Four Employees at Aberdeen Proving Ground Indicted for Alleged Theft of Government Property

June 8, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 8, 2012 released the following:

“BALTIMORE— A federal grand jury has returned two indictments charging four civilians employed at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) with theft of government property, specifically, aluminum and copper to which the defendants had access as part of their jobs. The indictments were returned on June 7, 2012. One of the defendants, Timothy Bittner, was arrested at work today.

Timothy J. Bittner, age 52, of Bel Air, Maryland; Robert W. Reynolds, age 29 of Felton, Pennsylvania; and Steven M. Coale, age 33, of North East, Maryland, are charged in the first indictment with conspiracy to steal and theft of government property, specifically, over $87,000 worth of copper wire.

Ronald Phillips Baker, Sr., age 62, of Havre de Grace, Maryland, is charged in the second indictment with theft of government property, specifically, over 2,700 pounds of aluminum worth over $110,000 on one occasion, and a total of more than 27,000 pounds.

The indictments were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service-Mid-Atlantic Field Office; the Directorate of Emergency Services, U.S. Army Garrison, Aberdeen Proving Ground; and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“The indictments should send a strong message that this type of egregious behavior—allegations of theft while supposedly working on the government clock, to include even stripping active copper wire from an APG building—will not be tolerated,” said Robert Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the DCIS, Mid-Atlantic Field Office.

According to their indictment, Bittner, Reynolds, and Coale were employed as electricians at APG’s Directorate of Public Works. From March through November 2011, the defendants allegedly used their access to the buildings in the Edgewood area of APG and their expertise as electricians to steal copper fixtures and copper wire from government buildings. During work, the defendants allegedly pulled the wire, including wire in current use, and took the copper and copper wire in their government vehhicles to the APG parking lot, where they transferred the stolen items to their personal cars. The defendants rented space at a storage facility to store the copper and copper wire and bought a stripping machine, which they used to remove the insulation from the copper wire to increase the price. The defendants are alleged to have sold the copper to metal recyclers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware as scrap and divided the proceeds, which totaled approximately $87,000.

According to Baker’s two count indictment, Baker operated a patrol boat on the Chesapeake Bay to keep boats away from waters near APG, which were affected by weapons testing. Baker had a security clearance to access the APG boat docks. On April 23, 2012, Baker used his security clearance to access a secure area where he allegedly stole fabricated aluminum outriggers that weighed more than 2,740 pounds and were worth more than $110,000. The indictment further alleges that from September 2010 through April 2012, Baker stole over 27,000 pounds of aluminum.

All four defendants face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for theft of government property. Bittner, Reynolds, and Coale also face a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy to steal government property. An initial appearance has been scheduled today for Bittner at 2:00 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Initial appearances for the remaining defendants are expected to be scheduled next week.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the DCIS, APG’s Directorate of Emergency Services, and FBI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Joyce K. McDonald; Special Assistant United States Attorney David I. Sharfstein, of the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division; and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Marlaire, who are prosecuting the cases.”

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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.


Feds: Trafficking ring busted smuggling kids over U.S.-Canadian border

June 8, 2012

SeattlePI.com on June 7, 2012 released the following:

“16 indicted; SeaTac motel owner faces prison is scheme
By LEVI PULKKINEN, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF

Federal investigators have cracked a human trafficking ring thought to have smuggled dozens of illegal immigrants – including children traveling alone – over the Canadian border.

Having indicted 16 suspects in recent months, federal prosecutors in Seattle contend the loosely knit group brought more than 70 people into the United States from India, Pakistan and South Korea. Once inside the country, they were driven or flown to at least six states, including Illinois, Texas, New York and Massachusetts.

The operation – broken up by an informant and ultimately infiltrated by an undercover federal agent – was apparently lucrative for its leaders. A SeaTac hotel owner who moved and housed the smuggling ring’s customers was paid $1,000 a head just for a ride south from the U.S. side of the border.

Since the string of indictments, 11 of the 12 defendants have pleaded guilty to related charges. The other four are not yet in federal custody, according to court records.”

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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

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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.


David Foley Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Mail and Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud

January 9, 2012

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

“Former Chief Technology Officer of San Jose Video Arcade Gaming Software Company Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Mail and Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud

Manufactured and Sold Counterfeit Global VR Game Packs, Submitted False Information in Mortgage Applications To Secure More Than $3 Million in Loans From Countrywide Home Loans

SAN JOSE, CA—The former chief technology officer of Santa Clara, Calif., video game developer Global VR, and the former owner of NexTune Corporation, d/b/a UltraCade Technologies, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag announced. The charges were contained in separate indictments but consolidated for the guilty pleas.

David Foley, 46, of Los Gatos, Calif., admitted that, as charged in the first indictment, he manufactured thumb drives, known as “game packs,” containing video gaming software that could be loaded onto arcade video game machines made for the home market. Foley illegally produced the products from his home while working as the chief technology officer of Global VR, which had previously acquired all rights to produce and sell games under the UltraCade name. After producing the game packs, Foley sold the products to a co-defendant located in Milford, Conn., and agreed to sell the game packs to the public using packaging and advertisements that falsely represented the goods to have been genuinely manufactured by UltraCade. Foley thereafter received payment for the illegally manufactured game packs by mail and wire.

Foley further admitted that, as charged in the second indictment, he defrauded Countrywide Home Loans (now owned and operated by Bank of America) of mortgage and home equity line of credit loans in the amounts of $2,624,475 and $374,925. He did this by falsely claiming that he was still employed at Global VR. Foley had been fired from his job by the time the loan applications were submitted. Foley admitted that he instructed a co-defendant to contact Countrywide Home Loans to falsely confirm his continued employment, after his employment had been terminated and prior to receiving the funds.

United States District Court Judge Edward J. Davila allowed Foley’s continued release on a $100,000 bond and ordered him to return to court on April 30, 2011, at 9 a.m. for sentencing.

The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to commit mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349 is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, a mandatory special assessment and restitution. The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to commit bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1349 is 30 years in prison, a mandatory special assessment, and a fine of $1 million and restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard C. Cheng of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) Unit is prosecuting the case with the assistance of legal assistant Tracey Andersen. The prosecution is the result of a lengthy investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Further Information:

Case #s: CR-09 00670-EJD and CR-11 00554-EJD”

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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 Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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


Six Defendants Charged in Los Angeles as Part of Nationwide Medicare Fraud Strike Force Takedown

September 8, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on September 7, 2011 released the following:

“LOS ANGELES—As part of a nationwide effort to target fraud against the Medicare program, two doctors and four others have been charged here for allegedly participating in schemes to defraud the Medicare program of nearly $11 million.

The charges brought by prosecutors in Los Angeles—four indictments naming six defendants—are part of coordinated action that resulted today in 70 defendants being charged by Medicare Fraud Strike Force prosecutors across the nation. In cases filed in six cities that were announced today by top officials with the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, prosecutors have alleged a variety of Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $263.6 million in false billings. Justice Department prosecutors also have recently charged an additional 21 defendants who are accused of participating in fraud schemes that sought more than $31 million. This coordinated action targeting a total of 91 defendants involves the highest amount of false Medicare billings in a single takedown in Strike Force history.

“The defendants charged in this takedown are accused of stealing precious taxpayer resources and defrauding Medicare—jeopardizing the integrity of our health care system and our nation’s most critical health care program for personal gain,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Our highly coordinated, nationwide Strike Force operations are working aggressively to combat Medicare fraud, and our anti-health care fraud efforts have never been more innovative, collaborative, aggressive—or effective. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and partners across government to fight against health care fraud.”

“The criminal prosecutions announced today are the result of a collaborative effort that demonstrate our resolve to target those intent on taking resources away from the sick and infirm among us,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “There is too much money being stripped from public health care programs. The impact to the Medicare system—as well as the impact to those with legitimate needs—demands action by law enforcement.”

In the first case unsealed today in Los Angeles, George Hakopian and Yervand Khachatryan are accused in a Medicare fraud scheme involving durable medical equipment (DME). Hakopian and Khachatryan were the owners of Midvalley Medical Supply, a DME supply company in Van Nuys. The indictment alleges that Midvalley, over a one-year period, submitted more than $4.8 million in claims for power wheelchairs and orthotics that either were not medically necessary or were never provided to Medicare beneficiaries. The fraud allegedly included claims for beneficiaries who were deceased at the time of purported services and parents of Midvalley employees. Hakopian and Khachatryan are also charged with laundering approximately $1 million that was the proceeds of their fraud. Hakopian, 54, of Tujunga, was arrested this morning by federal authorities and is scheduled to make his initial court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles. Khachatryan, a 54, who at the time of the alleged scheme resided in Glendale, is a fugitive currently being sought by federal authorities.

Dr. Byung Ho Pak and Mary Lim are charged in an indictment for their roles in a Medicare fraud scheme involving fraudulent billing for physical therapy. But instead of providing physical therapy, the indictment alleges that patients received non-covered services such as acupuncture, acupressure and moxibustion (the burning of mugwort on the skin in an effort to improve circulation). The indictment alleges that Pak and Lim, who managed Pak’s Seoul East West Medical Center in Garden Grove, submitted approximately $2 million in claims to Medicare for services that were not provided. Medicare paid more than $1.4 million, according to the indictment. Pak, 71, of Orange, and Lim, 48, of Desert Hot Springs, were both arrested this morning. Pak is expected to make his initial court appearance tomorrow in United States District Court in Santa Ana. Lim is expected to make her initial appearance later this afternoon in federal court in Riverside.

In another case filed in Los Angeles, Dr. Owusu Firempong is charged with submitting approximately $1.3 million in claims to Medicare for diagnostic tests that either were not performed or were medically unnecessary, such as nerve conduction tests and sleep studies. Firempong allegedly submitted the fraudulent claims and was paid more than $780,000 by Medicare after he was evicted from his Los Angeles and Fountain Valley Medical Clinics. Firempong, 60, who resides in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles, was arrested this morning and is expected to make his first court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court.

In the fourth case filed in Los Angeles, Zina Tamamian, 49, of North Hollywood, is charged with submitting approximately $2.9 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare for DME—most of which was never provided to patients. A seven-count indictment alleges that Medicare suffered approximately $2.1 million in losses when it paid fraudulent claims for orthotic devices that were submitted through Tamamian’s company, Gana Medical Supply in Sherman Oaks. Tamamian is currently a fugitive.

“The FBI and its Strike Force partners are focused on identifying those who profit from Medicare fraud,” said Steven Martinez, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles. “Criminals are responsible for billing and fraudulently receiving millions of taxpayer dollars every year for services never performed and products never delivered. We are committed to eradicating these schemes that cost so much and compromise the care that legitimate Medicare beneficiaries are entitled to receive.”

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The Los Angeles cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; IRS – Criminal Investigation; and the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse.

The joint Department of Justice-HHS Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a multi-agency team of federal, state and local investigators designed to combat Medicare fraud through the use of Medicare data analysis techniques and an increased focus on community policing. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations are part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative announced in May 2009 between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country.

Since their inception in March 2007, Strike Force operations in Los Angeles and eight other locations have charged more than 1,140 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $2.9 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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

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Thirteen Facing Federal Criminal Charges by Criminal Complaint and Indictments for Trafficking Heroin in Albuquerque

July 22, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of New Mexico on July 21, 2011 released the following:

“THIRTEEN FACING FEDERAL CHARGES FOR TRAFFICKING HEROIN IN NORTHEAST HEIGHTS OF ALBUQUERQUE

ALBUQUERQUE – United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that thirteen defendants have been charged with federal heroin trafficking offenses based on an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the New Mexico State Police (NMSP), the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) that targeted heroin traffickers operating in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights.

The defendants, who are charged in individual criminal complaints and indictments, were arrested following an investigation led by the DEA and pursued under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, a Department of Justice nationwide initiative that combines the resources and unique expertise of federal agencies, along with their local counterparts, in a coordinated attack against major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The investigation was initiated in March 2011 in response to reports that young adults in Albuquerque, including students enrolled in high schools in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights, are becoming addicted to expensive prescription painkillers like “OxyContin,” and then transitioning to heroin, a drug that provides a similar high for less money, sometimes with tragic consequences. In 2010 and earlier this year, Haley Paternoster, Michael Duran, Jr., and other Albuquerque teens reportedly died from overdoses after they transitioned from OxyContin to heroin, and statistics from the New Mexico Department of Health reflect that heroin overdose deaths among New Mexicans between 17 and 24 have increased steadily over the past few years. The investigation specifically targeted local heroin dealers who allegedly supplied heroin to young adults, teenagers and other high school aged children in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights neighborhoods.

The following Albuquerque residents are charged in individual indictments: Michael Nafe, 21, Nathaniel Paul, 26, Jose Torres, 25, and David Witt, 25. Rebecca Corral, 27, Isaac Ortiz, 21, Jordan Padilla, 23, and Raelynn Sanchez, 26, all residents of Albuquerque, individually are charged in criminal complaints. Anthony Martinez, 20, and Fernando Trujillo, 19, both residents of Espanola, also are charged in criminal complaints. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20- years of imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine.

Corral, Ortiz, Padilla, Sanchez, and Witt were arrested on July 21, 2011, and made their initial appearances in Albuquerque federal court this morning. Martinez and Trujillo were arrested this morning and are scheduled to make their initial appearances on July 22, 2011. Nafe and Torres currently are detained in the Metropolitan Detention Center awaiting transfer to federal custody. Torres’s initial appearance is scheduled for July 28, 2011 while Nafe’s initial appearance has yet to be scheduled. Paul has yet to be apprehended and is considered a fugitive.

Three other defendants previously were arrested as part of this investigation. Mexican national Pedro Enrique Torres-Mier, 29, was arrested on March 9, 2011 on heroin trafficking charges in a criminal complaint, and was indicted on March 22, 2011. Torres-Mier, who has been in federal custody since his arrest, entered a guilty plea to count one of a three-count indictment earlier today. On May 19, 2011, Adam Anthony Vallejos, 20, and Eddie Travis Centeno, 21, both Albuquerque residents, were arrested on an indictment charging them with, heroin trafficking offenses. Centeno is detained pending trial while Vallejos was released under pretrial supervision. If convicted, each of these three defendants faces a maximum penalty of 20-years of imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine.

In announcing the results of this investigation, United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said, “Teenage prescription drug abuse and the concomitanttransition to heroin is a scourge that is sneaking into far too many of our families. This scourge does not discriminate, but instead is impacting all families, including those with no history of prior abuse.

Investigation and prosecution of those who prey on our children is not enough to defeat this scourge. All of us need to get the word out on the perils of prescription drug abuse, especially those confronting our children. To prevent teenage drug abuse, we need to get the word out not only to our children, but also to their parents, teachers and coaches and we need to learn to recognize the warning signs of drug addiction. And we need to do this before yet another child dies as a result of an overdose.”

“In this investigation, DEA targeted drug dealers who were preying on the youth of New Mexico. The resulting indictments and arrests further our efforts to prevent heroin trafficking from taking hold in our community. Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our community, especially our young people.” said Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration-El Paso Division.

These cases were investigated by the DEA, NMSP, APD and the USMS, and are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez.

Charges in complaints and indictments are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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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