Repeat Drug Dealer From Mexico Sentenced to 15 Years After Being Caught with Over 11 Pounds of Methamphetamine in La Crosse
MADISON, WIS. - A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, returned the following indictments today. You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Michigan Man Charged with Making Threats
Arvin Raj Mathur, 32, Grass Lake, Michigan, is charged with six counts of transmitting communications containing threats to injure other persons. The indictment alleges that on six occasions in February 2023, Mathur sent electronic communications threatening to injure a Wisconsin citizen, for the purpose of issuing threats and with knowledge that the communications would be viewed as threats.
Mathur previously was charged with transmitting communications containing threats in a sealed complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin on March 8, 2023. The complaint was unsealed following his arrest in Detroit, Michigan on Friday, March 10.
Mathur made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on Saturday, March 11 and a detention hearing was held yesterday. The Court ordered that he remain in federal custody pending his arraignment in federal court in Madison, Wisconsin. The date for his arraignment in Wisconsin has not been set.
If convicted, Mathur faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on each count. The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Corey is handling the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Bilkovic handled Mathur’s appearances in the Eastern District of Michigan.
Man Charged with Conspiring to Launder Proceeds of Fraud Scheme
Paul Williams Anti, 59, a citizen of Ghana, is charged with conspiring with unknown others to launder the proceeds of a wire fraud scheme. The indictment alleges that from October 13, 2020 to October 20, 2020, the fraud perpetrators used false pretenses to cause an employee of Organization A in the Western District of Wisconsin to wire transfer the organization’s funds to the conspirators, including Williams Anti.
The indictment alleges that the conspirators gained unauthorized access to the work email account of an employee of Organization A, and without the employee’s knowledge, obtained copies of incoming emails containing genuine invoices sent to the organization for payment and altered the invoices to increase the amounts due and change where payment was to be directed. The indictment further alleges that the fraud perpetrators sent emails containing the altered invoices to a second employee for payment, and the second employee directed the organization’s bank to wire funds to bank accounts, including two controlled by Williams Anti, who then transferred some of the fraud proceeds to other accounts he maintained under false identities.
According to the indictment, of the approximately $2.4 million fraudulently obtained from Organization A, approximately $1 million was wired to the two bank accounts controlled by Williams Anti.
Williams Anti was arrested in the Southern District of New York on Monday, March 13. A date for his initial appearance in Wisconsin has not been set.
If convicted, Williams Anti faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Duchemin is handling the prosecution.
Two Charged with Defrauding Tribal Housing Authority
In related cases charged in separate indictments, two individuals have been charged with engaging in fraud schemes to defraud the St. Croix Chippewa Housing Authority, a tribal agency of the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin. The first indictment charges Karen Johnson, 55, Cumberland, Wisconsin, with three counts of wire fraud, theft from a federally funded organization, and aggravated identity theft. This indictment alleges that from November 2018 to June 2019, Johnson, while employed as a housing specialist with the St. Croix Chippewa Housing Authority, created false invoices and vouchers for work allegedly done by Individual A on behalf of the Housing Authority and then wrote checks payable to Individual A from the Housing Authority’s bank account. The indictment further alleges that Johnson endorsed each check by forging the signature of Individual A and deposited the proceeds into her personal bank account. According to the indictment, Individual A did not perform the work for the Housing Authority or create the invoices and he was unaware his identity was used in this manner. The wire fraud charges involve three Housing Authority checks totaling $12,700.
The second indictment charges Duane Emery, 64, Hertel, Wisconsin, with three counts of wire fraud and one count of theft from a federally funded program. The indictment alleges that from February 2015 to June 2019, Emery, while employed as the housing director for the Housing Authority, requested a fellow employee to write checks drawn on the Housing Authority account payable to Sears, claiming that the checks constituted reimbursement for his expenses related to his employment with the Housing Authority. The indictment alleges that Emery used the funds to make payments to his personal Sears credit card account. The wire fraud charges involved three Housing Authority checks totaling $6,600.
If convicted, Johnson and Emery face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each wire fraud count and 10 years on the theft from a federally funded program count. The aggravated identity theft count Johnson is charged with carries a mandatory two-year penalty. The charges against Johnson and Emery are the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General with the full support and cooperation of the St. Croix Tribe. Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor Kraus is handling the prosecutions.
La Crosse Man Charged with Possessing Methamphetamine for Distribution
Devin A. Lewis, 37, La Crosse, Wisconsin, is charged with possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The indictment alleges that he possessed the methamphetamine on February 20, 2023.
If convicted, Lewis faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the La Crosse Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Marie Boor is handling the prosecution.
Two Charged with Illegally Reentering U.S.
In unrelated cases, two citizens of Mexico have been charged with illegally reentering the United States after having been removed. The first indictment charges Gilberto De Leon-Lopez, also known as Rolando Joel De Leon De Paz, 38, living in Rock County, Wisconsin. The indictment alleges he was found in the United States on January 13, 2023. The second indictment charges Eloy Flores-Zuniga, 38, living in Rock County. The indictment alleges that he was found in the United States on January 3, 2023.
If convicted, Gilberto De Leon-Lopez faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and Eloy Flores-Zuniga faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The charges against them are the result of investigations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Anderson is handling the prosecutions.