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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

Feb 04, 2015 02:00 PM

Reward Offered for Fugitive Charged with Murdering Elderly Ohio Couple

The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Robert Roy Clark, who was charged with the murders of an elderly Ohio couple and is also wanted for his alleged ...

Reward Offered for Fugitive Charged with Murdering Elderly Ohio Couple

***2/5/15 Update: Robert Roy Clark, Tabatha Marie Hazel, and Jeffrey P. Caley, Jr. were all taken into custody this morning in Arizona without incident.

The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Robert Roy Clark, who was charged with murdering an elderly Ohio couple and is also wanted for his alleged involvement in a string of armed robberies. Clark is believed to be traveling in the company of two individuals—Jeffrey P. Caley, Jr. and Tabatha Marie Hazel—and all were last seen in a green Dodge Caravan with Ohio plates.

After an elderly couple was reported missing on January 22, 2015 in Strasburg, Ohio, police found their home had been ransacked, with lock boxes pried open and telephone lines cut; their car was also gone. Their burned-out vehicle was found later that same day in nearby Coshocton County, and skeletal remains—later identified as the bodies of the missing—were recovered from inside the car. On January 31, Clark was charged by Coshocton authorities with the murder of the couple, but he allegedly fled his residence with Caley and Hazel before he could be arrested. A federal arrest warrant was issued on February 3, 2015, after Clark was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Since then, Clark, Caley, and Hazel have allegedly taken part in a number of armed robberies in West Virginia and South Carolina. All three—who have been identified in surveillance video at the robberies and have displayed a sawed-off shotgun and a pistol—should be considered dangerous.

If you have any information concerning any of these individuals, please call 1-800-CALL FBI (225-5324) or contact your local FBI field office or nearest American Embassy or Consulate.

Wanted poster | Press release

Feb 02, 2015 04:45 PM

Drug Kingpin Dethroned

For years, Alvaro Lopez Tardón, a Spanish national, was living the high life in Miami—fancy cars, seaside condos, designer jewelry, and expensive leather goods. But it all came crashing down in the ...

Drug Kingpin Dethroned

For years, Alvaro Lopez Tardón, a Spanish national, was living the high life in Miami—fancy cars, seaside condos, designer jewelry, and expensive leather goods. But it all came crashing down in the summer of 2011 when he was named in a U.S. federal money laundering indictment as the head of an international narcotics trafficking enterprise. His illicit enterprise was believed responsible for distributing more than 7,500 kilos of South American cocaine in Spain and laundering more than $14 million in illegal drug proceeds in the United States.

Last fall, after being tried and convicted on numerous money laundering charges, Tardón was sentenced to an astonishing 150 years—exchanging his spacious South Beach penthouse for a small federal prison cell where he will spend the rest of his life. And in addition to the sentence, a $14 million money judgment and a $2 million fine were entered against him, and his assets are in the process of being forfeited.

Full story

Jan 29, 2015 02:30 PM

New Most Wanted Terrorist

Liban Haji Mohamed, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Somalia, has been named to the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists, and a reward of up to $50,000 is being offered for information leading to ...

New Most Wanted Terrorist

Liban Haji Mohamed Poster Screenshot
Liban Haji Mohamed, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Somalia, has been named to the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists, and a reward of up to $50,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction. Mohamed is charged with providing material support and resources to al Qaeda and al Shabaab, a Somali-based terrorist organization.

The FBI also announced today it is seeking information about another individual, Ghazi Nasr Al-Din, regarding fundraising efforts on behalf of the terrorist group Hizballah.

Full story, posters, press releases, video, more

Jan 27, 2015 04:00 PM

Human Trafficking Ring Dismantled

For years, five brothers who ran a human trafficking organization victimized dozens of unwitting Ukrainians, underscoring the reality that modern-day slavery exists in the United States and around ...

Human Trafficking Ring Dismantled

Stop Human Trafficking Graphic

For years, five brothers who ran a human trafficking organization victimized dozens of unwitting Ukrainians, underscoring the reality that modern-day slavery exists in the United States and around the world—and requires a strong response by governments and law enforcement.

In recognition of that fact, and to speak out for the victims, January has been declared National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month by the U.S. government. Human trafficking can take many forms, from forced servitude to sexual exploitation of children, and the FBI is fighting these crimes on every front.

Full story

Jan 26, 2015 01:00 PM

Preliminary Crime Stats for January-June 2014 Show Decreases

Figures released today in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report reveal overall declines in the number of violent crimes and property crimes reported to law enforcement during the ...

Preliminary Crime Stats for January-June 2014 Show Decreases

Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January-June 2014 Banner

Figures released today in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report reveal overall declines in the number of violent crimes and property crimes reported to law enforcement during the first six months of 2014 when compared to figures from the first six months of 2013.

Violent crimes reported for January through June of 2014 were down 4.6 percent from the same time period in 2013. All of the offenses in the violent crime category—murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery—showed decreases. And the number of property crimes during the same time period decreased 7.5 percent, with all three offenses—burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft—showing declines.

The report also contains four tables. Three of the tables detail the percent change in offenses reported to law enforcement by population group, by region of the country, and by consecutive years back to 2010. The fourth table contains the number of offenses reported to law enforcement, by state, in cities with populations of more than 100,000.

The full Crime in the United States, 2014 report will be released later this year.

Press release | Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January-June 2014

Jan 23, 2015 10:30 AM

The Case of the Stolen Stradivarius

When a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin valued at more than $5 million was stolen from Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond last year, investigators initially believed the theft ...

The Case of the Stolen Stradivarius

When a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin valued at more than $5 million was stolen from Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond last year, investigators initially believed the theft may have been the work of sophisticated art thieves. The truth turned out to be much less glamorous.

Still, the tale of the theft and recovery of this rare instrument goes down in the annals of the FBI’s Art Crime Team as a one-of-a-kind case.

Full story and video

Jan 22, 2015 03:45 PM

Director Comey Discusses Latest Law Enforcement Issues with Nation’s Sheriffs

Today, in a speech at the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Conference in Washington, D.C., Director Comey discussed the Bureau’s current priorities as well as collective issues facing the law ...

Director Comey Discusses Latest Law Enforcement Issues with Nation’s Sheriffs

National Sheriff’s Association LogoToday, in a speech at the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Conference in Washington, D.C., Director Comey discussed the Bureau’s current priorities as well as collective issues facing the law enforcement community as a whole. He specifically highlighted our number one priority—counterterrorism—and talked about how the proliferation of al Qaeda offshoot groups and the use of the Internet to spread terrorist propaganda and recruit new members complicates our efforts. He focused on the need for a national conversation on the Going Dark issue, in which a combination of outdated laws and rapid changes in technology is making it increasingly difficult for law enforcement to access the evidence needed to prosecute crime and prevent terrorism. Comey also discussed the recent increase in shootings and ambush-style attacks against law enforcement officers and said that law enforcement personnel and the communities they serve both need to better understand each other’s concerns and the challenges they face.

According to FBI Assistant Director Kerry Sleeper, who heads the Bureau’s Office of Partner Engagement, Director Comey’s meetings with law enforcement groups like the National Sheriffs’ Association “reinforce the Bureau’s stated commitment to collaborate and share information with our state and local law enforcement partners.”

After Comey’s remarks, he was presented with an award from the National Humane Society for approving—at the request of the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Animal Welfare Institute—the addition of animal cruelty offenses as a separate category in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. The collection of this data will begin in 2016.