Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Major International Hacker Pleads Guilty For Massive Attack on U.S. Retail and Banking Networks

/PRNewswire/ -- Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, pleaded guilty today (December 29) to conspiring to hack into computer networks supporting major American retail and financial organizations, and to steal data relating to tens of millions of credit and debit cards, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen Milagros Ortiz and Director of the U.S. Secret Service Mark Sullivan.

Gonzalez, aka "segvec," "soupnazi" and "j4guar17," pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to the payment card networks operated by, among others, Heartland Payment Systems, a New Jersey-based card processor; 7-Eleven, a Texas-based nationwide convenience store chain; and Hannaford Brothers Co. Inc., a Maine-based supermarket chain. The plea was entered in federal court in Boston before U.S. District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock. The case is one of the largest data breaches ever investigated and prosecuted in the United States.

According to information contained in the plea agreement, Gonzalez leased or otherwise controlled several servers, or "hacking platforms," and gave access to these servers to other hackers, knowing that they would use them to store malicious software, or "malware," and launch attacks against corporate victims. Malware used against several of the corporate victims was also found on a server controlled by Gonzalez. Gonzalez tested malware by running multiple anti-virus programs in an attempt to ascertain if the programs detected the malware. According to information in the plea agreement, it was foreseeable to Gonzalez that his co-conspirators would use malware to steal tens of millions of credit and debit card numbers, affecting more than 250 financial institutions. Gonzalez was indicted in New Jersey in August 2009 for this criminal conduct.

Based on the terms of the plea agreement, Gonzalez will not seek a prison term under 17 years and the government will not seek a prison term of more than 25 years. Gonzalez pleaded guilty in September 2009 in Boston to 19 counts of conspiracy, computer fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft relating to hacks into numerous major U.S. retailers including TJX Companies, BJ's Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble and Sports Authority. Gonzalez was indicted for those offenses in August 2008 in the District of Massachusetts. Gonzalez also pleaded guilty in September 2009 in Boston to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud relating to hacks into the Dave & Buster's restaurant chain, which were the subject of a May 2008 indictment in the Eastern District of New York.

As part of the plea agreement with the government, the New Jersey case was transferred to the District of Massachusetts for plea and sentencing. According to the terms of the New Jersey plea agreement, the parties agree that Gonzalez' sentence in the New Jersey case should run concurrently with the sentence imposed in the Boston and New York cases. Gonzalez remains in federal custody. Sentencing in the Boston and New York cases is currently scheduled for March 18, 2010, in Boston. Sentencing in the New Jersey case is scheduled for March 19, 2010.

"The Department of Justice will not allow computer hackers to rob consumers of their privacy and erode the public's confidence in the security of the marketplace," said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. "Criminals like Albert Gonzalez who operate in the shadows will be caught, exposed and held to account. Indeed, with timely reporting of data breaches and high-tech investigations, even the most sophisticated hacking rings can be uncovered and dismantled, as our prosecutors and agents demonstrated in this case."

"Commercial hackers like Gonzalez believe they are immune from detection and prosecution as they lurk in the shadows of the Internet," said U.S. Attorney Fishman of the District of New Jersey. "But time and again they are caught, prosecuted and sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms. Other hackers should sit up and take notice."

"The conviction of Mr. Gonzalez, and the unraveling of one of the most complex and large scale identity theft cases in history, should serve as a reminder to hacker organizations, that the Department of Justice will vigorously investigate and prosecute cybercrimes, regardless of their sophistication and global reach. Mr. Gonzalez's conviction is the result of unprecedented coordination across agency and geographical lines, and I want to commend the investigators and prosecutors who have worked tirelessly to bring this case to fruition," said U.S. Attorney Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts.

"Today's plea proves that although cyber criminals can threaten our nation's financial sector, the Secret Service and its many partners around the world will pursue and prosecute them," said U.S. Secret Service Director Sullivan. "Time and again, cooperation and advanced methodologies have allowed us to focus our resources in order to detect and prevent these types of crimes, wherever they originate."

The New Jersey case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erez Liebermann and Seth Kosto of the District of New Jersey, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Heymann and Donald Cabell of the District of Massachusetts, and Senior Counsel Kimberly Kiefer Peretti of the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. All of these cases are being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CPSC Urges Caution With Heating as Winter Weather Arrives; Carbon Monoxide Deaths on the Rise

/PRNewswire/ -- As families look for ways to save money in tough economic times, there is an increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings and fire deaths associated with the use of alternative heating and power sources. The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to check all home heating systems from fireplaces to furnaces, including any back-up power systems.

Heating systems were associated with an average of 32,900 fires and 200 fire deaths per year from 2004-2006. This includes local fixed heaters, portable heaters, central heating systems, and fireplaces and chimneys.

CO deaths have been on the rise since 1999. On average there were 181 unintentional non-fire deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning associated with consumer products per year from 2004-2006 compared to 123 from 1999-2001. Heating equipment and portable generators are among the top contributors to CO deaths.

Portable generator-related deaths have risen more than 400 percent in recent years from an average of about 16 deaths per year in 1999-2001 to 75 deaths per year in 2004-2006. In 2004-2006, 41 percent of consumer product-related CO deaths (an average of about 75 deaths annually) were generator-related and 35 percent (an average of 63 deaths per year) were heating system-related.

To prevent CO poisoning tragedies from occurring, CPSC urges consumers to:

-- Schedule a yearly professional inspection of all fuel-burning home
heating systems, including furnaces, boilers, fireplaces, wood stoves,
water heaters, chimneys, flues and vents.
-- As a second line of defense, install carbon monoxide alarms meeting
the requirements of UL 2034 Single and Multiple Station Carbon
Monoxide Alarms or CSA 6.19 Residential Carbon Monoxide Alarming
Devices in the home. Make sure the batteries are fresh and working.
Replace the batteries annually at the spring or autumn time changes.
-- Activate the test button on the CO alarm monthly to ensure proper
operation.
-- NEVER operate a portable gasoline-powered generator in an enclosed
space such as a garage, shed or crawlspace, or in the home.
-- Keep portable generators as far away from the home as possible -- away
from open doors, windows or vents that could allow deadly carbon
monoxide into the home.
-- Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards
and certified by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory. These
heaters will have the most up-to-date safety features. An unvented
gas space heater that meets current safety standards will shut off if
oxygen levels fall too low.
-- Do not use portable propane space heaters indoors or in any confined
space unless they are specifically designed for indoor use. Always
follow the manufacturer's directions for proper use.
-- Never use gas or electric stoves to heat the home. They are not
intended for that purpose and can pose a CO or fire hazard.


CPSC also urges consumers to follow these home heating safety tips to prevent fires:

-- Place space heaters on a level, hard, and nonflammable surface such as
a ceramic tile floor, not on rugs or carpets. Keep the heater at
least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable
materials, and keep out of the flow of foot traffic. Keep children
and pets away from space heaters.
-- To prevent the risk of fire, NEVER leave a space heater on when you go
to sleep or place a space heater close to any sleeping person. Turn
the heater off if you leave the area.
-- Never use gasoline in a kerosene space heater. Even small amounts of
gasoline mixed with kerosene can increase the risk of a fire.
-- Have fireplace flues and chimneys inspected for leakage and blockage
by creosote or debris.
-- Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and keep it open
until the ashes are cool. An open damper may help prevent build-up of
poisonous gases inside the home.
-- Store fireplace ashes in a fire-resistant container and cover it with
a lid. Keep the container outdoors and away from combustibles.
Dispose of ashes carefully keeping them away from combustibles, dry
leaves or trash.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2009

In its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report released today, the FBI indicated that the volume of violent crime in the nation decreased 4.4 percent and the volume of property crime declined 6.1 percent. More than 11,700 law enforcement agencies contributed to this report, which is based on information from law enforcement agencies that provided three to six common months of data to the FBI from January to June of both 2008 and 2009.

Violent Crime

* All four of the offenses that make up violent crime (murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) decreased nationwide. Murder declined 10.0 percent, robbery fell 6.5 percent, forcible rape decreased 3.3 percent, and aggravated assault declined 3.2 percent.
* A review of the data by population group showed that violent crime decreased 7.0 percent in cities with populations of 1 million or more—the largest decrease from January to June 2009 when compared with crime data from the same months in 2008—but cities with populations of 10,000 to 24,999 reported an increase (1.7 percent). Violent crime declined 3.8 percent in the nation’s nonmetropolitan counties and 2.1 percent in metropolitan counties.
* By region, violent crime in the South declined 6.1 percent, violent crime in the Midwest decreased 3.4 percent, violent crime in the West declined 3.3 percent, and violent crime in the Northeast decreased 3.2 percent. In addition, law enforcement agencies in all four regions showed declines in the number of murders, forcible rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults.

Property Crime

* Overall in the nation, there were decreases in each type of property crime, which includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Motor vehicle theft dropped 18.7 percent, larceny-theft decreased 5.3 percent, and burglary declined 2.5 percent for the two six-month periods.
* By population group, the nation’s largest cities (those with 1 million or more inhabitants) had the largest decrease (7.7 percent) in the number of property crimes. Property crime decreased 9.8 percent in nonmetropolitan counties and 7.4 percent in metropolitan counties.
* Regionally, property crime dropped 8.4 percent in the Midwest, 7.0 percent in the Northeast, 6.7 percent in the West, and 4.3 percent in the South. Among the four regions, the South was the only region to show an increase for a property crime offense—burglaries were up 0.7 percent.

Arson

The number of reported arsons, which are tracked separately from other property crimes, declined 8.2 percent nationwide during the first half of 2009 when compared with data from the first half of 2008. All of the city population groups reported decreases in the number of arsons. Cities with 250,000 to 499,999 inhabitants had the largest decrease at 12.7 percent. Arson fell 11.7 percent in metropolitan counties but rose 1.2 percent in nonmetropolitan counties. Law enforcement agencies in all four regions reported declines in the number of arsons, ranging from 9.2 percent in the Northeast to 7.5 percent in the South.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Bank Robber Sentenced

Merkuri Stanback, age 28, was sentenced December 17, 2009, by the Honorable Hugh Lawson, United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia to a total sentence of 480 months (40 years) without parole. Stanback had been previously convicted of Armed Bank Robbery, Brandishing a Firearm During a Crime of Violence, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon on September 17, 2009 in connection with the robbery of Park Community Federal Credit Union located on Riverside Drive, Macon, Georgia.

On December 28, 2007, Stanback, along with two co-defendants entered the Park Community Federal Credit Union located on Riverside Drive, Macon, Georgia brandishing a firearm. Stanback and his co-defendants restrained employees and ransacked the teller area. Stanback and the co-defendants robbed the contents of the bank vault and stole approximately $198,439.00. While in the process of fleeing, the robbers lost approximately $49,000 which was recovered in an adjoining parking lot. Macon Police Officers arrived and processed the crime scene.

A tip to the FBI lead to the search of a residence located at 1032 Main Street where the Defendant was residing. Macon Police Officers and FBI Agents recovered a majority of the stolen money as well as the firearms and clothing used in the robbery. Warrants were issued for Stanback who was later arrested in Pensacola, Florida by the United States Marshals Service.

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia G.F. Peterman, III stated: “The sentence handed down by the Court sends a clear message that violent gun crime will not be tolerated in the Middle District of Georgia. Anyone who commits a federal crime with a firearm will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. A sentence of 40 years' imprisonment without parole means that Stanback will not be released from federal prison well past his 65th birthday.”

The case as investigated by the Macon Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and United States Marshals Service. Questions concerning this case should be directed to Sue McKinney, Public Affairs Specialist, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2602.

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FEMA Encourages Winter Weather Preparedness

With the winter season approaching, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reminds individuals to be prepared for winter storms and extreme cold. While the danger of severe winter weather varies across the country, everyone can benefit by taking a few easy steps now to prepare for emergencies. A first step, regardless of where you live, is to visit the Ready.gov Web site to find preparedness ideas you can use all year long.

"Severe winter weather can strike at any time. Even areas that normally experience mild winters can be hit with a major snowstorm or extreme cold," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “I encourage everyone to get an emergency supply kit, develop and practice a family emergency plan and stay informed about emergencies that may affect your area. Families can log onto Ready.gov to learn more.”

Severe winter weather can include snow or subfreezing temperatures, strong winds and ice or heavy rain storms. An emergency supply kit both at home and in the car will help prepare you and your family for winter power outages and icy or impassable roads.

Both kits should include a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. In addition, your home kit should include a three day supply of food and water. Thoroughly check and update your family’s emergency supply kit and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather:

Rock salt to melt ice on walkways,

Sand to improve traction on driveways and sidewalks,

Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment,

And adequate clothing and blankets to help keep you warm.

Ensure your family preparedness plan and contacts are up to date and exercise your plan. Learn about emergency plans established in your area by state and local officials and make sure your family plans and contacts are up to date.

Finally, make sure to familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a winter storm hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe a winter storm hazard include the following:

Freezing Rain creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.

Sleet is rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to freeze and become slippery.

Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.

Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.

Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.

For more information and winter preparedness tips, please visit: http://www.ready.gov/winter
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Retired Army Major Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison for Role in Bribery Scheme Involving DOD Contracts in Kuwait

A retired major in the U.S. Army today was sentenced to 57 months in prison for his role in a bribery scheme related to Department of Defense (DOD) contracts awarded in Kuwait, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer and Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division Christine Varney.

Christopher H. Murray, 42, a resident of Cataula, Ga., was also ordered by Judge Clay D. Land of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia - Columbus Division to pay $245,000 in restitution and to serve three years of supervised release following the prison term.

Murray pleaded guilty in January 2009 to a five-count criminal information charging him with four counts of bribery and one count of making a false statement. According to the court documents, in 2005 and 2006, then-Major Murray served as a contracting specialist in the small purchases branch of the contracting office at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. As a contracting specialist, Murray was responsible for soliciting bids for military contracts, evaluating the sufficiency of those bids, and then recommending the award of contracts to particular contractors. In this capacity, Murray solicited and received approximately $225,000 in bribes from DOD contractors in exchange for recommending the award of contracts for various goods and services.

According to court documents, Murray returned to Kuwait in fall 2006, as a contracting officer, and solicited and received another $20,000 in bribes from a DOD contractor in exchange for the award of a construction contract. When confronted with evidence of his criminal conduct, Murray made false statements to federal agents investigating the matter.

This case is being prosecuted by trial attorney Richard B. Evans of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section as well as trial attorneys Mark W. Pletcher, Emily W. Allen and Finnuala Kelleher of the Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section.

The case is being investigated by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction; the Army Criminal Investigation Command, Defense Criminal Investigative Service; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the FBI; and the Internal Revenue Service.

The National Procurement Fraud Task Force, created in October 2006 by the Department of Justice, was designed to promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of procurement fraud associated with the increase in government contracting activity for national security and other government programs.

Anyone with information concerning bid rigging, bribery or other criminal conduct regarding DOD contracts is urged to call the Defense Criminal Investigative Service at 800-424-9098 or hotline@dodig.mil; Army Criminal Investigation Division at www.cid.army.mil; or the FBI at 800-225-5324.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Miami Man Sentenced to More Than a Decade in Federal Prison for Million-Dollar Medicaid Fraud

VARIAN V. SCOTT, 36, of Miami, Florida, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. to federal prison on charges of health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The charges arose out of a scheme to present forged doctors’ prescriptions for high-dollar cancer and HIV medications to dozens of Atlanta-area pharmacies using the identities of Georgia Medicaid recipients, causing the cost of the medications to be billed to the Georgia Medicaid program, and resulting in an approximately $1.1 million loss to state and federal taxpayers.

Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker said, “The defendant and his cronies not only defrauded Georgia’s taxpayers, but they endangered the patients who were on the receiving end of these re-sold prescriptions. These medications must be handled and stored with extreme care to preserve their effectiveness, and street sellers aren't known for running hygienic operations. Prison is the appropriate place for Scott, and today's prison sentence sends a clear message that law enforcement will protect taxpayer resources and preserve the integrity of these critical treatment programs.”

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Gregory Jones said, “Mr. Scott will now sit in prison for many years hopefully thinking about the crimes he committed and their full impact on the people that could have used the help that was, instead, diverted to his bank account through greed. Medicaid fraud and healthcare fraud in general cannot and will not be tolerated and the FBI recognizes these crimes for what they are, acts of greed and indifference to others.”

Dr. Rhonda Medows, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health, which administers Georgia Medicaid, said, “This case is a perfect example of what government agencies can accomplish when they share information and partner on key initiatives. With an increasing number of people in need of health care, it is important that we continue to work with our partners to ensure that we safeguard taxpayer dollars.”

SCOTT was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal justice system. SCOTT was also ordered to pay $1,142,720.67 in restitution to Georgia Medicaid. SCOTT was convicted of these charges on October 5, 2009, after a four-day jury trial.

According to Acting United States Attorney Sally Q. Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: SCOTT directed and funded a health care fraud conspiracy between September 2005 and April 2006. SCOTT and his cousin, HEZRON D. COLLIE, 29, of Atlanta, Georgia, bought blank doctors’ prescription pads from insiders at Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute and two other doctor’s offices, one in Atlanta and one in Florida. SCOTT and COLLIE then bought names, dates of birth, and Medicaid numbers of dozens of Georgia Medicaid recipients, and forged approximately 164 doctors’ prescriptions for Neupogen, a chemotherapy drug, and multiple medications used to treat HIV, using the patient Medicaid information. A one-month supply of Neupogen costs approximately $10,000.

SCOTT and COLLIE then presented the forged prescriptions along with the patient information to CVS, Publix, Walgreens, Kroger, and Eckerd pharmacies throughout the Atlanta area. SCOTT and COLLIE also recruited a pharmacist at one of the Publix pharmacies, and a pharmacy technician at one of the Kroger pharmacies, to help facilitate the scheme. The pharmacies billed approximately $1.1 million to Georgia Medicaid for the cost of the medications that SCOTT and COLLIE fraudulently acquired. The evidence at trial also showed that after obtaining the medications, SCOTT and COLLIE transported them to South Florida for sale on the so-called “gray market,” in which there is significant demand for such medications.

SCOTT and COLLIE were indicted on December 16, 2008. On June 4, 2009, COLLIE pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of health care fraud charged in the indictment, and to a criminal information charging him with one count of health care fraud for a related scheme in which he participated between May and June of 2008, and cooperated with authorities. COLLIE’s sentencing is scheduled to take place before Judge Pannell tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. The Publix pharmacist also cooperated with authorities and pleaded guilty to related charges in Gwinnett County Superior Court on January 13, 2009. The pharmacy technician was not charged in the scheme but cooperated with law enforcement. The pharmacies and the doctors also cooperated in the investigation.

The case was the culmination of a joint investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Drugs & Narcotics Agency, Georgia Department of Community Health, and the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Valuable assistance was also provided by the Georgia State Patrol, Twiggs County Sheriff’s Office, Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, Gwinnett County Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Seeking Public’s Assistance in Locating Violent Armed Bank Robber


Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a violent armed bank robber who is responsible for the following two Atlanta area bank robberies:

On Wednesday, September 30, 2009, at approximately 9:05 a.m., a lone black male entered the Wachovia Bank, located at 2349 Chesire Bridge Road, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia, and ordered everybody to put their hands up. The robber, who was carrying a black semi-automatic handgun and a black bag approached the first victim teller and demanded money. The first victim teller placed money from her teller drawer into the black bag. Afterwards, the robber approached two additional tellers and demanded money. After receiving money from the two additional tellers, the robber ran out the bank and fled the bank in a gray or silver vehicle.

On Wednesday, December 09, 2009, at approximately 9:10 a.m., a lone black male entered the Wachovia Bank, located at 5425 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Chamblee, Georgia and approached the teller counter. The robber, armed with a handgun, threw two bags over the teller counter and demanded money from the tellers. The robber also threatened to shoot individuals in the bank. After receiving money from the tellers, the robber ran out of the bank.

The robber is described as a black male, 6'0" - 6'4", 35 - 45 years old, 220 - 250 lbs, large build, wearing a black trench coat (second robbery) or black blazer (first robbery), white shirt, black gloves, black ski mask, and carrying a black semi-automatic handgun

Wachovia Bank has announced a reward of up to $15,000 in this matter.

Anyone with information regarding these robberies is asked to contact the Atlanta office FBI at tel. (404) 679-9000.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Waynesboro Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Receiving Child Pornography

Edward J. Tarver, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced that Roger Alan Gambrel, convicted on June 5, 2009, of the federal offense of Receipt of Child Pornography, was sentenced December 2 by United States District Judge J. Randal Hall, to 240 months imprisonment, followed by supervised release for the remainder of his life. Gambrel will also be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from federal prison.

Tarver stated that the evidence presented at the defendant’s guilty plea and sentencing hearings showed that Gambrel routinely engaged in sexually suggestive online “chats” with others about the child pornography images being traded during those communications. When his computer and other computer media were seized from Gambrel, he was found in possession of over 2,000 child pornography images.

The case was the result of a joint investigation by Special Agent Brian Ozden of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Agent Charles Kicklighter of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, based upon information they received from FBI agents in California. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Greenwood represented the Government.

Tarver commented that this case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, which is a nationwide U.S. Department of Justice initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.

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Perry Man Pleads Guilty to Trafficking Illegal Drugs, Attempting to Influence a Juror

G.F. “Pete” Peterman, III, Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces the conviction in the United States District Court in Macon of WENDELL DOUGLAS WALKER age 39 of Perry, Georgia. Walker entered a plea of guilty to one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (crack cocaine) and one count of Endeavoring to Influence a Juror on December 3, 2009, before the Honorable C. Ashley Royal, Chief United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia. The charge of Endeavoring to Influence a Juror resulted from Walker’s contact with and efforts to corruptly influence a trial juror selected in May, 2009, to try the crack cocaine charge against him.

Walker admitted to selling a confidential informant more than 50 grams of crack cocaine in November, 2007. He further admitted that he had a relative contact the trial juror, who was asked to call a cellular telephone number because someone wanted to speak with her. When the juror called that number, Walker answered, identified himself and asked to meet with the juror, who then hung up on him. Walker admitted that he made the contact in an effort to wrongfully and corruptly influence the juror in exercising her duties as a juror at his trial.

Walker faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison on the Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base count and up to an additional 10 years in prison for Endeavoring to Influence a Juror.

Acting United States Attorney Peterman said that trafficking illegal drugs is a crime whose prosecution is a priority of the United States Attorney’s Office, adding that, “with regard to the jury influencing charge, attempts to corrupt the jury trial process, which is the very heart of this country’s criminal justice system, will always be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible by this office.”

The crack cocaine case was investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Perry Police Department. The case of juror influencing was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation office in Macon. Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. McCullers prosecuted the case for the government. For additional information contact Sue McKinney, Public Affairs Specialist, at 478-621-2602.

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Former Senior Manager Pleads Guilty to Stealing The Home Depot’s Trade Secrets

GUILLERMO MARTINEZ, 47, of Cumming, Georgia, pleaded guilty December 2 in federal district court to a Criminal Information that charged him with stealing trade secrets from his former employer, The Home Depot.

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said, “Intellectual property-related cases are serious criminal cases with high dollar stakes. The FBI understands the corporate concerns and the potential damages caused by such thefts and considers itself well suited to investigate and enforce these laws.”

According to Acting United States Attorney Yates and the information in court: MARTINEZ was employed at The Home Depot’s headquarters as a Senior Manager, Product Engineering, and was responsible for assisting the company's vendors in preparing to sell products to the company. As a Senior Manager, MARTINEZ had access to the Home Depot’s confidential information and other trade secrets, including pricing and profitability spread sheets and documents relating to product line reviews.

The evidence showed that beginning in January 2008, MARTINEZ was assigned to assist a potential local vendor of The Home Depot. The vendor was subsequently invited by The Home Depot to participate in a product line review. A product line review involves potential vendors making presentations of their products, their packaging and their marketing ideas. It also involves the submission of the potential vendors’ prices. The Home Depot makes its buying decisions for a particular product line based on the product line review presentations of its various vendors.

From around May 2008 and continuing until around July 2008, MARTINEZ began supervising the local vendor’s presentation to The Home Depot as if he were a high-level employee of the vendor. In an effort to have the vendor gain an advantage over its competitors during the product line review, MARTINEZ provided the vendor with trade secrets belonging to the Company. Specifically MARTINEZ gave out confidential and proprietary pricing information, including the price that the Company was paying the vendor's competitors for the products that the vendor wanted to sell to the Company. MARTINEZ provided a document titled “Wire Devices: RFP Summary,” which was marked at the bottom as “Proprietary & Confidential to The Home Depot,” and which contained a summary of the vendor's line review of competitor's price quotes. MARTINEZ also provided a binder containing the line review presentation submitted to the Company by a competitor of the vendor. In addition, during this same time, MARTINEZ was negotiating an employment agreement with the vendor.

The Home Depot fully cooperated in the investigation of this case.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 3, 2010, at 10 a.m, before United States District Judge Willis B. Hunt, Jr.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bank of America Robbery (Fayetteville)

A Robbery occurred at Bank of America located at 219 Banks Road, Fayetteville, Georgia 30214.

At approximately 12:34 PM a man entered the bank and handed the teller a note indicating he was robbing the bank. The man also indicated that he had a gun.

He is described as a black male, about 5’-8”, 175 pounds. He was wearing an orange “South Pole” sweatshirt with gray sleeves and a dark colored baseball hat. He has a narrow face and a goatee.
He was last seen running from the bank.

He stole an undisclosed amount of money.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department, Criminal Investigation Unit at 770-461-4441.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Robbery of the Wachovia Bank in Norcross, Georgia

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, along with the Gwinnett County Police Department, is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a serial bank robber who robbed the Wachovia Bank, Holcomb Corners, Norcross, Georgia, November 27.

On Friday, November 27, 2009, at approximately 12:42 p.m., a lone black male, wearing a black motorcycle helmet, leather jacket, and a police badge around his neck, entered the Wachovia Bank, Holcomb Corners, Norcross, Georgia, and verbally announced a bank robbery to a bank teller while threatening a weapon. The robber departed the bank without incident, having obtained an undisclosed amount of money.

The robber was described as being a light skinned black male, late thirties in age, 5’8”-5’10” in height, approximately 175 lbs., wearing a black motorcycle helmet, dark sunglasses, black leather jacket, a black shirt with white letters possibly with “Police” on front, wearing a silver law enforcement badge around his neck.

The above robber is possibly injured from an exploding dye pack. He is also believed to be responsible for a similar bank robbery in Sandy Springs, Georgia last month and was observed departing in a black two door Infiniti at that robbery.

Anyone with information regarding these robberies is asked to contact the Atlanta office FBI at tel. (404) 679-9000.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Seeking Information on Savannah Bank Robbery

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, along with the Savannah Chatham County Police Department, is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the individuals responsible for today’s (November 24) armed robbery of the following Savannah, Georgia bank:

On Tuesday, November 24, 2009, at approximately 9:00 a.m., three black males, all armed with and displaying handguns, entered the Wachovia Bank, located at 3507 West Bay Street, Savannah, Georgia. During the robbery, one of the robbers went behind the tell counter, taking money out of one of the teller stations and placing it in a black satchel that he had with him. The robbers departed the bank without further incident having obtained an undisclosed amount money. The robbers were seen getting into a late 1980’s model white Buick with a Georgia license plate and proceeding east on Bay Street.

The robbers were described as being black males, 25 years old or younger. Two of the robbers were 5’8”-5’9” in height, the third was 5’3”-5’5” in height. All were wearing blue zip up style jump suits, displaying handguns (possibly revolvers), and wearing gloves and masks.

Anyone with information regarding these robberies are asked to contact Savannah Crimestoppers at tel. (912) 234-2020 or the Savannah office of the FBI at (912) 232-3716.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Former DeKalb County Pretrial Services Coordinator and DeKalb Probation Officer Sentenced in Charge-Fixing Extortion Scheme

KEITH L. HUGHES, 39, of Covington, Georgia, the former Coordinator of the DeKalb County Office of Pretrial Services, and NATALIE NICOLE DUNN, 33, of Ellenwood, Georgia, a former DeKalb County State Court Probation Officer, were sentenced today (November 23) by United States District Judge William S. Duffey, Jr., with each defendant convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right in a criminal charge-fixing scheme.

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said, “Using one's position for personal gain negates any sense of fairness and justice. The FBI understands this and it is for this reason that we aggressively pursue such conduct that jeopardizes the underlying fabric of the criminal justice system.”

HUGHES was sentenced to two years and 11 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. HUGHES was ordered to pay a fine of $2,500 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

DUNN was sentenced to two years and two months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. DUNN was also ordered to perform 250 hours of community service.

According to Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the criminal information, and other information presented in court: In November 2008, an individual, who later became a source of information (referred to as the “source,”) contacted the FBI regarding communications with DUNN. The source told the FBI that after his arrest for drug offenses in DeKalb County, Georgia, DUNN contacted him and offered to ensure that the source received a dismissal of his pending criminal charges in exchange for a $25,000 payment to DUNN and HUGHES. In December 2008, at the direction of the FBI, the source paid DUNN two $5,000 installments to ensure a dismissal of the source's criminal charges.

In December 2008, the source also met with HUGHES and DUNN inside HUGHES’ office located at the DeKalb County Courthouse. During that meeting, HUGHES told the source that he and DUNN would falsely report to the Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney that the source was cooperating in the investigation of others. By doing so, HUGHES said that he could ensure that the source's pending drug trafficking charge was dismissed.

HUGHES pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right on July 1, 2009. DUNN pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right on June 10, 2009.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Garrett Pleads Guilty in Bomb Incident

RICHARD AUBREY GARRETT, III, 36, of Rome, Georgia, pleaded guilty today (November 23) in federal district court to multiple charges after he placed an improvised explosive device, or homemade bomb, at a convenience store in Rome.

According to Acting United States Attorney Yates and the information presented in court: On April 24, 2008, GARRETT left a bomb at the Kangaroo convenience store on Alabama Highway in Rome, where it was spotted by store clerk, who called 911. The bomb recovery and disposal unit responded and recovered the bomb using a robot and single-vent vessel. The bomb was X-rayed and found to be a hand grenade hull filled with an explosive substance and equipped with a fuse. The bomb squad safely detonated the bomb. GARRETT admitted to leaving the device in the store and did not indicate a motive.

Today GARRETT pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a bomb and to illegal possession of a bomb. He could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine up to $500,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 29, 2010, at 1:30 p.m., before United States District Judge Harold L. Murphy.

This case is being investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Floyd County Police Department.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Alpharetta Man Pleads Guilty to Impersonation of National Security Agent

/PRNewswire/ -- Louis Joseph Aprile, 49, of Alpharetta, Ga., pleaded guilty today in federal district court to the offense of impersonating a federal agent, namely, an agent of the National Security Agency.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: From May 19, to June 9, 2009, Louis Joseph Aprile initiated meetings with local law enforcement and repeatedly held himself out as the Deputy Director of the National Security Agency during a number of meetings. He perpetrated an elaborate scheme to convince these officers that he was from the National Security Agency (NSA) to organize an anti-terrorist task force, specifically targeting some individuals whom he claimed were Iraqi terrorists about to engage in terrorist acts. He told law enforcement officers elaborate stories with details regarding a terrorist plot to bomb a local area. His claims were serious enough to demand attention by the police departments. However, officers detected the deception before the impersonation went any further.

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said, "Individuals impersonating U.S. Intelligence Agents as they meet with bona fide law enforcement officials are, thankfully, not something that the FBI has to contend with very often. Our solid partnerships with the Alpharetta Police Department, the Marietta Police Department, and many other departments which make up the metro Atlanta law enforcement community make such efforts doomed to fail."

Aprile was indicted in July 2009, of one count of impersonation of a federal agent. He pleaded guilty to the indictment. He could receive a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the court will consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 3, 2010, at 3:00 p.m., before U.S. District Judge Orinda Evans.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

With NABCO Solution, University of Georgia Becomes First in the Nation to Acquire Explosive Containment Capability

(BUSINESS WIRE)--NABCO, Inc. today announced the sale of a Total Containment Vessel (TCV) to the University of Georgia Police Department, which becomes the first campus law enforcement agency in the nation with its own capabilities to counter and contain chemical, biological and explosive threats.

“NABCO provides the capabilities we need to protect our students and communities against a variety of threats,” said University of Georgia Police Chief Jimmy Williamson. “As one of the oldest universities in the country, we are also charged with protecting the historic buildings that are part of our heritage. The NABCO TCV gives us the ability to contain and remove a device that might otherwise cause harm to facilities and those who entrust us with their safety.”

The NABCO 42-GT-SCS TCV provides maximum stand-off for personnel and can fully contain a biological or chemical hazard within an improvised explosive device, even after detonation. The TCV also features a sampling system to identify hazardous agents and may be paired with a decontamination system.

The 75-officer University of Georgia Police Department purchased the NABCO TCV in September after receiving a grant from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. In addition to protecting the 35,000-student campus and Athens-Clark County, the department’s bomb squad is part of a regional response team that serves 30 communities across northeast Georgia.

The department is one of hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. that rely on NABCO solutions to safeguard personnel, facilities, communities and the environment against chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) threats.

“We are proud to partner with the University of Georgia Police Department to help protect the community against modern-day threats,” said NABCO CEO Frank Tobin. “The NABCO TCV provides the best protection available for campus and Athens-Clark County against hazardous material and devices.”

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Georgia Woman Sentenced for Bankruptcy Fraud in South Carolina

United States Attorney W. Walter Wilkins stated that Amanda Boulware, 43, of Union City, Georgia, was sentenced in federal court in Columbia for making a fraudulent statement on a bankruptcy petition. United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. sentenced Boulware to 15 months imprisonment.

In August 2007, Boulware filed a Chapter 13 voluntary bankruptcy petition with the United States Bankruptcy Court in Columbia. Boulware deliberately failed to list nine previous bankruptcy cases she had filed, and then certified the petition as true and accurate. At that time, Boulware was subject to an Order issued three months earlier by a United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Northern District of Georgia prohibiting Boulware from refiling for bankruptcy relief in any district for five years.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Trustee’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Hunter Young of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Requesting Public’s Assistance in Locating Two Armed Bank Robbers

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating two armed bank robbers who robbed the Regions Bank, located at 4421 North Henry Boulevard, Stockbridge, Georgia, Tuesday, November 10, 2009.

On November 10, 2009, at about 3:55 p.m., two black males brandishing handguns entered the bank and announced a robbery. At one point, one of the robbers, while displaying a black semi auto handgun, jumped the teller counter in furtherance of the robbery. The robbers, after obtaining an undisclosed amount of money, exited the bank and were observed departing the bank’s parking lot in a newer model silver Pontiac Grand Prix. They were later observed getting into a white Ford Bronco.

The first robber is described as being a black male, early/mid 30’s in age, 5’7”-5’8” in height, dark complexion, wearing a brown or dark red hooded jacket, blue jeans, and displaying a black semi auto handgun.

The second robber is described as being a black male, early/mid 30’s in age, 6’0” in height, slender build, dark complexion, wearing a black hat, black partial face ski mask, black/dark blue jacket, blue jeans, white tennis shoes, displaying a semi auto handgun, possibly silver in color.

Anyone with information should contact either the Henry County Police Department at tel. (770) 957-9121 or the Atlanta office FBI at (404) 679-9000.

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“South Side Myfas” Street Gang Members Convicted of Cocaine Trafficking

A federal jury late today (November 10) returned guilty verdicts against RICARDO LARIOS-TRUJILLO, a/k/a “Rico,” 34, of Lawrenceville, Georgia; RAMON CORTEZ, a/k/a “Toro,” 21, of Lawrenceville, Georgia; and HOMER LARIOS, a/k/a “Hummer,” 34, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Additionally, RICARDO LARIOS-TRUJILLO and HOMER LARIOS were convicted by the jury of attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The trial lasted seven days. The jury returned its verdict after approximately two hours of deliberation.

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said, “Today's conviction is a major step forward and proof of progress in restoring normalcy to a region that has been hit hard by Latino gang activity and its associated drug trade. It is this type of investigation that the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force was intended and we are very proud of the efforts and the resulting progress made by these dedicated agents and officers.”

According to Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates and other information presented in court: Between 2007 and 2008, LARIOS-TRUJILLO, CORTEZ and LARIOS, members of an Hispanic street gang called “South Side Myfas,” along with other co-defendants, used “Monster Car Audio,” an audio installation business belonging to LARIOS-TRUJILLO and located at 134 South Clayton Street in Lawrenceville, Georgia, to distribute cocaine. After a lengthy investigation, on November 3, 2008, FBI and ICE agents conducted a joint undercover operation at the “Monster Car Audio” business, during which LARIOS-TRUJILLO, LARIOS, and a co-defendant attempted to purchase more than five kilograms of cocaine from an undercover FBI agent. On November 3, 2008, at the times of the arrests, FBI agents also seized approximately $130,000 in cash from the defendants. CORTEZ was arrested later. Evidence at trial showed that the drug operation moved from California to Massachusetts to Georgia during the course of the conspiracy.

LARIOS-TRUJILLO and LARIOS were convicted by the jury of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and attempting to possess with intent to distribute, at least five kilograms of cocaine. CORTEZ was convicted by the jury of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and attempting to possess with intent to distribute, less than five kilograms of cocaine. The jury also ordered all proceeds from the defendants’ criminal scheme to be forfeited to the United States, including five pieces of real property, an Escalade, Hummer, and approximately $48,0000 in currency.

LARIOS-TRUJILLO, CORTEZ, AND LARIOS all could face sentences of life imprisonment. The charges also carry a maximum fine of up to $8,000,000. A sentencing date has not yet been set by the court. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders. The defendants are also subject to deportation from the United States following the completion of their sentences.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.com.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the FBI and ICE, as well as through the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force, composed of members from the FBI, Atlanta Police Department, DeKalb Police Department, Gwinnett County Police Department, Forest Park Police Department, Alpharetta Police Department, Johns Creek Police Department, and the Smyrna Police Department. Additional invaluable assistance was also provided by the Lawrenceville Police Department.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Public’s Assistance Sought in Locating Two Serial Bank Robbers

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, requests public assistance in identifying and locating two serial bank robbers responsible for the robbery of the following metro Atlanta area banks:

1. Wachovia Bank, 6226 Hwy 85, Riverdale, GA; 10/13/09
2. Suntrust Bank, 141 Forest Pkwy, Forest Park, GA; 10/19/09
3. Chase Bank, 2015 Mt. Zion Rd., Morrow, GA; 10/21/09
4. Suntrust Bank, 141 Forest Pkwy, Forest Park, GA; 10/26/09
5. RBC Bank, 7906 Tara Blvd., Jonesboro, GA; 11/02/09
6. RBC Bank, 1586 Southlake Pkwy, Morrow, GA; 11/02/09

The robbers in the above bank robberies has entered the banks, wearing coats in all of the robberies except one, wearing baseball caps. The robbers presented the victim tellers with a demand note, never displaying an actual weapon.

The robbers are described as being a black males in their early to mid 20’s in age, one of them with a diamond earring and a gold wedding style ring on his right index finger.

Anyone with information regarding these robberies should contact the Atlanta office FBI at tel. (404) 679-9000.






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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two Defendants Plead Guilty in ATM Skimming Scheme

ROMULUS BACIAN, 40, and MARIUS ENACHE CSAPAY, 45, both of Romania, pleaded guilty today (November 9) to their roles in a conspiracy to steal ATM/debit card account information from hundreds of Washington Mutual customers using “skimming” equipment they illegally affixed to ATMs around the metro Atlanta area.

“Illegal skimming for personal gain is a ‘high tech’ crime and we have adapted our technology and assets to further the investigations of this specific type of electronic crime. With assistance from our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, those individuals and organized groups who engage in ATM fraud and skimming will be fully investigated, apprehended, and face federal prison,” said Jeffrey Gilbert, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service in Atlanta.

According to Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Beginning in the fall of 2007 and continuing through July 2008, BACIAN, CSAPAY, and co-conspirators GABRIEL CIRLAN and NICOLAE DRASOVIAN installed illegal skimming devices on Washington Mutual automated teller machines (ATM’s) in the metro Atlanta area. When a customer used an ATM card to enter the vestibule in which the ATM was located, the skimming device, which was placed over the normal card reader in the door, electronically recorded the customer’s debit card number. Meanwhile, a small camera installed above the actual ATM recorded the ATM keyboard as the customer entered his or her password. The conspirators collected the skimmer and the camera at the end of the day and married the account data with the passwords to create complete account access.

CIRLAN encoded stolen, unactivated American Express gift cards with the account information and used the gift cards as proxies for actual debit cards to withdraw funds from the compromised accounts. During the course of the conspiracy, it is estimated that the conspirators stole more than $200,000.

On July 26, 2008, Lawrenceville police officers caught CSAPAY, BACIAN, and DRASOVIAN while they were in the process of removing skimming equipment from a Washington Mutual ATM. CIRLAN was subsequently arrested in Tennessee, where he remains in custody, facing charges in another federal identity theft case. DRASOVIAN is a fugitive, believed to be in Romania. Anyone with information concerning DRASOVIAN is asked to call the United States Secret Service or the FBI.

A sentencing date has not yet been set for BACIAN and CSAPAY before United States District Judge Richard W. Story. They both face a minimum term of two years in federal prison and a maximum term of up to 22 years in federal prison. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders. Both defendants are also subject to deportation from the United States following the completion of their sentences.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Lawrenceville Police Department.

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International Effort Defeats Major Hacking Ring

VIKTOR PLESHCHUK, 28, of St. Petersburg, Russia; SERGEI TŠURIKOV, 25, of Tallinn, Estonia; and OLEG COVELIN, 28, of Chişinău, Moldova, along with an unidentified individual, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, computer fraud, and aggravated identity theft. IGOR GRUDIJEV, 31, RONALD TSOI, 31, EVELIN TSOI, 20, and MIHHAIL JEVGENOV, 33, each of Tallinn, Estonia, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of access device fraud.

Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, “Last November, in just one day, an American credit card processor was hacked in perhaps the most sophisticated and organized computer fraud attack ever conducted. Today, almost exactly one year later, the leaders of this attack have been charged. This investigation has broken the back of one of the most sophisticated computer hacking rings in the world. This success would not have been possible without the efforts of the victim, and unprecedented cooperation from various law enforcement agencies worldwide.”

In Washington, D.C., Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer said, “The charges brought against this highly sophisticated international hacking ring were possible only because of unprecedented international cooperation with our law enforcement partners, particularly between the United States and Estonia. Through our close cooperation, both nations have demonstrated our commitment to identifying sophisticated attacks on U.S. financial networks that are directed and operated from overseas and our commitment to bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said, “Through the diligent efforts of the victim company and multiple law enforcement agencies within the United States and around the world, the leaders of a technically advanced computer hacking group were identified and indicted in Atlanta, sending a clear message to cyber-criminals across the globe. Justice will not stop at international borders but continue with the on-going cooperation between the FBI and other agencies such as the Estonian Central Criminal Police and the Netherlands Police Agency.”

According to Acting United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: During November, 2008, PLESHCHUK, TŠURIKOV, and COVELIN allegedly obtained unauthorized access into the computer network of “RBS WorldPay,” the U.S. payment processing division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, located in Atlanta. The indictment alleges that the group used sophisticated hacking techniques to compromise the data encryption that was used by RBS WorldPay to protect customer data on payroll debit cards. Payroll debit cards are used by various companies to pay their employees. By using a payroll debit card, employees are able to withdraw their regular salaries from an ATM.

Once the encryption on the card processing system was compromised, the hacking ring allegedly raised the account limits on compromised accounts, and then provided a network of “cashers” with 44 counterfeit payroll debit cards, which were used to withdraw more than $9 million from over 2,100 ATMs in at least 280 cities worldwide, including cities in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan and Canada. The $9 million loss occurred within a span of less than 12 hours.

The hackers then allegedly sought to destroy data stored on the card processing network in order to conceal their hacking activity. The indictment alleges that the “cashers” were allowed to keep 30 to 50 percent of the stolen funds, but transmitted the bulk of those funds back to TSURIKOV, PLESHCHUK and other co-defendants, using means such as WebMoney accounts and Western Union. Upon discovering the unauthorized activity, RBS WorldPay immediately reported the breach, and has substantially assisted in the investigation.

Throughout the duration of the cashout, PLESHCHUK and TŠURIKOV allegedly monitored the fraudulent ATM withdrawals in real-time from within the computer systems of RBS WorldPay. Once the withdrawals were completed, PLESHCHUK and TŠURIKOV allegedly attempted to conceal their activities in the RBS WorldPay computer network by destroying and attempting to destroy data.

TŠURIKOV was not only an alleged hacker, but also distributed fraudulently obtained debit card account numbers and PIN codes to IGOR GRUDIJEV, who, in turn, allegedly distributed the information to Defendants RONALD TSOI, EVELIN TSOI, and MIHHAIL JEVGENOV in Estonia. Together, RONALD TSOI, EVELIN TSOI, and MIHHAIL JEVGENOV allegedly withdrew funds worth approximately $289,000 in U.S. funds from ATMs in Tallinn, Estonia. Charges based on these transactions are pending in Estonia.

The indictment charges sixteen counts. Count One charges PLESHCHUK, TŠURIKOV, COVELIN, and a fourth unidentified individual of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Counts Two through Ten are substantive wire fraud charges brought against PLESHCHUK and TŠURIKOV, aided and abetted by COVELIN and the unidentified hacker, based on the computer commands sent from outside the United States to the computer network of RBS WorldPay in the Northern District of Georgia. Count Eleven charges PLESHCHUK, TŠURIKOV, COVELIN, and the fourth individual with conspiracy to commit computer fraud. Counts Twelve through Fourteen are substantive charges of computer fraud against the defendants. Count Fifteen charges these defendants with aggravated identity theft based on the prepaid payroll card account numbers and associated PIN codes they transferred, possessed, and used without authorization in committing the wire fraud. Count Sixteen charges RONALD TSOI, EVELIN TSOI, and JEVGENOV, aided and abetted by GRUDIJEV, with access device fraud.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of over $9.4 million of proceeds of the crimes from the defendants.

PLESHCHUK, TŠURIKOV, COVELIN, and the unidentified defendant each face a maximum sentence of up to 20 years for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and each wire fraud count; up to 5 years for conspiracy to commit computer fraud; up to 5 or 10 years for each count of computer fraud; a 2 year mandatory minimum for aggravated identity theft; and fines up to $3.5 million dollars. The charges against GRUDIJEV, the TSOI's, and JEVGENOV carry a maximum of up to 15 years incarceration for each count and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

The early detection of fraudulent ATM withdrawal activities in Tallinn, Estonia led to an immediate response by the Estonian Central Criminal Police. Their investigative efforts led to the prompt identification of TŠURIKOV, GRUDIJEV, the TSOIs, and JEVGENOV. TŠURIKOV is presently in custody in Estonia on charges related to access device fraud. The extradition of TŠURIKOV to the United States is currently in process. Access device fraud charges are also pending in Estonia against GRUDIJEV, the TSOI’s, and JEVGENOV. Cooperation between the Hong Kong Police Force and the FBI also led to a parallel investigation, resulting in the identification and arrest of two individuals who were responsible for withdrawing RBS WorldPay funds from ATM terminals in Hong Kong. The Netherlands Police Agency National Crime Squad High Tech Crime Unit and the Netherlands National Prosecutor’s Office provided key assistance in the investigation.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistance was provided by international law enforcement partners. The United States Secret Service also participated in the investigation. RBS World Pay immediately reported the crime and has substantially assisted in the investigation.

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Suspect Sought in Savannah Bank Robbery

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a bank robber who is responsible for the following Savannah, Georgia bank.

On Saturday, 11/07/09, at approximately 1:04 p.m., a lone black male entered the Bank of America located at 14083 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31419. This person entered the building and stood in line at the teller counter that was closest to the exit door. A demand note was presented to the teller. The robber departed the bank without further incident, having obtained an undisclosed amount of money.

The bank robber was described as a black male, medium complexion, late twenties to early thirties, 6'0"-6'2", 190lbs, wearing green Reebok shoes, green sweat pants, multi colored green jacket and a black skull cap.

Anyone with information regarding this robbery should contact Savannah Crimestoppers at tel. (912) 234-2020 or the Savannah office FBI at tel. (912) 232-3716.

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Georgia Selected As Site for Law Enforcement Training on Child Prostitution

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children(R) (NCMEC) has selected Norcross, Georgia as the location for law enforcement training on child prostitution. The training, Protecting Victims of Child Prostitution, is scheduled for November 16 thru 20 and will be attended by 63 police, prosecutors and others from Georgia as well as California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Ohio, Maine, Massachusetts, and Canada.

The Georgia-based non-profit organization, the Juvenile Justice Fund, is hosting the site for the training which will be held in Norcross as part of their "A Future. Not A Past," a state-wide campaign to stop the prostitution of children in Georgia by building a barrier between children and those who seek to harm them through commercial sexual exploitation.

"Child trafficking doesn't just happen on the other side of the world, it is happening right here in America," said Ernie Allen, President of NCMEC. "We are deeply grateful to the Juvenile Justice Fund for bringing this vital training to Georgia. It will enable us to rescue more children and represents an important step toward ending these insidious crimes."

NCMEC estimates that at least 100,000 children each year become victims of child prostitution in the United States. These kids are 21st century slaves, commodities for sale or trade, and often remain unseen by public agencies and the general public.

The NCMEC training includes an overview of the violence children encounter when subjected to child prostitution, investigative techniques, information on how to interview victims of child prostitution, how to prevent child victimization and resources that are available to law enforcement.

"We are committed to doing everything possible to end child prostitution in Georgia. We are grateful to NCMEC for bringing this critical training to Georgia, and are confident that it will strengthen Georgia's response to these crimes," said Kaffie McCullough, Campaign Director of "A Future. Not A Past."

The city of Atlanta and Fulton County have been leaders in the fight against child prostitution. In 2006 to combat child prostitution in the Atlanta Metro area, Mayor Shirley Franklin launched the 'Dear John' public education campaign. The campaign engaged local communities, schools, and the media on the issue and brought much needed attention to the victims of child prostitution as well as the 'Johns' who solicit these children. An earlier collaboration with the Juvenile Justice Fund, NCMEC and several other organizations included a major ad campaign that created greater public awareness about the problem of child prostitution.

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners implemented prevention and intervention efforts for the child victims of child prostitution and worked with local nonprofit organizations to address related issues such as temporary housing, medical care, and family reunification. Due to the success of the Fulton County program, the National Association of Counties (NACO) adopted the issue and developed guidelines for counties nationwide.

Georgia has been the location for a large number of NCMEC training programs. NCMEC first began offering training for law enforcement in 1997 with the creation of the Jimmy Ryce Law Enforcement Training Center. The training center is named for Jimmy Ryce, a 9-year-old Florida boy who was abducted and murdered in 1995. To date, around 266,360 law enforcement, prosecutors and others from all over the country have attended NCMEC law enforcement training.

This year the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children observes its 25th anniversary. NCMEC has played a role in the recovery of more than 138,500 children. Today more children come home safely than ever before. In 2008, NCMEC helped recover more children than any other year in the organization's 25-year history raising the recovery rate from 62% in 1990 to 97% today. And more of those who prey on children are being identified and prosecuted. Yet too many children are still missing and too many children are still the victims of sexual exploitation. There is much more that needs to be done.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Former Polk County Deputy Sheriff Enters Guilty Plea

KENNETH LANE GRAVETT, 42, of Cedartown, Georgia, a former Deputy with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, pleaded guilty today in federal district court to mail fraud relating to the submitting of a false insurance claim on a motorcycle.

According to Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In 2008, GRAVETT was a Deputy with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department. GRAVETT fell behind on making monthly loan payments on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. He then conspired with another individual to make it appear that the motorcycle was stolen, so that he could file a fraudulent insurance claim on the alleged theft of the motorcycle and use the insurance proceeds to pay off the delinquent loan.

In early December 2008, the other individual by arrangement with GRAVETT took the motorcycle from GRAVETT’s garage. On December 3, 2008, GRAVETT falsely reported to his own Polk County Sheriff’s Office that his motorcycle was stolen from his garage. On December 4, 2008, the other individual sold GRAVETT’s motorcycle to an FBI informant for $1500. On December 6, 2008, GRAVETT orally reported to his insurance carrier that his motorcycle had been stolen. On February 9, 2009, GRAVETT using the false police report filed a fraudulent insurance claim with his insurer seeking to recover the value of the motorcycle.

GRAVETT pleaded guilty to a Criminal Information charging one count of mail fraud. Based upon his guilty plea, he will not be able to obtain employment as a law enforcement officer. He could receive a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 21, 2010, at 10 a.m., before United States District Judge Robert L. Vining, Jr.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

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Former Mortgage Broker Pleads Guilty to a $20 Million Mortgage Fraud, Real Estate Investment Scam, and Check-Kiting Scheme

EDWARD WILLIAM FARLEY, 47, of Hoschton, Georgia, today (November 5) pleaded guilty in federal district court to committing a mortgage fraud, a real estate investment “Ponzi” scam involving over 150 victims, a check-kiting scheme and a bankruptcy fraud.

According to Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates and the information presented in court: FARLEY, a former mortgage broker, operated through “Creative Home Search,” “Southern Land Partners,” “Georgia Land Group,” and “Global Mortgage” in Dunwoody and Norcross, Georgia, to defraud mortgage lenders through same-day “flips” of properties located in Buford, College Park, Conyers, Cumming, Dacula, Grayson, Lawrenceville, Lithonia, Norcross, Marietta, Roswell, Snellville, and Suwanee.

FARLEY paid an appraiser to fraudulently inflate the value of each property by $50,000 to $100,000, and recruited often unqualified investor/borrowers to purchase them from one of his companies. The loan applications of these investor/borrowers who were purchasing the properties were often supported by false income, employment, bank deposits, bank statements, W-2s, and/or leases. However, as is common with “flips,” FARLEY did not purchase the properties he was selling to the investor/borrowers until after the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds on the “second” purchase had been disbursed. At that time he purchased the properties for up to $100,000 less than the amount of the inflated mortgage loans he had arranged for the investor/borrowers in the “second” purchase, thereby causing lenders to lose millions of dollars.

In the real estate investment-Ponzi part of the scheme, FARLEY then began to operate under the name of “Alliance Resource Management” (“ARM”) in Lawrenceville, Georgia, to conceal his new source of income from prior victims. He falsely represented that ARM was in the business of purchasing primarily residential properties which were being renovated and sold at a profit, when ARM had insufficient equity and income to do so. Real estate investors and lenders, including private investors, corporate lenders, and banks, were induced through false promises that their investments and loans were fully secured by a first security position in property, plus a personal guarantee, and sometimes title insurance. FARLEY also provided promissory notes falsely promising ARM investors an interest rate between 14% and 60%. The same property was used to “fully secure” multiple investors and lenders, causing losses in excess of $20 million, with any victim repayments made from scheme proceeds generated from new investors and lenders in what is commonly known as a “Ponzi” scheme.

FARLEY also received $1.2 million from Washington Mutual Bank in a check-kiting scheme by transferring funds he did not have among several ARM bank accounts, and withdrawing scheme proceeds before the “insufficient funds” checks were returned. He then used $400,000 in investor funds solicited for property refinance loans to address the check-kiting problem.

Near the end of the scheme, FARLEY diverted assets of ARM to himself after a bankruptcy petition was filed, and concealed that diversion from the United States Bankruptcy Court and ARM creditors.

FARLEY was charged in a Criminal Information on October 15, 2009 with bank fraud and conspiracy, which included the bankruptcy fraud. He pleaded guilty to those charges today. He could receive a maximum sentence of up to 60 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000, plus full restitution to all victims. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders. There is no parole in the federal system.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 3, 2010, at 10:30 a.m., before United States District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assisted by the Office of the United States Trustee.

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Former Georgia Attorney Sentenced to Prison for Multi-Million Dollar Real Estate Ponzi Scheme

STEVEN H. BALLARD, 53, of McDonough, Georgia, was sentenced November 5 by United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. to serve over five years in federal prison on a wire fraud charge involving a real estate investment scam that lasted over five years and defrauded a dozen victims in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.

Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said, “I am gratified that the U.S. Attorney’s Office was able to present the losses of so many victims to the Court, and thereby obtain justice for those who relied on this former attorney and his ‘legal’ papers. In Clayton County alone, our victims lost over $200,000, but there were more victims spread well beyond our county limits which were included in this federal prosecution.”

BALLARD was sentenced to five years, three months in prison to be followed by three years supervised release, and ordered to pay approximately $1.13 million in restitution to scheme victims. There is no parole in the federal system. BALLARD pleaded guilty to the charge on July 9, 2009.

According to Acting United States Attorney Yates and the information presented in court: From September 2002 through May 2006, BALLARD, a former McDonough-based real estate and business law attorney, operated a fraudulent real estate investment scam, commonly known as a “Ponzi” scheme. During the time of scheme he collected over $2 million from investors in Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. In Georgia alone, he solicited funds from victims in Duluth, Dunwoody, Fayetteville, Jackson, Jonesboro, Newnan, Palmetto, Peachtree City, and Whitesburg. BALLARD falsely promised “lucrative” real estate and other investments which never took place, often preparing HUD-1 Settlement Statements, Warranty Deeds and Sales Contracts to reflect non-existent property purchases while using a portion of the scheme proceeds to repay former victim-investors and clients whose cases he had mishandled. BALLARD made reimbursements to victims only if they detected the scheme. All repayments were funded with money from new victim-investors.

BALLARD’s law license was suspended by the State Bar of Georgia in September 2005, and he was disbarred in May 2006.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office, assisted by the Henry County Police Department and the Peachtree City Police Department.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Requesting Public’s Assistance in Identifying and Locating Serial Robber

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, requests the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a serial bank robber, dubbed the “Granddad Bandit,” who has robbed in at least seven states to date.

Beginning on April 10, 2009, in Houston, Texas, an unknown white male, approximate age between 50-60 years old, began a bank robbery spree that has taken him to Georgia, Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, New York, and Florida. His robberies are described as being calm, with a deliberate attempt to not attract attention to himself. The robber quietly presents a demand note to the victim teller and thereafter departs the bank without disruption to normal banking business going on around him.

Below are the following bank robberies that are currently being attributed to this individual:

* 4/10/09 Houston, Texas Amergy Bank of Texas
* 4/29/09 Atlanta, Georgia Suntrust Bank (303 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA)
* 5/29/09 Roanoke, Virginia Valley Bank
* 7/03/09 Little Rock, Arkansas Arvest Bank
* 7/24/09 Dallas, Texas Wells Fargo
* 8/21/09 Birmingham, Alabama Servis 1st Bank
* 9/22/09 Syracuse, NY Solvay Bank
* 10/02/09 Atlanta, Georgia Suntrust Bank (1503 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA)
* 10/16/09 Tallahassee, Florida Bank of America

The robber is described as follows:

* Race: White
* Sex: Male
* Age: 50-60 years of age
* Hgt: 6’0” – 6’4”
* Wgt: 220-250 lbs.
* Build: Stocky
* Hair: bald with short gray hair on side
* Misc: prescription glasses

There is now a $10,000 reward being offered by law enforcement in this matter.

Anyone with information should call the Atlanta FBI at tel. (404) 679-9000.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Former Executives Indicted on Charges of Conspiracy and Securities Fraud Related to Artificial Stock Inflation

DARRYL HORTON, 48, of Okemos, Michigan; BENJAMIN STANLEY, 47, of Kennesaw, Georgia; and RUFUS PAUL HARRIS, 41, of Adairsville, Georgia, made their first appearance today before a United States Magistrate Judge on federal charges of securities fraud and conspiracy in connection with a scheme to defraud investors of the publicly-traded entity known as Conversion Solutions Holdings Corporation (“CSHC”).

HORTON, STANLEY, and HARRIS were indicted on September 15, 2009. HORTON was arrested on October 17, 2009. STANLEY and HARRIS surrendered today.

According to Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: HARRIS was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of CSHC, STANLEY was the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, and HORTON was the Chief Financial Officer. The indictment alleges that the three defendants conspired to issue false press releases and financial statements about the company for the purpose of inflating the stock price, while at the same time they were secretly transferring their own shares to family members who sold at the inflated prices.

The indictment charges that the defendants allegedly began issuing a series of press releases beginning in approximately August 2006, that publicly claimed CSHC’s ownership or control of entire issuances of foreign sovereign bonds issued by the Republics of Venezuela and Finland. These bonds were, on their face, worth billions of dollars and paid tens of millions in annual interest. In at least one of the press releases, HARRIS was quoted as stating that, based on CSHC’s acquisition of such large quantities of sovereign debt, “we are looking at a new justifiable reorganization release price of $25.63 [per share].” At the time, CSHC shares generally traded at less than approximately $1 per share. The indictment further alleges that, in October 2006, CSHC issued an annual report claiming as much as $800 million in assets, $500 million of which was in the form of foreign sovereign bonds as stated in at least some of the press releases. Also according to this report and its attachments, CSHC's income included $19,869,792 in interest revenue from those bonds.

The indictment alleges that the three defendants knew these public statements were untrue, and that they knew that CSHC had little if any assets of any value and did not own or control the foreign sovereign bonds and other assets that it claimed to have. CSHC also had little if any in the way of revenue or profits from any business activity.

During the weeks that the alleged misrepresentations were being publicly disseminated via press releases and SEC filings, CSHC's stock price on the open market more than tripled. The stock, which was a "penny-stock" trading for less than $1 per share in August 2006, appreciated to more than $3 per share in October 2006. During this time, HARRIS, STANLEY, and HORTON allegedly transferred substantial quantities of CSHC stock to family members and others, who sold the stock in the open market at artificially inflated prices of between $2-$3 per share.

The indictment charges HARRIS, HORTON, and STANLEY with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud each. HARRIS is also charged with one count of providing a false certification of a financial statement. The securities fraud charges carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The false certification of a financial statement charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendants' guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by Postal Inspectors from the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the FBI. This case was referred to the United States Attorney’s Office by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, which previously filed a lawsuit against Conversion Solutions and HARRIS.

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Seeking Information on Tucker, Georgia Bank Robbers

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, requests the public’s assistance regarding information in Monday’s armed robbery of the Suntrust Bank, located at 3603 Chamblee Tucker Road, Tucker, Georgia.

On Monday, November 2, 2009, at approximately 10:16 a.m., two black males entered the Suntrust Bank, 2603 Chamblee Tucker Road, Tucker, Georgia, and announced a bank robbery. At least one of the robbers brandished a black semi automatic handgun. At one point during the robbery, one of the robbers placed the gun to the head of a bank customer and moments later pointed the gun directly at a bank teller. During this take-over style robbery, a bank employee was pulled from a side office and was shot in the leg.

The first robber is described as a being a black male, 6’0” -6’2” in height, slender build, facial hair, possibly wearing a wig, ballcap, and a distinctive orange long-sleeved shirt. The second robber is described as being a black male, 5’8” in height, stocky build. Both individuals, estimated to be in their late 20s or early 30s, were seen initially departing the bank on foot, crossing the main avenue in front of the bank, and getting into a black or dark blue mini van.

The FBI and Dekalb PD are investigating. Anyone with information should call the Atlanta FBI at tel. (404) 679-9000.

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Northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force Announces Arrest

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, announces on behalf of the Northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force, the following arrest:

Rocky Davis Jr., age 21, an EMT and fireman for Walker County, Georgia, was arrested on Friday, October 30, 2009 on state charges related to attempting to solicit a minor child for sex. Davis traveled to Catoosa County, Georgia after having engaged undercover officers/agents of the FBI’s Northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force in a series of chats on the Internet.

Davis is currently incarcerated at the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department jail.

he Northwest Georgia Crimes Against Children Task Force consists of federal agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and officers from the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Dalton Police Department, Dade County Sheriff’s Office, Rossville Police Department, and the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office.

The public is reminded that all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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