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April 27, 2012

sex crimes, underage girl

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 8:38 am

LOS ANGELES – A 10-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has been charged in a felony complaint for arrest warrant for allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with an underage girl, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Manuel Enrique Perallon Jr., 36 (dob 4/26/76), is charged in case No. BA396751 with one felony count of oral copulation of a person under 18 and misdemeanor child molesting.

Perallon, who was arrested yesterday and is out on $70,000 bond, is expected to be arraigned on May 16 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. The case was filed for warrant on April 23.

The alleged offenses involve one victim and occurred between April 29 and May 1, 2011. At the time of the alleged crimes, Perallon was assigned to Cerritos Station where he oversaw the Explorer Program. The defendant met the victim, who was 16 at the time, through the program.

If convicted as charged, Perallon faces a maximum prison term of four years.

MAN CONVICTED OF ARSON AND ANIMAL CRUELTY FOR SETTING FIRES INSIDE HOME AND KILLING DOG BY SLITTING HIS THROAT

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 8:36 am

SANTA ANA - A man was convicted today for setting fires inside his Stanton home and killing his dog, Dexter, by poisoning him and slitting his throat. Jaime Arturo Garcia, 31, Stanton, pleaded guilty to the court to one felony count of arson of an inhabited property, one felony count of animal cruelty, and one misdemeanor count of unlawfully causing a fire to property and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. He is expected to be sentenced to four years and eight months in state prison at his sentencing on May 7, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-49, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On the afternoon of July 24, 2011, Garcia closed all the doors and windows of the Stanton home he shared with his two sisters and set several small fires inside the home by lighting piles of clothing on fire. The fires caused damage to cabinets in the laundry room but did not spread throughout the house.  His sisters were not home at the time.

After the fires had burned out, Garcia poisoned his 7-year-old dog Dexter, a dachshund mix, by feeding him various pills. He then used a large kitchen knife and cut Dexter’s throat. The bleeding dog ran around the house and into the bedroom, where he died on Garcia’s bed.

One of Garcia’s sisters returned home to find the house filled with smoke and called 911. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, who investigated this case, responded to the scene. The Orange County Fire Authority also responded to the scene. Deputies discovered Dexter in the bedroom and his blood on the floors and walls throughout the home.

April 26, 2012

T.S.A. Screeners at LAX Arrested on Federal Drug Trafficking and Corruption Charges for Allegedly Taking Cash Payments to Allow Multi-Kilogram Quantities of Narcotics to Pass Through Security

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 7:50 am

LOS ANGELES – Two former and two current Transportation Security Administration screeners at Los Angeles International Airport have been arrested on federal narcotics trafficking and bribery charges for allegedly taking cash payments to allow large shipments of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana to pass through the X-ray machines at TSA security checkpoints.

In addition to the current and former TSA officials, one drug courier is currently in state custody, and another drug courier is expected to surrender tomorrow. Authorities are continuing to search for another alleged drug courier named in a 22-count grand jury indictment that was unsealed this morning.

The indictment outlines five specific incidents in which current and former TSA employees took payments of as much as $2,400 to allow suitcases filled with drugs to pass through X-ray machines while TSA screeners looked the other way.

“Airport screeners act as a vital checkpoint for homeland security, and air travelers should believe in the fundamental integrity of security systems at our nation’s airports,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The allegations in this case describe a significant breakdown of the screening system through the conduct of individuals who placed greed above the nation’s security needs.”

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Six Face Federal Wire Fraud Charges in Real Estate ‘Flipping’ Scheme that Cost Victims More Than $4 Million

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:48 am

SANTA ANA, California – Federal prosecutors have charged six people – including women from Orange County and Tennessee who were arrested this week – in relation to a multi-million dollar real estate “flipping” scheme in which investors were promised title to homes that could be easily resold, but in fact did not have “clean” titles, were uninhabitable, or were simply worthless.

According to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on April 18, the six defendants participated in a real estate scheme in which they sold victims Real Estate Owned – REO, or bank owned – properties for as much as $45,000. Even though the defendants had paid less than $10,000 per property, they told buyers that the properties were valuable and could be resold – or flipped – for a profit within a year.

During a scheme that ran from mid-2009 through mid-2010, victims were promised that the properties came with clean titles, property management services and guaranteed rentals for the first three months, according to the indictment. Furthermore, the defendants allegedly claimed they had an “exit strategy” in which buyers could choose to sell the properties back to them for $60,000.

In some cases, victims did not receive the properties because they simply did not exist. In other cases, the properties were condemned or other issues with the titles meant victims were not able to take control of the properties. Of those victims who did receive titles, some found that the titles were encumbered by tax liens, fines or building code violations. Furthermore, the indictment alleges that investor funds were immediately disbursed upon receipt, rather than being held in escrow.

The indictment alleges that there are more than three dozen victims who suffered losses of at least $4.2 million.

The defendants solicited investors to purchase properties at seminars held in Irvine and Costa Mesa; Orlando, Florida; Dallas, Texas; and in “webinars” conducted on the Internet.

This six defendants named in the indictment are:

Sylvia Melkonian, 48, of Laguna Beach, who was arrested yesterday morning by special agents with the FBI;

Sheridan Snyder, 65, of Turtletown, Tennessee, who was also arrested yesterday by the FBI;

Andrew Wardein, 38, of Irvine, who surrendered to authorities on April 20 and was released on a $25,000 bond after a judge scheduled a trial in the case for June 12;

Craig Shults, 41, of Huntington Beach, who has agreed to appear for an arraignment in federal court tomorrow afternoon;

Paul LiCausi, 47, of Fort Pierce, Florida, who is expect to appear in court in Santa Ana on April 30; and

Joseph Haymore, 31, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, who is also expected to appear in court in Santa Ana on April 30.

After being arrested yesterday, Melkonian was arraigned in federal court in Santa Ana, where she pleaded not guilty and was released on a $20,000 bond. Snyder appeared yesterday in United States District Court in Tennessee and was released on a $30,000 bond with instructions to appear in federal court in Santa Ana on May 14 for an arraignment.

All of the defendants named in the indictment are named in at least five counts of wire fraud. Therefore, if they are convicted, each defendant would face statutory maximum sentences of at least 100 years in federal prison.

Boyfriend Charged in Reseda Woman’s Killing

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 7:46 am

Boyfriend Charged in Reseda Woman’s Killing

VAN NUYS – A 21-year-old man was charged today with the murder of his girlfriend at her Reseda apartment, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

James Howard Jr. (dob 4/26/90) is charged in case No. LA070782 with one count of murder with the special allegation that he personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a sharp instrument, in the Feb. 2 killing. The complaint further alleges a 2010 robbery conviction out of Los Angeles County.

Deputy District Attorney Nancy Yaghoubian said Howard is expected to be arraigned today in Department 100 of Van Nuys Superior Court.

The victim, Sharilit Matthews, 41, was found in her home about a week after the murder, the prosecutor said.

The defendant’s bail is recommended at $1.070 million. If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison.

April 25, 2012

Former Sheriff’s Deputy Pleads to Making a Criminal Threat

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 11:00 am

LOS ANGELES – A former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy charged with breaking into his ex-fiance’s residence and threatening her boyfriend with a gun pleaded no contest today to making a criminal threat, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Alfred Coletta with the Justice System Integrity Division said Reymundo Lainez, 43, was immediately sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson to 90 days in county jail or private municipal jail.

Lainez, who pleaded to a felony and a strike offense, was placed on five years formal probation and ordered to complete one year of domestic violence or anger management counseling. He was ordered to stay away from the victims in this case while on probation.

The off-duty sheriff’s deputy broke into his former fiance’s Pasadena residence on April 17, 2010, and pointed a gun at her boyfriend. He first threatened the man, and then punched him.

In exchange for his plea, one count each of first-degree burglary with a person present and assault with a firearm, both felonies, and one misdemeanor count of battery were dismissed.

REAL ESTATE AGENT SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON FOR CONSPIRACY WITH DAUGHTERS AND SON-IN-LAW TO COMMIT OVER $16 MILLION IN REAL ESTATE FRAUD

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 10:58 am

SANTA ANA - A mother was sentenced today to eight years in state prison for conspiring with her two daughters and a son-in-law to commit over $16 million in real estate fraud by forging documents and purchasing homes using “straw buyers.” A straw buyer is a person who knowingly and willingly allows their credit to be used for the purchase of a property they never intend to control.

Sushama Devi Lohia, 74, Newport Beach, pleaded guilty to a court offer Dec. 12, 2011, to 12 felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 27 felony counts of forgery, 12 felony count of grand theft, eight felony counts of failure to file, four felony counts of identity theft, four felony counts of recording false and forged instrument, two felony counts of underreporting income and sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $3.2 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000.

Co-Defendants
Lohia’s daughter, Supriti Soni, 51, is charged with nine felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 17 felony counts of forgery, one felony count of identity theft, 12 felony counts of grand theft, with sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $3.2 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and a 2003 prison prior for perjury.

Lohia’s other daughter, Suniti Shah, 50, and Suniti Shah’s husband, Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah, 62, are both charged with five felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 13 felony counts of forgery, four felony counts of identity theft, four felony counts of recording false and forged instrument, five felony counts of grand theft, and sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $1.3 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000.

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GANG MEMBER SENTENCED TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE PLUS 30 TO LIFE FOR ROLE IN SHOOTING-MURDER OF TEEN

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 10:56 am

SANTA ANA - A gang member was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 30 years to life for his role in the shooting-murder of a 16-year-old. Sarith Yin, 25, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury Jan. 19, 2012, of one felony count each of murder, street terrorism, possession of a firearm by a felon, and sentencing enhancements for murder committed for a criminal street gang purpose, criminal street gang activity, and the vicarious discharge of a firearm by a gang member causing death. Yin has a prior strike conviction for street terrorism in 2008 and prior convictions for second degree burglary and possession of gang-related burglar tools in 2008 and vehicle theft in 2005.

Yin’s co-defendant, John Saway, 25, is charged (Case #10CF0133) with one felony count each of murder, street terrorism, possession of a firearm by a felon, attempted murder, assault with a firearm, and sentencing enhancements for murder committed for a criminal street gang purpose, criminal street gang activity, the vicarious discharge of a firearm by a gang member causing death, and the personal use of a firearm. Saway has a prior strike conviction for possession of a firearm by a felon for the benefit of a criminal street gang in 2008 and prior convictions for possession of a firearm by a felon in 2008 and vehicle theft in 2005.  If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional life sentence. He is scheduled to face jury trial April 23, 2012, in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

The following facts were presented in the trial against Yin. Saway is accused of the following:

At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Jan. 10, 2010, a confrontation erupted on a Tustin residential street between a group of male teenagers and Santa Ana criminal street gang members. The gang members returned to a nearby apartment and called Yin and Saway.

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April 24, 2012

Pueblo Bishops Bloods Gang Member Pleads Guilty in Racketeering Case and Admits Involvement in Previously Unsolved Murders

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 8:00 am

LOS ANGELES – A member of the Pueblo Bishops Bloods, a criminal street gang that had used violence and intimidation to control the Pueblo del Rio housing project in South Los Angeles, pleaded guilty this morning to federal racketeering charges, specifically admitting that he was involved in the murders of two people not affiliated with any gang in attacks that had been unsolved prior to a federal RICO indictment, announced United States Attorney André Birotte Jr., whose office is handling the prosecution of the case.

Marquis Edwards, 22, of Los Angeles, who was known by the moniker “Baby Uzi,” pleaded guilty this morning and acknowledged participating in separate shooting attacks that killed a teenager in 2006 and a woman in 2007.  Edwards also acknowledged participating in an attack in which bullets were fired at a group mourning the death of the youth killed by members of the Pueblo Bishops Bloods gang.

Appearing this morning before United States District Judge S. James Otero, Edwards admitted that he and other Pueblo Bishops gang members participated in a September 4, 2006 ambush attack on a group of young people.  Edwards jumped out of one of the vehicles involved in the attack, chased the victims and shot 15-year-old Jose Maldonado at close range. Maldonado – a high school honors student who was not affiliated with any gang – bled to death on his own driveway. Two other Latino youths with Maldonado were also shot and injured during the shooting.

On the night Maldonado was killed, Edwards and another gang member returned to the site of the murder, where family members had gathered for a vigil and to clean up Maldonado’s blood. The other gang member shot into the vigil crowd, injuring one.

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Pair Pleads Today in Massive Ponzi Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:59 am

POMONA – Two Diamond Bar women charged with defrauding seven people out nearly $600,000 pleaded no contest today and were immediately sentenced to three years in county jail and ordered to repay the victims, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Maricela Barajas, 42, whose true name is Maricela Torres, pleaded no contest to seven counts of securities fraud and was sentenced by Pomona Superior Court Judge Mike Camacho to three years in state prison, to be served in county jail, said Deputy District Attorney James Belna of the Major Fraud Division.

Juliana Celeste Menefee, 51, also pleaded no contest to seven counts of securities fraud, but her case was heard in a different courtroom. She was sentenced by Pomona Superior Court Commissioner Wade Olson to three years in state prison, to be served in county jail.

Belna said both women were ordered to pay a total of $590,000, or nearly $300,000 each, to the same seven victims whom they defrauded.

Belna said Torres and Menefee, along with co-defendant Eva Perez, 52, told victims they were investing in a contract with the Alta Dena Dairy to sell milk exclusively to Disneyland.

More than 30 people from throughout Los Angeles County invested between $2,000 to $100,000 with the three women and were promised extraordinary rates of return, Belna said. The three ran the large-scale Ponzi scheme between June 2008 to August 2010.

Perez, who’s serving a 10-year state prison sentence after pleading guilty in San Bernardino County court in 2010 to the same scheme, pleaded no contest on April 19 to seven counts of securities fraud and one count of using a device to defraud. She was sentenced by Commissioner Olson to three years in state prison, to be served consecutively with her current prison sentence.

Belna said Perez, the ringleader, was ordered to repay $1,037,225 in restitution.

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