News Around the State

20 indicted in multimillion-dollar online fraud scheme

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors have indicted 20 people in a multimillion-dollar international online fraud scheme.

The case announced Thursday stems from a lengthy investigation out of Kentucky led by U.S. Secret Service agents.

The scheme unfolded on websites like Craigslist and eBay, and the fraudsters would post false ads for expensive items like cars that didn’t exist. Prosecutors say they’d persuade American buyers to send money to fictitious profiles, duping them in some cases into thinking the sellers were U.S. military and about to be deployed. They handed over money, but goods never showed up.

The suspects were based mostly in Alexandria, Romania. Prosecutors say they laundered the money using cryptocurrency.

Most of the suspects are foreign nationals. About a dozen have already been extradited to the U.S.

The investigation is continuing.

Organ donor bill clears state Senate

FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky state Senate has approved a bill that would give people another option to register as an organ donor.

Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 77 on Thursday. The bill would give people the option of registering as an organ donor when they log in to the Kentucky Online Gateway, a website where people can sign up for state services.

Bill sponsor Sen. Julie Raque Adams said the proposal would limit the impact of Kentucky’s renewal process for driver’s licenses, which is where most people register as an organ donor. Beginning this year, Kentucky drivers can get licenses that expire after eight years instead of four years. The change means fewer people will be asked to register as an organ donor.

The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives.

Ky. company adding 20 jobs, expanding

FRANKFORT (AP) — A Kentucky company is adding 20 jobs in Owensboro, investing about $780,000 for an expansion.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s office announced Thursday that Blackbird Manufacturing plans to upgrade its operating facility and buy equipment.

Blackbird Manufacturing makes stone countertop surfaces.

The governor’s office said in a news release the company has grown from four full-time employees to 51 since forming in 2012.

Google’s high-speed internet pulling out of Louisville

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Google says it is pulling its high-speed internet service out of Kentucky’s largest city, one of about a dozen where Google Fiber was offered.

Google Fiber announced on its blog Thursday that Louisville’s service will end on April 15. Google Fiber launched the service in some neighborhoods in Louisville in October 2017.

The tech giant acknowledged problems in Louisville with a new method of digging shallower trenches to speed up the installation times of the fiber optic cable. Google says the problems were “disruptive to residents and caused service issues for our customers.”

Google Fiber was first launched in Kansas City in 2012 and has moved into Nashville, Atlanta, Austin and other cities. The service offers 1000 megabytes per second speed and has been pitched as a cheaper alternative to other providers.

Mom: Unsupervised girl with special needs raped at school

LOUISVILLE (AP) — A mother of a Kentucky girl with special needs says her daughter was left unsupervised at the school and was raped by a male student.

The Courier Journal reported Thursday that the mother is now suing officials at Ballard High School in Louisville, saying they left her daughter, who has “significant intellectual impairment,” unattended.

The lawsuit says school workers were supposed to escort her daughter from the school bus to her classroom, but failed to do so one day in February 2018. It says a male student then took her to an empty area and raped her.

It says the school later said the girl had been “attacked” and couldn’t be monitored at all times. Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Brislin says the district doesn’t comment on pending legitimation.