The Mayor of Hallandale Beach, Florida surrendered to authorities on Thursday on third-degree felony charges of money laundering, official misconduct and exceeding limits on campaign contributions. Mayor Joy Cooper (D) is also charged with soliciting contributions in City Hall – a misdemeanor. Each felony carries a maximum five year prison sentence.
According to prosecutors, the FBI began investigating Cooper in May, 2012 – posing as wealthy real estate developers from California seeking political favors from Cooper in exchange for a Hallandale Beach project. The undercover agents hired disbarred Hollywood attorney Alan Koslow to represent them, who funneled $5,000 in campaign contributions to Cooper in the form of “checks from a bunch of Russian names,” according to court documents. Koslow did not initially know that the men were with the FBI, nor that he was also a target in their investigation.
“At the time, Alan Koslow was unaware that he was interacting with undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agents,” wrote investigators. Koslow, 63, would eventually wear a wire as part of the sting, as the FBI recorded audio or video of every meeting, according to court records.
Koslow represented himself to agents as an effective lobbyist who “had the vote of the mayor,” records show. During a July 10, 2012 meeting between Cooper, the undercover FBI agents and Koslow at City Hall, Cooper was recorded making assurances that she and two other commissioners were a “team of three” who could push the real estate project through, according to the arrest affidavit.
“Alan Koslow showed Mayor Cooper a number representing a proposed contribution and asked her if it was a good number. She replied ‘No. Add a zero.” Koslow confirmed ‘Three zeros, is that fine?’ and Mayor Cooper replied ‘Yes,’” according to the arrest affidavit. Later that month, Koslow assured Cooper she would receive a $10,000 bribe in the form of two $5,000 contributions – before and after the August, 2012 primary.
In an August, 2012 meeting, Koslow and the undercover agents went to Cooper’s home, after which they drove to the former Hollywood attorney’s house and gave him a Dunkin’ Donuts bag containing $8,000 in cash. Koslow told the agents he would have two Russian organizations write checks for them, according to investigators.
During a recorded meeting at the Flashback Diner on Aug. 20, 2012, one of the undercover agents told Cooper that “the pledged payment to her, via her campaign, would be in the form of checks from a ‘bunch of Russian names,’” according to court documents.
In September, Koslow told one of the agents he had personally handed 20 checks to Cooper at a Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce fashion show, court records say. The checks, totaling $5,000, were broken down into smaller amounts that appeared to come from people with Russian last names, according to the documents. Cooper said “that’s fantastic” when she got the checks, according to what Koslow told the undercover agents.
Cooper’s campaign reported nine contributions from eight teachers and a retired person in the amount of $500 each, matching names on a list of donors Koslow had given the so-called developers, the affidavit said.
Between September 2013 and May 2016, four different undercover FBI agents met with Koslow at least 75 times, however their discussions remain secret due to ongoing investigations in other matters. The FBI’s had their final piece of major evidence after Koslow gave a sworn statement to investigators in November 2017, in which he admitted to the entire affair.
Cooper’s attorney responded, knocking the FBI for using Koslow:
“We look forward to our day in court and the mayor’s vindication,” said Cooper’s attorney, Larry Davis. “We’re extremely disappointed that the Broward County State Attorney’s Office is relying upon Alan Koslow, a disgraced and disbarred convicted felon, as the centerpiece of its case of alleged campaign finance violations.”
Koslow, 63, was considered one of the most effective and best-known attorneys and lobbyists in the state, specializing in representing developers and the gaming industry. He pleaded guilty in August 2016 to helping people prosecutors said he thought were “quasi-mafia” criminals hide the source of $220,000 linked to illegal gambling and drug dealing. -sun-sentinal.com
The FBI concluded their investigation and handed the case off to state prosecutors in May, 2017 according to Broward State Attorney’s Office spokeswoman, Constance Simmons. It is unclear whether Governor Rick Scott will remove Cooper from office, “as he customarily does when an elected official has been arrested,” according to the sun-sentinel. “These charges are unacceptable,” said a spokeswoman for the Governor, adding “We are reviewing our next course of action.”
Joe Biden “The Lemon Lot”!
Is the deeply flawed and dementia impaired Joe Biden the best the Democrats have to offer?
The Democratic establishment has wholeheartedly gotten behind the former vice president of the United States Joseph Robinette Biden, as the Democratic nominee for President of The United States in 2020. Did they give it a test drive, kick the tires, check the engine or even look up the blue book value? The answer is a resounding NO! Joe Biden was the best of a bad socialist lot. There was a plethora of manufactured cookie cutter candidates. Bernie Sanders seemed the logical choice…..but! Bernie was an Independent who caucused with the Democrats. Bernie openly and proudly professed his affinity for socialism, at least coherently. The painful truth for the Bernie Bros was the Democrat establishment would never let an Independent/ Socialist drive the party off of the electoral cliff of a 2020 national election.
The party turned to Joe Biden to save the day. The best of a bad lot. The former VP with a solid connection to the first Black President of the United States and the all important Black vote. This may be death by a thousand cuts. We already know Joe is a walking, talking, stuttering gaffe machine. His son, brother, son-in-law and others have all profited handsomely from his position and name in big time national politics. He has the Tara Reade debacle. There is the firing of the Ukraine prosecutor who was investigating the corrupt Ukrainian gas company his son Hunter was working for. His team seems to be wisely trying to let Joe out in public view only when absolutely necessary. He has more skeletons in his closet than a thriller video! They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Cheers to the left.
By Michael Ameer
FISA Warrant For Carter Page Exposes Weak Basis
The Saturday release of the FBI’s heavily redacted FISA warrant application for Carter Page reveals that the Obama administration, eager to make a case to spy on a US citizen (and arguably the Trump campaign) cobbled together a combination of facts and innuendo from Page’s business dealings in Russia, several press reports of varying reliability, and of course, the infamous Clinton-funded “Steele Dossier,” which the FBI went to great lengths to justify despite being largely unable to verify its claims.
Perhaps the most concerning takeaway, however, is the stark disconnect between the FBI’s multiple allegations against Page versus the fact that he hasn’t been charged with a single crime after nearly two years of DOJ/FBI investigations.
Once issued, the FISA warrant and its subsequent renewals allowed the Obama administration to better spy on the Trump campaign using a wide investigatory net. As such, the October, 2016 application painted Page in the most criminal light possible, as intended, in order to convince the FISA judge to grant the warrant. It flat out accuses Page of being a Russian spy who was recruited by the Kremlin, which sought to “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law,” the application reads.
In order to reinforce their argument, the FBI presented various claims from the dossier as facts, such as “The FBI learned that Page met with at least two Russian officials” – when in fact that was simply another unverified claim from the dossier.
‘Pirate Attacks’ More Common In Caribbean
Modern-day pirate attacks in the Caribbean and Latin America are out of control, according to a Wednesday report which found a 163% spike in pirate activity that led to the loss of $948,690 in stolen goods. The report, produced by nonprofit group Oceans Beyond Piracy, found that 59% of the attacks involved robberies on yachts.
“We have observed a significant increase in violent incidents and anchorage crime, particularly in the anchorages of Venezuela and the recent violent incidents off Suriname in the first part of this year,” says Maise Pigeon, the report’s lead author. “Pirate activity in 2017 clearly demonstrates that pirate groups retain their ability to organize and implement attacks against ships transiting the region.”
Pirates have hit waters off the coast of Suriname hard.
In April, at least a dozen fishermen from Guyana went missing or were feared dead following a pirate attack in the area.
Guyana President David Granger called the attack a “massacre.”
And a fishing boat captain was shot dead after his ship was attacked in May. The rest of his crew survived.
The buccaneers also attacked anchorages in Venezuela, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Colombia and St. Lucia. -Marketwatch