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Former FSU C.A.R.E Students And Former UF Football Player Indicted For Conspiracy

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Former FSU C.A.R.E Students And Former UF Football Player Indicted For Conspiracy

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TALLAHASSEE (PRESS RELEASE/CW44 News At 10) –

Former Florida State University C.A.R.E. Students and Former University of Florida Football Player Indicted for Conspiracy, Bank Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft

A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging seven defendants with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, 17 counts of bank fraud, and 8 counts of aggravated identity theft. The indictment was announced by Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

The defendants named in this indictment are:

  • Kh’lajuwon Amari Murat, 21, Miramar, Florida;
  • Kadeem Wysler Joseph Telfort, 22, Miramar, Florida;
  • Jada Tisean Barton, 22, Titusville, Florida;
  • Ariel Apperlyn Smith, 22, Coral Springs, Florida;
  • Deshauan Antwaniece Sanders, 22, Miami, Florida;
  • Voshon Howard, 22, Miramar, Florida

RELATED ARTICLE: UPDATE: University Of South Florida Consolidation Takes Effect July 1

The indictment alleges that Telfort, a student and football player at the University of Florida, and the other defendants who were all students at Florida State University (“FSU”) in the Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (“C.A.R.E.”), conspired to defraud federally insured financial institutions between July 1, 2017, and October 31, 2017. The indictment further alleges that Murat and Telfort used the Internet and text messaging to unlawfully obtain credit card and debit card account numbers belonging to third parties, and that they used those account numbers to fraudulently deposit funds into the student accounts of FSU students, including accounts belonging to Barton, Smith, Sanders, and Howard. The indictment also alleges that the group communicated by cell phone and text messaging to plan the execution of the scheme. Specifically, the indictment alleges that Murat requested the student account numbers from FSU students and also requested that the FSU students purchase merchandise from the FSU Bookstore using funds that he and Telfort had fraudulently deposited or would later fraudulently deposit into those students’ accounts. It is alleged that the FSU students gave the purchased merchandise to Murat and others, and were permitted to keep any remaining balance of the funds that Murat and Telfort fraudulently deposited into their student accounts for their own personal use. In total, it is alleged that the group fraudulently obtained and attempted to obtain approximately $53,000 in funds to which they were not entitled.

RELATED ARTICLE: WANTED: David Laycock, In Connection With Fatal Homeless-Camp Shooting

All defendants face a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud count, and Murat faces an additional 2-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, consecutive to any other sentence imposed, for each aggravated identity theft count.

This case resulted from an investigation by the Florida State University Police Department and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Justin M. Keen is prosecuting the case.

The jury trial is scheduled for August 17, 2020, at 8:15 a.m. before the Honorable Judge Robert Hinkle at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee.

An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

 

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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