Former FBI Agent and Others Face Federal Criminal Charges Alleging Conspiracy, Honest Services Wire Fraud, Obstruction of Justice, and Obstructing an Agency Proceeding

October 22, 2012

Deseret News on October 22, 2012 released the following:

“Former FBI agent charged in military contract bribery case

By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A former FBI agent faces federal charges for allegedly trying to derail a Utah-initiated investigation of a business partner with whom he was pursuing lucrative government security and energy contracts.

A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City returned an 11-count indictment against Robert G. Lustyik Jr., 50, of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; Michael L. Taylor, 51, of Harvard, Mass.; and Johannes W. Thaler, 49, of New Fairfield, Conn. Each is charged with one count of conspiracy, eight counts of honest services wire fraud, one count of obstructing justice and one count of obstructing an agency proceeding.

Lustyik used his position in an attempt to stave off a criminal investigation into Taylor, owner of Boston-based American International Security Corp., according to the indictment. Authorities say the former agent used Thaler, a childhood friend, as a go-between.

The indictment charges that Taylor, a former Green Beret, offered Lustyik $200,000 in cash, money purportedly for the medical expenses of Lustyik’s minor child, and a share in the proceeds of several anticipated contracts worth millions of dollars.

In hearing in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City last month, a federal prosecutor quoted Taylor telling Lustyik in a message, “If they don’t put me in jail, I’ll make you filthy, stinkin’ rich.”

According to the indictment, Lustyik, a 20-year FBI veteran, was assigned to counterintelligence work in White Plains, N.Y., until September 2012. The indictment states that from at least June 2011, the three men had a business relationship pursuing contracts for security services, electric power and energy development in the Middle East and Africa.

In September 2011, Taylor learned of a Utah-based federal criminal investigation into whether Taylor, his business and others bribed an Army officer to obtain a $54 million military training contract in Afghanistan.

Taylor and Christopher Harris, of St. George, were charged in a 72-count indictment in August with bribing a public official, accepting of a bribe by public official, money laundering and wire fraud. Taylor remains in jail in Utah pending trail.

Court records say it was Harris’ banking habits in St. George that opened the case for federal investigators three years ago.

Harris, who worked for Taylor as a manager in Afghanistan, was paid about $17.4 million by American International, according to court records. He tried to hide the money by structuring his transactions at America First Credit Union in St. George so he wouldn’t be detected by the bank’s warning mechanisms, the indictment states.

Lustyik impeded the investigation by designating Taylor as an FBI confidential source and texting and calling the Utah investigators and prosecutors to dissuade them from charging Taylor, according to the indictment. He also interviewed witnesses and potential targets in the Utah investigation, authorities say.”

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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.


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

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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.


Houston Investment Manager Indicted in Utah for Alleged Role in $72 Million Fraud Scheme

December 9, 2011

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on December 8, 2011 released the following:

“WASHINGTON – An investment manager based in Houston was arrested today on charges filed in federal court in Salt Lake City for his alleged role in a $72 million investment fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney David B. Barlow for the District of Utah, Special Agent in Charge David Johnson of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Paul A. Camacho of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Las Vegas Field Office.

An indictment unsealed today in the District of Utah charges Robert J. Andres, 60, with five counts of wire fraud. He was arrested this morning in Houston and is expected to make his initial appearance tomorrow in the Southern District of Texas.

According to the indictment, Andres operated Winsome Investment Trust, an investment entity, and served as its sole manager, attorney and trustee. The indictment alleges that from October 2005 until at least January 2011, Andres recruited investors for Winsome by misrepresenting Winsome’s assets and asset allocation and the way in which funds were invested.

Between October 2005 and April 2007, Andres allegedly raised more than $39 million from Winsome investors by disseminating false and misleading Winsome balance sheets and by representing to investors that Andres would invest all of their funds in a trading program or a mostly automated trading business.

The indictment alleges that between April 2007 and January 2011, Andres used false and misleading information to raise an additional $32 million from new investors. Furthermore, Andres allegedly failed to disclose that new investors’ funds would be used to pay earlier investors. The indictment also alleges that Andres used new investor funds to make purported “profit” payments to earlier investors to create the false impression that Winsome was profitable. During this period, Andres allegedly misappropriated approximately $2.2 million in investor proceeds for personal use, including hotel bills and living expenses.

The maximum penalty for each count of wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Thomas B.W. Hall and Deputy Chief Charles La Bella of the Fraud Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Y. Hirata for the District of Utah. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office and the IRS-CI Las Vegas Field Office. The department thanks the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission for their assistance in the investigation.

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

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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