Thursday Justice Files

Thursday Justice Files

BEAVERTON WOMAN CHARGED WITH CIVIL DISORDER AFTER TARGETING POLICE OFFICERS WITH HIGH-POWERED LASER

PORTLAND, Ore.—Eva Warner, aka Joshua Warner, 25, of Beaverton, Oregon, has been charged by criminal complaint with civil disorder, a felony, after targeting the eyes of multiple law enforcement officers with a high-powered laser during an August 8, 2020 riot in North Portland.

According to court documents, in the late evening on August 8, 2020, a riot was declared at the Portland Police Association office on North Lombard Street in Portland after individuals broke windows and set fire to the office. The crowd also used vehicles and dumpsters to illegally block nearby vehicle traffic.

Oregon State Police officers notified the Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team that Warner had directed a high-powered, green laser into the eyes of numerous law enforcement officers attempting to disperse the riot. Warner resisted arrest, prompting officers to use force. Officers found a black, pen-style laser pointer on Warner’s person. Warner was taken into custody and later released. (Read Here)

PORTLAND MAN CHARGED WITH CIVIL DISORDER AFTER TARGETING POLICE OFFICERS WITH HIGH-POWERED LASER

PORTLAND, Ore.—Hugo Ryan Berteau-Pavy, 26, of Portland, has been charged by criminal complaint with civil disorder, a felony, after targeting the eyes of multiple law enforcement officers with a high-powered laser during a June 13, 2020 civil disturbance in Portland.

According to court documents, at approximately 10:00 p.m. on June 13, 2020, a civil disturbance was declared when a crowd gathered around the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland. At approximately 10:50pm, local police began to clear the crowd. A Portland Police Bureau officer watching the crowd from the roof of the Justice Center observed two individuals, one later identified at Berteau-Pavy, standing in the middle of the street and repeatedly hitting several officers in the face with high-powered lasers.

The officer moved to a lower floor and was able to photograph Berteau-Pavy. The officer kept track of Berteau-Pavy as the crowd was dispersed. In the early morning hours of June 14, 2020, Berteau-Pavy joined a group of individuals marching from the Justice Center to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s personal residence. Berteau-Pavy was observed shining a laser at the Mayor’s residence and at other homes in neighborhood. The officer who originally spotted Berteau-Pavy with the laser, tracked his location until Berteau-Pavy was contacted by other officers and taken into custody. Berteau-Pavy was later released by state authorities. (Read Here)

WASHINGTON STATE MAN CHARGED WITH CIVIL DISORDER AFTER ASSAULTING PORTLAND POLICE OFFICER

PORTLAND, Ore.—Kristopher Michael Donnelly, 26, of Kelso, Washington, has been charged by criminal complaint with civil disorder after assaulting a local police officer and being arrested during East Portland riots on August 5 and 8, 2020.

According to court documents, at approximately 10:30pm on August 5, 2020, Donnelly was observed using a hammer to destroy a window at the police bureau’s East Precinct on Southeast 106th Avenue in Portland. Donnelly was spotted by police throwing hard objects capable of causing injury, refusing to disperse, and blocking traffic. When a Portland officer attempted to arrest Donnelly, he forcefully struck the officer in the face with his elbow. He continued to resist arrest, requiring several more officers to assist. Donnelly was eventually arrested by Portland Police for riot, second degree disorderly conduct, interfering with a public safety officer, assaulting a public safety officer, vandalism, and resisting arrest. (Read Here)

FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND THREE CONTRACTORS OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CHARGED WITH CONSPIRACY, FEDERAL BRIBERY, WIRE FRAUD AND MONEY LAUNDERING

Indictment Alleges Contract Bid-Rigging Scheme, Kickbacks and Money Laundering

Jackson, Miss. – Cerissa Renfroe Neal, 45, of Madison County, David B. Hunt, 54, of Jackson, Tennessee, Joseph Kyles, 51, of Memphis, Tennessee, and Lambert Martin, 59, of Memphis, Tennessee, have been charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and bribery, announced United States Attorney Mike Hurst, Special Agent in Charge Michelle A. Sutphin with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi, Special Agent in Charge Neil E. Sanchez with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, and Mississippi State Auditor Shad White.

The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury on February 25, 2020, and recently unsealed by a federal court, charges Cerissa Renfroe Neal, the former Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Education (“MDOE”), along with her co-defendants Joseph B. Kyles, David B. Hunt, and Lambert Martin, with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and seven counts of wire fraud. The indictment also charges Neal and Kyles with one count of money laundering.  Finally, Neal and Kyles are each also charged with three counts of bribery. (Read Here)

URGENT CARE PROVIDER CONVICTED OF HEALTH CARE FRAUD AND ORDERED TO PAY $12.5 MILLION

  PHOENIX, Ariz. – Last week, UCXtra Umbrella, LLC, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael T. Liburdi and ordered to pay $12,500,000 in restitution. UCXtra Umbrella, LLC, had previously pleaded guilty to health care fraud and engaging in monetary transactions derived from unlawful activity.

UCXtra Umbrella, LLC, which did business in Arizona under the name “Urgent Care Extra,” owned and operated a network of more than 30 urgent care centers, primarily in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.  From 2012 through 2016, more than one million patient visits occurred at UCXtra clinics in Arizona.

As part of its guilty plea, UCXtra admitted that it intentionally created patient care practices and billing procedures that caused its providers and staff to overstate the complexity of the medical services provided to patients and claim falsely inflated reimbursement rates from health insurance companies.  UCXtra also admitted that it encouraged providers and staff to order tests and procedures that may not have been medically necessary to justify higher billing codes and obtain higher reimbursement rates.  The estimated loss to health insurance companies caused by UCXtra’s health care fraud scheme is $12,500,000.  ( Read Here)

FBI SEEKING POTENTIAL VICTIMS IN JEFFREY PIERCE INVESTIGATION

KANSAS CITY, MO. – The FBI is asking for the public’s assistance to identify potential victims in the case of U. S. v Jeffrey Pierce. Pierce, a high school basketball coach at Seaman High School in Topeka, KS, was charged Sept. 2, 2020, with sexually exploiting minors. Using social networking platforms, Pierce is alleged to have contacted his victims while pretending to be a female teenager. He would then solicit explicit photos or videos from the juvenile victims.

Pierce used the following user/vanity names when contacting his victims through Instagram, Snapchat, KiK, and Grinder:

 

Instagram : addie8651, addiestrode111, Addie Strode, Kennedy Addison Strode (Read Here)

MARINA DEL REY MAN AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY TO WIRE FRAUD CHARGE THAT HIS FOREX TRADING BUSINESS INSTEAD WAS $3.3 MILLION PONZI SCHEME

LOS ANGELES – An accountant has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge that he ran a $3.3 million Ponzi scheme that falsely promised generous returns for foreign exchange currency investors, and he facilitated the scheme in part with money he embezzled from his former employer, the Justice Department announced today.

Steven F. Brown, 52, of Marina del Rey, agreed to plead guilty to a one-count criminal information charging him with wire fraud. The criminal information and a related plea agreement were filed on August 28 in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles, where Brown is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on September 15.

According to his plea agreement, Brown controlled and operated Alpha Trade Analytics, Inc., a financial consulting and investment company he largely ran out of his home. Neither Brown nor Alpha Trade was a registered broker or dealer in securities. Brown also served as the accountant for a non-profit organization providing dance and theater arts education to children and young adults in Los Angeles, and had access to its bank accounts. (Read Here)

SPRINGFIELD MAN SENTENCED TO 17 YEARS FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for receiving and distributing child pornography.

Marco Barraza, 28, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to 17 years and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Barraza to 20 years of supervised release following incarceration and ordered him to pay $39,000 in restitution to his victims. Barraza will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison and will be subject to federal and state sex offender registration requirements, which may apply throughout his life.

On Oct. 29, 2019, Barraza was found guilty at trial of one count of receiving and distributing child pornography. (Read Here)

GUATEMALAN MAN ILLEGALLY ENTERED U.S. 14 TIMES IN 20 YEARS

RICHMOND, Va. – A Guatemalan man was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for illegal reentry of an immigrant after a felony conviction.

“Over the past 22 years, Diego Tino-Calvo has illegally entered the United States at least 14 times, and has been convicted of multiple drunk driving offenses,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This recidivist behavior reflects a blatant disregard for our nation’s laws and borders, and represents a clear threat to public safety. The Department of Justice is committed to prioritizing criminal immigration enforcement, and this case reflects that continuing commitment.” (Read Here)

READING, PA WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEX TRAFFICKING CHILDREN

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Melissa Madera, 27, of Reading, PA pleaded guilty before United States District Court Judge Joseph F. Leeson, Jr. to multiple child exploitation and pornography offenses.

In August 2019, the defendant was charged by Indictment with two counts of sex trafficking minors, and one count each of distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography. The charges stem from Madera’s trafficking of two children, 15-year-old and 17-year-old girls, from about August until October 2017. Madera forced the girls to engage in commercial sex for her own financial gain, and also plied the minors with drugs like Ecstasy and cocaine to ensure their compliance. Sometimes the girls would not make it to school the following day because they had been given so many drugs the previous night. (Read Here)

FORMER TACOMA RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO PRODUCTION OF IMAGES OF CHILD RAPE AND ABUSE

Faces Pierce County charges for molesting young child

(Tacoma) – A former Tacoma resident, who was residing in South Bend, Indiana, at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran.  SAMUEL PHILLIPS, 27, faces a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison and up to 30 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle on December 7, 2020.

According to the plea agreement, in March 2018, PHILLIPS was residing in a Tacoma apartment with a child under the age of 5, when he made video recordings of the sexual abuse.  PHILLIPS relocated to Indiana in early 2019.  His spouse discovered the videos on his phone.  PHILLIPS was arrested by South Bend Police, who alerted the Tacoma Police Department.  PHILLIPS was charged federally with production of child pornography on April 30, 2019.  He is charged in state court with sexual abuse of the child.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. (Read Here)

NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY CHARGED WITH FRAUDULENTLY OBTAINING $9 MILLION IN LOANS MEANT TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

A New Jersey attorney was arrested today and charged with fraudulently obtaining approximately $9 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito of the District of New Jersey.

Jae H. Choi, 48, a licensed attorney of Cliffside Park, New Jersey, was charged by criminal complaint, unsealed today upon his arrest, in the District of New Jersey with three counts of bank fraud and one count of money laundering.

The complaint alleges that Choi submitted three fraudulent PPP loan applications to three different lenders on behalf of three different businesses that purportedly provided educational services.  The complaint also alleges that Choi fabricated the existence of hundreds of employees, manipulated bank and tax records, and falsified a driver’s license on the applications.

Choi allegedly falsely represented to the lenders that the companies controlled by him had hundreds of employees and paid over $3 million in monthly wages.  Based on Choi’s alleged misrepresentations, each lender funded each of the three businesses with an approximately $3 million PPP loan.  As a result, the complaint alleges that Choi received a total of nearly $9 million in federal COVID-19 emergency relief funds meant for distressed small businesses. (Read Here)

ZEPHYRHILLS MAN SENTENCED TO 150 YEARS FOR SEXUALLY EXPLOITING MULTIPLE YOUNG CHILDREN

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza today sentenced Edgar Johan Diaz-Colon (34, Zephyrhills) to 150 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting children. Diaz-Colon had pleaded guilty on April 22, 2020.

According to court documents and evidence presented at sentencing, in 2018 and 2019, Diaz-Colon sexually abused three young children. Two of the victims (who were then six and seven years old) lived near Diaz-Colon, and he lured them to the studio where he was staying. There, on multiple occasions, he repeatedly raped the children and forced them to perform sex acts on him. Diaz-Colon video-recorded some of those incidents. He also hit at least one of the children with a belt and taped her mouth shut when she cried for help. Diaz-Colon threatened to kill the child if she told her parents about his abuse.

The third victim was three years old when Diaz-Colon had abused her. In at least one instance, he video-recorded himself molesting the child. (Read Here)

DISBARRED ATTORNEY CHARGED IN WHITE PLAINS FEDERAL COURT FOR STEALING 9/11 VICTIM COMPENSATION FUNDS

Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Kenneth R. Dieffenbach, Special Agent in Charge of the Fraud Detection Office of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (“DOJ-OIG”), announced today the unsealing of a Complaint charging a disbarred attorney with theft of government funds.  GUSTAVO L. VILA, the defendant, allegedly stole approximately $1 million that the Department of Justice’s 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund had awarded to the defendant’s client, a 9/11 first responder.  The defendant was arrested today and presented in White Plains federal court before United States Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As alleged, Gustavo Vila stole money awarded to his client – an NYPD officer and 9/11 first responder – by the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.  Vila allegedly lied to his client, telling the client for more than three years that the money Vila stole had yet to be released by the Fund.  Further, Vila lied to his client about his standing, continuing to hold himself out as an attorney even after he had been disbarred.  Now Gustavo Vila has been charged with theft of government funds.”

DOJ-OIG Fraud Detection Office Special Agent in Charge Kenneth R. Dieffenbach said:  “Vila allegedly attempted to profit off of the suffering of a retired NYPD officer who risked his life at Ground Zero. Because of Vila’s alleged greed, the victim never received about $1 million he was awarded from the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.”

As alleged in the Complaint unsealed today in White Plains federal court[1]: (Read Here)

SUPERVISOR AT LONG ISLAND DRUG MANUFACTURER INDICTED FOR THEFT OF OVER A MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF MEDICAL PRODUCTS

Drugs for Equine Illness Allegedly Sold to Trainers and Veterinarians at New York Racetracks

An indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Central Islip charging Gregory Settino with theft of medical products and making a false statement to a federal agent.  Settino was arrested today and arraigned this afternoon via teleconference before United States Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay. Settino was released on a $250,000 bond.

Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Jeffrey Ebersole, Special Agent-in-Charge, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office (FDA-OCI), announced the arrest and charges.

“As alleged, Settino abused his supervisory position at a pharmaceuticals company to steal large quantities of equine drugs in order to enrich himself and without regard for how his sale of the medical products could potentially endanger the health of horses,” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme.  “The defendant then allegedly compounded his criminal conduct by lying to an FDA Special Agent to minimize the scope of his thefts.  Thanks to the combined efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FDA, this illicit pipeline of stolen drugs to vets and horse trainers has been shut down.” (Read Here)

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH CITY OF SAN ANTONIO FOR ILLEGALLY AUCTIONING SERVICEMEMBERS’ VEHICLES

The Justice Department today announced that it has reached an agreement with the City of San Antonio, Texas to resolve allegations that the city violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by auctioning or otherwise disposing of cars owned by protected servicemembers without first obtaining court orders.

Under the agreement, San Antonio must pay $47,000 to compensate two servicemembers who complained that the city unlawfully auctioned off their cars while they were in military service. The city must also establish a $150,000 settlement fund to compensate other servicemembers whose SCRA rights may have been violated and pay a $62,029 civil penalty to the U.S. Treasury.

The agreement, which is subject to court approval, resolves a suit filed today by the Department of Justice in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. (Read Here)

PENNSYLVANIA MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN PROVIDER AGREES TO PAY $2.25M TO RESOLVE ALLEGATIONS OF INFLATED PLAN BIDS

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Keystone Health Plan East, Inc. and QCC Insurance Company, Inc. (collectively referred to as “KHPE/QCC”), on behalf of parent company Independence Blue Cross, LLC (“IBC”), operator of Medicare Advantage plans, have agreed to pay a total of $2,250,000 plus interest to resolve False Claims Act allegations of incorrectly calculating anticipated plan costs, resulting in inflated Medicare Advantage plan bids to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”).

IBC operates a number of Medicare Advantage plans for Medicare beneficiaries, and is reimbursed by CMS, which pays IBC’s subsidiaries KHPE/QCC. Medicare Advantage plans are also sometimes called “Part C” or “MA Plans,” and include bundled coverage for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), and usually Medicare prescription drugs (Part D). KHPE/QCC submits annual bids that include anticipated costs for each Medicare Advantage plan to be offered the following year. The government alleges that KHPE/QCC incorrectly calculated its actual prior costs in the financial plan bids submitted to CMS for contract years 2009 and 2010. The incorrect and inflated prior cost data resulted in higher base amounts in KHPE/QCC’s Medicare Advantage plan bids, causing CMS to pay inflated reimbursement to KHPE/QCC. The United States contends that these claims were false in light of defendant’s conduct. (Read Here)

CALIFORNIA MAN ADMITS TO SECURITIES AND TAX OFFENSES RELATED TO $722 MILLION BITCLUB NETWORK FRAUD SCHEME

NEWARK, N.J. – A California man today admitted to conspiring to offer and sell unregistered securities and to subscribing to a false tax return in connection with his role in the BitClub Network, a cryptocurrency mining scheme worth at least $722 million, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Joseph Frank Abel, 50, of Camarillo, California, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to count two of the indictment, charging him with conspiracy to offer and sell unregistered securities. He also pleaded guilty to a separate information charging him with subscribing to a false tax return for the tax year 2017.

Abel and four codefendants – Matthew Brent Goettsche, Russ Albert Medlin, Jobadiah Sinclair Weeks, and Joseph Frank Abel – were charged by indictment in December 2019. (Read Here)

NEW YORK HEDGE FUND FOUNDER ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH FRAUD, EXTORTION, AND OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE IN CONNECTION WITH NEIMAN MARCUS BANKRUPTCY

Daniel Kamensky Allegedly Extorted a Rival Bidder to Abandon a Higher Bid and Engaged in Obstruction of Justice by Asking the Rival Bidder to Cover Up the Crime

Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today that DANIEL KAMENSKY, the founder and manager of New York-based hedge fund Marble Ridge Capital (“Marble Ridge”), was charged in a Complaint in Manhattan federal court with securities fraud, wire fraud, extortion, and obstruction of justice.  KAMENSKY’s alleged criminal acts occurred  in connection with his scheme to pressure a rival bidder to abandon its higher bid for assets in connection with Neiman Marcus’s bankruptcy proceedings so that Marble Ridge could obtain those assets for a lower price.  KAMENSKY then attempted to persuade the rival bidder to cover up the scheme.  KAMENSKY was arrested today and is expected to be presented before Magistrate Judge James L. Cott this afternoon.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As alleged, Daniel Kamensky disregarded his fiduciary responsibility to unsecured creditors of Neiman Marcus – and broke the law – when he attempted to coerce a competitor to withdraw a higher bid for assets of the bankruptcy estate.  As further alleged, acknowledging the illegality of his actions, Kamensky then attempted to obstruct an investigation by trying to persuade the competitor to change his account of the coercion, telling the competitor that otherwise ‘this is going to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.’  As today’s charges show, Kamensky was right about that.” (Read Here)

U.S. ARMY MAJOR CONVICTED ON FEDERAL CHARGE OF PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Juvenile victims captured in images from hidden camera

AUGUSTA, GA:  A U.S. Army major assigned to the U.S. Army Cyber Command at Fort Gordon, Ga., has admitted to producing child pornography.

Jason Michael Musgrove, 40, of Grovetown, pled guilty in U.S. District Court to an Information charging him with Production of Child Pornography, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charge carries a possible penalty of up to 30 years in prison along with substantial fines and restitution to victims in the case, followed by a period of supervised release.

There is no parole in the federal system.

At the time of his December 2019 arrest, Musgrove was an Integrated Threat Operations Officer with Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information clearance, assigned to the Army Cyber Joint Headquarters at Fort Gordon. (Read Here)

VENTURA COUNTY MAN ARRESTED ON FEDERAL INDICTMENT FOR ALLEGED ATTEMPTED ENTICEMENT OF MINORS TO PRODUCE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

 LOS ANGELES – A Ventura County man was arrested today by FBI special agents on a five-count federal grand jury indictment charging him with using the Skype internet messenger service to pay facilitators overseas to livestream the sexual and physical abuse of female minors.

William Hayes, 57, of Newbury Park, whose online aliases include “ko hong,” “hokong69,” and “brianwilson2461,” is charged with one count of attempted production of child pornography, two counts of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, and two counts of possession of child pornography.

Hayes is expected to make his initial appearance in United States District Court this afternoon.

According to the indictment, from April 2017 to August 2019, Hayes used Skype to attempt to entice underage girls to engage in illicit sexual activity that would be livestreamed on the internet for him to watch. Hayes allegedly offered to pay money after the acts were livestreamed. In other messages, he offered to pay to have acts of torture and cruelty inflicted on the minors, the indictment alleges. (Read Here)

INTERNATIONAL MONEY LAUNDERING, DRUG TRAFFICKING AND ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE OPERATION DISMANTLED

Millions in gold, silver, jewels, cash, and illegally traded wildlife seized after multiple nationwide search warrants

SAVANNAH, GA:  An international conspiracy that profited from drug trafficking and the illegal wildlife trade and conspired to hide the illegal nature of the proceeds has been shut down in a multi-agency law enforcement operation.

Initiated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Operation Apex brought together multiple agencies under the umbrella of the Organized Crime Drug Task Forces (OCDETF) to target two businesses, in Florida and California, and a dozen individual defendants whose activities included international trade in illegal wildlife products, trafficking in marijuana, and a money laundering conspiracy to disguise the massive proceeds of the unlawful activities that spanned at least a 10-year period, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

Following the unsealing of an indictment in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested 12 defendants and conducted 22 federal search warrants from coast to coast, including the Southern District of Georgia, the Northern District of Georgia, the Northern District of Florida, the Eastern District of Michigan, the Central District of California, and the Northern District of California. (Read Here)

ONE PERSON INDICTED, SECOND PERSON TO PLEAD GUILTY IN COVID-19 STIMULUS FRAUD INVESTIGATION

PROVIDENCE – A Massachusetts man who failed to appear in federal court in Rhode Island and who allegedly faked his own death after being charged and arraigned on fraud and conspiracy charges for his alleged participation in a conspiracy to file bank loan applications fraudulently seeking more than a half-million dollars in forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Providence.

David Adler Staveley, a/k/a Kurt David Sanborn, a/k/a David Sanborn, 53, of Andover, MA, has been indicted on three counts of bank fraud and one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, false statements to influence the SBA, aggravated identity theft, and failure to appear in court as required.

According to an information and plea agreement filed with the court, alleged co-conspirator David Andrew Butziger, 52, of Warwick RI, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. A court date has not yet been scheduled. (Read Here)

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