NJ ‘Housewives’ Couple Plead Guilty to Fraud

(NEW YORK) — Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice have pleaded guilty in New Jersey federal court to federal fraud charges.

The couple pleaded guilty to several counts of loan and bankruptcy fraud, opening themselves to possible prison time.

Sentencing is set for July 8.

The couple was indicted on multiple counts of fraud last summer, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud.

Joe, 43, had also been accused of failure to file tax returns from 2004 through 2008, a period when he allegedly earned nearly $1 million.

Joe was born in Italy. After his sentencing, U.S. immigration officials get to decide if they want to proceed with sending him back to his country of birth.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Posted On 04 Mar 2014

Chelsea Handler: ‘I’m Not Racist’

NEW YORK) — When Chelsea Handler took over The Huffington Post’s Twitter account during the Oscars on Sunday, she raised some eyebrows when she connected her latest book, Uganda Be Kidding Me, to Best Supporting Actress winner Lupita Nyong’o and 12 Years a Slave.  The resulting online backlash included some charges of racism. On Tuesday’s Good Morning America, the comedian and late night talk show host slammed those accusations.

“People are mad at me all the time. If I was worried about that then I would be spending a lot of time online. I’d rather be a little bit more productive,” Handler told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “I’m not racist. I date a lot of black people so that would be a difficult thing to explain to them.”

In one tweet during the Oscars, Handler said of Nyong’o’s win: “#AngelinaJolie just filed adoption papers #lupitanyongo #Oscars -@chelseahandler.” She later added, “Congratulations #lupita,” then linked to Amazon with a call to pre-order her book there.  And when 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture, Handler tweeted: “Congratulations #12yearsaslave Go to Africa or buy #ugandabekiddingme.”

At the end of the night, Handler tweeted, “Thank you @HuffingtonPost #imsorry – @chelseahandler.”

When Stephanopoulos pressed Handler on GMA to clarify if her apology was in reaction to the negative backlash, Handler said it wasn’t.

“I said at the end just, ‘I’m sorry just for being me.’ I wasn’t apologizing,” she said. “That was before the backlash. We had all our writers over and we were all tweeting all night. So some of them wrote some things, I wrote some other things. It’s not a serious thing.”

Huffington Post Senior Executive Director for Communications Perri Dorset told website The Grio that Handler’s “views are not ours,” adding, “The Huffington Post occasionally has celebrities take over our Twitter handle including Bill Maher during the State of the Union.”



Posted On 04 Mar 2014

Obama Unveils $4 Trillion Budget

(WASHINGTON) — President Obama on Tuesday unveiled a $3.9 trillion budget for the 2015 fiscal year that promotes his policy priorities and contains few concessions to Republicans, outlining an election-year blueprint that stands little chance of becoming law.

“Our budget is about choices. It’s about our values. As a country, we’ve got to make a decision if we’re going to protects tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans or if we’re going to make smart investments necessary to create jobs and grow our economy and expand opportunity for every American,” Obama said.

This year’s budget lacks olive branches that were included in years past when the president was seeking to strike a fiscal deal with Republicans. For instance, it does not include an offer to lower future cost of living increases for Social Security and other federal benefits.

Instead, the budget put forth Tuesday, billed as a “roadmap for growth, opportunity, and fiscal responsibility,” focuses largely on fighting poverty and leveling income disparity. It expands tax credits to benefit the poor and middle class while raising taxes on the wealthy.

“At a time when our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years, we’ve got to decide if we’re going to keep squeezing the middle class or if we’re going to continue to reduce the deficits responsibly while taking steps to grow and strengthen the middle class,” Obama said in remarks unveiling the budget at a local Washington, D.C., public school.

The budget tilts federal spending in the direction of Obama pet programs like cleaner energy and early-childhood education, creating jobs on projects he has championed.  It also trims military weapons systems.

The proposal, which comes just three months after lawmakers and the White House agreed to a two-year, bipartisan budget deal, is dead on arrival at Capitol Hill.

“After years of fiscal and economic mismanagement, the president has offered perhaps his most irresponsible budget yet,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a written statement. “American families looking for jobs and opportunity will find only more government in this plan. Spending too much, borrowing too much, and taxing too much, it would hurt our economy and cost jobs.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 2:40PM by jc PermalinkPermalink

Read On ABC News Radio: http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/obama-unveils-4-trillion-budget.html#ixzz2v2Qbj64B

Posted On 04 Mar 2014

NJ Explosion Injures 7, Damages Homes

(EWING, N.J.) — Firefighters are currently battling a two-alarm blaze that took over a Ewing, New Jersey condominium complex after an apparent explosion that injured seven people.

It is believed that the blast happened when a private contractor was digging in the area shortly before 1 p.m. and struck a gas line.

Five of the injured were from utility company PSE&G, while the other two were workers from a contracting firm.


Posted On 04 Mar 2014

Suffolk wants to raise the age to buy tobacco

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The Suffolk County Legislature is nearing a vote on a bill that would raise the legal age to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products from 19 to 21. 

Legis. William Spencer, D-Centerport, is behind the bill and he’s urging supporters to turn out to TODAY’S legislature meeting in Riverhead to make their voices heard. 

If passed, the law would prohibit retailers from selling cigarettes, cigars, rolling papers, chewing tobacco, powdered tobacco or smoking pipes to anyone under the age of 21. Store owners would need to confirm identification before selling those products, similar to when they sell alcoholic beverages.

Spencer, an ENT doctor, has cited his desire to keep tobacco products away from young adults during the age in which they run the highest risk of addiction. He also believes the age hike would cut down on healthcare costs in the long run. 


New York City has already raised the age to buy cigarettes to 21. 

Long Island home to Billionaires

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Four Long Islanders are among the world’s 1,645 billionaires, according to a list released  by Forbes magazine.
Bill Gates, co-founder of the computer software giant Microsoft Corp. and a prominent philanthropist, regained the top spot, with a net worth estimated at $76 billion as of this month.  Gates dethroned Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu and his family, who had been No. 1 on the Forbes list for four years in a row. This year, the telecommunications mogul was No. 2, with a fortune valued at $72 billion. Gates has led the Forbes list of the global rich for 15 of the past 20 years.
Locally, the highest-ranking individual was again hedge-fund investor James Simons, 75, with a net worth of $12.5 billion, up $800 million from a year ago. The East Setauket resident ranked No. 88.  
The other Long Islanders on the list were:
Charles Dolan, 87, at No. 408; he and his family had a fortune valued at $3.7 billion, a gain of $600 million from last year. The Cove Neck resident founded Cablevision Systems Corp. of Bethpage, which owns Newsday.
Kenneth Langone, 78, was No. 764 with $2.3 billion, an increase of $400 million over the previous year. The Sands Point resident helped start the building supply retailer Home Depot.
Louis Bacon, 55, was No. 1,092 with $1.6 billion, a gain of $300 million from a year ago. The hedge fund investor lives in Oyster Bay.
These two billionaires are listed by Forbes as having their primary residences in Manhattan, but are registered to vote on Long Island:
Ira Rennert, 79, an investor, owns a large home in Sagaponack. He placed No. 234 with a net worth of $6 billion, down $500 million year over year.
Julian Robertson Jr., 82, a hedge fund investor who owns property in Locust Valley, ranked No. 506. His fortune was valued at $3.2 billion, up $400 million from a year ago.


Smart phone legislation


Legislation is being introduced in Congress that would require cell phone companies and service providers to install a “kill switch” on smartphones.

The bill, introduced in the House by Representative Jose Serrano, would require manufacturers to turn the phones into “bricks,” making them useless if reported stolen. The aim is to eliminate the illegal resale market for the devices.

New York Attorney General Eric Scheiderman says 20 percent of all robberies in New York now involve smartphones.

Video shows multiple attempts to shoot Melius

Gary Melius - Owner of Oheka Castle

Gary Melius – Owner of Oheka Castle

There is evidence that the person who shot the owner of Oheka Castle tried to fire his gun at least three more times.

Surveillance video shows the masked gunman returning to an older model  Jeep Cherokee after the initial shooting.  He is then seen leaving the car and aiming the gun at Gary Melius as he stumbled out of his Mercedes-Benz.  Newsday quotes sources as saying the suspect tried to clear an apparent malfunction in his weapon three times.

Melius is still in the hospital recovering from eye surgery.

Bank robbery in Center Moriches


Suffolk County Police Pattern Crime Unit detectives are investigating a bank robbery in Center Moriches and an attempted bank robbery in Mastic that took place within ten minutes of each other.

A man entered the HSBC located at 1718 Montauk Highway in Mastic, at approximately 1:25 p.m., approached a teller and produced a note demanding cash.  The suspect fled on foot with no proceeds.  At approximately 1:35 p.m., a suspect matching the description of the man that robbed the HSBC entered the Chase bank located at 366 Main St., Center Moriches.  The man approached a teller, produced a note demanding cash and fled on foot after the employee complied with the robbers demands.

The robber is described as a white male, between 5 feet 8 inches tall and 5 feet 10 inches tall in his mid-20s with a thin build.  He was wearing a dark-colored jacket camouflage pants.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.