorgan entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in connection with a criminal information filed today in the District of Connecticut charging the company with two counts of wire fraud. Under the terms of the DPA, JPMorgan will pay over $920 million in a criminal monetary penalty, criminal disgorgement, and victim compensation, with the criminal monetary penalty credited against payments made to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) under a separate agreement with the CFTC being announced today and with part of the criminal disgorgement credited against payments made to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) under a separate agreement with the SEC being announced today.

“For over eight years, traders on JP Morgan’s precious metals and U.S. Treasuries desks engaged in separate schemes to defraud other market participants that involved thousands of instances of unlawful trading meant to enhance profits and avoid losses,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s resolution — which includes a significant criminal monetary penalty, compensation for victims, and requires JP Morgan to disgorge its unlawful gains — reflects the nature and seriousness of the bank’s offenses and represents a milestone in the department’s ongoing efforts to ensure the integrity of public markets critical to our financial system.”

“JPMorgan engaged in two separate years-long market manipulation schemes,” said U.S. Attorney John H. Durham of the District of Connecticut. “Not only will the company pay a substantial financial penalty and return money to victims, but this agreement requires JPMorgan to self-report violations of the federal anti-fraud laws and cooperate in any future criminal investigations. I thank the FBI for its dedication in investigating these deceptive trading practices and other sophisticated financial crimes.”

“For nearly a decade, a significant number of JP Morgan traders and sales personnel openly disregarded U.S. laws that serve to protect against illegal activity in the marketplace,” said Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. of the FBI’s New York Field Office. “Today's deferred prosecution agreement, in which JP Morgan Chase and Co. agreed to pay nearly one billion dollars in penalties and victim compensation, is a stark reminder to others that allegations of this nature will be aggressively investigated and pursued.”

According to admissions and court documents, between approximately March 2008 and August 2016, numerous traders and sales personnel on JPMorgan’s precious metals desk located in New York, London, and Singapore engaged in a scheme to defraud in connection with the purchase and sale of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium futures contracts (collectively, precious metals futures contracts) that traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. and Commodity Exchange Inc., which are commodities exchanges operated by the CME Group Inc. In tens of thousands of instances, traders on the precious metals desk placed orders to buy and sell precious metals futures contracts with the intent to cancel those orders before execution, including in an attempt to profit by deceiving other market participants through injecting false and misleading information concerning the existence of genuine supply and demand for precious metals futures contracts. In addition, on certain occasions, traders on the precious metals desk engaged in trading activity that was intended to deliberately trigger or defend barrier options held by JPMorgan and thereby avoid losses.

One of the traders on the precious metals desk, John Edmonds, 38, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty on Oct. 9, 2018, to one count of commodities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, commodities fraud, commodities price manipulation, and spoofing, and his sentencing, at this time, has not been scheduled before U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny of the District of Connecticut. Another one of the traders on the precious metals desk, Christian Trunz, 35, of New York, New York, pleaded guilty on Aug. 20, 2019, to one count of conspiracy to engage in spoofing and one count of spoofing in connection with his precious metals futures contracts trading at JPMorgan and another financial services firm, and his sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2021, before U.S. District Judge Sterling Johnson of the Eastern District of New York.

Finally, as part of the investigation, the department obtained a superseding indictment on Nov. 15, 2019 against three former JPMorgan traders, Gregg Smith, Michael Nowak, and Christopher Jordan, and one former salesperson, Jeffrey Ruffo, in the Northern District of Illinois that charged them for their alleged participation in a racketeering conspiracy and other federal crimes in connection with the manipulation of the precious metals futures contracts markets. An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Also according to admissions and court documents, between approximately April 2008 and January 2016, traders on JPMorgan’s U.S. Treasuries desk located in New York and London engaged in a scheme to defraud in connection with the purchase and sale of U.S. Treasury futures contracts that traded on the Chicago Board of Trade, which is a commodities exchange operated by the CME Group Inc., and of U.S. Treasury notes and bonds traded in the secondary cash market (the U.S. Treasury futures, notes, and bonds, collectively, U.S. Treasury Products). In thousands of instances, traders on the U.S. Treasuries desk placed orders to buy and sell U.S. Treasury Products with the intent to cancel those orders before execution, including in an attempt to profit by deceiving other market participants through injecting false and misleading information concerning the existence of genuine supply and demand for U.S. Treasury Products.

As part of the DPA, JPMorgan, and its subsidiaries JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMC) and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMS) have agreed to, among other things, continue to cooperate with the Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut in any ongoing or future investigations and prosecutions concerning JPMorgan, JPMC, JPMS, and their subsidiaries and affiliates, and their officers, directors, employees and agents. As part of its cooperation, JPMorgan, JPMC, and JPMS are required to report evidence or allegations of conduct which may constitute a violation of the wire fraud statute, the anti-fraud, anti-spoofing and/or anti-manipulation provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act, the securities and commodities fraud statute, and federal securities laws prohibiting manipulative and deceptive devices. In addition, JPMorgan, JPMC, and JPMS have also agreed to enhance their compliance program where necessary and appropriate, and to report to the government regarding remediation and implementation of their enhanced compliance program.

The department reached this resolution with JPMorgan based on a number of factors, including the nature and seriousness of the offense conduct, which spanned eight years and involved tens of thousands of instances of unlawful trading activity; JPMorgan’s failure to fully and voluntarily self‑disclose the offense conduct to the department; JPMorgan’s prior criminal history, including a guilty plea on May 20, 2015, for similar misconduct involving manipulative and deceptive trading practices in the foreign currency exchange spot market (FX Guilty Plea); and the fact that substantially all of the offense conduct occurred prior to the FX Guilty Plea.

JPMorgan received credit for its cooperation with the department’s investigation and for the remedial measures taken by JPMorgan, JPMC, and JPMS, including suspending and ultimately terminating individuals involved in the offense conduct, adopting heightened internal controls, and substantially increasing the resources devoted to compliance. Significantly, since the time of the offense conduct, and following the FX Guilty Plea, JPMorgan, JPMC, and JPMS engaged in a systematic effort to reassess and enhance their market conduct compliance program and internal controls. These enhancements included hiring hundreds of new compliance officers, improving their anti-fraud and manipulation training and policies, revising their trade and electronic communications surveillance programs, implementing tools and processes to facilitate closer supervision of traders, taking into account employees’ commitment to compliance in promotion and compensation decisions, and implementing independent quality assurance testing of non-escalated and escalated surveillance alerts. Based on JPMorgan’s, JPMC’s and JPMS’ remediation and the state of their compliance program, the department determined that an independent compliance monitor was unnecessary.

Today, the CFTC announced a separate settlement with JPMorgan, JPMC, and JPMS in connection with a related, parallel proceeding. Under the terms of that resolution, JPMorgan agreed to pay approximately $920 million, which includes a civil monetary penalty of approximately $436 million, as well as restitution and disgorgement that will be credited to any such payments made to the department under the DPA. Also, the SEC announced today a separate settlement with JPMS in connection with a related, parallel proceeding regarding trading activity in the secondary cash market for U.S. Treasury notes and bonds. Under the terms of that resolution, JPMS agreed to pay $10 million in disgorgement and a civil monetary penalty of $25 million.

The FBI’s New York Field Office investigated this case. Assistant Chief Avi Perry and Trial Attorney Matthew F. Sullivan of the Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Francis of the District of Connecticut prosecuted the case.

Individuals who believe that they may be a victim in this case should visit the Fraud Section’s Victim Witness website at or call (888) 549-3945.

September 28, 2020

USA: DOJ Announced More Than 300 BLM Members In 29 States And Washington, D.C., Charged For Crimes Committed During Nationwide Riots Since The End Of May.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Department of Justice announced today that more than 300 individuals in 29 states and Washington, D.C., have been charged for crimes committed adjacent to or under the guise of peaceful demonstrations since the end of May. 

To date, of the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs), more than 40 USAOs have filed federal charges alleging crimes ranging from attempted murder, assaulting a law enforcement officer, arson, burglary of a federally-licensed firearms dealer, damaging federal property, malicious destruction of property using fire or explosives, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, unlawful possession of a destructive device, inciting a riot, felony civil disorder, and others. Violent opportunists have exploited these demonstrations in various ways. 

Approximately 80 individuals have been charged with offenses relating to arson and explosives. Approximately 15 individuals have been charged with damaging federal property. In some instances, these individuals are alleged to have set fires to local businesses as well as city and federal property, which will regrettably incur millions of taxpayer dollars to repair damages to the Portland Courthouse, Nashville Courthouse, Minneapolis Police Third Precinct, Seattle Police East Precinct, and local high school in Minnesota; and, to replace police cruisers in South Carolina, Washington, Rhode Island, Georgia, Utah, and other states. 

Corporate and local businesses were also targeted, including a Target Corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, Boost Mobile Store in Milwaukee, Champ Sports Store in Tampa, and local restaurants including a pizza parlor in Los Angeles and a sushi bar in Santa Monica. Through these acts, these individuals have shown minimal regard to their communities and for the safety of others and themselves. 

In Washington, D.C., outside of the U.S. Supreme Court, a man was engulfed in flames after he poured a liquid from a gas can onto three U.S. Supreme Court Police vehicles; he suffered severe burns. In Virginia Beach, authorities identified a man who is alleged to have threatened to burn down an African American church. 

Approximately 35 individuals have been charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer and related offenses. One of these cases was charged in Massachusetts; the rest of these individuals were charged in Oregon. The assaults have targeted local and federal law enforcement officers. In Portland, a man is alleged to have approached a U.S. Marshals Deputy from behind and struck the deputy in the upper back, neck, and shoulder with a wooden baseball bat; another man, allegedly assaulted a Deputy U.S. Marshal with an explosive device. In Boston, a man allegedly shot at least 11 times toward officers, including a deputized federal officer. 

Approximately 30 individuals have been charged with offenses related to civil disorder. In several instances, these individuals leveraged social media platforms to incite destruction and assaults against law enforcement officers. In Cleveland, two Pennsylvania men are charged with driving to the city with the intent to participate in a riot and commit acts of violence. In their possession, authorities found a black backpack containing a hammer, two containers of Sterno Firestarter Instant Flame Gel, a can of spray paint, a glass bottle of liquor with a bar-style pour top, a Glock semi-automatic firearm and two magazines loaded with ammunition. In Knoxville, one individual allegedly instructed his social media followers to, “bring hammers bricks whatever you want.” The same defendant allegedly used a trashcan lid filled with an unknown liquid to strike a law enforcement officer in the head while the officer was seated in a police vehicle. 

Charges have also been filed against individuals accused of committing burglary and carjacking. In Pittsburgh, two individuals allegedly attempted to burglarize a Dollar Bank. In Louisville, two individuals were charged with conspiracy to commit burglary involving controlled substances at a local Walgreens. Another Louisville individual was charged with carjacking; at the time of the carjacking, the individual was on a felony diversion as a result of a February 2020 conviction for charges that were initially filed as complicity to murder and complicity to robbery. 

Several of these charges carry significant maximum prison sentences. For example, felony assault of a federal officer with a dangerous weapon is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Arson is punishable by up to 20 years in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison. 

The following agencies and U.S. Attorney’s offices have investigated these cases along with multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies: The FBI; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and United States Attorneys’ Offices (including the District of Arizona, the Central District of California, the Northern District of California, the Southern District of California, the District of Colorado, the District of Columbia, the District of Delaware, the Middle District of Florida, the Northern District of Georgia, the Central District of Illinois, the Northern District of Illinois, the Southern District of Indiana, the Western District of Kentucky, the Middle District of Louisiana, the District of Maine, the District of Massachusetts, the District of Minnesota, the Eastern District of Missouri, the Western District of Missouri, the District of Nevada, the District of New Jersey, the Eastern District of New York, the Northern District of New York, the Southern District of New York, the Western District of New York, the Eastern District of North Carolina, the District of North Dakota, the Northern District of Ohio, the Southern District of Ohio, the District of Oregon, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Western District of Pennsylvania, the District of Rhode Island, the District of South Carolina, the Eastern District of Tennessee, the Middle District of Tennessee, the Northern District of Texas, the Western District of Texas, the District of Utah, the Eastern District of Virginia, the Western District of Washington, the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and the Western District of Wisconsin). 

The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected arson, use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email, or submit information anonymously via 

In addition to those who commit fires, the FBI is looking for people who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at 

An indictment and criminal complaint merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
👇 THIS WAS MAY 31, 2020  ðŸ‘‡
Marxist Democrats shutdown businesses for Covid19. Then they sent their BLM Antifa paramilitary
to cause more pain by burning down and destroying those businesses preparing to reopen.
👇 Related 👇 
Daily Caller
written by Peter Hasson, Editor Daily Caller
September 22, 2020 

Public schools across the country have endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement and encouraged teachers, students and parents to do the same, with some schools organizing their own BLM protests, a Daily Caller News Foundation review found. 

The Black Lives Matter movement has been linked to 91% of riots across the United States between May 24 and Sept. 12, according to the US Crisis Monitor, a joint project of the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project and the Bridging Divides Initiative at Princeton University. 

Despite the close links between the Black Lives Matter movement and riots across the country, public schools have been a consistent source of support for the movement. 

Buffalo Public Schools integrated Black Lives Matter’s “guiding principles,” which include disrupting the nuclear family, into its curriculum for elementary school students, according to lesson plans obtained and published by Fox News on Friday. 

One such principle included in the lesson, “Black Villages,” calls for “the disruption of Western nuclear family dynamics and a return to the ‘collective village’ that takes care of each other.” 

Milwaukee Public Schools held a Black Lives Matter Week of Action in February. The listed demands for the week’s events included: “Fund counselors not cops.” 

“Please join Ms. Seidel and other Buckman families for a Kid’s March to show support for the memory of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. Families are encouraged to make signs and meet in front of Buckman at 3pm on Sunday, June 7th,” the principal of Buckman Elementary, a Portland public school, told students in a newsletter. 

Sabin Elementary School in Portland held a Black Lives Matter protest as well. A picture on the school’s website shows a crowd of more than 100 people, mostly children, standing with their fists in the air. The students and adults in the crowd, many of whom are holding Black Lives Matter signs, do not appear to be following social distancing guidelines in the photo. 

The school’s principal also promoted a “week of action” organized by the Movement for Black Lives, a left-wing coalition that openly seeks to abolish police and prisons. 

Teachers at Lincoln Park Elementary in Oregon also organized a Black Lives Matter protest that was promoted on the school’s website. 

“The Black Lives Matter movement must include all of us as we support our Black and brown students, teachers, staff and families. It is not a Black problem, but a global problem,” Muncie Community Schools, an Indiana school district, states on its website. 

The president of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), a union representing 30,000 teachers, announced in June that the union board had voted to support disbanding the Los Angeles School Police Department in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. 

“We should be actively promoting Black Lives Matter,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz told EdSource in an interview the same month. 

“We need to have a set of demands that dovetail with Black Lives Matter. We have to have massive political education,” Myart-Cruz said later in the interview when asked what her plans were for the union. 

“People will say, ‘Not all police are bad,’ but we’re not talking about that,” she continued. “We’re talking about racism as a social construct, systemic and institutional racism, and wrapped on top is white supremacist culture, which is the dominant culture.” 

Neither Myart-Cruz nor any of the schools or school districts mentioned in this story returned the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
UPDATE 9/29/20 at 2:35pm: Added info below.

USA: Federal Law Enforcement Authorities In South Carolina Have Charged Six Individuals For Crimes Committed During BLM "Protests", Including Arson, Inciting A Riot, And Civil Disorders.

Post and Courier published May 31, 2020: Charleston vandalized and looted in violence after protest
U.S. Dept of Justice
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Columbia, South Carolina --- United States Attorney Peter M. McCoy, Jr. announced today that six people are facing federal charges for participating in actions including arson, inciting riots, and other civil disorder in Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina, on May 30 and 31, 2020.

Following George Floyd’s death in Minnesota on May 25, 2020, protestors in Columbia and Charleston joined to peacefully demonstrate against racism and the use of excessive force by law enforcement. While the large majority of participants exercised their First Amendment rights in a lawful manner, others engaged in violent criminal acts and threatened public safety, including assaulting citizens and law enforcement officers and vandalizing and destroying public and private property.

“On May 30, 2020, violent agitators disrupted and distracted from peaceful protests in Columbia and Charleston and committed violent acts against citizens and law enforcement officers, vandalizing businesses and destroying public property,” said U.S. Attorney McCoy. “This is unacceptable and crosses a line, and this office will always stand up for law and order. We worked diligently with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to identify, arrest, and prosecute the individuals whose violence, vandalism, and destruction violated federal law. By escalating and inciting violence, these individuals interfered with the legitimate forms of expression and Constitutionally protected activity.”

“The FBI remains committed to safeguarding the Constitutional rights of our citizens, including the right to peacefully protest,” said Jody Norris, FBI Special Agent in Charge. “We are equally committed to investigating individuals who are inciting violence and engaged in other criminal activity. We support our state, local and federal partners in maintaining the safety of the communities we serve.”

“Over the last several months, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), has maintained a strong and productive relationship with our law enforcement partners, and shared the goal of quickly identifying and apprehending those that promoted violence and criminal acts during periods of peaceful protests,” said Vincent Pallozzi, ATF Special Agent in Charge. “We’ve successfully worked hand-in-hand to share resources, build cases, and bring to justice a number of violent individuals who posed a serious threat to our communities and businesses.”

In the last week, federal law enforcement authorities in the District of South Carolina have charged six individuals for crimes committed during demonstrations throughout South Carolina, including arson, inciting a riot, and civil disorders. Some of those defendants have agreed to plead guilty to the charged crimes. According to public documents filed with the federal district court, the following defendants have recently been charged with, or agreed to plead guilty to, the following federal crimes:
  • Abraham Jenkins, 26, of Charleston, has agreed to plead guilty to civil disorders related to the violence and destruction on May 30, 2020.
  • Kelsey Jackson, 28, of Charleston, has agreed to plead guilty to arson of a Charleston Police Department patrol car on May 30, 2020.
  • Tearra Guthrie, 23, of Charleston, has agreed to plead guilty to civil disorders related to the violence and destruction on May 30, 2020.
  • Orlando King, 31, of North Charleston, has agreed to plead guilty to a violation of the Anti-Riot Act related to the violence and destruction on May 30, 2020, and to being a felon in possession of a firearm stemming from an unrelated incident on April 25, 2020.
  • Karlos Gibson-Brown, 24, of Columbia, has agreed to plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition for a riot-related incident on May 31, 2020.
  • Marcello Woods, 28, of Columbia, has been charged with destroying a Columbia Police Department vehicle by means of fire for riot-related conduct on May 30, 2020.
Woods was arraigned in federal court Thursday, while court dates for the remaining defendants have not been scheduled. Several of the charges carry significant maximum prison sentences. For example, arson is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Civil disorder and inciting a riot both carry a maximum possible penalty of five years imprisonment.

These cases are being investigated by the FBI, ATF, Charleston Police Department, Columbia Police Department, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Numerous other local police departments and Solicitors’ Offices across the state have assisted in these investigations. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina continues to evaluate other cases for potential federal prosecution.

The charges in these cases are only accusations of a crime, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
👇 THIS WAS MAY 31, 2020  ðŸ‘‡

USA: The Marxist Democrat Governor Of California Gavin Newsom Just Signed SB-145 Into Law. A 24 Year Old Who Has Sex With A 14 Year Is Not Mandated To Register As A Sex Offender In CA.

The Epoch Times
written by Sarah Le
Saturday September 12, 2020 

A California bill that critics say encourages pedophilia was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 11. 

The bill was passed by the state legislature on the last day of the 2020 session and sent to the governor’s desk on Sept. 8. Newsom had until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the legislation. 

Senate Bill 145 (SB 145) “exempts defendants convicted of specified, non-forcible sex offenses involving minors from mandatory registration as a sex offender,” according to the bill’s Senate Floor Analyses. 

Current California law doesn’t require mandatory registration as a sex offender for convictions of non-forcible vaginal sex between a minor 14 to 17 years of age and an adult no more than 10 years older. In this case, a judge would have the discretion to require sex offender registry. 

Before Newsom signed the bill, the law stated someone convicted of non-forcible oral or anal sex with a minor must automatically register as a sex offender. SB 145 expanded the law to allow a judge to decide whether the adult must register in every case of non-forcible sex with a minor. 

The author of the bill, state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), says the bill protects teen couples and “ends blatant discrimination against LGBT young people regarding California’s sex offender registry,” his office said last year in a press release. 

Wiener says he’s faced death threats and other attacks for weeks because of the bill. He blames “right-wing conspiracies,” which he says caused some people to believe the bill legalizes pedophilia. 

“SB 145 does not legalize any kind of sex with a minor and does not change the potential sentence for having sex with an underage person,” the press release stated. 

Politicians and other individuals across the nation have weighed in on the controversy. 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote in a Sept. 3 tweet, “Today’s CA Dems believe we need more adults having sex with children, and when they do, they shouldn’t register as sex offenders.” 

Every Republican California legislator except one voted against the bill or abstained. 

Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) wrote a letter on Sept. 8 urging the governor to veto the bill. 

“This bill simply moves in the wrong direction. California should not send the message that adults who commit sodomy, oral copulation, and sexual penetration by foreign object on children as young as 14 are not sexual offenders,” she wrote. 

In the Aug. 31 legislative session, former educator and Assemblyman Steven Choi (R-Irvine) called SB 145 “unbelievable.” 

“In an age of historic sex trafficking and child trafficking here in California, I think this bill is entirely inappropriate,” he said. “I don’t understand why a 24-year-old volunteer coach should not have to register as a sex offender for being with a 15-year-old student.” 

The bill was supported by groups such as the ACLU of California, the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL), the California Police Chiefs Association, and the California District Attorneys Association. 

Janice Belluci, executive director of ACSOL, said in a statement that SB 145 “has been controversial since its introduction.” 

“Due to the dedication of its author, Senator Scott Wiener, Senate Bill 145 was passed over the objections of the Appropriations Committee chair and despite multiple threats of physical harm,” she said. 

Those opposed included the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, the Child Advocacy Center, and MassResistance. 

Some Democratic state legislators also opposed the bill. 

California Assembly Appropriation Committee Chair Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) urged her colleagues not to vote on the bill at the legislative session. She said while she agreed with the purpose of the legislation, she couldn’t support it without modifying the previous California law at the same time. 

“Any sex is sex. I don’t care who it’s between or what sex act it is. That being said, I cannot in my mind as a mother understand how sex between a 24-year-old and a 14-year-old could ever be consensual, how it could ever not be a registerable offense,” Gonzalez, who is a mother of five, said. 

“I think this needs to go back to the drawing board. I think we need to take up both portions of the code and make a determination.” 

USA: Owner of Bitcoin Exchange Convicted of Racketeering Conspiracy for Laundering Millions of Dollars in International Cyber Fraud Scheme

Monday, September 28, 2020

A Bulgarian national was found guilty today for his role in a transnational and multi-million dollar scheme to defraud American victims through online auction fraud.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr. of the Eastern District of Kentucky, Assistant Director Michael D’Ambrosio of U.S. Secret Service’s Office of Investigations and Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer made the announcement. 
Rossen Iossifov, 53, formerly of Bulgaria, was convicted by a federal jury in Frankfort, Kentucky of one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering after a two-week trial in front of U.S. District Judge Robert E. Wier. Sentencing has been set for Jan. 12, 2021. 

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Iossifov and his co-conspirators participated in a criminal conspiracy that engaged in a large-scale scheme of online auction fraud that victimized at least 900 Americans. Specifically, Romania-based members of the conspiracy posted false advertisements to popular online auction and sales websites—such as Craigslist and eBay—for high-cost goods (typically vehicles) that did not actually exist. Members of the conspiracy would convince American victims to send money for the advertised goods by crafting persuasive narratives, for example, by impersonating a military member who needed to sell the advertised item before deployment. 

According to court documents, members of the conspiracy created fictitious online accounts to post these advertisements and communicate with victims, often using the stolen identities of Americans to do so. They also delivered invoices to the victims bearing trademarks of reputable companies in order to make the transaction appear legitimate. Members of the conspiracy also set up call centers, impersonating customer support, to address questions and alleviate concerns over the advertisements. 
According to court documents, once victims were convinced to send payment, the conspiracy participants engaged in a complicated money laundering scheme wherein domestic associates would accept victim funds, convert these funds to cryptocurrency, and transfer proceeds in the form of cryptocurrency to foreign-based money launderers. 

According to evidence presented at trial, Iossifov was the owner of RG Coins, a Bulgaria-based Bitcoin exchange. From at least September 2015 to at least December 2018, he exchanged cryptocurrency into local fiat currency on behalf of the Romania-based members of the conspiracy, knowing that the Bitcoin represented the proceeds of illegal activity. According to trial testimony, for example, in just the span of about two and a half years, Iossifov exchanged over $4.9 million worth of Bitcoin for just four other members of the criminal enterprise. 
Seventeen total defendants have been convicted in this case. Three others are fugitives. 

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, Kentucky State Police, Lexington Police Department, IRS Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and supported by the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) and the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center (IOC-2). Assistance was provided by the Romanian National Police (Service for Combating Cybercrime) and the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (Agency for Prosecuting Organized Crime). The Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section provided significant support and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided significant support in securing and coordinating the arrests and extraditions from Romania of more than a dozen defendants. 
The United States was represented at trial by Senior Counsel Frank H. Lin of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn M. Anderson and Kenneth R. Taylor of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky. The case is additionally being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney Timothy C. Flowers of CCIPS. 

Individuals believing they may be victims of the advanced fee and online auction fraud or brute-force attack schemes described herein are encouraged to visit the following website to obtain more information: Tips to avoid becoming a victim of online auction fraud can be found here on the U.S. Secret Service’s website.

USA: BLM Protests Are NOT PEACEFUL. Princeton Report Revealed 570 Violent Destructive Black Lives Matter RIOTS In 220 Locations In Past Three Months. It’s A Straight Line From Biden to BLM.

Legal Insurrection
written by William A. Jacobson
Saturday September 5, 2020

The much ballyhooed finding that 93% of BLM protests were peaceful actually proves how widespread the violence was considering it takes just one riot to devastate a neighborhood. 

A Report issued by a project at Princeton University called the U.S. Crisis Monitor made mainstream media headlines with the finding that, as CNN put promoted it, About 93% of racial justice protests in the US have been peaceful, a new report finds. 

That 93% figure was trumpeted as disproving the assertion that there have been widespread Black Lives Matter riots. In fact, it proves the opposite. 

If almost 1 in 10 protests is a riot, that’s an astounding percentage considering that it takes just one riot to devastate a neighborhood and destroy businesses for years to come. The Report provides no comparison to other protest movements as to the violence frequency, but can you recall a movement that had so much violence over so long a period of time in so many places? 

The Report (pdf.) clearly is written by people supporting the BLM movement. The entire purpose of the report is to downplay the violence and to absolve those committing the violence of connection to the political movement. But in so doing, the Report proves the opposite of what was intended. 

Byron York pointed out on Twitter that the Report reveals almost 570 violent demonstrations in 220 locations: 

So rather than proving how peaceful the protests have been, the report shows how widespread the violence has been. 
National Review 
written Andrew McCarthy 
Saturday September 5, 2020

The devil made me do it!” That was how funnyman Flip Wilson explained away his rogue moves in 1970s comedy bits. In 2020, it is Joe Biden’s rationalization of the Black Lives Matter revolution, with Baal taking on a decidedly orange cast. 

An unmistakable correlation between the radical Left’s extortionate violence and the sudden tightening of polls has stirred the Democrats’ senescent standard-bearer to bolt the basement. He’d hoped to wait another week or so before emerging to read short speeches about President Trump’s erratic handling of COVID-19 (the government’s missteps during the Obama-era swine flu pandemic having apparently slipped Biden’s mind). But he’s got a tiger by the tail in the radical Left, which is turning electoral battlegrounds into smoldering battlefields. So now he’s hustling into the hustings with a narrative about what’s motivating his fellow travelers — who have just added murder to the mayhem they’ve wrought on America’s streets for the past three months.

Here’s the punchline: Trump made them do it! 

That was the upshot of the former vice president’s speech in Pittsburgh on Monday. “Are you safe in Trump’s America?” His argument lays at the incumbent president’s feet the upheaval instigated by Democratic supporters in Democrat-run cities. In a weekend warm-up as the flames continued to rise in Portland, Minneapolis, and Kenosha, Biden claimed it is Trump who is “fanning the flames of hate.” By Monday, Biden was roaring about how, on Trump’s watch, the murder rate is up 26 percent in the nation’s cities this year (a shift from Democratic messaging of five minutes ago, which said surging crime was nothing to be concerned about because crime is still historically low — thanks to policing policies Democrats oppose, because, you know, racism). 

As Rich Lowry relates, this is the Left’s blame-shifting response to violence from within its own ranks, which it lacks the will to counter. It is Trump supporters, we are told, who are “recklessly encouraging violence.” You could set your watch by it (if we still set watches): The Democratic nominee offered up the cartoon version of Trump backers, calling out “right-wing militias, white supremacists and vigilantes” as the worrisome “extremists.” And you could set your watch by this, too: no mention by Biden of the Marxist iconoclasts, the menacing Black Lives Matter activists, and the insurrectionist Antifa arsonists who are actually and quite deliberately tearing the country apart. 

Exactly how are the Trump deplorables to blame? How are they instigating the violence that Biden now “unequivocally” condemns (after remaining largely mum, while his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, was promoting a fund to bail out rioters)? 

Why, by saying things that offend the Left’s hair-trigger sensibilities, that’s how. 

If you are a conservative, a Republican, and/or a Trump supporter, you offend by backing candidates and policies the Left opposes. And don’t even think about doing it quietly because, it turns out, “silence is violence,” too — your very existence equates to offensive speech. There is only one way out for you: submission. You need to get with the program that capitalism is white supremacy, private property is colonialist exploitation, noticing the criminal records of criminals is racism, and supporting the arrest of those criminals when they forcibly resist is police brutality. 

Wait a second, you’re thinking. Biden’s not with that program. He even says he’s no “radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters.” He’s a moderate, right? 

Well, truth be told, he’s a hack. For half a century, he’s blown with the progressive gales, trying to stay on whatever seemed to be the popular side on a given day. In favor of using force in Iraq but against the Iraq war. For the “Russia Reset” after Moscow annexed parts of Georgia, but wannabe scourge of Russia after Moscow annexed parts of Ukraine. Back in 1994, he labored to brand tough Clinton crime legislation as the “Biden Bill”; now, with the Left decrying that law as the foundation of America’s racist “carceral state,” he’d prefer to forget the whole thing, and hopes you will, too. 

We could go on . . . and on. But why bother? After all these decades, Biden, most of all, is the former vice president of the Obama administration. President Obama is the only reason he’s gotten this far. Pre-Obama, Biden’s presidential runs were a joke (written by somebody else); post-Obama, his patent weaknesses made even Obama-world lukewarm to his current bid to lead “Obama’s third term.” 

The problem, of course, is that Obama got those two terms because of his charisma. His personal attractiveness was always leaps and bounds more popular than his progressive “Hope and Change!” agenda. His historical significance as the nation’s first black president tapped into the longing of Americans to transcend our racial divide — even as his manner of governance exacerbated tensions. 
With Biden, you’d get none of that mystique. You’d get an Obama administration without Obama. You’d get the policy without the pizzazz. 

And getting the policy means getting the Left’s radical revision of the First Amendment, codified in the Obama-Biden administration-backed U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. In a nutshell, it is the “heckler’s veto” — though would that the Left’s shock troops contented themselves with heckling.

I tried to warn about this eight years ago (and I’m grateful to my friend Dave Reaboi for noticing this week on Twitter). Resolution 16/18 is a blatantly unconstitutional provision the Obama-Biden government pushed to support Islamist regimes. Ostensibly, it is about religious liberty. In reality, it is the Left’s template for speech suppression. 

The trick is to turn the once simple concept of incitement on its head. 

The resolution purports to render unlawful any speech about religion that “constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence.” Its transparent purpose is to insulate Islamic doctrine from critical examination, notwithstanding that fundamentalists unabashedly exploit scripture to justify and promote terrorism. 

In the Soviet style, the Left sustains its program with a combination of fantasy, indoctrination, and suppression. American history, for example, becomes the 1619 Project — the republic as an enterprise to perpetuate slavery. The Big Lie is cemented by Pulitzer prizes, K–12 curricula, and reparations bills; it is protected by attaching the smear of racism to naysayers who dare show that the project is farcical.

In the same vein, progressives have created their own fantasy version of Islam. Its defining tenet — indeed, its only known tenet — is anti-violence. You are to see terrorism as innately un-Islamic activity. Any claim that scripture justifies violence — i.e., any reading of what belligerent scriptures unambiguously say — is angrily rebuked as a distortion of the “true” Islam. Jihad itself is transmogrified into an internal struggle to become a better person, not a doctrinal command to wage war for the purpose of establishing the dominion of sharia (Islam’s law and cultural norms).

This is fraud. Obviously, it is not necessary for Muslims to construe their scriptures as a command to holy war in modern times, and most do not. Literally, though, the doctrine says what it says. To a greater or lesser extent, then, a not insignificant percentage of Muslims accepts this sharia-supremacist interpretation of Islam, which is backed by centuries of fundamentalist scholarship. Common sense says this is why there is so much jihadist terrorism. It is why many Islamic societies still hew to a literalist interpretation of sharia standards, endorsing discrimination, repression, and cruel corporate punishments that seem barbaric by today’s sensibilities. 

That is reality. To acknowledge it as such is not to call for violence against Muslims. It is to resist violence by understanding both why some Muslims are committing it and why reformist Muslims need our support in their courageous work. Dealing with reality head-on is what adults do. It is critical thinking. The objective is to solve difficult problems, not tell stories about them. 

The Obama-Biden administration rejected this approach. Their substitute is a fantasy, peddled tirelessly and protected by shutting down all debate — indeed, by making their opposition’s position unutterable, not just by intimidation but by the force of law. 

Our free-expression right should make this impossible. At issue here is political speech, the exchange of ideas in examining a threat, in order to develop sensible security policy. That’s the First Amendment’s core. There have always been exceptions to free speech, however, and they include incitement: speech intended to spur people to violence and other lawlessness. 

For years, the Left has been trying to reinterpret incitement (and if you can reinterpret jihad and reproductive health, how hard can incitement be?). How? By erasing the intent part. On this construction, monstrous in a free society that depends on accurate information to govern itself, I incite you not just by exhorting you to carry out violence and crimes, but by saying things that offend you. 

In fact, things are now sufficiently daft that real incitement is no longer incitement if it’s done for The Cause. Joe Biden did not mention BLM in his speech because, for all his chest-beating about not being soft on violent radicals, he must give BLM immunity because, the dogma holds, BLM is fighting against racial injustice, America’s original — and apparently indelible — sin. By contrast, if you’re a conservative, or even a traditional, patriotic American liberal, you commit incitement not just when you actively offend the Woke Left by speaking up, but when you passively decline to affirm its delusions. 
This contortion of incitement is the foundation of the Obama-Biden advocacy of Resolution 16/18. 

Consider the following observation: There is a causative nexus between the commands to violence in Islamic scripture, the mediating influence of sharia-supremacist scholars, and the bombings of Western targets carried out by young Muslim men. When I made that observation in a courtroom in the mid Nineties, I was enforcing the law by marshaling evidence. If I made the same observation today, though, then according to Resolution 16/18, I would be violating the law by inciting hostility. The facts I’d be uttering would be as true as ever, but now, rather than informing you, I’d be framed as engaging in hate speech. 

That’s the Left’s theory: It’s my fault if you can’t cope with news you don’t like. It’s not on you to control yourself; it’s on me to factor in your instability before opening my mouth. That I’m playing with fire is the offense; that you are the fire is to be overlooked, because you’re on fire over all the right things.

Back when Biden was in power, a few brave souls called the administration on the notion that our Constitution would ever tolerate a government-certified version of “truth,” insulated from dissent. It was left to Ol’ Reliable, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (the Democrats’ last presidential nominee), to defend Resolution 16/18. Unable to vouch for its constitutionality, she vowed that, if the coercive use of law were not an option, the government would “use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”

That’s where Biden and the Democrats are coming from. Are you surprised, then, to find BLM provocateurs screaming in the faces of pedestrians that they must accept the slander that the nation’s police forces are hunting down black men? To find BLM rabble-rousers menacing diners until they feebly raise a clenched fist in condemnation of our white supremacist society? To find BLM mobs shutting down roads, telling the frustrated motorists they mock that their best hope is to submit? How surprising is it to find BLM portraying police and Trump supporters as deserving of forcible attack? To find them simultaneously airbrushing the criminal histories of, and forcible resistance by, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and Jacob Blake, as if police had no cause to arrest them — as if the effort to arrest them was motivated solely by their skin color?

The Obama-Biden approach to political opposition was: Try to make it illegal, use bureaucratic intimidation against it when no one’s looking, and if all else fails, resort to good old-fashioned peer pressure and shaming . . . whatever form that may take.

Black Lives Matter is not a reaction to Donald Trump. It is a subversive movement of loosely knit but lavishly funded chapters that exploded on the scene in the Obama years, amid the rioting over the killings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Demagogues turned those horrific incidents into racial controversies, despite the lack of evidence that racial animus led to the fatal confrontations, and despite the abundant evidence that the decedents were culpable. The Obama-Biden strategy was to embrace BLM as an ally, exploiting BLM’s agitation in order to suppress opposition to shared political goals.

It still is.