Daily Dose of Justice

Daily Dose of Justice

NEW JERSEY MAN PLEADS GUILTY SMUGGLING OVER 1,000 ILLEGALLY COLLECTED BOX TURTLES FROM OKLAHOMA

“TULSA, Okla. – A New Jersey man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to conspiring with others to purchase, transport and sell more than 1,000 box turtles that were unlawfully collected from the state of Oklahoma, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

From May 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018, William T. Gangemi, 26, of Freehold, New Jersey, knowingly facilitated the purchase and transport of unlawfully collected three-toed and western (ornate) box turtles from Oklahoma to New Jersey in order to sell them for profit. Gangemi was part of a syndicate of wildlife smugglers where protected turtles were exchanged back and forth between the United States and China.” read here

TULSA MAN SENTENCED FOR STEALING $426,220 FROM HIS EMPLOYER

“A former American Parking employee was sentenced today in U.S. District Court for defrauding BancFirst and his employer of $426,220.36, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced Jerry Albert Wiley, 70, of Tulsa, to 24 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Eagan further ordered restitution be paid to American Parking in the amount of $426, 220.32.” read here

CORPORATE INSIDER CONVICTED OF CONSPIRING WITH OTHERS AT LONG ISLAND BOILER ROOM TO PUMP AND DUMP STOCK ON UNSUSPECTING ELDERLY INVESTORS

“A federal jury in Central Islip returned a guilty verdict on all counts this afternoon against Michael Watts, a former registered broker, for his role in a conspiracy to promote and manipulate the price of shares in Hydrocarb Energy Corp. (Hydrocarb) and other companies. Specifically, Watts was convicted of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy and money laundering. The verdict followed a three-week trial before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert. When sentenced, Watts faces a maximum sentence of more than 20 years’ imprisonment.

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

DES PERES MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOR PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

“St. Louis, MO – William Timothy Hopmeier, 48, of Des Peres, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his involvement in production of child pornography. Hopmeier appeared before United States District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig.

According to court documents, from June 2017 to January 31, 2018, Hopmeier used a cell phone to video record two minor females engaging in sexually explicit conduct on several occasions.” read here

WARE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUAL EXPLOITATION CHARGES

“BOSTON – A Ware man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Springfield after being charged with sexual exploitation charges.

Walter Brown, 74, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sexual exploitation of a child, two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Jan. 22, 2020. Brown was arrested on July 14, 2017, and has been detained since that time.

On Oct 11, 2019, co-defendant Claire Poole was sentenced to 125 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking.” read here

DOCTOR OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE SENTENCED FOR DRUG DISTRIBUTION

“CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine was sentenced to federal prison for drug distribution, announced Acting United States Attorney Lisa G. Johnston. Mathew Sisson, 29, was sentenced to 57 months in prison for distributing oxycodone for no legitimate medical purpose and outside the bounds of professional practice. Sisson was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison.

Sisson previously admitted that while holding an education permit granted by the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine, he participated in a training program at the Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) located in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia. The training program authorized him to practice medicine and prescribe controlled substances within the confines of the program. Sisson acknowledged that his privileges at CAMC and the limited permit issued by the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine did not permit him to issue prescriptions that were not for legitimate medical purposes, and issued outside the course of professional medical practice.” read here

PRESIDENT OF PUERTO RICAN-BASED ENGINEERING COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO PROCUREMENT FRAUD AND KICKBACKS RELATED TO FEDERAL COURTHOUSE REPAIRS IN ST. CROIX

“St. Thomas, USVI United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert for the District of the Virgin Islands announced today that Reinaldo Cruz Taura, president of Puerto Rico-based RCT Mechanical Engineering, pleaded guilty to providing kickbacks in connection with federal government subcontracts to perform work on the federal building and courthouse in St. Croix, VI and on coast guard facilities in Puerto Rico. Taura will be sentenced at a later date.

According to court documents filed in the case, from June 2011 through June 2015, Taura paid over $1.2 million in kickbacks to a senior project manager for the prime contractor on the St. Croix and Puerto Rico projects. In addition, Taura falsely inflated the expenses billed under the subcontract in order to cover the costs of the aforementioned kickbacks.” read here

CALIFORNIA WOMAN SENTENCED TO 7 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR HER ROLE IN STAGED ACCIDENT SCHEME

“Spokane – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Stephanie Stock, age 44, of Los Banos, California, was sentenced after having pleaded guilty on April 26, 2019, to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Chief United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Stock to a 7-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 3-year term of court supervision after she is released from federal prison. Chief Judge Rice also ordered Stock to pay restitution in the amount of $10,000 and forfeiture of $10,000.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Stock was involved in a staged automobile accident in Henderson, Nevada, that defrauded insurance companies out of $257,157. Stock allowed her Toyota 4Runner to be deliberately driven by another individual into a Jaguar XK8 occupied by co-conspirator Sandra Victoria Talento and another individual. Before police arrived, and in furtherance of the scheme, the person who deliberately crashed Stock’s vehicle was driven away from the scene by another individual. Stock then posed as the “at fault” driver to police and the insurance companies.” read here

MORGANTOWN MAN SENTENCED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGE

“CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – John Ontko, of Morgantown, West Virginia, was sentenced today to 12 months and one day for a child pornography charge, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Ontko, age 67, pled guilty to one count of ‘Possession of Child Pornography’ in April 2019. Ontko admitted to having child pornography from February to April 2018 in Monongalia County.” read here

INDICTMENT: IT BEGAN WHEN TROOPERS STOPPED A TRUCK WITH 35 POUNDS OF METH

“KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Two men living in Kansas were indicted today on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

According to court records, the investigation began when the Kansas Highway Patrol stopped a truck carrying automobiles and discovered 35 pounds of methamphetamine.” read here

KC MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO $900,000 ROMANCE FRAUD SCHEME

“KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to participating in a romance fraud scheme that bilked victims across the United States and overseas of nearly $900,000.

Ronayerin K. Ogolor, 50, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Ogolor, who was arrested at Kansas City International Airport on Oct. 19, 2018, before he boarded a plane to Frankfurt, Germany, remains in federal custody.” read here

WICHITA PHARMACIST GETS 12.5 YEARS FOR UNLAWFULLY DISTRIBUTING RX DRUGS

“WICHITA, KAN. – A Wichita-area pharmacist was sentenced today to 150 months in federal prison for unlawfully dispensing opioid prescription drugs, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Ebube Otuonye, 47, Bel Aire, Kan., was convicted on charges of conspiracy to unlawfully distribute prescription drugs, unlawfully distributing prescription drugs and health care fraud.

The crimes occurred while Otuonye owned and operated Neighborhood Pharmacy at 2810 E. 21st in Wichita, where he filled prescriptions for patients of Dr. Steven R. Henson. In October 2018, Henson was convicted of unlawfully distributing prescription drugs outside the usual course of professional medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. In March 2019, Henson was sentenced to life in federal prison.” read here

LEBANESE NATIONAL CHARGED WITH BEING ILLEGAL ALIEN IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM

“NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANAUnited States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that KAMAL AL JAWHARI, age 28, a native of Lebanon, was charged Friday, October 18, 2019 in a two-count indictment with illegal alien in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(5)(A).

According to the Indictment, on or about October 3, 2019, JAWHARI, an alien present illegally in the United States, was found in possession of a Taurus 9mm pistol and a Winchester 12 gauge shotgun.” read here

MARKETING COMPANY CEO SENTENCED IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS CASE

“BOSTON –  A California woman became the 11th parent to be sentenced in the college admissions case.

Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to three weeks in prison, one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay a fine of $40,000. In May 2019, Buckingham pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

The government recommended a sentence of six months in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $40,000.” read here

UNITED STATES SEEKS FORFEITURE OF REAL ESTATE IN MEXICO PURCHASED BY CARTER LEADER RAFAEL CARO QUINTERO WITH PROCEEDS OF HIS DRUG TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION

“A civil complaint against eight real properties located in and around Guadalajara, Mexico was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn. The properties described in the complaint are alleged to have been purchased by Rafael Caro Quintero with drug proceeds obtained through his leadership of the Caro Quintero drug trafficking organization, a faction of the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Ray Donovan, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division (DEA), announced the complaint.” read here

MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER OF PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM INDICTED FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE

“A superseding indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Central Islip charging Michael S. Cohn, Managing Director and Chief Compliance Officer of GPB Capital Holdings, LLC (GPB), with obstruction of justice, unauthorized computer access and unauthorized disclosure of confidential information. Cohn, a former employee of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was arraigned this morning before United States Circuit Judge Joseph F. Bianco and released on a $250,000 bond.

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

BELLEVUE MAN SENTENCED FOR POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

“PITTSBURGH, PA – A suburban Pittsburgh resident has been sentenced in federal court to four years’ (48 months’) imprisonment and 10 years of supervised release on his conviction of possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab imposed the sentence on Monday on Christopher Morrison, 26, of Bellevue, Pennsylvania.

According to information presented to the court, on June 20, 2018, Adams Township Police officers seized Morrison’s cellular phone during a narcotics related traffic stop. Upon extracting the contents of the phone, officers observed multiple images of suspected child pornography. The Federal Bureau of Investigation forensically examined the phone, and confirmed that Morrison possessed approximately 700 images and 11 videos that depicted the sexual exploitation of a minor, and multiple screen captures of the defendant browsing child pornography. The court was further informed that some of pornography depicted minors under the age of 12 years, as well as minors who were bound at the ankles with their mouths duct-taped.” read here

NIGERIAN CITIZEN SENTENCED FOR ROLE IN INTERNATIONAL CYBER-FRAUD SCHEME

“A citizen of Nigeria residing in Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to 78 months in prison yesterday for his role in an international cyber fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant of the Western District of Tennessee.

Olufolajimi Abegunde, 32, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sheryl L. Lipman of the Western District of Tennessee who also ordered Abegunde to pay $57,911.62 in restitution to the victims of his offense.  Abegunde and Javier Luis Ramos-Alonso, 29, were convicted in March after a seven-day trial in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.  Ramos-Alonso previously received a 31-month sentence for his role in the scheme.” read here

MARYLAND MAN FACING FEDERAL INDICTMENT FOR SEX TRAFFICKING AND DRUG DISTRIBUTION

“Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging De’Angelo Johnson, a/k/a Cowboy, a/k/a D, age 31, of Maryland, with sex trafficking and distribution of heroin and cocaine.  The indictment was returned on October 22, 2019.

The federal indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Chief Lisa D. Myers of the Howard County Police Department; and Howard County State’s Attorney Rich H. Gibson, Jr.” read here

ALIEN INDICTED ON ILLEGAL AND UNLAWFUL ALIEN IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM

“WILMINGTON – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces that a federal grand jury in Wilmington has returned an indictment charging TELESFORO RENZAURES-JACOME, age 32, of Mexico, with illegal and unlawful alien in possession of a firearm.

If convicted RENZAURES-JACOME, found in Lenoir County, would face maximum penalties of ten years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.”read here

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