Search This Blog

Thursday, June 30, 2011


The following is an excerpt from the Department of Justice website:

"Thursday, June 30, 2011
Justice Department Sues to Stop Orange County, California, Man from Selling Billions in Fake Tax Credits
WASHINGTON – The United States has sued an Orange County, Calif., man to stop him from selling bogus tax credits, the Justice Department announced today. According to the civil injunction complaint filed in a Los Angeles federal court, Lamar Ellis of Brea, Calif., fraudulently claims to have billions of dollars in federal research tax credits that the government supposedly granted him for purported scientific breakthroughs. The complaint states that Ellis claims to be a retired medical doctor, researcher and inventor.

The complaint alleges that Ellis has advertised his purported ownership of fake tax credits on various websites and has issued phony documents to individuals purporting to give them credits that can be used to reduce their tax obligations. Ellis has allegedly partnered with the Southwest Louisiana Business Development Center, a community development entity, in an attempt to sell $24 billion of fictitious tax credits.

According to the complaint, in 1998 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Ellis for his involvement in a fraudulent investment scheme involving Ellis’s claimed invention of a “detoxification system” that could purportedly detoxify people of drugs or alcohol in as little as 15 minutes. The complaint states that Ellis and his co-defendants allegedly offered to sell unregistered stock in Ellis’s company, Lamelli Inc., as part of that scheme. According to the complaint, a court found that they falsely claimed to investors that the detoxification system had been approved by the National Institutes of Health and that Lamelli had received a grant from the Food and Drug Administration. The government alleges that a court ordered Ellis to disgorge his profits from the fraud and to pay a penalty."


The following is an excerpt from the Department of Justice website:

"Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Natchez, Mississippi, Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Identity Theft and Fraud
WASHINGTON – Natchez, Miss., Police Department Officer Dewayne Johnson, 33, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit identity theft, credit card fraud and bank fraud by agreeing with his cousin to illegally use credit and debit cards stolen from an arrestee in Johnson’s custody, the Department of Justice announced today."

“Law Enforcement officers are sworn to protect and serve our communities, and they must be held accountable when they commit crimes like this one,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to prosecuting those officers that violate the Constitution.”

During his plea hearing, Johnson admitted that he took the debit and credit cards of an arrestee who was in his patrol car. Johnson further admitted that he gave his cousin, Patricia A. Wilson, at least one of the cards and knew that she used it to make personal purchases. He also admitted that he lied to the FBI about his involvement with the stolen cards.

Wilson, 34, of Ferriday, La., previously pleaded guilty to this same offense. Following a jury trial in March 2011, Johnson was convicted of violating the civil rights of the man in his custody by stealing his credit and debit cards.

Sentencing for Johnson is scheduled for Sept. 13, 2011. At sentencing, Johnson faces a maximum punishment of five years in prison for participating in the conspiracy and 12 months in prison for the civil rights offense based upon the theft.

Fellow Natchez Police Department Officer Elvis Prater, 36, was also charged with civil rights offenses related to the beatings of two men in police custody and with lying to the FBI. The jury acquitted Prater on one count, and failed to reach a verdict on the two remaining counts. Retrial of the charges against Prater will begin on July 25, 2011.

The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The case was investigated by the Jackson, Miss., Division of the FBI and the Mississippi State Office of the Attorney General, and is being prosecuted by Fara Gold and AeJean Cha of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenda R. Haynes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi. This case was formerly prosecuted by Erin Aslan and Kevonne Small of the Civil Rights Division."

Sunday, June 26, 2011


The following excerpt is from the Department of Justice website:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department announced that former Hickman County Deputy Sheriff Kenneth H. Smith, 43, pleaded guilty today to violating the rights of two women by photographing parts of their unclothed bodies under the false pretense that those photographs were necessary for an official investigation. Smith also pleaded guilty to making material false statements to federal investigators. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7, 2011, before Chief U.S. District Judge Todd J. Campbell.

“Our law enforcement officers are tasked with protecting and serving our communities, and those who use their power to take advantage of vulnerable individuals will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

While working as a deputy sheriff, Smith was assigned to investigate two domestic violence complaints. During his investigatory interviews, Smith told the victims that he needed to take photographs of their exposed bodies to document injuries, including intimate areas of their bodies where no injury had occurred. Smith, abusing his power and position, lied to the victims and claimed these photographs were necessary for the police investigation and prosecution, when in fact the photos were not for legitimate law enforcement purposes, but for himself . The victims, trusting a law enforcement officer to protect them, acquiesced to Smith’s authority.

Smith also lied to FBI agents about sending text messages to a former female inmate in which he requested the former inmate send him nude pictures of herself, in return for Smith’s help in dismissing or reducing the outstanding criminal charges against her. When Smith was confronted with photographs of the explicit text messages coming from his personal cell phone number, Smith continued to lie to FBI agents that he had not sent them.

The case has been investigated by investigators with the FBI and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal McDonough and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Saeed Mody."

Saturday, June 25, 2011


The following is an excerpt from the Department of Justice website:

"Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Bloods Gang Member in Nashville Pleads Guilty to Federal Racketeering Charges
WASHINGTON – A Nashville, Tenn., man pleaded guilty today to conspiring to participate in racketeering activity related to his membership in the Bloods criminal enterprise , announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Jerry E. Martin.

Antonio Washington, 22, aka “T.O.,” pleaded guilty in Nashville before U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger to one count of conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity.

According to court documents, Washington and other Bloods gang members and associates agreed to commit multiple acts of robbery, narcotics trafficking and bribery on behalf of the Bloods gang. Washington and numerous Bloods gang members met on a regular basis at various locations throughout the Middle District of Tennessee, including Shelby Park, Cedar Hill Park and the Galaxy Star Drug Awareness and Gang Prevention Center to report on gang-related business, collect dues, commit disciplinary actions against fellow gang members, discuss acts of violence against rival gang members, and initiate or “jump in” new members by beating them for a period of time, among other things.

Washington admitted that o n March 28, 2010, during a joint Bloods gang meeting at Galaxy Star Drug Awareness and Gang Prevention Center, he and numerous other Bloods gang members voted to punish Bloods member Joedon Bradley. Following the vote, the Bloods gang members exited the building and formed a large circle in the backyard behind a wooden fence, where several groups of Bloods gang members violently assaulted Bradley. According to court documents, Bradley collapsed after being punched and kicked numerous times on his face and body.

Also according to court documents, o n April 14, 2010, Washington and other known Bloods gang members and associates agreed to rob an individual of approximately 30 pounds of marijuana near Bud’s Hardware Store in Nashville. Washington admitted that, armed with a pistol, he rode in a vehicle with several known Bloods gang members to commit the robbery. However, when Washington and the other Bloods gang members arrived at the location, they were unable to commit the robbery because of the presence of law enforcement in the area.

At sentencing, scheduled for Sept. 26, 2011, Washington faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the ATF; the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department; the Gallatin, Tenn., Police Department; and assisted by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Davidson County, Tenn., District Attorney’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scarlett Singleton and Trial Attorney Cody L. Skipper of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section."

Friday, June 24, 2011


The following is an excerpt from the Department of Justice website:

Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division Speaks at the Third Annual Gangs, Drugs & Prosecution Conference in New Mexico
Belen, N.M. ~ Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thank you for that kind introduction, District Attorney Martinez, and for welcoming me here so warmly. I’m absolutely delighted to be here in Belen with you this morning. It’s a special privilege for me to join you in this beautiful state, and on the occasion of this important conference.

At the outset, I want to recognize Ken Gonzales for his leadership as the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico. Ken is a native New Mexican and a great public servant. He is also a great patriot, having served in the U.S. Army Reserve since 2001. New Mexico is lucky to have someone as talented and as dedicated as Ken in charge of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Earlier in my career, I had an opportunity to visit New Mexico several times in connection with my work. On those trips, I fell in love with your state’s natural beauty, the delicious food, and the warmth of the New Mexican people. I returned with my family for vacation to Santa Fe and traveled elsewhere in the state, and I am truly delighted now to have the opportunity to visit the city of Belen.

And it’s particularly meaningful for me to have this opportunity to speak with representatives of state, local, and tribal law enforcement. I began my career as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, so I know what it means to investigate and prosecute criminal cases affecting the local community; and to work on the front lines with police and other law enforcement officers who protect and defend us every day.

In my current position as the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, which I have held for a little over two years, I have the privilege of leading nearly 600 lawyers who enforce the nation’s federal criminal laws and help to develop and implement our criminal law policy.

The Criminal Division, perhaps like some of your offices, is split into Sections, each of which focuses on a particular enforcement area. Together, these Sections face a tremendously broad array of threats, from violence along the Southwest Border and international narcotics trafficking, to cybercrime, child exploitation, and Medicare fraud. Our prosecutors work very closely with the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, often investigating and prosecuting cases together; and, every day, we work with law enforcement officers around the country.

At this conference, I know that your focus is on gangs and drugs – two exceptionally important, and related, areas that my team and I also work very hard on. From both my personal and professional experience, I am very much aware of how devastating street gangs can be to communities across the country. I grew up a long way from here – in the Borough of Queens in New York City in the 1960s and 70s – and encountered the Latin Kings gang in my neighborhood. But the Latin Kings of those days bear small resemblance to the gangs of today. The gangs we face now are significantly more violent and corrosive than the Latin Kings were when I was growing up.

In the Criminal Division, we have two Sections focused on the problems of gangs and drugs: the Organized Crime and Gang Section, or OCGS, and the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, or NDDS.

The gang prosecutors within OCGS investigate and prosecute gang cases of national significance, and often team up with local U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. As we speak, for example, the Section is in trial with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco against several members of the MS-13 gang – a gang we have also prosecuted in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and other districts.

OCGS is also very much involved in our efforts to beat back the violence and devastation created by the Mexican drug cartels and related gangs. In March of this year, we announced the unsealing of an indictment against 35 members and associates of the Barrio Azteca gang, including 10 who are alleged to have participated in the brutal and senseless murders last year in Juarez, Mexico, of a U.S. Consulate employee, her husband, and the husband of a second Consulate employee. Certain of these defendants were arrested right here in New Mexico, and Ken’s office has provided valuable assistance in connection with the case. As with many of our cases, the Criminal Division is partnering on the Barrio Azteca case with a local U.S. Attorney’s Office, in El Paso, Texas.

As a sign of how much energy we devote to the horrific problem of cartel-related violence along the Southwest border, I have personally traveled to Mexico five times since becoming Assistant Attorney General, to meet with our Mexican counterparts and to assist in finding ways for our two governments, and state and local law enforcement, to find solutions together.

NDDS focuses exclusively on reducing the supply of drugs in the United States, primarily by investigating and prosecuting drug trafficking cases of national significance, and providing advice and guidance to policymakers on national drug policy.

As an example of the kinds of cases NDDS prosecutes, we recently secured convictions against the leader and an associate of a Colombian drug trafficking organization aligned with the AUC, a paramilitary group designated by the U.S. government as a foreign terrorist organization. The defendants in this case were responsible for transporting multi-ton shipments of cocaine to the United States. These cases are challenging, and time consuming. We first needed to secure the defendants’ extradition from Colombia, which we did in 2009, and it took a seven-week trial in Washington, D.C. last year, to convict them.

As you may be able to tell from my comments so far, the Criminal Division’s main focus is criminal prosecution – the enforcement of our criminal laws against violent and other offenders. But the Justice Department fights violent crime in many other ways as well. Indeed, Attorney General Eric Holder has recently challenged every U.S. Attorney in the country to develop a local anti-violence strategy that includes not only vigorous enforcement efforts, but also focuses on crime prevention and prisoner reentry initiatives.

In every district, the Attorney General’s anti-violence strategy will require close coordination among state, local, and tribal law enforcement. In the Attorney General’s view – and I share his vision as well – fighting violent crime requires more than just putting offenders in jail. It also requires preventing crime before it occurs, and smoothing the transition of released prisoners back into society.

Prevention and reentry programs that work in one district may not work in another, which is why effective anti-violence strategies need to be developed in concert with state, local, and tribal officials. But a key component of any violence prevention program will necessarily involve preventing youth violence, including by providing young people at risk with viable alternatives to lives of crime. A recent Justice Department survey indicated that more than 60 percent of children in the United States have been exposed to crime, abuse, and violence. To help prevent the kinds of crimes that all of us investigate and prosecute, the Justice Department is committed to supporting anti-youth violence programs across the country – through grants administered by the Office of Justice Programs, the Office of Violence Against Women, and the Community Oriented Policing Services, and through community-based prevention and reentry programs.

Ken Gonzales has been a leader in this area, and I’m proud to be going with him this afternoon to participate in a “graduation” ceremony in Albuquerque of Camp Triumph, a prevention program designed to steer middle school children away from drugs and crime. Programs like Camp Triumph are exactly the kinds of programs that we need, to encourage young people to develop their strengths, rather than seek refuge in drugs and gangs.

Before I conclude, and hopefully we’ll have plenty of time left for questions, I want to take a moment to speak directly to the tribal law enforcement representatives who are here today. Even though my office is steps away from the Office of Tribal Justice, in my capacity as head of the Criminal Division, I don’t often have the occasion to speak to tribal law enforcement officers, so it’s my particular honor to have this opportunity to be with you this morning.

You know, too well, the devastating impact that violent crime can have on communities. Violent crime rates on tribal lands are reported to be twice, three times, even ten times, the national average. It is also too well known to you that violence against Native American women occurs at particularly alarming rates.

When Attorney General Holder addressed the National Indian Nations Conference last December, he made clear that tribal justice is a priority for the Justice Department. And we are taking a number of steps to try to improve safety in Native American communities, while at the same time respecting the sovereignty and self-determination of tribal governments.

For example, the Justice Department has recently deployed an additional 25 Assistant U.S. Attorneys in districts around the country, with the sole mission of prosecuting crime in Indian country. In addition, we are consulting with tribal leaders on how to address certain gaps in federal law – for example, legal barriers that currently prevent tribes from prosecuting non-Indians who batter their Native American wives or girlfriends.

And the Justice Department’s Office of Violence Against Women intends to provide funds, in four different districts, for a tribal prosecutor to be designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting violence against Native American women. Indeed, I will have the honor today of attending a ceremony at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, at which Ken and Governor Luarkie of the Pueblo of Laguna will execute a memorandum of understanding aimed at initiating this pilot project in the District of New Mexico.

I also want to note another significant recent achievement. Last year’s enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act, which President Obama signed into law in July 2010, was a significant step forward toward improving the safety of tribal communities. It made improvements in so many areas, including evidence sharing, data retention, sexual assault case training, and other areas. In addition, it bestowed permanent status upon the Office of Tribal Justice.

District Attorney Martinez: Thank you for including me in your conference this morning. It’s my privilege to be able to join you to discuss the critically important issues you are addressing over these two days. I know that you are all working exceptionally hard to tackle the problems of gangs and drugs in your communities, and the Justice Department is working toward the same goal. We will always be eager to help you in any we can, and I want you all to know that you have a friend and a partner in the Department of Justice. Thank you."


The following excerpt came from the U.S. Marshals website:

"June 21, 2011 U.S. Marshals Headquarters Public Affairs

U.S. Marshals to Auction Seattle Nightclubs Formerly Run by Colacurcio Crime Family

Seattle, WA – Two former strip clubs in Seattle will be sold via a U.S. Marshals auction June 29 at 2 p.m. The auction for both properties will take place on site at the former “Rick’s Nightclub,” 11332 Lake City Way NE, Seattle. Registration may be done online at or on site beginning at 11 a.m. June 29.

The former “Rick’s Nightclub” and “Talents West” were part of the Colacurcio organized crime enterprise, which was dismantled in 2009 after years of investigation by the Department of Justice. The late Frank Colacurcio Sr., his son Frank Colacurcio Jr. and their associates were indicted on racketeering and prostitution-related charges. The younger Colacurcio agreed to forfeit $1.3 million in cash and all interest in the strip clubs in September 2010. The U.S. Marshals Service, Western District of Washington, seized the two properties in August 2010. A court order to dispose of the properties was issued in April 2011, and the Marshals determined that an auction was the most feasible way to sell the properties.

The properties will be available for viewing Wednesday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., by appointment and three hours prior to the auction.

Proceeds from the auction will be deposited into the U.S. Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture fund, which is used to compensate victims of crime, supplement funding for law enforcement initiatives and support community programs."

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Below is a speech given by Attorney General Eric Holder at a Department of LLabor roundtable. The following is an excerpt from the Department of Justices website:

"Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the Department of Labor’s Roundtable Discussion on the Job Market
Washington, D.C. ~ Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Thank you, Secretary [Hilda] Solis. It is a privilege to join with you – and with Dr. [Gabriela] Lemus, EEOC Chair [Jackie] Berrien, and so many dedicated partners – as we discuss the work that’s at the core of this agency’s mission: expanding employment opportunities for all Americans.

I want to thank the Department of Labor for hosting this important meeting – and for bringing this group of experts, advocates, policymakers, and practitioners together. Thank you all for taking the time to be here – and for lending your voices to a critical, nationwide conversation.

With your unique insights, and your ongoing engagement, I have no doubt that we can move forward in meeting the goals that we all share: improving public safety; saving precious taxpayer dollars; and ensuring that the millions of Americans who have served their time – and are struggling to rejoin their communities – are able to become productive members of society, to contribute their skills and training to our workforce, to provide for themselves and their families, and to remain crime-free.

This work is a priority for the Administration. And it has never been more urgent. Today, more than 2 million people – 1 in 100 American adults – are incarcerated. On any given day, nearly 1 in 30 children has a parent behind bars – and the rates are significantly higher for African-American and Hispanic kids. At some point, 95 percent of all prisoners are released. And, as Secretary Solis just mentioned, the majority of them are rearrested – and about half are reincarcerated.

This affects every community. And it’s why addressing reentry issues – and advancing successful reentry strategies – is, and must continue to be, our shared concern.

Especially today – when many Americans are struggling to find jobs – we must recognize, raise awareness about, and respond to the additional obstacles that millions among us are facing. We know that having a job remains central to successfully reentry. Yet, very often, those who’ve paid their debts to society – including many who’ve worked to learn a trade or to earn a degree, and are hoping to get back on their feet – find themselves at the back of the line for employment.

We must use every tool at our disposal to tear down unnecessary barriers to economic opportunities and independence. And we must seek out innovative, collaborative ways to improve reentry policies and strategies.

The good news is that – despite the scope of this challenge and the seriousness of today’s budget limitations – we are heading in the right direction. And the Department of Justice is committed to building on the progress that’s been made in recent months.

As many of you know, last year, the Department awarded almost $100 million under the Second Chance Act to support substance abuse treatment, employment assistance, housing, and mentoring programs, as well as other reentry services. In total, we now support some 250 reentry programs – chosen from more than 1,000 applicants last year alone – and have launched rigorous evaluations to measure their effectiveness, so that we can replicate what works.

Although we’re only eighteen months into the implementation of these programs, preliminary data indicates that, already, many are showing extraordinary promise. This morning, I am pleased to report that – to date – 65 of our mentor grantees have partnered with employment service providers to connect more than 1,700 people with job services.

Nearly a thousand individuals have participated in Second Chance employment services provided by our demonstration grantees. And so far, 75 percent of them have been able to get jobs. 75 percent.

Now, these programs remain relatively new, and our evaluations are ongoing. But, in light of such encouraging preliminary results, I believe it’s imperative that, in the coming months, we pledge to work closely with one another – and with our friends in Congress – to secure the timely reauthorization of the Second Chance Act, which was introduced yesterday by Senators Leahy and Portman. This will allow us to continue to develop, and to build upon, the crucial progress that we’re starting to see in communities nationwide.

But we must also recognize that money alone will not solve the problem we’ve gathered to address. That’s why, at the beginning of this year, I was pleased to chair the first meeting of the Interagency Reentry Council. This Administration-wide initiative is comprised of 7 Cabinet Members, including Secretary Solis, as well as top officials from no fewer than 18 federal agencies.

It’s allowing us to leverage expertise and resources more easily – and to more effectively share information with state and local partners – as well as with potential employers. For example, through the “MythBusters” section on the Reentry Council’s website – which Secretary Solis just mentioned – we are working to arm businesses leaders with accurate information, and to correct widespread misunderstandings about hiring those who’ve transitioned out of jails and prisons.

Today, I’m pleased to announce the release of another valuable information resource. Through our Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Justice Department has supported the development of two new toolkits aimed at setting the record straight on the common myths that people with criminal records are automatically barred from employment – and that reentry housing facilities negatively impact our neighborhoods. These toolkits, which were created by the Fortune Society and John Jay College, include a revealing case study – that you’ll hear more about later today – and provide practical guidance for reentry agencies, and information for employers aiming to develop a competent, culturally diverse workforce that maximizes the talents of their entire community.

I’m glad that Jeremy Travis and Glenn Martin are here to tell you more about this work. Although I’m sorry that I can’t join you for the rest of this morning’s discussion, several of my colleagues will be participating and reporting back to me.

And I assure you all that the Department of Justice, as well as the Department of Labor, will continue to engage in – and to play a leadership role in advancing – our ongoing, national conversation about reentry issues.

Already – with the help of leaders in and beyond this room – we have begun to build a stronger, and smarter, criminal justice system. And I am confident that – by strengthening our partnerships – we can succeed in making federal reentry policy and employment service programs both fairer and more effective.

I am grateful for your commitment to these efforts – and I look forward to working with you all."

Keeping people busy with a job is a great way to curb crime. It is great tthat the Attorney General, America's Top Cop, appreciates the need to put ex-cons to work.


Whenever I do business on the internet I am always concerned about making sure that the website I am going to is the site which represents the person or company I wish to have a correspondence or place a purchase order. In the case below tax payers were conned out of their money by people claiming to represent websites that were authorized by the IRS to help for free, low income earners file their income taxes. The following excerpt is from the Department of Justice web site:

"Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Belarusian National is Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison for Participating in International Online Scheme to Steal U.S. Tax Refunds
WASHINGTON – A Belarusian national and resident of Nantucket, Mass., was sentenced today in federal court to 41 months in prison for his participation in an international online scheme to steal income tax refunds from U.S. taxpayers around the country, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts and Special Agent in Charge William P. Offord of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

Mikalai Mardakhayeu, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. in the District of Massachusetts. Mardakhayeu pleaded guilty in January 2011 to one count of conspiracy and nine counts of wire fraud. Judge O’Toole also sentenced Mardakhayeu to two years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $209,000 in restitution.

According to court documents and information presented at the change of plea hearing, from 2006 through 2007, Mardakhayeu’s co-conspirators lured victims by operating websites that falsely claimed to be authorized by the IRS to offer lower-income taxpayers free online tax return preparation and electronic tax return filing (e-filing). After taxpayers input and uploaded their tax information, co-conspirators in Belarus collected the data and altered the returns to increase the refund amounts and to direct the refunds to U.S. bank accounts controlled by Mardakhayeu. They then caused the fraudulently altered returns to be e-filed with the IRS. The conspirators ultimately caused the U.S. Treasury and various state treasury departments to deposit more than $200,000 in stolen refunds into bank accounts controlled by Mardakhayeu.

The case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Bookbinder of the District of Massachusetts’s Computer Crimes Unit."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The following excerpt is from an e-mail sent out by the EPA:

"WASHINGTON — Bobby Joe Knapp, of West Des Moines, Iowa, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge James E. Gritzner to 41 months in prison for conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act. The former owner and operator of the Equitable Building in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, was also sentenced for violating Clean Air Act asbestos work practice standards for his role during the renovation of more than 10 floors of the building between 2005 and 2008. Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of developing lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. Knapp’s prison sentence will be followed by two years of supervised release and 300 hours of community service. He must also pay a $12,500 fine and $200 crime victim special assessment fee.

“Ignoring the safeguards put into place to protect workers and the public from the risk of exposure to asbestos is inexcusable,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime and sends a strong warning to anyone thinking of cutting corners to save money at the expense of people's health.”

“Knapp's illegal conduct put at risk the health of workers who lacked basic training and protective equipment,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Department of Justice. “The Clean Air Act work practice standards are designed to protect people’s health from real dangers, and we will hold violators fully responsible for their actions.”

On March 18, 2011, Knapp pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act and one count of failing to remove all regulated material containing asbestos from the Equitable Building before beginning the renovation project at the building from 2005 until 2008. Knapp owned the building and oversaw the renovation project, which involved converting several floors into luxury residential condominium units, and renovating other floors to attract additional commercial tenants.

In the plea agreement, Knapp admitted that he conspired with Russell Coco, who was also charged and pleaded guilty to the same counts on February 15, 2011, to remove materials containing asbestos from the Equitable Building without complying with the requirements of the Clean Air Act.

According to testimony presented at sentencing, while Knapp was overseeing the project, material containing asbestos was removed from the building and disposed of in an uncovered dumpster. The testimony also showed that the demolition work was performed by workers who were not provided with personal protective equipment to reduce exposure to the asbestos. Testimony also showed that the building workers, one of whom was disabled, and tenants, were exposed to large amounts of dust that resulted from the demolition. A worker testified that the workers were not instructed to wet tiles containing asbestos before and during the demolition process, which increased their exposure to dust.

The Clean Air Act requires that owners of public buildings that contain asbestos follow federally established work practice standards to ensure the safe removal of the asbestos. The required standards include providing notice to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before starting asbestos removal, adequately wetting the asbestos during the removal and before disposal, and properly disposing of the asbestos at an EPA-approved disposal site.

The case was investigated by EPA and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa and the U.S. Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division."


The following excerpt is from the Department of Justice website:
“Tuesday, June 21, 2011

WASHINGTON – An 11-count indictment unsealed today in federal court in Wheeling, W.V., charges an Army sergeant first class and his associate for their alleged roles in a bribery and money laundering scheme at Camp Arifjan, a U.S. military base in Kuwait, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II for the Northern District of West Virginia.
The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of West Virginia on June 8, 2011, charges Sergeant First Class Richard Evick, 41, of Parsons, W.V., with receiving more than $170,000 in bribes from two firms that had contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in Kuwait. The indictment also charges Evick and his associate, Crystal Martin, 48, of Pontiac, Mich., with laundering the bribe money through bank accounts in Kuwait and the United States. Evick and Martin were arrested today by FBI agents. Martin made her initial appearance today in Detroit before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub of the Eastern District of Michigan. Evick is expected to make his initial appearance tomorrow in Raleigh, N.C., before U.S. Magistrate Judge James E. Gates of the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The indictment alleges that Evick, a senior procurement non-commissioned officer who served at Camp Arifjan from February 2005 to December 2006, along with former Majors James Momon and Christopher Murray, awarded Army contracting business and improperly disclosed contracting information to two firms that were seeking contracts from the U.S. military. According to the indictment, as a result of the actions taken by Evick, Momon and Murray, these firms received nearly $25 million from contracts to deliver bottled water and other commodities to U.S. military bases in Iraq and Kuwait, as well as to paint and clean DoD facilities in Kuwait. In exchange, Evick, Momon and Murray allegedly received cash, airplane tickets, hotel accommodations, and the ability to conceal large amounts of cash in a hidden safe located in the villa of Wajdi Rezik Birjas, a DoD contract employee who worked in the host nation affairs office at Camp Arifjan.
The indictment also alleges that Evick entrusted his bribe money to Martin, a former Army master sergeant, who from October 2005 to December 2008, operated a concession to sell clothing and other items at various U.S. military bases in Kuwait and maintained bank accounts in Kuwait and the United States. The indictment alleges that Martin arranged to transfer the bribe money from Kuwait to the United States and into the possession of Evick, his wife and his girlfriend. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Evick and Martin assisted Momon’s efforts to retrieve between $200,000 and $250,000 of Momon’s bribe money from Birjas and to transfer that money from Kuwait to the United States.
Evick is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, two substantive bribery counts, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, six substantive money laundering counts and one count of obstructing an agency proceeding. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison on the bribery conspiracy charge, 15 years in prison for each of the bribery counts, 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy count and each of the substantive money laundering counts and five years in prison on the obstruction charge.
Martin is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and four substantive money laundering counts. She faces up to 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy count and each of the substantive money laundering counts. Evick and Martin also face fines and a term of supervised release, if convicted. The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of any property or money involved in the alleged offenses.

Momon, Murray and Birjas have pleaded guilty to crimes relating to their activities at Campr Arifjan and are awaiting sentencing.
As a result of this investigation, 17 individuals have pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial for their roles in the corruption at Camp Arifjan, and four others, including Evick and Martin, are awaiting trial.
An indictment is merely an accusation and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Peter C. Sprung and Timothy J. Kelly of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McWilliams of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia. The ongoing investigation is being handled by the Army Criminal Investigation Division, Defense Criminal Investigation Service, FBI and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.”


The following excerpt is from the Department of Justice website:

International Cooperation & Collaboration on Asset Forfeiture
June 21st, 2011 Posted by Tracy Russo
It is becoming increasingly common for criminals to commit their crimes in one country and launder illicit proceeds in another. Law enforcement partners from around the globe must work together to locate and forfeit the proceeds of these criminal activities, increasing the need for cooperation and collaboration.

To foster this cooperation and collaboration, forfeiture experts from the United States and Latin American countries are gathering in Lima, Peru, to discuss the use of asset forfeiture to fight international crime, including drug cartel operations in Latin America. The event is hosted by the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, in partnership with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) of the U.S. Department of State and the Public Ministry-Fiscalia de la Nacion of Peru.

Many of the countries represented at the conference have successfully investigated and assisted in the restraint and forfeiture of criminal funds related to narcotics trafficking, fraud, smuggling and other serious crimes. Speakers from Colombia, Mexico and the United States, as well as panelists from Peru, Paraguay, Brazil and Guatemala, will describe their experiences in using asset forfeiture as a tool in combating these types of crimes, including sharing successful investigative techniques and discussing current challenges.

U.S. Ambassador to Peru Rose M. Likins and U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco from the Justice Department’s Criminal Division stressed in their opening remarks the importance of international cooperation, the need to understand national confiscation procedures throughout the region, and the importance of fostering international collaboration to effectively fight organized crime. Peruvian Attorney General José Peláez Bardales also addressed the more than 60 attendees of the conference, which is scheduled to run from June 21 through June 23, 2011.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Too many times neighborhoods are terrorized by organized groups such as gangs and associates of families. It is hard to live under such conditions and anything that can be done to bring down the bad guys should be done. The following excerpt is from a case that was prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Pittsburgh Crips Gang Member Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Charges
WASHINGTON – A Pittsburgh man has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiring to conduct a racketeering enterprise related to his membership in a Pittsburgh Crips gang, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton of the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Terrance Clark, 22, aka “Doo Wop,” pleaded guilty yesterday before Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond to one count of conspiracy to engage in a racketeering enterprise.
According to the guilty plea, Clark and others participated in a pattern of racketeering activity that included multiple acts involving robberies at gun point; attempted murders; distribution of controlled substances, including cocaine, heroin and crack cocaine; and obstruction of justice and witness intimidation.
According to court documents, Clark was a member of the Northview Heights/ Fineview Crips, a criminal street gang operating out of the Northview Heights public housing facility in the Northside neighborhood, and in the nearby Fineview neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The gang had been operating in the Northside since 2002; in 2003, it formed an alliance with the Brighton Place Crips to expand the gang’s drug trafficking territory and increase the gang’s capability for violence.
The Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang maintains exclusive control over drug trafficking in these neighborhoods through continuous violence and intimidation of rivals and witnesses. Members of the gang support each other through payment of attorneys’ fees and bonds, as well as payments to jail commissary accounts and support payments to incarcerated members’ families.
In addition, the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang maintains an ongoing feud with the Manchester Original Gangsters, a criminal street gang located in the Manchester area of the Northside Section of Pittsburgh. Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang members identify themselves by wearing blue, using Crips gang hand signals, and using phrases such as “Cuz,” “C-Safe,” “Loc” and “G.K.” According to court documents, members and associates of the gang gain greater authority and prestige within the gang based upon their reputation for violence and their ability to obtain and sell a steady supply of illegal drugs.
According to court documents, Clark acted as a “hustler” or distributor of controlled substances, including heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine, for the gang. He also acted as a “soldier/ gorilla” or enforcer for the gang, providing protection for the enterprise through the commission of violent crimes. According to information presented in court, Clark and a co-conspirator were responsible for at least two armed robberies, one of which involved a carjacking. Clark was also involved in at least two instances relating to the obstruction of criminal investigations, including a homicide prosecution. In addition, in December 2007, Clark pointed a firearm at several Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents and task force officers as they drove an unmarked car through the Brighton Place neighborhood seeking to serve a subpoena on a government witness. Subsequent recorded telephone conversations from jail between Clark and his co-conspirators showed that Clark initially believed the occupants of the vehicle were members of a rival gang attempting to shoot at him and his fellow Crips members.
Clark is one of 26 defendants charged in February 2010 with being members of, and conducting racketeering activity through, the Brighton Place/Northview Heights Crips gang. This prosecution resulted from a Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force investigation that began in 2005. To date, 16 members of the Brighton Place/ Northview Heights Crips who were charged in this indictment have pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.
Clark faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of $250,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 20, 2011.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles A. Eberle and Troy Rivetti of the Western District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorney Kevin Rosenberg of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section. The case was investigated by the ATF; the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police; the Allegheny County, Penn., Police Department; and the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office.
Criminal Division”


The following is a release from the Department of Justice. The release involves the owner of a Health Care company who has plead guilty to medicare fraud:

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMonday, June 20, 2011

Owner of Houston Health Care Company Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Medicare
WASHINGTON – An owner of a Houston health care company pleaded guilty today in connection with a $654,227 Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS).

Simone Ball, 24, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal in Houston to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In her plea, Ball admitted that she defrauded Medicare of $654,227 .

According to court documents, Ball was an owner and operator of Preferred Plus Medical Supply. Preferred Plus maintained a valid Medicare provider number in order to submit Medicare claims for the costs of durable medical equipment (DME) and purported to provide orthotics and other DME to Medicare beneficiaries. According to court documents, Preferred Plus submitted claims to Medicare for DME, including orthotic devices, which were medically unnecessary and/or not provided. Many of the orthotic devices were components of “arthritis kits,” and purported to be for the treatment of arthritis-related conditions, although they were neither medically necessary nor appropriate for such conditions. The arthritis kit generally contained a number of orthotic devices including braces for both sides of the body and related accessories such as heat pads. In total, from August through December 2008, Preferred Plus submitted approximately $654,227 in fraudulent claims to Medicare.

At sentencing, scheduled for Oct. 12, 2011, Ball faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Today’s guilty plea was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno of the Southern District of Texas; the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott; Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Russell D. Robinson of the FBI’s Houston Field Office; and Special Agent-in-Charge Mike Fields of the Dallas Regional Office of HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations.

This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Laura M.K. Cordova and Benjamin O’Neil, and Deputy Chief Charles La Bella of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas and the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.

Since their inception in March 2007, Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in nine districts have obtained indictments of more than 1,000 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $2.3 billion. In addition, HHS’s 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.

Monday, June 20, 2011


The following is from the Department of Justice website:

"June 20th, 2011 Posted by Tracy Russo
The following post appears courtesy of Susan B. Carbon, Director, Office on Violence Against Women
An important second meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women brought the 15-member group together in earlier this month to begin developing concrete ideas for ways to address the tragic realities of teen dating violence and children exposed to violence in America and worldwide.
NAC members spent two days sharing their perspectives on these issues and listening to compelling presentations from within and outside government. Personal presentations by six young women from the National Crittenton Foundation included their depictions of myriad forms of violence they had experienced, and then overcame, to establish healthy and positive life goals. These stories of tragedy-turned-triumph were both inspiring and informative.
A presentation by Dr. David Wolfe, a psychologist and author specializing in issues affecting children and youth, provided background to NAC members and public participants on some of the research being conducted on the prevention and intervention of youth violence. Representatives from the Stalking Resource Center and the National Network to End Domestic Violence also shared a cutting-edge presentation on how technology has changed all the crimes, specifically stalking among our teens and pre-teens.
Several federal partners gave updates on the related and innovative work currently underway within the Administration. Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, detailed the importance of these issues to the President and First Lady and described the critical work of the White House Council on Women and Girls. Lynn Rosenthal, the first-ever Advisor on Violence Against Women in the White House, shared some of the work being done in the White House on issues of youth violence. Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli engaged the NAC in a lively dialogue and challenged the members to “think big” in framing their recommendations.
Additional topical updates were presented on the Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Initiative; OVW’s Protective Parents Roundtable; The Office of Justice Programs’ Youth Violence Summit; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ work on issues within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families; recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the work of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.
In one of the more poignant moments of the meeting, 18-year-old NAC member and advocate Amber Johnson shared the poem, “Say Yes” by Andrea Gibson. The theme of how hope is real and felt among people who give of themselves, and the difference that it makes to others, comes through in the excerpted lines below:
When two violins are placed in a room,
if a chord on one violin is struck,
the other violin will sound the note.
If this is your definition of hope, this is for you.
The ones who know how powerful we are,
who know we can sound the music in the people around us
simply by playing our own strings.
We at OVW are honored to have such an extraordinary group of experts serving on the NAC to address these critical issues and tirelessly working to end these crimes through research, advocacy and outreach. This group of individuals includes experts in domestic violence and sexual assault, from urban and rural communities, of all ages and different backgrounds. Their diverse and unique perspectives will help guide how we begin to turn the tide for teens and children exposed to violence worldwide. We will continue to share updates as the NAC continues to meet and compile official recommendations for Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
The National Advisory Committee (NAC) is a federal advisory body chartered to provide guidance to the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services on ways to help children and youth exposed to violence. Its members are appointed by the Attorney General. The first meeting, held in January, 2011, brought this group together for initial introductions, presentations and small group discussions."



June 18, 2011 Chief Inspector Sean Fahey, 202-616-0310;
USMS Office of Public Affairs, 202-307-9065

U.S. Marshals Capture One of Quebec's Most Wanted Fugitives in Florida

Washington – An intense manhunt has ended with the capture of John Boulachanis, a fugitive wanted on an international level. Boulachanis was apprehended in Miami Thursday.

Boulachanis is the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice issued at the request of Canadian authorities for his role in a brutal slaying that occurred in Quebec, Canada, in 1997.

Boulachanis was also being sought by Canadian law enforcement for criminal charges of fraud, arson, narcotics trafficking, conspiracy and weapons offenses. Franklin County, Va. holds an outstanding felony fugitive warrant for Boulachanis as well, issued for three counts of obtaining money by false pretenses.

In April 2011, INTERPOL Ottawa requested the assistance of INTERPOL Washington in locating Boulachanis. According to the Surete’ du Quebec Homicide Squad, Boulachanis had been previously located in New Jersey in 2009, but fled before investigators could make an appropriate identification and arrest.

The case was referred to the INTERPOL Washington Fugitive Division after having been made a priority by the USMS and INTERPOL Headquarters in Lyon, France, in response to an earlier international fugitive initiative entitled “INFRA-RED.” Agents assigned to the INTERPOL Washington Fugitive Division from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Pinellas County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.

“The arrest of Boulachanis shows that, no matter how far this fugitive ran, he couldn’t escape the coordinated, international effort to apprehend him,” said Geoff Shank, Assistant Director of the Investigative Operations Division of the U.S. Marshals Service. “I thank our law enforcement partners both here and in Canada for their assistance in bringing this dangerous criminal to justice.”

In May 2011, investigators were able to ascertain Boulachanis and an accomplice had assumed multiple identities supported by fraudulent documents. He has evaded capture by assembling a complex labyrinth of intentional disinformation, telephone numbers, addresses, financial accounts and postal boxes in Canada and the United States.

On Thursday, at the request of INTERPOL Washington and the U.S. Marshals Service Investigative Operations Division, members of the U.S. Marshals Service Southern Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force in Miami captured Boulachanis as he landed a small aircraft at an airfield in Miami. He was in possession of a fraudulent diplomatic passport, a fraudulent pilot’s license and an unlicensed semi-automatic weapon. The Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement took his accomplice into custody.

Boulachanis is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service awaiting extradition to Canada where he faces life in prison.

The arrest of Boulachanis was the result of the combined efforts of the U.S. Marshals Service Investigative Operations Division, Southern Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, Western District of Virginia, Jacksonville Fugitive Task Force, and the New York and New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force; the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office; the Surete’ du Quebec Homicide Squad; the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs; the Franklin County (Virginia) Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney’s Offices; the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia; the Michigan State Police; the Nebraska State Police; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the U.S. Coast Guard; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; INTERPOL Ottawa; and INTERPOL Washington."
a href="">Furniture Event - Save up to 50% at