Indictment Charges Madison Business Owner with Alleged Fraudulent Art Sales

August 9, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 8, 2012 released the following:

“David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven returned a 12-count indictment today charging David Crespo, 58, of Guilford with mail fraud and wire fraud offenses stemming from his alleged sale of fraudulent artwork.

The indictment alleges that, from approximately 2005 to February 2011, Crespo, an art dealer who conducted business under the name Brandon Gallery in Madison, defrauded his customers by representing that artwork he sold were original pieces by Pablo Picasso and original signed lithographs by Marc Chagall. Crespo also created documents that falsely supported the provenance of the artwork, which he then provided to customers.

The indictment charges Crespo with nine counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count.

Crespo has been released on a $50,000 bond since his arrest on April 3, 2012.

U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Madison Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony E. Kaplan.”

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes – 18 U.S.C. § 1341

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

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.


Indictment Charges Congressional Campaign Worker with Alleged Conspiring to Conceal Origin of Contributions

July 12, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on July 11, 2012 released the following:

“David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven today returned a three-count indictment that charges Robert Braddock, Jr., 33, of Meriden, with participating in a conspiracy to conceal the source of contributions to the campaign of a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives on which he worked.

The indictment alleges that Braddock, while employed as the Finance Director for the campaign of a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, conspired to accept conduit campaign contributions, which are contributions made by one person in the name of another person. The purpose of the conduit contributions was to conceal the fact that the individuals who were actually financing the payments had an interest in legislation that was expected to be introduced, and eventually was introduced, before the Connecticut General Assembly during the 2012 legislative session. The candidate is also a current member of the Connecticut General Assembly.

“This indictment details an extensive conspiracy to corrupt the electoral process,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI continue to investigate not only this matter, but all illegal behavior that corrupts our system of government.”

According to the indictment, Roll Your Own (“RYO”) smoke shops are retail businesses that sell loose smoking tobacco and cigarette-rolling materials and offer customers the option of paying a “rental” fee to insert the loose tobacco and the rolling materials into a RYO machine, which is capable of rapidly rolling large quantities of cigarettes. Customers do not pay a tax on the RYO cigarettes when rolled by the RYO machines, in contrast to cigarettes purchased over-the-counter. In August 2011, the state of Connecticut applied for an order permanently enjoining the RYO smoke shops from operating RYO machines, which the state argued were tobacco manufacturing devices under Connecticut law.

The indictment alleges that, in 2011, certain RYO smoke shop owners and others began to discuss the possibility that the Connecticut General Assembly would enact legislation harmful to RYO smoke shop owners’ business interests during the 2012 legislative session. In November 2011, the RYO shop owners arranged to meet with the member of the General Assembly to discuss their concerns. Also in November 2011, the RYO shop owners and others began to deliver to Braddock and the campaign checks in the amount of $2,500, which were, in fact, conduit contributions. Typically, the contributors were reimbursed with cash from one or more of the RYO shop owners. In November and December 2011, Braddock accepted a total of four $2,500 conduit campaign contributions.

The indictment further alleges that, on April 3, 2012, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Bonding voted in favor of Senate Bill 357, legislation that would deem RYO smoke shop owners to be tobacco manufacturers under Connecticut law, a designation that would have subjected RYO smoke shop owners to a substantial licensing fee and tax increase. Approximately one week later, Braddock accepted an additional four $2,500 checks in the names of conduit contributors.

On May 9, 2012, the legislative session ended, and the legislation had not been called for a vote by either chamber of the General Assembly.

The indictment alleges that, on May 14, 2012, a co-conspirator who helped to arrange the previous eight conduit contributions delivered $10,000 to the campaign in the form of three $2,500 conduit contributions made payable to the campaign and one $2,500 conduit contribution made payable to a political party. After Braddock was informed by the co-conspirator the next day that one of the contributions was in the form of a bank check provided by one of the Roll-Your-Own shop owners, Braddock arranged for the check not to be deposited into the campaign’s bank account. On May 16, 2012, the co-conspirator and another co-conspirator, who was an aide to the campaign, met at a restaurant in Southington. At that meeting, the co-conspirator provided the campaign aide with a replacement $2,500 check in the name of a different conduit contributor who was not affiliated with any Roll-Your-Own shops.

The investigation of this matter has included numerous recorded conversations, as well as an FBI special agents acting in an undercover capacity.

The indictment charges Braddock with one count of conspiracy to conceal federal campaign contributions, a charge that carries a maximum term of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. Braddock also is charged with one count of accepting federal campaign contributions made by persons in the names of others, a charge that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of two years and a fine of up to $250,000. Finally, Braddock is charged with one count of causing false reports to be filed with the Federal Election Commission, a charge that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher M. Mattei and Eric J. Glover.”

————————————————————–

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

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

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

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


Indictment Charges Alleged Dental Clinic Operator Involved in $20 Million Medicaid Fraud Scheme

June 12, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on June 11, 2012 released the following:

“David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned a nine-count indictment charging Gary F. Anusavice, also known as “Gary Andrews,” “Gary Andrus,” and “Gary Francis,” 59, of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, with various offenses related to his involvement in a $20 million Medicaid fraud scheme. The indictment was returned on June 7, 2012. Anusavice has been detained since his arrest on May 24, 2012.

“By surreptitiously operating dental clinics in Connecticut, this defendant allegedly defrauded the Medicaid program of more than $20 million over a two-year period,” said U.S. Attorney Fein. “We are committed to protecting American taxpayers from health care fraud, which can increase costs and jeopardize the integrity of our health care system. I want to commend HHS-OIG, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the FBI for their investigative efforts and thank the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, which provided invaluable assistance during the course of this investigation.”

According to the indictment, the Medicaid program is a joint federal-state program that provides funds for medical services to lower-income individuals who qualify for benefits. The program is jointly administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and supervised by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In Connecticut, the Medicaid program is administered by the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS).

The indictment alleges that Anusavice was previously a registered dentist in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In July 1997, Anusavice sustained a felony conviction in Massachusetts for submitting false health care claims and was subject to disciplinary proceedings in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Based on Anusavice’s Massachusetts disciplinary proceedings, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notified Anusavice in April 1998 that he was being excluded from participation in Medicare and state health care programs, including Medicaid. As part of that notice, Anusavice was informed that, as an excluded individual, he may not “submit claims or cause claims to be submitted” for payment from the federal Medicaid program. Further, Anusavice was advised that Medicaid reimbursement payments are prohibited to any entity in which he serves as an “employee, administrator, operator, or in any other capacity.”

In November 2005, Anusavice surrendered his right to practice dentistry in Rhode Island for 18 months, and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry permanently revoked Anusavice’s license to practice dentistry in Massachusetts in 2006.

The indictment alleges that, from 2009 to April 2011, Anusavice owned and operated several dental clinics in Connecticut but used a licensed dentist, who is referred to in the indictment as “Co-Conspirator 1,” to act as the nominal head of the dental clinics. The clinics included Landmark Dental in West Haven, Dental Group of Connecticut in Trumbull, and Dental Group of Stamford. After Co-Conspirator 1 provided false Medicaid Provider Enrollment Applications to DSS, which failed to disclose Anusavice’s ownership or control interest in the dental clinics and Anusavice’s disciplinary history, the dental practices received nearly $21 million in Medicaid reimbursements from the Connecticut Medicaid program, which payments were prohibited given Anusavice’s exclusion from the Medicaid program. Anusavice, in turn, received more than $3 million in payments from the clinics through nominee entities that he controlled.

As alleged in a previously filed criminal complaint, at the dental clinics, Anusavice was involved in reviewing patient charts, suggesting dental procedures to be performed, reviewing billing records, reviewing income reports, interviewing and hiring dentists, and providing overall management direction to the offices.

The indictment charges Anusavice with conspiring with others to fraudulently obtain money from the Connecticut Medicaid program by submitting Medicaid claims and concealing and misrepresenting Anusavice’s prior disciplinary and criminal history, his ownership interest in the dental clinics, and his exclusion from the Medicaid program. This charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

The indictment also charges Anusavice with one count of health care fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and two counts of wire fraud, which carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, on each count. Anusavice also is charged with four counts of making false statements involving the Medicaid Program, and one count of concealment and failure to disclose an event affecting the Medicaid Program. Each of these charges carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of Anusavice’s Rhode Island home, his 2008 Mercedes automobile, and $91,700 in cash that was seized at the time of his arrest.

U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Connecticut Attorney General’s Office provided assistance and cooperation throughout the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Susan Wines and Richard Molot and Special Assistant United States Attorney Sean Beaty. U.S. Attorney Fein encouraged individuals who suspect health care fraud to report it by calling the Health Care Fraud Task Force at 203-777-6311 or 1-800-HHS-TIPS.”

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

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.


Dental Practice Operators Charged in an Alleged $20 Million Medicaid Fraud Conspiracy

May 25, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 24, 2012 released the following:

“David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Susan J. Waddell, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General for New England; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England; and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that Gary F. Anusavice, also known as “Gary Andrews,” “Gary Andrus” and “Gary Francis,” 59, of North Kingstown, Rhode Island; and Mehran Zamani, DDS, 47, of Pound Ridge, New York, were arrested today on federal charges related to their alleged involvement in a $20 million Medicaid fraud scheme.

“As alleged, these operators of dental practices throughout Connecticut defrauded the Medicaid program of more than $20 million over a two-year period,” said U.S. Attorney Fein. “We are committed to protecting American taxpayers from health care fraud, which can increase costs and jeopardize the integrity of our health care system. I want to commend HHS-OIG, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the FBI for their investigative efforts and thank the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, which provided invaluable assistance during the course of this investigation.”

“Although Gary F. Anusavice was barred from Medicare, Medicaid, and other government health programs back in 1998, he allegedly continued to defraud taxpayers by using an elaborate shield of companies and individuals—including Dr. Zamani—to hide his involvement,” said HHS-OIG Special Agent in Charge Waddle. “Working with federal and state partners, our investigators will penetrate such schemes and help bring suspects to justice.”

“To combat healthcare fraud, IRS Criminal Investigation provides the financial investigative expertise to follow the money trail from the crime to the culprit,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Offord. “We are proud to work with our law enforcement partners to document the financial benefits derived from these fraudulent activities.”

“The FBI views health care fraud as a serious crime problem,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz. “It degrades the integrity of our health care system and legitimate patient care. Today’s arrests send a clear message to those persons who are defrauding our federal Medicare and Medicaid and private health insurance programs. The FBI remains committed to investigating health care fraud and bringing these individuals to justice. The FBI will continue to work aggressively with our law enforcement partners to investigate those who violate the public trust by stealing taxpayer money. We urge anyone with information regarding health care fraud activity to contact its nearest FBI field office.”

According to court documents, the Medicaid program is a joint federal-state program that provides funds for medical services to lower-income individuals who qualify for benefits. The program is jointly administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and supervised by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In Connecticut, the Medicaid program is administered by the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS).

As alleged in court documents, Anusavice was previously a registered dentist in several states. In July 1997, Anusavice sustained a felony conviction in Massachusetts for submitting false health care claims. Based on that conviction, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notified Anusavice in April 1998 that he was being excluded from participation in Medicare and state health care programs, including Medicaid. As part of that notice, Anusavice was informed that, as an excluded individual, he may not “submit claims or cause claims to be submitted” for payment from the federal Medicaid program. Further, Anusavice was advised that Medicaid reimbursement payments are prohibited to any entity in which he serves as an “employee, administrator, operator, or in any other capacity….”

In November 2005, Anusavice surrendered his right to practice dentistry in Rhode Island, and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry permanently revoked Anusavice’s license to practice dentistry in Massachusetts in 2006.

The criminal complaint alleges that Anusavice established several dental practices in Connecticut, which were operated by other dentists, including Zamani. These dental practices received millions of dollars in Medicaid reimbursements from the Connecticut Medicaid program, which payments were prohibited given Anusavice’s exclusion from the Medicaid program. The dental practices operated by Anusavice and Zamani included Landmark Dental in West Haven, Dental Group of Connecticut in Trumbull, and Dental Group of Stamford. Despite his permanent exclusion, Anusavice was involved in reviewing patient charts, suggesting dental procedures to be performed, reviewing billing records, reviewing income reports, interviewing and hiring dentists, and providing overall management direction to the offices.

It is alleged that Anusavice hired Zamani at Landmark Dental in October 2008 and that Zamani soon became aware of Anusavice’s disciplinary history. In January 2009, Zamani submitted a Medicaid Provider Enrollment Application with the DSS in order to obtain a Medicaid provider number for Mehran Zamani LLC, listing his group practice name as Landmark Dental. In May 2009, Zamani submitted an application with the DSS for a Medicaid provider number for Landmark Dental. In the applications Zamani submitted, he failed to disclose that Anusavice had an ownership or control interest in Landmark Dental, even though Zamani knew that Anusavice was running the practice and profited from it. From approximately February 2009 to March 2011, Mehran Zamani LLC and Landmark Dental received more than $12.9 million in Medicaid reimbursement payments.

It is further alleged that in April 2009, Zamani and “Haven Consulting,” an entity Anusavice created, entered into a Business Consultant Contract for the Dental Group of Stamford, a practice that Zamani had operated previously. Although the contract provided that Haven Consulting was a “business consultant” to the Dental Group of Stamford, Anusavice had an ownership interest in the practice and acted in an ownership and managerial capacity. Zamani’s DSS application in May 2009 failed to disclose Anusavice’s involvement in the practice and his disciplinary history. From approximately June 2009 to March 2011, the Dental Group of Stamford received more than $4.4 million in Medicaid reimbursement payments.

It is further alleged that Zamani’s April 2010 DSS application for a Medicaid provider number for the Dental Group of Connecticut also failed to disclose Anusavice’s involvement in the practice. From approximately August 2010 to March 2011, the Dental Group of Connecticut received more than $3.5 million in Medicaid reimbursement payments.

It is further alleged that on April 13, 2011, the DSS suspended Medicaid payments to Mehran Zamani, DDS, Landmark Dental, Dental Group of Stamford, and Dental Group of Connecticut based upon a pending investigation of a credible allegation of fraud. As a result, the last Medicaid payment to any of these entities occurred on or about March 22, 2011. By that time, it is alleged that the Anusavice-Zamani entities had collectively received nearly $21 million in Medicaid reimbursement funds. Further, according to Zamani’s accountant’s records, between February 2009 and March 2011, Anusavice-controlled entities received more than $3 million in payments from Zamani-related entities.

It is further alleged that Anusavice and another dentist are now operating a new set of dental clinics, doing business as Alpha Dental Group in Cromwell, Dental Group of New Britain, and Hartford Dental Care. Between November 2011 and March 2012, Arbor Dental has received more than $2.6 million in Medicaid funds. Anusavice also has recently reopened a dental practice at the former location of Dental Care of Connecticut in Trumbull.

Anusavice was arrested this morning at his home in North Kingstown, Rhode Island on a federal criminal complaint charging him with conspiring to commit health care fraud, committing health care fraud, and making false statements involving federal health care programs. Zamani was arrested today at his home in New York on a criminal complaint charging him with the same offenses. Both appeared this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport.

In association with today’s arrests, investigating agencies conducted court-authorized searches of Anusavice’s Rhode Island residence and dental clinics he is allegedly operating in New Britain and Trumbull.

The government also has filed a civil forfeiture complaint against the real property located at 229 Potter Road, North Kingstown, Rhode Island, an 8,145 square foot home on 9.66 acres of land, where Anusavice resides. The forfeiture complaint alleges that this property was purchased in February 2011 for $695,000 by AMZ Consulting Inc., a nominee entity controlled by Anusavice and that proceeds used to purchase the property stem from Anusavice’s alleged Medicaid fraud scheme.

U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Connecticut Attorney General’s Office provided assistance and cooperation throughout the investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Susan Wines and Richard Molot, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Sean Beaty. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island and Assistant United States Attorney Paul Daly have provided valuable assistance.”

————————————————————–

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

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

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

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


Federal Indictments Charge 36 Hartford-Area Defendants Alleging Narcotics Trafficking and Firearm Offenses

May 14, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 11, 2012 released the following:

“David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Hartford has returned three indictments charging 36 individuals with various offenses related to the distribution of crack cocaine and the unlawful possession and dealing of firearms in and around Hartford. The third indictment was unsealed on May 9, 2012 after 10 of the defendants were arrested.

These indictments stem from Operation Vinefield, a joint law enforcement investigation headed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, targeting narcotics trafficking and gang violence in Hartford’s North End. The nine-month investigation included the use of court-authorized wiretaps, controlled purchases of crack cocaine, and physical surveillance. “I want to acknowledge the hard work and full commitment of the FBI, the Hartford Police Department, the Connecticut State Police, and the Connecticut Department of Correction in the lengthy investigation of this matter and the arrests of these defendants,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal partners will continue to work with local and state law enforcement to bring narcotics and firearms traffickers to justice and to help free communities of gang violence.”

“The FBI is committed to working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to address violent crime in Connecticut’s cities, and I want to recognize and express appreciation for the invaluable work of the Connecticut State Police, the Hartford Police Department, and the Connecticut Department of Correction,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz.

On March 7, 2012, the grand jury returned an indictment charging the following 12 individuals with various narcotics offenses related to crack cocaine trafficking in the lower Vine Street area of Hartford:

JOSHUA EASTERLING, a.k.a. “Skeet,” “Squash,” and “SQ,” 25, of Hartford;

JAMES PERKINS, a.k.a. “Slugger,” 25, of East Hartford;

JUAN CARTAGENA, 27, of Hartford;

MORRIS CARTER, III, a.k.a. “Chilly Mo, Jr.” and “Mo,” 23, of Hartford;

ANTHONY HENRY, a.k.a. “Tone” and “Mack,” 21, of Hartford;

EVERTON GUNTER, a.k.a. “Little Ev” and “Ev,” 21, of Hartford;

EBONY MOORE, a.k.a. “Eb,” 35, of Hartford;

ERIC GOMES, a.k.a. “Goober Dust,” 45, of Hartford;

KYSHIIFA BOYD, a.k.a. “Ky,” 22, of Hartford;

MORRIS CARTER, JR., a.k.a. “Chilly Mo” and “Mo,” 43, of Hartford;

HASSAN MUHAMMAD, JR., a.k.a. “Hadie,” 22, of Hartford; and

SHAKIM WHITE, a.k.a. “Country” and “Lil Weezie,” 27, of Meriden.

On April 4, 2012, the grand jury returned an indictment charging the following five individuals with various narcotics offenses related to crack cocaine trafficking:

DEMENTRIUS NAVE, a.k.a. “Cunny,” 33, of Hartford and West Hartford;

TYRONE CRUMP, a.k.a. “KT,” 27, of Hartford;

JUSTIN POWELL, a.k.a. “Jus,” 30, of Hartford;

RAKENT BUNKLEY, a.k.a. “Kent” and “Kent Street,” 23, of Hartford; and

KEVIN ALLEN, 40, of Hartford.

On May 3, 2012, the grand jury returned an indictment charging the following 19 individuals with various offenses related to crack cocaine trafficking and the unlawful possession and distribution of firearms, principally in the area of Enfield Street in Hartford:

CLINTON HILL WESTON, a.k.a. “Ack,” 35, of Hartford;

DANA ADAMS, a.k.a. “Soul,” 42, of Hartford;

NIDA WILLIAMS, a.k.a. “Nija Williams” and “N-Dog,” 34, of Bloomfield;

DERRICK BAILY, a.k.a. “Fry,” 43, of Hartford;

JUSTIN STEPHENSON, a.k.a. “Face,” 25, of Hartford;

MONGO COLEMAN, 38, of Hartford;

MICHAEL BETHEA, a.k.a. “Lil Tren” and “Lil Train,” 44, of New Britain;

MICHAEL BROCKMAN, 41, of Hartford;

EARL DAVIS, 53, of Hartford;

JAEQWAN SHEPPARD, a.k.a. “Quanny” and “Q,” 29, of Hartford;

VASHAWN RAY, 24, of Hartford;

JEFFREY FANIEL, 30, of Hartford;

KEWAN WOODSON, a.k.a. “Piggy” and “Pig,” 19, of Hartford;

REUBEN HARRIS, a.k.a. “Rube,” 41, of Hartford;

MORRIS HARMON, JR., a.k.a. “Smooth,” 53, of Hartford;

PATRICK ROGERS, 22, of Hartford;

JOHNNY ROSA, a.k.a. “Johnny J” and “Johnny G,” 19, of East Hartford;

EARL PATRICK, 47, of Hartford;

JAYQUAN FANIEL, 27, of Hartford; and

STEPHEN TERRILL, 39, of Glastonbury.

If convicted, a number of the defendants face a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of life, and fines of up to $10 million. Due to prior narcotics trafficking convictions, a number of defendants face increased penalties.

U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, the Connecticut State Police, the Hartford Police Department, and the Connecticut Department of Correction. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian P. Leaming.”

————————————————————–

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

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

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

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


Michael Holm Sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford For Possessing Child Pornography

August 29, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 26, 2011 released the following:

“Branford Resident Sentenced to Federal Prison Term for Possessing Child Pornography

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL HOLM, 32, of Oak Street, Branford, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to three months of imprisonment, followed by three months of home confinement and five years of supervised release, for possessing child pornography.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on May 29, 2008, agents assigned to the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force conducted a court-authorized search at HOLM’s residence and seized a computer. Subsequent forensic analysis of the computer revealed between 150 and 300 images of child pornography.

On December 9, 2010, HOLM pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.

Following his release from prison, HOLM will be required to register as a sex offender. As special conditions of his five-year-term of supervised release, the United States Probation Office is authorized to monitor HOLM’s computer use and conduct random searches of his residence, automobile and workplace. Also, HOLM must not have any unsupervised contact with children who are under the age of 18, other than his own children, without the express permission of the U.S. Probation Office and his mental health treatment provider.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ray Miller and Special Assistant United States Attorney Neeraj Patel.

The Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which is housed at the main FBI office in New Haven, investigates crimes occurring over the Internet, including on-line crimes against children, and provides computer forensic review services for participating agencies. For more information about the Task Force, or to report child exploitation crimes, please contact the FBI at 203-777-6311.

This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, and the District of Connecticut’s “Operation Constant Vigilance,” which are aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation.”

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.

Bookmark and Share


John A. Ortiz Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Structuring More Than $943,000 in Cash Transactions

August 26, 2011

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

“David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOHN A. ORTIZ, 54, of Stratford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 18 months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release, for illegally structuring more than $943,000 in cash transactions. Judge Hall also ordered ORTIZ to forfeit approximately $388,540 to the government, and to pay a fine in the amount of $75,000.

Federal law requires all financial institutions to file a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) for currency transactions that exceed $10,000. To evade the filing of a CTR, individuals will often structure their currency transactions so that no single transaction exceeds $10,000. Structuring involves the repeated depositing or withdrawal of amounts of cash less than the $10,000 limit, or the splitting of a cash transaction that exceeds $10,000 into smaller cash transactions in an effort to avoid the reporting requirements. Even if the deposited funds are derived from a legitimate means, financial transactions conducted in this manner are still in violation of federal criminal law.

According to court documents and statements made in court, ORTIZ maintained a money market savings account at a credit union, and also had a personal line of credit at a bank. Between May 2006 and October 2009, ORTIZ made more than 70 large cash deposits into his savings account and more than 30 large cash payments to his personal line of credit account. The vast majority of the cash transactions were in the amount of $9000, and none exceeded $10,000. In total, ORTIZ structured approximately $943,000 in cash deposits and line of credit payments.

ORTIZ used the deposited funds to purchase, or to obtain credit in order to purchase, properties in Connecticut and Florida. ORTIZ also used more than $270,000 of the structured funds to settle a business dispute with his former partner.

ORTIZ owns and operates towing and auto repair businesses in Bridgeport and Stratford.

On May 25, 2011, ORTIZ waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of structuring cash transactions.

This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Richard J. Schechter.”

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.

Bookmark and Share


Andrew Zayac Found Guilty of Federal Murder by a Federal Jury in Bridgeport

July 25, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Connecticut on July 22, 2011 released the following:

“David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in Bridgeport has found ANDREW ZAYAC, 31, of Scarsdale, New York, guilty of federal murder and other offenses in connection with the February 8, 2009, kidnap and murder of Edward Rivera, 37, of the Bronx, New York. The trial began on July 14 and the jury returned the verdicts this afternoon.

“I want to commend the excellent work by members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Danbury Police Department and the United States Marshals Service who investigated this matter and have helped to provide justice for the victim’s family and loved ones,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein.

According to the evidence presented during the trial, in early 2009, ZAYAC negotiated the purchase of 68 pounds of marijuana from Edward Rivera. ZAYAC and Rivera arranged to meet on February 8, 2009, to complete the transaction. On that date, ZAYAC kidnapped Rivera from the Bronx for the purpose of robbing him of the marijuana. During the course of the kidnapping and robbery, Rivera was shot twice and died as a result of the gunshot wounds. ZAYAC and his associate, Heriberto Gonzalez, 31, also of the Bronx, then dumped Rivera’s body in Danbury, Connecticut, drove back to the Bronx and burned ZAYAC’s car.

On February 28, 2009, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at ZAYAC’s residence and seized approximately 61 pounds of marijuana. ZAYAC was arrested at that time.

Today the jury found ZAYAC guilty of one count of kidnapping resulting in death, one count of murder during the commission of a robbery, one count of interference with commerce through the use of violence, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, one count of conspiracy to use or possess a firearm in furtherance of crimes of violence and a narcotics trafficking offense, three counts of destruction/concealment of evidence, and one count of conspiracy to destroy/conceal evidence. The jury found ZAYAC not guilty of one count of premeditated murder.

United States District Judge Janet C. Hall has scheduled sentencing for October 7, 2011, at which time ZAYAC faces a mandatory term of imprisonment of life on the murder charges.

On June 21, 2011, after a separate trial, a jury found Gonzalez guilty of one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, three counts of destruction/concealment of evidence, and one count of conspiracy to destroy/conceal evidence. He awaits sentencing.

ZAYAC has been detained since his arrest. Gonzalez was arrested on June 17, 2009, and is also detained.

This matter has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Danbury Police Department and the United States Marshals Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael J. Gustafson and Brian P. Leaming.”

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.

Bookmark and Share


Barry S. Szafran Waived His Right to Indictment, and Pleaded Guilty to Illegally Receiving a Gratuity

July 17, 2011

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

“JEWETT CITY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ACCEPTING KICKBACKS FROM MILITARY SUPPLIER IN KUWAIT

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that BARRY S. SZAFRAN, 49, of Jewett City, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to one count of illegally receiving a gratuity. The charge relates to SZAFRAN’s accepting kickbacks from a foreign supplier of fire safety systems to a military base in Kuwait in Iraq.

According to court documents and statements made in court, SZAFRAN was the civilian fire alarm manager at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, for a prime contractor for the U.S. Army on a government-owned, contractor-operated base. In this position, SZAFRAN had a leading role in maintaining an adequate supply of repair/replacement parts for fire safety systems for the facility. In pleading guilty, SZAFRAN admitted that, from April 2008 to April 2009, he repeatedly provided favorable treatment to a local parts vendor, which was a subcontractor for a larger supplier, in connection with certain contracts. During this time period, SZAFRAN received things of value from the local parts vendor, including a round-trip airplane ticket between Kuwait and Rhode Island, meals and scented candles.

On April 20, 2008, SZAFRAN sent an email to the vendor’s project manager instructing the manager to create and submit three quotations for batteries, including two falsified quotations on different companies’ letterheads, and instructed the project manager to make the vendor’s price quote to be the lowest. Also, on July 9, 2008, SZAFRAN recommended that the contractor accept the vendor’s bid for a separate quote for a fire alarm panel and reject the bids of two other companies.

The vendor then purchased a round-trip airplane flight for SZAFRAN. Because his flight was paid for by the vendor, SZAFRAN was able to obtain from his employer $2,169 in cash in lieu of travel expenses for which the contractor, in turn, received reimbursement from the U.S. Army.

Additional e-mails examined during the course of the investigation revealed that SZAFRAN also provided details of competitors’ bid and pricing information.

During his employment with the contractor, SZAFRAN also received several meals paid for by the vendor, as well as scented candles from an employee of the supplier. And, during the spring of 2009, SZAFRAN stole a box of smoke detectors from the contractor, valued at approximately $5000, and provided them to the vendor.

Judge Kravitz has scheduled sentencing for October 3, 2011, at which time SZAFRAN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of two years and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case is being investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the United States Army, Criminal Investigative Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.”

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.

Bookmark and Share


Richard Hendricks a Former Connecticut Teacher Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on Alleged Child Pornography Charges

June 28, 2011

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on June 28, 2011 released the following:

“NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment Monday charging a 31-year-old Ashford man with receiving and possessing child pornography.

Richard Hendricks, a former computer teacher at the East Hampton Middle School, was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Connecticut State Police, and the East Hampton Police Department.

The indictment alleges that at least between May 10 and May 19, 2010, Hendricks used the Internet to receive images and videos of child pornography. The indictment further alleges that on June 6, 2011, he possessed images and videos of child pornography.

If convicted of possessing child pornography, Hendricks faces a maximum prison term of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000 on the possession charge. On the receipt charge, he faces a mandatory minimum jail term of five years, a maximum term of 20 years, and a fine of up to $250,000. Hendricks has been detained since his arrest by ICE HSI agents on June 9, 2011.

David B. Fein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The U.S. Probation Office and Connecticut State Police assisted ICE HSI in the investigation of this case which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Slater, District of Connecticut.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.”

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.

Bookmark and Share