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Jun 30, 2011 10:15 PM

Mortgage Lending Company Exec Sentenced for Role in $2.9 Billion Fraud Scheme

Lee Bentley Farkas, the former chairman and owner of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker (TBW), was sentenced to 30 years in prison and ordered to forfeit approximately $38.5 million for his role in a more than ...

Former Chairman of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison and Ordered to Forfeit $38.5 Million

Lee Bentley Farkas, the former chairman and owner of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker (TBW), was sentenced to 30 years in prison and ordered to forfeit approximately $38.5 million for his role in a more than $2.9 billion fraud scheme that contributed to the failure of TBW and Colonial Bank. At one time, TBW was one of the largest privately held mortgage lending companies in the United States and Colonial Bank was one of the 25 largest banks in the United States.

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Jun 29, 2011 11:00 PM

Romanian Man Sentenced for Role in International Fraud Scheme Involving Online Auction Websites

Adrian Ghighina, 33, of Bucharest, Romania, was sentenced yesterday in Chicago to 48 months in prison for his role in moving and hiding the illicit proceeds of an international fraud scheme.

Romanian Man Sentenced for Role in International Fraud Scheme Involving Online Auction Websites

Adrian Ghighina, 33, of Bucharest, Romania, was sentenced yesterday in Chicago to 48 months in prison for his role in moving and hiding the illicit proceeds of an international fraud scheme. 

According to court documents, Ghighina, who entered the United States legally in late 2004, acted as a “money mule” in a complex Internet fraud conspiracy. Ghighina’s co-conspirators, many of whom are in Romania, created fraudulent online auctions for expensive items such as cars, motorcycles and RVs on websites such as eBay, Craigslist and AutoTrader.com.

The victims never received the items for which they had paid. From approximately September 2005 until his arrest in October 2009 in Miami, Ghighina opened accounts and/or received funds in Illinois, the District of Columbia, Florida, New York, Arizona and elsewhere.

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Jun 29, 2011 07:25 PM

Three Men Each Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Plotting to Bomb Bronx Synagogues and Shoot Down U.S. Military Planes

James Cromitie, David Williams, and Onta Williams were each sentenced today to 25 years in prison for plotting to bomb synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York, and to use Stinger ...

Three Men Each Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Plotting to Bomb Bronx Synagogues and Shoot Down U.S. Military Planes

James Cromitie, David Williams, and Onta Williams were each sentenced today to 25 years in prison for plotting to bomb synagogues in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York, and to use Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles to shoot down military planes located at the New York Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York.

The defendants were convicted in October 2010 after a two-month jury trial. The case was investigated by the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force—which principally consists of agents of the FBI and detectives of the New York City Police Department—the New York State Police and the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

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Jun 29, 2011 07:00 PM

Operator of Two Home Health Care Businesses Indicted in Alleged Medicare Fraud Scheme

A Chicago man who operated two home health care businesses, one of which was among the state’s largest recipients of Medicare payments, was indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly swindling ...

Operator of Two Home Health Care Businesses Indicted in Alleged Medicare Fraud Scheme

A Chicago man who operated two home health care businesses, one of which was among the state’s largest recipients of Medicare payments, was indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly swindling Medicare of at least $20 million over five years.

The defendant, Jacinto “John” Gabriel, Jr., allegedly schemed with others to submit millions of dollars in false claims for reimbursement of home healthcare services purportedly provided to Medicare beneficiaries, which allegedly were never provided, were not medically necessary, or were inflated in price so that he and others could profit from the fraudulently-obtained funds. Gabriel and his co-schemers allegedly used the proceeds for various purposes, including: using more than $5.5 million in cash to maintain lavish lifestyles, including gambling at casinos in the Chicago area and Las Vegas, and to buy automobiles, jewelry and real estate in the United States and the Philippines; to perpetuate the businesses by paying his employees and providing them with gifts, and to bribe physicians and pay kickbacks to others in exchange for patient referrals.

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Jun 28, 2011 07:15 PM

Mayor of Port Allen, Louisiana Convicted of Racketeering

Derek A. Lewis, 50, of Port Allen, Louisiana, pled guilty to violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Lewis, the mayor of the City of Port Allen, Louisiana, had been ...

Mayor of Port Allen, Louisiana Convicted of Racketeering

Derek A. Lewis, 50, of Port Allen, Louisiana, pled guilty to violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Lewis, the mayor of the City of Port Allen, Louisiana, had been charged by a federal grand jury with a variety of offenses related to his taking of bribes while mayor.

Lewis’s conviction is part of Operation Blighted Officials, an investigation utilizing undercover operations to determine the extent and scope of public corruption. As part of the operation, individuals working undercover for the FBI posed as businessmen affiliated with a company involved in the development of a conceptual product known as the “Cifer 5000.” During his guilty plea, Lewis admitted that, during the period from October 2008 through June 2010, he used his position as mayor to take actions favorable to the businessmen.

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Jun 28, 2011 07:00 PM

Former D.C. Council Member's Chief of Staff Sentenced in Scheme Involving D.C. Taxi Industry

Ted G. Loza, the former chief of staff for a District of Columbia Council member, was sentenced today to eight months in prison for his role in a large-scale, long-term scheme to corrupt the taxicab ...

Former Chief of Staff for D.C. Council Member Sentenced in Scheme Involving D.C. Taxi Industry

Ted G. Loza, the former chief of staff for a District of Columbia Council member, was sentenced today to eight months in prison for his role in a large-scale, long-term scheme to corrupt the taxicab industry in Washington, D.C.

Loza, 46, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty in February 2011 to two charges of accepting illegal gratuities and one charge of making a false statement to the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. Loza is among 27 people who have pled guilty in the investigation. In connection with his guilty plea, Loza admitted that in June and July of 2009, while working as the chief of staff, he received $1,500 in cash payments from Abdul Kamus, then a representative of individuals having a financial interest in the District of Columbia taxicab industry.

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Jun 28, 2011 03:00 PM

Tattoo Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering, Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana

Edward A. Rife, 31, of Westerville, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana and one count of money ...

Tattoo Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering, Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana

Edward A. Rife, 31, of Westerville, pleaded guilty in Columbus, Ohio to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana and one count of money laundering.

According to a statement read by an IRS agent during the hearing, Rife came to law enforcement’s attention during an investigation into a major drug trafficking organization. Rife was receiving and distributing between 10 and 20 pounds of marijuana per month from the organization starting in 2008. In 2009, Rife developed another source of marijuana and began receiving up to 500 pounds of marijuana at a time. He occasionally used his business, Fine Line Ink Tatoos and Piercings, to launder the drug proceeds.

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Jun 27, 2011 07:30 PM

Former Citigroup Vice President Charged with Bank Fraud for Embezzling More Than $19 Million

Gary Foster, a former vice president in Citigroup, Inc.’s treasury finance department, has been arrested on bank fraud charges arising from his alleged embezzlement of more than $19 million. Foster ...

Former Citigroup VP Charged with Embezzling in Alleged $19 Million Bank Fraud

Gary Foster, a former vice president in Citigroup, Inc.’s treasury finance department, has been arrested on bank fraud charges arising from his alleged embezzlement of more than $19 million. Foster was apprehended at John F. Kennedy International Airport Sunday morning when he arrived on a flight from Bangkok.

According to the complaint, Foster transferred money from various Citigroup accounts to Citigroup’s cash account and then to his personal account at a different bank. Between July 2010 and December 2010, he allegedly caused approximately $900,000 to be moved from Citigroup’s interest expense account and approximately $14.4 million from Citigroup’s debt adjustment account to the bank’s cash account, and then caused the money to be wired out of Citigroup’s cash account to his personal account at another bank in eight separate wire transfers.

“The egregious behavior of those who would exploit our banking system for personal and criminal gain will not be tolerated. We remain committed to investigating and apprehending those who cheat the system,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Fedarcyk.

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Jun 27, 2011 07:20 PM

Man Who Shot at FBI Agents Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison

Nicholas Henry, 28, Kansas City, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to kill an FBI agent and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

Man Who Shot at FBI Agents Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison

Nicholas Henry, 28, Kansas City, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to kill an FBI agent and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

In his plea, Henry admitted that on Nov. 1, 2009, he fired at an FBI Task Force Officer in a parking lot at 151st and Ridgeview Road in Olathe, Kan. Henry was in the parking lot when he was approached by members of the FBI Violent Crime Task Force who were attempting to serve a warrant for his arrest. When agents approached him, he produced a .40 caliber handgun and fired two shots at one of the agents who was no more than 10 feet away. Other agents returned fire. Henry was struck multiple times.

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Jun 27, 2011 07:00 PM

MS-13 Street Gang Member Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Murder

Edwin Henriquez, also known as “Joker,” a member of the La Mara Salvatrucha (“MS-13”) street gang on Long Island, was sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment for the September 19, 2004, murder of ...

MS-13 Gang Member Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Murder

Edwin Henriquez, also known as “Joker,” a member of the La Mara Salvatrucha (“MS-13”) street gang on Long Island, was sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment for the September 19, 2004, murder of 16-year-old fellow MS-13 member Olivia Melendez Mendoza (“Melendez”) in Old Westbury, New York.

According to his plea allocution and documents previously filed in the case, Henriquez and other Long Island MS-13 members decided to kill Melendez because they believed that she was not abiding by the gang’s rules. Pursuant to their plan, Henriquez lured Melendez to a wooded area in Old Westbury where he shot her once in the back of the head. On April 12, 2011, Judge Wexler sentenced MS-13 member Jose Recinos, also known as “Psycho” and “Little Psycho,” to 20 years' imprisonment for aiding and abetting Henriquez in the murder.

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