Man Who Smoked ‘A Lot’ of Crystal Meth Before Flight Tried to Breach Cockpit, Then Jumped Out of Moving Plane: Feds

A United Airlines passenger who unsuccessfully tried to break into a plane’s cockpit before opening an emergency cabin door and jumping off the taxiing aircraft (and breaking his leg in the process) told federal authorities that he had purchased and smoked “a lot” of crystal meth in the days prior to the flight, court documents show.

According to a criminal complaint filed Sunday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Luis Antonio Victoria Dominguez, 33, even told the woman seated next to him on Flight 5365 from LAX to Salt Lake City that he was going to “jump out” of the plane prior to takeoff.

“I’m serious,” Dominguez allegedly whispered to the female passenger after telling her of his plan and making a break for the front of the aircraft.

Dominguez reached the front of the plane as the aircraft began taxiing and banged on the door multiple times. He then tried “manipulating the locked doorknob while saying something about getting off the aircraft,” one of the flight attendants told authorities.

When he failed to access the flight deck, Dominguez pushed the flight attendant out of his way and turned his attention to the emergency exit door, the court records indicate. He pulled the lever, caused the door to open, and partially deployed the emergency slide, witnesses told federal agents. A male passenger, referred to as “A.G.” in the complaint, grabbed Dominguez by the shirt and tried to pull him back into the aircraft, but Dominguez “twisted himself free” then “fell out of the emergency exit door and onto the tarmac without coming into contact with the partially deployed emergency slide.”

The plane’s captain told federal agents that the incident amounted to a “Level 4 threat,” which he described as “huge—the biggest” threat on the scale. He also said that the emergency slide was pressurized and could have been sucked into the engine.

Multiple witnesses reported that Dominguez, unable to stand after breaking his leg, then tried to crawl down the tarmac away from the plane. He was arrested by officers with the Los Angeles Airport Police Department (LAXPD) and transported to a local hospital so his leg could be treated.

Federal agents went to the hospital the following day to interview Dominguez who was extremely candid, according to the complaint.

Dominguez allegedly told the agents that he traveled from Mexico to L.A. three days prior to Flight 5365, on June 22. He said he planned to travel to Salt Lake City but didn’t have an immediate connecting flight — so he instead went on an alcohol and drug-filled bender.

“He went to an unknown hotel on 7th Street in downtown Los Angeles near a bus station, where he drank several beers and purchased $20 of crystal methamphetamine from an unknown individual,” the complaint stated. “When asked how much crystal methamphetamine he got for the $20, he responded, ‘A lot.’”

The next day, Dominguez said he “still had crystal methamphetamine and continued to smoke on and off throughout the day.” He decided to book a flight to Salt Lake City for June 24, per the complaint.

After smoking more crystal meth, Dominguez said he missed his June 24 flight and wandered the streets until the next day when he boarded Flight 5365.

“He was coming down from all the drugs he had used the last couple of days and immediately started to doze off. He heard the passengers seated behind him laughing and talking about the flight going to a different city than Salt Lake City,” the complaint stated, adding that he then “began to panic.”

Dominguez also allegedly told the agents that his panic attack “gave him the strength to open the door” and jump out of the plane.

He faces one count of Interfering with Flight Crew Members and Attendants, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Read the full complaint below.

[image via KCAL-TV screengrab via YouTube]

The post Man Who Smoked ‘A Lot’ of Crystal Meth Before Flight Tried to Breach Cockpit, Then Jumped Out of Moving Plane: Feds first appeared on Law & Crime.

via Law & Crime

June 29, 2021 at 06:27PM

Senate Bill Would Ban Judges From Increasing Sentencing Based on Acquittals

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently voted to advance the Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act of 2021, a bill that would ban federal judges from enhancing someone’s sentence based on charges they were acquitted of, reports Reason. Currently, a federal judge can decide at sentencing to enhance a defendant’s sentence using facts not found by the jury and based only on a preponderance of evidence—lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard required of juries.

The only other avenue for opponents of acquitted conduct would be to get a case before the Supreme Court, but the Court has been unwilling to take up the issue directly over the past two decades, despite vocal objections from several justices. The bill, which was introduced by by Senators Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa.) and Dick Durbin (D–Ill.), is supported by a number of groups across the political spectrum, from Americans for Prosperity and the Faith & Freedom Coalition to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

via The Crime Report

June 15, 2021 at 09:52AM

Judge pursues criminal charges against 3 US marshals after underling won’t disclose COVID-19 vaccination status

A federal judge in South Dakota has said three supervisory U.S. marshals will face criminal charges after an underling refused to disclose her COVID-19 vaccination status and left the courthouse with three defendants scheduled for court hearings.

U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann of the District of South Dakota announced criminal charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and contempt of court against the three marshals after they appeared at a hearing Monday on civil contempt charges, report the Aberdeen News, the Associated Press, Forum News Service and the Washington Post.

Kornmann said he will appoint a prosecutor if the U.S. attorney declines to prosecute.

Kornmann had told federal officials in March that he expected people working in his courtroom to disclose whether they had been vaccinated.

In a May 19 order to show cause, Kornmann said the U.S. Marshals Service sent a deputy U.S. marshal to his court knowing that she wouldn’t answer the vaccination question in what may have been an “in your face” gesture. Kornmann said he has to know vaccination status because he is 83 years old and at higher risk, as is an employee with serious lung and heart problems.

“Who is running the courts, judges or bureaucrats who themselves are sitting in their offices in the District of Columbia, totally not exposed to COVID problems in their workplaces?” he wrote.

One of the supervisors charged, South Dakota U.S. Marshal Daniel Mosteller, informed Kornmann in April that U.S. marshals wouldn’t be disclosing their vaccination status to the court. Only half of the marshals in South Dakota had been vaccinated by last month, according to a court filing cited by Forum News Service.

The other marshals charged are John Kilgallon, chief of staff for the U.S. Marshals Service; and Stephen Houghtaling, chief deputy U.S. marshal for South Dakota.

The dispute began May 10 when a deputy U.S. marshal brought a defendant into the courtroom but refused to disclose whether she had been vaccinated. She was asked to leave the courtroom and a vaccinated marshal was found to take her place. Later, she left the courthouse on orders from her supervisors with other defendants awaiting hearings.

During the hearing Monday, Kornmann said U.S. marshals must obey district court orders, and their actions were “outrageous.”

Removing the defendants was tantamount to a kidnapping or holding the defendants hostage, the judge said, and nothing like this has ever happened in the United States.

Kornmann said the case could be resolved by an apology and the payment of a $5,000 fine by each U.S. marshal defendant, but they declined.

The defendants wore masks during the hearing, but Kornmann and his staff did not, according to Forum News Service.

Kornmann is a nominee of former President Bill Clinton.

via ABA Journal Top Stories

June 15, 2021 at 11:36AM

Man Pleads Guilty To Illegally Accessing Hundreds Of Snapchat Accounts And Sending Nude Photos

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced today that David Mondore, 29, of New York, New York, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to accessing a protected computer without authorization and, by means of such conduct, furthering the intended fraud and obtaining anything of value. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles M. Kruly, who is handling the case, stated that between July 2018 and August 2020, the defendant gained unauthorized access to, and control of, Snapchat accounts belonging to third parties. After doing so, Mondore often located nude “selfie” photos saved in the victims’ “My Eyes Only” folder, which the defendant then saved to his own phone.

After gaining unauthorized access to a victim’s Snapchat account, Mondore typically sent messages from the Snapchat account to the victim’s Snapchat contacts, sending them under the ruse that the first victim needed the second victim’s Snapchat login credentials to access the second victim’s account. After receiving the second victim’s login credentials and gaining unauthorized access to the second victim’s Snapchat account, Mondore sent a text message to the second victim using a smartphone application that allowed him to anonymize his true phone number. The text message purported to be from Snapchat Security and requested—as a way of verifying that the second victim’s Snapchat account had been legitimately accessed—that the second victim send the passcode for his or her “My Eyes Only” folder. After the second victim sent his or her “My Eyes Only” passcode, Mondore could, and did, gain unauthorized access to the second victim’s “My Eyes Only” folder, from which he could locate and save the second victim’s nude photos. After gaining access to the second victim’s Snapchat account, the defendant then repeated this pattern of activity by using the second victim’s Snapchat account to contact, and then gain unauthorized access to, Snapchat accounts belonging to the second victim’s Snapchat contacts.

For example, in December 2019, Victim 1 received a Snapchat message from a Snapchat account belonging to an acquaintance known as Victim 2. The person who contacted Victim 1 from Victim 2’s Snapchat account asked Victim 1 for her Snapchat login credentials so that Victim 2 could use Victim 1’s Snapchat account to verify whether Victim 2 had been “blocked” by another Snapchat user. Victim 1 sent her Snapchat login credentials to Victim 2. Victim 1 then received a text message purporting to be from Snapchat Security, but which was, in reality, sent from the defendant’s smartphone. The text message stated that Victim 1’s Snapchat account had been locked and could only be unlocked if Victim 1 provided the passcode for her “My Eyes Only” folder. After gaining access to Victim 1’s “My Eyes Only” folder, Mondore sent an explicit photo of Victim 1 to 116 of Victim 1’s Snapchat contacts with a caption reading: “Flash me back if we are besties.” Four of Victim 1’s Snapchat contacts responded by sending the defendant explicit photos of themselves.

Mondore gained unauthorized access to Snapchat accounts belonging to 14 victims in the Western District of New York. The defendant admits that he gained unauthorized access to at least 300 Snapchat accounts belonging to victims both in the Western District of New York and elsewhere.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 29, 2021, before Judge Skretny.

via Online Criminal Justice News

June 16, 2021 at 07:30PM

Feds Seek ‘Very Substantial’ Prison Term for Disgraced Lawyer Michael Avenatti

Scoffing at the one-time celebrity lawyer’s claim that his “epic fall and public shaming” should be taken into account at sentencing, federal prosecutors urged a judge to deal Michael Avenatti a “very substantial” prison sentence for attempting to extort Nike out of millions of dollars by threatening to expose their corruption scandal.

Quoting the probation office, prosecutors noted that Avenatti “often put himself forth as a champion for the Davids of the world, facing off with those Goliaths who would bully the small, the weak, the victimized.”

“And it was precisely this reputation, and the enormous influence that the defendant wielded on the national stage and across media platforms, that he weaponized,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Podolsky wrote in a 19-page sentencing brief on Wednesday night. “He used his skills as a lawyer and his power as a media figure not to benefit his client, but instead to threaten harm in an effort to extract millions of dollars from a victim, which, while sophisticated, [Avenatti] believed would be forced into acquiescing secretly to his demands.”

Once a fixture of the cable TV commentary rounds, Avenatti previously depicted his prosecution as another David-versus-Goliath fight, pitting him against the combined might of the Nike corporation and the Trump administration. Southern District of New York prosecutors rejected that, and a federal jury convicted him on all counts in February 2020.

Earlier this month, Avenatti’s defense attorneys Scott A. Srebnick and E. Danya Perry argued that a six-month maximum sentence would be enough for their client. They also said the court could take “judicial notice” that Avenatti’s well-documented “epic fall […] played out in front of the entire world.”  Federal prosecutors found that sort of sentence would be far too light, and though they did not propose another number, their sentencing memorandum leaves a few clues into their thinking.

The probation office proposed an eight-year sentence, which dips below the 11.25-to-14-year guideline range.

“While the government, like the probation office, believes that a below-guidelines sentence would be sufficient but not greater than necessary to serve the legitimate purposes of sentencing, the government asks this court to impose a very substantial sentence,” prosecutors wrote.

During the trial, prosecutors played a tape for jurors that they called a picture of extortion.

“I’ll go take $10 billion off your client’s market cap,” Avenatti was seen warning attorneys for Nike in the videotape, referring to capitalization.

As the jury found, Avenatti had been talking about confidential information he learned about Nike from his former client Gary Franklin, an amateur basketball coach. Avenatti threatened to expose the embarrassing information relating to the corruption scandal unless the Nike paid $15 million—”not to Franklin, but directly to the [Avenatti] himself,” prosecutors noted.

According to the memo, the deal represented 10 times more than Avenatti asked Nike to pay Franklin, and it would have resolved his client’s claims against Nike.

“Indeed, when one of Nike’s attorneys asked whether Nike could resolve the defendant’s demands simply by paying Franklin more money, the defendant responded that Nike should not increase its payment to Franklin,” the memo states. “In the defendant’s words, it did not make sense for Nike to pay Franklin an ‘exorbitant sum of money… in light of his role in this.’”

Franklin wrote separately to the U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe harshly criticizing Avenatti.

“Mr. Avenatti quickly abused that trust when he announced on Twitter, without my knowledge and without my consent, that he would be holding a press conference to discuss a scandal at Nike that ‘involved some of the biggest names in college basketball,’” Franklin wrote in a two-page victim impact statement. “I never imagined that Mr. Avenatti would proceed to post on Twitter details of the information I had relayed to him as part of our attorney-client privileged discussions, including the names of the players I coached.

Franklin is not alone among Avenatti’s spurned former clients. Avenatti continues to face another federal prosecution in New York accusing him of defrauding Stormy Daniels in a book deal, plus a case in California alleging tax offenses and other misconduct.

Read the sentencing brief below:

(Photo by Phillip Faraone via Getty Images for Politicon)

The post Feds Seek ‘Very Substantial’ Prison Term for Disgraced Lawyer Michael Avenatti first appeared on Law & Crime.

via Law & Crime

June 17, 2021 at 10:32AM

Michael Avenatti Seeks Light Prison Sentence Because His ‘Epic Fall and Public Shaming’ Are Punishment Enough

Attorneys for one-time anti-Trump #Resistance heartthrob Michael Avenatti say he should spend a maximum of six months in prison for attempting to shakedown Nike in the spring of 2019.

The pugilistic attorney, who fed off national exposure granted to him by cable news outlets like CNN and MSNBC in the early years of the Trump era, claimed that the eventual lack of attention and concomitant scorn he received after being indicted for the $23 million extortion attempt was, with time already served, sufficient punishment in and of itself.

“Avenatti’s epic fall and public shaming has played out in front of the entire world,” defense attorneys Scott A. Srebnick and E. Danya Perry argued in a sentencing memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday.

“The Court may take judicial notice of this fact, as Avenatti’s cataclysmic fall has been well-documented,” the 33-page filing continues. “He is openly mocked by the former President of the United States and his preferred media outlets, to the glee of millions of the former President’s followers and supporters.”

What’s more, the attorneys point out, the public distaste will follow their client around.

“He cannot go anywhere in public without inducing and subjecting himself to vitriolic comments and abuse,” the filing notes.

The defense motion also points out that Avenatti was previously subject to “horrific conditions of solitary confinement and isolation” for months on end–before he was granted release subject to home confinement in late April of last year for health reasons.

The memorandum explains:

In sum, the government placed Avenatti in custody for approximately 100 days, during which he was permitted to see the sky and breathe fresh air for one hour in total. For 80 of those days, he was held in solitary confinement or under lockdown status. During this time, he was forced to endure abhorrent, brutal conditions almost unheard of even for inmates with long, violent criminal histories or serious disciplinary problems.

And, the defense also argues, Avenatti wasn’t actually convicted of anything violent or even particularly abhorrent—noting that this is his first time on the opposite side of the law in a criminal sense.

“On June 30, 2021, Avenatti will appear before the Court for sentencing as a first-time offender in a white-collar case,” the memo says. “The offenses of conviction did not involve violence. They did not cause an actual financial loss to any victim; indeed, restitution is not an issue in the case. Thus, while we recognize that the offenses require punishment, the length of incarceration should be dictated by reason and fairness.”

Avenatti’s attorneys argue that the appropriate sentence–actually 18 months in total; six in prison; 12 at home–should be based on similar prosecutions for so-called “economic extortion” cases that did not result in any financial loss.

The memo claims there are “few” cases with fact patterns “similar” to Avenatti’s case.

The closest (and most favorable case for their position) they are able to come up with is an instance from 1999 in which someone was given 26 months in total–with only six of them served in prison.

Avenatti’s attorneys also cite to the 2020 cases of two Virginia attorneys who attempted to extort over $200 million and were given 24 months and 12 months, respectively.

The memo notes, in summary [emphasis in original]:

The appropriate sentence should also consider the particularly brutal punishment that Avenatti already suffered during his largely solitary confinement at MCC-New York. In the end, we respectfully submit that a sentence of no more than eighteen (18) months – six months in prison followed by 12 months of home confinement – is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary” to achieve the purposes of sentencing in our justice system.

A Manhattan jury found Avenatti guilty in Feb. 2020 over allegations that he tried to extort Nike over $25 million and that he betrayed the trust of a client with serious legal concerns against the shoe-selling and athletics apparel giant.

That client, youth basketball coach Gary Franklin, had accused Nike of improperly funneling money to top-tier college basketball players in violation of NCAA rules.

Avenatti, privy to this knowledge, attempted to use his client’s allegations for a quick pay day on the eve of an all-important stockholder earnings call–dangling the prospect of dishing on Nike’s bad behavior–a move that would have likely torpedoed the company’s publicly-traded stock price at a pivotal time.

Instead of paying, Nike itself dished to the feds.

“Nike bribed over 100 players as part of their scheme and purposely hid the payments from the [National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and federal] investigators,” he said in a defiant press barrage.

Initially undeterred by the charges, at least in public, Avenatti continued to tweet out criticism of Nike before he was jailed.

Carlton DeBose, a Nike executive, has bribed over 100 high school players over the last [four] years to play college basketball at colleges affiliated with Nike as opposed to other schools,” Avenatti said at the time. “He has used bogus invoices and countless coaches to further the scheme [and] deliver the [money].”

After a judge denied his motion to dismiss, Avenatti again predicted vindication, this time at the trial level.

“’Allegations’ mean nothing,” he told Law&Crime. “Once the actual evidence is presented in the Nike trial, I will be fully exonerated because I did absolutely nothing wrong.”

Read the full sentencing memorandum below:

[image via Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images]

The post Michael Avenatti Seeks Light Prison Sentence Because His ‘Epic Fall and Public Shaming’ Are Punishment Enough first appeared on Law & Crime.

via Law & Crime

June 10, 2021 at 04:17PM

‘For God’s Sake’: Frustrated Judge Dresses Down Ex-‘Kraken’ Lawyer Suing MLB Over All-Star Game, as Case Swings and Misses in Court

Eviscerating the legal arguments of a pro-Donald Trump lawyer deeply involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, a federal judge refused to issue an injunction forcing Major League Baseball to move the All-Star Game back to Atlanta, Georgia.

“You can’t possibly think that,” an audibly frustrated U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni told attorney Howard Kleinhendler, who compared the league’s advocacy against Georgia’s voting law to illegal intimidation.

“That’s just not true,” Caproni said.

In her ruling, delivered after feisty oral arguments, Caproni slammed Kleinhendler’s comparison of Atlanta’s loss of the All-Star Game to the “loss of a child’s innocence” as unhelpful hyperbole.

To call the lawsuit “weak and muddled is an understatement,” she added.

Those were just examples of the many dressing-downs that Judge Caproni delivered to the lawyer for the conservative Job Creators Network (JCN), which filed a federal lawsuit in New York seeking to reverse MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta, Georgia to Denver, Colorado in the wake of Georgia’s new voting law. The law’s opponents have called SB 202 a “voter suppression bill” meant to appease “conspiracy theorists” upset about the 2020 election outcome.

JCN is represented by one of the key figures behind the conspiratorial legal offensive to overturn the 2020 election results: Kleinhendler, who was part of the so-called “Kraken” legal team that unsuccessfully tried to topple elections in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona.

Over the course of more than an hour-and-a-half-long arguments session on Thursday, Kleinhendler claimed that the league’s opposition to SB 202 damaged his client because—if the MLB succeeded in rescinding the legislation—democracy in Georgia would be harmed by the dilution of valid votes.

Judge Caproni found that argument was way out of left field.

“You have gotten so far afield of your client’s interests,” she said.

“How is that at all relevant to this case?” the judge asked, later.

Emphasizing that the merits of voting laws are not at issue, Caproni added: “This case is not about whether the Georgia law is a good law or a bad law.”

Caproni’s frustration was palpable over the course of an hour that she questioned Kleinhendler that she appeared to raise her voice frequently and at one point, interjected, “For God’s sake!”

She was no less scathing about Kleinhendler’s arguments that MLB qualified as a state actor because it accepts large amounts of taxpayer money.

Using a homespun expression, the Alabama-born Judge Caproni described that argument as one being about private businesses “sucking on the public tit,” but she said that this practice does not a public actor make.

“You seem to think everybody is a public actor,” she exclaimed.

Shredding Kleinhendler’s equal protection arguments, Caproni pressed him for any support for the proposition that the residents of Georgia were a protected class.

Kleinhendler noted that a pizza shop cannot refuse to serve Black people.

“That’s correct because you’re discriminating on the basis of race,” Caproni countered, adding that this comparison had nothing to do with the MLB’s case.

When she pressed for precedent on residents of a state, Kleinholder cited an equal protection case about political affiliations.

“That’s political affiliations,” Judge Caproni shot back.

The judge’s interrogation was so throrough that the MLB’s lawyer began his remarks by saying that Caproni had covered most of his points, including his “surprise” point about the First Amendment.

“Sorry, I took your thunder,” Caproni quipped.

Though Kleinhendler’s oral arguments lasted more than an hour, lawyers for the MLB and its union, the Major League Baseball Players Association, spoke for a few minutes apiece. The MLBPA’s lawyer quipped it was one of the few times the league and the union were on the same page.

That line even appeared to make Judge Caproni chuckle.

The judge found, among other things, that the plaintiff lacked standing. The lawsuit is not at the dismissal stage, but it now hangs by a thread. Caproni said she would schedule a conference in July—”assuming” the plaintiff wishes to continue it, she added.

(Image via CBS 46 screengrab)

The post ‘For God’s Sake’: Frustrated Judge Dresses Down Ex-‘Kraken’ Lawyer Suing MLB Over All-Star Game, as Case Swings and Misses in Court first appeared on Law & Crime.

via Law & Crime

June 10, 2021 at 04:52PM

Former Florida Prepaid College Program Contractor Sentenced To 33 Months In Prison For Conspiracy, Mail Fraud, And Aggravated Identity Theft

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Jamilla Ciar Hall of Tallahassee, Florida, has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and aggravated identity theft arising out of her work with the Florida Prepaid College Program. Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the sentence, which was handed down on Tuesday following Hall’s guilty plea last September.

“This woman abused her position of trust to rob money from the Florida Prepaid program – but worse, she robbed from unsuspecting parents who invested in a future college education for their loved ones,” U.S. Attorney Keefe said. “She thought she had discovered a path to easy money, but instead, choosing that path has led her to prison.”

The Florida Prepaid College Board, which administers the Florida Prepaid College Program (“Florida Prepaid”), contracted with Intuition College Savings Solutions to provide customer service and records administration services for Florida Prepaid. While working for Intuition, between July and December 2018 Hall accessed the personal identification information of Florida Prepaid account owners and beneficiaries, and then fraudulently changed mailing addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses associated with those Florida Prepaid plans. She then fraudulently submitted forms to cancel accounts, using the personal identification information of the account owners and beneficiaries. Refund checks for the Florida Prepaid plans she cancelled were mailed and delivered by the United States Postal Service to Hall at the addresses she fraudulently submitted. She personally cashed some of the refund checks and gave some to others to fraudulently cash. In total, Hall fraudulently obtained and attempted to obtain approximately $42,000 in funds to which she was not entitled.

“Hall took advantage of hardworking families that utilize the Florida Prepaid program to provide their children an opportunity for a college education,” said FDLE’s Tallahassee Regional Operations Center Special Agent in Charge Mark Perez. “Hall’s arrest and sentencing assures families that the Florida Prepaid program is a safe and secure way to save for their children’s future. Those that take advantage of these families will be brought to justice.”

Hall pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, five counts of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. Her 33-month prison sentence will be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Hall was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims.

“Tuesday’s sentencing is a reminder that financial crimes are not victimless crimes,” said United States Secret Service Resident Special Agent in Charge Seth Reister, Tallahassee. “The defendant victimized the community for her own personal gain by taking advantage of multiple Florida Prepaid customers. The U.S. Secret Service and its law enforcement partners such as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, will continue to investigate and pursue prosecution of those who engage in identity theft or financial fraud.”

This sentencing was the result of a joint investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Justin M. Keen prosecuted the case.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

via Online Criminal Justice News

February 18, 2021 at 05:39PM

Misogynist Lawyer Who Murdered Federal Judge’s Son Had ‘Manila Folder’ on Justice Sotomayor

Roy Den Hollander, the misogynist lawyer who killed two men in a hunt for his perceived enemies, had a “manila folder” on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of his targets said in an interview with 60 Minutes.

U.S. District Judge Esther Salas said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered that Den Hollander had a locker in New Jersey.

“They found another gun–a Glock–more ammunition, but the most troubling thing they found was a manila folder with a workup on Justice Sonia Sotomayor,” said Salas, whose son Daniel Anderl, 20, was murdered by Den Hollander. Den Hollander also critically injured Salas’ husband Mark Anderl.

Over the years, Den Hollander kept a somewhat notable profile as a self-styled men’s rights attorney, who sued nightclubs in New York City over ladies’ nights and represented a woman in a lawsuit opposing the male-only draft. He also left behind an array of racist and sexist writings. A terminal cancer diagnosis preceded the rampage, which reportedly had a list of targets. Ironically enough, Den Hollander only ended up shooting men.

The FBI has also said there was evidence tying him to the July 11, 2020 murder of men’s rights activist and attorney Marc Angelucci, 52, who was reportedly another person on the list. This killing occurred in San Bernardino, California. Authorities said Den Hollander soon went after Salas, who was a judge on the aforementioned draft lawsuit. Den Hollander went to the judge’s New Jersey home, critically injured her husband, and murdered their son.

Law&Crime reached out the Supreme Court for comment on the revelations about Den Hollander’s Justice Sotomayor “folder.”

“We do not discuss security as a matter of Court policy,” U.S. Supreme Court spokesperson Kathleen L. Arberg told Law&Crime in an email.

It wouldn’t be much of a jump for Den Hollander to want to go after Sotomayor. He already had a pattern of going after judges. The list reportedly included both Salas and New York Chief Judge Janet M. DiFiore, a Manhattan judge, and another New Jersey federal judge. It is also worth mentioning that Den Hollander once disparagingly referred to Salas as an “incompetent Latina appointed by Obama.” Sotomayor is also Hispanic, and was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Barack Obama.

[Image via OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images]

The post Misogynist Lawyer Who Murdered Federal Judge’s Son Had ‘Manila Folder’ on Justice Sotomayor first appeared on Law & Crime.

via Law & Crime

February 19, 2021 at 03:56PM

Two Hackers Who Extorted Money From Uber and LinkedIn Plead Guilty

Two grey hat hackers have pleaded guilty to blackmailing Uber , LinkedIn, and other U.S. corporations for money in exchange for promises to delete data of millions of customers they had stolen in late 2016.

In a San Jose courthouse in California on Wednesday, Brandon Charles Glover (26) of Florida and Vasile Mereacre (23) of Toronto admitted they accessed and downloaded confidential corporate databases on Amazon Web Services using stolen credentials.

After downloading the data, the duo contacted affected companies to report security vulnerabilities and demanded money in exchange for the deletion of the data, according to a press release published by the US Justice Department.

“I was able to access backups upon backups, me and my team would like a huge reward for this,” the hackers said to the victim company in an email.

“Please keep in mind, we expect a big payment as this was hard work for us, we already helped a big corp which paid close to 7 digits, all went well.”

As The Hacker News reported two years ago, the hackers managed to inappropriately accessed and downloaded sensitive information of

57 million Uber riders and drivers

, for which Uber reportedly paid the duo $100,000 in bitcoin in an attempt to cover up the breach.

“The defendants used false names to communicate with the victim-corporations, and, on several occasions, informed the victim-corporations that they had been paid by other victim-corporations for identifying security vulnerabilities,” the indictment reads.

“They also sent the victim-corporations a sample of the data in order for the victim-corporations to verify the authenticity of data.”

The indictment also revealed that the duo blackmailed LinkedIn in the same way in December 2016, informing the company that they had compromised databases of LinkedIn’s subsidiary and stole over 90,000 user records, including their credit card information.

At that time, it was also reported that Uber sent its forensic team to the hackers’ house in Florida and Canada to analyze their computers to make sure all the stolen data had been wiped and had the hackers also sign a non-disclosure agreement to prevent further wrongdoings.

Uber waited a year to reveal the

October 2016 data breach

, for which it was later ordered by the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to pay $148 million across all 50 states and Washington DC to settle the investigation.

British and Dutch data protection regulators also hit the ride-sharing company with a

total fine of approximately $ 1.1 million

for failing to protect its customers’ personal information during a 2016 cyber attack.

At the time, it was also reported that Uber hid the data breach incident from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which was investigating another hacking incident against the company, and only told the commission about the 2016 breach in late 2017 when the incident was made public.

Glover and Mereacre each pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit extortion and are set to face a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when they are sentenced.

The duo has been released on bond and will be sentenced in March 2020.

via The Hacker News

October 31, 2019 at 04:10AM