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Posted: 18 Sep 2012 10:09 PM PDT

TACOMA, WA—A former senior vice president and loan officer at Pierce Commercial Bank pleaded guilty late today to a mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in the collapse of the bank, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. Shawn L. Portmann, 40, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements in loan applications and to make false statements to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and one count of making a false statement in loan applications.

“Community banks are a critical part of our financial system,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “Mr. Portmann lined his pockets with millions of dollars in commissions and bonuses at the expense of the families who now find themselves underwater on their mortgages. His fraudulent conduct led to the demise of Pierce Commercial Bank and significant losses for other financial institutions.”

Under the terms of the plea agreement, both Portmann’s attorney and prosecutors will recommend a sentence between 10 and 14 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle on January 28, 2013. Portmann was indicted in August 2011 for a mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in the collapse of Pierce Commercial Bank in November 2010.

According to records in the case, between 2004 and 2008, Portmann and the other defendants conspired to submit false documents within various loan documents and applications. They falsified information about the borrowers’ qualifications as well as their intention to reside in the homes being financed. Based on a review of a sample of loans, the co-conspirators caused more than 270 loans that contained false and fraudulent documents and information to be funded by Pierce Commercial Bank representing in excess of $45 million in loan proceeds. More than 100 of these loan files have defaulted, causing in excess of $10 million in loss to Pierce Commercial Bank, secondary investors and HUD. The indictment details multiple false statements included in loan documents regarding an applicant’s employment, income, and intention to reside in the property.

Pierce Commercial Bank received $6.8 million from Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in January 2009. This money was never repaid.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, the HUD Office of Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service Office of Criminal Investigation, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Werner and Arlen Storm.

Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 10:09 PM PDT

United States Attorney Michael J. Moore, Middle District of Georgia, announces sentencing of Martin T. Tillman a/k/a “Gator,” age 41, of Ray City, Georgia, which took place before the Honorable Hugh Lawson, United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia in Valdosta, Georgia on September 17, 2012.

On April 13, 2012, Tillman was found guilty by a jury of a violation of Title 21 United States Code Sections 841(a)(I) and 841(b)(I)(A)(iii), charging conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute.

At trial, the government presented evidence that Tillman and his co-conspirators were responsible for the distribution of an excess of 400 kilograms of cocaine.

Based on Tillman’s prior drug distribution conviction, the range of sentence permissible in the case was no less than 20 years’ imprisonment up to the possibility of life imprisonment. Judge Lawson imposed a sentence of life imprisonment.

U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said, “The sentence in this case is the ultimate deterrent, because there is no parole in the federal system. This is a true life sentence, and this defendant will not have the opportunity to sell illegal drugs again.”

Sheriff Charles “Nick” Norton said, “This investigation led to the formation of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force which included investigators from the FBI, the Lanier County Sheriffs Office, Lowndes County Sheriffs Office, Valdosta Police Department, Moultrie Police Department, Colquitt County Sheriffs Office, the FBI Gang Task Force, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Asking for help is sometimes hard to do, but it was the right call. This sentencing today is just one more example of the fantastic results our community has received from the cooperation between the Lanier County Sheriffs Office and our trusted law enforcement partners. This is an example of what we can accomplish when we work together. My thanks go out to the FBI, U.S. Attorney Michael Moore and his staff, and all of those who continue to stand with us.”

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney, Leah E. McEwen. For additional information regarding this case, please contact Sue McKinney, Public Affairs Specialist, United States Attorney’s Office at (478) 752-3511.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 10:09 PM PDT

United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian; Clifford C. Holly, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico; Joseph T. Zikuski, Chief, City of Binghamton Police Department; Carl Graziano, Acting Chief, City of Scranton Police Department; and Larry Hurley, Chief, Athens Township (Pennsylvania) Police Department, announced today the arrest of Samuel A Parrotti II, 43, in connection with two recent Broome County bank robberies. Parrotti is also a suspect in two additional bank robberies that took place in nearby Pennsylvania locations over the summer. In addition to Parrotti’s arrest, a federal search warrant was executed today at Parrotti’s residence located in the village of Lisle.

In the federal criminal complaint filed today in United States District Court, Parrotti was charged with committing two bank robberies in Broome County—the first, on July 16, 2012, at the M&T Bank branch located at 1170 Vestal Avenue in the City of Binghamton; the second on August 1, 2012, at the NBT Bank branch located at 2950 State Route 11 in Whitney Point1. The felony complaint also contains facts related to two other bank robberies similar to the Broome County robberies—one on August 6, 2012, at the Pennstar Bank branch located at 117 Meadow Avenue, Scranton, Pennsylvania; and the other on August 27, 2012, at the Visions Federal Credit Union located at2121 Elmira Street, Sayre, Pennsylvania. In each of the four bank robberies, the male robber passed notes to tellers demanding money and indicating the robber possessed a gun. Various amounts of money were obtained in each of the bank robberies.

Parrotti faces a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment on each of the robberies, and maximum fines of $250,000. The investigation was conducted by the New York State Police, City of Binghamton Police Department, City of Scranton Police Department, Athens Township Police Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas P. Walsh.

Further inquiries may be directed to the United States Attorney’s Office, Binghamton branch office, at (607) 773-2887.

1 The felony complaint contains only accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 05:11 PM PDT

ST. LOUIS—Reginald Williams was arrested by FBI and St. Louis County officers Friday afternoon on a charge of interstate transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in prostitution. He appeared today in federal court for his preliminary and detention hearings.

According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, on September 12, 2012, Collinsville, Illinois police received a report regarding a missing 16-year-old girl who was being forced to work as a prostitute by one or several adult males. The person reporting the information was familiar with online postings on the website Saint Louis backpages.com in which photographs of the girl were used to offer her services for commercial sex. The telephone number associated with the advertisement was recognized to be used by “Reggie,” who was later identified as Reginald Williams. Detectives reviewed the advertisement, which contained sexually suggestive language and listed the poster’s age to be 20 years old. However, Illinois police were able to confirm that she was born in 1996.

Investigators also learned that a second minor female was believed to be in the 16-year-old’s company at a hotel in St. Louis County. Detectives from Illinois then contacted the St. Louis FBI and the St. Louis County Police Department.

On September 13, 2012, an undercover detective called the phone number listed in the online advertisement to set up a paid sex “date.” When officers arrived at the hotel, they observed a black male later identified as Reginald Williams exit the same hotel room where the two minor females were eventually found. Williams was arrested on the parking lot. When officers went to the room they found both girls, ages 16 and 17. Thereafter, officers determined that Williams transported the 16-year-old girl to the St. Louis area and Chicago with the intent she engage in prostitution.

Williams, 27, from the St. Louis, Missouri area, was charged in a criminal complaint with one violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2423(a), the interstate transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in prostitution.

This charge carries a penalty range of 10 years to life in prison. In determining the actual sentence, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

As is always the case, charges set forth in a criminal complaint are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 05:11 PM PDT

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Mary Galligan, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”); and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced today the unsealing of charges against 13 members and associates of a criminal organization known as the “Wolfpack” for narcotics and firearms offenses. Defendants FRANKIE FROKAJ, CORRY LOMBARDI, JOSEPH CAMAJ, DRITON HAXHIJAJ, JOSEPH MITCHELL, GEORGE CEKAJ, STEPHEN CRIVILLARO, ALBERTO SPAGNUOLO, and JASON VILLALONA were arrested earlier today and appeared in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott this afternoon. CHRISTOPHER NRECAJ and DAVID NRECAJ were already in custody from an August 10, 2012 arrest on a previous indictment in this case. MARIA MANGIARDI is in custody on state charges. The remaining defendant, DEDA FROKAJ is at large.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Gangs like the Wolfpack allegedly bring drugs and violence to the communities they inhabit, and they have no place in civil society. Thanks to today’s law enforcement action, their ranks are now depleted, but we will not stop until the Wolfpack is extinct.”

FBI Acting Director in Charge Mary Galligan said: “As the indictment alleges, this organization is aptly named. The members of the Wolfpack preyed on rival drug dealers, and did it with guns and violence. This type of alleged activity posed a threat to the safety of everyone in the Bronx neighborhoods the Wolfpack prowled, not just rival criminals. The FBI is committed to preventing predatory organizations like this one from becoming entrenched.”

NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “It’s hard to imagine a greater menace to neighborhood safety than the triple threat posed by alleged traffickers of oxy, coke, and guns. But the detectives, agents, and prosecutors in this case posed a triple threat of their own as the Wolfpack defendants learned the hard way. Congratulations to the great team that made it possible.”

The following allegations are based on the superseding indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

From 2008 through August 2012, the 13 charged defendants were members and associates of the Wolfpack. During that time, the defendants conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams and more of cocaine, 100 kilograms and more of marijuana, and quantities of Oxycodone. In the course of their criminal activities, members of the Wolfpack and their associates shared weapons and used violence against their rivals. In addition, CHRISTOPHER NRECAJ, DAVID NRECAJ, and FRANKIE FROKAJ are charged with using and carrying firearms in connection with the conspiracy. CHRISTOPHER NRECAJ is also charged with two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, in connection with his possession of a Glock handgun in March 2012, and a Smith and Wesson handgun and Mosseberg shotgun in August 2012.

***

CHRISTOPHER NRECAJ, 40; DAVID NRECAJ, 27; FRANKIE FROKAJ, 28; DEDA FROKAJ, 29; LOMBARDI, 24; CAMAJ, 26; HAXHIJAJ 23; MANGIARDI, 28; MITCHELL, 24; CEKAJ, 51; CRIVILLARO, 24; SPAGNUOLO, 23; and VILLALONA, 21, are all residents of the Bronx.

CHRISTOPHER NRECAJ, DAVID NRECAJ, and FRANKIE FROKAJ all face a potential life sentence, and a mandatory minimum term of 10 years in prison. DEDA FROKAJ, LOMBARDI, CAMAJ, HAXHIJAJ, MANGIARDI, MITCHELL, CEKAJ, CRIVILLARO, SPAGNUOLO, and VILLALONA each face a maximum term of 40 years in prison, and a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison. Below is a chart outlining the charges against the defendants and the maximum terms of imprisonment they face for each offense.

This case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI-NYPD Balkan Organized Crime Task force, and stated that the investigation is ongoing.

The case is being prosecuted by the Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Nicholas McQuaid, Peter Skinner, and Rebecca Mermelstein are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Counts Charges Defendants Maximum Penalties
1 Conspiracy to distribute 500 grams and more of cocaine; 100 kilograms and more of marijuana; and Oxycodone CHRISTOPHER NRECAJ, DAVID NRECAJ, FRANKIE FROKAJ, DEDA FROKAJ, CORRY LOMBARDI, JOSEPH CAMAJ, DRITON HAXHIJAJ, MARIA MANGIARDI, JOSEPH MITCHELL, GEORGE CEKAJ, STEPHEN CRIVILLARO, ALBERTO SPAGNUOLO, JASON VILLALONA 40 years in prison (five-year mandatory minimum sentence)
2 Possessing, carrying, or using firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime CHRISTOPHER NRECAJ, DAVID NRECAJ, FRANKIE FROKAJ Life in prison (five-year mandatory consecutive sentence)
3 Felon in possession of a firearm CHRISTOPHER NRECAJ
4 Felon in possession of a firearm CHRISTOPHER NRECAJ


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 05:11 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO, CA—Citizens of the 34 counties within the Sacramento FBI’s area of responsibility can now call a toll-free number to report public corruption and government fraud. Public corruption includes bribery, extortion, embezzlement, racketeering, kickbacks, and money laundering, as well as wire, mail, bank, and tax fraud. Anyone with information about such activities is urged to call the following toll-free number:

855-4-NO-PCGF
855-466-7243
(855 for no public corruption/government fraud)

Public corruption remains a top criminal priority for the FBI. While the vast majority of public officials remain committed to the communities they serve, an extremely small minority of individuals usurp their public positions for personal or private gain. The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, remains dedicated to ensuring this behavior is fully investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted under the law.

Callers are asked to leave their name, telephone number, and a brief description of their concerns and observations on the voice-mail line. Agents will review voice-mail daily and contact individuals for follow-up as needed.

The FBI’s Sacramento Division serves the following counties:

Alpine Lassen Shasta
Amador Madera Sierra
Butte Mariposa Siskiyou
Calaveras Merced Stanislaus
Colusa Modoc Sutter
El Dorado Mono Tehama
Fresno Nevada Trinity
Glenn Placer Tulare
Inyo Plumas Tuolumne
Kern Sacramento Yolo
Kings San Joaquin Yuba


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 05:11 PM PDT

BOISE—U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that a federal grand jury in Boise has indicted 21 individuals in 13 separate indictments for distributing methamphetamine and possessing firearms. The indictments, which were unsealed by the court this morning, are the result of a long-term investigation by the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crimes Task Force. The investigation began when the task force focused on the drug distribution of the “Aryan Knights” gang. The gang is active both in prison and on the streets throughout Idaho. Through the investigation, law enforcement agents identified Aryan Knight gang members who were trafficking methamphetamine, as well as associates of the gang who were the source of that methamphetamine.

Of the 21 individuals indicted, 13 were indicted on drug charges, including four counts of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, 15 counts of distribution of methamphetamine, and four counts of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. Eight individuals were indicted on firearm charges, including six counts of unlawfully possessing firearms, two counts of possessing sawed-off shotguns, and one count of transferring a sawed-off shotgun. Two individuals were indicted on both drug and firearms charges, including two counts of distributing methamphetamine and two counts of unlawfully possessing firearms.

Five defendants were arrested earlier today in a law enforcement effort coordinated by the Metro Task Force. Twelve other defendants were already in custody. The four remaining defendants have outstanding warrants. A federal grand jury indicted the defendants in April, July, August, and September. James Everette Hood, 40, of Boise, was indicted on April 12; Rory Vincent Palma, 38, of Boise, on July 10. The six defendants indicted on August 14 are Joshua Michael Trent, 31, Christina Shantell Massie, 35, Andrew Gallegos, 23, Jose Silva, 30, Shannon L. Stewart, 41, and Michael P. Duschka, 36, all of Boise. The 13 defendants indicted on September 12 are Dallas Tyler Thompson, 31, Cameron James Ball, 25, Joshua Michael Nall, 31, Nicholas Andrew Steele, 26, Lisa Rochel Samayoa, 45, Jesse Ray Delgado, 47, Stephanie Ann Robinson, 29, and Dennis Lynn James, 45; all of Boise; Christopher John Solders, 26, and Darin Scott Melton, 44, both of Twin Falls, Idaho; Nina Ann Lucas, 32, of Pocatello, Idaho; Rigoberto Bastrana Carrasco, 36, of Ogden, Utah; and Omar Riveroll- Hernandez, 32, of Long Beach, California. Carrasco and Riveroll-Hernandez are both Mexican nationals.

The charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, and possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute is punishable by up to 20 years, 40 years, or life imprisonment, depending on the amount of methamphetamine involved; fines of up to $1 million, $5 million, or $10 million; and a minimum term of three up to five years of supervised release.

The charge of unlawfully possessing a firearm is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

The charges of possessing a sawed-off shotgun and transferring a sawed-off shotgun are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, and up three years of supervised release.

“Methamphetamine trafficking is Idaho’s most serious drug crime,” said Olson. “The involvement of known gang members and the presence of firearms pose significant danger to our communities. Fortunately, federal, state, and local law enforcement are working together to thoroughly investigate and, where appropriate, assist in bringing charges against those who bring this addictive substance and the violence that often accompanies it into Idaho. I commend the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force and Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Atwood for their detailed and painstaking efforts in producing these indictments.”

The indictments are the result of a joint investigation of the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), which included the cooperative law enforcement efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Marshals Service; the Treasure Valley Metro Violent Crime Task Force, a task force comprised of federal, state, and local agencies including the Boise Police Department, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Caldwell Police Department, Nampa Police Department, Meridian Police Department, and Canyon County Sheriff’s Office; the Twin Falls Police Department, Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office, and Idaho State Police.

The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations.

The charges are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian Nafzger and Chris Atwood, the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney hired by the Treasure Valley Partnership, the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and the State of Idaho to address gang crimes. The Gang SAUSA, although hired by state and local agencies, prosecutes cases in federal court. Those defendants convicted of federal charges are imprisoned in federal institutions rather than state prison, which results in significant savings by the State of Idaho. The Gang SAUSA has indicted a total of 212 defendants in federal court since the program’s inception in February 2007. The Treasure Valley Partnership is comprised of a group of elected officials in southwest Idaho dedicated to regional coordination, cooperation, and collaboration on creating coherent regional growth. For more information, visit treasurevalleypartners.org.

An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 05:11 PM PDT

PITTSBURGH—A resident of Farrell, Pennsylvania was sentenced on September 14, 2012, in federal court, in Pittsburgh to 71 months’ imprisonment on his conviction of violating the federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Gary L. Lancaster imposed the sentence on Michael Vincent Talbert, 32.

According to information presented to the court, on July 26, 2007, Talbert distributed and possessed with intent to distribute five grams or more crack cocaine; and on November 20, 2007, December 13, 2007, October 22, 2008, and December 22, 2008, Talbert distributed and possessed with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine.

Assistant United States Attorney Troy Rivetti prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control, Pennsylvania State Police, Mercer County Drug Task Force, Southwest Regional Police, and Sharon Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Michael Vincent Talbert.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 05:11 PM PDT

PITTSBURGH—A resident of Sharon, Pennsylvania was sentenced on September 14, 2012, in federal court in Pittsburgh to 60 months’ imprisonment on his conviction of violating the federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Gary L. Lancaster imposed the sentence on Tylon Ramon Cousin, 26.

According to information presented to the court, on January 23, 2009, Cousin distributed and possessed with intent to distribute a quantity of crack cocaine; and on March 11, 2009, he possessed with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, possessed with intent to distribute less than 50 kilograms of marijuana, and possessed a firearm.

This case is being prosecuted under Project Safe Neighborhoods, a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent, deter, and prosecute gun crime.

Assistant United States Attorney Troy Rivetti prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control, Mercer County Drug Task Force, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Tylon Ramon Cousin.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 05:11 PM PDT

A grand jury in Cleveland returned an indictment charging Benjamin G. Gates, age 33, of Canton, Ohio, with six counts of bank robbery, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland office.

“Our law enforcement partners are to be commended for bringing an end to this wave of bank robberies,” Dettelbach said.

“This case reflects the valued partnership between the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and the citizens of Northern Ohio,” Anthony said. “Subsequent to the media’s rapid release of key information, the public provided invaluable leads resulting in the arrest of Benjamin Gates.”

The robberies named in the indictment are as follows:

  • July 2, 2012 – U.S. Bank, 2505 Cleveland Avenue, Canton, Ohio
  • July 20, 2012 – U.S. Bank, 75 Graham Road, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
  • July 27, 2012 – Huntington Bank, 4700 Belmont Avenue, Liberty, Ohio
  • August 3, 2012 – Huntington Bank, 1955 East Maple, North Canton, Ohio
  • August 10, 2012 – Huntington Bank, 608 Raff Road SW, Canton, Ohio
  • August 16, 2012 – U.S. Bank, 2502 Bailey Road, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the following agencies: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Canton Police Department, North Canton Police Department, Jackson Township Police Department, Liberty Township Police Department, and the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department.

The matter was presented for indictment by Assistant United States Attorney Linda H. Barr.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the prior criminal record, and the defendants role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 05:10 PM PDT

WASHINGTON—A Los Angeles physician assistant who stole the identities of doctors to write medically unnecessary prescriptions for expensive durable medical equipment (DME) and diagnostic tests was sentenced today to serve 72 months in prison in connection with a $18.9 million Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Department of Justice, FBI and U.S. Department Health and Human Services (HHS).

David James Garrison, 50, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall in the Central District of California. In addition to his prison term, Garrison was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $24,935 in restitution, jointly and severally with convicted co-defendants.

In June 2012, after a two-week trial, a federal jury found Garrison guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, six counts of health care fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. The trial evidence showed that Garrison worked at fraudulent medical clinics that operated as prescriptions mills and trafficked in fraudulent prescriptions and orders for medically unnecessary DME and diagnostic tests that were used by fraudulent DME supply companies and medical testing facilities to defraud Medicare. Garrison wrote the prescriptions and ordered the tests on behalf of doctors whom he never met and who did not authorize him to write prescriptions and order tests on their behalf.

The trial evidence showed that between March 2007 and September 2008, Garrison’s co-conspirator Edward Aslanyan and others owned and operated several Los Angeles medical clinics established for the sole purpose of defrauding Medicare. Aslanyan and others hired street-level patient recruiters to find Medicare beneficiaries willing to provide the recruiters with their Medicare billing information in exchange for expensive, high-end power wheelchairs and other DME, which the patient recruiters told the beneficiaries they would receive for free. Often, the solicited Medicare beneficiaries did not have a legitimate medical need for the power wheelchairs and equipment. The patient recruiters then provided the beneficiaries’ Medicare billing information to Aslanyan and others or brought the beneficiaries to the fraudulent medical clinics. In exchange for recruiting the Medicare beneficiaries, Aslanyan and others paid the recruiters a cash kickback for every beneficiary they recruited.

The evidence presented at trial showed that Garrison wrote prescriptions for power wheelchairs, which the beneficiaries did not need and did not use. In some cases, Garrison wrote power wheelchair prescriptions for beneficiaries he never examined and who never visited the clinics. Once Garrison wrote the power wheelchair prescriptions, Aslanyan and others sold them from $1,000 to $1,500 to the owners and operators of approximately 50 different fraudulent DME supply companies, which used the prescriptions to submit fraudulent power wheelchair claims to Medicare. The DME supply companies purchased the power wheelchairs wholesale for approximately $900 per wheelchair but billed the wheelchairs to Medicare at a rate of approximately $5,000 per wheelchair. Aslanyan also used the prescriptions Garrison wrote at two fraudulent DME supply companies that Aslanyan owned and operated.

In addition, the trial evidence showed that Garrison ordered the same medically unnecessary diagnostic tests for every Medicare beneficiary, including tests for sleep studies, ultrasounds and nerve conduction. These tests were then billed to Medicare by fraudulent diagnostic testing companies that paid Aslanyan kickbacks to operate from the medical clinics.

The trial evidence showed that Garrison admitted to writing prescriptions for power wheelchairs and ordered diagnostic tests on behalf of approximately six different doctors, many of whom never met Garrison and never had a delegation of services agreement with him, as required by law. The trial evidence also showed that Garrison was paid up to $10,000 a week in cash for his work at the clinics.

As a result of this fraud scheme, Garrison and his co-conspirators submitted over $18.9 million in false claims to Medicare and received $10.7 million on those claims.

Currently, Garrison is facing federal drug charges as a result of his alleged involvement with another medical clinic where medically unnecessary prescriptions for Oxycontin were distributed. Garrison is scheduled for trial on the federal drug charges on November 6, 2012. He is presumed innocent of the charges against him.

Aslanyan pleaded guilty for his role in the scheme in April 2011 and was sentenced on February 6, 2012, to 77 months in prison. Carolyn Vasquez, another co-conspirator, pleaded guilty for her role in the scheme in March 2011 and was sentenced on January 9, 2012, to 60 months in prison.

Today’s sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. for the Central District of California; Tony Sidley, Assistant Chief of the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse; Glenn R. Ferry, Special Agent in Charge for the Los Angeles Region of the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); and Timothy Delaney, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jonathan T. Baum of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Kirman of the Central District of California. The case is being investigated by the FBI 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 Central District of California.

Since its inception in March 2007, strike force operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,330 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for more than $4 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the 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, go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 05:10 PM PDT

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls on September 11, 2012, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, the following individuals were arraigned:

MIKE ALFONS CAMPA, age 54, SUZETTE GULYAS GAL, age 54, ANDRAS ZOLTAN GAL, age 22, and KRISZTIAN ZOLTAN GEORGE GAL, age 29, residents of Yorba Linda, California, appeared on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, investment fraud by mail, and investment fraud by wire. CAMPA is currently detained and the others are released on special conditions. If convicted of these charges, they each face possible penalties of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy to commit fraud and 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release for each of the investment fraud charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Interior-Office of Inspector General.

The defendants pled not guilty to the charges.

The charge—an indictment, information, or complaint—is merely an accusation and all persons named as defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. A pre-trial conference and a trial date will be set and the United States will be required to prove the allegations set forth in the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 05:10 PM PDT

NORFOLK, VA—Janice W. Holland, 42, of Suffolk, Virginia, pleaded guilty today in Norfolk federal court to health care fraud, alteration of records, and aggravated identity theft.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli made the announcement after Holland’s plea was accepted by United States District Senior Judge Robert G. Doumar.

Holland was indicted on May 24, 2012 by a federal grand jury. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for health care fraud, and 20 years and $250,000 for alteration of records when she is sentenced on January 22, 2013. In addition, Holland will receive a mandatory term of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft that will run consecutively to the term imposed by the court on the other charges.

According to a statement of facts filed with her plea agreement, Holland owned and operated A Caring Hand Home Health Care Services Inc., a business located in Suffolk that was authorized to provide respite care to Medicaid recipients. Respite care is designed to provide temporary, substitute care for a Medicaid recipient that is normally provided by the family or another unpaid primary caregiver of the recipient. These services are provided on a short-term basis because of the emergency absence or need for routine or periodic relief of the primary caregiver. Between January 2008 and October 2011, Holland filed approximately 939 false and fraudulent claims with the Virginia Medicaid program, representing that respite care had been provided by her company to 30 Medicaid recipients, when in fact no such care had been provided. She filed these claims using, without authority, the recipients’ names, dates of birth, and Medicaid identification numbers. As a result, Holland obtained health care benefit payments in the approximate amount of $630,000, to which she was not entitled. She also altered and falsified her office records to conceal and cover up her false billings.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Office of the Virginia Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Alan M. Salsbury and Special Assistant United States Attorney David W. Tooker are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 05:10 PM PDT


Chicago, < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” /?>IL – September 18, 2012 – Before you invest your
earnings, it is very important for you to verify the credibility of the
investment firm and in the process avoid being scammed. The Better Business
Bureau serving Chicago & Northern Illinois (BBB) advises consumers to ask
questions, research the company, reach out to local investment firms and
advisers, and talk to other investors. It is essential to take precautions with
all investment opportunities.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /?>

“It is
important to invest your money wisely to prepare for the future,” said Steve J.
Bernas, President and CEO of the BBB. “But do not get pressured into investing
without doing adequate research to make sure it is a legitimate and positive
opportunity.”

Financial Industry Regulatory
Authority (FINRA) Investor
, specializing in investment fraud has an array of
valuable information to help you sort through investment decision making. FINRA
and the BBB provide some strategies you can
use if you are not certain about a specific investment opportunity:

·
End the
conversation- practice saying “No”.
Simply tell the
person, “I am sorry, I am not interested. Thanks you.” Or tell anyone who
pressures you, “I never make investing decisions without first consulting my
financial advisor or spouse. I will contact you if I am still interested.”
Knowing your exit strategy in advance makes it easier to leave the
conversation, even if the pressure starts rising.

·
Turn the tables
and ask questions.
A legitimate investment professional must be properly
licensed, and his or her firm must be registered with the Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC)
or a state securities regulator (for Illinois, this is the Secretary
of State
) depending on the type of business the firm conducts.

·
Talk to someone
first.
Be extremely skeptical if the person promoting the deal says, “Don’t
tell anyone else about this special deal!” A legitimate investment professional
won’t ask you to keep secrets.

·
Check every
business with the BBB.
Research the company that you are purchasing from
and make sure that other customers were happy with their product. Look for the
BBB Accredited Business seal on both Web sites and only purchase with
businesses that have a good rating with BBB.

Exercising
these strategies will help protect you from fraudsters. Remember, the more
knowledgeable you are when making investments, the less likely you are to
become a victim. When making an investment there is no urgency to race against
the clock – take your time and make an informed decision.

For more consumer
tips, visit www.bbb.org
and enter your zip code to visit the BBB closest to you.

###

As a private, non-profit organization, the
purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace.
BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation
and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices
and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reviews on businesses
and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or
charity before making a purchase or donation.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 12:12 PM PDT

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Lyle Ferguson, age 48, of Rapid City, South Dakota, appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on September 13, 2012, and pled guilty to one count of a superseding indictment that charged him with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 40 years of imprisonment and a $5,000,000 fine.

The charge relates to Ferguson conspiring with others to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana in South Dakota and elsewhere. The investigation was conducted by the FBI, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ted McBride.

A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for December 21, 2012. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending sentencing.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 12:12 PM PDT

Pontiac City Councilman Everett Seay was one of three defendants charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, drug-related offenses, and aiding and abetting, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade. announced today.

United States Attorney McQuade was joined in the announcement by Robert D. Foley, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Indicted was Everett Seay, 61, of Pontiac, Michigan. At the time of the alleged offenses, Seay was a Pontiac city councilman. Also charged, in a separate information, were Richard Clanagan, 69, formerly of Pontiac (a friend, associate, and political advisor of Everett Seay), and Roscoe Johnson, 45, of Detroit (also a friend and associate of Seay’s).

Court documents allege that from May, 2008 through December, 2009, Seay used his position as a councilman to corruptly solicit, demand, and accept money from a businessman interested in setting up a money handling business in the City of Pontiac. Seay did this with the assistance of Clanagan and Johnson. The money was intended to pay Seay for his help in obtaining any necessary legal authorization to do business in Pontiac. Unknown to the defendants, the businessman was actually an undercover FBI agent. During conversations with undercover agents, Seay was informed that the businessman was really a drug dealer who wanted to establish a business in Pontiac to launder proceeds of his unlawful drug trafficking operation.

It is further alleged that the businessman sought and obtained the assistance of Seay in transporting a shipment of 16 kilograms of what Seay believed to be cocaine. In reality it was sham cocaine.

Despite knowing the illegal nature of the business, Seay received and accepted approximately $25,000 for his help in getting the city council to approve the business establishment in the city of Pontiac and $15,000 for his assistance in transporting the shipment of sham cocaine.

United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said, “Corruption has no place in good government. Public officials have a duty to serve the citizens, not themselves. When they violate that duty, they should expect to be prosecuted.”

Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley stated, “Public officials who abuse their power to enrich themselves and commit crimes rather than serving the citizens will be brought to justice. The FBI is committed to the relentless pursuit of those who betray public trust and to ensuring taxpayers have honest government.”

The criminal charges against Everett Seay carry a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the bribery charges and a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years to life and a fine of up to $10,000,000 on the drug related charges.

Seay will be arraigned this afternoon in federal court in Detroit.

The criminal charges against Richard Clanagan and Roscoe Johnson carry a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 12:12 PM PDT

BOISE—United States Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that Thomas Wayne Blumke, 38, of Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, pled guilty in federal court to one count of offering drug paraphernalia for sale at Other World Gallery, LLC, a business located at 108 South 11th Street in Boise. Crystal Blumke, the defendant’s wife, pled guilty to the same charge on September 5.

Thomas Blumke is scheduled to be sentenced on December 10, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise. His wife will be sentenced on November 15.

The Blumkes and five others pled guilty to the charge of offering drug paraphernalia for sale over the past two months and are awaiting sentencing: Gabriel Adam Busby and Bradley Berquist, co-owners of Twenty After, on November 1 and November 13, respectively; Yoke Fee Chan, owner and operator of Royal Smoke, on November 13; Janet Shirley, owner and operator of All Sunshine, LLC, and Antonio Mendoza, an employee of All Sunshine, LLC, on November 15; and Adam Daniel Schreiner, owner/operator of Bernen’s Pipe Shop, LLC, on December 4.

These seven defendants are among the 16 charged last May as part of Operation Not for Human Consumption, which targeted illegal sales of drug paraphernalia at 13 Treasure Valley businesses.

It is against federal law to sell or offer for sale any paraphernalia that is primarily intended or designed for drug use, regardless of whether the seller advises their customers that the paraphernalia is for tobacco use only. The businesses are commonly referred to as “headshops.”

Operation Not for Human Consumption includes the cooperative law enforcement efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Boise Police Department, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, Nampa Police Department, Meridian Police Department, and the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office. The U.S. Marshals Service and Idaho State Police provided assistance in arresting the 16 defendants.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 12:12 PM PDT

FRESNO, CA—Vicenta Munoz-Peralta, 39, of Modesto, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and to traffic in counterfeit labels and counterfeit documentation and packaging, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, between April 2011 and July 25, 2011, Munoz-Peralta and others manufactured copyright-infringing DVDs in a co-defendant’s garage in Modesto. The garage contained blank disks, computers, and disk replicating machines, two copy machines, scanners, and approximately 50 printers. The Modesto residence also stored several thousand counterfeit CDs and DVDs. Munoz-Peralta managed the day-to-day operations of a distribution warehouse in Modesto. She was paid a monthly amount for the manufacturing of DVDs and the operation of the Modesto warehouse.

Munoz-Peralta operated vendor stands every week at the Modesto 7th Street Flea Market and sold counterfeit music CDs to the public and to other co-conspirators for resale. The total retail value of copyrighted media that was counterfeited in the conspiracy exceeded $2 million.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force with assistance from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Henry Z. Carbajal III prosecuted the case.

Munoz-Peralta is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on November 26, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. She faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 12:11 PM PDT

BALTIMORE—U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Rodney Peters, a/k/a “Rocco,” and “Rodney Stokes,” age 45, of the Bronx, New York, today to 20 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin.

The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Timothy P. Groh of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Division; Assistant Director in Charge James W. McJunkin of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington Field Office; Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Barksdale; Major Michael Kundrat, Senior Commander of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police; Michael A. Pristoop, Chief of the Annapolis Police Department; Anne Arundel County Police Chief Larry W. Tolliver; Colonel Marcus Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis of the Drug Enforcement Administration-Washington Field Division; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.

According to his guilty plea, as part of a long-term investigation being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into a heroin drug trafficking organization, calls were intercepted over Christian Gettis’ phone that revealed that Gettis distributed significant quantities of heroin to others in Baltimore metropolitan area and that Charles Guy was Gettis’ main source of heroin supply. Rodney Peters served as an intermediary between Gettis and Guy and closely assisted Guy. Gettis was assisted in his drug distribution by co-defendants Dorian Bess and others. The drug trafficking organization also used a location that was less than 1,000 feet from a charter school in Baltimore City to process and distribute heroin. The investigation revealed that the conspirators distributed heroin in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, and at a housing project in Annapolis.

For example, on June 18, 2010, law enforcement stopped a bus in which Dorian Bess was traveling and seized two and one-half kilograms of heroin, which Bess was attempting to deliver to Gettis. Later that day, Gettis called Bess, who told him that police had seized a bag from her that contained nine duct taped packages of heroin. Bess also told Gettis that the police let her go and that she had the bus drop her off near the home of co-defendant Recco F. Beaufort.

The next day, Gettis called Peters. During the conversation, Peters asked about Bess and Gettis advised that she had returned to New York. Peters also used coded language to ask about the narcotics proceeds that Gettis had sent along with Bess to New York. Peters was aware that Bess was carrying a significant amount of heroin and expressed skepticism that she had not been arrested once this “major” amount of heroin had been located.

Peters admitted that he conspired with others to distribute between one and three kilograms of heroin.

To date, 27 defendants have pleaded guilty to their participation in the Gettis drug trafficking conspiracy. Judge Motz previously sentenced Christian Devlon Gettis a/k/a “Cutty Rock,” “C,” and “Chris,” age 39, of Baltimore, the leader of a heroin distribution organization, to 16 years in prison and sentenced co-defendant and heroin supplier Charles C. Guy, a/k/a “Captain,” “Beloved,” “B,” “Billy,” “Billy Guy,” “Gary Peterson,” and Damon Lamont Hackett,” age 43, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, to 17 years in prison, after both pleaded guilty. Judge Motz sentenced Dorian Grey Bess, a/k/a “D,” “D-Squared,” “Sis,” age 42, of the Bronx, New York, to 10 years in prison.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and FBI agents in Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, D.C.; the Baltimore Police Department; MdTA Police; the Annapolis Police Department; the Anne Arundel County Police Department; the Maryland State Police; FBI agents in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; the DEA; and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the searches and the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Ayn B. Ducao and Christopher J. Romano, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.


Posted: 18 Sep 2012 12:11 PM PDT

JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. sentenced Robert Allen Brammer (24, High Springs) yesterday to 72 months in federal prison for receiving child pornography over the Internet. Brammer was also sentenced to a term of 10 years’ supervised release upon completion of his prison term, and was required by the court to register as a sex offender and forfeit his computer media.

According to court documents, a detective working with the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force began an undercover operation to identify persons using a particular file-sharing program on the Internet to obtain and share child pornography. The detective determined that other law enforcement officers had identified a computer using a particular Internet protocol (IP) address in Florida that was observed offering images of child pornography for distribution. Subsequent investigation revealed that, during the time frame that this IP address was seen offering images of child pornography for distribution, the subscriber for this Internet service account was an individual located at the residence of Robert Allen Brammer in High Springs.

On September 3, 2010, a federal search warrant was executed at Brammer’s residence. During the search, officers seized, among other things, a laptop computer and a desktop tower computer. During an interview, Brammer stated, among other things, that he began searching for and downloading child pornography approximately three-and-a-half years ago, and that he used file-sharing programs to search for and download child pornography from the Internet. A subsequent forensic analysis of Brammer’s computer media revealed at least 28 images and 15 videos of child pornography.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc for more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”


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