Man Allegedly Claiming to be the Son of the President of the Congo Indicted for Federal Wire Fraud Crimes

May 10, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 9, 2013 released the following:

“SAN FRANCISCO— Earlier this week, a federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Blessed Marvelous Herve, a/k/a Rodrigue Herve Ngandou, a/k/a Herve Rodrigue Ngandou, a/k/a Blessed Roll Herve, of San Francisco, for wire fraud, United States Attorney Melina Haag announced.

According to the indictment, Herve, 41, devised and executed a scheme to defraud victims of approximately $1.6 million. Herve claimed that his father was the president of the Congo and a multi-billionaire, but that the United States government had seized Herve’s assets, in excess of $43,000,000. Herve promised to pay bonus sums of more than $1,500,000 to victims in exchange for the victims’ financial support of Herve’s quest to obtain the $43,000,000 that the government purportedly had seized.

Herve also claimed that as a result the federal court case involving his seized funds, he was sent to federal prison from 2009 through 2012. During this time, Herve solicited funds from victims to assist with his alleged ongoing court proceedings and his incarceration. Herve again promised full repayment of victims’ money plus large bonuses upon the completion of his federal case and release of his funds. Specifically, in October 2012, Herve solicited and received $47,000 from a victim by falsely claiming that he needed the money to pay the Internal Revenue Service to satisfy the final judgment entered against him.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the same matter further, one of the victims was a real estate agent to whom Herve promised that his father, the multi-billionaire president of the Congo, would purchase tens of millions of dollars in real estate. That victim gave Herve tens of thousands of dollars to assist in the purported father’s real estate tours, such as the rental of bulletproof limousines. The criminal complaint alleges that to lure in the victims and bolster his credibility, Herve showed various documents, such as a letter written to him from a United States Senator, copies of awards of recognition he received from the City and County of San Francisco, and a certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from a Member of Congress. When the victims ran out of money, Herve claimed that he was being deported to Puerto Rico and was not heard from again.

Herve, born in the Republic of Congo, was granted asylum in the United States in 1999 and became a United States citizen earlier this year.

Herve was arrested on a criminal complaint on April 24, 2013, in San Francisco, and he made his initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco the following day. He is currently being held in custody. The defendant’s next scheduled appearance is May 22, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. for further detention proceedings before Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins. Herve’s first appearance in district court is scheduled before Judge John Tigar on May 31, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

The maximum statutory penalty for wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, is 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Hallie Hoffman is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Elizabeth Garcia. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Herve must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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

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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.


Bank Employee Indicted for Alleged Embezzlement and Structuring of Nearly $250,000

May 10, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 9, 2013 released the following:

Nine Others Indicted by Federal Grand Jury

CLARKSBURG, WV— United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that Deborah D. Radcliff, age 41, of Weston, West Virginia, was named in an eight-count Indictment charging her with one count of embezzlement by a bank employee and seven counts of structuring.

According to the indictment, while serving as the branch manager of the Weston branch bank of Huntington National Bank from July 1, 2011 to November 5, 2012, Radcliff embezzled and misapplied $247,249.88 from depositors’ accounts and engaged in acts of structuring to cause the bank to fail to file a currency transaction report for currency transactions of $10,000 or more. To execute the scheme, Radcliff utilized her position as branch manager to issue or direct to be issued cashier’s checks from funds withdrawn from depositors’ accounts issued in the name of the depositor. Radcliff would take possession of the cashier’s check, forge the name of the depositor, and cash the checks for her own personal benefit. The ages of the alleged victims ranged from 56 to 90 years, with all but one alleged victim 64 years or older.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of a money judgment of the $247,249.88. If convicted, Radcliff faces up to 30 years’ imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine on the embezzlement count and up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a $500,000 fine on each of the structuring counts. This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John C. Parr and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Other indictments returned by the grand jury include:

Duane McAtee, age 43, of Metz, West Virginia, was named in a one-count indictment charging him with contempt of court. The indictment alleges that on April 2, 2013, McAtee disobeyed a lawful process of a court by failing to appear as directed. If convicted, McAtee faces up to six months’ imprisonment. The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS-CI.

Jose Deleon Hernandez was named in a one-count indictment charging him with iIllegal reentry after removal.” If convicted, Hernandez faces up to two years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE/HSI).

These two cases will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul T. Camilletti.

Brian Farley, age 30, of Oceana, West Virginia, was named in a 14-count indictment charging him with six counts of obtaining drugs by fraud and eight counts of making a material false statement. If convicted, Farley faces up to four years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the fraud charges and up to five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the false statement charges. This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert H. McWilliams, Jr. and was investigated by the U.S. Deparmtent of Veterans’ Affairs/Office of Inspector General-Criminal Investigations Division.

Edward C. Crow, age 43, a former inmate at USP Hazelton, was indicted for multiple counts of possession of a prohibited object; assaulting, resisting, and impeding officers; and assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm. If convicted, Crow faces up to 40 years’ imprisonment. This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brandon S. Flower and was investigated by the Special Investigative Services Staff at USP Hazelton.

Shane O. Brantley, age 36, of Sutton, West Virginia, was named in a one-count indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm” on April 25, 2012, in Braxton County. If convicted, Brantley faces a maximum exposure of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

Ronald M. Starkey, age 27, of Morgantown, West Virginia, was named in a one-count indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm” on May 24, 2011, in Morgantown. If convicted, Starkey faces a maximum exposure of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

These two cases were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Christopher Weaver, age 36, of Morgantown, was named in a three-count indictment charging him with one count of distribution of crack cocaine and two counts of distribution of cocaine hydrochloride. If convicted, Weaver faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine on each count. This case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police-Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

Welford Lee Harris, age 27 and Casey Smith, age 20, of Morgantown, were named in an eight-count indictment charging them with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute oxycodone and multiple counts of distribution of oxycodone, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine hydrochloride. If convicted, Harris and Smith face up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine on each count. This case was investigated by the Mon Valley Drug Task Force and the West Virginia State Police. The task force consists of officers from Morgantown Police Department, the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

These four cases will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Zelda E. Wesley.

All of the charges contained in the above-referenced indictments are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.”

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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.


Credit Union Manager Victoria Rozanski Charged with Allegedly Embezzling More Than $100,000

May 2, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 1, 2013 released the following:

“PITTSBURGH— A Lawrence County woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of embezzlement from a credit union, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The one-count indictment, returned on April 30, named Victoria Rozanski, 59, of 807 Jefferson Ave. in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, from in or around January 2003 until in or around May 2009, Rozanski, who was the manager of the Holy Redeemer Parish Federal Credit Union in Ellwood City, embezzled in excess of $100,000 from the credit union.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Lee J. Karl is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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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.


Federal Grand Jury Returns a Federal Criminal Indictment Alleging Physician Michael Schuster Unlawfully Distributed Prescription Drugs

May 2, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 1, 2013 released the following:

Grand Jury Returns Indictment Charging Manhattan Physician with Unlawfully Distributing Prescription Drugs

TOPEKA, KS— A grand jury has returned an indictment charging a physician in Manhattan, Kansas with unlawfully distributing prescription drugs, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Physician Michael Schuster, 53, who operates Manhattan Pain and Spine in Manhattan, Kansas, is charged with four counts: one count of conspiracy to illegally distribute controlled substances, one count of unlawful distribution of controlled substances, one count of unlawfully distributing controlled substances to a person under 21 years old and one count of maintaining a premises in furtherance of unlawful drug distribution.

The indictment alleges that Schuster employed unlicensed staff members who distributed controlled substances to patients using Schuster’s signature on prescriptions while he was traveling out of the state or out of the country. Schuster was out of the office when a total of 540 patients received prescriptions for medications including oxycodone, morphine, hydromorphone, methadone, oxymorphone, tapentadol, fentanyl, amphetamine, methylphenidate, hydrocodone, alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam, and zolpidem.

Schuster initially was charged in a criminal complaint filed April 23, 2013, in U.S. District Court in Topeka. According to an investigator’s affidavit, the investigation began early in 2012 when the Riley County Police Department received reports that Schuster was issuing prescriptions for high dosages of scheduled drugs based on minimal or cursory physical examinations.

The indictment returned today states that controlled substances may be dispensed and distributed lawfully by means of a prescription that is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of professional practice. The practitioner must be registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Signing a blank prescription and having unauthorized, unlicensed individuals who are not registered with the DEA distribute controlled substances is not a lawful prescription.

The indictment alleges Schuster routinely pre-signed blank prescription forms with the intent that his unlicensed staff members would use them to issue controlled substances to patients while he was not at the clinic.

Count two of the indictment alleges Schuster caused unlicensed staff using blank prescriptions to distribute controlled substances while he was out of the clinic at various locations including Russia, South Africa, Uruguay, Canada, New York, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Israel.

Count three alleges that on June 16, 2010, Schuster caused oxycodone to be distributed to a person under the age of 21, who is identified in the indictment as Rex V.

Count four alleges that from April 2007 to August 2012 Schuster knowingly maintained a premises, his office at 1135 Westport Drive in Manhattan, Kansas, for the purpose of unlawfully distributing controlled substances.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of all the proceeds from the crimes.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:

Conspiracy: A maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million. If death or bodily injury results from the crime, the penalty is not less than 20 years.

Unlawful distribution of controlled substances: A maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million. If death or bodily injury results from the crime, the penalty is not less than 20 years.

Unlawful distribution of controlled substances to a person under 21 years old: A maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million. If death or bodily injury results from the crime, the penalty is not less than 20 years.

Maintaining drug involved premises: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $500,000.

Investigating agencies include the Riley County Police Department; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Defense, Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS); the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (DHS-HSI); and the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.”

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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.


ICE Leads A Federal Investigation and Arrests 9 in an Alleged Drug Trafficking Ring

May 2, 2013

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on May 1, 2013 released the following:

“9 defendants indicted in far-reaching cocaine and meth distribution scheme

LOS ANGELES — A federal investigation into a drug-trafficking organization led by two brothers who oversaw the distribution of cocaine to Italy and across the United States as well as methamphetamine being trafficked across the U.S. – has led to the indictment of nine defendants, three of whom were arrested Wednesday.

Operation “Family Guy” targeted the Urena family drug-trafficking organization through the use of undercover operatives and wiretaps that led to the interception of telephone calls, text messages, and communications sent through BlackBerry Messenger. The probe was conducted by the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, including the Drug Enforcement Administration; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; and IRS – Criminal Investigation. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and Whittier Police Department also assisted with the case.

The investigation, which culminated with the issuance of a seven-count grand jury indictment April 24, resulted in the seizure of approximately 40 kilograms of cocaine being smuggled into Italy from the Dominican Republic and Mexico. That cocaine was being transported by female drug couriers allegedly recruited by the two Urena brothers, with assistance from their uncle Francisco Javier Vargas-Oseguera and others. The investigation also uncovered a conspiracy to distribute significant quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine throughout the United States using vehicles with hidden compartments.

The indictment also alleges members of the narcotics-trafficking operation laundered drug proceeds from the Dominican Republic through the use of Western Union wire transfers sent to Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga.

Those named in the indictment unsealed Wednesday are:

  • Milton Urena, 29, of the Dominican Republic, who is currently being sought by authorities;
  • Rafael Urena, 27, of Rancho Cucamonga, Milton Urena’s brother, who was arrested Wednesday;
  • Daniel Alejandro Agredano Vazquez, 22, of the Dominican Republic, who allegedly oversaw the distribution of cocaine from the Dominican Republic to Italy and conspired to launder drug proceeds. He is currently being sought by authorities;
  • Francisco Javier Vargas-Oseguera, 51, an uncle of the Urena brothers, previously of Seattle and recently of Fontana. He is currently in federal custody in Seattle after being charged in federal court there for allegedly possessing eight pounds of methamphetamine in a case unrelated to Operation Family Guy;
  • Leonel Urena-Partida, 49, of Guadalajara, Mexico, another uncle of the Urena brothers, who allegedly conspired to transport cocaine to Italy. He is being sought by authorities;
  • Carmen Garcia, 35, of San Bernardino, allegedly supplied methamphetamine and assisted with the recruitment of drug couriers, who was arrested Wednesday;
  • Eliseo Carrillo Duarte, 45, of Montebello, who is currently in federal custody in Indianapolis after being arrested there in March on unrelated drug-trafficking charges stemming from the seizure of approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine;
  • Jenna Michelle Martin (also known as Jenna Michelle Smith), 25, of Upland, an alleged drug courier who was arrested Wednesday; and
  • Beth Rene Ford (also known as Beth Rene Florance), 26, formerly of Ontario and now living in the Denver area, a second alleged drug courier, who is expected to self-surrender soon to authorities.

The defendants arrested Wednesday morning are expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

The indictment specifically charges eight defendants (not Duarte) with conspiracy to distribute cocaine to Italy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Six of the defendants (not Agredano Vasquez, Martin or Ford) are charged in another conspiracy involving the domestic distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, a charge that also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

Various defendants are also named in a charge that alleges the distribution of approximately one pound of methamphetamine, three counts of use of a communication facility in committing a felony drug offense, and conspiracy to launder money.”

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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 Grand Jury Indicted former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer Alleging Misappropriating State Funds and Solicitation

April 22, 2013

timesunion.com on April 22, 2013 released the following:

Farmer indicted on felony fraud charges

ROGER ALFORD, Associated Press, By ROGER ALFORD and BRETT BARROUQUERE, Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer on four felony counts of misappropriating state funds and one of solicitation.

The indictment unsealed Monday in Lexington charges Farmer with using his state position to obtain thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts, hotel rooms, clothing and computers. It also charges him with hiring friends who did little or no work for the state.

“Throughout his tenure, Farmer wrongfully used public funds and KDA resources to obtain goods and services for himself and his family,” the 13-page indictment said.

Farmer, a former high school and college basketball icon, was agriculture commissioner from 2004 to 2012.

If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“There’s no surprise in there,” said J. Guthrie True, Farmer’s attorney.

True was planning a news conference for later Monday, he said.

Arraignment is scheduled for April 30.

Along with the criminal charges, federal prosecutors want Farmer to give up $450,000 in either cash or assets as proceeds of the alleged illegal activity.

The indictment said Farmer, as head of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture, used funds for an association conference in 2008 to purchase 25 Remington rifles, 25 rifle cases, 52 embossed Case knives and 50 personalized cigar boxes. Some of the gifts were given to attendees. Prosecutors say Farmer took the excess gifts for himself.

The grand jury also accused Farmer of using Agriculture Department funds to benefit his family and friends, including naming at least three people as “special assistants” who did little or no work for the department. Farmer directed the “special assistants” to perform personal tasks for him on work hours, including building a basketball court at his home, installing flooring in his attic, and organizing his personal effects, according to the indictment.

Farmer approved the salaries and overtime of the assistants who performed the work, the grand jury said.

Farmer is also accused of having Agriculture Department employees drive him on personal errands, babysit his children, mow his lawn and transport his dog.

In a separate action, Farmer also faces 42 ethics charges accusing him of misusing state funds and state employees during his time in office.

Farmer was a shooting guard for the University of Kentucky’s Wildcats basketball team from 1988 to 1992. The team was known as “The Unforgettables.””

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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.


Two Norfolk Supervisors Charged in a Federal Indictment Alleging Bribery

March 25, 2013

WTKR.com on March 22, 2013 released the following:

“Federal prosecutors say two Norfolk supervisors took thousands in bribes

by Doris Taylor

Norfolk, Va. – A run-down building is home to a plumbing company that, according to court records, passed tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to Norfolk supervisors.

A federal indictment says two Norfolk supervisors took money and free plumbing work, but no one in City Hall will say a word about it.

The indictment says the president of A. T. Zoby Mechanical on Azalea Garden Road then overbilled taxpayers so he could recoup the bribe money.

Andrew T. Zoby Jr., is the only one indicted. No one answered the door at his business and his lawyer did not return our call.

Court records do not identify the city supervisors. One is called only Person A. “He’s described as a plumbing supervisor for Norfolk who took up to $20,000 in bribes to steer work to the company.”

The other is called just ‘Person B.’ The indictment says he assisted the city’s Chief Engineer by overseeing plumbing work. Person B also owned rental property in Norfolk, and the indictment says he accepted $17,000 of free plumbing work at his rental properties.

The indictment says A.T. Zoby Mechanical bills Norfolk between $200,000 and $600,000 a year for plumbing work. Prosecutors say the bribes got the company “favorable and preferential treatment,” and the taxpayers paid the price.”

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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 Calpers Chief Indicted Over Alleged Fraud

March 19, 2013

The New York Times on March 18, 2013 released the following:

“BY PETER LATTMAN

As head of the country’s largest pension fund, Federico R. Buenrostro wielded vast influence in the money management world.

From 2002 to 2008, Mr. Buenrostro served as chief executive of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or Calpers, which allocates more than $200 billion to investment firms across the globe.

Federal prosecutors say that Mr. Buenrostro abused that position. In an indictment filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco on Monday, the United States attorney charged Mr. Buenrostro and his friend, Alfred J. Villalobos, with defrauding the private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

The corruption charges against Mr. Buenrostro and Mr. Villalobos are connected to a nationwide pay-to-play scandal that erupted several years ago. Regulators from numerous states, including California and New Mexico, have cracked down on widespread influence peddling in how their state pension funds were invested.

The scandals focused on the role of middlemen, or placement agents, who charged lucrative fees to help money managers win business from state pension funds. In some cases, placement agents proved to be unlicensed fixers who received illegal kickbacks from pension officials. A number of pension officials and middlemen have served prison time, including Alan G. Hevesi, the former head of New York’s state pension fund.

The government claims that Mr. Buenrostro and Mr. Villalobos invented a crude scheme that tricked Apollo, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, into paying Mr. Villalobos at least $14 million in fees for his help in securing an investment from Calpers.

“We are extremely pleased that law enforcement authorities are moving to hold individuals accountable for activities which violate the public trust,” Rob Feckner, the board president of Calpers, said in a statement.

A lawyer for Mr. Buenrostro, William H. Kimball, declined to comment. Mr. Villalobos, who filed for personal bankruptcy in 2010, could not be reached for comment.

In the insular world of private equity, the charges struck many executives as unusual given Apollo and Calpers deep and lucrative ties. The California fund has invested at least $3 billion with Apollo, including a 2007 transaction in which it paid $600 million for a 9 percent stake in the firm.

For years, Apollo had retained Mr. Villalobos — a former Calpers board member — as a placement agent, agreeing to pay him for his help in securing investments from state pensions. Apollo paid at least $48 million in fees to Mr. Villalobos for his help in arranging for Calpers and other pensions to invest in its firm.

But to comply with securities laws and avoid perceived conflicts of interest, Apollo asked that Mr. Villalobos disclose to Calpers that he would receive payments related to the pension fund’s investments.

Prosecutors said that Mr. Buenrostro, 64, and Mr. Villalobos, 69, worked together, and fabricated letters from Calpers that purportedly signed off on the payments from Apollo to Mr. Villalobos.

“The allegations in the indictment unsealed today by the United States Department of Justice, if true, are troubling,” Charles V. Zehren, an Apollo spokesman, said Monday. “Apollo has always followed best practices in handling its placement agent relationships, and was not aware of any misconduct engaged in by Mr. Villalobos during the time that he worked with Apollo.”

The charges come after a civil lawsuit brought last year against Mr. Buenrostro and Mr. Villalobos by the Securities and Exchange Commission. And in 2011, a Calpers internal investigation concluded that Mr. Villalobos had turned Mr. Buenrostro into “a puppet” who directed Calpers investments to his clients. The firm’s report said that Mr. Villalobos lavished bribes on Mr. Buenrostro, including trips on private jets and gambling junkets at Nevada casinos.

When Mr. Buenrostro left Calpers in 2008, he took a job working with Mr. Villalobos as a placement agent.”

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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 prosecutors charge 17 people with allegedly making, selling cocaine in West Tennessee

November 2, 2012

The Republic on November 1, 2012 released the following:

“THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

JACKSON, Tenn. — Seventeen people have been charged with selling cocaine in West Tennessee, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

The 17 drug suspects were arrested Thursday by agents and officers with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and state and local law enforcement agencies. The suspects were named in a federal indictment that alleges the drug ring made and sold cocaine and crack cocaine in West Tennessee beginning in February.

Undercover law enforcement officers made four purchases of crack cocaine during the investigation, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

If convicted, each suspect faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Edward Stanton, the U.S. attorney for West Tennessee, announced the indictment in Jackson.”

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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.


Two Chicago-Area Defendants Charged with Alleged Commodities Fraud in Separate Federal Criminal Cases

October 26, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 25, 2012 released the following:

“CHICAGO—Two defendants were charged with commodities fraud in unrelated cases, federal law enforcement officials announced today. In one case, an investment firm officer was charged with defrauding customers of approximately $2.5 million. In the other case, a former clerk for a lean hogs futures trader was arrested today and charged with manipulating trades to generate a profit of more than $225,000 for herself.

Joshua T. J. Russo, 30, of Chicago, a former vice president of alternative investments for Olympus Futures Inc. (previously Peak Trading Group), was charged with a single count of commodities fraud in a criminal information filed today. In a separate case, Nicole M. Graziano, 32, of Roselle, a former trading clerk, was charged with four counts of commodities fraud in an indictment returned yesterday by a federal grand jury.

Graziano was arrested this morning and later released on a $10,000 unsecured bond after pleading not guilty before U.S. District Judge James Zagel. Russo was not arrested and will be arraigned at later date in federal court.

The charges were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and William C. Monroe, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Each count of commodities fraud carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and restitution is mandatory. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is being represented in both cases by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher McFadden.

The investigation falls under the umbrella of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which 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. For more information on the task force, visit http://www.stopfraud.gov.

An indictment contains only charges and 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 details of each case follow.

United States. V. Russo, 12 CR 836

Between March 2007 and April 2011, Russo fraudulently obtained approximately $2.5 million from at least six investors and caused losses of more than $1.3 million, including approximately $208,000 in commissions for himself that he spent on gambling, vacations, clothing, theater tickets, meals, and entertainment, the charges allege. Russo obtained the funds by misrepresenting to investors that their funds would be used to purchase various investments, including shares of the Peak Performance Fund, which he knew had never accepted individual investors, and no money was ever invested with the fund. Russo allegedly made false statements about his prior performance investing in commodity futures, the level of risk, the existence and trading performance of the Peak Performance Fund, and the uses of the funds he obtained from investors. He concealed the fraud by creating and distributing false e-mails, spreadsheets, statements, and audit reports, the charges allege.

Instead of investing the funds as he purported, Russo misappropriated the money to make speculative trades—and regularly lost money—in various commodity futures, including energy sources, precious metals, agriculture products, foreign currencies, and stock indices. After providing one investor with false information about positive returns, Russo successfully encouraged that investor to refer friends and relatives to open accounts through him, resulting in additional victims.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the National Futures Association assisted in the investigation.

United States. V. Graziano, 12 CR 834

Between September 2009 and August 2010, Graziano, who was a clerk for a floor trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, now CME Group, secretly inserted trade cards for her own personal orders into the decks of trade cards submitted by public customers that she provided to floor traders to execute during the opening and closing brackets of trading in lean hogs futures contracts, the charges allege. She then fraudulently allocated lower purchase prices to her buy orders, and higher prices to her sell orders, to the detriment of public customers, according to the indictment. Graziano allegedly submitted at least 104 fraudulent trade cards to the appropriate clearing firms, resulting in illegal profits to her of $13,390 during the opening bracket and $213,680 during the closing bracket.

The CME Group assisted in the 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 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.