Ex-Army Officers Arraigned on Charges of Allegedly Stealing Over $2.7 Million in Defense Funds

May 8, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 8, 2012 released the following:

Officers Allegedly Stole Government Funds While on Military Duty in Saudi Arabia

ATLANTA— Jasen Minter, 41, of Fayetteville, Georgia, was arraigned today before United States Magistrate Linda T. Walker on federal charges of conspiracy and theft of more than $2,700,000 from the U.S. government while serving as an Army captain in Saudi Arabia. Minter is charged in a federal indictment along with Louis E. Nock, 45, of Orlando, Florida, who served as a senior non-commissioned officer with Minter in Saudi Arabia. Nock was arraigned on the same charges yesterday before Judge Walker. Both defendants were released on bond.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, “Military officers carry heightened responsibilities to their fellow servicemen as well as the public, including the duty to be diligent and honest with every taxpayer dollar. The Army’s mission in Iraq is simply too important for its own officers to steal critical resources from their fellow servicemen and, as alleged in this case, line their own pockets with cash.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: In 2006, then-Captain Minter and Sergeant First Class Nock were finance officers assigned to the U.S. Military Training Mission (USMTM) in Saudi Arabia. The indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury on May 1, 2012, alleges that, while serving in Saudi Arabia, Minter and Nock embezzled over $2,700,000 from a U.S. government bank account at the Saudi Arabia American Bank (SAMBA) in Riyadh. Funds in this government account were to be used to operate the USMTM finance office, which supports U.S. troops. The indictment alleges that Minter and Nock conspired to withdraw the $2.7 million in two transactions but never delivered the monies to the finance office. Instead, they shipped it back to the United States to fund luxurious lifestyles for themselves and their families.

The charges carry a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy count, 10 years in prison on each count of theft, and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. In determining the actual sentence, the court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges, and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by special agents of the Army Criminal Investigation Command, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney David Leta is prosecuting the case.”

US v. Jasen Minter et al

18 U.S.C. § 371

18 U.S.C. § 641

————————————————————–

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 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.


Reports: Prosecutions going up for war zone crime

October 30, 2011

The Associated Press (AP) on October 30, 2011 released the following:

“By PAULINE JELINEK
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Marine in Iraq sent home $43,000 in stolen cash by hiding it in a footlocker among American flags. A soldier shipped thousands more concealed in a toy stuffed animal, and an embassy employee tricked the State Department into wiring $240,000 into his foreign bank account.

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, the number of people indicted and convicted by the U.S. for bribery, theft and other reconstruction-related crimes in both countries is rapidly rising, according to two government reports released Sunday.

“This is a boom industry for us,” Stuart Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, or SIGIR, said in an interview.

“Investigators and auditors had a productive quarter,” said a report on the theft of Afghanistan aid by Steven Trent, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. The report covered August through October.

In the last 13 months U.S. investigators in Iraq secured the indictments of 22 people for alleged aid-related offenses, bringing to 69 the total since the SIGIR office was created in 2004. Convictions stand at 57. Several hundred more suspects are under scrutiny in 102 open investigations and those numbers are expected to climb.

The rise in caseloads derives partly from spinoff investigations, where suspects facing prosecution lead investigators to other suspects, said Jon Novak, SIGIR’s assistant inspector general for investigations.

“More and more people are ratting out their associates,” he said, turning in conspirators who helped launder money after it was stolen, others who were aware of it and others implicated in the crimes.

As investigators gain experience, they’re received better information from a growing network of sources in Iraq, said Dan Willkens, Novak’s deputy. Development of an automated data-mining system for investigations has helped, he said, as did a decision two years ago to speed prosecutions by hiring three former assistant U.S. attorneys and detailing them to the Department of Justice.

At the inspector general’s office for Afghan reconstruction, created in 2008, officials report only nine indictments and seven convictions so far. They say they’re trying to ramp up after years of upheaval and charges the office was mismanaged. Trent was named acting inspector general after his predecessor left in August and is the third person to hold the job.

Still, Trent reported that during the last quarter a SIGAR-initiated investigation netted the largest bribery case in Afghanistan’s 10-year war. Former army reserve captain Sidharth “Tony” Handa of Charlotte, N.C., was convicted, sentenced to prison and fined for soliciting $1.3 million in bribes from contractors working on reconstruction projects.

Most crimes uncovered by U.S. investigators in the two war zones include bribery, kickbacks and theft, inspired in part by the deep and pervasive cultures of corruption indigenous to the countries themselves.

Among some of the cases listed in the reports were those of:

Gunnery Sgt. Eric Hamilton, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in what prosecutors say was a scheme to help Iraqi contractors steal 70 generators that were meant to supply electricity for fellow Marines. He sent some of their payments home in a footlocker and had other money wired, the report said.

Several U.S. government employees, who received kickbacks for steering contracts to local conspirators and providing inside information to people competing for contracts. A former army sergeant, who was not identified, is charged with pocketing more than $12,000 in cash that a contractor never picked up after the money was allegedly stolen by another army sergeant and mailed to California inside a stuffed animal.

Jordanian national and U.S. embassy employee Osama Esam Saleem Ayesh, who was convicted in April for stealing nearly $240,000 intended to cover shipping and customs charges the State Department incurs when it moves household goods of its employees. The money wound up in Ayesh’s bank in Jordan.

Money stolen from reconstruction projects also has been shipped off of U.S. battlefields tucked into letters home and stuffed in a military vest. Tens of thousands of dollars were once sewn into a Santa Claus suit.

Prosecutors have retrieved some of the money. More than $83 million will be returned to the U.S. from Iraq cases completed in the budget year that ended Sept. 30, bringing the total recovered over the last seven years to nearly $155 million, Bowen’s office said.

As well as stolen cash, the total includes court-ordered restitution, fines and proceeds from the sale of merchandise seized from those convicted, including Rolex watches, luxury cars, plasma TVs and houses.

SIGAR prosecutions recovered $51 million over the past year, Trent’s report said.

But the amount recovered is believed to be a tiny fraction of what’s been stolen in the two war zones, a figure that will probably never be known for certain. Far more money is believed to have been lost through waste and abuse that resulted from poor management and the often-questioned U.S. strategy of trying to rebuild nations that are still at war.

The U.S. has committed $62 billion to rebuilding Iraq and $72 billion for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

The independent Commission on Wartime Contracting estimated in August that at least $31 billion has been lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan, adding that the total could be as high as $60 billion. It studied not just reconstruction spending, but $206 billion for the logistical support of coalition forces and the performance of security functions.

The commission found that from 10 to 20 percent of the $206 billion in spending was wasted, while fraud accounted for the loss of another 5 to 9 percent.

Bowen called the cost of fraud “egregious.”

“This is open crime occurring in a war zone,” he said. “And the purpose of a lot of these expenditures is to win hearts and minds. Obviously we lose hearts and minds” when local populations see foreigners steal money meant to help rebuild their country.

SIGIR and SIGAR are only two of the U.S. government offices looking into fraud, waste and abuse. Others include State Department inspectors and Army criminal investigators.”

————————————————————–

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.


Maggie Ahmaogak Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Anchorage for Alleged Wire Fraud, Theft, and Misapplication of Funds from an Organization Receiving Federal Grant Funds and Money Laundering

September 23, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 22, 2011 released the following:

“Barrow Woman Indicted by Federal Grand Jury for Misapplication of Funds from Federally Funded Program

ANCHORAGE— United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that a Barrow woman was indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage for wire fraud, theft, and misapplication of funds from an organization receiving federal grant funds and money laundering.

On September 22, 2011, Maggie Ahmaogak, 61, of Barrow, Alaska, was named in a four-count indictment.

According to the indictment, Ahmaogak was the executive director for the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC) from 1990, until her termination in April 2007. AEWC is a non-profit organization formed in 1976, for the following purposes: to protect Eskimo subsistence whaling of bowhead whales; to protect and enhance the Eskimo culture, traditions, and activities associated with bowhead whales and subsistence bowhead whaling; and to undertake research and education related to bowhead whales. AEWC receives funding from several sources, with the majority coming from grants issued by the United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to AEWC to promote its purposes. Between 2004 and April 2007, AEWC received federal grant funds from NOAA totaling approximately $2.3 million.

The indictment further alleges that from at least 2004, to April 2007, Ahmaogak stole, obtained by fraud, and misapplied approximately $475,000 of AEWC funds for her personal use.

The indictment alleges that Ahmaogak did so by using the AEWC credit card for personal expenses and cash advances; writing checks to herself on AEWC accounts; taking payroll advances that were never repaid; withdrawing cash from AEWC accounts; and making a wire transfer to her personal account from an AEWC account. It is alleged that Ahmaogak used the money to pay for gambling activities for herself and a family member in Washington State, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Las Vegas Nevada, as well as to purchase three snow machines for her personal use and to make a down payment on a Hummer vehicle for her personal use, among other things.

Assistant United States Attorneys Aunnie Steward and Joe Bottini, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both on each count. Under the federal sentencing statutes, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The IRS-Criminal Investigation, the FBI, and the Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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


Debra Rucker Brown Indicted by a Lubbock Federal Grand Jury with Theft Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds

August 12, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Texas on August 11, 2011 released the following:

“FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER OF TOM GREEN COUNTY, INC.

Defendant Allegedly Stole More than $237,000 From Center

LUBBOCK, Texas — A federal grand jury in Lubbock returned an indictment yesterday afternoon charging San Angelo, Texas, resident, Debra Rucker Brown, with six counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Brown is expected to surrender to authorities within the next few weeks.

Brown, 51, served as the Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) of Tom Green County for more than 16 years — from August 1994 through February 2011. The CAC is a non-profit program that operates Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); Hope House; Family Enrichment Services (FES); and the Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT). CAC’s funding comes mostly from grants and contracts for services, with the balance coming from charitable contributions and money raised through special events it hosts. A significant source of the grant funding is provided by the U.S. government through Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services.

According to the indictment, from January 2005 through December 31, 2010, Brown stole approximately $237,013 from the CAC. She submitted and processed fictitious reimbursement forms for items she supposedly purchased for CAC, or one of its programs, and for supposed CAC-related expenses, including travel expenses she and others incurred. She caused CAC checks to be issued to her without any supporting documentation and either deposited the checks into her personal checking account, cashed them or submitted them as payment on her personal credit card accounts.

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, each of the counts carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition, restitution could be ordered.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and the Texas Rangers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann C. Roberts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lubbock is in charge of the prosecution.”

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 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.

Bookmark and Share


Former Phoenix Police Officer Charged with Multiple Bank Robberies

December 13, 2010

Former Phoenix Police Officer Chad Michael Goulding, age 40, has been arrested and charged with carrying out five Phoenix area bank robberies during a five month period in 2006. Goulding, who left the Phoenix Police force in 2005 after serving on the force for 13 years, is currently in custody and held on a $1,000,000 bond. His apprehension and indictment is the culmination of a four-year cooperative investigation involving the FBI’s Bank Robbery Task Force and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

The 95-count indictment includes charges of armed robbery, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and theft. According to the indictment, Goulding robbed five Bank of America branches in Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, and Scottsdale from June to November 2006, seizing a total of $133,650. In each incident, Goulding allegedly wore a ski mask, brandished a firearm, and ordered customers to lie down on the floor. The reason for 95-counts is probably attributable to the number of people inside the banks at the time of the alleged robberies.

The twist in this case is the fact that the crimes were allegedly committed by a former police officer. Goulding served for 13 years and conceivably should have been aware of the risks of committing these alleged robberies. The fact that it took authorities four years to indict an individual conveys a lack of substantial evidence. Most likely, the government has attempted to piece together circumstantial evidence in order to convince a grand jury to issue an indictment against Goulding.

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

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

Bookmark and Share


Arizona Mayor Indicted; Faces Bribery, Theft, Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

September 29, 2010

Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the indictment and arrest of Mayor Octavio Garcia Von Borstel, 29, of Nogales, Arizona, on multiple charges including bribery, theft, fraud, and money laundering.

Garcia Von Borstel was arrested at his office at the Nogales City Hall this morning. Concurrently, search warrants were executed at his home, business and City Hall office.

The mayor’s father, Octavio Suarez Garcia, 59, of Nogales, also was indicted and arrested today. He faces several charges that include fraud, theft and money laundering.

Garcia Von Borstel began serving as the city’s mayor in April 2008.

FBI agents began investigating Garcia Von Borstel five months ago, most likely without his knowledge or consent, and have alleged that he was soliciting Nogales businesses to hire him as a business consultant as early as February 2009.

The indictment also alleges that the mayor received money from at least one business in exchange for utilizing his official position to protect a contract the business owner had with the city and to assist the business owner in obtaining an additional city contract.

The mayor’s father, Garcia Suarez, was an agent for Western Union authorized to sell Western Union money orders from his money transmitter business, ACE Cash Express, in Nogales. The state alleges that Garcia Suarez fraudulently reported that Western Union money orders worth $3.2 million were sold though there were no cash deposits to back them up. Allegedly, the money orders were then cashed by Garcia Von Borstel and deposited into a bank account he controlled.

Typically, an investigation of a public official begins when authorities are tipped off by another employee within the local political system that is under investigation and is looking to make a deal at the sacrifice of someone else’s career and reputation.

Because of Garcia Von Borstel’s public official status, if convicted, the judge will be permitted to increase his sentence.

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

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

Bookmark and Share