April 11, 2017

NYT uncovers ATF scandal that began in 2011 and has something to do with Fast and Furious.

" Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives used a secret, off-the-books bank account to rent a $21,000 suite at a Nascar race, take a trip to Las Vegas and donate money to the school of one of the agent’s children, according to records and interviews...."
Government spending typically requires a strict audit trail, but the money deposited in the bank account came from an unlikely source. A.T.F. agents told the informants to buy untaxed cigarettes, mark up the cost and sell them at a profit. The sales made millions of dollars, which poured into the account....

It is not clear whether Obama administration officials authorized the unorthodox account, which was opened at a time when the A.T.F. said it was tightening restrictions on undercover operations. The agency was also moving to improve its management after a botched gun trafficking investigation known as Fast and Furious.

Normally, agents use government-controlled funds known as “churning accounts” to finance tobacco smuggling investigations. The new rules imposed greater oversight over churning accounts. By using the secret bank account, agents in Bristol avoided that oversight....

40 comments:

wendybar said...

Nothing to see here...This was under Obamas watch, so it will be swept under a rug....

Roy Jacobsen said...

We have top men working on it.

Top. Men.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

A.T.F. agents told the informants to buy untaxed cigarettes, mark up the cost and sell them at a profit.

Eric Garner could not be reached for comment...

Laslo Spatula said...

It's like paying to get a blow-job from a hooker to prove that the hooker gives blow-jobs for money.

All the Good Jobs are in Government.

I am Laslo.

Sebastian said...

Problem is, they didn't use any of the money to vilify guns. Since they didn't pay for political insurance, they left themselves at the mercy of the NYT.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The scandal-free Obama administration had no comment."

Laslo Spatula said...

"...told the informants to buy untaxed cigarettes, mark up the cost and sell them at a profit. The sales made millions of dollars, which poured into the account...."

Illustrates how much the Government taxes cigarettes.

Federal Government: $1.01 per pack

Washington State: $3.02 per pack

Then sales Tax, of course.

Some taxes are More Equal than Others.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

I am looking forward to AG Sessions findings re the Obama admin using billions in fine money [assessed against large banks etc] and then doling out that money to their liberal group buddies.

Laslo Spatula said...

Combine my 8:06 and 8:20 comments:

Legalize Prostitution, then tax the hell out of it.

Federal Government: $5.01 per blow-job.

Washington State: $10.02 per blow-job.

Then sales Tax, of course.

I am Laslo.

Michael K said...

Don't tell me the NY Times has discovered "Fast and Furious!"

AJ Lynch said...

Laslo - I support a minimum wage of $15 per hour for blowjobs.

Laslo Spatula said...

I would like to be on the Government panel that decides how to tax Prostitution Sex Acts.

What WOULD be the tax difference between straight sex and anal?

Does the Government taxing Golden Showers imply that the Government endorses Golden Showers?

You get the idea.

I am Laslo.

Matthew Sablan said...

"It is not clear whether Obama administration officials authorized the unorthodox account, which was opened at a time when the A.T.F. said it was tightening restrictions on undercover operations. The agency was also moving to improve its management after a botched gun trafficking investigation known as Fast and Furious."

-- That's... an incredibly generous amount of benefit of the doubt and word choice the NYT gives. People literally died due to the "botching" of the Fast and Furious. It was a debacle; people died. "Botching" doesn't really cover it.

"The Times has been fighting since last summer to make the documents public."

-- Shame I just heard about it now. I'll have to do a better job keeping my ear to the ground. I wonder why this didn't make a bigger splash last summer though.

Todd said...

the money deposited in the bank account came from an unlikely source. A.T.F. agents told the informants to buy untaxed cigarettes, mark up the cost and sell them at a profit. The sales made millions of dollars, which poured into the account.

A.T.F. agents concealed the scheme using phony shipping documents and middlemen. Those transactions are at the heart of a federal racketeering lawsuit brought by a tobacco cooperative, which says it was defrauded.


So the Government employees did the very thing that they operate to put a stop to. Avoid cigarette taxes and make more (dare I say excess) money.

When it was pointed out that the Bristol account was opened after the new policies went into effect and continued at least until 2013, the A.T.F. did not elaborate.

Huh, go figure that...

Some of the same A.T.F. agents were also involved in a bungled tobacco smuggling investigation in Hampton, Va., which the police chief shut down over allegations of financial misconduct. The operation lasted for 19 months, generated millions of dollars in unaudited money, and led to no arrests, according to the newspaper The Daily Press.

Sounds like a variation of Fast n Furious but in these little scheme, someone made LOTS of money.

After an investigation, the inspector general said the A.T.F. is now in full compliance with its churning rules. But that investigation did not cover management accounts like the one in Bristol, which the A.T.F. still has not publicly addressed.

So, the investigation of only the "legal and proper" stuff they do found no illegal stuff. Funny how that happens. Can I get the IRS to only audit the legal and proper stuff on my tax forms?

Roy Jacobsen said...

"The agency was also moving to improve its management after a botched gun trafficking investigation known as Fast and Furious."

This statement presumes two things that are very much in question:
1. That Fast and Furious was a gun trafficking investigation.
2. That it was botched.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Some enterprising state Attorney General should sue to recover the lost state cigarette taxes. Discovery might be fun...

traditionalguy said...

Playing with Slush funds hidden off the books is what 90% of the US Government Agencies are doing all of the time. And the Government political appointees do not see themselves as thieves. They feel entitled to take whatever they can because the other side would take it if they were in the positions.

Ergo: DJT became our President because he promised us not play that governance scam game.And we believed him.

The Veterans Administration has been such a scam for 150 years, and no one has done anything to stop it.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The most scandal-free administration EVAH!! how bout dah!!

AllenS said...

Someone should ask Obama about this. Anyone know where he is?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Laslo,
Won't that make many of the hookers go to Washington State, which will result in the price there dropping, while the corresponding shortage of hookers everywhere else makes the price go up in those locations?

Laslo Spatula said...

"That was an amazing blow-job, thank you. I really like the part where you ticked my balls."

"I'm a Professional: I take Pride in my work."

"Here's the Forty Dollars we agreed upon..."

"Actually, it is one-hundred-and-twenty-seven dollars..."

"What? I thought we agreed on forty..."

"We did agree on forty. The rest is Government taxes...."

"Eighty-seven dollars of taxes on a forty-dollar blow-job?"

"Well, there's Federal Tax, State Tax, City Tax and assorted fees."

"Shit: I don't have that much money on me..."

"That IS a problem."

"Is your Pimp going to beat me up?"

"They're not called Pimps anymore. They are Tax Collectors."

"Oh man, this is bad..."

"Don't worry. You'll just need to sign an Admission of Tax Non-Compliance and have a week to make up the rest. Plus the Two-hundred dollar Non-Compliance Penalty, of course."

"Over three-hundred dollars for a forty dollar blow-job? This is insane..."

"Write your Congressman, I guess..."

"How about we just say I couldn't get it up, so there was no transaction. And then I let you keep the forty dollars."

"That doesn't work. There is a Three=Hundred Dollar fine for failing to achieve an erection with a prostitute."

"You got to be kidding me."

"Oh yeah: it's also a misdemeanor...

I am Laslo.

Ambrose said...

This cannot be. I have been assured by reputable sources that the Obama administration was scandal-free.

Unknown said...

I thought fast and furious was just another racist republican witch hunt?

jake said...

Allens.

Yeah, still in French Polynesia. My sister and brother-in-law are vacationing there and spotted the yacht he's on. Pretty impressive from what I'm told.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

AllenS said...

Someone should ask Obama about this.

I suspect this whole thing was set up by Obama personally. The ATF can do whatever they want with the slush fund...as long as they keep him supplied with cigarettes. Off the books, of course. Wouldn't want Michelle to find out...

Matthew Sablan said...

"Someone should ask Obama about this. Anyone know where he is?"

-- He's probably just finding out about this now, just like he did with F&F.

Original Mike said...

Is the NYT abandoning the USS Obama?

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

Government is just a word for things we do together.

Jeff Teal said...

Laslo Ann's own pornographic Kafka.Applause.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Good Lord, is there a department within the Obama administration that DIDN'T have scandal?

Achilles said...

There is a reason the FBI took out the mob. It wasn't the reason they told us.

Lottery is official now.

Drugs. Don't be selling singles downtown or unlicensed pot.

Snitches. Self explanatory.

Protection? Stop paying your property taxes and find out who owns your house.

They just didn't want the competition.

John said...

Ex President Obama has been in Polynesia for a month and a half now, right? Does anyone know when (if?) he is coming back?

Anyone know where Reggie Love is these days?

John Henry

Achilles said...

As laslo says it is only a matter of time before the states displace the pimps. Too bad sex bots will get there first.

Achilles said...

Has it been noted yet that Obama is still out of the country? It has been almost 2 months now. There are about a dozen or so depositions lined up for him.

Paul said...

"There is not a 'smidgen' of scandal in this Administration"!

MaxedOutMama said...

Now we know why they felt they needed so many bullets. ...

To Be Continued

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Just another word for things we do together. Like personally benefiting from criminal enterprises.

southcentralpa said...

Now for the Boston Globe to turn their gaze on the Fisheries Police, who do stuff like that as pretty-much SOP.

Man in PA said...

Did Obama do anything legally?