Friday, November 30, 2007
Another tax evasion fraud scheme. Charged with two counts of filing false tax returns.
Three Tax-Related Charges Added to Charges Arising From a $32 Million
Computer Equipment Leasing Scheme
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury indicted Alan B. Fabian, age 43, of Cockeysville, Maryland, today for two counts of filing false tax returns and one count of making false statements in connection with a tax return, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Fabian previously had been indicted on federal charges for mail fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice arising out of a scheme to defraud a computer equipment leasing company, financial institutions and a government consulting company of $32 million.
Today’s superseding indictment alleges that on April 15, 2003 Fabian, a certified public accountant, filed a false individual federal tax return for the tax year 2002 indicating that he and his spouse had total income of $475,827 when in fact, he knew that he had unreported additional income of at least $500,000 obtained from his participation in the equipment leasing scheme that is the subject of the pending indictment. He also allegedly indicated that $46,425 in federal taxes had been withheld on his behalf in 2002, when in fact he knew that only $14,654.68 in federal taxes had been withheld that year.
Similarly, the superseding indictment alleges that on October 15, 2004 Fabian filed a false individual federal tax return for the tax year 2003 indicating that he and his spouse had total income of $573,893 when in fact, he knew that he had unreported additional income of at least $1 million obtained from his participation in the fraudulent computer equipment leasing scheme. He also allegedly indicated that $46,000 in federal taxes had been withheld on his behalf in 2003, when in fact he knew that only $13,969.80 had been withheld that year.
Today’s indictment also alleges that on December 27, 2005 Fabian filed an individual federal tax return for the tax year 2004 which indicated that $504,000 in federal taxes had been withheld on his behalf in 2004, when in fact he knew that only $28,985 in federal taxes had been withheld that year.
Allegations included in the earlier indictment and repeated in the superseding indictment returned today charge that from March 2001 to July 2004, Fabian caused Strategic Partners International LLC and later, Strategic Partners International, Inc., companies that he formed (collectively, SPI), to enter into sale-leaseback transactions to purportedly purchase $32 million in computer hardware and software, when in fact SPI either never purchased such equipment or purchased substantially less expensive equipment. As a result of this scheme, the indictment alleges that Fabian caused his employer to make approximately $800,000 in rent payments to the leasing company and funding sources on purported leases entered into by SPI. Fabian is alleged to have diverted substantial amounts of cash provided to SPI by the leasing company for his personal benefit, including at least $500,000 to purchase real estate in North Carolina, $600,000 to pay for private jet travel and $3.9 million to form and operate the Centre for Management and Technology (CMAT), a not-for-profit entity located in Baltimore.
The indictment also repeats allegations that on August 31, 2004, two of the funding sources filed a petition forcing SPI, Inc. involuntarily into bankruptcy. From June 2004 to at least January 2007, Fabian engaged in a scheme to defraud the bankruptcy court and creditors of SPI in order to keep the proceeds of his mail fraud scheme out of reach of SPI’s creditors by creating false documents and giving false testimony. Fabian is alleged to have perjured himself in the course of two depositions in the SPI, Inc. bankruptcy case.
Finally, the indictment repeats charges that Fabian obstructed justice by: falsely testifying before the bankruptcy court in December, 2006 about transfers of funds he made from SPI to purchase real estate in North Carolina; filing false financial statements with the bankruptcy court on three occasions in 2004 and 2005; and influencing a business associate to provide false information to a forensic accountant retained by the bankruptcy trustee.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of $32 million in substitute assets, including eight properties in North Carolina and a property in Hunt Valley, Maryland; cash; a Silverton yacht; three vehicles; and Fabian’s interest in several companies.
Fabian faces a maximum sentence of three years on each of two counts of filing false tax returns and five years for making false statements. Fabian faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each of the nine counts of mail fraud; 10 years in prison for each of the nine counts of money laundering and one count of obstruction of justice; and five years in prison for each of the two counts of bankruptcy fraud and two counts of perjury.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Tonya Kelly Kowitz and Jonathan Biran, who are prosecuting the case
KNOW YOUR ENEMY ON DOMESTIC TERRORISM. FLORIDA DOCTOR SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS FOR CONSPIRING AND ATTEMPTING TO SUPPORT AL QAEDA
MICHAEL J. GARCIA, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that RAFIQ SABIR was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 25 years in prison by United States District Judge LORETTA A. PRESKA. On May 21, 2007, SABIR was convicted after a five-week jury trial of conspiring to provide material support or resources to the al Qaeda terrorist organization and of attempting to provide material support or resources to al Qaeda, after pledging an oath of loyalty to al Qaeda and OSAMA BIN LADEN in a ceremony recorded by an undercover FBI agent. According to the evidence at trial:
SABIR conspired with his good friend, TARIK SHAH, to provide martial arts training and medical assistance to al Qaeda, through a man whom they believed to be a recruiter for the
terrorist organization. The recruiter was in fact an FBI agent, acting undercover, who recorded numerous conversations with SABIR and SHAH, including the May 2005 ceremony in the Bronx. During that meeting, SABIR and SHAH pledged "bayat," or allegiance, to OSAMA BIN LADEN and al Qaeda, and agreed to provide SABIR’s medical expertise and SHAH’s martial arts expertise to train al Qaeda fighters.
From September 2003 through May 2005, SHAH engaged in multiple meetings and conversations, first with a confidential source (the "CS") and later with the FBI undercover agent (the "UC"). In these conversations, the vast majority of which were recorded, SHAH discussed his desire and intent to aid al Qaeda, and repeatedly discussed his friend, who was a doctor, as being someone who shared his desire. For example, SHAH repeatedly indicated his desire to train Muslim "brothers" in the martial arts to help them wage jihad, and to find people who were willing to press the fight. When meeting the UC for the first time, SHAH offered himself and SABIR as a "package." SHAH also took steps to find locations where jihad training could be conducted and weapons could be machined. In addition, SHAH told the UC and the CS of his discussions with SABIR regarding their desire to move to Afghanistan in 1998, when it was under the control of the Taliban, and of his intention to attend terrorist training camps there.
At the meeting on May 20, 2005, in the presence of the UC and under the impression that the UC had the authority of al Qaeda, SABIR and SHAH took "bayat" -- pledging an oath of loyalty to al Qaeda, and committing themselves to the path of Holy War, to the oath of secrecy, and to abide by the directives of al Qaeda and its leaders, including OSAMA BIN LADEN and AYMAN AL ZAWAHIRI. During that discussion, SABIR stated that he and SHAH had been "talking about this for a long time." SABIR also told the UC that he would soon be returning to Saudi Arabia for two years to work at a hospital in Riyadh, and that he enjoyed extraordinary freedom of movement within that country. Evidence at trial established that al Qaeda has engaged in a long-running terror campaign within Saudi Arabia that began in May 2003. Also at the May 2005 meeting, SABIR wrote down his telephone numbers in code, and gave them to the UC for the UC to provide to the "brothers" in Saudi Arabia, inviting them to call him and expressing his desire to meet them.
SABIR has been detained at the Metropolitan Correctional Center since shortly after his arrest on May 28, 2005. SABIR, 53, formerly lived in Florida.
The three other defendants in this case, TARIK SHAH, MAHMUD FARUQ BRENT, a/k/a “Mahmud Al Mutazzim,” and ABDULRAHMAN FARHANE, were sentenced by Judge PRESKA to 15 years, 15 years, and 13 years, respectively, following their guilty pleas.
Mr. GARCIA praised the efforts of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department, for their extraordinary efforts in the investigation of this case.
Assistant United States Attorneys JENNIFER G. RODGERS and KARL METZNER are in charge of the prosecution
KNOW YOUT ENEMY ON DOMESTIC TERRORISM.ILLINOIS MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN FOILED PLAN TO SET OFF GRENADES IN SHOPPING MALL
CHICAGO – A Rockford, Il., man, admitted today in Federal Court that he planned to set off several grenades in garbage cans at a shopping mall in Rockford last December. The defendant, Derrick Shareef, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Shareef was arrested on Dec. 6, 2006, by agents of the FBI-led Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) when he met with an undercover agent at a store parking lot in Rockford to trade a set of stereo speakers for four hand grenades and a hand gun. He has remained in federal custody since he was arrested. Shareef was scheduled to stand trial beginning December 10, 2007.
Shareef entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge David Coar, who set sentencing for March 14, 2008. Shareef faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. While there is no plea agreement, the Government anticipates that a remaining count of attempted arson will be dismissed at sentencing.
Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said they were pleased with the conviction. At the time of Shareef’s arrest, they noted that there was no imminent risk of harm once the threat allegedly posed by Shareef was detected by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the charges alleged that he was acting alone.
The indictment against Shareef alleged that he planned to set off several grenades at the CherryVale Shopping Mall, near the junction of Interstate 90 and Interstate 39 on the east side of Rockford, about 90 miles northwest of Chicago. The mall, which has approximately 130 retail stores, is owned by CBL & Associates Properties, Inc., based in Chattanooga, Tenn. The mall was among several potential targets that Shareef allegedly discussed during the course of the investigation – the others were primarily local government facilities. At all times Shareef allegedly was acting on his plan between Nov. 29 and Dec. 6, 2006, Shareef was in contact with an acquaintance, who unbeknownst to him was cooperating with the FBI, and an undercover agent who was posing as the cooperating individual’s friend.
The Chicago FBI’s JTTF is comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies from throughout the Northern District of Illinois, all of whom contributed to the investigation.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sergio Acosta and Carrie Hamilton
CHILD MOLESTER GEORGE ADAM WHEBY, JR. STILL ON THE RUN
Michael S. Welch, Special Agent in Charge of the Indianapolis Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced today an updated wanted flyer has been prepared in an effort to locate and arrest of GEORGE ADAM WHEBY, JR., age 63, formerly of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
On September 25, 1987, an arrest warrant was issued for WHEBY in the state of Indiana, Allen County, for five counts of child molesting. On June 16, 1988, a federal arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court, Northern District of Indiana, charging WHEBY with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
WHEBY is described as a white/male, 63 years of age, 6’2” tall, 190 pounds, black/gray hair, and brown eyes. WHEBY was born in Havana, Cuba.
WHEBY is considered Armed and Dangerous. Anyone with information concerning his whereabouts, is requested to contact the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Office of the FBI at (260) 426-5331.
Contact: Special Agent Wendy A. Osborne, FBI Indianapolis, (317) 639-3301.
Know your Enemy on Domestic Terrorism. They are charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.
OHIO MAN SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS IMPRISONMENT FOR CONSPIRACY TO PROVIDE MATERIAL SUPPORT TO TERRORISTS
WASHINGTON – An Ohio man has been sentenced to serve ten years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, Assistant Attorney General for National Security Kenneth L. Wainstein, U.S. Attorney Gregory G. Lockhart of the Southern District of Ohio, Assistant Director Joseph Billy, Jr., of the FBI Counterterrorism Division, and Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced today.
Nuradin M. Abdi, 35, a Somali national living in Columbus, Ohio, was named in a four-count indictment returned under seal in the U.S. District Court in Columbus on June 10, 2004. On July 31, 2007, Abdi pleaded guilty in federal court to Count One of the indictment, which charged him with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.
Count One of the indictment specifically alleged that on April 27, 1999, Abdi applied to the Immigration and Naturalization Service - now known as ICE - for a travel document, wherein he concealed his destination by representing that he intended to visit Germany and Saudi Arabia for the purpose of "Umrah (Holly[sic] - Mecca) and visit my relative," when he actually planned to travel to Ogaden, Ethiopia, for the purpose of obtaining military-style training in preparation for violent jihad. Abdi allegedly sought training in radio usage, guns, guerilla warfare and bombs.
“Today's sentence is just punishment for a defendant who exploited our country's freedoms and manipulated our immigration system on numerous occasions, all in an effort to support and conspire with international terrorists,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Kenneth L. Wainstein.
“I want to commend the men and women who have diligently investigated and prosecuted this case,” U.S. Attorney Lockhart said. “They are successfully carrying out one of our nation’s most important jobs in the fight against terrorism - stopping those in this country who provide support to terrorists.”
“Nuradin Abdi's sentence should send a very clear message to those who, like Abdi, provide support to terrorist organizations and operatives. The FBI will not tolerate the propagation of violence and discord by those who wish to harm the U.S. and its citizens, and we will continue to work with our partners to pursue suspected terrorists and their supporters” said Assistant Director Joseph Billy, Jr., FBI Counterterrorism Division.
“Today's sentencing brings to conclusion one aspect of a critical joint investigation that identified and stopped three terrorist supporters bent on causing panic and significant harm to U.S. citizens,” said ICE Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers. “This investigation highlights the aggressive pursuit by ICE and the Department of Justice to identify and prosecute those who seek to terrorize America and its allies.”
According to the statement of facts agreed upon by the government and the defendant, Abdi first entered the United States in 1995 using a false passport. He once again illegally entered the United States from Canada in 1997. Abdi was later granted asylum in this country based on a series of false statements.
In the ensuing years, Abdi befriended co-conspirators Christopher Paul and Iyman Faris in Ohio. Christopher Paul was later arrested and indicted in April 2007 on charges of providing material support, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives). Iyman Faris was later convicted of providing material support and conspiracy to provide material support to Al Qaeda. He is currently serving a 20-year prison term.
Federal agents arrested Abdi on Nov. 28, 2003. Abdi subsequently agreed to be interviewed by FBI agents and admitted conspiring with Faris, Paul and others to provide material support to foreign terrorists. These admissions by Abdi have been corroborated in a variety of ways, including bank records, travel records, invoices, and items seized in search warrants.
This case was investigated by the Southern Ohio Joint Terrorism Task Force, a multi-agency operation that includes agents and officers from 15 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
The investigation was a joint investigation by agents and officers of the JTTF, specifically ICE Special Agents Bob Medellin and Rich Wilkens; and FBI Special Agents Steve Flowers and John Corbin.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dana M. Peters and Robyn J. Hahnert from the Southern District of Ohio and Sylvia Kaser, Trial Attorney with the Department of Justice’s Counterterrorism Section.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The follow up of a good samaritan who's saved a kid life. He was deported to Mexico without even getting an address for the boy's family to write a thank-you card.
Christopher Buchleitner, 9, Orphan, Reunited With His Dogs
Border Crosser Who Saved His Life -- Sent Back To Mexico
Thanksgiving night, nine-year old Christopher Buchleitner and his mother were driving home from a camping trip at Peña Blanca Lake near the Mexican border, 60 miles from Tucson.
And then everything went wrong...
Young Chris' father, Jack, had committed suicide several months previously on Labor Day. His mother, Dawn Alice Tomoko, lost control of their car, and went over a cliff. They landed 300 feet from the road. While mom was alive, she was trapped and dying. Christopher wiggled out of the car and started walking away -- in the cold desert night, all alone, down at the base of a cliff. Age nine.
Enter, stage left, a border crosser, Jesus Manual Cordova, 26. He was wandering through the desert. He came upon the boy. Together they returned to the car, comforted the dying mother whom they could not free, built a fire for warmth, and in the morning when hunters came upon them, the young boy and the young border crosser were both alive, as were the boy's dogs -- a golden retriever and a Queensland heeler.
The boy was dusted off to University Hospital in Tucson. The young man was taken by the Border Patrol to Nogales and let go -- on the Mexican side of the border.
If being a citizen is fundamentally the willingness to sacrifice yourself for the good of your community, Jesus Manual Cordova has met the test. Instead of continuing through the desert to freedom, he stopped and rendered aid, knowing the cost.
Any sane society would welcome this young man with open arms, the keys to the city, a full-ride to the University of Arizona, and a passport. The Republican-run Border Patrol shoved his brown-skinned ass right back over the border without even getting an address for the boy's family to write a thank-you card.
The boy is out of the hospital and has his beloved dogs back. He is currently with his uncle's family; whatever happens, he'll be with family we're told, and his dogs will stay with him.
Of Jesus Manual Cordova, there is no sign.
He has vanished into Mexico.
Or hopefully, walked back through the desert again, to a better life.
One final note... the young boy and the young man: they have the same birthday. Make of it what you will. Certainly, the border crosser made it possible that night for the boy to someday, many birthdays from now, become a man.
A man hopefully, as much a man as Jesus Manual Cordova
Debate is probably the wrong term. It's more of a no-win shouting match where few ideas can be heard over the hate, misinformation and stereotypes spewing from extremists on both sides.
On one side is a growing, angry America, gathering steam as the 2008 presidential election fast approaches. This side, prompted by the mainstream media of talk radio and cable television hosts, believes all undocumented immigrants are like Yanez-Burruel — dangerous criminals.
The other side is less visible but vocal. This side doesn't have as large a media megaphone and supporting cast of elected officials, but it manages to get its message into the debate. It includes immigration-rights groups, some churches and human-rights groups who view all undocumented immigrants as honorable like Cordova. They fail, however, to acknowledge that some undocumented immigrants commit violent criminal acts.
Not all undocumented immigrants are not criminals.
That's a major obstacle, if not the biggest, in reaching a national consensus on a practical immigration plan. The debate about illegal immigration is too often made in absolute terms.
Anti-illegal-immigration restrictionists want the federal government to wall off the border. Defenders of undocumented immigrants will not support increased border security.
Illegal immigration is not black or white. It's a morass of gray, interconnecting interests, involving international and national economics, international migration of people and, of course, politics
At the pinnacle is longshot Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, a Colorado congressman. Betting that crass xenophobia garners votes, Tancredo is running TV ads in Iowa that link undocumented immigrants with Islamic terrorists
The truth is that undocumented immigrants encompass individuals like Cordova?
Unfortunately, pandering politicians are up to the same old tricks: Scare the voters.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Oklahoma Immigration Bill Hitting Business. A lot of people didn't know what they were passing when they voted yes on this.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Maxine Grider knows all too well how much her grocery store in south Oklahoma City relies on the area's Latino community to stay in the black.
Since a state law that targets illegal immigrants went into effect almost one month ago, business at Grider's Discount Foods has been off between $50,000 and $75,000 a week.
"It's hit us pretty bad," said Grider, who has operated her grocery store at the same location for 45 years. "I'm sure not satisfied with sales."
If the trend continues, the store will start losing money and its very survival could be threatened.
"It affects your bottom line tremendously," Grider said.
Retailers and employers whose success depends on Latino business and workers have felt the pinch since Oklahoma's anti-illegal immigrant law went into effect on Nov. 1. Some undocumented immigrants have left the state and others are reluctant to venture outside of their homes.
"There is a definite shortage of workers," said Mike Seney, senior vice president of operations for The State Chamber, a business and industry group that represents 1,500 employers statewide.
With Oklahoma's unemployment rate at just 4.2 percent of the labor force _ lower than the national rate of 4.7 percent _ contractors and businesses need workers to fill their labor pools, Seney said.
"They're having trouble finding crews. Some families are just saying, 'I'm out of here,'" Seney said. "I think we're going to have some problems."
Reliable estimates on the number of illegal immigrants that have moved to other states or back to their own country are not available. But Oklahoma homebuilders lost an estimated 10 percent of their work force after the law went into effect, said Mike Means, executive vice president of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association.
"Some people it seems to have hit pretty hard. In other instances the effect has been negligible," Means said.
Home builders expect home prices to go up due to higher labor costs and delays in getting jobs done, Means said.
"When your labor pool tightens up, you may have to wait two weeks to get a roof, or maybe three weeks," he said.
Changes are needed in the law to counteract its negative economic consequences, said Jim Hopper, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association. Hopper said many of his organization's 250 members have been scrambling to find workers since the law went into effect.
"We're going to be working on the legislation in February to amend it and make it a little bit more palatable for the work force in Oklahoma _ and for the employers," Hopper said.
"We'd like to see the law set aside and maybe reworked," Means said. "All we're doing is running them out of Oklahoma and passing them on to somebody else."
"Word is out that this law is too extreme," said businessman Chip Oppenheim, who owns Oklahoma City's Economy Square shopping center where Grider's Discount Foods is located.
"These people buy cars, they buy gas, they buy bread, they buy homes. And you're telling them to leave?" Oppenheim said. "A lot of people didn't know what they were passing when they voted yes on this."
Seney and others said they believe immigration policy is the responsibility of the federal government and that state regulations are pre-empted by federal law. He said The State Chamber is working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on a possible lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Oklahoma's immigration law.
"You can't handle this thing at the state level. It's physically impossible to do so," he said.
The immigration statute was adopted by the Legislature last spring and signed into law by Gov. Brad Henry. It received bipartisan support from state lawmakers who expressed frustration with Congress' inability to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Among other things, it bars illegal immigrants from receiving taxpayer-supported services and imposes requirements on employers to verify the immigration status and employment eligibility of their workers. Employers who willfully hire illegal aliens would be penalized under the statute.
The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Religious Leaders and others have challenged the law in U.S. District Court in Tulsa. The coalition alleges the law targets illegal immigrants and has harmed several people. A federal judge has not handed down a ruling
Monday, November 26, 2007
If you applied for U.S. Citizenship and thinking that you will vote in 2008. Keep waiting. It will take up to five years the Citizenship process. This is a country of laws. He filed suit in 2003, received a trial date of August 2003 and became a citizen before the court date arrived. His lawyer convinced the judge to make the government pay Sapir's nearly $4,000 in legal fees.
Citizenship delays lead immigrants to file suit. FBI background checks can take up to five years.
Lawsuits filed against the U.S. government by immigrants trying to live in the country permanently quadrupled in three years, the plaintiffs frustrated by years-long background checks and threat of deportation.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials say every application is treated equally, that only those for foreign adopted children and military personnel get expedited. But a document uncovered in a Nashville case lists the filing of a federal lawsuit as a reason to speed up the process, and plaintiffs report action within months of filing.
From October 2005 to September 2006, just over 4,000 immigrants filed suit against various divisions of the federal government involved with immigration, compared with about 1,000 in the same period two years earlier. Sixteen Nashville-area immigrants have filed suit so far this year, compared with one in 2006 and none in 2005.
Adnan Alkhafaji of Nashville filed his suit in June, almost a year after he took required citizenship tests and passed and three years after he first applied. Three months later, he received an appointment to take his oath of citizenship in December. But last week, Alkhafaji received another letter — the appointment had been canceled.
"There is no explanation," he said. "None at all."
Alkhafaji's situation is dire. The Iraq native arrived in the U.S. 10 years ago on a refugee visa and applied for disability benefits because he is missing part of his right hand, an injury sustained in the Iran-Iraq war.
Then, in 2004, the Social Security Administration discontinued his benefits because he failed to become a citizen within seven years of arriving. Under immigration law, he wasn't eligible to apply until that year.
Today, Alkhfaji depends on friends and government housing assistance to get by. He is waiting for the U.S. District Court in Nashville to set a trial date for his case.
"What I want, what I need is for this piece of the government to talk to the other," he said. "And for somebody to make a decision."
Several immigrants, their advocates and attorneys said the list of people waiting for decisions exhibits several obvious patterns.
"Most of the people, most but not all, tend to be male and from a predominantly Islamic country or a country with current or former communist ties," said Charla Haas, a Nashville immigration attorney who has several clients awaiting immigration-status decisions.
"There are more immigrants turning to the courts because the system, well, it has a lot of flaws, and people feel very strongly about becoming citizens," she said. "They want to be able to travel. They want to be able to vote. … And these days it means a lot to (immigrants) not to be perceived as foreigners."
Checks can take years
In several cases, courts have found that the government has an obligation to process permanent residency applications "within a reasonable period of time."
A federal law also requires a decision on citizenship applications within 120 days of the "examination." Plaintiffs say that's a reference to the required English and civics exams. The government contends that the examination includes the required FBI background check, which can take from 72 hours to nearly five years to complete.
The FBI receives on average more than 130,000 names a week from various government agencies that must be checked against its databases, said Bill Carter, an FBI spokesman. The majority come from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
About 85 percent of names checked by the FBI are cleared within 72 hours, he said.
In November 2002, the immigration agency asked the FBI to begin probing deeper into the backgrounds of applicants for visas, permanent residency and citizenship. The agency wanted to know when an applicant was a suspect in an FBI investigation, a victim, a witness, a friend or co-conspirator mentioned in an FBI file.
As of August, the FBI had a backlog of 455,815 names requiring rigorous review, Carter said.
"We understand the delays in the process are causing consternation for a number of people," said Carter. "At the same time, ... the FBI's priority remains to protect the United States from terrorist attack."
Ana Santiago, a spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said all applications are treated equally — only foreign-born adopted children and military personnel are expedited.
But a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services document included in a lawsuit filed this month by Nashville immigrant Yongquing Wang indicates that the FBI expedites name checks in a short list of situations, including those in which there is a pending federal lawsuit.
Santiago said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.
The document, dated 2005, labeled "notice" and printed on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services letterhead, reads: "In order for USCIS to expedite an FBI Name Check request, one of the following criteria must be established: … Writ of Mandamus — lawsuit pending in Federal Court."
Wang, who could not be reached for comment, has waited two years for a decision because of name check delays, according to his lawsuit. Wang immigrated to the United States from China six years ago.
VU prof filed lawsuit
Mark Sapir, a mathematics professor at Vanderbilt University, was the first immigrant to file suit against the newly formed U.S. Department of Homeland Security over immigration delays.
In 1991, Sapir, his wife and daughter immigrated to the United States from Russia. Ten years later, Sapir and his wife were summoned to take the required tests to become citizens.
They passed. So did the 120 days, then two years.
Sapir called the agency, then known as Immigration and Naturalization Services, and wrote the area's congressional representatives to try to get his case expedited.
"I even went to Memphis a couple of times," said Sapir, to the INS offices. "…When you get to the front of the line, there are just two very rude clerks who are not professional, who cannot answer your questions.
"These people, they treat citizenship like it is just a piece of paper."
Sapir filed suit in 2003, received a trial date of August 2003 and became a citizen before the court date arrived. His lawyer convinced the judge to make the government pay Sapir's nearly $4,000 in legal fees.
"This is a country of laws," Sapir said. "And to me immigration ought to be this orderly, this logical thing. So I was not afraid of them. Maybe I should have been, but I had no reason to be. … They are not inherently bad. It's not like they are KGB or something
Immigrant Couple Faces Deportation Over Marriage Status. I cannot fathom how deporting the Servanos fulfills any portion of the ICE mission. In fact, I would argue the action runs counter to it.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Immigrants Pedro and Salvacion Servano have been model U.S. residents since arriving from the Philippines in the 1980s.
Pedro Servano, 54, is a prominent family doctor in an underserved area of central Pennsylvania. His wife, 51, runs a grocery store and bakery. Two kids have graduated from college, with two more in grade school.
But a change in their marital status during their visa application process more than two decades ago has come back to haunt them, and now they are facing possible deportation back to the Philippines.
The couple have been told to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office the day after Thanksgiving for the start of deportation proceedings, agency spokesman Michael Gilhooly said Friday.
It's a process the Servanos desperately hope to avoid. Their attorney, Gregg Cotler, is devising a flurry of last-ditch legal and political appeals to allow them to remain home in Selinsgrove, about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
"We love this country and this is our American dream to be here," Salvacion Servano said Friday in a telephone interview. "We've been here for 25 years. This is our home."
Their present difficulties can be traced back to 1978 when, while both were single, their mothers applied for visas for them to come to the United States.
They married in the Philippines in 1980, and two years later, Salvacion Servano's visa was granted and she left the country. Pedro Servano followed in 1984 after getting his visa, and the couple moved to Philadelphia.
The Servanos applied for U.S. citizenship while living in San Diego in 1990, but an immigration official noticed during an interview that their visa application listed them as single. They were accused of lying and misrepresenting their marital status, and the deportation process began, Cotler said.
"I guess it's an honest mistake. It's not premeditated," Salvacion Servano said.
The Servanos went on with their normal lives as they filed appeals. They moved back to Philadelphia in 1992 before settling in Selinsgrove three years later. Dr. Servano works at Geisinger Medical Group in Selinsgrove, where he has about 2,000 patients.
Two of his four children graduated from Temple University, including a son in the Army ROTC program; another is in high school and a fourth in middle school.
Several years ago, the Servanos bought and rehabilitated two properties in the city of Sunbury, about a 10-minute drive from home. Salvacion recently opened a small grocery store there, selling Asian goods and baked items.
"They had an error on their visas when they first came here," said Terry Specht, Sunbury's city clerk, who frequents the store. "It's ridiculous to think they would lie about that."
But the appeals have been unsuccessful and appear to have run their course.
The Servanos switched attorneys and turned to Cotler after receiving notice earlier this month that they had to report to the immigration enforcement office.
"It was a surprise to us. After that, it was as if a ton of bricks had fallen on our family," Pedro Servano said.
Gilhooly declined to discuss the specifics of the case, citing standard ICE practice.
"They have had their due process through the U.S. immigration court system," he said. "They have exhausted their appeals."
Cotler hopes otherwise. His legal team is considering emergency appeals in court and directly to the U.S. Attorney General's office.
The family has lobbied for help from politicians. Friends scheduled a prayer vigil in Sunbury for Saturday night.
Letters of support to the government have poured in from local dignitaries, Servano's patients and even someone from the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees ICE.
"I fervently believe in the ICE mission. However, the Servanos did not sneak into this country illegally, they have broken no laws, and they have not been a burden to the economy. They pose no threat," DHS counterterrorism operative Bill Schweigart wrote in a letter obtained by The Daily Item of Sunbury. "I cannot fathom how deporting the Servanos fulfills any portion of the ICE mission. In fact, I would argue the action runs counter to it."
Cotler said the couple understands the government's position, but would simply like another chance to tell their story.
"You would not find two nicer people, two more unassuming people," Specht said. "It's a shame that these two are caught up in all this."
I do not have words to described this outrageous crime. Bones of Baby Found in Detroit Home; The couple burned him in a barbecue grill. 2 Charged With Abusing Second Child.
DETROIT — Detroit police investigating injuries to a 1-year-old boy say they found the skeletal remains of a baby who is the brother of the living child.
Police say the mother told investigators that Deante Miller died two years ago. Authorities say the couple burned him in a barbecue grill and hid what was left of the baby in the ceiling of a home.
The boys' parents are 24-year-old Nickella Reid and 27-year-old Joseph Miller. They were arraigned Saturday on first- and second-degree child abuse charges for injuries to the 1-year-old child, who is in fair condition at a hospital.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller tells The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press that the child was severely abused. He suffered burns over one-third of his body
Friday, November 23, 2007
Why characterize or demonized Undocumented Immigrants as a criminals? This is one example of what an Undocumented Immigrant can do.
Undocumented Immigrant Rescues Boy, 9, in Arizona Desert.
PHOENIX — A 9-year-old boy looking for help after his mother crashed their van in the southern Arizona desert was rescued by a man entering the U.S. illegally, who stayed with him until help arrived the next day, an official said.
The 45-year-old woman, who eventually died while awaiting help, had been driving on a U.S. Forest Service road in a remote area just north of the Mexican border when she lost control of her van on a curve on Thanksgiving, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said.
The van vaulted into a canyon and landed 300 feet from the road, he said. The woman, from Rimrock, north of Phoenix, survived the impact but was pinned inside, Estrada said.
Her son, unhurt but disoriented, crawled out to get help and was found about two hours later by Jesus Manuel Cordova, 26, of Magdalena de Kino in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. Unable to pull the mother out, he comforted the boy while they waited for help.
The woman died a short time later.
"He stayed with him, told him that everything was going to be all right," Estrada said.
As temperatures dropped, he gave him a jacket, built a bonfire and stayed with him until about 8 a.m. Friday, when hunters passed by and called authorities, Estrada said. The boy was flown to University Medical Center in Tucson as a precaution but appeared unhurt.
"We suspect that they communicated somehow, but we don't know if he knows Spanish or if the gentleman knew English," Estrada said of the boy.
"For a 9-year-old it has to be completely traumatic, being out there alone with his mother dead," Estrada said. "Fortunately for the kid, (Cordova) was there. That was his angel."
Cordova was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents, who were the first to respond to the call for help. He had been trying to walk into the U.S. when he came across the boy.
The boy and his mother were in the area camping, Estrada said. The woman's husband, the boy's father, had died only two months ago. The names of the woman and her son were not being released until relatives were notified.
Cordova likely saved the boy, Estrada said, and his actions should remind people not to quickly characterize illegal immigrants as criminals.
"They do get demonized for a lot of reasons, and they do a lot of good. Obviously this is one example of what an individual can do," he said.
Why America Needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform. A Boom Rather Than a Burden.
Immigrants play an important part in the successful story of America's free-enterprise economy and our dynamic culture. The general benefits of immigration, including immigration from Mexico, are as relevant today as they have been throughout American history. Current efforts to reform the U.S. immigration system should be based upon that fundamental fact.
For the U.S. economy, foreign-born workers provide needed flexibility, allowing the supply of workers to increase relatively quickly to meet rising demand. When demand falls, would-be immigrants can decide not to enter, and those already here can decide to return home. The result is a more efficient economy that can achieve a higher rate of sustainable growth without encountering bottlenecks or stoking inflation.
Immigration helps to maintain a steady, healthy growth rate in the U.S. labor force. Our labor force is actually growing more slowly in recent years than at anytime in the past half century, and without immigration would actually begin to contract within the next few decades. Because of immigration, the U.S. workforce and economy will continue to grow well into the 21st century, while Japan, Germany, and other advanced economies will be forced to adjust to an unprecedented decline in their workforces.
Immigrant workers willingly fill important niches in the labor market. They gravitate to occupations where the supply of workers falls short of demand, typically among the higher-skilled and lower-skilled occupations. That hourglass shape of the immigration labor pool complements the native-born workforce, where most workers fall in the middle range in terms of skills and education. As a result, immigrants do not compete directly with the vast majority of American workers.
The impact of immigration on the small segment of the U.S. workforce that competes directly with immigrants is more than offset by the lower prices and wider range of goods and services that all workers enjoy because of immigration. Americans also benefit from higher returns on investment, and from the opportunities created for more skilled native-born workers in those industries that depend on immigrant workers to meet the needs of their customers. In an August 2006 study for the National Bureau of Economic Research, authors Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano and Giovanni Peri found "a significant positive effect of immigration on average U.S. wages, and on each group of workers with at least a high school degree, and only a very small negative effect on wages of workers without a high school degree in the long run."
Despite the widespread perception, America is not being flooded with immigrants. The number of foreign-born people who settle here each year, legally and illegally, is about 1.2 million. That is on the high end of historical experience in absolute numbers, but not relative to population. In the context of a U.S. population that has reached 300 million, the current immigration rate is about four immigrants per 1,000 U.S. residents per year, less than half of the peak annual immigration rate of 10.4 per 1,000 in the decade from 1901 to 1910. Today about twelve percent of the U.S. population is foreign-born. That is still below the peak of 1910, when 14.7 percent of people living in our country were foreign born.
One troubling aspect of American immigration today is the large share of it that is illegal. Today nearly one-third of foreign-born residents in the United States, an estimated 11 million, reside here without legal documents, and the number grows by an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 each year. The fundamental and inescapable reason for this phenomenon is that our immigration laws are colliding with two powerful economic and demographic realities, and as usual reality is winning.
Even as our economy becomes more technologically advanced, the demand for less-skilled labor has continued to grow. Large and important sectors of the U.S. economy--hotels and motels, restaurants, agriculture, construction, light manufacturing, health care, retailing, and other services--depend on low-skilled immigrant workers to remain competitive.
That demand will likely continue into the foreseeable future. According to the Department of Labor, the largest growth in absolute numbers of jobs during the next decade will be in several categories that require only "short-term on-the-job training" of one month or less. We all know what those jobs are: retail sales, food preparation, landscaping and grounds keeping, janitors, cashiers, waiters and waitresses, teaching assistants, and home health aides. The net employment growth in those categories in the next decade will total more than four million.
Meanwhile, the supply of American workers willing and happy to fill such jobs continues to shrink. We are getting older and better educated. The median age of workers in the U.S. labor force will soon reach 41.6 years, the highest level ever recorded in U.S. history. At the same time, workers in the U.S. labor force are more educated than ever.
In the past four decades, the share of adults 25 and older who have not completed high school has plunged from more than half in 1964 to less than 10 percent today. Immigrants provide a ready and willing source of labor to fill that growing gap between demand and supply on the lower rungs of the labor ladder.
Yet our current immigration system offers no legal channel for peaceful, hardworking non-residents to enter the United States even temporarily to fill those jobs that an insufficient number of Americans want. The result is large-scale Undocumented immigration.
We've tried enforcing existing law and it's failed. According to a 2005 Cato study by Princeton professor Douglas Massey, the U.S. government has increased spending on the Border Patrol by ten-fold since 1986. That has enabled an eight-fold increase in "line-watch hours," the amount of time agents actually spend patrolling the border. The government has built three-tiered walls for miles out into the desert. For the first time in U.S. history, it has imposed fines on U.S. employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers. We've busted janitors and raided chicken processing plants from coast to coast and in between. Yet the number of illegal immigrants living in the United States continues to grow.
Our aggressive enforcement has had perverse consequences, according to the Cato study. Cracking down on the traditional urban entry points in the early 1990s didn't stop illegal immigration. It only created a deadly diversion of the flow to more remote desert areas. As a result, immigrants entering the United States illegally across the U.S. Mexican border are more likely to enter without being caught, they are more likely to stay once they are here because of the expense and risk of crossing the border, and they are more likely to die-three times more likely than in the 1980s, in fact. As a result, more than 3,000 have died crossing the border in the past decade. That is too high a price to pay for seeking a better job. The lesson of the past two decades should be clear: Enforcement alone is doomed to fail.
The only realistic answer is comprehensive immigration reform. We need to change a broken system so that it works in our national interest. Such reform should create a legal channel for workers from Mexico and other countries to enter the United States temporarily to fill those jobs vital to our economic strength as a nation. It should grant temporary but also renewable visas that would allow foreign-born workers to fill those jobs where their labor is most needed. Such visas should allow multiple re-entries for as long as the visa is valid, complete mobility between employers and sectors of the U.S. economy, and the full protection of U.S. law.
Comprehensive reform should also legalize the millions of workers currently in the United States without legal documentation. Many of these workers have lived and worked in the United States for several years. They have become valuable participants in their workplaces and their communities. They should be allowed and encouraged to come forward to be legalized and properly documented.
Legalization does not mean amnesty. Newly legalized workers can be assessed a fine. They should be required to get in line with everybody else if they want to apply for permanent status. However we achieve legalization, it would be far preferable to the status quo of millions of people living in a legal and social twilight zone, outside the rule and protection of the law.
Reform is not about opening the door to millions of additional foreign workers. It's about legalizing the millions already here and the hundreds of thousands who are coming in each year already. It's about changing our immigration laws to conform to the realities of a dynamic country that continues to create ample opportunity for workers, native-born and immigrant alike.
Did you believe a massive deportation or Real Reform Can Fix Immigration? our immigration system offers no legal channel for peaceful, hardworking immigrants to enter the United States legally to fill even those jobs that fewer and fewer Americans want.
We can't close our eyes and hope Undocumented immigration goes away. Nor can we simply throw money at the same enforcement programs that have failed to fix the problem for more than 20 years. To solve this vexing problem, we need to reform our immigration system in a way that recognizes economic reality, guards our security and reduces the incentives for Undocumented immigration.
Low-skilled immigrants come here for the same reasons our forebears came: family ties and economic opportunity. Our economy continues to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs each year for lower-skilled workers in such important sectors as retail, hospitality, cleaning, landscaping, food preparation, light manufacturing and agriculture. At the same time the number of Americans who have traditionally filled such jobs — those without a high school diploma — continues to shrink.
Yet our immigration system offers no legal channel for peaceful, hardworking immigrants to enter the United States legally to fill even those jobs that fewer and fewer Americans want.
Efforts to enforce the current law have failed miserably. For the past two decades, we have dramatically increased spending on border enforcement, built walls for miles into the desert and raided restaurants and chicken-processing plants from coast to coast. Despite ramped-up enforcement, the number of people living in the United States without legal documents continues to grow.
Our border enforcement has only pushed migrants into more remote regions of the desert, driving up fees for smuggling and the number of deaths on the border. Since Operation Gatekeeper began in 1994, 4,500 people have died horrible deaths from heat or dehydration for the "crime" of wanting a better job.
The answer is not to merely spend more to enforce the existing, dysfunctional law, but to change it. Immigration reform must include an expanded visa program so that willing workers from Mexico and elsewhere can enter the United States legally to help us build a more vibrant economy, and reform must offer a path to legal status for workers already here.
Immigrants come to America to work, not to go on welfare or cause trouble. Studies show immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than their native-born counterparts. Department of Justice figures show that just 6 percent of federal and state inmates are noncitizens, less than their share of the overall population. Overall crime rates have been declining since the early 1990s during a time of rising immigration. Meanwhile, welfare reform has made it difficult for immigrants to qualify for most major welfare programs.
The modest cost that low-skilled immigrants impose on state and local governments are more than offset by increased economic activity. Immigrants enable important sectors of our economy to grow and create jobs for middle-class Americans. Immigrants are also consumers, stoking demand for housing, food and consumer goods. A recent study by the Texas comptroller's office found that the fiscal impact of Undocumented immigrants on state and local governments was overwhelmed by their positive contribution to the state's economy.
Along with the economic benefits, immigration reform would make our borders and our country more secure. Allowing workers to enter legally would start to drain the swamp of smuggling and document fraud. It would encourage 12 million people now living in the shadows to come forward. It would allow border patrol agents to focus on catching criminals and terrorists rather than chasing down dishwashers and roofers.
Earlier this year, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told Congress that immigration reform "would dramatically reduce the pressure on our borders, aid our economy and ease the task of our law enforcement agents inside the country. There is an inextricable link between the creation of a temporary worker program and better enforcement at the border." Exactly right.
The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act failed to fix the problem because it contained no provision to expand future legal immigration. Expanding legal immigration would reduce illegal immigration by giving low-skilled foreign-born workers a more attractive alternative. When Congress dramatically expanded the number of visas offered to Mexican guest workers in the 1950s, apprehensions at the border dropped by 95 percent.
Undocumented workers in the United States are not bad people. They value work, family and faith. But like the alcohol Prohibition in the 1920s, our war against work has spawned an underground economy, expanded the power of government over our daily lives and criminalized normal, peaceful behavior.
Allowing more foreign-born workers to enter and work here legally would make America a more just, prosperous and secure nation
Monday, November 19, 2007
It's a shame that people blame, demonized, stereotype Undocumented Immigrants just for their own arrogance.
They said that Undocumented Immigrants do not pay taxes...Just read this as a Tax Evasion from a Citizen.
CEO OF START-UP COMPANY SENTENCED TO 30 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR TAX EVASION
Failed to Report more than $1.1 Million of Income.
OAKLAND - United States Attorney Scott N. Schools announced that yesterday afternoon John Frances Griffin was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his guilty plea to two counts of tax evasion. These charges are the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
John Frances Griffin, 43, of Orinda, California, was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 18, 2006, and charged with three counts of mail fraud. On November 30, 2006, a superseding indictment was returned charging Mr. Griffin with two counts of tax evasion. On April 26, 2007, a second superseding indictment charged Griffin with fifteen counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, and two counts of tax evasion. In the plea agreement, Mr. Griffin pled guilty to both counts of tax evasion.
According to the plea agreement, Mr. Griffin was the Chief Executive Officer of VaporTech, Inc., a start-up company located in Livermore, California, involved in the research and development of technology which converts fuel to hot water, high quality steam, or superheated water vapor. As CEO, Mr. Griffin recruited investors and ran the day-to-day operations of VaporTech. He received a monthly salary and had possession of the corporate debit card and bank account. Mr. Griffin also raised over $2.5 million from investors. During the calendar years 2004 and 2005, Mr. Griffin received taxable income in excess of $1,198,700 yet failed to file federal income tax returns. Mr. Griffin admitted that he evaded the assessment and payment of his income taxes by paying for personal items with cash, cashier's checks, and the company's debit card. He also cashed his salary checks instead of depositing them.
United States District Judge Claudia Wilken ordered Mr. Griffin to pay $746,615.83 in restitution to the victim Vapor Tech and to pay a $5,000 fine. Judge Wilken also ordered Mr. Griffin to forfeit numerous items, including $75,000, expensive jewelry including a $30,359 diamond ring and a $3,425 gold tennis bracelet, electronic equipment, and thousands of dollars worth of clothing and wine.
Maureen Bessette is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Cynthia Daniel. The prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
RINGLEADER IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA IDENTITY THEFT SCHEME IS SENTENCED
SACRAMENTO--United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced today that TERRY LEE PARKER, 41, of Cottonwood, California, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Frank C. Damrell in Sacramento, California.
This case is the product of extensive combined investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and multiple law enforcement agencies in Northern California, including state and local authorities in Shasta County, Yuba County, and Sutter County.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rodriguez, who prosecuted the case, PARKER received a 75 month federal prison sentence for his execution and coordination of a scheme to manufacture checks with account numbers of others. PARKER and other criminal participants in the scheme stole identification and account number information from the U.S. Mail and elsewhere to create fraudulent checks. PARKER and his criminal associates -- including PARKER's wife, ROSEANNA MARIE GRAVEN, 34, also of Cottonwood, California -- used identity information to cash the checks. PARKER possessed special tools and devices which he used to create phony driver's licenses in various victim names in order to cash the checks. On May 10, 2007, when PARKER was arrested, PARKER possessed—in addition to his device making tools -- stolen U.S. Mail and more than 280 photo copies of valid driver's licenses for purposes of executing his scheme. PARKER and his criminal associates victimized over 50 individuals from Chico to Redding, California.
PARKER was additionally convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. PARKER carried a loaded 9mm pistol at the time he engaged in the federal bank fraud and identity theft crimes.
As part of his federal sentence, PARKER was ordered to serve a minimum mandatory term of two years imprisonment for using identity information of another to commit bank fraud. PARKER had been previously convicted by state authorities for felony forgery, passing fictitious checks, and burglary on multiple occasions.
In the related case against GRAVEN, also prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Rodriguez, GRAVEN pled guilty on July 30, 2007 to one count of bank fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and a single count of possession of stolen U.S. Mail. GRAVEN is scheduled to be sentenced on December 10, 2007 by U.S. District Judge Damrell. GRAVEN is facing a minimum mandatory 2 year federal prison term for similarly using identity information of another to commit bank fraud.
After completion of his 75 month term of federal incarceration, PARKER will serve an additional 5 year term of supervised release. Further, he was ordered to pay full restitution to his victims. At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, PARKER was remanded for execution of his sentence
Another Millionaire Medicaid Fraud but is not from Undocumented Immigrants Just read.
I am hoping that someone will open their eyes and overcome ignorance. the Medicare program paid for over $155 million worth of aerosol medications in Miami-Dade County, making it the single most common item billed to Medicare Part B. From 2005 to 2006.
FOUR MIAMI HEALTH CARE COMPANY OWNERS SENTENCED TO 57 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR MEDICARE FRAUD
Four members of the same family, who owned and operated a series of Miami Durable Medicare Equipment companies and Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities have each been sentenced to 57 months in prison for Medicare fraud, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta of the Southern District of Florida announced today.
Carlos Berenguer , 61, Ivan Aguera , 34, Aristides Berenguer , 64, and Robert Berenguer , 58, were sentenced yesterday by United States District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez in Miami. Judge Martinez also ordered each of the four defendants to pay over $1.4 million in restitution for the money they received in false claims. All four defendants pleaded guilty to all charged counts in March 2007.
Brothers Carlos and Aristides Berenguer owned and operated Select Medical Equipment Inc., while another brother, Robert Berenguer, owned and operated Professional Medical Equipment, Inc. Carlos Berenguer's step-son, Ivan Aguera, owned and operated Palm Medical Equipment. Through these companies, the four defendants recruited and paid cash to Medicare patients to participate in schemes to defraud Medicare. These schemes involved the submission of false claims to Medicare for unnecessary oxygen concentrators and "compounded" aerosol medications. Compounding refers to the process of a pharmacist making medication as opposed to it being made by a pharmaceutical manufacturer.
None of the four defendants owned a pharmacy capable of billing Medicare for drugs, so they conspired with the owners of Miami pharmacies to refer patients in exchange for half of what Medicare paid for aerosol drugs. From 2001 to 2003, the Berenguers and Aguera were responsible for Medicare paying over $1.4 million based on false claims. Another family member, Ricardo Aguera, a.k.a. Pichi, who owned three Miami health care companies, was sentenced to 121 months in prison following a week-long jury trial in March of 2007.
The compounding aerosol scheme was one of the most common health care frauds in south Florida. In 2006, the Medicare program paid for over $155 million worth of aerosol medications in Miami-Dade County, making it the single most common item billed to Medicare Part B. From 2005 to 2006, claims for these aerosol medications increased over 100 percent. In addition, according to Medicare data, Miami-Dade County alone accounted for more paid DME claims than every state in the country except California, Texas, New York, Michigan and Ohio.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Kirk Ogrosky and Trial Attorney Jeffrey Neiman from the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division, with the investigative assistance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, the FBI, and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Florida Attorney General’s Office.
Since beginning operations in March of 2007, the strike force teams have indicted 120 defendants in Miami-Dade County alone. The strike force teams are led by a federal prosecutor supervised by both the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section in Washington and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Florida.
Are you still believe that Undocumented Immigrants draining the social services?. This is for those xenophobics, bigotries, conservatives, extremists to open their eyes.
AMBULANCE COMPANY AND OWNER SENTENCED FOR HEALTH CARE FRAUD ABUSING TAXPAYERS POCKETS.
TYLER, TX -- United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that a 47-year-old Forney man has been sentenced to 97 months in federal prison for health care fraud in the Eastern District of Texas.
ANURA ANDRADI and his ambulance company, Doctor's Ambulance Service, LLC, aka Doctor's Ambulance Service Corp. were sentenced by United States District Judge Michael Schneider today after previously being found guilty by a jury of 40 counts of health care fraud.
According to information presented in court, from March 2004 to December 2005, Andradi and Doctor's Ambulance Service defrauded Medicare and the Texas Medicaid program by certifying that dialysis patients met the Medicare and Medicaid guidelines for ambulance transports, when in fact, they did not.
The jury also found that Andradi and Doctor's Ambulance Service obtained $750,000 from the fraudulent scheme and that five ambulances and over $220,000 seized from various bank accounts were derived from the proceeds fraudulently obtained by the defendants. Andradi was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,710,015. Doctor’s Ambulance Service was placed on probation for 5 years and ordered to pay restitution of $2,710,015.
MAULIE HAPPAWANA, 46, of Plano, and RON PYATT, 39, of Grand Prairie, were also sentenced for their roles in the health care fraud scheme. Happawana and Pyatt previously pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. From March 2004 to December 2005, Happawana and Pyatt defrauded Medicare and the Texas Medicaid program by certifying that dialysis patients met the Medicare and Medicaid guidelines for ambulance transports, and, in fact, they did not. Happawana was placed on probation for 5 years and ordered to pay restitution of $54,808.57. Pyatt was placed on probation for 3 years, with 180 days of home confinement, and ordered to pay restitution of $12,553.74.
Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, and the Texas Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorneys Terri L. Hagan and Kevin McClendon prosecuted the case.
OREGON WHITE SUPREMACIST SENTENCED FOR ATTACK ON SYNAGOGUE
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Gabriel Doyle Laskey, 22, was sentenced to six months incarceration (with work release), six months home detention, and five years probation for his role in a 2002 rock attack on Temple Beth Israel, in Eugene, Ore., in which a group of men threw stones etched with swastikas through the synagogue’s windows during a religious service. In April of this year, his brother Jacob Laskey, the ringleader of the group, was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for charges relating to the attack and his efforts to obstruct justice in the case. Another defendant, Gerald Poundstone, was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in September 2006.
According to the plea agreements and statements in federal district court in Eugene, Ore., the Laskey brothers and Poundstone, along with two other men, conspired to intimidate Jewish congregants at the Temple Beth Israel. The men traveled to the synagogue on Oct. 25, 2002, in a vehicle driven by Jacob Laskey. They then threw rocks etched with swastikas through the synagogue’s stained glass windows while 80 members of the temple were inside. After throwing the rocks, the men fled the scene. The Laskey brothers and Poundstone pleaded guilty to various charges including conspiracy to deprive persons of their civil rights and intentional destruction of religious property. Jacob Laskey pleaded guilty to additional charges including obstruction of justice-related charges and a firearms offense.
“Such an attack on peaceful worshipers, using a symbol calculated to instill fear in a particular community, is a heinous act that will not be tolerated,” stated Rena J. Comisac, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to the vigorous enforcement of federal hate crime laws.”
“Prosecuting individuals who seek to harm others because of their religion, race or national origin is a top priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon and the Department of Justice,” stated Karin Immergut, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
The Department of Justice has compiled a significant record on criminal civil rights prosecutions in recent years. For example, in the last seven years, the Civil Rights Division brought 41 cross-burning prosecutions and convicted 60 defendants for these heinous crimes. And, in the last two fiscal years, the Division convicted record numbers of defendants for civil rights violations. In fiscal year 2007, the Division convicted 189 defendants, the highest number of defendants ever in the history of the Division, which surpassed last year’s record number of 181 defendants.
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William E. (Bud) Fitzgerald and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Roy Conn III. The case was investigated by special agents from the Eugene office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
When we talking about Immigration legal and Undocumented we refering just to Mexicans. Why being so obsessed with Mexicans? Are we are afraid of Mexicans or we are ignorants that we do not see any other undocumented Immigrants rather than just Mexicans?. How in the world people stated that Mexicans are uneducated, unskilled, but they are affraid that they will take their jobs?.
The proprietor of the famous Hamilton Farms billboard along Interstate 5 this week made a very public attempt at humor about U.S. immigration problems, but it doesn’t have all of Lewis County laughing.
For decades, the sign donned with an image of Uncle Sam has brought controversial national issues to the forefront of local discussion and this week was no different. As of Thursday, commuters on the freeway read, “NO MEXICAN OLYMPIC TEAMS? ALL THE RUNNERS AND SWIMMERS ARE HERE!”
Although he has come to expect similarly blunt opinions on the sign, Winlock City Council member Eliaci Sanchez wants to make this one an issue. Sanchez, who is of Mexican descent, said he doesn’t see the recent missive as a statement on immigration, but rather as racial discrimination.
“It’s just focusing on the Mexican community when we know there are illegal immigrants from all over the world. It is racial profiling,” Sanchez said. “Immigration is a big problem, but the sign is less stating an opinion and more treating it as a joke. It’s not a joke.”
Mike Hamilton, Camas resident and son of the sign’s original keeper Alfred Hamilton, said he should not be criticized for having the gall to take a defined stand on an issue that seems to have no easy solution.
“It does target Mexicans because that’s where the humor about immigration is in terms of Lewis County,” Hamilton said. “Am I then racist because I’m willing to speak out against an intense problem we’re having?”
Hamilton went on to highlight some of the problems he contends Mexicans and illegal immigrants in general bring to the county.
“We have an increased crime rate because they’re here and we have a higher health care costs because they are here,” Hamilton said. “They bring their own values and live the life of whatever country they came from, and they get all the benefits from living in this country. They don’t want to assimilate into our culture. It stratifies our culture and it tears it apart.”
Hamilton also contends that illegal immigrants disturb the existing social order wherever they settle.
“They create a bigger lower class,” Hamilton said. “The illegal ones don’t have the ability to compete in a culture like ours that is oriented to a high education level.”
Sanchez, on the other hand, thinks immigrants have an important role to play in the U.S. job market.
“We need a new wave of immigrants to keep the country going,” said Sanchez, who first came to Winlock in the late 1980s with his father, a migrant farmer sent here by a U.S. program designed to bring Mexican labor to American fields. “Both countries benefit from immigration. The Mexican people receive all the money made here and the U.S. gets cheap labor.”
Sanchez said he was part of one of the first Hispanic families to live in Winlock and was generally well-received by the community. According to U.S. Census data, the population of Hispanics in Lewis County increased by about 1,400 between 2000 and 2006, from 3,684 to 5,040. With the overall population having grown by about 7,000 in those six years, Hispanics made up 5.4 percent of the population in 2000 and 6.8 percent in 2006.
Posting of the new message comes just days after a Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce meeting to discuss local activity of the Hispanic gang Little Valley Lokotes and the annual Latino Youth Summit at Centralia College. Banter about the immigration issue is not hard to come by anywhere in the county.
“That’s a joke you might tell in a bar,” said Timothy Schmidt, a U.S. Army squad leader who saw soldiers of Mexican descent die in conflict, “but it’s not something you put on a freeway sign from Portland to Seattle.”
Others also voiced concerns about perceptions the sign might create about Lewis County.
“We all are judged, if we want to be or not, by these ‘opinions’ expressed on this billboard on our freeway,” said John Hinkley, a retired Toledo farmer who has been following the local discussion.
Todd Christensen, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, said he has no evidence that the sign drives businesses away from locating in the Twin Cities.
“I think the sign is indicative that our community is open to sharing thoughts and opinions that may be agreeable to some and not to others. It’s their right of free speech and something that the community has the right to continually discuss,” Christensen said. “I have no evidence that it has repelled any individual from locating a business here and at the same time I have no evidence it has secured the opening of a business in Lewis County.”
Hamilton said the sign is thought-provoking and gets people to face tough issues. Sanchez should be in full support of the statement, Hamilton said.
“(Sanchez) should be waving a banner at the sign and saying ‘Yeah, we need to fix this problem,’” Hamilton said. “If he is a government official and his job is to uphold the law, I would say he’s not really doing his job.”
Sanchez and Hamilton agree on one thing - illegal immigration is a serious problem and people should stop avoiding the issue.
“Our local leaders need to voice their opinions like I’m doing here,” Sanchez said. “I do respect freedom of speech, but the issue is too sensitive to make jokes about. It’s a fact that we do have a large Hispanic community here. There is a lot of discrimination as it is in their work and community, but then there is this sign, too.”
Friday, November 16, 2007
When we talking about driver license we talking about privilege. What's is a privilege and what's attached to it? What happen to those who lose that Privilege? Do we tracking down or they are on the loop hole? Of course they are still driving until they get caught. So let's enforced equally and fairly under their constitutional rights to those who's lose that privilege to drive as well as those they didn't have the opportunity of that privilege.
Driving license is a Privilege just to drive a Vehicle and in some cases as an identification but privilege can not be use for work, either as an Immigration identification so what's privilege has to do with Immigration?
I believe Ignorance and bigotry; So what happen to those convicted under their State and Federal criminal Law who's lose their driving privileges for life? I want to see your reaction when real I.D. take effect.No Freedom.
Michigan Boy, 13, Driving for Drunk Dad Charged With DWI.
CLIO, Mich. — A police officer checking on a truck that got stuck in the mud at a city park was startled to find a 13-year-old boy behind the wheel.
The officer also was surprised that the boy appeared to be drunk.
So did the teen's father, who was riding in the front seat. He told police that he had turned over the driving duties to his son because he'd had too much to drink.
Open containers of beer and liquor were found in the vehicle, said Clio Police Chief James McLellan.
"[The boy] even said he didn't want to drive because he was too drunk," McLellan told The Flint Journal for a story published Thursday.
The father, a 41-year-old Flint-area man, is facing several misdemeanor counts, including child endangerment, allowing an intoxicated person to drive his vehicle and allowing an unlicensed minor to drive, police said.
The boy has been petitioned into juvenile court on charges that include driving while intoxicated, police said.
The pair were arrested the night of Nov. 8. They apparently were trying to get home when they turned into the park to turn around. The truck rolled off the pavement and became stuck in the muddy soil.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Are you still believe that Undocumented Immigrants draining the services or you just want to deported all for not paid them the benefits they are entitled to?.
Attorneys see surge in immigrant clientele. Study concluded that the total 2004 tax revenue attributable to immigrant workers was about $2.4 billion, including $860 million for naturalized citizens and $1.5 billion for non-citizens.
OKLAHOMA CITY – A new Oklahoma immigration law under challenge in federal court is bringing more clients to immigration attorneys’ offices, some with fears based in misunderstanding the law, others with real concerns their families may be split apart.
The new law, most of which went into effect Nov. 1, affects illegal immigrants in their encounters with law enforcement and government agencies from which they seek services. Language that affects businesses and employers goes into effect next July.
The law also affects landlords and makes it illegal to transport or harbor immigrants with knowledge of their illegal status.
Hispanic church leaders and others are challenging the law’s constitutionality in Tulsa federal court, but they were unsuccessful in their attempt at blocking its enforcement while the court case is resolved.
Vance Winningham has been an immigration attorney for more than 35 years.
He said a number of people who come to his Oklahoma City office could be described as terrorized.
“We’ve had people come in who are American citizens and their spouse is an undocumented alien, and they’re not really eligible to obtain a green card at the present time without leaving the country,” Winningham said. “Several of them have children who were born here and are U.S. citizens.”
He told of one particular family in which the mother fears she will be arrested and her husband will be deported, leaving their children with no one to care for them.
“You can imagine how terrifying that is,” Winningham said.
Winningham was asked what he tells clients about the new law’s requirements.
“We just advise them that they don’t have to prove their alienage,” he said. “It’s up to the government.”
In situations where someone is arrested for a felony or a DUI, he said, law enforcement is bound to try to ascertain people’s status.
“But we’ve had people come in, and it was just a regular traffic stop,” he said. “Just the other day, they were both Hispanic. He had his green card, she didn’t. They took her and called ICE, and I assume she’s in deportation proceedings.”
Winningham’s firm also hears from employers wondering what their responsibilities are under the new state law.
“I said, if you don’t know what their nationality is and they haven’t told you, you don’t need to inquire at all,” he said. “Same way we’ve heard, landlords that are evicting all their Hispanic folks just because they’re Hispanic if they can’t show papers. Well, they don’t have to do that.”
Winningham said the law requires knowledge of or reckless disregard for whether an individual is in the country illegally.
“To rent a house, you don’t have to ask for their papers,” he said.
Winningham also said that a U.S. Supreme Court case prohibits denying children an education.
“School officials aren’t even authorized to ask what their legalization is,” he said. “They don’t have to produce a Social Security number or anything else.”
He said a recent trip to Ardmore demonstrated the potential economic effect of the law.
Winningham said he was in a Mexican restaurant that is usually filled with local Hispanic workers and their families, especially on Sundays and at noon times.
“It was almost vacant,” he said.
However, he said the owners of another restaurant in a small town that he declined to name told him they have not been affected much, because the town has made its Hispanics part of the community.
“Just from a logical standpoint, we need to deal with it,” Winningham said. “We’ve got 12 million people here.”
He said these are people who produce and buy goods.
“You think we’ve got some problems with the economy now,” he said.
Winningham said two recent studies came to the same conclusion, that immigrants have a net positive impact economically.
One of those studies was conducted by Judith Gans, with the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona.
Arizona’s foreign-born population grew by 200 percent between 1990 and 2004, with its non-citizen population rising by almost 280 percent.
Gans’ study concluded that the total 2004 tax revenue attributable to immigrant workers was about $2.4 billion, including $860 million for naturalized citizens and $1.5 billion for non-citizens.
Balanced against about $1.4 billion in estimated costs for education, health care and law enforcement, Gans determined that the net fiscal impact of immigrants in Arizona was a positive $940 million.
The study concluded that the total economic output attributable to immigrant workers was about $44 billion, including $29 billion for non-citizens