Search This Blog

Monday, September 30, 2013

Victor M. Duluc-Mendez and a Minor Arrested in Connection with Carjacking

FBI San Juan Division Press Release:

Victor M. Duluc-Mendez and a Minor Arrested in Connection with Carjacking

FBI San Juan September 30, 2013
  • Special Agent Moises Quiñones (787) 994-0267
SAN JUAN—Special Agent in Charge Carlos Cases of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), San Juan Division, announced the arrest of Victor Manuel Duluc-Mendez and a minor involved in carjacking. On September 28, 2013, Victor Manuel Duluc-Mendez and a minor were taken into custody by the FBI. Victor Manuel Duluc-Mendez and the minor were charged with carjacking.
A federal complaint states that on September 8, 2013, at approximately 2:00 p.m., a carjacking and murder were committed on Road 853, kilometer 8.8, Rosa Alvarez Sector in Carolina, Puerto Rico.
Roy Figueiredo-Ramos (victim), an adult male, arrived at the Las Dalias Public Housing Project in San Juan, around 11:45 a.m. and parked in front of building 29 of the public housing project. An unknown male, later identified as Victor Manuel Duluc-Mendez (Duluc-Mendez approached the victim and inquired with him if he was interested in selling the vehicle. The victim replied no but that he was willing to rent it. Another male (“Person 1”) was also present during the conversation. Shortly after, another male individual identified as AAD (minor) joined the conversation. AAD expressed that he liked the 2002 Toyota Camry.
Duluc-Mendez, AAD, and Person 1 stepped away from the victim’s vehicle and started a conversation stating they were going to take the vehicle and keep it for themselves. AAD went into his apartment on the fourth floor of building 29 to grab a pistol. The pistol was a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson with a silver color slide and black bottom.
Person 1 left the group and returned driving a black-color Hyundai Accent vehicle, accompanied by another individual (“Person 2”), and instructed Duluc-Mendez to drive the victim’s vehicle and for AAD to get in the rear right passenger seat. Person 1 instructed Duluc-Mendez to follow the Hyundai Accent.
Duluc-Mendez drove the victim’s vehicle into the Banco Popular Branch, located at Plaza Escorial shopping center with AAD and the victim. Person 1 and Person 2 stayed outside the Banco Popular branch immediate area. Duluc-Mendez parked the vehicle in the Banco Popular’s parking lot. AAD requested the victim’s ATM card and the PIN. The victim complied and gave the ATM card to Duluc-Mendez. Duluc-Mendez went to the ATM and withdrew $150.
Duluc-Mendez departed the Banco Popular Branch along with the victim and AAD. Person 1 and Person 2 also departed the area. Duluc-Mendez followed Person 1 towards Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. While driving through a rural area between Trujillo Alto and Carolina, Person 1 stopped the Hyundai Accent. Duluc-Mendez stopped behind Person 1’s vehicle. Person 1 opened the driver side door of his vehicle and yelled “Aqui” (meaning "Here"). AAD told the victim to step out to verify a flat tire on the vehicle. The victim and AAD exited the vehicle. The victim verified the front right tire of the vehicle and when he turned around in the direction of AAD, AAD produced the pistol, pointed it at the victim’s head, and fired one shot. The victim fell to the ground and succumbed to the sustained wounds.
Upon shooting the victim, Person 1 yelled, "Vamonos que por aqui vive mi mama" (meaning “Let’s go, my mom lives close by”). AAD got into the front right passenger side of the victim’s vehicle, and Duluc-Mendez drove away following Person 1 and Person 2. They all returned to Las Dalias PHP. Upon arriving to Las Dalias PHP, AAD told Person 1 the victim’s vehicle belongs to him now since he killed the victim.
If convicted, the defendants face up to a maximum of life in prison for taking a vehicle from a person by force and violence or by intimidation (carjacking).
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Justin Martin, and it is being investigated by the Save Our Streets (SOS) Task Force, composed of the FBI, Police of Puerto Rico, and the San Juan Municipal Police.
The public is reminded that 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.

San Diego Woman Arrested for Attempted Robbery of Wells Fargo Bank Branch

FBI San Diego Division Press Release:

San Diego Woman Arrested for Attempted Robbery of Wells Fargo Bank Branch
Suspect Wore a Burqa During Attempted Robbery

FBI San Diego September 30, 2013
  • Darrell Foxworth (858) 320-8302
The FBI and National City Police Department are announcing the arrest of Elysia Maria Roiz, age 30, on bank robbery charges as a result of the investigation into the attempted robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank, 1199 Highland Avenue, National City, California, on Thursday, August 1, 2013.
On Thursday, August 1, 2013, at approximately 6:00 p.m., a woman dressed in a maroon-colored burka attempted to rob the Wells Fargo Bank branch located at 1199 Highland Avenue in National City, California. At the time of the robbery, the woman entered the bank and stood in the teller line until summoned by a teller. Upon arriving at the teller counter, the woman presented a demand note. The teller read a portion of the demand note and then alerted another bank employee to what was happening. The teller then took a position of concealment and did not provide the woman with any money. After waiting a few seconds, the woman walked out of the bank without any money. No injuries were reported during the attempted robbery.
Witnesses described the robber as a female, olive complexion, and wearing a maroon-colored burqa.
On Friday, September 27, 2013, Roiz was taken into custody in Tijuana, Mexico, by U.S. Marshals working with the Baja State Police located Roiz in Tijuana, Mexico. Roiz was subsequently transported to the San Ysidro Port of Entry, where she was turned over to the custody of a National City Police Department Detective and an FBI special agent who were investigating the attempted bank robbery. Roiz was transported to the National City Police Department, where she was interviewed by the detective and FBI special agent. At approximately 9:00 p.m., Roiz was booked into the Las Colinas Detention Facility at 9000 Cottonwood Avenue in Santee, California.
Roiz is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, in State Superior Court-County of San Diego.
Anyone with information concerning this robbery is asked to contact the FBI at telephone number (858) 320-1800 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 540-8477.
An arrest itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Bank Robber Caught with Help of Crime Stoppers Tip Sent to Prison

FBI San Antonio Division Press Release:

Bank Robber Caught with Help of Crime Stoppers Tip Sent to Prison

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • Southern District of Texas (713) 567-9000
MCALLEN, TX—Palmview resident Erick Lee Chiu, 22, has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of robbing the International Bank of Commerce in McAllen, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Chiu entered a plea of guilty March 5, 2013.
Today, Chief United States District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Chiu a sentence of 92 months and was ordered to pay restitution. At the hearing, the IBC Bank representative advised that the teller from whom Chiu demanded the money was so traumatized from the robbery that she had to leave her position with the bank. Chiu will be required to serve a term of three years of supervised release following completion of the prison term.
On September 16, 2012, Chiu, trying to conceal his identity, walked into the International Bank of Commerce wearing a wig and handed the teller a note demanding money. The note threatened that he had a gun but that no one would be hurt as long as they did not call the police. Bank tellers handed Chiu the money, and he fled the bank before law enforcement arrived.
Through a McAllen Crime Stoppers tip the following day, police were able to identify Chiu as the bank robber. He was subsequently arrested, and the money was recovered.
He has been in custody since November 17, 2012, and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI investigated the case along with the McAllen Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen J. Rees is prosecuting the case.

Modesto Man Sentenced to More Than 17 Years in Prison for Armed Bank Robberies

FBI Sacramento Division Press Release:

Modesto Man Sentenced to More Than 17 Years in Prison for Armed Bank Robberies

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • Eastern District of California (916) 554-2700
FRESNO, CA—United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Anthony Edward Fuerst, 51, of Modesto, to 17 years and three months in prison for four counts of armed bank robbery and one counts of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Judge O’Neill also ordered Fuerst to pay $59,461 in restitution.
According to court documents, Fuerst was arrested after he robbed two Modesto banks while brandishing a sawed-off shotgun in less than two hours. Further investigation revealed that he was responsible for five other armed bank robberies in the Modesto area. Fuerst pleaded guilty to the following robberies, which were used to determine his sentence:
  • Citibank, 1340 Oakdale Road, on June 12, 2012
  • Chase Bank, 2609 McHenry Avenue, on September 17, 2012
  • Farmers and Merchants Bank, 3001 McHenry Avenue, on January 18, 2013
  • BBVA Compass Bank, 2601 Oakdale Road, on January 18, 2013.
According to court documents, Fuerst was also responsible for robberies at Citibank on March 9, 2012 and August 27, 2012, and at the Farmers and Merchants Bank on August 13, 2012. The charges for those robberies were dismissed today at the sentencing hearing.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Modesto Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Melanie L. Alsworth prosecuted the case.

Multi-Agency Operation in Danville Concludes with Sentencing of Final Federal Defendant

FBI Richmond Division Press Release:

Multi-Agency Operation in Danville Concludes with Sentencing of Final Federal Defendant
Tyrell Keoni Saunders is Seventh Federal Defendant to be Sentenced

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • Western District of Virginia (540) 857-2250
DANVILLE, VA—Officials from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies announced today the culmination of an investigation that took nearly 50 drug dealers off the streets of Danville.
Operation Clean Sweep was the result of collaborative work by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Virginia State Police; the Danville Police Department; the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office; the Danville Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Department of Homeland Security; the Drug Enforcement Administration; Virginia Department of Corrections; the United States Office of Probation and Parole; and the Danville City Sheriff’s Office.
During the course of the investigation, more than 49 individuals have been convicted in both state and federal court for distributing crack cocaine in and around the city of Danville. In addition, many of the defendants were also convicted on firearms charges.
Overall, of the 49 individuals charged as part of the operation, 42 were prosecuted by state officials. Those charges included more than 64 counts of drug and firearms related offenses. Seven defendants were prosecuted by federal officials. The federal charges included more than 20 counts of drug- and firearms-related offenses. Throughout the course of the investigation more than 20 firearms were seized.
“Operation Clean Sweep successfully took nearly 50 drug dealers and violent criminals off the streets of Danville,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “This operation was a success due to the cooperation of local, state, and federal authorities. We must continue to join together in the Danville region if we are going to truly make the city safer. We must also augment our targeted enforcement work with support for effective crime prevention and offender reentry programs. Only a comprehensive approach will truly achieve public safety in Danville and elsewhere.”
“The conclusion of this extensive investigation and the accumulative prison time of more than 68 years among the defendants should send a clear message that criminal narcotic and gang activity will not be tolerated in Danville or any other region of the Commonwealth,” said Captain G.W. Austin, Jr., commander of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office. “Thanks to the collaborative efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement, we were able to eradicate a significant criminal network and validate our commitment to making our communities safer.”
“This intensive narcotics and gang enforcement project focused on addressing street-level narcotics activity and subsequent crimes of violence in the Danville area. Arrests, seizures, and the identification of gang members was the result of the hard work and dedication of the many local, state, and federal law enforcement partners who dedicated resources and personnel towards this important task,” said Jeffrey C. Mazanec, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division.
“This successful law enforcement initiative between local, state, and federal partners resulted in the prosecution of a number of armed narcotics traffickers and violent criminals. This operation has had a positive effect on the Danville community and efforts to aggressively investigate armed violent offenders in the Danville area will continue,” said Carl Vasilko, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Washington Field Division.
“This combined effort by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies was very effective, especially in addressing the street-level drug crime and violence involving members of one of Danville’s most violent gangs,” said Danville Police Chief Philip Broadfoot. “The lengthy federal sentences given to several defendants for drug and firearm offenses should be a wake-up call to all gang members.”
“The Danville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office wishes to thank the dedicated work of all the law enforcement officers from the Virginia State Police, local police department, and all other agencies for providing the thousands of man hours necessary to make this operation a success,” Danville Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Newman said today. “We are dedicated to continue to work with all local, state, and federal agencies to take and keep these violent criminals off the streets.”
The following defendants were prosecuted federally by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia:
  • Parnell Moore, 24, of Danville, Virginia, convicted on multiple counts of distributing crack cocaine and multiple firearms offenses, sentenced to 420 months in federal prison
  • Damien Courtney Fitzgerald, 27, of Danville, Virginia, convicted of distributing crack cocaine and a firearms offense, sentenced to 180 months in federal prison
  • Demetrius Townes, 26, of Danville, Virginia, convicted of distributing crack cocaine and a firearms offense, sentenced to 106 months in federal prison
  • Christopher Mayo, 27, of Danville, Virginia, convicted of a pair of firearms offenses, sentenced to 97 months in federal prison
  • Ryan Neil Polk, III, 27, of Danville, Virginia, convicted of distributing crack cocaine, sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison
  • Antonio Davis, 36, of Danville, Virginia, convicted of distributing crack cocaine, sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison
  • Tyrell Keoni Saunders, 20, of Danville, Virginia, convicted of distributing crack cocaine and a firearms offense, sentenced to 240 months in federal prison.
Other agencies that assisted in the investigation include the United States Marshals Service, Virginia Probation and Parole, the North Carolina Highway Patrol, and the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Commission.

Pennsylvania Man Admits Conspiring with Alleged Members of Organized Crime Family and Others in Fraud Scheme

FBI Philadelphia Division Press Release:

Pennsylvania Man Admits Conspiring with Alleged Members of Organized Crime Family and Others in Fraud Scheme

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • District of New Jersey (856) 757-5026
CAMDEN, NJ—A West Reading, Pennsylvania man admitted he conspired to defraud FirstPlus Financial Group Inc. (FPFG), a Texas-based financial services company allegedly targeted for extortionate takeover and looting by a group led by alleged Lucchese organized crime family member Nicodemo S. Scarfo, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Cory Leshner, 30, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to a superseding information charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Leshner and 12 others—including Scarfo, an alleged member of the Lucchese La Cosa Nostra (LCN) crime family, and Salvatore Pelullo, an alleged associate of the Lucchese and Philadelphia LCN families—were variously charged in a November 2011 indictment with a racketeering conspiracy, including acts of securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, extortion, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. The indictment charged that FPFG was targeted for extortionate takeover and looting by a group of the conspirators. A substantial part of the enterprise’s activities occurred in New Jersey, including communications and the transfer of money into and out of the state. Cory Leshner admitted that he joined the conspiracy in April 2007.
Leshner admitted that he assisted Scarfo and Pelullo in managing family trusts and limited liability companies on behalf of Scarfo and Pelullo as part of the scheme to defraud FPFG. Leshner said that Pelullo directed Leshner in the use of various bank accounts through which Pelullo received hundreds of thousands of dollars between July 2007 and April 2008 as part of the scheme. The money included the proceeds of the fraud that Pelullo allegedly received as part of a fraudulent “consulting” agreement between his shell company, Seven Hills Management, and co-defendant William Maxwell, a Texas attorney who served as “special counsel” to FPFG as part of the scheme. The money also involved proceeds received from the fraudulent sale of Scarfo and Pelullo’s worthless companies to FPFG in 2007. The receipt of the fraudulent proceeds often occurred in the form of wire transfers from accounts in Pennsylvania to accounts in New Jersey.
Leshner also said that he was a law school student during the scheme. Leshner graduated from law school in 2010 and became an attorney in Pennsylvania in 2011. As part of his plea agreement, Leshner agreed to notify the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of his guilty plea and to accept any disciplinary action brought by disciplinary officials as a result of the guilty plea and sentence. Leshner also agreed to not seek the reinstatement of his license to practice law while serving any sentence of imprisonment imposed in the case.
Nicodemo S. Scarfo, Pelullo, and five other defendants charged in November 2011—including attorneys William Maxwell, David Adler, Gary McCarthy, and Donald Manno, as well as John Maxwell—are scheduled for trial beginning October 28, 2013. Todd Stark, also charged in the indictment, previously pleaded guilty to providing ammunition to Scarfo and Pelullo, convicted felons.
The conspiracy count to which Cory Leshner pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for January 17, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark; the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Garcia, New York Region; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Thomas J. Cannon in Newark. He also thanked the FBI under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Hanko in Philadelphia for its vital assistance and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its role.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven D’Aguanno and Howard Wiener of the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit and Criminal Division in Camden and Trial Attorney Adam Small of the Organized Crime and Gang Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
With respect to the defendants awaiting trial, the charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Former Bank of the Commonwealth Mortgage Lender Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Massive Fraud

FBI Norfolk Division Press Release:

Former Bank of the Commonwealth Mortgage Lender Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Massive Fraud

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • Eastern District of Virginia (757) 441-6331
NORFOLK, VA—Troy Brandon Woodard, 37, of Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced today to eight years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and three counts of unlawful participation in a loan. The court further ordered Woodard to pay approximately $2.4 million in restitution to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and to forfeit over $4 million in proceeds from the offense.
Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Royce E. Curtin, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., Field Office (IRS-CI); Christy L. Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); Jon T. Rymer, Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC-OIG); and Mark Bialek, Inspector General of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (FRB-CFPB OIG) made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.
Woodard was found guilty after a 10-week jury trial on May 24, 2013. Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Troy Brandon Woodard conspired with this father, Edward J. Woodard, the CEO and former chairman of the Board of the Bank of the Commonwealth, Stephen G. Fields, a former executive vice president and senior commercial loan officer and numerous troubled customers to defraud the Bank of the Commonwealth (“the bank”). Evidence introduced during trial established that Brandon Woodard urged his father to request favors from two of the bank’s largest borrowers, Eric H. Menden and George P. Hranowskyj, in exchange for favorable treatment at the bank. Facilitated by Edward Woodard, Menden and Hranowskyj obtained fraudulent bank loans and increases to existing bank loans to bail out Brandon Woodard’s failed investment properties and to purchase Brandon Woodard’s personal condominium. In the spring of 2010, at the request of Edward Woodard, Menden gave a brown paper bag containing thousands of dollars in cash to Brandon Woodard. Months later, Menden wrote a check for thousands of dollars to Brandon Woodard.
The evidence further demonstrated that Edward J. Woodard provided preferential treatment to Troy Brandon Woodard to the detriment of the bank. Brandon Woodard convinced his father to pay his personal legal fees related to a failed investment deal from the bank’s accounts receivable. Edward Woodard lied to regulators and his board to lease the Bank’s Suffolk branch to a company solely owned by his son and then spent more than $3 million to renovate and construct an extravagant branch on his son’s land. Finally, Brandon Woodard received thousands of dollars in illegal commissions for referring commercial loans to the bank.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, IRS-CI, SIGTARP, FDIC-OIG, and FRB-CFPB OIG. Assistant United States Attorneys Katherine Lee Martin, Uzo E. Asonye, and Melissa E. O’Boyle 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.

Bulgarian Citizen Extradited to U.S. to Face Indictment Charging Sale of Stolen Payment Card Data, Accounting Firm Hacks

FBI Newark Division Press Release:

Bulgarian Citizen Extradited to U.S. to Face Indictment Charging Sale of Stolen Payment Card Data, Accounting Firm Hacks
Two Schemes Allegedly Caused More Than $56 Million in Losses

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • District of New Jersey (973) 645-2888
NEWARK, NJ—Vanyo Minkov, 31, a citizen of the Republic of Bulgaria, is expected to appear in Newark federal court today following his extradition to face charges that he orchestrated two international conspiracies—to sell stolen payment card data and to file bogus tax returns using hacked information—that resulted in approximately $56 million in losses, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
As charged in the federal indictment, Minkov acquired stolen credit and debit card information and sold it online. He is also charged with hacking into the networks of multiple accounting firms to steal 2011 year tax filings from the firms’ clients and then using that information to file returns in their names the following year.
The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) and the IRS led an investigation coordinated with the Sofia, Bulgaria Office of the USSS; the FBI; Bulgarian law enforcement to identify and arrest Minkov in Bulgaria. He has been in the custody of Bulgarian authorities since his arrest in late May 2013 and was extradited to the United States on September 27, 2013.
According to documents filed in this case:
Between July 2011 and April 2013, Minkov participated in a scheme in which he sold stolen credit and debit card numbers and related personal identifying information online for profit. Minkov had multiple sources of the stolen data, including through the use of ATM skimming operations using specialized equipment to steal debit card information and PINs. Minkov obtained and sold stolen payment card data for more than 100,000 accounts during the course of the conspiracy. The losses caused by the scheme are currently estimated at approximately $50 million.
Some of the purchasers of the data paid using international money transfers sent from New Jersey.
Minkov also orchestrated a tax refund scheme in which he and his co-conspirators hacked into the networks of multiple accounting firms and stole the firm’s clients’ tax filings for tax year 2011. Minkov and his conspirators then used the stolen information to file false and fraudulent tax returns for the 2012 tax year in the names of the accounting firms’ clients. Because Minkov used the previous returns, the fraudulent filings are more difficult to detect. To date, the IRS has identified approximately more than $6 million in fraudulent claims made to the IRS in connection with the scheme.
The maximum potential penalties for each count are as follows:
CountViolationMaximum Potential Penalty
OneConspiracy to commit wire fraud30 years; $1 million fine or twice the gain or loss from the offense
TwoConspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims10 years; $250,000 fine or twice the gain or loss from the offense
ThreeConspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents, authentication features, and information15 years; $250,000 fine or twice the gain or loss from the offense
FourConspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with computersfive years; $250,000 fine or twice the gain or loss from the offense
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the USSS, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James Mottola, and the IRS, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, for the ongoing investigation leading to the charges. U.S. Attorney Fishman also thanked the FBI, the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs in Washington, and the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Bulgaria and its law enforcement partners for their extraordinary support.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew S. Pak of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Mercer County Man Sentenced to Four Years for His Role in Trenton Narcotics Ring

FBI Newark Division Press Release:

Mercer County Man Sentenced to Four Years for His Role in Trenton Narcotics Ring

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • District of New Jersey (973) 645-2888
TRENTON, NJ—A Mercer County, New Jersey man was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone pain pills, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Giuseppe A. Scordato, 48, of Hamilton, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Between November 2011 and July 2012, Scordato obtained oxycodone-based prescription pain pills from Joseph A. “JoJo” Giorgianni, Mary Manfredo, and Charles Hall, III. Scordato obtained the pills from two locations: Giorgianni’s business—JoJo’s Steakhouse—and Giordianni’s Clubhouse, which was located next to the steakhouse. Scordato would sell those pills and remit the proceeds to Giorgianni and Manfredo at JoJo’s Steakhouse in exchange for a portion of the proceeds from those sales.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Walls sentenced Scordato to serve three years of supervised release and fined him $2,000.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Trenton Resident Agency, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty pleas.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric W. Moran and Matthew J. Skahill of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Trenton and Camden, respectively.

Pennsylvania Man Admits Conspiring with Alleged Members of Organized Crime Family and Others in Fraud Scheme

FBI Newark Division Press Release:

Pennsylvania Man Admits Conspiring with Alleged Members of Organized Crime Family and Others in Fraud Scheme

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • District of New Jersey (973) 645-2888
CAMDEN, NJ—A West Reading, Pennsylvania man admitted he conspired to defraud FirstPlus Financial Group Inc. (FPFG), a Texas-based financial services company allegedly targeted for extortionate takeover and looting by a group led by alleged Lucchese organized crime family member Nicodemo S. Scarfo, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Cory Leshner, 30, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to a superseding information charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Leshner and 12 others—including Scarfo, an alleged member of the Lucchese La Cosa Nostra (LCN) crime family, and Salvatore Pelullo, an alleged associate of the Lucchese and Philadelphia LCN families—were variously charged in a November 2011 indictment with a racketeering conspiracy, including acts of securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, extortion, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. The indictment charged that FPFG was targeted for extortionate takeover and looting by a group of the conspirators. A substantial part of the enterprise’s activities occurred in New Jersey, including communications and the transfer of money into and out of the state. Cory Leshner admitted that he joined the conspiracy in April 2007.
Leshner admitted that he assisted Scarfo and Pelullo in managing family trusts and limited liability companies on behalf of Scarfo and Pelullo as part of the scheme to defraud FPFG. Leshner said that Pelullo directed Leshner in the use of various bank accounts through which Pelullo received hundreds of thousands of dollars between July 2007 and April 2008 as part of the scheme. The money included the proceeds of the fraud that Pelullo allegedly received as part of a fraudulent “consulting” agreement between his shell company, Seven Hills Management, and co-defendant William Maxwell, a Texas attorney who served as “special counsel” to FPFG as part of the scheme. The money also involved proceeds received from the fraudulent sale of Scarfo and Pelullo’s worthless companies to FPFG in 2007. The receipt of the fraudulent proceeds often occurred in the form of wire transfers from accounts in Pennsylvania to accounts in New Jersey.
Leshner also said that he was a law school student during the scheme. Leshner graduated from law school in 2010 and became an attorney in Pennsylvania in 2011. As part of his plea agreement, Leshner agreed to notify the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of his guilty plea and to accept any disciplinary action brought by disciplinary officials as a result of the guilty plea and sentence. Leshner also agreed to not seek the reinstatement of his license to practice law while serving any sentence of imprisonment imposed in the case.
Nicodemo S. Scarfo, Pelullo, and five other defendants charged in November 2011—including attorneys William Maxwell, David Adler, Gary McCarthy, and Donald Manno, as well as John Maxwell—are scheduled for trial beginning October 28, 2013. Todd Stark, also charged in the indictment, previously pleaded guilty to providing ammunition to Scarfo and Pelullo, convicted felons.
The conspiracy count to which Cory Leshner pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for January 17, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark; the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Garcia, New York Region; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Thomas J. Cannon in Newark. He also thanked the FBI under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Hanko in Philadelphia for its vital assistance and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its role.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven D’Aguanno and Howard Wiener of the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit and Criminal Division in Camden and Trial Attorney Adam Small of the Organized Crime and Gang Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
With respect to the defendants awaiting trial, the charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Two New Jersey Investors Plead Guilty to Their Roles in Bid-Rigging Schemes at Municipal Tax Lien Auctions

FBI Newark Division Press Release:

Two New Jersey Investors Plead Guilty to Their Roles in Bid-Rigging Schemes at Municipal Tax Lien Auctions
Investigation Has Yielded 14 Guilty Pleas

U.S. Department of Justice September 30, 2013
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888
WASHINGTON—Two financial investors who purchased municipal tax liens pleaded guilty today for their roles in a conspiracy to rig bids at auctions conducted by New Jersey municipalities for the sale of those tax liens, the Department of Justice announced.
A felony charge was filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark, against Robert U. Del Vecchio, Sr., of Hawthorne, New Jersey. According to the charge, from in or about 2000 until approximately December 2008, Del Vecchio, Sr. participated in a conspiracy to rig bids at auctions for the sale of municipal tax liens in New Jersey by agreeing to allocate among certain bidders which liens each would bid on. Additionally, a felony charge was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark, against Michael Mastellone, of Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, for participating in a similar conspiracy from in or about 2000 until approximately February 2009. The department said that Del Vecchio, Sr. and Mastellone proceeded to submit bids in accordance with the agreements and purchased tax liens at collusive and non-competitive interest rates.
“By conspiring to rig the bids of municipal tax liens, the conspirators profited at the expense of those already struggling financially,” said Scott D. Hammond, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program. “Protecting Americans from these types of bid-rigging schemes remains a high priority for the division.”
The department said the primary purpose of the conspiracy was to suppress and restrain competition in order to obtain selected municipal tax liens offered at public auctions at non-competitive interest rates. When the owner of real property fails to pay taxes on that property, the municipality in which the property is located may attach a lien for the amount of the unpaid taxes. If the taxes remain unpaid after a waiting period, the lien may be sold at auction. State law requires that investors bid on the interest rate delinquent property owners will pay upon redemption. By law, the bid opens at 18 percent interest and, through a competitive bidding process, can be driven down to zero percent. If a lien remains unpaid after a certain period of time, the investor who purchased the lien may begin foreclosure proceedings against the property to which the lien is attached.
According to the court documents, Del Vecchio, Sr. and Mastellone were involved in the conspiracy with others not to bid against one another at municipal tax lien auctions in New Jersey. Since the conspiracy permitted the conspirators to purchase tax liens with limited competition, each conspirator was able to obtain liens that earned a higher interest rate. Property owners were therefore made to pay higher interest on their tax debts than they would have paid had their liens been purchased in open and honest competition, the department said.
A violation of the Sherman Act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals. The maximum fine for a Sherman Act violation may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims if either amount is greater than the $1 million statutory maximum.
Today’s pleas are the 13th and 14th guilty pleas resulting from an ongoing investigation into bid rigging or fraud related to municipal tax lien auctions. Nine individuals—Isadore H. May, Richard J. Pisciotta, Jr., William A. Collins, Robert W. Stein, David M. Farber, Robert E. Rothman, Stephen E. Hruby, David Butler, and Norman T. Remick—and three companies—DSBD LLC, Crusader Servicing Corp., and Mercer S.M.E. Inc.—have previously pleaded guilty as part of this investigation.
Today’s charges were brought in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s New York Office and the FBI’s Atlantic City, New Jersey Resident Agency. Anyone with information concerning bid rigging or fraud related to municipal tax lien auctions should contact the Antitrust Division’s New York Office at 212-335-8000, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm, or contact the Atlantic City Resident Agency of the FBI at 609-677-6400.

Brooklyn Man Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 18 Years in Prison for Providing Material Support to al Qaeda

FBI New York Field Office Press Release:

Brooklyn Man Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 18 Years in Prison for Providing Material Support to al Qaeda

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Sabirhan Hasanoff was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 18 years in prison for providing and attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda associates in Yemen and elsewhere and for conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda over the course of nearly three years. Hasanoff, who was arrested in the United Arab Emirates in 2010 and transferred to United States custody, pled guilty in June 2012 to one count of providing and attempting to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda and one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda. He pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood, who also imposed today’s sentence.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated, “Today’s sentence reflects the egregiousness of Sabirhan Hasanoff’s conduct. The defendant not only funneled equipment capable of being used for nefarious purposes and thousands of dollars to al Qaeda operatives abroad, he also travelled to U.S. soil to surveil a major New York landmark for a potential terrorist attack. We will not hesitate to continue, with our law enforcement partners, to pursue individuals engaged in similar behavior and do what we can to ensure they are brought to justice.”
According to various public filings and sworn statements made by the defendant during proceedings in Manhattan federal court:
From 2007 through late 2009, Hasanoff supported al Qaeda in a variety of ways. Hasanoff and his co-defendant, Wesam El-Hanafi, sent equipment, including remote-controlled devices capable of use in an explosives attack, to terrorist operatives abroad. In addition, Hasanoff and El-Hanafi together funneled approximately $67,000 to al Qaeda operatives overseas. Hasanoff and El-Hanafi collected some of this money from a third individual who resided in the United States. During this time, both defendants used aliases to disguise the source of their money when making cash donations to their terrorist contacts and made extensive plans for travel to engage in jihad in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
In August 2008, Hasanoff entered the United States from abroad, travelled to New York City, and performed surveillance on the New York Stock Exchange—all on instructions from overseas terrorists who were considering the location for a possible attack. The information that Hasanoff gathered on the stock exchange was then sent to the terror operatives.
* * *
In addition to his prison term, Hasanoff, 37, a dual citizen of the United States and Australia who resided in Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $200 special assessment fee and forfeiture in the amount of $70,000.
El-Hanafi pled guilty in June 2012 to one count of providing and attempting to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda, and one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to Al Qaeda. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York-based Joint Terrorism Task Force—which principally consists of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and detectives of the New York City Police Department. Mr. Bharara thanked the Department of Justice’s National Security Division and Office of International Affairs, the Kansas City-based JTTF, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri for their extraordinary assistance in this matter.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John P. Cronan, Aimee Hector, Glen Kopp, Michael Lockard, and Brendan R. McGuire are in charge of the prosecution.

Executive-Level Appointments Announced in New York Field Office

FBI New York Field Office Press Release:

Executive-Level Appointments Announced in New York Field Office

Washington, D.C. September 30, 2013
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691
Four new executives have been assigned to the FBI’s New York Field Office. They were appointed by outgoing Director Robert S. Mueller, III.
Richard M. Frankel was named special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division. He has served in several positions in the New York Field Office throughout his career, to include assistant special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division. While in this role, he oversaw the investigation of a plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down a military plane near Stewart Air Force Base, the plot to explode a bomb in the New York City Subway system, and the attempt to explode a vehicle-borne bomb in Times Square. His first assignment as an FBI agent was to the Gambino Family Organized Crime Squad, and he later supervised threat response squads in New York City and at JFK Airport. In 2011, he was named associate director of national intelligence in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He most recently served as acting special agent in charge of the Buffalo Division.
E.W. “Bill” Priestap was named special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division. He joined the FBI in 1998 and was first assigned to the New York Office in 2006, where he held a variety of counterterrorism and intelligence supervisory assignments over the next few years. He later served as an assistant special agent in charge in the Counterintelligence Division and in the Intelligence Division. He most recently served as a section chief in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Leo Taddeo was named special agent in charge of the Cyber/Special Operations Division. In this role, he will oversee cyber investigations, information technology support, crisis management, tactical operations, and surveillance operations for the Criminal, Counterterrorism, and Counterintelligence Divisions. Mr. Taddeo began his FBI career in the New York Field Office in 1995 and investigated La Cosa Nostra and Russian organized crime. In July 2003, he returned to the New York Field Office to supervise an organized crime squad and a Joint FBI/NYPD Terrorism Task Force. Mr. Taddeo most recently served as section chief in the International Operations Division at FBI Headquarters, where he played a pivotal role in coordinating the FBI’s response to terrorist attacks and kidnappings overseas.
Ronald Twersky was named special agent in charge of the Administrative Division. Mr. Twersky became a special agent in 1994 and was assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office, where he investigated violent street gangs and public corruption matters. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Mr. Twersky volunteered to work counterterrorism matters, and in 2002, he was promoted to supervisory special agent at FBI Headquarters in the Counterterrorism Division. He subsequently transferred to the San Francisco Division as a Joint Terrorism Task Force supervisor. In 2008, he was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Seattle Division, where he managed cyber, counterintelligence, white-collar crime, intelligence, and administrative programs, respectively. Mr. Twersky most recently served as an inspector in the Inspection Division at FBI Headquarters, where he evaluated FBI field office and legal attaché operations and led teams conducting agent-involved shooting investigations.

Cannonball Woman Sentenced to 19 Years for Murder

FBI Minneapolis Division Press Release:

Cannonball Woman Sentenced to 19 Years for Murder

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • District of North Dakota (701) 297-7400
BISMARCK—U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on September 30, 2013, Alisha Crow Ghost, 23, Cannonball, North Dakota, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on a charge of second-degree murder. Crow Ghost pleaded guilty to the charge on June 24, 2013.
Judge Hovland sentenced Crow Ghost to 19 years and seven months in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Crow Ghost was ordered to pay restitution of $5,000 and to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund.
On November 10, 2012, Crow Ghost stabbed a man at a residence in Cannonball, North Dakota. The man died as a result of the injuries he sustained.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Standing Rock Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Delorme prosecuted the case.

Lancaster Woman Sentenced for Bankruptcy Fraud

FBI Milwaukee Division Press Release:

Lancaster Woman Sentenced for Bankruptcy Fraud

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • Western District of Wisconsin (608) 264–5158
MADISON, WI—John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Bonnie Block, 55, Lancaster, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William Conley to two years of probation and fined $1,000 for bankruptcy fraud. Block pleaded guilty to this charge on July 22, 2013.
On May 19, 2011, Block filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 of the United States bankruptcy code and under oath claimed that she had disclosed all her assets in her bankruptcy petition. Subsequently, the United States Trustee discovered that Block had not disclosed $10,750 that she had in a personal checking account on the day that she filed for bankruptcy protection. When questioned about this account, Block lied about how she spent the money. Block’s bankruptcy petition was subsequently denied by the bankruptcy court.
The charge against the defendant was the result of an investigation conducted by the office of the United States Trustee and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul W. Connell.

Former Owner of Los Angeles Medical Clinic Management Company Indicted in $13 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

FBI Los Angeles Division Press Release:

Former Owner of Los Angeles Medical Clinic Management Company Indicted in $13 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

U.S. Department of Justice September 30, 2013
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888
WASHINGTON—The former owner of a Los Angeles medical clinic management company has been indicted for his role in a $13 million scheme to defraud Medicare.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney André Birotte, Jr. of the Central District of California, and Assistant Director in Charge Bill L. Lewis of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.
Mikran “Mike” Meguerian, 36, of Glendale, California, was indicted in the Central District of California on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison upon conviction. Meguerian was arrested on September 26, 2013, and the indictment was unsealed following his initial appearance in federal court on September 27, 2013.
According to court documents, Meguerian owned Med Serve Management, a medical clinic management company located in Van Nuys, California. From approximately 2006 through February 2009, he allegedly engaged in a conspiracy to commit health care fraud, in part through the operation of Med Serve. According to court documents, Meguerian oversaw several medical clinics that generated prescriptions and other medical documents for medically unnecessary power wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment (DME). Meguerian and his co-conspirators then sold the prescriptions to DME supply companies, knowing that the prescriptions were fraudulent. Court documents allege that, based on these fraudulent prescriptions, the DME supply companies then submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.
Court documents allege that fraudulent prescriptions from Meguerian’s clinics were instrumental in generating approximately $13.6 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare, and Medicare paid approximately $7.6 on those claims.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by the FBI and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Fred Medick and Blanca Quintero of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,500 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.

Former Owner of Los Angeles Equipment Supply Company Indicted in $4 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

FBI Los Angeles Division Press Release:

Former Owner of Los Angeles Equipment Supply Company Indicted in $4 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

U.S. Department of Justice September 30, 2013
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888
WASHINGTON—A former owner of a Los Angeles medical equipment supply company has been indicted for allegedly engaging in a $4 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney André Birotte, Jr. of the Central District of California, Special Agent in Charge Glenn R. Ferry of the Los Angeles Region of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and Assistant Director in Charge Bill L. Lewis of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.
Valery Bogomolny, 41, of Los Angeles, California, was indicted in the Central District of California on six counts of health care fraud, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison upon conviction. Bogomolny was taken into custody on September 27, 2013, and the indictment was unsealed following his initial appearance in federal court that afternoon.
According to court documents, Bogomolny was the owner and president of Royal Medical Supply, a durable medical equipment (DME) supply company located in Los Angeles. From approximately January 2006 through October 2009, he allegedly engaged in a scheme to commit health care fraud through the operation of Royal by providing medically unnecessary power wheelchairs and other DME to Medicare beneficiaries and submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. Court documents allege that Bogomolny knew the prescriptions and medical documents were fraudulent and that some of the beneficiaries did not receive the DME, yet he certified to Medicare with the submission of each claim that the DME was received and was medically necessary.
Bogomolny, through Royal, allegedly submitted approximately $4 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare for power wheelchairs and related services, and Medicare paid Royal approximately $2.7 million on those claims.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Fred Medick of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,500 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.

Former Concordia Man Sentenced in Cloud County Bank Robbery

FBI Kansas City Division Press Release:

Former Concordia Man Sentenced in Cloud County Bank Robbery

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • District of Kansas (316) 269-6481
TOPEKA, KS—A man who was armed with a shotgun when he robbed a bank in Cloud County, Kansas has been sentenced to federal prison, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Eric Lee Strait, 24, formerly of Concordia, Kansas, was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison. Strait was indicted in June 2012. The indictment alleged that on November 14, 2008, he carried a shotgun when he robbed the Jamestown State Bank at 422 Walnut Street in Jamestown, Kan.
In May 2013, Ryan Michael Steinert, 24, Concordia,, Kansas, was indicted on charges of conspiring with Strait to rob the bank. The indictment of Steinert alleged the two men worked together to plan the robbery. Strait was to do the robbery alone. Steinert agreed with Strait to steal a car to use in the robbery and to destroy the car after the robbery. On November 13, 2008, Strait stole a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu in Clyde, Kansas, to use in the robbery. Steinert helped prepare the car for the robbery. The two would later split the proceeds of the robbery.
In July 2013, Steinert pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank robbery. He is set for sentencing October 9.
Grissom commended the FBI, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Cloud County Sheriff’s Office, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag for their work on the case.

United States Forfeits More Than $1.5 Million Obtained from the Sale of Daytona Beach Hotel

FBI Jacksonville Division Press Release:

United States Forfeits More Than $1.5 Million Obtained from the Sale of Daytona Beach Hotel

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • Middle District of Florida (904) 301-6300
ORLANDOActing United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the forfeiture of $1,552,588.62 obtained from the sale of the Desert Inn Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida. In July 2011, Dennis Brian Devlin, of Daytona Beach, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting a minor. As part of Devlin’s sentence, the court ordered Devlin to forfeit his interest in the Desert Inn because it was used to facilitate the crimes for which he was convicted.
The titled owner of the Desert Inn, Deslin Hotels Inc., filed a claim to contest the forfeiture of the hotel because it alleged that Devlin did not have an interest in the hotel. After several months of litigation, a settlement was reached wherein Deslin Hotels Inc. conceded to the forfeiture of $1,552,588.62, which represents Devlin’s interest in the proceeds obtained from the recent sale of the Desert Inn.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The forfeitures were handled by Assistant United States Attorney Nicole M. Andrejko.

Jacksonville Man Indicted in Attempted Murder of United States District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan

FBI Jacksonville Division Press Release:

Jacksonville Man Indicted in Attempted Murder of United States District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • Middle District of Florida (904) 301-6300
JACKSONVILLE—Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Aaron M. Richardson (24, Jacksonville) with a number of federal offenses, including the attempted murder of United States District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan. In addition to the attempted murder of a sitting United States District Judge, the indictment also charges Richardson with federal firearm offenses involving the possession and discharge of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. The indictment also charges Richardson with failure to attend court hearings and making numerous false statements to the FBI and his supervising probation officer. Finally, the indictment alleges that Richardson impersonated a captain in the United States Navy.
In total, the indictment charges Richardson with committing 25 separate federal offenses. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Richardson that the United States intends to forfeit a Savage Arms .30-06 rifle and Winchester ammunition used during the attempted murder.
According to the indictment and court records, Judge Corrigan previously convicted and sentenced Richardson for attempting to make an incendiary device in a 2008 case. Following incarceration for that crime, Richardson was serving a term of supervised release. Beginning in 2012, Richardson made a number of false statements to his probation officer about new arrests and new criminal court appearances in Clay, Duval, and Volusia Counties. On January 30, 2013, Richardson appeared in federal court on a petition alleging his violation of supervised release for committing new crimes. Richardson was released with conditions that day.
The indictment alleges that Richardson continued making false statements to his assigned probation officer and failed to appear for court hearings on June 3 and June 11, 2013. Shortly thereafter, Richardson stole a Savage Arms .30-06 rifle and ammunition from the a Sports Authority store in Jacksonville. Several days later, on June 23, 2013, he discharged that rifle during his attempt to murder Judge Corrigan.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the FBI and multiple other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including the United States Marshals Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the United States Probation Office; Florida Department of Law Enforcement; the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office; the Clay County Sheriff’s Office; the Baker County Sheriff’s Office; the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office; the Daytona Beach Police Department; and the Bethune Cookman University Public Safety Office. The case will be prosecuted by Deputy Chief Assistant United States Attorney Mac D. Heavener, III and Assistant United States Attorney Mark B. Devereaux.
Photos from the related press conference:

Ex-Enron Executive Indicted on Bankruptcy Charges

FBI Houston Division Press Release:

Ex-Enron Executive Indicted on Bankruptcy Charges

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • Southern District of Texas (713) 567-9000
HOUSTON—A federal grand jury has returned a 24-count indictment against Jeffrey Adam Shankman with bankruptcy fraud and concealment of assets, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
The indictment was returned today. Shankman is expected to turn himself in to federal authorities and make an initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge in the near future.
According to the indictment, Shankman engaged in a scheme to conceal assets to defraud creditors and the trustee who was appointed to collect and dispose of all Shankman’s assets in his bankruptcy estate.
A debtor is required to complete several documents to carry out the bankruptcy process, which consist of a petition which contains summary information about the debtor’s financial condition, various bankruptcy schedules, and a statement of financial affairs. That statement contains, among other things, detailed information about the debtor’s assets, liabilities, recent payments to creditors, past and current income, and anticipated future income. The documents are required to be signed and certified under penalty of perjury that the information contained in them is true and correct. A debtor is required to disclose all creditors to the bankruptcy court so that the court can provide notice to the creditors of the filing of the bankruptcy petition. One purpose of this requirement is to allow the creditors the opportunity to participate in the bankruptcy proceeding and protect their interests.
Shankman, 46, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in October 2008. The indictment alleges he concealed, transferred, and sold various pieces of fine art, decorative art, and jewelry and other assets without the knowledge, consent, and approval of the trustee or the bankruptcy court. The approximate value of the assets was $952,125, according to allegations.
Shankman was head of the Global Markets Division of Enron in 2001 before its collapse and served on the Art Committee of Enron.
In order for the bankruptcy system to work for all parties, it is imperative for the debtor to be truthful and forthright in all aspects of the bankruptcy process. The bankruptcy system is based on an honor system; the debtor agrees to provide all the necessary information requested by the trustee and to assist the trustee in collecting all assets of debtors and comply with the court’s orders to obtain the relief desired under the chapter the case was filed.
If convicted, he faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine of on each count.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Quincy L. Ollison.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

FBI Seeks Two Men in Government Theft Case Crime Stoppers Offering Reward of Up to $5,000

FBI Houston Division Press Release:

FBI Seeks Two Men in Government Theft Case
Crime Stoppers Offering Reward of Up to $5,000

FBI Houston September 30, 2013
  • Special Agent Shauna Dunlap (713) 936-7638
The FBI is releasing photographs of two men wanted for questioning in a series of break-ins in Northwest Houston. During the latest crime spree, burglars broke into the home of an FBI agent, stealing government weapons and the agent’s personal property. The men pictured in the photographs below were captured on surveillance cameras at the Willowbrook Mall while using the agent’s personal credit cards during a shopping spree on September 24, 2013.


Burglars broke into the agent’s home in the area of Hollister and West Little York in Northwest Houston on September 23, 2013. It is one of several break-ins to occur in the area over the past several months. Among the government property taken were a Remington 870 short-barreled shotgun and a Glock-22 handgun, both secured in a green gun locker, which was also stolen. The FBI is seeking information about these two men or others who may have been involved in the crime. If you have possession of either of these stolen weapons, we ask that you call the Crime Stoppers tipline or the Houston Office of the FBI. The theft of government property is a federal felony.
The first man is described as a Hispanic male with a heavy-set build. On September 2013, he was pictured wearing a white T-shirt with the logo “Play Cloths High Rollers” on the front. Later the same day, he was pictured wearing a black T-shirt and black shorts. The second man is described as a taller Hispanic male, with a thin build. On September 24, 2013, he was wearing a red shirt with the logo “Ca$h Only” on the front of the T-shirt. He also had a large gold chain around his neck and a large white wrist watch. The men were last seen driving away from the Willowbrook mall in a black four-door sedan.
Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the charging and arrest of anyone involved in the case. If you have information about this crime, or the property stolen, please call the Crime Stoppers tipline at 713-222-TIPS (8477) or the Houston Office of the FBI at 713-693-5000.

Lyons Police Officer Facing Federal Robbery Charge

FBI Chicago Division Press Release:

Lyons Police Officer Facing Federal Robbery Charge

FBI Chicago September 30, 2013
  • Special Agent Joan Hyde (312) 829-1199
CHICAGO—An officer with the Lyons Police Department (LPD) whose duties included investigating the sale of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes has been charged with robbing and extorting targets of his investigations. The charge was announced today by Robert J. Shields, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Jimmy J. Rodgers, 43, was charged in a one-count criminal complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago with Hobbs Act robbery, a felony offense. The complaint was unsealed following Rodgers’s court appearance Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown. Rodgers was released pending his next court appearance, which has not yet been scheduled.
According to the complaint, Rodgers, who was also assigned to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) task force, recruited a cooperating source to assist in setting up transactions in which the source would sell contraband cigarettes to potential targets. The complaint states that Rodgers agreed to pay the source a fee for each transaction the source conducted. The complaint describes two such transactions between the source and targets, for which the source was provided a Village of Lyons check to pay for his services. The complaint alleges the source engaged in subsequent transactions and was paid in cash from money paid to the source during the transactions. The transactions between the source and Rodgers were reported by the source to the FBI last June.
At the direction of the FBI, the source recorded conversations and meetings with Rodgers in connection with another contraband cigarette transaction with a potential target. The complaint alleges that on July 30, the source received $11,280 from the target in exchange for 300 cartons of cigarettes and was told by Rodgers to keep $3,280 of that amount. The source was also given 30 cartons of cigarettes to pass to another source, who helped arrange the transaction with the target. In a recorded meeting a few days later, Rodgers allegedly acknowledged that he was not supposed to pay the source from the proceeds of the transactions and instructed the source to say that all payments to the source were by way of a check from the police department. An FBI agent subsequently reviewed the report of the July 30 transaction filed by Rodgers and noted that the report did not mention the seizure of cash from the target. LPD had no record of Rodgers turning in $8,000 from the transaction.
Mr. Shields expressed his gratitude for the substantial assistance provided by both the Lyons Police Department and the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations during the course of this investigation.
If convicted of the charge filed against him, Rodgers faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Prewitt Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison on Aggravated Child Sexual Abuse Conviction

FBI Albuquerque Division Press Release:

Prewitt Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison on Aggravated Child Sexual Abuse Conviction

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 30, 2013
  • District of New Mexico (505) 346-7274
ALBUQUERQUE—Justin Kenneth, 21, a member and resident of the Navajo Nation who resides in Prewitt, New Mexico, was sentenced this morning to nine years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, on his aggravated child sexual abuse conviction. He also was ordered to pay $2,411 in restitution. Kenneth will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
The sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough, Special Agent Carol K.O. Lee of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, and Director John Billison of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.
Kenneth was arrested in December 2010 on a criminal complaint alleging that he sexually abused a child under the age of 12 in October 2010 on the Navajo Indian Reservation. On April 29, 2013, Kenneth entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse and admitted sexually abusing the child victim by improperly touching the child’s genitalia. Kenneth further admitted that he committed this crime on October 6, 2010, at a residence located on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Kenneth has been in federal custody since entering his guilty plea.
This case was investigated by the Gallup Office of the FBI and the Crownpoint Office of the Navajo Division of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob A. Wishard prosecuted the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.