Californians are no strangers to news of alleged criminal activities. By definition, some of these activities are known as white collar crimes and can involve the most unlikely of suspects. This may be the case with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent who was recently found guilty of a variety of offenses.Federal prosecutors accused the man of obstructing justice and lying to federal authorities. The case involved a complex scheme that the immigration agent allegedly put into place concerning an informant who was also facing criminal charges. The agent purportedly used his influence to keep the so-called informant out of prison for a conviction in Florida. But the agent also secured a lucrative consulting job for himself in the process. One major problem was that the so-called informant apparently never agreed to be an informant.
Sacramento financial services industry professionals may be interested to hear that a 54-year-old ex-investment manager has been accused of running a Ponzi scheme. The Los Angeles resident was indicted on Dec. 8 by a federal grand jury on 41 counts of alleged white collar crimes involving fraud. The man is well-known in the Iranian-Jewish community for hosting a Farsi language radio show about investing.Until 2010, the radio host operated an investment advisory firm out of Beverly Hills, through which he allegedly sold in excess of $20 million worth of investment products to over 100 investors (mostly Iranian-Jewish residents he attracted through his radio program). Allegedly, the man falsely told investors that his company made highly secure investments that were in line with the safe strategies he recommended on his radio show. But the indictment alleges that he used investor money to engage in high-risk option trading strategies to finance payouts to earlier investors, and to finance his own living expenses. But he purportedly didn't inform investors in 2008 when he lost more than $15 million of their money on bad option trades.
Internet crimes can take many forms. Identity theft, fraud, and online scams are just a few ways people have been known to use computers to perpetrate crimes. But "Internet crimes" is also a broad term, and a computer can certainly be used to perform a number of criminal activities. In California, for instance, four individuals were recently charged with computer crimes after allegedly using a computer to commit burglaries.According to police, a team of four people used the Internet to locate personal information on several individuals, including one judge and an unknown number of public officials. Using this information, the accused persons allegedly burgled homes and committed other crimes of an undisclosed nature. Police claimed that they found jewelry, safes, and other types of property when the four people were arrested.
Increasingly, federal officials are joining with California police agencies to prosecute drug trafficking and other drug-related activities. California authorities are said to bring knowledge of the local territory, while federal investigators bring the resources and the power of federal courts. In one such combination of efforts, a number of alleged gang members were recently arrested in California.The combination of California and federal police actions resulted in 22 arrests. More than 400 local and federal officers served warrants at more than 20 locations in California. The secret operations ended last month, as authorities alleged that a member of a gang agreed to sell 10 pounds of methamphetamine and four kilograms of cocaine to undercover agents for $200,000. Three alleged gang members were arrested, and a total of six people were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and sell firearms without a license.