FBI Director James Comey, appearing today before the House Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, provided members an overview of the FBI’s fiscal ...
Director Comey Briefs Congressional Subcommittee on Key Threats and Challenges
FBI Director James Comey, appearing today before the House Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, provided members an overview of the FBI’s fiscal year 2017 budget request and explained how the requested resources are critical to the Bureau’s ability to address existing and emerging national security and criminal threats.
Some of those threats, according to the Director’s statement, are terrorism—in particular, the threats posed by foreign fighters, including those recruited from the U.S., traveling to join ISIL—and homegrown violent extremists; foreign intelligence and espionage activities, especially the growing problem of the insider threat; the most dangerous and malicious cyber threats from state-sponsored hackers, hackers for hire, organized cyber syndicates, and terrorists; and serious criminal threats such as public corruption, Internet-facilitated sexual exploitation of children, violent gangs, corporate fraud, and international criminal enterprises.
Comey also said that resources are needed to close gaps in operational capabilities, including enhancements to cyber investigative capabilities, the mitigation of threats from foreign intelligence services and insiders, investments related to the Going Dark initiative, improvements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and operation and maintenance costs of the new Biometrics Technology Center.
Earlier in the day, Comey joined Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other U.S. Intelligence Community leaders at the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence’s hearing on worldwide threats.
The masked criminal known as the Cyborg Bandit and, later, the Elephant Man Bandit was robbing Seattle-area banks at an average of more than two per month for an entire year before he was caught—in ...
Caught in the Act
|Serial bank robber Anthony Hathaway—seen in these surveillance images in his Cyborg Bandit (left) and Elephant Man Bandit disguises—robbed 30 Seattle-area banks in the span of a year.
The masked criminal known as the Cyborg Bandit and, later, the Elephant Man Bandit was robbing Seattle-area banks at an average of more than two per month for an entire year before he was caught—in the act of robbing a bank he had already robbed.
For investigators who routinely investigate bank robberies, the story of 46-year-old Anthony Hathaway, sentenced last month to nearly nine years in prison, is surprising in some ways but all too familiar in others.
An auto broker and taxicab operator in Chicago received a federal prison term for his role in a fraud scheme that involved the illegal use of salvage vehicles as taxis on city streets—a scheme that ...
Every day in communities around the nation, the FBI works with its state and local partners to identify and arrest criminals who threaten public safety—including terrorist groups, violent gangs, drug trafficking enterprises, and producers of counterfeit pharmaceuticals, auto parts, and airplane parts.
Most recently, the FBI, in conjunction with the Inspector General for the City of Chicago, conducted an investigation into a fraud scheme that involved the illegal use of salvage vehicles as taxis on city streets—a scheme that potentially put the riding public at risk.
The Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), a multi-agency organization that performs a critical function in the fight against terrorism, was officially welcomed to its new home today ...
A New Home for the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center
The Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC), a multi-agency organization that performs a critical function in the fight against terrorism, was officially welcomed to its new home today at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, as FBI Director James Comey and other officials took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.
Before TEDAC’s creation in 2003, no single government entity was responsible for analyzing and exploiting intelligence gleaned from improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Since then, TEDAC has examined more than 105,000 IEDs from around the world, providing intelligence to the military, law enforcement, and the intelligence community at home and abroad.
“TEDAC links IEDs to the bomb makers, recognizes trends in how those bombs are being constructed and with what materials,” Comey said during ceremonies attended by officials including Alabama Senator Richard Shelby.
Composed of 30 partner agencies including the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security, TEDAC was formerly located at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. The move to Alabama centralizes the government’s efforts regarding IEDs and terrorism. Redstone Arsenal is also home to the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School, the ATF’s National Center for Explosives Training and Research, and other operations.
A woman who owned a surrogacy agency called Miracles Egg Donation claimed she was in the business of helping infertile couples have children. But her business turned out to be a fraud, and she ended ...
Egg Donation and Surrogacy Scam
Allison Layton, who owned a California company called Miracles Egg Donation (Miracles), claimed she was in the business of helping infertile couples have children. But her business turned out to be a fraud, and she ended up stealing her victims’ hopes and dreams as well as their money.
Would-be parents paid Miracles tens of thousands of dollars—sometimes their life savings—for egg donation and surrogacy services that Layton promised to coordinate. Instead, during a three-year period beginning in 2008, she defrauded couples, egg donors, and surrogate mothers while living a lavish lifestyle off the proceeds.
The FBI today brought the last remaining Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers into custody without incident.
FBI Arrests All Remaining Occupiers at Oregon Wildlife Refuge
The FBI today brought the last four remaining Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupiers into custody without incident.
Agents arrested the occupiers as they walked out of the refuge to the FBI checkpoint. They face arraignment before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Portland on Friday, February 12, 2016.
Today marked day-41 of the occupation. At times, there were dozens of highly armed militants occupying, visiting, and supplying the refuge.
A federal grand jury last week indicted 16 people with connections to the occupation. Each faces one federal felony count of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats.
“Much work is left to assess the crime scene and damage to the refuge and tribal artifacts,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “We are committed to seeing the job done and to pursue justice for the crimes committed during the illegal occupation.”
No one was injured during today’s arrests and no shots were fired. Last night, the FBI moved to contain the remaining occupiers by placing agents at barricades around the area where the occupiers were camping. Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Portland Field Office, said at the time that investigators reached a point where it became necessary to take action to ensure people’s safety.
“It has never been the FBI’s desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue,” he said, “and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully.
- Statement by SAC Greg Bretzing at Press Conference (02/11/16)
- FBI Arrests All Remaining Occupiers at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (02/11/16)
- FBI Surrounds Occupiers at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (02/10/16)
- Remarks by SAC Greg Bretzing at Press Conference (01/28/16)
- Additional Arrests in the Occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (01/27/16)
- Additional Arrest Made in Arizona Related to Occupation (01/26/16)
- Joint Statement by FBI and Oregon State Police (01/26/16)
Criminal charges were unsealed today in New York against principals at two large payday loan operations that together allegedly exploited more than five million financially struggling Americans.
Charges Allege Payday Loan Operators Exploited Millions
Criminal charges were unsealed today in New York against principals at two large payday loan operations that together allegedly exploited more than five million people.
Scott Tucker, 53, of Leawood, Kansas, and Timothy Muir 44, of Overland Park, Kansas, allegedly targeted and exploited millions by charging illegally high interest rates—as much as 700 percent—and sought to evade liability by claiming the $2 billion business was actually owned and operated by Native American tribes. According to the indictment, Tucker’s business operated from at least 1997 until 2013. A professional race-car driver, Tucker is alleged to have spent over $100 million from business acounts on lavish personal expenses, including race cars, the expenses of a professional auto racing team, a luxury home in Colorado, and jewelry. Muir was employed as an attorney for Tucker’s company since 2006.
In a separate indictment, Richard Moseley Sr., 68, of Kansas City, Missouri, is alleged to have systematically exploited more than 620,000 financially struggling people, many of whom were having trouble paying for basic living expenses. He extended loans at illegally high interest rates of more than 700 percent using deceptive and misleading communications and contracts, according to the indictment.
“Despite their best efforts, innocent people throughout the country were deprived of the opportunity to regain their financial well-being as a result of this conspiracy,” said New York FBI Assistant Director in Charge Diego Rodriguez. “Today, we issue a stop payment on Moseley’s fraudulent scheme.”
The wife of former senior ISIL leader Abu Sayyaf has been charged for her role in a conspiracy that resulted in the death of American citizen Kayla Jean Mueller in February 2015.
Wife of Dead ISIL Leader Charged in Death of Kayla Jean Mueller
The wife of former senior Islamic State leader Abu Sayyaf has been charged for her role in a conspiracy that resulted in the death of American citizen Kayla Jean Mueller in February 2015.
Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, aka Umm Sayyaf, 25, an Iraqi citizen, is currently in Iraqi custody for her terrorism-related activities. She is charged with charged with conspiracy to provide material support to to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. According to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Umm Sayyaf and her husband forcibly held Mueller along with other captives at their residences.
Mueller, who was serving as an aid worked in Syria when she was abducted in 2013, was killed during airstrikes in Syria last February. Abu Sayyaf was killed during a U.S. military operation last May, and Umm Sayyaf was captured.
Umm Sayyaf admitted to holding Mueller and others hostage on behalf of ISIL, according to the affidavit.
“The FBI continues to work tirelessly alongside our partners to hold accountable those who are responsible for the kidnapping and death of Kayla Mueller,” said Paul M. Abbate, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which investigated the case. “This criminal complaint is another step toward achieving justice in the case.”
If convicted, Sayyaf faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
A 53-year-old Tampa woman who worked as a community service officer for the Tampa Police Department pleaded guilty last week to two counts of obtaining information from the department’s computer ...
Former Tampa Police Department Employee Pleads Guilty to Computer Intrusion
A 53-year-old Tampa woman who worked as a community service officer for the Tampa Police Department pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of obtaining information from the department’s computer system for a fraudulent purpose.
As part of her civilian job, Tonia Bright took reports from the public related to incidents not requiring the response of a sworn police officer. According to her February 5 plea, Bright had access to law enforcement databases, including the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computerized index that contains the personally identifiable information of millions of individuals.
The plea shows that at least 10 times between 2009 and 2014 Bright accessed the databases and provided information to a friend, Rita Monique Girvin, who used the information to file fraudulent income tax returns and claim refunds, some of which she shared with Bright. Girvin pleaded guilty in a separate case and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Bright’s sentencing has not yet been scheduled. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Tampa Field Office, the Tampa Police Department, and the IRS.
As part of its leading role in helping to prevent terrorist attacks and in sharing its expertise on public safety issues, the FBI is taking the next step in educating communities on violent extremism ...
Countering Violent Extremism
Today, as part of its leading role in helping to prevent terrorist attacks and in sharing its expertise on public safety issues, the FBI is taking the next step in educating communities on violent extremism by launching a new, free program for teens nationwide.
It’s called Don’t Be a Puppet: Pull Back the Curtain on Violent Extremism, and the centerpiece is an interactive website at https://cve.fbi.gov that uses activities, quizzes, videos, and other materials to teach teens how to recognize violent extremist messaging and become more resistant to self-radicalization and possible recruitment.