Press Release

For Immediate Release
October 2, 2009

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

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending October 2, 2009

  1. Chicago: 18 Alleged Latin Kings Gang Leaders Indicted on Federal Charges

    A Chicago man alleged to be a "Corona" of the Latin Kings, making him the highest-ranking leader outside of prison and responsible for overseeing the illegal activities of all factions of the powerful Chicago street gang, is among 18 defendants charged in a sweeping new federal indictment against the gang's alleged hierarchy. Augustin Zambrano, the alleged leader of the Almighty Latin King Nation in the Chicago area, and other alleged leaders of the 26th Street Region of the Latin Kings were charged with racketeering conspiracy for allegedly running a criminal enterprise to enrich themselves and others through drug trafficking and preserving and protecting their power, territory and revenue through acts of murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, extortion, and other acts of violence. All 18 defendants-six newly charged and 12 who were initially indicted a year ago-were charged in a 48-count superseding indictment. Full Story
  2. New Orleans: Man Indicted in Connection with Cross-Burning

    Daniel Earl Danforth was indicted by a federal grand jury for hate crime violations and obstruction of justice charges stemming from a cross-burning in Athens, Louisiana last year near the home of an interracial couple. Full Story
  3. New York: Former Political Fundraiser Sentenced for Ponzi Scheme, Campaign Finance Crimes

    Former political fundraiser Norman Hsu was sentenced to 292 months in prison campaign finance violations and for wire and mail fraud in connection with his operation of a Ponzi scheme. As the managing director of two companies, Components Ltd. and Next Components Ltd., Hsu solicited investments by promising guaranteed short-term, high returns. After making some payments intended to perpetuate the scheme, Hsu swindled his victims out of at least $80 million. Hsu also violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by making contributions to various political campaigns in the names of others. Full Story
  4. Cincinnati: Third Defendant Pleads Guilty to Assault in Drive-By Shooting Involving FBI Agent

    Deante Martell pled guilty to one count of assault on a federal officer and one count of discharging a firearm in connection with a federal crime. The charges stem from a March 25, 2009 shooting where assailants fired approximately 15 shots into the car of an FBI agent.  Full Story
  5. Oklahoma City: Man Sentenced for Bomb Threat at Federal Building

    Roderick Lamar Robinson was sentenced to serve 14 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for making a bomb threat at the Federal Building, located at 301 NW 6th Street in Oklahoma City. He was also ordered to pay $30,860.80 in restitution to the federal agencies inside the Federal Building for the lost work time of their evacuated employees. Robinson must also reimburse local and county law enforcement $14,559 for their response and investigation costs related to the bomb threat.  Full Story
  6. New Haven: Two Romanian Citizens Extradited to Face Charges Related to Phishing Scheme

    Two Romanian citizens were extradited to the United States to face charges stemming from an alleged Internet phishing scheme that victimized individuals, financial institutions, and companies. Petru Bogdan Belbita and Cornel Ionut Tonita were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud in connection with access devices, one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. Full Story
  7. Buffalo: Four Indicted for Racketeering and Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering

    A federal grand jury in Buffalo returned a 17-count indictment charging Thamud Eldridge, Kashika Speed, and Kevin Allen with racketeering, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, robbery, distribution and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and causing the death of a person through use of a firearm in furtherance of violent crime. Galen Rose was charged with distribution and conspiracy to distribute marijuana, robbery, and causing death of a person through use of a firearm in furtherance of violent crime. Full Story
  8. San Francisco: CEO of Biotech Firm Convicted of Wire Fraud

    W. Scott Harkonen, M.D., the former CEO of InterMune, Inc., was convicted of wire fraud for the creation and dissemination of false and misleading information about the efficacy of InterMune's drug Actimmune (Interferon gamma-1b) as a treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Full Story
  9. New York: Westchester Man Pleads Guilty to Terrorism Financing and Investment Fraud

    Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari pled guilty to charges of terrorism financing and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Alishtari facilitated the transfer of $152,000 to fund training for terrorists. He also admitted to stealing millions of dollars from victims through his fraudulent operation of a loan investment program he called the "Flat Electronic Data Interchange." Full Story
  10. Los Angeles: Man Sentenced to 100 Years in Prison for $60 Million Ponzi Scheme

    Richard Monroe Harkless, the mastermind of a Riverside-based Ponzi scheme that collected well over $60 million from hundreds of investors and caused more than $39 million in losses, was sentenced to 100 years in federal prison. Full Story

 

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