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fake $100 bills eluded detect

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#1 MosJan

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 05:44 PM

Fake $100 bills eluded detection with rare quality

 

It was the most popular counterfeit $100 bill in circulation, and for more than a decade its makers were a mystery to the U.S. Secret Service.

Agents collected and analyzed the fake greenbacks, which first popped up in Israel in the late 1990s. They were so good that they were often discovered only after they reached a bank or the Federal Reserve.

 

So when Secret Service agent Adam Gaab came across four of the fake $100s on May 17, 2012, shortly after they had been detected at a Loan Max in Northern Virginia, he knew he had the rare chance to link a bill back to the person who passed it.

"It was the No. 1 note," said Ed Lowery, special agent in charge of the Secret Service's criminal investigation division. "You aggressively run out leads on the No. 1 note."

 

The investigation evolved into a two-year international odyssey that culminated in the indictment last week of 13 Israelis and Americans of running one of the most successful counterfeiting operations in U.S. history. Hundreds of agents were involved by the time they executed raids and arrest warrants in five states in May and June that resulted in the capture of the 13 suspects and the seizure of $2.5 million in fake bills and a printing plant in a Cherry Hill, New Jersey, warehouse, according to federal authorities.

The counterfeiting ring was responsible for producing at least $77 million in fake bills, mostly $100s, said U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson.

 

Painful' Case

"This has been a painful note for us," Pierson said in an interview. When a bill's so good that it's not discovered until it's in the banking system, that "separates the passing of the note to its detection. It allows these people to operate more anonymously."

One sign of the ring's sophistication, the agents said, was that the counterfeiters appeared close to mimicking the latest currency security features, including 3D ribbons.

The Secret Service has been battling counterfeiting since 1865 and has watched it evolve from an art form practiced by master printers to amateurs scanning and printing bills with their home computers. In the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the service recovered $157 million in fake bills.

 

The home-computer variety is often easy to spot. Those produced on sophisticated printing presses -- mostly overseas -- are harder to identify. Some are so good that they become legendary within law enforcement, such as the "SuperNote" that has been produced in North Korea for decades.

Though famous, the North Korean note wasn't the most widely passed and seized of fraudulent greenbacks cataloged by the Secret Service. That honor belonged to what they called the "Russian-Israeli Note," which agent Gaab held in his hands after he went to the Loan Max in Woodbridge, Virginia, in 2012.
Informant Found

Over the years, the Secret Service's forensic analysis linked 17 different versions of the fake $100 to the same source, according to court records and interviews with Pierson, Lowery and other agents.

The Secret Service was able to break the ring after Gaab tracked down the man who passed the four $100 at the Loan Max. A year later, Gaab and local police raided the suspect's home in Dale City, Virginia, and persuaded him to become an informant.

The man and another informant helped the Secret Service identify his supplier, and soon agents were using wiretaps, tracking mobile phones and conducting time-consuming surveillance on suspects that led them to Israel, where the bills were being manufactured.

Agents identified the ringleaders as two Russian-speaking Israelis: Itzhak Loz, 46, and Ronin Fakiro, 45. Loz and Fakiro, who have been in custody since their arrests in May in New York, made hefty profits on the sale of their bills for 20 percent to 50 percent of their face value, according to the agents and court papers.
Operation Moved

Federal prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of the ring's assets totaling at least $4.5 million. The ring moved its operation early this year to New Jersey to cut down on costs, agents said.

"It's much easier to distribute counterfeit once it's here, rather than overseas," said Lowery. "Getting it into the country is the hard part."

Agents conducting surveillance of a New Jersey warehouse in February watched in shock as a tractor trailer pulled up and unloaded at least one large printing press that they would determine had been shipped from Israel. Within weeks of the delivery, the ring was churning out fake bills.

"It's rare to see that here in the United States," Lowery said. "I mean, you hear about it in training. We see them overseas. But not here."

(An earlier version of the story was corrected to fix the spelling of Agent Gaab's last name.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Del Quentin Wilber in Washington



#2 MosJan

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 05:44 PM

http://finance.yahoo...-040100966.html



#3 MosJan

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 05:52 PM

L.A. Jews charged in $33 million bank fraud flee to Israel
February 3, 2014 4:23pm

NEW YORK (JTA) — Two Los Angeles Jews charged with participating in a $33 million bank fraud have fled to Israel.

Aviv Mizrahi, who also goes by Aviv Shoham Schwartz, and Aryeh Greenes, both in their 50s, were charged Jan. 30 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles with bank fraud and making false statements in loan applications, CBSLA.com reported.

The FBI said the two fled to Israel.

According to the indictment, Mizrahi operated several wholesale electronics companies, including New Electronic Inc. and Tech Club Inc., as well as a retail store known as Star Club.

The two allegedly used fake financial records to obtain credit from multiple banks.

Read more: http://www.jta.org/2...l#ixzz3AE0JmIb9



#4 MosJan

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 05:55 PM

Holon chief rabbi facing indictment over kashrut fraud
Rabbi Avraham Yosef allegedly promoted his family’s Badatz Beit Yosef over rival bodies for strictly kosher certificates.

 

Holon’s chief rabbi is to be indicted, pending a hearing, on two counts of fraud and breach of trust, the State Prosecutor’s Office announced on Sunday.

Rabbi Avraham Yosef is suspected of a conflict of interest promoting Badatz Beit Yosef, a body that grants kashrut certificates and is associated with his family. He is also suspected of discriminating against other bodies that grant such certification in the cities of Holon and Or Yehuda.

According to the State Prosecutor’s Office, since the beginning of his term in office Yosef has directed his staff, both in writing and orally, that butcher shops in Holon seeking a kashrut certificate of the stricter type, known as “mehadrin,” must work with one of three particular bodies – Beit Yosef, the Eda Haredit or Rabbi Landau.

Such a body is known as a Beit Din Tzedek (court of justice), and goes by the Hebrew acronym Badatz.

Badatz Beit Yosef is a registered company belonging to the Yosef family. The badatz belonging to the Eda Haredit and Badatz Rabbi Landau are identified with the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox community. The cost of a kashrut certification from these establishments is significantly higher than those from Badatz Beit Yosef and other such bodies associated with the Sephardi community. Most of the consumers of meat certified strictly kosher are Sephardic.

From 2008 to 2011, when Yosef was the acting chief rabbi of Or Yehuda and responsible for kashrut certification after the municipal chief rabbi died, he gave a similar directive to his staff. Before this, no such directive existed and butcher shops worked with additional bodies.

Businesses in Holon and Or Yehuda were warned that if they didn’t follow the directives, they wouldn’t be granted “mehadrin” certification.

The prosecution alleged that Yosef knew that because most of the consumers of the stricter kashrut certification in Holon and Or Yehuda were Sephardi, and because of the price differences among the three badatz bodies, businesses would prefer the badatz belonging to the Yosef family. As a result, businesses paid Badatz Beit Yosef for kashrut certification and additional supervision. In doing so, Yosef prevented free competition in the meat business in Holon and Or Yehuda, according to the allegation.

The prosecution also stated that Yosef is suspected of appointing two kashrut supervisors in the Holon rabbinate who were also kashrut supervisors for Badatz Beit Yosef. The two men received salaries from both places, with Yosef’s knowledge and authorization, the prosecution said

 

http://www.haaretz.c...remium-1.609885



#5 MosJan

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 05:58 PM

Turkish citizen pleads guilty in drug fraud case
Turkish citizen pleads guilty in St. Louis in federal cancer drug fraud case

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Turkish citizen has pleaded guilty to federal charges for smuggling counterfeit and adulterated cancer treatment drugs into the United States.

Ozkan Semizoglu pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. Sentencing is Oct. 28.

Semizoglu and a second Turkish citizen, Sabahaddin Akman, were indicted in January. Akman has pleaded not guilty. He is scheduled for trial on Sept. 2.

Federal prosecutors say Semizoglu and Akman smuggled three shipments from Turkey to Chesterfield, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb. They were arrested soon after the indictment, in Puerto Rico.

Messages seeking comment from Semizoglu's attorney were not returned.

    Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

http://www.abc17news...d-case/27094972



#6 MosJan

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:03 PM

Iraq Extradites Fugitive Defense Contractor to U.S. to Face Fraud Charges

 

 

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—July 28, 2014. A Las Vegas-based former Department of Defense contractor has been extradited from Iraq to the United States to face fraud and conspiracy charges for attempting to bribe U.S. officials in order to secure government contracts for his companies.   Metin Atilan, 54, is the first person extradited from Iraq to the United States pursuant to the U.S.-Iraq extradition treaty signed on June 7, 1934 and entered into force in 1936.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart of the Southern District of Ohio, Special Agent in Charge Kevin Cornelius of the FBI’s Cincinnati Office and Resident Agent in Charge Bret Flinn of the Defense Criminal Investigation Service (DCIS) made the announcement.

“This historic extradition from Iraq to the United States is an example of our cooperation with law enforcement worldwide to bring fugitives to justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “Atilan’s return to the United States, after more than six years on the run, sends a clear message to fugitives: no matter where in the world you try to hide, we will find you, and we will prosecute you.”

“This case is a tremendous example of a successfully organized and cooperative law enforcement effort put forth by the FBI, DCIS, Interpol and the Iraqi government,” said Special Agent in Charge Cornelius. “I commend the work of the FBI’s Legal Attaché Office and the U.S. Embassy Country Team in Iraq. They have garnered a superior level of law enforcement cooperation between the FBI and Iraqi officials. Without their support, this extradition would not have been possible.”

Atilan, a dual U.S. and Turkish citizen, is scheduled to appear today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz of the Southern District of Ohio.

Atilan was charged by indictment on June 10, 2008, with conspiracy to engage in contract fraud, conspiracy to engage in wire fraud, and wire fraud.   According to court documents, Atilan is p resident and chief executive officer of PMA Services Ltd. of Las Vegas and Kayteks Ltd. of Adna, Turkey.   In 2006 through 2008, Atilan offered bribes and kickbacks in order to secure contracts for businesses he owned in connection with services and construction associated with U.S. military operations in Iraq.   Some of the Defense Department contracting officials who Atilan is accused of trying to bribe were stationed in Dayton at the time.

Atilan was first arrested in Las Vegas on May 23, 2008.  Atilan was placed on electronic monitoring pending his formal hearing before a federal judge in Dayton, Ohio.   On June 15, 2008, Atilan allegedly violated the terms of his pretrial release by cutting off his electronic bracelet and fleeing the country.   The government sought his extradition, and Atilan arrived in Dayton, Ohio on July 27, 2014.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the FBI and DCIS.   The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwight Keller of the Southern District of Ohio with assistance from Trial Attorney Dan E. Stigall of the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and Department of Justice Attaché Ellen Endrizzi.   The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs also provided assistance.

Source: justice.gov



#7 MosJan

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 06:04 PM

Turkish man sentenced to 9 years in US

 

A 35-year-old Turkish man, Alper Erdoğan, has been sentenced to nine years and four months in prison and ordered to pay $1.1 million for his role in a fraud scheme that involved the compromise of credit card details.

The Orlando Secret Service brought down a group led by Erdoğan which they had been following since 2010. According to information released by local officers, Chad Warner, another ringleader of the group, hacked into and installed malicious software on a system which had stored credit card data, then remotely accessed the data and used it at retail stores.

The group was caught when an agent in San Diego traced the fraud in Florida to a hacked computer at the San Diego Hotel.

The group hacked into the hotel's computer system and malicious software was installed on the servers. Using the software, they stole all the credit card data stored on the hotel's computer system. The hackers later conspired with others such as Erdoğan to sell the credit card data to fraudsters in the US.

Warner was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2011. During that time Warner told agents that he dealt directly with Erdoğan to obtain the stolen credit card data. Police later detained Erdoğan.

Erdoğan pleaded guilty to computer hacking and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman)






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