“Mobile Doctors’ Chicago CEO and Doctor Arrested on Federal Health Care Fraud Charges”

August 28, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 27, 2013 released the following:

Offices Searched in Three Cities

CHICAGO—The chief executive officer of Chicago-based Mobile Doctors, which manages physicians who make house calls in six states, and one of its physicians in Chicago were arrested today on federal health care fraud charges. At the same time, federal agents executed search warrants at Mobile Doctors’ offices in Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis, as well as warrants to seize up to $2.568 million in alleged fraud proceeds from various bank accounts. The charges allege a scheme to fraudulently increase (also known as “upcoding”) Medicare bills for in-home patient visits that Mobile Doctors falsely claimed were more complicated and longer than they actually were. The charges also allege that Mobile Doctors’ physicians falsely certified that patients were confined to their homes, enabling home health care agencies to claim fees for additional services for patients who were not actually qualified to receive them.

Agents from the FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and other law enforcement agencies executed the arrest, search, and seizure warrants in connection with the charges and also a broader ongoing investigation that includes allegedly illegal billing practices for medically unnecessary tests and services not performed by a physician.

Arrested were Dike Ajiri, 42, of Wilmette, CEO of Mobile Doctors, which he has effectively owned since 1996, and Banio Koroma, 63, of Tinley Park, a physician who has worked for Mobile Doctors since approximately 2007. Mobile Doctors, located at 3319 N. Elston Ave., in Chicago, arranges patient home visits and contracts with doctors who perform the visits. The physicians assign their rights to bill and collect payment to Mobile Doctors in return for being paid directly by the company. Mobile Doctors’ website claims that its associated physicians have made more than 500,000 house calls since its inception. In addition to Chicago, the company has branches in Detroit and Flint, Michigan; San Antonio and Austin, Texas; Indianapolis; Kansas City; Phoenix; and St. Louis.

Ajiri was charged with health care fraud, and Koroma was charged with making false statements relating to health care benefits in a criminal complaint that was filed yesterday and unsealed today after the arrests. Both were scheduled to appear at 3 p.m. today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Rowland in U.S. District Court.

The arrests and charges were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert J. Shields, Jr., Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Lamont Pugh, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Regional Office of the HHS-OIG. The Railroad Retirement Board Office of Inspector General is also participating in the investigation.

According to a 75-page affidavit in support of the arrest, search, and seizure warrants, agents have interviewed several current and more than 25 former employees of Mobile Doctors, including some who reported allegedly fraudulent billing practices to Medicare before they were contacted by agents. Investigators have also reviewed e-mails and documents, claims data and patient files and have conducted interviews with patients of Mobile Doctors and their primary care physicians, whose statements contradict Mobile Doctors’ billing and patient records.

Mobile Doctors physicians do not perform tests such as echocardiograms but do order such tests, which are done on Mobile Doctors’ patients by employees of In Home Diagnostics, doing business as Ultrasound2You. According to Medicare records, Ajiri is a minority partner in In Home Diagnostics, which is located in the same building as Mobile Doctors, and Mobile Doctors bills the echocardiograms so that they appear to have been done by Mobile Doctors’ physicians.

The complaint affidavit states that Ajiri signed a personal financial statement on December 31, 2012, stating that he received $1.5 million in annual partnership income from a corporate entity, Mobile Doctors LLC, which has a complex ownership structure involving Ajiri and, over time, one or both of his parents. Between 2008 and January 2013, bank records show that approximately $4.365 million was transferred from Mobile Doctors to an account in the name of Ajiri and his wife.

Upcoding Patient Visits

According to interviews with former and current Mobile Doctors physicians, branch managers, clinical coordinators, employees, and patients, a typical visit that a Mobile Doctors physician has with an established patient lasts 10 to 30 minutes and is routine in nature. In contrast to those interviews, claims data shows that from 2006 through February 2013, approximately 99 percent of all established-patient visits by Mobile Doctors physicians were billed to Medicare using either of the two highest codes indicating the visits involved medical decision-making of moderate to high complexity, detailed or comprehensive interval histories or medical examinations, and/or visits that typically last at least 40 minutes.

In 2009 in Chicago, the local Medicare fee for a visit using the second-highest home visit code was approximately $122.82, while the fee for the highest code was approximately $171.25. According to a review of claims data for Railroad Retirement Board patients, every single established-patient visit Mobile Doctors billed to Medicare between January 2007 and June 2008 used the highest fee code. Between January 2007 and November 2012, approximately 93 percent of such visits were billed using the highest fee code.

The former manager of Mobile Doctors’ Chicago branch until she was terminated in 2008 told agents that Ajiri told her that the second-highest fee code was the default code for a patient visit so that it would be worth the gas and time spent. The manager said Ajiri told physicians, “I don’t pay for ones or twos,” referring to the two lower of the four applicable fee codes. At the end of one day, she said she saw Ajiri in his office “automatically” altering the billing codes and marking visits at the highest fee level on patient records submitted by physicians and assistants who accompanied them on home visits. A physician told agents that in late 2007, Ajiri did not respond to his concerns about Mobile Doctors’ billing practices and instead told the doctor that he could earn more money if he would order more tests such as electrocardiograms, according to the affidavit.

The complaint alleges that the vast majority of payments made on established-patient visit claims using the highest fee code were the result of fraudulent upcoding. From 2006 through 2012, Mobile Doctors received approximately $21.4 million in payments on claims using the second-highest code and approximately $12.6 million in Medicare payments on claims using the highest fee code.

Falsely Certifying Patients as Confined to Their Homes

The charges further allege that Mobile Doctors physicians, including Koroma, falsely certified patients as confined to their homes and requiring home health services when they were not home-bound and did not require such care. By referring patients to home health agencies that did not warrant Medicare payments, Mobile Doctors received more referrals from those agencies for services provided by its physicians. According to Medicare data, from August 2010 through July 2013, more than 200 home health agencies submitted Medicare claims for services allegedly rendered to patients for whom Koroma was identified as the referring physician. These home health agencies have been paid more than $10 million for services listing Koroma as the referring physician.

Between January 2006 and March 2013, Mobile Doctors physicians have certified or recertified for 60-day periods approximately 15,598 patients as confined to their homes and requiring home health services a total of approximately 83,133 times, many of which were allegedly false. Approximately 6,057 of these certifications were attributed since August 2007 to Koroma, with Mobile Doctors billing Medicare for approximately 17,439 patient visits he made during that time, more than any other Mobile Doctors physician.

The health care fraud count against Ajiri carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and restitution is mandatory. The false statements count against Koroma carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen C. Lee and Catherine Dick, assistant chief in the Fraud Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. The U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Detroit, Indianapolis, and Phoenix also have assisted in the investigation.

The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force began operating in Chicago in February 2011 and consists of agents from the FBI and HHS-OIG working together with prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Justice Department’s Fraud Section. The strike force is part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative announced in May 2009 between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. Scores of defendants have been charged locally in health care fraud cases since the strike force began operating in Chicago.”

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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 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 CEO and Former CFO of ArthroCare Corp. Charged with Allegedly Orchestrating a $400 Million Securities Fraud Scheme

July 17, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs on July 17, 2013 released the following:

“The former chief executive officer and former chief financial officer of ArthroCare Corp., a publicly traded medical device company based in Austin, Texas, were charged for their alleged leading roles in a $400 million scheme to defraud the company’s shareholders and members of the investing public by falsely inflating ArthroCare’s earnings by tens of millions of dollars, announced Acting Assistant Attorney Mythili Raman of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman of the Western District of Texas.

A 17-count indictment was unsealed today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas against Michael Baker, the former chief executive officer and director of ArthroCare, and Michael Gluk, the former chief financial officer of ArthroCare. Both defendants surrendered to authorities this morning.

The indictment, which was returned on July 16, 2013, charges Baker and Gluk with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud, and two counts of securities fraud; it charges Baker alone with three counts of false statements. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of assets held by Baker and Gluk.

“Truthful corporate earnings reports are critical to the soundness of our financial system,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman. “Today’s indictment alleges that those at the top of ArthroCare deceived investors and regulators by manipulating the company’s reports to inflate its stock, ultimately causing hundreds of millions in losses in shareholder value. The Criminal Division will continue to aggressively pursue corporate executives who undermine our financial markets for personal gain.”

According to the indictment, from at least December 2005 through December 2008, Baker, Gluk and other senior executives and employees of ArthroCare allegedly falsely inflated ArthroCare’s sales and revenue through a series of end-of-quarter transactions involving several of ArthroCare’s distributors. According to court documents, Baker, Gluk and other ArthroCare employees determined the type and amount of product to be shipped to distributors based on ArthroCare’s need to meet Wall Street analyst forecasts, rather than distributors’ actual orders. Baker, Gluk and others then allegedly caused ArthroCare to “park” millions of dollars worth of ArthroCare’s medical devices at its distributors at the end of each relevant quarter. ArthroCare would then report these shipments as sales in its quarterly and annual filings at the time of the shipment, enabling the company to meet or exceed internal and external earnings forecasts.

The indictment alleges that ArthroCare’s distributors agreed to accept shipment of millions of dollars of product in exchange for substantial, upfront cash commissions, extended payment terms and the ability to return product, as well as other special conditions, allowing ArthroCare to falsely inflate its revenue by tens of millions of dollars.

Baker, Gluk and others allegedly used DiscoCare, a privately owned Delaware corporation, as one of the distributors to cover shortfalls in ArthroCare’s revenue. According to the indictment, at Baker and Gluk’s direction, ArthroCare shipped product to DiscoCare that far exceeded DiscoCare’s needs.

In addition, Baker, Gluk and others allegedly lied to investors and analysts about ArthroCare’s relationships with its distributors, including its largest distributor, DiscoCare. According to the indictment, Baker and Gluk caused ArthroCare to acquire DiscoCare specifically to conceal from the investing public the nature and financial significance of ArthroCare’s relationship with DiscoCare.

The indictment further alleges that when Baker was deposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about the DiscoCare relationship in November 2009, he lied again on multiple occasions.

According to court documents, between December 2005 and December 2008, ArthroCare’s shareholders held more than 25 million shares of ArthroCare stock. On July 21, 2008, after ArthroCare announced publicly that it would be restating its previously reported financial results from the third quarter 2006 through the first quarter 2008 to reflect the results of an internal investigation, the price of ArthroCare shares dropped from $40.03 to $23.21 per share. The drop in ArthroCare’s share price caused an immediate loss in shareholder value of more than $400 million.

If convicted, Baker and Gluk would face a maximum prison sentence of 25 years for the conspiracy charge, 20 years for each count of wire fraud, and 25 years for each securities fraud count. Baker faces five years for each count of false statements.

An indictment is merely a charge, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Austin office. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Chief Benjamin D. Singer and Trial Attorneys Henry P. Van Dyck and William Chang of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The Department recognizes the substantial assistance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”

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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.


“Florida Health Care Medical Director and Six Therapists Arrested for Alleged Roles in $63 Million Fraud Scheme”

July 17, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs on July 16, 2013 released the following:

“The former medical director at defunct health provider Health Care Solutions Network (HCSN) and six therapists were arrested today, accused of conspiring to fraudulently bill Medicare and Florida Medicaid more than $63 million.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wifredo A. Ferrer; Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Steinbach of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Christopher B. Dennis of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations Miami office, made the announcement after the indictment was unsealed following the arrests.

The former HCSN medical director, Roger Rousseau, 71, of Miami, was indicted on July 11, 2013, and charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and two counts of health care fraud. In addition, six therapists from Miami – Doris Crabtree, 61; Angela Salafia, 65; Liliana Marks, 46; Ruben Busquets, 49; Alina Fonts, 47; and Blanca Ruiz, 59 – were also charged in the same indictment with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Fonts was also charged with two counts of health care fraud, and Crabtree, Salafia, Marks and Busquets were each charged with two counts of making false statements related to health care matters. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of proceeds from the alleged healthcare fraud offenses.

According to the indictment, HCSN purported to provide intensive mental health treatment to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in Miami and Hendersonville, N.C., from approximately 2004 through 2011 for purported mental health services that were not medically necessary and often never provided. The indictment also alleges that in Miami, HCSN paid kickbacks to assisted living facility owners and operators who, in exchange, referred beneficiaries to HCSN. In total, HCSN is alleged to have fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid approximately $63.7 million, from which HCSN allegedly received payments totaling approximately $28 million.

Rousseau served as the medical director for HCSN in Florida, and the indictment alleges that he routinely signed what he knew to be fabricated and altered medical records without ever reviewing the materials, and, in most instances, without ever meeting with the patient. The indictment also alleges that Crabtree, Salafia, Marks, Busquets, Fonts and Ruiz fabricated HCSN medical records to support false and fraudulent claims for partial hospitalization program services that were not medically necessary and were not provided.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. The case is being prosecuted by Fraud Section Trial Attorney Allan J. Medina.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,500 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.”

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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 Corporate Officers of China North East Petroleum Holdings Limited (CNEP) Charged with Alleged Fraud and False Statements

May 29, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 28, 2013 released the following press release:

“WASHINGTON—The former president and CEO and the former vice president of corporate finance of China North East Petroleum Holdings Limited (CNEP), an oil and gas company whose stock is traded in the United States, have been charged with defrauding investors in connection with public offerings of stock.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos of the FBI’s New York Field Office; and Chief Richard Weber of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.

Wang Hongjun, 41, and Chao Jiang, 32, both Chinese citizens residing in California and New York, respectively, were indicted on May 23, 2013, with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud and four counts of securities fraud, which each carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. Jiang is also charged with two counts of false statements to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during sworn testimony, which each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The indictment was made public today.

According to the indictment, Hongjun served as the president and CEO of CNEP from 2009 to 2010 and as the chairman of the Board of Directors beginning in 2010. Jiang served as the vice president of corporate finance and corporate secretary of CNEP from 2008 until approximately 2011. The charges allege that in June of 2009, CNEP registered a shelf offering with the SEC proposing to sell up to $40 million of CNEP common stock in the United States on the New York Stock Exchange. In September and December 2009, CNEP made two separate offerings pursuant to the June registration. In documents filed with the SEC related to the offerings, and in other public statements to investors, Hongjun and Jiang informed investors that CNEP intended to use the funds raised from the securities offerings for general corporate purposes and to repay a prior corporate debt.

The indictment alleges that, instead of using the offering proceeds as represented to CNEP’s investors, Hongjun and Jiang misappropriated approximately $1,265,000 of the proceeds by wiring the money to bank accounts in the name of their family members—approximately $965,000 to Jiang’s father and approximately $300,000 to Hongjun’s wife—which was used, in part, to purchase a home in California, jewelry, and a Mercedes-Benz.

In addition, the indictment alleges that Jiang testified falsely under oath to the SEC in Washington, D.C., about these transactions. In that testimony, Jiang stated that none of his family members had received anything of value over $500 from CNEP, despite having wired $965,000 from CNEP’s bank account to the account of his father. Jiang also testified falsely regarding the use of proceeds from the securities offerings.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

In a related action, the SEC had previously filed a civil enforcement action against Hongjun, Jiang, and others in the Southern District of New York.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s New York Field Office and IRS-CI. The Department wishes to thank the SEC for its significant assistance in this case. The investigation is continuing.

This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Daniel Kahn and Kevin Muhlendorf of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Johnson for the District of Columbia.”

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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 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.


Todd Ryan Frazier, Former School Business Official and Treasurer, of the Carterville School District Charged by in a Federal Indictment Alleging Embezzlement, Wire Fraud, False Statements, and Other Federal Crimes

May 12, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 10, 2013 released the following:

“Todd Ryan Frazier, 30, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was indicted by a grand jury and charged in a 16-count indictment with

  • counts 1—3, embezzlement and theft from the Carterville School District—a unit of local government that received federal funds;
  • counts 4—13, wire fraud in furtherance of a scheme to defraud the Carterville School District;
  • count 14, false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
  • count 15, attempting to access a computer of a financial institution without authorization;
  • count 16, uttering a forged check of the Carterville School District, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. The offenses each carry a total statutory maximum sentence of up to 250 years in prison, a fine of up to $3,400,000 and mandatory restitution.

The indictment alleges that Todd Ryan Frazier, from August 2008 and continuing through February 2012, engaged in a scheme to defraud the Carterville School District, Unit 5, in Williamson County, Illinois, while he was the School Business Official which included the duties and responsibilities to act as the treasurer and payroll officer for the district. The indictment further alleges that Todd Ryan Frazier lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during its investigation when he stated that he had not stolen money from the Carterville School District, nor did he make any false entries into Carterville School District’s payroll system.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith.”

Federal Wire Fraud Crimes – 18 U.S.C. 1343

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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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.


Federal Criminal Complaints Filed Against 3 Alleged Friends of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

May 2, 2013

NBC News on May 1, 2013 released the following:

By Pete Williams, Richard Esposito, Michael Isikoff and Tracy Connor, NBC News

3 pals of Boston Marathon bombing suspect charged with coverup

Three college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were accused Wednesday of removing evidence from his dorm room as new details about the case emerged in court papers.

Criminal complaints against the trio revealed that Tsarnaev cut his long hair after the April 15 attack but before the FBI released his photo and that he allegedly told friends a month earlier that he knew “how to make a bomb.”

The court papers also suggest that the 19-year-old suspect was practically blasé when one of the friends texted to say he looked like the man in the FBI photos of the bomb suspect.

Among his replies: ‘lol,” according to the complaints.

The complaints were filed against Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, who were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice, and Robel Phillipos, who was charged with making false statements.

The three friends, who are all 19-years-old, allegedly went to Tsarnaev’s dorm room after the FBI photos came out April 18 and left with a backpack that contained fireworks tubes that had been emptied of their explosive powder, according to the documents.

The backpack was later tossed in the garbage, though the suspects’ gave conflicting statement about whether that happened before or after Tsarnaev had been publicly named as the bombing suspect following a night of bloody mayhem.

As the allegations against them were unveiled, Tsarnaev’s three friends appeared in Boston Federal Court Wednesday afternoon. None of the charges suggested they had prior knowledge of the dual bombings that killed three and wounded more than 200 near the finish line of the race.

Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev — who are from Kazakhstan and were detained more than a week ago on immigration charges — did not seek bail and were ordered held until a May 14 hearing.

Phillipos is being held until a detention hearing Monday. As he was read his rights, Federal Judge Marianne Bowler admonished him, saying, “I suggest you pay attention to me rather than looking down.”

Outside the courthouse, Harlan Protass, a lawyer for Tazhayakov, said his client “has cooperated fully with the authorities and looks forward to the truth coming out in this case.”

Robert Stahl, a lawyer for Kadyrbayev, said the college sophomore “absolutely denies” allegations of a coverup and was “shocked and horrified” by the bombing. He said his client told investigators about ditching the items from the dorm room but “did not know those items were involved in a bombing.”

Although only Tazhayakov is currently enrolled, all three men knew Tsarnaev from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.

The narrative outlined in the court papers begins about a month ago when, according to Tazhayakov, Tsarnaev told him and Kadyrbayev that he “knew how to make a bomb.”

Kadyrbayev last saw Tsarnaev on April 17, two days after the bombing, at his dorm room and noticed that he had given himself a short haircut. They chatted outside the dorm, the complaint said.

Little more than 24 hours later, the FBI released photos and video of two men wanted in the bombing. The suspects were not yet identified as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan.

At least two of the three friends thought one of the men in the pictures looked like Tsarnaev, and Kadyrbayev texted him to say so, the FBI said.

Tsarnaev fired off a flurry of texts, including, “lol,” “you better not text me” and “come to my room and take whatever you want,” the court papers said.

The trio then met at Tsarnaev’s dorm room, where they learned he had already left and were let in by his roommate.

After watching a movie, they spotted a dark backpack containing seven red tubes of fireworks that had been emptied, and Kadyrbayev decided to take it, according to one of the complaints.

They also took a laptop – now turned over to the FBI, according to Kadyrbayev’s attorney — because they didn’t want to arouse the roommate’s suspicions about the backpack, the document said.

After leaving the dorm, the three friends “started to freak out” because they realized Tsarnaev was wanted in the bombing, Phillipos said, according to the feds.

They then “collectively decided to throw the backpack and fireworks into the trash because they did not want Tsarnaev to get in trouble,” Kadyrbayev told agents, according to the complaint.

Kadyrbayev allegedly put the items in a large trash bag and tossed it into a dumpster near his off-campus apartment.

The suspects’ statements clashed on whether that happened the night of the April 18, before Tsarnaev was formally identified as the accused bomber, or the morning after – an important point if their defense is that they had no idea the items could be evidence.

Tsarnaev never returned to his dorm room. Authorities say that after the FBI put their pictures out, he and Tamerlan executed a campus police officer, stole a car at gunpoint and led police on a wild chase.

It ended with Tamerlan dead after a firefight and Dzhokhar captured in a boat in a Watertown, Mass., backyard. Dzhokhar, who was wounded, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.

Law enforcement officials have told NBC News that Dzhokhar told them during questioning he and his brother wanted to defend Islam after the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Investigators have been trying to determine if pair – ethnic Chechens who had lived in the U.S. for more than a decade — they received assistance from anyone else in the U.S. or abroad.”

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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

————————————————————–

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 prosecutors charge IRS workers with theft of government benefits”

April 18, 2013

Fox News on April 18, 2013 released the following:

Associated Press

“MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Twenty-four current and former Internal Revenue Service employees have been charged with stealing government benefits, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The IRS employees were indicted on charges that they illegally received more than $250,000 in benefits including unemployment insurance payments, food stamps, welfare, and housing vouchers, the U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis said in a news release.

Prosecutors say 13 of the IRS employees face federal charges of lying about being unemployed while applying for or recertifying their government benefits. They each face up to five years in prison if convicted of making false statements to receive the benefits.

Eleven others face state charges of theft of property over $1,000, a felony that can carry a sentence of probation up to 12 years in prison if they are convicted.

“While these IRS employees were supposed to be serving the public, they were instead brazenly stealing from law-abiding American taxpayers,” U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton said in a statement

Those charged range in ages from 28 to 64. They include residents of Memphis, Jackson, Tenn., and Southaven, Miss.

“The taxes that we pay are supposed to support our nation and assist individuals in need, not free-loaders who are gaming the system,” said Amy Weirich, the district attorney for Shelby County.

Prosecutors scheduled, then canceled, a news conference to announce the indictments. U.S. attorney’s office spokesman Rodney King said the cancellation was due to “unforeseen events,” without elaborating.

King would not say whether the cancellation was related to the investigation into two letters sent to President Barack Obama and a Mississippi senator that indicated they contained poisonous ricin.

The FBI says the letters were postmarked Memphis.”

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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 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.


“Chinese contractor at NASA makes court appearance”

March 19, 2013

CNN on March 18, 2013 released the following:

“By Terry Frieden

A Chinese aerospace contractor, who one senior lawmaker suspects is a spy, made his first appearance in federal court on Monday.

Bo Jiang worked at NASA’s Langley’s Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and was seized over the weekend as he boarded a flight to Beijing at Dulles airport outside Washington.

Jiang was charged with making false statements to U.S. authorities by failing to disclose all of the electronic devices he was carrying on his one-way flight.

He was jailed following his appearance in federal court in Norfolk.

U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Virginia, said Jiang recently arranged travel after the lawmaker went public with his concerns about NASA security.

Wolf told reporters Monday that he believes Jiang had access to highly sensitive documents, including source codes for high-tech imaging used in missiles, unmanned aerospace equipment and other technology desired by the Chinese government.

Wolf, who oversees congressional funding of several agencies, believes Jiang was spying.

“We’ll know for sure after they (the FBI) examine his hard drive,” he said.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is scheduled to testify about NASA security at a hearing on Wednesday before Wolf’s committee.”

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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

————————————————————–

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 Raleigh Real Estate Entrepreneur James T. Webb Arrested on 50-Count Indictment Alleging Several Federal Crimes

September 15, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 14, 2012 released the following:

“RALEIGH— The United States Attorney’s Office announced that the indictment of JAMES THOMAS WEBB, 51, was unsealed today in federal court. WEBB has been charged in a 50-count indictment which includes conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349; 10 counts of bank fraud and aiding and abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 2; three counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1343 and 2; and 36 counts of making false statements to influence banks on loans and aiding and abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1014 and 2. WEBB was arrested by federal agents on September 13, 2012 in Miami, Florida.

The Indictment charges that between 2002 and 2006, WEBB operated various real estate companies, including Alpine Properties, LLC and Webb Builders, LLC for a profit. WEBB promised investors in multiple states quick, large, and safe financial gains by investing money with him. WEBB promised investors that he would use their money to purchase, renovate, and resell properties to first-time home buyers in various states, including North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. WEBB caused investors to take out loans on properties that he and his companies had allegedly renovated.

The indictment further alleges that despite alleged philanthropic and humanitarian objectives, that WEBB carried out a fraud upon both the investors who gave cash to WEBB, and the banks and lenders who WEBB caused to disburse loan proceeds. According to the indictment, WEBB conspired with former attorney, Amy Robinson, to falsify closing statements associated with the loan transactions. It is alleged that the closing statements falsified various facts, including the amount of money paid to WEBB on the transactions. WEBB is also alleged to have conspired with a former appraiser, Larry Max McDaniel, and his associate, Jackie Gale Weaver, to falsify appraisal reports that were given to banks and lenders in connection with investor loans. The appraisal reports are alleged to have falsely stated that McDaniel had physically viewed the properties, when in fact he had not. The indictment also alleges that the properties sold to investors and financed by banks were not always completed or in the condition represented in the appraisal reports.

During the course of the alleged scheme, the indictment charges that WEBB lived lavishly, residing in a multi-million-dollar mansion, driving expensive vehicles, including a Bentley, traveling extensively, and otherwise paying himself handsomely. WEBB is alleged to have abruptly left North Carolina for Florida in 2004, where he continued to market his services under new company names.

According to the indictment, based upon WEBB’s statements and representations to investors, various individuals collectively invested millions of dollars with WEBB and his companies. Additionally, banks and lenders are alleged to have disbursed millions of dollars in loans, leaving investors holding millions in debt. The indictment alleges that WEBB left various neighborhoods in North Carolina and Virginia blighted with boarded up and dilapidated homes, many of which were ultimately demolished as uninhabitable.

Larry Max McDaniel, 69, pleaded guilty in federal court on June 11, 2012 to making false statements to federally insured financial institutions, and aiding and abetting. Jackie Gale Weaver pleaded guilty in federal court on September 21, 2011 to conspiracy to make false statements to federally insured financial institutions. Amy Robinson, 35, pleaded guilty in federal court on May 3, 2010 to conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Investigation of this case is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of the Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore 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 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 U.S. Consulate Guard Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Communicate National Defense Information to China

August 31, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 30, 2012 released the following:

“WASHINGTON— Bryan Underwood, a former civilian guard at a U.S. Consulate compound under construction in China, pleaded guilty today in the District of Columbia in connection with his efforts to sell for personal financial gain classified photographs, information, and access related to the U.S. Consulate to China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS).

At a hearing today before U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, Underwood pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to communicate national defense information to a foreign government with intent or reason to believe that the documents, photographs, or information in question were to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation.

The guilty plea was announced by Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Ronald C. Machen, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Eric J. Boswell, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security.

Underwood, 32, a former resident of Indiana, was first charged in an indictment on August 31, 2011, with two counts of making false statements and was arrested on September 1, 2011. On September 21, 2011, he failed to appear at a scheduled status hearing in federal court in the District of Columbia. The FBI later located Underwood in a hotel in Los Angeles and arrested him there on September 24, 2011. On September 28, 2011, Underwood was charged in a superseding indictment with one count of attempting to communicate national defense information to a foreign government, two counts of making false statements, and one count of failing to appear in court pursuant to his conditions of release. Sentencing for Underwood has been scheduled for November 19, 2012. He faces a maximum potential sentence of life in prison.

“Bryan Underwood was charged with protecting a new U.S. Consulate compound against foreign espionage, but, facing financial hardship, he attempted to betray his country for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Monaco. “This prosecution demonstrates that we remain vigilant in protecting America’s secrets and in bringing to justice those who attempt to compromise them.”

“Bryan Underwood was determined to make millions by selling secret photos of restricted areas inside a U.S. Consulate in China,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “His greed drove him to exploit his access to America’s secrets to line his own pockets. The lengthy prison sentence facing Underwood should chasten anyone who is tempted to put our nation at risk for personal gain.”

“Bryan Underwood sought to benefit from his access to sensitive information, but his attempted betrayal was detected before our nation’s secrets fell into the wrong hands,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “Together with our partners, the FBI will continue to work to expose, investigate, and prevent acts of espionage that threaten our national security.”

“The close working relationship between the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office resulted in the capture and conviction of Bryan Underwood before he could harm the security of our country,” said Assistant Secretary of State Boswell. “The Diplomatic Security Service is firmly committed to thoroughly investigating all potential intelligence threats to our nation.”

According to court documents, from November 2009 to August 2011, Underwood worked as a cleared American guard (CAG) at the construction site of a new U.S. Consulate compound in Guangzhou, China. CAGs are American civilian security guards with top secret clearances who serve to prevent foreign governments from improperly obtaining sensitive or classified information from the U.S. Consulate. Underwood received briefings on how to handle and protect classified information as well as briefings and instructions on security protocols for the U.S. Consulate, including the prohibition on photography in certain areas of the consulate.

Plan to Sell Information and Access for $3 Million to $5 Million

In February 2011, Underwood was asked by U.S. law enforcement to assist in a project at the consulate, and he agreed. In March 2011, Underwood lost a substantial amount of money in the stock market. According to court documents, Underwood then devised a plan to use his assistance to U.S. law enforcement as a “cover” for making contact with the Chinese government. According to his subsequent statements to U.S. law enforcement, Underwood intended to sell his information about and access to the U.S. Consulate to the Chinese MSS for $3 million to $5 million. If any U.S. personnel caught him, he planned to falsely claim he was assisting U.S. law enforcement.

As part of his plan, Underwood wrote a letter to the Chinese MSS expressing his “interest in initiating a business arrangement with your offices” and stating, “I know I have information and skills that would be beneficial to your offices [sic] goals. And I know your office can assist me in my financial endeavors.” According to court documents, Underwood attempted to deliver this letter to the offices of the Chinese MSS in Guangzhou but was turned away by a guard who declined to accept the letter. Underwood then left the letter in the open in his apartment hoping that the Chinese MSS would find it, as he believed the MSS routinely conducted searches of apartments occupied by Americans.

In May 2011, Underwood secreted a camera into the U.S. Consulate compound and took photographs of a restricted building and its contents. Many of these photographs depict areas or information classified at the secret level. Underwood also created a schematic that listed all security upgrades to the U.S. Consulate and drew a diagram of the surveillance camera locations at the consulate. In addition, according to his subsequent statements to U.S. law enforcement, Underwood “mentally” constructed a plan in which the MSS could gain undetected access to a building at the U.S. Consulate to install listening devices or other technical penetrations.

According to court documents, the photographs Underwood took were reviewed by an expert at the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security who had original classification authority for facilities, security, and countermeasures at the U.S. Consulate. The expert determined that many of the photographs contained images classified at the secret level and that disclosure of such material could cause serious damage to the United States.

In early August 2011, Underwood was interviewed several times by FBI and Diplomatic Security agents, during which he admitted making efforts to contact the Chinese MSS, but falsely claimed that he took these actions to assist U.S. law enforcement. On August 19, 2011, Underwood was again interviewed by law enforcement agents, and he admitted that he planned to sell photos, information, and access to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou to the Chinese MSS for his personal financial gain.

The U.S. government has found no evidence that Underwood succeeded in passing classified information concerning the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou to anyone at the Chinese MSS.

This investigation was conducted jointly by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. The prosecution is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney Brandon L. Van Grack from the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.”

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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.