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

May 10, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The maximum statutory penalty for wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, is 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

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

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

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

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

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


Leo Joshua Kennedy Indicted by a San Jose Federal Grand Jury for Allegedly Committing Wire Fraud in a $17 Million Fraud Scheme

November 1, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 31, 2012 released the following:

“Danville Man Charged in $17 Million Fraud Scheme

SAN JOSE, CA— A federal grand jury in San Jose indicted Leo Joshua Kennedy, of Danville, California, today with 10 counts of wire fraud, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

According to the indictment, Kennedy, 60, is alleged to have stolen $17 million from various beneficiary trust accounts at Backhouse Fiduciary Services. While working as an accountant for Backhouse Fiduciary Services, a San Jose based administrator of beneficiary trust accounts, the defendant allegedly transferred funds from various trust accounts without the account-holders’ permission. Kennedy allegedly used those funds to pay for his personal investments and living expenses.

Kennedy is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court in San Jose on November 20, 2012, before Magistrate Judge Grewal.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss from the offense, plus restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Jeff Schenk is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kamille Singh. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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

Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. 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.


Five People Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on Federal Criminal Charges of Wire Fraud for Allegedly Embezzling Nearly $500,000 from Trident Seafoods

October 2, 2012

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

“ANCHORAGE—U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that five individuals with ties to Kodiak, Alaska were indicted on charges of wire fraud for their role in embezzling almost $500,000 from Trident Seafoods.

Isairis Wolfe, 32, of Kodiak, Alaska; Anne Wilson (aka Anne Sorio), 31 of Kent, Washington; Jeremy Smith, 30 of Kodiak, Alaska, Valerie Olivares, 34 of Corpus Christi, Texas; and Jamie Fathke, 28 of Kodiak, Alaska, were indicted on wire fraud charges on September 18, 2012. Four of the defendants have been taken into federal custody. The initial appearance for two of the defendants from Kodiak, Wolfe and Smith, are scheduled for this afternoon in Anchorage.

According to the indictment, between approximately January 2008 and continuing until August 2010, Isairis Wolfe used her position as the book keeper for Trident Seafoods in Kodiak to write Trident checks to four of her personal associates: Wilson, Smith, Olivares, and Fathke. The allegations include that Wolfe, using her check writing authority at Trident, drafted approximately 52 checks on a Trident account and made them payable to her personal associates—Wilson, Smith, Olivares, and Fathke—as well as to Wilson’s minor son, L.E. The checks were negotiated by Wolfe and her associates and they shared the proceeds. It is further alleged that Wolfe concealed the fraud by creating fraudulent accounting records so that the payments appeared to be legitimate.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward, 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 for each count, as well as restitution for the amount embezzled. 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.

Ms. Loeffler commends the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation of this case and the Kodiak Police Department for its assistance in the investigation of 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.”

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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.


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.