Daily Dose of Justice

Daily Dose of Justice

LAS VEGAS BUSINESSMAN ADMITS TRAFFICKING MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN COUNTERFEIT ELECTRONICS

SAN DIEGO – A Las Vegas business owner admitted today to running a years-long conspiracy to import counterfeit electronics from China into the United States.

During a hearing this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major, Saad Ahmed pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Traffic in Counterfeit Goods.

Ahmed, 32, owns and operates PhonePartsUSA, a Las Vegas, Nevada-based company that sells cellular telephone parts and other electronics throughout the United States—including to customers in San Diego. As part of his plea agreement, Ahmed acknowledged conspiring with a variety of individuals in China to bring counterfeit cell phone parts and accessories from China to the United States. The conspiracy stretched back to at least September 2012, according to court documents. read here

ATTORNEY AND CLIENT INDICTED FOR CONSPIRACY TO FILE FALSE FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURNS

ALBUQUERQUE – A grand jury in Albuquerque, N.M. has returned an indictment charging Victor Kearney, 55, of Zephyr Cove, Nev., and Robert Fiser, 58, of Albuquerque with preparing and filing false tax returns to conceal millions of dollars in income Kearney received as a beneficiary of two testamentary trusts.

The grand jury returned the indictment on August 27, 2019. It charges Kearney and Fiser with participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States, from October 20, 2009, to November 4, 2016, by impairing the ability of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) to assess and collect revenue in the form of income taxes. The indictment further charges Kearney with willfully making and subscribing a false personal income tax return on September 6, 2013, in which Kearney allegedly substantially underreported his income for 2011. The indictment further charges Fiser with allegedly aiding and assisting Kearney in the preparation of Kearney’s false return on September 4, 2013. read here

SPOKANE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ATTEMPTED ROBBERY ON COEUR D’ALENE INDIAN RESERVATION

COEUR D’ALENE – Isiah James Harrington, 19, of Spokane, Washington, pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court to attempted robbery, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced. Sentencing for Harrington has been set for November 21, 2019, before Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.

According to court records, Harrington became aware that the victim, a Coeur d’Alene tribal member, was carrying a large amount of cash. Harrington and a co-defendant, McKenna Marie Buss, used the Snapchat app to track the victim to a Walmart in Spokane Valley, and then followed the victim’s car to a residence in Plummer, Idaho. After the victim stopped his car, Harrington got out of a vehicle with a gun and pointed it at the victim demanding cash. Harrington and Buss fled the scene, without taking any money, when they observed individuals exiting an adjacent residence to help the victim. read here

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SUBURBAN AUTISM CENTER CHARGED WITH FRAUDULENTLY BILLING FOR NONEXISTENT SERVICES

CHICAGO — The executive director of a suburban autism center has been indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly billing a private insurer for nonexistent therapeutic services.

LATRICE HARRELL operated The Champion Center for Autism Inc., in Oak Forest. From November 2015 to May 2018, Harrell submitted fraudulent claims to a private insurer for therapeutic services that were not rendered, according to an indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The claims represented that patients had received treatment by the center’s occupational therapist or behavioral analyst, when, in fact, Harrell knew that no such services were provided, the indictment states. Harrell used the names and information of the therapist and analyst without their knowledge to create the fictitious claim forms, the charges allege. As a result of the scheme, Harrell fraudulently obtained at least $1.6 million from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the indictment states. read here

DOCTOR AGREES TO PAY MORE THAN $471,000 TO RESOLVE ALLEGED FALSE CLAIMS ACT LIABILITY FOR ACCEPTING KICKBACK PAYMENTS

In a civil settlement agreement with the U.S. Government, an orthopedic surgeon has agreed to pay $471,221.46 to resolve allegations that he knowingly accepted illegal kickback payments in exchange for prescribing pain creams compounded and produced by OK Compounding, LLC, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

The government alleged that Dr. James L. Womack, 42, a physician in Clinton, Missouri, accepted the kickback payments from June 1, 2013 through June 9, 2015. Womack wrote prescriptions for expensive compounded pain creams that were marketed in bulk, and in so doing, facilitated the sale and distribution of pain creams by OK Compounding. As compensation for his services, OK Compounding paid Womack what was characterized by the parties as medical director fees based upon an hourly rate. However, the prearranged payments that Womack received from OK Compounding were, in actuality, “kickbacks” and in violation of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §3729 et seq. read here

TWO INDICTED FOR $4 MILLION WARRANTY FRAUD SCHEME

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging two people with nine counts of wire and mail fraud relating to a scheme to defraud a major car company of more than $4 million.

According to the indictment, Frank Russo, 68, of North Carolina, and Kevin Fluharty, 58, of West Virginia organized and participated in a scheme to misuse a car company’s warranty extension program that offered to repurchase certain defective trucks for 150% of their value, so long as those trucks were owned by individual customers rather than a dealership. Participants in the scheme bought the trucks at wholesale prices at auction through a car dealership in Kentucky. They then obtained hundreds of copies of Kentucky and West Virginia residents’ driver’s licenses, fraudulently titled the trucks in the name of those residents, and induced the car company to repurchase the trucks at 150% of value. read here

GUATEMALAN MAN CHARGED WITH MARIJUANA CULTIVATION OPERATION IN NATIONAL FOREST IN TULARE COUNTY

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today against Oscar Alfredo Castanaza-Ortega, 34, of Guatemala, charging him with conspiring to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, manufacturing marijuana, damaging public lands and natural resources, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, law enforcement officers located 2,864 marijuana plants in the Twin Springs area of the Sequoia National Forest in Tulare County. Castanaza was found in the grow site with a loaded .38-caliber firearm and a box of .38-caliber ammunition. read here

MAN SENTENCED TO 97 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR ROLE IN INTERNATIONAL CREDIT CARD FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING CONSPIRACY

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A man who pleaded guilty to his involvement in a multimillion dollar international counterfeit credit card fraud and money laundering conspiracy was sentenced today to 97 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.

Bruno Macedo Correia, 29, pleaded guilty in July 2019, to conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with access devices and conspiracy to commit money laundering. In addition to imprisonment, United States District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey ordered Correia to pay restitution in the amount of $2,288,180.97. The Court also imposed a $5,000,000 criminal forfeiture money judgment, and ordered 196 items of property and U.S. currency forfeited. read here

MULTIPLE AUSTIN AREA DRUG TRAFFICKING ARRESTS IN MARCH 2018 RESULT IN LENGTHY FEDERAL PRISON TERMS

In Austin yesterday, a federal judge sentenced the last of 35 defendants convicted of his role in a Austin-based drug trafficking conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy, Houston Division; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division; IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Goss, Houston Field Office; Texas Department of Safety Director Steven McCraw; Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler; and, Cedar Park Police Chief Sean Mannix.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman sentenced 41–year-old Marquis Collins of Austin to 90 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. Sentences for the other 34 defendants ranged from time served to 280 months (ringleader Luis Villagrana-Martinez) in federal prison. read here

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REACHES SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH PHYSICIANS AND EL PASO PHYSICIANS GROUP OVER ALLEGATIONS OF VIOLATING THE FALSE CLAIMS ACT

U.S. Attorney John F. Bash of the Western District of Texas announced today that Dr. Robert Moreno, Cheryl Moreno, William “Bill” Collins, Accutrack Medical Claims Service, LLC, and El Paso Integrated Physicians Group, P.A. paid $2,929,162 to settle allegations that they defrauded the U.S. and the State of Texas through their Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs.

“Providers who line their pockets by over-billing for medical care increase medical costs for all of us and drain critical funds from Medicare and other government health programs,” said U.S. Attorney Bash. “The Government will continue to hold accountable medical professionals who undermine our healthcare system through fraudulent over-billing for care.” read here

17 TEXAS SYNDICATE MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES ARRESTED BASED ON FEDERAL INDICTMENT ALLEGING METH/HEROIN TRAFFICKING IN AND AROUND AUSTIN

Federal, state and local authorities have arrested 17 members and associates of the Texas Syndicate in connection with a methamphetamine/heroin trafficking operation in central Texas announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw, and Gonzales Police Chief Tim Crow.

A federal grand jury indictment, returned in Austin and unsealed yesterday, charges those arrested with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. The defendants, allegedly, conspired to distribute methamphetamine/heroin in Austin, San Marcos, Luling, Gonzales, New Braunfels, Hutto, Kenedy, Seguin, Bastrop and Tuscaloosa, AL, since January 2018. During this investigation, authorities seized over 100 kilograms of methamphetamine and multiple firearms attributed to this organization. read here

JURY FINDS MIDLAND MAN GUILTY OF ATTEMPTED ONLINE ENTICEMENT OF A MINOR

In Midland yesterday, a federal jury convicted 37-year-old Midland resident Cole S. Crocker of attempted online enticement of a minor, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash, FBI Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie, Jr., El Paso Division, and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw.

Evidence presented at trial revealed that on March 22, 2019, Crocker responded to an online advertisement uploaded by an FBI undercover agent. Crocker began chatting with the undercover agent via messaging applications, and the conversation quickly turned graphic and sexual in nature. The undercover agent represented to Crocker that he had access to an eight-year-old girl for sex, and Crocker expressed interest. As the chats progressed, Crocker also engaged in several recorded phone conversations with the undercover agent where they discussed the logistics of a meet-up to have sex with the eight-year-old girl. Crocker was arrested later that evening when he arrived at the purported meeting location in Midland. read here

GREGG COUNTY MAN SENTENCED FOR FEDERAL FINANCIAL CRIMES

TYLER, Texas – A 59-year-old Longview, Texas, man has been sentenced to federal prison for criminal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown and FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno.

Timmy Lynn Vaughn pleaded guilty on May 2, 2019, to making false statements to a bank and was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle. Vaughn was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $145,100. read here

SECOND TENNESSEE CORRECTIONAL OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS OFFENSE FOR BEATING INMATE

Memphis, TN – Tanner Penwell, 22, pleaded guilty to using unlawful force on an inmate while Penwell was serving as a correctional officer with the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

“This type of behavior and violation of an inmate’s civil rights will not be tolerated,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to seek out justice on behalf of those who have had their civil rights violated.”

“Correctional officers must abide by and adhere to the same laws they take an oath to uphold and enforce. Instead of serving and protecting the public, this officer used physical force to violate the civil rights of an individual and will now be held accountable, vividly illustrating that no one is above the law,” said U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant. read here

FORMER TOPSHAM RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Portland, Maine:  United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that Gary Boshoff, 52, formerly of Topsham, Maine, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to possessing child pornography.

According to court records, in August 2016, agents investigating the sharing of child pornography over the internet downloaded files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct from a computer using an Internet Protocol address assigned to Boshoff’s residence in Topsham. A search warrant was obtained for the residence, and agents executed the warrant in October 2016. Boshoff admitted to agents that he had used the internet to search for and download child pornography images. A review of a laptop seized under the warrant revealed images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. read here

SACRAMENTO MAN INDICTED FOR ASSAULTING FEDERAL AGENTS WITH A FIREARM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a 14-count indictment today against Jason Raysean Broadbent, 32, of Sacramento, charging him with assaulting federal officers with a deadly weapon and various firearms and drug trafficking offenses, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to the indictment, on November 19, 2015, Broadbent assaulted Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agents by firing and brandishing a Glock semi‑automatic pistol while they were performing their official duties in Sacramento County. Broadbent, a convicted felon, allegedly possessed multiple firearms, including two machineguns and a pipe bomb. The indictment further alleges that Broadbent possessed methamphetamine for distribution within 1,000 feet of a private secondary school and on a premises where children were present or resided. read here

DELAWARE PIPE BOMBER SENTENCED TO 105 MONTHS OF FEDERAL PRISON

WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Mark Consiglio, 49, of Elsmere, Delaware was sentenced today in federal court in Delaware for his role in detonating a pipe bomb at a home in Elsmere, Delaware.

According to court documents and statements made in open court, Consiglio detonated a pipe bomb at his estranged wife’s residence in the early morning hours of March 12, 2018 before fleeing the scene. The pipe bomb was thrown at the living room window and bounced back after damaging the window. The pipe bomb then exploded in the front yard of the residence. Two occupants were home at the time of the pipe bomb explosion, one of whom was in the living room. Shrapnel from the explosion was found inside the living room. read here

FORMER BURBANK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER PLEADS GUILTY TO PRODUCING CHILD  PORNOGRAPHY DEPICTING HIS FORMER STUDENT

  LOS ANGELES – A former elementary school teacher pleaded guilty today to federal criminal charges for sexually exploiting his 15-year-old former student by producing pornographic images of her.

Sean David Sigler, 55, of Burbank, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of production of child pornography. Sigler, whom a federal grand jury indicted in May 2018, previously taught fifth-grade students at Bret Harte Elementary School in Burbank and at Gardner Street Elementary School in Hollywood. read here

HOUSTON MAN CHARGED IN FIRST KNOWN CASE SINCE BUMP STOCK BAN

HOUSTON – A federal grand jury has indicted a 43-year-old Houston man on four counts of firearms violations including possession of a machine gun, specifically, a bump stock, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

The four-count indictment, returned yesterday, alleges Ajay Dhingra possessed a machine gun, made two materially false statements in the acquisition of two firearms and unlawfully possessed a firearm after having been adjudicated as a mental defective or who had been committed to a mental institution. read here

BAY AREA’S LARGEST HOME HEALTH CARE AGENCY AND 28 HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY WORKERS CHARGED IN PATIENTS-FOR-CASH KICKBACK SCHEME

SAN FRANCISCO – Federal complaints have been filed against 30 defendants charged in a patients-for-cash kickback scheme, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett, and Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG), Steven J. Ryan.

The complaints, unsealed this morning, describe a wide-ranging patients-for-kickback scheme. At the center of the scheme are Amity Home Health Care, the largest home health care provider in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Advent Care, Inc., a provider of hospice care. According to the complaints, all the defendants participated in the scheme whereby Amity, under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Ridhima “Amanda” Singh, paid kickbacks to marketers, doctors, and other medical professionals in exchange for the certification or referral of patients for home health or hospice services. Also charged are 28 people including doctors, nurses, marketers, a social worker, and additional employees of Amity. According to the complaints, every single defendant charged was recorded by law enforcement officers either offering or accepting, or approving illegal payments for patient referrals. read here

FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTMENTS ALLEGE DRUG TRAFFICKING RING THAT SMUGGLED HUNDREDS OF POUNDS OF COCAINE, ECSTACY, OTHER NARCOTICS

LOS ANGELES – Thirteen people were arrested today on two federal grand jury indictments alleging a conspiracy to export hundreds of pounds of narcotics, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, from Mexico through Southern California and into Canada.

Three defendants were arrested in the Los Angeles area, while the others were arrested in the Seattle and Vancouver, Canada areas. Three additional defendants are currently in state custody and will be transferred over to federal custody at a later date. read here

RANDOLPH COUNTY MAN SENTENCED FOR POSSESSION OF ILLEGAL EXPLOSIVE MATERIAL

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Brian Scott Mayle, 40, of Coalton, West Virginia, was sentenced today to 49 months incarceration for possessing an illegal explosive material, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

In July 2016, Mayle who is not a licensee or permittee, received and transported C4 explosive material in Randolph County. He pled guilty to one count of “Receipt and Transfer of Explosive Material without a License” in January 2017. read here

FORMER HOSPITAL WORKER SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSES

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza today sentenced Vorarut Vorasiangsuk (37, Orlando) to 14 years in federal prison for receipt and possession of child pornography. The court also ordered Vorasiangsuk to forfeit multiple computers and hard drives, which he had used to commit the offenses.

A federal jury had found Vorasiangsuk guilty on May 14, 2019.

According to court documents, evidence presented at trial, and information discussed during the sentencing proceeding, Vorasiangsuk used an online file-sharing program to download and view child pornography for years. The FBI initially identified Vorasiangsuk after he distributed child pornography to an undercover agent through the file-sharing program. read here

SECOND HAVERFORD COLLEGE STUDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO ATTEMPT TO ACCESS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S TAX INFORMATION

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Andrew Harris, 23, of Philadelphia, entered a plea of guilty before United States Judge Cynthia M. Rufe on the charges related to violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1030 for using a school computer and someone else’s username without that person’s permission in an attempt to illegally obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service. Harris’ co-defendant, Justin Hiemstra, previously pleaded guilty on August 6, 2019.

These charges arose out of a plot between the defendant, then a student at Haverford College, and Hiemstra (another Haverford College student), to use computers at the school’s computer lab and the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) website to illegally access the tax returns. The defendants opened a false FAFSA application in the name of a member of the Trump family, and found that someone else had already obtained a username and password for Donald Trump. In order to reset the password, the defendants were prompted to answer challenge questions, which the original person had created when setting up the account. They were able to answer the questions and reset the password, and then used the President’s personal identifier information, including his social security number and date of birth, to attempt to import the President’s federal tax information into the bogus FAFSA application. Ultimately, this illegal attempt failed. read here

PITTSBURGH WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN SCHEME TO LAUNDER PROCEEDS OF MARIJUANA TRAFFICKING

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Pittsburgh, PA, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to launder proceeds of marijuana trafficking, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Holly Shrum, 29, of the City’s Overbrook neighborhood, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge David S. Cercone. read here

RUSSIAN AND ITALIAN NATIONALS CHARGED WITH CONSPIRING TO STEAL TRADE SECRETS FROM AMERICAN AVIATION COMPANY

CINCINNATI – A Russian national and an Italian national have been charged here with conspiring and attempting to steal trade secrets from an American aviation company.

Alexander Yuryevich Korshunov, 57, and Maurizio Paolo Bianchi, 59, were charged by a criminal complaint on Aug. 21. Korshunov was arrested on Aug. 30 at Naples International Airport in Italy. The complaint was unsealed today. read here

DEFENSE CONTRACTOR SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON FOR CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, CONSPIRACY TO VIOLATE ARMS EXPORT CONTROL ACT, AND INCOME TAX EVASION

The owner of two defense contracting firms was sentenced to 36 months in prison for providing non-conforming parts for military equipment, illegally sharing sensitive technical information and evading income taxes Assistant Attorney General John Demers and U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Roger Sobrado, 49, of Marlton, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman to an information charging him with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act, and income tax evasion. Judge Hillman imposed the sentence on Sept. 4, 2019, in Camden federal court. read here

MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING NEARLY $800,000 IN JEWELRY

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Arlington man pleaded guilty today to robbing two Falls Church pawn shops of nearly $800,000 in jewelry and watches.

According to court documents, in July 2014, Budder Khan, 29, entered Route 50 Gold and Jewelry Exchange, forced the store’s employees to the ground using what appeared to be a real firearm, smashed the business’s glass display cases and took jewelry and watches worth over $650,000. Later, in April 2015, Khan entered Top Pawn, again used what appeared to be a real firearm to frighten the store’s employees, smashed the business’s glass display cases and stole jewelry and watches worth over $143,000. read here

FATHER AND SON OWNERS OF AMBULETTE COMPANY PLEAD GUILTY TO $8.6 MILLION HEALTHCARE KICKBACK SCHEME

Earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, Igor Radinovskiy and Aleksandr Radinovskiy, co-owners of Sabe Ambulette Services Inc., d/b/a Mobility Transportation, located in Brooklyn and North Bellmore, New York, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to offer and pay health care kickbacks and one count of conspiracy to defraud the lawful functions of the Internal Revenue Service.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, New York Region (HHS-OIG), and Jonathan D. Larsen, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announced the guilty pleas. read here

FORMER VALLEJO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER PLEADED GUILTY TO ATTEMPTED ENTICEMENT OF A MINOR

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Andrew Stephen Lund, 37, of Vallejo, pleaded guilty today to attempted online enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, in April 2018, Lund engaged in online sexual chats with a person whom he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, but who was in fact an undercover agent. Lund was an elementary school teacher in Vallejo at the time he attempted to entice the minor. read here

ACCOUNTANT WHO CHEATED HER FRIENDS AND CLIENTS VIA A $27.5 MILLION PONZI SCHEME SENTENCED TO MORE THAN 8 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON

LOS ANGELES – A retired certified public accountant has been sentenced to 97 months in federal prison for running a $27.5 million Ponzi scheme that for roughly two decades defrauded her friends and her accounting firm’s clients.

Carol Ann Pedersen, 66, of Long Beach, was sentenced late Wednesday afternoon by United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee, who cited the “grave economic and psychological toll” of Pedersen’s “insidious Ponzi scheme” as she “preyed on some of her closest friends.” Pedersen pleaded guilty in March to one felony count of wire fraud. Judge Gee also ordered her to pay approximately $27.5 million in restitution. read here

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY MCSWAIN ANNOUNCES ARREST OF FORMER CATHOLIC PRIEST ON FALSE STATEMENT CHARGES

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Robert Brennan, 81, of Perryville, MD, was arrested and charged by Indictment with four counts of making materially false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the United States government.

The Indictment alleges that on or about April 25, 2019, Brennan was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and made a number of false statements to the investigating agents. Brennan had served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1993 to 2004 as a priest at Resurrection of Our Lord parish (“Resurrection”). In September 2013, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against him, alleging that he had sexually abused a minor, Sean McIlmail, during Brennan’s time at Resurrection. Soon thereafter, on or about October 13, 2013, Sean McIlmail died of a drug overdose and the criminal charges against Brennan were dismissed. read here

 

 

 

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