Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mobile Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Mail Fraud, Bankruptcy Fraud

United States Attorney Kenyen Brown announces that Jean Sanborn of Mobile, Alabama was sentenced to thirty (30) months imprisonment and three years supervised release in United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in Mobile, Alabama on September 28, 2015. Sanborn had pled guilty to one count of mail fraud in regard to falsely claiming to be entitled to monies in an insurance claim she filed with State Farm Insurance for a fire at her former business, The Complete Skin Care Center, 3404 Old Shell Road in Mobile, and one count of falsification of documents in relation to a bankruptcy case. Sanborn was also ordered to pay restitution of $490,495.27.

Sanborn’s claim for monies in the insurance claim to State Farm was false and fraudulent because Sanborn knew that she started the Sunday, December 21, 2008 fire intentionally or with willful disregard of the fact that a fire would occur through her actions. Sanborn knew that she was therefore not entitled to payment on the claim.

Sanborn also pled guilty to a charge that her sworn Schedule of Assets and Statement of Financial Affairs filed in her July, 2014 bankruptcy case falsely answered questions about her investments and income, which concealed the investments and income from the bankruptcy court, the Trustee and creditors. The statutory maximum penalty for the alleged violations is twenty years imprisonment, plus a fine of not more than $250,000.

The case was investigated by agents of the Mobile Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Mobile Fire Department. United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown stated: "This prosecution shows that the Department of Justice understands its duty to work to ensure that Mobile firefighters and residents are not endangered by those who start fires to commit insurance fraud and that bankruptcy relief is allowed only to those who are honest and candid with the Court and creditors, and not to those who would scam the system." ATF Special Agent In Charge Steven Gerido stated: "This indictment shows ATF, Mobile Fire Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office realize that starting a fire to commit insurance fraud is a crime of violence that places innocent people’s lives and property in harm’s way, and demonstrates their collaborative efforts to fight the crime of arson. ATF’s frontline strategy utilizes every available resource to make our communities a safer place to live." The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys George May, Michael Anderson and Charles Baer on behalf of the United States Attorney=s Office for the Southern District of Alabama.

Mexico Extradites 13 Defendants to Face Charges in the United States

Thirteen individuals, including alleged high-level cartel members, were extradited from Mexico to the United States to face charges pending in various jurisdictions, including the murders of a U.S. Consulate employee and two others, and other violent crimes and drug trafficking-related offenses.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg of the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI Director James B. Comey and Acting Director David Harlow of the U.S. Marshals Service made the announcement.

In their first meeting on June 16, 2015, Attorney General Lynch and Attorney General Arely Gómez González of Mexico agreed to begin a new era of collaboration between the two nations to fight international organized crime.  The extraditions announced today are a result of these efforts.

“Today’s extraditions would not have been possible without the close collaboration and productive relationship the Department of Justice enjoys with officials at the highest levels of law enforcement in Mexico,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “I am grateful to our Mexican counterparts not only for their assistance with this important matter, but also for their extraordinary efforts and unwavering partnership in our ongoing fight against international organized crime.  I look forward to all that we will continue to accomplish in the service of that mission as we build on these achievements together in the days and months ahead.”

The following 12 defendants were placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals Service late this afternoon.  An additional defendant was also extradited, but the case remains under seal until the defendant’s initial appearance tomorrow.

    Luis Umberto Hernandez Celis, aka Pack; Alberto Nunez-Payan, aka Fresa, Fresco and 97, and Ricardo Valles de la Rosa, aka Chino, are alleged members of the Barrio Azteca gang and were charged on March 9, 2011, in Western District of Texas with participating in the March 13, 2010, murders in Juarez, Mexico, of U.S. Consulate employee Leslie Ann Enriquez Catton, her husband Arthur Redelfs and Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, the husband of a U.S. Consulate employee.

    Jorge Costilla-Sanchez, aka El Cos, is an alleged former leader of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas, and was charged on April 10, 2002, in the Southern District of Texas with cocaine and marijuana importation and distribution, money laundering, and threatening federal law enforcement officers with assault, kidnapping or murder.  Costilla-Sanchez was among the FBI’s most wanted until his arrest by Mexican authorities on Sept. 12, 2012.

    Edgar Valdez Villarreal, aka La Barbie, and Carlos Montemayor were allegedly high-level members of the Sinaloa and Beltran-Leyva Cartels and were charged on June 11, 2010, in the Northern District of Georgia with conspiring to import and distribute cocaine, as well as conspiring to launder money by transporting drug money from the United States into Mexico.  Valdez Villarreal also faces narcotics-related charges in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

    Jean Baptiste Kingery was charged on Nov. 20, 2013, in the Central District of California with arms trafficking related to the illegal exportation of defense article and munitions from the United States to Mexico.  Kingery is expected to make his initial appearance in the District of Arizona on Oct. 1, 2015.

    Aureliano Montoya-Pena, aka La Changa, was among 20 defendants charged on Nov. 2, 2011, in the Northern District of Illinois with conspiracy to possess and distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and various other offenses related to transporting millions of dollars in drug proceeds between Chicago and Mexico.

    Julio Cesar Valenzuela-Elizalde, aka The Pilot, was among eight defendants charged on Dec. 19, 2002, in the District of Arizona with an international methamphetamine distribution conspiracy, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to import a controlled substance.

    Martin Daniel Castillo-Rascon was charged on June 12, 2013, in the Western District of Texas with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to import a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, importation of a controlled substance and aiding and abetting.

    Antonio Reynoso-Gonzalez was charged in 1995 in the Southern District of California along with Joaquin Guzman-Loera, aka El Chapo, and 22 others with conspiracy to import and to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.

    Antonio Gonzalez Platas was charged in the state of Arkansas with rape.

The charges and allegations in an indictment are merely accusations.  The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Today’s extraditions were coordinated by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, the FBI, the DEA and the U.S. Marshals Service.  The federal cases are being handled by prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section and Organized Crime and Gang Section and in the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the District of Columbia, Central District of California, Northern District of Georgia, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Louisiana, Southern District of Texas and the Western District of Texas.  The state case is being handled by the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for Arkansas.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rochester Man Charged with Possession of Stolen Guns

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Joseph Lowry, 21, of Rochester, NY, was charged by criminal complaint in connection with his possession of a firearm stolen from a residence at 1070 Lake Avenue in Rochester. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas E. Gregory, who is handling the case, stated that according to complaint, on July 29, 2015, officers with the Rochester Police Department responded to 1070 Lake Avenue in Rochester for a report of a burglary occurring at theresidence. The resident of the premises informed officers that intruders entered the house and stole a gun safe that contained three firearms including a 39mm rifle, a .40 caliber rifle and a 12 gauge shotgun.

Three days later, on August 1, 2015, officers responded to Lowry’s residence at 33 Phelps Avenue in Rochester on an unrelated call for service. While there, officers observed a New England Arms Pardner shotgun on the front porch of the residence, loaded with one round of ammunition. After tracing the firearm's serial number, investigators determined the gun was one of the three stolen from 1070 Lake Avenue on July 29, 2015.

Lowry will make an initial appearance on September 29, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman. This arrest is a result of our increased response to the recent spike in violence on the west side of Rochester, including the murder of three individuals at the Boys and Girls Club.

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Field Division, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief Michael Ciminelli.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.