Posts belonging to Category corruption



Update on Shelia Boone

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Woman pleads guilty to fraud [emphasis mine throughout]:

Shelia Mae Boone pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of federal bank fraud for writing one $1,000 check to herself on the account of the lawyer for whom she worked.

That lawyer is Harvey Latney Jr., who works part time as the commonwealth’s attorney in Caroline County in addition to his private law practice. Boone was his only employee.

U.S. District Court documents on Boone describe a period of at least two years when she was forging checks on bank accounts set up by Latney for money he was holding for clients and estates he was handling.

The single-check bank fraud charge replaces the three original counts against the 49-year-old Caroline resident — one of identity theft and two of bank fraud for allegedly forging two checks, one for $86,786.54 and the other for $185,000.

A statement filed with her guilty plea yesterday states that she stole a total of $92,930.42, including the $1,000. That leaves at least $178,000 not accounted for by Boone’s plea agreement or statement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael R. Gill declined to comment on the case.

So, where’s the money?

Boone’s lawyer, Arnold Henderson, said he agreed with federal prosecutors that the single bank-fraud count “was the appropriate charge to bring” against his client.

“I don’t know what’s truly missing from Mr. Latney’s accounts,” Henderson said. “My investigation does not reveal that Ms. Boone had any involvement above [the $92,930.82].”

Well, that answered my question…

George Chabalewski, counsel for the Virginia State Bar, confirmed last month that the bar has opened an investigation of Latney because of the missing money. Chabalewski would not say who initiated the bar complaint or provide other details.

Craig S. Cooley, the lawyer representing Latney in the State Bar complaint, said no suggestion of impropriety or dishonesty by Latney has emerged in that investigation or information developed in the Richmond Circuit Court case against Boone. The Richmond charges were dropped in favor of the federal case.

Good one, Harvey. Get the guy that beat you in a murder case to represent you before the bar. How’s that reimbursement fund going Craig?

Cooley said Boone stole from Latney and from some of his clients.

“Her responsibility is substantially more than $93,000,” Cooley said.

And John Ames acted in self-defense when he confronted someone with two firearms and shot the person four times, right?

Boone’s statement says she wrote a number of checks on Latney’s bank accounts without his authorization or knowledge. She deposited some of the checks and cashed others, all for her personal use.

The two checks she was initially charged with forging were deposited into her account. Both were drawn on an account holding funds from the estate of Florence C. Williams, who died in 2002. Latney was the executor of the estate.

Members of the Williams family had been complaining at least since last year about how long Latney was taking to settle the estate. One of the city’s commissioners of accounts started looking into the complaints and eventually discovered money was missing.

Authorities have said they believe Boone kept Latney in the dark by erasing voicemail messages left for him by the commissioner of accounts, by accepting summonses to court on Latney’s behalf and not telling him about them and by writing letters forged with his signature in response to questions about the Williams estate.

Bank fraud carries a maximum possible sentence of 30 years, but Boone’s penalty is likely to be less when she is sentenced Feb. 8 by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson.

*Snicker* The poor woman…

From The Free Lance-Star: Theft case moves to feds to prosecute [emphasis mine]:

A Caroline County woman accused of stealing money from the private law firm of Caroline’s chief prosecutor is now under federal indictment.

Shelia [sic] Boone, 49, is charged with two federal counts of bank fraud and one of aggravated identity theft.

As a result of the federal charges, state embezzlement charges were dropped yesterday, said Richmond city prosecutor Sangeeta Darji.

Darji said the identity theft charge would carry a mandatory two-year minimum jail term if Boone is convicted.

Boone was a secretary for Harvey Latney, who is Caroline County’s commonwealth’s attorney and also runs a private law firm in Richmond. She is accused of stealing money–at least $271,000–from clients at Latney’s private law firm. She has charges in Caroline County.

Latney is not suspected of any wrongdoing. Boone no longer works for him, although she is still listed as his secretary on Caroline County’s government Web page. Boone is alleged to have forged Latney’s signature on checks to herself from an estate account.

The fraud was discovered when the commissioner of accounts, who oversees estates in escrow like this one was, did not receive reports from Latney on what was going on with the estate.

[…]

Boone’s federal court date has been set for Nov. 5 before Judge Henry Hudson.

Nothing illegal here. Move along, move along… Part 4

From the AP via WUSA 9 in Washington, D.C.: Priest Pleads Not Guilty To 13 Fraud, Money Laundering Counts:

A Roman Catholic priest accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from two Louisa County churches pleaded not guilty to federal fraud and money laundering charges Thursday.

The Rev. Rodney L. Rodis waived his right to a jury trial. U.S. District Judge Richard Williams will hear the case beginning Oct. 25. The trial is expected to last three days.

Rodis, 51, faces eight counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. Twelve of the counts are punishable by up to 20 years in prison, one by up to 10 years.

According to federal prosecutors, Rodis embezzled money from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Bumpass and St. Jude Church in Mineral from 2002 until last year. He allegedly wired at least $515,231 of the money to his native Philippines.

[…]

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has said Rodis embezzled more than $600,000 from the churches, where he was pastor from 1993 until he retired in May 2006 because of health problems.

[…]

Rodis originally was charged in state court with 13 embezzlement counts. The Louisa County prosecutor dropped those charges after Rodis was indicted last month by a federal grand jury.

After being charged in state court, Rodis was released on $25,000 bond. That bond was revoked in May after Rodis violated his conditions of release by flying to Detroit to visit a sick child. He remains in custody in the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw.

What an idiot…

From Percy Ashcraft’s Message from the County Administrator September, 2007:

[…]

All county residents are encouraged to register for the new Caroline Alert System. The system will notify residents of emergencies and other government news through their cell phones and desktop computers. This is a free service offered by the Board of Supervisors. Click on https://www.CarolineAlert.com to register.

“[O]ffered by the Board of Supervisors”? Are they paying for it out of their own pockets? No! The service is being offered (via tax payers) by Caroline County (specifically Director Ed Fuzy and the Caroline County Department of Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Management).

[…]

Here is a capsule glance of other activities that will be happening in County government during the month of September:

[…]

  • Renovations to the Animal Shelter will be completed this month and the improvements will bring the facility into compliance with state regulations.

We’re still waiting on that new animal shelter we been promised for years. Maybe if you laid off the trips to Hawaii, the $1,100,000 visitor’s center [see below], and the $17,460.20 salaries for supervisors we might be able to afford one.

  • Construction of the new Visitor’s Center along Route 207 will continue this month. The developer of Belmont contributed $1.1 million to help construct the facility, with the remainder of the funds coming from TEA 21 appropriations.

Nice use of proffer money that should be going to roads, schools, and public safety (maybe even an animal shelter).

[…]

  • County staff and consultants continue to work on a proposal that will allow the County to withdraw water from the Rappahannock River in the future. The Department of Environmental Quality must grant its approval before water can be withdrawn.

Because it’s a brilliant idea to run water lines across a county from Port Royal to Ladysmith for salt water that will need to go through desalination and be repressurized repeatedly.

[…]

  • Construction is underway on the new Ladysmith Elementary School.

What about the repairs/upgrades for Bowling Green Primary School, Bowling Green Elementary School, and Ladysmith Primary School?

  • Construction is underway of a new skateboard park to be located at the County Park across from Caroline Middle School.

Skateboard park? $45,000 for a skateboard park? Good use of tax payers’ money there.

[…]

  • Officials of the Rappahannock Community Services Board are building a new facility in Caroline County across from Caroline High School. The property was donated by the Board of Supervisors.

Did the Board of Supervisors own the damn property? No! The property belonged to Caroline County!

[…]

  • A cost analysis and design of the new Sparta Fire Station will continue this month.

That was requested and approved last year and you haven’t even finished the cost analysis and design?

  • The Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of the Union Bankshares building in Bowling Green at its June 26 meeting. Moseley Architects will begin final design of the floor plan for the offices which will include housing the Commissioner of the Revenue, Treasurer, County Administration and possibly the Registrar.

First, it’s Commissioner of Revenue, not Commissioner of the Revenue. Second, I don’t see the seventy-five (75) personnel there that you talked about previously. In fact, I only see twenty (20) to twenty-one (21) full time positions period. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Services have eighty-eight (88) full time positions that could have used a public safety building.

  • A Tea 21 grant to fund landscaping improvements in and around the courthouse complex was announced in May by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The improvements will improve safety for pedestrians walking between buildings and should provide additional parking.

Closing Ennis Street is going to increase safety for pedestrians? How are the prison transport vans supposed to get into the Circuit Court building? Now you’re going to have people that are being held on felonies out in the open where God only knows what could happen.

“[S]hould provide additional parking”? It either is or isn’t; you already paid for it and you don’t know?

Your county tax dollars at work…

Editing Wikipedia? I kid you not:

Someone with the IP address 166.61.231.210 has made three anonymous edits (#1 on September 14, 2006, #2 on September 14, 2006, and #3 on July 17, 2007) to the Caroline County, Virginia Wikipedia page. The person added the following to the page:

During the Colonial Period, Caroline County was the birthplace of Thoroughbred Racing in North America. Arabian horses were imported from England to provide the basis for American breeding stock.

Patriot Edmund Pendleton played a large role in the Virginia Resolution for Independence (1775) and Caroline native, John Penn, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence (www.foundersofamerica.org).

Explorers, William Clark and his slave, York, were members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803); both were born near what is now Ladysmith, Virginia in Caroline.

[…]

Caroline County is serviced by US Interstate 95 and has the second most profitable interchange in Virginia at Carmel Church, exit 104.

[…]

Economic growth in Caroline in the last five years have been rapid, mostly due to affordable housing and close proximity to Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. In 2005, Caroline was recognized as the 10th Fastest Growing County in America. Also in 2005, Caroline County won the Virginia Community Ecomomic [sic] Development Award (CEDA) for Business Recruitment and the CEDA Award for the entire south from the Southern Economic Development Council.

Among recent Economic Development successes in Caroline have been the recruitment of the State Fair of Virginia, to open in 2008 (previously in Richmond for 151 years), Remuda Ranch, The Virginia Sports Complex, and the multi-national electronics firm, M.C. Dean.

The IP address, 166.61.231.210, returns to a subdomain of co.caroline.va.us, the official Caroline County Government website.

Now, I have three questions: a) What Caroline County government employee edited this Wikipedia page?; b) Is the county paying this employee to edit Wikipedia pages?; and c) Do I have to sit in his office and find something more important for him to do?

I have a feeling the employee in question is (or works for) the Director of Economic Development Gary Wilson. Considering most of the information placed on the Wikipedia page appears to be from Gary Wilson’s own county website (note that he has a link to www.foundersofamerica.org on his website, which is used as a source in the Wikipedia page).

UPDATE: Turns out that Gary Wilson is the Project Director of the www.foundersofamerica.org website (his administrative assistant, Cassie Ruby, is also an assistant on the website as well).

It also begs the question of why the county is paying $262,015 for Economic Development and the personnel there can’t find anything better to do than edit Wikipedia pages.

How much time do you get for illegally helping murderers and rapists avoid their just deserts?

Only five years apparently, from the San Jose Mercury News: Private eye gets five years for fake documents in death row cases [emphasis mine throughout]:

Death penalty investigator Kathleen Culhane said she recognized from the start that she was breaking the law when she systematically faked more than two dozen documents in an attempt to derail fast-approaching executions.

Her goal was to buy the condemned inmates more time. And in that she succeeded, prosecutors said, forcing attorneys to retrace her steps to make sure she didn’t do more to undermine the state’s legal system.

Culhane, 40, smiled slightly Thursday as she was led away in handcuffs to begin serving a five-year prison term for two counts of forgery and single counts of perjury and filing false documents. Her attorney said she is likely to actually serve about two years and eight months.

Under a plea agreement, the former San Francisco-based investigator avoided a possible 19 years in prison on 45 counts. She originally was charged with filing false documents under the names of 11 jurors, two witnesses, two court interpreters and one police officer.

[…]

A defiant Culhane used her sentencing hearing in Sacramento County Superior Court to criticize at length a justice system she was sworn to serve.

Though trained as a lawyer, Culhane worked as a private investigator for Habeas Corpus Resource Center in San Francisco and for private attorneys defending condemned inmates in the final stages of their court appeals and in last-ditch clemency appeals to California governors.

She said she started making up statements from real witnesses and jurors and forging their signatures on documents favorable to condemned murderers out of her belief that the death penalty is often disproportionately applied to racial minorities and the poor.

She got away with it for years.

Investigators eventually found that Culhane filed at least 23 fraudulent documents to help four death row inmates between November 2002 and February 2006. They say she faked documents for a fifth inmate as well, but those allegations were dropped as part of her plea agreement.

[…]

She was discovered after Michael Morales petitioned Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for clemency as he was about to be executed last year for the 1981 rape and murder of a Central Valley teenager.

San Joaquin County prosecutors challenged six documents provided by Culhane. They found jurors who swore they had never spoken with Culhane and said they supported Morales’ death sentence.

San Joaquin Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau, who attended Thursday’s sentencing, said it is ironic that Morales’ execution has since been stayed because of concerns about the state’s lethal injection method—an issue that was not related to Culhane. Morales is on death row for the rape and murder of 17-year-old Terri Winchell.

[…]

In addition to Morales, the other three death-row inmates named in Culhane’s charges are: Jose Guerra, convicted by a Los Angeles County jury for the 1990 rape and murder of Kathleen Powell; Vicente Figueroa Benavides, convicted by a Kern County jury for the 1991 murder and rape of a 21-month-old child; and Christian Monterroso, convicted by an Orange County jury for the 1991 murders of Tarsem Singh and Ashokkumar Patel and the attempted murder of Allen Canellas.

Each remains on death row with pending appeals.

Hat tip: Patterico’s Pontifications’ How One Person Managed To Thwart And Delay The Death Penalty For Years In California Through Her Lies And Perjury

Nothing illegal here. Move along, move along… Part 3

From the AP via WUSA 9 in Washington, D.C.: Priest Charged In Embezzlement Scheme Indicted On Federal Charges:

A Roman Catholic priest charged in state court with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from two rural churches was indicted Tuesday on federal fraud charges, federal prosecutors said.

A federal grand jury indicted the Rev. Rodney L. Rodis, 51, of Fredericksburg, on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced in a news release.

According to the indictment, Rodis embezzled money from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Bumpass and St. Jude Church in Mineral from 2002 until last year. Rodis wired at least $515,231 of misappropriated parishioner contributions to the Philippines, the release said.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has said Rodis embezzled more than $600,000 from the churches, where he was pastor from 1993 until his retirement last May.

Rodis is being held at Central Virginia Regional Jail in Orange County on 13 state felony embezzlement charges stemming from the incident. In May, Rodis’ bond was revoked after he violated terms of his bond.

“If the federal authorities had indicted Father Rodney for the same offenses for which he was standing trail in the state court, then arguably double jeopardy principles would prevent him from being tried in both courts for the same offense,” said Rodis’ lawyer, John R. Maus.

No, it doesn’t, you idiot. Where the hell did you go to law school? How the hell did you pass the bar? Of course, this isn’t the first moronic argument you’ve made.

Maus would not comment further on the charges because he had not yet seen the indictment.

Lousia [sic] County Commonwealth’s Attorney Don Short said he’s not surprised by the charges, but believes it probably will cause the state charges to be dropped in order to allow federal authorities to proceed.

Rodis used a post office box to obtain checks from parishioners, which he would transfer to a personal bank account and wire to the Philippines, according to court documents.

The release said that Rodis used the money and property intended for church use for his spouse and three biological children, “whom he concealed” by living about 50 miles from the church.

The case against Rodis originated in November when officials with the Catholic Diocese of Richmond found a Pennsylvania donor’s check was deposited in a bank account they knew nothing about.

Imagine if they had been men… Part 2

From the AP via NBC 4 in Washington, D.C.: Inmate Who Allegedly Had Sex With Guards Back In Jail [emphasis mine]:

A man who allegedly had sex with two female Prince William County corrections officers while he was under house arrest is back in jail.

Authorities said the 23-year-old violated the terms of his work release. He is serving the remaining three weeks of his sentence at the Rappahannock County jail.

Two Prince William corrections officers are accused of having sexual relations with the man. Maria Torres-Corbin and Tamara Fay Bonos were charged with carnal knowledge of an inmate. Officials said neither of the women knew about the other one.

Although the sex was consensual, officials say it’s a crime because of the custodial relationship.

Prince William jail officials said the inmate skipped his scheduled work, left early without permission and visited Bonos at her home.

So, now the victim of this horrible crime is in jail? Where’s the outrage?

Imagine if they had been men…

From the AP via NBC 4 in Washington, D.C.: 2 Corrections Officers Charged With Having Sex With Inmate [emphasis mine]:

Two female Prince William County corrections officers have been charged with having sexual relations with the same former inmate while he was still in the county’s custody on house arrest.

The two women apparently never knew about each other, authorities said.

Maria C. Torres-Corbin, 48, a master jail officer with almost 20 years’ experience, was arrested last week and charged with having carnal knowledge of an inmate, a felony. Torres-Corbin, of Fredericksburg, recently had been assigned to the work-release center, where she was responsible for checking on inmates in the electronic-monitoring program.

Then, on Wednesday, police charged Tamara Fay Bonos, 32, with the same crime.

Bonos, of Manassas, was an entry-level officer who worked at the main building of the regional jail for 18 months, said the jail’s superintendent, Col. Charles “Skip” Land.

[…]

Police said the corrections officers were off-duty when the incidents occurred at the inmate’s home. They said the man had been held in the county jail before he was put on work release and then on electronic monitoring while at home, police said.

“It was consensual,” Land said, “but if you read the code, the female officers had custodial rights over him. … Therein lies the problem.”

I’m absolutely certain he would have made that comment if the two correction officers had been male.

Nice to see where your money is going…

Can someone explain to me why the Caroline County Board of Supervisors decided to use proffer money, money that is required from housing developers for roads, schools, and public safety, on a visitor center?

$1,100,000 of money that is supposed to go to roads, schools, and public safety, and it goes to a visitor center? What the hell is going on here?

Meanwhile, fire/EMS and the sheriff’s office can’t get a public safety building and they’re told to “rehabilitate existing facilities”; with what money?

Things that $1,100,000 could have been spent on:

  • The pay for approximately twenty-two (22) full-time deputies or full-time fire/EMS personnel for one year.
  • The technology plan for schools for the next eleven years.
  • The technology plan for planning and community development with $108,866 left over.
  • A new animal shelter with $350,000 left over.
  • 78.57% of the money for renovations requested by the Frog Level Volunteer Fire Department/Rescue Squad.
  • 69.33% of the money for the structure and equipment for a Carmel Church Fire/Rescue Squad, including a fire truck, an ambulance, and equipment.
  • 27.5% of the money for a Public Safety Building, requested by Fire/EMS and the sheriff’s office.
  • 22.92% of the money for a new radio system requested by the sheriff’s office (it’s hard to do your job when your radio doesn’t work in half the county).
  • 5.34% for a new school in Bowling Green.
  • 5.09% for a Milford Elementary School.

But apparently, the Board of Supervisors and Percy Ashcraft have bigger concerns than the education and safety of the county’s residents.

Sources:
Percy Ashcraft’s Letter to the Editor
Proffers Fund for the 2007-2008 fiscal year budget


Warning: Unknown: open(/home/content/36/5675336/tmp/sess_hm6r893kmokvpnk37sb02o1vn4, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct () in Unknown on line 0