Thursday, March 29, 2012

Former Countrywide Loan Officer Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

PHOENIX—On March 7, 2012, Paige Kinney, aka JamieLee Lawler, 43, of Phoenix, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake. Kinney had previously pleaded guilty to various charges related to a mortgage fraud scheme and to charges of bankruptcy fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and bank fraud in two separate indictments.
Ann Birmingham Scheel, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, highlighted the significance of this sentence by stating, “Mortgage fraud has deflated property values, harmed lending institutions, and ruined entire neighborhoods in our community. This defendant was undaunted by the mortgage fraud indictment and continued to commit fraud crimes while awaiting trial on those charges. I commend the IRS and the FBI on a tenacious and thorough investigation that led to this significant sentence.”

Joseph N. Gagliano indicted for bank fraud

PHOENIX—Joseph N. Gagliano, 43, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was arraigned on March 7, 2012 on a seven-count indictment charging three counts of bank fraud in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 1344, one count of wire fraud in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and three counts of false loan and credit applications in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 1014. Gagliano entered pleas of not guilty to all charges.
Ann Birmingham Scheel, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, spoke of the significance of this indictment when she said, “SBA loans are intended to provide qualified small business owners access to capital to finance and grow their businesses. When SBA loans are procured through fraud, deserving small business owners are effectively denied business opportunities. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who fraudulently attempt to obtain financial assistance through SBA’s guaranteed loan programs. I would like to thank the SBA OIG and the FBI for their thoroughness and dedicated professionalism throughout this investigation.”

Five Defendants Charged in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; Jeff Atwater, Chief Financial Officer, State of Florida’s Department of Financial Services; and Tom Grady, Commissioner, State of Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, announced the filing of an criminal information charging defendants Jacinto Puentes, 53, West Palm Beach; Elinor Puentes, 52, West Palm Beach; Theodore Tarone, 43, West Palm Beach; Raul Salabarria, 55, Royal Palm Beach; and Rogelio Ramirez, 42, Port Saint Lucie, with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud scheme. If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Three South Florida Men Sentenced in $9 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced the sentencings of defendants Oscar Bravo, 58 of Port St. Lucie; Jorge Bravo, 57 of Miami; and Sean Dickens, 44, of West Melbourne, Florida. At a sentencing hearing on February 27, 2012, U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore sentenced each defendant to 37 months in prison on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
According to the charges, a co-conspirator, charged in a separate indictment, located residential properties for sale. Defendants Oscar Bravo, Jorge Bravo, and Sean Dickens agreed to purchase the properties, with the goal of refurbishing and reselling them at a profit. The properties were 100 percent lender financed. The price of the properties was falsely inflated in their mortgage applications with the difference between the actual price and the inflated mortgage loan used to make payments on the mortgage loan and to pay for repairs to the properties.
In total, this mortgage scheme involved approximately $9 million in fraudulent mortgage loans.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry S. Baron.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. 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.

Miami-Area Resident Pleads Guilty to Participating in $200 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

WASHINGTON—A Miami-area resident pleaded guilty yesterday for his role in a fraud scheme that resulted in the submission of more than $200 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Frank Criado, 33, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry L. Garber in Miami to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to pay and receive illegal health care kickbacks. Criado was charged in an indictment unsealed on February 15, 2011 in the Southern District of Florida.

DMITRY M. NASKOVETS was sentenced to 33 months in prison

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DMITRY M. NASKOVETS, the creator and operator of CallService.biz, an online business that helped over 2,000 identity thieves commit over 5,000 acts of fraud, was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for conspiring to commit wire fraud and credit card fraud. Through Callservice.biz, NASKOVETS helped other online fraudsters use stolen information by providing English language calling services to deceive banks in the United States. NASKOVETS was arrested in the Czech Republic in April 2010 as part of a multinational law enforcement operation and was subsequently extradited to the Southern District of New York, where he pled guilty in February 2011. NASKOVETS was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan in Manhattan federal court.

Six Hackers in the United States and Abroad Charged for Crimes Affecting Over One Million Victims

Five computer hackers in the United States and abroad were charged today, and a sixth pled guilty, for computer hacking and other crimes. The six hackers identified themselves as aligned with the group Anonymous, which is a loose confederation of computer hackers and others, and/or offshoot groups related to Anonymous, including “Internet Feds,” “LulzSec,” and “AntiSec.”
RYAN ACKROYD, a/k/a “kayla,” a/k/a “lol,” a/k/a “lolspoon”; JAKE DAVIS, a/k/a “topiary,” a/k/a “atopiary”; DARREN MARTYN, a/k/a “pwnsauce,” a/k/a “raepsauce,” a/k/a “networkkitten”; and DONNCHA O’CEARRBHAIL, a/k/a “palladium,” who identified themselves as members of Anonymous, Internet Feds, and/or LulzSec, were charged in an indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court with computer hacking conspiracy involving the hacks of Fox Broadcasting Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and the Public Broadcasting Service (“PBS”). O’CEARRBHAIL is also charged in a separate criminal complaint with intentionally disclosing an unlawfully intercepted wire communication.

Dallas Doctor Arrested for Role in Nearly $375 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

WASHINGTON—A physician and the office manager of his medical practice, along with five owners of home health agencies, were arrested today on charges related to their alleged participation in a nearly $375 million health care fraud scheme involving fraudulent claims for home health services.
The arrests and charges were announced today by Deputy Attorney General James Cole and Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Bill Corr, along with Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Sarah R. SaldaƱa of the Northern District of Texas; HHS Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson; Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Casey Jr. of the FBI’s Dallas Field Office; Dr. Peter Budetti, Deputy Administrator for Program Integrity for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU).

Man Convicted of Distributing Child Pornography

CHICAGO—A federal jury today convicted a Crest Hill man of distributing and possessing child pornography, announced 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. The defendant, Mark McGill, 27, was found guilty of one count of distribution and one count of possession of child pornography for using his home computer to transfer and store child pornography in 2009. The jury deliberated a little more than a hour today following a four-day trial last week in U.S. District Court.
McGill, who is in federal custody, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years on the distribution count, and a maximum of 10 years in prison on the possession count, as well as a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count. U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall scheduled sentencing for 2 p.m. on July 25.
McGill was one of four men who were arrested in the Chicago area in September 2009 as part of an undercover investigation by the FBI’s Innocent Images Task Force of an informal group of self-described “Boy Lovers.” According to a cooperating defendant who testified at trial, McGill attended at least one party with members of the group and they showed each other child pornography. In August 2009, McGill gave the cooperating defendant a thumb drive containing approximately 3,500 images and nearly 60 videos, mostly depicting nude minor boys, many engaged in sexual acts. The same images and videos were recovered from McGill’s computer, which agents seized while executing a search warrant at his home when he was arrested, according to the evidence at trial.
A total of six defendants in Chicago have now been convicted as a result of this investigation, as well as additional defendants in other federal jurisdictions.
The government is being ­represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tiffany Tracy and John Kness.
source: FBI.gov

Derrick Smith was arrested on a federal bribery charge

CHICAGO—Illinois State Rep. Derrick Smith (10th District) was arrested today on a federal bribery charge after an undercover investigation for allegedly accepting a $7,000 cash bribe to write an official letter of support for a daycare center that he believed was seeking a state grant. Since December 2011, Smith and an individual identified as CS-1, who works on Smith’s political campaigns and who, unbeknownst to Smith, was cooperating with the FBI, had numerous conversations about helping a fictional daycare owner obtain a purported state grant in exchange for a political contribution, according to a criminal complaint unsealed after Smith’s arrest. On March 2, Smith provided CS-1 with an official letter of support for the daycare owner to obtain a $50,000 Early Childhood Construction Grant from the state’s Capital Development Board. In return, during a recorded meeting this past Saturday, CS-1 gave Smith $7,000 cash, purportedly from the fictional daycare owner, the complaint alleges.
Smith, 48, of Chicago, was charged with one count of accepting a bribe, announced 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.

Brian Hollnagel, Convicted in $50 Million Fraudulent Financing Scheme

CHICAGO—A federal jury today convicted the owner of an aircraft leasing company and his corporation on fraud and obstruction charges for engaging in a fraudulent financing scheme that raised more than $50 million from investors and lenders, federal law enforcement officials announced.
Brian Hollnagel, 38, of Chicago, the owner, president, and chief executive officer of BCI Aircraft Leasing Inc., and the corporation itself were each convicted of six counts of wire fraud and one count of obstruction of justice for obstructing a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit against them. The jury deadlocked on a second obstruction count against Hollnagel and BCI, as well as on all three wire fraud counts against co-defendant Craig Papayanis, 51, of Moorpark, California, who held various positions at BCI, including managing director and chief financial officer. BCI bought, sold, and leased commercial airplanes and operated first in Naperville and later Chicago.