Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 30, 2008

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending May 30, 2008

1. Washington: Woman Pleads Guilty to Aiding and Abetting an Unregistered Agent of China

Yu Xin Kang pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting an unregistered agent the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Kang, a PRC citizen and a lawful permanent resident alien of the U.S., aided and abetted Tai Shen Kuo in acting in the U.S. as an agent of the PRC without prior notification to the Attorney General. Kang served as a conduit between Kuo, a naturalized U.S. citizen and New Orleans businessman, and a PRC official who Kuo provided with sensitive U.S. government information, including national defense information. Full Story

2. San Antonio: Final Five Defendants Convicted In Scheme to Sell Counterfeit Cigarettes

The five remaining defendants pleaded guilty in an $800,000 scheme to sell more than 60,000 stolen cigarettes that contained counterfeit Texas tax stamps. To date, 20 defendants have been convicted in this case. Full Story (pdf)

3. Birmingham: State Senator Edward B. McClain and Former Head of Nonprofit Corporation Charged In Bribery Scheme

An indictment was unsealed charging State Senator Edward B. McClain and Samuel P. Pettagrue with conspiracy, mail fraud, bribery involving a program receiving federal funds, and money laundering relating to the payment of over $305,000 in corrupt payments to McClain from the nonprofit corporation Pettagrue controlled. Pettagrue was formerly the pastor of the Sardis Baptist Church and head of the nonprofit Heritage to Hope Foundation, Inc. Full Story

4. Jackson: Father and Daughter Charged With Mortgage Loan Fraud

Mark J. Calhoun and his daughter, April Calhoun, were indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with a mortgage loan fraud scheme. Mark Calhoun, a mortgage broker, allegedly obtained fraudulent loans for approximately 40 borrowers totaling more than $8.5 million. Calhoun and his daughter, an employee of a mortgage company he operated, face a variety of charges, including money laundering and wire fraud. Full Story

5. Newark: Former Orange Mayor and State Assemblyman Admits Taking $5,000 Bribe

Former New Jersey Assemblyman and Orange Mayor Mims Hackett, Jr. pleaded guilty today to attempted extortion under color of official right, admitting that he accepted a bribe from a cooperating witness who was representing an undercover insurance brokerage company in exchange for Hackett’s official assistance in steering public contracts to the company. Full Story

6. New York: Lawyer Indicted for Stealing from Client Escrow Account

Martin Weisberg, a former corporate partner in the New York office of an international law firm, was indicted on federal wire fraud and money laundering charges based on his alleged theft of money from an escrow account established on behalf of one of his clients for which he served as escrow agent. Weisberg also faces separate securities fraud for which he as previously indicted. Full Story

7. Phoenix: Mexican National Sentenced In Drug Tunnel Case

Francisco Valle-Hurtado of Naco, Sonora, Mexico, extradited to the U.S. in May 2006 to face trial for cocaine charges related to the Naco, Ariz. drug tunnel, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Over 20 tons of cocaine had been smuggled through the tunnel from its inception in 1996 until May1999 when tunnel was discovered. Full Story

8. Baltimore: Fourth Defendant in D.C. Property Tax Refund Fraud Scheme Pleads Guilty

Richard Walters pleaded guilty to receipt of stolen property and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a property tax refund scheme in which millions of dollars were stolen from the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue. As part of his plea agreement, Walters agreed to forfeit $4,900,199 and, in order to satisfy the money judgment, to forfeit a home in the Virgin Islands, two homes in Bowie, MD, a 2005 Bentley, four other vehicles, jewelry, and monies held in several bank accounts. Full Story

9. Columbia: Student Indicted On Explosives Charges

Ryan Anthony Schallenberger, age 18, was charged in a three-count indictment with federal explosives charges in connection with an alleged plot to blow up Chesterfield High School in Chesterfield, SC.   A fourth charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction was dropped. Schallenberger faces a maximum of 40 years in prison on the three remaining charges. Full Story

10. New York: Former Ernst & Young Partner and Investment Banker Charged In Insider Trading Scheme

 An indictment was unsealed charging former Ernst & Young, LLP partner James Gansman and investment banker Donna Murdoch with participating in a scheme to trade on inside information about seven separate potential merger and acquisition transactions involving Ernst & Young clients.  Gansman, who obtained confidential, non-public information about the potential transactions, passed the inside information to Murdoch, who in turn traded on the information, gaining more than $390,000 in profits. Full Story

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