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October 31, 2011

Sheriff’s Deputy Pleads to Drunk Driving, Leaving the Scene

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 10:33 am

LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy who allegedly injured another motorist while driving drunk today pleaded no contest to D.U.I. and other charges stemming from an injury crash in South Los Angeles early this year.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Pellman Pentz of the Justice System Integrity Division said Michael Anthony Grundy, 46, pleaded to one count each of D.U.I. with a blood alcohol level over 0.08 percent causing injury and leaving the scene of an accident. Both are felony counts.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George Lomeli took the defendant’s plea.

Under the terms of a negotiated settlement, Grundy – a second-time D.U.I. offender – is expected to spend six months in a live-in alcohol treatment facility and, thereafter, submit to supervision by a remote alcohol monitoring device for six months. Additionally, Grundy will be required to make full restitution to the victim in the amount of $25,816.40.

The defendant’s next court hearing is on Jan. 12, 2012, in Department 123 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. At that time, Grundy must present proof of enrollment in an alcohol treatment program, the prosecutor said.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 10:31 am

SANTA ANA - A father caught on a hidden video camera has been charged with attempting to murder his 2-month-old son by swinging him by the neck with a noose-like blanket and repeatedly punching and shaking the baby. Joshua Allen Robey, 24, is charged with one felony count each of attempted murder, torture, and child abuse with a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury to a child under 5 years old. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison. The People will be requesting Robey be held on $1 million bail at his arraignment today, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

In October 2011, Robey is accused of having a 2-month-old son, Baby Doe, with his girlfriend of two years. He is accused of living on and off with his girlfriend and her mother in Anaheim until three weeks prior to the attempted murder, at which time he began living in a motel in Costa Mesa.

On Oct. 18, 2011, Robey is accused of going to the home of his girlfriend and her mother to babysit Baby Doe. Without the defendant’s knowledge, his girlfriend set up a hidden camera in the home to record him because she believed him to be cheating.

While alone with Baby Doe and solely responsible for his care, Robey is accused of violently abusing and attempting to murder the infant. The defendant is accused of wrapping a blanket around the baby’s neck, picking him up by lifting the ends of the blanket like a noose, and swinging the victim around for over a minute.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 10:28 am

FULLERTON - A drunken driver was sentenced today to seven years in state prison for killing his passenger and injuring an occupant in another vehicle after losing control of his car while speeding. Yannis Ismael Galanis, 28, Bellflower, pleaded guilty to the court Aug. 17, 2011, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury with a prior conviction, and driving with a blood alcohol .08 percent or more causing injury with a prior conviction, with a sentencing enhancement allegation for causing bodily injury. Galanis has a prior conviction for driving under the influence in 2002.

At approximately 12:50 a.m. on July 17, 2011, Galanis was driving at a high rate of speed while under the influence of alcohol in his GMC pick-up truck southbound on the Interstate 5 near Disneyland Drive in Anaheim. The defendant’s friend, 29-year-old Edgar Murillo, was riding in the passenger seat. Galanis suddenly swerved from one lane into the next and crashed into a car driven by Olgar A. Victim Viamey C. was riding in Olgar A.’s passenger seat.

Galanis lost control of his truck from the force of the crash and traveled up a dirt embankment before hitting a concrete bridge abutment head-on. The defendant’s truck then re-entered traffic lanes before finally coming to a stop on the freeway.

The California Highway Patrol responded to the scene. Galanis was found unconscious by CHP officers with a cut to his head. He was transported to the hospital. Approximately three hours after the crash, the defendant had a blood alcohol level of .11 percent and had cocaine in his blood.

Murillo was also unconscious when officers arrived and was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:15 a.m. Viamey C. was transported to the hospital to be treated for pain to her upper back, neck, and ribs. Olger A. complained of pain to his neck but was not transported from the scene to the hospital.

During the sentencing today, Murillo’s two sisters and girlfriend gave victim impact statements to the court. The victim’s sisters described Murillo as a loving brother and father-figure, and expressed sadness that they will never again be able to tell him that he was loved and appreciated.

October 28, 2011

Parolee Sentenced to 8 Years in Federal Prison for Identity Theft

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 8:11 am

LOS ANGELES – A man who was on parole for identity theft when he participated in a second identity theft scheme that resulted in authorities recovering 300,000 consumer profiles has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison.

Robert Delgado Jr., 40, of Monterey Park, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner, who warned Delgado that if he returned to crime after his release, he could expect an even longer sentence.

Delgado pleaded guilty in May 2011 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. When he pleaded guilty, Delgado admitted participating in a scheme in which he and others impersonated victims and used their credit to purchase goods at stores such as JCPenny.

The investigation began after one victim complained to the Post Office that a vacation hold had been placed on his mail without his consent, and that there were fraudulent charges on his Lowe’s credit card, which was maintained by GE Moneybank. Delgado’s telephone records showed that he had called GE Moneybank’s automated service line, which allows callers to check their available credit, 350 times in three months, even though he did not have a Lowe’s account.

When Postal Inspectors arrested Delgado on March 8, 2011, he was attempting to hide an external hard drive that contained:

•more than 300,000 victim profiles, including names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers;

•computer images used to create copies of credit cards for American Express, Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, Ikea, JCPenney and Lowe’s;

•computer images used to create copies of California Department of Motor Vehicle documents and identification cards; and

•Scanned checks in the names of others.

Delgado has been held without bond since his arrest.

Authorities are continuing to investigate how Delgado came into possession of the 300,000 identity profiles.

Three other men involved in the scheme have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

West Covina Woman Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for Running Investment Scheme that Raised Nearly $7 Million

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 8:09 am

LOS ANGELES – A West Covina woman who admitted running a Ponzi scheme that took in approximately $6.9 million from more than 150 victims has been sentenced to 108 months in federal prison.

Guadalupe Valencia, 47, was sentenced late yesterday by United States District Judge S. James Otero after a nearly five-hour hearing. In addition to the nine-year prison term, Judge Otero ordered Valencia to pay restitution of $5.2 million, which is the total loss figure.

Valencia has been in custody since she pleaded guilty last December to two counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of tax fraud.

Valencia ran her scheme out of the Downey offices of companies she called Real Estate & Loan Consultants and R.E. Equity Group, Inc. Beginning in 2001 and continuing through 2009, Valencia promoted two types of investment pools, with one purportedly funding loans to purchase real estate, and a second purporting to fund short-term loans to businesses. According to court documents, Valencia promised high rates of interest in both investment vehicles – from 8 percent to 20 percent in as little as 45 days. Valencia admitted that she falsely told investors that their investments were fully secured, backed by deeds of trust on valuable real estate, as well as promissory notes that equaled “money-back guarantees.”

When she pleaded guilty, Valencia admitted that the investments she promoted did not generate any profits and that she used newer investor funds to pay original investors. Further, Valencia admitted that she had provided victims with worthless promissory notes that she had created.

Valencia “callously victimized over 150 people,” prosecutors wrote in sentencing papers. “She was a major force in a Ponzi scheme that negatively impacted the lives of the victims and the families of the victims.”

Valencia’s scheme raised approximately $6.9 million. With Ponzi payments that were made to some victims during the course of the scheme, the actual loss amount is $5.2 million.

In addition to the mail and wire fraud charges, Valencia pleaded guilty to two counts of subscribing to false tax returns for the tax years 2007 and 2008. In her plea agreement, Valencia admitted that she filed the returns with the Internal Revenue Service knowing that they were false. Specifically, for the 2007 tax year, Valencia failed to report more than $280,000 to the IRS. For the 2008 tax year, Valencia failed to report more than $470,000 on the tax return that she filed.


Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 8:07 am

SANTA ANA - The Orange County District Attorney announced today that he will seek the death penalty against an unemployed Navy deserter for the Valentine’s Day shooting-murder of a woman and her live-in boyfriend after posing as a potential car buyer. Pasqual Raul Loera, 33, Redlands, is charged with two felony count of special circumstances murder. The special circumstances include murder during the commission of robbery, murder during the commission of burglary, and multiple murders. Loera is being held without bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Nov. 4, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On Feb. 14, 2010, Loera is accused of going to the Westminster home of couple Julie Palasko and Dennis Koire under the false pretense of buying an Infiniti sedan that the victims had listed for sale with AutoTrader. The defendant and the victims did not know each other.

After entering the victims’ home, the defendant is accused of shooting and murdering 48-year-old Palasko. He is accused of shooting and critically injuring 49-year-old Koire. Loera is accused of then stealing the car and fleeing the scene.

Loera is accused of driving to his home in Redlands and accidently shooting himself in the foot with the firearm when it slipped from his waistband and discharged as he got out of his vehicle. Without seeking medical treatment for his foot, the defendant is accused of leaving Redlands and driving to a casino near the Nevada state border.


October 27, 2011

Former InsideOUT Executive Charged with Grand Theft

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 2:41 am

LOS ANGELES – The former executive director of a non-profit organization that imparts life skills to at-risk youth was charged today with grand theft for allegedly taking more than $119,000.

Jacqueline Gelfand, 61 (dob 3/25/50), is expected to appear for arraignment this afternoon in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Gelfand, charged in Case No. BA390220, faces one felony count of grand theft of personal property. The criminal complaint alleges that Gelfand unlawfully took money and personal property totaling $119,568 from InsideOUT Writers, Inc.

The alleged theft took place between May 14, 2008, and November 24, 2009.

InsideOUT Writers offers programs for youth impacted by the criminal justice system, including creative writing classes for youth in Los Angeles County juvenile detention centers and re-entry services for students released from detention.

Prosecutors have recommended the defendant’s bail be set at $119,568. If convicted as charged, Gelfand faces a maximum sentence of three years in county jail.


Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 2:39 am

SANTA ANA - A serial rapist registered as a sex offender stemming from a child molest conviction was found guilty late yesterday of sexually assaulting four women in his apartment and surreptitiously videotaping the rapes without the victims’ knowledge or consent.

James Ernest Bledsoe, 30, Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury Oct. 20, 2011, of two felony counts each of forcible rape, rape of an unconscious woman who was unable to resist, rape of woman who was unable to resist due to intoxication, sexual penetration by foreign object of a person who was unable to resist due to intoxication, one felony count each of assault with intent to commit sexual assault, forcible oral copulation, oral copulation of an unconscious person who was unable to resist, oral copulation of an intoxicated person, sexual penetration by foreign object by force, and failure to register as a sex offender. He was found guilty of four misdemeanor counts of secretly filming another with the intent to arouse and one misdemeanor count of resisting and obstructing an officer. The jury found true the sentencing enhancements and allegations for committing sex crimes against multiple victims and being a habitual sex offender.  He has a prior 2005 strike conviction for lewd acts on a child, for which he had to register for life as a sex offender.

Bledsoe faces a minimum sentence of 100 years to life in state prison at his sentencing Jan. 13, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-44, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The victims will have an opportunity to make impact statements at the sentencing.

Jane Doe #1
Bledsoe met Jane Doe #1 approximately two weeks prior to the rape, got her phone number, and the victim later agreed to go out with the defendant on a date.


Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Seizure of $5 Million Worth of Cocaine from Mexican Cartel

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 2:37 am

SAN FRANCISCO — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced the seizure last week of more than 50 kilos of cocaine worth an estimated $5 million as part of a Department of Justice-led undercover operation targeting the Guadalajara Cartel, an organization that smuggles large quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine into California.

Department of Justice special agents from the Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA) conducted an undercover sting operation into the cartel’s drug trafficking activities. An undercover agent arranged to purchase cocaine from two individuals associated with the cartel. Last Thursday, at a prearranged meeting in a parking lot in Bellflower, agents arrested the two men and seized 42 kilos of cocaine. The Long Beach Police Department assisted the task force by serving a search warrant at a stash house in Bell Gardens, and seized an additional 9 kilos of cocaine and approximately $39,500 in drug proceeds.

Giovani Flores-Arias of Sinaloa, Mexico and Rene Guerrero of Indio, CA, were arrested and booked at the Long Beach Police Department. Flores is being held without bail and Guerrero is being held on $2 million bail. If convicted, the men each face a maximum of 25 years in state prison.

Some of the cocaine - which has an estimated street value of $5.1 million - was slated to be transported across the country for distribution. Previously, agents seized 22 pounds of methamphetamine from the Guadalajara drug cartel.

October 26, 2011

Defendant Sentenced to Prison in Celebrity Burglary Case

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 12:47 am

LOS ANGELES – One of the alleged ringleaders of the so-called Bling Ring was sentenced today to four years in state prison for burglarizing the home of “The Hills’’ star Audrina Patridge two years ago.

Rachel Lee, 21, was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler, who also dismissed one felony count of conspiracy to commit burglary and two counts of receiving stolen property, said Deputy District Attorney Chris Baker.

Lee pleaded no contest last month to one count of first-degree residential burglary. She was charged with taking more than $25,000 in jewelry, designer luggage, clothes, shoes, boots and watches from Patridge’s home on Feb. 23, 2009. Baker said restitution will be determined at a later date.

The remaining four defendants — Nicholas Prugo, 20; Diana Tamayo, 21; Courtney Leigh Ames, 20; and Roy Lopez, Jr., 29 – return to court on Nov. 18 for motions and pretrial.

All four have pleaded not guilty to charges contained in an indictment alleging that between September 2008 and August 2009, the group netted more than $3 million in jewelry, designer clothes and accessories from the homes of Orlando Bloom, Paris Hilton, Brian Austin-Green and Megan Fox, Lindsay Lohan and Patridge.

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