FBI: Purveyors Of Fraudulent Native American-style Goods And Products Sentenced In Federal Court In Albuquerque

first_imgFBI News:ALBUQUERQUE – Jawad Khalaf, 72, of Albuquerque, Nashat Khalaf, 73, of Gallup; Sterling Islands, Inc.; a wholesale jewelry business in Albuquerque and Al-Zuni Global Jewelry, Inc., a wholesale jewelry business in Gallup, were sentenced Thursday in Federal Court in Albuquerque,In April, the defendants pled guilty to misrepresentation of Indian-produced goods and services in an amount greater than $1,000 as part of a scheme to import Native American-style jewelry from the Philippines and sell it to customers in the United States as authentic.  Another defendant, Taha Shawar, 49, of Breckenridge, Colo., remains a fugitive.Jawad Khalaf and Nash Khalaf were sentenced to 2 years’ supervised release and Jawad Khalaf must also perform 100 hours of community service. Sterling Islands Inc. was sentenced to 5 years’ probation and 50 hours community service, while Al-Zuni Global Jewelers, Inc. was sentenced to 5 years’ probation and 20 hours community service. Collectively, the defendants will pay $300,000 to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board and forfeit their interests in $288,738.94 seized by investigators in the case.A grand jury returned an indictment on Dec. 19, 2018, charging these defendants and three other people with conspiracy, smuggling goods into the United States and misrepresentation of Indian-produced goods and products. The defendants admitted that on Oct. 28, 2015, they displayed and offered for sale miniature canteens at Al-Zuni Global Jewelry in Gallup.  These canteens were not actually Indian-produced but could have reasonably been mistaken for authentic Indian-produced canteens.“I want to express my appreciation for the hard work of the investigators and prosecutors who brought this case to conclusion,’ said John C. Anderson, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico. “It is the culmination of countless hours of diligent work and cooperation among our partnering law enforcement agencies on behalf of Native American artists and artisans. We stand ready to bring the power of the law to bear upon those seeking to profit from cultural theft.”“This U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-led investigation uncovered a transnational criminal scheme that defrauded U.S. consumers and Native American artists,” said Assistant Director of the Office of Law Enforcement Edward Grace. “I would like to thank our special agents for their exemplar investigative work as well as our state and federal partners, who because of their collaboration and dedication to duty, these defendants were sentenced yesterday.”“The Land of Enchantment’s identity and economy relies heavily on Indian art and culture,” said Meridith Stanton, director of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board (IACB), U.S. Department of the Interior. The IACB by statute is responsible for enforcement of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, which includes criminal penalties for marketing counterfeit Indian art and craftwork, to protect the economic livelihoods of Indian artists and artisans.“Consumers must have confidence that the ‘Indian art’ they are purchasing in New Mexico is authentic, and not imported from factories in the Philippines,” Director Stanton said.  “At the same time, Indian artists and economies must be protected from unfair competition from counterfeit Indian art. Robust Indian Arts and Crafts Act enforcement ensures that Indian artistic traditions can be passed down from one generation to the next to preserve an important American treasure – authentic Indian art. The Board commends our colleagues at the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement for their extraordinary dedication, diligence, and commitment in working with us to combat the sale of counterfeit Indian art.”“The FBI hopes this case sends a loud and clear message that those who try to cheat Native Americans of their cultural heritage will be held accountable,” said James C. Langenberg, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Albuquerque Field Office. “We will continue working closely with our partners to make sure our nation’s precious artistic resources are protected.”“These individuals conspired to exploit the rich culture and work of Indian artisans for their personal gain by selling counterfeit merchandise and passing it as genuine Indian art and craftwork,” said Erik P. Breitzke, acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) El Paso. “This sentence sends a powerful message to others who believe they can do the same and elude justice. HSI will continue to cooperate with our law enforcement partners to assist in protecting and preserving Native American cultural heritage.” “Yesterday’s sentencing marks a turning point in this case and provides some closure to those who were victimized by this unfair practice,” said Sonya K. Chavez, U.S. Marshal for the District of New Mexico. “This collaboration affirms law enforcement’s commitment to pursuing those who believe they can get away with fraud against our state and our unique cultural resources.”“The Department of Game and Fish is proud to have been an integral part of this multi-jurisdictional prosecution,” said New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Director Michael Sloane. “We take pride in both conserving wildlife and protecting the diverse cultures of New Mexico. We congratulate our partners on a job well done.”The Office of Law Enforcement for the Southwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service led the investigation of this case with assistance from the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathon M. Gerson, Sean J. Sullivan, Kristopher N. Houghton, and Stephen R. Kotz prosecuted the case.last_img read more

Westhampton Beach Commencement

first_img Share Westhampton Beach High School had its 111th commencement on Friday, June 28, at 6 PM and celebrated the graduating class of 2019.The commencement started with a welcome speech from the principal, Dr. Christopher Herr, and continued on to the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem sung by the Chamber Singers.The anthem was followed by speeches from class historian Anna Sophia Perino, salutatorian Frank Murphy Lapinski, and valedictorian Christopher Nathan Bender.The graduation ended with the students receiving their diplomas and flipping their tassels. Congratulations to the new graduates.last_img read more

Court’s Verdict: Stuffed Dog An Illegal Sign

first_imgThere was a split decision in the case of the East Hampton Village store owner who had a stuffed dog with a welcome sign around its neck outside her shop on Park Place. In a verdict written on February 28 and shared via fax on Monday, East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana found the owner of Petit Blue, Colleen Moeller, not guilty of illegally displaying merchandise outside the entrance to her store on Park Place, but guilty of violating East Hampton Village zoning code regarding signage.A code enforcement officer for the village, Robert Jahoda, wrote the charges up against Moeller on November 8. Moeller’s attorney, Daniel Rodgers, did not dispute certain facts in the case, including that Moeller had placed two large plush stuffed dogs outside her toy store, along with a chalkboard for children to write on. On one of the stuffed animals, a Golden Retriever that Moeller said during her testimony was named “Happy” by her daughter, had a wooden welcome sign around his neck.Rodgers did dispute, and Moeller affirmed in her testimony during the trial, which lasted a bit over an hour, that neither of the stuffed dogs outside the shop were for sale. Rana agreed.Moeller also told the court that she had placed the dogs outside the shop because, during the offseason, so many stores in the village are closed that she wanted to show hers was open.Rana found the placement of the dogs on the stairwell to the shop with the sign hanging on one “was to attract the attention of the public,” and therefore was not allowed under the village code, which, she wrote, prohibits such signage or advertising structure.Rodgers said in an email that the sign section of the code was crafted over a century ago.“Over a century later, particularly with competition from online retailers, this law related to brick-and-mortar business ‘attracting the attention of the public’ seems entirely inappropriate, meaningless, and mean-spirited,” he said.Sentencing, which could include a fine of up to $500, and, theoretically, a jail sentence of 15 days, will take place on March 16.t.e@indyeastend.com Sharelast_img read more

“Important” compressor order for Galileo

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

Orange County expands California’s zero-emission footprint

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

Enterprise Managed Services Limited v East Midland Contracting Limited

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

How can we make the most of the public estate?

first_imgSubscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletterslast_img read more

Paul Plummer

first_imgPaul Plummer, Group Strategy Director of Network Rail, has been appointed Chief Executive of the UK’s Rail Delivery Group and the Association of Train Operating Companies. Plummer will take over from Michael Roberts in November.last_img

Haifa – Nazareth tram-train bidders invited

first_imgISRAEL: Government-owned project management company Trans Israel Ltd has launched the prequalification process for the planned Haifa – Nazareth tram-train route, seeking international consortia and local companies to tender for a US$838m PPP concession to design, build and operate the 41 km line.Intended to link the Greater Haifa metropolitan area with the Nazareth & Galilee Panorama, the route will start from Haifa’s Merkazit HaMifratz station, the largest transport hub in Israel. It will serve the business district in Kiryat Ata and the towns of Shfar’am, Bir El-Maksur, Mashhad, Reineh, and Nof HaGalil, before terminating in Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel and a popular tourist destination. There will be 20 stations.Trans Israel General Manager Dan Schoenbach says the project will create ‘an efficient, environmentally friendly, large scale public transport network’ for northern Israel, stimulating economic growth. The line is expected to carry more than 100 000 passengers per day.The tram-train vehicles are expected to operate in light rail mode through Nazareth and Nazareth Illit, where the stops will be closely spaced, and at up to 100 km/h on the inter-urban railway section to Haifa. There would be up to four services each way per hour at peak times.A joint venture of Spanish company Ineco and Israel’s Yenon Research & Design was awarded a US$90m contract in March 2019 for initial planning and design work. According to Shoenbach, the project is still at the preliminary design stage, and it has not yet been decided what electrification voltage would be used. He estimates that between 30 and 40 LRVs will be required, depending on their capacity.Total cost of the scheme is estimated at US$1·96bn. The project is being procured in two stages. Infra 1 covers land clearance and utility relocation, together with construction of the civil works including bridges and road diversions. Infra 2 covers the PPP concession to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the line, including the supply of railway systems and rolling stock.Prequalification has been started three months ahead of the original schedule, as the Ministry of Transport & Road Safety is keen accelerate work as part of the policy to revitalise the economy following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Submissions are due by November 17, with tenders for the concession due to be called in the fourth quarter of 2021; the line is expected to open in 2027.Bidders seeking to prequalify for the concession are expected to demonstrate their experience managing infrastructure projects, design and installation of railway systems, manufacturing and supply of rolling stock and the operation and maintenance of light rail or metro projects. #*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more

Robson Green and Tom Brittney are back for Grantchester series 5 on Friday

first_imgGrantchester returns for a fifth series on ITV on Friday with Robson Green and Tom Brittney reprising their roles.The fourth series of the show saw original star James Norton bow out as Sidney Chambers and Tom Brittney arriving as Reverend Will Davenport, a new partner for Detective Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green).If you want to avoid all spoilers for series 5 of Grantchester, stop reading now.The synopsis for episode 1 is:Reverend Will Davenport is now fully at ease with his role as the Vicar of Grantchester, and happy helping to solve mysteries alongside his friend, Detective Inspector Geordie Keating.For Will, a version of Eden is within everyone’s reach, but Geordie knows that human nature is unpredictable, and every Eden has its snakes…It’s Spring Ball season, which is proving to be less ‘dinner and dancing’ and more ‘disturbing the peace’. When a student from a prestigious all-female college is found dead, Will and Geordie must infiltrate the murky world of campus politics and university societies to find the killer.Navigating strange initiations, raucous parties – and with investigative journalist, Ellie Harding, hot on their heels – they’ll need to use every advantage to unravel this mystery.Meanwhile, Geordie and Cathy are rubbing along together – just about – but are Cathy’s ambitions for a life of her own starting to test the delicate family balance? Will they need a little help at home?And curate Leonard, fresh from a spell with Daniel in Marrakech, finds it hard to acclimatise to living half-a-life back in Grantchester, especially with Mrs C and Jack in marital bliss…Grantchester returns for series 5 at 9pm Friday 10th January 2020 on ITV. Preview the episode with our gallery below: Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiece Credit: Kudos/ITV/Masterpiecelast_img read more