Positive News From The CMPD
This weekend brought to us some interesting, positive news from the Costa Mesa Police Department.
INDICTING ROMANIAN RACKETEERS
First, in a press release dated October 25, 2013, the CMPD announced that Costa Mesa Police officers' collaboration with the F.B.I. and the U.S. Attorney's Office helped indict international fugitives wanted for multimillion dollar cyber fraud schemes. The text of that release reads, in part, as follows:
Yesterday, representatives from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of investigation announced federal charges against Romanian fugitive Nicolae Popescu and six additional Romanian nationals who remain at large. These fugitives are currently wanted for their criminal involvement in a sophisticated cyber fraud conspiracy that primarily targeted American consumers on popular national websites. In Early December of 2012, six additional co-defendents participating in Popescu's scheme were arrested in a coordinated international takedown.
A fraud investigation originally conducted by Costa Mesa Police Detective Eugene Kim during late 2007 disclosed criminal activity related to the Romanian crime syndicate. Costa Mesa Police Special Investigations Unit (S.I.U.) Officers Larry Fettis, Matt Selinske and Daniel Miles served as case agents who collaborated with federal authorities to develop the initial case. Additional Costa Mesa Police S.I.U. officers who assisted with follow up included Officers George Maridakis, Bang Le, Mario Garcia, Kevin Westman, Tina Natividad and Aaron Parsons. CMPD S.I.U. officer's follow up was linked to activities of interest occurring in southern California, western states, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.
The Romanian fraud syndicate carried out its elaborate scheme through the coordinated efforts of its members. By placing bogus advertisements in the cyber marketplace for high-value (non-existent) items, the criminals netted millions of dollars. The criminal group successfully facilitated their high-dollar Internet marketplace transactions with victims worldwide by using fake websites, counterfeit certificates of title, false identities and counterfeit payment service information. In many cases, the victims' fraudulently obtained funds were ultimately funneled into American bank accounts set up by the defendants.
KUDOS TO KIM AND THE OTHERS
We should be very proud of the part our officers played in this outstanding police work. Detective Eugene Kim, whose skill and diligence launched this effort, has moved on to greener pastures in Beverly Hills.
HEROES WITH A HEART AWARD
In yet another press release issued yesterday it was announced that Costa Mesa Police Officer Monique Beckner was among 22 honorees recognized at the 12th Annual Heroes With Heart Awards Dinner held at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel.
The event was hosted by the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) group of Orange County. TIP is a national network of volunteers who work in conjunction with police departments, fire departments and hospitals across the country. Honorees at the event included Orange County law enforcement, firefighters and hospital personnel who went above the call of duty in the past year to provide compassionate support to citizens in crisis. The evening's event was attended by over 350 elected officials, police and fire chiefs, the sheriff and command staff, hospital executives, business leaders and volunteers.
A COMPASIONATE PROFESSIONAL
Officer Beckner received her award for outstanding support she offered to the girlfriend of a man who had died during a call Officer Beckner responded to in February of this year. TIP Volunteer Jeanine Kendzejeski, who was present at the call, recalled, "I was amazed at how kind and patient Costa Mesa Police Officer Monique Beckner was with all involved."
Also attending the event was Officer Beckner's husband, Costa Mesa Police Sergeant Doug Johnson, Chier Tom Gazsi and Lieutenants Bryan Glass and Mark Manley. Officer Beckner's husband stated it did not surprise him his wife was being honored at the event. He noted, "It's just what comes naturally to 'Mo" when she's around others in need."
Kudos to Officer Monique Beckner for her compassionate professionalism and dedication to the residents of this community.