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Insider Threat Incident Postings As Of November 24, 2020

Former Lowe’s Employees Hacked Payroll Data System And Stole Paychecks Totaling $11,790+ – November 20, 2020
Solomon Smith and his co-worker Garrett Sivley used their access at a Lowe’s to redirect paychecks to themselves. Smith was the mastermind of the operation.

The pair is accused of changing the direct deposit information and sending the payroll funds to fraudulent bank accounts before moving the money to cash apps. Employees at two stores were impacted.

According to the sheriff’s office, Smith and Sivley stole $11,795 from Lowe’s employees before the company notified law enforcement. Smith and Sivley are now terminated.

The sheriff stated when we took Smiths cell phone we found all kinds of evidence, also linking Smith to 20 car burglaries, some of which were armed.

Smith’s criminal history includes six felony charges and five misdemeanors. Smith was out on bond related to five open criminal cases.


3 Former Coast Guard Employees, 31 Individuals Charged In 7 Year Test Score Fixing / Bribery Scheme – November 23, 2020
Dorothy Smith was employed by the U.S Coast Guard (USCG) as a credentialing specialist at an exam center in Mandeville, Louisiana. Smith’s position authorized her to enter scores for examinations that merchant mariners were legally required to pass in order to obtain licenses to serve in various positions on vessels. The examinations tested mariners’ knowledge and training to safely operate under the authority of licenses.

For over seven years Smith engaged in a scheme to defraud the USGC. She took bribes to fix exam scores, enabling license applicants to bypass the required testing. This resulted in the applicants illegally obtaining a range of licenses for officer-level positions, including the most important positions on vessels, such as master, chief mate, and chief engineer.

Smith used a network of intermediaries to connect her to maritime workers who were willing to pay for false exam scores. The intermediaries would funnel money and the mariners’ requests to Smith, who would falsely report in a Coast Guard computer system that the mariners had passed the exams.


Former Purdue Professor Sentenced To Prison For Fraud Involving His Wife – November 23, 2020
Dr. Han was formerly a Purdue University professor and the Director of its Center for Materials Processing Research. Dr. Han’s wife, Lu Shao owned Hans Tech, LLC. “Hans Tech.

Dr. Han devised a scheme to defraud National Science Foundation NSF into giving Hans Tech over $1.3 million in research grants through its SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. He did so by making materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises and material omissions. Dr. Han and wife acknowledged that the purpose of the scheme was to obtain grant funds allocated for research and to use some or all of those funds for other purposes, including to pay personal expenses or for the enrichment of Dr. Han, Ms. Shao, or their children. Hans Tech also received $300,000 in matching grant funds from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, based upon some of the NSF SBIR/STTR awards. The judge ruled that loss in this case was over $1.6 million, or the total amount of the grants awarded to Hans Tech.


Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty To Smuggling Drugs Into Prison For Inmate Who He Was Having Sexual Relationship With – November 23, 2020
Richard Alberts was a Correctional Officer at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, a women’s prison, operated by the Oregon Department of Corrections. While employed there, Albert began an inappropriate and illegal sexual relationship with an inmate.

To foster the relationship, Alberts agreed to smuggle drugs, including OxyContin pills, methamphetamine, and heroin into the prison and to provide them to the inmate. In addition, Alberts smuggled multiple cell phones into the facility that the inmate used to communicate with Alberts and others outside the prison. Alberts knew that the smuggled drugs were not for the inmate’s personal use, but, instead, were intended for distribution to other women incarcerated at Coffee Creek.


College Professor Charged With Embezzling $650,000+ From Student Organization Over 5 Years – November 20, 2020
While serving as the volunteer Executive Director of the student association, Carmite Coleman withdrew cash and issued checks from the group’s bank accounts for her and her family’s personal benefit. Coleman attempted to cover up her scheme by submitting false and misleading reports that concealed her withdrawals, the indictment states. When a new individual was appointed to replace Coleman as Executive Director, Coleman knowingly delayed turning over access to the organization’s bank accounts so that she could continue spending the money for her personal benefit, the indictment states.

The fraud scheme lasted from 2011 to 2016. Coleman, who separately during the scheme was a professor and interim dean at the Chicago State University College of Pharmacy, fraudulently misappropriated approximately $651,272 from the student association, the indictment states.


Former Veteran Affairs Supervisor Charged With $1 Million+ Of Theft Of Government Property And Fraud – November 20, 2020
From October 5, 2010, through January 4, 2019, William Precht is accused of using his position with the Cleveland Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center to engage in a scheme to enrich himself and co-conspirators.

Precht used his VA issued purchase card and facilitated the use of other VA employees’ purchase cards to make purchases from a company controlled by the defendant for approximately $1,066,348.

In addition, from on or about May 27, 2015, through on or about January 4, 2019, the defendant is accused of conspiring with a medical supplies company located in South Euclid, Ohio, to devise a scheme in which the defendant would receive kickbacks and other items of value, in exchange for steering VA business and other monetary awards to the medical supplies vendor.

Allegedly, it was part of the conspiracy that the defendant would solicit and accept items of value from the medical supplies vendor such as money, sporting event tickets and future business interest. The defendant would then provide favorable actions for the benefit of his co-conspirators and the medical supplies vendor when the opportunities arose. He is accused of concealing this activity from the Cleveland VA by providing false and misleading information to VA employees about reasons for ordering medical supplies. The defendant also allegedly falsified some patient records to make it appear patients had implants in their electronic health record that did not correlate to any actual surgical or medical procedure, to justify the purchase of implants.


College Student Arrested For Installing Malware On 169 University Computers Over 2 Years – November 17, 2020
This incident goes to show that even students who are Insiders, can be a threat to a university, its facilities, network and others students.

Louisiana State University Campus Police arrested Carlos Munoz-Salazar after a campus technology services employee found a USB drive he allegedly left in one of the infected computers.

The same device was used to install software on 169 different computers which allowed Munoz-Salazar to control them remotely. After gaining access, he then allegedly installed a program that allowed him to mine cryptocurrency from the university-owned computers.

Munoz-Salazar admitted to authorities he made about $2,500 from mining virtual currency on the university’s computers.


2 National Guardsman Sentenced To Prison For Stealing And Selling $2.4 Million+ Worth Of Sensitive U.S. Military Equipment – November 19, 2020
A judge sentenced a former U.S. Property and Fiscal Office Program Analyst (Joseph Mora) and a former Texas Army National Guardsman (Cristal Avila) to prison for selling on the internet over $2.4 million in sensitive military equipment stolen from Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas.

From 2016 to 2019, Mora and Avila stole large quantities of government property, including scopes, infrared laser aiming devices and thermal night vision goggles, with an estimated value in excess of $2.4 million. Mora and Avila later sold the stolen goods on eBay and elsewhere.


Former Employee Sentenced To Prison For Making Unauthorized Credit Card Charges Of More Than $800,000 – November 19, 2020
Between 2010 and July 19, 2018 Amir Jahed was an employee of Cobham Mission Systems. As part of his employment, Jahed was assigned company credit cards and was authorized to make certain purchases on behalf of Cobham for its business operations.

Jahed used his company purchase cards to conduct approximately 600 unauthorized transactions. Jahed claimed that the transactions were purchases of parts for Cobham’s business operations. Jahed did not purchase any parts for Cobham. He used the purchase credit cards to direct funds into accounts controlled by him, resulting in a loss of $832,003 to Cobham. After Jahed used a purchase card fraudulently to obtain funds, he mailed fraudulent invoices to Cobham headquarters in support of the fraudulent transactions to give the appearance that the purchases were made to support Cobham’s business operations.


Former Correctional Officer Involved In Bribery Scheme Sentenced To Prison – November 19, 2020
From as early as December 2018 through September 2019, Victor DeJesus used his official position as a correctional officer at FCI-Miami federal prison to bring prohibited items, including controlled substances, cellular telephones, and SIM cards, into the prison and distribute them to inmates who lived there. In exchange for this service, DeJesus accepted bribe payments from inmates and their associates. DeJesus used inmate co-conspirators to distribute the contraband within FCI-Miami.


Paralegal Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud Charge For Embezzling From 144 Immigration Law Firm Clients – November 19, 2020
From October 2014 to October 2018, Tanya Garcia worked at multiple immigration law firms in Los Angeles and Riverside counties. The law firms assisted clients with matters such as obtaining asylum, relief from deportation, U.S. residency and citizenship, and work permits.

Garcia admitted she met with the law firms’ clients and collected payments from them in the form of money orders or checks, representing that the payments would be used for application filing fees with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or for immigration-related legal services provided by the law firms.

As part of her scheme to defraud, Garcia sometimes instructed clients to leave the “pay to” line of money orders or checks blank and at other times she informed the clients that she would complete the money orders or checks for them. Garcia generally would then write her own name in the “pay to” line of the money orders or checks. Other times, Garcia crossed out “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” from the “pay to” line of money orders and wrote in her own name.

Garcia admitted she deposited the clients’ money orders and checks into her personal bank accounts and used the funds to pay off personal expenses including credit card payments, clothing, and food.

In total, Garcia admitted to defrauding at least 144 victim clients. She also admitted to defrauding the clients and the immigration law firms out of approximately $199,077.


Former Office Manager Sentenced To Prison For Embezzlement Of $926,00+ To Support Gambling Addiction – November 19, 2020
Between 2013 and 2018 Cynthia Demniak in her position as office manager for Grandview Medical Management, embezzled approximately $926,940 from her employer, which she used for personal expenses and to satisfy a gambling addiction.


Three City Of Philadelphia Revenue Department Employees Charged With Soliciting And Accepting Bribes – November 19, 2020
Jarredd McQueen was employed as a Customer Collection Representative for the City of Philadelphia’s Revenue Department when he allegedly accepted $9,000 of bribes in connection with his work. McQueen’s alleged criminal conduct began in May of 2018 and ended in November of 2018. He resigned from his employment on July 17, 2020.

Demarys Natal was employed as a Customer Collection Representative for the City of Philadelphia’s Revenue Department when she allegedly accepted $26,600 of bribes in connection with her work. Natal’s alleged criminal conduct began in February of 2018 and ended in September of 2019. She resigned from her employment on November 5, 2019.

Nicole Mixon was also employed as a Customer Collection Representative for the City of Philadelphia’s Revenue Department when she allegedly accepted $22,300 of bribes in connection with her work. Mixon’s alleged criminal conduct began in November of 2019 and ended in March of 2020. She resigned from her employment yesterday.


Former City Of Newark Official Charged With Scheming Two Newark Businessmen To Obtain Bribes – November 19, 2020
Carmelo Garcia, Frank Valvano Jr., and Irwin Sablosky are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with the business and transactions of a federally funded local government and organization. Garcia was a high-level Newark official, and prior to that, an executive officer of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation. Valvano and Sablosky are co-owners of a New Jersey-based pawnbroker and jewelry business.

From 2017 through April 2019, Garcia sought and received significant monetary payments and other benefits from Valvano, Sablosky, and others in exchange for Garcia’s use of his official positions and influence to assist Valvano and Sablosky with securing redevelopment agreements with the City of Newark to purchase and acquire various city-owned properties for redevelopment, including obtaining preliminary designated developer status, and to ensure that Garcia did not act against their interests. In addition to money, Garcia also received jewelry from the pawnbroker and jewelry business that Valvano and Sablosky co-own.


Cincinnati City Council Member Charged With Accepting $40,000 In Bribes – November 19, 2020
Alexander Sittenfeld accepted bribe money in 2018 and 2019, while promising to deliver the votes and perform other official action with respect to a development project before city council.

In November and December 2018, Sittenfeld promised he could deliver the votes in city council to support a development project in exchange for four $5,000 contributions to his PAC. It is alleged that Sittenfeld again corruptly accepted four $5,000 checks in September and October 2019.


Former Employee Sentenced For Stealing $305,000+ From Employer – November 18, 2020
From in or about 2011 through in or about 2015, Jamie Gillette devised a scheme to defraud, and to misappropriate without authority money and property belonging to her employer, Bendable Bright Light, Inc. (BBL). Specifically, Gillette had access to BBL’s business bank account both as signor on the account and through the online payment portal. Using this access, Gillette issued checks from BBL’s account to her personal bank account and made online payments from BBL’s account for personal expenses associated with her accounts, without the knowledge or authorization of BBL. The judge determined that Gillette had embezzled a total of $305,185 from BBL.


Former Office Manager Sentenced To Prison For Embezzlement Of $348,000+ – November 18, 2020
From 2009 until she was terminated in February 2015, Yuliya Vaysglus was the office manager of a Boston-area dental practice where her duties included tracking client invoices, depositing insurance payments into the practice’s bank account, and recording those deposits for accounting purposes. Between 2009 and December 2014, Vaysglus embezzled more than $348,000 from the dental practice by diverting to herself at least 276 checks from various insurance companies for services rendered to patients. As part of the scheme, Vaysglus made the checks payable to herself, forged the signature of the dental firm’s owner on the checks, and deposited them into her bank account. Vaysglus failed to report the embezzled funds on her federal tax returns.


Former Office Manager / Bookkeeper Sentenced To Prison For Inflating His Salary – November 18, 2020
From November 2015 through July 2019, Patrick Snoop served as an office manager and bookkeeper for a company based in Union, New Jersey. Beginning in March of 2016, Snoop used his position to fraudulently inflate his salary on several occasions by providing falsified information to a payroll company used by his employer. The unauthorized changes resulted in $494,373 in losses to the company.


Former Human Resources Director Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $118,000 In Employee Paycheck Scheme – November 18, 2020
The former human resources director for Oconee County, Georgia has admitted to stealing taxpayer money in a complicated paycheck scheme.

Sherry Turner-Seila was employed as the Human Resources Director for Oconee County. As such, she was one of the few employees with access to the County’s payroll system, which transferred funds directly from the county bank account to the bank accounts of county employees. From July 6, 2016 to July 5, 2019, Turner-Seila concocted a scheme where she would use that access to temporarily change a former employee’s direct deposit information to her own personal bank account’s direct deposit information. In all, Turner-Seila stole $118,451.80 from Oconee County taxpayers.


Former Army Green Beret Pleads Guilty To Russian Espionage Conspiracy Over 15 Years – November 17, 2020
From December 1996 to January 2011, Peter Debbins a former member of the U.S. Army, conspired with agents of a Russian intelligence service. During that time, Debbins periodically visited Russia and met with Russian intelligence agents. In 1997, Debbins was assigned a code name by Russian intelligence agents and signed a statement attesting that he wanted to serve Russia.

From 1998 to 2005, Debbins served on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Army, serving in chemical units before being selected for the U.S. Army Special Forces. The Russian intelligence agents encouraged him to join and pursue a career in the Special Forces, which he did, where he served at the rank of Captain.

Over the course of the conspiracy, Debbins provided the Russian intelligence agents with information that he obtained as a member of the U.S. Army, including information about his chemical and Special Forces units. In 2008, after leaving active duty service, Debbins disclosed to the Russian intelligence agents classified information about his previous activities while deployed with the Special Forces. Debbins also provided the Russian intelligence agents with the names of, and information about, a number of his former Special Forces team members so that the agents could evaluate whether to approach the team members to see if they would cooperate with the Russian intelligence service.


Former Raytheon Engineer Sentenced To Prison For Exporting Sensitive Military Technology To China – November 18, 2020
Wei Sun is a Chinese national and naturalized citizen of the United States. Sun previously pleaded guilty to one felony count of violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).

Sun was employed for 10 years as an electrical engineer with Raytheon Missiles and Defense. Raytheon Missiles and Defense develops and produces missile systems for use by the United States military. During his employment with the company, Sun had access to information directly related to sensitive defense technology. Some of this defense technical information constituted what is defined as defense articles, which are controlled and prohibited from export without a license under the AECA and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (the ITAR).

From December 2018 to January 2019, Sun traveled from the United States to China on a personal trip. On that trip, Sun brought along unclassified defense-related technical information in his company-issued computer, including data associated with an advanced missile guidance system that was controlled and regulated under the AECA and the ITAR. Despite having been trained to handle these materials correctly, Sun knowingly transported the information to China without an export license in violation of the AECA and the ITAR.


Former United Auto Workers Vice President Sentenced To Prison For Taking $250,000 In Bribes And Kickbacks – November 17, 2020
Joseph Ashton, former Vice President of the UAW’s General Motors Department, was sentenced today to 30 months in federal prison for conspiring with other UAW officials to engage in fraud by taking $250,000 in bribes and kickbacks from a UAW vendor and for conspiring to launder the proceeds of the scheme..

In December 2019 Ashton pleaded guilty to conspiring with two other high-level UAW officials (Michael Grimes, Jeffrey Pietrzyk) to take hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks from vendors doing business with the joint UAW-GM Center for Human Resources (CHR). Grimes and Pietryzk have also pleaded guilty.

Ashton crimes led to the closing of the UAW-GM training center and the loss of many training center jobs.

Ashton is one of 15 defendants convicted in connection with the ongoing criminal investigation into illegal payoffs to UAW officials by FCA executives and corruption within the UAW itself.


Russian Man Sentenced To Prison For Impersonating As A Company Employee And Laundering $9 Million+ In Account Takeover Scheme – November 17, 2020
Between February 2018 and July 2018, several clients of Company-1, a financial technology company headquartered in San Jose, California, fell victim to an account takeover scheme resulting in total losses exceeding $9 million.

The scheme involved an unidentified individual or individuals calling Company-1 and impersonating a representative of one of the victim companies. The impostor(s) would then request that an unauthorized bank account be added to the victims’ Company-1 accounts and be designated to receive payments from e-commerce customers.

The unauthorized bank accounts added to the victims’ Company-1 accounts were each controlled by Igor Buzyukov under the name of a corporation registered to him in the State of Florida. After monies were deposited to the unauthorized accounts, Buzyukov would transfer the funds to other accounts controlled by him. Buzyukov then wired the majority of the funds to several bank accounts held by various individuals in Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Buzyukov also admitted to creating fake invoices in the amounts of the wire transfers in order to make the transactions appear legitimate.


Former CEO Of Bank Sentenced To Prison For $250,000 Fraud Scheme – November 16, 2020
While President and CEO of Minneapolis-based Crown Bank (Crown) from 2015 to 2017, Peter Dahl engaged in a scheme to defraud the bank and several individuals. DAHL conducted transactions involving funds and credits of Crown for his own purposes and without permission of the bank’s board or shareholders and without notice to or approval of state and federal regulatory agencies.

Dahl used various Crown accounts to cover his personal debts and expenditures.


Former Harvard College Fencing Coach And Maryland Businessman Charged With Bribery Of $1.5 Million+ For College Admission Scandal – November 16, 2020
Peter Brand, the former head coach of men’s and women’s fencing at Harvard, conspired with Jie Zhao, the Chief Executive of a telecommunications company, to facilitate the admission of Zhao’s sons to Harvard by recruiting them to join the men’s fencing team in exchange for money.

It is alleged that in or about May 2012, Brand told a co-conspirator, “Jack doesn’t need to take me anywhere and his boys don’t have to be great fencers. All I need is a good incentive to recruit them. In February 2013, as part of the alleged scheme, Zhao made a purported donation of $1 million to a fencing charity operated by a co-conspirator. Zhao’s older son was admitted to Harvard as a fencing recruit in December 2013, and matriculated in the fall of 2014. Shortly thereafter, the charity passed $100,000 on to the Peter Brand Foundation, a charitable entity established by Brand and his spouse. Thereafter, Zhao began making payments to, or for the benefit of, Brand.

In total, Zhao made $1.5 million in payments to Brand, or for Brand’s personal benefit, even as Brand recruited Zhao’s younger son to the Harvard fencing team. Zhao allegedly paid for Brand’s car, made college tuition payments for Brand’s son, paid the mortgage on Brand’s Needham residence, and later purchased the residence for well above its market value, thus allowing Brand to purchase a more expensive residence in Cambridge that Zhao then paid to renovate. Zhao’s younger son matriculated to Harvard in 2017. The complaint alleges that Brand did not disclose the payments to Harvard when recruiting Zhao’s sons.


Former Employee Who Embezzled $1.1 Million Over 7 Years Sentenced To Prison – November 12, 2020
For more than 25 years, Anthony Teixeira was employed by Joseph Merritt & Company (“JMC”), a Hartford-based printing company. Teixeira most recently oversaw the JMC branch located in Danbury. Between approximately January 2012 and February 2019, Teixeira defrauded JMC and its customers by presenting sales orders, or test sales orders, to customers as though they were actually invoices. Customers, believing they were paying JMC for the work, then delivered payments into accounts that Teixeira controlled. Teixeira also stole printing-related inventory from JMC inventory and sold it online, but manipulated invoices to deceive JMC’s systems into thinking the company had sold the inventory. The loss attributable to Teixeira through these schemes is approximately $1.1 million.


University Researcher Pleads Guilty To Lying On Grant Applications To Develop Scientific Expertise For China – November 12, 2020
Song Zheng was a professor of internal medicine who led a team conducting autoimmune research at The Ohio State University and Pennsylvania State University. According to his plea, Zheng caused materially false and misleading statements on NIH grant applications, seeking to hide his participation in Chinese Talent Plans and his affiliation and collaboration with a Chinese university controlled by the Chinese government.

Since 2013, Zheng had been participating in a Chinese Talent Plan, a program established by the Chinese government to recruit individuals with knowledge or access to foreign technology intellectual property. Since that time, Zheng used research conducted in the United States to benefit the People’s Republic of China. Zheng failed to disclose conflicts of interest or his foreign commitments to his American employers or to the NIH.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 at 9:42 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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