Wisconsin Man Sentenced for Threatening Jewish Community Center

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Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Friday, March 1, 2019

Wisconsin Man Sentenced for Threatening Jewish Community Center

Chadwick Grubbs, 33, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Pamela Pepper to 36 months in prison for charges related to threatening letters he wrote on three separate dates in May 2018 to the Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Krueger for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Michelle Sutphin of the FBI’s Milwaukee Division made the announcement.

“All people have the right to practice their religious beliefs without fear of threats or violence,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “Mr. Grubbs’ anti-Semitic actions have no place in our society today and the Department of Justice will continue to prosecute anyone who threatens to harm a community because of their faith.”

“The Department of Justice’s commitment to civil rights includes protecting faith communities from threats of violence,” said United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. “This prosecution should send a clear message that hate crimes like Mr. Grubb’s vile threats will not be tolerated.”

“It is every American’s right to exercise the religion of their choice. The FBI will vigorously pursue those who target faith based communities with threats of violence and intimidation, violators will face justice,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Michelle Sutphin of the FBI’s Milwaukee Division.

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Grubbs pleaded guilty in November 2018 to two counts of mailing threatening communications and one count of threatening to injure and destroy property by fire and an explosive.  Information presented during the plea hearing established that Grubbs sent three letters to the JCC in which he threatened to use firearms to cause “maximum carnage” and explosives to destroy the JCC.  Grubbs used numbers and symbols associated with white supremacist ideology in the letters.

The FBI led the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Gregory Haanstad of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and Trial Attorney Kathryn Gilbert of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division prosecuted this case.

For more information about the Department of Justice’s work to combat and prevent hate crimes, a one-stop portal with links to hate crimes resources for law enforcement, media, researchers, victims, advocacy groups, and other organizations and individuals.

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Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

New York Man Charged with Cryptocurrency Scheme

The founder and principal operator of My Big Coin Pay Inc. (My Big Coin), a purported cryptocurrency and virtual payment services company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, was charged in an indictment unsealed today for his alleged participation in a scheme to defraud investors by marketing and selling fraudulent virtual currency. 

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling of the District of Massachusetts, Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta of the FBI’s Boston Field Office and Inspector in Charge Peter R. Redina of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Washington Field Division made the announcement.

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Randall Crater, 48, of East Hampton, New York, was charged in an indictment filed in the District of Massachusetts with four counts of wire fraud and three counts of unlawful monetary transactions.  Crater was arrested this morning and will appear today in U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida.

The indictment alleges that between 2014 and 2017, Crater and others created the fraudulent virtual currency “My Big Coins” or “Coins” and marketed this fraudulent currency to investors using misrepresentations about its nature and value.  Crater and his associates allegedly falsely claimed that Coins were a fully functioning cryptocurrency backed by valuable assets such as gold.  Crater and his associates also allegedly told investors that Coins could be readily exchanged for goods, cash or other virtual currencies.  As alleged in the indictment, Crater and his associates solicited investors and distributed these misrepresentations through websites and social media affiliated with My Big Coin, as well as by direct communications with investors and prospective investors.  In reality, Coins were not backed by gold or any other valuable assets and were not readily transferable, the indictment alleges.  Instead, Crater allegedly misappropriated over $6 million in investor funds for personal use, including to purchase artwork, antiques, jewelry and other luxury items. 

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Caitlin Cottingham of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordi De Llano Campos of the District of Massachusetts.  The Commodity Futures Trading Commission provided assistance with the matter.  

The Fraud Section plays a pivotal role in the Department of Justice’s fight against white collar crime around the country.


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