Former City Clerk Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For Money Laundering Conspiracy – September 25, 2020
Kristy Conn pleaded guilty on Nov. 1, 2019, to conspiracy to commit money laundering. Conn admitted that she participated in the money-laundering conspiracy from June 20 to Dec. 6, 2017. During that time, Conn was the city clerk in Everton. Conn admitted that she directed Ginger L. Huerta to send wire transfers of the proceeds from the distribution of methamphetamine to members of the drug-trafficking organization in California and Mexico.
Business Manager Church Charged With Wire Fraud / Stealing $329,000+ – September 24, 2020
Joseph Meisch while employed as the business manager of St. Patrick’s Church in New Orleans, defrauded the Church of approximately $329,856.20. Specifically, MEISCH used credit cards belonging to the Church to purchase personal items and transferred Church funds into his personal accounts.
Former Employee Sentenced To Prison For Intentionally Damaging The Computers Of His Employer Costing $193,000 – September 24, 2020
From January 5, 2004 through August 6, 2015, Shannon Stafford was employed in the information technology (IT) department at his employer. In 2014, his employer provided Stafford with a laptop to use for his work.
Witnesses testified that in 2014, Stafford was promoted to the managerial role of technical site lead for the Washington office. In March 2015, Stafford was demoted back to an IT support role, due to performance issues in his management position. Stafford’s performance issues continued and he was fired on August 6, 2015. Stafford did not return the laptop he was previously provided by Business A.
In the early morning hours of August 8, 2015, Stafford successfully used the co-worker’s credentials and the company laptop to access, without authorization, the computer in the Washington office that had been located under his desk. Stafford used the Washington IT computer to execute demands to delete all of the file storage drives used by the Washington office, then changed the password to access the storage management system. The deletion of the files caused a severe disruption to the company’s operations and the loss of some customer and user data. Changing the password hindered the company’s efforts to determine what happened and restore access to its remaining files. As a result of the deletion of the network file storage drives, Washington users were unable to access their stored files for approximately three days, until the data could be restored from backups. Customer and user data that was not included in the most recent backup prior to Stafford’s deletion of the files was permanently lost.
On August 11, 2015, Stafford unsuccessfully attempted to remotely access the company’s computer network from his home approximately 13 times, using credentials that were not his. On August 13, 2015, a company representative spoke to Stafford and demanded that he cease and desist his attempts to unlawfully access Business A’s computer systems. The evidence showed that despite Business A’s demand, between August 21 and September 9, 2015, Stafford attempted to access the company’s network from his home approximately 17 times, using credentials that were not his. On September 14, 2015, Stafford used the credentials of another former co-worker to access a network file storage system computer that he had been responsible for maintaining in the IT department of the company’s Baltimore office, intending to cause the same type of damage he did when he deleted the Washington office’s stored files. However, Stafford’s attempt failed because Business A had changed the password after Stafford’s attack on the Washington files.
The actual loss to Business A resulting from Stafford’s damage and attempted damage to their computer systems, including the cost of restoring the deleted systems, investigating what happened, and responding to the intrusion is at least $38,270. In addition, Business A incurred legal fees totaling $133,950.60 and a fee of $21,037.50 for a forensic investigation.
4 Former Employees Sued For Misappropriation of Trade Secrets – September 23, 2020
Telecom Fiber, LLC, a leading installer of fiber optic cable and service provider for fiber optic networks for the southeastern United States, filed a complaint against defendants George Mulroney, Brandon Evans, Ernest Crowe, and Jared Charles, all former employees of Telecom’s for misappropriation of trade secrets.
Mulroney was the Director of Operations and an account manager for Zayo Group, Telecom’s primary customer, the complaint said; he had access to the plaintiff’s trade secrets as per his employment with the company and he was required to sign an Employee Covenants Agreement. The remaining defendants were splicers for Telecom and Mulroney was their direct supervisor. The Employee Covenants Agreements included a non-disclosure covenant, non-recruiting covenant, non-solicitation covenant, and a covenant not to compete. Telecom claimed that each employee has unique login credentials to access its Dropbox account, which stores its trade secrets. According to Telecom, the defendants regularly accessed this information and the information stored on their company devices, thus accessing this confidential information.
Telecom stated that in November 2019, in less than eight hours, Mulroney logged into the Dropbox account and accessed more than 4,000 files on the account. Telecom alleged that Mulroney accessed Telecom’s trade secrets and confidential information, including those documents related to Zayo, such as “specific records of the splicing diagrams for several hundred customers that utilize fiber optic cables from Zayo” and other technical files. Moreover, Telecom asserted that the activity log shows that Mulroney “deleted or ‘cut’ over four thousand (4,000) files related to Zayo from the Telecom Fiber Dropbox account,” which were “later added or ‘pasted’…back to the Telecom Fiber Dropbox account.” Therefore, the plaintiff believes that Mulroney pasted these files to an unknown location. A day later, Mulroney quit.
According to the complaint, Evans, Charles and Crowe now work as splicers for Verticom, “who perform work on the Zayo network.” Furthermore, Telecom alleged that defendant Mulroney also recruited two additional splicers who worked on the Zayo network and were previously employed by Telecom before working for Verticom.
General Motors Accuses Former Board Member Of Leaking Confidential Information To Rival Auto Maker – September 15, 2020
GM in a federal lawsuit filed in New Jersey has accused Joseph Ashton, a former vice president at the United Auto Workers (UAW), of accepting bribes from crosstown competitor Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, which was at the time trying to pressure GM into a merger. Mr. Ashton served as a director at GM at the time of the merger advances, which later became public.
In its lawsuit, GM said Fiat Chrysler used offshore bank accounts to bribe Mr. Ashton in exchange for confidential information that he had access to in his role as a GM board member. The former UAW official served on GM’s board from 2014 to 2017.
The lawsuit also accuses Mr. Ashton of taking bribes from Fiat Chrysler during the time he served as the UAW’s lead labor negotiator with GM. GM said Fiat Chrysler paid off Mr. Ashton to drive a harder bargain with GM in labor negotiations.
Mr. Ashton last year pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering while a UAW official. He was accused of rigging UAW vendor contracts in exchange for kickbacks.
Former Bank Employee Arrested For $43,000 Embezzlement Scam – September 24, 2020
A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment against Claudia Wells Sept. 17, charging her with embezzlement from a federally-insured credit union.
According to the indictment, from May 28, 2019 to June 6, 2019, Wells embezzled approximately $43,000 from an account at the credit union while she was employed there.
Human Resources Manager Charged With Issuing Fraudulent Payroll Checks That He Deposited Into His Bank Accounts And COVID-19 Fraud Scheme – September 23, 2020
According to court records, Douglas Wold worked as a Human Resources Manager for Fry Foods, Inc. in Ontario, Oregon. The indictment alleges that beginning in at least May 2020 and continuing through August 2020, Wold caused fraudulent payroll checks to be issued. Wold then deposited these fraudulent payroll checks into bank accounts in his control.
According to the indictment, Wold arranged for COVID-19 testing for Fry Foods’ employees at their Weiser, Idaho facilities in May 2020. Wold issued a fraudulent invoice to Fry Foods in the name of his business, Hala Lallo Health, for $39,995 when, in fact, the testing was provided by another entity and at a materially lower cost. When Fry Foods paid Hala Lallo Health for the testing, Wold deposited the funds into a bank account he controlled.
With respect to the money laundering count, the indictment alleges that Wold transferred $69,116.48 in proceeds from his frauds for the purchase a speedboat and trailer.
Security Guard At Senior Living Facility Charged With $280,000 Of Mail Fraud – September 23, 2020
According to documents in the case, while working as a contract security guard for a senior living facility in Munster, Indiana, it is alleged that from October 18, 2019 to about December 3, 2019, Da’Ione Fields engaged in a scheme to defraud the facility of more than $280,000. The Indictment alleges that on two occasions Fields completed a USPS Change of Address form to redirect the facility’s mail to Fields’ residential address in Gary, Indiana. Between October 18 and November 22, 2019, Mr. Fields cashed approximately 31 insurance reimbursement and other checks payable to the facility totaling over $220,000. On November 21, 2019, Mr. Fields opened a corporate account at a bank in Gary, misrepresenting himself as an authorized representative of the facility and depositing 6 more checks totaling over $60,000.
Former Church Business Administrator Charged With Embezzlement – September 22, 2020
According to the Indictment, beginning in and around 2011, until his termination from employment in 2018, David Reiter was the business administrator at Westminster Presbyterian Church located in Upper St. Clair, PA. Reiter engaged in a pattern of deception and fraud by regularly embezzling and converting to his personal use funds belonging to church. The Indictment alleges that Reiter failed to pay over employment taxes and filed false personal income tax returns relating to the embezzlement, which materially underreported his personal income.
Former Xerox Employee Receives Life In Prison For Credit Union Robbery And Murder – September 22, 2020
After 17 years, and thanks to the tireless and relentless dedication of our federal, state, and local law enforcement professionals, a cold-blooded murderer has finally been held accountable and the family of his victim has finally received some measure of justice,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy.
On August 12, 2003 at approximately 9:45 a.m., Richard Wilbern walked into Xerox Federal Credit Union (XFCU), located on the Xerox Corporation campus in Webster, NY. Wilbern was wearing a dark blue nylon jacket with the letters FBI written in yellow on the back of the jacket, sunglasses and a poorly fitting wig. Wilbern was also carrying a large briefcase, a green and gray-colored umbrella and had what appeared to be a United States Marshals badge hanging on a chain around his neck.
Wilbern was employed by Xerox between September 1996 and February 23, 2001 as which time he was terminated for repeated employment related infractions. In 2001, Wilbern filed a lawsuit against Xerox alleging that the company unlawfully discriminated against him with respect to the terms and conditions of his employment, subjected him to a hostile work environment, failed to hire him for a position for which he applied because of his race, and retaliated against him for complaining about Xerox’s discriminatory treatment. Wilbern also maintained a checking and savings accounts at the Xerox Federal Credit Union. Evidence at trial demonstrated that Wilbern was in significant financial distress from roughly 2000 – 2003, including filing for bankruptcy.
Wilbern was not caught until 2016 for robbery and murder.
In March 2016, a press conference was held to seek new leads in the investigation. Details of the crime were released as well as photographs of Wilbern committing the robbery. Anyone with information was asked to call a dedicated hotline.
On March 27, 2016, a concerned citizen contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and indicated that the person who committed the crime was likely a former Xerox employee named Richard Wilbern. The citizen indicated that the defendant worked for Xerox prior to the robbery but had been fired. The citizen also stated that they recognized Wilbern’s face from the photos.
In July 20016, FBI agents met with Wilbern regarding a complaint he had made to the FBI regarding an alleged real estate scam. During one of their meetings, agents obtained a DNA sample from Wilbern after he licked and sealed an envelope. That envelope was sent to OCME, and after comparing the DNA profile from the envelope to the DNA profile previously developed from the umbrella, determined there was a positive match.
Former Manager Of Oil Trading Firm Charged In Money Laundering And $870,000 Bribery Scheme – September 22, 2020
As alleged in the indictment and other court documents, Javier Aguilar worked as a manager and oil trader in Houston for a United States subsidiary of a European energy trading company (the “Trading Company”). Beginning in mid-2015 and continuing into 2020, Aguilar and others allegedly caused approximately $870,000 in bribes to be paid to Ecuadorian government officials for their assistance in obtaining and retaining business for the Trading Company. Specifically, the Trading Company paid two intermediaries $1.4 million for their efforts to secretly bribe the government officials using bank accounts located in the United States and offshore, and $870,000 of those funds were used to pay the bribes to the Ecuadorian officials. In exchange for the bribes, the Trading Company secured contracts to purchase approximately $300 million in fuel oil from Petroecuador. To conceal the proceeds of the bribery scheme, Aguilar caused fake and fraudulent consulting agreements to be executed with so-called consultants located in the United States who were actually bribe intermediaries.
Two Active-Duty Marines Charged With Drug Trafficking Conspiracy After Fellow Marine’s Fatal Drug Overdose – September 22, 2020
Two active-duty United States Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton were arrested today on a federal grand jury indictment charging one Marine and three civilians with conspiring to distribute narcotics – including oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl – to civilians and members of the United States Marine Corps, one of whom suffered a fatal drug overdose in May. The second Marine is charged in the indictment with being an accessory after the fact.
According to the indictment, the conspiracy lasted from November 2019 to September 2020 and involved multiple sales of fentanyl-laced oxycodone to an undercover buyer, often for amounts exceeding $1,000 per buy.
Polish University Fined $13,000 Over Data Breach After Employee Used Personal Device To Process Student Data – September 17, 2020
The Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW) was found to have exposed the personal data of students and prospective degree candidates back in November 2019.
The president of the Polish National Personal Data Protection Office (UODO) fined the institution PLN 50,000 ($13,000) for a breach of GDPR rules.
Up to 100 students may have had their information exposed after data was stored on an employee’s personal device, which was later stolen.
The university was not aware that the employee was processing students’ personal data on a non-work device, a statement from the UODO reads.
Supervisor Of Drug Testing Facility Who Took Bribes To Falsify Over 100 Drug Tests Sentenced To Prison – September 21, 2020
Billy Joe West of Las Vegas, was sentenced today to four years and nine months in federal prison for soliciting and accepting bribes from convicted felons on federal supervised release in exchange for concealing their positive and missed drug tests.
According to court documents and West’s admissions, his scheme caused over 100 false records to be made and reported to the U.S. Probation Office. West was a supervisor at WestCare Nevada, Inc., a federally contracted drug testing facility that conducted, among other services, court-ordered urinalysis drug testing of supervisees who are on federal probation and supervised release. West’s responsibilities included administering urinalysis drug testing.
Between June 21, 2018, and March 19, 2020, West misused his position as a supervisor and misled U.S. Probation Officers through a scheme to solicit and accept bribes from supervisees, in exchange for reporting false negative drug tests to the U.S. Probation Office. As a result of those false negative reports, probation officers were deceived into believing that certain supervisees were complying with court-ordered terms of their supervised release. But the supervisees had in fact violated terms of their supervised release by either missing mandatory drug tests or testing positive for controlled substances. Following West’s arrest in March 2020, the number of “no-shows” and positive drug test results that WestCare reported to the U.S. Probation Office increased.
Former Employee Sentenced To Prison For Fraud Schemes That Cost His Company Of $9 Million+ – September 21, 2020
According to court documents and statements made in court, Steven Gold and John Finkle III were employed by JST, a supplier of electronic components based in Waukegan, Illinois. Finkle, of East Haven, was primarily employed in sales for JST and Gold operated the accounting and billing systems for the company. Between approximately February 2015 and December 2018, Finkle conspired with Kenneth Pedroli, and Gold, to defraud JST through a scheme involving purchases of electronic components that Pedroli made from JST for a business he operated in Islandia, New York. As part of the scheme, Finkle instructed Pedroli to place his orders and list prices at a fraction of JST’s published prices. After Pedroli’s orders were submitted to JST at the discounted prices, the products were shipped from JST to Pedroli. Finkle instructed Pedroli to pay only a portion of the invoiced price and to make the payments directly to Finkle, which Pedroli did. Finkle deposited the payments into his personal checking account, and provided a portion of the funds to Gold, who manipulated the accounting records of JST to make it appear that Pedroli had paid JST for the products he received. JST was defrauded of $3,359,058.69 through this scheme.
During the investigation of the scheme involving Finkle and Pedroli, investigators uncovered an additional $6,060,151 that Gold had stolen from JST by accessing and manipulating JSTs accounting system. Gold used the stolen funds to pay for personal expenses that included vacations, online gambling, home improvement costs, furniture, clothes, restaurants, college tuition, and car payments. He also unlawfully transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars in JST funds to his wife’s company.