Press Release

For Immediate Release
March 19, 2010

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

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending March 19, 2010

  1. Chicago: Chicago Resident David Coleman Headley Pleads Guilty to Role in Terrorism Conspiracies in India and Denmark

    David Coleman Headley, a U.S. citizen of partial Pakistani descent, pleaded guilty to a dozen federal terrorism charges, admitting that he participated in planning the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, as well as later planning to attack a Danish newspaper. In pleading guilty to all 12 counts that were brought against him in December and were repeated in a subsequent indictment in January, Headley admitted that he attended training camps in Pakistan operated by Lashkar e Tayyiba, a designated foreign terrorist organization, on five separate occasions between 2002 and 2005. In late 2005, Headley received instructions from three members of Lashkar to travel to India to conduct surveillance, which he did five times leading up to the Mumbai attacks three years later that killed six Americans among approximately 164 people and wounded hundreds more. Full Story
  2. Boston: FBI Continues Hunt for Stolen Art on Anniversary of Gardner Museum Heist

    Early in the morning of March 18, 1990, two men disguised as Boston police officers bluffed their way into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. After tying the security guards in the basement, the subjects spent 81 minutes seizing works of art valued at more than $500 million, making it the largest property crime in U.S. history. The museum has offered a $5 million reward for the return of the stolen pieces. Anyone with information pertaining to the theft is asked to call the Boston FBI at 617-742-5533. Full Story  
  3. New York: Former Bank President Charged with Attempting to Defraud Troubled Asset Relief Program

    Charles J. Antonucci Sr., the former president and chief executive officer of The Park Avenue Bank, was arrested on allegations of self-dealing, bank bribery, embezzlement of bank funds, and fraud, among other charges. Antonucci was also alleged to have attempted to fraudulently obtain more than $11 million worth of taxpayer rescue funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Antonucci is the first defendant ever charged with attempting to defraud TARP. Additionally, Antonucci was alleged to have used The Park Avenue Bank in a scheme to defraud two pastors of a Florida congregation out of more than $100,000 set aside to build a new church. Full Story
  4. Dallas: Forty Indicted in Major East Texas Mortgage Fraud Scheme

    Forty individuals were arrested and charged in connection with a major mortgage fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas. All 40 defendants, from Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Georgia, are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Many of the defendants are also charged with various counts of mail fraud and money laundering. The purpose of the scheme was to defraud lending institutions by convincing them to approve mortgage loans for residential properties for which the property values had been fraudulently inflated. Full Story
  5. San Diego: Leader of Casino-Cheating Criminal Enterprise Sentenced to 70 Months

    Phuong Quoc Truong was sentenced for his role in a scheme by the Tran Organization to cheat casinos across the United States. In his plea agreement, Truong admitted that he and his co-conspirators unlawfully obtained up to $7 million during card cheats. Truong was sentenced to 70 months in prison and three years of supervised release, and he was also ordered to forfeit $2,791,146 and to pay $5,753,416 in restitution. Full Story
  6. New Orleans: 10th Defendant Charged in Operation Illegal Motion

    Robert L. Stevens was charged with conspiracy to use interstate facilities in aid of racketeering for allegedly accepting bribes from individuals with pending criminal charges in the Baton Rouge City Court, and then sharing the proceeds of the bribes with a prosecutor who would arrange for the matters to be dismissed or otherwise “fixed.” Stevens is the 10th individual charged as a result of Operation Illegal Motion. Nine individuals have previously pleaded guilty to charges arising from the investigation. Full Story
  7. Kansas City: Uzbekistan National Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Conspiracy

    Jakhongir Kakhkharov, an Uzbekistan national, pleaded guilty to his role in a criminal enterprise involving illegal aliens working in 14 states, including employees at hotels in the Kansas City, Mo. area and in Branson, Mo. The federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act indictment alleges an extensive and profitable criminal enterprise in which hundreds of illegal aliens were employed at hotels and other businesses across the country. The criminal enterprise allegedly used false information to acquire fraudulent work visas for these foreign nationals. Full Story
  8. Phoenix: Citizen of Haiti Sentenced for Leading Mortgage Fraud Scheme

    Mario G. Bernadel, a citizen of Haiti, was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison for his conviction on multiple counts for leading a mortgage fraud scheme in Phoenix that cost banks more than $9 million. Bernadel was found guilty by a jury in September 2009 on 19 counts related to mortgage fraud, including mail, wire, and bank fraud and transactional money laundering. Seven co-conspirators were also charged and have pleaded guilty for their involvement in the conspiracy. Full Story
  9. Philadelphia: Nexus Technologies Inc., Three Employees Plead Guilty to Paying Bribes to Vietnamese Officials

    Nexus Technologies Inc., a Philadelphia-based export company, pleaded guilty in connection with a conspiracy to bribe officials of the Vietnamese government in exchange for lucrative contracts to supply equipment and technology to Vietnamese government agencies in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Nam Nguyen, along with his siblings and fellow Nexus personnel Kim Nguyen and An Nguyen, also pleaded guilty in connection with the conspiracy. Full Story
  10. Washington Field: Innospec Inc. Pleads Guilty to FCPA Charges, Defrauding the United Nations and Violating the U.S. Embargo Against Cuba

    Innospec Inc., a Delaware corporation, pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $14.1 million criminal fine for defrauding the United Nations, violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and violating the U.S. embargo against Cuba. The charges relate to Innospec’s payment of kickbacks to the former Iraqi government under the UN Oil for Food Program and bribe payments it made to officials in the Iraqi Ministry of Oil. Innospec also admitted to selling chemicals to Cuban power plants, in violation of the U.S. embargo against Cuba. According to court documents, Innospec manufactures and sells specialty chemicals and is the world’s only manufacturer of the anti-knock compound tetraethyl lead, used in leaded gasoline. In a related matter brought by the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office, Innospec’s British subsidiary, Innospec Ltd., pleaded guilty in the Southwark Crown Court in London in connection with the corrupt payments to Indonesian officials. In connection with those charges, Innospec Ltd. will pay a criminal penalty of $12.7 million. Full Story

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