Turkish Banker Arrested for Conspiring to Violate U.S. Sanctions against Iran

On March 27, 2017, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a citizen and resident of Turkey, was arrested for conspiring to use the U.S. financial system to conduct transactions on behalf of the Government of Iran and other Iranian entities and to defraud U.S. financial institutions by concealing the nature of these transactions.  According to the Complaint unsealed on March 28, Atilla, a Deputy General Manager of International Banking at a Turkish Bank, helped Reza Zarrab, a gold ... Continue Reading

Investment Advisor and Broker Convicted at Trial in Connection with Securities Fraud Scheme

On March 23, 2017, Christopher Cervino, a registered broker, and Sheik F. Khan, an investment advisor, were convicted after a three-week jury trial in connection with a securities fraud scheme involving VGTel, Inc., a publicly traded over-the-counter company.  According to the indictment, other court filings, and the evidence at trial, the defendants—led by co-conspirator Edward Durante, who pled guilty in August 2016 in connection with this matter—artificially inflated the market for VGTel, which increased their ... Continue Reading

Philadelphia District Attorney Charged with Bribery and Extortion

On March 21, 2017, Philadelphia District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams was charged in a 23-count indictment with bribery, extortion and honest services wire fraud in connection with receiving bribes from two business owners and with defrauding a nursing home and family friends of money intended for a family member’s nursing home care.  According to the indictment, from July 2010 to July 2015, Williams solicited and received tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of bribes from ... Continue Reading

Man Indicted for Theft of Over $100 Million in Fraudulent Email Scheme Against Multinational Internet Companies

On March 21, 2017, criminal charges were announced against Evaldas Rimasauskas of Lithuania in connection with a fraudulent business email compromise scheme that induced two U.S.-based internet companies—a multinational technology company and a multinational online social media company (the “Victim Companies”)—to wire over $100 million to bank accounts that he controlled.  Rimasauskas was arrested by authorities in Lithuania.  According to the indictment, from at least 2013 through 2015, Rimasauskas orchestrated a scheme in which he ... Continue Reading

Former Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of China Medical Technologies Indicted in Connection with Securities Fraud Scheme

On March 20, 2017, an indictment charging Xiaodong Wu, the founder, CEO and Board Chairman of China Medical Technologies, Inc. (China Medical), and Tak Yung Samson Tsang, the CFO and a member of the Board of Directors of China Medical, with securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud was unsealed in the Eastern District of New York.  According to the indictment, Wu and Tsang allegedly defrauded China Medical’s noteholders and investors ... Continue Reading

Former Chairman and CEO of Credit Union and Operator of Unlawful Bitcoin Exchange Convicted at Trial in Connection with Bribery and Fraud Scheme

On March 17, 2017, Trevon Gross, the former Chairman and CEO of HOPE FCU, a federal credit union in New Jersey with primarily low-income members, and Yuri Lebedev, a former employee of Coin.mx, an unlawful internet-based Bitcoin exchange, were found guilty after a four-week jury trial, in connection with a bribery scheme to gain control of HOPE FCU and a fraud scheme to evade detection of Coin.mx.  Between 2013 and July 2015, Lebedev and his ... Continue Reading

Chicago Trader Indicted on Fraud Charges for Allegedly Misappropriating at Least $1.5 Million in Client Funds

On March 16, 2017, Randall Rye, the owner of Faster Than Light Trading LLC, was indicted on six counts of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to misappropriate investors’ funds for personal use.  According to the indictment, Rye told investors that he would invest their money in options and futures contracts using an algorithm.  Instead, Rye allegedly misappropriated the money for his own personal use, including vacations to St. Lucia and Bali, tickets to ... Continue Reading

U.S. Charges Russian FSB Officers and Their Criminal Conspirators for Hacking Yahoo and Millions of Email Accounts

On March 15, 2017, four defendants, including two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), were indicted in the Northern District of California for computer fraud, economic espionage, and other criminal offenses in connection with a conspiracy to access Yahoo’s network and the contents of Yahoo webmail accounts.  The defendants are Russian nationals Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin and Alexsey Alexseyevich Belan, and Canadian national Karim Baratov.  According to the indictment, Dokuchaev and ... Continue Reading

Former Investment Advisor Sentenced to Six Months’ Imprisonment for Insider Trading

On March 15, 2017, former investment advisor David Hobson was sentenced to six months in prison for participating in a scheme to commit insider trading in connection with deals involving the pharmaceutical company (the “Pharma Company”) at which Michael Maciocio, Hobson’s co-conspirator, worked.  Hobson had pled guilty in this case to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of securities fraud in October 2016.  According to the indictment and statements made ... Continue Reading

Former Global Law Firm Partner Convicted of Insider Trading

On March 15, 2017, a federal jury in the Eastern District of New York returned a guilty verdict against Robert Schulman, a former partner of a Richmond-based global law firm, for securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.  According to the indictment, Schulman tipped off the executive of an investment advisory firm about a pending merger between Pfizer, Inc. and King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which he had learned of through his representation of King Pharmaceuticals.  ... Continue Reading

California Businessman Sentenced to Prison for Concealing over $23.5 Million in Israeli Bank Accounts

On March 13, 2017, Masud Sarshar, the owner and operator of Apparel Limited, Inc. and a resident of Los Angeles, California, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for maintaining undeclared bank accounts at Israeli banks.  Sarshar was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $8.3 million in restitution to the IRS, plus interest and penalties.  Sarshar pled guilty to the charges in August 2016. DOJ Press Release ... Continue Reading

CA Inc. to Pay $45 Million for Alleged False Claims on Information Technology Contract

On March 10, 2017, CA Inc., an information technology management software and service company,  agreed to pay $45 million to resolve allegations that it made false statements and claims in the negotiation and administration of a General Services Administration (“GSA”) contract.  The agreement resolves claims that CA provided false information about commercial customer discounts for its software licenses and maintenance services to GSA contracting officers.  The allegations stemmed from a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a ... Continue Reading

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco Speaks at the American Bar Association National Institute on White Collar Crime

On March 10, 2017, Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco addressed the 31st annual American Bar Association White Collar Crime conference about the Criminal Division, and in particular its efforts with respect to white collar crime and corruption in the international arena.  Blanco noted the Department’s success in its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing efforts, as well as its continued efforts in preventing the abuse of shell companies.  Blanco then described the customer due ... Continue Reading

ZTE Corporation Agrees to Plead Guilty and Pay over $430.4 Million for Violating U.S. Sanctions by Sending U.S.-Origin Items to Iran

On March 7, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that ZTE Corporation agreed to plead guilty for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”), obstructing justice and making a material false statement.  ZTE’s agreement to plead guilty is the DOJ component of a series of settlements that ZTE reached with U.S. agencies, which totals to an agreement to pay the U.S. Government $892,360,064.  On the criminal side, ZTE will enter a guilty ... Continue Reading

Kiekert AG Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging Involving Auto Parts

On March 7, 2017, Kiekert AG, an automotive parts manufacturer based in Heiligenhaus, Germany, agreed to plead guilty in the Eastern District of Michigan and to pay a $6.1 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to rig bids of side-door latches and latch minimodules installed in cars in violation of the Sherman Act.  According to court documents, from September 2008 through May 2013, Kiekert participated in a conspiracy with another major auto ... Continue Reading