Former Union President Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $190,000+ Of Union Funds Over 5 Years, Then Doubling Dues To Continue Fraud – July 22, 2021
Aja Jasmin was the former president of the International Chemical Workers Union Council Local 350C.
From 2013 to August 2018, Jasmin used her position as union president to embezzle union funds by forging the signatures of other union officers on union checks to herself and by electronically transferring union funds to pay her credit card and other bills.
To hide her embezzlement, Jasmin falsified union bank account statements, so they showed greater balances than in fact remained. When the balances of the union bank accounts were insufficient to cover its checks, Jasmin falsely told the union’s members’ employer, Southern California Gas Co., that the union had voted to double the union dues it had to deduct from union members’ paychecks – from $21 to $42 per pay period – in order to replenish the union’s funds.
Jasmin also sought and obtained compensation from the union by falsely representing that time she spent on union business prevented her from getting her hourly wage at Southern California Gas Co. In fact, the union paid her for hours when she was also receiving pay while on disability leave.
Jasmin was ordered to pay $185,000 in restitution.
Former Accountant Sentenced To Prison For Misappropriating $1.1 Million+ From 4 Employers / Lenders – July 23, 2021
Paul Collins was an accountant who handled the finances for four employers from 2013 to 2018. During that time, Collins stole more than $1 million from the companies by writing corporate checks to himself, his wife, and phony companies he created. Collins also fraudulently withdrew money from ATMs and charged personal expenses on company credit cards. He attempted to conceal the thefts by making Ponzi-type payments to certain victims.
Collins also stole more than $70,000 from three lenders by obtaining loans based on false representations. Collins fraudulently used the identity of one of his employer’s owners and falsely represented that the owner personally guaranteed the loans. When Collins failed to repay the full amount of the loans and the lenders sought repayment, the owner was left having to dispute the fraudulent guarantee.
Former Payroll Administrator Found Guilty Of $1.5 Million+ Fraud Against Employer For Over 7 Years – July 23, 2021
According to the government’s evidence, except for brief periods, Eleanor Milligan worked from 1998 to 2016 for a company based in Washington, D.C.
Beginning in at least or about August 2009, and continuing until in or about March 2016, Milligan used her fellow employees’ names and personal identifying identification without authority to transmit false payment requests to herself through the employer’s payroll processing system. In total, Milligan caused more than $1.5 million in fraudulently obtained payments to be direct-deposited into accounts under her control and otherwise paid for her benefit.
Former School System Technology Coordinator Sentenced To Prison For $336,000+ Wire Fraud Scheme Per Personal Use – July 23, 2021
According to court documents, during the time Joshua Raymer carried out the scheme, from April 2016 to December 2018, he falsely represented to a district official that computer switches had failed, and replacements were needed to maintain the district’s computer system. Raymer repeatedly used his position to have the district order and pay for more than 100 computer switches that it did not use or need, from two separate vendors, at a total cost of more than $400,000. Another 28 computer switches were ordered that were never paid for that resulted in a loss to the vendor of approximately $106,200.
When Raymer received the switches, he admitted that he sold them as if they were his personal property and used the money for himself. Acting under his name and doing business as “The Bored Woodworker,” Raymer contacted at least five different buyers and negotiated a purchase price for the switches that had been shipped to and paid for by the Blue Ridge school district. Raymer then shipped the switches to his buyers and had payments issued to himself or his business name.
Union President Of International Association Of EMT’s Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $94,000+Over 6 Years – July 22, 2021
Between October 2013 and November 2019, the Donald Snyder served as President of the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics.
During his time as President, Snyder embezzled approximately $94,649.85 in funds belonging to the union. Snyder did so by writing checks payable to himself, writing checks payable to cash, which he endorsed and withdrew, and making unauthorized bank withdrawals. None of the funds stolen by Snyder were used for a legitimate union purpose, all were used for the defendant’s personal benefit.
NASA Senior Executive Sentenced To Prison For Covid-19 Loan Fraud To Pay Credit Card Bills – July 17, 2021
Andrew Tezna says he regretted applying for coronavirus pandemic relief loans from the Small Business Administration almost as soon as he filed the paperwork. The NASA senior executive tried, unsuccessfully, to cancel one of the applications.
But when the $272,000 arrived, Tezna admitted, he used the cash as he had planned — to pay down his massive debts while incurring new costs, including $6,450 for a French bulldog and nearly $50,000 for a swimming pool. But under the surface, Tezna was living a different kind of archetypal American tale. To keep up his family’s lifestyle, he went deep into debt.
Tezna used the funds to pay off over $140,000 on credit cards and $18,000 on a car loan, among other debts, while buying new cars and renewing a Disney timeshare.
He confessed to applying for three loans through the PPP — one for his wife’s design business, which in reality had no employees and little income, and two for companies he invented using his and his mother-in-law’s names.
Tezna also collected unemployment benefits fraudulently in his mother-in-law’s name, he admitted, and applied unsuccessfully for more small-business loans through his wife’s company. He did not report $36,000 in rent from a friend who lived with him and his wife, according to court records.
Tezna who helped oversee NASA spending, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Tezna lost his job overseeing policy for NASA’s Chief Financial Officer and has been blocked from any future government-related work. Tezna is now working as a loader at Lowe’s, earning $14 an hour.
Former Financial Controller Admits To Embezzling $400,00+ From Family-Owned Business – July 21, 2021
Derick Cameron of Vancouver, Washington pleaded guilty in federal court today to wire fraud, admitting that while employed as the Financial Controller for San Diego-based RAL Investment Corporation, he embezzled more than $400,000.
Cameron admitted he abused his access to the company’s accounting software and issued more than 200 unauthorized checks to himself using the electronic signature of the company’s CFO and deposited them into his personal bank account. He then concealed the payments by manipulating the company’s accounting records to make it appear that each check was issued to a legitimate third-party vendor for a business expense. The company discovered Cameron’s fraudulent activity in April 2018, fired Cameron, and reported the conduct to law enforcement when Cameron was unable to make his promised repayments on schedule.
Former Executive Assistant Of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command In Hawaii Pleads Guilty To Unauthorized Removal / Retention of Classified Information – July 20, 2021
Asia Lavarello of Honolulu admitted to having removed and retained numerous classified documents, writings and notes relating to the national defense or foreign relations of the United States without authority.
While working as an Executive Assistant for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii, Lavarello accepted a temporary assignment working at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. There, she had access to classified computers and documents, and attended classified meetings as part of her official duties. Court documents list several specific instances in which Lavarello mishandled classified material of the United States.
On March 20, 2020, Lavarello removed classified documents from the U.S. Embassy in Manila. She took the classified documents to her hotel room where she hosted a dinner party later that evening. Among the guests were two foreign nationals. During the party, a co-worker discovered the documents, which included documents classified at the SECRET level. Lavarello’s temporary assignment in the Philippines was ultimately terminated due to her mishandling of SECRET classified documents.
After Lavarello returned to Hawaii, investigators executed a search warrant at her government workplace. In her desk, investigators found a notebook containing Lavarello’s handwritten notes of meetings she attended while working at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. The notes contained facts and information classified at the CONFIDENTIAL and SECRET levels. Investigators determined that Lavarello personally transported the documents to Hawaii, unsecured, and kept the classified notebook at an unsecure location until at least April 13, 2020.
Investigators also discovered that Lavarello included information from the classified notebook in a Jan. 16, 2020, email from her personal Gmail account to her unclassified U.S. Government email account. The information she transmitted over unsecure networks was classified at the SECRET level.
Former General Manager Of Trailer Sales / Repair Business Steals Trade Secrets Valued At $350,000 To Open Competing Business – July 19, 2021
Billy Maples served as general manager for Knox Trailers, which operates a trailer sales and repair business in Knoxville. In that role, Maples had access to the company’s “Southware” software database through which it stored a wide variety of digital information customized to its business, including customer and vendor information, pricing information, and customized reports.
In late 2019, Maples, who was not subject to a noncompete agreement, began exploring plans to open a competing trailer repair business known as Titan Trailers. In February 2020, Maples, while still employed by Knox Trailers, downloaded information from Southware’s databases onto a thumb drive. Thereafter, he asked Stephen Powell to use the downloaded information to set up a database for Titan Trailers. Two weeks later, Maples resigned from Knox Trailers. A week later, Maples texted Powell that, in setting up Southware’s database, “don’t set anything up from Southware that is captive to Knox Trailer pricing or history of sales or ordering if that’s possible.”
After becoming suspicious of Maples’ activities, Knox Trailers brought suit against Maples, Titan Trailers, Powell, and others in March 2020, accusing them of misappropriation of trade secrets and other wrongdoing. In late 2020, during the course of discovery, Knox Trailers learned of the existence of the thumb drive and a series of incriminating text messages between Maples and Powell. Consequently, Knox Trailers asked the federal district court to issue a preliminary injunction to preclude the defendants from using any information that was stored on Knox Trailers’ databases. Maples testified that his intent was, not to use any confidential information, but instead to “save time over manual inputting” of data and to avoid purchasing the software directly from Southware.
Former Police Dept. Officer / Union Treasurer Pleads Guilty To Stealing $50,00 Of Union Funds For Personal Expenses – July 20, 2021
Joshua Fernandes, 42, of New Bedford, was charged with one count of wire fraud. A plea hearing has not yet been scheduled.
According to the charging documents, Joshua Fernandes abused the trust placed in him by fellow union members by using nearly $50,000 in union funds to pay for personal expenses including vacations, family outings, and a monthly wireless family phone plan, among other things. Fernandes carried out his scheme by reimbursing his personal credit card accounts with union funds and by using the union’s credit cards to pay directly for non-union expenses.
Federal Jury Convicts Former IRS IT Specialist Of $58,000+ Fraud For Personal Benefit – July 19, 2021
A former Information Technology Specialist for the IRS, Kwashie Zilevu operated a fraud scheme in which he used a line of credit in a victim’s name to make hundreds of purchases totaling more than $58,000, for his own benefit. In connection with this scheme, identity information was obtained from the Dark Web. Ultimately, a credit card in the victim’s name was mailed to the defendant’s home in Woodbridge.
Zilevu’s purchases included international plane tickets, expensive hotel rooms, interior decorating services, and construction materials used to remodel his home, among other goods and services. Evidence presented at trial also demonstrated that Zilevu made fraudulent payments to himself using financial instruments belonging to other people, including routing charitable donations to a fictitious African charity website he created, controlled, and used to further his criminal activity, and by receiving payments from a PayPal account associated with the credit card opened in the victim’s name.
Former Bookkeeper For Accounting Firm Pleads Guilty To $670,000 Mail Fraud / Money Laudering Scheme Over 5 Years For Personal Use – July 19, 2021
Paula Smith was a bookkeeper at an accounting firm that managed a lucrative trust account for a client (the D.E.W. Trust). The D.E.W. Trust, which was at one time valued at $8.6 million, had over twenty named beneficiaries, including twelve charitable organizations in St. Louis, Missouri.
Between October 2013 and June 2018, Smith defrauded the D.E.W. Trust and its beneficiaries by writing numerous checks totaling $670,000 from the D.E.W. Trust to herself. None of the funds should have gone to Smith.
In an attempt to conceal her scheme, Smith manipulated the accounting records for the D.E.W. Trust by mislabeling the aforementioned fraudulent checks as being advance payments to a trustee and as payments to a vendor. As a result of these fraudulent transactions, there were less available funds to be properly distributed to the intended charitable organization beneficiaries of the D.E.W. Trust.
Smith used the funds to personally enrich herself, including to buy a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado K1500 and a 2018 Keystone Hornet Hideout 26RLS Travel Trailer
Former Parent Teacher Association President Charged For Stealing $5,000+ And Fraud (PTA No Longer Active) – July 12, 2021
Tiffany Bell was formerly the PTA President at AZ Kelley Elementary School in Nashville, TN. Investigators determined that Bell stole at least $5,589.18 from the PTA. All of the money was stolen between May and August 2017.
The investigation began after Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and PTA officials reported unauthorized transactions to the Comptroller’s Office.
Bell resigned as PTA president in November 2017 after she was questioned by other parents about the unusual activity in the PTA account over the summer.
Investigators said Bell stole the money by using the PTA’s debit card to make ATM cash withdrawals totaling at least $4,720. An additional $869.18 was spent when Bell used the debit card to make purchases, which included groceries and other personal items from retailers like Walmart, Kmart and Family Dollar.
In July 2017, Bell deposited $150 of her own money into the PTA bank account; however, a cash shortage of $5,439.18 remained. The AZ Kelley PTA is no longer active.
Investigators are also questioning $271.71 that was used to purchase items from Amazon during the summer of 2017. PTA officials regularly made purchases from Amazon for legitimate purposes. Investigators and PTA officials could not determine if these Amazon purchases were used exclusively for the benefit of the PTA.
Bell was indicted in June 2021 by the Davidson County Grand Jury on one count of theft over $2,500 and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card over $2,500.
County Magistrate Sentenced To Prison For $1 Million Crop Insurance Fraud Scheme Over 7 Years Involving Co- Conspirators – July 15, 2021
From 2009 until 2016, Christopher Hickerson filed false claims of loss on his Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) policies. MPCI policies are federally sponsored crop insurance policies, which are funded through taxpayer money. Hickerson admitted to committing crop insurance fraud with the assistance of coconspirators Roger Wilson, former owner of Clay’s Tobacco Warehouse, and Debra Muse, former employee at Clay’s Tobacco Warehouse, by obtaining fake Clay’s Tobacco Warehouse sales receipts and grading reports that made it appear as though he produced and sold poor quality tobacco, and then submitting those on his claims of loss. Hickerson employed other schemes to defraud the federal crop insurance program, including by placing crop insurance policies in his family member and friends’ names covering his own crop. As a result, Hickerson fraudulently caused a loss of nearly $1 million to the taxpayer-funded insurance program.
Former Public Schools Principal Charged In Scheme To Fraudulently Obtain $200,000 In Overtime Pay Over 7 Years – July 14, 2021
Sarah Abedelal carried out the fraud scheme from 2012 to 2019 while serving as Principal of Brennemann Elementary School on the North Side of Chicago. Abedelal told certain school employees that she would authorize overtime pay for hours the employees would not be required to work, and she directed them to then deliver the proceeds of the unearned overtime to Abedelal or another individual. Abedelal told the employees who received the overtime that the money would be used to pay legitimate school expenses incurred by Brennemann Elementary, when, in fact, Abedelal intended to convert the money to her own personal use. The charges allege that Abedelal fraudulently obtained at least $200,000 in CPS money through the scheme.
Manager of Water Plant Pleads Guilty Theft Of Funds For Personal Use & Relatives – July 14, 2021
The charge stems from a scheme devised by Donald Messick to defraud the Fairview Union Water System (FUWS), an entity responsible for the management and upkeep of a rural water system in Red River Parish, Louisiana. During the scheme, Messick used FUWS monies to purchase items for his own personal use, including fuel, vehicle parts, tools, and other equipment. In some cases, he would use FUWS funds to purchase items that he would then give to relatives. In another instance, Messick had an electronic funds transfer sent from FUWS’s bank account to another individual located in Florida for her own personal use and did so without authorization from FUWS. Messick also fraudulently enrolled a relative in the group health insurance of FUWS, when that individual was not an employee and not authorized to be on the insurance plan. As a result, FUWS paid the premiums for this individual and the insurer paid out $19,705 in claims made on behalf of the unauthorized individual.
Former Customer Service Rep. Sentenced To Prison For $11,00 Of Wire Fraud Scheme Over 8 Years – July 13, 2021
Between 2007 and Sep. 10, 2015, Kaci Stephens was employed by Compass Foreign Exchange, LLC as a customer service representative, responsible for establishing new customer accounts, which provided her access to customer credit card information.
During this time, Stephens devised a scheme to fraudulently charge customers for her personal benefit. To facilitate the scheme, Stephens used a merchant accounting service to set up a fraudulent merchant account using another individual’s name. Stephens used that individual’s name without their consent and because she had access to their personal identifying information, including their Social Security number. Through creation of the merchant account, Stephens billed Compass customers and obtained payments by charging their credit cards for services they did not request, including setting up recurring automated payments to regularly deposit funds into her personal bank account.
U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Sentenced To Prison For Distributing Drugs And Trafficking Firearms – July 13, 2021
In April 2021, U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Michael Reimers pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of a controlled substance and one count of engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license.
From about July 11, 2019 to about September 4, 2019, Reimerssold an AK-47, a .26 caliber handgun, and a 12 gauge shotgun to various buyers. In addition, he sold large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine to the same buyers.
Former DoD Official Pleads Guilty To Taking $37,00 In Cash Bribes To Aid Contractor’s Request For $6.4 Million From DoD – July 13, 2021
In 2014 and 2015 Nizar Farhat was on assigned temporary duty at the United States Navy Base Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa where he oversaw a private company’s $15 million contract to construct an aircraft hangar and a telecommunications facility. After the projects were completed, the company submitted to the Defense Department Requests for Equitable Adjustment (REAs) that sought $6.43 million in additional payments.
Farhat admitted that, on four separate occasions between December 2015 and October 2017, he met with representatives of the contracting company at hotels in Las Vegas and Palm Springs. During those meetings, Farhat took $15,000 in cash to help draft the REAs the company submitted to the Defense Department, and another $22,000 in cash to recommend that the Navy certify completion of the construction projects and approve the REAs. Following those meetings, Farhat urged the Defense Department to approve the majority of the REAs, without disclosing that defendant had received cash from the company in exchange for his recommendation.
U.S. Postal Worker Arrested For Stealing Blank Postal Money Orders Worth Over $3 Million, Stolen Unemployment Benefits Cards & Over $42,000 In Cash – July 13, 2021
In February 2021, 10,000 blank postal money orders were reported missing from the Utica Avenue Post Office in Brooklyn. On July 9, 2021, agents executed search warrants and recovered over 3,000 of the stolen postal money orders from Jaleesa Wallace’s (USPS Employee) residence, and approximately 300 (Worth $1.4 Million) from Willie Cook’s residence. At least $1.4 million worth of the stolen postal money orders had been cashed. Agents also recovered prepaid Department of Labor unemployment benefit cards and over $42,000 in cash from both apartments. Additionally, Wallace was in possession of approximately 42 pieces of mail from the Department of Labor that were not in her name. Cook posted photos of stolen postal money orders on the social media app Telegram with the caption “let’s eat,” referring to getting paid for the postal money orders. Cook is not a USPS employee.
Bank CEO Convicted Of Corruptly Soliciting A Presidential Administration Position In Exchange For Approving $16 Million In Loans – July 13, 2021
Stephen Calk was the chairman and CEO of The Federal Savings Bank, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with an office in New York. The Bank was owned in its entirety by National Bancorp Holdings, a Chicago-based bank holding company, and Calk was the Chairman, CEO and Owner of approximately 67% of the holding company.
Calk was convicted of approving millions of dollars in high-risk loans to Paul Manafort in an effort to secure a personal benefit, namely a high-profile spot on the presidential campaign and appointment as Secretary of the Army or another similarly high-level position in the incoming presidential administration.
Administrative Assistant For 2 Non-Profit Organization Sentenced To Prison For Trying To Stealing $200,000+ Of Donor Checks – July 13, 2021
Maxine Williams worked for one non-profit organization from approximately 2015 through March 2018. Her job responsibilities included processing donation checks that were mailed to the office, and preparing and mailing checks to vendors, service providers, and individuals. From November 2015 through March 2018, she stole 171 checks totaling $161,084.23 from the organization. Most of the checks were charitable contributions that were mailed to the organization’s office in Washington. Other checks consisted of outgoing payments from the organization to vendors, service providers, and individuals. Of the $161,084.23 in stolen checks, more than $140,000 was successfully deposited into accounts associated with Williams, including a $5,000 donor check that Williams deposited at an ATM in Hyattsville, Md.
After Williams was terminated from the first organization in March 2018, she secured employment with the second organization, a non-profit trade association headquartered in Washington. Between December 2018 and June 2019, according to the government’s evidence, Williams stole 33 checks totaling $43,398.93 from the second organization. She successfully deposited more than $38,000 into her bank account.
Former Bookkeeper For Domestic Violence Shelter Pleads Guilty To Stealing $50,000+ Funds For Personal Expenses – Shelter Had To Cease Operations – July 13, 2021
Jaime Cardinal the former bookkeeper of My Sister’s House, a domestic violence shelter, pleaded guilty to two counts related to stealing funds from the federally funded shelter.
Crystal Chrisman the former Executive Director of the shelter was arrested in July 2020.
Cardinal admitted that she and Chrisman spent tens of thousands of dollars intended for the operation of the shelter on personal expenses, including food, a trip to Disney World and Universal Studios for the defendants’ daughters, and thousands of dollars in purchases from Avon, Thirty-One and iTunes.
Between January 2014 and October 2016, Cardinal misused debit cards connected to the shelter’s bank accounts to make hundreds of personal purchases at restaurants, auctions, craft stores and bowling alleys, among other places – including purchases made when few, if any, victims were living at the shelter. For example, in March and April 2016, when no victims were in the shelter, Cardinal and Chrisman charged more than $6,000 to the shelter’s debit cards for food at restaurants and grocery stores, car repair and fuel for personal cars, weight-loss supplements, and other personal expenses.
Due to the thefts, which totaled more than $50,000, My Sister’s House fell behind on payroll and on paying taxes. In November 2016, the shelter’s board placed all employees on administrative leave pending investigation. The domestic violence shelter never reopened.
Wisconsin Walmart Employee Facing Charges After Repeatedly Punching Elderly Woman – July 13, 2021
The employee, 17-year-old Jazareia Velasquez, has been charged with aggravated battery to an elderly person and disorderly conduct. Even though she is only 17 years old, in the state of Wisconsin Velasquez can be charged as an adult, according to police.
Despite her injuries, however, police say P.K. Shader did not require immediate medical attention.
The customer P.K. Shader had asked to speak with a manager regarding her interaction with Velasquez. Afterward, Shader went to find Velasquez in order to get her namet. When Shader couldn’t find her nametag, she tried to take a picture of Velasquez to send to Walmart’s corporate headquarters. However, Velasquez allegedly told her not to take any pictures and then proceeded to punch Shader multiple times. The attack continued even as another employee pulled Velasquez off Shader.
Former Labor Union President Given Probation For Embezzling $20,000 Of Union Funds – July 12, 2021
Thomas Burkhart Jr. was the Union President for Steelworkers Local 145.
The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) opened an investigation after an internal audit by Steelworkers Local 145 revealed a loss of union funds. OLMS found that, from July 2018 to August 2019, Burkhart embezzled union funds by writing approximately 43 unauthorized checks to himself, resulting in a loss of $19,900 to the local union while he served as union president from 2014 through 2019.
Former Office Administrator Facing Charges Of $700,000+ For Wire Fraud Of Employer To Use For Personal Expenses, Shopping & Dining – July 9, 2021
From 2012 to July 2020, Linda Pylant worked as an office administrator at a trade association, where she was responsible for bookkeeping, making check deposits, and other accounting duties, among other things. The indictment alleges that from 2017 until 2020, Pylant obtained money intended for her employer, which she diverted for her own financial benefit.
In October 2017, Pylant opened a bank account purportedly for her employer, without the employer’s knowledge or consent. Pylant allegedly caused over $700,000 worth of checks intended for her employer to be deposited into the fraudulently opened account. Pylant was the sole signatory on the bank account and hid its existence from her employer by causing bank statements to be mailed to Pylant’s home address. Pylant used more than $75,000 of the diverted funds at a local bingo hall, spent over $100,000 for retail shopping, dining, and grocery expenditures, and withdrew more than $200,000 in cash.
The indictment further alleges that in August 2015, Pylant applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) falsely stating that she was disabled and unable to work, even though she continued to work and earn income from her employment as administrator at the trade association. As detailed in the indictment, after the Social Security Administration approved her SSDI application, Pylant continued to work for her employer and since 2018 received and spent more than $125,000 in SSDI benefit payments to which she was not entitled.
2 Cargo Handlers At LAX Airport Plead Guilty To Conspiracy Charge For Stealing Gold Bars Headed From Australia To New York – July 9, 2021
Two cargo handling company employees who worked at Los Angeles International Airport each pleaded guilty today to a federal criminal charge for stealing four gold bars that were part of a larger shipment headed from Australia to New York.
According to their plea agreements, Marlon Moody and Brian Benson worked for Alliance Ground International, a company that provided ground handling services at LAX. On the evening of April 22, 2020, a shipment of gold bars arrived at LAX on Singapore Airlines. A total of 2,000 gold bars, each weighing one kilogram and valued at approximately $56,000, were being shipped at the direction of a Canadian bank. During a stopover at LAX, the gold was offloaded and secured, but an inventory that evening showed one box containing 25 gold bars was missing.
Moody found the missing box of gold bars near the Singapore Airlines cargo warehouse on the morning of April 23, placed the box on a belt loader and drove that vehicle to a nearby location, where he removed four of the bars. Soon after, Benson arrived to pick up Moody in a company van, where they exchanged text messages about the gold bars because other employees were in the van. The two defendants later left the airport and went to a nearby parking lot, where Moody gave Benson one of the four gold bars.
The lost box with the 21 remaining gold bars was discovered by other cargo handlers later on April 23, and authorities began an investigation that ultimately led to Moody and Benson.
Moody gave one gold bar to a relative on May 4 and directed the family member to exchange the gold bar for a vehicle and/or money. Around this time, Moody buried the remaining two gold bars in the backyard of his residence. The FBI recovered all four gold bars about two weeks after they went missing from LAX.
U.S Army Reservist Sentenced To Prison For Participating In $1 Million+ Money Laundering Scheme Using Dating Websites – July 9, 2021
Benjamin Alabie who was is a member of the United States Army Reserves, was sentenced yesterday to 40 months in prison for participating in a scheme to launder over $1 million in proceeds of romance fraud and business email compromise schemes perpetrated against dozens of victims.
Alabie laundered money for a scheme that trolled dating websites in order to steal money from the accounts of unsuspecting women.
From at least 2016 until 2018, Alabie participated in a scheme to launder the proceeds of frauds perpetrated against dozens of victims. Among other things, NNAWUBA used false identities and false passports to open bank accounts, received or attempted to receive more than $2 million in fraud proceeds, withdrew tens of thousands of dollars of fraud proceeds in cash, and transferred more than $1 million of fraud proceeds to bank accounts controlled by co-conspirators in an effort to conceal the source of funds.
Former Corning Employee Accused Of Theft Of Trade Secrets To Help Start New Business In China – July 7, 2021
Ji Wang worked for Corning Inc. between 1998 and 2019. Wang’s work included optical fiber research. Wang was assigned to work on a fiber laser research project for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The $16 million dollar project resulted in a 1000-fold increase in power for the fiber lasers.
On July 1st, 2016, Wang is accused of downloading and copying private DARPA project files from Corning’s network. He downloaded the files to a USB thumb drive because he intended to use the files to help establish a business with another person called QuantumWave.
Prosecutors say Wang and another person were in the middle of negotiations with various governmental entities in the People’s Republic of China to establish their own fiber laser business. Wang is accused of traveling to China in 2015 and 2017 to further these negotiations. He allegedly exported stolen technical data, and tried seeking millions of dollars of funding from Chinese investors.
After negotiations failed, Wang then turned to negotiations with a U.S. person to help provide funding for QuantumWave. During the course of negotiations, Wang revealed it was the same technology that was developed by DARPA.
Former Casino Employee Sentenced To 5 Years Probation For Embezzling $10,000+ – July 7, 2021
Reginal Brown was a banquet server at the Silver Star Hotel & Casino in the Pearl River Resort. Between January 2016 and May 2016, Brown used his own password on multiple occasions to take, for himself, approximately $10,800 from the cash recyclers in the facility. Casino management discovered the discrepancy in accounting and on video surveillance of the cash recycler area, then reported Brown to law enforcement. Choctaw Police Department investigators interviewed Brown, who admitted taking the money.
Former Genentech Biotechnology Principal Scientist And Her Husband Convicted Of Theft Of Trade Secrets And For Sharing With Taiwanese Biotech Startup & Competitors – July 7, 2021
Former Genentech Principal Scientist Xanthe Lam, and her husband Allen Lam, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and other charges related to the theft of trade secrets from Genentech for use by other companies.
According to the plea agreements, both Xanthe Lam and Allen Lam conspired to commit theft of trade secrets by stealing confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information from Genentech. Specifically, starting in 2009, Xanthe Lam, an experienced and accomplished scientist then working at Genentech, and her husband, Allen Lam, worked as a team to purloin confidential information from within Genentech and to pass the information on to a number of scientists working for Genentech’s competitors.
For example, beginning in 2013, Xanthe Lam secretly provided Genentech’s high-quality, confidential, intellectual property to help JHL Biotech, Inc., a biopharmaceutical start-up headquartered in Zhubei, Taiwan, with offices in Wuhan, China, and Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., to cut corners, reduce costs, solve problems, save time, and otherwise accelerate product development timelines. Within JHL Biotech, employees were told to refer to Xanthe Lam as “Allen Lam” and email Xanthe Lam using the email address for Allen Lam to conceal the work Xanthe Lam was doing for the company.
Former CEO & COO Of JHL Biotech (Tiawan) Charged With Conspiracy To Steal Trade Secrets From U.S Competitor (Employees From Both Companies Involved) – July 7, 2021
In 2012, Raco Jordanov, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and Rose Lin, of South San Francisco, Calif., are alleged to have co-founded JHL Biotech, Inc., a biopharmaceutical start-up headquartered in Zhubei, Taiwan, with offices in Wuhan, China, and Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
JHL Biotech is now known as Eden Biologics, Inc. and Chime Biologics (Wuhan), Ltd. The indictment alleges that Jordanov and Lin, beginning as early as 2008, engaged in a fraudulent scheme to steal thousands of confidential and proprietary documents from Genentech that eventually helped JHL Biotech secretly accelerate its development and production of “biosimilars,” or generic versions of Genentech biologics. Some of the confidential documents stolen from Genentech and obtained by Jordanov and Lin allegedly contained trade secrets.
The indictment alleges that, starting in 2009, Lin recruited an experienced and accomplished scientist then working at Genentech and her husband to work as a team to purloin confidential information from within Genentech. Beginning in 2013, Lin and Jordanov allegedly used confidential information from the husband and wife team and other sources to help JHL Biotech cut corners, reduce costs, solve problems, save time, and otherwise accelerate product development timelines, secretly using Genentech’s high-quality, confidential, intellectual property.
In 2014, as alleged in the indictment, Jordanov and Lin supervised and managed a so-called “conversion” project whereby JHL employees converted confidential Genentech standard operating procedures or “SOPs” into JHL Biotech SOPs. For example, JHL employees engaged in the wholesale cutting and pasting of logos from the confidential documents by simply cutting out Genentech logos and pasting in JHL Biotech logos to make the Genentech SOPs appear, falsely, to be JHL Biotech SOPs. JHL Biotech employees allegedly drafted approximately ninety (90) different SOPs using Genentech documents, many of which were confidential and proprietary. JHL Biotech employees maintained a spreadsheet in which they identified Genentech SOPs that JHL Biotech possessed and tracked the progress to convert these into JHL Biotech SOPs. The widespread use of the stolen Genentech SOPs allegedly saved JHL Biotech thousands of dollars.
According to the indictment, JHL Biotech was a nearly $1 Billion Taiwanese unicorn built on a foundation of lies. The defendants used confidential documents and trade secrets stolen from Genentech to build a competitor and enrich themselves.
Former Supervisor For Virginia Department Of Taxation Charged With Embezzling $1.3 Million Of Taxpayer Funds – June 24, 2021
Steve Anderson, who is a retired compliance supervisor for the Virginia Department of Taxation, was charged by a Richmond grand jury on felony charges of embezzling public funds and altering computer data for larceny.
Anderson has repaid the Commonwealth about $250,000, according to the OSIG news release.
Vatican Indicts Cardinal And 9 Others On Fraud Charges – July 3, 2021
A Vatican judge indicted 10 people, including a once-powerful cardinal, on charges including embezzlement, abuse of office, extortion and fraud in connection with the Secretariat of State’s 350 million-euro investment in a London real estate venture.
The indictment was handed down following a sprawling, 2 year investigation into how the Secretariat of State managed its vast asset portfolio, much of which is funded by the Peter’s Pence donations from the faithful. The scandal over multimillion-dollar losses has resulted in a sharp reduction in donations and prompted Pope Francis to strip the office of its ability to manage the money.
5 former Vatican officials, including Cardinal Angelo Becciu and two officials from the Secretariat of State, were indicted, as well as Italian businessmen who handled the London investment.
Also indicted on alleged embezzlement charges was an Italian intelligence expert accused of buying luxury goods with Holy See money intended to help free Catholic priests and nuns held hostage by rebels in Africa.
Vatican prosecutors accuse the main suspects of bilking millions of euros from the Holy See in fees and other losses related to financial investments that were funded in large part by donations to the pope for works of charity. The suspects have denied wrongdoing.