Daily Dose of Justice

Daily Dose of Justice

BARTLESVILLE WOMAN SENTENCED FOR STEALING ALMOST $400,000 FROM FAMILY OWNED BUSINESS

A Bartlesville woman was sentenced today in federal court for stealing $394,058.20 from her employer and submitting a false tax return, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Gina Lisa Preble, 59, of Bartlesville, to 26 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for bank fraud and subscribing to a false tax return. The court further ordered Preble to pay $394,058.20 in restitution. read here

CHICAGO WOMAN CHARGED WITH OPERATING PROSTITUTION BUSINESS ON CITY’S WEST SIDE

CHICAGO — A Chicago woman has been indicted on federal charges for allegedly operating a prostitution business in the city’s West Town neighborhood.

JESSICA NESBITT, also known as “Madame Priscilla Belle,” 31, is charged with seven counts of using interstate commerce to facilitate prostitution, three counts of illegally structuring cash withdrawals to evade financial reporting requirements, one count of conspiracy to use interstate commerce to facilitate prostitution and transport and entice an individual across state lines to engage in prostitution, one count of enticing an individual across state lines to engage in prostitution, and one count of transporting an individual across state lines to engage in prostitution. read here

OPERATION SHUTDOWN CORNER: LAW ENFORCEMENT DISMANTLES MULTI-STATE METHAMPHETAMINE PIPELINE FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TO WEST VIRGINIA

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced a major takedown today of drug traffickers resulting in the dismantling of a multi-state drug trafficking organization (DTO) responsible for distributing pounds of methamphetamine from San Diego, California to West Virginia. The indictments and subsequent arrests are the result of a long-term investigation led by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the United States Marshals Service, the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, which is made up of law enforcement officers from the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office, the Beckley Police Department and the West Virginia State Police, the Central West Virginia Drug Task Force and the Southern Regional Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force. The operation, dubbed “Operation Shutdown Corner,” resulted in two indictments charging 17 individuals in the DTO alleged to have distributed methamphetamine and heroin. read here

UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT SENTENCED FOR STEALING CITIZEN’S IDENTITY AND PUBLIC HOUSING BENEFITS

BOSTON – An undocumented immigrant who refuses to disclose his true identity was sentenced today in federal court in Boston in connection with using another person’s identity for over 40 years and stealing public funds under the victim’s identity.

“John Doe” was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to three years in prison and three years of supervised release. One of the conditions of supervision is that Doe disclose his true identity to his Probation Officer. Doe also was ordered to pay the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) $16,762 in restitution. In June 2019, Doe was convicted by a federal jury of aggravated identity theft, using a passport obtained through false statements, stealing public funds and misuse of a Social Security number. read here

25 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DEFENDANTS FACE FEDERAL CHARGES ALLEGING FRAUD SCHEMES THAT COST HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS MILLION OF DOLLARS

LOS ANGELES – A local health care fraud enforcement action has resulted in federal charges against of 25 Southern California defendants for their alleged involvement in healthcare fraud schemes that fraudulently sought over $150 million from the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as private insurers and union health benefit plans. Fourteen of those charged in federal court in Los Angeles and Santa Ana are doctors or medical professionals.

The charges announced today target schemes billing Medicare, Medicaid and other health care plans for services, testing and prescriptions that were not medically necessary or not actually provided to beneficiaries.  read here

SIX CUBAN NATIONALS INDICTED FOR GAS PUMP SKIMMING SCHEME

NORFOLK, Va. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging six southern Florida men for their respective roles in a bank fraud and aggravated identity theft conspiracy.

According to the indictment, the defendants, all of whom are Cuban nationals, placed skimming devices on gas pumps located in the Eastern District of Virginia. The skimming devices were capable of recording the credit and debit card numbers, along with their PINs, of the customers that used their cards at the gas pumps. In April and May 2018, using the stolen card information, the defendants traveled between Harris Teeter store locations, among other destinations, to withdraw money from the victims’ bank accounts and purchase prepaid debit cards. read here

FORMER ALABAMA CORRECTIONAL LIEUTENANT INDICTED FOR ALLOWING INMATE ABUSE

Montgomery, AL – The Justice Department today announced that a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Montgomery, Alabama, returned a two-count indictment charging former Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) Lieutenant Willie Burks, 39, with failing to stop a sergeant under his command from kicking and striking with a baton a handcuffed and compliant inmate at ADOC’s Elmore Correctional Facility. Burks was also charged with making false statements to the federal grand jury in connection with the investigation.

Three former and current corrections officers have previously pleaded guilty in connection with this incident. Former Alabama Department of Corrections Sergeant Ulysses Oliver pleaded guilty to unlawfully assaulting two handcuffed inmates. Corrections Officers Briana Mosley and Leon Williams pleaded guilty for failing to intervene to prevent the abuse by former-Sergeant Oliver. read here

REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER IN KANSAS CONVICTED ON FEDERAL CHILD PORN CHARGES

WICHITA, KAN. – A registered sex offender living in western Kansas was convicted today on federal child pornography charges, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

A federal jury convicted Wayne Benjamin Wasson, 59, Great Bend, Kan., on four counts of uploading child pornography to the internet and one count of possessing child pornography.

During trial, a prosecutor presented evidence that Yahoo and Google detected child pornography originating from Wasson’s residence. The digital trail led investigators to Wasson, who admitted he had received child pornography via Skype and had operated a number of other accounts. Investigators found child pornography within the accounts and on Wasson’s devices. read here

OHIO MAN ARRESTED FOR ORCHESTRATING $10 MILLION DOLLAR SCHEME TO DEFRAUD HEALTH CARE BENEFIT PROGRAMS

NEWARK, N.J. – An Ohio man was arrested today for his role in a large-scale, multi-level marketing scheme to defraud private and federally funded health care benefit programs of at least $10 million through the submission of claims for medically unnecessary prescriptions for compounded medications, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Kent Courtheyn, 35, of Kent, Ohio, owner and operator of two companies involved in the sales and marketing of compounded medications, IntegriMed Solutions LLC (IntegriMed) and KA Compounding LLC (KA Compounding), was charged by a federal grand jury in a two-count indictment with conspiring to commit health care fraud and conspiring to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute. He is scheduled to have his initial court appearance today in federal court in Ohio. read here

BALTIMORE DEFENSE ATTORNEY FACING FEDERAL INDICTMENT FOR RACKETEERING, DRUG, AND MONEY LAUNDERING CONSPIRACIES

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted Kenneth Wendell Ravenell, age 60, of Monkton, Maryland, on federal charges of racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and narcotics conspiracy.  The indictment was returned late on September 18, 2019.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office. read here

KANSAS MAN PROBABLY SHOT HIMSELF WITH GUN HE WAS PROHIBITED FROM HAVING

TOPEKA, KAN. – A Topeka man who appears to have accidentally shot himself was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in federal prison for unlawful possession of a gun, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Keeno D. Collins, 26, Ozawkie, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. In his plea, he admitted Topeka police found him wounded on the grounds of the Topeka West High School. He had a gunshot wound to his upper left arm. Collins told police he didn’t know what had happened. After police found a gun nearby, they matched DNA on the weapon to Collins. He was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a 2015 conviction in Shawnee County District Court on a felony drug charge. read here

CORRECTIONAL OFFICER, INMATE CHARGED IN FEDERAL PRISON BRIBERY INDICTMENT

WAYCROSS, GA:  A correctional officer at a privately-operated federal prison has been indicted on multiple counts of accepting bribes from an inmate and lying about it to investigators.

Micheal Eaddy, 23, of Blackshear, Ga., a correctional officer at D. Ray James Correctional Facility, a privately prison operated under federal contract in Folkston, Ga., was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts of Bribery, one count of Providing Contraband in Prison, and one count of False Statement, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charges carry possible punishment of up to 15 years in prison, and there is no parole in the federal system. read here

BROWARD COUNTY RESIDENT SENTENCED TO 66 MONTHS IN PRISON AND ORDERED TO PAY OVER $200K FOR DEFRAUDING INVESTORS IN PUBLIC IMPACT PROJECTS THROUGHOUT AFRICA

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Export Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank) announced that Bernd Zalke Rind, 63, of Broward County, Florida was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay restitution for orchestrating a fraud scheme that preyed on individuals looking to make public impact investments in Africa.

Rind had previously pled guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft (Case No. 18-cr-60323).  He was sentenced to 66 months in prison by U.S. District Senior Judge William J. Zloch on June 25, 2019. Last week, on September 13, 2019, Rind was ordered to pay $217,315 in restitution by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. read here

FORMER DEPUTY INDICTED ON FEDERAL CHARGE FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Former deputy’s phone had explicit images of children

STATESBORO, GA:  A former Bulloch County sheriff’s deputy has been indicted by a federal grand jury with possession of child pornography.

Travis Tuenge, 43, of Statesboro, is charged with one count of Possession of Child Pornography, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison, and there is no parole in the federal system.read here

TWO ARRESTED FOR EXTORTION OF STARTUP CRYPTOCURRENCY COMPANY

A complaint was unsealed earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Steven Nerayoff and Michael Hlady with extortion. Nerayoff, an attorney, and Hlady threatened to destroy a startup cryptocurrency company if they were not paid millions of dollars in the cryptocurrency Ether (ETH). Nerayoff was arrested this morning, and will make his initial appearance this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Steven L. Tiscione. Hlady was arrested this morning in Rhode Island, and will make his initial appearance this afternoon in federal court in Providence.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office, announced the charges.read here

MARION MAN CHARGED WITH CHILD EXPLOITATION AFTER HE ALLEGEDLY INDUCED A 13-YEAR-OLD TO ENGAGE IN SEXUAL ACTIVITY

A Marion man was charged in federal court for child exploitation after he induced a 13-year-old to engage sexual activity.

Tyler Foreman, 21, was charged via criminal information with one count of coercion and enticement of a minor and one count of receiving visual depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum. read here

FLORIDA MAN ARRESTED FOR MAKING RACIALLY-MOTIVATED THREATS IN INTERFERENCE WITH ELECTION IN CHARLOTTESVILLE AND CYBERSTALKING

Charlottesville, VIRGINIA – United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen and Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Justice Department’s Civil Right Division announced today the arrest of a Florida man on federal charges that in January 2019 he made racially-motivated threats against a prospective candidate that interfered with a local election for City Council in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A federal grand jury in the Western District of Virginia returned a sealed indictment.pdf on September 11, 2019 charging Daniel McMahon, 31, of Brandon, Fla., with four counts: willful interference with a candidate for elective office, bias-motivated interference with a candidate for elective office, threats to injure in interstate commerce, and cyberstalking.  The indictment was unsealed today following McMahon’s arrest.read here

TWO DEFENDANTS ARRESTED IN $10 MILLION TECH SUPPORT FRAUD SCHEME

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Peter C. Fitzhugh, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced charges against ROMANA LEYVA and ARIFUL HAQUE for participating in a conspiracy that for several years exploited elderly victims by remotely accessing their computers and convincing victims to pay for computer support services they did not need, and which were never actually provided. In total, the conspiracy generated more than $10 million in proceeds from at least approximately 7,500 victims. LEYVA was arrested today in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will be presented, in the District of Nevada, before Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach. HAQUE was arrested this morning in Bellerose, New York, and will be presented today before Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang in the Southern District of New York. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty.read here

TEXAS HEALTHCARE FRAUD TAKE DOWN RESULTS IN CHARGES AGAINST 58 INDIVIDUALS

The Justice Department announced today a coordinated health care fraud enforcement operation across the state of Texas, involving charges against a total of 58 individuals across all four federal districts in Texas for their alleged involvement in Medicare fraud schemes and networks of “pill mill” clinics resulting in $66 million in loss and 6.2 million pills. Of those charged, 16 were doctors or medical professionals, and 20 were charged for their role in diverting opioids.

Today’s enforcement actions were led and coordinated by the Health Care Fraud Unit of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section in conjunction with its Medicare Fraud Strike Force (MFSF) partners. The MFSF is a partnership among the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the FBI, Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In addition, the operation includes the participation of the Veterans Affairs-OIG and the Department of Labor, various other federal law enforcement agencies and Texas State Medicaid Fraud Control Units. read here

HOLMES COUNTY COMPANY FINED MORE THAN $165,000 FOR REFUSING TO ALLOW FDA INVESTIGATORS TO INSPECT ITS FACILITIES

A Holmes County company that advertised it manufactured tinctures, salves and herbal formulas was fined more than $165,000 for refusing to allow FDA investigators to inspect its facilities.

Precision Herbs LLC was ordered to pay a fine of $166,965 –- which represented the profits of their business after they refused FDA Inspection. Original Design Wellness was fined $2,000. Company officials Sharon Overman and Eric Pierce were both sentenced to six months of probation and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine. read here

COURT OF APPEALS AFFIRMS 120-YEAR SENTENCE OF FORMER LIVE OAK POLICE SERGEANT CONVICTED OF PRODUCING AND POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Jacksonville, Florida – Maria Chapa Lopez announces that, on September 17, 2019, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the 120-year federal-prison sentence of Kyle Adam Kirby (39, Live Oak), who was convicted of producing, attempting to produce, possessing, and accessing images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of minors. Kirby was arrested on October 28, 2015, at the Live Oak Police Department (LOPD) and has remained in custody since that date. A federal jury found him guilty on December 7, 2017.

According to testimony and evidence at trial, on October 22, 2015, FBI agents and other law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Kirby’s residence as a result of an online child exploitation investigation. At that time, Kirby was a sergeant with the Live Oak Police Department. That same morning, the LOPD chief authorized the agents to inspect and search the computer located inside Kirby’s patrol car. A forensic examination of this computer revealed that it contained images depicting young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Kirby had used the patrol car’s computer to search for, download, access, and possess child pornography from as early as December 24, 2014. read here

FORMER VA HOSPICE NURSE CHARGED WITH DIVERTING AND TAMPERING WITH MORPHINE MEANT FOR DYING VETERANS

BOSTON – A Tewksbury woman was charged today in federal court in Boston with diverting morphine while employed as a nurse in the hospice unit at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center campus in Bedford.

Kathleen Noftle, 55, was arrested this morning and charged by criminal complaint with one count of obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, and subterfuge, and one count of tampering with a consumer product. Noftle will make an initial appearance in federal court in Boston at 12:00 p.m. today.read here

FIVE ALIENS INDICTED ON ILLEGAL REENTRY CHARGES, ILLEGAL AND UNLAWFUL ALIEN IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM, PASSPORT FRAUD, AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT, FALSE REPRESENTATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, FALSE CLAIM OF US CITIZENSHIP IN ORDER TO REGISTER TO VOTE

RALEIGH – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that a federal grand jury in Raleigh has returned indictments charging ABONZA BONIFACIO-GARCIA, age 33, of Mexico, and JOSE DIAZ-BRITO, age 40, of Mexico, with illegal reentry of a deported alien.

Additionally, the grand jury returned indictments charging JOHNNY ROEL-ROBLEDO, age 42, of Mexico, with illegal reentry of an aggravated felon and illegal and unlawful alien in possession of a firearm, and JORGE ALBERTO CHAVEZ-MORENO, age 38, of Mexico, with passport fraud, aggravated identity theft, false representation of a social security number, false claim to US citizenship in order to register to vote, and fraud and misuse of visas, permits and other documents. read here

AFTER BEING IN THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY ON FOUR SEPARATE OCCASIONS, ILLEGAL ALIEN IS CAUGHT AGAIN AND PLEADS GUILTY TO UNLAWFULLY REENTERING THE U.S.

Gulfport, Miss. – Zenon Carbajal-Osorio, an illegal alien from Mexico, pled guilty today before Senior U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. to unlawful reentry by an alien after removal, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, and Jere Miles, Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New Orleans.

Carbajal-Osorio will be sentenced by Judge Guirola, on December 10, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. He faces a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison followed by one year of supervised release and a maximum $250,000 fine. He also faces being removed from the United States following the completion of any prison sentence. read here

KLAMATH COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO 15 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR STEALING MISSING MOTHER’S SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

MEDFORD, Ore.—On Friday, September 13, 2019, Theodore Martin Kirk, 64, of Klamath County, Oregon, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for stealing more than $30,000 in Social Security benefits dispersed in the name of his elderly mother, Nadine Kirk. Ms. Kirk has been missing since March 2010 and is presumed to be deceased.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane announced his intent to sentence Kirk to 15 months in federal prison at a sentencing hearing on September 6, 2019, but held off on entering the judgement to allow Kirk one week to give the location of his mother’s remains to investigators. Kirk failed to produce this information and was formally sentenced on September 13, 2019. read here

DOMINICAN NATIONAL SENTENCED FOR SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD

BOSTON – A Dominican national residing in Salem was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for Social Security fraud.

Romulo Alvarez Reyes, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 12 months and one day in prison. Alvarez Reyes will face deportation proceedings upon completion of his sentence. Alvarez Reyes previously pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of a Social Security number. He was arrested and charged as part of a 2018 federal law enforcement sweep of 25 individuals accused of document and benefit fraud. read here

HAWAII MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

HONOLULU – Aaron A. Hood, 42, of Honolulu, Hawaii pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count of possession of child pornography. This guilty plea occurred on the second day of Hood’s jury trial involving a separate charge of production of child pornography. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the parties agreed to a recommended sentence of 10 years of imprisonment and a 25-year term of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for January 30, 2020 before U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi.

According to U.S Attorney Kenji M. Price, the government alleged during trial that Hood met the 14-year-old minor female victim on January 23, 2016, outside the store where he worked in Waikiki. The minor had run away from home. Over a four-day period, Hood provided the minor with cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol, and had her stay in an apartment that he had access to, which was located behind the store where he worked. During that time, Hood engaged in sexual activity with the minor and took photos and videos of her engaged in sexually explicit conduct. read here

15 DEFENDANTS CHARGED FOR INVOLVEMENT WITH HAWAII GAME ROOMS

HONOLULU – Federal charges against 15 defendants and the seizure of thousands of dollar’s worth of property and funds were announced today by U.S Attorney for the District of Hawaii Kenji M. Price.

The fifteen individuals charged include:

Zongqi Ding (33), Tommy Can Wei Lee (50), Zhong Chen (38), Endrews Setefano (31), Paolo Ioane (30), and Matthew Samuela (31) who were charged with conducting, financing, managing, supervising, directing, or owning a gambling business operated out of a single-family residence from October 2018 to August 2019 at 94-103 Pupupuhi Street in Waipahu. read here

HAVERHILL NURSE PLEADS GUILTY TO DRUG TAMPERING

BOSTON – A Haverhill licensed practical nurse pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to drug tampering.

Lauren Perrin, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with a consumer product, specifically the Schedule II controlled substance morphine, which is used for pain relief. U.S. District Court Senior Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for Dec. 4, 2019. Perrin was charged in an Information in March 2019. read here

POLITICAL CONSULTANT PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD SCHEME INVOLVING SCAM PACs

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Maryland political consultant pleaded guilty today to wire fraud as a result of his fraudulent scheme to solicit millions of dollars in political contributions through several scam-PACs that he founded and advertised as supporting candidates for office and other political causes.

“Rogers preyed upon his victims political beliefs with the intent of enriching his companies, his business partners, and himself,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Individuals like Rogers, who engage in sophisticated fraud schemes will be held accountable for their actions. We have a long history of investigating and prosecuting fraud cases here in the Eastern District, and we remain committed to working closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those who choose to engage in fraud activity are held accountable and brought to justice.” read here

CHINESE NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY TO RUNNING ‘BIRTH TOURISM’ SCHEME THAT HELPED ALIENS GIVE BIRTH IN U.S. TO SECURE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP

  SANTA ANA, California – A Chinese national pleaded guilty today to federal criminal charges for running an Orange County-based “birth tourism” business that catered to wealthy pregnant clients and Chinese government officials, charging them tens of thousands of dollars to help them give birth in the United States so their children would get U.S. citizenship.

Dongyuan Li (李冬媛), 41, of Irvine, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and one count of visa fraud. Li was one of 19 defendants named in a series of indictments unsealed earlier this year. She is the first of the charged operators of birth tourism businesses to plead guilty. The remaining defendants either are pending trial or are fugitives. read here

NAVAJO MAN SENTENCED TO 36 YEARS IN PRISON FOR SEVEN COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ABUSE OF A CHILD

PHOENIX – Last week, Bo Lane, 36, of Coppermine, Ariz., was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow to 432 months in prison, followed by a lifetime term of supervised release, on seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, each count to run concurrently.  Lane was found guilty of those counts by a federal jury on June 14, 2019.                   

The evidence at trial showed that between 2013 and 2017, Lane sexually abused two minor victims.  The abuse started when the victims were six years old and took place on the Navajo Indian Reservation.  Both Lane and the victims are members of the Navajo Nation. read here

TAX PREPARER CONVICTED OF CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD IRS AND PREPARING FALSE TAX RETURNS

TRENTON, N.J. – A Maryland man working as a tax preparer in New Jersey was convicted today on charges of conspiracy to defraud the IRS by preparing false income tax returns for clients in order to boost business at tax preparation companies that he and others ran, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Joseph Kenny Batts, 50, of Elkridge, Maryland, was convicted following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and five counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal income tax returns. read here

SMITH COUNTY MAN GUILTY IN COUNTERFEIT IMMIGRATION DOCUMENTS CONSPIRACY

TYLER, Texas –A 45-year-old Tyler, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.

Eleazar Juarez Juarez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce, transfer, and forge false identification documents today before U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell.

According to information presented in court, beginning in April 2009, Juarez Juarez was involved in a conspiracy to produce and sell fictitious U.S. identification documents to others. The false documents included U.S. Social Security cards and Permanent Residence cards. Juarez Juarez admitted to being personally responsible for the transfer of at least 25 false identification documents as part of this conspiracy. Juarez Juarez was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 23, 2019. read here

MAN SENTENCED TO 36 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR SEXUALLY ABUSING MINOR

PHOENIX, Ariz. – On September 16, 2019, Jordan Lee Manuel, 23, of Casa Blanca, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Diane J. Humetewa to 36 months in prison followed by ten years of supervised release for sexually abusing a minor on the Gila River Indian Community. Manuel will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Manuel used Facebook to befriend the minor victim and pursue a romantic relationship before ultimately sexually abusing the victim. Both the victim and Manuel are members of the Gila River Indian Community. read here

FORMER PRESIDENT OF RADNOR TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS SENTENCED FOR TRAFFICKING IN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that defendant Philip Ahr, 68, of Radnor, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 151 months’ incarceration and 10 years’ supervised release by United States District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson after pleading guilty to three counts of distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography. His sentence requires him to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.

The defendant, who created online aliases like “DaddyX” and “DaddyXX” to commit these crimes, was originally arrested by the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Criminal Investigation Division, and then later by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of an online investigation into the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. read here

OWNER OF DEFENSE CONTRACTING FIRM SENTENCED TO 42 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR DEFRAUDING U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND CONSPIRING TO VIOLATE ARMS EXPORT CONTROL ACT

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 42 months in prison for defrauding the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) by providing military equipment parts that were not what he had contracted to provide and illegally accessing technical information as a non-United States citizen, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Oben Cabalceta, 53, of Atco, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act. Judge Hillman imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court. read here

ILLEGAL ALIEN INDICTED FOR RE-ENTERING THE UNITED STATES AFTER HAVING BEEN PREVIOUSLY DEPORTED

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – September 17, 2019 – A federal indictment unsealed today, charged Jose Fernando Andrade-Sanchez, 39, a citizen of Mexico, with unlawful re-entry into the United States, after having been previously removed, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee and John Condon, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Nashville Field Office.

Andrade-Sanchez was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 11, 2019, after encountering U.S. Immigration & Enforcement agents in Nashville on September 5, 2019, and eluding apprehension.  Andrade-Sanchez was arrested by ICE agents in Nashville earlier today. read here

VIRGINIA MAN INDICTED FOR FALSELY ALTERING HIS MILITARY DISCHARGE PAPERS

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Jon Sterling Williams, of Richmond, Virginia, was indicted today on a charge of falsely altering his military discharge paperwork, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Williams, age 56, was indicted one count of “Altered Army Discharge Certificate.” Williams is accused of having a falsely altered discharge certificate, claiming he was awarded a Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, and two Bronze Stars. He was allegedly in possession of the certificate in January 2019 in Berkeley County. read here

COLUMBIA MAN PLEADS TO FEDERAL CHARGES OF CONSPIRACY TO SEX TRAFFIC MINORS AND BENEFITING FROM SEX TRAFFICKING OF MINORS

Columbia, South Carolina — United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Donnell Salethian Woodard, a/k/a “Tank,” age 31, of Columbia, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to sex traffic minors and benefiting from sex trafficking of minors.

Evidence presented to the court showed that on November 21, 2017, undercover officers with the Lexington Police Department encountered a minor advertising sex via a website. An undercover officer set up a time to meet with the minor at a local motel, wherein officers observed the minor being dropped off by Woodard and India Tykeyah-Najee Cuyler, a/k/a “Lady Tank,” age 24. Officers placed both Woodard and Cuyler under arrest. The investigation led to another nearby motel where a second minor, who was also involved in the illegal venture, was located. The investigation revealed Woodard and Cuyler were using a cell phone to post advertisements for commercial sex with the minors on a website and taking a portion of the proceeds. Woodard and Cuyler were both charged federally. read here

ILLEGAL ALIEN AND CONVICTED BANK ROBBER SENTENCED FOR FOURTH ILLEGAL REENTRY INTO UNITED STATES

PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Mario Calderon-Medina, 55, a native and citizen of Mexico, was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment and one year of supervised release by United States District Judge Juan R. Sanchez for illegally reentering the United States after having been deported previously. The defendant was found by the judge to fall within Criminal History Category II based on his previous offenses.

Calderon-Medina reentered the United States illegally after having been deported to his native Mexico four times, the most recent occurrence being in 2003. During his most recent illegal return to this country, he committed a bank robbery in Montgomery County, PA, for which he was sentenced to 1½ to 3 years in state prison. read here

ILLEGAL ALIEN INVOLVED IN DEADLY INTERSTATE 70 CRASH SENTENCED TO 42 MONTHS

INDIANAPOLIS – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced that a Guatemalan man who was involved in a February 2018 crash that killed Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson and rideshare driver Jeffrey Monroe was convicted and sentenced for illegally reentering the United States after having been previously deported. Manuel Orrego-Zavala, 38, was sentenced following a guilty plea to 42 months in federal prison by U.S. District Chief Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson at the federal courthouse in Indianapolis.

“Mr. Orrego-Zavala re-entered the country illegally for the second time before he put the public safety of Indianapolis at risk and took the lives of two innocent men on February 4, 2018,” said Minkler. “This prosecution represents our office’s commitment to charging aliens that illegally re-enter the country, especially if they are a risk to public safety or there is a criminal history present.” According to court records, Orrego-Zavala was convicted of two drug felonies in California prior to his removal from the United States the first time in 2007. Orrego-Zavala was found in the United States again in May 2009 and subsequently removed a second time. read here

TWO PLEAD GUILTY IN DECADES LONG SCHEME TO DEFRAUD THE U.S. GOVERNMENT

PROVIDENCE – A Rhode Island couple has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges they participated in a scheme that lasted more than twenty years to defraud the United States Government of hundreds of thousands of dollars in federally-funded benefits.

Lens Chappell, a/k/a Carter Jefferson, 71, and his wife, Mulin Alexandre, a/k/a Kesa Pittman and later Kesa Jefferson, 40, of Providence, admitted they jointly participated in schemes to fraudulently obtain government documents, state Medicaid, as well as federally-funded U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S Health and Human Services (HHS) and Social Security benefits dating back to at least 1998. read here

20 YEAR ILLEGAL RESIDENT SENTENCED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGE

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 52-year-old illegal alien who resided in Corpus Christi been sentenced to federal prison for possessing more than 10 thousand child pornography images, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Baldemar Cardenas-Martinez pleaded guilty May 20, 2019.

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey ordered Cardenas to serve a 63-month term of imprisonment. After his sentence, he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet and register as a sex offender. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following his sentence. read here

MEXICAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGAL REENTRY, TRANSPORTING ILLEGAL ALIENS

Roanoke, VIRGINIA – An illegal alien from Mexico, who was removed from the United States on April 2, 2018 and reentered the country without permission, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Roanoke to illegally reentering the United States without permission and transporting illegal aliens. United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen made the announcement.

Eliezer Ramos-Arriola, a.k.a. Francisco Gaitan-Arreola, a.k.a. Francisco Gaitan Arreola, a Citizen of Mexico, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today to an Information. read here

TEXAS MAN ADMITS TO INVOLVEMENT IN TRANSPORTING 76 ALIENS

LAREDO, Texas – A 42-year-old resident of San Antonio had pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport 76 undocumented aliens, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

On June 11, 2019, Nelson Vargas-Torres attempted to drive a tractor-trailer through the Border Patrol checkpoint located at mile-marker 29 on Interstate Highway 35, north of Laredo. Authorities became suspicious when Vargas-Torres stated he was transporting plastics, when his bill of lading actually stated “clutch parts.” A trained K-9 subsequently alerted to the possible presence of concealed humans inside the locked trailer he was hauling. Law enforcement then used wire cutters to break the seal for the trailer and eventually rescued 76 undocumented aliens from Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras who were hidden inside. read here

SOUTH FLORIDA SECURITIES LAWYER CHARGED WITH SECURITIES FRAUD RELATING TO 1 GLOBAL CAPITAL INVESTMENT SCHEME

A South Florida securities lawyer and former outside counsel for 1 Global Capital, LLC has been charged with securities fraud in connection with an investment fraud scheme that impacted more than 3,600 investors in 42 different states.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Field Office made the announcement. read here

42-YEAR-OLD CONVICTED OF SEX TRAFFICKING OF A MINOR, PRODUCTION OF CHILD  PORNOGRAPHY, AND WITNESS TAMPERING

Jason Gatlin, 42, of Miami, was convicted on all three counts of the superseding indictment, including Sex Trafficking of Minor, Production of Child Pornography, and Witness Tampering, by a federal jury on September 16, 2019, following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith in Ft. Lauderdale.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Juan J. Perez, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), made the announcement. read here

52ND DEFENDANT ARRESTED AND CHARGED IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS CASE

BOSTON – Spanish authorities arrested a Chinese woman last night in connection with her role in using bribery and other forms of fraud to facilitate her son’s admission to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) as a purported soccer recruit.

Xiaoning Sui, 48, of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, was arrested in Spain and charged in an indictment unsealed today in federal court in Boston with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Sui is currently detained in Spain, and authorities will seek her extradition to Boston to face charges. read here

BRONX ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL CHARGED WITH CHILD ENTICEMENT AND PRODUCTION, RECEIPT, AND POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the arrest of JONATHAN SKOLNICK on charges of child enticement; production, receipt, and possession of child pornography; and sending extortionate communications. SKOLNICK was arrested Saturday, September 14, 2019, presented the same day before United States Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman, and detained on consent pending a detention hearing on Wednesday, September 18, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As an associate principal of a Bronx private school, one of Jonathan Skolnick’s primary responsibilities was the well-being and education of students. Instead, Skolnick allegedly preyed on his underage victims in a heinous plot to fool them into sending him nude photos of themselves. Skolnick allegedly falsely identified himself as several different teenage girls – and when his victims refused to continue to send more photos, he unconscionably threatened to publicly release the ones they had already sent. This arrest exemplifies law enforcement’s ability to detect those attempting to use the ‘anonymity’ of the internet to prey on young children.” read here

HONDURAN MAN CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL RE-ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – September 17, 2019 – Franklin Pineda-Caceres, 18, of Honduras, was charged yesterday with illegally re-entering the United States after having been previously deported, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.

According to charging documents, agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and officers of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) first encountered Pineda-Caceres in October 2017, during the execution of an arrest warrant on another individual at a Nashville residence.  Pineda-Caceres was taken into custody at that time by the MNPD and charged with drug crimes.  HSI agents determined that Pineda-Caceres unlawfully entered the United States in 2014 and a final order of removal was issued in June 2016.  read here

 

 

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