America, your laws do NOT apply to me

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Operator of Massachusetts Temp Agency Pleads Guilty to Employment Tax Fraud and Obstructing The IRS

A Massachusetts temporary employment agency operator pleaded guilty today in Boston federal district court to an indictment charging him with conspiring to defraud the government, failing to pay over employment taxes and obstructing the internal revenue laws, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

 

According to the indictment and statements provided in Court, Tien Chau ran an employment agency that provided temporary labor to businesses in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The agency operated under at least four different names: Central Boston Staffing Services, Metro Boston Staffing Services, General Staffing Inc. and Kim’s Staffing Inc.  Chau and others used nominees to conceal their ownership of the business.

 

From 2006 through 2011, Chau and others conspired to conceal the agency’s total number of employees from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to lower the staffing agencies’ employment tax liabilities.  Chau attempted to hide the size of their workforce from the IRS by paying most of the employees cash under the table and filing false employment tax returns that both underreported the number of employees and omitted wages paid in cash.  Chau and others in the conspiracy allegedly cashed over $11 million in client checks at a check cashing facility in Worcester and used the staffing agency’s site supervisors, office manager and drivers to pay the employees in cash.

 

The conspirators sought to obstruct an investigation by, among other things, directing an employee, after learning of her interview with special agents, to assist with shredding the agency’s records.  Chau also allegedly destroyed and removed computers and computers equipment from the business’s office.

 

A sentencing date has been set for May 17, 2018.  Chau faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge, five years in prison for each employment tax count, and three years in prison for obstructing the internal revenue laws.  He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

 

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Brittney Campbell and Shawn Noud of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/operator-massachusetts-temp-agency-pleads-guilty-employment-tax-fraud-and-obstructing-irs

pleaded guilty yesterday in a U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, to forced labor, visa fraud conspiracy, and filing a false federal income tax return

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Oregon Man Pleads Guilty to Forced Labor and Related Crimes in Connection with Scheme to Coerce Thai Nationals to Work

Defendant used debts, fraud, threats of financial and reputational harm, and other means to compel victims to work long hours for minimal pay at restaurants in Oregon and Washington

Paul Jumroon, also known as Veraphon Phatanakitjumroon, 54, of Depoe Bay, Oregon, and a naturalized citizen originally from Thailand, pleaded guilty yesterday in a U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, to forced labor, visa fraud conspiracy, and filing a false federal income tax return, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams of the District of Oregon, Special Agent in Charge Renn Cannon of the FBI in Oregon, and Special Agent in Charge Darrell Waldon of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Seattle Field Office.  Jumroon waived indictment by a federal grand jury and pleaded guilty to an information filed by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Civil Rights Division.

According to the defendant’s plea agreement and admissions in court, between 2011 and 2014, the defendant and his associates fraudulently obtained E-2 visas to bring Thai nationals into the United States to provide cheap labor at his restaurants, Curry in a Hurry in Lake Oswego, Oregon and Teriyaki Thai in Ridgefield, Washington. E-2 visas are granted to foreign nationals who invest substantial money in a U.S. business and direct its operations, and to employees who have special qualifications that make their services essential to that business.

Jumroon used the fraudulently obtained visas to entice four forced labor victims to come to the United States by making false promises to them. According to court documents, the first victim arrived in the United States in June 2012, and the second victim arrived in April 2013. Jumroon used inflated travel expenses, debt manipulation, threats of deportation, serious financial and reputational harm, verbal abuse, and control over identification documents, among other means, to compel the victims to work 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week, for minimal pay, until they managed to leave in October 2013 and 2014, respectively.

As part of the defendant’s guilty plea, Jumroon agreed to pay all four victims a combined $131,391.95 in restitution for their unpaid labor in connection with his forced labor scheme.

The defendant further admitted to filing multiple false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service, failing to report cash income earned from his restaurants between 2012 and 2015.  As part of the plea agreement, Jumroon agreed to pay tax due and owing in the amount of $120,384 to the IRS.

“Combatting human trafficking is a priority for Attorney General Sessions and the Justice Department,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “Securing a guilty plea today is just another example of this commitment and the work of the Civil Rights Division, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to hold those who choose to exploit vulnerable individuals accountable for their actions.”

“Human trafficking is a degrading crime that undermines our nation’s most basic promise of liberty. This defendant preyed on the hopes of vulnerable workers, using fear to compel them to work long hours for little pay. He turned a promise of employment and a better life into a human tragedy for his own financial gain,” said U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams for the District of Oregon. “This case demonstrates our firm commitment to holding traffickers accountable and restoring the rights, freedom and dignity of victims. It should also serve as a reminder that these types of crimes happen all around us and often in plain sight. We encourage all Oregonians to remain watchful for signs of human trafficking and to notify law enforcement immediately when something seems amiss.”

“The American dream is built on the belief that hard work can bring about a better life. For the victims in this case, that dream turned into a nightmare of false promises, forced labor and abuse,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “These cases are very difficult to identify and work, so we are thankful the courageous victims in this case were able to reach out for help through trusted community contacts.”

“Forced labor schemes, such as the one employed by Paul Jumroon, are deplorable crimes that have no place in today’s society,” said Darrell Waldon, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Seattle Field Office. “Falsely reporting income and expenses associated with such schemes will continue to be vigorously investigated by IRS-CI Special Agents.”

Jumroon faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for forced labor, five years in prison for visa fraud conspiracy, and three years in prison for filing a false tax return. His sentencing is scheduled for May 24 before United States District Judge Anna J. Brown.

Attorney General Sessions recently issued a proclamation commemorating January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and the Justice Department recently hosted a Human Trafficking Summit where both the Attorney General and Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand gave remarks.

The District of Oregon is one of six districts designated through a competitive, nationwide selection process as a Phase II Anti-Trafficking Coordination Team (ACTeam), through the interagency ACTeam Initiative of the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Labor. ACTeams focus on developing high-impact human trafficking investigations and prosecutions involving forced labor, international sex trafficking and sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion through interagency collaboration among federal prosecutors and federal investigative agencies.

This prosecution is the result of the joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, with assistance from the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and Portland Police Bureau. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hannah Horsley and Scott Bradford of the District of Oregon, and Lindsey Roberson of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/oregon-man-pleads-guilty-forced-labor-and-related-crimes-connection-scheme-coerce-thai

America, I am here on a student visa and your laws do NOT apply to me

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Department of Justice Files Denaturalization Complaint Against Diversity Visa Recipient Who Transferred Non-Profit Funds to Specially Designated Global Terrorist

The Department of Justice today filed a complaint to revoke the naturalization of a Sudan native—who entered the United States on an F-1 student visa and gained lawful permanent resident status through the diversity visa lottery program—for violating and conspiring to violate sanctions imposed against Iraq under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), as well as obstructing Internal Revenue laws.

 

According to the complaint, Mubarak Ahmed Hamed violated and conspired to violate sanctions imposed against Iraq under the IEEPA from 1997 through July 21, 2000, the date of his naturalization. As the Executive Director of a non-profit organization, the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), Hamed regularly authorized and transferred tax-exempt funds from IARA accounts in the United States to an account in Jordan controlled by Khalid Al-Sudanee, a/k/a Khalid Ahmad Jumah Al-Sudani, knowing that Al-Sudanee would transport such funds into Iraq.

 

In 2004, both Al-Sudanee and IARA were designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT). During this time, the IARA implemented projects that were funded by USAID, however there are no specific allegations that such funding was siphoned to Iraq or in violation of the IEEPA.

 

On June 25, 2010, Hamed pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally transfer more than $1 million to Iraq in violation of federal sanctions, and to obstructing administration of the laws governing tax-exempt charities. Hamed was sentenced to four years and 10 months in federal prison on January 11, 2012.

 

On Jan. 16, 2018, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security jointly released the “Section 11 Report,” which shined a light on the nation’s current immigration system and how it can be used to undermine national security and public safety. The report revealed—among other statistics—that nearly three out of every four individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between Sept. 11, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2016 were foreign-born.

 

“This alleged denaturalization case is indicative that America needs this reform to our broken immigration system now more than ever. Under the guise of running a non-profit to assist in the famine crises in Africa, a ‘Diversity Visa’ recipient allegedly transferred funds on a regular basis to a known terrorist, undermining our nation’s lawful immigration system, public safety, and national security,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Immigration is a national security issue, and a merit-based immigration system would better serve our national interest because it would benefit the American people.”

 

“The defendant has pleaded guilty to despicable crimes, including the funneling of money to a known terrorist organization, from 1997 through his naturalization as a U.S. citizen in July 2000, all while conveniently failing to disclose his nefarious activities,” said Thomas Homan, Deputy Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  “Plain and simple, if you defraud the U.S government during the naturalization process, you risk having your citizenship revoked.”

 

“Every visa decision is a national security decision that affects individual Americans.  We commend the work of the Department of Justice and look forward to continued coordination with the Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence and law enforcement communities to protect our nation’s borders,” said Assistant Secretary Carl Risch of the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.  “Continued efforts to improve interagency security vetting for visa applicants will enhance our ability to identify persons who mean us harm and prevent their entry into the United States.”

 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA), and Civil Division’s Office of Immigration Litigation, District Court Section’s (OIL-DCS) National Security and Affirmative Litigation Unit (NS/A Unit) investigated the case.  The case is being litigated by the NS/A Unit with support from ICE OPLA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri.

 

The claims made in the complaint are allegations only, and there have been no determinations of liability.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/department-justice-files-denaturalization-complaint-against-diversity-visa-recipient-who

America, your laws do NOT apply to me

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 5, 2018

Former Silicon Valley CEO Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Employees of Tech Company Start-Up

The founder and chief executive officer of a now-defunct Silicon Valley technology company start-up known publicly as WrkRiot pleaded guilty today for defrauding several of his company’s former employees by luring them to join his company based on false and misleading statements about his educational, professional and financial background, and by enticing them to continue working for his company through forged documents purportedly reflecting salary payments that were never made.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Alex G. Tse of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California and Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office made the announcement.

Isaac Choi aka Yi Suk Choi, Yisuk Choi, Yi Suk Chae and Isaac Chae (Choi), 36, most recently of Orange County and previously of Santa Clara, California, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila of the Northern District of California.  Sentencing has been scheduled for May 24 before Judge Davila.

As part of his guilty plea, Choi admitted that while attempting to recruit potential employees, he made false and misleading statements about various topics, including his educational and professional history, and the amount of his wealth.  Choi admitted in his plea that, in truth, he never attended any business school, that he was never employed in any capacity by any financial institution, and that he exaggerated his wealth.  He further admitted that in August 2016, while at WrkRiot’s office in Santa Clara, he emailed several of his employees fake wire transfer confirmation documents purporting to reflect their salary payments for the purpose of convincing his employees to continue working for his privately failing company.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s San Jose Resident Agency.  Trial Attorney Cory E. Jacobs of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Schenk of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California are prosecuting the case.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-silicon-valley-ceo-pleads-guilty-defrauding-employees-tech-company-start

America, your laws do NOT apply to me

A Chinese national living in the United States on a student visa pleaded guilty on Friday for his role as a counterfeit distributor in a scheme to traffic and smuggle counterfeit electronics purporting to be Apple iPhones and iPads, from China into the United States,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

http://macdailynews.com/2018/02/05/chinese-national-living-in-the-u-s-on-a-student-visa-pleads-guilty-to-distributing-counterfeit-apple-iphones-and-ipads/

There is no corruption in the technology industry

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Former Detroit-Based Technology Company CEO Indicted for Multi-Year Bribery Scheme

The former chief executive officer of FutureNet Group Inc., a Detroit-based information technology company, was indicted yesterday for his role in orchestrating a scheme to bribe an official from the City of Detroit to obtain benefits for FutureNet, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Parimal D. Mehta, 54, of Northville, Michigan, is charged in an 11-count indictment filed in the Eastern District of Michigan with five counts of honest services mail and wire fraud, one count of federal program bribery, and five counts of unlawfully using interstate facilities to commit bribery under Michigan law.

According to the indictment, from 2009 through August 2016, Mehta made multiple cash payments  to Charles L. Dodd, the former Director of Detroit’s Office of Departmental Technology Services, including two cash bribes hand-delivered by Mehta to Dodd in the restrooms of Detroit-area restaurants in 2016.  Mehta is also alleged to have employed Dodd’s family members at FutureNet and its subsidiaries.  Dodd previously pleaded guilty to bribery on Sept. 27, 2016.

The indictment alleges that Mehta paid these bribes to Dodd in exchange for preferential treatment for his company, FutureNet, which received approximately $7.5 million from Detroit in 2015 and 2016.  According to the indictment, Mehta and FutureNet benefitted from Dodd’s influence over the administration of city contracts, expenditures under those contracts, and the hiring and selection of contract personnel.  The indictment further alleges that Mehta obtained confidential information about Detroit’s internal budgets for specific technology projects.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Detroit Division.  Trial Attorneys Robert J. Heberle and James I. Pearce of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-detroit-based-technology-company-ceo-indicted-multi-year-bribery-scheme

Xu, a Chinese national, is being held accountable for engaging in economic espionage against an American company

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Chinese National Sentenced for Economic Espionage and Theft of a Trade Secret From U.S. Company

Xu Jiaqiang, 31, formerly of Beijing, China, was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison, for economic espionage and theft of a trade secret in connection with Xu’s theft of proprietary source code from Xu’s former employer, with the intent to benefit the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China.  Xu previously pleaded guilty to all six counts with which he was charged.

 

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente and U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman for the Southern District of New York made the announcement.  The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas in White Plains, New York federal court.

 

“Xu, a Chinese national, is being held accountable for engaging in economic espionage against an American company,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente. “Xu not only stole high tech trade secrets from his U.S. employer – a federal crime – he did so both for his own profit and intending to benefit the Chinese government.  Xu’s sentence clearly demonstrates that the National Security Division will not hesitate to pursue and prosecute those who steal from American businesses.  I thank the many people who worked hard to bring this result.”

 

“As he previously admitted in federal court, Xu Jiaqiang stole high-tech trade secrets from a U.S. employer, intending to benefit the Chinese government,” said U.S. Attorney Berman.  “The laws governing economic espionage and trade secrets exist, in part, to protect the sanctity of American ingenuity and property.  Xu’s prison sentence should be a red flag for anyone attempting to illegally peddle American expertize and intellectual property to foreign bidders.”

 

According to the allegations contained in the Complaint and the Superseding Indictment filed against Xu, as well as statements made in related court filings and proceedings:

 

From November 2010 to May 2014, Xu worked as a developer for a particular U.S. company (the Victim Company).  As a developer, Xu enjoyed access to certain proprietary software (the Proprietary Software), as well as that software’s underlying source code (the Proprietary Source Code).  The Proprietary Software is a clustered file system developed and marketed by the Victim Company in the United States and other countries.  A clustered file system facilitates faster computer performance by coordinating work among multiple servers.  The Victim Company takes significant precautions to protect the Proprietary Source Code as a trade secret.  Among other things, the Proprietary Source Code is stored behind a company firewall and can be accessed only by a small subset of the Victim Company’s employees.  Before receiving Proprietary Source Code access, Victim Company employees must first request and receive approval from a particular Victim Company official.  Victim Company employees must also agree in writing at both the outset and the conclusion of their employment that they will maintain the confidentiality of any proprietary information.  The Victim Company takes these and other precautions in part because the Proprietary Software and the Proprietary Source Code are economically valuable, which value depends in part on the Proprietary Source Code’s secrecy.

 

In May 2014, Xu voluntarily resigned from the Victim Company.  Xu subsequently communicated with one undercover law enforcement officer (UC-1), who posed as a financial investor aiming to start a large-data storage technology company, and another undercover law enforcement officer (UC-2), who posed as a project manager, working for UC-1.  In these communications, Xu discussed his past experience with the Victim Company and indicated that he had experience with the Proprietary Software and the Proprietary Source Code.  On March 6, 2015, Xu sent UC-1 and UC-2 a code, which Xu stated was a sample of Xu’s prior work with the Victim Company.  A Victim Company employee (Employee-1) later confirmed that the code sent by Xu included proprietary Victim Company material that related to the Proprietary Source Code.

 

Xu subsequently informed UC-2 that Xu was willing to consider providing UC-2’s company with the Proprietary Source Code as a platform for UC-2’s company to facilitate the development of its own data storage system.  Xu informed UC-2 that if UC-2 set up several computers as a small network, then Xu would remotely install the Proprietary Software so that UC-1 and UC-2 could test it and confirm its functionality.

 

In or around early August 2015, the FBI arranged for a computer network to be set up, consistent with Xu’s specifications.  Files were then remotely uploaded to the FBI-arranged computer network (the Xu Upload).  Thereafter, on or about Aug. 26, 2015, Xu and UC-2 confirmed that UC-2 had received the Xu Upload.  In September 2015, the FBI made the Xu Upload available to a Victim Company employee who has expertise regarding the Proprietary Software and the Proprietary Source Code (Employee-2).  Based on Employee-2’s analysis of technical features of the Xu Upload, it appeared to Employee-2 that the Xu Upload contained a functioning copy of the Proprietary Software.  It further appeared to Employee-2 that the Xu Upload had been built by someone with access to the Proprietary Source Code who was not working within the Victim Company or otherwise at the Victim Company’s direction.

 

On Dec. 7, 2015, Xu met with UC-2 at a hotel in White Plains, New York (the Hotel).  Xu stated, in sum and substance, that Xu had used the Proprietary Source Code to make software to sell to customers, that Xu knew the Proprietary Source Code to be the product of decades of work on the part of the Victim Company, and that Xu had used the Proprietary Source Code to build a copy of the Proprietary Software, which Xu had uploaded and installed on the UC Network (i.e., the Xu Upload).  Xu also indicated that Xu knew the copy of the Proprietary Software that Xu had installed on the UC Network contained information identifying the Proprietary Software as the Victim Company’s property, which could reveal the fact that the Proprietary Software had been built with the Proprietary Source Code without the Victim Company’s authorization.  Xu told UC-2 that Xu could take steps to prevent detection of the Proprietary Software’s origins – i.e., that it had been built with stolen Proprietary Source Code – including writing computer scripts that would modify the Proprietary Source Code to conceal its origins.

 

Later on Dec. 7, 2015, Xu met with UC-1 and UC-2 at the Hotel.  During that meeting, Xu showed UC-2 a copy of what Xu represented to be the Proprietary Source Code on Xu’s laptop.  Xu noted to UC-2 a portion of the code that indicated it originated with the Victim Company as well as the date on which it had been copyrighted.  Xu also stated that Xu had previously modified the Proprietary Source Code’s command interface to conceal the fact that the Proprietary Source Code originated with the Victim Company and identified multiple specific customers to whom Xu had previously provided the Proprietary Software using Xu’s stolen copy of the Proprietary Source Code.

*                *                *

 Mr. Boente and Mr. Berman praised the FBI’s outstanding investigative efforts.  Mr. Berman also thanked the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Allee and Ilan Graff of the Southern District of New York, with assistance from Trial Attorney David Aaron of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, are in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s):
Counterintelligence and Export Control
Press Release Number:
18-63
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/chinese-national-sentenced-economic-espionage-and-theft-trade-secret-us-company

So you think your data is safe at a call center in India?

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Second Indian National Pleads Guilty for Role in Multi-Million Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims

An Indian national pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in liquidating and laundering victim payments generated through various telephone fraud and money laundering schemes via India-based call centers.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas, Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Inspector General J. Russell George of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Inspector General John Roth of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) made the announcement.

Ashvinbhai Chaudhari, 28, an Indian national who most recently resided in Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas. Sentencing is currently set for July 21, 2017.

According to admissions made in connection with the plea, Chaudhari and his co-conspirators perpetrated a complex scheme in which individuals from call centers located in Ahmedabad, India, impersonated officials from the IRS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the United States. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators targeted U.S. victims who were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay alleged monies owed to the government. Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money, and upon payment, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of “runners” based in the U.S. to liquidate and launder the fraudulently-obtained funds.

According to his plea, since in or about April 2014, Chaudhari worked as a member of a crew of runners operating in Illinois, Georgia, Nevada, Texas and elsewhere throughout the country. At the direction of both U.S. and India-based co-conspirators, often via electronic WhatsApp text communications, Chaudhari admitted to driving around the country with other runners to purchase reloadable cards registered with misappropriated personal identifying information of U.S. citizens. Once victim scam proceeds were loaded onto those cards, Chaudhari admitted that he liquidated the proceeds on the cards and transferred the funds into money orders for deposit into various bank accounts while keeping a percentage of the victim funds for himself. Chaudhari also admitted to shipping money orders purchased with victim funds to other U.S. based co-conspirators, receiving fake identification documents from an India-based co-conspirator and using those documents to receive victim scam payments via wire transfers.

To date, Chaudhari, 55 other individuals and five India-based call centers have been charged for their roles in the fraud and money laundering scheme in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 19, 2016. Chaudhari is the second defendant thus far to plead guilty in this case.

The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

HSI, DHS-OIG and TIGTA led the investigation of this case. Also providing significant support was the Ft. Bend County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; police departments in Hoffman Estates and Naperville, Illinois, and Leonia, New Jersey; San Diego County District Attorney’s Office Family Protection/Elder Abuse Unit; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Small Business Administration – Office of Inspector General; IOC-2; INTERPOL Washington; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service; and U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Northern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Central District of California, Northern District of California, District of Colorado, Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana, District of Nevada and District of New Jersey. The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau also provided assistance in TIGTA’s investigation.

Senior Trial Attorney Michael Sheckels and Trial Attorney Mona Sahaf of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, Trial Attorney Robert Stapleton of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Mark McIntyre and Craig M. Feazel of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.

A Department of Justice website has been established to provide information about the case to already identified and potential victims, and the public. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud or identity theft in relation to this investigation or other telefraud scam phone calls may contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via this website.

Anyone who wants additional information about telefraud scams generally, or preventing identity theft or fraudulent use of their identity information, may obtain helpful information on the IRS tax scams website, the FTC phone scam website and the FTC identity theft website.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/second-indian-national-pleads-guilty-role-multi-million-dollar-india-based-call-center-scam

 

America, just because I became an American citizen, your laws do not apply to me…

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Detroit Emergency Room Doctor Arrested and Charged with Performing Female Genital Mutilation

A Detroit Emergency Room physician was charged by complaint for performing female genital mutilation (FGM) on minor females.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel L. Lemisch of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios of the FBI’s Detroit Division and Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Detroit Field Office made the announcement.

Jumana Nagarwala, M.D., of Northville, Michigan, is charged with performing FGM on minor girls out of a medical office inLivonia, Michigan. According to the complaint, some of the minor victims allegedly traveled interstate to have Nagarwala perform the procedure. The complaint alleges that Nagarwala performed FGM on girls who were approximately 6 to 8 years old. This is believed to be the first case brought under 18 U.S.C. 116, which criminalizes FGM. Nagarwala was arrested and is scheduled to appear in federal court in Detroit this afternoon.

“According to the complaint, despite her oath to care for her patients, Dr. Nagarwala is alleged to have performed horrifying acts of brutality on the most vulnerable victims,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco. “The Department of Justice is committed to stopping female genital mutilation in this country, and will use the full power of the law to ensure that no girls suffer such physical and emotional abuse.”

“Female genital mutilation constitutes a particularly brutal form of violence against women and girls. It is also a serious federal felony in the United States,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch. “The practice has no place in modern society and those who perform FGM on minors will be held accountable under federal law.”

“The allegations detailed in today’s criminal complaint are disturbing,” said Special Agent in Charge David Gelios. “The FBI, along with its law enforcement partners, are committed to doing whatever necessary to bring an end to this barbaric practice and to ensure no additional children fall victim to this procedure.”

“The allegations against the defendant in this investigation are made even more deplorable, given the defendant’s position as a trusted medical professional in the community,” said Special Agent in Charge Francis. “My sincere hope is that these charges will give support to those who have allegedly suffered both physically and emotionally.”

A complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The FBI’s Detroit Division and HSI investigated the case with support of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Michigan and the FBI’s International Human Rights Unit, Criminal Investigative Division. Deputy Chief Sara Woodward of the Eastern District of Michigan and Fraud Section Assistant Chief Nick Surmacz and Trial Attorneys Amy Markopoulos and Malisa Dubal are prosecuting the case.

The FBI’s Detroit Field Division has set up a tip line for anyone who has information pertaining to the illegal practice of FGM or Dr. Jumana Nagarwala. Please call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5984) or file an e-tip at FBI.GOV/FGM.

Nagarwala Complaint

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/detroit-emergency-room-doctor-arrested-and-charged-performing-female-genital-mutilation

 

America, your laws do not apply to the Patel gang

We need to bring back those old jesse james type posters since the gangsters from India appear bound and determined to make this the wild west once again.

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Indian National Pleads Guilty for Role in Multi-Million Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims

An Indian national pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in liquidating and laundering victim payments generated through various telephone fraud and money laundering schemes via India-based call centers.

 

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas, Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Inspector General J. Russell George of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Inspector General John Roth of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) made the announcement.

 

Bharatkumar Patel, aka Bharat Patel, 43, an Indian national who had resided in Midlothian, Illinois, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas. He also agreed to deportation following his sentence. Sentencing is currently set for July 7, 2017.

 

According to admissions made in connection with the plea, Patel and his co-conspirators perpetrated a complex scheme in which individuals from call centers located in Ahmedabad, India, impersonated officials from the IRS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the United States. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators targeted U.S. victims who were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay alleged monies owed to the government. Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money, and upon payment, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of “runners” based in the U.S. to liquidate and launder the fraudulently-obtained funds.

 

According to his plea, beginning in or about July 2013, Patel worked as a member of a crew of runners operating in the Chicago area and elsewhere throughout the country. Patel admitted to purchasing reloadable cards or retrieving wire transfers and using the misappropriated personal identifying information of U.S. citizens. Patel also admitted to opening personal bank accounts in order to receive scam proceeds and payments from defrauded victims as well as creating limited liability companies in his name to further the conspiracy. According to his plea, Patel opened one bank account that received more than $1.5 million in deposits over a one-year period and another bank account that received more than $450,000 in deposits over a five-month period.

 

Patel was charged for his role in the fraud and money laundering scheme alongside 55 other individuals and five call centers in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 19, 2016. An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

HSI, DHS-OIG and TIGTA led the investigation of this case. Also providing significant support was the Ft. Bend County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; police departments in Hoffman Estates and Naperville, Illinois, and Leonia, New Jersey; San Diego County District Attorney’s Office Family Protection/Elder Abuse Unit; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Small Business Administration – Office of Inspector General; IOC-2; INTERPOL Washington; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service; and U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Northern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Central District of California, Northern District of California, District of Colorado, Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana, District of Nevada and District of New Jersey. The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau also provided assistance in TIGTA’s investigation.

 

Senior Trial Attorney Michael Sheckels and Trial Attorney Mona Sahaf of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, Trial Attorney Robert Stapleton of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Mark McIntyre and Craig M. Feazel of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.

 

A Department of Justice website has been established to provide information about the case to already identified and potential victims and the public. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud or identity theft in relation to this investigation or other telefraud scam phone calls may contact the FTC via this website.

 

Anyone who wants additional information about telefraud scams generally, or preventing identity theft or fraudulent use of their identity information, may obtain helpful information on the IRS tax scams website, the FTC phone scam website and the FTC identity theft website.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/indian-national-pleads-guilty-role-multi-million-dollar-india-based-call-center-scam