Right Side News brings you this week’s top 10 news accounts from the FBI, December 23, 2011.

FBI TIP: Do yourself a favor: Be Crime Smart.  Getting educated and taking a few basic steps may well keep you from becoming a victim of crime and fraud—and save you a great deal of time and trouble. You can also help us protect your families and communities by reporting suspicious activities and helping find wanted fugitives and missing kids.

FBI_Badge_and_GunThis Weeks Top Ten: December 17-23, 2011

  1. Headquarters: FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2011

    Statistics released in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report indicate that the number of violent crimes reported in the first six months of 2011 and the number of property crimes decreased 3.7 percent. The report is based on information from more than 12,500 law enforcement agencies. Full Story

  2. DOJ/FBI: Man Charged with Participation in Murder and Attempted Murder of ICE Agents Extradited from Mexico

    Julian Zapata Espinoza was extradited from Mexico to the U.S. to face charges related to his alleged participation in the murder of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jaime Zapata and the attempted murder of ICE Special Agent Victor Avila. Full Story

  3. New Haven: Fourteen Romanian Citizens Charged in Internet Phishing Scheme

    Fourteen Romanian citizens were charged with conspiracy, fraud, and identity theft offenses stemming from their alleged participation in an extensive Internet phishing scheme. Full Story

  4. Honolulu: Former Grant Administrator and Legal Assistant of American Samoa Non-Profit Legal Aid Corporation Plead Guilty to Stealing More Than $150,000 in Federal Grant Funds

    A former grant administrator and her daughter pled guilty to stealing more than $150,000 in federal grant funds awarded to a non-profit corporation in the U.S. territory of American Samoa. Full Story

  5. San Diego/Los Angeles: $20,000 Reward Offered in Search for “Geezer Bandit” Serial Bank Robber

    Several law enforcement agencies are seeking the public’s assistance to identify and arrest the “Geezer Bandit,” who is believed responsible for 16 bank robberies dating back to August 28, 2009. Full Story

  6. San Francisco: Convent Employee Charged with Embezzling More Than $100,000 from Catholic Nuns

    A former employee for the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary Catholic Convent was charged with 14 counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud in connection with allegedly embezzing cash and charging personal expenses to a convent charge card. Full Story

  7. Houston: Six Plead Guilty in 3000+ Pound Marijuana Case

    A total of six men pled guilty in a case involving the smuggling of more than a ton of marijuana concealed in pallets of watermelons. One man remains a fugitive. Full Story

  8. Indianapolis: Three Indicted on Charges of Wire Fraud, Money Laundering

    Three individuals were indicted for their alleged role in defrauding an investor out of $1.7 million over the course of six months in 2007. Full Story

  9. Boston: Man Sentenced to 166 Months for Arson of Church

    A man was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison stemming from his role in the arson of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ, a predominantly African-American church, just hours after the election of President Barack Obama. Full Story

  10. Albuquerque: Man Pleads Guilty in $74 Million Ponzi Scheme

    Douglas F. Vaughan pled guilty to wire and mail fraud charges that involved his operation of a Ponzi scheme in which he fraudulently obtained more than $74 million from approximately 600 investors who were promised extraordinary returns. Full Story