FBI: “Former Sandia Corporation Scientist Pleads Guilty to Taking Government Property to China”

August 26, 2014

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

“ALBUQUERQUE— Jianyu Huang, a scientist formerly employed by Sandia Corporation (Sandia) at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), pleaded guilty this afternoon to making a false statement and unlawfully transporting converted government property in interstate and foreign commerce. The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.

Huang, 46, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the People’s Republic of China who resides in Albuquerque, N.M., was arrested in June 2012, on a six-count indictment charging him with misusing U.S. government resources and equipment to conduct research for Chinese research institutions and with falsely stating that he did not intend to take U.S. government equipment with him on a trip to China. The indictment subsequently was superseded to add an interstate transportation of converted property charge and a theft of government property charge. Huang was employed by Sandia until his employment was terminated in late April 2012.

SNL is a government-owned research facility operated by Sandia Corporation for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) that is responsible for ensuring the safety of the nation’s nuclear stockpile; enhancing the security of energy and other critical resources; reducing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; addressing threats to national security; and protecting the nation against terrorism. The Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CiNT) is a DOE user facility and science research center devoted to establishing scientific principles that govern the design, performance, and integration of materials on the atomic and molecular scale, located at SNL.

In light of the sensitivity of SNL’s work, all Sandia employees are required to report to the Sandia Office of Counterintelligence (SOC) any substantive relationship with foreign nationals, including associations that involve meeting and sharing work-related information. Sandia employees also are required to submit to interviews with SOC before international travel on official business, and are prohibited from bringing government-owned equipment on international travel without prior approval.

Huang was employed by Sandia at CiNT, where he worked in an unclassified open science facility without access to classified national security information. As a Sandia employee, Huang was prohibited from bringing government-owned equipment on international travel without prior approval.

Counts 1 through 5 of the second superseding indictment charged Huang with federal program fraud and alleged that between Jan. 2009 and Jan. 2012, Huang unlawfully and without authority used DOE equipment, materials and property to conduct research for businesses and universities in the People’s Republic of China. Count 6 charged Huang with making a false statement charge to a federal officer and alleged that, in June 2011, Huang falsely represented to a counterintelligence officer that he would not take any U.S. government electronic equipment with him on an upcoming trip to the People’s Republic of China. The statement was false because Huang knew that he intended to take a U.S. government computer and hard-drive to the People’s Republic of China on that trip, and did in fact take that equipment with him. Count 7 charged Huang with the interstate transportation of converted property charge and alleged that between June 30, 2011 and July 18, 2011, Huang unlawfully transported a DOE-owned laptop computer and computer-related media in interstate and foreign commerce. Count 8 charged Huang with an embezzlement charge and alleged that between April 25, 2012 and June 2, 2012, Huang embezzled electronic files and documents, including research proposals, belonging to DOE that came into his possession by virtue of his employment with SNL.

During his plea hearing this afternoon, Huang pled guilty to Counts 6 and 7 of the second superseding indictment. In his plea agreement, Huang admitted taking a trip to China in July 2011, for the purpose of attending and making a presentation at a research conference. Huang acknowledged that in seeking and obtaining Sandia’s permission to participate in the conference, he represented that he would not take any DOE-owned equipment with him. Huang also admitted deliberately lying to a counterintelligence office when he made the representation because he intended to take his DOE-owned laptop on the trip.

Huang admitted taking a DOE-owned laptop computer with him when he traveled to China on June 30 and July 1, 2011, even though he knew that he did not have permission to do so. In so doing, Huang unlawfully converted the laptop computer to his own use. According to Huang’s plea agreement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized the DOE-owned laptop from Huang’s baggage when he returned to the United States on July 18, 2011, after Huang admitted that he did not have permission to take the laptop computer out of the country.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Huang will be sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Huang’s sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

The case was investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathon M. Gerson.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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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.


James Aley White Arrested by the FBI for Allegedly Committing Bank Robbery in Albuquerque Will Appear in Houston Federal Court for his Initial Appearance

August 29, 2011

Houston Chronicle on August 28, 2011 released the following:

“FBI: Suspect arrested in Albuquerque bank robbery

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say they’ve arrested a man suspected in an Albuquerque bank robbery last week.

The FBI says 29-year-old James Aley White, of Albuquerque, is expected to have an initial appearance Monday in U.S. District Court.

FBI special agents and officers with the Albuquerque Police Department’s Repeat Offender Project unit arrested White at an Albuquerque motel on Friday.

Authorities say a Bank of America branch inside a Smith’s grocery store was robbed Aug. 19.

A man entered the store at about 6:15 p.m. and handed the teller a note demanding money. The note implied the robber had a gun, but no weapon was seen.

Authorities say the suspect left with an undisclosed amount of money.

The FBI announced White’s arrest Sunday but didn’t immediately say what led them to suspect him.”

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.

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Vincent J. Garcia Pled Guilty to Bank Fraud in Albuquerque Federal District Court

August 21, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 19, 2011 released the following:

“Albuquerque Real Estate Developer Pleads Guilty to Federal Bank Fraud Charge

ALBUQUERQUE— This morning in U.S. District Court, Albuquerque real estate developer Vincent J. Garcia, 59, pleaded guilty to committing bank fraud in the amount of $365,677 under a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office. In entering his plea, Vincent Garcia admitted that the gross loss amount to the victims of his fraudulent activity was $842,237.44. United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Vincent Garcia entered a guilty plea to count three of a 19-count superseding indictment charging him and co-defendants Derek Barnhill, 47, formerly of Rio Rancho, and David Garcia, 35, of Albuquerque, with bank fraud and money laundering charges in connection with three real estate development projects, including the Anaszai Downtown LLC (“Anasazi Building”).

At sentencing, Vincent Garcia faces a maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, and restitution as ordered by the court. The court continued Vincent Garcia on the conditions of release imposed at his arraignment on June 25, 2010 pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

According to the plea agreement, Vincent Garcia knowingly executed a plan to obtain funding from the Columbian Bank & Trust Co. (“Bank”) by having Barnhill submit a bank construction loan draw-down request containing a material misrepresentation. Vincent Garcia admitted that he used $360,000.00 in construction loan proceeds to invest in a casino in Washington state. To obtain these funds, Vincent Garcia had Barnhill submit a construction loan draw-down request in the amount of $365,677 to the Bank on February 12, 2007. The draw-down request falsely stated that the funds were needed for “materials and price lock” for construction services to be provided by a specific company.

Vincent Garcia admitted instructing Barnhill to draw down the construction loan knowing that the funds would not be directly utilized in the construction of the Anasazi Building. In requesting that Barnhill submit the draw-down request, Vincent Garcia knew that the request would falsely represent that the money would be used for a direct construction expense.

In his plea agreement, Vincent Garcia states that his company engaged his son, co-defendant David Garcia, to act as the general contractor for the Anasazi Building and the other real estate development projects, and that David Garcia was compensated in the form of labor and materials for construction work on his personal residence. Vincent Garcia admitted that he submitted invoices for work performed on his son’s residence to the Bank and to the First Financial Credit Union, and manipulated the invoices to appear to be direct expenses for his real estate development projects. Vincent Garcia asserted that David Garcia was not aware that the invoices for work performed and labor provided at his residence were being submitted to the banks as direct project expenses.

On December 16, 2010, Barnhill entered a guilty plea to count three, a bank fraud offense, and count 10, a money laundering offense, of the superseding indictment. In his plea agreement, Barnhill provided a more expansive description of the bank fraud to which Vincent Garcia entered his guilty plea. To that end, Barnhill said that, on February 12, 2007, Vincent Garcia told Barnhill that he needed $360,000 for a “good faith payment” towards the purchase of a casino. Vincent Garcia asked Barnhill to use an old bid for sheet rock for the Anasazi Building to get the money. Barnhill altered the sheet rock bid to support a fictitious draw-down request for $365,677 and submitted the request based solely on the false invoice to the Bank. After the Bank disbursed the money, Barnhill transferred the funds to an Anasazi account at New Mexico Bank and Trust. The next day, Vincent Garcia and Barnhill went to New Mexico Bank and Trust and withdrew $360,000 of the proceeds and the money at Compass Bank in an account in the name of Albuquerque Downtown Partners. Thereafter, Vincent Garcia flew to Washington State with a Compass Bank check for $360,000 to make a payment on the casino. In entering his guilty plea, Barnhill did not implicate David Garcia in the criminal conduct charged in the superseding indictment.

Like Vincent Garcia, Barnhill faces up to 20 years of imprisonment, a maximum $1,000,000 fine, and restitution as ordered by the court. He remains on conditions of release pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

During today’s proceedings, Assistant United States Attorney Jonathon M. Gerson informed the court that the United States anticipates seeking dismissal of the charges against David Garcia.

This case was investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gerson.”

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.

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