Financial Fraud: David H. DeMathews Sentenced for Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

Columbus Businessman Sentenced to 142 Months for Wire Fraud, Money Laundering

COLUMBUS, Ohio – David H. DeMathews, 63, of Columbus, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 142 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $730,000 in restitution for one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

Benjamin C. Glassman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division, announced the sentence handed down today by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.

DeMathews used his positions as Director of National Accounts and Executive Vice President of American Escrow and Title Services, Inc. (AETS), and President of DEMCO Advisory Corporation (DEMCO) to execute a financial fraud scheme.

DeMathews told some victims he would invest their money in the construction of multi-million dollar buildings that were supposed to generate repayment to the investors. He promised some victims he would invest their money in Starbucks franchise opportunities in Central America, hospital projects in Panama and Nicaragua, and a water treatment plant in Florida.

He also used some victims’ investments to make partial repayments to other victims, in order to convince those victims that AETS and DEMCO were generating income, and to encourage those victims to make additional investments in AETS and DEMCO.

From 2009 through April 2014, DeMathews had no legitimate income of any kind. He received approximately $911,000 for the purpose of executing his scheme, and misappropriated those funds for primarily his personal use. Those personal expenditures included, but were not limited to: mortgage payments on two houses, numerous lavish big game hunting trips and other vacations to Europe and South Africa, expensive retail purchases, and effectively all of the defendant’s daily living expenses.

DeMathews also used the investors’ money to satisfy monthly restitution payment obligations ordered in the amount of approximately $3.7 million related to a federal criminal case in the Central District of California, in which he was convicted of multiple counts of loan and credit application fraud in April 2000.

“Mr. DeMathews is responsible not only for wiping away the financial resources of many families—the effects of which will be felt for years to come—but also for causing profound levels of stress and emotional injury,” Acting U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “He preyed on vulnerable victims. For example, he induced a mentally incompetent woman to invest her engagement ring. Another victim was forced to surrender individual life insurance policies, before being diagnosed with cancer and learning that he did not have long to live and would be leaving his family with no means of financial stability.”

To carry out his most recent scheme, DeMathews fraudulently: created at least two shell companies; had business cards made; provided paperwork from foreign companies and governments that were written in different languages; continuously sent emails to the victims convincing them that he was traveling and working very hard to get the alleged projects secured; had others open bank accounts for him so that he never had any identifiable assets in his name; laundered victim money to pay his $200 monthly restitution obligation for his 2000 fraud conviction in the Central District of California; requested that Google suppress search results related to his prior federal convictions on similar charges so that his victims could not easily discover his past charges; advised victims that he was the President of DEMCO and doctored a letterhead to perpetrate his fraud and provided complex blueprints and similar documents to victims to convince them that he was working on specific projects.

He was indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2015 and pleaded guilty in March 2016.

Acting U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, and Assistant United States Attorney Jessica H. Kim, who is prosecuting the case.

Original PressReleases …

Bankruptcy: Elpidio Gongora Guilty Plea to a Scheme Involving Defrauding Personal Injury Clients, Tax Evasion and Hiding Assets from U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee

Bankruptcy

San Antonio Businessman Enters Guilty Plea to a Scheme Involving Defrauding Personal Injury Clients, Tax Evasion and Hiding Assets from U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee

In San Antonio this morning, 47-year-old San Antonio businessman Elpidio Gongora (aka “Pete Gongora”) pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with a scheme to defraud personal injury clients; evading payment of more than $1.6 million in taxes; and, attempting to hide assets valued at $429,000 from the Bankruptcy Trustee.  That announcement was made today by United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.; Christopher Combs, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge of the San Antonio Division; William Cotter, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge; and, Judy A. Robbins, U.S. Trustee for the Southern and Western Districts of Texas.

Appearing before United States District Judge Fred Biery, Gongora pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, one count of bankruptcy fraud, and one count of tax evasion.  According to court documents, from 2009 through 2014, Gongora, aided and abetted by his co-defendants–Rosa Ramirez, Juan Rodriguez, and Ronald Higgins–operated the law offices of several personal injury attorneys, including the Law Office of Ronald Higgins in the city of San Antonio and elsewhere in Texas, Arkansas and New Mexico.  Ramirez, age 49 of San Antonio, Rodriguez, age 48 of San Antonio, and Higgins, age 55 formerly of San Antonio, await jury selection and trial currently scheduled for September 12th.  All three are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.  Ramirez is also charged with five counts of mail fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft.

By pleading guilty, Gongora admitted that he stole money from the personal injury clients by failing to pay monies owed to clients under settlement agreements or to pay obligations for medical treatment and physical therapy after committing to do so.  To carry out this scheme, Gongora collected the proceeds of fraudulently endorsed personal injury settlement checks and would hide from the attorneys his failure to pay clients settlement proceeds to which they were entitled.

In 2013, Gongora and his wife filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in the Western District of Texas.  By pleading guilty, Gongora admitted to his failure to disclose to the Bankruptcy Trustee that he owned personal assets that included a 33-foot Chris Craft cabin cruiser; a 29-foot 2005 Seaswirl boat; a 2005 Ford F-150 truck; real property located on Elm Valley in San Antonio; and, a residence located in Aransas Pass, TX.

By pleading guilty, Gongora also admitted that he willfully attempted to evade paying over $1.6 million in taxes, penalties and interest owed to the Internal Revenue Service for calendar years 2003 through 2005 and 2007 through 2013.

Gongora faces up to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud; up to five years imprisonment for bankruptcy fraud; and, up to five years imprisonment for tax evasion.

This investigation was conducted by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and the U.S. Trustee’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Bud Paulissen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  Ramirez, Rodriguez and Higgins are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Original PressReleases …

 

Cyber Crime: Ramon Batista, Edwin Fana and Jose Santana Charged For Cell Phone Fraud Scheme

International Cell Phone Fraud Scheme

Defendants Charged with Participating in Sophisticated International Cell Phone Fraud Scheme

Criminal charges were unsealed against multiple defendants relating to their participation in a sophisticated global cell phone fraud scheme, involving the takeover or compromise of cell phone customers’ accounts and the “cloning” of their phones to make fraudulent international calls.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office made the announcement.

Ramon Batista, aka Porfirio, 49, of Orlando, Florida; Edwin Fana, 36, of Miami Gardens, Florida; and Jose Santana, aka Octavio Perez, 52, of Royal Palm Beach, Florida, made their initial appearances in court this week after being arrested or self-surrendering.  Batista, Fana and Santana were each charged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; access device fraud; the use, production or possession of modified telecommunications instruments; and the use or possession of hardware or software configured to obtain telecommunications services, as well as additional counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators participated in a scheme to steal access to and fraudulently open new cell phone accounts using the personal information of individuals around the United States.  The conspirators then trafficked in the cell phone customers’ telecommunication identifying information, using that data as well as other software and hardware to reprogram cell phones that they controlled to transmit thousands of international calls to Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and other countries with high calling rates.  The calls were billed to the victims’ compromised accounts.

Moreover, according to allegations in the indictment, as part of the scheme, the conspirators used the reprogrammed cell phones and additional telecommunications equipment to run illegal call-termination businesses—contracting with calling card companies, Voice over Internet Protocol providers and other telecommunications companies nationwide—in which the defendants routed international calls for payment and then transmitted those calls through the reprogrammed phones without paying for access to the phone companies’ networks.  In so doing, they pushed costs from themselves to cell phone customers around the country and those customers’ cell phone providers, which typically absorbed the costs for the fraudulent international calls, according to the indictment.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations.  The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The FBI investigated the case, dubbed Operation Toll Free, which is part of the bureau’s ongoing effort to combat large-scale telecommunications fraud.  Senior Counsel Matthew A. Lamberti of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared M. Strauss of the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the case.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Financial Fraud: Albert Shih-Der Chang Was Arrested For Mail Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

Mail Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

FBI Arrests Dallas Technology Company’s Former Lead Systems Engineer on Mail Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

DALLAS — Albert Shih-Der Chang, a former Lead Systems Engineer for a Dallas technology company known as One Technologies, was arrested at his residence in Fairview, Texas, this morning by special agents with the FBI on an indictment charging federal felony offenses stemming from his approximate $2.4 million theft or embezzlement from the company, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

A federal grand jury in Dallas returned the 11-count indictment yesterday charging Chang with 10 counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.  Chang, 35, made his initial appearance in federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renée Harris Toliver and was released on bond with conditions.

According to the indictment, from approximately October 4, 2004, through August 15, 2014, Chang worked for One Technologies, initially as its Network/Systems Administrator and later as its Lead Systems Engineer.

The indictment alleges that from approximately June 2008 through August 2014, Chang devised and ran a scheme to defraud One Technologies by causing the company to pay more than $2.4 million as a result of his false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises.  Chang caused One Technologies to transfer funds, based on material representations, to financial accounts he controlled, and Chang caused One Technologies to purchase products, purportedly for the company’s use, that Chang later converted to his own use.

To carry out his scheme, Chang allegedly created fictitious companies and opened bank accounts or PayPal accounts for them, rented mailboxes for them, and contracted for virtual offices for them with mail forwarding services.  He also created and submitted fictitious purchase requisitions, orders, invoices, and receipts that One Technologies paid.

The money laundering count alleges that from approximately April 15, 2013, until May 30, 2013, Chang wired-transferred nearly $300,000 from his joint account at Chase Bank to a title company to purchase a residence on Stone Hinge Drive in Fairview, and that funds transfer involved the proceeds of the fraud.

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.  However, if convicted, the maximum statutory penalty for each mail fraud count is 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.  The money laundering count, upon conviction, carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.  Restitution could also be ordered.  The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation that would require the defendant, upon conviction, to forfeit any property that constitutes or was derived from proceeds traceable to the fraud, including his residence in Fairview.

The FBI is in charge of the investigation and the Fairview Police Department assisted with the arrest.  Assistant U.S. Attorney C.S. Heath is in charge of the prosecution.

Michael Danilovich Sentenced For Racketeering, Health Care Fraud, Securities Fraud, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, And Money Laundering

Racketeering, Health Care Fraud, Securities Fraud, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, And Money Laundering

Michael Danilovich Sentenced To 25 Years For Racketeering, Health Care Fraud, Securities Fraud, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, And Money Laundering

Racketeering Conviction Included Largest No-Fault Insurance Fraud Scheme Ever Charged

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MICHAEL DANILOVICH was sentenced today to 25 years in prison in connection with his conviction for 16 counts of racketeering conspiracy, securities fraud, health care fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering charges following a five-week jury trial.  The jury convicted DANILOVICH of racketeering arising out of his operation, from 2007 through 2012, of the largest single no-fault automobile insurance fraud scheme ever charged; his operation, from 2007 to 2009, of two investment fraud schemes, Lyons Ward & Associates and the Rockford Group; and his attempted operation, from 2011 to 2012, of a third investment fraud scheme, Baron & Caplan Association, including after he was arrested and released on bail in this case.  DANILOVICH was sentenced today by United States District Judge Deborah A. Batts, who presided over the trial.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “Michael Danilovich made a career out of defrauding people.  From running the largest no-fault insurance fraud scheme in the country to operating multi-million dollar investment frauds, Danilovich’s deception was wide-ranging.  Thanks to the outstanding work of the FBI and the NYPD, Danilovich’s career of crime has been put to an end.”

According to the Superseding Indictment, evidence admitted at trial, court filings, and statements made in open court:

From 2007 through 2012, DANILOVICH was a leader of an enterprise engaged in a pattern of racketeering that included a massive scheme to defraud automobile insurance companies under New York’s no-fault insurance law, multiple securities fraud schemes, money laundering, and the operation of illegal gambling businesses.

Under New York State law, every vehicle registered in the state is required to have no-fault automobile insurance, which enables the driver and passengers of a registered and insured vehicle to obtain benefits of up to $50,000 per person for injuries sustained in an automobile accident, regardless of fault (the “No-Fault Law”).  The No-Fault Law requires prompt payment for medical treatment, thereby obviating the need for claimants to file personal injury lawsuits in order to be reimbursed.  Under the No-Fault Law, patients can assign their right to reimbursement from an insurance company to others, including medical clinics that provide treatment for their injuries.  New York State law also requires that all medical clinics in the state be incorporated, owned, operated, and controlled by a licensed medical practitioner in order to be eligible for reimbursement under the No-Fault Law.  Insurance companies will not honor claims for medical treatments from a medical clinic that is not actually owned, operated, and controlled by a licensed medical professional.

From 2007 through 2012, DANILOVICH’s organization defrauded automobile insurance companies of more than $100 million by, among other things, creating and operating medical clinics that provided unnecessary and excessive medical treatments in order to take advantage of the No-Fault Law.  In addition, Danilovich’s organization fraudulently owned and controlled more than a dozen medical professional corporations (“PCs”) – including no fault clinics, MRI offices, and acupuncture and chiropractic PCs – by paying licensed medical professionals to use their licenses to incorporate the professional corporations.  DANILOVICH and his co-conspirators paid kickbacks of thousands of dollars to runners to recruit patients to receive the same battery of tests and treatments, and received kickbacks from other co-conspirators for referring patients for additional unnecessary treatments.  All told, Danilovich’s organization billed insurance companies for tens of millions of dollars in fraudulent medical treatments.  Furthermore, DANILOVICH and his co-conspirators laundered the proceeds of the fraud through check-cashing entities and shell companies, and used the money to pay for luxury cars, watches, and vacations.

In addition to the no-fault insurance fraud scheme, DANILOVICH was convicted for operating two investment fraud schemes that swindled innocent victims out of nearly $18 million.  Both schemes – Lyons Ward & Associates and the Rockford Group – purported to be settlement claims funding companies that invested in lawsuits in return for a portion of future settlements.  DANILOVICH also attempted to operate a third scheme, Baron & Caplan Association, including after he was arrested and released on bail in this case.  As part of these schemes, DANILOVICH and his co-conspirators created bogus documents and account statements used by cold-callers to solicit victims through false representations.  In reality, there was no investment fund at all; instead, DANILOVICH and his co-conspirators simply stole the money invested by victims and laundered the proceeds by wiring them overseas to shell companies in Eastern Europe, which were then turned into cash in the United States.

DANILOVICH’s organization also operated high-stakes illegal poker games and illegal sports books.

[separator type=”thin”]

At DANILOVICH’s first trial in the fall of 2013, a mistrial was declared after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on all counts.

On March 19, 2015, co-defendant Mikhail Zemlyansky was convicted following a four-week trial before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken of six counts of racketeering conspiracy, securities fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud charges, related to the crimes committed by the Zemlyansky/Danilovich Organization.  On January 28, 2016, Judge Oekten sentenced Zemlyansky to 15 years in prison.

Mr. Bharara thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department for their continued outstanding work in this investigation.  Mr. Bharara also thanked the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the investigative units of the insurance companies, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and the Alabama Securities Commission for their valuable assistance with the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent & Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel S. Noble, Joshua A. Naftalis, and Jaimie L. Nawaday are in charge of the prosecution.

Financial Fraud: Wafa Abboud, Marcelle P. Bailey and Rami Misbah Taha Indicted For Embezzling And Laundering From Charity

Embezzling And Laundering From Charity

Former Executive Director And Two Co-Defendants Indicted For Embezzling And Laundering Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars From Charity

On Friday, July 15, 2016, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn returned a seven-count indictment charging Wafa Abboud, the former executive director of a charity that provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities, and Marcelle P. Bailey and Rami Misbah Taha, with embezzling and laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars from that charity for Abboud’s  personal use.  The defendants were also charged with bank fraud in connection with Abboud’s purchase of her residence in Merrick, New York.

The charges were announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Eric Schneiderman, New York State Attorney General; and Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.

As is alleged in the federal indictment, between January 2011 and her termination in May 2016, Abboud served as the Executive Director of Human First, Inc. (Human First), a not-for-profit social services provider based in Nassau County, New York, that provided services to children and young adults with autism and other development disabilities throughout the metropolitan New York City area.

The government’s investigation revealed that, during the relevant period, Abboud directed Human First to pay approximately $900,000 in purported consulting fees to a company controlled by her co-defendant, Bailey.  Abboud, in turn, used hundreds of thousands of dollars of these funds to pay her personal expenses, including more than $114,000 in personal credit card debt, which included charges for cosmetic surgery, family vacations, jewelry, meals, and spa treatments.  She also used the funds to pay property taxes on her Merrick residence and to make large international wire transfers.

In December 2014, Abboud purchased the Merrick residence for $1.3 million, making a down payment of $340,000.  In the months prior to that purchase, she authorized hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from Human First to companies controlled by her co-defendant Taha, payments that were purportedly for renovation work being performed on Human First owned properties.  Instead, those funds were re-routed to Abboud and used to fund the down payment on her residence.  Similarly, between April and December 2015, Abboud directed Human First to pay more than $400,000 to Taha-controlled entities, the vast majority of which were then transferred to a construction company as a payment for renovations on Abboud’s residence.

Abboud, Bailey, and Taha are also charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud in connection with false statements they made to secure the $1 million mortgage on Abboud’s residence.

United States Attorney Capers stated, “Embezzlement of public funds meant to aid individuals with developmental disabilities impacts some of the most vulnerable members of our community.  With this indictment, we serve notice that those who engage in such crimes will be vigorously investigated and held to account.”   Mr. Capers extended his grateful appreciation to the New York State Office of the Inspector General for its assistance.

“The crimes alleged by state and federal prosecutors are troubling, particularly because they involve funds intended to benefit the developmentally disabled community,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.  “When individuals embezzle funds intended for a charitable purpose it undermines the mission of the charity and harms all donors and honest non-profit organizations.”

“As alleged, Wafa Abboud embezzled and laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars from a charity she was entrusted to run over a time period of five years.  Abboud used co-conspirators to help her steal funds that were intended to help children with disabilities; instead the funds were used to finance a lavish lifestyle.  Corruption is corruption wherever it exists.  The FBI is committed to investigating and rooting it out, whether it happens in a public office or a nonprofit organization,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Rodriguez.

The charges announced today are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted of the embezzlement charges, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.  If convicted of conspiracy to embezzle public funds, the defendants face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.  If convicted of bank fraud or conspiracy to commit bank fraud, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 30 years.  If convicted of conducting an unlawful monetary transaction over $10,000, the defendants Abboud and Taha face a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Integrity Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Polemeni and Nathan Reilly, along with Special Assistant United States Attorney John Chiara (Special Counsel, Office of the New York State Attorney General) are in charge of the prosecution.

 

The Defendants:

WAFA ABBOUD
Age: 48
Merrick, New York

MARCELLE P. BAILEY
Age: 49
Floral Park, New York

RAMI MISBAH TAHA
Age: 39
Bronx, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 16-CR-396

Original PressReleases …

Financial Fraud: Laquitta S. Brackins Sentenced For Mail and Wire Fraud by Defrauding a Cell Phone Insurance Provider

Insurance Fraud

Defendant Receives Lengthy Sentence for Cell Phone Insurance Fraud

ATLANTA – Laquitta S. Brackins has been sentenced to federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud by defrauding a cell phone insurance provider.  Brackins, along with a co-conspirator, filed thousands of false insurance claims on cell phones that did not belong to them and received over $1.6 million worth of cell phones from those claims.

“Cell phone insurance fraud drives up costs for all cell phone consumers,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn.  “These defendants submitted thousands of fraudulent claims in the hope they could profit before anyone noticed.”

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Brackins and co-conspirator Nicholas L. Johnson defrauded Asurion Protection Services, LLC, and its cellular service provider clients, by submitting fraudulent cell phone insurance claims. Together, they obtained over $1.6 million worth of cell phones.

As part of the conspiracy, Brackins recruited cell phone subscribers from the Atlanta area and also traveled out of state to find individuals willing to allow her to use their cell phone contracts in her scheme.  The defendants also used false identification documents and forged cell phone bills to file fraudulent claims with Asurion.  Under Asurion’s insurance program, subscribers receive replacement phones to replace lost or stolen phones covered by the insurance.  Brackins was linked with over 3,600 fraudulent submissions and she received over 2,900 phones as a result.  After the defendants received the fraudulent phones, they and others involved in the scheme sold the phones to electronic wholesalers in the Atlanta area.  Once she was indicted, Brackins fled and lived under false names at various hotels.  She continued the scheme, having fraudulently obtained phones sent to her at the hotels.

Laquitta S. Brackins, 35, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones to seven years, three months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,617,629.  Brackins was convicted on these charges on April 19, 2016, after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, as well as to substantive mail and wire fraud counts.

Judge Jones previously sentenced Nicholas L. Johnson, 33, of Atlanta, Georgia, on March 29, 2016, to one year, nine months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and he was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $191,093.  Johnson was convicted of these charges on January 4, 2016, after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, as well as to substantive mail and wire fraud counts.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Christopher J. Huber and Special Assistant United States Attorney Diane C. Schulman prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov

Email links icon

or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Email Scam Examples: FROM THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI)

FBI Email Scam

This is an email received about “ FROM THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI). Scam ” is a phishing scam and why not try to contact these people or log onto these sites and enter your data because you risk being stolen.

 

from:AGENT MARK GIULIANO <no-reply@2pageme.net>
reply-to:markk.guilino@gmail.com
to:Me
date:Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 10:11 AM
subject:RE: FROM THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI).
encryption:Standard (TLS) Learn more
FBI Email Scam
FBI Email Scam

Letter From FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) Scam and Fake:

   Federal Bureau of Investigation
Field Intelligence Groups J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C.

Attention: Beneficiary,

Move this email to your inbox before responding by clicking Not Spam, we sincerely apologize for sending you this sensitive information via e-mail instead of certified mail, post-mail, phone or face to face conversation. It’s due to the urgency and importance of the security information of our citizens. I am Agent Mark Giuliano from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs). We intercepted two consignment boxes at JFK Airport, New York.

The boxes were scanned and they contained large sums of money ($4.1 million), also some backup documents that bear your name as the Beneficiary / Receiver. Investigation was carried out on the diplomat that accompanied the boxes into the United States and he stated that he was to deliver the funds at your residence as an overdue payment owed to you by foreign country.

After cross-checking all legal documents in the boxes, we found out that your consignment was lacking an important document and we can’t release the boxes to the diplomat until the document is found, we have no other option than to confiscate your consignment.

According to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) in Title 26 also contain reporting requirement on a Form 8300, Report of Cash Payment Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business, money laundering activity may violate 18 USC §1956, 18 USC 1957, 18 USC 1960, and provision of Title 31, and 26 USC 6050I of the United States Code (USC), this section will discuss only those money laundering and currency violation under the jurisdiction of IRS, your consignment lacks proof of ownership certificate from the joint team of IRS and IRC, you’re requested to reply back immediately for direction on how to procure the fund ownership certificate to avoid being charge for evading the law, which is punishable offense in the United States.

You are required to reply within 72hours or you will be prosecuted in a court of law for money laundering, you are instructed to desist from further contacts with any bank(s) or person(s) in any part of the world regarding your payment because your consignment has been confiscated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation here in the United States.

Yours In Service,
Agent Mark Giuliano
Regional Deputy Director
Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs)

More Examples Of Email Scam With Fake FBI:

Corrine Brown and Elias “Ronnie” Simmons Charged With Fraud Scheme

Corrine Brown

Congresswoman Corrine Brown And Chief Of Staff Charged With Fraud Scheme Involving Bogus Non-Profit Scholarship Entity

Jacksonville, FL – Congresswoman Corrine Brown and her chief of staff were indicted today for their roles in a conspiracy and fraud scheme involving a fraudulent education charity.

Brown, 69, of Jacksonville, Florida, and her chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, 50, of Laurel, Maryland, were charged today in a 24-count indictment with participating in a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, multiple counts of mail and wire fraud, concealing material facts on required financial disclosure forms, theft of government property, obstruction of the due administration of the internal revenue laws, and filing false tax returns.

U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Michelle Klimt of the FBI’s Jacksonville Division, and Special Agent in Charge Kim Lappin of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Tampa Field Office made the announcement.

“Our Office is committed to ferreting out and prosecuting all forms of corruption and fraud, regardless of who the offender is,” said U.S. Attorney Bentley. “In our nation, no one is above the law.”

“Congresswoman Brown and her chief of staff are alleged to have used the Congresswoman’s official position to solicit over $800,000 in donations to a supposed charitable organization, only to use that organization as a personal slush fund,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “Corruption erodes the public’s trust in our entire system of representative government.  One of the department’s most important responsibilites is to root out corruption at all levels of government and to bring wrongdoers to justice.”

“Corrupt public officials undermine the integrity of our government and violate the public’s trust,” said Michelle S. Klimt, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division.  “That is why public corruption is the FBI’s top criminal priority.  It is incredibly disappointing that an elected official, who took an oath year after year to serve others, would exploit the needs of children and abuse the charitable hearts of constituents to advance her own personal and political agendas and deliver them with virtually nothing.”

“The defendants are alleged to have committed a multitude of criminal violations, including fraudulently receiving and using hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions meant for a nonprofit organization for their own personal and professional benefit,” said Richard Weber, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. “The American public expects and deserves equitable enforcement of our tax laws.”

The indictment alleges that between late 2012 and early 2016, Brown and Simmons participated in a conspiracy and fraud scheme involving One Door for Education – Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund (One Door) in which the defendants and others acting on their behalf solicited more than $800,000 in charitable donations based on false representations that the donations would be used for college scholarships and school computer drives, among other things.  According to the indictment, Brown and Simmons allegedly solicited donations from individuals and corporate entities that Brown knew by virtue of her position in the U.S. House of Representatives, many of whom the defendants led to believe that One Door was a properly-registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, when, in fact, it was not.

Contrary to the defendants’ representations, the indictment alleges that Brown, Simmons and Carla Wiley, the president of One Door, among others, used the vast majority of One Door donations for their personal and professional benefit, including tens of thousands of dollars in cash deposits that Simmons made to Brown’s personal bank accounts.  In one instance, Simmons is alleged to have deposited $2,100 in One Door funds into Brown’s personal bank account the same day that Brown wrote a check for a similar amount to pay taxes she owed.  Likewise, the indictment alleges that Brown and Simmons used the outside consulting company of one of Brown’s employees to funnel One Door funds to Brown and others for their personal use.  According to the indictment, more than $200,000 in One Door funds were used to pay for events hosted by Brown or held in her honor, including a golf tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; lavish receptions during an annual conference in Washington, D.C.; the use of a luxury box during a concert in Washington, D.C.; and the use of a luxury box during an NFL game in the Washington, D.C., area.

Despite raising over $800,000 in donations, the indictment alleges that One Door was associated with only two scholarships totaling $1,200 that were awarded to students to cover expenses related to attending a college or university.

Simmons is also charged with theft of government property based on the misuse of his position as Brown’s chief of staff to obtain congressional employment for a close relative.  Between 2001 and early 2016, Simmons’ relative allegedly received approximately $735,000 in government salary payments despite performing no known work for the U.S. House of Representatives.  The indictment alleges that between 2009 and late 2015, Simmons diverted over $80,000 of his relative’s government salary for his personal benefit, including through transfers to his personal bank accounts, payments on his personal credit cards and loan payments on his boat.

Simmons and Brown are also charged with failing to disclose, among other things, the reportable income they received from One Door and the salary payments that Simmons diverted from his relative’s government employment on required financial disclosure forms submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives and made available to the general public.

Brown is also charged with engaging in tax obstruction between 2008 and 2014 and, in certain years, filing false returns based on her repeated failure to report income from substantial cash deposits to her personal bank accounts and her repeated deduction of inflated and fabricated charitable donations.  According to the indictment, in various years, Brown claimed deductions on her tax returns based on false donations she claimed she made to One Door, as well as to local churches and non-profit organizations in the Jacksonville area.

Wiley, the president of One Door, pleaded guilty for her involvement in the scheme on March 3, 2016.

The charges and allegations contained in an indictment are merely accusations.  The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The FBI and IRS-CI are investigating the case.  Deputy Chief Eric G. Olshan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys A. Tysen Duva and Michael J. Coolican of the Middle District of Florida are prosecuting the case.

UPDATE: Brown and Simmons will make their initial appearances in Jacksonville today before United States Magistrate Judge James R. Klindt at 1:00 p.m. (Courtroom 5-D).

Original PressReleases …

Richard Hirsch and James McClung Was Sentenced In Foreign Bribery Scheme

Bribery Scheme

Two Former Executives Of Louis Berger International Sentenced In Foreign Bribery Scheme

TRENTON, N.J. – Two former executives of Louis Berger International (LBI), a New Jersey-based construction management company, have been sentenced in connection with a long-running bribery scheme to secure government construction management contracts by bribing officials in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kuwait.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman of the District of New Jersey, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher of the FBI’s Newark Division made the announcement today.

Richard Hirsch, 62, of Makaati, Philippines, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper to two years of probation and fined $10,000.  Hirsch previously served as the senior vice president responsible for the company’s operations in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. James McClung, 60, of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was sentenced by Judge Cooper on July 7, 2016, to one year plus one day in jail.  McClung previously served as the senior vice president responsible for the company’s operations in India and Vietnam. On July 17, 2015, McClung and Hirsch each pleaded guilty before Judge Cooper in Trenton federal court to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and one substantive count of violating the FCPA.

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

From 1998 through 2010, LBI and its employees, including Hirsch and McClung, orchestrated $3.9 million in bribe payments to foreign officials in various countries in order to secure government contracts.  To conceal the payments, the conspirators made payments under the guise of “commitment fees,” “counterpart per diems” and other payments to third-party vendors.  In reality, the payments were intended to fund bribes to foreign officials who had awarded contracts to LBI or who supervised LBI’s work on contracts, the defendants admitted.

McClung cooperated with the government’s investigation by identifying other executives at LBI who had knowledge of bribery. Some of the information provided by McClung was also helpful to the government’s successful prosecution of LBI’s former CEO, Derrish Wolff, who pleaded guilty to accounting fraud in December 2014.

On July 17, 2015, LBI entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and admitted its own criminal conduct, including its participation in a conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.  Pursuant to the DPA, LBI agreed to pay a $17.1 million criminal penalty, to implement rigorous internal controls, to continue to cooperate fully with the department and to retain a compliance monitor for at least three years.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Newark Division under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gallagher. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas J. Eicher, chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, and Trial Attorney John W. Borchert of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also provided assistance.

Defense counsel:

Hirsch: William G. Sullivan Esq., Chicago, Illinois

McClung: Kelly B. Kramer Esq., Washington, D.C.

Action Against International VAT Fraud

International VAT Fraud Europol

Eight Member States Take Action Against International VAT Fraud

Yesterday, from a coordination centre at Eurojust, Europol supported an international action day against a criminal network involved in international VAT fraud and money laundering defrauding EU citizens of approximately EUR 57 million in tax revenues via companies selling electronic items, hardware and software.

Searches of homes and premises, seizures and arrests were carried out in eight countries, starting in the early hours of the morning.
Europol deployed a mobile office at the coordination centre and a forensic analyst to Germany to facilitate real-time information exchange and cross-match analysis of the data collected. Letters of Request and other judicial instruments were facilitated on the spot.

The international cooperation leading to today’s joint n began in June 2015, when a German prosecutor at the Bielefeld Public Prosecution Office informed Eurojust about a preliminary investigation it has been carrying out regarding a complex VAT fraud case, and enquired whether France was also investigating the same companies as missing traders or knew of other investigations concerning those suspects.

Three coordination meetings were held at Eurojust in The Hague to facilitate, progress and conclude four ongoing investigations at national level in Germany and France. All parties involved agreed, at an early stage, to coordinate their national activities, and to participate in a joint action day, making efforts to avoid both adversely affecting the ongoing investigations in the other Member States and possible conflicts of jurisdiction.

This coordination centre, initiated by the Bielefeld Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Paris National Financial Prosecutor’s Office and an investigative judge of the Paris court specialised in financial investigations, with the support of the French National Tax Intelligence Directorate (DNEF), was set up by the German and French National Desks at Eurojust in close cooperation with Cyprus, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland and the UK.

Figures at a glance

  • Number of arrests: 7
  • Number of freezing/seizure orders: 27
  • Number of searches: 57
  • Number of hearings of witnesses and suspects: 12
  • Assets seized: more than EUR 4.5 million, including seized IT products

Michael Rauschenbach, Europol’s Head of Serious and Organised Crime, said:
Once again, decisive and co-ordinated action by the Member States, supported throughout by Europol and Eurojust, demonstrates to organised criminal gangs that their fraudulent activities will not be tolerated. Value Added Tax fraud is not a victimless crime, nor a ‘white collar’ theft from Governments; this money is stolen from the citizens of the European Union as it deprives our people of the means of investment for essential public services, such as hospitals, schools and infrastructure.

Ms Gabriele Launhardt, Deputy National Member at the German Desk at Eurojust, said:
This operation sends a clear message that Eurojust and its partners help the national authorities of the Member States to join forces across national borders to pursue those we suspect of involvement in organised crime. Through our coordination meetings and the coordination centre, we contributed to preventing this group from hiding behind national borders and continuing to defraud taxpayers of huge amounts of tax money.

Real Estate Investors Pleaded Guilty for their Roles in Bid-Rigging and Fraud Conspiracies

Bid-Rigging and Fraud Conspiracies

Three Georgia Real Estate Investors Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging and Bank Fraud at Public Home Foreclosure Auctions

Three Georgia real estate investors pleaded guilty today for their roles in bid-rigging and fraud conspiracies committed at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Georgia, the Department of Justice announced today.

Jeffrey Wayne Brock, David Wallace “Chuck” Doughty, and Stanley Ralph Sullivan each admitted that they agreed to rig auctions of foreclosed homes in Cobb County from June 2007 until January 2012.  According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Brock, Doughty, Sullivan and their co-conspirators agreed not to compete for the purchase of selected foreclosed homes so that they could win the auctions for those homes with artificially low bids.  The winning bidders then made payoffs to conspirators who had refrained from bidding against them.  As a result, conspirators profited from money that otherwise would have gone to mortgage holders and other secured debt holders, and in some cases, to the owners of foreclosed homes.

“These defendants conspired to corrupt foreclosure auctions that should have benefited lenders and homeowners,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse, head of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “The Antitrust Division will continue to work with our colleagues at the FBI to pursue those who took advantage of disruption caused by the financial crisis to line their own pockets.”

“Foreclosure auction fraud in Georgia remains a focus for the FBI investigators and federal prosecutors within the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson of the FBI’s Atlanta Division.  “By the very nature of this criminal act, the bank, and more importantly, the home owner in financial distress, are the victims that these federal laws were created to protect. The FBI will continue to provide investigative assets toward these matters in order to keep the level playing field that the law intended regarding these auctions.”

Including the individuals pleading today, twenty defendants have been charged in connection with the department’s ongoing investigation into bid rigging and fraudulent schemes involving real estate foreclosure auctions in the Atlanta area.  Eighteen of those have either pleaded guilty or agree to plead guilty.

These charges have been filed as a result of the ongoing investigation being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal II Section, the FBI’s Atlanta Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Georgia, in connection with the president’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.  The president established the task force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.  With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud.  Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations.  Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants.  For more information about the task force, please visi twww.StopFraud.gov.  Anyone with information concerning bid rigging or fraud related to public real estate foreclosure auctions should contact the Washington Criminal II Section of the Antitrust Division at 202-598-4000, call the Antitrust Division’s Citizen Complaint Center at 888-647-3258, or visit http://www.justice.gov/atr/report-violations.