West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Friday, May 11, 2012
U.S. marshals nab 2 fugitives in Tonopah
by Brent Whiting staff writer
Two fugitives wanted in Illinois for a host of financial crimes were nabbed over the weekend in Tonopah, thus ending their 12-year run from the law. The U.S.
Marshals Service swooped down on the West Valley community after receiving a tip that the married couple could be found there. Nelson Grant Hallahan, 65, and his wife, Janet M. Hallahan, 54, were arrested Saturday, a day after they were featured on the America’s Most Wanted television show, authorities said.
The Hallahans, described by law- enforcement officers as white-collar criminals, were taken into custody without incident, said David P. Gonzales, the U.S. marshal for Arizona. “Their investment scams involving
family, friends and the elderly ruined many lives,” Gonzales said. It is believed that the Hallahans, formerly of Peoria, Ill., had been in Tonopah for at least two years and working hard to keep a low profile, said Matt Hershey, a supervisory deputy U.S. marshal in Phoenix. Now, they are expected to be returned to Illinois, where they pleaded guilty 12 years ago to criminal charges alleging financial scams that netted the couple millions of dollars, authorities said.
Nelson Hallahan Janet Hallahan
They pleaded to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Warrants were issued for their arrest in January 2000 after they failed to appear for sentencing, authorities said. Over the past dozen years, the Hallahans reportedly have been in several Southwest states using numerous false names to avoid apprehension, they said. They were accused by federal
prosecutors of running a Ponzi scheme in which they kept old investors at bay with money received from new ones. Gonzales, the U.S. marshal for Arizona said that Hallahan, a former insurance and securities salesman, targeted victims by promising significant returns on various investments, including interests in a tanning salon. The tanning business was subsequently sold without telling investors, he said.
The Hallahans also used investment proceeds to maintain a lavish lifestyle that included, yachts, luxury vehicles, designer clothes and jewelry, he said. The couple owed nearly $1.2 million
to investors before they went on the lam 12 years ago, Gonzales said.
Brent Whiting can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buckeye Town Council replaces paper with iPads
by Sara Clawson staff writer
More than a dozen shiny new tablet computers arrived at Buckeye Town Hall this week.
The hand-held devices will be used by each of the seven Town Council members, the town manager, attorney, clerk, assistant to the Town Council, executive assistant to the town manager and the information technology department, IT Director Dee Hathaway said. The Town Council agreed last week to
year warranty and includes up to two incidents of accidental damage. Officials will not have access to
Apple’s App Store, but will have programs installed on their iPads that will allow them to view documents, agendas, make notes and communicate via email. “We will be using Dropbox for document management and iAnnotate for document markup, notes, highlighting, etc.,” Hathaway said.
begin a two-month trial period, to see if the benefits of using a tablet computer outweigh the negatives, Hathaway said. The town currently produces 13 paper agenda packets for each Town Council meeting. Those packets are now hundreds of pages long, and were much larger in years past, when the economy was booming and the town was doing more business, Hathaway said.
The annual cost to print the packets is about $4,500, he said. Several types of tablets were considered, including Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and the ViewSonic ViewPad, a Windows operating system tablet. Each offered a lightweight option with a long battery life. The iPad was chosen because of its
Wi-Fi accessibility, userability and network safety, Hathaway said. “It’s the easiest to use and from a
network Nazi point of view, it’s the easiest to lock down and make safe,” he said during the May 1 Town Council meeting. The iPads are 64 gigabytes with 4G
LTE and were purchased through Verizon for $829 each. A monthly unlimited data plan will cost $50, Hathaway said. The iPads will also be accessorized
with keyboards and covers ranging in price between $39 and $79, he said. The devices were purchased with AppleCare protection, which is a two-
Dropbox is $125 per user per year and iAnnotate is about $10 per license, he said. Officials have the option of using
the town’s iPad or purchasing their own and receiving a one-time $300 reimbursement.
The information on the iPads is subject to public record requests and town ethics policies. The Town’s Electronic Communications Policy does allow for incidental use of electronic communications devices so long as such use does not incur a cost to the town. IT officials will have the ability to block and/or monitor inappropriate content, Hathaway said.
In addition to eliminating paper waste and cost, the pilot project will show if the iPads create better efficiency and time management, Hathaway said. It will eliminate multiple printings
and save time. Council members will not have to drive to Town Hall to receive their packets and if an update or addition needs to be made to the agenda, it can be done instantly and electronically. The iPads will not prevent the public from having access to the Town Council meeting agendas. The information is currently available to the public via the town’s website, www.buckeyeaz.gov
. It can be viewed from the town clerk’s page.
Sara Clawson can be reached by email at email@example.com
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