On December 8th, Judge Paul Damico, sitting judge in the 221st District Court of Montgomery County, sentenced New Caney mechanic Richard Earl Sisney to 10 years TDCJ for Aggregate Theft, pursuant to a plea agreement. The charges were based on thefts by Sisney due to car repair, restoration work, and sales to over 60 customers during a 30 year period from 1986 to 2015. The case(s) were investigated by the Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force (ATTF), with assistance of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. The lead detective on the case was Alton Neeley with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.


Sisney was arrested on a 2013 felony warrant which set forth various thefts from 22 separate customers. Following the execution of a search warrant on Sisney’s shop, located in New Caney, an additional 40 customers contacted ATTF to complain of Sisney’s business practices. Sisney initially posted bond, but the bond was set aside because of a customer who paid Sisney to restore his car, whibelongs. “ey was on bond. Although the customer paid Sisney in full upfront, the car was found at an upholstery shop, where the owner was waiting for Sisney to pay him to do the work. In November of 2015, former 9th District Judge Kelly Case released Sisney on a PR bond. Following Case’s resignation from the bench, the case(s) were transferred to Judge Lisa Michalk of the 221st District Court, who set the case for jury trial on October 31st, 2016. A few days before trial, Sisney pled guilty to the Aggregate Theft of over $200,000, for which he was sentenced to 10 years TDCJ, pursuant to plea agreement, on December 8th.

The 2013 felony complaint and warrant sets forth the scheme and course of conduct Sisney pursued to unlawfully appropriate money from customers during the 30 year period. Among the various ways in which Sisney would steal from customers included selling cars titled in other people’s names, promising to put engines and transmissions in vehicles that customers later found out were not put in the vehicles, and taking large sums of money upfront for vehicle restoration work that was never completed. In one case, a restoration customer who paid Sisney $37,000+ upfront found his vehicle at a shop in Crosby after Sisney refused to tell him where the vehicle was. The car was a complete shell. Sisney would also claim to do work on a car and would attempt to or would obtain a mechanic’s lien and title to the car after the customer balked on payment for work that Sisney never completed. In another case, Sisney obtained a mechanic’s lien and title on 2 cars that had been reported stolen approximately 7 years before. He restored one of the vehicles and sold it to a buyer in Australia for $75,000. As the car sat on a dock in Los Angeles, California, waiting to be shipped to Australia, the car was seized by law enforcement after ATTF put a hold on it due to the car being reported as stolen.
Sisney’s practice of stealing from customers would usually begin by “inducing” them to part with their money by promising to perform certain tasks on their vehicles. He would do this by holding himself out as a credible businessmanand mechanic who was capable of virtually any task in car repair. After the customers parted with their money, Sisney would then enter into the “delay and excuse” phase of his scheme. When customers would ask why the work on a vehicle hadn’t been done, Sisney would provide excuses such as “we had a snowstorm”, “Hurricane Ike came to town”, “I haven’t been feeling well”, “I have title to the car in a vault at my bank”, etc. The customer would eventually demand their money back, at which time Sisney entered the “confrontation” phase. During this phase, he would threaten them physically, or would tell them to go ahead and sue him because he had better lawyers. He would also tell various customers that he has powerful friends and friends in high places in Montgomery County. Some customers did successfully sue Sisney, but were unable to collect on their judgments, due in part to Sisney filing for bankruptcy protection, which he did on 3 separate occasions and due in part to find assets in Sisney’s possession to execute on to satisfy the judgment.
Chief Prosecutor Jim Prewitt: “Finally, justice was achieved for the countless number of victims ripped off by Richard Sisney. Sisney was the definition of a con man and cared nothing about fair and legal business practices or a genuine desire to do the right thing for his customers. We are glad to see him finally admit his wrongdoing and go to prison where he belongs

You’ve heard of crackheads stealing hundreds of dollars worth of copper and scarp metal…

But who steals $1 million dollars in scarp metal?
Police say this man did…He’s 42 year old Gregory Dheron.  
Investigators say he stole $1 million in oil field equipment that he eventually sold for scrap metal in Katy.  
Dheron was an employee at Titan Foundry where prosecutors say the metal was stolen from.  
Dheron is being held on felony theft charges with a bond of $2 million.  
Waller County Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam is prosecuting the case. 

Moses Malone Jr. receives death threats

The son of the late NBA great Moses Malone is now getting death threats…

The attorney for Moses Malone Jr. says his client received those calls this. 
This comes after Malone Jr. was assaulted and robbed outside of Houston strip club V-Live earlier this year.  
Several people were arrested and charged criminally with the attack.
Malone also filed a civil lawsuit against V-Live which has since shutdown in Houston. 

George Farah says the death threats warned his client not to return to Houston. 
Farah says he believes the threats are related to the V-Live case….

In the meantime, NBA Rockets’ star player James Harden has delayed his deposition that was scheduled for this week in the V-Live civil lawsuit.  

Harden who is represented by attorney Rusty Hardin will meet with George Farah sometime in January.  
Moses Malone Jr. maintains he was assaulted and robbed outside of V-Live in Houston because he criticized James Harden in a social media post. 

Dozens of people came out in the cold in Harris County for an event that will remember a legend in Houston.

It was the groundbreaking for the new Barbara Jordan Community Center. 

The event was held Thursday morning at the old Jordan facility on Winfield Road. 

Harris County Commissioner Gene Locke says he wanted to fulfill the promise made by late Commissioner El Franco Lee. 

Lee wanted a new community center for those who live in the area. 

Construction on the project is set to start in January while the completion dates is expected to be sometime in October. 

The cost of the new facility which will be open to the public is $4.1 million. 

It was the best of the best when it comes to music in the city of Houston Thursday night. 

The Houston Press Annual Music Awards program was held to honor those who have excelled in the music industry in the Bayou City. 

Some of the entertainers to make an appearance included Willie D with the Geto Boys,  Slim Thug, Propain, and many more. 

Here are some of the pictures I snapped at the event at 8th Wonder in East Downtown Houston!

 

A former pediatric oncologist at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of receipt, access with intent to view and possession of child pornography charges, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Dennis Patrick Meehan Hughes, 50, of Pearland, pleaded guilty March 22, 2016.

 

At the time of his arrest in June 2015, Hughes worked at M.D. Anderson, but he is no longer employed there.

 

Today, U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. handed Hughes a sentence of 84 months in federal prison on each count of conviction. The sentences will run concurrently. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the horrific nature of the crimes and that they facilitated the abuse of children. Hughes must register as a sex offender and was further ordered to serve 10 years of supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. The court also imposed a $5,000 special assessment under the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act of 2015.

 

This case was initiated pursuant to a nationwide investigation which targeted users of a TOR network child pornography website whose primary purpose was to advertise and distribute child pornography. Following the February 2015 arrest of the primary site administrator, law enforcement was able to identify more than 1,000 U.S.-based user IP addresses. One of those addresses resolved back to the residence of Hughes.

 

Law enforcement executed a federal search warrant at his residence on June 5, 2015, at which time they arrested Hughes and seized his computers and other items.  

 

Hughes admitted he received and possessed numerous images of child pornography, to include prepubescent girls with their genitals lasciviously displayed. Some of the images also depicted young girls being penetrated, both orally and vaginally. The government also offered evidence that images of child pornography were found on his work computer as well.

 

In total, law enforcement discovered 329 videos and 2,693 unique images attributable to Hughes.

 

Hughes was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

 

The FBI conducted the investigation along with the Pearland Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and the University of Texas Police Department. 

 

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri Zack, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visitwww.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visitwww.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

 

A 35-year-old Houston resident has been ordered to federal prison for his role in a sophisticated tax fraud/identity theft scheme involving more than 800 victims, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Antolin Julio Nazario, 35, pleaded guilty April 27, 2015, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. His wife – Thalia Diaz Camareno, 30 – was also convicted in the case, pleading guilty Oct. 5, 2015, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. 

Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt handed Nazario a total sentence of 92 months in prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. He was further ordered to pay a $807,096 in restitution.


Camareno is set for sentencing next week.

Both admitted that from approximately June 2010 to January 2012, they engaged in a scheme that involved the filing of hundreds of fraudulent tax returns, commonly referred to as Stolen Identity Refund Fraud. The Houston couple used stolen and unlawfully obtained personal identity information, including the names and Social Security numbers, of true persons to prepare fraudulent U.S. income tax returns.

Nazario aka Robinson Gomez Churon and Camareno aka Irene Carrero Echevarria mailed the fraudulent federal income tax returns through the U.S. Postal Service in order to generate and obtain tax refunds from the IRS to which they were not entitled and directed the fraudulently obtained tax refunds be disbursed as U.S. Treasury checks. The refunds were then used to obtain cash and goods for their own benefit.

The current fraudulent tax refund filings attributed to this couple have resulted in $4,095,959 potential loss, an excess of $800,000 paid out by the IRS and involves more than 800 victims whose identities were stolen to conduct the scheme.

Nazario will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.  His wife is on bond pending her sentencing hearing.

IRS-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Secret Service conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Elmilady is prosecuting the case.


The Houston Independent School District’s efforts to increase the number of teachers trained in computer science and to immerse all students in computer programming from elementary to high school have earned the White House’s attention.

The White House computer science fact sheet outlines President Barack Obama’s plan to give all students across the country the chance to learn computer science in school. The fact sheet titled A Year of Action Supporting Computer Science Education for All (#CSForAll) shows the progress various states have made in computer science by adopting higher standards to better prepare students for success in careers and college since the initiative first launched in January.

 The factsheet highlights HISD for its plans to double the number of computer science certified teachers over the next two academic years; expand advanced computer science courses by offering Advanced Placement computer science programming and computer science courses at 38 HISD high schools by the end of the 2017 school year; and adopt computer science standards that will provide for teaching computational thinking skills to 215,000 HISD students in grades pre-K to 12.


 “HISD is committed to giving all students access to computer science courses to ensure that we integrate computational thinking skills such as collaboration and critical thinking across all subject areas,” said HISD Chief Academic Officer Dr. Grenita Lathan. “Providing more opportunities for our students to learn computer science will teach them how to code, build interactive technology, and to think differently about challenging problems.”
 
Currently 24 HISD high schools offer a computer science course with a certified computer science teacher. The district has partnered with the Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education at the University of Texas at Austin to increase the amount of its computer science teachers by offering them a stipend to become certified.
 
“It’s important to have certified computer science teachers because without them schools cannot offer a computer science course,” said Adam Stephens, HISD officer of Advanced Academics. “Computer science brings a tremendous value to our students, providing them the skills and knowledge needed for a successful and productive future.”
 
In 2014, HISD began to integrate coding and computer science principles at all grade levels by teaming up with Code.org, a nonprofit organization that aims to expand student access to computer science. The three-year partnership includes professional development opportunities for teachers and access to online content delivery systems, as well as funding for professional development and classroom supplies. The partnership also focuses on using coding to emphasize the underlying principles of logic, creative thinking and expression in all academic areas.
 
This month, HISD students will participate in the district’s 12 Days of Code initiative as part of the Hour of Code, a global movement led by Code.org during Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 5-11). Students are encouraged to create technology – and not just use it – by completing at least an hour of coding. 
 
Each day, interactive online calendars for elementary, middle and high schools will offer students a new coding experience, such as designing an iPhone game, tracking Santa, decoding messages with cryptography, and animating text. Once students complete an hour of code, they receive a certificate of completion and will be asked to share their certificate on social media using #HISDecoded. Last year, more than 25,000 students participated in the Hour of Code, and this year HISD would like to double that number.