Homayoon Daneshvar, 63, a resident of Washington, D.C., was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for charges related to a $1.9 million investment fraud scheme.

Danshevar was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release, forfeit $1.945 million, and pay $926,020 in restitution.

Daneshvar pleaded guilty on Oct. 24, 2016. According to court documents, from in or about April 2009 to January 2013, Daneshvar lied and made false promises to eight victim investors to persuade them to give him approximately $1.9 million. Daneshvar told the victim investors the money would be used for bridge financing to purchase foreclosed property that would be “flipped,” or quickly resold for profit. Daneshvar promised a monthly return on their investments, but in reality Daneshvar used the money to invest in the stock market, pay “returns” on the investments back to the investors, and to pay for his own personal expenses.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton. Assistant U.S. Attorney Grace L. Hill prosecuted the case.

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Mark W. McGregor, 63, of Charles Town, West Virginia, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.  In addition, McGregor was ordered to pay $380,000 in restitution, $380,000 in forfeiture, and a $50,000 fine.

McGregor pleaded guilty on May 16 for his role in a bribery scheme that caused $380,000 in losses to the U.S. government. According to court documents, McGregor served as the chief executive officer of Virginia Regional Transit (VRT), a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides transportation services throughout Northern Virginia.  VRT is funded by a combination of federal, state and local grants, including from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  McGregor engaged in a bribe scheme with co-conspirator Thomas Ahalt, then President of Mobile Auto Truck Repair (Mobile Auto), an automotive repair business in Purcellville, since 2007.  Mobile Auto provided automotive repair services to VRT.

According to plea papers, from January 2007 through December 2015, Mobile Auto submitted—and McGregor caused to be approved—false invoices for additional weekly labor charges. McGregor approved and VRT paid to Mobile Auto approximately $380,000 in fraudulent additional weekly labor charges.  A portion of the monies VRT paid to Mobile Auto were federal program funds originating from the Federal Transit Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation.  In exchange, McGregor received regular kickback payments from Ahalt and others associated with Mobile Auto totaling half of the additional weekly labor charges.  In total, McGregor received approximately $190,000 in kickback payments.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Floyd Sherman, Regional Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye prosecuted the case.

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Nicholas Young, 36, of Fairfax, who is employed as a police officer with the Metro Transit Police Department, was arrested today on charges of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.  Young will have his initial appearance here at 2 p.m. today in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa C. Buchanan.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Young has been employed as a police officer with the Metro Transit Police Department since 2003.  Law enforcement first interviewed Young in September 2010 in connection with his acquaintance, Zachary Chesser, who one month later pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists.  Over the next several years Young had numerous interactions with undercover law enforcement officers and a cooperating witness regarding Young’s knowledge or interest of terrorist related activity, many of which were recorded. Law enforcement also interviewed Young’s family and co-workers. Several meetings Young had with an undercover law enforcement officer in 2011 included another of Young’s acquaintances, Amine El Khalifi, who later pleaded guilty to charges relating to attempting a suicide bombing at the U.S. Capitol Building in 2012.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Young told FBI agents that he traveled to Libya twice in 2011 and he had been with rebels attempting to overthrow the Muammar Qaddafi regime.  Baggage searches revealed that Young traveled with body armor, a kevlar helmet, and several other military-style items.   (more…)

Albert Bryan Courthouse Alexandria, Virginia

MS-13 Gangsters Convicted of Multiple Murders and Attempted Murder

Six members of the street gang La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, were convicted yesterday by a federal jury for their roles in three murders and one attempted murder in Northern Virginia, among other charges.

“These violent gang members brutally murdered three men and attempted to murder a fourth,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Extreme violence is the hallmark of MS-13, and these horrific crimes represent exactly what the gang stands for. This was a highly complicated, death penalty eligible case with 13 defendants and more than two dozen defense attorneys. To say I am proud of our trial team and investigative partners is an understatement. I want to thank them for their terrific work on this case and for bringing these criminals to justice.”

“The defendants terrorized our local communities with senseless, depraved acts of threats, intimidation and violence,” said Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “They murdered in the name of MS-13, but as this jury’s verdict makes clear, no gang can protect them from facing justice for their crimes. This verdict sends a clear message that the FBI will hold violent gangs and murderers fully accountable for their actions.  I would like to thank the agents, analysts and prosecutors for their tireless efforts to eradicate gang violence in our communities.”

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Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, aka Umm Sayyaf, 25, an Iraqi citizen and wife of Abu Sayyaf, a senior leader within the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) until his death last year, was charged by criminal complaint in Alexandria federal court for her role in a conspiracy that resulted in the death of American citizen Kayla Jean Mueller in February 2015.

“Kayla Mueller’s kidnapping and death is a tragic reminder of the dangers that ISIL poses to Americans,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We will continue to work alongside the FBI to investigate this case and remain steadfast in our pursuit of justice for the Mueller family.”

“The charges filed today allege that Umm Sayyaf and others conspired to provide material support to ISIL and that this conspiracy resulted in the death of Kayla Jean Mueller,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “Sayyaf is currently in Iraqi custody for her terrorism-related activities.  We fully support the Iraqi prosecution of Sayyaf and will continue to work with the authorities there to pursue our shared goal of holding Sayyaf accountable for her crimes.  At the same time, these charges reflect that the U.S. justice system remains a powerful tool to bring to bear against those who harm our citizens abroad.  We will continue to pursue justice for Kayla and for all American victims of terrorism.”

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Dept of Justice SealJennifer Xanten, 51, of Frederick, Maryland, was sentenced late last week to 18 months in prison for mail fraud relating to her stealing more than 550 checks totaling approximately $437,000 out of her employer’s incoming mail. Xanten was also ordered to pay $437,016.01 in restitution.

Xanten pleaded guilty on Oct. 14, 2015.  According to court documents, Xanten, an employee of a rehabilitation center in Rockville, Maryland, admitted to stealing the checks out of the center’s incoming mail from February 2014 to July 2015.  To effectuate her scheme, Xanten, who was responsible for mailing out the companies’ invoices, would send out invoices to collect payment for services the center performed. One such company who received invoices was located in Chantilly. She would then intercept the incoming check payments and deposit the checks into her personal account without authorization.  Xanten, who was responsible for inputting entries into the bookkeeping records, falsified entries related to the stolen checks in order to conceal her scheme.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamar K. Walker prosecuted the case.

U.S. Attorney's Office In Carlyle
Dept of Justice SealMyrick Clift Beasley, 56, of Las Vegas, plead guilty Friday to mail fraud charges in connection with a scheme to obtain goods and services on credit using the stolen identities of legitimate, inactive businesses.

In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Beasley admitted that from 2010 through 2015, he assumed the identity of at least 70 legitimate businesses nationwide, and used those stolen identities to obtain, on credit, at least $550,000 in goods and services from various victims.  Beasley admitted that, as part of the scheme, he would identify inactive, legitimate businesses that had previously been located in office buildings where virtual office providers were also located.  Beasley admitted that we would assume the inactive businesses’ identities by renting virtual office space in the buildings in the names of the legitimate businesses, creating internet domain names and email addresses in the identified businesses’ names, obtaining phone numbers previously identified with the businesses when available, and, at times, supplementing state corporate filings and commercial credit records with fraudulent information designed to further the scheme.  Beasley admitted that he concealed his true identity throughout the fraud by using false names and paying for the costs of operating his scheme with prepaid debit cards.  Once he would assume a business’s identity, Beasley admitted that he would then order goods and services — particularly, smart phones, computers, and other electronics — from retailers on credit and have the items shipped to the virtual office location, which would then, at his direction, re-ship the items to rented mailboxes elsewhere in the country.  Beasley admitted he would then retrieve the items from the rented mailboxes and sell them.

Beasley was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 17, 2015.  Beasley faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on April 29, 2016.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Chief of the Fairfax County Police Department, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, III.  Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Fenton and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Nathanson are prosecuting the case.

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