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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.

U.S. Attorney's Office In Carlyle
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen will not be retried, according to court documents filed today by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Dana Boente, in a motion to remand for dismissal.

The motion states “The United States respectfully moves for this court to remand this case to the district court for the United States to file a motion to dismiss the indictment with prejudice under Fed. R. Crim. P. 48 (a). The defendant does not oppose this motion.”

Once the Fourth Circuit of Appeals approves the motion, it will head back to the U.S. District Court for formal dismissal. In June 2016, the Supreme Court unanimously tossed out McDonnell’s conviction on corruption charges.

McDonnell

US Attorney's Office In Carlyle

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.”

(more…)

Albert Bryan Courthouse Alexandria, Virginia

Wayne Shelby Simmons, 62, of Annapolis, Maryland, a former occasional on-air commentator who appeared on a cable news network, was arrested today after being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of major fraud against the United States, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government.

According to the indictment, Simmons falsely claimed he worked as an “Outside Paramilitary Special Operations Officer” for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1973 to 2000, and used that false claim in an attempt to obtain government security clearances and work as a defense contractor, including at one point successfully getting deployed overseas as an intelligence advisor to senior military personnel. According to the indictment, Simmons also falsely claimed on national security forms that his prior arrests and criminal convictions were directly related to his supposed intelligence work for the CIA, and that he had previously held a top secret security clearance. The indictment also alleges that Simmons defrauded an individual victim out of approximately $125,000 in connection with a bogus real estate investment.

Simmons will make his initial appearance at 2:00 PM today in front of Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson at the federal courthouse in Alexandria.

If convicted, Simmons faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the wire fraud counts, 10 years in prison on the major fraud against the U.S. counts, and 5 years in prison on the false statements count. The maximum statutory sentences are prescribed by Congress and are 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; and Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement. Simmons will have his initial appearance later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Nathanson is prosecuting the case.

U.S. Attorney's office
banditThomas Anthony George, 65, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty today to two counts of using a firearm during the commission of armed bank robberies.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, in approximately January 2015, George entered a conspiracy to commit armed bank robberies within the Eastern District of Virginia, and elsewhere.  Over the course of the ensuing two months, George and his co-conspirators, who were known as the Black Hat Bandits, robbed nine banks, including six banks in the Eastern District of Virginia, two banks in the District of Maryland, and one bank in the District of Columbia.  In each of these robberies, George brandished a firearm at bank customers or employees of the bank.  In total, George and his co-conspirators stole approximately $182,104 during the nine bank robberies.

George was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 19, 2015. George faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 32 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison when sentenced on Dec. 17, 2015. 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; Vincent H. Cohen, Jr., Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Cathy Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge James C. Cacheris. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tobias D. Tobler and Jonathan L. Fahey are prosecuting the case.

(Courtesy photo)

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