FBI: “Twenty-Six People Indicted in Drug Trafficking Conspiracy in Toledo”

August 25, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 21, 2014 released the following:

“Twenty-six people were indicted for their roles in a conspiracy to bring large amounts of heroin, cocaine and marijuana to Toledo from Arizona, California, Illinois and Mexico, law enforcement officials said.

The 55-count federal indictment was announced by Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland office, Toledo Police Chief William Moton and Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp.

“Heroin abuse is an epidemic in our community that takes lives and destroys families,” Dettelbach said. “We will continue to target drug traffickers while also working to reduce demand and get treatment for those who need it.”

“This is another example of the international drug trafficking connections that are plaguing our communities with danger and heroin,” Anthony said. “The FBI will continue collaborative law enforcement efforts to combat these violent organizations.”

“Through the working relationship that has been developed between the Toledo Police Metro Drug Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation we have become more efficient in targeting the mid- and upper-level heroin dealers in Toledo and surrounding communities,” said Toledo Police Chief William Moton. “These arrests are a byproduct of this successful collaboration. The City of Toledo and surrounding areas are the benefactors of these efforts as the spread of heroin has the potential to deteriorate the standard of living in our community.”

Those indicted are from Toledo unless otherwise noted. They are:

Alejandro Garcia, 44; Regina Navarro, 36; Osvaldo Perez, 60; Sean Machaterre, 31; Dicki Isom, 33; Federico Perez, 25; Daryl Mickles, Jr., 31; Keith Hubbell, 30; David Berrera, Jr., 40; Santos Flores, 34, of Oregon, Ohio; Juan Montano, 35; Daniel Montano, 26; Yousvani Gacita, 34; Davi Mata, 32; Willie Edward Smith, 38; Juan Rivera, 34; Paulo Gonzalez, 27; Abdul Shabazz, 39; Davalon Brown, 28; James Munoz, 37; Victoria Santellana, 31; Daniel Barboza, 38; Anthony Rudess, 42, of Curtice, Ohio; Eric Mays-Clausen, 41; Randolph Kemp, 53, and Jacqueline Jaquez, 40.

The defendants conspired between 2010 and this month to bring large shipments of heroin, cocaine and marijuana to Toledo for distribution. Garcia obtained the drugs from suppliers in Arizona, California, Illinois and Mexico and then distributed the drugs to mid-level dealers in the Toledo area. Those dealers, in turn, distributed the drugs to other dealers, according to the indictment.

The indictment details scores of transactions and drug sales that took place in Toledo, including locations at Ravine Park Village, Graham Street, Berry Street, North Ontario Street, Bronson Street, Sylvania Avenue, Westfield Park Mall, Main Street, Starr Avenue, Heatherdowns Road and other locations.

Three people—Garcia, Kemp and Isom—face additional charges of being felons in possession of firearms.

Prosecutors are also seeking to forfeit more than $6,800 in cash, six firearms, nine automobiles and homes at 1509 Navarre Avenue and 625 Parker Avenue in Toledo.

This indictment is the result of an investigation by the FBI and the Metro Drug Task Force, made up of members of the Toledo Police Department and the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas P. Weldon and Michael Freeman.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after a review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden 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.


Local Physician, Clinic, and Nurse Practitioner Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury Alleging Federal Health Care Fraud Charges

July 19, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on July 18, 2013 released the following:

“ST. LOUIS, MO— Dr. Mel Lucas, Patterson Medical Clinic Inc., and nurse practitioner Robyn Levy were indicted on multiple health care fraud related charges for their alleged false billing for services never rendered and false statements in patients’ medical records.

According to the indictment, from June 2008 to June 2011, the Patterson Medical Clinic Inc. and osteopath Mel E. Lucas billed Medicare, Tricare, and private insurers for more X-rays than were actually taken. The clinic had X-ray equipment in-house. The indictment also alleges that from 2008 to 2011, the clinic and Dr. Lucas billed for Lucas’ services on 573 occasions when he was actually out of town or in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The indictment states that insurers were also billed for Lucas’ services on Fridays, when he did not come into the clinic. Instead, the patients were seen by medical assistants, who took their vital signs and drew their blood or gave them an injection. Lucas reviewed the records when he returned and billed insurers as if he had actually examined the patients.

Finally, the indictment alleges that Patterson, Lucas, and nurse practitioner Robyn Levy also billed insurers for an FDA-approved drug when Lucas had actually bought a non-approved version in Canada for hundreds of dollars less. The patients were not told they were receiving a drug that was not FDA-approved.

Lucas, of Florissant, Missouri, and Patterson Medical Clinic Inc. were indicted by a federal grand jury on eight felony counts of health care fraud and seven felony counts of false statements related to health service. Levy was indicted on two felony counts of health care fraud and three felony counts of false statements related to health service.

If convicted, each count of health care fraud carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000 and each count of making false statements carries a maximum of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

Additionally, upon a finding of guilt, the defendants will be subject to forfeiture, which will require them to forfeit to the government all money derived from their illegal activity.

This case was investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General and the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Dorothy McMurtry is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be 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

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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.


Dr. Demetri Wendell Marshall, a Mississippi Doctor, Indicted by a Houston Federal Grand Jury for Failing to Pay Child Support

July 15, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on July 15, 2011 released the following:

“HOUSTON – Dr. Demetri Wendell Marshall, 59, of Port Gibson, Miss., has been indicted by a Houston grand jury for failure to pay child support and related medical expenses for his Texas resident child, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

A Houston grand jury returned a one-count indictment on May 19, 2011, charging Marshall, a family practice physician licensed in Mississippi, of failing to pay more than $10,000 in child support and medical expenses ordered by a Harris County family district court beginning in 1997 to the present. With the return of the indictment, a warrant has issued for the arrest of Marshall. Anyone having information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (DHHS, OIG), using its fugitive hotline number at 1-888-476-4453, which is toll free.

A conviction for the offense charged carries a maximum punishment of two years in prison, $250,000 fine and up to one year of supervised release. Additionally, restitution in the form of child support will be mandatory.

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by DHHS, OIG, Office of Investigations and the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Texas with assistance from the United States Attorney’s Office in Mississippi.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law”

Attached is Demetri Wendell Marhsall – Federal Indictment.

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

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

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Leader of International Money Laundering Organization Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to Nine Years in Prison

July 12, 2011

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on July 11, 2011 released the following press release:

“JUL 11 – MANHATTAN — John P. Gilbride, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that David Eduardo Helmut Murcia Guzmán, the founder of the Colombian marketing giant D.M.G. Group (“DMG”), was sentenced Friday, July 8, 2011 to nine years in prison for his participation in a scheme to launder millions of dollars’ worth of illicit funds, including narcotics proceeds, through DMG. Murcia Guzmán was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley. Judge Pauley previously ordered Guzman to forfeit ten properties located in southern Florida and California, and $7 million.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Murcia Guzmán wove an intricate web of deception across continents to disguise his dirty drug money and support his lavish lifestyle. But his web has been untangled and his lifestyle dramatically curtailed by this sentence.”

According to the Superseding Indictment to which Murcia Guzmán pled guilty, and statements made in court:

The DMG Organization

David Eduardo Helmut Murcia Guzmán created DMG in 2003 as a vehicle for a multi-level marketing scheme, through which customers could buy pre-paid debit cards. DMG sold these pre-paid debit cards to customers in Latin America, who could use them to purchase electronics and other items at retail stores operated by DMG. By 2008, DMG had approximately 400,000 customers. DMG ceased its operations by January 2009.

The Money Laundering Conspiracy

Murcia Guzmán and five co-defendants — employees and affiliates of DMG –- laundered narcotics proceeds through DMG and DMG’s affiliated companies. They used the Colombian Black Market Peso Exchange, an informal value transfer system commonly used to launder illicitly-obtained dollars in the United States, in exchange for pesos taken in for “legitimate” purchases in Colombia.

For example, in the fall of 2007, Murcia Guzmán and co-defendant Margarita Leonor Pabon Castro approached another individual in Colombia and said that they had cash – apparently in U.S. dollars — that they could not deposit into the Colombian banking system. They asked the individual to set up an account in the United States where these funds could be deposited.

Thereafter, the individual opened an account at Merrill Lynch in the United States, under the name “Blackstone International Development” (the “Blackstone Account”). Neither Murcia Guzmán nor Pabon Castro was listed as owners of the Blackstone Account.

In March 2008, Murcia Guzmán and Pabon Castro told the same individual that they had provided $2.2 million worth of Colombian Pesos to co-defendant German Enrique Serrano-Reyes in Colombia, and, in exchange, Serrano-Reyes had caused the nearly $2.2 million to be wired into the Blackstone Account through eighteen separate wire transfers. In May 2008, the U.S. Government seized about $2.2 million from the Blackstone Account pursuant to a court order. When Murcia Guzmán was informed of the seizure of the Blackstone Account, he told the individual who set it up that he should not attempt to retrieve its contents, and should not, under any circumstances inform the authorities of Murcia Guzmán’s or Pabon Castro’s interest in the Blackstone Account.

Co-defendant William Suárez-Suárez headed DMG’s Colombian security and cash transportation operations, including overseeing the delivery of cash to money laundering agents and attempts to pay bribes to Colombian officials. Co-defendant Luis Fernando Cediel Rozo supervised wire transfers and bulk cash transfers of millions of dollars of DMG money out of Colombia through the Black Market Peso Exchange. Co-defendant Santiago Baranchuk-Rueda received black market transfers of DMG money, including transfers overseen by cediel rozo, to U.S. bank and brokerage accounts.

On November 23, 2010, Murcia Guzmán pled guilty to conspiracy to launder the proceeds of narcotics trafficking. Suárez-Suárez, Pabon Castro, Cediel Rozo, Baranchuk-Rueda, and Serrano-Reyes have each previously pled guilty to the same charge. On January 26, 2011, Serrano-Reyes was sentenced to a period of time already served.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Pauley sentenced Murcia Guzmán, 30, of Colombia, to three years of supervised release. Murcia Guzmán was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment and forfeit $7 million and all right, title, and interest in 10 properties located in Florida and California.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force — which is comprised of agents and officers of the DEA, the New York City Police Department, and the New York State Police — DEA’s Bogota Country Office, DEA’s Caracas Country Office, DEA’s Caribbean Division, U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and ICE’s Caracas Country Office. Mr. Bharara also thanked the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs for their ongoing assistance in the investigation.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, with the assistance of the Asset Forfeiture Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin A. Naftalis, Telemachus P. Kasulis, and Michael D. Lockard are in charge of the prosecution.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

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

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William Roger Clemens Jury Selection Update

July 7, 2011

The Associated Press (AP) on July 7, 2011 released the following:

“Clemens not getting a lot of love from jury pool

By NEDRA PICKLER and MARK SHERMAN
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — One-time baseball superstar Roger Clemens is in the midst of a tedious and humbling process that is one of the most important parts of his trial on charges of lying about drug use – selecting the jury members who will decide his fate.

So far the pitching great hasn’t gotten a lot of love from the line of Washingtonians who have been questioned about their fitness to serve on his trial, expected to last into August. There were some sports fans in the group, but most said they don’t know much about him.

“If he were sitting there, I would not know who he was,” one woman said, as Clemens sat facing her about 15 feet away.

Among those who said she follows baseball was a retired writer and lawyer who acknowledged Thursday that she wants to be a juror.

“I would like to be on this jury because I think I can keep people focused,” said the woman, who called herself a “die-hard” Washington Nationals fan.

Another person who said he knew a lot about Clemens and his case was 37-year-old Omari Bradley. The former personal trainer and Little League coach said he considers himself a fair person. But Bradley said he had to admit he would have a hard time finding Clemens not guilty after all he’s heard in the media about how the seven-time Cy Young Award winner should just admit he used steroids. The judge excused Bradley.

Clemens steadfastly denies the allegations made by his former trainer, who says he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs repeatedly as the pitcher maintained a blinding throwing speed into middle age. Clemens says the trainer, Brian McNamee, is a liar who fabricated evidence against him. McNamee gave federal agents their most important physical evidence in the case – needles and gauze the trainer said he used to inject the star athlete.

Clemens is accused of lying under oath to the House Government Reform Committee in 2008 when he denied ever using steroids or human growth hormone. He faces six felony counts of perjury, false statements and obstruction of Congress.

Prosecutors and the defense read the jury pool a list of people who may be called as witnesses or mentioned at the trial. The list included some of the biggest names in baseball, including others who have been at the center of the steroid scandal, such as Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco. The list also included baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, former Yankees manager Joe Torre, former players’ union director Donald Fehr and several other officials and teammates from the four major league teams Clemens played for.

Jurors were asked about their knowledge of those figures as well as their feelings about the case, baseball, Congress and principles of criminal law. They were asked whether they had scientific training, played organized sports or were baseball fans. One public relations consultant was not. “I can’t imagine spending money to watch a sport where guys scratch themselves and spit a lot,” she said, drawing a smile from Clemens, who otherwise sat expressionless through most of the proceedings.

The woman said she could still be fair to Clemens, quipping that she doesn’t consider spitting and scratching crimes. She was qualified to serve along with six others so far. In addition to Bradley, others excused were a woman with medical issues and another who said she couldn’t be gone from work for the duration of the trial.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said he hopes to wrap up jury selection Tuesday morning.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

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

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Ten Arrested in New York “Bath Salts” Round-Up

June 30, 2011
Bath Salts

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on June 28, 2011 released the following press release:

“JUN 28 — MANHATTAN – John Gilbride, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the arrest against a major distributor of “bath salts,” a recreational designer drug with significant and dangerous adverse effects. Nine employees of retail shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn that sold the drug were also arrested. Charged today are the distributor, Miguel Ashby, and Sellers Maxim Amar, Diana Asaro, Nassar Atrach, Yakob Biton, Dimitry Farber, Sufiyan Ganchi, Gabrielle Grife, Igor Kanchik, and Steve Zhik.

“Nationwide the abuse of ‘bath salts’ has led to serious health consequences and death. This investigation is further evidence that DEA and our law enforcement partners will not sit by while a new form of drug abuse takes hold,” said Gilbride. “Let this be a message to not only those who sell this poison, but to those who abuse ‘bath salts’ that this road leads to a dead end.”

“Bath salts are one of the latest designer drugs to reach our shores, and they have proven to be a public health and safety menace with serious, and sometimes deadly, consequences,” said Bharara. “The investigation that culminated in today’s arrests should demonstrate the seriousness with which we and our law enforcement partners at the DEA take the threat posed by this drug, and the consequences for those who would distribute and sell it.”

According to the complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court today: Since February 2011, the DEA’s New York Field Division has been investigating the importation, distribution, and use of “bath salts,” which are synthetic stimulants that have no real value as a bath salt or other bath product. Their only known purpose is to be consumed as a recreational drug. “Bath salts” first emerged in the United States approximately two years ago. The drug is typically snorted in powder form or ingested in pill form, but it can also be smoked or injected intravenously. While its affects may vary, users typically experience highs similar to that of the drug Ecstasy, and stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamines. Adverse effects include psychotic episodes, delusions, panic attacks, and increased heart rate. The abuse of “bath salts” has been linked to death, suicide, homicide, self-inflicted wounds, and child endangerment. Companies located in China and India are principally responsible for manufacturing and exporting the drug. Shippers typically mislabel the product to evade detection by law enforcement, and sell it via the Internet to distributors around the world, including in the United States. U.S. distributors then sell the drug online, through traditional distribution methods, or by retail distribution at convenience stores, gas stations, and head shops (retail stores specializing in drug paraphernalia).

“Bath salts” are also often sold in dance clubs and at underground parties known as “raves”. They typically sell for approximately $40 to $100 per gram, and each packet contains approximately one quarter to one gram. A gram consists of approximately eight to 40 doses.

Packets of “bath salts” are branded with names such as “Aura,” “Ivory Wave,” “Russian River,” “Xtreme,” “Goodfellas,” and other. They are often labeled “not for human consumption” in an effort to circumvent federal narcotics laws. Despite these warnings, sellers market “bath salts” as recreational drugs.

In February 2011, the DEA Field Office in New York established a Bath Salts Task Force (“BSTF”) to investigate sellers of the drug in the greater New York City area. From February to June 2011, the BSTF investigated a number of different head shops and stores that reportedly sold “bath salts,” including those where the nine defendants worked. They are all located in Manhattan, with the exception of one, which is located in Brooklyn, New York. The investigation revealed that ASHBY supplied “bath salts” to the stores that employed Farber, Kanchik, Grife, and Zhik. The investigation also found that Amar, Asaro, Atrach,

Biton, Ganchi, Farber, Grife, Kanchik, and Zhik sold the drug out of the head shops where they each worked. Using undercover agents, which were recorded by the DEA, the BSTF purchased over a kilogram of “bath salts” in total from the stores. During the undercover buys, certain of the defendants discussed how to ingest the “bath salts,” and one boasted that the use of “bath salts” would not appear in a urinalysis. The BSTF seized approximately 40 kilograms of the drug during the course of the investigation, valued at approximately $2 million on the street.

Subsequent to the New York State Health Commissioner’s May 23, 2011, ban on the sale and distribution of “bath salts,” several of the defendants employed at the head shops represented that they continued to have the drug available for sale, and one defendant represented that he could obtain additional “bath salts” to sell.

The defendants were arrested this morning and will be presented in Magistrate Court later today. A chart setting forth the charges in the Complaint and the applicable penalties is attached. Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the DEA New York Field Office.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Santosh Aravind and Timothy Sini are in charge of the prosecution.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

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

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Blagojevich Convicted on 17 of the 20 Public Corruption Charges

June 27, 2011
Rod Blagojevich

CNN on June 27, 2011 released the following:

“Chicago (CNN) — Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was convicted Monday on 17 of the 20 public corruption charges against him.

The jury acquitted Blagojevich on one count of bribery and was unable to reach verdicts on two counts of attempted extortion.

The charges against Blagojevich included trying to peddle the U.S. Senate seat held by Barack Obama before he resigned to become president. Blagojevich has denied any intention of bribery.

Last August, after a two-month trial and 14 days of deliberation, jurors deadlocked on 23 of the 24 charges Blagojevich had faced. They found him guilty on one count of lying to FBI investigators, a conviction that could carry a prison sentence of five years.

The accusation that Blagojevich tried to profit as he considered whom to appoint to succeed Obama, among other allegations, prompted his impeachment by Illinois’ House of Representatives and his removal from office by the state Senate in 2009.

Ten of the counts against him in the current trial are wire fraud. The other 10 involve extortion and bribery. Most of the counts have a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Blagojevich, 54, was taken into federal custody in December 2008, less than two years into his second term as governor. A federal grand jury indicted in him April 2009.

At the time of his arrest, prosecutors said court-authorized wiretaps caught Blagojevich offering Obama’s Senate seat in exchange for personal gain, including a job with a non-profit or union organization, corporate board posts for his wife, campaign contributions or a post in Obama’s administration.

He expressed frustration, according to prosecutors, that Obama transition officials were “not willing to give me anything except appreciation.”

“I’ve got this thing and it’s (expletive) golden, and, uh, uh, I’m just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing. I’m not gonna do it,” prosecutors quoted Blagojevich as saying.

Blagojevich also considered appointing himself to the post, mulling whether he might be better off being indicted as a senator rather than governor, and saying contacts he would make in the federal job would benefit him later, according to prosecutors.

Aside from the charges of trying to sell the Senate seat, prosecutors also accused Blagojevich of using his position to obtain financial benefits for himself, his family and his campaign in exchange for jobs, contracts and appointments to state boards to supporters.

They accused Blagojevich of acelerating the scheme in 2008 to accumulate funds before a new state ethics law would have limited his ability to raise money from people and companies that were doing business with the state.

Along with Blagojevich, prosecutors charged his brother, Robert Blagojevich, with one count of wire fraud, one count of extortion conspiracy, one count of attempted extortion and one count of bribery conspiracy in connection with his brother’s alleged Senate-seat-selling plan.

But a week after jurors came back deadlocked on most of the counts against Rod Blagojevich and all of the charges against his brother, prosecutors dropped charges against Robert Blagojevich but said they would retry the former governor.

Blagojevich’s defense argued that he just liked to talk and that he ended up with nothing. Attorney Aaron Goldstein said the “law is about intent,” CNN affiliate WLS has reported. Goldstein said the prosecution hadn’t met its burden of proof.

The former Cook County assistant prosecutor, state representative and Golden Gloves boxer has remained in the public eye since his removal from office, appearing in a Chicago comedy show, releasing an autobiography, and competing on the TV show “Celebrity Apprentice.””

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

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

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