Archive for the ‘Civility’ Category
Homes were flattened, cars were flung through the air and at least two schools packed with children were destroyed as a huge tornado, perhaps a mile wide, tore through towns near Oklahoma City on Monday, killing at least 24 people and sending rescuers and residents dashing to dig out survivors buried in rubble.
As the injured began flooding into local hospitals, the authorities said many remained trapped, even as rescue workers struggled to make their way through debris-clogged streets to the devastated suburb of Moore, where much of the damage occurred.
Amy Elliott, the spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner, said that at least 37 people had died, and officials said that toll was likely to climb.
MOORE, Okla. — A giant tornado, a mile wide or more, killed at least 24 people, 20 of them children, as it tore across parts of Oklahoma City and its suburbs Monday afternoon, flattening homes, flinging cars through the air and crushing at least two schools.
The injured flooded into hospitals, and the authorities said many people remained trapped, even as rescue workers struggled to make their way through debris-clogged streets to the devastated suburb of Moore, where much of the damage occurred.
Amy Elliott, the spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City medical examiner, said at least 24 people had died, including the children, and officials said that toll was likely to climb. Hospitals reported at least 145 people injured, 70 of them children.
Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore was reduced to a pile of twisted metal and toppled walls. Rescue workers were able to pull several children from the rubble, but on Monday evening crews were still struggling to cut through fallen beams and clear debris amid reports that dozens of students were trapped. At Briarwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City, on the border with Moore, cars were thrown through the facade and the roof was torn off.
“Numerous neighborhoods were completely leveled,” Sgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department said by telephone. “Neighborhoods just wiped clean.”
He said debris and damage to roadways, along with heavy traffic, were hindering emergency responders as they raced to the affected areas.
A spokeswoman for the mayor’s office in Moore said emergency workers were struggling to assess the damage.
“Please send us your prayers,” she said.
Brooke Cayot, a spokeswoman for Integris Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City, said 58 patients had come in by about 9 p.m. An additional 85 were being treated at Oklahoma University Medical Center in Oklahoma City.
“They’ve been coming in minute by minute,” Ms. Cayot said.
The tornado touched down at 2:56 p.m., 16 minutes after the first warning went out, and traveled for 20 miles, said Keli Pirtle, a spokeswoman for the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla. It was on the ground for 40 minutes, she said. It struck the town of Newcastle and traveled about 10 miles to Moore, a populous suburb of Oklahoma City.
Ms. Pirtle said preliminary data suggested that it was a Category 4 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which measures tornado strength on a scale of 0 to 5. A definitive assessment will not be available until Tuesday, she said.
Moore was the scene of another huge tornado, in May 1999, in which winds reached record speeds of 302 m.p.h., and experts said severe weather was common in the region this time of year.
But the region has rarely had a tornado as big and as powerful as the one on Monday.
Television on Monday showed destruction spread over a vast area, with blocks upon blocks of homes and businesses destroyed. Residents, some partly clothed and apparently caught by surprise, were shown picking through rubble. Several structures were on fire, and cars had been tossed around, flipped over and stacked on top of each other. Kelcy Trowbridge, her husband and their three young children piled into their neighbor’s cellar just outside of Moore and huddled together for about five minutes, wrapped under a blanket as the tornado screamed above them, debris smashing against the cellar door.
They emerged to find their home flattened and the family car resting upside down a few houses away. Ms. Trowbridge’s husband rushed toward what was left of their home and began sifting through the debris, then stopped, and told her to call the police.
He had found the body of a little girl, about 2 or 3 years old, she said.
“He knew she was already gone,” Ms. Trowbridge said. “When the police got there, he just bawled.”
She said: “My neighborhood is gone. It’s flattened. Demolished. The street is gone. The next block over, it’s in pieces.”
Sarah Johnson was forced to rush from her home in Moore to the hospital as the storm raged when her 4-year-old daughter, Shellbie, suffered an asthma attack. With hail raining down, she put a hard hat on her daughter as she raced into the emergency room and hunkered down.
“We knew it was coming — all the nurses were down on the ground so we got down on the ground,” Ms. Johnson said from the Journey Church in nearby Norman, where she had sought shelter.
At the hospital, she said, she shoved her daughter next to a wall and threw a mattress on top of her. After the storm passed, debris and medical equipment were scattered around, she said.
Ms., Johnson said she and her daughter were safe, but she had yet to find her husband.
The storm system continued to churn through the region on Monday afternoon, and forecasters warned that new tornadoes could form.
An earlier storm system spawned several tornadoes across Oklahoma on Sunday. Several deaths were reported.
Russell Schneider, the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, said the risk of tornadoes throughout the region remained high going into Tuesday.
Some parts of Moore emerged seemingly untouched by the tornado. Bea Carruth, who lives about 20 blocks from where the storm struck, said her home and others in her neighborhood appeared to be fine.
Ms. Carruth had ridden out the tornado as she usually does, at her son’s house nearby, the hail pounding away on the cellar where they had taken shelter. Tornadoes have long been a part of life in Moore, she said, and a few times a year, in a well-worn ritual, she goes into her son’s cellar when the sirens go off.
As devastating as the tornado was, the quick thinking of some prevented the death toll from going higher.
When the tornado sirens went off around 2:15, the staff of the AgapeLand Learning Center, a day care facility, hustled some 15 children into two bathrooms, draping them with a protective covering and singing songs with them to keep them calm.
As the wind ripped the roof off one of the bathrooms, and debris rained down on the children, they remained calm, singing “You Are My Sunshine,” the assistant director, Cathy Wilson, said. Though the day care center was almost entirely destroyed, the children were unharmed.
“Not a child had a scratch,” Ms. Wilson said.
Nick Oxford reported from Moore, and Michael Schwirtz from New York. Leslie Metzger and Kathleen Johnson contributed reporting from Norman, Okla., and Dan Frosch from Denver.
by Jim Neidner
Speaker Boehner, said regarding the IRS, he wants to know, “Who’s going to Jail?” Well, it’s about time our elected officials started standing-up and doing the right thing for this Country and for “We the People.” So many lies, so many of t…he Press and so many elected officials are turning their heads the other way and not doing the right thing for this country.
My Dad served liked many of yours and my father-in-law served and was an ACE fighter Pilot (P-51 Mustang) during WW-11 and I am so glad neither is here today to see where our great Country is going. Wow, wonder what President Washington, Jefferson and all of our other forefathers would have to say about where America is heading?
Is it time yet for our government to stop this non-sense, protect the people and this Country? Or, will this country continue down this same old path and one day in the near future we fail? If so, shame on us.
On May 11, 1996, 105 passengers boarded a ValuJet flight in Miami, bound for Atlanta. They never made it.
Shortly after takeoff, a small explosion in the airtight cargo hold developed into a fire, which should have burned out quickly, but didn’t. The 27-year-old plane’s crew of five, and all 105 passengers, were killed as the plane plummeted into the Everglades.
Many chalked this up to the dangers of plane travel and the poor maintenance record of ValuJet, which, as a budget carrier, certainly gave plausible grounds for the argument… but it wasn’t a lack of maintenance that caused this crash; it was maintenance by the wrong maintenance crew.
The plane didn’t crash because of bad upkeep or failed systems or old or broken parts. It crashed because a maintenance worker put a box of Hazardous Materials in the cargo hold, and, apparently out of sheer ignorance, did everything wrong.
The box contained compressed gas canisters, products classified as an oxygen generator. When that fire started in an airtight cargo hold, as the theory goes, the lack of oxygen would cause it to burn itself out right away, but with oxygen generators present, that theory couldn’t work out. The box that apparently caused the fire provided its own fuel, defeating the perfectly reasonable safety precautions put in place by the airplane’s manufacturer and the FAA.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to ship hazardous materials. With small quantities of liquids, for example, they have to be properly capped and sealed, encased in the proper, approved boxes, often with sufficient absorbent material to contain a spill, the outer box sealed tightly. With gases, they need to be in approved canisters, with a proper closure, the closure sealed and protected with an outer guard so that jostling won’t cause it to open up and allow the contents to escape. Unless made of a very thick gauge metal, they generally have to be enclosed in an approved box, durable and well-sealed, again to reduce the odds of unintentional discharge. There are such rules for every conceivable hazardous material.
The SabreTech employees who maintained this plane were told to send this partial box of oxygen generators to Atlanta. What a coincidence, this very plane was headed there. So they set the box in the cargo hold and thought nothing of it. They weren’t transportation people; they were just mechanics, so they had never been properly trained on the regulations governing HazMat shipping. It was truly an accident, but such a terrible one that they and their employers were naturally prosecuted for criminal negligence.
Hazardous Materials Regulations
The United States has long had regulations in place for Hazardous Materials shipping. Found, for the most part, in 49CFR 171 through 178, these regulations split Transportation-hazardous materials and wastes into nine distinct Hazard Classes – explosives, compressed gases, flammable solids and liquids, radioactives, toxins, corrosives, radioactives, and lots more. These regulations then provide a HazMat Table to identify each specific product, and sets of rules on how approved packagings should be made, and which ones can be chosen for each type of product, according to its specific type and level of risk.
Generally speaking – yes, there are exceptions, but relatively few – these products must be identified, then packaged in the approved package for the intended mode of transport (there are different rules for truck, rail, sea and air), and then must be marked, labeled and documented according to specific standards. The truck or sea container must often be of approved type, and must often be placarded with those eye-catching diamond signs (the regs call them “square on point” instead of “diamond”) that tell you from a block away whether the product is a flammable liquid, a compressed gas, a corrosive.
Get closer, and a four digit UN number on the placard may tell you more precisely, sometimes even the exact product inside. You’ve probably seen the number 1203 on the road more often than any other; that’s a tank truck of gasoline ahead of you. Spend enough time in this business, you’ll get to know dozens or more by heart, but you’re trained never to trust your memory. Check the Emergency Response Guide (ERG) to be sure.
The regulations spell out all these rules and more – classification, packaging, quantities limits by mode and packaging, even exceptions and exemptions for limited quantities and lesser risks – and they do so in a manner consistent with the worldwide airfreight HazMat system run by ICAO, and the worldwide seafreight HazMat system run by the IMO. These international organizations have cooperated with member countries for decades, standardizing more and more every few years. Today, these regs are closer than ever to being identical, though they’re still not perfectly harmonized.
The Reasons Behind the Regulations
There are lots of government regulations on safety, and many are downright nuts. The EPA regulates water filters because they trap impurities in your drinking water, so apparently they’d rather see you drink the impurities unfiltered than dispose of them in a landfill with the rest of the garbage. A ban on DDT, resulting from a claim that it was bad for birds, has caused millions to die in Africa from malaria as a result. We’ve all seen OSHA rules that are well-intended and often helpful, but often go too far, pricing American locations out of reach for new manufacturing plants.
But the HazMat regulations are different. These are reactions to a special need – the greater risk that many products cause while in transportation, while traveling the public roads, rails, waterways and air currents. These regulations don’t cover all products, but only the ones that pose a special risk in transportation – due to a greater likelihood that they could cause a spill, an explosion, a crash, a fire. If a shipper deals with such products, he must obey these regulations, not only to protect himself and his own property, but to protect the others who share the roads, the warehouses, the yards and ships through which his product will move.
There are two reasons for Hazardous Materials regulations: First is to reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring, and Second is to provide information for the emergency responders.
Ship the product right, in the right packaging and in the allowed quantities, properly sealed and marked, and the carrier knows to treat it with care, knows where to stow or segregate it, knows to give it the proper handling that it requires, whatever its level of risk.
And then if there is still an incident anyway, the labeling and placards, in conjunction with properly prepared and filed documentation, will enable the emergency responders to use the best method for containing and terminating the danger. Do we use water? Foam? Tarp? Do we shut down a block, or quarantine for a mile? It all depends on what the documents and placards say, so they must be chosen with care, by people who know how.
HazMat Training Requirements
U.S. law requires that all employees involved in the classification, packaging, marking, labeling, booking, documentation, loading, and transporting of hazardous materials must have proper HazMat training, covering at least the products they will encounter in their roles, at least once every three years. Go one day past the three year mark without a refresher, and you have to stop. The three year figure is firm.
The IMO – the corresponding ocean regulations – require the same three year timeframe for theirs. And the IATA regs – governing airfreight – have a tighter two year requirement. Again, go a day past the expiration of your last training, and you can ship all the non-haz cargo you want, but you can’t touch a HazMat order until you get that refresher under your belt.
Americans who ship in all modes therefore need three kinds of training – 49CFR, IMO and IATA – and must schedule regular refreshers. Companies suffering tough times may cut back on many things, from free coffee to travel to bonuses, but this is one area in which they cannot cut corners. Everyone defined as a “HazMat Employee” in 49CFR 171.8 simply must be on this training schedule.
Huge chemical companies may have internal training programs, other manufacturers may customize their own approach for the few HazMat products that their employees will encounter. Most others, however, find it most convenient to send their staffs to regularly scheduled seminars offered by trainers who specialize in this field, such as DGI, RTI, Unz & Co, and JJ Keller. And nobody lacking this training had better help out with a HazMat shipment; the law is firm, and with good reason.
How Do We Know?
Generally speaking, if your firm isn’t a chemical company, you don’t have many experts in such matters… but the law still applies to you. The dangers in the transportation system aren’t the thousands of loads properly shipped by chemical giants like Dow, DuPont, BP and BASF, after all; such giants consider this a core competency and know how to do it. The dangers are from the sales office that ships a paint can wrong, the manufacturer that sends epoxy to a satellite office, the buyer who wants to return an unsatisfactory ingredient to a vendor, the promotions department sending a box of free cigarette lighters bearing the company logo, the facilities department closing up a plant and shipping all the contents to a head office before the new tenant needs the site.
Every company, whether in the chemical business or not, needs an internal policy to check every MSDS of every chemical it uses. It’s the easiest thing in the world: look for the Transportation Information section in the MSDS, and see whether it says “not regulated” or not. If it says “not regulated,” then anyone can ship it legally (still, always be careful, of course!)… and if it says anything else, such as the hazmat text “UN1993, flammable liquids, nos, 3, II”… then it can only be shipped by someone who’s had the training, not by anyone else. Require the MSDS check, and you’ll be well along the way to practicing Safety First, as indeed we all ought.
From ValuJet to the Present
In the years since the infamous crash of ValuJet Flight 592 on May 11, 1996, there has been a massive effort in the business community to improve these processes. Companies better understand their obligations under the law; their staffs are more aware of the risks inherent in Hazardous Materials than ever before.
But still there is a natural assumption that if we deal with it at the office, it must not be anything to worry about. We don’t realize that a pressurized can that’s pretty safe at sea level can become an explosive in a pressurized airplane. We don’t realize that this can of touchup paint, this bottle of industrial solvent, could start a fire if spilled inside a truck… we forget that the vapor of some flammable products is more dangerous than the liquid itself.
So we need to do more, in every business, to educate our staffs – our buyers and salesmen, as well as our transportation and shipping/receiving personnel – to keep our companies safe.
As we work to save the American business community in an ever more hostile environment, we must not let such basic safety fall to the wayside. The United States should be greatest manufacturing center on earth, and it can be again. As we walk that road, let’s walk it safely. If we learn from the tragedy in the Everglades, then at least some silver lining will appear in that dark, dark cloud.
Copyright 2013 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based Customs broker and international trade compliance trainer. His experience with hazardous materials has taught him to respect the many true experts in the field, talented regulators and trainers who help keep our roads safe for the growing commerce of a free and bustling market!
Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included. Follow John F. Di Leo on Facebook or LinkedIn, or on Twitter at @johnfdileo.
Anybody who has Cable TV knows the frustration of having a few hundred channels but nothing to watch. Part of the reason is the bundling done by content providers. So for example, if you want Discovery Channel you are stuck with getting the Oprah network because they it is owned by Discovery communications and the company sells its programming as a group. For parents of Kids if you want Nickelodeon you have to take Logo (the Gay Channel), Other programming companies do the same which is the reason you have ESPN 1, 2,3, 4, Classic, etc. as part of your cable. The problem is while you may only want ESPN 1&2 your cable system pays for all of them and passes on the cost.
The Cable companies do the same thing. A family doesn’t get to pick its favorite 900 channels, but has to purchase tiers. So instead of purchasing just History Channel, National Geo, Discovery, etc. the monthly I receive includes things that are never watched on my family’s sets, a H.S. Sports channel, five different Christian Networks, a medical channel…etc.
John McCain wants to change all that.
The Arizona Senator introduced a new bill, the Television Consumer Freedom Act, that would present incentives to both cable operators and television networks to let consumers choose the channels in their subscription. Right now, all customers pay substantial “carriage fees” for the most popular channels—ESPN is pegged at about $5 per subscriber—whether they want them or not.
The biggest change would come in the way networks sell their channels to cable operators. Right now, media companies like Disney and Viacom sell their channels in bundles, forcing operators to pay for third-tier networks in order to get access to ESPN or Nickelodeon. Cablevision is currently suing Viacom for the practice.
McCain’s bill would force the networks to unbundle their products, theoretically allowing cable operators to be more thoughtful in their channel selection and pass the savings on to consumers. In the past, though, television networks have argued that bundling channels allows niche programming to exist when it would otherwise be economically unfeasible.
The bill “is about giving the consumer more choices when watching television,” McCain said on the Senate floor. “It’s time for us to help shift the landscape to benefit television consumers.”
While the bill requires networks to unbundle their channels, it only encourages cable operators to offer consumers a similar luxury. Cable companies that refuse to offer channels individually would lose out on a special compulsory copyright license which allows them to air content from broadcast networks for a set fee without getting tangled up in individual channel negotiations, as they do with cable networks.
While I may agree with McCain’s objective I do not believe it is government’s place to interfere in the business of cable TV. There is plenty of competition in the programming industry between cable, satellite and now streaming video on the internet so there is no monopoly issue. That’s why ignoble experiments such as Discovery’s Green channel (climate change 24 hours/day) is gone.
Another issue is McCain’s bill forces the programmers to unbundle but not the cable systems, so he is picking winners and losers in the marketplace.
There will be unintended consequences to McCain’s bill that we can only imagine, higher fees for the networks the systems do want leading to higher costs for consumers as the systems will carry only the more popular/expensive networks, less experimentation in programming leading to practically the same thing on every channel are just two. Whenever the government try to regulate an industry costs go up and production goes down.
Don’t get me wrong, I would prefer a cable/satellite marketplace that is unbundled but it is not government’s place to decide what into my cable box (Granted that’s what happens with the network news, but I’m not talking about news bias). As more and more options become available on line, the marketplace will force the programmers and cable networks to change. Today there are other problems, the economy, unemployment, cheap energy, losing our place of leader of the free world and countless others for John McCain to worry about which networks are wired into people’s households.
I haven’t even gotten to the question if government gets into our cable boxes what information will it retrieve from them, or will they eventually require cable systems to carry some networks and not carry others? You say never? Six years ago would you ever believe our government would pass a bill requiring someone to purchase healthcare?
Personal entertainment, whether it is in the movie theaters, internet, or coming out of our cable boxes is personal business. The only people who should be involved are the programmers, cable systems and the families who are paying to bring it into their households. The government has ruined so many industries through regulation, they should not get their grubby little hands on my cable box.
It was a brazen bank heist, but a 21st-century version in which the criminals never wore ski masks, threatened a teller or set foot in a vault.
In two precision operations that involved people in more than two dozen countries acting in close coordination and with surgical precision, thieves stole $45 million from thousands of A.T.M.’s in a matter of hours.
In New York City alone, the thieves responsible for A.T.M. withdrawals struck 2,904 machines over 10 hours starting on Feb. 19, withdrawing $2.4 million.
The operation included sophisticated computer experts operating in the shadowy world of Internet hacking, manipulating financial information with the stroke of a few keys, as well as common street criminals, who used that information to loot the automated teller machines.
The first to be caught was a street crew operating in New York, their pictures captured as, prosecutors said, they traveled the city withdrawing money and stuffing backpacks with cash.
On Thursday, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn unsealed an indictment charging eight men — including their suspected ringleader, who was found dead in the Dominican Republic last month. The indictment and criminal complaints in the case offer a glimpse into what the authorities said was one of the most sophisticated and effective cybercrime attacks ever uncovered.
It was, prosecutors said, one of the largest heists in New York City history, rivaling the 1978 Lufthansa robbery, which inspired the movie “Goodfellas.”
Beyond the sheer amount of money involved, law enforcement officials said, the thefts underscored the vulnerability of financial institutions around the world to clever criminals working to stay a step ahead of the latest technologies designed to thwart them.
“In the place of guns and masks, this cybercrime organization used laptops and the Internet,” said Loretta E. Lynch, the United States attorney in Brooklyn. “Moving as swiftly as data over the Internet, the organization worked its way from the computer systems of international corporations to the streets of New York City, with the defendants fanning out across Manhattan to steal millions of dollars from hundreds of A.T.M.’s in a matter of hours.”
The indictment outlined how the criminals were able to steal data from banks, relay that information to a far-flung network of so-called cashing crews, and then have the stolen money laundered in purchases of luxury items like Rolex watches and expensive cars.
In the first operation, hackers infiltrated the system of an unnamed Indian credit-card processing company that handles Visa and MasterCard prepaid debit cards. Such companies are attractive to cybercriminals because they are considered less secure than financial institutions, computer security experts say.
The hackers, who are not named in the indictment, then raised the withdrawal limits on prepaid MasterCard debit accounts issued by the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah, also known as RakBank, which is in United Arab Emirates.
Once the withdrawal limits have been eliminated, “even a few compromised bank account numbers can result in tremendous financial loss to the victim financial institution,” the indictment states. And by using prepaid cards, the thieves were able to take money without draining the bank accounts of individuals, which might have set off alarms more quickly.
With five account numbers in hand, the hackers distributed the information to individuals in 20 countries who then encoded the information on magnetic-stripe cards. On Dec. 21, the cashing crews made 4,500 A.T.M. transactions worldwide, stealing $5 million, according to the indictment.
While the street crews were taking money out of bank machines, the computer experts were watching the financial transactions from afar, ensuring that they would not be shortchanged on their cut, according to court documents.MasterCard alerted the Secret Service to the activity soon after the transactions were completed, said a law enforcement official, who declined to be identified discussing a continuing investigation.
Robert D. Rodriguez, a special agent with the Secret Service for 22 years and now the chairman of Security Innovation Network, said that in some ways the crime was as old as money itself: bad guys trying to find weaknesses in a system and exploiting that weakness.
“The difference today is that the dynamics of the Internet and cyberspace are so fast that we have a hard time staying ahead of the adversary,” he said. And because these crimes are global, he said, even when the authorities figure out who is behind them they might not be able to arrest them or persuade another law enforcement agency to take action.
After pulling off the December theft, the organization grew more bold, and two months later it struck again — this time nabbing $40 million.
On Feb. 19, cashing crews were in place at A.T.M.’s across Manhattan and in two dozen other countries waiting for word to spring into action.
This time, the hackers had infiltrated a credit-card processing company based in the United States that also handles Visa and MasterCard prepaid debit cards. Prosecutors did not disclose the company’s name.
After securing 12 account numbers for cards issued by the Bank of Muscat in Oman and raising the withdrawal limits, the cashing crews were set in motion. Starting at 3 p.m., the crews made 36,000 transactions and withdrew about $40 million from machines in the various countries in about 10 hours. In New York City, a team of eight people made 2,904 withdrawals, stealing $2.4 million.
Surveillance photos of one suspect at various A.T.M.’s showed the man’s backpack getting heavier and heavier, Ms. Lynch said, comparing the series of thefts to the caper at the center of the movie “Ocean’s Eleven.”
While the New York crew had a productive spree, the crews in Japan seem to have been the most successful, stealing around $10 million, probably because some banks in Japan allow withdrawals of as much as $10,000 from a single bank machine.
“The significance here is they are manipulating the financial system to be able to change these balance limits and withdrawal limits,” said Kim Peretti, a former prosecutor in the computer crime division of the Justice Department who is now a partner in the law firm Alston & Bird. “When you have a scheme like this, where the system can be manipulated to quickly get access to millions of dollars that in some sense did not exist before, it could be a systemic risk to our financial system.”
It was unclear to whom the hacked accounts belonged, and who might ultimately be responsible for the losses.
The indictment suggests a far-reaching operation, but there were few details about the people responsible for conducting the hacking or who might be leading the global operation. Law enforcement agencies in more than a dozen countries are still investigating, according to federal prosecutors. The authorities said the leader of the New York cashing crew was Alberto Lajud-Peña, 23, whose body was found in the Dominican Republic late last month. Seven other people were charged with conspiracy to commit “access device fraud” and money laundering.
The prosecutors said they were all American citizens and were based in Yonkers. The age of one defendant was given as 35; the others were all said to be 22 to 24. Mr. Lajud-Peña fled the United States just as the authorities were starting to make arrests of members of his crew, the law enforcement official said.
On April 27, according to news reports from the Dominican Republic, two hooded gunmen stormed a house where he was playing dominoes and began shooting. A manila envelope containing about $100,000 in cash remained untouched.
Nicole Perlroth, Frances Robles and Mosi Secret contributed reporting.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: May 9, 2013
An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of a former prosecutor in the computer crime division of the Justice Department. She is Kim Peretti, not Paretti.