Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.
A Penn Hills woman who told four investors that she had “turned hundreds of thousands to millions” instead turned their money into her private piggy bank, prosecutors say.
A federal grand jury Thursday indicted Rochelle Johnson, 33, on one count of mail fraud and seven counts of wire fraud for allegedly coaxing the investors to give her $819,911 that was supposed to help them obtain financing for their companies.
Johnson paid out $230,000 to third parties and kept the rest of the money herself, prosecutors say.
Her website, www.sourcenationalfunding.com , solicits companies to make “donations” to Source National's nonprofit partner, Strive for Student Athletes, which purportedly will help 100 Pittsburgh student-athletes participate in a “Total Solution” program that is supposed to help them go to college. In return for the donations, the companies were to get business plans that would help them obtain funding or improve financial scores.
A question-and-answer section says the company can't provide any references because, “In the financing profession all transactions are treated with utmost confidentiality and kept that way even after completion. This is due to the liability laws and to avoid the mega-million-dollar lawsuits that the breaking of our confidentiality agreement in particular and our client's trust in us in general might initiate.”
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