Miami, Florida - An Aruban official residing in Florida pleaded guilty today to money laundering charges in connection with his role in a scheme to arrange and receive corrupt payments to influence the awarding of contracts with an Aruban state-owned telecommunications corporation.

Atlanta, Georgia - A former probate judge for Hart County, Georgia, was charged in an indictment today for soliciting sexual contact in exchange for favorable action on driving under the influence charges and other traffic offenses, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Charles E. Peeler of the Middle District of Georgia and Special Agent in Charge David J. Levalley of the FBI’s Atlanta Division.

Boston, Massachusetts - A Cypriot national pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts to money laundering.

San Diego, California - A federal court in San Diego has permanently barred Melissa Lang (formerly known as Melissa Ann Vega) from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.  In its complaint, the government alleged that Melissa Lang operated tax return preparation businesses called “L&T Works” and “Lang Works, LLC” and fraudulently reduced her customers’ tax liabilities by improperly claiming a variety of deductions and education tax credits. Specifically, the government’s complaint alleged that Lang, of San Diego, California, caused to be filed returns that claimed fraudulent refunds of more than $9,000,000, which included approximately $7,020,020 in false education credits.  The complaint alleges that Lang filed, or caused to be filed though her associates and employees, approximately 4,194 false returns.

Lima, Peru - Acting Secretary of State John J. Sullivan and USAID Administrator Mark Green met today with representatives from Venezuelan civil society on the margins of the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru.

Washington, DC - Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan: "On behalf of President Trump and the American people, I wish a joyous New Year to all the Sri Lankan people.

Washington, DC - Earlier today, the FTC announced a revised settlement with Uber regarding the company’s privacy and data security promises. The case involved multiple breaches of Uber’s cloud storage infrastructure where the company stored full and partial backups of databases containing information about Uber users and drivers. The complaint alleges that Uber failed to reasonably secure this cloud storage. According to the complaint, Uber software engineers would develop and test software that could connect to this cloud data using inadequate access controls. As a result, intruders exploited Uber’s software development environment to take advantage of the company’s failure to reasonably secure its cloud storage.