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ITMG Insider Threat Cases – March 8, 2021

China Targets General Electric Again with Intellectual Property Theft

China is not taking their foot off the gas when it comes to intellectual property theft.  Chi Lung Winsman Ng, aka Winsman Ng, 64, a Chinese businessman residing in Hong Kong, was indicted on February 26, 2021 for “conspiring to steal General Electric’s (GE) trade secrets involving the company’s silicon carbide MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor) technology worth millions of dollars.” Global enterprises such as GE routinely experience attempts to purloin their trade secrets and intellectual property. In this instance, Ng was indicted for his actions from March 2017 through January 2018 when he attempted to build a business in China based on stolen GE technology. The Chinese company would in essence have GE competing against its own designs within the China market.

Idaho man charged with hacking into the computers of the City of Newnan and metro-Atlanta medical clinics

NEWNAN, Ga. – Robert Purbeck, of Meridian, Idaho, made his initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Boise, Idaho.   Purbeck was indicted in the Northern District of Georgia on March 2, 2021 for computer fraud and abuse, access device fraud, and wire fraud. On June 25, 2018, Purbeck allegedly hacked into the computers of an orthodontist in Florida and stole medical records of over 1,800 people.  Purbeck then allegedly threatened, harassed, and attempted to extort the orthodontist, demanding a ransom payment in Bitcoin.  Purbeck also allegedly threatened to disclose and sell the stolen patient and personal information unless the orthodontist paid the ransom demand.  Purbeck allegedly identified the name and social security number of the orthodontist’s minor child and threatened to disclose and sell their personal information as well.  During the course of this attempted extortion, Purbeck allegedly sent numerous harassing e-mails and text messages to the orthodontist and his patients.

Former National President of Children’s Blanket Charity Sentenced for Stealing More Than $400,000 from the Organization

PEORIA, Ill. –The former national president of Project Linus, Carol Babbitt, 61, was sentenced to more than two years in prison for stealing money from the not-for-profit organization. Project Linus provides handmade blankets for children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or in need. Babbitt, currently of Asheville, N.C., was ordered to serve 30 months in prison and to pay restitution in the amount of $410,250 to Project Linus and $7,856 to the Illinois Department of Revenue. Babbitt was ordered to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons on May 11, to begin serving her prison term. Babbitt served as the organization’s national president, from 2000 to 2016, when Babbitt and the charity’s headquarters were in Bloomington, Ill. In that capacity, she controlled the charity’s operations, including its bank accounts. In 2010, Babbitt began using Project Linus credit cards to pay for personal expenses, including clothing, electronics, pet grooming, furniture, tickets for sporting events, and personal travel. Babbitt used the charity’s funds to make credit card payments, and falsely classified the expenditure in the business ledger to hide her personal use of the funds.

Owner of IT Services Company Pleads Guilty to Defrauding New York State

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Lakshmikanth Sripuram, age 37, of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, pled guilty today to wire fraud conspiracy in connection with a scheme to defraud New York State. Sripuram is the president of PIntegra, LLC. As part of his plea, he admitted that between 2015 and 2017, he conspired with Co-Conspirator 1, a former employee of the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC), to fraudulently obtain money from OSC. In January 2015, OSC entered into a contract with a consortium of three companies to identify and hire computer programmers for a project.  When OSC needed to hire a programmer, it sent a request form to one of the three companies.  Each company then submitted a purportedly qualified applicant.  Frequently, the applicants were employed by subcontractors, including PIntegra.  From January 2015 through October 2016, OSC hired 17 programmers for the project at hourly rates ranging from $80 to $120.  In late 2016, OSC learned that many of the programmers’ references and work histories were not legitimate, including those hired from PIntegra, and launched an internal investigation.

Oregon Biotech Consultant Pleads Guilty to Insider Trading Scheme

BOSTON – An Oregon biotechnology consultant pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston in connection with his role in an insider trading scheme involving the acquisition of a Cambridge biotechnology company in 2017. From April to August 2017, Ahn, a long-time senior corporate executive and board director for biotech companies, worked as a consultant for a New York firm, and advised it during its efforts to acquire Dimension Therapeutics, Inc., a biotech firm formerly headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. In the course of his work for the New York firm, Ahn learned Dimension’s intention to be acquired by another biotech firm, the details and the timing of his employer’s proposals to acquire Dimension and gained access to confidential information about Dimension’s business. Ahn thereafter bought Dimension stock while in possession of that nonpublic information. When Dimension announced that it would be acquired in August 2017, its stock increased 262% in one day.

Man Sentenced to Prison for Stealing $282,670 from Former Employer – Executive Approved Payments to Fake Web Security Company

WASHINGTON – William Robinson, 41, was sentenced on March 2, 2021, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to two years of imprisonment for the interstate transportation of stolen property, announced former Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin and James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Robinson was a former employee of a non-profit corporation that advocates for policies related to safe food, safe drinking water, and the climate.  Robinson was initially hired by the non-profit corporation in 2012 as a web developer.  After multiple promotions, he became its Chief Technology Officer in 2015.  While working at the non-profit corporation, Robinson devised a scheme to defraud by creating Vulcan Network & Data Security, LLC (“Vulcan”) and arranging a contract for Vulcan to provide web security services to his non-profit corporation employer.  Robinson then created false invoices on behalf of Vulcan and submitted them to his employer’s finance department, requesting payment for purported web security services, testing, and equipment.  In reality, Vulcan never provided any services to the non-profit corporation, which was already paying a separate company for those services.  From April 2017 to September 2019, Robinson submitted 13 false Vulcan invoices to his non-profit corporation employer.  The non-profit corporation paid Vulcan a total of $282,670 for services never provided.  Robinson received all of these funds and used them to pay for personal expenses.

Former Oklahoma City Zoo Employee Sentenced After Pleading Guilty to Trafficking of Endangered Galapagos Tortoises – Ordered to pay $32,500 in Restitution to the Oklahoma City Zoo

OKLAHOMA CITY – Yesterday, JOSHUA TAYLOR LUCAS, of Austin, Texas, pleaded guilty to a single-count felony Information charging him with wildlife trafficking in violation of the Lacey Act, announced Robert J. Troester, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. Yesterday, Lucas pleaded guilty to taking an endangered species of wildlife and then selling and shipping the animals across state lines in violation of the Lacey Act.  At the hearing, Lucas, a former assistant curator of herpetology at the Oklahoma City Zoo, admitted that he stole several Galapagos tortoise hatchlings during his tenure at the Zoo.  Lucas further admitted that he sold and shipped 21 Galapagos tortoise hatchlings to a Nevada resident, Kenneth Warren Foose II (deceased), who was previously under Indictment in the Southern District of Texas for the illegal traffic of Galapagos tortoises.

Former CFO of ETA Compute Sentenced for Wire Fraud – Timothy Semones Sentenced to 3 Years in Federal Prison

BOISE – Timothy Semones, 61, of Ketchum, Idaho, was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison, Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr. announced today. Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye also imposed a term of three years of supervised release to follow Semones’ prison sentence, a $5,000 fine, and entered a restitution order for $3 million payable to the victim, ETA Compute. According to court records, in 2017 and 2018, Semones was in the process of designing and building an approximate 7,000 square foot personal residence located at 29 Lake Creek Drive in Ketchum. Between October 2017 and November 2018, Semones made nine online transfers of funds, totaling $3 million, from ETA’s Wells Fargo Bank business checking account to personal bank accounts over which he had access and control. Semones used the misappropriated funds to pay construction costs for the Lake Creek Drive residence, and to pay off the balance of a line of credit used to build the residence.

Former U.S. Marine Sentenced for Illegal Exportation of Firearms and Controlled Equipment

RALEIGH, N.C. – Jacques Yves Sebastien Duroseau, age 34, a former U.S. Marine born in Haiti and a naturalized citizen of the United States, residing in Onslow County, was sentenced today by United States District Judge James C. Dever III to 63 months in prison. On December 12, 2020, Duroseau was convicted following a three-day trial (conviction) of conspiracy to illegally export and smuggle firearms and controlled equipment from the United States to Haiti, as well as transporting firearms without a license to the Haitian Army. Additionally, the jury decided that the firearms and equipment should be forfeited. At trial, the evidence showed that Duroseau, at the time an active duty U.S. Marine with the rank of sergeant, along with a co-conspirator, both impersonated high ranking military officers and pretended to be on military business in order to facilitate the illegal transportation of eight firearms, including a Ruger model Precision Rifle 300WIN MAG and a Spike’s Tactical model ST15, as well as copious ammunition, riflescopes, and body armor, via commercial aircraft to Haiti. The evidence further showed that Duroseau’s purpose was to train the Haitian Army with the firearms and equipment in order to engage in foreign armed conflict.

Former Bay Springs City Administrator Sentenced to over 4 Years in Prison for Federal Crimes Related to Embezzlement of City Funds

Hattiesburg, Miss. – Randy James, 56, the former City Clerk of Bay Springs in Jasper County, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Taylor McNeel, for the federal crimes of money laundering and making false statements on a federal tax return. During 2017 and 2018, Randy James was employed by the City of Bay Springs, Mississippi, as City Clerk, and had control over certain financial aspects of the city.  During this time, James embezzled just over $300,000 from Bay Springs between August 2017 and April 2018 by creating fraudulent invoices from fictitious companies for the costs of false services that were never approved or incurred by the city.  James diverted city funds by obtaining checks from the City of Bay Springs, cashing the checks at a local bank, and wiring those funds overseas to international scammers in the hope of winning money in a lottery scheme.  James also made false statements on his personal 2018 Federal Income Tax Return by under-reporting gross receipts by $193,331.00.

Former AccuWeather employee pleads guilty in federal court to defrauding company

A former AccuWeather employee benefits administrator pleaded guilty Thursday to defrauding the weather forecasting company out of thousands of dollars. Aira Nelson, of Florida, pleaded guilty in federal court to one wire fraud charge that alleged she improperly submitted a reimbursement claim worth nearly $3,000. That represented only a fraction of the amount she was accused of stealing. A federal grand jury indictment released in September 2019 alleged Nelson’s fraudulent health care and dependent care claims totaled nearly $90,000. ”Although we are saddened and disappointed to have had to deal with such circumstances, we believe justice is being served,” AccuWeather marketing services director Rhonda Seaton wrote in a statement Friday.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 8th, 2021 at 1:28 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.