Monthly Archives: August 2018

Credit Card Skimmer found at: Hanna Mart #2

Phillips 66

1801 Ella Blvd

Houston, Texas 77008

A TDA inspector found a Bluetooth skimmer on pump #3 after receiving two complaints.  Pump #3 was tagged out of order by TDA inspector.  Houston Police Dept. was dispatched to the location.  The device was removed and taken by HPD.

 

SKIMMER TIPS

If paying at the pump with a credit card, these tips might help you avoid becoming a victim of a gas pump skimmer:

• Use pump closest to storefront, in line of sight for store personnel
• Before pumping, check for unusual bluetooth signals with ID of string of numbers and letters; might be a skimmer
• Check that security tape on pump cabinet has not been damaged. Torn tape might indicate cabinet opened without store personnel’s knowlege
• Safest bet is to pay inside with cash
• Always save the receipt and monitor your bank statements after filling up.
• If you think you’ve been skimmed, contact 1-800-TELL-TDA and we will send an inspector to check it out.

SKIMMER VIDEO

Commissioner Miller has produced a helpful video on how

Waste Management Texas has entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the government based upon a pattern and practice of hiring illegal aliens at the company’s Houston location, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along with Special Agent in Charge Mark Dawson of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Waste Management Inc. is North America’s leading provider of waste disposal and collection headquartered in Houston. The company serves nearly 20 million municipal, commercial, industrial and residential customers. Waste Management of Texas employed at least three managers at its Afton location who actively encouraged and induced aliens to work illegally between 2003 and April 2012.

The five-year HSI investigation resulted in the execution of search warrants in April 2012 where authorities discovered 16 illegal aliens at the Afton location with at least 100 employees in company records verified as fraudulently documented or using an identity that did not belong to them.

“The non-prosecution agreement requires Waste Management to continue its substantial remedial measures to address all past immigration violations and forfeit more than $5.5 million in proceeds gained from hiring an illegal workforce at the Afton location,” said Patrick. “In considering whether to enter into such agreements, we must take into account the collateral consequences that a criminal prosecution would have on the company’s contracts with many municipalities across the country and the thousands of employees for the conduct of three managers at one operating unit in Houston.”

“Federal law requires employers to hire only U.S. citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in the country,” said Dawson. “This company hired manual laborers with little or no regard for their legal status for almost 10 years at their Afton location. Today, they paid a substantial price for that conduct. We will continue to vigorously enforce immigration law where we find employers engaging in a pattern or practice of hiring unauthorized individuals in reckless disregard of the law.”

Waste Management of Texas hired various staffing agencies to provide contract laborers. Many were hired or rehired at the Afton location in reckless disregard of the fact that they were not authorized to work. The undocumented workforce allowed the company to maintain their preferred helper workforce to maximize profits and productivity. The estimated proceeds to the company derived from this conduct at the Afton location is $5,527,091.55, the amount forfeited to the United States today.

Managers at the Afton location fired at least 10 employees in January 2012 because they lacked documentation. The aliens were told to assume the identity of actual U.S. citizens or individuals with legal status in order to work there. Managers also engaged in an identity theft scheme providing the terminated aliens with names and identifiers of actual individuals with status in the United States to allow the illegal aliens to be employed and added to the company’s payroll.

A federal grand jury indicted three managers in May 2014 for engaging in a conspiracy between 2008 and 2012 to induce and encourage unlawful immigration through a scheme to employ undocumented aliens as helpers on waste trucks picking up garbage in and around Houston. All were convicted and received sentences of 27 – 94 months.

Waste Management of Texas cooperated with the government’s criminal investigation and conducted their own internal investigation. They determined the managers at their Afton location intentionally thwarted pre-existing immigration compliance procedures that have since been enhanced to prevent future hiring of unauthorized aliens seeking employment by fraud or identity theft.


A physician who has practiced in Houston for more than 30 years has entered a guilty plea to tax evasion, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Edward J. Crouse acknowledged in the plea agreement that he has not timely filed an individual income tax return since 1997. According to the plea agreement, Crouse earned more than $4.4 million from 2009 – 2012.
Crouse consistently committed numerous affirmative acts of tax evasion over the years to conceal his true income from the IRS, including concealing the complete business records of his medical practice for calendar years 2006 through 2012 from his bookkeeping and tax return preparation firm. Crouse also admitted he signed an IRS collection form on or about May 1, 2010, in which he understated the amount of his income from his medical practice available for payment of taxes and household expenditures.
Crouse has agreed that the total intended tax loss in his case was approximately $678,103, which accounts for unpaid individual income taxes as well as the amounts of federal taxes and FICA that Crouse withheld from the wages of his medical practice employees but did not pay over to the IRS.
He has agreed to pay restitution to the IRS of $678,103.
Sentencing has been set for Dec. 13, 2018, before Chief U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal. At that time, Crouse faces up to five imprisonment and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
IRS-Criminal Investigation is conducting the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Escher is prosecuting the case.

The FBI Violent Crime Task Force needs the public’s help identifying and locating the “baby face” man who robbed the First Convenience Bank inside the Kroger store located at 9475 FM 1960 Bypass Rd. in Humble, Texas on Wednesday, August 16, 2018 at approximately 5:30 p.m. Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the bank robber.

The suspect entered the Kroger store, walked around with a cell phone held to his ear, and entered the restroom next to the bank before walking up to the teller and presenting her with a threatening note demanding money.

The teller, in fear for her life, gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect then ran out of the store and fled in a waiting black, four-door Dodge Charger.

The suspect is described as a black male between 16 and 21 years old. He had short hair and was wearing a white t-shirt with an unknown blue emblem on the left side of the chest, brown or black pants, and white sneakers.

Bank surveillance photographs of the suspect are attached. They can also be found on Twitter @FBIHouston.

Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of this bank robber. If you have any information, please call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 713-222-TIPS (8477) or the FBI Houston Field Office at (713) 693-5000, or visit www.crime-stoppers.org. Tips may also be submitted to Crime Stoppers through the Crime Stoppers of Houston app which can be downloaded at the app store for both iPhone and Android devices. All tipsters remain anonymous.

Aretha Franklin, whose gospel-rooted singing and bluesy yet expansive delivery earned her the title “the Queen of Soul,” has died, a family statement said Thursday. She was 76.

Franklin died at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit, surrounded by family and friends, according to a statement on behalf of Franklin’s family from her longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn.
The “official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillips of Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit,” the family statement.

A woman received a shocking email rejecting her from a customer service job because her name was ‘too ghetto’.

Hermeisha Robinson, 27, of St Louis, Missouri, had applied for a customer service job at Mantality Health when she received an email which was signed by a nurse practitioner Jordan Kimler.

‘Thank you for your interest in careers at Mantality Health. Unfortunately we do not consider candidates that have suggestive ‘ghetto’ names,’ said the email.

Robinson shared the message on Facebook saying she was ‘very upset’ that the company had ‘discriminated against me’.

She urged people to share the message to shame the company’s racist email.

Robinson was named after her father, Herman, who died when Robinson was young.

‘Her mom loved that name,’ her cousin Miltina Burnett said. ‘She is not going to change it.’

Burnett said that Robinson had been in tears after she read the message.

‘It made her cry and question her name, whether she should change her name to fit in corporate America,’ she said.

Mantality Health, which provides testosterone replacement therapy for men, has since apologized to Robinson, and claim they were hacked.

Kevin Meuret, the owner of the company, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch that they believe a disgruntled employee hacked their email system, pretending to be Kimler.

The company has launched an investigation with job hunting website Indeed.com to locate the IP address of the email sender.

THIS IS NOT A CITY OF HOUSTON WEBSITE OR AUTHORIZED AGENT

Houston Public Works Customer Account Services is issuing a warning to water utility customers about a suspicious website claiming customers can pay water bills online quickly and securely.

Customers have stated they have made water bill payments through the website Doxo.com and those payments have not been received by the City of Houston. Customers also claim they have not been able to contact anyone from the website.

Doxo.com is a third-party website that claims to allow people to pay their bills on online. Doxo.com has not been authorized by the City of Houston to accept any form of payments on its behalf. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is aware of confusion regarding services offered by Doxo.com. Customers should be advised payments from Doxo.com may not post to their City of Houston water account. If a customer’s account is delinquent, the account will incur additional fees and could potentially be disconnected. If you have attempted to pay a water bill through Doxo.com, please notify Customer Account Services of the billing issue by calling 713-371-1400.

The only official website for customers to make payments for water bills is www.HoustonWater.org.

Customers can also pay their water bills by phone (713-371-1400), set up payments directly through their bank or at HEB, Fiesta, Kroger’s and other authorized storefronts throughout Houston.

As a secure way to never miss a bill, verify the status of your account, and save paper, Customer Account Services recommends signing up for Water eBills.

1. Visit bit.ly/water-ebills
2. Register your new or existing online profile
3. Scroll down to current bill delivery
4. Click change bill delivery method to E-bill option and submit

If you have questions about your water bill, call 713-371-1400.

A 30-year-old resident of Houston had pleaded guilty to cconspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.  
 
Gabriel Ocampo-Mayorquin admitted in federal court yesterday that he was part of a violent robbery crew that would rob traveling jewelry salesmen during their travels to Houston. 
 
On Sept. 11, 2009, Ocampo-Mayorquin and Columbian co-conspirators robbed an off-duty Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC) officer and an interstate traveling jeweler at gunpoint at 3201 Sage Road in Houston. Ocampo-Mayorquin and Santos Diaz-Soto, 32, approached the TABC officer while he was waiting in his car on the salesman. Diaz-Soto had the gun and Ocampo-Mayorquin a “glass punch” used to break the windows of the car.
 
After Ocampo-Mayorquin broke the window, Diaz-Soto held the officer at gunpoint, at which time they attempted to steal several watches. The officer fired shots resulting in injuries to both. Diaz-Soto was shot in the back and arms, while Ocampo-Mayorquin was shot in the arm. 
The men then fled into a green Acura that Juan Carlos Valencia, 35, was driving. Immediately thereafter, witnesses observed three suspicious vehicles enter into the Gables Apartment Complex located at 3300 Sage Road to change license plates and switch cars. Ocampo-Mayorquin fled to Mexico after this robbery under an alias, while the others, all Columbian nationals, were charged and sentenced for their various roles in this robbery. 
 
Ocampo-Mayorquin spent eight years in a Mexican prison, after which the FBI brought him back to the United States face these charges. He will remain in custody pending sentencing, at which time he faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine.
 
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady is prosecuting the case.

 

A female Harris County Jail inmate has died after apparently hanging herself.

Debora Ann Lyons, 58, was found hanging from a door in a common area on the fourth floor of the 1200 Baker Street jail building at about 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

She was taken by ambulance to Ben Taub Hospital and was pronounced dead on Wednesday afternoon.

The apparent suicide is being investigated by the Texas Rangers in compliance with state law that requires all jail deaths to be investigated by an outside law enforcement agency.

The Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Division is also investigating to determine whether all applicable policies and procedures were followed, which is standard following the death of an inmate
.
In addition, the death has been reported to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

Lyons was booked into the jail on July 22 on a felony theft charge from the Houston Poli ce Department.

Statement from Senator Miles on Houston ISD TEA Sanctions

“I am happy to see progress at Houston Independent School District and that the district has avoided possible sanctions by the Texas Education Agency.  I am ecstatic that three of the schools requiring improvement in Senate District 13 — Worthing, Mading and Woodson PK-5 — have turned around student performance and now meet TEA standards. Those students, teachers, parents and principals are to be commended for their hard work to reach this achievement.

“The fight for our kids does not end here.  While accountability standards have been waived for some schools in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, HISD could still face sanctions without further improvement. As the next legislative session approaches, I am prepared to roll up my sleeves and keep up the effort to help HISD succeed. I promise to do everything in my power to achieve a brighter future for Houston students.”

 

 

Keep the Faith, Keep the Fight!