Lawyers had to threaten BPD with a lawsuit to get documents that helped free man imprisoned for 38 years

Jeffrey Pyle writes about the legal wrangling with BPD over documents from a long-closed murder case that ultimately led to Frederick Clay being freed after 38 years for a Roslindale murder for which he had always maintained his innocence - and why that should matter to you.

Dorchester man pleads guilty to role in $4-million bank fraud

Charles Washington, 44, admitted today he led a ring that used signatures and other personal information from wealthy people to gain access to $4 million in bank accounts - and that he helped siphon out $2 million of that amount.

Washington is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 2, the US Attorney's office reports.

Washington was arrested last June. According to the US Attorney's office:

Washington obtained bank account information, personally identifiable information, and sample signatures for bank customers with high balances. He recruited runners to impersonate the account holders at bank branches in order to make unauthorized withdrawals and obtained and distributed fake driver’s licenses to the runners that bore the runners’ photographs with the account holders’ personal information. Washington instructed the runners on how to forge the victims’ signatures. To avoid detection, runners withdrew money from victims’ accounts at several different bank branches.

Washington and others also recruited runners to open bank accounts (known as drop accounts) in the name of non-existent businesses (known as shell business). The shell businesses were registered and named as if they were title companies, property management companies, contracting businesses, and other businesses for which incoming large-dollar wire transfers would not be unusual. Washington provided the shell businesses’ information to co-conspirators who made unauthorized wire transfers in the hundreds of thousands of dollars into the drop accounts. Once the drop accounts were funded with unauthorized wire transfers, Washington and co-conspirators accompanied runners to bank branches to withdraw the money -- in cash, by check, or by wire transfers to other drop accounts -- before the victims of the unauthorized wire transfers realized that their accounts had been compromised.

Man who allegedly drove into South Boston girl declared a menace to society, ordered held for four months

A South Boston Municipal Court judge today declared Richard Higgins of Attleboro "dangerous" and ordered him held without bail for four months, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Higgins, who already has four OUI convictions dating to 1962, was arrested Saturday after he allegedly struck a 12-year-old on Old Colony Avenue in South Boston while under the influence of both alcohol and Vicodin.

Judge Michael Bolden ordered Higgins held under a state law that allows somebody to be held without bail if prosecutors can provide "clear and convincing evidence that no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community."

Innocent, etc.