Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Rewarding Post

Just a couple of weeks ago, the U.S. have doubled the reward to Osama Bin Laden's capture, or to any information that may lead to his capture, to $50 million, making it the largest reward ever offered for a fugitive. In announcing the original reward in 2003, which was then $25 million, President Bush said, "There's an old poster out West, as I recall that said: 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.' All I want, and America wants is him brought to justice."

Actually, current U.S. law limits federal rewards to $25 million except when personally authorized by the Secretary of State "if he [or she] determines that offer or payment of an award of a larger amount is necessary to combat terrorism or defend the Nation against terrorist attacks."

That is really a large sum of money, one that may even turn Osama's close ally against him. Who knows, maybe Bin Laden can even turn himself in and claim that reward himself. While, you may think that is funny, it actually happened before. On March 1995, Gerald Lydell Voyles, suspected in a 1981 murder, walked into the Polk County Prison in Bartow, Florida and asked about the $3,000 reward for his capture. He was arrested after giving his real name. "We believe he was serious about the reward," said the local sheriff. "He will not be eligible."

Here are some other interesting rewards offered:

In 1994, O.J. Simpson offered $500,000 reward for information leading to the "real killer or killers" of Nicole Simpson.

$30 million was awarded to the unidentified person who tipped off U.S. forces that Saddam Hussein's sons were in a home in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in July 2003.

Robert Holmes, a 47-year-old car repairman from Tacoma, Washington was given $350,000 after he tipped off the FBI about the possible identity of the D.C. sniper, John Allen Muhammad. In contrast, Whitney Donahue, who called police after he spotted Muhammad's car at a Maryland rest area on Oct 24, 2002 received only $150,000.

People providing information to the IRS regarding tax cheaters receive up to 15% of the additional taxes collected, depending on the value of their information. In 2003, IRS shelled out a total of $4.1 million to reward people who turned in tax cheats. The record year was 2000, when IRS handed out some $10.8 million to informants.

In 1994, the Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.) offered $25,000 reward for the return of an object they couldn't describe. The object was stolen from an unmarked D.E.A. vehicle in Wilmington, N.C. "For security reasons, I can't say what it looked like," said the DEA agent-in-charge. "It does work in the manner in which you would think, by looking at it, it would work. Obviously, I can't say how it works, but it works. It's also very expensive, and we want it back."

In November 2003, Microsoft launched an Anti-virus rewards program and offered $250,000 for information leading to the creators of the "mydoom", "msblast" and "sobig" viruses. None of the virus creators has been captured.

In the fall of 2002, Warren Patabendi of New York offered $25,000 reward for the return of Bugsy, his parents' German shepherd, making it the largest reward ever for the return of a lost dog. Patabendi raised the reward to $25,000 after signs offering a $10,000 reward drew no interest.

And finally, the most popular bounty in history: 30 pieces of silver was awarded to Judas for the betrayal of Jesus.

Random Odds & Ends:
  • The F.B.I. was founded on July 26, 1908. On 1909, there were only 9 agents of FBI. By the year 2004, the number rose to almost 12,000.
  • The FBI's 10 most wanded criminal list started on 1950. By the year 2000, a total of 478 criminals made it on the list, only 7 of which are women.
  • Prior to having the cool nickname "Air Force One", the U.S. presidential aircraft was called "Sacred Cow".
  • Secret service code names for past presidents - Nixon: "Searchlight", Carter: "Deacon", Reagan: "Rawhide", Clinton: "Eagle" and George W. Bush: "Trailblazer".
  • There are 4 levels of U.S. government document secrecy: 1-confidential, 2-secret, 3-top secret, and 4-sigma 16. Sigma 16 are documents "containing nuclear weapons design specifications that would permit the reproduction and function of the weapon."


harriett said...

I have wondered about this, if anyone really received $$ from turning criminals in. Good diversion for a day at work!

Knowledge and Information Corner said...

Good source of information...