The North Atlantic Council to visit KFOR

Source: NATO

On Thursday, 07 July 2022, the North Atlantic Council will visit KFOR, the NATO-led mission in Kosovo, and the NATO Advisory and Liasion Team. NATO’s Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Mircea Geoana, will chair the meetings on the ground.

The Ambassadors of Allies and of the KFOR troop-contributing Partners will meet with the KFOR Commander, Major General Ferenc Kajári, and the Director of the NATO Advisory and Liaison Team in Kosovo, Brigadier General Joachim Hoppe. They will also have an exchange with the Heads of Mission of the European Union, EULEX, the OSCE and UNMIK. Ambassadors will have the opportunity to engage with KFOR troops.

The Deputy Secretary General will meet with Ms. Vjosa Osmani and Mr. Goran Rakić in Pristina for a bilateral discussion.

Media Coverage

  • Pictures taken by NATO photographers will be available on the NATO website.

Follow us on Twitter (@NATO@Mircea_Geoana and @NATOPress).

New York Bagel Company Owner Sentenced to 3½ Years in Prison for Scamming Prospective Franchisees Out of Over $2 Million

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) State Crime News

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division announced that Joseph Smith, 57, formerly of Fishkill, New York, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $2,100,450 in restitution by Unites States District Court Judge Gerald J. Pappert for his scheme to defraud prospective franchisees of more than $2.1 million, collectively.

In February 2022, the defendant. the owner of New York Bagel Enterprises, Inc., (“New York Bagel”), which operated in Pennsylvania and other states, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and tax evasion in connection with this scheme. According to court documents and statements made in court, Smith and Dennis Mason, charged separately, made numerous misrepresentations to individuals interested in buying a New York Bagel franchise. These misrepresentations included: a guarantee that New York Bagel could get financing for the prospective franchisee, the actual costs to open a franchise, the number of franchises that were already open or opening, and the profitability of existing franchises. The defendant and Mason charged prospective franchisees fees ranging between $7,500 and $44,500 to gain rights to open stores. When some prospective franchisees learned of the misrepresentations and demanded their money back, Smith refused to refund these fees. As a result of the fraud, Smith and New York Bagel sold more than 160 franchises and obtained more than $2.1 million in franchise fees.

Further, from 2014 through 2016, Smith deposited more than $1.3 million in franchise fees into New York Bagel bank accounts which he controlled. The defendant spent these funds on personal items unrelated to the business, including rent for his home, travel, car payments for personal vehicles and living expenses. Smith did not file corporate or individual income taxes for these three years or pay the taxes he owed to the IRS.

Mason previously pleaded guilty to related charges and was sentenced to three years in prison in April 2022.

“Individuals seeking to own and operate business franchises are seeking opportunity and financial stability for themselves and their families; they deserve honesty and forthrightness in their business dealings so they can make informed decisions,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “Mr. Smith took advantage of his position to swindle millions of dollars from people seeking legitimate business opportunities, and for that crime he will now spend years in prison.”

“While Smith was defrauding investors out of their franchise fees, he also evaded nearly $175,000 in taxes due on that income,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “Business owners who pay the IRS their fair share of taxes deserve to compete on a level playing field. Competitors who cut corners and seek to skirt their legal obligations should know they will be investigated and prosecuted.”

“Mr. Smith’s scheme served no purpose other than to mislead and defraud perspective franchisees,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Yury Kruty. “Furthermore, he took steps to hide his earnings from IRS, thus shirking his tax liability. The sentence he received is a victory for all Americans who play by the rules.”

“Joseph Smith peddled what looked like a great opportunity to potential franchisees,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “But once they signed on the dotted line, they learned he’d been peddling something else instead. Smith treated their franchise fees like found money. It was a clear-cut case of fraud and this sentence puts him behind bars and provides some justice for his victims. The FBI will always fight to hold crooks like this accountable.”    

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Ignall and Trial Attorney Eric B. Powers of the Department of Justice Tax Division.

Hastings Woman Sentenced for Possessing Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) State Crime Alerts (b)

Acting United States Attorney Steven Russell announced that Vallen Bateman, 36, of Hastings, Nebraska, was sentenced on June 24, 2022, in federal court in Omaha, Nebraska, for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.  Chief United States District Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. sentenced Bateman to 66 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.  After her release from prison, she will begin a five-year term of supervised release.

On September 28, 2020, law enforcement was serving a federal arrest warrant for John Wizinsky at a residence in Grand Island, following his indictment for distributing methamphetamine.  Wizinsky was arrested and Bateman was also present.  Bateman had an active warrant out of Howard County and was arrested. She admitted to having marijuana in her nearby backpack.  A search of her backpack revealed 80 grams of methamphetamine, a scale, and 13 grams of marijuana. 

Wizinsky was sentenced on July 23, 2021, to 262 months’ imprisonment.  

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Grand Island Police Department and the Central Nebraska Drug and Safe Streets Task Force.

Wilmot — Missing youth: Help the RCMP find Isabelle Whynot

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Annapolis District RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 15-year-old Isabelle Whynot, who was last seen on Danny St. in Wilmot on July 2.

Whynot is described as 5-foot-3, 90lbs, has black hair and brown eyes. Whynot was last seen wearing white/black/grey pyjama pants and a black hoodie. It is believed that Whynot had with her a camouflage backpack at the time of her disappearance.

When someone goes missing, it has deep and far-reaching impacts for the person and those that know them. We ask that people spread the word through social media respectfully.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Isabelle Whynot is asked to contact Annapolis District RCMP at 902-825-2000. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.

File: 2022-917196

Note: Photos of Isabelle Whynot are attached.

Wilmot — Missing youth: Help the RCMP find Isabelle Whynot

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Annapolis District RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 15-year-old Isabelle Whynot, who was last seen on Danny St. in Wilmot on July 2.

Whynot is described as 5-foot-3, 90lbs, has black hair and brown eyes. Whynot was last seen wearing white/black/grey pyjama pants and a black hoodie. It is believed that Whynot had with her a camouflage backpack at the time of her disappearance.

When someone goes missing, it has deep and far-reaching impacts for the person and those that know them. We ask that people spread the word through social media respectfully.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Isabelle Whynot is asked to contact Annapolis District RCMP at 902-825-2000. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submit a secure web tip at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca, or use the P3 Tips App.

File: 2022-917196

Note: Photos of Isabelle Whynot are attached.

Owasso Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder After Fatal Methamphetamine Fueled Auto Collision

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) State Crime Alerts (c)

An Owasso man who drove under the influence of methamphetamine and caused a crash that killed another driver pleaded guilty in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Bradley Wade Wofford, 35, pleaded guilty to second degree felony murder in Indian Country on June 15, 2022.

On June 10, 2019, Wofford was driving a Ford F-150 on U.S. 412 near County Road 4180 when an accident further down the road caused traffic to slow. Wofford failed to follow suit and rear-ended victim Scotty Dilbeck’s Volkswagon, killing him. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol calculated that Wofford had been driving approximately 66 mph when he struck Dilbeck, who was driving 11 mph.

Prior to the collision, Wofford had also been convicted of driving under the influence.

The FBI and Oklahoma Highway Patrol conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Buscemi is prosecuting the case.

Prince Albert — There may be more, unidentified victims in Prince Albert RCMP sexual exploitation investigation

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Prince Albert RCMP investigation has determined there may be more victims with regards to the below ongoing investigation. Investigators are encouraging anyone with additional information, or if you are a victim, please report it to Prince Albert Detachment at 306-765-5500, call 310-RCMP or call 911 in an emergency.

On June 4, 2022, Prince Albert RCMP received a report of child luring. Investigation determined a female teen youth victim and an adult male were conversing via social media accounts and conversations were sexual in nature.

As a result of extensive investigation, 21-year-old Brady Robin from Prince Albert was arrested on June 24, 2022. He is charged with:

  • 2 counts, invitation to sexual touching, section 152 of the Criminal Code
  • 1 count, sexual exploitation of a young person, section 153(1) of the Criminal Code
  • 1 count, make sexually explicit material available, section. 171.1 of the Criminal Code
  • 1 count, agreement or arrangement – sexual offence against child, section 172.2 of the Criminal Code
  • 1 count, possession child pornography, section 163.1 of the Criminal Code
  • 3 counts, failure to comply with orders, section 145 of the Criminal Code

Robin appeared in Prince Albert Provincial Court on July 4, 2022. His next appearance is on July 11 at 10:00 a.m.

Assisting Prince Albert RCMP Detachment with this ongoing investigation is the Saskatchewan Integrated Child Exploitation Unit, the Saskatchewan RCMP Legal Application Support Team and the Saskatchewan RCMP Digital Forensics Services Unit.

Prince Albert — There may be more, unidentified victims in Prince Albert RCMP sexual exploitation investigation

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Prince Albert RCMP investigation has determined there may be more victims with regards to the below ongoing investigation. Investigators are encouraging anyone with additional information, or if you are a victim, please report it to Prince Albert Detachment at 306-765-5500, call 310-RCMP or call 911 in an emergency.

On June 4, 2022, Prince Albert RCMP received a report of child luring. Investigation determined a female teen youth victim and an adult male were conversing via social media accounts and conversations were sexual in nature.

As a result of extensive investigation, 21-year-old Brady Robin from Prince Albert was arrested on June 24, 2022. He is charged with:

  • 2 counts, invitation to sexual touching, section 152 of the Criminal Code
  • 1 count, sexual exploitation of a young person, section 153(1) of the Criminal Code
  • 1 count, make sexually explicit material available, section. 171.1 of the Criminal Code
  • 1 count, agreement or arrangement – sexual offence against child, section 172.2 of the Criminal Code
  • 1 count, possession child pornography, section 163.1 of the Criminal Code
  • 3 counts, failure to comply with orders, section 145 of the Criminal Code

Robin appeared in Prince Albert Provincial Court on July 4, 2022. His next appearance is on July 11 at 10:00 a.m.

Assisting Prince Albert RCMP Detachment with this ongoing investigation is the Saskatchewan Integrated Child Exploitation Unit, the Saskatchewan RCMP Legal Application Support Team and the Saskatchewan RCMP Digital Forensics Services Unit.

Rogersville — Missing 23-year-old man

Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Richibucto RCMP is asking for the public’s help locating a missing 23-year-old man from Keswick, N.B.

Eric LeBlanc was last seen on July 6, 2022 shortly after 3 p.m. at a business on Route 126 in Rogersville. Police have followed up on several leads to try and locate him, but have so far been unsuccessful. Police and his family are concerned for his wellbeing.

Eric LeBlanc is described as being approximately five feet eleven inches (180 centimetres) tall, and weighing approximately 130 pounds (59 kilograms). He has brown eyes, short light brown hair, and a moustache. He was last seen wearing a light blue Adidas hoodie with beige pants and a black ball cap.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Eric LeBlanc is asked to contact the Richibucto RCMP at 506-523-4611.