Press Releases https://www.oig.dhs.gov/ DHS OIG Press Releases en Virginia Inmate Sentenced for Role in Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Scheme https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2022/01312022/virginia-inmate-sentenced-role-pandemic-unemployment-benefits-scheme <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Virginia Inmate Sentenced for Role in Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Scheme</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 02/07/2022 - 09:23</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2022-01-31T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, January 31, 2022</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6933/download?token=CnXK_Y5d" type="application/pdf; length=106760">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(104.26 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Feb 2022 14:23:25 +0000 adrian.edwards 6498 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Iraqi National Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy To Defraud U.S. Refugee Program https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2022/01262022/iraqi-national-pleads-guilty-conspiracy-defraud-us-refugee-program <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Iraqi National Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy To Defraud U.S. Refugee Program</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact:</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 252-6933</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 01/27/2022 - 09:05</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2022-01-26T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, January 26, 2022</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6923/download?token=aKi0eNwk" type="application/pdf; length=188681">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(184.26 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>WASHINGTON – An Iraqi national, Aws Muwafaq Abduljabbar, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States related to his role in a scheme to defraud<br /> U.S. refugee programs.</p> <p>The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Dr. Joseph V. Cuffari, and U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Deputy Assistant Secretary and Assistant Director for Domestic Operations Mark A. Sullo.</p> <p>Abduljabbar, 43, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras of the District of Columbia. He remains held without bond pending sentencing on June 24, 2022.</p> <p>Abduljabbar is one of three defendants charged in an indictment that was unsealed on January 22, 2021.  The indictment charges Abduljabbar and two other foreign nationals, Haitham Isa Saado Sad, 43, and Olesya Leonidovna Krasilova, 44, in connection with a scheme to defraud the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and, in particular, the Iraq P-2 program, which allows certain Iraqis to apply directly for refugee resettlement in the United States.  Sad previously pleaded guilty and remains held pending sentencing.  Krasilova remains at large.</p> <p>According to the indictment and statement of facts agreed to by Abduljabbar as part of his guilty plea, from approximately February 2016 until at least April 2019, the three defendants, led by Abduljabbar, conspired to steal U.S. government records related to hundreds of USRAP applications.  Sad was employed in Amman, Jordan from 2007 to 2016 by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Krasilova held a similar position at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia.  As part of their duties, both defendants had access to the State Department’s Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System (WRAPS), a database containing sensitive, non-public information about refugee applicants and their family members, as well as the results of security checks and internal assessments by U.S. officials regarding applications.</p> <p>Abduljabbar organized and led the conspiracy, and he relied on and paid Sad and Krasilova to steal WRAPS records and information so that Abduljabbar could assist applicants in gaining admission to the United States through fraudulent means.  As outlined in the indictment and statement of facts, the theft of USRAP records creates a number of risks to public safety and national security while imposing significant costs on the U.S. government, its taxpayers, and otherwise legitimate refugee applicants negatively impacted by the scheme.</p> <p>The charges in an indictment are merely allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  The maximum penalty for conspiracy to defraud the United States is five years.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes.  If convicted of any offense, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.</p> <p>This case is being investigated jointly by the DHS Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Luke M. Jones and Erik M. Kenerson of the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.  The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs assisted.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Thu, 27 Jan 2022 14:05:26 +0000 adrian.edwards 6485 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov New Jersey Man Indicted in Fraud Scheme to Steal California Unemployment Insurance Benefits https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2022/01202022/new-jersey-man-indicted-fraud-scheme-steal-california-unemployment-insurance-benefits <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">New Jersey Man Indicted in Fraud Scheme to Steal California Unemployment Insurance Benefits</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 01/21/2022 - 11:32</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2022-01-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, January 20, 2022</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6922/download?token=GLHD5oWd" type="application/pdf; length=101925">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(99.54 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a 15-count indictment today against Eric Michael Jaklitsch, 40, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, charging him with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.</p> <p>On Dec. 8, 2021, Jaklitsch was arrested on a federal criminal complaint at his home in New Jersey. He made his initial appearance in the District of New Jersey and was ordered detained for transport to the Eastern District of California.</p> <p>According to court documents, between October 2020 and December 2021, Jaklitsch executed a scheme to defraud the California Employment Development Department (EDD) by filing at least 78 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims with EDD, seeking Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and other benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. During the scheme, Jaklitsch collected personal identifying information of numerous individuals — including names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers — and used their identities to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. The filings represented, among other things, that the claimants had recently lost employment or were unable to find employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These unemployment insurance claims were fraudulent because, for example, the claimants were not unemployed, they were not eligible for California unemployment insurance benefits, or Jaklitsch did not have authority to file claims on their behalf.</p> <p>Since at least October 2021, EDD has partnered with ID.me — a private company used by the EDD for ID verification of claimants — to implement a system for verifying claimant identities before EDD can process unemployment insurance claims. An internal investigation conducted by ID.me identified Jaklitsch as a person conducting a fraud scheme and referred the case to federal law enforcement. In executing his fraudulent scheme, Jaklitsch also submitted false information to ID.me that allowed his fake and stolen identities to be verified. This false information included images of fake driver’s licenses that contained photos of Jaklitsch and the names of the purported claimants. He also submitted live photos of himself that were used to verify the photos on the fake driver’s licenses. Once these false identities were verified, Jaklitsch filed the fraudulent unemployment insurance claims with EDD under the same identities. In executing his fraudulent scheme, Jaklitsch also submitted false information to ID.me that allowed his fake and stolen identities to be verified. This false information included images of fake driver’s licenses that contained photos of Jaklitsch and the names of the purported claimants. He also submitted live photos of himself that were used to verify the photos on the fake driver’s licenses. Once these false identities were verified, Jaklitsch filed the fraudulent unemployment insurance claims with EDD under the same identities.</p> <p>In the fraudulent unemployment insurance applications, Jaklitsch requested that the unemployment insurance benefits be mailed to various addresses under his control, including his residence in New Jersey. EDD approved dozens of the fraudulent claims and authorized Bank of America to mail out EDD debit cards containing unemployment insurance benefits. Jaklitsch then activated the EDD debit cards and used them to withdraw the benefits at ATMs throughout New Jersey. The scheme sought over $2,500,000 in unemployment insurance benefits and caused EDD and the United States to incur actual losses exceeding $900,000.</p> <p>This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Labor – Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Homeland Security – Office of the Inspector General – Covid Fraud Unit, and the California Employment Development Department (EDD) – Investigation Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Artuz is prosecuting the case.</p> <p>If convicted, Jaklitsch faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the 14 wire fraud counts. He also faces a two-year mandatory prison sentence if convicted of aggravated identity theft, which must run consecutive to any sentence received on the wire fraud counts. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Fri, 21 Jan 2022 16:32:14 +0000 adrian.edwards 6482 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Pleads Guilty to Scheme to Defraud the U.S. Government https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2022/01142022/former-acting-inspector-general-us-department-homeland-security-pleads-guilty-scheme-defraud-us-government <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Pleads Guilty to Scheme to Defraud the U.S. Government</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 01/14/2022 - 14:16</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2022-01-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, January 14, 2022</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6921/download?token=nzXMvsX-" type="application/pdf; length=131948">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(128.86 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Charges Involve Theft of Proprietary Software</p> <p>A former Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General (DHSOIG)<br /> pleaded guilty today to federal charges stemming from the theft of proprietary software and sensitive databases<br /> from the U.S. government.</p> <p>According to court documents, Charles K. Edwards, 61, of Sandy Spring, Maryland, executed a scheme to steal<br /> confidential and proprietary software from the government. Edwards worked for DHS-OIG from February 2008 until<br /> December 2013, including as Acting Inspector General. Prior to DHS-OIG, he worked at the U.S. Postal Service Office<br /> of Inspector General (USPS-OIG). At both agencies, Edwards had access to software systems, including one used for<br /> case management and other systems holding sensitive personal identifying information of employees.</p> <p>After leaving DHS-OIG, Edwards founded Delta Business Solutions Inc., located in Maryland. From at least 2015 until<br /> 2017, he stole software from DHS-OIG, along with sensitive government databases containing personal identifying<br /> information of DHS and USPS employees, so that his company could develop a commercially-owned version of a case<br /> management system to be offered for sale to government agencies.</p> <p>Edwards pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to conspiracy to commit theft of<br /> government property and theft of government property. A second defendant in the case, Murali Y. Venkata, 56, of Aldie,<br /> Virginia, has pleaded not guilty to charges and his case remains pending. Edwards will be sentenced at a later date. A<br /> federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other<br /> statutory factors.</p> <p>Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew<br /> M. Graves for the District of Columbia, Inspector General Dr. Joseph V. Cuffari of DHS-OIG and Inspector General<br /> Tammy Whitcomb of USPS-OIG made the announcement.</p> <p>Senior Litigation Counsel Victor R. Salgado of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and the Public Corruption<br /> and Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia are prosecuting the case.<br /> An indictment is merely an allegation, and Venkata is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt<br /> in a court of law.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Fri, 14 Jan 2022 19:16:45 +0000 adrian.edwards 6479 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Office of Inspector General Completes Investigation of the Treatment of a Non-Citizen from Russia Who Was in Immigration and Customs Enforcement Custody Prior to His Death https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/11102021/office-inspector-general-completes-investigation-treatment-non-citizen-russia-who-was-immigration-and-customs <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Office of Inspector General Completes Investigation of the Treatment of a Non-Citizen from Russia Who Was in Immigration and Customs Enforcement Custody Prior to His Death</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 11/10/2021 - 18:54</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-11-10T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, November 10, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6903/download?token=ov5aB8ZE" type="application/pdf; length=198602">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(193.95 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated an investigation based on an article published by the Seattle Times titled, “Russian immigrant’s handwritten note leaves many questions about treatment at Northwest Detention Center.” The article alleged questionable actions taken at the Northwest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Processing Center (NWIPC), Tacoma, WA, in the treatment of an ICE detainee. The article reported that while the individual was on a prolonged hunger strike, ICE placed him in a cold, isolated cell without any clothes, and that he continued to be held in segregation without receiving adequate medical and mental health care. The individual attempted suicide while in ICE custody at the NWIPC on November 15, 2018. He later succumbed to his injuries at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Tacoma, WA, on November 18, 2018. A few hours prior to the suicide attempt, he was notified by a NWIPC staff member that the Board of Immigration Appeals had dismissed his appeal, and arrangements would be made to proceed with his removal from the United States.</p> <p>DHS OIG reviewed policies, records, memoranda, and information reports; interviewed witnesses; reviewed the Detainee Death, Root Cause Analysis, and Psychological Autopsy Reports; and coordinated with the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (DOJ CRD).</p> <p>The investigation revealed that the individual was provided with medical and mental health care that was within ICE policy during his hunger strike and overall incarceration at the NWIPC. He was placed in a cell by himself wearing only a suicide smock with a suicide blanket and mattress for less than 24 hours while on suicide watch, as per policy.</p> <p>Additionally, he was in segregation during his hunger strike as a protective measure per policy and he remained in “Segregated in Protective Custody” status at his own request. The ICE Detainee Death Report cited there were no violations of detention standards that directly contributed to the individual’s death, but areas of concern were noted regarding his medical care, safety, and security at the NWIPC. The Detainee Death Report included multiple areas of concern as information only and concluded that they did not contribute to his death. The ICE Health Service Corps’ Root Cause Analysis Report cited areas that were indirectly contributory to his attempted suicide and provided a corrective Action Plan. ICE and the GEO Group (GEO) have made changes and improvements and conducted training with regards to the corrective Action Plan, as well as the aforementioned areas of concern.</p> <p>The investigation found that no ICE policies were violated, but it did determine that GEO custody staff violated GEO policy when they failed to search the individual’s cell for impermissible items each time he vacated the cell. The investigation also found no discrepancies or inconsistencies with NWIPC’s statement that the individual committed suicide by hanging himself. The Medical Examiner’s autopsy report concluded his death was caused by anoxic encephalopathy due to hanging and the manner of death was suicide. The DOJ CRD and the local USAO were briefed on the investigation and their review determined that the investigative findings did not identify any violations of Federal law.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" hreflang="en">ICE</a></div> </div> Wed, 10 Nov 2021 23:54:14 +0000 adrian.edwards 6458 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov The Office of Inspector General Completes Investigation of Guatemalan Juvenile Who Died in U.S. Border Patrol Custody in Weslaco, TX https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/09152021/office-inspector-general-completes-investigation-guatemalan-juvenile-who-died-us-border-patrol-custody-weslaco-tx <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Office of Inspector General Completes Investigation of Guatemalan Juvenile Who Died in U.S. Border Patrol Custody in Weslaco, TX</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 09/15/2021 - 17:02</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-09-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, September 15, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6847/download?token=OI8pnSbD" type="application/pdf; length=160623">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(156.86 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated an investigation upon receipt of information from the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) that on May 20, 2019, Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) at USBP Weslaco Station in Weslaco, TX, discovered a 16-year-old non-citizen juvenile from Guatemala deceased in a holding room.</p> <p>The DHS OIG investigation included witness interviews, a review of USBP records, review of medical records, and an independent contracted medical examiner/child infectious disease expert to review all medical procedures and the autopsy. The investigation determined that USBP did not conduct regular and frequent physical checks as required by the Customs and Border Protection National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention, and Search policy. The investigation also determined that a BPA Team Lead recorded hourly welfare checks that had not actually occurred.</p> <p>The independent contracted medical examiner identified the individual’s cause of death as natural from H1N1 and bacterial/staph infections, which would have resulted in a rapidly fatal outcome, even with immediate and appropriate treatment. The investigative findings were presented to the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Texas, McAllen Division, who declined prosecution, citing a lack of any criminal violations and a lack of criminal intent.</p> <p>For more information visit our website, <a href="http://www.oig.dhs.gov">www.oig.dhs.gov</a><br />  </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">CBP</a></div> </div> Wed, 15 Sep 2021 21:02:55 +0000 adrian.edwards 6420 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov The Office of Inspector General Completes Joint Investigation of an ICE Detainee Who Died at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown, OH. https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/09032021/office-inspector-general-completes-joint-investigation-ice-detainee-who-died-northeast-ohio-correctional-center <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Office of Inspector General Completes Joint Investigation of an ICE Detainee Who Died at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown, OH.</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 09/03/2021 - 13:41</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-09-03T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, September 3, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6840/download?token=RZ65yq-6" type="application/pdf; length=178119">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(173.94 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG); the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR); and the ICE Health Service Corps jointly investigated the death of an ICE detainee that occurred at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center (NEOCC) in Youngstown, OH.</p> <p>An autopsy by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be hanging. The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office determined the manner of death to be suicide.</p> <p>As part of this joint investigation, the investigative team interviewed NEOCC facility staff and medical staff. We also reviewed the autopsy report, coroner’s report, medical records, incident report, and relevant policies and procedures.</p> <p>The joint investigation did not identify any criminal violations. However, ICE OPR External Reviews and Analysis Unit (ERAU) determined the NEOCC failed to comply with four requirements of the ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards 2011 (PBNDS). The areas of non-compliance pertained to significant self-harm/suicide prevention/intervention, detention files, admission/release and custody classification system. The ERAU also noted five areas of concern regarding the individual’s medical care, safety, and security at the NEOCC, although they were not violations of the PBNDS.<br />  </p> <p><span><span>For more information visit our website, <a href="http://www.oig.dhs.gov">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Fri, 03 Sep 2021 17:41:15 +0000 adrian.edwards 6410 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov The Office of Inspector General Completes Investigation of a Cuban Citizen Who Died at Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami, FL https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/09032021/office-inspector-general-completes-investigation-cuban-citizen-who-died-larkin-community-hospital-south-miami-fl <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Office of Inspector General Completes Investigation of a Cuban Citizen Who Died at Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami, FL</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 09/03/2021 - 14:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-09-03T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, September 3, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6842/download?token=Pd3XVQ0o" type="application/pdf; length=168392">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(164.45 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p> The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated an investigation upon being informed that on January 27, 2020, a Cuban citizen had died at Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami, FL. The individual had been detained at the Krome Service Processing Center in Miami, FL, since January 14, 2020. On January 23, 2020, the individual was transported and admitted to the hospital for an evaluation.</p> <p>DHS OIG’s investigation, which included records reviews, interviews and a review of surveillance camera footage, revealed that the individual died of natural causes. This investigation uncovered no evidence that indicated anyone employed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and/or Krome Service Processing Center staff caused or contributed to the individual’s death.<br />  </p> <p><span><span>For more information visit our website, <a href="http://www.oig.dhs.gov">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Fri, 03 Sep 2021 18:00:10 +0000 adrian.edwards 6411 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov The Office of Inspector General Completes Investigation of Mexican National who Died in U.S. Border Patrol Custody in El Paso, TX https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/09032021/office-inspector-general-completes-investigation-mexican-national-who-died-us-border-patrol-custody-el-paso-tx <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Office of Inspector General Completes Investigation of Mexican National who Died in U.S. Border Patrol Custody in El Paso, TX</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 09/03/2021 - 14:21</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-09-03T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, September 3, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6843/download?token=LQqERsmU" type="application/pdf; length=171395">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(167.38 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated an investigation after information was received from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Professional Responsibility that a Mexican national passed away from medical related issues. The individual was apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in El Paso, TX, on March 17, 2019, was transferred to Las Palmas Medical Center on the evening of March 17, 2019, and died on March 18, 2019.</p> <p>DHS OIG reviewed video from the Paso del Norte Processing Center and interviewed undocumented noncitizens, Border Patrol Agents, medical personnel, and Emergency Medical Technicians to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the individual’s death.</p> <p>The County of El Paso, Office of the Medical Examiner and Forensic Laboratory deemed that the individual died of natural causes, and cited streptococcus pneumonia and influenza A/H3 pneumonia with hypertensive cardiovascular disease as a significant contributing factor.</p> <p>During the course of our investigation, we found no evidence that actions taken by DHS personnel or contractors contributed to the death of the individual.</p> <p>For more information visit our website, <a href="http://www.oig.dhs.gov">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Fri, 03 Sep 2021 18:21:14 +0000 adrian.edwards 6413 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Commemorates National Whistleblower Protection Day https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/07302021/dhs-oig-commemorates-national-whistleblower-protection-day <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Commemorates National Whistleblower Protection Day</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 07/30/2021 - 09:27</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-07-30T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, July 30, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6813/download?token=wgMJBXqs" type="application/pdf; length=146855">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(143.41 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In 1778, the Founding Fathers recognized the importance of whistleblowers and passed legislation declaring it the “duty of all persons in the service of the United States” to report “misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors.”  Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG) joins agencies across the federal government to commemorate National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.  </p> <p>DHS OIG honors whistleblowers who step forward in good faith to promote a more accountable, effective, and efficient government.  The DHS Inspector General hosted a Town Hall today to recognize the important role whistleblowers play in our daily work. </p> <p>“IGs deeply value the contributions of whistleblowers, “said Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari. “We celebrate those who have blown the whistle, and we are committed to empowering individuals to report waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.  Today, we express our gratitude for their bravery and commitment to improving government.” </p> <p>DHS OIG maintains a hotline to receive allegations of waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and suspected criminal activity that pertain to DHS programs and operations.  Individuals may contact the OIG Hotline through our website or by calling (800) 323-8603.  Whistleblowers can choose to remain anonymous when reporting to the OIG.  </p> <p>DHS OIG also has a Whistleblower Protection Coordinator, who plays an important role as a resource for employees who need to understand the protections and rights afforded them when they report allegations they reasonably believe constitute waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement.  The OIG Whistleblower Protection Coordinator is available to provide general information to DHS employees and contractors on whistleblower rights and protections and can be contacted at <a href="mailto:whistleblowerprotectioncoordinator@oig.dhs.gov">whistleblowerprotectioncoordinator@oig.dhs.gov</a>. <br />  </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Fri, 30 Jul 2021 13:27:42 +0000 adrian.edwards 6396 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former CEO Sentenced for Defrauding Multiple Federal Agencies https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/06162021/former-ceo-sentenced-defrauding-multiple-federal-agencies <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former CEO Sentenced for Defrauding Multiple Federal Agencies</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 06/21/2021 - 15:03</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-06-16T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, June 16, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6792/download?token=RCU0aP6w" type="application/pdf; length=118862">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(116.08 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Arlington businessman was sentenced today to 21 months in prison with three years of supervised release for making false statements to multiple federal agencies in order to fraudulently obtain multimillion-dollar government contracts, COVID-19 emergency relief loans, and undeserved military service benefits.</p> <p>“In the early stages of the global pandemic, the defendant engaged in three egregious fraudulent schemes that he brazenly concocted to enrich himself,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “He falsely represented to the federal government that he could provide $38 million in life-saving N95 masks, and simultaneously, he fraudulently obtained over $1 million in pandemic assistance intended for deserving families and businesses. The defendant also continued an offensive seven-year scheme to obtain unearned veterans benefits by falsely claiming to have served as a Marine. This case underscores our commitment to holding accountable those who exploit essential government programs at the expense of veterans, front-line medical personnel, and vulnerable members of our communities.”</p> <p>According to court documents, Robert S. Stewart, Jr., 35, was the owner and president of Federal Government Experts (FGE) LLC, an Arlington-based company that purported to provide various services to the U.S. government. In this capacity, between April 1, 2020 and May 14, 2020, Stewart made false statements to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to obtain lucrative contracts to provide COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, Stewart fraudulently obtained loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. He also defrauded the VA by falsely claiming to be entitled to veteran’s benefits for serving in the U.S. Marine Corps when, in fact, he never served in the Marines.</p> <p>As part of his PPE scheme, Stewart falsely stated to procurement officials from FEMA and the VA that he was in possession of large quantities of PPE, including N95 masks. Based on Stewart’s false statements, the VA and FEMA awarded FGE contracts valued at $35,000,000 and $3,510,000, respectively. The VA intended to use the PPE purchased from FGE to protect employees and patients at various Veterans Health Administration facilities, which serve the medical needs of over nine million veterans each year. FGE failed to supply any PPE to the VA and FEMA. The U.S. government suffered no financial loss because the contract called for payment upon delivery and inspection of the goods.</p> <p>“These were crimes against the American people. Stewart fraudulently pursued contracts that were needed to supply VA hospital patients and staff with critical personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, and stole taxpayer dollars intended to help local businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. In addition, he lied about his service in the military and received veterans benefits for which he was not entitled,” said VA Inspector General Michael J. Missal. “This sentence should send a clear message that the VA Office of Inspector General will work diligently with its law enforcement partners to ensure those who would defraud the nation’s veterans and the public will be caught and prosecuted.”</p> <p>“We continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to pursue and dismantle schemes aimed at exploiting critical COVID-19 resources, and we are grateful for today’s sentencing decision, which sends a strong message to help deter potential fraudsters,” said Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).</p> <p>“Today’s sentencing shows that we will not allow criminals to get away with exploiting government relief efforts that were designed to assist millions of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stewart fraudulently obtained government-backed loans, and his nefarious and unethical actions were for his own personal gain,” said Robert E. Bornstein, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division. “The FBI and our partners are committed to protecting the American people and the integrity of government assistance programs and will work to identify, arrest, and prosecute those who choose criminal activity and greed over principle and the law.”</p> <p>Stewart also applied for various loans on behalf of FGE under the federal Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. These programs were designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of people suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan applications submitted by Stewart falsely overstated the number of FGE employees and the amount of FGE’s payroll, two factors that were important in determining loan eligibility and the proper amount of the loan. In addition, Stewart used some of the loan proceeds for personal expenditures rather than to pay employees or for other appropriate business expenses. As a result of these fraudulent loan applications, Stewart obtained approximately $1,066,000 in government-backed loans during the pandemic.</p> <p>In a separate fraudulent scheme, Stewart, an Air Force veteran, submitted an application for benefits to the VA. The application was fraudulent in that Stewart falsely claimed that he also served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Stewart created fraudulent documents that stated he attained the rank of Corporal in the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged after receiving several awards and commendations, including the Rifle Expert Badge, Pistol Expert Badge, Meritorious Mast, National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Certificate of Appreciation, and the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal. Stewart, in fact, never served in the Marines. Based on his fraudulent application, he received excess benefits in the amount of $73,722.45 between September 2013 and October 2020.</p> <p>Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Robert E. Bornstein, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division; Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and Michael J. Missal, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr.</p> <p>Assistant U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick prosecuted the case.</p> <p>A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:21-cr-5.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Mon, 21 Jun 2021 19:03:08 +0000 adrian.edwards 6378 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Virginia Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Obtaining COVID-Related Unemployment Benefits for Prison Inmates https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/06112021/virginia-woman-pleads-guilty-fraudulently-obtaining-covid-related-unemployment-benefits-prison-inmates <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Virginia Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Obtaining COVID-Related Unemployment Benefits for Prison Inmates</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 06/21/2021 - 15:23</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-06-11T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, June 11, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6793/download?token=Nd5GZRbm" type="application/pdf; length=113374">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(110.72 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p> RICHMOND, Va. – A Glen Allen woman pleaded guilty today to mail fraud for her role in a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain pandemic-related unemployment benefits for 22 prison inmates, which she shared with the inmate beneficiaries.</p> <p>“These critical unemployment funds were intended for deserving members of our communities to help alleviate their economic hardship during the pandemic,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This prosecution and the defendant’s guilty plea send a clear message that EDVA will bring to justice those who unlawfully exploit taxpayer-funded assistance for personal gain.”</p> <p>According to court documents, Virginia Smith, 37, conspired with an inmate at Baskerville Correctional Center to collect the personally identifiable information of inmates to fraudulently apply for Virginia unemployment benefits from around June 2020 to January 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Smith, with the assistance of the inmate co-conspirator, submitted successful applications for Virginia unemployment benefits for at least 22 inmates at Baskerville Correctional Center, resulting in the dispersal of at least $223,984.72 in fraudulent benefits.</p> <p>“Smith and her co-conspirators used the identities of prisoners housed at the Baskerville Correctional Center to file fraudulent unemployment claims and unlawfully collect more than $223,000 in resulting benefit payments,” said Derek Pickle, Special Agent-in-Charge, Washington Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. “As the primary law enforcement agency responsible for investigating unemployment insurance fraud, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General is committed to supporting the prosecution of individuals who take advantage of unemployment insurance programs. We are grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Virginia Employment Commission, and our law enforcement partners for their invaluable support of our mission.”</p> <p>“Intentional abuse of COVID-19 unemployment benefits for personal gain is appalling,” said Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security. “Today’s sentencing illustrates that DHS OIG and our law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to dismantle these greed-driven schemes.”</p> <p>As part of their scheme, Smith’s co-conspirator would provide her with the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of inmates serving a sentence at Baskerville Correctional Center. Smith would then file unemployment claims with the Virginia Employment Commission using that information. Once the applications were approved, Smith would share the proceeds of the crime with the inmates whose personal information she used to file the fraudulent claims, keeping a portion of the proceeds for herself. The applications contained several false statements such as a false physical address, rather than the address of the correctional facility at which the inmates were actually living; a false last employer; and a false certification that the inmates were ready, willing, and able to work in the event employment became available.</p> <p>Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on September 9. She faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.</p> <p>Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Derek Pickle, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Washington, DC Regional Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security; Jerald W. Page, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Richmond Field Office; and Eric D. English, Chief Henrico County Police Division, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. accepted the plea.</p> <p>This investigation was conducted under the auspices of “Operation Checkmate,” the Virginia Department of Corrections Inmate Unemployment Insurance Fraud Task Force. The task force is led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, DOL-OIG, DHS-OIG, and the Virginia Department of Corrections. This investigation included significant assistance from the Virginia Employment Commission.</p> <p>Assistant U.S. Attorney Kashan Pathan is prosecuting the case.</p> <p>A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:21-cr-60.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Mon, 21 Jun 2021 19:23:36 +0000 adrian.edwards 6379 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Inspections Find Violations of Detention Standards at Pulaski County Jail in Ullin, IL and La Palma Correctional Center in Eloy, AZ https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/05252021/dhs-oig-inspections-find-violations-detention-standards-pulaski-county-jail-ullin-il-and-la-palma-correctional <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Inspections Find Violations of Detention Standards at Pulaski County Jail in Ullin, IL and La Palma Correctional Center in Eloy, AZ</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 06/02/2021 - 11:22</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-05-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, May 25, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6776/download?token=O3zCbJQq" type="application/pdf; length=232208">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(226.77 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Two new reports from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) identify violations of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention standards that threatened the health, safety, and rights of detainees.  These reports are based on unannounced inspections of Pulaski County Jail in Ullin, Illinois and La Palma Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona.  Because the coronavirus pandemic prevented OIG inspectors from visiting Pulaski and La Palma in person, they developed a novel remote inspection protocol that led them to discover multiple violations of standards at both facilities.</p> <p>Between November 2020 and January 2021, DHS OIG inspectors conducted an unannounced remote inspection of the Pulaski County Jail to determine whether Pulaski complied with ICE’s 2011 Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS).  Pulaski did not meet standards for classification, medical care, segregation, or detainee communication. Inspectors also found that the facility was not consistently providing required oversight for detainees in segregation by conducting routine wellness checks.</p> <p>The inspectors also conducted a limited review of the facility’s COVID-19 pandemic preparedness measures and its response to outbreaks of COVID-19 across the detainee population.  OIG inspectors found Pulaski did not consistently enforce precautions including use of facial coverings and social distancing, which may have contributed to repeated COVID-19 transmissions at the facility.</p> <p>Similarly, between August and November 2020, OIG inspectors evaluated ICE’s compliance with the 2011 PBNDS as well as applicable COVID-19 guidelines at the La Palma Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona.  During the inspection they found:</p> <ul><li>Detainees alleged excessive use of force in response to detainees’ peaceful protests about concerns over COVID-19 precautions.  While the 2011 standards do  not specify whether non-lethal force can be used to end protests, DHS OIG confirmed that the facility used chemical agents to end the protests and in response  to 11 of 27 other events.  OIG  inspectors also confirmed instances of verbal abuse against detainees.</li> <li>La Palma provided limited PPE and did not enforce facial coverings or social distance among detainees. </li> <li>The facility medical unit was critically understaffed leading to delayed sick call responses and medication administration.</li> <li>Segregation records raised concerns about detainee care and treatment.</li> <li>La Palma showed deficient detainee communication practices.</li> </ul><p>DHS OIG’s report on violations at the La Palma Correctional Center was featured in the New York Times, Federal News Radio, Cronkite News, and the Washington Post.</p> <p>Read DHS OIG’s full reports here:</p> <ul><li> Violations of ICE Detention Standards at Pulaski County Jail (OIG-21-32, April 2021)</li> <li>Violations of Detention Standards amid COVID-19 Outbreak at La Palma Correctional Center in Eloy, AZ (OIG-21-30, March 2021)</li> </ul></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" hreflang="en">ICE</a></div> </div> Wed, 02 Jun 2021 15:22:04 +0000 adrian.edwards 6365 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Four Individuals Indicted for Fraudulently Obtaining Pandemic Unemployment Benefits for Virginia Prison Inmates https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/04092021/four-individuals-indicted-fraudulently-obtaining-pandemic-unemployment-benefits-virginia-prison-inmates <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Four Individuals Indicted for Fraudulently Obtaining Pandemic Unemployment Benefits for Virginia Prison Inmates</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 04/12/2021 - 11:26</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-04-09T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, April 9, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6752/download?token=_O4rqkjc" type="application/pdf; length=119005">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(116.22 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>NORFOLK, Va. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging four individuals with allegedly participating in a conspiracy to use the personal identifying information of 35 Virginia prison inmates in order to fraudulently obtain over $300,000 in pandemic-related unemployment benefits.    </p> <p>“As alleged in the indictment, the defendants deliberately stole funds intended for members of our community who have faced financial hardship and unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “EDVA will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to safeguard these critical taxpayer-funded resources and hold accountable those who unlawfully line their pockets at the expense of the American people.”</p> <p>According to the indictment, Mary Benton, 38, of Portsmouth, and Angelica CartwrightPowers, 35, of Norfolk, allegedly worked with two inmates at Virginia correctional institutions to collect the personally identifiable information of other inmates to fraudulently apply for Virginia unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Benton allegedly submitted successful applications for Virginia unemployment benefits for 31 inmates across three Virginia correctional facilities. Cartwright-Powers allegedly submitted successful applications for four inmates at one correctional facility. </p> <p>“Fraudulently exploiting COVID-19 relief funds for personal gain is unconscionable,” said Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security. “Today’s indictment sends a clear message that DHS OIG will fully investigate fraud affecting FEMA funds and continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring an end to these<br /> schemes.”</p> <p>“Investigating fraud involving the Unemployment Insurance Program is an important part of the mission of the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General, particularly during a time when our nation is providing billions of dollars in unemployment benefits to American workers in need of assistance due to the continuing economic effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Derek Pickle, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington, DC Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to vigorously investigate unemployment insurance fraud.”</p> <p>According to the indictment, co-conspirator Michael Lee Lewis, Jr., 41, of Chesapeake, allegedly provided information for inmates at the Augusta Correctional Center, where he was incarcerated. Michael Anthony White, 38, of Chesapeake, allegedly provided information for inmates at the Lawrenceville Correctional Center, where he was incarcerated. The four individuals charged in this indictment, along with the prisoners whose information was used for the unemployment applications, allegedly shared the proceeds of their crimes, which amounted to approximately $334,667. Although the conspirators initially and allegedly obtained $436,834, the Virginia Employment Commission was able to reclaim some of the disbursed funds after discovering the fraud.</p> <p>During the pandemic, both the federal government and the Virginia Employment Commission expanded unemployment benefits both by increasing the monetary amount, and by making benefits accessible for the self-employed, contractors, and gig workers, who have not historically qualified for unemployment. However, inmates remained ineligible for such benefits, and each application that Benton and Cartwright-Powers submitted allegedly contained numerous false statements that made the application successful, such as the inmates’ contact information and last employer, and that they were ready and willing to work.</p> <p>Benton is charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of fraud in connection with major disaster benefits, and three counts of mail fraud. Lewis and White are each charged with one count of conspiracy and two counts of mail fraud. Cartwright-Powers is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of fraud in connection with major disaster benefits, and one count of mail fraud. If convicted, the conspirators face a maximum of five years in prison on the conspiracy count and thirty years in prison on each fraud count.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. </p> <p>Raj Parekh, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security; Derek Pickle, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Washington, DC Regional Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; and Paul Haymes, Chief of Investigations, Virginia Department of Corrections, Special Investigations Unit, made the announcement.</p> <p>This investigation was conducted under the auspices of “Operation Checkmate,” the Virginia Department of Corrections Inmate Unemployment Insurance Fraud Task Force.  The task force is led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, DOLOIG, DHS-OIG, and the Virginia Department of Corrections. This investigation included assistance from the U.S. Secret Service’s Richmond Field Office, the Portsmouth Police Department, and the Virginia Employment Commission.</p> <p>Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Gantt is prosecuting the case.</p> <p>A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:21-cr-33. An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.<br />  </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> </div> Mon, 12 Apr 2021 15:26:11 +0000 adrian.edwards 6347 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Participates in the 2nd Annual National “Slam the Scam” Day https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/03042021/dhs-oig-participates-2nd-annual-national-slam-scam-day <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Participates in the 2nd Annual National “Slam the Scam” Day</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 03/04/2021 - 10:54</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-03-04T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, March 4, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6732/download?token=hO7_tD7z" type="application/pdf; length=176201">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(172.07 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) joins the Social Security Administration (SSA) OIG and other Federal agencies on March 4, 2021 for the 2nd Annual National “Slam the Scam” Day, to raise public awareness of government imposter telephone scams across the United States.</p> <p>DHS OIG joins SSA OIG in warning all Americans to hang up on all government imposters, and asking them to spread the word to family and friends.  These pervasive scams—in which callers pretend to be government employees to mislead victims into providing personal information or making payments—have become a scourge on the American public.  </p> <p>Most recently, scammers, posing as DHS officials, have used Facebook and Instagram accounts in an attempt to swindle money through Cash App and gift cards.  The scammers may use one of the following forms of contact:<br /> •    Sending a direct message to a victim through Facebook or Instagram to solicit money;<br /> •    Posting on a victim’s Facebook timeline to advertise Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance, which includes contact information or a link; or<br /> •    Creating “highlights” on an Instagram account homepage, which advertise ways to make money.</p> <p>In a direct message, the perpetrator indicates that if the victim sends money through Cash App, the victim will receive a substantial dividend in return, e.g., $10 for $1500, $200 for $5500, or $650 for $7000.  Variations of the Facebook posts include offering COVID-19 relief assistance via Cash App by paying a grant-processing fee, requesting comments on a Facebook page and then directing the victim to purchase gifts cards to receive a dividend paid by FEMA, and soliciting contributions to fraudulent organizations such as “FEMA World Health.”  The Instagram “highlights” connect to sites advertising FEMA assistance and provide instructions on how to send money to receive money in return.</p> <p>DHS OIG reminds you this “Slam the Scam” Day that if you are contacted through social media, do not provide any personal information.  DHS and FEMA will never contact you using Facebook or Instagram.  FEMA does not request grant-processing fees for benefits and will not request that you contribute to causes or charities using gifts cards or CashApp payments.  FEMA does not issue dividends.  We encourage the public to report these scams to Facebook and Instagram.  </p> <p>DHS OIG takes these matters very seriously.  Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this scam is urged to call the DHS OIG Hotline (1-800-323-8603) or file a complaint online via the DHS OIG website <a href="http://www.oig.dhs.gov/hotline">www.oig.dhs.gov/hotline</a>.  By retaining information such as the CashApp account, the Facebook profile, Instagram handle, or email address you were contacted on, you may be able to provide valuable information that could assist DHS OIG to investigate the scam.  </p> <p>For more information regarding SSA OIG’s National “Slam the Scam” day activity you can visit SSA OIG. </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Thu, 04 Mar 2021 15:54:08 +0000 adrian.edwards 6329 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Federal Contractor Agrees to Pay More Than $6 Million to Settle Overbilling Allegations https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/02192021/federal-contractor-agrees-pay-more-6-million-settle-overbilling-allegations <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Federal Contractor Agrees to Pay More Than $6 Million to Settle Overbilling Allegations</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 03/05/2021 - 12:48</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-02-19T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, February 19, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6736/download?token=hobcoH1p" type="application/pdf; length=130427">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(127.37 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Virginia-based Information Innovators Inc. (Triple-I) has agreed to pay the United States $6.05 million to resolve allegations that a predecessor company, Creative Computing Solutions Inc. (CCSi), violated the False Claims Act by knowingly overbilling the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for work performed by CCSi employees who lacked required job qualifications.</p> <p>Triple-I, which provides IT services and solutions to federal agencies, acquired Maryland-based CCSi in 2015. CCSi formerly provided IT services to DHS pursuant to an Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge Solutions Contract (EAGLE Contract). The settlement resolves allegations that, from October 2007 to April 2014, CCSi knowingly submitted claims for payment to DHS for work performed by CCSi employees who lacked required job qualifications.  CCSi allegedly violated the terms of the EAGLE Contract by using under-qualified personnel who were billed to DHS at higher rates reserved for more qualified employees.</p> <p>“Contractors that knowingly overcharge the government will be held accountable,” said Acting Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The department will ensure that that those who do business with the government, and seek taxpayer funds, do so fairly and in accordance with their contractual commitments.”</p> <p>“Defense contractors are required to bill for costs actually incurred, and to be truthful in the claims they submit to federal agencies,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner for the District of Maryland. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners are committed to protecting taxpayer dollars and ensuring integrity and compliance with federal agency standards.”</p> <p>“DHS OIG remains committed to protecting government programs, and American taxpayers who contribute to them,<br /> from fraudsters,” said Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari. “Our agency, working closely with our law enforcement partners, will continue to root out these unlawful contracting fraud schemes.”</p> <p>The settlement was a result of a joint investigation by the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch (Fraud Section), the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, and the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General’s Major Frauds and Corruption Unit. The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.</p> <p>Attachment(s):</p> <p><a> </a></p> <p><a>Topic(s):<br /> False Claims Act</a></p> <p><a>Component(s):<br /> Civil Division</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao-md">USAO - Maryland</a></p> <p>Press Release Number:<br /> 21-163</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/false-claims-act-investigations" hreflang="en">False Claims Act Investigations</a></div> </div> Fri, 05 Mar 2021 17:48:41 +0000 adrian.edwards 6331 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov CEO Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Multiple Federal Agencies https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/02032021/ceo-pleads-guilty-defrauding-multiple-federal-agencies <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">CEO Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Multiple Federal Agencies</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 02/17/2021 - 10:46</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-02-03T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, February 3, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6715/download?token=HiL9uB35" type="application/pdf; length=129986">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(126.94 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Arlington businessman pleaded guilty today to making false statements to multiple federal agencies in order to fraudulently obtain multimillion-dollar government contracts, COVID-19 emergency relief loans, and undeserved military service benefits.</p> <p>According to court documents, Robert S. Stewart, Jr., 35, was the owner and president of Federal Government Experts (FGE) LLC, an Arlington-based company that purported to provide various services to the U.S. government. In this capacity, Stewart made false statements to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to obtain lucrative contracts to provide COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, Stewart fraudulently obtained loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, and he also defrauded the VA by falsely claiming to be entitled to veteran’s benefits for serving in the U.S. Marine Corps when, in fact, he never served in the Marines.</p> <p>“Stewart’s fraudulent conduct during a critical time in our Nation’s fight against COVID-19 undermined the government’s ability to provide much needed PPE to the community, including to the front-line health care workers serving our military veterans,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “In addition, by fraudulently obtaining government-backed loans intended to be lifelines to keep businesses afloat, Stewart unlawfully took and misused resources devoted to help struggling Americans.”</p> <p>As part of his PPE scheme, Stewart falsely stated to procurement officials from FEMA and the VA that he was in possession of large quantities of PPE, including N95 masks. Based on Stewart’s false statements, the VA and FEMA awarded FGE contracts valued at $35,000,000 and $3,510,000, respectively. The VA intended to use the PPE purchased from FGE to protect employees and patients at various Veterans Health Administration facilities, which serve the medical needs of over nine million veterans each year. FGE failed to supply any PPE to the VA and FEMA. The U.S. government suffered no financial loss because the contract called for payment upon delivery and inspection of the goods.</p> <p>“Exploiting COVID-19 relief efforts for personal gain, to receive lucrative contracts with no intention of fulfilling them, is unconscionable,” said DHS Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari. “I am proud of everyone at DHS OIG who worked on this case. I am also thankful to our law enforcement partners who helped us bring a swift end to this scheme.”</p> <p>Stewart also applied for various loans on behalf of FGE under the federal Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. These programs were designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of people suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The loan applications submitted by Stewart falsely overstated the number of FGE employees and the amount of FGE’s payroll, two factors that were important in determining loan eligibility and the proper amount of the loan. In addition, Stewart used some of the loan proceeds for personal expenditures rather than to pay employees or for other appropriate business expenses. The loss to the U.S. government from this fraud is approximately $261,500.</p> <p>In a separate fraudulent scheme, Stewart, an Air Force veteran, submitted an application for benefits to the VA. The application was fraudulent in that Stewart falsely claimed that he also served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Stewart created fraudulent documents that stated he attained the rank of Corporal in the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged after receiving several awards and commendations, including the Rifle Expert Badge, Pistol Expert Badge, Meritorious Mast, National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Certificate of Appreciation, and the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal. Stewart, in fact, never served in the Marines. Based on his fraudulent application, he received excess benefits in the amount of $73,722.45.</p> <p>“By falsely claiming to have served in the U.S. Marine Corps to unlawfully increase his veteran’s benefits, Stewart stole money dedicated to providing resources and services to American military veterans and their families. This was an affront to those who honorably served,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Parekh. “We thank our law enforcement partners for bringing Stewart to justice.”</p> <p>Stewart pleaded guilty to making false statements, wire fraud, and theft of government funds and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16, 2021. He faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.</p> <p>Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division; Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and Michael J. Missal, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Rossie D. Alston, Jr. accepted the plea.</p> <p>Assistant U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick is prosecuting the case.</p> <p>A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:21-cr-5.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Wed, 17 Feb 2021 15:46:22 +0000 adrian.edwards 6313 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov International Technological University Pay $1.17 Million Settle False Claims Act Allegations Related Student Visa https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/01272021/international-technological-university-pay-117-million-settle-false-claims-act-allegations-related-student-visa <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">International Technological University Pay $1.17 Million Settle False Claims Act Allegations Related Student Visa</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 01/28/2021 - 09:48</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-01-27T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, January 27, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6684/download?token=n_wVJNOC" type="application/pdf; length=198058">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(193.42 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>On January 8, 2021, the International Technological University (ITU) in Santa Clara, California, entered into a settlement agreement with the United States to pay $1,170,000 under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, in order to settle allegations related to student visa fraud.  </p> <p>ITU, a non-profit educational institution, participates in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, the component within Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that manages the certification process for U.S. educational institutions seeking to enroll nonimmigrant students.  To qualify for a visa under the program, a foreign national must apply and be admitted to an approved U.S. educational institution, and then submit a visa application to the Department of State. </p> <p>The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated this investigation based on allegations that between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2015, ITU did not comply with federal immigration laws governing the issuance of student visas.  Specifically, ITU is alleged to have knowingly submitted false forms for foreign nationals seeking to qualify for a student visa, depriving the United States of visa application fees.   </p> <p>This matter was jointly investigated by DHS OIG, HSI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, Civil Division, San Francisco, California.  </p> <p>“Greed-driven schemes to manipulate U.S. visa laws will not be tolerated,” said DHS Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari.  “Working with our law enforcement partners, our investigators will continue to protect the integrity of U.S. visa programs and related resources.” </p> <p>“Homeland Security Investigations will not allow fraud schemes to go unchecked,” said Homeland Security Investigations (NorCal) Special Agent in Charge Tatum King.  “Institutions of higher learning should always set the example and teach students the importance of their civic responsibility to obey the law.  When an institution participates in fraud schemes, it degrades the integrity of the institution and jeopardizes the individuals the institution has been entrusted to teach at an impressionable time in their lives.  HSI is grateful for the contributions of our partners with DHS OIG, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, and USCIS on this important settlement agreement.”</p> <p>Officers from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Office of Fraud Detection and National Security assisted with the early investigation in 2010 and subsequently spent thousands of hours identifying hundreds of students who were not attending class as required.  USCIS San Francisco District Director John Kramar stated, “USCIS takes integrity of our immigration system seriously and will pursue fraud and misuse with enforcement agencies.”</p> <p>This settlement resolves allegations originally brought in a lawsuit filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act by Concepcion Saenz-Cambra, Ph.D., an ITU employee.  Under the False Claims Act, private parties can sue on behalf of the government for false claims for government funds and to receive a share of the recovery.  </p> <p>The case is captioned U.S. ex rel. Saenz-Cambra v. International Technological University.  The claims resolved by the settlements are allegations only.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/false-claims-act-investigations" hreflang="en">False Claims Act Investigations</a></div> </div> Thu, 28 Jan 2021 14:48:55 +0000 adrian.edwards 6285 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former U.S. Government Employee Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Steal U.S. Government Records and Defraud U.S. Refugee Program https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/01262021/former-us-government-employee-pleads-guilty-conspiracy-steal-us-government-records-and-defraud-us-refugee-program <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former U.S. Government Employee Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Steal U.S. Government Records and Defraud U.S. Refugee Program</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 02/17/2021 - 09:35</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-01-26T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, January 26, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6709/download?token=UOSusxIg" type="application/pdf; length=93671">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(91.48 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>WASHINGTON – An indictment charging three defendants was unsealed in the District of Columbia today.  The indictment charges Aws Muwafaq Abduljabbar, 42; Haitham Isa Saado Sad, 42; and Olesya Leonidovna Krasilova, 43, with conspiracy to steal U.S. government records and to defraud the United States, theft of U.S. government records, and conspiracy to launder money, all related to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).  The indictment also charges Sad and Krasilova with computer fraud and abuse.  The announcement was made by Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael R. Sherwin, the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security, Dr. Joseph V. Cuffari, and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Assistant Director for Domestic Operations Ricardo Colón.</p> <p>According to the indictment, Sad was employed in Amman, Jordan from 2007 to 2016 by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Krasilova held a similar position at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia.  Part of their duties included processing applications for refugee resettlement in the United States through the USRAP.  The indictment charges that, from approximately February 2016 until at least April 2019, the three defendants, led by Abduljabbar, conspired to steal U.S. government records related to hundreds of USRAP applications.  The records contained sensitive, non-public information about refugee applicants, their family members, their employment and military history, their accounts of persecution or fear of persecution, the results of security checks, and internal assessments by U.S. officials regarding applications.</p> <p>As outlined in the indictment, the theft of USRAP records creates a number of risks to public safety and national security while imposing significant costs on the U.S. government, its taxpayers, and otherwise legitimate refugee applicants negatively impacted by the scheme.  Defendants Abduljabbar and Sad were previously arrested and remain held without bond.  Defendant Krasilova remains at large.</p> <p>“The charges unsealed today demonstrate the commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to protect the integrity of critical government functions like the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, which exists to identify and admit qualified refugees for resettlement in the United States,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin for the District of Columbia.  “It is important to hold accountable those who would seek to defraud such programs, particularly when the crimes compromise our national security and public safety, when they impose such high costs on taxpayers, and when they negatively impact the prospects of qualified refugee applicants.”</p> <p>“This indictment sends a strong message: the Diplomatic Security Service is committed to making sure that those who are alleged to have stolen U.S. government records related to refugee admissions face consequences for their criminal actions,” said DSS Assistant Director for Domestic Operations Ricardo Colón. “This case demonstrates the collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners, and showcases the forensic and investigative capabilities of DSS.”</p> <p>“Individuals like Ms. Krasilova and Mr. Sad are entrusted to protect the integrity of the U.S. immigration system and sensitive information vital to our national security interests,” said Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Dr. Joseph V. Cuffari.  “The Office of Inspector General remains committed to aggressively investigating DHS employees who abuse their positions, betray the public trust, and conspire with persons such as Mr. Abduljabbar to defraud the United States.”</p> <p>The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit an offense or defraud the United States is five years; the maximum penalty for theft of government records is 10 years; the maximum penalty for conspiracy to launder money is 20 years; and the maximum penalty for the charged computer fraud and abuse is five years.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes.  If convicted of any offense, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.</p> <p>This case is being investigated jointly by the DHS Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Luke M. Jones and Erik M. Kenerson of the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.  The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs assisted.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Wed, 17 Feb 2021 14:35:09 +0000 adrian.edwards 6310 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Three Foreign Nationals Charged with Conspiracy to Steal U.S. Government Records and Defraud U.S. Refugee Program https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/01222021/three-foreign-nationals-charged-conspiracy-steal-us-government-records-and-defraud-us-refugee-program <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Three Foreign Nationals Charged with Conspiracy to Steal U.S. Government Records and Defraud U.S. Refugee Program</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 01/22/2021 - 16:46</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-01-22T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, January 22, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6671/download?token=3oWuGX9m" type="application/pdf; length=124183">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(121.27 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>WASHINGTON – An indictment charging three defendants was unsealed in the District of Columbia today.  The indictment charges Aws Muwafaq Abduljabbar, 42; Haitham Isa Saado Sad, 42; and Olesya Leonidovna Krasilova, 43, with conspiracy to steal U.S. government records and to defraud the United States, theft of U.S. government records, and conspiracy to launder money, all related to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).  The indictment also charges Sad and Krasilova with computer fraud and abuse.  The announcement was made by Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael R. Sherwin, the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security, Dr. Joseph V. Cuffari, and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Assistant Director for Domestic Operations Ricardo Colón.</p> <p>According to the indictment, Sad was employed in Amman, Jordan from 2007 to 2016 by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Krasilova held a similar position at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia.  Part of their duties included processing applications for refugee resettlement in the United States through the USRAP.  The indictment charges that, from approximately February 2016 until at least April 2019, the three defendants, led by Abduljabbar, conspired to steal U.S. government records related to hundreds of USRAP applications.  The records contained sensitive, non-public information about refugee applicants, their family members, their employment and military history, their accounts of persecution or fear of persecution, the results of security checks, and internal assessments by U.S. officials regarding applications. </p> <p>As outlined in the indictment, the theft of USRAP records creates a number of risks to public safety and national security while imposing significant costs on the U.S. government, its taxpayers, and otherwise legitimate refugee applicants negatively impacted by the scheme.  Defendants Abduljabbar and Sad were previously arrested and remain held without bond.  Defendant Krasilova remains at large.<br />             <br /> “The charges unsealed today demonstrate the commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to protect the integrity of critical government functions like the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, which exists to identify and admit qualified refugees for resettlement in the United States,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin for the District of Columbia.  “It is important to hold accountable those who would seek to defraud such programs, particularly when the crimes compromise our national security and public safety, when they impose such high costs on taxpayers, and when they negatively impact the prospects of qualified refugee applicants.”</p> <p>“This indictment sends a strong message: the Diplomatic Security Service is committed to making sure that those who are alleged to have stolen U.S. government records related to refugee admissions face consequences for their criminal actions,” said DSS Assistant Director for Domestic Operations Ricardo Colón. “This case demonstrates the collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners, and showcases the forensic and investigative capabilities of DSS.”</p> <p>“Individuals like Ms. Krasilova and Mr. Sad are entrusted to protect the integrity of the U.S. immigration system and sensitive information vital to our national security interests,” said Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Dr. Joseph V. Cuffari.  “The Office of Inspector General remains committed to aggressively investigating DHS employees who abuse their positions, betray the public trust, and conspire with persons such as Mr. Abduljabbar to defraud the United States.”</p> <p>The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit an offense or defraud the United States is five years; the maximum penalty for theft of government records is 10 years; the maximum penalty for conspiracy to launder money is 20 years; and the maximum penalty for the charged computer fraud and abuse is five years.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes.  If convicted of any offense, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.</p> <p>This case is being investigated jointly by the DHS Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Luke M. Jones and Erik M. Kenerson of the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.  The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs assisted.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Fri, 22 Jan 2021 21:46:22 +0000 adrian.edwards 6254 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG to Review DHS Roles and Responsibilities in Connection with the January 6, 2021 Events at the U.S. Capitol https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/01152021/dhs-oig-review-dhs-roles-and-responsibilities-connection-january-6-2021-events-us-capitol <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG to Review DHS Roles and Responsibilities in Connection with the January 6, 2021 Events at the U.S. Capitol</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 01/15/2021 - 09:31</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-01-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, January 15, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6650/download?token=d_-b_Ckk" type="application/pdf; length=170016">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(166.03 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span>The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is initiating a review to examine the role and activity of DHS and its components in preparing for and responding to the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.  The DHS OIG will coordinate its review with the Offices of Inspector General of the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior, each of which will initiate reviews of their respective agencies’ roles in these events.  </span></p> <p><span>DHS OIG’s review will examine the DHS Office of Intelligence &amp; Analysis’s (I&amp;A) responsibility for providing intelligence to law enforcement, and whether and how I&amp;A fulfilled its responsibility.<span>  </span>DHS OIG also anticipates reviewing DHS law enforcement components’ roles, responsibilities, and actions on January 6, 2021.<span>  </span></span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">DHS OIG will consider examining other issues that may arise during the course of our review, as appropriate.</span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Fri, 15 Jan 2021 14:31:05 +0000 adrian.edwards 6242 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Serial Fraudster From Orlando Sentenced To More Than Six Years In Federal Prison https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2021/01142021/serial-fraudster-orlando-sentenced-more-six-years-federal-prison <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Serial Fraudster From Orlando Sentenced To More Than Six Years In Federal Prison</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 03/04/2021 - 12:39</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2021-01-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, January 14, 2021</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6734/download?token=buqAI27o" type="application/pdf; length=84812">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(82.82 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron has sentenced Jermica Jerri Dominick Brooks (37, Orlando) a/k/a “Jermica Jerri Dominick Sykes” to six years and nine months in federal prison for two separate wire fraud schemes and aggravated identity theft. The court also ordered Brooks to forfeit more than $25,000, which is traceable to benefits she had received as a result of the offenses.</p> <p>Brooks had pleaded guilty on November 12, 2020.</p> <p>According to court documents, following Hurricane Irma in 2017, Brooks used stolen identities to file five applications for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Brooks had obtained the personally identifiable information of certain victims during the course of her employment at a local plumbing business, where she worked as an office manager in or about 2016.  Brooks obtained other stolen identities by purchasing the information through illicit channels. At sentencing, a victim informed the Court that she was unable to obtain FEMA assistance following Hurricane Irma because Brooks had already filed a fraudulent application in her name.</p> <p>In a separate scheme, from January through May 2018, Brooks applied for and obtained 10 apartment leases in the names of identity theft victims. She used unauthorized or nonexistent financial account information to make it appear that her application and initial rent payments were legitimate, and feigned personal emergencies to secure occupancy in the leased apartments before those electronic payments were returned or rejected. Those leases resulted in a series of evictions in the names of Brooks’s victims. According to victims’ statements provided to the Court at sentencing, Brooks’s repeated use of their identities resulted in significant hardships surrounding their efforts to secure credit, housing, and car loans.</p> <p>This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security – Office of the Inspector General, the Orlando Police Department, the Casselberry Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily C. L. Chang.<br />  </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Thu, 04 Mar 2021 17:39:35 +0000 adrian.edwards 6330 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Substantiates Whistleblower Retaliation Allegation against a U.S. Coast Guard Member in Violation of the Military Whistleblower Protection Act https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2020/12172020/dhs-oig-substantiates-whistleblower-retaliation-allegation-against-us-coast-guard-member-violation-military <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Substantiates Whistleblower Retaliation Allegation against a U.S. Coast Guard Member in Violation of the Military Whistleblower Protection Act</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 12/17/2020 - 10:09</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2020-12-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, December 17, 2020</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6632/download?token=DB580eEt" type="application/pdf; length=145303">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(141.9 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigated allegations that a U.S. Coast Guard member was retaliated against for making protected communications under the Military Whistleblower Protect Act, 10 U.S.C. § 1034.</p> <p>The investigation found that the member made a protected communication and that several personnel actions were taken against the member after the member made the protected communication, including a negative performance evaluation that did not include a recommendation for advancement.  </p> <p>DHS OIG found that the member’s supervisors expressed animosity against the member and others for their involvement in the making of the protected communication, which resulted in an internal investigation.  DHS OIG also determined that during the member’s counseling session regarding the performance evaluation, the member’s immediate supervisor criticized the member for making the protected communication and accused the member of having “jumped the chain of command.” </p> <p>DHS OIG found, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that the member would not have received a negative performance evaluation, nor suffered other personnel actions, in the absence of the member’s protected communication. </p> <p>DHS OIG provided its report of investigation to the Acting Secretary for appropriate action under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/7" hreflang="en">USCG</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Thu, 17 Dec 2020 15:09:31 +0000 adrian.edwards 6224 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Employees Honored by Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2020/10132020/dhs-oig-employees-honored-council-inspectors-general-integrity-and-efficiency <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Employees Honored by Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency </span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 10/13/2020 - 13:05</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2020-10-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, October 13, 2020</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6513/download?token=RsAX9KTM" type="application/pdf; length=310946">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(303.66 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>This year, two Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) teams were recognized for their outstanding achievements at the annual awards ceremony held by the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) on October 13, 2020.  </p> <p>DHS OIG employees received the following awards: </p> <ul><li>Award for Excellence, Audit – Limitations of CBP OFO’s Screening Device Used to Identify Fentanyl and Other Narcotics Audit Team.   <ul><li>In recognition of outstanding efforts that identified significant limitations in drug identification equipment deployed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection ports of entry.</li> <li>OIG Report: Limitations of CBP OFO’s Screening Device Used to Identify Fentanyl and Other Narcotics OIG-19-67. </li> </ul></li> </ul><ul><li>Award for Excellence, Audit – Criminal Alien Program Audit Team <ul><li>In recognition of outstanding achievement in auditing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Criminal Alien Program and in reporting challenges with safety, resources, research, and information technology systems.</li> <li>OIG Report: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Criminal Alien Program Faces Challenges, OIG-20-13.</li> </ul></li> </ul><p>“I am tremendously proud that DHS OIG employees, in this year our audit teams, continue to be recognized for their outstanding work by the Inspector General community,” said DHS Inspector General Dr. Joseph Cuffari.  “DHS OIG remains committed to ensuring the integrity and effectiveness of DHS programs and operations.” </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Tue, 13 Oct 2020 17:05:06 +0000 adrian.edwards 6138 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Commemorates National Whistleblower Appreciation Day https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2020/07302020/dhs-oig-commemorates-national-whistleblower-appreciation-day <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Commemorates National Whistleblower Appreciation Day</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/30/2020 - 09:53</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2020-07-30T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, July 30, 2020</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6397/download?token=Zd4d88SS" type="application/pdf; length=165598">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(161.72 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General<br /> (OIG) joins numerous Federal agencies to commemorate National<br /> Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The day honors and supports whistleblowers<br /> who step forward in truth, to create a more honest and accountable<br /> government.</p> <p>DHS OIG relies on whistleblowers who come forward to report waste, fraud,<br /> abuse of agency resources, and criminal activity. DHS OIG also has a<br /> Whistleblower Protection Coordinator, who plays an important role as a<br /> resource for employees who need to understand the protections and rights<br /> afforded them when they report allegations of waste, fraud, or abuse.</p> <p>“Whistleblowers are a critical component of maintaining the integrity of our<br /> democracy,” said Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari. “Today we celebrate<br /> those that have raised their voices to help ensure accountability and<br /> transparency in DHS programs and operations.”</p> <p>Individuals who are aware of fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of DHS<br /> resources are encouraged to contact the OIG Hotline through our website or by<br /> calling (800) 323-8603. Whistleblowers can choose to remain anonymous<br /> when reporting to the OIG and the OIG Whistleblower Protection Coordinator is<br /> always available to provide general information to DHS employees and<br /> contractors on whistleblower rights and protections.</p> <p>For more information visit our website, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Thu, 30 Jul 2020 13:53:54 +0000 adrian.edwards 6031 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Additional IG Designated as Members of CIGIE’s Pandemic Response Accountability Committee https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2020/04012020/additional-ig-designated-members-cigies-pandemic-response-accountability-committee <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Additional IG Designated as Members of CIGIE’s Pandemic Response Accountability Committee</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 04/01/2020 - 17:38</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2020-04-01T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, April 1, 2020</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6172/download?token=JeY7LxpV" type="application/pdf; length=189616">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(185.17 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>IGs to Join Committee Coordinating Oversight of Federal Funds Used for Coronavirus Response</p> <p>Michael E. Horowitz, Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency <br /> (CIGIE), and Glenn A. Fine, Chair of CIGIE’s Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), <br /> announced today additional Inspectors General (IG) to serve as members of the PRAC. The new members <br /> are:</p> <p>•   Mitchell L. Behm, Acting Inspector General, Department of Transportation<br /> •   Mark Bialek, Inspector General, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System<br /> •   Kathy A. Buller, Inspector General, Peace Corps<br /> •   Rae Oliver Davis, Inspector General, Department of Housing and Urban Development<br /> •   Phyllis K. Fong, Inspector General, Department of Agriculture<br /> •   Susan S. Gibson, Inspector General, National Reconnaissance Office<br /> •   Allison C. Lerner, Inspector General, National Science Foundation<br /> •   Jay N. Lerner, Inspector General, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation<br /> •   Paul K. Martin, Inspector General, National Aeronautics and Space Administration<br /> •   Michael J. Missal, Inspector General, Department of Veterans Affairs<br /> •   Tammy L. Whitcomb, Inspector General, U.S. Postal Service<br /> •   Special Inspector General for Pandemic Oversight (when nominated by the President and confirmed <br /> by the Senate)</p> <p>In addition, Inspector General Martin was named as the Committee’s Vice Chair. Mr. Martin has <br /> served as Inspector General at NASA for the past 10 years and prior to that served at the <br /> Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General for 12 years, the last 7 as Deputy Inspector <br /> General.</p> <p>These Inspectors General, who were designated as members of the PRAC pursuant to Section 15010 of <br /> the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), oversee agencies that will <br /> disburse funds made available under the CARES Act or are otherwise involved in the Coronavirus <br /> response.</p> <p>Today’s designated Inspectors General join the PRAC alongside Mr. Fine and 8 other Inspectors<br /> General specifically identified as PRAC members by the CARES Act:</p> <p>•   Sandra D. Bruce, Acting Inspector General, Department of Education<br /> •   Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security<br /> •   Scott S. Dahl, Inspector General, Department of Labor<br /> •   Richard K. Delmar, Acting Inspector General, Department of the Treasury<br /> •   J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration<br /> •   Christi A. Grimm, Acting Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services<br /> •   Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General, Department of Justice<br /> •   Hannibal “Mike” Ware, Inspector General, Small Business Administration</p> <p>Consistent with the CARES Act, all Inspectors General serving on the Committee will continue to <br /> perform their Inspector General duties.</p> <p>“This additional group of Inspectors General brings a wide range of expertise to the Committee. <br /> Working closely with all 75 Federal Inspectors General, the Committee will seek to ensure that the <br /> funds intended to support individuals, workers, healthcare professionals, businesses and others <br /> affected by the pandemic are used efficiently, effectively, and in accordance with the law,” said <br /> PRAC Chair Fine.</p> <p>The CARES Act provides over $2 trillion in emergency federal spending to address the economic <br /> impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and establishes the PRAC and several other oversight <br /> mechanisms to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse in the use of these funds.</p> <p>The PRAC will promote transparency and support independent oversight of the funds provided by the <br /> CARES Act and two prior emergency spending bills, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response <br /> Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In addition to its <br /> oversight responsibilities, the PRAC is tasked with supporting efforts to “prevent and detect <br /> fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement [and] mitigate major risks that cut across program and <br /> agency boundaries.”</p> <p>###</p> <p>CIGIE is an independent entity established within the executive branch by the Inspector General Act <br /> and includes 75 statutorily created federal Inspectors General. Its mission is to address <br /> integrity, economy, and effectiveness issues that transcend individual government agencies and to <br /> aid in the establishment of a well-trained and highly skilled workforce in the Offices of the <br /> Inspectors General. For more information about CIGIE and the Inspector General community, please <br /> visit <a href="https://www.ignet.gov/">https://www.ignet.gov/</a>. To find and read reports from the federal Ins  ectors<br /> General, please visit <a href="https://oversight.gov">https://oversight.gov</a> and follow @OversightGov on Twitter.</p> <p>If you have additional questions, please contact:</p> <p><strong>Dwrena Allen<br /> DOD OIG Spokesperson<br /><a href="mailto:dwrena.allen@dodig.mil">dwrena.allen@dodig.mil</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Stephanie Logan<br /> DOJ OIG/CIGIE Spokesperson<br /><a href="mailto:Stephanie.logan@usdoj.gov">Stephanie.logan@usdoj.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Alan Boehm<br /> CIGIE Executive Director<br /><a href="mailto:alan.boehm@cigie.gov">alan.boehm@cigie.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-response" hreflang="en">Disaster Response</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Wed, 01 Apr 2020 21:38:22 +0000 adrian.edwards 5803 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Indicted on Theft of Government Property and Scheme to Defraud the United States Government https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2020/03092020/former-acting-inspector-general-us-department-homeland-security-indicted-theft-government-property-and-scheme <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Indicted on Theft of Government Property and Scheme to Defraud the United States Government</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 03/09/2020 - 15:40</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2020-03-09T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, March 9, 2020</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6150/download?token=mLEVSreG" type="application/pdf; length=86978">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(84.94 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned a 16-count indictment against a former Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a former subordinate for their alleged theft of proprietary software and confidential databases from the U.S. government as part of a scheme to defraud the U.S. government.</p> <p>Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Shea for the District of Columbia, DHS Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari and Inspector General Tammy L. Whitcomb for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) made the announcement.</p> <p>The indictment charges Charles K. Edwards, 59, of Sandy Spring, Maryland, and Murali Yamazula Venkata, 54, of Aldie, Virginia, with conspiracy to commit theft of government property and to defraud the United States, theft of government property, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.  The indictment also charges Venkata with destruction of records.</p> <p>According to the allegations in the indictment, from October 2014 to April 2017, Edwards, Venkata, and others executed a scheme to defraud the U.S. government by stealing confidential and proprietary software from DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), along with sensitive government databases containing personal identifying information (PII) of DHS and USPS employees, so that Edwards’s company, Delta Business Solutions, could later sell an enhanced version of DHS-OIG’s software to the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at a profit.  Although Edwards had left DHS-OIG in December 2013, he continued to leverage his relationship with Venkata and other DHS-OIG employees to steal the software and the sensitive government databases.</p> <p>The indictment further alleges that, in addition to stealing DHS-OIG’s software and the sensitive government databases, Venkata and others also assisted Edwards by reconfiguring his laptop so that he could properly upload the stolen software and databases, provided troubleshooting support whenever Edwards required it, and helped him build a testing server at his residence with the stolen software and databases, which contained PII.  As further part of the alleged scheme, Edwards retained software developers in India for the purpose of developing his commercial alternative of DHS-OIG’s software.</p> <p>The indictment is the result of an ongoing investigation by DHS-OIG and USPS-OIG and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Victor R. Salgado of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David B. Kent of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.</p> <p>An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.</p> <p>The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at <a href="https://www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years">www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years</a>.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/12" hreflang="en">Cybersecurity</a></div> Mon, 09 Mar 2020 19:40:50 +0000 adrian.edwards 5774 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Fraud Alert: DHS OIG Participates in National “Slam the Scam” day https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2020/03052020/fraud-alert-dhs-oig-participates-national-slam-scam-day <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fraud Alert: DHS OIG Participates in National “Slam the Scam” day</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 03/04/2020 - 15:42</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2020-03-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, March 5, 2020</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6146/download?token=TZandbpe" type="application/pdf; length=163195">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(159.37 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) joins the Social Security Administration (SSA) OIG and other Federal agencies on March 5, 2020 for National “Slam the Scam” Day, to raise public awareness of government imposter telephone scams across the United States.</p> <p>SSA OIG is engaging other Federal agencies and the private sector to promote a National “Slam the Scam Day” as a National Consumer Protection Week initiative.  On March 5, SSA will participate in a USA.gov-hosted Twitter chat, and a Facebook Live event at Social Security.</p> <p>Both DHS OIG and SSA OIG would like to warn all Americans to hang up on all government imposters, and ask them to spread the word to family and friends.  These pervasive scams—in which callers pretend to be government employees to mislead victims into providing personal information or making payments—have become a scourge on the American public.  The Federal Trade Commission recently reported victims lost nearly $153 million to government imposter scams last year.</p> <p>DHS telephone numbers have been used in the past as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country.  Spoofing is the deliberate falsifying of information transmitted to a caller ID display to disguise an identity.  The perpetrators of the DHS-related scam represent themselves as employees with “U.S. Immigration” or other government entities.  They alter caller ID systems to make it appear that the call is coming from the DHS HQ Operator number (202-282-8000) or the DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) number (202-401-1474).  The scammers obtain or verify personally identifiable information from their victims through various tactics, including by telling individuals that they are the victims of identity theft.  The scammers also pose as law enforcement or immigration officials and threaten victims with arrest unless they make payments to the scammers using a variety of methods.  The scammers have also emailed victims from email addresses ending in “uscis.org.”  Many of the scammers reportedly have pronounced accents.</p> <p>As a reminder, DHS never uses its HQ Operator or CRCL number to make outgoing calls of this nature. Individuals receiving phone calls from these numbers should not provide any personal information.  It continues to be perfectly safe to place calls to the DHS HQ Operator and CRCL numbers and DHS officials may continue to be contacted by dialing the DHS HQ Operator number.</p> <p>DHS OIG takes these matters very seriously.  Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this telephone spoofing scam is urged to call the DHS OIG Hotline (1-800-323-8603) or file a complaint online via the DHS OIG website <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/">www.oig.dhs.gov</a>.  You may also contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint and/or report identity theft</p> <p>For more information regarding SSA OIG’s National “Slam the Scam” day activity you can visit SSA OIG</p> <p>For more information visit our website, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Counterterrorism</a></div> Wed, 04 Mar 2020 20:42:20 +0000 adrian.edwards 5766 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Completes Investigation of the Death of Seven-Year-Old Guatemalan Child https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/12202019/dhs-oig-completes-investigation-death-seven-year-old-guatemalan-child <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Completes Investigation of the Death of Seven-Year-Old Guatemalan Child </span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 12/20/2019 - 12:34</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-12-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, December 20, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6093/download?token=9Ot112mV" type="application/pdf; length=162345">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(158.54 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently completed an investigation into the death of a Guatemalan child who died in U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) custody.  </p> <p>The investigation found no misconduct or malfeasance by DHS personnel:</p> <p>•    On December 6, 2018, a 7-year-old child and her father were apprehended in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.  <br /> •    On December 7, 2018, during transport from Antelope Wells to another USBP facility 90 miles away in Lordsburg, New Mexico, the child’s father reported that she was ill with a fever and vomiting.  The child also started having seizures.  <br /> •    When the child arrived at the USBP station in Lordsburg, USBP Emergency Medical Technicians initiated medical care and flew the child to the hospital by commercial air ambulance.  <br /> •    USBP personnel drove the father to the hospital.<br /> •    The child was pronounced dead at the hospital the next day. <br /> •    OIG conducted a detailed investigation and coordinated with the local medical examiner’s office.  <br /> •    The state medical examiner’s autopsy report found the child died of natural causes due to sequelae of Streptococcal sepsis.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/border-security" hreflang="en">Border Security</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">CBP</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/10" hreflang="en">Border Security</a></div> Fri, 20 Dec 2019 17:34:37 +0000 adrian.edwards 5703 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Completes Investigation of the Death of Eight-Year-Old Guatemalan Child https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/12202019/dhs-oig-completes-investigation-death-eight-year-old-guatemalan-child <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Completes Investigation of the Death of Eight-Year-Old Guatemalan Child</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 12/20/2019 - 12:18</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-12-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, December 20, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/6403/download?token=HzPzcHeR" type="application/pdf; length=77561">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(75.74 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) completed an investigation into the death of a Guatemalan child who died in U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) custody.</p> <p>The investigation found no misconduct or malfeasance by DHS personnel:</p> <p>• On December 18, 2018, an 8-year-old child and his father were apprehended near El Paso, Texas.<br /> • On December 23, 2018, they were transported to the Alamogordo, New Mexico USBP Checkpoint to await family placement.<br /> • On December 24, 2018, a USBP agent noticed that the child appeared ill and interviewed the father, who requested medical treatment for his son.<br /> • USBP transported the child and the child’s father to the nearest hospital for evaluation and treatment.<br /> • The hospital staff diagnosed the child with an upper respiratory infection, prescribed amoxicillin and acetaminophen, and discharged the child, who was returned to the USBP facility.<br /> • USBP personnel obtained and administered the prescriptions to the child.<br /> • The child’s condition improved briefly, and subsequently worsened.<br /> • USBP again transported the child and father to the hospital; upon arrival, the child was unresponsive and pronounced dead.<br /> • OIG conducted a detailed investigation, with assistance from CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, and coordinated with the local medical examiner’s office.<br /> • The state medical examiner's autopsy report found the cause of death was “complications of influenza B infection with Staphylococcus aureus superinfection and sepsis.” The investigation did not reveal evidence that USBP personnel  were aware that the child  was diagnosed with influenza B.</p> <p> </p> <p>Revised 4/14/2020</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">CBP</a></div> </div> Fri, 20 Dec 2019 17:18:45 +0000 adrian.edwards 5702 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Employees Honored for Contribution to Inspector General Community https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/10182019/dhs-oig-employees-honored-contribution-inspector-general-community <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Employees Honored for Contribution to Inspector General Community</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/380" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">adrian.edwards</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 10/22/2019 - 10:48</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-10-18T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, October 18, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5970/download?token=rAj1F0eN" type="application/pdf; length=162003">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(158.21 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>This year, seven Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) employees were recognized by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) at the 2019 CIGIE Adjunct Instructor Recognition Ceremony.  The following employees were recognized for their contributions as adjunct faculty for CIGIE courses:</span></span></p> <p><span><strong><span><span><span>Kevin Dolloson</span></span></span></strong></span></p> <p><span><strong><span><span><span>Eric Gregory</span></span></span></strong></span></p> <p><span><strong><span><span><span>K.R. Healey</span></span></span></strong></span></p> <p><span><strong><span><span><span>Erika Lang</span></span></span></strong></span></p> <p><span><strong><span><span><span>Andrew Smith</span></span></span></strong></span></p> <p><span><strong><span><span><span>Robert M. Vanderbles</span></span></span></strong></span></p> <p><span><strong><span><span><span>William Yeager</span></span></span></strong></span></p> <p><span><span>“I am very proud of our staff who shared their knowledge and experience with colleagues from across the Inspector General community this year,” said DHS Inspector General Dr. Joseph Cuffari. “Their service helps CIGIE achieve its mission of increasing the professionalism and effectiveness of the federal OIGs through a high-performing and skilled workforce.” </span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:48:45 +0000 adrian.edwards 5640 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Employees Honored for Outstanding Achievements https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/10172019/dhs-oig-employees-honored-outstanding-achievements <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Employees Honored for Outstanding Achievements</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/17/2019 - 13:26</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-10-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, October 17, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5958/download?token=YSQ9Ho7-" type="application/pdf; length=233696">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(228.22 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>This year, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) employees were recognized for their outstanding achievements at the annual awards ceremony held by the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) on October 15, 2019.</p> <p>DHS OIG employees received the following six awards for their excellence in audit, investigations, and evaluations. Additionally, the agency received the Gaston L. Gianni, Jr. Better Government Award with colleagues from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.</p> <p>- Award for Excellence, Audit – FEMA Did Not Safeguard Disaster Survivors’ Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information Audit Teams. In recognition of exceptional efforts, which resulted in Management Alert – FEMA Did Not Safeguard Disaster Survivors’ Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information, during audits of the FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance program and contract.</p> <p>- Award for Excellence, Audit – Accenture Hiring Contract. In recognition of the DHS OIG audit team’s outstanding achievements in improving the integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness of CBP hiring operations.</p> <p>- Award for Excellence, Audit – Border Patrol Needs a Staffing Model to Better Plan for Hiring More Agents. In recognition of audit team’s exemplary service and commendable effort in auditing the Border Patrol’s workforce staffing model, which led to proposed legislation requiring CBP to develop and implement models to enhance workforce effectiveness.</p> <p>- Award for Excellence, Investigation – Investigation of the New York City Department of Transportation. In recognition of the multi-agency investigative team, consisting of the DHS OIG; the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York; and the New York City Department of Investigation, which resulted in the recovery of $8,500,000 in Federal funds.</p> <p>- Award for Excellence, Evaluations – DHS OIG Family Separations Team. In recognition of report, Initial Observations Regarding Family Separation Issues Under the Zero Tolerance Policy.</p> <p>- Award for Excellence, Evaluations – ICE Does Not Fully Use Contracting Tools to Hold Detention Facility Contractors Accountable for Failing to Meet Performance Standards. In recognition of the team’s exceptional efforts to identify and address challenges in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s ability to hold detention facility contractors accountable for failing to meet detention standards.</p> <p>- Gaston L. Gianni, Jr. Better Government Award – Operation Outsource. In recognition of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, and Homeland Security Investigations for their efforts in combating impersonation-related fraud schemes.</p> <p>“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of our colleagues who were recognized,” said DHS Inspector General Dr. Joseph Cuffari. “Their commitment to ensuring the integrity of DHS programs and operations provides assurance to all Americans that the agency is able to safeguard the American people, our homeland and our values.”</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:26:25 +0000 alan.smith 5630 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Completes Review of Allegations of Discrimination at Orlando Airport https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/08022019/dhs-oig-completes-review-allegations-discrimination-orlando-airport <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Completes Review of Allegations of Discrimination at Orlando Airport</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 08/02/2019 - 15:40</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-08-02T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, August 2, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5886/download?token=SUCCfqLb" type="application/pdf; length=344460">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(336.39 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A review by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) did not identify evidence to corroborate allegations that a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) supervisor at the Orlando airport directed TSA air marshals or other TSA personnel to use behavior detection techniques to racially discriminate against travelers between 2005-2010. This review was requested by members of Congress based on allegations made in the news media by former members of TSA’s Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS).</p> <p>In the attached letter to Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Val Butler Demings, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman and Rep. Darren Soto, the OIG reported that apart from the testimony of the three complainants, it did not identify any additional evidence that substantiated the allegations. During the course of the review, OIG found no previous record of similar complaints against the TSA supervisor. Although some witnesses relayed other prior instances of alleged racial profiling in the behavior detection program, none of the approximately 30 current and former personnel OIG interviewed confirmed the complainants’ specific allegations. TSA has since eliminated the behavior detection officer position, and has largely stopped referring travelers for additional screening using behavior detection techniques.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/5" hreflang="en">TSA</a></div> </div> Fri, 02 Aug 2019 19:40:14 +0000 alan.smith 5530 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Two Maryland Men Facing Federal Indictment for Their Roles in a Scheme that Allegedly Stole Government Benefits, Including More Than $8 Million in Federal Emergency Assistance https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/08022019/two-maryland-men-facing-federal-indictment-their-roles-scheme-allegedly-stole-government-benefits-including-more-8 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Two Maryland Men Facing Federal Indictment for Their Roles in a Scheme that Allegedly Stole Government Benefits, Including More Than $8 Million in Federal Emergency Assistance</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Marcia Murphy<br /> (410) 209-4854</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 08/05/2019 - 14:36</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-08-02T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, August 2, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5895/download?token=rPhahuDv" type="application/pdf; length=48914">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(47.77 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In July, a Third Man Pleaded Guilty to Participating in the Scheme</p> <p>Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging John Irogho, age 38, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and charging Irogho and Odinaka Ekeocha, age 33, of Laurel, Maryland, for conspiracy to commit money laundering, in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain federal benefits.  The indictment was returned on July 31, 2019, and unsealed today upon the arrests of the defendants.</p> <p>The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Mark I. Tasky of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Office of Inspector General; Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Inspector General; Special Agent in Charge Matthew S. Miller of the U.S. Secret Service – Washington Field Office; and J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).</p> <p>“While many come forward in the wake of disasters to help selflessly, some use disasters to enrich themselves through theft and fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will pursue criminals who steal funds intended to help actual disaster victims.”</p> <p>“This indictment should serve as notice that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is committed to investigating illicit manipulations of IRS online systems, and bringing those involved to face justice,” said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.</p> <p>Michael McGill, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division said, “I want to thank our law enforcement partners for their efforts to bring these individuals to justice. We will continue to protect the integrity of the Social Security system, and pursue those who violate the public trust by committing fraud against Social Security and those who depend on it across the country.”</p> <p>During the time period covered by this indictment, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was responsible for providing emergency benefits and compensation for damage to victims who were affected by declared national emergency disasters, such as hurricanes and wildfires.  Among other benefits, an individual in an area affected by a national disaster was immediately eligible for “Critical Needs Assistance” (CNA) to purchase life-saving or life sustaining materials.  The assistance was paid to the victim in a manner of his/her choosing, including being deposited onto pre-paid debit cards.</p> <p>According to the two-count indictment, from 2016 through 2018 Irogho and several co-conspirators purchased hundreds of Green Dot debit cards, which co-conspirators then registered with Green Dot using the stolen personal information of identity theft victims from around the country.  In 2017, amidst Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the California wildfires, co-conspirators allegedly applied online with FEMA for CNA using the stolen personal information of additional victims of identity theft.  According to the indictment, FEMA paid at least $8 million in amounts of $500 per claim to the Green Dot debit cards purchased by Irogho and his co-conspirators.</p> <p>In addition to filing false disaster-assistance claims with FEMA, the indictment alleges that co-conspirators also filed false claims online for Social Security benefits, for IRS tax refunds, and for Department of Labor unemployment and disability benefits using the stolen identities of multiple additional individuals, including name, address, Social Security Number (“SSN”), and other personal identifiers.</p> <p>The indictment alleges that FEMA, and the other federal agencies to whom fraudulent applications for benefits were submitted, deposited the falsely claimed benefits directly onto the Green Dot debit cards.  Funds were deposited onto the Green Dot debit cards in the names of multiple stolen identities, and in stolen identities that were different from the identities that had been used to register the cards. After the funds were placed onto the Green Dot debit cards, certain co-conspirators then informed other conspirators, including Irogho, that funds were available on the cards, and provided information to facilitate “cashing out” the funds from the cards.  The indictment also alleges that Irogho enlisted Ekeocha and other conspirators to cash out stolen funds from the Green Dot and other pre-paid debit cards, which Irogho, Ekeocha, and other co-conspirators did in exchange for a commission.  Irogho, Ekeocha, and their co-conspirators cashed out the cards soon after funds were added by depositing the money into bank accounts, and/or through ATM withdrawals or purchases of money orders.</p> <p>According to the indictment, Irogho and other co-conspirators took steps to conceal their identities and the conspiracy and scheme to defraud, by enlisting other individuals (including Ekeocha) to make the purchases and withdrawals, utilizing multiple store and bank locations and methods of withdrawal, using multiple bank accounts (including in the names of corporate entities), converting funds into cash rather than placing them into bank accounts, and making money orders payable to other individuals and/or corporate entities which they or their co-conspirators controlled.</p> <p>The conspirators allegedly used an encrypted messaging application, e-mail and other means to communicate, and used the stolen federal funds to pay rental and housing expenses, to purchase used vehicles, and for other purposes.</p> <p>If convicted, Irogho faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Irogho and Ekeocha each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.  At their detention hearings today in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas M. DiGirolamo ordered that Irogho be detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Monday, August 5, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.  Judge DiGirolamo ordered that Ekeocha be released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>In a related case, Tare Stanley Okirika, age 30, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy on July 19, 2019, admitting that as part of the conspiracy to fraudulently obtain government benefits, he worked with other co-conspirators to cash out Green Dot and other prepaid debit cards.  Okirika admitted that he used the stolen federal funds from the scheme to pay his rent and for other purposes.  U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel has scheduled sentencing for Okirika on October 22, 2019, at 10:00 a.m.</p> <p>Members of the public who suspect fraud involving disaster relief efforts, or believe they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at (866) 720-5721.  The telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can also fax information to the Center at (225) 334-4707, or email it to <a href="mailto:disaster@leo.gov">disaster@leo.gov</a>.  Learn more about the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud at <a href="http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud">http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud</a>.</p> <p>United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the DHS OIG, the SSA OIG, the USSS, and TIGTA for their work in this investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth G. Wright, and Kelly O. Hayes, who are prosecuting these cases.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/two-maryland-men-facing-federal-indictment-their-roles-scheme-allegedly-stole-government" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/two-maryland-men-facing-federal-indictment-their-roles-scheme-allegedly-stole-government</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/13" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> Mon, 05 Aug 2019 18:36:13 +0000 alan.smith 5538 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DOJ and DHS OIGs Release a Joint Review of Law Enforcement Cooperation on the Southwest Border between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/08012019/doj-and-dhs-oigs-release-joint-review-law-enforcement-cooperation-southwest-border-between-federal-bureau <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DOJ and DHS OIGs Release a Joint Review of Law Enforcement Cooperation on the Southwest Border between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>DOJ OIG: John Lavinsky, (202) 514-3435</p> <p>DHS OIG: Erica Paulson, (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 08/01/2019 - 11:56</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-08-01T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, August 1, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5879/download?token=7y64ecqh" type="application/pdf; length=105817">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(103.34 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz and Department Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari announced today the release of a joint review examining law enforcement cooperation on the Southwest border between DOJ’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  The FBI and HSI share many of the same statutory authorities to investigate certain crimes, underscoring the need for agents to share information and manage investigative overlap effectively.</p> <p>The Offices of Inspector General (OIGs) found that the majority (63%) of FBI and HSI Southwest border agents did not encounter cooperation failures, and agents reported that task forces improved cooperation and allowed for increased collaboration between the FBI and HSI.  However, of the 37% of agents who did experience cooperation failures, 87% reported at least one negative impact as a result, such as loss of trust, unnecessarily prolonged investigations, and failure to gather evidence or apprehend a target. <br /> The report identified several factors that may have contributed to these cooperation failures, including:</p> <p>• The FBI and HSI had inconsistent practices, lacked specific policies, and many agents were unaware of requirements related to deconfliction. In February 2019, ICE issued an agency-specific deconfliction policy that may result in improvements.</p> <p>• Many agents did not understand the other agency’s mission and authorities and did not trust the other agency or its personnel. </p> <p>• DOJ and DHS do not have a memorandum of understanding related to cooperation on the Southwest border. <br /> The DOJ OIG and DHS OIG made five recommendations to the FBI and HSI to address these cooperation challenges.  The FBI agreed with all five recommendations.  HSI agreed with three of the recommendations and did not concur with two of them.<br /> Today’s report is available:</p> <p>• On the DOJ OIG website: <a href="https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2019/e1903.pdf" target="_blank">https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2019/e1903.pdf</a></p> <p>• On the DHS OIG website: <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2019-08/OIG-19-57-Jul19.pdf" target="_blank">https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2019-08/OIG-19-57-Jul19.pdf</a></p> <p>• On Oversight.gov: <a href="https://www.oversight.gov/report/doj/joint-review-law-enforcement-cooperation-southwest-border-between-federal-bureau" target="_blank">https://www.oversight.gov/report/doj/joint-review-law-enforcement-cooperation-southwest-border-between-federal-bureau</a></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/border-security" hreflang="en">Border Security</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" hreflang="en">Others</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/10" hreflang="en">Border Security</a></div> Thu, 01 Aug 2019 15:56:26 +0000 alan.smith 5526 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Commemorates National Whistleblower Appreciation Day https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/07302019/dhs-oig-commemorates-national-whistleblower-appreciation-day <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Commemorates National Whistleblower Appreciation Day</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 07/31/2019 - 15:02</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-07-30T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, July 30, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5871/download?token=a0yfoVcI" type="application/pdf; length=89339">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(87.25 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Today, agencies across the federal government will commemorate National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. This day memorializes those individuals, from as early as the American Revolutionary War, who have had the courage to speak up and hold our government accountable to its fundamental values.</p> <p>The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) relies on whistleblowers to report waste, fraud, and abuse in DHS programs and operations. This effort is led in part by OIG’s Whistleblower Protection Coordinator who is responsible for educating and advising all DHS employees about whistleblower protection rights and remedies.  Additionally, DHS OIG’s Whistleblower Protection Unit, responsible for handling all allegations of whistleblower retaliation filed with the OIG, has reviewed 184 retaliation complaints during the first half of fiscal year 2019.</p> <p>“Today, we recognize the vital contributions of the whistleblowers who have and will continue to shape our democracy by ‘blowing the whistle’”, said Deputy Inspector General Jennifer Costello.  </p> <p>Individuals who are aware of fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of DHS resources are encouraged to contact OIG via OIG’s Hotline or by calling (800) 323-8603. Whistleblowers can choose to remain anonymous when reporting to the OIG and the OIG Whistleblower Protection Coordinator is always available to provide general information to DHS employees and contractors on whistleblower rights and protections.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Wed, 31 Jul 2019 19:02:59 +0000 alan.smith 5515 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Fraud Alert: Transnational Fraud Ring Targets U.S. Government Procurement Offices and Vendors https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/07162019/fraud-alert-transnational-fraud-ring-targets-us-government-procurement-offices-and-vendors <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fraud Alert: Transnational Fraud Ring Targets U.S. Government Procurement Offices and Vendors</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 07/16/2019 - 15:11</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-07-16T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, July 16, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5819/download?token=OpbZUlTh" type="application/pdf; length=81936">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(80.02 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong><span><span>Fraud Alert:</span></span></strong></p> <p><strong><span><span><span>Transnational Fraud Ring Targets U.S. Government<br /> Procurement Offices and Vendors</span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span><span>In July 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) discovered that members of a transnational fraud ring based in Atlanta, Georgia, had impersonated a DHS procurement official to obtain computer equipment from private vendors. Further investigation into the ongoing fraud scheme revealed that the subjects were also stealing electronic equipment intended for other Federal agencies, including the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, and Transportation; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the Securities and Exchange Commission; and the Railway Retirement Board. Some of the purchase orders identified were for hundreds of thousands of dollars each. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><strong><span><span><span>Fraud Scheme</span></span></span></strong></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The fraudsters identify Federal government solicitations for computer equipment—frequently laptops, hard drives, and smart phones. They fax or email fraudulent requests for quotations (RFQ) to government vendors nationwide. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The RFQs use the name of a legitimate government procurement official but include a phone or fax number associated with the fraudsters. They also use email addresses that spoof U.S. government agencies, with domain names such as “rrb-gov.us.” Alternatively, the email’s From header displays a legitimate government email address, but the Reply-To header is a slightly different, non-government email address.  In some cases, the fraudsters avoid email and insist on communicating by fax. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The fraudsters respond to any quotations received with fraudulent purchase orders that include delivery addresses chosen by the fraudsters—frequently abandoned commercial properties.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>When the fraudsters receive the shipment, the ringleader decides whether to sell the equipment in the United States or ship it to Nigeria for resale. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The equipment enters the black market, and the government vendor never receives payment for the goods. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><strong><span><span>Prevention Measures</span></span></strong></span></p> <p><span><strong><span><span><span> </span></span></span></strong></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>If you receive an RFQ for electronic equipment that appears to come from the U.S. Government, take the following precautions: </span></span></span></span></p> <ul><li><span><span><span><span><span><span>Independently obtain the phone number for the listed procurement official and call them to confirm the RFQ is legitimate before responding to any RFQs received by fax;</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Respond to RFQs received by email only when the sender’s domain and the Reply To header end in “.gov”; </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Beware of any purported procurement officials who refuse to communicate by email; </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Beware of typographical errors, unusual language, and distorted U.S. government seals and other graphics; and </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Clearly indicate on the outside of all boxes that the contents are the property of the United States Government (in at least one case, a buyer refused to purchase the stolen goods from the fraudster when he saw “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” on the boxes). </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></li> </ul><p><span>Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this fraud scheme is urged to call the DHS OIG Hotline (</span><span><span>1-800-323-8603) </span></span><span>or file a complaint online via the DHS OIG website, </span><a href="http://www.oig.dhs.gov/"><span>www.oig.dhs.gov</span></a><span>.</span></p> <p><span> </span></p> <p><span><span>###</span></span></p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <p><strong><span><span><span>For more information, visit our website, <a href="http://www.oig.dhs.gov">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></span></span></span></strong></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> Tue, 16 Jul 2019 19:11:47 +0000 alan.smith 5483 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Fraud Alert: Law Enforcement Telephone Numbers Used in Two-Part Scam to Extort Money from Victims https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/05202019/fraud-alert-law-enforcement-telephone-numbers-used-two-part-scam-extort-money-victims <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fraud Alert: Law Enforcement Telephone Numbers Used in Two-Part Scam to Extort Money from Victims</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs 202-981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 05/20/2019 - 14:32</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-05-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, May 20, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5703/download?token=0pwn1kJb" type="application/pdf; length=91965">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(89.81 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is issuing this fraud alert to warn citizens of recent reports that publicly available law enforcement telephone numbers, including those of DHS OIG Field Offices, are being used in a two-part spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country.</p> <p>Part 1: The perpetrator befriends a victim using a mobile app that has a built-in chat feature, such as Facebook Messenger or Words with Friends. Alternatively, the perpetrator feigns romantic interest and pursues the victim through online dating services or chat rooms. After gaining the victim’s trust through the online relationship, the perpetrator describes a minor hardship and persuades the victim to send them a small amount of money.</p> <p>Part 2: The next day, the victim receives a phone call from a fraudster claiming to be an employee of DHS or another law enforcement organization. The fraudsters will spoof the caller ID of a legitimate law enforcement phone number. The fraudster tells the victim that the funds they provided the day before went to a criminal organization or terrorist group, such the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Al-Qaeda, and threatens them with arrest and imprisonment. They then direct the victim to contact a “lawyer” who can help them resolve the matter. The victim contacts the “lawyer” via email or phone and is instructed to pay them $1,000 or more via check, wire transfer, or other methods as a “retainer.”</p> <p>DHS OIG takes this matter very seriously. While we investigate the situation, we remind the public that law enforcement and other U.S. Government numbers may be subject to spoofing. Individuals receiving phone calls from these numbers should not provide any personal information.  Legitimate law enforcement callers will never ask you to pay fines over the phone or request money from you. If there is a question about the validity of a call, we encourage the public to call the relevant field office number of the government agency and ask to be put in touch with the individual who called you.</p> <p>Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this scam is urged to call the DHS OIG Hotline (1-800-323-8603) or file a complaint online via the DHS OIG website <a href="http://www.oig.dhs.gov">www.oig.dhs.gov</a>. By asking the perpetrators for a phone number or email address you can use to contact them to facilitate payment, you may be able to obtain valuable information that could assist DHS OIG investigate the scam. </p> <p>You may also contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint and/or report identity theft.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> Mon, 20 May 2019 18:32:20 +0000 alan.smith 5361 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Siskiyou County Man Charged with Major Fraud Against the United States for Taking FEMA Grant Funds https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/05152019/siskiyou-county-man-charged-major-fraud-against-united-states-taking-fema-grant-funds <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Siskiyou County Man Charged with Major Fraud Against the United States for Taking FEMA Grant Funds</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>DOJ</p> <div class="field__label">Press Release Number: </div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item even">2:19-cr-084-KJM</div> </div> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 05/17/2019 - 11:10</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-05-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, May 15, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5699/download?token=iMOjdmMI" type="application/pdf; length=152558">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(148.98 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Grant Administrator Misused over $500,000 Intended for Recruiting and Training New Firefighters</p> <p>SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Samuel Thomas Lanier, 40, of Dunsmuir, was charged today with seven counts of major fraud against the United States, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.</p> <p>According to court documents, from approximately June 2013 to March 2018, Lanier engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States by submitting, or causing to be submitted, false reimbursement requests to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in connection with federal grants awarded to Siskiyou and Shasta County Fire Chiefs Associations to assist them in recruiting and training new firefighters.</p> <p>In June 2013 and June 2014, respectively, the Siskiyou and Shasta County Fire Chiefs Associations were awarded grants as part of the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. Each grant was over $1 million. The purpose of these grants was to assure that communities have adequate protection from fire-related hazards, and to help the recipients attain and maintain 24-hour staffing.</p> <p>Lanier, as an owner or executive of two companies located in Dunsmuir, was hired by the Fire Chiefs Associations to administer these grants. In this capacity, Lanier knowingly submitted to FEMA false and fraudulent reimbursement requests, seeking and obtaining reimbursement for goods and services that were not, in fact, actually obtained on behalf of the fire associations. In so doing, Lanier caused a gross loss to the United States of over $500,000.</p> <p>This case is the product of an investigation by the Major Frauds &amp; Corruption Unit of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Schuller Hitchcock is prosecuting the case.</p> <p>“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG) in partnership with the Department of Justice is committed to identifying and investigating fraud schemes and corrupt activities that pose significant risk and major financial impact to DHS and its components, including FEMA. This fraud scheme siphoned vital funds from a federal program that supports local fire departments to serve their communities,” said James E. Long, Special Agent in Charge, Major Frauds and Corruption Unit, DHS OIG. “Fraud perpetrated against FEMA is detrimental to our nation’s infrastructure and safety, especially from programs that support front line firefighters and first responders.”</p> <p>Lanier has agreed to plead guilty to the charges. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-edca/pr/siskiyou-county-man-charged-major-fraud-against-united-states-taking-fema-grant-funds" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-edca/pr/siskiyou-county-man-charged-major-fraud-against-united-states-taking-fema-grant-funds</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> </div> Fri, 17 May 2019 15:10:15 +0000 alan.smith 5360 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Fraud Alert: DHS Telephone Numbers Used in Scam to Obtain Personally Identifiable Information and Extort Money from Victims https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/03012019/fraud-alert-dhs-telephone-numbers-used-scam-obtain-personally-identifiable-information-and-extort-money-victims <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fraud Alert: DHS Telephone Numbers Used in Scam to Obtain Personally Identifiable Information and Extort Money from Victims</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 981-6000</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 03/01/2019 - 11:18</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-03-01T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, March 1, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5567/download?token=g_FOpnVL" type="application/pdf; length=77400">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(75.59 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is issuing this fraud alert to warn citizens of reports that DHS telephone numbers have been used recently as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. Spoofing is the deliberate falsifying of information transmitted to a caller ID display to disguise an identity.</p> <p>The perpetrators of the scam represent themselves as employees with “U.S. Immigration” or other government entities. They alter caller ID systems to make it appear that the call is coming from the DHS HQ Operator number (202-282-8000) or the DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) number (202-401-1474). The scammers obtain or verify personally identifiable information from their victims through various tactics, including by telling individuals that they are the victims of identity theft. The scammers also pose as law enforcement or immigration officials and threaten victims with arrest unless they make payments to the scammers using a variety of methods. The scammers have also emailed victims from email addresses ending in “uscis.org.” Many of the scammers reportedly have pronounced accents.</p> <p>DHS OIG takes this matter very seriously. While we investigate the situation, we would like to remind the public that DHS never uses its HQ Operator or CRCL number to make outgoing calls of this nature. Individuals receiving phone calls from these numbers should not provide any personal information. It continues to be perfectly safe to place calls to the DHS HQ Operator and CRCL numbers and DHS officials may continue to be contacted by dialing the DHS HQ Operator number.</p> <p>Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this telephone spoofing scam is urged to call the DHS OIG Hotline (1-800-323-8603) or file a complaint online via the DHS OIG website <a href="http://www.oig.dhs.gov">www.oig.dhs.gov</a>. You may also contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint and/or report identity theft</p> <p>###</p> <p>For more information visit our website, <a href="http://www.oig.dhs.gov">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> Fri, 01 Mar 2019 16:18:46 +0000 alan.smith 5184 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces $5.3 Million Proposed Settlement Of Lawsuit Against New York City For Fraudulently Obtaining FEMA Funds Following Superstorm Sandy https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/02202019/manhattan-us-attorney-announces-53-million-proposed-settlement-lawsuit-against-new-york-city-fraudulently-obtaining <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces $5.3 Million Proposed Settlement Of Lawsuit Against New York City For Fraudulently Obtaining FEMA Funds Following Superstorm Sandy</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Civil Frauds Unit: Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Jean Hu</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 03/01/2019 - 09:21</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-02-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, February 20, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5554/download?token=B48olbzx" type="application/pdf; length=173175">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(169.12 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mark Tasky, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Regional Office of the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (“DHS-OIG”), and Margaret Garnett, Commissioner, New York City Department of Investigation (“DOI”), announced today that the United States filed a civil fraud lawsuit today against the CITY OF NEW YORK (the “City”) alleging that the NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (“NYCDOT”) fraudulently obtained millions of dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) by falsely claiming that numerous NYCDOT vehicles were damaged during Superstorm Sandy (“Sandy”).  The United States also submitted a proposed settlement of the lawsuit to the U.S. District Court for review and approval.  Under the proposed settlement, the City agreed to pay and revert to the United States a total of $5,303,624 and admitted to conduct alleged in the Government’s complaint, including seeking reimbursement from FEMA for vehicles that were not damaged by Sandy.</p> <p>Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “FEMA serves a critical role in providing emergency relief to those who are tragically struck by disaster.  When people lie to FEMA about the cause of property damage in order to reap a windfall, it compromises FEMA’s ability to provide financial assistance to legitimate disaster victims in desperate need.  This Office will take decisive enforcement action to protect FEMA and its vital programs from fraud, waste, and abuse.”</p> <p>DHS-OIG Special Agent in Charge Mark Tasky said:  “Taking advantage of Federal funds intended for disaster relief misappropriates taxpayer dollars, reduces funds available to true victims, and erodes public confidence in relief efforts. Through DHS OIG’s criminal and civil investigative oversight function of DHS programs, and working closely with our partners in the New York City’s Department of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, we ensured that over $5.3 million in disaster relief funds were repaid to the United States, and ultimately the U.S. taxpayer. With so many New York residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy, it is critical to ensure every dollar of appropriated relief funds are properly used and accounted for.”</p> <p>DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett said:  “Today’s settlement is the successful outcome of a joint investigation with our federal partners, which uncovered falsified submissions by the City to the federal government that allowed the City to wrongly obtain millions of dollars in federal emergency funds.  Our investigation found that a lack of vigilant management and inadequate training of City personnel at the City Department of Transportation led to this wrongdoing in connection with a federal public assistance program.  As New York City’s independent watchdog, DOI is grateful for our effective partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the New York Regional Office of the United States Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General on this investigation.”</p> <p>According to the Government’s Complaint, the City participated in FEMA’s Public Assistance program, which allows municipalities to obtain indemnification funds from FEMA to repair or replace property damaged by natural disasters, such as Sandy.  As part of the program, the City was required to certify that the property damage was incurred as a direct result of the disaster.  The City was also required to provide training to employees on program rules and requirements, including the importance of ensuring that costs for which indemnification is sought are directly attributable to a disaster.</p> <p>Following Sandy, the NYCDOT created a list of vehicles within the agency’s fleet that had been damaged by the storm and submitted it to FEMA for indemnification pursuant to the Public Assistance program.  The NYCDOT personnel responsible for generating the list of damaged vehicles, to whom the City provided no training on the Public Assistance program, made no effort to inspect the vehicles or otherwise determine whether any reported damage was attributable to Sandy.  In fact, a number of the vehicles included on this list were inoperable long before Sandy.</p> <p>In 2014, based on this faulty list, the City submitted a request for indemnification to FEMA seeking to recover the full cost of replacing 132 NYCDOT vehicles.  The City submitted a certification to FEMA as part of the program and a request for indemnification that falsely attested that all costs were incurred as a direct result of Sandy.  Many of the vehicles for which the City sought full replacement costs had been nonoperational or not in use prior to the storm.  As a result of these false certifications, FEMA paid the City millions of dollars to which it was not entitled.</p> <p>As part of the proposed settlement, the City will pay the United States a total of $5,303,624.  Specifically, the City will make a cash payment of $4,126,227.34 and relinquish rights to an additional $1,177,396.66 that FEMA had previously approved for disbursement.  During this Office’s investigation, the City withdrew another $3,196,376 in indemnity requests, acknowledging that the costs were ineligible for reimbursement.</p> <p>In connection with the proposed settlement, the City also admitted conduct alleged in the Complaint, including:</p> <p>- The Deputy Commissioner from NYCDOT who signed the certification lacked personal knowledge about the vehicles sufficient to make a certification about how and when they were damaged and did not personally undertake or direct others to undertake any investigation of the vehicles prior to signing the certification.<br />  <br /> - The list of vehicles for which the City was seeking reimbursement included a number of vehicles that were not damaged as a direct result of Sandy to a state beyond repair.  A number of the vehicles that the City included had not been operational prior to Sandy.<br />  <br /> - Prior to making the submission and certification to FEMA, neither the City nor NYCDOT undertook a sufficient review to ascertain whether all of the vehicles listed had been operational and in use prior to Sandy; or whether the amounts presented to FEMA for reimbursement accurately represented the losses the City incurred from Sandy.<br />  <br /> - In June 2014, a NYCDOT employee notified the Deputy Commissioner that certain of the vehicles for which the City had sought reimbursement from FEMA were not eligible. Yet, it was not until after it became aware of this Office’s investigation that the City took steps to notify FEMA.</p> <p>The proposed settlement must be approved by the District Court.</p> <p>Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of DHS-OIG and DOI.  This case is being handled by the Office’s Civil Frauds Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Jean Hu is in charge of the case.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/manhattan-us-attorney-announces-53-million-proposed-settlement-lawsuit-against-new-york" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/manhattan-us-attorney-announces-53-million-proposed-settlement-lawsuit-against-new-york</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Fri, 01 Mar 2019 14:21:27 +0000 alan.smith 5172 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Clay County Woman Pleads Guilty to FEMA Fraud https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2019/02132019/clay-county-woman-pleads-guilty-fema-fraud <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Clay County Woman Pleads Guilty to FEMA Fraud</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Assistant United States Attorneys Stefan Hasselblad and Meredith George Thomas</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 03/01/2019 - 09:35</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2019-02-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, February 13, 2019</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5559/download?token=_HFoKive" type="application/pdf; length=153338">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(149.74 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  A Clay County woman pled guilty yesterday to embezzling over $18,000 in federal FEMA disaster benefits.  The case was investigated by the United States Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG) and the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations.</p> <p>Pamela Taylor, 57, admitted that she falsely registered for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster benefits after the June 2016 flood in Clay County, West Virginia.  Taylor claimed that her primary residence was damaged by the flood and that she was staying in a rental unit after the flood.  In fact, her primary residence was undamaged, and she still resided there.  Due to her false statements, she received more than $18,000 in FEMA benefits to which she was not entitled.  In her plea agreement, Taylor agreed to pay restitution of $18,149.04.</p> <p>“The flood was a natural disaster. Stealing from FEMA is a manmade disaster,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “The floods of June 2016 were historic and devastating to thousands of West Virginians. Lives were lost.  Too many of our brothers and sisters lost everything.  FEMA dollars are critical but limited.  Stealing critical FEMA dollars is a crime – literally and figuratively.  Taylor’s fraud scheme diverted disaster benefits from our most desperate and vulnerable, those most in need of help.  We take the solemn responsibility of ensuring FEMA dollars are used responsibly and legally.  The public can rest assured that my office takes heinous acts like stealing from disaster relief funds very seriously and will prosecute each and every case brought to us to the maximum extent of the law.”</p> <p>“Taking advantage of federal funds intended for disaster relief misappropriates taxpayer dollars, reduces monies available to true victims, and erodes public confidence in relief programs,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark Tasky of  DHS-OIG.  “In July 2016, after the good people of West Virginia were devastated by severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides the month prior, the Defendant knowingly submitted a fraudulent application for disaster relief, in order to enrich herself and divert critical funds away from true disaster victims.  The DHS-OIG, operating jointly with our partners in the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, worked tirelessly to bring the Defendant to justice for her crimes.”</p> <p>Taylor faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 when she is sentenced on May 30, 2019.  United States District Court Judge the Honorable Irene C. Berger presided over the plea hearing.  Assistant United States Attorneys Stefan Hasselblad and Meredith George Thomas handled the prosecution.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdwv/pr/clay-county-woman-pleads-guilty-fema-fraud" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdwv/pr/clay-county-woman-pleads-guilty-fema-fraud</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Fri, 01 Mar 2019 14:35:52 +0000 alan.smith 5175 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former West Virginia Cabinet Secretary Sentenced to Federal Prison for Embezzling Fire Department Funds https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/12172018/former-west-virginia-cabinet-secretary-sentenced-federal-prison-embezzling-fire-department-funds <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former West Virginia Cabinet Secretary Sentenced to Federal Prison for Embezzling Fire Department Funds</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Assistant United States Attorney Meredith George Thomas</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 03/01/2019 - 09:44</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-12-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, December 17, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5561/download?token=Cy5Z-VOr" type="application/pdf; length=161847">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(158.05 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Hurricane man and former West Virginia Cabinet Secretary was sentenced today to 37 months in federal prison for embezzling $178,790 from the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department, as well as a related tax crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Clifford Keith Gwinn, 64, formerly the Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance, previously pled guilty in June 2018 to theft from a program receiving federal funds and failure to report and pay over payroll taxes.  As part of Gwinn’s sentence, he was also ordered to pay restitution to the Fire Department, and it’s insurer, in the amount of  $178,790 and to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $68,281.  Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations.</p> <p>“Unimaginable that anyone, much less a former leader in state government, would steal from a Fire Department that is dependent upon funding to provide vital public safety services,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “We will aggressively prosecute and seek restitution for victim organizations in cases like this one.”</p> <p>Gwinn admitted that as Vice President and fiscal officer of the Fire Department, he was in charge of the financial affairs of the Fire Department and exercised significant control over the Fire Department’s finances.  He admitted that his duties included reporting income and expenditures to the Fire Department, preparing and submitting taxes for the Fire Department, and assisting with applications and reimbursements for federal grants, among other duties.   He further admitted that he, without authorization from the Fire Department, opened a Fire Department bank account where only he had signature authority, transferred funds into that account without the knowledge or authorization from the Fire Department, ensured certain health care insurance company reimbursements were deposited into that account, and wrote himself checks and checks to cash out of that account, which he then typically cashed.  He admitted that he further instructed the Fire Department’s Treasurer to write him checks from other Fire Department bank accounts and further misrepresented the amount of bank account balances to the Fire Department officers and board members.  He also admitted that he structured withdrawals out of the Fire Department’s accounts in a series of transactions below $10,000, to prevent the banks from filing Currency Transaction Reports.  While he admitted that he systematically deposited cash into Fire Department bank accounts, his overall withdrawals and payments received significantly overwhelmed the amount of any deposits.   He also admitted that he had no authorization to write himself checks or receive and cash checks from the Fire Department, and was not entitled to any compensation.</p> <p>During the period from 2013 through 2016 that Gwinn embezzled $178,790 in Fire Department funds, the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department received grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. These grants allowed the Fire Department to pay firefighters and to purchase and maintain equipment.</p> <p>Furthermore, Gwinn admitted that that while he was Vice President and fiscal officer for the Fire Department, the Fire Department withheld taxes from its employees’ paychecks, including federal income taxes, Medicare, and social security taxes, together known as payroll taxes.  He admitted that he knew that he had the corporate responsibility to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over the Fire Department’s payroll taxes.  Gwinn admitted that from October 31, 2015 through April 30, 2017, while Gwinn was a responsible person for payroll taxes, Fire Department failed to account for and pay over approximately $61,421.31 in payroll taxes.</p> <p>Gwinn further admitted that when he filed his personal income tax returns with the IRS, those returns were false because they failed to account for the funds he had embezzled from the Fire Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Meredith George Thomas handled the prosecution. United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdwv/pr/former-west-virginia-cabinet-secretary-sentenced-federal-prison-embezzling-fire" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdwv/pr/former-west-virginia-cabinet-secretary-sentenced-federal-prison-embezzling-fire</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Fri, 01 Mar 2019 14:44:38 +0000 alan.smith 5180 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Inspector General Announces Investigation of Migrant Child’s Death https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/12142018/inspector-general-announces-investigation-migrant-childs-death <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inspector General Announces Investigation of Migrant Child’s Death</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 12/14/2018 - 14:26</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-12-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, December 14, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5509/download?token=WuSjBz6v" type="application/pdf; length=70475">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(68.82 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span>Today, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) announced that it will investigate the death of a 7-year-old migrant child who recently died after being taken into Border Patrol custody. </span></p> <p><span>At the culmination of its investigation, DHS OIG will provide a final report to the DHS Secretary, the Congress, and the public.</span></p> <p><span><span>In addition to an investigation of the specific circumstances of the child’s death, DHS OIG will continue its ongoing program of unannounced inspections of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities. The results of these inspections will also be reported publicly.</span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">CBP</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" hreflang="en">ICE</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/14" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> Fri, 14 Dec 2018 19:26:34 +0000 alan.smith 5105 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Indicted on Charges of Theft and False Statements https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/12132018/us-customs-and-border-protection-officer-indicted-charges-theft-and-false-statements <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Indicted on Charges of Theft and False Statements</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Trial Attorney Rebecca Moses of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 03/01/2019 - 10:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-12-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, December 13, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5566/download?token=AzESAoU0" type="application/pdf; length=130063">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(127.01 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A federal grand jury sitting in the Southern District of Texas returned an indictment on Dec. 12 charging a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer with converting federal funds to his own use, with concealing material facts from CBP, and with making false representations to CBP, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced.</p> <p>Daniel Lerchbacker, 35, of Conroe, Texas, was charged with three counts of theft for allegedly failing to pay three Canadian entities for expenses that the United States had already provided the funds to cover and for collecting federal funds to which he knew he was not entitled.  Lerchbacker was also charged with two counts of false statements for allegedly submitting to CBP copies of checks as proof of payment, despite knowing that such payments had not, in fact, been made.  Lerchbacker will be arraigned on the charges today at 2 p.m. CST before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christina A. Bryan in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas in Houston.</p> <p>According to the indictment, Lerchbacker, while stationed in Canada as a CBP officer between December 2015 and December 2017, allegedly received from the U.S. foreign monetary allowances for the lease of his family’s residence and private school education expenses for his children.  During this time, Lerchbacker received the full amount of federal funds that he requested for these expenses, but Lerchbacker allegedly failed to pay a property management company and two private schools a total of approximately $54,460.99 CAD.  Additionally, Lerchbacker allegedly requested, collected, and retained from the United States approximately $24,230.50 CAD in advance funds for educational expenses for his children while knowing that he was to leave Canada before the end of the school year.</p> <p>An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.</p> <p>The case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Rebecca Moses of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-customs-and-border-protection-officer-indicted-charges-theft-and-false-statements" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-customs-and-border-protection-officer-indicted-charges-theft-and-false-statements</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Fri, 01 Mar 2019 15:01:26 +0000 alan.smith 5183 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Captain with Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Sentenced for Smuggling Profits to Portugal https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/11062018/former-captain-bristol-county-sheriffs-office-sentenced-smuggling-profits-portugal <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Captain with Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Sentenced for Smuggling Profits to Portugal</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 11/06/2018 - 11:31</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-11-06T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, November 6, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5440/download?token=LBdJA2S3" type="application/pdf; length=158641">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(154.92 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>Defendant helped smuggle money overseas for the “Codfather”</strong></p> <p>BOSTON – A former Captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was sentenced today in connection with helping Carlos Rafael, known as the Codfather in the fishing industry, and the owner of one of the largest commercial fishing businesses in the U.S., smuggle the profits of his illegal overfishing scheme to Portugal.</p> <p>Jamie Melo, 46, of North Dartmouth, Mass., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to one year of probation, with the first eight months to be served in home confinement. In June 2018, Melo was convicted by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States and one count of structuring the export of monetary instruments. The jury acquitted Melo of one count of bulk cash smuggling.</p> <p>During the trial, evidence showed that while at Logan International Airport Melo asked his friends and travel companions to carry envelopes of cash for Rafael on a flight to the Azores in Portugal. At the time, Melo was an Administrative Captain with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office and was traveling to the Azores with Rafael for a charity event sponsored by the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to the flight, Melo asked three of his travel companions to follow him into the men’s bathroom at Logan Airport before going through the TSA Security Checkpoint. In the bathroom, Melo distributed four envelopes of cash to his companions, taking one for himself. Two days after arriving in Portugal, bank records demonstrate that Rafael deposited $76,000 in U.S. currency into his Portuguese bank account.</p> <p>United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Mark Tasky, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Philadelphia Field Office; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neil Gallagher and Justin O’Connell of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/former-captain-bristol-county-sheriff-s-office-sentenced-smuggling-profits-portugal" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/former-captain-bristol-county-sheriff-s-office-sentenced-smuggling-profits-portugal</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Tue, 06 Nov 2018 16:31:03 +0000 alan.smith 4991 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Ambler, Pennsylvania Man Admits Defrauding FEMA Relating To Major Disaster https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/10152018/ambler-pennsylvania-man-admits-defrauding-fema-relating-major-disaster <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Ambler, Pennsylvania Man Admits Defrauding FEMA Relating To Major Disaster</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 10/16/2018 - 15:18</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-10-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, October 15, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5409/download?token=iKBs1YCm" type="application/pdf; length=191292">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(186.81 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>CAMDEN, N.J. – An Ambler, Pennsylvania, man today admitted defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of thousands of dollars after Hurricane Sandy, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.</p> <p>Nicholas Ochs, 54, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle in Camden federal court to Counts One (disaster benefit fraud) and Four (mail fraud) of the indictment against him.</p> <p>According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:</p> <p>When a natural disaster or federal emergency occurs in the United States, federal agencies, such as FEMA, provide relief and assistance to affected individuals and entities. FEMA provides financial assistance by, among other things, helping affected individuals repair their property.</p> <p>In October 2012, Cape May County suffered severe damage from wind, rain and flooding generated by Hurricane Sandy when it struck New Jersey. On Oct. 30, 2012, then-President Obama signed a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the State of New Jersey, enabling eligible individuals who were displaced by the storms to seek financial assistance from FEMA.</p> <p>At the time of Hurricane Sandy, Ochs’s mother lived in a house in Ocean City, New Jersey. In January 2013, Ochs filed an application with FEMA on her behalf, seeking federal rental assistance and assistance for personal property damage under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program. He claimed the property was damaged as a result of Hurricane Sandy and was unfit for occupancy. An inspector working on behalf of FEMA inspected the property and determined that the property was uninhabitable, that repairs were required, and that the homeowner had moved. During the inspection, Ochs, acting with power of attorney, signed the application on behalf of his mother attesting that all the information on the application was true and correct. By signing the application, Ochs also acknowledged that any disaster relief money awarded would be returned if his mother received insurance benefits for the same loss.</p> <p>FEMA initially denied Ochs’s claim, citing the fact that the property was covered by insurance. Ochs submitted documents to FEMA indicating that the insurance provider denied his mother’s claim. Based on that, in February 2013, FEMA awarded Ochs’s mother funds for rental assistance and home repair.</p> <p>In applying to FEMA for home repair and rental assistance claiming that his mother was displaced by Hurricane Sandy, Ochs submitted fraudulent leases claiming that his mother was renting another property on the same block in Ocean City. Ochs also provided fictitious rental receipts. Ochs failed to disclose that the property his mother was renting was owned by his family and that no rent was ever paid. To support his mother’s continued need for rental assistance, Ochs was required to complete FEMA forms, and he faxed fraudulent lease agreements and rental receipts to FEMA.</p> <p>In February 2013 Ochs contacted FEMA and made a false claim for transportation assistance, claiming that his mother’s 1985 Mercedes Benz was damaged by Hurricane Sandy and submitting fraudulent documentation to that effect.</p> <p>Between February 2013 and December 2013, FEMA paid Ochs’ mother $17,229 for rental assistance and $4,345 for home repairs, through the issuance of direct deposits into bank accounts that Ochs controlled. Ochs then used the money to pay his personal expenses.</p> <p>FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program indemnifies flood insurance providers when a claim is paid out. At the time of the storm, Wells Fargo Bank held the mortgage on Ochs’s mother’s property. After Ochs made a claim to the insurance provider, the insurance provider sent the insurance proceeds to Wells Fargo. To entice Wells Fargo to release the funds, Ochs presented fraudulent invoices and forms from a builder that over inflated the value of the work that the builders performed. Wells Fargo mailed numerous checks totaling $169,518 to the house in Ocean City. Ochs deposited the checks into bank accounts that he controlled and spent the money on personal expenses. The flood insurance claims were indemnified by FEMA.</p> <p>The count of disaster benefits fraud to which Ochs pleaded guilty to carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The count of mail fraud to which he pleaded guilty carries a potential penalty of 30 years in prison and $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2019.</p> <p>U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark Tasky, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.</p> <p>The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Division in Camden.</p> <p>Defense counsel: William J. Hughes Jr., Atlantic City, New Jersey</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/ambler-pennsylvania-man-admits-defrauding-fema-relating-major-disaster" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/ambler-pennsylvania-man-admits-defrauding-fema-relating-major-disaster</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> </div> Tue, 16 Oct 2018 19:18:09 +0000 alan.smith 4959 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov New York Man Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/09062018/new-york-man-pleads-guilty-cyberstalking <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">New York Man Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Joshua Stueve Director of Communications, joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 09/11/2018 - 12:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-09-06T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, September 6, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5364/download?token=ZODsLe8C" type="application/pdf; length=166718">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(162.81 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A New York man pleaded guilty today to cyberstalking victims in the Eastern District of Virginia and Washington, D.C. and to frame them for crimes or workplace violations they had not committed.</p> <p>According to court documents, over a period of one year, Anthony Caccamo, 27, of Flushing, used identity-masking internet applications to send harassing messages to one of his victims, posing as men with whom the victim had had a consensual sexual relationship. In those messages, Caccamo threatened to hack the victim’s online accounts, leak sensitive personal information, and frame her for crimes she had not committed. On at least one occasion, Caccamo made good on his threat to frame the victim for crimes she had not committed. For example, in June 2017, Caccamo sent a false tip to the Homeland Security Investigations Tipline, alleging that she was involved in narcotics smuggling. Caccamo also created false evidence to convince federal investigators that he, too, was a victim of harassment, and provided false information to federal investigators to make it appear as though a certain DHS employee with a cybersecurity background was responsible for the harassment. Federal investigators ultimately traced the harassing messages to Caccamo’s online accounts and personal devices.</p> <p>Caccamo pleaded guilty to cyberstalking and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on December 14. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.</p> <p>G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and John V. Kelly, Acting Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura Fong and Jay V. Prabhu prosecuted the case.</p> <p>A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-327.</p> <p> </p> <p>Topic(s):<br /> Cyber Crime</p> <p>Component(s):<br /> USAO - Virginia, Eastern</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/new-york-man-pleads-guilty-cyberstalking" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/new-york-man-pleads-guilty-cyberstalking</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Tue, 11 Sep 2018 16:01:46 +0000 alan.smith 4851 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Federal Agent Sentenced on Bribery and Fraud Charges https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/08132018/former-federal-agent-sentenced-bribery-and-fraud-charges <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Federal Agent Sentenced on Bribery and Fraud Charges</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Gina Balaya - (313) 226-9758</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 08/14/2018 - 10:24</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-08-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, August 13, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5336/download?token=-546OxGQ" type="application/pdf; length=269626">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(263.31 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Clifton Divers, 49, former agent with Immigration and Customs of the Department of Homeland Security was sentenced today to 36 months after having pleaded guilty today to charges of  bribery and conspiracy to defraud the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider. </p> <p>According to court records, Divers was a Special Agent with the Detroit office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations.   Divers admitted to conspiring with attorney Charles Busse to impair, obstruct, and defeat the lawful function of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by dishonest means.  Divers also admitted to accepting a thing of value in return for acting in violation of his official duties as a law enforcement agent.  The crimes are alleged to have occurred between 2013 and 2015. </p> <p>“No one is above the law, particularly law enforcement officers in whom we place our trust to maintain the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and professionalism.  Citizens have the right to expect nothing less.  This office will ensure that entrusted to uphold these important tenets of our system of justice for their own personal gain will face sure and swift punishment for their misdeeds,” stated United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.  “I commend the dedication and commitment of the agencies involved in conducting a comprehensive criminal investigation into corruption activities that targeted the federal immigration system.”</p> <p>DHS-OIG Special Agent in Charge John Tiano stated, “Let this sentence stand as an example that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), is relentlessly committed to eliminating corruption within the department.  The DHS OIG will never allow corrupt greed driven individuals to work alongside the proud honest men and women of this department, who risk their lives every day to protect our national security and keep this country safe.”</p> <p>ICE Office of Professional Responsibility Special Agent in Charge, Keith Barwick stated, “Clifton Divers committed an egregious breach of the trust placed in DHS employees by the American people. While his actions are atypical of the dedication and integrity demonstrated by the vast majority of DHS employees, this sentence should send a message about the serious consequences facing those who exploit their positions and violate the law. The ICE Office of Professional Responsibility and the DHS Office of Inspector General will continue to aggressively investigate corruption and seek to prosecute perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law."</p> <p>William J. Hannah, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General’s Chicago Field Office. “The foundation of law enforcement is the integrity of its officers.  Agents who fail to uphold those values, like Clifton Divers, will be held accountable for their actions,” said</p> <p>Federal Bureau of Investigations Special Agent in Charge Timothy R. Slater, stated:</p> <p> The investigation was conducted by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Office of Professional Responsibility.    The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison, and former Assistant United States Attorney, Bruce C. Judge.</p> <p>Contact: Gina Balaya - (313) 226-9758<br /><a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao/mie/index.html">www.justice.gov/usao/mie/index.html</a></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao/mie/index.html" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">http://www.justice.gov/usao/mie/index.html</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 14:24:06 +0000 alan.smith 4787 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Commemorates National Whistleblower Protection Day https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/07302018/dhs-oig-commemorates-national-whistleblower-protection-day <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Commemorates National Whistleblower Protection Day</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 07/30/2018 - 13:11</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-07-30T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, July 30, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5282/download?token=n9CY0Lkn" type="application/pdf; length=91479">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(89.33 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-share-this-page field--type-social-media field--label-hidden field__item"><div class="block block-social-media block-social-sharing-block"> <div class="social-media-sharing"> <ul class=""> <li> <a target="_blank" class="facebook-share share" href="http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases" title="Facebook"> <img alt="Facebook" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/facebook_share.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="linkedin share" href="http://www.linkedin.com/shareArticle?mini=true&amp;url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;title=Press Releases&amp;source=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Linkedin"> <img alt="Linkedin" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/linkedin.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a target="_blank" class="twitter share" href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml&amp;status=Press Releases+https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Twitter"> <img alt="Twitter" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/twitter.svg"> </a> </li> <li> <a class="email share" href="mailto:?subject=Press Releases&amp;body=Check out this site https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/rss.xml" title="Email"> <img alt="Email" src="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/modules/contrib/social_media/icons/email.svg"> </a> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Today, agencies across the federal government are commemorating National Whistleblower Protection Day. This day, rooted in the foundation of American history, serves to memorialize our forefathers who unanimously passed America's first Whistleblower Protection Law in 1778. That action still stands today as a testament to the importance of whistleblowing and holding our government honest, efficient and accountable.</p> <p>The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) relies on whistleblowers to report waste, fraud, and abuse in DHS programs and operations. DHS OIG’s Whistleblower Protection Unit, responsible for handling all allegations of whistleblower retaliation filed with the OIG, received over 150 complaints of retaliation last fiscal year. OIG also has a Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman (WPO), responsible for educating and advising all DHS employees about whistleblower protection rights and remedies.</p> <p>“Courageous individuals who choose to ‘blow the whistle’ are essential to making sure our government holds true to the mission of protecting funds on behalf of the American taxpayer,” said Acting Inspector General John Kelly. “DHS personnel at the highest levels of leadership value the unique contributions of whistleblowers.”</p> <p>Individuals who are aware of fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of DHS resources are encouraged to contact OIG via OIG’s Hotline or by calling (800) 323-8603. Whistleblowers can choose to remain anonymous when reporting to the OIG and the OIG Whistleblower Protection Coordinator is always available to provide general information to DHS employees and contractors on whistleblower rights and protections.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Mon, 30 Jul 2018 17:11:38 +0000 alan.smith 4756 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Staten Island Resident Pleads Guilty to Disaster Relief Fraud https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/07252018/staten-island-resident-pleads-guilty-disaster-relief-fraud <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Staten Island Resident Pleads Guilty to Disaster Relief Fraud</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>DOJ</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/26/2018 - 08:23</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-07-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, July 25, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5259/download?token=mH8agfT0" type="application/pdf; length=66784">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(65.22 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>Defendant Fraudulently Obtained More Than $750,000 from Relief Programs Intended for New York City Residents Displaced by Hurricane Sandy</strong></p> <p>Earlier today, Nagwa Elsilimy pleaded guilty at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn to disaster relief fraud in connection with obtaining more than $750,000 in disaster relief from New York City’s Build It Back program and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Today’s proceeding took place before United States District Judge Raymond J. Dearie.</p> <p>Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Christina Scaringi, Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General (HUD OIG); Mark Tasky, Special Agent-in-Charge, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Washington Field Office (DHS OIG); and Mark G. Peters, Commissioner, New York City Department of Investigation, announced the guilty plea.</p> <p>According to court filings and facts presented during the guilty plea proceeding, in the days and months following Hurricane Sandy, which struck New York and New Jersey on October 29, 2012, Elsilimy obtained and attempted to obtain federal funds appropriated for Sandy disaster relief by submitting material misrepresentations in her applications for relief.  Specifically, Elsilimy misrepresented that a home in Staten Island, which her family had abandoned months before the storm, was her primary residence at the time the hurricane devastated parts of New York and New Jersey.  In fact, she had been residing at a different address since at least March 2012.  Evidence obtained in the investigation established that Elsilimy fraudulently obtained federal and city aid totaling more than $750,000.</p> <p>When sentenced, Elsilimy faces up to 30 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $1,500,000.</p> <p>The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Section.  Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Losey Macchiaverna is in charge of the prosecution.</p> <p>The Defendant:</p> <p>NAGWA ELSILIMY<br />  Age:  60<br />  Staten Island, NY</p> <p>E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-563</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/staten-island-resident-pleads-guilty-disaster-relief-fraud" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/staten-island-resident-pleads-guilty-disaster-relief-fraud</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Thu, 26 Jul 2018 12:23:06 +0000 alan.smith 4737 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Cabinet Secretary Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Fire Department Funds https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/06212018/former-cabinet-secretary-pleads-guilty-embezzling-fire-department <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Cabinet Secretary Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Fire Department Funds</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>DOJ</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 06/21/2018 - 12:04</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-06-21T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, June 21, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5216/download?token=AKZKWZML" type="application/pdf; length=251545">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(245.65 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>He stole over $178,790 between 2013 and 2016 from Teays Valley Fire Department</p> <p>In Separate Embezzlement Scheme Wife Embezzles over $75,000 from the Same Fire Department</p> <p>HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Hurricane man and former West Virginia Cabinet Secretary pled guilty today to embezzling $178,790 from the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department, as well as to a related tax crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Clifford Keith Gwinn, 64, formerly the Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance, faces up to 15 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release and a $200 special assessment when he is sentenced on September 17, 2018.  He has agreed to pay restitution to the Fire Department in the amount of  $178,790 and to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $68,281.  U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations.</p> <p>“Egregious criminal conduct,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “To steal from our first responders, those that save our lives and protect our homes, for personal greed is beyond comprehension.  It’s disappointing to say the least that a former public official serving at the highest levels of West Virginia state government would steal from first responders, the very folks who would run into danger to save him.  It’s tragic.  My team stands ready to aggressively prosecute elected officials who violate the basic public trust of honest service.”</p> <p>Gwinn admitted that as Vice President and fiscal officer of the Fire Department, he was in charge of the financial affairs of the Fire Department and exercised significant control over the Fire Department’s finances.  He admitted that his duties included reporting income and expenditures to the Fire Department, preparing and submitting taxes for the Fire Department, and assisting with applications and reimbursements for federal grants, among other duties.   He further admitted that he, without authorization from the Fire Department, opened a Fire Department bank account where only he had signature authority, transferred funds into that account without the knowledge or authorization from the Fire Department, ensured certain health care insurance company reimbursements were deposited into that account, and wrote himself checks and checks to cash out of that account, which he then typically cashed.  He admitted that he further instructed the Fire Department’s Treasurer to write him checks from other Fire Department bank accounts and further misrepresented the amount of bank account balances to the Fire Department officers and board members.  He also admitted that he structured withdrawals out of the Fire Department’s accounts in series of transactions below $10,000, to prevent the banks from filing Currency Transaction Reports.  While he admitted that he systematically deposited cash into Fire Department bank accounts, his overall withdrawals and payments received significantly overwhelmed the amount of any deposits.   He also admitted that he had no authorization to write himself checks or receive and cash checks from the Fire Department, and was not entitled to any compensation.</p> <p>During the period from 2013 through 2016 that Gwinn embezzled $178,790 in Fire Department funds, the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department received grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. These grants allowed the Fire Department to pay firefighters and to purchase and maintain equipment.</p> <p>Furthermore, Gwinn admitted that that while he was Vice President and fiscal officer for the Fire Department, the Fire Department withheld taxes from its employee’s paychecks, including federal income taxes, Medicare, and social security taxes, together known as payroll taxes.  He admitted that he knew that he had the corporate responsibility to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over the Fire Department’s payroll taxes.  Gwinn admitted that from October 31, 2015 through April 30, 2017, while Gwinn was a responsible person for payroll taxes, Fire Department failed to account for and pay over approximately $61,421.31 in payroll taxes.</p> <p>Gwinn further admitted that when he filed his personal income tax returns with the IRS, those returns were false because they failed to account for the funds he had embezzled from the Fire Department.</p> <p>In a related prosecution, but separate embezzlement scheme, Gwinn’s wife, Kathy Sue Gwinn, 52, was sentenced yesterday for embezzling over $75,000 from the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department.   Kathy Gwinn was ordered to jail for a weekend a month for five months, ten months home confinement, and 3 years supervised release, plus probation.</p> <p>Gwinn formerly served as the Treasurer of the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department. As Treasurer, she generated payroll checks for firefighters and signed the payroll checks on a Fire Department bank account. Gwinn volunteered for the Fire Department, and had no authority to write herself checks, nor was she entitled to wages, salary, or compensation for her role as Treasurer. Beginning in October 2014, and continuing through March 2017, she printed and wrote herself unauthorized checks from the Fire Department’s payroll account, noting on the memo line of the checks that the checks were for payroll, overtime, or tax preparation. Gwinn moved money from one fire department bank account into the bank account primarily used for payroll, and when she transferred those funds, she inflated the amount of the transfer to include enough to cover the unauthorized checks she planned to write to herself. Over the course of her scheme, she embezzled $75,356.70.  Gwinn was ordered to pay this amount in restitution.</p> <p>During the period Gwinn embezzled funds, the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department received grants from FEMA, an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. These grants allowed the fire department to pay firefighters and to purchase and maintain equipment.</p> <p>Assistant United States Attorney Meredith George Thomas was in charge of the prosecutions. United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearings.<br />  </p> <p>U.S. Attorney Brandon J. Fremin, who also serves as the Executive Director of the National Center for Disaster Fraud, announced today that LISA ELIZABETH CORONA, 37, of Denham Springs, Louisiana, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury charging her with submitting false claims to the United States and theft of $30,644 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds in relation to the 2016 flooding that affected numerous local areas, to include Livingston Parish.</p> <p>Following the 2016 flooding that affected 12 parishes in south Louisiana, FEMA funds were available to people who had emergency needs for food, shelter, and clothing because of the flood.  In order to qualify for assistance based on home ownership, an individual must have, among other things, resided in the home at the time of the storm.</p> <p>According to the indictment, CORONA is alleged to have submitted a false application for FEMA assistance for a Denham Springs residence where she did not reside at the time of the August 2016 flooding.  In her application, she is also alleged to have lied in asserting that, because of the damage to the Denham Springs residence, she had emergency needs for food, clothing, and shelter.</p> <p>“Federal disaster assistance funds are designated for the aid of individuals affected by a disaster, and with the intent to return these individuals to the lives they lived before being victimized by disasters,” said U.S. Attorney Fremin.  “The theft of these funds by criminals results in losses not only to the federal government, but also to actual disaster victims.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, together with the National Center for Disaster Fraud and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, will continue diligent efforts to prosecute those who seek to steal disaster assistance funds and impair the Federal Government’s ability to assist true victims of a disaster.”</p> <p>Special Agent in Charge David Green, Houston Field Office, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, stated, “Working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the OIG will continue our commitment to identify and aggressively investigate all allegations of fraud to protect the integrity of FEMA programs funded by the taxpayer.   Theft of funds from DHS programs intended to help those in need will not be tolerated.”</p> <p>Members of the public who suspect fraud involving disaster relief efforts, or believe they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at (866) 720-5721.  The telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can also fax information to the Center at (225) 334-4707, or email it to <a href="mailto:disaster@leo.gov(link">disaster@leo.gov(link</a> sends e-mail).  Learn more about the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud at <a href="http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud" target="_blank">http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud</a>.</p> <p>This matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul L. Pugliese.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdwv/pr/former-cabinet-secretary-pleads-guilty-embezzling-fire-department-funds" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdwv/pr/former-cabinet-secretary-pleads-guilty-embezzling-fire-department-funds</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Thu, 21 Jun 2018 16:04:23 +0000 alan.smith 4667 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov St. Thomas Man Indicted for Disaster Fraud and Wire Fraud Stemming From Theft of FEMA Relief Money https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/06132018/st-thomas-man-indicted-disaster-fraud-and-wire-fraud-stemming-theft-fema-relief-money <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">St. Thomas Man Indicted for Disaster Fraud and Wire Fraud Stemming From Theft of FEMA Relief Money</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>DOJ</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 07/24/2018 - 11:45</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-06-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, June 13, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5250/download?token=CaAnpGn0" type="application/pdf; length=46058">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(44.98 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>St. Thomas, USVI – </strong>United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert for the District of the Virgin Islands announced today that Teron Stevens, 27, of St. Thomas, was indicted on Friday, June 8, 2018, by a federal grand jury charging him with one count of Disaster Fraud and one count of Wire Fraud, in relation to Hurricane Irma Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief funds.</p> <p>According to the indictment, in September of 2017, Stevens applied to FEMA for disaster relief by falsely claiming to be a homeowner of a property damaged by Hurricane Irma. As a result, Stevens received over $27,000 in FEMA assistance to which he was not entitled. If convicted, Stevens faces a maximum sentence of not more than 30 years in prison, and a fine of up to $1,000,000.</p> <p>On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma struck the United States Virgin Islands. In response, on September 7, 2017, President Donald J. Trump issued a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq. (the "Stafford Act"), for the Virgin Islands. As a result of this declaration, FEMA was authorized to provide assistance to affected residents of St. Thomas and St. John through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program.</p> <p>This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Disaster Fraud Task Force, which was announced in October 2017. Members of the public who suspect fraud involving disaster relief efforts, or believe they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at (866) 720-5721. The telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also fax information to the Center at (225) 334-4707, or email it to <a href="mailto:disaster@leo.gov">disaster@leo.gov</a>. Learn more about the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud at <a href="http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud">http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud</a>.</p> <p>This case is being investigated by the United States Department of Homeland Security-Office of the Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Meredith J. Edwards and Mervin A. Bourne, Jr.</p> <p>United States Attorney Shappert reminds the public that an indictment is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-vi/pr/st-thomas-man-indicted-disaster-fraud-and-wire-fraud-stemming-theft-fema-relief-money" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-vi/pr/st-thomas-man-indicted-disaster-fraud-and-wire-fraud-stemming-theft-fema-relief-money</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> </div> Tue, 24 Jul 2018 15:45:41 +0000 alan.smith 4726 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Denham Springs Woman Indicted for Theft of Disaster Assistance Funds https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/06082018/denham-springs-woman-indicted-theft-disaster-assistance-funds <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Denham Springs Woman Indicted for Theft of Disaster Assistance Funds</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>DOJ</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 07/24/2018 - 11:50</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-06-08T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, June 8, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5254/download?token=7Dt1epiI" type="application/pdf; length=213591">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(208.58 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>U.S. Attorney Brandon J. Fremin, who also serves as the Executive Director of the National Center for Disaster Fraud, announced today that LISA ELIZABETH CORONA, 37, of Denham Springs, Louisiana, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury charging her with submitting false claims to the United States and theft of $30,644 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds in relation to the 2016 flooding that affected numerous local areas, to include Livingston Parish.</p> <p>Following the 2016 flooding that affected 12 parishes in south Louisiana, FEMA funds were available to people who had emergency needs for food, shelter, and clothing because of the flood.  In order to qualify for assistance based on home ownership, an individual must have, among other things, resided in the home at the time of the storm.</p> <p>According to the indictment, CORONA is alleged to have submitted a false application for FEMA assistance for a Denham Springs residence where she did not reside at the time of the August 2016 flooding.  In her application, she is also alleged to have lied in asserting that, because of the damage to the Denham Springs residence, she had emergency needs for food, clothing, and shelter.</p> <p>“Federal disaster assistance funds are designated for the aid of individuals affected by a disaster, and with the intent to return these individuals to the lives they lived before being victimized by disasters,” said U.S. Attorney Fremin.  “The theft of these funds by criminals results in losses not only to the federal government, but also to actual disaster victims.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, together with the National Center for Disaster Fraud and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, will continue diligent efforts to prosecute those who seek to steal disaster assistance funds and impair the Federal Government’s ability to assist true victims of a disaster.”</p> <p>Special Agent in Charge David Green, Houston Field Office, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, stated, “Working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the OIG will continue our commitment to identify and aggressively investigate all allegations of fraud to protect the integrity of FEMA programs funded by the taxpayer.   Theft of funds from DHS programs intended to help those in need will not be tolerated.”</p> <p>Members of the public who suspect fraud involving disaster relief efforts, or believe they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at (866) 720-5721.  The telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can also fax information to the Center at (225) 334-4707, or email it to <a>disaster@leo.gov<span><span> (link sends e-mail)</span></span></a>.  Learn more about the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud at <a href="http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud" target="_blank">http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud</a>.</p> <p>This matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul L. Pugliese.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdla/pr/denham-springs-woman-indicted-theft-disaster-assistance-funds" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdla/pr/denham-springs-woman-indicted-theft-disaster-assistance-funds</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> </div> Tue, 24 Jul 2018 15:50:39 +0000 alan.smith 4731 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Two Customs And Border Protection Officers Indicted, Another Pleads Guilty To Assaults On Fellow Officers At Newark Airport https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/06052018/two-customs-and-border-protection-officers-indicted-another <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Two Customs And Border Protection Officers Indicted, Another Pleads Guilty To Assaults On Fellow Officers At Newark Airport</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>DOJ</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 06/06/2018 - 13:20</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-06-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, June 5, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5201/download?token=-ciJr-j7" type="application/pdf; length=228235">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(222.89 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>NEWARK, N.J. – Two Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers were indicted and another pleaded guilty for their roles in the assaults of two fellow CBP officers at Newark Liberty International Airport, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.</p> <p>Parmenio I. Perez, 40, of Hawthorne, New Jersey, and Michael A. Papagni, 32, of Staten Island, New York, were charged by indictment today with two counts of forcibly assaulting, impeding, intimidating, and interfering with two CBP officers, identified in court documents as “Victim One” and “Victim Two,” while the victims were engaged in their duties as CBP officers. They will be arraigned at a later date.</p> <p>Tito Catota, 38, of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, pleaded guilty June 4, 2018, before Senior U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden in Newark federal court to an information charging him with two counts of forcibly assaulting, impeding, intimidating, and interfering with Victim One and Victim Two while they were engaged in their duties as CBP officers. All three defendants were originally arrested and charged by complaint in September 2017.</p> <p>According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:</p> <p>Catota, Perez, and Papagni were employed as CBP officers at Newark Liberty International Airport and were assigned to the Passenger Enforcement Rover Team (PERT). PERT was a CBP specialized unit that identified and intercepted passengers attempting to bring contraband into the United States or who might be associated with terrorist activities. PERT maintained an office on the second floor of Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport.</p> <p>Victim One was assigned to PERT in October 2016. Within the first two weeks that Victim One worked in PERT, Papagni allegedly advised Victim One that the PERT office table was known as the “rape table” and threatened the victim that he would get him on it.</p> <p>On Jan. 10, 2017, an individual identified in court documents as “CBPO 2” shut off the lights in the PERT office. Papagni, Catota, and another officer identified as “CBPO 3” grabbed Victim One’s arms and legs and threw him on top of the PERT office table. While Papagni, Catota, and CBPO 3 held him down, Perez got on top of Victim One’s mid-section and grinded his body up and down against Victim One’s genitals through the victim’s clothing in a motion simulating a sex act. Victim One unsuccessfully attempted to push Perez off his body. When Perez got off of Victim One, Papagni, Catota, and CBPO 3 released him.</p> <p>On Nov. 30, 2016, Victim Two, who was assigned to the Port Director staff, went to the PERT office to speak to CBPO 1. A few minutes later, an officer identified as “CBPO 4” locked one of the doors to the office. Catota, Papagni, and Perez then grabbed Victim Two and threw him on his side on the PERT office table. Perez then allegedly simulated a sex act on Victim 2’s leg. Victim Two struggled to get free until Catota, Papagni, and Perez eventually released him.</p> <p>At his plea hearing, Catota admitted that he and other CBP officers referred to the tables in the PERT office as the “rape table.” Catota also admitted helping grab Victim One and Victim Two, throwing them on the tables, and holding them down while they were attacked. In addition, Catota also admitted that he and other CBP officers discussed the assaults on the Whatsapp chat message service. For instance, on Dec. 7, 2016, Catota stated that another CBP officer had “walked out on the rape” when referring to the assault of Victim Two.</p> <p> The charges against Perez, Papagni, and Catota each carry a maximum potential penalty of eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.</p> <p>The charges and allegations against Perez and Papagni are merely accusations, and they are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.</p> <p>U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, New York Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark Tasky and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Professional Responsibility, New York Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Vance Kuhner, with the investigation leading to the indictment and guilty plea.</p> <p>The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Leslie Faye Schwartz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division, and Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division in Newark.</p> <p>Catota: Alan Zegas Esq., Chatham, New Jersey<br />  Papagni: Chad Seigel Esq., New York<br />  Perez: Lorraine Gauli-Rufo, Verona, New Jersey</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/two-customs-and-border-protection-officers-indicted-another-pleads-guilty-assaults-fellow" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/two-customs-and-border-protection-officers-indicted-another-pleads-guilty-assaults-fellow</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Wed, 06 Jun 2018 17:20:34 +0000 alan.smith 4638 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Son of House-Stealing Scheme Mastermind Sentenced to 119 Months in Federal Prison https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/4628 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Son of House-Stealing Scheme Mastermind Sentenced to 119 Months in Federal Prison</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Information Contact</strong></p> <p>DOJ</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 06/05/2018 - 11:40</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-06-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, June 5, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5195/download?token=48VQn1K3" type="application/pdf; length=231612">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(226.18 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>PHILADELPHIA – Terrell Hampton who, along with his father and several other family members, defrauded the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and innocent owners and purchasers of Philadelphia real estate, was sentenced to 119 months in prison today, announced U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain.</p> <p>Hampton, 37, along with his father Kenneth and other family members, stole vacant homes in Philadelphia that belonged to people who could not afford to defend their properties. Kenneth Hampton was convicted and sentenced to 200 months in prison in November.</p> <p>At the direction of his father, who was in prison at the time, Terrell looked for vacant properties to target, created and filed fraudulent deeds, sought buyers for the stolen properties, and kept Kenneth apprised of scheme developments. They communicated through phone calls, emails, and letters, as well as through Kenneth’s fiancée, co-conspirator Roxanne Mason.</p> <p>The participants in the scheme moved into the stolen properties under the cover of fake leases that purported to grant them the right to occupancy.  They then found ways to profit from the stolen properties, either by selling the homes to good faith purchasers, by saddling them with debt, or by taking advantage of government programs designed to aid legitimate homeowners.                                                                                    </p> <p> “This defendant stole from people who didn’t have the resources to fight back, often resulting in victim battling against victim, homeowner against good faith purchaser,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “He lived up to the low example set by his father, and I am proud that the talented case team has put both of them behind bars.”</p> <p>The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security - Office of the Inspector General, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Inspector General, City of Philadelphia.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul G. Shapiro and Sarah M. Wolfe.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-edpa/pr/son-house-stealing-scheme-mastermind-sentenced-119-months-federal-prison" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-edpa/pr/son-house-stealing-scheme-mastermind-sentenced-119-months-federal-prison</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Tue, 05 Jun 2018 15:40:16 +0000 alan.smith 4628 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov CEO Gets More Than 19 Years for $18 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/06052018/ceo-gets-more-19-years-18-million-health-care-fraud-scheme <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">CEO Gets More Than 19 Years for $18 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Information Contact</strong></p> <p>DOJ</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 06/05/2018 - 11:48</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-06-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, June 5, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5200/download?token=GTbTuOHp" type="application/pdf; length=196755">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(192.14 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>HOUSTON – The CEO of Team Work Ready (TWR) has received a significant federal sentence for conspiracy, health care fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along with Special Agent in Charge Christopher Cave of the U.S. Postal Service - Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG), Special Agent in Charge Steven Grell of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) – OIG, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ramsey Covington of IRS-Criminal Investigation (CI), Special Agent in Charge James Werner of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – OIG and Special Agent in Charge David J. Green of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – OIG.</p> <p>A federal jury convicted Jeffrey Eugene Rose Sr., 56, along with his wife - chief financial officer (CFO) Pamela Annette Rose, 56 - and the clinic’s vice president of operations Frankie Lee Sanders, 56, following 14 hours of deliberation on Oct. 17, 2016.</p> <p>Today, U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr., who presided over the trial, sentenced Rose to 233 months in federal prison and ordered him to pay $14,537548.54 in restitution to the DOL, Office of Worker’s Compensation Program (OWCP) which administered the Federal Employees Compensation Act health care benefit program known as FECA. In arriving at the sentence, Judge Werlein considered the seriousness of the offense and the $18,354,971 in fraudulent claims submitted from Rose’s 10 TWR clinics located in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Memphis and Alabama, including clinics in Houston, San Antonio, and McAllen. Rose will also be required to serve three years supervised release upon completion of the prison term.</p> <p>“The sentence imposed today serves as a clear deterrent to those engaging in fraud against federal benefit programs,” said Cave. “USPS-OIG, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively pursue these investigations and exhaust all efforts in uncovering these fraud schemes.”</p> <p>Pamela Rose and Sanders were previously sentenced July 21, 2017, to 120 and 300 months, respectively.</p> <p>During the trial, the jury heard testimony from 38 witnesses including former patients of TWR clinics, former employees of TWR clinics, various experts and special agents from USPS-OIG and IRS-CI. According to testimony, TWR submitted millions in false and fraudulent claims for physical therapy services.</p> <p>“Jeffrey Rose orchestrated a fraudulent scheme to submit more than $18 million in claims for services never provided to injured federal workers to DOL-OWCP using the health care clinics he owned in multiple states,” said Grell. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect the integrity of department programs and safeguard taxpayer money.”</p> <p>“Our system of health care is founded on the trust of the public in its health care professionals and the outstanding services they provide. The health care fraud and money laundering activities committed by Jeffrey Rose and his co-conspirators harms all Americans, as we all have to pay our fair share for government services and protections that we enjoy,” said Covington. “IRS-CI agents along with our law enforcement partners remain committed to ending healthcare fraud conspiracies and seeking justice for those involved in these crimes.”</p> <p>Patients testified at trial that they did not receive the one-on-one physical therapy services for which DOL-OWCP paid under FECA. Rather, they stated they exercised independently on treadmills, bicycles, elliptical machines and with the Nintendo Wii game as well as other pieces of exercise equipment. One patient described an electronic massage chair in the San Antonio clinic, while another patient testified that unlicensed staff told him to do exercises on both of his arms, although he only injured his left elbow and to use the electronic massage chair and the treadmill for his injury. Similarly, a patient from Houston testified that she was asked to do some exercises that had nothing to do with her carpal tunnel wrist injury, specifically walking on a treadmill.</p> <p>Testimony from former TWR employees revealed that the Houston clinic had as many as 30 – 60 patients a day and that employees did not know what the patients were doing in the main treatment area because they were busy in the back doing massages, electrical stimulation treatments and ultrasound treatments. Patients at the New Orleans clinic were instructed to go back to the therapy room to begin doing exercises by themselves. Employees testified that they did not perform all the one-on-one services documented on patient treatment notes and admitted they frequently completed the patient treatment notes at the end of the day by following a “cheat sheet” and asking each other and the patients what activities had been done. Various individuals described the treatment as “like a gym.”</p> <p>Undercover federal agents posed as patients at two of the TWR clinics. The jury watched portions of covertly made recordings that supported the employee and patient testimony about clinic activities. The jury also heard several recordings a TWR employee made demonstrating how  the defendants tried to coerce her into ordering medically unnecessary treatment so the clinics could profit.</p> <p>As explained during the trial by DOL-OWCP’s chief fiscal officer, FECA does not pay for professional services performed by unlicensed aides. Under FECA rules, a chiropractor can only be paid when they treat spinal subluxation or when they personally perform physical therapy under the direction of, and as prescribed by, a medical doctor. They also cannot direct unlicensed individuals to perform skilled physical therapy services. Specifically, in relation to this case, TWR falsely and fraudulently submitted claims for skilled one-on-one physical therapy services provided by a licensed chiropractor when, in reality, the services were not provided as described.</p> <p>Rose and his wife were also convicted of money laundering after another TWR employee testified about the pair moving $700,000 out of TWR accounts to hide it from the federal government in July 2013, while federal agents executed search warrants at multiple TWR locations.</p> <p>Rose has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.</p> <p>USPS - OIG, DOL - OIG, IRS - CI, Department of Veterans Affairs - OIG, and Department of Homeland Security – OIG conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSA) Julie Redlinger and Daniel Rodriguez prosecuted the case. AUSA Kristine Rollinson handled the forfeiture matters.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/ceo-gets-more-19-years-18-million-health-care-fraud-scheme" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/ceo-gets-more-19-years-18-million-health-care-fraud-scheme</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Tue, 05 Jun 2018 15:48:14 +0000 alan.smith 4635 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Building on 40 Years of Excellence in Independent Oversight https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/4534 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Building on 40 Years of Excellence in Independent Oversight</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Mark Jones<br /> Executive Director<br /> (202) 292-2600</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:21</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-05-08T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, May 8, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5151/download?token=NB-IqxYZ" type="application/pdf; length=192185">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(187.68 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p> </p> <p>On Wednesday, July 11, 2018, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) will host an all-day conference to educate the public about the impact of the Inspector General Act of 1978 and the work of federal Inspectors General in the 40 years since passage of the Act. Discussion will feature distinguished speakers including Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and other Members of Congress, Inspectors General, academics, and others in the oversight community.</p> <p>The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, established 73 independent Offices of Inspector General (OIG) within federal agencies to provide oversight and to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness throughout the federal government. Today, over 14,000 OIG employees work to detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct in federal programs and personnel. This work has resulted in recommendations for hundreds of billions of dollars of potential savings, tens of thousands of successful prosecutions, and transformational government reforms. For example, the <a href="/sites/default/files/assets/2017/OIG-17-112-Sep17.pdf">Department of Homeland Security OIG revealed</a> critical security vulnerabilities in TSA’s airport security screenings which resulted in significant changes to TSA operations, training, and policy; <a href="https://www.gsaig.gov/sites/default/files/news/Final%20Management%20Deficiency%20Report_WRC_2012%20April%202%20%28508%20compliant%29.pdf" target="_blank">a review by the General Services Administration OIG</a> transformed the way federal agencies plan and host conferences and enhanced stewardship of tax dollars; and a <a href="https://www.uspsoig.gov/document/management-advisory-workersÔÇÖ-compensation-compound-drug-costs" target="_blank">joint review by the U.S. Postal Service OIG and the Department of Labor OIG</a> resulted in regulation of compound drug prescriptions in workers compensation claims, potentially protecting the government from billions of dollars in future fraud. While not all of the audits, inspections, or investigations conducted by the OIGs make headlines, all of their work makes a difference.</p> <p>"Inspectors General have had a profound impact on the U.S. government. Their independent oversight brings to bear incontrovertible improvement in federal programs, and continues to reveal instances of fraud, waste, abuse, and misconduct. This year, we will commemorate all that we have accomplished, and look forward to the future of continued stewardship and accountability in the federal government," stated CIGIE Chair Michael Horowitz, who is also the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice.</p> <p>Visit our webpage at <a href="https://www.ignet.gov/content/2018-commemoration" target="_blank">ignet.gov/2018-commemoration</a> to register for the event and view highlights of the IG community and additional press resources.</p> <p>For more information on the work of a specific OIG, please contact the press officer for the individual IG: <a href="https://www.ignet.gov/sites/default/files/files/point-of-contact.pdf" target="_blank">ignet.gov/sites/default/files/files/point-of-contact.pdf</a>.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/unity-of-effort" hreflang="en">Unity of Effort</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Tue, 08 May 2018 16:21:10 +0000 alan.smith 4534 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud Scheme https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/04252018/homeland-security-investigations-special-agent-pleads-guilty-wire <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud Scheme</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 04/25/2018 - 12:10</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-04-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, April 25, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5128/download?token=ZVwWeNMG" type="application/pdf; length=211627">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(206.67 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Special Agent pleaded guilty today to devising a wire fraud scheme that defrauded SunTrust Mortgage and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) of over $40,000, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.</p> <p>Shauna Kay N. Sutherland, 37, of Corpus Christi, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. of the Southern District of Florida. </p> <p>According to admissions in the plea agreement, Sutherland defrauded SunTrust Mortgage and Freddie Mac into allowing a short sale of her property in Gainesville, Georgia, to a family friend who acted as a straw purchaser.  Sutherland falsely represented that there were no hidden agreements and requested forgiveness of over $40,000 owed on the mortgage due to her purported financial hardship.  Based on those material representations, SunTrust Mortgage and Freddie Mac accepted the short sale offer, with the family friend “purchasing” the property for approximately $34,000, in exchange for SunTrust Mortgage and Freddie Mac releasing Sutherland from her outstanding debt.  Freddie Mac, which had by then purchased the mortgage, calculated a total loss of more than $42,000 as a result of this transaction. </p> <p>In reality, however, Sutherland admitted that pursuant to the secret agreement with her family friend, Sutherland herself provided the purchase money for the short sale using funds wired to her by her mother.  Sutherland remained the de facto owner of the property, collected rent from tenants and paid for maintenance.  Sutherland adopted the straw purchaser’s identity to communicate by email about the property and signed that person’s signature on relevant documents.  She also used the straw purchaser’s bank account as a conduit for financial transactions related to the property.  Sutherland, through the straw purchaser, later sold the property in 2013 and used the proceeds to buy another property in Florida.</p> <p>Sutherland will be sentenced on June 29 before U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. of the Southern District of Florida.  </p> <p>ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the FBI investigated the case with assistance provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility.  Trial Attorneys Luke Cass and Simon J. Cataldo of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/homeland-security-investigations-special-agent-pleads-guilty-wire-fraud-scheme" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/homeland-security-investigations-special-agent-pleads-guilty-wire-fraud-scheme</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" hreflang="en">ICE</a></div> </div> Wed, 25 Apr 2018 16:10:08 +0000 alan.smith 4515 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Camden, New Jersey, Woman Admits Defrauding FEMA after Natural Disasters https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/4424 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Camden, New Jersey, Woman Admits Defrauding FEMA after Natural Disasters</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Information Contact</strong></p> <p>DOJ</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 03/21/2018 - 14:45</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-03-21T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, March 21, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5099/download?token=twZotCSJ" type="application/pdf; length=135138">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(131.97 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden woman today admitted defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) in 2014 after Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey in 2012, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.</p> <p>Shanyra Bennett 40, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle in Camden federal court to an information charging her with one count of Disaster Benefits Fraud.</p> <p>According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:</p> <p>When a natural disaster or federal emergency occurs in the United States, federal agencies, such as FEMA, provide relief and assistance to effected individuals and entities.  FEMA provides financial assistance by, among other things, helping effected individuals repair their property.</p> <p>Due to FEMA's vast size and the typically large number of victims resulting from a disaster, FEMA is frequently targeted in disaster fraud schemes by individuals or groups seeking benefits to which they are not entitled. They do this by submitting fraudulent applications to FEMA for among other things, repairs and rental assistance.</p> <p>In October 2012, various counties of southern New Jersey, including Camden County, sustained significant damage due to wind, rain, and flooding from Hurricane Sandy.</p> <p>On Oct. 30, 2012, then-President Obama signed a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the State of New Jersey, enabling eligible individuals to seek financial assistance from FEMA when displaced by the storms.</p> <p>Bennett admitted today that she applied for FEMA benefits in November 2012, requesting rental assistance, assistance to replace personal property that was damaged and assistance for transportation, as her car was damaged and not drivable.</p> <p>Bennett faxed FEMA documents claiming that she worked as a senior health aide, which required her to travel for work. She sent FEMA a fraudulent letter indicating that she had insurance through Mercury Indemnity Co. of America. At the time of the hurricane, Bennett did not have insurance with Mercury Indemnity. Bennett also submitted fraudulent invoices from a mechanic in Camden.</p> <p>Based on these false representations and fraudulent documents, on Dec. 10, 2012, FEMA electronically transferred $5,162 into Bennett’s bank account to replace her 2004 Dodge Durango, which she falsely reported destroyed by the hurricane.</p> <p>To support her claim for personal property assistance, Bennett faxed FEMA a letter purported to be on the letterhead of her employer, which indicated that she was a Certified Home Health Aid and that her position required a laptop to perform her job. She also faxed FEMA earning statements from a company in Camden for July 2013, August 2013, September 2013 and October 2013. At the time of the hurricane, Bennett was unemployed.</p> <p>As part of the application process for rental assistance, Bennett provided a fraudulent copy of a lease agreement for a house on South 41st Street, Camden, and fraudulent copies of rental receipt payments for June 2013 through November 2013. Bennett neither rented the property nor paid rent for use of the property.</p> <p>Based on Bennett’s false statements and representations, between December 2012 and September 2013, FEMA transferred $22,190 in disaster related funds through electronic fund transfers into Bennett’s bank account.</p> <p>Bennett admitted that she also defrauded FEMA in 2011, when Hurricane Irene struck the area. She admitted that between September 2011 and November 2012, based on her fraudulent claims and representations, she received approximately $30,200 in FEMA disaster related funds.</p> <p>The charge to which Bennett pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Bennett=s sentencing is scheduled for June 27, 2018.</p> <p>U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark Tasky, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.</p> <p>The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Division in Camden in the criminal case.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/camden-new-jersey-woman-admits-defrauding-fema-after-natural-disasters" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-nj/pr/camden-new-jersey-woman-admits-defrauding-fema-after-natural-disasters</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Wed, 21 Mar 2018 18:45:55 +0000 alan.smith 4424 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov United States Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to Prison for Theft of Firearm Parts and Unlawful Possession of Machinegun https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/02282018/united-states-border-patrol-agent-sentenced-prison-theft-firearm <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">United States Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to Prison for Theft of Firearm Parts and Unlawful Possession of Machinegun</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Information Contact</strong></p> <p>DOJ</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:28</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-02-28T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, February 28, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5017/download?token=5BWaKcp0" type="application/pdf; length=177909">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(173.74 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p> TUCSON, Ariz. – Yesterday, Jesus Manuel Franco, a  former United States Border Patrol Agent, 39, of Vail, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson, to 18 months’ imprisonment for theft of firearm parts and equipment valued at approximately $100,000 and for the unlawful possession and transfer of  two machinegun conversion devices.  Franco had been previously found guilty of these offenses after a jury trial.                 </p> <p>     The evidence at trial demonstrated that in 2014, Franco accepted a temporary assignment to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Armory in Harper’s Ferry, W. Va.   During a two-month period, Franco unlawfully transferred 47 boxes of firearm parts and equipment from the Armory to the Wilcox, Ariz. CBP Station without authorization and for personal use.  One of the boxes transferred by Franco contained two machine gun conversion devices that qualified under federal law as machineguns.  Franco also charged the government for shipping costs.</p> <p>     The investigation in this case was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General. The prosecution was handled by Jane L. Westby and Sarah B. Houston, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson.</p> <p> </p> <p>CASE NUMBER:            CR-16-00268-TUC-CKJ</p> <p>RELEASE NUMBER:    2018-19_Franco</p> <p># # #</p> <p> </p> <p>For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit <a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/">http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/</a></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-az/pr/united-states-border-patrol-agent-sentenced-prison-theft-firearm-parts-and-unlawful" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-az/pr/united-states-border-patrol-agent-sentenced-prison-theft-firearm-parts-and-unlawful</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Tue, 06 Mar 2018 17:28:19 +0000 alan.smith 4404 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov “Compound King” and Two Others Indicted in Multi-Million Dollar Conspiracy https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/02262018/compound-king-and-two-others-indicted-multi-million-dollar <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">“Compound King” and Two Others Indicted in Multi-Million Dollar Conspiracy</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Information Contact</strong></p> <p>DOJ</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 02/26/2018 - 12:49</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-02-26T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, February 26, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/5000/download?token=rrjbpXby" type="application/pdf; length=183801">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(179.49 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h2>Fugitive Sought</h2> <p>HOUSTON – A man and woman from Houston are set to appear in federal court on charges related to health care fraud and money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Law enforcement are searching for a third individual also indicted in the case.</p> <p>George Phillip Tompkins, 73, and Marene Kathryn Tompkins, 66, were taken into custody Thursday. They are expected in court for an arraignment and counsel determination hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena H. Palermo at 10:00 a.m. today.</p> <p>Authorities are still seeking a third defendant - Anoop Kumar Chaturvedi, 46, a legal permanent resident from India in connection with the charges. A warrant remains outstanding for his arrest. 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.</p> <p>The three are charged in a 17- count indictment that was returned Jan. 24, 2018, and unsealed Feb. 16, with violating the anti-kickback statute, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money.</p> <p>The Tompkins owned Piney Point Pharmacy on Fondren Road in Houston. The indictment alleges they conspired with Chaturvedi and others to induce the referral of compound gel and cream prescriptions to the pharmacy for dispensing and billing under health benefit programs, including the Federal Employees Compensation Act program (FECA).</p> <p>Beginning around September 2009 and continuing through approximately September 2016, the indictment alleges the trio engaged in health care fraud and wire fraud as well as illegal kickbacks. The pharmacy allegedly billed the Department of Labor (DOL) - who administered the FECA program - at least $23,392,281 for compound gel and cream medications dispensed pursuant to illegitimate prescriptions and the result of kickback payments. The DOL paid approximately $11,663,704 on the fraudulent claims. The indictment lists several dates when compound gels and creams were dispensed to hundreds of patients, ordered by the same physician. Chaturvedi allegedly distributed a standardized prescription order form and directed the number of mediation refills to be ordered. </p> <p>The indictment describes compounding as a practice of compounding and creating medications tailored to individual patient needs. George Tompkins was the pharmacist in charge and allegedly referred to himself as the “Compound King.” Marene Tompkins was identified as the pharmacy Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, while Chaturvedi owned several other businesses in the Houston area, according to the charges.</p> <p>“The indictment obtained today should send a clear message to healthcare providers that the government is vigilant and vigorously protecting federal benefits programs from corruption,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Cave of USPS-OIG , Southern Area Field Office. “The USPS-OIG, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate these types of cases in order to protect the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs and USPS from further fraud and abuse.”   </p> <p>If convicted of the money laundering conspiracy, they face up to 20 years in federal prison. Each also faces up to 10 years in prison for convictions of either conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and wire fraud as well as a maximum of five years for conspiracy to pay kickbacks. </p> <p>USPS-OIG, DOL-OIG, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Department of Veterans Affairs – OIG and Department of Homeland Security – OIG conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/compound-king-and-two-others-indicted-multi-million-dollar-conspiracy" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/compound-king-and-two-others-indicted-multi-million-dollar-conspiracy</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 26 Feb 2018 17:49:04 +0000 alan.smith 4382 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Sentenced To Prison For Accepting Bribes To Dismiss Indictment Against Colombian Narcotics https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/02092018/former-homeland-security-investigations-special-agent-sentenced <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Sentenced To Prison For Accepting Bribes To Dismiss Indictment Against Colombian Narcotics</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>CRM<br /> (202) 514-2007<br /> TTY (866) 544-5309</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 02/09/2018 - 11:41</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-02-09T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, February 9, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4976/download?token=0P02txl7" type="application/pdf; length=31177">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(30.45 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>WASHINGTON – A former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Special Agent was sentenced today to 36 months in prison for accepting bribes in exchange for orchestrating, through multiple misrepresentations to numerous government agencies, the dismissal of a drug trafficking indictment filed against a fugitive narcotics kingpin, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.<span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>            According to admissions in his plea agreement, Christopher V. Ciccione II, 52, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, accepted cash and other things of value and used his official position to cause a drug trafficking indictment against Colombian national Jose Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos to be dismissed.  Piedrahita and Colombian national Juan Carlos Velasco Cano met with Ciccione in Bogota, Colombia in December 2010, where they provided him with approximately $20,000 in cash, dinner, drinks and prostitutes.  In exchange, Ciccione disclosed the identities of confidential sources cooperating against Velasco three times,  made numerous misrepresentations to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and HSI management, and altered law enforcement records to represent to decision makers that Piedrahita was a “former” suspect of a closed investigation, rather than a “current” subject; that Piedrahita was “never positively identified” during that investigation; and that his case should be dismissed because no one could obtain probable cause to “supersede another indictment.”  Ciccone also falsified the concurrence of several other federal agents and attempted to parole Piedrahita into the United States.  <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Christopher Ciccione abused his law enforcement authority for personal profit,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan.  “His actions not only comprised an ongoing investigation and nearly allowed a dangerous drug kingpin to escape justice, but they also betrayed the public trust placed in him to carry out his sworn duties with integrity.  Today’s sentence demonstrates the hard work of our federal law enforcement partners to bring criminals to justice—no matter who they are.” <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>            Ciccione was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. of the Southern District of Florida.  Velasco was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Jan. 17.  Piedrahita is currently incarcerated in the Republic of Colombia.  <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Piedrahita as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act on May 3, 2016. <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility, Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the FBI investigated the case.  The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and Office of the Judicial Attaché in Colombia and the Drug Enforcement Administration provided valuable assistance to the investigation.  The Colombian Attorney General’s Office also provided invaluable support. Trial Attorneys Luke Cass and Jennifer A. Clarke of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.</span></span></p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <p><em><span><span># # #</span></span></em></p> <p><em><span><span> </span></span></em></p> <p><span><span>18-157</span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Source: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" hreflang="en">ICE</a></div> </div> Fri, 09 Feb 2018 16:41:47 +0000 alan.smith 4333 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Supervisory United States Border Patrol Agent Found Guilty of Multiple Firearm Offenses https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/02052018/former-supervisory-united-states-border-patrol-agent-found-guilty <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Supervisory United States Border Patrol Agent Found Guilty of Multiple Firearm Offenses</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><h3>For Information Contact</h3> <p>Assistant U. S. Attorneys Michael G. Wheat (619) 546-8437, Alessandra P. Serano (619) 546-8104, Jennifer E. McCollough (619) 546-8773</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 02/08/2018 - 09:28</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-02-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, February 5, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4970/download?token=lMry2qia" type="application/pdf; length=187719">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(183.32 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>Assistant U. S. Attorneys Michael G. Wheat (619) 546-8437, Alessandra P. Serano (619) 546-8104, Jennifer E. McCollough  (619) 546-8773</strong></p> <p><strong>NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – February 2, 2018</strong></p> <p>SAN DIEGO – Martin Rene Duran, a former supervisory United States Border Patrol Agent, was convicted by a federal jury today of seven counts of illegal transportation of firearms and one count of possession of a short-barreled rifle following a three-day trial.</p> <p>According to evidence presented at trial, Duran purchased seven firearms in Arizona in 2011, 2013 and 2014.  Duran made these purchases using an Arizona driver’s license with an address where he never lived and claimed Arizona residency even though he resided in California.  At the time of the execution of a federal search warrant in October 2015, Duran was in possession of multiple firearms that were illegal in California and one short-barreled rifle. </p> <p>Duran is scheduled to appear before Senior U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff on April 30, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. for sentencing.</p> <p>“Federal law enforcement officers are not above the law,” said U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman. “All citizens are required to abide by the laws of the United States.”</p> <p>“This decision affirms the efforts the Department of Homeland Security makes to hold its personnel to the highest standard and shows it will not tolerate malfeasance which tarnishes the hard work performed by employees on a daily basis,” said Jeffrey Gilgallon, Special Agent in Charge, ICE Office of Professional Responsibility.</p> <p>“Bringing a case against another federal agent is never pleasant, but we hold public safety and a commitment to justice above all,” said Bill McMullan, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Los Angeles Field Division.  “It is ATF’s mission to quell firearm trafficking and when we see those engaged in illegal firearms activity we act on it.”</p> <p><strong>DEFENDANT                                                           Case Number 15cr2817-H                                        </strong></p> <p>Martin Rene Duran                 Age: 48                       Chula Vista, CA</p> <p><strong>SUMMARY OF CHARGES</strong></p> <p>Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(a)(3) – Illegal Transportation of Firearms: Maximum Penalties: 5 years’ incarceration, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release.</p> <p>Title 26, United States Code, Sections 5861 and 5871 – Possession of Unregistered Firearm: Maximum Penalties: 10 years’ incarceration, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release.</p> <p><strong>AGENCIES</strong></p> <p>Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives</p> <p>Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Office of Professional Responsibility</p> <p>Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General</p> <p>U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Office of Professional Responsibility</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdca/pr/former-supervisory-united-states-border-patrol-agent-found-guilty-multiple-firearm" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdca/pr/former-supervisory-united-states-border-patrol-agent-found-guilty-multiple-firearm</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Thu, 08 Feb 2018 14:28:42 +0000 alan.smith 4328 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Boston Police Sergeant Detective Sentenced for Making False Statements and Unlawfully Entering Secure Airport Area https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/01172018/former-boston-police-sergeant-detective-sentenced-making-false <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Boston Police Sergeant Detective Sentenced for Making False Statements and Unlawfully Entering Secure Airport Area </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/23/2018 - 10:05</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-01-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, January 17, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4915/download?token=-8omephy" type="application/pdf; length=134439">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(131.29 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>BOSTON – A former Boston Police Sergeant Detective was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for repeatedly making false statements so that he could fly armed on personal trips and enable a friend to fly with him without being screened by security personnel at Boston’s Logan International Airport.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Bruce E. Smith, 53, of Randolph, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to one year of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $7,500. In September 2017, Smith agreed to plead guilty to three counts of making false statements to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security and one count of unlawfully entering a secure airport area with intent to evade security requirements. Smith also agreed to resign from the Boston Police Department. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Beginning in 1989, Smith was employed by the Boston Police Department and most recently served as a Sergeant Detective assigned to District E-13, Jamaica Plain, as a district detective supervisor. Between May 2011 and April 2017, Smith flew armed on approximately 28 separate trips departing from Logan Airport even though he was not on official business, which is a violation of federal law. On each of those trips, he falsely claimed that he had obtained supervisor approval for his travel. On at least two of the trips, Smith also escorted or attempted to escort a friend through Logan Airport without security screening. Smith falsely claimed that his friend was a “dignitary” under Smith’s official police escort. When questioned by TSA security personnel as to what type of dignitary his friend was, Smith falsely replied, “I am not at liberty to divulge that information.” In fact, Smith’s friend, who has a criminal record, is not a dignitary, but a mobile clinic operator. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; and Mark Tasky, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Washington Field Office, made the announcement today. The investigation was conducted jointly by BPD’s Anti-Corruption Division and DHS-OIG. Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary R. Hafer of Lelling’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted the case.</span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/former-boston-police-sergeant-detective-sentenced-making-false-statements-and-unlawfully" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/former-boston-police-sergeant-detective-sentenced-making-false-statements-and-unlawfully</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Tue, 23 Jan 2018 15:05:14 +0000 alan.smith 4270 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former CBP Officer Sentenced to Prison for Alien Smuggling https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/01102018/former-cbp-officer-sentenced-prison-alien-smuggling <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former CBP Officer Sentenced to Prison for Alien Smuggling</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 01/11/2018 - 12:03</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-01-10T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, January 10, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4878/download?token=fACPs8-Q" type="application/pdf; length=150716">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(147.18 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>McALLEN, Texas – A 55-year-old man who formerly resided in Weslaco has been ordered to prison following his conviction of one count of conspiracy to transport aliens within the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer Sabas Salinas pleaded guilty Nov. 1, 2017.<span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Today, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez handed Salinas a 24-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Alvarez noted that Salinas was entrusted with authority from the people - the citizens of the community. She noted that one of his specific job responsibilities was to ensure that individuals who were not authorized to come into the U.S. were prevented from doing so, and he did the exact opposite. Additionally, in spite of his good background, and regardless of whether he was getting paid for his actions, she found his participation in the offense to be corrupt.   <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Salinas had admitted that while on duty at the Progreso Port of Entry, he was going to allow Juana Sifuentes-Villagomez, 48, a lawful permanent resident of Donna, to transport an illegal alien into the U.S.<span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>On Aug. 14, 2017, Sifuentes-Villagomez arrived at the Progreso Port of Entry with Asiano Uresti-Segundo, 46, of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Salinas was attempting to conduct the initial inspection and planned to allow them entry in to the U.S., knowing Uresti-Segundo was an illegal alien and not permitted to do so. However, other CBP officers discovered Uresti-Segundo was a citizen of Mexico who had been previously deported and did not have permission to re-enter the country. Both Sifuentes-Villagomez and Uresti-Segundo were arrested that day. <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>The investigation led to the discovery that Uresti-Segundo was going to pay Sifuentes-Villagomez for smuggling him illegally into the U.S. through a port of entry and transporting him to Donna.<span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Salinas was later arrested for his part in the conspiracy on Sept. 14, 2017.  <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Salinas has been and will remain in federal custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.<span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Sifuentes-Villagomez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to transport aliens within the United States and is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 28, 2018. Uresti-Segundo entered a guilty plea to unlawfully attempting to enter the U.S. after being previously removed and is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 11, 2018. They also remain in custody pending those hearings. <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>The Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation with the assistance of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and CBP – Office of Field Operations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Requénez prosecuted the case.</span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/former-cbp-officer-sentenced-prison-alien-smuggling" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/former-cbp-officer-sentenced-prison-alien-smuggling</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">CBP</a></div> </div> Thu, 11 Jan 2018 17:03:13 +0000 alan.smith 4238 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Finds ICE’s Screening Protocol of Aliens Who May Be Known or Suspected Terrorists is Limited and Risks National Security https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/01092018/dhs-oig-finds-ices-screening-protocol-aliens-who-may-be-known-or <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Finds ICE’s Screening Protocol of Aliens Who May Be Known or Suspected Terrorists is Limited and Risks National Security</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 01/09/2018 - 16:29</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-01-09T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, January 9, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4875/download?token=YLvKNeIr" type="application/pdf; length=101415">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(99.04 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span>A new report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) finds that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to face significant challenges with its screening of aliens who may have ties to terrorism. Auditors warn ICE may have missed opportunities to identify, apprehend, and adjudicate the status of aliens posing the highest risk to public safety and national security.  <span><span> </span></span></span></p> <p><span>The report, “ICE Faces Challenges to Screen Aliens Who May Be Known or Suspected Terrorists (REDACTED),” concluded that ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) faces significant limitations in implementing its Known or Suspected Terrorist Encounter Protocol (KSTEP). ICE established KSTEP to streamline the screening protocol of all aliens and to coordinate and exchange information with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Despite its implementation, the agency’s KSTEP policy fails to require continued screening of the majority of nearly 2.4 million aliens no longer in ICE custody but under ICE supervision. <span> </span></span></p> <p><span>Auditors sampled 40 of 142 ERO case files of detained aliens identified as known or suspected terrorists during fiscal years 2013 through 2015</span><span>. They reviewed the cases to test ERO’s implementation of KSTEP and found instances of noncompliance in all 40 cases. ERO failed to follow procedures from running initial checks to fully documenting its actions. </span><span>DHS OIG attributes some instances of noncompliance to limited program oversight and weak management controls. <span> </span></span></p> <p><span>Furthermore, auditors observed that some ERO offices do not have access to DHS classified networks which are imperative to communicate derogatory information related to known or suspected terrorists. <span>To collect pertinent information on known or suspected terrorists, ERO agents are forced to inconveniently travel to gain access, sometimes hours away. Some ERO field offices do not any access, which limits and can jeopardize custody decisions.  Additionally, some local law enforcement agencies declined to cooperate with ICE, preventing Homeland Security from screening other criminal aliens. From January 2014 through May 2017, auditors determined that approximately 675 jurisdictions nationwide declined to honor more than 29,000 ICE immigration detainers. Released aliens may put the public and ERO personnel at-risk and more resources are required to bring these individuals into ICE custody.<span> </span></span></span></p> <p><span>DHS OIG made four recommendations to help ICE improve its oversight and internal controls including: ICE should expand the KSTEP scope requiring periodic screening of aliens under supervision; ensure all ERO offices have the necessary infrastructure to communicate; institute a resource assessment to allocate resources and determine number of officers needed; and strengthen its quality control program by </span><span>defining clear oversight responsibilities within ERO. </span><span>ICE concurred with all four recommendations.</span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Mitigating and reducing any vulnerability is vital to our nation’s security,” said Acting Inspector General John Kelly. “We are pleased with ICE’s response to heed our findings by initiating the process to implement all recommendations.”</span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" hreflang="en">ICE</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/14" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 21:29:51 +0000 alan.smith 4230 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Treasurer of Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department Pleads Guilty for Embezzlement https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2018/01082018/former-treasurer-teays-valley-volunteer-fire-department-pleads <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Treasurer of Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department Pleads Guilty for Embezzlement</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p><a class="ext extlink" href="https://twitter.com/SDWVnews" target="_blank"><strong>SDWVNews</strong></a><strong>  </strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:44</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2018-01-08T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, January 8, 2018</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4876/download?token=cIxkLNQx" type="application/pdf; length=124287">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(121.37 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Hurricane woman pleaded guilty today for embezzling over $75,000 from the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Kathy Sue Gwinn, 52, entered her guilty plea to theft from a program receiving federal funds.  </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Gwinn formerly served as the Treasurer of the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department. As Treasurer, she generated payroll checks for firefighters and signed the payroll checks on a fire department bank account. Gwinn admitted that she volunteered for the fire department, and had no authority to write herself checks, nor was she entitled to wages, salary, or compensation for her role as Treasurer. She further admitted that beginning in October 2014, and continuing through March 2017, she printed and wrote herself unauthorized checks from the fire department’s payroll account, noting on the memo line of the checks that the checks were for payroll, overtime, or tax preparation. She admitted that she moved money from one fire department bank account into the bank account primarily used for payroll, and when she transferred those funds, she inflated the amount of the transfer to include enough to cover the unauthorized checks she planned to write to herself. Over the course of her scheme, she embezzled $75,356.70. As part of her plea agreement, Gwinn has agreed to pay this amount in restitution.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>During the period Gwinn embezzled funds, the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department received grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. These grants allowed the fire department to pay firefighters and to purchase and maintain equipment.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Gwinn faces up to 10 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on April 9, 2018.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the West Virginia Commission on Special Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Meredith George Thomas is in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdwv/pr/former-treasurer-teays-valley-volunteer-fire-department-pleads-guilty-embezzlement" target="_blank" title="Justice.gov">https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdwv/pr/former-treasurer-teays-valley-volunteer-fire-department-pleads-guilty-embezzlement</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:44:33 +0000 alan.smith 4234 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Inspection Cites Concerns with Detainee Treatment and Care https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/12142017/dhs-oig-inspection-cites-concerns-detainee-treatment-and-care <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Inspection Cites Concerns with Detainee Treatment and Care</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 12/14/2017 - 15:27</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-12-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, December 14, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4839/download?token=mOtnEbOD" type="application/pdf; length=114549">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(111.86 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>A new report from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) cites concerns about the treatment and care of detainees by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE). The report is based on recent unannounced OIG inspections of five ICE detention facilities. Concerns requiring immediate attention at the Theo Lacy facility in Orange, California, were </span></span><a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/Mga/2017/oig-mga-030617.pdf" target="_blank"><span><span>previously reported</span></span></a><span><span> by the OIG in March 2017. <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>In their report, “Concerns about ICE Detainee Treatment and Care at Detention Facilities,” OIG inspectors documented a number of concerns. While not every problem was present at each facility, the inspections revealed issues at four facilities, beginning with the intake process. Detainees should be housed with others of similar background and criminal history; however, facility staff misclassified some detainees with high-risk criminal convictions and housed them with low-risk detainees. One facility did not adequately staff personnel to ensure thorough intake pat downs of detainees. At another facility, personnel conducted strip searches of all incoming detainees, but failed to document them, leaving no way to ascertain whether the searches were justified based on reasonable suspicion. Despite having translation services available by phone, staff and detainees experienced language barriers which created confusion and risked elevating resolvable concerns into disciplinary issues.  <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Additionally, detainees reported that staff obstructed or delayed their grievances or intimidated them, through fear of retaliation, into not complaining. Detainees should have access to telephones and be allowed to make free calls to the DHS OIG. Furthermore, inspectors observed non-working phones in one facility, and in another access the OIG Hotline number was restricted. The inspectors also reported concerns about a lack of professionalism and inappropriate treatment of detainees, and of facility staff misusing segregation. One detainee reported being locked down for multiple days for sharing coffee with another detainee. <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Detainees further reported long waits for provision of medical care, poor conditions in bathrooms and insufficient hygiene supplies. OIG inspectors also observed expired, moldy, and spoiled foods in the kitchen in four facilities.   <span><span> </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>The ICE detention facilities were selected for inspections based on OIG hotline complaints, reports from non-governmental organizations, and media reporting.  </span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“ICE has a challenging and highly visible role in enforcing our nation’s immigration laws,” said Acting Inspector General John Kelly. “Just as important is ICE’s role in detaining and housing the undocumented persons it apprehends. Treatment of detainees in ICE facilities should be humane, adhere to all regulations and be above reproach.”</span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" hreflang="en">ICE</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/14" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:27:33 +0000 alan.smith 4185 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Federal Agent Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes to Dismiss Indictment Against Colombian Narcotics Kingpin https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/11302017/former-federal-agent-pleads-guilty-accepting-bribes-dismiss <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Federal Agent Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes to Dismiss Indictment Against Colombian Narcotics Kingpin</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 12/05/2017 - 13:26</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-11-30T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, November 30, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4781/download?token=wnDwTVfk" type="application/pdf; length=145692">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(142.28 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span><span>A former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Special Agent pleaded guilty today to accepting bribes in exchange for securing the dismissal of a drug trafficking indictment filed against a Colombian cocaine trafficker, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>According to admissions in his plea agreement, Christopher V. Ciccione II, 52, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, accepted cash and other things of value and used his official position to cause a drug trafficking indictment against </span></span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>Colombian national</span></span> <span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>Jose Bayron </span></span><span><span>Piedrahita </span></span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>Ceballos</span></span> <span><span>to be dismissed and to obtain official authorization for Piedrahita and his family to enter the United States.  </span></span><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/999442/download"><span><span>Piedrahita</span></span></a><span><span> and Colombian national Juan Carlos Velasco Cano, 49, gave Ciccione approximately $20,000 in cash, as well as dinner, drinks and prostitution during an extended hotel stay in Bogota, Colombia, in exchange for official acts that resulted in the dismissal of the indictment against Piedrahita.  Velasco, who previously </span></span><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/colombian-national-pleads-guilty-conspiracy-bribe-federal-agent-dismiss-indictment-against" target="_blank" title="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/colombian-national-pleads-guilty-conspiracy-bribe-federal-agent-dismiss-indictment-against"><span><span>pleaded guilty</span></span></a><span><span>, served as the intermediary between Ciccione and Piedrahita.  </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Ciccione admitted that in furtherance of this scheme to obstruct justice, he misled the U.S. Attorney’s Office and HSI management and altered law enforcement records to represent to decision makers that Piedrahita was a “former” suspect of a closed investigation, rather than a “current” subject, who was “never positively identified” and that his case should be dismissed— all while maintaining contact with Piedrahita.  Ciccone also falsified the concurrence of several other federal agents and attempted to parole Piedrahita into the United States. <span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Ciccione will be sentenced on Feb. 9, 2018, before U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. of the Southern District of Florida.  Piedrahita is currently incarcerated in the Republic of Colombia.  </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Piedrahita as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act on May 3, 2016. <span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility, Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the FBI investigated the case.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, the Office of the Judicial Attaché in Colombia and the Drug Enforcement Administration provided valuable assistance to the investigation.  The Colombian Attorney General’s Office also provided invaluable support.  Trial Attorneys Luke Cass and Jennifer A. Clarke of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.</span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-federal-agent-pleads-guilty-accepting-bribes-dismiss-indictment-against-colombian" target="_blank">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-federal-agent-pleads-guilty-accepting-bribes-dismiss-indictment-against-colombian</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Tue, 05 Dec 2017 18:26:30 +0000 alan.smith 4134 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Completes Its Review of Implementation of the Travel Ban; Awaits Decision by DHS Regarding Whether It Will Invoke Privilege https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/11212017/dhs-oig-completes-its-review-implementation-travel-ban-awaits <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Completes Its Review of Implementation of the Travel Ban; Awaits Decision by DHS Regarding Whether It Will Invoke Privilege</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:32</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-11-21T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, November 21, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4709/download?token=CmNUBWU_" type="application/pdf; length=2945856">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(2.81 MB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Early this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated a review of DHS’ implementation of Executive Order 13769, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” regarding the travel into the United States of individuals from seven countries.</p> <p>The DHS OIG delivered its final report to DHS on Friday, October 6, 2017, in order for the Department to undertake a sensitivity review, a regular OIG practice. As of November 20, DHS leadership has not yet made a final determination regarding whether it will invoke the attorney-client privilege or deliberative process privilege over portions of the report, which would prevent release of significant portions to the Congress and the public. DHS informed the OIG on November 20 that it has asked the Department of Justice to undertake a privilege review of the report.</p> <p>The OIG provided the attached update to multiple Senators and Representatives who requested that it undertake this review. The update also includes a summary of the conclusions of the DHS OIG’s comprehensive review.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/14" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:32:58 +0000 alan.smith 4023 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Finds that the Coast Guard’s IT Investments Risk Costly Failure Without Required Oversight https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/11202017/dhs-oig-finds-coast-guards-it-investments-risk-costly-failure <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Finds that the Coast Guard’s IT Investments Risk Costly Failure Without Required Oversight</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Information Contact</strong></p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/20/2017 - 13:08</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-11-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, November 20, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4663/download?token=M43K2Stq" type="application/pdf; length=162991">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(159.17 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>According to a new Office of Inspector General (OIG), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report, the United States Coast Guard’s (Coast Guard) information technology (IT) investments lack required oversight. OIG analysts caution that weak controls and scarce oversight risk wasteful spending, missed milestones, and underachieving performance.</p> <p>The report, “Coast Guard IT Investments Risk Failure Without Required Oversight,” focused on IT acquisition programs that cost less than $300 million, also referred to as non-major IT investments. The report depicts a muddled acquisition review culture which results in troubling practices, specifically: limited coordination among the Coast Guard directorates; insufficient internal controls to ensure non-major IT acquisitions are not overlooked; unreliable IT investment information; and insufficient guidance to properly identify and designate non-major IT acquisition investments.</p> <p>The concern is compounded given that between fiscal years 2014 and 2016, the Coast Guard approved $1.8 billion of IT procurements, and it does not know if nearly 400 information systems are receiving proper acquisition oversight.  The Coast Guard faced similar challenges in the past. In 2015, OIG auditors found the Coast Guard spent nearly $68 million to unsuccessfully modernize its electronic health records systems.</p> <p>OIG recommends the Deputy Commandant Mission Support conduct a comprehensive analysis of its acquisition and IT review processes; evaluate current IT investments to identify non-major acquisitions; ensure the authorizing directorates maintain an updated IT investment management system; and review IT acquisition and IT guidance.  Implementing the recommendations will allow the Coast Guard to leverage information that will assist its identification and designation process for non-major IT acquisition programs. The Coast Guard concurred with all four recommendations and has made corrective action plans.</p> <p>“Adequate acquisition oversight is vital if the Coast Guard intends to safeguard its resources and taxpayer dollars,” said Inspector General John Roth.  “We are pleased that the Coast Guard has already taken positive initial steps and look forward to additional improvements.”</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/7" hreflang="en">USCG</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Mon, 20 Nov 2017 18:08:28 +0000 alan.smith 4005 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Issues Warning to FEMA Regarding Duplicate Public Assistance Funding https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/11172017/dhs-oig-issues-warning-fema-regarding-duplicate-public-assistance <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Issues Warning to FEMA Regarding Duplicate Public Assistance Funding</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For More Information, Contact</strong></p> <p><strong>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/20/2017 - 07:47</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-11-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, November 17, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4660/download?token=aB6tngUx" type="application/pdf; length=118606">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(115.83 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span>Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued an alert to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding the potential challenges the agency faces in providing duplicate Public Assistance grant funds to state, territorial, tribal and local governments for facilities that may have sustained damages from back-to-back disasters.</span></p> <p><span><span>The after-effects of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria resulted in multiple disaster declarations and billions of dollars in damages to areas within several Gulf Coast and Southeast states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. DHS OIG noted many of the same designated disaster areas in previous disaster incidents during 2016 and early 2017. During its review, the OIG found a total of 13 major disaster declarations for areas in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas that overlapped some of the same areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. As of November 2017, FEMA has obligated an estimated $310.3 million of Public Assistance funding to cover permanent repair or replacement costs to facilities damaged under the 13 previous disaster declarations.  </span></span></p> <p><span>Because of the relatively short period of time between events, various facilities damaged by the earlier incidents may have also sustained damage under Hurricanes Harvey or Irma before repairs to the facilities had been completed. DHS OIG alerted FEMA that its Public Assistance staff will need to carefully evaluate the scope of repair work authorized and the status of such repairs to avoid approving duplicate or ineligible funding.  </span></p> <p><span><span>The OIG made no recommendations to FEMA in its report but emphasized the need for </span><span>F</span><span>EMA make certain that it has effective controls in place to minimize the risk of funding duplicate or ineligible repair costs of facilities damaged by back-to-back incidents. In the wake of the recent hurricanes, OIG will continue to issue reports and alerts to assist FEMA in ensuring that every dollar spent on disaster assistance is within federal regulations and FEMA policy.</span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“While FEMA should grant disaster assistance funds as quickly as possible to get the individuals in the affected areas back on their feet, the agency must also ensure that it has effective controls to minimize the risk of paying for duplicate or ineligible repairs,” said Inspector General John Roth.</span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-preparedness" hreflang="en">Disaster Preparedness</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/13" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> Mon, 20 Nov 2017 12:47:51 +0000 alan.smith 4002 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Cites CBP for Misuse of Summons Power https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/11162017/dhs-oig-cites-cbp-misuse-summons-power <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Cites CBP for Misuse of Summons Power</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Information Contact</p> <p>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/20/2017 - 15:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-11-16T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, November 16, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4675/download?token=0ws5QvX0" type="application/pdf; length=69569">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(67.94 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A new management alert from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Special Reviews Group (SRG) determined that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) lacked clear guidance on the use of its examination and summons authority under 19 U.S.C. § 1509, resulting in inconsistent and, occasionally, improper uses of such summonses to obtain records. CBP was found to have violated its own policy on the use of the summons on numerous occasions. </p> <p>The review of CBP’s policies and practices relating to Section 1509 summonses arose from an OIG investigation of a CBP summons issued to Twitter, Inc. in March 2017 requesting all records concerning the Twitter account @ALT_USCIS. Twitter responded by filing a complaint against CBP in federal court claiming the summons exceeded the scope of the agency’s authority and accusing CBP of attempting to “unmask” the @ALT_USCIS anonymous speaker and infringing upon his or her First Amendment rights. CBP quickly withdrew the summons and Twitter dismissed its complaint.</p> <p>The summons authority under Section 1509 is limited specifically to the collection and examination of records related to the importation of merchandise, including the assessment of customs duties. In the course of its review, SRG found numerous cases of Section 1509 summonses issued outside of this context. Based on data provided by CBP, between January 2015 and May 2017, CBP violated its own policy on the use of Section 1509 summonses at least 1 out of every 5 times.</p> <p>DHS OIG made three recommendations to CBP aimed at ensuring CBP personnel are informed and trained on the use of Section 1509 summonses, and that such summonses are being used properly within the agency. CBP concurred with these recommendations and has taken, and continues to take, corrective actions to address the issues raised in the alert. </p> <p>The alert is the first report by the SRG, a new DHS OIG initiative. The SRG is a multidisciplinary group of OIG employees that blends the skills of attorneys, investigators, and program analysts to conduct sensitive reviews and special investigations across DHS.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">CBP</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:01:11 +0000 alan.smith 4018 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Last Defendant in the United States Pleads Guilty in Multimillion Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/11132017/last-defendant-united-states-pleads-guilty-multimillion-dollar <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Last Defendant in the United States Pleads Guilty in Multimillion Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For More Information, Contact</strong></p> <p><strong>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 11/14/2017 - 13:36</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-11-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, November 13, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4633/download?token=9UgXKS_l" type="application/pdf; length=219823">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(214.67 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>All 24 Defendants in the United States Have Pleaded Guilty; 61 Charged in Total</strong></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>An Illinois man pleaded guilty today to money laundering conspiracy, joining six other defendants who recently pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for their roles in liquidating and laundering victim payments generated through a massive telephone impersonation fraud and money laundering scheme perpetrated by a network of India-based call centers responsible for defrauding U.S. residents of hundreds of millions of dollars.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas, Acting Deputy Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Inspector General J. Russell George of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Inspector General John Roth of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG) made the announcement.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Miteshkumar Patel, 42, most recently residing in Willowbrook, Illinois; Sunny Joshi, 47, of Sugar Land, Texas; Jagdishkumar Chaudhari, 39, of Montgomery, Alabama; and Rajesh Bhatt, 53, of Sugar Land, each pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy.  Raman Patel, 82, of Gilbert, Arizona; Praful Patel, 50, of Fort Myers, Florida; and Jerry Norris, 47, of Oakland, California, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering offenses.  The pleas were entered before U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas between Sept. 22 and Nov. 13, except for Raman Patel’s plea, which was entered before U.S. District Court Judge Michelle Burns in the District of Arizona on Nov. 6.  Six of the men have been in federal custody since their arrests in October 2016 and will remain detained until their pending sentencing dates.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>According to admissions made in connection with their pleas, Miteshkumar Patel, Raman Patel, Joshi, Jagdishkumar Chaudhari, Bhatt, Praful Patel, Norris and their co-conspirators perpetrated a complex scheme in which individuals from call centers located in Ahmedabad, India, impersonated officials from the IRS and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and engaged in other telephone call scams, in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the United States.  Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators targeted U.S. victims who were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay alleged monies owed to the government.  Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing general purpose reloadable (GPR) cards or wiring money.  Upon payment, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of “runners” based in the United States to liquidate and launder the fraudulently obtained funds.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Based on admissions in Miteshkumar Patel’s plea, beginning in or around 2013, Miteshkumar Patel managed a crew of a half dozen domestic runners involved in the criminal scheme, liquidating as much as approximately $25 million in victim funds for conspirators from India-based call center and organizational co-defendant HGLOBAL.  Patel communicated about the fraudulent scheme with various domestic and India-based co-defendants via email, text messaging and WhatsApp messaging.  Miteshkumar Patel and his runners purchased reloadable GPR cards that were registered using the misappropriated personal identifying information (PII) of unsuspecting victims that were later used to receive victims’ funds, and used those reloadable cards containing victims’ funds to purchase money orders and then deposit those money orders into bank accounts, as directed, while keeping a portion of the scam proceeds as profit.  Miteshkumar Patel also trained the runners he managed on how to conduct the liquidation scheme, provided them with vehicles to conduct their activities in Illinois and throughout the country, and directed a co-defendant to open bank accounts and limited liability companies for use in the conspiracy.  Miteshkumar Patel further admitted to using a gas station he owned in Racine, Wisconsin to liquidate victim funds, and possessing and using equipment at his Illinois apartment to make fraudulent identification documents used by co-defendant runners in his crew to receive wire transfers directly from scam victims and make bank deposits in furtherance of the conspiracy.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>According to admissions in Raman Patel’s guilty plea, from in or around 2014, Patel served as a domestic runner in and around south-central Arizona, liquidating victim scam funds per the instructions of a co-defendant.  Patel also served as a driver for two co-defendants in furtherance of their GPR liquidation and related activities and sent bank deposit receipts related to the processing of victim payments and fraud proceeds to an India-based co-defendant via email and document scan services offered at various retail stores.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Based on admissions in Joshi and Bhatt’s guilty pleas, beginning in or around 2012, Joshi and Bhatt worked together as runners in the Houston, Texas area along with a co-defendant.  They admitted to extensively communicating via email and text with, and operating at the direction of, India-based conspirators from organizational co-defendant CALL MANTRA call center to liquidate up to approximately $9.5 million in victim funds, including by purchasing GPR cards and using those cards, funded by co-conspirators with scam victim funds, to purchase money orders and deposit them in third party bank accounts, while keeping a percentage of the scam proceeds for themselves as profit.  Joshi has also agreed to plead guilty to one count of naturalization fraud pursuant to a federal indictment obtained against him in the Eastern District of Louisiana, based on fraudulently obtaining his U.S. citizenship.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Jagdishkumar Chaudhari admitted in his plea that between April 2014 and June 2015, he worked as a member of a crew of runners operating in the Chicago area and elsewhere throughout the country, at the direction of Miteshkumar Patel and others.  In exchange for monthly cash payments, Jagdishkumar Chaudhari admitted to driving to hundreds of retail stores to purchase GPR cards to be loaded with victim funds by co-conspirators in India, purchasing money orders with GPR cards that had been funded with victim proceeds, depositing money orders purchased using victim scam proceeds at various banks, and retrieving wire transfers sent by victims of the scheme.  Jagdishkumar Chaudhari is an Indian national with no legal status in the United States, and has agreed to deportation after he serves his sentence as a condition of his guilty plea.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>In his plea, Praful Patel admitted that between in or around June 2013 and December 2015, he was a domestic runner who liquidated funds in and around Fort Myers, Florida for conspirators from India-based call center and organizational co-defendant HGLOBAL.  Praful Patel communicated extensively via WhatsApp texts with his conspirators.  For a percentage commission on transactions he conducted, Praful Patel admitted to purchasing reloadable GPR cards that were registered using the misappropriated PII of unsuspecting victims that were later used to receive victims’ funds, using those reloadable GPR cards containing victims’ funds to purchase money orders and depositing those money orders into bank accounts as directed, and using fake identity documents to receive wire transfers from victims.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>According to Norris’ guilty plea, beginning in or around January 2013 continuing through December 2014, he was a runner who worked with conspirators associated with India-based call center and organizational co-defendant HGLOBAL, and was responsible for the liquidation of victim scam funds in and around California.  Norris admitted he communicated extensively via WhatsApp and email with India-based co-defendants including Sagar “Shaggy” Thakar, purchased GPR cards used in the scheme, sent lead lists to conspirators in India that were then used by callers located in the call centers to target potential victims in the telefraud scheme, received scam proceeds via wire transfers using fictitious names, and laundered scam proceeds from GPR cards via ATM withdrawals.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>To date, Miteshkumar Patel, Raman Patel, Joshi, Jagdishkumar Chaudhari, Bhatt, Praful Patel, Norris, 49 other individuals and five India-based call centers have been charged for their roles in the fraud and money laundering scheme in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 19, 2016.  Including the pleas announced today, a total of 24 defendants have pleaded guilty thus far in relation to this investigation.  Defendants Bharatkumar Patel, Ashvinbhai Chaudhari, Harsh Patel, Nilam Parikh, Hardik Patel, Rajubhai Patel, Viraj Patel, Dilipkumar A. Patel, Fahad Ali, Bhavesh Patel, Asmitaben Patel, Montu Barot, Nilesh Pandya, Dipakkumar Patel, Nisarg Patel, Rajesh Kumar, and Dilipkumar Ramanlal Patel previously pleaded guilty on various dates between April and September 2017.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Miteshkumar Patel is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2018.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The remaining defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>ICE – Homeland Security Investigations, DHS-OIG and TIGTA led the investigation of this case.  Also providing significant support were: the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs; Ft. Bend County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; police departments in Hoffman Estates and Naperville, Illinois, and Leonia, New Jersey; San Diego County District Attorney’s Office Family Protection and Elder Abuse Unit; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General; IOC-2; INTERPOL Washington; USCIS; U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service; and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the Middle District of Alabama, Northern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Central District of California, Northern District of California, District of Colorado, Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana, District of Nevada and District of New Jersey.  The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau also provided assistance in TIGTA’s investigation.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Senior Trial Attorney Michael Sheckels and Trial Attorney Mona Sahaf of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP), Trial Attorney Amanda Wick of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Mark McIntyre and Craig M. Feazel of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting this case.  HRSP’s Ann Marie Ursini and Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Kennedy of the Eastern District of Louisiana prosecuted the naturalization fraud case against Joshi.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>A </span></span><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/victim-witness-program/us-v-hglobal" target="_blank"><span><span><span>Department of Justice website</span></span></span></a><span><span> has been established to provide information about the case to already identified and potential victims and the public.  Anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud or identity theft in relation to this investigation or other telefraud scam phone calls may contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via this </span></span><a href="https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/" target="_blank"><span><span><span>website</span></span></span></a><span><span>.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Anyone who wants additional information about telefraud scams generally, or preventing identity theft or fraudulent use of their identity information, may obtain helpful information on the IRS tax scams </span></span><a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts" target="_blank"><span><span><span>website</span></span></span></a><span><span>, the FTC phone scam </span></span><a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams" target="_blank"><span><span><span>website</span></span></span></a><span><span> and the FTC identity theft </span></span><a href="http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft" target="_blank"><span><span><span>website</span></span></span></a><span><span>.</span></span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/last-defendant-united-states-pleads-guilty-multimillion-dollar-india-based-call-center-scam" target="_blank">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/last-defendant-united-states-pleads-guilty-multimillion-dollar-india-based-call-center-scam</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Tue, 14 Nov 2017 18:36:00 +0000 alan.smith 3984 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS Can Improve Cyber Threat Information Sharing https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/11062017/dhs-can-improve-cyber-threat-information-sharing <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS Can Improve Cyber Threat Information Sharing </span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For More Information, Contact</strong></p> <p><strong>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 11/06/2017 - 12:31</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-11-06T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, November 6, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4618/download?token=3UgTGvHu" type="application/pdf; length=88593">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(86.52 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In a newly released report, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that while DHS has established a process for sharing cyber threat information between the Federal government and the private sector, improvements are still needed. </p> <p>DHS has developed the capability to share cyber threat information and defensive measures among Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; the private sector; information sharing analysis centers and organizations; and foreign government companies. DHS has also properly classified cyber threat indicators and defensive measures and accounted for the security clearances of private sector recipients who receive such information. </p> <p>Despite this progress, DHS still faces challenges to effectively share cyber threat information across Federal and private sector entities. DHS’ system is focused on volume, velocity, and timeliness of information but does not provide the quality, contextual data needed to effectively defend against ever-evolving threats. Because the system is automated with pre-determined data fields, it may not always provide adequate information regarding specific incidents, tactics, techniques, and procedures that unauthorized users used to exploit software vulnerabilities. Given these limitations, Federal and private sector partners sometimes rely on other systems or participate in other DHS information sharing programs to obtain quality cyber threat data. Moreover, the unclassified and classified databases and repositories are not integrated, restricting analysts’ ability to compile complete situational awareness of potential threats. Finally, DHS should also enhance its outreach to increase participation and improve information sharing.</p> <p>We made five recommendations for the National Protection Programs Directorate to improve its information sharing capability. “DHS needs to ensure that cyber threat information sharing between federal and private partners is effective,” said Inspector General John Roth. “The improvements we are recommending today should increase participation and enhance DHS’ ability to analyze, coordinate, and share cyber threat information.”</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/it-security" hreflang="en">IT Security</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/12" hreflang="en">Cybersecurity</a></div> Mon, 06 Nov 2017 17:31:08 +0000 alan.smith 3959 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS Still Struggling for a Unified Approach Regarding Immigration https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/11012017/dhs-still-struggling-unified-approach-regarding-immigration <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS Still Struggling for a Unified Approach Regarding Immigration</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For More Information, Contact</strong></p> <p><strong>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 11/01/2017 - 16:02</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-11-01T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, November 1, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4595/download?token=M3mXLG3c" type="application/pdf; length=86431">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(84.41 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>In a new report released today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) explained that almost 15 years after the creation of DHS, its component agencies still face challenges taking a unified approach to immigration enforcement and administration activities. Although DHS has established a unity of effort initiative to break silos and centralize decision making, problems remain.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,</span> <span>U.S. Customs and Border Protection</span><span><span>, and </span></span><span>U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services</span><span><span> continue to face inefficiencies </span></span><span><span>regarding </span></span><span>mission allocation and expenditure comparisons, the affirmative asylum application process, and the Department’s struggle to understand immigration outcomes and decisions. The audit <span>also revealed component coordination difficulties pertaining to the availability of bed space, language services, and processing aliens. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The challenges exist because DHS did not have a designated Department-level official or group to strategically address overarching immigration issues and foster coordination and cooperation. The OIG audit recommends that DHS establish such a group; the Department agreed and has begun implementing the recommendation. </span></span><span>DHS will seek to charter a senior level cross­-component Immigration Policy Council. The new Council will provide an institutionalized structure for Department-wide strategic planning related to immigration policy and operations. At a minimum, the Council will –</span></span></p> <ul><li><span><span><span>foster better awareness of roles and responsibilities;</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>facilitate better coordination and communication among the involved components and guide current cross-component immigration initiatives;</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>ensure components collect and report data for immigration activity and analyze the information to make decisions and reduce inefficiencies; and</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>serve as mediators for conflicts regarding mission accomplishment and overarching legal, policy, and other issues. </span></span></span></li> </ul></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/14" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> Wed, 01 Nov 2017 20:02:47 +0000 alan.smith 3941 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS Still Challenged in Safeguarding Weapons, Badges, and other Sensitive Assets https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/10312017/dhs-still-challenged-safeguarding-weapons-badges-and-other <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS Still Challenged in Safeguarding Weapons, Badges, and other Sensitive Assets</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For More Information, Contact</strong></p> <p><strong>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:51</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-10-31T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, October 31, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4580/download?token=z7QNh7Az" type="application/pdf; length=98808">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(96.49 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A new report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), reveals that the nation’s largest law enforcement agency continues to face challenges in safeguarding its most sensitive assets, including firearms and badges issued to employees.<br />  <br /> The new report, “DHS’ Controls over Firearms and Other Assets,” found that despite the controls the Department implemented following a 2010 OIG audit, between 2014 and 2016 Department personnel lost a total of 2,142 highly sensitive assets — 228 firearms; 1,889 badges; and 25 secure immigration stamps. Typically, assets were lost or stolen from vehicles, residences and public locations. In more than half of the cases OIG auditors reviewed, the sensitive equipment was lost due to poor safeguarding practices on the part of officers who disregarded policy or used poor judgment. DHS agencies did not consistently hold these officers accountable and none of them received remedial training for failing to safeguard the equipment. Moreover, of the cases auditors reviewed, police recovered three firearms and one badge from convicted felons.<br />  <br /> OIG conducted 21 site visits in five states and found that DHS components did not always keep accurate property records and that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has no official inventory system to track secure immigration stamps and security ink. DHS OIG made six recommendations encouraging DHS to strengthen component compliance in safeguarding assets, retrain custodians and personnel in providing timely updates inventory records, ensure that CBP tracks secure immigration stamps, and enforce Departmental oversight to ensure agencies are complying with all relevant policies.</p> <p>OIG further recommended that DHS agencies stop issuing badges to non-law enforcement personnel. More than 135,000 of these badges have been issued at a considerable cost to taxpayers; as of July 2017, the Department spent approximately $6 million. Because DHS agencies lost eight times as many badges as firearms, discontinuing the use of these badges could potentially save millions while also reducing unnecessary risk.</p> <p>“DHS agencies must do a better job of securing firearms, badges, and other crucial assets,” said Inspector General John Roth. “In the wrong hands, these assets pose a clear danger to the public and can facilitate fraud against DHS programs and the people they are designed to serve.”</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Tue, 31 Oct 2017 15:51:21 +0000 alan.smith 3915 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Employees Awarded Top Honor Two Years in A Row https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/10192017/dhs-oig-employees-awarded-top-honor-two-years-row <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Employees Awarded Top Honor Two Years in A Row </span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For More Information, Contact</strong></p> <p><strong>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/139" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tanya.alridge</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/19/2017 - 09:42</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-10-19T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, October 19, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4549/download?token=IDGR62Y4" type="application/pdf; length=155461">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(151.82 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For the second year in a row, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) employees were awarded top honors for their outstanding achievements at the annual awards ceremony held by the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE). </p> <p>This year, DHS OIG earned CIGIE’s highest honor – the Alexander Hamilton Award. This award, given to only one agency, was awarded in recognition of exemplary service and commendable achievement to the team responsible for OIG report, “Better Safeguards Are Needed in USCIS Green Card Issuance,” published in November 2016.</p> <p>The team audited U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) electronic processing, issuance, and delivery of Green Cards, the documentation that grants foreign nationals approval to reside and seek employment in the United States. The team disclosed that from 2013 to 2016, USCIS issued nearly 20,000 Green Cards in duplicate or with incorrect information, primarily due to design and functionality problems of its Electronic Information System for processing immigrant benefits. For the same time period, USCIS received over 200,000 reports from approved applicants about missing cards. Collectively, these deficiencies posed national security risks, denied benefits for approved applicants, and increased workload and costs for the agency.</p> <p>Along with the Alexander Hamilton Award, CIGIE also recognized other DHS OIG work with awards including: “Transportation Security Administration Needs a Crosscutting Risk-Based Security Strategy,” “Review of Domestic Sharing of Counterterrorism Information,” and an investigation of fraud in FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighter’s Grant Program.  Two OIG employees were also part of the team that was awarded the Barry R. Snyder Joint Award for CIGIE’s efforts in leadership development.</p> <p>DHS OIG was also recognized by the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IC IG) as part of this year’s National Intelligence Professional Awards Program. OIG employee Angela Garvin received the Leadership Award, and was the only individual to receive it. This award is presented to the person whose contributions most ensured efficiency and effectiveness of national security or IC programs and activities, promoted greater accountability, or furthered the OIG mission of detecting and deterring waste, fraud, and abuse. DHS OIG also received the IC IG Collaboration Award for its work with the Department of Justice OIG and the IC IG on the joint report, “Review of Domestic Sharing of Counterterrorism Information.”</p> <p>“I am immensely proud that DHS OIG audit teams have received CIGIE’s most prestigious award two years in a row,” said Inspector General John Roth.  “These awards highlight the wide-ranging and impactful work undertaken by DHS OIG employees on behalf of the American public and serve as a reminder of the positive change their work can have on DHS programs and operations.”</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> Thu, 19 Oct 2017 13:42:01 +0000 tanya.alridge 3711 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Audit Determines FEMA Lacked Control over Mississippi’s Coastal Retrofit Program https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/10132017/dhs-oig-audit-determines-fema-lacked-control-over-mississippis-coastal-retrofit-program <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Audit Determines FEMA Lacked Control over Mississippi’s Coastal Retrofit Program</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For More Information, Contact</strong></p> <p><strong>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:25</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-10-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, October 13, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4527/download?token=N_Z1ZTht" type="application/pdf; length=97339">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(95.06 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span>A new report from the<strong> </strong>Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General (OIG) cites the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with mismanagement and lax oversight of $29.9 million in hazard mitigation grant funds awarded to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) for the state’s Coastal Retrofit Program. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>In the report, “Hazard Mitigation Grant Funds Awarded to MEMA for the Mississippi Coastal Retrofit Program,” OIG auditors determined FEMA did not effectively oversee its grantee and consequently failed to ensure MEMA complied with Federal regulations. The result was misuse of disaster relief funds designated to help 2,000 Mississippi homeowners to strengthen their homes against wind damage in future disasters. Specifically, MEMA failed to: </span></span></span></p> <ul><li><span><span><span><span><span>Complete the scope of work, retrofitting only 886 of the 2,000 homes in the proposed scope of the program;</span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>Disclose, a timely manner, a drawdown of FEMA funds totaling $3.7million; and </span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>Disallow excessive markup on prime contractor invoices. </span></span></span></span></span></li> </ul><p><span><span><span>This is the second, and final OIG report of MEMA’s misuse of Hazard Mitigation grant funds. It was conducted after OIG received complaints of irregularities from persons within the program. In August 2016, OIG issued a management advisory (</span></span></span><a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/GrantReports/2016/OIG-16-115-D-Aug16.pdf"><span><span>OIG 16-115-D</span></span></a><span><span><span>), recommending that FEMA suspend all grant payments for the $29.9 million program until Mississippi properly account for the funds. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The audit scope spans more than a decade, August 29, 2005 through October 26, 2015. FEMA agreed with most of the OIG’s recommendations and MEMA has taken positive steps toward making the state’s coastal retrofit program transparent and efficient. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“This program fell far short of its goal of aiding Mississippi 2,000 homeowners due to mismanagement,” said Inspector General John Roth. “While I am pleased that FEMA and MEMA have both taken positive steps to improve the retrofit effort, I am disappointed at their lack of oversight of disaster relief funds.”</span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-recovery" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/13" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:25:19 +0000 alan.smith 3683 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov CIGIE Launches Oversight.gov: IGs Found More Than $25 Billion in Potential Cost Savings in FY 2017, New Website Shows https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/10022017/cigie-launches-oversightgov-igs-found-more-25-billion-potential-cost-savings-fy-2017-new-website-shows <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">CIGIE Launches Oversight.gov: IGs Found More Than $25 Billion in Potential Cost Savings in FY 2017, New Website Shows</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For More Information, Contact</strong></p> <p><strong>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 10/02/2017 - 15:20</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-10-02T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, October 2, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4455/download?token=K-uhKTHX" type="application/pdf; length=472484">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(461.41 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>Inspector General Reports From Across the Federal Government Now Available on a Single Website</strong></p> <p>Today, the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) announced the official launch of Oversight.gov. This new website creates a single home for thousands of Inspector General (IG) reports from across the federal government.</p> <p>IGs serve as watchdogs inside federal government agencies. Each year, IGs identify billions of dollars in potential taxpayer savings, conduct investigations that promote government accountability, and make thousands of recommendations to improve government operations.</p> <p>Visitors to Oversight.gov will see that, for the third consecutive year, the IG community identified over $20 billion in potential savings of federal tax dollars as part of their comprehensive efforts to eliminate waste in federal programs.</p> <p>Starting today, Oversight.gov provides a “one stop shop” to follow the ongoing oversight work of all IGs that publicly post reports. It also enables users to access more than 5,800 previously-issued IG reports, a number that will continue to grow as IGs issue new reports.</p> <p>Inspectors General currently post these reports to their individual websites. But with the launch of Oversight.gov, users can now sort, search, and filter the site’s database of public reports across agencies to find oversight areas of interest.</p> <p>The site provides easy on-line access to the IG community’s efforts to address the most serious challenges facing the country. For example, the term “cybersecurity” currently appears in 446 reports;“disaster recovery” in 335; “terrorism” in 292; and “whistleblowers” in 781.</p> <p>In addition, the site features a user-friendly map to find reports based on geographic location and contact information for each IG’s whistleblower hotline. As IGs add new reports to their own websites, the new reports and data will be posted simultaneously on Oversight.gov. Users can learn about newlyissued reports across the IG community by following CIGIE’s new Twitter account, @OversightGov.</p> <p>“The public should have easy access to information about their government, and Oversight.gov is a big step in this direction,” said CIGIE Chair Michael Horowitz, who is also the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Justice. “This new website makes the work of the IG community more accessible, and it demonstrates the critical role Inspectors General play in combatting waste, fraud, and abuse, and holding government officials accountable for their management of taxpayer money.”</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">CBP</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Mon, 02 Oct 2017 19:20:34 +0000 alan.smith 3616 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Audit Finds that FEMA’s Management of Its Flood Mapping Programs is Inadequate https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/09292017/dhs-oig-audit-finds-femas-management-its-flood-mapping-programs <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Audit Finds that FEMA’s Management of Its Flood Mapping Programs is Inadequate</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For More Information, Contact</strong></p> <p><strong>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 09/29/2017 - 15:28</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-09-29T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, September 29, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4432/download?token=c6ZjvACt" type="application/pdf; length=84418">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(82.44 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span>A new Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General (OIG) report reveals that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) needs to improve its oversight and management of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood mapping program. OIG auditors concluded that without the recommended improvements, FEMA cannot provide the public with a reliable representation of its true flood vulnerability or ensure that NFIP rates reflect the real risk of flooding. Flood hazard identification and mapping is an integral part of the NFIP and a foundation for flood plain management, flood insurance, and flood mitigation.</span></p> <p><span>The report, “FEMA Needs to Improve Management of Its Flood Mapping Programs,” found that as of December 2016, only 42% of the total flood map miles in FEMA’s inventory were updated and valid, meaning that more than half of flood map miles in the database either required a re-study or still needed to be assessed and validated. This falls well short of FEMA’s internal performance goal of 64% updated and valid flood maps, revised downward from 80% when it became clear that FEMA would not reach its goal.</span></p> <p><span>OIG auditors found that this was caused in part because of ineffective financial management of flood map projects, an outdated life cycle cost estimate for the program, and weak oversight of the progress of flood map projects—especially those placed on hold due to outside circumstances. Of the 88 projects tested by OIG auditors, 65 were on hold for more than a year. </span></p> <p><span>FEMA also lacks oversight to ensure that its flood mapping partners—such as private engineering firm contractors, state and local governments, and regional agencies—comply with FEMA’s guidance ensuring the quality of flood maps.</span></p> <p><span><span>“The recent flooding in Texas after Hurricane Harvey serves as a devastating example of the importance of accurate and reliable flood maps,” said Inspector General John Roth. “We are optimistic that our recommended changes will improve FEMA’s management of the flood mapping program and introduce internal controls to ensure the quality of the maps produced by FEMA’s partners.”</span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-recovery" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/13" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> Fri, 29 Sep 2017 19:28:59 +0000 alan.smith 3606 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov The United States Attorney’s Office Announces Formation Of A Task Force To Fight Hurricane Irma-Related Illegal Activity https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/09142017/united-states-attorneys-office-announces-formation-task-force <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The United States Attorney’s Office Announces Formation Of A Task Force To Fight Hurricane Irma-Related Illegal Activity</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 10/06/2017 - 09:58</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-09-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, September 14, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4509/download?token=zIrwv9BV" type="application/pdf; length=136549">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(133.35 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span>SAN JUAN, P.R. – United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez is urging Puerto Rico residents and businesses to be aware of and report suspected fraudulent activity related to disaster relief operations and federal funding for victims. The USAO for the District of Puerto Rico, in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG), the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety, and the Puerto Rico Department of Justice have formed a task force to investigate and prosecute illegal activity stemming from Hurricane Irma.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>While compassion, assistance, and solidarity are generally prevalent in the aftermath of natural disasters, unscrupulous individuals and organizations also use these tragic events to take advantage of those in need. Examples of typical illegal activity under the jurisdiction of each of the agencies in the working group include:</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>          • Impersonation of federal law enforcement officials</span></p> <p><span>          • Identity theft</span></p> <p><span>          • Fraudulent submission of claims to insurance companies and the federal government</span></p> <p><span>          • Fraudulent activity related to solicitations for donations and charitable giving</span></p> <p><span>          </span><span>• Fraudulent activity related to individuals and organizations promising high investment returns from profits from recovery and cleanup efforts </span></p> <p><span>          • Price gouging</span></p> <p><span>          • Theft, looting, and other violent crime</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>“Our efforts are directed at enforcing a zero tolerance policy,” said United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “In the midst of the distress and losses caused by Hurricane Irma and the attending need for recovery and rebuilding, there can be no place for fraud and abuse.”</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>“With our federal and state partners, we have a long history of tracking down and prosecuting those who attempt to defraud the government of monies that have been set aside to help victims of natural disasters,” said </span><span>Special Agent in Charge Douglas A. Leff of the FBI, San Juan Field Office</span><span>. “The FBI will do everything in its power to protect taxpayer funded relief programs that have been created to help people who have suffered actual losses.” </span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>“The DHS OIG takes any and all allegations of fraudulent activity seriously and intends to hold accountable those who try to use this disaster to take advantage of others,” said Special Agent in Charge Jay H. Donly of the DHS OIG Miami Field Office. “The DHS OIG will use all of its investigative resources to stop those who use this unfortunate situation for personal and illegal gain.”</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>Hector Pesquera, Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety, assured that “his department has been tasked by the Governor of Puerto Rico to join these efforts to investigate and process any individual that engages in fraud or acts of corruption as related to hurricane victims. For those purposes, we have made available to the Task Force all of our resources.”</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>The Puerto Rico Disaster Fraud Task Force will be in close collaboration with the Justice Department’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF). The NCDF receives from members of the public reports of fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations. It has been fully operational since its inception following Hurricane Katrina and is specifically designed to be ready for situations like Harvey and Irma. NCDF has an excellent staff of investigators, analysts, call center operators, and managers preparing to handle the anticipated volume. Since 2005, the NCDF has processed over 70,000 complaints. <span>NCDF operates a call center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to take disaster fraud complaints through a national hotline number (1-866-720-5721) and via email (</span></span><a href="mailto:disaster@leo.gov" target="_blank" title="disaster@leo.gov"><span>disaster@leo.gov</span><span><span> (link sends e-mail)</span></span></a><span>)<span>. This hotline serves, in essence, as a national 911 for disaster fraud. </span>Learn more about the National Center for Disaster Fraud at </span><a href="http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud" target="_blank" title="http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud"><span>www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud</span></a><span>. Tips on avoiding fraudulent charitable contribution schemes are at <a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/tips-avoiding-fraudulent-charitable-contribution-schemes">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/tips-avoiding-fraudulent-charitable-cont…</a>. </span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>Members of the public are reminded to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations on behalf of disaster victims. Solicitations can originate from e-mails, websites, door-to-door collections, mailings and telephone calls, and similar methods.</span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-pr/pr/united-states-attorney-s-office-announces-formation-task-force-fight-hurricane-irma">https://www.justice.gov/usao-pr/pr/united-states-attorney-s-office-announces-formation-task-force-fight-hurricane-irma</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Fri, 06 Oct 2017 13:58:44 +0000 alan.smith 3664 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Middle District Of Florida, Along With Three Other U.S. Attorney Offices In Districts Affected By Hurricane Irma, Establishes Task Force To Combat Disaster Fraud And Urge The Public To Be Vigilant In Reporting Suspected Fraud https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/09142017/middle-district-florida-along-three-other-us-attorney-offices <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Middle District Of Florida, Along With Three Other U.S. Attorney Offices In Districts Affected By Hurricane Irma, Establishes Task Force To Combat Disaster Fraud And Urge The Public To Be Vigilant In Reporting Suspected Fraud</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:17</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="hp-pr-news-block"><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-09-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, September 14, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4510/download?token=y_XiKiOn" type="application/pdf; length=148744">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(145.26 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span>Tampa, FL - The National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, along with U.S. Attorney <a href="http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&amp;enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTcwOTE0Ljc4MTU5MzMxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE3MDkxNC43ODE1OTMzMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE3MjQzMDc3JmVtYWlsaWQ9dXNhZW8ubmV3cy5icmllZmluZ0B1c2Rvai5nb3YmdXNlcmlkPXVzYWVvLm5ld3MuYnJpZWZpbmdAdXNkb2ouZ292JmZsPSZleHRyYT1NdWx0aXZhcmlhdGVJZD0mJiY=&amp;&amp;&amp;101&amp;&amp;&amp;https://www.justice.gov/usao-pr/pr/united-states-attorney-s-office-announces-formation-task-force-fight-hurricane-irma?utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=govdelivery" target="_blank"><span>Offices in the District of Puerto Rico</span></a>, <a href="http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&amp;enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTcwOTE0Ljc4MTU5MzMxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE3MDkxNC43ODE1OTMzMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE3MjQzMDc3JmVtYWlsaWQ9dXNhZW8ubmV3cy5icmllZmluZ0B1c2Rvai5nb3YmdXNlcmlkPXVzYWVvLm5ld3MuYnJpZWZpbmdAdXNkb2ouZ292JmZsPSZleHRyYT1NdWx0aXZhcmlhdGVJZD0mJiY=&amp;&amp;&amp;102&amp;&amp;&amp;https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/acting-us-attorney-establishes-southern-district-florida-disaster-fraud-task-force-and?utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=govdelivery" target="_blank"><span>Southern District of Florida</span></a>, and <a href="http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&amp;enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTcwOTE0Ljc4MTU5MzMxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE3MDkxNC43ODE1OTMzMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE3MjQzMDc3JmVtYWlsaWQ9dXNhZW8ubmV3cy5icmllZmluZ0B1c2Rvai5nb3YmdXNlcmlkPXVzYWVvLm5ld3MuYnJpZWZpbmdAdXNkb2ouZ292JmZsPSZleHRyYT1NdWx0aXZhcmlhdGVJZD0mJiY=&amp;&amp;&amp;104&amp;&amp;&amp;https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndfl/pr/north-floridians-reminded-report-disaster-related-fraud?utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=govdelivery" target="_blank"><span>Northern District of Florida</span></a> announced the formation of task forces comprised of local, state and federal agencies in our respective areas to combat Hurricane Irma related illegal activity. The NCDF and U.S. Attorneys in these districts urge residents and businesses to immediately report suspected fraudulent activity relating to recovery and cleanup operations, fake charities claiming to be providing relief for victims, individuals submitting false claims for disaster relief and any other disaster fraud related activity. </span></p> <p><span>The U.S. Department of Justice established the National Center for Disaster Fraud to investigate, prosecute, and deter fraud in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when billions of dollars in federal disaster relief poured into the Gulf Coast region. Its mission has expanded to include suspected fraud from any natural or manmade disaster. More than 30 federal, state, and local agencies participate in the National Center for Disaster Fraud, which allows the center to act as a centralized clearinghouse of information related to disaster relief fraud.</span></p> <p><span>While compassion, assistance, and solidarity are generally prevalent in the aftermath of natural disasters, unscrupulous individuals and organizations also use these tragic events to take advantage of those in need. In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the NCDF has already received more than 400 complaints. Examples of illegal activity being reported to the NCDF and law enforcement include:</span></p> <ul><li><span><span><span><span><span>Impersonation of federal law enforcement officials;</span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>Identity theft;</span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>Fraudulent submission of claims to insurance companies and the federal government;</span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>Fraudulent activity related to solicitations for donations and charitable giving;</span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>Fraudulent activity related to individuals and organizations promising high investment returns from profits from recovery and cleanup efforts; </span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>Price gouging; </span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>Theft, looting, and other violent crime</span></span></span></span></span></li> </ul><p><span>“Unfortunately, criminals can exploit disasters, such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, for their own gain by sending fraudulent communications through email or social media and by creating phony websites designed to solicit contributions,” said Acting Executive Director Corey R. Amundson of the National Center for Disaster Fraud. “Once the NCDF receives a complaint, it routes the complaints to the appropriate federal, state, or local law enforcement agency in the appropriate jurisdiction. In the process, we are able to de-conflict and identify trends, national schemes, and offenders operating in multi-jurisdictions. The Justice Department will aggressively pursue those who commit disaster fraud.”</span></p> <p><span>“We will aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who seeks to defraud or exploit the federal assistance programs established to help individuals, families, or businesses that have lost so much as a result of Hurricane Irma,” said Acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow for the Middle District of Florida. “Our Office will continue to protect the rights of our honest citizens affected by this disaster and ensure that they receive the necessary public and charitable assistance they deserve. If you suspect any fraud, we urge you to call the NCDF Hotline. Our efforts to combat fraud associated with Hurricane Irma will supplement the outstanding and ongoing efforts by the State of Florida and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.”</span></p> <p><span>“Our efforts are directed at enforcing a zero tolerance policy,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez for the District of Puerto Rico. “In the midst of the distress and losses caused by Hurricane Irma and the attending need for recovery and rebuilding, there can be no place for fraud and abuse.”</span></p> <p><span>“As our South Florida community recovers from Hurricane Irma, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and our law enforcement partners stand ready to investigate and prosecute in federal court anyone who seeks to re-victimize, defraud or exploit the individuals and businesses in need,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida. “Our united enforcement front will work hard to combat criminal activity, including fraud schemes associated with the hurricane’s devastation. Our mission is to ensure that federal, state and local programs, as well as reputable public and charitable assistance initiatives reach those struck by the impact of our recent natural disaster and are not fraudulently diverted to the criminals’ pockets.”</span></p> <p><span>“We do not tolerate fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Christopher P. Canova for the Northern District of Florida. “Individuals, families, and businesses have suffered, and will continue to suffer, tremendous losses. Emergency funds are needed to help them get back on their feet. Dozens of agencies, investigators, and prosecutors are ready to respond to credible allegations of fraud and abuse. If you are aware of fraud, we urge you to call the National Disaster Fraud Hotline.”</span></p> <p><span>Members of the public who suspect fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, or believe they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at (866) 720-5721. The telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also fax information to the Center at (225) 334-4707, or email it to <a href="mailto:disaster@leo.gov" target="_blank" title="disaster@leo.gov">disaster@leo.gov<span><span> (link sends e-mail)</span></span></a>.</span></p> <p><span>Members of the public are reminded to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations on behalf of disaster victims. Solicitations can originate from e-mails, websites, door-to-door collections, mailings and telephone calls, and similar methods. Learn more about the NCDF at <a href="http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&amp;enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTcwOTE0Ljc4MTU5MzMxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE3MDkxNC43ODE1OTMzMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE3MjQzMDc3JmVtYWlsaWQ9dXNhZW8ubmV3cy5icmllZmluZ0B1c2Rvai5nb3YmdXNlcmlkPXVzYWVvLm5ld3MuYnJpZWZpbmdAdXNkb2ouZ292JmZsPSZleHRyYT1NdWx0aXZhcmlhdGVJZD0mJiY=&amp;&amp;&amp;105&amp;&amp;&amp;http://www.justice.gov/DISASTER-FRAUD?utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=govdelivery" target="_blank" title="www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud"><span>www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud</span></a>. Tips for the public on how to avoid being victimized of fraud are at <a href="http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&amp;enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTcwOTE0Ljc4MTU5MzMxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE3MDkxNC43ODE1OTMzMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE3MjQzMDc3JmVtYWlsaWQ9dXNhZW8ubmV3cy5icmllZmluZ0B1c2Rvai5nb3YmdXNlcmlkPXVzYWVvLm5ld3MuYnJpZWZpbmdAdXNkb2ouZ292JmZsPSZleHRyYT1NdWx0aXZhcmlhdGVJZD0mJiY=&amp;&amp;&amp;106&amp;&amp;&amp;https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/tips-avoiding-fraudulent-charitable-contribution-schemes?utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=govdelivery" target="_blank"><span>https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/tips-avoiding-fraudulent-charitable-contribution-schemes</span></a>.</span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/middle-district-florida-along-three-other-us-attorney-offices-districts-affected">https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/middle-district-florida-along-three-other-us-attorney-offices-districts-affected</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:17:44 +0000 alan.smith 3669 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Authorities Announce Formation of Working Group to Fight Hurricane Harvey-Related Illegal Activity https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/08312017/authorities-announce-formation-working-group-fight-hurricane <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Authorities Announce Formation of Working Group to Fight Hurricane Harvey-Related Illegal Activity</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Department of Justice<br /> U.S. Attorney’s Office<br /> Southern District of Texas</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 09/06/2017 - 13:49</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-08-31T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, August 31, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4371/download?token=xDxi65AT" type="application/pdf; length=210359">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(205.43 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>HOUSTON - Representatives from numerous federal and state law enforcement agencies have formed a working group to investigate and prosecute illegal activity related to Hurricane Harvey.</p> <p>Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez made the announcement along with Acting U.S. Attorney Corey R. Amundson of the Middle District of Louisiana who serves as the Acting Executive Director of the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), Harris County District Attorney (DA) Kim Ogg, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Director Shamoil T. Shipchandler of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) -Fort Worth Regional Office, Special Agent in Charge PerryeK. Turner of the FBI, Special Agent in Charge David Green of the Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG), Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Special Agent in Charge D. Richard Goss of IRS – Criminal Investigations (CI), Special Agent in Charge Douglas W. Thigpen of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Regional Director Dama Brown of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).</p> <p>“This disaster has brought and will continue to bring unprecedented human and financial loss to our communities, and victims of this event have already suffered staggering devastation,” said Martinez. “The last thing that victims of this damage need is to be victimized again. Under the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, we bring a comprehensive law enforcement focus to combat any criminal activity arising from the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey and the rebuilding efforts underway.”</p> <p>While each of these agencies has a history of working together, bringing them together into one focused group is an optimal way to address the varied threats resulting from Hurricane Harvey. The working group will involve all levels of law enforcement and includes representatives from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, NCDF, Harris County DA’s Office, Texas Attorney General’s Office, SEC, FBI, DHS-OIG, HSI, IRS-CI, USSS, FTC and the ATF.  Authorities are already receiving calls about scams in our area and have forwarded complaints to the relevant agencies.</p> <p>“We intend to use all of the resources at our disposal to both help our registrants and to hold those accountable who try to use this disaster to take advantage of other people,” said Chairman Jay Clayton of the SEC. “There is no place for fraud or shady practices in the rebuilding and recovery of the communities in Texas and Louisiana that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.”<br /> "As we all work to rebuild the Houston/Gulf Coast region and look for ways to help, it's important to perform due diligence before giving contributions to anyone soliciting donations or individuals offering to provide assistance to those affected by Harvey, whether the solicitations are in person, via email or telephone,” said Turner. “The FBI is dedicated to investigating and preventing this type of fraud, especially when it involves preying on individuals during times of great need.”</p> <p>“As we have witnessed throughout this disaster, the best of the American spirit shines through with neighbors and strangers helping one another. Sadly, at the same time, these situations also bring out those that would try to prey upon those who are willing to give of themselves to help out,” said Dawson. “Rest assured that HSI will, in coordination with our fellow law enforcement partners, bring its investigative resources to bear to stop those that would seek to take advantage of this situation for their personal and illegal gain.”</p> <p>Natural disasters often bring out the best in human compassion and spirit, they can also lead to unscrupulous individuals and organizations taking advantage of those in need of and/or providing government services. Examples of typical illegal activity under the jurisdiction of each of the agencies in the working group include:</p> <ul><li>Impersonation of federal law enforcement officials</li> <li>Identity theft</li> <li>Fraudulent submission of claims to insurance companies and the federal government</li> <li>Fraudulent activity related to solicitations for donations and charitable giving</li> <li>Fraudulent activity related to individuals and organizations promising high investmentreturns from profits from recovery and cleanup efforts</li> <li>Price gouging</li> <li>Theft, looting, and other violent crime</li> </ul><p>Consumers also can report scams and other consumer issues to the FTC and get help if they think they may be a victim of identity theft.</p> <p>Members of the public are encouraged to contact the NCDF to report all types of disaster fraud. The U.S. Department of Justice established the NCDF following Hurricane Katrina when billions of dollars in federal disaster relief poured into the Gulf Coast region. Its mission has expanded to include suspected fraud from any natural or manmade disaster and includes more than 30 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The team includes law enforcement agents who review those reports and make referrals to the appropriate investigative agencies. The NCDF provides de-confliction, coordination and expertise in handling disaster fraud matters and is focused on protecting disaster victims and any funds dedicated to disaster victims.</p> <p>The Disaster Fraud Hotline is 1-866-720-5721 and is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Members of the public can also send an email or fax information to 225-3344707.</p> <p>In addition, the Texas Attorney General’s Office is asking Texans to please contact their Consumer Protection Division and file a complaint if they feel they have encountered price gouging or have been scammed or fall victim to a charities fraud. They can call the toll-free hotline at 800-621-0508, send an email or file a complaint on via the web.</p> <p>The SEC provided this information yesterday and continues to monitor the market impact of Hurricane Harvey and encourage affected entities and investment professionals to contact Commission staff with questions and concerns.<br /> For additional information, you may also visit FEMA’s Hurricane Harvey resource page.</p> <p>The Department of Justice also announced yesterday Tips on Avoiding Fraudulent Charitable Contribution Schemes.</p> <p>Various personnel will also be available for any additional information, comments or interviews regarding this effort. Members of the media wishing to speak with anyone are asked to send an email with your request and preferred times and the office will respond accordingly.</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/authorities-announce-formation-working-group-fight-hurricane-harvey-related-illegal">https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/authorities-announce-formation-working-group-fight-hurricane-harvey-related-illegal</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Wed, 06 Sep 2017 17:49:27 +0000 alan.smith 3512 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Secret Service Agent Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/08152017/former-secret-service-agent-pleads-guilty-money-laundering <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Secret Service Agent Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>Department of Justice<br /> U.S. Attorney’s Office<br /> Northern District of California</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 08/17/2017 - 12:26</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-secret-service-agent-pleads-guilty-money-laundering" target="_blank" title="www.justice.gov/usao/md">www.justice.gov/usao/md</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-08-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, August 15, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4329/download?token=G6XS-4_0" type="application/pdf; length=206521">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(201.68 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>SAN FRANCISCO - A former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service pleaded guilty today to charges of money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch, Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Washington D.C. Field Office Cyber Crimes Unit Special Agent in Charge Kimberly A. Lappin, Special Agent in Charge John Bennett of the FBI’s San Francisco Division, and Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General Houston Field Office David Green.</p> <p>Shaun W. Bridges, 35, of Laurel, Md., pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering before U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California. Sentencing has been set for November 7, 2017. Bridges had been a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service for approximately six years in the Baltimore Field Office. Between 2012 and 2014, he was assigned to the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force, a multi-agency group investigating illegal activity on the Silk Road, a covert online marketplace for illicit goods, including drugs. Bridges’ responsibilities included, among other things, conducting forensic computer investigations in an effort to locate, identify and prosecute targets of the Silk Road Task Force, including Ross Ulbricht, a/k/a “Dread Pirate Roberts,” who ran the Silk Road from the Northern District of California. In 2015, Bridges pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of obstruction of justice related to his theft and diversion of over $800,000 in digital currency over which he gained control as part of his role on the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force. In December 2015, Bridges was sentenced to 71 months in prison on those charges.</p> <p>Prior to reporting to prison to begin serving his sentence for the 2015 conviction, Bridges was arrested and taken into custody on new charges related to another theft of approximately 1,600 bitcoin, valued at the time of the theft at approximately $359,005, (approximately $6.6 million today) from a digital wallet belonging to the U.S. government. According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea in this case, Bridges admitted to using a private key to access a digital wallet belonging to the U.S. government, and subsequently transferring the bitcoin to other digital wallets at other bitcoin exchanges to which only he had access. In the course of the investigation, U.S. agents were able to locate and seize approximately 600 of the stolen bitcoin and, as part of his plea, Bridges agreed to turn over the remaining stolen bitcoin.</p> <p>The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Frentzen and Trial Attorney Richard B. Evans of the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section with assistance from Bridget Kilkenny. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Countryman is handling asset forfeiture aspects of the case. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s San Francisco Division, the IRS-CI’s Washington D.C. Field Office Cyber Crimes Unit, and the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General.</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-secret-service-agent-pleads-guilty-money-laundering">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-secret-service-agent-pleads-guilty-money-laundering</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" hreflang="en">Others</a></div> </div> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:26:51 +0000 alan.smith 3465 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov CBP Spent Millions on Polygraph Exams for Applicants Who Admitted Disqualifying Criminal Activity https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/08102017/cbp-spent-millions-polygraph-exams-applicants-who-admitted <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">CBP Spent Millions on Polygraph Exams for Applicants Who Admitted Disqualifying Criminal Activity</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For More Information, Contact</strong></p> <p><strong>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 08/11/2017 - 09:08</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-08-10T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, August 10, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4304/download?token=pRRus6ae" type="application/pdf; length=108816">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(106.27 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In a new report, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Department of Homeland Security, found that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spent more than $5 million on polygraph exams for job applicants who had admitted disqualifying criminal acts or drug use on employment documents or during pre-polygraph interviews. This occurred because CBP’s process did not stop, and is not sufficient to prevent, unsuitable applicants from continuing through the polygraph examination.</p> <p>OIG auditors analyzed a statistical sample of 380 polygraph exams administered to applicants from fiscal years 2013-2016. Nearly 20 percent of that sample made disqualifying admissions during the pre-polygraph interview. According to CBP’s own data, approximately 2,300 applicants made pre-polygraph admissions including illegal drug use, drug smuggling, human trafficking, and to having close personal relationships with people who commit such crimes. Despite these admissions, CBP administered the polygraph examinations, costing taxpayers $2,200 each, to all of those applicants. CBP further failed to consistently use its on-call adjudication process, which gives the examiners an official method to confirm right away that an applicant’s pre-test admissions are in fact unsuitable and a basis for ending the exam.</p> <p>CBP implemented the OIG’s recommendation to immediately contact adjudicators when an applicant admits to wrongdoing. If the adjudicator determines the applicant is unsuitable, the examiner ends the test and the applicant is removed from the hiring process. CBP has also initiated a pilot program for a new polygraph format. The combination of the new format and its implementation of the OIG’s recommendation has improved efficiency and allows CBP to focus on suitable candidates more likely to pass the polygraph.</p> <p>“Given its plans to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol Agents, it is important that CBP focus its resources on the most qualified and suitable applicants,” said Inspector General John Roth. “We are pleased that CBP has adopted one of our recommended changes to increase efficiency in its polygraph process.”</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/financial-management" hreflang="en">Financial Management</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">CBP</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/15" hreflang="en">Management</a></div> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:08:51 +0000 alan.smith 3439 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Government Employee Sentenced To 15 Months In Prison For Receipt Of Illegal Gratuities And Impersonation Of A United States Immigration Officer https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/08082017/former-government-employee-sentenced-15-months-prison-receipt <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Government Employee Sentenced To 15 Months In Prison For Receipt Of Illegal Gratuities And Impersonation Of A United States Immigration Officer</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For More Information, Contact</p> <p>Elizabeth Morse - 410-209-4885</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 08/08/2017 - 16:36</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/former-government-employee-sentenced-15-months-prison-receipt-illegal-gratuities-and" target="_blank">www.justice.gov/usao/md</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-08-08T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, August 8, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4297/download?token=69o_LEle" type="application/pdf; length=190199">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(185.74 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell sentenced John Theis, age 40, of Sparrows Point, Maryland, today to 15 months in prison, followed by 1 year of supervised release for the receipt of illegal gratuities and impersonation of a United States officer.</p> <p>The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Mark Tasky of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG); Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Kimberly Lappin of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.</p> <p>According to his plea agreement, from January 2015 through his resignation in September 2015, Theis worked at the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship &amp; Immigration Services (USCIS) in Baltimore, Maryland. Theis was an Immigration Services Officer (ISO), whose duties and responsibilities included adjudicating immigration and citizenship cases and granting permanent residence status.</p> <p>Theis was required to obtain approval for any outside employment and no such requests had been submitted by Theis seeking or gaining such approval.</p> <p>From 2014 and through his departure from federal service, Theis accepted cash in return for promising favorable immigration adjudications for a number of aliens. On one occasion, while working at USCIS, Theis advised an alien on the documents needed for a green card approval. Additionally, Theis took photos of the applicant’s case file from a USCIS database. In exchange, Theis received approximately $500 from the alien applicant.</p> <p>Beginning in December of 2014 through February 2015, Theis and a co-conspirator agreed to work together in an immigration business to assist immigrants with getting their paperwork approved through USCIS. Theis would do presentations at an immigration program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). There, Theis would wear clothes that identified him as an immigration officer in order to influence new clients into paying him for assistance with immigration paperwork.</p> <p>In April 2015, Theis went on disability leave after making false statements about his ability to work. He also took various forms of paid leave and never returned to the USCIS.</p> <p>On September 29, 2015, Theis resigned from government service and left for Brazil in October 2015. He continued to do immigration work in Brazil while holding himself out to be a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) until his return to the United States and arrest in December 2016.</p> <p>The approximate value of gratuities Theis received was over $15,000. He also received over $1,600 in disability benefits to which he was not entitled. Judge Russell ordered Theis to pay $1,600 in restitution to the Department of Labor.</p> <p>Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended DHS OIG, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility, USCIS, FBI, and IRS for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and Paul E. Budlow, who prosecuted the case.</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###<br />  </p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/former-government-employee-sentenced-15-months-prison-receipt-illegal-gratuities-and">https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/former-government-employee-sentenced-15-months-prison-receipt-illegal-gratuities-and</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 20:36:08 +0000 alan.smith 3434 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Two More Defendants Plead Guilty in Multimillion Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/07202017/two-more-defendants-plead-guilty-multimillion-dollar-india-based <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Two More Defendants Plead Guilty in Multimillion Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>Department of Justice</strong></p> <p><strong>Office of Public Affairs</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:20</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-07-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, July 20, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4267/download?token=hkfuoToL" type="application/pdf; length=117182">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(114.44 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>An Indian national and a Texas man each pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges this week for their respective roles in liquidating and laundering victim payments generated through a massive telephone impersonation fraud and money laundering scheme perpetrated by India-based call centers.</p> <p>Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas, Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Inspector General J. Russell George of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Inspector General John Roth of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG) made the announcement.</p> <p>Montu Barot, 30, an Indian national most recently residing in Glendale Heights, Illinois, and Nilesh Pandya, 54, of Stafford, Texas, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering offenses, in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 371. The pleas were entered before U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas. Barot agreed to deportation following his sentence. Sentencing dates are pending.</p> <p>According to admissions made in connection with their respective pleas, Montu Barot, Nilesh Pandya, and their co-conspirators perpetrated a complex scheme in which individuals from call centers located in Ahmedabad, India, impersonated officials from the IRS and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and engaged in other telephone call scams, in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the U.S. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators targeted U.S. victims who were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay alleged monies owed to the government. Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money. Upon payment, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of “runners” based in the U.S. to liquidate and launder the fraudulently-obtained funds.</p> <p>According to Barot’s guilty plea, beginning in or around June 2012, Barot served as a runner and coordinated the liquidation of victim scam funds by other runners per the instructions of conspirators from both India-based call centers and within the United States. Barot communicated via phone, text and email in furtherance of the criminal scheme with both domestic and India-based associates, and he and his conspirators used reloadable cards containing funds derived from victims by scam callers to purchase money orders and deposit them into various bank accounts as directed, in return for cash payments or commissions. Barot also admitted to sending financial ledgers to his conspirators detailing the movement of scam victim funds.</p> <p>Based on admissions in Nilesh Pandya’s guilty plea, beginning in or around March 2014, Pandya served as a runner liquidating victim scam funds within the Southern District of Texas. At the direction of two of his co-defendants, Pandya used stored value cards that had been loaded with victim funds to buy money orders and then deposit them into various bank accounts.</p> <p>To date, Montu Barot, Nilesh Pandya, 54 other individuals and five India-based call centers have been charged for their roles in the fraud and money laundering scheme in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 19, 2016. Including this week’s pleas, a total of thirteen defendants have pleaded guilty thus far in this case. Co-defendants Bharatkumar Patel, Ashvinbhai Chaudhari, Harsh Patel, Nilam Parikh, Hardik Patel, Rajubhai Patel, Viraj Patel, Dilipkumar A. Patel, Fahad Ali, Bhavesh Patel and Asmitaben Patel previously pleaded guilty on various dates between April and July 2017.</p> <p>The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.</p> <p>HSI, DHS-OIG and TIGTA led the investigation of this case. Also providing significant support were: the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs; Ft. Bend County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; police departments in Hoffman Estates and Naperville, Illinois, and Leonia, New Jersey; San Diego County District Attorney’s Office Family Protection and Elder Abuse Unit; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General; IOC-2; INTERPOL Washington; USCIS; U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service; and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the Middle District of Alabama, Northern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Central District of California, Northern District of California, District of Colorado, Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana, District of Nevada and District of New Jersey. The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau also provided assistance in TIGTA’s investigation.</p> <p>Senior Trial Attorney Michael Sheckels and Trial Attorney Mona Sahaf of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, Trial Attorney Amanda Wick of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Mark McIntyre and Craig M. Feazel of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.</p> <p>A Department of Justice website has been established to provide information about the case to already identified and potential victims and the public. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud or identity theft in relation to this investigation or other telefraud scam phone calls may contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via this website.</p> <p>Anyone who wants additional information about telefraud scams generally, or preventing identity theft or fraudulent use of their identity information, may obtain helpful information on the IRS tax scams website, the FTC phone scam website and the FTC identity theft website.</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/five-more-defendants-plead-guilty-their-roles-multimillion-dollar-india-based-call-center">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/five-more-defendants-plead-guilty-their-roles-multimillion-dollar-india-based-call-center</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:20:06 +0000 alan.smith 3345 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS’ PALMS Acquisition Faces Major Challenges https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/07062017/dhs-palms-acquisition-faces-major-challenges <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS’ PALMS Acquisition Faces Major Challenges</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/06/2017 - 15:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-07-06T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, July 6, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4197/download?token=I7FZsqEs" type="application/pdf; length=94673">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(92.45 KB)</span> </span> </div> Thu, 06 Jul 2017 19:28:25 +0000 alan.smith 3305 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Allegations of Unauthorized Scans of Georgia Voting Systems are Unsubstantiated https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/07052017/allegations-unauthorized-scans-georgia-voting-systems-are <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Allegations of Unauthorized Scans of Georgia Voting Systems are Unsubstantiated</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-phone-number field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For More Information:</strong></p> <p><strong>Public Affairs (202) 254-4100</strong></p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 07/05/2017 - 14:59</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>For Immediate Release</strong></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-07-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, July 5, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4370/download?token=VZhE10k5" type="application/pdf; length=209962">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(205.04 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A forensic investigation by the Office of Inspector has determined Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees did not conduct unauthorized scans of Georgia’s elections computer systems. The investigation was requested by Congress based on concerns raised by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who cited 10 suspected attempts by DHS personnel to penetrate the state’s firewall in 2016.</p> <p>In a letter to Rep. Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Jody Hice, Inspector General John Roth reported that DHS employee interactions with the Georgia systems were limited to routine searches for publically available information on the state’s public website and that none of the web pages visited were related to elections or voters.</p> <p>The investigation was conducted by employees in OIG’s specially trained Digital Forensics and Analysis Unit.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center">###</p> <p class="text-align-center"><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> </div> Wed, 05 Jul 2017 18:59:05 +0000 alan.smith 3296 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Five More Defendants Plead Guilty for Their Roles in Multimillion Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/06052017/five-more-defendants-plead-guilty-their-roles-multimillion-dollar <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Five More Defendants Plead Guilty for Their Roles in Multimillion Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 06/09/2017 - 10:35</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-06-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, June 5, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4074/download?token=ayHrwZAQ" type="application/pdf; length=112778">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(110.13 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>Five men, including two individuals who formerly worked at scam call centers in India, each pleaded guilty within the past two weeks for their respective roles in a massive telephone impersonation fraud and money laundering scheme perpetrated by India-based call centers.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas, Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Inspector General J. Russell George of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Inspector General John Roth of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG) made the announcement.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>From May 26 to June 6, Rajubhai Patel, 32, an Indian national most recently residing in Willowbrook, Illinois; Viraj Patel, 33, an Indian national most recently residing in Anaheim, California; Dilipkumar Ambal Patel, 53, an Indian national most recently residing in Corona, California; and Fahad Ali, 25, a Pakistani national and permanent U.S. resident most recently residing in Dyer, Indiana, each pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy before U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas. Hardik Patel, 31, an Indian national most recently residing in Arlington Heights, Illinois, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy before the same court on June 2. Sentencing dates are pending for all five defendants.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>According to admissions made in connection with the plea agreements, the five men and their co-conspirators perpetrated a complex scheme in which individuals from call centers located in Ahmedabad, India, impersonated officials from the IRS and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and engaged in other telephone call scams, in a ruse designed to defraud victims in the U.S. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators targeted U.S. victims, who were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay alleged monies owed to the government. Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money. Upon payment, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of “runners” based in the U.S. to liquidate and launder the fraudulently obtained funds.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Based on the statements in his June 2 guilty plea, beginning in August 2012, Hardik Patel owned and managed the day-to-day operations of an India-based scam call center before later leaving for the U.S. While in India, in his capacity as a manager, Hardik Patel communicated extensively via email, text, and other means with various India-based co-defendants to operate the scheme and exchange scripts used in the scheme, coordinate the processing of payments from scammed victims, obtain and exchange lead lists used by callers to target U.S. victims, and exchange spreadsheets containing the personal identifying information (PII) of U.S. persons misappropriated by the scammers to register reloadable cards used in the scheme. Hardik Patel also managed worker payroll and kept detailed records of profits and expenses for various associated scam call centers. Hardik Patel continued to communicate with India-based co-defendants about the scheme and assist with the conspiracy after he moved to the U.S.  </span></span></p> <p><span><span>According to his June 6 guilty plea, Rajubhai Patel operated as a runner and assisted a co-defendant in managing the activities of a crew of other runners, based primarily out of Illinois, who liquidated victim funds in various locales in the U.S. for conspirators from India-based call centers. Rajubhai Patel communicated about the liquidation of scam funds via electronic WhatsApp communications with domestic and India-based co-defendants, purchased reloadable cards registered using the misappropriated PII of U.S. citizens that were later used to receive victims’ funds, and used those cards to purchase money orders and deposit them into various bank accounts of co-defendants and others as directed. Rajubhai Patel also admitted to creating and maintaining spreadsheets that detailed deposits, payments to co-conspirators, expenses and profits from the scheme. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>According to admissions made in his June 2 guilty plea, Viraj Patel first became involved in the conspiracy between April and September 2013, prior to entering the U.S., when he worked at and assisted with overseeing the operations of a call center in India engaging in scam activity at the behest of a co-defendant. After entering the U.S., beginning in December 2014 Viraj Patel engaged in additional activities in support of the scheme in exchange for a cut of the profits, including serving as a processor of scam victim payments and as a runner engaging in the purchase and liquidation of cards loaded with victim scam funds. Viraj Patel communicated with various India-and U.S.-based co-defendants in furtherance of the conspiracy, and also obtained and circulated lead lists to his co-conspirators containing the PII of U.S. citizens for use by the call centers in targeting victims of the various fraud schemes and to register reloadable cards used to launder the proceeds of the schemes.   </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Based on the admissions made in his May 26 guilty plea, since late 2013, Dilipkumar A. Patel operated as a runner in and around Southern California, along with other co-defendants based in the region. At the direction of India-based co-conspirators, often via electronic WhatsApp communications, Patel admitted to participating in the purchase of reloadable cards registered with the PII of U.S. citizens, and the subsequent liquidation of victim scam funds loaded to those cards by co-conspirators, while keeping a percentage of the victim funds on the cards for himself.  </span></span></p> <p><span><span>According to his guilty plea, also on May 26, beginning in or around 2013, Fahad Ali worked as a member of a crew of runners operating in the Chicago, Illinois area, the Southern District of Texas and elsewhere throughout the country. Ali admitted that he first served as a driver for an Illinois-based co-defendant engaging in activities in furtherance of the conspiracy. Ali later operated at the direction of that co-defendant and others, via various means of communication, including text messages, to purchase reloadable cards, and then liquidate victim scam proceeds placed on those cards by India-based co-conspirators, in exchange for recurring payments. Ali also admitted to using false identification documents to receive wire transfers from victims of the fraud.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>To date, Hardik Patel, Rajubhai Patel, Viraj Patel, Dilipkumar A. Patel, Fahad Ali, 51 other individuals and five India-based call centers have been charged for their roles in the fraud and money laundering scheme in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 19, 2016. Including the most recent pleas, a total of nine defendants have pleaded guilty thus far in this case. Co-defendants Bharatkumar Patel, Ashvinbhai Chaudhari, Harsh Patel and Nilam Parikh previously pleaded guilty on April 13; April 26; May 11; and May 18, respectively.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>HSI, DHS-OIG and TIGTA led the investigation of this case. Also providing significant support were: the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs; Ft. Bend County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; police departments in Hoffman Estates and Naperville, Illinois, and in Leonia, New Jersey; San Diego County District Attorney’s Office Family Protection and Elder Abuse Unit; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General; IOC-2; INTERPOL Washington; USCIS; U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service; and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in Northern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Central District of California, Northern District of California, District of Colorado, Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana, District of Nevada and District of New Jersey. The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau also provided assistance in TIGTA’s investigation.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Senior Trial Attorney Michael Sheckels and Trial Attorney Mona Sahaf of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, Trial Attorney Robert Stapleton of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Mark McIntyre and Craig M. Feazel of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>A</span></span><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/victim-witness-program/us-v-hglobal" target="_blank"><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span> Department of Justice website</span></span></a> <span><span>has been established to provide information about the case to already identified and potential victims and the public. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud or identity theft in relation to this investigation or other telefraud scam phone calls may contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via this </span></span><a href="https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/" target="_blank"><span><span>website</span></span></a><span><span>.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Anyone who wants additional information about telefraud scams generally, or preventing identity theft or fraudulent use of their identity information, may obtain helpful information on the IRS tax scams </span></span><a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts" target="_blank"><span><span>website</span></span></a><span><span>, the FTC phone scam </span></span><a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams" target="_blank"><span><span>website</span></span></a><span><span> and the FTC identity theft </span></span><a href="http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft" target="_blank"><span><span>website</span></span></a><span><span>.</span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/five-more-defendants-plead-guilty-their-roles-multimillion-dollar-india-based-call-center">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/five-more-defendants-plead-guilty-their-roles-multimillion-dollar-india-based-call-center</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 14:35:27 +0000 alan.smith 3152 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Government Employee Pleads Guilty to Receipt of Illegal Gratuities and Impersonation of A United States Immigration Officer https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/05232017/former-government-employee-pleads-guilty-receipt-illegal <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Government Employee Pleads Guilty to Receipt of Illegal Gratuities and Impersonation of A United States Immigration Officer</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 05/25/2017 - 10:05</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-05-23T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, May 23, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4041/download?token=FYUFwY8z" type="application/pdf; length=258398">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(252.34 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong><span>Baltimore</span></strong><span>, Maryland – John Theis, age 40, of Sparrows Point, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to receipt of illegal gratuities and impersonation of a United States officer. </span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>The guilty plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Mark Tasky of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG); Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Kimberly Lappin of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office. </span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>According to his plea agreement, from January 2015 through his resignation in September 2015, Theis worked at the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship &amp; Immigration Services (USCIS) in Baltimore, Maryland. Theis was an Immigration Services Officer (ISO), whose duties and responsibilities included adjudicating immigration and citizenship cases and granting permanent residence status. Theis was required to obtain approval for any outside employment and no such requests had been submitted by Theis seeking or gaining such approval. </span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>From 2014 and through his departure from federal service, Theis accepted cash in return for promising favorable immigration adjudications for a number of aliens. On one occasion, while working at USCIS, Theis advised an alien on the documents needed for a green card approval. Additionally, Theis took photos of the applicant’s case file from a USCIS database. In exchange, Theis received approximately $500 from the alien applicant.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>Beginning in December of 2014 through February 2015, Theis and a co-conspirator agreed to work together in an immigration business to assist immigrants with getting their paperwork approved through USCIS. Theis would do presentations at an immigration program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). There, Theis would wear clothes that identified him as an immigration officer in order to influence new clients into paying him for assistance with immigration paperwork. </span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>In April 2015, Theis went on disability leave after making false statements about his ability to work. He also took various forms of paid leave and never returned to the USCIS. </span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>On September 29, 2015, Theis resigned from government service and left for Brazil in October 2015. He continued to do immigration work in Brazil while holding himself out to be a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) until his return to the United States and arrest in December 2016. </span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>The approximate value of gratuities Theis received was over $15,000. He also received over $1,600 in disability benefits to which he was not entitled. </span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>Theis faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison for receipt of illegal gratuities and a maximum sentence of three years in prison for impersonation of a United States officer. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell has scheduled sentencing for August 8, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended DHS OIG, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility, USCIS, FBI, and IRS for their work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra Wilkinson and Paul E. Budlow, who are prosecuting the case.</span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/former-government-employee-pleads-guilty-receipt-illegal-gratuities-and-impersonation">https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/former-government-employee-pleads-guilty-receipt-illegal-gratuities-and-impersonation</a></p> </div> Thu, 25 May 2017 14:05:57 +0000 alan.smith 3124 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Third Indian National Pleads Guilty for Role in Multimillion Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/05112017/third-indian-national-pleads-guilty-role-multimillion-dollar <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Third Indian National Pleads Guilty for Role in Multimillion Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 05/12/2017 - 16:02</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-05-11T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, May 11, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4017/download?token=uUn0Oy-P" type="application/pdf; length=188105">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(183.7 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>An Indian national pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in liquidating and laundering victim payments generated through various telephone fraud and money laundering schemes via India-based call centers. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas, Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Inspector General J. Russell George of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Inspector General John Roth of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) made the announcement.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Harsh Patel, 28, an Indian national who most recently resided in Piscataway, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas. Sentencing is set for Aug. 7, 2017.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>According to admissions made in connection with the plea, Patel and his co-conspirators perpetrated a complex scheme in which individuals from call centers located in Ahmedabad, India, impersonated officials from the IRS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the United States. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators targeted U.S. victims who were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay alleged monies owed to the government. Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money. Upon payment, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of “runners” based in the U.S. to liquidate and launder the fraudulently-obtained funds.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>According to his plea, since around January 2015, Patel worked as a runner operating primarily in New Jersey, California and Illinois. At the direction of India-based co-conspirators, often via electronic WhatsApp text communications, Patel admitted to purchasing reloadable cards registered with misappropriated personal identifying information of U.S. citizens. Once victim scam proceeds were loaded onto those cards, Patel admitted that he liquidated the proceeds on the cards and transferred the funds into money orders for deposit into various bank accounts while keeping a percentage of the victim funds for himself. Patel also admitted to receiving fake identification documents from an India-based co-conspirator and other sources and using those documents to receive victim scam payments via wire transfers. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>To date, Patel, 55 other individuals, and five India-based call centers have been charged for their roles in the fraud and money laundering scheme in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 19, 2016. Patel is the third defendant thus far to plead guilty in this case. Co-defendants Bharatkumar Patel, aka Bharat Patel, 43, and Ashvinbhai Chaudhari, 28, pleaded guilty on April 13, 2017, and April 26, 2017, respectively.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>HSI, DHS OIG and TIGTA led the investigation of this case. Also providing significant support was the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs; Ft. Bend County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; police departments in Hoffman Estates and Naperville, Illinois, and Leonia, New Jersey; San Diego County District Attorney’s Office Family Protection/Elder Abuse Unit; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Small Business Administration - Office of Inspector General; IOC-2; INTERPOL Washington; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS; U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service; and U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Northern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Central District of California, Northern District of California, District of Colorado, Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana, District of Nevada and District of New Jersey. The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau also provided assistance in TIGTA’s investigation.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Senior Trial Attorney Michael Sheckels and Trial Attorney Mona Sahaf of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, Trial Attorney Robert Stapleton of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Mark McIntyre and Craig M. Feazel of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>A</span></span><a href="https://crm-shares/usao-sdtx/victim-witness-program/us-v-hglobal"><span><span> Department of Justice website</span></span><span><span> (link is external)</span></span></a><span><span> has been established to provide information about the case to already identified and potential victims and the public. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud or identity theft in relation to this investigation or other telefraud scam phone calls may contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via this </span></span><a href="https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/"><span><span>website</span></span></a><span><span>.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Anyone who wants additional information about telefraud scams generally, or preventing identity theft or fraudulent use of their identity information, may obtain helpful information on the IRS tax scams </span></span><a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts"><span><span>website</span></span></a><span><span>, the FTC phone scam </span></span><a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams"><span><span>website</span></span></a><span><span> and the FTC identity theft </span></span><a href="http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft"><span><span>website</span></span></a><span><span>.</span></span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/third-indian-national-pleads-guilty-role-multimillion-dollar-india-based-call-center-scam">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/third-indian-national-pleads-guilty-role-multimillion-dollar-india-based-call-center-scam</a></p> </div> Fri, 12 May 2017 20:02:18 +0000 alan.smith 3104 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Technology Woes Hamper ICE Tracking of VISA Overstays https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/05042017/technology-woes-hamper-ice-tracking-visa-overstays <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Technology Woes Hamper ICE Tracking of VISA Overstays</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 05/12/2017 - 12:58</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-05-04T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, May 4, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/4007/download?token=v4gKKWL9" type="application/pdf; length=104390">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(101.94 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" hreflang="en">ICE</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/14" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> Fri, 12 May 2017 16:58:05 +0000 alan.smith 3099 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Fraud Alert: DHS OIG Hotline Telephone Number Has Been Used in Scam To Obtain Personally Identifiable Information https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/04192017/fraud-alert-dhs-oig-hotline-telephone-number-has-been-used-scam <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fraud Alert: DHS OIG Hotline Telephone Number Has Been Used in Scam To Obtain Personally Identifiable Information</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 05/01/2017 - 10:16</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-04-19T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, April 19, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3878/download?token=ha6dNlGo" type="application/pdf; length=132587">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(129.48 KB)</span> </span> </div> Mon, 01 May 2017 14:16:30 +0000 alan.smith 2872 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Indian National Pleads Guilty for Role in Multimillion Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/04132017/indian-national-pleads-guilty-role-multimillion-dollar-india <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Indian National Pleads Guilty for Role in Multimillion Dollar India-Based Call Center Scam Targeting U.S. Victims</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 05/01/2017 - 10:13</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-04-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, April 13, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3874/download?token=EHfeVc2k" type="application/pdf; length=127769">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(124.77 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">An Indian national pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in liquidating and laundering victim payments generated through various telephone fraud and money laundering schemes via India-based call centers. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas, Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Inspector General J. Russell George of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Inspector General John Roth of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) made the announcement.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">Ashvinbhai Chaudhari, 28, an Indian national who most recently resided in Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas. Sentencing is currently set for July 21, 2017. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">According to admissions made in connection with the plea, Chaudhari and his co-conspirators perpetrated a complex scheme in which individuals from call centers located in Ahmedabad, India, impersonated officials from the IRS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the United States. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators targeted U.S. victims who were threatened with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay alleged monies owed to the government. Victims who agreed to pay the scammers were instructed how to provide payment, including by purchasing stored value cards or wiring money, and upon payment, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of “runners” based in the U.S. to liquidate and launder the fraudulently-obtained funds.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">According to his plea, since in or about April 2014, Chaudhari worked as a member of a crew of runners operating in Illinois, Georgia, Nevada, Texas and elsewhere throughout the country. At the direction of both U.S. and India-based co-conspirators, often via electronic WhatsApp text communications, Chaudhari admitted to driving around the country with other runners to purchase reloadable cards registered with misappropriated personal identifying information of U.S. citizens. Once victim scam proceeds were loaded onto those cards, Chaudhari admitted that he liquidated the proceeds on the cards and transferred the funds into money orders for deposit into various bank accounts while keeping a percentage of the victim funds for himself. Chaudhari also admitted to shipping money orders purchased with victim funds to other U.S. based co-conspirators, receiving fake identification documents from an India-based co-conspirator and using those documents to receive victim scam payments via wire transfers. </span></p> <p><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">To date, Chaudhari, 55 other individuals and five India-based call centers have been charged for their roles in the fraud and money laundering scheme in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 19, 2016. Chaudhari is the second defendant thus far to plead guilty in this case.</span></p> <p>The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.</p> <p><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">HSI, DHS-OIG and TIGTA led the investigation of this case. </span> <span>Also providing significant support was the Ft. Bend County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; police departments in Hoffman Estates and Naperville, Illinois, and Leonia, New Jersey; San Diego County District Attorney’s Office Family Protection/Elder Abuse Unit; U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Small Business Administration - Office of Inspector General; IOC-2; INTERPOL Washington; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service; and U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Northern District of Alabama, District of Arizona, Central District of California, Northern District of California, District of Colorado, Northern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana, District of Nevada and District of New Jersey. The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau also provided assistance in TIGTA’s investigation.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">Senior Trial Attorney Michael Sheckels and Trial Attorney Mona Sahaf of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, Trial Attorney Robert Stapleton of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys S. Mark McIntyre and Craig M. Feazel of the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case. </span></p> <p>A<a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/victim-witness-program/us-v-hglobal" target="_blank"> Department of Justice website</a> has been established to provide information about the case to already identified and potential victims, and the public. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud or identity theft in relation to this investigation or other telefraud scam phone calls may contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via this <a href="https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/" target="_blank">website</a>.</p> <p>Anyone who wants additional information about telefraud scams generally, or preventing identity theft or fraudulent use of their identity information, may obtain helpful information on the IRS tax scams <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts" target="_blank">website</a>, the FTC phone scam <a href="https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams" target="_blank">website</a> and the FTC identity theft <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft" target="_blank">website</a>.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/second-indian-national-pleads-guilty-role-multi-million-dollar-india-based-call-center-scam">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/second-indian-national-pleads-guilty-role-multi-million-dollar-india-based-call-center-scam</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 01 May 2017 14:13:21 +0000 alan.smith 2870 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov ICIG, DHS, and DOJ OIGs Release Joint Report on the Domestic Sharing of Counterterrorism Information https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/03312017/icig-dhs-and-doj-oigs-release-joint-report-domestic-sharing <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">ICIG, DHS, and DOJ OIGs Release Joint Report on the Domestic Sharing of Counterterrorism Information</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/135" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">alan.smith</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 03/31/2017 - 16:03</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-03-31T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, March 31, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3855/download?token=w9xdYtpA" type="application/pdf; length=122604">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(119.73 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9" hreflang="en">Others</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11" hreflang="en">Counterterrorism</a></div> Fri, 31 Mar 2017 20:03:33 +0000 alan.smith 2734 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Inspector General Announces Review of Implementation of Executive Order https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/02022017/inspector-general-announces-review-implementation-executive-order <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inspector General Announces Review of Implementation of Executive Order</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 02/07/2017 - 21:49</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-02-02T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, February 2, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3881/download?token=jkQubaIA" type="application/pdf; length=86153">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(84.13 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span>Today, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) announced that it will review DHS’ implementation of the recent Executive Order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The review is being initiated in response to congressional request and whistleblower and hotline complaints. </span></p> <p><span>In addition to reviewing the implementation of the Executive Order, the OIG will review DHS’ adherence to court orders and allegations of individual misconduct on the part of DHS personnel. If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review. </span></p> <p><span>At the culmination of its review, the DHS OIG will provide a final report to Secretary Kelly, the Congress, and the public.</span></p> </div> Wed, 08 Feb 2017 02:49:26 +0000 tony.stark 2674 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Urgently Recommends USCIS Halt Plans to Use the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) for Naturalization Application Processing https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2017/01222017/dhs-oig-urgently-recommends-uscis-halt-plans-use-electronic <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Urgently Recommends USCIS Halt Plans to Use the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) for Naturalization Application Processing</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 01/25/2017 - 20:59</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2017-01-23T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, January 23, 2017</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3766/download?token=cI1QIxTc" type="application/pdf; length=103179">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(100.76 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4" hreflang="en">MGMT</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/14" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 01:59:47 +0000 tony.stark 2665 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov ThunderCat Technology agrees to $1 million civil settlement for bid-rigging and kickback schemes https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/2652 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">ThunderCat Technology agrees to $1 million civil settlement for bid-rigging and kickback schemes</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 01/13/2017 - 12:22</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-12-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, December 15, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3732/download?token=gVXMn4-p" type="application/pdf; length=105265">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(102.8 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span>ALEXANDRIA, Va. – ThunderCat Technology, LLC, located in Reston, has agreed to pay $1 million to settle civil False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Act, and Procurement Integrity Act claims relating to bid rigging and kickback schemes in connection with six government procurements.</span></p> <p><span>The settlement resolves civil claims against ThunderCat relating to the criminal pleas entered by ThunderCat principal, co-owner, and general manager, Edwin Keith McMeans, and ThunderCat sales representative, Anthony Bilby.  From September 2008 to February 2012, ThunderCat solicited or submitted inflated third party bids or “loser bids” during competitions for five government contracts and/or purchase orders awarded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on behalf of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and one government contract awarded by the General Services Administration (GSA).  In connection with one CBP contract, ThunderCat agreed to pay CPB employees 10 percent of ThunderCat’s profits on the contract in exchange for procurement sensitive independent government cost estimates prior to ThunderCat’s submission of its proposal.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">The resolutions obtained in this matter were the result of a coordinated effort between the Civil and Criminal Divisions of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the Offices of Inspector General for DHS and GSA.</span></p> <p><span>The civil matter was investigated by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Roushdy.  The civil claims settled by this False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Act, and Procurement Integrity Act agreement are allegations only; there has been no determination of civil liability.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the </span><a href="http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/" target="_blank"><span>District Court</span></a><span> for the Eastern District of Virginia or on </span><a href="https://pcl.uscourts.gov/" target="_blank"><span>PACER</span></a><span> by searching for Criminal Case No. 1:15-cr-264 (Edwin Keith McMeans) and No. 1:13-cr-466 (Anthony Bilby).</span></p> <p><span>A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the </span><a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae" target="_blank"><span>U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia</span></a><span>.</span></p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/thundercat-agrees-civil-settlement-bid-rigging-and-kickback-schemes">https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/thundercat-agrees-civil-settlement-bid-rigging-and-kickback-schemes</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:22:59 +0000 tony.stark 2652 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Recurring Problems with FEMA’s Grants Management Places Billions of Dollars at Risk https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/2648 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Recurring Problems with FEMA’s Grants Management Places Billions of Dollars at Risk</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 01/07/2017 - 02:06</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-12-07T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, December 7, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3724/download?token=1bIn_05A" type="application/pdf; length=110523">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(107.93 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-recovery" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> </div> Sat, 07 Jan 2017 07:06:30 +0000 tony.stark 2648 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov OIG Finds USCIS Continues to Struggle to Ensure Proper Green Card Issuance https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/2647 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">OIG Finds USCIS Continues to Struggle to Ensure Proper Green Card Issuance </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 01/07/2017 - 02:01</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-11-21T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, November 21, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3723/download?token=WVc6N2Kp" type="application/pdf; length=69082">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(67.46 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6" hreflang="en">USCIS</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/14" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> Sat, 07 Jan 2017 07:01:39 +0000 tony.stark 2647 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Employees Honored https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/2004 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Employees Honored</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 11/04/2016 - 22:15</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-10-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, October 20, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/2690/download?token=J0ZDK-HK" type="application/pdf; length=79103">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(77.25 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/unity-of-effort" hreflang="en">Unity of Effort</a></div> </div> Sat, 05 Nov 2016 02:15:51 +0000 tony.stark 2004 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Sensitive Secret Service Data at Risk of Unauthorized Access and Disclosure https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/1834 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Sensitive Secret Service Data at Risk of Unauthorized Access and Disclosure</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/16/2016 - 21:56</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-10-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, October 14, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/2515/download?token=TDWTamt-" type="application/pdf; length=83877">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(81.91 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/secret-service" hreflang="en">Secret Service</a></div> </div> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 01:56:51 +0000 tony.stark 1834 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Potentially Ineligible Individuals Have Been Granted U.S. Citizenship Because of Incomplete Fingerprint Records https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/1835 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Potentially Ineligible Individuals Have Been Granted U.S. Citizenship Because of Incomplete Fingerprint Records</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/16/2016 - 22:06</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-09-19T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, September 19, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/2516/download?token=8JIAo1M4" type="application/pdf; length=90083">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(87.97 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 02:06:44 +0000 tony.stark 1835 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Completes Three Rounds of Unannounced Random Inspections of CBP and ICE Detention Facilities https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/1836 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Completes Three Rounds of Unannounced Random Inspections of CBP and ICE Detention Facilities</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/16/2016 - 22:07</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-07-28T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, July 28, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/2517/download?token=9G5uAb0S" type="application/pdf; length=69046">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(67.43 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 02:07:35 +0000 tony.stark 1836 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov New Report Finds IT Management Challenges Continue at TSA https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/1837 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">New Report Finds IT Management Challenges Continue at TSA</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/16/2016 - 22:08</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-05-12T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, May 12, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/2518/download?token=4MQTgA5B" type="application/pdf; length=90406">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(88.29 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/transportation-security" hreflang="en">Transportation Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 02:08:25 +0000 tony.stark 1837 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Inspector General Opens Investigation of Alleged Profiling by the Transportation Security Administration https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2016/05042016/inspector-general-opens-investigation-alleged-profiling <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inspector General Opens Investigation of Alleged Profiling by the Transportation Security Administration</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/16/2016 - 22:09</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-05-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, May 5, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/2520/download?token=0Y12cYpM" type="application/pdf; length=65753">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(64.21 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/transportation-security" hreflang="en">Transportation Security</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/5" hreflang="en">TSA</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-oversight-area field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/16" hreflang="en">Transportation Security</a></div> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 02:09:15 +0000 tony.stark 1838 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov FEMA Fails to Analyze Recurring OIG Recommendations and Misses Opportunities to Improve Its Preparedness Grant Program https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2016/03232016/fema-fails-analyze-recurring-oig-recommendations-and-misses <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">FEMA Fails to Analyze Recurring OIG Recommendations and Misses Opportunities to Improve Its Preparedness Grant Program</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/16/2016 - 22:09</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-03-24T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, March 24, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/2521/download?token=oLbmP7ds" type="application/pdf; length=56001">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(54.69 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-preparedness" hreflang="en">Disaster Preparedness</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">FEMA</a></div> </div> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 02:09:58 +0000 tony.stark 1839 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Initiates Periodic Inspections of CBP & ICE Detention Facilities https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/1840 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Initiates Periodic Inspections of CBP &amp; ICE Detention Facilities</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/16/2016 - 22:11</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-03-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, March 15, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/2522/download?token=xl3moN69" type="application/pdf; length=76110">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(74.33 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 02:11:08 +0000 tony.stark 1840 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov USCIS Automation of Immigration Benefits Processing Remains Ineffective https://www.oig.dhs.gov/node/1841 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">USCIS Automation of Immigration Benefits Processing Remains Ineffective</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 10/16/2016 - 22:12</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-03-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, March 15, 2016</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/2523/download?token=SMt-8ies" type="application/pdf; length=54943">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(53.66 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-dhs-agency field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6" hreflang="en">USCIS</a></div> </div> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 02:12:21 +0000 tony.stark 1841 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov FEMA’s Decentralized IT Environment is Overly Complex, Difficult to Secure, and Costly to Maintain https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/11292015/femas-decentralized-it-environment-overly-complex-difficult <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">FEMA’s Decentralized IT Environment is Overly Complex, Difficult to Secure, and Costly to Maintain</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-11-30T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, November 30, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3000/download?token=a0N7c7Qr" type="application/pdf; length=120358">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(117.54 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/it-security" hreflang="en">IT Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2005 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Federal Protective Service Mismanaged Vehicle Fleet https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/10252015/federal-protective-service-mismanaged-vehicle-fleet <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Federal Protective Service Mismanaged Vehicle Fleet</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-10-26T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, October 26, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3001/download?token=TPp9naAU" type="application/pdf; length=126954">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(123.98 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/fps" hreflang="en">Federal Protective Service</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2006 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov OIG Uses Data Analytics to Find FEMA Paid $250 Million in Duplicate Benefits After Hurricane Sandy https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/10222015/oig-uses-data-analytics-find-fema-paid-250-million-duplicate <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">OIG Uses Data Analytics to Find FEMA Paid $250 Million in Duplicate Benefits After Hurricane Sandy</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-10-23T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, October 23, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3002/download?token=SC6pWOe9" type="application/pdf; length=137724">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(134.5 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-recovery" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2007 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Inspector General Reopens Investigation of Improper Access and Dissemination of Personal Information Contained Within a Secret Service Database https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/10042015/inspector-general-reopens-investigation-improper-access-and <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inspector General Reopens Investigation of Improper Access and Dissemination of Personal Information Contained Within a Secret Service Database</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-10-05T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, October 5, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3003/download?token=81WwFRyy" type="application/pdf; length=50344">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(49.16 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/secret-service" hreflang="en">Secret Service</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2008 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Inspector General Completes Investigation of Improper Access and Dissemination of Personal Information Contained Within a Secret Service Database https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/09292015/inspector-general-completes-investigation-improper-access-and <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inspector General Completes Investigation of Improper Access and Dissemination of Personal Information Contained Within a Secret Service Database</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-09-30T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, September 30, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3004/download?token=GBj_MJYa" type="application/pdf; length=60920">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(59.49 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/secret-service" hreflang="en">Secret Service</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2009 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov OIG Finds Substantial Abuse of FEMA Grant by Houston Hospital https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/09292015/oig-finds-substantial-abuse-fema-grant-houston-hospital <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">OIG Finds Substantial Abuse of FEMA Grant by Houston Hospital</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-09-30T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, September 30, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3005/download?token=HT8L8KIh" type="application/pdf; length=120009">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(117.2 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-recovery" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2010 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS-OIG’s Fiscal Year 2014 Disaster-Related Reports Represent $1 Billion in Potential Monetary Savings https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/09232015/dhs-oigs-fiscal-year-2014-disaster-related-reports-represent-1 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS-OIG’s Fiscal Year 2014 Disaster-Related Reports Represent $1 Billion in Potential Monetary Savings</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-09-24T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, September 24, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3006/download?token=PX42t4qH" type="application/pdf; length=121568">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(118.72 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-recovery" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2011 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Improved Coordination Needed to Meet Cyber Threats https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/09142015/improved-coordination-needed-meet-cyber-threats <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Improved Coordination Needed to Meet Cyber Threats</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-09-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, September 15, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3007/download?token=dnmNxv9U" type="application/pdf; length=144437">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(141.05 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/unity-of-effort" hreflang="en">Unity of Effort</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2012 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Federal Grand Jury Indicts Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer and Wife In Alleged Alien Smuggling Conspiracy https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/08262015/federal-grand-jury-indicts-supervisory-customs-and-border <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Federal Grand Jury Indicts Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer and Wife In Alleged Alien Smuggling Conspiracy</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-08-27T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, August 27, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3008/download?token=Aj_fYUBf" type="application/pdf; length=42130">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(41.14 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2013 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS Needs to Improve Grant Guidance for Public Safety Communications Equipment https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/08192015/dhs-needs-improve-grant-guidance-public-safety-communications <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS Needs to Improve Grant Guidance for Public Safety Communications Equipment</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-08-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, August 20, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3009/download?token=Pmj7_3Qv" type="application/pdf; length=173466">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(169.4 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-preparedness" hreflang="en">Disaster Preparedness</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2014 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Inspector General Finds USCIS Did Not Deliberately Violate Court Injunction https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/08122015/inspector-general-finds-uscis-did-not-deliberately-violate-court <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inspector General Finds USCIS Did Not Deliberately Violate Court Injunction </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-08-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, August 13, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3010/download?token=f3tCMxOk" type="application/pdf; length=140243">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(136.96 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2015 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Inspector General Makes Recommendations to Strengthen DHS’ Oversight of Government Charge Cards https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/08102015/inspector-general-makes-recommendations-strengthen-dhs-oversight <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inspector General Makes Recommendations to Strengthen DHS’ Oversight of Government Charge Cards </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-08-11T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, August 11, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3011/download?token=peM2MFEn" type="application/pdf; length=142718">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(139.37 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/financial-management" hreflang="en">Financial Management</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2016 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS Inspector General Releases Statement Supporting Inspectors General Access to Information https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/07262015/dhs-inspector-general-releases-statement-supporting-inspectors <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS Inspector General Releases Statement Supporting Inspectors General Access to Information </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-07-27T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, July 27, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3012/download?token=2YbNr6lo" type="application/pdf; length=126480">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(123.52 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/it-security" hreflang="en">IT Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2017 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov TSA’s Actions Insufficient to Address Inspector General Recommendations to Improve its Office of Inspection https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/07122015/tsas-actions-insufficient-address-inspector-general <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">TSA’s Actions Insufficient to Address Inspector General Recommendations to Improve its Office of Inspection</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-07-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, July 13, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3013/download?token=89_MKNcz" type="application/pdf; length=140712">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(137.41 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/transportation-security" hreflang="en">Transportation Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2018 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Silk Road Task Force Agent Pleads Guilty to Extortion, Money Laundering and Obstruction https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/07012015/former-silk-road-task-force-agent-pleads-guilty-extortion-money <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Silk Road Task Force Agent Pleads Guilty to Extortion, Money Laundering and Obstruction</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-07-01T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, July 1, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3681/download?token=t-_OPMBS" type="application/pdf; length=91486">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(89.34 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A former DEA agent pleaded guilty today to extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice, which he committed while working as an undercover agent investigating Silk Road, an online marketplace used to facilitate the purchase and sale of illegal drugs and other contraband.</p> <p>Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California, Chief Richard Weber of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of  FBI’s San Francisco Division, Special Agent in Charge Michael P. Tompkins of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General’s Washington, D.C. Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lori Hazenstab of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General in Washington D.C. made the announcement.</p> <p>“While investigating the Silk Road, former DEA Agent Carl Force crossed the line from enforcing the law to breaking it,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “Seduced by the perceived anonymity of virtual currency and the dark web, Force used invented online personas and encrypted messaging to fraudulently obtain bitcoin worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from the government and investigative targets alike.  This guilty plea should send a strong message: neither the supposed anonymity of the dark web nor the use of virtual currency nor the misuse of a law enforcement badge will serve as a shield from the reach of the law.”</p> <p>“Mr. Force has admitted using his position of authority to weave a complex veil of deception for personal profit,” said U.S. Attorney Haag.  “Mr. Force’s actions put at risk other important investigations and betrayed the trust placed in him by his law enforcement partners and the public.  We are grateful for the work done by our federal partners to assist in unraveling this crime.”</p> <p>“Through following the money in the Silk Road investigation it became clear that the defendant was engaged in wire fraud, money laundering, and other related offenses,” said Chief Weber.  “He used his position in the investigation to bring himself significant personal financial gain.  This investigation sends a clear message -- no person, especially those entrusted with the public’s trust such as federal law enforcement, is above the law and IRS-CI will use their financial investigative skills to track you down.”</p> <p>Carl M. Force, 46, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California to an information charging him with money laundering, obstruction of justice and extortion under color of official right.  Force’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 19, 2015.</p> <p>Force was a Special Agent with the DEA for 15 years.  Between 2012 and 2014, he was assigned to the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force, a multi-agency group investigating illegal activity on the Silk Road.  Force was the lead undercover agent in communication with <a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/ross-ulbricht-aka-dread-pirate-roberts-sentenced-manhattan-federal-court-life-prison" target="_blank">Ross Ulbricht</a>, aka “Dread Pirate Roberts,” who ran the Silk Road.</p> <p>In connection with his guilty plea, Force admitted that, while working in an undercover capacity using his DEA-sanctioned persona, “Nob,” in the summer of 2013, Force offered to sell Ulbricht fake drivers’ licenses and “inside” law enforcement information about the Silk Road investigation, which information Nob claimed to have accessed through a corrupt government employee.  Force admitted that he attempted to conceal his communications with Ulbricht about the payments by directing Ulbricht to use encrypted messaging.  Although Force understood these payments, which were made in bitcoin, to be government property, as they constituted evidence of a crime, he admitted that he falsified official reports and stole the funds, depositing the bitcoin into his own personal account and then converting them into dollars.  Force admitted that, at the time, the value of the bitcoin he received from Ulbricht was in excess of approximately $100,000.</p> <p>Force also admitted that he devised and participated in a scheme to fraudulently obtain additional funds from Ulbricht through another online persona, “French Maid,” of which his Task Force colleagues were not aware.  Force admitted that, as French Maid, he solicited and received bitcoin payments from Ulbricht worth approximately $100,000 in exchange for information concerning the government’s investigation into the Silk Road.</p> <p>In connection with his guilty plea, Force also admitted that, in late 2013, in his personal capacity, he invested $110,000 worth of bitcoin in CoinMKT, a digital currency exchange company.  Although he did not receive permission from the DEA to do so, he served as CoinMKT’s Chief Compliance Officer.  In this role, in February 2014, Force was alerted by CoinMKT to what the company initially believed to be suspicious activity in a particular account.  Force admitted that, thereafter, in his capacity as a DEA agent, but without authority or a legal basis to do so, he directed CoinMKT to freeze $337,000 in cash and digital currency from the account and he subsequently transferred the approximately $300,000 of digital currency funds into a personal account that he controlled.</p> <p>Force also admitted to entering into a $240,000 contract with 20th Century Fox Film Studios related to a film concerning the government’s investigation into the Silk Road.  Force admitted that he did not secure the necessary approvals from the DEA to do so.</p> <p>According to his plea agreement, Force admitted that he had obstructed justice both by soliciting and accepting bitcoin from Ulricht and by lying to federal prosecutors and agents who were investigating potential misconduct by Force and others.</p> <p>The investigation is ongoing.  To date, Force is one of two federal agents charged with crimes in connection to their roles in investigating the Silk Road.  Shaun W. Bridges, 32, of Laurel, Maryland, a former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service, is charged in a two-count information with money laundering and obstruction of justice related to his diversion of over $800,000 in digital currency that he gained control over as part of the Silk Road investigation.  The charges contained in an information are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.</p> <p>The case was investigated by the FBI’s San Francisco Division, the IRS-CI’s San Francisco Division, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General in Washington, D.C.  The following additional components assisted with the investigation: IRS-CI’s New York Field Office, HSI’s Chicago/O’Hare Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, the U.S. Embassy in Slovenia and the FBI Legal Attaché Office in Tokyo. </p> <p>The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn Haun and William Frentzen of the Northern District of California and Trial Attorney Richard B. Evans of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Arvon Perteet. </p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-silk-road-task-force-agent-pleads-guilty-extortion-money-laundering-and-obstruction">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-silk-road-task-force-agent-pleads-guilty-extortion-money-laundering-and-obstruction</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2019 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Almost 15 Years after the September 11th Terrorist Attacks, DHS Still Has Not Achieved Interoperable Communications https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/06072015/almost-15-years-after-september-11th-terrorist-attacks-dhs-still <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Almost 15 Years after the September 11th Terrorist Attacks, DHS Still Has Not Achieved Interoperable Communications</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-06-08T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, June 8, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3016/download?token=9r_ZVMX7" type="application/pdf; length=150854">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(147.32 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/unity-of-effort" hreflang="en">Unity of Effort</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2021 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov TSA Can Improve Aviation Worker Vetting https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/06072015/tsa-can-improve-aviation-worker-vetting <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">TSA Can Improve Aviation Worker Vetting </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-06-08T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, June 8, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3015/download?token=PnU2A41s" type="application/pdf; length=60829">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(59.4 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/transportation-security" hreflang="en">Transportation Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2020 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Inspector General Completes Investigation of Events at White House Involving Suspicious Package Investigation on March 4, 2015 https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/05132015/inspector-general-completes-investigation-events-white-house <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inspector General Completes Investigation of Events at White House Involving Suspicious Package Investigation on March 4, 2015</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-05-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, May 14, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3017/download?token=4sFsoT7l" type="application/pdf; length=139905">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(136.63 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/secret-service" hreflang="en">Secret Service</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2022 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Inspector General Recommends FEMA Disallow $82.4 Million in Hurricane Katrina Grant Funds Due to Improper Contracting https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/04222015/inspector-general-recommends-fema-disallow-824-million-hurricane <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inspector General Recommends FEMA Disallow $82.4 Million in Hurricane Katrina Grant Funds Due to Improper Contracting</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-04-23T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, April 23, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3018/download?token=trHMgScL" type="application/pdf; length=155263">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(151.62 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-recovery" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2023 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Inspector General Releases Management Advisory to Secret Service Regarding Alarm System Maintenance at Former Presidents’ Residences https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/04222015/inspector-general-releases-management-advisory-secret-service <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inspector General Releases Management Advisory to Secret Service Regarding Alarm System Maintenance at Former Presidents’ Residences</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-04-23T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, April 23, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3019/download?token=oYp6ZDpE" type="application/pdf; length=143655">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(140.29 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/secret-service" hreflang="en">Secret Service</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2024 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov CBP’s Non-Intrusive Inspection Equipment May Not Be Sufficiently Maintained https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/04202015/cbps-non-intrusive-inspection-equipment-may-not-be-sufficiently <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">CBP’s Non-Intrusive Inspection Equipment May Not Be Sufficiently Maintained </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-04-21T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, April 21, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3020/download?token=hhJAddxJ" type="application/pdf; length=120718">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(117.89 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/border-security" hreflang="en">Border Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2025 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov ICE Detainee Air Transportation Program Could Have Saved $41.1 Million https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/04162015/ice-detainee-air-transportation-program-could-have-saved-411 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">ICE Detainee Air Transportation Program Could Have Saved $41.1 Million </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-04-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, April 17, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3021/download?token=MpZaEXZE" type="application/pdf; length=121776">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(118.92 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2026 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov IG Releases Documents Underlying Investigation of Employee Complaints Regarding Management of USCIS’ EB-5 Program https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/04082015/ig-releases-documents-underlying-investigation-employee <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">IG Releases Documents Underlying Investigation of Employee Complaints Regarding Management of USCIS’ EB-5 Program </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-04-09T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, April 9, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3022/download?token=a6dzKkoh" type="application/pdf; length=153278">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(149.69 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2027 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Federal Agents Charged With Bitcoin Money Laundering and Wire Fraud https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/03302015/former-federal-agents-charged-bitcoin-money-laundering-and-wire <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Federal Agents Charged With Bitcoin Money Laundering and Wire Fraud</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-03-30T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, March 30, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3682/download?token=nNTYv1Bz" type="application/pdf; length=71532">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(69.86 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Two former federal agents have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and related offenses for stealing digital currency during their investigation of the Silk Road, an underground black market that allowed users to conduct illegal transactions over the Internet.  The charges are contained in a federal criminal complaint issued on March 25, 2015, in the Northern District of California and unsealed today.</p> <p>Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the FBI’s San Francisco Division, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) San Francisco Division, Special Agent in Charge Michael P. Tompkins of the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General Washington Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lori Hazenstab of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General in Washington D.C. made the announcement. </p> <p>Carl M. Force, 46, of Baltimore, was a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Shaun W. Bridges, 32, of Laurel, Maryland, was a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service (USSS).  Both were assigned to the Baltimore Silk Road Task Force, which investigated illegal activity in the Silk Road marketplace.  Force served as an undercover agent and was tasked with establishing communications with a target of the investigation, Ross Ulbricht, aka “Dread Pirate Roberts.”  Force is charged with wire fraud, theft of government property, money laundering and conflict of interest.  Bridges is charged with wire fraud and money laundering. </p> <p>According to the complaint, Force was a DEA agent assigned to investigate the Silk Road marketplace.  During the investigation, Force engaged in certain authorized undercover  operations by, among other things, communicating online with “Dread Pirate Roberts” (Ulbricht), the target of his investigation.  The complaint alleges, however, that Force then, without authority, developed additional online personas and engaged in a broad range of illegal activities calculated to bring him personal financial gain.  In doing so, the complaint alleges, Force used fake online personas, and engaged in complex Bitcoin transactions to steal from the government and the targets of the investigation.  Specifically, Force allegedly solicited and received digital currency as part of the investigation, but failed to report his receipt of the funds, and instead transferred the currency to his personal account.  In one such transaction, Force allegedly sold information about the government’s investigation to the target of the investigation.  The complaint also alleges that Force invested in and worked for a digital currency exchange company while still working for the DEA, and that he directed the company to freeze a customer’s account with no legal basis to do so, then transferred the customer’s funds to his personal account.  Further, Force allegedly sent an unauthorized Justice Department subpoena to an online payment service directing that it unfreeze his personal account. </p> <p>Bridges allegedly diverted to his personal account over $800,000 in digital currency that he gained control of during the Silk Road investigation.  The complaint alleges that Bridges placed the assets into an account at Mt. Gox, the now-defunct digital currency exchange in Japan.  He then allegedly wired funds into one of his personal investment accounts in the United States mere days before he sought a $2.1 million seizure warrant for Mt. Gox’s accounts.     </p> <p>Bridges self-surrendered today and will appear before Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James of the Northern District of California at 9:30 a.m. PST this morning.  Force was arrested on Friday, March 27, 2015, in Baltimore and will appear before Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan of the District of Maryland at 2:30 p.m. EST today. </p> <p>The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.</p> <p>The case was investigated by the FBI’s San Francisco Division, the IRS-CI’s San Francisco Division, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General in Washington D.C.  The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network also provided assistance with the investigation of this case.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn Haun and William Frentzen of the Northern District of California and Trial Attorney Richard B. Evans of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-federal-agents-charged-bitcoin-money-laundering-and-wire-fraud" target="_blank">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-federal-agents-charged-bitcoin-money-laundering-and-wire-fraud</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2028 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov IG Concludes Investigation of Employee Complaints Regarding Management of USCIS’ EB-5 Program https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/03232015/ig-concludes-investigation-employee-complaints-regarding <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">IG Concludes Investigation of Employee Complaints Regarding Management of USCIS’ EB-5 Program</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-03-24T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, March 24, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3024/download?token=L-IG3_yh" type="application/pdf; length=135390">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(132.22 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2029 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Confirms CBP Overtime Pay Misuse https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/03222015/dhs-oig-confirms-cbp-overtime-pay-misuse <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Confirms CBP Overtime Pay Misuse</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-03-23T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, March 23, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3025/download?token=_UB2iOrQ" type="application/pdf; length=103178">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(100.76 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/border-security" hreflang="en">Border Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2030 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS OIG Finds Notorious Felon Allowed to Use TSA PreCheck Lanes https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/03182015/dhs-oig-finds-notorious-felon-allowed-use-tsa-precheck-lanes <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS OIG Finds Notorious Felon Allowed to Use TSA PreCheck Lanes</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-03-19T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, March 19, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3026/download?token=v_VJTW5V" type="application/pdf; length=133627">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(130.5 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/transportation-security" hreflang="en">Transportation Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2031 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov IG to Investigate March 4, 2015 Secret Service Incident https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/03162015/ig-investigate-march-4-2015-secret-service-incident <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">IG to Investigate March 4, 2015 Secret Service Incident </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-03-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, March 17, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3027/download?token=uPuZR7mU" type="application/pdf; length=131549">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(128.47 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/secret-service" hreflang="en">Secret Service</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2032 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov IG Protests TSA’s Edits of Audit Report https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/01222015/ig-protests-tsas-edits-audit-report <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">IG Protests TSA’s Edits of Audit Report</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-01-23T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, January 23, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3028/download?token=GwKMi0d8" type="application/pdf; length=119816">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(117.01 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/transportation-security" hreflang="en">Transportation Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2033 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov CBP Drones are Dubious Achievers https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2015/01052015/cbp-drones-are-dubious-achievers <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">CBP Drones are Dubious Achievers </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-01-06T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, January 6, 2015</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3029/download?token=px-jo9Hj" type="application/pdf; length=119601">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(116.8 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/border-security" hreflang="en">Border Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2034 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Flawed FEMA Insurance Reviews in Florida Could Leave Taxpayers on the Hook for Millions in Losses https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/12302014/flawed-fema-insurance-reviews-florida-could-leave-taxpayers-hook <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Flawed FEMA Insurance Reviews in Florida Could Leave Taxpayers on the Hook for Millions in Losses</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-12-31T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, December 31, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3030/download?token=oDjJH8Lm" type="application/pdf; length=133859">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(130.72 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-recovery" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2035 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov IT Security Suffers from Noncompliance https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/12212014/it-security-suffers-noncompliance <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">IT Security Suffers from Noncompliance</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-12-22T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, December 22, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3031/download?token=86T_1_bt" type="application/pdf; length=107857">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(105.33 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/it-security" hreflang="en">IT Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2036 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Ocean County, NJ, Woman Admits Defrauding FEMA After Major Disasters https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/12112014/ocean-county-nj-woman-admits-defrauding-fema-after-major <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Ocean County, NJ, Woman Admits Defrauding FEMA After Major Disasters </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-12-12T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, December 12, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3032/download?token=ay96pphl" type="application/pdf; length=32997">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(32.22 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2037 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Clean Books, Worrisome Weaknesses at DHS https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/11162014/clean-books-worrisome-weaknesses-dhs <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Clean Books, Worrisome Weaknesses at DHS</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-11-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, November 17, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3033/download?token=ON8B7IBq" type="application/pdf; length=126182">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(123.22 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/financial-management" hreflang="en">Financial Management</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2038 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Integration Still a Challenge for DHS https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/11162014/integration-still-challenge-dhs <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Integration Still a Challenge for DHS </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-11-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, November 17, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3034/download?token=xARcTnw5" type="application/pdf; length=131206">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(128.13 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/unity-of-effort" hreflang="en">Unity of Effort</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2039 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov OIG Seeks Review of All Katrina Aid to Tulane https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/10212014/oig-seeks-review-all-katrina-aid-tulane <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">OIG Seeks Review of All Katrina Aid to Tulane </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-10-22T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, October 22, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3035/download?token=lGkY6ryT" type="application/pdf; length=119037">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(116.25 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-recovery" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2040 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov No Justification for Secret Service Diversion of Agents https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/10212014/no-justification-secret-service-diversion-agents <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">No Justification for Secret Service Diversion of Agents</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-10-22T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, October 22, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3036/download?token=otNqZyy4" type="application/pdf; length=127431">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(124.44 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/secret-service" hreflang="en">Secret Service</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2041 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Improvements Continue at Detention Centers https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/10012014/improvements-continue-detention-centers <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Improvements Continue at Detention Centers</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-10-02T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, October 2, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3037/download?token=ELpQMWLQ" type="application/pdf; length=145401">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(141.99 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2042 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Flawed FEMA System Could Hamper Disaster Relief https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/09302014/flawed-fema-system-could-hamper-disaster-relief <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Flawed FEMA System Could Hamper Disaster Relief</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-10-01T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, October 1, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3038/download?token=qLpfsaAb" type="application/pdf; length=150330">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(146.81 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-preparedness" hreflang="en">Disaster Preparedness</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2043 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov OIG Audit Cites Millions in Unaccounted-for Funds https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/09302014/oig-audit-cites-millions-unaccounted-funds <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">OIG Audit Cites Millions in Unaccounted-for Funds</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-10-01T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, October 1, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3039/download?token=PNFfRZHr" type="application/pdf; length=151988">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(148.43 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-recovery" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2044 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov FEMA Miscalculation Costs Taxpayers $12 Million https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/09242014/fema-miscalculation-costs-taxpayers-12-million <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">FEMA Miscalculation Costs Taxpayers $12 Million</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-09-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, September 25, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3040/download?token=1E7laS_I" type="application/pdf; length=151329">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(147.78 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-recovery" hreflang="en">Disaster Recovery</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2045 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov IG Roth Responds to GAO Report https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/09232014/ig-roth-responds-gao-report <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">IG Roth Responds to GAO Report </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-09-24T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, September 24, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3041/download?token=jZDhQnRq" type="application/pdf; length=121020">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(118.18 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/it-security" hreflang="en">IT Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2046 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Swanton Man Sentenced To Prison For Child Pornography Offense https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/09152014/swanton-man-sentenced-prison-child-pornography-offense <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Swanton Man Sentenced To Prison For Child Pornography Offense</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-09-16T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, September 16, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3042/download?token=N1pm4xsH" type="application/pdf; length=104441">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(101.99 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2047 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Cost Overruns Pervasive for CBP Housing https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/09102014/cost-overruns-pervasive-cbp-housing <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Cost Overruns Pervasive for CBP Housing</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-09-11T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, September 11, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3043/download?token=Iae0lXOp" type="application/pdf; length=156745">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(153.07 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/border-security" hreflang="en">Border Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2048 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Check Out OIG’s Ongoing Projects, Upcoming Reports https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/09092014/check-out-oigs-ongoing-projects-upcoming-reports <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Check Out OIG’s Ongoing Projects, Upcoming Reports</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-09-10T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, September 10, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3044/download?token=jxFYILdF" type="application/pdf; length=133614">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(130.48 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/it-security" hreflang="en">IT Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2049 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov DHS Ill-Prepared for Pandemic Response https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/09072014/dhs-ill-prepared-pandemic-response <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">DHS Ill-Prepared for Pandemic Response</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-09-08T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, September 8, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3045/download?token=qRRLJ4Yv" type="application/pdf; length=319154">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(311.67 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/disaster-response" hreflang="en">Disaster Response</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2050 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov OIG Finds Improved Conditions at Detention Centers for Alien Children https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/08272014/oig-finds-improved-conditions-detention-centers-alien-children <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">OIG Finds Improved Conditions at Detention Centers for Alien Children </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-08-28T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, August 28, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3046/download?token=iNGhz-jo" type="application/pdf; length=117023">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(114.28 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2051 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Allegation of CBP Gun Incident With Boy Scouts Unsubstantiated https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/08172014/allegation-cbp-gun-incident-boy-scouts-unsubstantiated <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Allegation of CBP Gun Incident With Boy Scouts Unsubstantiated </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-08-18T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, August 18, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3047/download?token=c7gM4LX3" type="application/pdf; length=121703">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(118.85 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/border-security" hreflang="en">Border Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2052 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Immigration Officer Convicted at Trial for Taking Bribes and Witness Tampering https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/07312014/former-immigration-officer-convicted-trial-taking-bribes-and <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Immigration Officer Convicted at Trial for Taking Bribes and Witness Tampering</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-08-01T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, August 1, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3048/download?token=dCIkCqP3" type="application/pdf; length=37967">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(37.08 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2053 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Report on Detention of Alien Children https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/07292014/report-detention-alien-children <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Report on Detention of Alien Children </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-07-30T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, July 30, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3049/download?token=ouEH2Wga" type="application/pdf; length=102002">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(99.61 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/immigration" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2054 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Company Pays Over $500K to Settle Overbilling Case https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/07082014/company-pays-over-500k-settle-overbilling-case <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Company Pays Over $500K to Settle Overbilling Case</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-07-08T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, July 8, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3767/download?token=DEYA0jC3" type="application/pdf; length=59308">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(57.92 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>RE/MAX Allegiance Relocation Services, a Virginia-based move management company, has agreed to pay the government $509,807 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by overbilling for transportation services, the Department of Justice announced today.</p> <p>“Today’s settlement demonstrates our continuing vigilance to ensure that those doing business with the government do so legally and honestly and that taxpayer funds are not misused,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division Stuart F. Delery. “Government contractors who seek to profit at the expense of taxpayers will be held accountable.”</p> <p>The settlement relates to allegations involving contracts to transport personal property of federal employees relocating duty stations within the United States and between the United States and Canada. The government alleged that the defendant charged for move management services that were not provided and overbilled agencies on other moves by charging inapplicable tariff rates.</p> <p>“We encourage whistleblowers to provide us with useful information to help us combat all manners of fraud on the U.S. Government,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana J. Boente.</p> <p>“We will continue to investigate allegations of federal contractors fraudulently maximizing their profits at the expense of American taxpayers,” said U.S. General Services Administration Acting Inspector General Robert C. Erickson.</p> <p>The settlement resolves allegations filed in a lawsuit by Michael Angel, a former employee of RE/MAX Allegiance Relocation Services, in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. The lawsuit was filed under the <em>qui tam, </em>or whistleblower<em>,</em> provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery. The act also allows the government to intervene and take over the action, as it did in this case. Angel will receive $86,667.</p> <p>The settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, the General Services Administration Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General and NASA Office of Inspector General.</p> <p>The case is captioned <em>United States ex rel. Michael Angel v. Franconia Real Estate Services, Inc., d/b/a RE/MAX Allegiance Relocation Services</em>; No. 1:12cv764 (E.D.Va.). The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/virginia-based-move-management-company-pays-more-500000-settle-overbilling-claims-connection">https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/virginia-based-move-management-company-pays-more-500000-settle-overbilling-claims-connection</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/false-claims-act-investigations" hreflang="en">False Claims Act Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2055 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Man Admits Defrauding FEMA After Massachusetts Tornado In 2011 https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/06242014/man-admits-defrauding-fema-after-massachusetts-tornado-2011 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Man Admits Defrauding FEMA After Massachusetts Tornado In 2011 </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-06-25T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, June 25, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3051/download?token=AwwREgnt" type="application/pdf; length=22424">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(21.9 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2056 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Third Defendant Pleads Guilty in Procurement Fraud Scheme Involving Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/06172014/third-defendant-pleads-guilty-procurement-fraud-scheme-involving <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Third Defendant Pleads Guilty in Procurement Fraud Scheme Involving Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-06-17T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, June 17, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3769/download?token=oGg7DQZE" type="application/pdf; length=77689">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(75.87 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A former service contractor for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pleaded guilty today for his role in accepting over $350,000 in connection with the awarding of a $24 million contract by CBP.</p> <p>Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; John Roth, Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Robert C. Erickson, Jr., Acting Inspector General, General Services Administration (GSA); Peggy E. Gustafson, Small Business Administration (SBA) Inspector General; and Richard J. Griffin, Acting Inspector General, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga.</p> <p>Chancellor Ellis, 37, of Manassas, Virginia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obtain illegal gratuities and to violate the procurement integrity act.  Ellis faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on September, 12, 2014.  He will also pay restitution and forfeiture in the amount of $351,176.60, representing the total amount of illicit payments sought and accepted by Ellis in connection with the procurement fraud scheme.</p> <p>In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Ellis admitted that, throughout the conspiracy, he worked for CBP as a service contractor.  Among other duties and responsibilities at CBP, Ellis worked as a technical advisor on a procurement for a Wide Area Network (WAN) optimization project.  The procurement resulted in an award to a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, identified in the statement of facts as Company T, at a contract price of approximately $24 million.</p> <p>Prior to the award to Company T, Ellis—who was actively working for CBP on the procurement—requested that Company T agree to pay ten percent of any profits from the WAN optimization contract to a company co-owned by Ellis.  Shortly after reaching this agreement with Company T, Ellis provided nonpublic source selection information related to the WAN optimization procurement, including independent government cost estimates, to Company T employee Anthony Bilby.  Bilby and other co-conspirators used the source selection information in crafting the winning bid on behalf of Company T.  Bilby and other conspirators also caused nominal competitors of Company T to submit rigged bids on the contract in excess of the amount of Company T’s bid.  After Company T won the contract, it paid $351,176.60—approximately ten percent of its profits—to Ellis’s company.</p> <p>As part of his plea agreement, Ellis has agreed to cooperate in the investigation of others involved in the conspiracy.  Two other co-conspirators, Anthony Bilby and Thomas Flynn, have previously pleaded guilty and have been sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy.</p> <p>This case was investigated by the Offices of the Inspector General for DHS, GSA, SBA, and the VA, with assistance from DHS’s Office of the Chief Security Officer, Cyber Forensic Branch.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kosta S. Stojilkovic is prosecuting the case.</p> <p>A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the <a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae" target="_blank">U.S. Attorney’s Office</a> for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the <a href="http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/" target="_blank">District Court</a> for the Eastern District of Virginia or on <a href="https://pcl.uscourts.gov/" target="_blank">PACER</a> by searching for Case No. 1:14-cr-205.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/third-defendant-pleads-guilty-procurement-fraud-scheme-involving-service-disabled">https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/third-defendant-pleads-guilty-procurement-fraud-scheme-involving-service-disabled</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2057 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Chelsea Selectman Sentenced to More Than 7 Years on Extortion and Fraud Charges https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/06122014/former-chelsea-selectman-sentenced-more-7-years-extortion-and <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Chelsea Selectman Sentenced to More Than 7 Years on Extortion and Fraud Charges </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-06-13T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, June 13, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3053/download?token=09WZNse3" type="application/pdf; length=39042">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(38.13 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2058 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Wolcott Man Sentenced To Prison For Impersonating Federal Officer, Falsifying Military Document https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/05182014/wolcott-man-sentenced-prison-impersonating-federal-officer <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Wolcott Man Sentenced To Prison For Impersonating Federal Officer, Falsifying Military Document</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-05-19T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, May 19, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3054/download?token=zp5gBjiR" type="application/pdf; length=210747">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(205.81 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2059 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Mannford Woman Guilty of Fraudulently Receiving Over $30,000 In Disaster Relief https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/05022014/mannford-woman-guilty-fraudulently-receiving-over-30000-disaster <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Mannford Woman Guilty of Fraudulently Receiving Over $30,000 In Disaster Relief</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-05-02T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, May 2, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3751/download?token=9ZvBxdNo" type="application/pdf; length=82616">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(80.68 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>TULSA, Okla. — United States Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. announced today that a Mannford woman had pleaded guilty in federal court to fraudulently obtaining Federal Emergency Disaster Agency (FEMA) disaster assistance benefits made available to victims of the Mannford wildfires.</p> <p>Kerry Lynn Rowell, 42, of Mannford, pleaded guilty before United States District Court Chief Judge Gregory K. Frizzell to a charge that she had made false statements to a Federal agency. Rowell faces the maximum statutory penalty of five (5) years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. A sentencing date has been set for August 12, 2014.</p> <p>According to court documents, from August 23, 2012 to September 23, 2013, Rowell made false statements and provided false documents to support her application for FEMA disaster assistance. Rowell claimed her primary residence was destroyed, when in fact she did not reside at that residence. The house was actually owned by her mother and was uninhabited, dilapidated, and had no utility service. None of the personal property she listed on the FEMA application was in the abandoned house when it was destroyed by the fire. Rowell fraudulently received $31,400 in FEMA disaster assistance benefits.</p> <p>“Anyone with information that an individual may have defrauded the government in connection with a disaster may call the toll-free Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General Hotline at 1-800-323-8603,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Complaints may be made anonymously and confidentially via the official website (<a href="http://www.oig.dhs.gov">www.oig.dhs.gov</a>), or by mailing DHS Office of Inspector General/MAIL STOP 0305, Attention: Office of Investigations—Hotline, 245 Murray Lane SW, Washington, DC 20528.”</p> <p>The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Charles M. McLoughlin prosecuted on behalf of the United States.</p> <p>If someone has any questions about how assistance benefits may be spent, has made a mistake when reporting damage, or has misrepresented losses, he or she may correct the situation immediately by calling the toll-free FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-FEMA or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the speech or hearing impaired.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndok/pr/mannford-woman-guilty-fraudulently-receiving-over-30000-disaster-relief">https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndok/pr/mannford-woman-guilty-fraudulently-receiving-over-30000-disaster-relief</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2060 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Defendant Pleads Guilty to Hurricane Ike Fraud https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/04212014/defendant-pleads-guilty-hurricane-ike-fraud <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Defendant Pleads Guilty to Hurricane Ike Fraud</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-04-22T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, April 22, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3056/download?token=jYprHrFw" type="application/pdf; length=51635">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(50.42 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2061 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov United States Settles False Claims Act Allegations Against Importer https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/03122014/united-states-settles-false-claims-act-allegations-against <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">United States Settles False Claims Act Allegations Against Importer </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-03-12T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, March 12, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3768/download?token=u_vAAKzx" type="application/pdf; length=72921">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(71.21 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>SAN FRANCISCO – Bizlink Technology, Inc. (BTI), an importer of computer cable assemblies located in Fremont, California, has paid $1.2 million to settle allegations that it violated the civil False Claims Act by underpaying customs duties owed on goods imported from China, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Brian J. Humphrey, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations, San Francisco.</p> <p>The United States alleges that, from 2006 through 2008, BTI underpaid customs duties on goods that BTI imported into the United States from Bizlink International Electronics Co., Ltd., a factory in Shenzhen, China. BTI allegedly obtained two sets of invoices for each shipment from the Chinese factory: one true invoice that BTI paid, and a second invoice falsely stating a lower cost. The false invoices were allegedly used to calculate the customs duties that BTI paid on the imported goods, resulting in substantial underpayments.</p> <p>“This office remains committed to fighting fraud against the federal Treasury in whatever form it appears. When a company fails to pay the customs duties it owes, it takes from the federal government, and unfairly burdens honest individuals and companies who pay their fair share.” U.S. Attorney Haag said.</p> <p>“Customs and Border Protection enforces U.S trade laws that protect our nation’s economy and the safety of our citizens. Customs Duty helps control the flow of legitimate foreign manufactured goods entering the country. Attempting to circumnavigate those requirements by fraud carries serious repercussions,” said Brian J. Humphrey, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in San Francisco.</p> <p>The settlement resolves a whistleblower lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. A manager who formerly worked at BTI filed the case pursuant to the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Under those provisions, private citizens, known as “relators,” may file lawsuits on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of the proceeds of a settlement or judgment. The relator will receive $252,000 as his share of the government’s recovery from BTI.</p> <p>Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Winslow handled the matter on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, with assistance from Financial Fraud Investigator Michael Zehr and Legal Assistant Kathy Terry. The matter was investigated by the DHS Offices of Inspector General and Homeland Security Investigations.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndca/pr/united-states-settles-false-claims-act-allegations-against-importer">https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndca/pr/united-states-settles-false-claims-act-allegations-against-importer</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/false-claims-act-investigations" hreflang="en">False Claims Act Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2062 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov John Roth Confirmed as DHS Inspector General https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/03052014/john-roth-confirmed-dhs-inspector-general <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">John Roth Confirmed as DHS Inspector General</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-03-06T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Thursday, March 6, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3058/download?token=LIAwraQt" type="application/pdf; length=113837">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(111.17 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/it-security" hreflang="en">IT Security</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2063 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Leesburg Man Sentenced for Role in Procurement Fraud Scheme Affecting over $33 Million in Federal Contracts https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/02202014/leesburg-man-sentenced-role-procurement-fraud-scheme-affecting <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Leesburg Man Sentenced for Role in Procurement Fraud Scheme Affecting over $33 Million in Federal Contracts</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-02-21T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, February 21, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3059/download?token=8130Gkgm" type="application/pdf; length=77110">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(75.3 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2064 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Jarrell Police Chief Pleads Guilty To Federal Bribery Charge https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/02062014/former-jarrell-police-chief-pleads-guilty-federal-bribery-charge <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Jarrell Police Chief Pleads Guilty To Federal Bribery Charge</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-02-07T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, February 7, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3060/download?token=u0gDZeSb" type="application/pdf; length=45712">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(44.64 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2065 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Contract Employee for USCIS Convicted in New Jersey for Theft and Sale of Forms https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/01232014/former-contract-employee-uscis-convicted-new-jersey-theft-and <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Contract Employee for USCIS Convicted in New Jersey for Theft and Sale of Forms</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-01-24T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, January 24, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3753/download?token=vJ_VHXTq" type="application/pdf; length=81254">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(79.35 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2066 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Pickens Woman Found Guilty of FEMA Fraud https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/01142014/pickens-woman-found-guilty-fema-fraud <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Pickens Woman Found Guilty of FEMA Fraud</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-01-15T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Wednesday, January 15, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3062/download?token=RvIiQxwl" type="application/pdf; length=82403">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(80.47 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2067 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former President of Vonetex LLC Admits Paying Kickbacks In Connection With TSA Contract For High-Tech Phone Systems https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/01132014/former-president-vonetex-llc-admits-paying-kickbacks-connection <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former President of Vonetex LLC Admits Paying Kickbacks In Connection With TSA Contract For High-Tech Phone Systems </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-01-14T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Tuesday, January 14, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3063/download?token=zH1Kn_T2" type="application/pdf; length=37029">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(36.16 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2068 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Defendants Plead Guilty to Hurricane Ike Fraud https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/01102014/defendants-plead-guilty-hurricane-ike-fraud <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Defendants Plead Guilty to Hurricane Ike Fraud</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-01-10T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, January 10, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3752/download?token=VmaTA9t3" type="application/pdf; length=85857">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(83.84 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>ATLANTA – John A. Wheeler and Melody Lockett Carter pleaded guilty in federal court to fraudulently obtaining FEMA assistance funds intended for the victims of Hurricane Ike.</p> <p>“These defendants stole over $50,000 in disaster relief funds that were intended to benefit those who truly suffered from the devastation of Hurricane Ike in 2008,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “Since the creation of the Disaster Fraud Task Force in 2005, we have remained committed to prosecuting those criminals who would take advantage of natural disasters to enrich themselves.”</p> <p>James E. Ward, Special Agent in Charge for the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, said, “The Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General is dedicated to investigating fraud related to DHS programs, specifically FEMA Emergency Disaster Relief Funds.  The charges against these defendants serves as an example of our commitment to investigating FEMA fraud allegations and pursuing federal prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.  DHS-OIG will continue to place a high priority on investigating these types of crimes which negatively impact FEMA’s Disaster Relief Funds that are intended for law abiding citizens.”</p> <p>According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court:  Wheeler, 57, and Carter, 49, both of Wilmerding, Pa., and Angela Pratt Avery, 44, of Lawrenceville, Ga., worked together to file three fraudulent FEMA claims for Hurricane Ike disaster relief funds.  The defendants filed the claims in September 2008 and January 2009, falsely claiming that Carter and Avery lived at a West Ventura Drive address in Galveston, Texas, at the time of Hurricane Ike and that their<br /> personal property had been damaged by the storm.  In fact, all three defendants lived in Norcross, Ga., at the time of Hurricane Ike and were not victims of the storm.  The defendants received over $50,000 in disaster assistance from FEMA based on their fraud.</p> <p>On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall near Galveston, causing widespread damage along the Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida coastlines and the surrounding areas.  After Hurricane Ike struck the Texas coastline, FEMA provided financial disaster assistance to displaced individuals who resided in various counties in Texas.  Those individuals could make an application for disaster assistance funds by filing a claim with FEMA that included the Texas address where they were living at the time of the hurricane.</p> <p>Wheeler and Carter each pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government money.  Sentencing for Wheeler and Carter will be scheduled at a later date.</p> <p>This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General.</p> <p>Assistant United States Attorney Stephen H. McClain is prosecuting the case.</p> <p>In September 2005, the Attorney General established the Disaster Fraud Task Force to deter, detect, and prosecute disaster-related federal crimes such as charity fraud, identity theft, procurement fraud, and insurance fraud related to the Hurricane Katrina disaster.  As multiple disasters occurred in subsequent years, the Task Force expanded its mandate to all types of disaster fraud.  The Task Force, chaired by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Criminal Division, includes the FBI, the Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, federal Inspectors General, and various representatives of state and local law enforcement.</p> <p>For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at <a href="mailto:USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov" target="_blank">USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov<span><span> (link sends e-mail)</span></span></a> or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is <a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/" target="_blank">http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/</a>.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-press-release-footer field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>###<br />  </p> <p><strong>DHS Office of the Inspector General, <a href="https://www.oig.dhs.gov" target="_blank" title="DHS OIG Website URL">www.oig.dhs.gov</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Article Link: </strong><a href="https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr/defendants-plead-guilty-hurricane-ike-fraud">https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga/pr/defendants-plead-guilty-hurricane-ike-fraud</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2069 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Federal Air Marshal And Border Patrol Agent Sentenced To Ninety Years’ Imprisonment For Sexual Exploitation of Children https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2014/01052014/former-federal-air-marshal-and-border-patrol-agent-sentenced <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Federal Air Marshal And Border Patrol Agent Sentenced To Ninety Years’ Imprisonment For Sexual Exploitation of Children</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-01-06T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, January 6, 2014</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3065/download?token=n97xyLFR" type="application/pdf; length=57575">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(56.23 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2070 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Convicted of Corruption https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2013/12192013/us-customs-and-border-protection-officer-convicted-corruption <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Convicted of Corruption</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2013-12-20T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Friday, December 20, 2013</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3066/download?token=2tifZ2Hn" type="application/pdf; length=109353">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(106.79 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-testimony-topic field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/news/press-releases/criminal-investigations" hreflang="en">Criminal Investigations</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 04:28:07 +0000 tony.stark 2071 at https://www.oig.dhs.gov Former Employee of Two Government Contractors Pleads Guilty to Role in Procurement Fraud Scheme Involving Over $33 Million in Federal Contracts  https://www.oig.dhs.gov/news/press-releases/2013/12022013/former-employee-two-government-contractors-pleads-guilty-role <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Former Employee of Two Government Contractors Pleads Guilty to Role in Procurement Fraud Scheme Involving Over $33 Million in Federal Contracts </span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">tony.stark</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 11/06/2016 - 23:28</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-for-immediate-release field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For Immediate Release</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2013-12-02T12:00:00Z" class="datetime">Monday, December 2, 2013</time> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-press-release-pdf field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"> <span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"> <a href="/file/3770/download?token=jHkTYkwL" type="application/pdf; length=77110">Download PDF</a> <span class="file-size">(75.3 KB)</span> </span> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Anthony R. Bilby, 40, of Leesburg, Va., pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and major government fraud.</p> <p>Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Charles K. Edwards, Deputy Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Brian D. Miller, General Services Administration (GSA) Inspector General; Peggy E. Gustafson, Small Business Administration (SBA) Inspector General; and Kim Lampkins, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Anthony J. Trenga.</p> <p>Bilby faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on February 21, 2014.  He has agreed to forfeit $1,065,103.90, representing his personal proceeds from the conspiracy.</p> <p>In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Bilby admitted that from April 2007 through November 2012, while he was employed by two service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, he participated in a conspiracy to obtain government contracts through fraud and misrepresentation.  During this time period, Bilby caused employees at a nominal competitor to submit inflated bids on the same procurements for which Bilby submitted bids on behalf of his employers.  Bilby also gained improper access to the procurement process through co-conspirators working within the government.  These co-conspirators provided Bilby and others with internal government cost estimates, so that Bilby knew how much the government was willing to pay before he drafted his and his competitor’s bids.  Bilby also drafted portions of internal procurement documents in a manner that increased his odds of winning contracts without facing actual competition.</p> <p>One of Bilby’s employers, with Bilby’s knowledge and assent, agreed to pay ten percent of its profits on a contract worth more than $24 million to co-conspirators within the government.  These co-conspirators, in turn, provided Bilby and his employer with improper access to documents and a competitive advantage in obtaining the contract.  In total, the conduct of Bilby and others resulted in the award of more than $33 million in federal contracts through fraudulent procurement practices.</p> <p>As part of his plea agreement, Bilby has agreed to cooperate in the investigation of others involved in the conspiracy.  Another co-conspirator, Thomas S. Flynn, pleaded guilty on October 2, 2013.</p> <p>This case was investigated by the Offices of the Inspector General for DHS, GSA, SBA, and the VA, with assistance from DHS’s Office of the Chief Security Officer, Cyber Forensic Branch.  Assistant United States Attorney Kosta S. Stojilkovic is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.</p> <p>A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at <a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae" target="_blank">http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae</a>.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at <a href="http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/" target="_blank">http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/</a> or on <a href="https://pcl.uscour