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Feb 27, 2015 10:30 AM

Joint Effort Takes Down Detroit-Based Robbery Group

Seventeen members of a Detroit-based group have been indicted for their roles in a number of smash and grab robberies of jewelry stores in a half-dozen states, but unfortunately, these types of ...

Joint Effort Takes Down Detroit-Based Robbery Group

Today, the FBI and its partners announced three separate indictments filed during the past month against 17 individuals from the metropolitan Detroit area who are believed to be responsible for a number of “smash and grab” robberies of jewelry stories in a half-dozen states.

The indictments follow a series of investigations around the nation by various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies involving approximately 40 smash and grab jewelry store robberies. Authorities also announced they are looking for the public’s help in identifying 16 other individuals believed to be connected to additional smash and grab robberies.

Unfortunately, these types of robberies around the nation have recently increased at an alarming rate. According to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA)—a non-profit group that provides crime information and assistance to the jewelry industry and law enforcement—there were 110 smash and grabs during 2014, nearly twice the number (62) reported during 2013.

Full story and Seeking Information poster

Feb 26, 2015 03:00 PM

FBI Counterterrorism Executive Briefs Congress on ISIL and Domestic Terrorism

The day after a criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court in New York charging three Brooklyn residents with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ...

FBI Counterterrorism Executive Briefs Congress on ISIL and Domestic Terrorism

The day after a criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court in New York charging three Brooklyn residents with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach briefed a congressional subcommittee on the dynamic threat posed by foreign fighters traveling in support of ISIL and the continued threat to America posed by homegrown violent extremists.

According to Steinbach, the conflict in Syria and Iraq is currently the most attractive overseas theater for Western-based extremists who want to engage in violence. The Bureau estimates upwards of 150 Americans have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria to join extremist groups, and it also has to consider the influence of groups like ISIL on individuals located in the U.S. who could be inspired (particularly through the Internet and social media) to commit acts of violence. “It is this blending of homegrown violent extremism with the foreign fighter ideology that is today’s latest adaptation of the threat,” said Steinbach.

Given the global nature of these threats, Steinbach said that “regular engagement with our domestic and foreign partners concerning foreign fighters is critical,” and that—with these partners—we collect and analyze intelligence information related to the ongoing threat posed by ISIL and other foreign terrorist organizations. In addition to using a variety of investigative techniques and methods to combat these threats, the FBI recognizes its responsibility to share information concerning ongoing or emerging threats quickly with our local and state partners—and our Joint Terrorism Task Forces located in each of our 56 field offices serve as a “vital mechanism” for doing just that.

Steinbach was joined at the hearing—held before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations—by two of the Bureau’s local law enforcement partners: Charlotte (North Carolina) Police Chief Rodney Monroe and Hennepin County (Minnesota) Sheriff Richard Stanek.

Testimony | More on the Brooklyn case

Feb 24, 2015 02:30 PM

$3 Million Reward Offered for International Cyber Criminal

Today in Washington, D.C., the U.S. State Department, the Department of Justice, and the FBI announced a reward of up to $3 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Evgeniy ...

$3 Million Reward Offered for International Cyber Criminal

Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev Poster Screenshot


Today in Washington, D.C., the U.S. State Department, the Department of Justice, and the FBI announced a reward of up to $3 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, currently one of the FBI’s most wanted—and most prolific—cyber criminals, for his alleged involvement in a major cyber racketeering enterprise. The reward is being offered under the auspices of the State Department’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program, established by Congress in 2013 as a tool to assist the U.S. government in identifying and bringing to justice members of significant transnational criminal organizations.

Bogachev, thought to be at large in Russia, has been under indictment in the United States in connection with his alleged role as administrator of the GameOver Zeus botnet, believed to be responsible for the theft of more than $100 million from businesses and consumers in the U.S. and around the world. GameOver Zeus was an extremely sophisticated type of malware designed specifically to steal banking and other credentials from the computers it infected by either secretly logging keystrokes for passwords or creating false webpages where victims would unwittingly enter banking information and passwords.

According to FBI Assistant Director Joseph Demarest, “This was a worldwide infection, but it also had law enforcement worldwide working to combat it and bring to justice the criminal organization behind it.” In addition, he thanked private sector partners who played a role during the investigation and in reducing the number of computer infections.

Added Demarest, “We are turning to the world again for assistance in locating Bogachev. While he is known to reside in Russia, he may travel. With this $3 million reward incentive, someone, somewhere may see him and let the authorities know his whereabouts.”

Anyone with information on Bogachev is asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, or submit an online tip to the Bureau.

Press release | Wanted poster | Wanted by the FBI podcast | More on GameOver Zeus

Feb 23, 2015 05:30 PM

A Ponzi Scheme Collapses

Nearly a dozen fraudsters who conspired to operate a $40 million Ponzi scheme targeting approximately 400 mainly elderly and vulnerable victims will be spending time behind bars.

A Ponzi Scheme Collapses

Nearly a dozen fraudsters who conspired to operate a $40 million Ponzi scheme will be spending plenty of time behind bars after a joint effort by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of North Carolina. Among those now serving time is the scheme’s mastermind, Keith Franklin Simmons, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison late last year. And just last month, the 11th and final defendant in the conspiracy—Jonathan D. Davey—was sentenced to more than 21 years.

The federal judge who sentenced Davey said the term handed down reflected the effects of the fraud on its 400 or so victims—mainly elderly and vulnerable—and that the scheme resulted in “life-wrecking damage” and caused victims to lose “life savings, trust, faith, and their sense of dignity.”

Full story

Feb 18, 2015 03:40 PM

Art Crime Team Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Part 2

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, FBI.gov recently discussed the team’s history, mission, and accomplishments with Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, who manages the Bureau’s art ...

Art Crime Team Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Part 2

Art Crime Team Logo, Black Background


To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, FBI.gov recently discussed the team’s history, mission, and accomplishments with Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, who manages the Bureau’s art theft program.

Full story

Feb 13, 2015 08:00 PM

FBI Executive Takes Part in National Cybersecurity Summit

Today, FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director Joseph Demarest took part in the Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, which was sponsored by the White House and held at Stanford University ...

FBI Executive Takes Part in National Cybersecurity Summit

Today, FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director Joseph Demarest took part in the Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, which was sponsored by the White House and held at Stanford University in California. Demarest was on a panel focused on the importance of international law enforcement cooperation in combating cyber crime.

Additional topics covered during the day-long event included public-private collaboration efforts, cybersecurity information sharing, the enhancement of secure payment technology, and the improvement of authentication measures. The cybersecurity summit—which featured a keynote speech by President Barack Obama—brought together representatives from industry, tech companies, law enforcement and other government officials, consumer and privacy advocates, law professors specializing in the field, and students.

Demarest was joined on his panel by Ed Lowery, his counterpart at the U.S. Secret Service, as well as Kevin Mandia (former chief executive officer of Mandiant and senior vice president and chief operating officer of FireEye), Jamie Saunders (director of the United Kingdom National Crime Agency’s National Cyber Crime Unit) and Bilal Sen (United Nations Office on Drug and Crime). During the discussion, Demarest talked about the Bureau’s challenge of investigating cyber criminals who victimize Americans from overseas, the FBI’s approach to battling botnets, the success of an initiative that posts agents with cyber expertise in strategic locations abroad to work with foreign partners, and the mutually beneficial relationships the Bureau fosters with companies victimized by cyber criminals.

Simultaneously with the national summit, the FBI and the Secret Service co-hosted open houses today in 19 cities around the country for private sector partners. In addition to being able to watch the cybersecurity summit via live-stream, the event provided an opportunity for attendees to meet and talk to their federal interagency cyber teams and learn more about how the U.S. government works to identify, pursue, and defeat cyber threats.

More on the event | More on regional open houses | Cyber Task Forces | Electronic Crimes Task Forces

Feb 12, 2015 05:00 PM

Hard Truths: Law Enforcement and Race

In a speech at Georgetown University, Director James B. Comey called on the nation’s law enforcement personnel and the citizens they serve to participate in a frank and open conversation about the ...

Hard Truths: Law Enforcement and Race

FBI Director James B. Comey called on the nation’s law enforcement personnel and the citizens they serve to participate in a frank and open conversation about the disconnect that exists in places like New York City and Ferguson, Missouri—and many communities across the country—between police agencies and many citizens, particularly in communities of color.

In a speech today at Georgetown University, Comey said the lethal police encounters involving Michael Brown and Eric Garner—both African-Americans—the ensuing protests across the country, and the assassinations of New York Police Department Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos have put the fundamental relationship between police and their constituents at a crossroads.

“As a society, we can choose to live our everyday lives, raising our families and going to work, hoping someone, somewhere, will do something to ease the tension,” Comey said to the Georgetown students and faculty. “We can turn up the music on the car radio and drive around these problems. Or we can choose to have an open and honest discussion about what our relationship is today—what it should be, what it could be, and what it needs to be—if we took more time to better understand one another.”

Full story, speech, and video

Feb 10, 2015 04:30 PM

Scammers May Use Paris Terrorist Attack to Solicit Fraudulent Donations

In light of the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris last month, the FBI would like to warn the public about the potential for fraudulent solicitations of donations for victims through ...

Scammers May Use Paris Terrorist Attack to Solicit Fraudulent Donations

Money Collection in Donation JarIn light of the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris last month, the FBI would like to warn the public about the potential for fraudulent solicitations of donations for victims. These solicitations can come in many forms, such as crowdfunding platforms, e-mail campaigns, or cold calls, and perpetrators may divert some or all of the funds for their own use.

A number of charities and crowdfunding campaigns have already begun asking for donations in the wake of the attack. (Crowdfunding—soliciting money from a large number of people primarily through the Internet—offers scammers a new venue to easily seek funds with minimal oversight.) At the time of this advisory, the FBI has not recorded any reports of fraudulent donation schemes relating to the Paris attack, but based on previous trends, the Bureau can reasonably assume that such schemes may target individuals in the U.S.

In general, individuals and businesses should be wary of suspicious e-mails, telephone calls, or websites soliciting donations in response to any event. Red flags to look out for include the charity:

  • Refusing to provide detailed information about their organization or how the donation will be used;
  • Using a name closely resembling that of a reputable organization;
  • Pressuring individuals to donate immediately;
  • Asking for donations to be sent through wire transfers, cash, or virtual currency; and
  • Guaranteeing a monetary return for a donation.

The presence of one or more of these behaviors doesn’t conclusively mean a charity is fraudulent, but individuals and businesses should always verify a charity’s legitimacy before making any donations. Suspicious solicitations should be reported to your regional FBI field office or to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Feb 09, 2015 12:00 PM

Art Crime Team Celebrates 10th Anniversary

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, FBI.gov recently discussed the team’s history, mission, and accomplishments with Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, who manages the Bureau’s art ...

Art Crime Team Celebrates 10th Anniversary

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, FBI.gov recently discussed the team’s history, mission, and accomplishments with Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, who manages the Bureau’s art theft program.

Full story

Feb 05, 2015 03:00 PM

Former Los Alamos Lab Workers Sentenced

The reasons why he did it varied—he carried a grudge against his employer, he was frustrated with the U.S. government, he needed money, and he desired power and respect. But motivations aside, Pedro ...

Former Los Alamos Lab Workers Sentenced

The reasons why he did it varied—he carried a grudge against his employer, he was frustrated with the U.S. government, he needed money, and he desired power and respect. But motivations aside, Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni, a scientist formerly employed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, broke the law when he sold some of our nation’s nuclear secrets to an individual he thought was a foreign government official. He also involved his wife—a Los Alamos employee at the time—in his illegal activities.

Both were charged and eventually pled guilty in connection with the plot. Last month, Pedro Mascheroni was sentenced to a federal prison term, while his wife—Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni—was sentenced last summer.

Full story