Showing posts from October, 2012


Juan Carlos Escobar Gonzalez was sentenced today to 188 months of imprisonment for raping an undocumented 17-year-old El Salvadoran girl in the back of a van at a rest stop in New Jersey while transporting her from Texas to her family in New York. The sentence will run consecutively to the 57-month sentence the defendant received in an alien smuggling case in the Eastern District of Texas in May 2010. The sentencing proceeding was held today before United States District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr., at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York. The defendant was convicted after trial in November 2011 of interstate transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and alien smuggling.


Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, today announced that the United States has intervened in the matter of Ohlmeyer ex rel United States of America v. City of New York, an action brought pursuant to the qui tam whistleblower provisions of the federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-33. In its complaint, the United States alleges that the City of New York Department of Education (DOE) submitted false claims to Medicaid for psychological counseling services to special education students in the New York City public schools.

Class Claims Lawyer Took 'Secret' $6M Deal

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) - A California law firm accepted a $6 million "secret settlement" of a labor class action against a bank, agreed to dismiss the claims without telling 600 clients, then tried to convert the whole settlement into legal fees, a class action claims in state court.

HSI dismantles multi-state drug, money laundering operation

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Seven people were sentenced to federal prison Wednesday for their roles in a drug trafficking and money laundering scheme that used Arkansas businesses to hide $315,000 in illegal proceeds from a California-based drug ring. The charges stemmed from a joint investigation launched in May 2011 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and members of the Washington County Sheriff's Department, Springdale Police Department and Rogers Police Department.

Essex County Man Sentenced to 147 Months in Prison for Carjacking and Related Crimes

NEWARK—An Essex County, New Jersey man responsible for a gunpoint carjacking in Newark last winter was sentenced today to 147months in prison, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.


Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the guilty plea of NICHOLAS MINA, 32, a New York City police officer, for stealing police-issued firearms from his colleagues’ lockers in the 9th Precinct Station House and selling them on the underground market. MINA pleaded guilty to Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Second Degree, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, and Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree. The defendant is expected to be sentenced on November 7, 2012.

Dairy Queen Franchisee to Pay $17,500 to Settle Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - YS&J Enterprises, Inc., which operates a Dairy Queen restaurant in Winston-Salem's Hanes Mall, will pay $17,500 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

Five Framed Teens Spent 19 Years in Prison


CHICAGO (CN) - Five innocent young men spent 19 years in prison because police coerced confessions and withheld evidence about a girl's rape and murder, the exonerated men claim in Federal Court.

EEOC Wins Summary Judgment on Liability in Baltimore County Pension Case

BALTIMORE - A federal judge has granted summary judgment against Baltimore County in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. In so doing, the judge found that Baltimore County's pension plan, known as the Employee Retirement System (ERS), violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) because the plan is inherently discriminatory. U.S. District Judge Benson Everett Legg also denied Baltimore County's motion for summary judgment.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlement With Walgreens For Sticking NYS Empire Plan Members With Flu Shot Bills

NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a settlement with the Walgreen Company following an investigation that determined that over 3,000 individuals insured by the NYS Empire Plan were misled by Walgreens into thinking they were covered for flu shots administered at the pharmacy, when they were not. Today's settlement requires Walgreens to cease advertising free flu shots for Empire Plan members and to refund payments to consumers who were forced to pay for flu shots out of their own pocket. The Attorney General also provided tips to protect health care consumers from having to pay unnecessary costs this flu season.

Brooklyn Woman Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 18 Months In Prison For Participating In $57.3 Million Fraud On Organization That Makes Reparations To Victims Of Nazi Persecution

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that POLINA BREYTER, a former caseworker and employee of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. (the “Claims Conference”) who participated in a $57 million fraud scheme targeting programs administered by that organization that were established to aid the survivors of Nazi persecution, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 18 months in prison. BREYTER pled guilty in May 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. She was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa.


Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the sentencing of TRACEY NELSON, 25, to 6-to-18 years in prison for her role in an organized identity theft and financial crime ring that relied on corrupt employees at banks, a non-profit institution, a high-end car dealership, and a real estate management company to steal and traffic in the names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers, and financial account information of unsuspecting victims. The conspirators used the stolen information to conduct fraudulent financial transactions with the victims’ identities.

Three Former Financial Services Executives Sentenced to Serve Time in Prison for Roles in Conspiracies Involving Investment Contracts for the Proceeds of Municipal Bonds

WASHINGTON—Three former financial services executives were sentenced today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for their participation in conspiracies related to bidding for contracts for the investment of municipal bond proceeds and other municipal finance contracts, the Department of Justice announced. The three former executives were convicted after a three week trial on May 11, 2012.

Investment Manager Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

The investment manager of Century Maxim Fund Inc. and AJR Capital Inc. pleaded guilty today to wire fraud arising from his fraudulent investment scheme involving over $5 million of investors’ funds. Aleksander Efrosman entered his plea before the Hon. Nicholas G. Garaufis, United States District Judge, at the United States Courthouse in Brooklyn.

BellSouth Telecommunications to Pay $120,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment / Retaliation Suit

ATLANTA - BellSouth Telecommunications, LLC, a subsidiary of BellSouth Corporation, will pay $120,000 to two former employees to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

Two Former Hospital Employees Sentenced to Serve Time in Prison for Participating in Kickback Schemes at New York City Hospital

WASHINGTON—Two former high-ranking employees of facilities operations at New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH) were sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan by Judge George B. Daniels today for their participation in two separate conspiracies involving kickbacks, the Department of Justice announced today.

Town of Elkton Will Pay $235,000 to Resolve EEOC Age Discrimination Lawsuit

BALTIMORE - The town of Elkton, Md., will pay $235,000 and furnish other relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.


Earlier today, former American Airlines baggage handler Victor Bourne, a Barbadian national, was sentenced to life in prison for his leadership of an international drug trafficking organization (the “Bourne Organization”) that smuggled cocaine from the Carribean into the United States through John F. Kennedy International Airport. The sentencing proceeding was held before United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. Bourne was convicted of narcotics trafficking offenses and money laundering following a month-long trial in October 2011.


Admir Kacamakovic, an eight year veteran of the New York City Police Department, pleaded guilty today to willfully violating the civil rights of a Brooklyn resident by illegally detaining and handcuffing him. As a consequence of these acts, Kacamakovic’s victim sustained bodily injury in the form of scarring on his wrist. The guilty plea was entered before United States District Judge William F. Kuntz, II, at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn. As part of his plea agreement, Kacamakovic will resign from the NYPD and will not apply for a job in law enforcement in the future.

Stan Lee Media Fires Blast at Disney


DENVER (CN) - Stan Lee Media claims in court that Walt Disney Co. earned billions of dollars from films based on characters created by "comic book genius" Stan Lee.

Stan Lee Media claims that a 1998 agreement with Lee gave it the rights to Spider Man, the Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, and other Marvel Comics superheroes.

Owner of Texas Home Health Services Company Pleads Guilty, Admits Role in $374 Million Fraud Scheme

WASHINGTON—A Dallas-area home health services company owner today admitted his role in a $374 million home health fraud scheme in which he and others conspired to bill Medicare for unnecessary services that were never performed. Cyprian Akamnonu, 64, of Arlington, Texas, entered his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay in Dallas federal court.

Genovese Family Soldier Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Racketeering And Extortion Crimes

EMILIO FUSCO, a member of the Genovese Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra (the “Genovese Crime Family”), was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 25 years in prison for various racketeering conspiracy and extortion crimes. FUSCO was convicted in May 2012 of one count of conspiring to participate in the affairs of the Genovese Organized Crime Family, one count of conspiring to extort the owner of various restaurants and strip clubs in Springfield, Massachusetts, and one count of interstate travel in aid of racketeering after a three-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel, who also imposed today’s sentence. At today’s sentencing, Judge Castel also found that FUSCO committed the November 2003 murders of Adolfo Bruno and Gary Westerman in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Wendy's Franchisee to Pay $41,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

DALLAS - CTW L.L.C., a Wendy's franchisee, has agreed to pay $41,500 and provide other significant relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC charged the company with unlawfully denying employment to a hearing-impaired applicant because of his disability at a Killeen, Texas Wendy's.

Student Sues Wesleyan Over 'Rape Factory' Frat House


HARTFORD (CN) - A Wesleyan University student was sexually assaulted at a Beta Theta Pi Fraternity house known as the "Rape Factory," the former student claims in court.

Jane Doe, of Maryland, sued the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, its Mu Epsilon Chapter and Wesleyan University, in Federal Court. She also sued the owner, landlord and manager of the Beta House, the Raymond Duy Baird Memorial Association.


Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of DAVID MITCHELL, 42, for the rape of a 73-year-old woman in Central Park. The defendant is charged in New York State Supreme Court with Rape in the First Degree, Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, and Sexually Motivated Robbery in the Second Degree, among other charges. The same indictment also charges MITCHELL with Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree for attacks on two women on the Upper West Side on the same day, as well as with Menacing in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree for a separate incident in Central Park that occurred weeks earlier.[1]

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Files Mortgage Fraud Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Seeking Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars In Damages For Fraudulently Certified Loans

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Helen Kanovsky, General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), and David A. Montoya, Inspector General of HUD, announced today that the United States has filed a civil mortgage fraud lawsuit against WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. (“WELLS FARGO”). The Government’s Complaint seeks damages and civil penalties under the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”) for more than 10 years of misconduct in connection with WELLS FARGO’s participation in the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) Direct Endorsement Lender Program. The lawsuit alleges that, as a result of WELLS FARGO’s false certifications, FHA has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance claims on thousands of mortgages that defaulted.

New Jersey Man Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 10 Years In Prison For $3.5 Million Attempted Fraud Scheme

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that KHADDY GARCIA was sentenced today to 10 years in prison in connection with a fraudulent scheme to withdraw funds from various bank accounts, and a second fraudulent scheme to induce a venture capital fund to wire $2 million to an account GARCIA controlled. He was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest.


Joseph Romano, a convicted boiler room owner, and Dejvid Mirkovic, Romano’s business associate, have been charged in a federal criminal complaint with conspiring to murder a United States District Judge and an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.1 Romano, who is currently serving a 15-year-sentence following his conviction for conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, and Mirkovic allegedly attempted to hire a hitman to kill the judge, who presided over Romano’s underlying case (“the judge”), and the prosecutor who handled the case (“the AUSA”), in exchange for $40,000.

Anti-Gay Therapy Ban Impugned in California


(CN) - Therapists who purportedly counsel patients into heterosexuality filed a federal complaint against California's ban on anti-gay teen therapy.

Known as Senate Bill 1172, the law prohibits licensed mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists and family therapists, from using sexual orientation change therapy and other "reparative" methods with clients under the age of 18. The ban targets any practices that seek to change sexual orientation or behavior and gender expression.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney and FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge Announce Arrests of Two Sales Brokers in Broker-Dealer Mark-Up Scheme

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Mary Galligan, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), today announced the arrests of Marek Leszczynski and Benjamin Chouchane, who previously worked as sales brokers in the same brokerage firm, on charges of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud.

Roy Farms Sued by EEOC for Male-on-Male Sexual Harassment

SEATTLE - Eastern Washington grower Roy Farms violated federal law by allowing a supervisor to sexually harass male laborers, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

Brightstar Owner Christopher Luis Pays Full Restitution To 109 Employees Who Worked Without Pay

NEW YORK--Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea and sentencing of home health agency owner Christopher Luis, 58, of Manhattan, for failing to pay 109 employees of his company, CLBAZ Connections, LLC, over a six-month period. Luis, whose business operated at 11 Penn Plaza, admitted to a misdemeanor count of Failure to Pay Wages in violation of Labor Law Section 198-a(1).

Doctor, Four Chiropractors, and 10 Others Arrested in Brooklyn and Long Island as Part of Nationwide Medicare Strike Force Initiative

Fifteen individuals, including a doctor and four licensed chiropractors, have been charged for their alleged participation in three separate schemes that falsely billed the Medicare and Medicaid programs for more than $23 million. The charges filed in Brooklyn and Central Islip, New York, are part of a nationwide takedown by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations that led to charges against 92 individuals for their alleged participation in schemes to collectively submit approximately $432 million in fraudulent claims. The charges are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Roy Farms Ha Sido Demandada Por EEOC Por Acoso Sexual Hombre Con Hombre

SEATTLE ?El cultivador de Eastern Washington, Roy Farms, violó la ley federal al permitir que un supervisor acosara sexualmente a los trabajadores masculinos, afirma la U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) en una demanda presentada hoy.

Payment Processor for Internet Poker Companies Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Chad Elie, a payment processor who worked with Internet poker companies Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker (the “poker companies”), was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan to five months in prison for his role in a scheme to deceive banks into processing hundreds of millions of dollars in Internet gambling transactions. Elie, who had previously withdrawn all claims to approximately $25 million seized from payment processing accounts linked to him as required by his plea agreement, was further ordered to forfeit $500,000 to the United States. He pled guilty in March 2012 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and to operate illegal gambling businesses.

Software Company CEO Charged in Manhattan Federal Court for $2 Million Securities Fraud Scheme

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Mary Galligan, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced today the arrest of Robert Kelly, the chief executive officer of Wwebnet Inc. (Wwebnet), a software development company, on securities and wire fraud charges. Kelly allegedly diverted for his own personal use over $2 million in investor proceeds that was intended for the development of a software program capable of transmitting music, videos, and movies over the Internet. He used the money to trade options, to pay his personal income taxes, and for other purposes unrelated to software development. Kelly was arrested yesterday afternoon in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was presented there in federal court this morning.

Supervisory Officials at New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Plead Guilty to Bribery Charges

Two former supervisors at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) pleaded guilty today to bribery charges in connection with a widespread scheme to bribe high-ranking HPD officials in return for lucrative construction contracts. Michael Provenzano, formerly HPD’s director of construction services, and Luis Adorno, formerly an inspections supervisor in HPD’s Department of Architecture and Construction Engineering, each pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Nina Gershon at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East in Brooklyn, New York. As part of their plea agreements, Provenzano and Adorno agreed to forfeit to the government assets totaling $30,000 and $100,000, respectively, as proceeds of their crimes.