TEXAS WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ALIEN SMUGGLING
“Gulfport, Miss. – Rebecca Ann McLean, 27, a resident of Texas, pled guilty today before U.S. District Sul Ozerden to unlawful transportation of aliens within the United States for commercial advantage or private financial gain, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Jere T. Miles, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans, and Gregory K. Bovino, Chief Patrol Agent of the U.S. Border Patrol’s New Orleans Sector.
McLean will be sentenced by Judge Ozerden on January 10, 2020, at 9:00 a.m., and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, 3 years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and special assessments that could total $5,100.” read here
OSCAR MARTINEZ-HERNANDEZ, A.K.A. “CALI” SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR THE MURDER OF FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS CORRECTIONAL OFFICER OSVALDO ALBARATI-CASANAS
“SAN JUAN, P.R. – Today, Oscar Martínez-Hernández, a.k.a. “Cali;” was sentenced by US District Court Chief Judge Gustavo A. Gelpí for the of the murder of Lieutenant Osvaldo Albarati-Casañas, a Federal Bureau of Prisons Correctional Officer, announced United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, W. Stephen Muldrow. Lieutenant Albarati was murdered on February 26, 2013. On September 20, 2018, Martínez-Hernández was found guilty after an 11-day jury trial.
On January 28, 2015 a Federal Grand Jury in the District of Puerto Rico returned a six count indictment charging nine individuals for the murder of Lieutenant Albarati. Defendants Ángel D. Ramos-Cruz, a.k.a. “Api;” Miguel Díaz-Rivera, a.k.a. “Bolo;” Juan Quiñones-Meléndez, a.k.a. “El Manco;” Orlando Mojica-Rodríguez, a.k.a. “Yogui;” Jayson Rodríguez-González, a.k.a. “Gonzo;” Alexander Rosario de León, a.k.a. “Coquí;” Carlos Rosado-Rosado, a.k.a. “Cano;” and Jancarlos Velázquez-Vázquez, a.k.a. “Jan,” pleaded guilty and were sentenced in accordance with their respective plea agreements for their specific roles in the offense. Ramos-Cruz was sentenced to 309 months, Quiñones-Meléndez was sentenced to 285 months, Díaz-Rivera was sentenced to 129 months, Mojica-Rodríguez was sentenced to 249 months, Rodríguez-González was sentenced to 396 months, Rosario-De León was sentenced to 204 months, Rosado-Rosado was sentenced to 140 months, and Velázquez-Vázquez was sentenced to 120 months.” read here
FORMER TEXAS MEXICAN MAFIA FREE WORLD GENERAL SENTENCED TO LIFE IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR EXTORTION CONSPIRACY
“In San Antonio this afternoon, a federal judge sentenced 54-year-old Raul Ramos (aka “Alto,” “Naranjo,” “GQ”) to life in federal prison for his leadership role in a conspiracy to extort money from drug traffickers operating in their territory without permission, announced U.S. Attorney John Bash, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez ordered that Ramos pay a monetary judgement in the amount of $275,500 representing a portion of the profits derived from the criminal scheme.” read here
NIGERIAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY FOR ROLE IN CONSPIRACY TO LAUNDER MILLIONS FROM BUSINESS EMAIL COMPROMISE FRAUD
“In Austin this afternoon, a Nigerian National formerly residing in San Antonio and Austin pleaded guilty to his role in a Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud conspiracy that laundered millions of dollars, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash; Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), San Antonio; and, Inspector in Charge Adrian Gonzalez, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Houston Division.
Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin, 31-year-old Chibuzor Stanley Uba pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. By pleading guilty, Uba admitted to conspiring with others to collect funds by defrauding U.S. and foreign victims through BEC schemes.” read here
HAITIAN MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON IN CONNECTION WITH WIRE FRAUD CONSPIRACY
“BOSTON – A Haitian man who previously resided in Florida was sentenced today in federal court in Boston in connection with the fraudulent abuse of the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Informed Delivery electronic notification system.
Peter Belony, 34, a Haitian national who resided in Margate, Fla., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to two years in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $177,086 in restitution.” read here
BELGIAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY TO SCAM TARGETING CHARITIES AND LAW FIRMS
“BOSTON – A Belgian man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to charges that he participated in an e-mail scam that used counterfeit cashier’s checks to defraud charities and law firms.
Aref Zokita Said, 37, of Belgium, pleaded guilty to eight counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled sentencing for Jan. 10, 2019.
Beginning no later than August 2013, Said and his co-conspirators defrauded law firms and non-profits, including charities, by sending them fraudulent cashier’s checks and convincing them to wire money to members of the scheme, with the false assurance that the fake checks would cover the expense. Once the checks were discovered to be fraudulent—after the victims’ bank accounts were debited—the victims were left with thousands of dollars in losses, having unwittingly forwarded their own money to a member of the conspiracy.” read here
HUSBAND AND WIFE SENTENCED TO PRISON IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS CASE
“BOSTON – A husband and wife were sentenced to prison today for paying $125,000 to participate in the college entrance exam cheating scheme for their daughter.
Gregory Abbott, 68, and Marcia Abbott, 59, of New York, N.Y., were each sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani to one month in prison, one year of supervised release, ordered to complete 250 hours of community service and to each pay a fine of $45,000. In May 2019, the Abbotts pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.
The government recommended that the Abbotts each be sentenced to eight months in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $40,000.” read here
ALBION MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
“BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Andrew Campbell, 33, of Albion, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to possession of child pornography. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Moellering, who is handling the case, stated in July 2018, an individual contacted the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office after discovering a disturbing video on a desktop computer that belonged to the defendant. The witness and Campbell lived together on and off and Campbell left the computer at the residence when he was made to vacate the residence by the witness in June 2018. In addition to the desktop computer, Witness 1 also turned over a laptop computer and hard drive.” read here
JURY CONVICTS LOCAL BUSINESSMAN OF LONG-TERM SEX TRAFFICKING OF MINOR
“CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The 67-year-old founder and part-owner of Global Blue Technologies has been convicted of sex trafficking of a minor female, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
The jury deliberated for 10 hours before convicting David Wills, now of San Antonio and previously of Rockport and South Padre Island, following a 10-day trial.
The jury heard that from 2012 to 2015, the aquaculture company owner conspired with Maria Losoya and trafficked a young girl beginning when she was only 10 years of age. Losoya and Wills used their cell phones to arrange meetings at several different locations where Wills would sexually assault the victim. These included multiple Wills’ residences as well as Losoya’s in Brownsville and hotels and motels in the greater Corpus Christi area.” read here
FLORIDA MAN SENTENCED FOR SOCIAL SECURITY AND WIRE FRAUD
BOSTON – A Florida man was sentenced today in federal court in Springfield in connection with his submission of a fraudulent application for employment at a Western Massachusetts hospital.
Fabrizio I. Pluchino, a/k/a “Fabrizio Pulchino,” 56, of Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni to time served (approximately 9.5 months in prison) and three years of supervised release. In July 2019, Pluchino pleaded guilty to one count of using a falsely obtained Social Security number and one count of wire fraud.” read here
TEXARKANA PHYSICIAN ARRESTED FOR OVER-PRESCRIBING OPIATES AND OTHER CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
“Texarkana, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas and Justin King, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, announced today that Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker was arrested today on federal charges. A federal grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas indicted Dr. Parker on nine counts of Prescribing Without a Legitimate Medical Purpose Outside the Scope of a Professional Practice.
According to the Indictment, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Little Rock District Office (LRDO), Tactical Diversion and Diversion Groups initiated an investigation into Dr. Parker of Texarkana, Arkansas in 2018 after receiving complaints from local law enforcement about a suspected pill mill and possible overdose death of a patient. Investigators analyzed prescription drug monitoring data attributed to Dr. Parker, and the investigation revealed Dr. Parker was an over-prescriber of controlled substances, to include opiates, benzodiazepines, and promethazine with codeine cough syrup in the Texarkana area. In the two-year period analyzed, Dr. Parker prescribed approximately 1.2 million dosage units of opiates, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, to approximately 1,508 patients (approximately 847 dosage units per patient). Dr. Parker also prescribed approximately 16 gallons of Promethazine with Codeine cough syrup to approximately 29 patients during the same time period. These prescriptions included several prescriptions written in combination with narcotics and sedatives to high diversion risk patients.” read here
OPERATORS OF CHARTER BUS COMPANY PLEAD GUILTY TO BRIBING FEDERAL SAFETY INSPECTOR
“BOSTON – The owner and safety manager of a charter bus company operating in Massachusetts pleaded guilty today to bribing a federal safety investigator in order to influence the safety review of the passenger buses.
Le Wen Wu, 49, and Yat Kuen Chan, a/k/a “Andy,” 41, both of Quincy, each pleaded guilty to one count conspiracy to pay an unlawful gratuity and to bribe a public official, one count of unlawful gratuities to a public official, and one count of bribery of a public official. U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. scheduled sentencing for Jan. 9, 2020. Wu and Chan were charged in November and September 2018, respectively.” read here
CENTRALIA, MISSOURI POLICE OFFICER CHARGED WITH ENGAGING IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT WITH A MINOR
“St. Louis – Clint Baer, 41, of Centralia, Missouri, was charged in a federal complaint with using interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
According to the complaint, Clint Baer is employed as a police officer with the Centralia Police Department located in Centralia, Missouri.
In March 2019, Baer contacted an individual he believed was the mother of a 14-year-old girl through the social networking site FetLife. FetLife is a website with an app that serves people interested in sexual fetishes. This site allows users to create a profile, search a directory of fetishes, join various fetish-themed groups, and conduct private chats with other users. Baer contacted the individual he believed was the mother of the 14-year-old girl in the FetLife incest group. In reality, Baer was speaking with an undercover FBI agent.” read here
CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER CONVICTED OF MAKING CONDUIT CONTRIBUTIONS IN TWO U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGNS
“Today, a federal jury found an Oakland-area real estate developer guilty for funneling tens of thousands of dollars through straw donors into two consecutive congressional campaigns for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney David L. Anderson for the Northern District of California and Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office made the announcement.
After a 10-day trial, James Tong, 74, of Fremont, California, was found guilty of two counts of making conduit contributions. According to the evidence presented at trial, in 2012 and 2013 Tong used two primary straw donors as recruiters for his conduit scheme. Tong leveraged financial obligations and the implied loss of business opportunities to induce these individuals to distribute cash in the community to be donated to the initial and reelection campaigns of a candidate who was running for office in the U.S. House of Representatives. The network of straw donors included dozens of conduits who agreed to write checks in exchange for a commensurate amount of cash sourced from Tong. Tong provided envelopes of cash to the two intermediaries and directed them to reimburse individuals for their contributions. Tong also directed an intermediary to conceal the scheme by instructing the conduits not to deposit the cash and later directed the intermediary to withhold information from the FBI after he was interviewed.” read here
WASHINGTON MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ADVERTISING VIDEOS AND IMAGES OF CHILDREN BEING SEXUALLY ABUSED
“A Washington, D.C., man pleaded guilty today to advertising child pornography.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu of the District of Columbia and Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.
Simon Walker, 33, was charged in July 2018 with one count of advertising child pornography and one count of distributing child pornography.” read here
FORMER WALL STREET TRADER PLEADS GUILTY TO RUNNING A PONZI SCHEME
“Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that PAUL A. RINFRET pled guilty to participating in a Ponzi scheme in which he obtained approximately $19 million in total from victims through a variety of lies and misrepresentations. RINFRET pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud before U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Paul Rinfret callously lied to investors at every step. He lied about his past returns to get them to invest. He lied about having invested all of their money, when he was actually spending much of it on things like jewelry, cars, and a house in the Hamptons. To keep investors appeased, Rinfret lied about how their money was growing. Today, Rinfret has admitted to his scheme, through which he obtained approximately $19 million, and now faces a prison term for his lies.”read here
CHIROPRACTOR AND RELATED PRACTICE TO PAY NEARLY $100,000 TO RESOLVE FALSE CLAIMS ACT LIABILITY ARISING FROM BILLING OF STIVAX DEVICES
“PHILADELPHIA, PA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that chiropractor Ron Siscoe and his practice, Ovation Center of Integrative Medicine (“Ovation”), have agreed to pay $98,497.62 to resolve liability under the False Claims Act for the alleged improper billing of electro-acupuncture devices called Stivax and/or P-Stim. This is the second electro-acupuncture device settlement announced in this District, as part of a U.S. Attorney’s Office ongoing investigation. (The first involved Dr. Richard Frey and Physicians Alliance Ltd., and was announced on September 17, 2019).
From July 13, 2016 through August 21, 2017, Siscoe and Ovation billed Medicare for the implantation of neurostimulator electrodes, a surgical procedure usually necessitating an operating room for which Medicare reimburses thousands of dollars. However, Siscoe was not conducting that surgery. Instead, a nurse practitioner was applying a Stivax device in an office setting without surgery or anesthesia. In addition, for many of the claims at issue, Siscoe and Ovation billed the procedure using the National Provider Identification number of a physician who did not actually perform or supervise the procedure.” read here
ASHEVILLE MAN IS SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS FOR ENTICEMENT OF A MINOR
“ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Jonathan Cody Alexander, 31, of Asheville, was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for enticement of a minor, announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison term imposed, U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. also ordered Alexander to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.
According to court documents and today’s court proceedings, from March 24 to April 10, 2017, Alexander engaged in multiple communications with a Homeland Security Investigations special agent posing as a 14-year-old female. During the exchanges, Alexander discussed his interest in engaging in sexual contact with the “minor,” and repeatedly requested suggestive pictures of the minor. Court records show that after the minor told Alexander she would not be able to send pictures, Alexander began urging her to meet him at a motel, to engage in sexual activities with him. When the minor seemed reluctant, Alexander promised money if she agreed to engage in sex with him and another woman. On April 6, 2017, Alexander made arrangements to meet the minor at a restaurant in Hendersonville. On April 10, 2017, law enforcement arrested Alexander when he arrived to meet the minor at the agreed-upon location for the purpose of engaging in sexual activities. Alexander pleaded guilty in May 2019 to one count of enticement of a minor.” read here
FORMER TEACHER AND SUMMER CAMP EMPLOYEE SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOR PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
“NEWARK, N.J. – A Morris County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 180 months in prison for his role in producing images of child sexual abuse, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Colin M. Skeele, 33, of Florham Park, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of producing child pornography. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.” read here
KENTUCKY TRUCK DRIVER, PRIOR SEX OFFENDER PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
“SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Kentucky truck driver and prior sex offender pleaded guilty in federal court today to transporting child pornography.
Gregory Marshall, 58, of Paducah, Kentucky, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool.
According to court documents, a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper stopped the tractor trailer Marshall was driving on U.S. Highway 60 in Wright County, Mo., on June 17, 2018. The trooper discovered that Marshall was a non-compliant sex offender. Marshall was convicted of sodomy involving a 14-year-old victim in Kentucky in 1995. While searching the sleeper berth of the tractor, the trooper discovered a laptop computer and an external hard drive that contained child pornography.” read here
FORMER BUSINESS MANAGER OF ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY SENTENCED TO 27 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR STEALING NEARLY A QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS FROM ELDERLY VICTIM
“NEWARK, N.J. – The former business manager of a Morris County, New Jersey, assisted living facility was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for stealing approximately $237,000 from an elderly victim under her care, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Marcella Drakeford, 46, most recently of Fort Pierce, Florida, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden to Count One of an indictment charging her with mail fraud. Judge Hayden imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.” read here
COUNCIL BLUFFS MAN SENTENCED FOR TRAVEL WITH INTENT TO ENGAGE IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT
“COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum announced that on October 8, 2019, 69 year old Richard John Massey was sentenced by District Court Chief Judge John A. Jarvey for Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct. Massey was sentenced to imprisonment for 40 months followed by a term of supervised release for 5 years.
In November 2018, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Massey on charges stemming from an investigation which started when a 17 year-old female student in Omaha, Nebraska confided to an adult about her relationship with Massey. A search of Massey’s Facebook and email accounts showed he was in contact with several females in other countries. Massey pled guilty to this charge in February 2019.” read here
LANCASTER COUNTY OIL & GAS COMPANY OFFICERS CHARGED WITH BANK FRAUD
“PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Jeffrey Lyons, 58, of Lancaster, PA, Karen Connelly, 65, of Manheim, PA, and Judith Avilez, 58, of Elizabethtown, PA were all charged with bank fraud for their roles in defrauding Fulton Bank. Lyons and Connelly were charged by Information and Avilez was charged by Indictment.
The charging documents allege that between 2003 through May 15, 2018, Lyons, the former CEO of Worley & Obetz, and Worley & Obetz’s two controllers, Connelly and Avilez, defrauded Fulton Bank by fraudulently inflating Worley & Obetz’s revenue on its financial statements. Worley & Obetz was an oil and gas company in Manheim, PA, that provided home heating oil, gas, and propane to its customers. As a result of these and other alleged financial improprieties, the company has shut down and all employees lost their jobs.” read here
LEXINGTON WOMAN SENTENCED TO 6 MONTHS FOR COMMUNICATING FALSE INFORMATION ABOUT EXPLOSIVES TO UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
“LEXINGTON, KY– A Lexington, Kentucky, woman, who previously admitted to sending false information concerning explosives threatening the University of Kentucky campus was sentenced Tuesday to 6 months in prison.
U.S. District Court Judge Danny Reeves sentenced 20-year-old, Haily Loriane Duvall for communicating false threats regarding explosives.” read here
FORMER ERIE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO RECEIPT AND POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
“ERIE, Pa. – A former resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal laws relating to the sexual exploitation of children, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Kenneth Wayne Spencer, Jr. pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Spencer received and possessed computer images and movies depicting prepubescent minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” read here
WILMINGTON MAN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS’ IMPRISONMENT AFTER POLICE SEIZE HIS CACHE OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
“NEW BERN —United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan, sentenced ISAI SANCHEZ, 23, of Wilmington to 120 months’ imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release. SANCHEZ was named in a five-count Indictment on May 22, 2018, charging him with receipt and possession of child pornography. SANCHEZ pled guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography on October 18, 2018. As a condition of the plea agreement, SANCHEZ, a native and citizen of Mexico, also agreed to his removal from the United States following the completion of his sentence.
The investigation began in June 2016, when officers of the Arlington Police Department in Arlington, Massachusetts arrested a separate man on child pornography charges. That man admitted to trading child pornography on his KIK Messenger account, and he agreed to allow agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take over the account.” read here