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December 1, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 789.
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ALJ Dismisses FTC's Patent Ambush Complaint Against Unocal

11/25. An Administrative Law Judge issued his Initial Decision [74 pages in PDF] in the proceeding captioned "In the Matter of Union Oil Company of California". The ALJ dismissed the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) administrative complaint against Union Oil Company of California (Unocal) pursuant to the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, and because the FTC "lacks jurisdiction to decide the fundamental and substantial patent issues raised by the allegations of the Complaint."

The FTC filed its Administrative Complaint on March 4, 2003 alleging that Unocal subverted the California regulatory standard setting proceedings relating to low emissions gasoline standards, in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

The Complaint alleged that "To address California's serious air pollution problems, the California Air Resources Board (``CARB创) initiated rulemaking proceedings in the late 1980s to determine ``cost-effective创 regulations and standards governing the composition of low emissions, reformulated gasoline (``RFG创). Unocal actively participated in the CARB RFG rulemaking proceedings and engaged in a pattern of bad-faith, deceptive conduct, exclusionary in nature, that enabled it to undermine competition and harm consumers. Through a pattern of anticompetitive acts and practices that continues even today, Unocal has illegally monopolized, attempted to monopolize, and otherwise engaged in unfair methods of competition in both the technology market for the production and supply of CARB-compliant ``summer-time创 RFG and the downstream CARB ``summer-time创 RFG product market."

The complaint further alleged that "Although Unocal knew by July 1992 that most of the pending patent claims based on its emissions research had been allowed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Unocal concealed this material information from CARB and other participants in the CARB RFG proceedings. Until Unocal's public announcement of its RFG patent rights on January 31, 1995, Unocal continued to perpetuate the false and misleading impression that it did not possess, or would not enforce, any proprietary interests relating to RFG."

"But for Unocal's fraud, CARB would not have adopted RFG regulations that substantially overlapped with Unocal's concealed patent claims; the terms on which Unocal was later able to enforce its proprietary interests would have been substantially different; or both." Moreover, the Complaint alleged, "Unocal's ``patent ambush创 also has permitted it to undermine competition and harm consumers in the downstream product market for ``summer-time创 reformulated gasoline in California."

Unocal raised the Noerr Pennington doctrine, which provides that parties are not liable for violation of federal antitrust laws for activities intended to influence the government, even if for the purpose of eliminating competition. See, Eastern R.R. Presidents Conference v. Noerr Motor Freight, Inc., 365 U.S. 127 (1961) and United Mine Workers v. Pennington, 381 U.S. 657 (1965).

With respect to Noerr-Pennington, the ALJ held that "Noerr-Pennington immunizes Respondent's efforts to induce CARB to adopt regulations on low emissions, reformulated gasoline" and that "Noerr-Pennington immunity exists even if CARB did not know that it was being asked to enact a regulation that would restrain trade."

In addition, the ALJ held that "The sham petitioning exception does not apply in this case" and that "The Walker Process exception does not apply in this case".

With respect to patent law jurisdiction, the ALJ held that "To determine whether there is any set of facts that, if proven, could support the allegations of conduct directed at Auto/Oil Group and WSPA separate from the alleged violations stemming from Respondent's efforts to get CARB to adopt regulations favorable to Respondent would require an in depth and thorough analysis of what Respondent's ``proprietary interests创 were, which ``proprietary interests创 were and were not included in any patent, what was patented, what was not patented, the scope of Respondent's patents, the scope of any competitor's patents, whether any competitor products or methods exist or could be invented, whether any of the competitor products or methods that could be created or invented infringed, and whether refineries could be reconfigured so as to avoid or minimize infringement of Respondent' s patents."

The ALJ continued that "The scope of Respondent's patents, the scope of any competitor's patents, whether any of the competitor products or methods that could be created or invented infringed, and whether refineries could be reconfigured so as to avoid or minimize infringement of Respondent's patents are issues raised by the allegations of the Complaint and are substantial patent law issues."

The ALJ concluded that "Due process and fairness require that the issues raised in the allegations of the Complaint, entangled in numerous patent issues, be thoroughly and completely examined and resolved" and that "The FTC has no jurisdiction over the allegations in this Complaint in Docket 9305 that depend on the resolution of substantial questions of federal patent law."

This Initial Decision was written by Administrative Law Judge Michael Chappell. This is Docket No. 9305. See also, FTC release of November 26, 2003, and FTC's collection of pleadings in this proceeding.

FCC Releases NOI/NPRM on Interference Temperature Approach

11/28. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its Notice of Inquiry and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOI & NPRM) [31 pages in PDF] in its proceeding titled "In the matter of Establishment of an Interference Temperature Metric to Quantify and Manage Interference and to Expand Available Unlicensed Operation in Certain Fixed, Mobile and Satellite Frequency Bands". This is FCC 03-289 in ET Docket No. 03-237.

The FCC announced, but did not release, this item at its November 13 meeting. See, story titled "FCC Announces NOI/NPRM on Interference Temperature Model" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 779, November 14, 2003.

This item states that the FCC "seeks comment on a new ``interference temperature创 model for quantifying and managing interference. This new concept could shift the current method for assessing interference which is based on transmitter operations, to an approach that is based on the actual radiofrequency (RF) environment, taking into account the interactions between transmitters and receivers. The interference temperature model could represent a fundamental paradigm shift in the Commission's approach to spectrum management by specifying a potentially more accurate measure of interference that takes into account the cumulative effects of all undesired RF energy, i.e., energy that may result in interference from both transmitters and noise sources, that is present at a receiver at any instant of time."

The NOI seeks "comment, information, and research on a number of issues relating to the development and use of the interference temperature metric and for managing a possible transition from the current transmitter-based approach for interference management to the new interference temperature paradigm. In particular, we are posing questions concerning the development of the interference temperature metric, including the determination of interference temperature limits for specific frequency bands, and an assessment of the cumulative noise and interference environment in radiofrequency bands, including standard methodologies for making assessments, to support the selection of those limits. We are also requesting responses on issues concerning the process that would be involved in possible transitioning to the new interference control methods in the various frequency bands."

The NPRM seeks comments on "technical rules that would establish interference temperature limits and procedures for assessing the interference temperature in specific frequency bands used by fixed satellite uplinks and by terrestrial fixed point-to-point links". It also seeks comments on "whether the operating circumstances of these facilities would allow for simple and reliable measurement of the interference temperature at a variety of receive sites under diverse situations and circumstances". It further states that "If we ultimately adopt new technical rules, we seek comment on whether unlicensed devices should be allowed to operate at higher power levels than currently allowed by the rules, so long as they do not cause the interference temperature to exceed the established limits."

Comments will be due 75 days after publication of a notice in the Federal Register. Reply comment will be due 105 days from publication of a notice in the Federal Register. The FCC has not yet published this notice in the Federal Register.

FCC Sets Deadlines for Comments in Digital Plug and Play Proceeding

11/28. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice in the Federal Register that summarizes, and sets deadlines for comments on, its Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding digital plug and play compatibility.

The FCC announced its Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at its September 10, 2003 meeting. See, story titled "FCC Adopts Digital Plug and Play Cable Compatibility Rules" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 737, September 11, 2003. See also, FCC press release [4 pages PDF] and summary [2 pages PDF] of September 10, 2003 describing this item.

The Report and Order (R&O) is based upon the December 19, 2002 Memorandum of Understanding negotiated by consumer electronics and cable companies. The FCC also published a separate notice of this R&O in the Federal Register, November 28, 2003, Vol. 68, Number 229, at Pages 66728 - 66738.

The notice in the Federal Register states that the NPRM seeks public comments "on the mechanisms and standards by which new connectors and associated content protection technologies can be approved for use with unidirectional digital cable products". It further seeks comments on "the potential extension of digital cable system transmission requirements to digital cable systems with an activated channel capacity of 550 MHz or higher; whether it is necessary to require consumer electronics manufacturers to provide pre-sale information to consumers regarding the functionalities of unidirectional digital cable televisions; and whether the Commission should ban or permit the down-resolution of non-broadcast MVPD programming." See, Federal Register, November 28, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 229, at Pages 66776 - 66781.

The deadline to submit comments is January 14, 2004. Reply comments are due February 13, 2004.

On December 19, 2002, 14 consumer electronics companies and seven cable operators announced that they had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding a national plug and play standard between digital television (DTV) products and digital cable systems. See, document [78 pages in PDF] consisting of the MOU, proposed rules to be promulgated by the FCC, and a letter to FCC Chairman Powell. See also, story titled "Cable and Consumer Electronics Companies Announce DTV Agreement" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 572, December 20, 2002.

This proposal required implementation by the FCC. On January 7, 2003, the FCC announced a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) seeking comment on the rules proposed by the MOU. See, story titled "FCC Seeks Comments on Cable TV Plug and Play MOU" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 581, January 13, 2003. See also, notice in the Federal Register, January 16, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 11, at Pages 2278 - 2283. See also, story titled "Comment Period Closes in FCC's Plug and Play Cable Compatibility Rulemaking Proceeding" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 655, May 5, 2003.

This item is FCC 03-225 in CS Docket 97-80 and PP Docket 00-67. For more information, contact Susan Mort at 202 418-1043 or Susan.Mort@fcc.gov.

More News

11/25. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) filed a comment with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its proceeding titled "In the Matter of Amendment of Part 22 of the Commission抯 Rules To Benefit the Consumers of Air-Ground Telecommunications Services Biennial Regulatory Review -- Amendment of Parts 1, 22, and 90 of the Commission's Rules". The NTIA states that the FCC should specify the unwanted emissions to be covered by the term out-of-band emission (OOBE) consistently with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) definition, and ensure that any rules adopted provide appropriate restrictions on all unwanted emissions. The NTIA also states that the FCC "should either maintain the masks or provide a set of out-of-band and spurious domain emission limits that can be applied to all PMS equipment". This is WT Docket No. 03-103.

11/25. November 24 was the deadline to submit comments to the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) regarding the adequacy of its preparation process for the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC). The next WRC is in 2007. See, NTIA's notice in the Federal Register, October 23, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 205, at Pages 60646-60648. The NTIA stated in its web site that it "is currently conducting an overall review of the entire conference preparatory process and how the current process can be improved or modified." The NTIA also published in its web site four comments that it received. See, comments submitted by the United States ITU Association [PDF], Winstar Communications, LLC [PDF], New York Satellite Industries, LLC and Final Analysis Communication Services, Inc., and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

11/25. The Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that they have restructured their jointly administered industry trade advisory committee system. This restructuring includes the creation of a new Industry Trade Advisory Center and 16 new Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACs). The new ITAC 8 is titled "Information and Communications Technologies, Services, and Electronic Commerce". The DOC and USTR have not yet completed the chartering of the new ITACs, appointing of members, or scheduling of meetings. See, DOC release.

11/20. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) Technology Administration's (TA) Office of Technology Policy (OTP) released a report [105 pages in PDF] titled "Partners on a Mission: Federal Laboratory Practices Contributing to Economic Development". The report was prepared for the DOC by Innovation Associates. The principle author was Diane Palmintera.

11/20. Todd Zywicki, Director of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Office of Policy Planning, gave a speech [PDF] titled "Competition Policy and Regulatory Reform: Means and Ends" in Tokyo, Japan.

11/19. Timothy Muris, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), gave a speech [59 pages PDF] titled "How History Informs Practice -- Understanding the Development of Modern U.S. Competition Policy".

11/19. The American Electronics Association (AEA) published a report titled "Cyberstates 2003: A State-By-State Overview of the High-Technology Industry". The report covers high tech employment trends. The AEA sells the report for $190. See, AEA release.

11/18. Makan Delrahim gave a speech titled "Department of Justice Perspectives on International Antitrust Enforcement: Recent Legal Developments and Policy Implications". Delrahim, who is a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, spoke to a legal group in Washington DC.

Notice
The password for all password protected pages in the TLJ web site has been changed to R.
Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Monday, December 1

The House is in adjournment until December 8.

The Senate is in adjournment until December 9.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its Fourth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [49 pages in PDF] in which it proposes to make spectrum available to federal users that will be displaced from the 1710-1850 MHz band to make it available for advanced wireless services. See, notice in the Federal Register September 2, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 169, at Pages 52156 - 52168. See, also stories titled "FCC Releases NPRM Regarding Allocating Spectrum to DOD to Replace Spectrum Allocated for 3G Services" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 694, July 9, 2003, and "FCC Sets Deadlines for Comments Regarding Spectrum Reallocations Relating to 3G Services" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 731, September 3, 2003. This is ET Docket No. 00-258 and WT Docket No. 02-8.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Intergraph v. Intel, No. 03-1153. Location: Courtroom 203, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:30 AM - 3:00 PM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold a forum on Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) issues. Subsequently, it will issue a Notice of Public Rulemaking (NPRM) "to inquire about the migration of voice services to IP-based networks and gather public comment on the appropriate regulatory environment for these services". See, FCC release of November 6, 2003, and agenda released on November 24, 2003.
  • 10:30 AM. Welcome, and speeches by FCC Commissioners.
  11:00 AM. Presentations by FCC staff.
  11:15 AM. Panel presentation on technical and market issues. The speakers will be Kevin Werbach (Supernova Group), Charles Giancarlo (SVP/GM of Cisco Systems), Jeff Pulver (Pulver.com), John Hodulik (UBS), and John Billock (COO of Time Warner Cable).
  12:15 PM. Break.
  1:00 PM. Panel presentation on public policy issues. The speakers will be Michael Gallagher (NTIA), Carl Wood (Commissioner of the California PUC), Charles Davidson (Commissioner of the, Florida PSC), James Crowe (CEO of Level3), Tom Evslin (CEO of ITXC), Jeffrey Citron (CEO of Vonage), and Gregg Vanderheiden (University of Wisconsin).
  2:30 PM. Closing statements.

4:00 PM. The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) will hold a "newsmaker teleconference" regarding the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) forum. To participate, call 800 348-6510. The confirmation is #4245158. For more information, contact Bob Cohen at 703 284-5301 or bcohen@itaa.org.

Tuesday, December 2

9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. The Executive Office of the President's (EOP) Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) will hold a meeting that is open to the public. The PCAST's notice in the Federal Register states that the agenda includes the following: "(1) Discuss and, pending the discussion, approve a draft report from its information technology manufacturing competitiveness subcommittee; (2) discuss the preliminary observations and draft recommendations of its workforce education subcommittee; and (3) continue its discussion of nanotechnology and its review of the federal National Nanotechnology Initiative." The notice states both that the meeting will be on December 2 and December 3. Stan Sokul, Executive Director of the OSTP, states that the meeting is on December 2. For more information, contact Stan Sokul at 202 456-6070 or ssokul@ostp.eop.gov. Location: Monticello Ballroom (lower level), Wyndham Washington Hotel, 1400 M Street, NW.

9:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (PIPS) will host a panel discussion titled "Enabling New Information Technologies in the War on Terrorism -- And Protecting Our Privacy at the Same Time". The scheduled speakers include Robert Popp (DARPA), Dan Gallington (PIPS), Michael Scardaville (Heritage Foundation), Jeff Jonas, and Kim Taipale. To register, contact 703 525-0770 or jgatchalian@potomacinstitute.org. Location: Room 106, Dirksen Building.

10:15 AM. The Markle Foundation's Task Force on National Security in the Information Age will hold a press briefing on its report titled "Creating a Trusted Information Network for Homeland Security". From 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM there will be a panel discussion. Lunch will be served. RSVP to: rsvp@neted.org or 202 638-4370. For more information, contact Todd McGovern at tmcgovern@markle.org or 212 713-7633. Location: Russell Caucus Room (SR-325), Russell Building.

4:00 PM. Deadline for the U.S. Telecom Association's (USTA) and CenturyTel to file with the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) their reply to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) response to their emergency motion for stay of the FCC's number portability rules.

5:00 PM. There will be a press tour (5:00 PM) and a ribbon cutting ceremony (6:00 PM) to open the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) new consolidated headquarters facility in Alexandria, Virginia. Commerce Deputy Secretary Sam Bodman, USPTO Under Secretary Jim Rogan, Sen. John Warner (R-VA), and Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) will speak. See, USPTO notice. For more information, contact Ruth Nyblod at 703 305-8341 or
ruth.nyblod@uspto.gov. Location: 400 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA.

Deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to SBC Communications' petition requesting that the FCC forbear from applying the terms of 47 U.S.C. 271(c)(2)(B) to the extent, if any, those provisions impose unbundling obligations on SBC that this FCC has determined should not be imposed on incumbent local exchange carriers pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 251. See, FCC notice [PDF]. This is WC Docket No. 03-235.

Deadline to register for the symposium to be hosted on December 10-11 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) titled "Building Trust and Confidence in Voting Systems". The topics to be addressed include computer security. See, notice and symposium web site.

Wednesday, December 3

9:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host a panel discussion titled "Should Regulators Set Rates to Terminate Calls on Mobile Networks?" The speakers will be Robert Crandall (Brookings), Greg Sidak (AEI) and Richard Feasey (Vodafone). See, notice. Location: AEI, 12th Floor, 1150 17th Street, NW.

1:00 PM. Day one of a three day conference hosted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) titled "Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology". Technology Administration (TA) Under Secretary Phil Bond and Director of White House Office of Science and Technology Policy John Marburger will make opening remarks at 1:00 PM. For more information, contact Cate Alexander at 703 292-4399 or calexand@nnco.nano.gov. See, notice. Location: NSF, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA.

Thursday, December 4

Day one of a two day event titled "21st Annual Institute on Telecommunications Policy & Regulation". See, notice. The price to attend is $1,295.00. Location: International Trade Center, Washington DC.

Day two of a three day conference hosted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) titled "Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology". For more information, contact Cate Alexander at 703 292-4399 or calexand@nnco.nano.gov. See, notice. Location: NSF, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA.

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM. The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) will meet. See, notice in the Federal Register, November 7, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 216, at Pages 63192 - 63193. Location: Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Pentagon City, Diplomat Meeting Room, 1250 South Hayes Street, Arlington, VA.

9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in Vernal Ent Inc v. FCC, No. 02-1297. Judges Sentelle, Tatel and Roberts will preside. Location: 333 Constitution Ave. NW.

The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host its annual Chairman's Dinner. Location: The Washington Hilton Hotel.

Deadline to register to attend the December 9-10 meeting of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology. Contact Carolyn Peters at 301 975-5607 carolyn.peters@nist.gov. See, notice in the Federal Register,  November 25, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 227, at Pages 66074 - 66075.

Friday, December 5

Day two of a two day event titled "21st Annual Institute on Telecommunications Policy & Regulation". See, notice. The price to attend is $1,295.00. Location: International Trade Center, Washington DC.

Day three of a three day conference hosted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) titled "Societal Implications of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology". For more information, contact Cate Alexander at 703 292-4399 or calexand@nnco.nano.gov. See, notice. Location: NSF, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA.

9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in KERM Inc v. FCC, No. 03-1028. Judges Sentelle, Tatel and Roberts will preside. Location: 333 Constitution Ave. NW.

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Network Reliability and Interoperability Council (NRIC) will hold a meeting. See, FCC notice. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, SW.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a panel discussion titled "Taxes and Regulation: The Effects of Mandates on Wireless Consumers". The speakers will include Anne Boyle (Commissioner of the Nebraska Public Service Commission), Thomas Lenard (PFF), John Muleta (Chief of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau), and Paul Rubin (Emory University). Lunch will be served. To register, contact Andrea Knutsen at 202 289-8928 or aknutsen@pff.org. See, notice. Location: Room 1539, Longworth Building.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [198 pages in PDF] in it proceeding titled "In the Matter of Promoting Efficient Use of Spectrum Through Elimination of Barriers to the Development of Secondary Markets". The FCC adopted this item on May 15, 2003, but did not release it until October 7, 2003. This is FCC 03-113 in WT Docket No. 00-230. See, TLJ story titled "FCC Adopts Order Allowing Some Secondary Leasing of Spectrum", May 15, 2003, and story titled "FCC Finally Releases R&O and FNPRM in Secondary Spectrum Markets Proceeding" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 755, October 8, 2003.

People and Appointments

11/28. Robert Carroll was named Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis. He will replace Andrew Lyon. See, Treasury release.

11/26. Elizabeth Jacobs was named Deputy Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Office of International Affairs. She has worked at the SEC since 1984. See, SEC release.

Tech Crime Report

11/25. A grand jury of the U.S. District Court (NDCal) returned an indictment against Charles T. Booher alleging eight counts of violation of 18 U.S.C. 875(c) in connection with alleged threats made by e-mail and telephone. The Indictment [7 pages in PDF] states that Booher repeatedly e-mailed a Canadian company demanding that he be taken off of their e-mail spam list. For example, the indictment alleges that he wrote that "I am going to locate you, disable you using either a quick 22 calibre to your lower spine and then duck tape and plastic shrink raps [sic]. Then I am going to kidnap you and take you to my secret hiding place. There I will castrate you ... using crude gardening tools, I will use a lightweight torch to cauterize your wounds and you will be awake and conscious during the entire procedure. Then I am going to prepare your genitals into some kind of meat loaf dish ..." This message continued. The Indictment quotes from other e-mails, that it alleges that he sent, referring to ice picks, shotguns, radioactive materials, biohazards, and a movie titled "Hannibal II". The indictment does not allege that he took any affirmative steps towards carrying out any of these threats. This case is U.S.A. v. Charles T. Booher, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, at San Jose, D.C. No. CR No. 03-20170. See also, USAO release.

11/18. Ryan McCarty pled guilty in U.S. District Court (DNJ) to one count of mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341, and one count of theft of mail in violation of 18 U.S.C. Ё 1708 & 1702. See, DOJ release. The first count of the Information states that McCarty "devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud eBay purchasers of music concert tickets and sporting event tickets and to obtain money and property of these individuals by means of material false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises ..."

11/25. Eric John Norton pled guilty in U.S. District Court (EDCal) to one count of wire fraud, one count of falsely pretending to be an officer or employee of the United States, and using that false status to obtain property. Norton falsely represented that he worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee, and other Senate committees, and thereby purchased airline tickets at reduced rates, which he then resold at higher rates. See, USAO release [PDF].

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