Federal Prosecutors, Defense Attorney Agree to Extend Deadline for Federal Indictment of Arlington Strip Club Owner

May 10, 2012

Star-Telgram on May 9, 2012 released the following:

“Prosecutors, defense attorney agree to extend deadline for indictment of Arlington strip club owner

BY PATRICK M. WALKER

FORT WORTH — Federal prosecutors and the attorney for the owner of an Arlington strip club who is accused of targeting Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck in a murder-for-hire plot have agreed to push back the deadline for an indictment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Wolfe and J. Warren St. John, who represents Flashdancer Cabaret owner Ryan Walker Grant, agreed to extend the deadline by 71 days to July 19, according to court filings. The filings say the two sides are conducting discovery as well as negotiations that could lead to a plea bargain.

Under the Speedy Trial Act, federal indictments must be filed within 30 days of the arrest. Federal agents detained Grant on April 9, meaning Wednesday would have been the deadline.

St. John declined to comment through his office. Wolfe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mark Daniel, a Fort Worth attorney not related to the case, said the deadline extension isn’t surprising, given that a public official was involved and federal agents moved quickly to make an arrest.

“Due to the complexity and the seriousness of the case, it’s not entirely unexpected,” he said, emphasizing that he doesn’t know the details behind the move.

Hit-man accusation

Grant is accused of trying to hire hit men from Mexico through an intermediary to kill Cluck and Dallas attorney Tom Brandt, who represents Arlington in cases involving sexually oriented businesses.

The intermediary was an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

FBI Special Agent Matthew Wilkins testified at a detention hearing April 20 that several days after Grant contacted the informant and expressed interest in having Cluck and Brandt killed, he gave a final green light April 9 to proceed with the slaying of Cluck.

“Let’s do the mayor. Let’s hit him tomorrow,” Wilkins testified that Grant told the informant.

After receiving Grant’s instructions, the informant left Grant’s home in Kennedale, and Grant never contacted him again, Wilkins said. FBI agents arrested Grant a few hours later.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cureton ruled that Grant poses a flight risk and a threat to the community and ordered him held without bail.

When agents arrested Grant, they seized 22 guns, two bulletproof vests and nearly $150,000 in cash, Wilkins testified.

Club closed a year

Flashdancer, at Randol Mill Road and Texas 360 in north Arlington, has closed for a year under a settlement with the Texas attorney general’s office and the city in a nuisance lawsuit. In labeling the club a nuisance, city and state authorities cited the prevalence of drugs, prostitution and assaults.

Police Chief Theron Bowman has revoked the club’s sexually oriented business license on the grounds that Flashdancer filed a misleading application with the city and allowed rampant sexual contact between employees and customers. Grant wanted Cluck and Brandt killed because he felt they stood in the way of the reopening, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.”

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

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Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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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.


Louisiana Mayor and Police Chief Charged With RICO Violations

July 9, 2010

A federal grand jury in Louisiana has returned an indictment charging Maurice Brown and Mario Brown, with twenty (20) counts of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, mail fraud, wire fraud, use of an interstate facility in aid of racketeering, and forfeiture. Maurice Brown, the mayor of the Town of White Castle, Louisiana faces up to 170 years’ imprisonment and a $3,250,000 fine if convicted. Mario Brown, the chief of police for the Town of White Castle, faces up to 145 years’ imprisonment and a $3,000,000 fine if convicted.

According to the indictment the defendants are accused of obtaining cash and other things of value in exchange for using their official positions within the Town of White Castle for the benefit of the individuals providing them with compensation. The indictment alleges that such transactions were worth over $5,000,000 and occurred in connection with three different bribery schemes.

Furthermore, the indictment alleges that one of the bribery schemes involved Maurice Brown using his position as mayor to promote and obtain money for the a product known as the “Cifer 5000”; a waste container cleaning system used in the sanitization of commercial and residential waste containers.

The second bribery scheme alleged in the indictment involved Mario Brown using false representations to obtain confidential law enforcement information from the FBI and providing such information to a business person in the community. The indictment also alleges that a third bribery scheme involved Mario Brown and involved the use of his position as chief of police to fraudulently obtain leniency for an individual facing drug charges in Connecticut.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that probable cause exists to charge the defendant with a crime. Despite the issuance of an indictment, defendants are always presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Due to the variety of crimes and the number of counts involved, the sentences for both Maurice Brown and Mario Brown could potentially be very high if these individuals are convicted. The fraud counts alone carry a maximum penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment or criminal fines up to $1,000,000 or both.

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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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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Missouri Man Sentenced in Bank Fraud Case

April 15, 2010

The former owner of a car dealership in Missouri, Gregg Dean Woods, has been sentenced for his participation in a $1.7 million bank fraud scheme. Woods was sentenced to two years and three months in federal prison without parole. In addition to imprisonment, Woods was ordered to pay $1,340,631 in restitution. Woods, who was the owner of Woods Auto Gallery, Inc., primarily dealing in pre-owned, luxury vehicles, pleaded guilty to the bank fraud charges in October 2009.

Woods admitted to participating in a scheme to defraud Bank Star One, a financial institution headquartered in Missouri. Woods had a $1.9 million line of credit with Bank Star One. Under the terms of their agreement, Woods was required to use the line of credit for the purchase of vehicles to be used as inventory. He would then provide Bank Star One with payment for amounts financed if and when the vehicles were sold.

There were several instances were Woods sold vehicles on consignment. Contrary to the agreement with Bank Star One, he was advanced money against his existing line of credit for those vehicles. In doing so,  Woods purposefully made false representations to Bank Star One in an effort to have funds advanced inappropriately.

In one instance, Woods received $254,500 against his line of credit for a Bentley, a Mercedes, a BMW, and a Hummer. Each of these vehicles was sold on consignment. As a result Woods did not incur any costs for the vehicles; hence there was no need for an advance. Had Woods revealed his activities, the bank would not have advanced the money. In addition, upon sale of the BMW and Hummer, Woods failed to notify Bank Star One of the transactions and failed to pay proceeds from the sales to the bank.

In sum, Woods misrepresented to the bank his inventory and the status of Woods Auto Gallery’s collateral by falsely stating the quantity of vehicles in inventory, the status of the vehicles, the outstanding liens on the vehicles, and other existing financing. Woods admitted to selling vehicles and failing to report the sales and transfer of the proceeds to Bank Star One. In addition, Woods sold consignment vehicles to new customers without paying off outstanding liens or obtaining clear titles to the vehicles. Moreover, on certain circumstances, Woods sold the vehicles and failed to pay the original owners the sales proceeds that were agreed to.

Bank fraud is criminalized under 18 U.S.C. 1344. That statute makes it a crime to knowingly execute or attempt to execute a scheme to defraud a financial institution to obtain, amongst other things, money, funds, or assets under the control of a financial institution by making false representations. Those convicted under this statute can be imprisoned for a period of not more than 30 years or fined not more than $1,000,000, or both.

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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Former ATF Agent Charged With Drug Conspiracy, Money Laundering in Oklahoma

April 11, 2010

Brandon Jay McFadden of Lubbock, Texas, has been indicted in the Northern District of Oklahoma for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana; possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute; possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense; and money laundering.

The indictment alleges that from July 2002 through September 2009, McFadden was employed as a special agent with the ATF and stationed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In his role as a special agent, McFadden regularly investigated potential firearms and drug trafficking offenses. According to the indictment beginning in 2007, and continuing through October 2008, McFadden conspired with other individuals to distribute marijuana, powder cocaine, and methamphetamine. As part of that conspiracy, McFadden is accused of planting drug evidence on suspects; stealing drugs and money from suspects; and testifying falsely in court. The money laundering count pertains to charges that McFadden used proceeds of the drug trafficking to purchase a Chevrolet Silverado.

The drug conspiracy charges carry a potential sentence of not less than 10 years’ imprisonment and up to life. The possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute carries a potential sentence of not more than 20 years’ imprisonment. Under federal law, a conviction for carrying and possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of five years’ imprisonment. Finally, the offense of money laundering is punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment.

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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Another New York City Man Indicted For Bid Rigging Conspiracy

April 7, 2010

In a story similar to the last one posted on this blog, a New York City federal grand jury has returned an indictment against Mario Perciavalle, a former Mount Sinai Medical Center purchasing official for participating in bid-rigging and fraud conspiracies.

The indictment returned charges Mr. Perciavalle, with participating in a conspiracy to rig bids on contracts related to maintenance and insulation services at Mount Sinai. According to the indictment, Perciavalle and his co-conspirators attempted to create the appearance that Mount Sinai awarded contracts based on competition. However the accused are alleged to have submitted intentionally high, non-competitive bids to Mount Sinai in regards to these contracts.

The indictment further alleges that Perciavalle and a co-conspirator engaged in mail fraud, when Perciavalle awarded work at Mount Sinai to the co-conspirator’s business while requesting and accepting cash kickbacks from the co-conspirator. Perciavalle is charged with mail fraud as a result of payments mailed by Mount Sinai to Percivalle’s co-conspirator. Mail fraud refers to any scheme which attempts to unlawfully obtain money or valuables in which the postal system is used at any point in the commission of the criminal offense.

The bid rigging violation that Perciavalle is charged with can result in a penalty of no more than 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of no more than 20 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine.

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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New York Men Indicted on Bank Fraud Charges

March 11, 2010

Robert Egan, the President of Mount Vernon Money Center (“MVMC”), and Bernard McGarry, MVMC’s Chief Operating Officer, have been indicted on charges of defrauding banks, other financial institutions, retailers, hospitals, and universities. The amount of funds allegedly entrusted to MVMC was approximately $50 million.

The Indictment alleges that MVMC engaged in various cash management businesses including replenishing cash in over 5,300 Automated Teller Machines (“ATMs”) owned by banks and other financial institutions. In addition, MVMC provided armored car services to financial institutions and retailers. Furthermore, MVMC provided payroll services to employers, including to hospitals and universities, which allowed those employees to cash their paychecks on their employers’ premises. MVMC also owned and operated several cash vaults, where MVMC and its affiliated businesses allegedly stored and processed cash collected from and distributed to its clients.

The government is accusing Egan and McGarry of soliciting and collecting hundreds of millions of dollars from MVMC’s clients while falsely representatings that the clients’ funds would not be commingled or used for purposes other than those specified in the contracts between MVMC and its clients.

The government alleges that the defendants engaged in “playing the float.” In other words, MVMC is accused of  misappropriating the clients’ funds for their own use, either to cover operating expenses of one or more of the MVMC operating entities, to repay prior client obligations, or for their own personal enrichment.

Furthermore, MVMC is accused of commingling different banks’ and other clients’ money in its vaults and bank accounts. Allegedly MVMC’s personnel were directed at Egan and McGarry to take whatever cash that arrived in the vault, regardless of its source, in order to fill the ATMs as part of MVMC’s ATM replenishment business.

According to the government, in February 2010 MVMC had been entrusted with approximately $70 to $75 million by its clients, but had only held approximately $20 to $25 million in cash in its vaults and bank accounts.

Egan  and McGarry have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud and six counts of bank fraud. The Federal Bank Fraud statute is condified at 18 U.S.C. 1344 and it makes it a crime to defraud a financial institution or to obtain money, funds, assets, credit, securities, or other properties from a financial institution by making false representations, pretenses, or promises to that institution.

If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of one million dollars or twice the gain or loss resulting from the crime for each of the counts.

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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