Former Accounting Employee Pleads Guilty to Stealing More Than $75,000 from Charter School www.privateofficer.com
WASHINGTON DC June 11 2013 —Darlene Ford, 46, of Temple Hills, Maryland, pled guilty today to a federal charge stemming from the theft of more than $75,000 from a charter school where she worked as a temporary accounting employee.
The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department; and Steven Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General’s Mid-Atlantic Region.
Ford pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of theft from a program receiving federal funds. The Honorable Robert L. Wilkins scheduled sentencing for September 16, 2013. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison and financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, the parties have agreed that the applicable range is 12 to 18 months in prison and a fine of $3,000 to $30,000.
Under the plea agreement, Ford must pay $75,350 in restitution to the César Chávez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy. She also is subject to the forfeiture of a money judgment of the same amount.
According to the government’s evidence, Ford was a temporary employee at the César Chávez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy. She was placed at the school’s finance department by a temporary accounting staffing firm from January 2010 until March 2010. Her responsibilities included the processing of invoices from vendors, including presenting documents to the director of Finance for signature on payments.
Public charter schools are independently operated public schools that are open to all District of Columbia residents. César Chávez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy received various government funds, including funding from the U.S. Department of Education.
While in the finance department, Ford carried out her scheme by accessing the school’s accounting system and changing names listed on pending checks. She replaced the names of legitimate vendors with those of fictitious vendors and then forged the signature of the director of Finance on the checks. Ten such checks were made out to fictitious vendors, totaling $75,350.
These checks were then cashed and used for the benefit of Ford and/or her friends and associates.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge Parlave, Chief Lanier, and Special Agent in Charge Anderson commended the work of those who investigated the case. They also expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who worked
on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Diane Hayes and Krishawn Graham and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lionel André, who is prosecuting the matter.
Former Bank Officer Admits Accepting Bribes in Connection with Financial Transactions www.privateofficer.com
U.S. Attorney’s Office
CAMDEN, NJ June 2 2013—A former bank officer today admitted his role in soliciting and accepting bribes in connection with financial transactions, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Jose Dominguez, 46, of Newark, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with soliciting and accepting bribes as a bank officer in excess of $1,000. Dominguez solicited and accepted corrupt payments of $55,529, intending to be influenced and rewarded in connection with a bank transaction. He entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From January 1988 to February 2007, Dominguez was employed as a loan officer at Spencer Savings Bank in Elmwood Park, New Jersey. In 2003, Dominguez was contacted by a bank customer because the customer wanted to refinance some loans with Spencer Savings Bank and wanted to do so without paying significant prepayment penalty fees. Dominguez advised the customer that if the customer made corrupt payments to Dominguez, as the loan officer, the customer could obtain a lower interest rate without paying a prepayment penalty to Spencer Savings Bank.
Between August 2003 and December 2003, Dominguez accepted $55,529.57 in corrupt payments from the customer to influence the requested loan modification. Dominguez also admitted to accepting additional bribes from other bank customers in the amounts of $4,500 and $5,000, respectively.
The bank bribery charge to which Dominguez pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Dominguez also previously pleaded guilty on May 23, 2012, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and bank bribery as a Spencer Savings loan officer in connection with a separate case. Sentencing related to the charges from both cases is currently scheduled for September 19, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zahid N. Quraishi and Vikas Khanna of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
U.S. Attorney’s Office
BUFFALO, NY May 2013—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Willie G. Reid, 46, of Olean, New York, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with distribution and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward H. White, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant is a registered nurse at Olean General Hospital. As a nurse, Reid’s duties included working in the Pediatric Unit. According to the complaint, between February 9, 2012 and February 8, 2013, the defendant downloaded videos and images of child pornography using a peer-to-peer file sharing program. Some of the videos and images included pre-pubescent children and depictions of violence.
The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. Reid is being detained pending a detention hearing on May 8, 2013, at 2:00 p.m.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc.
The arrest is the culmination of an investigation on the part of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Richard M. Frankel, Acting Special Agent in Charge and the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
NEWPORT NEWS, VA—May 7 2013 Jeffrey A. Martinovich, 46, of Norfolk, Virginia, was convicted today by a federal jury for his involvement in fraud related to the mismanagement of a Newport News-based hedge fund. Specifically, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud, five counts of mail fraud, and seven counts of unlawful monetary transactions.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Tom Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., Field Office; and Royce E. Curtin, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement today after the verdict was accepted by United States District Judge Robert G. Doumar. Martinovich faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each conviction when he is sentenced on August 7, 2013.
“As a hedge fund manager, Martinovich promised investors that he would act in their best interest in managing their hard earned money,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Instead, Martinovich acted solely in his own self-interest and engaged in financial sleight of hand to fraudulently maximize his management fees. His conviction should send a strong message that fraudsters who violate the trust of the investing public will be brought to justice.”
Martinovich was indicted on October 10, 2012, on 26 charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, unlawful monetary transactions, and bankruptcy fraud. According to court records and evidence at trial, Martinovich was the CEO of MICG Investment LLC, an investment firm based in Newport News, Virginia. In 2007, Martinovich started three hedge funds through MICG and began seeking investments. Acting on behalf of MICG, Martinovich purchased approximately two million shares of a privately traded solar energy company for the MICG Venture Strategies LLC hedge fund. At the end of each calendar year, in order to calculate the management and incentive fees he had earned as hedge fund manager, Martinovich needed to obtain an estimate of the value of the solar company shares held by Venture Strategies. Because the solar company was not publicly traded, MICG was required to seek an independent, external, valuation of the company’s worth when calculating the management and incentive fees to be paid.
In 2008, under the guise of seeking an independent valuation, Martinovich and others fraudulently inflated the value of the solar company to falsely indicate an increase in the overall value of the hedge fund. Martinovich then used this fraudulent, unsupported, and inflated value of the solar company to convince new investors to invest in Venture Strategies, as well as to pay himself greater fees. The solar company eventually declared bankruptcy, resulting in serious financial problems for many Venture Strategies investors who had collectively invested over $1.5 million.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Assistant United States Attorneys Brian J. Samuels and V. Kathleen Dougherty prosecuted this 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.
MURRAY, Utah May 6 2013 (AP) — A Utah soccer referee who was critically injured and in a coma after being punched by a teenage player during a game died Saturday night, police said.
Ricardo Portillo, 46, of Salt Lake City passed away at the hospital, where he was being treated following an assault during a soccer game last weekend, Unified police spokesman Justin Hoyal said.
Police have accused a 17-year-old player in a recreational soccer league of punching Portillo after the man called a foul on him and issued him a yellow card.
“The suspect was close to Portillo and punched him once in the face as a result of the call,” Hoyal said in a press release.
The teen has been booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault.
Hoyal said authorities will consider additional charges since Portillo has died.
He said an autopsy is planned.
Portillo suffered swelling in his brain and had been listed in critical condition, Dr. Shawn Smith said Thursday at the Intermountain Medical Center in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray.
The victim’s family, which publicly spoke of Portillo’s plight this past week, has asked for privacy as they deal with his loss, Hoyal said.
Last week, Johana Portillo, 26, spoke about her father’s condition. She said that she wasn’t at the April 27 game in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville, but she said she’s been told by witnesses and detectives that the player hit her father in the side of the head after he issued the yellow card.
“When he was writing down his notes, he just came out of nowhere and punched him,” she said.
His friends who were there told her Ricardo Portillo seemed fine at first, but then asked to be held because he felt dizzy. They sat him down and he started vomiting blood, triggering his friend to call an ambulance
Ohio man indicited for fraudulently getting $1.25 million in medical services www.privateofficer.com
DAYTON OH May 4 2013
A Dayton man is alleged to have fraudulently received more than $1.25 million worth of medical services from Miami Valley Hospital, according to an indictment in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.
Court documents indicate Timothy P. Subick, 46, used the name Frankie Bello while defrauding the hospital for 4 1⁄2 years. He was charged with two second-degree felony aggravated theft charges, one for more than $500,000 and one for more than $750,000. The indictment was filed April 26.
A Dayton police report said a Miami Valley Hospital police specialist conducted an investigation after receiving a complaint from the patient financial services office. The report said Subick had an outstanding felony warrant from Summitt County for grand theft. The police specialist’s report including a fraudulent debit Mastercard in the name of Frankie Bello, which was turned over to a Dayton police detective. Subick was arrested March 11 at the hospital.
A Miami Valley Hospital spokesperson did not return phone calls and a communications official said no one with any information was available after-hours to answer questions about the case, such as any characterization of what the medical services were.
Public defender Chuck Grove said he doesn’t have much information about the case and that he’s filed a motion for discovery materials. Since he didn’t have all the information, Grove wasn’t sure why this case was criminal instead of civil collection action.
“I don’t know what services were rendered for that amount of money,” said Grove, whose last action with the case was at a March 21 preliminary hearing in Dayton Municipal Court. Grove said he wasn’t sure where Subick was and that some documentation lists his client as being “at-large.
The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted but did not return messages seeking comment during business hours.
The indictment said that a grand jury found probable cause that Subick “did knowingly and by deception, obtain or exert control over said owner’s property or services” between Sept. 5, 2008 and March 11, 2013.
The police report lists the complainants as Miami Valley Hospital and Frank Bello of Cleveland. The police report also accused Subick of stealing $997,825.66 worth of medical services and an ID belonging to Bello. The initial report listed forgery as a possible crime.
Subick, listed as being 6 feet, 2 inches tall, 200 pounds with black hair and brown eyes, has no other criminal complaints against him in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.
Source- Dayton Daily News
Former North Carolina Probation Officer Sentenced to 17 Months in Prison on Extortion and Drug Trafficking Charges www.privateofficer.com
U.S. Attorney’s Office
ASHEVILLE, NC April 30 2013 —A former North Carolina probation officer was sentenced on Thursday, April 25, 2013, in U.S. District Court to serve 17 months in prison for extortion and drug trafficking offenses involving persons under his supervision, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
James David Franklin, 46, of Lenoir, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release following his prison term. U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Director Gregory McLeod of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations (NC SBI).
According to court documents and court proceedings, from April 2001 through July 2010, Franklin, was employed as a surveillance officer by the North Carolina Department of Correction’s Division of Community Corrections (DCC) and supervised probationers on intensive supervision in Burke and Caldwell Counties. According to filed documents, Franklin primarily conducted curfew checks and compliances searches and had arrest power over probationers and parolees. Court records indicate that from in or about July 2009 to in or about July 2010, Franklin used his position on multiple occasions to extort drugs from an individual who had been under Franklin’s supervision (“probationer #2”). Specifically, court records show that Franklin, via text messages and other communications, repeatedly asked probationer #2 to supply him with narcotics, including methamphetamine and hydrocodone.
Court records show that Franklin would arrange to retrieve the narcotics from probationer #2’s driveway in exchange for cash. Law enforcement officers were alerted to Franklin’s conduct when probationer #2 complained to his federal probation officer and to his primary North Carolina probation officer. Subsequently, Franklin was placed on desk duty. While on desk duty, Franklin sent a text message to probationer #2 asking him to sell hydrocodone pills in exchange for a portion of the proceeds from the sale. Specifically, Franklin told probationer #2 he would pay him “three dollars a piece” for 125 hydrocodone pills. According to court records, Franklin was apprehended by law enforcement officers when he went to probationer #2’s house to deliver the hydrocodone pills in exchange for $375 in cash.
In December 2011, Franklin pleaded guilty to one count of extortion under color of official right and one count of possession with intent to distribute hydrocodone. When announcing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger noted that the sentence imposed was more than minimally required under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines because the defendant was “a person who by reason of his position had taken actions that undermine the integrity of the legal system.”
Franklin has been in custody since April 2011. He will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The investigation was handled by the FBI and SBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Savage of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.
East Orange Construction Officer Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Extortion www.privateofficer.com
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 11, 2013|
Hidden recorder leads to arrest of Forestbrook Elementary School special needs teacher and aide www.privateofficer.com
Stock Manipulators Sentenced in Texas to Prison for $1 Million Securities Fraud Scheme www.privateofficer.com
Blake Williams, 30, of Dallas, and Derek Lopez, 46, of Torrance, California, were sentenced to 32 and 24 months in prison, respectively. U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade imposed the sentences today in Dallas federal court. In addition to the prison terms, Williams was ordered to forfeit $125,000; Lopez was ordered to forfeit $72,442; and the pair was sentenced to serve two years of supervised release. Each defendant previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of securities fraud.
Williams was an employee of TBeck Capital Inc., a purported investment banking and securities trading firm in Grapevine, Texas. Lopez was a securities broker-dealer who provided services to TBeck Capital. According to court documents, from June 2006 through December 2008, Williams, Lopez, and their co-conspirators engaged in a scheme to manipulate the price and volume of stocks traded in the over-the-counter market.
According to court documents, companies owned and controlled by a co-conspirator obtained control of large positions of free-trading stock in various publicly traded companies. Williams, Lopez, and others then coordinated trades with each other and with other alleged co-conspirators to create the false appearance of greater investor interest in the stock. Williams and Lopez admitted to trading stock in their own names as well as through TBeck Capital and other companies to keep the stock price artificially inflated. These actions allowed the defendants and their alleged co-conspirators to then sell that stock at an artificially high price.
Specifically, Lopez admitted to trading in his own name, as well as in the name “Da Big Kahuna” to disguise his trades. Williams admitted to trading in the names of several companies to make it appear there were multiple unrelated entities buying and selling the stock. According to court documents, Williams received cash payments and Lopez received free-trading stock and cash payments in return for their assistance in manipulating the stock prices of companies in which TBeck Capital owned and controlled large positions of free-trading stock.
The gain to all the co-conspirators from the fraudulent scheme exceeded $1 million, according to court documents.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney Nicholas Acker and Trial Attorney Luke B. Marsh of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas provided valuable assistance.
This case was prosecuted 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 www.stopfraud.gov.
Spokane Woman Sentenced for Embezzling More Than $28,000 from Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe www.privateofficer.com
COEUR D’ALENE—Debora J. Zimmerman, 46, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced today in United States District Court to five years’ probation and four weekends in jail for theft from an Indian tribal organization, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Zimmerman to pay $28,275.93 in restitution. She pleaded guilty to the charge on September 21, 2012.
According to court documents, between September 2008 and September 2010, Zimmerman, who was the finance operations director for the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Housing Authority, stole money by issuing herself unauthorized paychecks, making unapproved purchases, and through other means.
“Those who are entrusted with public funds have a solemn obligation to act in the public interest,” said Olson. “Ms. Zimmerman violated the trust placed in her by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. She put personal gain ahead of her public obligation. Appropriately, as a part of her sentence, Ms. Zimmerman must reimburse the Coeur d’Alene Tribe the money that she stole. I commend the thorough investigation in this case.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General.
Baltimore MD Feb 16 2013
Baltimore Police have released the name of the officer involved in the incident that left a police trainee critically wounded Tuesday afternoon.
Officer William S. Kern, 46, was assigned as an instructor in the education and training section in Baltimore Police. A University of Maryland Baltimore Police trainee was shot in the head by an instructor during an exercise at an Owings Mills training facility at the Rosewood Center, which is run by the department.
The University of Maryland Baltimore police trainee, a man in his 40s, was in critical condition Wednesday, and Baltimore Police did not have an update on his condition Thursday afternoon.
Family members asked police not to identify the trainee because they are not from the area and have not yet notified family and friends of the incident, Baltimore Police Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told reporters at a press conference Tuesday night, according to ABC2news.com.
Kern was hired by Baltimore Police Department on Nov. 7, 1994. The department’s internal affairs bureau is investigating the incident in conjunction with the Maryland Police Training Commission, a press release said. The Maryland State Police is also conducting its own separate investigation.
The Baltimore Sun reported that top Baltimore police commanders, including the director of the training academy, did not know training exercises were happening in Owings Mills Tuesday. Law enforcement sources close to the investigation said they think the officer who shot the trainee had his service weapon instead of a weapon that fires simunitions, ink-filled projectiles that break on impact and leave a mark, The Sun reported.
During the press conference Tuesday, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts did not answer a question from a reporter about why live ammunition was used during the exercise. Det. Angela Carter-Watson, a city police spokeswoman, also declined to answer a question about live ammunition.
The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is conducting an investigation, which will take weeks, according to a state police press release. The homicide unit conducts criminal investigations into all police shootings that involve Maryland state troopers and allied police departments when requested, the release said.
When the investigation is complete, it will be reviewed by the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office, which will then determine if action will be taken. State Police will not make further public comment as per state policy regarding ongoing criminal investigations, police said.
Former Parking Lot Attendant Sentenced to 27 Months for Stealing Nearly $900,000 in Fees from Udvar-Hazy Center www.privateofficer.com
ALEXANDRIA, VA Feb 9 2013—Freweyni Mebrahtu, 46, of Sterling, Virginia, was sentenced today to 27 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for stealing nearly $900,000 in visitor parking fees when she was employed by Parking Management Inc. (PMI), the company contracted to manage parking services at the Smithsonian Institution’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Scott S. Dahl, Inspector General for the Smithsonian Institution; and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge T.S. Ellis, III.
Mebrahtu pled guilty on November 1, 2012, to theft of public money. At sentencing, she was ordered to pay $895,680 in restitution and to forfeit an equal amount in the form of a money judgment in favor of the United States.
Mebrahtu was a full-time employee of PMI, which managed the 2,000-vehicle parking lot at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Over the course of three years, Mebrahtu stole cash entrance fees paid by tens of thousands of museum visitors, taking upwards of $4,000 in a single day by failing to hand out parking ticket stubs to paying customers and by unplugging an electronic vehicle counter that had been installed to measure vehicle traffic. At the end of each shift, Mebrahtu would submit a daily work summary to PMI that repeatedly under-reported the true number of vehicles that had entered the parking lot through her lane. These falsified PMI reports were provided to the Smithsonian. The total loss due to her theft is calculated at $895,680. Based on the $15 entrance fee, it is estimated that Mebrahtu stole from 59,712 visitor vehicles over the course of her crime.
Instead of reporting the thefts, Mebrahtu shared advice with co-workers about how to steal money from the museum. A co-worker, Meseret Terefe, 37, of Silver Spring, Maryland, was sentenced on January 18, 2013, to 20 months in prison.
The investigation was initiated by the Smithsonian Office of the Inspector General and jointly investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jasmine Yoon and Special Assistant United States Attorney James McDonald are prosecuting 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.
Fayetteville, N.C.Jan 24 2013 — Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office detectives said Tuesday that they are searching for three men wanted in connection with the beating last week of an employee of a Spring Lake bar.
Robert Matthews, 25, was working the door of FUBAR, at 2350 Lillington Highway, on Jan. 14 when he was repeatedly hit on the back of his head with a pool cue, authorities said. His assailants continued to punch and kick him as he lay on the floor unconscious.
Arrest warrants have been issued charging Travis Jake Cockman, 41, of 3291 South River Road in Lillington, with attempted first-degree murder and charging Benny Joe Ray, 46, also of 3291 South River Road, and Mark Anthony Wood Jr., 28, of 141 Capitol Hill Road in Lillington, with being accessories after the fact.
Investigators determined that five men were acting rowdy in FUBAR, and Matthews approached Cockman to warn him against trying to steal pool balls from a pool table. Cockman ignored Matthews and walked back to the pool tables inside, and the attack began moments later, authorities said.
Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Cockman, Ray or Wood is asked to call the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 910-323-1500.
Myrtle Beach SC Dec 18 2012 Police arrested 10 people in less than 24 hours on Saturday on charges of shoplifting from a Myrtle Beach Wal-Mart.
According to online police records, officers arrested 10 people between 1:20 a.m. and 10:05 p.m. Saturday and charged them with shoplifting from the Wal-Mart located at 541 Seaboard St.
The following people were charged with shoplifting a value of $2,000 or less:
• Mary Ellen Schultz, 41, Joshua David Beal, 37, and Allan Sandoval Coen, 38 – who all share a Myrtle Beach address – are accused of leaving the store without paying for merchandise, according to a police report
• Dennis Matthew Marden, 51, of no address was seen by police removing concealed items hidden on his body while in the parking lot, according to the report
• Timothy Young, 52, and Cynthia Denise Jones, 42, both of Myrtle Beach are accused of concealing more than $500 in merchandise and trying to leave the store
• Kimberly Fay Shular, 47, of Myrtle Beach is accused of leaving the store without paying for merchandise
• Scott Paul Spehar, 46, of Pawleys Island is accused of leaving the store without paying for merchandise, which police listed as being a soda and a few protein bars
The following people were charged with shoplifting-third or subsequent offense:
• Dawn Michelle Galloway, 36, of Conway is accused of attempting to leave the store without paying for merchandise
• Robert Scott Schwedes, 40, of Myrtle Beach – details not available
VINELAND NJ Dec 16 2012 — A Vineland Public Schools security guard was suspended without pay Friday following his arrest Dec. 8 in the Blackwood section of Gloucester County.
Angel Minguela, 46, of Vineland, was charged with possession of prescription medication, impersonating an officer and soliciting a prostitute, according to Gloucester Township Police records.
After his arrest, Gloucester Township Police said, Minguela was released on his own recognizance.
Minguela was immediately suspended with pay from his $15,900-a-year security guard position, pending the investigation, according to school district officials. His status was changed to suspended without pay following a civil service hearing Friday.
Minguela has worked for the school district since April 2009, according to school district records.
He is a former Vineland Police officer. In 2006, he retired after about 15 years on the job due to accidental disability, according to the state Police and Firemen’s Retirement System records.
Minguela could not be reached for comment.
LIBERTY, SC Dec 6 2012
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. July 10 2012– Two men were accused of shoplifting over the past two days at New Rochelle’s Home Depot, 55 Weyman Ave.
Robert Winckelman, 40, of 11 Peach Tree Court, Tivoli, N.Y., was charged with petty larceny, a misdemeanor. He was accused Tuesday of trying to take an 8,000 BTU air conditioner worth $219 from the store, police Capt. Joseph Schaller said.
Thomas Lorusso, 46, of 249 Robinson Ave., the Bronx, also was charged with petty larceny, a misdemeanor. He was seen by Home Depot store security trying to take $21.95 worth of items from the store, Schaller said.
Source:New Rochelle Voice
Laurena Cunningham, 46, of Bangor was indicted for theft by unauthorized taking for misusing funds collected by Healthcare Charities, according to Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County.
Cunningham was responsible for handing off donations to a courier who deposited the money in the bank, Roberts said. She allegedly skimmed off cash donations and made up the difference with check donations she held back from earlier deposits, he said.
“By basically juggling checks over a period of time she was able to keep this going,” Roberts said.
The nonprofit determined that $56,183 in donated funds were diverted between November 2011 and March 2012, according to a press release from EMHS. The release does not identify Cunningham by name.
Cunningham worked for several years in a clerical position at the Bangor office of Healthcare Charities, which discovered the missing funds in early March through a regular accounting review.
Cunningham appears to have acted alone, Roberts said.
If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to twice the stolen amount, and paying restitution.
Healthcare Charities sent letters in March to all of its current donors to alert them to the losses. The nonprofit raises $10 million to $15 million each year to benefit the health organizations that fall under the EMHS umbrella, including Eastern Maine Medical Center.
Healthcare Charities now plans to attempt to recover the missing funds.
“We are disappointed that a member of our team appears to have violated our trust, as well as the trust of our donors and the communities we serve,” said Michael Crowley, president of Healthcare Charities. “Every dollar is important to our mission. We take this matter very seriously and accept full responsibility for the safeguarding of these vital funds.”
The nonprofit hired an independent accounting firm to assist in the investigation and instituted new internal controls after the discovery of the missing funds, including requiring that two staffers be involved in receiving and processing donations and making deposits, Crowley said in March.
Healthcare Charities also planned to run criminal background checks on all new employees.
“We appreciate the community’s overwhelming understanding and support as we continue through this unfortunate process. Our mission goes on,” said Lynne Spooner, vice chair of the Healthcare Charities board. “The board is pleased with the swift and decisive action taken as soon as the discrepancies were discovered. We place a high value on transparency and integrity at Healthcare Charities, and those attributes remain intact.”
Donors who have questions about their gifts to Healthcare Charities are invited to call 866-348-4078.
Michael Perry, 46, of Clinton, used the company credit card to put gas in his own personal vehicle, charging thousands of dollars to the Clark Energy Center since 2008, according to the state Inspector General’s Office. The CEC has a fleet of Power Authority vehicles available for the security staff while on duty, and each vehicle has its own fuel credit card to be use solely for that vehicle.
But authorities said Perry took the fuel card out of one of the vehicles and filled up his personal vehicle’s tank at a nearby gas station on numerous occasions. Authorities said Perry also entered false information during the transaction in order to cover up what he was doing.
“Rigorous investigation and prosecution of cases such as this are necessary to not only punish wrongdoing, but also to preserve the faith of the public that taxpayer dollars are being safeguarded through deterrence of future thefts,” said District Attorney Scott D. McNamara in a release.
Authorities said Perry is charged with felony first-degree falsifying business records and misdemeanor petty larceny. He is scheduled for arraignment in Utica City Court on July 24, and faces four years in state prison if he is convicted.
State officials said Perry worked as a security sergeant for the Power Authority since November 2007, and has an annual salary of $60,410. Perry was responsible for supervising and overseeing the night shift security at CEC. He has since been suspended without pay, and the Power Authority has started disciplinary proceedings against him.
BATON ROUGE LA June 14 2012 - A man and a woman were arrested by East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Detectives after a deceased 8-year-old was found with 56 bruises and bite marks, according to EBRSO spokesperson Casey Rayborn Hicks.
Michael Robertson, 46, of 11480 Glenda Drive and Lavaughn Riley, 32, of 8711 Coy Ave. were charged with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile following the death of their 8-year-old son Xzayvion Riley, according to the release.
Hicks says the child’s death is still under investigation, and detectives are awaiting the autopsy. Deputies responded to the Coy Avenue apartment Tuesday afternoon in reference to the unresponsive 8-year-old.
Xzayvion was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital, Hicks said.
According to the release, the medical staff documented 56 various bruises, cuts and abrasions on the child, including an adult-size bite mark on his stomach.
Riley admitted causing bruises on the child during a beating and also stated the victim’s father, Robertson, caused bruises and scratches on the victim’s neck.
The victim’s sibling told detectives that Robertson beat the child with his closed fist from noon Monday until Monday evening. The sibling also said they witnessed Robertson bite the child on a regular basis.
Robertson denied any involvement in his son’s injuries. Hicks said more charges could be pending.
Riverside CA May 13 2012 A Riverside County jury convicted a parolee Friday of first-degree murder for shooting a Riverside police officer in 2010, a brutal slaying that occurred after the officer pleaded with the killer.
Earl Ellis Green, 46, faces a possible death sentence for the murder of Officer Ryan Bonaminio, an Iraq War veteran who had been on the force for four years.
The jury deliberated for about three hours before returning with the guilty verdict with special circumstances that would make Green subject to execution. The same panel is scheduled to return to court on May 21 for the penalty phase of the trial.
The trial began with defense attorneys acknowledging that Green had shot and killed Bonaminio in a church parking lot in November 2010. Green’s attorneys tried to convince jurors that their client should be convicted of a lesser charge that would not carry the death penalty, saying he was in mental distress after being exiled from his family.
On the night of the shooting, Green, a convicted felon then on parole, jumped out of a stolen big rig that had been involved in a hit-and-run accident and ran into Riverside’s Fairmount Park.
Bonaminio, 27, chased Green into a parking lot at an adjacent church. When the officer slipped in the mud near a stairwell, Green emerged and bludgeoned the officer with a metal pipe, prosecutors told the jury. Green then took the injured officer’s .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun and chambered a new round, according to the prosecution.
Stephen J. McQueen, a homeless man who volunteered at the church, told the jury that he witnessed the shooting while smoking a cigarette in the parking lot.
Bonaminio held his hands up and told the killer, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it,” McQueen testified.
In his opening statement, prosecutor Michael Hestrin said Green’s first two shots missed the officer. Green then walked up to Bonaminio, severely injured and on his knees, and fired at the back of the officer’s head from a foot or so away.
“He died there, on the cold and dirty asphalt,” Hestrin told the jury.
Among the evidence presented at the trial was Bonaminio’s gun, which later showed traces of the officer’s blood and DNA, and was found in a closet inside the home of Green’s girlfriend. Green’s fingerprints were lifted from electrical tape he apparently used when hot-wiring the rig.
The jury also convicted Green of vehicle theft and gun charges.
Bonaminio was a military police officer in the Army, serving in Baghdad and Mosul, Iraq, as well as in Kuwait City and Hohenfels, Germany. When he left the military to join the Riverside Police Department in 2006, he remained in the Army Reserves and was called back to duty in Iraq in 2008-09.
Two Cuban brothers arrested in $80-million heist of pharmaceutical drugs from a Connecticut warehouse www.privateofficer.com
Some of the drugs believed stolen in the March 2010 robbery of the Enfield, Conn., building were recovered in a storage facility in Florida, officials said at a news conference from New Haven, Conn. At least 11 people were arrested Thursday in Florida, accused of possessing and selling stolen goods — including some from the Connecticut warehouse.
An errant water bottle played a role in identifying the suspects, officials said.
Amaury Villa, 37, and Amed Villa, 46, citizens of Cuba who have been living in Miami, were arrested in connection with the Connecticut robbery. During the heist, thieves scaled a wall of the Eli Lilly & Co. warehouse, cut a hole in the roof, then lowered themselves with ropes into the interior, officials said. Once inside, the suspects disabled the security system and loaded dozens of pallets of costly anti-depressants and other drugs onto a truck.
The Villa brothers were charged in an indictment unsealed Thursday with conspiracy and theft of interstate shipment, according to U.S. Atty. David B. Fein.
“The charges announced today are the result of a sustained and thorough investigation by the FBI and the Enfield Police Department,” Fein said. “As a result of their efforts, and our counterparts in Florida and across the country, we believe that a prolific cargo theft ring has been dismantled.”
At the televised news conference, Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza praised the spirit of cooperation that led to the arrests; the heist was the biggest in the state’s history and one of the largest thefts of legal drugs in the nation.
“I am extremely happy that the alleged perpetrators in this case have been identified and arrested,” Sferrazza said. “I believe this case shows that collaborative efforts between federal law enforcement officers and local law enforcement officers can yield successful results.”
The robbery reads like the plot of a “Mission Impossible,” movie, complete with an unexpected twist.
According to the indictment emailed to reporters, Amaury Villa flew from Miami to LaGuardia Airport in January 2010, rented a car and drove to Windsor, Conn., where he checked into a hotel. The following day, Eli Lilly surveillance video captured an individual looking through the front door of the warehouse in Enfield.
On the day before the robbery, two individuals purchased a “particular combination of tools” at a Home Depot in Flushing, N.Y., officials allege.
Just before the heist, Amaury Villa again flew from Miami to LaGuardia Airport, arriving in the early morning hours of March 13, according to the indictment. Villa rented a car and, later that morning, checked into a hotel in Windsor, Conn.
Between 10:22 p.m. and 10:32 p.m. on the night of March 13, 2010, surveillance video recorded individuals at the scene. After 10:30 p.m., the individuals using the tools purchased at Home Depot cut a hole in the roof of the warehouse and disabled parts of the facility’s security system, authorities say.
Over the next five hours, Amed Villa and others used a forklift inside the warehouse to load numerous boxes of drugs, including the schizophrenia drug Zyprexa, the antidepressant Prozac and the chemotherapy drug Gemzar, into a tractor-trailer truck, officials charge. During that time, they say, Amed Villa touched a water bottle that had been stored within the warehouse; he reportedly left that bottle inside the warehouse when he departed.
Officials did not give further details about the evidence, saying they were waiting for the trial to present it
The tractor-trailer carrying the stolen drugs was on the road by 3:40 a.m. on March 14.
Later that morning, Amaury Villa checked out of the hotel room, and his rental car is logged going through a southbound toll station on the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge at approximately 11:35 a.m. On March 15, he flew from LaGuardia Airport to Miami, according to the charges.
In Connecticut, Amaury Villa and Amed Villa are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit theft from an interstate shipment; that charge carries a maximum penalty of five years. They also face four counts of theft from an interstate shipment; each of those counts could bring 10 years in prison.
In Florida, 11 people — including Amaury Villa — face a variety of charges, including attempting to sell some of the medications taken from Enfield. A storage facility in Florida was searched in October 2011, and some of the drugs from Connecticut were recovered, officials said.
As part of the overall investigation, Amed Villa has been charged with the theft of more than 3,500 cases of cigarettes valued at more than $8 million from a warehouse in Tazewell County, Ill., near Peoria, on Jan. 24, 2010, according to an indictment unsealed on Thursday in Illinois.
MCCLELLANVILLE, SC May 5 2012 - SLED agents arrested a volunteer with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday after they say he filled his own vehicle with gas from DNR pumps.
Charles Darren Arthur, 46, of McClellanville, is charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent, value $2,000 or less.
Investigators say between September 2011 and February 22, 2012, Arthur used DNR fuel at the Santee Coastal Reserve for personal use on several occasions. Agents say he even filled up his girlfriend’s car with DNR gas one time last winter.
SLED officials say SCDNR requested the investigation. Based on monthly gasoline audits, investigators say Arthur stole 346.8 gallons of fuel valued at $1,148.
Arthur was taken to the Charleston County Detention Center.
SALEM NH May 4 2012 — A teacher at Woodbury School was charged with felony theft for allegedly stealing another teacher’s camera from his classroom, police said on Wednesday.
Stephen Pierce, 46, of Salem was booked at the Salem police station on Monday night, charged with theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
Police began investigating the camera theft on April 6.
A sixth-grade teacher at Woodbury School reported to police that a Nikon camera worth $679 was taken from his classroom, according to Patten.
Police suggested on Wednesday that they are investigating other cases of theft possibly linked to Pierce.
“While we have made an arrest in this case, we believe there may have been similar types of theft, and he may be a suspect in those cases as well,” Deputy Police Chief Shawn Patten said.
School Resource Officer Robert Genest asked an administrative assistant at the police department to review local pawn slips to see if the camera turned up at a nearby second-hand store, police said.
The assistant found a slip on April 20 that matched the stolen camera, Patten said.
Genest confirmed the stolen camera was sold by Pierce, according to police. Pierce had to submit his driver’s license to the pawn shop in order to sell it, Patten said.
Such information is regularly shared with police. The camera was pawned for $150, police said.
Pierce was released on $2,500 personal recognizance bail pending arraignment in 10th Circuit Court in Salem.
Each of the charges are Class B felonies, punishable by up to 3½ to 7 years in state prison.
Pierce’s job status remained unclear as of last night.
School officials could not be reached for comment.
Gilbert Garza, 46, died in January of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or heart disease, exacerbated by the fight, according to the Bexar County medical examiner’s office. The death was ruled a homicide.
San Antonio police watched surveillance video footage from inside the club, located in the 400 block of Bonham Place, and saw a security guard approach Garza around 2 a.m. and ask him to get rid of his drink, officials said.
He reportedly refused, and the guard physically escorted him away.
According to the report, Garza fell down and a second guard helped place handcuffs on him; as the three men left the club and went outside, Garza’s body became limp and he collapsed.
Garza was pronounced dead at the scene.
Relatives told a reporter Garza had been out with his son and daughter, both soldiers, and a couple of other relatives but that no one in the party had that much to drink.
According to the autopsy report, Garza’s blood-alcohol content was 0.21, nearly three times the legal limit.
Reached by telephone Wednesday, Garza’s son declined to comment. An employee of the Bonham also declined to comment.