Jerry Lundergan made mistakes, but there was no criminal conspiracy, his lawyer says – Courier Journal

FRANKFORT — Jerry Lundergan made some mistakes as he scrambled in 2013 to help launch his daughter’s campaign for the U.S. Senate, his defense attorney said in court Tuesday.

“But it’s not a crime to commit a mistake,” said Guthrie True, a Frankfort lawyer heading Lundergan’s defense team against 10 federal counts that he conspired to make illegal corporate contributions to Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign and then tried to cover it up.

Tuesday was the first day of a trial that is expected to last four weeks in the federal building here. Dale Emmons, a longtime Democratic consultant from Richmond, is also charged with conspiracy and five other counts.

The two were indicted a year ago for their alleged activities in support of Grimes’ 2014 campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. 

True said Lundergan’s indictment creates a false conspiracy narrative by linking expenses mistakenly paid by his company at the outset of that campaign with later payments by the company for expenses that were not obligations of the campaign.

“We believe the evidence will show these checks do not prove intent to engage in a criminal conspiracy,” True told the jury 

True also argued that Grimes’ campaign raised more than $2.5 million in its first three months — and $18.8 million by election day in 2014 — and did not need any free services.

“This campaign always had the money to pay its bills,” True said.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate K. Smith told jurors the prosecution will present testimony and show them checks that prove Lundergan conspired with Emmons to intentionally commit serious campaign finance crimes by providing “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in services to the Grimes campaign — illegal corporate contributions.

“This paper trail is what shows these two men were working together to make secret corporate contributions,” Smith said.

And Smith did not describe the actions as mere mistakes. “The decided that the rules did not apply to them…They meant to do what they were doing,” she said.

Smith said prosecutors plan to call Jonathan Hurst, a Democratic strategist who worked with the Grimes campaign, to the stand.

True told jurors in his opening statement that the government has “promised not to prosecute” Hurst. 

More news: Lt. Gov. Hampton asks to intervene on behalf of staffer fired by Bevin administration

Emmons’ lawyer, Brandon Marshall of Lexington, told jurors that Emmons worked as a general consultant to the campaign but that he “has never been much involved in the complexities of campaign finance.”

With family members of Lundergan and Emmons looking on from the front benches behind the defense table, their lawyers described each as rising in the world of politics from humble beginnings — Lundergan from Mason County, Emmons from Fleming County.

True said Lundergan is “a self-made man” who built a thriving catering business for everything from NASCAR races to a presidential inauguration to papal visits to the United States.

He said Lundergan was “fiercely loyal to his (five) daughters.”

Grimes was elected Kentucky secretary of state in 2011, and was urged by many Democrats to challenge McConnell in 2014. But after consulting with family, she decided she would tell supporters meeting in Frankfort on July 1, of 2013, she would not take on McConnell.

But after backers convinced Grimes at that meeting to take on the challenge, she changed her mind and announced afterward she was running for the U.S. Senate.

The quick turnabout required the new campaign to scramble to plan “a new rollout,” True said, a major campaign event on June 30 attended by more than 1,000 people.

The haste and confusion in planning that event is where mistakes were made, and Lundergan’s company failed to put some expenses on invoices it sent the campaign.

Most other alleged corporate contributions by Lundergan’s company — including several $20,000 payments to Emmons — were for services provided not to Grimes’ campaign committee, but to the “coordinated campaign” of the Kentucky Democratic Party to elect Grimes and other Democrats on the ballot in the fall of 2014.

But Smith, the prosecutor, told jurors that the coordinated Democratic campaign did not begin until the spring of 2014 — after many of the improper payments were made by Lundergan’s company to Emmons.

Smith told jurors that prosecutors will prove the defendants’ actions were intentional by introducing evidence of similar illegal corporate contributions made by Lundergan and Emmons in Grimes’ successful races for secretary of state in 2011 and 2015.

True said that state, not federal, law governs those campaigns for secretary of state. He said no one has been charged with campaign finance crimes related to those races.

This story will be updated. 

Reporter Tom Loftus can be reached at 502-875-5136 or tloftus@courier-journal.com. Twitter: @TomLoftus_CJ. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/toml.

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An expert breaks down the psychology behind the copy-cat threats that followed the recent mass shootings at Walmart (WMT)

walmart shooting

  • A number of Walmarts across the United States have received threats since the El Paso shooting earlier this month. 
  • These incidents have prompted police investigations and, in some cases, arrests.
  • Business Insider spoke to psychologist, Temple University professor, and former president of the American Psychological Association about the recent string of threats.
  • He told Business Insider that many threat-makers, regardless of whether or not they intend to carry out their threats, may share certain motivations with mass shooters.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Walmart stores across the country have faced a stream of threats in the wake of the deadly shooting in an El Paso supercenter that left 22 people dead and 24 more injured.

The spotlight has remained on Walmart since that August 3 shooting, leading to an employee walk-out, controversy over the company’s decision to continue selling firearms, and several highly-publicized store incidents, including a number that led to store evacuations and police investigations.

Some of those instances were later confirmed to stem out of misunderstandings. But other incidents involved people threatening to commit mass murder within various Walmarts across the country. Walmart did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. 

An ABC affiliate in Texas reported that an as-of-yet-unidentified masked man incited a stampede in a Houston mall after he allegedly jumped on a table and claimed that he was going to shoot himself. In the panic that ensued, police also received calls reporting shots fired in a nearby Walmart.

An unnamed 13-year-old was also arrested on suspicion of making threats against a local Walmart on Instagram, CBS Austin reported

In Florida, the FBI and local police arrested 26-year-old Richard Clayton, an alleged white supremacist who is accused of threatening to attack Walmart with an AR-15, according to local channel My News 13.

Authorities are also investigating an anonymous Reddit user, who wrote on the website that he planned to commit the “biggest mass shooting in modern American history” in either Kansas or Missouri.

According to CNN, as of yesterday, eight Walmarts have received threats over the past few days. At this point, it’s unclear whether any of the threats that followed the El Paso shooting were viable. Nonetheless, these incidents have still managed to strike fear into communities.

Violent threats against Arkansas-based retailer predate the El Paso mass shooting. Walmart stores were targeted with bomb threats in Texas, Michigan, and Florida over the past year. But the deadly and recent El Paso shooting has seemingly elevated the amount of scrutiny that such threats receive from authorities, the media, and the public.

Frank Farley, a psychologist and professor of psychological studies in education at Temple University, spoke to Business Insider about the spate of threats against Walmart.

When considering a threat-maker’s motives, Farley stressed that’s important to remember that “no human behavior is due to just one thing”; it’s more helpful to think of them as “recipes with a few ingredients.” He also noted that more research is desperately needed on the psychological factors of mass shootings.

But when it comes to the thought process of a person calling in threats to a retail store, Farley said that such individuals might share several motivations with mass shooters themselves: namely a desire for thrills, a wish to spark fear and panic, and a hunger for fame. 

Read more: In response to office violence, companies have begun holding active shooter drills — but they can do more harm than good

“A primary source of human fear is uncertainty,” Farley told Business Insider. “If you make the threat, even if you have no intent of following through on it, it will still raise the fear level.”

He said that people who threaten mass violence, regardless of whether or not their threats are idle, may also be seeking attention.

“Most of us go through life without much fame,” he said. “We’re pretty much all unknown and our lives are fairly humdrum. If we taped our lives, many of us aren’t going to win the Oscar.”

He explained that threatening a Walmart in the wake of a highly-visible mass shooting could be viewed as “an opportunistic behavior, where you see a chance to instill some fear and panic, and make a public impact of some sort.”

And the recent string of threats are likely tied to the El Paso shooting in an even more direct way. Farley said that mass casualty events can trigger fear-of-missing-out, or FOMO, in like-minded individuals.

“Maybe you’ve had these thoughts about doing some horrendous,” Farley said. “You didn’t do it, and somebody else has done it.”

Therefore, many people calling in or posting threats against Walmart, according to Farley, may be trying to “get in on the act.”

Email tips to acain@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: Figuring out the psychological profiles of killers isn’t going to prevent mass shootings — but gun control could

READ MORE: A breakdown of gun terminology to help you in discussions on mass shootings and debates over gun control

SEE ALSO: Trump shares campaign-ad-style video with footage of visits to mass-shooting victims in Dayton and El Paso

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After Jeffrey Epstein's sudden death, accusers' attorney calls for criminal charges against his accomplices – Business Insider

jeffrey epstein ny state sex offender photoA 2017 photo of Jeffrey Epstein from the New York state sex offender registry.New York state sex offender registry

  • The death of Jeffrey Epstein means he cannot be prosecuted in criminal court over sex trafficking allegations.
  • However, his actions could still result in criminal punishment if prosecutors bring charges against his associates.
  • In an interview broadcast Monday, US attorney Gloria Allred said she would like to pursue criminal charges, and that any co-conspirators “have to be accountable.” She did not name anybody.
  • Other lawyers have said they intend to pursue claims in civil court against Epstein’s estate.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories. 

Jeffrey Epstein’s death over this weekend in prison has extinguished any chance of him being convicted in criminal court for what prosecutors say is a years-long sex trafficking ring preying on vulnerable young girls.

But others close to Epstein who helped him could yet face criminal trial over their role in the enterprise.

In an interview broadcast Monday morning by the BBC, US attorney Gloria Allred — who represents victims of Epstein — said that she supports bringing criminal charges against co-conspirators.

Here is Allred’s exchange, broadcast on the BBC radio’s flagship news program, “Today”:

Allred: There are others who enabled him, who assisted him, perhaps even recruited girls for him. When I say perhaps I know that there were others who did that but the question is can we find these people, is there going to be sufficient evidence…

BBC: …and you would like to see criminal cases brought against some of them as well?

Allred: Yes I would, if in fact there is proof beyond reasonable doubt in the eyes of the prosecutor, yes. The likes of them have to be accountable in a a criminal case because i think that without them he could not have accomplished what he did.

Epstein is the only one to have been charged in a criminal case related to his actions, when on July 8 he was charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy.

Allred did not name anybody who might be in prosecutors’ sights.

Several high-profile individuals have been named in legal documents from the Epstein case as having allegedly helped him run the trafficking operation Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Groff, Nadia Marcinkova, and Ghislane Maxwell.

Maxwell, a British socialite and daughter of press baron Robert Maxwell, is accused of recruiting under-age girls for sex with Epstein.

Virginia Giuffre says she was one such victim, and that Maxwell recruited her at age 15  to give Epstein massages while she worked in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. 

Guiffre called herself Epstein’s “teen sex slave” during a deposition for a 2017 defamation suit she brought against Maxwell, according to recently unsealed court documents.

Another allegedly recruited by Maxwell was Johanna Sjoberg who claimed Maxwell approached her on campus at Palm Beach Atlantic University when she was 21. 

epstein trump maxwellFrom left, Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000.Davidoff Studios/Getty Images

Allred’s words in the BBC interview chime with former prosecutors who said over the weekend that the case will continue.

Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, told New York Magazine: “It is likely that investigators will continue to investigate any co-conspirators who are involved in this case.”

Jack Scarola, an attorney for several other alleged victims, told the Miami Herald: “There are named and unnamed co-conspirators who still need to be brought to justice.”

Read more: From Bill Clinton to Naomi Campbell: Here are some of the famous people who have flown on Jeffrey Epstein’s private plane, which has been dubbed the ‘Lolita Express’

jeffrey epsteinUS financier Jeffrey Epstein looks on near his lawyer Martin Weinberg and Judge Richard Berman during a status hearing in his sex trafficking case, in this court sketch in New York, July 31, 2019.Reuters/Jane Rosenberg

However, Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor, told Business Insider that a successful prosecution would likely require more evidence than prosecutors have so far been willing to disclose.

She said: “Frankly, I think if they had a strong case against other people, we might have already seen it.

“Maybe what the hope is, now that Epstein’s not around, the people will say ‘someone has to be held responsible,’ and more people will come forward.”

An investigation into one of Epstein’s associates is already underway, the Times of London reported on Monday.

The conspiracy investigation reportedly concerns British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of “recruiting, maintaining…, and trafficking girls for Epstein” to have sex with. Maxwell denies the claims.

Annie Farmer, left, and Courtney Wild, right, accusers of Jeffery Epstein, stand outside the courthouse in New York, Monday, July 15, 2019. Annie Farmer, left, and Courtney Wild, right, accusers of Jeffery Epstein, stand outside the courthouse in New York, Monday, July 15, 2019.AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Read more: A Manhattan mansion, a ranch in New Mexico, a private jet, and a black stuffed poodle on a Steinway. Here’s a look at the assets of Jeffrey Epstein.

Running alongside the criminal investigation are civil proceedings against Epstein’s estate.

Lisa Bloom, an attorney seeking damages for several of his accusers, tweeted on Saturday: “Our civil cases can still proceed against his estate. Victims deserve to be made whole for the lifelong damage he caused. We’re just getting started.”

“On behalf of the victims I represent, we would have preferred he lived to face justice.”

Read more:

Jeffrey Epstein hired a college student for erotic massages. She also gave a massage to his billionaire friends, Glenn and Eva Dubin — though they say they don’t recall it.

The famous connections of Jeffrey Epstein, the elite wealth manager charged with sex trafficking young girls

Trump and Epstein’s friendship reportedly soured after they fought over a $41 million Palm Beach mansion. 2 weeks after the home’s auction, cops received a tip about underage women at Epstein’s house.

Inside the relationship between Victoria’s Secret head Les Wexner and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, from ‘close personal friends’ to severed ties

A billionaire hedge fund manager and his wife maintained social and charitable ties with Jeffrey Epstein, even after he went to jail for prostitution

Billionaire private-equity guru Leon Black is reaching out to Apollo investors about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein

Here are all the politicians Jeffrey Epstein, the money manager arrested on charges of sex trafficking, has donated to

New charges against Jeffrey Epstein highlight his reported past ties to the British royal family

From Bill Clinton to Naomi Campbell: Here are some of the famous people who have flown on Jeffrey Epstein’s private plane, which has been dubbed the ‘Lolita Express’

Den Originalartikel gibt es auf INSIDER. Follow INSIDER on Facebook. Copyright 2019. Und ihr könnt INSIDER auf Twitter folgen.

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Facebook warns its marketing partners against scraping after a startup was caught saving millions of users' data (FB)

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

  • Facebook is warning its marketing partners against illicitly scraping users’ data.
  • The warning comes after Business Insider revealed startup Hyp3r harvested millions of Instagram users’ data, saved their Stories, and tracked their locations.
  • Instagram failed to notice Hyp3r’s actions, and had added it to its exclusive Facebook Marketing Partner list.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Facebook is warning some of its closest marketing partners against illicitly scraping data after a buzzy startup was found to be saving personal information and tracking the locations of millions of Instagram users.

Late last week, after Business Insider revealed that San Francisco marketing firm Hyp3r had been harvesting huge volumes of data from Facebook-owned Instagram, Facebook emailed some of its Facebook Marketing Partners to reiterate its rules on handling user data.

“You may not access or collect data from us using automated means, without our prior permission. Automated means include harvesting bots, robots, spiders, or scrapers,” Facebook wrote in an email seen by Business Insider.

Data scrapping is a controversial practice that uses automated technology to systematically save information that people share publicly on social media, from users’ posts and photos to their profile details. Some argue that because the information has been shared publicly it’s fair game, but privacy advocates say collecting the data violates reasonable expectations about privacy — especially in the case of Instagram Stories, which are designed to disappear after 24 hours. 

For Facebook, which is trying to repair its damaged reputation in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, safeguarding its users’ data from scraping and other misappropriation is paramount. And, as the case with Hyp3r illustrated, Facebook and Instagram’s protections have been somewhat lax.

Hyp3r monitors social media posts made at real-world locations like bars, stadiums, hotels, and gyms, and then uses that data to target people with personalised ads and help businesses engage with customers at their locations. But it built some of this functionality through unauthorized means, taking advantage of a security vulnerability in Instagram’s systems and of Facebook’s failure to properly vet it. As a result, it assembled detailed profiles on millions of Instagram users, monitoring their movements, and saving their Stories, which are supposed to disappear after 24 hours and not be available to developers.

Facebook failed to notice this activity, and even added Hyp3r to its exclusive list of Facebook Marketing Partners — a directory of vetted companies that “can give you superior insights and data for better marketing decisions.”

After Business Insider reached out to Instagram about Hyp3r’s activity, it issued the firm with a cease and desist, and Hyp3r has now closed down its platform, it said in an announcement on its website.

Facebook has also reached out to other Facebook Marketing Partners in the wake of the revelations, to inform them that it has removed a marketing partner, and to remind them of the platform’s rules. It cites four key rules:

“You may not access or collect data from us using automated means, without our prior permission. Automated means include harvesting bots, robots, spiders, or scrapers. You may not transfer any data, aside from Account Information, outside the app that has collected it, except to your service provider. You may not sell, license, or purchase any data obtained from us. You must protect the information you receive from us against unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.”

An Instagram spokesperson declined to comment.

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at rprice@businessinsider.com, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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