“FBI searches ex-Reagan aide Robert McFarlane’s apartment for evidence he lobbied for Sudan”

March 21, 2013

The Washington Post on March 21, 2013 released the following:

“By Associated Press,

WASHINGTON — The FBI has searched the apartment of former Reagan administration national security adviser Robert McFarlane for evidence of whether he lobbied on behalf of the government of Sudan in violation of federal law.

A search warrant on file in U.S. District Court in Washington shows agents seized items this month including handwritten notes about Sudan and White House documents with classification markings up to Top Secret.

It is against the law for Americans to do business with Sudan because of its alleged support for international terrorism and human rights violations, among other things. Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, has been charged by the International Criminal Court with genocide and other crimes during the deadly conflict in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

In an accompanying affidavit, FBI agent Grayden R. Ridd cited a host of emails between McFarlane and Sudanese government officials obtained prior to the search.

“I believe that these emails are evidence that McFarlane was entering into an agreement with the government of Sudan to lobby the U.S. government officials on behalf of Sudan and to provide it advice during negotiations with the United States,” Ridd wrote. He said he believed the emails are also evidence of an attempt by McFarlane and a Sudanese government official “to hide McFarlane’s relationship with Sudan by construing the agreement to make it appear that his contractual relationship was with Qatar, when in fact it was not.”

The affidavit said that the FBI investigation has established that in February 2009, McFarlane entered into a one-year agreement with the government of Sudan to act as its consultant and to lobby the U.S. government on its behalf.

Ridd wrote that the source of the emails to McFarlane appeared to be someone from the Sudanese intelligence service.

The affidavit is listed as “under seal” but is viewable online.

The FBI is also investigating whether McFarlane violated a law that requires anyone working as a foreign agent of another country to disclose that to the Foreign Agent Registration Act Unit of the Justice Department.

The investigation into McFarlane was first reported by The Washington Post.

McFarlane has not been charged with a crime. The case is being handled by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia. A spokesman for the office, Peter Carr, said McFarlane is cooperating with the ongoing investigation and, through his counsel, has asserted his innocence.

McFarlane’s lawyer, Barry Levine, did not immediately return telephone and email messages Thursday. Levine told The Post that McFarlane didn’t violate any laws.

“He has devoted his entire adult life to the interests of this country, and he cares deeply about the people of Darfur,” Levine told the newspaper.”

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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 launches new website to fight genocide and war crimes

August 26, 2012

Examiner.com on August 24, 2012 released the following:

“BY: ROBERT TILFORD

FBI announces the launch of a website in connection with its Genocide War Crimes Program.

“Today, in an effort to raise awareness about these crimes and the FBI’s part in helping to combat them, we’re announcing the launch of our Genocide War Crimes Program website. In addition to educating the public on our role, the website solicits information from victims and others about acts of genocide, war crimes, or related mass atrocities that can be submitted to us through tips.fbi.gov or by contacting an FBI field office or legal attaché office” (see article: Genocide and War Crimes – New Website Designed to Raise Awareness, Solicit Information

According to the article: “The global community has banded together to help prevent crimes like these and to bring to justice the perpetrators who commit them. The U.S. is part of this international effort—most recently through the creation of an interagency Atrocities Prevention Board. And the FBI supports the government’s efforts through its own Genocide War Crimes Program.”

Genocide is “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.

According to FBI Special Agent Jeffrey VanNest, who heads up our Genocide War Crimes Unit (GWCU), our mission is to “systematically and methodically help track down perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, and other related atrocities – the worst of the worst -and apprehend them.”

“Our ultimate goal,” says VanNest, “is to ensure that perpetrators of these heinous crimes find no safe haven in the United States, or for that matter, no safe haven anywhere in the world.”

The FBI is asking for the public’s help.

If you believe you may have information concerning a specific incident of genocide or a war crime, please submit that information to us at https://tips.fbi.gov/ or contact your local FBI office, domestically or internationally.”

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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


U.S. Sentencing Commission Promulgates Amendment to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Responding to the Dodd-Frank Act

April 13, 2012

U.S. Sentencing Commission on April 13, 2012 released the following:

U.S. SENTENCING COMMISSION PROMULGATES AMENDMENT TO THE FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES RESPONDING TO THE DODD-FRANK ACT

Also promulgates amendments regarding human rights, drug, and other offenses

WASHINGTON, D.C.― Today the United States Sentencing Commission promulgated amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines responding to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) regarding securities fraud, mortgage fraud, human rights offenses, drug offenses, and other offenses.

The Dodd-Frank Act contained directives to the Commission to review the fraud guideline with respect to securities fraud, fraud on financial institutions, and mortgage fraud. Judge Patti B. Saris, chair of the Commission, noted “Fraud offenses represent almost ten percent of the federal criminal docket annually, and have been the focus of congressional attention as evidenced by the directives to the Commission.” Judge Saris explained, “The Commission’s action today increases penalties for insider trading cases and ensures that no defendant will receive a reduced penalty because of a federal intervention, such as a bailout. The Commission also adopted presumptive rules governing the calculation of loss in mortgage and securities fraud cases.”

“This is the first step in a multi-year review of the fraud guideline,” stated Judge Saris. “We have received feedback from a number of stakeholders that broader review of the operation of the fraud guideline should be undertaken. Specifically, we have heard from the courts, defense attorneys, and prosecutors that the interaction of the loss attributed to an offense and the number of victims in an offense (the loss and victims tables in the guidelines), particularly in high-loss fraud cases, may result in disproportionate or disparate sentences. This is an area of the guidelines that the Commission must continue to review in a comprehensive manner.” More than 30 other federal sentencing guidelines (such as those covering money laundering, public corruption and identity theft offenses) either reference the fraud guideline or have a proportional relationship with it. Therefore, any change to the loss or victims calculations in the fraud guidelines must be undertaken comprehensively.

The Commission also promulgated an amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines to cover substantive human rights violations. First, the Commission promulgated new sentencing enhancements that would apply to a defendant convicted of committing a serious human rights offense, including genocide, torture, war crimes, and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. Second, the Commission promulgated an amendment to the guideline covering immigration offenses to provide a penalty enhancement if a defendant committed the instant offense to conceal or attempt to conceal their role in a serious human rights offense. “These amendments will ensure appropriate penalties for those who commit serious human rights offenses,” explained Judge Saris. “Human rights violations are an important issue to Congress and the Commission shares this concern.”

The Commission also promulgated an amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines to address the growing number of federal drug cases involving the stimulant “BZP.” BZP is a Schedule I stimulant used both alone and in combination with other chemicals to produce effects that mimic those of the drug “Ecstasy,” and promoted as such to the youth population, particularly for use during all night “raves.” The proposed amendment adds BZP to the list of chemicals covered by the federal sentencing guidelines in a manner consistent with available scientific literature. Judge Saris noted, “The Second Circuit Court of Appeals brought this important matter to our attention. The Commission is pleased to have addressed concerns about the growing prevalence of this drug in the Second Circuit and elsewhere by providing appropriate coverage under the federal sentencing guidelines.” The Commission also promulgated an amendment that provides a sentence reduction under the guidelines for certain low-level, non-violent offenders convicted of offenses involving precursor chemicals, which parallels provisions already in the federal sentencing guidelines for low-level, non-violent drug offenders who meet certain criteria.

The Commission also resolved a circuit conflict by confirming that for purposes of calculating a defendant’s criminal history under the federal sentencing guidelines, driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence and similar offenses are, without exception, always counted. The Commission’s actions today also resulted in amendments to the guidelines covering contraband cell phones in prison, cigarette offenses, trafficking in fake Indian goods, and animal crush videos.

The Commission must submit its 2011-2012 amendment package to Congress by May 1, 2012. Congress has 180-days to review the amendments submitted by the Commission. The amendments have a designated effective date of November 1, 2012, unless Congress affirmatively acts to modify or disapprove them.

More information on the amendments promulgated today may be found on the Commission’s website, http://www.ussc.gov.

The United States Sentencing Commission, an independent agency in the judicial branch of the federal government, was organized in 1985 to develop national sentencing policy. The resulting federal sentencing guidelines provide the starting point for the court’s consideration of a sentence and help ensure that similar offenders who commit similar offenses receive similar sentences.”

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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 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 C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Feds seek to set aside conviction in genocide case

August 25, 2011
Lazare Kobagaya

The Associated Press (AP) on August 25, 2011 released the following:

“By ROXANA HEGEMAN

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Federal prosecutors asked a judge Thursday to dismiss all charges against a Kansas man convicted of lying to U.S. immigration officials about his whereabouts during the 1994 Rwandan mass killings, ending a case that was the first in the nation to require proof of genocide.

Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Monti Belot to set aside Lazare Kobagaya’s visa fraud conviction and dismiss a charge of lying during his citizenship application. Jurors earlier this year found that Kobagaya, 84, of Topeka lied on immigration forms about where he was at the time of the genocide, but said the government did not prove he took part in the atrocities. They hung on the second count related to lying on his citizenship application.

In their motion, prosecutors said that they have identified a potential issue with the jury instructions and witness information that likely would warrant a new trial even on the single count for which Kobagaya was convicted.

“Based on the totality of circumstances in this case, including the substantial resources required to continue to litigate this matter and the jury’s verdict in the first trial, the Government has determined it would not seek to retry this case,” prosecutors wrote.

In a filing last week, the government first revealed to the court that it inadvertently failed to disclose earlier to the defense information from a consular officer in Kenya who was listed on Kobagaya’s immigration application. The consular officer had told prosecutors that even if she had known Kobagaya was in Rwanda in 1994, it would not have caused her to inquire further into his application because Kobagaya was a Burundian national.

A key argument in the defense case was that the alleged falsehood about Kobagaya’s whereabouts during the genocide was not a “material fact” that would have caused further investigation by immigration authorities that could have possibly kept him out of the United States.

“Our position was that witness was critical and a key exculpatory witness … it was a key witness who demonstrated Lazare’s innocence,” defense attorney Kurt Kerns said in a phone interview.

Three jurors told The Associated Press after the verdict that they unanimously rejected allegation Kobagaya participated in the genocide, focusing only on the paperwork issues. They said they deadlocked 10-2 to convict on the count related to his immigration paperwork. Jurors said the judge informed them after the verdict that the case had cost more than a million dollars to prosecute.

Juror Richard Shain told AP at the time that jurors generally felt there was a lot of money wasted in prosecuting Kobagaya.

Government and defense attorneys have traveled to Rwanda with their investigators, translators and a court reporter to take depositions. Taxpayers also have picked up the tab for all defense costs for Kobagaya, who has two court-appointed attorneys. At least 45 foreign witnesses were brought to the U.S., although not all testified. Each foreign witness was paid $96 a day over more than six weeks they remained in the country.

“Assuming the Court grants the government’s motion, it will bring to a close a very costly prosecution,” defense attorneys said in a statement. “As for Mr. Kobagaya and his family, this was a long walk to freedom once again. We are just honored to have made that walk with them.”

Kobagaya’s two court-appointed attorneys, Kerns and Olathe attorney Melanie Morgan, spent two years investigating the allegations after the government filed an indictment in January 2009. Their investigation took them to Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Finland and Belgium.

“This was by far the most difficult factual investigation I’ve ever undertaken,” Kerns said in a news release. “Everywhere I went, witnesses kept telling me that Lazare didn’t do this. The challenge was getting those witnesses to the United States to testify.”

The government’s motion not only seeks to set aside the verdict on the sole count on which he was convicted, but also to dismiss the entire indictment with prejudice – meaning the prosecutors could not again indict him on it. The defense waived any right to make a claim for attorney fees or expenses, although Kobagaya had court-appointed attorneys throughout most of the case.”

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 extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List 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.

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