Last edited on Friday, December 17, 2021, at 01:54 PM.
Welcome to The Blanch Law Firm’s weekly digest of New New York Criminal Cases. Our goal is to keep the public informed as to recent events in federal courts around the country.
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Friday, December 17, 2021
Public Corruption by Government Official
This week, on Dec. 10, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, alongside David P. Berry, the NLRB’s Inspector General, announced the unsealing of a complaint charging Anett Rodrigues with honest services fraud and bribery.
According to the supporting documents in this case, the charges stem from a scheme in which Rodrigues, who used to be an employee of the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board), provided nonpublic NLRB documents to a co-conspirator in return for the regular payment of cash bribes. Rodrigues was presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison in White Plains federal court Dec. 10.
As alleged in the Complaint, the NLRB serves fact-finding and dispute-resolution functions, in which it investigates and resolves disputes between and among labor unions, company management, and company employees throughout the United States. The agency also supervises the formation and elections of labor unions and file a nonpublic “charge sheet,” which is not immediately publicly available, though they are provided to the companies involved, typically within a matter of days, and may be available in redacted form via Freedom of Information Act requests, typically within a matter of weeks.
However, Rodriguez used her position with the NLRB to provide one of these “nonpublic” documents to company officials who chose to bribe her for it.
Case of Securities Fraud
This week’s New York criminal cases also featured a former partner in a management consulting firm pleading guilty to a charge of insider trading. That occurred on Dec. 15,, when the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, announced that Puneet Dikshit, who was once a partner in a management consulting firm, pled guilty to one count of securities fraud in connection with his scheme to commit insider trading based on material, nonpublic information regarding the upcoming public announcement that an investment bank would be acquiring GreenSky, Inc. Dikshit pled guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.
According to the allegations in the Complaint, Information, and in court,
GreenSky was a publicly traded financial technology company that provided technology to banks and merchants to make loans to consumers. GreenSky’s common stock traded under the symbol “GSKY” on the NASDAQ. Between about Nov. 2019 and about July 2020, and again between about April 2021 and about Sept. 2021, the Investment Bank engaged the Consulting Firm to provide various consulting services related to its consideration of an acquisition of GreenSky and the post-acquisition integration of GreenSky. Dikshit was one of the Consulting Firm partners leading these engagements, so he had access to nonpublic information, which he misappropriated.
Criminal Court Holds Stalker/Harasser to Account
On Dec. 15, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, along with the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, Michael J. Driscoll, and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, announced that David Kaufman had pled guilty to the charge of stalking multiple victims between October 2019 and August 2020. The official guilty plea came that day before U.S. District Judge Nelson S. Román, to whom the case is assigned.
Kaufman admitted in court that he is a self-described “incel,” and that he had stalked and terrorized two victims, not only harassing them by impersonating them online, but also graphically threatening to murder them. Incels believe they are entitled to sex with women and to women’s bodies, and they blame women for refusing to have sex with them. “Incels” have an active online community and over the last seven years, Incels also have committed acts of violence against women worldwide.
Cases Requiring Accountability for Sexual Exploitation of a Child
The new cases brought this week in New York also included a case involving the sexual assault of a child in Grenada. According to the supporting documents in the case, during an October 2019 trip to Grenada, Treverson Roberts, 27, of Brooklyn, who has citizenship in both the United States and Grenada, allegedly forced a five-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him while the boy was temporarily left in his’ care.
According to some court documents in this case, during a trip to Grenada in October 2019, Roberts previously pleaded guilty to Grenadian charges related to the same abuse incident. However, his Grenadian sentence included no prison time and what he did receive was quite light, with a fine of $1,500 and an order requiring him to pay $600 compensation to the victim. This time, Roberts pled guilty to engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place and he now faces up to 30 years in prison.
A Case of Murder Charges Third Defendant
In the last new criminal court case this week, we will look at this week is what seems to be nothing more than a classic case of murder. On Dec. 15, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, announced that Luis Merced was in Manhattan federal court that day, to plead guilty to his involvement in the Brooklyn murder of Efren Cadenas on Feb. 10, 1089.
With this guilty plea, Merced becomes the third person to claim responsibility for the murder, after both William Skinner and Dorian Brooks pled guilty to the murder on Dec. 8, 2021.