Tag Archives: Assistant United States Attorney

Surprise, Van Til Now Admits Guilt

2 Dec George Van Til statement proclaiming his innocence.

by Ken Davidson

“The truth is irrelevant to him.”  That is a quote which the Times of Northwest Indiana attributed to George Van Til while he was lying to all of us about stealing from us.    Of course, Van Til was referring to his challenger and not to himself.  Today he finally admitted that he is a thief and a liar.  The only surprise was the timing of the announcement.  The only question that remains to me is whether or not he will part with some of his purported information in order to save his own skin.  No matter what happens, Van Til is not likely to spend significant time in prison.  Although his conviction carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, it appears that he may do as little as ten months behind bars.

Van Til will officially enter a plea to Six Counts of Wire Fraud.  That is six counts of stealing from the people of Lake County, Indiana.  In short, Van Til will admit that he used employees who were being paid by the taxpayers for his personal campaign.  The Plea Agreement, signed by Van Til states:

I did knowingly and intentionally request and direct some employees of the Lake
County Surveyor’s Office to engage in political campaign work while they were
being paid with Lake County governmental funds. Furthermore, I knew that while
doing this campaign work at the Lake County Surveyor’s Office, these employees
were using Lake County property and equipment to engage in political activity.

The maximum penalty that can be imposed is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Van Til is not expected to receive anywhere near that amount of time.  The agreement  calls for the Assistant United States Attorney involved to argue for the minimum sentence under federal guidelines.  The Sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of 10-24 months*.   Thus, Van Til is likely to receive a ten month sentence pursuant to the plea agreement.   The agreement specifically allows for Van Til to ask for home detention or some other means.  The Agreement makes clear the Government will oppose any such request:

Although the defendant is free to argue that the sentence imposed (guideline or non-guideline) be satisfied by any means available under the sentencing guidelines, or 18 USC 3553, under no circumstances will the government make any recommendation for a term of probation, home detention, or community confinement and will oppose any request for a non-guideline and non-incarceration sentence.

The major difference in the 24 month sentence and the ten months he is likely to receive, involves the reduction in sentence for “acceptance of responsibility.”  The difference between a plea and a trial in this matter is about 41 months because the Obstruction of Justice charge is a level 14 base offense under Guidelines.  As stated below, the wire fraud charge is a level 7 base offense.

Van Til becomes the 84th Lake County democrat to plead guilty to federal charges.  None has ever been charged or convicted by Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter.

*Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Wire Fraud:

Base Offense Level:   7 (0-6 mo sentence)

Enhancements in this case:  8 points

Credits in this case: 2 points

Total Points for sentencing:   13, guideline sentence:  12-18 months

The Plea Agreement calls for an additional one point reduction in sentencing provided Van Til cooperates with Government officials.  That would reduce the sentence from 12 months to 10 months.

 

 

 

Former EC Library Director Gets 4 Months Home Detention in Tax Fraud Case

21 Nov

Gazette Staff

Manuel Montalvo, 39, of East Chicago, Indiana, was sentenced by District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to 24 months of probation, with home detention of 4 months, and a $1000.00 fine after pleading guilty to the felony offense of filing a false tax return for the tax year 2009. According to documents filed in this case, Montalvo admitted that he provided false information about deductions including that he had $23,382 in business expenses and $17,063 in medical expenses. In fact, both figures were made up. Montalvo filed the false returns while employed as the Director of East Chicago Public Library. This case was the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gary Bell.

Two Sentenced, One Pleads Guilty in Unrelated Firearms Cases

21 Nov

Gazette Staff

The office of United States Attorney David Capp has announced that two individuals have been sentenced in unrelated firearms charges this week.

George Black, 53, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to 120 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a stolen firearm. According to documents filed in this case, Black has 3 prior felony convictions for burglaries in Wisconsin and was on probation for the most recent conviction at the time of his arrest. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives HIDTA Task Force and the Indiana State Police. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

Brittini Anderson, 27, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Chief Judge Philip Simon to 24 months of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of making false statements in the acquisition of a firearm. According to documents filed in this case, Anderson straw purchased a firearm that has not been recovered by law enforcement. Based on her interview with ATF agents, Anderson admitted that she purchased a 9mm pistol for a person she knew could not buy a gun. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

Additionally, Shamekka Thomas, 29, of Gary, Indiana, pled guilty before Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to the felony offense of making false statements in the acquisition of a firearm. Sentencing has been set for 1/30/14. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

FBI Week in Review 10/25/2013

28 Oct

Gazette Staff

 

HAMMOND, IN—The United States Attorney’s Office announced the following activity in federal court:

Dispositions:

Joshua Robinson, 23, of Lafayette, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 33 months’ imprisonment and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. According to documents filed in this case, Robinson, who has an extensive criminal history consisting of juvenile adjudications and adult criminal convictions, burglarized a residence where a .20 gauge shotgun and a .223 caliber rifle were taken. After the firearms were stolen, Robinson and a co-defendant proceeded to take the serial number off one of the firearms in preparation of selling the firearms in Chicago, Illinois. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Tippecanoe County Police Department, and the Lafayette Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

Che Williams, Jr., 21, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 30 months’ imprisonment and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dean Lanter.

Ramon Salinas, Jr., 37, of East Chicago, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to 210 months’ imprisonment and 25 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of distribution of child pornography. According to documents filed in this case, law enforcement conducted an online Internet investigation to identify those possessing and sharing child pornography. The investigation identified an IP address belonging to the Salinas residence sharing files containing material depicting minors under the age of 16 engaged in sexual acts or poses. A search warrant was executed at this residence where law enforcement found that Salinas possessed at least 60 videos depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Salinas also has a prior conviction for possession of child pornography in Marion County in 2005. This case resulted from an investigation by members of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Indiana State Police, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, and the Highland Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jill Koster.

James Urschel, 47, of Lafayette, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to three years of probation after pleading guilty to the felony offense of false impersonation of a federal officer. According to documents filed in this case, Urschel impersonated a Deputy United States Marshal while buying numerous firearms at Gander Mountain in Lafayette, Indiana. He would then pawn the guns at a local pawn shop for cash. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

Charles E. Johnson, Jr., 33, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 37 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of distribution of crack cocaine. According to documents filed in this case, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Johnson’s residence and found 17.9 grams of crack cocaine in a safe. Johnson had a felony conviction for dealing in cocaine in 2008 and was on probation for that offense when he was charged in this case. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation GRIT Task Force. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chang-Adiga.

Daryl V. Johnson, 40, of East Chicago, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 180 months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to documents filed in this case, Johnson has 15 prior felony convictions and nine misdemeanor convictions over a period of 18 years. Johnson was in a motor vehicle that was pursued by Hammond Police Department due to the occupants violating the seat belt law. After the vehicle fled from police, Johnson exited the vehicle and fled on foot. The police recovered a handgun from the route on which Johnson fled. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives HIDTA Task Force and the Hammond Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

Regina Cabell, 39, of Lafayette, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to 18 months’ imprisonment and $79,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to the felony offense of health care fraud—submitting a claim to Indiana Medicaid for providing a service to an Indiana Medicaid recipient to whom she did not actually provide the claimed service—and failing to file a federal income tax return for her gross income of $297,567 in the 2011 tax year. According to documents filed in this case, Cabell, d/b/a L&G Transportation, submitted approximately $96,600 in false claims to Indiana Medicaid for providing transportation services that did not actually occur. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and the Internal Revenue Service. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diane Berkowitz.