Statement of New Jersey AG Gurbir S. Grewal on Today’s Federal District Court Ruling


Statement of New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal on Today’s Federal District Court Ruling Upholding 2018 Immigrant Trust Directive

(STL.News) – Today, the court recognized what we have said all along: New Jersey has the authority to draw a clear, bright line between the work of state law enforcement officers and federal civil immigration officers.  This line is more important than ever, as we work hard every day to build and restore trust between New Jersey’s police officers and historically marginalized communities.

In November 2018, I issued the Immigrant Trust Directive in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, flanked by our state’s law enforcement leaders.  What I said then remains true today: you can be both pro-immigrant and pro-law enforcement.  And, indeed, our Directive is pro-law enforcement precisely because it is pro-immigrant.  Today’s decision reaffirms that principle.

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Flint Insurance Agent Angella Kay Swain to be Sentenced for Stealing Customers’ Premium Payments


(STL.News) – A plea deal has been reached in a case involving a Genesee County insurance agent who allegedly embezzled from her clients and provided them with phony insurance certificates, leading them to believe they had insurance for their homes or automobiles when they actually didn’t. Charges were filed in the case by the Attorney General’s office in October 2018 after it was referred to the office by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS).

Angella Kay Swain, 53, pleaded no contest Monday before Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Celeste Bell to one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, 11 counts of embezzlement by an agent between $1,000 and $20,000, and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

As part of the plea deal, Swain agreed to pay back all the money she allegedly embezzled, between $100,000 and $150,000, in restitution to approximately 60 victims.  Preliminary sentencing guidelines recommend that Swain serve a minimum of 36-60 months in prison, up to a maximum of 20 years.  Her sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 26.

Conducting a criminal enterprise and using a computer to commit a crime are both 20-year felonies, while each of the felony embezzlement charges carries a five-year sentence.

“When hardworking Michiganders seek the assistance of an insurance agent to protect their belongings, they should not have to worry that their money is being mishandled or used inappropriately,” Nessel said.  “My office and the Department of Insurance and Financial Services take fraud cases very seriously, and I’m grateful for the work of my team and the professionals at DIFS for seeing this to a conclusion that provides victims compensation for their losses.”

“The victims in this case were left without the insurance coverage they paid for and relied on, some discovering that they were uninsured only after they were in an accident and tried to make a claim,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox.  “Michigan citizens should feel secure that the insurance they pay for will be there when they need it.  This case is yet another example of DIFS and the Attorney General working together to protect Michigan consumers.”

Between 2011 and 2016, Swain took some of her clients’ insurance premiums and converted the money to her own use instead of remitting them to the insurance companies.  In many instances, Swain issued her clients false insurance certificates, leading her clients to believe they had homeowners or auto insurance coverage when they did not.

Swain was a licensed insurance producer and operated the Swain Agency from 2002 to 2013.

DIFS took enforcement actions against Swain in 2003, 2006 and 2009.  In 2013, DIFS summarily suspended Swain’s insurance producer license and permanently revoked it in December 2014 for misappropriating clients’ premiums.

In November 2013, Swain’s ex-husband, Cornell Jones Sr., began operating the Select Insurance Agency, where Swain continued to sell fake insurance policies.  Through her operation of the Swain Agency and the Select Insurance Agency, multiple victims reportedly paid for homeowner’s or vehicle insurance between 2011 and 2016 but did not receive coverage.  In some instances, the victims discovered they lacked insurance after they were in automobile accidents and tried to make claims against canceled policies.

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Florida AG Moody Urges Passage of Cut Profits to the Cuban Regime Act


(STL.News) – Attorney General Ashley Moody, Chair of Florida’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, is urging congressional leaders to take action to slow human trafficking of health care workers from Cuba—many of these victims now live in Florida.  Attorney General Moody today sent a letter to Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, Sen. James E. Risch of Idaho, Sen.  Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Sen.  Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in strong support of the Cut Profits to the Cuban Regime Act.  The CPCR Act aims to end the human trafficking of Cuban health care professionals through the country’s overseas medical missions program.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “As Attorney General, one of my top priorities is ending human trafficking.  While my efforts have included working with law enforcement to address forced sexual exploitation, human trafficking takes on many other forms, including forced and inhumane labor.  Thousands of Cuban medical professionals are currently being sent overseas for their services with their pay going to benefit the communist Cuban government.  We cannot stand idly by as this regime continues to abuse and exploit its citizens.  We must act now to end this form of modern-day slavery orchestrated by the Cuban government.”

To read the letter, click here.

According to the most recent U.S. Department of State’s Annual Trafficking in Persons Report, Cuba remains on the highest tier of trafficking concerns.  The Cuban government continues to force medical professionals to more than 60 countries through the overseas medical missions program.  The participating countries send wages directly to the Cuban government, leaving the medical professionals with little to no compensation for services provided.  The exploitation of Cuban medical professionals is one of the largest sources of revenue for the regime, funding the Cuban military and security, while also providing financial support for the Maduro regime in Venezuela.

It is alleged that the Cuban and Venezuelan regimes are not the only groups profiting from the trafficking of Cuban medical professionals.   According to a complaint filed in a federal civil action by survivors, the Pan American Health Organization, an affiliate of the World Health Organization, collected more than $75 million from the exploitation of Cuban medical personnel working in Brazil by serving as the middleman between the Brazilian and Cuban governments.  The arrangement resulted in the Cuban regime seizing 85% of the medical worker’s wages and the PAHO retaining a 5% brokerage fee, leaving the doctors and nurses providing the care with 10% or less of wages earned.

If passed, the CPCR Act would provide host countries of the overseas medical missions program an incentive to pay Cuban medical personnel wages directly, avoiding the regime further profiting from forced labor.  The act would also ensure the process of sending Cuban medical professionals to countries overseas is transparent, encouraging host committees to prevent the Cuban government from using forcible and inhumane tactics as leverage over its medical professionals.

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Arizona Governor Ducey Statement On Train Derailment


(STL.News) – This morning, Tempe authorities reported a train derailment and large fire over Tempe Town Lake. Governor Ducey released the following statement.

“I commend the quick actions of first responders this morning to protect lives and property.  Our focus is on protecting public safety and providing any and all resources and assistance necessary to aid Tempe.  The State of Arizona, including the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Quality, are actively coordinating with local responders. I’ve also reached out to Tempe Mayor Corey Woods to express the State’s full support in this response.  We’ll continue to monitor this situation closely and make all support available.”

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Texas Governor Abbott Reappoints Parker To Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority


(STL.News) – Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed Frank Parker, Jr. as the presiding officer of the Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority for a term set to expire on February 1, 2022.  The regional mobility authority is a political subdivision that allows local transportation planning and project delivery leaders to partner with the state to deliver transportation infrastructure projects that will serve Cameron County.

Frank Parker, Jr. of Brownsville is President and CEO of Parker & Company.  He is a board member of the South Texas Manufacturing Association, the McAllen and Brownsville Chambers of Commerce, and the National Association of Customs Broker Forwarders Freight Forwarding Committee.  Additionally, he is past chairman of the Brownsville Economic Development Council and the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Brownsville Propeller Club and past board member of the Border Trade Alliance.  He is a member of Rio Grande Metropolitan Planning Organization and a past member of the Brownsville Metropolitan Planning Organization.  Parker received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin

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Polk County Woman Thu Huong Claims $350,000 Jackpot From Florida Lottery


TALLAHASSEE, FL (STL.News) The Florida Lottery announces that Thu Huong Vo, 51, of Lake Wales, claimed the $350,000 jackpot from the JACKPOT TRIPLE PLAY™ drawing held on June 2, 2020, after mailing in her winning ticket to Florida Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee.

Vo chose to receive her winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $306,764.10.  She purchased her jackpot-winning JACKPOT TRIPLE PLAY Quick Pick ticket from Publix, located at 23965 U.S. Highway 27 in Lake Wales.  The retailer will receive a bonus commission of $1,000 for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.

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Miami Man Paul Nassar Is Florida’s Newest Millionaire by Winning $1,000,000


TALLAHASSEE, FL (STL.News) The Florida Lottery announces that Paul Nassar, 57, of Miami, claimed a $1 million top prize from THE FASTEST ROAD TO $1,000,000 Scratch-Off game after mailing in his winning ticket to Florida Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee.  He chose to receive his winnings as a one-time, lump-sum payment of $790,000.00.

Nassar purchased his winning ticket from Publix, located at 14601 South Dixie Highway in Palmetto Bay.  The retailer will receive a $2,000 bonus commission for selling the winning Scratch-Off ticket.

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South Dakota AG Ravnsborg Elected 2nd Vice Chair And Member


South Dakota Attorney General Ravnsborg Elected 2nd Vice Chair And Member Of The Executive Board Of The Conference Of Western Attorneys General

(STL.News) – Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has been elected to serve as the 2nd Vice Chair and a member of the Executive Board of the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG).

CWAG is a bipartisan group, originally formed of Western states and has grown to include a majority of U.S. states and territories. CWAG addresses emerging legal topics and common areas of interest to the west including water, fish and wildlife, public lands, minerals, energy, environment, and Indian law.  CWAG, through the Alliance Partnership, also performs Rule of Law programing in the country of Mexico and seven African nations.

In addition to the election of Ravnsborg, North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem was elected to serve as Chair and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser was elected to serve as 1st Vice Chair.  The fourth Executive Committee spot is held by the Immediate Past Chair, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas.

“I am humbled and honored to be elected by my fellow Attorneys General to a leadership role in an organization that deals with such important issues that directly impact South Dakota,” said Ravnsborg “I have worked on a number of issues already with my western colleagues and hope to continue to do so”.

The Conference of Western Attorneys General is composed of the eighteen member states and territories of Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming and the twenty-five associate member states and territories of Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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Wayne County Woman Wins $100,000 Playing Michigan Lottery’s Game Online


Michigan (STL.News) A 20-year-old Wayne County woman’s screams woke her entire house up after she won $100,000 playing the Michigan Lottery’s Football Payout game online.

“I tried a few games that night, and when I hit $100,000 I was shocked,” said the player, who chose to remain anonymous.  “I didn’t believe it at first, but I showed my mom and she said it was real.

“I started screaming and woke my dad and sister up! It was such a crazy night!”

The player visited Lottery headquarters to claim the big prize.  She plans to use the money for college, a shopping spree, and then save the remainder.

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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Announces Phased Withdrawal of Federal Law Enforcement from Portland


Oregon Governor Kate Brown Announces Phased Withdrawal of Federal Law Enforcement from Portland

(STL.News) – Today, Oregon Governor Kate Brown released the following statement:

“After my repeated requests, the federal government has agreed to a phased withdrawal of federal officers that have been deployed to the Mark Hatfield United States Courthouse over recent weeks.

“These federal officers have acted as an occupying force, refused accountability, and brought violence and strife to our community. Beginning Thursday, all Customs and Border Protection and ICE officers will leave downtown Portland, and shortly thereafter will begin going home.

“After discussions with the Vice President and administration officials this week, the federal government has agreed to my demand and will withdraw these officers from Portland.  They will also clean up the Courthouse, removing the graffiti.

“The local Oregon officers of the Oregon State Police will provide protection for free speech and the security of the exterior of the courthouse with the Federal Protective Service.  A limited contingent of federal officials, who act as building security year-round, will remain and will stay focused on the interior of the U.S. Courthouse.

“I have grown increasingly concerned at the nightly confrontation between local community members and federal officers.  We need to recognize that the protests in Portland are not solely about the federal presence.  They started before federal agents descended on our city and they will likely continue after they leave.

“Across America and across Oregon, the Black Lives Matter movement has led a historic uprising, centering black voices demanding justice and greater police accountability.

“While I recently signed six police accountability bills, championed by the Legislature’s People of Color Caucus, and convened a Task Force to review and reform Oregon training and certification procedures for all local police officers, there is so much more to be done. The community is demanding more sweeping action.  I agree.

“I will work with community leaders and elected officials to take bolder action to reform our police practices – including those of the Portland Police Bureau.  We need to get this right.

“We have an opportunity that we cannot afford to waste.  The departure of federal forces represents the beginning of a process that will be as difficult as it is overdue.

“If slavery is America’s original sin, then anti-Blackness is Oregon’s.  Even before it was recognized as a state, Oregon prevented African Americans from settling here and owning property.  For far too long, Oregon’s constitution ingrained discrimination into state law.

“Black, white, brown, and indigenous Oregonians are ready to address systemic racism.  Let’s get to work.”

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