Missouri Man Sentenced for Trafficking of Counterfeit DVDs and CDs

April 16, 2010

A Kansas City man, Reginald Collier, has been sentenced to two years in federal prison without parole. In addition to imprisonment, the court has ordered Collier to pay restitution in the amount of $41,361 to the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., and the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc. Furthermore, Collier has been ordered to forfeit a laptop computer, three DVD burners, a CD recorder, and other equipment used in the commission of the offense, as well as the counterfeit DVDs and CDs.

Last August, Collier pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement. By pleading guilty, Collier admitted to the infringing of copyrights through the reproduction and distribution of copies of motion pictures and music.

FBI agents first encountered Collier at the Swap ‘N Shop,  in Kansas City, Mo. At the time he was selling counterfeit DVDs. Collier had several large folding tables with boxes and crates on them. The crates contained illegal copies of DVDs and CDs, including the recently released movie “World Trade Center.” A confidential source used in the investigation purchased a total of 170 counterfeit DVDs of movies from Collier, over the course of three separate occasions. The purchases included movies that were still playing in theaters and not had not yet been released for public purchase.

The 1,506 counterfeit DVDs recovered from Collier in the investigation represents a total loss to the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., of $30,044. The 1,574 counterfeit CDs recovered represents a total loss to the Recording Industry Association of America, Inc., of $11,317.

Collier pled guilty to 18 U.S.C. 2319, Criminal Copyright Infringement. That statute states that anyone found to have violated 17 U.S.C. 506(a) may be sentenced for no more than 5 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and/or an order of restitution, or any combination of those penalties.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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

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Missouri Man Sentenced in Bank Fraud Case

April 15, 2010

The former owner of a car dealership in Missouri, Gregg Dean Woods, has been sentenced for his participation in a $1.7 million bank fraud scheme. Woods was sentenced to two years and three months in federal prison without parole. In addition to imprisonment, Woods was ordered to pay $1,340,631 in restitution. Woods, who was the owner of Woods Auto Gallery, Inc., primarily dealing in pre-owned, luxury vehicles, pleaded guilty to the bank fraud charges in October 2009.

Woods admitted to participating in a scheme to defraud Bank Star One, a financial institution headquartered in Missouri. Woods had a $1.9 million line of credit with Bank Star One. Under the terms of their agreement, Woods was required to use the line of credit for the purchase of vehicles to be used as inventory. He would then provide Bank Star One with payment for amounts financed if and when the vehicles were sold.

There were several instances were Woods sold vehicles on consignment. Contrary to the agreement with Bank Star One, he was advanced money against his existing line of credit for those vehicles. In doing so,  Woods purposefully made false representations to Bank Star One in an effort to have funds advanced inappropriately.

In one instance, Woods received $254,500 against his line of credit for a Bentley, a Mercedes, a BMW, and a Hummer. Each of these vehicles was sold on consignment. As a result Woods did not incur any costs for the vehicles; hence there was no need for an advance. Had Woods revealed his activities, the bank would not have advanced the money. In addition, upon sale of the BMW and Hummer, Woods failed to notify Bank Star One of the transactions and failed to pay proceeds from the sales to the bank.

In sum, Woods misrepresented to the bank his inventory and the status of Woods Auto Gallery’s collateral by falsely stating the quantity of vehicles in inventory, the status of the vehicles, the outstanding liens on the vehicles, and other existing financing. Woods admitted to selling vehicles and failing to report the sales and transfer of the proceeds to Bank Star One. In addition, Woods sold consignment vehicles to new customers without paying off outstanding liens or obtaining clear titles to the vehicles. Moreover, on certain circumstances, Woods sold the vehicles and failed to pay the original owners the sales proceeds that were agreed to.

Bank fraud is criminalized under 18 U.S.C. 1344. That statute makes it a crime to knowingly execute or attempt to execute a scheme to defraud a financial institution to obtain, amongst other things, money, funds, or assets under the control of a financial institution by making false representations. Those convicted under this statute can be imprisoned for a period of not more than 30 years or fined not more than $1,000,000, or both.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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

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Missouri Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Robbery

February 16, 2010

A St. Joseph, Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court today to two bank robberies. Michael Sandgren  pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith thlast Friday to the charge contained in a federal indictment issued in September of last year.

The charges were related to two bank robberies—one in which he used a firearm. He also pleaded guilty and to one count of using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

According to the indictment, Sandgren stole $2,510 from Midwest Federal Savings Bank in St. Joseph. Sandgren admitted that he carried out the crime by placing a handwritten demand note on a teller’s counter. He then fled after receiving the money.

The indictment also charged, Sandgren with stealing $3,355 from Goppert Financial Bank. In that instance, Sandgren admitted to approaching a bank teller, placed a pistol on the bank teller’s desk, and demanding money. Once the teller placed money from her cash drawer on the desk, Sandgren took the money and fled.

Sandgren is subject to a sentence of up to 45 years in federal prison without parole for the two bank robberies, plus a mandatory consecutive sentence of seven years for using a firearm, plus a fine up to $750,000. His sentencing will be scheduled upon completion of  a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

Under 18 U.S.C. § 2113, it is a federal crime to take or attempt to take by force anything of value belonging to a protected institutions.  The statute divides the offense of bank robbery by criminalizing the acts comprising each step of the crime.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

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

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