Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 9, 2009

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

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 9, 2009

  1. FBI Headquarters: FBI Launches Hiring Blitz to Fill Over 2,100 Vacancies

    The FBI announced a hiring initiative aimed at filling its most critical vacancies. With a hiring goal of over 2,100 professional staff positions, the FBI has implemented this aggressive initiative to fill jobs located throughout its field offices and Headquarters divisions. Full Story
  2. Washington Field: Former Executive Pleads Guilty to Bribing Foreign Government Officials

    Mario Covino, an Italian citizen and resident of Irvine, CA, pled guilty to conspiring to make approximately $1 million in corrupt payments to foreign government officials for the purpose of securing business for an Orange County valve company from state-owned enterprises in several countries, including Brazil, China, India, Korea, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Full Story
  3. Baltimore: Former Bank Manager Sentenced in D.C. Property Tax Refund Scheme

    Former bank manager Walter Jones was sentenced to 78 months in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a property tax refund scheme in which over $48 million was stolen from the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue. Jones was ordered to pay restitution of more than $17.9 million. Full Story
  4. Phoenix: Army Private Arrested for Taking Bribes

    U.S. Army Private First Class Christina M. Swenson was arrested by the FBI and charged by federal criminal complaint with bribery of a public official. Swenson is assigned to the USO Lounge at the Tucson International Airport where her primary official duty is to assist soldiers to obtain transportation from the airport to Fort Huachuca. Swenson allegedly accepted bribes in exchange for steering military personnel to particular transportation companies. Full Story
  5. Chicago: One World Capital Group Principals Arrested for $15 Million Fraud

    Charles G. Martin and John E. Walsh, both principals of collapsed foreign currency trading firm One World Capital Group, LLC, were arrested on federal wire fraud charges for allegedly operating a scheme in which they diverted millions of dollars to themselves to finance lavish lifestyles, including participating in the financing of a movie, and caused customers to lose approximately $15 million. Full Story
  6. New York: Three Indicted For Federal Hate Crime Conspiracy

    An indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court charging three Staten Island men—Ralph Nicoletti, Michael Contreras, and Brian Carranza—with conspiring to assault African-American residents of Staten Island in retaliation for President-Elect Barack Obama’s election victory. Full Story
  7. Richmond: Former COO Pleads Guilty in $132 Million Fraud Scheme

    Laura Coleman, a former COO of Investment Properties of America, based in Richmond, VA, pled guilty to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud and to making a material false statement to federal investigators in connection with a $132 million scheme to defraud clients of funds allegedly held in trust. Full Story
  8. Columbia: Former SC Highway Patrol Trooper Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation

    John B. Sawyer, a former trooper with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, pled guilty in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, to using excessive force during an arrest. Sawyer acknowledged that he abused his authority as a law enforcement officer when he unnecessarily and repeatedly kicked the head and neck area of a man who had been apprehended in Sumter County after a chase on Interstate 95. Full Story
  9. Atlanta: Retired Army Major Pleads Guilty in Bribery Scheme Involving DOD Contracts in Kuwait

    Christopher H. Murray, a retired U.S. Army major, pled guilty to charges of bribery and making a false statement arising out of his activities as both a contracting specialist and a contracting officer at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, from 2005 through 2007. Full Story
  10. Houston: U.S. District Court Judge Charged with Aggravated Sexual Abuse and Abusive Sexual Contact

    A federal grand jury in Houston returned a superseding indictment charging U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent with aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact, and obstruction of justice. Kent was previously indicted in August 2008 on one count of attempted aggravated sexual abuse and two counts of abusive sexual contact of a clerk’s office employee. Full Story

 

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