Daily Dose of Justice

Daily Dose of Justice

CHINESE NATIONAL SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR CONSPIRING TO ILLEGALLY EXPORT MILITARY-AND SPACE-GRADE TECHNOLOGY FROM THE UNITED STATES TO CHINA

“PHOENIX, Ariz. – On October 16, 2019, United States District Judge Diane J. Humetewa sentenced Tao Li, a 39-year-old Chinese national, to 40 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Li had previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to export military- and space-grade technology to the People’s Republic of China without a license in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Notwithstanding the licensing requirement, the Department of Commerce has a policy of denial to export these types of electronic components to the People’s Republic of China.

Between December 2016 and January 2018, Li worked with other individuals in China to purchase radiation-hardened power amplifiers and supervisory circuits and illegally export them from the United States to China. The electronic components sought by Li are capable of withstanding significant levels of radiation and extreme heat, and as a result, are primarily used for military and space applications. Due to the technological capabilities of the electronic components sought by Li and the significant contribution that the components could make to a foreign country’s military and space programs, both parts required an export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, prior to being sent out of the United States. Notwithstanding the licensing requirement, the Department of Commerce has a policy of denial to export these types of electronic components to the People’s Republic of China.” read here

OPERATORS OF SUBURBAN CHICAGO MANUFACTURING COMPANY CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY HIRING UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS

“CHICAGO — The operators of a suburban Chicago manufacturing company have been charged in federal court with knowingly hiring and harboring undocumented workers.

DORA KUZELKA, 81, of Elgin, KENNETH KUZELKA, 62, of Chicago, KARI KUZELKA, 56, of Elgin, and KEITH KUZELKA, 58, of Elgin, are charged with one count of knowingly harboring an illegal alien and one count of knowingly engaging in a pattern or practice of hiring illegal aliens.

The Kuzelkas knowingly hired at least 18 undocumented workers at KSO MetalFab Inc., a sheet metal fabrication company in Streamwood, Ill., according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Keith Kuzelka left the company last year, while the three other Kuzelkas continue to serve in executive management positions, the complaint states.” read here

ROCKFORD MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGE

“ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard to 15 years in federal prison, to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release, on a child pornography charge.

GREGORY GREENE, 59, pleaded guilty on July 11, 2019, to one count of transporting child pornography via the internet. In a written plea agreement, Greene admitted that on May 31, 2016, he shared a child pornography video over the internet depicting the lewd exhibition of a minor child. Greene also admitted that on Dec. 13, 2016, he possessed a computer containing approximately 1,650 images of child pornography, and a thumb drive containing approximately 1,200 images and videos of child pornography, some of which involved minors under 12 years of age.” read here

NORTH CAROLINA WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO RUNNING TAX REFUND SCAM IN SYRACUSE

“UTICA, NEW YORK – Lathisa Smokes, age 36, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pled guilty today to filing false tax returns, and assisting others in preparing false tax returns, which caused the IRS to issue fraudulent refunds exceeding $100,000.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith, and Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), New York Field Office.” read here

SARATOGA COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

“ALBANY, NEW YORK – Robert Gibeault, Jr., age 50, of Gansevoort, New York, pled guilty today to three counts of distribution of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Kevin Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

As part of his guilty plea, Gibeault admitted to using file-sharing program BitTorrent to distribute child pornography to other BitTorrent users from May 2017 through September 2017. His laptop computer contained approximately 400 video files and 100 image files depicting child pornography. These included files that Gibeault had previously distributed over the BitTorrent network.” read here

DEWITT MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ATTEMPTED COERCION AND ENTICEMENT OF A CHILD AND POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

“SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Derek Indivero, age 27, of Dewitt, New York, pled guilty today to one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a child and one count of possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith, Special Agent-in-Charge James N. Hendricks of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and New York State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett.

In entering his guilty plea today in United States District Court, Indivero admitted that in February of 2018 he began communicating with a middle school student using the Snapchat online messaging application. Over the messaging application Indivero offered the student $50 in exchange for sexual contact. Indivero then met with the minor, engaged in the sexual contact, and paid the child $49.” read here

PROFESSOR PLEADS GUILTY TO A SCHEME TO DEFRAUD THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

“HAMMOND – Dr. Qingyou Han, 61, of West Lafayette, Indiana, pled guilty today to committing the criminal felony offense of wire fraud, before U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon. Dr. Han’s wife, Lu Shao, 53, of Lakewood, Ohio, also pled guilty, on behalf of her company Hans Tech, LLC (“Hans Tech”), to participating in the same wire fraud scheme.

The charging documents in the case allege that Dr. Han, a Purdue University professor and the Director of its Center for Materials Processing Research, devised a scheme to defraud the National Science Foundation (“NSF”) into giving Hans Tech over $1.3 million in research grants through its Small Business Innovation Research (“SBIR”) and Small Business Technology Transfer (“STTR”) programs by making materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises and material omissions. In pleading guilty, Dr. Han, individually, and Ms. Shao on behalf of Hans Tech, acknowledged that the purpose of the scheme was to obtain grant funds allocated for research and to use some or all of those funds for other purposes, including to pay personal expenses or for the enrichment of Dr. Han, Ms. Shao, or their children.” read here

FORMER CBP EMPLOYEE SENTENCED FOR USING OPM DATA BREACH TO FALSELY CLAIM IDENTITY THEFT TO CHARGE-OFF LEGITIMATE DEBTS

“WASHINGTON – Ronda M. Young, 49, a former Management & Program Analyst for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs & Border Protection (CBP), was sentenced to a two-year probation term for using OPM data breach to falsely claim identity theft to charge-off legitimate debts.

U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Anthony Triplett, Special Agent in Charge of U. S. Customs and Border Protection, Washington Field Office made the announcement.” read here

JOPLIN MAN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

“SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Joplin, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for receiving and distributing child pornography over the internet.

Daniel Shawn Rehman, 25, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips to 10 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Rehman to 15 years of supervised release following incarceration.

On March 6, 2019, Rehman pleaded guilty to receiving and distributing child pornography over the internet.” read here

RALEIGH COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

“CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Coal City man pled guilty to a child pornography offense, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Charles Larry Wallace, Jr., pled guilty to production of images of child pornography.

“These cases are some of the most painful and emotional cases for my office to handle,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Adults are supposed to protect children, not exploit them. A violation of the solemn responsibility to protect our children is something that can’t be forgotten or forgiven.”

Wallace admitted that on January 5, 2019, he used a cell phone to take several sexually explicit photographs of a prepubescent minor who was in his care at the time. Wallace then backed the photographs up to his Google Photos account and sent them to another individual via the Internet.” read here

FORMER HONDURAN CONGRESSMAN TONY HERNANDEZ CONVICTED IN MANHATTAN FEDERAL COURT OF CONSPIRING TO IMPORT COCAINE INTO THE UNITED STATES AND RELATED FIREARMS AND FALSE-STATEMENTS OFFENSES

“Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Wendy C. Woolcock, the Special Agent in Charge of the Special Operations Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), announced today that a jury returned a guilty verdict against JUAN ANTONIO HERNÁNDEZ ALVARADO, a/k/a “Tony Hernández” (“HERNÁNDEZ”) on all four counts in the Superseding Indictment, which included cocaine-importation, weapons, and false-statements offenses. HERNÁNDEZ is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, 2020.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: ‘Former Honduran congressman Tony Hernandez was involved in all stages of the trafficking through Honduras of multi-ton loads of cocaine that were destined for the U.S. Hernandez bribed law enforcement officials to protect drug shipments, solicited large bribes from major drug traffickers, and arranged machinegun-toting security for cocaine shipments. Today, Hernandez stands convicted of his crimes and faces the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.'” read here

NIGERIAN NATIONAL SENTENCED FOR INTERNET FRAUD AND FALSE TAX RETURN SCHEMES

“SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Nigerian national who lived in St. Robert, Missouri, was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a large fraud conspiracy that used various internet scams to defraud victims.

Segun Prosper Otaru, 27, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips to four years and three months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Otaru to pay $25,056 in restitution, and to forfeit the same amount to the government.” read here

TRUMBALL COUNTY MAN INDICTED FOR CLAIMING HE LED CHARITY THAT DID NOT EXIST AND SOLICITING GIFTS FOR SERVICE MEMBERS THAT HE KEPT FOR HIMSELF

“A Hubbard man was indicted in federal court for allegedly falsely representing he was the leader of a military booster club that did not exist and soliciting gifts from businesses, some of which he kept for himself.

Timothy McKenna, 58, was indicted on six counts of mail fraud.

“This man allegedly took advantage of the good will area businesses have toward the men and women who protect us and used it to enrich himself,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said.

McKenna, from 2009 through November 4, 2017, mailed letters on Air Force letterhead soliciting donations from various businesses on behalf of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, 910th Operations Group Booster Club. The club did not exist, according to the indictment.” read here

TARRANT COUNTY MAN GUILTY OF CHILD COERCION AND ENTICEMENT VIOLATION

“PLANO, Texas – A 47-year-old Saginaw, Texas man has been found guilty of attempted child coercion and enticement in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown and FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno today.

Adam Rene Rodriguez was found guilty by a jury today of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor following a trial before U.S. District Judge Sean D. Jordan.

According to information presented at trial, on May 3, 2019, Rodriguez was arrested by members of the FBI Dallas Field Office and the Plano Police Department when he traveled to Plano to engage in sex acts with an individual he believed to be a 14-year old child.” read here

CONVICTED CHILD SEXUAL ABUSER SENTENCED FOR ILLEGALLY REENTRY

“ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An illegal alien who has a previous conviction for aggravated sexual battery of a child, was sentenced today to 16 months in prison for illegally reentering the United States.

According to court documents, Eliseo Garcia-Gordillo, 38, a citizen of Honduras, entered the United States three times between 1999 and 2007, and was twice removed from the United States during that time. Sometime after his most recent removal in 2007, Garcia-Gordillo again reentered the United States without permission, and was found in February 2017 when he was arrested in Prince William County. In June 2019, Garcia-Gordillo was convicted of aggravated sexual battery of a child under the age of 13.” read here

ROMANIAN NATIONAL SENTENCED FOR SKIMMING SCHEME

“SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Romanian national, who was arrested with her son at a bank ATM with dozens of re-encoded gift cards that contained stolen credit and debit card information, was sentenced in federal court today for her role in a skimming operation at several local banks.

Loredana Baceanu, 31, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips to two years and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Baceanu to pay a total of $35,807 in restitution to her victims.” read here

FEDERAL JURY CONVICTS HOUSTON MAN OF TRAFFICKING GIRLS FOR SEX

“HOUSTON – A Houston jury has just returned guilty verdicts against a 44-year-old Houston man on five separate counts of sex trafficking involving adults and minors, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. The jury deliberated for less than three hours before convicting David Mearis following three days of trial.

The jury heard evidence that spanned from approximately 2007 – 2016. Four victims testified about how they each met Mearis while still teenagers and how he won them over with gifts and kindness before using threats, sexual abuse and physical force to compel them into prostitution.

The jury heard Mearis knew what he was doing and that he lived off the backs of these young women and girls. The government described how Mearis exerted constant control over the female victims.” read here

FORMER OSTEO RELIEF INSTITUTES AND THEIR OWNERS TO PAY OVER $7.1 MILLION TO RESOLVE ALLEGATIONS OF UNNECESSARY KNEE INJECTIONS AND BRACES

“Seven former Osteo Relief Institutes (ORIs) and their owners have agreed to pay the United States collectively more than $7.1 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations that they knowingly billed Medicare for medically unnecessary viscosupplementation injections and medically unnecessary knee braces, the Justice Department announced today.

‘Billing Medicare for medically unnecessary items and procedures puts patients at risk and wastes taxpayer funds,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Civil Division. “Today’s settlement demonstrates that the Department of Justice will pursue companies and individuals who seek to benefit at the expense of federal health care programs and their beneficiaries.’

‘Providers who bill the Medicare system must do so in a manner that is consistent with good patient care,” said Erica MacDonald, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota. “When individuals and entities permit financial motivation to cloud their judgment, our office is committed to addressing these abuses. We very much appreciate the tireless investigative efforts of our law enforcement partners at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Health and Human Services in pursuing this nationwide investigation.’”read here

DOMINICAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY TO FENTANYL TRAFFICKING AND AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT

“BOSTON – A Dominican national pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to fentanyl trafficking and using the Social Security number of a U.S. citizen to obtain a driver’s license.

Santo Patricio Lugo Santos, 42, pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of and possession with intent to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl, one count of false representation of a Social Security number, and one count of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Jan. 21, 2020. Lugo Santos has been in custody since his arrest on Feb. 14, 2019.” read here

LONG ISLAND CHIROPRACTOR SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS’ IMPRISONMENT FOR MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR HEALTH CARE FRAUD SCHEME

“Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, Raymond R. Pellegrino, a chiropractor with offices in West Hempstead and Hicksville, New York, was sentenced by United States District Judge Joanna Seybert to 18 months’ imprisonment for committing health care fraud. The Court also ordered Pellegrino to forfeit $504,444 and to pay restitution of $2,427,101.13 to Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BC/BS).

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the sentence.” read here

PROVINCETOWN MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSING AND RECEIVING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

“BOSTON – A Provincetown man was arrested yesterday and charged in federal court in Boston with receipt and possession of child pornography.

Kerry Adams, 59, was charged with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Adams was held pending a detention hearing scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019, before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley.

According to court documents, a federal search warrant was executed on Oct. 17, 2019 at Adams’s residence in Provincetown were multiple devices, including laptops, thumb drives and SD cards were located. During an initial on-scene forensic review of a laptop, hundreds of files in the computer’s peer-to-peer software program were located. At least a dozen of these files were found to contain child pornography, and three of the files contained videos depicting pre-pubescent boys engaging in sexual acts. During a consensual interview, Adams initially denied downloading child pornography onto his computer, but eventually admitted that he had searched the term “teen boy,” in the past. It is alleged that Adams initially denied that there would be pornography of 10-14 year-old-boys on his computer, but later admitted that 13-15 year-old-boys were once of sexual interest to him, but are not anymore.” read here

KENTUCKY PHYSICIAN PLEADS GUILTY TO UNLAWFULLY DISTRIBUTING OPIOIDS

“LEXINGTON, Ky. – A Floyd County, Kentucky-based physician pleaded guilty Thursday for his role in unlawfully distributing opioids by pre-signing blank prescriptions that were ultimately completed by others and delivered to patients not seen by him.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr. of the Eastern District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge Derrick Jackson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Atlanta Field Office, Special Agent in Charge D. Christopher Evans of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Louisville Field Division and Director Michelle Rudovich of the Kentucky Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) made the announcement.” read here

THREE INDICTED FOR INTERNATIONAL MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME PAIRING MEXICAN DRUG TRAFFICKERS AND CHINESE NATIONALS

“PORTLAND, Ore.—Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, announced today the indictment of three people for their roles in a complex scheme to launder proceeds from the sale of illegal narcotics by facilitating the transfer of bulk cash from Mexican drug trafficking organizations to Chinese nationals residing in the U.S.

Shefeng Su, 39, Xinhua Li Yan, 39, and Xiancong Su, 46, are each charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. Shefeng Su and Li Yan were residents of Portland during the timeframe alleged in the indictment.

According to the indictment, the defendants’ money laundering scheme was designed to remedy two separate problems: drug trafficking organizations’ inability to repatriate drug proceeds into the Mexican banking system and wealthy Chinese nationals restricted by China’s capital flight laws from transferring large sums of money held in Chinese bank accounts for use abroad.” read here

TWO CEOS OF WHOLESALE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES AND TWO OWNERS OF BANK ACCOUNTS USED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING INDICTED IN ALLEGED PRESCRIPTION DIVERSION SCHEME

“Joshua Ryan Joles, the CEO of LLC Wholesale Supply, LLC, Mohammad Mehdi Salemi, the CEO of Wholesalers Group, Inc. and Wholesalers Group, LLC, and bank account holders Angel Caminero Alvarez and Leonides Herrera were indicted on charges of money laundering, committing violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and mail fraud, related to their alleged participation in a scheme to sell diverted pharmaceuticals to unwitting pharmacies and consumers.

U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida stated, ‘The allegations set forth in this scheme strike at the peace of mind we should all feel when we buy prescription drugs from a pharmacy.  We all expect and should rest assured knowing that the drugs we are buying are safe, effective, and properly stored and handled.  Today and whenever necessary, we will continue to strike back at those who seek to profit by robbing the public of that peace of mind through brazen, criminal schemes.'” read here

GREENSBURG DOCTOR CONVICTED AT TRIAL OF ILLEGALLY DISPENSING OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS

“PITTSBURGH – After deliberating for eight hours, a federal jury late yesterday found Dr. Milad Shaker guilty of 14 counts of illegal dispensing of opioids, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Shaker, 50, of Greensburg, PA, was tried before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

U.S. Attorney Brady stated, ‘The conviction of Milad Shaker reflects this office’s commitment to prosecuting unethical physicians who are responsible for the opioid crisis through their illegal prescribing of Scheduled substances. Shaker’s own statements at trial demonstrate his callous and complete disregard for the health of his patient and the potential damage of his actions.'” read here

TWO EAST TENNESSEE DOCTORS PLEAD GUILTY TO OPIOID OFFENSES

“Two Tennessee doctors each pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Doug Overbey of the Eastern District of Tennessee, Special Agent in Charge Joe Carrico of the FBI’s Knoxville Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Derrick L. Jackson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and Director David Rausch of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation made the announcement.

Samuel Mcgaha, M.D., of Sevierville, Tennessee, and Frank McNiel, M.D., of Knoxville, Tennessee, each pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. The charges stem from Mcgaha’s and McNiel’s roles in prescribing high doses of opioids with no medical legitimacy – McNiel from his home. From 2015 until March 2018, Mcgaha and McNiel prescribed 212,226 and 59,712 opioid pills, respectively. During this period, Mcgaha admittedly wrote opioid prescriptions that exceeded Centers for Disease Control guidelines and prescribed opioids even when patients tested positive for non-prescribed prescriptions and illicit substances. McNiel admittedly wrote opioid prescriptions without evaluating patients and without obtaining medical records that would have justified the prescription of opioids. Sentencing has been scheduled for March 26, 2020, before the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan.” read here

TROY MAN SENTENCED TO 121 MONTHS FOR ATTEMPTED ONLINE ENTICEMENT OF A MINOR

“ALBANY, NEW YORK – Michael Varian, age 52, of Troy, New York, was sentenced on Wednesday to 121 months in prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release, for attempted online enticement of a minor.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and James N. Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Varian, a school bus driver, admitted that he attempted to entice an individual, whom he believed to be a 14-year-old boy, to have sex. After weeks of exchanging sexually explicit text messages with undercover law enforcement officers posing as the boy, Varian arranged to meet the boy at a fast food restaurant in Albany County, where Varian was arrested.” read here

 

 

 

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