United States Department of Justice

Press Releases for February 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Three Memphis, Tennessee Men Sentenced for Role in Sex Trafficking Ring (08-158)

The Department of Justice announced today that three men from Memphis, Tenn., were sentenced yesterday for their roles in a Memphis sex trafficking ring. Raul Santillan-Leon, Fernando Cortes-Santillan and Cristobal Flores-Angeles all admitted to working at Memphis brothels, and Santillan-Leon and Cortes-Santillan admitted to working at brothels where an underage girl engaged in prostitution.  (Read more)

California Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison in Connection with $20 Million Scheme to Defraud the Export-import Bank of the United States (08-157)

David Villongco, 51, of San Mateo, Calif., was sentenced to 33 months in prison in connection with a $20 million scheme to defraud the Export-Import Bank of the United States, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor of the District of Columbia announced today.  (Read more)

Foreign Nationals Sentenced in Alien Smuggling and Conspiracy to Support the FARC (08-156)

Five foreign nationals have been sentenced by a federal judge in Miami for their roles in a conspiracy to smuggle purported terrorists to the United States from Colombia, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida R. Alexander Acosta announced today. All 10 defendants charged in the original indictment have now been convicted and sentenced for their crimes.  (Read more)

Justice Department Settles Race Discrimination Case Against Milwaukee Re/Max Offfice, Real Estate Agent and Homeowner (08-155)

The Justice Department today announced that Milwaukee-area real estate firm RE/MAX Realty 100, real estate agent Phyllis Hasenstab and homeowner Edith Halvorsen agreed to pay $35,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that they violated the Fair Housing Act when they refused to negotiate for the sale of a single-family home with an African-American principal in the Milwaukee schools because of her race.  (Read more)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Department of the Army Official and Alabama-based Private Contractor Sentenced in Public Corruption Case  (08-154)

Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today that a Department of the Army official and an Alabama-based contractor were sentenced to federal prison in connection with charges arising from participation in an honest services wire fraud scheme and a related obstruction of justice.  (Read more)

Two Virgin Islands Commissioners Convicted in $1.4 Million Bribery and Kickback Scheme (08-153)

On Feb. 27, 2008, a federal jury in St. Thomas found the former Commissioner of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) guilty of demanding and accepting bribes and obstructing justice and the former Department of Property and Procurement (DP&P) guilty of demanding and accepting bribes in a $1.4 million bribery and kickback scheme, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Anthony J. Jenkins of the District of the Virgin Islands announced today. Former DPNR Commissioner Dean C. Plaskett, 43, faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison, and a $750,000 fine. Former DP&P Commissioner Marc A. Biggs, 42, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Both defendants also face restitution and criminal forfeiture in excess of $1 million. Sentencing for Plaskett and Biggs has been scheduled for July 2, 2008. (Read more)

Kansas-based Tax Scheme Promoter Convicted in $78 Million Fraud (08-152)

Michael Craig Cooper today was convicted in Kansas City, Kan., on tax and fraud charges after a six week jury trial, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Cooper was the president and founder of Renaissance - The Tax People, which was headquartered in Topeka, Kan. (Read more)

Chief Engineer of U.S. Ship Pleads Guilty to Concealing Deliberate Pollution in “Magic Pipe” Case (08-151)

The former chief engineer of an American-flagged car-carrier pleaded guilty today to criminal charges related to the deliberate discharge of oil-contaminated bilge waste through a “magic pipe” that bypassed required pollution prevention equipment, announced Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department‘s Environment and Natural Resources Division and Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.  (Read more)

Departments of Justice and Homeland Security Announce International Initiative Against Traffickers in Counterfeit Network Hardware (08-150)

of the FBI‘s Cyber Division, Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Commissioner W. Ralph Basham, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Inspector Peter Goulet of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) today announced the results to date of an ongoing international enforcement initiative between the United States and Canada that targets the illegal distribution of counterfeit network hardware manufactured in China. (Read more)

Commercial Fishing Vessel‘s Captain Sentenced for Disposing of Spiny Lobster Tails to Prevent their Seizure (08-149)

Zane H. Fennelly, a former captain of a Jacksonville, Fla.-based commercial fishing vessel, was sentenced today to 4 months in prison and one year supervised release, the Justice Department announced today.  (Read more)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Agreement Ensures Funding for Second Phase of Cleanup at Industri-plex Site in Massachusetts (08-148)

A comprehensive settlement was reached today between the federal government, the Pharmacia Corporation and Bayer CropScience Inc., which will ensure the second phase of cleanup actions at the Industri-Plex Superfund Site in Woburn, Mass., the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced. The settlement agreement is contained in a consent decree lodged today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts by the Justice Department on behalf of the EPA. (Read more)

San Antonio Man Pleads Guilty for Role in Sex-trafficking Ring  (08-147)

Timothy Michael Gereb pleaded guilty today in federal court in San Antonio, for his role in a sex trafficking ring involving at least one teenage girl, the Justice Department announced. Gereb is one of five defendants named in an indictment filed in San Antonio in June 2007, following a federal sex trafficking investigation.  (Read more)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Federal Court Bars San Diego Man from Preparing Tax Returns (08-146)

A federal court in San Diego has barred Roosevelt Kyle from preparing tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The court found that Kyle, a resident of San Diego, and his businesses prepared and filed approximately over 10,000 returns since 2000, and the estimated tax loss from the fraudulent returns exceeds $18 million. (Read more)

Florida Man Sentenced for Smuggling Aliens to Work in Florida Resorts  (08-145)

Justin Eric King, 27, of Chipley, Fla., has been sentenced to 41 months in prison followed by three years supervised release resulting from his conviction on charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, visa fraud and conspiracy to commit alien smuggling, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and United States Attorney Gregory R. Miller of the Northern District of Florida announced today. The defendant and his co-conspirators brought illegal aliens, mostly from Bulgaria and Romania, to work in the hotel industry in and around Destin, Fla. King was sentenced by Senior District Court Judge Lacey A. Collier of Pensacola, Fla.  (Read more)

Chinese Woman Sentenced for Role in Saipan Sex Trafficking Ring (08-144)

Wei Qin Sun, a national of the People‘s Republic of China (PRC) was sentenced on Feb. 22, 2008, in federal court in the Northern Mariana Islands following her conviction for sex trafficking, the Justice Department announced today. The Northern Mariana Islands is a territory of the United States located in the Pacific Ocean. Sun was sentenced to 41 months imprisonment. After her release from prison, Sun will be on federal supervised release for three years. (Read more)

Virgin Islands Man Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Removal of Asbestos (08-143)

Cleve Allen George, the owner of the Virgin Islands Asbestos Removal, Co., was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for multiple violations of the Clean Air Act and false statements related to the demolition of a low-income housing neighborhood in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Justice Department announced today.  (Read more)

Home Depot Settles Storm Water Violations (08-142)

Home Depot has agreed to pay a $1.3 million penalty and implement a nationwide compliance program to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act, the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today. The settlement resolves alleged violations that were discovered at more than 30 construction sites in 28 states where new Home Depot stores were being built.  (Read more)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Former Gen Re and AIG Executives Found Guilty on all Counts of Fraudulent Manipulation Scheme (80-141)

A federal jury has found four former General Re Corporation (Gen Re) Executives and one former American International Group Inc. (AIG) executive guilty, following a five-week long trial, the Justice Department announced today. The Hartford, Conn., jury returned a verdict of guilty on all charges against all defendants contained in a 16-count superseding indictment stemming from a fraudulent scheme to manipulate AIG‘s financial statements. (Read more)

Justice Department Requires Divestiture in UnitedHealth Group's Acquisition of Sierra Health Services (08-140)

The Department of Justice announced today that it will require UnitedHealth Group Inc. (United) and Sierra Health Services Inc. (Sierra) to divest assets relating to United‘s Medicare Advantage business in the Las Vegas area in order to proceed with United‘s acquisition of Sierra. The Department said that the transaction, as originally proposed, would have created a combined company controlling 94 percent of the Medicare Advantage health insurance market in the Las Vegas area and resulted in higher prices, fewer choices, and a reduction in the quality of Medicare Advantage plans purchased by senior citizens in the Las Vegas area.  (Read more)

South Dakota Hotel Owners Sentenced for Involuntary Servitude Offenses  (08-139)

Robert John Farrell and his wife, Angelita Magat Farrell, owners of a Comfort Inn & Suites hotel in Oacoma, S.D., were sentenced on Friday, Feb. 22, in federal court in Pierre, S.D., for peonage, document servitude, visa fraud, making false statements and conspiracy, the Justice Department announced. Robert John Farrell was sentenced to 50 months of imprisonment. Angelita Magat Farrell was sentenced to 36 months of imprisonment. Each defendant also was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine and will be placed on three years of supervised release following their respective prison terms. Peonage is a condition of involuntary servitude imposed to extract repayment of an indebtedness. (Read more)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Statement by the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Regarding Cooperation with Private Partners (08-137)

"As stated in the joint letter from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence dated February 22, the Department of Justice and the Intelligence Community have been working assiduously to mitigate the effects of the uncertainty caused by the failure to enact long-term modernization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.  (Read more)

Statement by the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Regarding Cooperation with Private Partners (08-137)

"As stated in the joint letter from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence dated February 22, the Department of Justice and the Intelligence Community have been working assiduously to mitigate the effects of the uncertainty caused by the failure to enact long-term modernization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.  (Read more)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Transcript of State of The Border Press Conference with Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff  (08-138)

Good morning. Thank you Secretary Chertoff. The security of our borders raises issues that are really basic to us as a nation. The ability to control who-and what-comes into and out of a country is one of the most important attributes of a sovereign government, and being able to do that is also vital to our nation's security.  (Read more)

Transcript of State of the Border Press Conference with Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff  (08-138)

Good morning. Thank you Secretary Chertoff. The security of our borders raises issues that are really basic to us as a nation. The ability to control who-and what-comes into and out of a country is one of the most important attributes of a sovereign government, and being able to do that is also vital to our nation's security.  (Read more)

Three Former British Bankers Sentenced in Enron Case (08-135)

Three investment bankers formerly employed by the British bank National Westminster Bank Plc (Nat West) were each sentenced to 37 months in prison on a wire fraud charge arising from a secret investment transaction in which they participated with former executives at Enron Corporation, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today. (Read more)

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey Announces Higher Civil Fines Against Employers for Immigration Violations (08-134)

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey today announced higher civil fines against employers who violate federal immigration laws. The announcement was made in a joint briefing today with Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff about newly enacted border security reforms put in place by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.  (Read more)

U.S. Congressman and Associates Indicted on Multiple Counts Including Fraud, Extortion, and Money Laundering (08-133)

The indictment charges Renzi and Sandlin in 27 counts with honest services wire fraud, extortion and money laundering, and conspiracies to engage in these acts, based on Renzi‘s active involvement in the sale of Sandlin‘s property in Cochise County, Ariz. to a participant in a federal land exchange proposal. The indictment alleges that Renzi and Sandlin previously owned land together in Kingman, Ariz. and that in 2003, Sandlin bought out Renzi‘s interest for $200,000 and a note for $800,000. The indictment further alleges that in 2005, at a time when Sandlin still owed Renzi $700,000 in principal on the note, Renzi insisted that two separate entities doing business in Arizona purchase Sandlin‘s property in exchange for his support on land exchange legislation. (Read more)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Flowserve Corporation to Pay $4 Million Penalty for Kickback Payments to the Iraqi Government under the U.N. Oil for Food Program (08-132)

Flowserve Corporation (Flowserve) has agreed to pay a $4 million penalty as part of an agreement with the U.S. government regarding charges brought in connection with an ongoing investigation related to the United Nations Oil for Food program, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.  (Read more)

U.S. Sues Two Men to Block Alleged Tax Fraud Schemes Said to Have Cost U.S. Treasury Hundreds of Millions (08-130)

The United States has sued two attorneys, Allen R. Davison of Overland Park, Kan., and A. Blair Stover Jr. of Platte City, Mo., and Beverly Hills, Calif., to block the men from promoting alleged tax fraud schemes, the Justice Department announced today. The government complaints, filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., allege that the two have helped wealthy customers evade income taxes by devising elaborate tax fraud schemes that use sham corporations. The suits ask that the defendants be permanently barred from giving tax advice or representing customers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). (Read more)

Tax Preparers from Washington, D.C. & Texas Sued for Allegedly Promoting Gold Mining Tax Scam (08-129)

The United States has sued two men seeking to bar them from promoting an alleged tax scheme involving bogus gold mining tax deductions, the Justice Department announced today. The civil suits against Eric J. Peterson of Channelview, Texas, and William H. Camp of Washington, D.C., also seek to bar the two men permanently from preparing tax returns for others. (Read more)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chinese National Sentenced to Prison in Turtle Smuggling Case (08-128)

Wang Hong, a Chinese national, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Denver to 167 days in prison and three years of supervised release, the Justice Department announced today. Wang pleaded guilty to federal smuggling charges earlier this year in connection with his sale and shipment of endangered sea turtle shell and shell products from China to the United States.  (Read more)

Former Lancer Group Hedge Fund Manager Michael Lauer and Four Others Indicted on Conspiracy and Wire Fraud Charges (08-127)

Five individuals who defrauded hedge fund investors of more than $200 million dollars have been indicted on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida announced today. (Read more)

Statement of Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division Regarding the Conviction of Former Russian Atomic Energy Chief Yevgeniy (08-126)

“I want to congratulate the General Procuracy of the Russian Federation on the successful conviction of former Russian Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeniy Adamov and his co-defendants, announced by a Moscow court today. Adamov was the Russian Minister of Atomic Energy from 1998 to 2001. Adamov and co-defendants Revmir Frayshtut and Dmitriy Pismenniy were convicted of charges relating to a scheme to defraud the Russian government of over $100 million owed in connection with the sale of Russian uranium on the world market. They face up to 10 years in prison.  (Read more)

CBS Corp. to Pay More than $31 Million for Final Cleanup of Bloomington, Indiana Superfund Sites (08-125)

CBS Corp. has agreed to pay $31.35 million to resolve all outstanding liability related to the cleanup of six Superfund sites in and near Bloomington, Ind., the Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Indiana announced today. This is the last in a series of partial settlements that have been negotiated with CBS over the past 10 years after the parties abandoned their original settlement, which required CBS to excavate and incinerate PCB-contaminated materials.  (Read more)

Justice Department Settles Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Against Waukegan, Illinois (08-124)

The Justice Department today announced that it reached a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Department against the City of Waukegan, Ill., resolving allegations that the city violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) by treating religious assemblies less favorably than similar non-religious assemblies in several city zoning districts.  (Read more)

Justice Department Requires Thomson to Sell Financial Data and Related Assets in Order to Acquire Reuters (08-123)

The Department of Justice said today that it will require The Thomson Corporation (Thomson) to sell financial data and related assets in three markets for financial data in order to proceed with Thomson‘s proposed $17 billion acquisition of Reuters Group PLC (Reuters).  (Read more)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Federal Jury Convicts Arizona Man for Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography  (08-121)

A federal jury in Phoenix returned guilty verdicts on numerous counts charging Paul Richard Butts, 38, of Apache Junction, Ariz., with the distribution and possession of child pornography, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Diane J. Humetewa announced today. (Read more)

Justice Department Settles Claims Under the Help America Vote Act with Bolivar County, Mississippi (08-120)

The Justice Department announced today that it filed a lawsuit against Bolivar County, Miss., alleging violations of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, in Oxford. The Department simultaneously filed a consent decree resolving the lawsuit against the county. (Read more)

Puerto Rico Department of Education Pays U.S. Over $19 Million to Settle False Claims Involving Migrant Education Program  (08-119)

The Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) has paid over $19 million to settle allegations that the PRDE falsely certified its eligibility to receive federal funds under the Migrant Education Program, the Justice Department announced today. (Read more)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Statement by Brian Roehrkasse, Director of Public Affairs, on Today's House Contempt Citation Vote  (08-117)

"Last July the Justice Department informed the House leadership that longstanding Department precedent, dating back through several Administrations of both parties, did not allow a United States Attorney to refer a congressional contempt citation to a grand jury or otherwise to prosecute an Executive Branch official who carried out a Presidential instruction to invoke the President's claim of executive privilege before a committee of Congress. The Department also issued a legal opinion advising that the assertion of executive privilege on which the Presidential instruction to these officials was based was legally proper. In his recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, the Attorney General informed the Committee that he would examine a contempt referral if it happened, but cautioned that he did not expect that he would act in contravention of the longstanding Department precedent applicable to this situation. The Attorney General is overseas and has not yet had an opportunity to review the contempt citation, which to our knowledge has not yet been transmitted to the Department. He will, however, act promptly when he has the opportunity to review the citation."  (Read more)

Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation Agrees to Pay $300,000 Penalty to Resolve Foreign Bribery Violations in India  (08-116)

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice has entered into an agreement with Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (Wabtec) regarding improper payments to government officials in India in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.  (Read more)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Justice Department Requires Divestitures in Private Equity Funds‘ Acquisition of Clear Channel  (08-115)

The Department of Justice said today that it will require Clear Channel, the largest operator of radio stations in the United States, to divest radio stations in four cities in order for a group of private equity investors led by Bain Capital (Bain) and Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL) to proceed with their acquisition of a controlling interest in Clear Channel. The Department said that the transaction, as originally proposed, likely would have resulted in higher prices to purchasers of radio advertising in Cincinnati, Houston, Las Vegas and San Francisco because Bain and THL already have substantial ownership interests in two firms that compete with Clear Channel in those cities. Bain and THL have ownership interests in Cumulus Media Partners LLC (Cumulus), a large nationwide operator of radio stations, and THL also has an ownership interest in Univision Communications Inc. (Univision), a large nationwide operator of radio stations that broadcast primarily in Spanish.  (Read more)

Dallas Area Man Barred by Court from Operating Tax Service (08-114)

A federal court in Dallas has permanently barred Arlington, Texas, businessman Phillip M. Ballard from preparing federal income tax returns for anyone other than himself, the Justice Department announced today. U.S. District Court Judge Jorge A. Solis issued the civil injunction order, which also bars Ballard from representing customers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  (Read more)

Salt Lake City Jury Convicts Attorney in $20 Million Tax Fraud Conspiracy (08-113)

Attorney Dennis B. Evanson of Sandy, Utah, was convicted on tax and fraud charges after a two week jury trial, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. Investment broker Wayne F. DeMeester of Sammamish, Washington was acquitted of all counts.  (Read more)

U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey Travels to Baghdad to Meet with Senior U.S. and Iraq Officials; Discuss Cooperative Efforts to Promote the Rule of Law Throughout Iraq (08-112)

BAGHDAD — U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey today traveled to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi and U.S. officials involved in ongoing efforts to establish the rule of law in Iraq. In addition to participating in meetings with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, the Attorney General met with some of the more than 200 Department of Justice personnel who are currently serving in the U.S. Mission in Iraq.  (Read more)

U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey Travels to Baghdad to Meet with Senior U.S. and Iraq Officials; Discuss Cooperative Efforts to Promote the Rule of Law Throughout Iraq (08-112)

BAGHDAD — U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey today traveled to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi and U.S. officials involved in ongoing efforts to establish the rule of law in Iraq. In addition to participating in meetings with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, the Attorney General met with some of the more than 200 Department of Justice personnel who are currently serving in the U.S. Mission in Iraq.  (Read more)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Complaint Filed Against Three Men of Columbia, Tennessee for Vandalizing Islamic Center (08-111)

A federal felony criminal complaint was filed in Nashville, Tenn., today against three men for their roles in burning down and vandalizing the Islamic Center of Columbia in Columbia, Tenn., announced Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Edward M. Yarbrough, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, James M. Cavanaugh, Special Agent in Charge of the Nashville Division of the ATF, My Harrison, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the FBI, and Barry Crotzner, Chief of the Columbia Police Department.  (Read more)

FBI Employee Indicted for Accepting Gratuity (08-110)

FBI employee Curtis Jones was indicted today in Baltimore on charges of accepting an illegal gratuity for the performance of his official duties, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today. (Read more)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Justice Department Settles Discrimination Lawsuit Against Virginia Beach Nightclub Owner (08-109)

The Department of Justice today reached a settlement resolving allegations of racial discrimination with the owner and operator of Kokoamos‘ Island Bar & Grill (“Kokoamos”), a restaurant and nightclub in Virginia Beach, Va. The Justice Department alleged that the nightclub discriminated against African-American patrons by denying them admission into the facility for discriminatory reasons. The settlement requires the nightclub to implement changes to its policies and practices in order to prevent such discrimination.  (Read more)

U.S. Sues to Bar St. Louis CPA and Son from Preparing Tax Returns for Others (08-107)

The United States has brought a civil injunction suit in federal court in St. Louis, seeking to permanently bar Frank L. Zerjav Sr. And Frank L. “Tiger” Zerjav Jr. from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. According to the government complaint, Zerjav Sr. is a certified public accountant. (Read more)

Former Boeing Engineer Charged with Economic Espionage in Theft of Space Shuttle Secrets for China (08-106)

A former Boeing engineer was arrested this morning after being indicted last week on charges of economic espionage and acting as an unregistered foreign agent of the People‘s Republic of China (PRC), for whom the engineer stole Boeing trade secrets related to several aerospace programs, including the Space Shuttle. (Read more)

Defense Department Official and Two Others Arrested on Espionage Charges Involving China (08-105)

Tai Shen Kuo, age 58, and Yu Xin Kang, age 33, both of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Gregg William Bergersen, age 51, of Alexandria, Virginia, were arrested today on espionage charges related to the passage of classified U.S. government documents and information to the government of the People‘s Republic of China (PRC).  (Read more)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Sixth Defendant Pleads Guilty in Connection with Illegal Sea Turtle Smuggling (08-103)

Esteban Lopez Estrada, a Mexican national, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Denver to one felony count of smuggling and one felony count of money laundering in connection with the smuggling of sea turtle and other exotic skins and skin products into the United States from Mexico, the Justice Department announced today.  (Read more)

Federal Court Bars Memphis Woman from Preparing Tax Returns for Others (08-102)

A federal court today has permanently barred Montrice McGhee of Memphis, Tenn., from preparing federal income tax returns for others. Chief Judge Jon Phipps McCalla of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee issued the permanent injunction order against McGhee, who, according to papers filed in the case, prepared returns using the business name Blessed Professional Tax Service, Inc. McGhee consented to the court order.  (Read more)

Texas Man Barred from Promoting Tax Fraud Schemes and Preparing Tax Returns for Others (08-101)

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas has barred Thell G. Prueitt of Kingsland, Texas, from preparing federal tax returns for others and from promoting various tax fraud schemes, the Justice Department announced today. The court found that Prueitt promoted his schemes through several companies and organizations he operates, including Grandview Prayer and Healing Retreat Center, Fresh Start Funding Group, Fresh Start Funding Group Taxpayer Education Association and Thell G. Prueitt & Friends.  (Read more)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Shipping Company and Chief Engineer Plead Guilty to Vessel Pollution Related Charges (08-099)

Italian shipping company B. Navi Ship Management Services and Chief Engineer Dushko Babukchiev pleaded guilty in connection with the illegal dumping of oily sludge, bilge wastes and oil contaminated ballast water from one of the company‘s ships, the M/V Windsor Castle, a 27,000 gross-ton bulk carrier vessel, Assistant Attorney General Ronald J. Tenpas, U.S. Attorney Donald J. DeGabrielle Jr., and U.S. Coast Guard Captain James E. Tunstall announced.  (Read more)

One Former and Two Current Lucas County Sheriff‘s Office Corrections Officers Indicted for Civil Rights Violations (08-098)

Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, together with Gregory White, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and C. Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the FBI, announced today the indictment of one former and two current officials at the Lucas County Jail in Toledo, Ohio. (Read more)

Mississippi Hazardous Waste Operator Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison for Environmental Crimes (08-097)

Dennie Eugene Pridemore was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Natchez, Miss. to 41 months in prison and 3 years probation for illegally storing and disposing hazardous waste, the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency announced. (Read more)

Atlantic Richfield Company Agrees to Pay $187 Million for Montana Superfund Cleanup (08-096)

The Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) has agreed to pay $187 million that will finance a major cleanup along 120 miles of the Clark Fork River and other areas in southwestern Montana, the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency announced today.  (Read more)

Benedict P. Kuehne, Two Others, Indicted on Money Laundering Charges (08-095)

A federal grand jury in Miami has charged three individuals with federal money laundering charges, obstruction of justice and forfeiture allegations, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today. (Read more)

Merck to Pay More than $650 Million to Resolve Claims of Fraudulent Price Reporting and Kickbacks (08-094)

Merck & Company has agreed to pay more than $650 million to resolve allegations that the pharmaceutical manufacturer failed to pay proper rebates to Medicaid and other government health care programs and paid illegal remuneration to health care providers to induce them to prescribe the company‘s products, the Justice Department announced today. The allegations were brought in two separate lawsuits filed by whistleblowers under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act.  (Read more)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cleveland Scrap Metal Dealer And Owner Indicted In Antitrust Conspiracy (08-093)

A federal grand jury in Cleveland indicted a scrap metal dealer and its owner for conspiring to allocate scrap metal suppliers in Northeast Ohio, the Department of Justice announced today. The company‘s vice president was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice. (Read more)

Federal Jury Convicts Anchorage Man in the First Sex Trafficking Trial in the District of Alaska (08-092)

A federal jury in Anchorage, Alaska, returned guilty verdicts late yesterday on 28 counts charging Don Arthur Webster Jr., 51, also known as “Jerry Starr,” with sex trafficking of minors and adults, as well as drug trafficking offenses, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Nelson P. Cohen of the District of Alaska announced today. (Read more)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Former Olive Branch, Mississippi, Police Officers Plead Guilty in Civil Rights Case (08-091)

Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department‘s Civil Rights Division, together with Jim M. Greenlee, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, and Frederick T. Brink, Special Agent in Charge of the Jackson, Miss., Division of the FBI, announced today that a former assistant chief of police and a former police officer with the Olive Branch Police Department (OBPD) have both pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from a civil rights investigation. Adam McHann, a former canine officer, pleaded guilty to using excessive force and violating the civil rights of an arrestee, and Scott Gentry, the former assistant chief, pleaded guilty to conspiring with another OBPD supervisor to obstruct a federal investigation into a civil rights offense.  (Read more)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Justice Department to Monitor Elections in Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York (08-090)

The Justice Department today announced that on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008, it will monitor elections in Kane County, Ill.; Fitchburg, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, and Worcester, Mass.; Penns Grove, N.J.; and Westchester County, N.Y., to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting rights statutes. (Read more)

Justice Department Announces Public Education Campaign Grants to Fight Immigration-related Employment Discrimination (08-089)

The Justice Department announced today that it is making funding available for grant programs designed to promote public education efforts regarding immigration-related employment discrimination.  (Read more)

Memphis Man Indicted for Federal Civil Rights Violation in Killing of African-american Code Enforcement Officer (08-088)

A federal grand jury in Memphis, Tenn., last week returned a two-count indictment, which was unsealed today, charging Dale Mardis with a federal hate crime and using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence for his role in the 2001 murder of Shelby County Code Enforcement Officer Mickey Wright. Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, David Kustoff, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, My Harrison, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Memphis Field Office, and Mark H. Luttrell Jr., Shelby County Sheriff, announced the indictment. (Read more)

East Boston Man Convicted on Child Prostitution Charges (08-087)

A federal jury in Boston, Mass., convicted Victor Diaz, 24, of East Boston of conspiring to engage in a child prostitution scheme, Alice S. Fisher, Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan for the District of Massachusetts announced today.  (Read more)

Buyer Of Bayonne Hospital to Pay U.S. $2.5 Million to Resolve Allegations of Medicare Fraud (08-086)

The United States has agreed to settle for $2.5 million, plus interest, allegations that Bayonne, N.J., Medical Center defrauded the Medicare program, the Justice Department announced today. The settlement is with IJKG, LLC, the buyer of the hospital. Bayonne Medical Center is currently in bankruptcy.  (Read more)

President‘s Request Supports Increase for Department‘s National Security Efforts (08-085)

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey today announced that the President‘s fiscal year 2009 budget proposal for the Department of Justice is $22.7 billion. The FY 2009 budget request includes a 6 percent increase over the FY 2008 enacted budget for the Department‘s law enforcement and prosecution programs, including $492.7 million to improve the Department‘s counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities. (Read more)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Director of Singapore Firm Arraigned on Charges of Illegally Exporting Controlled Aircraft Components to Iran (08-083)

Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Darryl W. Jackson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement, and Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced that the director of a Singapore-based aviation company was arraigned today in federal court in Brooklyn on charges that she illegally exported controlled U.S. military aircraft components and shipped commercial aircraft components to Iran. Woodford pleaded not guilty and was ordered to be detained without bail by United States Magistrate Judge Viktor Pohorelsky. (Read more)

 

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