U.S. Loses Bid to Limit Disclosure in Dotcom Extradition

August 20, 2012

Bloomberg Business Week on August 16, 2012 released the following:

By Joe Schneider

“The U.S. lost a bid to limit the amount of information it must turn over to Megaupload.com founder Kim Dotcom, accused of orchestrating the biggest copyright infringement in the country’s history, in his fight against extradition from New Zealand.

New Zealand High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann today rejected a U.S. request to review a district court judge’s order to turn over evidence relating to Dotcom’s indictment, including all records obtained in connection with covert operations undertaken by agents involved in the investigation.

“The NZ High Court ruling in @KimDotcom case citing Bill of Rights protects Kim’s rights and the rights of all New Zealand residents,” Ira Rothken, a lawyer for Dotcom, wrote on Twitter following the ruling.

Dotcom, 38, was indicted in what U.S. prosecutors dubbed a “Mega Conspiracy,” accusing his file-sharing website of generating more than $175 million in criminal proceeds from the exchange of pirated film, music, book and software files. He faces as long as 20 years in prison for each of the racketeering and money-laundering charges in the indictment, with the U.S. seeking his extradition for a trial in Virginia.

The amount of documentation ordered to be turned over to Dotcom was unprecedented in the country or anywhere else for extradition cases, the U.S. had said.

“Disclosure in relation to extradition cases is extremely limited,” prosecutors had said, according to a summary of the arguments written by Winkelmann.

Extradition hearings are “essentially criminal in character” and the accused must be assured a fair hearing, according to New Zealand’s Bill of Rights, Winkelmann wrote.

“The more significant the rights affected, the more stringent the procedural rules designed to maintain the fairness of the process are likely to be,” the judge wrote.

The case is between United States of America and Kim Dotcom. Civ 2012-404-3026. High Court of New Zealand (Auckland).”

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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 New Zealand 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

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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.

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International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Joran van der Sloot challenges extradition to U.S.

May 9, 2012

CNN on May 9, 2012 released the following:

“From Mayra Cuevas, InSession

(CNN) — Joran van der Sloot told a judge and prosecutor Tuesday that he would prefer to finish serving a 28-year murder sentence in Peru rather than be extradited to the United States to face charges related to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, his Peruvian lawyer said.

Representatives from the U.S. Embassy and the FBI attended the extradition hearing, which was not open to the public, Maximo Altez told InSession on Tru TV.

A conviction in the United States could affect van der Sloot’s chances of being paroled in Peru, said Altez. He noted that a long-standing extradition treaty between the two countries means that van der Sloot will likely be extradited, despite his stated preference about remaining in Peru.

Peruvian judges in January sentenced the Dutchman to 28 years in prison for the murder in 2010 of Stephany Flores. He is also the prime suspect in the disappearance of Holloway. U.S. authorities want to try van der Sloot on charges of extortion and wire fraud in the Holloway case.

“I think he will be extradited within the next three months,” Altez said last month. “He will go to trial in the United States. Once he is sentenced, he will return to Peru to finish serving his 28 years, and then go back to the States to serve whatever sentence he gets there.”

In June 2010, a federal grand jury in Alabama indicted him after allegations that he tried to extort $250,000 from Holloway’s mother, Beth Holloway. Van der Sloot offered to provide what turned out to be bogus information about the whereabouts of Holloway’s remains in exchange for the money, according to the indictment.

He was allegedly given $25,000, which authorities say he used to travel to Peru for a poker tournament.

If found guilty of extortion, he could be sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Van der Sloot admitted to killing Flores, 21, in his Lima hotel room. The judges gave him a sentence two years short of the 30-year maximum. They ordered he be expelled from Peru at the end of his sentence and required him to pay about $74,500 in reparations to Flores’ relatives.

Van der Sloot confessed to robbery in addition to murder, admitting that he stole Flores’ belongings, including more than $300 in local currency, credit cards and the victim’s van as a means to leave the country. He fled to Chile and was arrested a few days later.

Another van der Sloot attorney, Jose Luis Jimenez, has said that his client was under special stress the day of the 2010 murder, which marked five years after Holloway, an 18-year-old from Alabama, disappeared while vacationing on Aruba.

Van der Sloot, who was among the last people reported to have been seen with Holloway, was detained twice but never charged in the case.

“The world had been against him for five years before this case, for a murder he said he never committed and for which there is no evidence whatsoever,” Jimenez has said.

Investigators have said they believe van der Sloot killed Flores after she found something related to the Holloway case on his computer while visiting him in his hotel room. The two met while van der Sloot was in town for the poker tournament.

Judges described how Flores hit van der Sloot in the face after reading the item on Holloway, leading him to hit her in the face with his elbow. Flores fainted and van der Sloot tried to strangle her, but she was still breathing, so he suffocated her with his shirt.

Van der Sloot then tried to clean the room by removing the sheets and changing his bloodied shirt, they said.

He was caught in a taxi near the Chilean central coastal city of Vina del Mar.

Holloway’s body has not been found, and no one has been charged in relation to the case in Aruba.

About 6½ years after Holloway was last reported seen, in May 2005, she was declared legally dead.”

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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 Peru 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: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

           Office Locations

Email:


Marina Talashkova to remain in custody in Canada until her actual extradition hearing date

April 18, 2012

The Voice of Russia on April 17, 2012 released the following:

Liudmila Chernova

“Marina Talashkova to stay in Canada until her extradition

Russian flight attendant Marina Talashkova will remain in custody in Canada until her actual extradition hearing date set by Canadian Ministry of Justice.

Senior Consul of the Russian Consulate in Toronto Igor Kiikov said the next hearing would take place in several weeks.

Kiykov: “The next hearing date is set for May 24. During that hearing the detailed examination of all or part of the charges will be made in a narrow aspect. And it will be decided if the evidence and charges are serious enough, and if they are considered to be a crime according to the Canadian law, as if a similar crime was committed in Canada.”

Talashkova’s Toronto lawyer Tyler Hodgson said that before the third scheduled court appearance the Canadian authorities had provided the defense with the American statement of the case.

Hodgson: “The Americans as they are required due to the extradition act have provided certification from the prosecuting authorities that they have evidence available to call in relation to the offenses for what they seek to extradite her.”

Hodgson added that Canadian justice officials agreed to continue with judicial proceedings.

Hodgson: “The authorizations proceed from the Canadian Ministry of justice on extradition hearing relating to one count of fraud and one count of possession of stolen property.”

Talashkova is accused of an alleged involvement in a multi-dollar Internet fraud case that occurred in America.

A Federal Grand Jury indicted six foreign nationals, three of whom are Russian, on charges of defrauding American car buyers through well-known websites, such as eBay Motors, Auto Trader, Yahoo Auto, Edmunds.com and Craigslist. According to the indictment, for 3 ½ years the members of the conspiracy allegedly offered vehicles for sales on various legitimate websites, and after a price was negotiated, the defendants allegedly sent fraudulent invoices. The collected money was siphoned from escrow accounts to Europe.

Hodgson noted that according to the indictment, Talashkova withdrew money from various bank accounts in Nevada that she opened in her own name. The deposits were made people attempting to purchase vehicles, but vehicles were never provided.

Hodgson: “What I would point out is that there is no allegation that Marina opened any bank accounts using second identification or passports, which is alleged for the other members of the conspiracy. And her involvement is limited essentially to a one week period in July of 2007. So I think even on the documents that American authorities have provided, her involvement is quite limited.”

Kiikov said that Talashkova had already received her case file.

Kiikov: “She does not speak English well enough, and we will demand to provide her with the certified translation of these materials.”

On its behalf, Russia raised concerns over Talashkova’s case as the Americans failed to use the 1999 Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, advising direct assistance between Russia and America and not the third party.

Hodgson: “I think that certainly will become a live issue in her extradition hearing.”

Talashkova was detained by the Canadian authorities on January 15 by the US request. The Russian General Consulate in Toronto was informed by Canadian authorities the same day. However Russia did not receive an official note from America. The stewardess has denied any involvement in illegal activities.

Hodgson stressed that the ignoring of obligation to use the treaty is Russia’s firm position, which is stated in the correspondence to the Canadian Department of Justice.

Hodgson: “The fact that they failed to do so and waited until she arrived in Canada isn’t a decent process. And that is certainly something that we’ll be advocating during the extradition hearing and ultimately it will be up to the judge to decide.”

Voice of Russia tried to reach the US Justice Ministry for comment, but received no answer.

Not many are familiar with the pitfalls of extradition procedure. Hodgson pointed that the test to extradite somebody differs from the test to prove a criminal conviction.

Hodgson: “In order for the Americans to convict Marina or anyone of the criminal offense, they have to prove it beyond the reasonable doubt. To extradite somebody is a much lower threshold test and essentially it is that the prosecuting authorities, in this case the United States, simply are able to provide some evidence of a criminal conduct and the judge that presides the extradition hearing is not really allowed to delve into the quality of the evidence and to assess whether a knowledge is credible. So, it is a much lower threshold.”

Talashkova is being held in Milton women’s prison in the Ontario province, 37 miles away from Toronto in a two-person prison cell.

Kiikov said that she doesn’t have any complaints on the conditions in jail.

Kiikov: “The representatives of Trans Air regularly visit Marina in jail. We have also been there to check the conditions of detention. Canadian jails are quite clean, so there are no complaints in this regard. The food is good there. She has an opportunity to take Russian books from the library given there by us, as they did not have any books in Russian there before. And they promised to buy her an English-Russian dictionary.”

Kiikov said the consulate continues to stay in contact with Talashkova, and assist with what is necessary.

Kiikov: “We work very closely with the lawyer. Her mother came to visit her and looked at the conditions in the jail. But there is no essential decision on her detention and extradition.”

Hodgson noted though Talashkova is upset and confused, she is trying to persevere.

Hodgson: “I think that she is strong and she is holding together as best as she can in these circumstances. I can tell you that her mother visited her from Russia around a month ago and I think that was certainly helpful.””

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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 Canada 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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.