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August 31, 2012

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Sentencing of Kern Valley Health District Hospital Administrator

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 3:37 pm

BAKERSFIELD — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the sentencing of the former hospital administrator of Kern Valley Health District, a rare case in which a hospital administrator is being held criminally responsible for conduct by a lower-ranked employee.

Pamela Ott, former hospital administrator of the Kern Valley Health District, pled no contest to one felony count of conspiracy to commit an act injurious to the public health based on her failure to adequately supervise the Director of Nursing. During Ott’s tenure as administrator, Director of Nursing Gwen Hughes administered psychotropic medications to 23 elderly residents in order to chemically restrain them for staff convenience. Three patients died.

“Ott neglected her responsibility to monitor the practices of her employees and, in doing so, she endangered the health and well-being of vulnerable residents,” Attorney General Harris said. “California has strong laws to prevent elder abuse and we will enforce them so we can protect the most vulnerable among us.”

Ott was sentenced to three years formal probation, 300 hours of volunteer service, restitution pending conclusion of civil lawsuits. She is required to comply with all orders from the Registered Nursing Board, which is conducting its own investigation into the matter.


Federal Authorities Charge 43 People Linked to Drug-Trafficking Groups that Brought Large Quantities of Narcotics from Mexico

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney, Los Angeles Drug Attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 3:35 pm

LOS ANGELES – Federal agents this morning arrested 17 defendants and executed search warrants at a dozen locations across Southern California – including a Van Nuys taco shop and a North Hollywood auto repair business – linked to a network of drug trafficking cells and Mexico-based suppliers that imported large quantities of Mexican cocaine, heroin and high-purity crystal methamphetamine into the Los Angeles area.

Those arrested today are among 43 defendants named in federal charges stemming from an 10-month wiretap investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Torrance Police Department and IRS-Criminal Investigation. According to a criminal complaint unsealed this morning, the investigation uncovered a loose-knit ring of drug importers, couriers and distributors operating throughout Southern California.

The criminal complaint names 43 defendants, 17 of whom were arrested this morning. Four more defendants were already in federal custody. Authorities are continuing to search for 22 defendants, most of whom are believed to be in Mexico at this time.

The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint discusses four loosely related drug-distribution cells, one of which is allegedly operated by the owner of a San Fernando Valley auto shop. According to the affidavit, Gerardo Celis Gaytan, 41, of Sun Valley, who operates Campos Auto Repair in North Hollywood, was heard on federal wiretaps discussing loads of heroin and other drugs smuggled from Mexico in vehicles his auto repair shop had outfitted with hidden compartments.



WASHINGTON – William J. Ferry, a former stock broker and investment advisor, and Dennis J. Clinton, a former real estate investment manager, were found guilty by a federal jury in Santa Ana, Calif., today for their roles in a conspiracy to defraud a wealthy investor of $1 billion in a high-yield investment fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.  The investor was, in reality, part of an undercover FBI team that posed as wealthy investors and investment managers in an effort to stop fraudsters before they actually harmed victims.

“Mr. Ferry and Mr. Clinton tried to dupe undercover agents into believing their high-yield investment program would earn them extremely high rates of return,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer.  “In fact, Ferry and Clinton were conspiring to steal their money, along with the money of trusting investors.  Undercover operations are an integral part of our efforts to stop financial fraudsters before they wipe out the life savings of innocent victims.  Based on today’s verdict, the defendants will now pay a heavy price for their conduct.”

Ferry, 70, of Newport Beach , Calif., and Clinton, 64, of San Diego, were each found guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California of one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud and six counts of wire fraud.  They face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each fraud count.  They will be sentenced on Feb. 1, 2013.

Paul R. Martin, a former senior vice president and managing director of Bankers Trust, was found guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California for his role in the scheme in a separate trial on Aug. 3, 2012.  Martin, 63, of New Jersey, was convicted of one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud and six counts of wire fraud.  At sentencing, scheduled for Feb. 1, 2013, Martin faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on each fraud count.


August 30, 2012

Pacific Health Corporation and Three of Its Southland Hospitals Agree to Pay $16.5 Million in Cases Stemming from Illegal Kickback Scheme

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 5:55 pm

Marketers Were Paid to Recruit Homeless from L.A.’s ‘Skid Row’ To Undergo Often Unnecessary Treatments that Were Billed to Medicare and Medi-Cal

LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles-based hospital chain has agreed to pay $16.5 million to resolve allegations that several of its subsidiary hospitals participated in an illegal kickback scheme in which so-called marketers were paid to recruit homeless persons from locations such as downtown Los Angeles’ “Skid Row” and bring them to Southland hospitals regardless of medical necessity, which allowed the hospitals to improperly submit bills to Medicare and Medi-Cal.

A global resolution of civil and criminal investigations conducted by the United States and the State of California was announced today when federal prosecutors filed a criminal case against Los Angeles Doctor’s Hospital, Inc. (LADH), which has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to defraud Medicare and Medi-Cal through the payment of illegal kickbacks to the marketers.

“To root out and deter those who seek to exploit publicly funded health care programs, we need to pursue all available remedies – civil, criminal, and administrative,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The guilty plea, civil settlement agreement, and corporate compliance agreement that we are announcing today – the result of efforts of civil and criminal attorneys in my office and officials at the Department of Health and Human Services – reflect this approach and should remind unscrupulous health care providers of our determination to bring to justice those who exploit federal and state public health programs for their personal gain.”


Long Beach-Based Health Plan Pays Nearly $320 Million to Settle Allegations that it Received Overpayments for Medi-Cal Patients

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 5:52 pm

SCAN Health Plan Pays Another $3.82 Million to Resolve Claims of Inflated ‘Risk Adjustment Scores’ that Increased Reimbursements from Medicare Part C

LOS ANGELES – In the largest recovery ever obtained from a single Medi-Cal provider, a Long Beach-based managed care health plan has paid $319.85 million to resolve allegations that it received overpayments from Medi-Cal.

On August 10, 2012, SCAN Health Plan paid $129,380,632 to the federal government and $190,470,301 to the State of California to resolve an investigation into overpayments for services provided to long-term-care patients.

Medi-Cal, which is California’s Medicaid program, is jointly funded by the federal government and the State of California. The federal government’s investigation found that the State of California paid SCAN rates for long-term-care-certified (LTC) patients that were over the legal ceiling set by a California statute and regulations.

“This massive settlement demonstrates the commitment of the United States Justice Department to eradicate fraud, waste, and abuse in this nation’s public health care programs,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “We want the entire health care industry to know that we will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that the taxpayers are getting what they pay for when they finance public health programs.”


Teen Charged with Attempted Murder in Cigar Shop Heist

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 5:48 pm

TORRANCE – An 18-year-old Los Angeles man was charged today with attempted murder and other charges after he allegedly robbed a Manhattan Beach cigar store on Aug. 16 and slashed the clerk’s throat, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Tyler Lee Rodgers, (dob 1-25-94), is scheduled to be arraigned today at Torrance Superior Court, Division 4, said Deputy District Attorney Lisa Houle. Prosecutors will ask that his bail be set at $2 million.

He is charged in case YA085322 with one felony count each of attempted murder, kidnapping to commit another crime and second-degree robbery. The complaint included gun and great bodily injury allegations and that he has prior felony convictions.
Rodgers allegedly walked into The Cigar and Smoke Shop last Thursday, pulled a shotgun from a cardboard box and forced the clerk to the back of the store. He then allegedly handcuffed the clerk, took money from the register and slashed the victim’s throat with a knife.
If convicted, he faces up to life in state prison.

August 29, 2012


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 5:32 pm

*Defendant and co-defendant left victim in a coma for three years and were charged with murder after the victim’s death

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for the beating-murder of a 77-year-old WWII veteran on Veterans Day. The victim was left in a coma for over three years until he died as a direct result of his injuries sustained in the 2003 attack. John Kirk McKinney, 30, Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury May 21, 2012, of one felony count of second degree murder.

Co-defendant Curtis James Hill, 29, Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury Nov. 1, 2011, of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of a robbery. Hill was sentenced Dec. 16, 2011, to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

At approximately 4:45 a.m. on Nov. 11, 2003, McKinney and Hill entered the parked van of 77-year-old Cecil Warren. The victim, who was working as a handyman cleaning the Huntington Beach bank parking lot where his van was parked, noticed the defendants in his van. When Warren asked Hill and McKinney what they were doing, the defendants attacked the victim. The defendants hit and kicked Warren in the head, robbed him of his wallet, and left the victim on the ground before fleeing the scene.

Approximately 30 minutes later, a pedestrian found Warren bleeding and moaning on the ground in the parking lot and called 911. The victim gave police a brief description of the two defendants before losing consciousness. Warren was transported to the hospital, where he spent the next three and a half years in a coma.


Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Charges in Online World War II Nickel Scam

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 5:30 pm

LOS ANGELES — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced that Abraham Lew Berlin has been charged with nine counts of grand theft for selling counterfeit rare coins on an Internet auction site.

In September and October 2011, Berlin, 63, of Culver City, used his eBay account to list 13 sealed bags supposedly containing Silver War Nickels dated between 1942 and 1945. Berlin then began receiving payments from several customers believing they were purchasing the Silver War Nickels.

When customers did not receive their items despite numerous attempts to contact Berlin, they each filed claims with eBay. The online auction site reimbursed every customer which resulted in significant losses. Berlin made more than $80,000 in the scam.

According to the U.S. Mint, during World War II the five-cent coin was made of an alloy of copper, manganese, and silver. Nickel was kept aside for use in the war effort.

Berlin, who has an extensive criminal history that includes convictions for theft, mail fraud, check fraud, and fraud schemes, pled not guilty to all nine charges of grand theft.  His next scheduled court date is November 7.

Man Charged in 1977 Long Beach Rape and Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:28 pm

LONG BEACH – An Antioch man was charged today with the 34-year-old rape and murder of a young mother who was found dead in her home two days after Christmas with her 13-month-old child sitting beside the body.

Deputy District Attorney Jodi Castano filed the capital murder case against Martell Nathaniel Chubbs, who was arrested yesterday by Long Beach police. He appeared for arraignment this afternoon, but the proceeding was put over until Sept. 11 in Department J of Long Beach Superior Court.

Case No. NA 093179 charges Chubbs, 53 (dob 7-31-1959), with the Dec. 27, 1977, murder of 17-year-old Shelley H. Her last name was not listed in the complaint. The complaint alleged the special circumstances of rape and burglary. A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made as the case moves closer to trial.

Authorities said the coroner determined the victim died of asphyxia, but she also had superficial stab wounds. Her little girl, who was found beside her, was not wounded.

Chubbs was linked to the crime after Long Beach Police Detectives took another look at the old murder. Slides of bodily fluids taken by the coroner at the time of the autopsy were fed into CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System, which stores DNA information from federal, state and local crime laboratories.

The defendant is being held without bail.

August 28, 2012

Federal Authorities Take Enforcement Actions Against Commercial Marijuana Stores in Orange County Cities of Anaheim and La Habra

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 5:51 am

Justice Department Letters and Lawsuits Target Dozens of Illegal Storefronts

LOS ANGELES – As part of an ongoing initiative against the commercial marijuana industry in California, federal authorities today filed three asset forfeiture lawsuits against properties housing six marijuana stores in Anaheim and sent warning letters to people associated with a total of 66 illegal marijuana operations in the cities of Anaheim and La Habra.

The warning letters and lawsuits target all known marijuana stores – including about two dozen stores that have closed in recent months – in the cities of Anaheim and La Habra. The vast majority of the marijuana storefront operations are in Anaheim – 38 are still open and operating – and two of the illegal stores are in La Habra.

The three civil asset forfeiture complaints were filed this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles. The lawsuits are against three properties in Anaheim, one of which currently houses three marijuana stores.

The forfeiture lawsuits allege that the owners of the properties knowingly allowed illegal marijuana stores to operate in their buildings. The forfeiture lawsuits target properties that contain:
two marijuana stores located in one building at 503 North Anaheim Boulevard, a property that is co-owned by a man who was previously convicted in state court on felony narcotics charges – AAA Wellness Center and Anaheim Patients Association (formerly known as Anaheim Caregivers Association and Anaheim Caregivers Dispensary), both of which have been the subject of cease and desist letters issued by the City of Anaheim;
a marijuana store that operates under the name Releaf Health & Wellness in a building at 2601 West Ball Road, even though the store received a cease and desist letter from the City of Anaheim (the building formerly housed two other stores, the now-defunct Nature’s Top Shelf Collective and the recently closed Remedy Tree); and
three commercial marijuana outlets – Premium Organic Treatments PCA, Mid-County Patients Association and DKG Group Corp., all of which have received cease and desist letters from the City of Anaheim – housed in a building at 3148-3164 East La Palma Avenue.


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