Homeland Security, Police Officer Busted In Car Fraud Sting

More than 60 people found the offer of a chop-shop that would let them report their car stolen too good to refuse, including an employee of the Dept. of Homeland Security, an NYPD officer and a director of a city hospital. Unfortunately for them, the shop was run by the city police as part of "Operation Disappearing Act," which sounds like something out of a James Ellroy novel. The sting netted 70 vehicles worth approximately $1.7 million.

Cars included the police officer's Dodge Charger (hopefully, not an unmarked cop car), Bimmers and Escalades. At least one of the lawyers is claiming that this amounts to entrapment, saying "the police department and the Queens district attorney proactively went out and induced people who otherwise would not commit a crime to commit a crime." It's a fair point, but it won't hold up if the people actively sought out the chop shop and not the other way around. [NY Times]