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November 16, 2023
|Financial Crimes, Covid-19, Document and Benefit Fraud
Sammy Adam Joseph, 47, was charged in an eight-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday, Nov. 8. That indictment was unsealed and made public Nov. 14 upon his arrest and initial court appearance.
October 4, 2023
Amir Aqeel, a 54-year-old resident of Houston, was sentenced Oct. 2 to 15 years in prison for leading the conspiracy and helping at least 14 other individuals submit more than 75 fraudulent PPP loan applications in 2020. Five others previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced Oct. 3 for their roles in the scheme. Khalid Abbas, 57, of Richmond, and Richard Reuth, 60, of Spring, both received 2 ½ years in prison. Rifat Bajwa, 54, of Richmond Siddiq Azeemuddin, 44, of Naperville, Illinois; and Pardeep Basra, 54, of Houston, were sentenced to three years, two years, and three years and five months in prison, respectively. A sixth conspirator, Abdul Fatani, a 57-year-old resident of Richmond who was convicted on Feb. 8 of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, was sentenced to three years in prison.
October 3, 2023
Muhammad Anis, 55, Nishant Patel, 41, and Harjeet Singh, 49, all of Houston; and Arham Uddin, 27, and Ammas Uddin, 30, both of Richmond, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
September 20, 2023
Jacqueline Rascon-Chacon, Bryan Gardea and Ricardo Landeros face charges of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity. All three defendants appeared in federal court and will remain on conditions of release pending trial, which has not been scheduled.
July 11, 2023
|Covid-19, Financial Crimes
Natalie Le Demola, 38, currently incarcerated at the California Institution for Women in Corona, was sentenced by United States District Judge John F. Walter, who also ordered her to pay $933,181 in restitution.
June 28, 2023
|Covid-19, Cyber Crimes
Acting Special Agent in Charge of HSI Kansas City Taekuk Cho and U.S. Attorney Steven Russell announced that Jason C. Olderbak, 35, of Grand Island, was sentenced June 21 for unlawful possession of official U.S. insignia following an HSI investigation.
June 12, 2023
|Covid-19, Financial Crimes
All four defendants — Willie Mitchell, Sean Swaringer, Kimberly Coleman and Jason Coleman — pleaded guilty to bank fraud.
June 9, 2023
|Covid-19, Financial Crimes
Arman Grigoryan, 42, was sentenced late in the afternoon June 6 by U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee, who also ordered him to pay $2,880,259 in restitution.
May 11, 2023
|Enforcement and Removal, Covid-19
ICE's ERO today issued Post Pandemic Emergency Guidelines and Protocols that will increase the number of accessible beds by several thousand. These guidelines reflect the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency and latest guidance from the CDC.
May 8, 2023
|Financial Crimes, Covid-19
Nasser Salman, 60, was arraigned in federal court May 4, on charges that he fraudulently obtained more than $400,000 in COVID-relief loan funds on behalf of three companies.
May 4, 2023
|Covid-19, Labor Exploitation
DHS and ICE announced today that employers will have 30 days to reach compliance with Form I-9 requirements after the COVID-19 flexibilities sunset on July 31, 2023.
March 9, 2023
On Jan. 30, the grand jury indicted Randy Steven Kaas on 14 counts, including fraudulent schemes and artifices, forgery and theft in Maricopa County Superior Court. The charges are related to $3,715,276.50 in federal Paycheck Protection Program loans.
February 9, 2023
|Financial Crimes, Covid-19
Gladstone Njokem, 36, pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft on Feb. 3, in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $1.3 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act unemployment insurance benefits.  
February 9, 2023
A federal jury convicted Abdul Fatani, 57, of Richmond, Texas, of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of unlawful monetary transactions (money laundering).
January 3, 2023
Mark Forrest Cohn, 68, of Chandler, Arizona, was sentenced on Dec. 21, 2022, by United States District Judge David G. Campbell; Cohn pleaded guilty to one felony count of Entry of Goods by Means of False Statements.
December 9, 2022
William “Bill” Dexter Lucas, 60, and Deborah Jean Lucas, 64, both of Bryan, Texas, pleaded guilty Dec. 8. Brian Corpian, 45, of Houston, entered his plea Dec. 2.
December 2, 2022
On Dec. 1, Integral Hygienic Solutions, Inc., a La Mesa-based sanitation company doing business as TruClean, pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding customers by falsely claiming that its antimicrobial cleaning product was tested and approved by the EPA.
September 22, 2022
|Financial Crimes, Covid-19
As early as July and August 2020, Darris Cotton submitted at least 16 fraudulent applications for unemployment using other people’s names, dates of birth, and social security numbers.
August 24, 2022
|Operational, Covid-19, Enforcement and Removal
Facility status and interventions for COVID-19 management are based on determinations by, and in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidance on Prevention and Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Correctional and Detention Facilities.
August 19, 2022
|Operational, Student and Exchange Visitor Program, Covid-19
ICE is proposing creating a framework under which the Secretary of Homeland Security could authorize alternative options for document examination procedures associated with the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The notice of proposed rulemaking is seeking input from the public regarding making permanent some of the current COVID-19 pandemic-related flexibilities to examine employees’ identity and employment authorization documents for the Form I-9.
May 19, 2022
|Covid-19, Financial Crimes
The lead defendant is 37-year-old Natalie Le Demola. She is currently serving a life prison sentence after she was convicted in 2005 of first-degree murder. 32-year-old Carleisha Neosha Plummer of Los Angeles is also charged. She was a close associate of Demola in prison until she was paroled in July 2020.
April 12, 2022
|Document and Benefit Fraud, Covid-19
James Theodore Polzin, 48, of Gilbert, Arizona, pleaded guilty in October 2021.
January 28, 2022
The seized website was purporting to be a resource for responding to COVID-19 from the Department of Labor. It also listed several fraudulent commercial contracts that individuals could bid on in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fraudulent domain purported to allow users to sign in with their business email and password in an attempt to steal business credentials that could have been utilized to illegally/surreptitiously access protected data.
December 28, 2021
In a complaint filed in August 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the government alleged that Thu Phan Dinh, Tran Khanh and Nguyen Duy Toan engaged in a wire fraud scheme designed to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic. The defendants operated more than 300 websites that fraudulently purported to sell products in the United States that became scarce during the pandemic, including hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
December 17, 2021
|Covid-19, Financial Crimes
Jason Coleman, 40, and Kimberly Coleman, 38, of Mesa, Arizona, made their initial appearance in federal court recently on a 62-count indictment charging them with Conspiracy, Bank Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Transactional Money Laundering. A federal grand jury previously indicted the Colemans and seven other individuals in connection with a fraudulent scheme to obtain approximately $23 million in PPP loans.

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Updated: 03/10/2023