DOJ – North TX

DOJ - Department of Justice
DOJ - Department of Justice
  • Man Sentenced to 58 Months for Darknet Credit Card Scheme
    A Lewisville man who stole more than a thousand credit and debit card numbers was sentenced today to 58 months in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.  Odis Edwards, 40, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud in January. In plea papers, Mr. Edwards admits he stole more than 1,200 credit and debit card numbers via the darknet and internet chat rooms. He and his co-conspirators used counterfeit cards to book more than $250,000 in rooms and incidentals at hotels around Dallas.  An agent testified in Court on Monday that Mr. Edwards sub-rented the rooms to drug dealers and pimps at a fraction of their true cost. Hotel personnel became suspicious when multiple people racked up hefty room service bills, all charged to Mr. Edward’s account. Inside the rooms, law enforcement officers found altered credit cards as well as notebooks containing what appeared to be credit card numbers and URLs for digital credit card number generators. “More and more, we’re seeing perpetrators attempt to cloak themselves in the seeming anonymity of the darknet. But they should know that we prioritize the investigation of illicit activity on the darknet and will vigorously prosecute this unlawful behavior ,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “In this case, I applaud the hard work of our Secret Service and police partners, as well as the hotel workers who reached out to law enforcement when they felt something was amiss.” “The Dallas Field Office and the ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-04-15
    5 days ago
  • Seven Guilty in Forest Park Healthcare Fraud Trial
    Following four days of deliberations, a federal jury returned guilty verdicts for seven individuals implicated in the Forest Park Medical Center bribery scheme Tuesday evening, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. Wilton McPherson “Mac” Burt, Jackson Jacob, Douglas Sung Won, Michael Bassem Rimlawi, Shawn Mark Henry, Mrugeshkumar Shah, and Iris Kathleen Forrest were all convicted of conspiracy to pay or receive healthcare bribes. “The verdict in the Forest Park case is a reminder to healthcare practitioners across the District that patients – not payments –  should guide decisions about how and where doctors administer treatment,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “We are grateful to the Forest Park jury, 12 men and women who listened attentively through seven long weeks of trial. It’s obvious from the verdict that they deliberated each charge carefully, and we appreciate their service.” Ten other defendants had already pleaded guilty in the $200 million scheme, designed to induce doctors to steer lucrative patients – particularly those with high-reimbursing, out-of-network private insurance – to the now defunct hospital. Most of the kickbacks, which totaled more than $40 million, were disguised as consulting fees or “marketing money” doled as a percentage of surgeries each doctor referred to Forest Park.  Instead of billing patients for out-of-network co-payments, instituted by insurers to de-incentivize the high costs associated with out-of-network treatment, Forest Park allegedly assured patients they would pay in-network prices. Because they knew insurers wouldn’t tolerate such practices, they concealed the patient discounts and wrote off the difference as uncollected ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-04-09
    2 weeks ago
  • Two Men Charged in $1.5 Million Apple Gift Card Scheme
    A New York man appeared in federal court in Dallas Tuesday afternoon on charges related to his alleged role in a $1.5 million Apple gift card scheme, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.  Syed Ali, 29, and his co-conspirator, Jason Tout-Puissant, 27, were both charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud in December.   “These defendants may have assumed their fraud would go unnoticed simply because $1.5 million is small compared to the revenue that Apple expects to generate  – but thankfully, the FBI is vigilant for fraud of all shapes and sizes,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “DOJ is committed to protecting American companies, large and small, from fraudulent schemes like this.” “The FBI worked to identify and end the scheme carried out by the defendants,” said Michael Schneider, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Division. “Our private sector partnerships allow us to effectively target cyber criminals who attempt to steal property or sensitive information.” According to the indictment, Mr. Tout-Puissant allegedly obtained an Apple point-of-sale device called an “Isaac” and used it to load thousands of dollars of fraudulent store credits onto gift cards over the course of about 16 months. He then sent the gift cards digitally to Mr. Ali, who allegedly used them to purchase computers and other Apple products from the company’s brick-and-mortar retail stores across the country. Mr. Ali was arrested in New York in March, and subsequently removed to the Northern ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-04-09
    2 weeks ago
  • Former Councilman Larry Duncan Sentenced to 6 Months’ House Arrest in Public Corruption Probe
    Former Dallas City Councilman Larry Duncan was sentenced this morning on charges stemming from the public corruption investigation into Dallas County Schools (DCS), announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. A former DCS Board of Trustees President, Mr. Duncan, 73, pleaded guilty in October to one count of tax evasion, admitting he failed to pay income tax on campaign contributions from a DCS vendor. He was sentenced this morning to six months of home confinement and three years of probation; he will also be required to repay more than $45,000 in back taxes and interest and perform community service for the City of Dallas. “This particular investigation has netted six convictions to date,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “We expect elected officials to be absolutely fastidious with money they receive as a result of their official position. When public officials behave unscrupulously, North Texas can count on federal prosecutors to intervene. We hope officials will heed our commitment to exposing corruption in any form it takes, and act accordingly.” According to plea papers, between 2012 and 2016, Mr. Duncan accepted nearly a quarter of a million dollars in campaign contributions from Force Multiplier Solutions president Robert Leonard, who happened to be pursuing lucrative stop-arm camera contracts with DCS. Instead of putting Mr. Leonard’s money towards legitimate campaign expenses associated with his DCS re-election bid, Mr. Duncan admits he used at least $184,726.03 for personal benefit, taking out cash withdrawals, passing on money to his wife, and even using funds to pay ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-04-08
    2 weeks ago
  • Fmr. Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway Sentenced to 56 Months in Bribery Scheme
    Former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway was sentenced this afternoon to 4 years and 8 months in federal prison for public corruption, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.   Councilmember Caraway pleaded guilty on August 9 to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of tax evasion. He resigned his seat on the Dallas City Council later that same day. “Over the past year and a half, the Northern District of Texas has been relentless in rooting out public corruption, and we will continue to prioritize corruption cases,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “This case should serve as a warning to public officials across North Texas:  If you betray the trust of your constituents, we will prosecute you. We’ll prosecute the bribe payers. And we’ll prosecute those who attempt to conceal bribe payments.  Anyone who fosters a kickback culture, prioritizing financial interest ahead of constituent rights, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” According to plea papers, Councilmember Caraway, now 66, admits he accepted roughly $450,000 in bribes from Force Multiplier Solutions CEO Robert Leonard, an entrepreneur who sold faulty stop-arm cameras for use on Dallas County school busses.   In return for these kickbacks, Councilmember Caraway voted to promote and continue Dallas County Schools’ stop-arm camera program, which relied on equipment sold by Force Multiplier.  He also promoted Mr. Leonard’s planned real estate development in South Dallas.   The majority of bribes from ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-04-04
    2 weeks ago
  • Amarillo Man Sentenced for Shooting at Wife at Public Middle School
    An Amarillo man who shot at his wife during a youth football practice session was sentenced yesterday to 2 years and 9 months in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. Stephen Andrew Hale pleaded guilty to discharge of a firearm in a school zone in December 2018. According to his plea documents, Mr. Hale – who was under a protective order at the time of the incident – confronted his wife at Horace Mann Middle School’s football field in August 2018. As the argument escalated, he gave chase, shooting five rounds from his Ruger .357 magnum revolver in her direction. Though around 50 parents and children were present, no one was injured. When law enforcement arrested Mr. Hale shortly thereafter, officers discovered the firearm, loaded, in the front seat of his car. “Anytime we can use federal firearm laws to stem the tide of violence against women, we will,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox.  “Randomly firing a weapon at a public school is unlawful, no matter who the intended victim – and the fact that Mr. Hale targeted his wife makes this incident all the more troubling. In fact, because of the protective order against him, Mr. Hale was prohibited from having a gun at all.” Research shows that abusers with a gun in the home are five times more likely to kill their partners than abusers who don’t have that same access to a gun. The U.S. Attorney recently announced an ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-04-03
    2 weeks ago
  • Man Pleads Guilty To Kidnapping, Conspiracy Charges After Using Grindr to Target Gay Men For Violent Crimes
    Michael Atkinson, 24, pleaded guilty today to kidnapping and conspiracy charges in connection with his involvement in a scheme using Grindr to target gay men for violent crimes, announced  U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox and Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to protect individuals and communities from violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “The Department will continue to bring perpetrators of hate crimes to justice.” “The Northern District of Texas will not tolerate criminals who single out victims based on their sexual orientation,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “Unfortunately, this is not the first time we’ve seen despicable crimes committed on apps like Grindr. I want to urge the public to be vigilant online and recognize the dangers that are lurking there.” “Michael Atkinson targeted the victims in this case because of their sexual orientation. Hate crimes affect not only the victims, but also have a devastating impact on their families and an entire community,” said Michael Schneider, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Division. “The FBI works tirelessly with our federal, state, and local partners to thoroughly investigate many types of hate crimes, hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions, and bring justice to the victims.” According to his plea papers, Mr. Atkinson admitted to joining a conspiracy to use Grindr, a social media dating platform, to lure gay ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-03-27
    3 weeks ago
  • Cryptocurrency CEO Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud in $4 Million Crypto Scheme
    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 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-03-19
    1 month ago
  • U.S. Attorney Uses Civil and Criminal Authorities to Shut Down Drug-Infested Hotel
    A U.S. District Judge has granted federal prosecutors’ motion to shut down a drug-infested hotel located just 1000 feet from a Dallas elementary school, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox announced today. On Thursday, a task force of more than 50 agents and officers, accompanied by several attorneys, converged on Han Gil Hotel Town to effect arrests, execute search warrants, and post notices requiring the immediate clearing of the premises.  The Han Gil – which prosecutors say served as home base for multiple drug dealers selling cocaine, heroin and meth – became a “safe haven for drug distributors” and a “breeding ground for escalating criminal activity,” the government argued in a civil motion requesting the hotel’s immediate closure. The Court’s resulting Temporary Restraining Order, signed Wednesday by Judge C. David C. Godbey, prohibits anyone other than Han Gil proprietors and immediate family from occupying the hotel, which the Court agreed likely “endangers the general welfare of the community.” “The Han Gil is a magnet for drug dealers and violent criminals and needed to be shut down immediately for public safety reasons,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “Instead of simply picking off dealers one-by-one, we asked the Court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order enjoining the hotel’s further operation. We believe this business was nothing but a front for criminal activity and posed significant danger to our community. We will continue to push to keep it shut down.” Over the past eight months, the hotel, which is essentially caddy corner to Herbert ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-03-07
    1 month ago
  • Palo Pinto General Hospital CEO Pleads Guilty to Multi-Million Dollar Healthcare Fraud Scheme
    The former CEO of Palo Pinto General Hospital has pleaded guilty to defrauding three major insurance providers – BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, CIGNA Texas, and United Healthcare – out of millions of dollars, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced today.  According to his plea papers, Palo Pinto General Hospital CEO Harris Brooks, along with his co-conspirators, used PPGH’s in-network contracts with large health insurance companies to engage in pass-through billing for laboratory services, a scheme that lasted from September 2017 through June 2018.  Using PPGH’s national provider identification number, Mr. Brooks and his co-conspirators submitted claims to insurance companies for allergy and genetic testing purportedly performed at PPGH, Harris admits.  In reality however, PPGH did not have the equipment on-site to perform the tests for which it submitted claims, and the patients for whom claims were submitted were receiving treatment  at various spas and clinics throughout Texas and elsewhere, not PPGH. The patients did not know about the pass-through charges using PPGH’s insurance contracts.  Over the nine-month period, Brooks and his co-conspirators submitted claims to health insurance providers for laboratory services totaling more than $55 million, the vast majority of which were fraudulent.  As a result of these claims, the insurance companies paid PPGH more than $9 million. The purpose of the scheme was to receive higher rates of reimbursement from the insurance companies, Harris said.  According to his plea agreement, Brooks faces up to five years in prison and will be required to ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-03-07
    1 month ago
  • NDTX Roundup – 3/8/2019
    SENTENCING – Gary Morris (AUSA David Jarvis)Following a four-day sentencing hearing, 70-year-old Gary Ronald Morris, of McKinney, was sentenced on March 6 to 5 years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $2.2 million in restitution for his role in an investor fraud scheme. Mr. Morris pleaded guilty to wire fraud in May 2018. In his plea papers, Mr. Morris admitted he devised a scheme to defraud investors by deceiving them about the true state of his business, Greystone Digital Technologies.  He admits he sent emails to investors falsely claiming that a third party was willing to invest millions in Greystone’s “cargo scanner” project, that he was working closely with Federal Express on the scanner project; and that other companies had partnered with him on the scanner project. At the conclusion of the hearing, a U.S. District Judge ordered Mr. Morris taken into custody immediately. INDICTMENT – Charles Grant (AUSA Walt Junker)On March 7, a federal grand jury indicted Charles Edward Grant, of Dallas, on two counts of bank robbery. Mr. Grant, 23, allegedly robbed two Dallas banks, a Chase Bank and a Bank of America, in January 2019. He faces up to 20 years in prison on each count. PLEA -- Louis Medford (AUSA John Boyle)Louis Douglas Medford pleaded guilty on March 7 to firearm and drug charges. Mr. Medford – who was an already convicted felon at the time -- admits he fled the scene of a June 2017 traffic stop after Garland police officers noticed ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-03-07
    1 month ago
  • Dallas City Council Member Carolyn Davis Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes
    Friday morning, four-term Dallas City Council Member Carolyn Davis pleaded guilty to accepting more than $40,000 in bribes, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. According to plea papers, Council Member Davis actively sought these bribes from a real estate developer who stood to benefit from her support of his low-income housing project. In return for the money – plus the offer of a consulting contract once her tenure at the City Council concluded – Council Member Davis admits she lobbied and voted for the authorization of a $2.5 million development loan to fund the Royal Crest housing project, along with a City of Dallas resolution supporting 9 percent tax credits for Royal Crest, which was competing with another project.  She also wielded her considerable influence as Chair of the Dallas Housing Committee in Royal Crest’s favor while advocating for the project with Dallas housing officials. “Over the course of my 15-month tenure here at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, our team has been relentlessly dedicated to rooting out public corruption,” said U.S Attorney Nealy Cox. “I hope this case sends a message to public officials across our districts: When you prioritize your own financial interests ahead of your duty to you constituents, we will dig as deep as we have to in order to uncover the scheme. And we will bring you to justice.” “As FBI Dallas continues to proactively investigate Public Officials who misuse their positions of trust, our investigative efforts will be just as focused ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-02-28
    2 months ago
  • Man Pleads Guilty To Murdering Postal Worker in Fit of Road Rage
    A Los Angeles man today pleaded guilty to murdering a postal worker during a road rage incident in Dallas last February, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. Donnie Arlondo Ferrell, 26, admits he shot and killed U.S. Postal Service employee Tony Mosby, who was behind the wheel of a USPS vehicle, on Feb. 19, 2018. According to plea papers, Mr. Ferrell – one of three passengers inside a Mazda traveling eastbound on I-30 – became incensed at something he perceived Mr. Mosby had done on the freeway. He leaned out of the Mazda and fired four shots at the USPS vehicle. Mr. Ferrell then watched as the USPS vehicle crashed into a retaining wall on the freeway.   When Mr. Ferrell later learned Mr. Mosby had been killed by a bullet to the head, Mr. Ferrell instructed the Mazda’s other passengers not to discuss the incident with anyone else. When law enforcement attempted to arrest Mr. Ferrell two days later, he retreated into his residence and refused to surrender for several hours, according to his plea papers. This morning, Mr. Ferrell pleaded guilty to one count of murder of an employee of an agency of the United States government, and one count of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. He faces up to life in prison. “It was devastating to learn of the senseless act of violence that took the life of a federal postal employee while on the job in our district,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “I’m ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-02-26
    2 months ago
  • 25+ Defendants in Wichita Falls Drug Bust Sentenced
    More than 25 defendants apprehended in connection with OCDETF “Operation Flat Rate” –  a methamphetamine trafficking investigation in Wichita Falls that netted 25 defendants in the summer of 2018 – have been sentenced, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. Sentences ranged from a few months to 20 years in federal prison. One defendant, Chmira Denise Williams, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony (concealing the commission of felonious acts) and was sentenced to 8 months behind bars. Another defendant, Denene Griggs, pleaded guilty to concealing a person from arrest and was sentenced to 4 months in federal prison. She admits to sheltering two fugitives – her child’s father, Javaris Damon Scott, and his brother, Trevor Clifford Scott – inside her apartment; they were later arrested climbing out of her window. The remaining defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor:  LONTA HOBBS: 20 years in federal prison AARON TAYLOR : 19 years, 7 months in federal prison CHRISTIAN CHAVEZ: 17 years, 6 months  in federal prison BRAD WHITE: 13 years in federal prison CHADRICK MCBRIDE: 12 years in federal prison JOHN DUPREE WESLEY:  7 years, 8 months in federal prison ADDIS SCALES: 7 years, 3 months in federal prison CHRISTOPHER DAVIS: 7 years in federal prison FLOYD RICHARDSON: 7 years in federal prison  GALVIN DANIELS: 5 years in federal prison TERRY MURRAY: 5 years in federal prison DJUANNA NEWMAN: 5 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-02-25
    2 months ago
  • Prison Guard Sentenced for Sexual Relationship with Inmate
    A federal corrections officer was sentenced yesterday to more than a year behind bars – the same environment where she took advantage of a prison inmate less than two years ago.  Erica McCoy, 32, pleaded guilty in August to abusive sexual contact with an inmate at FCI Seagoville, an all-male, low-security institution southeast of Dallas . In plea papers, Ms. McCoy said she stumbled upon the inmate – identified only by his initials, D.E. – cleaning her office carpet in the summer of 2017. They had regular sexual contact, Ms. McCoy admitted. Their relationship ended when D.E. was placed into the Special Housing Unit (SHU) and Ms. McCoy resigned amid an investigation by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. “Today’s sentence demonstrates that corruption and abuse of power have no place in our federal prisons and will not be tolerated,” stated Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Elise Chawaga.  “Our office takes allegations of sexual contact between correctional officers and inmates seriously, and we thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas for their hard work on this case.” A federal judge sentenced Ms. McCoy to one year and one day in federal prison and ordered her to self-surrender within 90 days. She will also be required to register as a sex offender. The Department of Justice – Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanna Etessam prosecuted the case. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-02-25
    2 months ago
  • Man Indicted After Phishing Email Duped Crowley ISD Out of $2 Million
    A Florida man has been formally indicted for his role in a scheme to steal money from Crowley Independent School District (ISD) in Crowley, Texas, announced  U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. A federal grand jury indicted Donald Howard Conkright, 61, on two counts of wire fraud after a phishing email duped the district into sending nearly $2 million to his personal bank account. According to the indictment, in October 2018, an email was sent to Crowley ISD’s Director of Accounting, falsely claiming to contain updated banking information for a construction company with which Crowley ISD did business. In reality, the information was for Mr. Conkright’s personal bank account. Relying on the false information provided in the email, Crowley ISD sent two wire payments, totaling $1,995,715.52, to Mr. Conkright’s account. Mr. Conkright used those funds to purchase a luxury vehicle and wrist watches, execute wire transfers, and make cash withdrawals. “Unfortunately, these sorts of spear-phishing email attacks have become all-too-common – and perpetrators are targeting not just individuals, but corporations and public institutions as well,” said Nealy Cox. “We cannot allow bad actors to divert precious school resources away from educating our children.” “We urge constant vigilance on email, and pledge to continue to partner with the FBI to identify perpetrators and bring them to justice,” she added. An indictment is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. Mr. Conkright is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The Federal Bureau of ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-02-21
    2 months ago
  • Man Carrying Prohibited 3D-Printed Gun Found With List of Lawmakers’ Addresses
    A Dallas man was sentenced today to 8 years in prison after officers caught him with a partially 3D-printed AR-15 rifle and a list of lawmakers’ addresses in his backpack, despite a court order that prohibited him from possessing a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. In August 2015, following a violent altercation with a live-in girlfriend, a county judge enacted a protective order against Eric Gerard McGinnis, then 39. Despite that order – which barred him from possessing firearms or ammunition for two years – Mr. McGinnis attempted to buy a semi-automatic rifle component at a federally licensed gun shop in June 2016. The prospective purchase was rejected after an NICS background check uncovered the order, and ATF reminded Mr. McGinnis he wasn’t allowed to have a gun. Instead, Mr. McGinnis obtained a barrel, stock, upper receiver, and grip, then used a 3D printer to create a “lower receiver,” the gun’s firing mechanism, and assembled the parts to construct a short-barrel AR-15 style rifle. In July 2017 – with just over one month left on his protective order – Mr. McGinnis took the 3D-printed gun to a wooded area just outside Dallas. Grand Prairie police officers, out on another call, heard three shots fired and eventually located him just off a major road. Ordered to put his hands up, Mr. McGinnis falsely claimed to be a member of the CIA. Body-cam video shows that officers directed him to kneel on the pavement, ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-02-12
    2 months ago
  • North Texas Man Charged by Criminal Complaint with Conspiring to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization
    A north Texas man was charged today with conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers and U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. Michael Kyle Sewell, 18, was charged Friday morning by criminal complaint in Fort Worth, Texas with conspiring to provide material support and resources to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani-based foreign terrorist organization. As set forth in the complaint, Sewell recruited an individual, identified in the complaint as coconspirator 1, to join Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a designated foreign terrorist organization.  Sewell met the coconspirator online and encouraged him to join LeT.  Sewell provided the coconspirator with contact information for an individual he believed could facilitate the coconspirator’s travel to join the organization. Unbeknownst to Sewel and the coconspirator, the facilitator was an undercover FBI agent. Sewell coached the coconspirator about what to say to convince the facilitator that he was sincere in his desire to fight for LeT.  Sewell also contacted the facilitator to vouch for the coconspirator’s authenticity.  Sewell told both the coconspirator and the facilitator that he would kill the coconspirator if he turned out to be a spy.  The coconspirator made contact with the facilitator and made arrangements with the facilitator to travel to Pakistan to join LeT.  “Sewell allegedly used social media to recruit and encourage an individual to travel overseas to join a foreign terrorist organization and conspired with that person to provide material support to that organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers.  “The National ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-02-07
    2 months ago
  • NDTX Weekly Roundup — 2/8/19
    SENTENCING – Bradley MatochaOn Feb. 8, Bradley James Matocha, II, was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison, followed by a 20-year term of supervised release, after pleading guilty to attempted enticement of a minor.  Matocha, 32, of Plano, responded to an ad in which a father stated he had a daughter who needed to “learn the ropes.” Matocha chatted with both the father and the daughter, offering to meet them and have sex with the minor.  With the meeting scheduled for June 26, 2018, Matocha suggested that he and the father first meet at a Jack-in-the-Box in Fort Worth and from there go back to their house where he would have sex with the daughter. When Matocha arrived at the Jack-in-the-Box, however, he was arrested by Fort Worth police, who had engaged in an undercover online operation to ferret out sexual predators. SENTENCING – Paul MorrisOn Feb. 8, Paul David Morris of Irving, TX was sentenced to 20 years in prison on drug charges. Mr. Morris pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in March. The Texas Department of Public Safety investigated the case. SENTENCING – Alvin PennOn Feb. 5, Alvin Christopher Penn was sentenced to 14 years in prison for escape from federal custody and unlawful possession of a firearm. In July, a jury found Mr. Penn guilty of escaping from a residential reentry center in Hutchins, Texas. According to evidence presented at trial, shortly after he escaped from the halfway house, Mr. Penn took ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-02-07
    2 months ago
  • U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox to Target Domestic Abusers With Guns
    U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox today announced a new initiative to fight domestic violence using federal firearm laws. Federal law prohibits convicted domestic violence abusers, as well as those subject to certain protective orders, from possessing guns. Working in tandem with state and local law enforcement partners, U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox pledged to prosecute domestic violence offenders discovered with guns.  “With so many domestic disputes escalating from bruises to bullets and bloodshed, we can and should play a part in ending this senseless violence,” she said. “We’re hopeful that highlighting this focus will send a message to convicted abusers: Not only can the Justice Department prosecute you for firearm possession, but in the Northern District of Texas, we will.” Research shows that abusers with a gun in the home are five times more likely to kill their partners than abusers who don’t have that same access to a gun. Dallas County alone sees an average of 15 intimate partner violence fatalities each year – and more than half of victims are killed by gunfire. Federal prosecutors in the Northern District of Texas have already indicted several domestic violence offenders on various firearm charges: John Gabriel Mejia, Jr. was indicted for possession of a firearm while subject to a domestic violence protective order, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922 (g)(8). Mr. Mejia, 25, was served with a protective order in 2018, after allegedly holding his girlfriend and her 7-year-old daughter in his garage against their will. With the protective order in ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-02-05
    2 months ago
  • Pill Mill Physician Convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics
    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 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-02-01
    3 months ago
  • NDTX Roundup – 1/17/2019
    PLEA – Roberto Rodriguez Salinas          On Jan. 17, Robert Rodriguez Salinas, 38, of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine and conspiracy to launder money.  Plea documents reveal Mr. Salinas was arrested with approximately 8 kilograms of cocaine, $115,913.00 in United States Currency, and a .380 Bersa Firearm.  Mr. Salinas admitted he was conspiring with others to distribute the cocaine he had in his possession and that the currency was drug proceeds which he was going to send to an individual located in Mexico.  Rodriguez Salinas agreed to forfeit the currency and the firearm.  The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Dallas Police Department, and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. SENTENCING – LaPorshya PolleyOn Jan. 16, Chief Judge Barbara Lynn sentenced LaPorshya Polley, convicted of firearms offenses last April, to 4 years in federal prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release. Last year, a jury found her and her codefendant, Darius Fields, guilty of straw purchasing. Mr. Fields --  who was at the time a person of interest in the kidnapping and eventual murder of 13-year-old Shavon Randle --  is set to be sentenced in April.  The FBI and Irving Police Department conducted the investigation. PLEA – Corry JessieOn Oct. 16, Corry Jessie, 26, of Dallas pleaded guilty to two counts of felon in possession of a firearm. Jessie was prosecuted in connection with the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-01-16
    3 months ago
  • Dallas Men Indicted for Hate Crimes for Targeting Gay Men on Grindr
    Two Dallas men were charged with hate crimes today for using the Grindr app to lure men to an apartment complex, where the men were assaulted, taunted and robbed, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. A federal grand jury indicted Daniel Jenkins, 19, and Michael Atkinson, 24, for conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping, and carjacking. Mr. Jenkins was also charged with brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. According to the 15-count indictment – which supersedes an indictment filed under seal in August 2018 – members of the conspiracy set up fake profiles on Grindr, a social media dating platform for GBTQ men, to lure gay men to an apartment complex in Pleasant Grove, Texas in order to commit violent crimes against them including assaults, kidnapping, and carjacking.  For approximately one week in December 2017, the conspirators lured at least nine victims, ages 19 to 57, to Solana Ridge Apartments. On December 6, 2017, members of the conspiracy used Grindr to lure John Doe 8 to the Solana Ridge Apartments in Pleasant Grove. Jenkins and another unidentified man held John Doe 8 at gunpoint in a vacant apartment.  Jenkins and his coconspirator took John Doe 8’s cellular phone and other property.  The next day, John Doe 9 was contacted through Grindr and lured to the Solano Ridge Apartments where he was carjacked at gunpoint and forced to drive to local ATMs in order to withdraw cash. On December 7, 2017, members of ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-01-08
    3 months ago
  • NDTX Roundup – 1/9/2019
    PLEA – Isaiah Alexander AllenOn Jan. 2, 22-year-old Isaiah Alexander Allen pleaded guilty to cyberstalking, after law enforcement caught him posting so-called “revenge porn.” Allen met his victim, a California college student, on an internet gaming website. Over the course of their online relationship, she sent him several sexual photos. But when she refused to provide additional lascivious images, Allen posted dozens of her naked photos online, along with screenshots of B.K.’s driver’s license, college ID, and social security card, as well as her phone number and physical address. The photos, originally uploaded to Reddit and Imgur and later shared on sites like 4Chan and PornStarTube, have been viewed more than a million times. The FBI and Lubbock Police Department investigated. INDICTMENT*  – Daniel Jenkins & Michael AtkinsonOn Jan. 8, two Dallas men were charged with conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping, and carjacking. Daniel Jenkins, 19, and Michael Atkinson, 24, allegedly used fake profiles targeting gay men on Grindr, a GTBQ dating app, to lure at least nine men, ages 19 to 57, to an apartment complex, where they were assaulted, taunted, and robbed. At least five victims were physicaly assaulted, one was sexually assaulted with an object, and one was smeared with feces. The FBI investigated.   VERDICT -- Robert BazanOn Jan. 8, a federal jury found Robert Bazan, 45, of Seminole, Texas, guilty of methamphetamine and firearms offenses.  According to the evidence presented at trial, in April 2018, Mr. Bazan sold an AR-style pistol and approximately one ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2019-01-08
    3 months ago
  • USAO NDTX Roundup — 12/20/2018
    IDICTMENT* – Joseph McDonell, 40On Dec. 18, a federal grand jury returned a nine-count indictment against Joseph Heath McDonell, of Dallas, charging access device fraud and identity theft.  McDonell was found in possession of credit and debit card making equipment, stolen personal identifying information, thousands of counterfeit credit card numbers, and several counterfeit Texas DPS drivers permits.  If convicted, Mr. McDonell faces up to more than 4 years in federal prison.  The FBI and Dallas Police Department investigated the case. INDICTMENT* – Vinson Burnett, 53On Dec. 18 a federal grand jury indicted Vinson Burnett of Mesquite, Texas for using a peer-peer file sharing program to share and receive child pornography. Two different law enforcement agencies were able to download child pornography from Burnett over a two month period.  Upon execution of a search warrant, child pornography was found on a cell phone and a computer hard drive.  If convicted, Mr. Burnett faces up to 40 years in federal prison.  The Mesquite Police Department and HSI investigated the case. INDICTMENT* - Quentin Amoako, 30On Dec. 18, a federal grand jury indicted Quentin Amoako, of Dallas, for possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine.  Amoako was also indicted for possessing a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities.  If convicted, Mr. Amoako faces up to 25 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum of 5 years in federal prison.  The FBI investigated. This case stemmed from a  Project Safe Neighborhood investigation, an initiative bringing together federal and local law enforcement to ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-12-19
    4 months ago
  • Eight Dallas-Area Pharmacy Owners and Marketers Charged in $9 Million Kickback Scheme
    Eight Dallas-area pharmacy owners and marketers were charged in an indictment unsealed today for their roles in a scheme involving approximately $92 million in compound drug claims to TRICARE and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which were allegedly the product of over $9.1 million in illegal kickbacks. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Michael Mentavlos of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Southwest Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Steven Grell of the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General’s (DOL-OIG) Dallas Region and Special Agent in Charge CJ Porter of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Services (HHS-OIG) made the announcement. Richard Hall, 48; Scott Schuster, 47; Dustin Rall, 43; George Lock Paret, 34; and Michael Ranelle, 49, all of Fort Worth, Texas; John Le, 43, of Dallas; Quintan Cockerell, 37, of Manhattan Beach, California; and Turner Luke Zeutzius, 36, of Horseshoe Bay, Texas, were each charged in an indictment filed Dec. 12 in the Northern District of Texas with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and pay and receive kickbacks.  Hall, Schuster, Rall, and Le were each additionally charged with four counts of paying kickbacks.  Zeutzius was additionally charged with two counts of receiving kickbacks and Ranelle and Cockerell were each charged with one count of receiving kickbacks.  Hall, Schuster, Rall, Le and Ranelle were arrested yesterday and had their initial court appearances before U.S. Magistrate ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-12-18
    4 months ago
  • New VIDEO: Trafficker with Massive Network Leads Law Enforcement on Wild Car Chase
    Newly-released dash cam video shows the moment a drug trafficker with a distribution network worth hundreds of thousands of dollars fled the scene of an undercover drug buy. At the wheel was Israel Vasquez, a 46 year-old-citizen of Mexico, who was sentenced last week to life in prison after pleading guilty to drug and money laundering charges earlier this year. According to law enforcement, Mr. Vasquez’ methamphetamine distribution network stretched from Michoacán, Mexico, across the southern border, and into Texas and Louisiana. The drug ring netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds wired to his alias, “Adan Perez.” Not long before the footage was recorded in March 2016, Grand Prairie Police officers initiated an undercover drug buy with a man later identified as Mr. Vasquez.  He agreed to meet an undercover agent behind a retail store in Grand Prairie. Just before the meeting, however, Mr. Vasquez seemed to grow suspicious, pitching about half a kilogram of meth out his car window and speeding away. The subsequent footage shows he led Grand Prairie Police on a wild chase, zig zagging through heavy traffic on Interstate 20, blasting through stop lights, and driving the wrong way on residential streets.   After he ditched the vehicle, agents located a receipt inside that noted his alias, Adan Perez. They tracked Mr. Vasquez to Seattle, where he was arrested weeks later. At sentencing, prosecutors revealed that at the time of the chase, Mr. Vasquez was a fugitive from justice, having fled to Mexico in 2010 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-12-17
    4 months ago
  • USAO NDTX Roundup — 12/13/18
    SENTENCING – Israel Vasquez, 46Israel Vasquez, a 46 year old citizen of Mexico, was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to drug and money laundering charges in June. Vasquez’s methamphetamine distribution network stretched from Michoacan, Mexico, through the southern border, and into Texas and Louisiana, and collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds wired to Vaszquez’s alias, Adan Perez. According to law enforcement agents, in 2013, Vasquez was kidnapped by a cartel and tortured due to a drug debt; as soon as his family raised money to release him, he returned to dealing. He was apprehended weeks after he ditched a stash of meth and fled the scene of a planned undercover drug buy. The FBI, Dallas Police Department, and IRS - Criminal Investigation led the investigation. ARREST – Drug traffickersThirteen people tied to Mexican cartels were arrested on federal drug conspiracy charges after an FBI-led bust on Dec. 12. Investigators say the individuals — who they say are connected to Mexico's Los Zetas and New Generation Jalisco cartels — have conspired to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin since March 2014. The criminal complaints were unsealed Wednesday afternoon. The DEA and Texas Department of Public Safety investigated. Release here. PLEA -- Ramon Hernandez, 41On Dec. 11, Ramon Hernandez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Hernandez admits that at the direction of a coworker, he stole medical equipment from his employer, made fraudulent entries in their database concerning the shipment of the equipment, and ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-12-12
    4 months ago
  • 13 Suspected Drug Traffickers with Cartel Ties Arrested in Bust
    Thirteen individuals were arrested on federal drug conspiracy charges following a bust led by the FBI Wednesday morning, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced today. According to criminal complaints unsealed this afternoon, the defendants -- Juan Hernandez, Humberto Morales, Marcos Dominguez, Adolfo Ortiz, Albert Martinez, Alejandro Navarrete, Oscar Hernandez, Rebecca Mier, Leoncio Aguilar, Josue Coy, Fidel Alain Martin-Sosa, Yuniel Eduardo Lima Rivero, and Henry Alberto Echarte Rivero – conspired to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin over a nearly five-year period, beginning in March 2014. According to Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigators, the conspirators -- who had ties to the Los Zetas and the New Generation Jalisco Mexican cartels -- had a fluid hierarchy that evolved over time.  Some of the money derived from the sale and distribution of the drugs were used to purchase additional drugs, while other drug money was sent to Mexico.  The investigation culminated yesterday, when FBI agents raided a home just across the street from a Grand Prairie elementary school, seizing 380 grams of heroin, a shotgun, and approximately 5 kilograms of methamphetamine. Additional agents seized seven firearms and ounce quantities of cocaine from two houses in Dallas. Agents in Carrollton, assisted by Carrollton Police Department seized 3 kilograms of methamphetamine that defendants Lima Rivero and Echarte Rivero attempted to discard. In total, law enforcement also seized approximately $24,800 in U.S. currency. A complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged made ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-12-11
    4 months ago
  • Woman Admits Defrauding Medicaid a Second Time, This Time from Prison
    In 2015, Alexis C. Norman pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud. But while awaiting sentencing, she concocted another healthcare fraud scheme.   Yesterday afternoon, Ms. Norman, 47, pleaded guilty once again, this time admitting one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and four counts of healthcare fraud – three committed before she was sentenced in the prior case and one committed while she was behind bars, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.   According to court documents, Ms. Norman approached co-conspirator Karen Jones in February 2015 with a business idea she hoped could help pay legal fees from her previous case.  Ms. Jones agreed to help Ms. Norman by listing herself as the administrator of Janus Children Services, Inc., opening a bank account in Janus’ name, and leasing office space for Janus in Tyler, Texas. The company never occupied the office space, never hired any employees, and never provided any services. Together, Ms. Norman and Ms. Jones used stolen identities of licensed counselors and Medicaid recipients to submit more than $810,000 in fraudulent claims to Medicaid, and were paid more than $427,000. After Medicaid paid Janus for the false claims, Ms. Norman directed Jones to withdraw cash from the Janus bank account, always in amounts less than $9,500. Roughly once a month from April 2015 to February 2016, the pair would meet at a restaurant. When they finished their meal, Ms. Jones – who carried the cash in a gift bag – would leave the ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-12-06
    5 months ago
  • Mexican Citizen Sentenced to 11 ¼ Years in Federal Prison for Transporting Fentanyl
    A 26-year-old citizen of Mexico was sentenced today to 135 months in federal prison after authorities caught him transporting fentanyl, a powerful narcotic 50 times more potent than heroin, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. Jesus Florencio Chaparro-Sanchez pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute in August.In late May, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper stopped Mr. Chaparro-Sanchez, who was driving a black Pontiac G6, for traffic violations. Near the vehicle’s rear axle, the officer located an after-market compartment. Inside, investigators discovered nine bundles of a white powdery substance. Mr. Chaparro-Sanchez later admitted that a man in Mexico had offered him a job transporting the drugs.  He said he knew the vehicle contained drugs, and claimed he thought he was transporting cocaine.  DEA testing revealed that the substance was actually about four kilograms of Tramadol plus about five kilograms of fentanyl.  “This deadly drug is wreaking havoc across the country. Many users don’t realize traffickers are cutting other, less potent drugs with cheap fentanyl,” said Nealy Cox. “We have zero tolerance for those that support the distribution of dangerous drugs in America and we will do everything in our power to stop fentanyl’s spread across North Texas.” “The country is battling an opioid epidemic that is taking lives by the minute.  Fentanyl is fueling this deadly epidemic,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Division Clyde E. Shelley, Jr. “DEA Dallas will aggressively investigate and prosecute any and all persons involved ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-12-06
    5 months ago
  • Dallas Project Safe Neighborhood Taskforce Honored by Justice Department
     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 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-12-05
    5 months ago
  • TCU Employee Sentenced for Stealing Money From Upward Bound
     A former Texas Christian University employee was sentenced today to five years in prison for theft of federal funds, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. Margaret Faust, 69, who served as Assistant Director of TCU’s Upward Bound program for roughly 18 years, pleaded guilty in August to embezzling money from the program, which helps low-income high school students prepare for college.  According to court documents, Faust routinely pocketed cash from funds awarded to the university by the Department of Education. She stored the money – allotted for Upward Bound participant stipends – in a locked drawer inside her desk before depositing it in her personal checking account. As part of her scheme, Ms. Faust instituted a program that allowed her to withhold the stipend money in $7 increments – about the cost of students’ bus fare, one former Upward Bound participant testified in court. As a result of her conduct, TCU’s Upward Bound program was terminated. Ms. Faust has paid back more than $210,000 – but it’s possible she stole significantly more than that, prosecutors told U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor at her sentencing hearing today. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Education conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Fahey prosecuted the case. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-12-02
    5 months ago
  • USAO NDTX Roundup — 11/29/1
    SENTENCING –Anthony Turner, 26,  Xavier Ross, 26  & Afraybeom Jackson, 28On 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 RingOn 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, 30On 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 ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-11-28
    5 months ago
  • Cryptocurrency CEO Indicted After Defrauding Investors of $4 Million
    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, ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-11-27
    5 months ago
  • Sting Operation Nabs Spa Proprietor Mongering Illicit Sex
    Following a sting operation at a Dallas hotel earlier this month, law enforcement liberated dozens of women sold for sex, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. This week, a federal grand jury indicted Helen Kim – the alleged proprietor of the prostitution ring – on racketeering charges.   “It takes a lot of coordination to ensure an operation like this goes without a hitch. I’m proud of the way law enforcement came together to fight for these young women,” said Nealy Cox. “The defendant’s willingness to demean women for financial gain is sickening. We cannot and will not allow this type of behavior to go unchecked in North Texas.” More than 50 officers from the Dallas Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and Homeland Security Investigations participated in the Nov. 1 undercover operation. Agents, posted at the hotel bar and in rooms upstairs, posed as out-of-town businessmen prepared to pay for illicit sex. According to the indictment, Ms. Kim, 58, had agreed to provide dozens of women for that very purpose. In earlier conversations with a confidential informant and an undercover Dallas Police Department detective, Ms. Kim and her 36-year-old son allegedly negotiated private sexual liaisons with 20 to 25 women at a rate of $2,000 each, for a total of at least $40,000. The pair promised the “girlfriend experience,” and even allowed the CI and UD to meet several of the women at a local Sushi bar. During another meeting at a ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-11-20
    5 months ago
  • Eight Individuals arrested on Drug Conspiracy Charges
    Eight defendants are in federal custody following their arrests in October and November 2018 on federal drug conspiracy charges, announced Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.  The defendants -- Lea Lea Bills, of Stephenville, Texas, Jeanne Butler, of Stephenville, Texas, Shauna Michelle Campbell, of Morgan Mill, Texas, Edward Martin Carranza, of Dublin, Texas, Michael Tyler Davidson, of Stephenville, Texas, David Wayne Green, of Lipan, Texas, Brad Keith, of Stephenville, Texas, and Michaela Danese Moncrief, of Dublin, Texas -- were all charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a controlled substance, and made their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cureton.    According to a Complaint filed last month, from about July 2017 through August 30, the defendants conspired together, and with others, to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine throughout the Northern District of Texas and elsewhere.  Members of the conspiracy had a fluid hierarchy that evolved over time.  Some of the money derived from the sale and distribution of the methamphetamine was used to purchase additional quantities of methamphetamine.  A complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge.  The government has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment.  A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty through due process of law. If convicted, defendants face up to 40 years in federal ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-11-19
    5 months ago
  • Fort Worth Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Hulen Mall Arson
    A Fort Worth Man was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for the May 2018 Hulen Mall arson, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. In July, Craig Michael Tezeno, 46, of Fort Worth, Texas, pleaded guilty to igniting several Molotov cocktails inside two department stores in Fort Worth’s Hulen Mall.  According to court documents, Tezeno admits he lit a rag stuffed into a glass bottle filled with gasoline and placed it on the floor of Dillard’s department store on May 11. Later that same day, he lit a similar device inside a Sears.  He returned to the same Sears a week later and ignited a third device, hoping to start a fire and damage the store.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Worth Police Department investigated the case, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Fort Worth Fire Department’s Arson Investigations Unit, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, and FBI Task Force Officers from the Tarrant County Sherriff’s Office, the Arlington Police Department, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer prosecuted the case. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-11-18
    5 months ago
  • USAO NDTX Weekly Roundup — 11/16/18
    SENTENCING – Eddie Galindo-Mendez, 44On Nov. 9, Eddie Estuardo Galindo-Mendez was sentenced to just under 5 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to bank robbery. He admits that he robbed Lubbock’s Happy State Bank in November 2017. Dressed in a large coat, gloves, hat, and sunglasses, Mr. Galindo approached a teller and handed him a note threatening an active bomb. He then placed what appeared to be a pipe bomb next to the teller’s computer. After the teller surrendered the money, Mr. Galindo took the note and fled on a bicycle, leaving the purported bomb at the bank.  (The bomb squad later determined the device – galvanized pipe and wires wrapped in duct tape and connected to a cell phone – was inert.) The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms conducted the investigation.. PLEA – Michael Asagba, 20On Nov. 13, Michael Asagba of Mesquite, TX  pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated robbery and one count of using a firearm, during a crime of violence on November 13. Mr. Asagba admits to a string of food store robberies in Mesquite in late February. He now faces a minimum of 7 years and a maximum of 67 years in prison. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms investigated. INDICTMENT* -- Adrian Martinez, 44On Nov. 14, a federal grand jury indicted Adrian Martinez, a CPS worker, on one count of enticement of a child.  In September, Martinez contacted an undercover officer, who was posing as a 14-year-old girl, through the Skout ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-11-15
    5 months ago
  • United States Attorney Announces Appointment of Four New Federal Prosecutors
    U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox is proud to announce the appointment of four new Assistant United States Attorneys: Kristina Williams, assigned to the Dallas Appellate Division, Tiffany Eggers, assigned to the Dallas Criminal Division, Laura Montes, assigned to the Fort Worth Criminal Division, and Ann Howey, assigned to the Lubbock Criminal Division. All four prosecutors were sworn in on November 9 before Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn. A graduate of Texas A&M University and the University of Houston Law Center, Ms. Williams previously served as a Senior Attorney at Dykema Cox Smith, where she represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the Texas Court of Appeals. She also served as a Term Law Clerk under the Honorable Edith H. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, as a Law Clerk for The Honorable Nathan Hecht of the Supreme Court of Texas, and as a Clerk for Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, at the Senate Judiciary Committee. Ms. Eggers joins the Northern District of Texas from the Northern District of Florida, where she spent more than 13 years prosecuting federal crimes, focusing on money laundering and fraud. Before that, she served as an Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida’s State Attorney’s Office. Ms. Eggers received her undergraduate degree from Jacksonville State University and her law degree from Florida State University College of Law. A graduate of Wheaton College and Northeastern University School ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-11-08
    5 months ago
  • US Attorney Outlines North Texas Election Day Program
    U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox has announced that Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Nicole Dana will lead the efforts of her office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 6, 2018, general election.  AUSA Dana has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Northern District of Texas, and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington. “Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud,” said Nealy Cox. “The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”  The Department of Justice has an important role in deterring election fraud and discrimination at the polls, and combating these violations whenever and wherever they occur.  The Department’s long-standing Election Day Program furthers these goals, and also seeks to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the election process by providing local points of contact within the Department for the public to report possible election fraud and voting rights violations while the polls are open on election day.  Federal law protects against such crimes as intimidating or bribing voters, buying and selling votes, impersonating voters, altering vote tallies, stuffing ballot boxes, and marking ballots for voters against their wishes or without their input.  It also contains special protections for the ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-11-01
    6 months ago
  • USA Erin Nealy Cox Appointed to AG’s China Initiative
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions today appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox – along with four other U.S. Attorneys, from New York, California, Alabama and Massachusetts -- to serve on the Justice Department’s China Initiative combating economic espionage by Beijing. This group is led by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers and composed of five U.S. Attorneys and several other Department of Justice leaders, including senior FBI officials and Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski of the Criminal Division. The new initiative will aggressively pursue high-priority Chinese theft of trade secret and economic espionage cases. “We cannot and will not allow foreign actors to take advantage of American ingenuity to line their own pockets,” said Nealy Cox. “I am proud to join this important effort and look forward to advancing the China initiative with my DOJ colleagues across the country.” As the Attorney General noted at a press conference in Washington, DC this afternoon, despite China’s public commitment that it would not target American companies for economic gain, Chinese economic espionage against the United States has been rapidly increasing. “Discoveries that took years of work and millions of dollars in investment here in the United States can be stolen by computer hackers or carried out the door by an employee in a matter of minutes,” Sessions said today. “Enough is enough.”  Initiative Goals: •  Identify priority trade secret theft cases, ensure that investigations are adequately resourced, and work to bring them to fruition in ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-10-31
    6 months ago
  • USAO NDTX Weekly Roundup — 11/01/18
    SENTENCING -- Tanya ScrogginsOn Oct. 25, Tanya Lynn Scroggins was sentenced to 17 ½ years in federal prison for her role in a methamphetamine ring managed by white supremacists.  In July, Scroggins pled guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute, after Texas DPS agents found her with a significant amount of methamphetamine, multiple firearms, and a large amount of cash. SENTENCING – Garry Newton, 21On Oct. 31, Garry Dewayne Newton was sentenced to just shy of 3 years in federal prison on drug and firearms charges. He was one of 15 defendants indicted in December 2017 following an ATF investigation targeting a violent Dallas street gang known as “YNB StretchGang.” After agreeing to sell meth to a customer he later learned was an uncover law enforcement officer, Newton was arrested carrying multiple drugs, drug paraphernalia, and a stolen 9mm Taurus handgun. He later pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a user of a controlled substance. Newton admits that he and other YNB StretchGang members sold controlled substances, including meth, cocaine, alprazolam (Xanax), and marijuana, and produced music videos glorifying violence. SENTENCING -- Shakil MukadamOn Oct. 31, Shakil Mukadam was sentenced to more than 6 years in federal prison for robbing four Dallas banks over a two-day period in December 2017.  In March, Mukadam pled guilty to one count of robbing a Wells Fargo Bank in Dallas but admitted robbing a Chase Bank and two BBVA Compass Bank locations ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-10-31
    6 months ago
  • 25th Defendant in Wichita Falls Drug Bust Pleads Guilty
    Thirty four year-old Lonta Hobbs, the final defendant associated with a July 2018 drug bust that netted 25 defendants in Wichita Falls, has pleaded guilty, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. One defendant, Chmira Denise Williams, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony. The remaining 24 defendants associated with the bust pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine: •          Floyd Raymond Richardson •          Wayland Brent Ballard •          Brad Deshaun White  •          Christopher Davis •          Virginia Ann White •          Trevor Clifford Scott * •          Teasie Winnell Scott •          Terry Lamar Murray •          John Dupree Wesley •          Javaris Damon Scott * •          Djuanna Kyvon Newman •          Chadrick Deshawn McBride •          Galvin Lamar Daniels •          Demarcus Madison •          Shelby Breanna Funk •          Christian Joseph Chavez •          Adam Domingo Garcia •          Lonta Hobbs •          Candace Rebecca Williams •          Aaron Floyd Taylor •          Jacinda Renee Burris •          Addis Scales •          Alvin Gerald Travis •          Amber Dawn Hatcher Denene Griggs, 24, also pleaded guilty yesterday to concealing a person from arrest. She admits to sheltering two fugitives from the drug bust – her child’s father, Javaris Damon Scott, and his brother, Trevor Clifford Scott – inside her apartment.  (The Scott brothers had been on the run after authorities uncovered their role in the drug conspiracy.  They were arrested on September 6, 2018, when FBI and Wichita Falls Police Department investigators caught them climbing out the window of Griggs' Wichita Falls apartment.) “As the U.S. Attorney, I ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-10-25
    6 months ago
  • NDTX Weekly Roundup — 10/25/18
    PLEA – Larry Duncan, 72On Oct. 22, four-term Dallas City Councilman Larry Duncan, a former president of Dallas County Schools’ Board of Trustees, pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion. The charge stems from the federal investigation into the Dallas County Schools bribery scandal, which claimed its fifth conviction Monday. Press release here. INDICTMENT* – Jeffrey Richie, 53, & Wendy Richie, 58On Oct. 23, a federal grand jury indicted a Red Oak, Texas couple who allegedly embezzled $14.5 million from retirement plans they managed. Jeffrey Richie, 53, and Wendy Richie, 58, co-owners of Vantage Benefits Administrators, were charged with conspiracy, theft from an employee benefit plan, wire fraud, and aggravated identify theft after they allegedly misappropriated funds from at least 1,000 participants in at least 20 employer’s plans.  Press release here.  INDICTMENT* – Michelle North, 53On Oct. 23, a federal grand jury indicted Michelle North, of Balch Springs, for theft of government funds and making false statement to the Social Security Administration (SSA).  She allegedly received income-based disability payments from SSA while also receiving a large amount of Indian tribal funds.  Ms. North failed to accurately tell SSA how much money she was receiving from the Tribal Counsel.  If convicted on this case, Ms. North will have to pay back approximately $32,000 in restitution.  SSA Office of the Inspector General investigated the case. PLEA – Chris Faulkner, 41On Oct. 23, Texas oil-and-gas mogul Christopher A. Faulkner pleaded guilty to securities fraud, engaging in illegal monetary transactions, and tax evasion. ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-10-24
    6 months ago
  • Couple Indicted For Embezzling $14.5 Million from Retirement Funds
    A federal grand jury indicted a Red Oak, Texas couple who allegedly embezzled $14.5 million from retirement plans they managed, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced today. Jeffrey Richie, 53, and Wendy Richie, 58, co-owners of Vantage Benefits Administrators, were charged with conspiracy, theft from an employee benefit plan, wire fraud, and aggravated identify theft. According to the indictment, Vantage served as third party administrator for dozens of retirement funds, including several 401(k)s. With her husband’s knowledge, Ms. Richie -- posing as various beneficiaries -- allegedly submitted fraudulent distribution requests to the retirement fund custodian, Matrix Trust Co. Instead of depositing the money into beneficiaries’ accounts, however, she transferred it into Vantage’s operating account. The couple allegedly used those funds to pay Vantage payroll and other operating expenses, as well as personal expenses, including mortgage and escrow payments, farming equipment, and home décor. The Richies misappropriated funds from at least 1,000 plan participants in at least 20 employer’s retirement plans, prosecutors say. “This couple took advantage of innocent people who were working hard and saving for their future,” said Nealy Cox. “We cannot permit such brazen financial misconduct to go unchecked.” “An important mission of the Office of Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud related to U.S. Department of Labor programs.  We will continue to work with DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration and our law enforcement partners to safeguard retirement benefits intended for American workers,” stated Steven Grell, Special Agent-in-Charge, Dallas Region, ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-10-23
    6 months ago
  • Grapevine Man Sentenced for Hate Crime
    A  64-year-old Grapevine, Texas, man was sentenced today to 12 months in federal prison for a hate crime, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox and Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. In July, Glenn Eugene Halfin pleaded guilty to interfering with housing rights after he repeatedly threatened and intimidated an African American family living in the apartment above him because of their race. In court documents, Mr. Halfin admits that in December 2017, he purchased a baby doll at Walmart, fashioned a rope into a noose, and slipped the noose around the baby doll’s neck. He then hung the noose from the railing directly in front of the staircase the victims used to access their apartment. The defendant “recognized that this display would be particularly intimidating for the African-American victims who had a young daughter,” documents say.   “No family should be afraid for children in their own home,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “The Northern District of Texas will not tolerate crimes born of bigotry. Prosecuting those that persecute others based on race is a priority for my office.”  “The Justice Department will not tolerate unlawful acts of racial intimidation,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Gore. “We will continue to prosecute hate crime offenders like Halfin to ensure that all families can feel safe in their own homes, regardless of their race, religion, or national origin.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Grapevine Police Department, in ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-10-23
    6 months ago
  • Oil-and-Gas Businessman Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors out of Millions
    Texas oil-and-gas mogul Christopher A. Faulkner has pleaded guilty to securities fraud, engaging in illegal monetary transactions, and tax evasion, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced today. A frequent media commentator and self-proclaimed “frack master,” Faulkner, 41, admits he bilked investors out of millions of dollars and concealed millions more from the IRS. According to documents unsealed today, from 2011 to 2016, Faulkner raised more than $71 million from working interest investors, who took on a fixed portion of projected drilling costs in exchange for a share in his oil and gas profits. But in marketing materials distributed to these investors, Faulkner inflated the estimated drilling cost by as much as 800 percent, allowing his three companies – Breitling Energy Corp., Crude Energy, LLC and Patriot Energy, Inc. – to pocket the difference between his projections and the actual cost of the wells.   He also gave would-be investors a “Geology Report,” ostensibly prepared by an independent expert, estimating future production for each well. Unbeknownst to them, the report was generated by a geologist on Faulkner’s payroll, and consistently overstated the wells’ potential. Faulkner routinely oversold shares, then transferred investment funds into comingled accounts, despite promising investors their money would be deposited in a segregated bank account used only to pay for drilling activities. Over a  five-year period, he admits, he diverted approximately $23 million for his own personal benefit, shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time for luxury travel, professional ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-10-22
    6 months ago
  • Amid Bribery Scandal, Former Dallas City Councilman Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion
    This morning, four-term Dallas City Councilman Larry Duncan, a former president of Dallas County Schools’ Board of Trustees, pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion before Chief Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.   The charge stems from the federal investigation into the Dallas County Schools bribery scandal, which has now claimed its fifth conviction. According to plea papers, between 2012 and 2016, Mr. Duncan, 72, accepted nearly a quarter of a million dollars in campaign contributions from Force Multiplier Solutions president Robert Leonard, who happened to be pursuing lucrative stop-arm camera contracts with DCS. Instead of putting Mr. Leonard’s money towards legitimate campaign expenses associated with his DCS re-election bid, Mr. Duncan admits he used at least $184,726.03 for personal benefit, taking out cash withdrawals, passing on money to his wife, and even using funds to pay car-related expenses. He then failed to disclose the money he diverted from the campaign on his tax returns, hiding the income from the IRS.  “Today marks another important step in our ongoing commitment to expose public corruption,” said Nealy Cox. “Those who seek to capitalize on positions of power undermine public trust in the very system they are meant to serve.  And that is something we cannot abide.” “Being a public official comes with its share of rewards and responsibilities; part of those responsibilities is to report all of your taxable income and pay your taxes.  Deliberate failure to do so is ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-10-21
    6 months ago
  • Violent Pimp Sentenced To Life Behind Bars
    A Dallas-area pimp who preyed on teenage girls was sentenced to life in prison this afternoon, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. Alan Nash, 41, was convicted in April of sex trafficking of children, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking through force, fraud or coercion, transportation of a minor to engage in commercial sex acts, and illegal possession of ammunition after he forced two victims, aged 17 and 19, into the illicit sex trade in the fall of 2014. During his four day trial, victims told jurors Nash lured them into engaging in commercial sex acts by promising a better life. Instead, he joined forces with the owner of the “Doll House” massage parlor, demanding the girls work day and night. He confiscated their proceeds and used violence and threats to keep them from leaving.  When one victim dozed off in a motel room, Nash dragged her out of bed and slammed her head into a toilet, cracking the seat with her skull – a warning to other victims about what could happen to them if they failed to earn enough money. Nash recruited the 17-year-old via Facebook, with promises of gifts and trips, evidence showed. One day, he showed up at her mother’s apartment in a Mercedes to drive her to a liaison. “I was a vulnerable little girl in need of guidance. I was desperate for help. Allen Nash knew that,” the young woman, now 22, said in an impact statement ... read more
    Source: DOJ – North TXPublished on 2018-10-18
    6 months ago