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U.S. Attorney s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 6

									U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Newsletter
                         Issue 4 - October 2012

                           Inside this issue:

Message from the U.S. Attorney – page 1, Equitable Sharing Program - page
2, National Missing Children’s Awareness Day – page 2, Recent Noteworthy
Cases – pages 3-5, Employee Spotlight – page 6, MDPA Map and
Office Information – page 7

Picture of September 12, 2012 press conference at the Hazleton, PA, State
Police field office with state, local, and federal law enforcement and
prosecutors to announce indictment in a multi-county armed bank robbery
case.


A Message from the U.S. Attorney

      In this edition of our district’s newsletter, we are highlighting
the Department of Justice’s Equitable Sharing Program. As explained in
more detail inside, the Equitable Sharing Program operates such that
federal, state, and local law enforcement partners are able to share in
the assets that are forfeited as the result of a successful criminal
investigation in which multiple agencies participated. In recent years,
the Pennsylvania State Police, as well as 28 local law enforcement
agencies have received funds through the Equitable Sharing Program.

      We are also shining a spotlight on our office’s partnership with
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that has provided one Special
Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) committed to prosecuting
immigration fraud cases, a collaboration that has resulted in the
prosecution of 60 criminal immigration fraud cases in the past two years,
and the outstanding efforts of two prosecutors in our Scranton office in
cases involving crimes against children and child pornography.

      Should you have any questions about these programs, or other
matters, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

                                                         Peter J. Smith

Page 2

      Asset forfeiture has become one of the most powerful tools to
combat and dismantle criminal enterprises by removing the proceeds and
instrumentalities of the crime. The Equitable Sharing Program enhances
cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies by
sharing a portion of these proceeds with our state and local partners in
direct relation with their participation to the total law enforcement
effort resulting in forfeiture. The Equitable Sharing Program was created
in 1984, and continues to grow with more than 8,000 participating state
and local law enforcement agencies nationwide.

      Agencies use forfeited funds and property recovered from criminals
to strengthen local law enforcement operations and to reduce the fiscal
burden that would otherwise fall on local taxpayers. Funds distributed
through the Equitable Sharing Program enable agencies to make communities
safer through the purchase of valuable resources, such as equipment,
training, and drug education and awareness. As the Program grows, it is
imperative that agencies not lose sight of the importance of maintaining
transparency, integrity, and account-ability in investigations and
thereafter when promoting participation in the Equitable Sharing Program.

      The Middle District is a robust participant in the Equitable
Sharing Program. In FY12, 49 law enforcement partners shared almost $2.2
million.

      For more information on participating in the Equitable Sharing
Program, please see the Guide to Equitable Sharing for State and Local
Law Enforcement Agencies. An electronic copy of the publication is
available at the following address:
http://www.justice.gov/criminal/afmls/pubs/pdf/04-2009guide-equit.pdf.

      If there are any questions, please contact Jim Clancy, Chief,
Victims Rights and Asset Recovery Unit, at (717) 221-4482.

National Missing Children’s Awareness Day:

      On July 25, in coordination with federal, state and local law
enforcement partners from the FBI, US Postal Inspection Service,
ICE, US Marshals, Pennsylvania State Police, Harrisburg City Police
Department, and the York County Missing Children’s Task Force held a
safety awareness event at the Senator’s Baseball game in Harrisburg
to recognize National Missing Children’s Awareness Day. Free
fingerprinting and safety materials were provided.

Page 3

Recent Noteworthy Cases Recent Noteworthy Cases

U.S. v. Nagle

      In April, Joseph Nagle, the former President and owner of Schuykill
Products was convicted after a four-week jury trial in Harrisburg.
The jury returned a verdict of guilty on 26 of 30 charges in the
indictment including conspiracy to defraud the United States Department
of Transportation (USDOT) and commit wire and mail fraud, 7 counts of
wire fraud, 6 counts of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering
and 11 counts of money laundering.

      Nagle and other executives at SPI diverted over 300 PennDOT and
SEPTA construction contracts to SPI and CDS that were reserved for DBE's.
Nagle and his co-conspirators executed the scheme by using a small
Connecticut highway construction firm known as Marikina Construction
Corporation as a front company to obtain these lucrative government
contracts. This scheme lasted over 15 years and involved over $136
million in government contracts and is the largest reported Disadvantaged
Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud in the nation's history.
      The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the U.S. Department of
Transportation Inspector General's Office, the U.S. Department of Labor
Inspector General's Office, and the Criminal Investigation
Division of the IRS. Senior Litigation Counsel Bruce Brandler and
Assistant United States Attorney Kim Douglas Daniel handled the
prosecution.

U.S. v. Jackson

      In July, Cameron Jackson, a/k/a “Cam,” formerly of Taylor,
Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 151 months’ imprisonment for possession
with intent to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin.
An investigation conducted by the Scranton Police Department regarding
the sale of illegal drugs culminated in a search warrant being served on
Jackson’s residence. Drug paraphernalia, illegal drugs and drug proceeds
were recovered during the execution of the search warrant.

      In addition to the items found during the search warrant of
Jackson’s residence, police were able to make multiple controlled
purchases of crack cocaine from Jackson during transactions that occurred
in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

      The investigation was conducted by the Scranton Police Department
together with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI in a joint
alien gang task force which is investigating illegal alien street gang
activity in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The case is assigned to Assistant
United States Attorney Todd K. Hinkley.

Page 4

U.S. v. Strausbaugh

      A New Oxford couple was sentenced on May 8 in federal court.
Michael Strausbaugh, was sentenced to 45 years in prison, $3,500 fine and
a lifetime of supervised release. Rebecca Strausbaugh, was sentenced to
15 years in prison, $1,200 fine and five years of supervised release.
In March 2011, Michael Strausbaugh, and his wife, Rebecca Strausbaugh,
were both charged with producing images depicting the sexual abuse of a
child between the age of 5-8 months. Michael Strausbaugh was also charged
with distribution and possession of child pornography.

      Testimony at trial established that Michael Strausbaugh, aided by
his wife, engaged in sexually explicit conduct with an infant in their
care for the purpose of producing photos. Michael Strausbaugh then
distributed these images over the internet.

      This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service,
Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Investigations, and the Pennsylvania State Police-Mobile Computer Crime
Lab. Prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Daryl F.
Bloom.

U.S. v. Brosnac
      Andrew Brosnac, age 47, of Keller, Texas was indicted in August on
charges that between 2006 and 2008 Brosnac, and co-conspirator Samuel
Pearson, age 47, Hanover, York County, Pennsylvania, allegedly used a
group of companies to buy Jiffy Lube stores, automotive service
businesses, convenience store/gas stations and other commercial
properties and then sell them to investors.

      Brosnac, a real estate broker and investment consultant, allegedly
defrauding investors and lenders out of approximately $16 million in
connection with the sale and leaseback of businesses in Pennsylvania,
New York, North Carolina, and Wyoming.

      According to the indictment, the commercial properties involved in
the fraud were located in Sayre, Erie, and Bethel, Pennsylvania, Syracuse
and Canandaigua, New York, Mars Hill, North Carolina and Sheridan,
Wyoming. Financing and commercial loans were allegedly obtained from
Indiana First Savings Bank, Bank of the West, California Credit Union,
Travis Credit Union and Great Lakes Credit Union.

      If convicted, Brosnac faces an estimated advisory imprisonment
range of 11 to 14 years, plus fines and an order to make restitution.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Prosecution is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel.

Page 5

U.S. v. Reid

      Jamarr Reid, of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania was sentenced to a 21-
month term of imprisonment and ordered to forfeit $208,416.50 as a result
of his involvement in a 17-person drug ring that operated in Wilkes-
Barre.

      The members of the drug trafficking ring imported crack, cocaine
and marijuana into Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, from multiple locations
outside the Commonwealth.

      The investigation, named “Operation Southern Comfort” was conducted
by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal
Revenue Service, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the
Pennsylvania State Police, the Wilkes-Barre Police Department, and the
Kingston Police Department.

      Prosecution of this case was handled by Assistant United States
Attorney Todd K. Hinkley.


U.S. v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC)

      On July 9, the Justice Department announced that it reached a
settlement in its lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of
Corrections (PDOC). The settlement, filed with the U.S. District Court
for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, resolves allegations that PDOC
violated the reemployment rights of U.S. Army Reservist David C. Fyock,
of Kennerdell, PA, under the Uniformed Services Employment and
Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

      The department’s complaint, which was filed on Oct. 27, 2011,
alleges PDOC violated USERRA by failing to retroactively promote Fyock
from a corrections officer 1 to a corrections officer 2 position at the
State Correctional Institution Mercer in Mercer, Pa., based on his
successful performance on a make-up promotional examination after
returning from a military deployment. According to the complaint, Fyock’s
score on the make-up examination was higher than the score of any person
promoted to any of the 13 vacant corrections officer 2 positions filled
based on the May 2007 promotional test he missed.

      Under the terms of the settlement, Fyock will receive a promotion
to corrections officer 2 (sergeant), as well as back pay and other
benefits.

      This matter was litigated by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa
Swauger and Timothy Judge of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s
Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in collaboration with
attorneys from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The case
stems from a referral from the U.S. Labor Department's Veterans'
Employment and Training Service.

Page 6

Employee Spotlight

Photo of Alice Song Hartye and Brian McDonnell.

      Two years ago, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the partnership
with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) to provide a federal prosecutor dedicated to prosecute
any case related to immigration fraud.

      As the office said farewell to Brian McDonnell in August 2012
following his two-year appointment, the office announced its efforts to
continue the partnership by welcoming Alice Song Hartye. Alice has
extensive knowledge of immigration law having clerked with the United
States Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review in
El Paso and Dallas, Texas, and with her position with ICE as an Assistant
Chief Counsel in Phoenix, Arizona and York, PA.

      For further information concerning prosecution of suspected
immigration fraud cases, please contact our Harrisburg office at (717)
221-4482.

Congratulations!

      July 2012 - Plaques were issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations to Assistant U.S.
Attorneys’ Francis P. Sempa and Michelle Olshefski in recognition and
appreciation of their outstanding dedication, professionalism and
significant contributions to Homeland Security Investigations.
Mr. Sempa and Ms. Olshefski have spearheaded the Scranton office’s
prosecutions of crimes against children, child pornography, and crimes
against the elderly in close cooperation with state and local law
enforcement agencies in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Page 7

Visit our website at: http://www.justice.gov/usao/pam/index.html

Our Offices:

William J. Nealon Federal Building and Courthouse
235 N. Washington Ave., Suite 311
Scranton, PA 18503
Toll-Free (866) 996-4320
Phone (570) 348-2800
Fax (570) 348-2807

Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse
228 Walnut Street, Suite 220
P.O. Box 11754
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1754
Toll-Free (866) 673-7340
Phone (717) 221-4482
Fax (717) 221-4493

Herman T. Schneebeli Federal Building
240 West Third Street
Williamsport, PA 17701-6465
Phone (570) 326-1935
Fax (570) 326-7916

								
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