United States Department of Justice

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The CEO of Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services Inc. (TBIS) pleaded guilty Friday in the Central District of California for his role in a cryptocurrency fraud scheme involving TBIS’s initial coin offering (ICO) that raised approximately $21 million from investors in the United States and overseas. According to court documents, Michael …continue reading

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An Orange County man pleaded guilty today to a federal criminal charge for stalking a professional online gamer during a long-running harassment campaign. Evan Baltierra, 29, of Trabuco Canyon, pleaded guilty to one count of stalking, a crime that carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. …continue reading

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Two more members of a nationwide “grandparent scam” network have pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act known as RICO. Lyda Harris of Laveen, Arizona, pleaded guilty in federal court July 7; Tracy Glinton of Orlando, Florida, pleaded guilty on June 9, 2022. They …continue reading

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An Orange County man has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges that he fraudulently obtained more than $5 million in COVID-relief loans for three sham companies. Raghavender Reddy Budamala, 35, of Irvine, agreed to plead guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of money laundering …continue reading

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The Justice Department announced today the seizure of Hydra Market (Hydra), the world’s largest and longest-running darknet market. In 2021, Hydra accounted for an estimated 80% of all darknet market-related cryptocurrency transactions, and since 2015, the marketplace has received approximately $5.2 billion in cryptocurrency. The seizure of the Hydra servers …continue reading

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A federal jury convicted a California man yesterday for submitting fraudulent applications seeking money from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), submitting false statements to a financial institution, and money laundering. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Robert Benlevi, 53, of Encino, submitted 27 PPP loan applications to …continue reading

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An Orange County man was sentenced to 188 months in federal prison for selling nearly four pounds of methamphetamine while he was on supervised release following a 2009 terrorism conviction. Ahmed Binyamin Alasiri, 45, a.k.a. Kevin Lamar James, of Garden Grove, was sentenced by United States District Judge Cormac J. …continue reading

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Two Los Angeles County men today were sentenced to federal prison on conspiracy and hate crime charges for attacking five victims inside a family-owned Turkish restaurant in 2020 while shouting ethnic slurs, hurling chairs at the victims, and threatening to kill them. William Stepanyan, 23, of Glendale was sentenced to …continue reading

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An Orange County man – whose company used high-pressure sales tactics to raise more than $9.5 million with bogus claims that the outfit’s solar panels utilized nanotechnology to generate electricity three times more efficiently than traditional solar panels – was sentenced today to 78 months in federal prison. Michael James …continue reading

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A total of eight defendants have been charged in a superseding indictment for submitting over $25 million in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims in the identities of inmates, minor children, and others to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The indictment was announced today by U.S. Attorney …continue reading