Six former administrators from the Columbus, Georgia, campus of the Apex School of Theology were charged in an indictment unsealed Monday for their alleged participation in a scheme to defraud student loan programs of more than $12,000,000.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Charles Peeler of the Middle District of Georgia, Special Agent in Charge J.C. Hacker of the FBI’s Atlanta Division, Special Agent in Charge Neil Sanchez of the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (DOE-OIG), and Special Agent in Charge James E. Dorsey, of the IRS Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Atlanta Division made the announcement.
According to the indictment, Erica Montgomery, 47, of Ft. Mitchell, Alabama, Sandra Anderson, 61, of Columbus, Georgia, Leo Frank Thomas, 54, of Columbus, Georgia, Yolanda Thomas, 50, of Columbus, Georgia, Dorothy Webb, 68, of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Kristina Parker, 33, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, were charged by a federal grand jury in the Middle District of Georgia with one count of conspiracy, five counts of mail fraud, and five counts of financial aid fraud. Anderson and Montgomery were also charged with money laundering.
The indictment alleges that the defendants engaged in a scheme to operate an off-site learning center in Columbus, Georgia, on behalf of Apex, a now-defunct school offering programs in theology and other subjects. As part of the scheme, the defendants allegedly recruited individuals with offers of “free money” to act as fake “students” and fraudulently apply for federal financial aid. The indictment alleges that these “students” were told that they did not have to do any work or attend classes, but they would have to split their financial aid with the defendants, who used federal financial aid funds to personally enrich themselves.
The indictment further alleges that the defendants submitted plagiarized work for the “students,” took their tests, and logged on to the school’s web site as if they were the “students” to deceive the DOE into believing they were real students making adequate academic progress. The defendants falsified admission packets and applied for federal financial aid in the names of the students, falsely certifying that they were the student and that the financial aid would be used for educational purposes. Instead, the financial aid was used to enrich the recruited “students” and the defendants. The indictment alleges that the defendants defrauded the DOE of at least $12,000,000 in taxpayer funds.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The FBI’s Atlanta Division, DOE-OIG, and IRS-CI’s Atlanta Division investigated this matter. Senior Litigation Counsel David A. Bybee of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals of the Middle District of Georgia are prosecuting the case.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.
Greetings I’m Sam.
I edit, report and maintain this site. If you have any questions You can mail below me but it could be a while before I get back to you.
- The United States Supports the Voices of the Venezuelan PeopleBy Sam NewsDecember 16, 2020
- Further Sanctions on Entities Trading in or Transporting Iranian PetrochemicalsBy Sam NewsMarch 18, 2020
- University of Arkansas Professor Indicted for Wire Fraud and Passport FraudBy Sam NewsJuly 29, 2020The Department of Justice announced today that Simon Saw-Teong Ang, 63, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas on 42 counts of wire fraud and two counts of passport fraud.[Read More…]
- Orlando Cordia Hall Executed for 1994 Kidnapping and Murder of 16-Year-Old GirlBy Sam NewsNovember 20, 2020Today, Orlando Cordia [Read More…]
- Justice Department Sues Town of Wolcott, Connecticut, for Discrimination Against Persons with DisabilitiesBy Sam NewsDecember 7, 2020The Justice Department today filed a lawsuit alleging that the Town of Wolcott, Connecticut, has discriminated against persons with disabilities in violation of the Fair Housing Act.[Read More…]
- The United States Targets Foundations Controlled by Iran’s Supreme LeaderBy Sam NewsJanuary 13, 2021
- Portland Resident Indicted for Providing Material Support to ISISBy Sam NewsNovember 6, 2020The Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury in Portland returned a five count indictment against Portland resident Hawazen Sameer Mothafar, 31, charging two counts of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization and one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B(a)(1). In addition, the indictment charges Mothafar with one count of false statements in an immigration application in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1546(a) and one count of false statement to a government agency in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(2).[Read More…]
- Djibouti Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020
- Imposing Visa Restrictions on Additional Individuals Undermining Belarusian DemocracyBy Sam NewsFebruary 18, 2021
- Troubled Asset Relief Program: Treasury Continues Winding Down Housing ProgramsBy Sam NewsDecember 8, 2020The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) continues to wind down housing assistance programs funded by the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Treasury has extended one program to assist certain program participants who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, although limited program funds remain at this point. As of September 30, 2020, Treasury had disbursed $30.85 billion (95 percent) of the $32.56 billion TARP funds obligated to the three housing programs (see figure). The Making Home Affordable program allowed homeowners to apply for loan modifications to avoid foreclosure. Treasury will continue to provide incentive payments for loan modifications through 2023. The Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets provided funds to 18 states and the District of Columbia to help struggling homeowners through programs tailored to the state. Treasury extended this program through June 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic's negative economic effects on some program participants. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Short Refinance program allowed eligible homeowners to refinance into an FHA-insured loan. Under this program, Treasury made TARP funds available to provide additional coverage to lenders for a share of potential losses on these loans for borrowers who entered the program by December 31, 2016. Status of Troubled Asset Relief Program Housing Programs, as of September 2020 aAccording to the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), these funds have been committed to future financial incentives for existing Making Home Affordable transactions, as of September 30, 2020. bRepresents the amount of funds that states and the District of Columbia have drawn from Treasury. cIncludes about $11.6 million in administrative expenses and $10 million of reserve funds, as of September 30, 2020. Treasury will be reimbursed for unused reserve amounts. dAmounts do not add up due to rounding. In response to the 2008 housing crisis, Treasury established TARP-funded housing programs to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure and preserve homeownership. Since 2009, Treasury has obligated $32.56 billion for such housing programs. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 provided GAO with broad oversight authorities for actions taken related to TARP. This report provides an update on the status of TARP-funded housing programs, as of September 30, 2020. GAO reviewed Treasury program data and documentation, and interviewed Treasury officials. This report contains the most recently available public data at the time of GAO's review, including obligations, disbursements, and program participation. For more information, contact John H. Pendleton at (202) 512-8678 or email@example.com.[Read More…]
- FY 2020 Request for Concept Notes for NGO Programs Benefiting Refugees, Displaced Iraqis, and Other Vulnerable Populations in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and TurkeyBy Sam NewsSeptember 27, 2020Bureau of Population, [Read More…]
- Man Sentenced for Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct with Minors in the Republic of KenyaBy Sam NewsFebruary 4, 2021A Pennsylvania man was sentenced today to over 15 years in prison plus a lifetime of supervised release, and ordered to pay $16,000 in restitution for engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.[Read More…]
- The Department of State Breaks Ground on the New U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai, ThailandBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020
- F-35 Sustainment: DOD Needs to Address Key Uncertainties as It Re-Designs the Aircraft’s Logistics SystemBy Sam NewsJuly 30, 2020The Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is integral to supporting F-35 aircraft operations and maintenance. However, F-35 personnel at 5 locations GAO visited for its March 2020 report cited several challenges. For example, users at all 5 locations we visited stated that electronic records of F-35 parts in ALIS are frequently incorrect, corrupt, or missing, resulting in the system signaling that an aircraft should be grounded in cases where personnel know that parts have been correctly installed and are safe for flight. At times, F-35 squadron leaders have decided to fly an aircraft when ALIS has signaled not to, thus assuming operational risk to meet mission requirements. GAO found that DOD had not (1) developed a performance-measurement process for ALIS to define how the system should perform or (2) determined how ALIS issues were affecting overall F-35 fleet readiness, which remains below warfighter requirements. DOD recognizes that ALIS needs improvement and plans to leverage ongoing re-design efforts to eventually replace ALIS with a new logistics system. However, as DOD embarks on this effort, it faces key technical and programmatic uncertainties (see figure). Uncertainties about the Future F-35 Logistics Information System These uncertainties are complicated and will require significant planning and coordination with the F-35 program office, military services, international partners, and the prime contractor. For example, GAO reported in March 2020 that DOD had not determined the roles of DOD and the prime contractor in future system development and management. DOD had also not made decisions about the extent to which the new system will be hosted in the cloud as opposed to onsite servers at the squadron level. More broadly, DOD has experienced significant challenges sustaining a growing F-35 fleet. GAO has made over 20 recommendations to address problems associated with ALIS, spare parts shortages, limited repair capabilities, and inadequate planning. DOD has an opportunity to re-imagine the F-35's logistics system and improve operations, but it must approach this planning deliberately and thoroughly. Continued attention to these challenges will help ensure that DOD can effectively sustain the F-35 and meet warfighter requirements. The F-35 Lightning II is DOD's most ambitious and costly weapon system in history, with total acquisition and sustainment costs for the three U.S. military services who fly the aircraft estimated at over $1.6 trillion. Central to F-35 sustainment is ALIS—a complex system that supports operations, mission planning, supply-chain management, maintenance, and other processes. A fully functional ALIS is critical to the more than 3,300 F-35 aircraft that the U.S. military services and foreign nations plan to purchase. Earlier this year, DOD stated that it intends to replace ALIS with a new logistics system. This statement highlights (1) current user challenges with ALIS and (2) key technical and programmatic uncertainties facing DOD as it re-designs the F-35's logistics system. This statement is largely based on GAO's March 2020 report on ALIS ( GAO-20-316 ), as well as previous F-35 sustainment work. GAO previously recommended that DOD develop a performance-measurement process for ALIS, track how ALIS is affecting F-35 fleet readiness, and develop a strategy for re-designing the F-35's logistics system. GAO also suggested that Congress consider requiring DOD to develop a performance-measurement process for its logistics system. DOD concurred with GAO's recommendations and is taking actions to address them. For more information, contact Diana C. Maurer at (202) 512-9627 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- Former Air Force Contractor Pleads Guilty to Illegally Taking 2,500 Pages of Classified InformationBy Sam NewsFebruary 25, 2021A former contractor with the U.S. Air Force pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio today to illegally taking approximately 2,500 pages of classified documents.[Read More…]
- Businessman Sentenced for Foreign Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Involving PetroEcuador OfficialsBy Sam NewsJanuary 28, 2021An Ecuadorian businessman living in Miami was sentenced today to 35 months in prison for his role in a $4.4 million bribery and money laundering scheme that funneled bribes to then-public officials of Empresa Pública de Hidrocarburos del Ecuador (PetroEcuador), the state-owned and state-controlled oil company of Ecuador.[Read More…]
- Autherine Lucy: Failed Integration Bid Left Lasting LegacyBy Sam NewsFebruary 9, 2021The story of Autherine Lucy, who challenged segregation at the University of Alabama in 1956, is featured in the African American History Month page. Despite a federal court ruling, Lucy’s career as a student lasted just three days. But her fight against racism still inspires African American students today.[Read More…]
- The United States Takes Further Action Against Enablers of Venezuelan Oil Transactions, Including Sanctions Evasion NetworkBy Sam NewsJanuary 19, 2021
- Man Convicted of Receiving, Soliciting, and Promoting Child PornographyBy Sam NewsMarch 4, 2021A federal jury convicted a Virginia man today for downloading images and videos depicting children as young as four years old being sexually abused and for utilizing the Darknet to solicit and promote child pornography.[Read More…]
- Angola National DayBy Sam NewsNovember 11, 2020
- Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime Charges for Attempting to Kill Two Children Because of their Race and National OriginBy Sam NewsApril 22, 2021An Iowa woman pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to hate crime charges for attempting to kill two children because of their race and national origin.[Read More…]
- Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister MotegiBy Sam NewsOctober 6, 2020
- Massachusetts Man Charged with Child Pornography PossessionBy Sam NewsNovember 24, 2020A Sutton, Massachusetts, man was arrested and charged today with possession of child pornography.[Read More…]
- Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request: U.S. Government Accountability OfficeBy Sam NewsMarch 10, 2021In fiscal year (FY) 2020, GAO’s work yielded $77.6 billion in financial benefits, a return of about $114 for every dollar invested in GAO. We also identified 1,332 other benefits that led to improved services to the American people, strengthened public safety, and spurred program and operational improvements across the government. In addition, GAO reported on 35 areas designated as high risk due to their vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement or because they face economy, efficiency, or effectiveness challenges. In FY 2020 GAO’s High Risk Series products resulted in 168 reports, 26 testimonies, $54.2 billion in financial benefits, and 606 other benefits. In this year of GAO’s centennial, GAO’s FY 2022 budget request seeks to lay the foundation for the next 100 years to help Congress improve the performance of government, ensure transparency, and save taxpayer dollars. GAO’s fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget requests $744.3 million in appropriated funds and uses $50.0 million in offsets and supplemental appropriations. These resources will support 3,400 full-time equivalents (FTEs). We will continue our hiring focus on boosting our Science and Technology and appropriations law capacity. GAO will also maintain entry-level and intern positions to address succession planning and to fill other skill gaps. These efforts will help ensure that GAO recruits and retains a talented and diverse workforce to meet the priority needs of the Congress. In FY 2022, we will continue to support Congressional oversight across the wide array of government programs and operations. In particular, our science and technology experts will continue to expand our focus on rapidly evolving issues. Hallmarks of GAO’s work include: (1) conducting technology assessments at the request of the Congress; (2) providing technical assistance to Congress on science and technology matters; (3) continuing the development and use of technical guides to assess major federal acquisitions and technology programs in areas such as technology readiness, cost estimating, and schedule planning; and (4) supporting Congressional oversight of federal science programs. With our requested funding, GAO will also bolster capacity to review the challenges of complex and growing cyber security developments. In addition, GAO will continue robust analyses of factors behind rising health care costs, including costs associated with the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. Internally, the funding requested will make possible priority investments in our information technology that include the ability to execute transformative plans to protect data and systems. In FY 2022 GAO will continue to implement efforts to increase our flexibility to evolve IT services as our mission needs change, strengthen information security, increase IT agility, and maintain compliance. We will increase speed and scalability to deliver capabilities and services to the agency. This request will also help address building infrastructure, security requirements, as well as tackle long deferred maintenance, including installing equipment to help protect occupants from dangerous bacteria, viruses, and mold. As reported in our FY 2020 financial statements, GAO’s backlog of deferred maintenance on its Headquarters Building had grown to over $82 million as of fiscal year-end. Background GAO’s mission is to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. We provide nonpartisan, objective, and reliable information to Congress, federal agencies, and to the public, and recommend improvements across the full breadth and scope of the federal government’s responsibilities. In fiscal year 2020. GAO issued 691 products, and 1,459 new recommendations. Congress used our work extensively to inform its decisions on key fiscal year 2020 and 2021 legislation. Since fiscal year 2000, GAO’s work has resulted in over: $1.2 trillion dollars in financial benefits; and 25,328 program and operational benefits that helped to change laws, improve public services, and promote sound management throughout government. As GAO recognizes 100 years of non-partisan, fact-based service, we remain committed to providing program and technical expertise to support Congress in overseeing the executive branch; evaluating government programs, operations and spending priorities; and assessing information from outside parties.[Read More…]
- Mongolia Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020
- Open Data: Agencies Need Guidance to Establish Comprehensive Data Inventories; Information on Their Progress is LimitedBy Sam NewsOctober 8, 2020The Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary Government Data Act of 2018 (OPEN Government Data Act) codifies and expands open data policy and generally requires agencies to publish information as open data by default, as well as develop and maintain comprehensive data inventories. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not issued statutorily-required guidance for agencies to implement comprehensive data inventories, which could limit agencies' progress in implementing their requirements under the act. OMB also has not met requirements to publicly report on agencies' performance and compliance with the act. Access to this information could inform Congress and the public about agencies' open data progress and statutory compliance. Implementation Status of Selected OPEN Government Data Act Requirements Assessment Federal data catalogue: By July 2019, the General Services Administration (GSA) must maintain a point of entry dedicated to sharing agency data assets with the public, known as the “Federal data catalogue”. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and GSA must ensure agencies can publish data assets or links on the website. ✓ Online repository: By July 2019, OMB, GSA, and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) must collaborate to develop and maintain an online repository of tools, best practices, and schema standards to facilitate the adoption of open data practices across the federal government. ✓ Implementation guidance: By July 2019, OMB must issue guidance for agencies to implement comprehensive inventories. ✖ Biennial report: By January 2020, and biennially thereafter, OMB must electronically publish a report on agency performance and compliance with this act. ✖ Legend: ✓Requirement fully met I ✖ Requirement not met Source: GAO analysis of Pub. L. No. 115-435, 132 Stat. 5529(Jan. 14, 2019), resources.data.gov, www.data.gov , and an interview with OMB staff. | GAO-21-29. GAO found that all 24 Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act agencies display their data inventories on their websites, as well as on an online catalogue of federal data assets. Agencies took a variety of approaches to providing public access to individual data assets such as using Data.gov as the human-readable public interface, hosting searchable inventories on their own agency websites and providing lists of data or downloadable files on their websites. Information on the extent to which agencies regularly update their data inventories is limited. OMB and GSA do not have a policy to ensure the routine identification and correction of errors in electronically published information. The absence of such a policy limits publicly available information on agency progress. As of September 2020, seven of the 24 CFO Act agencies had also publicly released COVID-19 related datasets or linked to related information from their open data web pages as required by the Federal Data Strategy. These datasets provide data on a range of COVID-19 related topics including data on disease transmission and loans provided to businesses. Federal agencies create and collect large amounts of data in support of fulfilling their missions. Public access to open data—data that are free to use, modify, and share—holds great promise for promoting government transparency and engendering public trust. Access to open data is particularly important in the current pandemic environment as government agencies, scientists, and the public work to understand and respond to COVID-19 using data-focused approaches. The OPEN Government Data Act includes a provision for GAO to report on federal agencies' comprehensive data inventories. This report examines the extent to which 1) OMB, GSA, and NARA met their statutory requirements to facilitate the establishment of federal agencies' comprehensive data inventories; and 2) CFO Act agencies developed data inventories in accordance with OMB guidance. GAO reviewed agencies' websites and related documentation, and interviewed OMB staff and GSA and NARA officials. GAO is making two recommendations to OMB to issue required implementation guidance and report on agency performance. GAO also recommends that OMB and GSA establish policy to ensure the routine identification and correction of errors in agency data. GSA concurred with GAO's recommendation and OMB did not comment on the report. For more information, contact Michelle Sager at (202) 512-6806 or SagerM@gao.gov.[Read More…]
- Federal Court Orders North Carolina Pharmacy, Pharmacy Owner, and Pharmacist-in-Charge to Pay More Than $1 Million and Stop Dispensing OpioidsBy Sam NewsDecember 16, 2020A federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina entered a consent judgment and injunction requiring a North Carolina pharmacy, Seashore Drugs Inc., its owner, John D. Waggett, and its pharmacist-in-charge, Billy W. King II, to pay $1,050,000.00 in civil penalties and to cease dispensing opioids or other controlled substances, the Department of Justice announced.[Read More…]
- Spotlight on Naloxone Co-PrescribingBy Sam NewsAugust 31, 2020As we recognize [Read More…]
- Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting with Romanian Foreign Minister AurescuBy Sam NewsOctober 19, 2020
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Omani Foreign Minister Al-Busaidi By Sam NewsFebruary 24, 2021
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken at a Virtual Meeting with Japanese Women EntrepreneursBy Sam NewsMarch 16, 2021
- The Free World’s Leadership Will Defeat COVID-19By Sam NewsDecember 18, 2020
- French West Indies Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Reconsider travel [Read More…]
- Medtronic to Pay Over $9.2 Million To Settle Allegations of Improper Payments to South Dakota NeurosurgeonBy Sam NewsOctober 29, 2020Minnesota-based medical device maker Medtronic USA Inc. has agreed to pay $8.1 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by paying kickbacks to induce a South Dakota neurosurgeon to use certain Medtronic products, the Department of Justice announced today. Medtronic also agreed to pay an additional $1.11 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Open Payments Program by failing to accurately report payments it made to the neurosurgeon to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).[Read More…]
- The Honorable Douglas H. Ginsburg Receives Justice Department’s 2020 John Sherman AwardBy Sam NewsOctober 23, 2020The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice today presented Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg with the John Sherman Award for his lifetime contributions to the development of antitrust law and the preservation of economic liberty. The award is the Department of Justice’s highest antitrust honor. Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim presented the award and gave remarks celebrating Judge Ginsburg’s contributions during a ceremony displayed virtually and conducted at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building. Judge Ginsburg also delivered remarks in accepting the award.[Read More…]
- New Jury Instructions Strengthen Social Media CautionsBy Sam NewsOctober 1, 2020A federal Judiciary committee has issued a new set of model jury instructions that federal judges may use to deter jurors from using social media to research or communicate about cases.[Read More…]
- Former Colorado Police Officer Sentenced on Sexual Assault ChargesBy Sam NewsFebruary 1, 2021Curtis Arganbright, 43, a former Westminster Police Department (WPD) officer, was sentenced today in federal court in Denver, Colorado, to 72 months in prison and three years supervised release. In addition to his prison sentence, Arganbright will forfeit his law enforcement certification and be required to register as a sex offender.[Read More…]
- Sao Tome and Principe Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Reconsider travel to Sao [Read More…]
- Even During COVID, Courts Find Ways to Welcome New AmericansBy Sam NewsJuly 7, 2020When the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic first forced courthouses to limit access to the general public, one of the first events to be canceled was an especially joyous rite: the naturalization of new U.S. citizens.[Read More…]
- United States Sanctions Two Hizballah OfficialsBy Sam NewsOctober 22, 2020
- Final Member of Violent Baltimore “Trained to Go” Gang Sentenced to More Than 11 Years in Federal Prison for Racketeering and Drug ConspiraciesBy Sam NewsOctober 14, 2020A Baltimore, Maryland, man was sentenced today to 138 montjhs in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release for federal charges of conspiring to participate in a violent racketeering enterprise known as Trained To Go (TTG), and for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.[Read More…]
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Erick Erickson of The Erick Erickson Show on WSB AtlantaBy Sam NewsOctober 15, 2020
- Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against Tampa-Area Physician, Pharmacy, and Clinic Owners for Controlled Substances Act ViolationsBy Sam NewsFebruary 19, 2021The United States filed a civil complaint seeking to permanently enjoin the owners of a Tampa-area clinic and pharmacy from unlawfully dispensing opioids and other controlled substances, the Department of Justice announced today.[Read More…]
- University Researcher Pleads Guilty to Lying on Grant Applications to Develop Scientific Expertise for ChinaBy Sam NewsNovember 12, 2020A rheumatology professor and researcher with strong ties to China pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal authorities as part of an immunology research fraud scheme. Song Guo Zheng, 58, of Hilliard, appeared in federal court today, at which time his guilty plea was accepted by Chief U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.[Read More…]
- Beam Suntory Inc. Agrees to Pay Over $19 Million to Resolve Criminal Foreign Bribery CaseBy Sam NewsOctober 27, 2020Beam Suntory Inc. (Beam), a Chicago-based company that produces and sells distilled beverages, has agreed to pay a criminal monetary penalty of $19,572,885 to resolve the department’s investigation into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).[Read More…]
- Tech Executive Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Money Laundering in Connection with PPP LoansBy Sam NewsMarch 15, 2021A Washington man pleaded guilty today to wire fraud and money laundering in connection with his scheme to obtain over $5.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and laundering the proceeds.[Read More…]
- Justice Department Files Civil Action to Shut Down Chicago-Area Tax Return PreparerBy Sam NewsJanuary 28, 2021The United States has filed a complaint seeking to bar a Chicago-area tax return preparer from preparing federal income tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil complaint against Lavon Boyd was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and alleges that Boyd prepared federal income tax returns for Chicago-area taxpayers that significantly understated his customers’ tax liabilities by fabricating business losses. The suit alleges that Boyd fabricated or exaggerated his customers’ business expenses. The suit also charges that Boyd allegedly fabricated childcare expenses on at least one of his customers’ tax returns.[Read More…]
- Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen’s Video Statement on the Seizure of the U.S. CapitolBy Sam NewsJanuary 13, 2021Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen delivered the following video statement on the seizure of the U.S. Capitol:[Read More…]
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Special Envoy for the UN Secretary-General on Yemen GriffithsBy Sam NewsMarch 14, 2021
- Luxembourg Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020
- Saint Lucia Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Exercise increased [Read More…]
- Sierra Leone National DayBy Sam NewsApril 27, 2021
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo Remarks to the PressBy Sam NewsSeptember 27, 2020
- Department Press Briefing – March 18, 2021By Sam NewsMarch 18, 2021Jalina Porter, Principal [Read More…]
- U.S. Seeks to Recover More Than $300 Million in Additional Assets Traceable to Funds Allegedly Misappropriated from Malaysian Sovereign Wealth FundBy Sam NewsSeptember 16, 2020The Justice Department announced today the filing of civil forfeiture complaints seeking the forfeiture and recovery of more than $300 million in additional assets allegedly associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.[Read More…]
- Solomon Island Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Reconsider travel to the [Read More…]
- Two Former Deutsche Bank Traders Convicted of Engaging in Deceptive and Manipulative Trading Practices in U.S. Commodities MarketsBy Sam NewsSeptember 25, 2020A Chicago federal jury found two former employees of Deutsche Bank, a global financial institution, guilty today of fraud charges for their respective roles in fraudulent and manipulative trading practices involving publicly-traded precious metals futures contracts.[Read More…]
- Sexual Harassment: NNSA Could Improve Prevention and Response Efforts in Its Nuclear Security ForcesBy Sam NewsApril 19, 2021What GAO Found The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)—within the Department of Energy (DOE)—and its contractors may have limited information on the prevalence of sexual harassment within the nuclear security forces. NNSA's nuclear security forces include federal agents in NNSA's Office of Secure Transportation (OST), which is responsible for transporting nuclear materials, and contracted guard forces at four of its sites. Federal officials at NNSA and contractor representatives at four NNSA sites that process weapons-usable nuclear material reported very few cases of sexual harassment from fiscal years 2015 through 2020. Research shows that the least common response to harassment is to report it or file a complaint. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)—which enforces federal laws prohibiting harassment—suggests organizations survey employees to assess the extent to which harassment is a problem in their organization. NNSA does not survey employees on this topic, nor does NNSA call for such surveys in its contracts for security forces. Because NNSA relies solely on reported incidents, it may not have full knowledge into the nature or extent of sexual harassment in OST or by its contractors at its sites. Surveying employees would better position them to identify actions to effectively prevent and respond to harassment. To varying degrees, NNSA and its contractors follow EEOC's recommended practices to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in their nuclear security forces. For example, with respect to recommended training practices, NNSA and its contractors provide antiharassment training to all employees, but only one force offers workplace-specific training that addresses sexual harassment risk factors relevant to the security forces. Because NNSA has not formally reviewed EEOC's practices and considered which to adopt for its nuclear security forces, or made similar considerations for its security force contractors, the agency may be missing opportunities to prevent and respond to sexual harassment. Selected EEOC Practices for Effective Training to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Harassment and Number of NNSA's Nuclear Security Forces That Reflect Those Practices in Training EEOC Promising Practice Number of forces that reflect the practice Provided to employees at every level and location of the organization 5 of 5 Tailored to the specific workplace and workforce 1 of 5 Explains the complaint process, as well as any voluntary alternative dispute resolution processes 2 of 5 Explains the range of possible consequences for engaging in prohibited conduct 1 of 5 Source: GAO comparison of National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and protective force contractor information with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) November 2017 Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment . | GAO-21-307 EEOC has found that NNSA and DOE do not meet all EEOC requirements relevant to preventing and responding to sexual harassment. For example, NNSA does not have an antiharassment program or a compliant antiharassment policy. According to EEOC officials, NNSA and DOE efforts to date have improved some aspects of their EEO programs, but because the agencies have not fully implemented their plans to address deficiencies identified by EEOC, DOE and NNSA may be missing opportunities to establish and maintain effective programs that include protection from and response to sexual harassment. Why GAO Did This Study Federal law prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. Besides being harmful to those harassed, sexual harassment can decrease organizational performance and increase turnover. In January 2019, public allegations of sexual harassment in NNSA's nuclear security forces drew attention to this issue. House Report 116-120 provided that GAO review sexual harassment in NNSA's nuclear security force. This report examines (1) what NNSA and its contractors know about the prevalence of sexual harassment in their nuclear security forces, (2) the extent to which NNSA and its contractors implement EEOC recommendations to prevent and respond to sexual harassment, and (3) the extent to which EEOC found that NNSA and DOE meet its requirements relevant to sexual harassment. GAO reviewed information on sexual harassment and programs to address such harassment at DOE and NNSA from fiscal years 2015 through 2020. GAO analyzed documents and data, conducted a literature review, interviewed NNSA officials, and compared NNSA and contractor actions with EEOC-recommended practices for preventing harassment.[Read More…]
- Two Men Charged in Ecuadorian Bribery and Money Laundering SchemeBy Sam NewsMarch 2, 2021Criminal complaints have been unsealed charging two Ecuadorian citizens for their alleged roles in a bribery and money laundering scheme involving Ecuador’s public police pension fund (ISSPOL).[Read More…]
- Breaking Barriers: The NHL’s Willie O’Ree, Documentary Film & Global Discussion on Racial EqualityBy Sam NewsFebruary 16, 2021