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Skimming gang gets five years

TWO Romanian men who were part of a skimming gang have been sentenced to five years for laundering €76,020 and possessing a camera device used in the scam.

Vasile Martin and Costel Asimioanei had also been sentenced last month for their role in the operation in which the President's husband, Dr Martin McAleese, had his ATM card skimmed and €5,000 withdrawn from his account.

Martin (36) of no fixed abode and Asimioanei (28) of Dara Court, Celbridge, both pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Yvonne Murphy sentenced both men to five years in prison with the last 18 months suspended.

Injury again in Spider-Man

Yet another performer in U2's disaster-hit Broadway musical Spider-Man, Turn Off The Dark has been hit with injury, a spokesman for the show said yesterday.

Actress TV Carpio, who replaced Natalie Mendoza when Mendoza was felled by a concussion, was injured last week during an onstage battle scene.

The much-delayed musical, the most expensive in Broadway history, was hit last month with three serious violations of workplace safety rules.

The opening date was recently put off until June.

Rapper faces jail over taxes

Rapper and actor Ja Rule admitted that he failed to pay taxes on more than $3m (e2.1m) in income, and he faces up to three years in prison.

The platinum-selling rapper, whose given name is Jeffrey Atkins, earned the money between 2004 and 2006.

If the plea conditions are met, the government will dismiss two counts against him for unpaid taxes on about $1m (e700,000) he earned in 2007 and 2008.

Manager of Lou Reed arrested

Rocker Lou Reed's manager has been arrested on a charge of aggravated harassment after allegations he threatened to kill a consultant in a dispute over money.

Tommy Sarig was arrested on Sunday in the dispute with Adrian Smith, who works with the rich and famous to find personal assistants and other help.