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Statistics Professor and Human Rights Advocate Jay Kadane to Receive Statistician of the Year from Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 11:01 PM PDT

Jay Kadane, Professor Emeritus at Carnegie Mellon University will be presented with the award Tuesday, October, 22, 2012 at the East Bank Club, 500 N. Kingbury St. in Chicago at 7 pm. Past recipients chose Dr. Kadane for his contribution to econometrics, political science and medicine. He is a proponent of using statistics to confront global issues. During the post-award dinner, Dr. Kadane will speak on repression of statistics in Argentina where the government forbids statisticians from publishing inflation estimates that differ from their own.


Navy Official Pleads Guilty in Bribery Scheme at Naval Air Station North Island

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 09:21 PM PDT

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced today that a U.S. Navy official pled guilty this morning before United States Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes in connection with a bribery and corruption scheme at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, in Coronado, California. The official, Kenneth Paul Ramos, was employed at NAS North Island as a supervisory logistics management specialist. The plea is subject to final acceptance by United States District Judge Larry A. Burns.

As detailed in various court documents, Joanne Loehr and Paul Grubiss (charged elsewhere), the owner and sales manager of Poway defense contractor Centerline Industrial Inc., provided Ramos and another navy official, Donald Vangundy, with bribes, including cash, jewelry, electronics, and theater tickets. In return, Ramos agreed that Centerline could recoup the cost of these bribes, plus a markup, by submitting fraudulent invoices that concealed the bribes and the markup. To facilitate the scheme, Ramos created fraudulent procurement requests and took other steps to guarantee that these bogus orders were funded. In total, Loehr and Grubiss provided Ramos with over $10,000 in illicit benefits, some of which he kept for himself, and some of which he distributed to other personnel at the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center-Southwest (FRC) at NAS North Island.

Ramos and Vangundy both worked at the FRC, a command that provides maintenance, repair, and support for United States Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. Ramos was employed in FRC’s Industrial Business Operations Department, a unit responsible for, among other things, obtaining funding within the government to support the maintenance and repair of aircraft. Vangundy was employed in FRC’s “E2/C2” aircraft program, which is dedicated to maintaining the tactical readiness of the navy’s E-2 and C-2 aircraft.

Ramos pled guilty to one count of bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. Vangundy previously pled guilty to engaging in a wire fraud conspiracy, engaging in a bribery conspiracy, and filing a false tax return. In connection with his guilty plea, Vangundy admitted to receiving over $400,000 in improper personal benefits from defense contractors. On October 9, 2012, Vangundy was sentenced by United States District Judge Larry Alan Burns to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to the Department of the Navy and the IRS. Grubiss likewise pled guilty to engaging in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bribery. On October 9, 2012, Grubiss was sentenced by Judge Burns to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to the Department of the Navy.

In a related case, on August 23, 2012, an indictment was unsealed charging two additional individuals with bribery and with conspiracy to commit bribery: Robert Ehnow, the owner of L&N; and Joanne Loehr, the owner of Centerline. The indictment also included charges against Centerline as a corporate entity. All three of these defendants have pled not guilty, and the case is pending before Judge Burns. The public is reminded that an indictment itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to United States Attorney Duffy, the investigation into possible corruption at Naval Air Station North Island was initiated on the basis of citizen complaints. These complaints followed the July 2009 indictment of six individuals on fraud and corruption charges centered at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). As part of the SPAWAR corruption case, the government publicized a hotline dedicated to the reporting of possible waste, fraud, and abuse related to government and military contracts. Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center-Southwest at NAS North Island has been cooperating in the investigation.

U.S. Attorney Duffy noted that the investigation is ongoing and urged anyone with information relating to waste, fraud, and abuse in government contracting to contact the FBI’s Procurement Fraud Working Group Hotline at 1-877-NO-BRIBE or securely over the Internet at https://tips.fbi.gov/.

Chris Hendrickson, Special Agent in Charge, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Western Field Office, said, “The Department of Defense uses internal controls to prevent these types of criminal actions involving bribery in defense contracts. In this case, misplaced trust and the checks and balances failed to prevent the crime due to extensive collusion between the employees and the defense contractors. The Defense Criminal Investigative Service places a very high priority on investigating and supporting the prosecution of corrupt employees and contractors. We will vigorously pursue those employees and contractors who choose to violate the public trust for personal gain at the expense of military programs because these schemes can compromise the safety of military service members. We will use all available investigative tools and partnerships to protect the interests of the Department of Defense and taxpayers while pursuing fraud, waste and abuse in DoD programs.”

Leslie P. DeMarco, Special Agent in Charge for IRS-Criminal Investigation’s (CI) Los Angeles Field Office stated, “Bribery and corruption distort the market and hurt honest businesses who play by the rules. Today’s actions demonstrate IRS-CI’s collective efforts to enforce the law and ensure public trust. IRS-CI will continue to provide our financial expertise, alongside our law enforcement partners, in the investigation of those who attempt to commit bribery.”

General Services Administration Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Bryan D. Denny said, “Mr. Ramos’ guilty plea is reflective of the sound case put forth against him by our dedicated investigative and prosecution team that is committed to ensuring that individuals who put themselves ahead of the American taxpayer by willfully corrupting the federal procurement process are held accountable under the law.”

Ramos is released on bond. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 17, 2012, before Judge Burns.

2-CR-4071-LAB

Kenneth Paul Ramos
Age: 53
Lakeside, California

Summary of Charges of Conviction

Count one: Conspiracy to commit bribery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371—maximum penalty of five years in prison, $250,000 fine, term of supervised release of three years, restitution, forfeiture, and $100 special assessment.

Count two: Bribery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201—maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, $250,000 fine, term of supervised release of three years, restitution, forfeiture, and $100 special assessment.

Investigating Agencies

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Defense Criminal Investigative Service
Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation
Naval Criminal Investigative Service
General Services Administration-Office of Inspector General


Columbia Crack Dealer Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 09:21 PM PDT

COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles announced today that Zachery Oree (28) was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for distributing substantial quantities of crack and powder cocaine in the Columbia area. Oree had pleaded guilty to the possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson imposed the sentence on Thursday in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina.

During the sentencing, the court found that Oree’s extensive criminal record required that Oree be treated as a career offender. Moreover, the court determined that Oree distributed more than 15 kilograms of crack and powder cocaine. As part of his extensive distribution activities, Oree possessed a firearm and threatened to use violence. Mr. Nettles stated that Oree’s sentence resulted from his extensive criminal record, the substantial quantity of cocaine and crack, and Oree’s use of a firearm to threaten violence.

The investigation and conviction resulted from the cooperation between the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay N. Richardson.


West Sacramento Man Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 09:21 PM PDT

SACRAMENTO, CA—Sean McClendon, 46, of West Sacramento, pleaded guilty today to mortgage fraud charges arising from home sales in the Sacramento area, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, co-defendant Anthony Salcedo compensated McClendon and co-defendant Anthony Williams for finding buyers for four properties owned by or associated with Salcedo. Some of the payments by Salcedo went to the buyers of the property, although the payments were never disclosed to the lenders as part of the purchase and sale agreements. McClendon participated in the loan origination process for the buyers and in each instance the buyers’ income and assets were falsified in order to qualify for the loans. All properties involved were foreclosed by the lenders, resulting in losses of over $1 million.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jean M. Hobler is prosecuting the case.

The date for McClendon’s sentencing is not yet set. The maximum statutory penalty for mail fraud and the related conspiracy is 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. McClendon’s 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.

The charges against Salcedo are only allegations, and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


Upper Fruitland Man to Serve 11 Years in Prison for Manslaughter, Abusive Sexual Contact Convictions

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 09:21 PM PDT

ALBUQUERQUE—This morning, a federal judge sentenced Lamuel Thomas, 27, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Upper Fruitland, New Mexico, to 11 years of imprisonment for his convictions on involuntary manslaughter and abusive sexual contact charges.

Thomas will be on supervised release for 10 years after completing his prison sentence. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that, on July 17, 2012, Thomas pled guilty to killing a 70-year-old Navajo woman on November 9, 2010, while driving under the influence of alcohol on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County. He also pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a 13-year-old child on March 2, 2011, in a location within the Navajo Indian Reservation.

During his plea hearing, Thomas admitted that, on the night of November 9, 2010, he drove a truck along a rural highway on the Navajo Indian Reservation after drinking a large amount of alcohol and smoking marijuana. He crossed into the lane of oncoming traffic and struck a car head-on.

The driver of the car, who was returning home from work, died as a result of the injuries she sustained in the crash.

At the time of the crash, Thomas’ blood alcohol concentration was more than twice the legal limit of .08. Thomas also admitted that in the early morning hours of March 2, 2011, he inappropriately touched a 13-year-old while he was an overnight guest of the victim’s parents.

The case was investigated by the Farmington Office of the FBI and Shiprock Division of the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark T. Baker and Jacob A. Wishard.


Picuris Pueblo Woman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $132,000

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 09:21 PM PDT

ALBUQUERQUE—This morning in federal court in Albuquerque, Norma Mermejo, 61, a member and resident of Picuris Pueblo, entered a guilty plea to an indictment charging her with embezzlement and theft from an Indian tribal organization.

U.S. Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Mermejo pled guilty to embezzling approximately $132,000 belonging to Picuris Pueblo between February 2008 and April 2010. At the time, Mermejo was employed as a file clerk in the Pueblo’s accounting office. Picuris Pueblo terminated her employment in April 2010, when Pueblo officials learned of her unlawful activities.

During today’s plea hearing, Mermejo admitted that she embezzled an aggregate of $132,000 of funds belonging to Picuris Pueblo on 144 occasions during a two-year period. In her plea agreement, Mermejo admitted that she embezzled the money to support her gambling habit and make ends meet with regard to such matters as utility bills.

At sentencing, Mermejo faces a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Mermejo remains on conditions of release pending sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services, Northern Pueblos Agency, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers.


Robbery of Bank of America Branch in Dania Beach

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 09:21 PM PDT

The FBI is releasing photographs from a bank robbery that took place today, October 18, 20012, at approximately 11:00 a.m. at the Bank of America branch located at 2903 Stirling Road in Dania Beach, Florida.

The robber entered the bank and demanded money from a bank employee. There were no injuries. Money was taken, but the amount will not be released at this time.

The getaway vehicle is believed to be an older model Toyota Camry, purple in color.

Anyone who has information as to the identity of this bank robber is urged to call the FBI at (305) 944-9101 or Crimestoppers.

Photos of the suspect are below.

 

 


Protecting the Right to Vote and Prosecuting Ballot Fraud

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 04:22 PM PDT

PORTLAND, OR—United States Attorney Amanda Marshall announced today that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Adrian Brown will lead the efforts of her office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2012 general elections. AUSA Brown has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the District of Oregon, and in that capacity, is responsible for overseeing the district’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

United States Attorney Marshall said, “Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”

The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination in the voting process and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur. The department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals and also seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the department for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations on Election Day.

Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes, and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input. It also contains special protections for the rights of voters and provides that they can vote free from acts that intimidate or harass them. For example, actions of persons designed to interrupt or intimidate voters by questioning or challenging them or by photographing or videotaping them, under the pretext that these are actions to uncover illegal voting, may violate federal voting rights law. Further, federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice.

The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they choose and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice. In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 6, 2012, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, United States Attorney Marshall stated that her office has set up the following phone numbers, e-mail, and website: Portland Metro: 503-471-5577; toll-free: 855-474-5577; and e-mail: usaor.civilrights@usdoj.gov. The public may also visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/or to find out more about civil rights issues, as well as instructions on how to file a civil rights complaint.

In addition, the FBI will have special agents available in each field office and resident agency throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on Election Day. The local FBI field office can be reached by the public at 503-224-4181.

Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.

United States Attorney Marshall also commented that, “Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate. It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available immediately to my office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”


Nicholas Ray Anderson Sentenced in U.S. District Court

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 04:22 PM PDT

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings on October 17, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, Nicholas Ray Anderson, a 26-year-old resident of Bozeman, appeared for sentencing. Anderson was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 16 months
  • Special assessment: $100
  • Supervised release: four years

Anderson was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana.

In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On July 20, 2010, a Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office deputy initiated a traffic stop on a black 2010 Mercedes Benz SUV after running the license plate and determining that the owner had a valid arrest warrant. The owner of the vehicle provided a false name to the deputy but ultimately admitted the individual’s name. A narcotics-detecting K-9 was called to the scene and positively alerted on the vehicle for the presence of narcotic odors.

The vehicle was impounded pending a search warrant application. A subsequent search yielded airline tickets, a cell phone, documents, $14,154 in cash, and user amounts of marijuana.

Pursuant to the search warrant, detectives had the cellular telephone seized from the vehicle analyzed. The contents revealed that the owner of the vehicle had been involved with selling multiple pounds of marijuana, as well as transporting tens of thousands of dollars in cash. Some of the text messages on the phone blatantly discussed prices for pounds of marijuana, smuggling bulk cash via the airlines, having bulk cash from drug proceeds deposited into bank accounts, and dealing marijuana to the Indian reservations in Montana. According to the text messages on the phone marijuana was distributed to Browning, Polson, Crow Agency, as well as Havre, St. Ignatius, Great Falls, Missoula, Cut Bank, Lolo, and other places throughout Montana.

One of the subjects having drug-related communications with the owner of the vehicle stopped in Yellowstone County was Anderson of Bozeman. Anderson was interviewed by law enforcement and admitted to law enforcement that during the course of the conspiracy he personally received and distributed between 50 and 90 pounds of marijuana. Anderson also told law enforcement that he allowed his source of supply for the marijuana to use his home in Bozeman as a “stash” house for larger quantities of marijuana. Anderson reported a duffel bag full of marijuana in heat-sealed bags would be delivered to his house, where it would remain until the source or another individual would arrive to pick it up. Anderson estimated that the duffle bag contained 10 pounds of marijuana each time it was stored at his home.

The evidence would prove that more than 100 kilograms of marijuana was possessed with the intent to distribute by Anderson and his co-conspirators during the course of the conspiracy and that it was reasonably foreseeable to Anderson that the conspiracy involved more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Anderson will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Anderson does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.


Wakpala Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 04:22 PM PDT

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Tyrel DeMarrias, a/k/a Tyrell DeMarrias, age 24, of Wakpala, appeared before United States District Judge Charles B. Kornmann on October 16, 2012, and pled guilty to an indictment that charged him with sexual assault of a minor. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 15 years in custody, a $250,000 fine, or both.

The conviction arose from the sexual assault of a minor victim in Wakpala, South Dakota, in September 2011. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Standing Rock Agency. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mikal Hanson.

A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for January 3, 2013. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending sentencing.


Dalton Gardens Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Firearm

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 04:22 PM PDT

COEUR D-ALENE—Cody James Freer, 26, of Dalton Gardens, Idaho, pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court in Coeur d’Alene to unlawful possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

According to court statements, in June 2012, an individual contacted Coeur d’Alene Police to check the serial number of a Glock handgun he was planning to buy from a private seller. He wanted to ensure that the firearm was not stolen. Police advised the individual the gun was stolen. Police also determined that the seller, Cody Freer, was prohibited from possessing the firearm because of a prior felony conviction. Freer agreed to sell the buyer the firearm in a Coeur d’Alene parking lot. Police met Freer in the parking lot and arrested him after determining that he possessed the Glock handgun.

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

Sentencing is set for January 14, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.

The case was investigated by the Coeur d’Alene Police Department with the assistance of the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force (NIVCTF). The NIVCTF members include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Idaho State Police, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office, Bonner County Sheriff’s Office, Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Post Falls Police Department, and the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police Department. The NIVCTF investigates a myriad of violent crimes, including armed robbery, kidnapping, felonious assault, and drug trafficking.

The case was prosecuted as part of Idaho’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, which seeks to reduce gun violence in Idaho.


Federal Jury Convicts Tohajiilee Man on Five Violent Offenses Arising Out of Crime Spree

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 04:22 PM PDT

ALBQUERQUE—Yesterday evening, a federal jury sitting in Albuquerque found Jerome Yazzie, 36, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Tohajiilee, New Mexico, guilty on burglary, robbery, kidnapping, and firearms charges after a three-day trial, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and Carol K.O. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.

Yazzie was transferred from state custody to federal custody on February 2, 2012, to answer to an eight-count indictment charging him with two counts of aggravated burglary, one count of robbery, one count of kidnapping, two counts of using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The indictment alleged that Yazzie committed all eight offenses in Indian Country located within Bernalillo County, New Mexico, on June 3, 2011. It also alleged that Yazzie was prohibited from possessing firearms because he previously had been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury in the 2nd Judicial District Court for the State of New Mexico.

In October 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss count seven of the indictment, one of the two felon in possession of a firearm offenses. The court granted the motion on October 10, 2012, and the case proceeded to trial on the remaining seven counts of the indictment on October 15, 2012.

The evidence at trial established that, in the early hours of June 3, 2011, Yazzie forced his 15-year-old daughter and her 18-year-old boyfriend to accompany him as he engaged in a crime spree that included burglarizing two residences in Tohajiilee at gunpoint, committing a robbery, kidnapping a young man, and discharging his firearm.

According to witnesses, Yazzie, who was armed with a loaded shotgun, went to the first residence, which was occupied by a teenager and a young man, and kicked open the door. He burst into the residence, where he discharged his shotgun and ordered his daughter and her boyfriend to restrain the teenager and the young man, while he burglarized the residence and robbed the teenager and young man of items in their possession.

Yazzie then continued to the second residence, which was occupied by a young married couple and their 4-month-old infant. Yazzie knew that young couple would not voluntarily let him into their home because he unsuccessfully had attempted to gain entry earlier that day. As a result, Yazzie attempted to trick the couple by having the young man from the first residence lure them into opening the door.

Yazzie released the young man from his restraints, forced him to walk to the second residence at gunpoint, and demanded that he convince the couple to open the door. When the young couple refused to open the door, Yazzie attempted unsuccessfully to force his way into the residence. Yazzie walked the young man back to the first residence and, after restraining him again, Yazzie returned to the second residence.

During Yazzie’s absence, the young couple took their infant and fled from their home. Upon his return, Yazzie forced his way into the second residence and ransacked the place as he looked for items to steal. Among other things, Yazzie stole cash, an Xbox, a computer, and other electronics.

The jury deliberated approximately six hours before returning a verdict of guilty on the following five counts in the indictment: count one, aggravated burglary; count two, robbery; count three, using a firearm during a crime of violence (the burglary charged in count one); count four, kidnapping; and count five, using a firearm during a crime of violence (the kidnapping charged in count four).

The jury acquitted Yazzie on count six, being a felon in possession of a firearm; and count eight, the second aggravated burglary charge.

At sentencing, Yazzie faces a maximum penalty of 14 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine for his aggravated burglary conviction; 15 years and a $250,000 fine for his robbery conviction; and 10 years and a $250,000 fine for his kidnapping conviction. Yazzie also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 35 years of imprisonment to be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed on Counts one, two, and four for his two firearms convictions. Yazzie remains in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

The case was investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, with assistance from the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark T. Baker and Jack E. Burkhead.


United States Attorney Announces Procedures to Handle Election Fraud and Voting Rights Abuses

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 04:22 PM PDT

United States Attorney Jerry E. Martin announced today that Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) Blanche Cook and Steve Jordan will lead the efforts of his office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2012 general elections. AUSAs Cook and Jordan have been appointed to serve as the District Election Officers for the Middle District of Tennessee and in that capacity are responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Martin. “The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”

The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur. The department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals and also seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the department for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open on election day.

Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes, and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input. It also contains special protections for the rights of voters and provides that they can vote free from acts that intimidate or harass them. For example, actions of persons designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places by questioning or challenging them or by photographing or videotaping them, under the pretext that these are actions to uncover illegal voting, may violate federal voting rights law. Further, federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice.

The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they choose, and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice. In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 6, 2012, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, AUSAs Cook and Jordan will be on duty in this district while the polls are open. They can be reached by the public at the following telephone numbers: AUSA Cook—615-736-5431; AUSA Jordan—615-736-2083.

In addition, the FBI will have special agents available in each field office and resident agency throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day. The local FBI field office can be reached by the public at 615-232-7500.

Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.

United States Attorney Martin said, “Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate. It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available immediately to my office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”


Federal Reserve Board announces Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council members

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 04:22 PM PDT

Release Date: October 18, 2012

For immediate release

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced the members of its Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC) and the president and vice president of the council for 2013.

CDIAC advises the Board on the economy, lending conditions, and other issues.  Members are selected from representatives of commercial banks, thrift institutions, and credit unions serving on local advisory councils at the 12 Federal Reserve Banks.  One member of each of the Reserve Bank councils serves on CDIAC, which meets twice a year with the Federal Reserve Board in Washington.

Charles H. Majors, executive chairman of American National Bank and Trust Company, Danville, Va., will serve as president in 2013.  Drake Mills, president and chief executive officer of Community Trust Bank, Ruston, La., will serve as vice president.

The other members of CDIAC in 2013 are:

Glenn D. Barks
President and Chief Executive Officer
First Community Credit Union
Chesterfield, Mo.

Michael J. Castellana
President and Chief Executive Officer
SEFCU
Albany, N.Y.

Dennis D. Cirucci
President and Chief Executive Officer
Alliance Bank
Broomall, Pa.

John B. Dicus
Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer
Capitol Federal Savings Bank
Topeka, Kan.

John V. Evans, Jr.
Chief Executive Officer
D.L. Evans Bank
Burley, Idaho

Chandler J. Howard
President and Chief Executive Officer
Liberty Bank
Middletown, Conn.

Terry Lobdell
President
Community First Bank of Glendive
Glendive, Mont.

Timothy G. Marshall
President and Chief Executive Officer
Bank of Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Eddie Steiner
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Commercial and Savings Bank of Millersburg, Ohio
Millersburg, Ohio

Claire W. Tucker
President and Chief Executive Officer
CapStar Bank
Nashville, Tenn.

For media inquiries, call 202-452-2955.


Protect Your Mobile Device Against New Malware

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 04:21 PM PDT

Chicago, IL-October 18, 2012 – Consumers are familiar with malware that attacks their computers and understand the measures necessary to protect against it, but there is new malware that targets smartphones with Android operating systems. The Better Business Bureau is warning the owners of these devices about the need to take precautions.


Governor Quinn Launches $1 Billion Clean Water Initiative – U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Joins Governor on 40th Anniversary of Clean Water Act to Announce Major Water Infrastructure Overhaul

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 04:21 PM PDT

CHICAGO – October 18, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn was joined by United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, labor leaders, environmental activists and local government officials today to launch the governor’s $1 billion Illinois Clean Water Initiative, which will overhaul Illinois’ aging water infrastructure.

Announced today on the shore of Lake Michigan, Governor Quinn’s Clean Water Initiative will create 28,500 jobs, protect public health, and drive community and business growth across Illinois. Today’s announcement delivers on Governor Quinn’s commitment –made during his State of the State address earlier this year- to rebuild and repair Illinois’ aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

“On this anniversary of the landmark Clean Water Act, we renew our commitment to ensuring that every resident in Illinois has access to safe, clean water,” Governor Quinn said. “Illinois is defined geographically and historically by waterways. Our Clean Water Initiative will put thousands of Illinoisans back to work, protect and improve our drinking water, and preserve this precious, irreplaceable resource for future generations.”

“Today, as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, I’m proud to join Governor Quinn and others to launch the Illinois Clean Water Initiative to repair and rebuild Illinois’ aging water infrastructure,” said Administrator Jackson, who was named in Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” list in 2010 and 2012. “This historic commitment will keep water resources clean and safe, protect the health of Illinois families and create thousands of jobs, showing yet again how an investment in clean water is an investment in both our health and our economy.”

Governor Quinn’s Clean Water Initiative will create 28,500 jobs, including 9,700 construction jobs; 4,600 indirect jobs in supplier industries (mining, manufacturing and services) and 14,300 jobs supported by growth in related businesses, according to Associated General Contractors. Pipefitters, plumbers, operating engineers, carpenters, electricians, ironworkers and others will go to work replacing broken water mains, building treatment plants, upgrading sewers and cleaning up environmental threats. The Administration expects to use the winter months to drive applications into the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency so projects can begin next spring.

The Clean Water Initiative will allow the state to meet the high demand by local governments for safe drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure funding. The IEPA reports that more than 350 local governments have already expressed need for the program. Currently, many Illinois residents are receiving water through aging water mains that are nearly a century old and scores of wastewater treatment facilities are in dire need of repair.

“Many of us often take for granted how much infrastructure and government investment goes into providing a reliable water source to millions of homes in Illinois,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “Upgrading this infrastructure through Governor Quinn’s Clean Water Initiative will not only improve public health, but it will create thousands of good-paying jobs in Illinois. Today’s announcement is a reminder of how successful the Clean Water Act has been over the last 40 years in ensuring that the water we use in our daily lives is safe and clean.”

“Governor Quinn’s Clean Water Initiative adds the muscle of the state of Illinois to the skilled muscles of Illinois working men and women to build a water system that will serve Illinois residents for decades,” said Thomas Villanova, president of the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents 100,000 union workers. “This will put thousands of our members to work in the coming years and that is good for every worker trying to put food on the table.”

The Clean Water Act – enacted in 1972 – fortified federal-state partnerships to tackle polluted lakes and rivers by funding construction of sewage treatment plants, toughened penalties on polluters, and provided new protections to watersheds, waterways and wetlands. Building on that progress, the Clean Water Initiative will fortify state-local partnerships to tackle the state’s crumbling water infrastructure, protect public health and ensure access to clean drinking water in communities across Illinois.

“Safe and plentiful drinking water is an absolute essential for local communities. At a time when local revenues are flat, the availability of low interest loans for critical investments in our local water infrastructure is extremely beneficial to the health and welfare of Illinois communities,” said Larry Frang, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League.

“The Illinois Clean Water Initiative invests in a better Illinois future by advancing clean-up of our lakes and rivers and protecting vulnerable groundwater resources,” said Howard A. Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “These clean water infrastructure investments will help our communities achieve upgraded systems for safer drinking water and recreational enjoyment.”

Governor Quinn has directed the IEPA and Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) to expand the State Revolving Fund (SRF) program to $1 billion in long-term, low-interest loans to local governments for drinking water and wastewater systems. Since the SRF’s inception in 1989, IEPA has lent $4.3 billion to 472 local Illinois communities. There has never been a defaulted loan during the program’s history.

The SRF is funded with annual federal grants, a one-time infusion in ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) funds, a federally required state match, plus the principal and interest from loan repayments. No new state tax dollars will be used for the project. Needed equity will be provided by the existing loan portfolio and future federal capitalization grant dollars.

To learn more about the Illinois Clean Water Initiative, visit CleanWater.Illinois.gov.

Related Documents

What They’re Saying About the Illinois Clean Water Initiative (PDF, 188 KB)

Clean Water Initiative – Fact Sheet (PDF, 316 KB)

Letter from the Governor to Illinois Communities (PDF, 67 KB)

Clean Water Projects Summary (PDF, 280 KB)

IFA – Fact Sheet (PDF, 49 KB)

Synopsis of Clean Water Act of 1972 (PDF, 13 KB)

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson – Biography (PDF, 47 KB)


Indictment Unsealed Alleging Fraud in Securing Investments for HIV/AIDS Treatment

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 11:23 AM PDT

RICHMOND, VA—Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed charging Michael F. Harris, 49, of Luray, Virginia, with four counts of securities fraud, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 77q(a); three counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343; and one count of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341. If convicted on all charges, Harris faces up to 100 years in prison and a fine of $2,000,000.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after the indictment was unsealed in connection with the defendant’s initial appearance on these charges.

According to the allegations in the indictment, Michael F. Harris was the president and majority shareholder of M.F. Harris Research Inc. (MFH), a company incorporated under the laws of North Carolina in December 2003. The defendant formed MFH to develop a treatment for human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). At various times in the past, the defendant claimed to have discovered that the use of hyperbaric chambers to treat divers infected with HIV/AIDS for decompression sickness (also referred to as “the bends”) unexpectedly inhibited the virus. Harris claimed that MFH was devoted to pursuing a potential treatment regimen for HIV/AIDS using the hyperbaric chambers.

The indictment alleges that prior to October 2005 and continuing through at least July 2011, Harris solicited several investors for funds for MFH to use for: (a) obtaining MFH patents, both in the United States and abroad; (b) conducting human trials or assisting with advancing human trials using the treatment method; (c) continuing research on the treatment method; and (d) developing a treatment for HIV/AIDS. In connection with those investments, the defendant sold equity shares of MFH original issue stock and represented that invested funds would largely be used to pursue those objectives. It is further alleged that during the 2005 through 2011 time period, the defendant solicited most investors to pay $1 per share and, in many instances, he promised that MFH shares would be worth 10 to 20 times that amount once the patents were approved and clinical trials completed. On several occasions, Harris solicited investors with a sense of urgency and immediate need for funds in order to meet deadlines associated with the United States or foreign patent applications.

According to the indictment, the defendant made material misrepresentations and omissions in connection with handling investors’ funds, including: (a) misrepresentations regarding MFH’s actual and proposed ownership of the United States patent; (b) misrepresentations about the security of the investments; (c) affirmative acts of concealing financial information regarding MFH and the defendant’s use of MFH investment funds; and (d) omissions regarding Harris’s intended use of the MFH investment funds for his own personal use and benefit. The indictment alleges that, in reality, the defendant retained the United States patent in his own name and diverted the overwhelming majority of MFH investment funds for his own personal use and benefit. The indictment specifically alleges that between October 2005 and July 2011, Harris received over $880,000 in funds from the investors for MFH. It is charged that out of the total investment funds provided by victim investors, the defendant misappropriated over $700,000 for his own use and benefit, unrelated to the MFH-related areas identified by the defendant to the investors. The defendant allegedly used those funds to, among other things: (a) spend more than $250,000 for the costs associated with the purchase, improvements, and utilities associated with the defendant’s primary residence in Luray, Virginia; (b) pay over $70,000 for the defendant’s horse and farm expenses; (c) spend more than $25,000 at firearms stores; and (d) pay other personal expenses, including automobile, entertainment, restaurant, spa, and other personal expenses.

The investigation was led by the Fredericksburg Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC). Those agencies received assistance in the financial investigation from the National White-Collar Crime Center (NW3C). Assistant United States Attorney Michael Gill is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

This investigation has been coordinated by the Virginia Financial and Securities Fraud Task Force, an unprecedented partnership between criminal investigators and civil regulators to investigate and prosecute complex financial fraud cases in the nation and in Virginia. The task force is composed of several federal and state agencies, including the Virginia Attorney General’s Office. The task force is an investigative arm of the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), an interagency national task force.

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

Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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.


Five Guilty in Shooting Death of Brinks Guard at Calder Casino

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 11:23 AM PDT

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael B. Steinbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Matthew Boyd, Chief, Miami Gardens Police Department, announce the conviction by plea and trial of Vladimir Louissant, 26, of Miami Gardens; Reginald Mitchell, 28, of Miami Gardens; Uri Ammar, 27, of Hollywood; Victoria Barkley, 27, of Miami Gardens; and Byron Kyler, 24, of Miami, in connection with the August 21, 2011 shooting death of a Brinks guard at the Calder Casino and Race Course (Calder) in North Miami, Florida.

More specifically, Louissant and Mitchell pled guilty before trial and are facing a possible maximum statutory sentence of up to life in prison. Kyler and Barkley also pled guilty and are facing a possible statutory maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Ammar was convicted after trial on October 15, 2012. He faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of up to life in prison. Sentencing has not been scheduled yet.

According to documents filed with the court and evidence presented during trial, on August 21, 2011, Mitchell and Ammar conspired to rob a Brinks guard as he made a scheduled pick-up at Calder. Mitchell and Ammar both worked security at Calder, where Ammar was a security shift manager. Mitchell recruited co-defendants Louissant, Barkley, and Kyler. On the day of the murder, Mitchell drove Louissant to Calder in Kyler’s truck, which Kyler had falsely reported stolen.

According to the trial evidence, Ammar escorted the Brinks guard through the Calder facility and led him to an open area, where Louissant was waiting. As Ammar and the guard entered the open area, Louissant rushed at the guard, brandishing a firearm. When the guard drew his weapon, Louissant shot the guard and the two exchange gunfire. After shooting the guard, Louissant grabbed the Brinks money bag and fled to Kyler’s truck. Mitchell and Louissant then drove a short distance in Kyler’s truck, which they abandoned to be driven away from the scene by Barkley in another vehicle.

Mr. Ferrer commended the FBI and Miami Gardens Police Department for their work on this case. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the members of the FBI’s South Florida Violent Crimes and Fugitive Task Force. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Gilfarb and Seth Schlessinger.

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.


United States Department of Justice Announces Election Day Program

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 11:23 AM PDT

United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. announced today that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Rich Bourgeois will lead the efforts of his office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2012 general elections. AUSA Bourgeois has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Middle District of Louisiana and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the district’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington.

United States Attorney Cazayoux said, “Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud. The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”

The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur. The department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals and also seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the department for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open on election day.

Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes, and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input. It also contains special protections for the rights of voters and provides that they can vote free from acts that intimidate or harass them. For example, actions of persons designed to interrupt or intimidate voters at polling places by questioning or challenging them or by photographing or videotaping them, under the pretext that these are actions to uncover illegal voting, may violate federal voting rights law. Further, federal law protects the right of voters to mark their own ballot or to be assisted by a person of their choice.

The franchise is the cornerstone of American democracy. We all must ensure that those who are entitled to the franchise exercise it if they choose and that those who seek to corrupt it are brought to justice. In order to respond to complaints of election fraud or voting rights abuses on November 6, 2012, and to ensure that such complaints are directed to the appropriate authorities, United States Attorney Cazayoux stated that AUSA/DEO Bourgeois will be on duty in this district while the polls are open. He can be reached by the public at (225) 389-0443.

In addition, the FBI will have special agents available in each field office and resident agency throughout the country to receive allegations of election fraud and other election abuses on election day. The local FBI field office can be reached by the public at (225) 291-5159.

Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.

United States Attorney Cazayoux said, “Ensuring free and fair elections depends in large part on the cooperation of the American electorate. It is imperative that those who have specific information about discrimination or election fraud make that information available immediately to my office, the FBI, or the Civil Rights Division.”


Law Enforcement Officers Indicted on Public Corruption Charges

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 11:23 AM PDT

CHARLOTTE, NC—Two federal indictments were unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Charlotte charging a reserve deputy sheriff with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office and police officers with the Cherryville Police Department with multiple counts related to the misuse of their official position to provide protection for the transportation of goods they believed to be stolen, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Two non-law enforcement defendants were also charged for their role in the conspiracy.

Chris Briese, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division; and Greg McLeod, Director of the State Bureau of Investigation (NC SBI), join U.S. Attorney Tompkins in making today’s announcement.

The defendants named in one indictment are Frankie Dellinger, 40, a reserve police officer with the Cherryville Police Department; Wesley Clayton Golden, 39, a reserve deputy sheriff with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office; and Mark Ray Hoyle, 39, all of Cherryville, North Carolina. They are each charged with one count of conspiracy to transport and/or receive stolen property, four counts of transportation of stolen property, one count of conspiracy to extort under color of official right, one count of money laundering conspiracy, four counts of money laundering and aiding and abetting, and three counts of possession of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. Dellinger faces one additional count of extortion under color of official right.

In a separate criminal indictment, Casey Justin Crawford, 32, and David Paul Mauney, III, 23, patrol officers with the Cherryville Police Department; and John Ashley Hendricks, 47, all of Cherryville, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to transport and/or receive stolen property and one count of conspiracy to extort under color of official right. Crawford is also charged with one count of program fraud bribery in connection with his role in the conspiracy.

According to allegations contained in the first indictment, beginning in August 2012, Dellinger, Golden, and Hoyle conspired with undercover law enforcement agents to provide “protection” for tractor trailers transporting through Gaston County what the defendants believed to be stolen merchandise, such as televisions, generators, and motor vehicles, with a total retail value in excess of $158,000. The defendants also conspired to provide “protection” for the transportation of cash in excess of $400,000, which they believed to be proceeds from the sale of stolen goods.

The second indictment alleges that beginning in May 2012, Crawford, Mauney, and Hendricks conspired with undercover law enforcement agents to provide “protection” for truckloads of stolen merchandise, which purportedly included, among other things, televisions, generators, and chain saws, allegedly worth over $300,000; as well as cash totaling over $300,000 in proceeds from the sale of stolen merchandise.

According to allegations contained in the two indictments, on multiple occasions, Dellinger, Golden, Crawford, and Mauney used their credentials and legal authority to assist with the transfer or transport of stolen goods and/or cash proceeds from the sale of stolen goods in exchange for monetary bribes. Hendricks’s role in the scheme was to assist Crawford and Mauney by conducting counter-surveillance. Hoyle assisted the conspiracy by representing himself as a law enforcement officer.

The defendants were arrested this morning and will have their initial appearances today in U.S. District Court in Charlotte. The conspiracy to transport and/or receive stolen property charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The transportation of stolen property charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The conspiracy to extort under color of official right charges carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The extortion under color of official right charges carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The money laundering conspiracy charges carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The money laundering and aiding and abetting charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The possession of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison, and the program fraud bribery charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The investigation is handled by the FBI and SBI. The prosecution is handled by Michael Savage of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.


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