The "Farmers Insurance News-Alert" website is dedicated to providing the consumer and general public with detailed information concerning the Farmers Insurance Group. This includes fraud reports, consumer complaints, lawsuit's and other legal actions taken against this company. All information contained herein is for educational purposes only. Original sources, when known are sited.


Keeney to steer tobacco criminal investigation-WSJ

NEW YORK, July 10 (Reuters) - Attorney General Janet Reno last week tapped the Justice Department's most senior troubleshooter, John C. Keeney, 76, to help steer the sprawling criminal investigation of the nation's biggest cigarette makers, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The report said Keeney's appointment may accelerate the Federal investigation of the industry.

Keeney, who has directed high-profile criminal cases since the Kennedy era, fills a void created by the departure of the tobacco probe's longtime leader, fraud section chief Mary Spearing, who left in June for private practice, the paper said.

He oversees prosecutors that for four years have been investigating potential crimes ranging from making false statements to the government to conspiring to conceal the health risks of smoking.

People familiar with the situation say Keeney's new role signals that the probe is moving into a critical phase.

Another sign the investigation may be heating up is that the Department of Justice recently informed Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., a unit of London-based B.A.T. Industries PLC , and several individuals, that they are targets and may be indicted, lawyers close to the investigation say.

06:21 07-10-98


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