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May 31, 2012

FORMER HEAD OF WORLDWIDE SALES AT CALIFORNIA VALVE COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO FOREIGN BRIBERY OFFENSE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:16 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The former head of worldwide sales at a Rancho Santa Margarita-based valve company pleaded guilty today to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), announced the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Paul Cosgrove, 65, of Laguna Niguel, who was an executive vice president at Control Components Inc. (CCI), pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge James V. Selna. Cosgrove pleaded guilty to a one-count superseding information charging him with making a corrupt payment to a foreign government official in China in violation of the FCPA.

Judge Selna is scheduled to sentence Cosgrove on August 27, at which time the defendant faces 15 months in federal prison.

According to court documents, CCI designed and manufactured service control valves for use in the nuclear, oil and gas, and power generation industries worldwide.

On Apr. 8, 2009, Cosgrove and five other former executives of CCI were charged in a 16-count indictment for their roles in the foreign bribery scheme.  The five other former CCI executives charged were Stuart Carson, CCI’s former president; Hong “Rose” Carson, CCI’s former director of sales for China and Taiwan; David Edmonds, CCI’s former vice president of worldwide customer service; Flavio Ricotti, the former CCI vice president of sales for Europe, Africa and the Middle East; and Han Yong Kim, the former president of CCI’s Korean office.  On Apr. 28, 2011, Ricotti pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.  On Apr. 17, 2012, Stuart Carson and Hong “Rose” Carson each pleaded guilty to one count of making a corrupt payment to a foreign government official in violation of the FCPA.  The trial of Edmonds is scheduled for Jun. 26, 2012.  The charges against Kim are pending.  An indictment merely contains allegations and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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ATF Undercover Operation in the Valley Recovers 13 Firearms

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 4:14 am

LOS ANGELES – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced the arrests of five defendants for various federal firearms and narcotics violations during an undercover investigation dubbed “Operation Hollywood Confidential.”

In June 2010, ATF initiated the investigation that targeted firearm traffickers in Hollywood and San Fernando Valley area after receiving information that individuals were trafficking firearms in those areas. A confidential informant working undercover on behalf of ATF was able to contact a number of those individuals and negotiate the purchase of 13 illegal firearms and narcotics in the San Fernando Valley.

“ATF’s number one priority is to combat violent crime by targeting the criminals that supply the tools of the trade and the violent offenders that plague our communities,” said Steven J. Bogdalek, ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division. “This investigation disrupted several firearm trafficking suspects that were also supplying narcotics in the west valley of Los Angeles.”

The following eight defendants are named in seven federal criminal indictments and charged with the following:

•Sandy Simpronio, 48, of Sunland, was arrested May 23. Simpronio is charged with distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine on premise where a minor is present, engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, and felon in possession of a firearm.

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Former Middle School Teacher Convicted in Child Sex Abuse Case

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:11 am

LOS ANGELES – Following a day of deliberations, jurors today convicted a former middle school teacher accused of sexually abusing two teenage girls, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Antonio Gomez, 41, of Downey was convicted of 12 counts of lewd act upon a child with a special allegation found true that the defendant committed the offenses on more than one victim. Jurors also found true an allegation that the defendant had substantial sexual conduct with one victim under age 14.

Deputy District Attorney Martha Carrillo of the Sex Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance Ito ordered the defendant remanded into custody without bail. Gomez is expected to be sentenced on June 27 in Department 110 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 22 years in state prison.

The offenses, which took place between June 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006, involve two former students who at the time of the offenses were between the ages of 13 and 15.

Gomez was a physical education teacher at Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School in East Los Angeles.

May 30, 2012

TEENAGE COUPLE TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR CONSPIRING TO MURDER FRIEND AND POSTING THREATS ON VICTIM'S FACEBOOK

NEWPORT BEACH - A teenage couple will be arraigned today for conspiring to murder the friend of the 18-year-old female defendant and posting threats on his Facebook page. Fernando Sanchez, 17, Santa Ana, is charged as an adult with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, criminal threats, and shooting at an inhabited dwelling house with sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm and the personal use of a firearm. Co-defendant Jessica Gascon, 18, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and shooting at an inhabited dwelling house.

If convicted on all counts, Sanchez and Gascon face a maximum sentence of 55 years to life and 25 years to life in state prison, respectively. The defendants are being held on $1 million bail and are scheduled to be arraigned this morning, May 25, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. in Department H-2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

On the evening of April 10, 2012, Gascon is accused of meeting 20-year-old John Doe and his friends and then leaving at approximately 10:00 p.m.

Late on the night of April 10, 2012, Gascon is accused of telling her boyfriend Sanchez that John Doe made unwanted sexual advances toward her and the defendants are accused of conspiring to drive to John Doe’s home to murder him.

At approximately 12:00 a.m., on April 11, 2012, Sanchez and Gascon are accused of driving to John Doe’s home. Gascon is accused of calling the victim from her cell phone and asking John Doe to meet her outside. Once the victim exited his residence, Sanchez is accused of approaching him and confronting John Doe. Sanchez is accused of brandishing a gun and as the victim fled, he is accused of shooting at John Doe. Sanchez is accused of shooting into a neighboring residence in the 500 block of Wilson Street in Costa Mesa as he shot at the victim. John Doe was unharmed.

After receiving calls of shots fired, the Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) arrived at the scene to investigate.

On April 11, 2012, Sanchez is accused of posting criminal threats against John Doe on Facebook.

On May 1, 2012, CMPD officers arrested both defendants at their respective homes.

Man Who Operated Allegedly Fraudulent Firm that Promised Profits from Internet Ads Arrives in U.S. after Being Fugitive for 12 Years

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 8:25 am

LOS ANGELES – A former resident of Newport Beach who fled the country in 1999 after federal authorities executed a search warrant at his allegedly fraudulent Internet company arrived in the United States today after being deported earlier this week from Malaysia.

James S. Eberhart, 71 arrived this morning at Los Angeles International Airport and is expected to make his initial appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles.

The FBI received a tip as to Eberhart’s whereabouts in Maylasia. The FBI had actively been seeking information from the public on its website (see: http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wcc/james-stanley-eberhart/view). The FBI Legal Attaché in Kuala Lumpur coordinated the information with authorities in Maylasia. Malaysia deported Eberhart because his United States passport had expired.

A 2002 grand jury indictment alleges that Eberhart and another man – Eugene M Carriere – operated a fraudulent Newport Beach company called YES Entertainment Network, Inc. Eberhart is specifically charged with 11 counts of mail fraud and 9 counts of money laundering.

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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Sentencing of Two Men for Music Piracy

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 8:22 am

LOS ANGELES — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that two Los Angeles residents have each been sentenced to 300 days in county jail and 3 years probation for selling counterfeit CDs containing popular music.

Juan Lucas Camacho, 39, and Jose Pablo Almaraz, 38, each pled guilty to one felony count of failure to disclose the origin of a recording that they offered for sale. Camacho had been convicted in 2008 for a similar crime. They were sentenced on May 21 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

“Copyright theft like this infringes upon the rights of writers, musicians, and producers,” said Attorney General Harris. “California’s eCrime Unit is dedicated to prosecuting cases involving the trafficking of intellectual property, whether online or on the street.”

The charges are based on the sale of 800 counterfeit CDs to undercover Department of Justice agents on April 17, 2012 in the parking lot of a Los Angeles Home Depot store for $480, or approximately $.60 per CD. Artists whose counterfeit CDs were sold included Jorge Santa Cruz and Pitbull. Camacho claimed the ability to fabricate 80,000 to 100,000 CDs per week and that 800 CDs was too small of a sale to repeat.

In April, the defendants were arrested and charged with five felony counts, including conspiracy and counterfeit of a registered trademark. Upon admitting guilt, the remaining counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Camacho was given credit for 36 days already served, and Almaraz for 19 days served.

May 29, 2012

MAN CHARGED WITH STRANGULATION-MURDER OF WIFE IN IRVINE APARTMENT

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 8:08 am

SANTA ANA - A man has been charged with strangling and murdering his wife in their Irvine apartment. Shalabh Rastogi, 39, Irvine, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. The People will request Rastogi be held without bail at his arraignment today, Wednesday, May 23, 2012, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

At the time of the crime, Rastogi is accused of having marital trouble with his 40-year-old wife Jalina George, with whom he had three school-aged children.

At approximately 9:40 p.m. on May 21, 2012, the defendant is accused of strangling and murdering George in a bedroom of their Irvine apartment. He is accused of leaving the victim’s body in the bedroom closet and then calling the police.

The Irvine Police Department, who investigated this case, immediately responded to the scene and arrested the defendant without incident.

The couple’s three children were not home at the time and are now in protective custody.

CITY JAIL GUARD CONVICTED OF ACCEPTING iPAD AND OTHER BRIBES IN EXCHANGE FOR ALLOWING INMATE PROHIBITED CONTRABAND AND UNAUTHORIZED PERSONAL VISITS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 8:07 am

WESTMINSTER - A detention center officer at the Seal Beach City Jail was convicted and sentenced today for accepting bribes, including an iPad and money, in exchange for allowing an inmate prohibited contraband and visitor contacts. Jose Alday, 33, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty to one felony count of an officer receiving bribes, one felony count of possession for sale of a controlled substance, and one misdemeanor count of possession of controlled substance paraphernalia. He was sentenced to two years in state prison, $3,000 in restitution, is forever disqualified from holding any public office or employment, including law enforcement, in the State of California, and was ordered to forfeit his employment at the Seal Beach City Jail.

At the time of the crime, Alday had worked as a non-sworn detention center officer at the Seal Beach City Jail for approximately four years.

Between July 1, 2011, and Dec. 25, 2011, Alday accepted bribes from an inmate on multiple occasions while working in his official capacity. The defendant allowed unsearched visitors to enter the jail to have unauthorized contact with this inmate. He allowed prohibited contraband, including alcohol, to be brought into the jail for the inmate. These crimes occurred while Alday was working alone and other officers were not present.

In exchange for allowing and facilitating the unauthorized visits and contraband, Alday received bribes including money, an iPad, a cell phone, two leather jackets, and other items.  These items were brought to the defendant by the inmate’s visitors.

The Seal Beach Police Department (SBPD) received a tip in December 2011 and began investigating this case. Alday was arrested Dec. 25, 2011, by SBPD while at work.

At the time of his arrest, the defendant was in possession of a substantial amount of anabolic steroids at the jail. During a subsequent search of the defendant’s home, Alday was in possession of a used methamphetamine pipe.

MAN LINKED THROUGH DNA CONVICTED OF COLD-CASE RAPE AND MURDER OF 42-YEAR-OLD ANAHEIM MARKET OWNER

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 8:05 am

SANTA ANA - A man was convicted today of raping and murdering a 42-year-old woman behind the counter of her Anaheim market after being linked to the crime through DNA. Louis Roger Acosta Jr., 41, was found guilty in a court trial by the Honorable William Froeberg of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of rape and faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole at his sentencing Aug. 31, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

In the early morning hours of June 4, 1998, Acosta entered the D&D Market in Anaheim where 42-year-old store owner Dung Duong was known to sleep behind the counter when the market was closed. Acosta is accused of repeatedly beating the victim in the head with a blunt object and then raping her on the small makeshift mattress behind the counter as she bled.

After raping Duong, Acosta fled the scene. The victim bled to death as a result of the injuries to her head and was discovered several hours later, at approximately 11:30 a.m., after a regular customer saw Duong in a pool of blood through the store window.

The case went unsolved until 2004, when Acosta was linked to the crime through DNA while serving time in Washington for robbery.

May 28, 2012

O.C. Investment Advisor Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison in Ponzi Scheme That Caused Nearly $7 Million in Losses

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 8:33 am

SANTA ANA, California – The owner and operator of a Santa Ana investment firm was sentenced today to 144 months in federal prison for operating a Ponzi scheme that collected more than $10 million from approximately 36 victims, many of whom were elderly residents of Orange County and Los Angeles County.

Richard H. Nickles, 59, of Irvine, who was the owner of Innovative Advisory Services, Inc., was sentenced by United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney. In addition to the prison term, Judge Carney ordered Nickles to pay $6.8 million in restitution.

“Investment fraud schemes that target senior citizens are particularly sinister,” said United States Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. “Mr. Nickles went to great lengths to disguise the criminal nature of his scheme, and his actions caused harm to many investors, including the elderly victims who trusted his false promises. This lengthy sentence in federal prison should serve as a warning to others who want to follow in Mr. Nickles’ footsteps: the end of the line for con men is a prison cell.”

Nickles pleaded guilty in June 2011 to mail fraud and securities fraud, admitting that his scheme raised more than $10 million and three dozen victims suffered losses of approximately $6.8 million because some of the money was returned to investors during the course of the scheme.

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