Author Archive

MULTIPLE CHARGED WITH USING FAKE INSURANCE CARDS AFTER ATTEMPTED FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE SALE

January 18, 2018

Defendants

  • Angel Feliciano (Age: 21, OTN: U1060080)
  • Janice Rosario (Age: 26, OTN: U1046625)
  • Ana Torres (Age: 45, OTN: U1046614)
  • Lorenzo Santell (Age: 24, OTN: U1039706)
  • Rudolph Savage (Age: 49, OTN: U1041121)

Charges

  • Insurance Fraud 18 Pa C.S. § 4117 – F3
  • Forgery 18 Pa C.S. § 4101 – F3

Background

Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) Insurance Fraud Unit arrested Angel Feliciano, Janice Rosario, Ana Torres, Lorenzo Santell , and Rudolph Savage and charged them with Insurance Fraud and Forgery. The DAO received a referral from the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority about posts on Facebook by Lorenzo Santell, who is not a licensed insurance agent, about selling fake financial responsibility cards.

Detectives from the Insurance Fraud Unit went to Santell’s home and found two vehicles in front of his home registered to Santell and Torres with fake financial responsibility cards from American Independent Insurance Company. Detectives also found the title history of 11 vehicles purchased by Mr. Santell between May 16, 2016, and March 24, 2017, were registered with fake insurance financial responsibility cards from various insurers. Further investigation confirmed the identities of the defendants after interviewing several tag agents and confirming that the licenses used to register the vehicles matched the defendants. It also confirmed that the financial responsibility cards presented by each of the defendants were fraudulent, and a copy of the cards was obtained from the tag agency with obvious spelling errors. For example, the heading of each of the cards misspelled responsibility as “RESPOSIBILITY”.

The above defendants were arrested between the months of November and December 2017.   They are next listed to appear for a status listing in courtroom 406 on February 2, 2018 at the Criminal Justice Center.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY KRASNER APPOINTS JUDGE CAROLYN ENGEL TEMIN AS INTERIM FIRST ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY

January 11, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (January 11, 2018) – Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner today continued his pledge to transform the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) into the most effective prosecutor’s office in the nation by appointing Judge Carolyn Engel Temin as his Interim First Assistant District Attorney and restructuring the DAO.

“Judge Temin is a criminal justice trailblazer and I’m honored that she has rejoined the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office,” said District Attorney Krasner. “Judge Temin has not only tried and ruled on thousands of cases, but was appointed to be an international war crimes judge. She also made history as the first female Public Defender in Philadelphia before becoming a homicide prosecutor. I’m thrilled she has returned to us, and I’m overjoyed to put her vast experience to work as we make this office the best prosecutor’s office in the country.”

Judge Temin was appointed by the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina as an International Judge on the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. The court tried cases involving organized crime, public corruption, and war crime cases including those from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague (Sept 2004 through November 2005).

“What District Attorney Krasner has proposed is a complete modernization of the office. I’m honored to be part of the transformation,” said Interim First Assistant District Attorney Temin.

After leaving private practice, Judge Temin became the first female lawyer to be hired by the Defender Association of Philadelphia (1964 to 1970) where she was responsible for, including other initiatives, parole and probation hearings. She joined the DAO in 1971, working in the office for nearly ten years, in numerous positions including as a Homicide prosecutor. And in 1983, she was elected to Philadelphia County’s Court of Common Pleas where she ruled on thousands of cases until she left the bench in 2003.

Temin has also lectured, taught, and consulted on legal issues and judicial systems in Serbia, Honduras, the Republic of Georgia, Tunisia, Thailand, and Barbados. She has received numerous international, national, and local awards for her work, and participates in a wide range of civic and legal activities and associations. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania (1955) and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania (1958).

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DA LARRY KRASNER ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF INTERIM VICTIM SERVICES SUPERVISOR

January 8, 2018

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is pleased to announce the appointment of Movita Johnson-Harrell, who will be joining DAO as Interim Supervisor of Victim Services. Ms. Johnson-Harrell is intimately aware of the impact of crime as she is both the mother and daughter of a homicide victim. The Victim Services unit is tasked with advocating on behalf of and providing services for all crime victims and witnesses in Philadelphia.

“I am thrilled and honored to join the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in this vital mission, and look forward to serving the people of Philadelphia in my new role,” Ms. Johnson-Harrell said.

Ms. Johnson-Harrell founded the CHARLES (Creating Healthy Alternatives Results in Less Emotional Suffering) Foundation in 2011 after losing her 18 year-old son, Charles Andre Johnson, to gun violence. She also suffered the loss of her father, cousin, and only brother to homicide.

“I know that this moment of transition in the DAO has been confusing for some victims and their families,” said Johnson-Harrell. “I want to ensure them that our unit is open for business and that we are here to make sure that you have whatever information you need. Please, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me or my staff.”

Ms. Johnson-Harrell has served on the City of Philadelphia’s Focused Deterrence program, and has lobbied and educated state legislators on public safety, mass incarceration, and education issues for over six years. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Masters in Social Work in 2004 and was honored with Penn’s School of Social Work Anita Langsfeld Award, the Jane S. Abrams Award for Outstanding Community Service and the Resources for Children’s Health Community Service Award.

“Her wealth of knowledge, depth of experience, and enthusiasm will be crucial to our Office’s critical mission of delivering services to witnesses of and those traumatized by crime,” District Attorney Krasner said.

The Victim Services Unit can be contacted at (215) 686-8027 or e-mail DA.Victimservices@phila.gov.

Philadelphia District Attorney Inauguration Address Larry Krasner

January 2, 2018

Thank you, thank you all.

You were right. Thank you to all the volunteers, all the voters, all the people who voted for the first time, and to all of those who understood that this election had nothing to do with me as a person, but had everything to do with the movement. All of you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

A movement was sworn in today. A movement. A movement for criminal justice reform that has swept Philadelphia, as the voters have spoken, and is sweeping the United States. One large city to another. One medium sized city to another. It is sweeping the United States. Every movement has its activists. This campaign had its activists. And we have heard, not only from Rev. Miller – thank you very much for your overly kind words Rev. But we have also heard brilliantly I think from so many others, Rev. Tyler and Rev. Holston and we’ll soon hear from the rabbi, these are all people who thoroughly understand what it means to be activists. And also understands that movements don’t have lawyers as leaders, they have lawyers as technicians. They have lawyers to manage the details.

So, on behalf of that movement, and as nothing more than a technician for that movement, I have taken the oath. But it is funny because it says that I will discharge the duties of the District Attorney’s Office but it never says what those duties are. So what are those duties? Well first and foremost it’s very clear from the ethical rules that the duty of the District Attorney, which is different than other attorneys and also different from the judiciary at times, but that duty is to seek justice in society, in society; that requires us to communicate the truth; to represent the public; and to exercise power with restraint with our roots dug deep in the rich soil of equality. That is what we need to do.

So, I thank the clergy for their kind words. I want to thank my wife, Lisa Rau, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, for swearing me in. It’s not the first promise I’ve made to her. She has, in addition to being an absolutely fabulous and courageous Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, she is also the mother of our two boys. Nate who is here. Caleb, who is on the West Coast. These three remain a constant source of inspiration and support in my lifetime. I also want to thank my extended family, an enthusiastic and well populated row up here. Thank you for the decades of love and support. Just so we are clear, this is not about my family. It’s about our family, because in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection we are all family.

Today there is a little girl somewhere, let’s say in Southwest, she has really big glasses and she loves to read. And she goes to a public school where she has a fabulous teacher, and has 34 other kids in her class where there should be 20 or maybe 17. And she is going to solve the world’s problems if we just give her the chance. But the second teacher she needs is not there because the second teacher she needs is a jail cell that is occupied by a person who doesn’t need to be there. What is lost? What is lost here? Is so much human potential if we don’t get it right. It’s lost in the cost of a death penalty that is never imposed. We’ve lost that in the city with the highest rate of incarnation of any of the ten major cities. And so today we start the long road toward trading jails, and trading death row, for schools.

So, today there is another police officer in North Philly, let’s say, who is driving in a marked car and wearing a uniform in the neighborhood where he grew up. He’s smart, hardworking, loves his community, and wants to keep it safe. But when he waves, people don’t always wave back and they don’t tell him as much as he would like because there is a division between his uniform and the neighborhood that never had to be. That was not his doing. That was based on policies that were, at least, unwise and maybe worse than that. Today we start the long road toward trading division between police and the communities they serve for unity and reconciliation and cooperation.

Today there is a mother in the Northeast whose cell phone is always on ring for fear of her son being arrested, or maybe something much worse. He was prescribed pain pills by a doctor after a work accident several months ago and about the only thing he hasn’t lost yet is his life. He is homeless and wasting away from addiction to heroin. Today we start the long road toward trading jail cells occupied by people suffering from addiction for treatment and harm reduction.

And today there is a brother of a homicide victim, let’s say in South Philly, whose family can’t get justice because their key witness won’t come to court for fear of deportation. The witness is afraid of our own federal government. Today we start the long road toward empowering and protecting some of our most vulnerable witnesses and survivors, immigrants who lack legal status, so that they like other vulnerable groups; young people, elderly people, sex workers; so that they can participate in a criminal justice system that is there to protect them. Today we trade fear for sanctuary.

On these and so many other challenges that face the City, we – this movement – has taken an oath to remember that in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection we are all family. We all deserve protection. We all deserve support and second chances. We are all that family and we are all that movement. Join us.

Thank you.

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES ARREST OF PHILADELPHIA SHERIFF’S OFFICE DEPUTY WITH SIMPLE ASSAULT, HARASSMENT, AND RELATED CRIMES

December 22, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (December 22, 2017) – Philadelphia District Kelley B. Hodge today announced that Philadelphia Sheriff’s Deputy Lyric Dunbar has been arrested and charged with Simple Assault (M2) and Harassment (S) after an attack that took place in Family Court (1501 Arch Street). The incident took place on July 30, 2017.

“Philadelphia’s courtrooms should be places of safety, not violence; especially when it comes to attacks on innocent complainants by a Deputy Sherriff,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge. “Philadelphia Sheriff’s Deputy Lyric Dunbar will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, which is appropriate and necessary, considering the clear video evidence that we have retained and reviewed during this investigation.”

While assigned to the nursery at Family Court, Dunbar came into contact with the complainant. After exchanging words, Dunbar followed the complainant down a hallway and smacked the complainant in the back of the head. After regaining her footing, the complainant continued down the hallway and Dunbar followed. Dunbar confronted the complainant again, this time, punching the complainant in the right side of her face, causing injury to the complainant’s face and damage to the complainant’s glasses. Dunbar was restrained by other sheriff’s deputies while the complainant was transported to the hospital. The assault was captured on video.

Dunbar, DOB 02/13/1984, was hired by the Philadelphia Sherriff’s Office in August of 2013.
She has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss by the Philadelphia Sherriff’s Office. Her next appearance in court has yet to be scheduled.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Emily Rodriguez of the Office’s Special Investigations Unit.

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PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES ARREST OF PHILADELPHIA POLICE OFFICER FOR SIMPLE ASSAULT, DUI, AND RELATED CRIMES

December 20, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (December 20, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge announced today that Philadelphia Police Officer Kevin Klein is in custody for his involvement in a December 24, 2016, traffic accident, threatening a bystander with his service revolver, and for driving under the influence.

The incident took place on December 24, 2016, on the 6100 block of Passyunk Avenue. Klein is charged with two counts of Simple Assault (M2), one count of Driving Under the Influence (UM), and one count of Leaving the Scene of an Accident (M3).

“We all know the dangers of driving under the influence, but as an off duty Philadelphia Police Officer, Kevin Klein certainly knew the dangers of his actions to himself and his fellow bystanders. And then, to use his service revolver during the course of his criminal behavior is deplorable. We expect more of those members of our community who take an oath to protect and serve, and when anyone acts criminally, they will be held accountable for their actions,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge. “I’d like to thank the Philadelphia Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office’s Special Investigations Unit for their professionalism and dedication during this investigation.”

On the 24th, the defendant, who was off-duty, struck an occupied vehicle and then left the scene. The vehicle’s occupants pursued Klein for several miles to get him to stop, but during the pursuit, the complainants saw Klein swerve several times and strike a concrete median. When Klein finally pulled over, he appeared intoxicated, refused to provide his driving credentials, and then pulled out his service weapon and pointed it at the complainants before driving off.

Klein, DOB 06/20/1981, was hired by the Philadelphia Police Department in August of 2008 and was last assigned to the 12th Police District. He has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss by the Philadelphia Police Department. His next appearance in court has yet to be scheduled.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jahlee J. Hatchett of the Office’s Special Investigations Unit.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE LAUNCHES HATE CRIME HOTLINE AND STRENGTHENS TASK FORCE

November 16, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 16, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge today announced that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) has launched a hate crimes hotline and expanded its internal procedures and community partnerships to more effectively respond to the allegations of hate crimes in the City of Philadelphia. The Office’s hotline, which will be staffed by a Victim and Witness Services Coordinator, is 215-686-8931.

“Hate has no place in the City of Philadelphia and if someone sees it happening, or is the victim of a hate crime, we now have a hotline for them to safely file their report” said Kelley B. Hodge, Philadelphia District Attorney. “Additionally, and this is new to the Hate Crimes Task Force, these improvements will allow us to better support the citizens of this great City with more specially assigned Assistant District Attorneys, formal internal policies and procedures, and an improved partnership with Pennsylvania’s Attorney General’s Office and Philadelphia’s Human Relations Commission.”

The following Assistant District Attorneys (ADA) from each geographic bureau, the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, and the Municipal Court Unit have been assigned to prosecute any hate or bias crime in their Bureau or Unit:

  • Coordinator – Salena Jones, ADA;
  • Central Bureau – Sam Haaz, ADA;
  • East Bureau – Yasmine Rosario, ADA;
  • Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit – Helen Park, ADA;
  • Juvenile Court Unit – Meghan Goddard, ADA;
  • Municipal Court Unit – Adam Geer, ADA;
  • Northeast Bureau – Leonard Champaign, ADA;
  • Northwest Bureau – Ashley Toczylowski, ADA;
  • South Bureau – Lauren Realberg, ADA; and
  • Southwest Bureau – Antima Chakraborty, ADA.

The task force will also meet on a quarterly basis, or more frequently as needed, to discuss any concerns, improvements, and cases. It will also regularly communicate and inform the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission about their work.

“Hate has no place in our Commonwealth and we’re calling on everyone to step up and report discrimination when it happens,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Every Pennsylvanian deserves equal justice under the law no matter what you look like, who you pray to, where you’re from, or who you love. The Office of Attorney General fully support District Attorney Hodge’s mission, and commends the DA’s Office for opening this hotline so we can call out hate when we see it.”

As targeted by the District Attorney and the task force, a hate crime is a criminal act (e.g. vandalism, threats, assault, and murder) that is motivated by prejudice or bias and is directed at people because of their real or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, or disability.

“We cannot combat acts of hate if we remain silent. The launch of the new hate crime hotline by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office will make it much easier for anyone to speak up and report hate incidents so they can be thoroughly investigated. We are looking forward to our partnership with the enhanced task force.” said Rue Landau, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

Since the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not have a statute defining a hate crime, the Office can charge individuals under Title 18 § 2710, Ethnic Intimidation. Ethnic Intimidation is defined as any specified offense committed “…with malicious intention toward the race, color, religion or national origin of another individual or group of individuals.” Ethnic intimidation is graded one degree higher than the underlying offense.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY HODGE ISSUES STATEMENT CONGRATULATING LARRY KRASNER ON HIS ELECTION VICTORY

November 8, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 8, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge released the following statement congratulating District Attorney Elect Larry Krasner on his November 7, 2017, general election victory:

“Congratulations to District Attorney Elect Larry Krasner on your election victory. All of us in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office stand ready to make your transition to becoming Philadelphia’s 26th District Attorney seamless.

“Leading this office is an honor and privilege. The dedicated public servants in this Office, who you will soon have the honor to work with, like you, are unflinching in their desire to give a voice to the victims of crime and making Philadelphia a safe place to live, work, and raise a family.  My time as Philadelphia’s District Attorney has been extremely rewarding. And while the work is expectedly challenging, I am sure your tenure will provide you with the same sense of purpose as a public servant and accomplishment as my tenure as given to me. Again, Congratulations and Godspeed.”

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PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S ELECTION FRAUD TASK FORCE AND COMMITTEE OF 70 ARE PREPARED FOR ELECTION DAY

November 2, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 3, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge and CEO of the Committee of Seventy David Thornburgh today reminded voters to get ready for Election Day and to call the District Attorney’s Election Fraud Task Force if they experience any difficulty casting their ballot. The Office’s hotline numbers are 215-686-9641, 9643 and 9644.

“On November seventh when the polls open, the Election Fraud Task Force will be fully staffed and strategically deployed through the City to quickly respond to any issues that may arise,” said Kelley B. Hodge, Philadelphia District Attorney. “If anyone has trouble casting their vote or sees something that they believe is illegal, they should immediately call the Task Force at 215-686-9641 so our Detectives and Assistant District Attorneys can look into the potential violation.”

Over the past twenty years, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Committee of Seventy have partnered to protect each Philadelphian’s vote and to monitor Election Day complaints. The Election Fraud Task Force will also coordinate its efforts with the City Commissioners and Philadelphia’s Central Election Court to respond to any election-related concerns. As always, if the need arises, the Task Force can enlist additional ADAs on Election Day to respond to emerging issues. Typically, the Task Force is asked to respond to allegations of illegal voting, candidate write-in issues, refusal of election boards to recognize poll watcher certificates, intimidation, and illegal electioneering.

“We applaud the District Attorney’s Office and Election Fraud Task Force for their efforts in preparing for Tuesday’s election,” said Committee of Seventy CEO David Thornburgh. “But their oversight only works when voters and others at the polls report potentially illegal behavior. If you see something, say something.”

The Committee of Seventy will be complementing the efforts of the District Attorney and the City Commissioners with its Election Ambassador Corps of high school students who can help answer questions for voters at the polls or direct them to city officials when issues arise. Seventy is also distributing an online survey to gauge voters’ experience with the voting process and confidence in the system. Voters with questions on Election Day can reach Seventy staff at 215-557-3600.

In 2014, the Election Fraud Task Force was created to investigate and prosecute allegations of Election Day criminal activity. The Task Force continues to be part of the District Attorney’s Special Investigations Unit and is staffed by Assistant District Attorneys and Detectives. The DAO will also issue Election Day updates via its Twitter account while the polls are open.

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THIS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE AND OFFICE OF VICTIM ADVOCATE MAKE PROGRESS IN PROVIDING IMPORTANT SERVICES TO THE VICTIMS OF CRIME

October 25, 2017

DA Contact:   Cameron Kline, 215-686-8711, cameron.kline@phila.gov

OVA Contact: Jennifer Storm, 717-756-9741, jstorm@pa.gov

 

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 26, 2017) – To mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) and Pennsylvania’s Office of Victim Advocate (OVA) today announced that they are serving more victims of crime through a continuum of county and state services. Currently, OVA has registered 47 percent more clients this year.

“Thanks to the partnership between the District Attorney’s Office and Pennsylvania’s Office of Victim Advocate we are doing a much better job at providing important services to the victims of crime,” said Kelley Hodge, Philadelphia District Attorney. “Our partners, some of which include the Anti-Violence Partnership and Women Against Abuse, now have a direct line into our Victim Witness Services Unit and a dedicated professional from the OVA who is specially trained to help our clients get the services they need and deserve. As of today, we are currently providing post sentencing services to about 1,000 Philadelphians whose offenders have been sentenced to state prison, and we continue to focus on helping victims stay safe, make their voices heard, and begin to heal.”

The DAO and OVA credit the increase in services to the creation and co-location of a dedicated Victim Assistance Coordinator from the OVA in the DAO’s Office of Victim Witness Service Unit. The Coordinator regularly registers and submits victim testimonies and works one-on-one with the various Units in the DAO to ensure that victims are notified of their post-sentencing rights and their opportunity to participate in programs. Some program examples include, the Victim/Offender Dialogue Program, safety planning services, notifications about an offender’s parole eligibility, and their right to provide comments to the Parole Board during the parole process.

“I am thrilled with the result of this partnership already, we knew a presence in Philadelphia was necessary to ensure all crime victims fully understood their post-conviction rights. We are grateful to the DOA for collaborating with us to ensure all crime victims feel acknowledged, empowered and informed,” said Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm.

OVA’s presence in DAO also provides for increased collaboration and partnerships among the many victim service agencies in the Philadelphia community, in addition to improved communication and strategic planning between non-profit and local government agencies. Some of these agencies include neighborhood based victim serving organizations, the Anti-Violence Partnership, Women Against Abuse, Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE), the CHARLES Foundation, Every Murder Is Real (EMIR), and the National Homicide Justice Alliance; among other advocacy groups. These groups recently gathered together for the first time as a working-group to collaborate on ways to improve service provision to Homicide co-victims and survivors.

Additionally, OVA has been working with the Anti-Violence Partnership and the DAO to create a support group for families and individuals who have been victimized by defendants who committed murder as a juvenile and are now facing the difficult resentencing process. OVA has worked closely with the Office to ensure that the victims of these crimes are supported during and after the process.

The OVA was established in 1995 and diligently works to provide victims of crime with notifications, support and advocacy services. This is the first collaboration of this kind and the first on site office for the OVA in a non-state entity. For more information on Office of Victim Advocate, visit their website at www.ova.pa.gov.

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