“Government self-interest corrupted a crime-fighting tool into an evil”

September 23, 2014

The Washington Post on September 18, 2014 released the following:

“By John Yoder and Brad Cates

John Yoder was director of the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture Office from 1983 to 1985. Brad Cates was the director of the office from 1985 to 1989.

Last week, The Post published a series of in-depth articles about the abuses spawned by the law enforcement practice known as civil asset forfeiture. As two people who were heavily involved in the creation of the asset forfeiture initiative at the Justice Department in the 1980s, we find it particularly painful to watch as the heavy hand of government goes amok. The program began with good intentions but now, having failed in both purpose and execution, it should be abolished.

Asset forfeiture was conceived as a way to cut into the profit motive that fueled rampant drug trafficking by cartels and other criminal enterprises, in order to fight the social evils of drug dealing and abuse. Over time, however, the tactic has turned into an evil itself, with the corruption it engendered among government and law enforcement coming to clearly outweigh any benefits.

The idea seemed so simple: Seize the ill-gotten gains of big-time drug dealers and remove the financial incentive for their criminality. After all, if a kingpin could earn $20 million and stash it away somewhere, even a decade in prison would have its rewards. Make that money disappear, and the calculus changes.

Then, in 1986, the concept was expanded to include not only cash earned illegally but also purchases or investments made with that money, creating a whole scheme of new crimes that could be prosecuted as “money laundering.” The property eligible for seizure was further expanded to include “instrumentalities” in the trafficking of drugs, such as cars or even jewelry. Eventually, more than 200 crimes beyond drugs came to be included in the forfeiture scheme.

This all may have been fine in theory, but in the real world it went badly astray. First, many states adopted their own forfeiture laws, creating programs with less monitoring than those at the federal level. Second, state law enforcement agencies and prosecutors started using the property — and finally even to provide basic funding for their departments.

Even at the outset, the use of seized property was an issue. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, for example, might see a suspected dealer in a car they wanted for undercover work and seize it. But if the car had an outstanding loan, the DEA could not keep it without paying the lien. This led to distorted enforcement decisions, with agents choosing whom to pursue based on irrelevant factors such as whether the target owed money on his car.

As time went on and states got into the forfeiture game, the uses became more personally rewarding for law enforcement. Maintaining an undercover identity was often no longer even part of the justification for seizures.

Law enforcement agents and prosecutors began using seized cash and property to fund their operations, supplanting general tax revenue, and this led to the most extreme abuses: law enforcement efforts based upon what cash and property they could seize to fund themselves, rather than on an even-handed effort to enforce the law.

Many Americans are familiar with old-time speed traps, which became so notorious that most state legislatures reformed their systems to require local police and courts to deposit traffic fines into the state treasury to avoid the appearance of biased justice. Today, the old speed traps have all too often been replaced by forfeiture traps, where local police stop cars and seize cash and property to pay for local law enforcement efforts. This is a complete corruption of the process, and it unsurprisingly has led to widespread abuses.

The Asset Forfeiture Reform Act was enacted in 2000 to rein in abuses, but virtually nothing has changed. This is because civil forfeiture is fundamentally at odds with our judicial system and notions of fairness. It is unreformable.

In America, it is often said that it is better that nine guilty people go free than one innocent person be wrongly convicted. But our forfeiture laws turn our traditional concept of guilt upside down. Civil forfeiture laws presume someone’s personal property to be tainted, placing the burden of proving it “innocent” on the owner. What of the Fourth Amendment requirement that a warrant to seize or search requires the showing of probable cause of a specific violation?

Defendants should be charged with the crimes they commit. Charge someone with drug dealing if it can be proved, but don’t invent a second offense of “money laundering” to use as a backup or a pretext to seize cash. Valid, time-tested methods exist to allow law enforcement to seize contraband, profits and instrumentalities via legitimate criminal prosecution.

Civil asset forfeiture and money-laundering laws are gross perversions of the status of government amid a free citizenry. The individual is the font of sovereignty in our constitutional republic, and it is unacceptable that a citizen should have to “prove” anything to the government. If the government has probable cause of a violation of law, then let a warrant be issued. And if the government has proof beyond a reasonable doubt of guilt, let that guilt be proclaimed by 12 peers.”

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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.


FBI: “Kansas Man Indicted for Laser Strike Against Helicopter”

August 26, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 26, 2014 released the following:

“KANSAS CITY, MO—Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for aiming his laser pointer at a Kansas City, Mo, Police Department helicopter.

Jordon Clarence Rogers, 24, of Kansas City, was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo.

Today’s indictment alleges that Rogers aimed the beam of a laser pointer at a Kansas City, Mo., Police Department helicopter on Oct. 8, 2013.

Dickinson cautioned that the charge contained in this indictment is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Casey. It was investigated by the FBI.”

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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.


Ronald McAdams of Williamsport, Pennsylvania is Charged in a One-Count Felony Information Alleging Federal Health Care Fraud

August 26, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 26, 2014 released the following:

Williamsport Resident Charged with Health Care Fraud

The United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a criminal charge of health care fraud has have been filed against Ronald McAdams of Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

According to United States Attorney, Peter Smith, McAdams, age 57, is charged in a one-count felony Information with health care fraud based on submitting false claims to the Pennsylvania Attendant Care Medicaid Waiver Program. The Information alleges McAdams billed for and received reimbursement for attendant care services which were never performed.

The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Section. Assistant United States Attorney Wayne P. Samuelson is assigned to prosecute the case.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statues and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is ten years’ imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.”

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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.


FBI: “Manhattan U.S. Attorney and FBI Assistant Director in Charge Announce Insider Trading Charges Against Director of Market Intelligence at Investor Relations Firm”

August 26, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 26, 2014 released the following:

“Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and George Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today that MICHAEL A. LUCARELLI, the Director of Market Intelligence at Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, Inc. (“LHA”), an investor relations firm, was arrested this morning on 13 counts of insider trading. LUCARELLI is expected to be presented today in Manhattan federal court before United States Magistrate Judge James L. Cott.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, and despite the well-known parade of convicted insider trading perpetrators over the past several years, Michael Lucarelli was not deterred and violated both his company’s policies and his responsibility to its clients by trading on material nonpublic information for his personal financial gain. For the over $500,000 he earned from his illicit trades he is charged with 13 counts of securities fraud.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said: “Instead of doing his job, Lucarelli spent his days setting up brokerage accounts to make illegal trades using inside information from unwitting clients. He violated the responsibility he had to both company and clients. He also broke the law and today finds himself under arrest and charged in a thirteen count complaint.”

According to the Complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court:

From at least August 2013 through at least August 2014, LUCARELLI engaged in an insider trading scheme to use and trade upon material non-public information that he acquired during his employment at LHA, an investor relations firm based in Manhattan. Specifically, LUCARELLI, as an LHA employee, had access to working drafts of press releases prepared by LHA for its clients prior to their issuance to the investing public. Those draft press releases contained material, non-public information about business events and announcements relating to LHA’s clients.

In violation of LHA’s policies and in breach of his duties to LHA and its clients, on multiple occasions, LUCARELLI took positions in the stock of LHA clients shortly before the announcement by these companies of material information through press releases prepared by LHA. Shortly following the issuance of the press releases drafted by LHA, LUCARELLI exited the positions in these securities that he had acquired prior to the issuance, thereby profiting on the movement in the stock price.

LUCARELLI repeatedly traded in LHA client securities despite LHA’s written code of conduct, which strictly prohibited LHA employees from trading in any security issued by an LHA client. LUCARELLI carried out his scheme in at least four different brokerage accounts. When opening new brokerage accounts through which to conduct his illegal trades, LUCARELLI did not reveal his affiliation with LHA. And, on two occasions, LUCARELLI opened new brokerage accounts soon after his ability to trade in other accounts had been suspended by the respective brokerage firms.

On or about July 24, 2014, the FBI obtained a search warrant to search LUCARELLI’s office at LHA for evidence of his insider trading activities. During that search, which was conducted without LUCARELLI’s knowledge, the FBI located a locked briefcase which, when opened, contained a draft press release for LHA client, TREX Company (“TREX”). That press release was marked “DRAFT” and contained TREX’s second fiscal quarter 2014 financial results. The following day, after the FBI completed the search, LUCARELLI started purchasing shares of TREX. Between July 25, 2014 and August 1, 2014, LUCARELLI took a net position of 37,400 shares of TREX. Then, on August 4, 2014, shortly before the market opened, TREX issued a press release announcing its second fiscal quarter 2014 financial results. Among other things, TREX announced that sales and earnings before taxes had increased 23 percent and 62 percent, respectively, in comparison with the comparable period in 2013. TREX also issued revenue guidance for the third fiscal quarter of 2014, which was a 27 percent increase over the comparable period in 2013. Within two hours of the announcement, LUCARELLI sold 35,058 of the 37,400 TREX shares he previously purchased. Those sales yielded a profit of almost $90,000.

As a result of the 13 instances of insider trading alleged in the Complaint, LUCARELLI earned at least $538,215.32 in illicit proceeds. Furthermore, the FBI has discovered numerous additional trades that LUCARELLI conducted in LHA client securities and that exhibit a similar pattern of fraud. The FBI’s investigation is ongoing.

* * *

LUCARELLI is charged with 13 counts of securities fraud. The securities fraud counts each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5 million, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI and thanked the SEC, which has filed civil charges in a separate action.

Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Since the inception of FFETF in November 2009, the Justice Department has filed more than 12,841 financial fraud cases against nearly 18,737 defendants including nearly 3,500 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit http://www.stopfraud.gov.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Blais and Damian Williams are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolina Fornos of the Office’s Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit is responsible for the forfeiture of assets.

The allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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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.


FBI: “Former Executive at First Command Financial Services Pleads Guilty”

August 26, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 25, 2014 released the following:

“FORT WORTH, TX—A former executive at First Command Financial Services, an investment advisor and financial planning firm located in Fort Worth, Texas, pleaded guilty this morning before U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor to a felony offense stemming from a fraud scheme she ran while employed there, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Redonda Russell, 66, of Fort Worth, pleaded guilty to a felony Information charging one count of wire fraud. She faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and restitution. She will remain on bond pending sentencing, which is set for December 8, 2014.

Russell worked for First Command for 22 years, before leaving the company in the spring of 2013. She is a registered Investment Advisory Representative and Broker-Dealer Agent. She is able to buy and sell securities, and she is authorized to give investment advice to clients. She is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), a designation she earned by completing a comprehensive course of financial education, examinations, and practical experience. Through First Command’s client database, Russell had access to clients’ personal identifying information (PII), investment/insurance account numbers, and balances for the account holder and beneficiaries.

According to plea documents filed in the case, beginning on approximately April 3, 2012, and continuing through April 18, 2013, Russell obtained PII for at least 18 First Command clients, eight of whom were deceased. Russell admitted using that information to forge, or otherwise present claims as the account holder, beneficiary, or legal representative of the account holder/beneficiary, to First Command’s affiliated investment and insurance partners to liquidate the targeted accounts.

Russell admitted that part of her scheme was to steal funds from inactive clients’ accounts, thus making the fraud harder to detect. She also targeted accounts that were maintained by First Command’s business partners that were part of an industry-standard, paperless signature program that eliminated the need for the verifying entity to send additional substantiating paperwork to the receiver. After Russell altered ownership/control of the targeted customers’ accounts, Russell sent a policy cancellation/disbursement form and W-9 tax withholding form and instructed the affiliated partner to either liquidate or take a loan against the targeted accounts.

Funds were subsequently wired into one of Russell’s 12 bank accounts or, if checks were mailed, Russell would endorse and deposit them. Checks were endorsed by Russell, Russell signing as her husband, Russell signing as her daughter-in-law, or an amalgam of signatures she used to perpetuate the scheme usually having the surname “Russell.”

Russell’s scheme resulted in the liquidation of more than $316,000 from First Command’s clients’ accounts.

The FBI investigated the case; Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Larson is in charge of the prosecution.”

More Information on Federal Wire Fraud Statutes, Jury Instructions, and Crimes
Federal Wire Fraud Crimes – 18 U.S.C. § 1343

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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

————————————————————–

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.


Eight Charged in Roanoke Federal Court with Varies Federal Crimes Related to an Alleged Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy

August 26, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 25, 2014 released the following:

“LYNCHBURG, VA—Eight individuals from the Lynchburg area have been charged with a variety of federal crimes related to an alleged cocaine distribution conspiracy that is accused of dispersing more than 500 grams of cocaine in the Lynchburg region between September 1998 and August 2012.

In an indictment returned July 24, 2014 by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke, the following have been charged:

  • Edward Dennis Jones, 38, of Lynchburg, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine, three counts of distributing cocaine and one count of illegal possession of a firearm.
  • Bryce Lewis Carter, 29, of Lynchburg, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and one count of distributing cocaine.
  • Carlos Demetrice Jackson, 28, of Amherst, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine.
  • Jeroid Montezs Matthews, 36, of Madison Heights, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and two counts of distributing cocaine.
  • Tony Sylvester Monroe, 40, of Evington, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine.
  • Tyrone Edwin Lewis, 28, of Madison Heights, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine.
  • Lateef Yusef Jones, 36, of Roanoke, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine and attempt to distribute cocaine.
  • Randall Aaron Falwell, 28, of Lynchburg, Va., has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Central Virginia Drug Task Force, the Virginia State Police, the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office, the Lynchburg Police Department, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, the Appomattox County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Probation and Parole. Assistant United States Attorney Craig “Jake” Jacobsen will prosecute the case for the United States.

A Grand Jury Indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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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.


FBI: “Former Sandia Corporation Scientist Pleads Guilty to Taking Government Property to China”

August 26, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 25, 2014 released the following:

“ALBUQUERQUE— Jianyu Huang, a scientist formerly employed by Sandia Corporation (Sandia) at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), pleaded guilty this afternoon to making a false statement and unlawfully transporting converted government property in interstate and foreign commerce. The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.

Huang, 46, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the People’s Republic of China who resides in Albuquerque, N.M., was arrested in June 2012, on a six-count indictment charging him with misusing U.S. government resources and equipment to conduct research for Chinese research institutions and with falsely stating that he did not intend to take U.S. government equipment with him on a trip to China. The indictment subsequently was superseded to add an interstate transportation of converted property charge and a theft of government property charge. Huang was employed by Sandia until his employment was terminated in late April 2012.

SNL is a government-owned research facility operated by Sandia Corporation for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that is responsible for ensuring the safety of the nation’s nuclear stockpile; enhancing the security of energy and other critical resources; reducing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; addressing threats to national security; and protecting the nation against terrorism. The Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CiNT) is a DOE user facility and science research center devoted to establishing scientific principles that govern the design, performance, and integration of materials on the atomic and molecular scale, located at SNL.

In light of the sensitivity of SNL’s work, all Sandia employees are required to report to the Sandia Office of Counterintelligence (SOC) any substantive relationship with foreign nationals, including associations that involve meeting and sharing work-related information. Sandia employees also are required to submit to interviews with SOC before international travel on official business, and are prohibited from bringing government-owned equipment on international travel without prior approval.

Huang was employed by Sandia at CiNT, where he worked in an unclassified open science facility without access to classified national security information. As a Sandia employee, Huang was prohibited from bringing government-owned equipment on international travel without prior approval.

Counts 1 through 5 of the second superseding indictment charged Huang with federal program fraud and alleged that between Jan. 2009 and Jan. 2012, Huang unlawfully and without authority used DOE equipment, materials and property to conduct research for businesses and universities in the People’s Republic of China. Count 6 charged Huang with making a false statement charge to a federal officer and alleged that, in June 2011, Huang falsely represented to a counterintelligence officer that he would not take any U.S. government electronic equipment with him on an upcoming trip to the People’s Republic of China. The statement was false because Huang knew that he intended to take a U.S. government computer and hard-drive to the People’s Republic of China on that trip, and did in fact take that equipment with him. Count 7 charged Huang with the interstate transportation of converted property charge and alleged that between June 30, 2011 and July 18, 2011, Huang unlawfully transported a DOE-owned laptop computer and computer-related media in interstate and foreign commerce. Count 8 charged Huang with an embezzlement charge and alleged that between April 25, 2012 and June 2, 2012, Huang embezzled electronic files and documents, including research proposals, belonging to DOE that came into his possession by virtue of his employment with SNL.

During his plea hearing this afternoon, Huang pled guilty to Counts 6 and 7 of the second superseding indictment. In his plea agreement, Huang admitted taking a trip to China in July 2011, for the purpose of attending and making a presentation at a research conference. Huang acknowledged that in seeking and obtaining Sandia’s permission to participate in the conference, he represented that he would not take any DOE-owned equipment with him. Huang also admitted deliberately lying to a counterintelligence office when he made the representation because he intended to take his DOE-owned laptop on the trip.

Huang admitted taking a DOE-owned laptop computer with him when he traveled to China on June 30 and July 1, 2011, even though he knew that he did not have permission to do so. In so doing, Huang unlawfully converted the laptop computer to his own use. According to Huang’s plea agreement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized the DOE-owned laptop from Huang’s baggage when he returned to the United States on July 18, 2011, after Huang admitted that he did not have permission to take the laptop computer out of the country.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Huang will be sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Huang’s sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

The case was investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathon M. Gerson.”

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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

————————————————————–

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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