Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Man Sentenced to Prison for Producing Child Pornography



ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Hamilton man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for producing child pornography.

“The nature and vile actions of McCauley are nothing short of despicable and among the most serious crimes contemplated by the federal criminal code,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The production of child pornography is heinous and causes incalculable and unknowable harm to victims. I want to thank our local, state and federal law enforcement partners for their tremendous work on this case and for protecting our most vulnerable victims from horrendous criminals like McCauley.”

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, in 2016 and 2017, Logan Roy McCauley, 25, repeatedly went online and engaged in sexualized conversations with individuals who identified themselves as minors. Then, in November 2017, after meeting a 13-year-old online, McCauley drove to the minor’s residence in West Virginia, picked up the minor, and drove the minor back to his residence in Hamilton. Within hours of arriving, McCauley engaged in sexual intercourse with the minor for purposes of using a smartphone to record a portion of the sexual abuse. Soon after creating the video, McCauley sent an online message to another person admitting he had made the video that morning. The day after McCauley created the video, law enforcement went to McCauley’s residence in search of the minor. Both McCauley and the minor were present, and McCauley told law enforcement about the video, which was still on McCauley’s smartphone.

“This sentence is a result of the hard work of dedicated law enforcement personnel who work to safeguard children against these atrocious acts and people," said Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division. “On behalf of the FBI, I would like to thank our law enforcement partners across multiple states who assisted in the safe recovery of the minor victim.”

This matter was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which is composed of FBI agents, along with detectives from the Fairfax County Police, Arlington County Police,  Prince William County Police, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Leesburg Police, Alexandria City Police, Washington Metropolitan Police, Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, George Mason University Police, United States Marshal’s Service, and agents of various Office of Inspector Generals. This matter was brought to the task force as a result of interagency cooperation between West Virginian local authorities and FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office in an attempt to locate the victim who was reported missing.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, and Michael L. Chapman, Loudoun County Sheriff, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander P. Berrang and Jay V. Prabhu, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Gwendelynn E. Bills prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-330.

New York Man Charged With Assault Aboard Cruise Ship


BOSTON – A New York man was arrested today and charged in federal court in Boston for assaulting a woman aboard a cruise ship.

Adam Damian Panetta, 45, of Farmingville, N.Y., was charged with one count of assault and one count of assault resulting in substantial bodily injury. He will appear in federal court in Boston today at 5:00 p.m.

According to the charging document, on April 25, 2019, while aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Gem, Panetta was observed on surveillance video pulling a woman by her hair down the full length of a hallway. The two were then observed outside of one of the cabins. While Panetta attempted to open the cabin door, the woman was striking Panetta in the face with an open hand. Panetta then allegedly turned toward the woman and punched her twice in the side of her head with a closed fist. The woman fell to the ground and appeared to be unconscious. Panetta entered the cabin and left the woman on the floor in the hallway.

After about one minute, Panetta came out of the cabin and leaned down to the woman, who was unresponsive. Eventually, the woman began to crawl into the room. Panetta did not appear to assist her, and as she began to crawl, Panetta kicked her twice in the buttocks. He then followed her into the room.

The two left the room a short while later and the woman was holding a white towel over her head, which appeared to be stained with blood. The two arrived at the ship’s medical center where the woman was treated for her injuries, which included approximately 8cm of swelling on the right side of her head as well as a 2.5 cm laceration that required five stiches.

At the time of the alleged assault, the ship was approximately 200 miles off the coast of New Jersey. Panetta was taken into custody when the ship arrived into the port of Boston today.

The charge of assault carries a sentence of no greater than one year in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000. The charge of assault resulting in substantial bodily injury provides a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Foreclosed Property Preservationist Charged in $10 Million Fraud Scheme


PROVIDENCE – An East Greenwich, R.I. woman whose business specialized in preserving the current condition of foreclosed homes for resale has been charged in U.S. District Court in Providence.  The defendant allegedly operated a scheme whereby she raised and pocketed millions of dollars from investors, often times family members, friends, and business associates, by misrepresenting to them that she needed to raise tens of thousands of dollars for various repair projects. In return for their investment, investors were promised a return of fifty percent of the profit.

According to Court documents, it is alleged that Monique N. Brady, 44, misrepresented projects and solicited multiple bids for significantly more money than an individual project required. Brady performed relatively menial tasks such as grass mowing, snow removal, boiler service, etc., for as little as $20, but represented the bids to investors as full-fledged rehabilitation projects costing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. An investigation determined that Brady often solicited multiple bids, primarily by email, for many of the projects.

It is alleged that Brady, owner and operator of MNB LLC, often convinced investors to invest substantial amounts of money claiming she had been awarded Freddie Mac rehabilitation projects, when in fact the projects were associated with real estate entities other than Freddie Mac. The evidence suggests Brady used the Freddie Mac name to provide more credibility to her fraudulent solicitations.

A review of bank and other financial records revealed that Brady allegedly received approximately $10,076,291 in investments from thirty-two individuals based on numerous false and fraudulent representations. Many of these investors had close and personal relationships with Brady, including close friends, her step-brother and the former nanny for her children. Numerous investors suffered substantial harm as a result Brady’s fraudulent conduct, including an elderly woman who lost nearly all of her life savings and another elderly man with Alzheimer’s disease who lost his life savings to Brady.

 As part of the scheme, Brady often paid back some of the money she received from one investor with monies received from another. By the time the scheme ended after its discovery in the summer of 2018, twenty-three individuals had lost approximately $4,495,237 to Brady.

Monique Brady appeared today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond on a Criminal Complaint charging her with wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Aaron L. Weisman, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Kristina O'Connell, and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.

 The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker and Tax Division Trial Attorney Christopher P. O’Donnell.          

A Criminal Complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.