Daily Dose of Justice

Daily Dose of Justice

ILLEGAL ALIEN FROM MEXICO  PLEADS GUILTY TO UNLAWFUL REENTRY AFTER REMOVAL

Gulfport, Miss. – Jose Guadalupe Perez-Velasquez, 29, an illegal from Mexico, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. to “time served,” effectively 121 days in federal prison, and one year of supervised release, for the crime of unlawful reentry by an alien after removal, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, and Scott Sutterfield, Acting Field Office Director of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in New Orleans.

Upon release from his federal prison sentence, Guadalupe Perez-Velasquez will remain in the administrative detention custody of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration & Customs Enforcement. He will face removal proceedings to remove him from the United States back to his home nation of Mexico. As a result of this felony conviction, if Perez-Velasquez were to unlawfully return to the United States, he could face up to ten years in federal prison. Further, if he were to unlawfully return again to the United States during his 1-year term of supervised release, he could face separate penalties consecutive to imprisonment from additional prosecution. read here

ILLEGAL ALIEN PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSION OF COUNTERFEIT OR UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS DEVICES

Gulfport, Miss. – Duniesky Vizcay De La Cruz a/k/a Vizcay Delacruz Duniesky, 34, an illegal alien from Cuba, pled guilty Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden, to knowingly possessing 15 or more counterfeit or unauthorized access devices, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Craig Caldwell, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service.

On December 6, 2017, the South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Task Force conducted a traffic stop on Interstate I-10 in Jackson County. Duniesky Vizcay De La Cruz, a passenger in the car, was found to be in possession of approximately 528 “Vanilla MasterCard” pre-paid gift cards in his luggage. An inventory determined the value of the gift cards, purchased with victims’ money, was $89,900. The investigation revealed that the 528 gift cards had been purchased at wholesale club stores in Georgia and Florida a few days prior to this traffic stop in Mississippi. read here

EXECUTIVE UNION BOARD MEMBERS AND FAMILY MEMBERS CHARGED WITH CORRUPTION

HONOLULU – Brian Ahakuelo, 58, former Business Manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 1260 (“Local 1260”) based in Honolulu, Hawaii, along with his wife, Marilyn Ahakuelo, 55, and sister-in-law, Jennifer Estencion, 52,were charged yesterday in a 70-count indictment. Charges include conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and embezzlement.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii Kenji M. Price stated that according to court documents and information presented in court, from June 2011 to May 2016, Brian Ahakuelo, Marilyn Ahakuelo, and Estencion engaged in a conspiracy to divert Local 1260 union funds and property for their own personal use. Brian Ahakuelo hired family members at inflated salaries (some of whom did little or no actual work for the union) and authorized the use of union funds for personal travel, a vehicle, and dining expenditures. When his activities largely depleted the union’s coffers, Brian Ahakuelo, with the help of Marilyn Ahakuelo, Estencion and other union employees, rigged a vote on Resolution 14-07 to increase membership dues. The false election caused members to pay an additional $3.7 million in dues over about eighteen months. read here

U.S. ATTORNEY KENNEDY AND D-A SWANSON ANNOUNCE OVERDOSE RESPONSE INITIATIVE

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S Attorney James P. Kennedy. Jr. and Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson announced today the creation of the Overdose Response Initiative (ORI). Modeled after similar initiatives across the state and country, this program aims to examine overdose deaths in an effort to track down drug dealers and offer support to victims’ relatives.

The Overdose Response Initiative aims to coordinate local law enforcement and compile information from a multitude of sources to find the origin of the drugs that lead to overdoses. “We then will work with our federal partners, including the US Attorney’s Office and the FBI, to put these cases together for federal prosecution,” D-A Patrick Swanson stated. “Until now, the partnership has been an informal one, however, today, we are formalizing that partnership and making public our efforts to combat overdose deaths.” read here

BUFFALO MAN ADMITS TO SELLING FENTANYL THAT LED TO THE DEATHS OF FIVE PEOPLE

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Robert Moore, 41, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to distribution of fentanyl causing death. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $1,000,000 fine. Pursuant to the plea agreement between the parties, Moore faces between 20 and 22½ years imprisonment when he is sentenced

Robert Moore pleaded guilty to selling the heroin and fentanyl that caused the death of one individual, but he also admitted to selling the heroin and fentanyl that led to the overdose deaths of four other individuals. read here

HUMAN TRAFFICKER SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR SEX TRAFFICKING A MINOR FROM TEXAS

SHREVEPORT, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Tyrone Larry Smith, 40, of Shreveport, Louisiana, was sentenced Thursday by Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. to serve 50 years in federal prison for sex trafficking a minor female from Texas.  Smith pleaded guilty on March 7, 2019. 

Tyrone Smith began communicating with a 14-year-old female from Texas over an internet-based “dating service” in June of 2015.  Using internet communications, he convinced her to travel to Shreveport, making representations that he wanted to start a relationship with her.  She agreed and took a bus to Shreveport.  When she encountered Smith, he informed her that she would be engaging in prostitution, and implied that there would be consequences if she did not cooperate.  Smith posted advertisements on the website Backpage.com using photographs of the victim in various stages of undress, with descriptions of her services, to advertise the victim’s prostitution.  He listed his number on the page for customers to call, and he coached the victim on what prices to charge and how to question customers to ensure they were not undercover police officers.  If she resisted, Smith used force and physical violence to force her into prostitution.  At one point, the victim told Smith she wanted to return home.  In response, the defendant struck her in the face and told her that she would continue to engage in prostitution.  Smith kept all of the money from the acts of prostitution. read here

SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS IN PRISON IN PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD CASE

A Denton County sexual predator was sentenced today to 50 years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

Adam Donald Bennet, 36, pleaded guilty in April to one count of sexual exploitation of children following an investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations. He was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge John McBryde. read here

ROMANIAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY TO ROLE IN NATIONWIDE ATM SKIMMING ACTIVITY

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that GEORGE DRAGUSIN, also known as “Georgio Anderini” and “Einstein,” 63, a citizen of Romania, pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to conspiracy and identity theft charges related to extensive ATM skimming activity that defrauded banks from coast to coast.

According to court documents and statements in court today, between February and June 2017, People’s United Bank locations in Connecticut experienced approximately 35 incidents of ATM skimming at their branches. A joint law enforcement investigation revealed that Dragusin and others placed skimming devices at the ATMs to capture account numbers and personal identification numbers (“PIN numbers”) from customers who used their ATM cards at the ATMs while the devices were in place. Members of the conspiracy used the captured information to make substitute ATM cards, and then obtained money and made purchases using those cards. read here

LAFAYETTE MAN SENTENCED TO NEARLY 4 YEARS IN PRISON FOR BEING A FELON IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM

LAFAYETTE, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Jarius T. Carson, 26, of Lafayette, Louisiana, was sentenced today to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Robert R. Summerhays for illegally possessing a loaded semi-automatic pistol.  Carson pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon on May 20, 2019.

A Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s deputy encountered Carson on June 6, 2018, in the parking lot of a Scott, Louisiana, apartment complex.  When the deputy approached him, Carson fled.  While in pursuit, the deputy saw Carson run towards a vehicle and place an object in the vehicle’s wheel well.  When the deputy caught up with Carson, he acknowledged that the loaded Cobra .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol found in the wheel well of the car belonged to him. read here

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL HEADED TO PRISON FOR MONEY LAUNDERING THROUGH BITCOIN

DENVER – United States Attorney Jason Dunn announces that Emilio Testa, age 32, an Australian residing in Boulder, Colorado, will now be going to prison after being sentenced for money laundering with Bitcoin. United States District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore sentenced Testa to serve one year and a day in prison, followed by twelve months on supervised release.

According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement as well as facts presented at yesterday’s sentencing, beginning in approximately April 2016, Testa was in contact with undercover agents about the need to convert U.S. dollars into Bitcoin because he preferred not to use banks or deal with taxes. On two occasions in 2016, the defendant and undercover agents conducted money exchanges. Testa and the undercover agents remained in contact throughout 2016 and 2017. Subsequently in March 2018, Testa contacted an undercover agent about selling Bitcoin for U.S. dollars. During this meeting, Testa agreed to exchange Bitcoin for cash from narcotics proceeds. He completed a second such transaction in May 2018, while understanding that the transaction would conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of money he believed to be the proceeds of narcotics trafficking. read here

DAVIE RESIDENT SENTENCED TO 40 YEARS IN PRISON FOR ENTICING MINORS TO ENGAGE IN SEXUAL ACTS AND PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Henry Alvarez Flores, 38, of Davie, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roy K. Altman to 40 years in prison today for enticing three minors to engage in illicit sexual activity and producing child pornography of the sexual acts (Case No. 18cr60240).

Flores previously pled guilty to the indictment which charged three counts of production of child pornography and three counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity in violation of, Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2251(a) and 2422(b). read here

ILLEGAL ALIEN RESIDING IN SACRAMENTO CONVICTED OF AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT, PASSPORT FRAUD, AND VOTING BY AN ALIEN

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal jury returned a verdict today against Gustavo Araujo Lerma, 64, finding him guilty of one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of passport fraud, and five counts of voting by an alien, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Lerma was born in Mexico in 1955. In the early 1990s he acquired and began fraudulently using the identity of a United States citizen named Hiram Velez. Lerma used the Velez identity to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports and to vote in federal elections. read here

FEDERAL AGENT IMPERSONATOR CONVICTED

HOUSTON – A 32-year-old resident of Cypress has entered guilty pleas to possession of a machine gun and impersonating a federal officer, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Mitchell Shoemaker admitted he represented himself to be an agent with the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) in order to gain access to a law enforcement only shooting range.

“The close working relationship between DSS, our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office resulted in this conviction before Shoemaker could potentially harm the security of our country,” said DSS Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey McGallicher. “This was a great success by all of the agencies involved.” read here

PEN GUN POSSESSOR PLEADS GUILTY OT FEDERAL FIREARM CHARGE

MACON – A Macon, Georgia man who admitted to making and concealing a small, single-round gun in the shape of a pen entered a guilty plea to a federal firearm charge, said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Billy Christopher Evans, 28, of Macon, Georgia, entered a guilty plea on August 22, 2019 to one count of Possession of an Unregistered Firearm before U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell. The charge carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.  Sentencing has been scheduled for November 20, 2019. read here

COLCHESTER WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD OFFENSE STEMMING FROM EMBEZZLEMENT SCHEME

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that VICKI MILLER, 56, of Colchester, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to a fraud offense stemming from an embezzlement scheme.

According to court documents and statements in court today, from approximately June 2017 until August 2018, Miller was employed as a bookkeeper by Greylock Property Group LLC and its owner. Beginning in approximately July 2017, Miller used her access to her employers’ bank accounts to embezzle $413,180 of their money by making withdrawals at ATMs, writing checks to herself, and transferring funds to her own accounts. read here

FEDERAL WAY TAX PREPARER SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR SCHEME TO PREPARE FALSE INCOME TAX RETURNS

A 52-year-old Federal Way, Washington resident was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to one year in prison, one year of supervised release, and $13,141 in restitution for eight counts of aiding and assisting in preparing false income tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. LINA PASTARS ran a tax preparation business out of her home and collected higher fees from customers by falsely inflating their deductions, so that her clients received a bigger refund. PASTARS was convicted February 28, 2019, following a four–day jury trial. At the sentencing hearing, Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez said PASTARS’ clients were primarily immigrants with little knowledge of the tax system and limited language skills. “That population is most vulnerable,” the Chief Judge said “They were left to flounder by themselves when the IRS came knocking at their door.” read here

FORMER SERVICE PROVIDE AT THE SAN ANGELO, TEXAS STATE SUPPORTED LIVING CENTER SENTENCED TO 51 MONTHS IN PRISON AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO CIVIL RIGHTS OFFENSE FOR ASSAULTING RESIDENT

Tesa Keith, 38, a former direct service provider at the San Angelo State Supported Living Center in San Angelo, Texas, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for violating the civil rights of K.B., a resident at the facility, announced Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox, and FBI Dallas Division Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno.

“The Department of Justice is dedicated to protecting the defenseless in our society,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. “Today’s sentencing demonstrates the Civil Rights Division’s commitment to seeking justice for victims of civil rights abuses.”

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not tolerate this kind of unwarranted brutality against our District’s most vulnerable,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. read here

KISSIMMEE MAN SENTENCED TO 15 MONTHS FOR THREATENING TO BEHEAD SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza today sentenced Robert Pratersch (58, Kissimmee) to 15 months in federal prison for threatening a federal official and interstate transmission of a threat to injure. A federal jury had found Pratersch guilty on April 30, 2019.

According to court documents, Pratersch left three threatening voicemail messages at the Office of Senator Bernie Sanders in Burlington, Vermont. These profanity-laced messages included a threat to “behead” Senator Sanders, “ISIS-style,” and videotape the execution. The messages also included numerous anti-Semitic remarks directed at Senator Sanders. read here

BALTIMORE MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR ENTICING A MINOR TO PRODUCE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Baltimore, Maryland – Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar today sentenced Antonio Wright, age 42, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 25 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for coercing and enticing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct and for two counts of production of child pornography.  Chief Judge Bredar also ordered that upon his release from prison, Wright will be required to register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). read here

CHILD ABUSER PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGALLY REENTERING THE UNITED STATES

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Honduran man who was recently convicted of aggravated sexual battery of a child under the age of 13, pleaded guilty today to illegally reentering the United States.

“Garcia-Gordillo has repeatedly disregarded our immigration laws, entering the United States illegally on three occasions,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Garcia-Gordillo used his time in America to engage in a pattern of sexual abuse on an innocent child and has demonstrated that he poses a serious threat to our public safety.” read here

HONDURAN MAN SENTENCED TO 15 MONTHS FOR ILLEGAL RE-ENTRY

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that SANTOS EVELIO NOLAZCO, age 48, a native of Honduras, was sentenced on Thursday, August 22, 2019, following his guilty plea to a one-count indictment, which charged him with illegal reentry of a removed alien, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1326(a).  He pled guilty on June 13, 2019.

According to the indictment, EVELIO NOLAZCO was previously removed from the United States on August 17, 2016. He was later found in the Eastern District of Louisiana on March 28, 2019 and had not received permission from the Attorney General of the United States or the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to reenter.  He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon to a term of 15 months in federal prison.  It was noted in open court at the sentencing hearing that EVELIO NOLAZCO had been previously deported five times from the United States. read here

ILLEGAL ALIEN WHO USED ANOTHER PERSON’S NAME AND SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER SENTENCED TO PRISON

A man who used another person’s Social Security number to get a job was sentenced August 22, 2019, to four months in federal prison.

Bonifacio Martin-Martin, age 20, a citizen of Guatemala illegally present in the United States and residing in Iowa City, Iowa, received the prison term after a June 10, 2019, guilty plea to one count of misuse of a social security number.

At the guilty plea, Martin-Martin admitted that on July 12, 2018, he used someone else’s name and social security number on employment forms and state and federal tax forms when applying for work in Lime Springs, Iowa. Martin-Martin worked under that person’s name until he was arrested by immigration officials after he was charged with public intoxication in Postville, Iowa, on April 6, 2019. The public intoxication charge was later dismissed after federal charges were filed. read here

TWO QUEENS WOMEN PLEAD GUILTY IN CONNECTION WITH PLAN TO BUILD EXPLOSIVE, DESTRUCTIVE DEVICES SIMILAR TO THOSE USED IN PRIOR TERRORIST ATTACKS IN THE UNITED STATES

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Asia Siddiqui and Noelle Velentzas, both citizens of the United States and residents of Queens, pleaded guilty to teaching and distributing information pertaining to the making and use of an explosive, destructive device, and weapon of mass destruction, intending that it be used to commit a federal crime of violence. The guilty pleas were entered before United States District Court Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. When sentenced, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison.

“In an effort to implement their violent, radical ideology, the defendants studied some of the most deadly terrorist attacks in U.S. history, and used them as a blueprint for their own plans to kill American law enforcement and military personnel,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “Thanks to the tireless work of law enforcement, they were stopped before they could bring their murderous plans to fruition.” Mr. Donoghue expressed his grateful appreciation to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which comprises a large number of federal, state and local agencies from the region, for its outstanding work during the investigation. read here

CHERRY HILL HILLSIDE GANG MEMBER SENTENCED TO 23 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY CHARGES, INCLUDING THE MURDER OF AN INNOCENT BYSTANDER AND TWO ATTEMPTED MURDERS

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III today sentenced Keenan Lawson, a/k/a BlackFace, age 27, of Baltimore, to 23 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise related to his activities as a member of the violent Hillside gang that operated in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore.  Lawson admitted to participating in the murder of an innocent bystander, two attempted murders, and the distribution of narcotics. read here

AUTO TRANSPORT COMPANY OWNER PLEADS GUILTY TO FALSIFYING DOT RECORDS, BANK FRAUD, ID THEFT, TAX EVASION

PROVIDENCE – The owner of an East Providence automobile transport company Thursday admitted to a federal court judge that he falsified U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) records and continued to operate a fleet of auto transport trucks after having been cited for, among other things, allowing drivers to operate without a current or properly classified license; failing to maintain certifications that drivers were medically able to drive and failing to implement a driver alcohol or controlled substances testing program; and allowing drivers to exceed the maximum number of hours of driving allowed under the law.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Michael Chaves, 39, owner of CAT Inc., also admitted to fraudulently obtaining more than $400,000 from various financial institutions; that he utilized another person’s personal identifying information to continue to illegally operate his auto hauling business after being ordered to shut down by the FMCSA for safety violations; and that he took numerous evasive steps to avoid paying personal income taxes to the IRS. read here

INMATE AT RED ONION STATE PRISON CONVICTED OF MAILING THREATS TO FEDERAL JUDGES

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – Mitchell Norbert Nicholas, 41, an inmate at Red Onion State Prison serving a sentence for murder, was convicted yesterday by a federal jury at the conclusion of a two-day trial on four federal charges related to threats he made against a pair of federal judges. United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen made the announcement.

Nicholas was convicted of two counts of mailing threats to injure another person and two counts of threatening to murder a United States Judge with the intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with their performance of official duties, or with the intent to retaliate against such judge on the performance of their official duties. read here

Appearing in Billings before U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan and pleading not guilty on Aug. 19 was:

Benjamin Ira Badbear, 34, of Billings, and Carrie Marie Rinesmith, 39, of Billings. Badbear is charged with possession of a stolen firearm, receipt of a firearm by a person under indictment and prohibited person in possession of a firearm. Rinesmith is charged with possession of a stolen firearm. If convicted of the most serious crime, Badbear and Rinesmith face a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. Both are detained pending further proceedings. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Pacer case reference. 19-92. read here

TEXAS MAN SENTENCED FOR TRAVELING FOR SEX WITH KANSAS TEENAGER

WICHITA, KAN. – A Texas man was sentenced today to 25 years in federal prison for taking a Hutchinson, Kan., girl across state lines for sex, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Juan Carlos Carmona, 37, Houston, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of traveling from Texas to Kansas to have sex with a minor and one count of transporting a minor from Kansas to Texas to have sex with her. read here

METRO EAST DENTIST CHARGED WITH HEALTH CARE FRAUD

A St. Louis-area dentist has been charged with executing a wide-ranging health care fraud scheme
over several years. Dr. Yun Sup Kim, 48, of St. Louis, is under federal indictment for allegedly
defrauding Illinois Medicaid out of hundreds of thousands of dollars from his dental office in
Swansea, Illinois. The 20-page indictment charges Kim with 12 counts of health care fraud and one
count of wire fraud in connection with his dental practice.

According to the indictment, from September 2014 through the end of 2017, Kim repeatedly billed
Illinois Medicaid for cavity fillings and surgical tooth extractions he never actually performed.
The experiences of 10 former patients are outlined in the indictment, including several where Kim
allegedly claimed to have filled cavities on more than half the patient’s teeth in one sitting. The
indictment charges those claims were false and alleges that, in many instances, the teeth Kim
claimed to have filled never had cavities to begin with. Kim is also accused of falsifying dates of
service on numerous occasions to evade billing rules involving reimbursements for dental sealants. read here

BANK MANAGER IS SENTENCED FOR FRAUD AND IDENTITY THEFT

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that today in federal court TONY MCELVEEN, SR., was sentenced by United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, to 51 months imprisonment followed by 2 years of Supervised Release.  He was also sentenced to pay full restitution and ordered to forfeit $107,390.    On May 30, 2019, MCELVEEN pled guilty to Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft.

According to the investigation, MCELVEEN used his position as BB&T branch manager, in Rowland, North Carolina, to steal the personal identifiers of two elderly customers to fraudulently obtain loans and credit cards in their names.  The loan proceeds and credit cards were used for his personal benefit to pay for, among other things, rental cars, a home security system and hotel rooms in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  In addition, MCELVEEN closed a $50,000 certificate of deposit owned by one of the elderly victims, without her knowledge, and used most of the proceeds to make a large payment toward his delinquent residential mortgage.  read here

HUSBAND AND WIFE CHARGED FOR THEFT OF MILITARY PROPERTY

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announces that a Federal grand jury in Greenville has returned a three count indictment charging MORRIS COOPER, age 62 of Fayetteville, with bribery and theft of government property.

According to the indictment, COOPER was a purchasing agent assigned to the Operations and Maintenance Division, Directorate of Public Works (DPW), at Fort Bragg, NC and entrusted to purchase HVAC parts for DPW’s HVAC maintenance section.  He was named in an indictment filed on August 20, 2019, charging him with stealing government money and conspiracy to do so, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371 and 641, and, as a public official, receiving bribes in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(2).  His wife, BEVERLEY COOPER, age 52 of Fayetteville, is also charged with conspiring to steal government property and aiding and abetting COOPER to do so.  The indictment charges that COOPER used his position as purchasing agent at DPW, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, to receive cash and gifts from vendors for both he and his wife, BEVERLEY COOPER, in return for steering contracts for supplies to those vendors.   Additionally, he at times inflated the prices for items under those contracts beyond market price, increasing both the profits to the vendor and the cash payment made to COOPER and/or his wife.  The indictment alleges gross proceeds to COOPER of at least $978,279.00. read here

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