Chicago Man Indicted for Allegedly Causing 15 Investors to Lose Approximately $600,000 in Ponzi-Type Fraud Scheme

June 6, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 6, 2012 released the following:

“CHICAGO— A Chicago man who operated an investment trading pool allegedly fraudulently obtained approximately $1.4 million and caused some 15 individual investors to lose about $600,000, federal law enforcement officials announced today. The defendant, Christopher Varlesi, was charged with six counts of mail and wire fraud in an indictment returned yesterday by a federal grand jury. Varlesi allegedly misappropriated a substantial portion of investor funds for his own benefit, including misusing $99,750 in May 2010 to pay for a year’s rent for an apartment in the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and to make Ponzi-type payments to other investors.

Varlesi, 53, of Chicago, will be arraigned at a later date in U.S. District Court. He was the sole proprietor of Gold Coast Futures & Forex, which purported to buy and sell securities and commodities and operate a pool of investor money for trading purposes but was not actually registered or licensed to do so. The indictment seeks forfeiture of approximately $600,000.

The charges were announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Illinois Securities Department assisted in the investigation, as did the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which filed a civil enforcement lawsuit against Varlesi in March of this year.

According to the indictment, between July 2008 and January 2012, Varlesi made false representations to clients about using their money to trade gold, commodity futures, and foreign currency, the expected return on their investments, and the security of their money. He fraudulently retained investors’ funds and concealed the scheme by creating and distributing false account statements and making Ponzi-type payments to investors, the charges allege. Varlesi also allegedly told clients that their investments were guaranteed to be profitable, with no risk of losing principal. As part of the scheme, the charges allege that he provided promissory notes to certain investors, falsely promising to return the entire principal amount of their investment, as well as guaranteed interest ranging between five to 7.5 percent per month.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah E. Streicker.

Each count of wire and mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and restitution is mandatory. The court may also impose a fine totaling twice the loss to any victim or twice the gain to the defendant, whichever is greater. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The investigation falls under the umbrella of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information on the task force, visit: http://www.stopfraud.gov.

An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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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.


Three Defendants Indicted in Alleged $750,000 Mortgage Fraud Scheme Involving Three Residences in Chicago

May 11, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 10, 2012 released the following:

“CHICAGO— A Chicago area real estate investor, the president of a Colorado real estate financing company, and a licensed appraiser were indicted for allegedly participating in a scheme to fraudulently attempt to obtain mortgage loans totaling more than $750,000 by selling three residential properties in Chicago to nominee buyers, federal law enforcement officials announced today. The charges result from Operation Madhouse, an undercover investigation in which a cooperating individual posed as someone who could assist in structuring fraudulent loan transactions through a bank contact who would approve bogus loan applications on behalf of nominee buyers.

Defendant Paul Demos, 66, of Chicago, the licensed appraiser, was arrested this morning and was released on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty at his arraignment before U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve in Federal Court. Co-defendants Michael Fort, 42, of Hazel Crest, an investor who owned multiple properties in Chicago; and Jeffrey Olson, 43, of Lakewood, Colorado, who was president of 1st Funding Source LLC, which engaged in real estate financing, were not arrested and will be arraigned at a later date.

Fort was charged with three counts of bank fraud, and Demos and Olson were each charged with two counts of bank fraud in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Tuesday and unsealed today following Demos’ arrest. The arrest and charges were announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of investigation; Barry McLaughlin, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General in Chicago; and Alvin Patton, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago.

According to the indictment, the fraud scheme involved a “double-closing” on a residence located at 5517 South Paulina St. and the sale of residences located at 6845 South Morgan St. and 1241 North Monitor Ave., all in Chicago, between June and September 2010. The defendants and others allegedly fraudulently attempted to obtain loans by preparing and submitting to an unnamed bank applications in the names of nominee buyers that contained false information about the borrower’s employment, income, assets, down payment, intention to occupy the residence, and the value of the property.

Regarding the Paulina “double-closing,” the defendants and the undercover cooperating individual allegedly agreed that Fort would “short sell” the residence to a nominee intermediate party, who would immediately resell the property to a nominee buyer, with the second sale financed by a fraudulently-obtained $295,850 loan. Fort allegedly hid information from the short sale lender, including that Fort had arranged for an immediate resale to a nominee buyer at a price significantly higher than the short sale price and based on an inflated appraisal and that he would profit from the resale.

The Morgan Street property was to be sold to a nominee buyer financed by a fraudulently-obtained $300,600 loanand the Monitor Avenue sale by Fort to a nominee buyer financed by a fraudulently-obtained $203,700 loan, the indictment alleges. As part of the scheme, Fort would pay a fee to the nominee buyers of the Paulina and Monitor properties, it adds. In exchange, the nominee buyers would obtain the loans and sign the documents at closings but would not occupy the residences or make payments on the loans. Fort allegedly intended to keep the proceeds of the fraudulently-obtained mortgages.

Demos allegedly provided the bank with false appraisals that inflated the value of the Paulina and Morgan properties. Olson allegedly provided the down payment funds for the nominee buyer of the Morgan property, and agreed to provide the down payment and short sale funds for the Paulina property. In September 2010, Fort and others appeared at the closings for the sale of Paulina and Morgan properties, allegedly intending to receive approximately $596,450 in fraudulently-obtained loan proceeds. Together with the Monitor property, the defendants allegedly intended to fraudulently obtain mortgages totaling more than $750,000.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tyler Murray and Christopher Stetler.

Each count of bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and restitution is mandatory. If convicted, the court may impose an alternate fine totaling twice the loss to any victim or twice the gain to the defendant, whichever is greater. The court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The charges are part of a continuing effort to investigate and prosecute mortgage fraud in northern Illinois and nationwide under the umbrella of the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established to lead an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.

Since 2008, approximately 200 defendants have been charged in Federal Court in Chicago and Rockford with engaging in various mortgage fraud schemes involving more than 1,000 properties and more than $280 million in potential losses, signifying the high priority that federal law enforcement officials give mortgage fraud in an effort to deter others from engaging in crimes relating to residential and commercial real estate.

The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information on the task force, visit: http://www.StopFraud.gov.”

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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.


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

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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.


Bryan Day Charged by a Federal Grand Jury in an Indictment Alleging a $1 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

May 2, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 2, 2012 released the following:

“Chicago-Area Man Charged in $1 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

CHICAGO— A south suburban resident who purported to provide psychotherapy services to Medicare patients was charged with participating in a $1 million health care fraud scheme, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services announced today.

The defendant, Bryan Day, 42, of Richton Park, who is not a licensed medical professional, operated and was part owner of Charm Development LLC, located in Chicago Heights, which purported to provide psychotherapy services to patients, primarily in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Day was charged with six counts of health care fraud in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury last week and announced today by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Regional Office of the HHS-OIG; and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Day is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. May 14 before U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall in federal court in Chicago.

The indictment alleges that between January 2008 and June 2009 Day submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare totaling $1,078,733, and caused Medicare to pay approximately $438,852. Day allegedly submitted claims for individual psychotherapy services purportedly performed by Doctor A, knowing that Doctor A did not provide the services claimed. In addition, the claims included services that were purportedly provided at times when Doctor A was not present at Charm and not licensed by the state of Illinois. The claims also included services that were purportedly provided by Doctor A after Doctor A was no longer employed by Charm, and Day allegedly submitted Medicare claims for services purportedly rendered by Doctor A in excess of 24 hours a day.

According to the indictment, Doctor A was licensed to practice medicine in Illinois until July 31, 2008, and Doctor A was employed by Charm from May 2005 until February 2009.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of approximately $438,852. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Chmelar. Each count of health care fraud carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or an alternate fine totaling twice the loss or twice the gain, whichever is greater. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

An indictment contains merely charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is part of a nationwide takedown by Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in seven cities that led to charges against 107 individuals for their alleged participation in schemes to collectively submit approximately $452 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare. This takedown involved the highest amount of false Medicare billings in a single takedown in Strike Force history.

“The results we are announcing today are at the heart of an Administration-wide commitment to protecting American taxpayers from health care fraud, which can drive up costs and threaten the strength and integrity of our health care system,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “We are determined to bring to justice those who violate our laws and defraud the Medicare program for personal gain. As today’s takedown reflects, our ongoing fight against health care fraud has never been more coordinated and effective.”

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations, which expanded to Chicago in February 2011, are part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative announced in May 2009 between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. Approximately three dozen defendants have been charged in health care fraud cases since the strike force began operating in Chicago last year.

Since their inception in March 2007, Strike Force operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,330 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $4 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.”

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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 Indictment Charges Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell with Allegedly Engaging in $53 Million Fraud Since 1990

May 2, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 1, 2012 released the following:

U.S. Files Lawsuit Seeking Civil Forfeiture of 311 Quarter Horses in Addition to Seeking Criminal Forfeiture of Seized Assets

ROCKFORD—The former comptroller of the city of Dixon, Illinois, Rita A. Crundwell, was indicted today for allegedly fraudulently obtaining more than $53 million from the town since 1990 and using the proceeds to finance her horse breeding business and lavish lifestyle. A federal grand jury returned a single-count indictment charging Crundwell with one count of wire fraud, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Since Crundwell was arrested on April 17 and accused of misappropriating more than $30 million since 2006, further investigation resulted in the indictment’s expanded allegation that the fraud exceeded $53 million and spanned more than two decades.

Crundwell, 59, of Dixon, who served as comptroller since 1983 and handled all of the city’s finances, was released on her own recognizance on April 18. She will be arraigned at 10:30 a.m. on May 7 before U.S. Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney in U.S. District Court in Rockford.

The indictment seeks criminal forfeiture of $53 million as well as numerous assets that were seized from Crundwell when she was arrested. On a parallel track, the United States today filed a civil lawsuit alleging that 311 quarter horses owned by Crundwell are subject to civil forfeiture because she purchased and/or maintained them with criminal fraud proceeds. The government will seek eventually to sell the horses and apply the proceeds toward restitution to the city of Dixon.

“The government is pursuing both criminal and civil forfeiture proceedings to ensure that every available tool is being used to recover proceeds of the alleged fraud in order to recoup as much money as possible for the city of Dixon, its residents, and taxpayers,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. The investigation is continuing, he added.

Dixon, with a population of approximately 15,733, is located about 100 miles southwest of Chicago.

Crundwell owns RC Quarter Horses, LLC, and keeps her horses at her ranch on Red Brick Road in Dixon and at the Meri-J Ranch in Beloit, Wisconsin, as well as with various trainers across the country. In addition to 311 registered quarter horses, dozens of foals are expected to be born this spring. As part of the civil lawsuit, the government requested a pretrial restraining order that will secure the government’s interest in the horses and allow officials to take necessary steps to ensure the animals’ health and well-being, including veterinary and dietary care, which has been ongoing. The U.S. Marshals Service is expected to hire a contractor to manage the horses.

The indictment seeks criminal forfeiture of two residences and the horse farm in Dixon; a home in Englewood, Florida; a $2.1 million luxury motor home; more than a dozen trucks, trailers, and other motorized farm vehicles; a 2005 Ford Thunderbird convertible; a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette roadster; a pontoon boat; approximately $224,898 in cash from two bank accounts; and other assets allegedly purchased with fraud proceeds. Many of these assets were seized when Crundwell was arrested, and the government today requested a restraining order on the real estate that is allegedly subject to criminal forfeiture.

According to the indictment, on Dec. 18, 1990, Crundwell opened a bank account in the name of the city of Dixon and RSCDA, known as the RSCDA account. Between December 1990 and April 2012, Crundwell used her position as comptroller to transfer funds from the Dixon’s Money Market account to its Capital Development Fund account, as well as to various other city bank accounts. Crundwell allegedly repeatedly transferred city funds into the RSCDA account and used the money to pay for her own personal and private business expenses, including horse farming operations, personal credit card payments, real estate, and vehicles.

As part of the fraud scheme, Crundwell allegedly created fictitious invoices purported to be from the state of Illinois to show the city’s auditors that the funds she was fraudulently depositing into the RSCDA account were being used for a legitimate purpose. To conceal the scheme, Crundwell told the mayor and city council members that the state was late in its payments to the city, when, in fact, she knew that she had fraudulently transferred the funds for her own use, the indictment alleges.

Wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or an alternate fine totaling twice the loss or twice the gain, whichever is greater. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is represented in the criminal case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Pedersen, and in the civil case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Paccagnini.

The public is reminded that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to an indictment by a federal grand jury and a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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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.


Fidelis Ogbu and Neacacha Joyner Were Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury Alleging Federal Criminal Charges of Extortion and Bribery

March 7, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on March 6, 2012 released the following:

“Two DeKalb County Public Works Officials Indicted for Extortion and Bribery

Private Construction Contractor Forced to “Pay to Play”

ATLANTA—FIDELIS OGBU, 59, and NEACACHA JOYNER, 40, both of DeKalb County, Georgia, were indicted today on federal charges of extortion and bribery. They are expected to be arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Gerrilyn G. Brill later this week.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “The citizens of DeKalb County are entitled to employees who serve the public, not extort them. We will continue to vigorously prosecute public employees who abuse the public’s trust to line their own pockets.”

Brian D. Lamkin, special agent in charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, “The actions of the defendants, as alleged in this indictment, serve as the core definition of public corruption. Public officials who attempt to personally profit from others who are merely trying to engage the government in otherwise legitimate business will not be tolerated and the FBI will continue its efforts in identifying, investigating, and presenting for prosecution those individuals engaged in such activity.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: OGBU (an engineering supervisor) and JOYNER (a construction inspector) allegedly exploited their positions with the DeKalb County Department of Public Works to extort money from a private contractor hired to work on a sidewalk construction project. OGBU and JOYNER are charged with executing a “pay to play” scheme, in which they compelled the contractor to pay them off in order for the contractor to complete the project, to avoid unnecessary work delays, and to gain future projects.

On March 6, 2012, a federal grand jury returned separate indictments charging OGBU and JOYNER with extortion and bribery. The most serious of the charges (extortion) carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. 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 defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey W. Davis is prosecuting the case.”

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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.


Robert Maday Indicted in Alleged Escape and Armed Bank Robbery in 2009

December 2, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on December 2, 2011 released the following:

“CHICAGO— A Chicago area man who allegedly escaped from custody in Rolling Meadows and a day later committed an armed bank robbery in Bloomingdale before being recaptured was indicted on federal charges in connection with the alleged series of events in September 2009. The defendant, Robert Maday, was charged with escape, armed bank robbery, being a felon-in-possession of firearms, and two counts of using firearms during violent crimes in a five-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury late yesterday, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today.

Maday, 41, formerly of Elk Grove Village, has remained in federal custody since he was recaptured on Sept. 18, 2009. He will be arraigned on a date still to be determined in U.S. District Court. Maday faces a mandatory minimum of 45 years and a maximum sentence up to life in prison if convicted of the three gun counts alone.

On Sept. 17, 2009, Maday was under a federal detention order when he allegedly escaped from the custody of two Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office investigators who were transporting him to the Cook County Courthouse in Rolling Meadows. One gun count alleges that Maday used two firearms during the escape—a Heckler and Koch USP .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol and a Smith and Wesson .38-caliber SPL revolver.

On Sept. 18, 2009, Maday allegedly took approximately $32,975 in the armed robbery of the First American Bank branch, located at 80 Stratford Dr., in Bloomingdale. A second gun count alleges that Maday used the same two firearms during the bank robbery. A third gun count alleges that Maday illegally possessed both weapons after having previously been convicted of a felony. The indictment seeks forfeiture of both weapons and 18 rounds of ammunition that were seized when Maday was arrested. He was apprehended after leading police on a high-speed chase and crashing a stolen car on Illinois Highway 59 in West Chicago.

The armed bank robbery count carries a maximum sentence of 25 years and the escape count carries a maximum of five years in prison. The felon-in-possession of a firearm count alleges that Maday would be eligible to be sentenced as an armed career criminal, which carries a mandatory minimum 15-year prison term. A first conviction for using a firearm during a violent crime carries a mandatory consecutive term of five years in prison and conviction on a second count carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of 25 years in prison, with a maximum of any number of years up to life. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is being represented in court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrianna Kastanek. The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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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.


Matthew L. Grant Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for Allegedly Robbing Crescent Springs Bank

September 12, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 9, 2011 released the following:

“Williamstown Man Indicted for Robbing Crescent Springs Bank

COVINGTON—The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky and the FBI jointly announced today that a Williamstown man was indicted for robbing a Crescent Springs, Ky., bank in May of this year.

A federal grand jury in Covington returned the indictment yesterday which charges 28-year-old Matthew L. Grant with one count of bank robbery.

The indictment alleges that on May 9, Grant robbed the Heritage Bank in Crescent Springs using force, violence, and intimidation.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the FBI and the Erlanger Police Department. The indictment was presented to the grand jury by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher L. Nasson.

Grant’s appearance before the United States District Court has not yet been set by the court in Covington. If convicted, Grant faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of sentences.

The indictment of a person by a grand jury is an accusation only, and that person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.”

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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Chicago Federal Grand Jury Indicted Five Chicago Individuals on Federal Fraud Charges for Allegedly Receiving Kickbacks totaling at least $800,000

July 15, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Illinois on July 14, 2011 released the following:

“FORMER NORTH CHICAGO SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER AND TRANSPORTATION DIRECTOR AMONG FIVE DEFENDANTS INDICTED FOR ALLEGED ROLES IN $800,000 KICKBACK SCHEME INVOLVING STUDENT BUSING CONTRACTS

CHICAGO — A former North Chicago school board member and the district’s former transportation director were indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly receiving kickbacks totaling at least $800,000 from three co-defendants who controlled several different companies that received at least $21 million in student bus contracts over nearly a decade. All five defendants were charged in a 26-count indictment alleging that, between 2001 and August 2010, they schemed to defraud and deprive the citizens of North Chicago, located in Lake County, and the approximately 4,000-student North Chicago Community Unit School District 187 (NCSD) of the honest services of former school board member Gloria Harper and former transportation director Alice Sherrod. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury late yesterday and announced today by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Alvin Patton, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. The North Chicago School District cooperated with the investigation.

Harper, 59, of North Chicago, who was a member of the NCSD board from 1999 to May 2009, and Sherrod, 59, of Gurnee, who was District 187’s transportation director from 2001 to July 2010, allegedly used their positions to enrich themselves secretly by soliciting and accepting gifts and cash from their three co-defendants in exchange for favorable official action regarding student transportation contracts. Initially, Harper and Sherrod allegedly received kickbacks of approximately $4,000 to $5,000 a month but, by 2003, they were collecting approximately $20,000 a month, the indictment alleges.

Also indicted were: Derrick Eubanks, 47, of Lake Villa; Tommie Boddie, 66, of Wadsworth; and Barrett White, 52, of Matteson. All five defendants were each charged with six counts of wire fraud and various counts of soliciting or paying bribes. All but White were also charged with multiple counts of filing false federal income tax returns. All five defendants will be arraigned on dates still to be determined in U.S. District Court.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of more than $9.67 million, as well as 48 buses and vans and seven personal automobiles.

According to the indictment, from the late 1990s until mid-2003, the NCSD contracted with various companies to provide student transportation, including T&M Transportation, which was owned at least in part and controlled by Boddie, and Eubanks Transportation, which was owned at least in part and controlled by Eubanks. In approximately 2001, Harper and Sherrod met with Boddie and told him they would arrange for the NCSD to increase the number of students that T&M transported if Boddie agreed to pay them in return, and Boddie agreed. At Harper’s request, White began acting as an intermediary, or “bagman,” receiving cash from Boddie, keeping some for himself, and providing the bulk to Harper, who, in turn, shared the money with Sherrod, the indictment alleges.

To facilitate his role as the scheme’s bagman, White established D’Amoto Transportation, which he used to funnel money from Boddie’s T&M company to Harper and Sherrod. Sometime in 2002 or 2003, White established BWT Transportation to replace D’Amoto. In approximately May 2003, Harper allegedly suggested to Boddie and Eubanks that they join together to form one company to bid on NCSD transportation contracts. Both Harper and Sherrod told Boddie and Eubanks that if they won the contract they would have to split the profits with the two school officials, and the two men agreed to do so, the charges allege. As a result, Boddie and Eubanks created Safety First Transportation, Inc., which won the NCSD’s transportation contract in 2003. Once Safety First began to receive school district payments, White allegedly converted Safety First’s funds into cash to pay Harper for her to share with Sherrod, while White kept a portion for himself. Neither White nor his company, BWT, did any work for Safety First and their sole role was to funnel cash to Harper
and Sherrod, according to the indictment.

As a result of an IRS audit of Safety First in 2006-2007, Safety First began providing funds to White as an employee, as well as continuing to provide him with funds as a contractor, in late 2006, even though he continued to provide no service other than paying kickbacks as an intermediary.

Also as a result of the audit, Harper allegedly agreed that White’s portion of the proceeds should be increased to compensate him for the tax debt White owed the IRS. All five defendants agreed that an amount of Safety First’s revenues from the NCSD would be excluded from the profits to be split with Harper and Sherrod and instead would be used to repay tax debts owed by Boddie, Eubanks and White, the charges allege.

The fraud scheme and individual tax counts allege that Boddie and Eubanks filed false federal tax returns for Safety First claiming that they paid White hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees and wages for assisting them in obtaining the transportation contract with NCSD. In fact, the indictment alleges that money paid to White was intended solely to fund the kickbacks to Harper and Sherrod in exchange for helping them win and maintain the transportation contract.

In April 2008, the defendants allegedly agreed to set up a new company, Quality Trans, LLC, to replace Safety First and to assume its contracts with the school district. All five allegedly agreed to split among them Quality Trans’s profits, and Boddie, Eubanks and White continued to make cash payments to Harper and Sherrod. In June 2009, Quality Trans won a five-year contract to provide NCSD with transportation services.

Various tax counts allege that Boddie and Eubanks took false deductions for the money that Safety First paid to White and which White then funneled as kickbacks to Harper and Sherrod. Other tax counts allege that Harper and Sherrod filed false individual tax returns failing to report the kickbacks they received as income.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Getter and Greg Deis.

Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and each count of soliciting or paying bribes carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine. As an alternative, the Court may impose a maximum fine totaling twice the loss to any victim or twice the gain to any defendant, whichever is greater, and restitution is mandatory. Filing a false federal income tax return carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition, a defendant convicted of tax offenses faces mandatory costs of prosecution and remains civilly liable to the Government for any and all back taxes, as well as a civil fraud penalty of 75 percent of the underpayment plus interest. If convicted, the Court must determine a reasonable sentence to impose under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The 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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Operation of Two Home Health Care Businesses Indicted in Alleged $20 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

June 30, 2011

U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Illinois on June 29, 2011 released the following press release:

“CHICAGO — A Chicago man who operated two home health care businesses, one of which was among the state’s largest recipients of Medicare payments, was indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly swindling Medicare of at least $20 million over five years, federal law enforcement officials announced today. The defendant, Jacinto “John” Gabriel, Jr., allegedly schemed with others to submit millions of dollars in false claims for reimbursement of home healthcare services purportedly provided to Medicare beneficiaries, which allegedly were never provided, were not medically necessary, or were inflated in price so that he and others could profit from the fraudulently-obtained funds. Gabriel and his co-schemers allegedly used the proceeds for various purposes, including: using more than $5.5 million in cash to maintain lavish lifestyles, including gambling at casinos in the Chicago area and Las Vegas, and to buy automobiles, jewelry and real estate in the United States and the Philippines; to perpetuate the businesses by paying his employees and providing them with gifts, and to bribe physicians and pay kickbacks to others in exchange for patient referrals.

Gabriel, 43, who had no formal medical training, medical degrees, nor licenses to practice as a health care professional, was charged with two counts of wire fraud, two counts of health care fraud and 11 counts of money laundering in a 15-count indictment returned yesterday by a federal grand jury, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $20 million. He has remained free on bond since he was arrested on preliminary charges in February and he will be arraigned on a date still be determined in U.S. District Court.

“The fraud alleged in this indictment illustrates complete disregard of the needs and interests of Medicare patients,” said Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Region of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. “The OIG is determined to aggressively investigate Medicare fraud and will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those who perpetrate these types of crimes are held accountable.”

Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Pugh announced the charges together with Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Alvin Patton, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. The Railroad Retirement Board Office of Inspector General also participated in the investigation, which is continuing. The investigation is being conducted by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which expanded to Chicago earlier this year, and is part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative between the Justice Department and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce anti-fraud laws around the country.

According to the indictment, Gabriel did not identify himself as an owner, but in fact exercised ownership and control over Perpetual Home Health, Inc., based in Oak Forest, and Legacy Home Healthcare Services, which was located on the city’s north side. Both firms have ceased operating and no longer receive Medicare payments. Between May 2006 and January 2011, Perpetual submitted more than 14,000 Medicare claims seeking reimbursement for services allegedly provided to beneficiaries. As a result of those claims, Perpetual received more than $38 million in Medicare payments, making it one of the largest, if not the largest, recipients of Medicare payments for home health services in Illinois. Between 2008 and January 2011, Legacy submitted more than 2,000 claims for Medicare reimbursement and received more than $5 million.

As part of the fraud scheme, Gabriel and his co-schemers allegedly obtained personal information of Medicare beneficiaries to bill Medicare without the beneficiaries’ knowledge or consent; created false patient files to support fraudulent Medicare claims and submitted false claims based on those records; used Medicare proceeds to pay himself, co-schemers, employees, and others who assisted him in carrying out the scheme; and concealed the fraud proceeds by directing Perpetual and Legacy to issue checks payable to fictitious entities, his friends and associates.

Among other details, the indictment alleges that Gabriel authorized Perpetual and Legacy to pay various amounts, ranging between $200 and $800, to employees and others for each patient they referred and enrolled in home healthcare services. He and others also cold-called Medicare beneficiaries to try to persuade them to enroll with Perpetual and Legacy.

As part of allegedly falsifying patient records, Gabriel directed Perpetual and Legacy personnel to systematically complete standard forms by listing the same false diagnoses, including arthropathy (joint disease) and hypertension, which enabled them to claim a higher level of Medicare reimbursement, according to the charges.

In addition to the fraud counts, the money laundering charges allege that between last October and December, Gabriel cashed 11 checks in amounts under $10,000 — usually $9,000 and all involving fraud proceeds — to avoid federal currency transaction reporting requirements.

Each count of wire fraud and money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, while each count of health care fraud carries a maximum 10-year prison term. Each wire fraud and healthcare fraud count carries a maximum fine of $250,000, or an alternate fine totaling twice the loss or twice the gain, whichever is greater. Each money laundering count carries a maximum fine of $500,000. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that charges are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The 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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