indictments
May 3, 2018

Volkswagen's former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, has been charged by U.S. authorities with conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act and defraud the United States.

An indictment unsealed Thursday in a Michigan federal court shows five other VW executives have also been charged. Winterkorn resigned in 2015 when it was revealed that the car company went to great lengths to program vehicles in a way that would trick U.S. government diesel emissions tests. Nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles were able to get around the tests.

Volkswagen has agreed to pay $4.3 billion in fines related to the scheme. Winterkorn told German parliament members last year that he had no clue about the workaround, saying, "It is not comprehensible why I was not informed early and clearly about the measurement problems." Catherine Garcia

July 13, 2017

A grand jury has indicted two former House staffers for allegedly circulating private, nude images and videos of a member of Congress and the member's spouse, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Juan McCullum, 35, has been indicted on two counts of cyberstalking, and Dorene Browne-Louis, 45, on two counts of obstruction of justice. The indictment says McCullum worked for the House member, who was not identified, from April 2015 until June 2016, and in March 2016 offered to take the member's iPhone to get fixed. The iPhone contained the private images and videos, and the Department of Justice says after he left the job, McCullum opened a "Facebook social media account, using a fictitious name, to distribute and post the private images and videos" and "encouraged others" to pass them around the member's district.

McCullum allegedly sent texts to Browne-Louis letting her know what he had done, and she purportedly deleted those messages and made "false, incomplete, and misleading statements" to police and a grand jury. She appeared in court Thursday and pleaded not guilty. McCullum's first court appearance has not yet been set. Catherine Garcia

June 27, 2017

A Cook County grand jury indicted three veteran Chicago police officers Tuesday on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice, accusing the officers of working together to cover up for their colleague who shot and killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.

The first police report stated that officers David March, Joseph Walsh, and Thomas Gaffney were "victims" of McDonald, claiming he assaulted them before Officer Jason Van Dyke came to intervene. McDonald lunged toward him with a knife, and that's when Van Dyke shot him 16 times, the report said. One year later, dashcam footage of the incident was released that completely refuted the report, showing Van Dyke shooting McDonald as he walked away. Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder, and pleaded not guilty.

Special Prosecutor Patricia Holmes Brown said in a statement that the indictment "makes clear that these defendants did more than merely obey an unofficial 'code of silence.' Rather, it alleges that they lied about what occurred to prevent independent criminal investigators from learning the truth." If convicted, the officers face years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines, the prosecutor said. March spent more than 30 years on the force, while Walsh and Gaffney were Chicago police officers for more than 20 years. Walsh and Marsh are no longer officers, and Gaffney has been suspended, NPR reports. Catherine Garcia

May 30, 2015

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Friday he's "shocked and saddened" by the allegations against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), the Associated Press reports. A federal grand jury indicted Hastert on Thursday for allegedly evading currency reporting requirements and lying to the FBI.

Sources told the Los Angeles Times the former teacher and wrestling coach has paid $1.7 million to a former male student over the last four years to conceal sexual abuse against that man. Julie Kliegman

May 29, 2015

Former U.S. House speaker Dennis Hastert reportedly paid off a man to conceal past sexual misconduct, two federal law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times. A federal grand jury indicted Hastert on Thursday for allegedly evading currency reporting requirements. He reportedly withdrew the cash to give to an unidentified person, who one official claimed is a man Hastert wanted to conceal a past relationship with.

The alleged misconduct, which one source called "sex" and the other confirmed involved sexual abuse, dates back to Hastert's stint as a Yorkville, Illinois, high school wrestling coach and teacher, LAT reports.

"It goes back a long way, back to then," one source told the paper. “It has nothing to do with public corruption or a corruption scandal. Or to his time in office." Julie Kliegman

September 17, 2014

A 30-year-old Rochester, New York, man was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury for allegedly attempting to aid ISIS and planning to kill U.S. troops returning from Iraq.

Mufid Elfgeeh, who was arrested in May, has been charged with three counts of attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS, one count of attempted murder of current and former members of the U.S. military, and federal weapons offenses, the Justice Department said in a news release. If convicted of all charges, he could receive life in prison.

Court records say that Elfgeeh attempted to assist three individuals, including two working with the FBI, with traveling to Syria to fight alongside ISIS. In 2013 and early 2014, he tried to persuade the two sources to engage in fighting overseas, and then prepared them for the trip. He also sent $600 to someone in Yemen, who planned on using the money to travel to Syria to join ISIS.

Elfgeeh also plotted to shoot and kill returning members of the United States military, and purchased two handguns with silencers and ammunition from a confidential source; the handguns were made inoperable by the FBI before Elfgeeh received them.

"With today's indictment of Mufid Elfgeeh, the government demonstrates that it will use all available tools to disrupt and defeat ISIS," U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said in the news release. "The case also demonstrates that by working with the community, law enforcement is able to identify those who would harm our country or our returning soldiers." Catherine Garcia

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