FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending November 20, 2009

1.  Washington Field: Twenty-Six Charged in Nationwide Scheme to Defraud FCC’s Video Relay Service Program

Indictments were unsealed against 26 people charged with engaging in a scheme to steal millions of dollars from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Video Relay Service program. Arrests were made by FBI agents and Postal Inspectors in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Maryland, and were the result of a joint FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and FCC Office of Inspector General investigation into the nationwide scheme. Full Story

2.   Atlanta: Kuwaiti Company Indicted for Massive Overcharging of United States for Soldiers’ Food

Public Warehousing Company, K.S.C., a logistics company organized under the laws of the Nation of Kuwait, was indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, committing major fraud against the United States, making false statements, submitting false claims, and wire fraud. All of the charges concern multi-billion dollar contracts issued by the Department of Defense for feeding American troops in Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan. Full Story

3.   FBI Headquarters: Seeking Civil Rights-Era Cold Case Victims’ Next of Kin

Nearly three years after the launch of the Civil Rights-Era Cold Case Initiative, the FBI is publicly releasing updated information demonstrating the progress made so far, and requesting public assistance with a new challenge: locating victims’ next of kin in 33 cases.  Full Story

4.   Los Angeles: Athens Park Bloods Street Gang Members Charged with Narcotics Violations

Hundreds of Sheriff’s deputies and FBI agents executed arrest and search warrants in the final phase of “Operation Blood Klot.” Seventeen members and associates of the Athens Park Bloods street gang were charged for their alleged roles in a narcotics trafficking conspiracy that operated within a South Los Angeles. Full Story

5.   San Diego: Man Pleads Guilty to $25 Million Investment Fraud Scheme

Richard M. Hersch pled guilty to mail fraud and conspiracy to structure financial transactions in connection with a $25 million investment fraud scheme. The plea agreement provides for Hersch to pay at least $9.2 million in restitution to investors he defrauded. Full Story

6. New York: United States Charges 43 Members of Cocaine Trafficking Ring

An indictment was unsealed charging 43 members of a cocaine trafficking ring with conspiracy to distribute approximately $1 million worth of crack and powder cocaine across Westchester County. Full Story

7.   St. Louis: Former State Senator, Former State Representative, and Associate Sentenced on Federal Obstruction Charges

Former Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith, former Missouri State Representative Mark Brown, and Nicholas Adams were sentenced on federal obstruction charges involving their conspiracy and attempt to obstruct a Federal Election Commission proceeding. Additionally, Smith and Adams were sentenced for conspiracy and attempt to obstruct a Federal Grand Jury proceeding. Full Story

8.   Baltimore: President of Metropolitan Money Store Sentenced for $37 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Joy Jackson, the president of the Metropolitan Money Store, was sentenced to 151 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with a $37 million mortgage fraud scheme that falsely promised to help homeowners facing foreclosure keep their homes and repair their damaged credit. Jackson was also ordered to pay restitution of $16.8 million and to forfeit three residential properties and three vehicles. Full Story

9.   Philadelphia: Former Business Owners Indicted for $136 Million Fraud

The former owners of Schuylkill Products Inc. were indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with one of the largest disadvantaged business enterprise fraud schemes in U.S. Department of Transportation history. The scheme, which is alleged to have run for over 15 years, involved the improper award of hundreds of federally-funded highway and mass transit contracts in Pennsylvania and other states. In Pennsylvania alone, over 300 contracts were improperly awarded that were valued at approximately $136 million. Full Story

10.   San Francisco: Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Sentenced to 97 Months in Prison

Former Ukranian Prime Minister Pavel Ivanovich Lazarenko was sentenced to 97 months in prison for his role in laundering $30 million in extortion proceeds. He was also ordered to pay a $9 million fine and forfeit $22,851,000 and various specified assets for eight. This case is the first prosecution of a foreign leader for laundering the proceeds of extortion through financial institutions in the United States. Full Story