Former Detroit Public Schools Accountant, Teacher Indicted on Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

February 2, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on February 1, 2012 released the following:

“Sandra Campbell, a former Detroit Public Schools contract accountant and school board candidate, and her daughter, Domonique Campbell, a Detroit Public Schools teacher, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges of program fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and tax charges, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Special Agent in Charge, Erick Martinez, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

The nine-count indictment charges that between 2004 and 2008, Sandra Campbell, 56, and Domonique Campbell, 37, obtained in excess of $530,000.00 from the Detroit Public Schools through a fraudulent scheme in which orders were placed with the Campbells’ sham company for books and educational materials never provided to the schools. The indictment further alleges that Sandra Campbell and Domonique Campbell conspired to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and failed to report the money they fraudulently obtained from the Detroit Public Schools as income on their tax returns.

Sandra Campbell is also charged in the indictment with wire fraud. This count alleges that Campbell obtained a $40,000 discount payoff of a $250,000 mortgage on her home through a fraudulent “short sale” of the property to her mother.

United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said, “Anyone who considers stealing from our school children should take note that we are scrutinizing records and conduct, and will prosecute wrongdoers. “

FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena stated, “The FBI would like to thank all of our partners who continue to assist us in battling corruption. In particular, I would like to note the continued support of DPS Inspector General Van Marsh and his team, The alleged actions of these subjects do nothing more than steal the opportunity for quality education from our children. Such actions can not be tolerated and will be pursued by the FBI and it’s partners.”

IRS Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez stated, “”Those who profit at the expense of our children and steal from our community will be held accountable for their greedy actions.”

The case was investigated by special agents of the FBI, IRS, and Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of Detroit Public Schools, Office of Inspector General. The case is being investigated and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys J. Michael Buckley and Pamela Thompson of the Public Corruption Unit.”

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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 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.


Wong Yuh Lan, Lim Yong Nam, Lim Kow Seng, Hia Soo Gan Benson, and Hossein Larijani Indicted in an Alleged Fraud Conspiracy Involving Exports to Iran of U.S. Components Later Found in Bombs in Iraq

October 25, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 25, 2011 released the following:

“Five Individuals Indicted in a Fraud Conspiracy Involving Exports to Iran of U.S. Components Later Found in Bombs in Iraq

Indictment Also Alleges Fraud Conspiracy Involving Illegal Exports of Military Antennas to Singapore and Hong Kong

WASHINGTON—Five individuals and four of their companies have been indicted as part of a conspiracy to defraud the United States that allegedly caused thousands of radio frequency modules to be illegally exported from the United States to Iran, at least 16 of which were later found in unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq. Some of the defendants are also charged in a fraud conspiracy involving exports of military antennas to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Yesterday, authorities in Singapore arrested Wong Yuh Lan (Wong), Lim Yong Nam (Nam), Lim Kow Seng (Seng), and Hia Soo Gan Benson (Hia), all citizens of Singapore, in connection with a U.S. request for extradition. The United States is seeking their extradition to stand trial in the District of Columbia. The remaining individual defendant, Hossein Larijani, is a citizen and resident of Iran who remains at large.

The arrests and the indictment were announced by Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; John Morton, Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); Mark Giuliano, Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s National Security Branch; Eric L. Hirschhorn, Under Secretary of Commerce; and David Adelman, U.S. Ambassador to Singapore.

“Today’s charges allege that the defendants conspired to defraud the United States and defeat our export controls by sending U.S.-origin components to Iran rather than to their stated final destination of Singapore. Ultimately, several of these components were found in unexploded improvised explosive devices in Iraq,” said Assistant Attorney General Monaco. “This case underscores the continuing threat posed by Iranian procurement networks seeking to obtain U.S. technology through fraud and the importance of safeguarding that technology. I applaud the many agents, analysts and prosecutors who worked on this extensive investigation.”

“These defendants misled U.S. companies in buying parts that they shipped to Iran and that ended up in IEDs on the battlefield in Iraq,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “This prosecution demonstrates why the U.S. Attorney’s Office takes cases involving misrepresentations regarding the intended use of sensitive technology so seriously. We hope for a swift response from Singapore to our request for extradition.”

“One of Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) top enforcement priorities is preventing sensitive technology from falling into the hands of those who might seek to harm American personnel or interests—whether at home or abroad,” said ICE Director Morton. “This international investigation conducted by ICE’s HSI and our law enforcement partners demonstrates the importance of preventing U.S. technology from falling into the wrong hands, where it could potentially be used to kill or injure our military members and our allies. Our agency will continue to work closely through our attachés to identify these criminals, dismantle their networks, and ensure they are fully prosecuted.”

“This multi-year investigation highlights that acquiring property by deceit has ramifications that resonate beyond the bottom line and affects our national security and the safety of Americans worldwide,” said FBI Executive Assistant Director Giuliano. “We continue to work side-by-side with our many partners in a coordinated effort to bring justice to those who have sought to harm Americans. We consider this investigation as the model of how we work cases—jointly with the Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Commerce/Office of Export Enforcement and collectively with our foreign partners to address the threats posed by Iranian procurement networks to the national security interests of the United States both here and abroad.”

“These cases are the product of vigorous, cooperative law enforcement focused on denying to Iran items that endanger our coalition forces on the battlefield in Iraq,” said Under Secretary of Commerce Hirschhorn. “We will continue aggressively to go after such perpetrators—no matter where they operate—to guard against these types of threats.”

U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, David Adelman, praised the cooperation within the U.S. executive branch agencies and with the Singaporean authorities. “Twenty-first century law enforcement is most effective when countries work collaboratively as evidenced by this strong, cooperative effort between the U.S. and Singapore. Congratulations to all the officials in both our countries who made this happen,” he said.

The Charges

The indictment, which was returned in the District of Columbia on Sept. 15, 2010, and unsealed today, includes charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, smuggling, illegal export of goods from the United States to Iran, illegal export of defense articles from the United States, false statements and obstruction of justice.

The charged defendants are Iranian national Larijani, 47, and his companies Paya Electronics Complex, based in Iran, and Opto Electronics Pte, Ltd., based in Singapore. Also charged is Wong, 39, an agent of Opto Electronics who was allegedly supervised by Larijani from Iran. The indictment also charges NEL Electronics Pte. Ltd., a company in Singapore, along with NEL’s owner and director, Nam, 37. Finally, the indictment charges Corezing International Pte. Ltd., a company in Singapore that maintained offices in China, as well as Seng, 42, an agent of Corezing, and Hia, 44, a manager, director and agent of Corezing.

Wong, Nam, Seng and Hia allegedly conspired to defraud the United States by impeding U.S. export controls relating to the shipment of 6,000 radio frequency modules from a Minnesota company through Singapore to Iran, some of which were later found in unexploded IEDs in Iraq. Seng and Hia are also accused of conspiring to defraud the United States relating to the shipment of military antennas from a Massachusetts company to Singapore and Hong Kong. Singapore has agreed to seek extradition for Wong and Nam on the charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States relating to the components shipped to Iran, and to seek extradition for Seng and Hia on the charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States relating to the military antenna exports.

In coordination with the criminal actions announced today, the Commerce Department announced the addition of 15 persons located in China, Hong Kong, Iran and Singapore to the Commerce Department’s Entity List. In addition to the five individual defendants in this case, the Commerce Department named additional companies and individuals associated with this conspiracy. In placing these parties on the Entity List, the Commerce Department is imposing a licensing requirement for any item subject to Commerce regulation with a presumption that such a license would be denied.

Exports of U.S. Components Later Found in IEDs

According to the indictment, IEDs caused roughly 60 percent of all American combat casualties in Iraq between 2001 and 2007. The first conspiracy alleged in the indictment involved radio frequency modules that have several commercial applications, including in wireless local area networks connecting printers and computers in office settings. These modules include encryption capabilities and have a range allowing them to transmit data wirelessly as far as 40 miles when configured with a high-gain antenna. These same modules also have potentially lethal applications. Notably, during 2008 and 2009, coalition forces in Iraq recovered numerous modules made by the Minnesota firm that had been utilized as part of the remote detonation system for IEDs.

The indictment alleges that, between June 2007 and February 2008, the defendants fraudulently purchased and caused 6,000 modules to be illegally exported from the Minnesota company through Singapore, and later to Iran, in five shipments, knowing that the export of U.S.-origin goods to Iran was a violation of U.S. law. In each transaction, the defendants allegedly told the Minnesota firm that Singapore was the final destination of the goods. The defendants also caused false documents to be filed with the U.S. government, in which they claimed that a telecommunications project in Singapore was the final end-use for the modules. In reality, each of the five shipments was routed from Singapore to Iran via air cargo. The alleged recipient of all 6,000 modules in Iran was Larijani, who had directed Wong, his employee in Singapore, to order them.

According to the indictment, the defendants profited considerably from their illegal trade. The defendants allegedly made tens of thousands of dollars for arranging these illegal exports from the United States through Singapore to Iran.

The indictment alleges that several of the 6,000 modules the defendants routed from Minnesota to Iran were later discovered by coalition forces in Iraq, where they were being used as part of the remote detonation systems of IEDs. In May 2008, December 2008, April 2009, and July 2010, coalition forces found no less than 16 of these modules in unexploded IEDs recovered in Iraq, the indictment alleges.

During this period, some of the defendants were allegedly communicating with one another about U.S. laws prohibiting the export of U.S.-origin goods to Iran. For example, between October 2007 and June 2009, Nam contacted Larijani in Iran at least six times and discussed the Iran prohibitions and U.S. prosecutions for violation of these laws. Nam later told U.S. authorities that he had never participated in illicit exports to Iran, even though he had participated in five such shipments, according to the indictment.

Exports of Military Antennas

The indictment further charges Seng, Hia, and Corezing with a separate fraud conspiracy involving the illegal export of two types of military antenna from the United States. The indictment alleges that these defendants conspired to defraud the United States by causing a total of 55 cavity-backed spiral antennas and biconical antennas to be illegally exported from a Massachusetts company to Singapore and Hong Kong without the required State Department license.

These military antennas are controlled for export as U.S. munitions and are used in airborne and shipboard environments. The indictment states that the biconical antenna, for example, is used in military aircraft such as the F-4 Phantom, the F-15, the F-111, the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the F-16 combat jets.

Seng, Hia and Corezing are alleged to have, among other things, conspired to undervalue the antennas to circumvent U.S. regulations on the filing of shipper’s export declarations to the U.S. government. They also allegedly used false names and front companies to obtain the antennas illegally from the United States.

Additional Misrepresentations

The indictment further alleges that Larijani, based in Iran, made false statements about doing business with an accused Iranian procurement agent and that he attempted to obstruct an official proceeding by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In January 2010, the Department of Commerce placed Larijani’s company, Opto Electronics, on the Entity List, which is a list of companies to which U.S. businesses cannot export controlled dual-use items without obtaining U.S. government licenses. In response, Larijani repeatedly contacted Commerce Department officials in Washington, D.C., from Iran, requesting that his company be removed from the Entity List, according to the indictment. Commerce officials advised Larijani that, in considering whether his firm should be removed from the list, he needed to disclose whether he or his firm had any involvement with Majid Kakavand or Evertop Services Sdn Bhd.

Kakavand is an accused Iranian procurement agent who has been indicted in the United States, along with his Malaysian company Evertop Services, for illegally exporting U.S. goods to Iran, including to military entities in Iran involved in that nation’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Kakavand remains a fugitive and is believed to be in Iran.

According to the indictment, Larijani denied to Commerce officials on three occasions that he or his company, Opto Electronics, had done any business with Kakavand or Evertop Services. In fact, the indictment alleges that Larijani had been in communication with others about his business dealings with Kakavand on at least five occasions from 2006 through 2009.

This investigation was jointly conducted by ICE agents in Boston and Los Angeles; FBI agents in Minneapolis; and Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security agents in Chicago and Boston. Substantial assistance was provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Office of International Affairs in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, particularly the Justice Department Attaché in the Philippines, as well as the FBI and ICE Attachés in Singapore.

U.S. law enforcement authorities thanked the government of Singapore for the substantial assistance that was provided in the investigation of this matter.

The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Asuncion and John W. Borchert of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; and Trial Attorneys Jonathan C. Poling and Richard S. Scott of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains mere allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.”

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

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.


Former Financial Executives Indicted for Alleged Fraud Scheme

July 28, 2010

Three former financial services executives were indicted today for their alleged participation in fraud schemes and conspiracies related to bidding for contracts for the investment of municipal bond proceeds and other municipal finance contracts, the Department of Justice announced.

The 12-count indictment was filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in New York City. The indictment charges Dominick P. Carollo, Steven E. Goldberg, and Peter S. Grimm, all former executives at financial service companies or financial institutions, with participating in alleged wire fraud schemes and separate fraud conspiracies at various time periods from as early as 1999 until 2006.

The charged conspiracies and schemes all relate to the provision of a type of contract, known as an investment agreement, to public entities, such as state, county, and local governments and agencies throughout the United States. Major financial institutions, including banks, investment banks, insurance companies, and financial services companies are among the providers of investment agreements and other related municipal finance contracts. Public entities seek to invest money from a variety of sources, primarily the proceeds of municipal bonds that they issued to raise money for, among other things, public projects. Public entities typically hire a broker to conduct a competitive bidding process among various providers for the award of an investment agreement to invest such money. Competitive bidding for these agreements is the subject of regulations issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and is related to the tax-exempt status of the bonds.

The companies that employed Carollo, Goldberg, and Grimm all marketed financial products and services, including services as a provider of investment agreements. It is interesting to wonder, if the indicted individuals were in fact engaged in the alleged scheme, why wasn’t their employer aware and why was their behavior not discovered earlier? It seems that the government may have pieced this indictment together over a time period of several years in order to get the charges to stick and complete their version of the story.

The indictment alleges that Carollo, Goldberg, and Grimm conspired with various brokers to attempt to increase the number and profitability of investment agreements and other municipal finance contracts awarded to the provider companies where they were employed. According to court documents, Beverly Hills, California-based Rubin/Chambers, Dunhill Insurance Services Inc., also known as CDR Financial Products, was one of the alleged co-conspirator brokers. Supposedly, Carollo, Goldberg, and Grimm obtained from CDR and other alleged co-conspirator brokers information about the prices, price levels or conditions in competing providers’ bids, a practice known as a “last look,” which is explicitly prohibited by U.S. Treasury regulations. As a result of the information, allegedly, various providers won investment agreements and other municipal finance contracts at artificially determined price levels. In exchange for this information, Carollo, Goldberg, and Grimm submitted losing bids for certain investment agreements and other contracts when requested, and, on occasion, agreed to pay or arranged for kickbacks to be paid to CDR and other co-conspirator brokers.

The indictment also alleges that Carollo, Goldberg, Grimm, and co-conspirators misrepresented to municipal issuers or bond counsel that the bidding process was in compliance with U.S. Treasury regulations. This allegedly caused the municipal issuers to award investment agreements and other municipal finance contracts to providers that otherwise would not have been awarded the contracts if the issuers had true and accurate information regarding the bidding process. The alleged conduct affected the tax-exempt status of the underlying bonds.

According to court documents, the supposed efforts by Carollo, Goldberg, Grimm, and their co-conspirators to affect the bidding for investment contracts, and the execution of a variety of certifications that covered up their actions, also obstructed the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) ability to monitor compliance with U.S. Treasury regulations and impeded the IRS’s ability to determine whether municipal issuers had correctly accounted for any money that was owed to the U.S. Treasury.

Again, if the three individuals were in fact engaging in such a wide ranging and complex scheme, why was it not discovered until now, years after the scheme took place? The employers of the three individuals apparently did not notice any illegal behavior. The government is attempting to piece together their version of the story, but we will not really know what happened until the truth comes out at trial.

The fraud conspiracies with which Carollo, Goldberg, and Grimm are charged each carry a maximum penalty per count of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The wire fraud charges each carry a maximum penalty per count of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Goldberg is charged with eight counts of conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud, Grimm is charged with five counts of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud, and Carollo is charged with four counts of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud. The maximum fines for each of these offenses may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

An indictment does not mean that the individuals are guilty, or even that they did anything wrong. In order for a grand jury to indict an individual, the government presents their biased story, without having to prove any evidence, and without the individual knowing they are under investigation. An indictment merely alleges the one sided views of the federal government. All individuals are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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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