NASA Researcher Arrested for False Statements and Wire Fraud in Relation to China’s Talents Program

justice.gov

A criminal complaint has been unsealed today, charging Zhengdong Cheng, 53, of College Station, Texas, for conspiracy, making false statements and wire fraud. 

Texas A&M University (TAMU) Professor Zhengdong Cheng is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sam Sheldon today at 10 a.m. in Houston, Texas.  Authorities took him into custody Sunday, Aug. 23. 

Cheng allegedly led a team conducting research for NASA. According to the criminal complaint, for several years he willfully took steps to obscure his affiliations and collaboration with a Chinese University and at least one Chinese-owned company.  The terms of Cheng’s grant prohibited participation, collaboration or coordination with China, any Chinese-owned company or any Chinese University, according to the charges.

“Once again, we have witnessed the criminal consequences that can arise from undisclosed participation in the Chinese government’s talent program,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.  “Professor Cheng allegedly made false statements to his university and to NASA regarding his affiliations with the Chinese government.  The Department of Justice will continue seeking to bring participation in these talent programs to light and to expose the exploitation of our nation and our prized research institutions.”

“China is building an economy and academic institutions with bricks stolen from others all around the world,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas. “While 1.4 million foreign researchers and academics are here in the U.S. for the right reasons, the Chinese Talents Program exploits our open and free universities. These conflicts must be disclosed, and we will hold those accountable when such conflict violates the law.”

“As alleged, Zhengdong Cheng knowingly deceived NASA officials about his association with Chinese owned companies and universities, willingly accepted U.S. government funding, and defrauded his university,” said Assistant Director Alan Kohler, Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.  “The FBI is committed to aggressively pursuing those individuals who try and undercut our U.S. research institutions and government agencies by concealing their participation in Chinese talent recruitment programs and to hold them accountable for their actions.” 

“NASA’s funding restrictions are in place to protect taxpayer-financed research dollars and intellectual property,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark Zielinski, NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) – Eastern Field Office.  “We will continue pursue anyone who attempts to circumvent these guidelines and conceal affiliations with Chinese institutions and companies in order to obtain NASA grant money.”

“Dr. Cheng is accused of hiding his affiliation with the Guangdong University of Technology, along with other foreign universities, while disregarding the rules established under his NASA contract during his employment at TAMU,” said FBI Houston Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner.  “These alleged actions came to light through the tireless work of the FBI-Bryan Resident Agency and NASA-OIG investigative teams.  We are grateful to TAMU, TAMU System and TAMU Engineering Experiment Station for providing significant assistance through their partnership with us throughout this case.”

The charges allege Cheng and TAMU received funds based on Cheng knowingly providing false information to TAMU and consequently to NASA.  In addition to the funds, Cheng personally benefited from his affiliation with TAMU and NASA with increased access to unique NASA resources, such as the International Space Station, according to the complaint.  This access allegedly allowed Cheng to further his standing in China at Guangdong University of Technology and other universities.  The charges further allege he held senior research positions there unknown to TAMU and NASA and was able to serve in the People’s Republic of China Talents program.  China’s Talents Plans are allegedly designed to attract, recruit and cultivate high-level scientific talent in furtherance of China’s scientific development, economic prosperity and national security.

The FBI-Bryan Resident Agency and NASA-Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation with the assistance of TAMU.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carolyn Ferko and S. Mark McIntyre are prosecuting the case with the assistance of trial attorney Matthew McKenzie of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/nasa-researcher-arrested-false-statements-and-wire-fraud-relation-china-s-talents-program

Founder and Chairman of a Multinational Investment Company and a Company Consultant Convicted of Bribery and Public Corruption are Sentenced to Prison

justice.gov

The founder and chairman of a multinational investment company and a company consultant were sentenced to prison today for orchestrating a bribery scheme involving independent expenditure accounts and improper campaign contributions. 

Greg E. Lindberg, 50, of Durham, North Carolina, the founder and chairman of Eli Global LLC (Eli Global) and the owner of Global Bankers Insurance Group (GBIG), was sentenced to 87 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  Lindberg’s consultant, John D. Gray, 70, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was ordered to serve 30 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release.  Lindberg and Gray were also ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount approximately $1.45 million held in accounts established by the defendants for the purpose of funneling the bribe payments.

On March 5, 2020, a federal jury convicted Lindberg and Gray of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds following an approximately three-week trial.  U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. presided over the trial and today’s sentencing hearings.

Co-defendant, Robert Cannon Hayes, 74, of Concord, North Carolina, was also sentenced today to a one-year probationary term.  Hayes previously pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation.

“When Greg Lindberg and John Gray offered millions of dollars in bribes to the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner, they referred to their elaborately corrupt scheme as a ‘win-win’ – unaware that the FBI was watching and listening,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.  “Today, both men have been held accountable for their crimes, and their sentences underscore the Department of Justice’s unyielding commitment to rooting out corruption wherever we find it.”

“Lindberg and his accomplices, driven by greed, devised an extensive political bribery scheme to illegally funnel millions of dollars to an elected official for the benefit of Lindberg’s business interests.  To this day, Lindberg and Gray remain unremorseful and refuse to accept responsibility for their criminal actions.  The severity of their brazen conduct is reflected in the Court’s sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray for the Western District of North Carolina.  “Bribery of a public official is far from a victimless crime.  It is our duty to the American people to stop bad actors with deep pockets and unscrupulous intentions from wrecking the foundation on which this country proudly stands.  To those that greedily seek to line their own pockets through deceit and fraud, I offer the following advice: Keep a travel toothbrush handy.”

“When the prison bars close behind Mr. Lindberg and Mr. Gray, they will hear the sound of justice, loud and clear,” said Special Agent in Charge John Strong of the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office.  “The FBI will root out any and all forms of public corruption.  We remain committed to ensuring those who attempt to interfere with the integrity of our democratic process pay the price.”

According to filed court documents, evidence presented at trial, and today’s sentencing hearings, in January 2018, the elected Commissioner (Commissioner) of the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) reported concerns to the FBI about political contributions and other requests made by Lindberg and Gray, and agreed to cooperate with the federal investigation that was initiated. 

According to evidence presented at trial, from April 2017 to August 2018, Lindberg and Gray engaged in a bribery scheme involving independent expenditure accounts and improper campaign contributions for the purpose of causing the Commissioner to take official action favorable to Lindberg’s company, GBIG.  Trial evidence established that Lindberg and Gray gave, offered, and promised the Commissioner millions of dollars in campaign contributions and other things of value, in exchange for the removal of NCDOI’s Senior Deputy Commissioner, who was responsible for overseeing regulation and the periodic examination of GBIG. 

According to trial evidence, Lindberg, Gray and the Commissioner held numerous in-person meetings at different locations, including in Statesville, North Carolina, and had telephonic and other communications with each other, and others, to discuss Lindberg’s request for the personnel change in exchange for millions of dollars, and to devise a plan on how to funnel campaign contributions to the Commissioner anonymously.  In order to conceal the bribery scheme, at the direction of Lindberg, two corporate entities were set-up to form an independent expenditure committee with the purpose of supporting the Commissioner’s re-election campaign, and Lindberg funded the entities with $1.5 million as promised to the Commissioner.  In addition, at Lindberg and Gray’s direction, Hayes caused the transfer of $250,000 from monies Lindberg had previously contributed to a North Carolina state party of which Hayes was chairman, to the Commissioner’s re-election campaign.

According to admissions Hayes made in connection with his guilty plea, on or about Aug. 28, 2018, Hayes falsely stated to FBI agents that he had never spoken with the NCDOI Commissioner about personnel or personnel problems at NCDOI, or about Lindberg or Gray.  Hayes further admitted that, at the time he made the materially false statements, Hayes knew that it was unlawful to lie to the FBI, and knew that his statements were false because Hayes had in fact spoken with the NCDOI Commissioner about Lindberg and Gray, and about Lindberg’s request that the Commissioner move certain personnel within NCDOI.  

The FBI’s Charlotte field office investigated the case.

Trial Attorney James C. Mann of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys William T. Stetzer and Dana O. Washington of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina prosecuted 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.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/founder-and-chairman-multinational-investment-company-and-company-consultant-convicted

Task Forces Nabs Ohio Priest Accused of Sex Trafficking For Decades

breaking911.com

The Cleveland Division of the FBI—Lima Resident Agency, and the United States Attorney’s Office—Northern District of Ohio, announce the federal arrest of Michael Zacharias, age 53, of Findlay, Ohio.

Zacharias is federally charged with coercion and enticement, sex trafficking of a minor, and sex trafficking of an adult by force, fraud, or coercion. Zacharias was taken into custody today, August 18, 2020, without incident at his residence by members of the Northwest Ohio Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force.

According to the complaint, investigators, at this time, are aware Zacharias has engaged in sexual conduct with minors since the late 1990’s.

Father Michael Zacharias was a priest at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Findlay. He has been placed on leave by the Diocese of Toledo.

The FBI is encouraging anyone that has had contact with Michael Zacharias where they may have been “groomed” for possible future sexual purposes, they were inappropriately touched, or they were sexually assaulted by Michael Zacharias to contact the FBI at (216) 622-6842. All information will be strictly confidential.

https://breaking911.com/just-in-task-forces-nabs-ohio-priest-accused-of-sex-trafficking-for-decades/

Five Teenagers Awarded Medals of Heroism for Saving Deputy’s Life

davidharrisjr.com

Five Teenagers Awarded Medals of Heroism for Saving Deputy’s Life

Caitlin Bassett 2-3 minutes


Five teenagers were awarded the Medal of Heroism Award on Monday for actions that likely saved the life of a King County Deputy.

Deputy Elliott had been off-duty, driving her patrol car home around 1 AM on July 18th when she was flagged down at the scene of an accident involving multiple vehicles, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office. Witnesses reported that a drunk driver, who was stumbling away from the scene, had caused the accident.

When Deputy Elliott approached the man and told him he was not allowed to leave, he put up his fists in a fighting stance and began to struggle with her. At one point she was able to radio for help, but the man then grabbed Elliott’s neck and placed her in a headlock.

It was at that moment that five teenagers intervened. They had been walking by the events when they saw Deputy Elliott struggling to free herself from the headlock. 

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The teenagers yelled “get off of her” and pulled the suspect away from Deputy Elliott. They were able to pin him to the ground so that Deputy Elliott could handcuff him. 

“Moms and Dads, you should be proud of these kids!” wrote the King County Sheriff’s Office in a Facebook post shortly afterward. 

The suspect was arrested for felony assault of an officer and DUI, and had several other warrants for his arrest.

Deputy Elliott walked away with only scrapes and bruises.

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The five boys – Darrell Swilley, Isaiha Sansaver, Dominic Sansaver, Tyran Powell, and Kai Tavares – range in ages from 16 to 19 years old. 

On Monday, August 3rd, Sheriff Mitzi G. Johanknecht and Auburn Police Chief O’Neil presented the Sheriff’s “Medal of Heroism” Award to the boys. In a Facebook post of the event, the Sheriff’s Office said of the boys, “We can’t thank these fine young men enough. They are true heroes.”

https://davidharrisjr.com/caitlin/five-teenagers-awarded-medals-of-heroism-for-saving-deputys-life/

Manhattan Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Attempting to Provide Material Support to Terrorist Organization

justice.gov

The Department of Justice announced today that Jesus Wilfredo Encarnacion, a/k/a “Jihadistsoldgier,” “Jihadinhear,” “Jihadinheart,” “Lionofthegood,” was sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempting to provide material support to Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), a Pakistan-based designated foreign terrorist organization responsible for multiple high-profile attacks, including the infamous Mumbai attacks in November 2008.  In addition, Encarnacion was sentenced to a lifetime term of supervised release.  Encarnacion pleaded guilty on Jan. 22, 2020, before United States District Judge Ronnie Abrams, who also imposed today’s sentence.

“Unfortunately, individuals continue to attempt to travel to foreign countries to support terrorist organizations.  Encarnacion’s sentence reflects the seriousness with which the justice system takes these efforts,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.  “The National Security Division remains committed to identifying and holding accountable those who seek to join and support designated foreign terrorist organizations.”

“Jesus Encarnacion plotted to travel abroad, to join and train with Lashkar e-Tayyiba, infamous worldwide for the jihadist murder of innocent civilians, and to carry out shootings, bombings, and beheadings in behalf of that terrorist organization,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss for the Southern District of New York.  “Thanks to the FBI, the NYPD, and the Joint Terrorist Task Force, Encarnacion has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term for his crime.”

According to the criminal complaint, indictment, other court filings, and statements during court proceedings:

In November 2018, Encarnacion expressed his desire to join a terrorist group in an online group chat, where he met another individual (CC-1).  CC-1 introduced Encarnacion to an individual who, unbeknownst to CC-1 or Encarnacion, was in fact an undercover FBI employee (UC-1).  Encarnacion repeatedly expressed, in the course of recorded communications through a social media service with CC-1 and through an encrypted messaging service with UC-1, his allegiance to and support for LeT, which, since approximately 2001, has been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by both the United States Secretary of State and the Immigration and Nationality Act. 

Over several months, Encarnacion discussed his desire and plans to join LeT overseas so that he could receive training and participate in violent acts of terrorism.  For example, Encarnacion told UC-1 that he was “ready to kill and die in the name of Allah” and sought UC-1’s assistance to help Encarnacion travel abroad to serve as an “executioner” for LeT, stating, “I want to execute.  I want to behead.  Shoot.”  Encarnacion further stated that he aspired to commit terrorist attacks (“a bombing and shooting”) in the United States, but lacked “guidance” and “guns” to do so.

By early 2019, Encarnacion and UC-1 agreed on a plan that Encarnacion believed would allow him to join LeT in Pakistan.  Encarnacion told UC-1 that he had made arrangements to travel to a particular city in Europe (the “European City”), as the first step in traveling to Pakistan to join LeT.  Encarnacion purchased an airline ticket for a flight scheduled to depart on Feb.7, 2019, from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK Airport) to the European City.  On Feb. 7, 2019, Encarnacion traveled to JFK Airport, where he was arrested by the FBI after he attempted to board that flight.

In addition to the prison term, Encarnacion was also sentenced to serve a life term of supervised release.

Assistant Attorney General Demers and Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which principally consists of agents from the FBI and detectives from the New York City Police Department.  Ms. Strauss also thanked the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, as well as the New York Office of U. S. Customs and Border Protection.

This prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys David W. Denton Jr. and Kimberly J. Ravener are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Bridget Behling of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

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https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/manhattan-man-sentenced-15-years-prison-attempting-provide-material-support-terrorist

Please Help Get Justice For These Victims!

Operation Legend Expanded to Memphis and St. Louis

justice.gov

Today, the expansion of Operation Legend was announced in Memphis and St. Louis. Operation Legend is a sustained, systematic and coordinated law enforcement initiative in which federal law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime. The Operation was first launched on July 8 in Kansas City, MO., and expanded on July 22, 2020, to Chicago and Albuquerque, and to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee on July 29, 2020.

Operation Legend is named in honor of four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept early in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City. 

“The most basic responsibility of government is to protect the safety of our citizens,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Today, we have extended Operation Legend to Memphis and St. Louis, two cities experiencing increases in violent crime that no resident of those cities should have to accept as part of everyday life. For decades, the Department of Justice has achieved significant success when utilizing our anti-violent crime task forces and federal law enforcement agents to enforce federal law and assist American cities that are experiencing upticks in violent crime. The Department of Justice’s assets will supplement local law enforcement efforts, as we work together to take the shooters and chronic violent criminals off of our streets.”

As part of Operation Legend, Attorney General Barr directed the ATF, FBI, DEA, and U.S. Marshals Service to significantly increase resources into Memphis and St. Louis in the coming weeks to help state and local officials fight high levels of violent crime, particularly gun violence. 

Memphis is currently experiencing a significant increase in violent crime, with homicides currently up more than 49 percent, reported gun crime up 23 percent, and aggravated assault shootings up over 19 percent over 2019. Similarly, homicides are up in St. Louis nearly 34 percent and non-fatal shootings are up over 13 percent.

In Memphis, the Department of Justice will supplement state and local law enforcement agencies by sending 16 federal investigators to the city on temporary assignment for 90 days, followed by 24 permanent agent assignments from the FBI, DEA, ATF, and Homeland Security Investigations. Under the leadership of Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, these investigators will complement the work already underway by existing joint federal, state and local task forces focused on combatting violent gangs, gun crime, and drug trafficking organizations. 

The Bureau of Justice Assistance will make available $200,000 to support Operation Legend’s violent crime reduction efforts in Memphis in addition to the prior BJA grant funding award of $1.4 million to Shelby County to provide manpower, technology, equipment, and support for the sustained efforts Legend Task Force, including overtime funding for the Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MGU) and partner agency officers; a prosecutor for the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office to handle operation arrests vertically through the state criminal justice system to ensure that arrests are followed by strategic prosecution; vehicles for MGU operations; and technological solutions to enhance investigation and prosecution of violent offenders.

The COPS Office has also made approximately $9.8 million available to the Memphis Police Department to fund the hiring of 50 officers.

The Department has also provided assistance to Memphis through the Joint Law Enforcement Operations (JLEO) fund to assist reimbursement of local law enforcement serving as federal task force officers with FBI, ATF, DEA, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The city will receive $100,000 from ATF to help local agencies defray costs associated with installing or maintaining shot detection technology.

In St. Louis, under the leadership of Jeffrey Jensen, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, federal agents from ATF, DEA, FBI, and USMS, along with approximately 50 additional agents from Department of Homeland Security, will work cooperatively with the St. Louis Police Department to combat gun and gang violence, as well as assist the U.S. Marshals Service in violent fugitive apprehension efforts.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance will make available $1 million to support local law enforcement in shot spotter responses and violent crime investigations in St. Louis. With Department of Justice funding, the city is also receiving two Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office to support violent crime prosecutions.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/operation-legend-expanded-memphis-and-st-louis

Nashville Woman Is Second To Face Federal Arson Charges In Connection With Metro Courthouse Fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

justice.gov

NASHVILLE, Tenn.August 4, 2020 – A criminal complaint unsealed today charged Shelby Ligons, 22, of Nashville Tennessee, with malicious destruction of property using fire or explosives, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee and Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.

Wesley Somers, 25, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, was previously charged on June 3, 2020, and his case is pending in U.S. District Court. 

The criminal complaint alleges that on the afternoon of May 30, 2020, protesters gathered in downtown Nashville following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Later in the evening, a number of persons gathered in front of the Nashville City Hall, also known as the Metro Courthouse.  Using various tools, including crowbars and other objects, they began smashing the windows of the premises and spraying graffiti on the Courthouse facade. One or more fires were also set inside of the Courthouse at this time.

Numerous video clips and photographs of the destruction at City Hall were posted on social media websites, on the websites for news outlets, and on other Internet sites. Ligons is depicted in video clips and photographs from that afternoon and evening wearing blue jeans, a black-colored shirt, a medical mask, and a white-colored bandana on her head. In those video clips and photographs, Ligons is depicted holding a white-colored poster board with the words “F–k The Police” and “We Will Not Be Silent” written on it.  In several video clips, Ligons is depicted setting fire to the poster and placing it inside a window located on the exterior structure of City Hall.

Ligons was arrested this morning by FBI agents and will make an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge later this afternoon.

If convicted, Ligons faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 20 years in prison.

This case is being investigated by the FBI; the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department; and the Nashville Fire Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Schrader and Trial Attorney Justin Sher of the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.                   

https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdtn/pr/nashvillewoman-second-face-federal-arson-charges-connection-metro-courthouse-fire

So when are they leaving…I’ll help them pack!

Dog Allegedly Almost Burned to Death Deserves Justice – Force Change Petition

forcechange.com

Kari Maze

Target: Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento County, California District Attorney

Goal: Give woman most stringent punishment for allegedly setting fire to dog on purpose.

A brindle pit bull was allegedly burned on purpose, facing near death as a result. The woman reportedly responsible has not been publicly identified by authorities. She needs to receive the harshest legal sentence if she is found guilty of committing such unfathomable cruelty so that she will be less likely to harm other animals.

The dog was brought to the Bradshaw Animal Shelter. Officials said that over 40 percent of the pit bull’s body was burned. According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, an accelerant, or something that is used to spread fire more rapidly, was purposely sprayed on the dog before he was set on fire. The woman who is thought to be responsible for this act is being brought up on charges of animal cruelty and arson.

Purposely hurting an innocent dog should not be tolerated. Sign this petition to demand this woman get the strictest sentence the law will allow if it is found she abused a helpless dog.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear District Attorney Schubert,

Police recently charged a woman with animal cruelty and arson for reportedly setting a pit bull on fire. Although the woman has not yet been identified to the public, she should be appearing in court in the near future. If she is found guilty of these crimes, she should receive the severest punishment the law will allow to better ensure more animals will not be hurt or killed.

It was determined by the local sheriff’s office that an accelerant was poured on the dog before he was reportedly set on fire. While it is good news that the dog was taken to a local shelter, he will likely need four to six weeks of treatment, since 40 percent of his body was allegedly burned.

Treating an animal in this manner is inexcusable. We therefore demand this woman receive the strongest punishment under the law if she is found guilty of such disgusting and unfounded animal abuse.

Sincerely,

Photo Credit: Jlantzy

https://forcechange.com/566547/dog-allegedly-almost-burned-to-death-deserves-justice/

Animals Reportedly Skinned, Hanged, and Crushed by Woman on Social Media Deserve Justice – Force Change Petition

forcechange.com

Tiffany White

Target: Josh Minkler, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana

Goal: Punish woman who allegedly tortured animals to death and filmed the cruel acts.

A weeks-long investigation by ordinary citizens and law enforcement alike has resulted in an arrest in an alleged horrific case of animal cruelty involving scores of cats and dogs. Sickened social media users first began seeing videos and pictures of someone skinning, hanging, and otherwise brutally killing animals on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Over the next two months, the person seemingly associated with these atrocities (who had named themselves Crazy Cat Lady) continued posting highly disturbing images of torture and ultimate slaughter.

Determined advocates sought to track down the individual responsible. A subsequent investigation by authorities, who initially believed the perpetrator to be a man in Idaho, led to a 19-year-old Indiana woman’s arrest. Krystal Scott now faces charges under both a federal animal crush law and the newly minted Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act.

Scott had been suspected by local police of animal cruelty, but they lacked evidence to indict her. When law enforcement obtained a warrant for this woman’s dwelling, however, they reportedly discovered the most damning and disturbing evidence. Scott’s home allegedly contained multiple skulls and body parts believed to belong to deceased animals. Several living cats, dogs, and lizards were also found and perhaps spared from a grotesque fate. Reports claim that Scott secured animals by answering online ads from people searching for a good home for their pets.

Now that the alleged perpetrator of these unfathomable acts of cruelty is behind bars, sign the petition below to help ensure she stays there for a long time to come, if found guilty.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Minkler,

An animal cruelty investigation that spanned from Idaho to Indiana, and across several social media platforms, has finally led to an arrest. Tragically, untold numbers of cats and dogs reportedly lost their lives in the interim. The case of Krystal Scott must be seen through to its appropriate conclusion.

Scott stands accused of skinning, hanging, and slaughtering innocent animals she obtained from unsuspecting online pet owners. Even worse, if possible, she then allegedly distributed these sickening, inhumane acts online for the world to see. Such actions, if they happened as reported, demonstrate a level of depravity and sociopathic tendencies that must be unequivocally condemned.

Please prosecute and seek penalties for these horrifying alleged acts to the fullest extent of the law.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Double Compile

https://forcechange.com/566490/justice-for-pets-allegedly-brutalized-and-massacred-for-sick-online-entertainment/

Police need your help identifying this guy

Teenager ‘shared videos of her skinning and killing cats and dogs’ on Tik Tok

mirror.co.uk

by Rachel Endley 17:37, 24 Jul 2020

Krystal Cherika Scott, 19, of Kokomo, Indiana is accused of creating sick ‘animal crushing’ videos and sharing them on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter under the name “Crazy Cat Lady”

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A woman who allegedly shared videos of her hanging, skinning and killing cats and dogs under the name “Crazy Cat Lady” has been has been charged for animal cruelty.

Krystal Cherika Scott, 19, of Kokomo, Indiana is accused of creating sick ‘animal crushing’ videos and sharing them on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

Scott is said to have obtained some of the animals she allegedly tortured and killed by responding to online ads from people looking to rehome their pets.

According to the Indiana U.S. Attorney’s Office, Scott has been accused of creating and sharing the videos and images on different social media platforms from around May 3 until at least July 8. When officers searched Scott’s home they found three live dogs, twelve live cats, and several lizards, as well as numerous animal parts, including skulls believed to belong to cats and dogs

(Image: KTVB)

She could face up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 (£195,000) if found guilty of the charges under the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act.

Police were alerted to the videos after several people spotted them online and conducted their own investigation into who was behind them, before providing information to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

When officers then searched Scott’s home they found three live dogs, twelve live cats, and several lizards, as well as numerous animal parts, including skulls believed to belong to cats and dogs. Scott was identified as the alleged person in the videos by social media users who had conducted their own investigation to find out who “Crazy Cat Lady” was

(Image: KTVB)

The investigation began on June 16 when the Boise, Idaho Police Department received information from social media users across the world and animal campaigners. After reviewing the videos and images, the officers concluded that they constituted “animal crush videos,” which is a federal violation.

The Boise Police Department then teamed up with the FBI and Ada County Idaho Sheriff’s Office.

The forces discovered that Kokomo Police Department had been investigating Scott for similar animal cruelty complaints, but they had been unable to make an arrest and were unaware of the other investigations involving Scott. The investigation began on June 16 when the Boise, Idaho Police Department received information from social media users across the world and animal campaigners(Image: KTVB)

As agents worked to gather evidence, Scott allegedly continued to post images of dead animals on Instagram and Tik-Tok as late as July 8, 2020 before officers were granted search warrants.

The FBI searched her property on July 14 and seized a phone found to have been used to distribute a animal crushing videos.

Scott told officers that her mother did not participate in acts of animal crushing or posting animal crushing videos.

Scott has been charged under the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act and the 2019 Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, which allows higher sentences for this type of crime.

Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, FBI Indianapolis said: “Animal abusers have total power over that animal and, if someone is willing to be that cruel to an animal, evidence suggests they may target vulnerable humans as well.

“In November of 2019, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act was passed to address this issue and to assist law enforcement to better target intervention efforts with respect to animal cruelty and the crimes for which it serves as a marker.

“Our agents and law enforcement partners will continue to diligently work to identify and investigate those who would perpetrate these crimes.”

“This case is an outstanding example of society’s intolerance to animal cruelty and the public’s willingness to do the right thing,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Haertel of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office.

“Tips poured in from all over the world, assisting in an intense and technically complex investigation to find the alleged perpetrator and put a stop to the senseless and horrific abuse of innocent animals.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/teenager-shared-videos-skinning-killing-22411884.amp?__twitter_impression=true

Raleigh Man Indicted for Setting Multiple Fires to Raleigh Businesses During Riots

justice.gov

RALEIGH, N.C. – A Raleigh man was indicted for setting fires inside two Raleigh businesses after a demonstration over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced.

Richard Rubalcava, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was arrested on June 18, 2020, by special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and is charged by indictment with two counts of maliciously damaging or destroying, or attempting to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building or other real or personal property affecting interstate or foreign commerce. 

According to the complaint, on May 30, 2020, at approximately 12:13 a.m., a fire was discovered at the Dollar General Express located at 149 East Davie Street, Raleigh, after it had been looted by rioters. Video surveillance was obtained from the Dollar General Express.  The video shows Rubalcava enter the business and place numerous items in a Dollar General Bag.  Rubalcava leaves and re-enters the business numerous times.  Each time Rubalcava enters the business, he would steal items from the store. Further video surveillance captured Rubalcava inside the Dollar General Express setting fire to miscellaneous items located on an aisle endcap.  Rubalcava appears to exit the store after setting the fire. 

Additionally on May 30, 2020, video surveillance from Budacai Restaurant located at 120 East Martin Street, Raleigh, was given to the Raleigh Police Department (RPD) in regards to the restaurant being looted and a fire being set inside. After reviewing the video surveillance, RPD identified one of the subjects that entered the business as Rubalcava. The video surveillance showed Rubalcava entering the restaurant three times.  The second time Rubalcava entered he stole the cash register.  The third time Rubalcava entered he attempted to set a plant on fire inside the restaurant.  After the plant would not ignite, Rubalcava ignited a towel and places the burning towel on a countertop. Surveillance video from both fires shows Rubalcava wearing the same clothing. Rubalcava admitted to RPD officers that he set the fire inside of Budacai Restaurant.

The counts charged in the indictment carry a statutory mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000.  

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina credited the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the Raleigh Police Department (RPD) with the investigation leading to Rubalcava’s arrest and indictment. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel W. Smith of the of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Related court documents and information are located on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-mj-01642-JG.

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.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-ednc/pr/raleigh-man-indicted-setting-multiple-fires-raleigh-businesses-during-riots

Sheriff’s office investigating social media photo showing man kneeling on child’s neck

 

whio.com

WHIO Staff

CLARK COUNTY, Ohio — A social media photo of a man kneeling on the back of the neck of a child is currently under investigation by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

A picture of the post was sent into News Center 7 Tuesday, showing the man with his knee on the back of a child’s neck, who appears to be crying. A second person in the photo is holding the child’s hands behind their back. The caption of the photo reads “Blm now.”

A version of the the photo, which some might find disturbing, is available at the bottom of this news story, with the faces of the child and man blurred out.

The photo resembles the action taken by Minneapolis police officers during the arrest of George Floyd May 25 that resulted in his death.

Investigators in Clark County said they are investigating the post, however no arrests have been made and charges have not been filed.

“We are looking into this case, however it is still an active investigation. At this point we are actively looking into it and we are VERY early on into this investigation,” Maj. Chris Clark said in an emailed statement.

According to emergency scanner traffic, deputies, police, and medics were called to two different addresses Tuesday morning in Clark County as a part of the investigation.

We’ll continue to update this story with new details as they become available.

Contributed photo, provided to News Center 7
Contributed photo, provided to News Center 7

© 2020 Cox Media Group

https://www.whio.com/news/crime-and-law/sheriffs-office-investigating-social-media-post-showing-man-kneeling-childs-neck/7GREMQGUZNC6DBZAFQCVDVZXKI/

 

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Please say a prayer for Linda Stoltzfoos

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Instant Karma

Four Men Charged in Federal Court for Attempting to Tear Down Statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square Amid Protests

justice.gov

            WASHINGTON – Lee Michael Cantrell, 47, of Virginia; Connor Matthew Judd, 20, of Washington, D.C.; Ryan Lane, 37, of Maryland; and Graham Lloyd, 37, of Maine, were charged by criminal complaint yesterday with destruction of federal property, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division James A. Dawson, and Acting Chief of the United States Park Police (USPP) Gregory T. Monahan.

            The complaint, unsealed today, alleges that on June 22, 2020, the four men along with other unidentified individuals, damaged and attempted to tear down the statue depicting Andrew Jackson located in Lafayette Square.  The complaint further alleges that Cantrell was captured on video attempting to pry the statue off its base with a wooden board and trying to pull the statue down with the aid of a yellow strap.  The complaint alleges that Judd is seen on video trying to pull down the statue, and that Lane is seen on video affixing a rope to one part of the statue and then pulling on another rope tied to the statue.  The complaint also alleges that video of the incident shows Lloyd as he breaks off and destroys the wheels of cannons located at the base of the statue.  Lloyd is also captured on video pulling on ropes in an effort to topple the statue, and handing a hammer to an unidentified individual involved in the incident.

            Judd was arrested on Friday and appeared in Superior Court of the District of Columbia today.  The matter will be transferred to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday, June 29, 2020, where Judd will make his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather.  The remaining defendants have not yet been apprehended. 

            A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

            “The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia will not stand idly by and allow our national monuments to be vandalized and destroyed.  This Office remains steadfast in its commitment to protect the sacred First Amendment right of individuals to peacefully protest, but these charges should serve as a warning to those who choose to desecrate the statues and monuments that adorn our nation’s capital:  your violent behavior and criminal conduct will not be tolerated,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin.

            “The FBI respects the peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights, but we will not allow opportunists to hijack peaceful protests to incite violence and destruction of property,” said James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division.  “We will continue to work with our partners to enforce federal laws prohibiting damage to government facilities and property.”

            “Members of the United States Park Police are working tirelessly to provide quality law enforcement, safeguard lives, protect our national treasures and symbols of democracy, and preserve the natural and cultural resources entrusted to its service.  We are committed to ensuring that citizens are able to freely exercise their constitutional rights in a safe and peaceful manner.  The deplorable acts of violence and destruction of property are unacceptable and will continue to be pursued through ongoing collaborative investigations and enforcement efforts,” said Gregory T. Monahan, Acting Chief of the United States Park Police.

            In announcing the charges, Acting U.S. Attorney Sherwin, Special Agent in Charge Dawson, and Acting Chief Monahan commended the work of the FBI agents and USPP officers who apprehended the four men and are investigating the incident.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gilead Light, Sara Vanore, and Laura Crane of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

            This joint investigation was conducted by the United States Park Police and the FBI Washington Field Office’s Violent Crime Task Force.  Significant assistance was also provided by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department.  The Violent Crime Task Force is charged with investigating acts of violence impacting the District of Columbia.  Tips associated with this matter or other acts of violence can be reported to the FBI at 202-278-2000 or tips.fbi.gov.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/pr/four-men-charged-federal-court-attempting-tear-down-statue-andrew-jackson-lafayette

“Compound King” and Wife Sentenced in $21 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme; Fugitive Sought | OPA | Department of Justice

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, June 25, 2020

A Houston pharmacist and his wife were sentenced today for their roles in an approximately $21.8 million Department of Labor (DOL) – Office of Workers Compensation Programs and Federal Employees Compensation Act fraud scheme.

George Philip Tompkins, 75, of Houston, Texas, the self-proclaimed “Compound King” and former owner of Piney Point Pharmacy, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Marene Kathryn Tompkins, 68, also of Houston, the former vice president of Piney Point Pharmacy, was sentenced to 30 days of home confinement and three years of supervised release. Both were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake of the Southern District of Texas, who presided over the trial of George Thompkins and the guilty plea of Marene Tompkins.  Judge Lake also ordered George Tompkins to pay $12,300,381.36 in restitution (and forfeiture) and Marene Tompkins to pay $950,745.10 in restitution (and forfeiture).

On March 10, 2020, after a six-day trial, George Tompkins was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, 11 counts of health care fraud, and three counts of wire fraud. Kathryn Tompkins pleaded guilty on Jan. 3, 2020, to one count of conspiracy to pay kickbacks.

According to the evidence at trial, George Tompkins and others billed the DOL approximately $21.8 million for medically unnecessary compound gels and creams that were predicated on illegal kickback payments. George Tompkins and Anoop Chaturvedi, 48, a legal permanent resident from India who remains a fugitive on related charges, created the scheme to generate compounded pain cream prescriptions and bill health care programs for injured state and federal employees. George Tompkins and Chaturvedi used separate entities—including George Tompkins’s company, Wellington Advisors—to receive and launder the proceeds of their crimes.  Further evidence presented at trial showed that George Tompkins sought to disguise illicit kickback payments as legitimate “marketing” expenses and continued to ship patients compound gels and creams even after patients repeatedly complained they did not want them.     

Marene Tompkins pleaded guilty before trial.  As part of her guilty plea, she admitted that she conspired with her husband and others to pay illegal kickbacks as part of the scheme. 

George and Marene Tompkins were charged in a superseding indictment in November 2018 along with Chaturvedi. Chaturvedi is considered a fugitive and a warrant remains outstanding for his arrest in connection with the charges. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG) at 1-888-877-7644.

A federal criminal indictment is merely an accusation. Chaturvedi is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

USPS-OIG, DOL-OIG, IRS-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security-OIG, and Department of Veterans Affairs-OIG, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Redlinger charged the case and, with Trial Attorneys Leslie Garthwaite and Devon Helfmeyer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, provided substantial assistance in its prosecution. Trial Attorneys Drew Pennebaker and Sara Clingan of the Fraud Section tried the case and continue to prosecute it.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for nearly $19 billion. In addition, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

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. Topic(s): Financial FraudHealth Care FraudComponent(s): Criminal DivisionCriminal – Criminal Fraud SectionUSAO – Texas, SouthernPress Release Number: 20-591 Updated June 25, 2020

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https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/compound-king-and-wife-sentenced-21-million-health-care-fraud-scheme-fugitive-sought

Now what moron will be brave enough to go to jail for 10 years

AG Barr Orders Executions of 4 Federal Inmates Accused of Child Rape, Child Murder

PHOTO CREDIT: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Attorney General William P. Barr today directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to schedule the executions of four federal death-row inmates who were convicted of murdering children in violation of federal law and who, in two cases, raped the children they murdered. 

In July 2019, Attorney General Barr directed the BOP to revise the Federal Execution Protocol to provide for the use of a single-drug, pentobarbital — similar to protocols used in hundreds of state executions and repeatedly upheld by federal courts, including the Supreme Court, as consistent with the Eighth Amendment.  A district court’s preliminary injunction prevented BOP from carrying out executions under the revised protocol, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated that injunction — clearing the way for the federal government to resume capital punishment after a nearly two-decade hiatus.

“The American people, acting through Congress and Presidents of both political parties, have long instructed that defendants convicted of the most heinous crimes should be subject to a sentence of death,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “The four murderers whose executions are scheduled today have received full and fair proceedings under our Constitution and laws.  We owe it to the victims of these horrific crimes, and to the families left behind, to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”

In accordance with 28 C.F.R. Part 26, the BOP has scheduled executions for the following death-sentenced inmates:

  • Daniel Lewis Lee, a member of a white supremacist group, murdered a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl. After robbing and shooting the victims with a stun gun, Lee covered their heads with plastic bags, sealed the bags with duct tape, weighed down each victim with rocks, and threw the family of three into the Illinois bayou.  On May 4, 1999, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas found Lee guilty of numerous offenses, including three counts of murder in aid of racketeering, and he was sentenced to death.  Lee’s execution is scheduled to occur on July 13, 2020.
  • Wesley Ira Purkey violently raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl, and then dismembered, burned, and dumped the young girl’s body in a septic pond. He also was convicted in state court for using a claw hammer to bludgeon to death an 80-year-old woman who suffered from polio and walked with a cane.  On November 5, 2003, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri found Purkey guilty of kidnapping a child resulting in the child’s death, and he was sentenced to death.  Purkey’s execution is scheduled to occur on July 15, 2020.
  • Dustin Lee Honken shot and killed five people — two men who planned to testify against him, and a single, working mother and her ten-year-old and six-year-old daughters. On October 14, 2004, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa found Honken guilty of numerous offenses, including five counts of murder during the course of a continuing criminal enterprise, and he was sentenced to death.  Honken’s execution is scheduled to occur on July 17, 2020.
  • Keith Dwayne Nelson kidnapped a 10-year-old girl rollerblading in front of her home, and in a forest behind a church, raped her and strangled her to death with a wire. On October 25, 2001, Nelson pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to the kidnapping and unlawful interstate transportation of a child for the purpose of sexual abuse which resulted in death, and he was sentenced to death.  Nelson’s execution is scheduled to occur on August 28, 2020.

Each of these inmates has exhausted appellate and post-conviction remedies, and no legal impediments prevent their executions, which will take place at U.S. Penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana.  Additional executions will be scheduled at a later date.

https://breaking911.com/breaking-ag-barr-orders-executions-of-4-federal-inmates-accused-of-child-rape-child-murder/

Update on the murder of Captain David Dorn

Information needed…help bring Justice for the murder of Captain David Dorn

Write this number down

Justice Department Files Its First Enforcement Action Against COVID-19 Fraud

justice.gov Justice Department Files Its First Enforcement Action Against COVID-19 Fraud 7-8 minutes The Department of Justice announced today that it has taken its first action in federal court to combat fraud related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The enforcement action filed today in Austin against operators of a fraudulent website follows Attorney General William Barr’s recent direction for the department to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of illegal conduct related to the pandemic. As detailed in the civil complaint and accompanying court papers filed on Saturday, March 21, 2020, the operators of the website “coronavirusmedicalkit.com” are engaging in a wire fraud scheme seeking to profit from the confusion and widespread fear surrounding COVID-19. Information published on the website claimed to offer consumers access to World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine kits in exchange for a shipping charge of $4.95, which consumers would pay by entering their credit card information on the website. In fact, there are currently no legitimate COVID-19 vaccines and the WHO is not distributing any such vaccine. In response to the department’s request, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman issued a temporary restraining order requiring that the registrar of the fraudulent website immediately take action to block public access to it. “The Department of Justice will not tolerate criminal exploitation of this national emergency for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “We will use every resource at the government’s disposal to act quickly to shut down these most despicable of scammers, whether they are defrauding consumers, committing identity theft, or delivering malware.” “Attorney General Barr has directed the department to prioritize fraud schemes arising out of the coronavirus emergency,” said U.S. Attorney John F. Bash of the Western District of Texas. “We therefore moved very quickly to shut down this scam. We hope in the future that responsible web domain registrars will quickly and effectively shut down websites designed to facilitate these scams. My office will continue to be aggressive in targeting these sorts of despicable frauds for the duration of this emergency.” “At a time when we face such unprecedented challenges with the COVID-19 crisis, Americans are understandably desperate to find solutions to keep their families safe and healthy,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office. “Fraudsters who seek to profit from their fear and uncertainty, by selling bogus vaccines or cures, not only steal limited resources from our communities, they pose an even greater danger by spreading misinformation and creating confusion. During this difficult time, protecting our communities from these reprehensible fraud schemes will remain one of the FBI’s highest priorities.” The United States filed today’s announced action to shutter the website immediately while an investigation of the website and its operators continues. In so doing, the government is employing a federal statute that permits federal courts to issue injunctions to prevent harm to potential victims of fraudulent schemes. The Department of Justice recommends that Americans to take the following precautionary measures to protect themselves from known and emerging scams related to COVID-19: Independently verify the identity of any company, charity, or individual that contacts you regarding COVID-19. Check the websites and email addresses offering information, products, or services related to COVID-19. Be aware that scammers often employ addresses that differ only slightly from those belonging to the entities they are impersonating. For example, they might use “cdc.com” or “cdc.org” instead of “cdc.gov.” Be wary of unsolicited emails offering information, supplies, or treatment for COVID-19 or requesting your personal information for medical purposes. Legitimate health authorities will not contact the general public this way. Do not click on links or open email attachments from unknown or unverified sources. Doing so could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is operating and up to date. Ignore offers for a COVID-19 vaccine, cure, or treatment. Remember, if a vaccine becomes available, you won’t hear about it for the first time through an email, online ad, or unsolicited sales pitch. Check online reviews of any company offering COVID-19 products or supplies. Avoid companies whose customers have complained about not receiving items. Research any charities or crowdfunding sites soliciting donations in connection with COVID-19 before giving any donation. Remember, an organization may not be legitimate even if it uses words like “CDC” or “government” in its name or has reputable looking seals or logos on its materials. For online resources on donating wisely, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website. Be wary of any business, charity, or individual requesting payments or donations in cash, by wire transfer, gift card, or through the mail. Don’t send money through any of these channels. Be cautious of “investment opportunities” tied to COVID-19, especially those based on claims that a small company’s products or services can help stop the virus. If you decide to invest, carefully research the investment beforehand. For information on how to avoid investment fraud, visit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, consumers may visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO websites. In addition, the public is urged to report suspected fraud schemes related to COVID-19 by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline (1-866-720-5721) or by e-mailing the NCDF at disaster@leo.gov. The enforcement action taken today is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas A. Parnham, Jr. and Michael C. Galdo of the Western District of Texas, and Senior Litigation Counsel Ross S. Goldstein of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch. The FBI’s San Antonio Field Office is conducting the investigation. The claims made in the complaint are allegations that, if the case were to proceed to trial, the government must prove to receive a permanent injunction against the defendant. For information about the Department of Justice’s efforts to stop COVID-19 fraud, visit http://www.justice.gov/coronavirus. Additional information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts may be found at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, visit its website at http://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtx.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-files-its-first-enforcement-action-against-covid-19-fraud

Sign the Petition: help support rape survivor Brittney Smith

change.org

Brittany smith started this petition to Alabama Governor

Let me introduce myself. My name is Brittany and I am being accused of shooting my rapist in self-defense, which could send me to prison for life. I’m a mother of four beautiful, amazing children. They are the best thing that could ever have happened to me and they are what keep me going.

In January of 2018, I agreed to let an acquaintance named Todd sleep on my couch for the night in order to escape a snow storm. Todd ended up holding me captive in my own home for hours. He threatened to kill me if I tried to contact anyone, brutally raped me multiple times, tried to break my neck and choked me until I urinated on myself and went unconscious more than once. He beat me so badly my fingernails were ripped off, and I had 33 visible wounds on my body, not to mention internal injuries.

Eventually I was able to get a message to my brother who came to help. Todd attacked him, and was choking my brother to the point where i feared for my life, while yelling that he was going to kill all of us.

Todd was shot. My brother and I called 911 and did CPR and chest compressions for 20 minutes waiting on someone to get there. When the police arrived, they made us stop the CPR.

The next day I was arrested for murder.

Afterwards, I found out Todd had been arrested 80 times, many of them for domestic violence. While they were married, he bit his wife’s face, broke her nose, ribs and even her jaw. He was a very violent man. He was a monster. A predator to women.

I am facing life in prison, away from my children, for defending myself. I am innocent. I need your help. Up until this point I have only been able to acquire court appointed attorneys that do not have the experience with Stand Your Ground cases that I so desperately need.

My children are my reason for living, and I don’t know if I’ll survive being separated from them. Please, my life depends on your support.

https://www.change.org/p/survivedandpunished-org-help-support-rape-survivor-brittany-smith

Sign the Petition closure for Cloud

change.org
Sign the Petition

Our rescue, Husky Education And Rescue Team, Inc ((H-E-A-R-T)). was contacted two weeks ago by the staff of Dorchester Paws, an open intake shelter, asking for our assistance with Cloud. Cloud was a Siberian Husky who had been brought to the shelter by someone who found him roaming the streets and he began to deteriorate in the shelter environment. He struggled with allowing strangers to handle him but once you earned his trust there was no concern.

Dorchester Paws is a 501c3 organization who serves Dorchester County, SC. The important thing to note here is the shelter uses the NO KILL designation as stated right on their website. We received many videos and notes on Cloud over the next week.

H-E-A-R-T’s Director had a conversation earlier this week with the Shelter’s Behavior Manager who was very invested in Cloud’s best interest. She wanted Cloud to go to a breed specific rescue who understood the breed. She told us about some neck sensitivities and his low grumbling when he was uncertain. These are all things H-E-A-R-T is accustomed to handling and rehabilitating in our beloved breed.

We were concerned about how best to get Cloud to MD. If he was unsure of strangers, a volunteer transport with multiple legs was not going to be successful, however maybe we could meet someone from the shelter halfway. But the Shelter staff was able to arrange a flight in which Cloud could be loaded into a crate and then the crate into the plane and then reversed once safe in MD. This would allow Cloud to be handled safely getting in and out of the plane.

We were all set! H-E-A-R-T sent the necessary paperwork to facilitate the Rescue pull and PAID the rescue pull/transfer fee of $100. Cloud was ours and he was coming to MD! We even shared his photos with our followers on our Facebook page on Thursday.

THAT’S WHEN EVERYTHING WENT WRONG!!!

At 5 pm on Friday, we received a ‘refund’ of Cloud’s adoption fee. Our Director immediately called the Shelter’s Behavior Manager and when she answered the phone she was devastated and in tears. The medical staff came to issue Cloud his health certificate so he could travel across state lines and when they went to examine him he became defensive, jumped on the medical staff and gave her a ‘pressure’ bite. He did NOT break the skin.

Now Husky lovers….how many of you have male Sibes who need to be muzzled at the vet’s office? It’s actually VERY common. Huskies are generally known for misbehaving or becoming defensive during a medical exam. Heck….this information is even on our Education page on our website.

The Shelter’s Behavior Manager was called in to assist with Cloud at this time. She was able to safely muzzle him for the vet to finish her examination and Cloud was issued a Health Certificate. But then the Executive Director of Dorchester Paws, Kim Almstedt ordered the immediate euthanasia of Cloud. They did not call H-E-A-R-T. They did not consult us about OUR dog. This NO KILL shelter simply ended his life and refunded our pull fee. Kim stated she could not endanger anyone on the transport. Well, we had a well laid out plan so no one needed to handle Cloud on the short flight to MD and we had a plan b in which we would have transported Cloud by ground! Even if Cloud had really hurt someone, we had committed to him. It should have been our decision on Cloud’s fate. And we would have tried to save him! Cloud was confused and being defensive with medical staff. Normal breed stuff but sadly this person who runs the Dorchester Paws shelter clearly hasn’t educated herself on our breed!

We are beyond crushed over this news. The tears haven’t stopped flowing yet. We’ve never worked with a shelter staff so extensively to save a Husky to simply have their Executive Director overrule a breed specific rescue and their own Behavior Manager and euthanize a dog when they pride themselves on being NO KILL. We immediately called the Executive Director, Kim on her cell phone and have not received a call back. And while the Board of Directors do not have contact information on the Dorchester Paws website, one of our Directors messaged 6 of the 7 on Facebook. The President has responded that he will “do some investigation and connect back with us”. But honestly, what could he possibly say that would justify what they’ve done? NOTHING.

We cannot let this injustice go. We must get CLOSURE FOR CLOUD. We must demand Kim Almstedt be removed from her position. She certainly has no business working in Animal Welfare. Not when there are volunteer organizations like H-E-A-R-T who are fighting so hard to save these beings when Kim is using her paid position to kill them.

So H-E-A-R-T network, we call on YOU. Help us be the voice for Cloud – a voice that we will never get to hear. A Husky who we will never get to hug. We must stop Kim Almstedt from killing another innocent being. Please sign the petition to have her terminated as the Executive Director of Dorchester Paws.

You can also call the Dorchester Paws Shelter at 843-871-3820, ask to speak with or leave a message for a Board Member and demand Kim Almstedt be removed from her position for the death of Cloud.

BRING CLOSURE FOR CLOUD!

https://www.change.org/p/dorchester-paws-board-of-directors-closure-for-cloud?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&original_footer_petition_id=11932780&grid_position=5&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAA3MOQEAAAAAXmGLmPbBDl0wZTQ5NGY3ZQ%3D%3D

Defense Department Linguist Charged with Espionage

justice.gov
Defense Department Linguist Charged with Espionage
6-8 minutes

Mariam Taha Thompson, 61, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota, was charged today in the District of Columbia with transmitting highly sensitive classified national defense information to a foreign national with apparent connections to Hizballah, a foreign terrorist organization that has been so designated by the Secretary of State. According to the affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint, the information Thompson gathered and transmitted included classified national defense information regarding active human assets, including their true names. By compromising the identities of these human assets, Thompson placed the lives of the human assets and U.S. military personnel in grave danger.

The announcement was made by John C. Demers, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Timothy J. Shea, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia; Robert Wells, Acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division; and Timothy R. Slater, the Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office.

“While in a war zone, the defendant allegedly gave sensitive national defense information, including the names of individuals helping the United States, to a Lebanese national located overseas,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “If true, this conduct is a disgrace, especially for someone serving as a contractor with the United States military. This betrayal of country and colleagues will be punished.”

“The conduct alleged in this complaint is a grave threat to national security, placed lives at risk, and represents a betrayal of our armed forces. The charges we’ve filed today should serve as a warning to anyone who would consider disclosing classified national defense information to a terrorist organization,” said U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Shea for the District of Columbia.

“This case shows the value of cooperation across the U.S. Government. Working closely with the Department of Defense, the FBI was able to investigate this willful disregard for keeping national defense information safe and partnered to bring the defendant to the United States to face justice,” said Acting Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division Robert Wells.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to the U.S. government’s commitment to protecting the U.S. from the unauthorized disclosure of classified information that can put our country at serious risk of damage – damage to people and damage to our country’s capabilities,” said Timothy R. Slater, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “Human assets are the core of the U.S. government’s intelligence, and they have our assurance that we will go above and beyond to protect them. I want to thank the men and women at the FBI and our partners here and abroad who answered the call to assist on this fast-moving investigation. The FBI is charged with protecting our nation’s security and information for a safe and secure tomorrow for all Americans – we take this duty seriously and will not stand by while supposedly trusted individuals violate that trust in such an egregious way.”

Thompson was arrested by FBI Special Agents on February 27, 2020, at an overseas U.S. military facility, where she worked as a contract linguist and held a Top Secret government security clearance.

The investigation leading to this arrest revealed that starting on or about December 30, 2019, a day after U.S. airstrikes against Iranian-backed forces in Iraq, and the same day protesters stormed the U.S. embassy in Iraq to protest those strikes, audit logs show a notable shift in Thompson’s network activity on United States Department of Defense classified systems, including repeated access to classified information she had no need to access. Specifically, during a six-week period between December 30, 2019, and February 10, 2020, Thompson accessed dozens of files concerning human intelligence sources, including true names, personal identification data, background information, and photographs of the human assets, as well as operational cables detailing information the assets provided to the United States government.

A court-authorized search of Thompson’s living quarters on February 19, 2020, led to the discovery of a handwritten note in Arabic concealed under Thompson’s mattress. The note contained classified information from Department of Defense computer systems, identifying human assets by name, and warning a Department of Defense target who is affiliated with a designated foreign terrorist organization with ties to Hizballah. The note also instructed that the human assets’ phones should be monitored.

Thompson transmitted the classified information in the handwritten note to a co-conspirator, in whom she had a romantic interest. The FBI’s investigation revealed that Thompson knew the co-conspirator was a foreign national whose relative worked for the Lebanese government. The investigation also revealed that the co-conspirator has apparent connections to Hizballah. Further investigation revealed that, in a separate communication, Thompson also provided information to her co-conspirator identifying another human asset and the information the asset had provided to the United States, as well as providing information regarding the techniques the human assets were using to gather information on behalf of the United States.

In today’s Criminal Complaint, Thompson was charged with Delivering Defense Information to Aid a Foreign Government in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 794(a) and conspiring to do so in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 794(c).

Thompson is scheduled to make her initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather later this afternoon. A Criminal Complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. If convicted, Thompson faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for violating § 794. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of a defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Trial Attorneys Jennifer Kennedy Gellie of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, Jennifer Levy of the Counterterrorism Section, and Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia John Cummings are prosecuting the case.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/defense-department-linguist-charged-espionage

The Justice System is a Joke!!!

Disabled Dog Abducted and Found Dead Deserves Justice – Animal Petitions

Zorra, a partially paralyzed husky mix and an emotional support dog was in a locked car with the air on and parked in handicap parking outside the convenience store while Zorra’s guardian went in to pick up a bag of ice, a illegal immigrant stole the car, after a massive search they found the car and Zorra dead. Demand that justice be served for this helpless animal victim.

Source: Disabled Dog Abducted and Found Dead Deserves Justice – Animal Petitions