Vickie Barrett

Vickie Barrett


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Victoria (Vickie) Barrett was born in Birmingham in 1943. After leaving school she moved to London where she lived with a friend. For a while she worked in a café. However, in August 1961 she was arrested in Bayswater and charged with "soliciting for the purpose of prostitution". After spending two days in Holloway Prison she returned to her parents' home in the Midlands.

Barrett worked in Birmingham for two years before going to live with Brenda O'Neil in London in January 1963. O'Neil had just been released from Holloway Prison after serving three months for prostitution. Two months later Barrett was once again charged with soliciting.

On 7th June, 1963, Christine Keeler told the Daily Express of her secret "dates" with John Profumo. She also admitted that she had been seeing Eugene Ivanov at the same time, sometimes on the same day, as Profumo. In a television interview Stephen Ward told Desmond Wilcox that he had warned the security services about Keeler's relationship with Profumo. The following day Ward was arrested and charged with living off immoral earnings between 1961 and 1963. He was initially refused bail because it was feared that he might try to influence witnesses. Another concern was that he might provide information on the case to the media.

On 14th June, the London solicitor, Michael Eddowes, claimed that Christine Keeler told him that Eugene Ivanov had asked her to get information about nuclear weapons from Profumo. Eddowes added that he had written to Harold Macmillan to ask why no action had been taken on information he had given to Special Branch about this on 29th March. Soon afterwards Keeler told the News of the World that "I'm no spy, I just couldn't ask Jack for secrets."

On 3rd July, Barrett was again arrested for soliciting. While being interviewed, Barrett claimed she knew Stephen Ward. She told the police that she was picked up by Ward in Oxford Street in January 1963. Barrett was taken back to his flat where she had sex with a friend of his. Afterwards, she said, Ward told her that the man had paid him and he would save the money for her. Over the next two and a half months, according to Barrett some two or three times a week, the same thing would happen. Barrett claimed that during this time, Ward never paid her any money for these acts of prostitution.

The trial of Stephen Ward began at the Old Bailey on 22nd July 1963. Rebecca West was one of the journalists covering the case. She described Barrett looking like "a photograph from a famine relief fund appeal." Ludovic Kennedy, the author of The Trial of Stephen Ward (1964) commented: "She came into the witness-box, a little whey-faced blonde, wearing a sort of green raincoat with a white scarf round her neck; and when she turned to face the court and while she was giving the oath, one's impression was one of shock; shock that Ward, whom one had believed to be a man of some fastidiousness in his tastes, had sunk so low. For of all the whores the prosecution had paraded or were still to parade before us this one was the bottom of the barrel."

At the trial Vickie Barrett claimed that Ward had picked her up in Oxford Street and had taken her home to have sex with his friends. Barrett was unable to name any of these men. She added that Ward was paid by these friends and he kept some of the money for her in a little drawer. Ward admitted knowing Barrett and having sex with her. However, he denied arranging for her to have sex with other men or taking money from her. Sylvia Parker, who had been staying at Ward's flat at the time Barrett claimed she was brought there to have sex with other men. She called Barrett's statements "untrue, a complete load of rubbish".

Christine Keeler claims that she had never seen Barrett before: "She (Barrett) described Stephen handing out horsewhips, canes, contraceptives and coffee and how, having collected her weapons, she had treated the waiting clients. It sounded, and was, nonsense. I had lived with Stephen and never seen any evidence of anything like that." Mandy Rice-Davies agreed with Keeler: "Much of what she (Barrett) said was discredited. It was obvious to anyone that Stephen, with the police breathing down his neck and the press on his doorstep, would hardly have the opportunity or the inclination for this sort of thing."

Stephen Ward told his defence counsel, James Burge: "One of my great perils is that at least half a dozen of the (witnesses) are lying and their motives vary from malice to cupidity and fear... In the case of both Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies there is absolutely no doubt that they are committed to stories which are already sold or could be sold to newspapers and that my conviction would free these newspapers to print stories which they would otherwise be quite unable to print (for libel reasons)."

Ward was very upset by the judge's summing-up that included the following: "If Stephen Ward was telling the truth in the witness box, there are in this city many witnesses of high estate and low who could have come and testified in support of his evidence." Several people present in the court claimed that Judge Archie Pellow Marshall was clearly biased against Ward. France Soir reported: "However impartial he tried to appear, Judge Marshall was betrayed by his voice."

That night Ward wrote to his friend, Noel Howard-Jones: "It is really more than I can stand - the horror, day after day at the court and in the streets. It is not only fear, it is a wish not to let them get me. I would rather get myself. I do hope I have not let people down too much. I tried to do my stuff but after Marshall's summing-up, I've given up all hope." Ward then took an overdose of sleeping tablets. He was in a coma when the jury reached their verdict of guilty of the charge of living on the immoral earnings of Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies on Wednesday 31st July. Three days later, Ward died in St Stephen's Hospital.

Ward's defence team found suicide notes addressed to Vickie Barrett, Ronna Ricardo, Melvyn Griffith-Jones, James Burge and Lord Denning: Barrett's letter said: "I don't know what it was or who it was that made you do what you did. But if you have any decency left, you should tell the truth like Ronna Riccardo. You owe this not to me, but to everyone who may be treated like you or like me in the future."

The letter was passed to Barry O'Brien, a journalist who worked for the Daily Telegraph. He later recalled: "We were alone in the room. I told her that Dr. Ward had died and that on the night he had taken the overdose he had written her a letter. I told her that I had a photograph copy of the letter with me and gave it to her. She was greatly shocked at learning Dr. Ward was dead."

O'Brien claimed that Barrett responded with the following words: "It was all lies. But I never thought he would die. I didn't want him to die. It was not all lies. I did go to the flat but it was only to do business with Stephen Ward. It was not true I went with other men." Barrett admitted that she had been coerced into giving her evidence by the police and agreed to go to see Ward's solicitor, then went to another room to get her coat. According to O'Brien, an older women who was living in the house came out, and said: "Miss Barrett was not going anywhere." Barrett later retracted her retraction.

Later, journalists attempted to interview Barrett but as Anthony Summers pointed out, she "was impossible to trace." Christine Keeler claims that Barrett "has never to my knowledge been seen again. I suspect she was spirited out of the country, given a new identity, a new life."

Up to this moment in the trial the general feeling in court had been that although there could be little doubt that Ward was a habitual associate of prostitutes there had been little in the way of evidence to justify the charges of living on their immoral earnings, which, when all was said and done, was why we were here; and the impression on the Press benches that this was really a political trial, an instrument of revenge by the Establishment for the scandal caused by the exposure of Profumo, was growing all the time.

But with the calling of the name of Vickie Barrett this changed. For she was the witness for whom we had been waiting, the girl whom Mr. Griffith-Jones had said in his opening speech had visited Ward's flat for a period of over two months to give sexual comfort and stimulation to a variety of men for money which she had never received. Would her performance in the witness-box bear out the promises that Mr. Griffith-Jones had made of her? If it did, then as surely as the coming of night the jury would find, and rightly find, Ward guilty.

She came into the witness-box, a little whey-faced blonde, wearing a sort of green raincoat with a white scarf round her neck; and when she turned to face the court and while she was giving the oath, one's impression was one of shock; shock that Ward, whom one had believed to be a man of some fastidiousness in his tastes, had sunk so low. For of all the whores the prosecution had paraded or were still to parade before us this one was the bottom of the barrel. Christine and Mandy and even Ronna Ricardo had had a certain style, a kind of robustness, which compensated for their other deficiencies, but this little waif had nothing. She was like a little sad, sick elf, a photograph, as Rebecca West later put it, from a famine relief fund appeal. Clearly no improving influences had come to grace her life, no Professor Higgins had taken her under his wing : she was, in officers' mess parlance, a ten bob knock in the Bayswater Road. I looked at her standing so awkwardly in the witness-box, and then I looked at Ward, intelligent and sophisticated, in the dock, and I found it difficult to reconcile the two.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: On arrival did he take you into the flat?

Vickie Barrett: Yes.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: Was there anybody in the living room?

Vickie Barrett: No.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: What did he say to you?

Vickie Barrett: I asked him where the man was.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: What did he say?

Vickie Barrett: He said he was waiting in the bedroom.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: Yes.

Vickie Barrett: Well then he gave me a contraceptive and told me to go to the room and strip and he said he would make coffee.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: Did you go into the bedroom?

Vickie Barrett: Yes.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: Was there anyone in the bedroom?

Vickie Barrett: Yes, a man.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: Where was he?

Vickie Barrett: In bed.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: Dressed in anything?

Vickie Barrett: No.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: Did you go to bed with him?

Vickie Barrett: Yes.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: Did you have sexual intercourse with him?

Vickie Barrett: Yes...

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: Was anything more said, while you had coffee, about money?

Vickie Barrett: Yes, Ward said it was all right. He had already received the money.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: Did he say how much he had received?

Vickie Barrett: No.

Mervyn Griffith-Jones: Did you agree to him keeping it for you?

Vickie Barrett: Yes.

Having arrived at the address I telephoned the office and was told that Dr. Ward had died. I then returned to the adjoining house, No. 35, and saw Vickie Barrett in a room on the upper floor about 4.30 p.m. We were alone in the room. Ward was dead. She sat down and read the letter and remained for some moments silently crying. She looked at me and said: "It was not lies". After a few more moments of silence I told her that Dr. Ward had consistently maintained that she was lying in her evidence against him. She told me that her evidence was the truth.

After another silence I asked her how she came to be a witness in the case. She told me she had been interviewed by two police officers after she appeared at Marylebone Magistrate's Court on a soliciting charge on July 3rd. I would add that it was I who mentioned the date by asking her if it was the day when Dr. Ward was committed for trial. She said she had heard Dr. Ward was in another court on the same day. I asked her why they had interviewed her. She said she had been arrested for soliciting in Notting Hill late the previous night and police at Notting Hill had taken possession of her handbag and its contents including a diary. She said Dr. Ward's telephone number was in the diary. She said that the handbag and its contents had been returned to her after her appearance in the court. I asked her how the police officers had known about the diary. She said she assumed Notting Hill Police station had told them about it. I asked her if she still had the diary. She said that a week after her appearance at Marylebone the police officers had asked her if they could have her diary and she had handed it to them. She said that it had not yet been returned to her though she had seen it when she appeared at the Old Bailey.

At this point in our conversation her landlady came into the room and gave us each a cup of tea. The landlady asked if we would like her to stay. I asked Vickie Barrett if she would like her to stay. She declined the offer and the landlady left. After another silence Vickie Barrett began sobbing violently. She suddenly looked up at me and said: "It was all lies. I didn't want him to die." At this point her whole body was shaking and convulsed with sobbing. She then said: "It was not all lies. It was not true I went with other men." I reminded her she had said that she had whipped men there and that Dr. Ward had been handing out contraceptives. She said that it was not true that he had done this. I asked her why she had given evidence that was untrue. She said she had told one of the police officers when he had asked her what she had known about Dr. Ward, that she was a friend of his and had visited the flat two or three times a week to do business with him. She said: "I told him that I had whipped Dr. Ward at the flat. He said: `Wouldn't it be better if you said you whipped other men at the flat?' I said : Why should I say that? He told me that if I didn't say that, I will never be able to show my face in Notting Hill again. He said that girls could get very heavy sentences for soliciting." I asked her if the police officer had mentioned how long a sentence. Miss Barrett said "He said I could get nine months or more".

All this time she was crying and clutching the photograph copy of the letter in her hand with a cigarette burning between her fingers. As it was burning close to her fingers I took it away from her and stubbed it out. She began sobbing violently again and said "I didn't want him to die. I never thought he would die." As she seemed so upset I put my hand on her arm and told her to drink some tea. After another silence I asked her if she was telling me the truth. She said that she was. I repeated this question several times and each time she said she was telling the truth. I told her that if she was now telling me the truth it was a very wicked thing to have done. She said: "Yes, and I did it". I told her that what she had just told me was a very serious accusation against two police officers. She said she knew that but she had told the truth.

She said: "I will now get into trouble won't I?" I said : "Perhaps but you are only 20 and if what you say is true the fault was only partly yours". She said: "They will send me to prison". I said: "I don't think they will do that. Ronna Ricardo also said that she had lied in her evidence and she has not been sent to prison." I asked Miss Barrett if she knew Miss Ricardo. She said she had never seen her before they were both at the Old Bailey.

I then told Miss Barrett that I would take her to Dr. Ward's solicitor, Mr. Wheatley, and she agreed to come with me. I told her that if she had lied at the Old Bailey she must now tell the truth. She said she realised that. I told her that I did not think that any harm would come to her because she had told the truth. She said she would go to her room to powder her face, which she did. While she was away I telephoned Mr. Wheatley and told him I would be bringing her round if he was agreeable. He said that he was. While I was telling him on the telephone that Miss Barrett had lied at the Old Bailey the landlady came out of her room and went to the room next door where Miss Barrett was. A few moments later the landlady came out and said that Miss Barrett was not going anywhere with me and was very upset and was not seeing anybody. The landlady said: "I told her I had just heard you telling someone on the telephone that she had said she had told lies. She (Barrett) said he is telling lies" (meaning me, O'Brien).

I then telephoned Mr. Wheatley and he said he would come round. When he did so the landlady said Miss Barrett would not see him. The landlady said that Miss Barrett had telephoned one of the police officers and he was coming round. The landlady said: "I hope we are not going to have another suicide". I told her that she should stay with Miss Barrett and impressed on her the importance of doing so if she was ~ worried about her. Mr. Wheatley and I then left and he told me that I ought to make a statement to Superintendent Axon at Scotland Yard. We called at my office on the way to Scotland Yard and the News Editor of the Sunday Telegraph asked a colleague of mine to accompany me. I did not make any record of my conversation with Vickie Barrett while it was in progress. I have given an account of her conversation to my office and she signed no (repeat no) statement. I did not tell Vickie Barrett I would be going to the police or tell her to do so.


Housefires originated at Grace Midtown Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The church had released two prior worship albums as Grace Midtown, with Pat Barrett and others leading. Housefires formed in 2014, with the addition of Kirby Kaple as a worship pastor at Grace, and signaled a shift in the church's musical style toward a more stripped-down style reminiscent of artists such as United Pursuit and All Sons & Daughters. Barrett and Kaple were joined by fellow Atlanta worship leader Tony Brown, and Grace Athens worship pastor Nate Moore. Additional members included violinist Vicki Schmidt, keyboardist Jonathan Jay, percussionist, Zac Brooks, and drummer Harold Brown. [1] [2] In 2016, the band also participated in the Outcry Tour, and continued touring independently in 2017. They often host monthly worship nights at Grace Midtown's campus. On February 1, 2020, Donald Hart joined Housefires as their bassist. [ citation needed ]

The band has released four live albums. Their eponymous debut was released on March 19, 2014, with most songs reappearing in more polished form on Housefires II, released September 9, 2014. Housefires III followed on August 12, 2016, and their most recent album, We Say Yes, was released in mid-2017. [3] The group is best known for Barrett and Brown's "Good Good Father," which attained massive popularity after Chris Tomlin recorded the song and released it as a single. [4] Their album, Housefires III, charted on three Billboard magazine charts, The Billboard 200 at No. 106, [5] Christian Albums at No. 3, [6] and Independent Albums at No. 6. [7] It also charted on the Official Charts Company from the United Kingdom on their Official Christian & Gospel Albums Chart, at No. 2. [8]


Dozens charged in Atlanta-based money laundering operation that funneled $30 million in proceeds from computer fraud schemes, romance scams, and retirement account fraud

ATLANTA – Federal agents have arrested twenty-four individuals for their involvement in a large-scale fraud and money laundering operation that targeted citizens, corporations, and financial institutions throughout the United States. Business email compromise schemes, romance fraud scams, and retirement account scams, among other frauds, duped numerous victims into losing more than $30 million.

“Fraud schemes, like the ones perpetrated and facilitated by these defendants, inflict considerable losses on citizens, companies, and the financial system,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Some of these schemes target the elderly and often deplete the victims’ entire life savings. These arrests affirm the Department of Justice’s commitment to prosecuting those who prey on our most vulnerable citizens.”

“The FBI would like to thank our numerous federal, state and local law enforcement partners who helped make these arrests possible,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “There is no way we can make the victims of these schemes, many who have lost their life savings, whole again. Hopefully the arrests and pending prosecutions will at least give them solace that someone is being held accountable for their losses.”

“An important mission of the Office of Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud relating to employee benefit plans. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of allegations,” stated Rafiq Ahmad, Special Agent-in-Charge, Atlanta Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

“This investigation and subsequent arrests is due to the level of cooperation and information sharing by all law enforcement partners involved,” said Steven R. Baisel, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office. “The Secret Service will continue to collaborate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners to safeguard the nation’s critical financial infrastructure and the people in our communities.”

“No one deserves to have their hard-earned money stolen from them, so identifying and arresting these defendants makes everyone in the community safer,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “Foreign nationals arrested in this scheme will be placed into removal proceedings upon completion of their criminal sentence.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the indictment, and other information presented in court: The defendants served as money launderers for other individuals throughout the world who conducted cyber-enabled fraud, including business email compromise schemes, romance scams, and retirement account scams, targeted at companies and individuals across the United States.

A “business email compromise” (BEC) is a type of computer intrusion that occurs when an employee of a company is tricked into interacting with an email message that appears to be, but is not, legitimate. The fraudulent email instructs the victim to wire money to a bank account controlled by conspirators.

A “romance scam” is a type of online fraud that occurs when an individual user of an internet dating website is targeted for fraud by an imposter posing as a potential paramour. The scammer creates a fake online dating profile that depicts photographs of an attractive man or woman alongside descriptions of the fictitious person. The scammer then uses this fake person to express romantic interest in the victim in order to trick him or her into sending money to the scammer. The scammer frequently targets vulnerable individuals who possess significant financial assets, such as retired widows or widowers.

A “retirement account scam” is a type of online fraud that occurs when a third party administrator (TPA) for retirement investment accounts is tricked into authorizing a money distribution to an imposter posing as the true accountholder. The imposter often starts the scam by calling the TPA, identifying himself or herself as an actual accountholder, and requesting a withdrawal distribution form. Once the imposter receives the withdrawal distribution form, the imposter returns the completed form to the TPA. The form is completed with the accountholder’s real personal identifying information (PII)—often stolen via BEC schemes, data breaches, and other hacking offenses—and bank account information for an account controlled by the imposter or the imposter’s conspirators. After the TPA processes the fraudulent request, the request is forwarded to the investment firm responsible for managing the accountholder’s investments, and the funds—often the accountholder’s life savings—are then directed to the imposter’s designated bank account.

The defendants and co-conspirators facilitated BEC schemes, romance scams, and retirement account scams by receiving and distributing fraudulent funds throughout the United States and the world. Over the course of the conspiracy, the defendants and their co-conspirators laundered over $30 million in fraud proceeds. The defendants created multiple sham companies that did not have physical premises, earn legitimate income, or pay wages to employees. In turn, the defendants opened business bank accounts at multiple financial institutions to facilitate receipt of the fraudulent money. The defendants also opened personal bank accounts to receive fraudulent funds, often using false identities and victims’ identities. After funds were deposited into the defendants’ bank accounts, the money was quickly withdrawn from the accounts and circulated among the defendants.

The following individuals have been charged with money laundering conspiracy:

  • Darius Sowah Okang, a/k/a Michael J. Casey, a/k/a Richard Resser, a/k/a Thomas Vaden, a/k/a Michael Lawson, a/k/a Matthew Reddington, a/k/a Michael Little, 29, of Stone Mountain, Georgia
  • Dominique Raquel Golden, a/k/a Desire Tamakloe, a/k/a Mellissa Moore, a/k/a Nicole Nolay, a/k/a Raquel Roberts, a/k/a Maria Henderson, a/k/a Raquel Golden, 29, of Houston, Texas
  • Blessing Oluwatimilehin Ojo, a/k/a “Timmy,” 34, of Nigeria
  • George Kodjo Edem Adatsi, 36, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Desire Elorm Tamakloe, a/k/a “Chubby,” 25, of Smyrna, Georgia
  • Solomon Agyapong, a/k/a “Gumpe,” 31, of Marietta, Georgia
  • Afeez Olaide Adeniran, a/k/a “Ola,” 31, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Francesco Benjamin, a/k/a “B-More,” 30, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Jonathan Kojo Agbemafle, a/k/a “Skinny,” 26, of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Joshua Roberts, a/k/a “Onyx,” 28, of Houston, Texas
  • Hamza Abdallah, a/k/a Reggie Lewis, 30, of McDonough, Georgia
  • Prince Sheriff Okai, 26, of Mableton, Georgia
  • Kelvin Prince Boateng, 24, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Monique Wheeler, 29, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Matthan Bolaji Ibidapo, a/k/a “B.J.,” 27, of Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Stephen Abbu Jenkins, a/k/a “Face,” a/k/a Steven Abbu Jenkins, Steven Jenkins, Steve Jenkins, 53, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Kahlia Andrea Siddiqui, 28, of Chamblee, Georgia
  • Alexus Ciera Johnson, 26, of Mableton, Georgia
  • Abubakar Sadik Ibrahim, 26, of Mableton, Georgia
  • Emanuela Joe Joseph, 34, of Lawrenceville, Georgia
  • Obinna Nwosu, 26, of Douglasville, Georgia
  • Ojebe Obewu Ojebe, 27, of Atlanta, Georgia and
  • Gregory Thomas Hudson, 38, of Powder Springs, Georgia.


Darius Sowah Okang is also charged with one count of bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. The indictment alleges that Okang created a bank account in a retirement scam victim’s name, which was then used to deposit approximately $288,000 in funds fraudulently withdrawn from the victim’s retirement account.

Afeez Olaide Adeniran and Blessing Ojo are also charged with wire fraud. The indictment alleges that Adeniran defrauded a homebuyer of $40,000 intended for a real estate transaction. The indictment alleges that due to a computer intrusion and false invoicing scam, Ojo caused a media company in California to send payments totaling $89,140 to a bank account controlled by one of the defendants. In total, the victim sent $646,840, as a result of the fraud.

In addition, two related cases charging additional defendants with various counts of bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, and conspiracies to commit these offenses are currently pending in federal court in Atlanta. These defendants include:

  • Benjamin Ibukunoluwa Oye, 26, of Sandy Springs, Georgia
  • Tyler Keon Roussell, 25, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Christopher Akinwande Awonuga, 27, of Fayetteville, Georgia
  • Casey Broderick Williams, 26, of Covington, Georgia
  • Macario Lee Nelson, a/k/a “Mac,” 24, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Chadrick Jamal Rhodes, 28, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Chadwick Osbourne Stewart, 40, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Oumar Bouyo Mbodj, 28, of Kennesaw, Georgia
  • Seth Appiah Kubi, 60, of Dacula, Georgia
  • Ahamefule Aso Odus, 27, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Paul Chinonso Anyanwu, 27, of Hampton, Georgia
  • Egale Veonzell Woods, Jr., 41, of East Point, Georgia
  • Chineda Obilom Nwakadu, 25, of McDonough, Georgia
  • Chukwukadibia Ikechukwu Nnadozie, a/k/a “Chuka,” a/k/a Michael McCord, 27, of Fayetteville, Georgia
  • Uchechi Chidimma Odus, a/k/a “Uche,” 23, of Atlanta, Georgia
  • John Ifeoluwa Onimole, 27, of Powder Springs, Georgia and
  • Oluwafunmilade Onamuti, a/k/a Mathew Kelvin, 26, of Duluth, Georgia.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictments only contain charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges, and it will be the government’s burden to prove each defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations are investigating this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly K. Connors, Russell Phillips, and John Ghose are prosecuting the case.

The investigating agencies received considerable support from numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities, to include: Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the State of Georgia, Office of Inspector General. Also the Atlanta Police Department, Smyrna Police Department, Henry County Police Department, Gwinnett County Police Department, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, Chamblee Police Department, Dunwoody Police Department, Cobb County Police Department, McDonough Police Department, Carrollton Police Department, and the Sandy Springs Police Department, all in Georgia. Additional agencies are the New York City Police Department Houston Police Department Kent and Bellevue Police Departments in Washington Newport Beach Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, San Francisco Police Department, and Upland Police Departments in California Radnor Township Pennsylvania Police Department York County South Carolina Sheriff’s Department Bloomington Indiana Police Department Arlington County Virginia Police Department Wells Maine Police Department Schaumburg Illinois Police Department Salt Lake City Utah Unified Police District and the Charlotte County Florida Sheriff’s Office.

This investigation is being conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program—the keystone drug, money laundering, and transnational organized crime enforcement program of the Department of Justice.


Vicki Barrett Named Ocean City’s Citizen of the Year

On the evening of Friday, September 7 th , 2012, a large population of many of Ocean City’s business owners, establishment managers, and star citizens attended the 4 th annual Ocean City Chamber Grand Ball. The Black & White Ball was planned as a way to celebrate OC’s best. An evening of formal attire, delicious food, great entertainment, and dancing was centered on an awards ceremony. Recognized at the Grand Ball was Vicki Barrett, owner of the Inn on the Ocean, as Ocean City’s Citizen of the Year.

Those in attendance at the Clarion Fontainebleau Crystal Ballroom applauded and cheered as Barrett was announced as Citizen of the Year. Winners of this prestigious honor have represented the most dedicated participants in community activities and have demonstrated unselfish devotion to others. Eligibility for those voted as Citizen of the Year is restricted to persons who have lived in Ocean City for some part of their adult life. Judging was based solely on merits for unselfish philanthropic service to our community and fellow citizens. In 1979, the first outstanding citizen honored was Art Davis.

On the morning of September 7 th , Charlie Barrett, Vicki’s husband said, “The best hostess in Ocean City has been named Citizen of the Year. Her tireless efforts on the Boardwalk, Arts Committee, and Election Board have been recognized. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Vicki and Charlie have spent more than a decade owning and operating the Inn on the Ocean, the only oceanfront bed and breakfast in all of Maryland. Vicki is known for her hospitality, delicious home-cooked dishes, her devotion to many of Ocean City’s clubs and organizations, and her availability when it comes to volunteering at many Ocean City functions.

“Congratulations to Vicki,” said Fran Greto, a visitor at the Inn on the Ocean.

“They could not have selected a nicer, more deserving citizen!” she added via a post on the Inn on the Ocean’s Facebook page.

Also awarded at the Black & White Ball were Phil Houck of Bull on the Beach and Crab Alley (Spirit of Ocean City award) and Charlotte Montgomery of the Ocean City Seasonal Workforce (Volunteer of the Year).

About the Inn on the Ocean

Ocean City is home to many one-of-a-kind things: the east coast’s largest outdoor bar, an amusement park that hovers over a sand dune, a large shark wedged through a building, more than a dozen miniature golf courses, and the only oceanfront bed and breakfast in the entire state of Maryland.

The Inn on the Ocean, built in the 1930’s, has become more than just a historic landmark in Ocean City. It has become an inviting social landmark because of the thousands of memories that originated in the historical building. Vicki and Charlie Barrett purchased the one-story craftsman-styled home 12 years ago.

The double-pitched gable roof, simple square columns, exposed rafter tails, deep porches, roof overhangs, and double hung windows that add to the historic classification of the home were admired by the owners prior to the Barrett’s, too. The Inn had been transformed into a B & B in 1986. The house was practically a ‘turn-key property’ that Vicki and Charlie became extremely excited to transform into their own business in 2000.

“My parents lived on the Eastern Shore and I spent many summers in Ocean City. When it was time to move closer to my mother, who was ill, I was more than ready to come back to the shore,” said Vicki.

After discussing her plans to generate new ties in Ocean City with her mother, Wanda, the search for a potential bed and breakfast property was on. The Barrett’s wanted an older home, preferably something historic, with several rooms, and a welcoming feeling. That’s when the 10th Street property was first mentioned.

“It’s a funny story, actually. My mother used to go to the hair dressers quite often. One day she was sitting in the blow dryer next to her friend, Mable Hannah, as their hair was being dried and set. My mother asked Mable if she knew of anyone with a house for sale because her daughter was interested in starting a B & B. Mable just laughed and said, ‘Wanda, she should buy the Inn next to my house. It’s for sale.’ My mother came home and told me about her conversation at the beauty salon,” said Vicki reflecting on the conversation that led her to becoming an inn owner.

Within just two days after hearing about the bed and breakfast for sale next to Mable’s house at 10th Street and the boards in Ocean City, Vicki had traveled south from Boston and had her feet planted in the sand in front of her soon-to-be new home.

“I met a realtor there the next day. I was only inside the house for 12 seconds before I called Charlie and said, ‘Honey, this place is ours. I’m buying it’,” Vicki said proudly.

The Barrett’s had been attracted to the home because it had a history, was ocean front, and would be appealing to guests. Within two months after signing the contract and becoming new home and business owners, the Barrett’s were completely moved in, had 12 guests staying the night, were planning a guest’s wedding, and cooking breakfast for 6 couples.

The delicious breakfasts prepared at the Inn are something many folks look forward to. Vicki is a well-known locally for the scrumptious meals she whips up in the kitchen of the historic home. A few years ago, Vicki had a cookbook filled with her favorite recipes published. The book, titled Nothing New Under the Sun, is available for purchased at the Inn on the Ocean or online.

There was a lengthy 8 month period when there weren’t any meals being prepared in the kitchen at the Inn, though. In July of 2004, a terrible fire ripped through the Inn. Clouds of dark black smoke billowed out of every pressed-glass window 12 guests were standing on the boardwalk in their pajamas, and Vicki stood next to a policeman holding a tray of chocolate chip cookies she had been baking, clutching a single pink rose she had been placing in an arrangement when she realized there was a fire. She also grabbed her favorite painting that had been hanging above a desk inside, also. The smoke from the fire destroyed most of the house.

Protective measures were taken to ensure that neighboring houses were undisturbed as the fire melted vital components of the bed and breakfast. The downstairs washer, dryer, refrigerator, and all of the furniture were melted, disfigured, and destroyed. Fire officials, local police, and even the Mayor of Ocean City, were all on-scene within 10-minutes of the fire being reported. Vicki praised their fast efforts and much-needed comforting that occurred on that day. It is believed that faulty wiring in the basement of the home was the cause of the fire.

After 8 months of reporting insurance claims, choosing finishes for the home that were similar to those that turned to ash, refinishing saved furniture, and picking out new wallpaper, the Inn on the Ocean was back in business. All guest rooms had been refurbished and the Inn was at full capacity. Things have been running smoothly ever since.

Currently, there are six guest rooms at the oceanfront B & B. All rooms have a private bath and are magnificently decorated for luxury and comfort with a touch of an ‘at-home’ feeling. Guests can wake up in a comfortable bed, gaze at the ocean, relax in the gracious living room, and then walk across the boardwalk and directly to the beach to enjoy a day of sun and saltwater.

Josh, the inn keeper, welcomes guests, carries in heavy luggage, washes guest’s cars in the summer months, and lives at the Inn below all of the guest rooms. Vicki and Charlie do not live at the Inn. They, instead, live within five minutes of their business and spend a majority of their time at the establishment. They haven’t thought twice about their journey from Boston to Ocean City that led them to become inn operators.

“As the sun rises each morning over the Inn on the Ocean, I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to be an innkeeper, chef, wife, friend, and hostess,” noted Vicki on the first page of her cookbook.

The Inn on the Ocean is a piece of the Ocean City Historic Walking Tour and draws many visitors because of its historic design. It’s because of the Barrett’s and their welcoming spirits, great food, and endless tales that so many visitors enter the Inn’s doors and learn about more than just 1930’s design.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the Inn on the Ocean, contact Vicki and Charlie at [email protected] They’ll be more than happy to entertain you, show you some photos, cook you something delicious, cause a few laughs, and divulge about the home’s details. Check out the Shorebread Bread Box for some of Vicki’s recipes from the Inn on the Ocean.

Congratulations, Vicki, Ocean City’s Citizen of the Year 2012!


Contents

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE Edit

Storyline with Eddie and Chavo (2005–2006) Edit

In 2005, Vickie Guerrero made her debut as a face with her husband Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio, when a storyline escalated in which Eddie promised to reveal a secret concerning Mysterio's son, Dominik. Vickie was on the July 14 SmackDown! with two of Eddie's three daughters to stop Eddie from revealing Mysterio's secret. Eddie promised not to reveal the secret should he lose to Mysterio at The Great American Bash, [5] though that turned out to be another one of his character's trademark lies, as Eddie revealed that Dominik was really his (kayfabe) biological son. Vickie later reappeared at SummerSlam to convince Eddie to put a stop to his war with Mysterio and not to go through with the "Custody of Dominik" ladder match that night. [6] When that failed, she cost him the match by pushing over the ladder he was on as he was about to win. After that she held down Eddie on the ground afterwards so he couldn't get up and attack Mysterio. [6] On November 13, 2005, Eddie Guerrero died of heart failure in his Minneapolis hotel room and was found by his nephew Chavo. [7] On-screen, this led to Rey Mysterio, Eddie's real-life friend, getting more screen time and higher profile matches, including defeating Kurt Angle and Randy Orton at WrestleMania 22 for the World Heavyweight Championship. [8] The night before WrestleMania, Eddie was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and Vickie accepted the honor on his behalf.

In 2006, approximately seven or eight months after Eddie's death, Vickie started appearing more prominently in more controversial storylines. She first asserted herself during a feud between Mysterio and Chavo Guerrero when Chavo accused Mysterio of being "nothing but a leech living off the blood of the Guerrero name" on the August 4 SmackDown!. Subsequently, she acted as peacemaker between the two former friends until she seemingly inadvertently interfered in their match at SummerSlam in 2006, costing Mysterio the match. [9] Vickie later openly sided with Chavo and hit Mysterio in the back with a chair on the following SmackDown!, turning heel in the process. [10] On the September 1 SmackDown!, the evil Vickie declared herself Chavo's business manager and Mysterio an "insignificant chapter" in her past. [11] [12] At No Mercy, Chavo lost to Mysterio in a Falls Count Anywhere match. [13] On October 20, Rey Mysterio lost an "I Quit" match against Chavo after interference from Vickie. [14]

On October 27, 2006, Chris Benoit became involved in the storyline. [15] He tried to figure out what Vickie was doing with Eddie's estate while also defending the WWE United States Championship in a rivalry with Chavo. At Survivor Series, Chavo kicked out of an attempted sharpshooter, causing Benoit to knock Vickie off the ring apron and on her head, causing her to begin to wear a neck brace and blame Benoit for "intentionally" hitting her. [16] At the end of December, she interfered in a United States Championship match between Chavo and Benoit, which caused Chavo to lose and Benoit to retain the title. As a result, Chavo shouted "If you wanted me to win the title, then stop getting me disqualified," before pushing Vickie over. [17]

Relationship with Edge La Familia (2007–2009) Edit

In May 2007, Kristal, the on-screen girlfriend of General Manager Theodore Long, convinced him to give Guerrero an interview for the position as his assistant. [18] A week after the interview, Vickie was given the job, turning face once again. [3] [19] On the June 29 episode of SmackDown!, Vickie acted as interim general manager of SmackDown! while Long was planning his wedding with Kristal. [20] She was soon named the maid of honor at Long and Kristal's "wedding". [21] On the September 21 episode of SmackDown!, Long suffered a kayfabe heart attack during his wedding to Kristal before they had legally wed. [22] The following week, Vince McMahon named Vickie the new General Manager. [23] On the November 23 episode of SmackDown!, she "punished" Edge for his interference in the championship match at the Survivor Series by making him the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, before revealing that she had begun a romantic relationship with him and had facilitated his "plan" to regain the belt. [11] As a result, Vickie turned heel once again. Later in the night, as she stood alone in the ring, after watching Edge be attacked by Batista, The Undertaker appeared and performed a Tombstone Piledriver on Vickie. After being off-air for several weeks, she returned on the December 14 episode of SmackDown! in a wheelchair, making biased matches in favor of Edge which led to him winning the World Heavyweight Championship at Armageddon.

In early 2008, she formed La Familia with her nephew Chavo, Edge, the team of Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, and later, Bam Neely. One of her first acts as part of the new group was to help Chavo win the ECW Championship from CM Punk. [24] At the Royal Rumble, Vickie interfered in the World Heavyweight Championship match between Edge and Rey Mysterio, allowing Edge to retain his title. [25] On the subsequent airing of SmackDown, Edge proposed to Vickie, who accepted, but the event was interrupted by Mysterio. [24] After Vickie had helped Edge to retain his championship for almost four months, he eventually dropped the title to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXIV. This started a feud between Edge and the Undertaker, with Vickie giving Edge numerous title opportunities and placing The Undertaker in difficult matches. On the May 2 episode of SmackDown, she stripped The Undertaker of his championship after deciding that his new gogoplata (dubbed Hell's Gate) submission hold was too dangerous and made a Tables, ladders, and chairs match at One Night Stand between The Undertaker and Edge for the vacant title with the stipulation that Undertaker would be banished from WWE if he lost. Following interference, Edge won the match and the World Heavyweight Championship and Vickie 'banished' Undertaker. However, Edge lost his title shortly afterwards to CM Punk on the June 30 episode of Raw. On the July 4 episode of SmackDown, Edge took his frustrations for losing the World Heavyweight Championship out on Vickie by telling her the wedding was off. [26] The next week, however, Edge re-proposed to Vickie after SmackDown had gone off the air. [27]

On the July 18 episode of SmackDown, at the wedding reception (the wedding had occurred off-screen before the show) Triple H came out and showed a video of Edge cheating on Vickie the day before with Alicia Fox, the wedding planner. [28] The storyline continued at The Great American Bash when Fox attempted to hand Edge the WWE Championship belt to use as weapon, but was stopped with a clothesline by Vickie. [29] Edge attempted to spear the referee to delay the match, but hit Vickie instead. [29] Triple H used this distraction to recover and hit a Pedigree to retain his title. [29] On the July 25 episode of SmackDown, Edge attempted to get Vickie to forgive him, but instead she announced the reinstatement of his former enemy The Undertaker, whom Edge would face at SummerSlam in a Hell in a Cell match, turning her into a face in the process. A few weeks later, as revenge, Edge attacked the members of La Familia and tipped Vickie from her wheelchair. [30] The Undertaker refused to accept her apology for his banishment, but Vickie stated that she was not afraid of him. She also stated that at Unforgiven, she would force him to apologize to her, but at Unforgiven when The Undertaker did not comply, the Big Show knocked him out and Vickie spat in his face, turning heel once again. [31] Big Show then aligned himself with Vickie, and for the next two weeks they continued to gloat at how they beat The Undertaker. After Undertaker attacked Chavo, Vickie pleaded with Undertaker for forgiveness for her actions. Undertaker, however, once again hit her with a Tombstone Piledriver, forcing Vickie to rely on both a neckbrace and a wheelchair again. Over the following weeks, Vickie put the Undertaker in matches against the Big Show that seemed impossible for him to win. The feud ended after Big Show lost to Undertaker in a casket match at Survivor Series.

At Survivor Series, during a match for the WWE Championship between the champion Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov, Vickie came out to the arena making the announcement that "he's here". Edge's music was played and he came out to compete, making it a triple threat match. Edge won the championship, and as he went to the back, he greeted Vickie with a hug. On the December 5 episode of SmackDown they shared a kiss, thus reinstating their on-screen relationship. On the special December 8 episode of Raw, Vickie and Edge won a Slammy Award for the Couple of the Year.

On February 23, 2009, she was appointed the interim General Manager of Raw during Stephanie McMahon's absence. [32] On the following Raw, Guerrero announced that Edge would be facing Big Show for his World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 25. On the March 9 episode of Raw, John Cena showed footage of Vickie cheating on Edge with Big Show after Guerrero had added Cena to the World Heavyweight Title match through blackmail of revealing the secret affair, making it a triple threat in the process. At WrestleMania, Edge lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Cena after Cena pinned Big Show after Cena delivered the Attitude Adjustment to Edge onto the Big Show. On the April 6 episode of Raw, Guerrero was given the choice of either being General Manager of Raw or SmackDown. She then announced that she would move to Raw in order to become its new General Manager, subsequently resulting in her being separated from Edge. However, Big Show and her nephew Chavo were also moved to Raw during the 2009 WWE Draft and Supplemental Draft, respectively.

After being insulted for a few weeks because of her weight by Santino Marella, Vickie, with help from William Regal, won the "Miss WrestleMania" crown from Santina Marella, Santino's "twin sister", in a No Disqualification match sanctioned by Chavo on the May 18 episode of Raw. [33] On June 7 at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, Vickie lost the "Miss WrestleMania" crown to Santina in a hog pen match with Chavo by her side. The following night on Raw, Vickie announced her resignation as Raw's General Manager. After her announcement, Edge came out and told Vickie that he was sorry for saying disrespectful things about her, only to reveal that he only married her so she could help him in World Championship matches, and now that she quit, she was useless to him in his endeavors to become the champion again. He then told Vickie that he wanted a divorce, leading to her suffering from a nervous breakdown. In reality, Vickie had requested to leave WWE so that she could spend more time with her family.

Managing LayCool (2009–2010) Edit

Guerrero returned to WWE on the SmackDown 10th Anniversary special episode on October 2, with a drastically changed new look, where she introduced her storyline boyfriend, then-heel, Eric Escobar, who she would be managing on the SmackDown brand. [34] On the November 20 SmackDown, Guerrero was named as a SmackDown consultant by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. [35] The following week after Escobar failed to capture the Intercontinental title from John Morrison, Vickie ended their relationship. Escobar claimed that he could not take it any longer, saying he only went out with her for power, mirroring what Edge admitted as to why he had married Vickie on the June 8 episode of Raw. Guerrero then put him in a handicap match with The Hart Dynasty the following week, and the week after put him in another handicap match against Chris Jericho and Big Show. [36] The storyline was soon dropped when Escobar was released by WWE. [37]

Guerrero began involving herself in the already heated rivalry between WWE Women's Champion Mickie James and Michelle McCool and Layla, taking the sides of Team LayCool after Mickie accidentally doused her with cottage cheese on the February 12 episode of SmackDown. [38] On the February 26 SmackDown, Guerrero acted as special guest referee for a title match between James and McCool, ultimately costing James the title after slapping her. Two weeks later she got involved in a match between WWE Women's Champion Michelle McCool and Tiffany causing Tiffany to win the match by DQ. After the match, McCool and Layla began to beat down Tiffany until Beth Phoenix made the save, in the process delivering a clothesline to Vickie. Two weeks later Guerrerro appeared in a 5-on-1 handicap match with Alicia Fox, Maryse and Team LayCool against Beth Phoenix. Guerrero mainly hid behind Alicia Fox, Maryse, and Team LayCool, letting her partners do the dirty work until Phoenix was weakened and Guerrero made the pin, winning the match. At WrestleMania XXVI, Guerrero's team won a 10-woman tag team match when she climbed the turnbuckle and gestured to the sky before connecting a frog splash, as tribute to her late husband, Eddie. [39] [40] On the May 10 episode of Raw, Guerrero was named the permanent general manager of the Raw brand for the second time, but then resigned on the same night after being intimidated by Randy Orton. [41] Although not the general manager, she returned to SmackDown as the Consultant on the May 14 episode and forced Phoenix to face Team LayCool in a handicap match, which Layla won to achieve her first WWE Women's Championship. [42]

Managing Dolph Ziggler (2010–2012) Edit

In June she began a romance storyline with Dolph Ziggler and began accompanying him to the ring. [43] On the August 31 episode of NXT, it was announced that Vickie would be the storyline mentor of Aloisia for the all-female third season. However, due to certain circumstances, Aloisia was sent to Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE's developmental system and was later released. Vickie was assigned a new rookie on the show, Kaitlyn, whom she began feuding with. On October 5, she was defeated by Kaitlyn in a rookie versus pro match. [44] Kaitlyn was caught backstage kissing Vickie's boyfriend, Ziggler, which added more fuel to the fire. Kaitlyn went on to win NXT and later joined SmackDown.

In January 2011, she became the acting General Manager of SmackDown after Theodore Long was found unconscious backstage. At the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Kelly Kelly attacked Guerrero during Ziggler's match with Edge. On the February 4 episode of SmackDown, Ziggler and LayCool lost to Edge and Kelly in a two-on-three handicapped mix tag match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Afterwards, Guerrero fired Kelly, and announced a championship match between Edge and Ziggler, with her serving as the special guest referee of the match. The following week, while officiating the match, she attempted to spear Edge but injured her ankle as part of the storyline. While she was down, Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers replaced her as referee, and Edge went on to win the match. On SmackDown's 600th episode the following week, she stripped Edge of the title and fired him in the storyline. Later that night, there was a coronation for Ziggler as World Heavyweight Champion. However, the returning Theodore Long revealed that he was once again in charge and that Vickie and Ziggler were the culprits behind his assault, thus making an impromptu match between Ziggler and a reinstated Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship, in which Edge won. After the match, Long fired Ziggler. On the February 25 episode of SmackDown, Long announced that a match would take place with Edge and Kelly Kelly facing Vickie and Drew McIntyre. Vickie lost the match, and was then fired (kayfabe) from her consultant role by Long.

On the March 7 episode of Raw, Guerrero and Ziggler made their return to the brand, with Vickie managing him in a singles match defeating John Morrison. After the match, the anonymous Raw General Manager informed Vickie that Ziggler had indeed been hired, but they did not hire her yet. The general manager then continued by issuing a match between her and Trish Stratus for the following week, with the stipulation being if Vickie wins, she would be hired. The following week, Vickie defeated Trish in a No Disqualification match with the help of Team LayCool. Afterwards, Guerrero challenged Stratus, Morrison, and that week's Raw guest star Snooki, who had slapped Guerrero earlier in the night, to a six-person mixed tag team match against LayCool and Ziggler at WrestleMania XXVII, which they accepted. On the March 21 episode of Raw, Guerrero, LayCool, and Ziggler lost to Stratus and Morrison in a 4-on-2 handicap match. At WrestleMania XXVII, Vickie's team of LayCool and Ziggler were defeated by Snooki, Stratus, and Morrison. The night after WrestleMania, on Raw, Vickie and Ziggler were defeated by Stratus and Morrison. [45]

At the Capitol Punishment pay-per-view, Ziggler won the United States Championship from Kofi Kingston, with the help of Guerrero. The next night on Raw, Ziggler retained the championship from Kingston by disqualification. Later that night, Vickie lost a dance contest to Michael Cole, despite Cole receiving the most boos. On the September 12 Raw, Vickie lost to the Divas Champion, Kelly Kelly, due to Ziggler fighting with Jack Swagger. On the September 19 Raw after weeks of pursuing for Vickie's services, Jack Swagger convinced Vickie to sign a managerial contract. At Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Ziggler lost the United States Championship to Zack Ryder, [46] who lost the title to Swagger on the January 16, 2012, episode of Raw. [47] On the March 5 Raw, Swagger lost the United States Championship to Santino Marella. [48] On the June 18 episode of Raw, Vickie ended her clientele service with Jack Swagger and renewed her romantic relationship with Ziggler.

Final storylines and departure (2012–2014) Edit

After showing "evidence" to the WWE Board of Directors of AJ Lee "fraternizing" with a WWE wrestler – which was later stated as John Cena – AJ was asked to resign. On the October 22 episode of Raw, Mr. McMahon announced Guerrero as the new Raw Managing Supervisor. On the December 10 episode of Raw, Guerrero defeated AJ with help from Brad Maddox, who was the special referee for the match. [49] At the Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view, Guerrero tried to help Dolph Ziggler in his ladder match against Cena, until she was attacked by AJ, who betrayed Cena and helped Ziggler win. The following night on Raw, Guerrero teamed with Cena to defeat the new couple of Ziggler and AJ by disqualification due to interference from Big E Langston.

On the February 18, 2013, episode of Raw, Guerrero named Brad Maddox as her assistant, where Maddox came up with the name of Team Brickie. In mid-2013, Vickie entered a storyline where Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, and Triple H pressured her to increase the level of her authority. On the July 8 episode of Raw, after undergoing a job evaluation, the fans did not vote in Vickie's favor, resulting in her getting fired by Stephanie McMahon. Vince McMahon tried to console her afterwards, and appointed her assistant, Brad Maddox, as the new General Manager.

On the July 19 episode of SmackDown, Vince McMahon hired Guerrero as the new General Manager of SmackDown. Guerrero told the fans she hated each and every one of them, blaming them for her getting fired as Managing Supervisor of Raw. In addition to this, when Maddox congratulated her, Guerrero slapped him, and in revenge for having security escort her out by Teddy Long's orders the week before, Vickie had Long escorted out by security. On the October 7 episode of Raw, after announcing that Alberto Del Rio would defend the World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena at Hell in a Cell, she distracted Del Rio in his match against Ricardo Rodriguez, allowing Rodriguez to pick up the win. Following this, Vickie argued with Kane and Brad Maddox over who should be in charge. On the November 18 episode of Raw, Stephanie McMahon forced Guerrero to compete in a match against the Divas Champion AJ Lee, which she lost. On March 24, 2014, episode of Raw, after hearing insulting comments from AJ towards her, Guerrero forced AJ to defend her Divas Championship in a 14-woman "Vickie Guerrero Invitational" at WrestleMania XXX. [50] On the June 16 episode of Raw, Roman Reigns tried to convince Vickie to put him into the battle royal for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship opportunity at Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Vickie however refused, because The Authority wouldn't allow him in it. Reigns then spiked the coffee she gave to Stephanie McMahon, causing Stephanie to throw up on Vickie and leave with Triple H to the hospital. Vickie later gave Reigns a chance in the battle royal, which he won. [51] On June 23 episode of Raw, Vickie lost in a pudding match against Stephanie McMahon with her job on the line, after interference by Alicia Fox, Layla and Rosa Mendes. Vickie ultimately lost the match and was fired as general manager of both shows, got her retribution over McMahon by throwing her into the mud pool and mouthed, "I love you" a tribute to her late husband, Eddie Guerrero, and performed his signature taunt while leaving the stage, turning face for the first time since 2007. This was done to write her off television, as she had requested her release a few months before. [52]

Sporadic appearances (2016, 2018) Edit

On the July 4, 2016 episode of Raw, Vickie returned to WWE as a villainess once again, announcing her intentions to become the new "SmackDown Chief Operating Officer" after the WWE Brand Extension returned on July 19 however, she was escorted out of the arena by two security guards. While being escorted out, Vickie encountered Dolph Ziggler backstage, who denied knowing her at all. [53]

On January 28, 2018, at the Royal Rumble, Guerrero made a surprise entrance at number 16 during the first women's Royal Rumble match, in which she was eliminated by Becky Lynch, Michelle McCool, Ruby Riott, & Sasha Banks in 57 seconds. Afterwards, she attacked Carmella, who entered at number 17, by hitting her with her Money in the Bank briefcase. On the 1000th episode of Smackdown she returned as a face [54]

All Elite Wrestling (2019–present) Edit

On December 11, 2019, she appeared as a guest commentator for All Elite Wrestling taping of AEW Dark Episode 11 that premiered December 17, 2019 on YouTube. [55] According to Guerrero, this appearance caused WWE to "cut her off". [56] On July 15, 2020, at Fight for the Fallen, Guerrero was revealed as Nyla Rose's manager. [57] On the June 4, 2021, Guerrero also revealed Andrade El Idolo as her new client.

Guerrero's approach to her work as manager is "to make them shine and do my little part and just be there at the right moment and the right time to do the right thing" while "my role is just an embellishment of the superstar that’s in the ring. I don’t want to overshadow them". [58] She uses the catchphrase "Excuse me". [59]

Guerrero has appeared in two video games. She made her in-game debut in WWE '12 as a playable DLC character and in WWE 2K15 as an exclusive manager for the Microsoft Windows, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions. [60]

In 2019, Guerrero began hosting her own podcast, Excuse Me: The Vickie Guerrero Show. [61]

Guerrero is a Christian of French and Mexican descent. [62] [63] Vickie married Eddie Guerrero on April 24, 1990, after three years of dating. [64] Guerrero's father encouraged them to marry following the announcement of Vickie's first pregnancy. [65] Together, Vickie and Eddie had two daughters: Shaul Marie Guerrero (born October 14, 1990), who is married to fellow professional wrestler Aiden English, [66] and Sherilyn Amber Guerrero (born July 8, 1995). They were married until his death.

On June 18, 2015, Vickie announced her engagement to partner Kris Benson, [67] and the two were married on September 12, 2015. [68] [69]

After leaving WWE in 2014, she revealed her plans to start a new career in medical administration. [70] Vickie became officially certified as a medical office administrator and was hired by a pharmaceutical company as a medical administrator. [71] [72] In 2019, she graduated from Herzing University with a Bachelor of Science in healthcare administration. [73]


Crime - Profumo Affair - Old Bailey, London

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About the Artist

Artwork detail (photo by News Travels Fast)

Vickie Pierre is a multimedia artist, born and bred in Brooklyn. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1997. She currently lives in Miami.

Pierre has participated in exhibitions worldwide, including: National Museum of Women in the Arts (D.C.) Miami Art Museum (PAMM) Fredric Snitzer Gallery (Miami) White Box (NY) Musee International des Arts Modestes (France) Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (Puerto Rico) Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland) The King Juan Carlos of Spain I Center (NY) Los Angeles Art Association Museum of Art and Design (Miami Dade) Little Haiti Cultural Center (Miami) The Deering Estate (Miami) and Locust Projects (Miami), among others. Her artworks can be found in private collections and public institutions.

The inspiration for Pierre’s work has manifested itself in years of collecting diverse materials that often serve as muses in her daily practice and as actual, physical elements within her assemblages and installations.

Her continued focus is on the universal themes of identity with references to design and nature, alongside the interconnectivity between her Haitian heritage (including the larger Caribbean community) and global cultural mythologies, while considering feminine and historic tropes that are relative to contemporary cultural politics.


Editorial: Political manipulation at the Contra Costa college district

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Contra Costa voters in Wards 2, shown in purple above, and 5, shown in blue, will elect trustees to the community college district board.

On Aug. 5, as candidates were filing to run for election, the president of the board and the spokesman for the Contra Costa Community College District contacted us.

They wanted to tip us off to investigations of two district trustees who were running for reelection this fall. It’s unusual for an elected board member to join forces with an administrator of a college system to publicly call out and embarrass another board member. But they said they were trying to be transparent.

We have since concluded that this was a raw political and partisan play, timed by board President Rebecca Barrett to try to influence the upcoming college board election.

At the time, we told Barrett, whom we were leery of because of her voter deception during her campaign two years ago, and spokesman Timothy Leong that we would look at the investigation findings but would want to also see the reports. We submitted a Public Records Act request.

Two and half months later, we’ve been provided short summary letters signed by Barrett and a separate executive summary from staff, but we’re still waiting on the full investigation reports. And, according to Interim Chancellor Gene Huff, it’s Barrett who controls the timing of their possible release. Barrett did not respond to our requests for comment.

The allegations involve separate investigations pertaining to trustees Vicki Gordon and Greg Enholm. The two investigations were conducted by separate law firms, and the issues are completely different. The only common factor is that Barrett timed the concurrent release of information about the investigations to coincide with the election.

With Election Day drawing near, we are left to do our best with what we’ve been provided, and our own independent reporting, as we make our election endorsement. It’s also important that voters understand the abusive political manipulation that has transpired and the serious problems with the investigation of Gordon.

Reelect Vicki Gordon

No current trustee brings a better understanding of the district and its finances, no one works harder, and no one is more dedicated to helping students than Vicki Gordon, above. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

We wholeheartedly endorse Gordon for reelection in Ward 2. No current trustee brings a better understanding of the district and its finances, no one works harder, and no one is more dedicated to helping students.

Gordon has also pushed for district transparency, has been a leader on ending the district’s pension spiking and properly funding the once-anemic retiree health care program for workers. And she hasn’t always earned friends doing it.

She’s not perfect. She acknowledges she has made mistakes, specifically some inappropriate phone calls to other trustees and staff that she regrets and has apologized for. But, as we’ll elaborate below, most of the investigation, as presented in Barrett’s summary, was deeply flawed, with incorrect legal analysis in one case and conclusions about her actions that make no sense to anyone who knows Gordon.

As for her challengers, neither student John Michaelson nor, much more surprisingly, former Diablo Valley College President Judy Walters come close to Gordon’s knowledge of district finances. Gordon is clearly the best candidate.

Fernando Sandoval, whom we endorsed four years ago, remains uninspiring, but the better of two candidates in Ward 5. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

As for Ward 5, we very tepidly endorse Enholm’s opponent, retired financial consultant Fernando Sandoval. We’ve had long-standing concerns about Enholm’s abrasive style and meddling beyond his appropriate role as a trustee.

So it wasn’t surprising that the investigation found that he also inappropriately lobbied former Chancellor Fred Wood to hire as Contra Costa College president a professor who lacked the needed experience. Unlike in the case of Gordon, the district provided documents regarding Enholm that support the allegations in his case.

Sandoval, whom we endorsed four years ago, remains uninspiring. We wish there were a better alternative.

Barrett’s manipulation

The other part of this story is the political manipulation by Barrett, a Democratic Party activist who is not on the ballot this year but, as the current board president, controlled the timing of release of information.

The release of investigation reports seems to be a raw political and partisan play, timed by board President Rebecca Barrett, above, to try to influence the upcoming college board election.

Barrett has a history of deception. When she ran for office in 2018, she claimed in her ballot designation to be an educator. But she’s not an educator in the sense most people would interpret that. She doesn’t work in our schools. She’s not an accredited teacher or college professor. She tried to justify the educator claim by saying that, as part of her political consulting work, she provides training on political activism.

Gordon had originally endorsed Barrett in that election but withdrew the backing after the ballot designation deception came to light. The relationship between the two has been difficult since.

Then, in September 2019, an anonymous person filed a complaint with the district against Gordon. The anonymous allegations against Enholm came in November 2019.

When Barrett became board president, a rotating position, at the start of 2020, she assumed responsibility for the investigations. The few documents released by the district make it hard to reconstruct the Enholm investigation timeline but provide key information about the Gordon probe calendar.

They show that the investigation was completed on either March 24 or March 26. But the release of the finding summaries, which Huff says Barrett controlled, was delayed three months until just before the election season — when it might do the most political damage.

Finally, on June 30, Barrett notified Gordon in an email that “The findings are back from the ethics complaints that were filed which involve you.” They agreed to meet on July 2.

The meeting

While Barrett had an attorney with her, she forbade Gordon from bringing her lawyer, her husband Scott Gordon. Vicki Gordon says she didn’t know the breadth of the investigation, nor did she have any idea of the findings in advance.

So she was surprised when presented with Barrett’s six-page letter of determination that Gordon had tried to remove an item from the agenda for her own personal gain, that she had violated the Brown Act and that, while intoxicated, she had threatened other board members.

Barrett gave Gordon a one-page resolution agreement to sign, which she did. At that point, Gordon says, she was so stunned that she didn’t want to put up a fight. About three weeks later, the resolution agreement was presented to the full board.

Earlier that day, July 22, Barrett and Leong contacted a Times reporter to alert her to what was coming at the meeting. The reporter asked for all the documentation. When no story appeared over the next two weeks in part because Barrett and the district hadn’t produced the full report, the pair contacted the editorial page to try to reignite interest but were met with the same request to first produce the supporting documentation.

In a July 2 email to Gordon before their meeting that day, Barrett said, “I am genuinely hopeful this can be a fruitful conversation about how we can best move forward on behalf of the district.” But Barrett apparently wasn’t interested in patching up the relationship.

The following month, in a large Zoom meeting, Barrett vehemently argued to the Democratic Party of Contra Costa County that it should endorse Gordon’s leading opponent in part because Gordon, a Democrat, had endorsed three local Republicans in the past — candidates who have often garnered bipartisan support.

Barrett also falsely told the Democratic gathering that the investigation findings about Gordon had been released in a timely manner. And then Barrett doubled down with misinformation. Responding to Gordon’s comments to the board, Barrett told the committee, that there was no dispute that Gordon used her position for personal financial gain.

Probing the findings

That finding is very much in dispute. The issue revolved around a change to a 2019 memorandum of understanding for managers in the district. The agreement was to give them an extra 1% salary increase in exchange for their paying an additional 6% of their health insurance premiums.

For those with higher-end salaries, it was a good deal. But those on the lower end, depending on their coverage, might end up losing from the bargain. And trustees, who receive health care from the district at the same price as managers but receive only a $750 monthly stipend, would also be negatively affected. The contention was that Gordon tried to block the deal because she personally stood to lose.

Actually, according to Gordon, and separately verified, she had received calls from members of the bargaining group who were confused about the deal. She says she may have used her situation to make a point to staff members that lower-income people would be adversely affected. But what she wanted was to make sure that the affected managers understood the deal. The management group agreed to postpone the vote they resurveyed their members and the board, including Gordon, subsequently approved the agreement.

What makes the allegation so questionable is that it requires one to believe that Gordon is working as a trustee for the paltry compensation. Gordon is married to a very successful lawyer. It’s hard to fathom that she, who has aggressively worked to control district benefit costs, would cross an ethical line to avoid paying $220 more each month for health insurance.

The credibility of Barrett’s letter is further undercut by the finding that Gordon violated the Brown Act, the state open meeting law for local government, by asking two directors elected in 2018, Barrett and Andy Li, to support her for board chairwoman the following year.

Gordon says that wasn’t the point of the conversations, but even if it was, there was no violation of the law. The law prohibits communication by a quorum of five-member board members outside of properly noticed meetings.

But it only applies to trustees after they have been elected. Barrett’s summary of the findings says that her conversation with Gordon occurred before Barrett was elected. Thus, there was no quorum communication and, hence, no violation of the law.

The final allegation, the only one Gordon acknowledges, is that she made some calls to other employees and board members while intoxicated. She says that she did make some calls that she regrets and has apologized for. It was during a time of some family difficulties, she said.

While she did step over the line, we appreciate her contrition. For us, the findings are not enough to undermine the fine work she has done.

Epilogue

Meanwhile, as we approach Election Day, the district has stonewalled for nearly three months on release of the full investigation report. Huff, who oversees responding to records requests, finally said Thursday that the report is subject to attorney-client privilege.

And, he said, it’s up to the board whether to waive that privilege. Barrett, who has been copied on all our requests for records, controls the meeting agenda because she is board president. She has not brought the matter to the board. The next scheduled meeting isn’t until eight days after the election.


The Many Faces of Immigration

During the period from 1877 to 1925, what groups opposed immigration and who attempted to help immigrants?

Answer

“Immigration of some kind,” the historian John Higham has written, “is one of the constants of American history, called forth by the energies of capitalism and the attractions of regulated freedom.” This constancy did not preclude alternating periods of accelerating and waning nativism—a term understood best, Higham asserted, “as intense opposition to an internal minority on the ground of its foreign (i.e., ‘un-American’) connections.”

The half-century between the mid-1870s and the mid-1920s is a distinctive period in immigration history. As masses of immigrants arrived in the U.S. (nearly 24 million between 1880 and 1924), currents of intensifying nativism alternated with periods of decline until the spread of race-based nativism in the early 20th century led ultimately to the passage of legislation that severely restricted the numbers and types of immigrants entering legally. In charting the ebbs and flows of nativism, Higham’s classic study, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925, details two periods of national crisis: from 1886 to 1896, when immigration was linked with class conflict and World War I, when cultural conformity became imperative to impose on immigrant groups who were viewed as threats to national unity.

During the first period of crisis, a number of groups sought restrictive immigration policies. Middle-class reformers and business leaders worried that polarization during a period of intense capital-labor strife threatened social stability while native workingmen feared that immigrants competing for jobs would drive down wages. Most importantly for the future, “the amorphous, urban and semi-urban public,” consisting of “petty businessmen, nonunionized workers, and white-collar folk”—in Higham’s analysis, “rootless ‘in-betweeners’”—whose sense of danger grew into hysteria as increasing outbreaks of strikes and boycotts led them to identify immigrants with radicalism. Anti-immigrant hysteria flared up repeatedly throughout this period and afterward until restrictive legislation was ultimately enacted.

In eastern cities, anti-radical and anti-Catholic patriotic societies blamed immigrants for problems in schools and city government. The phenomenon spread nationwide when nativism arose in rural areas of the South and West. As new immigrants from southern and eastern Europe arrived in great numbers, patrician intellectuals and the Republican party, imbued with Anglo-Saxon ideology, pushed for restrictionist legislation. After Republicans won the 1896 election and the period of economic depression subsided, the national mood of crisis ebbed and the drive for restrictive legislation sputtered.

During the period of waning nativism that followed, progressives in the social settlement movement came to appreciate immigrants for values they might add to the national culture. Immigrant groups became influential forces in the Democratic and Republican parties. Politicians courted the immigrant vote, and with new immigrants comprising more than one third of the workforce in principal industries, corporate leaders shifted their stance and organized resistance to restrictive legislation.

At the same time, racially-based ideological beliefs gained force in other segments of society. Scientists promoted eugenics. Anti-Catholicism became an outlet for some former rural populists and progressives who blamed the Catholic Church when their hopes were not fulfilled. During the first quarter of the 20th century, racial nativism grew steadily in these segments.

By 1914, the immigration restriction movement had strengthened in the South and West among the native-born working class and patrician intellectuals. On the West Coast, Japanese immigrants faced the same racial anxieties that infected attitudes toward Mediterranean and eastern European peoples in the east. However, restriction legislation failed to pass because the issue still was not felt deeply throughout the rest of the country, and strong opposition came from immigrant groups and big business organizations. Presidents Taft and Wilson vetoed literacy test bills, but in February 1917, Congress overrode the veto to enact the first law that prohibited immigration by adults unable to read.

During World War I, preparedness societies led the nativism movement. Simultaneously, an Americanization movement spread among churches, schools, fraternal orders, patriotic societies, civic organizations, chambers of commence, philanthropies, railroads, industries, and some trade unions with the goal of achieving a more tightly-knit nation through the assimilation of immigrants.

After the war and during the “Red Scare” that followed, the progressive ideal that America would steadily improve due to “immigrant gifts” lost credence. While immigrant groups actively continued to campaign against restrictive legislation, most of the other groups that had earlier opposed restriction now stood passively by as forces driven by anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism, such as the Ku Klux Klan, intensified the “war-born urge for conformity.”

President Harding signed an initial immigration quota system into law in 1921. It marked, in Higham’s view, “the most important turning-point in American immigration policy.” Immigration quotas were established based on national origins: for each nationality, three percent of the number of foreign-born persons living in the U.S. in 1910 were allowed to enter the country. Passage of the law, Higham states, “meant that in a generation the foreign-born would cease to be a major factor in American history.” In 1924, a new law was enacted whereby quotas for each national group fell to two percent of the number of foreign-born living in the U.S. in 1890, a time when immigrant groups from southern and eastern Europe represented a much smaller percentage of the population than in 1910.

Higham’s critics have noted that his analysis in Strangers does not do justice to the situation of immigrants from Asia and Mexico. More recent scholarship (some of which is listed below) has investigated nativism with regard to these other groups of immigrants and relations amongst various immigrant groups. Newer studies also have focused more closely than Higham on the immigrant groups themselves and have examined immigration from comparative and global perspectives.

Bibliography

Barrett, James R., and David Roediger. “Inbetween Peoples: Race, Nationality and the ‘New Immigrants.” Journal of American Ethnic History 16 (Spring 1997): 3-44.

Barrett, James R., and David Roediger. “The Irish and the ‘Americanization’ of the ‘New Immigrants’ in the Streets and in the Churches of the Urban United States, 1900-1930.” Journal of American Ethnic History 24 (Summer 2005): 3-33.

Benton-Cohen, Katherine. “Other Immigrants: Mexicans and the Dillingham Commission of 1907-1911.” Journal of American Ethnic History 30 (Winter 2011): 33-57.

Bodnar, John. “Culture without Power: A Review of John Higham’s Strangers in the Land.” Journal of American Ethnic History 10 (Fall 1990-Winter 1991): 80-86.

________. The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.

Gamio, Manuel. Mexican Immigration to the United States. New York: Arno Press and The New York Times, 1969.

Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, ed. Stephan Thernstrom. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1980.

Higham, John. “The Amplitude of Ethnic History: An American Story.” In Not Just Black and White: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States, ed. Nancy Foner and George M. Fredrickson, 61-81. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004.

________. “Another Look at Nativism.” Catholic Historical Review 44 (June 1958): 147-58.

________. Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925. 2nd ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1988.

Jacobson, Matthew Frye. Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917. New York: Hill and Wang, 2000.

Lee, Erika. At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

Martin, Susan F. A Nation of Immigrants. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Peck, Gunther. “Reinventing Free Labor: Immigrant Padrones and Contract Laborers in North America, 1885-1925.” In American Dreaming, Global Realities: Rethinking U.S. Immigration History, ed. Donna R. Gabaccia and Vicki L. Ruiz, 263-83. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2006.

Roediger, David, and James Barrett. “Making New Immigrants ‘Inbetween’: Irish Hosts and White Panethnicity, 1890-1930.” In Not Just Black and White: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States, ed. Nancy Foner and George M. Fredrickson, 167-96. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004.

Ueda, Reed. “Historical Patterns of Immigration Status and Incorporation in the United States.” In Gary Gerstle and John Mollenkopg, eds. E Pluribus Unum? Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on Immigrant Political Incorporation. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2001.

Ueda, Reed. “An Immigration Country of Assimilative Pluralism: Immigrant Reception and Absorption in American History.” In Klaus J. Bade and Myron Weiner, eds. Migration Past, Migration Future: Germany and the United States. Providence: Berghahn Books, 1997.


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