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Thursday, October 31, 2013

U.S. CONGRATULATES THE PEOPLE OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA ON THEIR NATIONAL DAY

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT 
Antigua and Barbuda's National Day
Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 31, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to congratulate the people of Antigua and Barbuda as you celebrate 32 years of independence on November 1.

The United States and Antigua and Barbuda share a long history of cooperation and friendship. We work together to defend democracy and promote human rights. Our partnership through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative underscores our commitment to improve the safety of our citizens throughout the region.

The United States remains committed to working with you to create economic opportunities and expand trade, and we look forward to strengthening our partnership in the years to come.

I wish you a happy independence day.

Press Briefing | The White House

Press Briefing | The White House

First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at the White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest | The White House

First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at the White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest | The White House

Smoking around kids with asthma

Smoking around kids with asthma

El lanzamiento de los satélites que estudiarán el campo magnético, Swarm, se aplaza

El lanzamiento de los satélites que estudiarán el campo magnético, Swarm, se aplaza

SECRETARY OF STATE KERRY'S REMARKS AT DEDICATION OF WINSTON CHURCHILL BUST

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Remarks at the Dedication of a Bust of Winston Churchill

Remarks
John Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC
October 30, 2013

Speaker Boehner, Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and Leader McConnell, distinguished guests all, thank you to the leadership of the Congress for making this possible and bringing us all together today to celebrate our remarkable guest of honor – regal, resplendent, this incredible bust of Sir Winston Churchill.
Sizing up this famous and inimitable expression forever now captured in bronze and forever here in the Capitol, we remember not just the stirring oratory that you heard us reminded of in the speeches thus far, oratory that literally rescued the world, gave hope to the world. But we also know something about this man’s capacity to put the fear of God into his critics and anyone who dared to take him on, the withering retorts that struck fear into those critics. It was Churchill, after all, at a late-night party long past its rightful expiration date, who encountered a scold from his own party, who exclaimed in horror, “Winston, you’re drunk! You’re very drunk! You are very, very drunk!” And Winston, without missing a beat, looked back and said, “You, you are ugly. You are very ugly. You are very, very ugly, and what’s more, tomorrow I shall be sober.” (Laughter.)

This man was an original in every respect. When he was invited to the White House to stay for a week, he stayed for months. He felt free to use President Roosevelt’s bathtub, but no need to wear his bathrobes or any bathrobe when he was done. He really wrote the book on marching to the tune of your own beat, your own drummer.

Leadership in times of crisis – that was Winston Churchill, a call to a great cause – among all things, above all things, parochial. A man who answered his country’s call and was sobered by service in war himself – that was Winston Churchill. But so, too, did he remind us often that sometimes laughter is precisely the prescription for the ills of any political system. Even as Sir Winston famously summoned the humility to laugh at himself – or, as we know, sometimes at the expense of others – his defining characteristic was, of course, the courage to lead so many through so much. Last autumn, I had the privilege of finding myself in London, standing in the same subterranean World War II bunker, the very first of what we now call war rooms. And that was where Winston Churchill presided over Great Britain’s finest hour. It gave me new respect for a man who understood the nightly bombing raids and summoned in fresh words what today had been repeated and remembered by so many – to never, never, never give up.

It’s easy to forget that Churchill didn’t just commend those words to others; he lived them himself. When he was a prisoner of war in Africa, he managed to escape. When demoted for his role in Gallipoli in World War I, he picked himself up, taking a new leadership role on the Western Front. And when he was defeated as Prime Minister, knocked down with his party in a crushing political defeat just a year after I was born, he managed to dust himself off and wait for history to call again. He proved to all the world that life as well as leadership go on long after losing a mere election. He understood that – he understood the United States better, sometimes, than we even understood ourselves. He was the son of an American mother, proud to have had two great-grandfathers who fought in George Washington’s army – one in the Berkshire County Militia, and the other as part of the 4th Massachusetts Regiment.

And so it was fitting that in the shadows of World War II, and in the dawn of the Cold War, when some at home hoped the United States would turn inward, Churchill looked outward again and across the Atlantic. He traveled to the heartland of our country, to a tiny college in Fulton, Missouri, and he spoke of America’s awe-inspiring accountability to the future. With so many challenges all across the world today, struggles to be won, pandemics to be defeated, history yet to be defined, Churchill can be heard once again, with this bust, asking all of us to define our time here not in shutdowns or showdowns but in a manner befitting of a country that still stands, as he said then, at the pinnacle of power. That quintessential British subject and statesman upon whom President Kennedy, as we learned from the Speaker, conferred American citizenship, helped define the relationship, the special relationship, between the United States and the United Kingdom. But more than that, he understood that even the greatest patriots are not just citizens of their own countries, but citizens of the world, with responsibilities that go with it.

As the proud recipient of the State Department’s first and only honorary American passport, he would no doubt look to all of us today to use the privilege of our own passports, as he did, to help meet the world’s challenges in troubled corners of the globe. Cynics today might say, well, that’s an improbable aspiration. But hundreds of years ago, in this very city, what could have seemed more improbable than this day itself, to think that in Statuary Hall, a building British troops tried to burn down, that now the bust of a one-time Secretary, Secretary of State for the Colonies, will forever stand alongside the statue of Samuel Adams, the founder of the Sons of Liberty? And well it should, to remind us that our job is to do the improbable. And in that endeavor, as Winston Churchill’s likeness resides among our greatest patriots, Winston will remain forever an inspiration to those in the Capitol and across the continents.

We are sometimes – all of us, as we know too well – separated by oceans, and we are sometimes separated by political party or by ideology. But this bust will remind us of the bridges that we must build to span the gaps so that the work of democracy can continue, so that together we might fulfill the solemn duty to carry forward the cause of freedom and fundamental rights, and so that we can strengthen our alliances mindful that in a world far more complex than even Winston Churchill could’ve ever imagined or predicted, progress comes only when we pursue it together. The truth is that this bust residing in this Capitol in this place will remind us of that forever. (Applause.)

SEC GET SUMMARY JUDGEMENT AGAINST DEFENDANTS OFFERING FICTITIOUS INVESTMENT

FROM:  U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 
SEC Obtains Summary Judgment Against Defendants Charged with Defrauding Investors in Fictitious Offering

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the SEC's motion for summary judgment against all primary defendants and certain relief defendants in a civil action arising from a prime bank investment scheme that defrauded at least 13 investors out of more than $2 million from August 2010 to November 2011.  Pursuant to the court’s ruling and judgment issued on August 26, 2013, the court permanently enjoined Washington D.C. attorney Brynee K. Baylor, her law firm Baylor & Jackson, P.L.L.C., and their former “client” The Milan Group, Inc. from violations of the antifraud and other securities law provisions, and from engaging in similar investment schemes. The court also required these defendants to pay disgorgement and penalties, required the Estate of Frank L. Pavlico to pay disgorgement, and barred Baylor from acting as an officer or director of any public company.  The court required relief defendants Patrick T. Lewis and The Julian Estate to disgorge illegally obtained investor funds.  The court granted in part or denied summary judgment against two other relief defendants, but declined in September 2013 to reconsider that ruling.

The SEC’s complaint, filed on November 30, 2011, alleged that Pavlico and Baylor operated a prime bank scheme, offering investors risk-free returns of up to 20 times the original investment within as few as 45 days through the purported “lease” and “trading” of foreign bank instruments, including “standby letters of credit” and “bank guarantees,” in highly complex transactions with unidentified parties and secretive international “trading platforms.”  However, the bank instruments and trading programs were entirely fictitious.  As the complaint alleged, Pavlico and Baylor provided investors with phony contracts and legal documents, digitally-created computer screen shots, and copies of fictitious foreign bank instruments as purported proof of the ongoing success of the transactions.  Baylor and her law firm acted as “counsel” for Pavlico’s company Milan, vouching for Pavlico and acting as an escrow agent that in reality was merely receiving and diverting the majority of investor funds.

In furtherance of the scheme, the complaint alleged that Baylor provided investors with “attorney attestation” letters that assured them the investments were legitimate, and investor contracts that promised investment profits would be shared among investors, Milan, and Baylor & Jackson.  Meanwhile, Pavlico was using a fake name of “Frank Lorenzo” to conceal his 2008 money laundering conviction from investors.  The complaint also alleged that Pavlico and Baylor used investor funds to pay Baylor & Jackson business expenses as well as personal expenditures.

The court held in its summary judgment ruling that Baylor, an experienced lawyer, “acted with extreme recklessness” in the scheme, carrying out Pavlico’s bidding while failing to exercise even a “modicum of lawyerly interest in the legal implications of” Pavlico’s and Milan’s activities.  The court found that Baylor “encouraged others to invest in unregistered securities, aided and abetted Milan’s fraud, and knowingly allowed investors’ monies—placed for safekeeping in her firm’s IOLTA account—to be dispersed to Milan and then back to her”, with 71% of investor funds paid out to Baylor and Pavlico and no funds being used in any investment.  Finding the record clear despite Baylor’s claimed ignorance of the fraud, the court ruled that she made “extensive material misrepresentations and omissions....   Ms. Baylor knew that she omitted telling investors about the disbursements from her IOLTA account without any investment; she knew that she told investors that Milan was just closing a deal and/or that all would be well with multiple investments when, in fact, no profits were ever returned to an investor; she knew that she told investors that investments through Milan were outside federal oversight when, at best, she had not researched the question; and she knew that she was assuring investors that she had ‘validated’ aspects of the transactions, as an attorney, when, in fact, she had not.”  The court found that “Baylor’s attempt to use her role as an attorney as a shield is particularly pernicious because, as an attorney, she was in the position to lead investors to believe that their money was safe.”

The court granted the SEC’s motion for summary judgment against all of the principal defendants—Baylor, Baylor & Jackson, The Milan Group, and Frank Pavlico, as substituted by his Estate following his death in December 2012 during the litigation—that they violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and that Pavlico, Baylor, and Baylor & Jackson aided and abetted violations of these provisions; that they violated Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act and that Baylor and Baylor & Jackson aided and abetted such violations; and that Baylor and Pavlico violated Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act.

The judgment permanently enjoins Baylor, Baylor & Jackson, and Milan from violating and aiding and abetting violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5, and from violating Section 5 of the Securities Act and Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act.  The judgment also prohibits Baylor, Baylor & Jackson, and Milan from soliciting or accepting funds from investors in investment programs relating to bank instruments or bank instrument trading programs, or in any other investment program.  The judgment holds the Estate of Frank Pavlico, Milan, Baylor & Jackson, and Baylor jointly and severally liable for disgorgement of their ill-gotten gains of $2,665,000, together with prejudgment interest thereon of $157,414, for a total of $2,822,414.  The judgment orders Baylor to pay the remaining obligation of $2,752,758 and directed the Estate of Pavlico to make payments as directed in the future by the court as the Estate collects estate assets and pays estate costs.  The judgment also orders Milan to pay a civil penalty of $1,318,734 and orders Baylor and Baylor & Jackson to pay, jointly and severally, a civil penalty of $746,266.  The judgment permanently bars Baylor from acting as an officer or director of any public company.

The court also granted summary judgment against two relief defendants, Patrick Lewis and The Julian Estate, an entity Pavlico formed to purchase a residence using investor funds.  The judgment orders Lewis to pay $375,000 and orders The Julian Estate to pay $437,250, with the amount to be satisfied by the sale of the property it purchased with investor funds.

The court also granted in part the SEC’s motion for summary judgment against relief defendant Mia Baldassari with respect to $13,156 she received from Milan, but denied further relief against her.  The court also denied summary judgment against relief defendant Brett Cooper, whom the SEC alleged received investor funds from Milan through his company Global Funding Systems, LLC.  In September 2013, the court denied the SEC’s request to reconsider its summary judgment rulings as to Cooper and Mia Baldassari and, therefore, the litigation as to them is pending.

The court previously entered default judgments against two other relief defendants:  on November 14, 2012 the court ordered Patrick Lewis’ company GPH Holdings, LLC to pay a total of $399,743, consisting of $375,000 it received in investor funds plus $24,743 in prejudgment interest; and on January 23, 2013, the court ordered Brett Cooper’s company Global Funding Systems, LLC to pay a total of $238,253, consisting of $225,000 it received in investor funds plus $13,253 in prejudgment interest.

In addition, the SEC previously settled with relief defendant Dawn Jackson, Baylor’s law partner, and the court entered a final judgment against her on March 21, 2013.  Without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC’s complaint, Jackson agreed to the final judgment that held her liable for disgorgement of $153,000 and $9,410 in prejudgment interest, for a total of $162,410, the payment of which is to be made from the sale, if any, of a Bahamian property but is otherwise waived based on Jackson’s sworn statement of financial condition.

The SEC previously dismissed its case against three other relief defendants, Susan C. Kevra-Shiner, the Law Office of Susan Kevra, and Elmo Baldassari, upon satisfaction that they no longer held any improperly gained investor funds.

EDUCATION DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCED NEW EFFORTS TO IMPROVE VALUE AND AFFORDABILITY OF COLLEGES

FROM:  U.S. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT 
U.S. Department of Education Announces New Public Engagement Efforts to Improve College Value and Affordability
OCTOBER 30, 2013

In order to gather public input about the Obama Administration's proposals to address rising college costs and make college more affordable for American families, the U.S. Department of Education is announcing new details today about its plan to engage stakeholders over the coming months.

In a Federal Register notice published today, the Department announced that it will host four public forums across the country. These forums will coincide with the Department's upcoming Request for Information (RFI) to ask experts to weigh in on methods for creating a college ratings system that would better inform students and encourage institutions to improve.

"One of the best ways to address the challenges to our higher education system is through shared input," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "We plan to engage as many stakeholder groups and individuals as possible to help us develop proposals that are useful to students and take into account the diversity of America's colleges and universities."

The open forums are designed to offer the opportunity for members of the public to provide feedback and input on the Department's proposals, as well as to hear the views of others. The four forums will take place:

On November 6th at California State University, Dominguez Hills
On November 13th at George Mason University
On November 15th at the University of Northern Iowa
On November 21st at Louisiana State University
Specific details about each public forum will provided later, and posted online here: www.ed.gov/college-affordability

In addition to hosting the forums, the Department will continue to plan and participate in outreach events like roundtable discussions, town hall conversations, and meetings with key stakeholders. Since the President's announcement in August of a new college value and affordability plan, Secretary Duncan and department officials have participated in events across the country to hear suggestions and concerns. Officials have met in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C, with groups including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Historically Black Colleges and University Presidents' Board of Advisors, the American Council on Education, student leadership associations, independent college groups in Massachusetts and California, and over the next few weeks will meet with community colleges, business leaders, parents, faculty, and others.

In the coming weeks, the Department will also formally ask data experts and researchers to weigh in on the college ratings system through an RFI. Early next year, the Department will host a technical symposium where external experts can engage in further discussion and deliberate on these issues in greater depth. The Department will then publish a summary of the recommendations that were developed as a result of the RFI and the symposium, as well as other resources identified by external experts participating in the symposium, on the Department's college affordability Web site, www.ed.gov/college-affordability. The Department will use the feedback it receives to inform the development of proposed college rating metrics, which it will share in the spring for public comment.

The open forums are free and open to the public. Individuals desiring to present comments or feedback at an open forum should register by sending an e-mail at least three days prior to the open forum to collegefeedback@ed.gov with the subject "Open Forum Registration." Each participant will be limited to five minutes for comments. The Department will notify registrants of the location and time slot reserved for them. An individual may make only one presentation at the open forums. Walk-in registrations will also be accepted for any remaining time slots on a first-come, first-served basis at the Department's on-site registration table.

For those unable to attend the forums in person, their ideas may also be submitted online, by sending an e-mail to collegefeedback@ed.gov, or by mail to the U.S. Department of Education headquarters in D.C. Transcripts from the open forums will be made available on the Department's college affordability Web site, www.ed.gov/college-affordability, shortly after each event. More information on the President's plan to improve college value and affordability is available on this site, as well as additional details on upcoming open forums, town hall meetings, and roundtable discussions across the country.

If you wish to testify and use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339 for more information.

If you have difficulty understanding English you may request language assistance services for Department information that is available to the public. These language assistance services are available free of charge. If you need more information about interpretation or translation services, please call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (TTY: 1-800-437-0833), or email us at:Ed.Language.Assistance@ed.gov. Transcripts from the open forums will be made available on the www.ed.gov Web site for public viewing.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

President Obama Speaks on Changes and Improvements in the Individual Insurance Market | The White House

President Obama Speaks on Changes and Improvements in the Individual Insurance Market | The White House

DOD CONTRACTS FOR OCTOBER 31, 2013

FROM:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE 
CONTRACTS

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Honeywell International Inc., Tempe, Ariz., has been awarded a maximum $502,425,544 firm-fixed-price with prospective-price-redetermination, indefinite-quantity contract for purchase of spare parts to support various weapon systems to include aircraft, engines, helicopters, and related hardware. This is a five-year base contract with one four-year option period. This contract was a sole-source acquisition. Locations of performance are Arizona, North Carolina, California, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and New Mexico with an Oct 29, 2018, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 through fiscal 2018 defense working capital funds. Funding will be provided as delivery orders are issued. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Richmond, Va., (SPE4AX-14-D-9401).

ARMY

BAE Systems Land & Armaments LP, York, Pa., was awarded a $195,430,914 fixed-price-plus-incentive contract to procure Paladin Integrated Management low rate initial production of 19 self-propelled Howitzers (SPH), 18 Carrier Ammunition Tracked (CAT) vehicles, 13 SPH Threshold 2 (T2) armor kits, 11 CAT T2 armor kits, and 37 lots of basic issue items. Work will be performed at York, Pa., and 25 locations throughout the United States. Work is expected to be completed Feb. 29, 2016. One bid was solicited and one received. Fiscal 2013 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $14,612,394 and fiscal 2013 other funds in the amount of $180,818,520 are being obligated on award. Army Contracting Command, Tank and Automotive, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (56HZV-14C-0002).

Boeing Co., Mesa, Ariz., was awarded a $59,569,990 modification (P00056) to firm-fixed-price contract W58RGZ-11-C-0025. This contract action exercises option-year three for Army Aviation Missile Command Material/Lanot for service of the Apache D unique components on the performance based logistics contract. Work will be performed in Mesa, Ariz., and is expected to be complete by Oct. 31, 2014. Fiscal 2013 other funds in the amount of $59,569,990 are being obligated on award. Army Contracting Command, Redstone, Arsenal (Aviation) Ala., is the contracting activity.

ACC Construction Co., Augusta, Ga., was awarded a $21,786,027 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of Phase III of Basic Training Complex III including the construction of two basic training barracks. Work will be performed at Fort Jackson, S.C., with an expected completion date of Feb. 10, 2016. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 10 bids received. Fiscal 2014 military construction funds in the amount of $21,786,027 will be obligated on award. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston, S.C, is the contracting activity (W912HP-14-C-0003).

NAVY

Sikorsky Support Services Inc., Stratford, Conn., is being awarded an $110,830,801 indefinite-delivery requirements contract for organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance to support T-34, T-44, and T-6 aircraft. In addition this contract provides logistics support including labor, services, facilities, equipment, tools, related support equipment, and direct and indirect material to support 92 T-34, 54 T-44, 42 T-6A, and 181 T-6B aircraft based at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, Texas, NAS Whiting Field, Fla., and NAS Pensacola, Fla. Work will be performed in Corpus Christi, Texas (50 percent), Whiting Field, Fla. (39 percent), Pensacola, Fla. (8 percent), and various sites within the continental United States (3 percent), and work is expected to be completed in October 2014. Contract funds will not be obligated at time of award. Funding will be obligated upon issuance of task orders. This contract was competitively procured via limited competition and two offers were solicited and received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-14-D-0003).

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., is being awarded an $86,832,600 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-10-C-0009) to procure two additional Lot II S-70B anti-submarine warfare/anti-surface warfare aircraft for the Government of Brazil under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program. This effort includes associated non-recurring engineering, production, and transportation, as well as training and field support. Work will be performed in West Palm Beach, Fla. (50 percent); Troy, Ala. (25 percent), and Stratford, Conn. (25 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2017. FMS contract funds in the amount of $86,832,600 will be obligated at time of award, none of which expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

American Equipment Inc.*, Salt Lake City, Utah (N62470-14-D-5014); Crane Technologies Group Inc.*, Rochester Hills, Mich. (N62470-14-D-5015); HECO-Pacific Manufacturing Inc.*, Union City, Calif. (N62470-14-D-5016); Piedmont Hoist and Crane Inc.*, Colfax, N.C. (N62470-14-D-5017); Sievert Electric Service and Sales Co.*, Forest Park, Ill. (N62470-14-D-5018); and Westmont Industries*, Santa Fe Springs, Calif. (N62470-14-D-5019), are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multiple award contract for ordering new, and overhauling existing, weight handling equipment located primarily within Navy, Marine Corps, and other federal activities worldwide. The maximum dollar value including the base period and four option years for all six contracts combined is $30,000,000. The weight handling equipment is of varying types and lifting capacities (bridge cranes, monorails, jib cranes, hoists, wall cranes, and gantry cranes up to a maximum of 30-ton capacity; up to a maximum single span of 60 feet). Work includes but is not limited to, site survey/investigation, design, fabrication, crane rail survey/installation, demolition/removal of existing cranes and equipment, runway/equipment electrification, crane installation, crane testing, and operational training. Work will be performed for Navy, Marine Corps, and other federal activities worldwide, including work on existing or installation of new weight handling equipment. Manufacturing or crane fabrication includes sites in Utah (20 percent), Michigan (20 percent), California (20 percent), North Carolina (20 percent), and Illinois (20 percent). Work is expected to be completed by October 2018. Fiscal 2014 military construction, Navy contract funds in the amount of $60,000 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with seven proposals received. These six contractors may compete for task orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity.

Specpro Technical Services LLC, San Antonio, Texas, is being awarded a $13,012,227 firm-fixed-price contract for information systems engineering support, information assurance/system security support, system operation and maintenance, information management support, and applications development support for the Department of Defense joint medical facilities in the National Capital Area/National Capital Region. This contract contains options, which if exercised, will bring the total value of the contract to $23,422,445. Work will be performed in Bethesda, Md. (73 percent) and Fort Belvoir, Va. (27 percent), and work is expected to be completed March 31, 2014. If all options are exercised, work will continue through July 31, 2014. Fiscal 2014 defense health procurement operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $13,012,227 will be obligated at the time of award, and will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2304 (c)(1). NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk, Contracting Department, Philadelphia Office, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (N00189-14-C-Z004).

EDO Corp., Defense Systems, a subsidiary of Exelis Inc.*, North Amityville, N.Y., is being awarded a $13,009,938 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 181 bomb rack unit 70/A digital improved triple ejector racks for the U.S. Navy (161) and the Government of Spain (20). Work will be performed in North Amityville, N.Y., and is expected to be completed in March 2016. Fiscal 2012 aircraft procurement, Navy and foreign military sales contract funds in the amount of $13,009,938 will be obligated at time of award, $11,574,058 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6302-1. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($11,574,058; 89.53 percent) and the Government of Spain ($1,435,880; 10.47 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-14-C-0008).

Hamilton Sundstrand Corp., Rockford, Ill., is being awarded $7,416,890 for firm-fixed-price delivery order 7005 against previously awarded contract (N00383-12-D-011N) for the repair of 118 aircraft constant frequency generators in support of the V-22 Osprey. Work will be performed in Rockford, Ill., and work is expected to be completed by March 31, 2014. Fiscal 2014 Navy working capital funds in the amount of $7,416,890 will be obligated at the time of award, and will not expire before the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1). NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support, Contracting Department, Philadelphia Office, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.

L-3 Communications, Communication Systems-West, Salt Lake City, Utah, is being awarded a $7,289,689 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-12-C-2024) to exercise an option for the manufacture, test, delivery and support of 13 Common Data Link Hawklink AN/ARQ-59 radio terminal sets for the Royal Australian Navy MH-60R aircraft under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program. Work will be performed in Salt Lake City, Utah (60 percent); Atlanta, Ga. (14 percent); Mountain View, Calif. (6 percent); Exeter, N.H. (2 percent); and Phoenix, Ariz.; El Cajon, Calif.; Oxnard, Calif.; Salinas, Calif.; Sunnyvale, Calif.; Boise, Idaho; Derby, Kan.; Littleton, Mass.; Stow, Mass.; Minnetonka, Minn.; Skokie, Ill.; Dover, N.H.; Bohemia, N.Y.; York Haven, Pa.; Providence, R.I.; Cedar Park, Texas; Ft. Worth, Texas; and Toronto, Canada (1 percent each), and is expected to be completed in September 2014. FMS funds in the amount of $7,289,689 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY

L-3 Coleman Aerospace, Orlando, Fla., is being awarded $73,361,422 fixed-price-incentive, cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and cost-reimbursement contract. Under this new contract, the contractor will develop and manufacture medium-range ballistic missile targets and provide integrated logistics support, to include inventory storage and maintenance, pre-and post-mission analysis, launch preparation and execution, and engineering services. The work will be performed at Cape Canaveral, Fla., with an estimated completion date of September 2018. This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website, with four proposals received. Fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,000,000 are being obligated for this award. The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity.

AIR FORCE

The Boeing Co., Annapolis Junction, Md., has been awarded a $19,320,670 firm-fixed-price contract for labor, material, and other resources necessary to procure 2,040 CSEL hand held radios, AN/PRQ-7A, and accessories through the General Services Administration to fulfill an Air Force requirement. Work will be performed at Huntington Beach, Calif., with an expected completion date of Jan. 29, 2015. Fiscal 2013 procurement funds in the amount of $19,320,670 are being obligated at time of award. Battle Management Directorate, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is the contracting activity (FA8730-14-F-0001).

What won’t help your diabetes

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CFTC CHAIRMAN GENSLERS REMARKS BEFORE THE MARET BUSINESS CLUB

FROM:  COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 
Remarks of Chairman Gary Gensler before the Maret Business Club
October 28, 2013

Hello, thank you Isaac for that kind introduction, but I think you could have just said I’m Isabel’s dad. I’m honored to have the opportunity to speak to the Maret Business Club.

Though Isaac mentioned some of the professional roles I’ve played in life, the most important role I’ll ever play was as a husband to Isabel’s mom, my darling Francesca, and as father to Anna, Lee and Isabel.

But when I’m not relearning calculus, making halfhearted efforts at cooking dinner or driving with Isabel to one of your houses, I am Chairman of a federal agency called the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Before I get back to Isabel's driving and how it relates to what we do at the CFTC, I will tell you a bit about how I got this remarkable job.

I feel very fortunate. Neither of my parents went to college. After World War II, my dad used his mustering-out pay to buy some used, beat up vending machines. He later placed cigarette and pinball machines in local Baltimore bars. I used to travel with him when he would take the nickels out of the machines and help him count them. I guess you could say this was my first foray into business and the world of finance.

I knew from that early age that I wanted to pursue a career in business. At the same time, I felt a deep passion for politics, government and public service, so I sought to pursue both of these dreams.

My junior year in high school, I was the class treasurer. My senior year, though, I lost my campaign for class president. Yes, I remember to whom – it was Amy Goldberg.

I was a bit of a math/science geek in high school, yet I chose to go to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania instead of MIT to pursue my dreams of business and service.

My daughters constantly remind me that it was way easier, though, to get into college back in 1975. They are right. Nearly 25 of my high school classmates went on to Penn. Not to mention I had gotten a D in high school French.

I know, you're asking yourself where did Isabel get her talent for French?

I graduated from Penn with a bachelor’s degree and an MBA and followed my passion into business. In 18 years on Wall Street, I became a partner at Goldman Sachs, which is an investment banking firm, worked in New York and Tokyo and met countless talented people.

Banks play an important role in our economy.

They stand between those who have savings – for retirement, to build a home, or for college education -- and those in our economy who need to borrow -- companies that want to build factories or your parents who have taken out a home mortgage.

Like most fields, in business or otherwise, you generally find really good people. There are those people, though, who push to the edge of the law. There are others, again like in any field, who just make mistakes. It’s a human exercise.

There is no doubt that financial institutions, including banks, and the regulatory system overseeing them failed our country in 2008.

From Goldman Sachs, I moved to the U.S. Treasury Department under President Clinton where I could merge my experience in finance with my desire to be in public service.

After President Obama was elected, I was honored to be asked to serve again in a new role as Chairman of the CFTC.

Now let me turn back to Isabel. Like many of you, Isabel now has her learner’s permit. Some of you may even have an actual driver’s license.

When I hand Isabel or her sisters the car keys, I sleep better knowing that there are common-sense rules of the road. I sleep better knowing there are stop signs, traffic lights and speed limits, there are prohibitions against drunk driving, and there are cops on the streets to enforce all these rules and keep my daughters safe.

That’s basically what good regulation is about – protecting the public while promoting our economy.

Thus, when my mom and dad invested their savings, our family benefited from the securities markets’ common-sense rules of the road.

It was during the Great Depression that President Roosevelt asked Congress to pass laws to bring transparency to and protect against abuses in the securities and commodities markets. For those of you who had Mr. Kilborne for U.S. history last year, I know you learned that the Securities and Exchange Commission was set up to oversee these new laws for the stock market.

These reforms of the 1930s are at the foundation of the economic growth that we've had in the U.S. for decades. The stock market is where companies can raise money – to build factories or to innovate with new products.

You might have read that Twitter is going public. Facebook went public last year. This means the broad public can own a part of these companies. To ensure that the playing field is fair for all of the investing public, regulations ensure that each of you can get the same basic information about Twitter or Facebook and the price at which their shares can be bought or sold.

I’m afraid that Mr. Kilborne may have left out that President Roosevelt also asked for common-sense rules for commodities markets, such as for corn, wheat and soybeans. Instead of stocks, the commodity markets trade contracts called futures.

Futures provide farmers, ranchers, producers and merchants a way to lock in the price of a commodity at harvest time, and allow them to focus on that which they do best in the field.

Some of you might know a little bit about futures if you ever saw the 1983 movie Trading Places with Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. Al Franken, now U.S. Senator from Minnesota, had a cameo as a train baggage handler. There’s a scheme in the movie about cornering the market on futures for frozen orange juice.

About the same time Trading Places was being filmed, a new type of financial contract emerged, called swaps. Swaps are very similar to futures. Originally, it was just that swaps were not on exchanges, like in Trading Places. As a result, they also were not regulated.

The swaps market, like the futures market, is essential in our economy. They provide businesses an opportunity to manage their risk. It’s no longer just the farmer or rancher locking in the price of corn or cattle. It’s now airlines locking in the price of their fuel or banks managing the risk that interest rates will change.

The swaps market is vast, measuring approximately $400 trillion in size. That's actually about $23 of swaps contracts for every dollar of goods and services produced in the U.S. economy.

In 2008 when the economy collapsed, the swaps marketplace lacked necessary street lamps to bring it out of the shadows. It lacked traffic signals to protect the public from the oncoming crash.

The dimly lit swaps roads had no rules and no cops.

Eight million Americans lost their jobs. Millions of families lost their homes. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses folded.

President Obama and Congress responded in 2010 with a law to reform our financial system and protect against another crisis. This law includes critical reforms bringing common-sense rules of the road to the swaps market.

The five-person Commission that I am honored to chair was given the responsibility for making sure these swaps reforms become a reality.

Future Mr. Kilbornes will likely teach your children about President Obama’s financial reforms as one of his signature achievements.

I’m sure you are looking forward to studying with them about these topics.

Now I get it, you might not see it this way.

Isabel has been kind enough to tell me that during the government shutdown, her friends were focused on the panda cam going dark, not her dad’s agency. I thank Isabel for pointing this out.

Why are these reforms important?

Just like the reforms of the 1930s, they have brought transparency to a dark market. Just like the 1930s, these reforms lower the risk that markets overwhelm our economy and leave millions out of work.

There’s something else that happened during the 2008 financial crisis – a bunch of financial firms were bailed out by taxpayers.

Companies, large and small, though, should be free to innovate, to grow, and, yes, to fail without taxpayer support.

Isabel's grandfather knew this. If he didn’t make payroll for his small business, nobody was going to bail him out. We lost Isabel's grandfather last year, but if he were alive, he would say it shouldn’t be any different for banks and other large financial institutions.

That’s what Congress said, too, in passing financial reform after the 2008 crisis.

I’ll close with some thoughts about business and public service.

On business – if you are interested, try it out. If you have an idea for a product or a service, it’s never too early to try to offer it, and, yes, make money on it. Mark Zuckerberg was in college when he founded Facebook. It does take a bit of risk, and you’ve got to be willing to take a lot of rejection. But it can be well worth it – for the satisfaction you take from servicing customers to, if you are successful, the money you provide for your family and future.

On public service – there is no doubt that democracy is noisy and messy at times. This was as true at our founding as it is today. I’m guessing Mr. Kilborne shared with you a bit about Burr and Hamilton.

I’d like to tell you, though, that we all can get things done in Washington.

The CFTC is just slightly larger than the Maret student body, but it has been able to put in place the vision that President Obama and Congress laid out for financial reform.

Talented people like you need to enter the public square and advocate for your point of view. You can't influence the outcome, otherwise.

At Maret it might be about the next DJ at the dance, the benefits of the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program or maybe getting peaches in the cafeteria. Just get involved. Join a presidential campaign, for instance. The 2016 trail is not that far away.

Thank you again for the opportunity to speak today, and I’d be glad to take questions.

U.S. MARSHALS ANNOUNCE TRIPLE MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED IN NEW ORLEANS

FROM:  U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE 
October 24, 2013 Mark A. Gunnoe, Deputy U.S. Marshal
Eastern District of Louisiana (504) 589-6079

Triple Murder Suspect's Time on the Run Ends in New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, LA – United States Marshal Genny May announces the arrest of Robert Bell, 33, at 425 South Roman Street, New Orleans, LA. Bell is the suspect of a triple homicide that occurred in Snellville, Georgia. He was booked into the Orleans Parish Prison and is awaiting extradition to Gwinnett County, Georgia.

On September 15th, 2013, Gwinnett County Police Department homicide detectives allege that Bell was involved with the murders of Angelina Benton, 34, her 12-year-old son, Joseph McDonald, and 19-year-old family friend Raymond Daniel. A fourth victim – 23-year-old Justin Cato – was hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Detectives established that Robert Bell and his wife Danielle Hill-Bell met Benton while attending church. Bell and his wife did not have a place to live so Benton invited them into her home. Detectives recovered Bell’s vehicle along with an AR-15 found inside of the vehicle that may have been used during the tragic shooting incident. After the Gwinnett County Police Department homicide detectives exhausted local efforts to locate Bell they referred the case to the U.S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force. Investigators with the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force developed information that Bell had fled to New Orleans, LA. The Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force contacted the Gulf Coast Regional Task Force-New Orleans office and requested assistance with locating and apprehending Bell.

Today, Investigators with the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force-New Orleans office developed information that indicated Bell was linked into the homeless scene of New Orleans where he attempted to blend-in and fly under the radar of law enforcement. However, dedicated and vigilant task force members combed through the city and discovered that Bell was visiting a homeless shelter (under an alias) within the 1800 block of Gravier Street. Bell was arrested after a brief foot pursuit with the assistance of the Louisiana State University Health Science Center Police Department.

BATTERY COMPANY SETTLES WITH JUSTICE REGARDING REEMPLOYMENT OF RETURNING RESERVIST

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Monday, October 28, 2013

Justice Department Announces Settlement Agreement with Everett, Wash., Battery Company to Protect Employment Rights of Returning Military Reservist
The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement with All Battery Sales and Service (ABS) of Everett, Wash., to resolve a lawsuit it filed on behalf of Curtis Kirk, a U.S. Army reservist.  The lawsuit alleged that the company violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) by failing to properly reemploy Kirk in September 2010 after he returned from military service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The lawsuit also alleged that the defendant unlawfully demoted and then terminated Kirk’s employment without proper cause.  If approved by the court, the settlement would resolve the allegations that the defendant violated the reemployment rights of Kirk.

ABS is a wholesaler, distributor and retailer of battery products, parts and services.  According to the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the defendant violated USERRA by not properly reemploying Kirk in a position as a front counter representative, or in a position with comparable seniority, status and pay.  The defendant reemployed Kirk in a lower status position than the one he held when he left for active duty service, with fewer guaranteed working hours, a less lucrative commission and bonus structure and fewer opportunities for promotion.  ABS later demoted Kirk further and terminated his employment without cause, also in violation of USERRA.
                     
Under the terms of the settlement, ABS must pay Kirk $37,500 to compensate him for lost or reduced wages and benefits.  Among other things, the settlement also requires the defendant to provide training to ABS’ high-level officials and human resources staff on the USERRA rights and obligations of employers and covered employees.

“Employers have a legal obligation to ensure service members get their jobs back when they return from military duty as required by law,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “The Civil Rights Division is committed to protecting the rights of those who, through their courage and sacrifice, secure the rights of all Americans.”

“Just as our dedicated men and women of the military protect our freedoms overseas, we must protect their interests here at home,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  “These soldiers have made many sacrifices, and the loss of a career or the job they are entitled to when they return home cannot be allowed.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to enforcing the laws that protect the rights of those brave men and women who serve our country proudly.”

Subject to certain conditions, USERRA requires employers to promptly reemploy returning service members in the positions they would have held had their employment been not interrupted by military service or in a position of like seniority, status and pay.  In addition, any individual with Kirk’s length of absence for military service who is reemployed cannot be terminated within one year after the date of full and proper reemployment except for just cause.

The case was litigated by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Michael Diaz in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, in collaboration with Andrew Braniff, USERRA/USAO Program Coordinator, in the Employment Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

U.S. DOD CONTRACTS FOR OCTOBER 29, 2013

FROM:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE 

CONTRACTS

NAVY

Bechtel Plant Machinery Inc., Monroeville, Pa., is being awarded a $197,571,818 modification to previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract (N00024-12-C-2106) for naval nuclear propulsion components. Work will be performed in Monroeville, Pa. (93 percent), and Schenectady, N.Y. (7 percent). Fiscal 2014 other procurement, Navy funds in the amount of $167,183,261 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. No completion date or additional information is provided on naval nuclear propulsion program contracts. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

ManTech SRS Technologies Inc., Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity architect-engineer services contract for architecture-engineering and/or environmental services for preparation of military readiness activities documentation including environmental and operational military range planning documents for primarily Pacific Fleet and United States (U.S.) activities in the Pacific Ocean and the western U.S., but may also include work on military training and testing areas and installations around the world. The maximum dollar value for the not-to-exceed 84-month period (including the base period and six option years) combined is $85,000,000. No task orders are being issued at this time. The term of the contract is not to exceed seven years, with an expected completion date of October 2020. Fiscal 2014 operation and maintenance, Navy contract funds in the amount of $10,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website with seven proposals received. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, is the contracting activity (N62742-14-D-1863).

BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services, Rockville, Md., is being awarded a $21,652,898 cost-plus-fixed fee contract for major production and in-service efforts such as the Evolved Seasparrow Missile, NATO Seasparrow Surface Missile System, Stalker Long Range Electro-Optical Sensor Suite and day-to-day office operation in support of the 12 nations that comprise the NATO Seasparrow Consortium. This contract to support the NATO Seasparrow Program Office is a follow-on effort, which was previously performed under contract N00024-08-C-5404. Work will be performed in Arlington, Va. (90 percent); and Chesapeake, Va. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed by October 2015. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance, Navy, fiscal 2013 international other procurement, Navy, fiscal 2013 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amount of $2,656,727 will be obligated at time of award. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured based upon International Agreement IAW 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(4). The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-14-C-5404).

ARMY

AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded a cost-plus-incentive-fee, option-included contract with a maximum value of $126,262,568 to provide logistics and operational support services to the Army and Marine Corps for shadow tactical unmanned aircraft systems. A portion of this contract includes foreign military sales in support of Australia. Work will performed in Afghanistan. A combination of fiscal 2014 procurement and fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $14,397,260 are being obligated on this award. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with one bid received. The Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-14-C-0001).

Avon Protection Systems Inc., Cadillac, Mich., was awarded a firm-fixed-price, multi-year contract with a maximum value of $23,471,543 to procure voice protection units for use with the joint service general purpose mask. Work performance location and funding will be determined with each order. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with one bid received. The Army Contracting Command, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-14-D-0007).

Wolverine Fire Protection, Mount Morris, Mich., was awarded a firm-fixed-price contract with a maximum value of $16,354,747 to procure a fire protection system for Defense Logistics Agency warehouse facilities at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance funds are being obligated on this award. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with nine bids received. The Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa, Okla., is the contracting activity (W912BV-14-C-0002).

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Sysco Seattle Inc., Kent, Wash., has been awarded a maximum $51,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for prime vendor full line food service distribution. This contract was a sole source acquisition. Location of performance is Washington with a Nov. 3, 2014, performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM300-14-D-3708).

Sysco Seattle Inc., Kent, Wash., has been awarded a maximum $15,750,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for prime vendor full line food service distribution. This contract was a sole source acquisition. Locations of performance are Washington and Alaska with a Nov. 3, 2014, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPM300-14-D-3706).


AIR FORCE

MACRO Industries Inc., Huntsville, Ala., has been awarded a $16,912,163 firm-fixed-price contract for the C-130 Armor Plate Program. The C-130 Armor Plate Program replaces the current armor plate system for the C-130H aircraft. Work will be performed at Huntsville, Ala., and will be completed by Jan. 31, 2016. This award is the result of a competitive, full and open, small business set-aside. It was solicited electronically by Federal Business Opportunities. Twelve offers were received. Fiscal 2011 and 2012 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $16,912,163 are being obligated at time of award. The C-130 Contracting Office, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity. (FA8504-14-C-0001)

U.S. OFFERS WARMEST WISHES TO PEOPLE OF TURKEY ON THEIR NATIONAL DAY

FROM:  STATE DEPARTMENT 
National Day for the Republic of Turkey

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 28, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I offer my warmest wishes to the people of Turkey as you celebrate 90 years since the founding of the Republic of Turkey on October 29.

Our nations share a long history of friendship and cooperation based on common interests and values. As close NATO Allies for over 60 years, we have worked together to promote peace and prosperity around the world. The United States values our close working relationship with Turkey on a range of critical global challenges, including Syria, countering terrorism, and economic cooperation.

During my first 100 days as Secretary of State, I visited Turkey three times in order to continue this important work. I enjoyed the warm hospitality of many friends in Ankara and Istanbul and laid a wreath at Anitkabir in honor of Ataturk. This past May, I was delighted to join Foreign Minister Davutoglu at the White House when President Obama hosted Prime Minister Erdogan.

Our alliance is especially strong because of the close ties between our people. Turkey sends more students to American colleges and universities than any other European country. We are also seeking to strengthen commercial ties between American and Turkish businesses, as well as to deepen the social and cultural ties that bind our people together in friendship.

I wish Turkey and its citizens a happy holiday as you celebrate this special anniversary. The United States looks forward to deepening our cooperation as you carry forward Ataturk’s vision of a strong, free, and democratic Turkey.

CELLULAR TELEPHONE CO. PRESIDENT TO PAY $100,000 PENALTY FOR VIOLATION OF SECURITIES LAWS

FROM:  SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 
SEC Obtains Permanent Injunction and $100,000 Civil Penalty Against Cellular Telephone Company President for Role in Fraudulent Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that on October 24, 2013, the Honorable James E. Boasberg, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, entered a final judgment against defendant Paul V. Greene, President of privately-held Americas Premiere Corporation (APC), a former vendor of InPhonic, Inc. (InPhonic), a now-bankrupt online retailer of cellular phones. The final judgment permanently enjoins Greene from violating the antifraud, books and records and reporting provisions of the securities laws and orders him to pay a $100,000 penalty.

According to the Commission's complaint, starting in the third quarter of 2005, and in each quarter of 2006, Greene and Len A. Familant, then an InPhonic Senior Vice President, engaged in a series of undisclosed "round-trip transactions" to help InPhonic artificially inflate its financial results. After the end of the quarters, but before InPhonic publically reported its financial results, Familant obtained APC credits from Greene. At the same time, however, Familant and Greene entered into an oral side agreement under which InPhonic would repay the credits through future purchases of certain cell phone models at inflated prices and by paying for inflated and fake repairs. The complaint further alleges Greene hid the scheme from InPhonic's independent auditors even after APC's accountant had informed Greene that APC's sham credit transactions with InPhonic were illegal. InPhonic improperly recorded a total of almost $10 million in credits from APC as a decrease in cost of goods sold, which allowed InPhonic to materially understate its losses and meet its quarterly and annual financial targets in reports filed with the Commission. A final judgment against defendant Len Familant was previously entered by the Court.

Without admitting or denying the allegations in the Commission's complaint, Greene consented to the entry of the final judgment permanently enjoining him from violating the antifraud provisions, Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5(a) and (c), and books and records provision, Exchange Act Rule 13b2-1, and aiding and abetting violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5(a) and (c), books and records provision, Section 13(b)(2)(A) of the Exchange Act, and reporting provisions, Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rules 12b-20, 13a-1, 13a-11 and 13a-13, and ordering him to pay a $100,000 civil penalty.

AGENDA AVAILABE FOR VITON G. CERF'S KEYNOTE FTC ADDRESS

FROM:  U.S. FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
Internet Innovator Vinton G. Cerf to Keynote FTC's Internet of Things Workshop Nov. 19
Tentative Event Agenda Now Available

Vinton G. Cerf, co-creator of the Internet’s key networking technology, will give the keynote address at the Federal Trade Commission’s Internet of Things workshop on Nov. 19 in Washington, D.C. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen will give remarks during the event.

The tentative agenda for the workshop includes speeches and panel discussions on topics surrounding the opportunities and challenges for consumers related to the growing number of Internet-connected devices that touch their lives. From household goods to automobiles, the ability of devices to connect with each other and the world provides countless benefits to consumers, but also raises important questions about how to protect consumer privacy and security.

Cerf, who is vice president and chief internet evangelist for Google, Inc., is the co-creator of TCP/IP, the communication protocol that powers nearly all communication on the Internet. Over his career, he has helped shape the technology that led to the revolutionary impact of the Internet on the lives of billions. In his current position, he is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies to support the development of advanced, Internet-based products and services. Cerf is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Technology.

The workshop will be held at the FTC Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue NW in Washington, and is free and open to the public. Detailed information about the Internet of Things workshop can be found on the FTC website.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).  The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Monday, October 28, 2013

DOD CONTRACTS FOR OCTOBER 28, 2013

FROM:  U.S. DEFENSE DEPARTMENT

NAVY

The Boeing Co., Seattle, Wash., is being awarded a $99,606,355 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0022) to incorporate a Maintenance Training Device Suite (MTDS) and Ordnance Load Trainer into the P-8A Multi-Mission Maritime aircraft Low Rate Initial Production II. The MTDS Suite will include six Virtual Maintenance Trainer Devices and 14 Hardware Type II devices. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Mo. (45 percent); Orlando, Fla. (25 percent); Whidbey Island, Wash. (15 percent); Huntington Beach, Calif. (10 percent); and Jacksonville, Fla. (5 percent). Work is expected to be completed in June 2016. Fiscal 2012 aircraft procurement, Navy contract funds in the amount of $99,606,355 will be obligated at time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air System Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

ARMY

Conquistador Dorado JV, Sanford, Fla., (W912P8-14-D-0009); Integrated Pro Services LLC, Belle Chasse, La., (W912P8-14-D-0010); RDC Circle LLC**, Belle Chasse, La., (W912P8-14-D-0011); and Veterans Contractors Group JV LLC, Metairie, La., (W912P8-14-D-0012); were awarded a firm-fixed-price, multi-year, multiple-award, task-order contract with a maximum amount of $50,000,000 for hurricane protection and restoration services. Performance location and funding will be determined with each task order. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with 13 bids received. The Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity.

Leiodos Inc., McLean, Va., was awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with a maximum amount of $36,717,969 to provide maintenance and logistics services in support of Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance programs. Fiscal 2014 procurement funds in the amount of $17,991,804 are being obligated on this award. One bid was solicited, with one bid received. The Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity (W15P7T-14-C-C001).

AIR FORCE

Taitech, Inc., (FA8650-14-D-2316), and Innovative Scientific Solutions, Inc., (FA8650-14-D-2317) both of Dayton, Ohio, were awarded a combined $31,820,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Technology for Sustained Supersonic Combustion (TSSC). The objective of the TSSC program is to focus on research and development of components and diagnostics for high-speed air breathing propulsion systems and their integration into air vehicles, weapons, and launch systems. Work will be performed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, with an expected completion date of Oct. 31, 2020. Fiscal year 2013 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,049,939 to Taitech and $3,851,246 to ISSI are being obligated at time of award. This contract was a competitive acquisition and two offers were received. The Air Force Research Lab, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio is the contracting activity.

Pride Industries, Roseville, Calif., has been awarded a $19,258,736 modification (P00031) to previously awarded FA4484-12-F-0006 for Dix base support services (work management, supply management, structure maintenance, grounds maintenance, roads maintenance, utilities, equipment maintenance, and billeting). Work will be performed at the Dix area of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., with an expected completion date of Sept. 30, 2014. Fiscal year 2014 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $1,737,891 are being obligated at time of award. The 87th Contracting Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity.

Raytheon, Intelligence and Information Systems, Defense and Civil Missions Solutions, Sterling Va., was awarded an $11,971,245 firm-fixed-price contract for sustainment services supporting the Military Satellite Communications System (MILSATCOM) Global Broadcast System (GBS). This contract provides for operational capability and will sustain uninterrupted GBS to garrisoned and deployed war fighters in the form of mission-essential data and streaming products. Work will be performed at Sterling, Va., with an expected completion date of March 31, 2016. Fiscal year 2014 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $1,578,749 is anticipated for obligation at time of award. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the contracting activity (F8823-14-C-0001).

CORRECTION: The contract released on Oct. 24, 2013 to Rockwell Collins Network Enabling Software Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for $14,960,418 listed the wrong contract number. The correct number is FA8730-14-C-0006.

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Harvard Drug Group, Livonia, Mich., has been awarded a maximum $53,276,069 modification (P0110) exercising the second one-year option period on a one-year base contract (SPM2D0-11-D-0010) with four one-year option periods for various pharmaceutical products. This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Michigan with a Nov. 15, 2014 performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2013 warstopper funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

Breeze-Eastern Corp.,* Whippany, N.J., has been awarded a maximum $37,067,231 firm-fixed-price contract for aircraft mount winches. This contract was a competitive acquisition and one offer was received. Location of performance is New Jersey with an Oct. 28, 2018 performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2015 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala., (SPRRA1-13-D-0068).

Tennier Industries Inc.,* Boca Raton, Fla., has been awarded a maximum $22,977,600 modification (P0008) exercising the first one-year option period on a seven-month base contract (SPM1C1-13-D-1029) with two one-year option periods for trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price contract. Location of performance is Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky with an Oct. 31, 2014 performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2015 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.

Whitehall Manufacturing Corp.,* Chester, Pa., has been awarded a maximum $14,760,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, total set-aside contract for multiple leg slings. This is a two-year base contract with one three-year option period. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and one offer was received. Location of performance is Pennsylvania with an Oct. 24, 2015 performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2014 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPE8EE-14-D-0001). (Awarded Oct. 25, 2013)

Tyco Fire Products, LP, Marinette, Wis., has been awarded a maximum $13,710,201 firm-fixed-price contract for aqueous film forming foam. This is a two-year base contract with three one-year options periods. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and three offers were received. Location of performance is Wisconsin with an Oct. 27, 2015 performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2019 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPE8EG-14-D-0003).

C&C Produce, Inc., North Kansas City, Mo., has been awarded a maximum $10,558,225 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for fresh fruit and vegetable support. This is an eighteen-month base contract with two eighteen-month option periods. This contract was a competitive acquisition, and two offers were received. Location of performance is Missouri with a May 3, 2015 performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2015 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., (SPE300-14-D-P237).

DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Redondo Beach, Calif., has been awarded a $14,622,382 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Endurance program. Work will be performed in Redondo Beach, Calif. (54 percent); Rolling Meadows, Ill. (23 percent); Linthicum, Md. (5 percent); Oxford, Mass. (2 percent) and Pittsburgh, Pa. (16 percent). The estimated completion date is Dec. 27, 2016. Fiscal 2013 research and development funds are being obligated at time of award. The contracting activity is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., (HR0011-14-C-0017).

Lockheed Martin Mission Systems & Training, Akron, Ohio, has been awarded an $11,386,743 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Endurance program. Work will be performed in Akron, Ohio (88.43 percent); Orlando, Fla. (1.41 percent); Sunnyvale, Calif. (9.74 percent) and Palmdale, Calif. (0.42 percent). The estimated completion date is Dec. 24, 2016. Fiscal 2013 research and development funds are being obligated at time of award. The contracting activity is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., (HR0011-14-C-0016).

Wyle Laboratories, Inc., Huntsville, Ala., has been awarded a $15,958,394 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide information technology services in support of DARPA's Support Services Office ITS support and services effort. Work will be performed in Arlington, Va. The estimated completion date is April 30, 2014. Fiscal 2013 research and development funds are being obligated at time of award. The contracting activity is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., (HR0011-14-C-0008).


Press Briefing | The White House

Press Briefing | The White House

U.S. CONGRATULATES PEOPLE OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC ON THEIR INDEPENDENCE DAY

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT 
On the Occasion of The Czech Republic's National Day
Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 25, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to congratulate the Czech Republic on the 95th anniversary of your independence on October 28.

My personal connection to the Czech Republic reaches back into my own family tree. Ten years ago, I learned that my grandfather was a son of a master brewer from the small town of what is now Horni Benesov, and my brother, Cameron, just this month traveled to your country to help learn more about our family’s roots and see firsthand this town we’d only read about in the newspapers. Our family’s immigrant story is like so many, stronger because of the ties that bind our two peoples.

Our connection is grounded not only in the past but in the present. Today, the United States and the Czech Republic share a close and collaborative partnership as NATO allies. We are especially grateful to the Czech Republic for serving as our protecting power in Syria. Our bilateral relationship continues to mature into a comprehensive partnership based on shared values and common approaches to regional and global challenges.

The United States and the Czech Republic work together to promote the development of strong democratic institutions in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Southeast Asia. We are committed to expanding our economic ties, and we greatly appreciate the role the Czech Republic plays in support of those fighting for basic human rights across the globe, from Iran to Cuba to Belarus and beyond.

As you observe your Independence Day, the United States celebrates with you as a close friend and steadfast ally.

Immagine EO della settimana: Terre Mutevoli

Immagine EO della settimana: Terre Mutevoli

FDA GIVES INFORMATION ON PREVENTING HEARTWORMS IN PETS

FROM:  U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION 
Prevent Heartworms in Pets Year-Round

If you’ve been to a veterinarian’s office, chances are you’ve seen the photos on the wall of worms growing from the heart of a dog or cat. Although these images may be unsettling, the message is clear: Heartworm disease is fatal to pets. The good news: You can protect your pet from this disease.

“It’s a preventable disease, which is why it’s so frustrating as a practitioner when you see a case. Heartworm disease is very serious and the treatment is not very easy on infected animals,” says Melanie McLean, D.V.M., a veterinarian at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “It’s much easier and healthier for the pet to prevent the disease in the first place.”

Heartworms are carried by infected mosquitoes that transmit parasitic worms that grow in the arteries of the lungs and heart of dogs, cats, and other species of mammals. The heartworm larvae enter the bite wound and move through the pet's body and can grow up to 12 inches long.

The disease is not contagious from one pet to another and heartworms in humans are very rare.

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Putting Pets at Risk
Veterinarians often prescribe heartworm prevention medicine for pets to take year round. Due to the link to mosquitoes, some owners opt out of treating their pets during the winter months, but veterinarians see this as an unnecessary risk to the pet’s health.

“You never know when the first mosquito is going to come out, or when the last mosquito is going to die. Heartworms have been reported in dogs in all 50 states and just because you live in a colder climate state doesn’t mean that your dog is safe,” McLean warns.

Animal owners who stop giving heartworm prevention medication during the winter run the risk of their dog or cat contracting heartworms. If the animal becomes infected and the heartworm preventative is later resumed without testing, the owner may be putting the pet in danger. The preventive medicine can kill so many microfilariae (the offspring of adult, female heartworms) at once that it could shock the animal’s system, with potentially fatal results. Also, preventatives will not kill adult heartworms and they will continue to reproduce.

For this reason, testing your dog or cat prior to starting a heartworm preventive medication is essential, especially since pets that have heartworms may not show symptoms right away.

If your pet tests positive for heartworms, it’s crucial to the success of treatment to follow the veterinarian’s directions. There is only one FDA-approved drug that is marketed in the U.S. for the treatment of heartworm disease in dogs. Immiticide (melarsomine hydrochloride), which contains arsenic, is given by injection into the back muscles to kill adult heartworms.

Angela Clarke, D.V.M., team leader in FDA’s Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation, also emphasizes the importance of yearly testing for heartworms—even if you’ve kept your pet on a steady regimen of preventatives. Dogs are tested for heartworms using a simple blood test.

“We recommend yearly checks because no drug is 100 percent effective and we want to make sure the drugs work,” McLean adds. Also, owners often forget to give the preventative for a month or longer.

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An Indoor Issue as Well
Another major hurdle that veterinarians face is convincing owners of pets that rarely or never go outside to put those pets on a heartworm preventative.

“When I was in practice, I had owners who balked at heartworm preventative for their cats because they were indoor cats,” says Clarke. The team leader adds that mosquitoes that transmit heartworms can easily access the indoor environment and pets through open doors and windows.

Although cats are considered a resistant host to heartworms because the worms do not survive as well as in a dog’s body, they are still at risk for heartworm disease. McLean said diagnosing heartworms in cats is not as easy, and testing is not as simple, or accurate. In addition to blood work, testing on cats can include X-rays and ultrasounds.

Unlike for heartworm disease in dogs, there is no FDA-approved treatment for killing adult heartworms in cats. Because of the additional complications associated with diagnosing and treating cats, prevention becomes the only weapon against heartworms in cats. It’s best to place both indoor and outdoor cats on a year-round FDA-approved heartworm preventative.

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FDA-Approved Heartworm Preventatives for Dogs and Cats
A variety of products are available by prescription only:

oral pill or tablet: ivermectin, milbemycin oxime
topical liquid that the owner squeezes from a tube onto the pet's back: selamectin, moxidectin
injectable (for dogs only): moxidectin
Clarke says owners need to have a conversation with their veterinarian about which type of heartworm prevention is best for their pet. For example, pet owners with children should pay particular attention when using topical treatments and follow the directions carefully to minimize the child’s exposure.

Heartworm preventatives are by prescription only—so beware of an internet site or store that will dispense medicine without a prescription, says Clarke.

Additionally, FDA monitors all heartworm preventatives for problems that may occur with use, such as unexpected side effects. Pet owners are encouraged to report any side effects to their veterinarian, the drug company, and the FDA.

This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

FDA SAYS WILL COMPLETE PHASE-OUT OF INHALER PRODUCTS CONTAINING CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS

FROM:  U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION 

The Division of Drug Information (DDI) is CDER's focal point for public inquiries. We serve the public by providing information on human drug products and drug product regulation by FDA.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will complete its phase-out of all inhaler medical products containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by Dec. 31, 2013. This effort is to comply with an international treaty to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the worldwide production of numerous substances, including CFCs, which contribute to ozone depletion.

While most inhaler products containing CFCs have already been phased out by the FDA, two products currently remain on the market: Combivent Inhalation Aerosol and Maxair Autohaler. However, these products will no longer be available after the end of this year. People with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who use these inhalers should talk to their health care professional about a prescription for an alternative treatment.

Inhalers are critical products for those persons suffering from asthma or COPD. In the United States, more than 25 million people suffer from asthma, a disease that affects the airways in the lungs and can cause coughing, trouble breathing, wheezing and tightness or pain in the chest. Additionally, 15 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, a serious lung disease that worsens over time. Symptoms can include chest tightness, chronic cough and excessive phlegm.

DOCTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO NOT PAYING FICA TAXES

FROM: U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Friday, October 25, 2013
Indiana Physician Pleads Guilty to Failure to Pay Employment Taxes

Dr. Ronald Eugene Jamerson of Schererville, Ind., entered a guilty plea to one count of willfully failing to truthfully account for, collect and pay over employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Justice and IRS announced today.  Under the terms of the plea agreement, Jamerson also agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $541,083.20 to the IRS.

On June 20, 2012, Jamerson was indicted on 11 counts of willfully failing to file quarterly employment tax returns (Forms 941) with the IRS and willfully failing to pay over to the IRS the federal income taxes and the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes due and owing from the second quarter of 2006 through the fourth tax quarter of 2008.  According to the indictment and other court pleadings, Jamerson, an ear, nose and throat surgeon who opened his own medical practice in the late 1990s, deducted and collected from his employees’ paychecks federal income taxes and FICA taxes, but he failed to file the employment tax returns and related employment taxes from 2003 through 2008.  In the plea agreement, Jamerson agrees that the total tax loss based on his failure to report and pay employment taxes is $541,083.20.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 24. 2014. Jamerson faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a maximum fine of $250,000.
                                                                                 
The case was investigated by Special Agents from IRS - Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Justice Department Trial Attorneys Erin S. Mellen and Chris J. Maietta, with valuable support from the United States Attorney’s Office in Hammond, Indiana.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

U.S. SENDS BEST WISHES TO PEOPLE OF ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES ON THEIR NATIONAL DAY

FROM:  U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT 
St. Vincent and the Grenadines' National Day
Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 27, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as you celebrate 34 years of independence on October 27.

The United States and St. Vincent and the Grenadines enjoy a close and collaborative partnership on several fronts to the benefit of both our countries and the greater Eastern Caribbean. We work together to strengthen the sustainability of HIV/AIDS programs, mitigate the effects of climate change, improve education for at-risk youth, and prepare young people to enter the workforce in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

I look forward to deepening our strong relationship and wish you peace, prosperity and happiness in the year ahead.

USAID OFFICIAL WILL PAY $30,000 PENALTY FOR CONFLICT OF INTEREST VIOLATION

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Friday, October 25, 2013
Former USAID Senior Official to Pay Civil Penalty for Alleged Conflict of Interest Violation

David Ostermeyer, who retired from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2012, will pay the government a $30,000 penalty to settle allegations that he participated in a matter in which he had a financial interest that conflicted with his duties when he was Chief Financial Officer of the agency, the Justice Department announced today.

“We expect government officials to earn and maintain the trust of taxpayers by acting with the highest integrity,” said Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.  “This requires, at a minimum, that they do their work free of prohibited conflicts of interest.  The Justice Department will pursue those who violate their ethical obligations.”

The government alleged that shortly before Ostermeyer retired from USAID, he helped the agency draft a contract solicitation for a senior advisor – a position that Ostermeyer intended to apply for after he retired .  In an effort to ensure he would be awarded the position, Ostermeyer allegedly tailored the solicitation to his specific skills and experiences.

Federal conflict of interest laws prohibit executive branch employees from participating personally and substantially in matters in which they have a financial interest.  Since Ostermeyer had a financial interest in the contract solicitation, the government alleged that he could not participate in drafting it and, therefore, violated 18 U.S.C. § 208(a).

“To maintain public trust in our institutions, it is vital that those in government adhere to the highest standards of integrity,” said Michael Carroll, Acting Inspector General for USAID.  “The exceptional work of the investigators and attorneys on this case reflects our resolve to uphold these standards.”

This settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by the Justice Department’s Civil Division and USAID’s Office of Inspector General.  The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.  

WANTED POSTERS ISSUED FOR FUGITIVES CHARGED IN INTERNATIONAL CYBER FRAUD SCHEME

FROM:  U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT 
Thursday, October 24, 2013

Indictment Unsealed and “Wanted” Posters Issued for Fugitives Charged with Multimillion Dollar International Cyber Fraud Scheme

Earlier today, charges were unsealed against Romanian fugitive Nicolae Popescu, the leader of an international organized crime syndicate that ran a multimillion dollar cyber fraud scheme, and six other fugitives charged with participating in the same scheme.  Interpol has issued red notices to foreign law enforcement partners seeking assistance in the apprehension of these fugitives, and the FBI has also released “Wanted” posters to facilitate their arrests.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch of the Eastern District of New York, and Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos of the FBI’s New York Office made the announcement.

“Today, we have unsealed charges – and issued “wanted” posters and Interpol red notices – for a band of dangerous cybercriminals who are alleged to have stolen millions of dollars from unsuspecting consumers around the globe,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Raman.  “As described in the indictment, the leader of this band of thieves openly proclaimed that he is beyond the reach of the U.S. criminal justice system.  But with the help of our international partners, we will track down and capture every alleged member of this criminal syndicate, no matter where they are hiding.”

“Using forged documents and phony websites, for years Popescu and his criminal syndicate reached across the ocean to pick the pockets of hard working Americans looking to purchase cars,” said United States Attorney Lynch.  “They thought their distance would insulate them from law enforcement scrutiny.  They were wrong.  By now, Popescu and his band of fugitives have seen their co-conspirators brought here to account for their crimes.  Today’s actions place them squarely in the sights of our partners in international law enforcement. We will not stop in our efforts to find these fugitives and bring them to justice for the crimes they have allegedly committed against our citizens. ”

“As alleged, the defendants infiltrated the cyber marketplace with advertisements for high-value items that didn’t exist,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Venizelos.  “They siphoned funds from victims to fuel their greedy desires and created false identities, fake websites and counterfeit certificates of title in order to make the scheme more convincing.  Popescu and his co-conspirators were masters of illusion, but they can’t escape their ultimate reality.  With the help of our law enforcement partners at home and abroad, we will bring them to justice.”

Popescu, Romanian nationals Daniel Alexe, Dmitru Daniel Bosogioiu, Ovidiu Cristea, and Dragomir Razvan, and a defendant who goes by the names “George Skyper” and “Tudor Barbu Lautaru,” as well as Albanian national Fabjan Meme, were originally charged in a criminal complaint with six other defendants for their participation in a cyber-fraud conspiracy that targeted primarily American consumers on such U.S.-based websites as Cars.com and AutoTrader.com.  Their six co-defendants were arrested in a coordinated international takedown on Dec. 5, 2012, but Popescu, Alexe, Bosogioiu, Cristea, Razvan, and Meme have remained at large.

As alleged in the complaint and subsequent indictment, the defendants participated in a long-term conspiracy to saturate Internet marketplace websites including eBay, Cars.com, AutoTrader.com, and CycleTrader.com with detailed advertisements for cars, motorcycles, boats, and other high-value items – generally priced in the $10,000 to $45,000 range – that did not actually exist.  The defendants employed co-conspirators who corresponded with the victim buyers by email, sending fraudulent certificates of title and other information designed to lure the victims into parting with their money.  The defendants allegedly even pretended to sell cars from nonexistent auto dealerships in the United States and created phony websites for these fictitious dealerships.  As part of the scheme, the defendants produced and used high-quality fake passports to be used as identification by co-conspirators in the United States to open U.S. bank accounts.  After the “sellers” reached an agreement with the victim buyers, they would often email them invoices purporting to be from Amazon Payments, PayPal, or other online payment services, with instructions to transfer the money to the U.S. bank accounts used by the defendants.  The defendants and their co-conspirators allegedly used counterfeit service marks in designing the invoices so that they would appear identical to communications from legitimate payment services.  The illicit proceeds were then withdrawn from the U.S. bank accounts and sent to the defendants in Europe by wire transfer and other methods.
           
The complaint and indictment describe the extent to which Popescu, in particular, led the conspiracy.  Among other things, Popescu coordinated the roles of the various participants in the scheme – he hired and fired passport makers based on the quality of the fake passports they produced, supervised co-conspirators who were responsible for placing the fraudulent ads and corresponding with the victims, and ensured that the illicit proceeds transferred to the U.S. bank accounts were quickly collected and transferred to himself and others acting on his behalf in Europe.  Popescu also allegedly directed Cristea to obtain and transfer luxury watches purchased using the illegal proceeds of the scheme, including three Audemars Piguet watches with a combined retail value of over $140,000, to his associates in Europe.  It is estimated that the defendants earned over $3 million from the fraudulent scheme.

According to the charging documents, Popescu and his close associate Bosogioiu demonstrated that they were aware of the risks of prosecution in the United States.  In a recorded conversation on Oct. 23, 2011, Bosogioiu asked about the difference between federal and state law in the United States and vowed to avoid the FBI.  Popescu, meanwhile, predicted on July 28, 2011, that “criminals will not be extradited from Romania to U.S.A….[I]t will never happen.”

The charges in the complaint and the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Carol Sipperly of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cristina Posa, Nadia Shihata, and Claire Kedeshian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

The offices of the FBI Legal Attachés in Romania, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Canada and Hungary were instrumental in coordinating efforts with the United States’ international partners, and the U.S. government thanks its partners in Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany for their close cooperation throughout this investigation.  The Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, Office of International Affairs, and Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section provided assistance with this investigation, as did the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center; the Internet Crime Complaint Center; the Costa Mesa, Calif., Police Department; the Orange County, Calif., District Attorney’s Office; and the New York City Police Department.