From the daily archives: Monday, June 27, 2011

Gary Foster, a former vice president in Citigroup, Inc.’s treasury finance department has been arrested on bank fraud charges arising from his embezzlement of more than $19 million. Foster was apprehended at John F. Kennedy International Airport Sunday morning when he arrived on a flight from Bangkok.1

The defendant’s initial appearance is scheduled this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr. at the United States Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.

The charges and arrest were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office.

According to the complaint, Foster transferred money from various Citigroup accounts to Citigroup’s cash account and then to his personal account at a different bank. Between July 2010 and December 2010, he allegedly caused approximately $900,000 to be moved from Citigroup’s interest expense account and approximately $14.4 million from Citigroup’s debt adjustment account to the bank’s cash account, and then caused the money to be wired out of Citigroup’s cash account to his personal account at another bank in eight separate wire transfers. The complaint further charges that Foster caused a fraudulent contract or deal number to be placed in the reference line of the wire transfer instructions to create the appearance that the transfers were in support of an existing contract.

“The defendant allegedly used his knowledge of bank operations to commit the ultimate inside job. We are committed to ensuring the integrity of the banking system and to prosecuting those who would undermine it for their personal gain,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch expressed her appreciation to Citigroup, which brought this matter to the attention of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“The egregious behavior of those who would exploit our banking system for personal and criminal gain will not be tolerated. We remain committed to investigating and apprehending those who cheat the system,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Fedarcyk.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment on the bank fraud charges.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael L. Yaeger and Karen Hennigan.

The Defendant:

Age: 35

1 The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


By: Gene Carl

Holtville California: Hot Rods & Beer hosted their “Battle of the Bands” finale on Friday night, June 24th and the winner was Sons of Zap. A variety of rock bands have been competing against one another for the past several weeks and the final four were prepared to show their stuff on stage in order to win the big prize of opening up for a very popular band at the House of Blues in San Diego. At the very least, opening for a major act in San Diego could allow for a local Valley band to get more lucrative bookings in San Diego and Los Angeles and there is always the possibility of a recording contract with a major record label. The four bands that competed were, the Benjamin Slater Band, Big Bang Baby, Shades of Blues and the Son of Zap band. Judging was done by the crowd on hand and by two judges. Every time you bought a drink, you received a token and you put that token in a jar representing your favorite band. The bands received points for the tokens as well as points from the two judges, Jim and Ronda Worsley of Imperial. The judges watched and listened to each band and gave them points for the difficulty of the music they performed, how they harmonized together, how they performed on stage with each other, how tight the band’s timing was, how the band interacted with one another and how the crowd responded. All the bands were enthusiastic and well rehearsed and the competition was keen but when the dust had settled, Sons of Zap was the winner.

The Benjamin Slater was the opening act and the group consisted of Benjamin Slater as lead vocalist and lead guitar player, Doc Russell on bass and keyboard and Matt Heatwole on drums. The band has opened for Toby Keith and Trace Adkins. They’re about to record their second CD in the Uranus Studio in Phoenix. The will record only original songs, no covers. Matt Heatwole has been playing drums for 30 years, Benjamin Slater has been performing for 17 years, and Ron Russell for 20 years yet none of the members of the group are over 40. They consider themselves a standard good rock band who were influenced by Led Zeppelin, Rush, and Iron Maiden, progressive rock and of course classic rock.

The second group to perform was Big Bang Baby. Their original band was Fist Full of Dirt. The band consists of Obedo Herrara on guitar and bass, Ricardo Fernandez on drums and Tato Ortega on the second guitar. The group has been together for several years and have played clubs in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Yuma and Mexicali. They have an extended play that is a year old and their eight songs can be heard on My Space and Reverb Nation. They’re a young band trying to make it at the top. The band is from El Centro.

Shades of Blues was the third band to be on stage on Friday night. The group is from Brawley and consists of Kelly Aguiliera on vocals, Lorenzo Daldindo on lead guitar, Eric Csciaky on drums and Keith Allison on bass. The group has two pre-demos out and will introduce original music soon. They have opened for Joan Jett and Eddie Money. The Janis Joplin song “Piece of My Heart” was a key song in their set tonight. It received a huge response from the audience. Every lady in the club sang along and they seemed to know every word in the lyrics. This song seems to be the national anthem for women across the world.

The fourth and final group to perform was Sons of Zapp which consisted of Anthony Jaureguia as lead vocalist and rhythm guitar, Jessi Jaureguia on lead guitar, Steve Garcia on drums and Rudy Tamayo on bass. The name of the group is short for Sons of Zappata. Anthony’s father had a band in his heyday that was called Zappata. The group mostly performs original music. The group is from Brawley and they have three CD’s out and will be going into the studio next month. They played in some of the biggest venues in Hollywood for about five years. They were close to a record label but it never happened. The group is still young, all in their 30’s and still want to make it big. Sons of Zap was influenced by the music of the Beatles, the Doors, Queen and Jim Morrison. The group played strongly on stage tonight and had good choreography. Many people came to Hot Rods & Beer tonight to hear this group and the band didn’t let them down. Their rapport with the audience probably gave them many points. They knew their audience and knew what they wanted. When they left the stage, the crowd was chanting Sons of Zap, Sons of Zap, Sons of Zap!


The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) will host its 2011 National Conference on Childhood Apraxia of Speech in San Diego, California on July 7 – July 9, at the Paradise Point Resort. This year’s conference theme “Unfolding Potential, Creating Possibilities” will address the use of emerging technology and how it’s being used to assist children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), while still advocating and creating awareness on issues that affect children with CAS.


“In 2004 the national conference started as a parent conference,” said Kathy Hennessy, Director of Education for CASANA, the only national 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity exclusively dedicated to children with CAS and their families. “There was never an opportunity for parents with children with apraxia to learn about all aspects affecting their children, to share, and network—this conference gave them that opportunity.  Since then, the conference expanded to include professionals and continues to be the only event of its kind.”


This year, CASANA expects more than 300 families and professionals to attend, representing over 30 states and four other countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Switzerland. The conference kicks off on Thursday, July 7 with pre-conference seminars, an opening reception and the Keynote Address, “Apps for Apraxia and Other Special Needs Areas,” delivered by Lynn Carahaly, M.A., CCC-SLP, owner and director of Foundations Developmental House, LLC located in Chandler, Arizona. Friday and Saturday will transition into a series of sessions including topics on assessment, treatment, educational issues, nature of CAS, literacy, older children, and current research by nationally recognized experts. Sessions will be presented by 25 different professionals, all who have generously donated their time, including Heidi Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.; Lauren Franke, Psy.D., CCC-SP; David Hammer, M.A. CCC-SLP; Deborah Hayden, M.A., CCC-SLP (C), Reg. CASLPO; Nancy Kaufman, M.A., CCC-SLP; Ruth Stoeckel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; and Cheryl Stromberg, M.A., CCC-SLP, to name a few.


Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a very challenging and complicated speech disorder in children.  This little known disorder makes it difficult or impossible for children to accurately produce sounds, syllables and/or words despite having a good understanding of language.  CASANA, based in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, helps families throughout North America to find appropriate resources; train professionals how to best provide treatment to the children; and to fund and promote proper research for the future generations of children that will be affected.


CASANA was founded in 2000 with the exclusive mission to strengthen the support systems in the lives of children with apraxia, so that each child has their best opportunity to develop speech. In 2004, CASANA held its first annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, then taking it around the nation to places including Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; St. Paul, Minnesota; Anaheim, California; and Williamsburg, Virginia.  In 2006, CASANA launched its Apraxia Treatment Research Fund in order to advance what is known about effective treatment for children with CAS. In 2008, CASANA started the “Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech” as a means to heighten awareness and important funding for their apraxia programs and research. Today, there have been over 82 walks around the world, with more than 7,000 walkers and countless donors who have joined in the effort to raise awareness.  In 2010, CASANA marked its tenth anniversary and although a lot has changed in a decade, much remains to be done.


Westmoreland, Calif. – Wednesday, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio station seized a substantial amount of cocaine at the Highway 86 Checkpoint.

At approximately 11:30 p.m., a grey Ford pickup truck approached the primary inspection area of the Highway 86 Border Patrol Checkpoint near Westmorland. A Border Patrol canine team alerted to the vehicle and agents referred the driver, a 32 -year-old male U.S. citizen, to secondary inspection for further examination. After a thorough search of the vehicle, agents discovered several concealed packages of cocaine located inside a non-factory compartment. The total weight of the cocaine was approximately 10 pounds and was valued at just over $300,000.

The driver, passenger, vehicle, and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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