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David Stockman faces fraud charges

David Stockman, the former budget director in the Reagan White House, was charged in an indictment unsealed Monday with overseeing a sweeping fraud at a troubled auto parts supplier that he led before the company collapsed into bankruptcy.

Stockman, 60, was one of four former Collins & Aikman Corp. executives named in the federal indictment. Four other former company employees, including a treasurer, have pleaded guilty in the case, prosecutors said.

At a news conference, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said Stockman let company employees mislead creditors about revenues and the ability of Collins & Aikman to pay its bills until the company was forced to enter bankruptcy proceedings in May 2005.

Collins & Aikman made auto interiors, carpets, acoustics, fabrics and convertible tops.


Aide arrested with senator’s handgun

An aide to Sen. Jim Webb was arrested Monday when he entered a Senate office building with a loaded pistol belonging to the senator.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said the aide was charged with carrying a pistol without a license and possessing an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition.

The office of Webb, D-Va., identified the aide as Phillip Thompson and said he was “a former Marine, a long-term friend and trusted employee of the senator.”

A congressional official said Webb gave the gun to Thompson when the assistant drove him to an airport earlier in the day. Thompson, upon entering the Senate building, forgot he was carrying the weapon.


Bush urged to help Venezuelans

Five Republican congressmen asked President Bush on Monday to provide temporary legal status to Venezuelans in the country illegally for what they contend is an increase in political persecutions under Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The five sent a letter to Bush asking him to order the Department of Homeland Security to temporarily stop deporting Venezuelans.

“We strongly believe that the Chavez government in Venezuela at this time is persecuting its citizens for their political views,” wrote Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, Connie Mack and Jerry Weller. Weller is from Illinois; the others are from Florida.


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