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Arthur “The Brain” Rachel grimaced, turned to one of his attorneys and shook his head slightly after Judge Harry Leinenweber found him guilty in the bench trial on three of four counts, including racketeering for his involvement in several planned robberies.

Co-defendants Joseph Scalise, 74, and Robert Pullia, 70, pleaded guilty last week. Scalise was an accomplice with Rachel in what at the time was seen as a daring, daytime theft of the Marlborough Diamond, which was never recovered.

The Chicago trial, which was not connected to the jewelry theft, attracted attention partly because of the defendants’ advanced ages when they’re accused of plotting robberies several years ago.

Prosecutor Amarjeet Bhachu told reporters after Thursday’s verdict that the men were far from harmless, elderly goofs.


Hundreds of tacos sent to mayor

EAST HAVEN | The office of a Connecticut mayor who made a poorly received quip about his city’s Hispanic community has been blasted with prank phone calls and a delivery of hundreds of tacos.

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. has apologized several times but resisted calls for his resignation over a comment that he “might have tacos” as a way to reach out to Hispanics.

The comment came this week as the FBI arrested four East Haven police officers described as “bullies with badges” who harassed the town’s Hispanics.

Mr. Maturo held regular meetings Thursday as Connecticut’s Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission called on him to resign.


Carjack-hoax mom gets 8 years for $1M fraud

PHILADELPHIA | The in-vitro treatments. The suburban house. The lavish trips and dinners out.

None of it was worth it, a soccer mom-turned-“abduction hoax” mom told a federal judge Thursday before she was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for a $1 million swindle.

Bonnie Sweeten, 40, of Feasterville is infamous for an alarming 911 call that claimed she and her 9-year-old daughter had been carjacked by two black men. She said they’d been stuffed into the trunk of another vehicle. She made an equally furtive call to her second husband.

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