Justice Department Settles Discrimination Claim Against Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc.

The Department of Justice today announced that it reached a settlement with Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. (Aerojet Rocketdyne), a rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer.

The settlement resolves a charge brought by a lawful permanent resident whom Aerojet Rocketdyne did not consider for a mechanic position because of his immigration status. The department’s investigation concluded that Aerojet Rocketdyne violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it only considered U.S. citizens for 12 mechanic positions in Jupiter, Florida, without legal justification.

“Employers cannot limit positions only to U.S. citizens unless they have a legal requirement to do so,”

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Tennessee Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime

Christopher Beckham, 35, of Nashville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Beckham was indicted in April 2018 after an investigation into an incident that occurred on Oct. 24, 2017.

“The defendant confronted two young girls who were walking home from school and violently attacked their father because of how they worship,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “An attack upon the free exercise of any person’s religious beliefs is an attack on that person’s civil

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Attorney General Announces Task Force to Combat COVID-19 Fraud

U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today directed the establishment of the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance enforcement efforts against COVID-19 related fraud.

“The Department of Justice will use every available federal tool—including criminal, civil, and administrative actions—to combat and prevent COVID-19 related fraud. We look forward to working with our federal government colleagues to bring to justice those who seek to profit unlawfully from the pandemic,” wrote Attorney General Garland in a memo announcing the Task Force.

The federal government responded to

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Canadian National Sentenced for Human Smuggling Conspiracy

A Canadian national was sentenced to 32 months in prison for conspiracy to bring undocumented immigrants to the United States for private financial gain in connection with his role in a scheme to smuggle undocumented immigrants from Sri Lanka through the Caribbean and into the United States.

Sri Kajamukam Chelliah, aka Mohan, aka Richie, 55, of Sri Lanka, pleaded guilty on Feb. 24, to conspiracy to bring aliens to the United States for private financial gain. Chelliah admitted to conspiring with others to facilitate the travel of undocumented immigrants from Sri Lanka through Haiti, Turks and Caicos Islands, and

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Former Rapides Parish Correctional Officer Sentenced for Violating the Civil Rights of Three Inmates

A former correctional officer with the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office (RPSO), Detention Center 1, in Alexandria, Louisiana, was sentenced today in federal court for violating the civil rights of three inmates in his custody.

Cody Richardson, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Dee Drell to 70 months in federal prison for each count, to run concurrently, followed by two years of supervised release. Richardson previously pleaded guilty on May 28, 2020, to three felony counts of using excessive force against pretrial detainees housed at the RPSO facility.

According to court documents and statements made during the hearing, Richardson,

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Florida Man Sentenced for $1.3 Million Securities Fraud Scheme

A Florida man was sentenced today to more than four years in prison for operating an investment scheme in which he used investor funds to repay other investors and misappropriated funds for himself.

David C. Coggins, 42, of Miami, pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud on March 2, 2021. According to court documents, Coggins solicited investors to his investment fund between 2015 and 2020 by touting the fund’s successful performance and total assets under management. Over time, the fund lost money and Coggins used money from new investors to pay other investors. Coggins also misappropriated funds for his

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Owner of Oil Chem Inc. Sentenced for Clean Water Act Violation

The president and owner of Oil Chem Inc. was sentenced today to 12 months in prison for violating the Clean Water Act stemming from illegal discharges of landfill leachate — totaling more than 47 million gallons — into the city of Flint sanitary sewer system over an eight and a half year period.

Robert J. Massey, 70, of Brighton, Michigan, pleaded guilty on Jan. 14, to a criminal charge of violating the Clean Water Act. According to court records, Oil Chem, located in Flint, Michigan, processed and discharged industrial wastewaters to Flint’s sewer system. The company held a Clean

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Florida Man Sentenced for Evading Taxes on Millions in Secret Offshore Bank Accounts

A resident of Palm Beach County, Florida, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for not reporting his foreign financial accounts from 2006 through 2015 and for willfully evading the assessment of millions in taxes from 2007 through 2014.

According to court documents, from 2003 through 2009, Dusko Bruer owned and operated a company that bought U.S.-made agricultural machinery and parts and sold them throughout the world. Bruer’s company had numerous employees and reaped millions of dollars in annual gross receipts. Despite its success, Bruer’s company did not file employment or corporate tax returns, nor did the company pay employment

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North Carolina Risk Consultant Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud and Illegally Possessing a Firearm

A North Carolina businessman was sentenced today to three years in prison for tax fraud and illegal possession of a firearm.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Charles Agee Atkins, of Chapel Hill, controlled and operated several risk consulting businesses, including Financial Engineering & Risk Management LLC, Risk Assessment & Management LLC, and Ram Omni LLC. From 2011 through 2017, Atkins underreported the income that he received from these businesses on his tax returns, causing a tax loss of more than $380,000 to the IRS. Atkins also admitted that he failed to pay more than $420,000 in

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Eleven Defendants Charged with Murder in Indian Country

A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Oklahoma has returned separate indictments charging 11 defendants with murder and other various violent crimes arising out of Indian Country.

Over the course of a three-day grand jury session in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, trial attorneys with the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, working with and in support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, obtained the indictments charging the 11 defendants. These indictments followed the reversal or dismissal of state cases as a result of the U.S. Supreme

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