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26 Пятница

Fake Dentist Kicks Sick Patient to The Curb

NEW YORK  —  A fake dentist is accused of dumping a critically ill woman on the curb outside his office after she lost consciousness during surgery, prosecutors said Friday.

Alexander Poperetchny, 47, pleaded not guilty to reckless endangerment and unauthorized practice at his arraignment Thursday.

The patient, Villimin Colleti, 71, was taken to Coney Island Hospital suffering from heart and brain damage, said the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes. She fell unconscious while in the dental chair Tuesday at Poperetchny's office, the statement. It was not immediately clear what caused her to become ill.

Poperetchny's attorney, Arkady Bukh, said his client was a dental technician and did not perform any procedure requiring a dental license. He said the practice did have a licensed dentist on staff.

Poperetchny called 911 when the woman passed out, Bukh said.

Criminal Court Judge Richard Allman set scheduled a preliminary hearing for Oct. 30.

05 Понедельник

U.S. Indicts Russian U.N. Official

NEW YORK ? A Russian diplomat who chairs a powerful United Nations (search) budget committee was accused in an indictment Friday of helping hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts from companies seeking U.N. contracts. The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering against Vladimir Kuznetsov was contained in a grand jury indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The FBI arrested Kuznetsov on Thursday, less than a month after arresting another Russian U.N. official over alleged money laundering. He was awaiting arraignment Friday in Manhattan federal court. According to the indictment, Kuznetsov established an offshore company in 2000 to hide criminal proceeds he received from an unidentified U.N. procurement officer who had taken secret payments from foreign companies seeking contracts to provide goods and services to the United Nations. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan waived Kuznetsov's diplomatic immunity at the request of U.S. authorities, U.N. associate spokesman Farhan Haq said. Kouznetsov heads the General Assembly panel that oversees the U.N. budget.
15 Вторник

Feds Reveal Russian Weapons Smuggling Plot

NEW YORK  —  U.S. authorities charged 18 people in an alleged scheme to smuggle grenade launchers, shoulder-fired missiles and other Russian military weapons (search) into the United States.

The arrests resulted from a yearlong investigation in which an FBI informant posed as an arms buyer who claimed to have ties to Al Qaeda (search).

The case, which took investigators to South Africa, Armenia and the Georgian Republic, also included wiretaps on seven phones and interceptions of more than 15,000 calls, according to prosecutors, the FBI and police.

The informant, an explosives expert, contacted the FBI after he was approached by a man who said he had access to weapons from the former Soviet Union and believed the informant could find a willing buyer, federal prosecutors said.

Using a digital camera, members of the ring, which included Armenians and South Africans, provided pictures of the weapons they said they had available for sale, prosecutors said.

The pictures, apparently taken somewhere in Armenia, showed anti-tank missiles (search), a Russian missile launcher and an anti-tank rifle, among other weapons, officials said.

Seventeen of the 18 people charged were in custody on Tuesday, arrested in New York, Los Angeles or Florida, authorities said. Prosecutors alleged that the defendants were preparing to import the weapons, including anti-tank missile systems, into the country from Eastern Europe.

The FBI is working with Armenian and Russian authorities to secure the weapons, authorities said.

A criminal complaint unsealed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan charged five men with conspiring to transport destructive devices and 13 others with weapons trafficking for their alleged roles in supplying machine-guns and other assault weapons destined to be sold to the informant.

According to the complaint, the informant met two of the defendants, Artur Solomonyan and Christiaan Dewet Spies, on several occasions in New York to discuss the weapons deals.

Solomonyan, an Armenian citizen living in New York and Los Angeles, and Spies, a South African citizen living in New York, were arrested Monday night at a Manhattan hotel after meeting one last time with the informant to finalize their plans before leaving the country to obtain the weapons, prosecutors alleged.

If convicted, the two each face up to 30 years in prison. It was not immediately clear who would represent them in court.

15 Четверг

Laundering Child Porn Money

NEWARK, N.J.  —  Two companies in Belarus (search) and Florida have been charged with laundering profits from child pornography Web sites, and more than 40 people in the United States have been charged with downloading the material.

Regpay Co. Ltd. (search), a credit card processing company in Minsk, Belarus, collected fees for memberships to child pornography Web sites that brought in millions of dollars, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Thursday.

Connections USA (search), of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is accused of receiving Regpay's membership fees and wiring the money to Latvia as directed by the company. Connections' CEO, Eugene Valentine, 38, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to launder money for Regpay and its principals.

Four of Regpay's leaders were indicted, and three were arrested over the summer in France and Spain. U.S. authorities are seeking to have them transferred here for prosecution.

About two dozen New Jersey residents, and 20 other people around the nation, have been charged with downloading child pornography. They allegedly had subscribed to the sites.

Regpay was formerly known as Trustbill (search), while Connections did business as Iserve (search). Regpay operated at least four child pornography sites from Minsk and carried advertising for other child pornography Web sites, the indictment said.

"Today's indictment strikes at the heart of the commercial trade of child pornography by attacking the commercial profits derived from such a deplorable venture," Attorney General John Ashcroft said.

09 Среда

13 People Indicted In $12 Million \'Boiler Room\' Fraud Scheme

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Thirteen people, including a purported member of the Bonnano organized crime family, were charged Wednesday in an alleged "boiler room" scheme that caused investors to buy more than $12 million in stock based on false claims about the firms. According to a criminal indictment, the boiler room, operated by purported Bonnano soldier Anthony Guarino, allegedly induced investors to purchase shares through private placements of Florida online-broadcast provider Realcast Corp., New York online gaming company BBC Gaming Inc. and other companies.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted searches beginning at 8 a.m. EDT Wednesday of the offices of Powercom Energy Services Corp. and Empire Energy Services Corp. in Manhattan's Garment District, said James Margolin, a New York FBI spokesman.

In addition to Guarino, Steven Kimmel, the president and chief executive of Realcast, and Alex Lemberg, the chief executive of BBC Gaming, were charged in the indictment. Kimmel said in company documents that he is a former employee of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the indictment.

An SEC spokesman declined comment Wednesday.

The charges include conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud.

Mathew J. Mari, a lawyer for Guarino, said his client's company has been "doing legitimate business for a very long time" and Guarino is confident the allegations "can be explained." Claims by law enforcement officials that his client is a suspected Bonnano soldier were "laughable," he added.

In a boiler room scam, brokers typically use high-pressure sales tactics, usually by telephone, to induce potential clients to invest.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said many of the victims were elderly.

Guarino, Lemberg and six others charged in the case pleaded not guilty at a hearing in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday. Ten people were arrested Wednesday, with Kimmel expected to appear in court in Florida and another defendant expected to appear in court in Pennsylvania.

Information on Kimmel's lawyer wasn't immediately available late Wednesday and a call to Kimmel's office at Realcast wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.

Arkady Bukh, a lawyer for Lemberg, said his client "absolutely denies the allegations."

Realcast allegedly paid at least 40% of money solicited by Guarino's operation as commissions without that information being revealed to potential investors, according to the indictment. The scheme went back as far as 2000, according to the indictment.

Members of the boiler room allegedly represented that they were receiving no commission or a commission of 10%, according to the indictment.

In December 2009, a member of the boiler room allegedly told an unidentified co-conspirator that his "mother will come out of the grave" before Realcast is a successful company, according to the indictment.

However, the boiler-room member told a potential investor in February that Realcast could be bought in the near future and he was "comfortable" telling an investor that the company's shares should sell for as much as $15 to $18 on the high end.

In March, Guarino and another defendant allegedly discussed that various investor leads they had received in the New York City area were unusable because the investors lived nearby and might be able to personally check up on their operations.

BBC Gaming also allegedly retained Guarino's operation to solicit investors in 2009, agreeing to pay a 40% commission, according to the indictment.

In its offering document, the company allegedly represented its shares would be offered by the officers of the company, who would receive no commissions, and 10% of the offering proceeds had been allocated for "organization/offering expenses," according to the indictment.