Home News News Blog

News Blog

Found 1218 posts.
Apr 26, 2016 04:00 PM

Sextortion and Cyberstalking

The investigation that uncovered a far-reaching sextortion scheme by a U.S. State Department employee at the U.S. Embassy in London all started with a single complaint by a young victim in Kentucky.

Sextortion and Cyberstalking

Man Typing on Laptop Computer (Stock Image)


The investigation that uncovered a far-reaching sextortion scheme by a U.S. State Department employee at the U.S. Embassy in London all started with a single complaint by a young victim in Kentucky. She went to the police.

“The victim basically was saying that she was being cyberstalked by some guy who got into her e-mail and was threatening to expose compromising photos of her to her friends and family,” said FBI Special Agent Andrew Young, who interviewed some of the hundreds of victims targeted by Michael C. Ford, a former State Department civilian employee who was sentenced last month to nearly five years in prison for hacking into the e-mail accounts of young women to extort them.

Full story

Apr 22, 2016 04:00 PM

Violent Home Invasion

Two gang members who brutally victimized an innocent couple during a violent home invasion—and left a third accomplice to die in the process—were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Violent Home Invasion

Violent gangs pose a significant threat to communities throughout the United States. You don’t have to live in South Central Los Angeles or Chicago’s inner city to feel the impact of gang violence, as a recent case from Washington state illustrates.

On a Tuesday evening in November 2014, three teenagers from Seattle’s Down with the Crew Gang—a violent affiliate of the Black Gangster Disciples gang—set out from Seattle for a 50-mile drive south to the community of Lakewood. Their intention was to rob a large-scale drug house they had received information about.

Around 9:30 p.m., a 66-year-old Lakewood man answered a knock at his door and was confronted by the three youths, who forced their way into the home. The gang members had picked the wrong house, but that didn’t matter to them. What happened next was 20 minutes of terror for an innocent couple.

Full story

Apr 21, 2016 10:00 AM

Notorious International Computer Hackers Sentenced

Two international computer hackers from Russia and Algeria were sentenced to lengthy prison terms yesterday for their roles in developing and distributing a prolific piece of malware known as SpyEye. ...

Notorious International Computer Hackers Sentenced

Two international computer hackers from Russia and Algeria were sentenced to lengthy prison terms yesterday for their roles in developing and distributing a prolific piece of malware known as SpyEye. The malicious code caused hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to the financial industry around the world.

Aleksandr Andreevich Panin, 27, from Russia, was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison, and Hamza Bendelladj, 27, from Algeria, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in federal court in Atlanta, Georgia.

SpyEye is a sophisticated code designed to secretly automate the theft of confidential personal and financial information such as online banking credentials, credit card information, usernames, passwords, and other personally identifying information. Between 2009 and 2011, SpyEye was the preeminent malware for cyber criminals and was used to infect more than 10 million computers that caused close to $1 billion in financial harm to individuals and institutions.

Panin was the primary developer and distributor of SpyEye. He conspired with others, including co-defendant Hamza Bendelladj, to market various versions of SpyEye through the Internet. Prior to his arrest, Panin was planning to release a second version of SpyEye that could have been one of the most undetectable pieces of malware ever distributed.

Panin was arrested by U.S. authorities in 2013 when he flew through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. In 2014, he pled guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. Bendelladj was apprehended in Thailand in 2013 and extradited to the U.S.

“Through these arrests and sentencing, the risk the public unknowingly faced from the threat posed by the imminent release of a new, highly sophisticated version of SpyEye was effectively reduced to zero,” said J. Britt Johnson, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office. He added, “The arrests and sentences serve as a strong deterrent to future malware developers and their customers, regardless of where they are located.”

Apr 20, 2016 07:00 AM

FBI Assists in Excavation of Civil War-Era Site

Evidence Response Teams from our Jacksonville and Tampa Field Offices recently partnered with the National Park Service in Georgia to excavate the site of a Civil War-era Confederate POW camp.

Evidence Response Teams Assist in Excavation of Civil War-Era Site


Evidence Response Teams from our Jacksonville and Tampa Field Offices recently partnered with the National Park Service in Georgia to excavate the site of a Civil War-era Confederate POW camp.

It is believed more than 500 Union soldiers died of smallpox in the winter of 1864 while marching more than 100 miles from the prison at Andersonville to Thomasville, Georgia.

The dig in February provided FBI investigators with an opportunity to learn more about how archaeologists excavate human remains and for the the Park Service staff to see how the FBI sifts for evidence at a burial site.

"This gives an opportunity to see what they do and look at their methods and see if we can translate some of those to our crime scene work," said Special Agent Lauren Regucci, leader of the Jacksonville Division Evidence Response Team.

 

Apr 19, 2016 02:00 PM

Man Gets 16 Years for Attempting to Purchase Ricin

A man who attempted to purchase ricin on the dark web for use as a murder weapon—and who used a stolen identity to do so—was recently sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Man Gets 16 Years for Attempting to Purchase Ricin

It was a very scary scenario: Chinese national Cheng Le, living in New York City, attempted to order ricin through the so-called dark web. Ricin, of course, is a highly potent and potentially fatal toxin with no known antidote. And the dark web includes a number of extensive, sophisticated, and widely used online criminal marketplaces that allow participants to buy and sell all kinds of illegal and often dangerous items, including drugs, firearms, and hazardous materials, like ricin.

What did Le plan to do with the ricin? Nothing good. According to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, “In Le’s own words, established at trial, he was looking for ‘simple and easy death pills’ and ways to commit ‘100 percent risk-free’ murder.”

Full story

Apr 16, 2016 10:00 AM

FBI Recognizes Leaders from Around the Nation

Fifty-six individuals and organizations—all leaders within their communities—were recognized Friday by Director James Comey for their extraordinary contributions to education and to the prevention of ...

FBI Recognizes Leaders from Around the Nation


At FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., 56 individuals and organizations—all leaders within their communities—were recognized by Director James Comey on their extraordinary contributions to education and to the prevention of crime and violence within their communities.

Each recipient received the Director’s Community Leadership Award, presented every year since 1990 by FBI field offices around the country to publicly honor those who have gone above and beyond the call to service by tirelessly working to make their own cities and towns a better and safer place for their fellow residents.

The 2015 award recipients come from all backgrounds, all professions, and all parts of the country, and the issues they focus on vary greatly. But according to Comey, “They are united by a single thing—an effort to do good.”

Full story and list of honorees

Apr 12, 2016 04:00 PM

Life Sentences for Three Family Members in Cyberstalking Case

Three family members were convicted on charges of cyberstalking resulting in death after the 2013 murder of a Delaware woman.

Life Sentences for Three Family Members in Cyberstalking Case


After surviving a rocky divorce and custody dispute in 2007, all Christine Belford wanted was to settle back into a peaceful life with her three young daughters in her Delaware home.

Instead, her ex-husband, David T. Matusiewicz, and several members of his family stalked, harassed, and intimidated Belford for several years leading up to her murder at a federal courthouse in Wilmington on February 11, 2013. The ensuing investigation, conducted by the FBI and the Delaware State Police, resulted in the first-ever convictions on charges of cyberstalking resulting in death, a violation contained in the federal Violence Against Women Act.

Full story

Apr 11, 2016 07:30 PM

Director Observes 30th Anniversary of ‘Miami Shootout’

Today outside the FBI’s Miami Field Office, Director James Comey took part in a solemn observance of the 30th anniversary of one of the Bureau’s most fiercest gunfights which left two Bureau ...

Director Observes 30th Anniversary of ‘Miami Shootout’


Today outside the FBI’s Miami Field Office, Director James Comey took part in a solemn observance of the 30th anniversary of one of the Bureau’s most fiercest gunfights which left two Bureau agents—Benjamin Grogan and Jerry Dove—dead, and five other agents wounded. The two heavily armed bank robbery suspects being pursued were also killed.

In remarks, the Director said the FBI and law enforcement agencies around the country learned valuable lessons from the shootout. They included the need for better weapons, armor, and training.

“We needed better body armor because the bad guys were firing rounds that could pierce the vests we were using at the time,” Comey said. “We needed more powerful weapons because we were facing people who were using military grade weapons on the street, which were no match for our handguns. Armaments, body armor, training, and deployment were an important lesson from the painful loss 30 years ago.”

Attending the memorial service were families and loved ones of the agents involved in the April 11, 1986 event as well as a number of law enforcement partners. Following the service, a new memorial plaque honoring those brave agents was unveiled inside the field office.

Related story

Apr 06, 2016 12:00 PM

New Top Ten Fugitive

Brenda Delgado, wanted for her role in a murder-for-hire plot that led to the death of a prominent pediatric dentist in Texas, has been named to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. A reward of ...

New Top Ten Fugitive

Composite Photo with Images of Brenda Delgado Under Ten Most Wanted Fugitives Banner, Captured

Update: Brenda Delgado in Custody (04/08/16)

Brenda Delgado, wanted for her role in a murder-for-hire plot that led to the death of a prominent pediatric dentist in Texas, has been named to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

A reward of up to $100,000 is being offered for information leading directly to the arrest of Delgado, who has been described as a master manipulator and may be on the run in Mexico.

Full story, Wanted poster, press release, and related information

Apr 04, 2016 03:00 PM

Wind Farm Investment Scam

A Texas businessman who solicited investors for his renewable energy company, Wind Plus, Inc., had no problem raising $3.7 million from nearly 100 individuals in 11 states. Unfortunately for the ...

Wind Farm Investment Scam

Wind Turbines at Sunset (Stock Image)


In the midst of growing local, national, and international concerns for the environment, wind energy is one of several types of renewable energy technologies being touted as environmentally friendly. Wind energy is known as a clean, sustainable fuel source that is cost effective and widely available domestically.

So when a Texas businessman solicited investors for his renewable energy company, Wind Plus, Inc.—whose stated business goal was to find and develop land suitable for wind farm construction—he had no problem raising $3.7 million from nearly 100 individuals in 11 states. Unfortunately for the investors, that businessman—David Lyman Spalding—was not exactly environmentally conscious, and he had no intention of following through on his business plan. Instead, he took their money and stuffed the majority of it into his own pockets.

Full story