Press Release

For Immediate Release
October 26, 2007

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

FBI'S Top Ten News Stories
For the Week Ending October 26, 2007

1. Newark : Former Assemblyman Admits to Attempted Extortion

Former State Assemblyman Alfred E. Steele pleaded guilty to attempted extortion and admitting that he accepted bribes from an undercover insurance brokerage company in return for his official assistance in steering public contracts to the company. Full Story (pdf)

2. Phoenix : Wells Fargo Offering $100,000 Reward Leading to Robbery Arrest

Wells Fargo is offering a $100,000 award for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of those responsible for the robbery of the Wells Fargo Community Banking store in Tempe on October 19, 2007. Full Story

3. Dallas : Guilty Plea in AmeriFirst Securities Fraud

Vincent John Bazemore pled guilty to securities fraud stemming from his role in fraudulent securities offerings that raised approximately $55 million from investors. Bazemore was a sales representative of Capital First Financial, which was affiliated with AmeriFirst Funding Corporation. Full Story

4. Washington Field Office: Operation Underdog Nets Former U.S. Government Official

Sharon Rudolph Connelly, former director of the Office of Inspector and Auditor at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering. To date, 14 defendants have been convicted as a result of “Operation Underdog.” Full Story

5. Anchorage/Chicago/Houston: British Petroleum Agrees to Pay $370 Million in Environmental Crimes, Fraud Cases

British Petroleum and several of its subsidiaries have agreed to pay approximately $373 million in fines and restitution for environmental violations and fraud for conspiring to corner the market and manipulate the price of propane. Full Story

6. New Orleans : Former Sheriff Sentenced for Trafficking in Stolen Vehicles

Ronald R. “Gun” Ficklin, former Sheriff of St. Helena Parish, was sentenced for trafficking in stolen motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts with removed and altered identification numbers; removing and altering motor vehicle identification numbers; mail fraud; and aiding and abetting possession of a firearm by a felon. Full Story

7. San Diego : FBI announces a 1-800 Number to Report Wildfire Disaster Related Fraud Schemes

The FBI issued a warning to the public concerning potential disaster related fraud schemes in connection with the recent Southern California Wildfires. Full Story

8. Charlotte : Indictment in Cross Burning Case

Curtis Gene Worley was indicted on a federal civil rights violation alleging that he burned a cross in front of the residence of an African-American family. Full Story

9. New York : DHB Industries Officials Indicted for Insider Trading, Fraud, Obstruction of Justice, and Tax Evasion

David H. Brooks, founder and former Chief Executive Officer of DHB Industries, and Sandra Hatfield, former Chief Operating Officer, were indicted for insider trading, fraud, obstruction of justice, and tax evasion. DHB Industries is a leading supplier of body armor to the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies. Full Story

10. Buffalo : Air Freight Forwarder Pleads Guilty to Making a False Statement to the Government and Agrees to Pay $28 Million

National Air Cargo, a national air freight forwarder, pled guilty to a felony charge of making a material false statement to the government. National Air Cargo has agreed to pay $28 million, the largest criminal monetary resolution in the Western District of New York. Full Story

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