Sacred Honor Lost – 1 Oct

Sacred Honor Lost
What is Sacred Honor? 

 

Government

Former Jefferson Parish President Pleads Guilty

Took numerous bribes totaling over $60,000 while parish president. Conspired with other Jefferson Parish officials to steal taxpayer funds.

Former Member of Port Authority Board Indicted

Obtained property not due to him or his Port Authority office including free and discounted home improvements and materials, entertainment, and a financial benefit related to a vehicle acquisition.

Former VRE Manager Pleads Guilty to Accepting More Than $200,000 in Bribes

Took more than $200,000 in bribes to ensure a Virginia Railway Express (VRE) subcontractor would be retained by VRE.

Former Executive Director of Luna Pier Housing Commission Sentenced for Stealing Commission Funds

Stole more than $32,000 from the Luna Pier Housing Commission (LPHC) while she was employed as its executive director.

Saugus Woman Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Saugus Public Library and the GE Foundation

Duffy, who was employed by the Saugus Public Library, diverted funds received for charitable donations and payment of fines from an account in the name of the library to a decoy bank account. She then transferred the funds from the decoy account to her personal account at the same bank. She used the money for personal expenses, including jewelry, home repairs, automotive payments, and her home mortgage payments. Additionally, she deposited some of the funds into an account in her daughter’s name.

To boost the funds in the library account, Duffy also deceived the GE Foundation. Since the GE Foundation matches charitable donations by current and former GE employees and their spouses, Duffy posed as the relative of a GE employee, thus deceiving the foundation into donating over $400,000 to the library to match non-existent donations. Duffy deposited these funds into the decoy account before later transferring them to her own account.

Between 2004 and 2011, Duffy transferred over $850,000 to the decoy account in library donations, fines, fees, and the funds obtained from defrauding the GE Foundation.

Law Enforcement

Former Jasper Police Officer Sentenced for Bribery

Solicited and accepted a $5,000 bribe while a member of the city police force.

Business

Virginia Businessman Pleads Guilty to Bribery and Other Charges in Contracting Scheme Involving U.S. Army: Defendant Admits Providing Money to Army Official, Paying for Trips, Luxury Vehicles, and Other Things of Value

Paid thousands of dollars to an Army official in return for government contracts, as well as a separate scheme involving fraudulent real estate sales and refinances. . . . Oh Sung Kwon was the co-founder and chief executive officer of Avenciatech Inc., a government contractor based in Annandale, Virginia. He is among 12 people who have pled guilty to federal charges for their roles in the largest domestic bribery and bid-rigging scheme in the history of federal contracting. The investigation is continuing.

Former Corporate Controller of Clyde’s Restaurant Group Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Over $600,000

Preston, who worked for the company from 1982 to 2011 (29 years), was the corporate controller for Clyde’s where oversaw the centralized accounting function, which included budget matters, accounts payable, and accounts receivable, among other responsibilities.

From 2001 to 2011, Preston embezzled approximately $647,547 from Clyde’s by

  • diverting Clyde’s money to pay her personal credit card;
  • charging the corporate credit cards in Clyde’s name (and paid by Clyde’s money) to pay for her unauthorized personal expenses; and
  • using a Clyde’s vendor (paid by Clyde’s funds) to obtain goods for her personal use.

Preston also attempted to hide her embezzlement. Among other things, she

  • asked a vendor to alter invoices for personal items that she purchased to falsely reflect that Clyde’s purchased different items;
  • fabricated e-mail messages, which purportedly sought reimbursement for items purchased by Clyde’s or Clyde’s corporate officers when, in fact, the resulting Clyde’s check paid for Preston’s personal credit card bill and
  • categorized credit card expenses as belonging to corporate officers’ training when the expenses were for personal matters for Preston.
  • When Preston learned of an audit on the corporate credit cards, she falsified her Clyde’s corporate credit card statement to delete those items which she knew were not authorized business expenses.

Charlottesville Insurance Agent Charged with Fraud

Messer would instruct his clients to send payments for insurance premiums directly to him. The defendant told his clients that he would then remit the payments to the insurance companies. However, according to the indictment, Messer embezzled those funds for his own, personal use, never sending them to the insurance company, while also deceiving his clients into believing they had insurance coverage.

Former Controller Sentenced for Embezzling from Newton Company

Cholodenko served as a controller and vice president at a Newton-based video production company. Between 2005 and 2010, Cholodenko forged her employer’s signature on company checks and caused electronic funds transfers totaling more than $197,000. Cholodenko deposited some of the funds into her personal bank account and used other funds to pay her credit card bills.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Filing of 13-Count Indictment Charging Kentucky Businessman, Senior Park Avenue Bank Official, and Financial Services Executive with Fraudulent Schemes; Kentucky Businessman Charged for $53 Million Tax Evasion Scheme and Other Fraudulent Schemes Totaling Over $100 Million

Wilbur Anthony Huff is a businessman who controlled numerous entities located throughout the United States (Huff-controlled entities). Rather than exercise control of these companies openly, Huff concealed his control by installing other individuals to oversee the companies’ day-to-day functions and to serve as the companies’ titular owners, directors, or officers. However, it was Huff who actually controlled the companies and their finances, using them to orchestrate a number of interrelated fraud schemes.

Integral to the success of these schemes was Huff’s corrupt relationship with Park Avenue Bank and its executives, Charles J. Antonucci, Sr., the president and chief executive officer, and Matthew L. Morris, the senior vice president. Allen Reichman, the executive director of investments at an investment bank and financial services company headquartered in New York, New York, also was involved in one of Huff’s and Morris’s corrupt schemes. From 2007 to 2009, Huff bribed Morris and Antonucci in their capacities as senior officials of Park Avenue Bank so that they would provide him and his businesses with illegal favors in return.

Banks/Investment

Investment Manager Charged for Providing Meals, Hotel Rooms, Airline Tickets, and Other Things of Value to Union Official

Providing things of value (airline tickets, frequent flier miles, rental vehicles, hotel rooms, meals, theater tickets, sporting event tickets, firearms, and help for Forlani with the VA Development project) to a person affiliated with the Ohio and Vicinity Regional Council of Carpenters in an effort to obtain business regarding the union’s pension and annuity fund.

Hedge Fund CEO Pleads Guilty to Multi-Million-Dollar Investment Fraud

Spak and his co-conspirators solicited investors to invest in the Osiris Fund, which they pitched to prospective investors as a hedge fund for the “little guys” and “moms and pops.” Over time, more than 75 people invested $12 million in the Osiris Fund. Beginning in January 2010, however, Spak and his co-conspirators at the Osiris Fund began improperly diverting investors’ funds for their own use.

In January and February 2010, Spak and his co-conspirators spent $300,000 of investors’ money to purchase a luxury sport-fishing boat called the “Fintastic.” In total, in 2010 and 2011, Spak and his co-conspirators fraudulently diverted more than $4 million. Spak failed to disclose these diverted payments to the Osiris Fund investors, and in the financial statements that they sent to investors, Spak and his co-conspirators continued to characterize these diverted funds as “assets” of the fund.

In April and May 2010, the Osiris Fund incurred trading losses of approximately $4.5 million, about half the value of the fund. Spak and his co-conspirators never disclosed these losses to investors. They instead created false financial statements, which included a fictitious $5 million “asset,” and sent them to investors. Even though this fictitious asset never existed, Spak and his co-conspirators charged investors a three percent management fee to manage it and fraudulently overcharged investors millions of dollars in management fees.

Lynchburg-Area Woman Sentenced for Embezzlement

Wright worked as the branch manager of the Bank of the James branch located in Lynchburg from October 2000 to April 2009. During her time at Bank of the James, Wright operated a scheme in which she stole money from several bank customers. Typically, Wright generated a fraudulent cashier’s check in the victim account holder’s name, which she subsequently used to liquidate the account by cashing or causing another cashier’s check to be generated.

Wright, who has admitted to using much of the money she stole to feed her gambling habit, stole more than $364,000 from seven Bank of the James customers, many of whom were elderly or widowed.

Former Bank Employee Indicted for Fraud, Bribery, Money Laundering

Roberts, a loan officer and vice president at Fifth Third Bank in Toledo, falsified documents and submitted them to bank officials to obtain credit approval for large commercial loans which would have otherwise been declined.

In conjunction with these loans, Roberts solicited and accepted a gratuity payment from the borrowers. She then attempted to conceal these funds by creating a fake consulting business under which she invoiced borrowers for services not performed and accepted the gratuities.

Roberts ultimately spent the concealed funds to purchase two vehicles, gold coins, and other assets. As a result of defaults upon these loans, the Fifth Third Bank of Toledo, Ohio, suffered a loss of approximately $12 million.

Two Minneapolis Women Plead Guilty to Stealing More Than $1 Million from the ING Company

Madison admitted that from 2003 through March 6, 2012, she worked as a policy plan and service coordinator for ING. In that capacity, she handled, among other things, requests from ING clients to obtain loans and “surrender”—that is, cash in—their life insurance policies. Madison used ING’s computer system to generate false “surrenders” in the names of various individuals, including her co-defendant, Tracy Dione Jackson, age 42, of Minneapolis. The checks issued as a result of those surrenders were mailed to Jackson at various addresses across the state or intercepted by Madison and given to Jackson. Then Jackson cashed the checks and split the proceeds with Madison. Through this scheme, the women stole approximately $1,633,301 from ING, the result of 196 fraudulent checks.

Former Hedge Fund Research Analyst Pleads Guilty in New York Federal Court to Insider Trading Charges

Horvath was part of a circle of research analysts at different investment firms who obtained inside information from 2007 to 2009, both directly and indirectly, from employees who worked at public companies. The analysts, including Horvath, then shared the inside information with each other and with the hedge fund portfolio managers for whom they worked. For example, Horvath admitted receiving inside information concerning Dell and NVIDIA from other members of this circle of analysts, knowing that it came from employees at public companies, in breach of their duties of loyalty to their companies.

Arizona Man Convicted in Fraudulent Investment Scheme

Harris promised investors that their funds were 100 percent guaranteed and insured, that there was no risk, that they would earn 20 to 40 percent interest, and that their funds would be used for investment purposes. The evidence at trial showed that these representations were false and that Harris used the money for his own personal benefit in Las Vegas, Nevada, including spending over $187,000 on department and retail purchases, house rental, dining, hotels, the purchase of two Jaguar automobiles, the purchase of a personal residence, and cash withdrawals. Any money that Harris provided back to investors was money that had come from other investors as a means to give the impression that their money was actually being invested.

Evidence further showed that following Hurricane Katrina, Harris falsely informed his investors that he was closing the investment company due to the support that he was providing to victims of the storm. He stated that the investors were in the process of receiving their funds. Harris provided no such support, had no money to provide back to any of his victims, and actually took money from additional victims in the Gulf Coast area following the storm.

Health Care

Nine Defendants, Including Two Owners of a Home Health Care Agency and Two Physicians, Indicted for Allegedly Paying and Receiving Kickbacks for Medicare Patient Referrals

Between January 2008 and July 2012, defendants conspired with others to pay kickbacks and bribes to doctors, marketers, medical office employees, nurses, and others to refer Medicare patients to Rosner. The three defendants charged with conspiracy allegedly paid kickbacks to increase Rosner Home Healthcare’s patient census and to enrich Rosner and themselves.

Alexandria Dentist Sentenced to 46 Months for Multi-Million-Dollar Health Care Fraud

Vu repeatedly billed dental insurance providers for services that he did not provide his patients. As a result of Vu’s offense, more than 50 private insurance providers suffered more than $2 million in actual losses. Dr. Vu’s conduct also resulted in a substantial loss to the federal government and the Commonwealth of Virginia, including more than $300,000 to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and the Virginia Medicaid program.

Maryland Man Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison for Stealing Over $1 Million in Scheme Involving False Health Insurance Claims

From March 2006 through April 2010, Rodriguez submitted approximately 880 reimbursement claim forms to CIGNA, identifying over 25,000 individual services such as physical therapy that Rodriguez claimed had been provided to him or his two minor children. The bills submitted by Rodriguez totaled more than $1.3 million. In fact, all of those claims were false: none of the claimed services had ever been provided. Based on the submission of false claims, CIGNA sent checks to Rodriguez for more than $1.25 million.

Two Individuals Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud Violations

Patients went to the medical clinics for medical tests that were not performed and not medically necessary. Clinic owners paid runners like Girod to bring Medicare and Medicaid patients to the clinics. Patients were moved between the various clinics to repeatedly perform the same unnecessary tests. The doctors gave the patients prescriptions for drugs, usually narcotics, for their cooperation.

Houston Man Convicted of Health Care Fraud

Essang admitted paying individuals for identifying information of Medicare beneficiaries and physicians. He then used this identifying information to file false claims with Medicare for providing “ortho kits” to Medicare beneficiaries who did not need, were not prescribed, and/or did not receive the items.

Former Clinic Staffers Convicted in Health Care Fraud Conspiracy

Although the doctor was physically and mentally unable to practice medicine, Lumbreras and Lozano kept the Mission Clinic open for patient care. Lumbreras and Lozano took the doctor to the Mission Clinic and placed him in an office while Lumbreras saw and treated patients. Neither Lumbreras nor Lozano was licensed to provide any medical services.

The government’s evidence showed that between September 2001 and January 2006, Lumbreras and Lozano submitted bills to the Medicare and Medicaid programs which fraudulently claimed the doctor had provided patients with more than 13,000 medical benefits, items, or services when, in fact, those services had been provided by Lumbreras or not at all. As a result, Medicare and Medicaid paid more than $344,000 on those claims.

Mortgage/Real Estate

Hampton Roads Developer Sentenced to 138 Months in Prison for Massive Bank and Historic Tax Credit Fraud

Engaged in a $41 million bank fraud scheme that contributed to the failure of the Bank of the Commonwealth and a separate historic-tax-credit fraud scheme that cost state and federal governments over $12 million and investors more than $8 million.

Orange County Husband and Wife Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud

The Seecharans, along with their two co-defendants, conspired to solicit mainly Guyanese residents of Florida and other states to act as straw buyers on fraudulent applications for more than $50 million worth of mortgage loans in connection with the purchase of more than 150 homes in Indian River County, Miami-Dade County, and elsewhere.

Minneapolis Man Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud in Connection with Burnsville Condo Project

He was part of a conspiracy to defraud mortgage lenders by finding buyers to apply for loans to purchase units at Chateau Ridge. He testified that he provided buyers with funds for down payments and closing costs and was then reimbursed after the sales by the property seller, although these actions were not disclosed to lenders. Furthermore, Rothenberger participated in the distribution of mortgage loan proceeds outside of property closings, again without informing the lenders. Some of the funds were paid to management companies set up for the purpose of channeling kickbacks to people involved in the scheme.

Other Insider Threat

Washington, D.C. Man Sentenced to 120 Months for Armed Robberies of Apple Delivery Drivers

Bines had previously worked for a company responsible for delivering Apple products to area stores. In 2011 and 2012, Bines conspired with others to rob that company’s truck drivers.

On June 15, 2011, Bines’s conspirators intentionally drove his vehicle into the side of a delivery truck outside the Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virginia. When the delivery truck driver stopped to inspect the damage to his vehicle, a conspirator pointed a gun at the victim and blindfolded and bound him. Bines’s coconspirator drove the victim’s truck, with the victim still bound inside, three miles to a gas station, where Bines and his conspirators stole approximately $41,000 worth of Apple products from the truck.

Smithsonian Parking Lot Attendant Pleads Guilty to Stealing at Least $400,000 in Parking Fees from Aircraft Museum

Terefe admitted that he began stealing parking fees in late 2009 by either repeatedly unplugging the electronic vehicle counters installed in the parking booths or by not handing customers a serialized parking ticket to display in the car windshield after they paid their entrance fee. These tactics allowed Terefe to underreport the true number of vehicles entering the facility. He and other booth attendants discussed tactics for stealing parking revenues, and Terefe stated that one of his managers approached him and demanded that Terefe pay him half of the stolen proceeds in order to continue his criminal activity.

The statement of facts states that Terefe stole between $1,800 and nearly $4,500 during a daily shift working at the Smithsonian, and the three-year loss to the Smithsonian attributable to Terefe is at least $400,000. Terefe stored a portion of the cash proceeds at his residence in Silver Spring and used some of the proceeds to purchase an interest in commercial property in Ethiopia.