[ISN] Court backs FBI on Spies & Bank Fraud Mastermind gets 17 years

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed May 20 1998 - 15:42:54 PDT

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    *** Court backs FBI on alleged spies
    (AP) - Three former student activists charged with spying for East
    Germany and other countries lost their bid to suppress most of the
    government's evidence against them. In a 21-page opinion released
    Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton wrote that FBI agents
    acted legally when they secretly wiretapped and searched the homes of
    former Pentagon lawyer Theresa M. Squillacote, 40; her husband, Kurt
    A. Stand, 43; and their college friend James M. Clark, 49. Defense
    attorneys had argued that the FBI's search warrants and wiretaps were
    invalid because East Germany no longer exists, so the trio could not
    have been active spies. They also contended the FBI abused the
    wiretaps by listening to conversations about personal matters. Hilton
    wrote that the FBI had credible evidence to show the defendants were
    agents of an existing country when they obtained the search warrants
    in 1996 and 1997.
    *** Bank fraud mastermind gets 17 years
    (AP) - The mastermind of a computer leasing scam that bilked $350
    million from a consortium of banks was sentenced today to 16 years
    and 10 months in prison. Edward J. Reiners, of Somers, N.Y., pleaded
    guilty to bank fraud and money laundering in June 1996. This morning,
    U.S. District Judge Robert R. Merhige Jr. handed Reiners a 202-month
    sentence. Merhige also gave Reiners five years probation and required
    him to pay $250,000 in restitution. Reiners had faced a maximum of 50
    years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. Reiners is a former Philip
    Morris Cos. Inc. computer executive. After he had left Philip Morris,
    he pretended he was still working for the company on a secret
    research project that turned out to be bogus. He convinced Signet
    Bank, NationsBank and six other banks to lend him about $350 million
    to lease computers for his project. Signet Bank was acquired last
    year by Charlotte, N.C.-based First Union Corp.
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