The owner of a San Fernando Valley jewelry store has reached a plea agreement for his role in an insider-trading case involving a former senior partner at accounting firm KPMG.
Prosecutors allege that accountant Scott London provided jeweler Bryan Shaw, a long-time friend and golf partner, with insider information about KPMG clients including Herbalife Ltd., Skechers USA Inc., Uggs maker Deckers Outdoor Corp.
The government alleges that Shaw made over $1 million in illicit profits by trading in advance of company announcements on earnings results or mergers. In exchange, Shaw is alleged to have given London bags filled with cash, along with a Rolex watch and jewelry for his wife, among other items.
The Department of Justice said Shaw was charged Monday with one count of conspiracy for his role in the scheme. As part of the deal, Shaw agreed to plead guilty to the felony offense and admitted that he plotted with London to commit securities fraud. He will also forfeit nearly $1.3 million in illegal stock-trading profits.
Shaw, a 52-year old resident of Lake Sherwood, Calif., is expected to make his initial appearance later this week in U.S. District Court.
London was fired from KPMG and charged last month for his role in the scheme that took place from 2010 to 2012. The 50-year old Agoura Hills, Calif., resident is scheduled to be arraigned on May 17.
An Air Force officer who led the branch's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit has been charged with groping a woman in a parking lot.
Arlington County Police said Monday that they charged Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski of Arlington with misdemeanor sexual battery after an alleged assault about 12:30 a.m. Sunday in the Crystal City section of the county.
A police report says that the 41-year-old Krusinski was drunk and grabbed a woman's breast and buttocks. Police say the woman fought him off and called police.
Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck says Krusinski did not know the woman involved.
An arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.
Air Force spokeswoman Natasha Waggoner said Krusinski was removed from his position after the Air Force learned of his arrest.
A Pennsylvania man faces larceny, money laundering and other charges stemming from the alleged theft of six art works including a Pablo Picasso etching from a suburban New York City estate.
Brooklyn and Long Island prosecutors announced the indictment Monday of Joselito Vega, of Easton, Pa.
They say Vega was working as a painter in March 2011 at an estate in Kings Point, N.Y., where three paintings were later reported missing.
Investigators tracked one of the stolen paintings to an art gallery in Oakland, Calif., where it sold for $8,500.
Detectives set up a sting at the estate and Vega was arrested last month after allegedly stealing three more works, including the Picasso.
He is being held on $1 million bond. A listing for his attorney could not be found.
Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Andrés Alonso will retire at the end of the school year, after six years of leading the district and orchestrating a turnaround for a system ailing from decades of decline.
Alonso's six years at the district's helm make him one of the longest-serving big-city superintendents in the country.
Under Alonso's leadership, student enrollment and graduation rates increased as suspension and dropout rates dropped.
He said Monday that he is retiring to return home to New Jersey to care for his parents and to assume a professorship at Harvard University.
His last day will be June 30. Chief of Staff Tisha Edwards will serve as an interim CEO through the next school year while the School Board searches for a permanent successor.
Former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman is questioning the expected use of a voice recognition expert at his murder trial next month.
Zimmerman's attorney filed a motion made public Monday asking for a hearing to determine whether testimony from the expert would be allowed.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year in a gated community in Sanford during a struggle. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty.
Neighbors called 911 during the struggle and cries of help can be heard on the calls. Martin's family claims the voice is that of the South Florida teen.
Zimmerman's father has said in court he believes the cries are from his son.
Zimmerman's attorney says jurors could be confused by a voice expert's testimony.
Israel's willingness to hit Syrian targets it sees as threats to its own existence has complicated the Obama administration's internal debate over arming President Bashar Assad's foes and may change the way U.S. approaches allies as it tries to boost the rebels, including with possible military aid.
As Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Russia on Monday for talks with the Assad regime's most powerful ally, the administration remained tight-lipped on both Israel's weekend air strikes and their implications for Washington decision-making.
Israeli warplanes targeted caches of Iranian missiles that were bound for Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terror group that has threatened Israel. The weapons would have allowed Hezbollah to strike Tel Aviv and as far as southern Israel from inside Lebanese territory.
Still, Israel's actions put Damascus and Moscow on notice that the U.S. and its allies may not wait for an international green light to become more actively engaged. The administration said last week it was rethinking its opposition to arming the rebels or taking other aggressive steps to turn the tide of the two-year-old civil war toward the rebels.
At the same time, Israeli involvement in the war carries risks. Instead of prodding Russia into calling for Assad's ouster, it could bring greater Arab sympathy for Assad and prompt deeper involvement from Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, actors committed as much to preserving Assad as to fighting the Jewish state.
Although Israel hasn't officially acknowledged it carried out the airstrikes, Syrian officials on Monday were blaming Israel, calling it a "declaration of war" that would cause the Jewish state to "suffer."
Russia, alongside China, has blocked U.S.-led efforts three times at the United Nations to pressure Assad into stepping down. Officials said Kerry hopes to change Moscow's thinking with two new arguments: American threats to arm the Syrian rebels and evidence of chemical weapon attacks by the Assad regime.
Kerry, U.S. officials said Monday, hopes that may be enough to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to support, or at least not veto, a fresh effort to impose UN sanctions on Syria if Assad doesn't begin transition talks with the opposition. The officials demanded anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the confidential diplomacy.
"We have consistently, in our conversations with the Russians and others, pointed clearly to Assad's behavior as proof that further support for the regime is not in the interest of the Syrian people or in the interest of the countries that have in the past supported Assad," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
"We have been clear in the past about our disappointment with Russia over their opposition to resolutions at the Security Council with regards to this matter. But this is an ongoing conversation," he said.
U.S. officials said the administration doesn't believe the weekend activity will force President Barack Obama's hand, noting that the U.S.'s main concern is the use of chemical weapons by Assad, while Israel's top concern is conventional weapons falling into the hands of its enemies.
The chemical weapons argument is now under surprising attack, with former war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte saying over the weekend she and fellow members of a four-member U.N. human rights panel have indications the nerve agent sarin was used by Syrian rebel forces, but not by government forces.
Despite a clarification from the UN that it is has not yet made any definitive determination on chemical weapons use, Washington pushed back on del Ponte's assertion, saying it's highly likely that the Assad regime, and not the rebels, has been behind any chemical weapons use in Syria.
"We are highly skeptical of suggestions that the opposition could have or did use chemical weapons," Carney said. "We find it highly likely that any chemical weapon use that has taken place in Syria was done by the Assad regime. And that remains our position."
The State Department said the administration continues to believe that Syria's large chemical weapons stockpiles remain securely in the regime's control.
The Obama administration opened the door to new military options in Syria after declaring last week it strongly believed the Assad regime used chemical weapons in two attacks in March. Two days after that announcement, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said arming the Syrian rebels was a policy consideration.
Before departing for Russia, Kerry visited the Pentagon for a lunch meeting with Hagel. Defense Department press secretary George Little said he expected Syria to be discussed.
Also Monday, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee called for the US. to provide weapons to vetted Syrian rebels. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., introduced legislation that would allow for arms, military training and non-lethal aid to rebels that meet certain criteria on human rights and don't have links to terrorism.
Until now, U.S. efforts to bolster the rebels' fighting skills and gather intelligence on the groups operating inside Syria have been limited to small training camps in Jordan, according to two U.S. officials, who weren't authorized to speak about secret activities and demanded anonymity.
There are several options for escalation ranging from arming the rebels to targeted airstrikes and imposing no-fly zones. However, arming the rebels is the most likely escalation, officials said.
Officials said targeted strikes are likely to be considered only after uncontested proof emerges of chemical weapons use. And, even the most ardent advocates of U.S. intervention don't want American military boots on the ground while no-fly zones would demand intensive operations to neutralize Syria's Russian-supplied air defenses.
Although Israel seems to have thwarted those defenses with its weekend strikes, U.S. officials say that maintaining permanent no-fly zones will require far more support than specific actions like the airstrikes.
After visiting Moscow for the first time since he became secretary of state, Kerry will travel to Rome for talks with members of the new Italian government as well as Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh to discuss Middle East peace prospects.
Associated Press writers Donna Cassata, Jim Kuhnhenn, Josh Lederman, Kimberly Dozier and Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.
Authorities say searchers have found the body of an 83-year-old woman who went missing after arriving at a Washington airport from Barbados.
U.S. Park Police spokesman Paul Brooks said in an email Monday afternoon that the body of Victoria Kong was found about 2 p.m. by a team with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police.
Brooks said Kong's body was found north of Reagan National Airport, about 30 feet from a bike trail in a wooded area.
He said the investigation into her death is continuing.
Kong was last seen Friday leaving the airport on foot.
Kong's family says they were waiting for her to be escorted off the flight by wheelchair, but she never showed up.
Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter says he won't play a central Pennsylvania Christian college again unless it changes its policy against "homosexual behavior."
Ritter made the announcement on Facebook hours after playing a Friday night concert at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., southwest of Harrisburg.
Messiah students and staff have to sign a "community covenant" promising to avoid homosexual behavior and premarital sex.
Ritter calls the policy exclusionary and bigoted. He says he's donating his fee to an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services.
Messiah spokeswoman Beth Lorow says the administration is disappointed that Ritter is speaking in favor of tolerance but isn't applying those principles to their religious freedoms.
Ritter talked about the policy during the show. Lorow says his comments on stage weren't as harsh as his Facebook posting.
Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/joshrittermusic/posts/10151431221117709