DOD: Helping Hands

Comfort Help

A sailor escorts patients to receive care aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 28, 2017. Comfort is moored pier side in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to provide humanitarian relief. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Ernest R. Scott


Medical personnel in blue surgical clothes perform surgery in an operating room.

Comfort Operation

Sailors operate on a patient aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort in the Caribbean Sea near San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 18, 2017, while supporting Hurricane Maria relief efforts. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephane Belcher


A sailor measures building materials.

Measure Mission

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Courtney Knight measures roofing materials while building a school in Tawau, Malaysia, April 27, 2018. Activities like this and medical care provided by the crew of the USNS Mercy are part of Pacific Partnership 2018. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Fulton


Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Emily Cates talks with students.

Pacific Smiles

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Emily Cates talks with students from a primary school during an expert exchange at a health clinic as part of Pacific Partnership 2016 in Padang, Indonesia, Aug. 26, 2016. Medical personnel from the hospital ship USNS Mercy discussed health information with field experts and students. This is the fifth time Pacific Partnership has visited Indonesia. Australian Air Force photo by Spec. Cpl. David Cotton


A sailor talks to a child.

Medical Help

Navy Lt. Chad Lomas cares for a child in a Department of Health and Human Services medical tent on a pier in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nov. 3, 2017. Lomas is assigned to the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort, which is moored pier side in San Juan to provide humanitarian relief. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Ernest R. Scott


A sailor wearing a lei dances with a woman wearing a headscarf.

Bengkulu Boogie

Navy Lt. Kelly Cartwright, U.S. Pacific Fleet bandmaster, dances with a junior high teacher in Bengkulu, Indonesia, April 2, 2018, during a performance and cultural exchange as part of the Pacific Partnership 2018 mission. Navy photo by Seaman Harley K. Sarmiento

Law Enforcement Cyber Incident Reporting

Law Enforcement Cyber Incident Reporting A Unified Message for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Law Enforcement

Key Contacts for SLTT Law Enforcement Cyber Incident Reporting

Organization and Key Points of Contact What to Report?

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD)

National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) (http://www.dhs.gov/about-national-cybersecuritycommunications-integration-center) NCCIC@hq.dhs.gov or (888) 282-0870

Suspected or confirmed cyber incidents that may impact critical infrastructure and require technical response and mitigation assistance

United States Secret Service

Secret Service Field Offices (http://www.secretservice.gov/field_offices.shtml)

Electronic Crimes Task Forces (ECTFs) (http://www.secretservice.gov/ectf.shtml)

Cybercrime, including computer intrusions or attacks, transmission of malicious code, password trafficking, or theft of payment card or other financial payment information

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI)

ICE HSI Field Offices (http://www.ice.gov/contact/inv/)

ICE HSI Cyber Crimes Center (http://www.ice.gov/cyber-crimes/)

Cyber-based domestic or international cross-border crime, including child exploitation, money laundering, smuggling, and violations of intellectual property rights

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

FBI Field Offices )

Cyber Task Forces cyber/cyber-task-forces-building-alliances-to-improve-thenations-cybersecurity-1)

Law Enforcement Online Portal (https://www.cjis.gov/CJISEAI/EAIController) or (888) 334-4536

Cybercrime, including computer intrusions or attacks, fraud, intellectual property theft, identity theft, theft of trade secrets, criminal hacking, terrorist activity, espionage, sabotage, or other foreign intelligence activity

Cyber Training and Other Resources for Law Enforcement Personnel The FBI’s Cyber Shield Alliance (https://www.cjis.gov/CJISEAI/EAIController) provides extensive resources for SLTT partners, including eGuardian (https://www.cjis.gov/CJISEAI/EAIController) access, intelligence sharing, federally sponsored training, and fellowships at the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force ). The FBI also supports the InfraGard (https://www.infragard.org/) partnership with the private sector.

The U.S. Secret Service operates the National Computer Forensics Institute (https://www.ncfi.usss.gov) to provide federally sponsored training for SLTT partners, including law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges.

The ICE HSI Cyber Crimes Center offers a variety of technical training courses related to cyber investigations and digital forensics on a request basis.

The Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) manuals Searching and Seizing Computers and Electronic Evidence and Prosecuting Computer Crimes are available online at http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/documents. html.

SLTT partners can also advise the public to file a complaint online (http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx) with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx).

If there is an immediate threat

PDF

Law Enforcement Cyber Incident Reporting

Hartford Man Pleads Guilty to Heroin Distribution and Firearm Possession Offenses

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RAFAEL ARROYO, 34, of Hartford, pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to narcotics distribution and firearm possession offenses.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on July 26, 2018, a court-authorized search of Arroyo’s Broad Street apartment revealed approximately 400 bags of packaged heroin, a distribution quantity of cocaine, a Star S.A. 9mm semiautomatic pistol, an H&R “Sportsman” .22 caliber long rifle revolver, a Group Industries 9mm firearm, assorted ammunition, and three bulletproof vests.

Arroyo pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, which carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of at least five years.  He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on December 18, 2019.

Arroyo’s criminal history includes state felony convictions for drug and firearm offenses.  Arroyo has been detained since his arrest on July 26, 2018.

This matter has been investigated by the Hartford Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.

Waterbury Man Pleads Guilty to Theft of Social Security Benefits

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ZIMER KALICI, 55, of Waterbury, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to one count of theft of public money related to his illegal receipt of Social Security benefits.

U.S. Attorney Durham noted that individuals are not eligible for Social Security benefits when they permanently relocate to live outside of the U.S., and eligibility for Social Security benefits terminates upon death.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Kalici’s father, a Social Security benefits recipient, relocated from the U.S. to Macedonia in 2009, and died in January 2010.  Kalici did not report his father’s death to the Social Security Administration and, between 2009 and 2018, deposited approximately $52,417.84 worth of Social Security checks intended for his father into his own personal bank account.

In November 2018, Kalici was interviewed by investigators with the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (“SSA OIG”).  During the interview, Kalici stated that his father was still alive and had left the U.S. for Macedonia in May 2018.  Kalici subsequently provided SSA OIG with a false funeral internment certificate that represented his father had died on November 26, 2018.

Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for February 28, 2020, at which time Kalici faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

Kalici is released on a $25,000 bond pending sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret E. Maigret.

Former City of Detroit Building Authority Official Sentenced for Bribery Conspiracy in Connection with the Detroit Demolition Program

Aradondo Haskins, 48, the former Field Operations Manager for the City of Detroit Building Authority overseeing the demolition program in Detroit, was sentenced today to 12 months in prison after having pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services fraud in connection with the Detroit Demolition Program.

The Honorable Victoria Roberts sentenced Haskins to serve 12 months in federal prison following his conviction for conspiracy to commit honest services fraud by taking bribes while he was employed at Adamo Group and at the City of Detroit.  Following his release from prison, Haskins will serve a two-year term of supervised release.  The Court also ordered that Haskins pay a $5,000 fine and that Haskins forfeit $26,500 for the bribes that he took while employed by Adamo and by the City.

The United States Treasury Department created the Blight Elimination Program, which focused on helping communities demolish vacant houses.  The program was paid for through the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF), a housing support program intended to protect home values, preserve home ownership and promote economic growth.  The City of Detroit was one of the recipients of this HHF money.  Approximately $258,656,459 in Hardest Hits Funds have been allocated to the City of Detroit since Oct. 7, 2013.

As stated during Haskins’s guilty plea, from January 2013 through April 2015, Haskins was employed as an “estimator” with Adamo.  Adamo is a private, “for profit,” company which provides demolition services throughout the United States and Canada, including the City of Detroit.  Haskins’s responsibilities at Adamo included assembling bid packages in response to “Requests for Proposals” (RFPs) issued by the City of Detroit.  Adamo responded to the RFPs by submitting bids to the City hoping to secure demolition contracts by being the lowest bidder.  In assembling the bid packages, Haskins contacted various subcontractors requesting bids for work to be included in Adamo’s submissions.  “Contractor A” was one of the subcontractors who received Haskins’s invitation to bid.  On several occasions, Contractor A paid Haskins money for disclosing confidential information about bids from Contractor A’s competitors.  In return for these payments, Haskins disclosed confidential information about the lowest competitor bid which allowed Contractor A to submit an even lower bid, ensuring that Contractor A was awarded lucrative contracts.  Haskins accepted bribes on at least eight occasions while he worked at Adamo totaling approximately $14,000.

According to the plea, due in large part to his experience at Adamo, Haskins was hired by the City of Detroit Building Authority (DBA) as a “Field Operations Manager” for its demolition program.  As an official of the City of Detroit, Haskins was the primary point of contact for demolition contractors and he opened and read bids contractors submitted in response to RFPs.  Contractor A, knowing that Haskins was still in a position to influence the demolition contract bidding process, continued to pay Haskins to use his official authority to influence the awarding of demolition related contracts to Contractor A.  Haskins accepted the cash bribe payments from Contractor A in exchange for providing Contractor A confidential information about bids submitted to the DBA.  With the confidential information, Contractor A was able to submit bids low enough to ensure that Contractor A was awarded City of Detroit demolition related contracts.  In total, Haskins accepted approximately $11,500 in bribes from Contractor A.  After his employment with the City of Detroit, Haskins accepted an additional approximately $1,000 from Contractor A for information Contractor A received while Haskins was employed with the City.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin of the Eastern District of Michigan and Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division commended the outstanding work of the Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in conducting a comprehensive criminal investigation into the demolition program.

“The Antitrust Division will aggressively pursue collusion that corrupts the government contracting process, especially where the illicitly shared bid information enables the government contractor to submit anti-competitive bids to the detriment of taxpayer-funded programs,” said Assistant Attorney General Delrahim.

“The City of Detroit and its demolition program were entrusted with millions of taxpayer dollars to tear down abandoned houses in Detroit’s neighborhoods.  The corruption of the government contracting process by Aradondo Haskins damaged the integrity of the demolition program and broke the public trust.  This prosecution serves as a warning to public officials that soliciting or accepting bribes will be punished and as a promise to the taxpaying public that such violations of the public trust will not be tolerated,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Mohsin.

“Anti-competitive corruption by city officials that award contracts in the Hardest Hit Fund’s Blight Elimination Program will be met by justice and accountability,” said Special Inspector General Christy Goldsmith Romero of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP). “Defendant Haskins started taking bribes from subcontractors when he worked for lead contractor Adamo and continued his crimes as a city official. I commend U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider and Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Delrahim for standing united with SIGTARP in fighting corruption in this TARP program.”

“Mr. Haskins was sentenced today for corrupting the bidding process both while he was seeking contracts through a federally-funded program and after he became a City of Detroit employee,” said Special Agent in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office.  “The FBI’s Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force will continue to investigate and fight corruption by those who give illegal, preferential treatment at the expense of honest American business. I would encourage anyone with information about potential public corruption in Michigan to contact FBI Detroit’s Public Corruption tipline at 313-965-2222 or our main number at 313-965-2323.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Resnick Cohen, Karen Reynolds, Adriana Dydell and DOJ Antitrust Trial Attorney Matthew Stegman.

Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Delivers Remarks at the Public Workshop on Competition in Labor Markets

Good morning and welcome to the Robert F. Kennedy Main Justice Building.  I am so pleased to open today’s workshop on competition in labor markets. 

This workshop has been a long time in the making.  Late last year, we set out to facilitate a conversation between labor and IO economists, antitrust practitioners, academics, and policymakers for a multi-dimensional discussion about the role of antitrust enforcement in labor markets.  By hearing from experts who focus on different aspects of worker welfare, the Division could obtain a more nuanced understanding of the marketplace for the employment services of the American worker, and for the role of antitrust enforcement therein. 

I supported that effort wholeheartedly, and I am thrilled to see that vision realized today.  I would like to thank Doha Mekki, one of our front office Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, for her leadership in organizing today’s workshop.  Doha’s passion for the areas of labor and antitrust are second to none, and without her hard work we would not have such an impressive array of speakers here today.

Thank you to our exceptional participants and their respective organizations for agreeing to participate in this program.  Indeed, the value of today’s panels and presentations is two-fold.  First, it will help inform our competition enforcement and advocacy in this area.  Second, thoughtful discussion between people with wide-ranging viewpoints, experiences, and areas of expertise is an essential public good.  It is the bedrock of our democracy and a hallmark of an open society. 

I thank you for being with us today and I look forward to hearing your perspectives.

That antitrust law applies to labor markets is at once a powerful statement — and an admittedly dispassionate one. 

Broadly speaking, there is something special about work.  People are the very objects of the law’s solicitude and, for many Americans, one’s labor is essential to his or her sense of dignity.  Labor is both a unit with economic value and an expression of identity or values.

This reminds me of a story I read in a speech by former Attorney General Robert Jackson.  In 1942, shortly after he became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Jackson recounted a parable about three stonecutters who were asked to describe their work.  The first stonecutter focuses on how the job benefits him.  He says, “I am earning a living.” The second narrowly describes his personal task: “I am cutting stone.” The third man lights up as he explains what the work means to others: “I am helping to build a cathedral.”

Other great Americans also attached personal values to labor.  For example, in 1859, Abraham Lincoln gave an address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in which he famously said, “Labor is prior to and independent of capital.” 

Of course, Lincoln’s conception of “free labor” was Lockean and grounded in the view that each person should have the right to enjoy the fruits of his or her own labor.  For him, labor was an essential aspect of property rights.  As he put it, albeit with more flourish, “I always thought the man that made the corn should eat the corn.”

Any good antitrust lawyer will tell you the best part of our field is learning about product markets.  From rocket parts to digital markets and everything in between, we get to learn about products and services that have a discernable impact on the daily lives of American consumers.  During the 129 years of Sherman Act enforcement, and 105 years of Clayton Act enforcement, labor cases have comprised a smaller portion of our docket than enforcement actions involving tangible goods and services. 

A labor market, like any other, is ripe for manipulation due to potential anticompetitive conduct and transactions.  Accordingly, enforcer sand courts alike have reaffirmed that antitrust law seeks to preserve the free market opportunities of buyers and sellers of employment services.  Indeed, the Antitrust Division has taken corporations to court in wage-fixing and no-poach agreements in order to give meaning to this fundamental proposition of law.

The idea that unlawful corporate power can harm both buyers and sellers rests in the foundation of U.S. antitrust law.  In supporting the passage of the law that came to bear his name, Senator John Sherman of Ohio warned that monopoly power:

[C]an control the market, raise or lower prices, as will best promote its selfish interests, reduce prices in a particular locality and break down competition and advance prices at will where competition does not exist.  […] The law of selfishness, uncontrolled by competition, compels it to disregard the interest of the consumer.  It dictates terms to transportation companies, it commands the price of labor without fear of strikes, for in its field it allows no competitors.  Such a combination is far more dangerous than any heretofore invented, and . . . by the rule of both the common and the civil law, is null and void and the just subject of restraint by the courts, of forfeiture of corporate rights and privileges, and in some cases should be denounced as a crime, and the individuals engaged in it should be punished as criminals.

The concept of employer collusion was not even a novel idea in 1890 when the Sherman Act was passed.  More than 100 years earlier, Adam Smith observed:

We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters; though frequently of those of workmen.  But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject.  Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual price.

That Adam Smith is simultaneously revered as the father of free-market economics and also someone who was concerned about the position of workers parallels another important point:  sound competition enforcement and policy can help promote a competitive market place for both buyers and sellers of employment services.

In my view, Smith’s observations and worldview offer a broader lesson to all of us: labor competition matters do not belong to the political left or the ideological right.  They are not inherently pro-worker or pro-business.  Labor issues, broadly speaking, are quite complex.  While antitrust is not a panacea for every issue facing the American worker, we know that timely and effective antitrust enforcement can go a long way towards promoting robust competition in the marketplace for employment services.  Such action is grounded in the rule of law, and faithful to Congress’s intent.

Undoubtedly, the history of antitrust enforcement in labor markets has been uneven.  While several early cases marshaled the antitrust laws against labor unions, in the modern era, enforcement has largely focused on mergers, information exchanges, and collusive agreements.

For example, in United States v. Utah Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration, the Division sued a group of human resource professionals at Utah hospitals for conspiring to exchange non-public prospective and current wage information about registered nurses.  The exchange caused defendant hospitals to match each other’s wages, keeping the pay of registered nurses in Salt Lake County and elsewhere in Utah artificially low.  In 2007, the Division sued the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, a trade group acting on behalf of Arizona hospitals, that used a registry program to fix certain terms and conditions about temporary nursing personnel.  It also set a uniform bill rate schedule that the hospitals would pay for temporary and per diem nurses.

Between 2010 and 2012, the Division sued Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and eBay for entering into unlawful no-poach agreements.  Most recently, the Division sued two train equipment manufacturers, Knorr-Bremse and Wabtec, for entering into unlawful no-poach agreements. 

With respect to mergers, the Division also has challenged transactions where the merged firm would likely have the ability to depress reimbursement rates to physicians, including the Anthem/Cigna merger challenge.  Those cases make clear that the consumer welfare standard is flexible enough to take into account harm to competition that is localized in an upstream labor market, not just a downstream product market.

One labor competition topic that is not on today’s workshop agenda is criminal enforcement.  While we cannot comment on the status or the timing of our criminal no-poach and wage-fixing investigations, I want to reaffirm that criminal prosecution of naked no-poach and wage-fixing agreements remains a high priority for the Antitrust Division.  As former Attorney General Robert Jackson observed, justice is neither automatic nor blind.  The success of the department in this initiative is not based on quantitative metrics, but on the qualitative performance of our investigative work.  That is especially true in matters implicating an individual’s liberty interest.  

Today’s workshop will explore thought-provoking issues and trends at the intersection of competition law and labor. 

After a framing presentation about the economics of labor markets and key questions for the workshop, Dr. Ron Drennan, one of the Division’s most talented economists, will moderate a discussion about approaches to defining labor markets.  After a lunch break, guests will return for the afternoon session, which will open with remarks from Mr. Ramogi Huma of the National College Players Association.  A former UCLA football player himself, he will talk about his experience advocating for college athletes, a fascinating and distinctive group of laborers, in antitrust cases and through policy proposals.  After Mr. Huma’s remarks, a truly stellar panel will discuss agreements affecting worker mobility in complex business settings, with special focus on franchises and the “gig” economy.   After a short break, we will conclude the day’s substantive programming with a panel about the statutory and non-statutory antitrust exemptions for collective bargaining and other labor union activity.  That panel will feature outstanding panelists, including lawyers, a professor, and a senior official from the U.S. Department of Labor.

As you may know, today’s workshop is the first in a two-part series that we are hosting in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission.  The second day of the workshop will be hosted by the FTC and will focus on issues associated with the use of non-compete clauses in employment contracts.  The workshop will examine the current state of economic research on the effects of non-compete clauses, and whether additional research would allow the agencies to better understand the short-term and long-term micro and macro effects of such clauses.  We and the Commission will provide the date and agenda for the second workshop in an upcoming announcement. 

Workshops like these give our agencies the opportunity to have a candid substantive dialogue with stakeholders and thought leaders to ensure that we have the benefit of their expertise and experience.  They also help identify and incentivize areas for continuing research and study.

Again, I want to thank each of our panelists for your willingness to participate in this workshop and for the perspectives you bring.  I look forward to the discussion. 

With that, let me now introduce Professors Ioana Marinescu and Ellie Prager.  Dr. Marinescu is a labor economist and a Professor in the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her research expertise includes antitrust and workers, online job search, employment contracts, unemployment insurance, and policies designed to enhance employment, productivity, and economic security.  She is also a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  Dr. Prager is a Professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she teaches data analysis and economics.  Her research focuses on predetermination, insurance plan design, and the drivers and effects of mergers in the health care sector.  In 2018, she co-authored a significant paper that measured wage growth for workers following consolidation by examining a decade worth of hospital mergers.  We could not have asked for better presenters to kick off our event.  Thank you, Ioana and Ellie.  I’ll turn it over to you.