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ADDRESSING POLICE MISCONDUCT LAWS ENFORCED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Meet David Bremer former

roommate of Pete Bennett.  Dave was beat to death in the Martinez Death Facility just after the massive Data Breach at Target Corporation.

INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 

The amount of Police Misconduct directed at Pete Bennett and his somewhat off the charts.  

ADDRESSING POLICE MISCONDUCT LAWS ENFORCED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

The vast majority of the law enforcement officers in this country perform their very difficult jobs with respect for their communities and in compliance with the law. Even so, there are incidents in which this is not the case. This document outlines the laws enforced by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) that address police misconduct and explains how you can file a complaint with DOJ if you believe that your rights have been violated.

Federal laws that address police misconduct include both criminal and civil statutes. These laws cover the actions of State, county, and local officers, including those who work in prisons and jails. In addition, several laws also apply to Federal law enforcement officers. The laws protect all persons in the United States (citizens and non-citizens).

Each law DOJ enforces is briefly discussed below. In DOJ investigations, whether criminal or civil, the person whose rights have been reportedly violated is referred to as a victim and often is an important witness. DOJ generally will inform the victim of the results of the investigation, but we do not act as the victim's lawyer and cannot give legal advice as a private attorney could. 

The various offices within DOJ that are responsible for enforcing the laws discussed in this document coordinate their investigative and enforcement efforts where appropriate. For example, a complaint received by one office may be referred to another if necessary to address the allegations. In addition, more than one office may investigate the same complaint if the allegations raise issues covered by more than one statute. 

What is the difference between criminal and civil cases? Criminal and civil laws are different. Criminal cases usually are investigated and handled separately from civil cases, even if they concern the same incident. In a criminal case, DOJ brings a case against the accused person; in a civil case, DOJ brings the case (either through litigation or an administrative investigation) against a governmental authority or law enforcement agency. In a criminal case, the evidence must establish proof "beyond a reasonable doubt," while in civil cases the proof need only satisfy the lower standard of a "preponderance of the evidence." Finally, in criminal cases, DOJ seeks to punish a wrongdoer for past misconduct through imprisonment or other sanction. In civil cases, DOJ seeks to correct a law enforcement agency's policies and practices that fostered the misconduct and, where appropriate, may require individual relief for the victim(s). 

FEDERAL CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT 

It is a crime for one or more persons acting under color of law willfully to deprive or conspire to deprive another person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (18 U.S.C. §§ 241, 242). "Under color of law" means that the person doing the act is using power given to him or her by a governmental agency (local, State, or Federal). A law enforcement officer acts "under color of law" even if he or she is exceeding his or her rightful power. The types of law enforcement misconduct covered by these laws include excessive force, sexual assault, intentional false arrests, theft, or the intentional fabrication of evidence resulting in a loss of liberty to another. Enforcement of these provisions does not require that any racial, religious, or other discriminatory motive existed.  What remedies are available under these laws? These are criminal statutes. Violations of these laws are punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. There is no private right of action under these statutes; in other words, these are not the legal provisions under which you would file a lawsuit on your own.

FEDERAL CIVIL ENFORCEMENT

"Police Misconduct Provision"

This law makes it unlawful for State or local law enforcement officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (34 U.S.C. § 12601). The types of conduct covered by this law can include, among other things, excessive force, discriminatory harassment, false arrests, coercive sexual conduct, and unlawful stops, searches or arrests. In order to be covered by this law, the misconduct must constitute a "pattern or practice" -- it may not simply be an isolated incident. The DOJ must be able to show in court that the agency has an unlawful policy or that the incidents constituted a pattern of unlawful conduct. However, unlike the other civil laws discussed below, DOJ does not have to show that discrimination has occurred in order to prove a pattern or practice of misconduct. What remedies are available under this law? The remedies available under this law do not provide for individual monetary relief for the victims of the misconduct. Rather, they provide for injunctive relief, such as orders to end the misconduct and changes in the agency's policies and procedures that resulted in or allowed the misconduct. There is no private right of action under this law; only DOJ may file suit for violations of the Police Misconduct Provision. 


Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the "OJP Program Statute"

Together, these laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion by State and local law enforcement agencies that receive financial assistance from DOJ. (42 U.S.C. § 2000d, et seq. and 34 U.S.C. § 10228). These laws prohibit both individual instances and patterns or practices of discriminatory misconduct, i.e., treating a person differently because of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion. The misconduct covered by Title VI and the OJP (Office of Justice Programs) Program Statute includes, for example, harassment or use of racial slurs, discriminatory arrests, discriminatory traffic stops, coercive sexual conduct, retaliation for filing a complaint with DOJ or participating in the investigation, discriminatory use of force, or refusal by the agency to respond to complaints alleging discriminatory treatment by its officers. What remedies are available under these laws? DOJ may seek changes in the policies and procedures of the agency to remedy violations of these laws and, if appropriate, also seek individual remedial relief for the victim(s). Individuals also have a private right of action in certain circumstances under Title VI and under the OJP Program Statute; in other words, you may file a lawsuit yourself under these laws. However, you must first exhaust your administrative remedies by filing a complaint with DOJ if you wish to file in Federal Court under the OJP Program Statute.

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of disability. (42 U.S.C. § 12131et seq. and 29 U.S.C. § 794). These laws protect all people with disabilities in the United States. An individual is considered to have a "disability" if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. 

The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all State and local government programs, services, and activities regardless of whether they receive DOJ financial assistance; it also protects people who are discriminated against because of their association with a person with a disability. Section 504 prohibits discrimination by State and local law enforcement agencies that receive financial assistance from DOJ. Section 504 also prohibits discrimination in programs and activities conducted by Federal agencies, including law enforcement agencies. 

These laws prohibit discriminatory treatment, including misconduct, on the basis of disability in virtually all law enforcement services and activities. These activities include, among others, interrogating witnesses, providing emergency services, enforcing laws, addressing citizen complaints, and arresting, booking, and holding suspects. These laws also prohibit retaliation for filing a complaint with DOJ or participating in the investigation. What remedies are available under these laws? If appropriate, DOJ may seek individual relief for the victim(s), in addition to changes in the policies and procedures of the law enforcement agency. Individuals have a private right of action under both the ADA and Section 504; you may file a private lawsuit for violations of these statutes. There is no requirement that you exhaust your administrative remedies by filing a complaint with DOJ first. 

HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH DOJ

Criminal Enforcement

If you would like to file a complaint alleging a violation of the criminal laws discussed above, you may contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is responsible for investigating allegations of criminal deprivations of civil rights. You may also contact the United States Attorney's Office (USAO) in your district. The FBI and USAOs have offices in most major cities and have publicly-listed phone numbers.

You can find your local office here:
https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us

Civil Enforcement

If you would like to report a violation of the Police Misconduct Statute, Title VI, or the OJP Program Statute, contact the Justice Department at civilrights.justice.gov.

How do I file a complaint about the conduct of a law enforcement officer from a Federal agency?

If you believe that you are a victim of criminal misconduct by a Federal law enforcement officer (such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the FBI; Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Agency, United States Marshals Service, or the Border Patrol), you should follow the procedures discussed above concerning how to file a complaint alleging violations of the criminal laws we enforce. If you believe that you have been subjected by a Federal law enforcement officer to the type of misconduct discussed above concerning "Federal Civil Enforcement," visit civilrights.justice.gov.

Reproduction of this document is encouraged.

This flyer is not intended to be a final agency action, has no legally binding effect, and has no force or effect of law.  This document may be rescinded or modified in the Department’s complete discretion, in accordance with applicable laws.  This flyer does not establish legally enforceable rights or responsibilities beyond what is required by the terms of the applicable statutes, regulations, or binding judicial precedent.  For more information, see "Memorandum for All Components: Prohibition of Improper Guidance Documents," from Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions III, November 16, 2017.


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United States Department of Labor / Government Entities: Working Together to Gain the Greatest Impact

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The current CEO and Chairman plus their billionaire owners should be charged with racketeering, obstruction of Justice
Kill the witness in Bennett vs. Southern Pacific

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Government Entities: Working Together to Gain the Greatest Impact

Employment Development Department

The Employment Development Department’s (EDD) Tax Branch works with employers to collect California’s employment taxes and data to support the employment security, child support, and personal income tax programs. The Tax Branch is committed to providing service to California employers and Unemployment Insurance, State Disability Insurance, and Paid Family Leave benefit claimants and to increasing voluntary compliance with payroll tax laws through education, simplified reporting processes, and the promotion of fair business competition.

The EDD’s Investigation Division Criminal Tax Enforcement Program is a specialized law enforcement unit that investigates criminal violations of the CUIC, the California Penal Code, and the United States Code for federal prosecutions. This unit is staffed by sworn peace officers who work with law enforcement agencies throughout California and the JESF partner agencies to identify and prosecute employer fraud. They conduct surveillance, perform undercover operations, interview witnesses, initiate search warrants, and submit completed investigations to prosecutors to convict individuals who commit employment tax fraud. The EDD determines if the convicted party made restitution, is still on active probation, and obeys all laws with respect to the future filing of returns and payments. The conviction itself and the collection of the tax liabilities play an integral part in deterring the underground economy. The EDD also collaborates on workers’ compensation insurance investigations related to state payroll tax violations.

Department of Consumer Affairs

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects and serves California consumers and ensures a competent and fair marketplace. The DCA helps consumers learn how to protect themselves from unscrupulous and unqualified individuals. The DCA protects professionals from unfair competition by identifying unlicensed practitioners.

The DCA – Contractors’ State License Board (CSLB) protects consumers by licensing and regulating California’s construction industry. There are about 300,000 licensed contractors in the State, in 43 different licensing classifications. In addition to consumer education on contractor and construction law, CSLB activities include: administer prospective licensee examinations; issue licenses; investigate complaints against licensed and unlicensed contractors; issue citations; suspend or revoke licenses; and seek administrative, criminal, and civil sanctions against violators. The CSLB’s Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) is set up to monitor and combat illegal activity. They have teams throughout the state that conduct sting operations on a regular basis and sweep construction sites. They also conduct joint operations and sweeps with other state agencies dedicated to combat underground activity.

The DCA – Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) investigates general auto repair complaints and ensures that shops comply with Smog Check statutes. Each year, the BAR handles more than 14,800 complaints related to auto repair and/or Smog Check inspections. The BAR staff investigates complaints and negotiates with the shop on the consumer’s behalf to achieve a mutually agreeable resolution. The bulk of complaints are resolved by mediation. Each year, the BAR returns over $6.3 million to California consumers in the form of direct refunds, rework, or adjustments.

The DCA – Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) protects consumers by licensing and regulating the following industries: alarm company operator and alarm company employees; locksmith companies and locksmith company employees; private investigators; private patrol operators and security guards; proprietary private security officers and employers; repossessor agencies and repossessor agency employees; and training facilities and training instructors. As part of its mission, the BSIS actively investigates complaints against its licensees and works to punish unlicensed business operations. This includes the suspension and revocation of licenses and seeking administrative, criminal, and civil sanctions against violators. Undercover sting and sweep operations are conducted on an ongoing basis throughout California. The BSIS also educates consumers, administers examinations to validate prospective licensees, and issues licenses and permits.

Department of Industrial Relations

The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) – Division of Labor Standards Enforcement’s (DLSE), Bureau of Field Enforcement is responsible for investigation and enforcement of statutes covering workers’ compensation insurance coverage, child labor, cash pay, unlicensed contractors, Industrial Welfare Commission orders, and group claims involving minimum wage and overtime claims. The Bureau of Field Enforcement also handles criminal investigations involving these group claims.

The DIR – Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s enforcement unit has jurisdiction over every employment situation and place of employment in California which is necessary to adequately enforce and administer all occupational safety and health standards and regulations. They conduct inspections of California workplaces in response to a report of an industrial accident, a complaint about an occupational safety and health hazard, or as part of an inspection program targeting industries which have a high rate of occupational hazards, fatalities, injuries, or illnesses.

California Department of Insurance

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) ensures that consumers are protected; the insurance marketplace is fostered to be vibrant and stable; the regulatory process is maintained as open and equitable; and the law is enforced fairly and impartially. The Fraud Division is charged with investigating insurance fraud, which includes the crimes of intentional misrepresentation of payroll and employee staffing in order to obtain lower rates for workers’ compensation insurance. Studies suggests that the aggressive anti-fraud campaign by the CDI, the district attorneys, the insurance industry, and California employers continues to play a substantial role in reducing crime and helps lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums for employers statewide.

Franchise Tax Board

The Franchise Tax Board’s (FTB) primary function is to administer the Revenue and Taxation Code. Elected officials determine the tax policy for raising revenue. Under the direction of the FTB’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) enforces the criminal provisions of the Revenue and Taxation Code. The CIB’s principal mission is to identify, investigate, prosecute and deter tax evasion and fraud, and encourage compliance with California income tax laws while maintaining the public’s trust through publicity. The CIB takes over where voluntary compliance and civil enforcement efforts end. Special agents with full peace officer powers investigate alleged criminal violations of the Revenue and Taxation Code, principally income tax fraud and evasion, and assist in prosecuting non-compliant individuals. The special agents work cases independently (agency only) and partner with city, county, State and federal agencies (jointly) when other charges exist. The special agents’ efforts are supported by forensic auditors, collectors, analysts and support staff; basically a micro-organization all in one bureau. The CIB also relies on a strong collaborative enterprise to accomplish their mission.

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) administers tax programs in four general areas: sales and use taxes, property taxes, special taxes and fees, and the tax appellate program. The Investigation Division and Special Operations Bureau plans, organizes, directs, and oversees all criminal investigative activities for the various programs administered by the CDTFA. Its goals are to identify tax evasion and new fraud schemes, and actively investigate and assist in the prosecution of individuals who are violating the laws administered by the CDTFA.

Department of Justice

The Department of Justice Attorney General works to protect California’s workers, legitimate businesses, and taxpayers through the Underground Economy Unit. The Underground Economy Unit brings civil and criminal actions against persons engaged in the underground economy. It has used California’s laws to obtain restitution of unpaid wages, civil penalties, and injunctions to bring businesses into compliance with applicable labor and employment, tax, and licensing laws. These enforcement efforts deter underground economy violations, recapture lost revenues, and protect workers and legitimate businesses from illegal and predatory enterprises. The Underground Economy Unit has prosecuted cases involving: wage, tax, and insurance issues including the theft of wages, unpaid overtime, denial of breaks, payroll tax evasion, and misclassification of employees as independent contractors; patterns of safety violations leading to fatal workplace injuries; workers’ compensation insurance premium fraud; and the illegal avoidance of workers’ compensation coverage for employees.

United States Department of Labor

The United States Department of Labor’s mission is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. The Fair Labor Standards Act prescribes standards for wages and overtime pay, which affect most private and public employment. The act is administered by the Wage and Hour Division. It requires employers to pay covered employees, who are not otherwise exempt, at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay of one and one-half-times the regular rate of pay. For nonagricultural operations, it restricts the hours that children under age 16 can work and forbids the employment of children under age 18 in certain jobs deemed too dangerous. For agricultural operations, it prohibits the employment of children under age 16 during school hours and in certain jobs deemed too dangerous. The Wage and Hour Division also enforces the labor standards provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act that apply to aliens authorized to work in the United States under certain nonimmigrant visa programs (H-1B, H-1B1, H-1C, H-2A).

California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s agents are peace officers under Section 830.2 of the California Penal Code and are empowered to investigate and make arrests for violations of the Business and Professions Code that occur on or about licensed premises. Agents are further empowered to enforce any penal provisions of the law in the state. Licensees who violate state laws or local ordinances are subject to disciplinary action and may have their licenses suspended or revoked. These licensees are entitled to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge and an appellate process to the State Supreme Court.

Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) mission is to provide America’s taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.

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EDD Fraud Convictions - USAO - California, Central


One-Time EDD Employee Agrees to Plead Guilty for Fraudulently Obtaining More Than $1.6 Million in COVID-Related Jobless Benefits

EDD Fraud Convictions

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 8, 2021

One-Time EDD Employee Agrees to Plead Guilty for Fraudulently Obtaining More Than $1.6 Million in COVID-Related Jobless Benefits

          LOS ANGELES – A former California Employment Development Department (EDD) employee has agreed to plead guilty to a federal criminal charge for causing nearly 200 fraudulent COVID-related unemployment relief claims to be filed in other people’s names, resulting in more than $1.6 million in ill-gotten gains, the Justice Department announced today.

          Gabriela Llerenas, a.k.a. “Maria G. Sandoval,” 49, of Perris, signed a plea agreement that was filed today in which she has agreed to plead guilty to a single-count information charging her with mail fraud.

          Court records show that Llerenas previously worked at EDD as a disability insurance program representative. She resigned in March 2002 after admitting to fraudulently authorizing and paying disability benefits administered by EDD. She was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison in connection with that scheme.

          The new scheme that Llerenas has admitted running took advantage of the expanded eligibility for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits made possible by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and signed into law in March 2020. The CARES Act provided additional UI benefits to qualified individuals and helped provide UI benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic to people who did not otherwise qualify, including business owners, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and those with a limited work history.

          From April to October 2020, Llerenas filed and caused the filing with EDD of fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits that falsely asserted the named claimants were self-employed independent contractors – often identifying them as cake decorators or event attendants – who were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Llerenas obtained some of the names, Social Security numbers and other identifying information she used to submit the fraudulent claims through her prior work as a tax preparer.

          In her plea agreement, Llerenas also admitted to falsely stating on some of the applications that the claimants were residents of California entitled to unemployment insurance benefits administered by EDD when in fact they lived elsewhere. She also admitted that, on some applications, she inflated the amounts of income she reported for the claimant to maximize the benefit amount. She also admitted to sometimes filing a dozen or more fraudulent EDD claims in a day.

          As a result of the fraudulent unemployment benefits applications that Llerenas filed and caused to be filed, EDD authorized Bank of America to mail debit cards in the names of the claimants to addresses she provided, including her residence, her husband’s business location, her mother’s apartment and the addresses of friends and other family members.

          Llerenas admitted that she charged the named claimants a fee for filling the applications, which was often paid out of the fraudulently obtained benefits. In at least one case, she told the named claimant that she was still employed at EDD and could control the distribution of the unemployment insurance benefits, and then demanded an additional payment for “releasing” the benefits.

          In total, 197 debit cards were fraudulently issued because of this scheme, resulting in losses to EDD and the United States Treasury that Llerenas has admitted were at least $1,633,487.

          Llerenas is scheduled to make her initial appearance on September 22. The criminal offense to which Llerenas has agreed to plead guilty carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

          The Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General, EDD-Investigations Division, Homeland Security Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General investigated this matter.

          Assistant United States Attorney Ranee A. Katzenstein, Chief of the Major Frauds Section, is prosecuting this case.

          On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud.

          The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

          Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Ciaran McEvoy Public Information Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) ciaran.mcevoy@usdoj.gov (213) 894-4465
Press Release Number: 
21-181
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Three Former U.S. Intelligence Community and Military Personnel Agree to Pay More Than $1.68 Million to Resolve Criminal Charges Arising from Their Provision of Hacking-Related Services to a Foreign Government

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The current CEO and Chairman plus their billionaire owners should be charged with racketeering, obstruction of Justice
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Three Former U.S. Intelligence Community and Military Personnel Agree to Pay More Than $1.68 Million to Resolve Criminal Charges Arising from Their Provision of Hacking-Related Services to a Foreign Government

Services, Including a Sophisticated ‘Zero Click’ Exploit, Violated U.S. Export Control and Computer Fraud and Abuse Laws

On Sept. 7, U.S. citizens, Marc Baier, 49, and Ryan Adams, 34, and a former U.S. citizen, Daniel Gericke, 40, all former employees of the U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) or the U.S. military, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) that restricts their future activities and employment and requires the payment of $1,685,000 in penalties to resolve a Department of Justice investigation regarding violations of U.S. export control, computer fraud and access device fraud laws. The Department filed the DPA today, along with a criminal information alleging that the defendants conspired to violate such laws.

According to court documents, the defendants worked as senior managers at a United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)-based company (U.A.E. CO) that supported and carried out computer network exploitation (CNE) operations (i.e., “hacking”) for the benefit of the U.A.E government between 2016 and 2019. Despite being informed on several occasions that their work for U.A.E. CO, under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), constituted a “defense service” requiring a license from the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), the defendants proceeded to provide such services without a license.

These services included the provision of support, direction and supervision in the creation of sophisticated “zero-click” computer hacking and intelligence gathering systems – i.e., one that could compromise a device without any action by the target. U.A.E. CO employees whose activities were supervised by and known to the defendants thereafter leveraged these zero-click exploits to illegally obtain and use access credentials for online accounts issued by U.S. companies, and to obtain unauthorized access to computers, like mobile phones, around the world, including in the United States.

“This agreement is the first-of-its-kind resolution of an investigation into two distinct types of criminal activity: providing unlicensed export-controlled defense services in support of computer network exploitation, and a commercial company creating, supporting and operating systems specifically designed to allow others to access data without authorization from computers worldwide, including in the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “Hackers-for-hire and those who otherwise support such activities in violation of U.S. law should fully expect to be prosecuted for their criminal conduct.”

“Left unregulated, the proliferation of offensive cyber capabilities undermines privacy and security worldwide. Under our International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the United States will ensure that U.S. persons only provide defense services in support of such capabilities pursuant to proper licenses and oversight,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia. “A U.S. person’s status as a former U.S. government employee certainly does not provide them with a free pass in that regard.”

“The FBI will fully investigate individuals and companies that profit from illegal criminal cyber activity,” said Assistant Director Bryan Vorndran of the FBI’s Cyber Division. “This is a clear message to anybody, including former U.S. government employees, who had considered using cyberspace to leverage export-controlled information for the benefit of a foreign government or a foreign commercial company – there is risk, and there will be consequences.”

“Today’s announcement shines a light on the unlawful activity of three former members of the U.S. Intelligence Community and military,” said Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “These individuals chose to ignore warnings and to leverage their years of experience to support and enhance a foreign government’s offensive cyber operations. These charges and the associated penalties make clear that the FBI will continue to investigate such violations.”

The Defendants’ Applicable Conduct

After leaving U.S. government employment, Baier, Adams and Gericke worked for a U.S. Company (U.S. Company One) that provided cyber services to a U.A.E. government agency in compliance with the ITAR pursuant to a DDTC-issued Technical Assistance Agreement (TAA) signed by U.S. Company One, the U.A.E. government, and its relevant intelligence agency. U.S. Company One’s TAA specifically required the parties to abide by U.S. export control laws; obtain preapproval from a U.S. government agency prior to releasing information regarding “cryptographic analysis and/or computer network exploitation or attack,” and; not “target or exploit U.S. Persons (i.e., U.S. citizens, permanent resident aliens, or U.S. companies or entities, or other persons in the United States) . . .” While employed by U.S. Company One, the defendants received periodic ITAR and TAA training.

In January 2016, after receiving an offer for higher compensation and an expanded budget, the defendants joined U.A.E. CO as senior managers of a team known as Cyber Intelligence-Operations (CIO). Prior to their departure, U.S. Company One repeatedly informed its employees, including the defendants, that the services they were providing constituted “defense services” under the ITAR, and that U.S. persons could not lawfully provide such services to U.A.E. CO without obtaining a separate TAA. After joining U.A.E. CO, the defendants sought continued access to U.S. Company One’s ITAR-controlled information, including from U.S. Company One employees, in violation of the TAA and the ITAR.

Between January 2016 and November 2019, the defendants and other U.A.E. CO CIO employees expanded the breadth and increased the sophistication of the CNE operations that CIO was providing to the U.A.E. government. For example, over an 18-month period, CIO employees, with defendants’ support, direction and supervision, created two similar “zero-click” computer hacking and intelligence gathering systems that leveraged servers in the United States belonging to a U.S. technology company (U.S. Company Two) to obtain remote, unauthorized access to any of the tens of millions of smartphones and mobile devices utilizing a U.S. Company Two-provided operating system. The defendants and other CIO employees colloquially referred to these two systems as “KARMA” and “KARMA 2.”

CIO employees whose activities were supervised by and/or known to the defendants used the KARMA systems to obtain, without authorization, targeted individuals’ login credentials and other authentication tokens (i.e., unique digital codes issued to authorized users) issued by U.S. companies, including email providers, cloud storage providers, and social media companies. CIO employees then used these access devices to, again without authorization, log into the target’s accounts to steal data, including from servers within the United States.

U.S. Company Two updated the operating system for its smartphones and other mobile devices in September 2016, undercutting the usefulness of KARMA. Accordingly, CIO created KARMA 2, which relied on a different exploit.  In the summer of 2017, the FBI informed U.S. Company Two that its devices were vulnerable to the exploit used by KARMA 2. In August 2017, U.S. Company Two updated the operating system for its smartphones and other mobile devices, limiting KARMA 2’s functionality. However, both KARMA and KARMA 2 remained effective against U.S. Company Two devices that used older versions of its operating system.

The DPA’s Terms

Under the terms of the DPA, Baier, Adams and Gericke agreed to pay $750,000, $600,000, and $335,000 respectively, over a three-year term, which they may not be reimbursed for without the express approval of the U.S. government. In addition to the financial penalties, as part of the DPA, the defendants agreed to full cooperation with the relevant Department and FBI components; the immediate relinquishment of any foreign or U.S. security clearances; a lifetime ban on future U.S. security clearances; and certain future employment restrictions, including a prohibition on employment that involves CNE activity or exporting defense articles or providing defense services under the ITAR (e.g., CNE techniques), and restrictions on employment for certain U.A.E. organizations.

The investigation was conducted jointly by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department’s National Security Division (NSD), and the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Demian Ahn and Tejpal Chawla of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Counsel for Cyber Investigations Ali Ahmad and Trial Attorney Scott Claffee of NSD’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section led the investigation for the government.

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Connecting Events to Companies

The Living, Dead and Destroyed Outsourcing Stories

Pete Bennett's grassroots efforts regarding the impact of the H-1b eventuall destroyed his family, career and his health.

Outsourcing

Bennett appeared on PBS with Oracle Spokesman Robert Hoffman. The core topic was outsourcing of US Jobs and the impact of the H-1b visa.
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Nothing in San Francisco not even the reward for the murder of Officer Lester Garnier

Harris indicts Childs

Indict, fire or kill US Programmers so as too outsource your personal reocords.
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Mr. Childs was seen at Pacific IT Professionals a 4,000 member IT Professional association

Outsourcing Clearing Procedure

Bennett met Mr. Childs at local tech meetings. Many in tech consider his arrest and charge overkill but length of sentence more disturbing.
Photo of sunset

Nothing in San Francisco not even the reward for the murder of Officer Lester Garnier

The Untold Dead Candidates Stories

What Pete Bennett and Kamala Harris know but only Pete is will to share.

2016 ~ Pete Bennett beaten downtown Walnut Creek

the 1984 Timothy Lee Murder on Concord CA

Pete Bennett a resident of Contra Costa County since 1978 sat back for years watching endless incidents of murders, hate crimes and setups of suspects. His first case was a car arson fire at the end of Santa Monica Drive.

1982 to 1996 The Railroad Billionaire

Philip Anschutz Chairman of Southern Pacific
The KKK comes around

Attorney Rick Kopf appeared in Contra Costa County Superior Court on behalf of Southern Pacific. Back in 1989 this collection of parties from Southern Pacific likely colluded in destroying Bennett vs. Southern Pacific by killing a key witness.


Today Bennett believes the murders and hate crimes lead to the investigators.

1he 1978 KKK Invitation

The KKK comes around
Bennett relocated to Walnut Creek California during June 1978 renting a cottage house next to Coop Grocery on Geary Road. The property was owned by Jack Bennett (Cousin) and Irene Gorgas of Ideal Homes located on N. Main at Geary.

1979-1992 ~ Sheriff Rainey

The KKK comes around
Sheriff Richard Rainey has part of Contra Costa Sheriff since the mid sixties. Bennett arrived in June 1978 where he ran into a series of people clearly connected to the KKK. Given the large number of cold cases something is amiss in the statistics.

1979-1992 ~ Mark Peterson

The KKK comes around
Mark Peterson held the highest level of trust in Contra Costa County as District Attorney. During June 2017 Peterson was charged with perjury connected his fibbing on Fair Political Practices forms (FPPC). During 2010 Bennett met with Peterson with at least a dozen withenss.

Southern Pacific General Counsel

The KKK comes around
This attorney and his connections to the inner power structure of Contra Costa County was defense council in the Matter of Bennett vs. Southern Pacific filed in 1987 lost in 1990.
RRX143_Rick_Kopf

2003 to 2015 Mark Coon

The KKK comes around
Mark Coon was the most gracious person. He met with Pete Bennett in regards to the City of Concord Entertainment Permit. The dispute arose when Bennett attempted to busk downtown in Todos Santos Park. Bennett went the Concord Police Department where he met with Chief Livingston. Years later Bennett realized Livingston was present at the Pine Wood Derby the same weekend his sons were taken.
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