Last Updated Friday, January 14, 2022, at 10:03 AM
Every Friday, The Criminal Lawyer Group publishes a digest of the latest federal prosecutions nationally. Our goal is to keep the public informed as to recent events in federal courts around the country.
Unless otherwise disclosed, none of the defendants mentioned in these summaries are clients of our firm.
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FRIDAY, January 14, 2022
Court Dealing with Two Chicago-Area Bank Robberies
Back on Jan. 10, Antonio E. Collins was arrested for robbing two suburban Chicago banks. As a result, Collins was charged in a criminal complaint with robbing a Chase Bank branch in Bolingbrook, IL on Dec. 21, 2021, as well as a BMO Harris Bank branch in Homewood on Jan. 3, 2022. For each robbery, Collins handed a teller a note demanding money and promising to start shooting people if he didn’t get what he wanted.
The arrest and charges were announced by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, John R. Lausch, Jr.., along with Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI’s Chicago Field Office. Substantial investigative resources were provided by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police, with assistance from the Bolingbrook Police Department and police departments in Homewood, Ill., North Riverside, Ill., Evergreen Park, Ill., and Orland Park, Ill.
Company Executive Held Accountable for Tax Evasion
In the second new case in our roundup, we look at a new information and plea agreement filed Jan. 10 in the U.S. District Court in Providence, Rhode Island. According to the information, Mark Carlson, who serves as the Vice President for American Pride Insulation and for Atlantic Abatement Construction, and a manager of finances for the Leo Byrnes Trust, failed in his responsibility to collect, truthfully account for, and turn over payroll taxes from all three companies.
According to the information and plea agreement, Carlson had been charged with a total of 14 counts of failure to truthfully account for and pay withholding and FICA taxes, as well as one count of filing a false tax return.
According to supporting court documents, it has been alleged that, from 2015 through 2018, the three companies withheld taxes from their employees’ paychecks, but that Carlson failed to file the appropriate IRS documents, failed to truthfully account for, and failed to turn over to the IRS the federal payroll taxes withheld and FICA taxes due to the United States on behalf of the businesses and their employees. In all, Carlson is alleged to have failed to turn over more than $1 million in withholding to the IRS and state tax officials.
A businessman from Boxford, MA, Jared Derrico, 35, was charged on Jan. 11 and has agreed to plead guilty to defrauding the government through a multi-year tax evasion scheme and to defrauding a customer by billing him for plumbing services he did not perform. Derrico subsequently agreed to plead guilty to one count of tax evasion and two counts of mail fraud, although a plea hearing has yet to be scheduled by the Court at this time.
According to the charging documents, for tax years 2015 through 2019, Derrico operated a plumbing business known, variously, as Derrico Services and The Pipe Surgeon. At that point in time, Derrico allegedly cashed payments from his customers or deposited them into his personal accounts, but never reported said income on this tax returns. It has also been alleged that Derrico fraudulently obtained payments for installing air conditioning units at a property in Boston, even though he did not install the units.
Texas Men Funneled Stolen Money to India
On Jan. 11, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, Jennifer Lowery, announced that Anthony Munigety, 48, had been arrested and taken into custody on charges of obtaining over $600,000 from elderly victims throughout the country. He made his initial appearance later the same day before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edison. Also charged is Ravi Kumar of Noida, India, who is believed to be in India and is now considered a fugitive. A warrant for his arr6est remains outstanding.
This case began when a federal grand jury returned a 20-count indictment back on Dec. 15, 2021. According to the allegations, the fraud ring operated out of the Conroe, Texas area and other locations in the United States and India. Munigety, Kumar and others allegedly committed various fraud schemes targeting primarily elderly victims throughout the United States.
Its primary objective was to deceive victims by telling them a technical support company or other entities were purportedly helping them with their computers. They would allegedly trick victims into believing they had been erroneously refunded or overpaid and needed to return the overpayment.
They were allegedly able to gain access to a victim’s computer, which enabled Munigety, Kumar and others to move funds between or wire transfer monies out of their accounts. Then, they would keep a portion of the money and wire the remainder to Kumar in India, according to the charges.
As a result of their scheme, Munigety and others allegedly received over $600,000 from elderly victims. If they are convicted, Munigety and Kumar face up to 20 years in prison each count as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Florida Felons Charged with Making False Statements on Gun Application
On Jan. 11, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, Roger B. Handberg, announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Darrell Pierre Hopkins, 54, of Dunnellon with making a materially false statement in connection with the purchase of firearms. He also allegedly knowingly caused a licensed gun dealer to maintain false information in its official records. If he is convicted on both counts, Hopkins faces up to 15 years in federal prison.
According to court documents in this case, on or about November 23, 2021, Hopkins attempted to purchase two handguns from a federally licensed firearm dealer in Crystal River. While completing the mandatory firearm transaction paperwork, Hopkins certified that he had not previously been convicted of a felony. Unfortunately, a criminal background check revealed that Hopkins had prior felony convictions for robbery and conspiracy to deal cocaine.
These crimes were allegedly committed under an alias. As a convicted felon, Hopkins is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
A similar case was brought in Ocala, in nearby Citrus County, Florida, when the same U.S. Attorney announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Darrell Pierre Hopkins, 54, of Dunnellon with making a materially false statement in connection with the purchase of firearms and knowingly causing a licensed gun dealer to maintain false information in its official records. If he is convicted on both counts, Hopkins faces up to 15 years in federal prison.
There was yet another similar case in our countdown, this time in Massachusetts on Jan. 11, when a Taunton man was arrested on a charge of illegally possessing and trafficking firearms. The man, Jaylen Rose, 27, was indicted on one count of dealing in firearms without a license and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Following an initial appearance and arraignment today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy in federal court in Worcester, Rose assented to detention.
According to the indictment, from in or around Dec. 2020 until Feb. 5, 2021, Rose allegedly engaged in firearms dealing. It is also alleged that on Feb. 5, 2021, Rose possessed two pistols and over 40 rounds of ammunition. Rose does not possess a license to deal firearms and is prohibited from possessing firearms due to prior convictions.
If he is convicted, Rose faces up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.
Illinois Nurse Charged with Tampering with Medications
The next case in our roundup is an indictment returned in the Northern District of Illinois, and it involves a nurse in suburban Chicago removed morphine from bottles prescribed to two patients and replaced it with another liquid. And worse, she did this knowing that the diluted morphine would be dispensed to other patients.
Sarah Diamond was the Assistant Director of Nursing at a Chicago-area medical rehabilitation center. , 29, of Woodstock, IL, when the indictment was returned by a federal grand jury. The indictment alleges that, last August, Diamond tampered with the liquid morphine with reckless disregard and extreme indifference for the risk that some of the patients involved would be placed in danger of bodily injury.
The indictment charges her with two counts of tampering with a consumer product. Arraignment in Chicago District Court has not yet been scheduled.
Vermont Pharmacy Manager Indicted for Tampering with Medicine
On Jan. 13, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont, Nikolas P. Kerest, announced that Brian Thomas Badgley, 37, of Waterbury, Vermont, had appeared the day beforey in U.S. District Court in Burlington for an arraignment on a two-count indictment charging him with tampering with a consumer product. Badgley chose to enter a plea of not guilty at the time and was released on conditions.
According to the indictment, Badgley, who was the pharmacy manager of the CVS Pharmacy store located in Berlin, Vermont, allegedly tampered with a bottle of Hydromorphone oral solution by removing a quantity for his own use, and then diluting the remaining contents of the bottle with liquid Benadryl and distilled water.
He also allegedly reattached the tamper seal on the bottle with clear tape and returned the diluted Hydromorphone oral solution to the pharmacy’s inventory, from which it could have been administered to pharmacy patients.