Best Defender Bytes:

December 29, 2011


Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 11:22 pm

FULLERTON - A man has been charged with the Christmas murder of his wife. William Wallace, 30, Anaheim, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. Wallace is being held on $1 million bail and is expected to be arraigned today, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. at the North Justice Center in Fullerton. The time is to be determined.

Sometime between Dec. 24, 2011, and Dec. 25, 2011, Wallace is accused of inflicting blunt force trauma to the head of his wife Zazell Preston, rendering her unconscious. The victim’s two young children from a previous relationship and the couple’s 7-week-old baby were in the apartment at the time.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 25, 2011, Wallace is accused of calling 911 to report that Preston was in need of medical attention. Responding Anaheim Police Department (APD) officers discovered the victim unresponsive in the bed of the home. She was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Former Los Gatos Convent Employee Charged with Embezzling More Than $100,000 from Catholic Nuns

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 11:18 pm

SAN JOSE, CA—A former lay employee for the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary Catholic Convent (the Convent) in Los Gatos, Calif., was charged yesterday with 14 counts of wire fraud and three counts of mail fraud, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. According to the indictment, Linda Gomez (a/k/a Linda Surrett), 65, of Sunnyvale, Calif., used her administrative positions to embezzle cash and to charge personal expenses to a Convent charge card.

According to the indictment, between 1987 and 2010, Gomez worked for the Convent in various administrative capacities, including as the director of food services and the manager of an on-site convenience store. As part of her professional responsibilities, Gomez made purchases for the 75 Catholic nuns and 60 lay employees at the Convent. The Indictment charges that between March 2008 and her resignation in May 2010, Gomez used various methods to embezzle from the Convent, including obtaining fraudulent reimbursements or credits for products she falsely claimed she had purchased for the Convent and its nuns. The Indictment states that Gomez embezzled more than $100,000 from the Convent. In addition to embezzling more than $47,000 in cash, Gomez also fraudulently diverted more than $53,000 of Convent funds for personal expenses such as jewelry, high-end cutlery, purses, shoes, kitchen appliances, and numerous purchases on the QVC and Home Shopping Networks,

The defendant will be issued a summons to make an initial appearance on Jan. 10, 2012, before United States Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal. The case is assigned to United States District Court Judge Lucy Koh.

The maximum statutory penalty for wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, and mail fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341, is 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, plus restitution. Any sentence following conviction would, however, be determined by the court after considering the federal sentencing guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and would be imposed in the discretion of the court.

December 28, 2011

Former Grant Administrator of American Samoa Non-Profit Pleads Guilty to theft

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 10:24 pm

Former Grant Administrator and Legal Assistant of American Samoa Non-Profit Legal Aid Corporation Plead Guilty to Stealing More Than $150,000 in Federal Grant Funds

Funds Intended to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

WASHINGTON – A former grant administrator and her daughter pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing more than $150,000 in federal grant funds awarded to a non-profit corporation in the U.S. territory of American Samoa, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Julie Matau, 49, of San Francisco, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken.   Andrea Matau, 28, also of San Francisco, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of theft of federal funds before Judge Wilken.   A federal grand jury in the Northern District of California returned an indictment against Julie and Andrea Matau on Dec. 16, 2010.   A third defendant, David Wagner, pleaded guilty on March 11, 2011, in the Eastern District of Missouri.

According to court documents, U’una’i Legal Services Corporation (ULSC) was a nonprofit corporation operating in American Samoa from approximately 1998 to 2007.   During this period, ULSC was the only nonprofit organization in American Samoa that was dedicated to providing free legal services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual abuse.   Between approximately August 2005 and September 2007, ULSC received more than $1.2 million in federal grant funds from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women and the Legal Services Corporation.


Orange County Pharmacist Charged with Providing Material Support to Terrorists by Sending Money to Person in Pakistan

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 10:22 pm

LOS ANGELES – A Turkish citizen who resides in Orange County was indicted late this afternoon on federal charges of providing material support to terrorists for allegedly sending money to Pakistan to help fund attacks against American military personnel.

Oytun Ayse Mihalik, 39, of La Palma, California, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, was named in a four-count superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury this afternoon.

The indictment alleges three counts of providing money to an individual located in Pakistan with the knowledge that the money would be used to prepare for and carry out attacks that would kill United States military personnel and other persons overseas. Mihalik allegedly sent a total of $2,050 in three wire transfers to the person in Pakistan over the course of three weeks at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011.

The fourth count of the indictment charges Mihalik with making false statements to special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. Mihalik allegedly lied to the agents during an interview at Los Angeles International Airport on August 8, 2011, after she arrived in Los Angeles following a six-month trip to Turkey. Mihalik is accused of making false statements in a matter involving international terrorism by falsely telling the agents that she had never used an alias when using Western Union to send money to a person who was overseas and that she had sent money only once via Western Union to a person who was overseas.


San Diego County Man Charged in Burglary

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 10:20 pm

VAN NUYS – A 20-year-old man accused of burglarizing a Westlake Village home on Christmas morning – allegedly taking a laptop embedded with tracking technology and other items – was arraigned today, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Sandi Roth of the Van Nuys Branch Office said Patrick Krewson (dob 11/27/91) pleaded not guilty before Judge Karen Nudell. Krewson’s bail was set at $70,000.

Krewson of Vista is charged with one count each of first-degree burglary, person present, grand theft of personal property and forgery in case No. LA069742. The criminal complaint alleges that the burglary charge is a serious and violent offense and thus requires that a prison sentence be served in state prison.

Krewson’s next court hearing, a preliminary hearing setting date, is on Jan. 10 in Department 112 of Van Nuys Superior Court.

The defendant allegedly burglarized a home during the early morning hours of Dec. 25 and made away with a number of possessions including an Apple iPad and a checkbook.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department authorities said the defendant was located via the laptop which was enabled with “Find Me” software.

Authorities said Krewson is also linked to a burglary on Dec. 22 in Vista in which Christmas gifts were stolen.

If convicted as charged, Krewson faces a maximum term of six years, eight months in state prison.


Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 10:42 am

SANTA ANA - A defendant will be arraigned tomorrow for murdering a man after a fight over the victim’s attempted initiation of a sexual relationship. Edgar Salvador Luciozamudio, 22, Buena Park, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. He is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled for a continued arraignment tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

Prior to Dec. 14, 2011, Luciozamudio is accused of being friendly with 47-year-old Ricardo Rios for approximately one month. On Dec. 14, 2011, the defendant is accused of being with the victim in a detached garage, where Rios lived.

At approximately 3:30 a.m., Luciozamudio is accused of getting into a physical fight with Rios after he refused the victim’s attempt to initiate a sexual act. The victim then threw a cement block at Luciozamudio’s car. The defendant is accused of attacking Rios and punching him repeatedly, breaking the victim’s jaw, nose, orbital bone, and several ribs.

Luciozamudio is accused of fleeing the scene and calling 911 shortly thereafter to report that Rios may need medical assistance. The victim died as a result of his injuries.


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 10:40 am

*Co-defendant is pending trial in this case

SANTA ANA - A Marine was convicted today of shooting and murdering a fellow Marine in a secluded area of San Clemente over a dispute about stolen drug money. Christian William Carney, 25, Manorville, NY, was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (Camp Pendleton) at the time of the crime and was found guilty by a jury one felony count of murder, one felony count of criminal threats and one felony count of attempting to dissuade a witness. He faces a maximum sentence of 28 years and eight months to life in state prison at his sentencing Jan. 20, 2012, in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Co-defendant Alvin Reed Lovely, 24, Dallas, Texas, also a Marine at Camp Pendleton at the time of the crime, is charged with one felony count of murder, one felony count of criminal threats, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 38 years to life in state prison. He is scheduled for jury trial Feb. 3, 2012, in Department C-40.

Carney was found guilty and Lovely is accused of the following:

While stationed at Camp Pendleton, Carney was a drug dealer who sold cocaine and ecstasy.

During the weekend of May 9, 2008, Carney drove to Texas to pick up his friend, Lovely, who had gone home for a visit and needed a ride back to the base. While Carney was gone, 20-year-old Stephen Serrano and his friend, Chad Hatch, broke into Carney’s room and stole his drug money.


Former Covina Police Records Supervisor Pleads Guilty to Misappropriation

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 10:38 am

COVINA - A former civilian police records supervisor with Covina Police Department pleaded guilty today to charges that she stole $342,000 in city funds that came from parking meters, parking fines and impound fees and that she hid a police report that involved her son-in-law.

Louise Vance-Wasilchin, 58, entered the guilty plea to one felony count each of misappropriation of public funds and secretion of a public record at her arraignment before Superior Court Judge Daniel Lopez, said Deputy District Attorney Edward Miller with the Public Integrity Division.

When the Upland resident returns to court Feb. 17 for sentencing, she faces two years, eight months in state prison and a restitution hearing, Miller said.

Covina police launched an investigation after noticing a bag full of quarters in her car while investigating an accident in April. The complaint alleges the money was taken between Jan. 1, 2008 to May 5, 2011.

She also pleaded guilty to hiding a police report on a hit-and-run and driving under the influence case involving her son-in-law. Authorities said an investigation revealed that the report was never delivered to be filed in court. Authorities said there was no evidence that her son-in-law was aware of her actions.

Vance-Wasilchin was relieved of duty following an investigation, authorities said.

December 27, 2011


Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:38 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a 14-count indictment was unsealed today following the arrest of Troy Stratos, 45, currently of Los Angeles. He is charged with 11 counts of wire and mail fraud, two counts of money laundering, and one count of obstruction of justice. Stratos was arrested this morning in Los Angeles and will make an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia G. Rosenberg at 2:00 p.m. today.

According to the indictment, Stratos defrauded a woman of at least $7 million by convincing her that he would manage the proceeds of her divorce by investing them overseas where they would earn a high rate of return. Stratos represented to the woman that he was himself wealthy and successful and involved in the entertainment industry. At Stratos’s request and instruction, the woman executed a revocable trust with Stratos in Fair Oaks into which she placed the cash proceeds of her divorce and houses. Stratos then opened a bank account in Florida connected with the trust. The indictment alleges that Stratos never invested any money overseas as he promised. Instead, he diverted substantial sums of money from the trust for his own personal use. He also used portions of the money to pay the woman’s expenses, misrepresenting to her that he was spending his own money to pay for her expenses.

The indictment alleges that Stratos told the woman that he knew members of Middle Eastern royal families and that he could broker the sale of her house in Granite Bay to them. To facilitate the sale, Stratos convinced the woman that she needed to lease luxury automobiles to make the property more enticing and that they would be purchased as part of a package deal with the house. At Stratos’s request and instruction, the woman leased several luxury cars. In fact, Stratos lived in the house and made use of the automobiles, and there was never any deal arranged to sell the property to a royal family. After much of the initial cash assets had been used by Stratos, he convinced the woman to refinance several homes she owned to pull out equity, including in Granite Bay and Sacramento. Stratos told the woman this was necessary to cover her expenses while her assets were invested overseas. In fact, Stratos never invested any assets overseas, and Stratos used portions of the equity derived from refinancing the houses to pay for his own expenses.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:36 am


SANTA ANA - A travel manager was sentenced Friday to 12 years in state prison for embezzling $825,000 to fraudulently book trips and purchase personal luxury items. Jeremy Kealoha Belisario, 38, formerly of Irvine, pleaded guilty Dec. 16, 2011, to one felony count each of grand theft by an employee and fraudulently using an access card for Case # 08NF0476. He pleaded guilty to felonies in Case # 08HF1938 including  two counts of grand theft,  two counts of identity theft, two counts of acquiring access card information without permission, one count of embezzlement by an employee, and admitted to sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $500,000 and property damage over $150,000. He was sentenced to 12 years in state prison, was ordered to pay over $1million in restitution, and was fined an additional $1.6 million payable to the County of Orange.

Case # 08NF0476
Between June 2006 and July 2007, Belisario was employed as a manager at TravelCorp USA Inc. in Anaheim. During his employment, the defendant fraudulently purchased 13 separate airline reservations for himself and his boyfriend using a debit card from the defendant’s closed personal bank account. The defendant was able to force the transactions through by entering a fake authorization code after the bank had initially declined the purchases. The bank had closed the account due to numerous bad checks being written by the defendant.

He was sentenced to two years in state prison concurrent to Case # 08HF1938 and ordered to pay over $24,800 in restitution.


Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress