Wednesday, December 28, 2011

DANE R. PHENEGHAR was charged with one count of bank robbery

A 22-year old Glen Ellyn man has been charged with the December 20th robbery of the Elgin State Bank, located at 1001 South Randall Road.
 
DANE R. PHENEGHAR was charged in a criminal complaint filed last week in US District Court in Chicago with one count of bank robbery, which is a felony offense. The complaint alleges that PHENEGAR made off with over $4000 after he handed a teller a note, announcing a robbery and demanding cash from her drawer. The note claimed that he was armed with a handgun but no weapon was displayed and no injuries were reported.
 
Subsequent investigation by the FBI and Elgin Police Department identified PHENEGAR as the robber.  He was arrested by St. Charles Police, without incident, on unrelated charges on December 22nd. Although he is only charged with the Elgin robbery, PHENEGAR is also a suspect in the December 5th robberies at the Fifth Third Bank branch in Wheaton and First State Bank branch in Geneva and the December 9th robbery of the TCF Bank branch in Glendale Heights.
 
PHENEGAR appeared before US Magistrate Judge Sidney I. Schenkier in Chicago on December 22nd, at which time he was formally charged. PHENEGAR was ordered held without bond, pending his next scheduled court appearance.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

FIFTEEN CHARGED IN GUN RUNNING PROBE


           Fifteen Chicago men were charged in grand jury indictments or criminal complaints filed earlier this week in either U.S. District Court or Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago with violating state or federal firearms laws.
                      The charges were announced today by Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) together with Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Garry F. McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and Anita Alvarez, Cook County State’s Attorney.
                    Thirteen of the defendants were arrested yesterday at various locations in and around Chicago, without incident, by members of the Chicago FBI’s Joint Task Force on Gangs and officers from the CPD. Two other defendants MARCUS JEFFERSON and TERRILL SMITH, avoided capture and are now the subjects of a nationwide manhunt.
                   Six of those arrested were charged in separate federal grand jury indictments with Felon in Possession of a Firearm and/or Distribution of a Controlled Substance.  Those charged federally are identified as MARCUS JEFFERSON, age 31; MAURICE MARTIN, age 41; CARLOS MENDEZ, age 33; KEITH MURRAY, 45; TERRILL SMITH, age 23; and BRUCE WEATHERSPOON, age 30; all residents of Chicago. An additional defendant, RAMON FAVELA, age 38, also of Chicago, was arrested and subsequently charged in a criminal complaint with Possession and Distribution of a Controlled Substance.
                   Eight others were charged in criminal complaints filed in state court with Unlawful Sale of a Firearm or Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon. The state defendants are identified as AARON BASSETT, age 22; COREY BRAMLETT, age 19; TRIMELL COLLINS, age 27; GREGORY FREEMAN, age 23; DAVID HILL, age 22; CORNELIUS LEE, age 28; JAMES TOOMER, age 27; and CARLOS WILLIAMS, age 39, all residents of Chicago.                                                According to the grand jury indictments and criminal complaints, all of those charged were involved in the illegal possession or sale of firearms, including handguns, shotguns and assault rifles on Chicago’s west and south sides, since April of 2010. These weapons are alleged to have been purchased outside of Illinois, transported to Chicago where the defendants took possession of them, then eventually sold to undercover operatives for amounts ranging from $ 250.00 to $1600.00.

Monday, December 5, 2011

CHARLENE M. TROOP arrested for bank robbery

CHARLENE M. TROOP, age 23, 1414 S. Kenilworth, Berwyn, IL, was arrested on Friday, December 2, 2011, by officers of the  Berwyn Police Department in connection with the December 2nd, robbery of the Chase Bank, located at 6969 Ogden Avenue, Berwyn, IL
 
According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court today, a lone female robber walked into the Chase Bank on December 2nd, handed the teller a note announcing a robbery, claimed she had a weapon and threatened harm if her demands for cash were not met.  She handed the teller an envelope and instructed the teller to put the cash inside.  The teller placed the cash, along with a dye pack into the envelope.  The robber then exited the bank.  According to a witness, the robber was observed in the bank parking lot carrying a white bag, which soon thereafter exploded from the dye pack.  After grabbing the money and placing it in her coat, she entered a Dodge Caravan and drove away. 
 
Subsequent investigation by the Berwyn Police Department and the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force led to the identification and arrest of TROOP.  She was charged today with one count of bank robbery.  TROOP is being held without bond pending her next scheduled court appearance on December 8, 2011, at 11:00 AM
 
Although being charged with just the December 2nd, Berwyn bank robbery, it is believed TROOP is suspect in the November 18th robbery of the Citizens Community Bank, 7025 West Roosevelt Avenue,  Berwyn; and the November 22nd robbery of the Metropolitan Bank, 8744 Ogden Avenue,  Lyons, Illinois.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Former Lake Shore Asset Management Director Sentenced to 20 Years for Defrauding 900 Investors in $294 Million Scheme

CHICAGO—The former managing director of a hedge fund that was forced into receivership by U.S. government regulators was sentenced today to 20 years in federal prison for fraudulently soliciting and obtaining approximately $294 million from some 900 investors worldwide. The defendant, Philip J. Baker, who controlled Lake Shore Asset Management Ltd., and the Lake Shore Group of Companies, which purportedly traded clients’ funds in several commodity futures pools, had pleaded guilty to wire fraud in August.
Baker, 46, a Canadian citizen who lived in London and later Hamburg, Germany, remained in federal custody following his extradition in December 2009 from Hamburg, where he was arrested in July 2009. He was indicted in February 2009.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

WANTED FOR BANK ROBBERY


Coldwater, Michigan - The FBI along with state and local authorities are currently investigating multiple armed bank robberies in Branch, Calhoun and Hillsdale counties in Michigan.
Anyone with information about these robberies is asked to contact
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kalamazoo Resident Agency at 269-349-9607. A reward of $10,000 is offered from Southern Michigan Bank & Trust for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of this suspect.
CALL 269-349-9607
$10,000 REWARD
The suspect is an approximately 6’0” tall white male. Suspect has been known to wear Halloween masks or hunting overalls with a ski mask. He carries a small black automatic pistol. The suspect has been seen driving an older, white, four-door sedan (possibly with gray along the lower portion).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SIX MEN CHARGED WITH FRAUD INVOLVING SPORTS MEMORABILIA

Rockford — Six men have been charged in similar but separate fraud schemes involving the
sports memorabilia business and the purchase and sale of equipment and uniforms used by
professional and collegiate athletes. Today, in U.S. District Court, four defendants were charged
in criminal informations and two defendants were charged in indictments.
According to court documents, each case involved the sale, consignment, or auction of
jerseys, in which each defendant falsely and fraudulently represented to buyers that the jerseys were
“game used,” when they were not. Jerseys worn by professional and collegiate athletes during a
game are usually known as “game used” or “game worn,” and are commonly bought and sold by
collectors and others. The value of game used jerseys varies based on the popularity of the player
that used the jersey and how long it had been since the player had actively played the sport. The
value of a jersey was greater if it was game used.
The fraud charges also involved the use of game used jerseys by sports trading card
companies. As stated in the charges, to increase the value and price of packages of sports trading
cards, manufacturers frequently purchase game used jerseys, cut the jerseys into small pieces, and
insert the pieces into card packages. When game used jerseys were purchased for this purpose, the
manufacturers often required that the seller provide a “certificate of authenticity” that the jerseys
were authentic game used jerseys.
As charged, the defendants obtained hundreds of jerseys from a variety of sources, including
retail sellers, then frequently changed the jerseys’ appearance by roughening, scuffing, washing, or
dirtying the jerseys so that they appeared to have actual “wear and tear.” The same jerseys were
then re-sold, consigned, and auctioned for hundreds of thousands of dollars to sports trading card
companies and other buyers as game used jerseys. As part of the scheme the defendants provided
the buyers with fraudulent certificates of authenticity. Each defendant was allegedly involved in a
business engaged in the purchase and sale of sports memorabilia, and the schemes are alleged to
have taken place in Rockford and several other states.
Two men are charged by indictment with mail fraud:
ERIC INSELBERG, a resident of New Jersey, involved in the business operations of Taylor Huff,
Inc. and Pasadena Trading Corp, from late 2001 through late 2009, in two counts of mail fraud.
BRADLEY WELLS, a resident of Florida, involved in the business of Authentic Sports, Inc., and
Historic Auctions, LLC, both Florida businesses, from late 2005 through the middle of 2009, in two
counts of mail fraud.
Four men are charged by information with mail fraud:
BERNARD GERNAY, a resident of New Jersey, involved in the business operations of Pro Sports
Investments, Inc., a New Jersey business;
BRADLEY HORNE, a South Carolina resident, involved in the business operations of Authentic
Sports Memorabilia, Inc., a South Carolina business;
JARROD OLDRIDGE, a resident of Nevada, involved in business operations of JO Sports, Inc.,
a Nevada business; and,
MITCHELL SCHUMACHER, a resident of Wisconsin, using the trade name MS Sports.
Each mail fraud charge in these cases carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and
a $250,000 maximum fine, or an alternate fine totaling twice the loss or twice the gain, whichever
is greater. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under the advisory United
States Sentencing Guidelines.
The indictments and informations were announced today by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United
States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert Grant, Special Agent-In-Charge of
the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.
The public is reminded that indictments and informations contain only charges and are not
evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the
government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BLAZEJ M. WASILEWSKI charged with stealing nearly $40,000



                      A 25-year old Palos Hills man was charged with stealing nearly $40,000 from the Chase Bank branch, located at 18701 South Halsted Street in south suburban Glenwood, where he worked as an assistant manager. The charges were announced today by Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
                       BLAZEJ M. WASILEWSKI, of 10361 South Alta Drive in Palos Hills, Illinois, was arrested Saturday evening by Officers of the Dominican National Police as he attempted to enter the Dominican Republic on a commercial airlines flight, which originated in Chicago, earlier that day. WASILEWSKI was in possession of $39,765 in U.S. currency, which he failed to declare to Dominican Customs officials.
                                WASILEWSKI was charged in a criminal complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of Bank Embezzlement, which is a felony offense. According to the complaint, WASILEWSKI manually turned off the bank’s electrical power on Friday evening, as the bank was closing for the day. It is alleged that he returned to the bank early the next morning and used his keys and alarm codes to enter the bank, deactivate the alarm, and open the vault.
                      An audit of the bank conducted by bank employees on Saturday morning determined that a teller cash dispenser was missing while a second had been forced open and the contents removed. In all, $39,765 in bank funds were unaccounted for and believed taken by WASILEWSKI. His bank issued entry key was found sitting on a counter inside the bank while the Chase security system determined that WASILEWSKI’s code had been used to enter the bank branch and open the vault. Attempts by the bank manager to reach WASILEWSKI Saturday morning were unsuccessful.
                      Subsequent investigation by the FBI developed additional evidence, linking WASILEWSKI to the theft and resulting in the charges that were announced today. Investigators were also able to trace WASILEWSKI to O’Hare International airport, where records showed he boarded a flight to Punta Cana Saturday morning.                     
                                WASILEWSKI remains in Dominican custody, awaiting extradition to Chicago. Once returned, he will appear in U.S. District Court in Chicago, at which time he will be formally charged.  If convicted of the charge filed against him, WASILEWSKI faces a possible sentence of up to thirty (30) years in prison.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Automotive Brand Hijackers Use False Protection Claims to Lure Online Shoppers

The FBI today is warning the public that online vehicle shoppers are being victimized by fraudulent vehicle sales and false claims of vehicle protection programs (VPP).  In fraudulent vehicle sales, criminals attempt to sell vehicles they do not own. They create an attractive deal by advertising vehicles for sale at prices below book value. Often the sellers purport they need to sell the vehicle because they are moving for work, to include military deployments.
 
Because of the alleged pending move, criminals refuse to meet the victim in person or allow a vehicle inspection, and they often attempt to rush the sale. To make the deal appear legitimate, the criminal instructs the victim to send full or partial payment to a third-party agent via a wire transfer payment service and to fax the payment receipt to the seller as proof of payment.
 
The criminal pockets the payment but does not deliver the vehicle. Criminals also attempt to make their scams appear valid by misusing the names of reputable companies and programs.  These criminals have no association with these companies, and their schemes give buyers instructions that do not adhere to the rules and restrictions of any legitimate program.  For example, eBay Motors’ VPP is a legitimate program whose name is commonly misused by these criminals.
 
The VPP is not applicable to transactions that originate outside of eBay Motors, and it prohibits wire-transfer payments. Nevertheless, criminals often promise eBay Motors VPP coverage for non-eBay Motors’ purchases and instruct victims to pay via Western Union or MoneyGram.
 
In a new twist, criminals use a live-chat feature in e-mail correspondence and electronic invoices.  As live-chat assistants, the criminals answer victims’ questions and assure them the deals are safe, claiming that safeguards are in place to reimburse buyers for any loss. The criminals falsely assert that their sales are protected by liability insurance coverage up to $50,000. 
 
Automotive shoppers should exercise due diligence before engaging in transactions to purchase vehicles advertised online. In particular, shoppers should be cautious of the following situations:
 
  • Sellers who want to move the transaction from one platform to another (for example, from Craigslist to eBay Motors).
  • Sellers who claim that a buyer protection program offered by a major Internet company covers an auto transaction conducted outside that company’s site.
  • Sellers who push for speedy completion of the transaction and request payments via quick wire transfer payment systems.
  • Sellers who refuse to meet in person, or refuse to allow the buyer to physically inspect the vehicle before the purchase.
  • Transactions in which the seller and vehicle are in different locations. Criminals often claim to have been transferred for work reasons, deployed by the military, or moved because of a family circumstance, and could not take the vehicle with them.
  • Vehicles advertised at well below their market value. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
 
If you have witnessed this behavior or fallen victim to this type of scam, please file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, www.ic3.gov.
 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bank of America robber wanted by the FBI

The Bank of America branch at 3215 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, was robbed today around 9:06 AM by a lone white male (photo attached).  The robber entered the bank, approached the teller counter, announced a robbery, and threatened harm if his demands for cash were not met.  He was given an undisclosed amount of money and fled the bank on foot, direction not known.  No weapon was observed. There were no injuries reported as a result of this robbery.  Agents are currently on the scene.
 
Witnesses described him as being  50 – 60 years of age, 5’9” – 5’10” tall, 200 lbs., mustache, wearing a dark t-shirt and orange camouflage hunting cap.
 
If anyone has any information regarding this robbery, please contact the Chicago Office of the FBI at 312/421-6700 or any local law enforcement agency.
 
Additional information about this and other unsolved Chicago area bank robbery cases, including downloadable photos, are available at the Bandit Tracker Chicago website at www.bandittrackerchicago.com.
 

Rolling Meadows bank robber wanted by the FBI

The FBI is looking for the public’s help in trying to identify and locate the individual depicted in the attached photos, who we believe may be responsible for robbing the Chase Bank branch at 2600 Kirchoff Road, Rolling Meadows, IL, at around 2:00 PM on Thursday, July 28, 2011. 
This individual walked into the bank, approached the teller counter, and orally announced a robbery.  He implied he had a weapon, but none was observed.  He walked out of the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash, direction not known.  There were no injuries reported as a result of this robbery. 
According to witnesses, the robber is described as a white male, mid-40’s, 5’11” – 6’ tall, thin build, wearing a blue plaid flannel shirt, grey hoodie, black bandana over his face, facial hair, blue jeans, and cloth work gloves. 
If anyone has any information regarding this robbery, please contact the Chicago Office of the FBI at 312/421-6700  or any local law enforcement agency.
Additional information about this and other unsolved Chicago area bank robbery cases, including downloadable photos, are available at the Bandit Tracker Chicago website at www.bandittrackerchicago.com.

Daniel Gheorghe and Ionel Cristian Popa INDICTED FOR ATM BANK THEFT USING “DOCTORED” DUNKIN’ DONUTS GIFT CARDS

Queens, DA's Office: Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that two Romanian nationals in the United States on journalism visas have been indicted on charges of stealing more than $17,700 from a Chase bank in Hollis, Queens, by rapidly performing multiple unauthorized withdrawals at the bank’s automated teller machines using scores of Dunkin’ Donut gift cards that had been reencoded with stolen bank account information.
District Attorney Brown said, “Instead of going on a run for coffee and doughnuts with their
gift cards, the defendants are instead accused of going to the bank and using its ATMs as their
personal slot machines, cashing out large sums of money with each use of their ‘doctored’ Dunkin’
Donut gift cards.”
The District Attorney identified the defendants as Daniel Gheorghe and Ionel Cristian Popa,
both 33 with no known addresses in the United States. The defendants were arraigned on Thursday,
July 28, 2011, in Queens County Supreme Court in Kew Gardens, Queens, on a 70-count indictment
charging each of them with one count of third-degree grand larceny, one count of third-degree
criminal possession of stolen property, sixty-six counts of second-degree criminal possession of a
forged instrument, and two counts of first-degree scheme to defraud. The defendants, who each face
up to seven years in prison on each of the 66 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged
instrument if convicted, were ordered held on $150,000 bail each (with a bail sufficiency hearing)
and to return to court on August 23, 2011.
District Attorney Brown said that, according to the indictment, Gheorghe and Popa were
observed by police in the vestibule of the Chase bank branch, located at 205-19 Hillside Avenue, on
the evening of March 31, 2011, rapidly performing multiple unauthorized transactions at the bank’s
ATMs using Dunkin’ Donuts rechargeable gift cards that had been re-encoded with stolen account
information belonging to various banks – including Chase Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC,
Maestro, Nuvision Federal Credit Unit and US Bank National Association. After each transaction,
the defendants allegedly jammed large amounts of cash – mostly twenty-dollar bills – in the pockets
of their clothing.
At the time of their arrest, police officers assigned to the New York City Police Department’s
107th Precinct allegedly seized $17,703 in stolen funds and 66 Dunkin’ Donut gift cards from the
defendants’ persons and from their vehicle.
- 2 -
District Attorney Brown explained that a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card is marked with a sixteendigit
vendor account number. According to the criminal charges, none of the sixteen digit account
numbers displayed on any of the seized cards matched the account numbers encoded on the cards’
magnetic strips.
The District Attorney said that police were summoned to the location by investigators from
JPMorgan Chase, which proactively protects the personal and account information of its clients
against identity thieves.
District Attorney Brown thanked JPMorgan Chase and Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. (the parent
company of Dunkin’ Donuts), for their assistance in the investigation. The arrest was made by
Police Officer Frank Caruso, of the NYPD’s 107th Precinct.
The investigation was conducted by Detective Robert Cimino, of the New York City Police
Department’s Identity Theft Squad, under the supervision of Sergeant Barry Neiss and Lieutenant
Ruperto Aguilar and the command of Deputy Inspector Gregory T. Antonsen, of the Financial
Crimes Task Force, and the overall supervision of Deputy Chief Jeremiah Quinlan, Commander of
the Special Investigations Division, and Chief Phil T. Pulaski, of the Detectives Bureau.
The District Attorney noted that the investigation was continuing.
Assistant District Attorney Morgan A. Goulet, of the District Attorney’s Economic Crimes
Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Gregory C. Pavlides, Bureau Chief,
Christina Hanophy, Deputy Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District
Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for
Investigations Linda M. Cantoni.
It should be noted that an indictment is merely an accusation and that a defendant is
presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

SIXTEEN INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED IN THE UNITED STATES FOR ALLEGED ROLES IN CYBER ATTACKS

More than 35 Search Warrants Executed in United States, Five Arrests in Europe
as Part of Ongoing Cyber Investigations

WASHINGTON - Fourteen individuals were arrested today by FBI agents on charges related to their alleged involvement in a cyber attack on PayPal’s website as part of an action claimed by the group “Anonymous,” announced the Department of Justice and the FBI. Two additional defendants were arrested today on cyber-related charges.

The 14 individuals were arrested in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio on charges contained in an indictment unsealed today in the Northern District of California in San Jose. In addition, two individuals were arrested on similar charges in two separate complaints filed in the Middle District of Florida and the District of New Jersey. Also today, FBI agents executed more than 35 search warrants throughout the United States as part of an ongoing investigation into coordinated cyber attacks against major companies and organizations. Finally, the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police Service arrested one person and the Dutch National Police Agency arrested four individuals today for alleged related cyber crimes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

President and Chief Operating Officer of Money Service Company Sentenced to 11 and Five Years in Prison

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, JANICE K. FEDARCYK, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and CHRISTY L. ROMERO, the Acting Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“SIGTARP”), announced that ROBERT EGAN, the president of Mount Vernon Money Center (“MVMC”), and BERNARD McGARRY, the chief operating officer of MVMC, were sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 11 and five years in prison for their roles in defrauding MVMC clients, including banks that had received TARP funds, universities, and hospitals, out of over $60 million that had been entrusted to MVMC. EGAN, 65, of Bedford Corners, New York, and McGARRY, 51, of Yonkers, New York, both previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and six counts of bank fraud before U.S. District Judge JOHN F. KEENAN who imposed today’s sentences.

Former Chairman of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

WASHINGTON—The former chairman and owner of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker (TBW) was sentenced today to 30 years in prison and ordered to forfeit approximately $38.5 million for his role in a more than $2.9 billion fraud scheme that contributed to the failure of TBW and Colonial Bank. At one time, TBW was one of the largest privately held mortgage lending companies in the United States and Colonial Bank was one of the 25 largest banks in the United States.

Lee Bentley Farkas was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema in the Eastern District of Virginia. The sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia; Acting Special Inspector General Christy Romero for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); Assistant Director in Charge James W. McJunkin of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Michael P. Stephens, Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD-OIG); Jon T. Rymer, Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC-OIG); Steve A. Linick, Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA-OIG); and Victor S. O. Song, Chief of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

Organized Romanian Criminal Groups Targeted by DOJ and Romanian Law Enforcement

WASHINGTON—An ongoing Internet fraud scheme conducted by several networks of organized cyber criminals in Romania and the United States has been disrupted as a result of a series of law enforcement actions coordinated since 2010 between Romanian and U.S. law enforcement, including numerous arrests and searches that took place yesterday in Romania.
More than 100 individuals have been arrested and charged in Romania and judicial districts in the United States as a result of close cooperation between the Romanian General Inspectorate of Police, Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Infractions of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), the General Directorate of Jandarmeria in Romania (GIJR) and the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Southern District of Florida, the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Eastern District of Missouri.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

FBI Latent Hit of the Year

 The FBI Latent Hit of the Year is awarded annually to an outstanding latent examiner or officer who solved a major violent crime by using the FBI's IAFIS database.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Adrian Ghighina, 33, was sentenced to 4 years in prison

WASHINGTON—A Romanian man was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for his role in moving and hiding the illicit proceeds of an international fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald for the Northern District of Illinois and U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. for the District of Columbia.
Adrian Ghighina, 33, of Bucharest, Romania, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly in Chicago. Ghighina pleaded guilty in February 2011 to one count each of wire fraud and conspiracy.
According to court documents, Ghighina, who entered the United States legally in late 2004, acted as a “money mule” in a complex Internet fraud conspiracy. Ghighina’s co-conspirators, many of whom are in Romania, created fraudulent online auctions for expensive items such as cars, motorcycles and RVs on websites such as eBay, Craigslist and AutoTrader.com.
Victims who responded to these fraudulent listings were directed, in some cases by e-mail or telephone, to transmit payment for the non-existent items using Western Union and bank wire transfers to accounts controlled by Ghighina.
Ghighina admitted that he moved from city to city, opening new accounts at various banks using false identification as part of the conspiracy. The victims never received the items for which they had paid. From approximately September 2005 until his arrest in October 2009 in Miami, Ghighina opened accounts and/or received funds in Illinois, the District of Columbia, Florida, New York, Arizona and elsewhere.
The sentence resolves two separate indictments against Ghighina, one from a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Illinois and a separate indictment from a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia. Ghighina also previously was convicted on related charges of wire and visa fraud in the Southern District of Florida and sentenced on those charges to 27 months in prison. Based on the plea agreement, the sentence imposed today will run concurrently with Ghighina’s sentence in the Florida case, for which he has already served 21 months in prison.
The Chicago case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Hayes with the Northern District of Illinois. The Washington case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Springsteen for the District of Columbia. Mr. Springsteen also serves as a Trial Attorney with the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS). Assistance on the Washington case was also provided by CCIPS Trial Attorneys Gavin Corn and Mysti Degani. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance in this matter. This case is being investigated by the Chicago and Washington Field Offices of the FBI, as well as the Chicago Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bank robbery suspect wanted by the FBI in Indiana

The below advisory was issued by the FBI Merrillville (Indianapolis ) Office.  If anyone has any information regarding this robbery, please contact the office at 219/769-3719. 
 
 
 

White/Male approximately 30 – 40 years of age, approximately 6 feet tall, heavy set, gray hair, dark goatee.
 
Clothing – Chicago Cubs baseball hat, sunglasses, white/blue or white/gray flannel shirt.
 
Bank robber walked into the 5/3rd bank at the corner of Calumet and Broadmoor, in Munster.  He waited at the counter and eventually approached the lone teller.  Presented a black hand gun and demanded all the money.  He was given dye packs and it appears the packs did go off.
 
Fled in a black or dark color, Honda or Hyundai, 4 door.  Witnesses saw what may have been a license plate with a partial tag of A194611.
 
No injuries.
 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

SUSPECT ARRESTED IN “NUNS ON THE RUN” BANK ROBBERY


A 23-year old Chicago woman has been arrested and charged in connection with the armed robbery of the TCF Bank branch, located at 6410 West 127th Street in southwest suburban Palos Heights over the Memorial Day weekend.
Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was joined by George T. Yott, Chief of the Palos Heights, Illinois Police Department (PHPD) in announcing the arrest of NAVAHCIA L. EDWARDS, whose last known address was in the 4000 block of West 115th Street. EDWARDS was arrested earlier today, without incident, by FBI special agents and officers of the PHPD at a residence in Lansing, Illinois.
EDWARDS was charged in a criminal complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of Bank Robbery, which is a felony offense. According to the complaint, two robbers, one of whom was subsequently identified as EDWARDS, burst into the Palos Heights bank on May 29th, brandishing handguns and dressed in what witnesses described as black nun habits. They also had their faces concealed with masks of elderly women and wore gloves.
After securing the bank, the robbers forced the two bank employees on duty to the vault area, where they were ordered at gun point to open the vault. The robbers then placed in excess of $120,000 in bank funds into a small gym bag which they had brought with them. The robbers then tied up both bank employees with zip ties before fleeing the area in a waiting vehicle, believed to be a newer model Chevrolet sedan.
No shots were fired and no injuries were reported during the robbery but both bank employees were shaken by the experience.
Subsequent investigation by the FBI and PHPD developed evidence linking EDWARDS to the robbery, including the purchase of two “Nuns on the Run” costumes from an online party and novelty merchant and plastic Zip Ties from a local hardware store. The second individual involved in this robbery has not yet been identified and remains at-large.
EDWARDS appeared earlier today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael T. Mason in Chicago, at which time she was formally charged. EDWARDS was ordered held without bond, pending her next court appearance, which is scheduled for July 7th. Until then, she will be held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago. If convicted of the charge filed against her, EDWARDS faces a possible sentence of up to twenty (20) years in prison.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dr. GAUTAM GUPTA wanted by the FBI for fraud

Criminal charges alleging that the owner of a chain of medically supervised weight-loss clinics defrauded both a private health insurance company and the Illinois Medicaid program were filed earlier this week, announced Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Mr. Grant was joined by Hiram Grau, Director of the Illinois State Police and Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) in announcing the charges.
Dr. GAUTAM GUPTA, who owns and operates the Nutrition Clinic, with locations in Arlington Heights, Chicago, Naperville, Rockford and South Beloit, was charged with one count each of Mail Fraud, Health Care Fraud and Conspiracy, all of which are felony offenses, in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Springfield.
The complaint alleges that Dr. GUPTA, or members of his staff acting at his direction, submitted claims to both the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance Company and the Illinois Medicaid program for unnecessary procedures or procedures which were never performed. The complaint indicates that, during the period of June 2001 through January of 2010, the Nutrition Clinic was paid nearly $25 million for claims submitted on behalf of clinic patients.
Attempts to locate and apprehend Dr. GUPTA have thus far been unsuccessful. As such, he is now the subject of a nationwide manhunt which is being coordinated by the Chicago FBI. Dr. GUPTA, whose last known address was 1660 North Mulford Road in Rockford, is described as a white/male of Indian descent, 57 years of age, 5’5” tall, 160 pounds, graying black hair which is sometimes worn in a ponytail, and brown eyes.
Anyone recognizing Dr. Gupta or having any information about his current whereabouts is asked to call the Chicago FBI at (312) 421-6700.
This case was investigated jointly by the Chicago FBI, the Illinois State Police – Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau, and the HHS-OIG.
If convicted of the charges filed against him, Dr. Gupta faces a possible sentence of up to 35 years incarceration.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Palos Heights TCF Bank branch was robbed by masked man

The TCF Bank branch, located at 6410 West 127th Street in Palos Heights, was robbed in a takeover style robbery yesterday afternoon at approximately 2:00 pm. Photos of the robbers and their getaway vehicle are attached. It appears that the offenders are wearing nun masks and habits similar to the ones used by bank robbers from the recent film “The Town”.
Investigation is still ongoing. No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed.
If you have information regarding this case please contact the local authorities.

Friday, April 8, 2011

ELVIR SINIKOVIC CHARGED IN BANK EMBEZZLEMENT SCHEME

A suburban Chicago man employed as an Escrow Administrator with the Chicago Title and Trust Company (CTTC), was arrested earlier this week after being charged with embezzling $50,000 from an escrow account of the Signature Bank, held by the CTTC.
ELVIR SINIKOVIC, age 33, of 720 Wellington Avenue in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, was arrested at his residence early Wednesday morning, without incident, by Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Special Agents from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s, Office of Inspector General (HUD/OIG) and the Criminal Investigations Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assisted in the arrest. The arrest was announced today by Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

American Airlines Flight Diverted to Chicago

FBI Chicago announced today that last night, American Airlines flight 48, non-stop service from Dallas, Texas to Paris, France was diverted to Chicago O’Hare International airport due to an unruly passenger. According to witnesses, the passenger was intoxicated and became disruptive and combative with the flight crew. Air Marshal’s, who were on board the flight, intervened and the male passenger, identified only as a French national, was subdued.
The plane landed safely in Chicago at approximately 8:00 PM and the passenger was removed from the flight. No injuries were reported during the incident and the safe operation of the plane was not jeopardized.
The disruptive passenger was questioned then released with no charges filed.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

NINE PEOPLE CHARGED IN SOUTHEAST SIDE DRUG PROBE

Eight individuals, all suspected members or associates of the Almighty Latin Kings Nation (ALKN) street gang, operating primarily on Chicago’s southeast side and northwest Indiana, were arrested today by agents and officers assigned to the FBI’s Joint Task Force on Gangs, culminating a nearly two-year long investigation which targeted illicit drug sales. One additional defendant remains at-large and is now the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

FBI Chicago is hiring foreign language speakers

The Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will be hosting a Foreign Language Career Fair on Saturday, March 12, 2011. The Fair will be held at the offices of the Illinois Medical District, located at 2100 W Harrison Street in Chicago. Persons interested in a Contract Linguist position with the FBI are invited to attend anytime between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Free parking is available at the facility and at the southwest corner of Leavitt and Harrison Streets.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

TWENTY CHARGED IN HUMBOLDT PARK DRUG SWEEP

Eighteen individuals, including seventeen members of the Maniac Latin Disciples street gang, operating primarily on Chicago’s Northwest side in and around Humboldt Park, were arrested today by agents and officers assigned to the FBI’s Joint Task Force on Gangs, culminating a nearly two-year long investigation which targeted illicit drug and firearms sales. Two additional defendants remain at-large and are now the subject of a nationwide manhunt.
The arrests were announced today by Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Jody P. Weis, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department (CPD).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Romanian Man Pleads Guilty to Role in International Fraud Scheme Involving Online Auction Websites

WASHINGTON—A Romanian man pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly in Chicago to one count each of wire fraud and conspiracy for his role in moving and hiding the illicit proceeds of an international fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald for the Northern District of Illinois and U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. for the District of Columbia.
Adrian Ghighina, 33, of Bucharest, Romania, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Illinois in April 2008 on seven counts of wire fraud. In May 2010, Ghighina was separately indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington on charges of conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering.
According to court documents, Ghighina, who entered the United States legally in late 2004, acted as a “money mule” in a complex Internet fraud conspiracy. Ghighina’s coconspirators, many of whom are in Romania, created fraudulent online auctions for expensive items such as cars, motorcycles and RVs on websites such as eBay, Craigslist and AutoTrader.com. Victims who responded to these fraudulent listings were directed, in some cases by e-mail or telephone, to transmit payment for the non-existent items using Western Union and bank wire transfers to accounts controlled by Ghighina.
Ghighina admitted that he moved from city to city opening new accounts at various banks using false identification as part of the conspiracy. The victims never received the items for which they had paid. From approximately September 2005 until his arrest in October 2009 in Miami, Ghighina opened accounts and/or received funds in Illinois, the District of Columbia, Florida, New York, Arizona and elsewhere.
Ghighina faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the count of wire fraud from the Chicago indictment, and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud from the Washington indictment. Both counts also include up to three years of supervised release following any prison term. Sentencing is scheduled for May 9, 2011. Ghighina also previously was convicted on related charges of wire and visa fraud in the Southern District of Florida and sentenced on those charges to 27 months in prison.
The Chicago case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Hayes with the Northern District of Illinois. The Washington case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Springsteen for the District of Columbia. Mr. Springsteen also serves as a Trial Attorney with the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. Assistance on the Washington case was also provided by CCIPS Trial Attorneys Gavin Corn and Mysti Degani. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance in this matter. This case is being investigated by the Chicago and Washington Field Offices of the FBI, as well as the Chicago Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Glenn Stancil convicted for Scheming with Two Others in Fraud on Customers and Lenders

CHICAGO—The president of a former west suburban auto dealership was convicted of engaging in a fraud scheme in which he, together with the dealership’s owner and another employee, caused lending institutions, car dealerships, and customers to lose approximately $2.25 million in transactions involving more than 100 vehicles. Glenn Stancil, once president of the former Clover Financial Sales & Leasing, Inc., in Roselle, was found guilty late yesterday on 11 counts of mail and wire fraud by a federal jury following a two-week trial in U.S. District Court, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today.

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending february 4, 2010

  1. Charlotte: Iranian National Charged with Illegally Exporting Specialized Metals from the United States to Iran

    Milad Jafari, a citizen and resident of Iran, was indicted for illegally exporting and attempting to export specialized metals from the U.S. through companies in Turkey to several entities in Iran, including some entities that have been sanctioned for involvement in ballistic missile activities. Full Story
  2. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Woman Pleads Guilty in Plot to Recruit Violent Jihadist Fighters and to Commit Murder Overseas

SIXTEEN CHARGED IN SOUTH SUBURBAN DRUG SWEEP

Thirteen alleged members of two separate drug distribution rings operating in Robbins and Harvey were arrested yesterday by agents and officers assigned to a federal task force, culminating a lengthy investigation which targeted illicit drug distribution in the south suburbs. Three additional defendants remain at-large and are now the subject of a nationwide manhunt.
The charges were made public today by Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who was joined Thomas Dart, Cook County Sheriff; Frederick W. Hayes, Chief of the Joliet, Illinois Police Department; and Timothy J. McCarthy, Chief of the Orland Park, Illinois Police Department in announcing the arrests.
The charges were contained in two separate criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, which were unsealed late yesterday, and which charged 12 Chicago area residents with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin. Four others were charged with violating state drug laws in charges filed in both Cook and Will County Circuit Courts.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 22, 2010

  1. New York/Newark/Boston: Ninety-One Leaders, Members, and Associates of La Cosa Nostra Families in Four Districts Charged with Racketeering and Related Crimes, Including Murder and Extortion

    Ninety-one members and associates of seven organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra (LCN), including the New England LCN family, all five New York-based families, and the New Jersey-based Decavalcante, family were charged with federal crimes in 16 indictments returned in four judicial districts, and 36 additional defendants were charged for their roles in alleged associated criminal activity. Full Story

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

KHARL R. WILLIAMS Arrested in Bank Robbery

A 43-year old Elgin man was charged today in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of bank Robbery, which is a felony offense. KHARL R. WILLIAMS was charged with the Sunday robbery of the TCF bank branch, located at 2501 West Schaumburg Road.
WILLIAMS appeared  before Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez in Chicago, earlier today, at which time he was formally charged.  WILLIAMS was ordered held without bond, pending his next scheduled court appearance.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 14, 2010

  1. Phoenix: Initial Appearance for Jared Lee Loughner
    The United States Attorney for the District of Arizona announced that Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in the Tucson shooting investigation, made his initial appearance in federal court. Loughner remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing. Full Story
  2. New York: Abdel Nur Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Providing Material Support to the Conspiracy to Commit a Terrorist Attack at JFK Airport

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

FBI Releases Bank Crime Statistics for Third Quarter of 2010

During the third quarter of 2010, there were 1,325 reported violations of the Federal Bank Robbery and Incidental Crimes Statue, an increase from the 1,212 reported violations in the same quarter of 2009.1 According to statistics released today by the FBI, there were 1,310 robberies, 13 burglaries, two larcenies and six extortions of financial institutions2 reported between July 1, 2010 and Sept. 30, 2010.
Highlights of the report include:
  • Loot was taken in 90 percent of the incidents, totaling more than $9.3 million.
  • Of the loot taken, 20 percent, or nearly $1.4 million, was recovered and returned to financial institutions.
  • Bank crimes most frequently occurred on Friday. Regardless of the day, the time frame when bank crimes occurred most frequently was between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Acts of violence were committed in 4 percent of the incidents, resulting in 21 injuries, four deaths, and nine people being taken hostage.3
  • Demand notes were the most common modus operandi used, closely followed by oral demands.4
  • Most violations occurred in the southern region of the U.S., with 482 reported incidents.

These statistics were recorded as of October. 27, 2010. Note that not all bank crimes are reported to the FBI, and therefore the report is not a complete statistical compilation of all bank crimes that occurred in the U.S.
1 In the third quarter of 2009, there were 1,184 robberies and 28 burglaries. No larcenies or extortions were reported.
2 Financial institutions include commercial banks, mutual savings banks, savings and loan associations and credit unions.
3 One or more acts of violence may occur during an incident.
4 More than one modus operandi may have been used during an incident.

View the entire report

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 7, 2010

  1. Washington Field/St. Louis: Former CIA Officer Arrested for Alleged Unauthorized Disclosure of National Defense Information and Obstruction of Justice

    Jeffrey Alexander Sterling, a former CIA officer, was arrested in St. Louis on charges that he illegally disclosed national defense information and obstructed justice. Sterling was charged with six counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and one count each of unlawful retention of national defense information, mail fraud, unauthorized conveyance of government property, and obstruction of justice. Full Story

Monday, January 10, 2011

Brunt Bros., Its Owner, and Non-Minority Contractor Indicted for Alleged Minority Contract Fraud on City Sewer Work

CHICAGO—The owner of a Chicago company certified as a minority-owned business, his company, and the former president of a non-minority contractor were indicted today on federal fraud charges for allegedly scheming to use the minority business merely as a "pass-through" on a multi-million-dollar sewer cleaning and inspection contract. The company, Brunt Bros. Transfer, Inc., allegedly fraudulently received more than $3 million since 2000 after being hired to clean and videotape city sewers south of 63rd Street as part of the Southern Third Chicago Sewers Contract, also known as the Southern District Contract, when, in fact, it did not actually perform the work specified by the contract.