NY INMATE GUILTY OF SEEKING $890M IN TAX REFUNDS: SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A jury has convicted a New York prison inmate of falsely filing tax returns seeking $890 million in refunds.
Prosecutors say the man filed the bogus returns from 2006 to 2010 while at various state prisons. They say he even was issued a refund for $327,000 — but prison officials intercepted the check and returned it to the Internal Revenue Service, which led the investigation.
The man was convicted Thursday of 11 counts of filing false claims and one count of helping another inmate file bogus returns.
He was serving two to four years for possession of stolen property when he was charged last February. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count when he's sentenced in May.
POLICE: MO. WOMAN ROBBED COP CALLED TO HELP HER: ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a St. Louis woman who allegedly robbed an officer who responded to her call for help was caught when she used his bank card a short time later.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/xlPQHR) that the woman told police early Friday that her boyfriend had stolen her keys. So officers who responded to the call took her to his home, leaving her in their cruiser while they went inside.
That's when the woman allegedly took the opportunity to grab a bank card from an officer's bag.
The officers discovered the theft soon after, while responding to a larceny at a store. They found the woman and her vehicle, filled with groceries, cigarettes and lottery tickets. Police say receipts show she used the stolen bank card.
NYPD OFFICERS RESCUE SUSPECT DANGLING 7 FLOORS UP: NEW YORK (AP) — Police say two officers rescued a suspect as he dangled from a seventh-floor Manhattan apartment window after nearly lunging to his death.
Officers Isaias Alicea and Vincent Gagliostro grabbed the 200-pound man's arm and leg as he fell, holding him until colleagues arrived to help pull him to safety.
The suspect and one officer were treated for minor injuries.
Police say officers Alicea and Gagliostro were responding to a call of child neglect at the Harlem apartment Thursday morning when they happened upon the man.
During a struggle with the suspect, police say he broke free and dashed for a window. He removed a barrier and jumped out, but the officers grabbed his arm and leg as he fell.
ARCING POWER LINES CAUSED BIG NOV. 18 FIRE IN NEV. : RENO, Nev. (AP) — Fire investigators have confirmed arcing power lines caused the wind-blown blaze that destroyed dozens of homes in Reno in November.
The brush fire caused about $7.6 million in property damage and more than $1.5 million in firefighting costs, according to a report issued Friday by the Reno Fire Department. It destroyed 26 homes and damaged 17.
The report says a tree branch probably was blown into lines, and an electrical engineer from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms concurred in the department's findings. The fire was fanned by gusts of up to 85 mph, and charred 1,935 acres.
STUDENT CHARGED IN UTAH SCHOOL BOMB PLOT: ROY, Utah (AP) — The two teens had a detailed plot, blueprints of the school and security systems, but no explosives. They had hours of flight simulator training on a home computer and a plan to flee the country, but no plane.
Still, the police chief in this small Utah town said, the plot was real.
"It wasn't like they were hanging out playing video games," Roy Police Chief Gregory Whinham said Friday. "They put a lot of effort into it."
Dallin Morgan, 18, and a 16-year-old friend were arrested Wednesday at Roy High School, about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City, after a fellow student reported that she received ominous text messages from one of the suspects.
"If I tell you one day not to go to school, make damn sure you and your brother are not there," one message read, according to court records. "We ain't gonna crash it, we're just gonna kill and fly our way to a country that won't send us back to the U.S.," read another message.
While police don't have a motive, one text message noted they sought "revenge on the world."
The suspects say they were inspired by the deadly 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colo., and the younger suspect even visited the school last month to interview the principal about the shootings and security measures.
TWITTER'S NEW CENSORSHIP PLAN ROUSES GLOBAL FUROR: NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter, a tool of choice for dissidents and activists around the world, found itself the target of global outrage Friday after unveiling plans to allow country-specific censorship of tweets that might break local laws.
It was a stunning role reversal for a youthful company that prides itself in promoting unfettered expression, 140 characters at a time. Twitter insisted its commitment to free speech remains firm, and sought to explain the nuances of its policy, while critics — in a barrage of tweets — proposed a Twitter boycott and demanded that the censorship initiative be scrapped.