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Investigative Reports

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 7, 2005

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney

District of Kansas
Eric Melgren, U.S. Attorney
1200 Epic Center
Wichita, Kansas 67202

Contact: Jim Cross
Tel: (316)269-6481
Fax: (316)269-6484

GRAND JURY IN WICHITA RETURNS INDICTMENTS

WICHITA, KAN. – United States Attorney Eric Melgren announced that a total of 17 people were indicted April 6, 2005, by a federal grand jury in Wichita, Kan. Those indicted include:

Matt Skillman, 30, Russelville, Ark., who is charged with one count of embezzlement from student assistance programs and one count of mail fraud.

According to the indictment, Skillman prepared false time sheets under the Federal Work Study Program that resulted in the payment of federal funds to student athletes by Barton County Community College from Oct. 2, 2002, through Oct. 1, 2003. He also is charged with sending an official transcript for student Randy Pulley to the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., with the intent to defraud the University of Missouri. The crime is alleged to have occurred between May 19, 2003, and June 12, 2003.

If convicted, Skillman faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison on the embezzlement count and a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the mail fraud charge. The U.S. Department of Education investigated the case.

Galen R. Beach, 49, Newton, Kan., and Vickie L. Beach, 49, Newton, Kan., who are charged with bankruptcy fraud. Both are charged with two counts of mail fraud , one count of bankruptcy fraud, and one count of misusing a Social Security number.

According to the indictment, Galen and Vickie Beach, who are husband and wife, filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy Sept. 17, 2001, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wichita. The indictment says that on July 10, 2003, they filed a statement with the Kansas Secretary of State's office falsely claiming they had a summary judgment in the amount of $500,000 against United States Trustee J. Michael E. Morris. In March 2004 they filed a false claim against the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company surety bond maintained by the United States Trustee for this region. They based the claim on a fraudulently generated document stating that they had received a $500,720 arbitration award and another in the amount of $1,550,536.67 from the so-called "Western Arbitration Council." The indictment also says that on Sept. 17, 2001, they filled out a bankruptcy petition using false Social Security numbers. In addition, on Sept. 11, 2001, Galen and Vickie Beach filed a bankruptcy petition containing false Social Security numbers.

If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine on each count of mail fraud; up to five years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine on the bankruptcy fraud count; and up to 5 years without parole and a $250,000 fine on the counts of misusing a Social Security number. The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Martin Ojeda-Guerrero, 37, Wichita, Kan., who is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine. The crime is alleged to have occurred March 28, 2005, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of not less than 10 years and not more than life, and a $4 million fine. The Wichita Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Blair Watson is prosecuting.

Luke A. Moran, 20, Hutchinson, Kan, who is charged with three counts of illegally possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony, and one count of possession with intent to distribute two pounds of marijuana. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Feb. 17, 2005, and March 1, 2005, in Reno County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the firearms charges and up to five years and a $250,000 fine on the drug charge. The U.S. Marshals Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch is prosecuting.

Jorge Luis Olivares-Compos, 25, Secua, Guerrero, Mexico, who is charged with possession with intent to distribute seven kilograms of methamphetamine. The crime is alleged to have occurred April 3, 2005, in Shawnee County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of not less than 10 years in federal prison and not more than life, as well as a fine up to $4 million. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch are prosecuting.

Ricky D. Smith, 45, Wichita, Kan., who is charged with four counts of mail fraud, one count of using a false Social Security number and one count of using another person's Social Security number.

According to the indictment, Smith faxed an application form to Kohl's Corporate Gift Cards on Nov. 30, 2004, with intent to defraud Kohls. On July 30, 2003, he mailed a credit account application form to Tires Plus in Clearwater, Kan., with intent to defraud Tires Plus. From Dec. 26, 2004, to Feb. 23, 2005, with intent to defraud the Global Computer Company, he caused the Global Computer Company to deliver merchandise via United Parcel Service. On July 20, 2003, he filed a credit application with Tires Plus using a false Social Security number. And on July 20, 2003, he filed a credit application with Tires Plus using another person's Social Security number.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the mail fraud counts; a maximum penalty of five years and a $250,000 fine on the count of using a false Social Security number; and not less than two years on the count of using another person's Social Security number. The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger is prosecuting.

Garvin J. Novack, 43, LaCrosse, Kan., who is charged with one count of making counterfeit money and one count of passing counterfeit currency.

According to the indictment, beginning Jan. 10, 2005, in Ellis County, Kan., Novack manufactured a counterfeit $20 bill. On the same date he passed a counterfeit $20 bill at a McDonald's restaurant in Great Bend, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The U.S. Secret Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger is prosecuting.

Kathryn L. Short, 46, Wichita, Kan., is charged with 15 counts of possessing forged securities and 15 counts of mail fraud. In a separate count, the government seeks the forfeiture of $140,778.30 she obtained from the crimes.

According to the indictment, Short was employed by Icemasters, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tresko Inc. of Shawnee, Kan., which sells and services ice machines. Her duties included billing and processing deposits. From Jan. 9, 2004, to Oct. 4, 2004, she made payable to herself and endorsed 15 checks that should have been deposited in Icemasters' account. From Dec. 31, 2003, she sent deposit tickets through the United States mails to Icemasters' account at the Gold Bank in Kansas City, Mo., with the intent to defraud Icemasters.

If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the counts of possessing a forged security; and a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of mail fraud. The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.

Robert J. Espinosa, 53, Catalina, Ariz., who is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. The crime is alleged to have occurred March 11, 2005, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of not less than 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $4 million. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Blair Watson is prosecuting.

Francisco Lopez-Cardenas, 26, who is a citizen of Mexico, and who is charged with illegally transporting aliens within the United States after they had entered the country in violation of law. He also is charged with illegally reentering the United States after having been deported. The crimes are alleged to have occurred March 15, 2005, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine on each count. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Jose Alfredo Perez-Ocegueda, 27, who is a citizen of Mexico, and Mario Arturo Perez-Ocegueda, 28, who is a citizen of Mexico, who are charged with illegally transporting undocumented aliens. They also are charged with illegally reentering the United States after having been deported. The crimes are alleged to have occurred March 15, 2005, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine on the count of illegally harboring aliens; and 10 years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine on the charge of illegal reentry. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Kansas Highway Patrol investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Wesley W. Webster, 27, Salina, Kan., who is charged with one count of receiving and distributing by computer visual depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct. The crime is alleged to have occurred between March 2003 and November 2004 in Salina, Kan.

If convicted on the child pornography charge, he faces a maximum penalty of not less than five years in federal prison without parole and not more than 20 years, as well as a $250,000 fine. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, aided by the Wichita Police Department, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Francisco Guevara-Vielma, 64, who is a citizen of Mexico, and who is charged with illegally reentering the United States after having been deported following a conviction for an aggravated felony. The crime is alleged to have occurred March 12, 2005, in Liberal, Kan.

If convicted he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Renato Barraza-Jimenez, 31, who is a citizen of Mexico, and who is charged with illegally reentering the United States after having been deported following a conviction for an aggravated felony. Barraza was found March 21, 2005, in El Dorado, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Hector Ortiz-Esparaza, 30, who is a citizen of Mexico, and who is charged with illegally reentering the United States after having been deported following a conviction for an aggravated felony. Ortiz was found Nov. 2, 2004, in Garden City, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison without parole and a $250,000 fine. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

As in any criminal case, a person is presumed not guilty until and unless proven guilty. The Indictments filed merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.


 
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Last Modified: 04/08/2005