U.S. Attorney Hogsett Announces Federal Bribery Charges Against David Wyser

May 14, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 13, 2013 released the following:

Defendant Allegedly Accepted Campaign Contribution as a Reward for Sentence Modification

INDIANAPOLIS— United States Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced today that formal federal bribery charges have been filed against David Wyser, age 53, who is currently a resident of Hamilton County. Hogsett also announced that Wyser has filed a formal petition to enter a plea of guilty to these charges and as part of that agreement will fully cooperate with federal investigators.

“For the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners, announcements such as this are about one thing and one thing only: upholding the rule of law,” Hogsett said. “It doesn’t matter who you are or what personal politics you may hold. If you violate the public’s trust, we will hold you fully accountable.”

“Public corruption is the FBI criminal program’s top priority because it poses a fundamental threat to our judicial system and the pursuit of justice,” added FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones.

From 2005 until 2010, Wyser served as the chief deputy prosecuting attorney of the Marion County’s Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, Wyser was a candidate for public office from 2007 until 2010, as he sought to be elected prosecuting attorney for Hamilton County.

The charging document alleges that on May 29, 2009, in his capacity as Marion County Chief Deputy Prosecutor, Wyser had a discussion with a defense lawyer who represented a prisoner serving a 70-year sentence for murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Under Indiana law, this prisoner could not seek a modification or reduction of a sentence without the approval of the county prosecutor’s office. According to the charging document, Wyser and the prisoner’s attorney discussed the topic of Wyser receiving a campaign contribution from the prisoner’s father.

The charging document alleges that the same day this discussion took place, the father of the prisoner wrote a $2,500 check to the Committee to Elect David Wyser. On June 22, 2009, that check was deposited into the bank account of the Committee to Elect David Wyser. On June 23, 2009, an agreement to modify the prisoner’s sentence, signed by David Wyser, was filed with the Marion County Superior Court and was granted. The charging document alleges that this campaign contribution was provided to Wyser as a reward for his sentence modification recommendation.

Hogsett said this case was the result of outstanding law enforcement work by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is an active partner in the U.S. Attorney’s Public Integrity Working Group. Launched in April 2012, the Working Group represents an unprecedented effort to aggressively investigate and prosecute fraud, waste, and abuse by public officials in Indiana. Hoosiers with information on public corruption are encouraged to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (317) 229-2443.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys James M. Warden and Zachary A. Myers, who are prosecuting the case for the government, federal bribery charges can result in up to 10 years in prison and significant fines. Wyser’s petition to enter a plea of guilty must be accepted by the court and that change-of-plea hearing has yet to be scheduled.

An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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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.


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.


Minnesota IRS Agent Charged with Soliciting a Bribe from Business Owners

June 7, 2010

An agent from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has been charged in federal court with soliciting and receiving payment toward a $9,700 bribe from two business owners in exchange for lowering the amount of taxes their business owed the IRS. Roger Anthony Coombs, age 40, of Circle Pines, was charged with one count of corruptly soliciting and agreeing to receive and accept anything of value personally in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act. The criminal complaint was unsealed upon Coombs’s initial appearance earlier today in federal court.

The complaint alleges that on May 8, 2010, Coombs met the two business owners regarding an IRS audit of their business and said the business owed the IRS approximately $60,000. Coombs allegedly said he could make the situation “manageable,” and added he would arrange for the IRS to accept $11,000 instead of $60,000 if the business owners paid Coombs $9,700. Coombs, who began working with the IRS in June of 2009, would conduct audits of individuals and entities to determine whether those individuals or entities had correctly reported their tax liability to the IRS. On February 4, 2010, one of the two business owners received a letter from Coombs regarding the audit. On May 6, 2010, Coombs met with the business owners and the office of their accountant. At that meeting and without the accountant present, Coombs allegedly told the business owners they should meet somewhere away from the accountant’s office and without the accountant to further discuss the matter.

Because of his concerns about Coombs’s alleged proposal, one of the business owners secretly recorded their May 8 meeting. Coombs allegedly said he would have to lie about certain things in their audit. They agreed to another meeting where Coombs would receive a partial payment of the bribe. Following the May 8 meeting, the business owners reported Coombs’s activity to law enforcement.

Coombs and one of the business owners met on May 19, 2010, in Brooklyn Park. Agents observed the business owner providing Coombs with $3,000. Coombs said he had already arranged for another meeting on June 2, 2010, to exchange a second payment toward the full bribe amount. Coombs was arrested yesterday without incident.

If convicted, Coombs faces a potential maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. All sentences are determined by a federal district court judge.

The federal bribery statute, 18 U.S.C. 201 , criminalizes solicitation of bribes by a public official in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act. There must be a clear quid pro quo, in other words, a specific intent to give or receive something of value in exchange for an official act. The statute is broad in scope, and is meant to deter the corrupt influence of official acts by public officials.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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

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Missile Defense Engineer Charged With Accepting Bribes

May 30, 2010

A Scottsboro man, Steven Earl Bryant, has been charged with accepting bribes while working as an engineer with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command in Huntsville. Furthermore, he was charged with evading payment of taxes on the income derived from the bribes. The two-count information charged Bryant with being a public official accepting bribes relating to Space and Missile Defense Command contracts with private companies for the provision of material for missile defense research.

According to the information, Bryant was a public official for 8 years while he worked as an engineer with the missile defense command. In that capacity, he served as a Technical Representative for Contracting Officers on Space and Missile Defense Command contracts. These contracts were for material used in missile defense research and were supplied by private businesses. Bryant monitored contracts between the missile defense command and companies owned by Maurice Subilia, Dennis Darling and Paul Hurlburt, all of whom have since plead guilty on other charges.

Subilia and Hurlburt pleaded guilty in 2009 to conspiracy charges in connection to procurement fraud in contracts with the missile defense command in Huntsville. In addition, Subilia pleaded guilty to money laundering and bribery charges, admitting that between 2000 to 2007 he paid more than $1.2 million in bribes to two missile defense command employees, Michael Cantrell and Douglas Ennis. Cantrell was the director and Ennis the deputy director for the Joint Center for Technology Integration at the missile defense command. Both men pleaded guilty in 2008 to various charges related to the procurement fraud scheme.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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

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