U.S. Attorney’s Office
Bridgeport CT June18 2013
Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Patrick Pinto, 44, of Bohemia, New York, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of conspiring to commit bank bribery while he was an executive of Oxford Collection Agency.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Oxford Collection Agency (Oxford) was a private financial services company that engaged in accounts receivables management, primarily debt collecting, with offices in New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Between 2007 and 2011, Oxford executives engaged in a multi-year scheme to defraud its lender, Connecticut-based Webster Bank, as well as its investors, clients, and the commercial debtors that Oxford collected from. Oxford’s victims lost more than $12 million as a result of this scheme.
The investigation also revealed that Oxford sometimes obtained and retained business with its banking clients by paying bribes and kickbacks to bank officials. As part of the scheme, Pinto, a vice president of Oxford, and other Oxford executives made monthly payments of between $2,500 and $3,500, which were hidden in cigar boxes, to an assistant vice president of U.S. Bank in Ohio.
U.S. Bank and Webster Bank received funds through the U.S. Department of the Treasury Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
Judge Underhill has scheduled sentencing for September 9, 2013, at which time Pinto faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Pinto has been released on a $50,000 bond since his arrest on December 7, 2012.
In May 2012, Richard Pinto, Oxford Collection Agency’s chairman of the Board, and his son, Peter Pinto, Oxford’s president and chief executive officer, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering and one count of wire fraud stemming from this scheme. In December 2012, Oxford Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer Randall Silver, Executive Vice President Charles Harris, and Chief Operations Officer Carlos Novelli also pleaded guilty to various charges.
On January 30, 2013, Richard Pinto, who is now deceased, was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment. The other defendants await sentencing.
Patrick Pinto is the son of the late Richard Pinto.
This matter is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), and the Connecticut Securities, Commodities, and Investor Fraud Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Brennan and Special U.S. Attorney John McReynolds.
In December 2010, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and several law enforcement and regulatory partners announced the formation of the Connecticut Securities, Commodities, and Investor Fraud Task Force, which is investigating matters relating to insider trading, market manipulation, Ponzi schemes, investor fraud, financial statement fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and embezzlement. The task force includes representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Fraud Section and Antitrust Division; U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); Office of the Chief State’s Attorney; State of Connecticut Department of Banking; Greenwich Police Department and Stamford Police Department.
Citizens are encouraged to report any financial fraud schemes by calling, toll-free, 855-236-9740 or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants.
To report financial fraud crimes and to learn more about the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, please visit http://www.stopfraud.gov.
South Lake Tahoe Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Witness Tampering and Obstruction www.privateofficer.com
SACRAMENTO, CA May 23 2013 —John Gerald Poland, 44, of South Lake Tahoe, pleaded guilty today by a federal grand jury for multiple counts of witness tampering and obstruction of an official proceeding, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, South Lake Tahoe Police Department, and the State of California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (SLEDNET Task Force). Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rodriguez is prosecuting the case.
According to court documents, on June 29, 2011, Poland interfered with a federal investigation of a South Lake Tahoe gang member. Poland persuaded the gang member’s girlfriend to conceal and destroy evidence. In October and November 2011, Poland tampered with this witness in an investigation into his own conduct as well as the conduct of the gang member. Poland instructed another witness to conceal and destroy evidence rather than provide it to federal authorities. Poland admitted that he corruptly attempted to alter, destroy, mutilate, and conceal evidence material to an official proceeding.
Poland is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on August 7, 2013. He faces a possible sentence of 20 years in prison for each count. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
WASHINGTON, D.C. April 12 2013— Police believe a man from Luzerne County is responsible for a bomb threat that shut down traffic around The White House Wednesday morning.
Police in the nation’s capital say a man walked up to the White House gates around 5 a.m. Wednesday and told a Secret Service agent a bomb was about to go off in a truck parked nearby.
Investigators say it was a hoax, and arrested the man.
Police and secret service agents swarmed the streets outside of the White House early Wednesday. Investigators say a truck driver threatened to detonate a bomb inside his rig parked not far from the White House.
That man was arrested and identified by the Secret Service as Krzysztof Wasik, 44, of Hazle Township.
His home and independent trucking company are listed on Goshen Avenue in Hazle Township. A woman who answered the front door said she is married to Wasik and claims they recently separated. She believes he likely stopped taking medications for a mental illness.
“Yesterday, actually he looked a lot worse. I never actually saw him like that, in that kind of a mood. Usually he`s quiet. Yesterday he was actually walking around grabbing things for no reason, papers, napkins,” said Adam Swieciaszek of Scranton
Swieciaszek works with Wasik as a contractor for Kane Trucking in Scranton. He says he and Wasik were both assigned to the same route for a delivery to Virginia Tuesday night but Wasik refused to follow him. Swieciaszek didn’t hear about the bomb threat until another trucker for Kane told him to turn on the TV this morning.
“I actually thought the truck broke down. He`s at work every day, he works really hard, he`s actually a really nice guy if you get to know him. So, very surprised.”
Neighbors who say they’ve known Wasik for years in the Chapel Hill Estates development say he’s a religious man and a good father of two teenagers.
“Nothing out of the ordinary at all. No warning at all,” said Leonna Seginak of Hazle Township.
A federal criminal complaint says Wasik was upset over trucking regulations and told an agent he had explosives in the cab of his truck. According to the Secret Service, wasik said, “don`t touch the keys in the ignition or else something bad will happen. I don`t care if children or veterans are harmed by the bomb. I only care about speaking to the President.”
No explosives were found in the tractor trailer cab and no one was hurt during the scare.
If Wasik is found guilty of the threats charge, he could spend several years in a federal prison.
As alleged in the criminal complaint, from at least 2009 until at least 2011, Brennan engaged in a check fraud scheme through which he defrauded and attempted to defraud numerous financial institutions. During the course of the scheme, Brennan convinced individuals to cash checks for him using their bank accounts even though he knew that the checks were drawn on closed accounts or accounts with a zero balance and would be returned for nonpayment. Brennan also passed fraudulent checks at several check cashing businesses in Connecticut.
The charge of bank fraud carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to have this matter presented to a grand jury and, in the event an indictment is returned, he is entitled to a trial at which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Citizens with information that may be helpful to the investigation are encouraged to contact FBI Special Agent Daniel S. Harkness at (860) 439-6107.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Old Saybrook Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Kerry L. Quinn.
FBI Press Release
ALEXANDRIA, VA March 9 2013 —Two Maryland men have been sentenced for engaging in a scheme to steal nearly $16 million from Vienna-based Southern Management Corporation’s (SMC) employee pension plan.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement.
Robert Fulton Rood IV, 44, of Potomac, Maryland, was sentenced to 120 months in prison and Nikolaos M. Hepler, 31, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, was sentenced to 30 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton in Alexandria, Virginia. Both men pled guilty on October 23, 2012.
Rood conceived and led a scheme to defraud Southern Management Corporation Retirement Trust (SMCRT), a pension plan established by SMC for its employees. As of December 31, 2012, the plan’s assets were more than $30 million, and prior to April 2006, SMCRT generally managed its own investments, which included short-term, high-interest loans to real estate developers.
In April 2006, Rood persuaded SMC’s president and CEO to let Rood locate borrowers; negotiate loans to them; prepare the loan agreements, promissory notes, and trust deeds; and present loan application packages to the SMCRT loan committee, which would decide whether to purchase the proposed loans. If the committee decided to do so, it would wire the money to purchase the loan to a settlement company designated by Rood. Rood would use the money from SMCRT to fund the loan and would obtain from the borrower an executed loan agreement, promissory note, and trust deed, which he would assign to SMCRT. In most cases, the borrowers were not aware of SMCRT’s involvement in the process.
Rood represented to both SMCRT and the borrowers that he would set up escrow accounts for the payment of interest to SMCRT and for construction payments to the borrowers. Instead, the money from all the loans were co-mingled into Rood’s principal bank account. When the project was finished and sold, the borrower was to pay back the amount borrowed to SMCRT.
From April 2006 to around October 2007, Rood sold to SMCRT approximately 32 mortgage loans that he had originated, of which 24 went into default after they were funded by SMCRT. One loan, referred to as the “K Street” loan, never closed because the title company was unable to clear title to the property, and Rood simply kept the money that SMCRT paid him to purchase the loan. Two other loans—the “Eastern Shore” and “Accom” loans—involved SMCRT loans that the borrowers refinanced with different lenders and sent their payoffs to Rood, who kept the payoff money. In each case, Rood, assisted by Hepler, his employee, misrepresented to SMCRT that the loans were in place and performing satisfactorily, including Rood’s making of the monthly interest payments to SMCRT on the nonexistent loans.
When SMCRT requested an independent review of Rood’s accounts, Rood engaged Lloyd M. Mallory, a Maryland certified public accountant, to perform a review of the loans, loans, disbursements, and escrows. The accountant issued a report, which was actually prepared by Rood and Hepler, that falsely showed the status of the loans and the funds held by Rood. Mallory was sentenced to 24 months in prison on August 2, 2012, following his plea of guilty to the conspiracy.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael E. Rich and Uzo E. Asonye prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.
Bank Executive Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Mortgage Fraud Scheme in California www.privateofficer.com
U.S. Attorney’s Office
SACRAMENTO, CA Feb 27 2013—U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb sentenced Joel Blanford, 44, of San Ramon, California, to 30 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for a mortgage fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. On September 19, 2012, following a seven-day trial, a jury found Blanford guilty of six counts of mail fraud.
This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul A. Hemesath and Michael M. Beckwith prosecuted the case.
According to evidence presented at trial, from approximately April 2003 through October 2005, Blanford, while working as a senior sales representative for Long Beach Mortgage, a wholesale subprime lender and former subsidiary of Washington Mutual Inc., participated in a scheme to defraud his employer. Blanford earned compensation based on the volume of loans processed by Long Beach Mortgage. The evidence established that he paid a loan coordinator in cash and checks to falsify documents, provide false verification of borrowers’ employment or professional licensing status and turn a blind eye to fraudulent representations contained in loan applications and other documents submitted to Long Beach Mortgage.
In each of the years 2003, 2004, and 2005, before taxes and payroll deductions, Blanford received more than $1 million in commissions and other compensation from Long Beach Mortgage as a result of his scheme. Between April 2003 and October 2005, he paid the loan coordinator more than $50,000 in checks alone.
U.S. Attorney Wagner stated, “This investigation exposed a sophisticated chain of fraud that started at the homebuyer level and extended all the way to banking insiders. It is a lesson that those earning million-dollar paychecks are not exempt from significant criminal penalties.”
This case was done in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending; and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit http://www.stopfraud.gov.
Former Officials and Broker of Peanut Corporation of America Indicted in Connection with Salmonella-Tainted Peanut Products www.privateofficer.com
U.S. Department of Justice
WASHINGTON DC Feb 22 2013—A 76-count indictment was unsealed yesterday charging four former officials of the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) and a related company with numerous charges relating to salmonella-tainted peanuts and peanut products, the Justice Department announced today. Stewart Parnell, 58, of Lynchburg, Virginia; Michael Parnell, 54, of Midlothian, Virginia; and Samuel Lightsey, 48, of Blakely, Georgia, have been charged with mail and wire fraud, the introduction of adulterated and misbranded food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead, and conspiracy. Stewart Parnell, Lightsey, and Mary Wilkerson, 39, of Edison, Georgia, were also charged with obstruction of justice.
Also yesterday, an information filed against Daniel Kilgore, 44, of Blakely, was unsealed. On the same day that charges against Kilgore were filed, he pleaded guilty to that information, which charged him with mail and wire fraud, the introduction of adulterated and misbranded food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead, and conspiracy.
The investigation into the activity at PCA began in 2009 after the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced a national outbreak of salmonella to a PCA plant in Blakely as the likely source. As alleged in the indictment, the Blakely plant was a peanut roasting facility where PCA roasted raw peanuts and produced granulated peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut paste; PCA sold these peanut products to its customers around the country.
The charging documents charge that Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, Lightsey, and Kilgore participated in a scheme to manufacture and ship salmonella-contaminated peanuts and peanut products, and in so doing misled PCA customers. As alleged in the indictment, those customers ranged in size from small, family-owned businesses to global, multi-billion-dollar food companies.
“When those responsible for producing or supplying our food lie and cut corners, as alleged in the indictment, they put all of us at risk,” said Stuart F. Delery, who heads the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will not hesitate to pursue any person whose criminal conduct risks the safety of Americans who have done nothing more than eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”
Although PCA is now no longer in business, the allegations against each of the defendants arise from his or her conduct while at PCA and a related company. The following allegations are set forth in the indictment: Stewart Parnell was an owner and president of PCA; Michael Parnell, who worked at P.P. Sales, was a food broker who worked on behalf of PCA; Lightsey was the operations manager at the Blakely plant from on or about July 2008 through February 2009; and Wilkerson held various positions at the Blakely plant—receptionist, office manager, and quality assurance manager—from in or about April 2002 through February 2009. As charged in the information, Kilgore served as operations manager of the PCA plant in Blakely from in or about June 2002 through May 2008.
“We all place a great deal of trust in the companies and individuals who prepare and package our food, often times taking it for granted that the public’s health and safety interests will outweigh individual and corporate greed,” said Michael Moore, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “Unfortunately and as alleged in the indictment, these defendants cared less about the quality of the food they were providing to the American people and more about the quantity of money they were gathering while disregarding food safety. This investigation was complex and extensive, and I credit the cooperation of our federal agencies with not only making sure that the cause of this outbreak was uncovered and the people responsible called to account, but also with working hard every day to make sure that parents across the country can feel confident that the food they are feeding their children is safe.”
The charging documents allege that Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, Lightsey, and Kilgore participated in several schemes by which they defrauded PCA customers about the quality and purity of their peanut products and specifically misled PCA customers about the existence of foodborne pathogens, most notably salmonella, in the peanut products PCA sold to them. As the charging documents allege, the members of the conspiracy did so in several ways—for example, even when laboratory testing revealed the presence of salmonella in peanut products from the Blakely plant, Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, Lightsey, and Kilgore failed to notify customers of the presence of salmonella in the products shipped to them.
In addition, the charging documents allege that Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, Lightsey, and Kilgore participated in a scheme to fabricate certificates of analysis (COAs) accompanying various shipments of peanut products. COAs are documents that summarize laboratory results, including results concerning the presence or absence of pathogens. As alleged in the charging documents, on several occasions these four defendants participated in a scheme to fabricate COAs stating that shipments of peanut products were free of pathogens when, in fact, there had been no tests on the products at all or when the laboratory results showed that a sample tested positive for salmonella.
After the salmonella outbreak that gave rise to this investigation, FDA inspectors visited the plant several times in January 2009. According to the indictment, the inspectors asked specific questions about the plant, its operations, and its history; in several instances, Stewart Parnell, Lightsey, and Wilkerson gave untrue or misleading answers to these questions.
“The charges announced today show that if an individual violates food safety rules or conceals relevant information, we will seek to hold them accountable,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The health of our families and the safety of our food system is too important to be thwarted by the criminal acts of any individual or company.”
Stewart Parnell, Michael Parnell, and Samuel Lightsey are each charged with two counts of conspiracy, multiple counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud, multiple counts of introducing misbranded food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud, multiple counts of interstate shipment fraud, and multiple counts of wire fraud. Stewart Parnell, Lightsey, and Wilkerson are also charged with multiple counts of obstruction of justice.
Kilgore pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, one count of conspiracy to introduce adulterated and misbranded food into interstate commerce, eight counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud, six counts of introducing misbranded food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud, eight counts of interstate shipment fraud, and five counts of wire fraud.
Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated, “The FBI was brought in to this matter to provide additional resources and expertise to a complex and very serious investigation. We fully understand the victim impact as a result of this salmonella outbreak and will be asking to hear from other possible victims in this matter.”
Individuals who feel that they may have been affected by or have become ill from tainted PCA products, and businesses that purchased products that were recalled as a result of the outbreak, should fill out the following questionnaire: https://forms.fbi.gov/pca-salmonella-tainted-product-case/.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Patrick Hearn and Mary M. Englehart of the Consumer Protection Branch of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Dasher of the Middle District of Georgia. Marietta Geckos, formerly a trial attorney with the Consumer Protection Branch, also worked on the prosecution. The case was investigated by the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations and the FBI.
The PCA indictment can be viewed at: http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/61201322111426350488.pdf.
Kilgore’s filed information can be viewed at: http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/22820132211141246302.pdf.
Former Topeka Non-Profit Executive Sentenced to Federal Prison for Scheme to Steal Kansas Medicaid Funds www.privateofficer.com
TOPEKA KS Feb 5 2013—A former executive with a Topeka-based non-profit corporation has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for scheming to steal more than $2 million in Kansas Medicaid funds, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today. He also was ordered to pay $2,077,251 in restitution.
Jason Sellers, 44, Lyndon, Kansas, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. In his plea, he admitted that while he was chief financial officer of Kansas Health Solutions, he diverted Medicaid funds to Advanced Business Consulting, which was a shell company he created. Sellers fraudulently billed Kansas Health Solutions for information technology services ostensibly performed by the sham business. He also billed Kansas Health Solutions for sports equipment and uniforms for sports teams with which he associated, as well as computer equipment for an area school, for him, and for his family.
From about 2007 to 2011, Sellers was involved with several Topeka-area sports teams. In addition to billing Kansas Health Solutions for sports equipment and uniforms for sports teams, Sellers used some of the stolen money to build and furnish a $375,000, 3,755-sq. ft. home on 11 acres in Lyndon, Kansas.
Medicaid funds are state and federal money that were administered in Kansas by the Kansas Health Policy Authority and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Division of Healthcare Finance. In order to manage community-based mental health services for Medicaid recipients, Kansas Medicaid contracted with Kansas Health Solutions in Topeka. Kansas Health Solutions was responsible for overseeing a provider network that provided all community-based health services covered under the contract with Kansas Medicaid.
Grissom commended the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the FBI, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s Office, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway for their work on the case.
Cartersville GA July 15 2012 A Walmart security worker captured video authorities say shows a man masturbating in the presence of children and their mother at the Cartersville store.
Employees told Bartow County Sheriff’s Office deputies the man, kneeling by a shelf and behind a sign, began masturbating in the Electronics department while “constantly looking at the two juvenile girls and looking over his left shoulder as to check if anyone was walking up behind him,” according to the incident report.
The man, later identified as David Scott Kramer, 44, of Ball Ground, was detained by Walmart security and arrested on charges of child molestation and public indecency.
Walmart workers say he masturbated near the girls, ages 8 and 5, for several minutes before he was approached by security and found with his zipper down.
The woman and girls, who left before police arrived, were apparently unaware of Kramer’s presence.
Norwalk Police Lt. Praveen John said officers responded to Kohl’s at about 10 a.m. after a woman reportedly fled the store when security guards attempted to stop her with a cart full of stolen merchandise. Police later found a woman matching the suspect’s description walking on Connecticut Avenue toward Burger King.
John said the woman–identified by police as Mary Paragarino, 44, of 52 Limerick St., Stamford–was brought back to Kohl’s and was positively identified as the suspect who fled the store.
A Kohl’s security guard told police that Paragarino was seen stuffing numerous items into a shopping cart. She then walked past the cash registers without paying for the items, John said.
When confronted by security, Paragarino allegedly ran away, leaving behind a shopping cart filled with $1,503.95 in stolen shoes and clothing.
Police say Paragarino called a taxi service to drive her from Stamford to Kohl’s department store, but she walked away from the cab without paying the $25 fare.
This is not the first time Paragarino has been accused of stealing merchandise from Kohl’s. She was previously arrested for shoplifting at Kohl’s and is banned from returning to the store, John said.
Paragarino was charged with first-degree criminal trespass, fourth-degree larceny and sixth-degree larceny.
She posted $500 bond and is due in court July 10.
Fairlawn OH July 1 2012 Nearly every known shoplifter at the Summit Mall was caught on Monday.
Macy’s, Dillard’s and Hollister Co. reported $1,934.35 total in stolen merchandise.
Four of the six alleged shoplifters were arrested by the Fairlawn Police Department.
An alarm alerted a Hollister Co. employee around 12:35 p.m., according to a police report. The employee observed two black males fleeing the store with large plastic bags stuffed with clothes.
The report states that when the employee attempted to follow them, another woman distracted her by holding up a bag and saying that she had accidentally tripped the alarm. The employee ignored the woman, who later left the scene, and followed one of the men into P.F. Chang’s. The man entered Dillard’s and disappeared into the parking lot.
The report states that the men escaped with 20 polo shirts valued at $1,135.
One man was described as 25 to 30 years old, about 6-foot tall with short, curly hair and wearing a gray T-shirt with a Fed Ex logo and khaki shorts.
About five minutes earlier on the other side of the mall, two police officers apprehended Cameron Johnson, 44, of Akron. The police report states that the officers found seven articles of clothing worth $392.85. A Macy’s employee told police that Johnson had carried the items out of the store, through the mall concourse and out the north entrance.
The merchandise was returned to Macy’s, and Johnson was charged with theft and released on a court summons.
Two hours later, a Dillard’s security camera caught Shaquille Anderson, 18, entering a fitting room with clothes and a black cloth bag, a police report states. Upon exiting the fitting room, Anderson had “less clothes than he came in with.”
Anderson was last seen at the Firestone store, Dillard’s personnel told police, who apprehended Anderson at a nearby bus stop. The report states that Anderson was wearing a $58 pair of jeans under the jeans he had on. They also found a $24.50 shirt in the black cloth bag.
Anderson, who lives in Akron, was charged with theft and released on a summons.
About three hours passed before police received the last call from the Summit Mall that day. At 6:30 p.m., a Macy’s loss prevention employee told police that she had two women in custody.
When the police arrived, the employee told them that Tonimisa Cooley, 27, and Shatela Johnson, 26, both from Akron, had entered the store’s fitting rooms with more clothing than they left with, according to a police report.
Johnson was charged with the theft of $206 in merchandise. Cooley was also charged with the theft of $118 worth of clothing. Both were arrested and released pending a court summons.
Bethlehem PA June 30 2012 A dropped cigarette pack led police inside the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem early Wednesday to arrest a man carrying a loaded .380 semi-automatic handgun without a license. He had it in his right rear pants pocket, court records say.
The man also was allegedly carrying a quantity of methamphetamine.
Carl Raymond Heckman, 44, of Northampton informed police he was carrying the gun when they took him into custody for the suspected drug possession, the records say. Police did not know beforehand that he was carrying the gun.
Heckman told police he thought he had a permit to carry the gun, but then admitted it may have expired “sometime ago.” He said he had become accustomed to carrying around the gun without a valid permit, the records say.
Police later found out that Heckman bought the gun from a man he identified as a “close friend.” Police called the man and verified Heckman’s explanation, the records say.
According to a criminal complaint filed by state police Trooper Michael Hodgskin:
•Police knew nothing about the gun when they were dispatched to the SouthSide casino around 1:38am for a report of found drugs. Hodgskin met with the Sands’ security supervisor, who gave the trooper a Camel cigarette pack that contained five pieces of “tin foil,” each containing a small amount of an off-white crystallized substance – what Hodgskin recognized as methamphetamine.
•The security supervisor said the man who dropped the cigarette pack was still in the casino and was being monitored by security guards.
•A security guard told Hodgskin he saw the man drop the pack on the floor. The guard said he retrieved it and intended to return it to the man. The guard said he opened the pack and saw a clear sandwich bag that he believed contained “narcotics.” He immediately notified his supervisor — the security chief.
•The guard then directed Hodgskin’s attention to a set of slot machines and identified the man. Another state police trooper approached the man, and as he took him into custody, the man – by now identified as Heckman – told the trooper he was carrying a “concealed firearm.”
•Hodgskin recovered the black Ruger .380 semi-automatic handgun “loaded with live rounds.” It had been in Heckman’s right rear pants pocket. Heckman also had a film canister containing additional off-white crystallized substances later confirmed to be methamphetamine.
Heckman, of 1514 Cedar St., was arraigned Wednesday by on-duty District Judge Joseph Barner of Lower Nazareth Township on charges of firearms not to be carried without a license and violations of the controlled substance, drug, device and cosmetic act. He was committed to Northampton County Prison after failing to post $10,000 bail.
GREENWOOD, Ind. June 30 2012 – A former Southport police officer has been arrested in connection in the beating death of his girlfriend.
Michael V. Richards, 44, was arrested Thursday on preliminary charges of aggravated battery and involuntary manslaughter.
Richard’s live-in girlfriend, Michelle R. Andrews, 44, was found dead in her apartment June 2.
Autopsy results later confirmed that Andrews had died of blunt force trauma and that her death was a homicide, police said.
Richards was taken into custody without incident at Wheeler Mission in Indianapolis, where he was staying. He is being held at the Johnson County Jail on $28,000 bond.
Harold Meyers, 44, of 104 Waldorf Ave., Bridgeport, was charged with two counts each of third-degree sexual assault and two counts of risk of injury to a child. He was held overnight on $150,000 bond and will be arraigned Monday at state Superior Court in Norwalk.
According to the two arrest affidavits, Meyers worked as a head teacher in a classroom at Tumblebugs Daycare center for 18 months between 2007 and 2009.
In August of 2011, the mother of a girl, 7, called police to report that the woman’s daughter told her mother that about two years earlier a teacher at the daycare had molested her.
Source: Stamford Advocate
TUALATIN, Ore.April 7 2012 – A Federal Bureau of Prisons worker has been arrested after police spotted what appeared to be a bogus attempt at imitating a police car.
A Tualatin police officer noticed a car with red and white lights in the back window similar to a police car parked at Tualatin- Sherwood Road and Martinazzi, said Lt. Greg Pickering.
The officer did not recognize the red Volkswagen GTI as part of any police agency. He then spoke with the driver and noticed he had a ballistic vest, police utility belt and the lights.
Robert John Burke Jr., 44, of Vancouver, was accused of two counts of impersonating a police officer. Police believe Burke may be connected to a similar March incident.
Paul Thompson with the prison bureau’s Sheridan Federal Correctional Facility said Burke has worked there since April, 2010. He said Burke is an active employee for now. Prison officials were aware of his arrest and his employment status could change.
No part of Burke’s duties involve a car with police emergency lights, Thompson said.
Anyone who may have been approached by Burke was asked to contact the Tualatin Police at (503) 691-4800.
HATTIESBURG, MS April 3 2012 – Police have arrested Scott Tyner, 44, and charged him with aggravated assault after allegedly shooting several people at Cuco’s on Highway 49 in Hattiesburg on Monday.
It’s alleged that Tyner walked into Cuco’s restaurant around 3 p.m. and shot five people. The injured were transported to a local hospital where three are listed in critical condition.
A waitress and a bar patron are among the injured.
The Hattiesburg Police Department, Fire Department and AAA Ambulance service responded to the incident.
An employee chased the shooter out of the restaurant and kept the suspect in view until police apprehended him.
IMPD Officer Anthony Schneider says Larry Myers, 44, was arrested Thursday on two counts of sexual contact with a minor.
Myers taught world history and world geography at Heritage Christian School, located in the 6400 block of East 75th Street, according to a cached page from the school’s web site. Myers resigned his position prior to his arrest according to Heritage Superintendent Jeff Wilcox.
According to a police report, the incident or incidents occurred between November 1 and December 1, 2011, though police weren’t notified until Thursday, the day of Myers’s arrest. Schneider did not know how many encounters between Myers and the girl took place, nor did he know whether they occurred at the school.
Wilcox told 93 WIBC he would not comment other than via a written statement emailed to parents on Friday. “On Thursday morning former teacher Mr. Myers submitted his resignation to Heritage Christian School reporting only that he had engaged in immoral and illegal actions,” the statement read. “The school’s administration immediately turned the matter over to local law enforcement authorities, who have conducted their investigation and have filed charges of inappropriate contact with a minor.”
“This is a sad and unfortunate situation,” Wilcox said in the statement. “Our concern is for the minor involved, the families impacted and the protection of their privacy. We are asking for your understanding to honor this request for their privacy and for your prayers for them.”
“We have every confidence in our local law enforcement agencies to handle this matter thoroughly and properly,” the statement read. “As this is an on-going investigation, Heritage is refraining from further communication at this time.”
Myers is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, April 4.
Dothan AL March 18 2012 Two people have been charged in connection with a strong armed robbery which occurred on Jan. 16 at the Lowe’s located at 2671 Ross Clark Circle.
Tasha Leigh Miller, 35, of Montgomery Highway, and Richard Allan Brannon, 44, also of Montgomery Highway, are both charged with first-degree robbery and have had their bails set at $60,000.
They were arrested after an investigation into the armed robbery incident, which occurred after Lowe’s security members saw a man and woman take a drill out of packaging and put it into a purse, along with a knife which the male put in his pocket.
When confronted by security, the male punched a Lowe’s employee in the face and then pulled out the knife before fleeing, possibly in a white, two door Mitsubishi.
According to the Dothan City Jail docket both Brannon and Miller were also charged with felony manufacture of a controlled substance and felony unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
UPPER DARBY, Pa.March 18 2012 – A mother and her three children were arrested after stripping off and running stark naked around a Pennsylvania high school parking lot, while chanting and praying to Jesus, WTXF reported.
Sarah Butler, 44, daughters Joanne, 23, and Bessie, 22, and her 14-year-old son were taken into custody Friday afternoon after the bizarre incident unfolded in front of shocked students at Upper Darby High School, just outside Philadelphia.
The incident was sparked after Sarah Butler repeatedly tried to take another one of her sons out of the school but was refused. The boy is her biological son, but she does not have legal rights to him, sources told the TV station.
After the mother was turned away three times, the Butlers were filmed by students taking off their clothes, chanting and scuffling with security guards.
Upper Darby Police Department superintendent Michael Chitwood said that the family members were screaming, “Praise the Lord, Jesus Christ is good,” while they ran around nude.
Cell phone videos and pictures of the incident flooded Twitter and other social-networking sites.
“We were all shocked and taking videos. We didn’t know what to do, so we just kept watching,” student Derek Owens said. “[The Butlers] were screaming and running around the car trying to get away, and then they [police] just forced them into a paddy wagon.”
“It’s pretty crazy. You don’t see that every day, like, especially out the window at Upper Darby High School,” fellow student Meagan Massey added.
The family faces charges of indecent exposure, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
The mother and one daughter were later admitted to a psychiatric hospital for assessment.
Broward County school teacher sentenced to four years in federal prison for child porn www.privateofficer.com
Broward County Fla March 18 2012 A Broward County school teacher who had more than 1,500 child porn images on his laptop computer was sentenced to four years in federal prison on Friday.
Jerome Pearson, 44, of Hialeah, was a math teacher at Everglades High in Miramar until he resigned shortly after he was arrested in July.
In many computer child porn prosecutions, the victims’ voices are never heard because it is not always possible to trace the abused children who appear in the photographs and videos that men and women download from the Internet.
But prosecutors read aloud a letter in court Friday from a female victim, who wrote of the trauma and problems she continues to battle knowing that Pearson, and other people like him, are still looking at photographs of her being sexually abused as a child by her biological father.
Investigators said there was no evidence that Pearson ever sexually abused any child, but he admitted that he had been downloading inappropriate images of children for 10 years.
Pearson said he had been fighting what he called an “addiction” for a long time. He said he had tried to kill himself in the past and also ran a software program to try to erase the pornography from his computer so he would no longer be tempted to look at it. The program erased many images but left behind the hundreds of photographs that investigators later found.
Before he pleaded guilty in October, Pearson wrote a letter of apology to the unnamed victims who appeared in the disturbing images that he coveted.
“Dear Child, I ask you to forgive me. Although we have never met and you have never seen me, I have seen you. I have seen you naked, unprotected and sometimes scared,” Pearson wrote in the three-page letter. “If I had been present with you, I know I would have covered you and led you to safety. I can say this because I have held and guided many children to safety in my life … never thinking of harming them.”
“In reality, you may have been hurt long ago but in viewing this, I may have hurt you all over again. I left you unprotected. I did not see you as a person, just an image. Many times I thought little of the misery behind the image,” he wrote.
On Friday, Pearson got to hear about the misery behind one of the images found on his computer. The girl who was photographed being raped by her father wrote that she feels victimized over and over again because she knows that random men are looking at “the most terrifying moments of my life and taking pleasure in it.”
“They are being entertained by my shame and pain,” wrote the girl, who is now attending college classes. Her father is in prison for what he did to her, but she said she is still trying to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder and has difficulty sleeping and concentrating.
Pearson’s wife, Jair, had asked U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga to sentence her husband to time served and let him return home on house arrest or probation. At a court hearing earlier this month, she told the judge that her husband was a wonderful, supportive spouse and father to their four young children. She and several family friends testified that Pearson is deeply religious, confessed to them after his arrest and was working diligently to overcome his problems.
Agents from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations division testified that Pearson immediately admitted that he downloaded and possessed child porn when they went to his home in July. The teacher turned over his laptop computer and other old hard drives that were in his house.
Italian authorities had notified federal investigators about a website containing child pornography and agents were able to trace the IP addresses of people, including Pearson, who had used the website.
Pearson was released Aug. 22 on $500,000 bond with warnings that he was not to access porn of any kind on the only remaining computer in the home, which was also used by one of his children, who is home schooled. Federal authorities installed monitoring software on Aug. 28 and by Sept. 4, investigators were notified that the computer had been used to view adult porn, which someone had then tried to delete. A judge ruled there was evidence to believe it was Pearson and revoked his bond in September. He has been locked up since then.
Pearson apologized for his conduct in court during both days of the sentencing hearing, earlier this month and again on Friday.
“It was just the pictures to me,” Pearson said. “It took me a long time to see the suffering in the pictures.”
“I am truly sorry … I take full responsibility for it and it’s my fault,” he told the judge. “I’m not asking for a second chance so much as a new beginning.”
Judge Altonaga said she gave a great deal of consideration to what would be an appropriate sentence for Pearson. In addition to the four years in prison, she sentenced him to 15 years of supervised release, the federal version of probation, and ordered him to register as a sex offender. She ordered him to receive sex offender treatment, a mental health evaluation, and barred him from having unsupervised access to children. He is also forbidden from having unmonitored access to computers.
Seattle WA March 3 2012 A former Seattle Public Utilities employee has been arrested after a police investigation found he allegedly stole more than $1 million over five years by diverting money for water-main extension projects into a private bank account.
Chau Phan, 44, was a civil enginneer fired by SPU last year for adjusting his own utilities accounts. He was arrested Thursday, according to a news release from the utility. He’s expected to be charged this afternoon.
SPU went to the Seattle Police Department in January, according to the release, when it discovered the alleged thefts as part of a separate investigation into utility employees who had improperly accessed, and in some cases, credited their own utility accounts.
“The legal process still needs to determine the guilt of innocence of this individual, but obviously this kind of alleged misconduct is unacceptable and reprehensible,” said SPU Director Ray Hoffman.
Detective Keith Savas of the SPD Fraud, Forgery and Financial Exploitation Unit worked closely with SPU’s Risk and Quality Assurance Division, according to the release.
“SPU was incredibly helpful during the course of the investigation,” said Seattle police Detective Keith Savas. “We knew we had to act quickly in order to recover as much of the stolen monies as possible. Those efforts are an immediate priority and remain active and ongoing.”
Five SPU employees, including Phan, have been fired since the investigation began in November 2010. A sixth was suspended.
LaPlace LA Feb 26 2012 The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man accused of impersonating a police officer during a robbery earlier this week. Sean Schnyder, 44, of LaPlace, was arrested Friday morning on a judicial court-ordered arrest warrant and booked with simple robbery and false impersonation of a police officer.
Deputies responded to the Ole Tyme Saver convenience store in the 1700 block of Carrollwood Drive in LaPlace just before 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
When they arrived, a boy told deputies that he and two other juveniles had ridden their bikes to the store where a man approached them in the parking lot, showed them a police-type badge and said, “This is official police business, ” according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The man then grabbed the boy and pulled him behind a trash bin and the other two juveniles ran inside the store to get help. The boy attempted to run but could not pull away and was pushed against the bin, according to the Sheriff’s Office, while the man went through the boy’s pants pockets.
The man stole money from the boy and then fled behind an adjacent two-story building. Deputies canvassed the area but could not locate the man, according to the Sheriff’s Office. They later identified Schnyder as the suspect and obtained the warrant.
Capt. Dane Clement, Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said the badge Schnyder used was not from any law enforcement agency.
Schnyder was booked into the Sherman Walker Correctional Center in Laplace. Bond has not been set.
Northumberland County VA Feb 25 2012 A Northumberland County deputy, sworn to protect the children that attend the local high school, is currently sitting in a jail cell accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with a female student under his watch.
On Thursday, Feb. 23 Deputy Derek Jones, 44, a school resource officer at Northumberland High School Resource Officer Derek Jones has been charged with sex crimes related to an alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student.
Northumberland High School, was charged with one count of taking indecent liberties with a child under the age of 15 by a person in a custodial or supervisory position.
The charges stem from an investigation that began on Feb. 22, when a teacher was alerted to the criminal activity.
“This was reported by another student to a school staff member who immediately alerted Social Services,” Northumberland County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jane Wrightson said during a Feb. 24 interview. “Social Services then contacted the sheriff’s office and the commonwealth’s attorney’s office.”
Wrightson said that Jones, who has been a deputy for a number of years, was suspended from duty on Wednesday and is currently being held without bond at the Lancaster County Jail pending his arraignment Monday, Feb. 27.
She added that due to the obvious conflict of interest in Northumberland, Lancaster Investigator Joanie Kent has taken the lead on the investigation with assistance from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
“Additionally, as of about 3 p.m. today Judge Taliaferro appointed Westmoreland Commonwealth’s Attorney Julia Sichol as the special prosecutor,” Wrightson said.
Although she would not comment as to where or when the alleged incidents occurred, Wrightson said that additional charges would be pending further investigation.
The arrest has shocked a community already reeling from last year’s arrest of 5th grade math teacher Christopher “C. J.” Richardson, who has been indicted for multiple felony and misdemeanor charges including indecent acts with a child, abuse of a child with disregard for life, purchase of alcohol for minor and distribution of marijuana to minors. Richardson’s trial is scheduled for April 18.
Northumberland Sheriff Charles Wilkins was unavailable for comment by presstime.
Kent said that more information would be released by Lancaster Capt. Martin Shirilla as it became available.
North Stafford, Va. Feb 20 2012 – Authorities in Stafford County say they have three people in custody who have previously eluded sheriff’s deputies and security officers at big box retail stores.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Target store at Stafford Marketplace off Va. 610 in North Stafford at 3:09 p.m. Wednesday, after the store’s loss prevention officer reported seeing a man place a Bose surround sound system in his cart and head to the back of the store.
The same man fit the description of someone who just two days earlier at a Target store in south Stafford put a Bose system in his cart, and left with it through a rear employee entrance. The man placed it in a white Ford Ranger pickup with a ladder rack and left, said Stafford sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.
On Wednesday, the loss prevention officer at the Target in North Stafford also told deputies he saw a white Ford Ranger with a ladder rack sitting outside his store.
The suspect this time left the store without the surround sound system, and fled to the parking lot where he was later spotted getting into the white truck and leaving, said Kennedy.
A deputy followed the truck onto Va. 610 and stopped the vehicle. After questioning the three occupants inside the truck – one of them who matched the description of the man who had been inside the store – all three were charged, said Kennedy.
Mark King, 42, of Douglas Street in Fredericksburg, Timothy Trigger, 44, of Trigger Lane in King George, and Janet Ivy, 45, of Colonial Beach, all face grand larceny charges, said Kennedy. All three also face larceny charges in connection with the theft at the south Stafford Target store earlier this week, said Kennedy.
All three were held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.
Kennedy said King, the man who was inside the Target store, is believed to have not taken the surround sound system after receiving a call on his cell phone alerting him to the sheriff’s deputies’ presence.