This week in Justice

This week in Justice

TENNESSEE DOCTORS SENTENCED IN $64 MILLION TRICARE FRAUD

SAN DIEGO – Two doctors, Susan Vergot and Carl Lindblad, were sentenced in federal court today for participating in a health care fraud scheme that bilked TRICARE – the health care program that covers United States service members – out of tens of millions of dollars by prescribing thousands of exorbitantly expensive compounded drugs to patients they never saw or examined.

Dr. Vergot and Dr. Lindblad were sentenced to 24 and 28 months in custody, respectively, by U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino. The custodial portion of each defendant’s sentence will be split between prison and home confinement. Each was also sentenced to pay a $15,000 fine.

“This conspiracy inflicted nearly $65 million in actual losses to TRICARE, the health care benefits program relied upon by millions of our military members and their families,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “It is hard to imagine a more outrageous example of selfish doctors stealing from the U.S. health care system believing they were exempt from providing necessary care.”

“Today’s sentencings demonstrate our resolve to hold those accountable who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers,” said Michael Mentavlos, Special Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Southwest Field Office. “TRICARE is a critical DoD program providing care for our service members, retirees, and their families. Together with our partners, we will continue to use all means available to root out fraud in this invaluable program.” (Read Here)

TENNESSEE MAN SENTENCED TO 23 YEARS IN PRISON FOR PRODUCTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INVOLVING ARKANSAS MINOR

LITTLE ROCK—A Tennessee man was sentenced late Thursday on one count of production of child pornography. United States District Court Judge James M. Moody sentenced Craig Gillum, 55, of Shelbyville, Tennessee, to 280 months in federal prison. Cody Hiland, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Little Rock Field Office, announced the sentencing.

In January 2018, the parents of a 16-year-old female reported to authorities that she was missing from her home in Trumann, Arkansas. Officers identified the minor’s email and searched the account, which revealed sexually explicit messages from Gillum. In some of the emails, Gillum sent explicit photos of himself to the minor, and he requested and received images of child pornography from the “little girl,” as he referred to her in the messages.

On February 1, 2018, investigating agents learned the minor was located at a motel room in Nebraska with Gillum. Agents found the minor, whose hair had been cut and colored. The minor told investigators Gillum had picked her up in Trumann and driven her to Nebraska. (Read Here)

WATERVLIET MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS FOR SEXUALLY EXPLOITING A CHILD

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Aaron Vroman, age 30, of Watervliet, New York, was sentenced today to 180 months in prison for sexually exploiting a child.

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

In pleading guilty, Vroman admitted that, on at least four occasions, he secretly video-recorded a minor using the bathroom for the purposes of obtaining sexually explicit images of the victim’s genitals.  Vroman also admitted that he touched that same victim’s genital area over the victim’s underwear while the victim was sleeping and that he video-recorded that conduct.  Vroman also possessed images of child pornography on his laptop computer that did not involve the victim and that he obtained via the internet, including videos depicting the sexual abuse and exploitation of pre-pubescent girls.

Senior United States District Judge Norman A. Mordue also imposed a 25-year term of supervised release, which will start after Vroman is released from prison. As a result of his conviction, Vroman will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison. (Read Here)

TWENTY-EIGHT NOW CHARGED IN FEDERAL PROBE INTO THE STAGING OF AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced today the indictment of nine additional defendants bringing the total to twenty-eight charged for intentionally staging automobile accidents. Today’s indictment charges CORNELIUS GARRISON (“GARRISON”), age 54, of New Orleans, Louisiana; DONIESHA GIBSON (“GIBSON”), age 29, of New Orleans, Louisiana; CHANDRIKA BROWN (“BROWN”), age 29, of Slidell, Louisiana; ISHAIS PRICE (“PRICE”), age 49, of New Orleans, Louisiana; AISHA THOMPSON (“THOMPSON”), age 42, of New Orleans, Louisiana; DEWAYNE COLEMAN (“COLEMAN”), age 21, of Marrero, Louisiana; DONISESHA LEE, age 30, of Harvey, Louisiana; DONREION LEE, age 22, of Harvey, Louisiana; and ERICA LEE THOMPSON (“ERICA LEE”), age 46, of Harvey, Louisiana.  These nine defendants were charged in a seven-count federal indictment with one (1) count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 and six (6) counts of Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341. The indictment alleges that the defendants intentionally used vehicles to cause staged motor vehicle accidents with commercial carriers in order to defraud these carriers and their insurance companies.  If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of five (5) years for Count 1 and twenty (20) years as to Counts 2-7.  Upon their release from prison, each defendant can be placed on a term of supervised release for up to five (5) years and fined up to $250,000.00 per count or twice the gross gain to the defendant of twice the gross loss to the victim. (Read Here)

CHESTER COUNTY DOCTOR AGREES TO PAY OVER $1.2 MILLION TO SETTLE ALLEGATIONS OF FRAUDULENT BILLING AND UNLAWFUL OPIOID DISTRIBUTION

PHILADELPHIA— United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Thomas J. Whalen, D.O., 65, of Berwyn, PA, has agreed to pay the United States $1,257,499.00 to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that he submitted or caused the submission of false claims to federal health care plans for FDA-approved versions of Remicade, Orencia, Prolia/Xgeva, Synvisc/Synvisc One, and Boniva when he had, in fact, administered non-FDA-approved, foreign versions of these medications.

In addition, the civil settlement resolves admissions that Whalen knowingly and intentionally prescribed controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, in violation of the Controlled Substances Act. Whalen permanently surrendered his controlled substance registrations with the DEA, surrendered his medical license, and will be excluded from participation in federal programs.

Whalen owned and operated Rheumatology Consultants, P.C., doing business as Whalen Rheumatology Group, with locations in Havertown, PA, Exton, PA, and Wilmington, DE. As part of his practice, Whalen used medications administrated by injection and infusion to treat his patients. These medications, including Remicade Synvisc, Synvisc-One, Orencia, Prolia/Xgeva, and Boniva, are made of living cells and are expensive. Rather than purchase FDA-approved versions of these medicines from authorized distributors, Whalen devised a scheme to purchase much cheaper foreign, non-FDA-approved versions of these medications. Unbeknownst to his patients, Whalen injected or infused them with the non-FDA-approved medications and then billed health care programs as if he had used the approved medications and pocketed approximately $1.1 million in illicit gains. (Read Here)

SIX INDICTED IN CONNECTION WITH MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR SCHEME TO BRIBE AMAZON EMPLOYEES AND CONTRACTORS

Consultants to Amazon Marketplace merchants paid over $100,000 in bribes to secure an unfair competitive advantage worth more than $100 million

Seattle – Six people have been indicted by a Grand Jury in the Western District of Washington with conspiring to pay over $100,000 in commercial bribes to Amazon employees and contractors, in exchange for an unfair competitive advantage on the Amazon Marketplace, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  EPHRAIM ROSENBERG, 45, of Brooklyn, New York; JOSEPH NILSEN, 31, and KRISTEN LECCESE, 32, of New York, New York; HADIS NUHANOVIC, 30, of Acworth, Georgia; ROHIT KADIMISETTY, 27, of Northridge, California; and NISHAD KUNJU, 31, of Hyderabad, India, are charged with conspiracy to use a communication facility to commit commercial bribery, conspiracy to access a protected computer without authorization, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud.  The defendants will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Seattle on October 15, 2020.

“As the world moves increasingly to online commerce, we must ensure that the marketplace is not corrupted with unfair advantages obtained by bribes and kick‑backs,” said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  “The ultimate victim from this criminal conduct is the buying public who get inferior or even dangerous goods that should have been removed from the marketplace.  I commend the investigators and cybersecurity experts who have worked to identify and indict those engaged in these illegal schemes.” (Read Here)

TWO INDIVIDUALS CHARGED WITH BRIBERY RELATED TO IRAQ CONTRACTS

Two individuals have been charged with bribery offenses in connection with Department of Defense contracts as part of the Fraud Section’s ongoing efforts to combat corruption and fraud in contracting on U.S. military installations overseas.

Mark Alan Fryday, 37, and Lara Jumaah Mohammed, 30, both residing in Erbil, Iraq, were charged in an indictment filed in the District of Columbia with one count of conspiracy and one count of bribery of a public official.

“This alleged bribery and kickback scheme sought to undermine the efforts of the Department of Defense to lawfully contract overseas,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt.  “Corruption undermines our military’s readiness and affects the wellbeing of our servicemembers, and the Department of Justice will continue to work to protect our men and women in uniform from corrupt and fraudulent conduct around the world.”

“My office is committed to protecting the integrity of government contracting and in particular stamping out corruption that threatens the U.S. military and its installations abroad,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin of the District of Columbia.  “This indictment, and our partnership with the Fraud Section on this case, is part of that effort.” (Read Here)

OPERATION LEGEND: CASE OF THE DAY

Ohio Man Charged with Illegally Dealing in Nearly 40 Firearms

Each weekday, the Department of Justice will highlight a case that has resulted from Operation Legend.  Today’s case is out of the Northern District of Ohio.  Operation Legend launched in Cleveland on July 29, 2020, in response to the city facing increased homicide and non-fatal shooting rates.

United States vs. Antwan Bohanon

An Ohio man was charged on Aug. 13, 2020, in federal court in the Northern District of Ohio with illegally dealing in firearms without a federal firearms license.

“This defendant is accused of dealing firearms in the city of Cleveland without a license,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman.  “He went to great lengths to acquire, advertise and sell firearms to many people in the city of Cleveland, including those who are prohibited under federal law from purchasing or possessing a gun.  In fact, some of the firearms that the defendant allegedly sold later appeared in separate criminal cases.  Even just one gun in the hands of someone who should not be in possession of a firearm can have dire consequences.”

According to court documents, Antwan Bohanon allegedly purchased multiple firearms outside of the city of Cleveland and later resold them inside of the city to various individuals, including some prohibited under federal law from purchasing or possessing a firearm.  Bohanon would often post images of his firearms for sale to his personal Instagram account at prices higher than market value.  According to the ATF affiant of the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, individuals who are unable to purchase firearms legitimately will frequently pay a much higher price to obtain one. (Read Here)

WARWICK MAN ADMITS TO CONSPIRE TO FRAUDULENTLY OBTAIN COVID-19 STIMULUS LOANS

PROVIDENCE – A Warwick man today admitted to a federal court judge that he participated in a conspiracy with a Massachusetts man to submit fraudulent bank loan applications to a Rhode Island bank in an effort to obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress to assist businesses impacted by the pandemic.

David Andrew Butziger, 52, admitted that he conspired with David Adler Staveley, a/k/a Kurt David Sanborn, a/k/a David Sanborn, 53, of Andover, MA, to seek forgivable loans guaranteed by the SBA, claiming to have dozens of employees earning wages at four different business, three restaurants and an electronics business, when, in fact, there were no employees working for any of the businesses.

Butziger admitted that he submitted a loan application to BankNewport under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the CARES Act passed by Congress on March 29,2000, on behalf of an unincorporated entity that he called Dock Wireless. The loan application was in the amount of $105,381.50 and fraudulently represented that Dock Wireless had 7 employees and an average monthly payroll of $42,152.60. According to the government, in truth and in fact, Dock Wireless had no employees and no wages were ever paid by Dock Wireless.

Butziger admitted that he conspired with Staveley who himself allegedly submitted three fraudulent bank loan applications for SBA loans under the PPP totaling $438,577. It is alleged that Staveley claimed the loans were to be used to pay employees at three restaurants he claimed to own and to be operating, including Top of the Bay and Remington House in Warwick and On The Trax in Berlin, MA. (Read Here)

FORMER MARINE AND CURRENT ILLINOIS STATE TROOPER CHARGED IN CONSPIRACY TO STEAL, SELL, AND SHIP GOVERNMENT PROPERTY

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Yorkville, IL man was arrested on charges of conspiracy, theft of government property, and interstate transportation of stolen goods.

According to court documents, Rafael Montalvo, 31, is a former Individual Material Readiness List (IMRL) Manager aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC, and a current Illinois State Trooper and member of the Illinois National Guard.  He conspired with others in and outside the State of North Carolina to steal government-owned avionics and electronic testing equipment from multiple Marine Aviation Squadrons, and ship the stolen goods interstate to buyers located in other states.  The conspiracy, alleged to have occurred between March 2018 and the present, is described as having used IMRL managers with access to the avionics equipment to steal from the military installations, and then either ship directly to Montalvo or to persons whom Montalvo directed.  Montalvo received payment from the buyer, and paid those who reportedly stole the equipment for him.

Montalvo is charged with violations of 18 U.S.C. § 641, theft of government property, 18 U.S.C. § 2314, interstate transportation of stolen goods, and 18 U.S.C. § 371, conspiracy to undertake those crimes.  He faces a maximum penalty of 300 months in prison if convicted.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, with assistance from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, is investigating the case.

A copy of this press release is located on our website.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

NAPERVILLE MAN ARRESTED ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGE FOR ALLEGEDLY ENTICING UNDERAGE BOY TO PRODUCE SEXUALLY EXPLICIT VIDEOS

CHICAGO — A Naperville man was arrested today on a federal child pornography charge for allegedly enticing an underage boy to produce sexually explicit videos and photos of himself.

JEREMIAH HARRIS, 21, contacted the underage boy on a social media application and repeatedly enticed him to produce sexually explicit videos and photographs of himself and send them to Harris, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  The minor victim informed Harris during their initial online encounter that he was 13 years old, the complaint states.

The complaint charges Harris with one count of producing child pornography.  He was arrested this morning and is scheduled to make an initial court appearance today at 2:00 p.m. CDT before U.S. Magistrate Judge M. David Weisman in Chicago.

The complaint was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The investigation was conducted by the FBI Chicago Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and Chicago Police Department.  The Crystal Lake Police Department and FBI Waco, Texas, Resident Agency provided valuable assistance.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher V. Parente. (Read Here)

DARK WEB CANNIBAL SENTENCED TO 40 YEARS FOLLOWED BY LIFETIME SUPERVISED RELEASE

Would-be Murderer and Child Rapist used the Dark Web to try Necrophilia and Cannibalism

BEAUMONT, Texas – A 23-year-old Joaquin, Texas man has been sentenced for child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox today.

Alexander Nathan Barter pleaded guilty on Dec. 20, 2019, to attempted coercion and enticement of a minor and distribution of child pornography and was sentenced to 480 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Michael Truncale.  Following the completion of his prison sentence, Barter was also ordered to submit to a lifetime of supervised release.

As part of his plea agreement with the government, Barter agreed to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count, with each party reserving the right to request that the terms be sentenced concurrently or consecutively.  Barter’s counsel requested that the Court impose a total term of imprisonment of 20 years; the government requested a sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment.

According to information introduced as part of Barter’s plea and at sentencing, in October 2018, Barter posted an ad on a dark web site stating, “I’d like to try necrophilia and cannibalism, and see how it feels to take a life.  If you’d be willing to let me kill you, are in the US (preferably in the south) and can travel by car, contact me.”  An undercover officer saw the ad and responded, utilizing the persona of a father with a 13-year old daughter.  Between October 9, 2018 and October 19, 2018, Barter and the undercover officer exchanged a series of messages that included Barter’s repeated interest in raping, killing, and eating the 13-year old child.  Barter provided the undercover with instructions on traveling from Florida to Shelby County, Texas, what to tell the child to get her acquiescence to travel, and how to conceal evidence of their crime.  On October 19, 2018, Barter arrived at the designated meet site in Joaquin, Texas with a knife, trash bag, cellular phone, and a tablet. (Read Here)

TEXAS MAN CHARGED IN MIAMI FEDERAL COURT WITH USING FALSE PAYROLL DOCUMENTS TO OBTAIN $1.2 MILLION IN COVID RELIEF

MIAMI – Texas resident Uzoamaka Leonard Ohaebosim, 46, has been charged in the Southern District of Florida with federal bank fraud and making false statements to a financial institution after allegedly lying about his movie company’s payroll expenses and obtaining $1.2 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.

Ohaebosim was arrested in Texas and made his initial appearance in federal court there today. Authorities have seized the money.

U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Kyle Myles of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of Investigation’s Atlanta Regional Office, Eastern Regional Office, Gary Smith, Special-Agent-in-Charge, Southern Field Division, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), Special Agent in Charge Michael J. De Palma of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (CI) Miami Office, and Special Agent in Charge Kevin A. Kupperbusch of the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA)-OIG, Investigations Division made the announcement. (Read Here)

SAUGERTIES MAN SENTENCED TO 70 YEARS FOR CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OFFENSES

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Matthew R. Osuba, age 35, of Saugerties, New York, was sentenced yesterday to 840 months in prison for sexually exploiting a child, and distributing and possessing child pornography.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

During Osuba’s August 2019 jury trial, evidence demonstrated that Osuba created and appeared in a video depicting sexually explicit conduct with a sleeping child.  He was also convicted of sending pornographic images of children over the internet, and possessing additional child pornography on his cell phone.

At sentencing, Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy found that Osuba had engaged in a pattern of sexual exploitation of children. Judge McAvoy found by a preponderance of the evidence that Osuba had sexually abused two additional children, each under the age of 5.

Judge McAvoy stated that Osuba’s 70-year term of imprisonment – the maximum permitted by law – was necessary to protect children and the public, because Osuba posed a significant risk of committing future child pornography offenses and “hands-on” child sexual abuse.  Judge McAvoy also imposed a 25-year term of supervised release to follow Osuba’s term of imprisonment, and ordered him to pay $3,000 in restitution to one of his victims. (Read Here)

FIVE INDIVIDUALS FACE FEDERAL CHARGES FOR DAMAGING U.S. COURTHOUSE DURING MAY 30, 2020 PROTEST IN LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Marshal Gary Schofield, and Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) announced today that five individuals are facing federal charges for causing damage to the Foley Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse on May 30, 2020.

“Agitators at the May 30 protest in downtown Las Vegas allegedly damaged a federal courthouse and threatened to attack a law enforcement officer,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “These cases should reinforce that our office will protect lawful First Amendment activity — while also upholding the rule of law by prosecuting those who would incite and escalate violence, vandalism, and destruction.”

“The FBI’s mission is to uphold the Constitution, which includes freedom of speech and the right to assemble,” said Special Agent in Charge Rouse. “A line was crossed in what was intended to be a peaceful protest in Las Vegas and federal property was destroyed as a result of the alleged actions of these subjects. We will continue working with our federal, state and local partners to ensure that those that destroy parts of our city are held accountable.”

“The United States Marshals have protected the Federal Judiciary since 1789. This investigation is part of a joint effort by many agencies,” said Marshal Schofield. “These arrests ensure that the community continues to have unfettered access to Justice.”

Alejandro Avalos (28), Alexander Kostan (21), Reginald Lewis (19), Kelton K. Simon (34), and Jeanette R. Wallace (24), all of Las Vegas, have been each charged in separate criminal complaints with one count of depredation against property of the United States. (Read Here)

SPRINGFIELD MAN SENTENCED TO MORE THAN 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOR SEX TRAFFICKING

BOSTON – A Springfield man was sentenced yesterday for sex trafficking female victims through a prostitution business.

William Coleman, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni to 186 months in prison and five years of supervised release. In February 2020, Coleman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and nine counts of sex trafficking. Coleman has been in custody since his arrest on Dec. 23, 2018.

“This sentence is a stern reminder of the consequences facing those involved in the unconscionable practice of sex trafficking,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “My office, in tandem with our law enforcement partners, remains steadfast in its resolve to eradicate illegal sex trafficking operations that prey on vulnerable victims.”

“This sentencing is yet another success in the fight against the crime of human trafficking in our region,” said Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Boston. “We applaud this sentence as a measure of justice for the victims who suffered often brutal sexual exploitation at the hands of Coleman through his web of illegal activity which covered multiple states. This case could never have been completed without the expert, close coordination of our concerned community of stakeholders in the Western Massachusetts Human Trafficking Working Group.” (Read Here)

LAUREL MAN CHARGED WITH COVID-19 RELIEF FRAUD IN CONNECTION WITH PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

BILLINGS—A Laurel man was arraigned today on an indictment alleging he attempted to illegally obtain $35,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal loan program created through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help businesses struggling with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said today.

Matthew Jason Welch, 38, pleaded not guilty to two counts of wire fraud as charged in an indictment filed on Aug. 21. An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

The indictment against Welch is the first PPP fraud case to be charged in Montana.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. Welch was released pending further proceedings.

The indictment alleges Welch attempted to unjustly enrich himself by submitting an application on April 23 to obtain a PPP loan under false and misleading pretenses by making false statements about his criminal history. It is also alleged he intended to use the loan proceeds to pay for restitution and other costs related to pending criminal cases against him. The indictment further alleges that Welch, in the name of Welch Sole Proprietorship, sought $35,000 in PPP funds to support payroll, lease and mortgage-interest costs and utility costs and that he falsely certified he was not subject to criminal charges. (Read Here)

FORMER HATBORO PASTOR SENTENCED TO 200 YEARS FOR SEXUALLY ABUSING AND RECORDING THE ABUSE OF AN INFANT AND YOUNG GIRL

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Jerry Zweitzig, 71, of Hatboro, PA, was sentenced to 200 years in prison and lifetime supervised release by United States District Court Judge Wendy Beetlestone for manufacturing and attempted manufacturing of child pornography. The charges stemmed from the defendant’s sexual abuse of an infant and a young girl under ten years of age, both of whom were in the defendant’s care at the time of the abuse. Zweitzig was a pastor at the Horsham Bible Church at the time of the abuse. He was sentenced for the charges in both cases today.

In the case involving the young girl, Zweitzig pleaded guilty to five counts of manufacturing and attempted manufacturing of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. The charges arose from the defendant’s sexual exploitation of the girl over a period of years, his photographing and videotaping of this sexual abuse, and his collection of more than 10,000 images of child pornography involving thousands of other children on four different hard drives found in his home. According to court documents, the collection included disturbing images of prepubescent children being raped by adult males, forced oral sex on babies and young girls by adult men and women, and insertion of objects into children – many of which show children crying and clearly in pain.

In the case involving the infant, Zweitzig pleaded guilty to one count of manufacturing and one count of attempted manufacturing of child pornography. The charges were based on a video that the defendant made in 2010 that depicts an infant under six months of age being coaxed to suck on adult male genitalia. In the video, Zweitzig’s voice can be heard repeatedly saying: “that’s a good boy.” (Read Here)

ULSTER COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH COVID-19 RELIEF FRAUD

Jean R. Lavanture Charged with Bank Fraud After Obtaining Nearly $5 Million in Loans

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Jean R. Lavanture, a/k/a Rudy Lavanture, age 47, of Saugerties, New York, was arrested today on a bank fraud complaint alleging that he fraudulently obtained nearly $5 million in government-backed loans meant for businesses struggling with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic. FBI agents arrested Lavanture this morning at a 8.54-acre New Jersey estate that he is alleged to have bought with the fraudulently obtained funds.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon; Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation; and Kevin Kupperbusch, Special Agent in Charge of the Eastern Region of the Office of Inspector General for the Small Business Administration (SBA-OIG).

Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon stated: “According to the complaint, Jean Lavanture stole millions of dollars from important government programs created to help struggling communities during the pandemic.  We are on the lookout for fraud, and we will use all available tools to prosecute those who lie, cheat, and steal from programs that America’s businesses and their employees so desperately need.” Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator Joshua R. Rosenthal added, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue fraudsters seeking to illegally exploit the ongoing coronavirus emergency.” (Read Here)

MEMBER OF NAVAJO NATION CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ABUSE OF MINOR IN INDIAN COUNTRY

ALBUQUERQUE – Ryan Kee Jones, 25, of Yatahey, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, appeared in federal court on September 16, 2020, on a criminal complaint charging him with aggravated sexual abuse of a minor in Indian Country.

According to the criminal complaint, during the spring of 2018, Jones sexually assaulted a minor, who was approximately 12-years old at the time. Over the next several months, according to the complaint, he allegedly sexually assaulted her multiple times. The abuse took place in Yatahey, New Mexico, in McKinley County, within the exterior boundaries of the Navajo Nation.

Jones was arrested on Sept. 15. He is currently in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing. Jones faces a mandatory minimum of 30 years’ imprisonment if convicted of the charged offense.

Criminal complaints are only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The Gallup office of the FBI investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Rozzoni is prosecuting the case.

GEORGIA MAN SENTENCED TO 28 YEARS FOR PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND SEXTORTING DOZENS OF GIRLS ONLINE

ATLANTA – Edward “Eddie” Okenica, who exploited dozens of girls online for his own sexual gratification, has been sentenced to 28 years of imprisonment after pleading guilty to multiple counts of producing child pornography.

“Okenica victimized dozens of girls as young as 12 years old from his home,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “He is a sexual predator who exploited the vulnerability and fragility of his victims by relying on the relative anonymity of social media platforms. This case is a reminder that sextortion remains a huge threat to our youth and to their families and parents need to remain vigilant to guard against it by monitoring their children’s social media activities.”

“The Internet can be used for education, entertainment, collaboration, or it can be a place where criminals and predators lurk waiting to pounce on unsuspecting users. That’s how Okenica used it. He spread his filth, victimizing countless innocent children, all the while thinking he was safe,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “Cases like this show these predators that there is no hiding from justice and HSI and its partners will work tirelessly to find and prosecute them.”

“The High Technology Crime Unit at the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is comprised of dedicated professionals who work diligently to build strong cases against criminals like Okenica who seek to target our children.  I am happy that the FCSO could help build a case that the U.S. Attorney’s Office could prosecute federally.  We will spare no expense or effort to identify and arrest anyone intent on preying on our most vulnerable,” said Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman. (Read Here)

ARIZONA MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER OF A FEDERAL TASK FORCE OFFICER

 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Robert Benjamin Nelson, 28, of Scottsdale, Arizona, made an initial appearance in federal court today on charges of attempted murder of a federal officer and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

According to a criminal complaint, during a law enforcement stop on Sept. 12, Nelson allegedly fired through the passenger-side window of his vehicle at a uniformed New Mexico State Police Officer working as part of a federal task force, causing injuries to her hands, face and eyes. He then allegedly fled the scene, but was pursued and stopped again by the officer, and was apprehended with the assistance of two Laguna police officers.

Nelson also faces a penalty of 10 years to life in prison for the charge of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and up to 20 years for attempted murder of a federal officer. A criminal complaint is only an accusation. A defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The FBI investigated this case in conjunction with the New Mexico State Police and the Albuquerque Multiagency Officer Involved Shooting Team. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Mysliwiec and Jack Burkhead are prosecuting the case.

FORMER VETERANS AFFAIRS DOCTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO THREE CIVIL RIGHTS OFFENSES

WASHINGTON — A doctor of osteopathic medicine who formerly worked at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Beckley, West Virginia, pleaded guilty today to three counts of depriving veterans of their civil rights under color of law by sexually abusing them.

Jonathan Yates, 51, of Bluefield, Virginia, was previously indicted on five counts of depriving veterans of their civil rights under color of law, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 242, and two counts of abusive sexual contact, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 2244(b).

At the change of plea hearing held today before U.S. District Judge Frank W. Volk, Yates admitted that he rubbed the genitals of two veterans, and digitally penetrated a third veteran’s rectum under the guise of legitimate medicine, when in fact he acted without a legitimate medical purpose.  This conduct, performed while Yates was acting under color of law in his capacity as a VA physician and a federal employee, deprived the veterans of their constitutional right to bodily integrity and caused them pain.  According to the plea documents, the veterans had sought treatment from Yates to manage chronic pain through osteopathic manipulative therapy.

“This doctor abused his position of trust by preying on veterans who came to him for medical treatment,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division.  “As this prosecution demonstrates, he will now be held accountable for using his position as a VA physician to deceive and molest his patients.” (Read Here)

FOUR CHARGED IN SCHEME TO STEAL MAIL AND COMMIT BANK FRAUD

NEWARK, N.J. – Four people were arrested today for their roles in a conspiracy to commit bank fraud, including soliciting U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employees to steal check books and credit cards from the mail, depositing fraudulent checks, including pandemic relief checks, and using credit cards without authorization, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Jeffrey Bennett, 26, of Irvington, New Jersey; Tashon Ragan, 21, of Hillside, New Jersey; Jahaad Flip, 21, and Janel Blackman, 41, both of Newark, are each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Ragan and Flip are also charged with one count of passing fictitious obligations, namely counterfeit Economic Impact Payment (EIP) checks.  Bennett and Ragan are also charged with one count each of aggravated identity theft.  All four defendants are scheduled to appear this afternoon via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From February 2019 to May 2020, a group that referred to themselves as the “Members,” and their associates, including Bennett, Flip, and Ragan, conspired to solicit and did solicit USPS employees, including Blackman, to steal U.S. mail containing checks, checkbooks, debit cards, and credit cards in exchange for cash. Once they received stolen checks, Bennett, Flip, Ragan, and others, fraudulently forged the signatures of the accountholders and negotiated the checks by making them payable to individuals, some of whom were New Jersey high school students, who had given the Members and their associates access to their accounts, also in exchange for cash. Bennett, Flip, and Ragan then attempted to and did deposit the fraudulent checks online and at various bank ATMs throughout New Jersey and later withdrew funds from the bank accounts before the victim banks could discover the fraud and decline the checks. Bennett also used the stolen credit cards to purchase gift cards or Apple products, which he then resold to generate additional proceeds from the scheme. Bennett, Flip, Ragan, and Blackman split the proceeds of the fraud among themselves. (Read Here)

TEXAS WOMAN SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS IN PRISON FOR HER ROLE IN INTERNATIONAL THAI SEX TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of WARALEE WANLESS, 41, to 144 months in prison for her role in a massive international sex trafficking organization that was responsible for coercing hundreds of Thai women to engage in commercial sex acts across the United States. WANLESS was sentenced on September 16, 2020, by Senior Judge Donovan Frank in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Following a six-week trial, on December 12, 2018, a federal jury convicted WANLESS and four other defendants for their roles in operating the sex trafficking enterprise. Thirty-one defendants pleaded guilty prior to the 2018 trial. To date, 30 defendants have been sentenced.

As proven at trial, the sex trafficking organization coerced hundreds of women from Bangkok, Thailand, to engage in commercial sex acts in various cities across the United States, including Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas, Seattle, and Austin. The trafficking victims were forced to participate in the criminal scheme through misleading promises of a better life in the United States and the ability to provide money to their families in Thailand. Once in the United States, the victims were sent to houses of prostitution, including several that WANLESS ran in Chicago, Dallas, and Washington, D.C., where they were forced to have sex with strangers – every day – for up to 12 hours a day, at times having sex with 10 men a day. The victims were isolated from the outside world, and their families in Thailand were threatened. (Read Here)

STATE-SPONSORED IRANIAN HACKERS INDICTED FOR COMPUTER INTRUSIONS AT U.S. SATELLITE COMPANIES

An indictment was unsealed today charging three computer hackers, all of whom were residents and nationals of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran), with engaging in a coordinated campaign of identity theft and hacking on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization, in order to steal critical information related to U.S. aerospace and satellite technology and resources.

“For the third time in three days, the Department has charged Iranian hackers,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.  “This case highlights the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ efforts to infiltrate the networks of American companies in search of valuable commercial information and intellectual property.  It is yet another effort by a rogue foreign nation to steal the fruits of this country’s hard work and expertise.”

“We will relentlessly pursue and expose those who seek to harm American companies and individuals wherever they reside in the world,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The use of malware, the theft of commercial data and intellectual property, and the use of social engineering to steal the identities of U.S. citizens to accomplish unlawful acts will not be tolerated. Along with our incredible and steadfast law enforcement partners, the Eastern District of Virginia continues to lead efforts to combat serious cybercrime globally and the charges outlined in the indictment exposing IRGC linked hacking operations in the United States are just another example of the fruits of our seamless teamwork.”

“Today’s charges are yet another example of the FBI’s dedication to investigating those who target and attempt to steal data and proprietary information from the U.S.,” said James A. Dawson, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “Today’s charges allege that these individuals conspired in a coordinated campaign with known IRGC members and acted at their direction. The defendants targeted thousands of individuals in an attempt to steal critical information related to U.S. aerospace and satellite technology. The FBI remains dedicated to protecting the U.S., and we continue to impose risk and consequences on cyber adversaries through our unique authorities, world-class capabilities, and enduring partnerships.”  (Read Here)

PORTLAND MAN CHARGED IN JUNE 26, 2020 ARSON AT PORTLAND POLICE BUREAU NORTH PRECINCT

PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that Gavaughn Gaquez Streeter-Hillerich, 22, has been charged by criminal complaint with two counts of using fire to maliciously damage and attempt to damage a building housing the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct and various private businesses on June 26, 2020.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours of June 26, 2020, a group of demonstrators were present near the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct on NE Emerson Street in Portland. The precinct is located in a city-owned building containing multiple private businesses. Streeter-Hillerich was seen in video footage intentionally setting a large dumpster on fire near the building’s northwest exterior corner. The fire was set on top of the dumpster, which had been pushed up against plywood affixed to the building to protect windows and prevent break-ins. Officers used fire extinguishers to try and extinguish the fire before firefighters arrived.

The fire caused damage to the building and, were it allowed to spread, would have threatened the safety of 15 police personnel and four individuals in custody inside the building. Video evidence of the fire submitted by a private citizen led investigators to identify Streeter-Hillerich and bring charges in this case. (Read Here)

FORMER ILLINOIS STATE SENATOR PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL TAX CHARGE

CHICAGO — Former Illinois State Sen. TERRANCE P. LINK pleaded guilty today to a federal tax charge and admitted willfully underreporting his income for several years.

Link admitted in a plea agreement that he willfully underreported his income on his tax returns for the calendar years 2012 through 2016.  The conduct caused total losses to the IRS of at least $71,133, and to the Illinois Department of Revenue of at least $11,527, the plea agreement states.  For the calendar year 2016, Link admitted that he underreported approximately $93,859, approximately $73,159 of which was money from a campaign fund – Friends of Terry Link – that Link spent on personal expenses, the plea agreement states.

Link, 73, pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return, which is punishable by up to three years in federal prison.  He agreed to pay restitution of $71,133 to the IRS, and $11,527 to the Illinois Department of Revenue.

U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., did not immediately set a sentencing date.  A status hearing was set for March 30, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.

The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in Chicago.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Stetler and James P. Durkin.

ALBANY COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO 80 YEARS FOR CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OFFENSES

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Douglas Fountain, age 31, of Colonie, New York, was sentenced yesterday to a total of 80 years in prison for 11 felony convictions, including sexually exploiting a child, transporting child pornography, and possessing child pornography.

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

As part of his guilty plea on August 15, 2019, Fountain admitted that on eight occasions between July 2017 and July 2018, he used cell phones to create videos and images of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, some of which included Fountain engaging in sexual acts with the minor.  Fountain also admitted to sharing some of those images on an image-sharing website operated from another country, and to possessing images of child pornography on his laptop computers, including images depicting the sexual abuse and exploitation of pre-pubescent girls.

This case was investigated by HSI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia G. Suarez. (Read Here)

MARYLAND MAN CHARGED WITH ARSON IN FEDERAL COURT FOR IGNITING POLICE CARS ON FIRE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT

Defendant Suffered Burns During Incident

            WASHINGTON – Cody Michael Tarner, 23, of Hagerstown, Maryland, was indicted by a federal grand jury with multiple offenses related to his burning of two police cars and the attempted burning of a third police vehicle, announced Michael R. Sherwin, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and Matthew R. Alcoke, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington Field Office Counterterrorism Division

On September 8, Tarner was indicted for Arson and Destruction of Government Property.  On August 17, 2020, the Honorable Judge G. Michael Harvey held Tarner without bond pending trial.

The indictment stems from an incident on July 15, 2020, when Tarner poured a liquid from a gas can onto three Supreme Court Police vehicles igniting two of the vehicles.  This also resulted in Tarner being engulfed in flames and suffering severe burns to himself.  A Supreme Court Police Officer immediately rendered first aid to Tarner. Tarner was subsequently hospitalized and was brought to court for his initial appearance on August 13, 2020, when he was released from the hospital.  Of the three police vehicles, one was completely burned, one was damaged, and the third did not catch fire.

An indictment is a formal finding by a grand jury that there is probable cause that the defendant committed the stated crimes; it is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. (Read Here)

UNITED STATES CITIZEN WHO JOINED ISIS CHARGED WITH MATERIAL SUPPORT VIOLATIONS

WASHINGTON – An indictment and arrest warrant were unsealed today in the federal court of the District of Columbia charging Lirim Sylejmani, a Kosovo-born naturalized U.S. citizen, with conspiring to provide, providing, and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization, and receiving training from ISIS, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2339B and 2339D.

Sylejmani was detained overseas by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and recently transferred into FBI custody.  Sylejmani made his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

“The United States is committed to holding accountable those who have left this country in order to join ISIS,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers.  “I want to thank the agents, analysts and prosecutors involved for their effort to hold the defendant responsible for his actions.” (Read Here)

ARGENTINE CITIZEN SENTENCED TO 35 YEARS IN PRISON FOR CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OVER THE DARK WEB

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Andres Rafael Viola, 36, an Argentine citizen residing in Las Vegas, was sentenced today to 35 years in federal prison for repeatedly sexually assaulting a child, producing images of the sexual abuse, and possessing hundreds of images and videos of child sexual assault, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Francisco Burrola for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD).

Viola pleaded guilty in February 2020 to sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography. In addition to imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Richard F. Boulware II sentenced Viola to a lifetime term of supervised release. Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Viola must register as a sex offender. Viola’s sentence also includes a $10,000 assessment pursuant to the Justice of Victims of Trafficking Act.

According to court documents, in May 2019, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a report from Yahoo, Inc. indicating that a user received child pornography sent by Viola, who was using the dark web Tor network to distribute images of child sexual assault. (Read Here)

ST. LOUIS DOCTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD  PORNOGRAPHY

ST. LOUIS, MO – United States District Judge John A. Ross accepted a plea, today, from 48-year-old Ashu Joshi. Joshi, a St. Louis resident, pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography.

According to a plea agreement, Joshi was 46 years old and a doctor when he began a relationship with a 16-year-old girl. Joshi met the girl through her mother. The mother was a former patient of the doctor’s in Kentucky. The doctor and victim had sex and took pornographic pictures. Both exchanged photos over Facebook messenger.

In October 2018, a St. Louis County Police Officer received four cyber-tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tips were first to the Bowling Green, KY Police Department. The BGPD then asked St. Louis County Police for help after investigators learned one of the parties lived in St. Louis County. (Read Here)

ROCHESTER MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEX TRAFFICKING MINORS FOR MONEY

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Quondall Davis, 26, of Rochester, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa to sex trafficking of a minor. The charge carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that between April 2017 and July 2018, the defendant, a/k/a Hotdog, recruited Minor Victim 1 and Minor Victim 2 to engage in commercial sex acts. Davis posted ads on “Cityxguide.com,” to entice customers to engage in commercial sex acts with the minor victims. Cityxguide.com is a website providing classified advertising across the United States and internationally. Minor Victim 1 and Minor Victim 2 each engaged in commercial sex acts and gave a portion of the profits the defendant. Davis knew that both victims were under the age of 18.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 18, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Siragusa.

FORMER BUSINESS EXECUTIVE SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR $4 MILLION BRIBERY SCHEME INVOLVING DOD CONTRACTS FOR WOUNDED MILITARY VETERANS

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Oregon man was sentenced today to 42 months in prison for his role in a $4 million bribery and fraud scheme related to a number of Department of Defense contracts to provide support services for the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded military veterans.

“Brodie Thomson’s greed caused him to put his own financial interests above the well-being of the wounded warriors,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “After receiving over $4 million in illegal kickbacks, Thomson admitted to attempting to obstruct the government’s investigation by creating fake business plans to make the kickback payments look like legitimate payments. Throughout the course of this investigation, Thomson made several poor and illegal decisions in an attempt to avoid being held accountable for his criminal conduct.”

According to court documents, Thomson, 45, of Redmond, a former executive for an Arlington company (referred to as Company A) solicited commercial bribes and kickbacks from an Oregon-based company (referred to as Company B), in exchange for influencing Company A to give favorable treatment to Company B in connection with the award of certain Defense Department subcontracts. From 2012 through 2015, Company A paid Company B over $16 million on labor that Company B performed for Company A in connection with running various athletic camps, clinics and games for wounded warriors around the United States. Thomson demanded that Company B pay him varying percentages of Company B’s profits on work received from Company A resulting in the payment of approximately $4.1 million in kickbacks during this three-year period. As part of the scheme to defraud Company A, Thomson directed employees of Company B how to mark up their invoices for labor when billing Company A for particular services Company B performed. Thomson did not disclose to Company A his receipt of the kickback payments from Company B for his own personal use. (Read Here)

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