Sean E. Wagner, Former Owner of Two Florida Airline Fuel Supply Companies, Charged for Alleged Role in Scheme to Defraud Illinois-Based Ryan International Airlines

July 22, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs on July 22, 2013 released the following:

“A former owner and operator of two Florida-based airline fuel supply service companies made his initial appearance today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in West Palm Beach on charges of participating in a scheme to defraud Illinois-based Ryan International Airlines, the Department of Justice announced.

Sean E. Wagner was arrested on July 19, 2013, in Weston, Fla., on a one-count criminal complaint to commit wire fraud and honest services fraud relating to a scheme to defraud Ryan, a charter airline company based in Rockford, Ill. At today’s hearing, the department said that Wagner was arrested after there were indications that he was a flight risk.

The criminal complaint alleges that Wagner participated in a conspiracy to defraud Ryan by making kickback payments to Wayne Kepple, the former vice president of ground operations for Ryan in charge of contracting with providers of goods and services on behalf of the company. In exchange, Kepple awarded business to Wagner’s fuel supply service companies. According to the criminal complaint, from at least as early as December 2005 through at least August 2009, Wagner, his companies, and others made kickback payments totaling more than $200,000, in the form of checks, wire transfers, gift cards and cash, to Kepple while working at Ryan.

Ryan provided air passenger and cargo services for corporations, private individuals, and the U.S. government, including the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service.

“The Antitrust Division will take enforcement action against those who subvert the competitive process by trading contracts for kickbacks, especially where the U.S. government is being victimized,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. “The Antitrust Division will hold accountable those who seek to defraud the government and U.S. taxpayers.”

Wagner is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 criminal fine for individuals. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either amount is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

As a result of this ongoing investigation, four individuals have pleaded guilty to date. Three of the individuals have been ordered to serve sentences ranging from 16 to 24 months in prison and to pay more than $220,000 in restitution. The fourth individual, Wayne Kepple, pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

This charge is the result of an investigation being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.”

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 Stock Broker Arrested on Alleged Wire Fraud Charges

November 17, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation on November 16, 2011 released the following:

“Earlier today, Daniel Gallagher, a former stockbroker at Vision Securities Inc., was arrested in Boca Raton, Florida, on wire fraud charges contained in a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn for his participation in an investment fraud scheme.[1] The defendant’s initial appearance is scheduled before United States Magistrate Judge Linnea R. Johnson, at the U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach, Florida, at 10:00 a.m., on Friday, November 18.

The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.

According to the government’s complaint, the defendant was formerly a part owner and registered representative of Vision Securities Inc., a broker-dealer with its principal place of business in Port Washington, New York. Between September 2009 and September 2011, the defendant solicited investments in Nano Acquisition Group, LLC (NAG). NAG was formed by the defendant in September 2009 for the stated purpose of acquiring certain assets of Nanodynamics, Inc., a fuel cell technology company that had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in approximately July 2009. The defendant represented in NAG’s offering materials that no fees or salaries would be paid to NAG’s managing members or any NAG employee until at least $1 million was raised and that if the acquisition of Nanodynamics’ assets was unsuccessful, NAG would return the bulk of the investors’ money. However, NAG did not raise $1 million, did not acquire any of Nanodynamics assets, and did not return any of the investors’ money as promised. Instead, the defendant allegedly took for his own personal use more than 90 percent of the money invested by 13 investors. The scheme resulted in approximately $485,000 in losses to the investors.

According to the complaint, Gallagher and Vision Securities were the subject of an earlier and unrelated civil enforcement action by the Securities & Exchange Commission. In approximately August 2009, the SEC obtained a civil judgment in federal court against Gallagher and Vision Securities in which these defendants were ordered to jointly pay a $179,718 judgment. Shortly after this judgment was entered, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), an independent regulator of securities firms, ordered Vision Securities to cease all securities business because Vision Securities was net capital deficient.

“We are committed to preserving the integrity of the capital markets by aggressively investigating and prosecuting those who defraud investors,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch thanked the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission for its assistance and cooperation in the case.

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Fedarcyk stated, “As alleged, this is a clear case of investment fraud. Gallagher solicited a significant sum for a specified purpose, did not apply it as promised, and failed to return the money. In simple terms, he stole his investors’ money.”

If convicted of wire fraud, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shannon C. Jones.

The Defendant:

DANIEL GALLAGHER Age: 46

1 The charges contained in the government’s complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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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.


Christopher S. Godfrey, Dennis Fischer, Vernell Burris Jr, and Brian M. Kelly Indicted by a Boston Federal Grand Jury for Conspiracy, Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud and Misuse of a Government Seal

August 9, 2011

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on August 9, 2011 released the following:

“Four Florida Men Charged in Boston with Defrauding Homeowners in Home Loan Modification Scam

WASHINGTON – Four Florida men were arrested today on charges that they defrauded homeowners in Massachusetts and elsewhere in connection with a home loan modification scam, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz for the District of Massachusetts and Christy Romero, Acting Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP).

A 20-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Boston, charging Christopher S. Godfrey, 42, of Delray Beach, Fla.; Dennis Fischer, 40, of Highland Beach, Fla.; Vernell Burris Jr, 51, of Boynton Beach, Fla.; and Brian M. Kelly, 34, of Boca Raton, Fla., with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and misuse of a government seal. The defendants were arrested today by SIGTARP agents and will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach, Fla., tomorrow at 10 a.m. EDT.

According to the indictment, Godfrey was the president and Fischer was the vice president and treasurer of a Florida company called Home Owners Protection Economics Inc. (HOPE). Burris was the manager and primary trainer of HOPE telemarketers, while Kelly was one of the principal telemarketers as well as a trainer for other HOPE telemarketers.

The indictment alleges that from January 2009 through May 2011, the defendants made, and instructed their employees to make, a series of misrepresentations to induce financially distressed homeowners looking for a federally-funded home loan modification to pay HOPE a $400-$900 up-front fee in exchange for HOPE’s home loan modifications, modification services and “software licenses.” According to the indictment, these misrepresentations included claims that homeowners were virtually guaranteed, with HOPE’s assistance, to receive a loan modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which is part of TARP and is a federally-funded mortgage assistance program. Additional misrepresentations to homeowners included that HOPE was affiliated with the homeowner’s mortgage lender, that the homeowner had been approved for a home loan modification, that homeowners could stop making mortgage payments while they waited for HOPE to arrange their loan modification and that HOPE would refund the customer’s fee if the modification was not successful. HOPE also claimed that it operated as a non-profit organization.

In exchange for these up-front fees, HOPE allegedly sent its customers, including homeowners in Massachusetts, a do-it-yourself application package that was nearly identical to the application the U.S. government provides free of charge. HOPE instructed customers to fill out the application and submit it to their mortgage lender. According to the indictment, the HOPE customers who did use the provided forms to apply on their own for loan modifications had no advantage in the application process, and, in fact, most of their applications were denied. Through these misrepresentations, HOPE was able to persuade thousands of homeowners collectively to pay more than $3 million in fees to HOPE.

Godfrey and Fischer were charged with one count of conspiracy, nine counts of wire fraud, nine counts of mail fraud and one count of misuse of a government seal. Burris and Kelly were charged with one count of conspiracy, nine counts of wire fraud and nine counts of mail fraud. Each count of conspiracy and misuse of a government seal carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each count of mail and wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. All of the defendants face possible orders of restitution.

An indictment is merely an allegation and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

The case was investigated by SIGTARP and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Bookbinder in the Computer Crimes Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Mona Sedky of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.”

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 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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