Daily Dose of Justice

Daily Dose of Justice

ROCKFORD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO AIMING LASER POINTER AT AIRCRAFT

ROCKFORD — A Rockford man pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard to aiming the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft.

BRENTON WELLS, 45, admitted in a written plea agreement that on Dec. 6, 2018, while standing in the backyard of a residence in Rockford, he knowingly aimed his laser pointer at an aircraft flying over the residence. Wells also admitted that he continued to aim his laser pointer at the aircraft for a period of time even as the aircraft moved through the sky over the residence. read here

NORTH LAS VEGAS FELON SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CONVICTION

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A North Las Vegas man who was convicted of a federal child pornography charge was sentenced today to 20 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.

According to court documents and evidence presented during the two-day trial, from November 23, 2013 to March 6, 2014, Saterstad received and distributed sexually explicit videos and images containing children over a peer-to-peer file sharing network. In March 2014, law enforcement executed a search warrant at his residence and found 14 different electronic devices belonging to Saterstad. A forensic examination of the seized items revealed over 3,500 images and almost 1000 videos of child pornography. Multiple images and videos contained bondage, bestiality, and infant/toddler victimsread here

REPEAT TROY SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON

UTICA, NEW YORK – Gary McKay, age 43, of Troy, New York, was sentenced today to serve 10 years in prison, followed by a lifetime term of supervised release, for possessing child pornography for a second time.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Kevin Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

As part of his guilty plea to three counts of possession of child pornography, McKay admitted that on August 14, 2017, while on supervised release for a prior federal conviction for possession of child pornography, he possessed three electronic devices containing more than 2,500 images of minors, including prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. McKay previously served 30 months in prison for his prior possession conviction and was seven years into a ten-year term of supervised release at the time he committed this new offense. read here

JOHNSON CITY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUALLY EXPLOITING A CHILD AND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSES

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Michael Rushmer, age 47, of Johnson City, New York, pled guilty today to one count of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of distribution of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and James N. Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

As part of his guilty plea Rushmer admitted that he created sexually explicit images and videos of a minor (including secretly recording the victim engaged in sexual acts), and that he distributed some of those images and videos to other persons over the internet. Rushmer further admitted that he also possessed hundreds of images and videos depicting child pornography on his electronic devices, some of which included children under the age of 12. read here

HUNDREDS OF FUGITIVES ARRESTED FIREARMS AND ILLEGAL DRUGS SEIZED DURING VIOLENT CRIME INITIATIVE

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Operation Triple Beam, an initiative led by the U.S. Marshals Service to track down some of the metropolitan area’s most violent and persistent offenders, resulted in hundreds of arrests and the seizure of dozens of firearms and illegal drugs. Results of the 10-week initiative were announced today by U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison, U.S. Marshal Mark James, and Missouri Governor Mike Parson.

“Operation Triple Beam brought a laser focus by all levels of law enforcement – federal, state, and local – to combat violent crime by targeting the worst offenders,” Garrison said. “Armed and dangerous fugitives were located, arrested, and taken off the street to face justice in state and federal court. read here

TELEMARKETER SENTENCED TO PRISON IN CONNECTION WITH $10 MILLION INTERNATIONAL FRAUDULENT SWEEPSTAKES SCHEME

A telemarketer was sentenced to 63 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release today for his role in a $10 million telemarketing scheme that defrauded primarily elderly victims in the United States from call centers in Costa Rica.

Carlin Woods, 35, of Merrillville, Indiana, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn Jr. of the Western District of North Carolina. Woods pleaded guilty on May 15, 2017, to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. read here

ARMS TRAFFICKER CONVICTED IN ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSLES SCHEME AND OTHER ARMS OFFENSES SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON

A black-market arms dealer with a long history of brokering machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank armaments – and who was found guilty last year in a scheme to sell and use surface-to-air missiles – was sentenced yesterday to 30 years in federal prison.

Rami Najm Asad-Ghanem, 53, who was commonly known as Rami Ghanem, a naturalized United States citizen who was living in Egypt at the time of the offenses, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge S. James Otero.

During this morning’s sentencing hearing, Judge Otero said, “The breadth, scope and gravity [of Ghanem’s offenses] is really breathtaking and, in many ways, frightening.” read here

HONDURAN MAN SENTENCED FOR ILLEGALLY USING SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER TO OBTAIN EMPLOYMENT

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that OLIVER MARTINEZ-CASTRO, age 19, a native of Honduras, was sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to illegally using a Social Security number in order to obtain employment, in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 408(a)(7)(B).

United States District Court Judge Wendy B. Vitter sentenced MARTINEZ-CASTRO to time served (2 months of imprisonment), and a $100 special assessment fee. The defendant will be surrendered to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal proceedings. read here

MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO EMBEZZLING MORE THAN $1 MILLION FROM WISCONSIN & KENTUCKY BUSINESSES

MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Curtis Tarver, 54, Spring Grove, Minnesota, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud.  The wire fraud charge stems from Tarver’s embezzlement from Rapid Die and Molding Company (“RDM”) in Cassville, Wisconsin, and its sister company Hawley Products in Paducah, Kentucky.

Tarver began working for RDM and was eventually promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for RDM and Hawley Products (“the companies”).  As the CFO, Tarver was responsible for handling all financial matters for the companies, including, but not limited to, disbursing payments, depositing and transferring funds, and balancing bank accounts.  In this role, Tarver had access to and utilized a variety of financial accounts belonging to the companies, including bank accounts, commercial credit accounts, and PayPal. read here

CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED ON NEW CHILD PORN CHARGE

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 54-year-old Corpus Christi resident and registered sex offender has been ordered to federal prison for possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Robert Kirby Anderson aka Bobby Bonez pleaded guilty April 15, 2019.

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey sentenced Anderson to 140 months in prison. At the hearing, the court heard Anderson possessed pornographic images of children on three different devices. Anderson had also altered children’s coloring books by adding captions above the cartoon children requesting to engage in sexual acts with him. Additionally, the court heard that Anderson, a registered sex offender since the late 1990s, had been staying in a residence with a minor child at the time of his arrest. read here

DOMINICAN NATIONAL WHO ILLEGALLY REENTERED U.S. IS SENTENCED

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that OLIVER JOAN UBIERA MALENO, 36, a citizen of the Dominican Republic last residing in Danbury, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to approximately 16 months of imprisonment, time already served, for illegally reentering the U.S. after being deported.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in July 2002, Ubiera Maleno, who at the time was a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., was sentenced in federal court in Alaska to 37 months of imprisonment for possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance. In December 2003, he was sentenced in state court in Harris County, Texas, to 15 years of imprisonment for possessing with intent to deliver 400 grams or more cocaine. Ubiera Maleno was removed to the Dominican Republic in August 2009 after he had served the federal sentence and a portion of the Texas sentence. read here

SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED FOR ILLEGALLY REENTERING THE UNITED STATES

NORFOLK, Va. – An El Salvadoran national, who was previously convicted of aggravated sexual battery of a minor, was sentenced today to two and a half years in prison for illegally reentering the United States.

“Moran-Arevalo has shown total disregard our country’s laws and borders,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Previously, Moran-Arevalo sexually abused a minor victim while he was evading deportation, then quickly reentered the United States illegally and committed more crimes that put the safety of our communities at risk.” read here

SERIAL FRAUDSTER PLEADS GUILTY TO SCAMMING ELDERLY VICTIMS OUT OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN FRAUDULENT PAYMENT SCHEME

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MICHAEL PIZARRO, a/k/a “Eric Miller,” pled guilty today before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein to defrauding individuals (the “Victims”) by representing to them that they had qualified for a government grant, which could be accessed only upon the payment of an up-front refundable application fee. In actuality, the government grant did not exist and none of the Victims had been approved for such a grant. PIZARRO continued to perpetrate this scheme even after he was arrested and released on bail.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As he admitted in court, Michael Pizarro preyed on elderly victims and others by charging them up-front fees to get government grant money that was fictitious. In fact, there were no ‘grants’ and the ‘registration fee’ Pizarro charged his victims was just money he stole from them.” read here

OWNER OF FREDERICK PAYROLL PROCESSING BUSINESS PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL FRAUD AND TAX CHARGES RELATED TO A FRAUD SCHEME WITH LOSSES OF MORE THAN $1.6 MILLION

Baltimore, Maryland – David Richison, age 64, of Frederick, Maryland, who owned and operated a payroll processing business, pleaded guilty today to federal charges of wire fraud and aiding in the filing of a false tax return, in connection with a fraud scheme in which he took funds from his clients’ tax escrow account and used them to pay his own personal expenses.  read here

SEXTORTION WARNING FROM U.S. ATTORNEY GEORGIA’S INTERNET CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN DIRECTOR

MACON – As Georgia children begin a new school year and some take on new social media habits, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Charles “Charlie” Peeler, and the Special Agent in Charge of Georgia’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, Debbie Garner, are warning parents and educators about sextortion, a growing cyber-crime against children. Sextortion is when an adult predator coerces or entices a child to produce a sexually explicit image and send it over the internet. The predator will often use that image to extort the child to produce more sexually explicit images under threats of sending that image to friends and parents. The young victims often report feeling that there was no way out and that they were going to get into trouble.

In May, a convicted, registered sex offender living in Oregon was sentenced to 210-months in federal prison in the Middle District of Georgia for Coercion and Enticement of a Minor after posing as a teenager and sextorting a 15-year old girl living on Fort Benning, a military installation in Columbus, Georgia. The defendant, Colby Ray Cochran, 24, also admitted to interacting with other children online across the country, requesting nude photos from them and threatening to expose their nude images if they refused to send more. At the time of his offense, Mr. Cochran was on probation for a sex crime, was active on the sex offender registry and was prohibited from possessing and using internet-capable devices. You can read more about this case, and how the victim’s mother discovered the threats against her child and reported it to law enforcement, by visiting https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdga/pr/210-months-prison-sentence-oregon-sex-offender-caught-luring-threatening-young-columbusread here

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP MAN SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON FOR RECEIVING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

TRENTON, N.J. – An Atlantic County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 96 months in prison for receiving images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Matthew Wolny, 41, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with one count of receipt of child pornography. Judge Martinotti imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court. read here

INTERNATIONAL DRUG CONSPIRACY SENDS GALVESTON MAN TO FEDERAL PRISON

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 24-year-old Galveston resident has been sentenced in Corpus Christi federal court for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute almost six kilograms of pure methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Francisco Javier Castillo Jr. pleaded guilty Nov. 15, 2018.

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey handed Castillo a 157-month sentence to be immediately followed by four years of supervised release. At the hearing, additional evidence was also provided that detailed Castillo’s role within the drug trafficking organization. In handing down the sentence, the court concluded Castillo was a manager or supervisor in a criminal organization that imported methamphetamine from Mexico and that the lengthy sentence was appropriate given the amount of methamphetamine involved. read here

TAZEWELL COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO MORE THAN 13 YEARS IN PRISON FOR USING FACEBOOK TO SOLICIT, RECEIVE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY 

PEORIA, Ill. – A Tazewell county man, Eric Ingram, 31, of Washington, Ill., was sentenced today to more than 13 years (160 months) in prison for receiving child pornography using Facebook. In sentencing Ingram, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm also ordered that Ingram remain on supervised release for eight years following his release from incarceration. Ingram will be required to register as a sex offender.

On Dec. 4, 2018, Ingram pleaded guilty to the charge. According to court documents, on Oct. 4, 2018, law enforcement officers with the Washington Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant at Ingram’s residence in Washington, Ill., and seized various items of electronic media. read here

REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED TO NEARLY 40 YEARS IN PRISON FOR PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald announced the sentencing of ZACHARY JAMES WITRY, 29, to 472 months in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for production of child pornography. WITRY, who pleaded guilty on April 17, 2019, was sentenced yesterday before Judge Nancy E. Brasel in United States District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota. When announcing the sentence, Judge Brasel commented that Mr. Witry’s goal was to meet teenage girls and to rape them. She further expressed concern with his escalating criminal conduct, his inability to comply with previous court supervision for similar child exploitation offenses, and the manipulative tactics that he used to get what he wanted from the minor victims. read here

FAYETTEVILLE DOCTOR ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF WIRE FRAUD, MAIL FRAUD , MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS, AND INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER 

Fayetteville, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas and Michael Missal, Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs, announced today that Robert Morris Levy was arrested on federal charges stemming from a year-long investigation. A federal grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas indicted Levy on twelve counts of wire fraud, twelve counts of mail fraud, four counts of making false statements in certain matters, and three counts of involuntary manslaughter.

According to the Indictment, Levy held a medical license issued by the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure issued in 1997.  In 2005, the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks (“Fayetteville VA”) hired Levy to serve as the Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medical Services, a position he held until his termination in 2018. read here

REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER GOES BACK TO PRISON FOR POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A registered sex offender from Lawrence was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said. In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay $5,000 to the fund established by the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

Benjamin Grace, 32, Lawrence, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. In his plea, he admitted he was identified during an FBI investigation of a service on the internet that was involved in the production, advertisement and distribution of child pornography. After executing a search warrant at his home in Lawrence, FBI agents interviewed him at his workplace in Overland Park. He admitted viewing child pornography, including images of children as young as five years old. read here

HOUSING AUTHORITY MEMBER INDICTED FOR BRIBERY

McALLEN, Texas – A La Joya Housing Authority Board member has been arrested on charges of federal program bribery regarding a city public relations contract, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Sylvia Garces Valdez was taken into custody yesterday after which she made her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby. She is set for trial Oct. 8, 2019.

According to the indictment, from June to approximately November 2018, Valdez agreed to give more than $5,000 to someone with the intent to influence an elected official for the City of La Joya. The purpose of the alleged bribe was for their influence in granting a public relations contract to Valdez. read here

HOUSTON PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS AND CASE RUNNERS INDICTED

HOUSTON – A 21-count superseding indictment has been unsealed alleging conspiracy, witness tampering, obstruction of justice and multiple tax violations in a barratry scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Houston personal injury attorneys Jeffrey Stern, Deborah Bradley and Richard Plezia are charged with conspiracy and tax violations along with legal-assistant Frederick Morris and clinic-owner Lamont Ratcliff. Stern is also charged with witness tampering and obstruction of justice. read here

OWNER OF CONNECTICUT MEAT SUPPLIER ADMITS FABRICATING E. COLI TEST RESULTS

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Administrator Carmen Rottenberg, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, announced that MEMET BEQIRI, also known as Matt Beqiri, 32, of Tolland, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to a charge related to his meat processing business’s falsification of numerous E. coli test results.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Beqiri is the owner and general manager of New England Meat Packing, LLC, located in Stafford Springs, a federally inspected business engaged in the slaughtering, processing, selling and transporting of meat and meat food products for human consumption. Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) approved Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan for New England Meat Packing, the company is required to perform one generic E. coli carcass swab for every 300 animals slaughtered and to periodically collect ground beef samples for E. coli testing. read here

FOUNDER OF MANTRIA CORP. SENTENCED TO 22 YEARS FOR OPERATING $54 MILLION PONZI SCHEME

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Troy Wragg, 37, of Philadelphia, PA was sentenced today to 22 years in prison and $54 million restitution by United States District Judge Joel H. Slomsky for perpetrating two fraud schemes.

The defendant was the founder of Mantria Corporation, based in Bala Cynwyd, PA. From 2005 until 2009, Wragg received approximately $54 million in funds from investors across the United States with the false promise that they would earn 50% or higher returns on their investments. The defendant told the victim investors that Mantria was a very successful company with investments in real estate and green energy. In reality, however, Mantria was a Ponzi scheme which used new investor funds to pay “earnings” to earlier investors. read here

FORMER CEO OF VIRGINIA-BASED DEFENSE CONTRACTOR AGREES TO PAY $20 MILLION TO SETTLE FALSE CLAIMS ACT ALLEGATIONS RELATED TO FRAUDULENT PROCUREMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS CONTRACTS

WASHINGTON – Luke Hillier, the majority owner and former Chief Executive Officer of Virginia-based defense contractor ADS, Inc., has agreed to pay the United States $20 million to settle allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by fraudulently obtaining federal set-aside contracts reserved for small businesses that his company was ineligible to receive, the Department of Justice announced today.

“Small businesses serve a vital role in our communities and in the American economy,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “We will not hesitate to take action against those who fraudulently obtain contracts intended for small businesses.” read here

FORMER BANK EXECUTIVE FOUND GUILTY IN $15 MILLION CONSTRUCTION LOAN FRAUD

WASHINGTON – A former Kansas bank executive was found guilty by a federal jury yesterday for his participation in a bank fraud scheme to obtain a $15 million construction loan for certain bank customers based upon false and fraudulent representations. The loan was shared among 26 Kansas banks.

Troy A. Gregory, 52, of Lawrence, Kansas, was found guilty of four counts of bank fraud and two counts of false statements, as charged in a November 2017 indictment. The jury failed to reach a verdict as to one count of conspiracy. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 28, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia of the District of Kansas, who presided over the trial.

According to the evidence submitted at trial, Gregory was a bank executive and loan officer who had made millions of dollars in loans to a group of borrowers who were struggling to make payments on the loans. Beginning in approximately late 2007, Gregory began the process of making a $15.2 million construction loan to build an apartment complex to that same group of borrowers. Gregory’s bank shared this loan with 25 other Kansas banks. Gregory made and caused others to make false statements to the banks about the strength of the borrowers, the debt status of the apartment property and the existence of approximately $1.7 million in certificates of deposit for collateral on the loan, all to get the loan approved. Instead of using the loan funds promised for building the apartments, Gregory immediately diverted over $1 million of the loan to pay for part of the certificates of deposit pledged as collateral, pay off debt on the apartment property, and make payments on unrelated loans, the evidence showed. Other Kansas banks that shared in this loan would not have participated in the loan without the false representations and promises. The banks ultimately wrote off millions of dollars on the $15.2 million construction loan, the evidence showed. read here

MAN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AFTER BEING CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY EXPORTING PROHIBITED MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT TO IRAN

LOS ANGELES – Federal authorities have arrested a resident of Iran who is charged in a scheme to ship prohibited items from the United States to Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and U.S. sanctions imposed on the nation.

Mehdi Hashemi, who sometimes used the name “Eddie Hashemi,” 46, a dual citizen of the United States and Iran who previously resided in Los Angeles, is charged in a 21-count indictment that was unsealed Monday afternoon. read here

FORMER SERGEANT FOR GATES COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE SENTENCED FOR STEALING FIREARMS AND DRUGS FROM CRIMINAL CASES

RALEIGH – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan, sentenced BRANDON SCOTT HAWKS, 35, of Ayden, North Carolina, to 48 months’ imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised released.

On February 12, 2019, HAWKS, pled guilty to two counts of possession of a stolen firearm.  An investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) revealed that between roughly 2014 and 2017, HAWKS stole firearms and drugs from traffic stops that he made while employed as a Sergeant with the Gates County Sheriff’s Office.  Additionally, HAWKS stole or mishandled various types and amounts of illegal drugs including heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, cocaine base (crack), cocaine, methamphetamine, buprenorphine, alprazolam, morphine, cathinone, and marijuana.  Investigators discovered many of these drugs in his house and patrol car. read here

BEDFORD MAN CHARGED FOR FAILURE TO PAY PAYROLL TAXES

WILLIAMSPORT – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Michael Boggs, age 39, of Bedford, Pennsylvania, was charged on August 16, 2019, in a criminal information for failure to pay employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Boggs was the owner of Meadowview Manor Services, LLC, an assisted living center in Mifflin County, PA. The criminal information alleges that from 2014 through 2016, Boggs withheld payroll taxes from his employees but never remitted the monies collected to the IRS. Payroll taxes include both the employees’ portion of the income tax on their wages, and taxes owed by an employer directly to the IRS for Medicare and Social Security under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). read here

SEVENTEEN PEOPLE INDICTED FOR CONSPIRACY TO BRING KILOGRAM QUANTITIES OF HEROIN, FENTANYL, COCAINE AND MARIJUANA FROM CALIFORNIA TO NORTHEAST OHIO

Seventeen people were indicted in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to bring large amounts of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana from California to the Cleveland area and sell the drugs here.

Named in the 30-count indictment are: Brandon Fletcher, 35, of Warrensville Heights; Edgar Arturo Sanchez, 27, of Paramount, California; Stephon Carter, 34, of Cleveland; Donnie Palmer, 34, of Cleveland Heights; Kevin Philmon, 37, of Cleveland; Wayne Nix, 27, of Warrensville Heights; Robert Hawes, 46, of Bedford; Antonn Melton, 37, of Maple Heights; Kevin Williams, 34, of Euclid; Robert Pollard, 29, of Lithonia, Georgia; Freddie Murphy, 33, of Cleveland; Eric Armstrong, 58, of South Euclid; Jamill McDonald, 37, of Cleveland Heights; Steven Bouyer, 52, of Cleveland; Darcell Jackson, 32, of Euclid; Lonnie Jordan, 29, of Maple Heights, and DeWitt Chisholm, 38, of Warrensville Heights. read here

FORMER CEO OF VIRGINIA BASED DEFENSE CONTRACTOR AGREES TO PAY $20 MILLION TO SETTLE FALSE CLAIMS ACT ALLEGATIONS RELATED TO FRAUDULENT PROCUREMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS CONTRACTS

Luke Hillier, the majority owner and former Chief Executive Officer of Virginia-based defense contractor ADS, Inc., has agreed to pay the United States $20 million to settle allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by fraudulently obtaining federal set-aside contracts reserved for small businesses that his company was ineligible to receive, the Department of Justice announced today.

“Small businesses serve a vital role in our communities and in the American economy,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “We will not hesitate to take action against those who fraudulently obtain contracts intended for small businesses.”

“This action reflects the government’s steadfast commitment to hold individuals accountable who knowingly participate in schemes that take advantage of small businesses and set-aside contracts to which they are not entitled under the law,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu. “The government expects people to be truthful in their dealings with the government, and the United States will investigate and pursue those that fail to live up to that expectation.” read here

MARYLAND MAN ARRESTED FOR MAKING MULTIPLE THREATS TO INJURE AND KILL HISPANICS

Eric Lin, 35, of Clarksburg, Maryland, was arrested on Friday, August 16, 2019, in Seattle, Washington, after being charged with Making Threatening Communications, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 875(c) via a criminal complaint filed in Miami.  Lin made his initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge in Seattle.

According to allegations in the complaint, between May 30, 2019, and August 13, 2019, Eric Lin made multiple threatening communications via Facebook to injure and kill a South Florida resident and to kill all Hispanics in Miami and other places. read here

PHILADELPHIA MAN SENTENCED 17+ YEARS FOR MANUFACTURING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Michael Walpole, 31, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 210 months’ imprisonment (17 ½ years) and 15 years’ supervised release by United States District Judge Paul S. Diamond on child exploitation charges.

In May 2018, the defendant forced the five-year old victim to take off her pants and underwear. The defendant took off his own pants, placed his penis on the victim’s naked buttocks, and photographed this abuse. On April 2, 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to manufacture and attempted manufacture of child pornography. read here

HUMAN TRAFFICKER SENTENCED TO 24 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announces that on August 15, 2019, United States District Court Terry F. Moorer sentenced Tee-Henry Wulu Currens, 22, to 24 months in federal prison for the violation of 18 United States Code 2421– Transporting Any Individual in Interstate Commerce Intending to that Individual Engage in Prostitution. Judge Moorer considered Currens’s actions on the day he was arrested, as well as his conduct during his interview with a United States Probation Officer, which necessitated extra jail security in order to ensure her safety.

According to documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, in January 2019, Currens first met the female victim while she was working as a prostitute in Jacksonville, Florida, initially becoming her client. Soon after, Currens volunteered to work as his victim’s driver and provide her with security. The victim told investigators that Currens became abusive, controlling, and forced her to meet with clients, and Currens would subsequently keep all the money from the trafficking event. The victim stated that Currens would force her to have sex with clients and that he would physically beat her if she refused to be trafficked. read here

 

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