Former Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud and Campaign Finance Violation

June 11, 2012

7thSpace.com on June 9, 2012 released the following:

“WASHINGTON— Kwame R Brown, the former Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia, pled guilty today to a federal charge of bank fraud and a second criminal charge involving a violation of the District of Columbia’s campaign finance laws.

The guilty pleas were announced by United States Attorney Ronald C Machen Jr; Ronald T Hosko, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division; and Rick A Raven, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

Brown, 41, pled guilty to the bank fraud charge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In a separate proceeding, he pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to the campaign finance violation. As part of the plea agreement, he agreed to submit his immediate resignation from the District of Columbia Council. Brown also has agreed to cooperate as the investigation continues.

The Honorable Richard J Leon scheduled sentencing in the federal case for 11 AM on September 20, 2012.

The Honorable Juliet McKenna scheduled sentencing in the campaign finance case for 2:30 PM on the same date.

The bank fraud charge carries up to 30 years in prison. Under federal sentencing guidelines, the parties have agreed that the applicable range for this offense would be up to six months in prison and a possible fine of up to $5,000. The campaign finance charge carries a maximum of six months of incarceration and a possible fine of up to $5,000.

Brown is the second member of the Council of the District of Columbia to plead guilty to criminal charges this year. In January, in a separate and unrelated case, Harry L Thomas, Jr pled guilty to federal theft and tax charges.

Thomas, who resigned as part of his plea agreement, has since been sentenced to a prison term of 38 months. Thomas was the first sitting member of the DC. Council to be charged with and convicted of a felony.

The charges against Kwame Brown involve two separate matters. In one case, Brown admitted providing false documentation to secure two personal loans, totaling more than $220,000.

In the other, Brown admitted aiding and abetting another individual, a relative, to make a cash payment of $1,500 to a campaign worker for the 2008 council campaign. The relative was a signatory on the campaign’s bank accounts; Brown also admitted failing to disclose the relative’s identity to the District of Columbia Office of Campaign Finance.

“For the second time this year, a member of the DC. Council has pled guilty to a felony offense and been forced to resign,” said United States Attorney Machen. “While sitting on the council, Kwame Brown repeatedly falsified and forged documents to deceive the bank into giving him money, even faxing one of the fraudulent documents from his council office.

Brown also gave a family member free license to make illegal and untraceable cash expenditures from his 2008 campaign in violation of DC. law. The people of the District of Columbia deserve better from their elected officials. Today’s pleas take us one step closer to a culture of integrity and accountability that will not tolerate politicians engaging in dishonesty and self dealing.”

“This week, Mr Brown admitted to forging bank documents and withholding information about his re-election campaign finances,” said Special Agent in Charge Hosko.

“This investigation and today’s guilty pleas demonstrate that the FBI and our law enforcement partners will pursue all allegations of illegal conduct that clouds the judgment of our elected officials and deprives our citizens of the honest government to which they are entitled.”

“No matter what your position, it is unacceptable to submit false information to a financial institution in an effort to secure a loan,” said Special Agent in Charge Raven. “IRS-Criminal Investigation will make every effort to aggressively investigate financial fraud of any kind and not give a free pass to anyone who blatantly fails to comply with the law.”

Brown was elected as an at-large member of the District of Columbia Council in 2004 and took office in January 2005. He was re-elected in 2008, and then, in 2010, he was elected chairman. He took office in that position in January 2011.

According to a statement of offense signed by the government as well as the defendant, Brown submitted false information in securing a $166,000 home equity loan, as well as a $55,335 loan that he used to purchase a boat.

Both loans were issued by Industrial Bank, NA.

In paperwork for the home equity loan, which Brown sent by facsimile from his council office on September 26, 2005, Brown provided a Verification of Employment Form. In it, he falsely wrote that he held the position of “Vice President of Strategy” in an unnamed company; that he earned $3,000 per month; that his probability of continued employment was “great”; that he was projected to earn a $10,000 pay increase on January 3, 2006; and that he was a full-time employee. At the bottom of this form, Brown forged the name and signature of a friend from college who was purportedly the president of the company. In fact, Brown did not have his friend’s permission to sign this form, and his friend was never Brown’s employer.

Brown filed and submitted this form to overstate his annual income in an effort to win approval of his loan application, believing that, without artificially inflating his income, his request would be rejected.

Based on Brown’s purported income, Industrial Bank issued a loan to Brown on October 12, 2005, in the amount of $166,000.

Brown submitted the second loan application on July 25, 2007, this time seeking money for the purpose of purchasing a boat. As part of the application, he submitted an Internal Revenue Service form, purporting to be from a company for which he had worked as a consultant. The form that Brown submitted showed his 2006 income from the company to be $85,000. In fact, Brown’s income from the firm that year totaled $35,000.

Before submitting the form, Brown had altered the “3” on the document to an “8,” so that it appeared he earned $85,000, not $35,000.

As with the 2005 loan, Brown believed that this loan would not be approved without artificially inflating his income. Based on Brown’s purported income, Industrial Bank issued a loan to Brown on August 30, 2007, in the amount of $55,335.

In the campaign finance case, Brown admitted aiding and abetting an unlawful cash campaign expenditure, in excess of the $50 limit imposed on individual cash transactions. According to a statement of offense in that matter, signed by the government as well as the defendant, the “Committee to Re-Elect Kwame Brown” was formed for Brown’s 2008 re-election campaign for the at-large seat on the council.

In or around April 2007, Brown allowed a relative to be a signatory on the committee’s bank account, which was held at Industrial Bank. The relative and the committee’s treasurer jointly opened the account.

In his Statement of Candidacy, filed with the Office of Campaign Finance, Brown listed this account as the committee’s sole bank account. He failed, however, to disclose that his relative was a signatory on the account.

In August 2008, with Brown’s knowledge and permission, the relative opened a second bank account at Industrial Bank, called the “side account,” purportedly to pay for “get-out-the-vote” campaign activities. Brown authorized the relative to make withdrawals on behalf of the committee from the side account. However, he failed to amend his Statement of Candidacy to disclose the existence of the second account.

Later, on or about September 11, 2009, Brown’s relative paid an expense in the amount of $1,500 related to the 2008 re-election campaign, using cash withdrawn from the side account.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Washington Field Office of IRS-Criminal Investigation.

In announcing the guilty pleas, United States Attorney Machen, Special Agent in Charge Hosko, and Special Agent in Charge Raven commended those who investigated the case for the FBI and IRS-CI.

They also acknowledged the efforts of Assistant United States Attorneys David S Johnson, Maia L Miller, Matt Graves, Ellen Chubin Epstein, and Daniel Butler of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section of the United States Attorney’s Office; Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Saler of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the United States Attorney’s Office; and Trial Attorney Peter Mason of the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, who have prosecuted the case.

Finally, they expressed appreciation to Forensic Accountant Crystal Boodoo; Paralegal Specialists Diane Hayes, Lenisse Edloe, Tasha Harris, Shanna Hays, and Sarah Reis; Legal Assistants Krishawn Graham, Nicole Wattelet, and Christopher Samson; former Legal Assistant Jared Forney; Criminal Investigators Matthew Kutz and Duncan Templeton; Litigation Support Services Specialist Thomas Royal; Information Technology Specialist Kimberly Austin; Victim-Witness Coordinator Dawn Tolson-Hightower; former Student Law Clerks Carl Barnes, Iris Postelnicu, and Danielle Rosborough; and Intelligence Specialist Lawrence Grasso, all of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Reported by: 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

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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 Replaces bin Laden on Ten Most Wanted List

April 10, 2012
FBI Eric Justin Toth
Eric Justin Toth. Photo from FBI.gov

Chicago Tribune on April 10, 2012 released the following:

“Jeremy Pelofsky
Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A child pornography suspect has been placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive list to replace al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. forces last year.

Eric Justin Toth, 30, a former private school teacher, was indicted in 2008 in Maryland on one count related to producing child pornography, according to court records. Authorities found pornographic images on a camera in his possession, the FBI said.

Authorities are offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to Toth’s arrest.

There also is a sealed two-count complaint against Toth that has been filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., which charges him with possessing a video that includes an image of child pornography and transporting it across state lines, according to the FBI.

Toth may advertise himself on the Internet as a tutor or a male nanny and was believed to have lived in Arizona as recently as 2009. Prior to that he was believed to have been in Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the FBI said.

If convicted on the charge in Maryland, Toth would face at least 15 years in prison and as many as 30 years.

The addition to the list comes almost a year after bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by U.S. forces. The FBI said putting Toth on the list was the culmination of a lengthy process including surveying its 56 field offices for candidates and approval by top FBI officials.

Toth is the 495th person to be on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. There is another vacancy on it due to the capture of reputed mobster James “Whitey” Bulger last year.”

FBI Ten Most Wanted Eric Justin Toth

US v Eric Justin Toth – Federal Criminal Indictment

18 U.S.C. § 2251

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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

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch 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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.


LaFrances Dudley O’Neal and Donald M. Ramsey Indicted in an Alleged Mortgage Fraud Scheme

December 11, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on December 9, 2011 released the following:

“Two Indicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

D.C. Housing Authority was Among Targets of the Scam

WASHINGTON— LaFrances Dudley O’Neal, 47, of Clinton, Maryland, and Donald M. Ramsey, 44, of Alexandria, Virginia, have been indicted on charges that they took part in a mortgage fraud that cost lenders more than $700,000.

The indictments, unsealed today, were announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Daniel S. Cortez, Inspector in Charge, Washington Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Kenneth R. Taylor, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

O’Neal and Ramsey were indicted on December 7, 2011 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on charges of bank fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank/mail fraud. The indictment also includes a forfeiture count seeking all proceeds from the defendants’ crimes. In addition, O’Neal was charged with one count of fraud under District of Columbia law. If convicted, under the federal sentencing guidelines, O’Neal and Ramsey face potential sentences of 37 to 46 months in prison. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to the indictment, O’Neal, Ramsey and others identified homes in the Washington, D.C. area, as well as straw buyers to obtain mortgages through false loan applications, forged documents, and fraudulent settlements. According to the indictment, Ramsey acted as a mortgage broker. He and others are accused of providing false documentation to the lenders, such as false verifications of deposit, forged Uniform Residential Loan Applications, and false rental agreements, causing the lenders to believe that the straw buyers had the means and the willingness to pay the mortgages.

The indictment alleges that every one of the mortgages fell into default and the lenders were forced to foreclose, with an aggregate loss to the lenders in excess of $700,000.

The indictment further alleges that settlement companies paid both O’Neal and Ramsey money from the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds, at times using fraudulent “invoices” which falsely stated that renovation work had recently been completed or consulting services had been provided and that money was due at settlement. As a result of these false invoices and inaccurate settlement statements, settlement agents turned over more than $437,000 of fraudulent loan proceeds to O’Neal and Ramsey.

With respect to the fraud count under D.C. law, the indictment charges that O’Neal arranged for four of the houses, which were obtained through the mortgage fraud scheme, to be placed in the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s Section 8 Tenant-Based Assistance Housing Choice Voucher program. Using, at times, forged management agreements, O’Neal received money from the D.C. Housing Authority through Section 8 payments through her management company. She also received emergency rental payments or security deposits from charities or governmental agencies on behalf of the needy tenants.

However, she failed to maintain the Section 8 houses in decent, safe, and sanitary conditions, in spite of payments by the D.C. Housing Authority and the tenants. And, despite promising the straw buyers that she would pay the mortgages and even though she received Section 8 money from the D.C. Housing Authority and their client tenants, O’Neal failed to pay the mortgages on all four properties and the lenders foreclosed on them.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the District of Columbia Department of Insurance Securities and Banking. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Cheatham, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, paralegal specialist Sarah Reis, forensic accountant Crystal Boodoo, and legal assistant Krishawn Graham.”

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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 Crimes Watch 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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions 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.


Wong Yuh Lan, Lim Yong Nam, Lim Kow Seng, Hia Soo Gan Benson, and Hossein Larijani Indicted in an Alleged Fraud Conspiracy Involving Exports to Iran of U.S. Components Later Found in Bombs in Iraq

October 25, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 25, 2011 released the following:

“Five Individuals Indicted in a Fraud Conspiracy Involving Exports to Iran of U.S. Components Later Found in Bombs in Iraq

Indictment Also Alleges Fraud Conspiracy Involving Illegal Exports of Military Antennas to Singapore and Hong Kong

WASHINGTON—Five individuals and four of their companies have been indicted as part of a conspiracy to defraud the United States that allegedly caused thousands of radio frequency modules to be illegally exported from the United States to Iran, at least 16 of which were later found in unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq. Some of the defendants are also charged in a fraud conspiracy involving exports of military antennas to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Yesterday, authorities in Singapore arrested Wong Yuh Lan (Wong), Lim Yong Nam (Nam), Lim Kow Seng (Seng), and Hia Soo Gan Benson (Hia), all citizens of Singapore, in connection with a U.S. request for extradition. The United States is seeking their extradition to stand trial in the District of Columbia. The remaining individual defendant, Hossein Larijani, is a citizen and resident of Iran who remains at large.

The arrests and the indictment were announced by Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; John Morton, Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); Mark Giuliano, Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s National Security Branch; Eric L. Hirschhorn, Under Secretary of Commerce; and David Adelman, U.S. Ambassador to Singapore.

“Today’s charges allege that the defendants conspired to defraud the United States and defeat our export controls by sending U.S.-origin components to Iran rather than to their stated final destination of Singapore. Ultimately, several of these components were found in unexploded improvised explosive devices in Iraq,” said Assistant Attorney General Monaco. “This case underscores the continuing threat posed by Iranian procurement networks seeking to obtain U.S. technology through fraud and the importance of safeguarding that technology. I applaud the many agents, analysts and prosecutors who worked on this extensive investigation.”

“These defendants misled U.S. companies in buying parts that they shipped to Iran and that ended up in IEDs on the battlefield in Iraq,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “This prosecution demonstrates why the U.S. Attorney’s Office takes cases involving misrepresentations regarding the intended use of sensitive technology so seriously. We hope for a swift response from Singapore to our request for extradition.”

“One of Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) top enforcement priorities is preventing sensitive technology from falling into the hands of those who might seek to harm American personnel or interests—whether at home or abroad,” said ICE Director Morton. “This international investigation conducted by ICE’s HSI and our law enforcement partners demonstrates the importance of preventing U.S. technology from falling into the wrong hands, where it could potentially be used to kill or injure our military members and our allies. Our agency will continue to work closely through our attachés to identify these criminals, dismantle their networks, and ensure they are fully prosecuted.”

“This multi-year investigation highlights that acquiring property by deceit has ramifications that resonate beyond the bottom line and affects our national security and the safety of Americans worldwide,” said FBI Executive Assistant Director Giuliano. “We continue to work side-by-side with our many partners in a coordinated effort to bring justice to those who have sought to harm Americans. We consider this investigation as the model of how we work cases—jointly with the Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Commerce/Office of Export Enforcement and collectively with our foreign partners to address the threats posed by Iranian procurement networks to the national security interests of the United States both here and abroad.”

“These cases are the product of vigorous, cooperative law enforcement focused on denying to Iran items that endanger our coalition forces on the battlefield in Iraq,” said Under Secretary of Commerce Hirschhorn. “We will continue aggressively to go after such perpetrators—no matter where they operate—to guard against these types of threats.”

U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, David Adelman, praised the cooperation within the U.S. executive branch agencies and with the Singaporean authorities. “Twenty-first century law enforcement is most effective when countries work collaboratively as evidenced by this strong, cooperative effort between the U.S. and Singapore. Congratulations to all the officials in both our countries who made this happen,” he said.

The Charges

The indictment, which was returned in the District of Columbia on Sept. 15, 2010, and unsealed today, includes charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, smuggling, illegal export of goods from the United States to Iran, illegal export of defense articles from the United States, false statements and obstruction of justice.

The charged defendants are Iranian national Larijani, 47, and his companies Paya Electronics Complex, based in Iran, and Opto Electronics Pte, Ltd., based in Singapore. Also charged is Wong, 39, an agent of Opto Electronics who was allegedly supervised by Larijani from Iran. The indictment also charges NEL Electronics Pte. Ltd., a company in Singapore, along with NEL’s owner and director, Nam, 37. Finally, the indictment charges Corezing International Pte. Ltd., a company in Singapore that maintained offices in China, as well as Seng, 42, an agent of Corezing, and Hia, 44, a manager, director and agent of Corezing.

Wong, Nam, Seng and Hia allegedly conspired to defraud the United States by impeding U.S. export controls relating to the shipment of 6,000 radio frequency modules from a Minnesota company through Singapore to Iran, some of which were later found in unexploded IEDs in Iraq. Seng and Hia are also accused of conspiring to defraud the United States relating to the shipment of military antennas from a Massachusetts company to Singapore and Hong Kong. Singapore has agreed to seek extradition for Wong and Nam on the charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States relating to the components shipped to Iran, and to seek extradition for Seng and Hia on the charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States relating to the military antenna exports.

In coordination with the criminal actions announced today, the Commerce Department announced the addition of 15 persons located in China, Hong Kong, Iran and Singapore to the Commerce Department’s Entity List. In addition to the five individual defendants in this case, the Commerce Department named additional companies and individuals associated with this conspiracy. In placing these parties on the Entity List, the Commerce Department is imposing a licensing requirement for any item subject to Commerce regulation with a presumption that such a license would be denied.

Exports of U.S. Components Later Found in IEDs

According to the indictment, IEDs caused roughly 60 percent of all American combat casualties in Iraq between 2001 and 2007. The first conspiracy alleged in the indictment involved radio frequency modules that have several commercial applications, including in wireless local area networks connecting printers and computers in office settings. These modules include encryption capabilities and have a range allowing them to transmit data wirelessly as far as 40 miles when configured with a high-gain antenna. These same modules also have potentially lethal applications. Notably, during 2008 and 2009, coalition forces in Iraq recovered numerous modules made by the Minnesota firm that had been utilized as part of the remote detonation system for IEDs.

The indictment alleges that, between June 2007 and February 2008, the defendants fraudulently purchased and caused 6,000 modules to be illegally exported from the Minnesota company through Singapore, and later to Iran, in five shipments, knowing that the export of U.S.-origin goods to Iran was a violation of U.S. law. In each transaction, the defendants allegedly told the Minnesota firm that Singapore was the final destination of the goods. The defendants also caused false documents to be filed with the U.S. government, in which they claimed that a telecommunications project in Singapore was the final end-use for the modules. In reality, each of the five shipments was routed from Singapore to Iran via air cargo. The alleged recipient of all 6,000 modules in Iran was Larijani, who had directed Wong, his employee in Singapore, to order them.

According to the indictment, the defendants profited considerably from their illegal trade. The defendants allegedly made tens of thousands of dollars for arranging these illegal exports from the United States through Singapore to Iran.

The indictment alleges that several of the 6,000 modules the defendants routed from Minnesota to Iran were later discovered by coalition forces in Iraq, where they were being used as part of the remote detonation systems of IEDs. In May 2008, December 2008, April 2009, and July 2010, coalition forces found no less than 16 of these modules in unexploded IEDs recovered in Iraq, the indictment alleges.

During this period, some of the defendants were allegedly communicating with one another about U.S. laws prohibiting the export of U.S.-origin goods to Iran. For example, between October 2007 and June 2009, Nam contacted Larijani in Iran at least six times and discussed the Iran prohibitions and U.S. prosecutions for violation of these laws. Nam later told U.S. authorities that he had never participated in illicit exports to Iran, even though he had participated in five such shipments, according to the indictment.

Exports of Military Antennas

The indictment further charges Seng, Hia, and Corezing with a separate fraud conspiracy involving the illegal export of two types of military antenna from the United States. The indictment alleges that these defendants conspired to defraud the United States by causing a total of 55 cavity-backed spiral antennas and biconical antennas to be illegally exported from a Massachusetts company to Singapore and Hong Kong without the required State Department license.

These military antennas are controlled for export as U.S. munitions and are used in airborne and shipboard environments. The indictment states that the biconical antenna, for example, is used in military aircraft such as the F-4 Phantom, the F-15, the F-111, the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the F-16 combat jets.

Seng, Hia and Corezing are alleged to have, among other things, conspired to undervalue the antennas to circumvent U.S. regulations on the filing of shipper’s export declarations to the U.S. government. They also allegedly used false names and front companies to obtain the antennas illegally from the United States.

Additional Misrepresentations

The indictment further alleges that Larijani, based in Iran, made false statements about doing business with an accused Iranian procurement agent and that he attempted to obstruct an official proceeding by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In January 2010, the Department of Commerce placed Larijani’s company, Opto Electronics, on the Entity List, which is a list of companies to which U.S. businesses cannot export controlled dual-use items without obtaining U.S. government licenses. In response, Larijani repeatedly contacted Commerce Department officials in Washington, D.C., from Iran, requesting that his company be removed from the Entity List, according to the indictment. Commerce officials advised Larijani that, in considering whether his firm should be removed from the list, he needed to disclose whether he or his firm had any involvement with Majid Kakavand or Evertop Services Sdn Bhd.

Kakavand is an accused Iranian procurement agent who has been indicted in the United States, along with his Malaysian company Evertop Services, for illegally exporting U.S. goods to Iran, including to military entities in Iran involved in that nation’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Kakavand remains a fugitive and is believed to be in Iran.

According to the indictment, Larijani denied to Commerce officials on three occasions that he or his company, Opto Electronics, had done any business with Kakavand or Evertop Services. In fact, the indictment alleges that Larijani had been in communication with others about his business dealings with Kakavand on at least five occasions from 2006 through 2009.

This investigation was jointly conducted by ICE agents in Boston and Los Angeles; FBI agents in Minneapolis; and Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security agents in Chicago and Boston. Substantial assistance was provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Office of International Affairs in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, particularly the Justice Department Attaché in the Philippines, as well as the FBI and ICE Attachés in Singapore.

U.S. law enforcement authorities thanked the government of Singapore for the substantial assistance that was provided in the investigation of this matter.

The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Asuncion and John W. Borchert of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; and Trial Attorneys Jonathan C. Poling and Richard S. Scott of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains mere allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.”

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

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch 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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions 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.


Roger Clemens’ Federal Criminal Case Update

August 20, 2011
Roger Clemens

Main Justice on August 19, 2011 released the following:

Prosecutors Say Clemens Trying To Gain From Unintended Mistakes

Barring a retrial for Roger Clemens would hand the former baseball star “an unwarranted windfall” from inadvertent mistakes made during the first case against him, federal prosecutors argued in a brief filed Friday.

The brief came in response to a motion filed by Clemens’ attorneys seeking to prevent a retrial by arguing the government intentionally violated rules imposed by District Judge Reggie Walton, who declared a mistrial July 14 after prosecutors played a video that contained evidence Walton had previously ruled inadmissible.

That evidence included testimony from the wife of former pitcher Andy Pettitte, which suggested that Clemens had talked with Pettitte about using steroids. The video shown by prosecutors – a recording of Clemens’ 2008 testimony before Congress – showed Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) making a reference to the conversation.

The video was strike two for the prosecution, which had also alluded to the conversation during opening statements.

But in their motion, Justice Department attorneys said the video had already been prepared when Walton made his ruling on admissibility, and that they hadn’t looked to see whether a reference might be buried in a question from the congressman.

“The government’s error was a mistake, not misconduct, and certainly not misconduct intended to provoke a mistrial,” prosecutors wrote. “As government counsel informed this court when the video clip mistake occurred: ‘There was no intention to run afoul of any court ruling.'”

A motion hearing on the issue is scheduled for Sept. 2.”

Attached is Roger Clemens’ filing on 7/29/2011 with its exhibits:

Attached is the government’s response on 8/19/2011:

To find additional federal criminal news, please read 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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Stewart Chase, Former Background Investigator For Federal Government, Pleads Guilty to Making a False Statement

July 22, 2011

The U.S. Attorneys Office District of Columbia on July 21, 2011 released the following:

“WASHINGTON – Stewart Chase, 53, a former background investigator who did work under contract for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), pled guilty today to a charge stemming from his falsification of work on background investigations of federal employees and contractors, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Patrick E. McFarland, Inspector General for the Office of Personnel Management.

Chase, of Sterling, Virginia, pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of making a false statement. The Honorable James E. Boasberg scheduled sentencing for October 6, 2011. The charge carries a statutory penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. As part of the guilty plea, Chase has agreed to pay $131,101 in restitution to the federal government.

According to a statement of offense submitted to the Court, Chase was employed by United States Investigations Services and CACI International Inc. as an investigator under contract to conduct background investigations on behalf of OPM’s Federal Investigative Services.

Between July 2006 and December 2007, in more than four dozen Reports of Investigations on background investigations, Chase represented that he had interviewed a source or reviewed a record regarding the subject of the background investigation when, in fact, he had not conducted the interview or obtained the record. These reports were utilized and relied upon by the agencies requesting the background investigations to determine whether the subjects were suitable for positions having access to classified information, for positions impacting national security, or for receiving or retaining security clearances.

Chase’s false representations have required OPM’s Federal Investigative Services to reopen and rework numerous background investigations that were assigned to him during the time period of his falsifications, at an estimated cost of $131,101 to the U.S. government. The restitution in this case will be paid to Federal Investigative Services.

This is one of several cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in the last three years involving false representations by background investigators and record checkers working on federal background investigations. Eight background investigatorsand two record checkers previously were convicted of charges.

Federal Investigative Services, formerly known as the Center for Federal Investigative Services or the Federal Investigative Services Division, through its workforce of approximately 7,300 investigators, is responsible for conducting background investigations for numerous federal agencies and their contractors, on individuals either employed by or seeking employment with those agencies or contractors. Federal Investigative Services processed approximately 2 million investigations in the 2010 fiscal year.

In conducting background investigations, the investigators conduct interviews of individuals who have information about the person who is the subject of the review. In addition, the investigators seek out, obtain, and review documentary evidence, such as employment records, to verify and corroborate information provided by either the subject of the background investigation or by persons interviewed during the investigation. After conducting interviews and obtaining documentary evidence, the investigators prepare a Report of Investigation containing the results of the interviews and document reviews, and electronically submit the material to OPM in Washington, D.C. OPM then provides a copy of the investigative file to the requesting agency, which can use the information to determine an individual’s eligibility for employment or a security clearance.

In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Inspector General McFarland praised the efforts of Special Agent Christopher Sulhoff, OPM, Office of the Inspector General, and Philip Kroop, Chief of Quality and Integrity Assurance, OPM-Federal Investigative Services. Mr. Machen and Mr. McFarland also acknowledged the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ellen Chubin Epstein, Mary Chris Dobbie and Seth B. Waxman, who investigated and prosecuted this matter.”

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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