Friday, October 30, 2009

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending October 30, 2009

1. Detroit: Eleven Members/Associates of Ummah Charged with Federal Violations

A federal complaint was unsealed charging Luqman Ameen Abdullah, a.k.a. Christopher Thomas, and 10 others with conspiracy to commit several federal crimes, including theft from interstate shipments, mail fraud to obtain the proceeds of arson, illegal possession and sale of firearms, and tampering with motor vehicle identification numbers. The eleven defendants are members of a group that is alleged to have engaged in violent activity over a period of many years, and known to be armed. Full Story

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Massachusetts Man Charged with Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Terrorists

BOSTON—A Sudbury, Mass., man was charged today in federal court with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael K. Loucks and Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI - Boston Field Division, announced today that Tarek Mehanna, 27, of 6 Fairhaven Circle, Sudbury, Mass., was charged in a complaint with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

The complaint alleges that, beginning in or about 2001 and continuing until in or about May 2008, Mehanna conspired with Ahmad Abousamra, and others to provide material support and resources for use in carrying out a conspiracy to kill, kidnap, maim or injure persons or damage property in a foreign country and extraterritorial homicide of a U.S. national.

Scientist Charged with Attempted Espionage

WASHINGTON—A Maryland scientist who once worked in varying capacities for the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been arrested for attempted espionage, David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Channing D. Phillips, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director for the FBI’s Washington Field Office, announced today.
A criminal complaint unsealed today in the District of Columbia charges Stewart David Nozette, 52, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, with attempted espionage for knowingly and willfully attempting to communicate, deliver, and transmit classified information relating to the national defense of the United States to an individual that Nozette believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer. The complaint does not allege that the government of Israel or anyone acting on its behalf committed any offense under U.S. laws in this case.

Three Sentenced for Conspiring to Commit Terrorist Acts Against Americans Overseas

Three Sentenced for Conspiring to Commit Terrorist Acts Against Americans Overseas

WASHINGTON—Three Ohio residents, Mohammad Zaki Amawi, 29, Marwan Othman El-Hindi, 46, and Wassim I. Mazloum, 28, have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from more than eight years to 20 years for conspiring to commit terrorist acts against Americans overseas, including U.S. military personnel in Iraq, and other terrorism-related violations.
The sentences, which were handed down yesterday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge James G. Carr in the Northern District of Ohio, were announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Stephen M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; and C. Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge, Cleveland Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Top stiri FBI in saptamana care se incheie, 16 Octombrie

1.   New York: Hedge Fund Managers, Fortune 500 Executives, and Management Consulting Director Charged in Historic Insider Trading Case
Six individuals were charged in connection with their alleged involvement in the largest hedge fund insider trading case in history. All are charged with participating in insider trading schemes that together netted more than $20 million in illegal profits.

This case represents the first time that court-authorized wiretaps have been used to target significant insider trading on Wall Street. Full Story
2.   New York: Forty-One Defendants Charged in Coordinated Mortgage Fraud Takedown Across New York State
An indictment was unsealed charging 41 defendants, in eight separate cases, with allegedly engaging in various mortgage fraud scams that defrauded lenders out of more than $64 million in home mortgage loans on more than 100 properties across New York State. Among those charged are six lawyers, seven loan officers, three mortgage brokers, an accountant, and a residential property appraiser. Full Story
3.   Detroit: Chinese National Charged With Stealing Ford Trade Secrets
Xiang Dong Yu of Beijing, China was charged with theft of trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets, and unauthorized access to a protected computer. According to the indictment, Yu was a product engineer for the Ford Motor Company from 1997 to 2007 and had access to Ford trade secrets, including Ford design documents. Before his departure from Ford, Yu copied 4,000 Ford documents onto an external hard drive, including sensitive design documents. Yu also allegedly used stolen Ford design documents in an effort to obtain employment with a Chinese automotive company in 2005 and again in 2008. Full Story
4.   Sacramento: Operation TRAPS Targets Internet Predators
Approximately 150 law enforcement officers from 26 federal, state, and local agencies participated in a two-day child predator sweep organized by the Sacramento FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force. The sweep, code named Operation TRAPS, targeted child predators and pornographers and was in support of the FBI’s Innocent Images National Initiative, a program designed to reduce the sexual exploitation and abuse of children over the Internet. Full Story
5.   Kansas City: Leader of Asian Massage Parlor Scheme Sentenced for Coercing Prostitution, Money Laundering, Identity Theft

Ling Xu, the owner and operator of Asian massage parlors in Johnson County, Kansas, was sentenced to eight years and two months in federal prison for leading and organizing a criminal scheme to coerce her employees, whom she recruited from China, to engage in prostitution. Xu, who also pleaded guilty to money laundering and identity theft, is subject to deportation upon the completion of her sentence. Full Story
6.   Philadelphia: Financial Fraudster Sentenced to 90 Months in Prison
Jason Bloom was sentenced to 90 months in prison for wire fraud stemming from a scheme to defraud homeowners, lenders, title insurance companies, and the City of Philadelphia of more than $1.7 million. Bloom engaged in this scheme from 2004 to 2008, acting as a settlement agent and title insurance agent for real estate sales and refinancings. Full Story
7.  New Orleans: Man Convicted of Federal Hate Crime for Burning His Neighbors’ Home
Johnny D. Mathis pleaded guilty to firing three shots from a shotgun at the home of three Hispanic men and, after they fled, entering the home and setting a fire that burned it to the ground. Full Story
8. Chicago: Defense Contractor to Pay $25 Million to Settle Contract Fraud Claims
MPC Products Corp., a defense contractor based in Skokie, Illinois, agreed to pay the United States a $2.5 million criminal fine and an additional $22.5 million civil judgment to settle federal allegations that it overcharged the government in a series of military contracts extending over a decade, ending in 2005. The company also agreed to simultaneously resolve both criminal and civil matters. Full Story
9.   New Haven: Former United Rentals Executive Admits to Conspiring to Falsify Company Books
John N. Milne pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to falsify the books and records ofUnited Rentals, Inc. while he served as its Chief Financial Officer. Full Story
10.   Minneapolis: Packaged-Ice Company, Three Former Executives Plead Guilty to Customer Allocation Conspiracy

Arctic Glacier International Inc., a packaged-ice company headquartered in St. Paul, agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $9 million criminal fine for allocating customers. In addition, three of the company’s former executives pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by allocating packaged-ice customers in the Detroit metropolitan area and southeastern Michigan. Full Story

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Claudiu Virgil Turlea cautat de FBI

Date of Birth Used: November 11, 1978 Hair: Brown

Place of Birth: Brad, Romania Eyes: Unknown

Height: 6'0" Sex: Male

Weight: 150 pounds Race: White

NCIC: W934751997 Nationality: Romanian

Occupations: Unknown

Scars and Marks: None known
Remarks: Turlea is a known member of a Romanian organized crime syndicate. He may be located in Canada, and may be attempting to recruit individuals to assist with cyber crimes.

Claudiu Virgil Turlea is wanted for his involvement in a criminal enterprise organization believed responsible for a series of fraud schemes totaling $4.3 million. These schemes occurred between January and July of 2008. In one scheme, members of the organization allegedly hacked into bank accounts of US businesses through fraudulently obtained login credentials, and wire transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars into bank accounts controlled by him and his co-conspirators. In another scheme, the organization is alleged to have defrauded thousands of victims through an internet fraud scheme in which victims would bid on fictitious items advertised on online auction sites. Winning bidders would transfer money to co-conspirators residing in the United States, who would receive the wire transfers into their personal accounts and then forward a portion of that money to Turlea.
On July 15, 2008, a federal arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, after Turlea was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud, and computer fraud, as well as conspiracy laundering of monetary instruments.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cetatean moldovean pledeaza vinovat pentru trafic de forta de munca

WASHINGTON—A Moldovan national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Kansas City, Mo., for his role in a forced labor trafficking scheme that victimized workers in 14 states, the Justice Department announced.
Alexandru Frumusache, 24, a citizen of the republic of Moldova residing in Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith this afternoon to the charge contained in a May 6, 2009, federal indictment.
In or around September 2008, Frumusache began working for Giant Labor Solutions in Kansas City. According to the court documents, between September 2008 and the end of April 2009, he knowingly aided and abetted others in a scheme to cause foreign workers (including nationals of the Phillippines, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica) to believe that if they failed or refused to work where and when ordered, they would be deported, their H2B work visas would be cancelled, or they or their family members would be penalized with a $5,000 to $10,000 fee.Frumusache is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 25, 2010.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gene Porter, William L. Meiners and Cynthia L. Cordes and Trial Attorney Jim Felte with the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the FBI; the Labor Department; OIG – Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; IRS – Criminal Investigation; the Kansas Department of Revenue – Criminal Investigations; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service; and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cautat de FBI pentru jaf la banca

Wanted by FBI for bank robbery in Chicago area.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Top 10 stiri FBI in saptamana 26 sept. -2 oct.

1. Chicago: 18 Alleged Latin Kings Gang Leaders Indicted on Federal Charges
A Chicago man alleged to be a “Corona” of the Latin Kings, making him the highest-ranking leader outside of prison and responsible for overseeing the illegal activities of all factions of the powerful Chicago street gang, is among 18 defendants charged in a sweeping new federal indictment against the gang’s alleged hierarchy. Augustin Zambrano, the alleged leader of the Almighty Latin King Nation in the Chicago area, and other alleged leaders of the 26th Street Region of the Latin Kings were charged with racketeering conspiracy for allegedly running a criminal enterprise to enrich themselves and others through drug trafficking and preserving and protecting their power, territory and revenue through acts of murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, extortion, and other acts of violence. All 18 defendants—six newly charged and 12 who were initially indicted a year ago—were charged in a 48-count superseding indictment.
Full Story 2. New Orleans: Man Indicted in Connection with Cross-Burning
Daniel Earl Danforth was indicted by a federal grand jury for hate crime violations and obstruction of justice charges stemming from a cross-burning in Athens, Louisiana last year near the home of an interracial couple. Full Story
3. New York: Former Political Fundraiser Sentenced for Ponzi Scheme, Campaign Finance Crimes
Former political fundraiser Norman Hsu was sentenced to 292 months in prison campaign finance violations and for wire and mail fraud in connection with his operation of a Ponzi scheme. As the managing director of two companies, Components Ltd. and Next Components Ltd., Hsu solicited investments by promising guaranteed short-term, high returns. After making some payments intended to perpetuate the scheme, Hsu swindled his victims out of at least $80 million. Hsu also violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by making contributions to various political campaigns in the names of others. Full Story
4. Cincinnati: Third Defendant Pleads Guilty to Assault in Drive-By Shooting Involving FBI Agent
Deante Martell pled guilty to one count of assault on a federal officer and one count of discharging a firearm in connection with a federal crime. The charges stem from a March 25, 2009 shooting where assailants fired approximately 15 shots into the car of an FBI agent. Full Story
5. Oklahoma City: Man Sentenced for Bomb Threat at Federal Building
Roderick Lamar Robinson was sentenced to serve 14 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for making a bomb threat at the Federal Building, located at 301 NW 6th Street in Oklahoma City. He was also ordered to pay $30,860.80 in restitution to the federal agencies inside the Federal Building for the lost work time of their evacuated employees. Robinson must also reimburse local and county law enforcement $14,559 for their response and investigation costs related to the bomb threat. Full Story
6. New Haven: Two Romanian Citizens Extradited to Face Charges Related to Phishing Scheme
Two Romanian citizens were extradited to the United States to face charges stemming from an alleged Internet phishing scheme that victimized individuals, financial institutions, and companies. Petru Bogdan Belbita and Cornel Ionut Tonita were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with access devices, one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. Full Story
7. Buffalo: Four Indicted for Racketeering and Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering
A federal grand jury in Buffalo returned a 17-count indictment charging Thamud Eldridge, Kashika Speed, and Kevin Allen with racketeering, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, robbery, distribution and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and causing the death of a person through use of a firearm in furtherance of violent crime. Galen Rose was charged with distribution and conspiracy to distribute marijuana, robbery, and causing death of a person through use of a firearm in furtherance of violent crime. Full Story
8. San Francisco: CEO of Biotech Firm Convicted of Wire Fraud
W. Scott Harkonen, M.D., the former CEO of InterMune, Inc., was convicted of wire fraud for the creation and dissemination of false and misleading information about the efficacy of InterMune’s drug Actimmune (Interferon gamma-1b) as a treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Full Story
9. New York: Westchester Man Pleads Guilty to Terrorism Financing and Investment Fraud
Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari pled guilty to charges of terrorism financing and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Alishtari facilitated the transfer of $152,000 to fund training for terrorists. He also admitted to stealing millions of dollars from victims through his fraudulent operation of a loan investment program he called the “Flat Electronic Data Interchange.” Full Story
10. Los Angeles: Man Sentenced to 100 Years in Prison for $60 Million Ponzi Scheme
Richard Monroe Harkless, the mastermind of a Riverside-based Ponzi scheme that collected well over $60 million from hundreds of investors and caused more than $39 million in losses, was sentenced to 100 years in federal prison. Full Story

Ponzi scheme in USA

It sounded like a smart idea: investing in automated teller machines (ATMs) located in high-traffic retail locations around the country. The investors would recoup their money, plus an incredible 20-24 percent return, through the fees charged to the ATM customers. Seemed like a deal too good to pass up.
But investors should have done just that—because it was a fraud…a Ponzi scheme, to be more precise. The $80 million in investor funds raised over time weren’t used to purchase ATMs, they were used to fuel the ruse and line the pockets of the two masterminds behind the scheme.

So says a federal indictment unsealed in the Southern District of New York last week against Vance Moore, II and Walter Netschi, charged with wire fraud and conspiracy after an investigation by the FBI.
The scam. According to the indictment, Netschi and others convincingly sold the scheme to thousands of investors—mainly small private equity/hedge fund investment companies, small businesses, retirees, and even friends. Through his front company, Netschi would “sell” individual ATMs or groups of ATMs placed in areas with a lot of foot traffic—like convenience stores, gas stations, malls, and hotels.
Netschi then allegedly had the investors sign agreements with Moore’s “company” to service, process, and maintain the ATMs.
At first, investors were happy. Moore’s company allegedly sent them not only monthly financial statements listing transaction histories and fees for the ATMs, but it also wired them their share of the profits. (Little did investors know that these profits were coming not from ATM fees but from subsequent investors recruited by Netschi.)
Approximately 4,000 ATMs were supposedly purchased and serviced by Netschi and Moore, but in reality—according to the indictment—about 90 percent of these machines “sold” to investors either didn’t exist or were owned by other companies.
Then, the money to pay investors ran out—like it usually does in Ponzi schemes as they grow larger and larger and are unable to sustain themselves. For months, Netschi and Moore allegedly gave investors various explanations for the non-payments, blaming various banks and software glitches. They even went out and recruited more investors, said the indictment. But they couldn’t raise the funds they needed, and ultimately, an unhappy investor notified authorities.
And turnabout is fair play—last week’s indictment seeks $80 million in forfeiture from the alleged con artists.
How can you avoid being victimized by a Ponzi scheme? Here are a few tips:
Be careful of any investment opportunity that makes exaggerated earnings claims.
Exercise due diligence in selecting investments and the people with whom you invest—in other words, do your homework!
Make sure you fully understand the investment before you hand over your money.
Consult an unbiased third party, like an unconnected broker or licensed financial advisor, before investing.
Don’t be fooled into believing an investment is safe just because someone you know recommended it. So-called “affinity scams” are one of the favorite methods used to lure people into Ponzi schemes.