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The protection racket is an old criminal enterprise, consisting of extorting money from people or businesses to keep them safe. Safe from whom? Well, from you of course.

And it turns out you can teach an old crime new tricks. Paras Jha and Josiah White ran a company that specialized in mitigating DDoS attacks (when multiple computer systems flood the bandwidth of a targeted system, shutting it down). The two also created the Mirai botnet and, as Brian Krebs put it, "[l]ike firemen getting paid to put out the fires they started," targeted organizations with DDoS attacks in order to boost their clientele. Jha, White, and co-conspirator Dalton Norman pleaded guilty to federal computer crime charges this week, after their botnet shut down large swaths of the internet last year.

Akayed Ullah set off a pipe bomb in a section of the New York City subway system near Times Square during rush hour on Monday morning this week. The joking response was that it merely inconvenienced some hard-nosed New Yorkers on their way to work.

But the terrorism charges Ullah is facing are serious -- if convicted, Ullah could face life in prison.

Houston Bounty Hunter Charged With Sex Trafficking

On December 7, 2017, bounty hunter Luis De Jesus Rodriguez and his girlfriend Helen Leon Mesa were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, visa fraud, and coercion. According to San Antonio news station KSAT, the allegations are based on the recruitment and exploitation of women, mainly Colombian nationals.

To persuade the women to accept their assistance in obtaining fraudulent visas, Rodriquez, who coined himself as "the best bounty hunter in Houston" and Mesa allegedly guaranteed them jobs and a better life. As a bounty hunter, Rodriquez, coercively presented himself to the women as law enforcement.

All civil lawsuits have statutes of limitation -- time limits after which you can longer sue. These statutes can vary depending on the type of offense and the state, but all are designed to have parties litigate an issue while evidence and memories are still fresh.

This can be tough when dealing with certain offenses like sexual assault, especially when the victim is a child at the time. Children can be too fearful to report sexual assault until they are older, and by then, the statute of limitations on their ability to sue their attacker may have tolled. New York has some of the nation's most restrictive statutes of limitations when it comes to child sex assault lawsuits, but the state is trying to change that.

The key to any testimony in court is credibility: is the person telling the truth, and is there any reason why they would lie? Often times, members of law enforcement are given the benefit of the doubt when they testify in criminal cases, despite direction from judges that officer testimony should be given the same weight and skepticism as any other witness.

That credibility may have taken a serious hit, at least when it comes to sheriff's deputies in Los Angeles County testifying in court. The Los Angeles Times reports that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department had an internal list of around 300 deputies with histories of dishonesty and misconduct such that, if revealed in court, would damage their credibility as witnesses.

For the most part, public defenders are to be admired -- they work long hours at a largely thankless job with very little resources. But, as with any other profession, not all public defenders are great at what they do, they may not agree with every defendant they represent, and even a good public defender can have a bad day.

So if you're not happy with your public defender, what can you do about it?

Michael Slager, the white former police officer who gunned down Walter Scott, an unarmed black man running away from Slager, was sentenced to 20 years in prison today after he pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges. Slager had been charged with murder by the state of South Carolina, and a judge ultimately ruled that he committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.

Slager had claimed Scott wrestled his stun gun away from him, and that he was forced to use his firearm in self defense. But video of the incident showed otherwise.

By now most people are familiar with quite possibly the most famous person to ever be convicted of tax evasion, Al Capone. Capone was a Chicago mob boss during Prohibition who, despite ordering the deaths of dozens, was sentenced to just eleven years in prison on federal income tax evasion charges in 1931.

Slightly less well-known is Salvatore "Sallie" Demeo, described by the New York Post as a "Genovese soldier" and charged with tax evasion related to real estate deals. So why is it that so many mobsters or organized crime leaders are charged with tax evasion?

Descriptions of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's behavior have ranged from rape and serial sexual assault to sexual harassment and "workplace misconduct." Good Morning America called his behavior "gross," and the New York Attorney General opened a civil rights investigation into his former production company.

And now you can add sex trafficking to the list of descriptions. A British actress is suing Weinstein, claiming his assault on her in a French hotel room falls under the legal description of sex trafficking.

5 Common Holiday Crime Spikes

While most of us are wrapped up in the holiday spirit, there are a few criminals out there looking to take advantage of the holiday season. And, admittedly, some of us enjoy a little too much of the holiday spirits, and get into trouble ourselves.

Nobody wants to celebrate the holidays in prison, so here are the five most common holiday crimes, how you might avoid them, and what to do if you're charged with one. (Hint: Call an attorney.)