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November 30, 2012


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 9:07 pm

SANTA ANA - A male nurse’s assistant was sentenced today to 21 years in state prison for sexually assaulting two women while they were in his care.  Alejandro Arias, 40, Cypress, was found guilty by a jury, July 20, 2012, of five felony counts of forcible lewd acts upon a dependent person by a caretaker, five felony counts of sexual battery on an institutionalized person, three felony counts of lewd acts upon a dependent person by a caretaker, one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object by force, and one felony count of attempted sexual battery.

Arias, a certified nursing assistant and assistant physical therapist at Anaheim Terrace Care Center, sexually assaulted two female patients while they were in his care and unable to resist due to medication and their medical conditions.

Between April 1, 2008, and July 18, 2008, Arias sexually assaulted 60-year-old Jane Doe #1 and 50-year-old Jane Doe #2 on separate occasions while they were in his care for temporary in-patient rehabilitation therapy. The victims do not know each other. He entered their respective rooms under the pretense of performing legitimate medical responsibilities. Arias assaulted the women including digital penetration, sexually touching their breasts and vaginas, and making them or attempting to make them masturbate his penis. Both victims reported the sexual abuse after leaving the care center.

At the sentencing today, Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 gave victim impact statements to the court. Jane Doe #1 stated that she suffers from panic attacks and feels uncomfortable around men she does not know and has lost her trust in people.

Jane Doe #2 stated she now has a “Do Not Resuscitate” order on file because she does not want to be victimized again and said in part, “I and the other victims were not protected, I will have to live with this nightmare for the rest of my life, while he will eventually be released from prison and will live his life like nothing happened.”


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 9:06 pm

*Orange County District Attorney seeking death penalty against defendant Daniel Wozniak

SANTA ANA - The fiancé of a man indicted by the Orange County Grand Jury for the double execution-style murder of his neighbor and neighbor’s friend for financial gain will be arraigned tomorrow for being an accessory to the crime. Rachel Mae Buffett, 25, Costa Mesa, is charged with three felony counts of accessory after the fact. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of three years and 8 months in state prison. Buffett is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

In 2010, Buffett is accused of becoming engaged to 28-year-old Daniel Patrick Wozniak. They are accused of planning to marry May 28, 2010 in Long Beach, a week after the murders of 26-year-old Samuel Herr and Herr’s friend, 23-year-old Juri “Julie” Kibuishi.

Circumstances of the Crime
Prior to May 21, 2010, Wozniak is accused of plotting the murder of his neighbor, Herr, who lived in the same apartment complex with the intention of stealing the victim’s substantial savings. On the afternoon of May 21, 2010, Wozniak is accused of luring Herr from their Costa Mesa apartment complex and driving him to the theater facility at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. Wozniak is accused of being familiar with the theater because he had previously acted in plays at that location.

Once inside the theater, Wozniak is accused of murdering Herr by shooting him twice in the head with the intention of stealing the victim’s savings. He is accused of leaving Herr’s body in the theater and stealing the victim’s ATM card, wallet, and cell phone.


Entertainment Executive Sentenced to 5½ Years in Federal Prison in Multi-Million Dollar Stock Fraud and Scheme to Bilk Investor

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 9:04 pm

LOS ANGELES – A Hollywood producer who founded and ran various television production and distribution companies was sentenced today to 66 months in federal prison for crimes committed in two cases – one involving stock fraud and another stemming from a scam that bilked an investor in one of the companies.

Drew Savitch Levin, 59, of Pacific Palisades, was sentenced by United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson, who also ordered Levin to pay $2,272,588 in restitution to 13 victims in the United States, France, Austria, England and Switzerland.

At the sentencing hearing, Judge Pregerson described statements submitted by victims: “It is a picture of Mr. Levin being essentially completely out of control and using his charm and sizable intellect to lie to people and take their money, and continue to feed that engine of whatever it was that he thought he was going to be able to accomplish. And maybe in his mind he felt that it would all come out fine in the end, but it was a scorched earth strategy, and that’s clear. And when you read the letters about the promises that were made once notes were due…those are lies, clearly. And you see that time and time again.”

Levin pleaded guilty in September 2011 in one case to conspiring to inflate the revenue and stock price of Team Communications Group, Inc., a West Los Angeles-based company that Levin founded and for which he served as CEO until early 2001.


November 29, 2012

Former Pro Baseball Player and Three Associates Indicted by Federal Grand Jury in Insider Trading Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:35 pm

SANTA ANA, California – A federal grand jury today indicted former professional baseball player Doug DeCinces and three of his associates on insider trading charges for allegedly using non-public information regarding a takeover bid to purchase stock in an Orange County-based medical device company – stock that dramatically increased in value when the takeover bid was publicly announced.

A 44-count indictment filed this afternoon in United States District Court charges DeCinces and the others with using information that the former third baseman obtained from a high-ranking official at the medical device company to purchase stock prior to the announcement of a tender offer from an international medical company.

The indictment names:
Douglas V. DeCinces, 60, of Laguna Beach, a Major League Baseball player from 1973 to 1987 who currently is the president and CEO of a real estate development firm in Irvine;
David Parker, 60, of Provo, Utah, who was a friend and business partner of DeCinces;
Fred Scott Jackson, 65, of Newport Beach, a real estate attorney who was friends with DeCinces; and
Roger Wittenbach, 69, of Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland, another friend of DeCinces.


Con Man Agrees to Plead Guilty in Three Fraud Schemes, Including Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi and Separate Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:34 pm

LOS ANGELES – A Glendale man has agreed to plead guilty to federal fraud charges, admitting that he ran three separate scams, including a Ponzi scheme that defrauded 30 families out of more than $8 million.

Kaveh Vahedi has also admitted his role in a mortgage fraud scheme that submitted hundreds of falsified loan applications to banks through his brokerage firm, Countywide Financial. Vahedi has also acknowledged stealing more than $700,000 from his parents by draining their bank account and taking out a loan on their home.

Vahedi, 51, who has been in federal custody since last May, entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors that was filed late Monday in United States District Court. Vahedi agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with the Ponzi scheme and one count of conspiracy in relation to the mortgage fraud scheme. Vahedi also agreed to plead guilty to one count of bank fraud to resolve a previously filed criminal case related to the fraud against his parents.

Vahedi is scheduled to plead guilty tomorrow morning before United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson. Once he pleads guilty to the three felony counts stemming from the three schemes, Vahedi will face a statutory maximum sentence of 55 years in federal prison.


Two Men Convicted in Armenian Power Case Each Sentenced to Quarter Century in Federal Prison for Orchestrating Fraud Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:28 pm

SANTA ANA, California – Two men who orchestrated an elaborate identity theft scheme from behind the walls of a state prison were sentenced today by a federal judge who ordered both men to spend 25 years in federal prison.

The two men were the lead defendants in one of two federal indictments that targeted the Armenian Power gang two years ago. According to the fraud indictment issued by a grand jury in Orange County, members of Armenian Power worked with members of African-American street gangs and bribed bank insiders to gather information that allowed them to take over bank accounts in a scheme that caused losses of at least $8 million.

Today in federal court, United States District Judge David O. Carter sentenced the masterminds of the Orange County scheme and said this case involved one of the most sophisticated fraud schemes he had ever seen.

The two defendants sentenced today were:
Angus Brown, also known as “Homicide,” 36, who is described in court papers as a “career criminal and identity thief” with numerous prior conviction and was serving time for identity theft when he engaged in the identity theft scheme that led to this case; and Arman Sharopetrosian, also known as “Horse,” 33, of Burbank, a member of the Armenian Power criminal enterprise who was serving a 10-year sentenced for shooting at an occupied vehicle and carrying a concealed weapon when he committed the federal fraud offense.


November 27, 2012


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 7:32 pm

WASHINGTON— A Los Angeles-area doctor pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud Medicare of over $11 million, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. of the Central District of California; Glenn R. Ferry, Special Agent in Charge for the Los Angeles Region of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); Bill L. Lewis, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; and Tony Sidley, Assistant Chief of the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse.

Dr. Juan Tomas Van Putten, 66, of Ladera Heights, Calif., pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge George Wu in the Central District of California to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Van Putten pleaded guilty to obtaining patients for his medical clinic, Greater South Bay Medical Group, which was located in Carson, Calif., and a nursing home where he also saw patients from street-level patient recruiters or “marketers” who illegally solicited patients with Medicare benefits for expensive, highly-specialized power wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment (DME) that the patients did not need.  According to the indictment to which Van Putten pleaded guilty, some of the marketers worked for the operators of fraudulent DME supply companies, including Van Putten’s co-defendants Charles Agbu, a church pastor, and his daughter Obiageli Agbu, who both operated Bonfee Inc. d/b/a “Bonfee Medical Supplies” and Ibon Inc., which were located in Carson.

Van Putten admitted that operators of fraudulent DME supply companies paid him cash kickbacks to write prescriptions for power wheelchairs and other DME that Van Putten knew the patients did not need.  Van Putten admitted that he exaggerated the symptoms and diagnoses that he wrote on the prescriptions to make it appear as if the patients met both the medical and Medicare requirements for the power wheelchairs and DME.  Van Putten admitted that he knew when he provided the prescriptions to the DME company operators that they would use the prescriptions to submit false claims to Medicare.  Van Putten also admitted that he submitted claims to Medicare for services that he provided to the patients at Greater South Bay and the nursing home even though he knew it was illegal for him to provide services to patients who had been recruited by marketers.


Drug Counselor Charged with Pedestrian’s Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:30 pm

TORRANCE – A Torrance woman suspected of slamming into a pedestrian and driving two miles while he was embedded in her windshield was charged today with murder and other counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Sherri Lynn Wilkins, 51 (dob 3-28-61), is scheduled to be arraigned today in Torrance Superior Court, Department 4. She is charged in case YA086025 with one felony count each of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury, driving with a .08 percent or higher blood alcohol causing injury, and leaving the scene of an accident, said Deputy District Attorney Lisa Houle.

Wilkins, a substance abuse counselor, allegedly hit Phillip Moreno about 11:15 p.m. Saturday as she was driving west on Torrance Boulevard near Madrid Avenue. She allegedly continued driving another two miles before witnesses surrounded her car at Crenshaw Boulevard and 182nd Street and detained her until police arrived and arrested her.

The 31-year-old Moreno later died at an area hospital.

Wilkins, who has two prior burglary convictions and is a third striker, is being held on $2.25 million bail. If convicted as charged, she faces up to life in prison.

Man Accused of Murdering Wife

Filed under: California Defense Attorney, Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:27 pm

LOS ANGELES – A murder charge was filed by the District Attorney’s Family Violence Division today against a 36-year-old Los Angeles man accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife last week.

Deputy District Attorney Nancy Yaghoubian recommended $2 million bail for Gilberto Corrales (dob 10-18-1976). The defendant is scheduled to appear for arraignment this afternoon in Los Angeles Superior Court Department 30 in the downtown Criminal Justice Center.

Corrales is charged in case No. BA 404982 with one count of murder. The complaint alleges the defendant personally used a handgun to commit the crime. If convicted, the defendant faces a state prison term of life with the possibility of parole.

The victim, identified in the complaint only as Gretchen C., was found seat belted in her car on Nov. 16 at Long Beach Avenue and Martin Luther Boulevard in Los Angeles. She was shot in the head.

Los Angeles police arrested Corrales the next day and he has remained in custody.

November 26, 2012

Arizona Man Who Traveled to Southern California to Have Sex with Teenage Boy Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison

RIVERSIDE, California – A Peoria, Arizona man who admitted that he traveled twice to Southern California to have sex with a 14-year-old boy he met on the Internet was sentenced today to 12 years in federal prison.

Michael Killala, 43, was sentenced to 144 months in prison by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

The victim’s mother spoke during today’s sentencing hearing, stating that Killala “preyed on our son for his own perverse sexual gratification.” The woman said that her son was “severely traumatized,” and that he suffered from debilitating anxiety, flashbacks, overwhelming shame, anger, loss of sleep, nightmares, severe depression and fear that Killala was going to kill him.

Killala pleaded guilty in August to two counts of possessing child pornography. Among the images in his possession, Killala possessed two images depicting one of his illicit sexual encounters with the 14-year-old victim.

According to court documents, Killala met the boy on the Internet in 2011, when the victim was 14 and living in Corona, California. Killala visited the boy in December 2011, when they had a sexual encounter. In January 2012, Killala again visited the boy, this time taking him to a hotel in Ontario, California, where he gave the victim vodka before having sex with him. Killala was arrested as he was checking out of the hotel.

A search of Killala’s mobile phone revealed more than 3,000 text messages between Killala and the boy, as well as Killala’s relationship with another teenage boy who exchanged sexually explicit photographs with Killala.

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