“US seizes top Bitcoin exchange as crackdown begins”

May 16, 2013

RT on May 15, 2013 released the following:

“The US Department of Homeland Security seized a payment processing account Tuesday belonging to Mt. Gox, the largest international Bitcoin trader, claiming the monetary exchange service falsified financial documents.

The American government has previously made it clear that officials are watching Bitcoin, a decentralized economic currency that international regulators have not yet been able to control. Many of those who favor Bitcoin use Dwolla, an Iowa-based startup that allows customers to transfer their dollars into Bitcoins.

Unfortunately for those consumers, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warrant Tuesday effectively shutting down Dwolla’s ability to process Bitcoin payments, as reported by CNET. Whether because of the DHS’ charge of operating an “unlicensed money transmitting business,” the sudden timing of the allegations, or another reason, Dwolla and Mt. Gox officials have been reluctant to comment.

“In order not to compromise this ongoing investigation being conducted by ICE Homeland Security Investigations Baltimore, we cannot comment beyond the information in warrant, which was filed in the District of Maryland [Tuesday],” said Nicole Navas, a representative for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The warrant claims Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles did not disclose he operated a financial transfer site when he opened a new bank account for the business. Money transmitting services, according to Gawker, are required to register with the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen). Mt. Gox, which is involved in roughly 63 per cent of all Bitcoin purchases, has not done so.

Despite the technicalities skeptics are wondering if Bitcoin’s friction with the Treasury department is the cause of this recent scrutiny. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said the anonymity afforded by the service provided an “online form of money laundering” and campaigned for its downfall.

“Literally, it allows buyers and users to sell illegal drugs online, including heroin, cocaine, and meth, and users do sell by hiding their identity through a program that makes them virtually untraceable,” Schumer said during a 2011 news conference. “It’s a certifiable one-stop shop for illegal drugs that represents the most brazen attempt to peddle drugs online that we have ever seen. It’s more brazen than anything else by light years.”

Most notably, proponents have asserted that Bitcoin would be impermeable in instances where WikiLeaks, for example, saw its funding evaporate as the federal government pressured PayPal to cut off the whistleblower site’s support network. Bitcoin would be more resistant to a crackdown of that nature.

Jerry Brito, a scholar at the libertarian Mercatus Center at George Mason University, told the Washington Post Bitcoin could reduce the cost of financial services by pioneering new business formats.

“Bitcoin has the potential to be a boon to the economy and a boon to merchants,” he said, adding that it could “disrupt traditional payment networks that have not been innovative for a very long time.”

A blind governmental crackdown would only serve to push Bitcoin further underground, Brito argued.

“You can’t put the genie back into the bottle,” he continued. “I hate to say it, but the Bitcoin community needs to start lobbying. It needs to start educating policymakers, lobbyists and influencers about the pros of Bitcoin and the impossibility or the difficulty in getting rid of all the bad uses.””

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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.


Eric Holder appoints 2 US attorneys to lead leaks probe

June 9, 2012

Boston Herald on June 9, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. attorneys are taking over separate FBI investigations into leaks of national security information that critics have accused the White House of orchestrating to improve President Barack Obama’s re-election chances, a claim Obama calls “offensive” and “wrong.”

Recent news articles contained details of U.S. involvement in a partially successful computer virus attack on Iran’s nuclear program and on the selection of targets for counterterrorism assassination plots. The leaked information generally painted Obama as a decisive and hands-on commander in chief.

“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong,” Obama told reporters at a news conference Friday. “And people I think need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people around me here approach this office.”

Obama promised investigations into the source of leaks about U.S. involvement in cyberattacks on Iran and drone strikes on suspected terrorists.

“We’re dealing with issues that can touch on the safety and security of the American people, our families or our military personnel or our allies, and so we don’t play with that,” he said.

Hours later, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that two U.S. attorneys will lead a pair of criminal investigations already under way into possible unauthorized disclosures of classified information within the executive and legislative branches of government.

Holder said he was confident the prosecutors would follow the facts and evidence wherever they led.

“The unauthorized disclosure of classified information can compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be tolerated,” he said.

Holder assigned Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, to direct separate probes that are already being conducted by the FBI.

Three weeks ago, FBI Director Robert Mueller said the bureau had launched an investigation into who leaked information about an al-Qaida plot to place an explosive device aboard a U.S.-bound airline flight. Separately, calls from Capitol Hill have mounted urging a leak probe into a New York Times [NYT] story a week ago about U.S. involvement in cyberattacks on Iran.

Obama said his administration has “zero tolerance” for such leaks and that there would be an internal administration probe.

“We have mechanisms in place where if we can root out folks who have leaked, they will suffer consequences,” the president said. “In some cases, it’s criminal. These are criminal acts when they release information like this. And we will conduct thorough investigations, as we have in the past.”

Leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees said Thursday they were drafting legislation to further limit access to highly classified information and possibly impose new penalties for revealing it. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said he will investigate recent leaks.

Lawmakers have pointed to recent stories by The New York Times, The Associated Press and other news organizations that contain previously secret information and cite anonymous U.S. officials.

The strongest claims came Tuesday from Obama’s 2008 election opponent, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

“They’re intentionally leaking information to enhance President Obama’s image as a tough guy for the elections,” McCain said after taking to the Senate floor to list some of the alleged breaches. “That is unconscionable.”

McCain called on the administration to appoint an outside special counsel to investigate.

In a statement Friday, McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Holder’s decision “falls far short of what is needed” and repeated McCain’s call for a special counsel.

The House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said his committee would formally investigate the leaks but that he was concerned about the level of cooperation he would get from two government agencies.

“Just today, the CIA informed the (committee) that it cannot respond to our request for information regarding the leaks, a very troubling event indeed,” Rogers said.

The CIA has come under fire for allegedly sharing with Hollywood filmmakers classified details of last year’s U.S. raid into Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden.

A Justice Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information, said that some officials in the department’s national security division recused themselves from one of the leak probes but that the department overall was investigating.

There are at least three investigations ongoing into disclosures of classified information.

Before becoming U.S. attorney, Machen helped lead the white-collar and internal investigation practices at the prominent Washington law firm of WilmerHale. He served as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1997 to 2001.

Machen is leading a high-profile political corruption probe of officials in the District of Columbia. The latest development in that investigation came this week when District of Columbia Council chairman Kwame Brown resigned after being charged with lying about his income on bank loan applications and violating a city campaign law.

Brown pleaded guilty Friday.

Rosenstein was an associate independent counsel who worked for Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr from 1995 to 1997. He was co-counsel in the fraud trial of Jim and Susan McDougal, the former real estate partners of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Both of the McDougals were convicted in a trial that also resulted in the conviction of then-Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said he hopes that the Justice Department brings “the full force of the law against these criminals.”

“We need to send a clear message to anyone who considers leaking sensitive information and putting Americans at risk: If you leak classified information, you will face jail time,” Smith said in a statement.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., called Machen and Rosenstein “strong, capable, independent prosecutors” and said the Justice Department’s consultation with the Judiciary and Intelligence committees was an aid to congressional oversight.”

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

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

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

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


Four Employees at Aberdeen Proving Ground Indicted for Alleged Theft of Government Property

June 8, 2012

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

“BALTIMORE— A federal grand jury has returned two indictments charging four civilians employed at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) with theft of government property, specifically, aluminum and copper to which the defendants had access as part of their jobs. The indictments were returned on June 7, 2012. One of the defendants, Timothy Bittner, was arrested at work today.

Timothy J. Bittner, age 52, of Bel Air, Maryland; Robert W. Reynolds, age 29 of Felton, Pennsylvania; and Steven M. Coale, age 33, of North East, Maryland, are charged in the first indictment with conspiracy to steal and theft of government property, specifically, over $87,000 worth of copper wire.

Ronald Phillips Baker, Sr., age 62, of Havre de Grace, Maryland, is charged in the second indictment with theft of government property, specifically, over 2,700 pounds of aluminum worth over $110,000 on one occasion, and a total of more than 27,000 pounds.

The indictments were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service-Mid-Atlantic Field Office; the Directorate of Emergency Services, U.S. Army Garrison, Aberdeen Proving Ground; and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“The indictments should send a strong message that this type of egregious behavior—allegations of theft while supposedly working on the government clock, to include even stripping active copper wire from an APG building—will not be tolerated,” said Robert Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the DCIS, Mid-Atlantic Field Office.

According to their indictment, Bittner, Reynolds, and Coale were employed as electricians at APG’s Directorate of Public Works. From March through November 2011, the defendants allegedly used their access to the buildings in the Edgewood area of APG and their expertise as electricians to steal copper fixtures and copper wire from government buildings. During work, the defendants allegedly pulled the wire, including wire in current use, and took the copper and copper wire in their government vehhicles to the APG parking lot, where they transferred the stolen items to their personal cars. The defendants rented space at a storage facility to store the copper and copper wire and bought a stripping machine, which they used to remove the insulation from the copper wire to increase the price. The defendants are alleged to have sold the copper to metal recyclers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware as scrap and divided the proceeds, which totaled approximately $87,000.

According to Baker’s two count indictment, Baker operated a patrol boat on the Chesapeake Bay to keep boats away from waters near APG, which were affected by weapons testing. Baker had a security clearance to access the APG boat docks. On April 23, 2012, Baker used his security clearance to access a secure area where he allegedly stole fabricated aluminum outriggers that weighed more than 2,740 pounds and were worth more than $110,000. The indictment further alleges that from September 2010 through April 2012, Baker stole over 27,000 pounds of aluminum.

All four defendants face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for theft of government property. Bittner, Reynolds, and Coale also face a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy to steal government property. An initial appearance has been scheduled today for Bittner at 2:00 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Initial appearances for the remaining defendants are expected to be scheduled next week.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DCIS, APG’s Directorate of Emergency Services, and FBI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Joyce K. McDonald; Special Assistant United States Attorney David I. Sharfstein, of the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division; and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Marlaire, who are prosecuting the cases.”

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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.


Former President of Maryland Corporation Indicted for Allegedly Embezzling Over $885,000

June 6, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 5, 2012 released the following:

“Corporate Checks to Phone Sex Partners and Prostitutes Claimed as Advertising Expenses

BALTIMORE— A federal grand jury today returned an indictment charging Mark Chandler Goodnow, age 55, of Pasadena, Maryland, with wire fraud for embezzling more than $885,000 from a corporation he controlled.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Corporate officers are fiduciaries for investors and other stakeholders,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “A corporate executive cannot spend money for personal benefit and falsely report it as a business expense.”

According to the one count indictment, Goodnow was the president and chief executive officer of a fast food franchise that maintained its principal office in Severna Park, Maryland. From September 2006 to January 2011, Goodnow allegedly diverted company funds to pay personal expenses.

The indictment alleges Goodnow wrote hundreds of unauthorized corporate checks totaling more than $885,000. Goodnow allegedly used corporate money to pay three Texas women for telephone sex, to pay personal expenses of one of the women, and to pay prostitutes in Maryland. Goodnow allegedly concealed the unauthorized expenditures by reporting them in the company’s records as advertising expenditures.

Goodnow faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Goodnow’s initial appearance in federal court in Baltimore is expected to be scheduled later this week.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the FBI for its work in the investigation and praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Clarke, who is prosecuting the case.”

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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

————————————————————–

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.


Two Physicians Indicted in an Alleged Conspiracy to Defraud the IRS by Concealing Their Income and Filing False Tax Returns

March 29, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on March 28, 2012 released the following:

“GREENBELT, MD—A federal grand jury has indicted cardiologist Abdul H. Fadul, age 75, and Ali Al-Attar, age 49, a doctor of internal medicine, of Alexandria and McLean, Virginia, respectively, today on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States by attempting to hide their true income and aiding in the preparation of false tax returns.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric C. Hylton of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Special Agent in Charge Nicholas DiGiulio, Office of Investigations, Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.

“This case should serve as a warning to anyone who is tempted to cheat on their taxes,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “The IRS can and will pursue evidence of tax fraud and bring federal criminal charges.”

According to the indictment, Fadul and Al-Attar held joint ownership interests in nine medical practices located in Maryland and Virginia, with each medical practice having its own bank account. For tax years 2004 and 2005, Fadul and Al-Attar engaged an accounting firm in Maryland to prepare income tax returns for themselves and the joint medical practices. The defendants advised the accounting firm that it was standard practice for each of the joint medical practices to deposit the business receipts it generated, including payments from patients and insurance companies, into its own bank account. On March 26, 2004, Fadul and Al-Attar opened a joint bank account in their own names, into which they began depositing business receipts without telling their accountants.

The five-count indictment alleges that from March 26, 2004 through July 12, 2006, Fadul and Al-Attar conspired to defraud the U.S. by concealing their total income. Specifically, Fadul and Al-Attar deposited a total of over $500,000 in checks from patients and insurance companies for medical services rendered into the joint account in their names, rather than into the bank account of the medical practice that had generated the payment. The defendants then allegedly spent the money on personal items including real estate and other personal investments.

The indictment further alleges that Fadul opened a joint account with his wife and a separate account in his name only, which he then used to deposit payments from patients and insurance companies for services rendered by Fadul at medical practices he owned, including Cardio Vascular Center LLL, which Fadul owned with his wife. Fadul used the funds in both the joint account he owned with his wife and his personal account for his own enjoyment, including a $155,000 payment to the Fisher Island Club in Florida.

Fadul and Al-Attar concealed these personal accounts from the accounting firm, causing the accounting firm to prepare 2004 and 2005 income taxes for the doctors and their wives that fraudulently omitted the income the doctors had deposited into their personal accounts. Fadul and Al-Attar are both charged in the conspiracy and with aiding in the preparation of false tax returns for tax year 2005. Fadul is also charged with aiding in the preparation of false tax returns for tax years 2006 and 2007.

Fadul and Al-Attar face a maximum of five years in prison for the conspiracy. Al-Attar faces a maximum of three years in prison for aiding in the preparation of a false tax return and Fadul faces a maximum of three years in prison on each of three counts of aiding in the filing of false tax returns. No court appearance has been scheduled.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the IRS-CI, FBI, and HHS Office of Inspector General for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant United States Attorney Daren Firestone and Assistant United States Attorney David I. Salem, who are prosecuting the case.”

US v Abdul H. Gadul and Ali Al-Attar – Federal Criminal Indictment

18 U.S.C. § 371

26 U.S.C. § 7206

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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 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.


Homebuilder Indicted in an Alleged $14.7 Million Construction Investment Scheme

March 2, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on March 1, 2012 released the following:

“BALTIMORE—A federal grand jury indicted Patrick J. Belzner, a/k/a “Patrick McCloskey,” age 42, of Glen Arm, Maryland, yesterday for conspiring to commit wire fraud arising from an investment fraud scheme. The indictment was unsealed today upon the arrest of the defendant.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric C. Hylton of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.

According to the indictment, from at least August 2009 to August 2011, Belzner, a homebuilder, and a co-conspirator also in the home building business, targeted individuals seeking investment opportunities or commercial real estate development lending. Belzner, who falsely presented himself as “Patrick McCloskey” with certain investors, instructed the victims that in order to obtain loans for commercial real estate projects, the purported lenders required that large sums of money be deposited in an escrow bank account to show “liquidity.”

The indictment alleges that in order to gain their victims’ confidence, Belzner and his co-conspirators caused victim investors and borrowers to enter into escrow agreements which stated that no person other than the victims had the ability to remove the escrowed funds without the victims’ permission. Belzner told the victims that a co-conspirator had to be the attorney assigned as the escrow agent.

The indictment alleges that Belzner and his co-conspirator fraudulently withdrew approximately $14,730,780 from the escrow accounts and used these stolen funds to satisfy their business and personal debts. To conceal their scheme, Belzner and his co-conspirators allegedly e-mailed fabricated bank statements to victims that misrepresented the escrow account balance and the date by when the investors’ money would be returned. Belzner and his co-conspirators also used funds fraudulently obtained from some victim investors to repay money owed to previous victim investors, or to other individuals to whom the conspirators owed debts.

The indictment seeks forfeiture at least $14,730,780, the amount of money stolen from victim investors.

Belzner faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the value of the gain or loss. Belzner had his initial appearance today in federal court in Baltimore.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the FBI and IRS-CI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean O’Connell and Sujit Raman, who are prosecuting the case.”

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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.


Fugitive Previously Indicted for Copyright Infringement of Commercial Software Programs Arrested

February 2, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on February 1, 2012 released the following:

“BALTIMORE— Naveed Sheikh, age 31, formerly of Baltimore, was arrested late yesterday on charges of illegally reproducing and distributing over 100 copyrighted commercial software programs. Sheik had been aware that he was under investigation and fled to Pakistan shortly before being indicted on January 13, 2011. Sheik was arrested at Dulles Airport yesterday as he was attempting to enter the U.S. Sheik had his initial appearance in the Eastern District of Virginia this afternoon, where he was detained pending a detention hearing on February 3, 2012.

The arrest was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge William Winter of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Postal Inspector in Charge Daniel Cortez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service-Washington Division.

According to the one count indictment, from February 2004 to April 2008, Sheikh infringed copyrights by reproducing and distributing over 100 copyrighted commercial software programs for which he allegedly received over $265,000. The copyrighted works are estimated to be worth millions of dollars. Sheikh allegedly advertised through his Internet website and sold infringing copyrighted commercial software at prices well below the suggested retail prices of legitimate, authorized copies of the software. Some of the copyrighted works included Microsoft Money 2006 Small Business, Adobe After Effects Pro 7.0, Veritas NetBackUp Pro 5.1, Solid Works Office 2000 Premium, Quicken Premier Home and Business 2006 and Apple iLife 2006.

The indictment alleges that Sheikh advised purchasers that software programs could be mailed to purchasers on compact discs and downloaded from the Internet. Sheikh caused the creation of DVD-Rs and CD-Rs with copyright infringing software programs and crack codes. Crack codes allow an individual to modify software to remove or disable security protections. Sheikh allegedly requested that purchasers send money orders for infringing software to a P.O. box he maintained in Towson, Maryland. Sheikh also permitted customers to pay for infringing software through credit card charges and electronic fund transfers. Sheikh paid a company that hosted Internet domains to register multiple Internet domains, including ezencode.com, lazer-toners.com, and coark.net. Sheikh’s computer server, which was physically located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, hosted his website. Sheikh used computers in Bel Air, Maryland, and other computers to contact and control his computer server.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $265,000 and any property derived from or traceable to the proceeds of the scheme.

Sheikh faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. No date has been set for his appearance in Maryland.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised ICE Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their work in the investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorney Harry Gruber, who is prosecuting the case.”

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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.