Two Men Charged in a Federal Criminal Complaint in New York with Carjacking, Use of a Firearm and Transportation of a Stolen Vehicle

August 26, 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 25, 2014 released the following:

“BUFFALO, NY—United States Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that JONATHAN CONKLIN, 43, and CHARLES SANFORD, 30, were arrested on August 22, 2014 and charged in a federal criminal complaint with carjacking, use of a firearm and transportation of a stolen vehicle. If convicted of the charges, the defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the prosecution of this matter, the charges against CONKLIN and SANFORD pertain to their involvement in the robbery and murder of Mary Whitaker. The complaint alleges that on August 20, 2014, CONKLIN and SANFORD went to Mary Whitaker’s home in Sherman, New York with the intention of robbing her. Soon after Ms. Whitaker answered the door at her home, the defendants shot and killed her. Then they stole her vehicle and drove it to Erie, Pennsylvania, where they were arrested on August 22, 2014.

Both defendants were ordered detained pending a further hearing, scheduled for August 28, 2014.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The filing of a federal criminal complaint was the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace, the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney David W. Foley, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian P. Boetig, and the City of Erie (Pennsylvania) Police Department, under the direction of Chief Randy M. Bowers.”

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

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.


Accused Military Tech Exporter Pleads Not Guilty in N.Y.

October 22, 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek on October 22, 2012 released the following:

“By Christie Smythe

Alexander Fishenko, owner of Houston-based Arc Electronics Inc., pleaded not guilty in a Brooklyn, New York, federal court to illegally exporting microelectronics to Russian military and intelligence agencies.

Fishenko, a U.S. citizen formerly of Kazakhstan, appeared today before U.S. District Judge Sterling Johnson. He’s accused in a 25-count indictment of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Arms Export Control Act, obstructing justice and operating as an unregistered agent of the Russian government.

Arc shipped at least $50 million worth of technology goods to Russia without an export license, the government alleged. Ten other individuals, most of whom were employees of either Arc or a Moscow-based procurement firm Apex System LLC, were charged in the indictment, which was unsealed on Oct. 3.

The computer chips supplied by Arc appear similar to those used in missiles and fighter jets, the government said in court papers. One of the end users of the electronics was the Federal Security Service, successor to the KGB spy agency, according to the filings.

A lawyer for Fishenko, Richard Rosenberg, who was appointed by the court today, said in a phone interview after the hearing that he wasn’t sure whether his client will seek bail. He declined to comment further.

The case is U.S. v. Fishenko, 1:12-cr-626, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).”

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

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.


EXCLUSIVE: Infamous international hacking group LulzSec brought down by own leader

March 6, 2012

Fox News on March 6, 2012 released the following:

“By Jana Winter

EXCLUSIVE: Law enforcement agents on two continents swooped in on top members of the infamous computer hacking group LulzSec early this morning, and acting largely on evidence gathered by the organization’s brazen leader — who sources say has been secretly working for the government for months — arrested three and charged two more with conspiracy.

Charges against four of the five were based on a conspiracy case filed in New York federal court, FoxNews.com has learned. An indictment charging the suspects, who include two men from Great Britain, two from Ireland and an American in Chicago, is expected to be unsealed Tuesday morning in the Southern District of New York.

“This is devastating to the organization,” said an FBI official involved with the investigation. “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.”

The offshoot of the loose network of hackers, Anonymous, believed to have caused billions of dollars in damage to governments, international banks and corporations, was allegedly led by a shadowy figure FoxNews.com has identified as Hector Xavier Monsegur. Working under the Internet alias “Sabu,” the unemployed, 28-year-old father of two allegedly commanded a loosely organized, international team of perhaps thousands of hackers from his nerve center in a public housing project on New York’s Lower East Side. After the FBI unmasked Monsegur last June, he became a cooperating witness, sources told FoxNews.com.

“They caught him and he was secretly arrested and now works for the FBI,” a source close to Sabu told FoxNews.com.

Monsegur pleaded guilty Aug. 15 to 12 hacking-related charges and information documenting his admissions is expected to be unsealed in Southern District Court on Tuesday.

As a result of Monsegur’s cooperation, which was confirmed by numerous senior-level officials, the remaining top-ranking members of LulzSec were arrested or hit with additional charges Tuesday morning. The five charged in the LulzSec conspiracy indictment expected to be unsealed were identified by sources as: Ryan Ackroyd, aka “Kayla” and Jake Davis, aka “Topiary,” both of London; Darren Martyn, aka “pwnsauce” and Donncha O’Cearrbhail, aka “palladium,” both of Ireland; and Jeremy Hammond aka “Anarchaos,” of Chicago.

Hammond was arrested on access device fraud and hacking charges and is believed to have been the main person behind the devastating December hack on U.S. security company Stratfor. Millions of emails were stolen and then published on Wikileaks; credit card numbers and other confidential information were also stolen, law enforcement sources told FoxNews.com.

The sources said Hammond will be charged in a separate indictment, and they described him as a member of Anonymous.

The others are all suspected members of LulzSec, the group that has wreaked havoc on U.S. and foreign government agencies, including the CIA and FBI, numerous defense contractors, financial and governmental entities and corporations including Fox and Sony.

Ackroyd, who is suspected of using the online handle “Kayla,” is alleged to be Monsegur’s top deputy. Among other things, Kayla identified vulnerabilities in the U.S. Senate’s computer systems and passed the information on to Sabu. Kayla was expected to be taken into custody on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the Southern District and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined comment.
Monsegur’s attorney did not return FoxNews.com’s repeated requests for comment.”

————————————————————–

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal 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.


Laurie Schneider Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for Allegedly Operating Ponzi Schemes

February 2, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on February 1, 2012 released the following:

“Oceanside Woman Indicted for Operating Ponzi Schemes

Defendant Allegedly Defrauded Investors of More Than $4 Million

Laurie Schneider, of Oceanside, New York, has been indicted for operating Ponzi schemes that defrauded investors of more than $4 million.[1] The defendant was arraigned earlier today before United States Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson at the United States Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.

As alleged in the indictment, Schneider began accepting money in September 2006 from individuals seeking a return on their investment. In one scheme, operating a shell company incorporated as Janitorial Close-Out City Corp., Schneider falsely informed potential investors that Janitorial Close-Out invested in industrial equipment and machinery manufactured by companies in China. To induce investments, Schneider, among other things, (1) personally guaranteed specified positive rates of return as high as 60 percent, (2) represented that she had a business contact who had strong relationships with companies in China, and (3) represented that she would be able to buy the industrial equipment and machinery at wholesale prices which Janitorial Close-Out would resell in the United States at a 15 to 60 percent profit over a nine to 18-month period. In fact, the indictment charges that Schneider actually was running a Ponzi scheme, paying returns to Janitorial Close-Out investors not from any profits earned on the purchase and resale of industrial equipment and machinery, but rather from existing investors’ deposits or money paid by new investors. Schneider never produced or earned the rates of return that she promised. Rather, the positive rates of return were simply pre-determined rates made up by Schneider based upon fictitious profits.

The government estimates that Schneider defrauded over 25 investors in Janitorial Close-Out of more than $4 million, and more than $5 million through related schemes.

“In these difficult economic times, it’s all the more troubling that, as alleged in the indictment, someone would take advantage of the trust of investors for personal financial gain,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “As alleged, this defendant falsely represented herself as having international business connections that would benefit her investors, when in reality she was engaged in purely homegrown fraud and deception. This indictment serves as a warning that we will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who, by deceit and false promises, would steal from those who believed they were investing in a legitimate enterprise.” Ms. Lynch added that the government’s investigation is continuing.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Fedarcyk stated, “Ponzi schemes have been around for so long because, unfortunately, they are such an effective means of swindling people out of their hard-earned money. Investors need to be wary of ‘investment opportunities’ that ‘guarantee’ inordinately high rates of return, and should perform due diligence. But it is the perpetrators of these fraudulent schemes, not their victims, who are to blame. The FBI remains committed to protecting the investing public from them.”

If convicted, Schneider faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment on each of three counts of wire fraud count.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Richard T. Lunger and Lara Treinis Gatz.

The Defendant:

LAURIE SCHNEIDER Age: 37

[1] The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

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.


Former Credit Suisse Employee Surrenders

February 1, 2012

Bloomberg on February 1, 2012 released the following:

“By Patricia Hurtado

Former Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) employee David Higgs pleaded guilty to conspiracy related to the intentional mismarking of prices tied to securities including collateralized debt obligations. Another former bank employee, Salmaan Siddiqui, will plead guilty later today, a person familiar with the case said.

Switzerland’s second-largest bank said in February 2008 it would take writedowns on asset-backed securities after finding “mismarkings” by a group of traders. The bank said a month later it would write down $2.65 billion after an internal review found pricing errors on residential mortgage-backed bonds and CDOs were made intentionally “by a small number” of traders who were then fired or suspended. At the time, the bank hadn’t disclosed the names of the traders.

Higgs said in Manhattan federal court today that he engaged in the scheme “to remain in good favor” with his superiors.

The prosecution is one of only a handful brought over charges tied to the subprime-mortgage market. The government failed in its biggest prosecution tied to the 2008 financial collapse when ex-Bear Stearns Cos. hedge-fund managers Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin were acquitted in 2009 in Brooklyn, New York federal court of charges they misled investors who lost $1.6 billion.

Surrendered Today

Higgs, who the FBI said surrendered this morning, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to falsify books and records and commit wire fraud. The count carries a maximum five year prison term and three years supervised release.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was also involved in the probe, said another person familiar with the case, who added that fewer than five people will be charged. Both people declined to be identified because the investigation isn’t public. Credit Suisse won’t be prosecuted, one of the people said. John Nester, an SEC spokesman, declined to comment yesterday about the prosecution.

Higgs appeared before U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, who said the former trader is cooperating with the government’s probe. He will be released on $500,000 bond and live in the U.K. while he awaits sentencing. Siddiqui is scheduled to appear at 11:30 a.m. in the same courthouse before U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty.

Ex-Employees

Higgs and Siddiqui haven’t worked for Credit Suisse since their employment was terminated in 2008, said Steven Vames, a spokesman for the bank in New York. A call and e-mail to Siddiqui’s lawyer, Ira Sorkin, weren’t immediately returned.

“Following its revaluation review, Credit Suisse has determined that the pricing errors were, in part, the result of intentional misconduct by a small number of traders,” Credit Suisse said in a statement on March 20, 2008. “These employees have been terminated or have been suspended.”

In his State of the Union address to Congress last month, U.S. President Barack Obama said he would establish a financial crimes unit “to crack down on large-scale fraud and protect people’s investments.” Obama urged lawmakers to “make the penalties for fraud count.”

New Unit

He also announced the creation of a unit to increase investigations into mortgage lending and securitization. The unit will probe bank conduct that created the housing bubble and bust, including the packaging of loans into securities, said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a co-chairman of the group.

Last year, federal prosecutors said they were planning to step up probes of fraud involving CDOs and credit default swaps.

Christopher Garcia, chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, told white-collar criminal-defense lawyers at a conference last March that his office would spend 2011 investigating possible fraud involving CDOs and CDSs.

Pursue Probes

“If there’s crime there, we’re going to find it and we’re going to pursue it,” Garcia said at an American Bar Association meeting in San Diego. Investigators won’t be deterred by the complexity of the financial instruments, he said.

CDOs are pools of assets such as mortgage bonds packaged into new securities. Interest payments on the underlying bonds or loans are used to pay investors.

Credit default swaps pay the buyer face value if a borrower fails to meet its obligations, less the value of the defaulted debt.

Garcia said in an interview after his presentation that his office is “bringing in people with expertise in these areas.”

“It’s an enforcement priority,” he said.

U.S. prosecutors in Washington in 2010 decided not to bring charges against former American International Group Inc. (AIG) executive Joseph Cassano after a probe into whether executives in the firm’s Financial Products Division misrepresented the value of a portfolio of “super senior” credit-default swaps, which insured bond losses tied to the U.S. housing market.”

————————————————————–

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

————————————————————–

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.


NYPD Officer Michael Daragjati Charged by a Federal Criminal Complaint For Alleged Criminal Civil Rights Violation for False Arrest and Malicious Prosecution

October 17, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 17, 2011 released the following:

“NYPD Officer Charged with Criminal Civil Rights Violation for False Arrest and Malicious Prosecution

Charges Include Attempted Violent Extortion and Attempted Insurance Fraud

A criminal complaint was unsealed this morning in federal court in Brooklyn charging New York City Police Department Officer Michael Daragjati, an eight-year veteran of the NYPD, with violating the civil rights of an African-American victim by willfully arresting him and charging him with a crime without probable cause and on false pretenses, and for doing so based on racial animus. Daragjati is also charged with attempting and conspiring to commit violent extortion and committing wire fraud by making false statements to an auto insurance company.* Daragjati was arrested this morning and has an initial appearance scheduled later this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Joan M. Azrack at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.

Willful Violation of Civil Rights Under Color of Law

According to the complaint, during the evening of April 15, 2011, Daragjati stopped and frisked an individual in the Stapleton neighborhood of Staten Island. The stop and frisk revealed that the victim was not carrying a firearm or contraband. After the victim complained about his treatment during the stop and frisk, Daragjati arrested him. The complaint alleges that although the victim did not resist arrest, Daragjati falsely wrote in a police report that the victim had flailed his arms and kicked his legs during the arrest, purportedly justifying a resisting arrest charge. The following day, Daragjati swore out a complaint containing similar false statements, which was filed in Richmond County Criminal Court. As a result, the victim was held in custody for approximately 36 hours.

The day he swore out the complaint, the government intercepted a telephone call between Daragjati and a friend. As detailed in the complaint, while referring to the victim’s arrest and prosecution, Daragjati told the friend that he had “fried another nigger.” The government subsequently intercepted several additional calls during which Daragjati allegedly used the word “nigger” to refer to African-Americans. In other intercepted calls Daragjati stated that he risked getting fired if he was caught “throw[ing] somebody a beating” and complained that it was too easy for police officers to get in trouble. He then admitted that he had been “skating it for a long time.”

Extortion

Daragjati operated a construction and snow removal business while off-duty. In March 2011, snowplow equipment which belonged to Daragjati was stolen from a truck parked near Daragjati’s residence. According to the complaint, a short time later Daragjati identified a person he believed was the thief and arranged to have him lured to a location in Staten Island. There, Daragjati and a group of other men allegedly attacked the suspected thief, punching him and threatening him with a handgun. Daragjati and the others told the suspected thief that he had to either return the snowplow equipment or pay $5,000 to the equipment’s owner.

Wire Fraud

The complaint alleges that Daragjati directed a snowplow driver to intentionally damage a truck Daragjati owned, and then falsely represent to the driver’s auto insurer that the damage resulted from an accident while plowing snow. Daragjati also provided a false account to individuals he believed were employed by the driver’s auto insurer in an effort to receive payment from the insurer.

“The power to arrest—to deprive a citizen of liberty—must be used fairly, responsibly, and without bias. Motivated by base racial animus, the defendant allegedly abused this power and responsibility. Our system of justice depends on the public’s confidence that those who enforce the law also obey the law,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “This office will vigorously prosecute those who would betray the trust placed in them to uphold the law honestly and without bias.” Ms. Lynch expressed her appreciation to the FBI and the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau, the agencies responsible for leading the government’s investigation, and thanked the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance.

FBI Assistant Director in-Charge Fedarcyk stated, “As charged in the complaint, this defendant’s egregious conduct caused both direct and indirect harm. He allegedly abused his position as a police officer to arrest someone under false pretenses, and committed fraud and violence. There were direct victims of these crimes. But the charged conduct also threatened to undermine public trust and respect for law enforcement. We who enforce the law are not above the law; in fact, we should be held to a higher standard.”

NYPD Commissioner Kelly stated, “I want to commend U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch and her staff for bringing this case forward promptly and professionally, and NYPD Internal Affairs Chief Charles Campisi and his detectives who initiated this investigation and in doing so helped pave the way for prosecuting it.”

If convicted of the civil rights charge, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. If convicted of attempt to commit extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion or wire fraud, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each charge.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul Tuchmann, Amy Busa and Cristina Posa.

The Defendant:
MICHAEL DARAGJATI
Age: 32

* The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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.


Treasury imposes penalties linked to alleged plot

October 11, 2011

The Associated Press (AP) on October 11, 2011 released the following:

“WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department says it is imposing economic penalties against four people who are linked to an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

Two of them have been charged in New York federal court. They are Manssor Arbashiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen who has both Iranian and American passorts, and Gholam Shakuri.

Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen says the financial transactions at the heart of the alleged plot “lay bare the risk that banks and other institutions face in doing business with Iran.””

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.

Bookmark and Share