According to allegations in court documents, from about March 2018 until about September 2019, Norbert Ozemena Ikwuegbundo, 28, and Omniyi Jonathan Omotere, 35, both citizens of Nigeria, and others, engaged in the fraudulent scheme.
As the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles, IRS Criminal Investigation and the FBI, Philip James Layfield, a.k.a. “Philip Samuel Pesin,” 48, of Las Vegas and formerly of Coto de Caza, was found guilty of 19 counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of tax evasion, one count of failure to collect and pay over payroll taxes and one misdemeanor charge of failure to file a tax return. Following the jury verdicts, Layfield was remanded into federal custody.
Special agents with ICE's HSI and officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) investigated the case. A state Grand Jury indicted Lynwood Jennet and her co-conspirator, Paul Petersen, in October 2019.
Jorge Juan Torres-Lopez, 67, a former interim governor of Coahuila, Mexico, pleaded guilty to the charges on June 16, 2020. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following his imprisonment.
Wilver Jose Polanco Alvarez, 26, residing in Miami, and Jose Eduardo Gomez Salas, 25, residing in New York, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft. Both appeared before Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones.
Kais Mohammad, a.k.a. “Superman29,” 37, of Yorba Linda, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, the result of an investigation by HSI Los Angeles, IRS Criminal Investigation and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Ahmad Kanan, 49, Madison, Wisconsin was sentenced 42 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $147,060. Kanan committed the CARES Act Fraud while under indictment and awaiting trial in the access device fraud case. He pleaded guilty in both cases on October 2, 2020.
Following a twelve-day trial, Dr. Xiaorong You, aka Shannon You, 59, of Lansing, Michigan, was convicted of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft, conspiracy to commit economic espionage, possession of stolen trade secrets, economic espionage and wire fraud. You, was originally indicted in February 2019, for trade secret offenses and wire fraud and was charged in a superseding indictment with economic espionage and conspiracy to commit economic espionage in August 2020.
Special Agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), working jointly with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Caribbean Anti-Money Laundering Alliance (CMLA) seized Thursday $1.28 million in cash from an abandoned vehicle in the Stumpy Beach-area on the west end of St. Thomas, USVI and arrested four men.
As the result of an extensive probe by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles, supported by multiple federal, state and local law enforcement partners across the U.S., Anuj Mahendrabhai Patel, 31, a.k.a. “Mike” and “Indio,” of Lake Elsinore, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
James Theodore Polzin, 47, of Mesa, was charged by criminal complaint, unsealed Wednesday, after he was ordered detained at a hearing in U.S. District Court, District of Arizona. He is charged with three counts of fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits and three counts of wire fraud.
Jose Luis De Jongh Atencio (De Jongh), 48, a former procurement officer and manager in Citgo’s Special Projects Group, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Sergey Medvedev, aka “Stells,” “segmed,” and “serjbear,” 33, of Russia, pleaded guilty in the District of Nevada to one count of racketeering conspiracy in June 2020, and was sentenced today to 10 years in prison. Marko Leopard, aka “Leopardmk,” 31, of North Macedonia, pleaded guilty in the District of Nevada to one count of racketeering conspiracy in November 2019 and was sentenced today to five years in prison.
Former Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen has been sentenced to five years in state prison on March 19, for running an adoption scheme that was unlawfully paid for by Arizona taxpayers following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZ DPS). This sentence will be in addition to his federal sentence.
Mohamed Mokbel, 56, and Fathy Elsafty, 62, both of Houston, were arrested at their Houston-area homes early Tuesday morning. They are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Edison at 2 p.m.
In a two-count information, Hugo Sergio Mejia, 49, of Ontario, was charged with money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. In a plea agreement also filed today, Mejia agreed to plead guilty to these federal felony offenses in in March.
Steve Chen, 63, a.k.a. “Li Chen” and “Boss,” of Bradbury, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John F. Walter, who found that Chen’s “litany of lies” promoted a scam of “epic proportions.” Chen pleaded guilty in June 2020 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of tax evasion.