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Saturday, March 29, 2014

WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN CASE OF HOLDING PERSON FOR FORCED LABOR IN RESTAURANT

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Minnesota Woman Pleads Guilty to Human Trafficking for Holding Victim in Forced Labor in Restaurant

Tieu Tran, 59, of Mankato, Minn., pleaded guilty to one count of forced labor trafficking in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, the Justice Department announced today.  Tran is the former owner and manager of Nails By Jordan, a nail salon located in Mankato.

According to evidence presented in court proceedings and documents, in 2008, Tran recruited a woman from Vietnam to travel to the United States using false promises of legal immigration status and a high-paying job.  In reality, Tran smuggled the victim and two other Vietnamese nationals across the southern U.S.-Mexico border, imposed a significant debt upon the victim and forced the victim to pay down the smuggling debt by working at Tran’s son’s Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Saigon, in Mankato.

During the plea proceedings, Tran admitted to compelling the victim to work long hours without paying her as promised, using a scheme, plan and pattern of non-violent coercion.  This included manipulation of debts, isolation and verbal intimidation to hold the victim in fear, knowing that the victim was without legal status and money, did not have the ability to speak English, feared losing her family home in Vietnam to creditors and had nowhere else to turn for subsistence.

“This defendant preyed on vulnerable victims and exploited them for her profit,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division.  “Traffickers routinely use schemes of non-violent coercion to exploit victims by manipulating the victims’ debts, fears of immigration consequences, linguistic isolation and other vulnerabilities.  The Civil Rights Division is committed to seeking justice on behalf of victims of human trafficking and to holding human traffickers accountable”

“Human trafficking degrades the dignity of humanity and strikes at the heart of individual equality and freedom,” said U.S. Attorney Andy Luger for the District of Minnesota.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota will aggressively prosecute those who seek to capitalize on human frailty through such conduct.”

“ The FBI, in conjunction with its law enforcement partners, remains steadfast in its commitment to eradicate human trafficking,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Chris Warrener of the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office.  “Human trafficking is an insidious crime which impacts not only its victims, but society as a whole.  Detecting and bringing to justice those who perpetrate these schemes will always be a top priority for law enforcement. ”
 
Tran faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  As part of her plea agreement, Tran agreed to nullify all debts imposed upon the victim, as well as similar debts imposed upon seven other individuals believed to be under similar circumstances.

This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney William Nolan of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Steinkamp of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota.

MAN SENTENCED FOR PART IN RACIAL ASSAULT AGAINST WHITE MAN AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
California Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Racially Motivated Assault on White Man and African-American Woman

Billy James Hammett, 30, of Marysville, Calif., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez to serve 87 months in prison for violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in a 2011 racially motivated attack against a white man and an African-American woman in Marysville.  The court also ordered Hammett to pay restitution in the amount of $175 and to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence.  Hammett pleaded guilty on Dec. 17, 2013, and his co-defendants, Perry Sylvester Jackson, 28, and Anthony Merrell Tyler, 33, have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

According to documents filed with the court, around 10:45 p.m. on April 18, 2011, a white man and an African-American woman parked their car at a convenience store in Marysville.  Shortly afterward, the three defendants, each of whom has white supremacist tattoos, attacked the man and woman based on race.  After calling the male victim a “[racial slur]-lover,” Jackson punched him twice in the head through the open passenger window.  At the same time, Hammett kicked the woman in the chest.  A few seconds later, Tyler smashed the car’s windshield with a crowbar.   As the attack continued, the woman managed to take refuge inside the convenience store.  All three assailants then descended upon the male victim and began attacking him in the parking lot.  He sustained abrasions on his right forearm and knees, while the woman suffered bruising to her chest.  At the end of the incident, Tyler used a racial slur to refer to an African-American witness.

In sentencing the defendant, Judge Mendez said he found surveillance video footage of the assault “disturbing.”  He noted that Hammett’s attack on the victims was “unprovoked and unwarranted,” and that the victims continue to suffer.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Mendez also specifically considered Hammett’s background and criminal history, which includes a conviction in 2006 for assaulting a 72-year-old black man, also in Marysville.  According to court records, Hammett made racial comments immediately before the unprovoked attack.  In addition, Hammett has been affiliated with a number of white supremacist gangs, including Supreme White Power.  He has tattoos of the words “white power” across his abdomen, a large swastika on the right side of his torso and the word “skinhead” written across the top of his back.  Judge Mendez stated during the sentencing hearing that Hammett poses “a serious threat to the public.”

“The defendant and his associates accosted the victims in public and assaulted them because of their race,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division.  “The department is committed to stamping out racial violence and will continue to prosecute hate crimes vigorously.”

“Racially-motivated violence has no place in civilized society,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner for the Eastern District of California.  “This office has a history of prosecuting those who perpetrate crimes of hate, and as long as these crimes continue, we will be there to enforce the law and uphold this nation’s constitutional values.”

Jackson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 22, 2014, and Tyler is scheduled to be sentenced on July 8, 2014.  Each defendant faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

This case was investigated by the FBI with the assistance of the Yuba County Sheriff's Office and the Yuba County District Attorney's Office. The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Wagner and Trial Attorney Chiraag Bains of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

DOCTOR ACCUSED OF BILLING MEDICARE FOR MILLIONS IN MEDICARE FRAUD SCHEME

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Long Island Doctor Arrested and Accused of Multi-million Medicare Fraud Scheme 

A Long Island, N.Y., doctor was arrested today on charges that he submitted millions of dollars in false billings to Medicare.

The charges were announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos of the FBI’s New York Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Thomas O’Donnell of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG).

Dr. Syed Imran Ahmed, 49, was charged with one count of health care fraud by a criminal complaint unsealed this morning in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y.   A seizure warrant seeking millions of dollars of Ahmed’s alleged ill-gotten gains, including the contents of seven bank accounts, was also unsealed.   In addition, a civil forfeiture complaint was also filed today against Ahmed’s residence located in Muttontown, N.Y., valued at approximately $4 million.   Further, search warrants were executed earlier today at six locations in New York, Michigan and Nevada.   Ahmed’s initial appearance is scheduled this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marilyn Go.

“The Medicare system entrusts doctors to provide patients with the care and services they need,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General O’Neil.  “The charges unsealed today allege that Dr. Ahmed billed millions of dollars to Medicare for surgical procedures that he did not actually perform.  These charges are yet another example of the Department of Justice’s determination to hold accountable those who abuse the trust placed in them and steal from the system for personal gain.”

“As alleged, Ahmed created phantom medical procedures to steal very real taxpayer money. The defendant sought to enrich himself and fund his lifestyle through billing Medicare for services he never performed,” stated United States Attorney Lynch.  “We are committed to protecting these taxpayer-funded programs and prosecuting those who steal from them.”

“Fraudulently billing the government defrauds every American taxpayer,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Venizelos.   “We will investigate cases of graft and greed to protect important programs for those who need them.”

“For a single physician, the alleged conduct in this case is among the most serious I've seen in my law enforcement career," said HHS-OIG SAC O’Donnell.  “Being a Medicare provider is a privilege, not a right.  When Dr. Ahmed allegedly billed Medicare for procedures he never performed, he violated the basic trust that taxpayers extend to healthcare providers.”

As alleged in the complaint, Ahmed engaged in a scheme to submit claims to Medicare for surgical procedures that were not in fact performed.   The complaint alleges multiple instances in which either patients told law enforcement officers that they never had the procedures that were billed, or hospital medical records did not contain any evidence that the procedures were actually performed.   From January 2011 through mid-December 2013, Medicare was billed at least $85 million for surgical procedures purportedly performed by Ahmed.

The investigation has been conducted by the FBI and HHS-OIG and brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.   The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Turner Buford of the Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Campos and Erin Argo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,700 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $5.5 billion.  In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

PRESIDENT'S WEEKLY ADDRESS ON MARCH 29, 2014

FROM:  THE WHITE HOUSE 

Weekly Address: Raise The Minimum Wage – It’s The Right Thing To Do For Hardworking Americans

WASHINGTON, DC— In this week’s address, Vice President Biden discusses the importance of raising the federal minimum wage. It’s good for workers, it’s good for business, and it would help close the gender pay gap, as women make up more than half of the workers who stand to benefit from a raise. And as the Vice President highlights, Congress should boost the federal minimum wage because it is what a majority of the American people want.
The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online atwww.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, March 29, 2014.

Remarks of Vice President Joe Biden
Weekly Address
The White House
March 29, 2014
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m Joe Biden. I’m filling in for President Obama, who is abroad.
I want to talk to you today about the minimum wage and the overwhelming need to raise the minimum wage. There’s no reason in the world why an American working 40 hours a week has to live in poverty. But right now a worker earning the federal minimum wage makes about $14,500 a year.  And you all know that's incredibly hard for an individual to live on, let alone raise a family on.
But if we raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, that same worker will be making $20,200 a year—and with existing tax credits would earn enough to bring that family or a family of four out of poverty. But there’s a lot of good reasons why raising the minimum wage makes sense.
Not only would it put more hard-earned money into the pockets of 28 million Americans, moving millions of them out of poverty, it’s also good for business. And let me tell you why.
There’s clear data that shows fair wages generate loyalty of workers to their employers, which has the benefit of increasing productivity and leading to less turn over. It’s really good for the economy as a whole because raising the minimum wage would generate an additional $19 billion in additional income for people who need it the most.
The big difference between giving a raise in the minimum wage instead of a tax break to the very wealthy is the minimum wage worker will go out and spend every penny of it because they're living on the edge. They’ll spend it in the local economy.  They need it to pay their electric bill, put gas in their automobile, to buy fundamental necessities. And this generates economic growth in their communities.
And I’m not the only one who recognizes these benefits.  Companies big and small recognize it as well. I was recently in Atlanta, Georgia, and met the owner of a small advertising company, a guy named Darien. He independently raised the wages of his workers to $10.10 an hour.  But large companies, as well, Costco and the Gap—they're choosing to pay their employees higher starting wages.
A growing list of governors are also raising wages in their states – the minimum wage. They join the President who raised the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors like the folks serving our troops meals on our bases.  They're all doing this for a simple reason. Raising the minimum wage will help hardworking people rise out of poverty. 
It’s good for business. It’s helpful to the overall economy. And there’s one more important benefit. Right now women make up more than half of the workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage.  Folks, a low minimum wage is one of the reasons why women in America make only 77 cents on a dollar that every man makes. But by raising the minimum wage, we can close that gap by 5 percent. And it matters. It matters to a lot of hardworking families, particularly moms raising families on the minimum wage.
And one more thing, folks—it’s what the American people want to do. Three out of four Americans support raising the minimum wage. They know this is the right and fair thing to do, and the good thing to do for the economy.  So it’s time for Congress to get behind the minimum wage bill offered by Tom Harkin of Iowa and Congressman George Miller of California—the proposal that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.
So ask your representatives who oppose raising the federal minimum wage—why do they oppose it? How can we look at the men and women providing basic services to us all, like cleaning our offices, caring for our children, serving in our restaurants and so many other areas—how can we say they don't deserve enough pay to take them out of poverty?
The President and I think they deserve it. And we think a lot of you do too. So, folks, it’s time to act. It’s time to give America a raise.
Thanks for listening and have a great weekend. God bless you all and may God protect our troops.

THE SUPER GUPPY DELIVERS INNOVATIVE COMPOSITE ROCKET FUEL TANK

FROM:  NASA 

NASA’s Super Guppy, a wide-bodied cargo aircraft, landed at the Redstone Army Airfield near Huntsville, Ala. on March 26 with a special delivery: an innovative composite rocket fuel tank. The tank was manufactured at the Boeing Developmental Center in Tukwila, Wash. The tank will be unloaded from the Super Guppy, which has a hinged nose that opens and allows large cargos like the tank to be easily unloaded. After the tank is removed from the Super Guppy, it will be inspected and prepared for testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The composite tank project is part of the Game Changing Development Program and NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate. Image credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given › Alternate view #1 › Alternate view #2.

FTC CHAIR RELEASES HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2013

FROM:  FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 
FTC Chairwoman Releases 2013 Annual Highlights

Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez released the agency’s 2013 Annual Highlights today at the Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antirust Law in Washington emphasizing the agency’s work to protect consumers and promote competition during the past calendar year.

“The hallmark of our work has been, and will continue to be, our ability to adapt established tools – law enforcement, policy initiatives and education – to address economic challenges and technological advances that Congress could never have imagined when it created the FTC,” said Ramirez in her Highlights message.
The agency’s Enforcement Highlights address a range of law enforcement actions in industries including health care, technology, and energy and the environment. Promoting competition in the health care and pharmaceutical industries that reduces costs to consumers remains a top priority for the Commission and among the most notable accomplishments last year in this area, the FTC obtained two Supreme Court victories (FTC v. Actavis Inc., and FTC v. Phoebe Putney).

Focusing on the technology sector, the agency took its first actions involving mobile cramming and the Internet of Things. Law enforcement to stop consumer fraud continued to be a high priority for the agency along with its complementary order enforcement program. The FTC’s actions resulted in redress orders of more than $297 million and civil penalty orders of $20 million.

As noted in Policy Highlights, the Commission filed 18 advocacy and amicus briefs on topics such as non-physician health care professionals, dental therapy education programs, and local taxicab regulations. Staff conducted 11 workshops on a range of topics including biologic medicines, native advertising, and the Internet of Things, to name a few. The Commission and staff also published 16 reports on topics including mobile payments and mobile privacy disclosures, among others. The FTC also continued to lead efforts to develop strong mutual enforcement cooperation and sound policy with its international partners.

Finally, the FTC’s Education and Outreach Highlights recognizes the agency’s work to alert businesses to compliance standards, and to alert consumers to the tell-tale signs of fraud and deceptive business practices. Among the agency’s many educational products produced in 2013, the FTC released new guidance for media to spot false weight-loss claims; developed information for mobile app developers; hosted the first Military Consumer Protection Day; and launched its Competition Matters blog.



WHITE FACT SHEET REGARDING STRATEGY TO CUT METHANE EMISSIONS

FROM:  THE WHITE HOUSE 

FACT SHEET: Climate Action Plan - Strategy to Cut Methane Emissions

With an all-of-the-above approach to develop homegrown energy and steady, responsible steps to cut carbon pollution, we can protect our kids’ health and begin to slow the effects of climate change so we leave a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations. That’s why last June, President Obama issued a broad-based Climate Action Plan, announcing a series of executive actions to reduce carbon pollution, prepare the U.S. for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address global climate change.  Since June, the Administration has made substantial progress in meeting the ambitious goals laid out in the Climate Action Plan in a way that advances our economy, our environment, and public health. In just the last few months:
  • The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced permitting the 50th renewables-related project on federal lands during the Administration - bringing us closer to meeting the goal of siting enough wind and solar projects on public lands by 2020 to power more than 6 million homes.
  • President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation to develop fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles to save families money at the pump and further reduce reliance on foreign oil and fuel consumption. 
  • The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued two proposed energy conservation standards for appliances and equipment and finalized two energy conservation standards. That’s on top of the five proposed and two final energy conservation standards DOE has already issued since June. These standards will help cut consumers' electricity bills by billions of dollars. 
  • The Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced seven new “climate hubs” to help farmers and ranchers adapt their operations to a changing climate and the President’s Budget  proposed a $1 billion in new funding for new technologies and incentives to build smarter, more resilient infrastructure to help communities prepare for a changing climate. 
  • The Administration announced the Climate Data Initiative, an ambitious new effort bringing together extensive open government data and design competitions with commitments from the private and philanthropic sectors to develop data-driven planning and resilience tools for local communities. This effort will help give communities across America the information and tools they need to plan for current and future climate impacts. 
  • The Administration has continued the work of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group that’s working to promote clean energy and transportation solutions in both countries. And we’re working closely with India to accelerate its clean energy revolution and address the impacts of climate change in vulnerable communities.
Today, the Administration is releasing another key element called for in the President’s Climate Action Plan – a Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions. The strategy summarizes the sources of methane emissions, commits to new steps to cut emissions of this potent greenhouse gas, and outlines the Administration’s efforts to improve the measurement of these emissions. The strategy builds on progress to date and takes steps to further cut methane emissions from landfills, coal mining, and agriculture, and oil and gas systems through cost-effective voluntary actions and common-sense standards.  Key steps include:
  • Landfills: In the summer of 2014, the EPA will propose updated standards to reduce methane from new landfills and take public comment on whether to update standards for existing landfills. 
  • Coal Mines:  In April 2014, the DOI’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will release an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to gather public input on the development of a program for the capture and sale, or disposal of waste mine methane on lands leased by the Federal government.  
  • Agriculture: In June, in partnership with the dairy industry, the USDA, EPA and DOE will jointly release a “Biogas Roadmap” outlining voluntary strategies to accelerate adoption of methane digesters and other cost-effective technologies to reduce U.S. dairy sector greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. 
  • Oil and Gas: Building on success in reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector through voluntary programs and targeted regulations, the Administration will take new actions to encourage additional cost-effective reductions.  Key steps include: 

  • In the spring of 2014, EPA will assess several potentially significant sources of methane and other emissions from the oil and gas sector.  EPA will solicit input from independent experts through a series of technical white papers, and in the fall of 2014, EPA will determine how best to pursue further methane reductions from these sources.  If EPA decides to develop additional regulations, it will complete those regulations by the end of 2016.
  • Later this year, the BLM will propose updated standards to reduce venting and flaring from oil and gas production on public lands. 
  • As part of the Quadrennial Energy Review, and through DOE-convened roundtables, the Administration will identify “downstream” methane reduction opportunities.  Through the Natural Gas STAR program, EPA will work with the industry to expand voluntary efforts to reduce methane emissions. 
Taking action to curb methane waste and pollution is important because emissions of methane make up nearly 9 percent of all the greenhouse gas emitted as a result of human activity in the United States.  Since 1990, methane pollution in the United States has decreased by 11 percent, even as activities that can produce methane have increased. However, methane pollution is projected to increase to a level equivalent to over 620 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution in 2030 absent additional action to reduce emissions.
Reducing methane emissions is a powerful way to take action on climate change; and putting methane to use can support local economies with a source of clean energy that generates revenue, spurs investment and jobs, improves safety, and leads to cleaner air.  When fully implemented, the policies in the methane strategy will improve public health and safety while recovering otherwise wasted energy to power our communities, farms, factories, and power plants. 

ASTRONAUT NEIL ARMSTRONG WILL HAVE NAVY RESEARCH VESSEL NAMED FOR HIM

Right:  20826-O-ZZ999-001 WASHINGTON (Aug. 26, 2012) Undated NASA File Photo - Portrait of Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing mission. Behind him is a large photograph of the lunar surface. (Photo courtesy NASA/Released)

FROM:  U.S. NAVY 
Navy to Christen Research Vessel Neil Armstrong

Story Number: NNS140328-16Release Date: 3/28/2014 2:12:00 PM A  A  A    Email this story to a friend    Print this story
From Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy will christen the Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research (AGOR) R/V Neil Armstrong (AGOR 27) during a ceremony March 29 at the Port of Anacortes Transit Shed in Anacortes, Wash.

In keeping with tradition, Carol Armstrong, the ship's sponsor, will break a bottle of sparkling wine against the ship and christen it in the name of her late husband, astronaut Neil Armstrong.

"The christening of the Neil Armstrong, a state-of-the art research vessel, is a fitting tribute to a man whose work as a naval aviator and astronaut inspired generations of Americans to look beyond the horizon, to strive to achieve the seemingly impossible," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "This ceremony honors not only this great man, but the hundreds of people whose tireless efforts in constructing this ship led to this day, a day when the spirit of discovery and exploration is celebrated as it should be."

Mabus named R/V Neil Armstrong (AGOR 27) to honor the memory of Neil Armstrong, best known for being the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong was an aeronautics pioneer and explorer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) serving as an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator. Armstrong also served as a naval aviator flying nearly 80 combat missions during the Korean War.

The Neil Armstrong-class of research vessels are modern research vessels based on a commercial design, capable of integrated, interdisciplinary, general purpose oceanographic research in coastal and deep ocean areas. R/V Neil Armstrong, the first in its class, is being constructed by Dakota Creek Industries Inc.

Additionally, the Neil Armstrong class will feature a modern suite of oceanographic equipment, state of the art acoustic equipment capable of mapping the deepest parts of the oceans, advanced over-the-side handling gear to deploy and retrieve scientific instruments, emissions controls for stack gasses, and new information technology tools both for monitoring shipboard systems and for communicating with land-based sites worldwide. Enhanced modular onboard laboratories and extensive science payload capacity will provide the ships with the flexibility to meet a wide variety of oceanographic research challenges in the coming decades.

The Navy currently owns six of the nation's largest oceanographic research ships, which support critical naval research in forward deployed areas of the world's oceans, as well as the needs of other federal agencies. A major segment of the U.S. research fleet is now approaching the end of its service life and is in need of replacement.

R/V Neil Armstrong will be U.S. flagged, manned by a commercial crew, and will be operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution under a contract with the U.S. government.


Friday, March 28, 2014

FTC SETTLES WITH COMPANIES ACCUSED OF FAILING TO KEEP SENSITIVE PERSONAL INFORMATION SECURE

FROM:  FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 
Fandango, Credit Karma Settle FTC Charges that They Deceived Consumers By Failing to Securely Transmit Sensitive Personal Information
Mobile Apps Placed Credit Card Details, Credit Report Data, Social Security Numbers at Risk

Two companies have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they misrepresented the security of their mobile apps and failed to secure the transmission of millions of consumers’ sensitive personal information from their mobile apps.

The FTC alleged that, despite their security promises, Fandango and Credit Karma failed to take reasonable steps to secure their mobile apps, leaving consumers’ sensitive personal information at risk. Among other things, the complaints charge that Fandango and Credit Karma disabled a critical default process, known as SSL certificate validation, which would have verified that the apps’ communications were secure.

As a result, the companies’ applications were vulnerable to “man-in-the-middle” attacks, which would allow an attacker to intercept any of the information the apps sent or received. This type of attack is especially dangerous on public Wi-Fi networks such as those at coffee shops, airports and shopping centers.

“Consumers are increasingly using mobile apps for sensitive transactions. Yet research suggests that many companies, like Fandango and Credit Karma, have failed to properly implement SSL encryption,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “Our cases against Fandango and Credit Karma should remind app developers of the need to make data security central to how they design their apps.”

To help secure sensitive transactions, mobile operating systems, including iOS and Android, provide app developers with tools to implement an industry standard known as Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL. If properly implemented, SSL secures an app’s communications and ensures that an attacker cannot intercept the sensitive personal information a consumer submits through an app.

By overriding the default validation process, Fandango undermined the security of ticket purchases made through its iOS app, exposing consumers’ credit card details, including card number, security code, zip code, and expiration date, as well as consumers’ email addresses and passwords. Similarly, Credit Karma’s apps for iOS and Android disabled the default validation process, exposing consumers’ Social Security Numbers, names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and passwords, credit scores, and other credit report details such as account names and balances.  

The settlements with Fandango and Credit Karma are part of the FTC’s ongoing effort to ensure that companies secure the applications they develop and keep their privacy promises to consumers. The FTC has also created a guide to help consumers understand how to stay secure when using public WiFi connections.

Fandango

The Fandango Movies app for iOS allows consumers to purchase movie tickets and view show times, trailers, and reviews. According to the FTC’s complaint, the Fandango Movies app assured consumers, during checkout, that their credit card information was stored and transmitted securely. Despite this promise, for almost four years – from March 2009 until February 2013 – the company disabled SSL certificate validation and left consumers that used its app to make mobile ticket purchases vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.

The complaint alleges that Fandango could have easily tested for and prevented the vulnerability, but failed to perform the basic security checks that would have caught the issue. In addition, the complaint charges that Fandango failed to have an adequate process for receiving vulnerability reports from security researchers and other third parties, and as a result, missed opportunities to fix the vulnerability.

Credit Karma

The Credit Karma Mobile app for iOS and Android allows consumers to monitor and evaluate their credit and financial status.  In its complaint, the FTC alleges that Credit Karma assured consumers that the company followed “industry-leading security precautions,” including the use of SSL to secure consumers’ information. Despite these promises, the company disabled SSL certificate validation and left consumers that used its credit-monitoring app vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.

According to the FTC, Credit Karma could have easily prevented the vulnerability with basic tests, but did not perform an adequate security review of its iOS app before release. Even after a user warned Credit Karma about the vulnerability in its iOS app, the company failed to test its Android app before launch. As a result, one month after receiving a warning about the issue, the company released its Android app with the very same vulnerability. The complaint charges that Credit Karma failed to appropriately test or audit its apps’ security and failed to oversee the security practices of its application development firm.

Settlements

The settlements require Fandango and Credit Karma to establish comprehensive security programs designed to address security risks during the development of their applications and to undergo independent security assessments every other year for the next 20 years. The settlements also prohibit Fandango and Credit Karma from misrepresenting the level of privacy or security of their products and services.

The Commission vote to accept the consent agreement packages containing the proposed consent orders for public comment was 4-0. The FTC will publish a description of the consent agreement packages in the Federal Register shortly. The agreements will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through April 28, 2014, after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent orders final. Interested parties can submit written comments electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the “Invitation To Comment” part of the “Supplementary Information” section. Comments can be submitted electronically by following the instructions on the web-based form. [Submit comment on Fandango settlement | Submit comment on Credit Karma settlement] Comments in paper form should be mailed or delivered to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex D), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form near the end of the public comment period be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions.

NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000.


AG HOLDER, NSA DIRECTOR CLAPPER MAKE STATEMENT ON BULK TELEPHONY METADATA PROGRAM

FROM:   U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Friday, March 28, 2014
Joint Statement by Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on the Declassification of Renewal of Collection Under Section 215 of the Usa Patriot Act (50 U.S.C. Sec. 1861))

Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released the following joint statement Friday:

“Earlier this year in a speech at the Department of Justice, President Obama announced a transition that would end the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata program as it existed, and that the government would establish a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk data. As a first step in that transition, the President directed the Attorney General to work with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to ensure that, absent a true emergency, the telephony metadata can only be queried after a judicial finding that there is a reasonable, articulable suspicion that the selection term is associated with an approved international terrorist organization. The President also directed that the query results must be limited to metadata within two hops of the selection term instead of three.  These two changes were put into effect on Feb. 5, 2014, when the FISC granted the government’s motion to amend its Jan. 3, 2014, primary order approving the production of telephony metadata collection under Section 215. Following a review for declassification the Jan. 3 primary order, the government’s motion to amend that order, and the order granting the motion were posted to the FISC’s website, as well as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence website and icontherecord.tumblr.com.

“In addition to directing those immediate changes to the program, the President also directed the Intelligence Community and the Attorney General to develop options for a new approach to match the capabilities and fill gaps that the Section 215 program was designed to address without the government holding this metadata.  He instructed us to report back to him with options for alternative approaches before the program came up for reauthorization on March 28. Consistent with the President’s direction, we provided him with alternative approaches for consideration.

“After carefully considering the available options, the President announced yesterday that the best path forward is that the government should not collect or hold this data in bulk, and that it should remain at the telephone companies with a legal mechanism in place that would allow the government to obtain data pursuant to individual orders from the FISC approving the use of specific numbers for such queries. The President also noted that legislation would be required to implement this option.

“Given that this legislation is not yet in place, and given the importance of maintaining this capability, the President directed the Department of Justice to seek a 90-day reauthorization of the existing program, which includes the modifications that he directed in January. Consistent with both the President’s direction, and with prior declassification decisions, in light of the significant and continuing public interest in the telephony metadata collection program, DNI Clapper declassified the fact that the United States filed an application with the FISC to reauthorize the existing program as previously modified for 90 days, and that today the FISC issued an order approving the government’s application. The order issued today expires on June 20, 2014. The Administration is undertaking a declassification review of this most recent court order.

IRS WARNS TAXPAYERS ABOUT EMAIL PHISHING SCHEME

FROM:  INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE 
IRS Warns of New Email Phishing Scheme Falsely Claiming to be from the Taxpayer Advocate Service

WASHINGTON —The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers to be on the lookout for a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service and include a bogus case number.‬

The fake emails may include the following message: “Your reported 2013 income is flagged for review due to a document processing error. Your case has been forwarded to the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance. To avoid delays processing your 2013 filing contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance.”‬

Recipients are directed to click on links that supposedly provide information about the "advocate" assigned to their case or that let them "review reported income." The links lead to web pages that solicit personal information.‬

Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the email or click on the links. Instead, they should forward the scam emails to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. For more information, visit the IRS's Report Phishing web page.

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is a legitimate IRS organization that helps taxpayers resolve federal tax issues that have not been resolved through the normal IRS channels. The IRS, including TAS, does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, texting or any social media.‬

NLRB News: NLRB issues complaint against Kellogg Company

NLRB News: NLRB issues complaint against Kellogg Company

SEC HALTS PONZI SCHEME TARGETING ASIAN AND LATINO COMMUNITIES

FROM:  U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced charges and asset freezes against the operators of a worldwide pyramid scheme targeting Asian and Latino communities in the U.S. and abroad.

The SEC alleges that three entities collectively operating under the business names WCM and WCM777 are posing as multi-level marketing companies in the business of selling third-party cloud computing services, which can include website hosting, data storage, and software support.  The entities are based in California and Hong Kong and controlled by “Phil” Ming Xu, who is a resident of Temple City, California.

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles, WCM and WCM777 have raised more than $65 million since March 2013 by falsely promising tens of thousands of investors that the return on investment in the cloud services venture would be 100 percent or more in 100 days.  Investors were told they would receive “points” for making investments or enrolling other investors.  The points would be convertible into equity in initial public offerings of high-tech companies their money would help launch.  However, rather than building out cloud services or incubating high-tech companies, Xu and the WCM entities used investor funds to make Ponzi payments of purported investment returns to some investors.  They also spent investor money to purchase golf courses and other U.S.-based properties among other unauthorized expenditures.

The court has granted the SEC’s request for an asset freeze and the appointment of a temporary receiver over the assets of WCM, WCM777, and several other entities named as relief defendants for the purpose of recovering money from the scheme in their possession.

“Xu and his entities claimed they were using investor funds to build a strong cloud services company that would then ignite other high-tech companies and ultimately make their investors very wealthy,” said Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office.  “In reality, they were operating a pyramid scheme that preyed on investors in particular ethnic communities, leaving them with nothing left to show for their investment.”

According to the SEC’s complaint, WCM and WCM777 sell their products exclusively to investors and have no other apparent sources of revenue.  Their offerings and operations depend almost entirely on the recruitment of new investors and purchases by existing investors to provide the money for returns.  On its website, WCM777 specifically addressed the question “Is WCM777 a Ponzi Game?” by writing, “In summary, we are not a Ponzi game company. We are creating a new business model.”

The SEC alleges that Xu and his entities made various false claims to investors about purported partnerships with more than 700 major companies such as Siemens, Denny’s, and Goldman Sachs – in some instances falsely representing that they had permission to use their logos.  Meantime, besides buying two golf courses with investor money, Xu and his entities also purchased a warehouse, vacant land, and several single family homes  They also used investor funds to play the stock market and make other related investments through intermediary companies, such as an oil and gas offering.  They also sent investor money to a rough diamond jewel merchant in Hong Kong and another unrelated company affiliated with Xu.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that WCM, WCM777, and Xu violated Sections 5(a), 5(c), and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5.  The complaint further alleges that Xu violated Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.  In addition to the asset freezes and appointment of a temporary receiver, the Honorable Christina A. Snyder also granted the SEC’s request for an order prohibiting the destruction of documents and requiring the defendants to provide accountings. A court hearing has been scheduled for April 10, 2014.

The SEC’s investigation has been conducted by Peter Del Greco, Maria Rodriguez, and Marc Blau of the Los Angeles office.  The SEC’s litigation will be led by John Bulgozdy.  

READOUT: PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CALL WITH PRESIDENT PUTIN

FROM:   THE WHITE HOUSE 

Readout of the President’s Call with President Putin

President Putin called President Obama today to discuss the U.S. proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, which Secretary Kerry had again presented to Foreign Minister Lavrov at the meeting at the Hague earlier this week, and which we developed following U.S. consultations with our Ukrainian and European partners.  President Obama suggested that Russia put a concrete response in writing and the presidents agreed that Kerry and Lavrov would meet to discuss next steps.
President Obama noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform and democratic elections, and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine.
President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic  path in close consultation with the Government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis.  President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.  President Obama reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT CONTRACTS FOR MARCH 28, 2014

FROM:  U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT 

CONTRACTS

 ARMY

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Grand Prairie, Texas, was awarded a $610,892,663 modification (P00003) to foreign military sales contract W31P4Q-14-C-0034 for the PATRIOT system advanced capability production to include 92 one pack missiles, 50 launcher modification kits and associated ground equipment, tooling, and initial spares.  Fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2014 other procurement funds and other procurement funds, Army in the amount of $873,811,534 from previous modifications were obligated at the time of the award.  Estimated completion date is May 31, 2016.  Work will be performed in Grand Prairie, Lufkin, and El Paso, Texas; Camden, Ariz.; Chelmsford, Mass; Ocala, Fla.; Huntsville, Ala.; and Anaheim, Calif.  Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.

TFAB Ground Systems LLC*, Madison, Ala., was awarded a $76,812,703 modification (P00005) to contract W9124J-12-D-0011 for engine diagnostic systems to ensure readiness of Chinook and Blackhawk helicopter engines.  Funding and work performance location will be determined with each order.  Estimated completion date is May 24, 2018.  Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.

EADS-N.A., Herndon, Va., was awarded a $34,018,858 modification (P00772) to sole-source, foreign military sales contract W58RGZ-06-C-0194 for six Lakota helicopters with the environmental control unit, mission equipment package and airborne radio communication (ARC-231) radios for the Royal Thai Army.  Fiscal 2010 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $34,018,857 were obligated at the time of the award.  Estimated completion date is April 3, 2015.  Work will be performed in Columbus, Miss.  Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.

BH Defense LLC*, Arlington, Va. was awarded a $12,150,976 modification (P00003) to foreign military sales contract W91247-13-C-0015 to the Iraq International Academy for the education and development of senior Iraqi leadership. Fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $12,150,976 were obligated at the time of the award. Estimated completion date is March 31, 2016. Work will be performed in Iraq. Army Contracting Command, Ft. Bragg N.C. is the contracting activity.


L-3 National Security Solutions was awarded a $9,673,703 modification (P00015) to contract W52P1J-13-F-3003 for tier 1 service desk support in the National Capital Region.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $1,181,654 were obligated at the time of the award.  Estimated completion date is March 29, 2015.  Work will be performed in Washington, D.C.  Army Contracting Command, Reston, Va., is the contracting activity.

TSI Corp.*, Las Vegas, Nev., was awarded an $8,425,301 modification (P00006) to contract W9124J-12-D-0012 to support engineering design, general maintenance services, service orders/HVAC technical support and heavy equipment operations/maintenance.  Funding and work performance location will be determined with each order.  Estimated completion date is March 31, 2015.  Army Contracting Command, Fort Hood, Texas, is the contracting activity.

Northcon Construction Inc.*, Hayden Idaho, was awarded an $8,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the maintenance, repair, upgrade and construction of military and civilian facilities, primarily at Fort Polk, La.  Funding and work performance location will be determined with each order.  Estimated completion date is March 24, 2017.  Bids were solicited via the Internet with 18 received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth, Texas, is the contracting activity (W9126G-14-D-0021).

NAVY

Black Construction/MACE International Joint Venture, Harmon, Guam, is being awarded a maximum amount $95,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for design-build/design-bid-build construction projects at the U.S. Navy Support Facility, Diego Garcia.  The work to be performed is for general building type projects to include new construction, repair, renovation, demolition and alteration of facilities.  Facilities include, but are not limited to:  aviation and aircraft, marine, barracks and personnel housing, administrative, warehouse and supply, training, personnel support and service, security level and abasement and handling of hazardous/regulated material, etc.  No task orders are being issued at this time.  The term of this contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of March 2019.  Work will be performed in Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory.   Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy contract funds in the amount of $30,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with two proposals received.  The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (N62742-14-D-1303).

General Dynamics Land Systems-Force Protection, Ladson, S.C., is being awarded a $74,655,710 firm-fixed-price contract for the development, design, and production of 916 Cougar egress upgrade kits in support of the Program Executive Officer Land Systems, Program Manager, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles.  The kit includes upgrades to four existing vehicle systems: front doors; rear doors; rear steps; and exhaust.  The upgrades are needed to increase survivability for the user in the case of an attack or accident.  Work will be performed in Ladson, S.C., and work is expected to be completed September 2015.  The term of the contract is not to exceed 18 months.  Fiscal 2012 other procurement, Marine Corps; fiscal 2012 other procurement, Navy; fiscal 2013 research, development, test, and evaluation, Navy; and fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Marine Corps contract funds in the amount of $65,024,224 will be obligated at the time of award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  Fiscal 2013 other procurement, Navy and fiscal 2013 other procurement, Air Force contract funds in the amount of $9,631,486 will also be obligated at time of award and will not expire until Sept. 30, 2015.  This contract was competitively awarded via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received.  The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-14-C-5501).

SERCO, Reston, Va., is being awarded a potential $46,041,918 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide life cycle sustainment, integration, acquisition and technical support for anti-terrorism/force protection Naval Electronic Surveillance Systems to Department of Defense agencies and other government activities as required.  This is one of three contracts awarded: each awardee (CACI, N66001-14-D-0052; Honeywell, N66001-14-D-0053) will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period.  This three-year contract includes two, one-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the potential ceiling value of this award to an estimated $ 77,641,933.  Work will be performed at the contractor’s facilities (60 percent), and at government facilities (40 percent) to include operational platform sites, shore-based sites, and training activities located in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and locations worldwide.  The period of performance of the base period is from March 28, 2014 through March 27, 2017.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy, and other procurement, Navy, funds in the amount of $33,000 will be obligated at the time of award, and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured via a full and open solicitation (N66001-12-R-0001) and publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website.  Three proposals were received and three were selected for award.  The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-13-D-0054).

Honeywell, Columbia, Md., is being awarded a potential $43,196,813 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide life cycle sustainment, integration, acquisition and technical support for anti-terrorism/force protection Naval Electronic Surveillance Systems to Department of Defense agencies and other government activities as required. This is one of three contracts awarded: each awardee (CACI, N66001-14-D-0052; SERCO, N66001-14-D-0054) will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period.  This three-year contract includes two, one-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the potential ceiling value of this award to an estimated $71,713,083. Work will be performed at the contractor’s facilities (60 percent), and at government facilities (40 percent) to include operational platform sites, shore-based sites, and training activities located in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and locations worldwide.  The period of performance of the base period is from March 28, 2014 through March 27, 2017.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy, and other procurement, Navy, funds in the amount of $33,000 will be obligated at the time of award, and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured via a full and open solicitation and publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website. Three proposals were received and three were selected for award.  The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-13-D-0053).

CACI Inc., Federal, Chantilly, Va., is being awarded a potential $42,382,869 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide life cycle sustainment, integration, acquisition and technical support for anti-terrorism/force protection Naval Electronic Surveillance Systems to Department of Defense agencies and other government activities as required.  This is one of three contracts awarded: each awardee (Honeywell, N66001-14-D-0053; SERCO, N66001-14-D-0054) will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period.  This three-year contract includes two, one-year option periods which, if exercised, would bring the potential ceiling value of this award to an estimated $70,999,791. Work will be performed at the contractor’s facilities (60 percent), and at government facilities (40 percent) to include operational platform sites, shore-based sites, and training activities located in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and locations worldwide.  The period of performance of the base period is from March 28, 2014 through March 27, 2017.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy, and other procurement, Navy, funds in the amount of $33,000 will be obligated at the time of award, and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured via a full and open solicitation and publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website and the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website.  Three proposals were received and three were selected for award.  The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N66001-13-D-0052).

Lion-Vallen Industries, Dayton, Ohio, is being awarded a $20,609,800 firm-fixed-price requirements contract for logistics services to manage, support, and operate the Marine Corps Consolidated Storage Program Individual Issue Facility and Unit Issue Facility warehouse network.  Contractor support consists of managing infantry combat clothing equipment, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense equipment, special training allowance pool, soft-walled shelters and camouflage netting, and contractor-owned contractor-operated Asset Visibility Capability system.  This contract contains two one-month options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $24,761,800.  Work will be performed at the same time in Barstow, Calif. (23 percent); Camp Lejuene, N.C. (18 percent); Camp Pendleton, Calif. (13 percent); Okinawa, Japan (10 percent); Miramar, Calif. (9 percent); Camp Geiger, N.C. (7 percent); Twenty-nine Palms, Calif. (4 percent); Cherry Point, N.C. (4 percent); Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (3 percent); Yuma, Ariz. (2 percent); Beaufort, S.C. (2 percent); Iwakuni, Japan (2 percent); New River, N.C. (2 percent); and Bridgeport, Calif. (1 percent).  Work is expected to be completed January 2015.  If options are exercised, work will continue through March 2015.  Fiscal 2014 operation and maintenance funds in amount of $20,609,800 will be obligated at the time of award, and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured via solicitations on the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with two proposals received.  The Marine Corps Logistics Command, Albany, Ga., is the contracting activity (M67004-14-D-0003).

Canadian Commercial Corp., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is being awarded a $16,394,215 firm-fixed-price contract to repair four items required to support the P-3 aircraft.  Work will be performed at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., (80 percent) and Ontario, Canada (20 percent), and work is expected to be completed by March 28, 2019.  Fiscal 2014 Navy working capital funds will be used on the contract, but no funds will be obligated at the time of award.  No contract funds will expire before the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was a non-competitive requirement in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1).  NAVSUP Weapons Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00383-14-D-019F).

Lockheed Martin Corp., Owego, N.Y., is being awarded $13,065,996 for firm-fixed-price delivery order GCAR under previously awarded a Defense Logistics Agency basic ordering agreement (SPRPA1-09-G-002Y) for the acquisition of 19 radar receiver processors used in support of the MH 60R helicopter.  This announcement involves a foreign military sale for the government of Australia (100 percent).  Work will be performed at Owego N.Y (56 percent) and Syracuse N.Y. (44 percent), and work is expected to be completed by March 2017.  Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $13,065,996 will be obligated at the time of award.  These funds will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year.  This was a non-competitive requirement in accordance with FAR 6.302.1.  The NAVSUP Weapons System Support, Philadelphia Pa., is the contracting activity.

Moran Towing Corp., New Canaan, Conn., is being awarded an $11,147,644 firm-fixed-price contract for seven time-chartered, U.S.-flagged tractor tugs for day-to-day operations in Norfolk, Va., and surrounding waters, including ship handling, docking and undocking services.  This contract includes a three one-year options and one 11-month option which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $58,104,254.  Work will be performed in Norfolk, Va., and surrounding waters, and is expected to be completed by February 2019.  Fiscal 2014 working capital funds in the amount of $5,882,090 are being obligated at the time of award.  Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured with over 100 proposals solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received.  Military Sealift Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00033-14-C-2108).

Insitu Inc., Bingen, Wash., is being awarded $8,355,422 for firm-fixed-price delivery order 0025 against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-12-G-0008) for the hardware and services required to operate, maintain, and support previously procured RQ-21A EOC unmanned aircraft systems in support of overseas contingency operations.  Hardware and services to be provided include spare and consumable parts and in-theatre field service representatives to supplement Marine Corps operators and maintainers.  Work will be performed in Bingen, Wash., and is expected to be completed in December 2014.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, overseas contingency operations Marine Corps funds in the amount of $8,355,422 will be obligated at time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

Washington Patriot Construction*, Gig Harbor, Wash., is being awarded $8,299,445 for firm-fixed-price task order 0018 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N44255-10-D-5008) for relocation and consolidation of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility Shop and Administrative Facilities at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.  The work to be performed provides for construction of a new facility to house relocated three existing Naval Support Operations.  Work will be performed in Silverdale, Wash., and is expected to be completed by October 2015.  Fiscal 2011 military construction, Navy contract funds in the amount of $8,299,445 are being obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  Three proposals were received for this task order.  The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest, Silverdale, Wash., is the contracting activity.

CH2M Hill Inc., Virginia Beach, Va., is being awarded $7,333,250 for cost-plus-award-fee task order 0019 under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, architect-engineering contract (N62470-11-D-8012) for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Munitions Response sites investigations, Title II services, program support services, and community relations at the former Vieques Naval Training Range and Naval Ammunition Support Detachment.  Work will be performed in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and is expected to be completed by December 2018.  Fiscal 2014 environmental restoration, Navy contract funds in the amount of $7,333,250 are being obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  One proposal was received for this task order.  The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity.

Maersk Line, Ltd., Norfolk, Va., is being issued a $7,117,355 modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00033-13-C-2505) to exercise a three-month option for the operation and maintenance of five U.S. Navy ocean surveillance ships and two U.S. Navy missile range instrumentation ships.  The ships support the Navy’s surveillance towed array sensor system operations and the U.S. Air Force’s dual band radar monitoring operations.  Work will be performed at sea worldwide, and is expected to be completed by July 2014.  Fiscal 2014 working capital funds in the amount of $7,117,355 are being obligated at the time of award, and will not expire at the end of the fiscal year.  The Military Sealift Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Vigor Industrial LLC, Portland, Ore., is being awarded a $6,875,938 firm-fixed-price contract for a 68-calendar day mid-term shipyard availability of USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200).  Work will include 72,000-hour main engine maintenance; main engine turbocharger overhaul; port shaft brake overhaul; starboard power take-off clutch/coupling overhaul, deck non-skid preservation; roller door replacement; and gypsy winch overhauls.  Guadalupe’s primary mission is to provide fuel to U.S. Navy ships at sea and jet fuel to aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers.  The contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the total contract value to $8,153,218.  Work will be performed in Portland, Ore., and is expected to be completed by July 2014.  Fiscal 2014 working capital contract funds in the amount of $6,875,938 are being obligated at the time of award, and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured, with proposals solicited via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with two offers received.  Military Sealift Command Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00033-14-C-7501).

AIR FORCE

Matrix Research Inc., Dayton, Ohio, has been awarded a not-to-exceed $45,085,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for development and demonstration of supportable and manufacturable low observable (LO) technologies.  This program will develop, demonstrate, and transition supportable and manufacturable technologies that will reduce the production and life cycle sustainment burden of LO treatments, materials, repairs, and processes.  Work will be performed in Dayton, Ohio and is expected to be completed by April 2020.  Fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $975,000 will be obligated at award on individual task orders.  This was a competitive award based on Broad Agency Announcement BAA-RQKM-2013-0013, with a total of two proposals received.  The Air Force Research Laboratory/RQK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-14-D-5400).

Kaman Precision Products Inc., Orlando, Fla., has been awarded a $41,634,163 modification (P00012) to firm-fixed-price contract FA8681-13-C-0029 for Lot 11 production of Joint Programmable Fuze systems.  The contract modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 10,001 state-of-the-art fuze systems being produced under the basic contract.  The location of performance is Orlando, Fla., and work is expected to be completed by April 2016.  Fiscal 2013 procurement funds in the amount of $1,519,495; fiscal 2014 procurement funds in the amount of $36,280,545 and fiscal 2014 overseas contingency operations funds in the amount of $3,834,123 will be obligated at award.  Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/EBDK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.

General Electric Aviation, Cincinnati, Ohio, has been awarded an estimated $24,902,353 firm-fixed-price contract for out-of-warranty repairs of the F138 engine.  Work will be performed in Ohio and is expected to be completed March 31, 2016.  No funds are being obligated at award.  The award is a result of a sole-source acquisition.  The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center Propulsion Contracting Office, Oklahoma City, Okla., is the contracting activity (FA8124-14-D-0003).

Sierra Nevada Corp., Sparks, Nev., has been awarded a $14,022,709 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for contractor logistics support of the precision strike package on the AC-130W aircraft, Stinger II Program.  Work will be performed at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., and is expected to be completed March 31, 2015.  Contractor logistics support employees also deploy with aircraft in support of special operations missions.  The award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $10,936,854 will be obligated at award.  The contracting activity is the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Special Operation Forces Contracting Division, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., (FA8509-14-C-0001).

Cubic Defense Applications Inc., San Diego, Calif., has been awarded a $6,883,316 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost contract for the procurement of P5 Combat Training System (P5CTS) Depot follow-on CLS.  The P5CTS consists of the airborne subsystem, or "pod" and the ground subsystem.  The contract is for CLS for the procurement of supply chain/inventory management spares replenishment; repair and overhaul; demilitarization and disposal; systems/sustaining engineering and system integration.  The location of performance is San Diego, Calif., for the ground subsystem and Fort Walton Beach, Fla., for the airborne subsystem.  The work is expected to be complete by March 5, 2015.  Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $6,883,316 are being obligated at award.  This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition.  Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/EBYK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8678-14-C-0005).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Science Application International Corp., Fairfield, N.J., has been awarded a maximum $40,000,000 four-month prime vendor bridge modification (P00035) on contract (SPM500-02-D-0121) for maintenance, repair, and operations.  This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.  Location of performance is New Jersey with a July 31, 2014 performance completion date.  Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

US Foods Inc., Fairburn, Ga., has been awarded a maximum $27,418,049 five-month prime vendor bridge contract (SPM300-14-D-3747) for food and beverage support.  This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract.  Location of performance is Georgia with an Aug. 30, 2014 performance completion date.  Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

Federal Resources Supply Co., Stevenville, Md., has been awarded a maximum $24,240,094 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for medical test equipment and accessories.  This is a competitive acquisition and six offers were received.  This is a five-year base contract with no option periods.  Location of performance is Maryland with a March 27, 2019 performance completion date.  Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 through fiscal 2019 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM2DH-14-D-8222).

Sysco Eastern Maryland, Pokomoke City, Md., has been awarded a maximum $21,375,000 five-month prime vendor bridge contract (SPM300-14-D-3751) for food and beverage support.  This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract.  Location of performance is Maryland with an Aug. 30, 2014 performance completion date.  Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

Triumph Gear Systems, Park City, Utah, has been awarded a maximum $19,991,773 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity/indefinite-quantity contract for aircraft parts and support.  This is a sole-source acquisition.  This is a three-year base contract with two one-year option periods.  Location of performance is Utah with a Dec. 31, 2020 performance completion date.  Using military service is Navy.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 through fiscal 2020 Navy working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPRPA1-14-D-001W).

Willbros Government Services, Tulsa, Okla., has been awarded a maximum $14,229,960 firm-fixed-price contract for fuel services.  This is a competitive acquisition, and five offers were received.  This is a five-year base contract with three five-year option periods.  Locations of performance are Oklahoma and Arizona with an April 30, 2019 performance completion date.  Using military service is Army.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Va., (SP0600-14-C-5409).

Sysco Foodservice Alabama, Calera, Ala., has been awarded a maximum $12,488,422 five-month prime vendor bridge contract (SPM300-14-D-3745) for food and beverage support.  This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract.  Locations of performance are Alabama and Florida with an Aug. 30, 2014 performance completion date.  Using military services are Army and Air Force.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

SupplyCore Inc., Rockford, Ill.,* has been awarded a maximum $10,000,000 four-month prime vendor bridge modification (P00035) on contract (SPM500-02-D-0122) for maintenance, repair, and operations.  This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.  Location of performance is Illinois with a July 31, 2014 performance completion date.  Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

*Small Business

JENS STOLTENBERG CHOSEN TO BE NEW SECRETARY GENERAL OF NATO

FROM:  U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT  
Former Norwegian Prime Minister Designated to Lead NATO
By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2014 – Former prime minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, was designated today to serve as the next secretary general of NATO.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement that he welcomed the selection.
“Former Prime Minister Stoltenberg will bring strong credentials and experience to the alliance at a critically important time,” Hagel said.

“NATO has been and continues to be a force for peace, prosperity and freedom, not only in Europe, but around the world,” the defense secretary said. The United States, he added, will continue to strongly support the alliance and all of its member nations.

America's commitment to NATO's collective defense is firm and resolute, Hagel said.

Stoltenberg will succeed current Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen when his term expires Oct. 1, 2014. Rasmussen was prime minister of Denmark for eight years before becoming NATO secretary general in 2009.

"I want to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to NATO Secretary General Rasmussen for his many years of strong leadership, for his commitment to strengthening the alliance, and for his continued hard work in bringing a critical NATO summit together this coming September in Wales," Hagel said.
The 2014 NATO summit will take place Sept. 4-5 in Wales. The last NATO summit was in Chicago in 2012.


WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT ON SELECTION OF JENS STOLTENBERG TO LEAD NATO

FROM:  THE WHITE HOUSE 
Statement by the Press Secretary on the Selection of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as the Next NATO Secretary General

We welcome the selection of former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg as NATO’s next Secretary General, beginning October 1, 2014.  Mr. Stoltenberg is a proven leader with a demonstrated commitment to the transatlantic Alliance.  As Prime Minister, he built Norway’s military capabilities and actively contributed to NATO operations and political dialogue.  We are confident he is the best person to ensure the continued strength and unity of the NATO Alliance.

We also are grateful for the service of current NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and will rely on his expertise to bring the Alliance through the NATO Summit in September.  Secretary General Rasmussen has been an exceptional leader at an extraordinary time.  His vision and dedication have strengthened the Alliance’s strategic direction and focus on ways to bolster defense capabilities while reinforcing the commitments and values underpinning it.  From preparing for NATO’s transition in Afghanistan, to seeing us through the intervention in Libya, and – now – to providing strong leadership in the face of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, Secretary General Rasmussen has been a steadfast partner and a trusted friend of the United States throughout his tenure.  We know that Mr. Stoltenberg will prove the same.

SEC CHARGES COAL COMPANY, FOUNDER WITH MAKING FALSE DISCLOSURES ABOUT WHO WAS IN CHARGE

FROM:  SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against a Seattle-headquartered coal company and its founder for making false disclosures about who was running the company.

The SEC’s Enforcement Division alleges that L&L Energy Inc., which has all of its operations in China and Taiwan, created the false appearance that the company had a professional management team in place when in reality Dickson Lee was single-handedly controlling the company’s operations.  An L&L Energy annual report falsely listed Lee’s brother as the CEO and a woman as the acting CFO in spite of the fact that she had rejected Lee’s offer to serve in the position the month before.  L&L Energy and Lee continued to misrepresent that they had an acting CFO in the next three quarterly reports.  Certifications required under the Sarbanes Oxley Act ostensibly bore the purported acting CFO’s electronic signature.  Lee and L&L Energy also allegedly misled NASDAQ to become listed on the exchange by falsely maintaining they had accurately made all of their required Sarbanes-Oxley certifications.

In a parallel action, a criminal indictment against Lee was unsealed today in federal court in Seattle.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Washington is prosecuting the case.

“Lee and L&L Energy deceived the public by falsely representing that the company had a CFO, which is a critical gatekeeper in the management of public companies,” said Antonia Chion, associate director in the SEC’s Enforcement Division.  “The integrity of Sarbanes-Oxley certifications is critical, and executives who manipulate the process will be held accountable for their misdeeds.”

This enforcement action stems from the work of the SEC’s Cross-Border Working Group, which focuses on companies with substantial foreign operations that are publicly traded in the U.S.  The Cross-Border Working Group has contributed to the filing of fraud cases against more than 90 companies, executives, and auditors.  The securities of more than 60 companies have been deregistered.

The SEC separately issued a settled cease-and-desist order against L&L Energy’s former audit committee chair Shirley Kiang finding that she played a role in the company’s reporting violations by signing an annual report that she knew or should have known contained a false Sarbanes-Oxley certification by Lee.  Kiang, who neither admitted nor denied the charges, must permanently refrain from signing any public filing with the SEC that contains any certification required pursuant to Sarbanes-Oxley.

According to the SEC’s order against Lee and L&L Energy, the false representations began in the annual report for 2008 and continued with quarterly filings in 2009.  The purported acting CFO did not actually sign any public filings during this period or provide authorization for her signature to be placed on any filings.  After Lee was confronted by the purported acting CFO in mid-2009, he nonetheless continued to falsely represent to L&L Energy’s board of directors that the company had an acting CFO.  When L&L Energy filed its annual report for 2009, it contained a false Sarbanes-Oxley certification by Lee that all fraud involving management had been disclosed to the company’s auditors and audit committee.  Then, in connection with an application to gain listing on NASDAQ, Lee informed the exchange that L&L Energy had made all of its required Sarbanes-Oxley certifications – including during the period of the purported service of an acting CFO.  As a result, L&L Energy became listed on NASDAQ.  

The SEC’s order against Dickson Lee and L&L alleges that they violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933.  The order also alleges other violations of rules under the Exchange Act concerning Sarbanes-Oxley certifications, disclosure controls and procedures, and obtaining and retaining electronic signatures on filings.  The order seeks disgorgement and financial penalties against L&L Energy and Lee as well as an officer-and-director bar against Lee.  The order also seeks to prohibit Lee, who is a certified public accountant, from practicing before the SEC pursuant to Rule 102(e) of the Commission’s rules of practice.

The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, has been conducted by Joseph Griffin, Jennie Krasner, and Brad Mroski under the supervision of Ricky Sachar.  The SEC’s litigation will be led by Cheryl L. Crumpton.  The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

FIVE CHARGED IN CONSPIRACY TO OBTAIN UNION JOB FOR ORGANIZED CRIME UNDERBOSS

FROM:  THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Five Individuals Charged with Conspiring to Fraudulently Obtain Union Job for Organized Crime Underboss

Former New York Post Driver Also Charged with Having “No Show” Job

Five men have been charged in the Eastern District of New York with conspiring to defraud the Newspaper and Mail Deliverers’ Union (NMDU) and Hudson News newsstands to obtain a union card and employment at Hudson News newsstands for the son of the alleged underboss of the Colombo family of La Cosa Nostra.

A criminal complaint was unsealed today charging Benjamin Castellazzo Jr., Rocco Giangregorio, Glenn LaChance, Rocco Miraglia, aka “Irving,” and Anthony Turzio, aka “the Irish Guy,” with mail fraud conspiracy.   The five men were arrested earlier today, and their initial appearances are scheduled for this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn.

In addition, a three-count indictment was unsealed today charging Thomas Leonessa, aka “Tommy Stacks,” with wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and theft and embezzlement from employee benefit plans in an unrelated scheme.   The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Brooklyn, N.Y., on March 6, 2014, and relates to Leonessa’s alleged “no show” job as a delivery driver for the New York Post.

The charges were announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York Acting Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Garcia of the New York region of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations and Assistant Director in Charge George C. Venizelos of the FBI’s New York Field Office.

As alleged in the complaint, the NMDU is an independent union that represents approximately 1,500 employees involved in the newspaper industry in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.   NMDU members deliver newspapers for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, the New York Post and El Diario.   Hudson News, which also employs members of the NMDU, is a retail chain of newsstands mainly located in major transportation hubs, including airports and train stations.

Between June 2009 and October 2009, Miraglia, who was a foreman at the New York Daily News – as well as an associate of the Colombo organized crime family and the son of a deceased soldier in the Colombo family – conspired with officials of the NMDU and with Turzio, an employee of El Diario, to get an NMDU union card for Castellazzo Jr. and place him in a job at Hudson News.   Castellazzo Jr. is the son of Benjamin Castellazzo, the alleged underboss of the Colombo family.   Giangregorio and LaChance, who are business agents for the NMDU, also participated on this scheme.

As alleged in the indictment, Leonessa was employed by the New York Post to deliver newspapers by truck from a New York Post warehouse in the Bronx, N.Y., to New Jersey.   He was also a member of the NMDU, which maintained offices, including offices for its welfare and pension funds, in Queens, N.Y.   From about December 2010 to about September 2011, Leonessa had a “no show job” – a job for which he was paid wages and benefits for services he did not perform – at the New York Post.   When Leonessa did not complete his required deliveries, he was nevertheless, based on his fraudulent representations, paid wages by the New York Post and accorded benefits from employee pension and welfare funds managed by the NMDU.

Leonessa is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The charges in the complaint and indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations and the FBI, with assistance from the New York City Police Department, the New York County District Attorney’s Office and Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Joseph Wheatley of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth A. Geddes and Allon Lifshitz.