Pedro Rosales of Houston Indicted by a Houston Federal Grand Jury for Possessing and Distributing Child Pornography

August 6, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on August 5, 2011 released the following:

“32-Year Old Houston Man Indicted for Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography Ordered Held Without Bond

HOUSTON – A 32-year-old Houston resident has been ordered to remain in federal custody without bond pending trial on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Following a detention hearing this morning, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen W. Smith ordered Pedro Rosales, 32, to remain in federal custody pending trial. Indicted on July 26, 2011, by a Houston grand jury, Rosales was transferred on Aug. 2, 2011, from state custody where he has been held since a January 2011 arrest of similar state charges.

The federal charges against Rosales are the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Secret Service (USSS) and members of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (Houston Metro ICAC). During today’s hearing, the court heard testimony regarding that investigation. According to that testimony, Rosales was making child pornography available to others through the use of Peer to Peer software over the Internet. A special agent downloaded an image of child pornography from the extensive list Rosales had allegedly made available on line to those using similar Peer to Peer software by Rosales. The images, which included children under the age of 12 being sexually violated by adults, or positioned in poses which exposed their genitalia in a lewd/lascivious manner or being subjected to bondage, were available from a “shared” folder on his computer.

As part of the investigation, agents obtained records identifying the computer, its location and the subscriber information identifying Rosales. In early January 2011, investigating agents executed a warrant at Rosales’ Houston area home and seized a computer which upon forensic examination was found to contain more than 600 digital images and approximately 36 videos of child pornography. The court also heard testimony that Rosales allegedly attempted to persuade a juvenile family member to claim responsibility for the child pornography believing that if the juvenile claimed the images/videos, the family member would not be prosecuted because of age.

If convicted of distributing child pornography, Rosales faces a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years imprisonment without parole to be followed by a term of supervised release for any term of years up to life during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children. Statutorily, the penalty for a possession of child pornography conviction carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. Additionally, if convicted, Rosales will be required to register as a sex offender. Trial is presently set before United States District Court Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore on Oct. 11, 2011.

This case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Assistant United States Attorney Sherri L. Zack is prosecuting the case.”

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 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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Kelvin Washington of Houston Arrested Due to a Houston Federal Grand Jury Indicting him on Conspiracy, Health Care Fraud, and Taking Kickbacks

August 5, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on August 4, 2011 released the following:

“Nursing Home Administrator Arrested for Health Care Fraud and Taking Kickbacks

HOUSTON – An employee of a Houston area nursing home has been arrested as a result of the return of a sealed indictment by a Houston grand jury chaging him with conspiracy, health care fraud and violations of the anti-kickback statute arising from a scheme to unlawfully bill federal health care programs for ambulance transport, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno along with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced today.

Kelvin Washington, 47, of Houston, was arrested at his Houston home this morning by investigating agents with the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations (DHHS-OIG-OI) and the Texas Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The indictment was unsealed upon Washington’s arrest. He is expected to make an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Houston today at 2 p.m., at which time the issue of his release on bond is expected to be raised.

Washington, employed as an administrator at a Sugar Land area nursing home, is accused in the 10-count indictment of having received payments for the referral of dialysis patients to a Houston ambulance transport service between 2003 and 2007. Additionally, Washington is accused of conspiring with others to have unsuspecting doctors sign transport prescriptions for dialysis patients allegedly admitted to the Sugar Land nursing home where Washington works. The indictment alleges, among other matters, that the patients for whom Washington sought the prescriptions were never admitted to the nursing home.

According to the indictment, Medicare and Medicaid were billed almost a $1 million in false claims as a result of Washington’s alleged conduct. For his part in the scheme, Washington allegedly received approximately $20,000.

The statutory maximum penalties for a violation of the health care fraud statute is imprisonment for not more than 10 years. The maximum sentence for a violation of the conspiracy statute or the anti-kickback statute is a maximum of five years. Each of the 10 counts charged also carry a maximum fine of $250,000 as punishment upon conviction.

The charges are the result of the investigative efforts of DHHS-OIG-OI, the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Unit in Houston, the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office. Special Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne Bradley is prosecuting the case.

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.”

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 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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Jeremy Gene Dobbins and Bobby Dean Roberts Indicted by a Houston Federal Grand Jury for Allegedly Defrauding Their Employer MI-SWACO, a Division of Schlumberger

July 20, 2011

The U.S. Attorneys Office Southern District of Texas on July 19, 2011 released the following:

“HOUSTON – Jeremy Gene Dobbins, 35, and Bobby Dean Roberts, 51, have been indicted for defrauding their employer MI-SWACO, a division of Schlumberger, of more the $3 million, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

The 10-count indictment was returned by a Houston grand jury on Thursday, July 14, 2011. Dobbins was taken into federal custody following his surrender to United States Postal inspectors yesterday while Roberts surrendered today. After appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy today, both have been ordered released on bond pending trial.

The indictment accuses the two men of conspiring to commit wire fraud between February 2008 and June 2010, committing wire fraud and money laundering. According to allegations in the indictment, Dobbins worked for MI-SWACO as a facilities manager and Roberts worked for MI-SWACO as a supervisor of building operations. The two men allegedly formed four vendor entities to do business with MI-SWACO and caused these entities to submit false and fraudulent invoices, which they then approved for payment. All told, the indictment alleges that the defendants caused MI-SWACO to pay out more than $3.5 million in fraudulent proceeds.

Conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 upon conviction. The remaining counts each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $500,000 upon conviction.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by inspectors with the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney F. Andino Reynal is prosecuting the case.

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.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The 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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Seven Charged in Interstate Theft and Fencing Ring of Over-the-Counter Drugs

July 20, 2011

The U.S. Attorneys Office Southern District of Texas on July 19, 2011 released the following:

“HOUSTON – A sealed indictment charging several Houston area residents for their alleged involvement in an interstate over-the-counter (OTC) drug theft and fencing ring as well as structuring and money laundering was unsealed today following the arrest of the seven charged, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today along with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) acting Special Agent in ChargeJohn Connolly.

The 29-count indictment, returned on July 13, 2011, charges seven defendants with conspiracy to transport stolen merchandise in interstate commerce, structuring monetary transactions to evade reporting requirements, money laundering and substantive counts of transporting stolen goods and structuring as well as seeks to forfeit the interest of the defendants in the illicitly obtained proceeds. Those charged include the alleged “fence,” Mohammad Zainaldin, the owner of Quick Gas and Lube on Westheimer Road in Houston, his girlfriend, Innessa Stafeyeva, who allegedly worked at the warehouse where the stolen OTC merchandise was stored along with two allegedly high level and three additional “boosters” – persons who steal the goods ultimately delivered to the fence for re-sale. Zainladin, 33, was born in the Palestinian territory and his girlfriend, Stafeyeva, 23, is a citizen of Kazakhstan. Carlos Reyes Roque 40, and Marcos Ascencio Perdomo, 35, both alleged high level “boosters,” and Irma Hernandez, 34, Ana Ramos, 30, and Claudia Flores, 35, are all citizens of Honduras.

The indictment was unsealed today following the arrest of Zainladin, Stafeyeva, Ramos and Flores. Zainladin and Flores were arrested at their respective residences, while Stafeyeva and Ramos were taken into custody at Zainladin’s warehouse on Westpark Drive and HSI offices in Houston, respectively. These four are expected to make their initial appearance tomorrow before a U.S. Magistrate Judge at which time the government expects to request the defendants remain in federal custody without bond pending trial. Reyes-Roque and Perdomo are presently in federal custody on unrelated criminal charges and are expected to appear in federal court for initial appearances on these charges in the near future. Hernandez is today being transferred from Department of Homeland Security administrative custody into federal custody to face these charges and may make her initial appearance in federal court as early as tomorrow.

The indictment accuses all seven defendants of conspiring together to steal OTC medicine from retail pharmacies and other stores both in Texas and in other states. The indictment alleges that thieves referred to as “boosters,” allegedly used aluminum foil lined bags to steal the OTC from pharmacies and retail stores. The “boosters” would ship the OTC to Zainladin during out of state trips via FedEx or UPS to avoid detection by law enforcement during routine traffic stops. According to allegations in the indictment, Zainladin was the “fence” for the stolen merchandise and the leader of the organization. Once Zainladin received the stolen OTC he would pay the boosters cash payments at his gas station. Zainladin would use bank accounts to mask his illegal activity and would withdraw $10,000 and below, allegedly avoiding bank reporting requirements, to pay his boosters.

Conspiracy to transport stolen merchandise in interstate commerce and to structure carries a maximum punishment of five years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine upon conviction. Conspiracy to launder proceeds of greater than $10,000 from the alleged interstate transportation of stolen property carries a maximum punishment of 10 years and/or a $250,000 fine upon conviction. Structuring financial transactions to avoid currency reporting requirements carries a maximum penalty of 10 years and/or a $250,000 fine upon conviction. Each count of transporting stolen goods and structuring carries a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine upon conviction.

The charges are the result of an 12-month investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations and the Houston Police Department – Major Offenders Unit with the substantial assistance and cooperation of CVS and Walgreens loss prevention divisions.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The 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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Dr. Demetri Wendell Marshall, a Mississippi Doctor, Indicted by a Houston Federal Grand Jury for Failing to Pay Child Support

July 15, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on July 15, 2011 released the following:

“HOUSTON – Dr. Demetri Wendell Marshall, 59, of Port Gibson, Miss., has been indicted by a Houston grand jury for failure to pay child support and related medical expenses for his Texas resident child, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

A Houston grand jury returned a one-count indictment on May 19, 2011, charging Marshall, a family practice physician licensed in Mississippi, of failing to pay more than $10,000 in child support and medical expenses ordered by a Harris County family district court beginning in 1997 to the present. With the return of the indictment, a warrant has issued for the arrest of Marshall. Anyone having information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (DHHS, OIG), using its fugitive hotline number at 1-888-476-4453, which is toll free.

A conviction for the offense charged carries a maximum punishment of two years in prison, $250,000 fine and up to one year of supervised release. Additionally, restitution in the form of child support will be mandatory.

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by DHHS, OIG, Office of Investigations and the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Texas with assistance from the United States Attorney’s Office in Mississippi.

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”

Attached is Demetri Wendell Marhsall – Federal Indictment.

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The 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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Houston Man Indicted for Fraud Related to Compensation Programs for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

July 13, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on July 11, 2011 released the following:

“HOUSTON – Eric Michael Thornton, 26, of Houston, has been indicted on charges of wire fraud and mail fraud in relation to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

The indictment, returned July 6, 2011, alleges that between June 2010 and January 2011, Thornton defrauded BP and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), claiming he had lost wages as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident. BP established the GCCF in June 2010 to administer, mediate and settle certain claims of individuals and businesses for costs, damages and other losses suffered as a result of the oil discharges from the Deepwater Horizon incident that were originally handled by BP itself.

Thornton had previously lived in New Orleans, La., but was allegedly not living there at the time of the Deepwater Horizon incident, according to the indictment. The indictment alleges that Thornton fraudulently claimed and submitted false documentation that he had been employed as a seafood processor in New Orleans and had lost wages as result of the incident. He submitted several claims, according to the indictment, including a “final claim form” that he later requested to be modified from $50,000 to $500,000. Thornton allegedly received payments totaling $22,400 as a result of his fraudulent claims.

Thornton was arrested by U.S. Secret Service agents today and is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Wm. Smith in federal court in Houston tomorrow.

Each count of wire fraud and mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine up to $250,000, upon conviction.

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John Braddock.

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

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The 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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Two Indicted for Defrauding International Union of Operating Engineers and Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee

July 13, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on July 11, 2011 released the following:

“HOUSTON – A Houston grand jury has indicted Ronald and Anita Witt for conspiracy and embezzlement of funds from Local 450 of the International Union of Operating Engineers and Local 450’s apprenticeship school, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today along with Roger Hilburn, regional director, Employee Benefits Security Administration, and Daniel B. Cherry, district director, Office of Labor Management Standards.

Local 450 represents more than 1000 members employed in the crane rigging and hoisting industry in Southern and Eastern Texas. Ronald Witt, 64, was Local 450’s business manager. Ronald Witt’s wife, Anita, 56, was Local 450’s treasurer and the coordinator of Local 450’s training facility – the Joint Apprenticeship Training Council (JATC).

The indictment alleges that between May 2007 and April 2009, Ronald and Anita Witt used Local 450 and JATC funds for unauthorized charges, including luxury trips for themselves and their friends, recreational travel trailers, purchases at hardware stores, personal meal expenses, rebuilding their Galveston home and depositing unearned union checks into their bank accounts. Each defendant is also charged with one count of conspiracy, nine counts of embezzlement from a union and five counts of embezzlement from an employee welfare benefit plan.

“These investigations are an example of our efforts to safeguard union democracy and ensure union financial integrity so that workers can have a more effective voice in the governance of their unions and a collective voice in the workplace,” said Cherry. “We hope this will encourage union members and others with knowledge of illegal practices to come forward and expose corrupt leadership to help us meet our goals.”

The 15-count indictment was returned under seal by a Houston grand jury on June 29, 2011, and unsealed July 8, 2011, following the arrest of Ronald and Anita Witt by deputies with the United States Marshals Service. They made an initial appearance on Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Froeschner and were ordered released upon posting $50,000 bond each. They are next scheduled to appear in federal court in Galveston on Wednesday, July 13, 2011, before Judge Froeschner for arraignment.

Each count in the indictment carries a possible sentence of up to five years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, three years supervised release and full restitution.

The year-long investigation leading to these charges was prompted by a referral from the International Union of Operating Engineers, which took over Local 450 in April 2009. The investigation was conducted by Office of Labor Management Standards and the Employee Benefits Security Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney F. Andino Reynal is prosecuting the case.

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

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The 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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Claymon Trammell, Jeannettea Williams, and Michelle Trammell Plead Guilty in Houston Federal Court to Mortgage Fraud Scam

July 7, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on July 6, 2011 released the following:

“Mother, Daughter, Father Plead Guilty to Mortgage Fraud Scam

HOUSTON – Claymon “Butch” Trammell along with his wife, Jeannettea Williams, and daughter, Michelle Trammell, have all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for their roles in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. The three residents of Houston entered their pleas yesterday in federal court before United States District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore.

From 2003 until the end of 2006, Claymon Trammell, 61, conspired with his wife, 56, and daughter, 39, to defraud mortgage lenders. Claymon Trammell and Williams recruited and paid individuals to act as straw borrowers on applications for residential mortgage loans, even though the borrowers had no intention of making payments on the mortgage loans or, in the case of homes supposedly purchased as “primary residences,” of residing in the homes. Some borrowers were used multiple times, including one borrower whose name and credit was used to “purchase” approximately 17 homes. Claymon Trammell pitched the scheme as an investment where the straw borrowers would not need any money down, would not be responsible for the monthly payments and would get money for the use of their name and credit.

At times during the scheme, Michelle Trammell and Williams were licensed mortgage loan officers. Michelle Trammell acted as a loan officer in the transactions and filled out loan applications in the names of borrowers and knowingly provided lenders with false information and documents about the borrower’s employment, income, assets and intent to occupy the purchased property. Michelle Trammell and Williams provided lenders with various documents she knew to be false, including false verifications of deposit, false verifications of rent and false earnest money contracts. There were more than 70 homes involved in the scheme, all of which went into payment default and most into foreclosure. The three defendants caused lenders to fund loans to purchase more than 70 homes in the Houston area and personally benefitted by funneling some of the loan proceeds to themselves via businesses they controlled and/or owned via bogus repair invoices and realtor and loan officer commissions.

For their conviction of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 371, the defendants face a maximum of five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine as well as up to a three-year-term of supervised release at their sentencing, scheduled for Dec. 5, 2011. As part of their plea agreements, the defendants also agreed to pay restitution if ordered to do so by the court.

The investigation leading to the charges was the result of an investigation conducted by agents of the FBI. Assistant United States Attorneys Belinda Beek, Jimmy Sledge and Kebharu Smith prosecuted the case with assistance from paralegal specialist Brenda Williams.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The 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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Jason Michael Lall, John Pierre Griffin, John DaSilva Paz, and Albert Richard Indicted by a Houston Federal Grand Jury for an Alleged Identity Theft Scheme

July 6, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on July 6, 2011 released the following:

“Four Indicted for Identity Theft Scheme

HOUSTON – Four area men have been indicted for taking part in an identity theft ring at various banks in the Houston area, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Jason Michael Lall, 38, John Pierre Griffin, 32, John DaSilva Paz, 27, all residents of Houston, and Albert Richard, 51, of Missouri City, Texas, are all charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and two counts of access device fraud. Hall and Richard are also charged with two counts of aggravated identity theft, while Griffin and Paz are charged with one and three counts of aggravated identity theft, respectively.

All four men were arrested by criminal complaint on June 3, 2011, and appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge on June 10, 2011. Paz and Richard are currently out on bond, while Lall and Griffin are currently being held in custody without bond. All four men appeared in court today for formal arraignment proceedings, at which time all entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. The case is currently set for trial on Aug. 29, 2011, before U.S. District Court Judge Melinda Harmon.

According to the allegations in the indictment returned at the end of June, beginning in August 2009, the defendants took part in a scheme in which overlay devices were manufactured to be placed on ATM machines in order to capture the identifying information of bank customers. The defendants rented vehicles and spray-painted and otherwise obstructed bank surveillance equipment in order to make themselves more difficult to identify. The information captured from the various ATM machines was then re-encoded onto fraudulent cards that were used to withdraw money in excess of $400,000 from various area bank locations.

The maximum penalty, upon conviction, for conspiracy to commit bank fraud is up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million, while a conviction for each count of access device fraud is up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. Each count of aggravated identity theft carries a maximum penalty, upon conviction, of two years in prison to run consecutively with any other sentence and a fine of up to $250,000.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Leuchtmann will be prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.

A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The 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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Synaca Thomas and Brittany Jordan a Married Couple Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for Allegedly Counterfeiting $100 Bills

June 30, 2011

U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Texas on June 29, 2011 released the following press release:

“HOUSTON – A Houston grand jury has indicted a husband and wife team for conspiracy, counterfeiting $100 bills and passing the counterfeit currency at Houston area businesses, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno and United States Secret Service Special Agent-in-Charge Cynthia L. Marble announced today.

Synaca Thomas, 34, and his 25-year-old wife, Brittany Jordan, of Cypress, Texas, have been charged by indictment by a Houston grand jury with three counts relating to a counterfeiting scheme they allegedly executed in the Houston area between January 2009 and January 2011. Thomas and Jordan are each charged with conspiracy to counterfeit United States currency, making counterfeit currency and passing counterfeit currency. Thomas is also charged with two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

The five-count indictment was returned under seal by a Houston grand jury on June 23, 2011, and unsealed today following the arrest of Thomas and Jordan by special agents of the United States Secret Service. Each defendant has appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. A detention hearing is set for tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.

The five-count indictment accuses the pair of conspiring to counterfeit United States currency. According to the allegations in the indictment, beginning in January 2009 through January 2011, Thomas and Jordan obtained genuine $5 bills that they reprinted as counterfeit $100 bills. During the course of the conspiracy, these defendants with the assistance of unnamed co-conspirators are alleged to have made and passed approximately $500,000 in counterfeit currency to Houston area retailers including grocery and computer stores and tanning salons.

A conviction for conspiring to counterfeit U.S. currency carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment while each of the two counts of counterfeiting currency charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. Fines of up to $250,000 can also be imposed as punishment in each count.

The two-year investigation leading to the charges against this couple was conducted by the Houston Field Office of the United States Secret Service with the cooperation and assistance of the Houston and Hedwig Village Police Departments, sheriff’s offices in Harris, Fort Bend and Austin Counties and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney John D. Jocher is prosecuting the case.

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.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The 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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