United States Department of Justice

Press Releases for January 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

President George W. Bush Grants Commutations (09-053)

On Jan. 19, 2009, President George W. Bush granted commutations of sentence to two individuals. (Read more)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Arrests Made in Springfield, Massachusetts Church Arson (09-052)

Three individuals were arrested this morning in relation to a church arson on Nov. 5, 2008, in Springfield, Mass.  (Read more)

Justice Department Announces Settlement on Disabled Access with Developers of Woodbridge, Virginia Apartment Complex (09-051)

The Department today announced a settlement that, pending court approval, will resolve allegations that those involved in the design and construction of the Crossings at Summerland Apartments, a 126-unit complex in Woodbridge, Va., discriminated on the basis of disability in the design and construction of the project.  (Read more)

Justice Department Reaches Settlement Regarding Conditions at Two Tennessee State Veterans Homes (09-050)

The Department today announced a settlement with the state of Tennessee regarding civil rights violations at the Tennessee State Veterans Homes (TSVHs) in Humboldt and Murfreesboro. The TSVHs are state-owned nursing homes, each serving approximately 140 residents, most of whom are veterans. (Read more)

Justice Department Reaches Settlement Over Conditions at South Carolina Nursing Care Center (09-049)

The Department today announced a settlement with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health regarding civil rights violations at the C.M. Tucker Jr. Nursing Care Center in Columbia, a state-owned nursing home serving approximately 360 residents, 70 of whom are veterans. The agreement requires reforms to ensure that residents are provided adequate medical, mental health and nursing care, and are protected from harm. (Read more)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Georgia Regarding State’s Seven Psychiatric Hospitals (09-048)

The Department has reached a settlement with the State of Georgia regarding the conditions at Georgia’s seven psychiatric hospitals. The Department opened its investigation of Georgia’s psychiatric hospitals in 2007 and issued findings regarding Georgia Regional Hospital at Atlanta on May 30, 2008.  (Read more)

Justice Department Resolves Investigation of King County, Washington Correctional Facility (09-047)

The Department announced a comprehensive agreement with King County, Wash., regarding the conditions of confinement at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle. The agreement follows the Department’s investigation of the facility, which found substantial civil rights violations. (Read more)

Four Executives Agree to Plead Guilty in Global LCD Price-Fixing Conspiracy (09-046)

Executives from LG Display Co. Ltd. and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. have agreed to plead guilty and serve jail time in the United States for participating in a global conspiracy to fix prices in the sale of Thin Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Display (TFT-LCD) panels.  (Read more)

Court Orders Louisiana CPA to Stop Claiming False Tax Deductions for Customers (09-045)

A federal court has ordered CPA Steven W. McCann, who operates a firm called SWMc Services in the Houma, La., area, to stop claiming improper tax deductions on federal income tax returns he prepares for customers. McCann agreed to the civil injunction order. (Read more)

CEMEX California Cement Agrees to Reduce Emissions and Pay $2 Million Fine to Settle Clean Air Act Claims (09-044)

In the largest settlement yet in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ongoing cement kiln enforcement initiative, the Department, on behalf of EPA, today lodged a consent decree with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California resolving Clean Air Act claims against CEMEX California Cement LLC with respect to the company’s Victorville, Calif., Portland cement plant. (Read more)

Alabama-Based Hospice Company Pays U.S. $24.7 Million to Settle Health Care Fraud Claims (09-043)

SouthernCare Inc. and its shareholders have agreed to pay the United States a total of $24.7 million to settle allegations that the Birmingham, Ala.-based company submitted false claims to the government for patients treated at its hospice facilities. SouthernCare operates approximately 99 locations that provide hospice services in 15 states.  (Read more)

Medical Clinic Executives and Worker Plead Guilty to $5.3 Medicare Fraud Scheme (09-042)

The owners and operators of two Miami medical clinics, along with a phlebotomist at one of the clinics, have pleaded guilty to defrauding the Medicare program in connection with a $5.3 million HIV and cancer infusion fraud scheme.  (Read more)

Chicago Cousins Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Terrorists (09-041)

Zubair Ahmed, 29, and Khaleel Ahmed, 28, both residents of Chicago, pleaded guilty today in the Northern District of Ohio to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in connection with their efforts to travel abroad in order to murder or maim U.S. military forces in Iraq or Afghanistan.  (Read more)

Statement of Dean Boyd, Justice Department Spokesman, on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Opinion Published Today (09-040)

The Department is pleased with this important ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, which upholds the constitutionality of foreign intelligence surveillance conducted under the Protect America Act of 2007.  (Read more)

Eli Lilly and Company Agrees to Pay $1.415 Billion to Resolve Allegations of Off-label Promotion of Zyprexa (09-038)

American pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company today agreed to plead guilty and pay $1.415 billion for promoting its drug Zyprexa for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This resolution includes a criminal fine of $515 million, the largest ever in a health care case, and the largest criminal fine for an individual corporation ever imposed in a United States criminal prosecution of any kind. Eli Lilly will also pay up to $800 million in a civil settlement with the federal government and the states.  (Read more)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seven Defendants Convicted for Participation in International Child Exploitation Enterprise (09-039)

Seven U.S. defendants charged for their activity in a global child pornography trafficking enterprise were convicted today in the Northern District of Florida following a six-day jury trial before Senior U.S. District Judge Lacey A. Collier. (Read more)

West Point Employee Charged in Nearly $3 Million Embezzlement Scheme (09-037)

A Highland Falls, N.Y., woman was arrested today and charged in a criminal complaint for her role in a scheme to defraud the U.S. government by authorizing nearly $3 million in payments to a non-existent corporation for staff training that she knew never occurred at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. (Read more)

Former Oklahoma Corrections Officer Sentenced to 21 Months for Federal Civil Rights Violation (09-036)

Jarrod Anthony Yates, a former Sequoyah County, Okla., corrections officer, was sentenced to 21 months in prison for violating the civil rights of an arrestee.  (Read more)

Six Telemarketers Charged in Florida with Business Opportunity Scam (09-035)

Five people have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Miami relating to the individuals’ participation in a fraudulent business opportunity sales operation. A sixth individual was also charged in a criminal information.  (Read more)

Justice Department Settles Civil Contempt Claim Against AT&T Inc. (09-033)

AT&T Inc. has agreed to pay more than $2 million as part of a civil settlement with the Department that resolves AT&T’s alleged violations of two court orders entered in connection with AT&T’s acquisition of Dobson Communications Corporation.  (Read more)

Second Former State Department Employee Pleads Guilty to Illegally Accessing Confidential Passport Files (09-032)

A second former State Department employee pleaded guilty today to illegally accessing hundreds of confidential passport application files.  (Read more)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

KIK (Virginia) LLC Pleads Guilty and Agrees to Pay Fine for Negligent Discharges to Sewer System (09-031)

KIK (Virginia) LLC pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Virginia to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act and agreed to pay a $75,000 criminal fine and $25,000 in community service payments for negligent discharges of bleach to the sanitary sewer system in Salem, Va. (Read more)

South Carolina Doctor Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Return (09-030)

Peter Zavell, a medical doctor in Florence, S.C., pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return for the year 2000. Zavell was scheduled to begin trial in Florence before Judge R. Bryan Harwell today.  (Read more)

Statement by Peter A. Carr, Acting Director of Public Affairs, Regarding Report on Civil Rights Division Hiring (09-029)

"Today’s report describes troubling conduct by a former supervisor in the Civil Rights Division prior to his departure from the Division nearly three years ago. The mission of the Justice Department is the evenhanded application of the Constitution and the laws enacted under it, and that mission has to start with the evenhanded application of the laws within our own Department. As today’s report makes clear, Mr. Schlozman deviated from that strict standard."  (Read more)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rite Aid Corporation and Subsidiaries Agree to Pay $5 Million in Civil Penalties to Resolve Violations in Eight States of the Controlled Substances Act (09-028)

Rite Aid Corporation (Rite Aid) and nine of its subsidiaries in eight states have agreed to pay $5 million in civil penalties to settle allegations of violations of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).  (Read more)

Justice Department Files Suit Against Paint Company to Defend Employment Rights of N.J. Army National Guardsman (09-027)

The Department today filed a lawsuit on behalf of James O. Alston, a member of the New Jersey Army National Guard, against Hawthorne Paint Co. Inc., alleging violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), which prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee because of the employee’s past, current or future military obligations.  (Read more)

Justice Department Files Lawsuit Alleging Race Discrimination Against Job Applicants by City of Gary, Ind. (09-026)

The Department announced today the filing of a lawsuit against the city of Gary, Ind., alleging job discrimination against six individuals on the basis of their race, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended).  (Read more)

Sulfuric Acid Manufacturers Agree to Reduce Air Pollution at Facilities (09-025)

Three manufacturers of sulfuric acid have agreed to spend at least $12 million on air pollution controls that are expected to eliminate more than 3,000 tons of harmful emissions annually from six production plants in Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Chemtrade Logistics, Chemtrade Refinery Services and Marsulex also will pay a civil penalty of $700,000 under the Clean Air Act settlement.  (Read more)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Lloyds TSB Bank Plc Agrees to Forfeit $350 Million in Connection with Violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (09-023)

Lloyds TSB Bank plc (Lloyds), a United Kingdom corporation headquartered in London, has agreed to forfeit $350 million to the United States and to the New York County District Attorney’s Office in connection with violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.  (Read more)

Justice Department Sues New Mexico Community College for Sexual Harassment of Former Employee (09-022)

The Department today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in New Mexico against Luna Community College, alleging discrimination against former employee Charlene Ortiz-Cordova in the form of sexual harassment by a supervisor that resulted in a hostile work environment.  (Read more)

Roy Belfast Jr., A/K/A Chuckie Taylor, Sentenced on Torture Charges (09-021)

Roy M. Belfast Jr. was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga today to 97 years in prison for crimes related to the torture of people in Liberia between April 1999 and July 2003. (Read more)

Department of Justice Seeks to Recover Approximately $3 Million in Illegal Proceeds from Foreign Bribe Payments (09-020)

The Department has filed a forfeiture action against accounts worth nearly $3 million that are alleged to be the proceeds of a wide-ranging conspiracy to bribe public officials in Bangladesh and their family members in connection with various public work projects.  (Read more)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Two Former Oregon Residents Now Residing in Arizona Indicted for Obstructing IRS Investigation and Other Tax Crimes (09-019)

A federal grand jury in Portland, Ore., returned a superseding indictment against Micaela Renee Dutson and her husband, Tony Dutson. The Dutsons were originally indicted May 8, 2008, on charges that they conspired to defraud the United States of more than $8 million and failed to file income taxes.  (Read more)

Retired Army Major Pleads Guilty in Bribery Scheme Involving Department of Defense Contracts in Kuwait (09-018)

A retired major in the U.S. Army pleaded guilty today to charges of bribery and making a false statement arising out of his activities as both a contracting specialist and a contracting officer at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, from 2005 through 2007.  (Read more)

Oklahoma Pipeline Company to Pay Penalty for Jet Fuel Spill (09-017)

The Explorer Pipeline Company has agreed to pay a $3.3 million civil penalty in order to resolve an alleged violation of the Clean Water Act stemming from a July 14, 2007, spill of over 6,500 barrels (approximately 275,000 gallons) of jet fuel from its interstate pipeline at a location near Huntsville, Texas.  (Read more)

Former Executive at California Valve Company Pleads Guilty to Bribing Foreign Government Officials (09-016)

A former executive of an Orange County, Calif.-based valve company pleaded guilty today in connection with his role in a conspiracy to pay approximately $1 million in bribes to numerous foreign government officials.  (Read more)

Medical Clinic Owner Pleads Guilty to Role in $5.3 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme (09-015)

The owner and operator of two Miami medical clinics has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Medicare program in connection with a $5.3 million HIV infusion fraud scheme.  (Read more)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Justice Department Seeks Injunction Against New Black Panther Party (09-014)

The Department today filed a lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act against the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and three of its members alleging that the defendants intimidated voters and those aiding them during the Nov. 4, 2008, general election.  (Read more)

Settlement Reached in Virginia Stream and Stormwater Case (09-013)

Five defendants associated with the construction of the Liberty Village housing development in Lynchburg, Va., will pay a $300,000 penalty and fund more than $1 million in stream and wetlands restoration work for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and permit restrictions during construction.  (Read more)

Three Staten Island, NY Men Indicted on Federal Hate Crime Conspiracy Charges (09-011)

The Department announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging three Staten Island, N.Y., men with conspiring to assault African-Americans in retaliation for President-Elect Barack Obama’s election victory.  (Read more)

Court Orders Sacramento Employer to Timely Pay Withholding and Unemployment Taxes (09-010)

A federal court in Sacramento, Calif., issued a preliminary injunction ordering Capitol Waste Inc. and Iva and Kenneth Whitmire of Sacramento to comply with federal employment tax withholding requirements and to timely pay all present and future employment tax, unemployment tax and income tax liabilities. Capitol Waste, Inc. and the Whitmires agreed to the preliminary injunction order.  (Read more)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

U.S. District Court Judge Charged in Superseding Indictment with Aggravated Sexual Abuse and Abusive Sexual Contact (09-009)

A federal grand jury in Houston returned a superseding indictment today charging U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent, 59, with aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact and obstruction of justice.  (Read more)

Columbus, Ohio, Accountant Sentenced to 120 Months for Fraud (09-008)

Dennis G. Sartain of Hilliard, Ohio, was sentenced to 120 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson. The judge found the tax loss to be more than $1million and the fraud loss to be nearly $3.7 million.  (Read more)

Settlement Clears Way for Continued Funding of New Jersey Superfund Cleanup (09-007)

A multi-party settlement involving the federal government, the state of New Jersey and approximately 300 parties will ensure that clean-up efforts continue to be funded at the Combe Fill South Superfund Site Landfill (CFS) in Morris County, N.J. (Read more)

Former Chief Operating Officer Pleads Guilty in $132 Million Scheme to Defraud Clients of Funds Allegedly Held in Trust (09-006)

A former chief operating officer of Investment Properties of America, based in Richmond, Va., pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud and to making a material false statement to federal investigators.  (Read more)

Tyson Foods Pleads Guilty and Agrees to Pay Fine for OSHA Violation That Led to Worker Death (09-005)

Tyson Foods Inc. pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Arkansas and agreed to pay the maximum fine for willfully violating worker safety regulations that led to a worker’s death in its River Valley Animal Foods (RVAF) plant in Texarkana, Ark. (Read more)

Chicago Advertising Firm Pays United States $15.5 Million to Settle Overbilling Allegations on Army Contract (09-004)

Leo Burnett Company, a Chicago advertising firm, has agreed to pay the U.S. $15.5 million to settle allegations that the company submitted false claims to the U.S. Army. The firm had a contract from 2000 to 2005 with the Army to provide advertising services for the military service’s recruiting mission.  (Read more)

President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force Adds Six New Member Agencies (09-003)

The Task Force’s expanded roster includes the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Reserve, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The new member agencies represent a continuing focus by the Task Force to crack down on mortgage fraud, particularly with regard to ongoing investigations into securitization fraud. (Read more)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Former South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation (08-002)

John B. Sawyer, a former trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Charleston, S.C., to using excessive force during an arrest. (Read more)

Statement of Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey on the Death of Former Attorney General Griffin Bell (09-001)

"Judge Bell’s long record of public service, especially his efforts to enact FISA and champion civil rights, exemplified his dedication, integrity, and fearless pursuit of justice. He was not only an outstanding Attorney General, but also a true gentleman. The Justice Department mourns his passing."  (Read more)


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