Nashville pastor, associate accused of getting grant money for non-existent program

“A Nashville area pastor and his associate have been indicted after TBI agents said they secured state grant money for an addiction treatment program that didn’t exist.
Clinton Lewis, 48, of Hermitage and Aundre Trice, 38, of Antioch are charged with four counts of theft each, according to a news release from TBI.
Agents said between 2011 and 2015, Lewis, a Mt. Hopewell Baptist Church pastor since 2002, and Trice received more than $60,000 in grant money from the Tennessee Dept. of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for an addiction recovery program.
TBI said the clients listed in the program never received any treatment. Some clients listed were even in jail, prison or had died. The counselors listed in the program weren’t aware it was in operation, agents said,

Lewis and Trice were booked into Davidson County Jail Friday on $10,000 bonds each.”

View Source

Shoplifting suspects with infant lead Henrico County Va. police on chase

“Police said two shoplifting suspects had an infant in their car while they led officers on a chase that ended in a five-car accident in Henrico County Sunday afternoon.

Henrico police Lt. C.J. Maurice said officers were dispatched for a shoplifting call at the Target in the 9000 block of Staples Mill Road at 4:15 p.m

As officers were about to arrive at the store, they spotted the suspects’ gray car fleeing the parking lot.

Maurice said officers tried to pull over the vehicle, but he said the driver kept going and a brief pursuit began.

Officials said the pursuit ended when the suspect’s car slammed into four other vehicles — while trying to drive in between cars stopped at a traffic light — at the intersection of Staples Mill Road and Hungary Road.

Police said the two suspects were transported to area hospitals with minor injuries. Additionally, five other people in other vehicles were treated for minor injuries. Three of them were transported to area hospitals.

Maurice said the male driver and a female passenger have charges pending for shoplifting. Additionally, the male driver will be charged with eluding police.

Authorities said 32-year-old Jeremy Dodge was charged with grand larceny, conspiracy to commit grand larceny, felony child neglect and felony eluding police.

Twenty-six-year-old Victikia Coker was charged with grand larceny, conspiracy to commit grand larceny and felony child neglect.

Police were seen recovering items from the suspects’ car.”

View Source

Heritage High School PTO treasurer charged with embezzlement

“A Hoagland woman who served as the treasurer for the Heritage Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (P.T.O.) was arrested Thursday morning following a four month long investigation into allegations she had been stealing money from the PTO according to state police.

An investigation was initiated, at the request of the Heritage High School PTO, by Indiana State Police Detective Clint Hetrick and Allen County Police Detective Doug Keller in November 2015 following an audit after a large amount of money was discovered to have been missing from the elementary PTO.

Hetrick and Keller’s investigation revealed that between January 2013 and November 2014, 36 year old Genevieve M. Meyer had used the elementary PTO’s credit card and had withdrawn money, which totaled came to excess of $18,000 in theft. As a result of their investigation, the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office charged Genevieve M. Meyer with two counts of theft.

Meyer was arrested without incident at her home and incarcerated in the Allen County Jail.”

View Source

Caught in the Act Prolific Washington State Bank Robber Sent to Prison

“The masked criminal known as the Cyborg Bandit and, later, the Elephant Man Bandit was robbing Seattle-area banks at an average of more than two per month for an entire year before he was caught—in the act of robbing a bank he had already robbed.

For investigators who routinely work bank robberies, the story of 46-year-old Anthony Hathaway, sentenced last month to nearly nine years in prison, is surprising in some ways but all too familiar in others.

“In this particular case and in general, bank robbery is a crime of last resort,” said Len Carver, a detective with the Seattle Police Department and member of the FBI’s Seattle Safe Streets Task Force. “Occasionally you get a thrill seeker or a truly violent individual, but most people who rob banks are supporting an addiction of some kind—drugs or gambling—and they are desperate.”

Hathaway’s addiction was to prescription painkillers and then to heroin. According to court records, he suffered an injury and became addicted to the opiate Oxycontin. After losing his job, he turned to crime to feed his addiction, and between February 2013 and February 2014, Hathaway admitted to 30 bank robberies. He sometimes hit the same bank multiple times.

“Seattle has had many serial bandits over the years,” Carver said, “but Hathaway was prolific. He might top the list for sheer number of robberies in a one-year period.”

During the holdups, which usually occurred late in the afternoon, Hathaway wore a mask and gloves. In the early crimes, he wore textured metallic fabric over his face and was nicknamed the Cyborg Bandit because the disguise was similar to that of cyborgs in science fiction productions. After that disguise began receiving too much media attention, he covered his head with a shirt and cut out two eye holes. That earned him the nickname the Elephant Man Bandit because of the similarity to a movie character of the same name.

In several robberies, Hathaway threatened tellers, saying he had a weapon, although no weapon was ever displayed. On February 4, 2014, after a robbery in Lynwood, Washington, surveillance video showed what might have been the robber’s getaway vehicle: a light blue minivan with a Seattle Seahawks football decal on the back window and an unusual, after-market exterior mirror.

A bulletin with the vehicle’s description went out to area law enforcement, and an Everett Police Department officer spotted it several days later and notified investigators. “An officer on patrol was being observant,” Carver said. “It was a key moment in the investigation.”

At that point, however, the bank robber’s identity was still unknown. The vehicle was not registered to Hathaway, and several people had access to it. FBI agents began surveillance, and on February 11, 2014 they observed a man drive away in the vehicle.

The driver spent several hours circling a Seattle bank that had been previously robbed. “It seemed clear he was going to rob the bank,” Carver said, “and we had a high confidence that whoever was driving the van and about to rob that bank was going to be good for the other robberies.”

Finally, Hathaway parked and pulled a mask over his face as he entered the bank. FBI agents and task force officers were there to arrest him moments later. Hathaway was identified and later admitted to the 30 robberies. In a plea arrangement concluded last month, he was sentenced to 106 months in prison.

“We are grateful that the Safe Streets Task Force was able to close all these robberies,” Carver said. “And we are pleased that Hathaway is no longer a threat to the community.”

View Source

Egg Donation and Surrogacy Scam California Woman Robbed Would-Be Parents of Money and Hope

Allison Layton, who owned a California company called Miracles Egg Donation (Miracles), claimed she was in the business of helping infertile couples have children. But her business turned out to be a fraud, and she ended up stealing her victims’ hopes and dreams as well as their money.

Would-be parents paid Miracles tens of thousands of dollars—sometimes their life savings—for egg donation and surrogacy services that Layton promised to coordinate. Instead, during a three-year period beginning in 2008, she defrauded couples, egg donors, and surrogate mothers while living a lavish lifestyle off the proceeds.

“This was not a typical white-collar case,” said Special Agent Dana Eads, who led the investigation from the FBI’s Los Angeles Division. “Many of the victims were in a vulnerable place in their lives—working against their biological clocks and trying to afford this expensive and time-consuming procedure. Some told the judge that because of Layton’s actions, they had effectively missed the opportunity to have children.”

The fees paid to Miracles by would-be parents—known in the surrogacy world as intended parents—were supposed to go into escrow accounts to be withdrawn for expenses related to surrogacy or egg donation. But Layton took the money and spent it on her own $60,000 wedding, a new vehicle for her husband, and high-end shopping sprees she flaunted on social media.

As a result, egg donors, surrogates, attorneys, and others often were not paid for the services they provided, and many intended parents—including some who lived overseas—failed to get the services they paid for.

“It became like a Ponzi scheme,” Eads explained. “Early on, some people got the services they paid for. But then Layton began shuffling funds to cover some clients’ services and not others. And when it all finally collapsed, nobody was getting anything.”

When confronted by clients, Layton lied about why payments had not been made and refunds not issued. She led victims to believe they might soon be paid, when, in fact, many were not. Eventually, several victims contacted the FBI while others filed reports with the local police department in Glendora, California. Court records indicate that more than 40 victims lost in excess of $270,000.

Layton maintained she had simply made poor business decisions, but through interviews, bank records, and e-mail correspondence, Eads soon uncovered the fraud.

“The scam was apparent, especially when we examined her bank records,” Eads said. “Layton regularly told clients their checks—which she never wrote—must have been lost in the mail. She told that to so many people. That story, told the same way again and again, was a clear indication of her attempt to hide the truth.”

In 2014, Layton was charged with wire fraud. In a pre-indictment plea agreement with federal prosecutors, she admitted defrauding the victims, and in September 2015, a judge sentenced the 38-year-old to 18 months in prison.

Considering the damage that she caused—both financial and emotional—some of Layton’s victims believe she got off too easy. Eads understands how they feel. “But as a result of this case,” she said, “Layton is now a convicted felon, and part of the plea she accepted is that she can never work in this industry again.”

View Source

Couple left kids in cold car at Sands Casino in Bethlehem

While the region endured single digit wind chills earlier this week, police said two children were struggling to stay warm inside a cold car while their parents gambled.

Officers were dispatched at 3:21 a.m. Monday to the second level of the Sands Casino parking garage in Bethlehem for the report of two children left alone inside a car that had been turned off for several hours, according to court documents released Wednesday.
The outside temperature at the time was approximately 11 degrees, with a wind chill of one degree above zero, police said. “I like to go to the casino, but I wouldn’t leave no kids,” said Carmelo Natoli, the couple’s next door neighbor.
The casino’s surveillance cameras captured video of the children and their parents, identified by police as Enrique and Frances Garcia, arriving at the casino at approximately 12:33 a.m., according to court documents.

The father came out twice — first at 1:35 a.m. and again at 2:35 a.m. — to check on the children, but he never turned on the car, said police, adding that the children had only jackets to keep them warm inside the blue 2002 Honda Accord.
Enrique Garcia, 49, and Frances Garcia, 45, both of the 1300 block of Muhlenberg Street in Reading, were each charged with endangering the welfare of children, a first-degree misdemeanor.
The casino’s surveillance cameras captured video of the children and their parents, identified by police as Enrique and Frances Garcia, arriving at the casino at approximately 12:33 a.m., according to court documents. The father came out twice — first at 1:35 a.m. and again at 2:35 a.m. — to check on the children, but he never turned on the car, said police, adding that the children had only jackets to keep them warm inside the blue 2002 Honda Accord. E
nrique Garcia, 49, and Frances Garcia, 45, both of the 1300 block of Muhlenberg Street in Reading, were each charged with endangering the welfare of children, a first-degree misdemeanor. Loved ones closed the door and did not want to answer any questions Wednesday.
Dr. Charles Barbera, chairman of the emergency department at Reading Hospital, said no one should be left in a cold car, and the situation can turn troublesome fairly quickly. “If someone is not prepared, they could feel the effects of 11-degree temperatures within a half hour and you could see some really profound effects,” Barbera said. The couple is free on bail. A judge has ordered them not to have any contact with the children or to visit another casino until their case is disposed of.

Police said they did not know the children’s ages. There are no signs posted in the Sands Casino parking garage alerting parents not to leave their kids in the car, but security checks are done regularly, according to casino officials. The casino said it is not sure if security guards or a guest noticed the Garcia children early Monday morning, but once the discovery was made, it alerted Bethlehem police immediately.

View Source

Facebook Post Leads to Man’s Arrest for Thefts

“LUMBERTON, N.C. — A Fairmont man has been charged with thefts across Lumberton after a resident posted his picture online.

J.C. Chavis was arrested Monday evening and charged with five counts of felony breaking and entering, four counts of felony larceny and eight counts of misdemeanor larceny.

According to Lumberton police Capt. Terry Parker, Chavis was identified after a resident circulated a picture of him and his vehicle on Facebook and someone who recognized him contacted police. City Councilman Burnis Wilkins, who represents the area where some of the thefts occurred, shared the photos on his Facebook page, and the post was shared more than 1,200 times.

Most of the incidents occurred in the Tanglewood and Godwin Heights neighborhoods, Parker said.

“Mr. Chavis was cruising neighborhoods inside the city looking for property to steal driving a brown, tanish colored van. He has reportedly been seen driving slow in areas and even backing up after passing some residents,” a statement from the Police Department said.

According to Parker, some of the stolen items include lawn furniture and ladders left outside as well as appliances stolen from inside houses. He said the majority of the stolen items have been recovered.

Chavis, 53, has been jailed in the Robeson County Detention Center under a $62,000 secured bond. His last known address is on Pittman Street in Fairmont.

The Robeson County Sheriff’s Department, Fairmont Police Department and the Pembroke Police Department assisted with the investigation.

Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter @Sarah_Willets.

View Source

Sound of Pursuit: Family Secrets

Everybody lies. We lie to protect people from painful truths and to preserve the family name. We lie about affairs, flirtations, and addictions. Sometimes, we even lie to ourselves.

In this episode, we’ll hear two stories about family secrets—and the blurry line between deception and delusion: An alcoholic conceals his addiction from everyone, including himself. And Ann Walling recalls her old-school Southern family, the rites and hierarchies they observed, and the painful histories they could never bring themselves to face.

View More

Hundreds of DHS badges, guns, cell phones lost or stolen since 2012

Hundreds of badges, credentials, cell phones and guns belonging to Department of Homeland Security employees have been lost or stolen in recent years — raising serious security concerns about the potential damage these missing items could do in the wrong hands.

Inventory reports, obtained by the news site Complete Colorado and shared with FoxNews.com, show that over 1,300 badges, 165 firearms and 589 cell phones were lost or stolen over the span of 31 months between 2012 and 2015.

The majority of the credentials belonged to employees of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), while others belonged to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees.

The lost or stolen guns also mostly belonged to CBP employees, though others were cited as belonging to TSA and ICE workers. The agencies all fall under DHS.

The missing badges and guns suggest a shocking lack of security from federal law enforcement officers and represent a significant security risk, experts say.

“It’s scary that you’d have that number of credentials out there that someone could manipulate,” Tim Miller, a retired Secret Service special agent, told FoxNews.com.

While Miller said the phones are likely to have enough protocols in place to prevent them from being used for nefarious purposes, the badges and credentials are an entirely different matter and could allow access to sensitive areas such as cargo.

“The thing that’s particularly concerning is that if you get real credentials, it’s very easy to manipulate them, and you’ve got someone else’s picture on what law enforcement would see as valid,” Miller said. “Then you factor in terrorism, it’s a significant concern that people would run around with authentic credentials and be able to access areas they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.”

When reached for comment, DHS did not dispute the inventory report data — which Complete Colorado, a Colorado-based online news site, had obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request. The reporter who obtained the data also works with Denver-based free-market think tank the Independence Institute.

In a statement to FoxNews.com, a DHS spokesman said they strive to be “good stewards of government resources” and have improved oversight and reduced the number of lost or stolen items over the past few years.

“If a credential holder loses or has their credentials stolen, the holder must report the incident to their supervisor and credential issuance office immediately,” spokesman Justin Greenberg said. “Once the incident has been reported, this information is entered into appropriate DHS and law enforcement databases, which disables use of the lost or stolen item.”

He also noted that DHS encrypts all mobile devices, laptops and tablets.

Miller said officials need to be doing more, considering the sheer number of guns and badges that have been lost or stolen.


Read More

Weapons stolen from security officer at Indian River State College

Police in Fort Pierce are searching for weapons stolen Saturday night from a security officer’s vehicle at Indian River State College.

The crime happened between 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Police said the stolen weapons are a Kimber 45 caliber pistol, a Bushmaster AR 223 rifle and a Colt M4 Carbine 5.56mm with loaded magazines. A Fort Pierce police badge was also taken.

Police said the security officer is Hall Solomon, a retired Fort Pierce police officer.

They said Solomon was on duty when someone pried open one of the vehicle doors and stole the weapons.

Solomon said when he returned to his truck to get something, he noticed that his weapons were missing. He said each one was in a separate gun case and losses total about $4,000.

Police confirm that the weapons were from Solomon’s personal collection. Solomon said he’s also a gun dealer.

Detectives are hoping finger prints from Solomon’s vehicle can lead to an arrest. There’s no suspect information at this time.

If you have any information about this crime, call the Fort Pierce Police Department.

View Source