“Attorneys for McDonnells to meet with prosecutors as key phase opens in gifts probe”

August 19, 2013

The Washington Post on August 18, 2013 released the following:

“By Rosalind S. Helderman and Carol D. Leonnig

Attorneys for Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, will spend Monday locked in separate hours-long meetings trying to convince federal prosecutors that the first couple should not be charged in the gifts scandal that has dominated state politics.

The meetings open a new, critical phase of the investigation, timed to help prosecutors decide over the next few weeks whether to file charges, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.

Federal authorities have been investigating whether McDonnell (R) agreed to take official actions to aid nutritional supplement company Star Scientific while accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and money from its chief executive, Jonnie R. Williams Sr.

The central issues for prosecutors are what precisely McDonnell may have said or offered to Williams on his own and how much the governor knew about his wife’s acceptance of gifts from Williams and her actions to help his company just as Star was launching a new product.

As the scandal has shined an uncomfortable spotlight on the governor’s marriage, McDonnell’s side has conveyed to authorities that his wife often purposely kept him in the dark about the largess she was accepting from Williams, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Their goal with that assertion is to convince prosecutors that it would have been impossible for Williams’s gifts to have influenced the governor in his official duties because McDonnell learned of many only after his wife had accepted them.

Prosecutors will have to decide how credible they find those assertions when considered against the timeline of the first couple’s interactions with Williams and other evidence, including Williams’s recollections.

According to two people familiar with his version, Williams has countered the account from the governor’s side. He has told authorities that McDonnell frequently spoke with him about ways he and the state could help Star Scientific gain prestige and scientific endorsements for its new anti-inflammatory supplement. The two people and others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Williams also has told investigators that the governor was aware of his gifts and thanked him for helping his family during a time of financial strain.

McDonnell has said he broke no laws, tried to comply with state financial disclosure rules and took no unusual actions to assist the struggling nutritional supplement company beyond what he would do for any Virginia company.

The pace of the investigation

The now fast-paced timeline of the investigation is driven in part by two factors.

First, prosecutors generally wish to move as quickly as possible if they think there is evidence of criminal actions by a sitting, still powerful elected official.

Second, Justice Department guidelines discourage prosecutors from taking action during an election season to avoid the perception that they are trying to influence the outcome.

According to those rules, prosecutors would find it more difficult to proceed against McDonnell after Labor Day, given that Virginians will go to the polls Nov. 5 to choose his successor.

The governor’s side has been pressing prosecutors to wait until after the election to conclude their investigation, but the U.S. attorney’s office has not shown any appetite to delay, the two people with knowledge of the probe said.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment, as did Jerry W. Kilgore, an attorney for Williams. Rich Galen, a spokesman for the governor’s legal team, also declined to comment.

William Burck, an attorney for Maureen McDonnell, said that she genuinely believed in Star Scientific’s promise but that she never sought or asked Williams for anything and never agreed to help him or his company in exchange for gifts.

“Any suggestion to the contrary is false and belied by the facts,” he said. “Anything Jonnie Williams did for Mrs. McDonnell and her family was done solely out of friendship, at least that’s what she understood for her part. If Jonnie Williams is telling the government something different, it can only be because he’s willing to say anything to save himself from prosecution for other crimes.”

Just as the legal showdown is unfolding in Alexandria on Monday, McDonnell will be conducting one of the last major acts of his four-year term. He will be delivering an address to state lawmakers in Richmond on the health of Virginia’s finances.

While outgoing governors are typically welcomed warmly by members of both parties at the annual speech, lawmakers were bracing for an awkward scene as they greet a governor known to be at the center of an aggressive corruption probe.

Over a roughly 18-month span in 2011 and 2012, Williams gave $15,000 in clothing to Maureen McDonnell, a $6,500 Rolex watch he intended for the governor, $15,000 for catering at the wedding of one of McDonnell’s daughters and $10,000 as an engagement gift to another daughter.

Two people confirmed over the weekend that there were additional gifts, including golf clubs for each of the governor’s college-age twin sons and an iPhone for the first lady.

Most significant, in 2011 and 2012, Williams provided $120,000 to Maureen McDonnell and to a small holding company owned by the governor and his sister, money the governor has said were loans that he has now repaid. McDonnell also has offered a public apology for embarrassing the state and given back other “tangible” gifts Williams provided.

Competing accounts

A person familiar with the investigation said the governor’s team has told authorities that McDonnell did not know that Williams paid for a shopping trip for Maureen McDonnell at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City in spring 2011. They also have told prosecutors that he didn’t know it was Williams who bought the Rolex watch inscribed with the words “71st Governor of Virginia.”

The first lady gave the watch to the governor as a Christmas gift in December 2011.

A person with knowledge of the probe said the governor’s side contends that the first lady did not ask Williams for the watch and that McDonnell learned that Williams bought it only after he found out about the FBI investigation this year.

But in his account to authorities, Williams said that Maureen McDonnell requested that he help her get a Rolex watch for her husband, two people with knowledge of Williams’s account said. That request came on the same day that she arranged for him to meet with a top state health official about Star’s new product and the possibility of testing whether it would reduce health-care costs for Virginians, those people familiar with Williams’s account said.

The governor’s side also contends that he knew little of his wife’s decision to buy stock in Star — an investment that meant the McDonnell family held a personal stake in the company even as the couple took steps to promote it.

They say he learned of a $50,000 loan Williams made to his wife in May 2011, about two weeks after the money arrived, by which time it had been spent.

About $30,000 went to purchase Star stock intended for the McDonnell children and the rest to pay down debt.

McDonnell learned five months later, in November 2011, that the stock was in his wife’s name and had not been transferred to their children as she had indicated, according to someone familiar with the governor’s account.

By that time, the stock had plummeted in value and he urged her to sell. A month later, she did so, only to repurchase her shares, again without his knowledge, in January 2012, the person said.

The governor’s side says McDonnell did not know she had bought back the stock until nearly a year later, when in December 2012 the McDonnells agreed to disperse the shares among their five adult children. The current status of the stock is not clear, although McDonnell’s oldest daughter, Jeanine, said Sunday that she sold her shares in the spring. She declined to comment further.

There is no dispute that Williams and McDonnell personally discussed $70,000 the executive provided in 2012 to MoBo Real Estate Partners, a limited liability corporation McDonnell set up with his sister to manage two Virginia Beach rental properties they own.

But McDonnell has said that he made no promises to Williams in exchange for the money.

A state-funded lawyer appointed to represent the governor has conducted an audit showing that Star Scientific received no economic incentives, targeted budget appropriations, state contracts or appointments.

The most striking examples of assistance the couple provided the company came through the first lady, who flew to Florida within days of receiving Williams’s $50,000 check in 2011 and told a group of doctors and investors that she supported Star and believed its product could be used to lower health-care costs in Virginia. She also organized a luncheon at the governor’s mansion to mark the launch of Anatabloc, an event the company touted in a press release.

The governor’s side contends that his actions were far more limited. He attended the mansion event launching Anatabloc, but only briefly and at the urging of his wife.

He helped Williams get a meeting to pitch his product to Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel, but he has said that kind of assistance to business leaders was not unusual.

“Throughout my administration, I have directed my cabinet on a regular basis to evaluate anybody that comes in,” he told reporters after an event in Alexandria last week. “We have thousands of meetings during the course of the year with my cabinet and with me and everybody. We try to give everybody a fair shake.””

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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.


Federal “Criminal Indictment Is Expected for SAC Capital Advisors”

July 24, 2013

The New York Times on July 23, 2013 released the following:

“BY BEN PROTESS AND PETER LATTMAN

Federal authorities are poised to level a criminal indictment against SAC Capital Advisors, the hedge fund run by the billionaire Steven A. Cohen, capping a nearly decade-long insider trading investigation into one of Wall Street’s most prominent firms.

Prosecutors and the F.B.I. in Manhattan are expected to announce the charges in the coming days, according to people briefed on the matter, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. The move, a rare aggressive action against a big company, could cripple SAC.

It is unclear whether SAC’s lawyers will try to settle at the last minute, though that is an unlikely option at this point. Mr. Cohen is not expected to be charged criminally, though authorities are still contemplating bringing charges against other employees at SAC.

While the legal deadline for filing some insider trading charges may have already passed, authorities are planning to navigate around that requirement by filing a broader criminal conspiracy case against SAC, these people said. As long as one of the trades cited in the case took place in the last five years – and some did – then the government has the power to sweep in older trades to highlight a continuing scheme.

Representatives for the government and SAC declined to comment.

The indictment would come on the heels of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s filing a civil action last week. It accused Mr. Cohen of failing to supervise employees suspected of insider trading. Those employees, Mathew Martoma and Michael S. Steinberg, had been charged with criminal wrongdoing.

In its order, the S.E.C. cited a 2008 e-mail forwarded to Mr. Cohen in which an SAC analyst explicitly stated that he had a “2nd hand read from someone at” the computer maker Dell, a source who provided financial information about the company before its earnings announcement. Minutes after receiving the e-mail, Mr. Cohen sold his entire position in Dell, the S.E.C. said.

In a 46-page document responding to the S.E.C.’s charges, Mr. Cohen’s lawyers said there was an innocent explanation for his not reacting to the suspicious e-mail: he did not read it.

“Cohen has no memory of having seen it and no witness will testify that they discussed it with him,” the lawyers said in the document, circulated internally at SAC and reviewed by The New York Times and referred to earlier in The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Cohen, the lawyers argued, received an average of 1,000 e-mails each day in 2008. At the time, he apparently opened only 11 percent of the e-mails, though the lawyers did not disclose how they arrived at that figure.

To locate an incoming message, Mr. Cohen would have to look at the only one of his seven computer screens that displays e-mail, a monitor that happened to be “to the far left” of the others, his lawyers argued. Then he would have to “minimize one or two computer programs” to call up his Microsoft Outlook window, which was “reduced” so that Mr. Cohen could see, at most, only five messages at once.

While the document makes a strong case that Mr. Cohen was not knowingly trading on inside information, it is unclear whether it will rebut the S.E.C.’s claims that he did not prevent employees from doing so. The S.E.C. must show that Mr. Cohen did not “reasonably” supervise them.

Mr. Martoma, 39, and Mr. Steinberg, 40, have each pleaded not guilty to criminal insider trading charges and face separate trials in November.

Mr. Cohen’s civil case will play out before an administrative law judge at the S.E.C. rather than in a federal court. On Tuesday, Chief Judge Brenda P. Murray was assigned to the case, and a hearing was scheduled for Aug. 26.

The SAC document, people briefed on the matter said, was adapted from the lawyers’ response to the S.E.C.’s so-called Wells notice that warned of potential charges. It also outlined the arguments that SAC most likely presented in an effort to persuade the Justice Department not to bring a criminal indictment of the fund.

A criminal charge against SAC would likely serve as a death blow to the firm. SAC has already been hobbled by the government’s investigation, with investors in the fund pulling about $5 billion from the fund since the beginning of the year. But an indictment may pressure more investors to pull their money. It could also force SAC’s trading partners, which include nearly all of the largest Wall Street banks, like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, to suspend business with the firm.

Criminal charges against companies are extremely rare, and the government is reluctant to bring them given the potential collateral consequences. After the Justice Department indicted Enron’s accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, the firm was forced to close and 28,000 jobs were lost. SAC, which is based in Stamford, Conn., has about 1,000 employees.

Before bringing indictments against companies, federal prosecutors consider a number of factors when deciding to bring a case, including the pervasiveness of wrongdoing and the company’s level of cooperation in the investigation.

The Dell e-mails are expected to play a central role in the criminal case.

Even if he was a vigilant e-mail consumer, the lawyers say, Mr. Cohen could argue that the 2008 dispatch did not identify the source of the information about Dell, suggesting that it could have “lawfully” come from an authorized person at the company. The source, the lawyers note, did in fact turn out to be someone from the investor relations department, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing. The lawyers also note that the information in the e-mail “turned out to be wrong.”

Still, SAC made profits and avoided losses of $1.7 million. And once Dell released its earnings, Mr. Cohen sent an e-mail to Mr. Steinberg that said, “Nice job on Dell.”

Mr. Cohen sold his stake in Dell, the lawyers argue, with “good reason.” Mr. Cohen, they said, took the position based on the recommendation of a portfolio manager at SAC, whom people briefed on the matter identified as Gabe Plotkin. Minutes after Mr. Plotkin started selling, so did Mr. Cohen.”

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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.


U.S. Customs officer arrested on alleged federal bribery charges in scheme to avoid taxes on imports coming from China

October 26, 2012

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on October 25, 2012 released the following:

“LOS ANGELES – Federal authorities arrested a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervisory officer Thursday morning on charges of accepting bribes to allow others, including his ex-wife, to smuggle goods into the United States so they could avoid paying duties and taxes.

Sam Herbert Allen, 51, of Diamond Bar, was arrested after being indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy, bribery and making false statements to investigating agents with the Department of Homeland Security.

The probe was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of Professional Responsibility, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Internal Affairs.

According to the five-count indictment, Allen served as a supervisory officer assigned to oversee the examination and release of cargo entering the United States. After he was transferred to other duties within CBP, Allen convinced his ex-wife to operate an import business that would avoid paying duties on shipments coming from the People’s Republic of China. The import business – technically a “foreign trade zone” – would falsely claim that the shipments from China were not imported, but were instead immediately sent to Mexico. The indictment alleges that Allen promised to make the shipments appear to CBP as if they had been exported to Mexico, this in exchange for bribe payments of $2,000 per shipment.

During the course the scheme, which operated from at least September 2009 until March 2010, Allen allegedly received more than $100,000 in bribe payments. The indictment alleges that the scheme caused the United States to suffer a loss of at least $781,000 in unpaid customs duties and taxes.

“When public servants break the law, it leaves behind an indelible stain,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The indictment alleges that Officer Allen violated the public trust by using his position in a government agency to line his pockets and deprive the United States of legitimate taxes owed in the normal course of business. The criminal charges reflect our commitment to rooting out and punishing corrupt officials.”

The indictment goes on to allege that Allen encouraged his ex-wife to lie – and that Allen himself lied – to federal law enforcement personnel investigating and prosecuting this scheme. Allen is also charged with lying to investigators when he denied discussing a separate scheme to smuggle cocaine into the United States from Mexico.

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

Allen is expected to be arraigned on the indictment Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

If he is convicted of the five counts in the indictment, Allen would face a statutory maximum penalty of 35 years in federal prison.

Allen’s ex-wife, Wei Lai, was charged with crimes related to her role in the smuggling scheme in July 2011. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to go to trial with another defendant Feb. 19, 2013.”

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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.


FBI: Man tried to open exit door after Delta flight from Boston landed in Salt Lake City

October 17, 2012

The Washington Post on October 16, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI has arrested a man accused of disrupting a Delta Air Lines flight and damaging the airplane by running up the aisle shortly after landing and attempting to open an emergency exit.

Anatoliy N. Baranovich was accused of interfering with a flight from Boston to Salt Lake City on Monday night, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Federal authorities say Baranovich woke up during the plane’s descent and started yelling in Russian. Baranovich told agents he thought the aircraft’s wing was on fire and was trying to warn others.

Officials say they do not believe he posed a terrorist threat.

Baranovich was carrying a Ukrainian passport and U.S. visa. His age or place of residence were not immediately available.

After the plane touched down, Baranovich got up from his seat and ran to the back of the aircraft, according to the complaint. He then tried to open the emergency exit door as a flight attendant ordered him to stop.

The door jammed and caused an emergency inflatable slide to malfunction, which caused “extensive damage” to the plane’s fuselage, the FBI said.

Several passengers tried to wrestle Baranovich to the ground while he attempted to open another emergency exit door. One passenger forced him to the ground and held him until the plane taxied to a gate, where law enforcement and medical personnel had been called.

Baranovich told agents that he had been visiting family in Ukraine and was headed to Portland, Ore., after a stop in Salt Lake City, according to the FBI. He also told agents he had consumed alcohol while traveling but did not specify when or how much.

A Department of Justice spokeswoman said Baranovich was scheduled to appear in court in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.”

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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.


U.S. prosecutors indict alleged Sinaloa cartel figure

October 8, 2012

Chicago Tribune on October 4, 2012 released the following:

“Marty Graham | Reuters

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – U.S. federal prosecutors have indicted a man they describe as an important member of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel who organized efforts to build two sophisticated smuggling tunnels under the U.S. border from Tijuana to San Diego.

Jose Sanchez-Villalobos, who is being held in a Mexican jail after his arrest in January on money-laundering charges, was indicted by a U.S. grand jury in February. But prosecutors did not unseal the indictment until Wednesday.

Sanchez-Villalobos, 49, was indicted on 13 counts including conspiracy, building and financing tunnels, and smuggling marijuana through them. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Federal authorities charged Sanchez-Villalobos with leading the construction and use of two of the tunnels, discovered in 2010 and 2011, according to the indictment. The 2010 tunnel bust yielded more than 17 tons of marijuana, while authorities recovered about 26 tons connected to the 2011 tunnel, according to the indictment.

Officials from the Border Tunnel Task Force said the 2011 tunnel was the most sophisticated they had seen, with an elevator, ventilation, electrical wiring, and a rail and cart system to move the marijuana. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents said the tunnel had cost at least $1 million to build.

Federal investigators from the task force have discovered four tunnels between Tijuana and San Diego since October 2010, ranging in length from 600 feet to nearly a half mile.

The tunnels descend more than 60 feet underground and travel under the border from residences and warehouses in Mexico to rented warehouses in the United States.

Tons of marijuana smuggled through the tunnels were transported farther into the United States by trucks.

Sanchez-Villalobos, whom prosecutors describe as the Sinaloa cartel’s regional manager for Baja, Jalisco and Tijuana, was actively involved in the tunnel construction, according to the indictment.”

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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 Drug Charges Dropped Because of Too Much Evidence

August 16, 2012

CBS News on August 15, 2012 released the following:

“IOWA CITY, Iowa — A fugitive doctor charged in the nation’s largest prosecution of Internet pharmacies is getting off in part because there’s just too much evidence in his case: more than 400,000 documents and two terabytes of electronic data that federal authorities say is expensive to maintain.

Armando Angulo was indicted in 2007 in a multimillion dollar scheme that involved selling prescription drugs to patients who were never examined or even interviewed by a physician. A federal judge in Iowa dismissed the charge last week at the request of prosecutors, who want to throw out the many records collected over their nine-year investigation to free up more space.

The Miami doctor fled to his native Panama after coming under investigation in 2004, and Panamanian authorities say they do not extradite their own citizens. Given the unlikelihood of capturing Angulo and the inconvenience of maintaining so much evidence, prosecutors gave up the long pursuit.

“Continued storage of these materials is difficult and expensive,” wrote Stephanie Rose, the U.S. attorney for northern Iowa. She called the task “an economic and practical hardship” for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The case started in 2003 with a raid of a small Iowa drugstore and eventually secured the conviction of 26 defendants, including 19 doctors. The investigation dismantled two Internet pharmacies that illegally sold 30 million pills to customers. Investigators also recovered $7 million, most of which went to Iowa police agencies that helped with the case.

When a major drug suspect flees the country, federal authorities often leave the charges pending in case the fugitive tries to sneak back into the U.S. or a country with a friendly extradition process. But in Angulo’s case, the volume of evidence posed a bigger burden.

The evidence took up 5 percent of the DEA’s worldwide electronic storage. Agents had also kept several hundred boxes of paper containing 440,000 documents, plus dozens of computers, servers and other bulky items.

Two terabytes is enough to store the text of 2 million novels, or roughly 625,000 copies of “War and Peace.”

Two-terabyte memory drives are widely available for $100, but the DEA’s data server must be relatively small and may need replacement, a costly and risky proposition for an agency that must maintain the integrity of documents, said University of Iowa computer scientist Douglas Jones.

“A responsible organization doesn’t upgrade every time new technology is available. That’s all they would be doing,” Jones said. “But the result is you end up in situations like this where the capacity they have is not quite up to the incredible volume of data involved.”

Randy Stock, who runs the website whatsabyte.com, which explains electronic storage, said he doubted that storing the data would have been that problematic for the government.

“I’m thinking that excuse is just their easy way out,” he wrote in an e-mail.

U.S. District Judge Linda Reade dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled.

Angulo, 59, was accused of improperly authorizing thousands of prescriptions for pain pills, diet medication and other drugs while working for Pharmacom International Corp., a Florida-based Internet company that operated from 2003 to 2004.

The company’s doctors approved prescriptions without examining patients, communicating with them or verifying their identities, prosecutors said. Three Pharmacom officials and a person who recruited doctors were sentenced to prison. Eight physicians pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally distribute controlled substances and launder the proceeds.

The investigation began after agents raided the Union Family Pharmacy in Dubuque and found evidence that it had illegally dispensed medication over a six-month period for Pharmacom and another Internet company, Medical Web Services, which pleaded guilty. Eleven of its physicians were also prosecuted.

Angulo fled to Panama around the time Florida regulators suspended his medical license for prescribing controlled substances to Medicaid patients “in excessive quantities and without medical justification.” An audit found his prescriptions cost Medicaid $6.5 million over six years and caused addiction and dangerous health risks.

Investigators know Angulo’s whereabouts in Panama, which has an extradition treaty with the U.S. to return fugitives. But a spokeswoman for the Panamanian Embassy in Washington said the country never received a formal extradition petition for Angulo and that the country’s constitution bars the extradition of Panamanian citizens.

The dismissal of the charges does not mean Angulo is free to return to the U.S. He is still listed as one of Florida’s most wanted criminals and is being sought for separate Medicaid fraud and narcotics charges in that state.”

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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.


Ex-NFL player pleads guilty to wire fraud in FBI sting

August 8, 2012

Sun Sentinel on August 7, 2012 released the following:

“By Paula McMahon

A former NFL first-round draft pick who was arrested in an FBI fraud sting earlier this year has pleaded guilty to his role in the crime, court records show.

A second former NFL player arrested in the same sting is scheduled for a change of plea hearing next week in federal court in Miami, according to court records.

Former Oakland Raiders running back Michael Antwon Bennett pleaded guilty last week in federal court in Fort Lauderdale to one count of wire fraud.

He was caught in an operation by the FBI, which set up an undercover financial services store in North Miami between February and April. An undercover agent worked behind the counter and the store was equipped with audio and video surveillance equipment.

Bennett, who turns 34 next week, admitted that he had sent an email to the store fraudulently claiming that he had $9 million in the bank so he could obtain a $200,000 loan, court records show.

Bennett went to the store on April 18 and signed a loan agreement to borrow $200,000 and repay $280,000 after three months. When agents checked the bank account, they found that Bennett had opened an account there about a month earlier but it had a zero balance and there had never been any money in the account.

When Bennett returned to the store and picked up a $150,000 cashier’s check on April 30, he was arrested. FBI agents said he admitted that he altered the bank statement to give the false impression that he had millions of dollars in his account.

The maximum penalty for the offense is 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 but prosecutors have agreed to recommend a punishment on the lower end of the sentencing guidelines, which are still being calculated, when he is sentenced in October.

Meanwhile another NFL player, William Joseph, is scheduled for a change of plea hearing on Aug. 14 in Miami. The terms of the proposed plea agreement will not be made public until the court hearing.

Joseph, 32, of Miramar, was indicted in May on five federal charges including aggravated identity theft, possession of false identification documents, theft of government money and forgery of U.S. Treasury checks.

Federal authorities said Joseph cashed a $10,088 income tax refund check that was not his and that he did not have permission to cash.

Joseph played for the New York Giants between 2003 and 2007, then spent three years with the Raiders.

Former Syracuse player Louis Gachelin, 31, of Miramar, pleaded guilty earlier this year to theft of government money and aggravated identity theft in the same investigation.”

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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 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.