Thursday, October 27, 2016


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Judicial Watch

So much for the public’s (free) right to know about government decisions and actions—the Department of Justice (DOJ) has slapped Judicial Watch with a startling $50,000 bill to search for public records the agency claims don’t exist. That’s nearly the median annual income in the U.S., which is $53,000 according to census figures. Keep in mind that Judicial Watch is a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to government transparency and accountability.

Last fall Judicial Watch requested records from the DOJ, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), related to the Obama administration’s involvement in a United Nation’s international law enforcement coalition called Strong Cities Network (SCN). The purported mission of this new global coalition is to build social cohesion and community resilience to counter violent extremism. The DOJ masterminded the agreement and Americans found out about the U.S.’s participation when Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced it During a U.N. speech on September 29, 2015.

Lynch referred to SCN as a “truly groundbreaking endeavor” and assured the famously corrupt world body that the Obama administration is deeply committed to the new initiative. “The government of the United States is fully invested in this collaborative approach and we have seen the value of empowering local communities by promoting initiatives they design and lead themselves,” Lynch said.

Following the Attorney General’s fiery U.N. delivery, a New York newspaper reported that the city was joining a new global, terror-busting network to combat homegrown extremism. Civil rights groups quickly denounced the U.S. participation, expressing concerns about law enforcement abuses against Muslims.

In a letter to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio 22 civil rights groups warned that other programs created to counter violent extremism stigmatized “Muslim communities as suspicious and in need of special monitoring.” The anti-terror initiatives have also made “the relationship between Muslims and schools and social service providers into security-based engagements,” the letter states. SCN assures however, that “violent extremism and prevention efforts should not be associated with any particular religion, nationality or ethnic group.” In a statement the DOJ also guaranteed that the SCN will safeguard the rights of local citizens and communities.

The State Department also put its weight behind SCN and earlier this year Secretary of State John Kerry hosted an event to promote it. Kerry referred to the new and untested U.N. initiative as “groundbreaking” and assured “we are already seeing results” though no evidence has been offered to back it.

Kerry proclaimed that SCN is absolutely essential, even without the challenge of violent extremism because “we ought to be doing these things to connect people to their community, to get people connected one to the other.” The Secretary of State added that a global law enforcement coalition like SCN would still be important “in terms of just keeping people out of trouble, out of jail, helping people find the right path for education and for a future.” Kerry ended by telling attendees that he couldn’t think of a more worthwhile mission.

In its mission to educate the public about the operations and activities of government, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request with the DOJ on October 15, 2015 for documents related to SCN. Specifically, Judicial Watch asked for legal opinions and analysis prepared by the DOJ relating to the U.S. involvement in the program, documents that form the foundation for the decision for the country to participate in SCN, all international agreements and related records involving the commitment of U.S. resources or personnel to SCN and records of communication between officials in the Office of the Attorney General relating to the initiative.

The request reminds the agency that, under the OPEN Government Act, Judicial Watch is entitled to a complete waiver of search and duplication fees if records aren’t produced within 20 business days.

On July 29, 2016, long after the deadline to produce the records, the DOJ sent Judicial Watch a $50,000 invoice for search fees, though not a single file was produced. The invoice, which lists Rashad Javaid as the DOJ official that “fulfilled” the request, doesn’t offer a breakdown and erroneously categorizes Judicial Watch as a “commercial” entity when in fact all government agencies know well that Judicial Watch is a nonprofit under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code. After all, Judicial Watch has been around for 22 years and all FOIA requests state clearly that it’s a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that by definition has no commercial purpose. Last week Judicial Watch appealed the preposterous DOJ invoice.

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In the same week that President Obama issued his administrative amnesty sparing millions from deportation, the feds busted a criminal ring of illegal immigrants that used stolen identities to defraud the U.S. government out of $7.2 million in tax refunds.

The mastermind of this sophisticated operation is a resourceful delinquent in Frankford, Delaware who runs a landscaping and cleaning business called “Las Tres Mujeres” (the three women in Spanish). Her name is Linda Avila and she’s admitted in federal court that she filed more than 1,700 fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) using stolen identities assigned to migrant workers—mostly from Mexico—living in the U.S. illegally.

Avila altered W-2 forms with white out to cover up the names, social security numbers and addresses then wrote in other names and addresses to create the fraudulent returns, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) announcement. Foreign dependents were often added to increase the refund amounts. The IRS then cut refund checks ranging from $4,000 to more than $7,000, according to the feds. Avila provided the illegal aliens fake identification documents so they could cash the IRS refund checks. The illegal alien migrant workers kept a small fee and gave most of the money to Avila.

When federal agents searched Avila’s home in Delaware they seized about 17 boxes of fraudulent tax records, according to the DOJ document outlining the case. Templates for fraudulent W-2 forms and identification documents were also found on her computer. The records included copies of approximately 1,754 tax returns filed between 2008 and 2014 for tax years 2004 through 2013. The total loss to the IRS based on the fraudulent returns is approximately $7.2 million, federal authorities estimate.

Back in July a federal grand jury in Norfolk Virginia indicted Avila on charges of conspiracy to make false claims, mail fraud and false claims against the United States. On November 17, the same week Obama issued a long-anticipated administrative amnesty, Avila finally pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and mail fraud. She faces three decades in prison and remains free pending sentencing on February 17. The feds have not disclosed if her illegal immigrant partners in crime will be charged.

What we do know for sure is that a few days after Avila pleaded guilty for operating this scheme involving illegal aliens swindling the U.S. government—and American taxpayers—our commander-in-chief announced with great fanfare that he was sparing 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation. Their presence in the U.S. alone constitutes a violation of our laws, yet the president rewarded them with amnesty. Obama actually acknowledged this during his recent speech in Las Vegas where he celebrated the new order with his allies in the powerful open borders movement. “The truth is, undocumented workers broke our immigration laws,” Obama said. “They didn’t follow the rules in terms of how they were supposed to come.”



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