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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ponemah Man Indicted for Involuntary Manslaughter

March 31, 2010 - MINNEAPOLIS—B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota, announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment against a 61-year-old man from Ponemah, Minnesota, charging him with one count of involuntary manslaughter. The indictment, filed in U.S. District Court on March 18, 2010, alleges Bruce Wilson Dow, Sr., killed a Red Lake, Minnesota, man on October 10, 2009, while driving under the influence of alcohol. Dow made his initial appearance in federal court earlier today.

According to the indictment, the victim was a passenger in Dow’s vehicle when it rolled over, causing the victim to be ejected. He later died at the hospital.

If convicted of the charge filed against him, Dow faces a potential maximum penalty of eight years in prison. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

The federal government has primary law enforcement jurisdiction over the Red Lake Indian Reservation. Thus, this case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Red Lake Tribal Police Department, with assistance from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erika R. Mozangue.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.

Ponzi Scheme

March 31, 2010 - MINNEAPOLIS—B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota, announced that a 37-year-old man was charged today in federal court with allegedly orchestrating a $190 million Ponzi scheme. By way of an information, Trevor Gilson Cook, of Apple Valley, Minnesota, was specifically charged with one count of mail fraud and one count of tax evasion.

The information states that from January 2007 through July 2009, Cook, aided and abetted by others, executed a scheme to defraud no fewer than 1,000 people out of at least $190 million by purportedly selling investments in a foreign currency trading program. In reality, however, he was diverting the money provided him for other purposes, including making payments to previous investors; providing funds to Crown Forex, SA, in an effort to deceive Swiss banking regulators; purchasing ownership interest in two trading firms; buying a real estate development in Panama; paying personal expenses, including substantial gambling debts; and acquiring the Van Dusen Mansion in Minneapolis.

To carry out his scheme, Cook allegedly caused false statements to be made to potential investors, including promises that the investment program would generate annual returns of 10 to 12 percent, and that trading would present little or no risk to investors’ principal. He also allegedly caused material information to be withheld from investors, such as the precarious financial position of Crown Forex, SA, in Switzerland, an entity through which he traded. In addition, he allegedly withheld the fact that trading at PFG in Chicago generated losses in excess of $35 million between July 1, 2006, and August 31, 2009.

In furtherance of the scheme, Cook allegedly caused an account to be opened in the name of Crown Forex LLC at Associated Bank, which he used for depositing investor funds subsequently diverted for his personal use as well as the personal use of others. He also allegedly caused United States Department of Justice statements to be sent to investors that misrepresented the status of their investments. In addition, he allegedly caused due-diligence letters to be prepared that falsely represented that Oxford Global Advisors had more than $4 billion in assets under management, and that all accounts were liquid. Specific to the charges, on January 29, 2009, Cook knowingly caused a $50,000 check to be sent through the U.S. mail from Arizona to Minnesota for investment in his foreign currency trading program. Then, on April 15, 2009, he filed a false and fraudulent U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, for calendar year 2008, by failing to report taxable income of at least $5,285,719, upon which there was tax due in the amount of at least $1,844,571.

If convicted, Cook faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the mail fraud charge and five years on the tax evasion charge. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, with the assistance and support of the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank J. Magill.

This law enforcement action is in part sponsored by the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. It includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.

Man Arrested Following Bloody American Samoa Attack

March 31, 2010 - Charlene Thornton, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Honolulu Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced today the arrest of SIMETI LUALEMANA, age 67, in Tutuila, American Samoa (a U.S. Territory) relating to an alleged knife attack directed at the Station Chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the U.S. government.

The criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Honolulu alleges that on March 29, 2010, the NOAA Station Chief was taking pictures of a home being constructed by LUALEMANA on NOAA-controlled land. LUALEMANA had purportedly been previously admonished that he may not build upon this land. While the NOAA Chief was snapping photos, the complaint alleges that LUALEMANA hacked the left side of the NOAA Chief’s face with a large machete.

LUALEMANA then allegedly grabbed the NOAA Chief by the shirt and attempted to strike him again with the machete, but the NOAA Chief was able to push LUALEMANA away and escape to the nearby NOAA facility while bleeding profusely.

The medical examination of the NOAA Chief found that he had suffered a sizable laceration on the left side of his neck and partial amputation of the left ear, according to the complaint. He is currently recovering from his injuries.

LUALEMANA was charged federally with a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 111 which prohibits assaulting U.S. government employees performing official duties and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

LUALEMANA is being transported to Honolulu by the FBI where he will face charges in U.S. District Court on Friday, April 2, 2010.

The public is reminded that a criminal complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Please contact the FBI Honolulu Press office at 808-566-4356 if you have any questions regarding this matter.

Obtain Excess Property Through the 1033 Program

March 31, 2010 - Law enforcement and other public safety agencies can obtain vehicle, weapons, computer equipment and countless other items through the Federal Excess Property Program.

Through the U.S. Department of Defense, the 1033 Program provides equipment no longer needed (excess property) to state, local and federal law enforcement at little or no cost.

The 1033 system has become more computerized and automated to help speed transfer of equipment. In addition to vehicles, weapons and computers, property transferred has included an armored personnel carrier, fingerprint equipment and tents. Specialists who are knowledgeable in specific areas of the program, such as weapons and aircraft, are available to help agencies locate equipment.

Charlie Brune, law enforcement program manager for the program, will prepare a newsletter for the JUSTNET Web site each month that will address current hot topics, changes and items of interest in the 1033 program. The April edition is available at: www.justnet.org/Pages/FEPP_Monthly_Newsletter_April_2010.aspx

Robert Glenn Longee Sentenced in U.S. District Court

March 31, 2010 - Great Falls, on March 29, 2010, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, ROBERT GLENN LONGEE, a 32-year-old resident of Poplar, appeared for sentencing. LONGEE was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: life

Special Assessment: $100

LONGEE was sentenced after having been found guilty after a trial of aggravated sexual abuse, which occurred on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd prosecuted the case for the United States.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that LONGEE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, LONGEE does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

FBI, Elmore County Sheriff Request Public’s Help on Anniversary of “Ten Most Wanted” Program

Brother of Former Idaho “Ten Most Wanted” Fugitive Still At-Large

What: News conference to update media and request public’s help in search for Simon Lopez-Orozco wanted for accessory to first degree murder
When: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Boise FBI Office – Wells Fargo Center, 877 West Main Street, Suite 404
Who: Elmore County Sheriff Rick Layher and FBI Supervisory Special Agent John Morton

It’s been almost six months since the arrest of FBI Ten Most Wanted fugitive Jorge Lopez-Orozco. Lopez-Orozco faces prosecution in Elmore County, Idaho for the 2002 murders of his girlfriend Rebecca Ramirez and her two young children. He was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list in 2005 and apprehended in October 2009 while hauling metal to a scrap yard in Zihautanejo, Mexico.

The FBI and the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office are marking the 60th Anniversary of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” program with a renewed request for tips on the whereabouts of Jorge’s brother, Simon Lopez-Orozco.

Although not listed as a “Top Ten” fugitive, Simon Lopez-Orozco is wanted for accessory to murder for helping his brother Jorge flee the state of Idaho after the murders. According to his FBI wanted poster, which can be found at http://saltlakecity.fbi.gov/index.html, he is 5’6”, 180 pounds with a scar on his left cheek. A photo of Simon Lopez-Orozco can be found on the Salt Lake City FBI website. The public is reminded to not approach Lopez-Orozco and instead phone in tips to local law enforcement, the nearest FBI Office, or the FBI Salt Lake City Division at (801) 579-1400.

The Top Ten program began from a newspaper story in late 1949. A reporter for International News Service asked the FBI for the names and descriptions of the “toughest guys” the Bureau would like to capture. The story had so much appeal and generated so much positive publicity that in March 1950, former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover implemented the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program. To date, 494 fugitives have been placed on the list. Last October, Jorge Lopez-Orozco became the 463rd person on the list to be apprehended or located. One hundred and fifty-two have been caught as a result of citizen cooperation.

Information about today’s Ten Most Wanted fugitives can be found on the Internet, television, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, podcasts, cell phone applications, and digital billboards. As technology continues to advance and innovative applications surface, the FBI intends to utilize all the tools available to publicize the Top Ten fugitives and engage the public in helping to locate them. More information about the Top Ten fugitives is available on the FBI’s Internet home page at www.fbi.gov.

Assault of Domestic Partner

Ute Indian Tribe Member Faces Domestic Violence Charge After Alleged Assault of Domestic Partner Indictment Charges Shavanaux Is a Habitual Domestic Violence Offender After Two Previous Convictions


SALT LAKE CITY—Adam Shavanaux, 36, an enrolled member of the Ute Indian Tribe, will be in federal court Wednesday morning for an initial appearance on an indictment charging him with one count of domestic assault by an habitual offender while within Indian Country.

Shavanaux, who is in custody, will appear in U.S. Magistrate Judge Sam Alba’s court at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. The potential maximum penalty for the charge is up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Defendants charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury on May 24, 2010, alleges Shavanaux assaulted a domestic partner on Jan. 10, 2010. According to the indictment, Shavanaux has two previous convictions for assault on a domestic partner.

We are committed to using every tool we have to address domestic violence on Native American reservations in Utah. The charge in this indictment—domestic assault by a habitual offender—is appropriate given the ongoing conduct of this defendant,” Acting U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen said today.

Ute tribal police officers responded to a home in Ft. Duchesne after the victim of the alleged assault was able to escape from the home and seek assistance. The victim was transported to the hospital. The FBI also is assisting in the investigation.

Distribute Cocaine

Shon Flores Sentenced in U.S. District Court


The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on March 31, 2010, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, SHON FLORES, a 32-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. FLORES was sentenced to a term of:

• Prison: 75 months
• Special Assessment: $100
• Supervised Release: five years
• FLORES was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribute cocaine.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney James E. Seykora, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

From August 2008 and June 2009, FLORES was distributing an array of cocaine in Billings, Missoula, and other areas of Montana by and through co-conspirators. His co-conspirators were a loosely knit group of former and current football players and coaches for the Billings Outlaws, a professional indoor football team.

T.C. was one of the main distributors for FLORES in Billings. FLORES traveled to Salt Lake City on numerous occasions either by himself or had other conspirators drive there to pick up cocaine for redistribution. Quantities received by FLORES himself included six ounces, quarter kilo, and half kilos of cocaine at one time. A total of approximately nine kilograms were received during the period of the conspiracy from his source of supply.

During the period of the conspiracy, the DEA and FBI working in conjunction, made undercover purchases and controlled buys of cocaine, by and through FLORES, T.C. and other co-conspirators, as follows:

Date Amount of Cocaine

10/28/08 12.6 grams
11/06/08 13.3 grams
11/21/08 27.3 grams
12/05/08 28.0 grams
01/13/09 28.2 grams
01/28/09 28.1 grams
02/05/09 27.8 grams
02/05/09 27.9 grams
02/23/09 28.0 grams
02/24/09 27.9 grams
02/24/09 27.9 grams
04/08/09 28.1 grams
06/07/09 51.9 grams
06/10/09 26.6 grams

On July 2, 2009, FLORES admitted to law enforcement that he was involved in a conspiracy and that the amount of cocaine involved was roughly nine kilograms. The cocaine was distributed to various individuals and groups throughout the Billings community, including business owners, professionals, and salesmen.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that FLORES will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, FLORES does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Billings Big Sky Safe Streets Task Force.

Federal Officials Announce Efforts to Fight Stimulus Fraud and Corruption in Ohio

March 31, 2010 - CLEVELAND, OH—United States Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach and United States Attorney Carter Stewart announced a joint initiative with the FBI to prevent, detect, and deter fraud and corruption related to federal stimulus funding.

In an effort to prevent misuse of these funds, this week a letter was sent to the public entity recipients jointly by Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; Carter Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; C. Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland Division; and Keith L. Bennett, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati Division. The letter advised these entities that while these unprecedented levels of funding provide an important opportunity to maintain and improve the quality of life in Ohio, they also carry important responsibilities.

“The Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is an unprecedented undertaking on the part of government to improve the lives of all of our citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach. “But, the message of this letter is simple. Public officials have a duty to ensure that these funds are not stolen and that they don’t support corrupt activities. To put it bluntly, we are watching.” U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart said, “Our purpose in sending the letter is communicate clearly to those receiving stimulus funds that the public expects them to exercise all due diligence to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. We look forward to working with these entities to protect the public funds and to pursue any allegations of wrongdoing, if prevention fails.”

The United States Attorneys' Offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are asking public entities receiving significant stimulus money to do the following:

1. Institute internal controls to prevent fraud, bribery, and conflicts of interest, and to train employees in these controls and in the rules governing expenditures of public monies.

2. Conduct due diligence to insure that vendors and contractors also institute internal controls to prevent fraud, bribery, and conflicts of interest and train their employees in those controls and in the rules governing expenditures of public monies.

3. Contact the FBI at (216) 522-1400 in Cleveland, or at (513) 421-4310 in Cincinnati, if public entities, their employees, or members of the public detect any evidence of fraud, bribery, or conflict of interest with respect to the expenditures of stimulus monies.

4. Contact the United States Attorneys Offices if the public entities receiving stimulus funds would like to receive training regarding the federal statutes used to prosecute fraud, bribery or conflicts of interest in connection with federal funds.

5. Contact the Ohio Ethics Commission at (614) 466-7090 (www.ethics.ohio.gov) or the Ohio Inspector General’s Office at (614) 644-9110 (www.watchdog.ohio.gov) for information regarding state laws governing state and local public contracting and conflicts of interest.

As United States Attorney General Eric Holder has said, it is essential “that the taxpayers’ investment in America’s economic recovery is not siphoned away by a dishonest few.” Federal officials thanked their state law enforcement partners, including the Ohio Ethics Commission and the Inspector General’s Office, for their assistance in this effort. In 2009, public and private entities in Ohio were awarded stimulus funds totaling more than $6 billion through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Any questions may be directed to United States Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach at (216) 622-3600 or United States Attorney Carter Stewart at (614) 469-5715.

Longview Motel Resident Guilty of Child Pornography Charges

March 31, 2010 - TYLER, TX—U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 43-year-old Longview, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

ANTHONY QUINN STEWARD pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with possession of child pornography today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love. Steward was immediately remanded into custody to await sentencing.

According to information presented in court, on Dec. 18, 2009, at the Contessa Inn in Longview, Steward was found to be in possession of computer equipment which contained visual depictions of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Further investigation revealed that Steward had been living at the Contessa Inn with his sister and her two children for about four months before the pornography was discovered.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Steward faces up to 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

This case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Baldwin.

Justice Department Reaches Consent Decree with Colorado Attorney Resolving Lawsuit Alleging Disability Discrimination

March 31, 2010 - WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced a federal court has approved a consent decree resolving an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) discrimination lawsuit against attorney Patric LeHouillier and his law firm, LeHouillier & Associates, P.C., based in Colorado Springs, Colo. The consent decree was approved by Judge Marcia S. Krieger in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

In its November 2009 complaint, the Justice Department alleged that LeHouillier and his firm violated Title III of the ADA when they unlawfully barred a woman, her husband and her attorney from entering LeHouillier’s law office for a deposition because the woman was accompanied by her service animal, an Australian Shepherd dog. The woman, who is a veterinarian, has a traumatic brain injury and other conditions that affect mobility and balance, and individually trained her service animal to provide disability-related assistance.

Under the terms of the consent decree, LeHouillier and his firm will:

•Adopt an ADA-compliant service animal policy and post the policy in a conspicuous location;
•Post a “Service Animals Welcome” sign;
•Self-report allegations of discrimination to the department;
•Undergo training and provide training to staff;
•Pay $30,000 to the complainant and $10,000 to her husband as a person associated with a person with a disability; and
•Pay a $10,000 civil penalty.

“For almost two decades, the ADA has ensured that individuals with disabilities are guaranteed full and equal access to public accommodations, both large and small," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is unrelenting in eradicate discrimination against people with disabilities and ensuring that owners and operators of public accommodations recognize their obligations to provide equal access.”

A service animal is any animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Service animals – most commonly dogs – perform a wide variety of functions. Examples of these functions include guiding persons who are blind or have low vision; alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds; warning persons about impending seizures or other medical conditions; performing a variety of tasks for persons with psychiatric disabilities and picking up items, opening doors, flipping switches, providing physical support and pulling wheelchairs for individuals with mobility disabilities.

More information about today’s lawsuit, the ADA, rights and responsibilities under the ADA relating to service animals, and instructions on filing an ADA complaint with the Justice Department is available on the ADA home page at www.ada.gov. This information includes two publications specifically addressing service animal access: “ADA Business Brief: Service Animals” and “Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business.” Those interested in obtaining copies of these documents or additional information about the ADA can also call the Justice Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).

Eritrean Man Pleads Guilty to Alien Smuggling

March 31, 2010 - WASHINGTON - Samuel Abrahaley Fessahazion, 23, an Eritrean national, has pleaded guilty to helping smuggle illegal aliens to the United States for private financial gain, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno of the Southern District of Texas and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary John Morton.

Fessahazion, aka “Sami,” aka “Sammy,” aka “Alex” and aka “Alex Williams” pleaded guilty yesterday in Houston before U.S. District Court Judge Nancy A. Atlas to one count of conspiracy, and two counts of encouraging and inducing aliens to come to, enter or reside in the United States in violation of law for the purpose of private financial gain.

“By bringing this smuggler to justice, we have broken a chain that runs from Africa to South and Central America, directly into the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. “We will not allow these dangerous smuggling organizations to profit from bringing people illegally into the United States.”

“This prosecution strikes a significant blow to a criminal organization engaged in a sophisticated international alien smuggling operation,” said U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno of the Southern District of Texas, “and highlights the continuing cooperation and success of multiple law enforcement agencies in interdicting such activities.”

“Breaking this global alien smuggling network puts smugglers on notice that we are coming after them and we will shut them down,” said ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton. “ICE will continue to identify the most dangerous international human smuggling organizations for investigation and prosecution.”

According to plea documents, from at least June 2007 until approximately January 2008, Fessahazion was the Guatemalan link of an alien smuggling network that spans East Africa, Central and South America. Specifically, according to the court documents, Fessahazion illegally entered the United States at McAllen, Texas, on March 20, 2008. He applied for asylum on Sept. 30, 2008, claiming in his application that he was traveling across Africa in 2007 and 2008, fleeing persecution in Eritrea. However, according to court documents, Fessahazion was actually in Guatemala during that period facilitating the smuggling of East African aliens to the United States. Fessahazion was granted asylum by the United States on Nov. 13, 2008.

Fessahazion admitted that for profit, he encouraged or induced at least six and up to 24 illegal aliens, primarily East Africans, to come to, enter, or reside in the United States knowing that they were not authorized to do so. Fessahazion admitted he moved aliens from Honduras through Guatemala and into Mexico illegally, at which point he referred aliens to a smuggler who brought the aliens into the United States.

In one instance, according to court documents, Fessahazion and his co-conspirators moved two illegal aliens from South Africa to Sao Paulo, Brazil, then through Venezuela to Honduras where they were instructed to contact Fessahazion. Once in contact, Fessahazion sent a driver to pick up the two aliens and bring them to Guatemala City, Guatemala. I n exchange for $800, Fessahazion took the two aliens by bus to a house bordering Guatemala and Mexico. There, working with a co-conspirator, Fessahazion provided information to the couple on how to cross the border into Mexico illegally and how to proceed once in Mexico to the United States border. Fessahazion and the co-conspirator provided the couple with a guide who physically took them into Mexico and provided contact information for an unidentified smuggler known only by the alias “Matamoros,” who would in turn take the two aliens to the United States from Reynosa, Mexico. In February 2008, the couple was illegally brought to the United States by guides working for “Matamoros.” According to court documents, the guides carried guns and ferried the couple across the river on the Mexico/U.S. border in inner tubes.

In another example, an alien was moved from Dubai to Brazil, then to Honduras via Colombia and Costa Rica. According to court documents, a co-conspirator told the alien he could get him from Dubai to Brazil, at which point others would assist the alien each step of the way to the United States in a “chain like” fashion.

According to court documents, once the alien arrived in Honduras, Fessahazion sent a driver to retrieve him and bring him to Guatemala City. In exchange for $700, Fessahazion took the alien to the Guatemala/Mexico border and, along with a co-conspirator, gave the alien information on how to cross the border into Mexico illegally and how to proceed once in Mexico to the United States border, including contact information for “Matamoros.” The alien then traveled into Mexico, contacted “Matamoros” and traveled to Reynosa as “Matamoros” instructed. In December 2007, according to court documents, guides working for “Matamoros” took the alien and others to the United States illegally by ferrying them across the river on the Mexican/U.S. border in inner tubes. Shortly after crossing the border into the United States, the alien and others were apprehended.

At sentencing, scheduled for June 14, 2010, Fessahazion faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Pragna Soni of the Criminal Division’s Domestic Security Section, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward Gallagher and Douglas Davis of the Southern District of Texas.

The investigation was conducted by the ICE Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Washington, with the assistance of SAC San Francisco, the ICE Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit, ICE Office of Intelligence, ICE Office of International Affairs and U.S. Custom and Border Protection’s Office of Alien Smuggling Interdiction.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Uncertain, Texas Man Guilty of Investor Fraud

March 30, 2010 - MARSHALL, TX—U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 47-year-old Uncertain, Texas man has pleaded guilty for his role in a multi-million-dollar oil and gas scheme in the Eastern District of Texas.

RICHARD W. MCFARLAND, Jr., pleaded guilty to mail fraud on Mar. 26, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Chad Everingham.

According to information presented in court, McFarland was founder and President of Delta Interest, Inc., a company based in Marshall, Texas, which purportedly obtained working interests in oil and gas wells located within Texas and then offered portions of those interests for sale to the public. From 2003 to 2009, McFarland devised a scheme in which he falsely represented to investors that they were purchasing interests held by Delta Interest in wells located on various leases, when in fact, no such wells or leases existed. To further facilitate the scheme, McFarland sent investors fraudulent monthly production statements which contained fictional production and sales figures as well as supposed investor revenue amounts related to the non-existent wells. McFarland used a significant portion of the investor funds to make purported revenue payments on a regular basis to earlier-in-time investors. This funneling of proceeds received from new investors to previous investors induced new investors to participate and, in some instances, existing investors to contribute additional sums. He expended the remainder of investor monies for his own business and personal use. As a result of this scheme, McFarland fraudulently obtained in excess of $30 million from more than 350 investors who were residing in approximately 25 different states.

At sentencing, McFarland faces up to 20 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

This case is being investigated by the Texas State Securities Board and the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Coan.

Civil Rights Era Cold Case Investigations Continue

March 30th, 2010 - In 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American boy, was sent by his mother to live with family in Mississippi. What would later unfold was a major event that sparked our nation’s Civil Rights Movement. After interacting with a white woman, Till was abducted and brutally murdered by two men who confessed to the crime after they were acquitted of murder charges. Double jeopardy prohibited the state from retrying the defendants, so both of the now-deceased perpetrators managed to elude justice.

In recognition of the significance of these events, Congress passed the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007 to task the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI with reviewing, investigating and assessing for prosecutive merit more than 100 unsolved civil rights era homicides.

Reflecting on the importance of these cold case investigations, Attorney General Eric Holder said:

The Department of Justice fully supports the goals of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007. Unsolved, racially-motivated murders from the civil rights era are a stain on our nation’s history, but they are also an opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to the principle of equal justice for all. I am personally committed to this issue, and I assure you that the Department of Justice will lend its assistance, expertise, and resources to the investigation and, when possible, the prosecution of these tragic murders.

The Civil Rights Division, the United States Attorneys’ offices, and the FBI, have worked diligently to assess whether more than 100 pending cold case matters can be prosecuted, and they are continuing their efforts. Often, there are significant obstacles to prosecuting crimes committed decades ago. Witnesses may have died, or they may be impossible to locate. Memories may have faded; evidence may have been lost or destroyed.

But while the passage of time may have created obstacles to prosecution in some cases, experience has shown that time may have removed obstacles in others. Perhaps a citizen who was once too afraid to provide information will now step forward and tell what he or she knows. Perhaps someone who has suffered a guilty conscience for many years will find the courage to relieve himself of that burden. Perhaps someone will simply decide that it is long past time to help right a terrible wrong. We know from other cold case investigations that brave citizens telling their truth for the first time can make a prosecution possible.

I strongly urge anyone with information concerning a civil rights era murder to contact the FBI. The time to come forward is now. If we work together, perhaps we can uncover the truth while there is still a chance to bring the criminals who perpetrated these vile murders to justice.

The Justice Department has conducted extensive outreach to investigate and resolve these unsolved cold cases. Our cold case initiative has yielded major accomplishments.

Earlier this month, a federal appeals Court upheld the 2007 conviction of James Ford Seale, a reputed Klu Klux Klansman, in the kidnapping and killing of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee in 1964. The Court upheld Seale’s conviction by a jury in a trial prosecuted by Justice Department officials 43 years after the murders. Read the Court’s opinion, here.

Because of legal limitations, it is unlikely that there will be federal jurisdiction over most of these cases. Two critical statutes used to prosecute racially motivated homicides, interference with federally protected activities and interference with housing rights, were not enacted until 1968. Under the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution, these laws cannot be applied retroactively to conduct that preceded their enactment. The five-year statute of limitations on most federal criminal charges is another challenge for prosecutors.

Department officials have also engaged the community, including civil rights groups like the NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Cold Case Truth and Justice Project to enlist help in identifying potential cases and uncovering information. The Department is committed to bringing these cases when possible.

Our review of these cases will be exhaustive and thorough. If we are able to bring a sense of closure to these cases, to bring justice in any form to the families of the victims of these horrific crimes in memory of Emmett Till, it will be worth the effort.

FBI and San Diego Sheriff’s Department Seek Public’s Assistance to Identify the Individual Responsible for Robbing an Alpine Bank


March 30, 2010 - The FBI and San Diego Sheriff’s Department are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the unknown male responsible for robbing a California Bank & Trust today.

On Monday, March 29, 2010, at approximately 11:27 a.m., a lone white male entered the California Bank & Trust, located at 2250 Alpine Boulevard, in Alpine, California. The robber approached the first victim teller and stated, “Give me your money.” He then lifted his shirt as if to show the teller he had a weapon, but none was seen. He slammed his hand on the counter and again demanded money. Quickly becoming impatient, he reached over the counter, opened the teller drawer, and took out the money.

The robber then proceeded to a second teller, again reaching over the counter attempting to open the cash drawer, this time unsuccessfully. He approached a third teller where he also made a verbal demand for cash. He also attempted to rob two empty teller stations during the course of this robbery.

The robber fled the bank on a red BMX type bicycle westbound on Alpine Boulevard and was last seen heading westbound on Arnold Way.

Witnesses describe the robber as follows:
• Sex: Male
• Race: White
• Age: 17-25 years old
• Height: 5’7” – 5’8”
• Weight: 140-150 pounds

Clothing: Wearing a white full face off road motorcycle helmet with black design on top, a white bandana covering his face, goggles or sunglasses, a black sweatshirt, and black pants with white sneakers.

Federal Officials Announce Efforts to Fight Stimulus Fraud and Corruption in Ohio

March 30, 2010 - COLUMBUS—United States Attorney Carter M. Stewart of the Southern District of Ohio and United States Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach of the Northern District of Ohio today announced a joint initiative with the FBI to prevent, detect, and deter fraud and corruption related to federal stimulus funding.

In an effort to prevent misuse of these funds, the U.S. Attorneys, along with C. Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland Division; and Keith L. Bennett, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati Division, sent a letter this week to 158 public entities receiving stimulus funds. The letter advised these entities that while these unprecedented levels of funding provide an important opportunity to maintain and improve the quality of life in Ohio, they also carry important responsibilities.

“The Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is an unprecedented undertaking on the part of government to improve the lives of all of our citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach. “But, the message of this letter is simple. Public Officials have a duty to ensure that these funds are not stolen and that they don’t support corrupt activities. To put it bluntly, we are watching.”

U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart said “Our purpose in sending the letter is communicate clearly to those receiving stimulus funds that the public expects them to exercise all due diligence to prevent waste, fraud and abuse. We look forward to working with these entities to protect the public funds and to pursue any allegations of wrongdoing, if prevention fails.”

The United States Attorney’s Offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are asking public entities receiving significant stimulus money to do the following:

I. Institute internal controls to prevent fraud, bribery, and conflicts of interest, and to train employees in these controls and in the rules governing expenditures of public monies.

II. Conduct due diligence to insure that vendors and contractors also institute internal controls to prevent fraud, bribery, and conflicts of interest and train their employees in those controls and in the rules governing expenditures of public monies.

III. Contact the FBI at(216) 522-1400 in Cleveland, or at (513) 421-4310 in Cincinnati, if public entities, their employees, or members of the public detect any evidence of fraud, bribery, or conflict of interest with respect to the expenditures of stimulus monies.

IV. Contact the United States Attorney’s Offices if the public entities receiving stimulus funds would like to receive training regarding the federal statutes used to prosecute fraud, bribery or conflicts of interest in connection with federal funds.

V. Contact the Ohio Ethics Commission at (614) 466-7090 (www.ethics.ohio.gov) or the Ohio Inspector General’s Office at (614) 644-9110 (www.watchdog.ohio.gov) for information regarding state laws governing state and local public contracting and conflicts of interest.

As United States Attorney General Eric Holder has said, it is essential “that the taxpayers’ investment in America’s economic recovery is not siphoned away by a dishonest few.” Federal officials thanked their state law enforcement partners, including the Ohio Ethics Commission and the Inspector General’s Office for their assistance in this effort. In 2009, public and private entities in Ohio were awarded stimulus funds totaling more than $6 billion through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Repeat Firearms Offender Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison

March 30, 2010 - ANCHORAGE, AK—United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that Sabil Mumin Mujahid, a resident of Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 120 months’ imprisonment after a jury convicted him of being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition.

United States District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess imposed the sentence on Mujahid, age 53. Following completion of his sentence of imprisonment, Mujahid must serve a three-year period on federal supervised release.

Mujahid remains charged in a separate federal case, United States v. Mujahid, et al., Case No. 3:09-CR-00053-TMB, with 35 additional felonies, including sex trafficking of children and sex trafficking through force, fraud, or coercion. That trial is scheduled for February 2011.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Sayers-Fay, who prosecuted the felon in possession case, at trial, the United States proved that on March 5, 2009, surveillance officers observed Mujahid retrieve a white plastic grocery bag from a storage locker adjacent to his apartment building and proceed to lock it in the trunk of his car. Shortly after, during a search of that car, law enforcement officers discovered that the white plastic grocery bag contained a Smith & Wesson .44 magnum revolver and 25 rounds of ammunition for the same. During incarceration, Mujahid made recorded calls in which he admitted possessing a .44 caliber revolver as well as two other handguns. Mujahid is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition due to prior felony convictions for attempted murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Judge Burgess explained that his decision to impose the maximum sentence permitted by statute was influenced by Mujahid’s criminal history, Mujahid’s perjury at trial, and Mujahid’s attempt to obstruct justice by destroying fingerprints and directing others to destroy fingerprints. Judge Burgess further noted that Mujahid’s own words demonstrate his awareness of the legal ramifications of his acts and his dedication to evading responsibility for them. Judge Burgess characterized Mujahid as a persistent danger to society because previous incarcerations have left him "completely undeterred." The judge also noted that Mujahid remains a danger to society because he is "bound and determined to live life as he sees fit," entirely unencumbered by the rules of society, which he knows but refuses to respect.

Ms. Loeffler commended the Anchorage Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the investigation that led to the successful prosecution of Mujahid.

Former Portland Loan Officer Sentenced for Aggravated Identity Theft False Loan Applications Totaled More Than $1.5 Million

March 30, 2010 - PORTLAND, OR—Kamau Herndon, 38, of Portland, Oregon, was sentenced on March 29, 2010, by U.S. District Judge Garr M. King to serve 24 months in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated identity theft. Herndon must also serve one year of supervised release following his prison term. The defendant was ordered to report to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons on June 1, 2010.

Herndon, a former loan officer at Lighthouse Financial Group in Vancouver, Washington, was indicted February 19, 2009, on aggravated identity theft charges after he submitted three materially false loan applications to purchase homes for his girlfriend. The applications totaled more than $1.5 million for homes located in Milwaukie and Portland, Oregon and Edmonds, Washington.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney and Senior Litigation Counsel Allan M. Garten.

PARENTAL KIDNAPPING

UNLAWFUL FLIGHT TO AVOID PROSECUTION - PARENTAL KIDNAPPING; HARBORING

CHARLES MARTIN VOSSELER

Photograph taken between 1984 and 1986

Aliases: Charles Foster, Charlie Wilson, Charles Malcolm Amidon, Charles M. Vosseler, Charles M. Wilson, Charles Wilson, Charles M. Amidon, Charles M. Vosseler, Jr.

DESCRIPTION
• Dates of Birth Used: March 6, 1942 (True)
• March 6, 1943; February 6, 1944 Hair: Brown
• Place of Birth: Stafford Springs, Connecticut Eyes: Blue
• Height: 6'1" Sex: Male
• Weight: 225 pounds Race: White
• Occupation: Real Estate Broker
• Remarks: Vosseler has ties to Oklahoma, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Florida. He may wear glasses.

THE CRIME
Charles Martin Vosseler is wanted for the kidnapping of his sons, Charles Jason Vosseler and William Martin Vosseler from Rochester, New Hampshire, on October 9, 1986. On February 5, 1987, Vosseler was indicted by a Strafford County, New Hampshire, grand jury at Dover, New Hampshire, for two counts of interference with custody. A federal criminal complaint was filed on April 3, 1987, in the District of New Hampshire, Concord, New Hampshire, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Identity Theft

THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S EFFORTS TO COMBAT IDENTITY THEFT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 made identity theft a federal crime. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and its components, particularly the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and United States Attorneys’ Offices (USAO), along with many other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, play a vital role in combating this crime through the investigation and prosecution of identity thieves. DOJ’s non-law enforcement components also play an important part in combating identity theft. For example, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) funds programs that assist identity theft victims and OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics compiles identity theft-related statistics.

According to recent estimates, identity theft is a growing problem. A Federal Trade Commission report estimated that 8.3 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2005, resulting in losses of $15.6 billion. In June 2009, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Criminal Division testified that a more recent estimate suggested that identity theft was the fastest growing crime in 2008, victimizing more than 10 million Americans.

According to DOJ personnel, federal identity theft investigations most often relate to other federal crimes such as cyber intrusions, health care fraud, mortgage fraud, and credit card fraud. Identity theft can also be a significant element of violent crimes, such as domestic abuse and even terrorism, and a significant number of identity theft-related crimes originate overseas.

In recognition of the harm caused by identity theft, President George W. Bush signed an executive order on May 10, 2006, creating the President’s Identity Theft Task Force (President’s Task Force). The purpose of the President’s Task Force was to “use federal resources effectively to deter, prevent, detect, investigate, proceed against, and prosecute unlawful use by persons of the identifying information of other persons.” The President’s Task Force was chaired by the Attorney General, with the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission serving as the co-chair.

In April 2007, the President’s Task Force issued a strategic plan that made recommendations to federal agencies involved in combating identity theft, including DOJ and some of its components. The President’s Task Force later issued a follow-up report in September 2008 detailing its efforts to ensure that the recommendations of the strategic plan were implemented. The follow-up report stated that much of the work recommended by the Task Force had been completed and described some efforts that were still ongoing.

The Associate Deputy Attorney General who served as the Office of the Deputy Attorney General’s point of contact to the President’s Task Force told us that the September 2008 report was the Task Force’s final report and the Task Force had no plans to reconvene.

Read On
http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/plus/a1021.pdf

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pamrapo Savings Bank of New Jersey Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bank Secrecy Act Violations and Forfeits $5 Million

March 29, 2010 - WASHINGTON—Pamrapo Savings Bank S.L.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pamrapo Bancorp Inc., based in Bayonne, N.J., pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to conspiracy to violate the Bank Secrecy Act and has agreed to forfeit $5 million to the United States.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman for the District of New Jersey; Special Agent in Charge William P. Offord, Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation; Acting Director John E. Bowman of the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS); and Inspector General Jon T. Rymer, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG).

“This case is a good example of how disregarding reporting and compliance can turn into a crime,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. “Today’s guilty plea by Pamrapo Savings Bank should remind financial institutions, large and small across the country, of the high price they will pay for ignoring the law.”

“Pamrapo Savings Bank’s repeated and blatant violation of the Bank Secrecy Act shielded criminals and their activities from detection and prosecution by law enforcement. This case should send a strong message to banks that we will vigorously investigate and prosecute financial institutions that provide safe harbor to criminals,” said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

“Law enforcement relies on banks as the first layer of defense against money launderers and other criminal enterprises who choose to utilize our nation’s financial institutions to further their criminal activity,” said William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation. “Pamrapo Savings Bank’s blatant disregard for the Bank Secrecy Act reporting requirement rules removed that layer of defense, making it more difficult to identify, detect and deter these types of criminals.”

According to the criminal information filed today in U.S. District Court in Trenton, N.J., Pamrapo Savings Bank conspired with others to conceal its customers’ illegal or suspicious activities by failing to file currency transaction reports (CTRs) and suspicious activity reports (SARs) and by willfully failing to maintain adequate anti-money laundering programs. Pamrapo Savings Bank admitted that it willfully violated the Bank Secrecy Act to avoid the expenses associated with compliance, despite federal and state banking regulators telling Pamrapo Savings Bank as early as 2004 that its Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering programs contained serious and systemic deficiencies in critical areas required under the law.

Specifically, Pamrapo Savings Bank admitted during its guilty plea that it unlawfully failed to file CTRs and SARs related to approximately $35 million in illegal and suspicious financial transactions, including more than $5 million in structured currency transactions. The bank acknowledged that its willful failure to maintain adequate Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering programs resulted in numerous and repeated violations of the law.

In one specific example outlined in court documents, from approximately March 2005 to September 2006, a co-conspirator cashed approximately 586 checks worth a total of $3.2 million, payable to “cash” at multiple branches of Pamrapo Savings Bank. Each check was under $10,000, thus structured to evade the bank’s obligation to file CTRs. Ultimately, according to the court documents, Pamrapo Savings Bank willfully failed to file a SAR related to these known and repeated violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.

In addition, Pamrapo Savings Bank admitted that it made false and misleading statements to bank regulators, including OTS, to prevent regulatory oversight and enforcement of its deficient Bank Secrecy Act compliance programs.

‪ “Even during an economic downturn, institutions must remain focused on complying with important laws and regulations to ensure that criminals do not use our nation’s financial system for their illicit enterprises,” said OTS Acting Director John E. Bowman. “As this enforcement order demonstrates, the OTS takes these obligations very seriously.” ‪

“The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General is pleased to join the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the U.S. Department of Justice, and our law enforcement colleagues in defending the integrity of the financial services industry. Prosecutions of entities involved in criminal misconduct helps maintain the safety and soundness of the nation’s financial institutions,” stated Inspector General Jon T. Rymer.

OTS assessed a $5 million civil money penalty against Pamrapo Savings Bank for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, which will be deemed satisfied by the $5 million forfeiture. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury is also investigating Pamrapo Savings Bank for noncompliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and may impose additional civil money penalties.

The Bank Secrecy Act is a federal law enacted to prevent banks from being used to facilitate and perpetuate criminal activity, such as narcotics trafficking, organized crime, terrorist financing and other financial crimes. To permit federal law enforcement authorities to detect, investigate, prevent and prosecute such criminal activities, the Bank Secrecy Act requires banks, such as Pamrapo Savings Bank, to file certain reports with the United States, including CTRs and SARs. CTRs must be filed for every currency transaction involving more than $10,000. SARs must be filed related to any possible violation of law, including transactions suspected to be involved in money laundering, tax crimes and “structuring,” among other crimes. Structuring involves conducting multiple cash transactions, each in an amount under $10,000, to evade the bank’s obligation to file a CTR and camouflage illegal activities from law enforcement. Additionally, under the Bank Secrecy Act, banks are required to establish and maintain an adequate anti-money laundering compliance program.

Pamrapo Bancorp Inc. is a publicly-held savings and loan holding company traded on the NASDAQ stock market. It is operated through approximately 11 branch offices located in and around Bayonne.

Pamrapo Savings Bank waived indictment, agreed to the filing of the information, and accepted and acknowledged responsibility for its conduct during the plea hearing before Chief Judge Garrett E. Brown Jr. As a result of its guilty plea, Pamrapo Savings Bank faces no less than one but not more than five years probation and a statutory maximum fine equal to the greatest of $500,000; twice the gross amount of any financial gain that any persons derived from the offense; or twice the gross amount of any financial loss sustained by any victims of the offense. The court scheduled sentencing for May 6, 2010.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney John W. Sellers of the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Moscato of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Strike Force in Newark, N.J. The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation Division; FDIC-OIG; FBI; OTS; FinCEN; and the Bayonne Police Department’s Special Investigation Unit.

Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Four Defendants Sentenced in Multi-Million-Dollar Cash-Back Mortgage Fraud Scheme


March 29, 2010 - PHOENIX—Four defendants—Jeffrey Todd Crandell, 32, of Gilbert, Ariz., Jake David Abegg Whitman, 33, of Gilbert, Ariz., Frederic Charles Crum, 37, of Gilbert, Ariz., and Tyson Kent Young, 30, of San Tan Valley, Ariz.—were sentenced on March 26, 2010, by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow for their respective roles in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

“These prosecutions assist in demanding accountability from an adrift mortgage industry, which caused great stress to our economy,” said Dennis K. Burke, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. “We are grateful to the FBI-led Mortgage Fraud Task Force that continues to investigate these matters.”

Crandell and Whitman were the leaders of the scheme. In 2005, they obtained the rights to various parcels of real estate located in Chandler, Gilbert, and Queen Creek, Ariz., obscured their interest in those properties by placing them in the name of relatives or in corporate shells, and then recruited friends and acquaintances to buy the properties for inflated prices—often hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the cost of the land. Crandell or Whitman also acted as the mortgage broker in most of the transactions. In that capacity, they were responsible for preparing the buyers’ loan applications. They included multiple lies in the applications in order to persuade the lender to approve the loans. Among other things, they inflated the buyers’ incomes and assets and stated—falsely—that the buyers would be making the down payment. In fact, at closing, Crandell or Whitman would supply the down payment on behalf of the buyer and also provide a cash kickback to the buyer. All told, this scheme caused federally-insured banks to provide more than $6 million in loans and to suffer more than $1 million in losses after the properties fell into foreclosure.

The remaining defendants played supporting roles in the conspiracy. Crum acted as the mortgage broker for three properties and, in that capacity, prepared false loan applications and created doctored financial statements that overstated the buyers’ assets. Young agreed to pose as the owner of several properties in order to obscure Crandell’s interest.

Judge Snow sentenced the two leaders of the conspiracy, Crandell and Whitman, to 62 months' imprisonment and 10 months' imprisonment, respectively, with Whitman receiving a lesser sentence due to his early guilty plea and cooperation with the prosecution. Meanwhile, Crum received a sentence of four months' imprisonment and Young received deferred prosecution. (One remaining defendant, Erin Michelle Leastman, 28, of Gilbert, Ariz., is scheduled to be sentenced on April 1, 2010. Leastman acted as the escrow agent in all but one of the transactions.)

This prosecution is part of an initiative called “Operation Cash Back” in which dozens of defendants—including many real estate professionals—were indicted between 2007 and 2009. To date, 49 have been convicted through guilty pleas or following trial.

Operation Cash Back is part of a nationwide initiative under the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force established by President Obama. In Arizona, Operation Cash Back represents the efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, the FDIC-OIG, Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, Arizona Attorney General's Office, county attorneys and local police departments.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was being handled by Dominic Lanza, Raymond Woo, and Kevin Rapp, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

North Carolina Man Sentenced 327 Months in Prison for Producing Child Pornography

March 29, 2010 - WASHINGTON, DC—Frank Lombard, 43, of Durham, North Carolina, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court to 327 months in prison for producing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy L. Lanier, and Shawn Henry, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Lombard, a former Duke University employee who pled guilty on December 17, 2009, to Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, who also ordered that Lombard serve a lifetime period of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence, during which time he will be required to register as a sex offender.

According to the Statement of the Offense filed in conjunction with the plea agreement, Lombard admitted to streaming a live pornographic image of himself and his prepubescent adopted son to another internet user via a webcam in August 2007, evidence of which was found during a search of Lombard’s Durham, North Carolina home pursuant to a federal search warrant on June 24, 2009. Lombard also admitted that during a June 24, 2009, internet chat session with an undercover police officer, he invited that officer to fly to Durham, North Carolina, in order to have sexual contact with his adopted son. At the time of Lombard’s June 24, 2009, arrest, child pornography materials were found in his home, and he admitted to law enforcement agents that he had engaged in sexual contact with his adopted son.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood and the FBI/MPD Child Exploitation Task Force. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen, MPD Chief Lanier, and FBI Assistant Director Henry commended the outstanding efforts and coordination of the FBI/MPD Child Exploitation Task Force, Washington Metropolitan Police Department Detective Timothy Palchak, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Special Agent E. Michael Smith, Jr., and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina. They also praised the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith A. Becker, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, who prosecuted this case.

Evansville Man Sentenced for Copyright Infringement

March 29, 2010 - INDIANAPOLIS—David A. Sanners, 36, Evansville, Indiana, was sentenced to 15 months in a work release center today by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young following his guilty plea to infringement of a copyright for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sanners admitted that between May 1, 2007 and October 12, 2007, he reproduced, by electronic means, and then distributed 1,202 copies of copyrighted motion pictures in DVD format. Sanners offered these DVD’s for sale to customers using catalogs.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger, who prosecuted the case for the government, Judge Young also ordered Sanners to make restitution in the amount of $23,979 while serving a term of three years of supervised release.

Murder-for-Hire

Defendant Convicted of Murder-for-Hire


March 29, 2010 - Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Miami Field Office, and James K. Loftus, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department, announced that a federal jury found defendant Vivens Delorme guilty this afternoon on charges of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1958(a). The jury began its deliberations earlier today, after a one and one-half-week trial.

According to evidence presented at trial, on November 19, 2006, a documented FBI confidential informant (“victim”) was shot in the head while sitting in his van outside a relative’s home. The victim died the next day. Following the victim’s murder, Miami-Dade police officers and FBI agents began investigating the murder. They suspected that Delorme might be involved in the victim’s murder as retribution for the victim’s participation in an FBI sting that resulted in Delorme’s arrest for federal narcotics charges in August 2006. The investigation revealed that Delorme paid money to Courtney Terlonge, Joshua Laing, and Vernon Jones to commit the murder on November 19, 2006. Terlonge, Laing, and Jones previously pled guilty to their respective roles in this murder.

Sentencing has been scheduled for May 25, 2010. At sentencing, Delorme faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment on each count.

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the Miami-Dade Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marcus A. Christian, Brian Dobbins, and Jamie M. McCall.

Fugitive Indicted on 1977 Child Transportation, Enticement, and Pornography Charges

March 29, 2010 - Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announce the indictment of George Joseph England on charges of transporting a minor to Florida in 1977 for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

The four-count indictment, filed yesterday, charges England with transportation a child for the purpose of illegal sexual activity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2421; coercion or enticement of a victim, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422; coercion or enticement of a minor, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2423; and possession of child pornography, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(4)(B). If convicted, England faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on the child pornography charge, 10 years on the coercion of a minor charge, and five years each on the transportation and coercion charges.

This investigation began in 2004 when the alleged victim reported to the FBI that England had sexually abused her beginning in 1972, when she was 5 years old. According to the complaint affidavit previously filed in this case, the victim met England in 1972, when her mother sold her to him in Vietnam. Thereafter, England travelled with the victim through Asia before settling in Orange County, California in the early to mid-1970s. While in California, England allegedly repeatedly forced the victim to engage in sexual intercourse and other sex acts with him.

The complaint affidavit also alleges that England encouraged the victim to invite her school and neighborhood friends to spend the night in their motor home in Costa Mesa, California. England had drilled a hole in the wall from his bedroom to the bathroom to watch the victim and her friends. England also mounted a Plexiglas box with a hidden camera near the bathtub, from which he took nude photos of the young girls bathing.

On October 21, 1977, England was convicted by a California jury of molesting three of the alleged victim’s friends, ages 9 to 10 years old. England fled with the then-10-year-old victim to Ft. Lauderdale before sentencing. An arrest warrant from California was issued soon thereafter.

According to the complaint affidavit, upon arrival in South Florida, England assumed a false identity, using the name Stephen Arthur Seagoe, to avoid being arrested on the outstanding California warrant. During this time, England allegedly continued to sexually assault the child almost daily. He also encouraged her to play sex games with other children as he watched through a hole he had drilled in the wall.

In 2004, the victim disclosed the alleged abuse to the FBI and provided information on England’s alias to assist law enforcement in arresting England on the 1977 outstanding California arrest warrant. On May 18, 2005, England was arrested after he tried to obtain a passport in his false name. He was charged and pled guilty in July 2005 in the Southern District of Florida to passport fraud. After his arrest, law enforcement seized several of his belongings, including a computer that contained numerous images of child pornography. Ultimately, England was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment on the passport fraud charge.

After serving the passport fraud sentence, England was extradited to California and sentenced to four consecutive life terms of imprisonment on the 1977 child molestation case. After an appeal, England’s sentence was reduced. He was scheduled to be released from jail in California on March 12, 2010. Prior to his release, however, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida filed a complaint, charging England with transporting the victim to Florida in 1977 with the intent that the child engage in criminal sexual activity and possession of child pornography.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Foreclosure Rescue Schemes

Paralegal Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to Three Years in Prison for Role in Multimillion-Dollar Mortgage Fraud and Foreclosure Rescue Schemes


PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MARINA DUBIN, a real estate paralegal, was sentenced yesterday to two concurrent three-year prison sentences in connection with her involvement in a multimillion-dollar, sub-prime mortgage fraud scheme and another foreclosure rescue scheme. DUBIN, 33, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud on June 12, 2008, before United States District Judge RICHARD J. HOLWELL, who also imposed the sentence yesterday in Manhattan federal court.

According to the Indictment, other documents filed in these and related cases, and statements made in court:

The Mortgage Fraud Scheme

From 2004 through January 2007, DUBIN was a paralegal who acted as the bank attorney and settlement agent for numerous loans obtained by the participants in a wide-ranging mortgage fraud scheme. The scheme was led by ALEKSANDER LIPKIN, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, and other participants included mortgage brokers and loan processors who worked at the Brooklyn mortgage brokerage firm AGA Capital NY, Inc. ("AGA Capital") and its successors, as well as real estate appraisers, loan account executives, a lawyer, straw buyers, and others. DUBIN and her co-defendants submitted loan applications containing false information and material omissions, as well as other false documentation such as bank statements, to obtain loans that otherwise would not have been funded.

During the course of the mortgage fraud scheme, AGA Capital and its successors brokered over 1,000 home mortgages and home equity loans with a total face value of at least $200 million dollars and earned at least $4 million in commission fees on those loans. The various lenders defrauded by the scheme have claimed actual losses of approximately $11.6 million on loans that have completed foreclosure.

Of the 27 defendants charged in this case (United States v. Aleksander Lipkin, et al.), 25 pleaded guilty; one of the defendants, attorney ALEXANDER KAPLAN, 35, of Brooklyn, New York, was found guilty following a jury trial and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 6, 2010.

GARRI ZHIGUN, 33, of Brooklyn, New York, who supervised the operations of AGA Capital and was LIPKIN's business partner, was sentenced on May 28, 2009, by Judge HOLWELL to 100 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit $2.5 million and pay approximately $11.6 million in restitution.

The Foreclosure Rescue Scheme

From November 2003 through April 2005, MAURICE McDOWALL, 55, of Brooklyn, New York, LIPKIN and DUBIN engaged in a fraud scheme targeting homeowners whose homes, primarily in Brooklyn and Bronx, New York, were in foreclosure or facing foreclosure, by offering them a plan to "save" their homes. The proposed plan included the refinancing of the homeowners' debt with new, larger mortgages. Because the distressed homeowners typically had poor credit and were not eligible to refinance their debt at favorable terms, the defendants induced them to "sell" their homes to straw buyers, who would apply for loans to be used to "save" the home. The defendants promised that once the straw buyer obtained the mortgage, the proceeds would be used to pay off the homeowners' old debt and make one year's worth of payments on the new loans. The homeowners were told that, during that year, they could continue to live in their homes and work on improving their finances and credit. Finally, the defendants explained to the homeowners that, at the end of the year, the title to their homes would be returned to them by the straw buyers, with their credit repaired and their homes saved. There were also cases in which the defendants did not explain to homeowners that the plan to "save" their home required them to deed their house to a third party and did not obtain permission to deed the homes to others. In such cases, the defendants effectively stole the property of the homeowners by forging the homeowners' signatures on various documents that transferred the homes to straw buyers without the homeowners' knowledge.

McDOWALL, who directed the daily operations of the scheme, and LIPKIN, a mortgage broker who coordinated the submission of fraudulent information to lenders on behalf of straw buyers, obtained more than 80 home mortgages and/or equity loans valued at over $20 million. In some instances, the defendants failed to make even one payment on the loans, causing the loans to default immediately; in nearly every other case, they eventually failed to make the payments and defaulted on the loans, thereby "cashing out" on the properties. As a result, the distressed homeowners lost the titles to their homes and faced eviction, the straw buyers owed the lenders hundreds of thousands of dollars that they were unable to repay, and the lenders suffered losses from the defaulted loans.

DUBIN served as the settlement agent for the vast majority of the fraudulent loans obtained in the course of the scheme. In that capacity, she organized closings, prepared documents, and disbursed the fraudulently obtained proceeds to various defendants.

McDOWALL was previously sentenced by United States District Judge ROBERT P. PATTERSON to 120 months in prison and three years of supervised release, with 100 hours of community service to be performed in the first year after release. In addition, Judge PATTERSON ordered McDOWALL to forfeit $2.5 million.

Of the three other defendants charged in this case, one pleaded guilty and the other two were found guilty on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, and bank fraud, following a 12-day jury trial in Manhattan federal court.

LIPKIN was sentenced by Judge HOLWELL for his role in both the mortgage fraud scheme and the foreclosure rescue scheme (United States v. Maurice McDowall, et al.) on June 4, 2009, to 110 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit $7 million and pay approximately $11.6 million in restitution.

In addition to the 36-month prison term, DUBIN was sentenced to 3 years of supervised release. Judge HOLWELL also ordered DUBIN to forfeit $7 million and pay approximately $11.6 million in restitution.

Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, and the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He also thanked the New York State Attorney General's Office for its role in the investigation.

This case was brought in coordination with President BARACK OBAMA's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, on which Mr. BHARARA serves as a Co-Chair of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group. President OBAMA established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office's Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys JONATHAN B. NEW, AVI WEITZMAN, JULIAN J. MOORE, and JOHN T. ZACH are in charge of the prosecutions.

Oklahoma Man Guilty in Dogfighting Conspiracy

March 29, 2010 - TYLER, TX—U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 59-year-old Stilwell, Oklahoma man has pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting charges in the Eastern District of Texas.

JERRY L. MATLOCK pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in animal fighting today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love.

According to information presented in court, on July 8, 2009, federal warrants were executed in Panola and Gregg counties for nine individuals involved in a dogfighting conspiracy. A federal grand jury returned an indictment on June 30, 2009, charging the defendants, including Matlock, with federal dogfighting crimes.

Matlock faces up to five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

This case is being investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG), the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard L. Moore is prosecuting this case in coordination with the Eastern District of Oklahoma and Western and Eastern Districts of Missouri.

Felon with Long Criminal History Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Possession of Stolen Pistol

Defendant Arrested at Sea-Tac with Stolen Gun in Checked Baggage

March 29, 2010 - ERNEST A. WHITE, 58, a Seattle area resident with ties to Marrero, Louisiana, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to eight years in prison and three years of supervised release for possession of a stolen firearm. On July 16, 2009, WHITE was questioned at Sea-Tac Airport after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers spotted a 9 mm semi-automatic Glock pistol in WHITE’s checked luggage. WHITE admitted the gun was his. Further investigation revealed the gun had been stolen in Louisiana. At sentencing U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour remarked that the long sentence was necessary to protect the public.

WHITE has a lengthy criminal history including convictions for two armed robberies, attempted murder, and aggravated battery in Louisiana. In Washington he has convictions for assault in 1998 and 2004. These convictions mean he cannot legally possess a firearm. After WHITE was first contacted about the gun at Sea-Tac, he was released and for a few weeks attempted to elude arrest. He was arrested on August 20, 2009, after being tracked down by the FBI. WHITE gave the officers a false name and tried to convince them he was not the person they were seeking.

The case was investigated by the FBI, Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), the Seattle Police Department, and the Port of Seattle Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mike Dion.

Janet Kamerman Named Assistant Director of FBI’s Training Division

Will Continue to Serve as Associate Executive Assistant Director of Human Resources

March 29, 2010 - Director Robert S. Mueller, III has named Janet L. Kamerman assistant director (AD) of the FBI’s Training Division. In January 2009, Ms. Kamerman began serving as associate executive assistant director (AEAD) of the Human Resources Branch. Since that time, she has led the Bureau-wide Leadership Development Program initiative to review FBI training and the integration of Human Resources processes and systems for all categories of supervision, management, and leadership. In her new role, she will assume additional responsibilities for all FBI training programs, including the new agent and intelligence analyst training programs, as well as the National Academy, which provides training to federal, state, local, and international police executives.

“While retaining her stewardship of the FBI’s Leadership Development Program as AEAD of Human Resources, Janet will help move forward the Bureau’s training programs—for both our own employees and our local, state, and international partners. Her newly combined responsibilities will strengthen the FBI’s development opportunities for all employees to enhance the achievement of our mission,” said Director Mueller.

Ms. Kamerman entered on duty as a special agent with the FBI in July 1989. Upon completion of training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, she was assigned to the Houston Division. While there, she worked a variety of investigative matters, to include organized crime/drugs, international terrorism, and white collar crime. She was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Houston Division, where she supervised a drug squad.

In 2002, Ms. Kamerman transferred to FBI Headquarters as a supervisory special agent and unit chief in the Human Resources Division. She was later promoted to assistant special agent in charge overseeing administrative matters at the Washington Field Office. In 2005, Ms. Kamerman served as special assistant to Director Mueller, providing counsel on a variety of policy and administrative matters. In May 2007, Ms. Kamerman was named as special agent in charge (SAC) of the Honolulu Division. She served as SAC until December 2008, when she returned to FBI Headquarters as AEAD of the Human Resources Branch.

Prior to joining the FBI, Ms. Kamerman served in the U.S. Army as a military police officer.

GHSA Receives Teen Driving Grant from The Allstate Foundation States to Compete for Teen Driving Funds

March 29, 2010 - WASHINGTON, DC -- The Allstate Foundation has provided the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) with a $75,000 grant for its member State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) to mobilize teens to promote safe driving during National Youth Traffic Safety Month in May 2011. SHSOs are encouraged to submit proposals to compete for funding.

State and federal funding for teen driver safety programs is limited, so GHSA welcomes the opportunity to partner with The Allstate Foundation on this critical issue. According to GHSA Chairman Vernon F. Betkey, Jr., "We are very pleased that The Allstate Foundation is taking the initiative to help advance teen driving safety, and we look forward to hearing the creative ways that states will use the funds to empower teens to be safer drivers."

SHSOs are encouraged to submit proposals to GHSA by June 30, 2010. The state proposals will be reviewed by a panel of judges representing The Allstate Foundation and GHSA. A total of up to $75,000 in funding will be awarded and shared among SHSOs. The panel will be looking for unique approaches to engaging teens as peer leaders for driver safety, how many teens the program will reach and the program's potential for replication in other states.

Grants will be awarded by August 31, and states receiving funding will implement their programs during National Youth Traffic Safety Month in May 2011.

View the call for proposals at: www.ghsa.org/html/projects/pdf/Allstate_CFP.pdf.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)® is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org.

Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. The Allstate Foundation strives to make our communities and our nation a better and safer place to live through partnerships with non-profit organizations promoting "safe and vital communities," "tolerance, inclusion and diversity" and "economic empowerment." Teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors have been priority issues for the Foundation since 2005. For more information, visit www.ProtectTeenDrivers.com.