“FBI seized vendor records, hard drives from Horizon charter schools”

July 23, 2014

The Columbus Dispatch on July 23, 2014 released the following:

By Jennifer Smith Richards

“The FBI is examining the relationship between the Horizon Science Academy charter schools and several technology vendors, including some based in Ohio.

Court-ordered search warrants and evidence logs show that FBI investigators removed financial documents, including check stubs, invoices, bank records and travel-reimbursement receipts from the Concept Schools headquarters and Horizon Science Academy Middle School in Columbus. Agents also took external computer hard drives and copied more than a dozen hard drives.

The warrants from early June sought any records related to the federal E-rate program dating back to 2003. Agents served the warrants in Concept-operated buildings on June 4. A federal grand jury also issued a subpoena to the schools for the same information sought in the warrants.

The Chicago-based school group runs 30 public charter schools across the Midwest, 19 of them in Ohio. Four are in Columbus. The FBI served warrants in several Midwestern states, including Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Agents searched individual schools, as well as main and regional headquarters and storage units.

The Dispatch obtained the warrants and FBI evidence logs through public-records requests to the schools. The logs don’t indicate the reason agents removed records or computer hardware, only a description of the evidence they seized.

Schools can use federal E-rate grants to purchase technology upgrades and discounted telecommunication services. Ohio’s Horizon schools, which are publicly funded but privately run, have been awarded about $7.4 million in E-rate grants since 2002.

An FBI spokeswoman in Cleveland said yesterday that she could not release more information about the FBI’s interest in the Horizon Science schools. The spokeswoman, Vicki Anderson, repeated that the FBI is conducting “an ongoing investigation that involves a white-collar type matter” and is working with the U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC distributes E-rate grants.

A spokeswoman for Concept Schools in Chicago said yesterday that there’s little the schools can say about the investigation, but that Concept is cooperating.

Investigators focused on a few technology vendors in seeking invoices and payment data from the Chicago Concept Schools headquarters and from the Columbus headquarters, which oversees half of Ohio’s Concept buildings. Some of those vendors are in Ohio and one is a former Concept Schools employee.

Schools that use E-rate funds have to select vendors through a competitive bidding process to get the most cost-effective rates.

Agents seized information related to Ozgur Balsoy, vice president of Advanced Solutions for Education. The company is based in Mentor, near Cleveland, and also has headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. Records kept by the Ohio Department of Education list Balsoy as an administrator at Horizon Science Middle School in Columbus in 2007.

The FBI also removed financial information related to Core Group, Inc., which is based in suburban Chicago and run by Ertugrul Gurbuz; Cambridge Technologies based in Chesterland, Ohio, which is owned by Stephen Draviam; Sundance International, an IT company owned by Galip Kuyuk and based in Chicago and Istanbul; and the Metropolitan Educational Council in Columbus. The MEC is an education consortium that contracts to provide services to several central Ohio public school districts.

Concept Schools was founded by a group of Turkish scientists and continues to be managed by Turkish-Americans, including the three Horizon schools and Noble Academy in Columbus.

The owners of some of the companies whose financial relationships with Concept Schools are of interest to the FBI also are of Turkish heritage.

The warrant served at the Concept headquarters buildings also sought records about specific employees, including Concept Schools’ founder and the chief information officer.

This FBI’s work is separate from some state inquiries into Horizon Science. A handful of former teachers at a Horizon school in Dayton have made several allegations about that school, including unreported sexual activity in the school, unequal treatment of students and teachers, and standardized-test cheating. Both the Ohio Department of Education and the state auditor have said they will look into the matter.

Concept Schools officials called those allegations baseless but said they will look into them.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


“FBI, Interpol Host Critical Infrastructure Symposium”

July 8, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on July 8, 2014 released the following:

Director Comey Addresses the Importance of Partnerships

07/08/14

FBI Director James Comey was in Miami yesterday, where he spoke at the opening of the four-day International Law Enforcement Critical Infrastructure Symposium. The event, co-hosted by the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Directorate and Interpol, has drawn senior law enforcement officials from more than 90 countries to explore and share best practices for managing WMD and counterterrorism threats targeted against critical infrastructure and to identify common approaches to protect infrastructure and key resources.

Also participating in the symposium are domestic first responders, corporate security officers, and other U.S. federal partners.

“Today, critical infrastructure is all encompassing,” said Director Comey. “It is everything to our country and our world—our dams, our bridges, our highways, our networks,” he added, explaining that the threats we face to our interconnected systems—such as bioterrorism, agroterrorism, and sabotage—are as diverse as our infrastructure itself.

Comey cited examples of threats to infrastructure, to include the armed assault last April on a California power station, the 2008 attack in Mumbai in which gunmen opened fire at a number of locations, and last year’s deadly shootings at a Kenyan shopping mall. He also noted the ninth anniversary of the July 7, 2013 strikes by terrorists who bombed the London Underground and a double-decker bus in a series of coordinated suicide attacks.

“We know these threats are real,” Comey told the audience. “We must together figure out ways to protect our infrastructure, to work together to strengthen our response to a terrorist attack, a tragic accident, or a natural disaster.”

While touching on topics ranging from terrorism, cyber, and WMD threats to training, partnerships, and intelligence, Comey’s theme throughout underscored the importance of open communication and information sharing with our partners in the U.S. and abroad.

Interpol, as an international police organization, is an important partner on which the Bureau relies heavily to help combat threats of all types. The FBI, through its liaison with Interpol, is able to leverage 190 member countries to address challenges around the globe—a very important ability in a constantly evolving global threat environment.

Comey also highlighted the work of our WMD Directorate, each FBI field office’s WMD coordinator, and our two regional WMD assistant legal attachés in Tbilisi and Singapore. “They integrate our counterterrorism, intelligence, counterintelligence, scientific, and technological components and provide timely analysis of the threat and response,” Comey said. “The goal is to shrink the world to respond to the threat.”

The symposium provides the opportunity for participants to help work toward that goal. Through networking and discussions on how to coordinate and cooperate on critical infrastructure preparedness and protection efforts, attendees will strengthen existing partnerships and develop new ones. By rallying the international community around defeating a common threat, our collective chances of success increase.

Director Comey said that our greatest weapon in this fight is unity, which is developed through intelligence sharing and interagency cooperation. “It is built on the idea that standing together, we are smarter and stronger than when we are standing alone,” he said. “Because no one person—no FBI agent, no police officer, no agency, and no country—can prevent or respond to an attack on critical infrastructure alone.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Eighteen sheriff’s deputies charged by FBI LA in an alleged inmate-abuse probe

December 10, 2013

The Guardian on December 9, 2013 released the following:

Associated Press in Los Angeles

“Federal officials on Monday unsealed five criminal cases filed against 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, as part of an FBI investigation into allegations of civil rights abuses and corruption in the nation’s largest jail system.

The charges were announced at a press conference after 16 of 18 defendants were arrested earlier in the day. They were expected to be arraigned later in US district court.

“These incidents did not take place in a vacuum – in fact, they demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized,” said US attorney Andre Birotte Jr. “The pattern of activity alleged in the obstruction of justice case shows how some members of the sheriff’s department considered themselves to be above the law.”

Four grand jury indictments and a criminal complaint allege unjustified beatings of jail inmates and visitors at downtown Los Angeles jail facilities, unjustified detentions and a conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation into misconduct at the Men’s Central Jail. The FBI has been investigating allegations of excessive force and other misconduct at the county’s jails since at least 2011. An official said the arrests were related to the abuse of individuals in the jail system and also allegations that sheriff’s officials moved an FBI informant in the jails possibly to thwart their probe.

A sheriff’s department spokesman, Steve Whitmore, referred calls to the FBI and said Sheriff Lee Baca would provide a comment later on Monday afternoon. “We’ve cooperated fully with the FBI in their investigation and we’ll continue to do so,” Whitmore said.

One federal indictment, filed on 20 November, named seven deputies charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice. It is unclear from the indictment whether they are currently employed by the department. Among those charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the 18-page indictment are two lieutenants, one of whom oversaw the department’s safe jails program and another who investigated allegations of local crimes committed by sheriff’s personnel, two sergeants and three deputies.

All seven are accused of trying to prevent the FBI from contacting or interviewing an inmate who was helping federal agents in a corruption and civil rights probe. One of the investigations involved trying to see if a deputy would accept a bribe to provide the inmate with a cell phone, court documents show. The indictment alleges the inmate was moved to hide him and false entries were made in the sheriff’s databases to make it appear as if he had been released.

In an attempt to find out more information about the investigation, one lieutenant and the two sergeants sought a court order to compel the FBI to provide documents, prosecutors said. When a state judge denied the proposed order, the two sergeants allegedly attempted to intimidate one of the lead FBI agents outside her house and falsely told her they were going to seek a warrant for her arrest, the indictment said.

Baca has acknowledged mistakes to a county commission reviewing reports of brutality, but he has also defended his department and distanced himself personally from the allegations. He said he has made improvements including creating a database to track inmate complaints. Baca has also hired a new head of custody and rearranged his command staff.

Retired sheriff’s commander Bob Olmsted, who is challenging Baca for the voter-elected position of sheriff in 2014, said in a statement on Monday that the arrests “underscore the high level of corruption that has plagued the Sheriff’s Department”. He said that as a commander he tried “several times” to notify the sheriff and his command staff about “ongoing abuses and misconduct” in Men’s Central Jail, but his “concerns fell on deaf ears”.

“I knew I had to act, and as a result, I notified the FBI of the department’s culture and acceptance of excessive force, inmate abuse, sheriff’s gangs, and corruption,” Olmsted said.

In 2012 the American Civil Liberties Union sued the sheriff’s department, claiming the sheriff and his top commanders had condoned violence against inmates. The organization released a report documenting more than 70 cases of misconduct by deputies.

Last month the county announced the appointment of a veteran Los Angeles County prosecutor, Max Huntsman, to head a new office of inspector general that will oversee the sheriff’s department.

As of Monday, the county’s jails held more than 18,700 inmates.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


“More Americans ditch their passports”

November 18, 2013

CNN Money on November 14, 2013 released the following:

By Lynnley Browning

“FORTUNE — Time to dump your American passport — and with it, presumably, your bothersome U.S. tax bill. The reason, international tax lawyers say, may have less to do with offshore tax evasion and more with a new generation of sophisticated — and legal — tax planning.

This year will enter the record books with the highest number of expatriations ever by U.S. citizens, according to new government figures released Wednesday. Even rock star Tina Turner, a long-time resident of Switzerland who got a full Swiss passport last April, is on track to relinquish her U.S. ties, her spokeswoman said.

Some 560 Americans joined the exodus in the third quarter of this year, putting the total number so far this year at 2,369, according to Treasury Department data published by the Federal Register. That is already 33% more than the 1,781 who left in all of 2011, the previous record.

While the number of people who gave up their little blue books in the first six months of this year had already edged out the 2011 record by a hair, the recent figures firmly cement the trend.

Ditching a passport can save an American lots of money in taxes. The reason: The U.S., along with Eritrea, is one of only two countries in the world to tax its citizens on their worldwide income, regardless of where they live or work. If you reside in, say, Geneva, you still owe the U.S. tax man money on income you earn there.

Turner’s name — her birth name is Anna Mae Bullock — does not appear on the most recent Federal Register list. But Karin Rhomberg, a spokeswoman for Turner, confirmed in an email that the “Private Dancer” and “Simply the Best” singer was on track to relinquish her U.S. passport.

Turner acquired a full Swiss passport last April, Rhomberg said. At 73, the singer, who was born in Nutbush, Tenn., lives in Kussnacht, a wealthy enclave near Zurich, with her German-born husband.

The expatriation trend has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years amid a widening U.S. crackdown on offshore tax evasion through Swiss and Swiss-style banks. Even the U.S. Embassy in Bern has a “renunciations” tab on its website.

Many of those who dump their passports have dual citizenships in other countries, such as Switzerland or Canada, immigration lawyers say. But increasingly, an onerous new U.S. Treasury rule known as Fatca is prompting smaller and mid-sized foreign banks in countries where Americans live and work to dump their American clients.

The rule, which goes into effect next July, requires foreign banks to identify and scrutinize Americans with accounts containing at least $50,000 and either report those accounts to U.S. tax authorities or withhold 30% of dividends, interest, and other payments and send that money to the U.S. Treasury. The law, widely hated by Americans living and working abroad, has made it tough to do simple financial things abroad.

“Local banks don’t like dealing with Americans, so it makes it harder for Americans abroad to live normal lives,” said Phil Hodgen, an international tax lawyer in Pasadena, Calif. Marylouise Serrato, the executive director of American Citizens Abroad, a Geneva-based lobby for expats, said recently in an email that “individuals with legitimate need of banking services will be locked out” of many foreign countries.

One new trend has emerged: U.S. passport renunciations by dual nationals who build family businesses in other countries that do not have estate taxes.

“Americans are realizing that their businesses are likely to be torn apart by the U.S. estate tax even if that business never touched the U.S.,” Hodgen said, citing as an example a dual citizen who owns a construction company in Saudi Arabia. An owner who wants to pass his company on to his heirs will also sock them with a 40% estate-tax bill, due to his U.S. citizenship.

“You’re going to see tons of people waking up to this,” Hodgen said.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


“13 alleged hackers indicted in attacks on sites unkind to file sharing, WikiLeaks”

October 3, 2013

The Washington Post on October 3, 2013 released the following:

By Matt Zapotosky

“Federal prosecutors have charged 13 alleged members of the hacking group Anonymous in connection with cyberattacks that the collective launched in 2010 against ­anti-piracy groups and financial institutions unwilling to process donations to WikiLeaks.

The indictment returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria charges the 13 men with conspiring to intentionally cause damage to protected computers. Prosecutors accused the men of participating in a series of cyberattacks that briefly disrupted Mastercard’s and Visa’s Web sites and also targeted the Web sites of anti-piracy groups across the world.

Detailed in 28 pages, the charges are the latest in the Justice Department’s effort to root out cybercrime by prosecuting hackers across the country — especially those affiliated with Anonymous. Last year, federal prosecutors charged five alleged Anonymous members who they say stole confidential information from U.S. companies and temporarily shut down government Web sites. This year, prosecutors charged a journalist who they say worked with the group to modify a story on the Los Angeles Times’ Web site.

Anonymous is a loosely knit group with no clear leaders that is generally interested in promoting a more freewheeling Internet. Those indicted Thursday range in age from 21 to 65 and are spread across the country, including one man from the D.C. area.

The allegations in this case stem from a series of cyberattacks that began in September 2010, when members of Anonymous decided to retaliate for the shuttering of Pirate Bay, a popular Sweden-based file-sharing site, according to the indictment. Dubbed “Operation Payback” by those who participated in it, the attacks drew national and international attention as the hackers briefly disrupted the Web sites for Mastercard and Visa because they had stopped processing payments to WikiLeaks.

The effort was not overly sophisticated, but it was effective. The group posted messages on online bulletin boards urging supporters to install a program called a Low Orbit Ion Cannon and then, at a specified time, unleash the program on a particular Web site’s IP address, according to the indictment. That sends an overwhelming amount of Internet traffic to the targeted site and possibly disrupts or shuts it down, according to the indictment. The technique is referred to as a Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, attack.

For months, according to the indictment, the hackers, who see some copyright laws as unjust, targeted the Web sites of companies and people they thought were opposed to file sharing. They attacked the sites of those that have been the faces of anti-piracy in the United States — the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America — and the sites of their equivalents worldwide. They attacked the sites of law firms helping in anti-piracy cases. They attacked the site of the U.S. Copyright Office. They even attacked the site of rocker Gene Simmons, who has spoken out against music piracy.

Gregg Housh, an Internet activist and former Anonymous member who still watches the group’s activity, said the attacks started as a protest of anti-piracy efforts but evolved as those involved learned of major companies’ refusal to process WikiLeaks donations. He said the recent indictment was unlikely to deter Anonymous hackers, but instead would “fire up the base, a lot.”

“I think it’s just going to turn into a rally of support, not people being scared,” Housh said, “and that’s exactly what they don’t want.”

Housh defended Operation Payback — of which he said he had no part — as an effort to re-create a traditional protest online. He noted that customers’ abilities to use their credit cards were not affected; only the credit card companies’ Web sites were shut down.

“Something has to be done to come up with a way to protest online that everyone doesn’t end up getting thrown in jail,” he said.

Prosecutors identified those charged as Dennis Owen Collins, 52, of Toledo; Jeremy Leroy Heller, 23, of Takoma Park; Zhiwei Chen, 21, of Atlanta; Joshua S. Phy, 27, of Gloucester, N.J.; Ryan Russell Gubele, 27, of Seattle; Robert Audubon Whitfield, 27, of Georgetown, Tex.; Anthony Tadros, 22, of Storrs Mansfield, Conn.; Geoffrey Kenneth Commander, 65, of Hancock, N.H.; Phillip Garrett Simpson, 28, of Tucson; Austen L. Stamm, 26, of Beloit, Kan.; Timothy Robert McClain, 26, of Clemson, S.C.; Wade Carl Williams, 27, of Missoula, Mont.; and Thomas J. Bell, 28, of Rockland, Mass.”

US v Collins Case No 1-13-cr-00383-LO

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


“Federal prosecutors seek hugely reduced sentence for Mark Dain, oversaw massive fraud”

October 3, 2013

The Washington Post on October 3, 2013 released the following:

By: Tom Jackman

“Mark Dain admits that he headed up a massive real estate fraud scheme, of the “no money down” variety, which scammed hundreds of Northern Virginia residents and cost banks millions of dollars. He sold vacant lots in North and South Carolina in 2006 and 2007, with the promise that they could be quickly flipped for easy profits, and it all collapsed with the real estate market. It’s been called the biggest real estate scam in North Carolina’s history.

Dain pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in July. His sentencing is Friday. The probation office calculates that Dain should face a sentence of 87 to 108 months in prison. But on Monday, federal prosecutors recommended that Dain be sentenced to just 26 months in prison. Then, on Tuesday, prosecutors amended their recommendation: Dain, the ringleader of the operation, should serve 18 months in prison. That would be less than the sentences imposed on three of Dain’s employees in his Woodbridge-based company, Total Realty Management, which prosecutors finally identified by name for the first time in their sentencing memos this week.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria did not return requests for comment or explain why it dropped its recommendation from 26 months to 18 months. Dain apparently has been cooperating with a federal investigation of his scam for three-and-a-half years, and prosecutors filed a separate memo under seal explaining why he should serve less time than the people he oversaw.

Dain’s scam began with recruiting pitches around Northern Virginia, many using his former Chantilly High School football coach, the widely respected Danny Meier. Dozens of teachers and school administrators signed up to buy a piece of land, with no payments due for two years because TRM was already collecting huge profits from the sale of the land and making the monthly interest-only. A fellow speculator, Michael McCracken, told U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in 2011 that the bank loan officers were well aware of the scheme, which involved falsifying loan applications and assets of the teachers and other investors. About 500 lots were sold, for prices ranging from $300,000 to $400,000, in three planned developments, including two near Topsail and Emerald islands in North Carolina.

Land values collapsed in 2007, and the lots became worth $10,000 to $15,000. The Northern Virginia buyers were stuck. Civil suits were launched in Virginia and North and South Carolina, eventually yielding settlements for many of the buyers that extricated them from the mortgages. But Dain and his main partner, Mark Jalajel, were never charged with a crime. Jalajel remains uncharged to this day.

But former employees were charged, including Aaron V. Hernandez, a former TRM employee who started his own company and used the same scheme. In May 2010, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to five years in prison. In July 2010, TRM employee Cari Deuterman pleaded guilty and received 24 months. Christopher Tonkinson, another TRM employee, also received 24 months. McCracken was sentenced to 40 months.

Also in 2010, according to his sentencing memorandum, Dain “became a born-again Christian and now lives his everyday life by the teachings of Jesus.” Before 2010, the memo by attorney Michael T. Pritchard states, “Mr. Dain admits he lived an immoral life, both personally and professionally. He made many mistakes. He broke the law. His actions hurt people.” So after the high-flying period in 2006 and 2007 when Dain was imploring bank officials to help him acquire great wealth by approving fraudulent loans, he spent another three years with the profits from the scam before realizing “he made many mistakes.”
Pritchard did not return a request for comment.

Dain turned himself in after his guilty plea in July. Pritchard’s memo asks Judge Ellis to sentence Dain only to time already served, or three months or, alternatively, less than 12 months with all time to be served in home or community confinement. Couldn’t hurt to ask. When Dain finishes his sentence, Pritchard wrote, “he plans to pursue a career in the ministry to share his story with hopes of inspiring others to live a virtuous life.”

Dain has been assisting the government for three-and-a-half years, Pritchard’s memo states. “He would drop everything if the government called and be there at a moment’s notice,” Pritchard wrote. “He sacrificed his time to assist the government because it was the right thing to do.” At the time of McCracken’s arrest in 2010, investigators revealed that ”the majority owner of TRM” was a cooperating witness and wore a wire to capture a conversation at McCracken’s home.

But what will the three-and-a-half years of cooperation by Dain lead to? He and Jalajel were disciples of Ron LeGrand, founder of the “No Money Down” movement, who has been linked to TRM in another failed South Carolina project with the same characteristics. Bank of America was particularly active with TRM in North Carolina and was a defendant in lawsuits claiming it was involved in Dain’s scams, although it is also listed as a victim in Dain’s case, along with BB&T, Carolina First and SunTrust Bank. Is the government targeting any of these folks, six years after it all went belly up?

Judge Ellis may well ask Dain about this, and more, at the sentencing hearing. It is set for Friday morning at 9 a.m.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Appeal

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


“Less Pay? The Shutdown Message FBI Agents Didn’t Want to Read”

October 3, 2013

ABC News on October 2, 2013 released the following:

“By Mike Levine

For FBI agents who’ve devoted their careers to protecting the U.S. homeland or rooting out major crime across the country, this certainly was not the message they wanted to read at 5:49 p.m. on Wednesday, the second day of the government shutdown: “Unfortunately, whether you are in an ‘Excepted’ or ‘Non Excepted’ status, there may be a financial impact to your paycheck.”

In other words, if you’re furloughed or not, your salary this year may be different than you planned.

“Only if congressional action is taken to pass legislation which allows for the retroactive payment of compensation for the time period encompassing the government shutdown, then all employees will be compensated for that time period,” said the email to FBI employees, obtained by ABC News.

In many ways, the impact of lawmakers’ failure to keep the federal government running seems theoretical. But it’s not theoretical to the scores of FBI agents now in terrorist-torn Kenya who aren’t being paid as they try to figure out if the group that launched a deadly assault in a Nairobi mall last month could strike the U.S. homeland.

Nor is it theoretical to the FBI agents, CIA operatives, Border Patrol agents, homeland security investigators, airport screeners, firearms agents, U.S. marshals and other intelligence and law enforcement officials who reported for duty across the country this morning without knowing if they’ll ever see a paycheck for their current efforts to protect the nation.

“I wonder why all the fat cats in Washington are getting paid to argue about [the federal budget], and why are we getting caught up in it,” said one frustrated FBI agent, a 15-year veteran who works counterterrorism cases in an unusually expensive U.S. city. “This is horrific.”

At FBI headquarters in Washington, half of the staff – the “non excepted” workers – have been told to stay home, according to one official.

“Life as an FBI agent is pretty tough” even without furloughs, forcing many agents to commute 50 miles or more each day because they can’t afford to live any closer to the city they work to protect, the FBI agent told ABC News.

Those in the agency accept the job and do the work knowing they are serving the public. One of the only things they ask for in return is “a steady paycheck,” the agent said, speaking to ABC News on the condition of anonymity.

“Now one of those things is being taken away,” the agent said, adding that getting compensated sometime later “does not help agents in [an expensive] city who live paycheck to paycheck.”

What’s more, FBI agents and other federal workers currently on the job who require medical attention during the government shutdown are considered furloughed if they leave for a doctor’s appointment. They may never be paid for that time seeking medical help.

“During a government shutdown, by law, there is no paid leave (annual, sick, court, military leave, restored annual leave, comp, or leave for bone marrow or organ donation), no matter when it was approved,” the email to FBI agents late Wednesday said. “Unfortunately, there are no exceptions. … In other words, excepted employees can go to a doctor’s appointment but will be considered furloughed for the hours they are absent.”

The FBI agent who spoke to ABC News had a significant surgery scheduled for next week but felt compelled to cancel the surgery in the wake of the government shutdown.

“Now this is affecting my physical well-being,” the agent said.

ABC News has chosen not to describe the surgery to help protect the FBI agent. FBI officials have directed agents not to speak to the media about how the government shutdown is impacting them.

In addition, because of the government shutdown, the agent who spoke to ABC News was also adjusting plans for the long-term future.

“I’m going to be putting less into my retirement so that I get more take-home and can pay my bills,” the agent said. “That’s really sad.”

Still, the FBI brass concluded its message to employees with this: “[T]hank you for your patience and dedication to the FBI during this difficult time.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


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