Press Release

For Immediate Release
April 16, 2010

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

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending April 16, 2010

  1. Baltimore: Former NSA Senior Executive Indicted in Maryland

    A federal grand jury returned a 10-count indictment charging former National Security Agency senior executive Thomas A. Drake with the willful retention of classified information, obstruction of justice, and making false statements. Full Story
  2. Boston: Appeals Court Upholds Lawyer’s Conviction in Stolen Art Case

    The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the conviction and seven-year prison sentence of former Massachusetts state prosecutor Robert M. Mardirosian on charges that he possessed stolen property that had crossed a U.S. boundary knowing it to be stolen. The case arose from the 1978 theft of seven paintings from Stockbridge, Massachusetts—the largest burglary from a private residence in Massachusetts history and one of the largest art thefts in the U.S. The alleged thief, David Colvin, left the paintings with Mardirosian, a defense attorney and former assistant district attorney in Middlesex County. Four months later, Colvin was murdered. Full Story
  3. Minneapolis: Apple Valley Man Pleads Guilty to Orchestrating $190 Million Ponzi Scheme

    Trevor Gilson Cook pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of tax evasion in connection with a massive Ponzi scheme. In his plea agreement, Cook admitted that he schemed to defraud no fewer than 1,000 people out of approximately $190 million by purportedly selling investments in a foreign currency trading program. Full Story
  4. Philadelphia: Cocaine Kingpin Convicted in Murder of a Federal Witness

    Maurice Phillips of Maryland, the leader of the Phillips Cocaine Organization (PCO), was convicted of all eight counts against him, including the murder-for-hire of a federal witness. A hearing to determine whether Phillips should be sentenced to death will begin Monday, April 19, 12010. PCO was a multi-state, multi-million-dollar cocaine distribution organization which distributed cocaine throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Phillips was convicted of conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to commit money laundering, concealment of money laundering, tampering with a witness by murder, and aiding and abetting. Full Story
  5. Cincinnati/Louisville: Three Arrested on Federal Explosives Charges

    FBI agents from the Louisville and Cincinnati field offices, along with ATF agents, arrested three individuals on federal charges that they illegally possessed and delivered explosives. In addition, agents executed four federal search warrants in Ohio and one in Kentucky as the result of the same investigation. A federal complaint alleges that two of the defendants sold 12 blocks of military C4 explosives and that the third defendant conspired with the them to obtain and deliver the explosives. Full Story
  6. San Diego: SPAWAR Defendants Sentenced to Prison

    The last of seven defendants previously charged with corruption and fraud charges related to defense contracting at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), a military organization based in San Diego, were sentenced this week. Former SPAWAR branch head Gary Alexander was sentenced to 75 months of imprisonment and ordered to forfeit $332,072 and to pay $171,288.41 in restitution. Department of Defense subcontractor Elizabeth Ramos was sentenced to serve 18 months of imprisonment and ordered to pay $123,448.41 in restitution. Ramos’ spouse, Louis Williams, was sentenced to serve one year and one day in prison. All three pleaded guilty last year to defrauding the United States Navy in connection with the award of several defense subcontracts. In addition, Alexander pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns. Full Story
  7. Richmond: Roanoke Neo-Nazi Sentenced for Threats, Witness Intimidation

    William A. “Bill” White, the self-proclaimed commander of the neo-Nazi group the American National Socialist Workers Party, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for threatening two individuals and for attempting to intimidate litigants in a federal housing discrimination lawsuit. Full Story
  8. Miami: Two Aircraft Parts Suppliers Plead Guilty in Procurement Fraud Scheme

    Mariella Bianchi and Juan Beltran pleaded guilty for their participation in a massive procurement fraud scheme designed to defraud the U.S. Air Force and Navy, and the commercial aviation sector. The defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit airplane parts fraud. Full Story
  9. New York: Seventeen MS-13 Members and Associates Arraigned on Racketeering, Witness Tampering, and Firearms Charges

    Twelve alleged members and associates of La Mara Salvatrucha, or the “MS-13” street gang, were arraigned on federal criminal charges including murder, assault with dangerous weapons, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, witness tampering, firearms offenses, and conspiracy. Five additional defendants named in the indictment were arraigned earlier this week. Full Story
  10. Phoenix: "Wig Bandit" Leader Sentenced to 106 Years in Federal Prison

    Julio Cesar Feliciano, Jr., the ringleader of a band of bank robbers dubbed the “Wig Bandits,” was sentenced to over 106 years in federal prison. Feliciano was found guilty by a federal jury in November 2009 of five counts of armed bank robbery, four counts of use of a firearm during a crime of violence, and conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. Feliciano is the last of the Wig Bandits to be sentenced; other sentences for the crew have ranged from eight years for Feliciano’s wife to 22 years for Feliciano’s right-hand man. In sentencing Feliciano to such a lengthy sentence, Judge Campbell cited the “brazen” level of violence used in the robberies. Full Story

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