U.S. University Researcher Charged With VISA Fraud And Concealed Her Membership In Chinese Military – July 21, 2020
Song Chen has been charged in a criminal complaint with visa fraud in connection with a scheme to lie about her status as an active member of the People’s Republic of China’s military forces while in the United States conducting research at Stanford University.
Former College Comptroller Pleads Guilty To Stealing More Than $250,000 – July 21, 2020
Carol Bates, the former comptroller for Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC), pled guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Bates admitted at the plea hearing that from 2013 to 2016, she used her position as comptroller of BPCC to access an internal BPCC computer database and make false entries falsely showing individuals were due refunds by the school. These individuals were not qualified to receive the funds, and, in most cases, they were not even attending BPCC during the semesters they received the money. As a part of the scheme, Bates and her sister, Audrey Williams, recruited Faith Alexander and Marquise Perry, along with seven other individuals to receive fraudulent refunds from BPCC. Once the individual received the funds, they were instructed to deliver between one-half and two-thirds of the money to Carol Bates or her sister, Audrey Williams.
In total, Bates caused 45 fraudulent refunds totaling $259,591.87 to be issued. Alexander received eight refunds totaling $45,482.65 from 2014 through 2016. Perry received seven refunds totaling $49,524.65 from 2015 through 2016. The remaining 30 refunds were issued to seven other individuals who, after receiving the money, transferred two-thirds or half of it to Bates.
Former Managers And Employees Of Firm Charged In $17 Million Scheme To Defraud Client Healthcare Expenses – July 21, 2020
Former managers and employees of Employee Benefit Solutions LLC (“EBS”), have been charged for defrauding clients by misappropriating over $17 million in client funds intended for employee healthcare claims.
Those charged in the criminal complaint, abused their positions as administrators of client healthcare plans for years by creating false and inflated invoices and then misappropriating millions of dollars for their own uses. As further alleged, the defendants sought to conceal this fraud by creating false bank statements and checks.
Former Non-Profit Organization Employee Sentenced To Prison For Defrauding Employer And Individuals Of $240,000 – July 21, 2020
Michael Verzella was employed as the Supervisor of Recreation and Operations at Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, a private, non-profit entity that provides services and residential housing to individuals with developmental and social disabilities. Verzella possessed a Chapel Haven credit card that was supposed to be used to pay for expenses related to Chapel Haven, including the purchasing of tickets to off-site events that students and community members of Chapel Haven could attend. These events included trips to dances, bingo nights, plays, shopping malls, and sporting events.
Verzella admitted that, between January 2012 and February 2018, he used his Chapel Haven credit card to purchase tickets for sporting and entertainment events that he attended with friends and family. He then submitted fraudulent purchase orders for these expenses to the Chapel Haven business office, representing them to be for recreational events for the students and community members of Chapel Haven. He also used the credit card to purchase gift cards for his personal use. Through this scheme, Verzella defrauded Chapel Haven of approximately $175,872.
Verzella also directed Chapel Haven employees he supervised to collect cash from Chapel Haven students and community members to attend in-house events at Chapel Haven, even though the fees for attending such events were already included in the tuition for students and billed by invoice to community members. Verzella kept at least $68,000 in collected cash for himself.
Accountant Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For One Of The Largest Pennsylvania Ponzi Schemes In History – July 21, 2020
In February 2020, Philip Riehl pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, and one count of wire fraud. The defendant, a Berks County based accountant, fraudulently solicited tens of millions of dollars in investments from his accounting clients and others. The scheme that targeted members of the Mennonite and Amish religious communities in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Riehl then diverted funds from the program to Trickling Springs Creamery, LLC, a Franklin County–based creamery of which he was the majority owner.
Riehl also fraudulently solicited direct investments in Trickling Springs Creamery. The defendant made material misrepresentations about the safety and security of these investments in his program and about the performance of the program, as well as misrepresentations and omissions about the creamery’s business and financial condition. Trickling Springs Creamery announced it was ceasing operations in September 2019 and filed a bankruptcy petition in December 2019. Investor losses are estimated to be around $60 million, making this one of the largest Pennsylvania-based Ponzi schemes ever.
President, CEO, CFO, Engineer Indicted In Alleged Scheme To Violate The Export Control Reform Act – July 21, 2020
It is alleged in the indictment that Broad Tech System Inc., located in Ontario, California, the company’s CEO, CFO, and President Tao Jiang, aka “Jason Jiang” and Bohr Winn-Shih, an equipment engineer for Broad Tech Systems, conspired to order the chemicals HiPR 6517 Photoresist (Photoresist) and HPRD 441 Developer (Developer) from a Rhode Island-based manufacturer, then knowingly submitted false and misleading documentation to the U.S. Government and shipping companies in an effort to have the product illegally shipped to a company in China, with ties to the Chinese military, which is in violation of the Export Control Reform Act. Photoresist and HPRD are essential in the chip manufacturing process.
Financial Adviser Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud And Investment Adviser Fraud In $6 Million Embezzlement Scheme – July 21, 2020
According to his guilty plea, from August 7, 2006 to April 29, 2011, and again from November 16, 2011 to July 29, 2019, Michael Carter was employed by a financial institution and worked primarily out of the financial institution’s Tysons Corner, Virginia location. In 2012, Carter was promoted to financial adviser in the wealth management section of the financial institution and was registered to sell securities and act as an investment adviser in Maryland and Virginia, among other locations.
As detailed in the statement of facts, from at least October 2007 to at least July 2019, Carter made numerous unauthorized transactions from the victim accounts for his personal benefit, defrauding them of at least $5 million. To effect the unauthorized wire transfers, Carter caused the submission of an internal bank authorization form that falsely stated that Carter had received verbal client instructions from each victim authorizing the transfer at a specific date and time. Carter caused the wire transfers to be sent to his personal accounts and used the money to pay for his lifestyle expenses, including Carter’s mortgage, credit card bills, and country club membership fees.
Former Controller Sentenced To Prison For Embezzlement Scheme Of $1 Million+ From His Employer – July 20, 2020
In October 2015, Greentech Environmental, LLC hired Shain Chappell as its controller. During his time at Greentech, Chappell developed a scheme that used his position as controller to deceive Greentech into paying for Chappell’s personal credit card purchases, subsequently hiding the thefts by showing the payments as purchases of inventory in Greentech’s books and records. By July 2017, less than two years after his hiring, Chappell had embezzled over $1 million from his former employer, using the embezzled funds to pay for lavish lifestyle expenditures.
CEO’s Former Assistant Charged With His Murder / Dismemberment – July 17, 2020
The police said the former employee, who had been fired for stealing $90,000, subdued Mr. Fahim Saleh with a Taser, stabbed him to death, and returned the next day to dismember him with an electric saw.
The assistant was identified as Tyrese Haspil, 21, who handled Saleh’s finances and personal matters, according to police. He allegedly owed Saleh tens of thousands of dollars, and was on a repayment plan.
Medical Group Office Manager Pleads Guilty To Nearly $926,000+ Embezzlement Scheme Over 5 Years – July 16, 2020
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Cynthia Demniak, in her position as office manager for Grandview Medical Management located in Uniontown, PA, between 2013 and 2018 embezzled approximately $926,940 from her employer, which she used for personal expenses and to satisfy a gambling addiction. The court was also advised that for tax years 2013 through 2018, Demniak materially underreported the embezzled income from Grandview Medical Center on her federal income tax returns, totaling nearly $270,426 in restitution owed to the IRS.
Former Bank Teller Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $222,000 From Credit Union Over 6 Years – July 16, 2020
Dianne Richardson stole $222,000 in cash. For well over five years she was working as a bank teller. ef,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.
Richardson, an employee of Pioneer West Virginia Federal Credit Union in South Charleston, admitted that starting in September 2013 through February 2019, while working as a teller, she stole money from the credit union. She admitted she made false entries in the Pioneer records to make the cash totals reconcile when in fact, they did not.
Former Office Manager For Hockey Team Pleads Guilty To Stealing $700,000 – July 16, 2020
Between February 2010 and June 2019, Jennifer Durham, while employed as the office manager for Rapid City Professional Hockey, LLC (RCPH), stole $700,000.00 from RCPH. Durham used the stolen money for her own personal expenses and also transferred money to bank accounts she controlled. In order to cover up her theft, Durham made false entries into the RCPH accounting records to give the illusion the money she was stealing was spent on legitimate business expenses.
During the same time period, Durham also willfully attempted to evade or defeat taxes imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. Durham accomplished this by underreporting her income from tax years 2010 through 2018 by a total of $688,867.67, resulting in a tax loss of $186,277.00.
Former Little League Board President Accused Of Embezzling $22,000 From Organization – July 7, 2020
Arante had league’s board president for about two years before her resignation in May 2019, which came amid an internal investigation into the theft of league funds. Police said Arante had been entrusted with full access to the organization’s banking account and finances.
The investigation was initially triggered by Arante’s personal bank discovering apparent fraudulent activity and reporting it to the league’s treasurer, police said. The league then reported the forgery to police and detectives uncovered evidence that Arante stole in excess of $22,000 from the league over a two-year period.
Subaru Of America Victim Of $10 Million Fraud By Business Partner Over 15 Years – July 10, 2020
In a lawsuit, the auto company says it was cheated by a businessman, Mitchell Bleicher, who submitted phony invoices for light bulbs and other janitorial supplies from January 2003 through February 2018.
The lawsuit seeks to recover that money from CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), a Los Angeles-based firm that managed Subaru’s facilities. According to the lawsuit, Subaru contracted CBRE “to manage the provision of janitorial services and supplies” at its facilities. It says CBRE also was expected to “review and approve all invoices relating to the operation of Subaru’s facilities.”
The lawsuit says CBRE hired Bleicher’s firm, Allied Materials Inc., and that two CBRE employees took bribes from Bleicher as part of the scheme.
Mitchell Bleicher used proceeds from his scheme to buy luxury items that included Rolex watches and two Rolls-Royce automobiles, to renovate his home and to pay for his children’s college education.
Los Angeles Department Of Water And Power Accused Of Cyber Security Vulnerabilities Coverup Involving Mayor – March 10, 2020
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has been accused of deliberately keeping widespread gaps in its cybersecurity a secret from regulators in a large-scale coverup involving the city’s mayor.
The allegations were made by Ardent Cyber Solutions LLC, a company hired by the Department of Water and Power (DWP) in April 2019 to perform cybersecurity work. In a 10-page claim filed against the city earlier this year, Ardent states that it uncovered an extremely high number of unpatched vulnerabilities in the company’s “corporate IT network.
According to Ardent, DWP board president Mel Levine and DWP’s senior executives were informed of the security issues by email on August 12, 2019. But rather than address the issues, Levine, the DWP, and city officials made false statements and failed to disclose material facts in a bid to cover them up.
It is further alleged that Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti personally ordered the cancellation of Ardent’s DWP contract on August 12, 2019, as a “retaliatory measure” after the company alerted officials to the utility’s cybersecurity problems.