“Doreen Alexander Extradited to the United States to Face Kidnapping Charges”

April 3, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on April 2, 2013 released the following story:

“WASHINGTON— Doreen Alexander has been extradited to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago to face charges related to her alleged role in the 2005 kidnapping of naturalized U.S. citizen Balram “Balo” Maharaj, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Field Office.

Alexander, 47, arrived in the United States on Sunday, March 31, 2013, and was arraigned yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson in the District of Columbia. Alexander was charged in a two-count indictment filed in September 2010. If convicted, Alexander faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. She is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Alexander is the last charged co-conspirator involved in the alleged kidnapping of Maharaj, Alexander’s former boyfriend and father to one of her sons who died as a result of the kidnapping. The other 12 co-conspirators were previously extradited and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Alexander is alleged to have initiated the April 2005 kidnapping of Maharaj and provided information that allowed the kidnappers to identify, locate, and track Maharaj. Alexander allegedly alerted the kidnappers to Maharaj’s visits to Trinidad and Tobago; gave them information on his wealth, which was used to calculate the ransom; and reassured the kidnappers that they had the right man after the ransom negotiations went awry.

Valuable assistance was provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, which worked with its counterparts in Trinidad and Tobago to effect the extradition. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has also provided significant assistance in this case.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Miami Division Extraterritorial Squad with the assistance of the FBI’s Legal Attache’s Office in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Special assistance was further provided by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Anti-Kidnapping Squad and Homicide Bureau.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Matthew Singer and Teresa Wallbaum of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Alleged International Credit Card Trafficker BadB Extradited from France to the United States

June 18, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on June 15, 2012 released the following:

“WASHINGTON— Vladislav Anatolievich Horohorin, aka “BadB,” of Moscow, an alleged international credit card trafficker thought to be one of the most prolific sellers of stolen credit card data, has been extradited from France to the United States to face criminal charges filed in the District of Columbia and in the Northern District of Georgia.

The extradition was announced today by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr. for the District of Columbia, U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates of the Northern District of Georgia, U.S. Secret Service (USSS) Assistant Director for Investigations David J. O’Connor, and Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Lamkin of the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office.

Horohorin, 27, made his first appearance before U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle in the District of Columbia yesterday. He was extradited to the United States on June 6, 2012, and was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay in the District of Columbia on June 7, 2012. He was ordered detained pending trial.

“According to the indictment, Mr. Horohorin was one of the most notorious credit card traffickers in the world, transacting in stolen credit information across the globe,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Due to our strong relationships with our international law enforcement partners, we secured his extradition to the United States, where he now faces multiple criminal counts in two separate indictments. We will continue to do everything we can to bring cyber criminals to justice, including those who operate beyond our borders.”

“Our indictment alleges that this young man used his technological savvy to profit by selling stolen credit card information over the Internet on a massive scale,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “We are pleased that he has been extradited to the United States to face these criminal charges in a District of Columbia courtroom. This prosecution demonstrates that those who try to rip off Americans from behind a computer screen across an ocean will not escape American justice.”

“The Secret Service is committed to identifying and apprehending those individuals that continue to attack American financial institutions, and we will continue to work through our international and domestic law enforcement partners in order to accomplish this,” said USSS Assistant Director O’Connor.

“International cyber criminals who target American citizens and businesses often believe they are untouchable because they are overseas,” said U.S. Attorney Yates. “But as this case demonstrates, we will work relentlessly with our law enforcement partners around the world to charge, find, and bring those criminals to justice.”

“Horohorin’s extradition to the United States demonstrates the FBI’s expertise in conducting long-term investigations into complex criminal computer intrusions, resulting in bringing the most egregious cyber criminals to justice, even from foreign shores,” said Special Agent in Charge Lamkin. “The combined efforts of law enforcement agencies to include our international partners around the world will ensure this trend continues.”

Horohorin was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia in November 2009 on charges of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. In a separate investigation, a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Georgia returned a superseding indictment against Horohorin in August 2010, charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and access device fraud. In August 2010, French law enforcement authorities, working with the U.S. Secret Service, identified Horohorin in Nice, France, and arrested him as he was attempting to board a flight to return to Moscow.

According to the indictment filed in the District of Columbia, Horohorin was the subject of an undercover investigation by USSS agents. Horohorin, who is a citizen of Israel, Russia, and Ukraine, allegedly used online criminal forums such as “CarderPlanet” and “carder.su” to sell stolen credit card information, known as “dumps,” to online purchasers around the world. According to the indictment, Horohorin, using the online name “BadB,” advertised the availability of stolen credit card information through these web forums and directed purchasers to create accounts at “dumps.name,” a fully-automated dumps vending website operated by Horohorin and hosted outside the United States. The website was designed to assist in the exchange of funds for the stolen credit card information. Horohorin allegedly directed buyers to fund their “dumps.name” accounts using funds transferred by services including “Webmoney,” an online currency service hosted in Russia. The purchaser would then access the “dumps.name” website and select the desired stolen credit card data. Using an online undercover identity, USSS agents negotiated the sale of numerous stolen credit card dumps.

According to the indictment filed in the Northern District of Georgia, Horohorin was one of the lead cashers in an elaborate scheme in which 44 counterfeit payroll debit cards were used to withdraw more than $9 million from over 2,100 ATMs in at least 280 cities worldwide in a span of less than 12 hours. Computer hackers broke into a credit card processor located in the Atlanta area, stole debit card account numbers, and raised the balances and withdrawal limits on those accounts while distributing the account numbers and PINs to lead cashers, like Hororhorin, around the world.

Horohorin faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for each count of access device fraud, 20 years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, and a statutory consecutive penalty of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft count.

The charges in the indictments are merely allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The District of Columbia case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Carol Sipperly, Ethan Arenson and Corbin Weiss of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Weiss also serves as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia case is being investigated by USSS. Key assistance was provided by the French Police Nationale Aux Frontiers and the Netherlands Police Agency National Crime Squad High Tech Crime Unit. The FBI Atlanta Field Office provided information helpful to the investigation.

The Northern District of Georgia case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nick Oldham and Lawrence R. Sommerfeld and Trial Attorney Sipperly of CCIPS. The Atlanta case is being investigated by the FBI. Assistance was provided by numerous law enforcement partners. U.S. Secret Service provided information helpful to the investigation.

The Office of International Affairs in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division provided invaluable assistance.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and France here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Fraud suspect Kevin Richard Halligen allegedly posed as spy, cheating elites in US, London

June 11, 2012

The Bangor Daily News on June 10, 2012 released the following:

“By Kevin Sullivan, The Washington Post

Some people knew him as Kevin. He told others he was Richard. Everyone could see he had money to burn, and most people thought he was a British spy. But nobody in Washington really knew Kevin Richard Halligen, not even the woman he pretended to marry.

Halligen now sits in a London prison, fighting extradition to the United States, where he faces felony fraud charges stemming from his days of extravagant living in Washington high society.

For about three years, until 2008, Halligen spent hundreds of thousands of dollars living large in Washington. He stayed in a Willard Hotel suite for months at a time and drank the days away at pricey Georgetown restaurants. He traveled everywhere in a chauffeur-driven Lincoln Town Car, set up high-tech offices in Herndon, Va., and bought a grand home in Great Falls, Va.

Smart, charming and favoring black turtlenecks and sunglasses, Halligen told everyone that he was a spy, or a former spy, or connected to spies. He told friends that he was under such deep cover that he took over his fiancee’s place as a “safe house.”

Virtually all of it, it turns out, was fabricated or exaggerated, according to associates who have since investigated his background. But with amazing ease and a perfect British accent, the diminutive Halligen schmoozed his way into Washington’s intelligence elite — Pentagon officials, influential lawyers and lobbyists, former CIA operatives.

And he took their money.

He set up shop as a corporate security consultant, offering his dubious “operational experience” in intelligence to solve delicate problems for customers working in dangerous places.

In a capital with a long history of spies, foreigners with shadowy backgrounds, big talkers and charlatans, Halligen didn’t set off any alarm bells at first, according to former associates. But that changed when they concluded that Halligen was taking money and not doing the work he promised.

The U.S. government obtained an indictment against him in 2009 on criminal charges of bilking a client out of $2.1 million, and judges in the District of Columbia and Virginia have ordered him to pay $6.5 million to former partners who claim he fleeced them.

Halligen, through his London lawyer, declined to comment as he fights extradition to the United States in British courts.

But in dozens of interviews in Washington and London, those who knew Halligen described how he created a trail of creditors, from lawyers to landlords to housekeepers. And they said he left a group of Washington insiders wondering how one charming and audacious hustler managed to seduce them all.

‘I was duped’

Halligen fooled London before he fooled Washington.

“I was duped,” said John Holmes, a retired British Army general who was head of the British military’s special forces.

Holmes said he met Halligen in 2002, when Halligen took an IT job at a private security consulting firm where Holmes was working after his military retirement.

Holmes, in an interview in his London office, said he knew Halligen was never a member of any intelligence service. But he worked on the periphery of that world as an engineer for companies that provided technical support — designing batteries, for example — to the British government and military.

But he was impressed with Halligen’s smarts and entrepreneurial spirit, so he said he helped him start his own firm, Red Defence International. Holmes said that over time he realized that Halligen was grossly exaggerating his background to clients and others and that he had an uncanny ability to keep his stories straight.

“He had an intellect that would instinctively allow him to decide what he would say to people and what he wouldn’t say,” Holmes said.

Other friends said Halligen had a habit of hearing spy stories and then repeating them later as tales of his own bravery. One friend said Halligen loved to show off a metal cigarette lighter with an inscription thanking him for helping in a secret rescue of hostages in Colombia.

“A real spy doesn’t do that,” said the friend, who asked not to be named.

Halligen’s taste for luxury was also getting him into trouble. Scarlett Guess, Halligen’s landlord in London, said Halligen rented three floors of her building for close to $20,000 a month, but paid only sporadically.

At the same time, his corporate bank statements, contained in court records in Washington, show that he was spending tens of thousands of dollars at such places as the five-star Stafford London Hotel and Les Ambassadeurs Club, a private casino where membership costs about $40,000 a year.

But before Holmes noticed the increasing warning signs, he said he backed Halligen’s application to join the Special Forces Club in central London, an exclusive private club for people with links to British intelligence.

That membership helped Halligen immensely as he set his sights on an ultra-lucrative security consultant mecca: Washington.

A high-level network

When Halligen breezed into Washington about 2005, one of his first calls, according to associates, was to Patton Boggs, the heavyweight law firm. He hired the firm to help set up his new U.S. business, Oakley International, which offered risk analysis and security advice to corporate customers.

A key contact at Patton Boggs was lobbyist John Garrett, a retired U.S. Marine colonel who serves as the firm’s senior defense policy adviser. Garrett declined to comment for this article, saying Patton Boggs does not discuss former clients.

Halligen used each new contact to methodically build up a high-level network. Garrett introduced Halligen to a number of key Washington establishment figures, including Noel Koch, who was a White House aide under President Richard Nixon and whom President Barack Obama appointed deputy undersecretary of defense.

“If John Garrett was vouching for him, that was good enough for me,” Koch said.

Koch recalled getting to know Halligen over boozy lunches at Ristorante La Perla on Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

Shown a photo of Halligen, who, 5-foot-6 and clean-cut, looks like a slightly elfin Boy Scout, La Perla owner Vittorio Testa recalled that he came in nearly every day. Testa said Halligen would sit on the outdoor patio smoking cigarettes and drinking heavily, often arriving at 11 a.m. and not leaving until 4.

“A very elegant man, always good manners,” Testa said.

Koch said he was amazed by Halligen’s lunchtime drinking.

“He’d say, ‘Let’s have martinis,’ and I’d have a martini, as would he,” Koch said. “Then we had another one, then he’d want a bottle of wine. We became fast friends over all those martinis.”

Koch was running a private security consulting company, and at one of their lunches, Halligen said he wanted to subscribe to his firm’s newsletter. Koch said that would cost him $15,000 and that Halligen made an extravagant show of overpaying.

“He wrote me a check for $20,000,” Koch said, “right there at the table.”

In the fall of 2006, Halligen still had money coming in from Red Defence in London, as well as his growing Washington business. But a big break came that September when two executives from a Dutch multinational firm, Trafigura, were arrested in Ivory Coast, accused of illegally dumping toxic waste.

Trafigura hired Halligen to help win release of the executives. Halligen got a large monthly retainer, though it’s unclear exactly what work he did for the money or how much he received. Friends said it ran into the millions of dollars.

A Trafigura spokesman declined to comment. The company eventually paid $198 million to Ivory Coast officials. The executives were released in February 2007, and payments to Halligen stopped.

But up to that point, money was pouring into Halligen’s corporate account, and he was spending it just as fast.

Halligen bought a $1.7 million house with swimming pool in Great Falls. (The indictment charges that he bought the house the day after Trafigura transferred $2.1 million to him to cover his expenses.)

Halligen was already living in a $6,800-a-month rented house in Georgetown, and yet, at the same time, he was often staying at the Willard.

He was paying a driver about $6,000 a month, usually keeping him and the Lincoln Town Car for 15 hours a day. He dropped hundreds of dollars almost daily at restaurants such as La Perla, Cafe Milano, Martin’s Tavern, Neyla or Shelly’s Back Room, according to his corporate bank statements at the time.

“We used to call him James Bond,” said Robert Materazzi, owner of Shelly’s, a downtown D.C. restaurant and cigar bar. Materazzi said that Halligen was “secretive” about his business but that he was a gregarious personality and extravagant tipper who always sat in the same table near the front of the bar, drinking expensive red wine and smoking.

Meda Mladek, Halligen’s landlord in Georgetown, said Halligen did thousands of dollars worth of damage and unauthorized — and shoddy — construction at her house.

“He pretended to work for the CIA,” Mladek said. “He said he had to have a room that was totally secure, so he had to make new walls, a new ceiling, special doors.”

“He was quite elegant,” she said. “But I had problems, problems, problems.”

The show wedding

Amid it all, Halligen still found time for romance.

Friends said he met Maria Dybczak, a Commerce Department lawyer with big, dark eyes and a brilliant smile, and started courting her lavishly. He bought her a huge diamond ring, a Prada handbag and a pair of purebred Hungarian vizsla puppies, friends said.

Tereza McGuinn, a D.C. makeup artist who was close to Dybczak, said Halligen told Dybczak that he was a British agent. She said that he took Dybczak one weekend for a course on high-performance defensive driving and that he taught her how to handle a gun.

“I thought there was something really wrong about it,” McGuinn said in an interview. McGuinn said that she didn’t believe Halligen’s spy background but that Dybczak seemed blinded by his charm and attention.

In a brief interview at her D.C. home, Dybczak said she and her family had been “devastated” by Halligen but declined to say more.

But on the last Friday in April 2007, she wore a white wedding gown at a spectacular evening ceremony at the Evermay estate in Georgetown.

Dybczak’s family, who friends said paid for most of the wedding, came to town from Alabama. Halligen flew over at least a dozen friends from London, first-class, and put them up in suites at the Hay-Adams Hotel. Washington guests included Koch and Garrett, the Patton Boggs lobbyist, who was Halligen’s best man.

Security men with earpieces watched over the high-powered crowd of about 100 people, and guests were met by a calligraphy sign telling them that no cameras or phones were allowed.

Wedding photographer Clay Blackmore said Dybczak asked him to shoot film only — no digital images.

“She told me, ‘Richard is very connected, and anybody wearing a pin on their lapel can’t be photographed,’ ” Blackmore said. “She told me ‘Richard is top-level and he’s a secret agent’ or something like that. I just bought into it like everybody else did.”

McGuinn said Dybczak and Halligen went “hog-wild” on the wedding, with a huge fireworks display and an extravagant dinner of lobster and lamb in the ballroom, where dinner chairs were covered with thousands of dollars’ worth of silk pillows.

On Evermay’s grand back terrace, Halligen and Dybczak stood on a carpet of rose petals as the minister read vows from a leather-bound notebook and pronounced them man and wife.

What the guests didn’t know was that the minister was actually Harry Winter, a professional actor from Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va., who was hired by the couple to preside over an elaborate fake.

According to friends, Halligen told Dybczak just before the wedding — when guests had been invited and arrangements made — that because he was involved in undercover intelligence operations, he could not sign any public documents — including a marriage license.

It’s unclear whether Dybczak believed him. But rather than cancel the ceremony, she helped him arrange the show wedding. Winter said she paid him $300 in cash.

“It was a wonderful, beautiful service,” Winter said in an interview. “Nobody knew it wasn’t real.”

Nor did they know that Halligen was already married.

British records show that Halligen had been married 16 years earlier to a woman named Jennifer Darvill, and he was still married to her at the time of the Evermay wedding.

“He told me plenty of lies,” said Darvill, reached in England.

Darvill said she met Halligen in 1988, and in all the time she knew him, “I was not aware that he had any involvement with security, military or intelligence.”

She said he left her in 1998 to have an affair with another woman, leaving behind a “stack of unpaid bills” that she paid by selling antiques inherited from her father.

After the Evermay wedding, Halligen was riding high. He spent the next year building his business. By early 2008, court records show, London lawyer Mark Aspinall — who was his connection on the Trafigura case — had invested $750,000 in Halligen’s Oakley International.

Halligen also received an enormous boost from the internationally known case of Madeleine McCann, a 3-year-old British girl who disappeared while on vacation with her family in Portugal.

In the spring of 2008, the Find Madeleine Fund hired Oakley International on a six-month contract worth just under $1 million. Halligen was supposed to use high-tech surveillance and satellite imagery and conduct interviews to help find the girl.

His bank accounts ballooned with regular deposits of $200,000 or more over the next few months. But Halligen’s carefully constructed life was starting to unravel.

Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for the Find Madeleine Fund, said fund officials began questioning whether Halligen’s work was worth those large payments, and they terminated his contract in August 2008.

Aspinall, meanwhile, was becoming increasingly suspicious of what became of his $750,000 investment, and court records state that he made at least two trips to Washington to question Halligen.

By September 2008, the McCann contract was canceled, Halligen’s debts were mounting and his reputation was sinking. His relationship with Dybczak was over, and he was preparing his exit from Washington.

His corporate bank records show that in September, October and November 2008, Halligen drained $800,000 from his D.C. account and wired much of that overseas. He sold the Great Falls house. By November, his Washington bank account was overdrawn by $1,400. And Halligen was gone.

His former friends started looking for him and investigating his finances and background. They contacted the FBI. And they also started filing civil suits.

Aspinall filed suit in Washington to recover his investment in Oakley, and a judge ordered Halligen to pay back $871,000.

Halligen was also sued by another Washington insider, Andre Hollis, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for counternarcotics, who had given a toast at the Evermay wedding.

Hollis, a lawyer who once worked as legal counsel to the House of Representatives and as senior adviser to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Counter Narcotics, sued Halligen in Fairfax Country (Va.) Circuit Court for $2.35 million.

Hollis alleged that Halligen hired him as chief executive of Oakley International and that Hollis bought an ownership stake in the company. He said that the investment turned out to be worthless and that Halligen drained the company’s accounts. A judge ordered Halligen to pay Hollis more than $5.7 million in damages.

As investigators pursued Halligen, they found yet another surprise. They unearthed documents suggesting that the silver-tongued Brit had actually been born in Ireland.

In November 2009, after a year on the run, Halligen was jailed after being arrested at a luxury hotel in Oxford, England. The bartender there recalled that Halligen had been staying at the hotel for weeks under an alias, with a girlfriend, running up huge bar tabs, buying drinks for the staff and spinning tales of life as a spy.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email: