Partner in Wheel Chair Company Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering and Other Crimes

The United States Attorney for the Western District of Virgina recently announced that Jan Michael Bliwas had pleaded guilty to a one count information charging him with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, health care fraud, telemarketing fraud, and money laundering. The charges arose from a complicated scheme engineered by Bliwas to maximize receipts from Medicare and Medicaid by adding on and billing Medicare for expensive wheelchair extras that patients didn’t really need.

See the full release here.

Phoenix Attorney Indicted for Bankruptcy Fraud and Laundering Money

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona announced that on August 29, 2006, a federal grand jury in Phoenix, Ariz. returned a 34- count indictment against a Phoenix attorney, James Joseph Everett, 51, of Paradise Valley, Arizona, for False Declarations in Bankruptcy Proceedings, Bankruptcy Fraud, and Money Laundering. The indictment alleges that, in 2002, Everett made numerous material false declarations in his Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings designed to conceal approximately $500,000 in assets and income from the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee. The indictment further alleges that Defendant used more than $300,000 in concealed assets to purchase a house in Paradise Valley.

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Fake Doctor Is Sentenced To 12 and 1/2 Years in Prison For Fraud and Money Laundering

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island announced recently that a federal judge had sentenced John E. Curran, a self-styled “natural healer” who also presented himself as a medical doctor, to 150 months in prison for fraud and money laundering. During the trial in May, prosecutors presented evidence that Curran sold clients a total of about $1.4 million worth of treatment and products after falsely diagnosing a variety of ailments.

The evidence further showed that Curran told clients that they had “live parasites” in their blood, that they had severely reduced blood cell counts, or that their immune system was ruined. He told clients that they had or would develop life-threatening diseases or were near death. He falsely claimed in a brochure and other media that he had cured a patient of cancer. To treat these ailments and diseases, Curran offered what he called "E-water" and the specially formulated "Green Drink" (which was actually a commercially available dietary supplement that Curran bought from a distributor). To reassure clients, Curran made false claims about his qualifications, educational background and training.

See the full release here (PDF).

Kickback Scheme Leads to 27 Count Indictment That Includes 8 Money Laundering Charges

Gregory A. White, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced recently that a federal grand jury returned a 27-count indictment against Joseph H. Smith and Anton Zgoznik, charging them with conspiring to defraud the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, and other related charges. Counts 10-17 against Smith were money laundering charges.

According to the indictment, Smith held several senior financial positions with the Cleveland Catholic Diocese for several years. The indictment further alleges that from approximately June 1997 through February 2004, Smith and Zgoznik conspired to defraud and obtain money from the Diocese through a scheme by which Smith, in violation of his duties as a Diocese official, steered substantial outsourced business from the Diocese to companies controlled by Zgoznik in exchange for substantial undisclosed kickback payments. The amounts were quite staggering: the indictment alleges that the Diocese paid approximately $17,533,330 to Zgoznik’s companies from 1996 through 2003 and that Zgoznik’s companies paid kickbacks totaling approximately $784,627 to Smith during 1997 through 2003.

To conceal his kickback income, Smith deposited the kickback checks payable to Tee Sports into an account in his name, doing business as Tee Sports, which he opened using the Tee Sports corporate tax identification number but which he used as a personal account. The money laundering charges stem from Smith's alleged use of the Tee Sports account to issue checks for personal expenses in an effort to conceal and disguise, the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the ill-gotten proceeds.

See full release here.

Minnesota Grocer Pleads Guilty to Laundering Money for Drug Dealers

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota announced recently that Bola Olugbenga Aiyese, age 31, pled guilty to five counts of money laundering.  Aiyese worked at his parent’s grocery store, the Timay Market, which is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Commerce as a Western Union agent. Aiyese admitted in court that he misused his status as a Western Union remittance agent when he illegally laundered money for drug dealers. Some of the funds wired by Aiyese were sent to out-of-state drug sources, and other money wires were sent using obviously false names such as “Brad Pitt” and “Hugh Grant.” Aiyese admitted he laundered between $400,00 and $1 million for drug traffickers.

See the full release here.

Former Semi-Conductor Sales Rep Sentenced to More than Four Years in Federal Prison on Money Laundering Conviction

United States Attorney Richard B. Roper fort he Northern District of Texas announced recently that Roy G. Driscoll was sentenced to 51 months imprisonment and ordered to pay $1,786,770.21 in restitution, following his guilty plea in October 2005 to one count of money laundering. Driscoll admitted embezzling money from his employer Memec Inc., a semi-conductor distributor, by overcharging a customer, Alcatel USA, and then diverting the refunds to accounts under his control. Among other things, Driscoll admitted that he falsely inflated the resale price of electronic equipment Memec sold to Alcatel which caused overpayments and credits to be due to Alcatel USA. Driscoll then caused Memec employees to wire transfer approximately $1,786,770.21 in credits generated from the overcharging to a Bank of America account in Texas in the name of Roy G. Driscoll, doing business as “Alcatel Asset Recovery.”

See full release here.

Pharmacy Owners Indicated for Healthcare Fraud and Money Laundering

Alexander Milman, and his wife, Valentina Milman, both of Kirkland, Washington were indicted this week by a federal grand jury in Seattle for, among other things, health care fraud and money laundering in connection with an alleged scheme to bill the government’s Medicaid program for over $1.7 million in drugs and medical supplies that were never delivered. The money laundering counts reflected the Milmans' alleged attempt to launder some of the proceeds of the crime by transferring tens of thousands of dollars to their daughter’s bank account and then withdrawing some of the money in cashiers checks.

See the full release here.

Past Company President and CFO Indicted on Money Laundering Charges

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California recently announced that Peggy Kaye Witts, 59, of Redding, California, has been charged in an indictment with mail fraud, wire fraud, false filing of a pension plan document, money laundering, tax evasion and forfeiture of her house in Redding arising out of her alleged embezzlement of over $850,000 from the Voorwood Company, Inc., of which she was President and Chief Financial Officer. The indictment charges that Witts allegedly issued duplicate paychecks to herself for over four years and other checks to family members. The money laundering charge stems from the allegation that Witts engaged in financial transactions greater than $10,000 with stolen money.

See the full release here.

Accounting Firm Owner Indicted on Money Laundering Charges

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland announced last week that a federal grand jury has indicted Wilkins McNair, Jr., age 48, of Ellicott City, Maryland on 23 charges of wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to defraud investors in an obesity treatment clinic and to obtain money from them through false representations and promises.

The indictment charges that McNair, a certified public accountant and the owner of an accounting firm was retained to provide accounting and other financial services to Bariatric Care Associates, LLC, (BCA), a corporation established by several investors, including a surgeon and cardiologist, who intended to open a clinic treating patients who suffered from morbid obesity. The investors gave McNair control over the company's bank accounts. Contrary to his agreements with the investors, however, the indictment charges that McNair proceeded to misappropriate approximately $1.3 million of the $1.550 million entrusted to his care and to cover up his theft of the funds and lull the investors into complacency, provided several of the investors with “interest” payments.

The maximum penalty on each of the indictment’s 11 money laundering charges is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Read the full release here