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).”

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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.


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

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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.


Edwards Verdict Shows Clemens Need Not Fear Taint Of Reputation

June 4, 2012

Bloomberg on June 3, 2012 released the following:

“By David Glovin

Jurors tend to look past a criminal defendant’s reputation, no matter how odious, to render verdicts based on fact and law, lawyers said after former presidential candidate John Edwards won an acquittal and mistrial last week.

Federal jurors in Greensboro, North Carolina, on May 31 acquitted Edwards of one charge of using illegal campaign contributions to hide an extramarital affair and couldn’t decide about five other counts. They did so after hearing evidence that Edwards cheated on his dying wife and lied to the public about fathering a child with his paramour.

The verdict sends an encouraging signal to Roger Clemens, the former Major League Baseball pitcher now on trial in Washington for lying to Congress about his use of steroids, said Douglas Godfrey, a professor who teaches criminal law at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

“While we would all acknowledge that Edwards and Clemens are not nice guys and they behaved in very bad ways, that’s not the same as violating the law,” Godfrey said in a telephone interview. “Just because you’re an arrogant SOB or philanderer, that’s not the same as committing a crime.”

Edwards’s acquittal and mistrial came 11 months after a Florida jury acquitted Casey Anthony, an Orlando mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, and 22 years after a New York City jury rendered a not guilty verdict in the racketeering case of Imelda Marcos, the former Philippines first lady ridiculed for owning more than 1,000 pair of shoes. In those cases and others, public opinion had turned so harshly against the defendants that a conviction seemed almost an afterthought.

Then the jury weighed in.

Jury Speaks

“It’s a great affirmation of our jury system that people like Casey Anthony and John Edwards, who are personally unlikable and in many ways despicable, can still sit in front of a jury of 12 people and have those 12 people judge them based on the evidence,” said Marc Mukasey, a former federal prosecutor who is now in private practice at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

Edwards, a former Democratic U.S. senator from North Carolina and presidential contender in 2008, was accused of violating campaign finance laws by accepting almost $1 million from multimillionaire heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and Fred Baron, a now-deceased trial attorney, to conceal an affair. The case marked the first time the government prosecuted someone for campaign violations when money was paid to a third party.

Jurors deliberated for nine days before reaching their partial verdict. They couldn’t agree on counts that included a claim that Edwards conspired to protect his candidacy by secretly soliciting and accepting the funds and causing his campaign to file false reports with the Federal Election Commission.

He’s unlikely to be retried, a person familiar with the matter said last week.

Adultery, Arrogance

Except for the defendants’ notoriety — Edwards for adultery and Clemens for arrogance — the two cases have few similarities, said Stefan Passantino, who heads the political law team at McKenna Long & Aldridge in Washington. Lying to Congress, which Clemens is accused of, is a far more established crime than the conduct for which Edwards was on trial, he said.

Still, both defendants have had to confront the prospect that jurors would convict because of their reputations. The Edwards jury didn’t, in part because defense lawyers shifted the focus to ex-campaign aide Andrew Young, who acted as a go- between on transactions involving Mellon and Baron and used some of their money to build his own $1.5 million home.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell also addressed the character issue head-on.

‘Moral Wrongs’

“John Edwards may have committed many moral wrongs but he did not commit a legal one,” Lowell told jurors during his closing argument. “He was a bad husband and lied to his family but there is not a remote chance that he violated campaign finance laws or committed a felony.”

Marcellus McRae, a former federal prosecutor who is now at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Los Angeles, said jurors were attentive enough to the case’s nuances to see past Edwards’s reputation.

“Perceptions about personalities don’t govern verdicts,” he said. “In Edwards, personality didn’t rule.”

While Clemens is a seven-time Cy Young Award winner as the best pitcher in his league, he also ranks 14th in Major League Baseball for hitting 159 batters with pitches during his career.

Hurled Bat

Lawyers for Clemens, whose reputation for abrasiveness grew after he hurled a bat at an opposing player and because of his performance before Congress, have been taking a page from Edwards’s book. The ex-pitcher’s defense has been focused on tearing down the credibility of the government’s only eyewitness, Brian McNamee, Clemens’s former trainer.

McNamee testified he gave Clemens injections of steroids and human-growth hormone.

Clemens’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, got McNamee to admit he’d lied to federal investigators and accused him of alcohol abuse and engaging in a fraudulent scheme to obtain diet pills.

“The facts are very different, the personalities are different,” Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor who’s now a partner with McCarter & English LLP in Newark, New Jersey, said of the Clemens and Edwards cases.

‘Positive Message’

“But if there’s any positive message that Clemens can draw out of the Edwards verdict, it’s that jurors will look beyond whatever antipathy they may feel regarding their personal conduct and do their best to make a decision based solely on the facts and law presented to them at the trial,” Mintz said in a telephone interview.

Jacob Frenkel, a former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer who is now with Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker PA in Potomac, Maryland, said it’s proven lying, and not reputation, that puts many celebrity defendants behind bars. He pointed to Martha Stewart, who was sentenced to six months in prison in 2004 for obstructing justice by lying to prosecutors, and baseball player Barry Bonds, the career home-run record-holder who was convicted last year of obstructing justice for deceiving a grand jury.

Clemens is accused of obstructing justice and perjury.

“It is the acts of lying or obstruction that often are the downfall,” Frankel said in a telephone interview.

It’s not only Clemens who may take comfort in the Edwards verdict, said Michael Kendall, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery in Boston and a former federal prosecutor. In New York, Rajat Gupta, who was once a director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and who ran McKinsey & Co. from 1994 to 2003, is defending against charges that he leaked inside information to hedge fund co-founder Raj Rajaratnam.

Public Hostility

If Edwards could win an acquittal, so might Gupta, even amid public hostility to bankers and Wall Street in the wake of the 2007 financial crisis, he said.

“There are a thousand ways to derail a prosecution,” Kendall said in a telephone interview. “There’s an incredible common sense in collective good judgment in the jury system.”

The Edwards case is U.S. v. Edwards, 11-cr-161, U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro). The Clemens case is U.S. v. Clemens, 10-cr-223, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington). The Gupta case is U.S. v. Gupta, 11-cr-907, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).”

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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

————————————————————–

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.


Barry Bonds’ lawyers seek home confinement

December 7, 2011
Barry Bonds

San Francisco Chronicle on December 7, 2011 released the following:

“Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Barry Bonds’ lawyers asked a federal judge Tuesday to sentence him to home confinement for obstruction of justice in his testimony about steroids, saying Bonds has a laudable but little-known record of public service and should be sentenced no more severely than other sports figures.

The former Giants star, baseball’s all-time home run leader, was convicted in April of trying to thwart an investigation into steroid distribution by giving evasive answers to a federal grand jury in 2003. The jury deadlocked on three charges that Bonds committed perjury in denying he had knowingly used steroids, and prosecutors have decided not to retry him.

Defense lawyers plan to appeal the conviction. In the meantime, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston of San Francisco is scheduled to sentence Bonds on Dec. 16 and could send him to prison for a year or more – but is unlikely to do so, based on her sentencing in earlier cases.

For example, as Bonds’ lawyers noted Tuesday, Illston sentenced former cycling champion Tammy Thomas to six months of house arrest for four convictions of lying about steroids. The judge gave track coach Trevor Graham a year of home confinement for a perjury conviction after evidence that he had supplied drugs to athletes.

A court-appointed probation officer has recommended that Bonds be given probation and home confinement for some period below six months, and Illston should follow that proposal, defense lawyer Allen Ruby said. He did not specify the recommended period and said the officer’s report was confidential.

“Mr. Bonds does not dispute that he was convicted of a serious offense,” Ruby said. But he cited the probation officer’s conclusion that his conviction appears to be “an aberration when taken in context of his entire life.”

Prosecutors have not yet submitted their sentencing recommendation.

Bonds, 47, was charged with lying to and misleading the grand jury that was investigating steroid distribution to athletes by BALCO, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in Burlingame.

His longtime friend and former trainer, Greg Anderson, refused to testify against him and spent more than a year in prison for contempt of court, preventing prosecutors from tying Bonds to BALCO tests showing steroid use.

He was convicted of obstructing justice by replying to a question about whether Anderson had ever given him injectable drugs with an answer that discussed their friendship, Bonds’ childhood and other subjects but never saying yes or no. Bonds’ lawyers said he later answered the question truthfully with a denial, but Illston upheld the conviction.

In Tuesday’s filing, Ruby said Bonds should be given credit for “charitable and civic contributions” that “have taken place away from the public eye.”

He quoted a letter to the court from a nurse at UCSF Children’s Hospital, where a new family playroom bears Bonds’ name.

Bonds has made numerous “unannounced and unpublicized visits” and is “always unfailingly kind and attentive to the many young children who flock to his side,” the nurse said. “Frequently he will go to the bedside of a particularly ill child and gently give him/her words of encouragement to ‘never give up.’ “”

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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.


Former EPA-CID Special Agent in Texas Pleads Guilty to Perjury and Obstruction of Justice

October 4, 2011

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on October 4, 2011 released the following:

“WASHINGTON — A former special agent with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in Dallas has pleaded guilty to lying under oath and obstructing justice, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. of the EPA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Keith Phillips, 61, of Kent, Texas, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik Sr. in the Western District of Louisiana to a two-count indictment charging him with obstruction of justice and perjury. The charges stemmed from his sworn testimony in relation to a case that was pending in the Western District of Louisiana.

‪ According to the indictment, from September 1996 to Dec. 14, 1999, Phillips and a special agent from the FBI participated in a criminal investigation that led to the indictment of Hubert Vidrine Jr. and several others. The criminal charges against Vidrine were ultimately dismissed, and Vidrine, in turn, filed a civil lawsuit against the United States for malicious prosecution. In pleading guilty, Phillips admitted that during a deposition taken in the course of Vidrine’s civil suit, Phillips falsely testified that he did not have an affair with the FBI special agent, when, in fact, he did. Phillips admitted that he was aware the proceedings in the civil case were pending on the day he testified and that the existence of the extramarital affair was material to the civil lawsuit. According to a ruling in the civil case on Sept. 30, 2011, the court found that the “inappropriate affair” was highly relevant and material to those proceedings.

In addition, according to court documents, Phillips contacted the FBI special agent on at least three occasions to ensure the special agent knew that Phillips had testified that their relationship was purely professional, when in fact, it was not.

Specifically, Phillips admitted that he testified knowingly and dishonestly about the affair with the specific intent to undermine the due administration of justice. Phillips also admitted that he tried to influence, obstruct and impede the civil suit by testifying falsely that he did not have an extramarital affair with the FBI special agent.

‪ Phillips faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the obstruction of justice count, and five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the perjury count. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled by the court.

‪ The case is being prosecuted by Marquest J. Meeks and Richard Evans of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The case was investigated by the EPA OIG, Office of Investigations.”

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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