Daily Dose of Justice

Daily Dose of Justice

HELENA-WEST RESIDENT INDICTED FOR SUPPORTING A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

LITTLE ROCK— A Helena-West Helena resident has been charged with providing support to a terrorist organization. A federal grand jury has charged Bilal Al-Rayanni, a 28-year-old Yemeni national living in Arkansas, with supporting a terrorist organization in Yemen as well as providing a false name on a passport.

The superseding indictment alleges that Al-Rayanni, also known as Bilal Kassim Alawdi, provided material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization known as Al Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). According to the superseding indictment, Al-Rayanni provided support by working as personnel for the AQAP for three months in Yemen in 2014, knowing that the organization engaged in terrorism. read here

MEXICAN NATIONAL SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL RE-ENTRY

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser announced today that ROBERTO MUNOZ-AGUILAR, age 32 was sentenced Wednesday, August 7. 2019 on a one-count indictment for illegal reentry of a removed alien in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1326(a).  He pled guilty on June 20, 2019.  He was sentenced to time served. read here

MEXICAN MAN SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL USE OF A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND SUBMITTING FALSE INFORMATION IN AN ATTEMPT TO SECURE A U.S. PASSPORT

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – FRANCISCO JAVIER NUNEZ-ALEMAN, age 32, a citizen of Mexico was sentenced Wednesday, August 7, 2019 on a two-count indictment for illegal use of a Social Security number in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 408(a)(7)(B), and with using a false social security number in attempting to secure a U.S. Passport, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1542.  He pled guilty on April 3, 2019.

NUNEZ-ALEMAN faced a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than five (5) years, a fine of $250,000.00, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.00 on both counts.  Additionally, NUNEZ-ALEMAN is subject to a period of supervised release after imprisonment of up to three years.  He was sentenced to time served.  He has been incarcerated since November 2018.read here

PANAMA NATIONAL CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF FRAUDULENT IMMIGRATION DOCUMENTS

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that FELIX ANTONIO SANCHEZ-GOMEZ, age 54, a citizen of the Republic of Panama, was charged on Thursday, August 8, 2019 in a one-count bill of information with possession of fraudulent immigration documents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ‘ 1546(a).

If convicted, FELIX ANTONIO SANCHEZ-GOMEZ faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, a fine of up to $250,000.00; two years supervised release after imprisonment, and a $100 special assessment. read here

NEW ORLEANS TAX PREPARER PLEADS GUILTY TO FAILING TO DECLARE MORE THAN $695,000 IN INCOME ON TAX RETURN

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced today that QUINCY E. IRVIN, age 41 of New Orleans, Louisiana pled guilty on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 to a one count Bill of Information for making false statements on an income tax return in violation of  Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206.

In papers signed by the defendant and filed in open court, Irvin admitted to owning two tax preparation companies, Discount Tax Services and Quincy Irvin Tax Services.  Irvin admitted to failing to declare a total of $696,060 in income for the tax years 2012, 2013, and 2014.  The total tax loss to the government was $249,074 as a result of Irvin’s false statements. read here

IRANIAN CITIZEN PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRING TO FACILITATE THE ILLEGAL EXPORT OF TECHNOLOGY TO IRAN

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers and U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the guilty plea of NEGAR GHODSKANI, 40, for her participation in a conspiracy to illegally export controlled technology from the United States to Iran. GHODSKANI, who was indicted on December 8, 2015, arrested in Australia in 2017, and made her first appearance in District Court on July 22, 2019, entered her guilty plea today before Judge Joan N. Ericksen in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea, from 2008 until late 2011, GHODSKANI was a Tehran-based employee of Fanavar Moj Khavar (Fana Moj), a company located in Tehran, Iran. In 2009, GHODSKANI, along with co-defendant ALIREZA JALALI and others, established Green Wave Telecommunication, Sdn Bhn, (Green Wave), a company located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that operated as a front for Fana Moj. As part of the conspiracy, GHODSKANI falsely represented herself as an employee of Green Wave to U.S. companies in order to acquire export-controlled technology from the United States. To accomplish these acquisitions, GHODSKANI, JALALI and others concealed the ultimate destination and end users of the exported technology. read here

FORMER PRESIDENT OF HARTFORD NONPROFIT WHO STOLE FROM HUD PROGRAM IS SENTENCED

John H. Durham. United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that STEVEN F. HARVIN, 54, of New Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to three years of probation, the first 60 days of which Harvin must serve in home confinement, for stealing from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) program. Judge Shea also ordered Harvin to perform 50 hours of community service.

From approximately August 2015 to September 2016, Harvin served as President of Zezzo House, a non-profit organization in Hartford that provides housing for individuals and families with health challenges, including HIV/AIDS. HUD provides HOPWA funds to the City of Hartford, which in turn provides the HOPWA funds to organizations in the Hartford area, including Zezzo House. Between January and August 2016, Zezzo House received $70,722 in HOPWA funds. Harvin embezzled some of these funds through cash withdrawals, spent some of the funds on ineligible Zezzo House expenses, and he failed to account for the use of other funds. read here

FORMER ST. LOUIS COUNTY EXECUTIVE SEVEN V. STENGER SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR “PAY TO PLAY” BRIBERY SCHEME

St. Louis, MO – Steven V. Stenger, 47, of Clayton, was sentenced to 46 months in prison, a fine of $250,000, three years’ supervised release, $130,000 restitution and a $300 special assessment related to his guilty pleas to three felony counts of honest services bribery/mail fraud. He appeared in federal court today before U.S. District Court Judge Catherine D. Perry.

According to court documents and statements made in court, beginning during October 2014, even before he was officially elected County Executive, and continuing through December 31, 2018, Stenger engaged in a systemic scheme to defraud and deprive the citizens of St. Louis County of their right to his honest and faithful services by soliciting and accepting bribes in exchange for county contracts and grants. The purpose of the scheme was for Stenger to secretly use his official position to enrich himself through soliciting and accepting campaign contributions from individuals and their companies in exchange for his favorable official action in issuing government contracts and grants to those political donors. Stenger directed members of his executive staff, including his chief of staff and chief of policy, and various other high level county employees to take steps to ensure that his political donors would win in the bidding process for various county contracts. In doing so, other companies who expected a level playing field in the county’s bidding process were victimized, as were the approximately one million residents of St. Louis County. For over four years, Stenger treated important county contracts and grants as something to barter away as if they were his own personal thank you gifts. read here

FORMER VA EMPLOYEE SENTENCED TO MAX IN FAKE INVOICE SCHEME

HOUSTON – A 76-year-old Houston woman has been ordered to prison following her conviction of conspiring to commit fraud against the Veterans Administration (VA) by generating purchase orders for fictitious goods and services, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Eduora McDaniel aka Eudora McDaniel pleaded guilty Jan. 31, 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. read here

ILLEGAL ALIEN SENTENCED FOR AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT AND FIREARMS POSSESSION

Tampa, Florida – United States District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Jorge Delgado-Macias (44) to 40 months in federal prison for being an alien unlawfully in the United States in possession of a firearm and for aggravated identity theft.

According to testimony and court documents, on October 17, 2018, law enforcement officers searched Delgado-Macias’s home in Hillsborough County and found two firearms, a Taurus .40 caliber pistol and a Taurus 9mm pistol, along with ammunition for each gun. They also discovered that Delgado-Macias was a citizen of Mexico and that he had re-entered the United States unlawfully, after having been deported to Mexico in 1998. Delgado-Macias also admitted, that while in the United States, he used the identity of another person unlawfully and without permission to obtain a Social Security card and a false Florida driver license. read here

MONTANA WOMAN SENTENCED FOR WIRE FRAUD AND TAX EVASION

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Kalispell, Montana, woman convicted of Tax Evasion and four counts of Wire Fraud was sentenced on August 7, 2019, by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Court.

Judy Lynn Carroll, age 60, was sentenced to 7 years in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release on the Wire Fraud charges. Carroll was also ordered to pay a total of $1,240,236.01 in restitution to several victims and a $400 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. read here

SECOND FORMER NYPD OFFICER SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY FRAUD AND TAX EVASION

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that GERARD SCPARTA, a former New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) officer, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining over approximately $630,000 in disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) and underreporting income on his taxes by approximately $268,000. At the same time SCPARTA was fraudulently collecting disability benefits, he earned a total of approximately $1.6 million working as a security guard and host at a strip club (the “Strip Club”) located in Manhattan. SCPARTA was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan, before whom he had previously pled guilty to tax evasion and theft of government property. read here

ST. FRANCIS WOMAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING A FEDERAL OFFICER

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a St. Francis, South Dakota, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Assaulting, Resisting, and Impeding a Federal Officer.

Aleah Walking Bull, age 24, was indicted on November 14, 2018. She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on August 8, 2019, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 8 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered. read here

DEFENSE CONTRACTOR TO PAY $4.02 MILLION FOR ALLEGED IMPROPER BILLING

NEWARK, N.J. – A Virginia-based military contractor doing business in New Jersey will pay $4.02 million to resolve allegations that it improperly billed the United States for extra payments to employees, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, District of New Jersey, announced.

Mission1st Group Inc. (Mission First), a Virginia Corporation which provided program management, systems engineering, and information technology and communications, improperly billed the United States for extra payments to employees, known as uplifts, that were not actually paid to its employees. read here

OWNER OF CONSUMER PRODUCTS TESTING COMPANY ARRESTED FOR FRAUD SCHEME INVOLVING FABRICATED TEST RESULTS

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Catherine A. Hermsen, Director of the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) Office of Criminal Investigations (“OCI”), William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Kevin Gilleece, Acting Rockland County District Attorney, announced that GABRIEL LETIZIA, Jr., the owner and executive director of AMA Laboratories, Inc. (“AMA”), a consumer products testing company in New City, has been charged with  wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with his participation in a scheme to defraud AMA’s customers by reporting false laboratory test results.  Letizia was arrested this morning and was presented and arraigned this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison in White Plains federal court.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “AMA Laboratories, a consumer products testing company, tested consumer products for other companies that relied on AMA for genuine, accurate test results in order to safely bring their products to the consumer market. Unbeknownst to them, AMA’s owner, Gabriel Letizia, and others were engaged in a scheme to falsify those crucial test results by testing their products on far fewer panelists than they reported. Letizia and his co-defendants’ scheme not only cost the victim companies millions, they endangered the safety of thousands of consumers.” read here

COLUMBUS MAN CHARGED WITH COERCING MINOR GIRLS ONLINE

Michael T. Sutherin, 21, of Columbus, was charged with producing, advertising for, distributing receiving and possessing child pornography, as well as coercing a minor, in a 13-count indictment returned here yesterday and filed today. read here

THREE ORLANDO MEN INDICTED FOR SCHEME TO FACILITATE EMPLOYMENT OF ILLEGAL ALIENS AND EVADE PAYROLL TAXES AND WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWS

Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the return of an indictment charging three Honduran nationals, Gregorio Fuentes-Zelaya (26), Santiago Erazo-Zelaya (25), and Dennis Barahona (36), with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Fuentes-Zelaya is also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit tax fraud, five counts of wire fraud, and two counts of tax fraud. Additional charges against Erazo-Zelaya include one count of conspiracy to commit tax fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of tax fraud. Barahona is also charged with one count of wire fraud.

Each wire fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and each tax fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment. The indictment also notifies the defendants that the United States intends to seek forfeiture of a total of $1,367,625, the approximate amount obtained as a result of the wire fraud offenses, as well as a 2014 Land Rover, and two bank accounts (totaling $230,764) that were utilized during the scheme. read here

THREE PARENTS CHARGED WITH STEALING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS FROM CHILDREN

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Three parents have been charged and two have pleaded guilty to receiving their children’s Social Security disability payments while the children were not in their care.

Converting Supplemental Security Income benefits is a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison. read here

BALTIMORE CAREER OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 17 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR VIOLENT CARJACKING IN WHICH THE VICTIM WAS STABBED

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Robert Crenshaw, age 31, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 17 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for carjacking.

According to his guilty plea, on September 15, 2017, Crenshaw carjacked a victim at knifepoint in a parking lot in the 1000 block of East Lombard Street. When the victim resisted, Crenshaw stabbed the victim several times in the abdomen, causing serious, life-threatening bodily injury. Crenshaw then entered the victim’s vehicle, a 2017 Toyota RAV4, and drove away. The entire incident was captured by video surveillance camera. read here

DEA AGENT AND INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS TRAFFICKER EACH PLEAD GUILTY IN CONNECTION WITH DECADE-LONG NARCOTICS CONSPIRACY

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that FERNANDO GOMEZ and JOSE MARTINEZ-DIAZ, a/k/a “Tony Zinc,” pled guilty in Manhattan federal court to charges related to a decade-long narcotics conspiracy.  GOMEZ, who was an active agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) until his arrest in December 2018, pled guilty today to a narcotics conspiracy involving the distribution of cocaine.  As part of his plea, Gomez agreed that he supplied guns to MARTINEZ-DIAZ.  MARTINEZ-DIAZ pled guilty on July 29 to his participation in a racketeering conspiracy involving the enterprise known as La Organizacion de Narcotraficantes Unidos (“La ONU”).  As part of his plea, MARTINEZ-DIAZ agreed that his participation in the enterprise involved the distribution of at least 450 kilograms of cocaine and two attempted murders. read here

HUSBAND AND WIFE CONVENIENCE STORE OWNERS PLEAD GUILTY TO FRAUD INVOLVING FOOD STAMP PROGRAM

Jacksonville, Florida – Russell Leroy Dotson, Jr. (62) and Maria Luisa Dotson (65), both of Jacksonville, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and payment of restitution to the United States.

According to court documents, the Dotsons owned and operated Asmarina Food Mart, with two locations in Jacksonville. Upon opening the convenience stores, they applied for and received approval from the Food and Nutrition Service, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. After receiving this approval, the Dotsons trained their employees how to conduct fraudulent transactions with SNAP recipients using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. The Dotsons instructed their employees to ring up fraudulent transactions to make it appear that SNAP recipients had purchased eligible food products from the store using their EBT cards. The employees then gave the SNAP recipients cash representing approximately one-half of the amount of the fraudulent transaction, while the Dotsons received the remainder of the money. Over approximately 27 months, Russell and Maria Dotson defrauded the United States out of $257,979. read here

PALM BAY WOMAN CONVICTED OF PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that a federal jury has found Rose Beth Litzky (33, Palm Bay) guilty of conspiracy to produce child pornography, production of child pornography, and possession of child pornography, involving two female children. Both of the victims, toddlers at the time, were under Litzky’s care. Litzky faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, and up to 30 years, in federal prison on the conspiracy and production counts, and up to 20 years’ imprisonment on the possession charge. In addition, Litzky must forfeit an iPhone that was used in furtherance of the offenses. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 15, 2019. read here

BREVARD COUNTY MAN CONVICTED FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces that a federal jury has found James John Edwards (37, Brevard County) guilty of possession of child pornography. Edwards faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and must forfeit a computer and a one-terabyte hard drive that was used in the commission of the offense. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 15, 2019.

According to evidence presented at trial, on February 7, 2019, during the execution of a federal search warrant, Edwards was found to be in possession of more than 1,000 videos and over 300 images depicting young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The videos and images depicted toddlers and children under the age of 12 in bondage, being raped and sodomized, and made to perform sadistic sexual acts. The evidence also showed that Edwards had an extensive computer background, and in this case, used a file-sharing software to search for, download, and view child pornography via a computer and hard drive in his bedroom. The computer was connected to a television that was mounted on the wall above Edwards’s dresser. Edwards used the hard drive to store videos and images of child pornography. His collection dated back to 2015. read here

FORMER PCAOB INSPECTIONS LEADER AND KPMG EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SENTENCED FOR SCHEME TO STEAL CONFIDENTIAL PCAOB INFORMATION IN ORDER TO FRAUDULENTLY IMPROVE KPMG’S PCAOB INSPECTION RESULTS

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that CYNTHIA HOLDER, a former Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) Inspections Leader and KPMG Executive Director, was sentenced today to 8 months in federal prison for participating in a scheme to defraud the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and the PCAOB by obtaining, disseminating, and using confidential lists of which KPMG audits the PCAOB would be reviewing so that KPMG could improve its performance in PCAOB inspections, the results of which were shared with, and utilized by, the SEC in carrying out its governmental functions. HOLDER pled guilty October 16, 2018, before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken, who imposed today’s sentence. read here

BERGEN COUNTY MAN ADMITS DISTRIBUTION AND POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Malcolm Salamanca, 29, of Ridgefield, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

Salamanca used a peer-to-peer file-sharing program to download and share videos and images of child sexual abuse. In November 2016, undercover law enforcement agents downloaded some of those images and videos from Salamanca’s computer. After executing a search warrant at Salamanca’s home in November 2017, agents located more videos of child sexual abuse on Salamanca’s computers.

The distribution of child pornography charge to which Salamanca pleaded guilty carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. The possession of child pornography charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Salamanca will be required to register as a sex offender. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 2, 2019. read here

STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL PLEADS GUILTY TO PROCUREMENT FRAUD

According to court documents, Patricia DeLaughter, 69, was a State Department official who was responsible for procuring furniture for United States embassies. In or around December 2016, the State Department was constructing a new embassy in a foreign nation. DeLaughter and another Department official participated in the process of soliciting bid proposals from contractors for the procurement of furniture for the new embassy’s offices.

From in or around December 2016 to in or around March 2017, DeLaughter and the other State Department official knowingly disclosed to Steven Anstine, the vice president of sales for an American furniture manufacturer, the confidential bid prices and design plans of at least three of Anstine’s competitors. DeLaughter knowingly disclosed this information in order to give Anstine—with whom DeLaughter had a social relationship—a competitive advantage in securing the procurement contract for the new embassy. The information that DeLaughter and her coworker gave Anstine enabled him and his company to win the contract with a bid of approximately $1.56 million. read here

FORMER NEW YORK CITY CORRECTION OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRING TO SMUGGLE CONTRABAND INTO RIKERS ISLAND JAIL

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Simon Gordon, a former correction officer employed by the New York City Department of Correction (“DOC”), pleaded guilty to conspiring to accept bribes in exchange for smuggling contraband into a jail on Rikers Island. The plea proceeding took place before United States District Judge Carol Bagley Amon. When sentenced, Gordon faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. read here

BOSNIAN NATIONAL SENTENCED FOR PROVIDING MATERIAL SUPPORT TO TERRORISTS

St. Louis, MO – Armin Harcevic, 41, of Ballwin, MO, appeared today before U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry. Harcevic was sentenced to 66 months in prison for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and providing material support to terrorists. Harcevic was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal to begin his sentence immediately. Based on the offenses for which Harcevic was convicted he is subject to deportation and removal from the United States.

According to court documents, Armin Harcevic, Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, his wife Sedina Unkic Hodzic, Nihad Rosic, Jasminka Ramic and Mediha Medy Salkicevic conspired with others to support the activities of Abdullah Ramo Pazara and others, including a conspiracy to commit outside the United States an act that would constitute the offense of murder or maiming if committed in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. Harcevic intended to and did provide support and resources to Pazara, knowing that he and his co-conspirators would use the support and resources in furtherance of their combat against Syrian government forces and others. Harcevic’s support consisted of money, which was used by his co-conspirators to purchase supplies such as U.S. military uniforms, rifle scopes, combat boots, tactical gear, clothing, firearms accessories, range finders, and other supplies useful to fighters engaged in combat in Syria and elsewhere. read here

FORMER SCHUYLKILL COUNTY CLERK OF COURTS PLEADS GUILTY TO MAIL FRAUD AND FALSIFICATION OF RECORDS

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Steven M. Lukach, Jr., age 69, of Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on August 8, 2019, before U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani to mail fraud and falsification of records.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Lukach served as the Clerk of Courts for Schuylkill County for approximately 27 years. In 2013-2014, county auditors with the Controller’s Office began an in depth examination of the Clerk’s Office and discovered misappropriation of funds by Lukach. An FBI investigation ensued and while the audit was going on, Lukach interfered with the audit by stealing mail that was sent to banks, forged records and sent the fake bank records to the Controller’s Office. Lukach did so in an effort to conceal that he was taking funds from various accounts for his own personal purposes, such as paying a family member’s credit card bill, paying for meals, making car payments, and other personal expenses. read here

NEW BILL SEEKS TO MAKE OVER 500 VIOLENT CRIMINALS (INCLUDING MANY RAPISTS AND MURDERERS) IMMEDIATELY ELIGIBLE FOR EARLY RELEASE

WASHINGTON –The Second Look Act of 2019, which is pending before the Council of the District of Columbia, will give violent criminals (including rapists and murderers) an opportunity to reduce their sentences after only serving 15 years in prison and will expand eligibility to adults who committed their crimes before they turned 25-years-old. Approximately 583 violent criminals will be immediately eligible to apply for release.

On March 26, 2019, Councilmember Charles Allen, Chairperson of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, held a public hearing to consider Bill 23-0127, the “Second Look Amendment Act of 2019.” If passed, the proposed legislation will expand eligibility to adult offenders who committed violent offenses between the ages of 18 to 24-years-old. The proposed legislation will also allow a defendant to be released after serving only 15 years in prison, regardless of the original sentence imposed, if the court determines that the defendant is not a danger to the community or to any person, despite the “brutality or coldblooded” nature of the offense. read here

RALEIGH BUSINESS OWNER CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING PROTEIN POWDER CONSUMERS

RALEIGH – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that a federal grand jury has returned a 41-count Indictment, charging ABHISHEK KRISHNAN, owner of American Pure Whey, LLC, of mail fraud, introducing adulterated and misbranded foods into interstate commerce, and money laundering.    The Indictment seeks forfeiture of approximately six million dollars and several Raleigh, North Carolina real properties.

According to the Indictment, American Pure Whey sold protein powders in bulk to other dietary supplement manufacturers and in retail quantities to the public. Other dietary supplement suppliers purchased American Pure Whey products, but packaged them with their own labels, similarly reflecting high protein and low carbohydrate content.  The American Pure Whey products were manufactured and packaged in New Bern, North Carolina. read here

 

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