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Monday, April 30, 2012

U.S. Chamber Releases Statement on USTR’s 2012 Special 301 Report


Release Date: Apr 30, 2012Contact: 888-249-NEWS

U.S. Chamber Releases Statement on USTR’s 2012 Special 301 Report

WASHINGTON D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today praised the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for promoting effective intellectual property protection and enforcement around the globe with the release of its 2012 Special 301 Report.

“The Special 301 process is an important mechanism for policymakers to assess who is playing by the rules of the global trading system, and more specifically, whether countries are adhering to their intellectual property obligations under trade agreements,” said Mark Elliot, executive vice president for the Chamber’s GIPC.
“Strong rules and effective enforcement regimes are an essential measure of the climate for companies small and large who wish to conduct business with foreign countries.”

recent submission by GIPC to USTR provided an overall assessment of the major challenges to intellectual property protection in eight countries: Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

“We are encouraged that USTR recognizes many of our same concerns in these eight countries,” said Elliot.  “The Special 301 Report is a valuable tool and we hope that USTR will work with these countries to design specific action plans that lead to the country’s removal from the list. We also encourage Congress to work with USTR and pass legislation requiring action plans for countries that include clear benchmarks to measure their performance and clear consequences for countries that fail to take action.”

Produced annually, the Special 301 Report is a critical mechanism for the U.S. government to ensure that trading partners provide adequate and effective protection of IP for America’s creators and innovators.  Over the past few years, the Report has also encouraged bad actors to change course and adopt significantly improved IP regimes.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

Lugar Hails Withdrawal of Farm Labor Regulations


Press Release of Senator LugarLugar Hails Withdrawal of Farm Labor Regulations

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) welcomed the announcement late last week that the Department of Labor was dropping its plans to impose new regulations that would have prevented children and young people from doing most activities on their family farms.

“As a farmer, I understand the regulatory burden placed on farmers and rural businesses by the Federal government,” Lugar said.  “We should not be increasing government regulations at the expense of farm families.  Unfortunately, that is what the Obama Administration was proposing to do with its youth farm labor regulations.”

Last year, the Department of Labor proposed rules that would have harmed family farm operations and agricultural education by prohibiting youth under the age of 18 from being near certain animals without adult supervision; from participating in common livestock practices, such as vaccinations and hoof trimming; from handling most animals more than six months old; from operating farm machinery over 20 PTO horsepower; from completing tasks at elevations over six feet high; and from working at stockyards and grain and feed facilities.  These proposals would have had far-reaching implications and could have severely limited participation in 4-H and FFA activities, restricted youth farm safety classes, and negatively impacted rural lifestyle.

Instead, the Department of Labor announced that it will work with the Department of Agriculture and rural stakeholders – such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the Future Farmers of America, and 4-H – to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.

In March, Senator Lugar had joined 38 of his colleagues in introducing the Preserving America’s Family Farm Act.  This legislation would have blocked the Department of Labor’s efforts to severely restrict young people from working on family farms.  And, in December of last year, Senator Lugar and 28 of his Senate colleagues sent a letter to the Department of Labor outlining numerous concerns and requesting that the proposed rule be withdrawn.

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Lugar Rallies for Hoosier Jobs, Energy Security


Press Release of Senator LugarLugar Rallies for Hoosier Jobs, Energy Security
Monday, April 30, 2012




Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) today visited Koontz-Wagner in South Bend, Indiana, to rally support for Hoosier jobs and energy security that would come from the Keystone XL pipeline project.
“Hoosiers need jobs.  Our country needs reliable and affordable oil.   The Keystone XL pipeline project would provide both.”  Lugar said.  “President Obama’s incomprehensible obstruction of the Keystone XL pipeline is costing Hoosiers jobs.”

Lugar continued, “A strong Senate majority already backed our Keystone XL legislation in spite of President Obama’s personal phone calls lobbying against our bill.  The Keystone XL pipeline will create 20,000 new jobs with no taxpayer expense, and it will support hundreds of thousands of more workers in the supply chain.  I will work tirelessly to overturn the President’s rejection of the pipeline.”

In South Bend, Koontz-Wagner is a subcontractor for Siemens on the Keystone XL project.  They received a contract for 78 equipment shelters for the project that led to the hiring of more than 50 new employees.  Lugar has visited with dozens of Hoosier workers who would benefit directly from the more than $7 billion in private financing that will pay for construction and manufacture of Keystone XL.  Examples of other Hoosier businesses that would benefit from the Keystone XL project moving forward include Endress+Hauser in Greenwood, Caterpillar in Lafayette, and Fairfield Manufacturing in Lafayette.

Additional background on Keystone XL jobs for Indiana and the importance of the project is copied below.
Lugar is a chief author of legislation to enable construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Lugar, along with Senators John Hoeven, David Vitter, and other colleagues, introduced legislation to approve the pipeline, notwithstanding the President’s opposition.  The Hoeven-Lugar-Vitter Keystone XL legislation is supported by a majority of the Senate, even though it has been blocked by Presidential veto threats and parliamentary procedures.

Background information: Lugar Fighting for Hoosier Jobs,
Keystone XL Pipeline

            Senator Dick Lugar (R-Indiana) is leading the charge to create jobs and improve United States security through construction of the more than $7 billion privately-funded Keystone XL pipeline.  Lugar wrote legislation to override the President’s rejection of the pipeline, leading all Senate Republicans and 11 Democrats in support.  He continues that effort today.

            Thousands of Hoosiers have shared their support and appreciation for Senator Lugar’s efforts to bring Keystone XL pipeline job and energy security.  Among those sharing support are dozens of United States military veterans, 21 Hoosier mayors and State Representatives, and the Indiana State Senate, which unanimously passed a resolution in support of Keystone XL.

Keystone XL Pipeline Is Good for America:
  • Create Jobs.Create 20,000 direct new jobs in building the pipeline and manufacturing.
  • Strengthen National Security.  Reduce need for foreign oil from volatile regions by increasing secure trade with Canada and oil production in North Dakota and Montana.
  • Promote Economic Growth.Boost more than 1,400 U.S. companies that directly sell their products and services for oil sands production and transport.
  • Succeed where the President has Failed.  Even after 1,217 days of pipeline review, the Obama Administration failed to support America’s workers and security. 
  • Help Lower Gas Prices.  Analysis from the Department of Energy suggests that delivering more oil via Keystone XL will help lower gas prices. 
  • No Taxpayer Expense.  Keystone XL is a private project that will fund nearly half a billion dollars in salaries and purchase $6.5 billion worth of materials, services, and other local economic activity.  Government simply needs to get out of the way.
Keystone XL Pipeline is Good for Hoosier Jobs:


            Keystone XL is perhaps the largest private infrastructure project available for construction almost immediately.  It is expected to directly create 20,000 jobs, particularly in the hard-hit construction and manufacturing sectors.  In addition, tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of other American workers will have their jobs bolstered through the supply chain.  Many of these are small American businesses that manufacture specialty parts or provide services.

            Already Hoosiers working at Koontz-Wagner in South Bend, Indiana, have benefited from some of the $800 million that has already been spent for Keystone XL supplies.  As a subcontractor for Siemens, Koontz-Wagner constructed 78 equipment shelters for Keystone XL.  The largest of the shelters measures 62 feet long, 14 feet wide, and weighs about 8,500 pounds.  Manufacture of the 78 units for Keystone XL generated 140,000 ‘man hours’ of work, allowing 50-60 new employees to be hired.  It is the single largest contract for that company in South Bend.  The people of Koontz-Wagner are fortunate that they are an early contractor.  Meanwhile, thousands of additional workers are waiting for their chance.

            Other Indiana firms stand to benefit from the Keystone XL pipeline. Senator Dick Lugar has visited Endress+Hauser in Greenwood where they already have manufactured $600,000 worth of flow and temperature devices, Caterpillar in Lafayette where they manufacture the engines for the heavy equipment developing the oil sands, and Fairfield Manufacturing in Lafayette where they manufacture large gears and other components of the Caterpillar machines, in addition to other industrial machinery.

            More than 2,400 American companies in 49 states, including more than 100 in Indiana, supply goods and services for oil sands development and transport, according to industry estimates.  Virtually all of these American companies stand to benefit from robust trade with Canada, and stand to lose from Canada turning its trade preferences toward Asia.  The Indiana Petroleum Council recently announced KXL could result in 8,000 in-state jobs through 2035.

            The United States has perhaps the most dynamic refinery sector in the world, directly employing 108,000 people – including 2,245 in Whiting and Mt. Vernon, Indiana – and manufacturing the feed stocks for American workers who further produce diverse items from fertilizer to fishing rods.  Those jobs are more secure with inputs to the refineries from reliable and affordable domestic and Canadian sources instead of unstable foreign suppliers.  Senator Lugar is working to block President Obama and Senate Democrats from squeezing refiners through regulation and blockage Canadian trade in Keystone XL.

            An important testament to the job-creating opportunities of Keystone XL is the strong support of several unions, such as the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the U.S. & Canada, International Union of Operating Engineers, Laborers’ International Union of North America, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

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Q&A on Health Care Costs and Medical Liability Reform


April 30, 2012

Q&A on Health Care Costs and Medical Liability Reform

Q:    When will Congress reduce health care costs with medical liability reform?
A:    There’s routine opposition to creating an environment where doctors don't have to engage in defensive medicine just to keep their practices open because somebody might sue them.  Legislation that could lead to a reduction in unnecessary medical tests that drive up costs was rejected by Democratic leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives during the health care debates of 2009 and 2010.  This year, in March, the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a medical liability overhaul.  Similar reform legislation was included in a House Judiciary Committee budget proposal passed in April.  Unfortunately, companion legislation is unlikely to be brought up for action in the U.S. Senate due to continued opposition from Democratic leaders who control the committees and floor debate.

Q:    What’s the real value of reform in this area?
A:    Abusive lawsuits drive up costs for everyone in the health care system.  Lower malpractice liability rates for providers would translate into savings for the costs that taxpayers pay for.  Based upon the indirect, defensive medicine costs put on publicly funded health care programs, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that comprehensive medical liability reform would reduce the federal budget deficit by between $40 billion and $57 billion over a ten-year period.  Generally speaking, traditional malpractice reforms seek practical solutions to combating frivolous lawsuits such as caps on punitive damages, caps on non-economic damages, and limits on the percentage of an award that can be taken by a plaintiff’s attorney under a contingency fee agreement.  A number of crisis periods in the liability insurance market, when premiums sharply increased and doctors have had difficulty finding coverage, have limited access to health care, as well.

Q:    What else can be done to reduce these costs to the health care system?

A:    In September 2009, President Obama announced in a speech to Congress that he was launching a federal grant program aimed at reducing health care costs by reducing the costs of defensive medicine.  This was a far cry from meaningful tort reforms, but he said it was to try to move forward on medical malpractice reform.  Now, more than two years later, it appears that none of the $23.2 million that has been awarded in these grants has gone to researching or implementing traditional medical malpractice reforms.  Instead, it looks like all of the research funded by the grant program is aimed at proving the obvious:  as the number of adverse events declines the number of malpractice lawsuits also declines.

I’ve sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, along with the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives and the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee in the Senate, to ask why the grant program has not done what the President publicly committed to do with the money.  Taxpayers and everyone paying for high health care costs deserve an accounting and justification of the way that the money has been spent.

Frivolous lawsuits, the high cost of medical malpractice insurance and excessive damages awards make health care more expensive.  Much more needs to be done than a research-oriented grant program, but that money still shouldn’t be wasted.  And, I will continue to work in the Senate for meaningful legislative reform.

Boehner on CNN: House Focusing on Jobs, POTUS Picking Fake Fights & Going After Straw Men

For text and video of John Boehner on CNN, click the link below:

http://boehner.house.gov/Blog/?postid=293333

Ashburn Realtor Convicted in $7 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme


Ashburn Realtor Convicted in $7 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme 

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeApril 30, 2012
  • Eastern District of Virginia(703) 299-3700
ALEXANDRIA, VA—Nadin Samnang, 29, of Ashburn, Virginia, has been convicted by a federal jury for his role in fraudulent mortgage loan transactions involving at least 25 homes in Northern Virginia and more than $7 million in losses to lenders. Samnang is a District of Columbia real estate developer and was formerly a realtor with Monorom Realty and Fairfax Realty in Virginia.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Daniel Cortez, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service; and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.
Samnang was convicted on April 27, 2012 of conspiracy, nine counts of wire fraud, and two counts of mail fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years on each count when he is sentenced on July 20, 2012. Samnang was indicted on December 13, 2011.
According to court records and evidence at trial, from 2006 to 2008, Samnang used his position as a realtor and the owner of a title company to engage in a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders and profit from loan proceeds, commissions, and bonus payments. Samnang and other members of the conspiracy recruited unqualified buyers—usually individuals with good credit but insufficient assets or income to qualify for a particular loan—and used them as nominal purchasers in residential real estate transactions. As part of the conspiracy and fraud scheme, Samnang and others falsified mortgage loan applications, created fake documents to support the fraudulent applications, and added the unqualified buyers as signatories on their bank accounts to make it appear to lenders as though the buyers possessed sufficient assets to qualify for the loans.
As part of the scheme, Samnang would often profit by flipping properties owned by him and his family members to these unqualified buyers using fraudulent loan documents. When Samnang’s promise of flipping the properties to other purchasers a few months down the line failed to be fulfilled, and when the kickbacks given to the buyers to fund mortgage payments were exhausted, the unqualified buyers promptly defaulted on their loans and the properties went into foreclosure. Samnang would also profit by arranging for cash-out refinances to be done for these borrowers, retaining most of the loan proceeds for himself, and paying kickbacks to the loan officer who had processed the fraudulent loans.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Paul J. Nathanson and Kosta S. Stojilkovic are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.

Repeat Bank Robber Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison


Repeat Bank Robber Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison 
Four Months After Release from 14-Year Sentence, Man Again Robs Bank

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeApril 30, 2012
  • Western District of Washington(206) 553-7970
A Federal Way, Washington man who previously served 14 years in prison for bank robbery was sentenced today to 18 years in prison for the March 10, 2010 robbery of a U.S. Bank branch in Tacoma, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. Robert Revels, III was convicted following a bench trial in December 2011. In November 2009, Revels finished his prison sentence for two bank robberies in 1997. Just four months after his release from a half-way house, he was involved in the Tacoma bank robbery. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle spoke of the impact the robbery had on victims inside the bank, saying, “The person who faces a brandished weapon, that’s a life sentence for them as well.”
According to records filed in the case and testimony at trial, at the Tacoma bank robbery, a masked robber brandished a loaded pistol and threatened the bank employees and customers, including a young boy. The robber had also kicked a prone security guard. The robber made off with a bag containing over $8,000. A tracking device was hidden with the money. Police followed the tracking device and found Revels with a bag of money stuffed in his waistband. Following up on witness tips, police found the mask and other clothing the robber had worn discarded in a parking garage garbage can. The mask had DNA from Revels. Revels claimed that others had robbed the bank, and he had picked up the cash they dropped. Judge Settle convicted Revels of aiding and abetting the robbery and said the evidence showed it was most likely that Revels was the bank robber. However, Judge Settle found that Revels aided and abetted the robbery, because he did not feel the evidence met the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that Revels was the robber.
In asking for a 20-year sentence, prosecutors argued that community safety must come first. They noted that Revels was convicted in 1987 for beating a 58-year-old janitor with a tire iron. In 1992 and 1995, he served jail terms for beating two women in domestic violence incidents. In 1996, he tried to ram police cars while trying to escape law enforcement. In 1997, Revels committed two armed takeover bank robberies. He wore a mask and brandished a handgun. “Revels is a career violent offender who comes before the court convicted of yet another violent crime. The victims from the U.S. Bank robber will live forever with the memory of the terrifying 90 seconds when a masked robber held their lives in his hands,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.
The case was investigated by the Tacoma Police Department and the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Dion and Ye-Ting Woo.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.

Arrest of Individual Involved in Robbery at Shopping Mall in Baymon


Arrest of Individual Involved in Robbery at Shopping Mall in Baymon 

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeApril 30, 2012
  • Special Agent Harry Rodriguez(787) 759-1550
SAN JUAN—On April 27, 2012, the Police of Puerto Rico and the FBI, in coordination with the United States Attorney’s Office, arrested Willie Diaz-Carrion, age 39, at a residence in Toa Baja, Puerto. Diaz-Carrion is charged with interference with interstate commerce-robbery and the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence.
The criminal complaint alleges that on April 26, 2012, Diaz-Carrion and another male individual drove a white Toyota Yaris to a branch of the Banco Popular de Puerto Rico located in the Rio Hondo shopping mall of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. At approximately 11:30 a.m., one of the suspects approached an individual who was walking to the bank entrance in order to make a deposit on behalf of the company that he works for. As the individual was approaching the front door of the bank, the subject who was brandishing a gun grabbed the individual by the neck and demanded the envelope he was carrying, which contained approximately $25,000 in checks and $1,000 in cash.
When the victim resisted, the subject struck the victim approximately three times on the head with the weapon. The victim subsequently dropped the bank deposit envelope on the ground, and the subject grabbed it and began running to the Toyota Yaris. An FBI agent, who was in the area and witnessed the robbery, identified himself to the perpetrators of the robbery. One of the subjects then began shooting at the FBIm agent and the agent returned fire at the subjects.
During their attempt to flee, the subjects struck an innocent bystander with the Toyota Yaris. The victim fell to the ground due to the impact and was subsequently run over by the vehicle.
The Toyota Yaris, which had been reported stolen on April 11, 2012, was recovered later that afternoon abandoned in the Rio Hondo 4 neighborhood. The investigation further revealed the subjects then fled in a gray BMW 325i that also had been reported stolen on April 25, 2012.
Law enforcement officers received information Willie Diaz-Carrion had participated in the robbery and that he had sustained gunshot wounds as a result of the robbery. While officers were conducting interviews of Diaz-Carrion’s family members at a residence in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Diaz-Carrion arrived at the residence suffering from two gunshot wounds. Diaz-Carrion was placed under arrest and then taken by the agents to a hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds.
If convicted, Diaz-Carrion faces up to a maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jose Contreras.
The public is reminded a criminal complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty. The U.S. government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ronald Glenn Keiser, III Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court


Ronald Glenn Keiser, III Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court 

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeApril 30, 2012
  • District of Montana(406) 657-6101
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Butte on April 26, 2012 before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, Ronald Glenn Keiser, III, a 37-year-old resident of Wolf Point, pled guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Sentencing has been set for August 2, 2012. He is currently detained.
In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
During the evening of Friday, August 19, 2011, a bar in Nashua hosted a bike rally. Activities at the bar throughout the evening included a disc jockey, a pole dancer, a beer drinking contest, and a hot legs contest. Keiser, an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Tribes, showed up at the bar that night. Witnesses saw Keiser staggering around the bar and drinking beer. Keiser left the bar by himself a little before 10:30 p.m. and drove away in his pickup truck.
At 11:23 p.m. on August 19, 2011, the first call to dispatch came in regarding a car crash on Highway 2 just east of Frazer, which is within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. A witness drove up on scene and saw a head-on collision had recently occurred between a pickup truck and a suburban. Both cars were steaming. A man, later identified as Keiser, still sat in the driver’s seat of the truck, while the driver of the suburban had just gotten out and had lain on the ground. The witness saw two people trapped in the suburban. She checked on a male passenger seated in the front passenger seat. The man seemed to still be breathing. She then checked on the other male passenger seated in the right rear passenger seat directly behind the front passenger. He was dead. The witness immediately checked on the front passenger again, and he had stopped breathing.
Emergency crews arrived at 11:37 p.m. Keiser sat uninjured on the side of the road with his head in his hands. The grill guard from Keiser’s truck was embedded in the middle of the right passenger side of the suburban. The passengers in the suburban were confirmed deceased.
Keiser’s blood alcohol content shortly after the crash was a 0.182. He was the only person in his truck at the time of the crash. Police found an open can of beer in the driver’s door panel in Keiser’s truck. They also found two partially filled cases of beer behind the driver’s seat in the truck—one six-pack and one 18-pack.
Keiser faces possible penalties of eight years in prison on each count, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division, and the Montana Highway Patrol.

Bend Businessman Pleads Guilty to $6 Million Bank Fraud


Bend Businessman Pleads Guilty to $6 Million Bank Fraud 
Case Relates to the Collapse of Desert Sun Development in Bend

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeApril 30, 2012
  • District of Oregon(503) 727-1000
EUGENE, OR—On April 23, 20102, John Partin, 67, appeared before U.S. District Judge Michael R. Hogan and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and loan application fraud. The charge arose out of the collapse of Desert Sun Development (DSD), a development and construction company in Bend, Oregon. As part of his guilty plea, Partin admitted that he caused financial institutions to lose more than $6 million. Sentencing is set before U.S. District Court Judge Michael R. Hogan on October 9, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.
According to court documents, Partin owned and operated Advanced Steel Systems Inc. (Advanced Steel), an Oregon corporation located in Bend, Oregon, that sold steel building kits for commercial construction projects. In court, Partin admitted that he, at the request of DSD principals, provided fictitious contracts and invoices for steel building kits and related costs that DSD principals used to obtain financing and loan proceeds for some of DSD’s commercial projects. Partin knew DSD principals were submitting these fraudulent contracts and invoices to financial institutions to obtain financing and loan proceeds. To keep track of the fraudulent invoices, defendant maintained an invoice log in which many of these false invoices were labeled “dummy” or “dummy invoice.”
Co-defendants Shannon Egeland, Jeremy Kendall, and Tyler Fitzsimons have previously pleaded guilty and are pending sentencing.
Conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This case was investigated by the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigations, and the Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott E. Bradford handled the prosecution of the case.

Georgia Woman Sentenced for Murder-for-Hire Plot


Georgia Woman Sentenced for Murder-for-Hire Plot

U.S. Attorney’s OfficeApril 30, 2012
  • Eastern District of Virginia(757) 441-6331
NORFOLK, VA—Enid Albertha Collins, 48, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, was sentenced today to 72 months in prison for her role in a murder-for-hire plot targeting her ex-husband.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Arenda Wright Allen. Collins previously pled guilty on December 6, 2011.
According to court documents, Collins and her ex-husband, who lives in Virginia Beach, have twin 16-year-old daughters. Collins’ ex-husband has primary physical custody, and Collins had been ordered to pay child support. In April 2011, Collins attempted to find someone to kill her ex-husband. Collins contacted a Hampton man who in turn contacted local authorities and became a cooperating witness.
Collins returned to Georgia and began conducting a series of phone calls to the cooperating witness to finalize the arrangement. Recorded phone conversations revealed that Collins wanted her ex-husband killed after he delivered the daughters to her for their summer vacation at a pre-arranged location in Concord, North Carolina. She specifically instructed that her ex-husband was to be murdered while he traveled back to Virginia Beach from Concord, North Carolina on July 1, 2011. Collins agreed to pay $1,500 for the services and to send $400 for the purchase of a handgun to be used in the killing. Collins was arrested by the FBI on July 1, 2011, at the Cracker Barrel in Concord, North Carolina.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia Beach Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Darryl J. Mitchell prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.

Michael Steinbach Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI Jacksonville Division


Michael Steinbach Named Special Agent in Charge of FBI Jacksonville Division 

Washington, D.C.April 30, 2012
  • FBI National Press Office(202) 324-3691
Director Robert S. Mueller, III has named Michael B. Steinbach special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville Division. Mr. Steinbach most recently served as special assistant to associate deputy director Thomas Harrington at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Steinbach began his career as a special agent at the FBI in April 1995. His first assignment was to the Chicago Division, where he worked in the fugitive and violent crimes/major offenders programs. While on duty in Chicago, Mr. Steinbach also served as the division coordinator for the National Center for Analysis of Violent Crime and was a member of the SWAT team.
In 2003, Mr. Steinbach was promoted to the position of supervisor in the Counterterrorism Division at Headquarters. While in this role, he provided program management for FBI operations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and in Afghanistan. In 2004, he was deployed to Afghanistan to serve as the deputy on-scene commander for FBI operations. In recognition of his actions while engaged with adversarial forces, Mr. Steinbach was awarded the FBI’s Shield of Bravery that year.
In 2005, Mr. Steinbach was promoted to assistant legal attaché for Tel Aviv, Israel, and in January 2006 he was appointed as legal attaché, Tel Aviv. In this role, Mr. Steinbach worked with the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority on all FBI investigative matters, with an emphasis on national security issues. In 2008, Mr. Steinbach and his team received the Director’s Award for Special Achievement for their efforts in Israel.
In 2008, Mr. Steinbach was selected as supervisor of the Violent Crimes Task Force at the FBI Washington Field Office and returned to the United States to fulfill this new role. In this position, he led a multi-agency task force that was responsible for responding to all violent crimes in the nation’s capital and surrounding areas.
In 2009, Mr. Steinbach was promoted to assistant section chief for the International Terrorism Operations Section, Counterterrorism Division. He later served as acting section chief, during which time he provided program management for all FBI international terrorism investigations within the United States.
In May 2010, Director Mueller designated Mr. Steinbach as deputy director for Law Enforcement Services at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. In October of that year, he was appointed to his most recent post.
Mr. Steinbach earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1988, after which he served as a naval aviator in the United States Navy. Mr. Steinbach is married and has four children.