New Mass. US attorney focuses on financial fraud
BOSTON (AP) The new U.S. attorney for Massachusetts pledged Wednesday to step up prosecution of financial fraud cases in an effort to prevent the kind of disaster caused by disgraced financier Bernard Madoff.
In her first meeting with reporters since taking office last month, Carmen Ortiz said she plans to reach out to other government agencies and businesses to root out financial fraud.
“What happened with Bernie Madoff, we should make every single effort to prevent that from happening again,’’ she said during a round-table discussion with reporters.
“Victims should know that we’re open for business,’’ she said.
Ortiz, 53, is the fist woman and the first Hispanic to hold the top federal prosecutor’s job in Massachusetts. A former state prosecutor, she has worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston for the last 12 years, mainly prosecuting economic crimes, including embezzlement, tax evasion, investment fraud and telemarketing schemes.
She succeeds Michael Sullivan, a Republican who was appointed by President Bush in 2001 and who left the job earlier this year.
Ortiz said one of her other priorities as U.S. attorney will be the hunt for fugitive gangster James “Whitey’’ Bulger, who is charged in connection with 19 murders and is on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted’’ list.
Ortiz said she plans to meet with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies and hopes to come up with “creative ways’’ to generate publicity and aid the search for Bulger, now 80.
“If he is present in people’s minds, then perhaps it could be that one tip that ... could lead to his capture,’’ she said.
Hearing set for Boston cop accused of racial slur
BOSTON (AP) Boston police have scheduled a termination hearing for a police officer suspended for using a racial slur to describe black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.
The Boston Police Department announced a Jan. 6 hearing for Justin Barrett. The 36-year-old officer was placed on paid administrative leave in July after he was accused of writing an e-mail that called Gates a “banana-eating jungle monkey.’’
Barrett has filed a federal lawsuit against the city claiming his civil rights were violated.
His attorney, Peter Marano, did not immediately return phone messages.
Gates was arrested in July on a charge of disorderly conduct at his home near Harvard University, sparking a national debate over racial profiling. The charge against him was dropped.
Mass. firm sees modest growth in the tech industry
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) A Massachusetts research firm says the global economic recovery is expected to spur modest growth in the technology industry and encourage key transformations next year.
Framingham, Mass.-based IDC predicts technology spending will grow by 3.2 percent in 2010, returning the industry to 2008 spending levels of about $1.5 trillion.
Mobile devices will also help transform the industry as they increasingly compete with personal computers as the primary platform for users and technology developers.
IDC expects more than 1 billion mobile devices will be accessing the Internet by the year’s end, helped by the growing popularity of smartphones, the expected arrival of Apple’s iPad tablet computer and an explosion in mobile applications.