U.S. Attorney’s Office
JACKSON, MS. May 11 2013—Tony Davis, 48, who previously served as a Jackson Police officer, was arraigned today in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge F. Keith Ball pursuant to a federal indictment charging him with bribery in connection with a series of transactions of the city of Jackson, Mississippi Police Department, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen.
Davis is scheduled for trial on June 10, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The public is reminded that an indictment is an allegation that a defendant has committed a crime. All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
WASHINGTON DC May 10 2013—Deairich R. Hunter, 48, an attorney from Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to six months in prison, to be followed by six months of home detention, on a federal charge stemming from his theft of more than $100,000 in payments from insurance companies that were intended to settle some of his clients’ disability and personal injury claims.
The sentencing took place in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and William P. White, Commissioner of the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking.
Hunter pled guilty in January 2013 to a charge of theft or embezzlement in connection with health care. He was sentenced by the Honorable Beryl A. Howell. The judge ordered Hunter to pay restitution and also entered a $73,901 forfeiture money judgment against him.
According to a statement of offense signed by the defendant as well as the government, from August 1998 until April 2009, Hunter was a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and practiced law in the District of Columbia. Also during that time period, he was a member of the Bar of the State of Maryland.
Between 2003 and 2009, Hunter was retained by various individuals in disability and personal injury claim disputes. Those clients generally agreed that Hunter was entitled to one-third of any recoveries regarding their settled claims. Hunter generally agreed to notify these clients of any offers of settlement and to inform clients of significant developments, among other things. In some cases, he agreed to pay his clients’ health care expenses directly from the proceeds of the recovery in their cases.
However, on a number of occasions, Hunter settled such claims without notifying his clients and without authority to do so and then he stole the settlement proceeds, resulting in a total loss amount from this scheme in excess of $109,830. The court sentenced Hunter to pay $253,549 in restitution for the benefit of these former clients and other former clients who were harmed by Hunter’s actions.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge Parlave, and Commissioner White commended the efforts of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking. They also praised those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Legal Assistant Donna Galindo, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney G. Saleski, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Graves, who prosecuted the matter.
Southern California Physician and Two Co-Conspirators Found in Medicaid Fraud www.privateofficer.com
WASHINGTON DC April 26 2013 —A Southern California physician, a durable medical equipment (DME) supply company employee, and a health care professional were found guilty late yesterday by a federal jury in Los Angeles for their roles in a $1.5 million Medicare fraud scheme, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California André Birotte, Jr.; Bill L. Lewis, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; and Glenn R. Ferry, Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Region of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG).
Godwin Onyeabor, 49, of Ontario, California; Sri J. Wijegunaratne, 58, of Anaheim, California; and Heidi Morishita, 48, of Valencia, California, were each found guilty in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California of one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks. Wijegunaratne was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and six substantive counts of health care fraud. Onyeabor was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and 11 substantive counts of health care fraud.
The trial evidence showed that between January 2007 and February 2012, Onyeabor, an officer at Fendih Medical Supply Inc., a DME supply company located in San Bernadino, California, and others paid cash kickbacks to Wijegunaratne, a physician, and Morishita for fraudulent prescriptions for DME, including power wheelchairs. The evidence showed that Wijegunaratne wrote prescriptions for power wheelchairs and other DME that Medicare beneficiaries did not need and sometimes never used. After receiving prescriptions from Wijegunaratne and Morishita, Onyeabor and others used the prescriptions to fraudulently bill Medicare for the medically unnecessary DME.
At trial, several Medicare beneficiaries testified that they were lured to medical clinics with the promise of free items such as vitamins and juice, only to receive power wheelchairs that they did not need and did not want. The beneficiaries further testified that their attempts to reject delivery of the power wheelchairs from Onyeabor’s supply company were unsuccessful.
As a result of this fraud scheme, Onyeabor, Wijegunaratne, and others submitted and caused the submission of approximately $1.5 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, and received almost $1 million on those claims.
At sentencing, scheduled for September 9, 2013, Onyeabor, Wijegunaratne, and Morishita face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Benton Curtis and Trial Attorneys Fred Medick and Alexander Porter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Los Angeles Region of HHS-OIG.
The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations are part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative announced in May 2009 between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,480 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers. To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to http://www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.
Owners of Miami Home Health Companies Sentenced to Prison in $48 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme www.privateofficer.com
According to court documents, Rodriguez was the owner of both Caring Nurse Home Health Corp. and Good Quality Home Health Inc., and Aday was a manager at Caring Nurse and owner of Good Quality.
According to court documents, nurses and office staff at Caring Nurse and Good Quality falsified patient files to make it appear the Medicare beneficiaries qualified for services they did not. Rodriguez admitted to knowing that these files were falsified so the Medicare program could be billed for medically unnecessary therapy and home health related services.
From approximately January 2006 through June 2011, Caring Nurse and Good Quality submitted approximately $48 million in claims for home health services that were not medically necessary and/or were not provided. According to court documents, Medicare paid approximately $33 million for these fraudulent claims.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Joseph S. Beemsterboer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,480 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to http://www.stopmedicarefraud.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.
Two Former Krahl Construction Executives Sentenced to Prison Terms for Billing Fraud and Kickback Scheme www.privateofficer.com
U.S. Attorney’s Office
FBI Press Release
CHICAGO IL Feb 15 2013—Two former top executives of a defunct general contractor, Krahl Construction, were sentenced to prison terms after pleading guilty to engaging in a $10.4 million fraudulent billing and kickback scheme. Five additional employees of Krahl and two individuals who received kickbacks—all of whom also pleaded guilty—are scheduled to be sentenced on various dates beginning today through mid-March in U.S. District Court.
JOHN PADERTA, 54, of Fontana, Wisconsin and formerly of Burr Ridge, Krahl’s former president who owned at least 80 percent of the company, was sentenced to five years in prison. DOUG HARNER, 48, of Chicago, Krahl’s former executive vice president and part owner, was sentenced to four years in prison. The sentences were imposed last week by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly, who also will sentence the remaining defendants.
Paderta was ordered to pay restitution of $9,987,463 to Digital Realty Trust, of San Francisco, which hired Krahl to renovate portions of an eight-story building located at 350 E. Cermak, Chicago, and $433,059 to Berwind Property Group, a Chicago firm that hired Krahl to develop commercial property in Bolingbrook known as the Tallgrass project. Paderta was ordered to begin serving his sentence on May 7.
Harner was ordered to pay restitution of $9,471,908 to Digital, and $100,000 to Berwind. He was ordered to begin serving his sentence on May 8. Paderta and Harner were each ordered to also forfeit $9 million in fraudulent proceeds to the government.
The sentences were announced today by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The fraud scheme caused actual losses of nearly $10 million to Digital and $433,000 to Berwind, while two former employees of those firms allegedly received kickbacks valued at $625,000 and $119,500, respectively. Krahl, which specialized in interior construction, closed its Chicago office at 322 S. Green St., in January 2010, less than a week after FBI agents executed a federal search warrant. The judge noted that 180 Krahl employees who lost their jobs as a result of the fraud scheme were also victims, as were the company’s customers and sub-contractors whose projects were adversely affected when Krahl closed.
According to court records, between 2005 and 2009, certain defendants fraudulently inflated the cost of renovation projects being performed by Krahl and caused the creation of false documents to support the inflated costs, resulting in over-billing Digital and Berwind a combined total of approximately $15 million. At the same time, the two clients’ employees secretly used their positions to solicit and accept bribe/kickback payments and home improvements in exchange for favorable action to help Krahl obtain contracts with those companies.
The remaining Krahl defendants who admitted roles in the scheme and are awaiting sentencing are: Thaddeus Stepniewski, 52, of Lisle, Krahl’s chief financial officer; Scott Mousel, 49, of New Orleans and formerly of Lisle, a Krahl project manager for two portions of the Cermak project; John Bak, 38, of Ringwood, Ill., also a Krahl project manager on portions of the Cermak project; Heather Ellis, 36, of Midlothian, a Krahl project manager assistant on portions of the Cermak project; and Erin Scott, 37, of Clarendon Hills, also a Krahl project manager assistant on the Cermak project.
Also awaiting sentencing are Scott Solano, 41, of Burr Ridge, a Digital employee who managed the Cermak building; and Timothy Scannell, 49, of Chicago, a Berwind vice president who managed the Tallgrass renovation of a three-story office building and warehouse in Bolingbrook.
Solano solicited and accepted kickbacks from Krahl, including payments totaling approximately $500,000 and renovations on his home totaling approximately $125,000. In exchange for the kickbacks, Solano promised to, and did, take favorable action on behalf of Krahl as requested and as opportunities arose, including helping Krahl obtain contracts from Digital.
Scannell also solicited and accepted kickbacks from Krahl, including payments totaling approximately $100,000, as well as renovations on his home totaling approximately $19,500. In exchange for the kickbacks, Scannell promised to take favorable action on behalf of Krahl as requested and as opportunities arose, including agreeing to help Krahl obtain contracts from Berwind.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Heinze and Jacqueline Stern.
FBI RESS RELEASE
TOPEKA, KS Feb 12 2013—A Dickinson County women has been sentenced to 36 months in federal prison for embezzling from a credit union where she worked, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today. She also was ordered to pay $817,000 in restitution.
Pamela Emig, 48, Solomon, Kansas, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement. In her plea, she admitted that from 2005 to 2011, she embezzled $817,000 while she was working for Enterprise Credit at 201 Factory in Enterprise, Kansas.
Emig admitted she kited checks between accounts under her control at the credit union to cover up embezzlements and increasingly larger shortages. She would make a large deposit toward the end of the month and include the deposit in the general ledger, but the actual deposit would not be sent to the corporate checking account until the middle of the next month. At that time, another larger check would be drafted out of another account at the credit union.
Grissom commended the FBI, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Hathaway, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Kenney for their work on the case.
Anne Arundel County MD Feb 4 2013 A father and daughter have been arrested in Maryland and charged with murder, according to authorities.
The two were charged in the death of a man who had been in “an ongoing dispute” with the adult daughter, Anne Arundel County police said Friday.
Police said Eric G. Banks, 48, of Camberwell Court in Baltimore and his daughter Erica T. Banks, 27, of Green Acres Drive in Glen Burnie were charged in the death of Darren D. Bell, 26, of Baltimore, who had been shot and stabbed. He was found Jan. 27 in a wooded area near Marley Neck Boulevard in Glen Burnie.
Officers had been sent there after a disturbance was reported.
Eric Banks was walking toward a vehicle there, police said. They said Erica Banks was in a nearby vehicle in which a handgun was found.
It was not clear why the victim and suspects were all there.
Authorities said the father was arrested Jan. 27 and the daughter was arrested Friday after further investigation.
Belle Isle Fla Feb 3 2013 A Department of Homeland Security employee is accused of pointing a gun at tow-truck drivers during a brawl in Belle Isle late last month.
Department of Homeland Security employee Pablo Morales, 48, and his son, 22-year-old Diego Morales, were arrested just after midnight Jan. 26.
According to Pablo Morales’ arrest report, he and his son went to the ASAP Towing yard in the 3100 block of McCoy Road in Belle Isle after Diego Morales’ car was towed to the lot.
Pablo Morales got into a argument with an employee of the towing company and tried to walk into a restricted portion of the lot to get to the car, the report said.
When the employee tried to stop him, the argument escalated and a brawl broke out.
Two other employees and a third man —a friend of Pablo and Diego Morales —started to fight.
Pablo Morales pulled out a 9mm handgun and pointed it at two of the employees, forcing them to back away as his son and the third man beat an employee as he cowered on the ground, police say.
Attorney Rick Martindale, who is representing the three injured employees, said the man who was most severely beaten had significant head injuries and abrasions on his body.
The father and son were booked into the Orange County Jail and are both facing felony aggravated battery charges.
Pablo Morales is also facing additional aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. Both men have already bonded out of jail.
All three tow truck drivers said they felt their lives were in danger. Police did not name them in the report.
HORRY COUNTY SC JAN 18 2013
An Horry County school teacher and former Horry County police officer was charged with two counts of Assault and Battery for beating a man and his wife in a Walmart parking lot.
Kevin Lee Duke, 48, of Little River was arrested on December 23 after the fight in North Myrtle Beach on December 21.
Duke served as an Horry County police officer from 1991 until 2011, reaching the rank of Lieutenant when he retired.
From mid-October 2012 to November 2012, Duke worked at St. James High School as a substitute. He was placed into a permanent position, teaching students law enforcement and safety on December 12.
The victim told police she and her husband were waiting for someone to back out and free up a parking space when Duke began to blow the horn and rev the engine of his BMW behind them.
Duke then backed up, pulled forward fast and slammed on his brakes, all the while honking his horn and putting his on high beam lights, the victim said.
There was plenty of room for Duke’s BMW to pass on the side, according to the victim.
When the parking space became free, the victim parked his vehicle and walked over to his wife who had gotten out of the car earlier to grab a grocery cart.
Duke asked the victim if the couple were married, which they replied to yes, said the victim.
Duke then asked the man, “You want some of this?” followed by multiple curse words, the report says.
Before the victim could answer, Duke got out of his car and began to punch the man in the face, according to the report.
The woman tried to grab her husband’s arm to get him away from Duke.
Duke then hit the woman in the face and the arms, according to the report.
The husband then grabbed his wife to pull her away from Duke, and Duke began to punch the man in the face again, the report says.
Duke left when he noticed the woman victim getting the license plate number off of his BMW to call police.
After leaving, Duke called North Myrtle Beach dispatch to report his was assaulted in a Walmart parking lot, but he refused to come back to the parking lot and talk with police, the report says.
Walmart video surveillance shows Duke as “never being assaulted and as the primary aggressor”, according to police.
The male victim was sent to Seacoast Medical Center for a cut over his left eye. X-rays of the victim show he has three broken bones in his head, one sinus and two orbital bones.
The female victim refused medical attention at the scene, but rode to the hospital with her husband.
North Myrtle Beach police charged Duke with Assault and Battery 2nd and 3rd degree.
Duke posted bond less than two hours after he was arrested.
Duke was placed on administrative leave with pay from Horry County Schools, pending an internal investigation.
Union County NJ Sept 2 2012 A teacher in Union County who also runs a baseball academy in Parsippany was arrested yesterday and charged with aggravated sexual assault for an alleged sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl, prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said.
Robert Gervasi, 48, of Bloomfield, taught at Kawameeh Middle School in Union and is the owner of the Ablaze Softball/Baseball Academy in Parsippany, Romankow said.
Authories said Gervasi has been suspended from the Middle School with pay. According to public records Gervasi has been with the district for nine years and earned a salary of $72,110 last year.
Gervasi was arrested yesterday in Union Township while attempting to meet with the victim, a 14-year-old girl from Union County who prosecutors say he began a relationship with earlier this summer.
The sexual contact occurred in parks in Union Township, at his baseball academy in Parsippany and at a condominium in Hoboken, prosecutors said.
Union Police Department and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office learned of the abuse earlier this month and launched the investigation. All alleged criminal acts, including those that occcurred in Morris and Hudson will be prosecuted in Union County, Romankow said.
“This kind of foul behavior will not be tolerated,” Romankow said. “Rather than being a resposnible adutls this teacher robbed a young girl of her childhood innocence.”
Gervasi is being held in lieu of $400,000 bail at the Union County Jail.
Romankow encouraged anyone with information to contact Detective Patricia Gusmano at (908) 527-4589 and Detective Lenny DiGenna from the Union Police Department at (908) 851-5000.
The suspects are Timmie Williams, 25, and Robert Wagner, 48.
Williams faces charges of using a computer to commit sex offenses with a minor, attempting to commit a felony, carnal knowledge of a child ages 13 to 14-years-old and indecent liberties with a child under the age of 15.
Wagner is charged with aggravated sexual battery, indecent liberties with a child, contributing to the delinquency of minors, use of communications systems to facilitate certain offenses involving children and production of child pornography.
Police say both suspects had inappropriate sexual contact with the teenage victim, and in both cases the victim consented.
Williams was arrested after a parent’s complaint. The victim’s father told police Williams exchanged sexual messages with his daughter on the phone and online.
“They were viewing several things she was posting online and found that she was having inappropriate conversations with an older gentleman,” Sgt. Brandon Creswell with the Newport News Police Special Victims Unit said.
Police learned Williams had sex with the victim in a wooded area after the two met on the Web site tagged.com . Police say he wasn’t the only one.
“Speaking with the parents we found out that there was another investigation in York County involving Mr. Wagner,” Creswell said.
Court documents say Wagner promised to pay the girl $80 to allow him to perform oral sex on her. Police say the 14-year-old told Wagner she was 17. The victim told police Wagner picked her up in Newport News and drove her to Harwood’s Mill Park.
Two people reportedly saw Wagner and the girl walk into the woods together. One witness told police she followed them to a picnic shelter and saw Wagner performing oral sex. The witness says he was wearing a trench coat and the girl was wearing a skirt. The witness says Wagner ran when she confronted him.
“A lot of times these underage girls feel empowered when older men are speaking with them telling them that they’ll pay them for certain goods, take them out certain places,” Creswell said. “So they feel grown up in a way, even though she is 14-years-old and she has a lot more aging to do.”
Wagner posted bond at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail Thursday, so WAVY.com stopped by his home. No one came to the door.
Police were at the home last month to collect recording and storage devices along with Wagner’s computers. They believe he used the equipment to make child pornography with other victims.
At this time, police do not expect the 14-year-old girl will face any charges, partly because of her age. Consent does not matter when the victim is 15-years-old or younger. The state considers that rape.
Police are investigating if the girl or the two men had sexual contact with others they met online.
SANTA ANA, Calif. Aug 1 2012– A college professor has been charged with arson after he’s accused of setting a series of fires this month at an Orange County high school and threatened to kill school officials and students after his son committed suicide, authorities said Tuesday.
Rainer Reinscheid, 48, is expected to appear in court Tuesday after he was charged with five counts of arson, one count of attempted arson and a misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing a police officer. If convicted, he faces up to nearly 13 years in prison.
Prosecutors said Reinscheid started five fires at University High School earlier this month where his son had attended and had been disciplined this past spring. The teen killed himself at a park preserve where his father allegedly committed the arsons.
Reinscheid was arrested last week and posted $50,000 bail.
On Friday, authorities found emails on Reinscheid’s cell phone they said described a plot to burn down the high school, commit sexual assaults and purchase weapons to murder school officials and students before killing himself.
Prosecutors said they believe Reinscheid was acting alone but it wasn’t clear if he was targeting anyone specifically.
“I can only at this point tell you, he laid out in sufficient detail plans to purchase guns and murder lots of people,” said Orange County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz.
Prosecutors are seeking no bail.
Reinscheid is a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of California, Irvine and has been there for about 12 years.
It wasn’t immediately known if Reinscheid had retained an attorney.
Michael Allen Manske, 48, of Hubbard, Texas, was seen observing boys at men’s room urinals at a game in Arlington, Texas, and a security officer who questioned him found sexually explicit photos on his cellphone, the federal criminal complaint alleges.
Manske has a history of indecent exposure dating to 1994, and is a registered sex offender, the Fort Worth ( Texas) Star-Telegram reported Wednesday.
“At any public place, in any public restroom, people should be cautious of the children who are there. If something looks odd or suspicious, definitely contact law enforcement and let them know,” advised Arlington, Texas, Police spokeswoman Tiara Richard.
Milton police responded to the store manager’s call on July 9 about the three employees being detained for shoplifting.
The loss prevention officer was allegedly spotted shoplifting a laptop, an iPad, two cellphones, video games and other products worth approximately $3,500.
Another employee was spotted on video taking a laptop and two webcams worth just under $1,000. A third employee took in an even bigger haul, allegedly shoplifting items that included an iPad, a laptop, a flat panel TV, two cellphones, a PlayStation Portable game, all worth more than $5,300.
Milton police reported that two of the suspects provided signed, written statements about their involvement in shoplifting. The loss prevention officer allegedly was paid off by the other suspect to avoid getting in trouble. He would give the second suspect stolen items to be sold for cash.
All three suspects were charged with felony shoplifting on July 10, and were released from Fulton County Jail on July 11 on $5,000 bond:
•Derrick L. Gibson, 39, of Alpharetta
•Neil Chopra, 31, of Roswell
•Randell Eugene Manns, 48, of Johns Creek
According to an indictment, Domeen Flowers, 48, of Maitland Florida, used her position with the IRS to make unauthorized computer entries into the IRS’ Integrated Data Retrieval System. Back in 2009, investigators say Flowers gained personal information on a taxpayer who she was renting a house from in Philadelphia. She then allegedly used that information to apply for credits from different credit card companies in the victim’s name.
Flowers was arrested and charged with aggravated identity theft, unauthorized inspection of tax returns and other related offenses. Flowers first appeared at U.S. District Court in Orlando. She was released on bail pending an appearance in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
If convicted of all charges, Flowers faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison with a maximum possible sentence of 46 years, maximum fine of $1,254,000, a special assessment of $900 and two years of supervised release.
Canby OR July 12 2012 A highway worker was struck and killed Tuesday evening on South New Era Road near Canby.
Police were dispatched about 7:40 p.m.to New Era and Haines roads on a report of a crash with a pedestrian and car.
Canby Fire Department crews tried to revive Gregory Priest, 48, of Salem. He was taken by Lifeflight to Legacy Emanuel where he was pronounced dead.
Priest’s family sent KGW the following statement Wednesday night:
“We want to thank everyone for their thoughts and the kindness they have extended to us today, and also for respecting our privacy during this difficult time. This is hard beyond words. Not only did we lose our fun-loving, hard-working Greg in that accident, but his 6-year-old son lost his father. We are a close family, which makes this so hard to take but also helps hold us together. We will miss our time with Greg — particularly the fishing trips he loved so much — and we will keep his memory alive for his son. Thank you again for your prayers and understanding.”
Bruce Dancer, 41, of Aurora was arrested and accused of DUII. He stopped immediately after the collision and called 9-1-1.
“There was plenty of light you know, it wasn’t in a shady spot or anything like that,” Clackamas Deputy Bryon O’Neil said.
Priest worked for the Knife River Corporation. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Greg’s family, friends and co-workers as they deal with this unnecessary loss,” said Brian Gray, president of Knife River’s operations in Oregon. “This is a tragic reminder to drivers to slow down and pay extra attention in construction zones for their own safety and for the well-being of the men and women who are working there. Safety is more important to us than any job. We provide our team members extensive training to protect themselves and the traveling public, and we ask drivers to look out for us, too. Greg’s death is devastating to us.”
The company provided grief counselors for Priest’s co-workers, several of whom said the best therapy was to simply go back to work on the paving project.
“So they are out there working hard,” Gray said, “Knife River asks that you watch out for them today and every day.”
“He loved his job, he loved his house, he met a new person that was special in his life and he was just happy about life just really doing good, I just hate to see everything cut so short,” neighbor Debbie Harring said.
The accident remains under investigation.
Anyone who may have seen it was asked to call the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office’s confidential Tip Line, 503-723-4949, or by using the online e-mail form.
Bedford NH May 18 2012 A Bedford police sergeant who committed suicide last Friday was facing a theft charge along with a Hill officer alleging they stole a vest with a “Road Dawgs” police motorcycle club insignia from a Concord store last year.
Gary Norton, 48, a 15-year veteran of the Bedford department, was found dead in his Newbury home last Friday night, according to Assistant Safety Commissioner Earl Sweeney.
Sweeney confirmed Norton’s death was a suicide and that he died from a gunshot wound, but he wasn’t sure whether Norton used a personal or police-issued weapon.
“He was a highly respected and very much people-oriented person,” Sweeney said. “It certainly is a tragedy for someone to take his life over something like that. It’s a shame for him and his family.”
Norton and Hill police Sgt. Jonathan Evans, 56, were charged with theft by unauthorized taking, a class B misdemeanor, in connection with the vest theft May 21, 2011, from the Pepper Defense Supply store in Concord.
They were both said to be members of Road Dawgs Motorcycle Club at the time, which is only open to active and retired police. Evans did not return phone calls.
Criminal complaints against Norton and Evans were filed last Friday morning in Concord District Court, according to Assistant Cheshire County Attorney John Webb, who is prosecuting because of a conflict in the Merrimack County Attorney’s Office.
The owner of the store, Brian Blackden, 47, who is also a freelance photographer for various news organizations, has a history of run-ins with police.
Blackden was shocked to learn that Norton took his own life.
“It makes me feel terrible for his family, and I just don’t think this would have been reason enough to do something like that,” Blackden said.
The vest, which Blackden obtained three years before in a storage bin sale, was taken from his 485 North State St. store by five men wearing Road Dawgs Motorcycle Club vests, he said.
“They rushed the store. Three of the men blocked me in front of the counter,” Blackden said. Another man blocked the entrance while another forcefully removed the vest from a mannequin, he said.
Blackden immediately called Concord police with full descriptions and a vanity plate.
He said he can’t understand why it took almost a year to investigate and only two faced charges.
“If it had been the Hells Angels or anyone else, they would have been arrested within hours by a SWAT team,” Blackden said.
Blackden believes the theft was retaliation because he sued New Hampshire State Police after troopers confiscated his camera at a fatal accident scene in Canterbury in August of 2010. Belsito Communications, a New York-based news agency that lists Blackden as a correspondent, is suing state police as well.
Blackden, who has sold photographs to the New Hampshire Union Leader and other news outlets, drove a converted ambulance with the words 1st Responder News on the side to the Canterbury crash.
He wore a fire protective coat and helmet with the word Photographer on both sides when police confiscated his camera, according to news reports at the time.
After the lawsuit was filed, Blackden was charged and convicted of impersonating emergency personnel at the Canterbury crash scene and a red light restriction violation. Concord Attorney Penny Dean has appealed the impersonation conviction to the state Supreme Court.
Hill Police Chief David Kratz said Jonathan Evans has been with his department for about seven years. He and selectmen decided there will be no change in Evans’ employment status to see what happens at trial, Kratz said.
“Sgt. Evans has always been a superior officer for us,” Kratz said.
Mike Brady, chairman of the Hill selectmen, said he was aware of the pending theft charge against Evans.
“John has been a good officer in Hill,” Brady said.
Evans was formerly a member of the Road Dawgs Motorcycle Club, but is no longer affiliated with the group, Brady said.
West Palm Beach Fla May 4 2012 An armed security guard at a suburban West Palm Beach flea market and his father were arrested Tuesday after they allegedly stole merchandise from the retail venue last month.
Michael Rodriguez, 27, of West Palm Beach, and his father Leonardo Rodriguez, 48, of Lake Worth, are facing charges of burglary and grand theft, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said. The elder Rodriguez was released Wednesday night on $6,000 bond. The younger Rodriguez was released Tuesday on $16,000 bond, jail records show.
According to a pair of probable-cause arrest affidavits, the father and son stole about $750 worth of jewelry and more than $4,500 worth of merchandise from two stores located inside the Sunshine Flea Market. Security footage allegedly captured the men inside the flea market altering the direction of security cameras on the night of April 16.
However, additional security cameras captured their activity, the affidavits said. In one instance, the security footage reportedly showed two men crawling under the locked and secured screen to gain access to the shoe store.
The shoe store owner later reported that various sneakers and laptop computers had been stolen. The owner of the jewelry store also reported that his business had been burglarized. When he arrived, he noticed his security cameras were pointing in a different direction, an affidavit said.
One suspect was identified as Michael Rodriguez, a flea market security guard. Site managers later questioned him when he returned to work. Rodriguez confessed to burglarizing the shoe store, but denied entering the jewelry store, an affidavit said.
Michael Rodriguez later implicated his father while speaking to sheriff’s investigators. He said his father brought him food that night and came up with the idea to check out the stores. Leonardo Rodriguez allegedly climbed on top of the jewelry store’s locked and secured screen to gain access.
An affidavit said that Michael Rodriguez provided his father with information about jewelry inside the business and remained outside as a lookout. He also allegedly repositioned the security cameras before his father entered the jewelry store.
Nassau County NY April 26 2012 A Nassau County police officer was arrested Tuesday morning after he allegedly stole baby food from a West Hempstead store at an earlier date.
According to investigators, Thomas Welsh, 48, entered the Stop and Shop located at 520 Cherry Valley Lane in West Hempstead and secreted numerous pouches of baby food on his person using plastic bags and a bungee cord. The value of the merchandise was approximately $40.
The Nassau County Internal Affairs Unit arrested Welsh Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. at police headquarters in Mineola.
Welsh was charged with petit larceny and possession of burglary tools. He was released on an appearance ticket and will appear at First District Court in Hempstead on May 17.
A police spokesman told The Associated Press that Welsh, a 25-year veteran of the force assigned to the Records Bureau, has been suspended without pay for 30 days.
According to police, after being placed under arrest by deputies for obstruction, he hit a deputy several times.
He was arraigned in Salamanca City Court and taken to the Cattaraugus County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail. He will be in court later.
Los Angeles CAMarch 14 2012 A veteran Los Angeles police officer who was moonlighting as a security guard at a Laguna Beach luxury hotel has been charged in connection with a scheme to steal money and other items from its lost and found, Orange County prosecutors said Tuesday.
Jeffry Paul Quinton, 48, of Anaheim Hills, faces two felonies — grand theft and commercial burglary, said officials with the Orange County district attorney’s office. If convicted of all charges, he faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months behind bars.
Quinton, who was arrested by the Laguna Beach Police Department, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal case, LAPD officials said.
A 21-year LAPD veteran assigned to the Central Division, Quinton also worked as a security guard for the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach.
As part of his off-duty job, he had access to the hotel’s computerized “lost and found” system. In October 2011, authorities said he accessed that system and changed records that showed that hotel staff had recovered $2,000 from a hotel room.
The cash entry was falsified to reflect that a gold watch had been recovered, authorities said. In addition, Quinton changed the room number where the money was found and changed the record to reflect that the watch was returned to its owner. Authorities said he also stole $960 out of the safe.
Two months later, Quinton covered a surveillance camera in the hotel’s security office with tape for several minutes, prosecutors said. While the view was obscured, he stole $680 out of the safe deposit box in the office, authorities said.
In late January, Quinton is accused of stealing $290 in bedding from a locked hotel storage room and putting the items in his car. Quinton was arrested after Laguna Beach police reviewed security surveillance footage.
PASCAGOULA, MS March 5 2012 - WLOX has learned family members found murdered in their Jefferson Davis County home are relatives of a Pascagoula firefighter. The bodies of Arvin Smith, 80, Maxine Smith, 74, and their son Roland Smith, 48, were discovered early Friday.
Will Hunter, President of the Pascagoula Firefighters Association, told WLOX that Pascagoula firefighter Rocky Smith of Moss Point is the son and brother of the victims. Hunter said their wake will take place Sunday night in Prentiss with the funeral set for Monday morning.
He said fellow firefighters will meet early on Monday to travel to the funeral to support Rocky. Afterwards, they will help him to clean out his parents home. Hunter said Rocky and a surviving brother need to try to sell the house to cover expenses. Hunter said only Arvin Smith had life insurance and the Smith family is struggling to find money to cover funeral costs for Maxine and Roland Smith. Hunter said he is in the process of trying to set up a benefit bank account.
Officials said Rocky Smith is a 20 year veteran of the Pascagoula fire department. He has two daughters and several grandchildren.
“Our thoughts, prayers and hearts go out to him,” said Will Hunter. “We’ll be by his side throughout this process and do whatever we can to raise funds to take care of his loved ones.”
Hunter said Roland Smith also served as a Pascagoula firefighter around 1999.
Meanwhile, Jefferson Davis County investigators said some suspects are being interviewed. Jeff Davis Coroner Jim Slater said an autopsy late Friday confirmed that all three died from multiple gunshots. Tolar said authorities are trying to determine a motive.
A cousin of Arvin Smith said she called police from her home across the street after hearing gunshots and seeing muzzle flashes. WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg reported that Arvin and Maxine were killed with a shotgun while their son Roland was killed with an assault riffle.
Anyone with information is urged to call 601-792-5169.
Chicago IL Feb 16 2012 Chicago police sergeant Ronald Watts, 48, an 18-year police veteran and Kallatt Mohammed, 47, who joined the department 14 years ago, both of Chicago, were arrested February 12th on federal charges alleging that they stole $5,200 in government undercover funds from a cooperating individual who they believed was transporting the cash for drug dealers. Both were assigned to a 2nd District tactical team, each were charged with one count of theft of government funds in a criminal complaint that was unsealed yesterday in U.S. District Court.
The arrests and charges were announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy of the Chicago Police Department. The police department’s Internal Affairs Division participated in the investigation.
On Nov. 21, 2011, after a Cooperating Witness (CS5) working with the FBI, who was unknown by Watts and Mohammed, told the police officers that he/she was a narcotics traffickers who transferred drug funds from on location to another. In a surveillance video-recording FBI agents observed Officer Mohammed, driving his personal auto, approached CS5 in the 2700 block of South Vernon taking a bag containing $5,200 from CS5. Later, the officers paid CS5 $400 for allowing them to steal the drug proceeds, the charges allege.
According to the complaint affidavit, FBI also have recorded phone conversations of Watts being told by CS5 of drug money pick ups and between Watts and Mohammed coordinating the stealing of the drug money and meets to portion out the money. The theft of government funds carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Both, Watts and Mohammed were released on $10,000 unsecured bonds after appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez in Federal Court. A status hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Feb.21.
FORT MYERS FLA JAN 22 2012 — A traffic stop on Interstate 75 ended with the arrest of three South Florida men accused of going on a shoplifting spree. Deputies said they discovered a van full of more than $17,000 in stolen merchandise with the anti-shoplifting devices still attached.
Lee County deputies conducted a traffic stop Thursday on a Nissan van for following too closely and conducting an improper lane change. The Nissan exited the highway and pulled over on westbound Palm Beach Boulevard. Henry Leonard Veramendi, 48, gave the deputy a fake ID, according to the arrest report. The deputy spotted numerous white garbage bags full of new clothes with the price tags and anti-shoplifting devices , according to the arrest report.
During a search of the vehicle, deputies located a Florida ID that belonged to Veramendi hidden in the headliner above the driver’s seat.
The investigation revealed Veramendi and both passengers have a history of shoplifting crime. Detectives believe they were traveling the Interstae from the Fort Myers area to the Miami area. According to reports, a search of the vehicle produced approximately 400 pieces of stolen clothing and two high quality “booster bags” made with the sole intent of defeating store security systems.
The recovered property was valued at $17,305.49.
According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, outlet stores including Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica and Calvin Klein appear to have been targeted.
Veramendi, of Miami, is facing charges of driving while license suspended third offense, two counts of possession of anti-shoplifting devices, giving a false name to law enforcement, and possession of a fraudulent driver’s license.
Juan Carlos Echeverry, 47, of Doral, and Ricardo A. Hidalgo, 55, of Hialeah, are both facing two counts possession of anti-shoplifting devices.