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Fair Chance gets State Funding, announces its first Community Walkathon Event and Partnership with the Danville Police Department "Fair Chance for Special Needs, one of its kind program nationwide for children, teens and young adults with special needs, has now become a Vendor of the Regional Center of East Bay (RCEB), which means we have been approved for State Funding," stated Shirin Kamal, Founder and Director of Fair Chance. "This Funding will help our families substantially lower their financial burden of sending the students to Fair Chance while at the same time help us add more features of extra-curricular growth, social fun, community-based outings, more credentialed and trained staff, improvise on our already amazing curriculum and make it more need- based for individual student," added Kamal. "Our goal is to provide individuals with special needs the same opportunities of social, emotional and extra-curricular growth  that their typical peers enjoy. It has been a joy to see these children laugh, enjoy, socialize and thrive," said Diane Mazaroff who joined Kamal as a  co-founder and Director of Operations in this amazing cause. "We are very excited to announce our first Walkathon event “Fair Chance Fun Run Walk Stroll and Roll” on May 21st, 2017," said Shirin Kamal, "Our goal is to inform the community and raise awareness for this amazing program. We want every member of our community and every local business to join us in this amazing cause. We can all make a difference in the lives of children with special needs by doing our share." To register for the event, please go to "We are also working with Danville Police Department (DPD) on a program called "Getting to Know You" which enables the community and Police to learn and understand the needs of individuals with Special Needs. This program was started in light of the recent police misunderstandings and shootings related to Autism and other disabilities," stated Mazaroff,  "We expect to expand this program soon to San Ramon Police Department and involve other neighborhoods and communities as well to raise awareness on both sides."


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Invest in the USA (IIUSA), the non-profit trade association of the EB-5 Regional Center industry, elected a new set of leaders to its Board of Directors at its 12th Annual General Membership Meeting on April 26. In total, four positions were filled, including two new directors and a new President and Vice President. The IIUSA membership elected Robert Kraft, CEO, FirstPathway Partners to the position of President and William P. Gresser, President, EB-5 New York State Regional Center to the position of Vice President. Ginny Fang, CEO, Golden Gate Global and Adam Greene, President, Live in America Financial Services were newly elected to the Board. Patrick F. Hogan, CEO, CMB Regional Centers and Angelique Brunner, CEO, EB5 Capital were both re-elected. “I am honored to be elected as the new President of IIUSA to lead our industry into the next era of EB-5,” said Robert Kraft, CEO of FirstPathway Partners. Kraft, a member of IIUSA since 2007 and a successful entrepreneur for over 40 years, bringing investment and development to the State of Wisconsin, was elected unanimously. “Our members consist of hundreds of ambitious and intelligent stakeholders of this industry and I am committed to leading them to a long-term reauthorization so we can all continue to deliver jobs and economic development to our communities.” In addition to new leaders elected, IIUSA appointed K. David Andersson, President Whatcom Opportunities Regional Center and Robert C. Divine, Shareholder, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz, LLP as President and Vice President Emeritus, respectively, after seven years of service. Tom Rosenfeld, President, CanAm Enterprises, was named Director Emeritus after six year of service. President Emeritus K. David Anderson said, “Serving as IIUSA’s President for the last 7 years has been and honor and a privilege. I am proud of the growth in both the organization and the industry we achieved during my time in office and I am confident in the new perspective Robert Kraft will bring for the future of EB-5.” With the EB-5 Regional Center Program extended to September 30, 2017, IIUSA looks forward to the opportunity to achieve a legislative solution for a long-term reauthorization before any regulatory changes are implemented. American workers and local developers depend on EB-5 as a vital source of capital, which is why IIUSA is collaborating with government and industry stakeholders to shape the program into an even better economic development tool. IIUSA is confident that if it works together with these groups, the organization and the industry will achieve a thriving future.


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Earlier this month, Invest in the USA (IIUSA), the non-profit trade association of the EB-5 Regional Center industry, published the industry’s first-ever comprehensive comparative analysis of the potential impact of various proposals put forth to reform Targeted Employment Area (TEA) policy. The report was created to enable Congressional leaders and industry stakeholders to participate in rational, fact-based policy discussions which ultimately would result in the most reasonable and sustainable TEA reform solution for the EB-5 industry. “This report was no small undertaking and is the result of countless hours of research and analysis on an extremely complicated policy subject matter,” said Peter D. Joseph, IIUSA Executive Director. “There have been many proposed solutions to TEA policy reform over the last 18 months, but no one has ever put the details of them all in one place and conducted an analysis on the actual implications of them on real and potential EB-5 projects in every corner of the United States.” The report, available for download on IIUSA’s website, compares seven different approaches to TEA reform put forth by various stakeholders of the EB-5 industry. Using the most recent 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) data and analyzing 600 EB-5 project samples, the report takes a comprehensive look at the impact the different policy proposals would have on the EB-5 Regional Center program at both a national and state-by-state level. The full report is available for download as well as an interactive mapping tool at http://www.iiusa.org. Within the report is a full explanation of the methodology and the seven policy proposals. The mapping tool provides an even deeper level of understanding and visualization of TEA reform proposals. -- Founded in 2005, IIUSA is the national not-for-profit trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center industry with a mission of advocacy, education, industry development, and research. The organization represents more than 240 Regional Centers and 180 Associate members, collectively representing big and small projects, urban and rural economic development, and industry sectors ranging from real estate and manufacturing to energy and infrastructure. IIUSA’s members are engines of economic growth and job creation, accounting for a vast majority of capital flowing through the Program. Learn more at IIUSA.org


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Families of three victims killed in the 2015 San Bernardino, California, shooting are suing Google, Facebook, and Twitter over claims that the tech companies knowingly allowed the Islamic State to share its propaganda on the respective social media and web platforms. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on Wednesday, May 3. The 32-page complaint states that the three companies intentionally permitted the Islamic State to create a staggering online presence. The victims' families claim that by allowing the Islamic State to use their respective platforms to spread extremist propaganda and take in recruits, the companies gave the group "material support." This promoted attacks similar to the San Bernardino massacre. For the unfamiliar, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik carried out the San Bernardino attack, which took place on Dec. 2, 2015, at the Regional Center. The couple open fire on the unsuspecting crowd and killed 14 people, as well as left 22 wounded. "For years defendants have knowingly and recklessly provided the terrorist group ISIS with accounts to use its social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits," Sierra Clayborn, Nicholas Thalasinos, and Tin Nguyen charged Facebook, Twitter, and Google in the complaint. The lawsuit also states that the "material support" these social media platforms provided to the Islamic State to help upload its extremist views, aided in the radicalization of Farook and Malik. However, Farook and Malik acted on their own accord. The two were never in direct contact with Islamic State, but the content the extremist group shared online influenced their actions. "Without defendants Twitter, Facebook and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible," the lawsuit asserts. The lawsuit held Google, Facebook, and Twitter responsible in "aiding and abetting" the acts related to international terrorism and many wrongful deaths, which the group's members or individuals — influenced by Islamic State's views — carried out directly or indirectly. The three tech companies are yet to comment on the lawsuit. A lawsuit of this kind in not the first that been filed in the court of law. Similar lawsuits carrying almost identical accusations against Facebook, Twitter, and Google were previously filed in courts across the country. However, the courts dismissed them under the Communications Decency Act. This particular act gives immunity to online providers from liability over a user's posts. In response to previous lawsuits filed along the same lines, the three tech companies stated that they are sympathetic toward the victims; however, they are not liable for what transpired. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


As clearly stated in the countersuit, several of the agents, on behalf of their clients and themselves, sought to receive fraudulent security interest, un-disclosed commissions and even suggested bribing USCIS governmental officials as they sought their immigration status.  Unfortunately, these practices are becoming more common in the industry in the foreign lands providing the petitioner applicants. If a project has a problem, these self-same petitioners, act as innocent participants, and subsequently attempt to defraud the USCIS, the US Courts and regulatory systems by using means common in their cultural understanding.  Often this is a system that has rules and operative imperatives that are essentially different from our own.  In this case, common guidance is based on "The Art of War", Sun Tzu, who clearly states, "all warfare is based on deception".  Hence, these plaintiffs intended to deceive The Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"), the USCIS, the Federal Courts, the General Partner and Limited Partners who sought an honest path to their immigration. Of course, the plaintiffs would find these practices common in their culture where "Rule of Men" supersedes "Rule of Law".  In other words, in their country of origin, the petitioners are rich and powerful and therefore get what they desire regardless of the law. The acts of the plaintiffs and their legal counsel, both in the USA and China are unconscionable.  The countersuit shows how they sought to withhold information and created side-deals, which were hidden from SARC, Joseph Walsh and his companies.  Once found out, they proceeded to sue Mr. Walsh, defame his companies in China and the USA, create untold costs to defend the case already in progress and interfere with the legal proceedings in an effort to hide their "bad acts" and deception. Hyperbole and sensationalism were used. For example, the amount of the suit, which claims to be for $50,000,000 dollars, is a gross overstatement of the facts.  Truthfully, these 58 plaintiffs only invested $500,000 each, for a total of $29,000,000, the lawsuit almost doubled the amount invested.  This, in itself, is a perverse travesty of justice. Actions were pursued to deceive the court system. Theses plaintiffs were promised windfall profits by their legal representatives.  Records, which have surfaced in the case, indicating the plaintiffs are trying to establish ownership of the property through the dissolution of the partnership, which is legally barred in the terms of the Limited Partnership Agreement.  This action attempts to exclude the General Partner and other Limited Partners, by forcing the sale of the property for the plaintiffs own personal gain. The court records clearly indicate that SARC, in its capacity as the General Partner, discovered fraudulent activities committed by the developer, his wife, brother and other legal representative who have "dirty hands" abating and assisting the fraudulent activities though a series of falsified documents and shell companies. Through discovery it was found that the plaintiffs and their assigned representatives themselves, were colluding with the fraudulent parties in an effort to secure the property and profit by the same. Palm House Hotel, LLLP, the Lender for the Palm House Hotel reconstruction, along with its General Partner, South Atlantic Regional Center ("SARC"), and Mr. Walsh have always vigorously denied the allegations in the federal lawsuit. The countersuit clearly identifies that the plaintiffs, their paid representatives, and Robert Matthews, his wife Mia Matthews, brother Gerry Matthews and other entities and accomplices colluded to defraud the General Partner, the USCIS, regulatory agencies and local authorities. The Palm House, LLLP and Mr. Walsh plan to continue the prosecution of their civil lawsuits to recapture diverted loan proceeds used for the personal gain of the Matthews family and related entities and accomplices. At the same time, Palm House, LLLP and Mr. Walsh are seeking Court approval to expand the Receiver's powers to refinance the completion of the Hotel, to restructure ownership, and to provide for legal expenses for the Limited Partners. This restructuring will create the jobs necessary to complete the immigration application process in which the Plaintiffs originally invested. The facts continue to demonstrate the sustained and significant effort that Mr. Walsh and his companies have expended on behalf of the investors and the Hotel's completion. These efforts were underway well before allegations were made in recent lawsuits.  Meanwhile the facts are being distorted by the plaintiffs, their paid representatives and the developers in an effort to benefit the Matthews family and their co-conspirators. "Clearly, these fraudulent parties are nearing the end of their ability to defraud anyone else," said Mr. Walsh. "We feel this countersuit brings to light the significant actions taken by the plaintiffs to withhold information and defraud the USCIS and SARC, the Regional Center and General partner in the Palm House Hotel Project.   This new information, brought in the countersuit, brings a confidence that our continued actions will result in a positive outcome for all stakeholders in the very near future." To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sarc-files-a-multi-million-dollar-counterclaim-which-alleges-significant-fraudulent-deceitful-and-unethical-acts-engaged-by-the-foreign-plaintiffs-personally-or-through-their-paid-representatives-in-the-palm-house-hotel-eb5-class-300441003.html


-- CENTURY 21 Commonwealth , a leading resource for home buyers and sellers throughout Eastern Massachusetts, was recently honored with the 2017 Team Hoyt Award by Easter Seals Massachusetts.The Team Hoyt Award recognizes those who have had a positive impact on ensuring equal opportunities for people with disabilities. With over 500 agents throughout eastern Massachusetts, CENTURY 21 Commonwealth has raised over $60,000 for Easter Seals Massachusetts through raffles, event participation and soliciting sponsorships.The award was presented at the Easter Seals Massachusetts annual Evening of Empowerment, held April 27 at the Sheraton Needham Hotel, Needham. The event originally began in 2006 to celebrate the 25marathon run of father-son athletes, Dick and Rick Hoyt, who dedicated their run to the Easter Seals for all the services that the family received when Rick was growing up. The gala is held each year and honors  people who are active in helping change societal attitudes and breaking down barriers for those with disabilities."The Evening of Empowerment is always such a special occasion celebrating those who share an unsurpassed commitment to empowering people with disabilities so they have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play," said Paul Medeiros, president and CEO, Easter Seals Massachusetts. "Not only does it showcase all the hard work our organization and volunteers have dedicated over the past year, but it re-inspires us all, reminding us how important our mission is."George Patsio, Founding Partner of CENTURY 21 Commonwealth, said, "We are proud to support and promote Easter Seals Massachusetts and applaud their mission to ensure equal opportunities for children and adults with disabilities. Their efforts have broken many barriers impacting people with disabilities and we are committed to continue to work on their behalf.  We sincerely thank them for everything they do."Founded in 1944, Easter Seals Massachusetts provides exceptional services, technology, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals MA offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life's challenges and achieve personal goals. The non-profit also hosts and manages the Assistive Technology Regional Center (ATRC) , which houses hundreds of mainstream technology devices utilizing the IoT's connectivity to assist in everyday tasks. The ATRC is funded by Mass Match. In 2016, Easter Seals MA increased its coverage to over 90 percent of the state, providing services in 321 Massachusetts cities and towns. To learn more about Easter Seals Massachusetts and its services, please visit http://cts.businesswire.com/ ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=ht... or follow on Facebook or Twitter at @EasterSealsMA Established in 2006, CENTURY 21 Commonwealth is a powerful resource for people seeking to buy or sell a home in eastern Massachusetts.  The agency is at the forefront of the residential real estate brokerage through its uncommon commitment to its sales team with innovative marketing programs, cutting edge technology, and top-notch support systems.  CENTURY 21 Commonwealth is dedicated to fostering passion, providing expertise and demonstrating integrity to all of their clients, agents and staff.  In 2016, CENTURY 21 Commonwealth's sales grossed over $1.4 billion in volume sold and ranks #1 in New England and #9 Worldwide among CENTURY 21 Franchises. CENTURY 21 Commonwealth has over 500 diverse, professional sales associates and 21 offices as well as a Regional Support Center, located at 10 Michigan Drive, Natick, MA. For additional information please visit http://commonmoves.com.Photo: Jim Zarkadas (center) of CENTURY 21 Commonwealth, is shown with the father-son team of Dick and Rick Hoyt


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Husson University’s College of Business has signed a 3+3 articulation agreement with the University of Maine School of Law. Under this agreement, students who study for three years at Husson University can then apply for admission to Maine Law’s three-year Juris Doctor (JD) program. Students who complete one year of Maine Law’s JD program will satisfy the remaining requirements for a bachelor’s degree from Husson University. “This is an outstanding opportunity for students interested in furthering their legal education,” said Husson University College of Business Dean Marie Hansen, Ph.D. “Creating this agreement smoothes the transfer of credit process from Husson to Maine Law. We are pleased to be working closely with Maine Law to help ease the transition to law school.” “Maine Law is excited to offer this opportunity to students who are clear about their career goals,” said Caroline Wilshusen, Associate Dean for Admissions at Maine Law. “Maine Law sees this as an opportunity to encourage students throughout Maine to consider a law degree as a path towards leadership and service in their local communities.” Since the new 3+3 agreement was initiated, three students from Husson University have been accepted to Maine Law. The first was Chelsea Broomhall from Saco, Maine. She is currently a junior at Husson University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in legal studies – pre-law degree with a paralegal certificate. Broomhall was recently named to Husson University’s Dean’s List. “I’ve always known that I wanted to go to law school and become an attorney,” says Broomhall. “I started at Husson because I was able to transfer nine credits from Biddeford Regional Center for Technology. That was almost a semester’s worth of classes.” “Participating in the 3+3 program allows me to save a year’s worth of tuition and get into my chosen career field faster,” concluded Broomhall. “I am pleased that the University of Maine School of Law is reaching prospective law students like Chelsea Broomhall,” stated Dean Danielle Conway. “This program was made possible through collaborations with fine institutions like Husson University. I am also thrilled that Ms. Broomhall has taken full advantage of Maine Law's Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program to sharpen her resolve to one day become a lawyer in Maine.” In assessing the significance of this agreement, Margaret Campbell, assistant professor at the School of Legal Studies at Husson University’s College of Business said, “I was a graduate of Maine Law and wish there had been an opportunity like this when I was going to school. As a result of this articulation agreement, students interested in earning a law degree get a great education and save money; both schools increase enrollments, and our state gets quality lawyers who can serve the needs of the public, particularly in underserved areas of the state. Everyone wins.” The University of Maine School of Law, located in the coastal city of Portland, Maine, is a small school with a regional impact and a global reach. As Maine’s public and only law school, Maine Law prepares graduates for careers as leaders inside and outside the traditional legal profession. Maine Law is a community of individuals who are invested in learning and serving, and are diverse in their backgrounds, professional experiences, and interests. Their graduates are prepared on every level for success in fields including law, business, government, and public service. Learn more at mainelaw.maine.edu. For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells, and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

FILE - This Dec. 21, 2015 courtroom file sketch shows Enrique Marquez Jr. in federal court in Riverside, Calif. Marquez, a longtime friend of Syed Rizwan Farook, the male shooter in the San Bernardino terrorist attack, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to provide material support to terrorists. Marquez, 25, of Riverside, Calif., entered into a plea agreement that was filed Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in U.S. District Court, and is scheduled to formally plead Thursday, Feb. 16. (Bill Robles via AP, File) LOS ANGELES (AP) — The only man to be criminally charged in the San Bernardino terror attack has agreed to plead guilty to providing the high-powered rifles used to kill 14 people and injure nearly two dozen others and to plotting a mass killing with the gunman that they never carried out, court records say. Enrique Marquez Jr., 25, of Riverside, admitted in a plea agreement released Tuesday that he bought the assault rifles used by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, in the Dec. 2, 2015, attack at a public health agency. Farook and Malik were later killed in a gunfight with authorities. Marquez also agreed to plead guilty to making false statements when he purchased the firearms used in the attack. Prosecutors said Marquez acknowledged being a "straw buyer" when he purchased two AR-15 rifles from a sporting goods store that were used in the attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Prosecutors have said Marquez agreed to buy the weapons because the attackers feared Farook's Middle Eastern appearance might arouse suspicion. Prosecutors said there is no evidence Marquez participated in the San Bernardino massacre or had advance knowledge of it. Marquez also admitted to plotting with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to massacre college students and gun down motorists on a gridlocked California freeway, though those attacks never occurred. Federal officials said the duo had envisioned halting traffic on state Route 91 with explosives and then firing at trapped motorists, or tossing pipe bombs into a crowded cafeteria at Riverside City College. Marquez said he backed out of the plot after four men in the area about 60 miles inland from Los Angeles were arrested on terrorism charges in late 2012, the FBI has said in court documents. "While his earlier plans to attack a school and a freeway were not executed, the planning clearly laid the foundation for the 2015 attack on the Inland Regional Center," U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said Tuesday. Marquez, who could face up to 25 years in prison, is scheduled to appear before a federal judge on Thursday. His attorney didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Mandy Pifer, whose boyfriend Shannon Johnson was killed in the terror attack, said the plea agreement brought mixed emotions. "It's a hell of a day to come out, Valentine's Day," the 42-year-old Los Angeles resident said. "I'm relieved that it won't be a long trial. If it'll be finished sooner, I'm all for it." She said she planned to speak at Marquez's sentencing about the impact her boyfriend's killing has had on her. In his last moments, Johnson huddled with a colleague under a table, shielding her from the bullets. "It is what it is," she said. "Nothing's going to bring him back." Marquez and Farook first met in 2005 after Marquez moved next door to Farook's family in Riverside, about 55 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, officials said. The then-teens would meet in Farook's garage and Farook, a Muslim, began educating his new friend about his religion. Marquez converted and became a Muslim in 2007. The FBI said the two began discussing extremist views shortly after Marquez converted. By late 2011, Marquez spent most of his time at Farook's home, where he read Inspire magazine, an official publication of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula; watched videos produced by al-Qaida's affiliate in Somalia; and studied radical material online, federal officials said. Associated Press writer Amanda Lee Myers contributed to this report.


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

FILE - This Dec. 21, 2015 courtroom file sketch shows Enrique Marquez Jr. in federal court in Riverside, Calif. Marquez, a longtime friend of Syed Rizwan Farook, the male shooter in the San Bernardino terrorist attack, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to provide material support to terrorists. Marquez, 25, of Riverside, Calif., entered into a plea agreement that was filed Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in U.S. District Court, and is scheduled to formally plead Thursday, Feb. 16. (Bill Robles via AP, File) LOS ANGELES (AP) — The only man to be criminally charged in the San Bernardino terror attack has agreed to plead guilty to providing the high-powered rifles used to kill 14 people and injure nearly two dozen others and to plotting a mass killing with the gunman that they never carried out, court records say. Enrique Marquez Jr., 25, of Riverside, admitted in a plea agreement released Tuesday that he bought the assault rifles used by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, in the Dec. 2, 2015, attack at a public health agency. Farook and Malik were later killed in a gunfight with authorities. Marquez also agreed to plead guilty to making false statements when he purchased the firearms used in the attack. Prosecutors said Marquez acknowledged being a "straw buyer" when he purchased two AR-15 rifles from a sporting goods store that were used in the attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Prosecutors have said Marquez agreed to buy the weapons because the attackers feared Farook's Middle Eastern appearance might arouse suspicion. Prosecutors said there is no evidence Marquez participated in the San Bernardino massacre or had advance knowledge of it. Marquez also admitted to plotting with Farook in 2011 and 2012 to massacre college students and gun down motorists on a gridlocked California freeway, though those attacks never occurred. Federal officials said the duo had envisioned halting traffic on state Route 91 with explosives and then firing at trapped motorists, or tossing pipe bombs into a crowded cafeteria at Riverside City College. Marquez said he backed out of the plot after four men in the area about 60 miles inland from Los Angeles were arrested on terrorism charges in late 2012, the FBI has said in court documents. "While his earlier plans to attack a school and a freeway were not executed, the planning clearly laid the foundation for the 2015 attack on the Inland Regional Center," U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said Tuesday. Marquez, who could face up to 25 years in prison, is scheduled to appear before a federal judge on Thursday. His attorney didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Mandy Pifer, whose boyfriend Shannon Johnson was killed in the terror attack, said the plea agreement brought mixed emotions. "It's a hell of a day to come out, Valentine's Day," the 42-year-old Los Angeles resident said. "I'm relieved that it won't be a long trial. If it'll be finished sooner, I'm all for it." She said she planned to speak at Marquez's sentencing about the impact her boyfriend's killing has had on her. In his last moments, Johnson huddled with a colleague under a table, shielding her from the bullets. "It is what it is," she said. "Nothing's going to bring him back." Marquez and Farook first met in 2005 after Marquez moved next door to Farook's family in Riverside, about 55 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, officials said. The then-teens would meet in Farook's garage and Farook, a Muslim, began educating his new friend about his religion. Marquez converted and became a Muslim in 2007. The FBI said the two began discussing extremist views shortly after Marquez converted. By late 2011, Marquez spent most of his time at Farook's home, where he read Inspire magazine, an official publication of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula; watched videos produced by al-Qaida's affiliate in Somalia; and studied radical material online, federal officials said. Associated Press writer Amanda Lee Myers contributed to this report.


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

The home of Enrique Marquez stands on Tomlinson Avenue in Riverside, California on December 18, 2015. Marquez is accused of supplying assault rifles to the couple who massacred 14 people in San Bernardino, California. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California man accused of buying assault-style rifles used by a married couple to massacre 14 people at a government office in San Bernardino in 2015 has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Enrique Marquez Jr., 25, will plead guilty to conspiring with Syed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012 to attack a community college and commuters on a Southern California freeway, prosecutors said. Marquez, a friend and former neighbor of Farook, has also agreed to plead guilty to making false statements about his purchase of two assault rifles used in the 2015 shooting rampage at the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center. Marquez was scheduled to enter his pleas, part of an agreement with federal prosecutors, at a hearing on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. "This defendant collaborated with and purchased weapons for a man who carried out the devastating December 2, 2015 terrorist attack that took the lives of 14 innocent people, wounded nearly two dozen, and impacted our entire nation,” U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker said in a written statement announcing the plea deal. Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, opened fire at a holiday gathering of Farook's co-workers on Dec. 2, 2015, killing 14 people and wounding 22. Farook, the U.S.-born son of Pakistani immigrants, and Malik, a Pakistani native he married in Saudi Arabia in 2014, died in a shootout with police four hours after the massacre. Authorities have said the couple were inspired by Islamist extremism. It was one of the deadliest attacks by militants in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks. Prosecutors say Marquez and Farook, who were childhood friends, plotted attacks together in 2011 and 2012 that were never carried out and it was during that time that Marquez purchased the two rifles that Farook and Malik ultimately used in San Bernardino. Marquez did not take part in the San Bernardino massacre but was arrested about two weeks later and has remained in custody ever since. He also faces immigration fraud charges in connection with his marriage to Russian-born Mariyah Chernykh, which prosecutors say was a sham. Chernykh, 26, and Farook's brother, Syed Raheel Farook, 31, pleaded guilty in January to immigration fraud charges stemming from the marriage.

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