Dallas officers arrest nightclub magnate who laundered money

DALLAS -Alfredo Hinojosa ran an “empire” of nightclubs across North Texas, according to a federal indictment, raking in more than $100 million from 2014 to 2016.

At the same time, Hinojosa allowed dealers to sell cocaine in his clubs’ bathrooms to keep business booming and then helped launder money for a Mexican band’s tour bus.

Hinojosa, 57, pleaded guilty this week to charges of conspiracy to manage a drug premises and conspiracy to structure transactions to evade reporting requirements, according to court documents.

The case was initially filed in October 2016, and a new indictment was filed against Hinojosa and 10 other defendants on Tuesday.

Hinojosa has not yet been sentenced. As part of the plea deal, he agreed to forfeit $200,000, a Ferrari F355, a Land Rover Range Rover, a Hummer H2, a Mercedes-Benz and a Gillig Motorhome, the court documents said.

His attorney, Frank Perez, declined to comment on the case Wednesday.

The case also involved two former Dallas police officers, Eddie Villarreal, 48, and Craig Woods, 60, who worked security at Hinojosa’s clubs. Villarreal and Woods pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI this week for lying about their involvement with Hinojosa.

Their attorneys could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

It was unclear Wednesday night which of the remaining defendants have been taken into custody.

‘Man, they got to do business’

Hinojosa owned more than 40 nightclubs across the state, including the Far West, Medusa and OK Corral clubs in Dallas and the OK Corral club in south Fort Worth, on the north side of La Gran Plaza. The clubs were still open this week, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

At each location, Hinojosa allowed a crew of “certain selected” dealers to sell cocaine in $20 baggies in the restrooms. In a recording obtained by authorities, Hinojosa said, “we can’t really clean it [up] because then we lose business,” the indictment said.

“Man, they got to do business,” Hinojosa said in the recording. “I told them we don’t care . . . we just don’t want for everybody to see him . . . They want it [cocaine] right there. They don’t want to go looking downtown.”

The indictment named the dealers, who face drug charges in the case: Eloy Alvarado Montantes, 36, of Grand Prairie; Jose Omar Santoyo Salas, 32, of Arlington; Erick Johan Lopez Cuellar, 30, of Fort Worth; Raul Nunez, 25, of Grand Prairie; and Cesar Mendez, 27, of Dallas.

Read More

Sam’s employee seen on camera swiping $60,000 deposit

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. – Just a few days after Black Friday, police said a woman employed at Sam’s Club in Colonial Heights snatched a bag of money from the safe.

Store accountants noticed the missing deposit money, and launched an investigation into the missing $60,000.

“As they began their investigation and they realized one of their deposit bags was missing, they began to go through some surveillance tape from inside the store,” said Capt. William Anspach, with Colonial Heights Police.

Store cameras revealed that an employee removed the money from the safe and took it to the family restroom before an armored vehicle picked up the deposit.

Police said 30-year-old Erika Sue Apodaca then met up inside the store with 36-year-old Brian Steven Lindenfeld Jr.

“Ms. Apodaca removed the bag from the safe, took it into one of the family restrooms inside the store and failed to return it back to the area where the Armored Car Delivery Service would pick up the bag,” Anspach said.

“There was an exchange between the two and the male party and female party later met outside, outside in the parking lot,” Anspach said.

Both Apodaca and Lindenfeld were arrested Monday, without incident.

Apodaca is charged with felony embezzlement and conspiracy. Lindenfeld is charged with two felony counts of grand larceny and felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

The money has not been recovered.

View Source

Pair arrested for credit card fraud after alert security notices suspicious

Pleasant Grove CA Dec 5 2017  Pleasant Grove police arrested a man and a woman after they reportedly attempted to pick up six orders from essential oils company doTerra totaling more than $13,142 from Nov. 24 to Friday.

The orders were reportedly made using credit card information that was hacked from a Nashville company named Z Health, according to police reports.

On Friday, a doTerra security employee called Pleasant Grove police to report that two people were at the Pleasant Grove company to pick up product that was suspected of being purchased with a stolen credit card number. The order was placed online and the pair didn’t have the credit card in their possession.

The employee reported the pair was in a white Ford pickup with a California license plate. After the pickup left the doTerra property, officers executed a traffic stop on it near 1300 West and 100 South. The vehicle reportedly changed lanes without signaling and had a recently expired registration.

During the traffic stop, the man reportedly said his license was suspended and he couldn’t provide any form of identification. He reportedly provided a name of Jose Martinez and an age that didn’t match his stated date of birth. The man said three times he was 25 years old and born in 1986, reports state. He later said he was born in 1991.

The woman, identified as Jessica Contreras, 30, of Rifle, Colorado, said the man’s name was Martinez and he was her boyfriend of two years.

The man was later identified as Armando Mendoza, 31, of Downey, California, reports state.

The doTerra security employee told police that the man had repeatedly picked up packages from the company, beginning with a $160.13 order on Nov. 24. On subsequent days, the man returned to pick up four additional packages averaging $3,245, purportedly on behalf of purchasers in Colorado and North Carolina, reports state. Police contacted a credit card investigator, who reported that the cardholders had reported the fraudulent activity and canceled their cards.

Read More

Florida may require businesses to verify employees through

A panel of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission unanimously backed a proposal (P 29) that would require all employers in Florida to use the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Employment Authorization Program, known as E-Verify, to determine the eligibility of new employees.

Commissioner Rich Newsome, an attorney from Orlando who sponsored the proposal, said the measure has widespread support from the public. However, he said the issue has failed to garner legislative support in past years because powerful special interests tied to agriculture and construction make it “impossible” to advance.

“Everybody knows why it can’t pass the Legislature despite the fact that if you polled the Republican base of the folks that are in power, it’s off the chart,” Newsome said.

Adam Blalock, representing the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, told the commission’s General Provisions Committee that if E-Verify is put in place, the agriculture industry would suffer a short-term labor shortage that would result in lost and unharvested crops.

“There must be a replacement labor for agriculture before E-Verify is established,” Blalock said.

“The federal government this year is working on legislation to better the H-2A guest worker program to try to remove some of the problems that agriculture faces to allow a more legal work force to be in the United States,” Blalock continued. “But domestic supply of agriculture workers, it’s not there to replace those who would inevitably be not able to work if E-Verify was put into place. There is just not that population of people that is willing to do the hard work to get the food on your table. And that’s not a popular opinion, but it is reality.”

Newsome said he offered a carve-out for agriculture interests that use guest-worker visas, but a number of mid-sized farmers are concerned about covering housing, transportation and health-care costs.

Read More