|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.