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January 31, 2013

Actor Pleas, Sentenced in Domestic Violence Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 8:28 pm

BEVERLY HILLS – Actor Lane Garrison was ordered today to undergo 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and Alcoholic Anonymous meetings as part of three years probation on his plea of no contest to misdemeanor battery on a former girlfriend last year.

Deputy District Attorney Joy Sumabat-Graff said Garrison, 32, also must perform eight hours of community service and pay $400 to the Domestic Violence Fund. Although sentenced to 74 days in jail, Garrison was given credit for the time that already was served, the prosecutor said.

Beverly Hills Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox also issued an order that Garrison stay away from the victim.

Garrison was arrested by Beverly Hills police on April 22, 2012, a day after he was accused of hitting the former girlfriend as the two were getting off an elevator in an apartment building in the 300 block of North Palm Drive. When witnesses approached, Garrison fled, authorities said.

The defendant, who had been convicted of vehicle manslaughter in 2007, was on parole at the time of the incident.

The single misdemeanor charge was filed by the District Attorney’s Office on April 26, 2012.

Three Alleged Gang Members Charged in Pasadena Robbery-Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 8:26 pm

PASADENA – Capital murder charges were filed by the District Attorney’s office today in the Jan. 15 robbery-murder of a 21-year-old Pasadena man.

Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich of the Hardcore Gang Division said the two defendants appeared for arraignment today, but the hearing was put over until Feb. 7 in Department N, Pasadena Superior Court. They are: Peter Parra, 35 (dob 4-5-1977), and Kevin Jessie Cabrera, 25 (dob 7-30-1987). A warrant was issued for the arrest of the third defendant.

All defendants were charged with the Jan. 15 murder of Zane Goldstein, who authorities said had driven to an apartment complex in Pasadena with his older brother. As they were driving away, police said, Zane Goldstein was shot to death.

Parra and the others were charged in case No. GA 088733 with one count of murder with the special circumstance of robbery murder with a street gang enhancement. Although filed as a capital case, a decision will not be made on whether to seek the death penalty until after the defendants are ordered to stand trial.

The defendants also were charged with one count of attempted second-degree robbery with the allegation that it was a gang crime. In addition, it was alleged that a principal fired the murder weapon, a shotgun.

The two defendants who appeared in court were arrested by Pasadena police this week.

January 30, 2013

Former Mayor of Cudahy Sentenced to Federal Prison for Taking Bribes from ‘Medical Marijuana’ Businessman

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 6:41 am

LOS ANGELES – The former mayor of the City of Cudahy was sentenced this afternoon to one year in federal prison for taking cash bribes in exchange for supporting the opening of a “medical marijuana” store in the city.

David Silva, 62, the then-mayor of Cudahy and an elected member of the city council, was sentenced to 12 months in federal prison by United States District Judge Manuel Real.

“Mr. Silva sold the integrity and authority of the mayor’s office for his own personal gain,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “Elected officials are expected to obey the law. When they don’t, those officials should expect to go to prison.”

Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Office, stated: “Today’s sentencing serves as evidence that corrupt practices by public officials who use their power to get rich quick and abuse the trust of their constituents will not be tolerated. The FBI will continue to investigate alleged corrupt offenders and work toward restoring reliable services to the citizens they’re expected to serve.”

Angel Perales, 44, who ran the Code Enforcement Division of the Cudahy Community Services Department and who was involved in the bribery scheme, was sentenced by Judge Real two weeks ago to probation.

A third person who took bribes from an FBI informant – Osvaldo Conde, 51, who was a member of the Cudahy City Council, and who accepted two separate bribe payments – is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Real on February 25.

According to an affidavit filed in this case: “On the afternoon of February 28, 2012, following weeks of bribe solicitations and related discussions, made during recorded meetings and telephone calls, Conde, Silva and Perales met an FBI confidential informant at the El Potrero nightclub in Cudahy, California. The three Cudahy city officials accepted a total of $15,000 cash as bribe payments. Later that evening, Conde met the confidential informant to receive an additional $2,000 cash as a bribe.”

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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Arrests in ‘We Kill Your Mortgage’ Scheme; Seizure of Fraudulent Websites

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 6:36 am

SANTA ROSA — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of three suspects who have been charged in a mortgage fraud scheme targeting struggling Northern California homeowners. Six websites allegedly used by the suspects to advertise their scheme have been intercepted and redirected to a resource page on the California Attorney General’s website.

The felony complaint alleges that Ronald Vernon Cupp, 58, of Santa Rosa, deceived homeowners by falsely advertising a way to “kill” their mortgage debt on six websites including www.wekillyourmortgage.com. Cupp was assisted by Randall Gilbert Heyden, 69, of San Rafael, and Angelle Wertz, 38, of Santa Rosa, a public notary who allegedly certified phony legal documents. Cupp allegedly recorded fraudulent documents, which would only delay a foreclosure, not actually satisfy the preexisting mortgage debt.

“Vulnerable California homeowners thought they were working to save their homes but were actually the victims of a fraudulent scheme,” Attorney General Harris said. “Today, it’s not enough to dismantle the brick-and-mortar aspect of a criminal operation; we need to shut down criminal operations in cyberspace as well.”
Cupp, Heyden and Wertz are charged in a 57-count complaint alleging theft, forgery, notary fraud and recording of false documents. They were booked at the Sonoma County Jail on Wednesday, January 23. Cupp and Heyden are being held with bail set at $500,000 and $75,000 respectively. Wertz was released but ordered to appear for arraignment on Friday, January 25.

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January 28, 2013

MAN SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR TOUCHING SLEEPING FEMALES IN FIVE HOME BURGLARIES, INCLUDING SEXUALLY ASSAULTING AN 11 AND 13 YEAR OLD GIRL

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 9:57 pm

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to 30 years to life in state prison for breaking into five Orange County homes and touching female victims who were sleeping inside, including sexually assaulting an 11 and 13 year old girl. Roberto Jacobo Reyes, 50, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury Nov. 15, 2012, of one felony count of forcible lewd act on a child under 14, two felony counts of lewd act upon child under 14, and three felony counts of first degree residential burglary with sentencing enhancement allegations for committing lewd acts in the commission of residential burglaries, committing lewd acts on multiple victims, and for having a non-accomplice present during a residential burglary, and a sentencing enhancement for a 2003 prior strike for residential burglary.

At approximately 11:00 p.m. on Feb. 19, 2010, Reyes entered the bedroom of 11-year-old Jane Doe #1 through a bedroom window while she slept. Jane Doe #1 awoke and Reyes held down the victim and covered her mouth so she was unable to scream. He fondled the victim’s vagina and breasts over her clothes. Jane Doe #1 was able to escape by kicking and pushing the defendant, who fled the home back out through the open window. Jane Doe #1 immediately told a relative, who called 911. The Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) collected DNA evidence at the scene.

At approximately 1:00 a.m. on Jan. 24, 2010, Reyes broke into 13-year-old Jane Doe #2’s Santa Ana residence. Reyes rubbed Jane Doe #2 down the side of her body while she was sleeping. He woke Jane Doe #2, who immediately screamed. Reyes fled the scene through the back door. The victim’s mother called 911.

At approximately 3:50 a.m. on Oct. 25, 2009, Reyes entered the bedroom of 19-year-old Jane Doe #3 in Santa Ana through a bedroom window. The defendant woke the sleeping victim by rubbing her thighs and arms. The terrified Jane Doe #3 kicked at the defendant, who fled the scene back out the bedroom window. Jane Doe #3 called police.

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POLICE OFFICER SENTENCED FOR CONSPIRACY VIA TEXT AND PHONE CALLS TO ILLEGALLY DISMISS LEGITIMATE TRAFFIC CITATION

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 9:55 pm

WESTMINSTER - A police officer was sentenced today for conspiring in text messages and phone calls with an officer from a different agency to illegally dismiss a legitimate traffic citation. Erik Michael Krause, 44, and Michael John Zannitto, 47, were both found guilty by a jury Dec. 6, 2012, of one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Zannitto was sentenced today to one year of probation and 30 days in jail stayed pending completion of 100 hours of community service. Krause faces a sentence ranging from probation up to one year in jail at his sentencing Feb. 15, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department W-12, West Justice Center, Westminster.

At the time of the crime, Krause was a 22-year veteran of the Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) and Zannitto was an 11-year veteran of the Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD). The defendants did not know each other prior to the crime.

On Nov. 9, 2011, Krause issued a traffic citation for speeding in the immediate vicinity of a stopped school bus to 32-year-old Jane Doe. He wrote detailed notes regarding the violation on the ticket. Later that same month, Zannitto met Jane Doe at Knott’s Berry Farm. The defendant was off-duty and not in uniform. During this initial meeting, Zannitto told Jane Doe that he could have her traffic citation dismissed.

On Dec. 6, 2011, Zannitto sent Jane Doe a text message requesting a copy of her citation. On Dec. 13, 2011, Zannitto received a text message from Jane Doe, who works in the alcohol industry, in which she included pictures of alcohol and an offer of free alcohol in exchange for getting the traffic citation dismissed.

On Jan. 20, 2012, Zannitto received a text message from Jane Doe with a picture of the citation issued to her by Krause. Sometime between November 2011 and Jan. 20, 2012, Zannitto instructed Jane Doe to contest her traffic citation by written declaration.

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January 25, 2013

MAN CHARGED WITH ARSONS FOR LIGHTING FIRES TO DISTRACT RESIDENTS IN ORDER TO BURGLARIZE HOMES

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:35 am

*Defendant is accused of causing over $1 million in fire damage to multiple homes

SANTA ANA - A man was charged today with a series of arsons, which caused over $1 million in damage, for setting fires as a distraction in order to burglarize homes. Jose Jesus Baca Jr., 36, Santa Ana, is charged with four felony counts of first degree residential burglary, three felony counts of arson of another’s property, two felony counts of arson of an inhabited property, one felony count each of grand theft, possession for sale of a controlled substance, and receiving stolen property, with a sentencing enhancement for arson burning multiple structures. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 18 years in state prison. The People will be requesting Baca be held on $1 million bail at his arraignment today, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

Between Dec. 18, 2012, and Jan. 20, 2013, Baca is accused of lighting fires in residential areas, primarily apartment complexes in Irvine and Fullerton, as a diversion to distract residents in order to break into their homes. After lighting fires, the defendant is accused of running through the residential areas yelling that there was a fire to encourage the residents to flee. He is accused of then entering three homes/apartments and stealing personal items from the victims including wallets and jewelry.

On Jan. 20, 2013, Baca is accused of lighting a fire in the carport of an apartment complex in Fullerton on North Associated Road. He is accused of burglarizing at least one home during this incident. Baca is accused of causing over $1 million in damage because of his arson, as the fire spread to multiple housing units.

The arsons and burglaries were investigated by the Irvine and Fullerton Police Departments. Baca was arrested Jan. 22, 2013, in a hotel room in Fullerton. At the time of his arrest, Baca is accused of being in possession of stolen property taken from his victims’ homes and over 10 grams of methamphetamine.

San Fernando Valley Doctor Pleads Guilty in Multi-Million Dollar Medicare Fraud Case Involving Treatments Never Performed

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

LOS ANGELES – A medical doctor who owns a clinic in the Winnetka district of the San Fernando Valley pleaded guilty today to federal fraud charges for bilking Medicare out of more than $3 million by submitting bills for procedures never performed, sometimes involving patients he never met.

Pezhman Ebrahimzadeh, who uses the name “Pez Abrahams,” 50, of Calabasas, pleaded guilty today to one count of health care fraud before United States District Judge George H. Wu.

Ebrahimzadeh owns the Winnetka Medical Group, a cosmetic health care clinic that operates under the name Health & Beauty Clinic. At his clinic, Ebrahimzadeh provides cosmetic treatments that involve radiofrequency lasers and liposuction. As some of his patients were Medicare beneficiaries, Ebrahimzadeh obtained their beneficiary information, which was used to bill Medicare for procedures he did not perform. Ebrahimzadeh also obtained beneficiary information for patients he never treated, and he used that information to submit other fraudulent bills to Medicare.

In relation to the bogus bills submitted to Medicare, Ebrahimzadeh typically claimed he had performed three expensive procedures: revascularization, ablation of a bone tumor, or the placement of a radiotherapy catheter in a breast. Ebrahimzadeh made these claims, even though he lacked the equipment needed to perform revascularizations or the placement of radiotherapy catheters. On at least one occasion, Ebrahimzadeh admitted in court today, he billed Medicare for performing these procedures, even though the purported patient was dead.

Between September 2008 and April 2012, Ebrahimzadeh submitted $7.5 million in bogus claims, and Medicare paid just over $3 million.

Judge Wu is scheduled to sentence Ebrahimzadeh on May 20. At sentencing, Ebrahimzadeh faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The plea agreement contemplates a sentence of approximately four to five years, but Judge Wu will make the final determination as to the actual sentence that will be imposed in this case. In the plea agreement, Ebrahimzadeh agreed to repay the millions of dollars he stole from Medicare.

January 24, 2013

Pizza Deliveryman Murderer Sentenced

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 1:49 am

LOS ANGELES – A 19-year-old man was sentenced today to more than 77 years to life in prison for the 2011 slaying of a 25-year-old pizza deliveryman in Silver Lake, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Jose Beltran, convicted of the second-degree murder of Juan Vazquez and the attempted murder of two of his friends, was sentenced by Judge Clifford Klein, who called the Aug. 7, 2011, murder “a callous killing.”

Deputy District Attorney Amy Ashvanian with the Hardcore Gang Division prosecuted the case.

Beltran was convicted in September of fatally shooting Vazquez, who was driving two co-workers home from work about 5 a.m. The shooting occurred in the 1400 block of Silver Lake Boulevard.

Three people addressed the judge prior to sentencing, including the two men who were riding with Juan Vazquez at the time and narrowly escaped being shot.

“His mother has so much pain,” said Luis Lopez, who addressed the court through a Spanish interpreter. “(Beltran) should be locked up.”

Man Charged in Northridge Quadruple Murder Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 1:36 am

SAN FERNANDO – A 31-year-old felon was charged today with capital murder in the fatal shooting of two women and two men outside a Northridge residence on Dec. 2, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Ka Pasasouk (dob 8-28-81), who has remained in custody since his Dec. 3 arrest in Las Vegas, was charged with the special circumstance murders of Teofilo Navales, Robert Calabia, Amanda Ghossein and Jennifer Kim outside the home in the 17400 block of Devonshire Street, said Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon with the Major Crimes Division.

Pasasouk also was charged with one count of attempted murder, five counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon with five priors. The complaint, PA075729, alleges personal discharge of a handgun and the special circumstance of multiple murders.

Arraignment is currently scheduled for Jan. 25 at Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando, Department S. He is being held without bail. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against the defendant.

Of the four people initially arrested in the case investigated by LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, Pasasouk is the only one charged with gunning down all four victims. An investigation is ongoing.

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