Three Former Employees of Timeshare Consulting Firm Admit Conspiring to Defraud Timeshare Owners www.privateofficer.com
CAMDEN, NJ May 10 2013 —Three former employees of The Vacation Ownership Group LLC admitted to conspiring to defraud owners of timeshare properties by offering phony consulting services, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. One of the defendants also admitted to illegally collecting unemployment benefits.
Jeffrey Sawyer, 50, of Mullica Hill, New Jersey, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Steven Cox, a/k/a “Steve Coluzzi,” 49, of Ventnor, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on May 7, 2013, before Judge Hillman to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Eric K. Reiff, a/k/a “Skip,” a/k/a “Skip Ray,” 41, of Ocean City, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on May 1, 2013, before Judge Hillman to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.
According to documents filed in these cases and statements made in court:
The Vacation Ownership Group, a/k/a VO Group LLC, had offices in Mays Landing and Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and claimed to offer consulting services to owners of timeshares, including cancelling, purchasing, and upgrading the timeshares.
In 2010, the four defendants started working at the VO Group and were trained by VO Group managers to call customers using prepared scripts. The defendants each called customers and gave the customers the false impression that they were working for a bank or lending institution. After hearing defendants’ false representations, some customers sent checks to the VO Group. Reiff falsely told an individual with the initials “SK” that SK could settle all of SK’s timeshare debt for a “one time” price and induced SK to send a check for $21,328.28 to the VO Group. Cox told “NP” that NP could settle his timeshare debt for a large discount by mailing a $26,585 check to the VO Group. Sawyer pretended to be a satisfied VO Group customer to persuade others to send money to the VO Group. Each defendant admitted causing substantial losses: Sawyer admitted causing more than $70,000 in losses; Reiff admitted causing more than $120,000 in losses; and Cox admitted causing more than $200,000 in losses.
Reiff also admitted to devising a separate scheme to defraud the New Jersey Department of Labor by collecting unemployment compensation benefits while working at the VO Group. Reiff admitted to applying for and being awarded $12,600 in unemployment compensation benefits to which he was not entitled.
On January 23, 2013, co-owners Adam Lacerda and Ashley Lacerda and other members of the VO Group were charged in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and other charges. Additional members of the VO Group were also charged by criminal complaint in April 2012. As for the Lacerdas and other defendants who have not been convicted in this case, the charges, and allegations against them are merely accusations, and they are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The mail and wire fraud conspiracy charge to which the three defendants pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense. The wire fraud charge to which Reiff pleaded guilty is also punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense.
Sentencings are scheduled as follows: Sawyer and Cox, September 27, 2013; Reiff, September 20, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents from the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark; and special agents from the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert Panella, New York Region, for their roles in the investigation leading to the guilty pleas. He also thanked the New Jersey Department of Labor, Benefit Payment Control Unit, for its assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alyson M. Oswald and R. David Walk, Jr. of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Crew members for Richard Childress Racing arrested for fighting at Richmond race www.privateofficer.com
Richmond VA April 29 2013 Two crew members for Richard Childress Racing were taken into custody and charged with assault after what Henrico County police described as a “physical altercation” in the infield area of Richmond International Raceway near the driver-owner lot after the ToyotaCare 250 Nationwide race Friday night.
Michael A. Scearce, 50, of Mount Ulla, N.C., was charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault, Henrico Police Lt. Linda Toney said in a news release. Thomas F. Costello, 35, of Kannapolis, N.C., was charged with one misdemeanor count of assault. The two were charged and released early today.
“One of the two adult male victims has a shoulder injury,” Toney said.
The website for Richard Childress Racing lists Scearce and Costello as crew members for driver Brian Scott, whose team had a confrontation with that of rival Nelson Piquet Jr. on pit road.
The altercation began on the track between Scott and Piquet, who drives for Turner Scott Motorsports. Scott accused Piquet of ramming into him late in the race and doing more damage to his car, which already was damaged from a wreck with 50 laps left in the race.
After crossing the finish line, Piquet said, “A few laps from the end, the 2 (Scott) slid in front of me, I touched him, we both maybe spun, and I passed him. After the race, he door-banged me. He did the same thing to me in Martinsville, and I let that go. I’m not going to take any more from him.”
After being “door-banged” Piquet used his car to bang Scott’s left rear quarter panel, causing Scott’s car to spin, and the two cars ended up facing each other.
Afterward, Scott approached Piquet, there was pushing and shoving and video of the clash shows Piquet kicking, or attempting to kick, Scott below the belt.
“Unfortunately we got caught up in that accident with 50 laps to go and we were trying to limp home to finish,” Scott said. “Nelson ran us up into the wall and did way more damage to the car than what was already there.
“I went to talk to him, he pushed and shoved me and kicked me below the belt, which I thought was a chicken move. This isn’t just a this race deal. He’s got an issue with me from I don’t know when. I’ve just had it.”
The drivers were separated and walked away.
Later, Scearce and Costello were arrested on the assault charges. They were charged and released early Saturday morning.
A court date was not set.
Source- times dispatch
LOS ANGELES CA April 17 2013 —A medical doctor who owns a cosmetic medicine clinic in the Winnetka district of the San Fernando Valley has been sentenced to 42 months in federal prison for bilking Medicare out of more than $3 million by submitting bills for procedures he never performed.
Pezhman Ebrahimzadeh, who uses the name “Pez Abrahams,” 50, of Calabasas, received the three-and-a-half-year sentence yesterday from United States District Judge George H. Wu.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wu ordered Ebrahimzadeh to pay $3,184,000 in restitution, most of which is to be paid to the Medicare program.
Ebrahimzadeh owns the Winnetka Medical Group, a cosmetic health care clinic that operates under the name Health & Beauty Clinic. At his clinic, Ebrahimzadeh provides cosmetic treatments that involve radiofrequency lasers and liposuction. As some of his patients were Medicare beneficiaries, Ebrahimzadeh obtained their beneficiary information, which was used to bill Medicare for procedures he did not perform.
Ebrahimzadeh also obtained beneficiary information for patients he never met or treated, and he used that information to submit other fraudulent bills to Medicare.
In relation to the bogus bills submitted to Medicare, Ebrahimzadeh typically claimed he had performed three expensive procedures: revascularization, ablation of a bone tumor, or the placement of a radiotherapy catheter in a breast. Ebrahimzadeh made these claims even though he lacked the equipment needed to perform revascularizations or the placement of radiotherapy catheters.
Ebrahimzadeh’s “conduct was so brazen that he billed Medicare for purportedly performing dozens of procedures on patients who were dead,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum to the court. “For one such patient, defendant billed Medicare for seven separate high-paying procedures. [Ebrahimzadeh] also altered medical records in an attempt to conceal his fraudulent conduct. In addition to defrauding Medicare, defendant billed private insurance carriers for similar procedures, some of which he claimed he performed on himself.”
Between September 2008 and April 2012, Ebrahimzadeh submitted $7.5 million in bogus claims, and Medicare paid just over $3 million.
Ebrahimzadeh pleaded guilty in January to one count of health care fraud.
In the sentencing memo, prosecutors noted that Ebrahimzadeh was arrested last month on suspicion of sexually assaulting a patient during a physical examination.
The case against Ebrahimzadeh was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse.
The indictment charges defendant David McLean with three counts of bribery in connection with a program receiving federal funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666. More specifically, the indictment alleges that on May 25, 2012, McLean, while a Margate city commissioner, knowingly and corruptly accepted $1,000 in cash and an $8,000 release of back rent in exchange for his influence in connection with the award of a Margate occupational license (count one). The indictment further alleges that on November 2, 2012, McLean accepted $3,000 in cash in exchange for his influence in connection with a $25,000 MCRA construction grant (count two). Lastly, the indictment alleges that on January 30, 2013, McLean accepted another $2,000 in cash in exchange for his influence in connection with the $25,000 MCRA construction grant.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer stated, “Public officials who sell their office and their influence to line their own pockets with cash undermine the good work of all hard-working public servants who labor for the public good. That is why corruption in government, at any level, will simply not be tolerated.”
“Investigating public corruption remains one of the FBI’s top priorities. This indictment represents our commitment to investigate corrupt acts and the individuals who are behind them,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Scott A. Gilbert, FBI Miami Division. “We encourage anyone who may have information about corruption to come forward and report it.”
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Karadbil.
An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.
Registry of Motor Vehicles Project Manager and Service Station Owner Charged with Extortion www.privateofficer.com
Simon Abou Raad, 50, of Tyngsboro, and Mark C. LaFrance, 51, of Braintree, were arrested today after being charged in U.S. District Court with conspiracy to extort money under color of official right in exchange for an official license to conduct Massachusetts motor vehicle safety inspections. Charges were originally filed on March 8, 2013, and unsealed today.
According to the complaint affidavit, LaFrance, project manager for Vehicle Safety and Compliance Services at the RMV, has oversight responsibilities for the entire motor vehicle inspection program in Massachusetts. Abou Raad owns service stations in Tewksbury and Tyngsboro. In Massachusetts, applications to obtain a license to conduct motor vehicle safety inspections are intended to be granted on a first-come, first-served basis with consideration given to geographic location and license class. Class A light duty inspection licenses and equipment are said to come available on occasion and cost approximately $2,800. It is alleged that a number of individuals have received inspection licenses immediately without regard to geographic location or community by paying up to $75,000 to Abou Raad, who distributes the proceeds from the scheme to LaFrance and others.
During FBI’s investigation, which involved the interception of electronic communications, LaFrance and Abou Raad are alleged to have discussed service station owners who were likely to sell their inspection machine and license. According to the affidavit, LaFrance and Abou Raad discussed the amount of money it would require to purchase the license and equipment from the license holders and for how much they could sell them. Calls intercepted also detailed how the transfer would appear legitimate in the RMV computer system.
The maximum sentence under the extortion statute is 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years’ supervised release. Abou Raad is charged alone with engaging in monetary transactions in funds derived from specified unlawful activity. The maximum sentence under this statute is 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Theodore Merritt and Robert Fisher of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law
So far, 41 defendants have been charged to date for their involvement with a timeshare resale telemarketing room called Timeshare Mega Media and Marketing Group Inc. (TMMMG). The other cases previously filed include Case Nos. 11-60190-CR-Cohn, 11-60247-Cr-Marra, 11-60268-Cr-Hurley, 12-60019-Cr-Scola, 12-60149- Cr- Scola, and 12-mj-6114-RSR.
According to the indictment, in June 2009, Pappalardo incorporated TMMMG, using defendant Duany and Duany’s mother as nominee owners. Pappalardo was a co-owner of TMMMG, and Ditroia, Agovino, and Duany helped run TMMMG for him. According to the allegations in the indictment, the defendants conspired to unlawfully enrich themselves by making false representations over the telephone to individuals who were trying to sell their time-share units. Among the false statements, the defendants would tell customers, most of whom lived outside of the state of Florida, that the defendants had successfully sold their time-share unit and asked the customer to pay a fee to finalize the sale, a which fee would purportedly be refunded at closing. This fee ranged from at least $1,996 to as much as $10,000.
According to the indictment, the defendants knew that TMMMG never had any buyers for any of the sellers of their timeshare units. In this way, during the 10 months that TMMMG was in business, it fraudulently induced customers to send approximately $5,000,000 to TMMMG, of which Pappalardo received at least $300,000 in checks and hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash from victims.
If convicted, defendants Pappalardo, Agovino, Ditroia, and Duany each face a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to 40 years in prison. Defendants Bleich, Lovinsky, Al-Dabbas, Scheel,
Harrington, Lowton, Lee, Rockmore, Davis, Oliver, and Ross each face a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to twenty years in prison.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. Mr. Ferrer also recognized the assistance provided by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the Federal Trade Commission during this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey N. Kaplan.
Dallas Woman Who Represented Herself as a Real Estate Investor Sentenced to 63 Months in Federal Prison www.privateofficer.com
Jackson pleaded guilty in October 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Co-defendant Anthony Davis, Jr., 32, of Mesquite, Texas, who was employed as a branch manager at Bank of America, pleaded guilty in September 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 25, 2013. Charlie M. Smith, Jr., of California, another co-defendant in the case, is facing similar charges in the Southern District of Ohio; that case will be adjudicated first.
According to documents filed, Jackson admitted that the purpose of her scheme was to fraudulently obtain residential real estate mortgages. Holding herself out as a real estate investor, she offered investment “seminars” at her house. Her “investment program” included recruiting straw purchasers, including Davis, to buy real estate and obtain fraudulent proceeds from the transaction by submitting fake invoices for consulting, upgrades or repairs. In facilitating the fraudulent real estate transactions, she caused title companies to mail closing documents to residential mortgage lenders who then wired money to fund the purchases.
Jackson facilitated the mortgage loans for the straw purchasers by submitting false and fraudulent loan applications and documents. These applications included material misrepresentations regarding the borrower’s income, employment, assets, and intention to occupy the property. Jackson also admitted that she supplied cash to some borrowers to make it appear as if the individual had the necessary financial assets to qualify for the loan, when they did not. Jackson also admitted that she received disbursements from some of the sellers that were not disclosed to the mortgage lenders.
For example, in one transaction, she facilitated fraudulent loans for an individual, “A.B.,” who was recruited by co-defendant Smith, to purchase Jackson’s residence on Hillcrest Lane in Dallas. Jackson admits that she notarized loan and closing documents purportedly bearing A.B.’s signature, but that she never met A.B. She also admitted that she provided money to A.B. for his down payment to purchase the Hillcrest property. False statements on this loan application and other documents caused the two mortgage lenders, JP Morgan Chase and First Magnus Financial Corporation, to wire a total of approximately $1.42 million to a title company to fund A.B’s purchase.
Davis admitted that in 2007, he conspired with Jackson and others to commit mail fraud. He attended real-estate investment “seminars” at Jackson’s house. She also recruited him to be a straw purchaser in her scheme, convincing him to purchase an investment property on Vickery in Dallas. Davis admitted that his loan application contained numerous false statements, including the amount of available cash assets and his intention to occupy the property as his primary residence.
In another instance, Davis signed a false verification of deposit form for an investor, whom Jackson recruited, falsely representing that this person had a certificate of deposit (CD) at Bank of America valued at $74,595. This document was part of this individual’s loan package to purchase a home on Willis Avenue in Dallas.
The conspirators allowed the purchased properties to go into foreclosure by not making the monthly mortgage payments, which resulted in more than $2 million in losses to mortgage lenders.
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. Attorney’s offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants, including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit http://www.stopfraud.gov.
The investigation was led by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Nicholas Bunch is in charge of the prosecution.
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Florida Feb 22 2013
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; Antonio J. Gomez, Acting Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Miami Field Office; and Ric L. Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, announce the arrests of 30 individuals engaged in a massive drug conspiracy that trafficked drugs from Arizona to Florida. The defendants were arrested earlier today and are expected to make their initial appearances today in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon in West Palm Beach at 1:00 p.m.
Charged in the 12-count indictment are George Evans Bivins, Jr., a/k/a “Ziggy,” 30, of West Palm Beach; Antonio Markeith Beverly, a/k/a “Tony,” 29, of West Palm Beach; Daniel Emmanuel Torrez, 31, of Tucson, Arizona; Lavaris Reshard Bivins, a/k/a “Varis,” 22, of West Palm Beach; William Alvarenga, a/k/a “Chico,” 19, of Boynton Beach; Jessica Marie Arvizu, 30, of Tucson, Arizona; Michael Maxwell Barkley, a/k/a “Tater,” 38, of Lake Worth; Jerrick David Bartee, 30, of West Palm Beach; Kirk Douglas Bivins, a/k/a “Kirky,” 38, of Riviera Beach; Demetri Pernell Cobb, a/k/a “Meechi,” 23, of Lake Worth; Darren Duane Donnally, 39, of Palm Springs; Quatavious Carnell George, a/k/a “Jelly Boy,” 26, of Riviera Beach; Wellington Timothy Glinton, a/k/a “Timmy,” 20, of Lake Worth; Javaris Reshad Bartelmy, 24, of Boynton Beach; Ernest Andrew Holiday, a/k/a “Bam,” 30, of Riviera Beach; Jean Innocent, a/k/a “Barko,” 20, of Lake Worth; Demetrice Lemane Jones, 37, of Riviera Beach; Dominic Perry Lamare, 33, of Port St. Lucie; Patrick Jarrod Lowe, 24, of Lantana; Richard John Mercy, 30, of North Palm Beach; Frank Davis Moore, Jr., a/k/a “Bow Head,” “Bodeen,” 33, of Royal Palm Beach; Evens Pierre Louis, a/k/a “E-Bo,” 27, of Palm Springs; Theresa Lashai Razz, 28, of West Palm Beach; Lori Beth Mae Saccoman, 50, of West Palm Beach; Jeannot Saintelus, a/k/a “Jit,” 23, of Lake Worth; Calvin Leon Sirmans, Jr., a/k/a “CJ,” 28, of Lake Worth; Jamie Toby, 24, of Lake Worth; Monica Deloris Toby, 47, of Lantana; Eric Lanard Williams, a/k/a “Baby Boy,” 29, of Lantana; and David Lendell White, a/k/a “Popper,” 25, of Lake Worth.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer stated, “Today, the streets of Lake Worth and the surrounding areas are just a little safer, thanks to the concerted efforts of the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. Thanks to their hard work, we have removed more than two dozen drug traffickers from our streets.”
“Through the combined efforts of local and federal law enforcement, this massive drug trafficking conspiracy is out of business,” said Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Miami. “Drugs and the violent gangs that profit from them have a devastating effect on our communities and we will continue to work with our partners to make South Florida a safer place.”
Antonio J. Gomez, Acting Inspector in Charge for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service stated, “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and all of our law enforcement partners in making our communities safer by working to eradicate narcotics from the U.S. mail stream.”
More specifically, the indictment, filed on February 7, 2013 and unsealed today, charges the defendants with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and/or cocaine hydrochloride, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and/or cocaine hydrochloride, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), and 846. If convicted, the defendants each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison up to a statutory maximum term of life in prison.
According to statements made in court, this conspiracy involved multiple kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride that were shipped from Tucson, Arizona to Palm Beach County for sale and distribution as both cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine base. Much of the cocaine was sold in and around the streets of Lake Worth, Florida.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rinku Tribuiani and Robert Waters.
An indictment is only an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Former South Plainfield Police Captain Charged with Sexually Exploiting a Minor www.privateofficer.com
U.S. Attorney’s Office
TRENTON, NJ Feb 21 2013—A former South Plainfield, New Jersey Police captain is charged with the sexual exploitation of a minor female after enticing the girl to live-stream sexually explicit acts via the Internet, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Michael Grennier, 50, of South Plainfield, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of sexual exploitation of a child. Grennier appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni and was detained.
According to the complaint:
Special agents of the FBI executed a consent search of the New Jersey home of “Jane Doe,” a minor female, on February 15, 2013. Jane Doe stated in an interview that day that for several years Grennier paid her for photographs and video of herself naked and partially clothed. Grennier had also paid Jane Doe and another minor female, “Mary Roe,” to engage in sexually explicit conduct in hotel rooms, which Grennier videotaped. Grennier paid Jane Doe to perform sexually explicit acts while Grennier watched via webcam from another computer. The last time Grennier enticed Jane Doe to do this was at approximately 10:30 p.m. on February 14, 2013, according to Jane Doe. This was confirmed by text messages between Grennier and Jane Doe on February 14, 2013, at approximately that time. As payment for those acts, Grennier was going to purchase approximately $175 worth of merchandise for Jane Doe.
The charge of sexual exploitation of children carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez in Newark, with the investigation leading to the federal charges. Fishman also thanked the South Plainfield Borough Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police James Parker, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan, for their assistance with the investigation.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Harvey Bartle of the U.S. Attorney’s Trenton Office.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Texas Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit arrests federal agent for sexually soliciting a minor online www.privateofficer.com
Williamson County TX Feb 16 2013 Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit arrested Forrest William Johnson, 50, on Wednesday for using the Internet to sexually solicit a minor. At the time of his arrest, Johnson indicated he is a federal agent with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and is assigned to law enforcement duties at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
3008_johnson_forrest_1360864761.jpg According to Cyber Crimes Unit officers, Johnson posted an explicit online advertisement. When Johnson received a response from an individual he believed was a 15-year-old girl, he sexually propositioned the child and arranged a personal encounter so he could sexually assault her at a predetermined location. The “girl” was actually an undercover police officer with the Cyber Crimes Unit. When Johnson arrived at the meeting location, he was arrested by Cyber Crimes Unit police officers.
Johnson faces a second-degree felony charge for online solicitation of a minor. After his arrest, Johnson was transported to Williamson County Jail, where he remains in custody in lieu of a $20,000 bond. If convicted, Johnson faces two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
For more information on Attorney General Abbott’s efforts to crack down on sex predators, visit the attorney general’s website at http://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call (800) 252-8011.
COLUMBIA, Tenn. Feb 16 2013 – Three men have been charged after a meth lab explosion inside a room at a Maury County motel.
Adam Arabis, 23, Raymond Stringfellow, 50, and Derrel Pack, 43, were charged with three counts of reckless endangerment, promotion of meth, manufacture of meth and other charges.
Officials said they got reports of the explosion at the Polk Motel on Nashville Highway in Columbia around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
“We arrived to see smoke, a small bit of flames, occupants coming out of the structure,” said Mark Gandee from the Columbia Fire Department.
Sergeant Jeremy Haywood from the Columbia Police Department said two of the men were injured in the blast, and both were taken to Maury Regional Medical Center for treatment. They were first decontaminated in the hotel parking lot.
“We do just a precautionary decon with soap and water, put tyveck paper suit just to take care of EMS, because they’re in a small confined area,” said Chief Lee Bergeron from the Columbia Police Department.
The other man fled the scene, but was later taken into custody.
The affected portion of the hotel was evacuated while crews investigated.
Oklahoma school employee arrested on school grounds for child porn distribution www.privateofficer.cm
HOLDENVILLE, Okla.Dec 9 2012 – An Oklahoma school employee and former police officer has been arrested for child pornography.
Cary, N.C. Sept 9 2012— Cary police have arrested an ex-husband and wife accused of shoplifting thousands of dollars in merchandise and selling the boosted goods on the Internet.
Police said Wednesday that Danielle Bowen, 50, of 1800 Walnut St., Cary, stuffed stolen items into a lead-lined bag to avoid detection as she exited stores. She was charged with shoplifting by concealing merchandise using a lead or aluminum-lined bag, larceny from merchant by removing anti-theft devices, conspiracy to commit a felony and felony possession of stolen property.
She faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Her ex-husband, Glen Bowen, 40, also of 1800 Walnut St., was charged with conspiracy to commit a felony and felony possession of stolen property. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
Cary police said they arrested the pair Tuesday after being contacted by loss-prevention officers at Hudson Belk in Cary Towne Center. Police said Danielle Bowen had some stolen items in her possession, and more were found after officers searched her home and vehicle.
“Since the arrest, the duo has admitted to selling stolen items on the Internet over the last nine months,” Capt. Don Hamilton said. “There are reasons why online deals sometimes seem too good to be true, so use caution when considering a purchase from a third-party seller.”
CORAL SPRINGS Fla Aug 31 2012 — — A security guard at Atlantic Springs had heard residents’ complaints of a man going around peeping through people’s windows, according to a police report.
So Monday night, when the guard saw a man walk through bushes in front of a window to peer inside an apartment, he told the man, “What you are doing is wrong,” and he called police, the report said.
The suspect, Scott Howard Iglehart, 50, was taken into custody at his apartment Monday night on one count of voyeurism and one count of possession of cannabis less than 20 grams, the report said. He was freed from jail on $100 bond, jail records show.
Wednesday, Iglehart declined to comment, only to say, “It’s probably not smart to talk about it at this point.”
About 10:20 p.m. Monday, police responded to the security guard’s prowler report at Atlantic Springs in the 11200 block of West Atlantic Boulevard, the police report said.
The guard said he had seen a heavy-set man with gray hair and a gray goatee, the report said. The description was similar to one given by residents of the prowler they had been complaining about.
The guard told Iglehart he knew Iglehart was up to no good. Iglehart allegedly replied, “I know. I don’t want any problems.” Iglehart, who lives in the complex, walked back to his unit, the report said. During police questioning, Iglehart said he had walked over to an area to smoke “weed,” the report said. When he saw the guard, he said he only crouched down near the window to try and hide, the report said.
Police determined Inglehart had been secretly watching a 16-year-old girl inside an apartment, the report said. An officer interviewed the girl and her mother, the report said.
The arrest report said Inglehart had looked through the girl’s window “with lewd, lascivious and indecent intent.”
Phoenix AZ Aug 30 2012 The two north Phoenix women found dead of a suspected murder-suicide fought like cats and dogs, a neighbor said.
Phoenix police found Dallas Augustine, 32, and Jessie McCaskill, 50, Monday night dead of gunshot wounds in the family room of their rental home in the 16000 block of 11th Place. A relative of McCaskill’s called police for a welfare check after the woman was last seen on Thursday.
Augustine, who worked for the Arizona Department of Corrections in Florence, was suspected of shooting McCaskill before killing herself, Sgt. Trent Crump said in a Tuesday news conference. Crump would only say that the weapon used was a handgun, which was recovered from the scene.
The two women have been in a relationship for eight years, Crump said. Interviews with family and friends indicated there were “problems in their relationship,” police said.
Philip Allen, who lives next door to the two women, said the two had loud fights, three to four times a month.
“They fought pretty hard and screamed at each other,” said Allen, 65, who knew the two for about two years. “Sometimes you’ll be inside your house and you can hear them, hear something break once in a while.”
Allen said when the two were outside, they were “nice and easy-going.”
Allen said he didn’t know what the two would argue about and didn’t recall seeing physical injury on either of the women. He doesn’t recalled police ever coming to the house until Monday evening.
He said he heard the two “yelling and screaming at each other” last Wednesday or Thursday but didn’t pay attention to it.
He said the women’s two dogs barked incessantly over the weekend, which was unusual but Augustine’s black Dodge Ram truck was parked in the driveway so that alleviated his concerns.
“They were nice neighbors as far as I was concerned,” Allen said.
The Associated Press reported that Augustine was the daughter of a murdered former Nevada state lawmaker.
Police said it appeared that one of the two women was packing her belongings to leave.
Allen, however, said the lease on the home was up and that both women were moving out to be closer to their jobs.
Augustine’s mother, Nevada Controller Kathy Augustine, died in her Reno home in 2006. Her husband, Chaz Higgs, was later convicted of murdering her by injecting her with a paralytic drug, according to news accounts.
Loudon County VA Aug 29 2012 A substitute middle school teacher at Stone Hill Middle School in Loudoun County was arrested for allegedly being drunk at the school.
Authorities Monday arrested Jacqueline Barnes, 50, of Aldie, and charged her with being drunk in public.
School staff alerted authorities that Barnes had arrived at school and allegedly appeared to be intoxicated.
Freehold NJ Aug 12 2012 A Forked River man was arrested after he allegedly shoplifted from Walmart on Sunday, Aug. 5, police said.
Officers were dispatched to Walmart at 7:40 p.m. on the report of an adult male being detained on suspicion of shoplifting. Alan Schwartz, 50, of Forked River was arrested and charged with shoplifting.
Schwartz had attempted to steal $48.78 of merchandise. He was processed and released.
He was previously charged in May with forging prescription blanks, obtaining a controlled dangerous substance by fraud and health-care claims fraud.
Schwartz allegedly presented two prescription blanks for Percocet to two different pharmacies using prescription blanks from a Monmouth County dental office where he was employed part-time. He also worked as a general dentistry specialist at his practice in the Baycorp Building on Lacey Road.
According to the State of New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, Schwartz surrendered his license to temporarily practice dentistry in May 2011.
According to court documents, around 11 a.m. Friday, Scott Chancey, 50, whose address was last reported as 509 Oak St., assaulted William Clark, 79, as he was placing a parking warning on Chancey’s car.
The incident took place outside the Muscatine Mall.
Clark, a security guard for the Muscatine Mall, suffered a compound fracture to his left elbow and other injuries.
Chancey was charged with an aggravated misdemeanor, which carries a prison sentence of up to two years and a mandatory fine a fine from $500-$5,000.
Chancey was released from the Muscatine County Jail on $5,000 bail. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24.
GULFPORT, MS July 31 2012 - Coast Radio Group terminated Robert Dever, 50, of Gulfport on Saturday, according to Coast Radio Group Operation’s Manager Bryan Rhodes.
On Saturday, Dever was arrested and charged with misdemeanor malicious mischief and felony sexual exploitation of children.
According to the Coast Radio Group’s website, Dever was the midday announcer on Kicker 108 as Bob Dever. He was also an announcer on Z-95 FM as ‘Jay Roberts.’
Dever’s arrest was the result of a joint investigation conducted by members of the ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force, the Biloxi Police Department and the Gulfport Police Department.
During the investigation, it was discovered that Dever had posted a note on the wall of the bathroom at a park in Biloxi asking that individuals who had an interest in sharing children for sex contact him.
That posting lead to the misdemeanor malicious mischief charge and also lead to an undercover internet investigation which identified Dever as being the person making the posting.
The investigation also lead to the execution of a search warrant at Dever’s residence where investigators recovered numerous images of children engaging in sexually explicit activities.
Those discoveries lead to the felony sexual exploitation of children charge.
After his arrest, Dever was incarcerated in the Harrison County Adult Detention Center pending a Biloxi Municipal Court bond of $300.00 for malicious mischief and a Harrison County bond of $50,000.00 for the sexual exploitation of children.
Harrison County Justice Court Judge Bruce Strong set the bond on the felony.
Dever was arrested in the 1200 block of Mill Road in Gulfport.
Arrested were Cheryl D. Luck, 50, of Rahway and Carla D. Nulls, 43, of Newark. The incident took place Thursday, July 12 about 6:30 p.m. Hillside police responded to the drug store on a report of two women shoplifting. Sgt. Joseph Cocuzza observed one women detained by store personnel and another running away as she tossed an item away.
Cocuzza ran after the woman and apprehended her moments later. Police learned that a store employee watched Nulls loading her pockets with merchandise. As he approached her, she began to run for the door. The employee then attempted to prevent Nulls from leaving.
As he did, Luck jumped on his back while Nulls began to struggle with him, police said. When Luck heard the police were called, she began to run from the store when Sgt. Cocuzza arrived. Both were arrested and transported to Hillside police headquarters. Recovered from the women was $59.62 in merchandise.
Luck is charged with robbery and resisting arrest and Nulls with robbery. Each was being held at the Union County Jail on $50,000 bail.
In both cases, the drugs were hidden in their private parts.
Maj. Stephen Rubino with James City County Police confimed Tuesday that there were two separate instances of drug smuggling at the jail on June 15 and 16.
On June 15, Kelly Marie White, 42, was reporting to the jail to serve a one-year sentence for a habitual offender conviction.
“Jail staff had some information that she was going to be attempting to smuggle in some narcotics, and after conducting a search of her person they found a small plastic container, which was inserted in her vagina,” Rubino said.
He said the pills found inside were thought to be Flexoral and Percocet. They were sent to a lab for identification.
The incident the following day took place when Tammy Sue Riddle, 50, was searched while reporting to the jail. Rubino said correctional officers also had information that led them to believe Riddle would try to sneak in drugs. He said officers found six blue pills wrapped in several pairs of latex gloves hidden in her private area.
Source:the virginia gazette
CHARLOTTE, N.C.July 4 2012 – Four Airmen died and two others were seriously injured when a Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) equipped C-130 belonging to the 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard, based here, crashed Sunday evening while fighting a woodland fire in Southwestern South Dakota.
Dead are Lt. Col. Paul K. Mikeal (pronounced like michael), 42, of Mooresville, N.C.; Maj. Joseph M. McCormick, 36, of Belmont, N.C.; Maj. Ryan S. David (pronounced da-veed), 35, of Boone, N.C.; Senior Master Sgt. Robert S. Cannon, 50, of Charlotte.
“Words can’t express how much we feel the loss of these Airmen,” said Brig. Gen. Tony McMillan, 145th AW Commander. “Our prayers are with their families, as well as our injured brothers as they recover.”
Mikeal was assigned to the 156th Airlift Squadron as an evaluator pilot and had more than 20 years of service. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
McCormick was an instructor pilot and chief of training for the 156th Airlift Squadron. He was married with four children.
David was an experienced navigator and was also assigned to the 156th. He joined the North Carolina Air National Guard in 2011 after prior service in the active-duty U.S. Air Force. He is survived by his wife and one child.
Cannon had more than 29 years with the Charlotte unit and was a flight engineer with the 145th Operations Support Flight. He was married with two children.
The names of the injured will not be released. Both of the injured Airmen remain hospitalized.
The crew and its aircraft along with two other 145th C-130s and three dozen Airmen flew from Charlotte to Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., Saturday to assist with fighting forest fires in the Rocky Mountain region. They were due to move to a base in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Monday. The crash occurred around 6:30 p.m. mountain time near Edgemont, S.D., as the crew assisted with battling what is being called the White Draw fire. The cause of the crash is unknown and is under investigation.
North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue declared that flags be flown at half staff today and President Barack Obama expressed condolences honoring the dead Airmen.
“The support of civil authorities during natural disasters is a key and unique mission of the National Guard,” said Army Maj. Gen. Gregory Lusk, the adjutant general of the North Carolina National Guard “The MAFFS mission is probably one of the seminal missions of the Air National Guard, representing interagency coordination between the Guard and the U.S. Forest Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense organizations to suppress the fires.”
MAFFS is a joint Department of Defense and U.S. Forest Service program designed to provide additional aerial firefighting resources when commercial and private air tankers are no longer able to meet the needs of the forest service.
MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system owned by the U.S. Forest Service that can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant in less than 5 seconds, covering an area one-quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide. Retardant is discharged along the leading edge of a fire while water can be dropped directly on the flames. Once the load is discharged, it can be refilled in less than 12 minutes.
According to Forest Service records, the agency has been working with the North Carolina Air National Guard on fire suppression missions since the early 1970s.
Rachel George, 21, and her father, Christopher George, 50, of Greensburg, face a preliminary hearing next week on charges that they attacked the officer and the guard, who was escorting her out of the ballpark during Saturday night’s game against the Houston Astros. Each is charged with crimes including aggravated assault, conspiracy, harassment, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
Tensions flared after Ms. George was taken to the park’s security office for smoking in her seat, according to a criminal complaint filed by Detective Frank Rende.
As Pirates security supervisor Joseph Risher was escorting her out of the right field gate, Ms. George’s unidentified boyfriend assaulted him and ran off. Ms. George jumped on the guard’s back and started to pull him backward, the complaint says.
Her father joined in the attack, pushing him up against a fence.
“While defending himself, Mr. Risher got his left hand caught on the fence, and when he was pulled by both (defendants) his left middle finger was ripped off at the second knuckle and was hanging by a piece of skin,” Detective Rende wrote in the complaint.
Mr. Risher, he added, was screaming in pain.
Once in handcuffs, the Georges continued to be uncooperative, Detective Rende wrote.
Ms. George cursed and spit on him. As Sgt. Sean Duffy, who intervened, was placing her in a holding cell at the ballpark she kicked him, prompting him to use a “palm strike” to the left side of her face. He said he felt a sharp pain in his right shoulder while doing this, requiring care at UPMC Mercy.
The Georges were taken to the Allegheny County Jail, where court records show they posted bail.
Neither father nor daughter could be reached for comment this morning.
Chicago IL May 13 2012 A man who used a small Bobcat front loader to break through the windows of a West Side Family Dollar before walking off with two cans of deodorant and a bunch of gift cards has been charged this afternoon, according to police.
Michael Younger, 50, of the 8100 block of South Vernon Avenue, was charged with two counts of felony burglary, according to police News Affairs.
Younger is expected to appear in bond court Saturday, police said.
Officers stopped Younger about a block away because he matched the description provided by a security company who was monitoring the store at 5410 W. Chicago Ave., police said.
Younger stole the Bobcat loader from a nearby construction site at 5327 W. Chicago Avenue – the site of the former 15th District police station – and broke the windows at the Family Dollar store a block away, according to police.
Police said an alarm company watched the theft unfold from security cameras inside the store and called Chicago police. Responding officers saw a man in the area matching the description and stopped to talk with him.
One of the officers noticed a bulge in Younger’s pocket and found gift cards after patting him down, police said.
The man told police he found the cards about a half-block away, police said. They brought him back to the Family Dollar and compared him to security video and he was arrested, police said.
Younger did not attempt to take the cash register, police said.
The Bobcat was being used to help build a community center for young mothers, according to police.
Fontana CA May 12 2012 A Rialto police officer was arrested on suspicion of engaging in sex acts with an underage female, authorities said Thursday night.
Theodore Fernandes, 50, was arrested by Fontana police and was being held on $2-million bail, authorities said.
The alleged victim is now an adult. Authorities became aware of the accusations in February, the Fontana Police Department said in a statement.
Police said investigators do not believe there are additional victims.