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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

Mar 31, 2016 01:15 PM

Financial Fraud

A pharmaceutical executive not only swindled his friends and people from his hometown out of millions of dollars by convincing them that they were investing in a legitimate medical research company, ...

Financial Fraud

Greg Ruehle liked to gamble—the only problem was that he did it with other people’s money. In the process, the pharmaceutical executive not only swindled his friends and people from his hometown out of millions of dollars, he injured the reputation of a legitimate medical research company.

Ruehle, a California resident who worked in the biotech industry, was hired by the medical research firm ICB International to identify investors who could fund its research. The San Diego-based company is developing technologies for early diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

“Basically, the company’s founder invested his blood, sweat, and tears trying to come up with a cure for Parkinson’s disease,” said Special Agent John Roberts, who investigated the case from the FBI’s San Diego Division. “He was relying on Ruehle to help raise money to move the company forward.”

Instead, explained co-investigator Special Agent Bridgid Cook, Ruehle “collected nearly $2 million and used the money for gambling and other personal expenses.”

Full story

Mar 28, 2016 05:00 PM

A Look Back at the Coors Kidnapping Case

Law enforcement collaboration and public assistance are key factors in many FBI investigations, and a tragic case 65 years ago was no exception.

A Look Back at the Coors Kidnapping Case

On February 9, 1960, a milkman sounded his horn several times in an attempt to get the attention of the driver of a station wagon that was blocking the middle of the bridge over Turkey Creek, near Morrison, Colorado. When there was no response, he got out of his truck and walked to the vehicle—it was empty, but its engine was running and the radio playing. A few more beeps on the horn didn’t bring the driver back, so the milkman moved the car himself to the side of the road, noticing a reddish-brown stain on the bridge and a hat on the edge of the river bank below.

The milkman reported the matter to the local police, who quickly determined that the car belonged to Adolph Coors, III. Heir to the Coors Brewing Company fortune, Coors had left his house—not far from the bridge—that morning, but had not been seen since. Searchers soon spread out over the area looking for the missing 45-year-old father of four. In addition to the hat, a few objects belonging Coors were found below the bridge, but no other trace was found during the wider search.

Full story

Mar 24, 2016 01:00 PM

Iranians Charged with Hacking U.S. Financial Sector

Seven Iranians working on behalf of the Iranian government have been indicted for a series of cyber crimes that cost U.S. financial institutions tens of millions of dollars and compromised critical ...

Iranians Charged with Hacking U.S. Financial Sector

Collage of Wanted Iranian Hackers


Seven Iranians working on behalf of the Iranian government have been indicted for a series of cyber crimes that cost U.S. financial institutions tens of millions of dollars and compromised critical controls of a New York dam.

Using botnets and other malicious computer code, the individuals—employed by two Iran-based computer companies sponsored and directed by the Iranian government—engaged in a systematic campaign of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against nearly 50 institutions in the U.S. financial sector between late 2011 and mid-2013. The repeated, coordinated attacks disabled bank websites and prevented customers from accessing their online accounts.

Full story and Wanted poster

Mar 22, 2016 11:00 AM

Charges Unsealed Against Three ‘Syrian Electronic Army’ Hackers

Three members of a Syrian hacker collective that hijacked the websites and social media platforms of prominent U.S. media organizations and the U.S. military were charged today in federal court with ...

Charges Unsealed Against Three ‘Syrian Electronic Army’ Hackers


Three members of a Syrian hacker collective that hijacked the websites and social media platforms of prominent U.S. media organizations and the U.S. military were charged today in federal court with multiple conspiracies related to computer hacking.

In two criminal complaints unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia, Amad Umar Agha, Firas Dardar, and Peter Romar were charged with criminal conspiracies related to their roles targeting Internet sites—in the U.S. and abroad—on behalf of the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a group of hackers that supports the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Full story

Mar 18, 2016 05:30 PM

Check-Cashing Scheme Voided

Following a multi-agency investigation, several members of an Atlanta-based crime ring were recently sentenced for running a large-scale U.S. Treasury check-cashing and identity theft ring that ...

Check-Cashing Scheme Voided

U.S. Treasury Check on Top of Money (Stock Image)


The treasury checks were meant for military families, taxpayers receiving refunds, and Social Security beneficiaries—but they wound up in the hands of thieves instead.

From June 2012 to September 2014, a band of 19 criminals in Atlanta ran a large-scale U.S. Treasury check-cashing and identity theft ring that defrauded the federal government and retail stores of nearly $1 million. The ring included check suppliers, sellers, identification manufacturers, and “check runners” who used fake driver’s licenses to cash stolen checks.

At the center of it all was career criminal Asad Abdullah, who orchestrated the elaborate scheme from inside a Georgia state prison. With regular access to contraband cellphones, Abdullah was able to contact his younger brothers in Atlanta, and he soon had the resources he needed to mobilize the family-run criminal enterprise.

Full story

Mar 15, 2016 02:30 PM

Food Stamp Fraud

A store owner who routinely and illegally allowed his customers to exchange food stamp benefits for cash—taking a total of approximately $6.5 million for himself—will be spending time in prison.

Food Stamp Fraud

Card Reader at Store (Stock Image)


Tessema Lulseged owned a supermarket in Decatur, Georgia, but he was selling much more than groceries. He was trafficking in food stamps, and, for a time, it made him a wealthy man.

Lulseged owned the Big T Supermarket, a convenience store just outside Atlanta. He routinely and illegally allowed his customers to exchange food stamp benefits for cash—taking a substantial cut for himself. From 2009 until 2014, Lulseged’s crimes netted him approximately $6.5 million.

Full story

Mar 11, 2016 12:00 PM

Arkansas Drug Trafficking Enterprise Dismantled

Following a multi-agency investigation into drug trafficking activity and its accompanying violence in eastern Arkansas, several members of a drug trafficking organization were sent to prison, ...

Arkansas Drug Trafficking Enterprise Dismantled

Locator Map of West Memphis, Arkansas


Several years ago, in the city of West Memphis in eastern Arkansas, violent street gangs involved in drug trafficking and other crimes threatened the safety and security of the people who lived and worked in the area. One of the most significant gangs was headed by drug kingpin Rafael McDaniel.

 After a request for federal assistance from the West Memphis Police Department to help address the drug trafficking activity and its accompanying violence, the FBI initiated Operation Delta Crossroads as an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case. And as a result of the investigation—which involved multiple controlled drug buys and several Title III wiretaps that recorded hundreds incriminating conversations—McDaniel was convicted of drug and firearms offenses last year and subsequently sentenced to a 20-year prison term. Several of his co-conspirators were also charged, pled guilty, and sentenced.

Full story

Mar 11, 2016 09:45 AM

Director Meets with New Zealand Law Enforcement Leaders

FBI Director James B. Comey met this week with our partners in New Zealand to discuss a host of important issues regarding the safety and security of the citizens of both countries.

Director Meets with New Zealand Law Enforcement Leaders


FBI Director James B. Comey met this week with our partners in New Zealand to discuss a host of important issues regarding the safety and security of the citizens of both countries.

“The U.S.-New Zealand law enforcement partnership remains steadfast, and we welcome the opportunity to work together to share critical information that will safeguard our Americans and New Zealanders from global threats,” said a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in New Zealand.

Press release

Mar 10, 2016 04:00 PM

IRS Impersonation Scams on the Rise

This tax season, law enforcement agencies are seeing enhanced efforts by criminals to scam taxpayers out of their hard-earned money by impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury ...

IRS Impersonation Scams on the Rise

This tax season, law enforcement agencies are seeing enhanced efforts by criminals to scam taxpayers out of their hard-earned money by impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department employees during unsolicited telephone calls and robo-calls. These scammers are demanding cash payments for unpaid taxes via prepaid debit cards, money orders, or wire transfers from their banks. According to the IRS, the agency generally first contacts taxpayers by mail—not by phone—concerning owed taxes, and it will never ask for payments using a prepaid debit card, money order, or wire transfer.

If you think you have been the victim of an IRS impersonation scam, please file a report online with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration or call the agency at 1-800-366-4484.

Additional information on IRS impersonation scams