“Thirty-Four Alleged Aryan Brotherhood of Texas Gang Members Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges”

November 9, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on November 9, 2012 released the following:

“WASHINGTON— Thirty-four alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) gang, including four of its most senior leaders, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Houston for allegedly conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas; Special Agent in Charge Melvin D. King of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Houston Division; and FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris of the Houston Field Office.

The 17-count superseding indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on October 22, 2012, and unsealed today in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas. Fourteen individuals were taken into custody today, and 15 defendants charged in the superseding indictment are already in custody. Five defendants remain at large.

“Today’s takedown represents a devastating blow to the leadership of ABT,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Four ABT generals, 13 additional alleged ABT leaders, and numerous other gang members and associates are named in the indictment. As charged, ABT uses extreme violence and threats of violence to maintain internal discipline and retaliate against those believed to be cooperating with law enforcement. Through violence and intimidation, ABT allegedly exerts control over prison populations and neighborhoods and instills fear in those who come in contact with its members. As today’s operations show, the Criminal Division, working closely with its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, is determined to continue disrupting and dismantling ABT and other violent, criminal gangs.”

“This indictment is the culmination of a joint federal, state, and local law enforcement effort targeting a large-scale prison gang involved in violent organized crime,” said U.S. Attorney Magidson. “Only when we work in partnership utilizing all our resources can we attack a criminal organization and dismantle it entirely.”

“ATF is serious about fighting violent crime. We remain steadfast in our commitment to focus on those violent criminals who illegally use firearms to prey on their victims,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge King. “Through a collective effort with our law enforcement partners, this operation was a success today.”

“This multi-year investigation and indictment clearly targets the worst-of-the-worst among the ABT,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Morris. “This effort not only exemplifies the level of effort the FBI and our law enforcement partners will expend to prevent prison gang racism and criminal activity from poisoning our communities. It sends a clear message that we will relentlessly pursue and prosecute the leaders and members of these criminal enterprises regardless of where they lay their heads.”

As charged, the defendants range from senior leaders to soldiers of the ABT, a “whites only,” prison-based gang with members operating inside and outside of state and federal prisons throughout Texas and elsewhere in the United States since at least the early 1980s.

According to court documents, the ABT has a detailed and uniform organizational structure, with territory divided into five regions, each run by a “general.” The superseding indictment charges four generals: Terry Ross Blake, 55, aka “Big Terry”; Larry Max Bryan, 51, aka “Slick”; William David Maynard, 42, aka “Baby Huey”; and Charles Lee Roberts, 68, aka “Jive,” with conspiracy to participate in the racketeering activities of the ABT, among other charges.

In total, the superseding indictment charges 34 alleged members of the ABT with conspiracy to participate in the racketeering activities of the ABT. Alleged members of the ABT are also charged with involvement in three murders, multiple attempted murders, kidnappings, assaults, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.

According to the superseding indictment, the ABT was established in the early 1980s within the Texas prison system. The gang modeled itself after and adopted many of the precepts and writings of the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang that was formed in the California prison system during the 1960s. According to court documents, previously, the ABT was primarily concerned with the protection of white inmates and white supremacy/separatism. Over time, the ABT is alleged to have has expanded its criminal enterprise to include illegal activities for profit.

Court documents allege that the ABT enforced its rules and promoted discipline among its members, prospects, and associates through murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, arson, assault, robbery, and threats against those who violate the rules or pose a threat to the enterprise. Members, and oftentimes associates, were required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members, often referred to as “direct orders.”

According to the superseding indictment, in order to be considered for membership, a person must be sponsored by another ABT member. Once sponsored, a prospective member must serve an unspecified term, during which he is referred to as a prospect, while his conduct is observed by the members of the ABT.

Ten defendants have been charged with offenses that are eligible for the death penalty. The remaining 24 defendants face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

An indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case is being investigated by a multi-agency task force consisting of the ATF; Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI; U.S. Marshals Service; Federal Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations; Texas Rangers; Texas Department of Public Safety; the Montgomery County, Texas Sheriff’s Department; Houston Police Department-Gang Division; Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Office of Inspector General; Harris County, Texas Sheriff’s Office; Tarrant County, Texas Sheriff’s Office; Atascosa County, Texas Sheriff’s Office; Orange County, Texas Sheriff’s Office; Waller County, Texas Sheriff’s Office; Fort Worth, Texas Police Department; San Antonio Police Department; Baytown, Texas Police Department; Carrollton, Texas Police Department; Alvin, Texas Police Department; Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office; Atascosa County District Attorney’s Office; Harris County District Attorney’s Office; and the Kaufman County, Texas, District Attorney’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by David Karpel of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman of the Southern District of Texas.”

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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

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

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


Houston Independent School District Police Officer Charged with Alleged Extortion

October 18, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 17, 2012 released the following:

“HOUSTON— Richard Cano, 46, of Katy, has been arrested and charged with extortion under color of official right, United States Attorney Kenneth Magison announced today.

The criminal complaint alleges Cano, a Houston Independent School District (HISD) Police officer, was involved in a towing scheme using his authority as a peace officer. Cano allegedly stopped individuals on public streets and would then have the vehicle towed without further law enforcement action. According to the complaint, Cano would then meet with the tow truck driver and split the towing fee.

Cano was arrested yesterday and made his initial appearance before U.S. District Judge Mary Milloy just a short time ago, at which time he was order released upon posting $50,000 bond.

If convicted, Cano faces up to 20 years in federal prison, as well as a possible $250,000 fine.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, Houston Police Department-Internal Affairs, the Texas Rangers, with the assistance of HISD and other agencies. Assistant United States Attorney James McAlister is prosecuting the case.”

US v. Richard Cano – Criminal Complaint

18 U.S.C. § 1951

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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.


Twenty-Five Alleged Members and Associates of Texas Mexican Mafia Prison Gang Indicted

October 12, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 11, 2012 released the following:

Charges Include Drugs, Guns, and Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering

HOUSTON— Alleged members or associates of the notorious Texas Mexican Mafia (TMM) prison gang have been indicted for trafficking in heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine; firearms violations; and for distributing explosive materials, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw.

Those arrested today are alleged members or associates of the TMM gang who allegedly make money by trafficking heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine and by selling firearms.

Among those charged included Michael Mares, 50, an Onalaska Police officer who knowingly provided firearms to a convicted felon on two occasions, according to the indictment.

Also taken into custody in the Houston area were Robert Arechiga, 34; Alexander Garcia, 39; Adam Guzman, 43; George Maldonado, 45; Jorge Montemayor, 36; Juan Sarmientos, 45; Tony Valdez, 37; and Michael Villarreal, 32. They are expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy tomorrow. Ruben Esparza, 34, was arrested today in the Corpus Christi area, where he will make his initial appearance before being transferred to Houston, while Jose Cerda, 26, and Michael A. Villarreal, 22, were taken into custody in the San Antonio area. Francisco Galvan, 46, was taken into custody just moments ago at the Texas-Mexico border.

Three others—Carlos Romero, 30; Gilbert Gonzalez, 41; and Enrique Bravo, 38—are considered fugitives and a warrant remains outstanding for their arrests. Photos are below. Anyone with information as to their whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI at 713-693-5000. Anonymous tips can also be provided through the website http://www.stophoustongangs.org.

Also charged in this case are Juan Deluna, 40; Johnny Reyes, 51; Ricardo Sanchez, 33; Valentin Ayala-Guiterrez, 51; Ernesto Villarreal, 35; Eric Gomez, 36; Armando Villarreal, III, 23; Rene Gonzalez, 44; and Alvin Valadaz, 42. These nine defendants are currently in custody and are expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge on these charges in the near future.

According to the 22-count indictment, the TMM formed in the early 1980s in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

The indictment alleges the defendants conspired with one another and others from 2008 through October 2012 to procure illegal drugs and distribute the drugs to numerous associates involved in drug trafficking in order to carry out the business of the gang. Alleged gang members also illegally sold numerous assault rifles, other guns, and even detonation cord during the course of the investigation, according to the indictment.

The four-year investigation resulted in the return of a sealed indictment October 4, 2012, which was unsealed following the execution of arrest warrants early this morning.

If convicted of the conspiracy charge, the defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a $10 million fine. All substantive counts carry an equal or lesser possible sentence depending upon the amount of drugs involved.

The charges are the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation, which included agents and officers with the FBI; DPS; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; police departments in Baytown, Houston, Pasadena, and Katy; Bureau of Prisons; Harris County Sheriff’s Office; TDCJ-Office of Inspector General; and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The cases will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tim S. Braley and Mark Donnelly.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.”

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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.


Policeman among 25 charged in Mexican Mafia indictment | Narco Confidential | a Chron.com blog

October 11, 2012

 

Policeman among 25 charged in Mexican Mafia indictment | Narco Confidential | a Chron.com blog.


Alleged Russian Agent, His Associates, and Their Businesses Indicted for Ties to Russian Military and Intelligence Agencies – Illegal Exports – Secret US FISA Wiretaps Used

October 3, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 3, 2012 released the following:

“Russian Agent and 10 Other Members of Procurement Network for Russian Military and Intelligence Operating in the U.S. and Russia Indicted in New York

Defendants Also Include Texas- and Russia-Based Corporations; 165 Persons and Companies ‘Designated’ by Commerce Department

BROOKLYN, NY—An indictment was unsealed today in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging 11 members of a Russian military procurement network operating in the United States and Russia, as well as a Texas-based export company and a Russia-based procurement firm, with illegally exporting high-tech microelectronics from the United States to Russian military and intelligence agencies.

Alexander Fishenko, an owner and executive of the American and Russian companies, is also charged with operating as an unregistered agent of the Russian government inside the United States by illegally procuring the high-tech microelectronics on behalf of the Russian government. The microelectronics allegedly exported to Russia are subject to strict government controls due to their potential use in a wide range of military systems, including radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems, and detonation triggers.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Stephen L. Morris, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Houston Field Office; Under Secretary of Commerce Eric L. Hirschhorn, Department of Commerce; and Timothy W. Reeves, Special Agent in Charge, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Central Field Office.

The defendants arrested yesterday and today will be arraigned this afternoon before U.S. States Magistrate Judge George C. Hanks, Jr., at the U.S. Courthouse in Houston, where the government will seek their removal to the Eastern District of New York.

In addition to the unsealing of the charges, search warrants were executed today at seven residences and business locations associated with the defendants, and seizure warrants were executed on five bank accounts held by Fishenko and defendant Arc Electronics Inc., the Texas-based export company. In conjunction with the unsealing of these charges, the Department of Commerce has added 165 foreign persons and companies who received, transshipped, or otherwise facilitated the export of controlled commodities by the defendants to its “Entity List.” This designation imposes a license requirement before any commodities can be exported from the United States to these persons or companies and establishes a presumption that no such license will be granted.

The Scheme

As alleged in the indictment, between approximately October 2008 and the present, Fishenko and the other defendants engaged in a surreptitious and systematic conspiracy to obtain advanced, technologically cutting-edge microelectronics from manufacturers and suppliers located within the United States and to export those high-tech goods to Russia, while carefully evading the government licensing system set up to control such exports. The microelectronics shipped to Russia included analog-to-digital converters, static random access memory chips, microcontrollers, and microprocessors. These commodities have applications and are frequently used in a wide range of military systems, including radar and surveillance systems, missile guidance systems, and detonation triggers. Russia does not produce many of these sophisticated goods domestically.

According to the indictment and a detention motion filed by the government today, defendant Alexander Fishenko was born in what was, at the time, the Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan, and graduated from the Leningrad Electro-Technical Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. He immigrated to the United States in 1994 and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 2003. In 1998, he founded defendant Arc Electronics Inc. in Houston. Between 2002 and the present, Arc has shipped approximately $50,000,000 worth of microelectronics and other technologies to Russia. Fishenko and his wife are the sole owners of Arc, and Fishenko serves as the company’s president and chief executive officer. Fishenko is also a part owner and executive of defendant Apex System LLC, a Moscow, Russia-based procurement firm. Apex, working through subsidiaries, served as a certified supplier of military equipment for the Russian government. Between 1996 and the present, Fishenko has regularly traveled back and forth between the United States and Russia. Defendant Alexander Posobilov entered the United States from Russia in 2001 and became a naturalized citizen in 2008. He joined Arc in 2004 and serves as its director of procurement. Posobilov was arrested at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on his way to Singapore and Moscow.

The defendants allegedly exported many of these high-tech goods, frequently through intermediary procurement firms, to Russian end users, including Russian military and intelligence agencies. To induce manufacturers and suppliers to sell them these high-tech goods and to evade applicable export controls, the defendants often provided false end-user information in connection with the purchase of the goods, concealed the fact that they were exporters, and falsely classified the goods they exported on export records submitted to the Department of Commerce. For example, in order to obtain microelectronics containing controlled, sensitive technologies, Arc claimed to American suppliers that, rather than exporting goods to Russia, it merely manufactured benign products such as traffic lights. Arc also falsely claimed to be a traffic light manufacturer on its website. In fact, Arc manufactured no goods and operated exclusively as an exporter.

According to the court documents, the defendants went to great lengths to conceal their procurement activities for the Russian military. For example, on one occasion, defendants Posobilov and Yuri Savin, the director of marketing at another Russian procurement firm, discussed how best to conceal the fact that certain goods Savin had purchased from Arc were intended for the Russian military. Savin asked Posobilov, “What can we do if a client is military all over?” Posobilov replied, “We can’t be the ones making things up. You should be the ones.” Similarly, on another occasion, defendant Fishenko directed a Russian procurement company that, when the company provided false end-user information, to “make it up pretty, correctly, and make sure it looks good.” On yet another occasion, Posobilov instructed a Russian procurement company to “make sure that” the end-use certificate indicated “fishing boats and not fishing/anti-submarine ones….Then we’ll be able to start working.”

Despite this subterfuge, according to the documents, the investigation revealed that the defendants were supplying Russian government agencies with sophisticated microelectronics. For example, the investigation uncovered a Russian Ministry of Defense document designating an Apex subsidiary as a company “certified” to procure and deliver military equipment and electronics. The FBI recovered a letter sent by a specialized electronics laboratory of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia’s primary domestic intelligence agency, to an Apex affiliate regarding certain microchips obtained for the FSB by Arc. The letter stated that the microchips were faulty and demanded that the defendants supply replacement parts.

In addition, in anticipation of an inquiry by the Department of Commerce regarding the export of certain controlled microelectronics, defendants Fishenko, Posobilov, and Arc salesperson Viktoria Klebanova allegedly directed Apex executives Sergey Klinov and Dmitriy Shegurov, as well as other Apex employees, to alter Apex’s website and forge documents regarding certain transactions to hide Apex’s connections to the Russian military. In connection with the cover-up, Apex removed images of Russian military aircraft and missiles and other links to the Russian Ministry of Defense from its website.

The Arc Defendants

In addition to Fishenko, Posobilov, and Klebanova, the indictment charges Arc salespersons Lyudmila Bagdikian, Anastasia Diatlova, Sevinj Taghiyeva, and Svetalina Zagon, as well as Arc shipping manager Shavkat Abdullaev, with one count of conspiring to violate and 21 counts of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and with conspiring to commit wire fraud. According to the indictment, these defendants obtained controlled microelectronics by lying and submitting false information regarding the true nature, users, and intended uses of the high-tech goods, then exporting the goods, without the required licenses, to procurement firms in Russia. The defendants’ principal port of export for these goods was John F. Kennedy International Airport in the Eastern District of New York.

The Foreign Defendants

According to the indictment, in addition to owning and controlling Arc, Fishenko is also a controlling principal of the Russian procurement firm Apex, the defendant Sergey Klinov is the chief executive officer of Apex, and the defendant Dmitriy Shegurov is an employee of Apex. Apex and its affiliates supplied microelectronics to Russian government agencies, including Russian military and intelligence agencies. The defendant Yuri Savin was the director of marketing at Atrilor Ltd., another Russian procurement firm. Klinov, Shegurov, and Savin conspired with Fishenko and the Arc defendants to obtain controlled U.S.-origin microelectronics and to export those technologically sensitive goods to Russia without the required export licenses by falsifying information to hide the true nature, users, and intended uses of the goods. In addition, Fishenko, Posobilov, Klebanova, Klinov, and Shegurov were charged with obstruction of justice, and Fishenko and Arc were charged with conspiring to commit money laundering.

The individual defendants face maximum terms of incarceration of five years for the conspiracy charge, 20 years for each of the substantive IEEPA and AECA charges, and 20 years for the obstruction of justice charge. In addition, Fishenko faces a maximum term of incarceration of 20 years for conspiring to commit money laundering and 10 years for acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian government. The corporate defendants face fines of up to $500,000 for the conspiracy count and $1 million for each of the substantive IEEPA and AECA counts.

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendants spun an elaborate web of lies to evade the laws that protect our national security. The defendants tried to take advantage of America’s free markets to steal American technologies for the Russian government. But U.S. law enforcement detected, disrupted, and dismantled the defendants’ network,” stated United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch. “We will not rest in our efforts to protect the technological advantage produced by American ingenuity. And, we will expose and hold responsible all who break our counter-proliferation laws, particularly those, like Fishenko, who serve foreign governments.” Ms. Lynch thanked the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas for its assistance in this matter.

“Today’s case underscores the importance of safeguarding America’s sensitive technology and our commitment to disrupt and prosecute networks that attempt to illegally export these goods,” said Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “I applaud the many agents, analysts, and prosecutors who worked on this extensive investigation.”

“In this day and time, the ability of foreign countries to illegally acquire sensitive and sophisticated U.S. technology poses a significant threat to both the economic and national security of our nation,” said Houston FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris. “While some countries may leverage our technology for financial gain, many countries hostile to the United States seek to improve their defense capabilities and to modernize their weapons systems at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. The FBI will continue to work aggressively with our partners in the U.S. Intelligence Community to protect this technology and hold accountable those companies that willfully choose to violate our U.S. export laws.”

“Today’s action is a perfect example of two of the core benefits of the administration’s export control reform effort—higher enforcement walls around controlled items and extensive coordination and cooperation among the enforcement agencies. I applaud our special agents who worked with the Justice Department in the interagency effort that led to today’s actions,” said Under Secretary of Commerce Eric L. Hirschhorn.

“The receipt of U.S.-made, cutting-edge microelectronics has advanced Russia’s military technological capabilities. NCIS and the Department of the Navy have worked closely with the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Commerce in this investigation due to the potential for significant enhancement of Russian naval weapons systems that would result from the illegal acquisition of these export-controlled technologies,” said Special Agent in Charge Timothy W. Reeves, NCIS Central Field Office.

As a result of this case, there may be victims and witnesses who need to contact the agencies involved in the investigation. If your business has been approached by one of the defendants or by someone trying to obtain export-protected, sensitive technology who appeared not to be legitimate, please report that information to businessoutreach@leo.gov. The information will remain confidential and will be handled by the appropriate authorities.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Silver, Hilary Jager, and Claire Kedeshian, as well as Trial Attorney David Recker of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants have not yet been convicted of these offenses.

The Defendants:

Arc Electronics Inc.
Principal Place of Business: Houston, Texas

Apex System LLC
Principal Place of Business: Moscow, Russia

Alexander Fishenko, age 46

Shavkat Abdullaev, age 34

Lyudmila Bagdikian, age 58

Anastasia Diatlova, age 38

Viktoria Klebanova, age 37

Sergey Klinov, age 44

Alexander Posobilov, age 58

Yuri Savin, age 36

Dmitriy Shegurov, age unknown

Sevinj Taghiyeva, age 32

Svetalina Zagon, age 31″

USA v. Fishenko et al., Case No. 1:12-cr-00626-SJ
Federal Criminal Indictment

Letter to the Court Moving for a Permanent Order of Detention

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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

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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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.


Attorney Lisa Carol Ross Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud After Investigation and Charges Brought by IRS-CI and the FBI

August 30, 2012

U.S. Attorney’s Office News Release on August 29, 2012 released the following:

“Title Company Attorney Convicted in Multi-Million Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme

HOUSTON – Lisa Carol Ross, 50, of Missouri City, Texas, has pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Lucy Cruz.

Ross, an attorney and escrow officer for Vision Title LLC, and three others were indicted in 2011 for a scheme to defraud residential mortgage lenders. According to the indictment, the conspirators allegedly used fraudulent documents to help borrowers qualify for mortgage loans to purchase condominium units in the Commerce Towers building located on Main Street in downtown Houston as well as residential homes in the Houston area. The indictment indicates the documents had false and misleading information about the borrowers’ income, assets, liabilities, employment status, bank deposits, rental payments, intent to use properties as a primary residence and source of funds used to close the real estate transactions. Today, Ross admitted that she arranged for disbursements from the title company to be turned into cash and money orders and secretly distributed to the involved parties.

Ross is currently in custody on unrelated state charges where she will remain pending sentencing in this case by U.S. District Judge Gray Miller on Jan. 25, 2013. At that time, Ross faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The others charged in relation to this case are set to begin trial on Dec. 3, 2012. They are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the FBI, IRS-CI, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – Office of Inspector General and Houston Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney John Lewis is prosecuting the case.”

A previous post concerning this case may be found here.

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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

————————————————————–

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 claim Houston doctor was go-to man for fraud

May 23, 2012

The Houston Chronicle on May 22, 2012 released the following:

“By Terri Langford

A Houston physician accused of Medicare fraud prescribed costly home health care to hundreds of patients who didn’t need it – the majority of whom he never examined – resulting in more than $5.2 million in phony Medicare claims, according to federal data presented to jurors Tuesday.

In an unflattering snapshot of the home health care industry, the case brought by the government against Dr. Ben Echols aims to show he easily was able to sign off on home health care prescriptions for 352 patients and that the nation’s Medicare system, a $700 billion-plus behemoth, relies on an honor system where doctors and home health care agencies police their own claims.

Echols’ attorney, Connie Williams, insists his client has done nothing against the law or Medicare rules.

“He’s a good doctor. I think a lot of people in the community love him,” Williams said of his client. “However, he’s not the best manager in world.”

Echols’ signature was found on the patients’ plans of care forms, also known as a “485” form, paperwork needed by home health care companies before they can submit a claim for their services to Medicare.

The forms never make it to Medicare claims officials.

The home health care agencies and doctors keep them in their files in case a claim is questioned.

All of the requests for home health care for the 352 patients in question came from two home health care companies: Family Healthcare Services and Houston Compassionate Care.

Owners pleaded guilty

The owners of Family Healthcare, Clifford Ubani and Princewill Njoku, have already pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to pay kickbacks and 16 counts of payment of kickbacks to Medicare beneficiary recruiters.

A record kept by Family Healthcare and recovered from a storage facility by federal investigators showed how the company went to Echols after patients’ own physicians rejected Family Healthcare’s request to provide services. The company dubbed the record, a “Re-Bill Doctor Log.”

However, most of the patients – 204 – were referred by Echols for home health care services from Compassionate Care, the same company that paid him $103,400 to serve as “medical director,” a position that requires him to make sure the company is following proper health care protocol.

Nurse indicted

The signature on the payments to Echols was that of Valnita Turner, a registered nurse with Compassionate Care.

Turner was indicted this month in the nation’s largest Medicare fraud sweep and is accused of conspiracy to disclose health information, conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud.

The second day of testimony in Echols’ trial, in U.S. District Judge Sim Lake’s court room, focused on how the two companies outmaneuvered Medicare through unsophisticated paperwork sleights-of-hand.

In one example, Family Healthcare Services tried to get a patient in Crockett, 120 miles from Houston, approved by his hometown physician for home health care.

The doctor’s office in Crockett faxed their denial back to Family Healthcare Services.

“He wasn’t home-bound,” testified nurse practitioner Toni McDonald, who worked for the doctor in Crockett. “He was driving.”

Not long after the denial, that same patient’s request for home health care was approved by Echols.

But Family Healthcare submitted paperwork to Medicare, under the Crockett physician’s Medicare number, not Echols’, according to testimony from U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General agent Korby Harshaw.

Rules tightened

A year ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) tightened home health care rules because too many doctors were approving patients for home health care without seeing the patient.

Of the 352 patients approved for home health care services by Echols, 200 did not have an office visit with him beforehand.

And at least one patient he approved for care got it for 2½ years before he was seen by the physician.

As Echols left the courthouse Tuesday he declined comment, then added, “Except to say I am not the monster you think I am.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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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.