User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: 2010-01-10

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Senagalese illegal alien found guilty for check fraud faces 95 years before deportation

Unauthorized Alien Convicted of Bank

 and Access Device Fraud

Unauthorized Alien Convicted of Bank and
Access Device Fraud

Ibraham Sarr is a convicted con man and thief who, along with three other co-conspirators, ran a bunko check cashing and credit card theft ring during 2005 and 2006. Sarr is also an “unauthorized alien” which means he likely came to the country legally, but over stayed his visa. what is an unauthorized alien
"The ring used stolen credit card numbers"
The ring used stolen credit card numbers to make fake credit cards. The cards could then be used to buy merchandise or obtain cash. According to testimony, Sarr got to the credit card companies and unhappy clients to the tune of at least $200,000.

Where did Sarr get his credit card numbers from? Be careful where you stay when you are traveling these days. Maybe better said, be careful how you treat the front desk clerk. Sarr had a friend working at the Comfort Inn Hotel at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The “accomplice:” simply took credit card information freely given and handed it over to Sarr. A few days later the unhappy traveler found his credit card bouncing with charges he knew nothing about.

Sarr’s downfall came when he got a little too big for his britches. Maybe they wear britches in Senegal, if not then perhaps Sarr became too big for his robes. No matter, it was when Sarr was attempting to cash a $187,200 fraudulent bank check at Monarch Bank in Virginia Beach on October 13th, 2005 that authorities started catching on to who Sarr was and what he was up to.

Shortly thereafter, the four man crime wave got stopped in their tracks and were making frantic pleas to relatives for bond money. There was the usual lawyer stuff and at the end of the day, four of the co-conspirators had pled guilty to the charges.

Sarr could see the handwriting on the wall. It was obvious he was going to be deported. It was also obvioius he was going to get free room and board for a lengthy time before finding freedom in his homeland. So Sarr made a bolt for freedom. That was in 2006.
"There was a traffic stop. A warrant was discovered"
Evetually Sarr found himself in New York City. There was a traffic stop. A warrant was discovered. Sarr was placed into custody.

When he was returned to face the court from which he had fled, Sarr decided to take his chances with a jury. He lost the bet today and was found guilty of the charges. A Norfolk federal jury said guilty after the conclusion of a 3-day trial before United States District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith. Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement. Sentencing follows on April 27th, 2010.

If the judge throws the book at Ibrahima Sarr, 32, a Senegalese unauthorized alien, who was found guilty today of bank fraud, conspiracy, aggravated identity theft and access device fraud, he could get 95 years to think about why it is foolish idea to run from the court, and even a more foolish idea to forge checks and steal credit card numbers! Am I am sure he will be missed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

12 year fugitive from drug trafficing charges caught

Jail time is long and hard

Donnell Hatcher was sentenced Tuesday to 240 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute heroin, a sentence which will run consecutive to a previously-imposed 200 month sentence, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced.

Hatcher, 43, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 27, 1992. He was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and several counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking. Pursuant to a plea agreement, he pled guilty on June 2, 1993, to possession with intent to distribute heroin. When Hatcher entered his guilty plea, he admitted that he drove from the Los Angeles area to Oakland, Calif., with the intent of selling 445 grams of heroin that he had hidden in the tire of his car. The evidence in support of the charges showed that Hatcher supplied heroin to members of a violent Oakland gang in the early 1990s. Hatcher was ordered to appear for sentencing on Nov. 23, 1993, but failed to appear.

“This case should send a message to defendants everywhere that failing to appear for court proceedings or fleeing the jurisdiction to avoid prosecution does not pay,” U.S. Attorney Russoniello said. “The United States Attorney’s Office does not close a case because the defendant fails to appear. When a defendant is apprehended, he will be prosecuted on the original charges and face the possibility of additional charges based on his fleeing the jurisdiction.”

Hatcher remained a fugitive until he was arrested on May 3, 2006 in Hoover, Ala. Following his arrest, Hatcher was charged by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Alabama with and convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, attempt to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and felon in possession of a firearm. On Dec. 20, 2007, He was sentenced to 200 months imprisonment by the Honorable Karon Owen Bodre, United States District Judge in the Northern District of Alabama.

Hatcher was returned to the Northern District of California in 2008. After his return, he filed two motions to withdraw his 1992 guilty plea. Both motions were denied by the Honorable William B. Shubb, United States District Judge in the Eastern District of California, sitting by designation.

The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Shubb, who also sentenced the defendant to a five year period of supervised release. Hatcher remains in custody.

Hatcher was also indicted on June 19, 2009 by a federal grand jury with failing to appear for sentencing in 1993. He pled guilty to that charge on July 15, 2009. That case is currently set for a hearing on March 11, 2010 on Hatcher’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

The maximum statutory penalty for failing to appear, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, section 3146 is 10 years imprisonment plus a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Denise Marie Barton is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Hui Chen. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

The indictment charging Mr. Hatcher with failing to appear contains only allegations and, as with all defendants, Mr. Hatcher must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Further Information:

Case #s: CR 92-0001 WBS (NDCA), CR 09-0625 WBS (NDCA), 07-BE-144-S (NDAL)

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney's Office's Web site at

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at

Judges' calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court's Web site at

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's Office should be directed to Jack Gillund at (415) 436-6599 or by e-mail at

Bonnie and Clyde, Chrstine Drummond Joseph Nieto not so smart

Two not so smart Bonnie and

 Clyde bank robbers caught

Christine Drummond and

Joseph Nieto

the Bonnie and Clyde bank

 robbers in custody

A Bonnie and Clyde like robbery spree started when Joseph Nieto, a 35 year old from California, alldedgedly robbed a Sinclair gas station in Greeley, Colorado. 

On December 15, 2009, alledgedly Nieto enlisted the help of Christina Drummond, a 23 year old also from California, to rob the Premier Cash Advance located at 3820 10th Street, in Greeley, Colorado.  The pair then robbed the Guaranty Bank and Trust on December 24th located at 930 11th Avenue in Greeley.

Bonnie and Clyde were a pretty smart pair.  They led law enforcement on an extended chase for many a moon.  Nieto and Drummond, on the other hand, waltzed into one of the banks they robbed, Nieto in the thinnest of disguises, and Drummond with no disguise at all.  A $10,000 reward for information leading to their arrest was shortly offered.

On January 12th, the two would be professional bank robbers hit again.  They robbed a bank in Los Banos, California  los banos, california  which is about 35 miles from Merced, California.  After looking at surveilance tapes, the authorities soon learned this was the same Bonnie and Clyde who had played the robbery game in Colorado.

Police and the FBI arrested two people in Burlingame on Wednesday, a quick dash down California I-5 to the Bay area.   Burlingame is a city in San Mateo County, located on the San Francisco Peninsula.   info on Burlingame, Ca

It does not take a rocket scientist to know robbing banks and getting away with it is an unlikely venture.  Bonnie and Clyde didn't get away with it, and law enforcement was not nearly as sophisticated as it is today.  In fact, one must wonder if Bonnie and Clyde would have attempted it then, had the odds been as high. 

You have to wonder what Drummond and Nieto were thinking.  Perhaps Nieto wanted his disguise to keep himself from being discovered, and Drummond thought Nieto's disguise was so lame there was not much point in coming up with one of her own?  Or pehaps Drummond was wanting to get caught so she could get away?

The Bonnie and Clyde bank robbers, Christina Drummond and Joseph Nieto are behind bars tonight.  We can all rest easliy now, having two dangerous and stupid bank robbers off of the street.

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  The opinions expressed here about the Bonnie and Clyde bank robbers are merely opinion and subject to error.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bank robber wanted, youth at risk, help him before he gets killed

Do you know this guy?

He has your money!

FBI San Diego asks help to stop bank robber

The FBI, San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and San Diego Police Department are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the unknown males responsible for robbing two banks in San Diego County this week.

On January 11, 2010, at approximately 4:52 p.m., a lone male entered the Chase Bank located at 3830 Valley Centre Dr., San Diego, CA. The robber made a verbal demand for cash and fled on foot. No weapon was seen.


A person who has become so desperate as to robb a bank is in serious need of help.  He has two choices, come in from the cold on his own or let law enforcement bring him in.  One way he walks in alive, the other way is a toss up.

If you know this person it is much better for him if he gets the help he needs.  Robbing banks out of financial desperation or for a thrill is risky business.  Since no weapon was seen, the chances of the judge going easier are much better.  Wait until a weapon is seen and it all changes. 

Take action to help this troubled youth out!  If you have information that will lead to the arrest of this person contact law enforcement.  Do not try to confront this individual on your own.  You might ask him to seek the counsel of an attorney if he can afford one.  The attorney can coordinate the necessary steps.

Contact: Darrell Foxworth, (858) 499-7810  Contact: April Langwell, (858) 499-7917

Seeking Public’s Assistance to Identify the Individuals Responsible for Robbing Two Banks in San Diego County

Witnesses describe the robber as follows:

Sex: Male

Age: Late teens

Height Approximately 5’5”

Build: Medium

Clothing: Gray sweatsuit, dark t-shirt, black gloves, white sneakers

On January 12, 2010, at approximately 5:30 p.m., a lone male entered the Bank of America located at 405 S. Highway 101, Solana Beach, CA. This robber also made a verbal demand for cash. Again, no weapon was seen.


Witnesses describe the robber as follows:

Sex: Male

Race: Caucasian/Hispanic

Height: Approximately 5’5”

Build: Medium

Clothing: Dark blue hooded sweatshirt, light colored gloves

Agents are investigating the possibility of these two robberies being connected though there is no certainty of that at this time.
Anyone with information concerning either of these robberies is asked to contact the FBI at telephone number (858) 565-1255.

Corrupt government official goes to prison, public confidence restored

Corruption in Government Stopped
Bribery in public works project cost city employee 44 months in prison and $134,000

What is the difference between the US system of justice and that found south of the border? Keeping our public service employees honest is the key to stop the corrosive effects of bribery and corruption. Larry Wayne Baker got 44 months for violating the public trust of citizens of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"La multa, or the “fine” gets you out of a lot of scrapes"

La multa, or the “fine” gets you out of a lot of scrapes in Mexico. Get into trouble, pull out the right amount of cash, and you go free.  Major construction projects have gone bankrupt because contractors and developers could not pay enough of the "multa" to keep their project going.  Corruption has gotten so bad in Mexico visitors are often charged with crimes they did not do. To stay out of the pokey, they have to belly up huge fines and bribes. The corrosion of the Mexican justice system has destroyed many lives and the public confidence.

While a tourist might be able to pull out $500 bucks to stay out of jail, what happens to the dirt poor Mexican national who can’t pay huge fines? He gets no justice. When crime is committed against a poor person in Mexico he has no remedy. If he calls the police the guy with the bucks wins the argument. Hence, the corruption has driven a huge wedge dividing the poor from the rich.
"He would have to pay extra fees to employees of various government agencies to get a building permit, or to solve a traffic problem" 
If such a system were to pass in the US, the problem would be for the guy making a middle class income. He would have to pay extra fees to employees of various government agencies to get a building permit, or to solve a traffic problem. When it comes to a big dispute, the super rich win, and the middle income guy has no remedy in court. How could he if the judges are corrupt?

We applaud the actions of the FBI in catching and prosecuting Larry Wayne Baker who was charged in January 2009 for his part in a bribery scheme in the award of an inspection contract. Baker, along with Harlen Yocham of Yocham Enterprises, Max Wolf, president of Horizon Construction, Kenneth Shoemaker, president of FBS, Inc, Stewart Franklin, an accountant for FBS, Inc. as well as Albert Martinez, another city employee, were implicated.  The indictment of four businessmen and two tulsa city employees    All of the defendants have pled guilty to charges related to bribery.  Two men have yet to be sentenced and must be sweating in their boots as they see their co-conspirators getting prison sentences. 

Baker is accused of taking part in a scheme in which he paid  $9,000 starting in November of 2006 to influence the vote of a city employee in awarding a lucrative contract.
In addition to having the opportunity to defend his virginity in the State motel, Baker will forfeit assets in the amount of $134,000 to repay the City of Tulsa. While we do not support asset forfeiture, we do applaud the requirement for repayment of sums stolen or diverted for private gain.

City employee Albert Martinez, was sentenced to three and a half years on August 28th, 2009.  News on 6 press report  He pled guilty to charges of Bribery Conspiracy, Mail Fraud Conspiracy and Procurement Fraud.  Why he appears to have done more in the schemen to defraud tax payers but received less time in prision than Baker is not known.  He was ordered to make restitution to the City of Tulsa in the amount of $341,000 and has forfeited assets in the amount of $217,000 in that effort. 
"Baker found out about the criminal charges against him on the radio" 
The 6 defendants first learned their scheme to defraud the good people of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was going to end in disaster on January 22nd, 2009. You can imagine the lump in their throats when former U.S. Attorney David E. O’Meilia made the announcement.  Baker found out about the criminal charges against him when he heard it on the radio.

FBI Special Agent-in-Charge James E. Finch, and IRS Criminal Investigations Division Special Agent-in-Charge Michael P. Lahey made the allegations to a grand jury. The Grand Jury agreed, two former managers at the City of Tulsa Public Works Department and four area businessmen should be indicted for the bribery scheme. This was no small theft, the six plotted to steal millions of dollars intended for city streets, bridges and other public works projects in the City of Tulsa.
"For years we have heard about "deals" you can get if you have the right amount of money"

All attorneys want to do a great job for their clients.  For years we have heard about "deals" you can get at the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles if you have the right amount of money or know the right person, or ways of passing the US/Mexico border if you have an in with the right Border Patrol officer.  

While we, as attorneys want to do a great job, paying public employees to break the rules is offensive to us, as it destroys our system of justice and turns good legal work into getting the client with the most amount of money.  No thanks!  Fortunately, those responsible for giving driver's licenses for a fee in Colorado were caught and prosecuted.  We have heard the same has happened in the US Border Patrol.  Now, Tulsa Oklahoma is free of one more rat.

Larry Wayne Baker is 53 years old. He will be 58 when he gets out of prison. Perhaps he will serve as a good example to others that public corruption will not be tolerated in the US system of justice or public service. We, as a society, do not give preferences based upon bribes, the wealthy don’t get jobs because of insider favors or payment of sums to those whose responsibility is to keep the public trust.

Give to Haiti, people desperate for help, Beware cons

Donate money to Haiti

earth quake victims

Beware con men
making false appeals

For nearly all Americans it is difficult to understand the abject poverty, the starvation, the oppression of unjust governments and on top of it all, through a national disaster like an earth quake.  Haiti is such a country and it's people are in desperate need of help.  I hope you can find it in your heart to reach into your wallet and pull out a few bucks for someone who is suffering.

Unfortunately, there are the unscrupulous in our society who would take advantage of those who are suffering and try to make a buck on their backs.  Such people are the lowest of the low, and we hope they are brought to justice, every one of them.

The FBI sent out a press release today advising generous citizens to be careful about fraud on the net.  In specific, the FBI is concerned about the tragic earthquake in Haiti being the fodder for the greedy and dishonest.  Our hearts go out to those who suffered so much, and are still suffering, from Haiti's natural disaster.  However, it helps no one when we are victims of cons and bunko rings.

The FBI has a few suggestions that suggest you keep in mind:
Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links in those messages.  
We all know about that one.  Next.
Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations
Before giving money verify the legitimacy of the non-profit asking for the donation. 
Investigating and researching is a fun way to use the net!  We like using Wikpedia as a portal because we trust the links.  The FBI specifically advises against using the link in the original email, we agree!
Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
Great advice!
Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.  
We find giving to the United Way and leaving it at that is a mistake.  While we think the United Way is a great organization, they are not effective in every circumstance.  If we want to help specific victims or make the funds available to smaller and lesser known relief agencies then large charitable organizations are NOT the way to get our money where we want it to go. 

Some of the smaller relief agencies, perhaps religous based, or supported by a known relief organization, can operate with lower overhead and make the buck stretch much farther than the large ones.  That being said, giving your money to a charitable organization that claims it will spread the dough around is likely a mistake, as well.  Know who you are giving your hard earned mula to and do your research!
Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
More great advice.  Look for ways to send your money that don't include your account information.  You might ask your bank to draft a bank check, for example.

Let's get these creeps off of the internet!  If you think you have been the victim of a bunko artist or have spotted a ring, the FBI asks you to contact the internet crime complaint center,   internet crime complaint center   
You can also contact the national white collar crime center.  the national white collar complaint center nw3c  It is our job to keep the net safe from hooligans~
I hope you will open your heart to a country and people in need.  Everyone deserves a chance.  You can't save the world but you can make a difference in Haiti, a poor country suffering from a massive earth quake.  Donate money.  Help people.  But as the FBI memo suggests, when making a difference, let's make sure the money goes where it will do good and not in the pockets of evil con men.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

attorney guilty of mortgage fraud, real estate no down payment scheme

Cash back at closing cost attorney 20 years, Guilty of mortgage fraud

Attorney fudges loan financials

How to buy real estate and get cash back. How to buy real estate with no down payment. "Nothing down".  How many times have you heard that real estate investment pitch? A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, attorney, Robert Danenberg, played the mortgage fraud game and now faces 20 years or more in prison. The official charges are wire fraud but it all works out about the same.
"How to buy real estate with nothing down"
How did the cash back at closing scheme work? A "co-conspirator", likely a real estate broker or loan broker, convinced buyers and sellers to write real estate contracts for inflated prices. The seller got the price he wanted and the buyer got in with nothing down and sometimes cash back at closing.   What's the beef?

Since the lender required a down payment, the cash at closing had to be covered up.  The cover-up was done by paying contractors twice.  Their bid was likely inflated and the buyer got a kick back.  In other cases, there may have been no contractor at all.  The "contractor" was really the buyer.  In still other cases the loan agent and even the attorney gave the buyer his down payment money from large fees they were making.

In order to keep things clean with the buyer and seller a side agreement was likely used. 
“A side agreement is a side contract between the buyer and the seller which is not included in the closing documens"
A side agreement is a side contract between buyer and seller which is not included in the selling documents.  The mortgage company does not know anything about a zero down payment loan because none of the paperwork sent to the lender mentions it.

Buyers and sellers and many mortgage and real estate brokers insist no money down financing is harmless. The buyer gets the property, the seller gets his sale. Real estate brokers and loan agents get their fees.  
"The one who gets stuck holding the bag in zero down finance deals is the lender"

The one who gets stuck holding the bag in zero down finance deals is the lender. He thought he had a lower risk loan because the buyer had a stake in the purchase. History has shown a buyer who makes a down payment is less likely to default on his loan. When the buyer invests nothing the loan becomes more risky. Of course, the less owed, and the more equity a property has, the less risk, too. Since many loans are sold to third party investment funds, the investment fund is defrauded, as well. They purchased the mortgage loan based upon the buyer having a stake in the purchase of the property.
"There is nothing illegal about no downpayment financing"
While thousands of buyers and sellers have participated in these kinds of fraudulent mortgage loans, and gotten away with it, the government is getting tough on fake closing documents. It usually begins when an unusually large number of loans start going bad. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sends an investigator and things start rolling down hill from there. There is now a Mortgage Fraud Task Force which is comprised of a variety of investigative agencies.

There is nothing illegal about no downpayment financing. Buyers and sellers can still sell property with zero down financing if they wish. The crime happens when a no down payment or cash back at closing deal is done and false statements are made at the closing. If a lender, closing agent, attorney or real estate broker ask you to sign a document which is false, get up and leave. No property, no real estate investment, is worth spending 20 years in prison.
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