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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Elaine Silvestrini

Tribune Staff

DUI setup could cost law partner his legal license

- Stephen Diaco has agreed to surrender his law license. He was part of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem's defense team accused of unethical behavior after the arrest of an opposing lawyer during a 2013 libel trial.

Police chief to residents: Help us fight gun violence

- With more guns on the streets and more people being killed in recent weeks, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor implored residents who refuse to cooperate with investigators to help stop the violence.

Tampa mom pleads guilty after infant drowns in bathtub


— A woman who left her 7-month-old son to drown in a bathtub while she talke...

Agents’ chatter in Osmakac terror sting skirts fine line

- Was Sami Osmakac a mentally ill radical incapable of causing harm or a dangerous would-be terrorist stopped before he struck? Newly disclosed transcripts of private FBI conversations provide fuel for both scenarios.

Former Tampa police informant guilty of tax fraud


— Rita Girven, the felon whose unusually close relationship with two former Tampa Police detectives was at the center of a scandal at the department, pleaded guilty Monday to fe...

Weight-loss guru fights $1,050 fine for contempt in Tampa


Victoria Morton’s invention was touted by celebrities from Ellen

Families of autistic children sue Disney over ride access

- After the park was battered by reports of rich people paying disabled people to help them jump long lines, Disney revamped its disabled guest passes and replaced them with passes that some autism advocates say are virtually...

Federal judge dismisses porn charge, criticizes prosecutors


— Strongly criticizing the actions of federal prosecutors, a federal judge has dismissed a case against a Bradenton woman who had been accused of making pornographic photographs...

Too social: Texting aiding teacher-student sex

- Dozens of Tampa Bay area teachers have been prosecuted for sex with students. Authorities say many communicated with their victims via text messages or social media.

Pill mill owners turn snitch to cut jail time


— Not so long ago, they ran what authorities described as the most active pill mill i...

Ex-Tampa police officer to plead guilty to stealing evidence


— One of the police officials who was supposed to help investigate tax refund fraud instead betrayed fellow officers and stole evidence seized in a crime wave that swamped the c...

Former TPD confidential informant Rita Girven charged with tax fraud


— A figure in a scandal that hit the Tampa Police Department has agreed to plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to file fraudulent tax returns.

Former NFL agent pleads guilty to fraud


— A former agent for NFL players admitted Monday that he used the names of football recruits to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Brandon veterinarian.

Thieves finding ways to use mobile banking to cash checks twice

- Just this month, nine people have been accused of taking pictures of money orders and submitting them, then cashing the money orders at post offices and withdrawing the deposited funds.

Fraud scheme involved debit cards, mailbox theft


— The scammers in Massachussetts somehow had enough information to convince Bank of America employees that they were customers in Florida.

‘Something happened’ to missing Brandon woman

- The parents of 33-year-old Apryl Foster, who disappeared after being last seen Thursday morning in Ybor City, implored for public help in locating their daughter.

Expert’s unscientific claims mire death-row cases in uncertainty

- Three decades later, lawyers and prosecutors are still trying clean up the mess an expert witness left behind in cases as far back as 1980.

Sex offender had only one place to live: a parking lot

- Antonio Rivera's attorney says the options were abide by the conditions of probation and be in daily danger or violate probation and risk being arrested.

Haley has been rich source of records for tax fraud thieves

- For a few years, crooks filing fraudulent tax returns had a seemingly ready source of personal information - patient records at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital.

'Sexting court' teaches perils of lewd selfies

- An embarrassed girl and her anxious mother sat before Circuit Judge Ralph Stoddard last week, not quite sure what was going to happen.

Al-Arian discusses deportation, trial in interview from Turkey


— Sami Al-Arian says he has mixed feelings about leaving his family and friends behind in the U.S. after 40 years.

‘Grateful’ former USF professor Al-Arian deported to Turkey

- Seven months after the last criminal charges were dropped against him and nearly 12 years after he was first indicted, former USF professor Sami Al-Arian has been deported to Turkey.

Tampa becoming a hot spot for filing patent cases


— Whether their inventions are dummies for boxers to pummel or electronic mapping apps, people who say their ideas were stolen are turning to federal judges in the Middle Distri...

Wife claims judge violated restraining order

- Shirley Sanchez-Myers’ motion for contempt says her husband, Hillsborough Judge Eric Myers, abused his position when he tried to enter their home, damaging the garage door in the process.

Local priest, church hid dark secret, victims group says

- An organization dedicated to exposing sexual abuse by priests sought to shed light on what organizers said were The Rev. Innocente Clementi’s victims at Mary Help of Christians School in East Lake.