November 2022


A person suspected of killing three people in a southern California home before setting the place on fire was shot dead by sheriff’s deputies hours after the “demonic” crime.

Riverside police were responding to a welfare check regarding a man and woman involved in a disturbance near a car in the El Sobrante neighborhood at 11 a.m. Friday.

Shortly after, dispatchers were altered to smoke and a possible fire at a two-story home in the same location.

Officials found three bodies inside, but don’t believe they died from smoke or the blaze. The man and woman mentioned in the welfare check were gone.

Shortly before officials arrived, two individuals wearing trench coats and face coverings had gotten out of a red car in front of the house and were involved in a disturbance, neighbors told police.

Riverdale police were alerted to a house fire where three bodies were found inside.
Riverdale police were alerted to a house fire where three bodies were found inside.

“Certainly, someone went in there with a meaning of force,” Myron Dinga, a neighbor, told KTTV-TV. “When two people get out of a vehicle with trench coats on and headgear on concealing their faces, that is a very demonic sign.”

The suspect linked to the triple homicide was killed by deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in Needles, California, said department spokeswoman Gloria Huerta.

The woman involved in the earlier disturbance was later found in San Bernardino County and was “safe” with law enforcement, ABC reported.

Police say the victims were killed prior to the house being set on fire.
Police say the victims were killed prior to the house being set on fire.
(Will Lester/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG via AP)

Officers are confident the three victims were murdered, but have not disclosed the manner in which they were killed.

“This is horrific,” Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback told reporters Friday. “It’s the day after Thanksgiving. We don’t know exactly what happened here but we have three people that are deceased.”

With Post wires

Source link

Venezuela’s government and its opposition on Saturday agreed to create a U.N.-managed fund to finance health, food and education programs for the poor, while the Biden administration eased some oil sanctions on the country in an effort to boost the newly restarted talks between the sides.

The agreement signed in Mexico City by representatives of President Nicolás Maduro and the opposition, including the faction backed by the United States and led by Juan Guaidó, marked the resumption of long-stalled negotiations meant to find a common path out of the South American country’s complex crisis.

The U.S. government, in response, agreed to allow oil giant Chevron to pump Venezuelan oil.

The broad terms of the agreement for the United Nations-managed social fund were announced by the head of a group of Norwegian diplomats guiding the negotiations.

Venezuelan resources held in the international financial system will be directed to the fund, though neither side in the talks nor Norway’s chief facilitator, Dag Nylander, said whether the U.S. or European governments have agreed to allow frozen assets to be funneled to the new mechanism.

Venezuela talks
Venezuela agreed to create a UN-managed fund for education and food programs for the poor.

“In line with UN norms and procedures, (the fund’s) objective would be to support the implementation of social protection measures for the Venezuelan people,” Nylander said. “The parties have identified a set of resources belonging to the Venezuelan state frozen in the international financial system to which it is possible to progressively access, understanding the need to obtain the authorizations and approvals” from foreign institutions and organizations.

A U.N. report published earlier this year estimated humanitarian needs at $795 million to help about 5.2 million people in Venezuela through health, education, water and sanitation, food and other projects.

Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. ramped up economic sanctions against Venezuela and granted Guaidó authority to take control of bank accounts that Maduro’s government has in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or any other U.S.-insured banks.

Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s interim president in January 2019, arguing that his capacity as then-president of the country’s National Assembly allowed him to form a transitional government because Maduro had been re-elected in a sham vote in late 2018. Dozens of countries, including the U.S., Canada and Colombia, recognized him as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

European banks also hold Venezuelan frozen assets.

About 7 million people have left Venezuela amid a complex political and humanitarian crisis. Three-quarters of those who remain in the country live on less than $1.90 a day, an international measure for extreme poverty.

About $3 billion is expected to be progressively directed to the fund.

The dialogue formally began in September 2021, but Maduro’s delegates walked away from negotiations in October 2021 after businessman Alex Saab was extradited on money laundering charges from Cape Verde to the U.S. Maduro conditioned a resumption on the release of Saab.

The Treasury Department on Saturday announced its decision to allow California-based Chevron to resume “limited” energy production in Venezuela after years of sanctions that have dramatically curtailed oil and gas profits that have flowed to Maduro’s government.

The decision by the Biden administration is the latest step in the softening of hostile relations between the U.S. and Venezuelan governments. It came weeks after a major prisoner swap in which Venezuela freed seven imprisoned Americans in exchange for the U.S. freeing two nephews of Maduro’s wife. Maduro released two other Americans in March.

The US will allow Chevron to pump oil.
Getty Images

Under the new policy, profits from the sale of energy would be directed to paying down debt owed to Chevron, rather than providing profits to Venezuela’s state-run oil company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., commonly known as PDVSA.

Treasury’s move “brings added transparency to the Venezuelan oil sector,” Chevron said in a statement. The company added that the decision “means Chevron can now commercialize the oil that is currently being produced from the company’s Joint Venture assets. We are determined to remain a constructive presence in the country and to continue supporting social investment programs aimed at providing humanitarian relief.”

A senior U.S. administration official, briefing reporters about the U.S. action under the condition of anonymity, said that easing the sanctions was not connected to the administration’s efforts to boost global energy production in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that the decision was not expected to impact global energy prices.

The agreement over the social fund is part of a broad agenda that is expected to advance in December, including the conditions for the presidential elections that are supposed to take place in 2024, the release of political prisoners and the withdrawal of decisions that bar many politicians from running for office.

The fund is a tangible result from a process that many see with skepticism after negotiations mediated by the international community in previous years failed to bring the sides to an agreement.

David Smilde, senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America and professor at Tulane University, said that after the long break in negotiations, “it is up to the two sides to show the exhausted Venezuelan population that they can actually address their needs and return the country to a functioning democracy.”

“However, this should be seen not as the end point of the negotiations but as a restart,” Smilde said. “The more important issues of justice and democracy are on the agenda for future meetings. Making progress will be difficult, but both sides have much to gain by rising to the occasion.”

Source link

Shocking video captured what a motorcyclist at a traffic light in Malibu saw seconds before a massive pick-up truck flew into him.

The terrifying video appears to show the vantage point of the biker involved in a Nov. 14 three-vehicle collision that left the driver of a stolen car dead, as reported by Los Angeles County police.

In the video, the unidentified motorcyclist can be seen calmly waiting to make a left turn off the busy Pacific Coast Highway onto Kanan Dume Road.

Despite several cars traveling along the busy highway, a black SUV zips off Kanan Dune Road in an attempt to cross in between the passing cars, but clips the back of a large gray pickup truck.

moments before the crash.
The motorcyclist had no time to react as the pickup truck came crashing forward.
Downtown LA Scanner @DowntownLAS

In a flash, the spinning truck is sent flying directly onto the motorcyclist as a ladder and other materials are tossed out of the bed.

Miraculously, the motorcyclist survived the harrowing ordeal and was taken to the hospital, The Malibu Times reported, though his condition wasn’t clear. The conditions of the truck driver are also still unknown.

The driver of the speeding SUV, which was determined to have been stolen about an hour before the crash, died shortly after the accident.

The unnamed driver struck about half-a-dozen warning markers in the center median after coming down an incline at high speed, a sheriff’s spokesperson told ABC 7.

The pickup truck drivers condition is still unknown and he has yet to be named by officials.
The pickup truck drivers condition is still unknown and he has yet to be named by officials.

Pickup truck coming towards the bike.
The motorcyclist luckily survived the crash.

Moment truck hits the bike.
The driver of the SUV that slammed into the pickup truck died following the horrific crash.

After striking the truck, the SUV slammed into a 30-foot-high embankment and landed upside down.

Bystanders tried to rescue the driver from the mangled car, but it caught fire and exploded before the driver could escape, reports said. The driver was airlifted to the hospital, but later died.

Source link

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country intends to have the world’s most powerful nuclear force as he promoted dozens of military officers involved in the recent launch of a new ballistic missile, state media reported on Sunday.

The announcement comes after Kim inspected a Nov. 18 test of the Hwasong-17, North Korea’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and pledged to counter what he called U.S. nuclear threats.

North Korea’s “ultimate goal is to possess the world’s most powerful strategic force, the absolute force unprecedented in the century,” Kim said in the order promoting the officers, adding that building up the country’s nuclear capabilities would reliably protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and the people.

He described the Hwasong-17 as the “world’s strongest strategic weapon” and said it demonstrated North Korea’s resolve and ability to eventually build the world’s strongest army.

An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is launched in this undated photo released on Nov. 19, 2022.
An intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is launched in this undated photo released on Nov. 19, 2022.

North Korean scientists have made a “wonderful leap forward in the development of the technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles,” and were expected to expand and strengthen the country’s nuclear deterrent capabilities at an extraordinarily rapid pace, Kim was also quoted as saying.

Kim was pictured in photos posing with scientists, engineers and military officials involved in the test.

According to state media, those workers pledged to defend the “absolute authority” of the party and Kim, and vowed that “our missiles will fly vigorously only in the direction indicated” by Kim.

Kim Jong Un watches the launch of the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile.

Kim Jong Un with his daughter in front of the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile.
Kim Jong Un with his daughter in front of the Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile.

Capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, the launch of the Hwasong-17 prompted the United States to call for a United Nations Security Council presidential statement to hold North Korea accountable for its missile tests, which are banned by Security Council resolutions.

State media also showed Kim Jong Un’s daughter accompanying him as he reviewed the officers. Her unexpected first appearance at the Hwasong-17 test has raised the prospect that leadership of the totalitarian state could pass to a fourth generation of Kims.

North Korea’s powerful Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly awarded the Hwasong-17 missile the title of “DPRK Hero and Gold Star Medal and Order of National Flag 1st Class”, state news agency KCNA reported in another statement, using the initials of the country’s official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“(The missile) clearly proved before the world that the DPRK is a full-fledged nuclear power capable of standing against the nuclear supremacy of the U.S. imperialists and fully demonstrated its might as the most powerful ICBM state,” KCNA said.

Source link

Charles Ble Goude, a former militia leader who was acquitted of crimes against humanity related to his role in Ivory Coast’s civil war, returned from exile on Saturday as politicians sought to reconcile after years of instability and conflict.

Hundreds of supporters wearing clothes printed with Ble Goude’s image sang and danced in the Yopougon suburb of Abidjan to welcome him home after eight years.

The return of Ble Goude following his acquittal by the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2019 is part of a wider rapprochement between political factions in Ivory Coast, that President Alassane Ouattara hopes will reduce political tension ahead of elections in 2025.

“I dreamed of this moment from my prison cell,” Ble Goude told the crowd that stood in the pouring rain. “You will accompany me in this peace process that our country needs.”

People cheer next to a banner reading in French "together for a lasting peace" as Ivorian politician Charles Ble Goude returns after 11 years in exile.
People cheer next to a banner reading in French, “together for a lasting peace,” as Ivorian politician Ble Goude returns after years in exile.
AFP via Getty Images

Much of Ivory Coast’s tension stems from a brief civil war following a 2010 election, after which former president Laurent Gbagbo failed to accept defeat to Ouattara. Tensions have been simmering since and at least 20 people died in clashes when Ouattara decided to run again in 2020 elections.

Gbagbo, who was ousted during the civil war and was also acquitted of war crimes in The Hague, returned home last year after a decade in exile.

Ble Goude, who headed the notorious Young Patriots street militia during Gbagbo’s presidency, was accused of inciting attacks on civilians and United Nations soldiers.

He was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison by a court in Abidjan in 2019 for his role in the civil war. Ble Goude told Radio France International last week that he expects those charges to be dropped once he returns.

Source link

“Here’s Joey!”

Social media users roasted Joe Biden over “creepy” selfies with kids where the president is seen lurking in the background of children’s selfies with his face up against a window.

Biden gave kids sitting in the Lemon Press Juice Shop on Nantucket an up-close and personal look when he approached the store window and smiled for some photos, a social media post from the Nantucket Current shows.

The president, who is on Nantucket with his family for Thanksgiving, was shopping along the strip for Small Business Saturday when he stopped to meet his little fans.

“There’s Joe! Oh my God, hi!” one of the children can be heard screaming as the president gingerly walks down Main Street sipping his drink through a straw.

Biden stops dead in his tracks upon hearing their excited cries and instantly walks toward the window and waves.

Biden does a semi-squat at the window and bows his head to take his sunglasses off before slowly lifting it toward the kids, exposing his pearly whites.

Biden takes a selfie with kids.
President Biden paused his Small Business Saturday shopping to meet with some little fans.

Some social media users lambasted the close encounter with the president as “creepy.”

‘This is not normal. Stop trying to normalize this. If it was any other old man, you would all be freaking out, too,” one Instagram user wrote.

“They used to call that a peeping Tom in my day!” wrote another.

DC Patriot journalist Mindy Robinson said, “It’s like a horror movie, someone save the kids.”

Biden takes a selfie with kids.
Many social media users made fun of the president for his alleged tendency to smell women’s hair.

Others found the interaction to be cute and heartwarming.

Love this! All of this,” a Twitter user said. “This is called leadership. The babies are so excited, cute, and happy.”

“Awwwww so thrilling to see kids excited about the president!” another wrote.

“The President who stops just to give some kids a smile that is what is Real President does. Thank you President Joe,” said another.

Source link

Donald Trump called rapper Kanye West “a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black” after the ex-president was roasted for a meeting this week with the embattled hip-hop star and a white nationalist.

The 76-year-old Trump dined with West and white nationalist Nick Fuentes – both of whom are under fire for anti-Jewish remarks – at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Tuesday.

Trump had previously confirmed the meeting in a statement to The Post but said Fuentes tagged along without the former president knowing who he was. Fuentes had said “the math doesn’t seem to add up” on Jewish deaths in the Holocaust, but later denied he was a Holocaust denier.

Trump unleashed a rant on Truth Social on Saturday.

“So I help a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black Ye (Kanye West), who had been decimated in his business and virtually everything else, and who had always been good to me, by allowing his request for a meeting at Mar-a-Lago, alone, so that I can give him very much needed ‘advice,’” Trump said.

Kanye West had three guests join him at Mar-a-Lago for a dinner with Trump.
Kanye West had three guests join him at Mar-a-Lago for a dinner with Trump.
Trump was not aware of who Nick Fuentes was or that the white nationalist was going to be at the dinner.
Trump was not aware of who Nick Fuentes was or that the white nationalist was going to be at the dinner.

West, 45 – who now goes by “Ye” – showed up with three people, two of whom Trump didn’t know, the former president went on. He also said he told West, who has said he’s running for president in 2024, “don’t run for office, a total waste of time, can’t win. Fake News went CRAZY!”

Despite Trump’s comments, West had said in a social media video that he former president was “really impressed” with Fuentes. West had claimed he asked Trump to be the rapper’s vice presidential runningmate in 2024.

Trump, who has already announced his intentions to run for president in 2024, allegedly turned down the offer and insulted West’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian. West, 45, has been facing backlash and the loss of business deals after a social media rant where he said he wanted to go “death con 3” on Jewish people.

West had asked Trump to be his running mate in 2024.
West had asked Trump to be his running mate in 2024.

The former president apparently turned down the offer and called West a "troubled man."
The former president apparently turned down the offer and called West a “troubled man.”

Trump and West had met several times before and during Trump's presidency.
Trump and West had met several times before and during Trump’s presidency.

A source close to Trump previously told The Post that Trump himself arranged the dinner with West, who showed up with the unplanned guests.

“The question is who added their names to the guest list,” the source said. “You can’t just walk in [to Mar-a-Lago]. Someone added their names.”

Source link

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Protests against China’s restrictive COVID-19 measures appeared to roil in a number of cities Saturday night, in displays of public defiance fanned by anger over a deadly fire in the western Xinjiang region.

Many protests could not be immediately confirmed, but in Shanghai, police used pepper spray to stop around 300 protesters who had gathered at Middle Urumqi Road at midnight, bringing flowers, candles and signs reading “Urumqi, November 24, those who died rest in peace” to memorialize the 10 deaths caused by a fire in an apartment building in Xinjiang’s capital city Urumqi.

A protester who gave only his family name, Zhao, said one of his friends was beaten by police and two friends were pepper sprayed. He said police stomped his feet as he tried to stop them from taking his friend away. He lost his shoes in the process, and left the protest barefoot.

Zhao says protesters yelled slogans including “Xi Jinping, step down, Communist Party, step down,” “Unlock Xinjiang, unlock China,” “do not want PCR (tests), want freedom” and “press freedom.”

Protestors gathered at Middle Urumqi Road at midnight.
In Shanghai, police used pepper spray to stop around 300 protesters.

Around 100 police stood line by line, preventing some protesters from gathering or leaving, and buses carrying more police arrived later, Zhao said.

Another protester, who gave only his family name of Xu, said there was a larger crowd of thousands of demonstrators, but that police stood in the road and let protesters pass on the sidewalk.

Posts about the protest were deleted immediately on China’s social media, as China’s Communist Party commonly does to suppress criticism.

Earlier Saturday, authorities in the Xinjiang region opened up some neighborhoods in Urumqi after residents held extraordinary late-night demonstrations against the city’s draconian “zero-COVID” lockdown that had lasted more than three months. Many alleged that obstacles caused by anti-virus measures made the fire worse. It took emergency workers three hours to extinguish the blaze, but officials denied the allegations, saying there were no barricades in the building and that residents were permitted to leave.

Most of the protesters visible in the videos were Han Chinese.
The protest stemmed from a fire in an apartment building in Xinjiang’s capital city Urumqi killed 10.
Video Obtained via REUTERS

During Xinjiang’s lockdown, some residents elsewhere in the city have had their doors chained physically shut, including one who spoke to The Associated Press who declined to be named for fear of retribution. Many in Urumqi believe such brute-force tactics may have prevented residents from escaping in Thursday’s fire and that the official death toll was an undercount.

Anger boiled over after Urumqi city officials held a press conference about the fire in which they appeared to shift responsibility for the deaths onto the apartment tower’s residents.

“Some residents’ ability to rescue themselves was too weak,” said Li Wensheng, head of Urumqi’s fire department.

Police clamped down on dissenting voices, announcing the arrest of a 24-year-old woman for spreading “untrue information” about the death toll online.

Late Friday, people in Urumqi marched largely peacefully in big puffy winter jackets in the cold winter night.

Videos of protests featured people holding the Chinese flag and shouting “Open up, open up.” They spread rapidly on Chinese social media despite heavy censorship. In some scenes, people shouted and pushed against rows of men in the white whole-body hazmat suits that local government workers and pandemic-prevention volunteers wear, according to the videos.

By Saturday, most had been deleted by censors. The Associated Press could not independently verify all the videos, but two Urumqi residents who declined to be named out of fear of retribution said large-scale protests occurred Friday night. One of them said he had friends who participated.

The AP pinpointed the locations of two of the videos of the protests in different parts of Urumqi. In one video, police in face masks and hospital gowns faced off against shouting protesters. In another, one protester is speaking to a crowd about their demands. It is unclear how widespread the protests were.

The protests are the latest signs of building frustration with China’s intense approach to controlling COVID-19.
Protestors said that they were beaten and pepper sprayed.
Video Obtained via REUTERS

The demonstrations, as well as public anger online, are the latest signs of building frustration with China’s intense approach to controlling COVID-19. It’s the only major country in the world that still is fighting the pandemic through mass testing and lockdowns.

Given China’s vast security apparatus, protests are risky anywhere in the country, but they are extraordinary in Xinjiang, which for years has been the target of a brutal security crackdown. A huge number of Uyghurs and other largely Muslim minorities have been swept into a vast network of camps and prisons, instilling fear that grips the region to this day.

Most of the protesters visible in the videos were Han Chinese. A Uyghur woman living in Urumqi said it was because Uyghurs were too scared to take to the streets despite their rage.

“Han Chinese people know they will not be punished if they speak against the lockdown,” she said, declining to be named for fear of retaliation against her family. “Uyghurs are different. If we dare say such things, we will be taken to prison or to the camps.”

In one video, which the AP could not independently verify, Urumqi’s top official, Yang Fasen, told angry protesters he would open up low-risk areas of the city the following morning.

That promise was realized the next day, as Urumqi authorities announced that residents of low risk areas would be allowed to move freely within their neighborhoods. Still, many other neighborhoods remain under lockdown.

Officials also triumphantly declared Saturday that they had basically achieved “societal zero-COVID,” meaning that there was no more community spread and that new infections were being detected only in people already under health monitoring, such as those in a centralized quarantine facility.

Social media users greeted the news with disbelief and sarcasm. “Only China can achieve this speed,” wrote one user on Weibo.

On Chinese social media, where trending topics are manipulated by censors, the “zero-COVID” announcement was the No. 1 trending hashtag on both Weibo, a Twitter-like platform, and Douyin, the Chinese edition of TikTok. The apartment fire and protests became a lightning rod for public anger, as millions shared posts questioning China’s pandemic controls or mocking the country’s stiff propaganda and harsh censorship controls.

The explosion of criticism marks a sharp turn in public opinion. Early on in the pandemic, China’s approach to controlling COVID-19 was hailed by its own citizens as minimizing deaths at a time when other countries were suffering devastating waves of infections. China’s leader Xi Jinping had held up the approach as an example of the superiority of the Chinese system in comparison to the West and especially the US, which had politicized the use of face masks and had difficulties enacting widespread lockdowns.

But support for “zero-COVID” has cratered in recent months, as tragedies sparked public anger. Last week, the Zhengzhou city government in the central province of Henan apologized for the death of a 4-month old baby. She died after a delay in receiving medical attention while suffering vomiting and diarrhea in quarantine at a hotel in Zhengzhou.

The government has doubled down its policy even as it loosens some measures, such as shortening quarantine times. The central government has repeatedly said it will stick to “zero COVID.”

Many in Xinjiang have been locked down since August. Most have not been allowed to leave their homes, and some have reported dire conditions, including spotty food deliveries that have caused residents to go hungry. On Friday, the city reported 220 new cases, the vast majority of which were asymptomatic.

The Uyghur woman in Urumqi said she had been trapped in her apartment since Aug. 8, and was not even allowed to open her window. On Friday, residents in her neighborhood defied the order, opening their windows and shouting in protest. She joined in.

“No more lockdowns! No more lockdowns!” they screamed.

Source link

Two 16-year-old boys were stabbed to death in Greenwich, Englan, just one mile from one another Saturday night, the latest in a violent rash sweeping through the city.

The unnamed teenagers were found injured with stab wounds in Abbey Wood and Thamesmead just past 5:00 p.m., London’s Metropolitan Police said.

The boys died later that night, cops said.

“Given the proximity in time and distance of the incidents, officers will be seeking to urgently establish any link between them,” the Met said.

At least four others were stabbed across the city in November, with two succumbing to their injuries.

Keisha Christodoulou, 32, was stabbed to death inside ar Tanner’s Hill home on the first day of the month. Police believe 33-year-old Leon Murray killed her and that the two had known one another before the stabbing.

Three teenagers were arrested for the fatal stabbing of Gabriel Petrov Stoyanov, 21, on Bromley Road Nov. 4. George David, 16, went on the lam, but was arrested several weeks later along with two unnamed 14- and 17-year-old boys.

Police investigate the scene of the crime.
The boys are the latest in a string of unrelated stabbings to sweep the city.

Police investigate the scene of the crime.
Two others have died from stabbings this month.

Two men were charged after a man in his 40s was stabbed in Queen’s Road, Twickenham on Nov. 18. The victim was taken to the hospital and his condition was assessed as not life-threatening.

The next day, a man in his 20s was stabbed in the leg at the junction of Lion Road and Bexleyheath Broadway in Bexleyheath. Two men, aged 24 and 25, were arrested in connection to the crime.

Source link

A Texas man who funded his lavish lifestyle of fancy cars, gourmet meals and yacht rides by scamming $1.5 million from unsuspecting victims claims he has socialite scammer Anna Delvey and famed ex-forger Frank Abagnale Jr. beat.

“My story might be more wild than theirs. I can almost guarantee it!” J. Nicholas Bryant told The Daily Beast.

Bryant, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges, sometimes pretended to be an oil tycoon to scam more than 50 people in 2020 and 2021. He was responding from a jail cell to comments made by Northern Texas US Attorney Chad E. Meachum, comparing him to both notorious swindlers.

“Without the interference of our law enforcement partners, this defendant would be well on his way to becoming Lubbock’s Anna Delvey or Frank Abagnale,” said Meacham in a statement following Bryant’s Nov. 9 plea.

Bryant told The Daily Beast that while he thought it was “crazy they are comparing me to both” Sorokin and Abagnale — he believes he’s a better con artist than them.

Abagnale forged checks and assumed different professional identities.
The movie “Catch me if You Can” was based on Frank Abagnale Jr.’s exploits.
Aubrey Reuben

Sorokin, whose exploits as a fake German heiress named Anna Delvey spawned the Netflix show “Inventing Anna,” ripped the comparison, saying “it’s bad faith and poor judgment for a prosecutor to use my name to try and make their own cases.”

“It shows that justice isn’t always judicial,” she added.

A spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas declined comment.

J. Nicholas Bryant
Bryant pleaded guilty to wire fraud and scammed more than 50 people.

Abagnale, whose exploits were chronicled in the 2002 hit film “Catch Me If You Can,” could not be reached for comment.

Bryant, who faces 20 years in jail, defrauded unsuspecting victims by booking luxury goods and services and then manipulating online payment platforms like QuickBooks and Veem to make it appear the payments were coming, according to prosecutors.

He used his cash windfall to bankroll a high life that included at least 17 private jet flights, high-end hotels visits, pricey steak dinners, yacht trips and the purchase of five luxury cars worth $500,000, the feds said.

Delvey inspired the Netflix "Inventing Anna."
Delvey posed as a wealthy heiress to access the upper echelons of New York.
Kevin C. Downs for The New York Post

Bryant also conned a developer to start building a home with a pool and workshop worth $980,000 — but never paid.

“I took private jets and stayed at the most expensive Airbnbs and hotels. Went deep sea fishing and toured everything that was possible,” said Bryant to The Daily Beast, alleging he has a lot of remorse over his actions. “I bought and drove five different high-end cars.”

“By far my most favorite trip was to [Turks] and Caicos. I spent two weeks on the island from fishing to sailing yachts. I stayed in a $30,000-a-night house. It was amazing.”

Source link