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Showing posts from December, 2009

EEOC Sues Sparks Steak House for Male-On-Male Sexual Harassment, Retaliation

Male Employees Were Groped and Degraded by Management and Co-Workers at Upscale Eatery, Federal Agency Charges

NEW YORK – Sparks Steak House, an upscale restaurant in New York City, violated federal law by creating a hostile work environment for male employees, including physical and verbal sexual harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, male managers and workers at Sparks subjected male employees to ongoing abuse. The misconduct allegedly included groping their buttocks, attempting to touch their genitals and rubbing their bodies into the employees while at work. The managers and co-workers also made numerous crude, obscene comments.

Speak out against racism within the gay community

Every time the issue of racism against black gays from white gays comes up the main stream media has a magical way of making the subject disappear as if it were never brought to light.
I say, hurry up, pass the gay marriage act in the U.S., so that we can concentrate on more important things, like the prevalence of racism within the gay community. Black gays and lesbians have a new song to sing and that song is, We shall over come someday black gays equal to white gays someday.

Outback Steakhouse To Pay $19 Million For Sex Bias Against Women In 'Glass Ceiling' Suit By EEOC

Consent Decree Includes Online Application System, Creation of Executive HR Position

DENVER – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that Outback Steakhouse has agreed to pay $19 million and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a major class lawsuit alleging sex discrimination against thousands of women at hundreds of its corporately-owned restaurants nationwide.

According to the EEOC, Outback discriminated against its female employees with respect to the terms and conditions of employment, and denied women equal opportunities for advancement. The EEOC alleged in the lawsuit that female employees hit a glass ceiling at Outback and could not get promoted to the higher-level profit-sharing management positions in the restaurants. Moreover, the EEOC also alleged that women were denied favorable job assignments, particularly kitchen management experience, which was required for employees to be considered for the top management job in the restauran…

Major International Hacker Pleads Guilty for Massive Attack on U.S. Retail and Banking Networks

WASHINGTON- Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to hack into computer networks supporting major American retail and financial organizations, and to steal data relating to tens of millions of credit and debit cards, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen Milagros Ortiz and Director of the U.S. Secret Service Mark Sullivan.

Gonzalez, aka "segvec," "soupnazi" and "j4guar17," pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to the payment card networks operated by, among others, Heartland Payment Systems, a New Jersey-based card processor; 7-Eleven, a Texas-based nationwide convenience store chain; and Hannaford Brothers Co. Inc., a Maine-based supermarket chain. The plea was entered in federal court in Boston before U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. …

Confronting race and racism : social identity in African American gay men

Confronting race and racism : social identity in African American gay men: "This qualitative study examines how race and racism function in gay communities, looking at factors facing African American gay men in their identity formation and daily experience. Specifically, this study has examined the presence of sexual racism, sexualized racial stereotypes that affect the way men of color are viewed by white gay men. Twelve self-identified African American gay men living in the Boston metropolitan area were recruited by word-of-mouth and snowball sampling. Drawing on existing areas of research, each participant was administered a demographic survey and interviewed about his experiences within predominately white middle-class mainstream gay communities. African American gay men, often considered to be cultural outlaws by both Gay and African American communities, are subjected to sexual and traditional racism, and may be made to feel ignored or excluded from mainstream Lesbian Gay B…

Nigerian National Charged with Attempting to Destroy Northwest Airlines Aircraft

WASHINGTON - A 23-year-old Nigerian man was charged in a federal criminal complaint today with attempting to destroy a Northwest Airlines aircraft on its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Christmas Day, and with placing a destructive device on the aircraft.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, a Nigerian national, boarded Northwest Flight 253 in Amsterdam, Netherlands on December 24, 2009 and had a device attached to his body. As the flight was approaching Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Abdulmutallab set off the device, which resulted in a fire and what appears to have been an explosion. Abdulmutallab was then subdued and restrained by the passengers and flight crew. The airplane landed shortly thereafter, and he was taken into custody by Customs and Border Patrol officers.

Commission Upholds Judge’s Ruling Against Marketers of Bogus Cancer Cures

Deceptive Claims Must Stop, Consumers Must be Notified

The Federal Trade Commission today upheld charges against Daniel Chapter One, an herbal products company, and its officer for making deceptive claims that shark cartilage and certain other herbal formulations prevent, treat, and cure cancer, and lessen the effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

The Commission’s opinion and order prohibit Daniel Chapter One and James Feijo from advertising that the four dietary supplements at issue – BioShark, 7 Herb Formula, GDU, and BioMixx – inhibit tumor formation or growth; eliminate tumors; treat or cure cancer; or heal the effects of radiation or chemotherapy unless the claims are true, non-misleading, and based on scientific evidence. In addition, Daniel Chapter One and Feijo are prohibited from making health claims about any dietary supplement, food, drug, or other health-related product or service unless the claims are substantiated by scientific evidence.

Cristina Andres Perfecto, Sentenced on Sex Trafficking Charges

Cristina Andres Perfecto of Nashville, Tenn., was sentenced late yesterday in federal court in Memphis to 190 months in prison for sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, sex trafficking of a juvenile and conspiracy.

Perfecto pleaded guilty on Aug . 28, 2007, to two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion and sex trafficking of a juvenile in the Western District of Tennessee, as well as one count of conspiracy in the Middle District of Tennessee.

Federal Court Enters $130,000 Consent Decree Ending EEOC Lawsuit Against Mesaba Airlines

Delta Subsidiary Refused to Allow Shift Swaps for Sabbath Observances, Agency Charged

MINNEAPOLIS – Judge Donovan W. Frank of the federal district court in Minneapolis late yesterday entered a consent decree resolving a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Mesaba Airlines. The decree provides for the distribution of $130,000 to five discrimination victims as well as injunctive relief.

In its lawsuit, filed on September 30, 2008, the EEOC alleged that Mesaba Airlines, a regional airline and wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it terminated a Jewish customer service agent (CSA) because she refused to work on the Jewish Sabbath (EEOC v. Mesaba Airlines, D. Minn. No.08-cv-5308 [DWF/AJB].) The EEOC’s case focused upon an alleged Mesaba policy prohibiting employees from making voluntary shift swaps if they were within their initial …

Jack In The Box Sued For Sexual Harassment

EEOC Says Paradise Restaurant Manager Subjected Women to Abuse

SAN FRANCISCO — Jack in the Box franchisee Kobra Associates, Inc., which operates about 70 restaurants in Northern and Eastern California, violated federal law by allowing a manager at its Paradise, Calif., store to sexually harass female employees under his supervision, according to a federal lawsuit filed yesterday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the harassment by the Jack in the Box restaurant manager included frequent remarks about female employees’ anatomy and unwelcome sexual advances and innuendos. The agency’s investigation found that he would refer to women as “bitches,” “sluts” and “whores,” as well as ogle and touch them inappropriately. Despite complaints, including messages left with Jack in the Box’s ethics hotline, the EEOC says, the company failed to take corrective action. Faced with ongoing harassment after a year of raising the issue to the compa…

Chevron to Pay U.S. More Than $45 Million to Resolve Allegations of False Claims for Royalties Underpayment

WASHINGTON – Chevron Corporation, Texaco, Unocal Incorporated and their affiliates (the Chevron companies) have agreed to pay the United States $45,569,584.74, to resolve claims that they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly underpaying royalties owed on natural gas produced from federal and Indian leases, the Justice Department announced today.

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the U.S. Department of the Interior is responsible for overseeing the collection of royalties on federal and Indian leases. Each month, companies are required to report to the MMS the value of the natural gas produced from their federal and Indian leases and to pay a percentage of the reported value as royalties. The settlement resolves claims by the United States that the Chevron, Texaco and Unocal companies improperly deducted from royalty values the cost of boosting gas up to pipeline pressures, used affiliate transactions to falsely reduce the reported value of gas taken from federal and Indian…

Samuel Chai Cho Oh, charged in visa fraud scheme

Foreign nationals allegedly paid defendant thousands for aid in illegally obtaining student visas

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A Korea-born pastor who owns and operates a religious school in Fullerton, Calif., is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court Wednesday to answer to charges that he used the school as a front for an elaborate student visa fraud scheme, going so far as to hand out phony diplomas and stage graduation ceremonies.

Samuel Chai Cho Oh, 65, owner of California Union University (CUU), surrendered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents Tuesday morning. Oh, who also serves as pastor of the Union Church housed on the CUU campus, is accused in a criminal complaint of conspiracy to commit visa fraud.

Court Jails Promoter of Work-At-Home Scam; Envelope-Stuffing Scheme Deceived Spanish-Speaking Consumers

A federal court has jailed the marketer of a deceptive envelope-stuffing scheme for ignoring a court order that required him to stop his illegal practices.

The defendant targeted Spanish-speaking consumers throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, deceiving them to think they could earn substantial income working at home stuffing envelopes in exchange for a $37 fee. The only thing consumers received was a pamphlet telling them to place their own misleading ads to sell the same pamphlet to other consumers. The defendant kept up the scam despite a December 2008 court order that barred him from deceiving consumers and required him to close the post office boxes he used for taking orders.

JOHN RUNOWICZ, has been indicted on charges of grand larceny and falsifying business records

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau today announced the indictment and arrest of a college administrator for stealing over $400,000 from New York University.

The defendant, JOHN RUNOWICZ, 47, has been indicted on charges of grand larceny and falsifying business records. The crimes charged in the indictment occurred between September 11, 2003 and January 27, 2009.

New York University reported the matter to the District Attorney’s Office this summer after the theft was uncovered by an internal audit.

Aaron Rents Settles EEOC Sex Harassment Suit

Store Manager Subjected Customer Service Rep to Sexual Assault, Federal Agency Charged

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill.– The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the settlement of an egregious harassment case against Aaron Rents, Inc., doing business as Aaron Sales & Lease Ownership (Aaron), for significant remedial relief on behalf of a young female worker who was allegedly subjected to a sexually hostile workplace and assaulted by a store manager.

In its lawsuit, filed on September 30, 2008, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Case No. 3:08-cv-00683-MJR-DGW), the EEOC alleged that the general manager of Aaron’s Fairview Heights, Ill.-based store made sexually explicit comments and requests for sex on a regular basis to Ashley Alford, a young customer service representative. The EEOC alleged that the manager repeatedly attempted to force Alford to have sex with him and that the harassment escalated until he sexually assaulted Alford in the store’…

MICHAEL JACKSON Investigative Files Released

In response to Freedom of Information Act requests, the Bureau has released its investigative files on the late entertainer Michael Jackson, who died earlier this year.

The records total 333 pages, divided into seven files. They detail the FBI’s investigation of a man who threatened to kill Jackson, as well as various forms of assistance to California authorities in two cases involving allegations that Jackson had abused children. It should be emphasized that none of these allegations were ever proven in court.

Settlement Reached at Sutton Brook Disposal Area Superfund Site in Massachusetts

A settlement estimated worth more than $30 million will ensure that cleanup of the Sutton Brook Disposal Area Superfund Site in Tewksbury, Mass., will move forward, the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced today.

The agreement, lodged in U.S. district court in Boston, resolves federal and state liability claims against 49 potentially responsible parties for the cleanup of the site.

Two Former San Juan Municipal Police Officers Sentenced for Using Excessive Force Resulting in Death

WASHINGTON – Two former San Juan, Puerto Rico, Municipal Police Officers, Elias Perocier Morales and Eliezer Rivera Gonzalez, were sentenced yesterday in federal court for using excessive force that resulted in the death of Jose Antonio Rivera Robles, the Justice Department announced.

Perocier Morales received a sentence of 10 years in prison. Rivera Gonzalez received a sentence of six and a half years in prison.

Duke Energy to Eliminate Over 85% of Annual Sulfur Dioxide Emissions -- Almost 35,000 Tons -- at Indiana Power Plant

Company Will Pay $400,000 to New York for Projects to Fight Air Pollution and Promote Energy Conservation

NEW YORK, NY (December 22, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York and a coalition of states, joining the U.S. Department of Justice and environmental groups, have reached a settlement with Duke Energy, one of the country’s largest power producers, requiring the company to make dramatic reductions in its air pollution emissions and pay for environmental projects in New York.

Under today’s settlement, Duke Energy will cut almost 35,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions each year from its 550-megawatt Gallagher Generating Station located in New Albany, Indiana. This is equivalent to an 86% reduction in the plant’s total SO2 emissions. The company will also pay $400,000 to New York to fund projects that reduce air pollution and conserve energy.

JAIL TIME FOR NYC PSYCHIATRIST WHO DEFRAUDED MEDICAID

NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 22, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the felony guilty pleas of Dr. Godfrey Mbonu, a psychiatrist, and his corporate medical group Sisck Inc., to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class “C” felony. Mbonu must pay more than $214,000 in restitution to the state and faces up to five to fifteen years in prison.

Mbonu’s plea comes after an extended investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). The MFCU investigation revealed that from 2003 to 2009, Mbonu individually and through his corporation, Sisck Inc., located at 914-A Columbus Avenue in New York City, systematically submitted hundreds of claims to New York State’s Medicaid program for medical services that he or his medical group never provided.

Cuomo’s Office and Fort Drum create initiative to protect military and civilian tenants from unscrupulous landlords and unfair leasing practices

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (December 21, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office has ordered an out-of-state landlord to immediately cease harassing and threatening primarily military tenants over unverified debts. His office is also coordinating an initiative with Fort Drum to protect military and civilian tenants who work at the base from unscrupulous landlords and unfair leases.

Attorney General Cuomo issued a cease-and-desist letter to Peter Hoffman, owner of YNGH, LLC, a rental property owner dealing primarily with military service members and civilians due to its proximity to Fort Drum, ordering immediate compliance with the New York State Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Attorney General’s Office learned that Hoffman regularly contacted tenants’ chain of command to tell them that the renters were in default on their agreements and owed him substantial money. Furthermore, Cuomo’s Office found that even in instances where these debts were under dispute…

United States Transfers 12 Guantanamo Bay Detainees to Afghanistan, Yemen and the Somaliland Region

Twelve detainees have been transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to Afghanistan, Yemen and the Somaliland region.

As directed by the President’s Jan. 22, 2009 Executive Order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of each of these cases. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including potential threat, mitigation measures and the likelihood of success in habeas litigation, the detainees were approved for transfer. In accordance with Congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the Administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer the detainees at least 15 days before their transfer.

Over the weekend, four Afghan detainees, Abdul Hafiz, Sharifullah, Mohamed Rahim and Mohammed Hashim, were transferred to the Government of Afghanistan. In addition, two Somali detainees, Mohammed Soliman Barre and Ismael Arale, were transferred to regional authorities in Somaliland. Finally, six Yemeni detaine…

Ivy Hall Assisted Living Pays $43,000 to Settle Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

EEOC Charged Female Employee Was Fired Because of Muslim Headdress

ATLANTA – Ivy Hall Assisted Living, LLC will pay $43,000 and furnish other relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The agency had charged that Ivy Hall discriminated against a female housekeeper by firing her rather than accommodating her religious belief that she wear a Muslim head scarf (hijab) outside her home. According to the EEOC’s suit, Ivy Hall insisted that, as a condition of her continued employment, Khadija Ahdaoui remove and refrain from wearing her hijab on the job.

Roanoke, Virginia, Neo-Nazi Convicted for Threats, Witness Intimidation

WASHINGTON -- William A. "Bill" White, the self-proclaimed commander of the neo-Nazi group the American National Socialist Workers Party, was convicted by a federal jury for threatening three individuals and for attempting to intimidate litigants in a federal housing discrimination lawsuit, the Justice Department announced. White was convicted today of three counts of communicating threats in interstate commerce, and one count of witness intimidation.

According to the testimony at trial, from late 2006 through mid-2008, White targeted individuals and engaged in a pattern of threatening communications which resulted in those individuals fearing for their personal safety. These communications included late night telephone calls to the victims’ homes, during which he would identify himself as the leader of a white supremacist group; emails to the victims in which he would make threatening statements; and posting the victims’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and other personal in…

Court Approves Distribution of $4.5 Million Settlement in EEOC Age Bias Suit Against Allstate

Class of 90 Older Former Workers to Share Funds in Case Against Insurance Giant


ST. LOUIS – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that Judge E. Richard Webber of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri has granted final approval for distribution of a $4,500,000 monetary award to 90 claimants identified during the litigation as part of an EEOC litigation settlement with Allstate Insurance Company under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

In its lawsuit against the Illinois-based insurance giant, filed in October 2004, the EEOC alleged that a class of older workers at Allstate was adversely impacted based on age during a companywide reorganization. Specifically, the EEOC charged that in the year 2000 Allstate adopted a hiring moratorium for a period of one year, or while severance benefits were being received, that applied to all its employee-sales agents who were part of its Preparing For The Future Reorganization Progr…

Former FBI Contract Linguist Pleads Guilty to Leaking Classified Information to Blogger

A former FBI contract linguist pleaded guilty today to unlawfully providing classified documents to the host of an Internet blog who then published information derived from those documents on the blog.

Shamai Kedem Leibowitz, aka Samuel Shamai Leibowitz, 39, of Silver Spring, Md., pleaded guilty in federal court in Greenbelt, Md., to a one-count information charging him with knowingly and willfully disclosing to an unauthorized person five FBI documents classified at the "secret" level that contained classified information concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States.

Brownsville couple sentenced for smuggling aliens for prostitution A local hotel was used as the headquarters for the prostitution criminal enterprise

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - A local man and woman were sentenced Wednesday for their roles in smuggling illegal aliens into the United States for purposes of prostitution. The sentences were announced by U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson, Southern District of Texas. The investigation was led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Juan Luis Coronado, aka Hernandez, 37, and Lee Ann Zieger, 40, both of Brownsville were sentenced to 87 months and 24 months, respectively, for their roles in a scheme to illegally bring in aliens for purposes of prostitution. The sentences were imposed by U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle at Wednesday's hearing.

Guyanese national charged with smuggling Indian nationals into United States

MIAMI - A Guyanese national has been indicted on charges of conspiracy and alien smuggling in connection with her role in the smuggling or attempted smuggling of four Indian nationals into the United States following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations in Miami.

Annita Devi Gerald, aka Annita Rampersad, 52, was charged in a nine-count indictment filed on Wednesday by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas on charges of conspiracy, encouraging and inducing aliens to come to the United States for profit, and bringing aliens to the United States for profit. Gerald was arrested by ICE special agents in Houston on Nov. 17 and has been held without bond since that time.

Economy Finance Settles EEOC Disability Bias Suit

Loan Company to Pay $65,000 to Former Clerk Discharged After Objecting to Illegal Medical Exam

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Economy Finance, a personal loan company that formerly did business in Aransas Pass, Texas, will pay a former loan clerk $65,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC’s lawsuit, Civil Action No. 2:09-cv-00184, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division, charged that Economy Finance refused to allow an employee to return to work unless she submitted to a medical exam that would detect viruses. The company insisted that she take the exam after it became aware that her husband had a medical condition related to Hepatitis C. This medical exam was not job-related, according to the EEOC, because any possible safety risk to others posed by the loan clerk’s job duties would be insignificant. The EEOC further allege…

CUOMO ANNOUNCES $24 MILLION MEDICAID FRAUD SETTLEMENT WITH THREE HOME HEALTH AGENCIES

NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 17, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and U.S. Attorney Benton J. Campbell today announced a settlement with three home health agencies resolving Cuomo’s lawsuit against one of them and three whistleblower lawsuits that alleged the agencies defrauded the Medicaid program. This is the largest settlement Cuomo’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has reached with the home health industry in New York State.

The settlement arises from the agencies’ use of hundreds of home health aides who had received little or no required training. The agencies sent these aides daily into the homes of New York’s elderly, frail and indigent to provide sensitive medical care. As a result, these aides caused Medicaid to be billed for millions of dollars for services they were not qualified to provide.

CUOMO OBTAINS COURT ORDER FREEZING ASSETS OF BROOKLYN PONZI AND PYRAMID SCHEME

NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 17, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a court order freezing the assets of Unlimited Wealth Associates and company officials Robert Donald and his wife Annette Stuart Donald, as well as numerous other businesses under their control, for allegedly operating a combination Ponzi and pyramid scheme out of Donald’s home in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn in violation of the state’s securities law, known as the “Martin Act.”

According to court papers, the Attorney General’s investigation has revealed that Donald and his wife, while operating businesses using the names Unlimited Wealth Associates, United Wealth Associates, Unlimited Enterprises, and Wealth Associates Group, fraudulently obtained at least $7 million from more than 1,000 investors nationwide in a series of get-rich-quick schemes.

US Department of Labor recovers more than $1.7 million in fringe benefits for 483 employees of VMT Long Term Care Management Inc.

WASHINGTON — VMT Long Term Care Management Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor for underpaying employees' health and welfare fringe benefits, violating the fringe benefits provisions of the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA).

The SCA requires contractors and subcontractors performing services on prime contracts in excess of $2,500 to pay service employees in various classes no less than the wage rates and fringe benefits — which include vacation, holidays, and health and welfare — found prevailing in the locality, or the rates (including prospective increases) contained in a predecessor contractor's collective bargaining agreement.

FTC Charges Anticompetitive Tactics Have Stifled Innovation and Harmed Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission today sued Intel Corp., the world’s leading computer chip maker, charging that the company has illegally used its dominant market position for a decade to stifle competition and strengthen its monopoly.

In its complaint, the FTC alleges that Intel has waged a systematic campaign to shut out rivals’ competing microchips by cutting off their access to the marketplace. In the process, Intel deprived consumers of choice and innovation in the microchips that comprise the computers’ central processing unit, or CPU. These chips are critical components that often are referred to as the “brains” of a computer.

Gay Racism in the Castro

In his classic poem "Tongues Untied," black gay poet Marlon Riggs reflects on his experience of moving to San Francisco decades ago. "In this great gay mecca," he writes, "I was an invisible man, still. I had no shadow, no substance. No history, no place. No reflection."

Marlon Riggs is not alone. Black gay men have complained for years about racism in the gay community, but many of these complaints have been dismissed by the larger gay community as the rantings of a few. Now comes a new report from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission that confirms what many of us have known all along: racism is alive and well, even in the legendary Castro district of San Francisco. Read more...

Atherton settles sexual harassment, discrimination lawsuit

Atherton has agreed to shell out $230,000 to settle a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit a former police officer filed against the town and one of its employees, attorneys said Monday.

In the April documents filed in San Mateo County Superior Court, former Atherton police Officer Pilar Ortiz-Buckley accused Public Works Supervisor Troy Henderson of making salacious remarks and grabbing her in the police break room. Read more...

Albertsons Agrees To Pay $8.9 Million For Job Bias Based On Race, Color, National Origin, Retaliation

EEOC Says Employees Subjected to Swastikas, Lynching Drawings, Epithets

DENVER – Albertsons, LLC, a national grocery chain, will pay $8.9 million and furnish other relief to settle three employment discrimination lawsuits filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged Albertsons with race, color, and national origin discrimination and retaliation at its Aurora, Colo., distribution center. The monetary relief will be distributed among 168 former and current employees.

All three of the EEOC’s cases stemmed from incidents at the Aurora distribution center, which is being closed for unrelated reasons. The first case, EEOC v. Albertsons LLC, Civil Action No. 06-cv-01273, was filed in 2006 and alleged a pattern or practice of workplace harassment and discrimin­ation based on race, color and national origin. According to the lawsuit, minority employees were repeatedly subjected to derogatory comments and graffiti.…

Two Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, Men and Four Police Officers Indicted for Hate Crime and Related Corruption

WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury has returned multiple indictments arising out of a fatal racially motivated beating and related police corruption in Shenandoah, Pa., the Justice Department announced. The three indictments include federal hate crime, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, official misconduct and extortion charges. The indictments were unsealed today, after being returned under seal on Dec. 10, 2009.

The first indictment charges Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky with a federal hate crime for fatally beating Luis Ramirez, a Latino male, while shouting racial epithets at him. According to the indictment, on July 12, 2008, the defendants, and others, were walking home from a local festival when they encountered Ramirez. The defendants then attacked Ramirez in a public street by striking and kicking him while members of the group yelled racial slurs at him. Ramirez died two days later from his injuries. The indictment also alleges that, immediately following the beating, …

University of Phoenix Settles False Claims Act Lawsuit for $67.5 Million

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department announced today that the University of Phoenix has agreed to pay the United States $67.5 million to resolve allegations that its student recruitment policies violated the False Claims Act.

This case began as a whistleblower action filed in the Eastern District of California under the False Claims Act, which permits private citizens to bring lawsuits for fraud on behalf of the United States and to share in any recovery. Whistleblowers Mary Hendow and Julie Behn, two former University of Phoenix employees, alleged that the university accepted federal student financial aid while in violation of statutory and regulatory provisions prohibiting post-secondary schools from paying admissions counselors certain forms of incentive-based compensation tied to the number of students recruited. Though the United States did not intervene in this action, the Government provided support and assistance to the whistleblowers at many stages of the case, including filin…

New York-Based Home Warranty Company to Pay $900,000 for Victimizing Consumers across the Country through False Internet Advertising

NEW YORK, NY (December 15, 2009) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a court victory in a lawsuit his office filed against National Home Protection, Inc. (“NHP”), a now-defunct home-warranty company, for a deceptive home warranty scheme that defrauded consumers in New York and across the country.

The court found NHP engaged in false and misleading advertising, made multiple misrepresentations and violated New York consumer protection and insurance laws. Subsequently, the company and its principals, Leo Serrur, David Seruya and Victor Hakim, agreed to pay $900,000 in restitution, penalties and costs. The agreement was approved by the New York Supreme Court on December 14.

CUOMO ANNOUNCES INTERIM COURT ORDER SHUTTING DOWN ALL ACTIVITIES OF THE “UNITED HOMELESS ORGANIZATION”

NEW YORK, NY (December 15, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced his office has obtained an interim court order shutting down the New York City-based not-for-profit group United Homeless Organization, Inc. (“UHO”). The court order requires UHO to immediately halt all charitable solicitations from the public by any means and freezes UHO’s assets, including bank accounts and vehicles.

Last month Attorney General Cuomo filed a lawsuit against UHO, its founder and president Stephen Riley, and its director Myra Walker, alleging that Riley and Walker used the organization to dupe the public into donating cash to fund services for the homeless, when the money was instead used for personal expenses.

Former Chairman and CEO of Mayfair Capital Group, LLC Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to $5.75 Million Fraud

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and JOSEPH F. DEMAREST, JR., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), announced that STEPHEN R. GREEN, former Chairman and CEO of Mayfair Capital Group ("Mayfair Group") and former Founder and Chairman of NoonMark Advisors, LLC, which GREEN managed in Manhattan, pleaded guilty today to fraud charges related to his misappropriation of over $5.75 million from investors for his own use. GREEN, 46, of Locust Valley, New York, entered his guilty plea today before United States District Judge JOHN G. KOELTL in Manhattan federal court.

According to the Information to which GREEN pleaded, the criminal Complaint previously filed in this case, and statements made during the guilty plea proceeding:

$26 million in counterfeits seized

WASHINGTON - The partners of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), state and local law enforcement and the Government of Mexico announced the seizures of millions of dollars of counterfeit products in Operation Holiday Hoax, a week of joint law enforcement activities targeting counterfeiters and trademark pirates, their distributors, associates, shippers, warehouses, salesmen and vendors in the United States and Mexico. More than 708,250 products were seized in 41 locations around the United States. Seven persons were arrested and charged in New York and Texas.

Mexico seized 255 tons of counterfeit products during parallel operations.

North Dakota Executive Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud

WASHINGTON - Micheal Fisher, a former co-owner of Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. Inc. (FSG) based in Dickinson, N.D., was sentenced to 37 months in prison today by Judge Daniel L. Hovland in Bismark, N.D., the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Judge Hovland also ordered Fisher to pay a $90,000 fine and to pay restitution of $308,069.

On May 29, 2009, Fisher pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding the IRS, four counts of aiding in the filing of false federal tax returns for FSG and four counts of filing false individual tax returns.

Bahama Breeze to Pay $1.26 Million to Settle Suit for Racial Harassment of Black Workers

CLEVELAND – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced a class litigation settlement with national restaurant chain Bahama Breeze for $1,260,000 and significant remedial relief in a case alleging repeated racial harassment of 37 black workers at the company’s Beachwood, Ohio location.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Bahama Breeze managers committed numerous and persistent acts of racial harassment against black employees, including frequently addressing black staff with slurs such as “n….r,” “Aunt Jemima,” “homeboy,” “stupid n….r,” and “you people.” Additionally, managers allegedly imitated what they perceived to be the speech and mannerisms of black employees, and denied them breaks while allowing breaks to white employees. Despite the employees’ complaints to management, the alleged race-based harassment continued.

State National Training Service held seminars throughout NYS wrought with false claims to entice individuals looking for jobs to pay $1,000 for worthl

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (December 14, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced his office has filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey-based company that sold a study-at-home course to unemployed New Yorkers with false promises that the course would lead to civil service jobs.

Cuomo’s lawsuit outlines a pattern of misrepresentations by State National Training Service, Inc. (SNTS) a New Jersey-based company that sells a study-at-home course it claims helps consumers pass civil service exams and gain employment. The company’s misrepresentations led countless unemployed and desperate consumers to enroll with SNTS only to realize afterwards that they had been scammed.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT, RAPE, AND CHILD MOLESTATION ARE ALL ROOTED IN POWER!

Look at all the similarities: A papist uses a weapon or the threat of violence to force his victim to submit to a sexual assault, a child molester uses his or her power as an adult to rape a child and an employer or those empowered by an employer will use the threat of termination from a job to get a victim to submit to sexual assault. Sexual harassers, rapist, and child-molesters are all perverts! They all use power to achieve their perverted goals.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 6, 2007) — In the hands of the wrong person, power can be dangerous. That's especially the case in the workplace, where the abuse of power can lead to sexual harassment.

Closeted Gay Politicians: OUTRAGE Movie Trailer

Pop-Up Security Warnings Pose Threats

The FBI warned consumers today about an ongoing threat involving pop-up security messages that appear while they are on the Internet. The messages may contain a virus that could harm your computer, cause costly repairs or, even worse, lead to identity theft. The messages contain scareware, fake or rogue anti-virus software that looks authentic.

The message may display what appears to be a real-time, anti-virus scan of your hard drive. The scareware will show a list of reputable software icons; however, you can’t click a link to go to the real site to review or see recommendations. Cyber criminals use botnets—collections of compromised computers—to push the software, and advertisements on websites deliver it. This is known as malicious advertising or “malvertising.”

Westgate Capital Fund Manager Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to $133 Million Ponzi Scheme

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JAMES NICHOLSON—the President, Senior Portfolio Manager, and sole managing member of investment firm Westgate Capital Management LLC—pleaded guilty today in Manhattan federal court before United States District Judge RICHARD J. SULLIVAN to three felony charges, including securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, and mail fraud, involving losses of approximately $133 million.

According to the Complaint and Indictment previously filed in this case, as well as statements made during NICHOLSON's guilty plea proceeding:

Ninth Person Pleads Guilty to Illegally Accessing Confidential Passport Files

A ninth individual pleaded guilty today to illegally accessing numerous confidential passport application files, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division announced. Debra Sue Brown, 47, of Oxon Hill, Md., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola in the District of Columbia to a one-count criminal information charging her with unauthorized computer access. Brown is scheduled to be sentenced on Mar. 23, 2010.

According to court documents, Brown has worked full-time for the State Department since Sept. 1995 as a file clerk and a file assistant in the Bureau of Consular Affairs. In pleading guilty, Brown admitted that she had access to official State Department computer databases in the regular course of her job, including the Passport Information Electronic Records System (PIERS), which contains all imaged passport applications dating back to 1994. The imaged passport applications on PIERS contain, among other things, a photograph of the pass…

EEOC Sues YRC, Inc. / Yellow Transportation For Widespread Race Discrimination At Chicago Ridge

CHICAGO – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit late yesterday against YRC, Inc., alleging that it subjected black employees at its Chicago Ridge, Ill., facility to a racially hostile working environment. The suit also names Yellow Transportation, which operated the facility until its merger with Roadway Express, which resulted in the combination of the companies under the YRC, Inc. name in October 2008. YRC, Inc. is now the nation’s largest less-than-truckload freight hauling company and is headquartered in Overland Park, Kan.

According to the EEOC’s complaint, since at least 2004, black employees at the Chicago Ridge facility were subjected to hangman’s nooses, racist graffiti and racist comments. During this time, the complaint also alleges, YRC subjected black employees to harsher discipline and scrutiny than their white counterparts, and gave more difficult and time-consuming work assignments to black employees than white employees. Accord…

Paramount Multiservices Companies Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit with EEOC

Telemarketing Companies’ HR Managers Forced Women to Endure Offensive Sexual Comments, Federal Agency Charged

DALLAS – A group of related Dallas telemarketing companies will pay $37,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that two managers at Paramount Multiservices sexually harassed two female employees and forced one of them to quit.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 3-08CV1349-N in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas), Paramount Multiservices' human resources manager and his assistant manager commented to female employees about their breasts and asked them questions about their sex lives. The women said that these comments were offensive and unwelcome, the EEOC said, but it continued.

CUOMO ANNOUNCES GOOGLE, YAHOO! & AOL AGREE TO USE “E-STOP” LAW TO PURGE NEW YORK SEX OFFENDERS FROM THEIR SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 10, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced today that 13 additional social networking sites, including those owned by Google, Yahoo!, and AOL, have agreed to remove New York sex offenders from their sites. This comes in the wake of the Attorney General’s announcement last week that the two largest social networking sites, Facebook and MySpace, had successfully removed over 3,500 sex offenders.

As of today, 15 major social networking companies have agreed to use New York’s Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP), authored by Cuomo, to purge registered sex offenders from their sites. The law requires all registered sex offenders to register their email accounts, screen names and any other Internet identifiers with the state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). That information is then made available to social networking sites. Several other companies continue to ignore this critical measure to make the Internet safer.

EEOC Sues M. Slavin & Sons, Inc. for Male-On-Male Sexual, Racial & National Origin Harassment

Male Employees, Particularly Black Men, Were Consistently Abused and Degraded by Owners of Fish Market, Federal Agency Charges

NEW YORK – M. Slavin & Sons, a retail and wholesale fish market, violated federal law by creating a hostile work environment for male employees, including physical and verbal sexual harassment and offensive and degrading comments based on race and national origin, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed on 12/07/2009.

According to the EEOC’s suit, some of the owners and managers of M. Slavin & Sons subjected male employees, particularly black employees, including both black Americans and at least one immigrant from Africa, to ongoing harassment. The misconduct included groping their buttocks, putting fish hooks into their buttocks and unnecessarily rubbing their bodies into the employees when passing them by. The owners and managers also made numerous crude, obscene sexual and/or racist comments. One owner us…

CUOMO SECURES AGREEMENT WITH RIVERSTONE FOUNDER DAVID LEUSCHEN TO PAY $20 MILLION IN RESTITUTION TO RESOLVE ROLE IN CONTINUING STATE PENSION FUND INVE

NEW YORK, NY (December 9, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an agreement with David Leuschen, the founder of private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC (“Riverstone”), to resolve Leuschen’s role in Cuomo’s investigation of corruption involving the New York State Common Retirement Fund (“the CRF”). Under the terms of today’s agreement, Leuschen will pay $20 million in restitution for the benefit of the CRF. With this agreement, Cuomo’s investigation has collected over $100 million for the retirement fund and the state.

“It is important that both firms and individuals be held accountable for conduct that jeopardized the integrity of the New York State Common Retirement Fund,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “To date we have collected over $100 million through this investigation for the retirement fund and the state. As these sums return value to the state pension fund, we continue to pursue the critical reforms that are necessary to prevent such rampant abuse from ag…

Phoenix Car Dealers to Pay $500,000 to Settle Suit For Race and Sex Harassment, Retaliation

PHOENIX – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that Bell Road Kia and Bell Road Automall will pay five former employees a total of one half of a million dollars and furnish significant remedial relief in the form of a consent decree to settle a lawsuit brought by the federal agency alleging racial harassment, sexual harassment and retaliation.

In its lawsuit, filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in federal district court, the EEOC charged that both dealerships knew about and tolerated a work environment permeated by sexual and racial harassment (EEOC v. SWMW Management, Inc., Bell Road Automall, Inc., and Big Bell 21 LLC, doing business as Bell Road Kia, CV 08-00946-PHX-GMS). According to the EEOC, the hostile work environment allegedly included the following:

EEOC Sues M. Slavin & Sons, Inc. for Male-On-Male Sexual, Racial & National Origin Harassment

Male Employees, Particularly Black Men, Were Consistently Abused and Degraded by Owners of Fish Market, Federal Agency Charges

NEW YORK – M. Slavin & Sons, a retail and wholesale fish market, violated federal law by creating a hostile work environment for male employees, including physical and verbal sexual harassment and offensive and degrading comments based on race and national origin, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, some of the owners and managers of M. Slavin & Sons subjected male employees, particularly black employees, including both black Americans and at least one immigrant from Africa, to ongoing harassment. The misconduct included groping their buttocks, putting fish hooks into their buttocks and unnecessarily rubbing their bodies into the employees when passing them by. The owners and managers also made numerous crude, obscene sexual and/or racist comments. One owner used the…

Chicagoan Charged with Conspiracy in 2008 Mumbai Attacks in Addition to Foreign Terror Plot in Denmark

New federal charges filed today allege that a Chicago man, who was arrested in October for planning terrorist attacks against a Danish newspaper and two of its employees, also conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years preceding the November 2008 terrorist attack on India’s largest city that killed approximately 170 people, including six Americans, and injured hundreds more.

The defendant, David Coleman Headley, a U.S. citizen, earlier this decade allegedly attended terrorism training camps in Pakistan maintained by Lashkar e Tayyiba (Lashkar), and conspired with its members and others in planning and executing the attacks in both Denmark and India, federal law enforcement officials announced today.

U.S. Settles Lawsuit with Itochu Corp. and Itochu International Regarding Defective Bullet-Proof Vests

WASHINGTON - The United States has reached a $6.75 million settlement with Itochu Corp. of Japan and its American subsidiary, Itochu International Inc., to resolve claims under the False Claims Act in connection with the companies’ importation and sale of defective Zylon fiber used as the key ballistic material in bullet-proof vests purchased by the United States for federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies, the Justice Department announced today.

The Itochu companies imported the Zylon fiber on behalf of the Zylon manufacturer, Toyobo Co. Ltd. of Japan. The United States alleged that the Itochu companies were aware that the fiber degraded quickly over time and that the companies knew that this degradation rendered bullet-proof vests containing woven Zylon unfit for use. The government further alleged that, despite this knowledge, Itochu personnel actively participated in the marketing of the Zylon fiber and downplayed the extent of the degradation problem.

BIURNY PEGUERO, 27, has been indicted on multiple counts of perjury

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau today announced the indictment, arrest and guilty plea of a New Jersey woman in connection with her false rape accusations that led to a man’s conviction.

BIURNY PEGUERO, 27, has been indicted on multiple counts of perjury. The crimes charged in the indictment occurred on September 30, 2005 and September 26, 2006.

Plattsburgh dealership’s ads misled consumers with offers of zero-percent financing and “guaranteed credit approval,” with unreadable foot notes contr

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (December 7, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office reached a settlement with a Plattsburgh-area car dealership stopping it from deceiving customers through false advertisements.

Under a Consent Judgment entered in Clinton County Supreme Court, Della North, Inc. will pay costs and penalties of $7,000 to the state and cease running deceptive advertisements for its Della Suzuki dealership, located on Route 3 in Plattsburgh. The company must also maintain copies of all its advertisements for two years for inspection by the Attorney General’s Office.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges New York City Police Officer and Associate with Drug and Extortion Offenses

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, JOSEPH DEMAREST, JR., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), and RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York, announced today the arrests of JUAN ACOSTA, a police officer with the New York City Police Department ("NYPD"), and YORICK RAFAEL CORNIEL-PEREZ, on charges stemming from their participation in cocaine distribution and extortion crimes. ACOSTA additionally was charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm in furtherance of the narcotics and extortion offenses. CORNIEL-PEREZ was presented in Manhattan federal court yesterday and ordered detained. ACOSTA is expected to be presented in Manhattan federal court later today.

According to the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

ACOSTA has been employed as an NYPD police officer since March 2000. ACOSTA's most recent assignment was …

Hudson Valley Hospital to Pay $142,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. – Hudson Valley Hospital Center, Inc., a community hospital bordering Peekskill, N.Y., will pay $142,500 to a former nurse to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2007, the federal agency announced today.

The EEOC’s lawsuit (Civil Action No. 07-CV-83760), filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in White Plains, charged that the hospital discriminated against Glorianne Romano on the basis of her disability, Type I “brittle” diabetes, after she experienced a diabetic coma for which she was treated there. Specifically, the lawsuit charged that the hospital failed to grant Romano a reasonable accommodation to permit her to modify her part-time work schedule as an employee health nurse so that she would work three days in a row rather than alternate work days. Romano’s treating doctor submitted documentation stating that she needed a more consistent schedule to …

JEREMY FULTON, has been indicted on charges of predatory sexual assault against a child

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau today announced the indictment and arrest of a 27-year-old man, a youth minister, for sexually abusing a girl who attended his church.

The defendant, JEREMY FULTON, has been indicted on charges of predatory sexual assault against a child, rape, course of criminal sexual conduct against a child and endangering the welfare of a child. The crimes charged in the indictment occurred between July 2007 and October 2009.

Federal probation officer pleads guilty to drug trafficking and bribery Probation officer was providing confidential information to drug traffickers

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - A U.S. probation officer pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and bribery of a public official. The plea was announced by U. S. Attorney Tim Johnson, Southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in conjunction with the FBI.

Armando Mora, 36, of Edinburg, Texas, assigned to the Rio Grande City office of the U.S. Probation Office, pleaded guilty to two counts contained in the indictment at a Dec. 2 hearing in federal court before U.S. District Judge Hilda G. Tagle. Mora is facing at least 10 years up to life imprisonment, in addition to millions of dollars in fines for the drug trafficking offense. On the bribery offense Mora could face a maximum punishment of 15 years imprisonment and thousands in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for March 2 at 1:30 p.m.

Federal Jury Finds Tom Petters Guilty of Orchestrating $3.65 Billion Ponzi Scheme

ST. PAUL, MN—Late last night, a federal trial jury convicted Thomas Joseph Petters, 53, of Wayzata, Minn., of orchestrating a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme. The verdict followed a month-long trial before U.S. District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle in the U.S. Courthouse in St. Paul, Minn. Specifically, Petters, who was originally indicted in December 2008, was found guilty of 10 counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and five counts of money laundering.

According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, Petters, aided and abetted by others, defrauded and obtained billions of dollars in money and property by inducing investors to provide PCI funds to purchase merchandise that was to be resold to retailers at a profit. However, no such purchases were made. Instead, the defendants and co-conspirators diverted the funds provided them for other purposes, such as making l…

Two Foreign Nationals Sentenced for Roles in International Money Laundering Scheme Involving Online Sales

Two Bulgarian nationals have been sentenced in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia for their roles as money launderers for a transnational criminal group based in Eastern Europe, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.

Ivaylo Vasilev Pletnyov, 39, of Svishtov, Bulgaria, was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman for conspiracy to commit money laundering. Pletnyov was also sentenced to three years of supervised release following his prison term and was ordered to pay $306,502 in restitution. Pletnyov pleaded guilty on Jan. 15, 2009.

Bankruptcy Trustee Settles Retaliation Suit On Behalf Of Debtor EaglePicher Technologies, LLC

ST. LOUIS -- EaglePicher Technologies, LLC, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2005, has settled a retaliation and termination lawsuit with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for over $35,000 through its bankruptcy trustee, the agency announced today.

The suit, filed by the EEOC on behalf of EaglePicher Technologies employee Brenda McCollum, was based on the company’s 2004 termination of her. The EEOC alleged the firing was in retaliation for McCollum’s complaints of sex discrimination and her participation in a 2003 discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC.

REMY BUILDERS CORPORATION, and its owner RICHARD MARTINEZ, 43, were indicted

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced today the indictment of a Long Island City-based general contracting firm, REMY BUILDERS CORPORATION, and its principal for defrauding 16 employees out of over $450,000 in unpaid wages and benefits.

The defendants, REMY BUILDERS CORPORATION, and its owner RICHARD MARTINEZ, 43, were indicted on charges of grand larceny and offering false instruments for filing. The crimes charged in the indictment occurred between August 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.

Operation Re-Sale’ Leads to Seizure of Cocaine and Cash; Part of AG Cuomo’s Upstate Guns, Gangs, and Drugs Initiative

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (December 3, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced narcotics trafficking and other charges have been filed against 21 individuals accused of taking part in a drug distribution network that was funneling cocaine from the Bronx to Rochester and was then re-sold in Cayuga, Ontario, Seneca, and Monroe Counties and elsewhere in New York.

According to court records, an investigation by the Attorney General’s Organized Task Force (OCTF) and the Finger Lakes Drugs Task Force dubbed, “Operation Re-Sale,” led to the seizure of more than a kilogram of cocaine with an estimated street value of $56,000 and approximately $50,000 cash, most of which was found in a secret compartment built into a Dodge Nitro operated by defendant Hamlet Florencio-Peralta.

Elliott Broidy Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge of Rewarding Official Misconduct Through Gifts of Nearly a Million Dollars For $250 Million Investment i

NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 3, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a felony guilty plea by Elliott Broidy, a founder and Chairman of Markstone Capital Group LLC, for his involvement in a pay-to-play kickback scheme at the Office of the New York State Comptroller (“OSC”).

Broidy acknowledged paying nearly one million dollars in gifts for the benefit of OSC officials to obtain a $250 million investment from the New York State Common Retirement Fund (“CRF”) in Markstone Capital Partners, L.P. (the “Markstone Fund”). Broidy pleaded guilty to a felony charge of rewarding official misconduct and will cooperate in the Attorney General’s ongoing investigation. Broidy will also forfeit $18 million in connection with his plea.