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Federal Government
Former Green Beret Pleads Guilty To Receiving Stolen Federal Funds: Faces 15 Years In Prison PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 14 January 2020 10:12
William Todd Chamberlin , 46, of Raleigh pled guilty to Conspiracy and Receiving Stolen Government Property before United States Magistrate Judge Kimberly A. Swank.  At sentencing before Senior United States District Court Judge Malcolm J. Howard, Chamberlin faces a combined maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, a $500,000 fine, mandatory restitution and forfeiture of $40,000.  
 
Chamberlin  was initially charged in an Indictment filed on June 25, 2014.   Chamberlin along with four other members from the 3rd Special Forces Group based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina were indicted.  According to the charging documents, Chamberlin, Cleo Autry, Jeffrey Cook, Deric Harper, and Barry Walls stole approximately $200,000 between July 2009 and January 2010 while deployed together in Afghanistan.  The five soldiers’ split-team had access to various government funds.   Operational funds were provided to purchase mission critical items that could not be obtained through military supply systems. Commander’s Emergency Response Funds were earmarked for humanitarian projects intended to benefit the local Afghan populace, such as public roads, schools and medical clinics.  In addition, there were classified funds for Special Forces to support counterterrorism operations.   
 
The Indictment alleged that these soldiers stole a portion of the funds and falsified receipts to conceal the amount of monies stolen.  According to the investigation, all five soldiers converted stolen funds into postal money orders, which were purchased from military post offices in Afghanistan.  They also sent cash to family members in the mail or carried cash back into the United States at the end of the deployment.  When first approached by law enforcement, CHAMBERLAIN and the others lied.   They either claimed falsely winning the cash gambling or bringing the cash with them from the United States when deployed.  
 
The other four soldiers, Cleo Autry, Jeffrey Cook, Deric Harper, and Barry Walls, entered guilty pleas in 2014.  CHAMBERLAIN, however, filed numerous pre-trial motions, claiming, among other things, that he needed access to classified information to defend himself.  Judge Howard ultimately ruled against CHAMBERLAIN, concluding the classified information was not helpful to his defense.  
 
According to the Government’s proffer, CHAMBERLAIN was the non-commissioned officer-in-charge and the team’s engineer.  Since a large portion of these funds were used on building and maintaining the infrastructure of the forward operating base, CHAMBERLAIN had to know the amounts reflected on the receipts were inflated.  In addition, three of his teammates would have testified that they handed him large sums of U.S. currency and saw him at the post office purchasing postal money orders.        
 
United States Attorney Higdon commented, “Our Office stands committed to routing out public corruption.  Chamberlain and his teammates abused the unique trust bestowed upon them by the military as members of the Special Forces.”  
 
John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), stated, “Theft of U.S. government funds in a war zone is a serious crime that weakens our national objectives in Afghanistan.  The message of this case is loud and clear: SIGAR and our law enforcement partners will pursue justice — no matter how long it takes.”  
 
Robert E. Craig, Jr., Special-Agent-in-Charge of the Mid-Atlantic Field Office for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) stated,  “DCIS also stands committed to aggressively investigating corruption and theft that undermines the integrity of the Department of Defense.  We hope this case demonstrates the resolve of DCIS and our law enforcement partners to protect valuable Department of Defense resources and ensure the combat readiness of our Warfighters."
 
SIGAR, DCIS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Army’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit conducted this multi-year investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Susan B. Menzer and Department of Justice National Security Division Trial Attorney Matthew J. McKenzie represented the government. 
 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 January 2020 10:15
 
Fayetteville Man Gets 10 Years In Federal Prison For Drug and Firearm Crimes PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 10 January 2020 09:44
United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced Delton Eugene Warren, 56, of Fayetteville to 138 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release.
 
Warren was named in an Indictment filed on September 21, 2017 charging him with Distribution of a Quantity of Cocaine Base (crack), Possession with Intent to Distribute 28 grams or More of Cocaine Base (crack), Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.  On May 8, 2019, he was found guilty after a jury trial.  
 
According to the investigation, on February 22, 2017, Officers with the Fayetteville Police Department received information from a confidential source that Warren was selling cocaine.  Officers conducted four controlled buys over a period of 3 months from Warren  for crack cocaine and conducted a trash pull from WARREN’s residence. (Controlled purchases took place on February 22, 2017, February 27, 2017, March 9, 2017, and March 20, 2017). On April 27, 2017, Officers executed a search warrant at Warren's residence and found 17.65 grams of marijuana, 156.51 grams of crack cocaine, 95.94 grams of cocaine, drug paraphernalia, approximately $15,000 cash, and a stolen 9mm handgun firearm. Warren is a convicted felon and prohibited from possession of firearms.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.  
 
This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina implements the PSN Program through its Take Back North Carolina Initiative.  This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.
 
The Fayetteville Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) conducted investigation of this case.  Assistant United States Attorneys Jane Jackson and Chad Rhoades handled the prosecution of this case for the government.
 
Last Updated on Friday, 10 January 2020 09:48
 
Henderson Non-Profit Director Sentenced To Prison After Pleading Guilty To Theft Of Federal Funds PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 08 January 2020 08:42
United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced Comuls Latezes Bridges,41, of Douglasville, Georgia to 15 months imprisonment, followed by 3 years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $209,877 in restitution.  On July 10, 2019, Bridges pled guilty to theft of federal childcare and adult food program funds.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal program that, among other things, is designed to provide food assistance to young children in out-of-home care. The At-Risk Afterschool Meals (ARAM) component of CAFCP offers federal funding to qualifying afterschool programs that serve meals and snacks to children in low-income areas.
 
BRIDGES was the director of Beyond the Barriers Outreach, Inc. (“BTBO”), a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Henderson, North Carolina.  In 2012, BTBO, through BRIDGES, applied for and was approved to participate in the ARAM component of CACFP.  BTBO was authorized to receive reimbursement for afterschool meals and snacks that BRIDGES claimed would be served to school-aged students at its afterschool center located in Henderson.
 
BTBO participated in CACFP from January 2013 to April 2016.  During this period, BRIDGES submitted monthly claims for reimbursement for daily meals and snacks purportedly served to as many as 90 students at its Henderson afterschool center.  However, the investigation revealed that BRIDGES’ claims were false.  Soon after BTBO was approved by CACFP, BRIDGES moved to Georgia and did not operate an afterschool program in Henderson.  Due to BRIDGES’ non-payment of utility bills, the afterschool center was without electricity, gas, and water/sewer services most of the time period during which BRIDGES claimed to operate an afterschool program.
 
As a result of the fraud, BRIDGES received $209,887 in unauthorized payments.  Most of the fraudulently obtained funds were diverted to BRIDGES’ personal expenses in Georgia, such as restaurants, gas, apartment lease, cell phone bill, beauty supplies, massages, and payments associated with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding.
 
The United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Toby Lathan represented the government. 
 
 
Soldier Convicted Of Marriage Fraud PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 05 December 2019 11:56
United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that, EDWARD KUMI ANGUAH, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was convicted in federal court following a two-day trial before Chief United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle.  ANGUAH was convicted of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, and making a false statement in an immigration matter.
 
The jury heard evidence that ANGUAH, a Sergeant in the U.S.  Army conspired with foreign nationals to engage in fraudulent marriages with U.S. Army soldiers.  By marrying the soldiers, the foreign nationals sought legal status in the United States to which they were not entitled.  Additionally, ANGUAH filed a false statement with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of one of the foreign nationals.
      
ANGUAH faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.
 
Homeland Security Investigations, the Army Criminal Investigation Division at Fort Bragg, and the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office conducted this enforcement operation.  Assistant United States Attorney Gabriel Diaz represented the government.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 December 2019 11:57
 
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