Jun 26, 2017 7:06 PM
Season 4 starts out right where we left off a whole year ago. James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) has been arrested for the murder of FBI agent Greg Knox. (Andy Bean) Ironically, with all the BS Ghost HAS done, this is a murder he didn’t commit. But ex-girlfriend Angela Valdez (Lela Loren) doesn’t care – she’s been betrayed and believes that Ghost did the deed.
Sandoval, (David Fumero) Angela’s boss, who actually did kill Knox is throwing away the gun when his deputy Cooper calls to tell him Ghost has been arrested. Whew! Sandoval holds onto the weapon. Sure, how that go wrong?
Tariq (Michael Rainey, Jr.) is still missing – in the clutches of Kanan (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) and Jukebox (Anika Noni Rose). It doesn’t look good for Tarik but now that Ghost has been arrested, Dre has an idea where Tariq might be. Of course, Dre (Rotimi Akinosho) also knows Kanan is alive and hanging with Tarik. How does neither Ghost nor Tommy (Joseph Sikora) have their ears to the street and don’t know Kanan is alive?
Yay! Keisha (La La Anthony) is also alive after her mysterious disappearance last season. Tommy hid her from Milan and then killed him, so Keisha is free to go back to her salon, despite the fact that Tasha and Tommy are washing money there. But hey, she lives, so that’s a good thing. Tasha (Naturi Naughton) finds out that Ghost has been arrested from Proctor (Jerry Ferrara) who has his own problems – his ex/baby mama is on drugs again so he’s gotta take his daughter and get Ghost out of jail. Problems.
Tommy’s running the drug operation and Dre’s running the club. Julio (J. R. Ramirez) is the new distro and he’s already pulling rank by getting his booty call Sue a job at the club. Meantime, Dre’s gotta keep the club going, get Tariq back from Kanan and deal with this BS. Problems.
Dre does extract Tariq from Kanan by promising him and jukebox 50K a week of drug money. Hope that’s coming out of Dre’s cut, ’cause otherwise how could that go wrong? Dre immediately heads to the top of the list of characters unlikely to survive this season along with Angela and Tarik. We wish to hell it could be Kanan, but not sure if 50’s ego will let that happen.
Tariq tells Tasha the ransom demand was a joke when he fell asleep hanging with some new friend. Tommy wants to know who this ‘Slim’ is but Dre plays it off. Tommy assures Tasha that Kanan is dead. Ha!
Tasha’s gotta bail out Ghost, but guess what? There’s no money. Ghost sold the stocks and took the emergency fund likely when he was running away with Angela. Oh, boy does he regret that now. He thought he could put it back – says everyone when they take money they shouldn’t.
Angela has the gall to appear at Tasha and Ghost’s apartment to execute a federal warrant. She should know they won’t find anything there, but it’s a little revenge. Tasha and Keisha are disgusted as is Raina (Donshea Hopkins) who confronts Angela about the betrayal.
Meanwhile, back at the office, Angela arresting Ghost isn’t doing her career much good. Since she was ‘f-ing’ the murder suspect and the defendant, she’s pretty much burnt career wise. But so is the entire office. John Mak (Sung Kang), the new prosecutor guy this season, has already set up an OG jail informant, Terry Terasi (badass actor William Sadler, so you know it’s real) to snitch on a case but it looks like he’s going to get involved with Ghost in some way. Also, Mak moved the investigation to his office where Sandoval will be the second chair. John tells Angela he needs her help, but she’ll be no chair at all. Ouch. Angela better figure out her next play because after Ghost’s trial, it doesn’t look like she’ll have a job at all.
Tommy has to win Petar’s (Aleksandar Popovic) confidence since the Serbs already know about Ghost’s arrest. Petar told them, so he’s gotta stay around to keep tables on the operation. Petar tells Tommy he’s gotta be transparent otherwise we know how the Serbs get down. Tommy calms the troops – it’s business as usual. He also lets Dre know to toe the line. Poor Dre. He’s gotta jump through a lot of hoops this season.
At jail, Tasha comes through. She needs clean bail money and Ghost tells her where to get it. He doesn’t tell her that he’s being targeted by a sadistic marshal, Williams (Charlie Murphy, in sadly, his last role) who doesn’t like cop killers.
Ghost is losing all around. In his bail hearing, Proctor looks like he’s going to get bail. They’ve got the clean money. But John takes care of that and convinces the judge the alleged murdered of a federal agent deserves no such mercy. Bail denied.
In the closing scene, Ghost gets his ass kicked by Williams and another marshal. This looks like a long season for Ghost.
QUOTABLE: Tasha to Angela when Angela questions why Ghost was sleeping in the den: “I didn’t want any bedbugs to transfer from your place.”
KILL LIST: 1. Dre. 2. Angela 3. Tarik 4. Kanan (we’ll update the order as the season goes on.
Pharmacy exec gets nine years in prison for his part in 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 76 and made 778 people sickPharmacy exec gets nine years in prison for his part in 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 76 and made 778 people sick
Jun 26, 2017 6:19 PM
- Barry Cadden, 50, was sentenced to nine years in prison on Monday
- The former pharmacy executive had been convicted of racketeering and fraud charges for his part in a deadly meningitis outbreak in the US
- Prosecutors said he directed unsanitary and dangerous shortcuts to be used for drug production
- They said the shortcuts led to 778 people becoming sick, and 76 people dying
A former Massachusetts pharmacy executive was sentenced to nine years in prison on Monday for his role in a meningitis outbreak that killed 76 people and made 778 sick.
Barry Cadden, 50, the co-founder and former president of the now-defunct New England Compounding Center, was handed the prison term after he was convicted of racketeering and fraud.
Prosecutors had asked US District Judge Richard Stearns to sentence Cadden to at least 35 years in prison.
They said he had directed the production of drugs at the compounding pharmacy in unsanitary and dangerous ways in order to boost profits.
Prosecutors said those shortcuts and Cadden's greed led to 778 people nationwide being harmed after receiving injections of contaminated steroids that Cadden's company produced.
That includes 76 people who died, they said.
Cadden was convicted in March of fraud and racketeering by a federal jury in Boston but cleared of the harshest charges he faced, second-degree murder.
May 10, 2017 5:02 PM
Former “Dance Moms” reality TV star Abby Lee Miller was sentenced Tuesday to a year and a day in prison for hiding $775,000 worth of income and bringing $120,000 worth of Australian currency into the U.S. without reporting it.
U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti also fined Miller $40,000 — on top of the $120,000 in currency she’s forfeiting as part of guilty pleas entered last year — and ordered her to spend two years on probation after prison.
Miller, 51, filed for bankruptcy, just as her star was rising in late 2010, after defaulting on a $245,000 Florida condominium mortgage and a $96,000 mortgage on her Abby Lee Dance Company studio in Penn Hills, a Pittsburgh suburb.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Melucci told the judge that Miller went from being a “dance mom in the bankruptcy case to dance con” by hiding her income.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Agresti nearly approved a plan to let Miller repay her creditors at lower interest rates and longer terms before he saw her on TV one night and figured she must be making far more than the $8,899 in monthly income she initially declared. It’s a crime to deceive a bankruptcy judge about one’s income and assets because that information is used to determine how much and how soon creditors will receive in the court-ordered repayment plan.
Miller eventually coughed up $288,000 in TV income she didn’t initially report in 2012, then federal investigators found she’d hidden nearly $550,000 more from personal appearances, dance sessions and merchandise sales.
Defense attorney Robert Ridge asked the judge to not hold Miller’s celebrity against her, saying Miller “was ill-equipped to deal with the brand that she became.”
The “Dance Moms” star was known for her brash behavior and pursuit of perfectionism from her dance students. The show followed a class of Miller’s elite students and the perilous relationship she has with the girls’ mothers. Critics of “Dance Moms” accused Miller of being emotionally abusive toward the girls, and many episodes show her students dissolving into tears after a harsh critique.
Miller announced in March that she was leaving the show. She’s now working out of a dance studio near Los Angeles, and Conti agreed to recommend that federal prison officials let her serve her sentence as close to her new business base of operations as possible. Miller must report to prison in a few weeks.
Ridge told the judge that Miller accidentally became famous when she let TV producers use her studio for a show about young dancers, only to have the producers center the show on Miller after her fiery encounter with an angry parent.
Conti told Miller that the prison sentence and other punishments are “not about the fame. It’s really about what anyone who’s going to commit bankruptcy fraud” will face. “There’s going to be serious consequences,” Conti said.
Miller told the judge that she opened a bank account not authorized by the court so she could pay bills and otherwise run her business affairs while he bankruptcy proceedings ground on. Melucci contends Miller was “extremely arrogant” and opened the account so she could receive and spend income away from Judge Agresti’s prying eyes to “satisfy her enormous greed.”
“‘Dance Moms’ became a hit and I became a laughingstock of reality TV,” Miller told the judge, referring both to her on-camera persona and her later legal troubles. “Why didn’t I hold myself to the same standard I hold my dancers to? Had I done that, I wouldn’t be here today.”
In the City of Brotherly Love, you can retain your voter registration no matter what crime you commit. That's because election officials refuse to take convicted felons off the voter rolls even if they're still serving time in jail.
One potential voter is convicted baby murderer Kermit Gosnell. In May 2013, in a case that shocked the nation, Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder for killing fully developed babies born alive at his abortion clinic by severing their spines with scissors. He got three life terms, the latter for killing a baby that he joked was so large it could "walk to the bus." Nine of his former clinic workers were also convicted, and four others pled guilty to murder.
Despite this history of savagery, Gosnell, 75, is still registered to vote in Philadelphia. He is listed as inactive, most likely because he has not voted in five years. However, if he were to show up at the polls, he would be permitted to vote even if he is on inactive status if he showed an ID.
If you don't vote in two federal elections, you can be removed. But the mass murderer is still on the rolls. Why leave him there?
Also still registered to vote is Philadelphia's former 11-term Democratic Congressman Chaka Fattah, who was convicted of racketeering and in January began serving 10 years, the second-longest prison term ever for a former member of Congress. The top dishonor belongs to former Democratic Rep. William J. Jefferson of Louisiana, some of whose cash bribes were found in his home freezer. He was sentenced to 13 years in 2009.
Fattah's son, Chaka "Chip" Jr. is also a famous felon who remains on Philadelphia's voting rolls. The younger Fattah received five years in prison in February 2016 for bank and tax fraud.
Although city officials maintain that Pennsylvania law limits felons' voting rights based on their incarcerated status, a city attorney admitted that if someone were to "put a polling place in the prison," felons on the rolls would be permitted to vote. They just can't vote by absentee ballot. Or can they?
The absurdly shifting legal stance was exposed on April 27 during a court hearing in American Civil Rights Union v. Philadelphia City Commissioners at the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. While lawyers for the ACRU made the case that the National Voter Registration Act (motor voter) and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) require states to remove from the rolls all ineligible voters – including convicted felons – the city dug in its heels, contending that Pennsylvania law only requires removing the deceased and people who move away.
The issue arose last year when an ACRU lawsuit forced the city to open its records, revealing thousands of noncitizens and convicted felons registered to vote. Since then, the city has refused to police the rolls.
During the hearing in Philadelphia, city lawyers admitted that convicted felons on furlough could vote while outside prison if "incarceration" was the only disqualifier, not their status as convicted criminals. One hearing participant joked about an "Election Day Furlough" when "they could all go out and vote" and then be returned to prison.
"This is no joking matter," said J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, which filed the suit on the ACRU's behalf. "Philadelphia's voting rolls are seriously corrupt, and they not only won't do anything to fix the situation, they think it's actually funny. This is a disgrace."
Last September, a U.S. District court ruled that federal law does not require city election officials to remove convicts from the rolls unless state law provides an explicit procedure for removal.
"But this reading is incorrect," the ACRU brief notes, citing NVRA's and HAVA's express direction to all election officials to remove ineligible voters and keep registration lists accurate.
"A person who is incarcerated for a felony in Pennsylvania cannot vote in any way and cannot register to vote while incarcerated." the brief states. "List maintenance [under federal law] is not merely permissible, it is mandatory."
And so it goes in a city where in 2012, some 59 voting divisions recorded not a single vote for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and where election officials see no problem with keeping ineligible voters like convicted felons Kermit Gosnell and Chaka Fattah on the rolls.