Score:   0.8474
Docket Number:   ED-VA  1:18-cr-00145
Case Name:   USA v. Quinonez
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 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 number of days from the earlier of filing date or first appearance date to proceeding date
Format: N3

Description: The number of days from proceeding date to disposition date
Format: N3

Description: The number of days from disposition date to sentencing date
Format: N3

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

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant at the time the case was closed
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense that carried the most severe disposition and penalty under which the defendant was disposed
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE1
Format: N4

Description: A code indicating whether the prison sentence associated with TTITLE1 was concurrent or consecutive in relation to the other counts in the indictment or information or multiple counts of the same charge
Format: A4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE1
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE1
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE1
Format: N8

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense under which the defendant was disposed that carried the second most severe disposition and penalty
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE2
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE2
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE2
Format: N4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE2
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE2
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE2
Format: N8

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense under which the defendant was disposed that carried the third most severe disposition and penalty
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE3
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE3
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE3
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE3
Format: N4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE3
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE3
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE3
Format: N8

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense under which the defendant was disposed that carried the fourth most severe disposition and Penalty
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE4
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE4
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE4
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE4
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE4
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE4
Format: N4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE4
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE4
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE4
Format: N8

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense under which the defendant was disposed that carried the fifth most severe disposition and penalty
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE5
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE5
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE5
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE5
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE5
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE5
Format: N4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE5
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE5
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE5
Format: N8

Description: The total prison time for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and prison time was imposed
Format: N4

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:   ED-VA  1:18-mj-00071
Case Name:   USA v. Quinonez
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 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 number of days from the earlier of filing date or first appearance date to proceeding date
Format: N3

Description: The number of days from proceeding date to disposition date
Format: N3

Description: The number of days from disposition date to sentencing date
Format: N3

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

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant at the time the case was closed
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense that carried the most severe disposition and penalty under which the defendant was disposed
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE1
Format: N4

Description: A code indicating whether the prison sentence associated with TTITLE1 was concurrent or consecutive in relation to the other counts in the indictment or information or multiple counts of the same charge
Format: A4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE1
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE1
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE1
Format: N8

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense under which the defendant was disposed that carried the second most severe disposition and penalty
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE2
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE2
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE2
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE2
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE2
Format: N4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE2
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE2
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE2
Format: N8

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense under which the defendant was disposed that carried the third most severe disposition and penalty
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE3
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE3
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE3
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE3
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE3
Format: N4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE3
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE3
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE3
Format: N8

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense under which the defendant was disposed that carried the fourth most severe disposition and Penalty
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE4
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE4
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE4
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE4
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE4
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE4
Format: N4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE4
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE4
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE4
Format: N8

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense under which the defendant was disposed that carried the fifth most severe disposition and penalty
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE5
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE5
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE5
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE5
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE5
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE5
Format: N4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE5
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE5
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE5
Format: N8

Description: The total prison time for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and prison time was imposed
Format: N4

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:   ED-VA  1:18-cr-00392
Case Name:   USA v. Almirall
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal jury convicted a North Carolina man late yesterday on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud for his role in orchestrating a scheme that caused over $1.4 million in losses to multiple victims.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Anthony Eric Mitchell, 52, of Charlotte, was one of the two managing principals of a company called Aura Exchange LLC (AURA).  Mitchell and his co-conspirator Armando Almirall, through AURA, promised their clients that they could help obtain funding for a host of business purposes, such as real estate transactions and television projects. Instead, Mitchell and Almirall spent large portions of their clients’ funds on personal expenses, including trips to casinos, concert tickets, stays at beach resorts, cash withdrawals and wire transfers.

In order to induce the victims to provide AURA with money, Mitchell and Almirall made a host of fraudulent misrepresentations, including representing to clients that they were guaranteed to receive their initial equity deposits back when, in fact, none of the victims ever received any money from AURA. Mitchell and Almirall claimed that AURA had offices in Zurich, London, and New York when no such offices existed. Mitchell also claimed to victims and their associates that AURA was a widely-successful global company that was backed by the assets of billionaires when, in reality, AURA had never closed a deal for a single client.

Mitchell and Almirall also maintained a website for AURA that contained a number of misrepresentations, including claims that AURA was an industry leader in a number of fields, that AURA was an international business with access to hundreds of financiers, and that AURA could turn around funding to its clients in as little as 24 hours. AURA never made any money for any of its clients, and in fact, victims of the fraud suffered losses of at least $1.6 million. 

Mitchell’s business partner and co-conspirator, Armando Almirall, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was sentenced to 63 months in prison in February.

Mitchell faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count of conviction when sentenced on Jan. 3, 2020. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamar K. Walker and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell L. Carlberg are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-101.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Florida man was sentenced today to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud for orchestrating a scheme that caused over $1.7 million in losses to multiple victims.

According to court documents, Armando Almirall, 37, of Oviedo, was one of the managing principals of a company called Aura Exchange LLC (AURA). Almirall and his co-conspirators, through AURA, promised their clients that they could help obtain funding for a host of business purposes, such as real estate transactions and television projects. Instead, Almirall and his co-conspirators spent large portions of their clients’ funds on personal expenses, cash withdrawals and wire transfers without the clients’ knowledge or consent.

In order to induce the victims to provide AURA with money, Almirall and his co-conspirators made a host of fraudulent misrepresentations, including representing to clients that AURA had an established business portfolio when no such portfolio existed. AURA also guaranteed victims that they would receive their initial equity deposits back when, in fact, none of the victims ever received any of their original investment nor any additional funding from AURA. Almirall further claimed that AURA had offices in Zurich, London, and New York when no such offices existed. Almirall also provided clients with fraudulent bank documents showing that AURA could obtain millions (and in one instance, billions) in funds for their clients.

In addition to the prison sentence, Almirall was ordered to pay over $1.77 million in restitution to the victims of the fraud scheme.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamar K. Walker prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-392.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Florida businessman pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for orchestrating a scheme that caused over $1 million in losses to multiple victims.

According to court documents, Armando Almirall, 37, of Oviedo, was one of the managing principals of a company called Aura Exchange LLC (AURA). Almirall and his co-conspirators, through AURA, promised their clients that they could help obtain funding for a host of business purposes, such as real estate transactions and television projects. Instead, Almirall and his co-conspirators spent large portions of their clients’ funds on personal expenses, cash withdrawals and wire transfers with the clients’ knowledge or consent. In order to induce the victims to provide AURA with money, Almirall and his co-conspirators made a host of fraudulent misrepresentations, including representing to clients that they were guaranteed to receive their initial equity deposits back when, in fact, none of the victims ever received any money from AURA. Almirall claimed that AURA had offices in Zurich, London, and New York when no such offices existed. Almirall also provided clients with fraudulent bank documents showing that AURA could obtain millions (and in one instance, billions) in funds for their clients. In total, the victims suffered losses of at least $1.6 million.

Almirall pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 8, 2019. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamar K. Walker is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-392.

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 number of days from the earlier of filing date or first appearance date to proceeding date
Format: N3

Description: The number of days from proceeding date to disposition date
Format: N3

Description: The number of days from disposition date to sentencing date
Format: N3

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

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant at the time the case was closed
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense that carried the most severe disposition and penalty under which the defendant was disposed
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE1
Format: N4

Description: A code indicating whether the prison sentence associated with TTITLE1 was concurrent or consecutive in relation to the other counts in the indictment or information or multiple counts of the same charge
Format: A4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE1
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE1
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE1
Format: N8

Description: The total prison time for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and prison time was imposed
Format: N4

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:   ED-VA  1:18-mj-00424
Case Name:   USA v. Almirall
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 number of days from the earlier of filing date or first appearance date to proceeding date
Format: N3

Description: The number of days from proceeding date to disposition date
Format: N3

Description: The number of days from disposition date to sentencing date
Format: N3

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

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant at the time the case was closed
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense that carried the most severe disposition and penalty under which the defendant was disposed
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with TTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with TTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with TTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with TTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The code indicating the nature or type of disposition associated with TTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The number of months a defendant was sentenced to prison under TTITLE1
Format: N4

Description: A code indicating whether the prison sentence associated with TTITLE1 was concurrent or consecutive in relation to the other counts in the indictment or information or multiple counts of the same charge
Format: A4

Description: The number of months of probation imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE1
Format: N4

Description: A period of supervised release imposed upon a defendant under TTITLE1
Format: N3

Description: The fine imposed upon the defendant at sentencing under TTITLE1
Format: N8

Description: The total prison time for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and prison time was imposed
Format: N4

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:   ED-VA  1:19-cr-00101
Case Name:   USA v. Mitchell
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal jury convicted a North Carolina man late yesterday on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud for his role in orchestrating a scheme that caused over $1.4 million in losses to multiple victims.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Anthony Eric Mitchell, 52, of Charlotte, was one of the two managing principals of a company called Aura Exchange LLC (AURA).  Mitchell and his co-conspirator Armando Almirall, through AURA, promised their clients that they could help obtain funding for a host of business purposes, such as real estate transactions and television projects. Instead, Mitchell and Almirall spent large portions of their clients’ funds on personal expenses, including trips to casinos, concert tickets, stays at beach resorts, cash withdrawals and wire transfers.

In order to induce the victims to provide AURA with money, Mitchell and Almirall made a host of fraudulent misrepresentations, including representing to clients that they were guaranteed to receive their initial equity deposits back when, in fact, none of the victims ever received any money from AURA. Mitchell and Almirall claimed that AURA had offices in Zurich, London, and New York when no such offices existed. Mitchell also claimed to victims and their associates that AURA was a widely-successful global company that was backed by the assets of billionaires when, in reality, AURA had never closed a deal for a single client.

Mitchell and Almirall also maintained a website for AURA that contained a number of misrepresentations, including claims that AURA was an industry leader in a number of fields, that AURA was an international business with access to hundreds of financiers, and that AURA could turn around funding to its clients in as little as 24 hours. AURA never made any money for any of its clients, and in fact, victims of the fraud suffered losses of at least $1.6 million. 

Mitchell’s business partner and co-conspirator, Armando Almirall, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was sentenced to 63 months in prison in February.

Mitchell faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each count of conviction when sentenced on Jan. 3, 2020. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamar K. Walker and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell L. Carlberg are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-101.

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 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:
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Suffolk man pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Post-9/11 GI Bill educational assistance program.

According to court documents, Kent Chillous, 55, is a veteran of the U.S. Navy who attended the Hampton Roads Skills Center (HRSC) utilizing Post-9/11 GI Bill funds.  HRSC purported to be a welding training school offering vocational skills to its students, many of whom were veteran students whose tuition was funded by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  Rather than actually provide an education to students, however, HRSC did not provide regular instruction for any of their course offerings, either in a classroom lecture setting or a practical, hands-on setting.  Moreover, the majority of students were not even physically present at HRSC during most of the hours their courses were purportedly held.  Indeed, some students never once entered the HRSC building at any point during their period of enrollment.

According to court documents, Chillous was enrolled as an HRSC student between June 2016 and July 2017, during which time he did not receive welding instruction and was rarely, if ever, physically present at the school.  Nonetheless, on the basis of his enrollment, the VA paid him a regular housing stipend and paid HRSC for Chillous’ tuition.  Additionally, a few months after his enrollment at the school, Chillous and the school’s owner struck a deal for Chillous to recruit veterans to enroll in HRSC, to boost the GI Bill revenue coming into the school.  Chillous was paid a recruitment fee of approximately 8% of the tuition HRSC would receive from the VA on behalf of each veteran he successfully enrolled.  Over the next 10 months, Kent successfully recruited approximately 20 Post-9/11 GI Bill-eligible veterans to enroll at HRSC.

Chillous pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on January 11, 2018.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Michael J. Missal, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; Kim Lampkins, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge, Mid Atlantic Field Office; and Kimberly Lappin, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis accepted the plea.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys V. Kathleen Dougherty and Kaitlin C. Gratton are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-81.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NORFOLK, Va. – A member of the Nine Trey Gangsters was sentenced today to life in prison for his role in four murders and several additional non-fatal shootings.

According to court documents, Anthony Foye, 26, of Suffolk, is a member of the Nine Trey Gangsters, a street gang with members in states across the East Coast that is affiliated with the United Blood Nation. Foye and another gang member convicted of multiple murders, Nathaniel Mitchell, were trying to gain a reputation within the gang as “shooters.” In furtherance of his membership in the gang, Foye murdered Al-Tariq Tynes, Vandalet Mercer, Linda Lassiter, and Wayne Davis, shot into a residence in Portsmouth, and shot several other individuals across South Hampton Roads. Almost none of the shooting victims had any affiliation with the Nine Trey Gangsters or any other street gang, and three of Foye’s murder victims were the parents or grandparents of young children.

Foye pleaded guilty on Sept. 8, 2017, to four counts of murder in aid of racketeering activity, and faced a mandatory life sentence on each count.

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Larry D. Boone, Chief of Norfolk Police; Tonya D. Chapman, Chief of Portsmouth Police; James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police; Col. K.L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police; and Thomas E. Bennett, Chief of Suffolk Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. DePadilla, Andrew C. Bosse, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Butler, and Trial Attorney Teresa A. Wallbaum of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, are prosecuting the case.

The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force’s (OCDETF) Operation Billy Club. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:16-cr-130.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal jury convicted an Alexandria man today of providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Mohamad Jamal Khweis, 27, left the United States in mid-December 2015, and ultimately crossed into Syria through the Republic of Turkey in late December 2015. Before leaving, Khweis quit his job, sold his car, closed online accounts, and did not tell his family he was leaving to join ISIS. During his travel to the Islamic State, he used numerous encrypted devices to conceal his activity, and downloaded several applications on his phone that featured secure messaging or anonymous web browsing. Khweis used these applications to communicate with ISIS facilitators to coordinate and secure his passage to the Islamic State.

“Khweis is not a naïve kid who didn’t know what he was doing,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, who is also serving as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “He is a 27-year-old man who studied criminal justice in college. He strategically planned his travel to avoid law enforcement suspicion, encrypted his communications, and planned for possible alibis. Khweis knew exactly what he was doing, knew exactly who ISIS was, and was well aware of their thirst for extreme violence. Nonetheless, this did not deter him. Instead, Khweis voluntarily chose to join the ranks of a designated foreign terrorist organization, and that is a federal crime, even if you get scared and decide to leave. This office, along with the National Security Division and our investigative partners, are committed to tracking down anyone who provides or attempts to provide material support to a terrorist organization.”

After arriving in Syria, Khweis stayed at a safe house with other ISIS recruits in Raqqa and filled out ISIS intake forms, which included his name, age, skills, specialty before jihad, and status as a fighter. When Khweis joined ISIS, he agreed to be a suicide bomber. In February 2017, the United States military recovered his intake form, along with an ISIS camp roster that included Khweis’ name with 19 other ISIS fighters.

“Mohamad Khweis purposefully traveled overseas with the intent to join ISIL in support of the terrorist group’s efforts to conduct operations and execute attacks to further their radical ideology,” said Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “Furthermore, when ISIL leaders questioned Khweis' commitment to serving as a suicide bomber to carry out acts of terrorism, Khweis stated that he agreed and recognized that ISIL uses violence in its expansion of its caliphate. Today’s verdict underscores the dedication of the FBI and our partners within the Joint Terrorism Task Force in pursuing and disrupting anyone who poses a risk of harm to U.S. persons or interests or by providing material support to a terrorist group.”

During the trial, Khweis admitted to spending approximately 2.5 months as an ISIS member, traveling with ISIS fighters to multiple safe houses and participating in ISIS-directed religious training. Kurdish Peshmerga military forces detained Khweis in March 2016. A Kurdish Peshmerga official testified at trial that he captured Khweis on the battlefield after Khweis left an ISIS-controlled neighborhood in Tal Afar, Iraq.

On a cross examination, Khweis admitted he consistently lied to United States and Kurdish officials about his involvement with ISIS, and that he omitted telling United States officials about another American who had trained with ISIS to conduct an attack in the United States.

The jury convicted Khweis on all three charged counts, including providing and conspiring to provide material support or resources to ISIS, and a related firearms count. Khweis faces a mandatory minimum of 5 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on October 13. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Fitzpatrick and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh are prosecuting the case.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force provided assistance in this case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-143.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NORFOLK, Va. – A man who resided in California and Virginia was sentenced today to 40 years in prison for sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion. 

According to court documents, Naeem Lateef Odums, 40, of Clovis, California and Portsmouth, Virginia, forced “Jane Doe 1” to engage in commercial sex acts in California, Virginia, and five other states for nearly nine years. Odums used a combination of extreme physical violence, threats of violence, and threats of kidnapping Jane Doe 1’s children, and other forms of control to cause her to perform commercial sex acts. Court documents note that Odums kicked, punched, and hit Jane Doe 1 with chairs, ashtrays, and other objects – often while Jane Doe 1’s three small children watched, crying. Odums also choked Jane Doe 1, threatened her with a gun, and threatened to kill her and her mother. 

Odums arranged commercial sex appointments for Jane Doe 1 using a website known to promote prostitution, and collected all the money Jane Doe 1 earned both from her appointments, as well as from her legitimate jobs. In January 2017, Jane Doe 1 was hospitalized after Odums broke three of her ribs and punctured her lung, then forced her to go on a commercial sex “date” and drove her to the customer’s location. The “date” declined to engage in commercial sex with Jane Doe 1 given her injuries, but paid her for the appointment nonetheless.

Court documents also identify two additional women, Jane Does 2 and 3, in the Tidewater area that Odums attempted to trick into performing commercial sex by posting sexually explicit photographs of them on websites known to promote prostitution. The women had sent Odums these racy photographs because both believed they were in a romantic relationship with him. Neither Jane Doe 2 nor 3 knew, or consented to, Odums posting them in this way.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Michael K. Lamonea, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Norfolk; and Tonya D. Chapman, Chief of Portsmouth Police Department; made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen. Assistant U.S. Attorney V. Kathleen Dougherty prosecuted the case.

This case was investigated by the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:17-cr-46.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The owner of a sham welding school in Newport News was sentenced today to 40 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of $1.4 million and filing false tax returns.

According to court documents, Dr. Wilbert J. McNair, Jr., 54, of Chesapeake, was an owner of the Hampton Roads Skills Center (HRSC), located in Newport News. The HRSC purported to be a welding training facility that was approved by the VA to provide education and training to military veterans, including veterans who received tuition assistance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other VA educational assistance programs. The HRSC also contracted with two other federally-funded agencies to provide welding training to students receiving tuition assistance from those entities. McNair represented that HRSC provided full-time schooling to nearly 100 veteran students beginning in March 2013. Most veterans enrolled in HRSC received few, if any, hours of instruction, and the majority of students did not take a final exam or attend lecture or practical, hands-on coursework.  Indeed, most students were not even physically present at HRSC during the hours their courses were purportedly held, and some students never once entered the building during any point during the period of their enrollment. Nonetheless, McNair reported to the VA that the veteran students were enrolled in and attending the school, such that HRSC received tuition payments for each veteran from the VA. Based on McNair’s provision of false information to the VA, HRSC received over $1.4 million in VA tuition payments between March 2013 and June 2017.

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Michael J. Missal, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; Kim Lampkins, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge, Mid Atlantic Field Office; and Kimberly Lappin, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys V. Kathleen Dougherty and Kaitlin C. Gratton are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-107.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
A medical doctor and entrepreneur was sentenced to 119 months and 29 days in prison today for defrauding his former company’s shareholders and for failing to account for and failing to pay employment taxes, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia, Chief Don Fort of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

According to documents filed with the court, in or about September 2000, Sreedhar Potarazu, 51, of Potomac, Maryland, an ophthalmic surgeon licensed in Maryland and Virginia, founded VitalSpring Technologies Inc. (VitalSpring), a Delaware corporation. VitalSpring operated in McLean, Virginia and provided data analysis and services relating to health care expenditures. In or around the end of 2015, VitalSpring started doing business as Enziime LLC, a Delaware corporation. From its inception, Potarazu was VitalSpring’s Chief Executive Officer and President, and served on its Board of Directors.

From at least 2008, Potarazu provided materially false and misleading information to VitalSpring’s shareholders to induce more than $49 million in capital investments in the company. Potarazu represented on numerous occasions that VitalSpring was a financially successful company and that the sale of VitalSpring was imminent, which would have resulted in profits for shareholders. Potarazu also admitted that he concealed from shareholders that VitalSpring failed to account for and pay over more than $7.5 million in employment taxes to the IRS. For example, in 2014, Potarazu provided shareholders with a written summary of operating results that reflected VitalSpring’s 2013 revenues to be approximately $12.9 million when, in fact, the 2013 revenue was less than $1 million.

“Like a director employing actors and props on a stage, Sreedhar Potarazu arranged for an imposter to pose as a buyer, provided a link to a bogus website and supplied fraudulent balance sheets, phony bank statements and false tax returns to convince VitalSpring investors and potential buyers that the company was financially healthy and up-to-date on its taxes,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg. “As a result of his actions, shareholders are out more than $49.5 million and over $7.5 million in employment taxes due to the U.S. Treasury were diverted and never paid. With Potarazu’s conviction and the sentencing hearings in this case, his fraud has been revealed, and today’s imposition of a 119 month sentence holds him fully accountable for his actions.”

“For years Potarazu enriched himself by abusing the trust of his company’s many investors and stealing millions of dollars from them through a complex scheme of fraud and deceit,” said U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This case is a prime example of this office’s ongoing commitment to bringing white-collar criminals to justice.”

“For almost a decade, Potarazu put greed ahead of his shareholders and employees by building a complex web of deceit and fraud while at the same time evading paying his employment tax liability,” said Chief Don Fort, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Today’s sentencing serves as a reminder that these types of criminal actions will be punished and IRS-CI is committed to bringing culpable individuals to justice.”

“Potarazu ran a multi-million dollar scheme that caused significant financial losses to VitalSpring shareholders for almost a decade,” said Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “The FBI is committed to bringing white-collar criminals to justice and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners, to investigate, charge and prosecute those who engage in criminally deceitful business practices.”

Scheme to Defraud

From VitalSpring’s inception, but specifically from 2008 until his arrest in October 2016, Potarazu solicited investments through in-person meetings, emails, telephone conference calls, webinars, and phone calls. From in or about 2008 through in or about 2016, Potarazu raised approximately $49 million from more than 174 victim investors.

Potarazu induced investments from shareholders by making false representations, concealing material facts, and telling deceptive half-truths about VitalSpring’s financial condition, tax compliance, and alleged imminent sale. Potarazu also caused someone to pose as a representative of a prospective buyer on shareholder conference calls to add legitimacy to his claims regarding VitalSpring’s imminent sale.

VitalSpring never generated a profit. Nonetheless, Potarazu falsely represented to shareholders that VitalSpring’s financial position and profitability was improving from 2008 to 2016, and that VitalSpring had millions of dollars in cash reserves. To support his scheme, Potarazu presented fake bank statements to some shareholders that showed inflated balances.

Potarazu also concealed from shareholders that VitalSpring owed substantial employment tax to the IRS. Potarazu provided or caused to be provided false corporate income tax returns to some shareholders that overstated VitalSpring’s income and omitted the accruing employment tax liability.

In November 2014, Potarazu created a Special Review Committee (SRC) in response to a lawsuit filed in Delaware by shareholders that claimed Potarazu misled the victim investors about VitalSpring’s finances, the status of the impending sale, and Potarazu’s compensation. Potarazu provided the SRC with false financial records, fake tax returns, and fake bank statements to induce the SRC to believe that VitalSpring was financially healthy and to cause the SRC to make materially false representations to the Delaware court and victim investors. He also falsely represented that the alleged imminent sale would yield substantial returns to the shareholders, and used this to induce additional investments. Members of the SRC traveled interstate to the Eastern District of Virginia to attend meetings in which Potarazu presented false information for their review.

In truth, there was no imminent sale pending. Potarazu provided false financial records, including fake balance sheets, fabricated bank statements, and false tax returns, to several prospective buyers, financial advisors and investment banks. In December 2014, when he was questioned by Prospective Buyer 1 as to the accuracy and authenticity of bank records provided, Potarazu presented false or misleading emails purporting to be from a bank employee to bolster the legitimacy of the false bank records. Potarazu also presented Prospective Buyer 1 with a link to a fake website that was made to look like a website for a major national bank, and which referred Prospective Buyer 1 to VitalSpring’s false bank statements, and used a shadow, secondary email account assigned to a VitalSpring employee to provide false information to Prospective Buyer 1, thereby creating the appearance that Potarazu had not provided the information.

In October 2014, Prospective Buyer 2 informed Potarazu that it was no longer interested in VitalSpring. Nevertheless, Potarazu continued to represent to shareholders for months thereafter that there was a deal pending with Prospective Buyer 2. In March 2015 and February 2016, Potarazu organized, or caused to be organized, conference calls with shareholders to discuss the alleged sale. In advance of the calls, Potarazu obtained questions from the shareholders and used them to prepare the individual who posed as a representative of Prospective Buyer 2 for each call.

From 2011 to 2015, in addition to his salary paid by VitalSpring, Potarazu diverted at least $5 million from the victim investors and VitalSpring for his own personal use.

Employment Tax Fraud

Potarazu admitted that from 2007 to 2016, VitalSpring accrued employment tax liabilities of more than $7.5 million. Potarazu withheld taxes from VitalSpring employees’ wages, but failed to fully pay over the amounts withheld to the IRS. As CEO and President of VitalSpring, Potarazu was a “responsible person” obligated to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over VitalSpring’s employment taxes. Ultimate and final decision-making authority regarding VitalSpring’s business activities rested with Potarazu.

Potarazu was aware of the employment tax liability as early as 2007 and between 2007 and 2016, was frequently apprised of VitalSpring’s employment tax responsibilities by his employees. In addition, IRS special agents interviewed Potarazu in 2011 and informed him of the employment tax liability. In all but one quarter between the first quarter of 2007 and the last quarter of 2011, as well as the second and third quarters of 2015, Potarazu failed to file VitalSpring’s Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return (Forms 941) with the IRS. Potarazu also failed to pay over any of the employment tax withheld from VitalSpring’s employees’ wages in all but one quarter between the second quarter of 2007 and the third quarter of 2011, as well as the third and fourth quarters of 2015.

Between 2008 and 2015, instead of paying over employment tax, Potarazu caused VitalSpring to make millions of dollars of expenditures, including thousands of dollars in transfers to himself and others, the publication of his book, “Get Off the Dime,” a sedan car service and travel.

In addition to the term of prison imposed, U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ordered Potarazu to serve three years of supervised release, and to pay $49,511,169 in restitution to the shareholders and $7,691,071 to the IRS, and forfeiture of several homes, vehicles, and bank accounts. He was remanded into custody.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and U.S. Attorney Boente commended special agents of IRS CI and the FBI, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant Chief Caryn Finley and Trial Attorney Jack Morgan of the Tax Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Hanly, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.

Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   ED-VA  1:18-cr-00189
Case Name:   USA v. Wilkins
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Arlington man pleaded guilty today to knowingly receiving child pornography on the dark web.

According to court documents, Jon T. Wilkins, 39, a former commercial bank executive, used computers at his residence in Arlington to access the dark web in order to visit an illicit website, Playpen, which catered to the advertisement, distribution, and receipt of child pornography. While on the website, Wilkins created an alias “cowboy357m” and browsed dozens of threads featuring minor children being sexually abused. Wilkins downloaded some of the abusive content to electronic media connected to his computer, and hundreds of images of child pornography and child erotica were found on his computers. Wilkins attempted to conceal his illegal behavior by utilizing Tor, a special web browser that permits access to the dark web while hiding browsing activity. Nonetheless, Wilkins’ conduct was discovered by federal agents who were investigating illegal activity on Playpen.

Wilkins pleaded guilty to knowingly receiving child pornography and faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum term of 20 years in prison when sentenced on April 5, 2019. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This matter was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force which is composed of FBI Agents, along with Detectives from the Fairfax County Police, Arlington County Police, Prince William County Police, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Leesburg Police, Alexandria City Police, Washington Metropolitan Police, Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, George Mason University Police, the United States Marshal’s Service and Agents of various Office of Inspector Generals. The task force was further aided by the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Section’s Major Case Coordination Unit.

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

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Division at the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathaniel Smith III and Alexander P. Berrang are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-189.

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Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Date of Announcement: Dec 14, 2018
Arrest Start Date: Apr 01, 2018
Arrest End Date: April 2018
Photo: N
Arrested: 1
Rescued: Unknown
Country: US
State: VA
Arresting Agencies Involved: 13
Comments: Project Safe Childhood-CP related charges
Additional data courtesy @ArrestAnon 👼  
Magistrate Docket Number:   ED-VA  1:18-mj-00089
Case Name:   USA v. Wilkins
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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:
A federal jury convicted a Sterling, Virginia woman today on health care fraud and tax charges for operating a fraudulent sleep study clinic in Northern Virginia.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger of the Eastern District of Virginia; Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Acting Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson of IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) Washington D.C. Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Bret D. Mastronardi for the Office of Personnel Management Office (OPM); Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Maureen Dixon of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) made the announcement.  

After a two-week trial, Young Yi, 44, a citizen of South Korea, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud, seven counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and one count of filing a false tax return.  She is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 2 by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady of the Eastern District of Virginia, who presided over the trial and remanded her into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

“Young Yi fueled her lavish lifestyle by misleading patients, withholding information from physicians, and using doctors’ identifying information without their permission in order to steal millions of dollars from Medicare and private insurers,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski.  “Today’s verdict highlights the important work of the Department and our law enforcement partners as we seek to hold people accountable for defrauding our health care system.”

“Yi lied to, cheated, and stole from taxpayers and insurance companies,” said U.S. Attorney Terwilliger. “When someone commits healthcare and tax fraud it drives up the cost of care for everyone and creates an un-level playing field. Yi misled patients and their doctors, falsified records to cover it up, and deducted millions in taxes she used to buy expensive properties and luxury goods. I want to thank our trial team and investigative partners for their terrific work on this complex and important case.”

According to evidence presented at trial, Yi obtained more than $83 million from Medicare and private insurance during the health care fraud conspiracy and lowered her taxes by nearly $900,000 in one tax year alone.  Yi formed the primary entities she used to commit the crimes, 1st Class Sleep Diagnostic Center and 1st Class Medical, in 2005.  Using those and other entities, Yi directed her employees to solicit patients who had been referred to her clinic for legitimate sleep studies for supplemental but medically unnecessary studies.  To conceal the scheme, Yi instructed employees not to send the results of the fraudulent studies to the patients’ doctors, lied to patients by telling them they did not have to pay copays or coinsurance, and cross-billed using her different entities both to conceal the repetition from the insurance companies and to get out-of-network payments for in-network services.  The cross-billing between the two lead entities alone was approximately $4 million.  Yi also used the original referring doctors’ names and identifying information on health insurance claims without their permission, the evidence showed.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Yi used her business bank accounts to purchase personal luxury goods and real estate that she nonetheless booked as business expenses. Those falsely booked purchases included a $25,000 Rolex watch, $10,500 in mink coats, several luxury vehicles and a $1.1 million home in Sterling, Virginia.  Yi also used the proceeds of her crimes to purchase five condominiums worth more than $2.8 million in McLean, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; and Honolulu, Hawaii.  Yi used money that she falsely booked as payments for medical supplies and health insurance reimbursements to purchase land in Great Falls, Virginia. After a February 2014 search warrant was executed at her businesses, Yi and her husband formed a purported charity, and transferred assets into that foundation to protect them from law enforcement.

In addition to the medically unnecessary sleep studies performed on patients who had been referred by doctors to 1st Class Sleep Diagnostic Center, Yi also encouraged her own employees to have sleep studies that were then billed to insurance, the evidence showed.  Those included claims charged in the indictment for three employees who did not have sleep apnea but nonetheless received at least 27 sleep studies between them in less than three years.  The employees received payments for undergoing the sleep studies, and in some instances, the employees were organized into teams for “races” to see who could refer the greatest number of friends and family members for the fraudulent studies. 

Yi’s co-defendant, Dannie Ahn, pleaded guilty in December 2017 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 14. 

The case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office, IRS-CI, OPM-OIG, DCIS and HHS-OIG. Trial Attorney Kevin Lowell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine L. Wong and Ryan S. Faulconer of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country.  The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operates in nine locations nationwide.  Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged over 3,500 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for over $12.5 billion.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Maryland man was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to engage in dogfighting, as well as a separate role as a ringleader in a credit card fraud and identity theft scheme.

According to court documents, Rodriguez Rodney Lomax Norman, 31, was fully immersed in the world of dog fighting in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area. Norman and his associates bred, trained, and exhibited dogs in organized fights where animals suffered severe bites, gashes, and other injuries, and were expected to fight nonetheless. When law enforcement searched Norman’s Maryland and D.C. properties in August 2017, they found over a dozen dogs, an animal treadmill, heavy dog chains, shock collars, lunge whips, performance-enhancing animal pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies like syringes and skin staplers.

“Dog fighting is a crime marked by brutality and cruelty,” said Acting United States Attorney Tracy Doherty-McCormick. “Those who choose to brutalize animals for entertainment, sport, and profit must know that their criminal conduct will be severely punished. This complex investigation was a success due to the expertise and skill of our investigative partners. I want to thank them for their outstanding work on this important case.”

In court documents, Norman admitted that also found on his Maryland property was a fighting ring that bore traces of animal blood, and a noose-like contraption that was apparently put on a dog’s neck and used to hang him to build muscle. Norman continued to fight his dogs for years after law enforcement officials first contacted him about dog fighting, even though he knew that doing so was illegal.

“Dog fighting is a barbaric spectacle that has no place in any civilized society,” said Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office. “Today’s sentencing highlights our continuing efforts to investigate and prosecute organized crime, and those who seek to profit from the abuse and suffering of helpless animals.”

In separate criminal activity, Norman helped organize and lead a conspiracy where for over two and a half years, members purchased thousands of stolen credit and debit card numbers, encoded those numbers onto fraudulent credit cards, and used those cards to buy merchandise including gift cards and cartons of cigarettes.  During the conspiracy, the group made hundreds of thousands of dollars from selling cigarette cartons to buyers from New York City.

Norman was sentenced today to 108 months in prison for his role as a ringleader in the credit card fraud and identity theft scheme, and 12 months in prison for dogfighting. He was also ordered to forfeit $143,605.

Norman is one of 12 defendants who were arrested in the credit card fraud and identity theft case in August 2017 (and the only defendant charged with dogfighting). All pleaded guilty and have now been sentenced.



Name, Age





Hometown





Convictions





Sentence





Rodriguez Norman, 31





Temple Hills, Maryland





Conspiracy to Engage in an Animal Fighting Venture;

Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Traffic in Contraband Cigarettes, Aggravated Identity Theft





120 months





Travon Williams, 33





Portsmouth





Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Traffic in Contraband Cigarettes, Aggravated Identity Theft





108 months





Jamar Johnson, 31





Portsmouth





Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft





84 months





Nathaneal Williams, 25





Manassas





Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Traffic in Contraband Cigarettes, Aggravated Identity Theft





84 months





Marvin Mitchell, 33





Virginia Beach





Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft





Awaiting sentencing





Ashley Carrillo Howell, 34





Bowie, Maryland





Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft





70 months





Gentle Tyson, III, 33





Virginia Beach





Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft





25 months





Ebony Coe, 29





Virginia Beach





Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft





25 months





Ronnie Beale, 33





Fort Washington, Maryland





Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud





14 months





Ryan McNeil, 32





District Heights, Maryland





Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud





14 months





Eugene Cuffee, 34





Norfolk





Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud





12 months





Denae Horton, 25





Chesapeake





Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud





2 months



 

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maya D. Song, Whitney Russell, and Katherine Rumbaugh prosecuted the case, with significant assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon D. Kromberg and former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan N. Turgeon.

The Manassas Park Police, Fairfax County Police, and Arlington County Police provided significant assistance during this investigation.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case Nos. 1:17-cr-214, 226, 227, 240, 252, 251, 254, 312.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two Iraqi refugees living in Northern Virginia were arrested this morning and charged along with another individual with immigration fraud.

The defendants arrested this morning are Yousif Al Mashhandani (“Yousif”), 35, of Vienna, and Adil Hasan, 38, of Burke, who are full biological brothers. The third individual charged is Enas Ibrahim, 32, also of Burke, who is the wife of Hasan. Each are charged with attempting to obtain naturalization contrary to law. The defendants will have their initial appearance today in front of Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis at 2 p.m. at the federal courthouse in Alexandria.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on Nov. 1, 2004, a United States citizen, identified as R.H., was kidnapped in Iraq and held with other hostages for months in horrible conditions in an underground bunker. After a raid in 2005 freed the hostages, authorities detained Majid Al Mashhadani (“Majid”), who is a full biological brother of Yousif and Adil Hasan, and he admitted his complicity in the kidnapping of R.H.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Yousif was admitted into the United States as a refugee in 2008. In May 2013, Yousif resided in Vienna and applied for naturalization as a United States citizen. In connection with Yousif’s applications for citizenship, his fingerprints were taken. According to an FBI fingerprint specialist, analysis conducted in November 2013 determined that Yousif’s fingerprints match those found on a document at the underground bunker where forces rescued R.H. and others in Iraq in 2005.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Yousif, Hasan, and Ibrahim are lawful permanent residents and have applied to naturalize and become United States citizens. On various applications and forms throughout their respective immigration processes, each has provided and extensive list of family members and information of their respective family trees; however, none ever listed any reference to Majid.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on March 4, 2016, FBI agents interviewed Yousif, Hasan and Ibrahim. When FBI agents asked Yousif why he failed to include reference to Majid on the family tree form, Yousif said he omitted reference to Majid because, when he was a refugee, he was told by others applying for refugee status that he would not be allowed into the United States if any immediate family members had a criminal background. Hasan admitted to FBI agents that Majid was his brother, and Hasan and Ibrahim each admitted they discussed not including Majid’s name on their applications for refugee status because their connection to Majid might delay their ability to gain such status.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, to justify his application for refugee status, Yousif reported that in 2006, while working as an anti-corruption investigator for the Iraqi Commission on Public Integrity in Iraq, he started receiving threats from a Shiite militia known as the "Al Mahdi Militia," in order to coerce Yousif to drop a particular corruption investigation. Yousif said that in May 2006 Adil was kidnapped by the Al Mahdi Militia, and only released after Yousif arranged to drop the investigation in question and helped pay a large ransom. Yousif said that after Adil was released, he reopened the corruption investigation, only to flee to Jordon in October 2006 after his parents’ house was burned down.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, to justify his application for refugee status, Hasan provided sworn testimony that, in 2006, he had been kidnapped and tortured by members of the Al Mahdi Army and held for nearly a month. Hasan said he was released upon the payment of a ransom of $20,000. In an interview by FBI agents in April 2016, Hasan said he was threatened in Iraq on two occasions, but made no mention of being kidnapped, held hostage, and tortured for nearly a month. In a subsequent interview in October 2016, FBI agents confronted Hasan about the discrepancy in his stories and Hasan admitted to making false statements and creating his persecution story.

Each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if convicted. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, Acting Deputy Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Patrick J. Lechleitner, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., made the announcement. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes ICE/HSI and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gordon D. Kromberg and Colleen E. Garcia are prosecuting the case.

 

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-mj-143.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
Today, Mohamad Jamal Khweis, 27, of Alexandria, Virginia, was convicted by a federal jury for providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Dana J. Boente, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady accepted the verdict.

“Khweis is not a naïve kid who didn’t know what he was doing,” said Dana J. Boente, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “He is a 27-year-old man who studied criminal justice in college. He strategically planned his travel to avoid law enforcement suspicion, encrypted his communications, and planned for possible alibis. Khweis knew exactly what he was doing, knew exactly who ISIS was, and was well aware of their thirst for extreme violence. Nonetheless, this did not deter him. Instead, Khweis voluntarily chose to join the ranks of a designated foreign terrorist organization, and that is a federal crime, even if you get scared and decide to leave. This office, along with the National Security Division and our investigative partners, are committed to tracking down anyone who provides or attempts to provide material support to a terrorist organization.”

“Mohamad Khweis purposefully traveled overseas with the intent to join ISIL in support of the terrorist group’s efforts to conduct operations and execute attacks to further their radical ideology,” said Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “Furthermore, when ISIL leaders questioned Khweis' commitment to serving as a suicide bomber to carry out acts of terrorism, Khweis stated that he agreed and recognized that ISIL uses violence in its expansion of its caliphate. Today’s verdict underscores the dedication of the FBI and our partners within the Joint Terrorism Task Force in pursuing and disrupting anyone who poses a risk of harm to U.S. persons or interests or by providing material support to a terrorist group.”

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Khweis left the U.S. in mid-December 2015, and ultimately crossed into Syria through the Republic of Turkey in late December 2015. Before leaving, Khweis quit his job, sold his car, closed online accounts, and did not tell his family he was leaving to join ISIS. During his travel to the Islamic State, he used numerous encrypted devices to conceal his activity, and downloaded several applications on his phone that featured secure messaging or anonymous web browsing. Khweis used these applications to communicate with ISIS facilitators to coordinate and secure his passage to the Islamic State.

After arriving in Syria, Khweis stayed at a safe house with other ISIS recruits in Raqqa and filled out ISIS intake forms, which included his name, age, skills, specialty before jihad, and status as a fighter. When Khweis joined ISIS, he agreed to be a suicide bomber. In February 2017, the U.S. military recovered his intake form, along with an ISIS camp roster that included Khweis’ name with 19 other ISIS fighters.

During the trial, Khweis admitted to spending approximately 2.5 months as an ISIS member, traveling with ISIS fighters to multiple safe houses and participating in ISIS-directed religious training. Kurdish Peshmerga military forces detained Khweis in March 2016. A Kurdish Peshmerga official testified at trial that he captured Khweis on the battlefield after Khweis left an ISIS-controlled neighborhood in Tal Afar, Iraq.

On a cross examination, Khweis admitted he consistently lied to U.S. and Kurdish officials about his involvement with ISIS, and that he omitted telling U.S. officials about another American who had trained with ISIS to conduct an attack in the U.S.

The jury convicted Khweis, a U.S. citizen, on all three charged counts, including providing and conspiring to provide material support or resources to ISIS, and a related firearms count. Khweis faces a mandatory minimum of 5 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on October 13. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Trial Attorney Raj Parekh of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Fitzpatrick for the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force provided assistance in this case.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
RICHMOND, Va. – A Henrico man pleaded guilty today to unlawfully prescribing Oxycodone and Tramadol to patients at a Richmond-area pain management practice.

According to court documents, Zeljko Stjepanovic, 58, was a doctor working in a pain management practice, initially in Fredericksburg and later in Henrico County. As part of his plea, Stjepanovic admitted that he wrote prescriptions for numerous patients without assessing the individual needs of those patients, and that his prescribing practices were outside the usual course of his professional practice and were without any legitimate medical purpose.

In addition, on at least two occasions, Stjepanovic prescribed Tramadol for Patient 1, but put the prescription in the name of Patient 2. Before the first instance, Stjepanovic notified both Patient 1 and Patient 2 that he knew what he was doing was illegal, but he proposed doing it nonetheless. On one of these occasions, Patient 1 was not even present when Stjepanovic wrote the Tramadol prescription. At no point did Stjepanovic or anyone working on his behalf ever obtain a medical history for Patient 1, conduct any physical examination or range of motion test for the patient, discuss causes of pain or what might alleviate it, consider any non-medicine based alternative treatments, or obtain or analyze any urine samples. Stjepanovic maintained no records for his treatment of Patient 1 on these two occasions.

On both of the occasions when Stjepanovic wrote a prescription for Patient 1 in the name of Patient 2, Stjepanovic also wrote a prescription for Oxycodone for Patient 2. As was the case with Patient 1, at no point did Stjepanovic or anyone working on his behalf ever obtain a medical history for Patient 2, conduct any physical examination or range of motion test for the patient, discuss causes of pain or what might alleviate it, consider any non-medicine based alternative treatments, or obtain or analyze any urine samples. Nonetheless, Stjepanovic falsely reported in his records for Patient 2 that he had done these things.

In addition, because Stjepanovic was concerned that writing prescriptions for Tramadol and Oxycodone for the same person might alert others to his scheme, he instructed Patient 2 what to tell the pharmacy if questioned about the two prescriptions.

Stjepanovic pleaded guilty to the unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances, specifically, Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, and Tramadol, a Schedule IV controlled substance. He faces a maximum 20 years in prison when sentenced on February 24, 2020. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen W. Miller and Janet Jin Ah Lee are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:19-cr-27.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Alexandria man who defrauded investors, renters, and a bank, and who attempted to illegally acquire a firearm, was sentenced today to 8 years in prison.

Donald Omar Fazel, a.k.a. Rodney Dickerson, 50, pleaded guilty to a 4-count criminal information on January 25, 2017. According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Fazel carried out an investment fraud scheme in which he solicited individuals to invest in a purported technology company called Microsystems Technology USA (“MST”). Fazel eventually obtained over $700,000 from his blue-collar working victims for general investment in MST, as well as for specific technology projects that MST was allegedly developing for foreign and domestic government agencies. In truth, MST never had any assets or operations and never actually developed any technology. Fazel expended the investors’ money on a combination of retail debit purchases, cash withdrawals, and payment of “returns” back to investors. Fazel also carried out a rental fraud scheme, in which he rented and then immediately re-listed three different properties using an assumed identity. When prospective renters responded to his listings, Fazel required them to pay a cash deposit up front in order to secure the lease. On the appointed move-in dates, the victims and their families arrived at the properties only to discover that none of them could access the properties or contact Fazel. Fazel further deposited a fraudulent check for $45,000 at SunTrust Bank, which was drawn on a non-existent account. Finally, Fazel attempted to purchase a firearm at a licensed gun shop in Woodbridge. In connection with the attempted purchase, Fazel falsely certified under penalty of perjury on federal and state application forms that he had never been convicted of a felony offense, when in fact he had five prior felony convictions.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent of Virginia State Police; and Chief Humberto I. Cardounel, Jr., Henrico County Police Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grace L. Hill and Jack Hanly prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-cr-4.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NORFOLK, Va. – A New Jersey man was sentenced today to 34 months in prison for conspiring to purchase firearms in Virginia and traffic them to New Jersey for resale on the streets.

“Clifton Walston admitted to trafficking multiple firearms from Virginia to New Jersey,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will continue to use federal firearms laws to prosecute straw purchasers and hold them accountable for their role in trafficking illegally purchased firearms. Every straw purchased firearm is a gun that can wind up in the hands of a prohibited person. I want to commend the ATF for their commitment to investigating these important cases.”

According to court documents, Clifton K. Walston, aka “Moosky,” 32, of Jersey City, arranged for Virginia residents to obtain and traffic firearms from Virginia to New Jersey and sell the firearms in New Jersey to New Jersey residents for a profit. None of the conspirators was licensed to conduct interstate firearm transactions.

“ATF will continue to work diligently to uncover and expose firearms trafficking schemes such as we saw in this case as part of its mission to combat violent crime,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Washington Field Division. “Gun traffickers are not simply committing paperwork violations.  These criminals put guns in the hands of serious criminals who pose a significant threat to the safety of our communities.  I’m incredibly proud of the outstanding investigative work put in by the agents and prosecutors to bring to justice these two criminals.”

In early October 2017, a Virginia associate contacted Walston and asked how to make some easy money. Walston knew that the associate was a convicted felon and was prohibited from possessing firearms, but still said that if the associate were to obtain firearms in Virginia, he would set the associate up with prospective buyers in New Jersey, where it is much more difficult to obtain firearms. The two would then profit from the resale.

Over the next several months, the two men conspired together to use a straw purchaser to traffick multiple firearms from Virginia to New Jersey, including at least one firearm that was recovered by law enforcement during a traffic stop.

Within weeks of that arrest, Walston ordered three more handguns and an extended magazine from the Virginia associate. However, ATF agents arrested the Virginia associate before he could engage in additional firearms trafficking.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Senior U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar announced the sentence. Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:18-cr-183.

Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   ED-VA  1:18-cr-00301
Case Name:   USA v. Lounsbury et al
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal jury convicted two Florida men yesterday on charges of conspiracy, making false claims on the United States government, and wire fraud.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Dan Thomas Lounsbury, Jr., 50, of South Palm Beach, and Andres Lopez-Munoz, 35, are both executives of Tactical Products Group, LLC (TPG), a Florida-based manufacturer and re-seller of various products to military, law enforcement, and private security clients. Lounsbury, Jr., is the founder, owner, and CEO of TPG, while Lopez-Munoz is TPG’s Vice President for Sales and Federal Contracting. In 2012, TPG was selected as a sub-contractor on a contract to provide certain goods, including 10 sets of hard body armor plates, to the United States government.

The Government had requested a specific type of plate, and Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz both knew that no substitutions were allowed. Furthermore, Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz both knew that these plates were intended to protect government personnel in the field. Nevertheless, Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz worked together to procure cheaper substitute plates, none of which were military-tested, and some of which were far outside of their warranty period. To get the United States government to accept and pay for these plates, Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz had fake labels created and placed on the armor, falsely representing the plates to be the specific type that the government had ordered.

Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on May 10. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the verdict. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grace L. Hill and Raj Parekh are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-301.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two Florida executives made their initial appearance in federal court today on charges related to falsely-labeled hard body armor plates they provided to the United States government.

According to allegations in the indictment, Dan Thomas Lounsbury, Jr., 49, of South Palm Beach, is the founder, sole owner, and CEO of Tactical Products Group, LLC (TPG), a Florida-based manufacturer and re-seller of various products to military, law enforcement, and private security clients. Andres Lopez-Munoz, 34, of Boynton Beach, is TPG’s Vice President for Sales and Federal Contracting. In 2012, TPG was selected as a sub-contractor on a contract to provide certain goods, including ten sets of hard body armor plates, to the United States government. The government had requested a specific type of plate, and Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz both knew that no substitutions were allowed. Furthermore, Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz both knew that these plates would be used to protect government personnel. The consequence of a failure of body armor is death or serious bodily injury. Nevertheless, Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz worked together to procure cheaper substitute plates, and then to put fraudulent labels on these substitute plates falsely stating that they were the type of plates that the government had required. Some of these cheaper substitute plates were far outside their warranty period, and were not as protective as the false labels claimed.

Lounsbury and Lopez-Munoz are both charged with conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims and wire fraud. Lounsbury is additionally charged with false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims. If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grace L. Hill and Raj Parekh are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-301.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

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 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:
Yousif Al Mashhandani (“Yousif”), 35, of Vienna, Virginia, and Adil Hasan, 38, of Burke, Virginia, who are full biological brothers, were arrested this morning. The third individual charged is Enas Ibrahim, 32, also of Burke, who is the wife of Hasan. Each are charged with attempting to obtain naturalization contrary to law. The defendants will have their initial appearance today in front of Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis at 2 p.m. at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia.

Acting Deputy Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana J. Boente, Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington Field and Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Lechleitner of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., made the announcement.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on Nov. 1, 2004, a U.S. citizen, identified as R.H., was kidnapped and held with other hostages for months in horrible conditions in an underground bunker. After a raid in 2005 freed the hostages, Majid Al Mashhadani (“Majid”), who is a full biological brother of Yousif and Hasan, was detained and admitted his complicity in the kidnapping of R.H.   

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Yousif was admitted into the U.S. as a refugee in 2008. In May 2013, Yousif resided in Vienna and applied for naturalization as a U.S. citizen. In connection with Yousif’s applications for citizenship, his fingerprints were taken. According to an FBI fingerprint specialist, analysis conducted in November 2013 determined that Yousif’s fingerprints match those found on a document at the underground bunker where forces rescued R.H. and others in Iraq in 2005.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Yousif, Hasan and Ibrahim are lawful permanent residents and have applied to naturalize and become U.S. citizens.  On various applications and forms throughout their respective immigration processes, each has provided an extensive list of family members and information of their respective family trees; however, none listed any reference to Majid.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on March 4, 2016, FBI agents interviewed Yousif, Hasan and Ibrahim. When FBI agents asked Yousif why he failed to include reference to Majid on the family tree form, Yousif said he omitted reference to Majid because, when he was a refugee, he was told by others applying for refugee status that he would not be allowed into the U.S. if any immediate family members had a criminal background. Hasan admitted to FBI agents that Majid was his brother. Hasan and Ibrahim each admitted they discussed not including Majid’s name on their applications for refugee status because their connection to Majid might delay their ability to gain such status.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, to justify his application for refugee status, Yousif reported that in 2006, while working as an anti-corruption investigator for the Iraqi Commission on Public Integrity in Iraq, he started receiving threats from a Shiite militia known as the "Al Mahdi Militia," in order to coerce Yousif to drop a particular corruption investigation. Yousif said that in May 2006, Hasan was kidnapped by the Al Mahdi Militia, and was released only after Yousif arranged to drop the investigation in question and helped pay a large ransom. Yousif said that after Hasan was released, he reopened the corruption investigation, only to flee to Jordon in October 2006 after his parents’ house was burned down.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, to justify his application for refugee status, Hasan provided sworn testimony that, in 2006, he had been kidnapped and tortured by members of the Al Mahdi Army and held for nearly a month. Hasan said he was released upon the payment of a ransom of $20,000. In an interview by FBI agents in April 2016, Hasan said he was threatened in Iraq on two occasions, but made no mention of being kidnapped, held hostage and tortured for nearly a month. In a subsequent interview in October 2016, FBI agents confronted Hasan about the discrepancy in his stories and Hasan admitted to making false statements and creating his persecution story.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court. Each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes ICE/HSI and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gordon Kromberg and Collen Garcia for the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.

2017 03 28 Mashhadani Affidavit

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A former medical assistant from Woodbridge was sentenced today to four years in prison for her role in leading a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, which involved supplying thousands of dangerous opioids for distribution.

According to court documents, Tatiana Bailey, 32, was employed as a medical assistant with INOVA Bariatric Surgery in Woodbridge. From at least February 2015 to October 2015, Bailey abused the trust of the doctors who employed her by stealing blank oxycodone prescriptions, to which she had access by virtue of her position as an employee, and forged a number of those prescriptions using an INOVA physician’s name and registration number. She then sold blank and forged prescriptions to others, none of whom were patients of the medical practice, who would fill the prescriptions and use or distribute the oxycodone. During the course of the conspiracy, Bailey facilitated the fraudulent filling of over 90 prescriptions, totaling approximately 6,520 oxycodone pills.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Scott W. Hoernke, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, and Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh prosecuted the matter and handled the sentencing hearing. Former Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allison Garnett and Troy Edwards provided assistance investigating the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-222.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
NORFOLK, Va. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging a Hampton man and woman with conspiracy, health care fraud, false statements, and aggravated identity theft.

According to allegations in the indictment, Maurice Moody, 40, and Dena Major, 48, conspired to defraud the Virginia Medicaid program out of approximately $109,000 by submitting fraudulent claims to Medicaid for their severely disabled son’s care, which he was eligible. Major was the child’s primary care giver and under Medicaid rules, she was also in charge of hiring a personal care aide to help in his care. Despite knowing that Medicaid does not permit the hiring of a parent to be a personal care aide, Major hired Moody to be their child’s personal care aide and falsely stated that Moody was the child’s uncle.

The indictment alleges that Moody also submitted claims for personal care hours provided to his son when Moody was incarcerated, and when he was out of the area travelling. In September 2015, the child was removed from Major’s custody on allegations of abuse and neglect. Nonetheless, Moody and Major continued to bill Medicaid for his care from September 2015 to April 2016. When challenged, the pair attempted to use another minor and pass him off as their child with the Medicaid service facilitator.

Moody and Major are each charged with conspiracy, health care fraud, false statements in a health care matter, and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, they each face a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 44 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph L. Kosky is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A federal jury convicted a Sterling woman today on health care fraud and tax charges for operating a fraudulent sleep study clinic in Northern Virginia.

“Yi lied to, cheated, and stole from taxpayers and insurance companies,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “When someone commits healthcare and tax fraud it drives up the cost of care for everyone and creates an un-level playing field. Yi misled patients and their doctors, falsified records to cover it up, and deducted millions in taxes she used to buy expensive properties and luxury goods. I want to thank our trial team and investigative partners for their terrific work on this complex and important case.”

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Young Yi, 44, a citizen of South Korea, obtained more than $83 million from Medicare and private insurance during the health care fraud conspiracy and lowered her taxes by nearly $900,000 in one tax year alone. Yi formed the primary entities she used to commit the crimes, 1st Class Sleep Diagnostic Center and 1st Class Medical, in 2005. Using those and other entities, Yi directed her employees to solicit patients who had been referred to her clinic for legitimate sleep studies for supplemental but medically unnecessary studies. To conceal the scheme, Yi instructed employees not to send the results of the fraudulent studies to the patients’ doctors, lied to patients by telling them they did not have to pay copays or coinsurance, and cross-billed using her different entities both to conceal the repetition from the insurance companies and to get out-of-network payments for in-network services. The cross-billing between the two lead entities alone was approximately $4 million. Yi also used the original referring doctors’ names and identifying information on health insurance claims without their permission, the evidence showed.

“Young Yi fueled her lavish lifestyle by misleading patients, withholding information from physicians, and using doctors’ identifying information without their permission in order to steal millions of dollars from Medicare and private insurers,” said Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s verdict highlights the important work of the Department and our law enforcement partners as we seek to hold people accountable for defrauding our health care system.”

According to the evidence presented at trial, Yi used her business bank accounts to purchase personal luxury goods and real estate that she nonetheless booked as business expenses. Those falsely booked purchases included a $25,000 Rolex watch, $10,500 in mink coats, several luxury vehicles and a $1.1 million home in Sterling, Virginia.  Yi also used the proceeds of her crimes to purchase five condominiums worth more than $2.8 million in McLean, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; and Honolulu, Hawaii.  Yi used money that she falsely booked as payments for medical supplies and health insurance reimbursements to purchase land in Great Falls, Virginia. After a February 2014 search warrant was executed at her businesses, Yi and her husband formed a purported charity, and transferred assets into that foundation to protect them from law enforcement.

In addition to the medically unnecessary sleep studies performed on patients who had been referred by doctors to 1st Class Sleep Diagnostic Center, Yi also encouraged her own employees to have sleep studies that were then billed to insurance, the evidence showed.  Those included claims charged in the indictment for three employees who did not have sleep apnea but nonetheless received at least 27 sleep studies between them in less than three years.  The employees received payments for undergoing the sleep studies, and in some instances, the employees were organized into teams for “races” to see who could refer the greatest number of friends and family members for the fraudulent studies.

Yi’s co-defendant, Dannie Ahn, pleaded guilty in December 2017 and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 14.

Yi was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud, seven counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, and one count of filing a false tax return.  She is scheduled to be sentenced on November 2.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operates in nine locations nationwide. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged over 3,500 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for over $12.5 billion.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Kelly R. Jackson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation, Washington D.C. Field Office, Bret D. Mastronardi, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Personnel Management Office, Robert E. Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s Mid-Atlantic Field Office, and Maureen Dixon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine L. Wong and Ryan S. Faulconer, and Trial Attorney Kevin Lowell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-cr-224.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Sterling woman was sentenced today to 7 years in prison for health care fraud and tax charges for operating a fraudulent sleep study clinic in Northern Virginia.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Young Yi, 44, a citizen of South Korea, defrauded Medicare, Tricare, private insurance, and the IRS of more than $10 million during the conspiracy. Yi formed the primary entities she used to commit the crimes, 1st Class Sleep Diagnostic Center and 1st Class Medical, in 2005. Using those and other entities, Yi directed her employees to solicit patients who had been referred to her clinic for legitimate sleep studies for supplemental but medically unnecessary studies. To conceal the scheme, Yi instructed employees not to send the results of the fraudulent studies to the patients’ doctors, lied to patients by telling them they did not have to pay copays or coinsurance, and cross-billed using her different entities both to conceal the repetition from the insurance companies and to get out-of-network payments for in-network services. Yi also used the original referring doctors’ names and identifying information on health insurance claims without their permission, the evidence showed.

In addition to the medically unnecessary sleep studies performed on patients who had been referred by doctors to 1st Class Sleep Diagnostic Center, Yi also encouraged her own employees to have sleep studies that were then billed to insurance, the evidence showed.  Those included claims charged in the indictment for three employees who did not have sleep apnea but nonetheless received at least 27 sleep studies between them in less than three years. The employees received payments for undergoing the sleep studies, and in some instances, the employees were organized into teams for “races” to see who could refer the greatest number of friends and family members for the fraudulent studies.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Yi used her business bank accounts to purchase personal luxury goods and real estate that she nonetheless booked as business expenses.  Those falsely booked purchases included a $25,000 Rolex watch, $10,500 in mink coats, several luxury vehicles, and a $1.1 million home in Sterling. Yi also used the proceeds of her crimes to purchase five condominiums worth more than $2.8 million in McLean, Chicago, and Honolulu, Hawaii. After law enforcement searched the 1st Class premises in February 2014, Yi formed a purported charity, the “New Covenant Foundation,” and transferred millions of dollars in office properties into the foundation to protect them from recovery from law enforcement.  United States District Judge Liam O’Grady ordered that the properties be turned over to the United States as part of Yi’s sentence, and her advisory Guidelines range was enhanced for obstructing justice related to that conduct. 

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation, Washington D.C. Field Office, Thomas W. South, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigation for the Office of Personnel Management, Robert E. Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s Mid-Atlantic Field Office, and Maureen Dixon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), made the announcement after sentencing by Judge O’Grady. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine L. Wong and Ryan S. Faulconer, and Trial Attorney Kevin Lowell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which is part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 14 strike forces operating in 23 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.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-cr-224.

Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   ED-VA  1:19-cr-00203
Case Name:   USA v. Chowdhury
  Press Releases:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A former pharmacy owner was sentenced today to four years in prison for fraudulently filling and dispensing thousands of prescription medications, including opioids, outside the usual course of professional practice.

“Chowdhury blithely violated his position of trust,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Chowdhury’s warped business philosophy led him to illegally distribute a significant number of prescription medications, including dangerous, addictive opioids. Moreover, his reckless actions add to the financial cost of health care as he fraudulently billed at least $500,000 to health insurance programs for prescriptions that were never filled.”

According to court documents, Latif Mohamed Chowdhury, aka Gulam Latif Chaudhury, 29, operated and controlled two now-defunct pharmacies known as Alexandria Care Pharmacy LLC (ACP-1) and Alexandria Care Pharmacy Store #2 LLC (ACP-2). Chowdhury has never been a licensed pharmacist and has no medical qualifications. Nonetheless, between August 2015 and February 2016, Chowdhury fraudulently operated ACP-1 and ACP-2 by personally filling and dispensing thousands of dosage units of medications, including opioids, without a licensed pharmacist on-site. Chowdhury used the identities of licensed pharmacists, without their permission, to carry out his scheme.

“Chowdhury used his trusted position to enrich himself at the expense of others," said Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office. “Today's sentencing makes it clear that the illegal distribution of opioids will not be tolerated. The FBI will work closely with our partners to continue to investigate allegations of healthcare fraud.”

Chowdhury admitted to fraudulently billing health insurance benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, for refills of prescription medications that were not delivered to customers even though his pharmacies received payment for these prescriptions. Chowdhury also submitted fraudulent health insurance claims in the names of pharmacy customers for medications that were not authorized by any physician, and were not dispensed to any of the customers, in order to enrich himself through illicit profits generated by ACP-1 and ACP-2. 

“We are committed to protecting the public and the people of Virginia,” said Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division. “We will continue to track down and bring to justice criminals who are fueling the opiate crisis at every level including pill writers, pill fillers, and drug dealers in the area.”

In addition, Chowdhury dispensed Schedule II controlled substances in the names of minors, including children as young as 7 and 8-years-old, outside the usual course of professional practice. During the execution of a search warrant, a loaded Colt .38-caliber firearm that belonged to Chowdhury was located in plain view on the pharmacy department shelves.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Timothy M. Dunham, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, Maureen Dixon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, and Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Raj Parekh and Monika Moore prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-203.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A former pharmacy owner pleaded guilty today to fraudulently filling and dispensing thousands of prescription medications, including opioids, outside the usual course of professional practice.

According to court documents, Latif Mohamed Chowdhury, aka Gulam Latif Chaudhury, 28, operated, managed, directed, and controlled two now-defunct pharmacies known as Alexandria Care Pharmacy LLC (ACP-1) and Alexandria Care Pharmacy Store #2 LLC (ACP-2). Chowdhury has never been qualified to serve as a licensed pharmacist and has no medical qualifications. Nonetheless, between August 2015 and February 2016, Chowdhury fraudulently operated ACP-1 and ACP-2 by personally filling and dispensing thousands of dosage units of medications, including opioids, without a licensed pharmacist on-site. Chowdhury used the identities of licensed pharmacists, without their permission, to carry out his scheme.

Chowdhury admitted to fraudulently billing health insurance benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, for refills of prescription medications that were not delivered to customers even though his pharmacies received payment for these prescriptions. Chowdhury also submitted fraudulent health insurance claims in the names of pharmacy customers for medications that were not authorized by any physician, and were not dispensed to any of the customers, in order to enrich himself through illicit profits generated by ACP-1 and ACP-2. 

Furthermore, on several occasions, Chowdhury dispensed Schedule II controlled substances in the names of minors, including children as young as 7 and 8-years-old, outside the usual course of professional practice. During the execution of a search warrant, a loaded Colt .38-caliber firearm that belonged to Chowdhury was located in plain view on the pharmacy department shelves.

Chowdhury pleaded guilty to unlawful distribution of Schedule II controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice, and also agreed to forfeit $500,000 as proceeds of his illegal conduct. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on September 27. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Charles Dayoub, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, Jesse R. Fong, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, Maureen Dixon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Raj Parekh and Monika Moore are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-203.

F U C K I N G P E D O S R E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E