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Insider Threat Incidents From May 2 To May 11, 2022

Former Chief Financial Officer Of $21 Billion Bio Pharmaceutical Company Charge For Insider Trading – May 10, 2022
From 2018 through October 2020, Usama Malik was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a New Jersey based bio pharmaceutical company listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange.

On April 6, 2020, the company publicly announced for the first time that its breast cancer drug – an antibody-based drug designed to treat certain breast cancer patients who had very limited treatment options beyond chemotherapy – had proven effective in pre-market clinical trials. In October 2020, another bio pharmaceutical company acquired the company for which Malik worked for approximately $21 Billion.

Malik was among the first, and one of the few, employees who received the material non-public information about the breast cancer drug before the public announcement. Within minutes of obtaining that information, Malik passed it along to an individual who lived with Malik at the time, and was formerly employed by the same company as him. The individual more than doubled her investment, realizing gross profits of $213,618, because of the information provided to him by Malik.


Former County Sheriff’s Deputy Pleads Guilty To $5.6 Million Fraud Scheme / Used Funds For Gambling, Private Jet Trips, Buying Luxury Cars & Other Items For His Girlfriends – May 10, 2022
Christopher Burnell is a a former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy. He pleaded guilty to multiple felonies for deceiving victims into investing at least $5.6 million with him, then using their money on extravagant gambling, taking private jet airplane rides and buying luxury items for his girlfriends.

Burnell falsely claimed to have accumulated tens of millions of dollars from lawsuits he purportedly won against the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and Kaiser Permanente; from selling a patent for an air-cooled, bullet-resistant vest to Oakley Inc.; and through investments in small businesses and money-lending opportunities.

After deceiving victims into believing he was a wealthy businessman, Burnell then induced victims to invest up to hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time with him by offering exclusive investment opportunities that promised rates of returns as high as 100% to be repaid in a few weeks. In some instances, Burnell asked the victim for an initial trial investment with him, during which he would fulfill his promised returns – and gain the victim’s trust – only to ask for a larger amount from

But these investment opportunities did not exist. Rather, Burnell spent the money on maintaining a life of luxury. Burnell spent victims’ money on, among other things, gambling and luxury items, including losing more than $2 million in gambling at the San Manuel Casino in Highland, $500,000 in private jet trips, $70,000 on Louis Vuitton merchandise, and $175,000 on luxury cars and an apartment lease for his then-girlfriends.


Former Coca-Cola Company Chemist Sentenced To Prison For Stealing Trade Secrets That Cost $120 Million to Develop – May 9, 2022
From December 2012 through Aug. 31, 2017, Dr. Xiaorong You was employed as Principal Engineer for Global Research at Coca-Cola, which had agreements with numerous companies to conduct research and development, testing, analysis and review of various bisphenol-A-free (BPA-free) technologies.

You stole valuable trade secrets related to formulations for BPA-free coatings for the inside of beverage cans. You was granted access to the trade secrets while working at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia, and Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee. The stolen trade secrets belonged to major chemical and coating companies including Akzo-Nobel, BASF, Dow Chemical, PPG, Toyochem, Sherwin Williams, and Eastman Chemical Company, and cost nearly $120,000,000 to develop.

You stole the trade secrets to set up a new BPA-free coating company in China. You and her Chinese corporate partner, Weihai Jinhong Group, received millions of dollars in Chinese government grants to support the new company (including a Thousand Talents Plan award). Documents related to You’s Thousand Talents Program application were admitted at trial; those documents, and other evidence presented at trial, showed the defendant’s intent to benefit not only Weihai Jinhong Group, but also the governments of China, the Chinese province of Shandong, and the Chinese city of Weihai, as well as her intent to benefit the Chinese Communist Party.


Former Employee Pleads Guilty In Role To Steal $1.8 Million+ From Employer To Fund Investments & Personal Business – May 6, 2022
Duane Larmore, worked for Shore Appliance Connection. Larmore duties included maintaining the books and records for the company.

From September 2016 through March 2020, Larmore conspired with others to steal more than $1.8 million from Shore Appliance Connection.

Larmore and his co-conspirators stole over $1 million from Shore Appliance to use for their own purposes, including to make investments and to pay business expenses for the co-conspirator’s business.


2 Former New York Utility Managers Of National Grid Sentenced To Prison For $50 Million+ Contract Bribery & Kickback Scheme – May 6, 2022
Patrick McCrann and Richard Zavada were National Grid managers employed in the facilities department, who steered contracts to certain contractors in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.

One of the contractors secured more than $50 million in facility maintenance contracts from National Grid during the time that the contractor was paying bribes to McCrann and Zavada.

The illicit payments to McCrann and Zavada took multiple forms, including cash, the purchase of recreational vehicles, home improvements, landscaping and overseas vacations. As part of the investigation, agents recovered approximately $300,000 in cash from a safe deposit box held by Zavada.


Former U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Employee Charged For Stealing $18,000 Of Government Money – May 6, 2022
Beginning in approximately August 2018, Zeon Johnson worked as a Sales and Service Distribution Associate for USPS. As part of his job, Johnson sold stamps and processed money order transactions for USPS customers. From approximately July 2019 through June 18, 2020, Johnson engaged in two schemes to convert USPS funds for personal use.

Johnson intentionally voided cash transaction sales of USPS stamps to customers, resulting in no records being made of cash payments for stamps, and then stole the cash for his own personal use. Johnson stole USPS funds through fraudulent money orders, specifically by issuing himself blank money orders, money order refunds as well as money orders made payable to himself. In total, it is alleged that Johnson stole over $18,000 in USPS funds.


Former College Dean Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $650,000+ From Student Organization For Trips To The Caribbean – May 5, 2022
While serving as the volunteer Executive Director of the student association, Carmita Colmean withdrew cash and issued checks from the group’s bank accounts for her personal benefit.

Coleman used debit cards linked to the organization’s accounts to make various personal purchases, including for trips to the Caribbean. She attempted to cover up the fraud by submitting false and misleading reports that concealed the withdrawals. 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.

During the fraud scheme, which lasted from 2011 to 2016, Coleman separately worked as a dean and professor at various colleges of pharmacy.


Former Company Accountant Admits To Embezzling $800,00 From Employer For 7 Years – May 4, 2022
Renae Swanson was an accountant and controller for Williams Plumbing & Heating. Swanson’s duties included uploading electronic payroll files to the bank for funding and processing payroll transactions to the company’s employees.

From about December 2012 until May 2019, Swanson fraudulently altered that process, resulting in her increasing the amount of money she received from Williams Plumbing & Heating, none of which was authorized. The government calculated that Swanson embezzled approximately $805,013.


Former Mercyhealth Vice President Of Marketing Sentenced To Prison For Role In $3.1 Million Kickback / Fraud Scheme – May 4, 2022
Between 2015 and 2020, Barbara Bortner and co-defendant Ryan Weckerly engaged in a kickback scheme in which Weckerly submitted inflated invoices to Bortner for his marketing work for Mercyhealth. Once Bortner approved his marketing invoices, Weckerly received payments from Mercyhealth and provided money to Bortner using either cash or checks. In return for the payments, Bortner agreed to use Weckerly’s business, Morningstar Media Group, as the primary marketing agency for Mercyhealth.

In order to disguise the true nature of the kickback payments, Bortner created a fictitious company named WeInspire LLC. During the timeframe of the kickback scheme, Weckerly wrote over 103 checks to WeInspire LLC from one of his business accounts. The cumulative total of these checks was $2,051,975. In addition, bank records show that Weckerly provided Bortner with over $1,000,000 in cash kickback payments. Based on the government’s financial analysis of Weckerly’s accounting and bank records, the total monetary amount of the fraud was $3,136,200.72.


Employee Pleads Guilty To Leading Role In $29 Million+ Kickback Scheme – May 4, 2022
Eugene DiNoto was a longtime employee of his company, a family-owned global business headquartered in New York, but with manufacturing facilities in Belcamp and Abingdon, Maryland.

Beginning in 2012, DiNoto and another employee, Elliott Kleinman, began to use their management positions at the company to execute a fraudulent billing scheme whereby they would get illegal kickbacks from various vendors doing business with the company, which used drums to store and transport its products. As the facility managers, DiNoto and Kleinman oversaw the purchasing and storing of drums for use at the Harford County manufacturing facilities. They also had authority to review drum invoices and authorize payments to the drum vendors. (Source)


U.S. Postal Service Engineer Pleads Guilty To Accepting $6,500+ Of illegal Gratuities And Free Construction Work From A USPS Contractor – May 4, 2022
Thomas Berlucchi , is a Facilities Engineer for the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Berlucchi stands convicted of accepting illegal gratuities from Michael Rymar, who was the owner of a Rochester Hills company, Horizons Materials & Management LLC, which was awarded contracts to repair USPS buildings in Michigan and New York.

From 2015 to 2018, Berlucchi and other USPS engineers awarded Rymar’s company over $5 million in contracts. Berlucchi admitted that between 2013 and 2018, he had accepted over $6,500 in illegal gratuities from Rymar because Rymar sought to continue to receive USPS work from Berlucchi. Berlucchi admitted accepting free construction work on his cottage (including exterior stairs and a new roof), free hotel rooms, and donations by Rymar to Berlucchi’s preferred organization.


Former Homeland Security Investigations Agent Found Guilty Of Accepting $100,000 In Bribes- May 3, 2022
Over an 18 month period that started in September 2015, Felix Cisneros accepted cash, checks, private jet travel, luxury hotel stays, meals and other items of value from a person who was associated with a criminal organization. Cisneros received approximately $100,000 in checks and gifts from Individual 1 in 2015 and 2016.

Cisneros accepted cash payments and other benefits to help an organized crime-linked person, including taking official action designed to help two foreign nationals gain entry into the United States. (Source)


2 Detroit County Roads Division Employees Charged In Their Roles For Embezzling $1.7 Million+ – May 3, 2022
Kevin Gunn and John Gibson and others were engaged in a scheme to defraud Wayne County by using taxpayer dollars to make unauthorized purchases of generators and other power equipment from retailers in Southeast Michigan, which they sold for personal profit.

Between January 2019, and August 2021, Gunn solicited approved Wayne County vendors to purchase generators and other power equipment from local retailers on behalf of Wayne County. The vendors would then submit invoices for these items to Wayne County. In order to conceal the scheme to defraud, Gunn instructed the vendors to falsify the invoices they submitted to the Roads Division, and list items the vendors were authorized to sell to the county under their contracts, rather than the generators and power equipment they were unlawfully acquiring at Gunn’s request. Roads Division employees would then approve and pay each vendor’s invoice with taxpayer funds. After these fraudulent purchases were verified and approved by Roads Division employees, Gibson, and Gunn took possession of the equipment which was resold over the internet and social media for personal profit.

A review of invoices from Wayne County vendors revealed that between January 16, 2019, and August 3, 2021, Wayne County vendors purchased 596 generators, and a variety of other power equipment including lawnmowers, chainsaws, and backpack blowers. The purchase of these items was not authorized under any vendor contract with Wayne County nor were the items ever provided to or used by Wayne County. The total value of equipment purchased as part of the scheme was approximately $1.7 million in taxpayer funds.


Former Scientist Convicted For Role With Sister To Steal Trade Secrets From GlaxoSmithKline Worth $10 BILLION – May 2, 2022
Gongda Xue worked as a scientist at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) in Switzerland, which is affiliated with Novartis. His sister, Yu Xue, worked as a scientist at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Pennsylvania. Both Gongda Xue and Yu Xue conducted cancer research as part of their employment at these companies.

While working for their respective entities, Gongda Xue and Yu Xue shared confidential information for their own personal benefit.

Gongda Xue created Abba Therapeutics AG in Switzerland, and Yu Xue and her associates formed Renopharma, Ltd., in China. Both companies intended to develop their own biopharmaceutical anti-cancer products.

Gongda Xue stole FMI research into anti-cancer products and sent that research to Yu Xue. Yu Xue, in turn, stole GSK research into anti-cancer products and sent that to Gongda Xue. Yu Xue also provided hundreds of GSK documents to her associates at Renopharma. Renopharma then attempted to re-brand GSK products under development as Renopharma products and attempted to sell them for billions of dollars. Renopharma’s own internal projections showed that the company could be worth as much as $10 billion based upon the stolen GSK data.


Former General Manager Charged For Embezzling $1.2 Million+ Over 16 Years From Employer – May 2, 2022
Darrel Pike was the General Manager of an Ontario, Calif. subsidiary of a supply and service company based in Wilmington, Mass.

From in or about 2005 to 2021, Pike allegedly prepared and submitted fraudulent invoices to his employer on behalf of a fake temporary staffing company, Consumer Information Systems (CIS), for staffing services CIS purportedly provided at his employer’s Ontario location. Pike added approving initials of company personnel to the invoices without their knowledge or consent. Through the fraudulent invoices, Pike allegedly caused the company to pay approximately $1,271,206 to CIS, which he deposited into a bank account he controlled.


Roofing Company Vice President & Co-Conspirators Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $1.8 Million+ In Fake Billing Scheme – May 2, 2022
Baker Roofing Company (BRC) hired GeorgeGarven in 2011 to serve as the Vice President and General Manager of its Charlotte branch office.

In 2014, Robert Helms and William Davis partnered together to provide roofing subcontracting services to BRC through Davis’s business, R&K Davis Holdings (R&K).

Between 2015 and 2020, R&K was used as a vehicle to fraudulently bill BRC for subcontracting work that was never performed.

Garven obligated BRC to pay R&K by generating fake invoices and subcontracts in R&K’s name. The criminal proceeds, were funneled into business bank accounts controlled by Helms and Davis and then disbursed to Garven in various forms, including gift cards and checks. The checks included fraudulent memo lines to make it appear they were related to legitimate business. Garven also directed Helms and Davis to use the embezzled funds to pay contractors to perform work on Garven’s residential properties. In furtherance of the scheme, Garven paid Helms and Davis each approximately $140,000 in cash.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022 at 12:39 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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