North Carolina lawmaker indicted for using Taxpayer money to buy jewelry, property, and Faberge Eggs
LaRoque is accused of taking $300,000 loaned to his nonprofit company through a U.S. Department of Agriculture program to help rural communities and giving it to another company he owned to pay for transactions that helped family members, such as buying a Greenville ice rink and jewelry for his wife and a rental house for one of his stepdaughters. A federal indictment also contends LaRoque transferred funds between the companies to ultimately pay for the personal items.
Cheshire said varied interpretations of complicated USDA loan rules will likely play into LaRoque’s defense.
“Rep. LaRoque believes that he earned that money properly that he got and that he loaned money properly,” Cheshire said.
LaRoque, 48, resigned last week after being indicted on four counts of theft through converting federal loan proceeds and four counts of engaging in monetary transactions with criminally derived funds. He lost his re-election bid in the May primary.
LaRoque was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond, and he was required to surrender his passport and submit a DNA sample.
Typically, a defendant can’t contact potential witnesses in a criminal case, but federal prosecutors eased some of LaRoque’s release requirements because his wife, stepdaughter and brother could become witnesses.
Lloyds online fraud chief admits £2.4m fraud
A former Lloyds bank boss in charge of online security has admitted a £2.4m fraud.
Jessica Harper took the money over a four-year period while working as head of fraud and security for digital banking at Lloyds Banking Group.
Harper stood in the dock at Southwark crown court, in London, and admitted a single charge of fraud by abuse of position by submitting false invoices to claim payments totalling £2,463,750.
She also admitted a single charge of transferring criminal property, the money, which she had defrauded from her employers.
The 50-year-old, from Croydon, south London, carried out the fraud between 28 December 2007 and 21 December 2011, the court heard.
Antony Swift, prosecuting, did not open the facts of the case.
Carol Hawley, defending, said Harper was in the process of selling her £700,000 home to repay some of the stolen cash and was due to exchange contracts on Tuesday.
She will be sentenced at a later date.
Calif. college raided, CEO charged with visa fraud
SUNNYVALE, Calif.—Federal authorities have raided a Silicon Valley college and arrested its CEO on suspicion of visa fraud.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that federal agents on Thursday raided Herguan University, an unaccredited college in Sunnyvale that has attracted foreigners with student visas.
CEO Jerry Wang was arrested at his Santa Clara home and charged in a 15-count indictment that could send him to prison for up to 23 years and lead to more than $1 million in fines.
The indictment claims the 32-year-old Wang and others at Herguan submitted false documents, false transfer letters and made false statements to federal regulators.
About 450 students, mostly from India, are enrolled at Herguan, which offers business and computer science degrees. It’s unclear how the case will affect their visa status.”
Oklahoma man pleads guilty in fraud case
The U.S. attorney’s office says Donald Lee Smith, of Muldrow, Okla., made intentionally false misrepresentations about investment opportunities, neglecting to tell investors and lenders that he was using a large portion of their money to gamble in casinos instead of investing it. The office says the scam occurred between 2007 and 2008.
The U.S. attorney’s office says Smith lived in Alaska when the scheme began, later moving to Oklahoma.
Sentencing was set for October.
Italian road to China’s Suntech fraud was paved with warnings
U.S.-listed Suntech, the world’s largest supplier of solar panels, has lost 40 percent of its market value since revealing on July 30 that 560 million euros ($691 million) in bonds involved in securing the bank financing may never have existed.
Suntech has declined to discuss how the German government bonds in its possession turned out to be apparent forgeries and has hired lawyers to investigate one of the biggest suspected frauds to hit a listed Chinese company.
Sino-Italian private equity firm Mandarin Capital Partners said it wrote emails to the China Development Bank (CDB) as early as three years ago, advising it not to get involved in Suntech’s target area of southern Italy, partly because fraudsters in the booming renewable energy industry there had become a major risk. Reuters has seen one of the emails.
Nebraska brothers convicted in federal fraud case
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say two Nebraska brothers have been convicted of conspiracy and theft in a case of Social Security fraud.
A news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg (gihlj) says a jury convicted 51-year-old Timothy Shirley of conspiracy, theft and Social Security fraud. Forty-eight-year-old Matthew Shirley was convicted of conspiracy and theft.
They are scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 29.
Ex-NC banker facing new tax evasion charge
WRAL-TV reports (http://bit.ly/MKkXag) Tuesday that a federal complaint filed recently accuses 62-year-old William Wise of owing more than $1 million in back taxes on more than $3 million in unreported income.
Wise used to live in Raleigh but disappeared in 2009, just as investigators went to his home to seize records and property. Federal officials say he and another person sold investors close to $130 million in fraudulent certificates of deposit, and that investors lost more than $75 million.
Greece: Banker probed over $10 million cash transfer abroad
ATHENS, Greece — A financial prosecutor in Greece has ordered an investigation into the alleged transfer of €8 million ($9.9 million) out of the country by a former senior official at a newly-privatized bank.
Prosecutor Spyros Mouzakitis on Monday instructed the Finance Ministry’s fraud division to carry out the probe into the legality of actions allegedly taken by the official of ATEBank, who was not named publicly.
The troubled state bank was privatized last month, in a decision that triggered rolling 24-hour strikes by a union representing the bank’s employees and has strained the country’s six-week old government coalition, with a junior partner opposed to the sale.
Wichita man sentenced for bank fraud, stole more than $1M
A 60-year-old Wichita man was sentenced Monday to 51 months in federal prison for a bank fraud in which he stole more than $1 million, according to a release from the office of U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
John Kammerer pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. In his plea, Kammerer admitted that while working as a controller for Network Results of Kansas, Inc., he used his access to the company’s bank account to steal more than $1.2 million from the company. Kammerer said he caused checks to be issued to the account of HMK Enterprises, which he controlled.
Federal Authorities Issue Arrest Warrants in Lansing Mortgage Fraud Ring
GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Federal authorities executed arrest warrants today in connection with a federal mortgage fraud indictment unsealed at the same time. Named in the indictment are Eric Williams, Aaron Teachout, Isaac Modert, Mario Giannandrea, Rick Artibee, Dennis Sare, and Nichole Buda. All defendants are charged with conspiring to commit and committing bankfraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme that occurred in the Lansing, Michigan area between 2005 and 2007. Two of the defendants—Mario Giannandrea and Nichole Buda—are also charged with money laundering in connection with the scheme.
The fraud scheme alleged in the indictment indicates that the defendants engaged in an “equity stripping” scheme involving approximately 35 homes. In the scheme, banks would be asked to finance sham real estate purchases which were designed to extract funds from lenders, which would be split up among the participants in the scheme to be used for their own benefit. The mortgages were not paid and went into foreclosure, resulting in losses of approximately $1,700,000.