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1…………> Illegals Roundup: Salem, Ohio
Special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) late Tuesday executed a criminal search warrant at Fresh Mark in Salem, Ohio, in addition to federal document search warrants at three other Fresh Mark locations in Northern Ohio. During the search warrant execution, authorities identified 146 Fresh Mark employees working at the Salem meat processor who was subject to arrest for immigration violations.
Search warrants were served at the following locations:
1735 S. Lincoln Avenue, Salem, where more than 146 illegal aliens were arrested
1888 South Way Street, SW Massillon
950 Cloverleaf Street, SW, Massillon
1600 Harmont Ave NE, Canton
The enforcement action is part of a year-long, ongoing HSI investigation based on evidence that Fresh Mark may have knowingly hired illegal aliens at its meat processing and packaging facility, and that many of these aliens are utilizing fraudulent identification belonging to U.S. citizens.
“Unlawful employment is one of the key magnets drawing illegal aliens across our borders,” said Steve Francis, HSI special agent in charge for Michigan and Ohio. “Businesses who knowingly harbor and hire illegal aliens as a business model must be held accountable for their actions.”
Aliens who are being detained will be transported to a nearby processing facility located and placed in removal proceedings. Aliens will be detained in facilities in Michigan and Ohio while awaiting removal proceedings.
2…………> Crooked IRS Agent: California
A former special agent for the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Division Alena Aleykina, who is also a Certified Public Accountant and holds a master’s degree in business administration, was convicted on June 15 after a jury in Sacramento, California after being found her guilty of filing false tax returns, obstruction of justice and stealing government money.
According to court documents and evidence introduced at trial, the defendant filed six false tax returns: three personal tax returns for years 2009, 2010, and 2011 and three in the names of trusts she created for years 2010 and 2011. On her personal tax returns, Aleykina fraudulently claimed the head of household filing status, false dependents, and deductions for education expenses to which she was not entitled. On her trust tax returns, she failed to report rent she received from the tenants of her rental property and falsely claimed to be paying wages to her mother and her sister to care for her son and for her father.
Additionally, Aleykina stole government funds and obstructed justice during the investigation. She stole from the IRS’s Tuition Assistance Program by falsely claiming $4,000 in tuition reimbursement for classes that she did not take. When criminal investigators approached Aleykina to retrieve her government laptop, Aleykina lied to the agents about the location of the laptop and began deleting files from the computer after the agents left. The total loss to the government from Aleykina’s conduct is more than $60,000.
3…………> International Cartel: Busted
Federal authorities announced today a significant coordinated effort to disrupt Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes that are designed to intercept and hijack wire transfers from businesses and individuals, including many senior citizens. Operation Wire Wire was conducted over a six month period, culminating in over two weeks of intensified law enforcement action resulting in 74 arrests in the United States and overseas, including 29 in Nigeria, and three in Canada, Mauritius, and Poland. The operation also resulted in the seizure of nearly $2.4 million, and the disruption and recovery of approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers.
BEC, also known as “cyber-enabled financial fraud,” is a sophisticated scam often targeting employees with access to company finances and businesses working with foreign suppliers and/or businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments. The same criminal organizations that perpetrate BEC also exploit individual victims, often real estate purchasers, the elderly, and others, by convincing them to make wire transfers to bank accounts controlled by the criminals. This is often accomplished by impersonating a key employee or business partner after obtaining access to that person’s email account or sometimes done through romance and lottery scams. BEC scams may involve fraudulent requests for checks rather than wire transfers; they may target sensitive information such as personally identifiable information (PII) or employee tax records instead of, or in addition to, money; and they may not involve an actual “compromise” of an email account or computer network. Foreign citizens perpetrate many BEC scams. Those individuals are often members of transnational criminal organizations, which originated in Nigeria but have spread throughout the world.
“Fraudsters can rob people of their life’s savings in a matter of minutes,” said Attorney General Sessions. “These are malicious and morally repugnant crimes. The Department of Justice has taken aggressive action against fraudsters in recent months, conducting the largest sweep of fraud against American seniors in history back in February. Now, in this operation alone, we have arrested 42 people in the United States and 29 others have been arrested in Nigeria for alleged financial fraud. And so I want to thank the FBI, nearly a dozen U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the Secret Service, Postal Inspection Services, Homeland Security Investigations, the Treasury Department, our partners in Nigeria, Poland, Canada, Mauritius, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and our state and local law enforcement partners for all of their hard work. We will continue to go on offense against fraudsters so that the American people can have safety and peace of mind.”
A number of cases involved international criminal organizations that defrauded small to large sized businesses, while others involved individual victims who transferred high dollar funds or sensitive records in the course of business. The devastating effects these cases have on victims and victim companies, affect not only the individual business but also the global economy. Since the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) began keeping track of BEC and its variant, Email Account Compromise (EAC), as a complaint category, there has been a loss of over $3.7 billion reported to the IC3. BEC and EAC is a prevalent scam and the Justice Department along with our partners will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute the perpetrators, including money mules, regardless of where they are located.
Money mules may be witting or unwitting accomplices who receive ill-gotten funds from the victims and then transfer the funds as directed by the fraudsters. The money is wired or sent by check to the money mule who then deposits it in his or her own bank account. Usually, the mules keep a fraction for “their trouble” and then wire the money as directed by the fraudster. The fraudsters enlist and manipulate the money mules through romance scams or “work-at-home” scams.
Starting in January 2018, this coordinated enforcement action targeted hundreds of BEC scammers. In addition, law enforcement agents executed over 51 domestic actions including search warrants, money mule warning letters, and asset seizure warrants totaling nearly $1 million. Local and state law enforcement partners on FBI task forces across the country, with the assistance of multiple District Attorney’s Offices, charged 15 alleged money mules for their role in defrauding victims. These money mules were employed by the fraudsters to launder their ill-gotten gains by draining the funds into other accounts that are difficult to trace.
Following an investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service, 23 individuals were charged in the Southern District of Florida with laundering at least $10 million from proceeds of BEC scams, including eight people charged in an indictment unsealed last week in Miami. These eight defendants are alleged to have conspired to launder proceeds from numerous BEC scams, totaling at least approximately $5 million, including approximately $1.4 million from a victim corporation in Seattle, as well as various title companies and a law firm.
The BEC scam is related to other forms of fraud such as:
“Romance scams,” which lull victims to believe that their online paramour needs funds for an international business transaction, a U.S. visit or some other purpose;
“Employment opportunities scams,” which recruits prospective employees for work-from-home employment opportunities where employees are required to provide their PII as new “hires” and then are significantly overpaid by check whereby the employees wire the overpayment to the employers’ bank;
“Fraudulent online vehicle sales scams,” which convinces intended buyers to purchase prepaid gift cards in the amount of the agreed upon sale price and are instructed to share the prepaid card codes with the “sellers” who ignore future communications and do not deliver the goods;
“Rental scams” occur when renters forward a check in excess of the agreed upon deposit for the rental property to the victims and request the remainder be returned via wire or check and back out of the rental agreements and ask for a refund; and
“Lottery scams,” which involves persons randomly contacting email addresses advising them they have been selected as the winner of an international lottery.
4…………> Dishonest Cops: Biscayne
Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore announced federal charges against former Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano and former Officers Charlie Dayoub and Raul Fernandez for their roles in conspiring to falsely arrest a 16-year-old juvenile, T.D., for four unsolved burglaries.
Atesiano, Dayoub, and Fernandez were charged with conspiracy to violate civil rights under color of law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 241; and deprivation of T.D.’s civil rights, under color of law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242. If convicted, Atesiano, Dayoub, and Fernandez each face a maximum statutory sentence of 11 years in prison. An initial hearing for Atesiano will be held at 1:30 p.m. today, in Miami, before U.S. Magistrate Judge John J. O’Sullivan.
The indictment alleges that Atesiano, as the Biscayne Park Police Chief, caused and encouraged officers to knowingly arrest T.D. without a legitimate basis in order to maintain a fictitious 100 percent clearance rate of reported burglaries. Atesiano directed Dayoub and Fernandez to arrest T.D. on June 13, 2013, and falsely charge him with unsolved burglaries knowing that there was no evidence and no lawful basis to support such charges. The indictment further alleges that following Atesiano’s instruction, Dayoub and Fernandez gathered information for four unsolved burglary cases, completed four arrest affidavits for the burglaries, and included a false narrative that an investigation revealed that T.D. had committed the four burglaries of unoccupied dwellings. Atesiano, Dayoub, and Fernandez knew there was no evidence and no lawful basis to arrest and charge T.D. with those crimes. On July 9, 2013, at a meeting of the City Council for The Village of Biscayne Park, Atesiano announced that his department had a 100 percent clearance rate for burglaries.
5…………> Remember The Fallen: Pearl Harbor
PEARL HARBOR (June 19, 2018)
Retired Chief Boatswain’s Mate and Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Emory, left, is presented with a shadow box containing a POW/MIA flag by Jim Taylor, Navy Region Hawaii Pearl Harbor survivor liaison, during a farewell ceremony held before he departs Hawaii to be with family. Emory was responsible for the identification of unknown service members killed in the attacks on Pearl Harbor who were buried in unnamed graves. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Pacheco (Released) 180619-N-NU281-0126
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