Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Federal Grand Jury Returns 65-Count Indictment Against Man for Sending Threatening White-Powder-Laced Hoax Letters to Banks

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A federal grand jury in Amarillo, Texas, today returned an indictment charging Richard Goyette, a/k/a Michael Jurek, 47, with one count of threats and false information and 64 counts of threats and hoaxes, announced acting U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas.

Goyette has been in federal custody since his arrest on Feb. 2, 2009, on a charge outlined in a federal criminal complaint related to his mailing 65 threatening letters to financial institutions from Amarillo in October 2008.

The indictment alleges that on Oct. 18, 2008, Goyette mailed a letter to the attention of Jamie Dimon at JP Morgan Chase & Company, at 270 Park Avenue in New York, which contained threats of bombing and killing people at the JP Morgan Chase & Company's corporate headquarters within six months. The criminal complaint filed in the case stated that the language in this letter included the threat of the "McVeighing of your corporate headquarters within six months." The letter also threatened to "utilize any strategy and tactic to inflict financial damage to your company."

The indictment further alleges that Goyette mailed 64 letters to 52 locations of Chase Bank; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offices in Arlington, Va., Washington, D.C., and Dallas; and Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) offices in Chicago, Daly City, Calif., Jersey City, N.J., Washington, D.C., and Irving, Texas. Each of these letters contained an unknown white powder and the threat that the person breathing the powder would die within 10 days.

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless and until proven guilty.

The threats and false information count carries a potential maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and each of the 64 threats and hoaxes counts carry a potential maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

If convicted on all counts, Goyette faces a potential maximum statutory sentence of 330 years in prison and a $16.25 million fine.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jacks praised the excellent, cooperative investigative efforts of the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy Drake of the Amarillo, Texas, U.S. Attorney's Office is prosecuting.

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