Score:   0.75
Docket Number:   ND-TX  3:87-cr-246
Case Name:   IN RE: ROBERT A. JOHNSON v. NONE
Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
WASHINGTON — A Dallas, Texas, grand jury returned two indictments today against five Chinese citizens and four companies alleging fraud and other charges, the Justice Department announced. The charges relate to alleged sales of stimulants intended for inclusion in dietary supplements.

The indictments charge the defendants with participation in a scheme to produce and sell dietary supplements containing hidden synthetic stimulants, such as 2-amino-6-methylheptane (“DMHA”). The charges also involve alleged shipments of 1,3-dimethylamylamine (“DMAA”) and DMHA. DMAA, which is chemically similar to DMHA, has been linked to severe adverse events such as heart attacks and strokes.

The indictments allege that the defendants knew major American dietary supplement retailers would not carry supplements containing these stimulant ingredients. The indictments also allege the defendants agreed with a confidential government informant to either mislabel ingredients or otherwise help to hide the true nature of a proposed dietary supplement from retailers. None of the ingredients allegedly shipped during the undercover investigation were sold to consumers. 

“It is unlawful for companies both outside and inside the United States to conceal questionable, dangerous, or illegal ingredients in dietary supplements sold to American consumers,” said Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “These cases demonstrate the Department of Justice’s commitment to ensuring that dietary supplements are safe and accurately labeled.”

“U.S. consumers trust that their dietary supplements are safe and contain appropriate labeling. When unscrupulous producers add undeclared or misidentified ingredients to dietary supplements, there is no assurance that the product is safe for consumption,” said Catherine A. Hermsen, Acting Director, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations. “The FDA will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who participate in fraudulently marketing dietary supplements to the detriment of public health.”

The first indictment charges Genabolix USA Inc., a Nevada corporation; Shanghai Yongyi Bioltechnology Ltd., a Chinese corporation; Hu Chang Chun (a.k.a. James Hu), 44, of Shanghai, China, the principal of Genabolix; Gao Mei Fang (a.k.a. Amy Gao), 41, of Shanghai, China, the supply chain manager for Genabolix; and Zhang Xiao Dong (a.k.a. Mark Zhang), 31, of Shanghai, China, the sales manager for Genabolix, with mail fraud. The indictment also charges Genabolix, Shanghai Yongyi, Hu, and Gao with introducing misbranded food into interstate commerce. In addition, the indictment charges Genabolix, Yongyi, and Gao with obstruction of an agency proceeding and smuggling. 

A second indictment charges Shanghai Waseta International Trade Co. Ltd., a Chinese corporation; Max Pharmatech Inc., a California corporation; Xu Jia Bao (a.k.a. Fred Xu), 48, of Shanghai, China, the principal of Shanghai Waseta; and Li Ting Ting (a.k.a. Sunny Lee), 37, of Shanghai, China, the overseas sales manager for Shanghai Waseta, with wire fraud and with introducing misbranded food into interstate commerce. The indictment also charges Shanghai Waseta with smuggling.

Gao Mei Fang, Zhang Xiao Dong, and Xu Jia Bao were arrested in late September at a dietary supplement trade show in Las Vegas and remain in custody. A date for trial before the federal district court in Dallas has not yet been set. The remaining individual defendants are not believed to be in the United States.

“Few things are more important than ensuring the safety of what we put into our bodies,” said U.S. Attorney John Parker for the Northern District of Texas.  “Those who deliberately mislead us on this critical issue will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of our laws.”

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Upon conviction, the maximum statutory penalties for the individual defendants are 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for mail fraud or wire fraud; one year imprisonment and a $100,000 fine for the introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce; three years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for the introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead; five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for obstruction of an agency proceeding; and 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for smuggling.

The FDA Office of Criminal Investigations-Dallas Division investigated the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn Rumsey and Errin Martin of the Northern District of Texas and Trial Attorneys David Sullivan and Patrick Runkle of the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch.

Additional information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts may be found at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx.

# # #

Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   ND-TX  3:19-cr-00469
Case Name:   USA v. Rushing
  Press Releases:
A former Dallas Police Officer pleaded guilty today to falsifying traffic citations in order to collect overtime pay, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

Following an investigation by the Dallas Police Depafbrtment, Mathew Alan Rushing, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of false statements before Magistrate Judge David Horan Tuesday morning.

According to his plea papers, Mr. Rushing submitted at least 38 fraudulent “Officer’s Daily Grant Activity Reports,” which included citations for fictitious persons and events, over a nine month period from 2018 to 2019.

After Mr. Rushing concluded a traffic stop, he admitted, he sometimes altered the violator’s true identity by changing their name or date of birth, causing arrest warrants to be issued for drivers who didn’t exist. Other times, he admitted, he citied drivers for nonexistent violations after they departed the scene of the incident.

Mr. Rushing admitted he submitted these report with the intention of collecting overtime pay funded by federal grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through a program administered by the Texas Department of Transportation and the Dallas Police Department.

Mr. Rushing now faces up to five years in federal prison. Sentencing is set for March 2020.

The Dallas Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation Dallas Field Office, and Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Jarvis and Andrew Wirmani are prosecuting the case.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

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

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

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

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Magistrate Docket Number:   ND-TX  3:19-mj-00754
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

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

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

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

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   ND-TX  5:20-cr-00022
Case Name:   USA v. Hernandez et al
  Press Releases:
An MS-13 gang member implicated in nine attempted murders was sentenced yesterday to life in federal prison following an investigation by HSI, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

Rolan Ivan Hernandez-Fuentes, a.k.a. “Tasmania,” pleaded guilty in April 2019 to RICO conspiracy, and was sentenced Thursday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle.

Two of his coconspirators, Jerson Gutierrez-Ramos, a.k.a. “Sparky,” and Kevin Cruz, a.k.a. “Street Danger,” also pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy and were sentenced to 40 years and 21 years imprisonment, respectively.

As members of MS-13 – a violent transitional gang with the creed, “kill, rob, rape, control” – the defendants were requited to commit acts of violence to maintain membership.

According to plea papers, all three were members of the MS-13 clique “Irving Loco Salvatruchas,” or IRC,  which attempted to kill nine people and extort a tenth during six violent episodes in the Dallas area in 2017.

Both El Salvadorian citizens in the U.S. illegally, Mr. Hernandez-Fuentes, 22, and Mr. Gutierrez-Ramos, 21, admitted to participation in all six violent episodes. Mr. Cruz, 20, also in the U.S. illegally, admitted to participation in four.  

“Their despicable motto says it all: ‘kill, rob, rape, control.’ MS-13 espouses a vicious disregard for human life,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “When machete-wielding gang members terrorize our streets, they will be met with swift and certain justice. We are gratified the Court has put this defendant behind bars for the rest of his life.”

“Aside from justice being served for the many victims of violent crime at the hands of blood thirsty MS-13 gang members, this life sentence also demonstrates HSI’s capabilities and resolve to dismantle these transnational criminal organizations piece by piece,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Dallas. “We will not tolerate the presence of these vicious criminals in our communities and will continue to prioritize taking them down and putting them where they belong - behind bars!” 

Per the defendant’s plea papers:

On July 14, 2017, Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, and other MS-13 members travelled to an apartment complex in Dallas to kill an individual whom they believed belonged to a rival gang.  At the complex, the MS-13 gang members — armed with machetes and knives — ambushed the victim and another man, intending to kill both.  The gang members struck, stabbed and cut the victims, inflicting life-threatening injuries.  One victim had his throat and chest sliced open, necessitating cardiac surgery and an extended hospital stay.  The other victim sustained cuts and lacerations to his face and head.  After the attack, Hernandez-Fuentes licked the victims’ blood from the machete and stated that he liked the “taste of victory.” 

 

On July 15, 2017, Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, and other MS-13 gang members attacked, robbed, and extorted a drug dealer in Irving.  The gang contacted the victim under the guise of seeking heroin.  Armed with the same machete from the night before,  Hernandez-Fuentes later forced the victim to kneel by hitting him with the flat part of machete and then then cutting him with it.  Gutierrez-Ramos then kicked the victim and another gang member took the heroin.  Hernandez-Fuentes took a cell phone photo of the victim and told him that they could find him if he refused to pay the ILS clique an extortion fee, a “tax,” to deal drugs in their territory.

 

On August 9, 2017, Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, and other MS-13 gang members attacked a victim whom they believed belonged to a rival gang at an apartment complex in Dallas, intending to kill the victim.  Armed with a sledgehammer, an icepick, a metal bar, a stick, and a knife, they chased the victim, caught him when he tripped, and then attacked him. The victim, who managed to escape, suffered significant injuries, including stab wounds to his back and lacerations on several parts of his body, which left him hospitalized for three days.  

 

On August 19, 2017, Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, and other members of MS-13 attacked and robbed a victim whom they believed was a rival gang member at an apartment complex in Irving.  Hernandez-Fuentes approached the victim near a Shell gas station and lured him to a nearby apartment complex where his fellow gang members were waiting.  After robbing the victim, they savagely beat, kicked, and hit him with a metal bat until they thought that he was dead.  The victim suffered significant injuries, including a fractured skull and bleeding from his brain, which required hospitalization. 

 

In late August, Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, and other MS-13 members plotted twice to kill a man believed to be a member of a rival gang.  They first lured the victim to a park in Dallas, where they were waiting to kill him with machetes and a shotgun.  The victim ultimately refused to get out of his car when he arrived at the park, and they aborted the plan to kill him.  A few days later, they renewed the plot.  At an apartment complex in Dallas, they blocked the victim from leaving and confronted him with a shotgun.  Gutierrez-Ramos pointed the shotgun at the victim’s chest to shoot him, but the weapon jammed and did not fire.  The victim then drove away and escaped.

 

On September 25, 2017, Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, and other MS-13 gang members went to Running Bear Park in Irving to ambush and kill a victim whom they believed to be a rival gang member.  Armed with machetes, sticks, and a shotgun, they lured the victim to the park under the guise that they were going to buy a tattoo machine from him.  The victim, however, unexpectedly arrived at the park with three friends.  Nonetheless, the victims were lured to the back of the park where the armed gang was hiding in the woods and waiting to spring.  When the victims arrived near the wooded area, the armed gang confronted them and forced them to kneel. A brutal attack ensued as the assailants hacked at the four victims with their machetes.  One male victim escaped unscathed.  During the attack, Hernandez-Fuentes hit one male victim with the shotgun and told him not to “mess with the mara (gang).”  At some point, Hernandez-Fuentes got distracted, and the victim ran away.  Hernandez-Fuentes fired at the victim but missed, and the victim escaped by swimming across a pond.  Another male victim also escaped after he sustained a serious cut to his arm, which required hospitalization.  The female victim, however, was not so fortunate.  She was savagely maimed, sustaining multiple deep lacerations to her arms, hands, and leg from the machete attack.  The female victim, who was left for dead badly bleeding in the park, sustained permanent and life-threatening injuries, which required extensive medical care and hospitalization.  After the attack, the attackers drove away with their weapons and property stolen from the victims.  The police arrested the attackers in the days following the savage assault.

 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Irving Police Department, and the Dallas Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary Tromblay and Sid Moody  are prosecuting the case with Trial Attorney Julie Finocchiaro of the Department of Justice's Organized Crime and Gang Section.

A federal grand jury has indicted eight MS-13 members, on charges in connection with their MS-13 gang activities, including racketeering conspiracy; attempted murder in aid of racketeering; assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering; and use, carry and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

The indictment was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox for the Northern District of Texas; Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Dallas Office; Chief Jeff Spivey of the Irving, Texas Police Department; Chief U. Reneé Hall of the Dallas Police Department and District Attorney Faith Johnson of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

Charged in the 18-count indictment, which was unsealed today, are the following alleged MS-13 members and associates:

Rolan Ivan Hernandez-Fuentes, 25, aka Ivan Fuentes, Tasmania, Ronal Ivan and Fuentes Hernandez;

Jerson Gutierrez-Ramos, 20, aka Gerson Gutierrez, aka Sparky;

Cristian Wilfredo Cabrera-Cruz, 26, aka Cristin Benjamin Vigil and Mama;

Kevin Cruz, 19, aka Street Danger;

Jose Armando Saravia-Romero, 19, aka Jose Saravia, Mandy and Pinky;

Manuel Amaya-Alvarez, 21, aka Manuel Amaya and Chocolate; and

Jonathan Alexander Baires, 20, aka Splinter. 

The name of the eighth defendant is currently under seal.

“The Department of Justice will not allow MS-13 to terrorize any community, school or street corner,” said Attorney General Sessions.  “The gang has more than 10,000 members following its barbaric motto of ‘kill, rape, and control’ across 40 states, and that threatens law-abiding Americans. Today’s indictment of eight MS-13 members—including five who are charged as illegal aliens in possession of firearms —makes clear that the Trump Administration and this Department will continue to go on offense against MS-13 with every lawful tool at our disposal.  I want to thank our fabulous Department of Justice attorneys for their hard work on this case as well as our partners with HSI, ICE, the Dallas County District Attorney's office, and the Dallas and Irving Police Departments. This case is yet another step toward dismantling MS-13 and taking its members off our streets for good."

“MS-13 is one of the most violent and ruthless gangs on the streets today,” stated U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox.  “Working with our federal, state and local partners, we are determined to dismantle this organization wherever we find it in order to make our communities safer in Texas.”

“Gangs — and especially transnational gangs like MS-13 — are responsible for many of the violent crimes that occur throughout the country,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, HSI Dallas.  “Some of these violent gang members have illegally entered the United States as unaccompanied alien children.  As demonstrated with this HSI-led investigation, an ongoing coordinated multi-agency law enforcement effort is the best means of curtailing gang numbers, gang finances, and gang effectiveness to operate.

“Evil gangs like MS-13 are perpetrators of senseless violence in our communities,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “The indictment of these individuals shows a continued commitment to going after these dangerous individuals and keeping our communities safe. The State of Texas will continue to offer any assistance and resources necessary to crack down on these criminals, and I thank our federal, state, and local partners in law enforcement for their ongoing efforts to address gang violence across Texas.”

According to the indictment, MS-13 is a national and transnational gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador.  Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate in cities around the country, including the Irving Loco Salvatruchas (ILS) clique in the Dallas area.  MS-13 members and associates are required to commit acts of violence to join the gang, and to maintain membership and discipline within the gang.  One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members and associates must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible. Members and associates of the ILS clique held meetings in multiple locations in the vicinity of Irving, Texas, including several public parks and a tunnel under Irving.

According to the indictment, beginning on or about July 2016, and continuing through on or about the date of the indictment, Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, and Cruz, participated in a racketeering conspiracy that included attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and robbery. 

Across the racketeering conspiracy and other counts, the indictment charges the following defendants for their alleged involvement in six attacks, including multiple machete attacks, upon 10 victims, including members or associates of the rival 18th Street Gang:



Date (on/in or about)





Location





Defendants





Weapons





Victims





July 14, 2017





5600 Block of Spring Valley Road in Dallas





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cabrera-Cruz





Machete and other weapons





Two (one from 18th Street Gang)





July 15, 2017





200 block of West Rochelle Road in Irving





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos





Machete





One (drug dealer)





Aug. 9, 2017





3000 block of Webb Chapel Extension in Dallas





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz





Knife, sledgehammer, and other weapons





One (from 18th Street Gang)





Aug. 19, 2017





1900 block of East Grauwyler Road in Irving





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, Saravia-Romero





Metal bat





One (from 18th Street Gang)





Middle of August 2017 through Aug. 20, 2017





Two Dallas parks and an apartment complex in Dallas





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, Saravia-Romero





Shotgun





One (from 18th Street Gang)





Beginning of 2017 through Sept. 25, 2017





Various locations in Dallas and Running Bear Park in Irving





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, Amaya-Alvarez, Baires





Multiple machetes, shotgun, and other weapons





Four (one from 18th Street Gang)



Cabrera-Cruz was arrested on the indictment yesterday and made an Initial Appearance in Dallas.  Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, Saravia-Romero, Amaya-Alvarez, and Baires are currently in Texas state custody, on charges relating to the August 19, 2017 and September 25, 2017 events described above.  Their Initial Appearances will be scheduled.  

An indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

The investigation was conducted by HSI Dallas, the Irving Police Department, the Dallas Police Department, and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, with assistance from ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations.  Trial Attorney Joseph Wheatley of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary Tromblay and Siddharth Mody of the Northern District of Texas, are prosecuting this case.



          DALLAS - A federal grand jury has indicted eight MS-13 members, on charges in connection with their MS-13 gang activities, including racketeering conspiracy; attempted murder in aid of racketeering; assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering; and use, carry and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

          The Indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox for the Northern District of Texas; Special Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Dallas Office; Field Office Director Marc Moore of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE-ERO); Chief Jeff Spivey of the Irving Police Department; Chief U. Reneé Hall of the Dallas Police Department and District Attorney Faith Johnson of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

          Charged in the 18-count Indictment, which was unsealed today, are the following alleged MS-13 members and associates:

Rolan Ivan Hernandez-Fuentes, 25, aka Ivan Fuentes, Tasmania, Ronal Ivan and Fuentes Hernandez;

Jerson Gutierrez-Ramos, 20, aka Gerson Gutierrez, aka Sparky;

Cristian Wilfredo Cabrera-Cruz, 26, aka Cristin Benjamin Vigil and Mama;

Kevin Cruz, 19, aka Street Danger;

Jose Armando Saravia-Romero, 19, aka Jose Saravia, Mandy and Pinky;

Manuel Amaya-Alvarez, 21, aka Manuel Amaya and Chocolate; and

Jonathan Alexander Baires, 20, aka Splinter.

The name of the eighth defendant is currently under seal.

            “MS-13 is one of the most violent and ruthless gangs on the streets today,” stated U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox.  “Working with our federal, state and local partners, we are determined to dismantle this organization wherever we find it in order to make our communities safer in Texas.”

            “The Department of Justice will not allow MS-13 to terrorize any community, school or street corner,” said Attorney General Sessions.  “The gang has more than 10,000 members following its barbaric motto of ‘kill, rape, and control’ across 40 states, and that threatens law-abiding Americans. Today’s Indictment of eight MS-13 members—including five who are charged as illegal aliens in possession of firearms —makes clear that the Trump Administration and this Department will continue to go on offense against MS-13 with every lawful tool at our disposal.  I want to thank our fabulous Department of Justice attorneys for their hard work on this case as well as our partners with HSI, ICE, the Dallas County District Attorney's office, and the Dallas and Irving Police Departments. This case is yet another step toward dismantling MS-13 and taking its members off our streets for good."

            “Gangs — and especially transnational gangs like MS-13 — are responsible for many of the violent crimes that occur throughout the country,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, HSI Dallas.  “Some of these violent gang members have illegally entered the United States as unaccompanied alien children.  As demonstrated with this HSI-led investigation, an ongoing coordinated multi-agency law enforcement effort is the best means of curtailing gang numbers, gang finances, and gang effectiveness to operate.

           “Evil gangs like MS-13 are perpetrators of senseless violence in our communities,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “The Indictment of these individuals shows a continued commitment to going after these dangerous individuals and keeping our communities safe. The State of Texas will continue to offer any assistance and resources necessary to crack down on these criminals, and I thank our federal, state, and local partners in law enforcement for their ongoing efforts to address gang violence across Texas.”

           According to the Indictment, MS-13 is a national and transnational gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador.  Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate in cities around the country, including the Irving Loco Salvatruchas (ILS) clique in the Dallas area.  MS-13 members and associates are required to commit acts of violence to join the gang, and to maintain membership and discipline within the gang.  One of the principal rules of MS-13 is that its members and associates must attack and kill rivals, known as “chavalas,” whenever possible. Members and associates of the ILS clique held meetings in multiple locations in the vicinity of Irving, Texas, including several public parks and a tunnel under Irving.

          According to the Indictment, beginning on or about July 2016, and continuing through on or about the date of the Indictment, Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, and Cruz, participated in a racketeering conspiracy that included attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and robbery.

          Across the racketeering conspiracy and other counts, the Indictment charges the following defendants for their alleged involvement in six attacks, including multiple machete attacks, upon 10 victims, including members or associates of the rival 18th Street Gang:



Date (on/in or about)





Location





Defendants





Weapons





Victims





July 14, 2017





5600 Block of Spring Valley Road in Dallas





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cabrera-Cruz





Machete and other weapons





Two (one from 18th Street Gang)





July 15, 2017





200 block of West Rochelle Road in Irving





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos





Machete





One (drug dealer)





Aug. 9, 2017





3000 block of Webb Chapel Extension in Dallas





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz





Knife, sledgehammer, and other weapons





One (from 18th Street Gang)





Aug. 19, 2017





1900 block of East Grauwyler Road in Irving





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, Saravia-Romero





Metal bat





One (from 18th Street Gang)





Middle of August 2017 through Aug. 20, 2017





Two Dallas parks and an apartment complex in Dallas





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, Saravia-Romero





Shotgun





One (from 18th Street Gang)





Beginning of 2017 through Sept. 25, 2017





Various locations in Dallas and Running Bear Park in Irving





Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, Amaya-Alvarez, Baires





Multiple machetes, shotgun, and other weapons





Four (one from 18th Street Gang)



 

          Cabrera-Cruz was arrested on the Indictment yesterday and made an Initial Appearance in Dallas.  Hernandez-Fuentes, Gutierrez-Ramos, Cruz, Saravia-Romero, Amaya-Alvarez, and Baires are currently in Texas state custody, on charges relating to the August 19, 2017 and September 25, 2017 events described above.  Their Initial Appearances will be scheduled. 

          An Indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An Indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

          The investigation was conducted by HSI Dallas, the Irving Police Department, the Dallas Police Department, and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, with assistance from ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations.  Trial Attorney Joseph Wheatley of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary Tromblay and Siddharth Mody of the Northern District of Texas, are prosecuting this case.

 

# # #



 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

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

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

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

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Magistrate Docket Number:   ND-TX  5:20-mj-00033
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Description: The 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:
A Dallas, Texas, grand jury returned two indictments today against five Chinese citizens and four companies alleging fraud and other charges, the Justice Department announced. The charges relate to alleged sales of stimulants intended for inclusion in dietary supplements.

 

The indictments charge the defendants with participation in a scheme to produce and sell dietary supplements containing hidden synthetic stimulants, such as 2-amino-6-methylheptane (“DMHA”). The charges also involve alleged shipments of 1,3-dimethylamylamine (“DMAA”) and DMHA. DMAA, which is chemically similar to DMHA, has been linked to severe adverse events such as heart attacks and strokes.

 

The indictments allege that the defendants knew major American dietary supplement retailers would not carry supplements containing these stimulant ingredients. The indictments also allege the defendants agreed with a confidential government informant to either mislabel ingredients or otherwise help to hide the true nature of a proposed dietary supplement from retailers. None of the ingredients allegedly shipped during the undercover investigation were sold to consumers. 

 

“It is unlawful for companies both outside and inside the United States to conceal questionable, dangerous, or illegal ingredients in dietary supplements sold to American consumers,” said Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “These cases demonstrate the Department of Justice’s commitment to ensuring that dietary supplements are safe and accurately labeled.”

 

“U.S. consumers trust that their dietary supplements are safe and contain appropriate labeling. When unscrupulous producers add undeclared or misidentified ingredients to dietary supplements, there is no assurance that the product is safe for consumption,” said Catherine A. Hermsen, Acting Director, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations. “The FDA will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who participate in fraudulently marketing dietary supplements to the detriment of public health.”

 

 

The first indictment charges Genabolix USA Inc., a Nevada corporation; Shanghai Yongyi Bioltechnology Ltd., a Chinese corporation; Hu Chang Chun (a.k.a. James Hu), 44, of Shanghai, China, the principal of Genabolix; Gao Mei Fang (a.k.a. Amy Gao), 41, of Shanghai, China, the supply chain manager for Genabolix; and Zhang Xiao Dong (a.k.a. Mark Zhang), 31, of Shanghai, China, the sales manager for Genabolix, with mail fraud. The indictment also charges Genabolix, Shanghai Yongyi, Hu, and Gao with introducing misbranded food into interstate commerce. In addition, the indictment charges Genabolix, Yongyi, and Gao with obstruction of an agency proceeding and smuggling. 

 

A second indictment charges Shanghai Waseta International Trade Co. Ltd., a Chinese corporation; Max Pharmatech Inc., a California corporation; Xu Jia Bao (a.k.a. Fred Xu), 48, of Shanghai, China, the principal of Shanghai Waseta; and Li Ting Ting (a.k.a. Sunny Lee), 37, of Shanghai, China, the overseas sales manager for Shanghai Waseta, with wire fraud and with introducing misbranded food into interstate commerce. The indictment also charges Shanghai Waseta with smuggling.

 

Gao Mei Fang, Zhang Xiao Dong, and Xu Jia Bao were arrested in late September at a dietary supplement trade show in Las Vegas and remain in custody. A date for trial before the federal district court in Dallas has not yet been set. The remaining individual defendants are not believed to be in the United States.

 

“Few things are more important than ensuring the safety of what we put into our bodies,” said U.S. Attorney John Parker for the Northern District of Texas.  “Those who deliberately mislead us on this critical issue will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of our laws.”

 

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

Upon conviction, the maximum statutory penalties for the individual defendants are 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for mail fraud or wire fraud; one year imprisonment and a $100,000 fine for the introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce; three years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for the introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead; five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for obstruction of an agency proceeding; and 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for smuggling.

 

The FDA Office of Criminal Investigations-Dallas Division investigated the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn Rumsey and Errin Martin of the Northern District of Texas and Trial Attorneys David Sullivan and Patrick Runkle of the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch.

 

Additional information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts may be found at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndtx.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
Three firearm vendors who operated at DFW gun shows have pleaded guilty to unlicensed dealing, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. None of the defendants were conducting background checks on their buyers.

Raleigh Merriam Selby III, 56, Jack Don Sims, 57, and James Cary Bennett, 79, each pleaded guilty to engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license before Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez Thursday morning.

“Today, we’re taking aim at unlicensed dealers who allow guns to fall into dangerous hands,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “I’m proud to bring this case under Project Guardian, the Attorney General’s gun violence reduction initiative. Hopefully, these pleas send a message to would-be offenders: If you violate federal firearms laws, you will be held accountable for the guns you’ve illegally injected into our communities.”

“Engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license circumvents regulations designed to identify prohibitors such as felony offenses, dishonorable discharge from military service or substance abuse," stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II.  “The firearms transfers made by Mr. Bennett, Mr. Selby and Mr. Sims undermine community safety and hinder the investigation of firearms recovered at crime scenes.”

Federal law requires that dealers engaged in the business of dealing firearms – defined as repeatedly devoting time and attention to purchasing and reselling guns for monetary gain – obtain Federal Firearms Licenses and run background checks on potential buyers.  (Hobbyists who sell weapons in one-off private transactions are not required to be licensed or to run background checks.)

According to plea papers, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Selby, and Mr. Sims were caught engaging in the business of selling firearms without a license during an undercover investigation at several Dallas-area gun shows, including Big Town in Mesquite, Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, and Market Hall in Dallas.

None of them entered potential buyers into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, NICS.

The defendants admit that many of the guns they sold ended up in the hands of prohibited persons, including a man convicted of drug dealing and another convicted of willful cruelty to a child. Others were recovered at crime scenes, from California to Florida to Mexico.

Both Mr. Bennett and Mr. Sims admit they explicitly promoted that sales at their booths involved “no paperwork” – in other words, no background check. Mr. Bennett even admits that he dealt in .380 caliber pistols, “preferred firearms for trafficking to Mexico.”

Each defendant now faces up to five years in federal prison.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian McKay and Damien Diggs are prosecuting the cases, brought under Project Guardian, the Justice Department's signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
           DALLAS — Dallas City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, of Dallas, Texas, and Robert C. Leonard Jr., of New Orleans, Louisiana, appeared in federal court today before Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn and pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges, announced Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Texas.  Council Member Caraway pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of tax evasion.  Robert Leonard pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud. 

            The law enforcement operation was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). 

          “The pleas today represent the meticulous and tireless efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the dedicated prosecutors of our office,” stated U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “These cases demonstrate our continued resolve to uncover corruption at the highest levels--the citizens of Dallas deserve honest government.” 

          “Today's guilty pleas are the results of a sensitive and complex investigation conducted by FBI Dallas' Public Corruption Investigative Team with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service.  The conspirators utilized their position of access and financial means to defraud the citizens of Dallas County,” said Eric K. Jackson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Dallas Division.  “The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate any public servant who abuses their official position and access to benefit themselves financially at the taxpayer’s expense.  Additionally, those who seek to exploit public servants with financial or material support will be identified and held accountable for their actions.” 

          “IRS Criminal Investigation uses financial investigative expertise to pursue those individuals who engage in corruption and tax fraud,” said Tamera Cantu, IRS Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Office.  “Merging the unique skills of each agency makes a formidable team as we investigate those who violate the public’s trust.  Today’s actions underscore that the law applies to everyone, regardless of position or power.”

          According to the Plea Agreements and Factual Resumes filed in the cases, Leonard paid and Caraway accepted more than $450,000 in bribe and kickback payments in the form of a phony consulting agreement, luxury suits, fully funded trips, gambling money, repayment of personal debt, checks and cash.  Leonard also admitted to paying Rick Sorrells, former Dallas County Schools Superintendent, over $3 million in bribes and kickbacks payments in various forms, including $200,000 toward Sorrells’ credit card and student loan debt through a bank account opened in the name of a nonexistent entity. 

         In return for the bribe and kickback payments, Caraway promised favorable official actions to further Leonard’s business interests in Dallas.  These actions included key votes to promote and continue the school bus stop-arm camera program -- which contracted with Leonard’s company, Force Multiplier Solutions -- and other actions taken to benefit Force Multiplier Solutions. 

        Both Defendants admitted to efforts undertaken to disguise and conceal the nature of the bribe and kickback payments.  Leonard funneled a significant portion of the illicit payments through various pass-through companies created and operated by his business associate, Slater Washburn Swartwood, Sr., of Louisiana.  Specifically, Swartwood, acting at Leonard’s direction, funneled and masked payments to Caraway and Sorrells as “consulting fees” or “loans” through his shell company ELF Investments.  The co-conspirators originally characterized the payments to Sorrells as “consulting,” but later attempted to recast the payments as a loan.  Sorrells provided no legitimate consulting services in exchange for the payments.  There were payments made to Caraway in the form of checks that were cashed at pawnshops and liquor stores. 

        Caraway also admitted that in 2012 through 2014, he evaded and defeated the payment of substantial income tax due and owed to the IRS resulting in a tax loss of $68,906.  Specifically, in 2014, Caraway failed to report for income tax purposes $97,000 of bribe and kickback payments he received from Leonard, under the auspice of “consulting fees.”  Caraway also offset a portion of bribe and kickback payments he did report as income in prior years via phony business expenses. 

        The other co-conspirators, Swartwood and Sorrells, pleaded guilty earlier in the year.  Swartwood pleaded guilty in February 2018 and Sorrells in April 2018 for their joint role in the conspiracy.  Both are currently out on bond.  Swartwood’s sentencing is scheduled for August,  and Sorrells’ sentencing before U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey has not yet been scheduled.

        U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox praised the efforts of the FBI, IRS-CI and the Department of Justice Tax Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Wirmani, Chad Meacham, Joe Magliolo, and Economic Crime & Public Corruption Section Chief Marcus Busch are prosecuting the case. 

 

###

 

Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   ND-TX  3:18-cr-00169
Case Name:   USA v. Sorrells
  Press Releases:
DALLAS — Rickey Dale Sorrells, 62, of Dallas, has been charged for his role in receiving more than $3 million in bribe and kickback payments to help secure over $70 million in contracts, agreements, and orders, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.

The criminal felony Information filed today charges Sorrells with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.  Signed plea papers were also filed indicating Sorrells’ intent to plead guilty.  Sorrells faces a maximum penalty of imprisonment not to exceed twenty years and a $250,000 fine. Restitution could also be ordered.  An arraignment date has not yet been set.

According to the filed Information and plea papers, from 2011 through 2017, the president of a technology company (Person A) that put cameras on school buses, paid Sorrells, the superintendent of Dallas County Schools (DCS), in excess of $3 million in bribe and kickback payments in exchange for favorable official action, including Sorrells’ decision to enter into contracts and licensing agreements on behalf of DCS and to purchase school-bus-camera equipment.

Payments made to Sorrells were funneled through various pass-through companies created and operated by his business associate, Slater Washburn Swartwood, Sr., as well as through a law firm. An account in the name of a nonexistent company was created to conceal payments that were made toward Sorrells’ credit card debt. To further disguise the bribe and kickback payments, Sorrells received a portion of the payments through shell companies which, at the behest of Person A, he created in his and/or a family member’s name(s).

In an effort to obscure the illegal purpose of the payments, according to documents filed in the case, Sorrells and others created fake consulting agreements, fake invoices, a fake real estate business, fake loan documents, discussed tying all past payments from Person A to Sorrells to the “note,” conspired to have Sorrells begin making payments on the “loan,” after which Person A would “recycle” the money back to Sorrells, and created a document with a narrative to ensure that they all had their stories straight.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Wirmani is in charge of the prosecution.

# # #

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

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

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

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

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
Score:   0.5
Docket Number:   ND-TX  3:18-cr-00587
Case Name:   USA v. Rice Sr
  Press Releases:
The inventor of cryptocurrency AriseCoin pleaded guilty today to duping investors out of more than $4 million, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. 

AriseBank CEO Jared Rice, Sr. – who settled a civil action involving AriseCoin filed by the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office last year – pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud Wednesday afternoon.  His plea makes this case one of the first in which an individual has pleaded guilty to securities fraud involving a cryptocurrency in U.S. federal court.

According to his plea papers, Mr. Rice, 30, admits he lied to would-be investors, claiming that AriseBank – billed as the world’s “first decentralized banking platform” based on the proprietary digital currency AriseCoin – could offer consumers FDIC-insured accounts and traditional banking services, including Visa-brand credit cards, in addition to cryptocurrency services.  In actuality, AriseBank had not been authorized to conduct banking in Texas, was not FDIC insured, and did not have any sort of partnership with Visa.

Even as he touted AriseBank’s nonexistent benefits, Mr. Rice quietly converted investor funds for his own personal use, spending the money on hotels, food, transportation, a family law attorney, and even a guardian ad litem – facts he failed to disclose to investors. He also failed to disclose that he’d plead guilty to state felony charges in connection with a prior internet-related business scheme. 

Meanwhile, hundreds of investors bought approximately $4,250,000 in AriseCoin using digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, as well as fiat currency.

“I’m proud of the Northern District of Texas’ innovative work enforcing the rule of law in the cryptocurrency space,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “We will not tolerate flagrant deception of investors – virtual or otherwise.”

Statutorily, Mr. Rice faces 0 to 20 years in federal prison. His sentencing is slated for July 11, 2019.  He is expected to be required to reimburse investors he deceived.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary Walters and Sid Mody are prosecuting the case.

 

SENTENCING –Anthony Turner, 26,  Xavier Ross, 26  & Afraybeom Jackson, 28

On Nov. 28, Anthony Turner and Xavier Ross were sentenced to 7 years in federal prison for their roles in a robbery.  Co-conspirator Afraybeom Jackson was sentenced to nearly 6 years. The defendants pled guilty to interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence after they were arrested for robbing a jewelry store in Irving, Texas. The FBI investigated the case.

SENTENCING – a Drug Trafficking Ring

On Nov. 28, six defendants were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn for their roles in a cocaine trafficking organization:

Bruce Turner, 40, aka “BK” – 12.5 years

Desmond Keith Wright, 36, aka “Deedy Weedy” – 9 years

Datanya Deone Jones, 37, aka “Worm” – 6.5 years

Gerald Jerome Duncan, 30, aka “Bear” or “Osso” – 18 months

Kennard Henry Richards-Darby, 28, aka “Boom” – time served

Johnny Lee Edwards, 37, aka “Bubba” – 3 years’ probation

The FBI investigated the case; ATF, Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, and Dallas Police Department assisted with the takedown.

INDICTMENT* – Jared Rice, 30

On Nov. 28, AriseBank CEO Jared Rice Sr. was arrested by the FBI, charged with duping hundreds of investors out of more than $4 million in a cryptocurrency scheme. According to the indictment, Rice lied to would-be investors, falsely claiming that AriseBank could offer consumers FDIC-insured accounts and traditional banking services, including Visa-branded credit cards. If convicted, he faces 120 years in prison. The FBI investigated the case. Press release here.

SENTENCING – Jose Valentin, 39, Juan Gomez-Moreno, 28, & Gabriela Morales, 32.

On Nov. 28 and 29, three defendants were sentenced for their roles in a cocaine and methamphetamine distribution conspiracy. Jose Guadalupe Valentin, who was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, pleaded guilty in June after Dallas DEA agents intercepted him on a wiretap negotiating and purchasing cocaine from a codefendant, and discovered cocaine, currency, and firearms at his home during a raid. Juan Alberto Gomez-Moreno, who was sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison, pleaded guilty in January, after DEA agents intercepted him on a wiretap negotiating meth. Gabriela Morales, who was sentenced to 14 years in prison, also pleaded guilty in January after DEA agents intercepted her on a wiretap making multiple deliveries of meth and cocaine to various customers in the Dallas area and collecting currency that represented the proceeds from drug trafficking.

PLEA – Marcus Jones, 29

On Nov. 27, Marcus Darwyn Jones of Arlington pleaded guilty to two counts of use of a facility of interstate commerce in aid of a racketeering enterprise.  Jones admitted to using Backpage.com to facilitate prostitution of two minor victims.  Homeland Security Investigations, the Texas Attorney General’s Office, and the Fort Worth Police Department investigated.

PLEA – Marcus Pierson

On Nov. 27, Marcus Jerod Pierson of Dallas pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. When Pierson was arrested, he had methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and a handgun in his vehicle.  He faces up to 20 years  in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. The DEA conducted the investigation.

PLEA – Christina Hickson, 23

On Nov. 27, Christina Michelle Hickson of Arkansas pleaded guilty to escape from federal custody. Hickson admits that on or about May 1, she escaped from the Volunteers of America Residential Re-Entry Center after a conviction for the commission of a bank robbery.  She faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  The United States Marshal’s Service investigated.   

SENTENCING – Bruce Brick, 51

On Nov. 26, 2018, Bruce Brick was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for escaping from a half-way house where he was residing for failure to register as a sex offender. On June 21, 2018, Brick pled guilty to one count of escape, after he was arrested in California and transported back to Texas by the U.S. Marshal’s Service. His new sentence is to run consecutively to the sentence he received in federal court in June 2015.

* An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

AriseBank CEO Jared Rice, Sr. was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday, charged with duping hundreds of investors out of more than $4 million in a cryptocurrency scheme, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

Mr. Rice, who is also the subject of a civil action filed by the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office earlier this year, was indicted on three counts of securities fraud and three counts of wire fraud.

According to court documents unsealed today, Mr. Rice, 30, allegedly lied to would-be investors, claiming that AriseBank – which he billed as the world’s “first decentralized banking platform” based on a proprietary digital currency called AriseCoin – could offer consumers FDIC-insured accounts and traditional banking services, including Visa-brand credit and debit cards, in addition to cryptocurrency services.  In actuality, AriseBank had not been authorized to conduct banking in Texas, was not FDIC insured, and did not have any sort of partnership with Visa.

Even as he touted AriseBank’s nonexistent benefits in press releases and online, Mr. Rice quietly converted investor funds for his own personal use, spending the money on hotels, food, clothing, a family law attorney, and even a guardian ad litem.

He allegedly falsely claimed the “Initial Coin Offering,” or ICO, had raised $600 million within just a few weeks and failed to disclose that he’d plead guilty to state felony charges in connection with a prior internet-related business scheme.  Meanwhile, investors were buying AriseCoin using digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and fiat currency.

“My office is committed to enforcing the rule of law in the cryptocurrency space,” said Nealy Cox. “The Northern District of Texas will not tolerate this sort of flagrant deception – online or off.”

An Indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law. If convicted, Mr. Rice faces up to 120 years in federal prison.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary Walters and Sid Mody are prosecuting the case.

Docket (0 Docs):   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MW3M08rcj_hUdNnsDO0gdv14C8K53k9LK7Mw44HIhLI/edit#gid=0
  Last Updated: 2020-09-29 12:30:13 UTC
Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE2
Format: N2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Description: The 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:
DALLAS — A 60-year-old doctor from Rockwall, Texas, Jacques Roy, who was convicted in April 2016 of various health care fraud charges following a six-week-long trial, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay to 420 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $268,147,699.15 in restitution, joint and several with all codefendants to Medicare and Medicaid, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Roy was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, eight counts of health care fraud, two counts of making a false statement relating to healthcare matters and one count of obstruction of justice. Roy has been in custody since the time of his arrest in February 2012.

“The only thing more stunning than Jacques Roy and his co-conspirators’ shameless methods, said U.S. Attorney Parker, is the staggering dollar amounts involved in this fraud scheme. This takes brazen to a whole new level.”

The following defendants have also been sentence for their role in the health care fraud scheme:

 

     Wilbert James Vesey, Jr., 210 months in federal prison and $23 million in restitution

     Cyprian Akamnonu, 120 months in federal prison and $25 million in restitution

     Patricia Akamnonu, 120 months in federal prison and $25 million in restitution

     Charity Eleda, 48 months in federal prison and $397,294.51 in restitution

     Teri Sivils, 3 years probation and $885,714.05 in restitution

 

Cynthia Stiger will be sentenced October 26, 2017.

 

The government presented evidence at trial that Dr. Roy, Stiger, Veasey and Eleda engaged in a large-scale, sophisticated health care fraud scheme in which they conspired together and with others to defraud Medicare and Medicaid through companies they owned/controlled: Medistat Group Associates, P.A., Apple of Your Eye Health Care Services, Inc., Ultimate Care Home Health Services and Charry Home Care Services.

 

As part of the conspiracy, Stiger, Veasey and Eleda, along with others, improperly recruited individuals with Medicare coverage to sign up for Medicare home health care services. Eleda recruited patients from The Bridge homeless shelter in Dallas, sometimes paying recruiters $50 per beneficiary they found and directed to her vehicle parked outside the shelter’s gates. Eleda and other nurses would falsify medical documents to make it appear as though those beneficiaries qualified for home health care services that were not medically necessary. Eleda and the nurses prepared Plans of Care (POC), also known as 485’s, which were not medically necessary, and these POCs were delivered to Dr. Roy’s office and not properly reviewed by any physician.

 

Dr. Roy instructed his staff to certify these POCs, which indicated to Medicare and Medicaid that a doctor, typically Dr. Roy, had reviewed the treatment plan and deemed it medically necessary. That certifying doctor, typically Dr. Roy, certified that the patient required home health services, which were only permitted to be provided to those individuals who were homebound and required, among other things, skilled nursing. This process was repeated for thousands of POCs, and, in fact, Medistat’s office included a “485 Department,” essentially a “boiler room” to affix fraudulent signatures and certifications.

 

Once an individual was certified for home health care services, Eleda, nurses who worked for Stiger and Veasey, and other nurses falsified visit notes to make it appear as though skilled nursing services were being provided and continued to be necessary. Dr. Roy would also visit the patients, perform unnecessary home visits, and then order unnecessary medical services for the recruited beneficiaries. Then, at Dr. Roy’s instruction, Medistat employees would submit fraudulent claims to Medicare for the certification and recertification of unnecessary home health care services and other unnecessary medical services.

 

The government presented further evidence at trial that the scope of Dr. Roy’s fraud was massive; Medistat processed and approved POCs for 11,000 unique Medicare beneficiaries from more than 500 different home health agencies. Dr. Roy entered into formal and informal fraudulent arrangements with Apple, Charry, Ultimate and other home health agencies to ensure his fraudulent business model worked and that he maintained a steady stream of Medicare beneficiaries.

 

Regarding Dr. Roy’s conviction for obstruction of justice, the government presented evidence that when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) suspended Dr. Roy and Medistat from receiving Medicare payments after June 2, 2011, because of suspected fraud, Dr. Roy sought an “end-run” around the suspension through the use of another company, Medcare House Calls. Dr. Roy directed the medical providers he employed to be re-credentialed and to bill Medicare under Medcare House Calls, instead of Medistat. Nonetheless, the money that Medicare paid was circumvented back to Medistat and Dr. Roy.

 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force supervised by the Criminal Division Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.

 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys P.J. Meitl and Nicole Dana and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham prosecuted the case.

 

 

# # #

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
DALLAS – Following a three-day trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn, a federal jury convicted Deborah Petty, 48, of Mesquite, Texas, on several identity theft offenses, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

 

Specifically, yesterday afternoon, the jury convicted Petty on seven counts of identity theft and one count of aggravated identity theft. Each of the identity theft counts carries a maximum statutory penalty of fifteen years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The aggravated identity theft count carries a $250,000 fine and a mandatory statutory penalty of two years in federal prison, consecutive to any other sentence Petty receives on Counts one through seven. Restitution could also be ordered. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

 

The government presented evidence at trial that Petty worked at the Western Regional Center for Brain and Spine Surgery (WRCBSS), a medical facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, between November 28, 2011, and June 29, 2012. In her position, and prior to her termination from WRCBSS, Petty obtained access to patient files, which included patients' names, dates of birth, and social security numbers. Petty understood and signed an acknowledgement that she would have access to confidential patient information and agreed that she would not disclose or share such information. Nonetheless, Petty stole hundreds of patient files and maintained possession of those files until May 2014, long after she left WRCBSS.

 

During the time in which she possessed these stolen identities, Petty used the identities in connection with a food stamp fraud scheme in the State of Florida. Approximately 110 individual patients from WRCBSS had food stamp benefits obtained in their name, totaling over $44,000 in losses to the government. Petty eventually moved to Mesquite and obtained new employment at another entity, Epic Healthcare Services, by overstating her qualifications and omitting her work at WRCBSS. In her new position, Petty again had access to patient identifiers and other personal information. In May 2014, the Mesquite Police Department recovered approximately 1,500 stolen identities possessed and maintained by Petty in an apartment in Mesquite.

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Mesquite Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kate Rumsey and P.J. Meitl are in charge of the prosecution.

 

# # #

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
DALLAS — Tasha Lashaun Wilson, of Dallas, was sentenced last Friday by Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn to serve a prison sentence of 12 months and one day for theft of government funds, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Wilson pleaded guilty in July 2015 to one count of theft of government money. Chief Judge Lynn ordered that Wilson be immediately remanded into federal custody at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing. Wilson was also order to pay back the loss to the government, none of which Wilson had attempted to pay back prior to the sentencing hearing.

According to documents filed in the case, on October 24, 2012, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) received information about a Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) tenant believed to have a financial interest in the residence where she was living in Frisco, Texas.

A review of Wilson’s Dallas Housing Authority (DHA) tenant file revealed that she had been a HCV program participant since 2003. It was also determined that Wilson received United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and Medicaid assistance.

In 2010, Wilson was looking for a place to live while she was a participant in the HCV program. Wilson’s friend agreed to sign up to be an approved landlord in the HCV program so Wilson could live in his house in Frisco, Texas while she remained in the HCV program. As part of the process to be approved as a landlord, Wilson’s friend submitted a direct deposit form into which DHA would deposit money to subsidize Wilson’s rent. This direct deposit form listed a bank account to which both Wilson and her friend were signatories, but the submitted form did not disclose Wilson as a signatory to the account. Wilson told investigators that prior to submitting the direct deposit form, she told her friend that disclosing Wilson as a signatory to the joint bank account would be a problem because it would get her kicked out of the HCV program. Wilson’s friend told her that he would make sure Wilson’s name did not appear on the direct deposit form.

In September of 2010, Wilson completed and submitted an application to have her HCV rental subsidy transferred to her friend’s house in Frisco, Texas. From 2010 through into 2014, DHA deposited money into the joint bank account believing that it was sending money to Wilson’s landlord to subsidize her rent. Instead, Wilson accessed and spent the money at retailers and restaurants. Wilson was required to go through an annual re-certification process through which she was required to report income; Wilson did not disclose to DHA or HUD that she had access to, and was spending money from, the joint bank account. When confronted by law enforcement, Wilson admitted that she actively concealed the joint bank account because she knew that if she had reported it, she would have been kicked out of the HCV program.

An analysis of Wilson’s DHA HAP payments history from November 1, 2010, through February 28, 2014, revealed losses to DHA/HUD totaling $60,073.00. Similarly, an analysis of Wilson's SNAP benefit payments and Medicaid payments made during the same time period reveal losses to the government totaling $7,370.00 and $9,836.37, respectively.

HUD investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie L. Hoxie prosecuted.

# # #

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
A “pill mill” physician who oversaw the illegal prescription of nearly a million units of narcotics with no legitimate medical purpose was sentenced today to 13 years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.   

Carlos Luis Venegas, 62, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance following a 5-day trial before U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey in early February.

According to evidence presented at trial, Dr. Venegas acted as the supervising physician for a series of sham medical clinics – all merely fronts for the illegal distribution of Hydrocodone and Alprazolam. 

“These pill mills help to perpetuate the tragic opioid crisis gripping our country,” U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox said following the guilty verdict. “Last year, America lost, on average, 116 people per day to opioid overdoses. We cannot allow unscrupulous conduct by physicians to add to the supply of dangerous drugs on the streets.”

“The DEA will continue to investigate these types clinics and health care personnel who are facilitating illegal distribution of prescription drugs”, said DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Division Clyde E. Shelley, Jr. “One overdose is one too many”.

At trial, witnesses testified that members of the conspiracy paid homeless and indigent people to pose as patients seeking pain medication. Runners coached these men and women on how to describe their (nonexistent) symptoms, drove them to the clinics, and paid for their appointments.

At the clinics, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, working under Dr. Venegas’ supervision, conducted only cursory medical exams, witnesses said. Medical files seized from the clinics showed that most exams were conducted without any medical testing and rarely produced documentation of patients’ purported ailments.

At the conclusion of the visit, patients were almost always prescribed a cocktail of medications, including Hydrocodone and Xanax, generally for the highest dosages available.

Several of his codefendants, including several nurse practitioners and clinic managers, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme.  

Codefendant sentences include:

Christan Michael Hicks – 70 months

Craig Zahn – 33 months

Leslie Rodriguez – 33 months

Don Broussard – 33 months

Ron Cunningham – 18 months

James Christopher Ware (co-owner of clinics, charged in a separate indictment) – 135 months

Stanley James (co-owner of clinics, also charged in a separate indictment) – 97 months

For more information on the opioid epidemic, see the DEA's National Drug Threat Assessment.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Myria Boehm, Renee Hunter, and Nicholas Bunch prosecuted the case.

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:
 Dallas’ Project Safe Neighborhoods Taskforce earned one of just two “Outstanding Overall Partnership” awards from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced today.

Dubbed “Operation Badge #10934” in honor of fallen Dallas Police Officer Rogelio Santander, Dallas PSN was launched in February 2018 to tackle increasing violent crime. Led by U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox and Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall, the PSN Taskforce –  a coalition of federal and local law enforcement that includes FBI, ATF, DEA, and the U.S. Marshals Service – has already made more than 120 arrests inside the PSN “hotspot,” a historically crime-riddled community nestled at the intersection of Route 75 and LBJ.

Over the past eight months, the hotspot has seen a 19.9% reduction in violent crime.

“Our PSN Taskforce in Dallas is Texas-sized,” Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said at an awards ceremony in Kansas City, MO Thursday. “It brings together 60 people, including law enforcement officers, local government officials, local school personnel, and 15 community organizations.”

“I’m incredibly proud of the way we’ve been able to marshal resources from federal and local law enforcement to foster lasting change in a neighborhood that sorely needs our help,” said Nealy Cox. “None of this would have been possible without our law enforcement team, which includes DPD Chief Hall, FBI SAC Eric Jackson, DEA SAC Clyde Shelley, ATF SAC Jeffrey Boshek, U.S. Marshal Rick Taylor, and many others.”

“I am extremely proud of the partnership between the Dallas Police Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office with Project Safe Neighborhood,” Chief Hall said in a statement. “The work of the Dallas Project Safe Neighborhood team is making a difference and being recognized by the Department of Justice.  This enforcement effort is beneficial and allows us to focus on concentrated crime areas, while engaging with the community.”   

Dallas’ PSN initiative relies on a three-pronged approach combining traditional enforcement, community outreach, and recidivism reduction.  Federal prosecutors have charged dozens of individuals with felony crimes, from carjacking to straw purchasing. They’ve also held nearly 50 community events to explain how residents can help keep communities safe, and hosted nearly 2,500 ex-convicts and parolees at monthly “reentry nights” outlining ramifications of re-offending and presenting a buffet of resources, from job placement programs to counseling opportunities.

The Dallas PSN Taskforce is joined in the overall partnership category by Jackson, Mississippi’s PSN team. Ten other districts were honored for individual and organizational contributions to Project Safe Neighborhoods. The Northern District of Texas’ PSN operation is managed by Coordinator P.J. Meitl. More information on Dallas PSN here.











 

Score:   0.5
  Press Releases:


A federal jury on Friday returned a guilty verdict against a so-called “pill mill” physician who oversaw the illegal prescription of nearly a million units of narcotics with no legitimate medical purpose, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.    

Carlos Luis Venegas was convicted of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance before U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey in Dallas yesterday afternoon.

“These pill mills help to perpetuate the tragic opioid crisis gripping our country,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “Last year, America lost, on average, 116 people per day to opioid overdoses. We cannot allow unscrupulous conduct by physicians to add to the supply of dangerous drugs on the streets.” (For additional facts and figures on the opioid epidemic, see the DEA's 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment.)

According to evidence presented at trial, Mr. Venegas acted as the supervising physician for a series of sham medical clinics – all merely fronts for the illegal distribution of hydrocodone and alprazolam.  

Members of the conspiracy, witnesses testified, paid homeless and indigent people to pose as patients seeking pain medication. Runners coached these men and women on how to describe their (nonexistent) symptoms, drove them to the clinics, and paid for their appointments. 

At the clinics, nurse practitioners, working under Mr. Venegas’ supervision, conducted only cursory medical exams, witnesses said. Medical files seize from the clinics showed that most exams were conducted without any medical testing and rarely produced documentation of patients’ purported ailments. 

At the conclusion of the visit, patients were almost always prescribed a cocktail of medications, including Hydrocodone and Xanax, generally for the highest dosages available. 

Mr. Venegas now faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Sentencing has not yet been set.

Several of his codefendants, including several nurse practitioners and clinic managers, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme.  

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Myria Boehm, Renee Hunter, and Nicholas Bunch prosecuted the case.

 



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