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Four Individuals Charged with Mail and Wire Fraud

Press Release From: NASA Office of Inspector General
Posted: Friday, January 5, 2001

On December 19, 2000, Daniel C. Patterson, Alexander Drabkin, Anthony Macaluso, and Michael Itaev, were arrested and charged with mail and wire fraud. The charges stemmed from their alleged participation in a scheme to defraud the Stern-Leach Company, Attleboro, Massachusetts, of $1.6 million in gold.

It is alleged that in November 2000, an individual contacted Stern- Leach and indicated he wished to purchase large quantities of gold for use at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Assembly Research Division, Pasadena, California.

Stern-Leach employees became suspicious and notified Federal authorities who ascertained the purchase order was fraudulent.

On December 20, 2000, United States Magistrate Stephen G. Larson set bail for Patterson at $200,000, Itaevs at $75,000, and Macalusos at $25,000. On December 21, 2000, bail for Drabkin was set at $60,000. Prosecutors seek to extradite the subjects to Boston for trial. Each could face as much as 5 years in Federal prison plus 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

This investigation was conducted by Special Agents of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, NASA Office of Inspector General, Office of Criminal Investigation, and the Pasadena Police Department, Pasadena, California. The prosecution is being handled by the United States Attorneys Office (USAO), District of Massachusetts. Inquiries may be directed to Diana K. Lloyd, USAO, at (617) 748-3100.

For more information on this release, please call Samuel Maxey, Assistant Inspector General for Investigations at (202) 358-2580.

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