Man Allegedly Claiming to be the Son of the President of the Congo Indicted for Federal Wire Fraud Crimes

May 10, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 9, 2013 released the following:

“SAN FRANCISCO— Earlier this week, a federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Blessed Marvelous Herve, a/k/a Rodrigue Herve Ngandou, a/k/a Herve Rodrigue Ngandou, a/k/a Blessed Roll Herve, of San Francisco, for wire fraud, United States Attorney Melina Haag announced.

According to the indictment, Herve, 41, devised and executed a scheme to defraud victims of approximately $1.6 million. Herve claimed that his father was the president of the Congo and a multi-billionaire, but that the United States government had seized Herve’s assets, in excess of $43,000,000. Herve promised to pay bonus sums of more than $1,500,000 to victims in exchange for the victims’ financial support of Herve’s quest to obtain the $43,000,000 that the government purportedly had seized.

Herve also claimed that as a result the federal court case involving his seized funds, he was sent to federal prison from 2009 through 2012. During this time, Herve solicited funds from victims to assist with his alleged ongoing court proceedings and his incarceration. Herve again promised full repayment of victims’ money plus large bonuses upon the completion of his federal case and release of his funds. Specifically, in October 2012, Herve solicited and received $47,000 from a victim by falsely claiming that he needed the money to pay the Internal Revenue Service to satisfy the final judgment entered against him.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the same matter further, one of the victims was a real estate agent to whom Herve promised that his father, the multi-billionaire president of the Congo, would purchase tens of millions of dollars in real estate. That victim gave Herve tens of thousands of dollars to assist in the purported father’s real estate tours, such as the rental of bulletproof limousines. The criminal complaint alleges that to lure in the victims and bolster his credibility, Herve showed various documents, such as a letter written to him from a United States Senator, copies of awards of recognition he received from the City and County of San Francisco, and a certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from a Member of Congress. When the victims ran out of money, Herve claimed that he was being deported to Puerto Rico and was not heard from again.

Herve, born in the Republic of Congo, was granted asylum in the United States in 1999 and became a United States citizen earlier this year.

Herve was arrested on a criminal complaint on April 24, 2013, in San Francisco, and he made his initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco the following day. He is currently being held in custody. The defendant’s next scheduled appearance is May 22, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. for further detention proceedings before Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins. Herve’s first appearance in district court is scheduled before Judge John Tigar on May 31, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

The maximum statutory penalty for wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, is 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. 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.

Hallie Hoffman is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Elizabeth Garcia. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Herve must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

Federal Wire Fraud Crimes – 18 U.S.C. 1343

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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.


Former Calpers Chief Indicted Over Alleged Fraud

March 19, 2013

The New York Times on March 18, 2013 released the following:

“BY PETER LATTMAN

As head of the country’s largest pension fund, Federico R. Buenrostro wielded vast influence in the money management world.

From 2002 to 2008, Mr. Buenrostro served as chief executive of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or Calpers, which allocates more than $200 billion to investment firms across the globe.

Federal prosecutors say that Mr. Buenrostro abused that position. In an indictment filed in Federal District Court in San Francisco on Monday, the United States attorney charged Mr. Buenrostro and his friend, Alfred J. Villalobos, with defrauding the private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

The corruption charges against Mr. Buenrostro and Mr. Villalobos are connected to a nationwide pay-to-play scandal that erupted several years ago. Regulators from numerous states, including California and New Mexico, have cracked down on widespread influence peddling in how their state pension funds were invested.

The scandals focused on the role of middlemen, or placement agents, who charged lucrative fees to help money managers win business from state pension funds. In some cases, placement agents proved to be unlicensed fixers who received illegal kickbacks from pension officials. A number of pension officials and middlemen have served prison time, including Alan G. Hevesi, the former head of New York’s state pension fund.

The government claims that Mr. Buenrostro and Mr. Villalobos invented a crude scheme that tricked Apollo, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, into paying Mr. Villalobos at least $14 million in fees for his help in securing an investment from Calpers.

“We are extremely pleased that law enforcement authorities are moving to hold individuals accountable for activities which violate the public trust,” Rob Feckner, the board president of Calpers, said in a statement.

A lawyer for Mr. Buenrostro, William H. Kimball, declined to comment. Mr. Villalobos, who filed for personal bankruptcy in 2010, could not be reached for comment.

In the insular world of private equity, the charges struck many executives as unusual given Apollo and Calpers deep and lucrative ties. The California fund has invested at least $3 billion with Apollo, including a 2007 transaction in which it paid $600 million for a 9 percent stake in the firm.

For years, Apollo had retained Mr. Villalobos — a former Calpers board member — as a placement agent, agreeing to pay him for his help in securing investments from state pensions. Apollo paid at least $48 million in fees to Mr. Villalobos for his help in arranging for Calpers and other pensions to invest in its firm.

But to comply with securities laws and avoid perceived conflicts of interest, Apollo asked that Mr. Villalobos disclose to Calpers that he would receive payments related to the pension fund’s investments.

Prosecutors said that Mr. Buenrostro, 64, and Mr. Villalobos, 69, worked together, and fabricated letters from Calpers that purportedly signed off on the payments from Apollo to Mr. Villalobos.

“The allegations in the indictment unsealed today by the United States Department of Justice, if true, are troubling,” Charles V. Zehren, an Apollo spokesman, said Monday. “Apollo has always followed best practices in handling its placement agent relationships, and was not aware of any misconduct engaged in by Mr. Villalobos during the time that he worked with Apollo.”

The charges come after a civil lawsuit brought last year against Mr. Buenrostro and Mr. Villalobos by the Securities and Exchange Commission. And in 2011, a Calpers internal investigation concluded that Mr. Villalobos had turned Mr. Buenrostro into “a puppet” who directed Calpers investments to his clients. The firm’s report said that Mr. Villalobos lavished bribes on Mr. Buenrostro, including trips on private jets and gambling junkets at Nevada casinos.

When Mr. Buenrostro left Calpers in 2008, he took a job working with Mr. Villalobos as a placement agent.”

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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.


Feds Demand Convicted Con Man Serve 30 Years

April 30, 2012

ABC News on April 30, 2012 released the following:

“By PAUL ELIAS Associated Press

Federal prosecutors are demanding that a man they call a “congenital liar and serial fraudster” serve 30 years in prison and pay a $60 million fine after a jury convicted him of defrauding actors Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte and others out of more than $35 million.

If U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer agrees to the sentence on Monday, it would represent one of the harshest penalties ever meted out in a white collar case. Not even Jeff Skilling, the architect of Enron Corp.’s criminal collapse, was sentenced to that much prison time. Skilling is currently serving a 24-year, four-month sentence.

Assistant U.S. attorneys W. Douglas Sprague and Hallie Mitchell argue in court papers that the harsh sentence is warranted because of the financial and emotional toll the fraud had on the victims, the extent Samuel “Mouli” Cohen went to cover up his scam and his refusal to accept responsibility.

“This unrepentant con man with a militant lack of responsibility has blamed everyone—the victims, the Court, his attorneys, the government, the Probation Officer, and the Court reporter—for his actions and their consequences except the person responsible for it,” prosecutors write in a court filing.

Most notably, Cohen’s fraud caused the collapse of the Vanguard Public Foundation, a nonprofit launched in 1972 that awarded grants to a vast array of social causes. Many of Cohen’s victims, including Glover and Belafonte, were associated with the foundation, which supported anti-war causes, environmental groups and other politically liberal issues. Prosecutors said Cohen even preyed on his father-in-law, looting his retirement account.

A federal jury in November convicted Cohen of 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering and three counts of tax evasion after a three week trial in San Francisco federal court. His lawyer said Cohen will appeal the conviction.

Cohen, 53, is a son of Russian immigrants who was raised in Jerusalem. He moved to the United States in 1987 and became a United States citizen, though prosecutors allege he falsely told victims that the first President Bush personally granted him citizenship.

Cohen was convicted of falsely telling investors beginning in 2002 that a company he launched called Ecast that made electronic jukeboxes for bars was about to be acquired by Microsoft Corp. Prosecutors said Cohen kept the scheme going by soliciting more money from victims with complaints that U.S. and then European regulators were holding up the deal, which required additional investments to pay nonexistent fees and bonds needed to push the deal to approval.

Prosecutors say none of that was true. Instead, they said Cohen used the millions to fund an “absurd lifestyle” that included helping his wife publish a cookbook called “The Kosher Billionaire’s Secret Recipe.”

Prosecutors allege that he jetted around the country in a rented private jet that he to claim to have owned, giving rides to the likes of singer Elton John and actress Jennifer Lopez, neither of which are included on the victims list.

Prosecutors say that Cohen rented a mansion in the wealthy enclave of Belvedere just north of San Francisco and decorated the house with copies of famous paintings from Picasso, Miro and Matisse and other noted artists. But prosecutors said he solicited investments during parties at his house, which he told victims he owned while showing them the artwork he deemed were originals. Prosecutors said that was all part of a ruse to portray himself as a wealthy and savvy businessman.

Cohen’s attorney is asking for a sentence of less than nine years.

“A 30 year sentence is excessive for a 53-year old first-time offender, who has a long history of selfless acts and entrepreneurial innovation,” Cohen’s attorney Marcus S. Topel wrote in a court filing, pointing out that his client has donated at least $2 million to charity.”

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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 Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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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.


Documents show US has arrested Iranian scientist

January 26, 2012

The Associated Press (AP) on January 26, 2012 released the following:

“By DOUGLAS BIRCH and PAUL ELIAS
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has arrested and charged an Iranian semiconductor scientist with violating U.S. export laws by buying high-tech U.S. lab equipment, a development likely to further worsen Iranian-U.S. tensions.

Prison records show the U.S. is holding Seyed Mojtaba Atarodi, 54, a microchip expert and assistant professor at Tehran’s prestigious Sharif University of Technology, in a federal facility in Dublin, Calif., outside San Francisco. The Iranian interest section in the Pakistani embassy in Washington said it was aware of the arrest.

Atarodi arrived at a bond hearing in federal district court in San Francisco Thursday wearing a green jump suit and bowed to his attorney. Before the hearing began, the judge closed the courtroom except to attorneys and members of the family. According to friends, Atarodi was detained Dec. 7 after stepping off a plane in Los Angeles.

Dr. Fredun Hojabri, a former vice chancellor of Sharif University who now lives in the U.S., said he was aware of the case and noted that friction between the U.S. and Iran has long posed problems for Iranian researchers.

U.S. law enforcement officials have declined to discuss any aspect of Atarodi’s case, and records indicate the charges have been sealed.

But a Sharif University spokesman said he has been charged with buying instruments from the United States. The university official spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the potential repercussions of the case.

The arrest comes as the U.S., Israel and their allies are using diplomacy, sanctions and intelligence efforts to try to cripple what they suspect is Iran’s drive to lay the foundations of a nuclear weapons program.

Atarodi is listed as the author or coauthor of dozens of scientific papers dealing with microchip technology, though none appears to be explicitly related to military work. U.S. officials in the past have targeted suspected export control violators dealing in so-called dual-use technology, which can have both civilian and military applications.

The Sharif University spokesman said Atarodi was engaged only in civilian research. “The fact of the matter is that he was just a professor, and he was trying to buy some equipment for his lab, and the equipment was very, very simple, ridiculously simple stuff that anybody can buy,” the spokesman said.

The arrest of an Iranian scientist in a U.S. embargo case is rare, with most cases focusing on low-level middlemen living in the U.S. recruited to act as fronts for purchasers in Iran. But Iranian researchers in recent years have become central figures in the struggle between Tehran and the West over the country’s extensive nuclear programs, which the International Atomic Energy Agency says has included arms-related research.

At least four Iranian scientists have died under mysterious circumstances over about the past two years, and Israel is suspected of playing a role in the attacks.

In the most recent incident, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemist and official at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant, was killed by a car bomb Jan. 11, reportedly while on his way to a memorial service for a scientist slain a year earlier.

For years, Iran has insisted it is only interested in the peaceful uses of atomic energy and has resisted United Nation demands that it abandon its extensive uranium enrichment efforts. Enrichment technology can be used to make fuel for nuclear reactors or fissile material for bombs.

The U.S. and Israel, meanwhile, are believed to have recruited Iranian scientists as agents or encouraged them to defect.

A friend of Dr. Atarodi’s, John Choma, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Southern California, said he learned of the arrest from Atarodi’s brother, who lives in the Los Angeles area. The brother did not respond to requests for an interview.

Hojabri cited an incident in 2006 when more than 50 Iranian scientists, executives and engineers headed for a forum on disaster management in Santa Clara, Calif., were detained and expelled after their arrival because their visas were revoked. The event was organized by a Sharif University alumni group.”

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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 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.


Judge set to sentence Barry Bonds

December 16, 2011
Barry Bonds

CNN on December 15, 2011 released the following:

“(CNN) — Baseball legend Barry Bonds is scheduled to be sentenced Friday for his obstruction of justice conviction.

The hearing at 11 a.m. (2 p.m. ET) will take place in a San Francisco federal courtroom less than two miles from the ballpark where Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s major league home run record in August 2007.

Federal prosecutors want Bonds, 47, to serve 15 months in prison, according to a sentencing memo filed in court earlier this month.

Defense lawyers argued in their filing that the judge should accept the probation office’s recommendation that Bonds be sentenced to two years’ probation, fined $4,000 and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service.

Jurors who found Bonds guilty in April said he was “evasive” in his testimony to the federal grand jury investigating illegal steroids use by pro athletes.

“Because Bonds’s efforts were a corrupt, intentional effort to interfere with that mission, a sentence of 15 months imprisonment is appropriate,” the prosecution said in its memo to U.S. District Judge Susan Illston.

But jurors, who were deadlocked on three perjury counts, said that it was not proven that Bonds lied when he testified that he had not knowingly used steroids. Prosecutors decided not to pursue a retrial.

Prosecutors still argued in the sentencing memo that Bonds’ denial that he was “taking steroids and human growth hormone were patently false.”

Bonds’ testimony in December 2003 was part of the investigation that targeted Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson and employees of the California drug testing laboratory known as the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO).

The testimony that led to Bonds’ conviction came when a grand jury prosecutor asked Bonds if Anderson ever gave him “anything that required a syringe to inject yourself with.”

Bonds told the grand jury that only his personal doctors “ever touch me,” and he then veered off the subject to say he never talked baseball with Anderson.

Defense lawyers argued that Bonds thought the creams and ointments Anderson was giving him were made of flax seed oils.

Sentences for other athletes convicted in connection with the BALCO investigation have not included prison time.”

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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.


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.


Taiwan Aftermarket Auto Lights Manufacturer and Its Chairman Indicted for Alleged Participation in Price-Fixing Conspiracy

December 1, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on November 30, 2011 released the following:

“WASHINGTON— A federal grand jury in San Francisco returned a superseding indictment yesterday against a Taiwan aftermarket auto lights manufacturer, its U.S.-based subsidiary distributor and its chairman for participating in an international conspiracy to fix the prices of aftermarket auto lights, the Department of Justice announced. Aftermarket auto lights are incorporated into an automobile after its original sale, often as repairs following a collision or as accessories and upgrades.

The one-count felony superseding indictment, filed today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, charges that Eagle Eyes Traffic Industrial Co. Ltd., which is based in Tainan County, Taiwan, participated in a conspiracy to fix the prices of aftermarket auto lights in the United States and elsewhere from about July 2001 to about September 2008. The indictment also charges Eagle Eyes’ highest-ranking officer, Chairman Yu-Chu Lin, aka David Lin, for his participation in the conspiracy from about July 2001 to about September 2008. Lin is a resident of Taiwan. E-Lite Automotive Inc., Eagle Eyes’ U.S. subsidiary based in Chino, Calif., is also charged in the indictment for its participation in the conspiracy from about March 2006 to about September 2008. Today’s indictment supersedes an indictment filed on July 19, 2011, against the second-highest-ranking officer of Eagle Eyes, Vice Chairman Homy Hong-Ming Hsu.

“The Antitrust Division will continue to crack down on international price-fixing conspiracies that target U.S. businesses and consumers,” said Sharis A. Pozen, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

According to the indictment, Eagle Eyes, E-Lite, Lin, Hsu and co-conspirators participated in a conspiracy in which the participants met and agreed to charge prices of aftermarket auto lights according to jointly determined formulas. The participants in that conspiracy issued list price announcements to customers in accordance with the jointly determined price structure, and collected and exchanged information on prices for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the conspiracy. The department said that the conspirators met in Taiwan and the United States for their discussions.

Including Eagle Eyes, E-Lite and Lin, four companies and four individuals have been charged to date in connection with the department’s ongoing investigation into the aftermarket auto lights industry. On Nov. 15, 2011, Maxzone Vehicle Lighting Corp., a U.S. distributor of aftermarket auto lights, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a $43 million criminal fine for its participation in the conspiracy. On Oct. 4, 2011, Sabry Lee (U.S.A.) Inc., a U.S. distributor of aftermarket auto lights, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a $200,000 criminal fine for its participation in the conspiracy. On March 29, 2011, Polo Shu-Sheng Hsu, the former president and CEO of Maxzone, was sentenced to serve 180 days in prison and to pay a $25,000 criminal fine for his role in the conspiracy. Chien Chung Chen, aka Andrew Chen, the former executive vice president of Sabry Lee, pleaded guilty for his participation in the conspiracy on June 7, 2011. He is currently scheduled to be sentenced on July 17, 2012.

Eagle Eyes, E-Lite and Lin are charged with price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals and $100 million fine for corporations. The maximum fines may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

This case is part of an ongoing joint investigation being conducted by the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office and the FBI in San Francisco.”

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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

————————————————————–

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.