Prosecutors in ND, SD warn about human trafficking

July 18, 2012

San Francisco Chronicle on July 17, 2012 released the following:

“DAVE KOLPACK, Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Top federal prosecutors from North and South Dakota have added human trafficking to their list of crimes affecting Native Americans at an increased rate in the two states.

U.S. attorneys Brendan Johnson of South Dakota and Timothy Purdon of North Dakota said during a conference on family violence Tuesday that both states are seeing more cases of girls and young women being recruited for prostitution and drug rings.

Three new indictments for human trafficking have been handed down in South Dakota in the last three months, Johnson said.

“You have people who treat their victims like they’re not humans,” Johnson said after talking to a group that included police, social workers, prosecutors, counselors and community leaders.

The operations are formed mainly in populated areas, but American Indian girls are particularly at risk, the prosecutors said. Some of them were recruited by a Sioux Falls-area man who was convicted last year of sex trafficking of a child.

“These young girls were brutalized. They were humiliated,” Johnson said.

Brandon Thompson, 28, of Tea, S.D., was sentenced to life in prison on the sex trafficking charge.

“This is one area where the federal government has gotten it right,” Johnson said of the penalty.

A recent sex trafficking case in North Dakota involved several victims from the Fort Berthold Reservation. Dustin Morsette, 22, of New Town, was convicted of sex trafficking, sexual abuse, drug trafficking and witness tampering. He is awaiting sentencing.

Authorities said Morsette recruited minors and young adults to be part of a gang he described as the Black Disciples. He allegedly forced gang members to distribute marijuana for him and engage in sex acts with him.

One of the investigators in that case, Bureau of Indian Affairs agent Mike White, said the increase in oil workers has added to worries about sex trafficking. But he said recent convictions on human trafficking and other violent crime has made victims and others more willing to help law enforcement.

“I have hope. I’ve seen it already,” White said in an interview Tuesday. “Once they know people are being prosecuted, they are coming forward.”

Purdon, the U.S. attorney from North Dakota, said the campaign against violent crime on the reservation is a long process. He noted that an American Indian woman born in the United States has a 1-in-3 chance of being sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

“Improving public safety in Indian country is not something you are going to knock out in two years,” he said. “If we can sustain this for a period of years, I am hopeful, I am confident, we can impact some of these statistics we find to be unacceptable.””

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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

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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.


Judge steps aside in Florida prosecutor case

June 8, 2012

The Miami Herald on June 8, 2012 released the following:

“THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
MIAMI — A Miami federal judge has stepped aside in a misconduct case involving two federal prosecutors.

Senior U.S. District Judge Alan S. Gold issued a recusal order Friday because of questions about his impartiality. Gold in 2009 ordered sanctions against prosecutors Sean Cronin and Andrea Hoffman for their roles in a questionable witness tampering investigation.

Gold also ordered the U.S. government to pay $600,000 to a doctor acquitted of illegally prescribing painkillers. A federal appeals court overturned both of those orders last year, ruling that Gold did not give the prosecutors proper due process.

Another Miami federal judge will now oversee the case.

The case involves witnesses authorized by the prosecutors to make secret recordings of defense attorney David O. Markus and his investigator. No evidence of witness tampering was found.”

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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 – Appeal

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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.


Six Arrested in Connection with Alleged Kidnapping and Death of Atlantic City Woman

October 19, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 18, 2011 released the following:

“CAMDEN, NJ— Six South Jersey residents charged by complaint in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a 20-year-old Atlantic City woman last March were arrested today, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

A team of more than 50 federal, state, county, and local law enforcement officers executed a series of federal arrest warrants early this morning in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Nadirah Ruffin.

According to the complaints, the victim was with four other women in a private residence in Atlantic City on March 26, 2011, when a number of intruders wearing masks and dark hooded sweatshirts and armed with handguns entered the residence. The intruders bound and blindfolded the women, then searched the residence for drugs and money. At least two of the women were pistol-whipped by the intruders, who remained for 30 to 40 minutes before leaving, taking Nadirah Ruffin with them. Her body was found in the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia on April 19, 2011. An autopsy revealed she died from a gunshot wound.

Three Atlantic City residents—a woman and two men—were taken into custody this morning on federal warrants in connection with Nadirah Ruffin’s death. They were charged with kidnapping resulting in the victim’s death, robbery, and weapons offenses. Shamerria Smith, 24, Aziz Sanders, 18, and Deshawn Hicks, 19, will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider this afternoon.

Two other men were arrested and charged with tampering with a potential witness in connection with the investigation. Henry Ruffin, 40, of Williamstown, and Ronnie Ruffin, 42, of Lindenwold (neither of whom are related to Nadirah Ruffin), are accused of using physical force and threats of physical force to prevent a witness from providing information to the FBI and other investigating officers. Ronnie Ruffin is defendant Smith’s father. Henry Ruffin is an uncle to defendants Smith, Sanders, and Isiah Ruffin.

Isiah Ruffin (no relation to Nadirah Ruffin), 20, of Atlantic City, was arrested and charged with giving false information to FBI special agents who were investigating the disappearance and death of Nadirah Ruffin.

“The kidnapping and murder allegations in the complaint detail an indifference to human life that is shocking,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “The complaint describes how associates of those responsible attempted to use threats, violence, and lies to prevent us from finding and arresting the suspects. We are grateful for the tireless and cooperative investigative work of the Atlantic City Police Department, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the FBI, which ultimately led to the arrests of all of those involved.”

“This investigation is of utmost importance to the FBI Safe Street Task Force due to aspects of home invasion, robbery, kidnapping, and the senseless murder of a young woman and mother,” Michael B. Ward, Special Agent In Charge of the FBI’s Newark Division, said. “Such acts of violence will not be tolerated and will be met forcefully by the united efforts of law enforcement. Today’s arrests of six subjects believed to be responsible for this extreme violence are an example of that commitment, and would not have been possible without close coordination and partnership with the Atlantic City Police Department, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Philadelphia Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. We also would like to recognize the Philadelphia Division of the FBI for their assistance in today’s arrests.”

“I would like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI for their supercession of this investigation at the federal level,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel said. “Our agency is pleased to have partnered with federal authorities in this interstate cooperative endeavor not only so as to pool resources in this complicated investigation, but additionally to be able to potentially seek more serious penalties, which a federal prosecution can result in under the appropriate circumstances.”

“This is a very significant arrest,” Deputy Chief Ernest Jubilee, Commander of the Atlantic City Police Department, said. “This is the most significant series of arrests made in one case this year. It was a tragic occurrence and I’m glad that the collaborative effort put forth by all agencies has resulted in these arrests.”

The arrests were the culmination of an intensive investigation by the Atlantic City office of the FBI, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Atlantic City Police Department. Members of FBI SWAT – Newark and Philadelphia; FBI Evidence Response Team; N.J. State Police TEAMS;” Atlantic City Police Department SWAT Team and detectives; the Philadelphia office of the FBI; and the N.J. State Police participated in today’s arrest operation.

The defendants, charges, and potential maximum sentences are as follows:

Defendant Charges Maximum potential penalty
Shamerria Smith (1)  

Count 1—Hobbs Act Robbery

 

Count 2—Kidnapping

 

Count 3—Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence

 

 

20 years in prison; $250,000 fine

 

Death penalty eligible; $250,000 fine

 

Mandatory minimum five years in prison; Maximum, life in prison; $250,000 fine

 

Aziz Sanders (2)  

Count 1—Hobbs Act Robbery

 

Count 2—Kidnapping

 

Count 3—Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence

 

 

20 years in prison; $250,000 fine

 

Death penalty eligible; $250,000 fine

 

Mandatory minimum five years in prison; Maximum, life in prison; $250,000 fine

 

DeShawn Hicks (3)  

Count 1—Hobbs Act Robbery

 

Count 2—Kidnapping

 

Count 3—Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence

 

 

20 years in prison; $250,000 fine

 

Death penalty eligible; $250,000 fine

 

Mandatory minimum five years in prison; Maximum, life in prison; $250,000 fine

 

Isiah Ruffin (4) Count 4—False Statements Five years prison; $250,000 fine
Henry Ruffin (5) Count 5—Witness Tampering 20 years in prison; $250,000 fine
Ronnie Ruffin (6) Count 5—Witness Tampering 20 years in prison; $250,000 fine

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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

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.


Dallas Federal Grand Jury Indicts Vathany Teng, Lina Ma and Jerry Goh with Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud and Two Substantive Counts of Bank Fraud

July 22, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Texas on July 21, 2011 released the following:

“FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS THREE COLLIN COUNTY RESIDENTS IN BANK FRAUD CONSPIRACY INVOLVING NEARLY $3.2 MILLION IN LOAN PROCEEDS TO PURCHASE LAUNDROMAT AND TOWN HOMES IN IRVING, TEXAS

One Defendant Also Charged With Witness Tampering

DALLAS — A federal grand jury in Dallas has returned a four-count indictment this week charging three individuals, Vathany Teng, Lina Ma and Jerry Goh each with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and two substantive counts of bank fraud in relation to a loan fraud scheme they allegedly ran in the Dallas area from August 2007 to April 2008. In addition, defendant Jerry Goh, a lawyer, is also charged with one count of witness tampering. All three defendants are expected to surrender to federal authorities and appear tomorrow, July 22, 2011, at 2:00 p.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas.

The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired together to deceive Prosper Bank, located in Prosper, Texas, and United Central Bank (UCB), located in Garland, Texas, by fraudulently inducing them to make a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loan and two commercial loans to Lina Ma, 52, of Plano, Texas. The conspiracy involved one fraudulent loan from Prosper Bank for $1.835 million to purchase a laundromat in Garland and two UCB loans, totaling $1.3 million, for Ma to purchase improved land in Garland and 31 lots in a town home subdivision in Irving, Texas.

Part of the conspiracy involved the defendants deceiving Prosper Bank and UCB by fraudulently inducing them to make large SBA guaranteed and commercial loans to Ma knowing that these financial institutions would not likely approve the loans if the defendants fully disclosed all material and relevant information. For instance, for the Prosper Bank loan, seller Vathany Teng, 40, of Plano, and Ma discussed the loan with Goh, an escrow officer, telling him that Ma didn’t have the necessary funds for the down payment. Goh, 49, of Allen, Texas, assured Teng that he had done this sort of thing before and knew what to do to get Ma’s loan approved. Goh told Teng that she must pay Goh $30,000 in return for his help in getting Ma approved for all of these fraudulent loans. In both the Prosper Bank and UCB loans, the defendants concealed from the lender bank that buyer Lina Ma was not the actual source of the lender required borrower down payment funds. In the Prosper Bank loan, escrowr officer Goh concealed from Prosper Bank that he fraudulently disbursed funds to Teng knowing that these seller proceeds would then be used by Teng to fund Ma’s down payment on the Prosper Bank loan.

Goh was also involved in fraudulently generating funds for Ma to use for her UCB loan down payments, thus enabling her to falsely represent to UCB that she had sufficient down payment funds. Goh assisted Teng and Ma in soliciting more than $449,000 of investor funds, later used by Ma for the down payment funds. Goh, Teng and Ma defrauded and deceived UCB by concealing that Ma had to borrow the funds needed for the down payments and that these investor funds were actually short term loans by the investors to Ma.

Regarding the witness tampering count, in October 2010, Goh made several statements to Teng to persuade her to lie and withhold information if she was later interviewed by the FBI. Part of that conversation involved Goh asking Teng what she would say if interviewed, Teng replying that she would answer whatever they asked and Goh telling her not to “be so dumb.”

This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The 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 about the task force visit: http://www.stopfraud.gov

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the conspiracy to commit bank fraud and each of the substantive bank fraud counts carry a maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The witness tampering count, upon conviction, carries a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Restitution could also be ordered.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. SBA – Office of the Inspector General and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Jarvis is in charge of the prosecution.”

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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James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond a Hip Hop Manager Arrested for Allegedly Running a Cocaine Trafficking Ring

June 22, 2011

The Wall Street Journal on June 21, 2011 released the following story:

“By Pervais Shallwani and Sean Gardiner

Federal agents arrested the manager of several big-name hip hop artists after a foot chase in Manhattan on Tuesday.

James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond, who had been a fugitive from the law for the past month, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals after they discovered that he had been staying at the W Hotel in Union Square. When he spotted the agent, Rosemond, 46 years old and the head of Czar Entertainment, started walking quickly and then ran for several blocks before being tackled and arrested at 21st Street and Park Avenue.

Rosemond has been accused of being the leader of a “large-scale, bi-coastal narcotics trafficking organization that shipped cocaine” from Los Angeles to New York, according to a 21-page federal complaint. The Rosemond Organization, as his alleged network is called in the document, “distributed hundreds of kilograms of cocaine since 2008 and generated millions of dollars through its narcotics sales.” Some of the cocaine was “packaged in vaccum-sealing and covered in mustard” to avoid being detected by narcotics-sniffing dogs, the complaint alleges.

Rosemond pleaded not guilty to intentionally conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. He was ordered held without bail.

His attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, said, “This indictment was built on the backs of witnesses that have been threatened and bribed by federal prosecutors. And I plan to expose all of it. If the government wants a fight, they’re going to get a fight.”

Rosemond’s Czar Entertainment manages artists like Game, Brandy and Mario Winans. According to the criminal complaint, Rosemond disguised some shipments of drugs as “freight that was ostensibly needed by the performance artists he managed.”

Last week, a convicted killer namd Dexter Isaac claimed Rosemond hired him in 1994 to rob rapper Tupac Shakur, who was shot coming out of a Times Square recording studio. Shakur survived that shooting but was murdered two years later.

Lichtman called Isaac a “liar” and alleged he is only motivated by trying to reduce his jail sentence.

In Brooklyn federal court Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Kaminsky argued for no bail, alleging that when Rosemond was arrested he had a “fugitive’s tool kit” on him. The prosecutor said Rosemond was in the final stages of obtaining a fake passport and had a airplane ticket to the Bahamas for the morning of June 24.

Kaminsky said Rosemond was carrying five Blackberries, an iPad and two false driver’s licenses on him — a California drivers license with his photo and a fake name and a New York drivers license belonging to someone else. Kaminsky said the hip hop manager also had an application for a fast passport using the information on the New York driver’s license.

Tuesday’s arrest comes two months after federal authorities tried to serve an arrest warrant on Rosemond, but arrived to find he was not there, Kaminsky said.

Mr. Lichtman said the reason his client may have seemed like he was on the run was because he has been harassed for three years. “I don’t blame him for being anxious,” the attorney said.”

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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