CYBER-STASI – Stockton Man Sentenced to Almost Five Years in Prison for Identity Theft

SACRAMENTO, CA—Michael Garcia, 39, of Stockton, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to 57 months in prison for fraud in connection with computers and in connection with an access device, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Garcia was employed as a technician by a contractor that provided information technology (IT) assistance to third parties. While employed there, Garcia accessed the computer servers of a law firm and an accountant firm without their knowledge or authorization and downloaded the personal information of more than 1,450 clients and employees. Garcia maintained this information on his computer and elsewhere.

According to court documents, Garcia and others used this personal and financial information to make counterfeited identification documents including driver’s licenses and military identification. They used the information to open bank accounts, draft bank checks, make cash withdrawals, obtain loans and lines of credit, and make unauthorized purchases. Additionally, Garcia accompanied others who wore stolen U.S. Customs and Border Protection uniforms to carry out certain fraudulent transactions, such as cashing checks, in the belief that the uniforms gave them more credibility. When arrested, Garcia possessed counterfeit California driver’s licenses, one of which bore his photo but with the name of a victim. The loss is more than $136,000.

Today in court, an employee of the accounting firm where Garcia unlawfully accessed the personal financial information told of the severe hardship suffered by the firm because of Garcia’s actions, as well as the personal toll she experienced because of Garcia’s breach of trust. Judge England commented that identity theft cases, particularly those where there has been an abuse of trust, negatively affect many lives.

This case was the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Todd Pickles and Robin Taylor prosecuted the case.

Unveiled – 142 WikiLeaks Cables Citing SIMO Code for CIA

142 WikiLeaks Cables Citing SIMO Code for CIA 142 WikiLeaks Cables Citing SIMO Code for CIA May 31, 2012

Examples of WikiLeaks Cables Showing Use of Code Word SIMO for CIA or C/SIMO for Chief of Station (Thanks to @Nin_99 and @Wikileaks for link to

1. (S) On November 23, DCM, C/SIMO, and PolMiloff delivered reftel demarche and presentation to MFA Director for Policy Planning and Multilateral Policy (A/S equivalent) Stanislav Rascan, Security Department Head Stanislav Vidovic, and Security Department staffer Rina Pavlin Gnidovec. During the course of C/SIMO’s presentation, Vidovic asked whether the documents shown in the PowerPoint were from Iran, whether the test facility pictured in the diagram was a detonation site or a monitoring facility, and whether IC projections included a timeline for completion of a usable nuclear weapon. C/SIMO responded by noting the documents were from Iran, the diagram featured in the presentation depicted a monitoring facility 10 km removed from the detonation site, and that no known concrete timeline for weaponization existed. Vidovic also asked whether it is the U.S. assessment that Iran is building a nuclear weapon for defensive purposes or whether it has aggressive intentions. C/SIMO underscored the possibility that Iran could use a nuclear weapon preemptively, though it might choose to do so through another state or non-state organization.

8. (S) U.S. participants:

– Assistant Secretary Randall Fort
– INR/NEA Chief John Merrill
– Embassy SIMO Representative Constance Taube
– Political Officer Keith Jordan (control officer)
– Political Officer Evan Reade (notetaker)

1. (S/NF) The GOT on January 12 passed to SIMO the names of US Embassy officers found on a piece of paper at one of the sites used by “Salafist” terror suspects (reftels). SIMO is reporting this information through other channels.

2. (S/NF) SIMO noted continuing robust information exchange with Kuwait State Security (KSS) and Kuwait Military Intelligence (KMI) on a range of issues including Iraq, Iran and Hezbollah. KSS and KMI continue to expend substantial resources on force protection efforts for U.S. personnel and convoys. SIMO Chief said U.S.-provided training had increased this year through his organization. He cited the GOK need to improve capabilities across the board, particularly tradecraft and technical capabilities. DATT noted that following the initial phase of DIA-funded human intelligence training, Kuwait will likely pursue further training through private contractors.

For many more instances search for “SIMO” at (SIMO will be highlighted in yellow. Ignore its use as a proper name.)

TOP-SECRET – U.S. Army Afghanistan Human Terrain Teams Map April 2012

The following map depicts the approximate locations, members and national affiliations of every human terrain team operating in Afghanistan as part of the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System.  The information is accurate as of April 3, 2012.

TOP-SECRET from the FBI – Founders of S3 Partners Charged in $21 Million Real Estate Investment Fraud Scheme

SAN JOSE, CA—The three founders of S3 Partners who allegedly defrauded numerous individual investors and banks out of more than $21 million in connection with a real estate investment fraud scheme were arrested and arraigned on 33 counts of conspiracy, wire, mail, bank and securities fraud, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

According to the indictment, which was filed in San Jose federal district court on May 23 and unsealed on May 24, from 2006 to 2009, Melvin Russell “Rusty” Shields, 42, of Granite Falls, North Carolina.; Michael Sims, 58, of Gilroy, California; and Sam Stafford, 56, of Campbell, California, defrauded individual investors and banks in the Northern District of California and elsewhere in connection with various real estate development projects. The three defendants conducted their business as “S3 Partners” out of a variety of locations including San Jose, Campbell, and Palo Alto, California; and Hickory, North Carolina. Shields, Sims, and Stafford allegedly engaged in securities fraud targeting elderly investors by encouraging those elderly investors to cash out their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and wire the proceeds to the S3 Partners for the purchase of shares in an S3 Partners-controlled LLC. The three defendants falsely represented to investors that they would receive predictable high rates of return, that there was minimal to no risk of investing, and that profits from S3 Partners business projects would benefit various charitable and religious organizations. Shields, Sims, and Stafford obtained more than $21 million from investors and banks and converted more than half of those funds for their personal benefit, their personal business ventures, and other unauthorized purposes. Their conduct resulted in a near-total loss to investors.

On May 24, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Sims and Stafford in Northern California and Shields in North Carolina pursuant to a sealed arrest warrant. That same day, Sims and Stafford made their initial appearances in San Jose before United States Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal where, subject to the posting of a $100,000 secured bond and being placed on home electronic monitoring, they were ordered released pending a detention hearing. Sims and Stafford are scheduled to appear at a detention hearing in San Jose tomorrow at 9:30 a.m, at which hearing Magistrate Judge Grewal will consider additional conditions governing their pretrial release. Shields made an initial appearance May 24 in Charlotte, North Carolina. After a detention hearing this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler, Shields was ordered released subject to a $100,000 unsecured bond and placed on home electronic monitoring.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of conspiracy to commit wire, mail and bank fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1349, 1343 and 1341 is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of bank fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344 is 30 years prison and a fine of $1 million, plus restitution. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of Title 15, United States Code, Sections 78j(b) and 78ff; and 17 C.F.R. Section 240.10b-5-securities fraud is 20 years in prison and a fine of $5 million, plus restitution. Any sentence following conviction would, however, be determined by the court after considering the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors and would be imposed in the discretion of the court.

Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Fazioli is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Legal Assistant Kamille Singh. The prosecution is the result of a multi-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Shields, Sims, and Stafford must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This prosecution is part of efforts underway by President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information about the task force visit