Guilty plea in Yale grad student credit card scam

A former Yale graduate student who spent time in federal prison for a credit card scam has pleaded guilty to new charges involving defrauding a hotel while still in custody.

Thomas Wayne Brown had been sentenced to 27 months in federal prison in March 2000 for running up $124,000 in charges on credit cards he opened in the names of Yale students and professors. Prosecutors said Brown used names and Social Security numbers he obtained from a class list while he was a Yale teaching assistant to obtain credit cards. He then used the cards to buy jewelry, airline tickets and electronic equipment. After serving a year in prison, Brown was released to a halfway house on April 13, 2001. According to prosecutors, while at the halfway house earlier this year Brown obtained checks for a Texas bank account and sent a bad check and letter to a hotel in Stonington to reserve a room after he was released from the halfway house.

Brown pleaded guilty Thursday to the new charge of mail fraud in the bid to get the hotel room and also that he violated his supervised release. Brown is scheduled to be sentenced on the new charges Oct. 30.

–Associated Press

Yale police officers collect for tragedy fund

Yale police officers will be collecting funds this weekend for rescuers who were injured or died in the World Trade Center attacks.

Officers will be standing outside Woolsey Hall and the Sterling Hall of Medicine all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the collected funds will be divided equally between the WTC Police Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Firefighters 911 Disaster Relief Fund.

Others in the state responded to the Sept. 11 attacks Thursday. Gov. John G. Rowland proposed that any child who lost a parent in the attack should receive a free college education at a state college. The plan would need to be approved by the General Assembly. Chief State’s Attorney John Bailey announced he had received reports of nine hate crimes apparently stemming from last week’s attack. None involved violence. They were limited to threats or graffiti.

Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney John A. Danaher III announced the appointment of a statewide anti-terrorism task force, which will be led by Assistant U.S. Attorney James I. Glasser. The group will include a number of other veteran prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office.

–From staff and wire reports

Giordano pleads not guilty to 14 charges

BRIDGEPORT — Jailed Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano pleaded innocent Thursday to a 14-count federal indictment that includes charges of

violating the civil rights of two children he is accused of sexually assaulting.

Giordano has been held without bond at an undisclosed location since his July 26 arrest. Federal prosecutors claim Giordano conspired with a Waterbury prostitute to gain access to the children. The alleged victims are female cousins, ages 9 and 11, and are the daughter and niece of the alleged co-conspirator.

The civil rights counts were added to the initial charge against the mayor of using an interstate facility to entice a minor into sex. The civil rights charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. The indictment, unsealed Thursday, indicates the woman arranged for drivers to take the children to the mayor’s law office, his city hall office and his home. In some cases, prosecutors charge, the 38-year-old mayor paid the woman to bring the children to him for sex. Federal authorities learned of the alleged sexual misconduct while investigating allegations of municipal corruption in Waterbury.

–Associated Press