Tag: Justice.gov

US / Charges & Sentence: Iran military technology exports

A federal court in the District of Columbia unsealed two indictments yesterday charging multiple defendants with violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) for their roles in separate schemes to procure and export U.S. technology to Iran between 2005 and 2013. In connection with this announcement, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated three of the defendants and four entities for their involvement in the procurement of equipment that supports Iran’s ballistic missile and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and weapons programs.

Kingwood Orlando Reunion Resort, Kingwood Crystal River Resort Florida Resorts to Pay $325,000: False Claims Act Allegations Relating to False Certifications on Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application

Florida companies Kingwood Orlando Reunion Resort LLC (Orlando Reunion) and Kingwood Crystal River Resort Corp. (Crystal River) have agreed to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act (FCA) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) by knowingly providing false information in support of a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application submitted by Crystal River.

National Freight Carrier ABF Freight System to Pay Penalties and Implement Stormwater Compliance Measures for Clean Water Act Noncompliance

ABF Freight System Inc. (ABF), a freight carrier that operates more than 200 transportation facilities in 47 states and Puerto Rico, has resolved allegations that it violated requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA) relating to industrial stormwater at locations across the country. Under the proposed settlement, ABF will enhance and implement its comprehensive, corporate-wide stormwater compliance program at all its transportation facilities except those located in the state of Washington, and will pay a civil penalty of $535,000, a portion of which will be directed to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the State of Maryland, and the State of Nevada who all joined this settlement.

US / Denka Performance Elastomer: Emissions & “likely carcinogens”

Today, the Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), filed a motion for preliminary injunction under the Clean Air Act (CAA) requesting that the court order Denka Performance Elastomer LLC (Denka) to require significant pollution controls to reduce chloroprene emissions, a pollutant that EPA has determined to be a likely carcinogen. The request for immediate relief by EPA and the Justice Department follows the United States’ complaint filed on Feb. 28, alleging an imminent and substantial endangerment to the communities surrounding the facility as a result of Denka’s manufacturing operations.

The Clean Air Act section 303 imminent and substantial endangerment lawsuit is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

US / Sterling Bancorp, Inc. to Plead Guilty to $69M Securities Fraud

A Southfield, Michigan-headquartered bank holding company has agreed to plead guilty to securities fraud for filing false securities statements relating to its 2017 initial public offering (IPO) and its 2018 and 2019 annual filings.

According to a signed plea agreement that will be publicly filed in court, Sterling Bancorp, Inc. (the Company) was the holding company for its wholly owned subsidiary, Sterling Bank and Trust F.S.B. (the Bank, or together with the Company, “Sterling”). Sterling – with branches located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, and Southfield – completed an IPO in 2017, and the Company’s stock began trading on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol “SBT.”

CEO of Major Defense Contractor Frank Rafaraci Charged with Bribery

The chief executive officer (CEO) of Company 1, a multi-national corporation headquartered in Malta and with operations in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and the United States was charged with bribery in an indictment returned on September 30, 2019.

Former Goldman Sachs Investment Banker Sentenced in $2.7B Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme

A former managing director of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (Goldman Sachs) was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for his role in a multibillion-dollar bribery and money laundering scheme involving Malaysia’s state-owned investment and development fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

“Today, Roger Ng was sentenced for his role in a massive and egregious bribery and money laundering scheme involving the bribery of high-level foreign officials in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates and theft of billions of dollars meant to benefit the Malaysian people,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Justice Department remains firmly committed to holding accountable individuals who engage in corruption, undermine the rule of law, and abuse our financial system to launder their illicit funds.  This sentence sends a strong message to criminals around the world:  if you violate our laws, we will bring you to justice.”

Former U.S. Congressional Candidate Pleads Guilty in Conduit Campaign Contribution Case

Lynda Bennett, 65, of Maggie Valley, North Carolina, was a primary candidate for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District in 2020. In late December 2019, Bennett borrowed $25,000 from a family member, representing that she needed the money for personal expenses because she had to spend a large amount of her own money on her campaign. The day after depositing the loaned money into a personal account, Bennett then caused $80,000, including the $25,000 in loaned funds, to be transferred to the bank account of Lynda Bennett for Congress (LBC), her authorized federal campaign committee. Under the FECA, Bennett was required to report a loan from a third-party individual as a campaign contribution. Bennett knowingly and willfully violated the FECA by reporting through LBC that the full $80,000 was a loan to her campaign using her own personal funds, rather than disclosing that $25,000 of that amount was a loan from another individual.

US Warrant for Seizure of Airplane Owned by Russian Oil Company

The United States today announced the unsealing of a warrant for the seizure of a Boeing 737-7JU aircraft owned by PJSC Rosneft Oil Company (Rosneft), a Russian integrated energy company headquartered in Moscow, Russia, headed by Igor Ivanovich Sechin. According to court documents, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in February 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security issued sanctions against Russia. The sanctions impose export controls and license requirements to protect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. The Russia sanctions expanded prohibitions on the export, reexport or in-country transfer of, among other things, U.S.-manufactured aircraft to or within Russia without a valid license or license exception for aircraft owned or controlled, or under charter or lease, by Russia and/or Russian nationals. In this case, these sanctions bar a plane that was built or manufactured in the United States from entering Russia without a valid license. 

Court Finds Gross Negligence, Orders Oil Company to Pay United States and State of California $65 Million

The United States and California filed the suit alleging that HVI Cat Canyon, which previously owned and operated multiple oil and gas production facilities in Santa Barbara County, California, was liable for:

12 oil spills into waters of the United States in violation of the Clean Water Act;
17 oil spills into waters of the state in violation of state law;
Reimbursement of the federal and state governments’ costs of cleaning up the oil spills;
Natural resource damages under state law for harm to fish, plant, bird, or animal life and habitat; and
Numerous violations of federal Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations identified in 16 EPA inspections across 11 facilities.