Friday, January 30, 2009

Businessman Indicted for Nationwide Fraud Scheme Targeting Christian Audience

JEFFREY W. McLAIN, 52, of Marietta, Georgia, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of mail fraud and wire fraud. McLAIN is expected to appear before a United States Magistrate Judge late this week or early next week. An exact time has not yet been set by the Court.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, “This defendant advertised on Christian radio and used religious themes to sell a so-called ‘guaranteed’ business opportunity. He allegedly defrauded numerous victims of more than $200,000, saying that his so-called system would make them rich, and that it was not only legitimate but had a tone of religious approval. This defendant’s only true mission appears to have been making money by ripping off his customers.”

“U.S. Postal Inspectors are responsible for protecting the sanctity of the nation's mail system. We remain resolute in our investigative efforts to bring those to justice who are responsible for fraudulently utilizing the U.S. Mail system in the furtherance of their schemes. Make no mistake, those who choose this path will not get away with it,” said Martin D. Phanco, Inspector in Charge, Atlanta Division.

According to United States Attorney Nahmias, the indictment and information presented in court: From June 2005 through July 2006, McLAIN operated “Prophet 3H, LLC,” “Prophet 3H, Inc., ” “Georgia Home Health Care License and Certification Institute, Inc.,” (“GHLCI”), and “Healthcare State License and Certification Institute, Inc.,” d/b/a (“HLCI”) (collectively “HLCI”), all located at 1395 Marietta Parkway, Suites 115 and 105, in Marietta, Georgia. McLAIN advertised the businesses to potential customers, claiming they would become millionaires in one year or less by accessing “guaranteed” Medicaid clients.

McLAIN’s advertisements invited prospective customers to learn about his “guaranteed” money-making system at conferences he organized at major hotels and convention centers nationwide. The conferences were typically advertised on Christian radio stations with a large minority audience. “Home Healthcare” charged up to $85 for attendance, and up to $2,400 for the kit that would supposedly enable anyone to implement the system. At the conferences, McLAIN delivered an approximately three-hour motivational speech with religious overtones including comments such as “praise the Lord” and “the Lord taught me business strategy models...and within a year or two years, they became multi-million dollar businesses.”

The indictment alleges that victims were lured by fraudulent claims. In one alleged instance, a radio advertisement in Nashville, Tennessee, featured a testimonial in which the speaker said, “I never would have believed that I could make over $40,000 a month in my healthcare agency,” and “The most rewarding thing about going into healthcare isn’t just the $1.3 million we billed for last year, but serving those who are less fortunate.” McLAIN also claimed that “a $2,400 investment would turn into 15 million dollars, in just five years,” and that participants who agreed to pay his fee would learn how to “[r]etire in 2 to 5 years with an income of $45,000 plus, a month.”

The indictment alleges that these and other claims were false, because the “opportunity” that McLAIN ultimately presented after receiving his customers’ fees was bogus. The “opportunity” began with the suggestion that a customer incorporate two corporations: a healthcare company such as a home healthcare services provider for which the participant would seek Medicaid licensing approval, and a separate non-profit charitable organization. The purpose of the non-profit was to lure Medicaid beneficiaries to divulge their personal identification information, by offering small “donations” in exchange for this information. McLAIN then suggested that the customer would profit either by selling this Medicaid information to McLAIN’s “network,” or by using it to solicit the beneficiary to receive services from the customer’s for-profit health care company.

The indictment alleges that McLAIN purposely omitted material facts, namely that this “opportunity” was illegal in numerous ways. McLAIN’s system would have resulted in violations of the laws pertaining, among things, to the use of non-profit corporations and the conduct of healthcare agencies. Because of the defendant’s fraudulent representations and omissions, purchasers who made substantial investments to pursue this purported legitimate business opportunity could neither establish a business nor realize the wealth as promised by McLAIN. The indictment alleges that there were more than 15 victims, and the total loss amount was over $200,000.

This case is being investigated by federal agents with the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Assistant United States Attorneys Bernita Malloy and Jamila Hall are prosecuting the case.

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Arrest in Bomb Threats Against Atlanta Housing Authority

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, announces the arrest of MICHAEL EZZARD, 46, of Atlanta. EZZARD was arrested by Agents of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) Domestic Terrorism Squad for allegedly making a series of telephonic bomb threats directed against the Atlanta Housing Authority over the period of January 22-26, 2009. The threats resulted in the closure of both the Atlanta Housing Authority and several surrounding streets for three hours on January 22, causing significant disruption to traffic and business in the area. Atlanta Police Department and MARTA Police Department bomb units conducted searches of the Atlanta Housing Authority building, but did not find any bombs.

EZZARD was arrested without incident Tuesday afternoon, pursuant to a Criminal Complaint issued in the Northern District of Georgia, charging him with violating Title 18, Section 844(e) of the United States Code. He is expected to make an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate tomorrow, Friday, January 28th.

The JTTF is an FBI-led, multi-agency task force consisting of 22 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including Department of State, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Transportation Security Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Protective Service, United States Marshals Service, United States Postal Service, United States Army, United States Secret Service, United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Gwinnett County Police Department, , Dekalb County Police Department, Fulton County Police Department, Cobb County Police Department, Henry County Police Department, Atlanta Police Department, MARTA Police Department, Forest Park Police Department, and Doraville Police Department

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

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Poll Finds Strong Support Across Racial and Ideological Lines for Improving Rehabilitation Services for Prisoners and Ex-Offenders

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent poll has found that Americans across the country and in Georgia overwhelmingly support providing progressive rehabilitation and education services for inmates and ex-offenders recently released from prison, underscoring that the nation appears ready to shift criminal justice policies away from mass incarceration, which has not been making communities safer.

Seventy-two percent of respondents nationally and 86 percent of those in Georgia said they are concerned about crime in their community, according to the poll conducted in December 2008 by Zogby International for Community Voices at Morehouse School of Medicine. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of respondents said it is "very important" to improve access to job training, drug treatment, mental health care, mentoring and family assistance before and after inmates are released.

"The poll results strongly indicate that Americans have determined that mass incarceration of criminals, a policy that has been in existence since the 1960s, is not making their neighborhoods safer," said Dr. Henrie Treadwell, director of the Community Voices program. "The nation is crying out for a new policy that rehabilitates criminals and better prepares them to be productive when they are released."

Dr. Treadwell noted that largely because of tougher sentencing, particularly for drug convictions, the incarceration rate in the United States is the highest in the world at 715 inmates per 100,000 residents, far outdistancing the Russians, who are second at 584 per 100,000.

"Communities recognize that the mass incarceration policy needs to be replaced with a mass rehabilitation policy," Dr. Treadwell said. "Our neighborhoods need better health, education, job training and counseling services for inmates that are returning to their communities."

Among the poll results indicating that Americans want to move in that direction:

-- 70 percent of the national respondents and 69 percent of Georgians
said they would rather see additional state money spent on treatment
programs and other services for ex-offenders than on constructing new
-- 93 percent nationally and 91 percent in Georgia said that former
felons should be provided with job training.
-- Overwhelming percentages supported providing student loans (80 percent
nationally, 78 percent Georgia), public housing (79 percent
nationally, 73 percent Georgia) and medical services (88 percent
nationally, 84 percent Georgia).

The poll findings cut across ideological lines. Of the 1,039 people interviewed nationally, only 20 percent identified themselves as liberals, while the remainder were moderate (27 percent), conservative (33 percent), very conservative (8 percent) or non-ideological (12 percent). Strong agreement across racial-ethnic lines was found in a national sample that was 74 percent white, 13 percent African-American and 9 percent Hispanic.

"Clearly, Americans are looking for public policies that make communities safer and don't just lock people up to make them more hardened criminals when they are released," Dr. Treadwell said. "We have new leadership in Washington. Hopefully, ending mass incarceration and vastly improving rehabilitation services will be a critical part of the 'change' agenda."

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

City of Newnan Police Warns Citizens of Internet Scams

According to Newnan Police Department this another internet scam. The City of Newnan Police would like to remind all citizens about internet identity scams. These kinds of emails can be sent to you at anytime. Recently, the City of Newnan Police received a mass email from Douglas Randall claiming the recipients won money only if they sent their personal information including bank accounts to him. Please do not send any of your personal information over the internet. Citizens need to stay alert to these kinds of emails and be vigilante in not falling for the these scams

Identity theft and fraud occur when someone gets access to your personal information, such as credit card accounts, social security and driver’s license numbers or bank information. That person then uses that obtained information to apply for a credit card, make unauthorized purchases or apply for a loan in your name.

Often you do not realize that you have been a victim of identity theft or fraud until you receive a call from a collection agency about a bill that you did not charge. Or you get your monthly credit card statement and find purchases on the bill that you did not make. By this time it will require some time and effort on your part to set the various records straight and clean up your accounts.

How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft and Fraud

There are steps you can take to minimize your risk of encountering fraud or identity theft in your own affairs. First, keep your personal information private and in a secure location. Do not offer your sensitive information to anyone over the phone or via the internet unless you are confident that it is a legitimate business. Never give out your social security number unless it is absolutely necessary. Don’t keep documents with account numbers or passwords in your car, where someone could find them easily if your car was broken into.

Shred any and all documents that contain important financial information, as well as your address and phone number before throwing them away. If you do lose your purse or wallet, report the incident immediately to all necessary companies, including credit reporting agencies. This will ensure that banks and credit card companies will be on the lookout for identity theft and fraud on your account.
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

MADD Georgia Takes Charge of Georgia Tech Program to Provide Training for Alcohol Sellers and Servers

On average, someone is killed by a drunk driver every 40 minutes, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Because MADD has been fiercely committed to eliminating drunk driving and preventing underage drinking, the Georgia chapter has agreed to assume responsibility for implementing the Responsible Alcohol Sales & Server Training (RASS) program beginning January 30. Access to the training can be found at

Initial implementation of the free, online program began at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004 as part of GT SMART (Students Managing Alcohol Risk at Tech). With the grant project ending, GT SMART Director Marsha Brinkley has focused her efforts on finding an “institutional home” for RASS and other GT SMART programs.

RASS, the first online, interactive program of its type offered in the state, was designed to help alcohol licensees and their employees understand state laws -- specifically learning how to identify fake IDs and knowing when to stop service when necessary. The program was initially launched in Atlanta and, by request, began including counties throughout the state. In the past four years, it has expanded to 30 counties, 448 establishments and more than 6,800 enrollees in the alcohol-service industry.

“User surveys indicate that the program continues to have a positive impact on managers, servers and sales staff members who believe that RASS has helped them become more familiar with Georgia liquor laws and how they can take appropriate action when the laws are violated,” said Brinkley.

According to State Executive Director for MADD Georgia Denise Thames, assuming proprietorship of the RASS program reinforces MADD’S mission. “RASS fits right in with our mission to stop drunk driving and to prevent underage drinking,” concluded Thames.
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National Auto Fraud and Theft Prevention System Goes Live

The U.S. Department of Justice today announced the availability of an online computer system to help protect states and consumers from automobile fraud and to provide law enforcement with new tools to investigate fraud, theft, and other crimes involving vehicles. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, or NMVTIS, will be available for consumers on January 30, 2009 and will be accessible through third party, fee-for-service websites. The Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers NMVTIS in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The system allows state motor vehicle administrators to verify and exchange titling and brand data and provides law enforcement officials, consumers, and others with critical information regarding vehicle histories. Consumers now have access to the vehicle’s brand history, odometer data, and basic vehicle information and can be redirected to the current state of record to access the full title record if available. Law enforcement can track the vehicle’s status from state to state by accessing the system directly.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, car theft is a profitable business generating nearly $8 billion a year. Along with implementing this system, the Department has outlined the various responsibilities and reporting requirements for states, auto recyclers, junk yards and salvage yards, and insurance carriers. The Department has designed the system consistent with federal law that requires that the system be paid for through user fees and not dependent on federal funding.

Since 1997, the Department of Justice has committed over $15 million to assist states and other stakeholders in the implementation of NMVTIS. Currently, NMVTIS has the participation, or partial participation, of 36 states. Ultimately, with full participation from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, NMVTIS will prevent stolen motor vehicles, including clones, from entering into interstate commerce; protect states and consumers from fraud; reduce the use of stolen vehicles for illicit purposes including fundraising for criminal enterprises; and provide consumer protection from unsafe vehicles. In research conducted by the Logistics Management Institute, the system is estimated to save taxpayers between $4 and $11 billion each year. For further information on NMVTIS, visit

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fayetteville: Citizens Police Academy

In an effort to increase the community involvement with the Fayetteville Police Department and offer insight into the services we provide we will be hosting the third annual Citizens Police Academy at the Fayetteville Police Department.

The purpose of the Citizens Police Academy is to foster better communication between citizens and police through education. The Academy will create a nucleus of well-informed citizens who possess greater insight into police practices and services. Graduates of the Academy can share their knowledge and experiences with the community as the opportunity arises. Everyone benefits from enhancing citizen understanding of the role and function of their police department.

The Citizens Police Academy will consist of 2-hour classes held each week on Tuesday nights from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, for a duration of twelve weeks. This instruction is comprehensive, covering a different area of the Police Department each week. Certified police officers, supervisors, and civilian instructors with particular expertise will conduct classes on each topic. Additional activities such as “ride-alongs” with officers and firearms training will be included in the Academy. The first class will be held March 17th, 2008 and will run each week until graduation on June 2nd, 2009. All classes are free.

Anyone interested in attending the Academy can pick up an application at the Fayetteville Police Department located at 760 Jimmie Mayfield Blvd, during normal business hours. The class is limited to the first 25 qualified applicants. The deadline for turning in applications is February 13, 2008 at 5pm.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Governor Perdue Introduces Super Speeder Legislation

Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that State Representative Jim Cole, the Governor’s senior floor leader in the House, has introduced the Governor’s “Super Speeder” legislation, HB 160, to the General Assembly. The legislation will help reduce traumatic automobile accidents and provide funds for trauma care in the state.

“Traffic accidents exact an enormous toll on our state,” said Governor Perdue. “This legislation will save lives by discouraging reckless behavior and by providing critical additional funds for trauma care.”

In 2007, traffic accidents on Georgia’s roadways caused more than 1,600 fatalities. The overall cost of accidents totals $7.8 billion a year. The Super Speeder legislation would generate approximately $23 million that could be spent to improve state’s trauma care network.

“This is extremely important legislation not only to me but to the state of Georgia as a whole,” said Representative Cole. “We must do all we can to help make our roads and highways as safe as possible. The bottom line is this: Super Speeder will both directly and indirectly save the lives of Georgians.”

The principle behind the Super Speeder legislation is that it discourages trauma-causing behavior by increasing fines for dangerous drivers. The legislation would add an additional $200 fine for driving over 85 mph anywhere in the state and for driving 75 mph or more on a two lane road. Super Speeders will also increase driver’s license reinstatement fees for drivers committing a second and third offense for violations that result in a suspended license and for other negligent behaviors.
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Monday, January 26, 2009

FBI Safe Child Task Force Arrest in Georgia

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, announces the arrest of 42 year-old RUSSELL EDWARD WORSHAM. Worsham was arrested by Agents of the FBI’s Safe Child Task Force (SCTF) on Friday afternoon, January 23, 2009, for using an interstate telecommunications device (a computer) to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. A criminal complaint issued in the Northern District of Georgia charges Worsham with violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b).

Worsham, an appliance repairman from Macon, Georgia, allegedly engaged in a series of internet conversations with what he believed was the mother of girl under the age of 10. During these conversations, Worsham allegedly made plans with the mother to travel from Macon to Atlanta in order to engage in sexual behavior with the child. In fact, both the mother and daughter were fictional, and Worsham was having the aforementioned conversations with an SCTF Agent acting in an undercover capacity. Worsham was arrested without incident upon his arrival at the agreed upon meeting place.

Worsham is expected to make an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate later today.

The Safe Child Task Force is comprised of FBI Agents working alongside Task Force Agents from the Sandy Springs Police Department, Lawrenceville Police Department, Tyrone Police Department, Roswell Police Department, Rome Police Department, Alpharetta Police Department, Clayton County Police Department, Duluth Police Department, and the Henry County Police Department.

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

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Human Rights Advocates Face Six Months in Federal Prison for Nonviolent Direct Action Opposing the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC)

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Monday, January 26, 2009, six human rights advocates will begin federal trials for carrying the protest against the School of the Americas onto the Fort Benning military base in Georgia. This school, re-named the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, is a controversial U.S. Army training school for Latin American soldiers. Each person faces up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine for this act of nonviolent civil disobedience.

The 6 were among the tens of thousands who gathered on November 22-23, 2008 outside the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia to demand a change in U.S.-Latin America foreign policy and the closure of the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC). The group peacefully crossed onto Ft. Benning in memory of those killed by graduates of the institution.

The "SOA 6" are:

Sr. Diane Pinchot, OSU, from Cleveland, Ohio
Theresa Cusimano, Denver, Colorado
Father Luis Barrios, from North Bergen, NJ
Al Simmons, from Richmond, Virginia
Louis Wolf, from Washington, DC
Kristen Holm, from Chicago, Illinois

The SOA/WHINSEC, a military training facility for Latin American security personnel located at Fort Benning, Georgia, made headlines in 1996 when the Pentagon released training manuals used at the school that advocated torture, extortion and execution. In spite of an aggressive international PR campaign and lobbying efforts on behalf of WHINSEC, support for the institute continues to erode. With over thirty-five Representatives who voted to continue funding the SOA/WHINSEC losing their seats in Congress in November 2008, human rights advocates have their sights set on pressuring the new Congress to permanently shut down the school in 2009. The last vote to defund the SOA/WHINSEC, in 2007, lost by a margin of only six votes.

The trial at the Federal Court in Columbus, Georgia will begin at 9am before Judge G. Mallon Faircloth, known for handing down stiff sentences to SOA/WHINSEC opponents. Since protests against the SOA/WHINSEC began 19 years ago, 237 people have served prison sentences of up to two years for nonviolent civil disobedience.

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Opinion: Keeping America Safe: The View from the FBI

Re “Focus on Immigration Crimes Is Said to Shortchange Other Cases” (front page, Jan. 12): The FBI remains highly committed to the investigation of public corruption and organized crime.

First, uncovering and investigating public corruption by public officials at all levels remains the top criminal priority for the FBI. Today, more FBI agents are assigned to public corruption than ever before, an increase of 38 percent since 2003. Over the past three years, the FBI helped prosecute nearly 2,500 corrupt local, state, and federal officials—a substantial increase over the previous three years and the highest number of prosecutions for such a period ever.

Second, after 9/11, with the FBI’s shift of some resources to fight terrorism, the larger white-collar crime program was restructured. Fewer cases were opened involving “low-hanging fruit” investigations and comparatively small amounts of money. State and local authorities have the jurisdiction to investigate these crimes. FBI resources have targeted corporate and securities fraud, which poses the greatest threat to the nation’s economic security.

Finally, today there are three times as many organized-crime task forces across the country and around the world than at the time of 9/11. Given the counterterrorism and counterintelligence demands, there are fewer FBI agents dedicated to organized crime. But the impact has not diminished: More arrests were made last year than in any year since 2001.

Necessarily, following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the FBI shifted resources to strengthen national security. But there has been no reduction in its commitment to keep America safe—whether from traditional crimes, terrorism, or foreign intelligence collection.

John J. Miller
FBI Assistant Director
for Public Affairs

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fire Chiefs Association Signs Employer Support Statement

The International Association of Fire Chiefs joined thousands of other American employers of National Guardsmen and reservists today when its president and executive director signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve statement of support.

"The first-responder employer segment is one of the largest employers of National Guardsmen and reservists in the country," said Thomas F. Hall, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs. "Police chiefs, fire chiefs [and] emergency medical technicians are sort of a natural fit with the military, and many of them are with the Guard and reserve.

"So when they deploy and our employers support them, it means so much to the families," he added

Established in 1873, the association is a network of nearly 13,000 chief fire and emergency service officers.

Association President Larry J. Grorud also signed a statement.

"We understand the solemn duty of serving our communities and nation, and we support National Guardsmen and reservists," the Janesville, Wis., fire chief, said. "As employers we have the responsibility to support their service to their country."

He also challenged all the International Association of Fire Chiefs' member fire chiefs and emergency medical service managers to join him in signing statements of support to publicly honor their employees.

"I call on all fire chiefs to join me in publicly expressing [their] support for the brave men and women who have chosen [to serve in] the National Guard and reserves," Grorud said.

The 18 board members here for the association's annual board meeting met that challenge immediately, singing statements of support on behalf of their fire departments.

"I think the secretary said it best. The fire service and the military are so similar. The fire service really is a paramilitary organization," said Grorud, who served three years in the Army, including one in Vietnam. "I think there's a common thread there that bonds, and I think that's probably why you saw the entire board get up and sign that statement for their departments. I'm really proud of them."

The statement of support is a pledge to:

-- Fully recognize, honor and enforce military employment law;

-- Provide managers and supervisors with tools to manage employees who serve in the National Guard and reserves; and

-- Continually recognize and support the country's servicemembers and their families in peace, in crises and in war.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Defense Department agency established in 1972. Its mission is to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and reserve service by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law, and resolving conflicts between employers and military employees through mediation.
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Terrill Marion Crane Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography

Any potential victims or anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 404-679-9000

TERRILL MARION CRANE, 49, of Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. to one count of producing child pornography.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said of today’s plea, “This case goes back a number of years, which makes the list of victims longer and the facts of the case even more disturbing. This defendant sexually exploited numerous young girls and that unforgivable criminal conduct went unchecked for years even after being brought to the attention of the Atlanta Police Department. The FBI continues to try to identify all victims involved with this defendant, and we will work to make sure there are no more.”

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and other information presented in court: Beginning in 1999, CRANE approached young girls in the Atlanta area and attempted to solicit them for sexual favors in exchange for cash. In most cases, CRANE took photos or directed photos to be taken of the sexual encounters. In 2003, CRANE’s wife, who was then a Sergeant with the Atlanta Police Department, got a call from an unidentified person at APD Headquarters advising that APD had photographs of her husband in the sexual encounters. CRANE’s wife said she found and destroyed some of the photographs by burning them. Even after that time, the sexual activity with the young females, many of them middle school age, continued. In October 2007, APD officers advised the FBI of photographic evidence involving 11 girls, most of them middle school age, which had been provided to APD by a film development store in 2000.

After FBI investigation with the assistance of APD, on November 20, 2007, FBI agents executed a federal search warrant for CRANE’s Atlanta residence on Beecher Road. Agents found undeveloped film, including some from disposable cameras, later shown to be CRANE engaged in sexual activity with the girls, including two additional girls, and nude photos of some of the girls alone. Some of the girls in the photos found at CRANE’s residence have still not been identified. CRANE claimed to agents that some of the girls in the photographs were 20 years old, but several of the identified victims were minors at the time of the sexual activity and photographs and others appear to be minors. Some of the photos depicting young girls seized from CRANE’s residence are identical to some of the photographs initially provided to APD in 2000.

Sentencing for CRANE is set for March 27, 2009, at 11a.m. before Judge Thrash. CRANE faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the charge. 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.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its Safe Child Task Force.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Brown is prosecuting the case.

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Suspicious White Powder Letters Postmarked from Knoxville Received in New York and Massachusetts

On Wednesday January 21, approximately 13 powder-laden envelopes were received at the office of the Wall Street Journal in New York City. The letters reportedly bear a Knoxville, Tennessee postmark. New York City Police Department's Emergency Services Unit and the FBI responded to the scene and are testing the letters to determine whether they contain a hazardous substance.

An additional letter was also received today at Harvard Law School addressed to Alan Dershowitz. This letter was also postmarked Knoxville, Tennessee.

“Right now our first priority is the safety of our citizens,” said Richard Lambert, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Knoxville. “We take these matters seriously and will investigate all leads to determine who sent the letters and why.”

This investigation is being conducted by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces in New York, Boston and Knoxville in partnership with the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Anyone with information concerning who may be sending these letters is requested to contact the Knoxville FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force at 865-470-0007 or at

If you receive a letter, please notify the FBI and your local authorities. Information on how to handle suspicious mail can be found at

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Security Guard Sentenced for Possessing Child Pornograpghy and Impersonating FBI Agent

DOUGLAS YUTAKA RHOADES, 43, of Jonesboro, Georgia, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr., to serve more than 5 years in prison on charges of possessing child pornography and falsely impersonating a federal agent.

"This defendant claimed to be an FBI agent who investigated child pornography cases, but in reality he was a security guard who collected child pornography," said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. "Through his lie of being an FBI agent, he tried to trick others into entrusting the care of their young children to him. Today's sentence is a just outcome for a depraved man who tried to trade on the trust that the FBI has built with the American people. This sentence also underscores the harsh consequences for people who possess images of children being sexually exploited and thereby support the creation of child pornography."

RHOADES was sentenced to 5 years, 3 months in prison to be followed by supervised release for the rest of his life. RHOADES pleaded guilty to the charges on November 3, 2008.

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: Beginning in January 2008, Clayton County Police were investigating allegations of child molestation involving RHOADES. Witnesses informed the police that RHOADES stated that he was a Special Agent of the FBI assigned to the cyber crime unit. According to one witness, RHOADES claimed to work on child pornography investigations. Clayton County Police then contacted the FBI, who checked their records and determined that RHOADES was not and had never been an FBI employee. When FBI agents arrested RHOADES pursuant to a federal arrest warrant, they found a fraudulent FBI badge and identification as well as numerous computer discs with handwritten labels suggesting that they contained child pornography. A federal judge issued a search warrant for RHOADES' home and vehicle, and agents found discs containing approximately 800 images of prepubescent girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, the FBI located a video of a "wedding" between RHOADES and a girl under the age of twelve along with written "wedding vows" between RHOADES and the child. At the time of his arrest, RHOADES was working as a security guard.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney's Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Clayton County Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul Jones prosecuted the case.

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A Third Former Home Depot Employee Pleads Guilty to Kickback Scheme

RONALD K. JOHNSTON, 37, of Atlanta, Georgia, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of filing a false tax return, arising out of a scheme to defraud Home Depot.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, "This is the third former Home Depot employee who has now admitted accepting bribes from the company's foreign suppliers and then not reporting or paying taxes on that illegal income. This type of conduct corrupts the honest operation of American businesses, and those who pay, receive, or solicit such payoffs risk federal prosecution."

"Kickback schemes undermine the competitive process," said Deborah A. Garza, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division. "Today's plea underscores the importance of holding accountable individuals who participate in such conspiracies."

IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent In Charge Reginael D. McDaniel said, "The prosecution of individuals who conceal their income from the IRS, even if obtained from illegal activity, is a vital element in maintaining public confidence in our tax system. We should not expect the honest taxpayer to foot the bill for those who choose not to pay their fair share."

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and information presented in court: Between 2005 and 2007, JOHNSTON, a former Merchant for Flooring, participated in a conspiracy to defraud Home Depot by taking kickbacks from foreign suppliers seeking to do business with Home Depot. JOHNSTON arranged for Home Depot to purchase items for resale on less than the most advantageous terms to the company. Another former Home Depot employee, ANTHONY TESVICH, who pleaded guilty last June to similar offenses, received millions of dollars in bribes from foreign suppliers and passed on to JOHNSTON through kickbacks hundreds of thousands of dollars and also made payments to a home improvement company for work on JOHNSTON'S residence. In July 2008, another former Home Depot employee, JAMES P. ROBINSON, also pleaded guilty to similar charges arising out of his participation in this scheme to defraud Home Depot.

JOHNSTON also pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return by underreporting his income for tax years 2005 ($60,108 in unreported income); and 2006 ($125,893 in unreported income).

JOHNSTON could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge, and a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison on each tax charge. JOHNSTON also could be fined up to $250,000 on each count. 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. JOHNSTON is scheduled to be sentenced on April 1, 2009, at 3:30 p.m., before United States Judge Richard W. Story.

This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Home Depot has cooperated in the federal investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by John R. Fitzpatrick and Barbara W. Cash, Trial Attorneys for the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Atlanta Field Office, and Assistant United States Attorney Russell Phillips, with assistance from Assistant United States Attorney Sally Molloy.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chiropractor Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding Health Care Companie of Over $1.2 Million

STEPHEN CATTERTON, 39, of Norcross, Georgia, was sentenced January 14 by United States District Judge Jack T. Camp on charges of health care fraud and possession with intent to distribute testosterone.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, “This defendant lied to insurers about what services he was providing to patients, defrauding the insurers of more than $1.2 million. False claims like these underlie many of our health care fraud cases, and lead to higher health care costs for everyone.”

CATTERTON was sentenced to 3 years, 1 month in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,288,598.26, and ordered to serve 300 hours of community service. CATTERTON pleaded guilty to the charges on September 30, 2008.

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: CATTERTON was a licensed chiropractor in the State of Georgia. In 1998, CATTERTON opened two chiropractic clinics, “Catterton Chiropractic, P.C.” and “Citadel Healthcare Group,” both of which were located in Norcross, Georgia. In 2006, the FBI initiated a criminal investigation into the activities of CATTERTON for the submission of false claims to federal and private health insurance companies. As a result of the FBI’s investigation, it was determined that between June 2001 and December 2006, CATTERTON billed in excess of $3 million, and was paid in excess of $1.275 million from various health care benefit programs for services he never performed or provided. In some instances, billing codes for more advanced procedures were used when in fact patients only received massages. CATTERTON modified the billings for the services that were actually performed to maximize his reimbursement from the insurance companies. In addition, when agents executed a search warrant on CATTERTON’s business in October 2006, they seized bottles of injectable testosterone, typically used for anti-aging and hormone replacement therapy. CATTERTON was not licensed to distribute such materials.

As part of his plea agreement, CATTERTON agreed to make full restitution to the victims of the offense.

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

Assistant United States Attorney Zahra S. Karinshak prosecuted the case.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

This week on America's Most Wanted; 1/17/09

Esnel Jean: North Miami detectives will never forget the gruesome sight of a woman and two children killed and buried in a homemade crypt. They say the man behind the horrific murders is Esnel Jean, a Haitian voodoo priest. Jean remains the focus of an international manhunt and they need your help to help capture him.

Bradley and Luann Chase: Bradley Chase is back in Indiana after eight years on the run. Chase and his wife Luann were captured in October after appearing on Fifteen Seconds of Shame. It only took AMW viewers 12 hours to capture the duo after they got the publicity they never wanted.

Yaser Said: They say he killed his daughters. In a crime that shocked the nation, two young women were found shot to death in the back of a taxi, and their father is one of the nation's most-wanted men.

Joseph Quartieri: It looked as if AMW tips had heated up the cold case of a mobster accused of almost killing a cop in a botched robbery in 1979. But when the leads started to unfold, U.S. Marshals were in for a strange twist.

Lance Atkins: On Sept. 10, 2008, while attending a birthday party, cops say Lance Atkins got into a heated argument with his sister's boyfriend, Corey Bowman. Cops say Lance got angry, pulled a gun and shot Corey before fleeing the scene.

Anthony Thomas: The U.S. Marshals are hunting a man who they say has a terrible obsession: child pornography. Cops say Anthony Thomas, of Lafayette, La., looked at child pornography websites on his work computer, and a grand jury handed down an indictment against him, but now he's nowhere to be found.

Ricardo Rivera-Torres: Police are looking for Ricardo Juan Rivera-Torres, who they say killed a man in a botched Harrisburg, Pa. robbery. Police say they've rounded up Rivera-Torres' co-conspirators, and now they need your help to take down the last man standing.

Ronald Jackson: Cops in Henrico County, Va. say a brazen daytime break-in left one man seriously injured and another man on the run from law enforcement. Cops say Ronald Jackson is wanted for breaking into a neighbor's home and stabbing his victim seven times with a screwdriver.

Unknown Tim Edwards Killer: After just one visit to Montana Del Oso Ranch in New Mexico, Tim Edwards knew he had found a place to retire. Captivated by the scenery and sunsets, Tim and his wife Lynn moved to the ranch from Arizona, but the land was hiding a deadly secret.

Ramon Gaspar: Police say a 29-year-old woman was resting at a Los Angeles hospital after a surgery when a male nursing assistant, Ramon Eduardo Gaspar, entered her room and molested her.

Unknown Silver Nugget Shooter: On June 25, 2006, someone opened fire inside the Silver Nugget Casino in North Las Vegas, Nev. Cops need you to look at the surveillance video, and they need your tips to bring the shooter to justice.

Adji Desir: Adji Desir, a 6-year-old developmentally disabled Florida boy, has been missing since Saturday, Jan. 11, 2009. Police need your help to bring him home to his family.

Unknown “Cheerleader Letters” Author: Dozens of mysterious letters containing a powdery substance are popping up all over the country and federal agents, including the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspector, are on the manhunt for the sender -- who has been deemed a domestic terrorist.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The GEO Group Announces Opening of 192-Bed Expansion of 576-Bed Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility in Georgia

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The GEO Group (NYSE:GEO) (“GEO”) announced today the opening of a 192-bed expansion of the 576-bed Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility (the “Facility”) in Lovejoy, Georgia. GEO manages the Facility under a 20-year contract, inclusive of three five-year option periods, with the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee. GEO leases the Facility from the County under a 20-year agreement, with two five-year renewal options. The Facility houses detainees under custody of the United States Marshals Service.

GEO expects to complete the intake of 192 detainees in the first quarter of 2009. At the current 576-bed occupancy level, the Facility generates approximately $16.0 million in annual operating revenues. GEO expects the 192-bed expansion to generate approximately $4.0 million in additional annual operating revenues.

George C. Zoley, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of GEO, said, “We are looking forward to the successful ramp-up of this important expansion. The Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility plays a critical role in helping meet the demand for Federal bed-space as a regional detention center in the southeastern United States. We look forward to building on our partnership with the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee, the U.S. Marshals Service, and Clayton County, Georgia.”

The GEO Group, Inc. ("GEO") is a world leader in the delivery of correctional, detention, and residential treatment services to federal, state, and local government agencies around the globe. GEO offers a turnkey approach that includes design, construction, financing, and operations. GEO represents government clients in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. GEO’s worldwide operations include the management and/or ownership of 62 correctional and residential treatment facilities with a total design capacity of approximately 60,000 beds, including projects under development.

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events and future performance of GEO that involve risks and uncertainties that could materially affect actual results, including statements regarding estimated earnings, revenues and costs and our ability to maintain growth and strengthen contract relationships. Factors that could cause actual results to vary from current expectations and forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to: (1) GEO's ability to successfully pursue further growth and continue to enhance shareholder value; (2) GEO's ability to access the capital markets in the future on satisfactory terms or at all; (3) risks associated with GEO's ability to control operating costs associated with contract start-ups; (4) GEO's ability to timely open facilities as planned, profitably manage such facilities and successfully integrate such facilities into GEO's operations without substantial costs; (5) GEO's ability to win management contracts for which it has submitted proposals and to retain existing management contracts; (6) GEO's ability to obtain future financing on acceptable terms; (7) GEO's ability to sustain company- wide occupancy rates at its facilities; and (8) other factors contained in GEO's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including the forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K reports.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Department of Justice Observes AMBER Alert Awareness Day

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Justice commemorated the 13-year anniversary of the AMBER Alert program today by outlining its tremendous success and announcing the latest tool to aid in the search for missing persons.

The PROTECT Act, which President Bush signed into law in April 2003, statutorily established the national AMBER Alert Coordinator role within the Department of Justice. Since that time, AMBER Alert has made remarkable progress:

-- All 50 states have statewide AMBER Alert plans, creating a network of
systems to aid in the recovery of abducted children nationwide.
-- A secondary distribution effort undertaken in partnership with
wireless companies, online service providers, and other private and
public entities enables AMBER Alerts to be sent directly to the
-- Tribal nations are working to develop their own plans tailored to
their specific needs so that children in Indian country may benefit
from AMBER Alert.
-- More than 90 percent of the 432 AMBER Alert recoveries have occurred
since the program became a nationally coordinated effort in 2002.
-- Anecdotal evidence suggests that perpetrators are well aware of the
power of AMBER Alert, and in many cases have released an abducted
child upon hearing the alert.

"The Department of Justice leads our federal government's commitment to protecting children and to supporting families at every possible place of vulnerability in our society," said Office of Justice Programs' Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey L. Sedgwick, who serves as the National Amber Alert Coordinator. "Over 400 children have been recovered as a result of the Amber Alert network. This unprecedented partnership between law enforcement, alert citizens, and the news media continues to be one of the most effective tools employed to protect children."

On January 13, 1996, Amber Hagerman was abducted while riding her bicycle and then brutally murdered. The AMBER (America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert network was created after her tragic death to provide emergency broadcast messages to the public when law enforcement determines that a child has been abducted. AMBER Alert broadcasts include information about the child and the abductor, including physical descriptions and information about the abductor's vehicle, which could lead to the child's recovery.

In a related effort, the Department of Justice is raising awareness about its latest public resource to aid in the search for the missing. The Department's National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) Initiative consists of a missing persons database and a database of unidentified remains which will ultimately interconnect to search and match records later this year. The missing persons component of NamUs is now available to accept missing persons data from law enforcement and the public at The unidentified remains component of NamUs was launched in 2007 and currently serves as the nation's sole repository for information on unidentified remains.

NamUs provides access nationally to criminal justice personnel and the general public for reporting, locating, and matching missing persons to unidentified remains records. The NamUs initiative has been supported by a number of key participants in the nation's effort to solve missing persons cases, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Individuals can search the NamUs database using characteristics such as demographics, anthropologic assessments, dental information, and distinct body features.

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3.4 Million People Report Being Stalked in the United States

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An estimated 3.4 million persons identified themselves as victims of stalking during a 12-month period in 2005 and 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. About half of these victims experienced at least one unwanted contact per week from the offender and 11 percent had been stalked for five or more years.

Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Individuals must have feared for their safety or that of a family member as a result of the course of conduct, or have experienced additional threatening behaviors. Individuals were classified as stalking victims if they responded that they experienced at least one of seven types of stalking behaviors on two or more separate occasions.

The most common types of stalking behavior reported by victims were receiving unwanted phone calls from the offender (66 percent), receiving unsolicited letters or email (31 percent), or having rumors spread about them (36 percent). Nearly a third of victims reported that offenders were equally likely to show up at places with no reason to be there or wait for the victim at a particular location.

Technology has become a quick and easy way for stalkers to monitor and harass their victims. More than one in four stalking victims reported that some form of cyberstalking was used, such as email (83 percent of all cyberstalking victims) or instant messaging (35 percent). Electronic monitoring of some kind was used to stalk one in 13 victims. Video or digital cameras were equally likely as listening devices or bugs to be used to track victims.

Nearly 75 percent of victims knew their offender in some capacity, and about one-tenth of all victims were stalked by a stranger. Stalking victims most often identified the stalker as a former intimate (22 percent) or a friend, roommate, or neighbor (16 percent).

Depending upon the severity of the stalking, victims suffered a range of emotions as they experienced stalking. The most common fears cited by victims were not knowing what would happen next (46 percent) and being afraid the behavior would never stop (29 percent). Nine percent of stalking victims reported that their worst fear was death.

About 130,000 victims reported that they had been fired or asked to leave their job because of the stalking. About one in eight of all employed stalking victims lost time from work because of fear for their safety or to pursue activities such as getting a restraining order or testifying in court. More than half of these victims lost five days or more from work.

This report is based on the largest data collection of stalking behavior to date. Data were collected by the Supplemental Victimization Survey (SVS), a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, and was sponsored by the Office on Violence Against Women. The SVS data collection was conducted over a six-month period in 2006. All survey respondents age 18 or older were eligible for the supplement.

The report, Stalking Victimization in the United States (NCJ 224527), was written by BJS statisticians Katrina Baum, Shannan Catalano, Michael Rand, and Kristina Rose of the National Institute of Justice. Following publication, the report can be found at

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Protect Yourself from Stalkers

/PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 10 percent of women and two percent of men in the United States have been stalked with an average risk of physical violence incidence of nearly 40% - Rosenfeld, B. "Violence Risk Factors in Stalking and Obsessional Harassment."

Stalkers with a prior intimate relationship are more likely to verbally intimidate and physically harm their victims than strangers, with the potential for violence four times higher than strangers. The strongest risk factors for violence are: 1) threats and intimidation; 2) the existence of prior intimate relationships; and 3) substance abuse. The emotional damage of stalking and threats increases the prevalence of anxiety, insomnia, social dysfunction, and severe depression among victims. The incidents of stalking increase during stressful economic environments and is reflected in increases in Cyber-stalking.

Employers can, and have been, held responsible for protecting employees against stalkers and domestic violence, which can be costly in terms of liability and loss of productivity. Companies should establish policies for educating employees and procedures anonymous reporting to protect privacy and safety of victims or potential victims. If someone believes they are being stalked, they should take action, including

-- Obtain a private Post Office (P.O. Box) for all mail, including
magazine subscriptions and the use the P.O. Box on your driver's
license. Do not file a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service,
notify friends, utilities and others directly.
-- Set-up Google or other search engines alerts for your name to monitor
online traffic and remove your personal information availability
online such as telephone number, address, etc.
-- Sign up for your state's address confidentiality program and obtain an
unpublished and unlisted phone number and avoid calling toll-free 800,
866, 888, 877 and 900 number services.
-- Don't list your name in an apartment building directory, use a
variation for visitors
-- Be very protective of your Social Security number and alert the three
credit bureaus - Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. Put a fraud alert
on your credit reports to avoid fraudulent access.
-- Make a police report and keep a log of every stalking incident. Save
all communications for evidence. Do not edit or alter them in any way.
-- Consider getting professional counseling and/or seeking help from a
victims support group.
-- If you are a victim of Cyber-stalking, act promptly and firmly to
defuse the situation. Take potential threats seriously.
-- If you are receiving unwanted contact, make clear to that person that
you would like him or her not to contact you again.

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Cedartown Flooring Installer Now Going to Federal Prison for Running Drug Ring

DARRELL GENE PHILLIPS, 52, of Cedartown, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 47 years in federal prison today by United States District Judge Harold L. Murphy on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine and possession of a firearm, relating to a drug trafficking scheme.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said of the case, “This sentencing caps an investigation that successfully shut down a pipeline of methamphetamine from Mexico, through Atlanta, and into northwest Georgia. This defendant and others were responsible for bringing pounds of methamphetamine into northwest Georgia and distributing it through a network of dealers. If agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with officers of the Haralson County - Paulding County Drug Task Force had not stepped in, this organization would have continued to flood the area with this insidious poison.”

PHILLIPS was sentenced to 47 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. PHILLIPS was convicted of these charges by a federal jury sitting in Rome, Georgia, on October 23, 2008.

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: From May through October 2007, PHILLIPS arranged to bring into northwest Georgia nearly 20 pounds of methamphetamine that was purchased from Mexican sources in the metro-Atlanta area. PHILLIPS, who at the time also owned his own hardwood flooring business, distributed the methamphetamine from his home in a quiet Cedartown, Georgia, subdivision to sellers in the area who, in turn, sold the drugs to others.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Haralson County - Paulding County Drug Task Force (HPDTF) received information about PHILLIPS’ illegal activities and introduced a cooperating informant, and later, an undercover GBI agent, into PHILLIPS’ conspiracy. In hours of audio and videotaped conversations, PHILLIPS schemed to obtain more methamphetamine and more money to, in turn, obtain even more of the drug to distribute in the area. On one occasion, when the informant went to PHILLIPS house wearing a hidden video camera and microphone, PHILLIPS answered the door carrying an UZI-style assault rifle; that he later bragged was fully automatic and had interchangeable barrels so that he could kill someone and then throw away the barrel, making it untraceable.

PHILLIPS was arrested on October 9, 2007, after he had met with an undercover GBI agent, who had been posing as a large-scale drug distributor, in the parking lot of the Home Depot store in Hiram, Georgia, in order to purchase several pounds of methamphetamine from the undercover agent.

This case was investigated by Task Force Agents of the Haralson County - Paulding County Drug Task Force (HPDTF), Special Agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), and Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Todd C. Alley prosecuted the case.

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Some Good News: Crime is Declining

For the second year in a row, the FBI Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report shows that violent crimes, property crimes, and arsons are declining.

Nationwide, violent crime fell 3.5 percent and property crime 2.5 percent during the first six months of the year; the full 2008 report will be available in the fall.

Each of the specific crimes measured by the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program—murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson—decreased during the first half of 2008 as compared to the same time frame in 2007.

Here are some of the report’s highlights:

Violent crimes in all population groups declined: murder by 4.4 percent, aggravated assault by 4.1 percent, forcible rape by 3.3 percent, and robbery by 2.2 percent.
On a regional basis, law enforcement in all four parts of the country reported a drop in violent crimes: 6.0 percent in the Midwest, 5.0 percent in the West, 2.9 percent in the Northeast, and 1.5 percent in the South.
Overall, property crimes fell in the Midwest (4.7 percent), the West (6.1 percent), and the South (0.4 percent).
Among population groupings, each category of property crime was down: motor vehicle thefts by 12.6 percent, larceny-theft by 1.2 percent, and burglaries by 0.8 percent.
Arsons dropped in all four regions of the country and among all population groups (with the exception of cities with populations of 250,000-499,999, where it actually increased 2.0 percent).

But there were some specific increases noted:

* Murder and non-negligent manslaughter were up in mid-sized cities with populations of 50,000-99,999 (3.3 percent), along with smaller cities of populations under 10,000 (9.8 percent).
In the Northeast, forcible rapes were up slightly (0.6 percent), as were burglaries (2.7 percent) and larceny-theft (2.9 percent) over the same six-month period in 2007.
Cities with populations of one million-plus also recorded a 3.4 percent jump in forcible rapes.
Property crimes rose in the Northeast by 1.7 percent.
The South saw an increase in burglaries (0.6 percent) and larceny-thefts (0.5 percent).

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Retired Army Major Pleads Guilty in Bribery Scheme Involving Department of Defense Contracts in Kuwait

A retired major in the U.S. Army pleaded guilty today (January 8) to charges of bribery and making a false statement arising out of his activities as both a contracting specialist and a contracting officer at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, from 2005 through 2007, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division and Acting Assistant Attorney General Deborah A. Garza of the Antitrust Division announced.

Christopher H. Murray, 41, a resident of Cataula, Ga., pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ga., to a five-count information charging him with four counts of bribery and one count of making a false statement.

According to the information, in 2005 and 2006, Murray served as a contracting specialist in the small purchases branch of the contracting office at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, where he 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 admitted he received approximately $225,000 in bribes from DOD contractors in exchange for recommending the award of contracts for various goods and services.

According to the information, Murray admitted that when he returned to Kuwait in fall 2006 as a contracting officer, he received an additional $20,000 in bribes from a Department of Defense (DOD) contractor in exchange for the award of a construction contract. When confronted with evidence of his criminal conduct, Murray admitted he made false statements to federal agents investigating this matter.

Murray faces up to 15 years in prison on each bribery count, as well as a criminal fine of $250,000 or three times the monetary equivalent of the thing of value for each count. Murray also faces up to five years in prison on the false statement charge as well as a fine of $250,000. The maximum fines may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either amount is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

“Murray abused his position of trust by awarding contracts to those willing to pay him bribes,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich. “There are no more important purchases made by the federal government than those of goods and services used by our men and women in uniform. Procurement officers who sacrifice their positions of trust for the sake of personal enrichment can expect to be prosecuted.”

“The Antitrust Division will continue to vigorously prosecute those who commit bribery and other offenses, which deprive the U.S. military and, ultimately, U.S. taxpayers, of a competitive market,” said Deborah A. Garza, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division.

“SIGIR vigorously continues to pursue investigations into allegations of fraud in Iraq,” said Stuart Bowen, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. “Maj. Murray grossly abused his position of trust, committing multiple acts of fraud for which he will now pay a just price. This successful investigation was part of ongoing cooperative efforts being carried out by SIGIR and our law enforcement partners.”

Brig. Gen. Rodney Johnson of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command said this guilty plea is just another example of how seriously his criminal investigators and the U.S. Army take these criminal acts of greed and how determined he and his special agents are to bring these people to justice. “People who do business with the U.S. military should know by now that if they violate the public’s trust and commit criminal acts, they will be caught by a team of highly-trained professionals looking for this type of criminality. We will not stand for it,” said Johnson.

“The American public expects military officers to behave in an aboveboard manner,” said James R. Ives, Special Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s Mid-Atlantic Field Office. “The vast majority of officers are disciplined, law abiding professionals who serve with honor. Duty, accountability, responsibility and integrity inspire their attitudes and actions. Officers who fail to live up to these standards erode public support for the military and undermine confidence in government. The Defense Criminal Investigative Service remains committed to working with the Department of Justice to ensure officials who betray the public trust are held firmly accountable.”

Today’s charges represent the Department’s commitment to protecting U.S. taxpayers from procurement fraud through its creation of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force. The National Procurement Fraud Initiative, announced in October 2006, is designed to promote the early detection, prosecution, and prevention of procurement fraud associated with the increase in contracting activity for national security and other government programs.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Richard B. Evans of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, which is headed by Chief William M. Welch II, and Trial Attorneys Mark W. Pletcher, Emily W. Allen and Finnuala Kelleher of the Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section, which is headed by Chief Lisa Phelan.

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.

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Adairsville Man Sentenced for Possessing Child Pornography

JERALD WAYNE ANDERSON, 64, of Adairsville, Georgia, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Robert L. Vining, Jr., to serve more than 8 years in prison on a charge of receiving child pornography.

“Child pornography is a polite term for images of children being sexually abused,” said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. “Instead of recoiling in horror at these images, as a normal person would, this defendant downloaded and collected thousands of images depicting the sexual exploitation of vulnerable children. Today’s harsh but just sentence is the appropriate punishment for a man who supported the abuse of these children by collecting and viewing child pornography.”

ANDERSON was sentenced to 8 years, 1 month in prison to be followed by 20 years of supervised release. ANDERSON was convicted of these charges on August 14, 2008, when he pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography through the use of a computer.

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: In October 2007, ANDERSON was posing as a 13-year-old girl on the Internet and was chatting with an undercover police officer from Broward County, Florida, who also claimed to be a 13-year-old girl. Within minutes of beginning the chat, ANDERSON sent the police officer images of a young girl in various stages of nudity, including images that displayed her genitals. ANDERSON claimed that he was the child in the photographs and asked the undercover officer for nude pictures of herself. ANDERSON engaged in a similar online chat with an undercover police officer from Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania, in November 2007. Again, within minutes of beginning the chat, ANDERSON sent the same photos of a nude girl to the undercover officer. Later in November and again in December 2007, ANDERSON engaged in chats with the Florida undercover officer, again claiming to be a young girl, although he used different names from the earlier chats. He again sent nude photographs of a young female. The undercover officers issued subpoenas to various businesses to determine the location of the person who was distributing images of child pornography. The results pointed to a residential address in Adairsville, Georgia. In January 2008, the undercover officers passed the information on to Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and within days of receiving this information the agents obtained and executed a search warrant for the Adairsville address. The agents found that ANDERSON had approximately 140 CD’s and DVD’s containing thousands of images of child pornography. ANDERSON organized and labeled his collection of child pornography for easy access. The images on the discs showed children as young as 5 years old being sexually abused and engaged in sexually explicit conduct. ANDERSON admitted that he had collected the child pornography and that he had sent images of child pornography to at least 100 other persons.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney's Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistance in this case was provided from the Broward County (FL) and Bensalem Township (PA) Police Departments.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul Jones prosecuted the case.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

“Alternative Medicine” Clinic Operator Arraigned on Federal Health Care Fraud Charges

CHAUNSAY BECKWITH, 46, of Tucker, Georgia, made an initial appearance before a federal magistrate January 8 on charges of health care fraud in connection with the operation of her clinic, “International Alternative Medicine, Incorporated.” She was indicted on 35 counts of health care fraud by a federal grand jury on December 16, 2008.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said of the case, “Many people are familiar with hyperbaric chambers as having a number of legitimate medical and practical uses, as varied as helping burn victims and even scuba divers in their recovery. This defendant allegedly turned a hyperbaric chamber into a means of generating over a million dollars in fraudulent claims. Health care fraud raises the costs of health care for everyone.”

According to Nahmias, the indictment, and information presented in court today: Between 2003 and 2007, CHAUNSAY BECKWITH, an owner/operator who does not hold any type of medical license, provided hyperbaric oxygen therapy to numerous patients in her clinic, International Alternative Medicine, Inc., located at 4450 Hugh Howell Road, in Tucker, Georgia. None of the patients were diagnosed with medical conditions that made them eligible to receive payments from health care benefit programs. The indictment further alleges that BECKWITH submitted $1,577,827 in claims to insurance companies and Medicare, which included false diagnosis codes that enabled her to fraudulently receive $1,035,144 in payments for the hyperbaric chamber treatments.

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

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

Assistant United States Attorney David E. McClernan is prosecuting the case.

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Illinois Man Sentenced for Traveling to North Georgia Intending to Have Sex with 11-Year Old Girl

RORY E. VILLEJO, 45, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, was sentenced Janaury 6 by United States District Judge Harold L. Murphy on a charge that he traveled from his home in Arlington Heights, Illinois, to Cartersville, Georgia, intending to have sex with an 11-year old girl whom he met via the internet.

“This case represents yet another example of the dangers that our children face when communicating with strangers via the internet,” said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. “The defendant used the internet to encourage a girl whom he believed to be 11 years old to leave home without telling her parents where she was going or what she was intending to do, so that she could meet him and go with him to a motel room to have sex. Fortunately, because the ‘girl’ was actually an undercover police officer, the defendant’s crime was thwarted, and he will serve a lengthy sentence in federal prison. Parents should always be aware of the identities of persons with whom their children are communicating via the internet and know what is being said to their children during their online communications.”

Chief Thomas N. Culpepper of the Cartersville Police Department said, “This case is a reminder that the internet can be a very dangerous place. Caution and diligence should be the vanguard of every parent and adult when monitoring a child’s internet activity. The world today has many dangers and the internet predator is certainly one of which we should be keenly aware. Without the diligence of Sgt. James Scott, this agency, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, would not have removed this dangerous predator.”

VILLEJO was sentenced to 7 years, 8 months in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. VILLEJO was convicted of the charge on October 10, 2008.

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: VILLEJO communicated for two months via the internet with a person he believed to be an 11-year-old girl, but was in fact a Cartersville Police Department undercover officer posing as the young “girl.” Shortly after meeting the “ girl” in a teen chat room, VILLEJO began having sexually explicit conversations with her. The “girl” repeatedly told VILLEJO that she was 11, that she had never had a boyfriend, that she had never had sex, and that she could not let her parents find out that she was communicating with him. Nevertheless, VILLEJO continued to speak with her online and to encourage her to meet him so that they could go to a motel room and have sex. He also told her that he would take her to California so that they could be together and eventually get married. When the “girl” agreed to meet VILLEJO and go with him to a motel room to have sex, VILLEJO drove from his home in Arlington Heights, Illinois, to Cartersville and checked into a motel. He was arrested by Cartersville Police Officers shortly after he arrived. A search of his motel room led to the recovery of condoms, and lingerie that he had told the “girl” he would bring with him for her to wear for him during the time they were together in the motel room.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney's Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Governor Appoints Department of Corrections Commissioner James E. Donald to State Board of Pardons and Paroles

Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the appointment of Georgia Department of Corrections Commissioner James E. Donald to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. He will replace Garfield Hammonds, Jr., whose term expired December 31, 2008.

Hammonds was originally appointed to the Board by Governor Zell Miller and was re-appointed by Governor Roy Barnes in December 2001. Donald’s appointment is effective today, January 5 and expires on December 31, 2015.

“Commissioner Donald’s experience in the state’s prison system makes him an excellent addition to the Board of Pardons and Paroles,” said Governor Perdue. “He has demonstrated strong leadership skills during his tenure at DOC and I am confident that he will continue his commitment to public service in his new role.”

Governor Perdue will recommend DOC Assistant Commissioner Brian Owens to the Corrections Board as Commissioner Donald’s replacement.

“Brian has served the agency in a number of leadership roles over the past decade and is ready to take on this new challenge,” Governor Perdue said.

Owens began his career in the criminal justice system as a Parole Officer. He achieved the rank of the Assistant Chief Parole Officer and eventually became the Chief Parole Officer of Fulton County. In 1999, Owens accepted a position with the Department of Corrections where he spearheaded the Office of Planning and Analysis. In 2002, Brian Owens was selected to the position of the Executive Assistant to Commissioner Wetherington. He sustained that position with the appointment of Commissioner Donald and was appointed to the position of Assistant Commissioner in March 2005. Mr. Owens is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

A brief biography of James Donald follows:

State Board of Pardons and Paroles
James E. Donald, 59, Decatur – Donald was appointed Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Corrections by Governor Perdue in December 2003. As prisons chief, he oversaw the fifth largest prison system in the nation, 200,000 felons in prison or on probation, 15,000 employees, and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion. He has earned the Bronze Star for his leadership as a Task Force Commander with the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles” during Gulf War I. He is a former Deputy Commanding General U.S. Army Pacific and served two tours of duty in the Pentagon. Donald earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree from the University of Missouri. He has two children.
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Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Former Investment Advisor Arraigned on Securities Fraud Charges

FREDERICK J. BARTON, 48, of Atlanta , Georgia , was arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge C. Christopher Hagy on federal charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, and securities fraud. BARTON was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 2, 2008 .

“This indictment charges a former stockbroker and investment advisor with diverting client money to himself, including $1 million from an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease,” said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. “Today’s arraignment marks the beginning of the process by which the defendant and his alleged frauds will be brought to the bar of justice.”

According to Nahmias and the documents and information presented in court: The 13-count indictment alleges that BARTON, a former investment manager, defrauded several clients and investors of approximately $3 million, including almost the entire life savings of an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. From at least 1995 through 2002, BARTON was a manager at an Atlanta branch of the national brokerage firm A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., based in St. Louis , Missouri . After he was terminated from A.G. Edwards in 2002, he began his own investment advisory firms, Barton Asset Management, LLC and Twinspan Capital, LLC, both based in Atlanta . The indictment alleges that on numerous occasions from at least 2001 through 2007 – before and after leaving A.G. Edwards – BARTON fraudulently diverted to himself client funds that he was entrusted with investing.

In particular, the indictment alleges that BARTON defrauded a 90-year old Alzheimer’s patient, identified in the indictment by her initials, RF. After having learned of RF’s diagnosis in 2001, BARTON allegedly fraudulently diverted over $1 million of RF’s assets to his own checking account, which he spent on personal lifestyle expenses and to fund the development of Twinspan Capital. As a result, the balance in RF’s investment and bank accounts fell from approximately $1.3 million in 1999 to less than $100 in 2004.

In addition to diverting client money from RF and others, the indictment alleges that BARTON committed securities fraud by selling shares in his new company, Twinspan, based on false pretenses. Specifically, he raised over $1 million in investments in Twinspan by claiming that he would use the proceeds to operate and grow the business. However, the indictment alleges that he instead diverted at least half of these supposed investments to himself, which he used to satisfy personal debts and pay personal lifestyle expenses.

On June 3, 2008 , the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil enforcement action against BARTON, alleging violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the securities laws, in U.S. District Court in Atlanta . That case is currently pending before U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story.

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

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

Assistant United States Attorney Justin S. Anand is prosecuting the case.

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Four Suspects Arrested for Metro Atlanta Armed Bank Robberies

Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Gregory Jones, FBI Atlanta, Chief Terrell Bolton, Dekalb County Police Department, and Chief Charles M. Walters, Gwinnett County Police Department, announce the arrests of four suspects in a string of armed bank robberies around Metro Atlanta over the last 2 weeks. Currently in custody are SHANTAVIA GLASS, 22, of Lithonia, WILLIAM BERK HARROLD, a.k.a. “MAN-MAN”, 18, also of Lithonia, and ZACHERY ANTONIO HARRIS, a.k.a. “MURDER” 20, of Ellenwood. Also arrested was a 16-year old male from Duluth, Georgia who is believed to have been a participant in the robberies. The FBI does not release the names of minors.

Following the release of photographs associated with Wednesday’s robbery of the Bank of America at 3040 Panola Road in Lithonia, GLASS turned herself in to the Dekalb County Police Department, where she was questioned by Dekalb County Investigators and Special Agents of the FBI. GLASS remains in custody at the Dekalb County Jail, but will probably be transferred to Federal custody later today (December 19).

HARROLD, HARRIS, and the 16-year old male fled Georgia along with two female acquaintances and the 2-year old child of one of those females. Based in large part on tips received from the public following Wednesday’s newscasts, they were eventually located in McComb, Mississippi. At approximately 4:00 am December 19, Officers of the McComb City Police Department initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle believed to be operated by the suspects, during which they arrested HARROLD and a 20-year old female acquaintance. Based on information gathered during the traffic stop, the McComb Police Department SWAT team was activated, and conducted a search of a room at the nearby Deerfield Inn in McComb. Inside that room, police arrested HARRIS and the 16-year old suspect.

All the suspects arrested in Mississippi are currently in the custody of the Pike County Sheriff’s Department. It is expected they will also be eventually transferred to Federal custody.

The public can also review information concerning these and other bank robberies at, an interactive site which provides bank robbery details, photographs, and the opportunity for the public to provide information to the FBI via the Internet.

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

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