2 Heath Care Worker Arrested For Allegedly Stealing COVID-19 Patient Data From Agency’s Systems And Offering It For Sale Online – January 26, 2021
Police in the Netherlands have arrested two health ministry workers for allegedly stealing COVID-19 patient data from the agency’s systems and offering it for sale online.
Both workers’ homes have been searched and their computers have been seized, Netherland police said in a statement Monday, adding that more arrests in the incident were “not excluded.”
Personal data, including names, addresses and dates of birth, was among the information offered for sale
Former Federal Aviation Administration Employee Sentenced For Severing Air Traffic Communications With Airplanes – January 28, 2021
According to documents and information presented in court, Joelyn DeCosta was an Airway Transportation Systems Specialist for the Federal Aviation Administration, and had worked for the F.A.A. for approximately 26 years.
On January 4, 2019, she willfully and maliciously severed communications between Air Traffic Control in Honolulu and aircraft flying in U.S. airspace above and around Honolulu, in an area known as Sector 4, which covers flights between Oahu and Maui, Lanai, Moloka’i, Kaho’olawe, and the Big Island. The main and standby communication lines between Hawaii Air Traffic Control and pilots of approximately six planes during one incident and approximately four planes during a second incident were affected by the outages. In total, pilots could not hear instructions from Air Traffic Control for a total of two minutes, as a result of the outages caused by the defendant.
Former Atlantic City Mayor Sentenced To Prison For Defrauding Contributors To Youth Basketball Team Out Of $86,000 – January 28, 2021
Frank Gilliam was the former Mayor of Atlantic City.
Gilliam was the co-founder of AC Starz Basketball Club (AC Starz), a non-profit that he incorporated to operate a youth basketball team. While serving as a member of the Atlantic City Council and later, as Mayor of Atlantic City, Gilliam solicited donations for AC Starz from various individuals and entities under the false pretense that the contributions were for a youth basketball team and / or school supplies for underprivileged children.
Gilliam instead used most of the money for personal expenses – including luxury clothing, expensive meals, and trips – that were completely unrelated to the operation of a youth basketball team. In total, Gilliam defrauded the contributors out of $86,790.
Former Union President / Benefit Funds Administrator Charged With Embezzlement – January 28, 2021
Dorothy McBride had control over the union’s and the funds’ bank accounts.
From at least 2015 through June 2018, she made routine payments to her personal credit card accounts from the bank accounts of the union and employee benefit funds for expenditures that were not authorized or for legitimate union or fund purposes. McBride caused the pension fund to direct monthly payments for pension benefits to a personal account.
Former City Council Members Pleads Guilty To Accepting $38,000 In Bribes – January 27, 2021
Ricardo Pacheco of Baldwin Park, CA was elected to the City Council in 1997 and served as mayor pro tempore in 2018.
Pacheco admitted to soliciting and receiving a total of $37,900 in bribes from a Baldwin Park police officer from January through October 2018 to support and vote for the Police Association’s contract, which was worth at least $4.4 million over three years. The police officer who made the payments did so at the direction of the FBI after another officer and he approached the FBI and agreed to assist in its ongoing corruption investigation. In exchange for the payments, Pacheco voted in favor of the Police Association contract in March 2018.
The payments to Pacheco included a $20,000 cash bribe in October 2018, which the police officer provided to him in an envelope in a Baldwin Park coffee shop. Pacheco also solicited and received $17,900 in checks that he directed be made out to his church and sham political action committees he had set up using other individuals’ names but which he controlled.
Former Employee Embezzled $231,000+ From Employer – January 26, 2021
From January 2014 to December 2016, Stephanie Gragg used her access to Shangri-La Management LLC’s cash collections to take $231,964 in cash funds to enrich herself. She deposited a portion of the embezzled cash into her personal accounts at her bank to pay for personal and family expenses. She also used a portion of the cash funds to gamble.
Internal Revenue Service Agent Charged With Identity Theft And Wire Fraud – January 25, 2021
Bryan Cho has been employed as a Special Agent with Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation since 2008. During the course of his employment, Cho worked on an investigation through which he obtained identifying information for an individual described in the indictment as “John Doe.” The investigation was eventually closed, but Cho retained items he obtained during the investigation and used John Doe’s identifying information to create false identification documents and open a corporate entity overseas in John Doe’s name. The fraudulent documents included purported identification cards for the Philippines and the Republic of Marshall Islands in the name of John Doe, but bearing photos of the defendant, and a purported passport in the name of John Doe for the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
Cho later made false statements during a background investigation, including denying that he possessed any foreign identification documents. Cho also denied any contacts with foreign officials even though law enforcement from the Republic of South Korea had communications with him regarding allegations that South Korean government personnel had paid bribes to the defendant in exchange for information about ongoing U.S. criminal investigations. Cho also submitted multiple false documents in connection with the purchase of a co-op apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, including forged tax returns and bank statements that inflated his income and assets to secure the co-op board’s approval for the purchase, and funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from a foreign bank account associated with an entity the defendant created using John Doe’s identity to fund the purchase.
Former PG&E Employee Sentenced To Prison For $82 Million+ Fraud Conspiracy Involving Cousin Over 8 Years – January 25, 2021
According to court documents, Ronald Schoenfeld of Goodyear, Arizona, formerly of Dublin, California, while employed at Pacific Gas and Electric Company, conspired to obtain contracts from PG&E for his cousin’s transportation business in exchange for kickbacks from that business worth approximately 2.5% of the value of the contracts. Schoenfeld concealed from PG&E his familial relationship with his co-conspirator from PG&E, provided confidential information to his co-conspirator, and, at times, directly intervened in the consideration of contracts between PG&E and his co-conspirator’s business, all contrary to PG&E’s policies.
From March 2007 through February 2015, PG&E paid at least $82.1 million to the business operated by Schoenfeld’s cousin for services it provided pursuant to PG&E contracts. During the same period, Schoenfeld’s co-conspirator paid him at least $1,476,295.15 in kickbacks for his role in the conspiracy.
Former Bank Branch Manager Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $1 Million+ From Customer With Dementia – January 25, 2021
Marie Fulle was a branch manager of a commercial bank. From February 2013 to April 2014, she targeted a vulnerable customer – an elderly man with dementia – and cultivated an exclusive banking relationship with him. Fulle then opened various bank accounts with the victim and used them to create a confusing web in which she could hide unauthorized transfers, and forged withdrawals with cashier’s checks.
Between February 2013 and May 2013, Fulle embezzled approximately $43,400 over the course of six transactions. After Fulle lost an anticipated promotion at work in May 2013, she began embezzling larger amounts of the victim’s money, unilaterally changing the address for one of the victim’s accounts, which prevented the statements from being delivered to the victim and his bookkeeper. Fulle manipulated this account for her embezzlement and, after she changed the address, significant amounts of the victim’s money began flowing through it. Fulle also conducted much of the victim’s banking activities one-on-one in private, away from the view of other bank personnel or security cameras.
During the scheme, Fulle used the money she stole from the victim to pay for Tiffany jewelry, at least one Louis Vuitton bag, spa days for herself and her then-boyfriend, and trips to Las Vegas, where she gambled.
Former Fire Captain Sentenced To Prison For Illegally Selling Firearms To Felons Over 5 Years – January 25, 2021
A former captain in the Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department was sentenced in federal court today for illegally selling dozens of firearms over a five-year period, and to selling firearms to convicted felons.
James Samuels admitted that he purchased 77 firearms from November 2013 to August 2018. Of those 77 firearms, 57 were Jimenez pistols. Samuels transferred 47 of those 77 firearms to third parties. During this time, Samuels was not a licensed dealer of firearms.
Samuels also admitted that 10 to 20 of those firearms were sold to persons who were forbidden by law from possessing them. Samuels bought the firearms at a low price and sold them for a $40 to $50 profit.
Former L.A. City Councilman Sentenced To Prison For Scheme To Obstruct Corruption Probe – January 25, 2021
Former Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitchell Englander was sentenced this morning to 14 months in federal prison for his conduct surrounding his obstruction of a public corruption investigation into his acceptance of gifts – including $15,000 in cash – from a businessman during trips to Las Vegas and Palm Springs in 2017.
Englander schemed to cover up cash payments, expensive meals, escort services and other gifts offered to him from an individual identified as Businessperson A, who sought to increase his business opportunities in the city. From August 2017 until December 2018, Englander knowingly and willfully falsified and concealed material facts pertaining to the federal public corruption investigation. Specifically, Englander covered up facts that he had accepted items of value during June 2017 trips to Las Vegas and Palm Springs and that he directed a witness to lie to and mislead federal investigators.
Former U.S. Soldier Sentenced To Prison For Retaining Top Secret Information – January 25, 2021
Elizabeth Shirley served on active duty with the U.S. Air Force, and in August 1994, the Air Force granted Shirley her first TS/SCI security clearance. After leaving active duty, Shirley served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and later in the U.S. Navy Reserves. While serving in the Air Force, she worked on assignments with the NSA. From May 2001 to August 2012, Shirley held various positions with the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, and at least five different cleared defense contractors. In connection with these positions, Shirley held TS/SCI security clearances at various times.
In July 2019, Shirley took her six-year-old daughter to Mexico with the intent to contact representatives of the Government of Russia to request resettlement in a country that would not extradite her to the United States. Shirley took with her to Mexico national defense information, which she had unlawfully retained. While in Mexico, Shirley prepared a written message to Russian government officials, referencing “an urgent need” to have “items shipped from the USA related to [her] life’s work before they are seized and destroyed.”
U.S. Army Soldier Arrested In Plot To Blow Up NYC 9/11 Memorial – January 20, 2021
A U.S. Army soldier was arrested on terrorism charges after he spoke online about plots to blow up New York City’s 9/11 Memorial and other landmarks and attack U.S. soldiers in the Middle East.
Cole James Bridges is in custody on charges of attempted material support of a terrorist organization — the Islamic State group — and attempted murder of a military member,.
The 20 year old soldier, also known as Cole Gonzales, was with the Third Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, Georgia, when he thought he was communicating with the Islamic State online about the terrorism plots. Unbeknownst to Bridges, an FBI employee was in on the chat as Bridges provided detailed instructions on tactics and manuals and advice about attacking the memorial and other targets in New York City.
At some point, he began researching and consuming online propaganda promoting jihadists and their violent ideology, authorities said.
Bridges also diagrammed specific military maneuvers to help the terrorist group’s fighters kill U.S. troops, including the best way to fortify an encampment to repel an attack by U.S. Special Forces and how to wire certain buildings with explosives to kill the U.S. troops.
Bridges also sent a video of himself in body armor standing before an Islamic State flag, gesturing support. A week later, Bridges sent a second video in which he used a voice manipulator and narrated a propaganda speech in support of the Islamic State group’s anticipated ambush of U.S. troops.
Tesla Claims Engineer Stole Secrets In The First Few Days Of Starting His Job – January 22, 2021
During his 2 week employment ending Jan. 6, Alex Khatilov stole more than 6,000 scripts, or files of code, that automate a broad range of business functions.
Khatilov said he was surprised and shocked by Tesla’s lawsuit. He said in an interview that after he was hired on Dec. 28, Tesla sent him a file containing information for new hires. He said he transferred it to his personal Dropbox cloud account to use later on his personal computer.
“Nobody told me using Dropbox is prohibited,” Khatilov said. “I don’t know why they claim it’s sensitive information, I didn’t have access to any sensitive information.” Companies wanting to maintain protection over files normally block their improper installation, he added.
Days later, Khatilov said he showed Tesla the information in his Dropbox when security asked, and deleted the data at the company’s request. A few hours later Tesla called to tell him he was fired.
According to Tesla, after investigators found thousands of confidential files in Khatilov’s personal storage, the engineer said he forgot about them and tried to destroy the data at the start of the interview. Tesla says it doesn’t know if he previously copied or sent the files to other locations. Khatilov said in the interview that he didn’t send them to anyone or anywhere.
Former Employee Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $423,000 From Employer – January 22, 2021
From October of 2010 through November of 2018, Teresa Weber was employed at an evergreen nursery in Carroll County, Ohio, that grew, sold and distributed evergreen trees. During this time, Weber used her position to embezzle company funds in order to pay for personal expenses.
Weber fraudulently conducted financial transactions on behalf of her employer, failing to disclose that the transactions were actually for her own personal benefit. In addition, Weber admitted to writing checks to her personal bank account from her employer’s bank account; placed on these checks a signature stamp in the name of the business owner to make it appear that the transactions had been approved and concealed her fraudulent activity by manipulating the business checking ledger to make it appear that the checks had never been issued.
As a result of her actions, Weber fraudulently obtained approximately $423,000.00 from her former employer.
Former Treasurer Charged With Fraudulently Obtaining At Least $150,000 From A Non-Profit Business Association – January 21, 2021
Scott Koteski was selected by the city to sit on the board of directors of a non-profit business association that provided broadband internet technology to smaller municipalities in northern Illinois. Starting in 2011, Koteski was selected as the treasurer of that association. As treasurer, Koteski handled the invoicing and billing of the member municipalities, and as of February 2012 had signatory authority on the association’s bank account.
From September 2012 through April 2018, Koteski fraudulently obtained from the association at least $150,000, which he used for his own benefit without the association’s knowledge or consent. Koteski allegedly wrote numerous checks to himself from the association’s bank account and deposited them into his personal bank account for his personal benefit.
Koteski concealed his acts by writing false information on the memo line to make it appear the checks were for reimbursement of personal monies Koteski spent for the association when, in fact, Koteski was not entitled to reimbursement, the information states.
In 2018, Koteski made online payments from the association’s bank account to a credit card company to pay balances on his personal credit card, and to an online loan financing company to pay balances on Koteski’s loan.
Former Department Of Unemployment Assistance Employee & Husband Charged With Fraud For Pandemic Unemployment Claims – January 21, 2021
BOSTON – A married couple was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Boston on fraud charges arising from their claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) funds.
Tiffany Pacheco, a/k/a Tiffany Tavery, 35, and Arthur Pacheco, 47, who, until recently, resided in New Bedford, Mass., were each indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Tiffany Pacheco was also indicted on five counts of wire fraud and Arthur Pacheco on two counts. The defendants were arrested in San Antonio, Texas in December 2020 and have been detained since.
According to charging documents, Tiffany was hired by the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) in April 2020, shortly after her release from federal prison following a conviction for aggravated identity theft. While employed by DUA, Tiffany allegedly misused her position to submit fraudulent PUA claim information on behalf of herself and her husband, Arthur, who was incarcerated in Texas until Sept. 4, 2020, and thus ineligible for PUA funds.
A search of the New Bedford apartment where Tiffany and Arthur resided uncovered various tools of identity fraud, including an ID laminator, 100 blank ID cards, 68 hologram overlays, 150 card lamination sheets and 649 sheets of blank checks. Law enforcement also seized approximately $17,000 cash and a notebook that appeared to contain the personal identifying information of various individuals. On Sept. 23, 2020, DUA terminated Tiffany’s employment.
ADT Technician Pleads Guilty To Hacking Home Security Footage Of Customers – January 20, 2021
A home security technician has pleaded guilty to repeatedly hacking into customers’ video feeds, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Prerak Shah.
Telesforo Aviles, a 35-year-old former ADT employee, pleaded guilty to computer fraud on Thursday before Magistrate Judge David Horan.
“This defendant, entrusted with safeguarding customers’ homes, instead intruded on their most intimate moments,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “We are glad to hold him accountable for this disgusting betrayal of trust.”
“The defendant used his position of employment to illegally breach the privacy of numerous people. The FBI works with our law enforcement partners to thoroughly investigate all cyber intrusions and hold criminals accountable for their actions,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “Cyber intrusions do not only affect businesses, but also members of the public. We encourage everyone to practice cyber hygiene with all their connected devices by reviewing authorized users and routinely changing passwords. If you become the victim of a cybercrime, please contact the FBI through ic3.gov or 1-800-CALL FBI.”
According to plea papers, Mr. Aviles admits that contrary to company policy, he routinely added his personal email address to customers’ “ADT Pulse” accounts, giving himself real-time access to the video feeds from their homes. In some instances, he claimed he needed to add himself temporarily in order to “test” the system; in other instances, he added himself without their knowledge.
Mr. Aviles took note of which homes had attractive women, then repeatedly logged into these customers’ accounts in order to view their footage for sexual gratification, he admits. Plea papers indicate he watched numerous videos of naked women and couples engaging in sexual activity inside their homes.
Over a four and a half year period, Mr. Aviles secretly accessed roughly 200 customer accounts more than 9,600 times without their consent, he admits.
Police Officer Indicted For Theft Of Firearms From Police Weapons Vault And Tampering With Multiple Witnesses – January 20, 2021
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – On January 20, 2021, a federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment charging William Cintrón Rivera, a.k.a. “El Kid”/“Kid” with the theft of 54 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. A federal grand jury further charged defendant Cintrón Rivera with tampering with multiple witnesses, by requesting that they provide false information to federal investigators. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is in charge of the investigation of the case.
According to the indictment, on July 17, 2019, in the District of Puerto Rico, defendant Cintrón Rivera stole 54 firearms from the Puerto Rico Police Bureau (PRPB), Guayama headquarters. At the time of the theft, defendant Cintrón Rivera was a police officer in the PRPB. In addition, the defendant is charged with the possession of six of the stolen firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Former Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Officer Sentenced To Prison For Bribery From Illegal Alien – January 20, 2021
In early 2018, Jose Fuentes, then a CBP officer assigned to canine duty at the Nogales Port of Entry, agreed to allow an illegal alien into the United States in exchange for a $6,000 cash bribe. Fuentes knew the alien was a convicted felon, and proposed that the alien enter the United States through the port of entry during Fuentes’ shift. Surveillance footage shows Fuentes, on-duty and in uniform, pretending to swipe the alien’s identification at the port of entry, and then waiving the alien through the pedestrian gate and into the United States. Fuentes later met up with the alien and another individual to receive the $6,000 cash bribe.
Chief Financial Officer Charged With Embezzling $1.3 Million+ In Company Funds – January 19, 2021
The former Chief Financial Officer of a IT consulting firm has been indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly embezzling more than $1.3 million in company funds.
Anthony Fremarek fraudulently caused funds from two of the company’s bank accounts to be used to pay his personal credit cards. Fremarek attempted to conceal the embezzlement by falsifying entries in the company’s accounting system to disguise the payments as seemingly legitimate business expenses, the indictment states. The alleged fraud scheme spanned from 2013 to 2019.
Government Contractor Ordered To Pay $3 Million In Fines / Restitution For Overbilling Federal – State Contracts By Its Employees For 11 Years – January 19, 2021
From at least January 2007 through August 2018, VJ Associates (VJA), Inc. conspired with employees to pad bogus time charges on government construction contracts funded by the Department of Transportation (DOT), the State of New York and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
As a result, the VJ A improperly received nearly $1.3 million in state and federal taxpayer money. The improper billing included, for example, hours employees spent working on unrelated projects, time spent on administrative tasks and time doing no work. Under pressure from management, employees openly discussed improper billing as “juicing” and “tagging” hours in order to “maximize” bills on government projects and not “leave money on the table.” One employee summed up his billing practices to his colleague as a “shell game” and explained that, when management “gave him a bit of trouble” about how he billed his time, he fraudulently maximized his hours billed because “what the hell,” management “pay[s] me every two weeks,” and he was “not the boss.”
VJ A and its affiliated companies will pay a total of $3.13 million in criminal and civil fines and restitution and be debarred permanently from participating in contracts funded by the U.S. n DOT.
Charges Filed Against Tennessee State Senator In Fraud And Money Laundering Case – January 19, 2021
According to information presented in Court, the Healthcare Institute (THI) is a post-secondary educational provider located in Memphis, Tennessee. It purports to provide training programs for jobs in the healthcare field, including certified nursing assistant, phlebotomist, and licensed practical nurse. It was founded in January 2015 as a Tennessee for-profit LLC, with Katrina Robinson as director.
THI received more than $10,000 in federal funds each year between 2015 and 2019. During that period, Robinson is alleged to have stolen, converted, and intentionally misapplied property of THI for her own use.
U.S. Army Soldier Arrested For Attempting To Assist ISIS To Conduct Deadly Ambush On U.S. Troops – January 19, 2021
Cole Bridges joined the U.S. Army in approximately September 2019, and was assigned as a cavalry scout in the 3rd Infantry Division based in Fort Stewart, Georgia.
Beginning in at least 2019, Bridges began researching and consuming online propaganda promoting jihadists and their violent ideology. Bridges also expressed his support for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (“ISIS”) and jihad on social media.
In or about October 2020, Bridges began communicating with an FBI online covert employee (OCE), who was posing as an ISIS supporter in contact with ISIS fighters in the Middle East. During these communications, Bridges expressed his frustration with the U.S. military and his desire to aid ISIS. Bridges then provided training and guidance to purported ISIS fighters who were planning attacks, including advice about potential targets in New York City, such as the 9/11 Memorial. Bridges also provided the OCE with portions of a U.S. Army training manual and guidance about military combat tactics, for use by ISIS.
Twitter Employee Leaks Video Of Twitter CEO Telling Staff Actions Will Be Much Bigger Than President Trump Ban
A leaked recording of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey suggests that the company’s policy enforcement actions will go far beyond banning President Trump.
The right-wing guerilla news outlet Project Veritas released a clip on Thursday given to them by a purported Twitter “Insider Whistleblower” who secretly recorded remarks by Dorsey to staff.
“You should always feel free to express yourself in whatever format manifestation feels right,” Dorsey said in the clip.
Dorsey, who recently addressed the controversy over his company’s decision to permanently suspend the president, told staff in a virtual meeting that Twitter will do a “full retro” that will “take some time,” but drew focus to the platform’s former most high-profile account.
A Twitter spokesperson told Fox News, “The remarks shown in the video were delivered to our more than 5,400 employees and are nearly the same words Jack shared in a recent Tweet Thread offering context around and reflections on our work to protect the conversation in recent weeks.”
Army Reservist Charged In Connection With Capitol Riot – January 18, 2021
An Army reservist who federal investigators say has security-level security clearance and a long record of posting his extremist views online was among the latest wave of rioters charged by federal prosecutors in connection with the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
According to court documents, in a phone call with the informant on Thursday that was recorded by law enforcement, Hale-Cusanelli can be heard saying that he encouraged members of the mob to “advance” through the Capitol and gave directions “via both voice and hand signals.” It’s not clear if he’s been arrested.