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Showing posts from May, 2011

Longs Drugs Settles EEOC Race, Gender Discrimination and Retaliation Suit

SAN FRANCISCO — A major pharmacy chain has agreed to pay $55,000 and to implement preventive training to settle a federal lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging race and gender discrimination and retaliation, the agency announced today. The EEOC had sued on behalf of an African-American female buyer who had been employed at Longs Drugs, which was later bought by CVS Caremark.

The EEOC’s suit asserted that Marcia Guaman was treated by Longs Drugs very differently from colleagues who were not black or female. For example, Guaman received verbal and written warnings for her performance numbers, while white female co-workers with lower scores did not face any disciplinary action. Also, Guaman’s requests for vacation days were denied, even though she asked prior to white co-workers who were granted vacation for the same dates, according to the EEOC. She was discharged from her position a few months after she raised the differential treatment t…

Sports/ NBA Finals

Well sports fans, the day that basketball fans around the world (except in Miami) have been dreading is finally upon us. Tonight is game one of the NBA Finals in a rematch of the 2006 Finals between the Dallas Mavericks & the Miami Heat. From the summertime, which featured Chris "I'm a follower" Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron "Benedict Arnold" James signing long term deals with Miami, they wanted to get to this point and have a chance for a title. However, Dirk Nowitski has played as good, if not better, than anyone else in the playoffs this year. How will Miami stop him? Will the Mavericks spoil the Heat's first (and maybe only) attempt at a title? Can Dallas finish this series? These questions will be answered and more once that first jump ball is made until that final buzzer declaring the winner sounds. We'll see what transpires over the next few days

Sports/ Colon Renaissance Continues

Bartolo Colon continues to prove that he hasn't lost his talent with yet another brilliant performance today. He has defied all of the naysayers who believed he could never recover the career he lost shortly after claiming the 2005 Cy Young Award. The Yankees knew they were taking a chance, but are now most definitely appreciative of what the 37 year old right hander is giving them. With Phil Hughes still sidelined Colon has been a breath of fresh air to a pitching staff that was much maligned after the retirement of Andy Pettitte. Hopefully he can uphold this mastery as the season rolls along.

By: Sean Snowden

Weekly Address: Biden on the American Auto Comeback

Vice President Joe Biden delivers the Weekly Address, celebrating the success of the American auto industry in the wake of Chrysler paying back their loans.

Jose Velasco Was Sentenced to 70 Months in Prison for $17 Million Scheme to Defraud the U.S. Export-Import Bank

WASHINGTON– An El Paso, Texas, resident was sentenced on 5/26/2011, to 70 months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) of more than $17 million, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; Osvaldo L. Gratacos, Inspector General of the Ex-Im Bank; and Manuel Oyola-Torres, Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso.  Jose Velasco, 40, was also sentenced by Judge Reginald Walton in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $17.9 million in restitution and $17.9 million in forfeiture.  Velasco pleaded guilty on Sept. 24, 2010, to a criminal information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.     According to court documents, Velasco was the owner of Alamo Freight Forwarding…

Andres Cespedes, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

WASHINGTON – A Miami-area resident who was an owner and vice-president of a fraudulent physical therapy company in Lakeland, Fla., pleaded guilty on 5/27/2011 for his role in a scheme to defraud Medicare, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS) announced.  Andres Cespedes, 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Pizzo in Tampa to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. According to court documents, Cespedes was the vice-president of Dynamic Therapy Inc.  Cespedes and his co-conspirators purchased Dynamic from its prior owners, and transformed it into a fraudulent enterprise.   Dynamic purported to provide physical therapy services to Medicare beneficiaries, but in reality obtained patient information through kickbacks and bribes, and billed Medicare for physical therapy that never occurred.  According to court documents, from fall 2009 to summer 2010, Cespedes submitted and caused the submission of $757,654 in fraudulent c…

Four Amigos Travel and Top Dog Travel Sued by EEOC in Class Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

TAMPA – Four Amigos Travel, Inc. and Top Dog Travel, Inc., related Florida-based travel telemarketing firms, violated federal law when they allowed five female employees at their Largo, Fla., location to be sexually harassed by supervisors, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on 5/26/2011.

According to the EEOC’s class suit, several of the firms’ male supervisors, including the general manager, conducted daily sales meetings which were sexually charged and raised sexually explicit discussions and propositioned female employees for sex. The harassers also inappropriately touched themselves and the female employees, made other aggressive sexual advances towards them and used derogatory terms such as “b-----s.” One male supervisor is alleged to have presented a female employee with a picture of his private parts and asked, “Impressive, aren’t I?”

The EEOC says that the women were offended and intimidated by the harassment and were mocked fo…

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Guilty Pleas of Former Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager and NVIDIA Finance Employee to Insider Trading Charges

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that SAMIR BARAI, a/k/a “Sam Barai,” a portfolio manager at two different New York based hedge funds, and SON NGOC NGUYEN, a/k/a “Sonny,” an employee in the finance department of NVIDIA Corporation (“NVIDIA”), pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court to charges arising out of their involvement in separate insider trading schemes. BARAI, who had previously been arrested on February 8, 2011, and charged in a criminal complaint, also pled guilty to additional charges, including obstruction of justice, in connection with the insider trading scheme.

According to the informations to which BARAI and NGUYEN pled guilty, statements made during the plea proceedings, and other court documents:

Between 2006 and 2010, BARAI worked as a portfolio manager at two hedge funds located in New York, New York. During that time period he and his co-conspirators, including DONALD LONGUEUIL, NOAH FREEMAN, JASON PFL…

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN WINS LANDMARK CASE AGAINST NYC DEVELOPER YAIR LEVY, OPENING DOOR TO MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR DEFRAUDED RESIDENTS

NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a favorable decision in his case against YL Rector Street, LLC and Yair Levy. The Supreme Court in New York County ruled that the developer of the Rector Square Condominium in Battery Park City defrauded purchasers of approximately $7.4 million by failing to finance and maintain a legally-required reserve fund to ensure the health and safety of residents.

“Yair Levy treated the Rector Square Condominium as his personal ATM, using the millions of dollars intended for residents for his own purposes, even while the building conditions deteriorated,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “This kind of misconduct will not be tolerated and I will continue to hold those who defraud tenants and owners accountable.”

The case was initiated in June 2010 after an investigation by then-Attorney General Cuomo’s office revealed that Levy promised Rector Square Condominium tenants and owners that the legally-required reserve fund would …

South Florida man charged with falsely representing himself as an immigration attorney

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A local man was charged in federal court on Friday with making false statements in connection with purported immigration services.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by local U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents.

According to the criminal complaint and statements made during the May 27 court hearing, during the course of this scheme, Levy Garcia Crespo, 34, of West Palm Beach, submitted fraudulent paperwork to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicating that he was an attorney representing clients in immigration matters.

In support of his paperwork, Crespo submitted a fraudulent Florida Bar Association identification card and a fraudulent Florida driver's license.

Crespo also appeared in immigration court and represented himself as an attorney.

While posing as an attorney, he processed more than 3,000 false and fraudulent immigration applications on behalf of il…

SEC Charges Former NASDAQ Managing Director with Insider Trading

Washington, D.C., May 26, 2011 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a former managing director of The NASDAQ Stock Market with insider trading on confidential information that he stole while working in a market intelligence unit that communicates with companies in advance of market-moving public announcements.
Additional MaterialsLitigation Release No. 21981SEC Complaint The SEC alleges that Donald L. Johnson traded in advance of such public announcements as corporate leadership changes, earnings reports and forecasts, and regulatory approvals of new pharmaceutical products. He often placed the illegal trades directly from his work computer through an online brokerage account in his wife’s name. Johnson obtained illicit trading profits of more than $755,000 during a three-year period.
Johnson also has been charged in a parallel criminal action announced by the U.S. Department of Justice today.

“This case is the insider trading version of the fox guarding th…

Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., to Pay $55,000 To Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

INDIANAPOLIS – Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (ACS), the company under contract with the State of Indiana to operate many of Indiana’s public benefits programs, will pay $55,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC had charged in its suit (Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-00015-PPS-RBC in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division) that ACS and Alpha Rae Personnel, Inc., the staffing firm that supports the company, violated federal law by refusing to accommodate an employee’s known disabilities and by terminating her assignment to ACS instead.

Such conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.

A consent decree agreed to by the EEOC, ACS and Alpha Rae and entered by the court requires that for the …

Imam from Trinidad Convicted of Conspiracy to Launch Terrorist Attack at JFK Airport

BROOKLYN, NY—Following a four-week jury trial, Kareem Ibrahim was convicted today in the Eastern District of New York of conspiring to attack John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, by exploding fuel tanks and the fuel pipeline under the airport. The defendant believed the attack would cause extensive damage to the airport and to the United States economy, as well as the loss of innocent lives. The defendant faces a sentence of up to life in prison. Sentencing has been scheduled for October 21, 2011.
The convictions were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York.

The evidence at trial established that Kareem Ibrahim, an Imam and leader of the Shiite Muslim community in Trinida…

Former Manassas School Teacher Sentenced to 25 Years for Producing Child Pornography

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Kevin Garfield Ricks, 51, of Federalsburg, Md., was sentenced today to 300 months in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for producing and possessing child pornography over a 17-year period.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Douglas W. Keen, Manassas City Chief of Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge James C. Cacheris.

“In his journals, Kevin Ricks calls himself the devil, a molester so depraved that he is beyond rehabilitation and said that his soul was corrupt,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Mr. Ricks was every parent’s worst nightmare: a master manipulator child predator who sexually abused while leading a double life as a beloved teacher and counselor more than three decades. There is no question that his pattern of abuse would have conti…

Administrative law judge upholds OSHA citation issued to Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Logistics Services

Affirms musculoskeletal disorder should be recorded on OSHA 300 Injury and Illness Log 
PEORIA, Ill. An administrative law judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in Denver, Colo., has affirmed an other-than-serious safety citation issued to Peoria-based Caterpillar Logistics Services by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration in June 2009. The company was cited for failing to record a worker's musculoskeletal disorder on the company's OSHA 300 log and assessed a proposed penalty of $900.

"Musculoskeletal disorders are very prevalent and are significant workplace injuries and illnesses," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels, who praised the decision. "It is imperative that these types of work-related illnesses are logged appropriately so workers and managers are made aware of them as well as their causes, and so that we can all learn how to better p…

Judge finds Decatur-Ill. Mexican restaurants liable for more than $1 million in back wages and damages after US Labor Department investigation

URBANA, Ill. — A federal judge in Urbana has ordered Dolores Onate, owner, and Ricardo Onate, manager, of the El Matador Inc. and El Caporal Inc. restaurants in Decatur to pay a total of $1,149,702.50 in back wages and damages to 64 workers employed as servers and kitchen staff. This judgment resolves a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor following an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division that disclosed willful violations of the minimum wage, overtime pay and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act at three locations.

"The defendants in this case willfully and repeatedly violated federal labor standards, including forcing their employees to repay wages in an effort to conceal their own violations," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "As a result of the Labor Department's enforcement efforts, these vulnerable workers will receive their rightful pay."

The judgment requires the defendants to pay $387,4…

Two Individuals Convicted of Importing and Selling Counterfeit Cisco Computer Networking Equipment

WASHINGTON – Chun-Yu Zhao, of Centreville, Va., and Donald H. Cone, of Frederick, Md., were convicted by a federal jury in Alexandria, Va., for their roles in a sophisticated scheme to import and sell counterfeit Cisco-branded computer networking equipment, announced U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. In addition to the conspiracy conviction, Zhao was convicted of 15 additional counts, including importation fraud, trafficking in counterfeit goods and labels, false statements to law enforcement, false statements in naturalization and money laundering. She was acquitted on one count of false statements and one count of money laundering. The jury reached its verdict on May 24, 2011, after a 12-day trial and nearly four days of deliberations. Today, the jury returned a verdict regarding the forfeiture of numerous assets associated with Zhao, includin…

Three Convicted of Sex Trafficking, Forced Labor and Immigration Offenses on Long Island, N.Y.

WASHINGTON – A federal jury in Central Islip, N.Y., today found Antonio Rivera, 36, and Jason Villaman, 33, guilty of conspiracy, sex trafficking, forced labor, alien harboring and alien transportation, the Justice Department announced today. John Whaley, 31, was convicted of conspiracy, forced labor, alien harboring and alien transportation. The charges arose in connection with the defendants operation of two bars, Sonidos de la Frontera in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., and La Hija del Mariachi,in Farmingville, N.Y. Rivera was the owner of the bars, and Whaley and Villaman transported the victims to and from the bars. Villaman also worked as a security guard at Sonidos de la Frontera. The government’s evidence at trial established that the defendants and others compelled undocumented Latin American women from Honduras, Guatelmala, Mexico and El Salvador, hired as waitresses in Rivera’s bars to engage in commercial sex acts by using violence, fraud, coercion and threats of deport…

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF MAJOR ORGANIZED CYBERCRIME RING

Indictments Charge 28 Individuals with Counterfeit Check Fraud  Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of 28 individuals in connection with “Operation White Rover,” a forged check and identity theft ring based in Brooklyn that compromised bank accounts at TD Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank and Citibank locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Charges in the indictment include Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, Identity Theft in the First Degree, Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. The crimes charged in the indictment total 99 counts in two separate conspiracies: 88 counts arising from the conspiracy against TD Bank, which occurred between August 2009 and April 2010, and 10 counts from the conspiracy against JP Morgan Chase Bank, which occurred between October 2…

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES SENTENCING IN NURSING HOME SEX ABUSE CASE

Jose Ramos Sentenced to Maximum Prison Term, Speech-Impaired Victim Used Letter Board and Translator to Testify

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the conviction and sentencing of JOSE RAMOS, a nursing aide at Amsterdam Nursing Home in Morningside Heights, for sexually abusing a disabled and speech-impaired 61-year-old resident of that facility. Today RAMOS was sentenced to seven years in state prison on one count of Sex Abuse in the First Degree, one and one-third to four years in state prison on one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person in the Second Degree, and one year in jail on one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Physically Disabled Person, to run concurrently. Upon his release, RAMOS will be under post-release supervision for ten years and will be required to register as a sex offender.

“The defendant preyed upon a helpless victim,” said District Attorney Vance. “Much trust is placed in the hands of those that take …

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE STATEMENT ON VERDICT IN TRIAL OF NYPD OFFICERS FRANKLIN MATA AND KENNETH MORENO

New York City Police Officers Franklin Mata and Kenneth Moreno were each found guilty of three counts of Official Misconduct. During a trial before a jury in New York State Supreme Court, it was established that Officer Kenneth Moreno and Officer Franklin Mata engaged in acts of official misconduct for reentering the apartment of an intoxicated woman whom they were called to assist. They are expected to be sentenced on June 28, 2011.

“We respect the jury’s verdict, which acknowledges that the defendants’ actions that night not only violated the law, they violated the victim’s rights, and the public’s trust,” said District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. “I thank our prosecutors, Coleen Balbert and Randolph Clarke, Jr., who worked tirelessly on this case. I also commend the bravery of the victim in coming forward, and in persevering through an often grueling and very public 9-week trial. ”

District Attorney Vance thanked Assistant District Attorneys Coleen Balbert, Deputy Chief of the Se…

Monterey Gourmet Foods Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment And Retaliation Lawsuit

SALINAS, Calif. -- Monterey Gourmet Foods, Inc., a major producer of refrigerated gourmet food products, agreed to pay $535,000 to four Latino workers and to implement preventive measures to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, three women and one man employed as packers in the lasagna, tamale and ravioli production units in Salinas suffered sexual harassment by the same male supervisor. Starting in August 2006, their new crew leader’s conduct included sexual comments, texting obscene pictures, and unwanted physical touching. Although the employees reported the harassment to management and the human resources department, the company failed to take prompt and effective corrective action. I n May 2008, just weeks after two workers filed discrimination charges with the EEOC, all four workers were discharged or laid off as retaliation.

“You should no…

Chrysler To Pay $60,000 Under Decree Ending EEOC Retaliation Lawsuit

MILWAUKEE – Chrysler Group, LLC will pay $60,000 under a consent decree resolving a retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which was entered by the federal court in Milwaukee today. The EEOC sued Chrysler in December 2009 for unlawfully retaliating against two women after they opposed sex discrimination at Chrysler’s national parts distribution center in Milwaukee. (EEOC v. Chrysler Group, LLC, No. 08-C-1067 (E.D. Wis.).

The events underlying this lawsuit, the EEOC said, began when Chrysler’s second-shift supervisor at the Milwaukee facility removed one of the women from the coveted position of driving a power sweeper and assigned her to gather parts in the “back order release” area. When this woman and a female coworker questioned why a male employee with less seniority was not assigned to the less desirable job of “picking” parts, the EEOC said, Chrysler’s plant manager accused each woman of disrupting the work force and threatened the…

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN & NYPD COMMISSIONER KELLY ANNOUNCE TAKEDOWN OF INTERNATIONAL CAR THEFT RING

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced the takedown of an extensive automobile theft and resale ring alleged to have stolen hundreds of cars worth more than $10 million.

In a series of late night and early morning raids, 19 individuals were arrested for their participation in the criminal network; 16 will be charged with enterprise corruption, a class B felony that carries mandatory prison time. The takedown was the latest development in Operation Car Wars, the joint investigation between the Attorney General’s Office and the New York City Police Department.

“Through the diligent work of the Attorney General’s Office and NYPD, we have successfully dismantled a sophisticated criminal network,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “This joint investigation provided our law enforcement offices with the added resources and man-power needed to take down the ring and hold all of its members accountable. The less…