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Showing posts from June, 2010

Thirteen Indicted in Broward Mortgage Investment Scheme

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Amos Rojas, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office; Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and J. Thomas Cardwell, Commissioner, State of Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, announced today that an Indictment was unsealed at the Fort Lauderdale Federal Courthouse against:

* Joseph Guaracino, 32, Plantation, Florida
* Steven Stoll, 43, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
* Stephen Orchard, 34, Boca Raton, Florida
* Matthew Gulla, 35, Davie, Florida
* Rene Rodriguez, Jr., 37, Plantation, Florida
* Dennis Guaracino, Jr., 34, Plantation, Florida
* Jacqueline Trumbore, 39, Margate, Florida
* John Velez, 37, Plantation, Florida
* Daryl Radziwon, 39, Plantation, Florida
* Casey Mittauer, 37, Cooper City, Florida
* Joseph…

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Joran van der Sloot for Wire Fraud and Extortion

BIRMINGHAM, AL—A federal grand jury today indicted JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, a citizen of the Netherlands, on charges of wire fraud and extortion for soliciting money from Natalee Holloway’s mother on promises he would reveal the location of her daughter’s remains in Aruba and the circumstances of her 2005 death, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick Maley announced.

“I want to applaud the FBI’s work on this case,” Vance said. “The FBI worked diligently, and in association with Aruban authorities, to investigate and gather evidence in this matter after learning that Beth Holloway had been contacted and told she could finally gain information about the death of her daughter if she would pay $250,000,” Vance said. “Because of the agents’ dedicated efforts, we are able to bring charges against someone who sought profit in a mother’s grief.”

IMPOSTER RABBI MUCHAEL STREICER Is Sentenced To 1 to 3 Years

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the sentencing of MUCHAEL STREICER, who conned his victim out of $36,000 by posing as a rabbi promising to buy her a Torah from Israel in 2005, then fleeing the country with her money. STREICER was sentenced on June 29, 2010, to 1 to 3 years in state prison. He made restitution to the victim in the amount of $36,000.

"The defendant took advantage of someone's religious faith for personal gain," said District Attorney Vance. "The defendant's conduct was unethical and, in this case, criminal. This conviction and sentencing bring a measure of justice to a victim whose trust was exploited."

Five Brothers Charged in Human Trafficking Scheme That Smuggled Young Ukrainian Migrants

WASHINGTON - An indictment unsealed today in Philadelphia charged Omelyan Botsvynyuk, Stepan Botsvynyuk, Mykhaylo Botsvynyuk, Dmytro Botsvynyuk, and Yaroslav Botsvynyuk, a/k/a Yaroslav Churuk, with extortion and conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) for their alleged involvement in a human trafficking operation, the Justice Department announced.

Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk of the Philadelphia Field Office and ICE Special Agent-in-Charge John P. Kelleghan announced the indictment.

'Telefunder' to Pay $300,000 for Abandoning Millions of Telemarketing Calls to Potential Charity Donors

Company Also Allegedly Called Thousands of Consumers Who Asked Not to be Called

The president of a Georgia-based telemarketing company will pay $300,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that his company “abandoned” millions of calls when consumers answered their telephones. The FTC also alleged that the defendants made thousands of illegal calls to consumers who had told the company that they did not wish to be called.

According to the FTC’s complaint, JAK Productions, Inc. and its president John Keller, worked as “telefunders” – for-profit telemarketers who call potential donors seeking donations on behalf of charities. JAK operates out of Atlanta, Georgia, and has used call centers in West Virginia.

International Vehicle Theft And Export Ring Has Been Dismantled

NEW YORK, NY (June 30, 2010) Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, joined by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, and New York State Police Superintendent John Melville, today announced the dismantling of a sophisticated, international, luxury-vehicle theft ring that allegedly stole hundreds of vehicles in New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Today, a series of early morning raids conducted by Attorney General Cuomo’s Organized Crime Task Force, the New York City Police Department’s Organized Crime Control Bureau Auto Crime Division, and the New York State Police’s Auto Theft Unit capped an investigation dubbed “Operation Trans Atlantic.” The vehicle theft ring was comprised of 17 individuals including exporters, steal men, brokers, a garage attendant, and two Toyota dealership employees who supplied duplicate vehicle keys.

Taiwan LCD Producer Agrees to Plead Guilty and Pay $30 Million Fine for Participating in LCD Price-Fixing Conspiracy

Fines Obtained in LCD Investigation Total More Than $890 Million

WASHINGTON—A Taiwan thin-film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panel producer and seller has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $30 million criminal fine for its role in a global conspiracy to fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels, the Department of Justice announced today.

According to a one-count felony charge filed today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, HannStar Display Corporation, based in Taipei, Taiwan, participated in a conspiracy from Sept. 14, 2001, to Jan. 31, 2006, to fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels sold worldwide. According to the plea agreement, which is subject to court approval, HannStar has agreed to cooperate with the department’s ongoing TFT-LCD investigation.

Ten Alleged Secret Agents Arrested in the United States Multi-Year FBI Investigation Uncovers Network in the United States Tasked with Recruiting Sources and Collecting Information for Russia

WASHINGTON—Eight individuals were arrested Sunday for allegedly carrying out long-term, “deep-cover” assignments in the United States on behalf of the Russian Federation, the Justice Department announced today. Two additional defendants were also arrested Sunday for allegedly participating in the same Russian intelligence program within the United States.

In total, 11 defendants, including the 10 arrested, are charged in two separate criminal complaints with conspiring to act as unlawful agents of the Russian Federation within the United States. Federal law prohibits individuals from acting as agents of foreign governments within the United States without prior notification to the U.S. Attorney General. Nine of the defendants are also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

PETCO To Pay $145,000 For Failing To Accommodate Deaf Pet Groomer

Deaf Groomer Penalized for Inability to Speak While Her Customers Were Funneled to Non-Deaf Employees, EEOC Charged

DENVER – Pet store giant PETCO Animal Supplies Stores, Inc. will pay $145,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged the company with failing to accommodate a deaf pet groomer formerly employed at one of its stores in Aurora, Colo.

According to the EEOC, San Diego-based PETCO hired Nancy Buchner – who has over 30 years’ pet grooming experience – as a pet stylist in 2001. Profoundly deaf since birth, Buchner communicates most effectively in sign language. Upon hire, PETCO’s management assured Buchner that other employees would assist in scheduling her appointments via telephone as a reasonable accommodation.

FBI Hosts Conference to Educate About Hate Crimes

Today the New York office of the FBI, in coordination with the Department of Justice, hosted a community conference to educate law enforcement, prosecutors, and community organizations about enhanced federal statutory authority on civil rights. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 was the focus of this meeting. Over 100 participants came together to learn about investigating, prosecuting, and preventing hate crimes and were treated to a special presentation by Dennis Shepard, father of Matthew Shepard.

Hate crimes remain all too prevalent in our nation and investigating hate crimes is a high priority for the FBI. The FBI’s jurisdiction to investigate hate crimes was primarily predicated on four federal statutes. When The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 became effective as of October 28, 2009, it created a fifth statute. This legislation was signed into law by President Obama and was landmark because it is the…

FORMER NASSAU COUNTY LEGISLATOR ROGER CORBIN SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS FOLLOWING CONVICTIONS FOR FILING FALSE TAX RETURNS, TAX EVASION, AND MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York, Roger Corbin, a former Nassau County Legislator who represented the Second Legislative District from 1995 until December 31, 2009, was sentenced to 18 months of incarceration by United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein. Corbin pleaded guilty earlier this year to all seven counts of a superseding indictment, which charged him with tax evasion and filing false federal tax returns for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007, and making false statements to Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. Judge Feuerstein also imposed 3 years of supervised release, a $700 special assessment and ordered Corbin to pay $92,170 in restitution.

Corbin’s sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, George C. Venizelos, Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and Charles R. Pine,…

Former Midway Airport customs officer indicted for allegedly taking bribes

CHICAGO - A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervisor at Midway International Airport will be arraigned this week on federal charges alleging that he received $52,000 in bribes to allow foreign restaurant workers and their spouses to remain in the United States. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

William Mann, 50, a former CBP supervising officer at Midway, allegedly received about $700 to $2,000 per person from more than 30 restaurant employees and their spouses. Mann allegedly altered a law enforcement database and provided false immigration and travel documents showing that the restaurant workers and their spouses had just entered the United States and were eligible to legally stay in the country for another year. Rogerio Charu, part owner and general manager of the fo…

Brown Investigates Whether Tenants' Rights Are Violated in Foreclosures

SACRAMENTO - Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today launched an investigation aimed at protecting the rights of the "forgotten victims" of the housing market collapse -- the tens of thousands of tenants facing eviction from buildings that have been foreclosed by banks.

"Tenants who live in properties in foreclosure are the forgotten victims of the collapse of the housing market," Brown said. "We'll fight every step of the way to ensure they aren't rousted from their homes in violation of the law."

Technip S.A. Resolves Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigation and Agrees to Pay $240 Million Criminal Penalty

Technip S.A., a global engineering, construction and services company based in Paris, has agreed to pay a $240 million criminal penalty to resolve charges related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for its participation in a decade-long scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials to obtain engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts, the Department of Justice announced today. The EPC contracts to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities on Bonny Island, Nigeria, were valued at more than $6 billion.

The department filed a deferred prosecution agreement and a criminal information against Technip in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The two-count information charges Technip with one count of conspiracy and one count of violating the FCPA. Technip’s American Depository Shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange from 2001 until 2007.

Cuomo Orders Over 30 Additional Mortgage Rescue Companies to Cease Fraudulent Practices; 213 Companies Have Now Been Put on Notice

NEW YORK, NY (June 28, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today expanded his investigation into mortgage rescue companies that abuse New York homeowners. As a part of his ongoing investigation, Cuomo is sending over 30 additional cease-and-desist letters to mortgage rescue companies warning them to immediately end all misleading and illegal conduct. A total of 213 companies have now been put on notice.

The Attorney General’s ongoing investigation into the mortgage rescue industry revealed that many companies routinely collect illegal up-front fees from homeowners on the brink of foreclosure and then fail to help them lower their mortgage payments or save their home as promised. Thousands of New Yorkers have been affected by mortgage rescue scams. After sending cease-and-desist letters to over 180 mortgage rescue companies last week, the Attorney General’s office received consumer complaints and uncovered more evidence that indicated additional companies may be abusing New York h…

California's Violent Crime Rate Falls for Third Consecutive Year

LOS ANGELES - Praising the "dedicated and courageous efforts" of local law enforcement officials, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today released the California Department of Justice's annual crime report for 2009, which continued the promising trend of declining crime rates in California, including a 6.6% reduction in the state's violent crime rate.

"This latest drop in crime," Brown said, "is good news for Californians and reflects well on the dedicated and courageous efforts of peace officers throughout the state. Yet it is no cause for complacency. Crime remains a serious problem in California, and law enforcement officials at every level must redouble their efforts to ensure public safety."

FURTHER COURT-ORDERED RETENTION OF DANIEL RAKOWITZ

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced that the state Supreme Court upheld an application by the New York State Commissioner of Mental Health to retain Daniel Rakowitz at Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center on Wards Island, an application supported by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Rakowitz was charged with the 1989 murder of his roommate, after which he confessed to cooking pieces of her body and attempting to dispose of her remains. In 1991 a jury found him not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, otherwise known as the insanity defense.

“This decision continues to protect the residents of New York,” said District Attorney Vance. “Two decades after the brutal murder and dismemberment of Monika Beerle, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office remains committed to keeping Daniel Rakowitz in a secure psychiatric facility. This case is an example of the Office’s ongoing work, particularly by our Special Litigation Bureau, to ensure public…

Jamali Brockett was sentenced to 287 months’ imprisonment on his convictions for sex trafficking

On June 24, 2010, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Jamali Brockett was sentenced to 287 months’ imprisonment on his convictions for sex trafficking young girls and women and interstate transportation of women for the purposes of prostitution. He was also ordered to comply with sex offender registration. Brockett’s victims ranged in age from 14 to 19 years, and included four minors. The sentencing proceeding was held before United States Senior District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr.

The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, George C. Venizelos, Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.

Major Washington Apple Grower Sued for Sexual Harassment

EEOC Obtains Restraining Order to Protect Witnesses

YAKIMA, Wash. – One of the largest apple producers in the United States has been placed under a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The federal agency was motivated by the immediate danger of “substantial and irreparable injury” to class members and potential witnesses in the EEOC’s sexual harassment suit against Cowiche, Wash.-based Evans Fruit Company, which was filed at the same time as the agency’s TRO request.

U.S. District Court Judge Lonny R. Suko has ordered the company and all its agents to stop all retaliatory activity against those involved and those who may become involved in the lawsuit. Under the terms of the TRO, Evans Fruit supervisors -- including Juan Marin, Alberto “Camello” Sanchez, and Simon Ramirez -- must avoid further contact with class members and potential witnesses. They must immediately cease any attempts to intim…

Jackson Walker Welcomes David Seidler

(openPR) - FORT WORTH – Jackson Walker is pleased to welcome partner David Seidler to the firm’s Fort Worth office.

His practice focuses on commercial litigation, insurance defense, and alternate dispute resolution. Since 1992, Mr. Seidler has conducted more than 1,900 mediations of federal and state court cases involving every conceivable type of dispute.

John Wieland Homes Agrees to Pay $378,500 and Hire More African-Americans and Women

ATLANTA – John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, Inc., an Atlanta-based home builder, has agreed to pay $378,500 to six claimants and hire at least ten African-Americans and women into management positions over the next six years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced on 06/23/2010. The agreement resolves a race and sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC in June 2009.

The EEOC lawsuit had charged that the company unlawfully engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against black sales agents by intentionally assigning them to housing communities based on the race of the surrounding community. The lawsuit charged that these practices resulted in black agents earning less than their white counterparts, who were assigned to housing communities where they sold higher-priced homes. The EEOC also alleged that a white human resources representative was harmed when she was forced to participate in the alleged discriminatory assignment prac…

Brown Announces $173 Million Anti-Trust Settlement with Computer Chip Makers

LOS ANGELES - Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a $173 million settlement with six manufacturers of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) computer chips who "conspired in an illegal global scheme to fix prices."

DRAM is a common form of memory chip that stores information temporarily for quick access. It is found in desktop computers, laptops, servers, printers and networking equipment such as routers and hubs. DRAM sales to major electronic manufacturers, including Dell, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, exceed $5 billion a year in the United States and $17 billion worldwide.

Sioux Falls Oral Surgery Clinic Pays $118,775 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Case

Siouxland Denied Jobs to Two Women Because They Were Expectant Mothers, Federal Agency Charged

PHOENIX – Siouxland Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, LLP of Sioux Falls, S.D., has agreed to pay $95,000 in punitive damages and attorneys’ fees, in addition to $23,775 paid earlier this year for lost earnings and interest, to resolve a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of two pregnant women discriminated against in 2002, the agency announced on 06/22/2010. Siouxland is a medical clinic in Sioux Falls that specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

The EEOC’s suit charged that Richelle Dooley was fired days after Siouxland learned of her pregnancy, and that a few months later, Siouxland refused to hire Angie Gacke after learning in an employment interview that Gacke was pregnant.

Barry Vincent Ardolf Has Been Indicted for Internet Hacking, Making Threats to the Vice President

MINNEAPOLIS—A 45-year-old Blaine, Minnesota man has been indicted in federal court in the District of Minnesota for hacking into his neighbor’s wireless Internet system and allegedly posing as the neighbor to make threats to kill the vice president of the United States and e-mail child pornography. The indictment, which was filed today, charges Barry Vincent Ardolf with two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of making threats to the president and successors to the presidency, one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of distribution of child pornography.

The indictment alleges that in February 2009, Ardolf hacked into his neighbor’s wireless Internet connection and created multiple Yahoo.com e-mail accounts in that person’s name. Then, on May 6, 2009, he allegedly used one of those accounts to e-mail the office of the vice president of the United States. In that e-mail, he stated:

This is a terrori…

Polk County steroids dealer sentenced to 8 months in prison

TAMPA, Fla. - Richard Andrew Thomas, 36, of Lakeland, Fla., was sentenced yesterday to eight months in federal prison, and three years of subsequent supervised release, for possession with intent to distribute anabolic steroids, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Tampa, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Thomas had pleaded guilty on Nov. 10, 2009. As set forth in his plea agreement, on May 26, 2009, Thomas received an international package containing anabolic steroids, a controlled substance. A subsequent search of his house revealed thousands of doses of anabolic steroids, large quantities of valium (also a controlled substance), and several loaded firearms.

Twitter Settles Charges that it Failed to Protect Consumers' Personal Information

Social networking service Twitter has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers and put their privacy at risk by failing to safeguard their personal information, marking the 30th case the FTC has brought targeting faulty data security, and the agency’s first such case against a social networking service.

The FTC’s complaint against Twitter charges that serious lapses in the company’s data security allowed hackers to obtain administrative control of Twitter, including access to tweets that consumers had designated private, and the ability to send out phony tweets pretending to be from then-President-elect Barack Obama and Fox News, among others.

New York City based not-for-profit group United Homeless Organization, Inc. (“UHO”), Has Been Shut Down

Founder and Director Also Banned from Operating Any Not-For-Profit in New York State

NEW YORK, NY (June 24, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office has obtained a judgment permanently shutting down the New York City based not-for-profit group United Homeless Organization, Inc. (“UHO”).

Justice Barbara R. Kapnick of New York Supreme Court granted the judgment after the defendants failed to answer the Attorney General’s Complaint, which was filed in Supreme Court, New York County, in November 2009. As a result of the judgment, UHO will be dissolved. UHO's founder and president, Stephen Riley, and its director, Myra Walker, also are banned from operating not-for-profits in New York State.

Statement of US Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis regarding federal court ruling on mental health and substance abuse benefits

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement regarding a June 21 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Coalition for Parity Inc. v. Sebelius et. al.:

"We are very pleased that the court ruled in favor of the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, thereby allowing us to continue a regulatory process designed to benefit vulnerable members of our society. It will make mental health benefits more affordable by putting the cost on par with other health benefits.

Exporter Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud the U.S. Export-import Bank of More Than $24 Million

Guillermo O. Mondino, 47, of Miami, pleaded guilty today to leading a scheme to defraud the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) of more than $24 million, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer, Osvaldo L. Gratacos, Acting Inspector General of the Ex-Im Bank, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Rebecca A. Sparkman of the Internal Revenue Service Office of Criminal Investigation (IRS-CID) Washington, and Inspector in Charge Enrique Gutierrez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s (USPIS) Miami Division.

Mondino entered his guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Washington before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola. Mondino pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information charging him with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to commit mail fraud, and one count of money laundering.

Investors Recover $1.4 Billion Under Settlement Forged by Attorney General Brown

SAN FRANCISCO - Attorney General Edmund G. Brown announced today that 3,500 investors, whose holdings in auction rate securities were frozen in the financial crisis of 2008, have recovered $1.4 billion through a settlement the Attorney General hammered out with Wells Fargo affiliates.

"We went to bat for people who believed their investments were like cash," Brown said, "but discovered after the financial meltdown that they couldn't get their hands on even a dime of their money for two long years. Now, because of the settlement, they have all of their money back."

FBI Seeks Fugitive Wanted in Connection with “Operation Stolen Dreams”

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On Thursday, June 17, 2010 the FBI’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force, comprised of the FBI, HUD, NY State Banking Department, U.S. Secret Service, FDIC, Federal Reserve Bank, USPIS, SDNY, and the IRS conducted numerous arrests and search warrants in an ongoing federal mortgage fraud investigation. Investigators from SIGTARP and HIFCA also participated. This is part of the national initiative “Operation Stolen Dreams.” Orit Tuil is a fugitive and the FBI seeks to identify her location and arrest her.

As a real estate broker, Tuil allegedly found straw buyers to purchase houses. She is alleged to have tricked individuals, who were in foreclosure, into transferring the deeds of their houses to her. Once she had the deeds, she would then obtain mortgages and sell the properties to other straw buyers.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Indicted on Fraud and Tax Charges

DETROIT—Former Detroit Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick, 40, of Southlake, Texas, was indicted today by a federal grand jury with 10 counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, five counts of filing a false tax return, and one count of tax evasion, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. Each fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, and each tax count carries a maximum sentence of three or five years and a fine of $250,000.

As to the mail and wire fraud charges, the indictment alleges that, beginning in 1999, Kwame Kilpatrick devised a scheme to use the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, a tax-exempt social welfare organization registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), to pay for personal expenses and to fund his mayoral campaigns in 2001 and 2005. The indictment also alleges that, despite public statements and letters maintaining that Civic Fund donations went to pay for voter education and to improve the lives of the citizens of Detroit a…

EEOC Lawsuit Challenges Sexual Harassment and Retaliation at North Dakota Applebee’s

Agency Says General Manager Abused Women for Six Years And Punished Employees Who Complained

BISMARCK, N.D. – The Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar – Bismarck South, owned and operated by Apple Core, Inc. and Food Management Investors, Inc. (FMI), violated federal civil rights laws by permitting a former store general manager to create a pattern and practice of sexual harassment and retaliation against employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed late yesterday.

According to the EEOC’s complaint, between 2002 and the end of 2007, the general manager of Bismarck South Applebee’s routinely groped female employees, solicited sexual relations, told sexually explicit stories and jokes and made highly personalized sexual comments designed to demean and humiliate female employees. The EEOC’s investigation indicated that on at least one occasion, the harasser coerced an employee into giving him oral sex in exchange for a raise. Additional…

Detroit-Area Medical Clinic Owner and Vice President Convicted in $23 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

WASHINGTON – The owner and the vice president of a Detroit-area physical therapy clinic were convicted today by a federal jury for their roles in a $23 million Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services.

After a six day trial, the jury convicted Bernice Brown of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and 10 counts of health care fraud. Daniel Smorynski was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and six counts of health care fraud. Smorynski was acquitted on four counts of health care fraud. Each substantive health care fraud charge and the conspiracy charge carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Puerto Rico Senator Hector Martinez Maldonado and Juan Bravo Fernandez have been charged in an indictment

WASHINGTON—Puerto Rico Senator Hector Martinez Maldonado and Juan Bravo Fernandez, the former president of one of the largest private security firms in Puerto Rico, have been charged in an indictment returned today by a federal grand jury in Puerto Rico for their alleged roles in a bribery scheme involving legislation beneficial to Bravo Fernandez’ business, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.

The six-count indictment returned today in U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico charges Martinez Maldonado, 41, of Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Bravo Fernandez, 54, of San Juan, with bribery, traveling in interstate commerce in aid of racketeering, and conspiracy to commit these offenses. Martinez Maldonado is also charged with obstruction of justice.

LAWRENCE PESCE A Construction Manager for Touro College Was Charged In A $2 Million Commercial Kickback Scheme

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; GEORGE VENIZELOS, the Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”); and MARJORIE FRANZMAN, the Special Agent-in-Charge for the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General's New York Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations (“DOL-OIG”), announced the arrest of LAWRENCE PESCE, a construction manager for Touro College, on charges that he had defrauded Touro College out of more than $2 million since May 2008 through a kickback scheme that included the submission of an inflated bid for a construction project, bid-rigging, and the submission of fraudulent invoices.

According to the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

In or about May 2008, Touro College sought competitive bids for a construction project located at 230 West 125th Street in Manhattan (“the project”). LAWRENCE PESCE was Touro College…

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Seeks Civil Forfeiture of Approximately $5 Million in Assets Controlled by Two Former Bernard L. Madoff investment Securities LLC Employees

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the filing of two civil Complaints seeking the forfeiture of approximately $5 million in assets controlled by ANNETTE BONGIORNO and JOANN CRUPI, a/k/a "Jodi." As alleged in the civil Complaints filed today, BONGIORNO and CRUPI each spent more than 25 years working for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, the fraudulent investment advisory business owned and operated by BERNARD L. MADOFF. The assets allegedly subject to forfeiture constitute property traceable to proceeds of MADOFF's fraud.

According to the civil Complaints filed in federal district court in Manhattan today:

The investment advisory business of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC ("BLMIS") was operated from at least the early 1980s as a massive Ponzi scheme, defrauding investors of billions of dollars. Rather than use client funds to invest in securities, as promised, BLMIS diverted th…

CUOMO SECURES MORE THAN $100K FOR VICTIMS OF GENEVA CAR DEALERSHIP THAT ENGAGED IN FRAUD

Daniels Automotive employees regularly altered sales documents and engaged in other deceptive acts

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (June 22, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced his office has secured and is now distributing more than $100,000 to consumers who were defrauded by a Geneva used car dealership.

The money is the result of a lawsuit won by Cuomo’s office against the owners and employees of Daniels Automotive Group, also known as Howard-Oldsmobile-Cadillac-Pontiac-GMC Truck, Inc., that defrauded 38 consumers throughout the Rochester and Finger Lakes regions.

Plastics Molding Companies to Pay $190,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

EPI Subjected Female Workers to Verbal and Physical Abuse, Federal Agency Charges

OXFORD, Miss. – A St. Louis-based plastic injection molding company will pay $190,000 and provide other relief to resolve a sexual harassment and constructive discharge lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency on 06/21/2010.

According to the EEOC’s suit, EPI Advanced, LLC and Engineered Products Industries, LLC allowed Dean Miller, a male supervisor, and another male co-worker to harass press operator Cathy Johnson and seven other women at its Sherman, Miss., plant. The women claimed that they were forced to endure a myriad of sexually explicit comments and propositions, and some were grabbed and touched as well by Miller. Several women quit because of the harassment, and one woman quit her job after Miller phoned her at work threatening to sexually assault her in the employee parking lot. Although several complaints were made by victims to management, the comp…

2 South Florida residents sentenced for taking illegal alien hostage for unpaid smuggling fees

SARASOTA, Fla. - Two Miami-Dade county residents were sentenced in federal court on June 17 for hostage taking and transportation of illegal aliens, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the FBI and the Manatee County Sheriff's Office (MCSO).

Erisbel Artiles, 31, a Cuban national residing in Hialeah, Fla., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bucklew to 121 months in federal prison for hostage taking.

Artiles's mother, Lazara Z. Moreira-Penin, 54, also a Cuban national residing in Hialeah, was sentenced by Judge Bucklew to one year in prison for conspiracy to transport illegal aliens.

Senior Loan Officer with Metropolitan Money Store Pleads Guilty in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Eleventh and Final Defendant to Plead Guilty in the Metropolitan Money Store Case

GREENBELT, MD—Rolando Alonzo Cousins, a/k/a “Junior,” age 32, of Bowie, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with a massive mortgage fraud scheme which promised to help homeowners facing foreclosure keep their homes and repair their damaged credit, but left them homeless and with no equity. With Cousins’ plea all 11 defendants in the Metropolitan Money Store case have now been convicted.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Irvine of the U.S. Secret Service - Washington Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Barbara Golden of the U.S. Secret Service - Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Sparkman of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigatio…

Faisal Shahzad Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to 10 Federal Crimes Arising from Attempted Car Bombing in Times Square

Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty today in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum to all counts of the 10-count indictment against him, for allegedly driving a car bomb into Times Square on the evening of May 1, 2010, the Justice Department announced.

Shahzad, 30, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, was taken into custody at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK Airport) on May 3, 2010, after he was identified by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection while attempting to leave the United States on a commercial flight to Dubai. Shahzad was then charged in a five-count criminal complaint. On May 18, 2010, he was presented in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV. Last week, on June 17, 2010, Shahzad was indicted in the Southern District of New York.

Community College of Baltimore County to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Age Discrimination Suit and Employee’s Retaliation Claims

College Refused to Hire 60-Year Old ESOL Advisor Based on Age, Agency Charged

BALTIMORE – The Community College of Baltimore County will pay $50,000 and provide equitable relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the employee’s retaliation lawsuit, the agency announced today.

The EEOC charged in its suit that the Community College of Baltimore County failed to hire Sheri Chosak as a part-time English as a Second Language (ESOL) academic advisor at its Owings Mills campus because she was 60 years old. Chosak has worked for the college as a registration clerk since 2001 at its Owings Mills campus.

TERESA NORA MARTINEZ Was Indicted For Defrauding Immigrants

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced today the indictment of TERESA NORA MARTINEZ for stealing $12,000 from immigrants, both by falsely claiming to be an attorney and by falsely claiming to be working with attorneys, purporting to provide immigration legal services and promising to obtain green cards.

MARTINEZ, 39, has been indicted on charges of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Petit Larceny, and Practicing or Appearing as Attorney-at-Law Without Being Admitted and Registered.[1] The District Attorney's Office launched an investigation into the defendant's criminal activity when victims contacted the Office through the Immigrant Affairs Program.

Friendster, hi5, and isoHunt join Facebook and MySpace as first to use new database to block online child porn

NEW YORK, NY (June 21, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a significant expansion of his groundbreaking initiative to eliminate sharing of thousands of images of child pornography on social networking Web sites.

Popular social networking sites Friendster and hi5, and peer-to-peer site isoHunt, are joining Facebook and MySpace in using Attorney General Cuomo’s hash value database to block attempts to share images of children being sexually abused. isoHunt, based in Canada, is the first non-U.S. based site to agree to use the hash value database.

Speak Out Against Acts Of Perversion

Sexual Harassment, Child Molestation, And Rape Are All About Power!

Sexual Harassers, Pedophiles, And Rapist, You Are All Perverted!

Sexual Harassers Are Probably The Same Perverts Who Drug A Person's Drink, Rapes Them And Thinks That The Sex Was Consensual.

Sexual Harassers, Pedophiles, And Rapist Always Blame Their Victims! Yes Perverts Always Blame The Victim.

Child Molestation Is An Act Of Perversion.

Rape Is An Act Of Perversion.

Sexual Harassment Is An Act Of Perversion. 


Speak Out Against These Acts Of Perversion!

EEOC Sues FAPS, Inc. For Discriminatory Hiring Practices

Automotive Port Processing Company Fails to Hire African-Americans and Asks Improper Medical Questions on Applications, Federal Agency Charges

NEWARK, N.J. -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a workplace discrimination suit on 06/17/2010 against FAPS, Inc., an automotive port processor, charging that the company has engaged in an ongoing pattern or practice of race discrimination against African-Americans in recruitment and hiring. The suit also charges that FAPS has made improper pre-employment disability-related inquiries of applicants. Both these alleged practices violate federal law.

According to the EEOC’s suit, EEOC v. FAPS, Inc., filed in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey, FAPS has had, and continues to have, a statistically significant smaller percentage of black employees in entry-level positions than would be expected given the relevant labor market in the area where FAPS is located. FAPS maintains more than 250 acres and 575,00…

RETIRED NEW YORK CITY EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY IN MANHATTAN FEDERAL COURT TO BRIBERY SCHEME INVOLVING OVER $1 MILLION DOLLARS IN CITY CONTRACTS

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and ROSE GILL HEARN, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation("DOI"), announced today that LATIF ABDULMALIK, a retired project manager for construction projects with the New York City Administration For Children's Services ("ACS"), pleaded guilty today in Manhattan federal court to being involved in a bribery scheme in which ABDULMALIK used his position as a project manager to assist a company called Synergy in securing over $1 million dollars in construction contracts from ACS.

According to the Indictment and statements made during today's guilty plea proceeding: During 2005 and 2006, ABDULMALIK, in his position as an ACS project manager for construction projects at ACS child care facilities with federal Health and Human Services ("HHS") Head Start programs, received thousands of dollars from representatives of Synergy in exchange for assist…

Christopher B. Maselli Was Indicted in Schemes Netting $1.5 Million in Mortgages

PROVIDENCE, RI—A federal grand jury Thursday indicted a North Providence, Rhode Island real estate attorney on charges he falsified bank and federal tax documents, and lied about his income and assets, in obtaining more than $1.5 million in mortgages. U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced the seven-count indictment on bank fraud charges against Christopher B. Maselli.

Maselli, 38, whose law practice is located in North Providence, resides in Johnston, R.I.

According to the indictment, between December 2007 and March 2009, Maselli, a self-employed attorney, inflated his annual income dating back to 2005; lied about personal assets; and submitted phony and altered bank statements and IRS tax returns when applying for mortgages, a home improvement loan, and an auto loan. Maselli was approved for five mortgages on residential properties in Johnston and North Providence, and an auto loan, totaling approximately $1,525,027.50.

Member of child exploitation ring pleads guilty ICE-led Operation Goodbye focused on predators sharing images via social networking site

PITTSBURGH - A member of an international group of child pornography collectors has pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to a charge of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise. Dave Dean, 42, used a social networking site to distribute thousands of sexually explicit images to other collectors. Dean previously resided in Texas and Arizona.

The court record established that from Jan. 1, 2007, to Sept. 22, 2009, Dean engaged in a child exploitation enterprise through a series of felony child pornography violations. Specifically, Dean and others distributed images and videos of children being sexually abused to other members of a closed international group that had formed on a social networking website. Members of the group distributed thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children to each other, many of which were of prepubescent, male children, some as young as infants, being graphically sexually abused and sometimes sodomized or subjected to bondage.

Steven Walter Cooke The Leader of Texas Prison/Street Gang Sentenced to 96 Months in Prison for Firearms Conviction

Steven Walter Cooke, 47, a reputed high ranking member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) prison/street gang and a previously convicted felon, has been sentenced to prison for possessing firearms, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer for the Department of Justice Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas José Angel Moreno announced today.

U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller sentenced Cooke to 96 months in federal prison without parole and a three-year-term of supervised release following his prison term. Cooke, identified in previous court proceedings as a "general" of the ABT, pleaded guilty on Feb. 16, 2010, to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Convicted felons are prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law.

Colombian Trafficker with Links to Mexican and Colombian Cartels Extradited from Mexico to the U.S.

Pedro Antonio Bermudez, also known as “El Arquitecto,” was arraigned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y., following his extradition on June 15, 2010, from Mexico to the United States on charges of participating in an international drug trafficking conspiracy, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart.

At his arraignment yesterday, Bermudez was ordered detained by U.S. Magistrate Judge Joan M. Azrack in the Eastern District of New York. Bermudez was arrested in Mexico City by Mexican law enforcement officials on Oct. 2, 2008, and was in custody in Mexico since the arrest and prior to his extradition to the United States.

Brown Issues Warning about Rise of Short Sale Fraud

LOS ANGELES - Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today joined the California Department of Real Estate and the State Bar of California to warn homeowners about an alarming rise in short sale fraud across California in a field "rife with scam artists".

A short sale is an arrangement in which a homeowner sells his or her home for less than the outstanding mortgage, with the consent of the lender.

"While short sales can provide homeowners with a last-ditch alternative to foreclosure, this market is rife with scam artists," Brown said. "Homeowners and buyers, agents, and lenders should beware of short sale negotiators who operate without licenses, use straw buyers or charge illegal fees."

Sellers of Illegal Knives Include Home Depot and Eastern Mountain Sports; Companies Agree to Cease Sales and Turn Over Profits for Education Campaign, Law Enforcement

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced a major initiative to reduce the number of illegal knives on the streets of New York, following a large-scale investigation into the sale of illegal knives by local and national retailers doing business in New York. Despite the significant decrease in violent crime over the last decade, illegal knives are an increasingly serious problem in New York City and across the state.

The DA’s investigation found the widespread sale of knives which, with very limited exception, are illegal to sell, own or carry in the state, such as gravity knives and switchblades.

Industry leaders Facebook and MySpace first to use database to block child porn; Cuomo sends letters to other social networking sites and peer-to-peer sites urging implementation

NEW YORK, NY (June 17, 2010) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the creation of a database that will be used by social networking sites to keep child pornography off the Internet.

This groundbreaking initiative is based on a database of hash values, which are the equivalent of digital fingerprints. Each image of child pornography has this digital fingerprint. The Attorney General’s Office has collected more than 8,000 such fingerprints as a result of Internet safety investigations. The database can be used as a net, finding an offending picture through the fingerprint, catching that picture, and stopping it from ending up on a site. Facebook and MySpace have agreed to use Attorney General Cuomo’s database to block any attempt to share these images on their social networks. The Attorney General also sent letters to 13 other social networking companies and peer-to-peer sites urging them to use the database.

USPTO Joint Labor-Management Task Force Proposes Changes to Patent Examiner Performance Standards

Changes will mark the first updates to standards in nearly 25 years

Washington – Management at the United States Patent and Trademark Office has been working with representatives of the patent examiners union, the Patent Office Professional Association (POPA), to better align the performance standards for patent examiners with the USPTO’s goals for increasing quality in patent examination and reducing the backlog of pending patent applications, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos announced today. If adopted, the joint task force’s changes would be the first major revision to the patent examiners’ performance appraisal plan (PAP) since 1986.

"The changes identified by the joint task force will better align examiner goals with those of the agency, better define expectations and measures for success, and encourage mentoring and training – all while ensuring transparency and clarity," Kappos said. "Along with recent…

Sissaye Gezachew Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Sissaye Gezachew, 32, of Springfield, Virginia, pleaded guilty yesterday to using his position at United Bank to assist a conspirator who stole more than $17 million from the financial institution.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office; and Rebecca Sparkman, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Gezachew faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud when he is sentenced on Sept. 3, 2010.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges New Jersey Woman with $45 Million Real Estate Investment Ponzi Scheme

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and GEORGE VENIZELOS, the Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), announced today the arrest this morning of ANTOINETTE HODGSON on charges that she orchestrated a $45 million real estate Ponzi scheme that fraudulently solicited investments from over twenty New York and New Jersey investors. HODGSON is charged in a Complaint with one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of wire fraud, and surrendered to the FBI this morning. She is expected to appear in Manhattan federal court later today.

According to the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

HODGSON solicited tens of millions of dollars from investors in New York and New Jersey on the false pretense that she would use the investors' money to purchase and/or renovate residential real estate properties, and then re-sell the properties to third party buye…

Daniel Hughes Admits to Stealing Nearly $300,000 in Union Funds

Daniel Hughes, the former president of the Port Authority Field Supervisors Association, Inc., Local 111-S (“Local 111-S”), pleaded guilty today to a felony information charging him with embezzling union funds. The proceedings were held before United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.

The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Robert E. Van Etten, Inspector General for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Former Chairman of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Indicted for His Role in a More Than $1.9 Billion Fraud Scheme That Contributed to the Failure of Colonial Bank

Lee Bentley Farkas, the former chairman of a private mortgage lending company, Taylor, Bean & Whitaker (TBW), was arrested last night in Ocala, Fla., and charged in a 16-count indictment for his alleged role in a more than $1.9 billion fraud scheme that contributed to the failures of Colonial Bank, one of the 50 largest banks in the United States in 2009, and TBW, one of the largest privately held mortgage lending companies in the United States in 2009.

The charges were announced today by members of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, including Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia; Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); Assistant Director in Charge Shawn Henry of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Kenneth M. Donohue, Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD OIG); Jon T. Rymer, Inspector Genera…

Brown Releases Study Showing DNA Collected at Arrests Helps to Solve Murders, Rapes and Other Violent Crimes

SACRAMENTO - California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today released a detailed forensic analysis showing that DNA collected at arrests -- even for non-violent offenses -- is "cracking cold cases" by providing positive identification of suspects in violent crimes such as rape, murder and robbery.

Proposition 69, which voters passed in 2004, required law enforcement officials to take DNA samples from all adults arrested for felonies in the state. So far it is working: more than 800 crime-scene samples have been matched since the beginning of last year to DNA collected from suspects under arrest.

Federal Court Enters Consent Decree Resolving EEOC Sex Harassment Suit Against Biewer Sawmill

Supervisor Repeatedly Exposed Himself to Female Employees, Federal Agency Charged

MADISON, Wis. – Judge William M. Conley of the federal district court in Madison has entered a consent decree resolving a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Biewer Wisconsin Sawmill, Inc. (BWS) of Prentice, Wis. The EEOC had charged that BWS, a major Midwestern lumber supplier, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it did not take immediate and appropriate action to stop a supervisor’s sexual harassment after learning that he had repeatedly exposed his genitals to female employees over several years.

The decree provides that BWS will pay employees Verna Weber and Patricia Stade a total of $55,000, prohibits future sexual harassment and requires that BWS provide anti-discrimination training to its managers and human resources personnel.

Two Sonic Franchises Sued By EEOC For Sexual Harassment To Pay $55,000

Teen-aged Female Carhops Were Routinely Abused by Male Managers, Federal Agency Charged

HOUSTON – Two Sonic Drive-In franchises in the Kingwood-Humble area with common ownership and management will pay $55,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that S.D.I. of Kingwood, doing business as the Kingwood Sonic Drive-In, and S.D.I. of Lee Rd., doing business as the Lee Road Sonic Drive-In, violated federal law by routinely subjecting teenaged female employees to abuse by a manager and others, including threatening one young worker with a knife.

The EEOC’s suit said that the franchises’ primary owner promoted a young, unqualified family member to consecutively higher management positions within the restaurants and allowed him to use his position of power to sexually harass the teens starting in 2006. The EEOC also contended that this manager permitted and encourag…

Yuma Oak Tree Inn to Pay $75,000 to Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

Federal Agency Charged Manager Unlawfully Forced Employees to Engage in Prayer Ceremonies Regardless of Their Religious Beliefs

PHOENIX -- Lodging Enterprises LLC of Arizona, which does business as Oak Tree Inn in Yuma, will pay $75,000 and furnish other relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC’s suit charged that Oak Tree Inn threatened employees with reprisals of reducing their hours or otherwise forced them to engage in a particular religious prayer ceremony in spite of their personal different religious views. The defendant, through its general manager, Carlos Paredes, derided certain religious beliefs of some of the employees, the EEOC said. He also attempted to impose his personal religious beliefs on employees. The unlawful discrimination created a hostile work environment and denied employees reasonable accommodation for their religious beliefs.

Cuomo Audit Reveals Variety of Misleading Practices; Subpoenas Issued to 16 Charities, Fundraisers, and Individuals Involved in the Car Donation Industry

NEW YORK, NY (June 15, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew Cuomo today announced an industry-wide investigation into car donation charities after a review found fraudulent practices that deceived donors and diverted funds from those in need. As a result of the investigation, the Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit seeking to shut down one charity for misusing money meant for the homeless, and subpoenaed 16 charities, fundraisers, and individuals.

The lawsuit charges that Nicholas Cascone, Jr., the director of “Feed the Hungry, Inc.” (“FTH”), solicited vehicle donations that were supposed to fund humanitarian causes and then kept the proceeds to enrich himself. Of the more than $430,000 that FTH received in donations between 2002 and 2009, the investigation found that less than $7,900 - 1.8% - was used for charitable purposes.

Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, Two Ohio Hospitals, and Physician Group to Pay $2.6 Million to Resolve Fraud Allegations

WASHINGTON – The Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, two of its member hospitals (The Fort Hamilton Hospital and The University Hospital), and University Internal Medicine Associates Inc. have agreed to pay the United States $2.6 million to settle claims that they violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act by engaging in a kickback-for-referral scheme, the Justice Department announced today.

The Fort Hamilton Hospital is a 310-bed hospital located in Hamilton, Ohio. The alleged scheme involved the hospital’s desire to expand the scope of its cardiology services to include certain interventional cardiology procedures. Under state law, The Fort Hamilton Hospital could only perform the interventional cardiology procedures if it participated in a particular clinical trial involving those procedures.

United States Files Counterclaims and Crossclaims in Small Business Administration Loan Fraud Case

U.S. Alleges Bank Falsely Certified Individuals’ Financial Circumstances Resulting in $1.7 Million SBA Loan That Should Not Have Been Approved

WASHINGTON – The United States filed False Claims Act counterclaims against Saehan Bank and crossclaims against Steve Yong Kim and Young Soon Kim in the Northern District of Oklahoma, the Justice Department announced today. The United States also filed a counterclaim and crossclaim under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. The government alleges that Saehan Bank and the Kims made false statements in connection with the application process for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan.

The allegations relate to the SBA’s 504 loan program, which offers small businesses long-term, fixed-rate financing to acquire major fixed assets, such as buildings or machinery, for expansion or modernization. Before the 504 loan closing, the SBA requires certain certifications regarding the borrower’s financial condition and ability…

DEWAND SMITH, a/k/a "TG," a major supplier and distributor of illegal firearms, was sentenced to 15 years in prison

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced today the sentencing of DEWAND SMITH, a/k/a "TG," a major supplier and distributor of illegal firearms in West Harlem and throughout New York City. SMITH was sentenced today to 15 years in prison, followed by 5 years of post-release supervision on one count of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree. SMITH was also sentenced to concurrent terms of 12 and 7 years in prison for remaining criminal counts, with each term followed by 5 and 3 years of post-release supervision. In January of 2010, SMITH pled guilty to the top count in the indictment, Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree, as well as three counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Second Degree, four counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree, and nine counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. During a five-month period, SMITH sold a total of over 30 handguns and assault weapons to an undercover detective.

Christopher Finazzo, the former Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer of Aéropostale, Inc., Has Been Indicted

A twenty-eight-count indictment was unsealed Friday afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn charging Christopher Finazzo, the former Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer of Aéropostale, Inc., a national mall-based specialty clothing retailer headquartered in Manhattan, and Douglas Dey, the owner of South Bay Apparel, Inc., previously a major supplier of Aéropostale, with mail and wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, and conspiracy to violate the travel act. Finazzo is also charged with causing Aéropostale to make a false statement in a report that was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.1 Finazzo’s initial appearance and arraignment took place on Friday afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold, at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York. Dey’s initial appearance and arraignment is scheduled this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom, at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn. The case has …

Hilton Grand Vacations Settles EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

Employee With Pregnancy-Related Complications Forced Out of Job, Federal Agency Charges

MIAMI – Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC, an Orlando, Fla.-based resort corporation, has agreed to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that Hilton Grand Vacations violated federal law when it persuaded an employee to resign her position because of her pregnancy by falsely promising to rehire her after the birth of her child.

According to the EEOC’s suit, an employee who worked as a recruiter for Hilton in Orlando was repeatedly passed over for numerous positions after she resigned due to a preg­nancy-related medical condition. The EEOC said that although Hilton promised to rehire the former employee after she gave birth, the company passed her over in favor of other, less qualified candidates when she repeatedly applied for subsequent open positions.

US Department of Labor recovers $4.2 million in back wages for 603 Oregon workers

SEATTLE — An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division has resulted in the payment of more than $4.2 million in back wages owed to 603 employees of Hermiston, Ore.-based EG&G Technical Services for work at the Umatilla Chemical Depot in Umatilla, Ore.

"Most businesses in this country play by the rules and pay their employees what they are due under the law. Those businesses deserve a fair playing field. The U.S. Department of Labor will not hesitate to take action against employers that violate our laws. I am proud of the hard work of our investigators in recovering back wages for these working families," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

Four Points By Sheraton Sued By EEOC For National Origin Discrimination

PHOENIX -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission today announced that it has filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing hotel company TOG, which owns the Four Points by Sheraton in Phoenix, of discriminating against an employee by subjecting him to a hostile work environment because of his Iraqi national origin. The EEOC also charged that by allowing the continued and escalating workplace harassment, the defendants forced the employee to resign.

According to the EEOC’s suit, EEOC v. TOG Enterprises, doing business as Four Points by Sheraton, et al., (Case No. CV-10-1230-PHX-SRB), employee Basil Massih was subjected to unlawful harassment by the defendants because of his Iraqi national origin. The alleged harassment included mimicking Massih’s accent, ethnic slurs such as “camel jockey,” mocking Arab ululations, and taunting and jeering at Massih relating to news stories about Iraq and the capture of terrorists. The EEOC alleges that Massih complained to a num…

Denver Cabinet and Appliance Retailer Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination

Discount Cabinets Refused Request for Phone With Volume Control, Then Fired Warehouse Worker, Federal Agency Charges

DENVER – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed earlier this week that Discount Cabinets and Appliances, a Denver-based retail company, violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) when it denied a hearing-impaired warehouse assistant’s request that the company provide a telephone with volume control, and shortly thereafter fired him because of his disability.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Discount Cabinets contacted a temporary employment agency in 2008 to request placement of a warehouse assistant in a temporary-to-permanent job at the company’s store and warehouse in Denver. The temporary agency recommended Ramon Guzman, who had experience in a similar warehouse job. Guzman has had a significant hearing loss since birth as well as resulting difficulty with speech. The company accepted his placement.

JOHN F. HAGGERTY, JR., and SPECIAL ELECTION OPERATIONS, LLC ("SEO"), Have Been Indicted for stealing approximately $1.1 million Dollars

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of JOHN F. HAGGERTY, JR., 41, and SPECIAL ELECTION OPERATIONS, LLC ("SEO"), for stealing approximately $1.1 million from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg[1]. The defendants have been charged with Grand Larceny, Money Laundering and Falsifying Business Records. District Attorney Vance also announced the filing of a civil forfeiture action against HAGGERTY and SEO, seeking forfeiture of assets in the amount of $1.1 million and the seizure of HAGGERTY's personal residence, which he purchased with stolen money.

The crimes charged in the indictment began in the late summer of 2009, when HAGGERTY was a volunteer for Mayor Bloomberg's campaign for reelection. HAGGERTY falsely represented to Mayor Bloomberg's agents and campaign workers that he would arrange for nearly $1.1 million to be spent on an Election Day ballot security and poll watching operation, to be run through the New York State Indep…

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an indictment of Salvatore Cascino and Bronx County Recycling, LLC for filing false documents with the State of New York to hide illegal disposal of solid waste.

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 14, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an indictment of Salvatore Cascino and Bronx County Recycling, LLC for filing false documents with the State of New York to hide illegal disposal of solid waste.

According to the indictment, Cascino failed to list on three annual filings (2008, 2009, 2010) with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that unauthorized solid waste was received at Bronx County Recycling. Cascino was arraigned on three counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree before Acting Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lamont, in Albany County Supreme Court. Cascino was released on own recognizance pending a July 1 court date.

2 Fresno-area residents indicted for producing fraudulent identity documents

FRESNO, Calif. - Two Fresno-area residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury for producing and selling counterfeit immigration and identity documents as a result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Maria Ines Rangel-Lemus, 55, of Strathmore, Calif., and Cesar Perez Sanchez, 38, of Earlimart, Calif., are named in a multiple count indictment charging them with conspiracy, possession, transfer, production, and sale of fraudulent United States immigration and Social Security identification documents. The two, who face a maximum sentence of up to15 years in prison, are scheduled to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge June 17.

Three Baltimore City Police Department Officers Convicted in Civil Rights Case

WASHINGTON– A federal jury yesterday convicted a Baltimore Police Department (BPD) officer, Gregory Mussmacher, on civil rights and obstruction charges related to his physical abuse in 2004 of a then-17-year-old arrestee whom Mussmacher assaulted with a baton while the teen was handcuffed, shackled and temporarily blinded by pepper-spray. A second former BPD officer, Guy Gerstel, pleaded guilty on the first day of trial to lying to the FBI, and admitted that he too had assaulted the teenager while he was restrained. A third former officer, Sergeant Wayne Thompson, also pleaded guilty, admitting that he engaged in obstruction of justice to help cover up the assaults.

At trial, Gerstel and Thompson testified against their former colleague, defendant Mussmacher. They and other government witnesses established that Mussmacher had gotten into a verbal argument with the teenager at the scene of his arrest. In response to verbal taunting from the teen, Mussmacher took off his badge and g…

Jury Convicts Two New York Importers in One of the Largest Counterfeit Goods Prosecutions in U.S. History

Infringed Goods Valued at More Than $100 Million

Chong Lam, 52, and Siu Yung Chan, aka Joyce Chan, 42, both of New York, were convicted yesterday for their participation in one of the largest counterfeit luxury goods operations in the United States, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Secretary John Morton of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

After a week-long trial and seven hours of deliberation, a federal jury in Richmond, Va., found Lam and Chan each guilty on one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods imported from the People’s Republic of China (PRC); two counts of trafficking in counterfeit handbags, wallets, purses and carry-on bags; and two counts of illegally smuggling counterfeit goods into the United States.

Five Current and Former New Orleans Police Officers Charged in the Shooting and Burning of a New Orleans Man in the Days After Hurricane Katrina

WASHINGTON—A federal grand jury has returned an 11-count federal indictment charging three current and two former New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officers in connection with the police-involved shooting of Henry Glover, a New Orleans resident shot and killed in the days after Hurricane Katrina.

Today’s indictment was announced by Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division; Jim Letten, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana; and David Welker, Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Field Office of the FBI.

Luis M. Batista, a former New York City Police Department detective, was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment

Earlier today, Luis M. Batista, a former New York City Police Department detective, was sentenced by United States District Judge Dora L. Irizarry at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn to 15 years of imprisonment for his convictions, following trial, of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and obstruction of justice.

The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, George Venizelos, Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.

Cuomo Warns Parents that Undercover Investigation Revealed that Tagged.com May Put Children in Harm’s Way

NEW YORK, NY (June 10, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he has served the social networking Web site Tagged.com (“Tagged”) with notice of his intent to sue the company for failing to protect children from being exposed to graphic images of child pornography.

Tagged is a social networking Web site that targets the teen demographic. Numerous statements made on Tagged’s own Web site and publicly by company officials tout Tagged’s supposed dedication to child safety and responsiveness to complaints. However, a three-month undercover investigation revealed significant lapses in Tagged’s response to user reports of graphic images of children being sexually abused, inappropriate sexual communications between adults and minors, and content that advocates pedophilia.

U-Haul and its Parent Company Settle FTC Charges That They Invited Competitors to Fix Prices on Truck Rentals

Settlement Bars Illegal Anti-competitive Tactics

U-Haul International, Inc. and its parent company today settled Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated the FTC Act by inviting U-Haul’s closest competitor, Avis Budget Group, Inc., to collude on prices for truck rentals. U-Haul and Budget control more than 70 percent of the “do-it-yourself” one-way truck rental business in the United States. If U-Haul had succeeded in its price-fixing plan, the two companies could have imposed higher prices on truck-rental consumers, according to the FTC.

“It’s a bedrock principle that you can’t conspire with your competitors to fix prices – and shouldn’t even try. Consumers deserve better. The order announced today will ensure that U-Haul will not try it again,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.

Three Upstate New York Men Sentenced to Prison for Environmental Crimes

WASHINGTON—Three men, a father and two sons, were sentenced to prison today in federal court in Syracuse, N.Y., for multiple violations of asbestos-related environmental laws, announced Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resource Division, and Richard S. Hartunian, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York.

Paul Mancuso was sentenced to 78 months in prison, three years of probation and a $20,000 fine. Steven Mancuso was sentenced to 44 months in prison and three years of probation. Lester Mancuso, the father, was sentenced to 36 months in prison and three years of probation. The three men were sentenced today by Frederick Scullin, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of New York.

US Department of Labor settles hiring discrimination case with The Wackenhut Corp. in Aurora, Colo.

Company agrees to pay $290,000 to 446 African-American job applicants

DENVER — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has announced that The Wackenhut Corp., doing business as G4S Wackenhut, has entered into a consent decree to settle findings of hiring discrimination at its Aurora, Colo., facility. The consent decree settles OFCCP's allegations that Wackenhut engaged in hiring discrimination against 446 rejected African-American applicants for the position of traditional security officer for a two-year period. Wackenhut is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

"The department is committed to ensuring that federal contractors and subcontractors hire, promote and compensate their employees fairly, without respect to their race, gender, ethnicity, disability, religion or veteran status," said Patricia A. Shiu, director of OFCCP, who is based in Washington, D.C. "This settlement of $290,000 in back pay on behalf of 446 Afr…

Enver Mehmeti, Was Sentenced Today To 27 Years Of Imprisonment

Enver Mehmeti, the leader of a violent crew that distributed large amounts of crack and powder cocaine in the New Springville neighborhood of Staten Island and in New Jersey, was sentenced today to 27 years of imprisonment by Senior United States District Judge I. Leo Glasser, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. Mehmeti previously pleaded guilty to narcotics trafficking and weapons charges. The sentencing was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

As detailed in the superseding indictment and other filings with the court, for most of 2007, the Mehmeti crew operated in New Jersey. Mehmeti shifted the crew’s base of operations to Staten Island in 2008, and continued to distribute significant amounts of crack and powder cocaine to customers on Staten Island until he and other crew members were arrested in 2009. Mehmeti and his crew were involved in at least six shootings that took place in Staten Island during that time. Mehmeti, a …

YL Rector Street, LLC And Its Principal, Yair Levy Are Being Sued For Illegally Raiding Condominium's Reserve Fund

Lawsuit Seeks $7.4 Million in Restitution and to Bar Developer from Future Sales

NEW YORK, NY (June 9, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today filed a lawsuit charging the developers of the Rector Square Condominium in Battery Park City with defrauding purchasers out of approximately $7.4 million by raiding a reserve fund meant to ensure the health and safety of residents and instead using the money for personal and unrelated business purposes.

The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that while developers YL Rector Street, LLC and its principal, Yair Levy, had promised tenants and owners that the reserve fund would be set aside for making repairs, improvements and replacements necessary for their health and safety, they instead depleted the fund leaving residents with a mere $70. A review of the Condominium’s financial records uncovered that Levy misused millions of dollars of the residents’ money for personal and general business expenses, including making credit card pa…

Noble Metal Processing to Pay $190,000 to Resolve EEOC Race Discrimination and Retaliation Case

Automotive Supplier Settles Bias Case Despite Bankruptcy

DETROIT -- Noble Metal Processing, Inc., a Warren, Mich., automotive supplier, has agreed to pay $190,000 to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s suit (Case No.2:08-CV-14713), filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Noble repeatedly overlooked qualified non-white employees, including a group of black employees and a Bangladeshi employee, for promotions to the maintenance department. In addition, a white employee who opposed this type of race discrimination and complained that managers in the maintenance department were using racial slurs was fired shortly after the company learned of his complaints.

CUOMO SUES IMMIGRATION SERVICES COMPANIES FOR TARGETING AND DEFRAUDING HAITIANS IMPACTED BY RECENT EARTHQUAKE

NEW YORK, NY (June 8, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced lawsuits against several companies for targeting the Haitian community with fraudulent immigration services after the January earthquake that devastated much of the Haitian capital region.

The lawsuits allege that the companies and their owners - who are not lawyers - have been illegally providing legal advice and services to Haitian immigrants. As non-lawyers, the owners are prohibited from providing legal advice or representing anyone before immigration authorities. Further, the lawsuits allege that the companies are charging Haitian immigrants thousands of dollars for processing immigration applications that could be filed for free through a waiver. This case is part of the Attorney General’s ongoing investigation into immigration fraud.

USPTO and Rospatent Sign MOU on Bilateral Cooperation

Washington – On June 2, 2010, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Sharon R. Barner and Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks (Rospatent) Director Boris Simonov signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on comprehensive bilateral cooperation during a ceremony at Rospatent.

The MOU establishes a general framework for bilateral cooperation between the USPTO and Rospatent with an aim toward improving the administration and effectiveness of intellectual property systems in both offices through exchanges of information and best practices, and promoting the importance of IP for innovation and economic growth.

U.S. Trustee Program Announces Resolution of Litigation Against Countrywide Home Loans Inc., in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases

WASHINGTON– The U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) has successfully resolved litigation against Countrywide Home Loans Inc. in its ongoing efforts to protect homeowners in bankruptcy, Clifford J. White III, Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees, announced today.

Over a two-year period, the USTP worked closely with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to carry out parallel investigations relating to Countrywide’s improper conduct in servicing home loans.

Andrew Warren, 42, a former official with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), pleaded guilty today to a two-count criminal information charging him with abusive sexual contact and unlawful use of cocaine while possessing a firearm

Andrew Warren, 42, a former official with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), pleaded guilty today to a two-count criminal information charging him with abusive sexual contact and unlawful use of cocaine while possessing a firearm, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., for the District of Columbia and Ambassador Eric J. Boswell, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security.

During the plea hearing before U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in the District of Columbia, Warren admitted that on Feb. 17, 2008, he committed abusive sexual contact while on U.S. embassy property in Algiers, Algeria, by engaging in sexual contact with a female victim after he rendered her unconscious. Additionally, Warren admitted that on April 26, 2010, he unlawfully used cocaine while possessing a Glock Model 19, 9 millimeter semi-automatic pistol in Norfolk, Va. At sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept. 9, 201…

ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO SETTLES WITH TRUGREEN LAWN CARE OVER DECEPTIVE SALES AND CONTRACT PRACTICES

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 7, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced today a settlement with nationwide lawn care provider TruGreen over deceptive practices regarding its service contracts, renewal policies and responses to cancellation requests.

TruGreen Limited Partnership, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., provides lawn care services across the country and in New York, including fertilization as well as weed, disease and pest control and application of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.

Harley Davidson Dealership to Pay $55,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination and Retaliation Suit

Dudley Perkins Fired Woman for Protesting Gender Bias, Federal Agency Charged

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Dudley Perkins Company, the country’s oldest Harley Davidson motorcycle dealership, will pay $55,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC’s suit had charged that the San Francisco-based company refused to let a female employee, Bowen Dean, work as a mechanic, while hiring less qualified men. Further, the EEOC said, Dudley Perkins fired her after she filed an EEOC sex discrimination charge. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Case No. C-08-4552-CW) after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Court Issues Key Decision in EEOC’S Lawsuit Against Hibbing Taconite Company

MINNEAPOLIS – Judge Richard Kyle of U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota issued an order on June 2 denying in part the motion of Hibbing Taconite Company for summary judgment in a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

In its lawsuit, EEOC v. Hibbing Taconite Company, Civ. No. 09-729 (RHK/RLE), originally filed March 31, 2009, the EEOC charged that Hibbing Taconite Company discriminated against James Edstrom, who is deaf, when it denied him employment at its mine. The EEOC contends that Hibbing Taconite rejected Edstrom, who formerly worked for LTV Mining, because of his hearing impairment, in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

New Exhibit on Food to Open at National Inventors Hall of Fame

Exhibit highlights 200 years of food inventions, innovations, and trademarks

Grand opening of Inventive Eats: Incredible Food Innovations
to be held June 8 from Noon to 1 p.m.


Washington, D.C. – Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos and Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille will preside at the opening ceremony of this unique, new exhibit on Tuesday, June 8, from 12 Noon to 1 p.m. This is the first major exhibit installation to come to the Hall since it was relocated to Alexandria from Akron, OH in March 2009.

Inventive Eats: Incredible Food Innovations highlights how our breakfast cereals, sandwiches, dinner entrees, and more have been transformed by significant events, discoveries and inventions. It features the important role many of the National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees have played in the array of appetizing innovations that have made the food we eat safer, healthier and more economic…

Metropolitan Ambulance & First Aid Corp. (now known as SEZ Metro Corp.), Metro North Ambulance Corp. (now known as SEZ North Corp.) and Big Apple Ambulance Service Inc. (formerly known as United Ambulance) have paid the United States $2.85 million to resolve false claims made to Medicare

Metropolitan Ambulance & First Aid Corp. (now known as SEZ Metro Corp.), Metro North Ambulance Corp. (now known as SEZ North Corp.) and Big Apple Ambulance Service Inc. (formerly known as United Ambulance) have paid the United States $2.85 million to resolve false claims made to Medicare, the Justice Department announced today. The United States stipulated to the dismissal of the False Claims Act qui tam suit against the companies, including their president, Steve Zakheim.

The United States alleged that the companies and Zakheim used, or caused the use of, falsified records to appeal a Medicare program refund demand. Medicare had demanded the companies return millions of dollars they had been paid for medically unnecessary ambulance trips. Under Medicare rules, the companies could bill for these expensive non-emergency transports only if the patient could not be transported by any other means, such as by car or by wheelchair van. Medicare audited the companies’ past billings and c…

Court Rules Against Ford Motor Company’s Complaint for $445 Million in Tax Overpayment Interest

A federal court in Detroit has denied Ford Motor Company’s $445 million complaint against the United States for alleged tax overpayment interest.

As explained in the court’s opinion, Ford had sent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a cash bond to stop the running of underpayment interest on potential corporate income tax liabilities relating to ongoing IRS audits. Ford later asked that the deposits be converted to tax payments.

The IRS eventually determined that Ford had overpaid its taxes, and was entitled to a refund. Because the IRS calculated tax overpayment interest from the date of conversion to a tax payment and not from the date of the deposit, the IRS refunded overpayment interest from the date that Ford requested that its deposits be treated as payments. Ford claimed that the interest should have been calculated from the date it originally remitted the deposits.

Arlington, Texas, Couple Sentenced for Enslaving Nigerian Woman for More Than Eight Years

An Arlington, Texas, couple was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge John H. McBryde for forcing a Nigerian widow to perform domestic labor for them for more than eight years. Emmanuel Nnaji, 50, a naturalized citizen of the United States was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Ngozi Ihechere Nnaji, 40, a citizen of Nigeria, was sentenced to nine years in prison. The defendants were also ordered to pay $305,957.60 in restitution.

On Feb. 2, 2010, both defendants were convicted by a Ft. Worth, Texas, jury on all charges, including conspiracy to commit forced labor, forced labor, conspiracy to harbor an alien for financial gain, harboring an alien for financial gain, document servitude and false statements to an FBI agent.

Former Massachusetts State Senator Dianne Wilkerson Pleads Guilty to Extortion

BOSTON—Former Massachusetts State Senator DIANNE WILKERSON pled guilty today to public corruption charges stemming from her acceptance of more than $20,000 in cash payments in connection with her official duties.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Office and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis announced today that DIANNE WILKERSON, 55, of Boston, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to eight counts of attempted extortion under color of official right.

Temp Agency ADECCO USA Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Federal Agency Has Obtained $91,500 for Women Sent by Adecco to Plastics Company Where They Allegedly Suffered Physical and Verbal Harassment

PITTSBURGH - Adecco USA, a Global Fortune 500 staffing company, will pay $12,000 and provide equitable relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. In addition to this settlement, recently the EEOC won $79,500 from the plastics company where the discrimination victims were sent by Adecco to work, for a total of $91,500 in damages for the victims in this case.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Adecco USA assigned Veronica Jalpa, Tonya Claypool and other female employees to work at Pittsburgh Plastics Manufacturing, Inc.’s facility in Butler, Pa. The EEOC alleged that on several occasions a Pittsburgh Plastics male supervisor engaged in unwelcome physical touching of Jalpa, Claypool and other women, including intentionally rubbing against…

GE Subsidiary MRA Systems To Pay $130,000 To Settle EEOC Age Discrimination Suit

Aircraft Systems Company Refused to Promote and Retaliated Against 61-Year-Old Employee, Federal Agency Charged

BALTIMORE –Baltimore-based MRA Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of General Electric, will pay $130,000 and provide substantial equitable relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC charged in its suit that MRA Systems gave Louis Behrendt a lower performance rating, despite his successful job performance, because of his age, 61. The EEOC also alleged that the company failed to assign Behrendt to a position as a Production Control Leader 5 and instead awarded the position, which had greater salary potential, to a younger, less qualified employee. Moreover, the company subjected him to unfair and heightened job scrutiny, gave him poor performance ratings and refused to promote him based on his age and in retaliation for his internal complaints about discrimin­ation, t…

EEOC Sues Haven Manor For Refusing To Accept Hearing-Impaired Certified Nursing Assistant

EEOC Sues Haven Manor For Refusing To Accept Hearing-Impaired Certified Nursing Assistant

Lincoln Assisted Living Facility Violated Federal Law, Agency Charged

LINCOLN, Neb. – Haven Manor, Inc. violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it refused to accept temporary placement of Amanda Huff, a hearing-impaired certified nursing assistant (CNA), at its assisted living facility in Lincoln, Neb., the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

In its lawsuit (Case No. 4:10-cv-03108), filed in U.S. District Court in Lincoln, the EEOC claimed that in September 2007, Willingham Health Services, a staffing agency, sent Amanda Huff to Haven Manor in response for a request for a CNA to cover short-staffing on the evening shift. The EEOC further alleges that after Huff, an excellent lip reader, spent about 20 minutes in orientation with a Haven Manor representative, she asked if she could have someone set her pager to vibrate ra…