Government & Contractors
Anyone with information relating to waste, fraud, and abuse in government contracting to contact the FBI’s Procurement Fraud Working Group Hotline at 1-877-NO-BRIBE or securely over the Internet at https://tips.fbi.gov/.
The official, Kenneth Paul Ramos, was employed at NAS North Island as a supervisory logistics management specialist. The owner and sales manager of Poway defense contractor Centerline Industrial Inc. provided Ramos and another navy official, Donald Vangundy, with bribes, including cash, jewelry, electronics, and theater tickets. In return, Ramos agreed that Centerline could recoup the cost of these bribes, plus a markup, by submitting fraudulent invoices that concealed the bribes and the markup. To facilitate the scheme, Ramos created fraudulent procurement requests and took other steps to guarantee that these bogus orders were funded. In total, Loehr and Grubiss provided Ramos with over $10,000 in illicit benefits, some of which he kept for himself, and some of which he distributed to other personnel at the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center-Southwest (FRC) at NAS North Island.
Guerrero worked the midnight shift as a CBP Office of Field Operations officer at the Pharr and Anzalduas Ports of Entry near McAllen, Texas. As part of his official duties, Guerrero was responsible for, among other things, handling vehicle inspections of northbound traffic traveling from Mexico to the United States. According to the indictment, between approximately October 2009 and approximately January 2011, Guerrero, his girlfriend Flores, and their associates—including Rivera and Guerrero’s nephew Cantu– perpetrated a bribery and alien smuggling operation along the U.S.-Mexico border. As part of the unlawful operation, Guerrero, Flores, Cantu, and Rivera allegedly agreed to smuggle undocumented aliens (UDAs) from Mexico to the United States, in exchange for bribe payments to Guerrero and Flores. Guerrero and Flores allegedly charged between approximately $1,000 and $3,000 per UDA. According to the indictment, Flores, Cantu, Rivera, and others recruited and solicited UDAs in Mexico who were willing to pay to be unlawfully smuggled from Mexico into the United States. To accomplish the unlawful smuggling events, Guerrero and Flores allegedly arranged for drivers, including Cantu, to pick up UDAs in Mexico. Guerrero allegedly facilitated the unlawful operation by permitting the UDAs to pass illegally through his inspection lane, in exchange for the bribe money. In order to conceal their unlawful activities, Guerrero and Flores allegedly arranged for the majority of the illegal crossings to take place at approximately midnight—shortly before the closing of the Pharr Port of Entry.
Ex-TSA Officer Richard C. Cook, II, 27, of Henry County, Georgia, pleaded guilty today to attempting to smuggle drugs through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Cook recruited fellow TSA Officer Timothy G. Gregory to assist with the drug smuggling operation.
Weaver pleaded guilty to receiving payments from a representative of a military contractor that was responsible for transporting fuel in Afghanistan in exchange for facilitating the theft of approximately 100 fuel trucks. According to Weaver’s signed plea agreement, the loss to the United States as a result of the scheme was in excess of $1.5 million. According to court documents, Weaver sent cash back from Afghanistan to the United States, in part, by mailing the money inside a stuffed bear. According to court documents, Hightower worked in Afghanistan as an employee of FLUOR Inc., a U.S. government contractor, from January 2010 to June 2010, where he served as a petroleum supply specialist and was responsible for receiving and disbursing fuel—primarily jet fuel known as JP-8—for use at FOB Fenty or for transport to other military bases. According to court documents, Hightower, Weaver, and others would receive cash from a representative of a military contractor that was responsible for transporting fuel in Afghanistan, and the money would be apportioned among the conspirators
Cenor and co-conspirator Dorothy Boulin agreed on a plan to use stolen personal identifying information (names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers) of individuals to file fraudulent tax returns seeking refunds. Cenor provided Boulin with more than a hundred names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of U.S. Marines, many of whom were serving in Cenor’s unit in Afghanistan.
The former director of contracts at Eyak Technology LLC (EyakTek), was sentenced today to 87 months in prison on federal charges stemming from a scheme in which he stole more than $9 million from the United States by submitting invoices to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for services that were not provided.
Newell and Hunt were employed by Parsons in Iraq as program manager and deputy program manager, respectively, under a contract that Parsons held to support the Coalition Munitions Clearance Program operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Newell and Hunt admitted taking over $1 million in kickbacks from subcontractors from 2005 to 2007 in return for arranging to award contracts on the munitions clearance program to subcontractors. Newell and Hunt also admitted filing false federal income tax returns by not disclosing kickback inco
Accepted $25,000 cash payment from a construction contractor. Accepted thousands of dollars in cash from another individual affiliated with Northeast Pennsylvania municipal authorities. That cash payment was accepted by Senator Musto as a reward for prior official action taken by the senator where he assisted the municipal authorities obtain loans and grants. In addition, Senator Musto accepted these funds intending to be influence in his future official decisions.
Espada abused his leadership position at Soundview through a number of schemes designed to steal Soundview funds for his personal use and for the benefit of favored family members and friends.
The most serious charge contained in the indictment is engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, commonly referred to as a RICO charge, in which it is alleged that Luckie used his office and the campaign committee in order to commit a series of unlawful predicate crimes such as theft in office, money laundering, and tampering with records, in order to establish, facilitate or carry on a series of illegal and corrupt acts.
Arizona State Representative Paul Ben Arredondo pleaded guilty today in Phoenix federal court, admitting that he solicited and took a bribe in exchange for promises of official action both as a city councilmember and a state representative.
Sledge, without lawful authority, directed a subordinate at the Pontiac Public Schools to issue to him a check in the amount of $236,000 payable to “Leadership Academy,” an entity controlled solely by Defendant Sledge. Sledge later provided a false and fraudulent invoice in the amount of $236,000. Sledge then later converted those funds to his own personal use.
He illegally manipulated state and federal education statistics, abandoning his duty to properly educate all EPISD students. He shamefully turned his time and attention to fraudulently obtaining performance based bonuses for himself.
Six individuals have been indicted as a result of investigations conducted by the Northern District of Indiana’s Public Corruption Task Force.
Clark was a state magistrate in Portsmouth from January 1993 until April of this year. She was authorized in her official position to issue arrest and search warrants and to admit to bail or order the detention of arrestees. From 2009 through February 2012, she accepted cash and gifts from a bondsman in exchange for referring arrestees to the bondsman as prospective clients and seeking and accepting his advice on the amount of bond to set in particular cases. During this time period, she accepted up to $150 per month from the bondsman. In addition, she received from him numerous cash payments for gas and meals as well as expense money for trips.
Prince George’s County Developer Karl Granzow Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison in Extortion Scheme; High-Ranking Public Official Used His Position to Further His Own Development Projects and Failed to Pay Taxes on $225,974 of Income for 2004
The defendants devised, and carried out, a scheme to place people on the HARP list who were not homeless by falsely stating that they were indeed homeless. In return, they received cash payments.
Charging a reserve deputy sheriff with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office and police officers with the Cherryville Police Department with multiple counts related to the misuse of their official position to provide protection for the transportation of goods they believed to be stolen.
Jefferson made an agreement with an undercover FBI agent, whom he believed was a drug trafficker, to protect a drug shipment coming into Hawkins Field in Jackson, Mississippi. The undercover FBI agent advised Jefferson that 100 kilograms of cocaine would be coming in on an airplane to Jackson. Jefferson agreed to set up the protection of the shipment.
Larry Davis was assigned as a supervisory Sergeant to the Central Patrol Division-Special Operations Group responsible for conducting investigations into illegal gang activities and illegal drug distribution. He visited various package delivery company branch facilities in St. Louis in his official capacity as a police officer and seized packages that were suspected of containing marijuana. Instead of taking the seized packages to the police department or to the police laboratory, and unbeknownst to the package delivery companies, Larry Davis took the seized packages to his personal residence.
FBI agents have arrested four individuals, three of whom are former or current law enforcement officers, on charges of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and theft of government property.
Former President of Maryland Corporation Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Embezzling Over $885,000; Spent Corporate Money on Phone Sex and Prostitutes, Claiming the Expenditures Were Advertising Expenses
Goodnow was the president and chief executive officer of a national fast food franchise that maintained its principal office in Severna Park, Maryland. From 2006 to 2012, on more than 200 occasions, Goodnow spent a total of approximately $885,071 of the company’s money to pay three Texas women for telephone sex and their personal expenses and to pay prostitutes in Maryland.
Mermejo was employed as a file clerk in the Pueblo’s accounting office. . . Mermejo admitted that she embezzled an aggregate of $132,000 of funds belonging to Picuris Pueblo on 144 occasions during a two-year period. In her plea agreement, Mermejo admitted that she embezzled the money to support her gambling habit and make ends meet with regard to such matters as utility bills.
She embezzled money from her employer, Crane Rental of Salina. As Crane’s office manager, she had authority to pay the company’s accounts receivable. She used her access to the company’s bank account at Bennington State Bank to pay her personal debts.
Between October 2008 and March 2010, while serving as a bookkeeper for Peridot Shopping Center Inc. (a San Carlos Apache Tribal Organization), she embezzled approximately $268,106 of the shopping center’s money by cashing fraudulent checks drawn from the shopping center’s checking account, all of which were made payable to either herself or a member of her family.
Mills and others associated with BVN told investors that BVN had $10 million in revenues, was financially stable, and had recently completed a number of infomercials. None of these statements were true.
Hotton concocted a cast of characters to invest in a major musical—investors who turned out to be deep-pocketed phantoms. To carry out the alleged fraud, Hotton faked lives, faked companies, and even staged a fake death, pretending that one imaginary investor had suddenly died from malaria. As also alleged, Hotton enlisted his same cast of invisible men to carry out a real estate scam.
Defrauding thousands of investors nationwide out of more than $18 million. Turek lured approximately 8,500 investors into purchasing Plasticon stock by falsely claiming that Plasticon was profitable when he knew that the company was losing millions of dollars. In statements to investors and in press releases, Turek also falsely claimed that the company owned valuable patents. The evidence further demonstrated that Turek told investors he was working for nothing when, in fact, he was taking millions of dollars from Plasticon.
A former sales associate with the American Family Life Assurance Company, or AFLAC, was arrested today on mail fraud charges involving the defrauding of $4 million in disability benefits from AFLAC in a fictitious employer scheme.
Cathey was employed from September 7, 1997, through March 31, 2011, as the controller for Mega Industries Corp., a heavy highway and general contractor construction company in North Kansas City with approximately 25 employees. Cathey admitted that she embezzled approximately $561,552 as a result of her fraud scheme. Cathey obtained checks from the office of a subordinate, wrote unauthorized checks to herself and, without the knowledge or consent of the company presidents, forged their signatures on the checks. Cathey deposited the checks in her personal bank account and used the money largely for gambling. In order to conceal her fraud, Cathey manipulated the company’s ledgers and created false accounting entries. Cathey was the first person to get the mail; when monthly bank statements came in the mail, she removed them and destroyed most of them.
Bazemore, an insurance agent, engaged in a scheme to obtain substantial commissions by inducing life insurance companies to issue policies on applications of individuals who appeared to be wealthy and seeking insurance for estate planning purposes when, in fact, the applicants were of modest financial means, and the policies were intended to be transferred to investors.
Defrauded clients out of millions of dollars by misrepresenting the prices at which securities were bought and sold. In so doing, their former employer earned illegitimate and illegal trading profits, and they themselves were awarded lucrative bonuses.
He paid $350,000 in cash empbribes and kickbacks to a New Jersey Department of Transportation official and a private port terminal operator in connection with millions of dollars in construction contracts.
Wilson, an accountant, was employed at Kitchenland USA Inc. as an office manager beginning in August 2004 until she was terminated on September 20, 2010. Wilson admitted that she was involved in a scheme to embezzle funds from Kitchenland between January 19, 2007 and September 20, 2010. During that time period, Wilson obtained signed bank checks drawn on Kitchenland’s bank account, which she made payable to herself. Wilson received a total of $479,803 in unauthorized payments from checks drawn on Kitchenland’s account.
Former Verizon Wireless Network Engineer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Multi-Million-Dollar Fraud Scheme; Baxter Defrauded Verizon Wireless and Cisco Systems Out of Millions Through a Corrupt Scheme Involving Expensive Network Communications Equipment
Baxter submitted hundreds of fraudulent service requests on behalf of Verizon Wireless via Cisco Systems’ online customer service database. In response, Cisco Systems shipped millions of dollars in parts to Baxter at Verizon Wireless from various Cisco Systems distribution centers throughout the United States. The service requests were fraudulent in that no parts needed to be replaced. Instead of placing the replacement parts into service in Verizon Wireless’ network, Baxter simply took them home and sold them to third-party re-sellers for his own profit. Baxter then used the illicit proceeds from the sale of this equipment to buy jewelry, cars, extravagant international travel, and other personal luxury goods and services, including multiple cosmetic surgeries for his girlfriend.
The chief executive officer of Wwebnet Inc. (Wwebnet), a software development company, on securities and wire fraud charges. Kelly allegedly diverted for his own personal use over $2 million in investor proceeds that was intended for the development of a software program capable of transmitting music, videos, and movies over the Internet. He used the money to trade options, to pay his personal income taxes, and for other purposes unrelated to software development.
Garret Sorensen was employed by USA Drug as the vice president of advertising. In late 2005, Sorensen, Katherine Sorensen, and Shannon Walters formed Multi-Media Management (MMM), which they represented to be a media placement company. Garret Sorensen then began to funnel all insert and direct mail advertising for USA Drug through MMM. Sorensen did not notify USA Drug management of his interest in, and operation of, MMM. By funneling the insert and direct mail advertising through MMM, Sorensen was able to obtain a profit of approximately $500,000. This was accomplished by overstating insert quantity, billing for inserts that were not placed, and by charging USA Drug an inflated “service fee.” In addition, Sorensen included in MMM bills charges for the direct mailing of advertising materials for which no service charges had ever been paid by USA Drug before. Over $248,000 of the MMM proceeds were dispersed directly to or for the benefit of Garret and Katherine Sorensen. With those funds, the Sorensens purchased, among other things, a boat, a Jeep, a Rolex watch, and a Chevrolet Suburban.
Isairis Wolfe used her position as the bookkeeper for Trident Seafoods in Kodiak to write Trident checks to four of her personal associates
A Dickinson County woman has been charged with embezzling more than $800,000 from the credit union where she worked.
Embezzling client money while employed as a licensed investment broker with a brokerage firm.
Martinovich fraudulently inflated the value of the solar company to falsely indicate an increase in the overall value of the hedge fund. Martinovich then allegedly used this fraudulent, unsupported, and inflated value of the solar company to convince new investors to invest in Venture Strategies, as well as to pay himself greater fees.
Polito devised and executed a scheme to defraud PNC Bank and approximately eight customers in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, of approximately $536,000.
A man employed by the Westfield, New Jersey, branch of TD Bank, today admitted his role in a plan to rob the bank where he worked. Bustamonte admitted that he provided information about the bank’s layout, security, and business operations, information that he had gained through his employment, to Julio Ferrer, his co-conspirator.
The chief executive officer and president of Lion Capital Management LLC in San Francisco, allegedly defrauded a client of approximately $544,000 by falsely claiming that he invested her money in a hedge fund, the Lion Absolute Value Fund L.P. The indictment alleges that Banet never invested the money received from the victim; that he created false account statements that he sent to the victim in which he stated that her investment accounts had sustained training gains, when, in fact, no such gains existed; and that he spent money received from the victim on personal and business expenses unrelated to the victim’s investment.
Whereas the November 2010 indictment alleged that the conspiracy to defraud BLMIS’s clients began in or about 1992, the superseding indictment dates the conspiracy back to at least the early 1970s. In addition, the superseding indictment includes a variety of new charges against the defendants, including bank fraud charges related to both corporate and personal loans, and new tax offenses.
Avidus’ trading was not profitable and resulted in the $2.3 million loss for investors. Adrian concealed the losses in order for Avidus to retain the investors’ business. He prepared and sent false monthly spreadsheets concealing the losses to the investment group in Chicago, knowing that it would report the false information to other investors. Adrian also hid the losses from other employees at Avidus by creating fake brokerage statements that showed an inflated balance for client funds that were on deposit with the broker.
The owner and operator of a Miami health care agency was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for his participation in a $42 million home health Medicare fraud scheme.
The administrator of CardioMax EMS, a Houston-based ambulance company, pleaded guilty today to charges that he submitted approximately $1,734,550 in fraudulent claims to Medicare. Escalona pleaded guilty to conspiring with patient recruiters for the purpose of billing the Medicare program for unnecessary home health care and therapy services. Escalona and his co-conspirators paid kickbacks and bribes to patient recruiters in return for patients, prescriptions, Plans of Care (POCs), and certifications for medically unnecessary therapy and home health services for Medicare beneficiaries. Escalona and co-conspirators also paid kickbacks and bribes directly to physicians, who provided home health and therapy prescriptions, POCs and medical certifications to Escalona and his co-conspirators. Escalona used these prescriptions, POCs, and medical certifications to fraudulently bill the Medicare program for home health care services
Two former high-ranking employees of facilities operations at New York Presbyterian Hospital: Saglimbeni, who, with the assistance of Figueroa, awarded asbestos abatement, air monitoring, and general construction contracts to Yaron, Buchnik, and their companies in return for more than $2.3 million in kickbacks paid to Saglimbeni. A portion of those kickbacks were funneled by Yaron to Saglimbeni through Artech.
Sentenced today to serve 51 months in prison for his role in a $205 million Medicare fraud scheme involving fraudulent claims for purported partial hospitalization program (PHP) services.
Two owners and operators of clinics that claimed to specialize in treating HIV and other conditions pleaded guilty today for their roles in an infusion therapy scheme carried out at two Detroit-area clinics that submitted millions of dollars in fraudulent claims to Medicare.
She tricked Medicare into paying her company more than $320,000 based upon false and fraudulent claims for power wheelchairs. According to admissions in her plea agreement, Afara purchased scores of bogus prescriptions for power wheelchairs, knowing that the Medicare beneficiaries who were to receive the power wheelchairs did not need the equipment and could walk without any assistance.
The products were not provided as billed, Medicare beneficiaries neither requested nor needed the products, physicians did not prescribe the products, and the products were not medically necessary for the true condition of Medicare beneficiary.
Scheming to steal more than $2 million in Medicaid funds.
A Dallas-area home health services company owner today admitted his role in a $374 million home health fraud scheme in which he and others conspired to bill Medicare for unnecessary services that were never performed.
Admitted to filing more than $8.9 million in fraudulent claims with Indiana’s Medicaid program as the manager of a purported community outreach center, ultimately receiving more than $1.9 million through her scheme.
He executed a scheme to defraud Medicaid, a federal health benefit program, by billing Medicaid for services supposedly provided by Registered Nurses (RNs) that were not actually provided by RNs.
Los Angeles medical equipment supplier who submitted almost $1 million in false claims to Medicare for expensive, high-end power wheelchairs.
Twelve defendants were arrested this morning on various charges, outlined in five indictments, regarding their respective roles in several unrelated health care fraud conspiracies involving more than $100 million in fraudulent billings to Medicare.
Thirty-Three South Florida Residents Charged as Part of Nationwide Coordinated Takedown by Medicare Fraud Strike Force Operations; 91 Individuals Charged Nationally for Submitting Approximately $430 Million in Fraudulent Billing; South Florida Responsible for More Than $202 Million in False Billings
The defendants allegedly participated in schemes to submit claims to Medicare for treatments that were medically unnecessary and oftentimes never provided. In many cases, court documents allege that patient recruiters, Medicare beneficiaries, and other co-conspirators were paid cash kickbacks in return for supplying beneficiary information to providers, so that the providers could submit fraudulent billing to Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary or never provided.
Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in seven cities have led to charges against 91 individuals—including doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals—for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $429.2 million in false billing.
During his employment, Munroe worked as a registration representative in the Emergency Department. Munroe used his position to obtain individually identifiable health information about patients of Florida Hospital who had been involved in motor vehicle accidents. Munroe would disclose that information to another conspirator, Sergei Kusyakov. Kusyakov and other conspirators would then use the stolen information to solicit patients of Florida Hospital for lawyers and chiropractors. Kusyakov would pay Munroe for his role in providing the stolen information. Florida Hospital has identified more than 12,000 patients whose individually identifiable health information was illegally accessed as a part of this conspiracy.
Gallardo admitted that instead of investing victims’ money in real estate transactions, she spent the vast majority of the money on house payments, foreign luxury travel, cash withdrawals, and Ponzi payments to earlier investors.
The scheme involved Holzendorf and others recruiting real estate professionals as investors who, with Holzenorf’s assistance, submitted false loan applications and inflated purchase prices for the sales.
The two defendants created 30 separate false loan applications, along with other fraudulent supporting documents, that they submitted to mortgage lenders in order to obtain over $8 million in mortgages to unqualified borrowers.
The defendants and their co-conspirators used high-pressure sales tactics and outright lies to prey on homeowners located across the country who were struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments and were at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure.
Other Insider Threat
Groves and Wampler allegedly stole the trade secret information while employed by the manufacturing company and made a business proposal to a competitor detailing the benefits the competitor could realize by employing the defendants as a commissioned sales force.
Watts was employed by Diebold Inc. as an ATM technician. On May 26, 2011, Watts informed employees at the SunTrust bank branch, located inside the Safeway store at Bowie Town Center in Bowie, Maryland, that he had been sent to service the ATM machine. Watts wore a photo identification badge and carried a tool bag, both of which were marked “Diebold.” After the bank employees allowed him access to the ATM, Watts surreptitiously removed $66,460 from the machine, which he placed in his tool bag and left. On July 6 and 14, 2011, again posing as a Diebold technician, Watts similarly removed $20,300 and $26,160, respectively, from the SunTrust ATMs.
He stole $25,900 from his employer, the Cities of Gold Casino, a gaming establishment operated by Pojoaque Pueblo and located on Pueblo land.
Generali was the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Waterbury and had sole responsibility for the management of the club’s day-to-day finances. From January 2007 through May 2011, Generali embezzled from the club by using the club’s funds to pay for personal expenses he charged to a credit card that he established in the club’s name. Generali also established an unauthorized “off-the-books” bank account, funded with approximately $30,000 in club funds, which he drew upon to pay for personal expenses. In addition, Generali authorized the issuance of checks to “phantom” employees and then negotiated the checks for his own unauthorized use.
Former Employee of Federal Court Contractor Indicted for Bribery, Witness Tampering, and Perjury in Federal Grand Jury; Defendant Allegedly Falsified Drug Tests of Federal Defendants in Return for Bribes
Facio was a caseworker for NMAS, an agency receiving more than $10,000 in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As a case worker, she was authorized to apply for housing assistance from NMAS for clients in the form of rent payments. During her period of employment, Facio knowingly embezzled $35,377.32 in federal and state funds through NMAS, converting the funds to her personal use and the use of others.
Danz was the financial advisor/accountant for the Elk County Humane Society. Danz embezzled $422,017.81 from the Elk County Humane Society and another client for his own personal use.