US – Central Region Archives:

DETROIT (BNO NEWS) – A Detroit, Michigan man on Monday was sentenced to prison for his connection to an identity theft scheme involving approximately 40 financial accounts, prosecutors announced.

Martel T. Kirkland, 53, was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment for conspiracy, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, credit card fraud, wire fraud, uttering a forged security, and aiding and abetting, in connection with an identity theft scheme.

Kirkland engaged in the scheme with co-defendants Jay Cohen and Robert Fox, both of Philadelphia, who pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. As part of the scheme, the defendants paid various personal expenses with stolen credit card numbers and bank account information obtained by Kirkland.

Fox paid Kirkland a cash fee, usually 50 percent of the amount of the expenses paid. The transactions in the conspiracy amounted to more than $220,000, most of which were reversed.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

HALLOCK, MINNESOTA (BNO NEWS) — Federal regulators on Friday closed the Marshall Bank, National Association in Hallock, Minnesota marking the eleventh U.S. bank failure of 2010 following an economic turbulent year that saw more than one hundred U.S. banks fail.

The Marshall Bank, N.A. was closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency after its regular closing time on Friday. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was appointed as receiver following its closure, who immediately entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with the North Dakota-based United Valley Bank to assume all of the failed bank’s deposits.

Most, if not all customers, should see no or little service disruptions despite the closure of the institution. On Saturday, all 3 branches of the Marshall Bank, N.A. will reopen during their normal business hours as branches of United Valley Bank.

All of the failed bank’s services, including checks, ATM and debit cards, will remain active. “Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed,” the FDIC said in a statement. “Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.”

As of September of last year, the Marshall Bank, N.A. had approximately $59.9 million in total assets and $54.7 million in total deposits. United Valley Bank paid the FDIC a premium of 7.35 percent to assume Marshall Bank, N.A. deposits, the FDIC said. “In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, United Valley Bank agreed to purchase essentially all of the failed bank’s assets.”

The FDIC and United Valley Bank entered into a loss-share transaction on approximately $23.9 million of Marshall Bank, N.A.’s assets. United Valley Bank will share in the losses on the asset pools covered under the loss-share agreement. The loss-share transaction is projected to maximize returns on the assets covered by keeping them in the private sector. The transaction also is expected to minimize disruptions for loan customers.

The FDIC said it estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $4.1 million. It said United Valley Bank’s acquisition of the deposits was the “least costly” resolution compared to other alternatives.

Friday’s closure was not only the twelfth U.S. bank failure of 2010 but was also Minnesota’s second bank this year. Regulators last closed the St. Stephen State Bank in St. Stephen.

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CARROLTON, GEORGIA (BNO NEWS) — Federal regulators on Friday closed the First National Bank of Georgia in Carrolton, Georgia marking the tenth U.S. bank failure of 2010 following an economic turbulent year that saw more than one hundred U.S. banks fail.

The First National Bank of Georgia was closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency after its regular closing time on Friday. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was appointed as receiver following its closure, who immediately entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with the Georgia-based Community & Southern Bank to assume all of the failed bank’s deposits.

Most, if not all customers, should see no or little service disruptions despite the closure of the institution. On Saturday, all 11 branches of the First National Bank of Georgia will reopen during their normal business hours as branches of Community & Southern Bank.

All of the failed bank’s services, including checks, ATM and debit cards, will remain active. “Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed,” the FDIC said in a statement. “Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.”

As of September of last year, the First National Bank of Georgia had approximately $832.6 million in total assets and $757.9 million in total deposits. Community & Southern Bank paid the FDIC a premium of 1.25 percent to assume First National Bank of Georgia deposits, the FDIC said. “In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, Community & Southern Bank agreed to purchase essentially all of the assets.”

The FDIC and Community & Southern Bank entered into a loss-share transaction on approximately $607.4 million of First National Bank of Georgia’s assets. Community & Southern Bank will share in the losses on the asset pools covered under the loss-share agreement. The loss-share transaction is projected to maximize returns on the assets covered by keeping them in the private sector. The transaction also is expected to minimize disruptions for loan customers.

The FDIC said it estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $260.4 million. It said Community & Southern Bank’s acquisition of the deposits was the “least costly” resolution compared to other alternatives.

Friday’s closure was not only the tenth U.S. bank failure of 2010 but was also Georgia’s first bank failure since December 18, 2009. Regulators then closed the Rockbridge Commercial Bank in Atlanta.

FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY (BNO NEWS) – Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear on Friday joined company and community leaders in Northern Kentucky for a ribbon cutting ceremony welcome the area’s newest high-tech employer to Newport.

The opening of Defender Direct Inc., an authorized dealer for ADT Security Services and Dish Network, represents at least 100 new full-time jobs and a capital investment in the Commonwealth of more than $2.3 million.

“We are pleased to welcome Defender Direct and the 100 new jobs the company will bring to the Commonwealth and Northern Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kentucky recently improved its economic development incentive toolbox and Defender Direct is one of the first companies to benefit from the new Kentucky Business Investment program.”

Defender’s newest call center is located in 14,000 square feet of the Newport Shopping Center. The facility is now one of four call centers for the company, including its headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. Defender also has 175 ADT installation branch offices across the U.S. and Canada.

“We considered other markets in the Midwest for our newest call center, but we were particularly impressed with the workforce in Northern Kentucky,” said Defender Chief Operations Officer John Corliss. “The support and cooperation we received from the City of Newport, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development played a large part in our decision. We are excited to expand our business in Northern Kentucky and work with these organizations.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Defender Direct for tax benefits up to $750,000 under Kentucky’s newest incentive program, the Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) Program.

The incentive can be earned over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments.

NEW ORLEANS (BNO NEWS) – A Louisiana man on Friday was charged with conspiracy to solicit and give bribes involving a public official, prosecutors said.

Ray Anthony Davezac, 55, a resident of Destrehan, Louisiana, was charged with one-count of conspiracy to solicit bribes.

According to court documents, Davezac owned and operated Davezac Consulting Engineers, LLC. The charge alleges that the President of St. John the Baptist Parish, William Hubbard, solicited a bribe from Davezac. Davezac paid a $5,000 bribe made payable to a local automobile dealership for the benefit of Hubbard.

Further, Davezac allegedly received a contract from St. John Parish at a date after the bribe payment was solicited and paid.

If convicted, Davezac faces a possible maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and 3 years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

NEW ORLEANS (BNO NEWS) – A Texas man on Thursday was sentenced to federal prison for his role in an ecstasy drug conspiracy.

Dat Viet Tieu, 43, was sentenced to 46 months in prison and an additional 3 years of supervised release following the term of imprisonment. According to court documents, Tieu pled guilty, admitting he was the source of more than 4,000 tablets of ecstasy that had been found by law enforcement in a residence in Slidell, Louisiana, in May 2006.

Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration had been investigating a possible shipment of drugs from a source in Texas. Agents eventually were led to the Sidell residence, in which approximately 50kg of cocaine, some marijuana, and firearms were found in addition to the ecstasy.

The case was investigated by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration in the New Orleans and Houston Field Offices, along with Task Force Agents from St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s office, St. John Sheriff’s Office, Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office, and the Hammond Police Department.

FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY (BNO NEWS) – Kentucky Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo on Thursday participated in a conference call with senior Obama Administration officials to discuss job creation and economic growth following last night’s State of the Union address.

During the conference call, from which lieutenant governors from across the country joined, White House economic advisor Jared Bernstein discussed President Obama’s first State of the Union address and his number one priority of 2010: numerous tax breaks and incentives to stimulate job growth, with a focus on small businesses.

“Last night, I was very happy to hear the President focus on growing the economy and creating jobs, providing help for middle class families and reforming Wall Street. After today’s call with White House officials, I am even more encouraged,” said Lt. Gov. Mongiardo. “Now it’s time to see how those in Washington and Frankfort react. We’ve got to put partisan politics aside and start working together so we can get our economy moving again and put Kentuckians back to work.”

During the conference call, Bernstein touched upon President Obama’s new jobs package, $8 billion for high speed rail projects and investments in clean energy technology, which Obama announced in Tampa, Florida that day.

DETROIT (BNO NEWS) – Mayor of the City of Ecorse, Michigan Herbert Worthy on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery, prosecutors said.

The charge comes in connection with a federal investigation into corruption in the City of Ecorse.

According to the Worthy’s written plea agreement, beginning in November 2007 and continuing through December 2008, Worthy admitted to accepting multiple cash bribes in return for using his official position to ensure that Michigan Municipal Services (MMS), a company owned by co-defendants Stacey Tarockoff and Sheldon Divers, would be selected, retained, and paid for providing public works services to the City of Ecorse.

Between November 2007 and December 2008, MMS billed the City of Ecorse for more than $3.1 million. Worthy admitted that he received more than $30,000 in cash from the owners of MMS.

A sentencing date will be set by the court. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Worthy faces a sentence ranging from 46 to 57 months in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 plus restitution, as determined by the court.

Mayor Worthy was one of three defendants charged with multiple counts of bribery, fraud, and conspiracy.

FRANKFORT, KENTUCKY (BNO NEWS) – A national report on Wednesday showed significant improvements, ranking Kentucky’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act transparency Web site number two in the country in terms of fiscal openness and accountability.

The report, Show Us the Stimulus (Again), was released by Good Jobs First, a nonprofit research center in Washington, D.C. It compares all 50 states on how well they track federal recovery spending and promote government accountability.

Kentucky’s new ranking is a remarkable improvement to a similar study that was published in July 2009 in which Kentucky ranked 47th.

“It is an honor to have Kentucky at Work recognized for the great effort we’ve put into creating a site that shows the public where these tax dollars are being spent,” said Governor Steve Beshear. “More importantly, we were able to improve our ranking over 48 other states using only existing staff and no additional resources.“

Based on a scale of 0 to 100, the average state score is 44 and the median is 42. Kentucky scored 85, second only to Maryland, which scored an 87.

Kentucky was recognized as one of only three states to show the geographic distribution of spending compared to distress or need. Kentucky at Work’s interactive map can display icons showing overall stimulus spending by county against a backdrop of color-coded county rates of unemployment or poverty.

The Commonwealth received a perfect score for disclosure on individual grants and contracts derived through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus dollars.

Sites were judged by the inclusion of the description of contract/grant projects, the dollar amount of the contract or grant, the name of the recipient entity (whether government agency, for-profit contractor or other), the text of the contract or grant document, and the status of the project.

RICE TOWNSHIP, OHIO (BNO NEWS) — Three young Ohio boys, including two brothers, died on Sunday after falling through the ice on the Sandusky River in Rice Township, the Sandusky County Sheriff said.

Deputies from the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Lindsey Fire Department, Ballville Township Fire and Water-Rescue Department and the Sandusky Township Fire Department, were dispatched at 1.23 p.m. local time to a report that three children had fallen through the ice on the Sandusky River. The incident happened near the intersection of Harbor Hill Drive and Shorewood Drive in Rice Township.

When officers arrived on the scene, a search of the water was executed immediately, said Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer. He said that during the search, additional assistance was requested from several other surrounding fire and law enforcement agencies.

“As a result of the search, the 3 children were recovered and life saving efforts were made immediately and then all children were then transported to area hospitals,” Overmyer said. “Unfortunately all 3 children were pronounced dead at the area hospitals.”

The children have been identified as 9-year-old Da’Vonte Everett and his brother, 8-year-old Jay’Den Taylor-Everett. Eleven-year-old Rafel Villanueva was identified as the third victim, all who were residents of the city of Fremont.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to children and the family members as a result of this tragic incident, Overmyer added.

The incident is currently under investigation.

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