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Sunday, December 29, 2013


Friday, December 20, 2013
Unlicensed Miami Clinic Nurse Convicted at Trial and Sentenced for Role in $11 Million HIV Infusion Fraud Scheme

An unlicensed nurse who fled after being charged in 2008 and was captured this year was sentenced today to serve 108 months in prison for her role in a fraud scheme that resulted in more than $11 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Steinbach of the FBI’s Miami Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Christopher B. Dennis of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Office of Investigations Miami Office made the announcement.

Carmen Gonzalez, 39, of Cape Coral, Fla., worked at St. Jude Rehabilitation Center, a fraudulent HIV infusion clinic in Miami, that was controlled by her cousins, Jose, Carlos and Luis Benitez, aka the Benitez Brothers.  Gonzalez was also sentenced for failing to appear at a June 2008 bond hearing.   The sentencing follows her conviction at trial to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States to cause the submission of false claims and to pay health care kickbacks and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.   Gonzalez had previously pleaded guilty to a separate charge of failure to appear.

Gonzalez was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Federico A. Moreno in Miami, who also sentenced her to serve three years of supervised release.

Evidence at trial revealed that Gonzalez was an unlicensed nurse who paid thousands of dollars over a five month period to HIV beneficiaries so that St. Jude could submit millions of dollars in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.  Gonzalez knew that St. Jude billed millions of dollars to Medicare for expensive HIV infusion therapy that was neither medically necessary nor provided.   Gonzalez fabricated patient medical records to facilitate and conceal the fraud, and these fabricated records were utilized to support the false and fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare on behalf of St. Jude.

On Oct. 17, 2013, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to knowingly and willfully failing to appear at a June 2008 hearing as directed by Judge Moreno.   Court documents reveal that Gonzalez was released on bond pending trial, but she knowingly and willfully failed to appear as directed by the court to a June 2008 hearing.

In January 2013, Gonzalez’s father, Enrique Gonzalez, was sentenced to 70 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga in the Southern District of Florida for his role in separate health care fraud conspiracy.

The Benitez Brothers remain fugitives.   Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts is urged to contact HHS-OIG at 202-619-0088.

The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.   This case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Allan Medina and Nathan Dimock of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,700 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5.5 billion.   In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

Friday, December 27, 2013


Friday, December 20, 2013
Tennessee Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime for Cross Burning

Timothy Stafford, 41,  pleaded guilty today in federal court in Nashville, Tenn.,  for his role in the April 30, 2012, cross burning in front of an interracial family’s home in Minor Hill, Tenn., the Department of Justice announced.

Stafford pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to threaten, intimidate and interfere with an interracial couple’s enjoyment of their housing rights.  Stafford admitted in court that on the night of April 30, 2012, he and two other individuals devised a plan to burn a cross in the yard of an interracial couple in Minor Hill, Tenn..  Stafford constructed a wooden cross in a workshop behind his house.  Stafford and his co-conspirators then purchased diesel fuel and covered the cross in diesel fuel-soaked cloth.  Stafford then drove his conspirators and the cross to the victims’ residence.  Upon arriving at the residence, the other conspirators placed the cross in the driveway and ignited it.  Stafford and the conspirators chose to burn the cross at the victims’ house, because of their race, as well as the race of their child.  Stafford admitted to targeting the interracial couple because he did not want interracial dating in his community.

Ivan “Rusty” London IV, 21, of Lexington, Ky., previously pleaded guilty for his role in the conspiracy, and is currently awaiting sentencing.

“Hate motivated crimes will not be tolerated in our country,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “The Justice Department will vigorously prosecute individuals that violate the rights of others because of race.”

“The right to live in a community of your choosing, free of acts of intimidation that are meant to inspire fear, is a fundamental right in the United States,” said David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.  “The Department of Justice takes these transgressions very seriously and to the extent that individuals interfere with fundamental civil rights, they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Timothy Stafford faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison.  Ivan London faces a statutory maximum of 5 years in prison.

This case was investigated by the Columbia, Tenn., Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Blanche Cook of the Middle District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney Jared Fishman of the Civil Rights Division.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Former S.C. Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation
Robin Smith, a former corrections officer at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County, S.C., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Columbia, S.C., to violating the civil rights of a pre-trial detainee.

During his guilty plea, Smith admitted that on Feb. 11, 2012, while working as a corrections officer, he used unreasonable, unprovoked force against a restrained inmate with mental illness.  During the course of a routine search of the victim’s cell, Smith twisted the victim’s wrist and arm and kicked him in the upper body.  During the assault, the victim was lying on the floor of the cell with one hand cuffed.  The victim was not combative and did not pose a threat to Smith.

“The overwhelming majority of correctional officers dispatch their difficult duties with honor and professionalism,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division.  “The Justice Department will aggressively prosecute those who cross the line to engage in acts of criminal misconduct.”          

“Every minute of every day, corrections officers across this state handle extraordinarily difficult situations in a way that protects the detainees, the institution and the public,” said U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles for the District of South Carolina.  “However, when a corrections officer’s conduct crosses the line between lawful use of force and an abuse of authority, we will take that case before the grand jury.”

U.S. Attorney Nettles thanked Sheriff Lott and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department for their commitment to the investigation, without which the prosecution would have been nearly impossible.  Today’s plea resulted from the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Richland County Sheriff’s Office.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Jared Fishman and Nicholas Murphy for the Civil Rights Division, and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Drake for the District of South Carolina.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Former BP Engineer Convicted for Obstruction of Justice in Connection with the Deepwater Horizon Criminal Investigation

Kurt Mix, a former engineer for BP plc, was convicted today of intentionally destroying evidence requested by federal criminal authorities investigating the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson of the FBI’s New Orleans Division made the announcement after the verdict was announced by U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr.

Mix, 52, of Katy, Texas, was convicted by a federal jury in the Eastern District of Louisiana of one count of obstruction of justice and was acquitted on a second count of obstruction of justice.   He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 26, 2014.

“Today a jury in New Orleans found that Kurt Mix purposefully obstructed the efforts of law enforcement during the investigation of the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman.   “This prosecution shows the commitment of the Justice Department to hold accountable those who attempt to interfere with the administration of justice.  I want to thank the committed prosecutors and agents who have worked tirelessly over so many years on the Deepwater Horizon Task Force for their dedication and tenacity.”

According to court documents and evidence at trial, on April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig experienced an uncontrolled blowout and related explosions while closing the Macondo well.  The catastrophe killed 11 men on board and resulted in the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.

Mix was a drilling and completions project engineer for BP.  Following the blowout, Mix worked on internal BP efforts to estimate the amount of oil leaking from the well and was involved in various efforts to stop the leak.  Those efforts included Top Kill, the failed BP effort to pump heavy mud into the blown-out wellhead to try to stop the oil flow.  BP sent numerous notices to Mix requiring him to retain all information concerning Macondo, including his text messages.

On or about Oct. 4, 2010, after Mix learned that his electronic files were to be collected by a vendor working for BP’s lawyers, Mix deleted on his iPhone a text string containing more than 300 text messages with his BP supervisor.  The deleted messages included a text sent on the evening of May 26, 2010, at the end of the first day of Top Kill.  In the text, Mix stated, among other things, “Too much flowrate – over 15,000.”  Before Top Kill commenced, Mix and other engineers had concluded internally that Top Kill was unlikely to succeed if the flow rate was greater than 15,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD).  At the time, BP’s public estimate of the flow rate was 5,000 BOPD – three times lower than the minimum flow rate indicated in Mix’s text.

By the time Mix deleted these texts, he had received numerous legal hold notices requiring him to preserve such data and had been put on notice of the Department of Justice’s criminal investigation of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The Deepwater Horizon Task Force, based in New Orleans, is supervised by Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman and led by William Pericak, a deputy chief in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section who serves as the director of the task force.  The task force includes prosecutors from the Criminal Division and the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana and other U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and investigating agents from the FBI, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal law enforcement agencies.  The task force’s investigation of this and other matters concerning the Deepwater Horizon disaster is ongoing.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney Jennifer L. Saulino and Trial Attorney Leo R. Tsao of the Fraud Section.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Emergency Room Doctor Sentenced for Failure to File Tax Returns
Dr. Michael Austin, 57, of Atlanta, Ga., was sentenced today to serve one year and one day in federal prison for willfully failing to file individual income tax returns for tax years 2008 and 2009, announced Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department's Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore for the Middle District of Georgia.  Austin was further ordered to serve one year of supervised release and to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Austin previously pleaded guilty to these charges on Aug. 27, 2013.

According to documents filed in court, during 2008 and 2009, Austin was a medical doctor licensed by the state of Georgia who earned substantial income from practicing of medicine at various hospitals, clinics and other health care institutions.  As alleged in the case, Austin earned at least $213,931 in 2008 and $210,644 in 2009, which required him to file an income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Nonetheless, as Austin admitted in his plea agreement, he willfully failed to file an individual income tax return for both years.  In total, Dr. Austin agreed to pay restitution of at least $215,906.44 to the IRS.

This case was investigated by special agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation.  Trial Attorney Hayden Brockett of the department's Tax Division prosecuted the case, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.


U.S. Marshals Arrest Two in Cold Case

Greensboro, NC – On November 25, 2013 at 05:48 AM, Percibal Lesean Pettiford-Bynum, a 26 year old, black male was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force (JFTF), the Person County Sheriff’s Office and the Wilson Police Department. Pettiford-Bynum was arrested without incident at 254 Hunter’s Edge Road in Timberlake, NC.

On the same morning, Donnie Hayes Jr., a 30 year old, black male was also arrested by members of the U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force (JFTF), the Durham Police Department, and the Wilson Police Department. Hayes was taken into custody at his residence of 53 Lawson Street Apt. E in Durham, NC.
Both individuals were arrested in connection to the January 4, 2011 homicide of Omar Shariff Harris.

Investigators say Harris was shot and killed at his Rasberry Drive home in Wilson. Pettiford-Bynum and Hayes along with two other individuals, James Bernette Jones, 47, and Angelo Lindovis Jones, 53, were charged with first degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and first degree burglary. The Jones’ were arrested on a later date by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Wilson Police Department.

The U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force for the Middle District of North Carolina is comprised of investigators from the U.S. Marshals Service, Chapel Hill Police Department, Durham Police Department, Greensboro Police Department, High Point Police Department, Winston Salem Police Department, Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Probation and Parole Division and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013



Wednesday, December 11, 2013
John Charles Mccluskey to Receive Life Prison Sentence for Murdering Oklahoma Couple
Mccluskey Carjacked and Murdered a Retired Couple from Oklahoma Following His Escape from an Arizona State Prison

John Charles McCluskey, 48, will receive a life prison sentence for a host of crimes arising out of the carjacking and murder of a couple from Tecumseh, Okla., after a federal jury today announced that it could not reach a unanimous decision on whether to impose the death penalty.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough of the District of New Mexico, Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and New Mexico State Police Chief Pete N. Kassetas made the announcement.

McCluskey was charged with several capital offenses in a 20-count indictment arising out of the carjacking and murders of Gary and Linda Haas, both 61, in Quay County, N.M., on Aug. 2, 2010.   On Oct. 7, 2013, the jury found McCluskey guilty on all counts of the indictment after an eight-week trial.   On Nov. 5, 2013, the jury found McCluskey eligible for the death penalty following a three-week proceeding.   The capital trial concluded today when the jury said it was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the death penalty.   McCluskey will receive a sentence of life in prison.   The court has not yet scheduled a date for the imposition of the sentence.

“During an exceptionally violent criminal episode in the summer of 2010, John Charles McCluskey escaped from prison where he was serving a sentence for attempted murder, committed multiple kidnappings during his interstate flight from justice, and mercilessly killed two innocent victims to eliminate them as witnesses,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman.  “Through the hard work of federal and state law enforcement and Department of Justice prosecutors, McCluskey and his co-defendants have been brought to justice.  Our thoughts are with the victims and their family.”

“The men and women on this jury dedicated the last six months of their lives to performing a very difficult, but necessary, civil service.   I respect their verdict and thank them for their personal sacrifice,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough.   “Hopefully, the fact that John Charles McCluskey has been found guilty of every count charged and will now spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of parole will bring some measure of comfort and closure to the friends and family Gary and Linda Haas left behind.   The prosecutors and investigators who so tirelessly have worked toward the pursuit of justice are also to be commended.”

According to the evidence presented at trial, on July 30, 2010, McCluskey and co-defendant Tracy Allen Province, 46, escaped from an Arizona state prison with the aid of co-defendant Casslyn Mae Welch, 47.   On Aug. 2, 2010, McCluskey, Province and Welch carjacked Mr. and Mrs. Haas and their pickup truck and camping trailer at a rest stop off Interstate 40 in Quay County, N.M.   McCluskey shot and killed Mr. and Mrs. Haas in the trailer in a remote location east of Tucumcari, N.M.   The three confederates then drove the Haases’ truck and trailer to a remote area in Guadalupe County, N.M., where they unhitched, burned and abandoned the trailer with the Haases’ remains still inside.   On Aug. 4, 2010, the New Mexico State Police discovered the burned remains of Mr. and Mrs. Haas in the trailer.   Province was arrested in Wyoming on Aug. 9, 2010, and McCluskey and Welch were arrested in Arizona on Aug. 19, 2010, following a nationwide, multi-agency manhunt.

The trial evidence also established that McCluskey has the following prior convictions:  convictions in 1993 in Pennsylvania for aggravated assault with a firearm and three armed robberies for which he served 15 years in state custody; convictions in 2009 in Arizona for attempted second degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm, for which he received a 15-year state prison sentence in Arizona; and convictions in 2011 in Arizona for escape, kidnapping, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and felon in possession of a firearm, for which he received a 43-year prison sentence to run consecutive to his 15-year sentence.

On Jan. 20, 2012, Province and Welch each entered a guilty plea to numerous crimes arising out of the carjacking and murder of Mr. and Mrs. Haas, and both testified during the guilt phase of McCluskey’s trial.   Under the terms of his plea agreement, Province will be sentenced to five consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of release.   Welch faces a maximum penalty of life in prison under her plea agreement.   Both remain in custody pending their sentencing hearings, which have yet to be scheduled.

“A long, painful ordeal for the Haas family has finally come to an end.  Nothing we can do or say here today can return Gary and Linda Haas to their loved ones, but we hope this sentence gives them some measure of closure,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee.  “I would like to recognize the FBI investigators and support personnel who contributed to this case, as well as the federal prosecutors, victim/witness specialists, the New Mexico State Police, and U.S. Marshals Service.  The Albuquerque FBI Division will continue to combat violent crime in our big cities and small towns by working closely with our state and local partners.”

“I hope the conviction of John McCluskey brings a sense of closure to the family of Gary and Linda Haas,” said New Mexico State Police Chief Pete N. Kassetas.  “This was a difficult and complex investigation but is yet another example of the exemplary relationship the New Mexico State Police maintains with our Federal law enforcement partners.  I would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Attorney’s Office, the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and all the other New Mexico and Arizona law enforcement agencies that participated in the investigation, capture of John McCluskey and subsequent successful prosecution.”

The case was investigated by Albuquerque and Phoenix Divisions of the FBI and the New Mexico State Police.   It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Linda Mott and Gregory J. Fouratt of the District of New Mexico and Trial Attorney Michael S. Warbel of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Section.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Friday, December 6, 2013

Owner of New York Sportswear Distribution Business Sentenced for Tax Fraud
Harry Neuhoff, a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y., was sentenced to serve  12 months and one day in prison and three years supervised release for tax evasion, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today.

According to documents filed with the court, Neuhoff was the president and an owner of EVA TEES Inc., a wholesale distributor of sportswear.  EVA TEES was formerly located in Long Island City, N.Y., and is presently located in Piscataway, N.J.  From approximately 2006 to 2008, Neuhoff manipulated EVA TEES accounts through his accounting software program to delete cash sales from the general ledger accounts maintained on the computer accounting system.  As a result, Neuhoff caused false corporate tax returns to be filed with the IRS that underreported the company’s gross receipts.  During those years, Neuhoff’s behavior also resulted in his filing false personal income tax returns with the IRS.  According to documents filed with the court, Neuhoff underreported the gross receipts of EVA TEES by at least $1.5 million using computer manipulation.

The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.  Trial Attorneys Mark Kotila and Karen E. Kelly of the Justice Department’s Tax Division prosecuted this case.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Mollie Halpern: The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of alleged domestic terrorist Donna Joan Borup.

Christos G. Sinos: Borup may be living on the run, but the FBI will not stop looking for her.

Halpern: I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau, and this is Wanted by the FBI. Donna Borup was participating in a demonstration at JFK International Airport in Queens in September 1981 when….

Sinos: She became violent by tossing a caustic substance into the eyes of a Port Authority police officer who was on duty at the time.

Halpern: That was Supervisory Special Agent Christos Sinos, who also says the officer was left partially blinded. At the time of the incident, Borup was a member of the May 19th Communist Organization—a Marxist-Lenist group advocating the armed revolution and overthrow of the United States government.

Borup, a New Jersey native, has ties to the Garden State and Pennsylvania. She uses several aliases and dates of birth. She is highly intelligent and may have a photographic memory.

Sinos: It may be 32 years later, but the police officer deserves justice.

Halpern: If you have information on Borup’s whereabouts, call your local FBI field office.

Friday, December 13, 2013


Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Justice Department Sues to Stop Somerville, N.J., Man from Preparing Tax Returns

The United States filed a lawsuit yesterday in The District of New Jersey to bar Eric Majette of Somerville, N.J., from preparing federal tax returns, the Justice Department announced today.  As alleged in the complaint, Majette owned and operated a tax preparation business named “Berrisford Group” with offices in Plainfield and Somerville.

According to the complaint, from 2006 until 2011, Majette prepared and filed tax returns that contained false or inflated itemized deductions for items such as medical and dental expenses, gifts, and business expenses that resulted in his customers receiving larger tax refunds than they were entitled.  The complaint further alleges that Majette encouraged his customers to submit false documents, such as fraudulent charitable contribution receipts, to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Earlier this year, Majette pleaded guilty to corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the internal revenue laws and to preparing a false tax return.  He was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison and one year of supervised probation upon release, and ordered to pay $123,440 in restitution.  The civil complaint filed yesterday alleges that between 2009 and 2012, Majette prepared 1,853 tax returns for customers and 93 percent of these returns claimed tax refunds.  According the complaint, the IRS examined 428 of these returns and determined that they understated the customers’ correct tax liability by a total of $838,837, an average of $1,960 per return.  The complaint estimates that the total harm caused by the 1,723 tax refunds claiming returns could be as much as $3 million.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Former Medical Doctor Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct with Minors in Kenya

A former medical doctor was sentenced today to serve 20 years in prison for engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors in Kenya.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald C. Machen Jr., and Assistant Director in Charge Valerie Parlave of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.

John D. Ott, 68, pleaded guilty in May 2013 before the Honorable Reggie B. Walton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.   Upon completion of his prison term, Ott will be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life.   In addition, he will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

According to court documents and proceedings, Ott was a former medical doctor who worked for non-governmental organizations and hospitals in Kenya.  Court records show that Ott also started an orphanage in Kenya.  Ott admitted that between approximately January 2004 and September 2012, he engaged in illicit sexual conduct in Muhuru Bay, Sori and Kendu Bay, Kenya, with at least 14 minors, who ranged in age from approximately nine to 17 years old when the illicit sexual conduct began.  Ott admitted that he frequently paid for schooling and provided other financial support, including housing, for minors with whom he engaged in illicit conduct.

Ott has been in federal custody since he was arrested in December 2012, following his deportation from Tanzania.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office.  Significant assistance was provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs as well as by personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection National Targeting Center.

The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Keith A. Becker of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ari Redbord of the District of Columbia.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

Sunday, December 8, 2013



Department of Justice United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian 
Northern District of New York


 SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Richard S. Hartunian, United States Attorney for the Northern
District of New York, announced that JOHN GIBSON, III, age 38, of Oswego, N.Y. was
sentenced today before the Honorable Glenn T. Suddaby in the United States District Court in
Syracuse, New York.

GIBSON was sentenced to 3 years probation in connection with his plea to Theft of Government Property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. Additionally, GIBSON was
ordered to pay $33,072.68 in restitution; was ordered to serve 6 months of home detention and two months of weekend incarceration; ordered to perform 100 hours of community service; and pay a special assessment of $100.

On June 4, 2013, GIBSON admitted that from June 2012 through August 2012, he purchased 91
postal money orders using 42 checks drawn on closed checking accounts in the total amount of $33,072.68.
GIBSON’s prosecution is the result of a joint investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General. The investigation began in June 2012. The prosecution was handled in the United States Attorney’s Office by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara B. Thomson

Friday, December 6, 2013


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Massachusetts Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud and Mail Fraud

Michael Edwards pleaded guilty today to one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and one count of mail fraud, t he Justice Department and IRS announced.  Both charges arise from Edwards’ operation of his tax return preparation business Boston Financial Associates (BFA) and Edwards’ misappropriation of income tax refunds from two of his clients in 2009.

According to court documents, Edwards admitted that he misled an IRS auditor reviewing one of his client’s 2007 and 2008 income tax returns by giving her false documentation that claimed to support the false entries on the returns.  Edwards misappropriated federal income tax refunds of $573,518 from one client and $202,143 from a second client.

Sentencing for Edwards has been scheduled for Feb. 25, 2014.  The statutory maximum penalty for corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the IRS is three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  The statutory maximum penalty for mail fraud is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by IRS – Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Tax Division Senior Litigation Counsel Corey J. Smith.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


November 20, 2013 Chris Bozeman, Lone Star Fugitive Task Force
Deputy U.S. Marshal/Public Information Officer (PIO)
Western District of Texas – San Antonio 
Family Feud Ends Tragically

Fugitive Arrested On Allegations of 1st Degree Murder
 LSFTF LogoFort Worth, TX – Jesus Cruz, 22, was arrested yesterday evening by the United States Marshals Service North Texas Fugitive Task Force (NTFTF) in Ft. Worth, TX. An arrest warrant was issued pursuant to an investigation by the Comal County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), where it is alleged that Cruz committed 1st degree murder.

On July 9, 2013, the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force (LSFTF) was contacted by the CCSO for assistance in the search for Cruz. Task force officers initiated an investigation and discovered that Cruz had previously fled to Ft. Worth, TX. The LSFTF contacted the NTFTF for assistance in locating and apprehending Cruz. Yesterday evening, members of the NTFTF discovered that Cruz was hiding out at a residence in the 2400 block of McLemore Avenue. Task force officers conducted a brief surveillance, entered the residence, identified themselves, made contact with Cruz, and took him into custody without incident.

On April 6, 2013, Cruz was allegedly involved in a shooting that resulted in the death of Timothy Hutson. The shooting took place at a residence in the 400 block of East Clark Street in Canyon Lake, TX. Reports indicated that Hutson was found lying face down in the driveway with a bullet wound to the neck. Witnesses stated that Cruz and Hutson had been involved in an ongoing feud prior to the shooting.

Cruz is currently being held in custody at the Tarrant County Jail awaiting extradition to Comal County to face 1st degree murder charges.

Robert R. Almonte, United States Marshal for the Western District of Texas, stated, “Whenever a life is taken by the hands of another, it’s difficult to make sense of how someone could commit such a heinous crime. I’m thankful for the efforts and hard work of the North Texas Fugitive Task Force who took a dangerous fugitive off the streets. To the victim’s family, I offer my condolences.”

Members of the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force:

New Braunfels Police Department
San Antonio Police Department
San Antonio Independent School District Police Department
Bexar County Sheriff’s Office
Comal County Sheriff’s Office
Bexar County Fire Marshal’s Office
Bexar County District Attorney’s Office
Texas Office of The Attorney General
Texas Department of Public Safety
Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Office of the Inspector General
U.S. Marshals Service

Sunday, December 1, 2013



November 21, 2013 Eastern District of Virginia 

U.S. Marshals Task Force Arrests Suspect in Connection with a Bomb Threat
Alexandria, VA – U.S. Marshal Robert Mathieson announces the capture of William Wyatt Raum. Raum was wanted by the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) in connection with a bomb threat communicated earlier this month.
On Oct. 29, the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center received a bomb threat from an unknown suspect. On Nov. 4, the FCSO requested their deputy sheriff assigned to the U.S. Marshals Service’s fugitive task force to investigate the threat. The investigation determined Raum as the alleged offender.

The case was adopted by the U.S. Marshals task force located within the federal Eastern District of Virginia. At approximately 6:00 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, task force officers and Deputy U.S. Marshals located and apprehended Raum in an apartment complex located on Marlboro Pike in Capitol Heights, MD. Raum was transported to the Prince George’s County Police Department and is awaiting extradition to Fairfax County.

The U.S. Marshals-led fugitive task force within E/VA is made possible by the collaboration of the U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, Alexandria Police Department, Virginia State Police, Fairfax County Police Department, Fairfax County Sheriff's Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Diplomatic Security Service.

The task force within the Metropolitan D.C. area was founded in 2004 and, to date, has arrested tens of thousands of fugitives. The success of the task force directly correlates to it being a truly joint endeavor. Each agency brings its unique skills and expertise toward the common goal of pursuing and arresting the worst of the worst.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested more than 36,000 federal fugitives, 86,700 state and local fugitives, and 11,800 sex offenders in fiscal year 2013. Our investigative network and capabilities allow for the unique ability to track and apprehend any fugitive who attempts to evade police capture, anywhere in the country.
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