Biles and Her Teammates Rip the F.B.I. for Botching Nassar Abuse Case

Here is precisely why the work done by Help For Children/Hedge Funds Care, www.HFC.org is so crucial to our children and their children and all children! It is because the kind of abuse described here happens way more often than anyone knows…except that is… for the abusers and the abused!

Sometimes there’s a revelation, like an Olympic Doctor protected by the FBI, who is actually a serial sex offender of his teenage and younger, trusting patients!

Sometimes the unmasking of the horror comes quickly and is handled expeditiously. Other times, however, it can take a long, long time.

How could this Larry Nassar, get away with abusing countless children for years, with nobody the wiser? And yet this is just one of many such stories about abuse and neglect! 

The perpetrator’s hone their skill  because they are charming and smart and have some position that enables them to identify the innocent ones, lure them into the abuser’s web and then keep them there out of fear, intimidation and embarrassment and too traumatized to know what to do.

Enter www.HFC.org to evaluate the programs and agencies that provide the direct service to this and other brands of the abusive behavior of adults.

Thank god for HFC.

Somehow, Larry Nasser got away with his evil doings for an incredibly long time before he was finally revealed for the monster he is. But the rule is, that the longer a perpetrator gets away with their crime, the deeper the hole they dig for themselves when they are finally caught.  In Larry Nasser’s case, it’s the rest of his life!

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/15/sports/olympics/fbi-hearing-larry-nassar-biles-maroney.html?smid=em-share

Gymnasts Testify to Senate on Abuse From Larry Nassar

Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols testified before the Senate on the sexual abuse investigation involving the former U.S.A. gymnastics team doctor Lawrence G. Nassar. The gymnasts also received an apology from the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for the handling of the case.

“I don’t want another young gymnast, Olympic athlete or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others have endured before, during and continuing to this day in the wake of the Larry Nassar abuse.” “I was so shocked at the agents’ silence and disregard for my trauma. After that minute of silence, he asked, ‘Is that all?’ Those words in itself was one of the worst moments of this entire process for me, to have my abuse be minimized and disregarded by the people who were supposed to protect me just to feel like my abuse was not enough. But the truth is my abuse was enough, and they wanted to cover it up.” “It is unrealistic to think we can grasp the full extent of culpability without understanding how and why U.S.A.G. and U.S.O.P.C. chose to ignore abuse for decades, and why the interplay among these three organizations led the F.B.I. to willingly disregard our reports of abuse.” “I’m sorry for what you and your families have been through. I’m sorry that so many different people let you down over and over again. And I’m especially sorry that there were people at the F.B.I. who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed. And that is inexcusable. It never should have happened, and we’re doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again.”

Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols testified before the Senate on the sexual abuse investigation involving the former U.S.A. gymnastics team doctor Lawrence G. Nassar. The gymnasts also received an apology from the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for the handling of the case.CreditCredit…Pool photo by Saul Loeb

WASHINGTON — Sitting at a witness table alongside three of her former gymnastics teammates, Simone Biles broke down in tears while explaining to a Senate committee that she doesn’t want any more young people to experience the kind of suffering she endured at the hands of Lawrence G. Nassar, the former national team doctor.

“To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar, but I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse,” Ms. Biles, 24, said Wednesday as her mother, Nellie Biles, sat nearby, dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

Ms. Biles and hundreds of other girls and women — including a majority of the members of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics teams — were molested by Mr. Nassar, who is now serving what amounts to life in prison for multiple sex crimes. His serial molestation is at the center of one of the biggest child sex abuse cases in American history.

McKayla Maroney, an Olympian in 2012, also testified, describing in detail how Mr. Nassar repeatedly abused her, even at the London Games, where she won a gold medal. She said she survived a harrowing ordeal when she and Mr. Nassar were at a competition in Tokyo, certain she “was going to die that night because there was no way he was going to let me go.”

“That evening I was naked, completely alone, with him on top of me, molesting me for hours,” she said.

In 2015, when Ms. Maroney was 19 years old and before she had even told her mother what Mr. Nassar had done, she described her abuse to an F.B.I. agent during a three-hour phone call from the floor of her bedroom. When she finished, Ms. Maroney said the agent asked, “Is that all?” She said she felt crushed by the lack of empathy.

“Not only did the F.B.I. not report my abuse, but when they eventually documented my report 17 months later, they made entirely false claims about what I said,” Ms. Maroney testified. “They chose to lie about what I said and protect a serial child molester rather than protect not only me but countless others.”

Credit…Pool photo by Graeme Jennings

In a remarkable turn, the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, acknowledged the agency’s mishandling of the case and apologized to the victims. He said the F.B.I. had fired an agent who was involved in the case early — the one who interviewed Ms. Maroney. It was the first time anyone at the agency had submitted to public questioning about the F.B.I.’s failure to properly investigate a sexual abuse case that shook the sports world to its core.

Mr. Wray, who became the F.B.I. director in 2017 said he was “heartsick and furious” when he heard that the F.B.I. had made so many errors in the case before he took charge of the agency.

“I’m sorry that so many people let you down again and again,” Mr. Wray said to the victims. “I am especially sorry that there were people at the F.B.I. who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed, and that is inexcusable. It never should have happened, and we are doing everything in our power to make sure it never happens again.”

Mr. Wray said that one of the agents initially involved in the case, Michael Langeman, was fired two weeks ago. When asked why the case was mishandled in the first place, Mr. Wray said the agents had made many basic mistakes that clashed with how the F.B.I. usually conducts investigations.

“I don’t have a good explanation for you,” Mr. Wray said, later adding, “On no planet is what happened in this case acceptable.”

Mr. Wray said that as a result of the Nassar case the F.B.I. had strengthened its policies, procedures, systems and training, including emphasizing that agents report abuse cases to state and local law enforcement. He promised that steps in future investigations would be “quadruple checked” so that there was not “a single point of failure.”

Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, said Mr. Wray’s answers would not provide any solace to the gymnasts who testified before the Judiciary Committee, and that they weren’t good enough “for the American people,” either.

Like the gymnasts who testified, Mr. Leahy and several other senators on the committee expressed outrage that the agents who mishandled the case have not been prosecuted. He said sports and government officials and anyone else who “turned a blind eye” to Mr. Nassar’s abuse should face criminal charges.

Mr. Langeman, who was not immediately available for comment, was not named in the inspector general’s report, but his actions and multiple crucial missteps were carefully described. The report said that Mr. Langeman should have known that Mr. Nassar’s abuse was probably widespread, but that he did not investigate the case with any urgency.

After Mr. Langeman interviewed Ms. Maroney — who was just one of the three elite gymnasts who gave U.S.A. Gymnastics details of Mr. Nassar’s abuse — the agent did not properly document that interview or open an investigation. In an interview report that Mr. Langeman filed with the F.B.I. 17 months after he spoke to Ms. Maroney, who was not named in the report, he included statements she did not make, according to the report.

Like other agents initially involved in the case, Mr. Langeman did not alert local or state officials about the allegations of abuse by Mr. Nassar, violating F.B.I. policy that says crimes against children “invariably require a broad, multijurisdictional, and multidisciplinary approach.”

Mr. Langeman later said he had filed an initial report about Mr. Nassar, asking for the case to be transferred to the F.B.I.’s Lansing office. But the paperwork wasn’t found in the F.B.I. database, the inspector general’s report said.

W. Jay Abbott, a former special agent in the Indianapolis office, also is no longer with the F.B.I. after voluntarily retiring in 2018. The report said he had made false statements to Justice Department investigators and “violated F.B.I. policy and exercised extremely poor judgment under federal ethics rules.”

According to the report, Mr. Abbott had been angling for a job with the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, which he discussed with Steve Penny, who was then the president of U.S.A. Gymnastics. Several senators expressed surprise and disgust that Mr. Abbott was able to leave the F.B.I. without being disciplined.

Hundreds of girls and women who were abused by Mr. Nassar have been waiting for years to hear from the F.B.I. about the mistakes in the case. Ms. Biles has been vocal about wanting to know “who knew what, and when” about Mr. Nassar. She said the effects from his abuse linger. She won a silver medal and a bronze this summer at the Tokyo Olympics after dropping out of the team competition, saying she was struggling mentally.

“The scars of this horrific abuse continue to live with all of us,” she said at the hearing, referring to all the victims, including Maggie Nichols, who also testified. Ms. Nichols is often referred to as “Athlete A” because she was the first national team athlete to report Nassar’s abuse.

The gymnasts being sworn in.
Credit…Pool photo by Saul Loeb

Aly Raisman, an Olympic gold medalist who testified at the hearing, has publicly asked for an independent investigation of the Nassar case. She pressed senators for that on Wednesday, saying that it was hard for her to speak at the hearing, but that she did so to protect others and force change within sports and law enforcement.

“The F.B.I. made me feel like my abuse didn’t count and that it wasn’t real,” she said.

Ms. Raisman, 27, told the senators that she wondered if she was going to be able to walk out of the hearing room after the proceedings.

After the first time she spoke publicly about her abuse, in 2017, she said, she was so shaken that she couldn’t stand up in the shower and had to sit on the floor of the tub to wash her hair. Since then, she said, there have been times when she was so sick from the trauma that she had to be taken to a hospital by ambulance.

Ms. Raisman said testifying on Wednesday would set her back, too.

“This might take me months to recover,” she said. “I just wanted to make that clear.”

Biles and Her Teammates Rip the F.B.I. for Botching Nassar Abuse Case

Biles and Her Teammates Rip the F.B.I. for Botching Nassar Abuse Case


Kirkus Reviews, the gold-standard for independent & accurate reviews, has this to say about

What Goes Around Comes Around:

A stable, positive, non preachy, objective voice makes the book stand apart from others in the genre. A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.

~ Kirkus Reviews

“The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them!
Kirkus Reviews

“I’ve read a number of books that focus on sharing a similar message, including “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “The Answer” by John Assaraf & Murray Smith, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, and I must say that I find Rob’s to be my favorite. – Sheryl Woodhouse, founder of Livelihood Matters LLC

Hedge Fund’s Insiders Agree to Pay as Much as $7 Billion to I.R.S.

Hedge Fund’s Insiders Agree to Pay as Much as $7 Billion to I.R.S.

This is a heartening case! It supports the notion that justice does prevail and what goes around, does indeed come around, The Law of Cause & Effect” in action!  It means a $7 Billion penalty owed to the IRS and I’d guess, considering the fees these folks paid to their tax advisors, they never expected this outcome. Don’t cheer too loudly though. It also means that Principle applies to everyone!

Hedge Fund’s Insiders Agree to Pay as Much as $7 Billion to I.R.S.

The agreement ends a longstanding tax dispute involving a decade’s worth of transactions at Renaissance Technologies, one of the world’s biggest and best-connected hedge funds.

Colombo Family Crime Boss and 12 Others Are Arrested, Prosecutors Say

An indictment unsealed on Tuesday accuses the organization of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort a labor union.

Credit…Jesse Ward

 

For two decades, the leadership of the Colombo crime family extorted a Queens labor union, federal prosecutors said — an effort that continued unabated even as members of the mob clan cycled through prison, the family’s notorious longtime boss died, and as federal law enforcement closed in.

Over time, what began as a Colombo captain’s shakedown of a union leader, complete with expletive-laced threats of violence, expanded into a cottage industry, prosecutors said, as the Colombo organization assumed control of contracting and union business, with side operations in phony construction certificates, marijuana trafficking and loan-sharking.

On Tuesday, 11 reputed members and associates of the Colombo crime family, including the mob clan’s entire leadership, were charged in a labor racketeering case brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

All but two of the men were arrested Tuesday morning across New York and New Jersey, prosecutors said. Another was surrendered to the authorities on Tuesday; another defendant, identified as the family consigliere, remained at large, prosecutors said.

The indictment accuses the Colombo family of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort an unnamed labor union that represented construction workers, using threats of violence to secure payments and arrange contracts that would benefit the crime family.

The charges are an ambitious effort by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take down one of the city’s five Mafia families. In addition to the union extortion scheme, which is the heart of the racketeering charge, the indictment charges several misdeeds often associated with the mob, including drug trafficking, money laundering, loan-sharking and falsifying federal labor safety paperwork.

Detention hearings for the defendants in Brooklyn federal court continued into the evening Tuesday, as they entered not-guilty pleas to the charges; prosecutors had asked the court to keep 10 of the defendants in custody.

“Everything we allege in this investigation proves history does indeed repeat itself,” Michael J. Driscoll, F.B.I. assistant director-in-charge, said in a statement. “The underbelly of the crime families in New York City is alive and well.”

Around 2001, prosecutors said, Vincent Ricciardo — a reported captain in the family, also known as “Vinny Unions” — began to demand a portion of a senior labor union official’s salary. When Mr. Ricciardo was convicted and imprisoned on federal racketeering charges in the mid-2000s, prosecutors said, his cousin continued to collect those payments.

Starting in late 2019, prosecutors said, the senior leadership of the Colombo family became directly involved in the shakedown, which extended to broader efforts to siphon money from the union: for example, manipulating the selection of union health fund vendors to contract with entities connected to the family, and diverting more than $10,000 each month from the fund to the family.

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Andrew Russo, 87, who prosecutors describe as the family boss, is accused of taking part in those efforts, as well as a money-laundering scheme to send the proceeds of the union extortion through intermediaries to Colombo associates. He was among nine defendants charged with racketeering.

Mr. Russo appeared in court virtually from the hospital Tuesday; he is set to be detained upon his release, pending a future bail hearing.

The family’s infamous longtime boss, Carmine J. Persico, died in federal custody in North Carolina in March 2019.

Federal law enforcement learned of the extortion scheme about a year ago, prosecutors wrote in a court filing Tuesday; investigators gathered thousands of hours of wiretapped calls and conversations recorded by a confidential witness, wrote the prosecutors, who also described law-enforcement surveillance of meetings among the accused conspirators.

The authorities said they repeatedly captured Mr. Ricciardo and his associates threatening to kill the union official. “I’ll put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids,” Mr. Ricciardo was recorded saying in June.

On another occasion cited by prosecutors in the memo seeking his detention, Mr. Ricciardo directed the union official to hire a consultant selected by the Colombo family, saying: “It’s my union and that’s it.” Prosecutors said his activities were overseen by a Colombo soldier and the consigliere who remains at large.

Much of the activity outlined in the indictment took place while the defendants were either in prison or on supervised release for prior federal mob-related convictions. Theodore Persico Jr., described as a family captain and soldier, was released from federal prison in 2020 and, despite a directive not to associate with members of organized crime, “directed much of the labor racketeering scheme,” prosecutors said.

Mr. Persico, 58, is set to inherit the role of boss after Mr. Russo, prosecutors wrote.

Several of the defendants were named in what prosecutors described as a fraudulent safety training scheme, in which they falsified state and federal paperwork that is required for construction workers to show they have completed safety training courses.

One of the defendants, John Ragano — whom prosecutors say is a soldier in the Bonanno crime family — is accused of setting up phony occupational safety training schools in New York, which prosecutors said were “mills” that provided fraudulent safety training certificates to hundreds of people.

In October 2020, prosecutors said, an undercover law enforcement officer visited one of the schools in Ozone Park, Queens, and received, from Mr. Ricciardo’s cousin, a blank test form and an answer sheet; weeks later, the agent returned to pick up his federal safety card and paid $500.

The purported schools were also used for meetings with members of La Cosa Nostra — the group of crime families commonly known as the Mafia — and to store illegal drugs and fireworks, according to the indictment.

Mr. Ragano wasn’t charged on the racketeering count, although prosecutors also sought his detention pending trial. In addition to the racketeering count, several defendants, including Mr. Ricciardo and his cousin, were charged with extortion, conspiracy, fraud and conspiracy to make false statements.

William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting.

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article misstated the number of people identified in an indictment as members of the Colombo crime family. It is 11, not more than a dozen.