Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • U.S. Attorney Secures 87 Month Prison Sentence for Violent Attack on Family Home


    Donate– A Fruitland man was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison for firing 18 rounds at a family home occupied by eight people, including five young children– A Fruitland man was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison for firing 18 rounds at a family home occupied by eight people, including five young children

    There is no parole in the federal system.

    According to court records, on April 28, 2022, Nathaniel Begay, 31, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, drove to a residence within the exterior boundaries of the Navajo Nation after becoming angry while swimming at Morgan Lake. Armed with two semi-automatic handguns, Begay fired multiple rounds at the home, which contained eight family members including five young children.

    After briefly leaving, Begay returned and fired a second volley of shots at family members as they attempted to take cover. No one was injured.

    Begay was arrested later that night following a domestic dispute with his wife. A knife and 9mm bullet were found on his person at the time of arrest.

    Upon his release from prison, Begay will be subject to three years of supervised release.

    U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Albuquerque Field Office, made the announcement today.

    The Farmington Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Police Department and Navajo Department of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J. McGinley is prosecuting the case.


  • Scam-Nigerian Pleads Guilty in the US

    Nigerian Man Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Participating In Business Email Compromise Scams Nigerian Man Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Participating In Business Email Compromise Scams

    Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that CHIBUNDU JOSEPH ANUEBUNWA, a citizen of Nigeria who was previously extradited from the United Kingdom, pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty to wire fraud conspiracy in connection with his participation in fraudulent business email compromise scams that targeted thousands of victims around the world, including in the United States. In connection with the same conspiracy as ANUEBUNWA, co-defendant DAVID CHUKWUNEKE ADINDU was previously sentenced to 41 months in prison, and co-defendant ONYEKACHI EMMANUEL OPARA was previously extradited from South Africa and sentenced to 60 months in prison. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As he has now admitted, Chibundu Joseph Anuebunwa participated in a conspiracy to trick thousands of business employees located all around the world into wiring millions of dollars to overseas bank accounts by sending bogus emails that appeared to be legitimate. This case should serve as a reminder to cyber criminals located around the globe that we will track them down and hold them responsible.” According to publicly filed court documents and statements made at public court proceedings: Between 2014 and 2016, ANUEBUNWA, OPARA, and ADINDU participated in business email compromise scams (“BEC scams”) targeting thousands of victims around the world, including in the United States. As part of the BEC scams, emails were sent to employees of various companies directing that funds be transferred to specified bank accounts. The emails purported to be from supervisors at those companies or third-party vendors that did business with those companies. The emails, however, were not legitimate. Rather, they were either from email accounts with a domain name that was very similar to a legitimate domain name, or the metadata in the emails had been modified so that the emails appeared as if they were from legitimate email addresses. After victims complied with the fraudulent wiring instructions, the transferred funds were quickly withdrawn or moved into different bank accounts. In total, the BEC scams attempted to defraud the victims of millions of dollars. ANUEBUNWA and others carried out BEC scams by exchanging information regarding: (i) bank accounts used for receiving funds from victims; (ii) email accounts used for communicating with victims; (iii) scripts for requesting wire transfers from victims; and (iv) lists of names and email addresses for contacting and impersonating potential victims. * * * ANUEBUNWA, 40, a citizen of Nigeria, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. ANUEBUNWA is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Crotty on October 2, 2023, at 3:30 p.m. The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. Mr. Williams praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Williams also thanked United Kingdom authorities and the Yahoo E-Crime Investigations Team for their assistance in the investigation. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from the United Kingdom. This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew K. Chan is in charge of the prosecution.




  • Commercial Real Estate Investor Natin Paul Indicted on Eight Counts in Austin

    Fraud 5Press Release AUSTIN, Texas – A federal grand jury in Austin returned an indictment Tuesday, June 6, 2023, charging Natin Paul, aka Nate Paul, with making false statements for the purpose of influencing the actions of financial institutions on applications for loans. The indictment, unsealed during his initial appearance in Austin today, charges Paul with eight violations of Section 1014 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which prohibits knowingly making a false statement or report for the purpose of influencing the action of a financial institution on an application for a loan. According to the indictment, the lenders were based in Ireland, New York, Connecticut and Texas. The alleged violations occurred between March 2017 and April 2018. The defendant made his initial court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dustin Howell of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $1,000,000. The magistrate judge ordered the defendant released on bond. U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich Jr., of the FBI San Antonio Division made the announcement. The FBI is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Almonte and Alan Buie are prosecuting the case. An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



  • Alleged fraudster extradited to face charges in $7M international advance-fee scam

    HOUSTON – A 57-year-old Nigerian national has been extradited from France to face charges in the United States for his alleged leadership role in a conspiracy perpetrated against victims in more than 20 countries, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani. Uche Victor Diuno is set to appear today at 2 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena H. Palermo in Houston. He arrived in the United States Friday, June 9. The charges allege Diuno helped to orchestrate a scam involving false promises of investment funding by individuals who impersonated U.S. bank officials in person and over the internet to victims around the world. Those victims were allegedly told they had to make certain payments before they could supposedly receive their funding. Proceeds of the scheme were laundered through U.S. bank accounts and diverted back to the scheme’s perpetrators in Nigeria, according to the charges. Diuno allegedly lead a criminal network of “catchers,” who sent phishing emails to potential victims falsely offering investment funding on behalf of BB&T Corporation and other U.S. banks. Victims in various countries were deceived into believing they would receive millions of dollars of investment funding as part of joint ventures with U.S. banks, usually BB&T or Chase, according to the indictment. The perpetrators allegedly utilized false domain names to make it appear that senders of emails were actually affiliated with BB&T or Chase. The charges further allege that to convince victims the opportunities were authentic, the perpetrators recruited U.S. citizens to pose as bank “representatives” at in-person meetings with victims around the world. Further, if occurring abroad, they utilized sham visits to the local U.S. embassy or consulate and fabricated documents to make the victims believe the U.S. government was sponsoring the investment agreements, according to the indictment. The victims were then allegedly induced to pay tens of thousands, and often hundreds of thousands, of dollars to U.S.-based bank accounts on the belief that such payments were necessary to effectuate their investment agreements. Diuno was originally charged in a second superseding indictment filed Oct. 3, 2018, with one count of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of money laundering conspiracy and one count of concealment money laundering. As alleged in that indictment, Diuno was a “chairman” or leader in the scheme who operated his own network of catchers and money movers alongside other fraudsters, which he used in furtherance of the same BB&T investment scam. Five other individuals have been charged as part of the same indictment. The scheme allegedly resulted in losses of more than $7 million. The FBI and Department of State – Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Christian Latham of the Southern District of Texas and Trial Attorney Philip Trout of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case. An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.



  • Disruption of Fraud

    U.S. Law Enforcement Disrupts Networks Used to Transfer Fraud Proceeds, Taking Over 4,000 Actions in Fifth Campaign

    WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice, FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other federal law enforcement agencies announced today the completion of a three-month campaign that disrupted networks used by foreign fraudsters to obtain fraud proceeds. Multiple law enforcement actions addressed conduct by individuals sometimes referred to as “money mules,” who have been providing critical services to fraudsters by receiving money from fraud victims and forwarding the fraud proceeds to the perpetrators (many of whom are based overseas). Some individuals knew they were facilitating fraud. Others first interacted with fraudsters as victims and may have been unaware that their activity furthered criminal activity.

    Over approximately the last three months, law enforcement took over 4,000 actions against individuals responsible for facilitating a range of fraud schemes. These schemes included those that targeted consumers, such as lottery fraud and romance scams, as well as those that targeted businesses or pandemic funds.

    The thousands of actions taken by law enforcement—which ranged from criminal prosecutions, to civil actions, to warning letters—were designed to punish those who knowingly assisted fraudsters and to advise those who may have been unknowingly helping fraudsters that their conduct furthered crime. These actions are intended to deter overseas fraudsters from relying on U.S.-based individuals to facilitate schemes, and thereby reduce the harm caused by foreign fraud operations.

    This year’s effort marked the fifth U.S. law enforcement campaign disrupting these money transmitting networks. Since the first campaign, during which approximately 400 actions were taken by law enforcement, agencies have collectively taken over 12,000 actions. Investigations have shown that disrupting money transmitting networks has impeded fraudsters’ abilities to receive funds, thereby reducing fraud victimization. These campaigns are part of a global effort to tackle money transmitting networks linked to illegal activity.

    “Law enforcement is committed to reducing fraud using every tool at our disposal. Our efforts to disrupt networks used to transfer fraud proceeds, to educate the public about elder fraud, and to prosecute those involved in these schemes have stymied fraudsters,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “This initiative demonstrates what can be achieved through focused efforts and vigorous enforcement.”

    “The money mule campaign was an effort to educate the public, disrupt criminal enterprises, and provide feedback to financial institutions who go to great lengths to implement anti-money laundering programs,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI values the partnership of DOJ Consumer Protection Branch, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other federal agencies who work together to disrupt criminal enterprises conducting fraud and money laundering schemes.”

    “Anyone can be approached to be a money mule, but criminals often target students, those looking for work, and those on dating websites,” said Eric Shen, Inspector in Charge of the Criminal Investigations Group. “When those individuals use the U.S. Mail to send or receive funds from fraudsters, Postal Inspectors are quick to step in and put a stop to money mule activities.”

    This year’s effort was coordinated by the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch, the FBI, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which were joined by Homeland Security Investigations, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General. Participating agencies collectively served over 4,000 letters warning individuals that their activities are facilitating fraud. These letters outlined the potential consequences for continuing to transmit illegally acquired funds. Participating agencies also filed twelve civil or administrative actions. Additionally, more than 25 individuals were criminally charged for knowingly receiving and forwarding victim funds or otherwise laundering fraud proceeds.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District Massachusetts charged a defendant for using his accounting and “virtual CFO” business as a front to launder the proceeds of internet fraud schemes. As part of the alleged conspiracy, the defendant created dozens of shell companies and used those shell companies to open business bank accounts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, through which the defendant laundered the criminal proceeds for his clients in exchange for fees. In total, since 2019, the defendant is alleged to have opened approximately 80 bank accounts (purportedly on behalf of 65 different companies), laundering approximately $35 million.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina charged an individual for facilitating an international, multi-million-dollar tech support fraud. The indictment alleged that the defendant agreed to obtain payment-processing services in his name to process victim payments and laundered the proceeds domestically and internationally to bank accounts located in India, receiving three percent of the revenue in return.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Central District of California and the District of Nebraska charged individuals who, despite warnings from law enforcement, continued facilitating fraud. In the Central District of California, an individual was charged for her role in receiving funds from fraud victims, including victims of business email compromises. According to the charges, the defendant opened 11 bank accounts at seven separate financial institutions in furtherance of the scheme. In the District of Nebraska, two individuals were charged for facilitating a lottery fraud scheme, including by receiving cashier’s checks in the mail.

    Criminal charges are merely allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    As in past years, participating agencies are working to raise awareness about how fraudsters recruit and use individuals to assist their fraud operations. Federal agencies conducted outreach to the public and industry, and also expanded partnerships with local, state, and foreign law enforcement agencies. The Commodities Futures Trading Commission released a public awareness message about how fraudsters use and recruit people to facilitate romance fraud and “wrong number” text message scams, where fraudsters strike up conversations touting their wealth and success in trading crypto assets, over-the-counter foreign currency, or gold contracts to try and convince consumers to “invest” in crypto assets.

    The agencies involved in this effort urge consumers to be on the lookout for signs someone is trying to recruit them to receive and transmit fraud proceeds. Do not agree to receive money or checks mailed to you or sent to your bank account for someone you have met over the phone or online. Do not open a bank or cryptocurrency account at someone else’s direction. Fraudsters will lie to persuade you to help them. They may falsely tell you that they are helping you get a lottery prize, initiate a purported romantic relationship and then tell you that they need money, or pretend to offer you a job, an opportunity to invest in a business venture, or the chance to help in a charitable effort.

    For more information on this initiative, please visit https://www.justice.gov/civil/consumerprotection-branch/money-mule-init….

    Information about the Department of Justice’s Elder Fraud Initiative is available at www.justice.gov/elderjustice. If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is available at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311).

    Information about the Department of Justice’s COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force is available at https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

    For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch.



  • Pressure Group Leader Sentenced


    New Jersey Proud Boys Leader Sentenced on Felony Charge For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach

    Defendant Joined Confrontation on Lower West Terrace

                WASHINGTON – A New Jersey man, a regional leader of the Proud Boys, was sentenced today on a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.

                Shawn Price, 28, of Rockaway Township, New Jersey, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison for interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder. Price pleaded guilty on October 14, 2022, in the District of Columbia. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols ordered $2,000 in restitution.

                According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Price was a member of the Proud Boys and served as vice president of his local chapter. The Proud Boys describe themselves as members of a “pro-Western fraternal organization for men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world, aka Western Chauvinists.” According to the documents, Price traveled to Washington with 10-12 other members of the chapter. He and four or five of these associates then illegally entered the restricted area of the Capitol grounds, ignoring the police officers in riot gear and the clouds of chemical irritants in the air, which did not deter them. Even after being hit in the chest by a rubber bullet and sprayed with tear gas himself, Price was not deterred. He filmed a confrontation with law enforcement officers taking place on the Lower West Terrace, using profanities as he screamed at the officers, calling them “traitors,” “cowards,” and “scumbags.” He then proudly posted the video online

                At one point, as a crowd of rioters was ascending the stairs after breaching the line of law enforcement officers, Price said, “Let’s go … let’s go …. Let’s go!” and “They thought we couldn’t do it, they wanted to hold us back, now look at this s----.” After officers sprayed a chemical irritant in hopes of controlling the mob, Price continued shouting profanities.

                While on the Lower West Terrace, Price put on a pair of goggles to protect himself from the chemical irritants being used by the police to keep the rioters at bay and disperse the crowd. Sometime between 1:30 and 1:45 p.m., Price and several of his Proud Boys associates pushed en masse against the police in an attempt to breach the police line and access more of the Capitol grounds. The officers who were being pushed were attempting to aid a smaller group of officers on the scene but were unable to reach them because of the crowd’s actions. A few minutes later, Price and his associates forcibly interfered with officers working to arrest one of the rioters by trying to pull that man out of the police officers’ grasp. Later that evening, Price bragged online about how he had “led the storm” and inspired others to fight the police in an effort to keep the former president in power.

                Price was arrested on June 8, 2021.

                The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s National Security Division prosecuted the case, with valuable assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of New Jersey, the Middle District of Florida, and the Western District of Washington.

                The case was investigated by the FBI’s Newark and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department.

                In the 26 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 320 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

                Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

  • Social Media Influencer Convicted


    Social Media Influencer Douglass Mackey Convicted of Election Interference in 2016 Presidential Race

    Defendant Attempted to Suppress Vote Through Social Media Disinformation Campaign

    Douglass Mackey, also known as “Ricky Vaughn,” was convicted today by a federal jury in Brooklyn of the charge of Conspiracy Against Rights stemming from his scheme to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.  The verdict followed a one-week trial before United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly.  When sentenced, Mackey faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

    Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the verdict.

    “Mackey has been found guilty by a jury of his peers of attempting to deprive individuals from exercising their sacred right to vote for the candidate of their choice in the 2016 Presidential Election,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “Today’s verdict proves that the defendant’s fraudulent actions crossed a line into criminality and flatly rejects his cynical attempt to use the constitutional right of free speech as a shield for his scheme to subvert the ballot box and suppress the vote.”

    In 2016, Mackey established an audience on Twitter with approximately 58,000 followers.  A February 2016 analysis by the MIT Media Lab ranked Mackey as the 107th most important influencer of the then-upcoming Presidential Election.

    As proven at trial, between September 2016 and November 2016, Mackey conspired with other influential Twitter users and with members of private online groups to use social media platforms, including Twitter, to disseminate fraudulent messages that encouraged supporters of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to “vote” via text message or social media which, in reality, was legally invalid.  For example, on November 1, 2016, in or around the same time that Mackey was sending tweets suggesting the importance of limiting “black turnout,” the defendant tweeted an image depicting an African American woman standing in front of an “African Americans for Hillary” sign. The ad stated: “Avoid the Line. Vote from Home,” “Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925,” and “Vote for Hillary and be a part of history.” The fine print at the bottom of the deceptive image stated: “Must be 18 or older to vote. One vote per person. Must be a legal citizen of the United States. Voting by text not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska or Hawaii. Paid for by Hillary For President 2016.”  The tweet included the typed hashtag “#ImWithHer,” a slogan frequently used by Hillary Clinton.  On or about and before Election Day 2016, at least 4,900 unique telephone numbers texted “Hillary” or some derivative to the 59925 text number, which had been used in multiple deceptive campaign images tweeted by Mackey and his co-conspirators.

    Several hours after tweeting the first image, Mackey tweeted an image depicting a woman seated at a conference room typing a message on her cell phone.  This deceptive image was written in Spanish and mimicked a font used by the Clinton campaign in authentic ads.  The image also included a copy of the Clinton campaign’s logo and the “ImWithHer” hashtag.

    The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Erik D. Paulsen and F. Turner Buford of the Office’s Public Integrity Section, and Trial Attorney William J. Gullotta of the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section are in charge of the prosecution, with the assistance of Paralegal Specialist Shivani Parshad.

    The Defendant:

    Age:  33
    West Palm Beach, Florida

    E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-CR-80 (AMD)

    John Marzulli
    Danielle Blustein Hass
    United States Attorney’s Office
    (718) 254-6323

  • Three Plead Guilty To Conspiracy To.......

    ampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Reginald Roberts (22, Lakeland), a/k/a/ “Rudy,” Nathaniel Keith Carr (28, Riverdale), a/k/a “Nate,” and Chrishawn De’Earl Butler (22, Brooksville), a/k/a “Baby,” have each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, Hobbs Act robbery, and brandishing and discharging firearms in the commission of crimes of violence. Each faces a minimum mandatory sentence ranging from 14 to 21 years, up to life, in federal prison. Sentencing dates have not yet been set.

    According to the plea agreements, and as depicted in the attached photographs introduced at the initial appearance hearing on May 12, 2021, between December 2020 and April 2021, Roberts, Carr, Butler and others engaged in a conspiracy to rob individuals they suspected of distributing narcotics. During that time, the conspirators engaged in numerous armed robberies in Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, and Lee counties, some of which resulted in shootings. While committing these offenses, the conspirators impersonated law enforcement officers by wearing black clothing, gloves, and masks, often with law enforcement insignia, or vests with “Sheriff” affixed. In addition, during certain robberies, the conspirators drove a black Dodge Durango and white Chevrolet Malibu equipped with blue lights and sirens. 

    Court Exhibit

    Court Exhibit

    Co-conspirator Jasmine Weber (28, Tampa) has also pleaded guilty, and is pending sentencing. Indicted co-conspirators Daniel Jackson and Darius Hudson are pending trial. An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

    This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Bartow Police Department, the Lakeland Police Department, the Dade City Police Department, the Cape Coral Police Department, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, the Arcadia Police Department, and the Florida Highway Patrol. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diego F. Novaes.

    This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.


  • U.S. Citizen Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Provide Electronic Equipment and Technology to the Government of Iran

    Defendant Conspired to Illegally Export U.S. Goods and Technology Without Required Export Licenses

    Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Kambiz Attar Kashani, a dual citizen of the United States and Iran, was sentenced by United States District Judge Eric R. Komitee to 30 months’ imprisonment for conspiring to illegally export U.S. goods, technology, and services to end users in Iran, including the Government of Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).  The defendant has agreed to pay a $50,000 fine. Kashani pleaded guilty to the charge in June 2022.

    Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and Joseph R. Bonavolanta, Special Agent-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division (FBI), announced the sentence.

    “Kashani defied export restrictions and sanctions against Iran, a country that sponsors international terrorism,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “His scheme undermined U.S. foreign policy and national security interests, and warranted a substantial sentence of incarceration to deter others.”

    “Kashani conspired to illegally export U.S. goods and technology for the benefit of the Central Bank of Iran, a designated entity that materially supports known terrorist organizations,” said Assistant Attorney General Olsen. “The Department remains vigilant against any efforts to circumvent our export control laws, which exist to protect the security of the United States and its people.”

    “Kambiz Attar Kashani will now head to prison for strengthening the economy of one of the world’s most infamous state sponsors of terrorism to line his own pockets, while circumventing U.S. laws in place to protect our national security interests. He used two United Arab Emirates companies to procure items from multiple American technology companies, including one located right here in Massachusetts,” said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Bonavolonta. “Today’s sentencing should send a strong message that the FBI and its law enforcement partners will continue to pursue and hold accountable those individuals who illegally export our country’s sensitive information and technology to hostile nations such as the Government of Iran.”

    Between February 2019 and June 2021, Kashani conspired to illegally export goods and technology to end users in Iran, including the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The U.S. government recognizes CBI as an agency of the Government of Iran and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has classified it as a Specially Designated National (SDN) acting for or on behalf of a terrorist organization.  According to the U.S. government, CBI has materially assisted, sponsored and provided financial, material or technological support, goods or services to Lebanese Hizballah, a terrorist organization, and to the Qods Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which is a branch of the Iranian armed forces and represents the primary means of the Government of Iran to direct and implement its global terrorism campaign.   

    Kashani and his co-conspirators perpetrated the illegal transshipping scheme through two separate United Arab Emirates (UAE) companies.  They used the UAE companies to procure electronic goods and technology from multiple U.S. technology companies, including one located in Brooklyn, for end users in Iran, including CBI, without obtaining required OFAC export licenses.  Certain of the goods and technology Kashani and his co-conspirators transshipped were classified by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security as information security items subject to national security and anti-terrorism controls.  Kashani and his co-conspirators intentionally concealed from the U.S. companies that they intended to send the items to Iran, falsely claiming that the UAE companies would be the ultimate end users.   

    As set forth in court papers, by providing the Government of Iran and end users in Iran with sophisticated, top-tier U.S. electronic equipment and software, the defendant and his co-conspirators enabled the Iranian banking system to operate more efficiently, effectively, and securely.  In doing so, the defendant and his co-conspirators likely helped strengthen Iran’s economy and provided faster and more secure access to funds that enable the Government of Iran to further priorities including its nuclear program and terrorist agenda – exactly what the U.S. sanctions against Iran were intended to prevent.

    The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon and Meredith A. Arfa are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney S. Derek Shugert of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.


    Kambiz Attar Kashani
    Age:  45
    United Arab Emirates


  • Nigerian National Sentenced to Prison for Bank Fraud Scheme

    Scheme Involved Selling Stolen Personal Identifiable Information

    CLEVELAND – A Nigerian national was sentenced today to more than three years – or 37 months – in prison by U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin after he was convicted by a jury of formulating a conspiracy to obtain stolen financial information, making fraudulent and unauthorized purchases of retail goods and gift cards, and stealing funds from victim bank accounts in Northern Ohio and elsewhere.

    Blessing Adeleke, 31, of Nigeria, was convicted in October 2022 of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and 16 counts of bank fraud. According to court documents, between January 2014 through October 2016, Adeleke served as an administrator for an online marketplace, Shad0w.info, where compromised data, such as credit numbers and personally identifiable information (PII), were sold.

    As part of the conspiracy, Adeleke and others obtained stolen credit card information and purchased items, such as retail goods and gift cards for themselves. Adeleke shared this stolen credit card information with others, including co-defendant Kylie Ann Harlow. Court documents state that Adeleke and Harlow shipped retail goods purchased with the stolen financial information to Harlow and others and, in some instances, returned the goods and gift cards to retail stores to obtain cash.

    Adeleke and Harlow eventually forwarded the fraudulently obtained goods, gift cards, and money to other members of the conspiracy for their personal enrichment.

    Adeleke gained access to at least one bank account belonging to a victim in Pepper Pike, Ohio, from which he sent 16 fraudulent checks. 

    Kylie Ann Harlow previously pleaded guilty to her role in the scheme and was sentenced in June 2021. This case was investigated by the Cleveland FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian S. Deckert and Daniel J. Riedl.

    The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs provided significant support and assistance in securing the defendant’s arrest and extradition from Ghana.

    The U.S. Department of Justice thanks its Ghanian partners, specifically the Ministry of Interior and the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, for supporting this extradition.

    The FBI Legal Attaché in Accra and the U.S. Marshals Service also provided significant support and assistance to Adeleke’s extradition.


  • Final Defendant In Michigan Governor Kidnapping Plot Sentenced To 235 Months In Prison

    GRAND RAPIDS – Barry Croft Jr., 47, of Bear, Delaware, was sentenced today to 235 months (19 years 7 months) in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to kidnap the Governor of Michigan, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property, and knowingly possessing an unregistered destructive device, which was a commercial firework refashioned with shrapnel to serve as a hand-grenade. Croft was convicted by a federal jury in August 2022 during an 11-day retrial. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Croft and others intended to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation cottage near Elk Rapids, Michigan, and use the destructive devices to facilitate their plot by harming and hindering the governor’s security detail and any responding law enforcement officers. They specifically explored placing a bomb under an interstate overpass near a pedestrian boardwalk. A jury in an earlier trial was unable to reach a verdict. Croft is the final defendant to be sentenced for his role in the plot. Co-defendant Adam Fox, 39, of Wyoming, Michigan, was sentenced yesterday to 16 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his role in the conspiracy. Ty Garbin, 27, of Hartland, Michigan, pleaded guilty in January 2021 and initially received a sentence of 75 months, or over six years, in prison. The district court later reduced that sentence to a term of 30 months, or two and a half years in prison, after fully considering his cooperation at both trials. Kaleb Franks, 28, of Waterford, Michigan, received a term of four years in prison after pleading guilty and testifying at both trials. Co-defendants Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta were acquitted at the first trial in April 2022. Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Former U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge for the Western District of Michigan, appointed to oversee the trial, and Assistant Director Robert R. Wells of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division made the announcement. The FBI’s Detroit Field Office investigated the case with valuable assistance provided by the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, including Michigan State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan charged the case and conducted the trials, with valuable assistance provided by the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.


  • Man Indicted for Stealing Chief Federal Judge’s Identity and Forging Court Documents

    For Further Information, Contact: Assistant U. S. Attorney Mark Conover (619) 546-6763  Honolulu, Hawaii – Edmond Abordo of Honolulu was arrested by the FBI today in connection with a federal grand jury indictment charging that he forged the signature of a federal judge in order to trick a woman into paying him thousands of dollars for bogus legal services. According to the indictment, Abordo used the forged signature and a federal court seal to create a phony court order, which he then used to prove to the victim that he’d pulled her Ewa Beach, Hawaii, home out of foreclosure. Abordo allegedly claimed to be a legal expert, which he was not. The case was initiated when the Clerk's Office of the District Court, District of Hawaii learned of the forged court order containing the signature and seal of U.S. Chief District Judge Derrick K. Watson. The FBI began investigating. The indictment alleges that Abordo first met the elderly victim in late 2017 and described himself to her as a “non-licensed attorney” who could help her prevent foreclosure. Abordo, who is not a lawyer and has no legal training, claimed that he had expertise on several legal subjects, including mortgages and adverse possession. He convinced the victim to file a federal lawsuit challenging foreclosure of her home. Nearly each time that Abordo met with the victim, he demanded a cash payment of $1,000 to $3,000 dollars. Abordo ultimately convinced the victim that the federal judge assigned to the lawsuit had awarded her possession of her home, the indictment said Abordo stated that he would not give her the court order until she paid him additional money. In reality, the victim’s home had been lost to foreclosure and the federal lawsuit had been dismissed months earlier. The victim, believing Abordo had a real court order, paid him thousands of dollars in exchange for the forged court order. The forged court order was a two-page document dated June 26, 2019 and titled “Order Granting Plaintiff’s Motion For Adverse Possession Pursuant HRS § 657-31.5 Adverse Possession and 43 U.S. Code § 1068 Lands Held in Adverse Possession.” The document contained the caption of the federal lawsuit as well as the purported signature of U.S. District Judge Watson, and the seal of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii. Abordo assured the victim that the forged court order was a genuine court document and that the judge’s signature on the forged order was genuine, and that the forged court order gave legal possession of the Ewa Beach property to the victim. In reality, and as Abordo then well knew, the forged court order was not genuine, was never issued or signed by the judge, and did not confer any property rights to the victim. “We will always act to protect the integrity of the court and seek justice for victims of fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman of the Southern District of California. Grossman applauded the work of the prosecution team and the FBI in this matter. “Trust in our court system is paramount to our society,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill. “When individuals forge court documents and victimize our kupuna, the FBI will aggressively pursue those individuals to maintain the public’s confidence in the court system and protect the vulnerable.” Abordo was arraigned on the indictment by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendal Newman and entered a plea of not guilty. Judge Newman detained Abordo temporarily and ordered him to appear before U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill on January 19, 2023, at 9 a.m. for a motion hearing. *The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. DEFENDANT Edmund Abordo 67 Honolulu, HI SUMMARY OF CHARGES 18 U.S.C. § 1343, Wire Fraud Maximum Penalty: Twenty years in prison, $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution 18 U.S.C. § 505, Forgery Maximum Penalty: Five years in prison, $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1), Aggravated Identity Theft Maximum Penalty: Two years consecutive to underlying count   AGENCIES Federal Bureau of Investigation *The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.


  • FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs Sign Agreement to Improve Law Enforcement in Indian Country

    Law 1During remarks at the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit today, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced that the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) signed an agreement to establish guidelines to provide for the effective and efficient administration of criminal investigations in Indian Country. This is the first update since the early 1990s to a memorandum of understanding between the agencies. The announcement is being discussed during a panel featuring Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta at the Summit. The Summit provides an opportunity for Administration and Tribal leaders from the 574 federally recognized Tribes to discuss ways the federal government can invest in and strengthen nation-to-nation relationships as well as ensure that progress in Indian Country endures for years to come. “This agreement is a crucial step to advancing public safety for American Indian and Alaska Native communities,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “The Department of Justice is committed to working with the Department of the Interior to investigate Indian Country crimes, including reports of missing or murdered Indigenous people, quickly, effectively and respectfully. We are grateful to the Tribes that provided input into this new policy.”   “The FBI is committed to ongoing and continued collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Affairs,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “The FBI has a crucial role in successfully addressing matters in the nation’s Indian Country communities and this updated MOU affirms our dedication to the mission of protecting all Americans. The FBI will not waver in its support of our Tribal law enforcement agency partners and our coordination with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.” “Interagency coordination is absolutely critical given the complexities of jurisdiction in Tribal communities. This agreement supports an all-of-government approach to addressing federal responsibilities and Tribal needs in Indian Country,” said Assistant Secretary Bryan Newland for Indian Affairs. “All federal agencies share a treaty and trust responsibility to protect Tribal sovereignty and revitalize Tribal communities. This partnership will further support our efforts to keep Native people safe in their homes and communities.” Under the agreement, the BIA Office of Justice Services and the FBI will cooperate on investigations and share information and investigative reports. The agencies will also establish written guidelines outlining jurisdiction and investigative roles and responsibilities for investigators from the BIA, FBI and Tribal law enforcement agencies. The agreement also requires that all BIA, FBI and Tribal law enforcement officers receive training regarding trauma-informed, culturally responsive investigative approaches. This agreement will support the unified response to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples crisis, and the Missing and Murdered Unit launched by Secretary Haaland. It defines responsibilities for FBI, BIA and Tribal investigators to ensure that missing person cases are entered into the National Crime Information Center, National Incident-Based Reporting System and other appropriate federal criminal databases, and that DNA is submitted to the National Missing Person DNA Database when appropriate and available. The agreement also specifies that the FBI will take an initial primary role in the investigation of any BIA or Tribal law enforcement officer-involved shootings and in-custody death incidents. The BIA will concurrently conduct separate internal administrative investigations of any BIA or Tribal law enforcement officer-involved shootings and in-custody death incidents. The mission of the BIA Office of Justice Services is to uphold Tribal sovereignty and provide for the safety of Indian communities by ensuring the protection of life and property, enforcing laws, maintaining justice and order, and by ensuring sentenced American Indian offenders are confined in safe, secure, and humane environments. Ensuring public safety and justice is arguably the most fundamental of government services provided in Tribal communities.


  • Three Arrested for Conspiracy and Obstruction of Criminal Prosecution in the US

    Black Friday Treasure Hunt

    Charges Include Conspiracy to Forcibly Repatriate PRC Nationals, Attempted Obstruction of a Criminal Prosecution, and Conspiracy to Act as an Illegal Agent of a Foreign Country In three separate cases in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Eastern District of New York and the District of New Jersey, the Justice Department has charged 13 individuals, including members of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) security and intelligence apparatus and their agents, for alleged efforts to unlawfully exert influence in the United States for the benefit of the government of the PRC. In the Eastern District of New York, an eight-count indictment was unsealed on Oct. 20 charging seven PRC nationals – two of whom were arrested on Oct. 20 in New York – with participating in a scheme to cause the forced repatriation of a PRC national residing in the United States. The defendants are accused of conducting surveillance of and engaging in a campaign to harass and coerce a U.S. resident to return to the PRC as part of an international extralegal repatriation effort known as “Operation Fox Hunt.” A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging two People’s PRC intelligence officers with attempting to obstruct a criminal prosecution in the Eastern District of New York. The defendants remain at large. In the District of New Jersey, an indictment was unsealed today charging four Chinese nationals, including three Ministry of State Security (MSS) intelligence officers, in connection with a long-running intelligence campaign targeting individuals in the United States to act as agents of the PRC. “As these cases demonstrate, the government of China sought to interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals in the United States and to undermine our judicial system that protects those rights. They did not succeed,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department will not tolerate attempts by any foreign power to undermine the Rule of Law upon which our democracy is based. We will continue to fiercely protect the rights guaranteed to everyone in our country. And we will defend the integrity of our institutions.” “The actions announced today take place against a backdrop of malign activity from the government of the People’s Republic of China that includes espionage, attempts to disrupt our justice system, harassment of individuals, and ongoing efforts to steal sensitive U.S. technology,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “The men and women of the Department of Justice will continue to defend the United States, our institutions, and our people from foreign threats that violate the law — no matter what form they take.” “These indictments of PRC intelligence officers and government officials – for trying to obstruct a U.S. trial of a Chinese company, masquerading as university professors to steal sensitive information, and trying to strong-arm a victim into returning to China – again expose the PRC’s outrageous behavior within our own borders,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “The FBI, working with our partners and allies, will continue to throw the full weight of our counterintelligence and law enforcement authorities into stopping the Chinese government’s crimes against our businesses, universities, and Chinese-American communities.” “These cases highlight the threat the PRC government poses to our institutions and the rights of people in the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “We will not tolerate these brazen operations: the harassment and attempted repatriation by force of individuals living in the U.S.; the effort to corrupt our judicial system; and the attempt to recruit agents for the PRC under the cover of a front academic organization. Countering such threats is a cornerstone of the mission of the National Security Division.” United States v. Quanzhong An, et al., Eastern District of New York An eight-count indictment was unsealed on Oct. 20 in Brooklyn charging a total of seven nationals of the PRC – Quanzhong An, 55, of Roslyn, New York; Guangyang An, 34, of Roslyn, New York; Tian Peng, 38, of the PRC; Chenghua Chen of the PRC; Chunde Ming of the PRC; Xuexin Hou, 52, of the PRC; and Weidong Yuan, 55, of the PRC – with participating in a scheme to cause the forced repatriation of a PRC national residing in the United States. The lead defendant, Quanzhong An, allegedly acted at the direction and under the control of various officials with the PRC’s government’s Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection (Provincial Commission) – including Peng, Chen, Ming, and Hou – to conduct surveillance of and engage in a campaign to harass and coerce a U.S. resident to return to the PRC as part of an international extralegal repatriation effort known as “Operation Fox Hunt.” Quanzhong An and Guangyang An were arrested on Thursday and were arraigned that afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes Jr. The remaining defendants remain at large. “As alleged, the defendants engaged in a unilateral and uncoordinated law enforcement action on U.S. soil on behalf of the government of the People’s Republic of China, in an effort to cause the forced repatriation of a U.S. resident to China,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York. “The United States will firmly counter such outrageous violations of national sovereignty and prosecute individuals who act as illegal agents of foreign states.” As alleged in the indictment, the defendants participated in an international campaign to threaten and intimidate John Doe-1, a resident of United States, and his family to force John Doe-1 to return to the PRC. These efforts were part of “Operation Fox Hunt,” an initiative by the PRC’s Ministry of Public Security to locate and repatriate alleged fugitives who flee to foreign countries, including the United States. The PRC government has targeted these alleged fugitives and their families to compel cooperation with the PRC government and self-repatriation to the PRC. The PRC government has taken such law enforcement actions on U.S. soil in a unilateral manner without approval, of or coordination with the U.S. government. Quanzhong An, who is a businessman operating in Queens, New York, and the majority shareholder of a hotel in Flushing, acted as the primary U.S.-based liaison for the Provincial Commission’s targeting of John Doe-1 and his family members, including his son, John Doe-2, both in the United States and in the PRC. As part of the scheme, various PRC-based conspirators forced a relative in the PRC (John Doe-3) to travel from the PRC to the United States in September 2018 to meet with John Doe-2 and convey threats that were intended to coerce John Doe-1’s return to the PRC. Yuan – John Doe-3’s superior at the PRC’s State Administration of Taxation – escorted John Doe-3 from the PRC to the United States, under the guise of a visit with a tour group. PRC-based defendants and coconspirators also engaged in a pattern of harassment targeting John Doe-1’s family members. In November 2017, Hou wrote John Doe-2 warning him that “coming back and turning yourself in is the only way out.” Hou further threatened that “avoidance and wishful thinking will only result in severe legal punishments.” The PRC government also harassed John Doe-1 and John Doe-2 through the filing of a lawsuit in New York State court, alleging that John Doe-1 had stolen funds from his former PRC based employer and that John Doe-2 had knowledge of and benefitted from his father’s scheme. In a series of recorded meetings in 2020, 2021, and 2022, Quanzhong An repeatedly met with John Doe-2 and attempted to persuade John Doe-2 to cause the return of John Doe-1 to the PRC. In these meetings, Quanzhong An acknowledged that he is a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which enforces the rules and regulations of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) abroad. At various times, he attributed his instructions to Chen, Ming, and Peng and acknowledged that the Fox Hunt operation was motivated by the PRC government’s need to “save their faces” and repatriate as many fugitives as possible. Quanzhong An admitted that he was acting as an agent of the Provincial Commission to increase his standing in the PRC. During his meetings with John Doe-2, Quanzhong An repeatedly transmitted threats on behalf of the PRC government. If John Doe-1 did not return, the PRC government would “keep pestering you, [and] make your daily life uncomfortable,” in addition to actions to “target and monitor” John Doe-1’s relatives in the PRC. On another occasion, he stated that “they will definitely find new ways to bother you” and “it is definitely true that all of your relatives will be involved.” As set forth in the detention memorandum, Quanzhong An met with John Doe-2 again on Sept. 29, 2022. During this meeting, Quanzhong An pressed for John Doe-1 to execute an agreement to return to the PRC in advance of the CCP’s 20th National Congress, which began on Oct. 16, 2022. As part of such agreement, Quanzhong An sought a written confession from John Doe-1, which would be submitted directly to the PRC government. The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted of acting as agents of the PRC, Quanzhong An faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The money laundering conspiracy charge against Quanzhong An and Guangyang An carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The remaining charges, including conspiring to act as agents of the PRC and conspiring to commit interstate and international stalking, carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon, Sara K. Winik, and Antoinette N. Rangel and Trial Attorney Scott A. Claffee of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Morris of the Office’s Asset Recovery Section is handling forfeiture matters. United States v. Dong He, et al., Eastern District of New York A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging two People’s Republic of China (PRC) intelligence officers with attempting to obstruct a criminal prosecution in the Eastern District of New York. The defendants remain at large. According to court documents, Dong He, aka Guochun He and aka Jacky He, and Zheng Wang, aka Zen Wang, allegedly orchestrated a scheme to steal files and other information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York related to the ongoing federal criminal investigation and prosecution of a global telecommunications company (Company-1) based in the PRC, including by paying a $41,000 Bitcoin bribe to a U.S. government employee who the defendants believed had been recruited to work for the PRC, but who in fact was a double agent working on behalf of the FBI. “Today’s complaint underscores the unrelenting efforts of the PRC government to undermine the rule of law,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York. “As alleged, the case involves an effort by PRC intelligence officers to obstruct an ongoing criminal prosecution by making bribes to obtain files from this Office and sharing them with a global telecommunications company that is a charged defendant in an ongoing prosecution. We will always act decisively to counteract criminal acts that target our system of justice.” Dong He and Zheng Wang are charged with attempting to obstruct a criminal prosecution of Company-1 in federal district court in the Eastern District of New York. Defendant He also is charged with money laundering based upon a bribe payment of $41,000 in Bitcoin made in furtherance of the scheme. According to the complaint, the defendants are PRC intelligence officers conducting foreign intelligence operations targeting the United States, on behalf of the PRC government and for the benefit of Company-1. Starting in 2019, they directed an employee at a U.S. government law enforcement agency (GE-1), whom they believed they had recruited as an asset, to steal confidential information about the criminal prosecution of Company-1 in order to interfere with that prosecution. In actuality, GE-1 was working as a double agent on behalf of the FBI. In September 2021, the defendants tasked GE-1 with reporting about meetings that GE-1 was purportedly having with prosecutors in Brooklyn at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. In written communications, the defendants said they were particularly interested in knowing which Company-1 employees had been interviewed by the government and in obtaining a description of the prosecutors’ evidence, witness list and trial strategy. In October 2021, GE-1 used an encrypted messaging program to send the defendants a single page from a purported internal strategy memorandum from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York regarding the Company-1 case. The document appeared to be classified as “SECRET” and to discuss a plan to charge and arrest two current Company-1 employees living in the PRC. Dong He responded that the document was “exactly what I am waiting for” and that he was “waiting for the feedback from some guys” about whether there were any questions about the document. Dong He then paid GE-1 approximately $41,000 in Bitcoin for stealing that document. GE-1 also asked the defendants for any feedback about the “SECRET” document. In November 2021, Dong He stated that “[Company-1] didn’t give me specifically feedback now yet, but they are obviously interested in it, and my boss and they need further information.” Dong He further told GE-1 that “[Company-1] obviously will be interested” in GE-1 stealing another part of the strategy memorandum, and “maybe will offer more” for that information. In December 2021, in response to a further request by GE-1 for feedback or guidance from Company-1 about “what they want me to get,” Dong He explained that “they didn’t give me any positive feedback yet and demanded to communicate with you directly.” Dong He said that he refused Company-1’s request to speak directly to GE-1 because “it’s too dangerous.” The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Dong He faces up to 40 years of imprisonment and Wang faces up to 20 years of imprisonment. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon and Meredith A. Arfa and Trial Attorney Scott A. Claffee of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section. United States v. Wang Lin et al., District of New Jersey A federal indictment was unsealed today charging four Chinese nationals, including three Ministry of State Security (MSS) intelligence officers, in connection with a long-running intelligence campaign targeting individuals in the United States to act as agents of the PRC. As alleged in the indictment, from at least 2008 to 2018, Wang Lin, 59; Bi Hongwei, age unknown; Dong Ting, aka Chelsea Dong, 40; Wang Qiang, 55, and others engaged in a wide-ranging and systematic effort to target and recruit individuals to act on behalf of the PRC in the United States with requests to provide information, materials, equipment, and assistance to the Chinese government in ways that would further China’s intelligence objectives. These recruitment efforts included targeting professors at universities, a former federal law enforcement and state homeland security official, and others to act on behalf of, and as agents of, the Chinese government. As part of the conspiracy, MSS intelligence officers Wang Lin, Dong Ting, and others used a purported academic institute at Ocean University of China – referred to as the Institute for International Studies (IIS) – as cover for their clandestine intelligence activities. Acting under cover as the purported director of the IIS, Wang Lin, in coordination with other MSS operatives operating under the guise of academics at the IIS, targeted professors at American universities and others in the United States with access to sensitive information and equipment. According to the indictment unsealed today, MSS intelligence officers Wang Lin, Bi, Dong, and others, acting for and on behalf of the MSS and the Chinese government, systematically targeted United States persons, including but not limited to a coconspirator who was a resident of the state of New Jersey and a second individual who was a former federal law enforcement officer and state homeland security official and a professor at an American university. Among other things, the conspiracy targeted the second individual by inviting the individual in 2008 and 2018 on all-expenses-paid trips to China sponsored by the IIS. During those trips, Wang Lin, Dong, and others sought to recruit this individual as a human source, requesting that the individual provide sensitive fingerprint technology, information, and assistance with stopping planned protests along the 2008 Olympic Games torch route in the United States, which the conspirators expressed would be “embarrassing” to China. The individual also was requested to sign a contract for purported consulting services with a Chinese company whose “core value” was the “national interest and national security” of China, with an objective to “protect the national interest and Chinese enterprises’ overseas interest[s]” and to “build sources and channels to collect security information.” Recognizing Wang Lin, Dong, and others as Chinese intelligence officers, the individual refused these requests and reported them to law enforcement. The conspiracy also targeted the coconspirator in New Jersey by tasking the coconspirator to take specific action in the United States in furtherance of the MSS’ intelligence objective. Wang Qiang coordinated a meeting in 2016 between the coconspirator, Wang Lin, and Bi Hongwei in the Bahamas, at which time MSS intelligence officers Wang Lin and Bi directed the coconspirator to obtain U.S. currency and provide it to a designated individual in New Jersey. The coconspirator returned to New Jersey and did as Wang Lin and BI instructed. Wang Qiang then visited the coconspirator in New Jersey, at which time Wang Qiang and the coconspirator discussed in detail their and others’ activities taken on behalf of the Chinese government in the United States. Lin, Bi, Dong and Qiang, all are nationals and residents of the People’s Republic of China. They each are charged in the indictment with conspiracy to act in the United States as agents of a foreign government, namely, the People’s Republic of China, without prior notification to the Attorney General of the United States, as required by law, and to direct such unlawful action by others in the United States. The conspiracy charge carries a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum fine of $250,000. U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Brendan Day, Attorney in Charge of the Trenton Branch Office, and Joyce M. Malliet, Chief of the Office’s National Security Unit. The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


  • FBI Warns Voters on Election Crimes Ahead of the November 2022 Midterm Election

    Free and fair democratic elections are one of the founding pillars of the United States. The FBI is committed to protecting every eligible citizen’s right to vote. Consistent with past practice, the FBI is providing this information to educate voters about Federal election crimes and how to avoid them, and to encourage voters to report suspected violations to your local FBI field office.

    Election Crimes

    Election crimes threaten the integrity of elections and undermine public confidence in our democracy. Election crimes fall into broad categories:

    Ballot/voter fraud

    Campaign finance violations

    Civil rights violations, such as voter suppression or voter intimidation

    While individual states and localities have the constitutional authority and responsibility to manage their own elections and election laws, an election crime becomes a federal crime when one or more of the following occurs:

    A ballot includes one or more Federal candidates

    Election or polling place officials abuse their office

    The conduct involves false voter registration

    The crime is motivated by hostility toward protected minority groups

    The activity violates federal campaign finance law

    Examples of Federal election crimes include, but are not limited to:

    Giving false information when registering to vote

    Voting more than once

    Changing ballot markings or otherwise tampering with ballots

    Vote buying

    Threatening voters with physical or financial harm

    Intentionally lying about the time, manner, or place of an election to prevent qualified voters from voting

    Political fundraising by federal employees

    Campaign contributions above legal limits

    Conduit contributions/straw donor schemes

    Contributions from foreign or other prohibited sources

    Use of campaign funds for personal or unauthorized purposes

    Distinguishing between legal and criminal conduct is critical for ensuring the integrity of U.S. elections. The following activities are not federal election crimes:

    Giving voters rides to the polls or time off to vote

    Offering voters a stamp to mail a ballot

    Making false claims about oneself or another candidate

    Forging or faking nominating petitions

    Campaigning too close to polling places

    Honest mistakes by poll workers

    Lack of immediate election results while ballots are counted

    The FBI plays an important role in preventing violations of your constitutional rights, including your right to vote. Report any instances of potential election crimes to your local FBI field office, and ask to speak to an election crimes coordinator.

    Voter Suppression

    Intentionally deceiving qualified voters to prevent them from voting is voter suppression—and it is a federal crime.

    There are various methods which can be used to spread disinformation about voting. Such methods are social media platforms, texting, or peer-to-peer messaging applications on smartphones. Additionally, bad actors may provide misleading information about the time, manner and place of voting. This includes inaccurate election dates or false claims about voting methods like, voting by text, which is not allowed in any jurisdiction.

    Do you know when, where, and how you will vote? If not, there are many reputable places you can find this information, including eac.gov and usa.gov/how-to-vote. However, not all publicly available voting information is accurate, and some is deliberately designed to deceive you in order to suppress turnout.

    Always consider the source of voting information. Ask yourself, “Can I trust this information?” Look for official notices from election offices and verify the information you found is accurate.

    Help defend the right to vote by reporting any suspected instances of voter suppression—especially those received through a private communication channel like texting—to your local FBI field office and ask to speak to an election crimes coordinator.

    Scam PACs

    Making political contributions can be a powerful way to exercise your First Amendment rights. But some individuals and groups soliciting contributions are bad actors trying to enrich themselves at your expense.

    In every election cycle there are billions of dollars invested in political spending. This attracts criminals who use deception to cheat Americans out of their hard-earned money. The FBI assesses that seniors are at a high risk of being targeted.

    Scam PACs are fraudulent political action committees designed to reroute political contributions for personal financial gain. This is a federal crime. Signs that a PAC is a scam include the PAC and its website disappearing, and the phone number going out of service.

    If you or someone you know has been targeted by a scam PAC, contact your local FBI field office and ask to speak to an election crimes coordinator.

    How to Protect Your Vote

    Know when, where, and how you will vote.

    Seek out election information from trustworthy sources, verify who produced the content, and consider their intent.

    Report potential election crimes—such as disinformation about the manner, time, or place of voting—to the FBI.

    If appropriate, make use of in-platform tools offered by social media companies for reporting suspicious posts that appear to be spreading false or inconsistent information about voting and elections.

    Research individuals and entities to whom you are making political donations. If something seems suspicious, reconsider the donation.  

    Victim Reporting and Additional Information

    The FBI encourages the public to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to their local FBI field office. For additional election-related assistance and resources, please visit the following FBI webpages:

    Election Crimes and Security

    Protected Voices


  • Bribery-Former FBI Agent Docked

         LOS ANGELES – A Bay Area man and former FBI special agent was found guilty today by a federal jury of conspiring to accept at least $150,000 in cash bribes and other items of value in exchange for providing sensitive law enforcement information to a corrupt lawyer with ties to Armenian organized crime.

              Babak Broumand, 56, of Lafayette, California, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, two counts of bribery of a public official, and one count of monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.

              United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner scheduled a January 30, 2023 sentencing hearing, at which time Broumand will face statutory maximum sentences of 15 years in federal prison for each bribery count, 10 years in federal prison for each unlawful monetary transactions count, and five years in federal prison for the conspiracy count.

              Judge Klausner ordered Broumand remanded into federal custody.

              Broumand, an FBI special agent from January 1999 until shortly after search warrants were served on his home and businesses in 2018, was responsible for national security investigations and was assigned to the FBI Field Office in San Francisco.

              According to evidence presented at his 11-day trial, from January 2015 to December 2018, Broumand accepted cash, checks, private jet flights, a Ducati motorcycle, hotel stays, escorts, meals, and other items of value from an organized crime-linked lawyer – identified in court papers as “E.S” and each man acted to conceal the true nature of their corrupt relationship.

              In return for the bribe payments and other items of value, Broumand conducted law enforcement database inquiries and used those inquiries to help E.S. and his associates avoid prosecution and law enforcement monitoring. Specifically, Broumand informed E.S. whether a particular person or entity was under criminal investigation by stating that E.S. should “stay away” from that person or that they were “OK.”

              To conceal the nature of their corrupt relationship, Broumand made it falsely appear that E.S. was working as an FBI source. Broumand wrote reports after the fact to make it falsely appear that he conducted legitimate law enforcement database inquiries.

              In exchange for the illegal inquiries, E.S. paid Broumand at least $150,000 in cash and check bribes, including a Ducati motorcycle and accessories valued at more than $36,000. The bribes were deposited into the accounts for Love Bugs LLC, a Lafayette-based lice-removal hair salon business that Broumand and his wife started in 2007.

              Soon after the bribery scheme began, E.S. asked Broumand to query the FBI database for Levon Termendzhyan, an Armenian organized crime figure for whom E.S. had worked. The database search “rang all the bells” and revealed an FBI investigation in Los Angeles, according to court documents, which note that Broumand accessed the FBI case file on Termendzhyan repeatedly in January 2015. Broumand also allegedly accessed the Termendzhyan FBI case file in May 2016.

              Termendzhyan, a.k.a. “Lev Aslan Dermen,” was found guilty in March 2020 in federal court in Utah on criminal charges related to a $1 billion renewable fuel tax credit fraud scheme. He awaits sentencing.

              In December 2015, at E.S.’s request, Broumand searched a confidential FBI database for information about Sam Sarkis Solakyan, a medical imaging companies CEO, and later warned E.S. to “stay away” from Solakyan, who was “trouble,” meaning that Solakyan was under law enforcement investigation. Solakyan eventually was charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to five years in federal prison for running a scheme that submitted more than $250 million fraudulent claims through California’s workers compensation system.

              In May 2016, Broumand interfered with an FBI investigation into Felix Cisneros Jr., a corrupt special agent with Homeland Security Investigations who also had ties to Termendzhyan. Cisneros was convicted at trial in two different cases. The first trial, in 2018, resulted from Cisneros’s corrupt acts for Termendzhyan. The second trial, earlier this year, resulted from Cisneros’ corrupt acts for E.S. Cisneros is scheduled for sentencing on October 17.

              “Ensuring public confidence in those who investigate and enforce the law is paramount,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “By taking bribes and gifts from a person he knew was linked to organized crime, Mr. Broumand breached the public trust placed in him and violated his oath of office, something which simply cannot be tolerated. The FBI’s agents and staff work tirelessly every day to keep us safe, and I am proud that they partnered with our Office to ferret out this corruption.”

              “The conviction of Mr. Broumand, a veteran FBI agent who chose greed over integrity and turned his back on the oath he swore to uphold, is proof that the FBI will root out corruption of any kind, to include veteran agents within its ranks,” said Don Alway, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office. “This prosecution was the result of hard work by multiple partner agencies to work through the painful truth of having to investigate one of its own.”

              “Broumand conspired with the very types of criminals he was trusted to investigate. Today’s guilty verdict sends a clear message that no one is above the law, and any Department of Justice employee who participates in these types of schemes will be brought to justice,” said Zachary Shroyer, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Los Angeles Field Office.

              “All of us in law enforcement are held to a higher standard and this is no exception,” stated IRS Criminal Investigation Oakland Field Office Special Agent in Charge Mark H. Pearson. “The American public places high expectations on law enforcement to uphold and defend the law. While today is a blemish in our community as Babak Broumand, a former FBI Agent, was found guilty for conspiring, bribery, and money laundering; I want to emphasize and highlight the exceptional professionalism, integrity and dedication demonstrated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents, the Office of Inspector General, DOJ, the United States Attorney’s Office – CDCA, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, for their commitment to upholding the law and seeing that justice is sought in all cases regardless of a person’s affiliation. I want to thank our partners for entrusting us with this investigation, and hope that the American public sees our efforts as an example of what the good men and women in law enforcement represent.”

              The jury today also found Broumand not guilty of one count of bribery of a public official and one count of monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.

              The FBI, the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, and IRS Criminal Investigation investigated this matter and were assisted at trial by the Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General.

              Assistant United States Attorney Ruth C. Pinkel of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section and Assistant United States Attorneys Michael J. Morse and Juan M. Rodríguez of the General Crimes Section are prosecuting this case.


  • Russian Charged with Conspiracy

    Russian National Charged With Conspiring To Have U.S. Citizens Act As Illegal Agents Of The Russian Government

    WASHINGTON – An indictment was unsealed today in Tampa, Florida, charging a Russian national, working on behalf of the Russian government and in conjunction with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), with allegedly orchestrating a years-long foreign malign influence campaign that used various U.S. political groups to sow discord, spread pro-Russian propaganda, and interfere in elections within the United States.

    As alleged in the indictment, from at least December 2014 until March 2022, Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, a resident of Moscow, together with at least three Russian officials, engaged in a years-long foreign malign influence campaign targeting the United States. Ionov is the founder and president of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR), an organization headquartered in Moscow and funded by the Russian government. Ionov utilized AGMR to carry out Russia’s influence campaign.

    “As court documents show, Ionov allegedly orchestrated a brazen influence campaign, turning U.S. political groups and U.S. citizens into instruments of the Russian government,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The Department of Justice will not allow Russia to unlawfully sow division and spread misinformation inside the United States.”

    According to the indictment, Ionov — working under the supervision of the FSB and with the Russian government’s support — recruited political groups within the United States, including U.S. Political Group 1 in Florida, U.S. Political Group 2 in Georgia, and U.S. Political Group 3 in California, and exercised direction or control over them on behalf of the FSB. Specifically, Ionov provided financial support to these groups, directed them to publish pro-Russian propaganda, coordinated and funded direct action by these groups within the United States intended to further Russian interests, and coordinated coverage of this activity in Russian media outlets. Ionov also relayed detailed information about this influence campaign to three FSB officials.

    “Secret foreign government efforts to influence American elections and political groups threaten our democracy by spreading misinformation, distrust and mayhem,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The department is committed to ensuring U.S. laws protecting transparency in the electoral process and the political system are not undermined through foreign malign influence.”

    According to the indictment, Ionov allegedly targeted U.S. Political Group 1 based in St. Petersburg, Florida. In May 2015, Ionov funded an all-expense paid trip to Russia for the leader of U.S. Political Group 1 (Unindicted Co-Conspirator-1, UIC-1) in order to “communicate on future cooperation” between U.S. Political Group 1 and AGMR. Following that trip, and for at least the next seven years, Ionov exercised direction and control over senior members of U.S. Political Group 1.

    “The prosecution of this criminal conduct is essential to protecting the American public when foreign governments seek to inject themselves into the American political process,” said U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg for the Middle District of Florida. “We will continue to work with our partners at the FBI to investigate these events, and we will continue to follow the evidence to ensure justice is done.”

    Early in the conspiracy, senior members of U.S. Political Group 1, UIC-1, UIC-2, and UIC-3 exchanged emails about the fact that Ionov was working on behalf of the Russian Government. For example, in September 2015, Ionov paid for UIC-1 to attend an AGMR-sponsored “Dialogue of Nations” conference in Moscow. Upon his return to Florida, UIC-1 reported to the leadership of U.S. Political Group 1 that AGMR is “a solid institution of Russian politic,” and that it was “clear” that AGMR was “an instrument of [the] Russian government,” which, UIC-1 wrote, did not “disturb us.” The following week, in an email discussion, U.S. Political Group 1 leaders observed that it was “more than likely” that the Russian government was using AGMR “to utilize forces inside of the U.S. to sew [sic] division inside the United States.”

    “The impact of Russian malign foreign influence cannot be overstated,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI will aggressively pursue any foreign government that attempts to divide American citizens and poison our democratic process.”

    Ionov used his control over U.S. Political Group 1 leaders to foster discord within the United States, to spread pro-Russian propaganda under the guise of a domestic political organization, and to interfere in local elections. For example, in January 2016, Ionov guaranteed financing for — and ultimately funded — a four-city protest tour undertaken by U.S. Political Group 1 in support of a “Petition on Crime of Genocide against African People in the United States,” which it had previously submitted to the United Nations at Ionov’s direction. Later, in 2017 and 2019, Ionov monitored and supported the St. Petersburg, Florida, political campaigns of UIC-3 and UIC-4. In 2019, before the primary election, Ionov wrote to a Russian official that he had been “consulting every week” on the campaign. After UIC-4 advanced to the general election, FSB Officer 1 wrote to Ionov that “our election campaign is kind of unique,” and asked, “are we the first in history?” Ionov later sent FSB Officer 1 additional details about the election, referring to UIC-4 as the candidate “whom we supervise.”

    According to the indictment, Ionov’s relationship with U.S. Political Group 1 continued until at least March 2022. Specifically, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. Political Group 1 repeatedly hosted Ionov via video conference to discuss the war, during which Ionov falsely stated that anyone who supported Ukraine also supported Nazism and white supremacy. In a report to the FSB, Ionov explained that he had enlisted U.S. Political Group 1 to support Russia in the “information war unleashed” by the West.

    Alongside his malign foreign influence efforts with U.S. Political Group 1, Ionov also exercised direction and control over U.S. Political Group 3, an organization based in California whose primary goal was to promote California’s secession from the United States. In January and February of 2018, Ionov supported U.S. Political Group 3’s efforts — led by the organization’s founder (UIC-6)—to orchestrate a protest demonstration at the California Capitol building in Sacramento. Ionov partially funded the efforts and attempted to direct UIC-6 to physically enter the governor’s office. Later, Ionov sent various media reports covering the demonstration and U.S. Political Group 3’s broader efforts to FSB Officer 1, writing that FSB Officer 1 had asked for “turmoil” and stating, “there you go.” 

    According to the indictment, Ionov also directed the efforts of U.S. Political Group 2, based in Atlanta. For example, as recently as March 2022, Ionov paid for members of U.S. Political Group 2 — including its founder (UIC-5) — to travel from Atlanta to San Francisco to protest at the headquarters of a social media company that had placed content restrictions on posts supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ionov sent UIC-5 designs for signs used at the protest and funded cross-country travel for UIC-5 and other members of U.S. Political Group 2. After the protest, Ionov sent UIC-5 a picture of a Russian news website’s social media page, which displayed a Russian-language news story about the protest.   

    Ionov is charged with conspiring to have U.S. citizens act as illegal agents of the Russian government. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

    Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel J. Marcet and Risha Asokan, Trial Attorney Menno Goedman of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, and Trial Attorney Demetrius Sumner of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.

    The FBI Tampa Field Office is investigating the case.

    An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


  • Man who Threatened to Kidnap and Kill ex-Girl friend Jailed

    A 35-year-old Tulsa man who strangled his former girlfriend and later attempted to kidnap her was sentenced Wednesday in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

    U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced David Samuel Boggs Jr. to 121 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

    Read-Helplessness in the Face of Dirt

    “The facts of this case are disturbing. David Boggs strangled a victim until she passed out, located the victim at a hospital days later where she was being treated, and was apprehended by police outside the hospital with a ‘kill kit,’” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Tulsa Police Officers’ vigilance and swift action saved this victim’s life. I am thankful for our law enforcement partners and their commitment to serve and protect those living in communities across northeastern Oklahoma.”

    -Legalizing Crime and Criminality

    Boggs Jr. previously pleaded guilty to felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, assault of an intimate/dating partner by strangling and attempting to strangle in Indian Country, and attempted kidnapping in Indian Country.

    On June 10, 2020, Boggs Jr. violated a protective order when he drug his former girlfriend from her hotel room, strangled her until she passed out, then kicked her in the head while wearing steel toe boots.

    -Landlords and Tenants Associations, Crime and Criminality

    Then on July 17, 2020, while the victim was being treated at a local hospital, Boggs Jr. contacted her and told her he was going to pick her up at the hospital, tie her up, and then take her where no one could hear her scream. She alerted law enforcement, and officers from the Tulsa Police Department began searching for the defendant. Officers located and stopped the defendant in a vehicle just outside the hospital. In the vehicle, officers located the loaded pistol, a change of clothes, binoculars, a wood hacksaw, an aluminum baseball bat and a cell phone, all which pointed to the fact the defendant intended to harm the victim.

    -Law Enforcement: The Reactionary Approach

    Boggs Jr. admitted in his plea agreement that he had contacted the victim that day and told her he was going to kidnap then kill her. He stated that he borrowed a friend’s car and FMK .9mm caliber pistol and drove to the hospital to kidnap the victim. He knew the pistol was loaded with 11 rounds of ammunition and that he was prohibited from possessing a firearm and ammunition because he was a felon.

    The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven J. Briden and Jessica L. Wright prosecuted the case.

    -Government Workers-A Subject of Debate

    Source: FBI

  • Two Former Federal Correctional Officers Plead Guilty to Bribery and Smuggling Contraband Scheme

                                                                                 Press Release

    Two former correctional officers pleaded guilty this week to engaging in bribery and smuggling contraband into Leavenworth Detention Center.

    According to court documents, Janna Grier, 36, of Horton, Kansas, previously worked as a correctional officer at Leavenworth Detention Center, a privately run, maximum-security federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. Grier used her position to smuggle contraband into the prison and also solicited other prison officials to use their position to smuggle contraband into Leavenworth.

    Read-Legalizing Crime and Criminality

    On Jan. 25, Grier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to offer bribes and provide contraband to inmates of a federal prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced on April 28, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

    -Landlords and Tenants Associations, Crime and Criminality

    According to court documents, Willie Golden, 28, of Overland Park, Kansas, also previously worked as a correctional officer at Leavenworth Detention Center. Golden used his position to smuggle contraband — including tobacco, synthetic cannabinoids, cellular telephones and marijuana — into the prison in exchange for bribe payments.

    Today, Golden pleaded guilty to conspiracy to accept bribes and provide contraband to inmates of a federal prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 17, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

    -Law Enforcement: The Reactionary Approach

    Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge William J. Hannah of the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (DOJ-OIG) Chicago Field Office, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Special Agent in Charge Charles A. Dayoub of the FBI’s Kansas City Field Office made the announcement. 

    The FBI and DOJ-OIG are investigating the cases.

    Trial Attorneys Rebecca M. Schuman and Dahoud A. Askar of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the cases.

    The cases are part of the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to combat prison corruption. In addition to the above matters, the Public Integrity Section is prosecuting three other former Leavenworth officials for similar alleged conduct. See United States v. Cheyonte Harris, Case No. 2:21-cr-20054 (D. Kan.); United States v. Jaqueline Sifuentes, No. 2:21-cr-20053 (D. Kan.); United States v. Jeane Arnette, No. 2:21-cr-20063 (D. Kan.). An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

    -Government Workers-A Subject of Debate

    Separately, the Public Integrity Section and the FBI recently obtained convictions against three former North Carolina prison officials who smuggled contraband, including illegal narcotics, into a state facility in exchange for bribes. See United States v. Ollie Rose, III, No. 4:20-CR-96 (E.D.N.C.); United States v. Kenneth Farr, No. 4:21-CR-9 (E.D.N.C.); and United States v. Jeremy Chambers, No. 4:21-CR-38 (E.D.N.C.).


  • Former Corrections Officer Sentenced for Smuggling Drugs

    SAN DIEGO — Anibal Navarro, a former corrections officer at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, was sentenced in federal court today to 37 months in prison for smuggling methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and cell phones into state prison.

    Navarro pleaded guilty, admitting that he was part of a network of 12 individuals both inside and outside the prison that smuggled in contraband and illegal narcotics. All the other defendants have pleaded guilty and been sentenced (case number 17cr446-AJB).

    One of Navarro’s co-conspirators, prison inmate Martin Gomez, organized and directed the other participants, including Navarro, from his cell in California state prisons in San Diego and Los Angeles. Gomez arranged for individuals outside of prison to smuggle contraband into Donovan prison and deliver drugs and cell phones to various inmates through Navarro. Gomez directed those inmates to receive the contraband and deliver it to still other inmates within the prison.

    Gomez approached Navarro while Gomez was an inmate at Donovan, offering him an avenue to make extra money that Gomez knew Navarro needed. Navarro was paid between $1,000 and $2,000 each time he smuggled contraband into the prison. Gomez continued to lead the conspiracy for over two years, even after he was transferred out of Donovan to another prison. Over 500 grams of methamphetamine, heroin, cell phones, and other contraband were smuggled into Donovan through Navarro at Gomez’s direction while he was incarcerated elsewhere.

    The smuggled phones were used to coordinate criminal activity both inside and outside Donovan.

    “Corrections Officers are charged with the responsibility of keeping the public, inmates, and other prison staff safe,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “Former Officer Navarro personally profited from creating a dangerous environment in the prison by smuggling in extremely harmful and addictive narcotics. Additionally, cell phones inside a prison allow inmates to coordinate other illegal acts, like smuggling drugs, fraud, and even violence. Today’s sentence demonstrates that the significant consequences far outweigh any financial gain for those who abuse their positions of trust.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team, the FBI, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Office of Internal Affairs, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Investigative Service Unit and the United States Postal Service — Inspector Service, for their excellent work on this case.

    “Anibal Navarro abused his position and betrayed his oath as a Corrections Officer to further a conspiracy which included smuggling dangerous drugs and cell phones into our state prison system, allowing inmates to continue their criminal enterprise even while incarcerated,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner. “Today’s sentence hopefully sends a message to any government employee considering using their position of authority to further their own interests and enrich themselves — the FBI will continue to work diligently to root out public corruption at all levels.”

    DEFENDANT Case №16cr1664

    Anibal Navarro Age 43 Chula Vista, California


    Conspiracy to Distribute Illegal Narcotics — Title 21, U.S.C., Sections 841(a) and 846;

    Bribery Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds — Title 18, U.S.C., Section 666

    Maximum penalty: Life in prison and $20 million fine

    Read-Legalizing Crime and Criminality

             -Landlords and Tenants Associations, Crime and Criminality

             -Law Enforcement: The Reactionary Approach

             -Government Workers-A Subject of Debate