“First Amendment rights not enough to stop feds from prosecuting polygraph operators”

August 19, 2013

RT on August 17, 2013 released the following:

“US federal officials are investigating polygraph teachers who supposedly help job applicants fib their way through government lie detector tests. The criminal inquiry is seen as the Obama administration’s latest attempt to preserve government secrecy.

Law enforcement has targeted at least two people who claim that their methods of breath control, muscle tensing, facial tics, and other techniques are reliable enough that an individual with a nefarious background will be capable of gaining employment with the US government.

Investigators accessed business records belonging to the two men, according to a McClatchy report, and then used those documents to identify roughly 5,000 people who sought advice on how to beat the test. Of that sum, 20 people applied for government and federal contracting jobs. At least ten of the 20 applicants were eventually hired by various federal entities, including the National Security Agency.

The machines were introduced in the early 20th Century, quickly gaining favor with police who observed a suspect’s physiological responses – including blood pressure, pulse, and perspiration – when questioning an individual about a crime. Multiple research studies held over the past 50 years have debated the polygraph’s dependability, though, with a 1998 Supreme Court ruling declaring, “There is simply no consensus that polygraph evidence is reliable.”

Consequently, because the polygraph itself is thought to be nonsense, experts say anyone who purports their ability to beat it is themselves lying.

Despite widespread reluctance, including inadmissibility throughout the US court system, the federal government administers lie detector tests on approximately 70,000 job applicants each year. The undercover investigation at hand reportedly seeks to discourage potential whistleblowers, criminals, and spies from obtaining national security clearance and gaining access to state secrets.

“Nothing like this has been done before,” US Customs and Border Protection official Josh Schwartz said during a speech at the professional polygraphers’ conference, as quoted by McClatchy. “Most certainly our nation’s security will be enhanced. There are a lot of bad people out there…this will help us remove some of those pests from society.”

Federal authorities, McClatchy reported, have already arrested Doug Williams – a former polygrapher with the Oklahoma City Police Department who wrote a book on the subject – and Chad Dixon of Indiana, who was the inspiration for the book. Sources told the news agency that prosecutors will attempt to sentence Dixon to two years in prison for wire fraud and obstructing an agency proceeding.

Critics assert that there is simply no crime in teaching methods to defeat the polygraph. Self-proclaimed experts freely advertise their services online, in books, and on television, and have never had the need to hide their services. That is not to mention the First Amendment legal battle over impeding free speech, which government prosecutors would surely face in court.

“If someone stabs a voodoo doll in the heart with a pin and the victim they intended to kill drops dead of a heart attack, are they guilty of murder?” Gene Iredale, an attorney for one of the defendants, asked McClatchy. “What if the person who dropped dead believed in voodoo?”

“These are the types of questions that are generally debated in law school, not inside a courtroom,” Iredale continued. “The real question should be: ‘Does the federal government want to use its resources to pursue this kind of case?’ I would argue it does not.”

Dixon, 34, refused to elaborate on his legal situation but told McClatchy that he began working as a polygrapher because he could not find work as an electrical engineer. The father of four children has seen his home go into foreclosure because of the investigation and, despite having no criminal record, he expects to serve prison time.

“My wife and I are terrified,” he said. “I stumbled into this. I’m a Little League coach in Indiana…never in my wildest dreams did I somehow imagine I was committing a crime.””

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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.


Former FBI Agent and Others Face Federal Criminal Charges Alleging Conspiracy, Honest Services Wire Fraud, Obstruction of Justice, and Obstructing an Agency Proceeding

October 22, 2012

Deseret News on October 22, 2012 released the following:

“Former FBI agent charged in military contract bribery case

By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A former FBI agent faces federal charges for allegedly trying to derail a Utah-initiated investigation of a business partner with whom he was pursuing lucrative government security and energy contracts.

A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City returned an 11-count indictment against Robert G. Lustyik Jr., 50, of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; Michael L. Taylor, 51, of Harvard, Mass.; and Johannes W. Thaler, 49, of New Fairfield, Conn. Each is charged with one count of conspiracy, eight counts of honest services wire fraud, one count of obstructing justice and one count of obstructing an agency proceeding.

Lustyik used his position in an attempt to stave off a criminal investigation into Taylor, owner of Boston-based American International Security Corp., according to the indictment. Authorities say the former agent used Thaler, a childhood friend, as a go-between.

The indictment charges that Taylor, a former Green Beret, offered Lustyik $200,000 in cash, money purportedly for the medical expenses of Lustyik’s minor child, and a share in the proceeds of several anticipated contracts worth millions of dollars.

In hearing in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City last month, a federal prosecutor quoted Taylor telling Lustyik in a message, “If they don’t put me in jail, I’ll make you filthy, stinkin’ rich.”

According to the indictment, Lustyik, a 20-year FBI veteran, was assigned to counterintelligence work in White Plains, N.Y., until September 2012. The indictment states that from at least June 2011, the three men had a business relationship pursuing contracts for security services, electric power and energy development in the Middle East and Africa.

In September 2011, Taylor learned of a Utah-based federal criminal investigation into whether Taylor, his business and others bribed an Army officer to obtain a $54 million military training contract in Afghanistan.

Taylor and Christopher Harris, of St. George, were charged in a 72-count indictment in August with bribing a public official, accepting of a bribe by public official, money laundering and wire fraud. Taylor remains in jail in Utah pending trail.

Court records say it was Harris’ banking habits in St. George that opened the case for federal investigators three years ago.

Harris, who worked for Taylor as a manager in Afghanistan, was paid about $17.4 million by American International, according to court records. He tried to hide the money by structuring his transactions at America First Credit Union in St. George so he wouldn’t be detected by the bank’s warning mechanisms, the indictment states.

Lustyik impeded the investigation by designating Taylor as an FBI confidential source and texting and calling the Utah investigators and prosecutors to dissuade them from charging Taylor, according to the indictment. He also interviewed witnesses and potential targets in the Utah investigation, authorities say.”

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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

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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.


Federal grand jury indicts former FBI agent

October 19, 2012

The Wall Street Journal on October 18, 2012 released the following:

“Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal grand jury indicted a former FBI special agent and a defense contractor Thursday in a federal fraud case involving U.S. Army contracts, marking the latest turn in what prosecutors have called a multimillion-dollar scheme to win military contracts in Afghanistan.

The indictment alleges that the defense contractor, 51-year-old Michael Taylor of Harvard, Mass., offered the FBI agent a $200,000 cash payment, additional money for medical expenses for the agent’s child, and a share in the proceeds of several anticipated contracts worth millions of dollars in exchange for using his position to try to impede a criminal investigation into contract awards.

Robert G. Lustyik, 50, of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., was an FBI special agent until September 2012, assigned to counterintelligence work.

A third person, Johannes W. Thaler, 49, of New Fairfield, Conn., is accused of acting as a conduit between the two men. Thaler is a childhood friend of Lustyik, according to the indictment.

Each was charged with 11 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, obstructing justice and obstructing an agency proceeding, the U.S. Department of Justice announced in a statement Thursday.

Lustyik acted through Thaler to secure promises of cash, purported medical expenses and business proceeds in exchange for abusing his position as an FBI agent, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said.

“The alleged conduct is outrageous, and we will do everything we can to ensure that justice is done in this case.”

According to the indictment, the three men had a business relationship to pursue contracts for security services, electric power and energy development in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.

But in September 2011, Taylor learned a federal criminal investigation had been launched in Utah in 2010 into whether he and others had committed fraud in the awarding of defense contracts, according to the indictment.

Taylor had formed the Boston-based firm American International Security Corp., which was awarded the military contracts.

Taylor allegedly gave Lustyik, through Thaler, cash and other benefits to impede the investigation. In return, Lustyik designated Taylor as an FBI confidential source, contacting Utah officials to dissuade them from charging Taylor and attempting to interview potential witnesses and targets of the investigation, the indictment claims.

Taylor had already been charged criminally in the case. In addition, an active Army Reservist who was a procurement official is accused of leaking bid information that allowed Taylor’s company to win $54 million in contracts to supply Afghan troops with weapons and training.

The case broke in Utah when yet another business associate made a series of cash withdrawals from a St. George credit union just under the federal reporting limit of $10,000. Christopher Harris earlier pleaded not guilty to charges in the bid scheme.”

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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

————————————————————–

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.


U.S. Army Sergeant and Associate Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for Alleged Bribery Scheme Involving Contracts at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait

June 21, 2011

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on June 21, 2011 released the following press release:

“WASHINGTON – An 11-count indictment unsealed today in federal court in Wheeling, W.V., charges an Army sergeant first class and his associate for their alleged roles in a bribery and money laundering scheme at Camp Arifjan, a U.S. military base in Kuwait, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II for the Northern District of West Virginia.

The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of West Virginia on June 8, 2011, charges Sergeant First Class Richard Evick, 41, of Parsons, W.V., with receiving more than $170,000 in bribes from two firms that had contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in Kuwait. The indictment also charges Evick and his associate, Crystal Martin, 48, of Pontiac, Mich., with laundering the bribe money through bank accounts in Kuwait and the United States. Evick and Martin were arrested today by FBI agents. Martin made her initial appearance today in Detroit before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub of the Eastern District of Michigan. Evick is expected to make his initial appearance tomorrow in Raleigh, N.C., before U.S. Magistrate Judge James E. Gates of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The indictment alleges that Evick, a senior procurement non-commissioned officer who served at Camp Arifjan from February 2005 to December 2006, along with former Majors James Momon and Christopher Murray, awarded Army contracting business and improperly disclosed contracting information to two firms that were seeking contracts from the U.S. military. According to the indictment, as a result of the actions taken by Evick, Momon and Murray, these firms received nearly $25 million from contracts to deliver bottled water and other commodities to U.S. military bases in Iraq and Kuwait, as well as to paint and clean DoD facilities in Kuwait. In exchange, Evick, Momon and Murray allegedly received cash, airplane tickets, hotel accommodations, and the ability to conceal large amounts of cash in a hidden safe located in the villa of Wajdi Rezik Birjas, a DoD contract employee who worked in the host nation affairs office at Camp Arifjan.

The indictment also alleges that Evick entrusted his bribe money to Martin, a former Army master sergeant, who from October 2005 to December 2008, operated a concession to sell clothing and other items at various U.S. military bases in Kuwait and maintained bank accounts in Kuwait and the United States. The indictment alleges that Martin arranged to transfer the bribe money from Kuwait to the United States and into the possession of Evick, his wife and his girlfriend. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Evick and Martin assisted Momon’s efforts to retrieve between $200,000 and $250,000 of Momon’s bribe money from Birjas and to transfer that money from Kuwait to the United States.

Evick is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, two substantive bribery counts, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, six substantive money laundering counts and one count of obstructing an agency proceeding. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison on the bribery conspiracy charge, 15 years in prison for each of the bribery counts, 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy count and each of the substantive money laundering counts and five years in prison on the obstruction charge.

Martin is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and four substantive money laundering counts. She faces up to 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy count and each of the substantive money laundering counts. Evick and Martin also face fines and a term of supervised release, if convicted. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of any property or money involved in the alleged offenses.

Momon, Murray and Birjas have pleaded guilty to crimes relating to their activities at Campr Arifjan and are awaiting sentencing.

As a result of this investigation, 17 individuals have pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial for their roles in the corruption at Camp Arifjan, and four others, including Evick and Martin, are awaiting trial.

An indictment is merely an accusation and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Peter C. Sprung and Timothy J. Kelly of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McWilliams of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia. The ongoing investigation is being handled by the Army Criminal Investigation Division, Defense Criminal Investigation Service, FBI and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.”

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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