Score:   0.8474
Docket Number:   D-NJ  1:18-cr-00482
Case Name:   USA v. QUINONES
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: Case type associated with a magistrate case if the current case was merged from a magistrate case
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The docket number originally given to a case assigned to a magistrate judge and subsequently merged into a criminal case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a magistrate case
Format: A3

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Magistrate Docket Number:   D-NJ  1:16-mj-05502
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: Case type associated with a magistrate case if the current case was merged from a magistrate case
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The docket number originally given to a case assigned to a magistrate judge and subsequently merged into a criminal case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a magistrate case
Format: A3

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A Somerset, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 84 months in prison for accepting cash bribes and sex in exchange for providing employment authorization documents and concealing his employment of an undocumented immigrant at a hair salon he owned, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Arnaldo Echevarria, 40, a former deportation officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), was previously convicted of Counts 1-6 and Counts 8 and 9 of an indictment charging him with seven counts of accepting bribes, one count of harboring an undocumented immigrant and one count of making false statements to immigration authorities. He was acquitted on Count 7, one of the bribery counts. Echevarria was convicted following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, who imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to statements made in court and evidence presented at trial:

As a deportation officer, Echevarria enforced immigration and customs laws by identifying, locating, arresting and removing undocumented immigrants from the United States and by supervising certain undocumented immigrants who had not yet been deported.  Undocumented immigrants subject to a deportation order often were able to obtain employment authorization documents which allowed them to legally work in the United States for a one-year period and which could be renewed annually. 

Between 2012 and 2014, Echevarria agreed to obtain employment authorization documents for undocumented immigrants who were not lawfully present in the country. In return, Echevarria demanded and received approximately $75,000 in cash bribes, and demanded and received sex from one individual. In order to conceal them from immigration authorities, Echevarria falsely stated that they had been granted temporary protected status, which allows nationals from certain countries experiencing environmental disaster, ongoing armed conflict, or other extraordinary conditions to lawfully remain in the United States. None of the individuals who bribed Echevarria had actually applied for, or received, temporary protected status.

In December 2012, Echevarria received permission from his superiors at ICE to open a hair salon in West Orange, New Jersey. Echevarria certified to ICE that the hair salon would not conflict with ICE matters and would not involve undocumented workers. However, Echevarria employed his girlfriend at the time, an undocumented immigrant, to manage the salon. Echevarria’s girlfriend had entered the United States illegally, using the name and identification of an individual in Puerto Rico to obtain a Pennsylvania identification card.

Echevarria knew his girlfriend resided in the United States illegally. Prior to opening the hair salon, Echevarria queried the name and date of birth of his girlfriend’s alias in various law enforcement databases. After opening the salon, Echevarria ensured that his girlfriend’s illegal status remained a secret by signing the lease for her apartment and by placing her cable and electric bills in his name. In addition to driving his girlfriend and other employees to and from the salon each day, Echevarria also paid the employees in cash and never asked them to fill out employment eligibility paperwork. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Echevarria to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay forfeiture of $75,000.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of ICE, Office of Professional Responsibility, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Keith Barwick, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rahul Agarwal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark, and Barbara Llanes, Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Unit.

Defense counsel: Michael Koribanics Esq., Clifton, New Jersey

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – The former secretary treasurer of a Jersey City Medical Center union and her daughter made their initial appearances today on charges they embezzled $40,455 from the union’s checking and savings accounts, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Linda Rogers, 71, and her daughter, Jennifer Rogers, 38, both of Jersey City, were indicted by a federal grand jury with one count each of conspiracy to embezzle and embezzlement. They allegedly embezzled $40,500 from Local 2254 of the American Federal State County and Municipal Amalgamated Transit Workers Union (AFSCME). The defendants made their initial appearances today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson and were released on bond. They will be arraigned Aug. 19, 2020, by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler.

According to the indictment :

Linda Rogers was formerly employed at the Jersey City Medical Center as a medical clerk; she also held a part-time position at Local 2254 as its secretary treasurer. She had sole control over the union’s checkbook and savings account. From July 2016 through August 2017, she and her daughter, also a former employee at the hospital, deposited 112 unauthorized checks from the Local 2254’s checkbook to their joint checking and savings accounts, totaling $35,267.  From October 2016 through December 2016, Linda Rogers made six telephonic wire transfers from the Local 2254’s savings account, totaling $5,188, into her personal credit card account. None of the expenditures were authorized or for legitimate union purposes. The total loss to AFSCME Local 2254 was $40,455.

The counts of conspiracy to embezzle and embezzlement each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the investigators of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards, under the direction of Adriana Vamvakas, Regional Director; and special agents of the Department of Labor (OIG), New York Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Mikulka, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Organized Crime/Gangs Unit.

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

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A Union County, New Jersey, man previously convicted of multiple felonies was found guilty in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Jarrell L. Daniels, 29, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was convicted after a two and a half-day trial before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court of one count of being a felon in possession of a semi-automatic submachine gun with a high capacity magazine and multiple rounds of ammunition. The jury deliberated less than two hours before delivering the guilty verdict on Feb. 20, 2020.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

On the morning of April 9, 2018, Daniels was walking down Irvington Avenue in Elizabeth, carrying a loaded .45 caliber Masterpiece Arms ACP submachine gun, with 30 additional rounds of ammunition in an extended magazine. Daniels was wearing a disguise, as well as latex gloves. He came upon his victim and opened fire, shooting at his victim 16 times, but none of the shots struck the victim. As he fled the scene, Daniels dropped his head covering and later stashed the gun and other items of clothing in a nearby trashcan. DNA on these items, as well as surveillance footage and ballistics evidence, ultimately enabled the authorities to identify Daniels as the shooter.

The count on which Daniels was convicted is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited law enforcement officers of the Elizabeth Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief John Brennan, Jr.; the Union County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Peter Corvelli; special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo, with the investigation leading to the guilty verdict.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vera Varshavsky and Sammi Malek of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

Defense counsel: Peter Willis Esq. and Maximillian Novel Esq., Jersey City, New Jersey

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A former New Jersey resident today admitted participating in an investment scheme through which he fraudulently obtained $1.525 million from at least three families from 2017 through 2019, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Matthew Benjamin, 53, formerly of Englewood, New Jersey, and now of New York, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud. 

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From May 2017 through August 2019, Benjamin falsely represented to at least three families that his company, Clear Solutions Group LLC, had lucrative contracts to purchase closeout or excess cosmetic inventory from Company A, which he would then resell at a mark-up to Company B. Benjamin told the victims that he had access to these closeout goods through his contacts in the cosmetics and fragrance industry, which he purportedly made through his work at his family’s cosmetic wholesale and distribution business prior to starting Clear Solutions Group. Benjamin induced the victims to provide him with money to purchase the inventory from Company A and promised significant profits in return. Instead of investing the money as he promised, Benjamin misappropriated the investor’s money for his own use and benefit.

Benjamin provided the victims with falsified documents, including fake purchase orders, invoices, promissory notes and bank records showing inflated assets of Clear Solutions Group. To lull victims and induce them to continue investing, Benjamin provided them with documents that purported to detail the investors’ profits.

Benjamin misrepresented to certain investors that portions of their profits on the investment contracts were being reinvested in additional deals to purchase and sell cosmetics, which in turn would generate more profits. From time to time, Benjamin made payments to the investors that were purportedly their profits on certain cosmetics contracts.

In reality, Benjamin misappropriated the investors’ money by making payments to other investors in Clear Solutions Group, which were characterized as those investors’ profits from the nonexistent cosmetic contracts, thereby enabling Benjamin to continue to perpetuate his fraudulent scheme; and by funding Benjamin’s and his family’s lifestyle, including paying for car and house rental payments, food, international travel, legal fees, technology equipment, and summer camp tuition for his family members.

The wire fraud counts are each punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross amount of gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater. The securities fraud count is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $5 million.  Sentencing is scheduled for March 24, 2021.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York Regional Office, under the direction of Director Richard R. Best, for its assistance. The SEC also filed a civil complaint based on the same conduct when Benjamin was arrested July 1, 2020; that complaint remains pending.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer S. Kozar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams was indicted today on additional fraud charges stemming from his alleged use of political action committee (PAC) funds and official government vehicles for his personal benefit, Acting New Jersey U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Williams, 50, of Philadelphia, is now charged in a superseding indictment with 11 counts of travel and use of interstate facilities to promote and facilitate bribery contrary to Pennsylvania law (the “Travel Act counts”), two counts of Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right, two counts of honest services wire fraud, 12 counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud.

 Williams was originally charged in a 23-count indictment on March 21, 2017. The superseding indictment now contains 29 counts, including Counts 22 to 29 regarding Williams’ use of PAC funds and official vehicles.

The Fraud Involving PAC Funds Friends of Seth Williams, a/k/a “The Committee to Elect Seth Williams,” was a political action committee that accepted contributions from individuals to support Williams’ campaigns for public office. Under applicable law, the PAC funds could only be used in relation to political campaigns.

According to the superseding indictment, from August 2010 through August 2016, Williams allegedly defrauded the PAC by using its funds for personal expenditures, which he concealed by providing false or incomplete reports to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to the City of Philadelphia.

For instance, between August 2010 and September 2010, the PAC disbursed two checks to a political consultant totaling approximately $4,136.59. The memo line on these checks falsely stated, “Political Consulting.” Within days of the political consultant receiving the PAC checks, Williams obtained checks from the political consultant’s account and deposited them into his own bank account. In total, Williams received approximately $4,036.59 of the approximately $4,136.59 that the political consultant received from the PAC between August 2010 and September 2010. Williams used these funds for personal expenses.

In addition, from October 2011 through April 2015, Williams incurred expenses at a social club for his personal benefit, including dinner parties, lodging, and family events, none of which were incurred in connection with any election. Williams used the PAC’s debit card to pay for these expenses, including charges of $677.98 for a New Year’s Eve celebration at the social club on Dec. 31, 2013 for Williams and his girlfriend; $195.50 for a facial and massage in January 2014; $777.19 for an April 10, 2014 birthday dinner that Williams held for his girlfriend; $491.50 for a massage, facial, gift card, and fitness classes in January 2015; approximately $2,674.41 for an April 10, 2015 birthday dinner that Williams held for his girlfriend; and approximately $211.50 for massages in May 2015.

From January 2013 through May 2015, Williams incurred expenses at a health club for his own personal benefit, including massages, facials, and clothing, none of which were incurred in connection with any election. Williams also used the PAC’s debit card to pay for these expenses, including charges for massages of $222.50 in January 2013, $209 in July 2013, $251.50 in September 2013, and $90 in November 2013.

The Fraud Involving Official Government Vehicles Williams also allegedly engaged in a scheme to use official vehicles – which were provided by the City of Philadelphia and a federal narcotics law enforcement program – for his personal benefit.

 

Some of those vehicles were obtained through grants provided by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. The purpose of the HIDTA program was to reduce illegal drug trafficking and drug production in the United States by, among other things, facilitating cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The HIDTA program provided resources and funding to enhance and promote regional drug control strategies within defined geographic areas. Each geographic area designated as a HIDTA was governed by an Executive Board comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

 

Williams was a member of the Executive Board for the HIDTA of Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. The District Attorney’s Office (DAO) assigned HIDTA vehicles to detectives in its Dangerous Drug Offender Unit (DDOU), which often conducted narcotics investigations with federal and state HIDTA partners. Vehicles owned or leased by these agencies could not be used for personal purposes.

According to the superseding indictment, Williams repeatedly used city and HIDTA vehicles for his personal use during non-working hours, including weeknights and weekends. Williams directed his security detail to leave a city or HIDTA vehicle at his home every weeknight, so that he would have access to it during all non-working hours. Williams used the vehicles to transport himself, family members, friends and other non-employees on non-DAO business, including personal trips outside of Philadelphia.

During the scheme, Williams had full-time access to city or HIDTA vehicles for nearly all of his personal vehicular needs and personally incurred almost no expenses related to the use of a personal vehicle for years, including costs of purchasing, leasing, or renting a vehicle, or paying for insurance, fuel, and maintenance.

In addition, Williams’ acquisition and use of the HIDTA vehicles, including a Nissan Armada SUV and two Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs, reduced the number of vehicles available to members of the DAO’s DDOU for undercover operations, surveillance, and other aspects of narcotics investigations.

Bribes Involving Business Owners and Fraud on a Nursing Home and Family Friends

Williams remains charged with the same three schemes that were detailed in the March 21, 2017 indictment:

• From July 2010 through May 2015, Williams allegedly had an arrangement with an individual identified in the superseding indictment as “Business Owner #1,” in which Williams, while serving as the Philadelphia District Attorney, accepted trips, money, and other things of value in exchange for performing and agreeing to perform official acts on behalf of Business Owner #1.

• From March 2012 through July 2015, Williams allegedly had an arrangement with an individual identified in the superseding indictment as “Business Owner #2,” in which Williams accepted airline tickets, money, an automobile, and other things of value in exchange for performing and agreeing to perform official acts on behalf of Business Owner #2.

• From February 2012 through November 2013, Williams allegedly diverted a relative’s pension and Social Security payments to pay for his own personal expenses instead of applying them to the relative’s nursing home costs. In addition, after accepting $10,000 from friends of his relative intended to cover expenses for the relative’s nursing home care, Williams spent the money on his personal expenses instead.

The 29-count superseding indictment presents some alterations to the original counts, without changing the substance of the above allegations. Williams was arraigned on March 22, 2017, and entered a plea of not guilty. The trial is presently set for May 31, 2017.

Each of the Travel Act counts is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. The Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right and the wire and mail fraud charges are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. Each count carries a potential fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of a total of approximately $64,878.22, representing the sum of approximately $33,765.52 worth of bribe proceeds and approximately $31,112.70 worth of fraud proceeds.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster in Philadelphia; special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, Philadelphia Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Gregory Floyd, and special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Philadelphia, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Marlon V. Miller, with the investigation. He also thanked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Nick DiGiulio, for its participation in the investigation.

The U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recused his office from the investigation involving the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and the matter was assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. Two prosecutors from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania office were assigned to the case, subject to the supervision of prosecutors in the New Jersey office.

The government is represented by Deputy Chief Eric W. Moran of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark and Chief of Appeals Robert A. Zauzmer and Assistant U.S. Attorney Vineet Gauri of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.

The charges and allegations contained in the superseding indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel: Thomas F. Burke Esq., Philadelphia.

Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:19-cr-00198
Case Name:   USA v. RAMOS
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A federal grand jury today charged a sergeant with the Paterson Police Department with conspiring with other officers to violate individuals’ civil rights, and submitting a false police report to conceal their illegal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Sergeant Michael Cheff, 49, of Paterson, New Jersey, was charged in a two-count indictment with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law and with falsifying a police report. Cheff was previously charged by criminal complaint in January 2020. He will be arraigned in federal court on a date to be determined.

According to documents filed in this and other cases, and statements made in court:

Eudy Ramos, Daniel Pent, Jonathan Bustios, Matthew Torres, and Frank Toledo were police officers with the Paterson Police Department. Cheff supervised their activities and approved their reports and other paperwork related to arrests and seizures of money, narcotics, and firearms. Ramos, Pent, Bustios, Torres, and Toledo, while on official duty, violated the civil rights of individuals in Paterson. They stopped and searched motor vehicles without any justification and stole cash and other items from the occupants. They also illegally stopped and searched individuals in buildings or on the streets of Paterson and seized cash from them. They concealed their activities by submitting to Cheff false reports that omitted, or lied about, their illegal activities. Cheff signed off on those false police reports, and routinely received a portion of these stolen monies from some of these officers. In 2016, Cheff told one of the officers to start “tagging,” or logging into evidence, some of the money that the officer was stealing, because effecting narcotics arrests without logging money into evidence would otherwise raise questions.

On Nov. 14, 2017, Cheff joined Bustios, Ramos, and Torres in stealing cash from an apartment in Paterson. Bustios, Ramos, and Torres stopped and arrested an individual in Paterson. Bustios stole a few hundred dollars from the individual during the arrest, then the officers went to the individual’s apartment, and were joined by Cheff. Torres stayed behind to guard the arrested individual, who was handcuffed in a police car, while Cheff, Ramos, and Bustios obtained consent to search the apartment by lying to the individual’s mother.

Cheff, Ramos, and Bustios then searched the individual’s room. Cheff located a safe inside a closet in the room and took money and narcotics from the safe. He handed a small portion of the money to Bustios and told Bustios to log it into evidence. Cheff put the rest of the money in his pocket. After the search, in a bathroom at the Paterson police station, Cheff gave Torres and Ramos a portion of the stolen money. Cheff also approved a police report that falsely stated that the officers had recovered $319 from on top of a shelf in the individual’s room.

Later that day, Bustios and Toledo exchanged text messages discussing Cheff’s theft of money. Bustios said, among other things, that Cheff “got us for over a stack today,” that “there was a safe” and that Cheff “grabbed the cash.” According to the individual whose apartment was searched, the safe contained approximately $2,700, and all of it was missing after the search was completed.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim “Mike” Baycora, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee M. Cortes Jr., Chief of the Health Care Fraud Unit.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel: John Lynch Esq., Union City

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring with other officers to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, using unreasonable and excessive force, and filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Daniel Pent, 32, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights, using unreasonable and excessive force in violation of individuals’ civil rights, and filing a false police report.

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Pent, along with Paterson police officers Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, Matthew Torres, Frank Toledo, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants. Pent and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. Pent and other officers arrested individuals in Paterson, seized cash from those individuals during the arrests, and split the cash proceeds among themselves. They covered up their criminal activity by filing false police reports. Pent admitted to the following illegal conduct:

• On Feb. 1, 2017, Pent and Ramos stopped and searched a vehicle in Paterson. They stole approximately $10,000 from the passenger of the vehicle and split it between themselves. Ramos and Pent then submitted an incident report to the Paterson Police Department in which they intentionally omitted any mention of the $10,000 theft.

• On May 27, 2016, Pent and Ramos arrested an individual, stole several hundred dollars in cash from the individual, and filled out a false currency seizure report that under-reported the amount of money the individual actually possessed. Pent and Ramos then applied a forged signature of the individual to the report to make it appear as though the individual had seen and agreed to the amount on the report.

While on official duty, Pent also routinely used unreasonable and excessive force in his encounters with individuals in Paterson, causing them bodily harm, including:

• Pent and other officers routinely delivered a “running tax” to individuals they arrested. If an individual ran from them, Pent and others would “tax” the individual by striking the individual multiple times, causing bodily injury.

• On Jan. 20, 2015, Pent and Ramos received a call regarding loud music coming from a vehicle on Doremus Avenue in Paterson. Pent and Ramos approached the individual in the vehicle, removed him from the vehicle and punched and kicked him. The individual suffered injuries, including eye injuries, as a result of Pent’s and Ramos’ excessive force.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights and the deprivation of civil rights charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Pent's sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2020.

Bustios pleaded guilty in December 2018 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to extortion under color of official right. He is awaiting sentencing. Torres pleaded guilty in May 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 20, 2019. Toledo pleaded guilty in July 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights, to using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019. Ramos pleaded guilty on Sept. 9, 2019, to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights, to using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: Michael Calabro Esq., Newark

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring with other officers to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Eudy Ramos, 32, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to Counts 1 and 7 of an indictment against him, charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights and filing a false police report. Ramos also pleaded guilty to an information charging him with using unreasonable and excessive force in violation of individuals’ civil rights.

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Ramos, along with other Paterson police officers, including Jonathan Bustios, Daniel Pent, Matthew Torres, Frank Toledo, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants. Ramos and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. He and other officers also arrested individuals in Paterson, seized cash from them during the arrests, and split the cash proceeds among themselves. To cover up their criminal activity, Ramos and his fellow officers then filed false police reports. Ramos admitted to the following instances of illegal conduct:

• On Feb. 1, 2017, Ramos and Pent stopped and searched a vehicle in Paterson. They stole approximately $10,000 from the passenger of the vehicle and split it between themselves. Ramos and Pent then submitted an incident report to the Paterson Police Department in which they intentionally omitted any mention of the $10,000 theft.

• On Dec. 1, 2017, Ramos and Bustios stopped and searched an individual on a street corner in Paterson and stole approximately $1,000 from the individual. After the theft, a video of a portion of the encounter was posted to Twitter by a third party.

• On Dec. 2, 2017, Ramos and Toledo arrested an individual. During the arrest, they stole $1,000 from the individual and split the proceeds.

• On Dec. 7, 2017, Torres and Ramos conducted a vehicle stop in Paterson. They searched the vehicle, the driver, and the passenger, who had approximately $3,100 and marijuana. Ramos told the passenger that instead of charging the passenger with distribution of marijuana they could take $500 from the passenger and have the passenger sign a piece of paper. Ramos then purportedly placed a call to his superior and told the passenger that the superior officer said it had to be $800. Ramos took out a piece of white paper, wrote something on it, and told the passenger to sign it. Ramos and Torres released the driver and passenger and shared the stolen cash proceeds. They did not report the stop and search of the vehicle and its occupants, or the cash seizure, to the Paterson Police Department.

• On Feb. 20, 2018, Ramos and Bustios stopped and searched a vehicle and detained the driver and passenger of the vehicle. They stole a bag containing approximately $1,800 from the car. They then agreed to meet at Peach and Plum streets in Paterson, a location with no camera, where Bustios passed a portion of the illegally seized cash to Ramos through the window of Bustios’ police car. Bustios and Ramos did not report to the Paterson Police Department the fact that they had stopped and searched the vehicle, detained and searched its occupants, and taken cash, all without legal justification.

• On March 5, 2018, Ramos and Torres stopped and searched a vehicle, without legal basis. The occupants of the encounter filmed the encounter and posted the video to Instagram. They asked Ramos his basis for conducting the vehicle stop, and Ramos responded, “Random stop.” Ramos did not locate any cash inside the vehicle and departed the scene without taking anything.

While on official duty, Ramos also routinely used unreasonable and excessive force in his encounters with individuals in Paterson, causing them bodily harm:

• Ramos and other officers routinely delivered a “running tax” to individuals they arrested. If an individual ran from them, Ramos and others would “tax” the individual by striking the individual multiple times, causing bodily injury.

• On Jan. 20, 2015, Ramos and Pent received a call regarding loud music coming from a vehicle on Doremus Avenue in Paterson. They approached an individual in the vehicle, removed him, and began punching and kicking him. The individual suffered bodily injury, including eye injuries, as a result of Ramos’ and Pent’s excessive force.

• On Sept. 7, 2016, Ramos placed a handcuffed individual in the backseat of his police car, without a seatbelt, to transport the individual to Paterson Police Department headquarters. Ramos then depressed the brakes on his police car and forced the individual to slam his head against the divider in the backseat of the police car, a tactic known as “brake-checking.” After the individual slammed his head on divider, Ramos jokingly said, “What happened, man? You gotta put your seatbelt on.” Ramos recorded a video of this incident.

• On March 2, 2017, Ramos and Bustios were dispatched to a call regarding stolen property located in a vehicle in a parking garage. The individual who had stolen the property (Individual 1) was sitting in the vehicle. The individual whose property had been stolen (Individual 2) was angry and told Ramos and Bustios that he wanted to take a swing at Individual 1. Ramos and Bustios allowed him to do so. While Ramos and Bustios watched, Individual 2 punched Individual 1, who fell to the ground and hit his head, causing bodily injury. Bustios filmed the encounter.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights and the deprivation of civil rights charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2020.

Bustios pleaded guilty in December 2018 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to extortion under color of official right. Torres pleaded guilty in May 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 18, 2019. Toledo pleaded guilty in July 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights, to using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019. On March 26, 2019, Pent was charged by complaint with conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights. The charge and allegations against him are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Defense counsel: Miles Feinstein Esq., Clifton, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, using unreasonable and excessive force, and filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Frank Toledo, 30, of Paterson, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to a three-count information charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights, using unreasonable and excessive force in violation of individuals’ civil rights, and filing a false police report.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners remain committed to identifying and prosecuting corrupt police officers who violate the civil rights of our people,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “We will continue to aggressively pursue these cases, and we are grateful to our counterparts at the FBI, the Paterson Police Department and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, for their dedicated assistance on this investigation.”

“The FBI has a long history of standing with and assisting our fellow law enforcement officers,” Gregory W. Ehrie, FBI Special Agent in Charge in Newark, said. “When a police department finds rogue officers who violate civil rights, we will answer the call to help rid that department of anyone who tarnishes the badge they wear.”

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Toledo, along with other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, Daniel Pent, Matthew Torres, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants. Toledo and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. Toledo and other officers arrested individuals in Paterson, took cash from them, and split it among themselves. To cover up their criminal activity, Toledo and his fellow officers then filed false police reports. For example, on Dec. 2, 2017, Toledo and Ramos stopped and arrested an individual in Paterson and stole approximately $1,000, which they split. Toledo and Ramos then filed a false police report omitting that they had stolen $1,000 from the arrestee.

Toledo communicated via text message with his conspirators regarding their illegal activity. In one text message, on Nov. 16, 2017, Toledo wrote to Bustios, “everything we do is illegal.” In another, Bustios sent Toledo a text message with an animated talking pig that said, “I’m tryin’ to go mango hunting. Let’s goooo.” Toledo replied with an address and wrote “meet me here,” telling Bustios to meet him at a location where they could look to illegally seize “mangos,” a code word for cash.

While on official duty, Toledo also routinely used unreasonable and excessive force in his encounters with individuals in Paterson, causing them bodily harm. For instance, in three incidents in 2017:

• Toledo chased and apprehended a juvenile, pushed the juvenile to the ground, and punched the juvenile several times. Toledo later told Bustios, “I’ve been borderline blacking out when I catch these n[ ]” and “I beat that n[ ] like he owed me money.” Toledo also told Bustios that when he used force on the juvenile, he “was no longer a cop.”

• Toledo and Ramos chased and tackled an individual in Paterson and struck the individual several times in the body. They then released the individual without filing charges. The incident was recorded by a third party and uploaded to YouTube. Toledo told Bustios that the individual who recorded the incident “missed the best part,” which was when Toledo “laid him out.” Toledo then said, “funny shit is that we cut him” and “didn’t even lock him up.”

• Toledo and Torres arrested an individual, handcuffed him behind his back, and placed him in the backseat of their police car. During the ride to police department headquarters, Toledo depressed the brakes on his police car in order to force the individual to slam his body and head against the divider in the backseat of the police car, a tactic known as “brake-checking.” Toledo recorded the incident on his cell phone and sent it to others.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights and the deprivation of civil rights charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019.

Bustios pleaded guilty in December 2018 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to extortion under color of official right. Torres pleaded guilty in May 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2019.

Ramos was indicted in a nine-count indictment with conspiring to deprive individuals of their civils rights, depriving individuals of their civil rights, and filing false police reports. His case is pending before Judge Hayden. Daniel Pent was previously charged by complaint with conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights. His case, too, is pending. The charges and allegations against them are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: Dennis S. Cleary Esq., West Orange, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring with other officers to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Matthew Torres, 30, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights and filing a false police report.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Torres, along with other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, Daniel Pent, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants of the motor vehicles. Torres and the other officers sometimes used fake paperwork to trick individuals into believing that the cash seizures and vehicle stops represented legitimate law enforcement encounters. Torres and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. To cover up their criminal activity, Torres and his fellow officers filed false police reports.

For example, on Dec. 7, 2017, while on duty, Torres and Ramos conducted a vehicle stop in Paterson. Torres and Ramos searched the vehicle, the driver, and the passenger. The passenger advised Torres and Ramos that he had a small quantity of marijuana. He also had approximately $3,100. Ramos and Torres told the passenger that they could take $500 from the passenger and have him sign a piece of paper. Ramos then placed a call, purportedly to his superior, and told the passenger that the superior officer said it had to be $800. Ramos took out a piece of white paper, wrote something on it, and told the passenger to sign it. Afterwards, Torres and Ramos released the driver and passenger. Torres and Ramos stole approximately $800 from the passenger, and they shared the stolen cash proceeds. In order to conceal their theft of monies, Torres and Ramos each omitted the encounter from their daily Paterson Police Department activity logs.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: John C. Whipple Esq., Morristown, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer was arrested today and charged with conspiring to violate the civil rights of motor vehicle occupants and others in Paterson, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Daniel Pent, 32, of Paterson, was arrested by special agents of the FBI on a complaint charging him with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law. Pent is scheduled to have his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Pent, and other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants of the motor vehicles. Pent, Ramos, and others also illegally stopped and searched individuals in buildings or on the streets of Paterson and seized cash from those individuals.

On Feb. 1, 2017, Pent and Ramos stopped and searched a vehicle in Paterson, detained and handcuffed the occupants, and stole approximately $10,000 from one of the occupants. Pent told Ramos that either they should take all of the money or they should take none of it, and they chose to take all of it. They split the money between themselves. Pent and Ramos subsequently arrested the victim and charged the victim with loitering in a drug area. Pent filled out a prisoner property report for the victim that falsely stated that the victim had approximately $36 on his person. Ramos and Pent submitted an incident report in which they omitted the fact that they had located, and seized, $10,000 from the victim.

A federal grand jury indicted Ramos on March 20, 2019, for his role in the conspiracy and other civil rights and false records charges. His case is pending before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

NEWARK, N.J. – A federal grand jury indicted a City of Paterson, New Jersey, police officer for conspiring to violate individuals’ civil rights by stopping and searching people in their vehicles and on the street and stealing their cash, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Eudy Ramos, 28, of Paterson, was charged in a nine-count indictment with conspiring to violate, and violating, the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, and with filing multiple false reports to conceal his criminal conduct. Ramos was previously charged by criminal complaint in April 2018. He will be arraigned in federal court on a date to be determined.

According to documents filed in this and a related case and statements made in court:

Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, and Matthew Torres were police officers with the Paterson Police Department (PPD). From at least 2016 to April 2018, they and other police officers, identified in the indictment as PPD Officer 1 and PPD Officer 2, allegedly targeted, stopped, and searched vehicles and the occupants of those vehicles and illegally seized cash from them. They also illegally stopped and searched individuals in buildings or on the streets of Paterson and seized their cash. They split the cash among themselves and submitted false reports to the PPD, omitting their illegal conduct or lying about it.

Among the methods employed to carry out the conspiracy, Ramos and the other officers used text messages to communicate about their criminal conduct. For instance, on Feb. 24, 2018 Ramos sent a text message to Bustios and Torres asking if they were in the mood for “weekend mangoes,” using the code word “mango” to refer to the illegal seizure of cash. On Feb. 25, 2018, Ramos sent a text message to Bustios, telling Bustios that Ramos was “tryna get someone in a car,” referring to Ramos’ plan to illegally steal cash from the occupants of vehicles in Paterson. On Dec. 7, 2017, Bustios sent a text message to Ramos, “83 auburn back door is open,” and Ramos responded, “On my way.” The address 83 Auburn Street was one of several locations that Ramos and others targeted for illegal cash seizures.

Some instances of Ramos’ and his conspirators illegal conduct include:

On Feb.1, 2017, Ramos and another PPD officer stopped and searched a vehicle, detained and handcuffed the occupants, and stole approximately $10,000 from one of the passengers. Ramos and his conspirator split the money between themselves and omitted any mention of the $10,000 in the PPD incident report and prisoner property report.

On Dec. 1, 2017, Ramos and Bustios stopped and searched an individual on a street corner in Paterson and stole approximately $1,000 from the individual. After the theft, a video of a portion of the encounter was posted to Twitter.

On Dec. 7, 2017, Torres and Ramos conducted a vehicle stop in Paterson. Torres and Ramos searched the vehicle, the driver, and the passenger, who had $3,100 and marijuana. Ramos told the passenger that instead of charging the passenger with distribution of marijuana they could take $500 from the passenger and have the passenger sign a piece of paper. Ramos then purportedly placed a call to his superior and told the passenger that the superior officer said it had to be $800. Ramos took out a piece of paper, wrote on it, and told the passenger to sign it. The passenger did not know what was written on the paper. Afterwards, Torres and Ramos released the driver and passenger. Torres and Ramos shared the stolen cash proceeds. Ramos and Torres did not report the stop and search of the vehicle and its occupants, or the cash seizure, to the Paterson Police Department.

The conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and the substantive Counts 2 to 6 each carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison. The false records counts each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for the felony counts is $250,000, and the maximum fine for the misdemeanor Counts 2 to 6 is $100,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: Miles Feinstein Esq., Clifton, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson, New Jersey, police officer was arrested today and charged with violating the civil rights of a driver and passenger during a motor vehicle stop, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Matthew Torres, 30, of Paterson, was arrested by federal agents this morning and charged by complaint with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law. Torres is scheduled to have his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Torres and other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, have without justification stopped and searched motor vehicles and stolen cash and other items from the occupants. The officers sometimes used fake paperwork to trick individuals into believing that the cash seizures and vehicle stops were legitimate.

For example, on Dec. 7, 2017, Torres and Ramos conducted a vehicle stop in Paterson, searched the vehicle, driver, and passenger and placed the driver in one police car and the passenger in the other. The passenger told Torres and Ramos that he possessed two bags of marijuana and $3,100. Ramos took the money, placed it on the backseat of the vehicle and told the passenger that he did not care about the marijuana. Ramos told the passenger that they could not simply let him go because his activity likely had been picked up by Paterson police cameras. Ramos said he and Ramos could take $500 from the passenger, have him sign a piece of paper, and then give that paper to the narcotics division. Ramos then placed a call, purportedly to his superior, and told the passenger that the superior officer said it had to be $800. Ramos took out a piece of white paper, wrote something on it, and told the passenger to sign it. The passenger did not know what was written on the paper. Afterwards, Torres and Ramos released the driver and passenger. According to the passenger, there was $1,000 missing from his original $3,100. Torres and Ramos shared the stolen cash proceeds. They did not report the illegal cash seizure to the Paterson Police Department.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring with other officers to violate individuals’ civil rights and to personally accepting a firearm in exchange for reducing the charges on an arrestee, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Jonathan Bustios, 29, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights and one count of extortion under color of official right.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Bustios and Eudy Ramos were police officers with the Paterson Police Department. From at least 2016 to April 2018, Bustios, Ramos and others participated in a conspiracy in which they targeted and stopped certain individuals who were driving motor vehicles that they believed carried sums of money. Bustios, Ramos and others stopped the vehicles, searched the vehicles, driver, and passengers, and seized cash from the driver and passengers of the vehicles, without legal basis. They then split the cash among themselves and submitted false reports to the Paterson Police Department omitting the illegal vehicle stops and their thefts or lying about them.

In one incident, on Feb. 20, 2018, while on duty and in uniform, Bustios pulled over and stopped behind a BMW, while Ramos stopped in front of the BMW. Bustios and Ramos exited their police cars and searched the front and back of the BMW and the trunk, and Bustios and Ramos detained and searched the two occupants of the BMW. They put each of the occupants into the backseat of Ramos’s police car. Bustios then stole a bag containing approximately $1,800 from the car and left the scene, and Ramos released the two detained occupants of the BMW. Ramos drove to meet Bustios, who passed a portion of the recovered cash to Ramos through the window of Bustios’ police car. Bustios and Ramos did not report to the Paterson Police Department the fact that they had stopped and searched the BMW, detained and searched its occupants, and taken cash, all without any warrants or legal justification.

Bustios also pleaded guilty to extortion under color of official right, arising out of an incident on March 14, 2018. Bustios arrested and detained an individual and placed the individual in the backseat of his police car. Bustios told the individual that he would not charge him with resisting arrest and would allow him to keep the cash that the he had on him, in exchange for which the individual would find Bustios a firearm. Bustios said, “I ain’t gonna charge you with resisting, and I’m letting you keep your money, bro.” Bustios then told the individual, “If you don’t wanna make the deal, you don’t have to make the deal.” The individual ultimately agreed to the deal and directed Bustios to the location of a firearm. Bustios recovered the firearm and kept it without turning it in to the Paterson Police Department. As promised, he did not charge the individual with resisting arrest. Bustios also submitted an arrest report in which he failed to mention any details about having a recovered a firearm.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The extortion under color of official right count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for both charges is $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for April 9, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: Michael Koribanics, Clifton, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – Two Passaic County, New Jersey, men were arrested today for allegedly violating the civil rights of two individuals during a motor vehicle stop in Paterson, New Jersey, with one officer also being charged with extortion for personally accepting a firearm in exchange for reducing the charges on an arrestee, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Jonathan Bustios, 28, and Eudy Ramos, 31, both of Paterson, New Jersey, were arrested by federal agents this morning and charged by complaint with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law. Bustios was also charged with one count of extortion under color of official right. Both defendants are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.

According to the complaint:

The investigation uncovered instances in which Bustios and Ramos, both officers of the Paterson Police Department, allegedly stopped motor vehicles, detained the occupants, and searched those vehicles without any justification. On certain occasions, Bustios and Ramos also took cash and other items without justification before releasing the detained occupants.

For example, on Feb. 20, 2018, while on duty, Bustios pulled over a BMW and stopped behind the vehicle, while Ramos stopped his police car in front of the vehicle. Bustios and Ramos exited their police cars and proceeded to search the front and back of the BMW and the trunk. Bustios and Ramos also detained and searched the two occupants of the BMW and put them into the backseat of Ramos’ police car.

After searching the BMW, Bustios left the scene, drove for ten minutes, then stopped his police car and took out a white plastic bag that was filled with cash. Bustios also took out a firearm. He then called Ramos, after which Ramos released the two detained occupants of the BMW and drove to meet Bustios. Bustios passed a portion of the recovered cash to Ramos through the window of Bustios’ police car.

Later that day, Bustios and Ramos turned in the firearm that they had recovered. In the offense report pertaining to the firearm, they told a false story about having recovered the firearm due to a tip by a concerned citizen. In fact, there was no tip by a concerned citizen. They did not report to the Paterson Police Department that they had stopped and searched the BMW, detained and searched its occupants, and taken cash, all without any warrants.

Bustios was also charged with extortion under color of official right for an incident that allegedly occurred on March 14, 2018. Bustios arrested and detained an individual and placed the individual in the backseat of his police car. Bustios then told the individual that Bustios would not charge the individual with resisting arrest and would allow the individual to keep the cash that the individual had on him, in exchange for the individual helping Bustios acquire a firearm. Specifically, Bustios said, “I ain’t gonna charge you with resisting, and I’m letting you keep your money bro.” Bustios then told the individual, “If you don’t wanna make the deal, you don’t have to make the deal.”

The individual ultimately agreed and directed Bustios to the location of a firearm, which Bustios allegedly recovered and kept without turning it over to the Paterson Police Department. According to Paterson Police Department records, as he had promised, Bustios did not charge the individual with resisting arrest. Bustios also submitted an arrest report in which he failed to mention any details about recovering a firearm.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights count with which Bustios and Ramos are charged carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The extortion under color of official right count with which Bustios is charged carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bradley W. Cohen in Newark, with the ongoing investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, as well as the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division.

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SuwoB-2UOEL1R5C0vA4NAX_Tjr5iHmi4sAZQ2Wei9vo/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-10-24 04:45:21 UTC
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Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Magistrate Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:18-mj-04086
Case Name:   USA v. BUSTIOS et al
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Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:19-cr-00706
Case Name:   USA v. PENT
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A federal grand jury today charged a sergeant with the Paterson Police Department with conspiring with other officers to violate individuals’ civil rights, and submitting a false police report to conceal their illegal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Sergeant Michael Cheff, 49, of Paterson, New Jersey, was charged in a two-count indictment with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law and with falsifying a police report. Cheff was previously charged by criminal complaint in January 2020. He will be arraigned in federal court on a date to be determined.

According to documents filed in this and other cases, and statements made in court:

Eudy Ramos, Daniel Pent, Jonathan Bustios, Matthew Torres, and Frank Toledo were police officers with the Paterson Police Department. Cheff supervised their activities and approved their reports and other paperwork related to arrests and seizures of money, narcotics, and firearms. Ramos, Pent, Bustios, Torres, and Toledo, while on official duty, violated the civil rights of individuals in Paterson. They stopped and searched motor vehicles without any justification and stole cash and other items from the occupants. They also illegally stopped and searched individuals in buildings or on the streets of Paterson and seized cash from them. They concealed their activities by submitting to Cheff false reports that omitted, or lied about, their illegal activities. Cheff signed off on those false police reports, and routinely received a portion of these stolen monies from some of these officers. In 2016, Cheff told one of the officers to start “tagging,” or logging into evidence, some of the money that the officer was stealing, because effecting narcotics arrests without logging money into evidence would otherwise raise questions.

On Nov. 14, 2017, Cheff joined Bustios, Ramos, and Torres in stealing cash from an apartment in Paterson. Bustios, Ramos, and Torres stopped and arrested an individual in Paterson. Bustios stole a few hundred dollars from the individual during the arrest, then the officers went to the individual’s apartment, and were joined by Cheff. Torres stayed behind to guard the arrested individual, who was handcuffed in a police car, while Cheff, Ramos, and Bustios obtained consent to search the apartment by lying to the individual’s mother.

Cheff, Ramos, and Bustios then searched the individual’s room. Cheff located a safe inside a closet in the room and took money and narcotics from the safe. He handed a small portion of the money to Bustios and told Bustios to log it into evidence. Cheff put the rest of the money in his pocket. After the search, in a bathroom at the Paterson police station, Cheff gave Torres and Ramos a portion of the stolen money. Cheff also approved a police report that falsely stated that the officers had recovered $319 from on top of a shelf in the individual’s room.

Later that day, Bustios and Toledo exchanged text messages discussing Cheff’s theft of money. Bustios said, among other things, that Cheff “got us for over a stack today,” that “there was a safe” and that Cheff “grabbed the cash.” According to the individual whose apartment was searched, the safe contained approximately $2,700, and all of it was missing after the search was completed.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim “Mike” Baycora, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee M. Cortes Jr., Chief of the Health Care Fraud Unit.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel: John Lynch Esq., Union City

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring with other officers to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, using unreasonable and excessive force, and filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Daniel Pent, 32, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights, using unreasonable and excessive force in violation of individuals’ civil rights, and filing a false police report.

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Pent, along with Paterson police officers Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, Matthew Torres, Frank Toledo, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants. Pent and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. Pent and other officers arrested individuals in Paterson, seized cash from those individuals during the arrests, and split the cash proceeds among themselves. They covered up their criminal activity by filing false police reports. Pent admitted to the following illegal conduct:

• On Feb. 1, 2017, Pent and Ramos stopped and searched a vehicle in Paterson. They stole approximately $10,000 from the passenger of the vehicle and split it between themselves. Ramos and Pent then submitted an incident report to the Paterson Police Department in which they intentionally omitted any mention of the $10,000 theft.

• On May 27, 2016, Pent and Ramos arrested an individual, stole several hundred dollars in cash from the individual, and filled out a false currency seizure report that under-reported the amount of money the individual actually possessed. Pent and Ramos then applied a forged signature of the individual to the report to make it appear as though the individual had seen and agreed to the amount on the report.

While on official duty, Pent also routinely used unreasonable and excessive force in his encounters with individuals in Paterson, causing them bodily harm, including:

• Pent and other officers routinely delivered a “running tax” to individuals they arrested. If an individual ran from them, Pent and others would “tax” the individual by striking the individual multiple times, causing bodily injury.

• On Jan. 20, 2015, Pent and Ramos received a call regarding loud music coming from a vehicle on Doremus Avenue in Paterson. Pent and Ramos approached the individual in the vehicle, removed him from the vehicle and punched and kicked him. The individual suffered injuries, including eye injuries, as a result of Pent’s and Ramos’ excessive force.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights and the deprivation of civil rights charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Pent's sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2020.

Bustios pleaded guilty in December 2018 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to extortion under color of official right. He is awaiting sentencing. Torres pleaded guilty in May 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 20, 2019. Toledo pleaded guilty in July 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights, to using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019. Ramos pleaded guilty on Sept. 9, 2019, to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights, to using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: Michael Calabro Esq., Newark

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring with other officers to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Eudy Ramos, 32, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to Counts 1 and 7 of an indictment against him, charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights and filing a false police report. Ramos also pleaded guilty to an information charging him with using unreasonable and excessive force in violation of individuals’ civil rights.

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Ramos, along with other Paterson police officers, including Jonathan Bustios, Daniel Pent, Matthew Torres, Frank Toledo, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants. Ramos and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. He and other officers also arrested individuals in Paterson, seized cash from them during the arrests, and split the cash proceeds among themselves. To cover up their criminal activity, Ramos and his fellow officers then filed false police reports. Ramos admitted to the following instances of illegal conduct:

• On Feb. 1, 2017, Ramos and Pent stopped and searched a vehicle in Paterson. They stole approximately $10,000 from the passenger of the vehicle and split it between themselves. Ramos and Pent then submitted an incident report to the Paterson Police Department in which they intentionally omitted any mention of the $10,000 theft.

• On Dec. 1, 2017, Ramos and Bustios stopped and searched an individual on a street corner in Paterson and stole approximately $1,000 from the individual. After the theft, a video of a portion of the encounter was posted to Twitter by a third party.

• On Dec. 2, 2017, Ramos and Toledo arrested an individual. During the arrest, they stole $1,000 from the individual and split the proceeds.

• On Dec. 7, 2017, Torres and Ramos conducted a vehicle stop in Paterson. They searched the vehicle, the driver, and the passenger, who had approximately $3,100 and marijuana. Ramos told the passenger that instead of charging the passenger with distribution of marijuana they could take $500 from the passenger and have the passenger sign a piece of paper. Ramos then purportedly placed a call to his superior and told the passenger that the superior officer said it had to be $800. Ramos took out a piece of white paper, wrote something on it, and told the passenger to sign it. Ramos and Torres released the driver and passenger and shared the stolen cash proceeds. They did not report the stop and search of the vehicle and its occupants, or the cash seizure, to the Paterson Police Department.

• On Feb. 20, 2018, Ramos and Bustios stopped and searched a vehicle and detained the driver and passenger of the vehicle. They stole a bag containing approximately $1,800 from the car. They then agreed to meet at Peach and Plum streets in Paterson, a location with no camera, where Bustios passed a portion of the illegally seized cash to Ramos through the window of Bustios’ police car. Bustios and Ramos did not report to the Paterson Police Department the fact that they had stopped and searched the vehicle, detained and searched its occupants, and taken cash, all without legal justification.

• On March 5, 2018, Ramos and Torres stopped and searched a vehicle, without legal basis. The occupants of the encounter filmed the encounter and posted the video to Instagram. They asked Ramos his basis for conducting the vehicle stop, and Ramos responded, “Random stop.” Ramos did not locate any cash inside the vehicle and departed the scene without taking anything.

While on official duty, Ramos also routinely used unreasonable and excessive force in his encounters with individuals in Paterson, causing them bodily harm:

• Ramos and other officers routinely delivered a “running tax” to individuals they arrested. If an individual ran from them, Ramos and others would “tax” the individual by striking the individual multiple times, causing bodily injury.

• On Jan. 20, 2015, Ramos and Pent received a call regarding loud music coming from a vehicle on Doremus Avenue in Paterson. They approached an individual in the vehicle, removed him, and began punching and kicking him. The individual suffered bodily injury, including eye injuries, as a result of Ramos’ and Pent’s excessive force.

• On Sept. 7, 2016, Ramos placed a handcuffed individual in the backseat of his police car, without a seatbelt, to transport the individual to Paterson Police Department headquarters. Ramos then depressed the brakes on his police car and forced the individual to slam his head against the divider in the backseat of the police car, a tactic known as “brake-checking.” After the individual slammed his head on divider, Ramos jokingly said, “What happened, man? You gotta put your seatbelt on.” Ramos recorded a video of this incident.

• On March 2, 2017, Ramos and Bustios were dispatched to a call regarding stolen property located in a vehicle in a parking garage. The individual who had stolen the property (Individual 1) was sitting in the vehicle. The individual whose property had been stolen (Individual 2) was angry and told Ramos and Bustios that he wanted to take a swing at Individual 1. Ramos and Bustios allowed him to do so. While Ramos and Bustios watched, Individual 2 punched Individual 1, who fell to the ground and hit his head, causing bodily injury. Bustios filmed the encounter.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights and the deprivation of civil rights charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2020.

Bustios pleaded guilty in December 2018 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to extortion under color of official right. Torres pleaded guilty in May 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 18, 2019. Toledo pleaded guilty in July 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights, to using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019. On March 26, 2019, Pent was charged by complaint with conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights. The charge and allegations against him are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Defense counsel: Miles Feinstein Esq., Clifton, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, using unreasonable and excessive force, and filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Frank Toledo, 30, of Paterson, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to a three-count information charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights, using unreasonable and excessive force in violation of individuals’ civil rights, and filing a false police report.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners remain committed to identifying and prosecuting corrupt police officers who violate the civil rights of our people,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “We will continue to aggressively pursue these cases, and we are grateful to our counterparts at the FBI, the Paterson Police Department and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, for their dedicated assistance on this investigation.”

“The FBI has a long history of standing with and assisting our fellow law enforcement officers,” Gregory W. Ehrie, FBI Special Agent in Charge in Newark, said. “When a police department finds rogue officers who violate civil rights, we will answer the call to help rid that department of anyone who tarnishes the badge they wear.”

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Toledo, along with other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, Daniel Pent, Matthew Torres, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants. Toledo and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. Toledo and other officers arrested individuals in Paterson, took cash from them, and split it among themselves. To cover up their criminal activity, Toledo and his fellow officers then filed false police reports. For example, on Dec. 2, 2017, Toledo and Ramos stopped and arrested an individual in Paterson and stole approximately $1,000, which they split. Toledo and Ramos then filed a false police report omitting that they had stolen $1,000 from the arrestee.

Toledo communicated via text message with his conspirators regarding their illegal activity. In one text message, on Nov. 16, 2017, Toledo wrote to Bustios, “everything we do is illegal.” In another, Bustios sent Toledo a text message with an animated talking pig that said, “I’m tryin’ to go mango hunting. Let’s goooo.” Toledo replied with an address and wrote “meet me here,” telling Bustios to meet him at a location where they could look to illegally seize “mangos,” a code word for cash.

While on official duty, Toledo also routinely used unreasonable and excessive force in his encounters with individuals in Paterson, causing them bodily harm. For instance, in three incidents in 2017:

• Toledo chased and apprehended a juvenile, pushed the juvenile to the ground, and punched the juvenile several times. Toledo later told Bustios, “I’ve been borderline blacking out when I catch these n[ ]” and “I beat that n[ ] like he owed me money.” Toledo also told Bustios that when he used force on the juvenile, he “was no longer a cop.”

• Toledo and Ramos chased and tackled an individual in Paterson and struck the individual several times in the body. They then released the individual without filing charges. The incident was recorded by a third party and uploaded to YouTube. Toledo told Bustios that the individual who recorded the incident “missed the best part,” which was when Toledo “laid him out.” Toledo then said, “funny shit is that we cut him” and “didn’t even lock him up.”

• Toledo and Torres arrested an individual, handcuffed him behind his back, and placed him in the backseat of their police car. During the ride to police department headquarters, Toledo depressed the brakes on his police car in order to force the individual to slam his body and head against the divider in the backseat of the police car, a tactic known as “brake-checking.” Toledo recorded the incident on his cell phone and sent it to others.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights and the deprivation of civil rights charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019.

Bustios pleaded guilty in December 2018 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to extortion under color of official right. Torres pleaded guilty in May 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2019.

Ramos was indicted in a nine-count indictment with conspiring to deprive individuals of their civils rights, depriving individuals of their civil rights, and filing false police reports. His case is pending before Judge Hayden. Daniel Pent was previously charged by complaint with conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights. His case, too, is pending. The charges and allegations against them are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: Dennis S. Cleary Esq., West Orange, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring with other officers to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Matthew Torres, 30, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights and filing a false police report.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Torres, along with other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, Daniel Pent, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants of the motor vehicles. Torres and the other officers sometimes used fake paperwork to trick individuals into believing that the cash seizures and vehicle stops represented legitimate law enforcement encounters. Torres and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. To cover up their criminal activity, Torres and his fellow officers filed false police reports.

For example, on Dec. 7, 2017, while on duty, Torres and Ramos conducted a vehicle stop in Paterson. Torres and Ramos searched the vehicle, the driver, and the passenger. The passenger advised Torres and Ramos that he had a small quantity of marijuana. He also had approximately $3,100. Ramos and Torres told the passenger that they could take $500 from the passenger and have him sign a piece of paper. Ramos then placed a call, purportedly to his superior, and told the passenger that the superior officer said it had to be $800. Ramos took out a piece of white paper, wrote something on it, and told the passenger to sign it. Afterwards, Torres and Ramos released the driver and passenger. Torres and Ramos stole approximately $800 from the passenger, and they shared the stolen cash proceeds. In order to conceal their theft of monies, Torres and Ramos each omitted the encounter from their daily Paterson Police Department activity logs.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: John C. Whipple Esq., Morristown, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer was arrested today and charged with conspiring to violate the civil rights of motor vehicle occupants and others in Paterson, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Daniel Pent, 32, of Paterson, was arrested by special agents of the FBI on a complaint charging him with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law. Pent is scheduled to have his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Pent, and other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants of the motor vehicles. Pent, Ramos, and others also illegally stopped and searched individuals in buildings or on the streets of Paterson and seized cash from those individuals.

On Feb. 1, 2017, Pent and Ramos stopped and searched a vehicle in Paterson, detained and handcuffed the occupants, and stole approximately $10,000 from one of the occupants. Pent told Ramos that either they should take all of the money or they should take none of it, and they chose to take all of it. They split the money between themselves. Pent and Ramos subsequently arrested the victim and charged the victim with loitering in a drug area. Pent filled out a prisoner property report for the victim that falsely stated that the victim had approximately $36 on his person. Ramos and Pent submitted an incident report in which they omitted the fact that they had located, and seized, $10,000 from the victim.

A federal grand jury indicted Ramos on March 20, 2019, for his role in the conspiracy and other civil rights and false records charges. His case is pending before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1V9t_GLtMlo8F2klg7TX-yipeWEgQBru7NudvRzwLGVI/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-11-05 13:13:25 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
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Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

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Format: YYYYMMDD

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Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
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Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
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Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE2
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Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE3
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Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE3
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Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE3
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

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Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Magistrate Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:19-mj-06065
Case Name:   USA v. PENT
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer was arrested today and charged with conspiring to violate the civil rights of motor vehicle occupants and others in Paterson, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Daniel Pent, 32, of Paterson, was arrested by special agents of the FBI on a complaint charging him with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law. Pent is scheduled to have his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Pent, and other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants of the motor vehicles. Pent, Ramos, and others also illegally stopped and searched individuals in buildings or on the streets of Paterson and seized cash from those individuals.

On Feb. 1, 2017, Pent and Ramos stopped and searched a vehicle in Paterson, detained and handcuffed the occupants, and stole approximately $10,000 from one of the occupants. Pent told Ramos that either they should take all of the money or they should take none of it, and they chose to take all of it. They split the money between themselves. Pent and Ramos subsequently arrested the victim and charged the victim with loitering in a drug area. Pent filled out a prisoner property report for the victim that falsely stated that the victim had approximately $36 on his person. Ramos and Pent submitted an incident report in which they omitted the fact that they had located, and seized, $10,000 from the victim.

A federal grand jury indicted Ramos on March 20, 2019, for his role in the conspiracy and other civil rights and false records charges. His case is pending before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: Case type associated with a magistrate case if the current case was merged from a magistrate case
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Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
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Description: The docket number originally given to a case assigned to a magistrate judge and subsequently merged into a criminal case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a magistrate case
Format: A3

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
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Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
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Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the second highest severity
Format: A20

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Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE2
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Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the third highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE3
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE3
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:19-cr-00627
Case Name:   USA v. RAMOS
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A federal grand jury today charged a sergeant with the Paterson Police Department with conspiring with other officers to violate individuals’ civil rights, and submitting a false police report to conceal their illegal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Sergeant Michael Cheff, 49, of Paterson, New Jersey, was charged in a two-count indictment with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law and with falsifying a police report. Cheff was previously charged by criminal complaint in January 2020. He will be arraigned in federal court on a date to be determined.

According to documents filed in this and other cases, and statements made in court:

Eudy Ramos, Daniel Pent, Jonathan Bustios, Matthew Torres, and Frank Toledo were police officers with the Paterson Police Department. Cheff supervised their activities and approved their reports and other paperwork related to arrests and seizures of money, narcotics, and firearms. Ramos, Pent, Bustios, Torres, and Toledo, while on official duty, violated the civil rights of individuals in Paterson. They stopped and searched motor vehicles without any justification and stole cash and other items from the occupants. They also illegally stopped and searched individuals in buildings or on the streets of Paterson and seized cash from them. They concealed their activities by submitting to Cheff false reports that omitted, or lied about, their illegal activities. Cheff signed off on those false police reports, and routinely received a portion of these stolen monies from some of these officers. In 2016, Cheff told one of the officers to start “tagging,” or logging into evidence, some of the money that the officer was stealing, because effecting narcotics arrests without logging money into evidence would otherwise raise questions.

On Nov. 14, 2017, Cheff joined Bustios, Ramos, and Torres in stealing cash from an apartment in Paterson. Bustios, Ramos, and Torres stopped and arrested an individual in Paterson. Bustios stole a few hundred dollars from the individual during the arrest, then the officers went to the individual’s apartment, and were joined by Cheff. Torres stayed behind to guard the arrested individual, who was handcuffed in a police car, while Cheff, Ramos, and Bustios obtained consent to search the apartment by lying to the individual’s mother.

Cheff, Ramos, and Bustios then searched the individual’s room. Cheff located a safe inside a closet in the room and took money and narcotics from the safe. He handed a small portion of the money to Bustios and told Bustios to log it into evidence. Cheff put the rest of the money in his pocket. After the search, in a bathroom at the Paterson police station, Cheff gave Torres and Ramos a portion of the stolen money. Cheff also approved a police report that falsely stated that the officers had recovered $319 from on top of a shelf in the individual’s room.

Later that day, Bustios and Toledo exchanged text messages discussing Cheff’s theft of money. Bustios said, among other things, that Cheff “got us for over a stack today,” that “there was a safe” and that Cheff “grabbed the cash.” According to the individual whose apartment was searched, the safe contained approximately $2,700, and all of it was missing after the search was completed.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim “Mike” Baycora, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee M. Cortes Jr., Chief of the Health Care Fraud Unit.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel: John Lynch Esq., Union City

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring with other officers to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, using unreasonable and excessive force, and filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Daniel Pent, 32, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights, using unreasonable and excessive force in violation of individuals’ civil rights, and filing a false police report.

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Pent, along with Paterson police officers Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, Matthew Torres, Frank Toledo, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants. Pent and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. Pent and other officers arrested individuals in Paterson, seized cash from those individuals during the arrests, and split the cash proceeds among themselves. They covered up their criminal activity by filing false police reports. Pent admitted to the following illegal conduct:

• On Feb. 1, 2017, Pent and Ramos stopped and searched a vehicle in Paterson. They stole approximately $10,000 from the passenger of the vehicle and split it between themselves. Ramos and Pent then submitted an incident report to the Paterson Police Department in which they intentionally omitted any mention of the $10,000 theft.

• On May 27, 2016, Pent and Ramos arrested an individual, stole several hundred dollars in cash from the individual, and filled out a false currency seizure report that under-reported the amount of money the individual actually possessed. Pent and Ramos then applied a forged signature of the individual to the report to make it appear as though the individual had seen and agreed to the amount on the report.

While on official duty, Pent also routinely used unreasonable and excessive force in his encounters with individuals in Paterson, causing them bodily harm, including:

• Pent and other officers routinely delivered a “running tax” to individuals they arrested. If an individual ran from them, Pent and others would “tax” the individual by striking the individual multiple times, causing bodily injury.

• On Jan. 20, 2015, Pent and Ramos received a call regarding loud music coming from a vehicle on Doremus Avenue in Paterson. Pent and Ramos approached the individual in the vehicle, removed him from the vehicle and punched and kicked him. The individual suffered injuries, including eye injuries, as a result of Pent’s and Ramos’ excessive force.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights and the deprivation of civil rights charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Pent's sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 14, 2020.

Bustios pleaded guilty in December 2018 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to extortion under color of official right. He is awaiting sentencing. Torres pleaded guilty in May 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 20, 2019. Toledo pleaded guilty in July 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights, to using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019. Ramos pleaded guilty on Sept. 9, 2019, to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights, to using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: Michael Calabro Esq., Newark

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring with other officers to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Eudy Ramos, 32, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to Counts 1 and 7 of an indictment against him, charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights and filing a false police report. Ramos also pleaded guilty to an information charging him with using unreasonable and excessive force in violation of individuals’ civil rights.

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Ramos, along with other Paterson police officers, including Jonathan Bustios, Daniel Pent, Matthew Torres, Frank Toledo, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants. Ramos and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. He and other officers also arrested individuals in Paterson, seized cash from them during the arrests, and split the cash proceeds among themselves. To cover up their criminal activity, Ramos and his fellow officers then filed false police reports. Ramos admitted to the following instances of illegal conduct:

• On Feb. 1, 2017, Ramos and Pent stopped and searched a vehicle in Paterson. They stole approximately $10,000 from the passenger of the vehicle and split it between themselves. Ramos and Pent then submitted an incident report to the Paterson Police Department in which they intentionally omitted any mention of the $10,000 theft.

• On Dec. 1, 2017, Ramos and Bustios stopped and searched an individual on a street corner in Paterson and stole approximately $1,000 from the individual. After the theft, a video of a portion of the encounter was posted to Twitter by a third party.

• On Dec. 2, 2017, Ramos and Toledo arrested an individual. During the arrest, they stole $1,000 from the individual and split the proceeds.

• On Dec. 7, 2017, Torres and Ramos conducted a vehicle stop in Paterson. They searched the vehicle, the driver, and the passenger, who had approximately $3,100 and marijuana. Ramos told the passenger that instead of charging the passenger with distribution of marijuana they could take $500 from the passenger and have the passenger sign a piece of paper. Ramos then purportedly placed a call to his superior and told the passenger that the superior officer said it had to be $800. Ramos took out a piece of white paper, wrote something on it, and told the passenger to sign it. Ramos and Torres released the driver and passenger and shared the stolen cash proceeds. They did not report the stop and search of the vehicle and its occupants, or the cash seizure, to the Paterson Police Department.

• On Feb. 20, 2018, Ramos and Bustios stopped and searched a vehicle and detained the driver and passenger of the vehicle. They stole a bag containing approximately $1,800 from the car. They then agreed to meet at Peach and Plum streets in Paterson, a location with no camera, where Bustios passed a portion of the illegally seized cash to Ramos through the window of Bustios’ police car. Bustios and Ramos did not report to the Paterson Police Department the fact that they had stopped and searched the vehicle, detained and searched its occupants, and taken cash, all without legal justification.

• On March 5, 2018, Ramos and Torres stopped and searched a vehicle, without legal basis. The occupants of the encounter filmed the encounter and posted the video to Instagram. They asked Ramos his basis for conducting the vehicle stop, and Ramos responded, “Random stop.” Ramos did not locate any cash inside the vehicle and departed the scene without taking anything.

While on official duty, Ramos also routinely used unreasonable and excessive force in his encounters with individuals in Paterson, causing them bodily harm:

• Ramos and other officers routinely delivered a “running tax” to individuals they arrested. If an individual ran from them, Ramos and others would “tax” the individual by striking the individual multiple times, causing bodily injury.

• On Jan. 20, 2015, Ramos and Pent received a call regarding loud music coming from a vehicle on Doremus Avenue in Paterson. They approached an individual in the vehicle, removed him, and began punching and kicking him. The individual suffered bodily injury, including eye injuries, as a result of Ramos’ and Pent’s excessive force.

• On Sept. 7, 2016, Ramos placed a handcuffed individual in the backseat of his police car, without a seatbelt, to transport the individual to Paterson Police Department headquarters. Ramos then depressed the brakes on his police car and forced the individual to slam his head against the divider in the backseat of the police car, a tactic known as “brake-checking.” After the individual slammed his head on divider, Ramos jokingly said, “What happened, man? You gotta put your seatbelt on.” Ramos recorded a video of this incident.

• On March 2, 2017, Ramos and Bustios were dispatched to a call regarding stolen property located in a vehicle in a parking garage. The individual who had stolen the property (Individual 1) was sitting in the vehicle. The individual whose property had been stolen (Individual 2) was angry and told Ramos and Bustios that he wanted to take a swing at Individual 1. Ramos and Bustios allowed him to do so. While Ramos and Bustios watched, Individual 2 punched Individual 1, who fell to the ground and hit his head, causing bodily injury. Bustios filmed the encounter.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights and the deprivation of civil rights charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2020.

Bustios pleaded guilty in December 2018 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to extortion under color of official right. Torres pleaded guilty in May 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 18, 2019. Toledo pleaded guilty in July 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights, to using unreasonable and excessive force against individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019. On March 26, 2019, Pent was charged by complaint with conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights. The charge and allegations against him are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Defense counsel: Miles Feinstein Esq., Clifton, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, using unreasonable and excessive force, and filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Frank Toledo, 30, of Paterson, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to a three-count information charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights, using unreasonable and excessive force in violation of individuals’ civil rights, and filing a false police report.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners remain committed to identifying and prosecuting corrupt police officers who violate the civil rights of our people,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “We will continue to aggressively pursue these cases, and we are grateful to our counterparts at the FBI, the Paterson Police Department and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, for their dedicated assistance on this investigation.”

“The FBI has a long history of standing with and assisting our fellow law enforcement officers,” Gregory W. Ehrie, FBI Special Agent in Charge in Newark, said. “When a police department finds rogue officers who violate civil rights, we will answer the call to help rid that department of anyone who tarnishes the badge they wear.”

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Toledo, along with other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, Daniel Pent, Matthew Torres, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants. Toledo and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. Toledo and other officers arrested individuals in Paterson, took cash from them, and split it among themselves. To cover up their criminal activity, Toledo and his fellow officers then filed false police reports. For example, on Dec. 2, 2017, Toledo and Ramos stopped and arrested an individual in Paterson and stole approximately $1,000, which they split. Toledo and Ramos then filed a false police report omitting that they had stolen $1,000 from the arrestee.

Toledo communicated via text message with his conspirators regarding their illegal activity. In one text message, on Nov. 16, 2017, Toledo wrote to Bustios, “everything we do is illegal.” In another, Bustios sent Toledo a text message with an animated talking pig that said, “I’m tryin’ to go mango hunting. Let’s goooo.” Toledo replied with an address and wrote “meet me here,” telling Bustios to meet him at a location where they could look to illegally seize “mangos,” a code word for cash.

While on official duty, Toledo also routinely used unreasonable and excessive force in his encounters with individuals in Paterson, causing them bodily harm. For instance, in three incidents in 2017:

• Toledo chased and apprehended a juvenile, pushed the juvenile to the ground, and punched the juvenile several times. Toledo later told Bustios, “I’ve been borderline blacking out when I catch these n[ ]” and “I beat that n[ ] like he owed me money.” Toledo also told Bustios that when he used force on the juvenile, he “was no longer a cop.”

• Toledo and Ramos chased and tackled an individual in Paterson and struck the individual several times in the body. They then released the individual without filing charges. The incident was recorded by a third party and uploaded to YouTube. Toledo told Bustios that the individual who recorded the incident “missed the best part,” which was when Toledo “laid him out.” Toledo then said, “funny shit is that we cut him” and “didn’t even lock him up.”

• Toledo and Torres arrested an individual, handcuffed him behind his back, and placed him in the backseat of their police car. During the ride to police department headquarters, Toledo depressed the brakes on his police car in order to force the individual to slam his body and head against the divider in the backseat of the police car, a tactic known as “brake-checking.” Toledo recorded the incident on his cell phone and sent it to others.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights and the deprivation of civil rights charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2019.

Bustios pleaded guilty in December 2018 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to extortion under color of official right. Torres pleaded guilty in May 2019 to conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights and to filing a false police report. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2019.

Ramos was indicted in a nine-count indictment with conspiring to deprive individuals of their civils rights, depriving individuals of their civil rights, and filing false police reports. His case is pending before Judge Hayden. Daniel Pent was previously charged by complaint with conspiring to deprive individuals of their civil rights. His case, too, is pending. The charges and allegations against them are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: Dennis S. Cleary Esq., West Orange, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring with other officers to violate the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, and to filing a false police report to conceal his criminal activity, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Matthew Torres, 30, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights and filing a false police report.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Torres, along with other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, Daniel Pent, and others, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants of the motor vehicles. Torres and the other officers sometimes used fake paperwork to trick individuals into believing that the cash seizures and vehicle stops represented legitimate law enforcement encounters. Torres and the other officers also stopped and searched individuals on the streets of Paterson, and illegally took their money. To cover up their criminal activity, Torres and his fellow officers filed false police reports.

For example, on Dec. 7, 2017, while on duty, Torres and Ramos conducted a vehicle stop in Paterson. Torres and Ramos searched the vehicle, the driver, and the passenger. The passenger advised Torres and Ramos that he had a small quantity of marijuana. He also had approximately $3,100. Ramos and Torres told the passenger that they could take $500 from the passenger and have him sign a piece of paper. Ramos then placed a call, purportedly to his superior, and told the passenger that the superior officer said it had to be $800. Ramos took out a piece of white paper, wrote something on it, and told the passenger to sign it. Afterwards, Torres and Ramos released the driver and passenger. Torres and Ramos stole approximately $800 from the passenger, and they shared the stolen cash proceeds. In order to conceal their theft of monies, Torres and Ramos each omitted the encounter from their daily Paterson Police Department activity logs.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The false records count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for each count is $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: John C. Whipple Esq., Morristown, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer was arrested today and charged with conspiring to violate the civil rights of motor vehicle occupants and others in Paterson, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Daniel Pent, 32, of Paterson, was arrested by special agents of the FBI on a complaint charging him with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law. Pent is scheduled to have his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this and other cases and statements made in court:

Pent, and other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, stopped and searched motor vehicles, without any justification, and stole cash and other items from the occupants of the motor vehicles. Pent, Ramos, and others also illegally stopped and searched individuals in buildings or on the streets of Paterson and seized cash from those individuals.

On Feb. 1, 2017, Pent and Ramos stopped and searched a vehicle in Paterson, detained and handcuffed the occupants, and stole approximately $10,000 from one of the occupants. Pent told Ramos that either they should take all of the money or they should take none of it, and they chose to take all of it. They split the money between themselves. Pent and Ramos subsequently arrested the victim and charged the victim with loitering in a drug area. Pent filled out a prisoner property report for the victim that falsely stated that the victim had approximately $36 on his person. Ramos and Pent submitted an incident report in which they omitted the fact that they had located, and seized, $10,000 from the victim.

A federal grand jury indicted Ramos on March 20, 2019, for his role in the conspiracy and other civil rights and false records charges. His case is pending before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

NEWARK, N.J. – A federal grand jury indicted a City of Paterson, New Jersey, police officer for conspiring to violate individuals’ civil rights by stopping and searching people in their vehicles and on the street and stealing their cash, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Eudy Ramos, 28, of Paterson, was charged in a nine-count indictment with conspiring to violate, and violating, the civil rights of individuals in Paterson, and with filing multiple false reports to conceal his criminal conduct. Ramos was previously charged by criminal complaint in April 2018. He will be arraigned in federal court on a date to be determined.

According to documents filed in this and a related case and statements made in court:

Eudy Ramos, Jonathan Bustios, and Matthew Torres were police officers with the Paterson Police Department (PPD). From at least 2016 to April 2018, they and other police officers, identified in the indictment as PPD Officer 1 and PPD Officer 2, allegedly targeted, stopped, and searched vehicles and the occupants of those vehicles and illegally seized cash from them. They also illegally stopped and searched individuals in buildings or on the streets of Paterson and seized their cash. They split the cash among themselves and submitted false reports to the PPD, omitting their illegal conduct or lying about it.

Among the methods employed to carry out the conspiracy, Ramos and the other officers used text messages to communicate about their criminal conduct. For instance, on Feb. 24, 2018 Ramos sent a text message to Bustios and Torres asking if they were in the mood for “weekend mangoes,” using the code word “mango” to refer to the illegal seizure of cash. On Feb. 25, 2018, Ramos sent a text message to Bustios, telling Bustios that Ramos was “tryna get someone in a car,” referring to Ramos’ plan to illegally steal cash from the occupants of vehicles in Paterson. On Dec. 7, 2017, Bustios sent a text message to Ramos, “83 auburn back door is open,” and Ramos responded, “On my way.” The address 83 Auburn Street was one of several locations that Ramos and others targeted for illegal cash seizures.

Some instances of Ramos’ and his conspirators illegal conduct include:

On Feb.1, 2017, Ramos and another PPD officer stopped and searched a vehicle, detained and handcuffed the occupants, and stole approximately $10,000 from one of the passengers. Ramos and his conspirator split the money between themselves and omitted any mention of the $10,000 in the PPD incident report and prisoner property report.

On Dec. 1, 2017, Ramos and Bustios stopped and searched an individual on a street corner in Paterson and stole approximately $1,000 from the individual. After the theft, a video of a portion of the encounter was posted to Twitter.

On Dec. 7, 2017, Torres and Ramos conducted a vehicle stop in Paterson. Torres and Ramos searched the vehicle, the driver, and the passenger, who had $3,100 and marijuana. Ramos told the passenger that instead of charging the passenger with distribution of marijuana they could take $500 from the passenger and have the passenger sign a piece of paper. Ramos then purportedly placed a call to his superior and told the passenger that the superior officer said it had to be $800. Ramos took out a piece of paper, wrote on it, and told the passenger to sign it. The passenger did not know what was written on the paper. Afterwards, Torres and Ramos released the driver and passenger. Torres and Ramos shared the stolen cash proceeds. Ramos and Torres did not report the stop and search of the vehicle and its occupants, or the cash seizure, to the Paterson Police Department.

The conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and the substantive Counts 2 to 6 each carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison. The false records counts each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for the felony counts is $250,000, and the maximum fine for the misdemeanor Counts 2 to 6 is $100,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: Miles Feinstein Esq., Clifton, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson, New Jersey, police officer was arrested today and charged with violating the civil rights of a driver and passenger during a motor vehicle stop, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Matthew Torres, 30, of Paterson, was arrested by federal agents this morning and charged by complaint with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law. Torres is scheduled to have his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Torres and other Paterson police officers, including Eudy Ramos, have without justification stopped and searched motor vehicles and stolen cash and other items from the occupants. The officers sometimes used fake paperwork to trick individuals into believing that the cash seizures and vehicle stops were legitimate.

For example, on Dec. 7, 2017, Torres and Ramos conducted a vehicle stop in Paterson, searched the vehicle, driver, and passenger and placed the driver in one police car and the passenger in the other. The passenger told Torres and Ramos that he possessed two bags of marijuana and $3,100. Ramos took the money, placed it on the backseat of the vehicle and told the passenger that he did not care about the marijuana. Ramos told the passenger that they could not simply let him go because his activity likely had been picked up by Paterson police cameras. Ramos said he and Ramos could take $500 from the passenger, have him sign a piece of paper, and then give that paper to the narcotics division. Ramos then placed a call, purportedly to his superior, and told the passenger that the superior officer said it had to be $800. Ramos took out a piece of white paper, wrote something on it, and told the passenger to sign it. The passenger did not know what was written on the paper. Afterwards, Torres and Ramos released the driver and passenger. According to the passenger, there was $1,000 missing from his original $3,100. Torres and Ramos shared the stolen cash proceeds. They did not report the illegal cash seizure to the Paterson Police Department.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

NEWARK, N.J. – A City of Paterson police officer today admitted conspiring with other officers to violate individuals’ civil rights and to personally accepting a firearm in exchange for reducing the charges on an arrestee, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Police Officer Jonathan Bustios, 29, of Paterson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to violate individuals’ civil rights and one count of extortion under color of official right.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Bustios and Eudy Ramos were police officers with the Paterson Police Department. From at least 2016 to April 2018, Bustios, Ramos and others participated in a conspiracy in which they targeted and stopped certain individuals who were driving motor vehicles that they believed carried sums of money. Bustios, Ramos and others stopped the vehicles, searched the vehicles, driver, and passengers, and seized cash from the driver and passengers of the vehicles, without legal basis. They then split the cash among themselves and submitted false reports to the Paterson Police Department omitting the illegal vehicle stops and their thefts or lying about them.

In one incident, on Feb. 20, 2018, while on duty and in uniform, Bustios pulled over and stopped behind a BMW, while Ramos stopped in front of the BMW. Bustios and Ramos exited their police cars and searched the front and back of the BMW and the trunk, and Bustios and Ramos detained and searched the two occupants of the BMW. They put each of the occupants into the backseat of Ramos’s police car. Bustios then stole a bag containing approximately $1,800 from the car and left the scene, and Ramos released the two detained occupants of the BMW. Ramos drove to meet Bustios, who passed a portion of the recovered cash to Ramos through the window of Bustios’ police car. Bustios and Ramos did not report to the Paterson Police Department the fact that they had stopped and searched the BMW, detained and searched its occupants, and taken cash, all without any warrants or legal justification.

Bustios also pleaded guilty to extortion under color of official right, arising out of an incident on March 14, 2018. Bustios arrested and detained an individual and placed the individual in the backseat of his police car. Bustios told the individual that he would not charge him with resisting arrest and would allow him to keep the cash that the he had on him, in exchange for which the individual would find Bustios a firearm. Bustios said, “I ain’t gonna charge you with resisting, and I’m letting you keep your money, bro.” Bustios then told the individual, “If you don’t wanna make the deal, you don’t have to make the deal.” The individual ultimately agreed to the deal and directed Bustios to the location of a firearm. Bustios recovered the firearm and kept it without turning it in to the Paterson Police Department. As promised, he did not charge the individual with resisting arrest. Bustios also submitted an arrest report in which he failed to mention any details about having a recovered a firearm.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The extortion under color of official right count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum fine for both charges is $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for April 9, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, and the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Defense counsel: Michael Koribanics, Clifton, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – Two Passaic County, New Jersey, men were arrested today for allegedly violating the civil rights of two individuals during a motor vehicle stop in Paterson, New Jersey, with one officer also being charged with extortion for personally accepting a firearm in exchange for reducing the charges on an arrestee, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Jonathan Bustios, 28, and Eudy Ramos, 31, both of Paterson, New Jersey, were arrested by federal agents this morning and charged by complaint with conspiring to deprive individuals of civil rights under color of law. Bustios was also charged with one count of extortion under color of official right. Both defendants are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.

According to the complaint:

The investigation uncovered instances in which Bustios and Ramos, both officers of the Paterson Police Department, allegedly stopped motor vehicles, detained the occupants, and searched those vehicles without any justification. On certain occasions, Bustios and Ramos also took cash and other items without justification before releasing the detained occupants.

For example, on Feb. 20, 2018, while on duty, Bustios pulled over a BMW and stopped behind the vehicle, while Ramos stopped his police car in front of the vehicle. Bustios and Ramos exited their police cars and proceeded to search the front and back of the BMW and the trunk. Bustios and Ramos also detained and searched the two occupants of the BMW and put them into the backseat of Ramos’ police car.

After searching the BMW, Bustios left the scene, drove for ten minutes, then stopped his police car and took out a white plastic bag that was filled with cash. Bustios also took out a firearm. He then called Ramos, after which Ramos released the two detained occupants of the BMW and drove to meet Bustios. Bustios passed a portion of the recovered cash to Ramos through the window of Bustios’ police car.

Later that day, Bustios and Ramos turned in the firearm that they had recovered. In the offense report pertaining to the firearm, they told a false story about having recovered the firearm due to a tip by a concerned citizen. In fact, there was no tip by a concerned citizen. They did not report to the Paterson Police Department that they had stopped and searched the BMW, detained and searched its occupants, and taken cash, all without any warrants.

Bustios was also charged with extortion under color of official right for an incident that allegedly occurred on March 14, 2018. Bustios arrested and detained an individual and placed the individual in the backseat of his police car. Bustios then told the individual that Bustios would not charge the individual with resisting arrest and would allow the individual to keep the cash that the individual had on him, in exchange for the individual helping Bustios acquire a firearm. Specifically, Bustios said, “I ain’t gonna charge you with resisting, and I’m letting you keep your money bro.” Bustios then told the individual, “If you don’t wanna make the deal, you don’t have to make the deal.”

The individual ultimately agreed and directed Bustios to the location of a firearm, which Bustios allegedly recovered and kept without turning it over to the Paterson Police Department. According to Paterson Police Department records, as he had promised, Bustios did not charge the individual with resisting arrest. Bustios also submitted an arrest report in which he failed to mention any details about recovering a firearm.

The conspiracy to violate civil rights count with which Bustios and Ramos are charged carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The extortion under color of official right count with which Bustios is charged carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bradley W. Cohen in Newark, with the ongoing investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Troy Oswald, as well as the Paterson Police Department Office of Internal Affairs, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division.

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Tn-haja94SVT-TQ7SAgJWyuNs2Ra2BgpcyvEyj-Km4o/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-11-05 13:04:26 UTC
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Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
 

NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito of the District of New Jersey today announced that more than $65 million in Department of Justice grants is available to help communities combat human trafficking and serve adults and children who are victimized in trafficking operations.

“Human trafficking crimes are among the most difficult cases our office handles,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “The resources being made available by the Justice Department to all of our partners in battling this crime will go a long way in this fight. I encourage state and local agencies to apply to these grant programs for help obtaining the tools these funds will make available.”

“Our nation is facing difficult challenges, none more pressing than the scourge of human trafficking. Human traffickers pose a dire threat to public safety and countering this threat remains one of the Administration’s top domestic priorities,” Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, said. “The Department of Justice is front and center in the fight against this insidious crime. OJP is making historic amounts of grant funding available to ensure that our communities have access to innovative and diverse solutions.”

The funding is available through OJP, the federal government’s leading source of public safety funding and crime victim assistance in state, local and tribal jurisdictions. OJP’s programs support a wide array of activities and services, including programs that support human trafficking task forces and services for human trafficking survivors. 

A number of funding opportunities are currently open, with several more opening in the near future. 

Missing and Exploited Children Training and Technical Assistance Program

https://ojjdp.ojp.gov/funding/opportunities/ojjdp-2020-17351

Total Available $1.8 million                                      Deadline 4/6/2020 (Extended)

 

Multidisciplinary Task Force Program to Combat Human Trafficking

Total Available $22 million                                       Opens week of 3/16/2020

 

Preventing Trafficking of Girls

Total Available $1.7 million                                       Opens week of 3/16/2020

 

Research and Evaluation on Trafficking in Persons   https://nij.ojp.gov/funding/opportunities/nij-2020-17324

Total Available $2.5 million                                       Deadline 4/20/2020   

 

Services for Victims of Human Trafficking

Total Available $16.5 million                                     Opens week of 3/16/2020

 

Specialized Training and Technical Assistance on Housing for Victims of Human Trafficking                                                                                                             

Total Available $2 million                                          Opens week of 3/16/2020

 

Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Program

Total Available $5 million                                          Opens week of 3/16/2020

 

Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking                          

Total Available $6 million                                          Opens week of 3/16/2020

 

Integrated Services for Minor Victims of Labor Trafficking

Total Available $8 million                                          Opens week of 3/16/2020

For more information regarding all OJP funding opportunities, visit https://www.ojp.gov/funding/explore/current-funding-opportunities

 

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A Clifton, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 216 months in prison for health care fraud, obstructing a federal audit, and other charges associated with his illegal operation of an ambulance company despite having been banned from participating in federal health care programs, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

 

Imadeldin Awad Khair, a/k/a “Nadr Awad,” 57, was previously convicted of all 17 counts of an indictment charging him with health care fraud, obstructing a federal audit, tax evasion, and money laundering. He was convicted following a nine-day bench trial before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton, who imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

 

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence presented at trial:

 

In 2004, as a result of his conviction on a New Jersey state health care fraud charge, Khair was excluded from participating in any capacity in Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal health care programs for a minimum of 11 years. After realizing that he would be excluded from federal health care programs, Khair began operating a business named K&S Invalid Coach in his brother’s name. Since the date of his exclusion, Medicare and Medicaid paid over $9 million in claims submitted by K&S, none of which would have been paid had Medicare and Medicaid known that Khair was operating the business.

Khair’s plan to defraud Medicare and Medicaid began almost immediately after he was excluded by authorities from participating in federal health care programs. In 2004 and 2005, Khair recruited a business associate to tell authorities that Khair was his full-time employee so that Khair could continue running K&S in violation of his exclusion. Khair also used fraudulent paystubs provided by his business associate to convince authorities that he was not violating the terms of his exclusion.

In 2014, when special agents with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, executed a search warrant at K&S’s offices, Khair’s top managers directed employees via group text message to tell the agents that Khair’s brother was really in charge at K&S. In addition, on the first day of trial, Khair tried to influence a government witness just outside of the courtroom by claiming that he had over two dozen employees who were going to testify that his brother had really been in charge at K&S.

Khair also paid numerous K&S employees, including nearly all of the employees’ overtime wages, “off the books” and without withholding the necessary payroll taxes. To carry out the tax evasion scheme, Khair paid the wages in cash or handwritten check and directed K&S employees to keep two separate sets of books. Khair then directed company employees to send only the fraudulent set of books to the company’s payroll accountant.

In response to a U.S. Department of Labor audit of K&S in 2014, Khair held an employee meeting in which he directed K&S employees to lie to the Department of Labor by stating that they never worked more than 80 hours in a biweekly pay period. Khair also directed K&S employees to alter and falsify K&S timekeeping records to match the false amounts previously reported to the company’s payroll accountant.

The money laundering counts arose from K&S checks that were written and endorsed by Khair and made payable to “cash” or Khair himself, which were used to pay the undisclosed wages and enrich Khair personally.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton ordered Khair to serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution of $8.8 million.

 

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; special agents of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert; and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Danielle M. Corcione and Osmar J. Benvenuto of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

U.S. Attorney Fishman reorganized the health care fraud practice shortly after taking office, creating a stand-alone Health Care and Government Fraud Unit to handle both criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions of health care fraud offenses. Since 2010, the office has recovered more than $1.32 billion in health care fraud and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the False Claims Act, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other statutes.

 

Defense counsel: Harvey R. Poe Esq., Roseland, New Jersey

Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:19-cr-00693
Case Name:   USA v. ELLIS et al
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – The Justice Department today announced a coordinated health care fraud enforcement action across seven federal districts in the Northeastern United States, involving more than $800 million in losses and the distribution of over 3.25 million pills of opioids in “pill mill” clinics and doctors’ offices. The takedown includes new charges and convictions by guilty plea against 54 defendants for their roles in submitting nearly $800 million in fraudulent claims made to federal payers, including 15 doctors or medical professionals, and 24 defendants are charged for their roles in diverting opioids.

The cases prosecuted by this Office in connection with the takedown reflect all of the different facets of our health care and opioids work. Doctors, marketing executives, pharmacists, and the owners and operators of a genetic testing laboratory have been charged with, or have plead guilty to a range of criminal conduct, including: the criminal prescription of highly-addictive opioid pills to patients with no medical need, the paying of kickbacks and other fraud related to unnecessary genetic testing, fraud and abuse in the compounded medicines business, and other crimes that victimize federal health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, as well as patients across New Jersey who need medical care.

Today’s enforcement actions were led and coordinated by the Health Care Fraud Unit of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section in conjunction with its Medicare Fraud Strike Force (MFSF), as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of New Jersey, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Western District of Pennsylvania, Eastern District of New York, Western District of New York, District of Connecticut, and District of Columbia. The MFSF is a partnership among the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the FBI and HHS-OIG. In addition, IRS-Criminal Investigation, DOD-DCIS, FDA-OIG, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and other federal and state law enforcement agencies participated in the operation.

The charges involve individuals contributing to the opioid epidemic, including medical professionals involved in the unlawful distribution of opioids and other prescription narcotics, a particular focus for the Department. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 115 Americans die every day of an opioid-related overdose.

Today’s arrests and guilty pleas come one-year after the Department of Justice announced the formation of the Newark/Philadelphia Regional MFSF, a joint law enforcement effort that brings together the resources and expertise of the Health Care Fraud Unit in the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of New Jersey and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, as well as law enforcement partners. The Strike Force focuses its efforts on aggressively investigating and prosecuting complex cases involving patient harm, large financial loss, and the illegal prescribing and distribution of opioids and other dangerous narcotics.

“Rooting out and prosecuting abuses within our health care system is a top priority for my office,” Craig Carpenito, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, said. “In New Jersey, these illegal activities run the gamut from over-prescribing dangerous opioids, to running pharmacies improperly, to mis-prescribing unnecessary medications, to tricking patients – often the elderly or vulnerable – into seeking expensive genetic testing or compounded prescriptions they don’t need. Today’s message should be clear: We are dedicated to combatting all forms of illegal activity in the health care arena. If you put patients’ health at risk with criminal intent, you will be dealt with as a criminal.”

“Physicians and other medical professionals who fraudulently bill our federal health care programs are stealing from taxpayers and robbing vulnerable patients of necessary medical care. The medical professionals and others engaging in criminal behavior by peddling opioids for profit continue to fuel our nation’s drug crisis,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to use every tool at our disposal, including data analytics and traditional law enforcement techniques, to investigate, prosecute, and punish this reprehensible behavior and protect federal programs from abuse.”

“The FBI does not care about your status in life, your professional standing, your level of income, or your personal connections when you break the law,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge Wayne Jacobs of the FBI’s Newark Field Office said. “If you try to scam the system, if you exploit your professional license just to pad your pockets, if you mortgage your morals just to inflate your bank account, you will only find yourself in deeper debt. We are committed to protecting the public; we are intent on rooting out fraud and corruption; we are duty-bound to track down and arrest anyone who is breaking our federal laws. Don’t be next.”

*********

Among those charged in the District of New Jersey are the following:

Two Doctors Mis-Prescribing Opioids

• Evangelos Megariotis, 66, of Clifton, New Jersey, an orthopedic surgeon who owns and operates Clifton Orthopedic Associates in Clifton, New Jersey. Megariotis was charged by complaint with prescribed large amounts of controlled substances, such as oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, and promethazine with codeine outside the usual course of medical practice and without a legitimate purpose. He wrote these allegedly illegal prescriptions to patients he knew were abusing opioids. In two years, Megariotis allegedly prescribed more than 1.4 million tablets of oxycodone and over 450 gallons of promethazine with codeine cough syrup to his patients. The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica Liu, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

• Joseph Santiamo, 64, of Staten Island, New York, a doctor who specialized in geriatric care, was charged by complaint with prescribing powerful opioids to patients he knew were addicted. According to the complaint, Santiamo also solicited sexual favors from some patients in return for writing them an opioid prescription. In a recorded statement to agents, Santiamo admitted he knew his prescriptions were being abused, but kept writing them anyway. Just twenty of Santiamo’s patients allegedly received more than 100,000 oxycodone pills for no legitimate medical purpose. The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Urbano of the Criminal Division.

Ex-Sales Rep. Committing Compounding Fraud:

• Kent Courtheyn, of Kent, Ohio, a former medical device sales representative, indicted for his alleged role in marketing compounded (i.e. customized) medicines to patients who didn’t need them. Courtheyn allegedly steered prescriptions for these expensive compounded medications to his conspirators, and took a cut for his role. The indictment alleges that the scheme caused at least $10 million in losses to participating health care plans, at least $3.5 million of which was paid by TRICARE, the federal program that pays for health care services for veterans. The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica Liu, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

PrimeAid Pharmacy Indictment:

• Yana Shtindler, 44, and Samuel “Sam” Khaimov, 47, both of Glen Head, New York; Alex Fleyshmakher, 33, of Morganville, New Jersey; and Ruben Sevumyants, 36, of Marlboro, New Jersey, charged by indictment. From 2009 through August 2017, Prime Aid Pharmacies (located in Union City, New Jersey and Bronx, New York) engaged in a slew of fraudulent activities including: (a) paying illegal bribes and kickbacks to doctors and doctors’ employees in exchange for prescription referrals to Prime Aid; (b) billing health insurance providers for medications that were never actually provided to patients; and (c) opening new pharmacies and concealing the true ownership of those pharmacies to obtain lucrative contracts they otherwise would not have obtained. The scheme of billing for medications that were never dispensed to patients was so egregious that Prime Aid received reimbursement payments of over $65 million for prescription medications that it never even ordered from distributors or had in stock. In total, Prime Aid’s multiple schemes defrauded Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers out of at least $99 million. The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua L. Haber and Jason Gould of the Criminal Division.

Empire Pharmacy Criminal Complaint:

• Eduard “Eddy” Shtindler, 36, of Paramus, New Jersey, charged by complaint with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to pay illegal kickbacks to a doctor. From 2012 through at least 2017, Shtindler owned and operated Empire Pharmacy in West New York, New Jersey. For most of that time, Shtindler allegedly paid bribes to a psychiatrist in Hudson County, New Jersey, to induce the doctor to send prescriptions to Empire. On occasion, Shtindler secreted cash bribes in pill bottles that were delivered to the doctor. In exchange for these bribes, the doctor steered patients to Empire pharmacy. In addition, starting in 2015, Empire – at Shtindler’s direction – perpetrated a fraudulent scheme to induce doctors to send expensive specialty medication prescriptions to Empire. Specialty medications often required “prior authorization” before being approved for reimbursement by Medicare, Medicaid, and some private insurance providers. To receive prior authorization approval more quickly and successfully than any other pharmacies, Empire employees, including two pharmacists, repeatedly falsified prior authorization forms for medications for various conditions, including psoriasis and Hepatitis C. In total, Empire defrauded Medicare and Medicaid out of at least $2 million. The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua L. Haber of the Criminal Division.

Ark Labs Genetic Testing Indictment:

• Dr. Matthew S. Ellis, 53, of Gainesville, Florida; Edward B. Kostishion, 59, of Lakeland, Florida; Kyle D. Mclean, 36, of Arlington Heights, Illinois; Kacey C. Plaisance, 38, of Altamonte Springs, Florida; Jeremy Richey, 39, of Mars, Pennsylvania; and Jeffrey Tamulski, 46, of Tampa, Florida. Kostishion, Plaisance, and Richey operated Ark Laboratory Network LLC (Ark), a company that purported to operate a network of laboratories that facilitated genetic testing. Ark partnered with Privy Health, Inc., a company that McLean operated, and another company to acquire DNA samples and Medicare information from hundreds of patients through various methods, including offering $75 gift cards to patients, all without the involvement of a treating health care professional. Ellis, a physician based in Gainesville, served as the ordering physician who authorized genetic testing for hundreds of patients across the country that he never saw, examined, or treated. These included patients from New Jersey and various other states where Ellis was not licensed to practice medicine. Through this process, Ellis, Kostishion, Plaisance, and McLean submitted and caused to be submitted fraudulent orders for genetic tests to numerous clinical laboratories. These orders falsely certified that Ellis was the patients’ treating physician and, in many cases, contained false information indicating that a patient had a personal or family history of cancer, when, in fact, the patient had no cancer history whatsoever. In 2018 alone, Medicare paid clinical laboratories at least approximately $4.6 million for genetic tests that Ellis ordered in this manner. In addition, Kostishion, Plaisance, Richey, and Tamulski entered into kickback agreements with certain clinical laboratories under which the laboratories would pay Ark a bribe in exchange for delivering DNA samples and orders for genetic tests. The bribe payments were based on the percentage of Medicare revenue that the laboratories received in connection with the tests. Among other things, Kostishion, Plaisance, Richey, and Tamulski concealed these kickback arrangements through issuing sham invoices to laboratories that purportedly reflected services provided at an hourly rate even though the parties had already agreed upon the bribe amount, which was based on the revenue the laboratories received. In 2018, the clinical laboratories paid Ark at least approximately $1.8 million in bribes. The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bernard Cooney of the Criminal Division.

Doctor Pleads Guilty in Compounding Case

• Bernard Ogon M.D., 46, of Burlington, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on September 25, 2019 to one count of health care fraud conspiracy for his participation in a vast compounded medication telemedicine conspiracy. As part of the conspiracy, Ogon admittedly signed prescriptions for compounded medications (that is, medications with ingredients of a drug tailored to the needs of a particular patient) without having established a doctor-patient relationship, spoken to the patient or conducting any medical evaluation. Ogon often signed preprinted prescription forms—with patient information and medication already filled out—where all that was required was his signature. Then, instead of providing the prescription to the patient, Ogon would return the prescriptions to specific compounding pharmacies involved in the conspiracy. Ogon was paid $20 to $30 for each prescription he signed, and his participation in the conspiracy caused losses to health care benefit programs of over $24 million, including losses to government health care programs of over $7 million. The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Gould of the Criminal Division.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged nearly 4,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $14 billion. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito also thanked special investigators from his office for their work on these cases.

A complaint, information or indictment is merely an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until and until proven guilty.

NEWARK, N.J. – A doctor based in Gainesville, Florida, was charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud for ordering genetic tests for patients he never saw or treated, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Matthew S. Ellis, 53, of Gainesville, Florida, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Ellis made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court and was released on $250,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Ellis served as the chief medical officer for Ark Laboratory Network LLC, a company that purported to operate a network of laboratories that facilitated genetic testing. Two conspirators who operated Ark, Edward Kostishion, 59, and Kacey Plaisance, 37, both of Florida, were each charged by complaint on Jan. 15, 2019, with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

In October 2018, Kostishion and Plaisance contacted a clinical laboratory in New Jersey and proposed sending the laboratory 10 DNA swabs for genetic tests in return for approximately 50 percent of the total Medicare payments the laboratory received as a result of the tests. Kostishion later sent 10 test orders to the laboratory that listed Ellis as the “Ordering Physician” and contained a certification from Ellis that the tests were medically reasonable and necessary. The test requests contained fraudulent information regarding medical histories and conditions, and falsely represented that Ellis provided the patients with information regarding genetic testing.

One of the test requests, relating to “Patient 1,” indicated that Patient 1 had a personal history of breast cancer at age 44, a prerequisite for Medicare coverage of the particular test requested.  However, on Nov. 29, 2018, Patient 1 confirmed to law enforcement officials that the information on the test request was false; Patient 1 never had cancer and never told anyone about having cancer. Patient 1 also stated that Patient 1 submitted to the DNA swab after seeing an advertisement on Facebook that offered a $100 gift card for people interested in genetic testing.  Patient 1 stated that the DNA swab was not taken at a medical office, but rather in a “plain old office building” and that “some random guy” took the swab. Patient 1 confirmed never seeing or speaking to a treating physician about the genetic testing, and never saw or spoke to Ellis, the ordering physician listed on the test request. 

Ellis practices medicine in Florida, but Patient 1 was located in Oklahoma. All 10 of the patients in the test requests were located in Oklahoma, Arizona, Tennessee, or Mississippi. None of the patients were located in Florida. Additional investigation revealed that Ellis was not licensed to practice medicine in Oklahoma.  

The health care fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott Lampert; and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bernard J. Cooney of the Health Care and Government Fraud Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

The charges and allegations against the defendants are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1A9qJ1z8aNkBXGLQ5xpDXpft-17fP8cRbEyRcyYiWXXg/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-11-05 13:08:19 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: Case type associated with a magistrate case if the current case was merged from a magistrate case
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The docket number originally given to a case assigned to a magistrate judge and subsequently merged into a criminal case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a magistrate case
Format: A3

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Magistrate Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:19-mj-06194
Case Name:   USA v. ELLIS
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A doctor based in Gainesville, Florida, was charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud for ordering genetic tests for patients he never saw or treated, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Matthew S. Ellis, 53, of Gainesville, Florida, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Ellis made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court and was released on $250,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Ellis served as the chief medical officer for Ark Laboratory Network LLC, a company that purported to operate a network of laboratories that facilitated genetic testing. Two conspirators who operated Ark, Edward Kostishion, 59, and Kacey Plaisance, 37, both of Florida, were each charged by complaint on Jan. 15, 2019, with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

In October 2018, Kostishion and Plaisance contacted a clinical laboratory in New Jersey and proposed sending the laboratory 10 DNA swabs for genetic tests in return for approximately 50 percent of the total Medicare payments the laboratory received as a result of the tests. Kostishion later sent 10 test orders to the laboratory that listed Ellis as the “Ordering Physician” and contained a certification from Ellis that the tests were medically reasonable and necessary. The test requests contained fraudulent information regarding medical histories and conditions, and falsely represented that Ellis provided the patients with information regarding genetic testing.

One of the test requests, relating to “Patient 1,” indicated that Patient 1 had a personal history of breast cancer at age 44, a prerequisite for Medicare coverage of the particular test requested.  However, on Nov. 29, 2018, Patient 1 confirmed to law enforcement officials that the information on the test request was false; Patient 1 never had cancer and never told anyone about having cancer. Patient 1 also stated that Patient 1 submitted to the DNA swab after seeing an advertisement on Facebook that offered a $100 gift card for people interested in genetic testing.  Patient 1 stated that the DNA swab was not taken at a medical office, but rather in a “plain old office building” and that “some random guy” took the swab. Patient 1 confirmed never seeing or speaking to a treating physician about the genetic testing, and never saw or spoke to Ellis, the ordering physician listed on the test request. 

Ellis practices medicine in Florida, but Patient 1 was located in Oklahoma. All 10 of the patients in the test requests were located in Oklahoma, Arizona, Tennessee, or Mississippi. None of the patients were located in Florida. Additional investigation revealed that Ellis was not licensed to practice medicine in Oklahoma.  

The health care fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott Lampert; and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bernard J. Cooney of the Health Care and Government Fraud Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

The charges and allegations against the defendants are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
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Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
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Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
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Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
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Description: The docket number originally given to a case assigned to a magistrate judge and subsequently merged into a criminal case
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Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a magistrate case
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Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
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Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
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Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
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Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

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Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
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Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
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Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
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Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
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Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
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Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
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Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
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Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
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Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Magistrate Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:19-mj-04015
Case Name:   USA v. KOSTISHION et al
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

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Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
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Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: Case type associated with a magistrate case if the current case was merged from a magistrate case
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Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
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Description: The docket number originally given to a case assigned to a magistrate judge and subsequently merged into a criminal case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a magistrate case
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Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
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Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
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Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
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Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
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Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
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Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
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Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
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Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the second highest severity
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Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE2
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Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
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Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
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Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
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Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
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Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
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Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   D-NJ  3:18-cr-00561
Case Name:   USA v. AMATO
  Press Releases:
TRENTON, N.J. – A former chiropractor with offices in Lakewood, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for evading income taxes totaling more than half a million dollars from 2012 through 2015 and failing to report a Russian bank account, to which he wired more than $1.5 million, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Carlo Amato, 57, of Beachwood, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to one count of tax evasion and one count of failure to file a report of foreign financial account (FBAR) while violating another law of the United States and as part of a pattern of illegal activity involving more than $100,000 in a 12-month period. Judge Shipp imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From 2012 through 2015, Amato operated a chiropractic office in Lakewood through two entities: Chiropractic Care Consultants Inc. and Accident Recovery Physical Therapy. He deposited, or caused to be deposited, checks for chiropractic services into accounts held in the names of his minor children. Amato knew that these checks were taxable as income, but he did not disclose the payments to his accountant, nor did he report them on his tax returns. Amato also failed to report as taxable income certain additional funds that were deposited into Chiropractic Care’s and Accident Recovery’s business bank accounts. For example, Amato reported $0 in taxable income and $0 in tax due on his 2014 income tax return. His taxable income for 2014 was, in fact, $561,258, and Amato admitted that the tax due and owing to the IRS for 2014 was $197,036. Amato admitted that he also evaded more than $300,000 in taxes for the tax years 2012, 2013, and 2015.

Amato, a U.S. citizen, admitted that in 2014, he had an account at UniCredit Bank in Russia. He admitted that he wired more than $1.5 million to Russian bank accounts, including the UniCredit Bank account, and that he knew that he was obligated to report any foreign bank account with an aggregate value of more than $10,000. Amato admitted that he nonetheless failed to file a report of foreign account, commonly known as an FBAR, for the year 2014. Amato also admitted that the funds he failed to report were the product of a fraudulent scheme in which Amato overbilled at least six insurance companies by more than $1 million by billing for services that were never rendered. Amato previously pleaded guilty in Ocean County Superior Court to first degree financial facilitation of criminal activity for money laundering of funds from the overbilling scheme.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Shipp sentenced Amato to three years of supervised release.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Amato will file amended tax returns and make full restitution for the years 2012 through 2015 and file accurate FBARs for the years 2012 through 2017.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. U.S. Attorney Carpenito thanked the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, and the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie, for their roles in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of the Criminal Division in Trenton.

Defense counsel: Thomas R. Ashley Esq., Newark

TRENTON, N.J. – A former chiropractor with offices in Lakewood, New Jersey, today admitted evading income taxes totaling more than half a million dollars from 2012 through 2015 and failing to report a Russian bank account, to which he wired more than $1.5 million, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Carlo Amato, 57, of Beachwood, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court to one count of tax evasion and one count of failure to file a report of foreign financial account (FBAR) while violating another law of the United States and as part of a pattern of illegal activity involving more than $100,000 in a 12-month period.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From 2012 through 2015, Amato operated a chiropractic office in Lakewood through two entities: Chiropractic Care Consultants Inc. and Accident Recovery Physical Therapy. He deposited, or caused to be deposited, checks for chiropractic services into accounts held in the names of his minor children. Amato knew that these checks were taxable as income, but he did not disclose the payments to his accountant, nor did he report them on his tax returns. Amato also failed to report as taxable income certain additional funds that were deposited into Chiropractic Care’s and Accident Recovery’s business bank accounts. For example, Amato reported $0 in taxable income and $0 in tax due on his 2014 income tax return. His taxable income for 2014 was, in fact, $561,258, and Amato admitted that the tax due and owing to the IRS for 2014 was $197,036. Amato admitted that he also evaded more than $300,000 in taxes for the tax years 2012, 2013, and 2015.

Amato, a U.S. citizen, admitted that in 2014, he had an account at UniCredit Bank in Russia. He admitted that he wired more than $1.5 million to Russian bank accounts, including the UniCredit Bank account, and that he knew that he was obligated to report any foreign bank account with an aggregate value of more than $10,000. Amato admitted that he nonetheless failed to file a report of foreign account, commonly known as an FBAR, for the year 2014.  Amato also admitted that the funds he failed to report were the product of a fraudulent scheme in which Amato overbilled at least six insurance companies by more than $1 million by billing for services that were never rendered. Amato previously pleaded guilty in Ocean County Superior Court to first degree financial facilitation of criminal activity for money laundering of funds from the overbilling scheme.

The tax evasion charge to which Amato pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain to any person or loss to any victims of the offense. The failure to file a report of foreign account charge to which Amato pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 or twice the gain to any person or loss to any victims of the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2019.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Amato will file amended tax returns and make full restitution for the years 2012 through 2015 and file accurate FBARs for the years 2012 through 2017.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John Tafur, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. U.S. Attorney Carpenito thanked the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, and the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie, for their roles in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa T. Wiygul of the Criminal Division in Trenton.

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16SGm_MtgUPIk7zivoc7ZVzE8kB3HmroCM6yhaNEa2LI/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-10-17 14:30:00 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
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Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
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Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
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Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
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Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
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Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
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Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
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Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
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Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
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Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
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Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the second highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE2
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Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – Two New Jersey residents were charged for their participation in a multi-year $1 million embezzlement scheme, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.

Ruby Baroni, 53, of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and Rolando Veloso, 41, of Haskell, New Jersey, were each charged by a criminal complaint unsealed today in Newark federal court with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They made their initial appearances today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between October 2010 and August 2016, Baroni and Veloso conspired with others to carry out a large-scale, multifaceted scheme to embezzle funds from an area guided-tour company. In some instances, Baroni, who served as the company’s accounting manager, cut checks drawn against the company’s checking accounts made out to either other company employees or fictitious individuals and then cashed those checks herself. In other instances, Baroni cut checks made out to various shell business entities formed by Veloso, none of which ever performed any services for the company; Veloso then deposited or cashed those checks for his personal use. Veloso also made substantial charges for his shell business entities on a company credit card issued to another conspirator, none of which reflected any actual work performed for the company by any of those entities. In all, Baroni, Veloso, and their conspirators embezzled over $1 million from the company.

The charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Trombly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Cybercrime Unit in Newark.

The charge and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, New Jersey, man was arrested today for his alleged role in an investment scheme that fraudulently obtained $1.525 million from at least three families from 2017 through 2019, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Matthew Benjamin, 53, of Englewood, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with two counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From May 2017 through August 2019, Benjamin falsely represented to at least three families that his company, Clear Solutions Group LLC, had lucrative contracts to purchase closeout or excess cosmetic inventory from Company A, which he would then resell at a mark-up to Company B. Benjamin told the victims that he had access to these closeout goods through his contacts in the cosmetics and fragrance industry, which he purportedly made through his work at his family’s cosmetic wholesale and distribution business prior to starting Clear Solutions Group. Benjamin induced the victims to provide him with money to purchase the inventory from Company A and promised significant profits in return. Instead of investing the money as he promised, Benjamin misappropriated the investor’s money for his own use and benefit.

Benjamin provided the victims with falsified documents, including fake purchase orders, invoices, promissory notes and bank records showing inflated assets of Clear Solutions Group. To lull victims and induce them to continue investing, Benjamin provided them with documents that purported to detail the investors’ profits.

Benjamin misrepresented to certain investors that portions of their profits on the investment contracts were being reinvested in additional deals to purchase and sell cosmetics, which in turn would generate more profits. From time to time, Benjamin made payments to the investors that were purportedly their profits on certain cosmetics contracts. 

In reality, Benjamin did not purchase or sell cosmetics with the money invested by the victims. Instead, Benjamin misappropriated the investors’ money by making payments to other investors in Clear Solutions Group, which were characterized as those investors’ profits from the nonexistent cosmetic contracts, thereby enabling Benjamin to continue to perpetuate his fraudulent scheme; and by funding Benjamin’s and his family’s lifestyle, including paying for car and house rental payments, food, international travel, legal fees, technology equipment, and summer camp tuition for his family members. The victims’ losses from the fraud perpetrated by Benjamin collectively totaled approximately $1 million.

The wire fraud counts are each punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross amount of gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater. The securities fraud count is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $5 million.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Joe Denahan in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kozar of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A Florida man appeared in court today on charges that he laundered funds related to a $30 million wire fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Denis Sotnikov, 36, of Hallandale Beach, Florida, is charged by complaint with one count of money laundering. He appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jared M. Strauss in a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, federal court and was detained.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between April 2018 and March 2020, individuals engaged in an internet-based financial fraud scheme, which generally involved the creation of fraudulent websites to solicit funds from individuals seeking to invest money. At times, the websites were designed to closely resemble websites being operated by actual, well-known, and publicly reputable financial institutions; at other times, the fraudulent websites were designed to resemble financial institutions that seemed legitimate, but did not, in fact, exist.

Victims of the fraud scheme typically discovered the fraudulent websites via internet searches. The fraudulent websites advertised various types of investment opportunities, most prominently the purchase of certificates of deposit, or CDs, with higher than average rates of return on the CDs to lure potential victims.

To date, at least 70 victims of the fraud scheme nationwide, including in New Jersey, have collectively transmitted at least $30 million that they believed to be investments.

In many instances, the victims would contact an individual or individuals via telephone or email, as directed on a fraudulent website, who provided the victims with applications and wiring instructions for the purchase of a CD. The funds wired by the victims would then be moved to various domestic and international bank accounts, including accounts in Russia, the Republic of Georgia, Hong Kong, and Turkey. None of the victims received a CD after wiring the funds.

Sotnikov received funds from at least 18 victims of the fraud scheme, totaling $6 million, in accounts at various domestic banks that were controlled by him or by a close relative. Of this amount, $3.7 million was either frozen by the banks or returned to victims, and $707,380 was wired overseas by Sotnikov. The remaining stolen funds – $1.5 million – were transferred to numerous other accounts controlled by Sotnikov and used to fund personal expenditures, including down payments on several luxury vehicles, purchases at high-end retail stores such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., and Cartier, rent exceeding $9,000 per month on a home in Florida, several vacations, living expenses and bills.

The money laundering charge is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000, or twice the value of the property involved, whichever is greater.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also filed a civil complaint against Sotnikov and several companies associated with him today based on the same conduct.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, including the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark. He also thanked the SEC for the assistance provided by its Enforcement Division.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony P. Torntore and Jamie L. Hoxie of the U.S. Attorney’s Cybercrimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel: Roman Groysman Esq., Fort Lauderdale

Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:19-mj-08059
Case Name:   USA v. Osorio
  Press Releases:
NEWARK N.J. – A Bergen County, New Jersey, man was charged today with making false declarations in relation to a bankruptcy proceeding, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Victor Osorio, 40, of Cresskill, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with two counts of bankruptcy fraud. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Feb. 16, 2017, Osorio filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. Osorio signed the bankruptcy petition under penalty of perjury, declaring that the information provided was true and correct.

In the petition, Osorio stated that none of his affiliates had a pending bankruptcy case, failing to disclose that a business in which he had an interest, “Business 1,” had a bankruptcy case pending at the time in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Osorio also filed Schedules of Assets and Liabilities, signed under penalty of perjury, in which he stated that he did not own or have an interest in any incorporated or unincorporated businesses. Osorio failed to disclose that he had an ownership interest in Business 1 – and he had declared approximately seven months earlier in Business 1’s bankruptcy documents that he was its sole owner – and had an ownership interest in another business, Business 2.

In the Schedules, Osorio also stated that he did not own or have an interest in any checking, savings or other financial accounts, failing to disclose a bank account with a bank based in the Dominican Republic in which he had an interest.

On Feb. 24, 2017, Osorio filed amendments to the schedules, disclosing a partial ownership interest in Business 1. However, the amendments still failed to disclose an ownership interest in Business 2 and the bank account in the Dominican Republic.

The bankruptcy fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited New York City Police Department detectives, under the direction of New York City Police Department Commissioner Paul P. O’Neill, assigned to the Homeland Security Investigations Border Security Enforcement Task Force (BEST); and special agents of HSI-New York, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Angel M. Melendez, assigned to HSI/NY BEST, with the investigation leading to today’s charge.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dara Govan, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Protection Unit in Newark; Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean M. Sherman, of the Public Protection Unit; and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Teich of the Economic Crimes Unit.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15GvkP9NOXLPXFhS5wOJHSl0eNf8kF9V-7cYdc0GDD5U/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-04-17 09:23:50 UTC
Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A Lyndhurst, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining over $1.5 million from approximately 100 victims prior to high-profile initial public offerings (IPOs), Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Omar Hafez, 25, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls to an information charging him one count of wire fraud. Judge Walls imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From July 2014 through December 2015, Hafez operated an investment fraud scheme in which he and others created a number of entities, including Lotus Global. Several of these entities had websites and social media pages listing Hafez as the CEO and advertising themselves as successful wealth management companies.

In order to deceive victim investors, Hafez represented that he had access to shares of various companies prior to their initial public offerings and could use that access to provide significant profits to investors. However, bank records for accounts controlled by Hafez and certain Lotus Global entities revealed that none of the money provided by victim investors was used to purchase shares or invest in any of the pre-IPO companies.

Instead, Hafez used the funds for his own benefit, including several large purchases at luxury car dealerships, including an approximately $87,000 purchase at Prestige Motors, an approximately $24,160 purchase at Signature Car Collections, and an approximately $8,690 purchase at Dream Cars National LLC. In addition, Hafez purchased numerous luxury goods, including an approximately $17,250 purchase at Tourneau Inc., an approximately $5,613 purchase at Louis Vuitton, and an approximately $3,000 purchase at Tiffany & Co., as well as airplane tickets and hotel stays for a single trip to Chicago totaling approximately $10,000.

Hafez employed numerous strategies to maintain the victims’ confidence and induce further investments. For example, bank records showed that Hafez occasionally used money from earlier victim investors in order to pay future victims “lulling” payments. In classic Ponzi scheme fashion, Hafez lied to investors and told them that these payments were returns on their investments.

As funds began to run out and investors demanded their money with increasing frequency, Hafez provided certain victim investors with checks for thousands of dollars, claiming that they represented investment returns or a refund of initial investments. When victim investors attempted to deposit or cash these checks, the checks were rejected due to insufficient funds because Hafez and others had already spent the victims’ money.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Walls sentenced Hafez to three years of supervised release. Hafez must also pay restitution of $1.5 million.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher, and postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney A. Howard of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Joseph D. Rotella Esq., Newark

 

Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:19-cr-00615
Case Name:   USA v. MALTEZ
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man and woman appeared in court today after being arrested for their roles in a scheme to market and distribute misbranded and unapproved new drugs, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Keith Kovaleski, 54, of South Amboy, New Jersey, and Ines Maltez, 33, of Sayreville, New Jersey, were both charged by complaint with conspiring to distribute and cause the receipt and delivery of misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs, and to impede the functions of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They were arrested today and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court. Both defendants were released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The FDA is responsible for protecting the health and safety of the American public by enforcing the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), a law intended to assure that drugs are safe, effective, and bear accurate labeling containing all required information. The FDA regulates the manufacture, labeling, and distribution of all drugs shipped or received in interstate commerce.

From 2014 to January 2019, Kovaleski was the principal of AA Peptide LLC, a/k/a All American Peptide (AAP). AAP used its website to market and distribute substances used by bodybuilders and others engaged in weight training to enhance performance and mitigate the side effects of performance-enhancing substances.   

The AAP website included a bogus legal disclaimer that its products were intended for laboratory research use only, and not as drugs or food. Kovaleski employed the bogus “research chemicals” disclaimer to conceal that he and others were distributing misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs for use by their customers. 

Between April 2018 and December 2018, an undercover law enforcement agent made five purchases of misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs from the AAP website. Each undercover purchase was made through the website without a prescription, and none of the substances purchased contained an “Rx-only” designation on their labels. None of the substances purchased from AAP contained adequate directions for use or warnings regarding known side-effects. Two of the purchases included pills containing tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis, in dosages significantly higher than the highest recommended dosage.    

Maltez participated in the scheme by packaging and mailing misbranded and unapproved drugs, and by receiving payments from customers.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the FDA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey J. Ebersole, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ New York Field Office; postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, Newark Division, and special agents of AMTRAK Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Waters, Eastern Field Office, with the investigation leading to the charges. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Stringer and Cari Fais of the Special Prosecutions Division.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mcj0AcBNn-WzhDhjxSsoRylOmEFx7MvpK1W7XzwL4-w/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-11-05 13:03:58 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: Case type associated with a magistrate case if the current case was merged from a magistrate case
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The docket number originally given to a case assigned to a magistrate judge and subsequently merged into a criminal case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a magistrate case
Format: A3

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the second highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE2
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Magistrate Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:19-mj-08001
Case Name:   USA v. KOVALESKI et al
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man and woman appeared in court today after being arrested for their roles in a scheme to market and distribute misbranded and unapproved new drugs, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Keith Kovaleski, 54, of South Amboy, New Jersey, and Ines Maltez, 33, of Sayreville, New Jersey, were both charged by complaint with conspiring to distribute and cause the receipt and delivery of misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs, and to impede the functions of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They were arrested today and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court. Both defendants were released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The FDA is responsible for protecting the health and safety of the American public by enforcing the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), a law intended to assure that drugs are safe, effective, and bear accurate labeling containing all required information. The FDA regulates the manufacture, labeling, and distribution of all drugs shipped or received in interstate commerce.

From 2014 to January 2019, Kovaleski was the principal of AA Peptide LLC, a/k/a All American Peptide (AAP). AAP used its website to market and distribute substances used by bodybuilders and others engaged in weight training to enhance performance and mitigate the side effects of performance-enhancing substances.   

The AAP website included a bogus legal disclaimer that its products were intended for laboratory research use only, and not as drugs or food. Kovaleski employed the bogus “research chemicals” disclaimer to conceal that he and others were distributing misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs for use by their customers. 

Between April 2018 and December 2018, an undercover law enforcement agent made five purchases of misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs from the AAP website. Each undercover purchase was made through the website without a prescription, and none of the substances purchased contained an “Rx-only” designation on their labels. None of the substances purchased from AAP contained adequate directions for use or warnings regarding known side-effects. Two of the purchases included pills containing tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis, in dosages significantly higher than the highest recommended dosage.    

Maltez participated in the scheme by packaging and mailing misbranded and unapproved drugs, and by receiving payments from customers.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the FDA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey J. Ebersole, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ New York Field Office; postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, Newark Division, and special agents of AMTRAK Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Waters, Eastern Field Office, with the investigation leading to the charges. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Stringer and Cari Fais of the Special Prosecutions Division.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QIVOYhu9hzub9Y1vFyY_RtcCT8yWfbc6i8s4q1wH3gM/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-10-24 04:34:04 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: Case type associated with a magistrate case if the current case was merged from a magistrate case
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The docket number originally given to a case assigned to a magistrate judge and subsequently merged into a criminal case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a magistrate case
Format: A3

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the second highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE2
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:19-cr-00476
Case Name:   USA v. KOVALESKI et al
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, husband and wife were indicted today in connection with a scheme to market and distribute misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs and manufacture drugs in an unregistered facility, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Keith Kovaleski, 55, and Sylvia Kovaleski, 41, of South Amboy, New Jersey, each were charged with one count of conspiring to distribute and cause the receipt and delivery of misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs, and to impede the functions of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 10 counts of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, four counts of introducing unapproved new drugs into interstate commerce, and one count of manufacturing drugs without registering with the secretary of HHS. In January 2019, Keith Kovaleski was charged in a federal complaint with conspiracy and was released on bail. Both defendants will be arraigned at a date to be determined.   

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The FDA is responsible for enforcing the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), a law intended to assure that drugs are safe, effective, and bear accurate labeling containing all required information. The FDA regulates the manufacture, labeling, and distribution of all drugs shipped or received in interstate commerce.

From May 2014 to January 2019, the Kovaleskis owned and operated AA Peptide LLC, a/k/a All American Peptide (AAP). AAP used its website to market and distribute substances primarily used by bodybuilders and others engaged in weight training to enhance performance and mitigate the side effects of performance-enhancing substances.   

The AAP website included a bogus legal disclaimer that its products were intended for laboratory research use only, and not as drugs or food. The Kovaleskis employed the bogus “research chemicals” disclaimer to conceal that they and others were distributing misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs for use by their customers. 

The Kovaleskis, though AAP, sold products including: (1) prescription drugs, such as tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis; (2) SARMS, used by body-builders as an alternative to steroids; (3) peptides, also used as performance-enhancing substances; and (4) other drugs that were not peptides or SARMS, and had not been approved for human use, for example, clenbuterol, a drug sold in foreign markets but not approved by the FDA. The Kovaleskis failed to provide adequate directions for use for these products, such as frequency of administration and other dosage information. 

The Kovaleskis used their South Amboy basement as a manufacturing facility to make and label AAP products, including homemade capsules containing baking soda and tadalafil.  The Kovaleskis sold tadalafil capsules that contained significantly higher dosages of the active ingredient than the highest recommended dosage.  

The Kovaleskis earned more $2.5 million through the sale of misbranded and unapproved new drugs.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in prison.  Each count of introduction of misbranded drugs in interstate commerce, introduction of unapproved new drugs in interstate commerce, and operating an unregistered drug manufacturing facility carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison. Each charge also carries a maximum potential fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss. 

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey J. Ebersole,; special agents of the Amtrak Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Waters; and postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James Buthorn, Newark Division, with the investigation leading to today’s indictment. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen D. Stringer and Cari Fais, of the Special Prosecutions Division.

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man and woman appeared in court today after being arrested for their roles in a scheme to market and distribute misbranded and unapproved new drugs, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Keith Kovaleski, 54, of South Amboy, New Jersey, and Ines Maltez, 33, of Sayreville, New Jersey, were both charged by complaint with conspiring to distribute and cause the receipt and delivery of misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs, and to impede the functions of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They were arrested today and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court. Both defendants were released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The FDA is responsible for protecting the health and safety of the American public by enforcing the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), a law intended to assure that drugs are safe, effective, and bear accurate labeling containing all required information. The FDA regulates the manufacture, labeling, and distribution of all drugs shipped or received in interstate commerce.

From 2014 to January 2019, Kovaleski was the principal of AA Peptide LLC, a/k/a All American Peptide (AAP). AAP used its website to market and distribute substances used by bodybuilders and others engaged in weight training to enhance performance and mitigate the side effects of performance-enhancing substances.   

The AAP website included a bogus legal disclaimer that its products were intended for laboratory research use only, and not as drugs or food. Kovaleski employed the bogus “research chemicals” disclaimer to conceal that he and others were distributing misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs for use by their customers. 

Between April 2018 and December 2018, an undercover law enforcement agent made five purchases of misbranded drugs and unapproved new drugs from the AAP website. Each undercover purchase was made through the website without a prescription, and none of the substances purchased contained an “Rx-only” designation on their labels. None of the substances purchased from AAP contained adequate directions for use or warnings regarding known side-effects. Two of the purchases included pills containing tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis, in dosages significantly higher than the highest recommended dosage.    

Maltez participated in the scheme by packaging and mailing misbranded and unapproved drugs, and by receiving payments from customers.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the FDA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey J. Ebersole, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ New York Field Office; postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, Newark Division, and special agents of AMTRAK Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Waters, Eastern Field Office, with the investigation leading to the charges. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Stringer and Cari Fais of the Special Prosecutions Division.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XhOVY8QmbKrISb819vjYp5CAGRD1gK1yfDB9CiaZ4dc/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-11-05 12:48:47 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the second highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE2
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the third highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE3
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE3
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the fourth highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE4
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE4
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE4
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE4
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the fifth highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE5
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE5
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE5
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE5
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   D-NJ  1:20-cr-00356
Case Name:   USA v. VALENTIN
  Press Releases:
CAMDEN, N.J. – A South Jersey woman who owns a tax preparation business admitted today to helping her clients file falsified tax returns, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Gloria Valentin, 48, of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by teleconference before U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb in Camden federal court to an information charging her with one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Valentin owned, operated and approved all of the income tax returns filed by GNG Business Solutions in Cinnaminson. She admitted that she prepared approximately 60 income tax returns for 27 tax clients during tax years 2013 through 2016. Those tax returns contained similar patterns of false and fictitious Schedule A itemized deductions and unreimbursed employee business expenses. Valentin and her employees fabricated Schedule A, unreimbursed employee business expenses when none were incurred. Those false expenses resulted in substantially reduced income tax liabilities and resulted in larger refunds for her clients and caused a tax loss of $201,896 to the government.

The charges to which Valentin pleaded guilty carry a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 8, 2020.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Laura J. Perry, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Senior Trial Counsel Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney=s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

 

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZrlN_jRWOPUdNFu6Vcr6IpySRDJ5jK4UVt5BirLiiQo/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-11-14 15:32:28 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   D-NJ  2:20-cr-00051
Case Name:   USA v. MANOR et al
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, woman and a Canadian man were indicted today for their roles in a securities fraud scheme that induced victims to invest $30 million worth of cash and cryptocurrency based on fraudulent misrepresentations, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Edith Pardo, 68, of Bloomfield, New Jersey, and Boaz Manor, 46, of Toronto, Canada, are each charged with one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of securities fraud in connection with a blockchain technology company. Pardo was arrested today by special agents of the FBI and is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court. Manor remains at large.

According to the indictment:

In 2003, Manor co-founded and managed a hedge fund based in Toronto, Canada. In connection with his work at that hedge fund, Manor pleaded guilty in Canada to one count of transferring monies in breach of trust and one count of disobeying a court order. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

Following his release from prison, Manor founded a business, CG Blockchain Inc., and began creating a product called ComplianceGuard, which was purportedly designed provide hedge funds with a blockchain-based auditing tool. While raising money for CG Blockchain, Manor hid his true identity and criminal past from investors and others by using a variety of aliases, including “Shaun MacDonald.” He also changed his appearance by darkening his hair and growing a beard.

Manor secured a significant portion, if not all, of the initial seed money in CG Blockchain from a close family member. In order to conceal the source of this money, Manor recruited Pardo to act as a conduit for the money. The defendants misrepresented to potential CG Blockchain investors that Pardo was an independently wealthy investor who provided millions of dollars in seed money to CG Blockchain.

The defendants also misrepresented that 20 hedge funds were using ComplianceGuard and were each paying CG Blockchain a $1 million yearly fee. In reality, none of the 20 hedge funds paid fees to CG Blockchain, and many of the hedge funds did not receive or use ComplianceGuard at all.

In 2017, CG Blockchain launched an “Initial Coin Offering” (ICO), and began marketing its new product – “Blockchain Terminal” – to potential investors. CG Blockchain described Blockchain Terminal as a computer terminal that allowed hedge funds and financial institutions to trade and manage cryptocurrency. Manor actively marketed the token to investors, while failing to disclose his true identity or his role at CG Blockchain. The defendants also misrepresented to ICO investors that the Blockchain Terminal had “Actual Clients” and was “installed at 20 hedge funds.”

In 2018, CG Blockchain publicly announced that it had raised $30 million from its ICO. Following the ICO, CG Blockchain investors learned of Manor’s true identity and criminal past. When confronted by an investor, Manor admitted that he had hidden his real identity and criminal past because disclosure of that information would have resulted in “the company being destroyed.”

The conspiracy and wire fraud counts in the indictment carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The securities fraud count carries a potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also filed a civil complaint against Manor and Pardo today based on the same conduct.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s charges. He also thanked the SEC for the assistance provided by its Enforcement Division.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vijay Dewan and Catherine R. Murphy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit.

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

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1KewydAht1FojBg0VWa1QsboHRnSVBP3sAPKO0vJ9KRk/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-11-14 15:04:23 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the second highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE2
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the third highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE3
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE3
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the fourth highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE4
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE4
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE4
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE4
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the fifth highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE5
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE5
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE5
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE5
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A Somerset, New Jersey, man was convicted by a federal jury today of accepting cash bribes and sex in exchange for providing employment authorization documents and concealing his employment of an undocumented immigrant at a hair salon he owned, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Arnaldo Echevarria, 39, a former deportation officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), was convicted of Counts 1-6 and Counts 8 and 9 of an indictment charging him with seven counts of accepting bribes, one count of harboring an undocumented immigrant and one count of making false statements to immigration authorities. He was acquitted on Count 7, one of the bribery counts. Echevarria was convicted following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court. The jury deliberated for one day before returning the guilty verdict.

According to statements made in court and evidence presented at trial:

As a deportation officer, Echevarria enforced immigration and customs laws by identifying, locating, arresting and removing undocumented immigrants from the United States and by supervising certain undocumented immigrants who had not yet been deported. Undocumented immigrants subject to a deportation order often were able to obtain employment authorization documents which allowed them to legally work in the United States for a one-year period and which could be renewed annually.

Between 2012 and 2014, Echevarria agreed to obtain employment authorization documents for undocumented immigrants who were not lawfully present in the country. In return, Echevarria demanded and received approximately $75,000 in cash bribes, and demanded and received sex from one individual. In order to conceal them from immigration authorities, Echevarria falsely stated that they had been granted temporary protected status, which allows nationals from certain countries experiencing environmental disaster, ongoing armed conflict, or other extraordinary conditions to lawfully remain in the United States. None of the individuals who bribed Echevarria had actually applied for, or received, temporary protected status.

In December 2012, Echevarria received permission from his superiors at ICE to open a hair salon in West Orange, New Jersey. Echevarria certified to ICE that the hair salon would not conflict with ICE matters and would not involve undocumented workers. However, Echevarria employed his girlfriend at the time, an undocumented immigrant, to manage the salon. Echevarria’s girlfriend had entered the United States illegally, using the name and identification of an individual in Puerto Rico to obtain a Pennsylvania identification card.

Echevarria knew his girlfriend resided in the United States illegally. Prior to opening the hair salon, Echevarria queried the name and date of birth of his girlfriend’s alias in various law enforcement databases. After opening the salon, Echevarria ensured that his girlfriend’s illegal status remained a secret by signing the lease for her apartment and by placing her cable and electric bills in his name. In addition to driving his girlfriend and other employees to and from the salon each day, Echevarria also paid the employees in cash and never asked them to fill out employment eligibility paperwork.

The six bribery counts on which Echevarria was convicted each carry a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, or three times the monetary equivalent of the things of value accepted by the defendant. The charges of harboring and making false statements are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss arising from the offense. Echevarria’s sentencing is scheduled for June 19, 2017.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of ICE, Office of Professional Responsibility, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Keith Barwick, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdict.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rahul Agarwal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark, and Barbara Llanes, Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Unit.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
TRENTON, N.J. – The sole proprietor of a purported loan modification consulting company today admitted that he fraudulently billed clients more than $400,000 for services that were never performed, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Jeffrey Halpern, 62, of Hewlett, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between 2009 and 2016, Halpern operated JCK Marketing and solicited business from individuals who were seeking home loan modifications on their residential mortgages. Halpern told these individuals that, for a fee, he would negotiate loan modifications on their behalf.

In actuality, Halpern pocketed the funds but performed little or no actual services in connection with the purported loan modifications. Halpern also repeatedly demanded money for “bank fees” from his victims, even though none of the related financial institutions charged fees for loan modifications. During the relevant time period, Halpern defrauded at least 26 victims of over $400,000.

The wire fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As part of his plea agreement, Halpern must also pay restitution to the victims. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 22, 2017.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited investigators with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation. He also thanked the New York State Department of Financial Services, under the direction of Superintendent Maria T. Vullo; the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Steven Perez; and the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, under the direction of District Attorney Madeline Singas, for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sammi Malek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Mitchell C. Elman Esq., Port Washington, New York

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
TRENTON, N.J. – The sole proprietor of a purported loan modification consulting company was sentenced today to 57 months in prison for fraudulently billing clients more than $400,000 for services that were never performed, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Jeffrey Halpern, 63, of Hewlett, New York, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud. Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between 2009 and 2016, Halpern operated JCK Marketing and solicited business from individuals who were seeking home loan modifications on their residential mortgages. Halpern told these individuals that, for a fee, he would negotiate loan modifications on their behalf.

In actuality, Halpern pocketed the funds but performed little or no actual services in connection with the purported loan modifications. Halpern also repeatedly demanded money for “bank fees” from his victims, even though none of the related financial institutions charged fees for loan modifications. During the relevant time period, Halpern defrauded at least 26 victims of more than $400,000.



In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Halpern to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $411,000 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited investigators with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked the New York State Department of Financial Services, under the direction of Superintendent Maria T. Vullo; the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Mark Higgins; and the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, under the direction of District Attorney Madeline Singas, for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sammi Malek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Mitchell C. Elman Esq., Port Washington, New York

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWARK, N.J. – A former U.S. Army major and his wife were sentenced today for their respective roles in abusing their adopted children, who all were less than 4 years old and developmentally delayed, through neglectful and cruel acts, including breaking their bones, denying them medical attention, withholding water and force-feeding them hot sauce, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Carolyn Jackson, 40, was sentenced to 40 months in prison and her husband, John E. Jackson, 42, formerly a major in the Army at the Picatinny Arsenal Installation in Morris County, New Jersey, was sentenced to three years of probation. Both will get credit for time already served.

Convicted by a jury in July 2015 on multiple counts of child endangerment, Carolyn Jackson had originally received 24 months in prison and John E. Jackson had received probation and 400 hours of community service when they were originally sentenced in December 2015. The government appealed their sentences to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which ruled in July 2017 that the District Court had committed several errors in the process of imposing those sentences.

“Obviously, we are disappointed that the court did not agree with the sentences we sought,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “This is a case where the victims were children, horribly abused by the foster parents to whom they were entrusted. A punishment that was severe – but fair – was warranted.”

The Jacksons were each found guilty following a four-month trial before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court of one count of conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child; Carolyn Jackson was found guilty of 11 substantive counts of endangering the welfare of a child and John Jackson was found guilty of nine substantive counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Judge Hayden imposed the sentences today in Newark federal court.

The case falls under federal jurisdiction because the crimes were committed on a military base. John Jackson was discharged from the Army in May 2015.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

From August 2005 until April 23, 2010, Carolyn and John Jackson conspired to engage in a constant course of neglect and cruelty towards three children they fostered and then adopted. The Jacksons told their biological children not to report the physical assaults to others, saying that the punishments and disciplinary techniques were justified, as they were “training” the adopted children how to behave.

After John Jackson was informed by a family friend that the oldest biological child had revealed the abuse in the Jackson household, John Jackson reported the breach to Carolyn Jackson, who retaliated against that biological child by beating the child 30 times with a belt.

As part of the conspiracy, the Jacksons physically assaulted their adopted children with various objects, causing two children to sustain fractured bones (including a fractured spine, fractured skull and fractured upper arms); failed to seek prompt medical attention for their injuries; withheld sufficient nourishment and food from their adopted children; withheld adequate water from two of their children and, at times, prohibited them from drinking water altogether; forced two of the children to consume foods intended to cause them pain and suffering, such as red pepper flakes and hot sauce, and caused one child to ingest excessive sodium or sodium-laden substances while being deprived of water, leading to a life-threatening condition on two separate occasions in two states. The Jacksons even punished one adopted child, who had to resort to sneaking food and drinking from the toilet, by hitting the child, making the child ingest hot sauce, and forcing the child to eat a raw onion like an apple. 

None of the children, adoptive and biological, remain in the custody of the defendants.

Judge Hayden also sentenced Carolyn Jackson to three years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bradley W. Cohen in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencings. He also thanked the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, under the command of Major General David E. Quantock, and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.

The government is represented by Deputy U.S. Attorney Thomas Eicher and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Romano of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   D-NJ  3:19-cr-00029
Case Name:   USA v. GILMORE
  Press Releases:
George Gilmore, a partner at an Ocean County, New Jersey, law firm, was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for his conviction on two counts of failing to pay over payroll taxes withheld from employees to the IRS and one count of making false statements on a bank loan application submitted to Ocean First Bank N.A.

On April 17, 2019, Gilmore, 70, of Toms River, New Jersey, was acquitted of two counts of filing false tax returns for calendar years 2013 and 2014; the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on one count of income tax evasion for calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015. The verdicts were returned following a trial that began April 1, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson, who imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

Gilmore worked as an equity partner and shareholder at Gilmore & Monahan P.A., a law firm in Toms River, where he exercised primary control over the firm’s financial affairs. Because he exercised significant control over the law firm’s financial affairs, Gilmore was responsible for withholding payroll taxes from the gross salary and wages of the law firm’s employees to cover individual income, Social Security and Medicare tax obligations. For the tax quarters ending March 31, 2016, and June 30, 2016, the law firm withheld tax payments from its employees’ checks, but Gilmore failed to pay over in full the payroll taxes due to the IRS. 

Gilmore also submitted a loan application to Ocean First Bank containing false statements. On Nov. 21, 2014, Gilmore reviewed, signed, and submitted to Ocean First Bank a Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) to obtain refinancing of a mortgage loan for $1.5 million with a “cash out” provision that provided Gilmore would obtain cash from the loan. On Jan. 22, 2015, Gilmore submitted another URLA updating the initial application. Gilmore failed to disclose his outstanding 2013 tax liabilities and personal loans that he had obtained from others on the URLAs. Gilmore received $572,000 from the cash out portion of the loan. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Thompson sentenced Gilmore to three years of supervised release.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Honig for the District of New Jersey and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, special agents with the U.S. Attorney’s Office under the direction of Supervisory Special Agent Thomas Mahoney, and special agents of the FBI Red Bank Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Deputy U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Skahill; Assistant U.S. Attorney Jihee G. Suh of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division; and Trial Attorney Thomas F. Koelbl of the U.S. Department of Justice - Tax Division. 

TRENTON, N.J. – George Gilmore, a partner at an Ocean County law firm, was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for his conviction on two counts of failing to pay over payroll taxes withheld from employees to the IRS and one count of making false statements on a bank loan application submitted to Ocean First Bank N.A., First Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

On April 17, 2019, Gilmore, 70, of Toms River, New Jersey, was acquitted of two counts of filing false tax returns for calendar years 2013 and 2014; the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on one count of income tax evasion for calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015. The verdicts were returned following a trial that began April 1, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson, who imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

Gilmore worked as an equity partner and shareholder at Gilmore & Monahan P.A., a law firm in Toms River, where he exercised primary control over the firm’s financial affairs. Because he exercised significant control over the law firm’s financial affairs, Gilmore was responsible for withholding payroll taxes from the gross salary and wages of the law firm’s employees to cover individual income, Social Security and Medicare tax obligations. For the tax quarters ending March 31, 2016, and June 30, 2016, the law firm withheld tax payments from its employees’ checks, but Gilmore failed to pay over in full the payroll taxes due to the IRS.

Gilmore also submitted a loan application to Ocean First Bank containing false statements. On Nov. 21, 2014, Gilmore reviewed, signed, and submitted to Ocean First Bank a Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) to obtain refinancing of a mortgage loan for $1.5 million with a “cash out” provision that provided Gilmore would obtain cash from the loan. On Jan. 22, 2015, Gilmore submitted another URLA updating the initial application. Gilmore failed to disclose his outstanding 2013 tax liabilities and personal loans that he had obtained from others on the URLAs. Gilmore received $572,000 from the cash out portion of the loan.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Thompson sentenced Gilmore to three years of supervised release.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, special agents with U.S. Attorney’s Office under the direction of Supervisory Special Agent Thomas Mahoney, and special agents of the FBI Red Bank Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Deputy U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Skahill; Assistant U.S. Attorney Jihee G. Suh of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division; and Trial Attorney Thomas F. Koelbl of the U.S. Department of Justice - Tax Division.

Defense counsel: Kevin H. Marino Esq., Chatham, New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. – A federal jury today convicted George Gilmore, a partner at an Ocean County law firm, of two counts of failing to pay over to the IRS payroll taxes withheld from the firm's employees and one count of making false statements on a bank loan application submitted to Ocean First Bank N.A., First Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Gilmore, 69, of Toms River, New Jersey, was acquitted of two counts of filing false tax returns for calendar years 2013 and 2014; the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on one count of income tax evasion for calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015. The verdicts were returned following a trial that began April 1, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

Gilmore worked as an equity partner and shareholder at Gilmore & Monahan P.A., a law firm in Toms River, where he exercised primary control over the firm’s financial affairs. Because he exercised significant control over the law firm’s financial affairs, Gilmore was responsible for withholding payroll taxes from the gross salary and wages of the law firm’s employees to cover individual income, Social Security and Medicare tax obligations. For the tax quarters ending March 31, 2016, and June 30, 2016, the law firm withheld tax payments from its employees’ checks, but Gilmore failed to pay over in full the payroll taxes due to the IRS.

Gilmore also submitted a loan application to Ocean First Bank containing false statements. On Nov. 21, 2014, Gilmore reviewed, signed, and submitted to Ocean First Bank a Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) to obtain refinancing of a mortgage loan for $1.5 million with a “cash out” provision that provided Gilmore would obtain cash from the loan. On Jan. 22, 2015, Gilmore submitted another URLA updating the initial application. Gilmore failed to disclose his outstanding 2013 tax liabilities and personal loans that he had obtained from others on the URLAs. Gilmore received $572,000 from the cash out portion of the loan.

The two counts of failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The count of loan application fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 23, 2019.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, special agents with U.S. Attorney’s Office under the direction of Supervisory Special Agent Thomas Mahoney, and special agents of the FBI Red Bank Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, for the investigation leading to today’s verdicts.

The government is represented by Deputy U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Skahill; Assistant U.S. Attorney Jihee G. Suh of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division; and Trial Attorney Thomas F. Koelbl of the U.S. Department of Justice - Tax Division.

Defense counsel: Kevin H. Marino Esq., Chatham, New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. – A federal grand jury today indicted a partner at an Ocean County law firm for evasion of taxes totaling more than $1 million; filing false income tax returns; failing to pay over payroll taxes to the IRS; and making false statements on a bank loan application, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

George Gilmore, 69, of Toms River, New Jersey, was charged in a six-count indictment with one count of income tax evasion for calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015; two counts of filing false tax returns for calendar years 2013 and 2014; failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes for two quarters in 2016, and making false statements on a 2015 loan application submitted to Ocean First Bank N.A.

According to documents filed in this case:

Gilmore worked as an equity partner and shareholder at Gilmore & Monahan P.A., a law firm in Toms River, where he exercised primary control over the firm’s financial affairs. Gilmore filed on behalf of himself and his spouse federal income tax returns declaring that he owed $493,526 for calendar year 2013, $321,470 for 2014, and $311,287 for 2015. Despite admitting that he owed taxes for each of these years, Gilmore made no estimated tax payments and failed to pay the federal individual income taxes that he owed. Rather, between January 2014 and December 2016, Gilmore spent more than $2.5 million on personal expenses, including substantial home remodeling costs, vacations, and the acquisition of antiques, artwork, and collectibles. By Dec. 31, 2016, based on the tax due and owing that Gilmore reported on the returns, he owed the IRS $1,520,329 in taxes, penalties, and interest. 

To evade and defeat the payment of his taxes Gilmore concealed information from the IRS and falsely classified income, made false and misleading statements to IRS personnel, and filed false tax returns that materially understated the true amount of income that he received from the law firm:

From January 2014 to December 2016, Gilmore used the law firm’s bank accounts to pay more than $2 million worth of personal expenses, including obtaining checks to cash and cash advances on a corporate credit card. Gilmore falsely classified payments as “shareholder loans” instead of income to him.

On Oct. 16, 2014, Gilmore sent the IRS a $493,526 check as payment for his 2013 taxes despite having no more than $2,500 in his personal bank account at the time. Gilmore’s check bounced and he never resubmitted payment in lieu of the bounced check. From November 2014, when he was notified by the IRS concerning the bounced check, to the end of December 2014, Gilmore spent more than $80,000 toward the construction of his home and to purchase artwork, antiques, and collectibles and more than $25,000 in mortgages and related expenses for five real estate properties that he owed.

From November 2014 to October 2015, Gilmore falsely represented to the IRS collections officer that he would make partial payments to the IRS for his outstanding tax liability, but made none.

Gilmore filed false tax returns for 2013 and 2014, which under reported his actual income from the law firm.

Because he exercised significant control over the law firm’s financial affairs, Gilmore was a person responsible for withholding payroll taxes from the gross salary and wages of the law firm’s employees to cover individual income, Social Security and Medicare tax obligations.  For the tax quarters ending March 31, 2016, and June 30, 2016, the law firm withheld tax payments from its employees’ checks, but Gilmore failed to pay over in full the payroll taxes due to the IRS. 

Gilmore also submitted a loan application to Ocean First Bank containing false statements. On Nov. 21, 2014, Gilmore reviewed, signed, and submitted to Ocean First Bank a Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) to obtain refinancing of a mortgage loan for $1.5 million with a “cash out” provision that provided Gilmore would obtain cash from the loan. On Jan. 22, 2015, Gilmore submitted another URLA updating the initial application. Gilmore failed to disclose his outstanding 2013 tax liabilities and personal loans that he had obtained from others on the URLAs. Gilmore received $572,000 from the cash out portion of the loan, the proceeds of which he did not apply to his unpaid taxes. 

The tax evasion count and the two counts of failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The two counts of filing a false tax return each carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The count alleging loan application fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Gilmore will be arraigned at a date to be determined.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, special agents with U.S. Attorney’s Office under the direction of Supervisory Special Agent Thomas Mahoney, and special agents of the FBI Red Bank Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, for the investigation leading to today’s indictment.

The government is represented by Deputy U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Skahill; Assistant U.S. Attorney Jihee G. Suh of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division; and Trial Attorney Thomas F. Koelbl of the U.S. Department of Justice - Tax Division. 

The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and Gilmore is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MW2n3dmOLUfSq9ClrYWnccQqwM9aAGfGJVTZ1eMXTno/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-10-24 04:34:42 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the event by which a defendant appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the second highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE2
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the third highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE3
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE3
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the fourth highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE4
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE4
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE4
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE4
Format: A3

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the fifth highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE5
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE5
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE5
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE5
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
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Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
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Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
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