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May 31, 2013

MAN AND WOMAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KEEPING TWO YOUNG FEMALE RELATIVES MALNOURISHED AND LOCKED INSIDE UNSANITARY MOBILE HOME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:22 pm

FULLERTON – A man and woman will be arraigned today for keeping two young female relatives malnourished and locked inside the unsanitary mobile home without letting them go outside. Lester Louis Huffmire and his wife Petra Huffmire, both 41 from Anaheim, are charged with two felony counts of child abuse, two misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment, and a sentencing enhancement for great bodily injury. If convicted on all counts, they face a maximum sentence of seven years and four months in state prison. Lester Huffmire is being held on $100,000 bail and the People will request the same bail amount for Petra Huffmire at their arraignment today, May 31, 2013, 1:30 p.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Lester Huffmire and Petra Huffmire are accused of living in an unsanitary mobile park home with the victims, 10-year-old Jane Doe#1 and 5-year-old Jane Doe #2. The defendants are accused of having a duty of care to the victims.

Between May 21, 2010, and May 20, 2013, the defendants are accused of keeping the mobile park home unsanitary and uninhabitable, including kitchen appliances covered in mold and cobwebs, stacks of trash, debris, mold, and feces throughout the home, a pile of used condoms under a stuffed teddy bear, and inoperable toilets. They are accused of keeping the mobile park home in this condition while Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 lived there. Lester Huffmire and Petra Huffmire are accused of being unemployed and playing an online computer game, World of Warcraft, all day.

The defendants are accused of not letting the victims out of the home for any reason. They are accused of keeping the victims from attending school.                                   (more…)

HOMELESS MAN SENTENCED TO 26 YEARS TO LIFE FOR MURDERING FELLOW TRANSIENT BY HITTING HIM WITH A PIECE OF WOOD

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:16 pm

SANTA ANA – A homeless man was sentenced today to 26 years to life in state prison for murdering another transient man by hitting him with a piece of wood. Sergio Camacho Gonzalez, 38, was found guilty by a jury Feb. 13, 2013, of one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.

On the evening of Sept. 25, 2010, Gonzalez got into a verbal argument in a Fullerton liquor store with 56-year-old Andrew Petrusiak and accused the victim of stealing his wallet two weeks earlier. At approximately 8:30 p.m., Petrusiak returned to his campsite behind a Fullerton business complex. At 9:13 p.m., Gonzalez entered the victim’s campsite and murdered him by striking the victim in the back of the head with a piece of wood. Video surveillance in the business complex captured Gonzalez entering the site and leaving four minutes later. Petrusiak was never seen alive again.

At approximately 8:00 a.m. on Sept. 27, 2010, Petrusiak’s friend arrived at the victim’s campsite, discovered the victim’s body, and called 911. The Fullerton Police Department (FPD) responded to the scene and investigated this case. 

Gonzalez was identified by witnesses to the argument inside the local liquor store as the man seen entering and exiting the campsite on the night of the murder. The defendant was arrested by FPD March 23, 2011.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case. 

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 11NF0950 / May 31, 2013

HUSBAND AND WIFE ARRAIGNED FOR $2 MILLION TAX EVASION AND INSURANCE FRAUD SCHEME

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:46 am

SANTA ANA – A married couple was arraigned today for a $2 million tax evasion and insurance fraud scheme. Rand Robert Gordon, 59, Laguna Hills, is charged with five felony counts of misrepresenting facts to the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF), one felony count of filing a false tax return, 10 felony counts of willful failure to file or make fraudulent tax return, one felony count of filing a false tax return, two felony counts of making fraudulent statements, two felony counts of making false statements to discourage injured worker from claiming benefits, 20 felony counts of failing to file a return with intent to evade tax, and 20 felony counts of willful failure to pay tax. Gordon faces sentencing enhancement allegations for committing a theft exceeding $100,000. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 56 years and eight months in state prison. At the arraignment today, The People requested Gordon Rand be held on $2 million bail, but bail was set at $100,000 by the court, and the defendant must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond.

Co-defendant Michele Louise Gordon, 60, Laguna Hills, is charged with four felony counts of willful failure to file or make fraudulent tax returns and one felony count of filing a false tax return. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison. The court released Michele Rand on her own recognizance.

The defendants are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing June 27, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case

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May 30, 2013

DISNEY EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF DESTRUCTIVE DEVICE AFTER TWO EXPLOSIONS IN THEME PARK OF WATER BOTTLES CONTAINING DRY ICE

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:43 pm

SANTA ANA – An employee of Disneyland has been charged with possessing a destructive device in a public place after two water bottles containing dry ice exploded in a Toon Town trash bag and vending cart. Christian Isaiah Barnes, 22, Long Beach, is charged with one felony count of possession of a destructive device in a public place. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison. Barnes is expected to be held on $500,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned today, Thursday, May 30, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Barnes is accused of being an employee at Disneyland in Anaheim.

On May 28, 2013, Barnes is accused of being in possession of two water bottles containing dry ice. This combination can be used to create a destructive device in the form of a dry ice bomb.

Sometime after 4:00 p.m., a female employee went to relieve the defendant from his shift at a vending cart outside of Toon Town. Barnes is accused of opening the vending cart, at which time the first water bottle containing dry ice exploded.

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DRUNKEN DRIVER TO BE SENTENCED FOR KILLING TEEN BY CAUSING CRASH THAT KNOCKED VICTIM OVER FREEWAY GUARDRAIL

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:39 pm

WESTMINSTER – A drunken driver will be sentenced tomorrow for killing an 18-year-old man by causing a crash that knocked the victim over a freeway guardrail to a more-than 50 foot fall. Ashley Selina Bryan, 26, Highland, pleaded guilty May 10, 2013, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with gross negligence and was found guilty by a jury Dec. 12, 2012, of one felony count each of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury and driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury. Bryan faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison at her sentencing tomorrow, Friday, May 31, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. in Department W-9, West Justice Center, Westminster. Several members of the victim’s family will attend the hearing.

At approximately 11:55 p.m. on April 2, 2011, Bryan was driving under the influence of alcohol in a Honda Civic northbound on California State Route 57 in Orange. The defendant failed to avoid a disabled Chevrolet Camaro, which was stopped on the right shoulder. The driver of the Camaro, Logan Vescio, 18, was seated in the passenger seat of his disabled vehicle. Victim Cameron Cook, 18, had been a passenger in the Camaro and was standing outside of the vehicle near a guardrail.

The force of the Bryan’s crash pushed the Camaro into Cook, who was knocked backward over the guardrail. The victim fell approximately 50 to 60 feet and landed on a concrete embankment below the freeway.

Cook was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 5:00 a.m. Vescio suffered abrasions to his face and knee. The defendant was transported to the hospital for minor cuts and bruises.

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PAROLE HEARING FOR INMATE CONVICTED OF KILLING 13-YEAR-OLD BOY IN 1990 DRIVE-BY SHOOTING CONTINUED TO 2018

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:36 pm

SANTA ANA – The Board of Parole Hearings, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, continued the parole hearing to 2018 for a man convicted of killing a 13-year-old boy in a drive-by shooting in 1990. Christopher Edward Perez, 48, formerly of Anaheim, is currently being held at California State Prison, Solano. Perez was sentenced March 10, 1992, to 28 years to life in state prison after he was found guilty by a judge of one felony count of first degree murder, four felony counts of attempted murder, and enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm from a motor vehicle causing death and great bodily injury, and the personal use of firearm. The case was originally prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Randy Pawloski.

At the hearing today, the inmate conceded that his parole would be denied and stipulated to a 5-year continuance. Deputy District Attorney Israel Claustro was present to oppose Perez’s parole.

Circumstances of the Crime

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on June 3, 1990, then-25-year-old Perez and two of his fellow gang members drove through an Anaheim neighborhood with the intent to murder a local drug dealer as revenge for the drug dealer vandalizing Perez’s car over a $4 debt. The inmate drove slowly down an alley, where the drug dealer was standing with a group of people, and began shooting several rounds.

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May 29, 2013

Orange County Man Who Ran Investment Fraud Scheme that Cost Victims $3 Million Sentenced to Over Eight Years in Federal Prison

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:00 pm

SANTA ANA, California – A retired colonel in the California Army National Guard who admitted running an investment scheme that caused two dozen victims to suffer a losses of nearly $3 million was sentenced today to 97 months in federal prison.

Timothy Melvin Murphy, 70, of Orange, was sentenced this afternoon by United States District Judge David O. Carter. In addition to the prison term, Judge Carter ordered Murphy to pay full restitution – $2,953,758 – to his fraud victims.

In April 2012, Murphy pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, admitting that he executed a scheme through his business, the Orange-based Capital Investors Inc., by offering fraudulent investment opportunities that typically yielded annual returns of 12 percent and, in some cases, came with “guaranteed” rates of return. Murphy falsely told most of the investors that their money would be invested in truck-leasing companies based in Gulfport, Mississippi. As part of the scheme, Murphy created false account statements to mislead his clients into thinking that their money was properly invested and was generating the promised income. The false documentation included bogus account statements that appeared to be issued by “The Sterling Trust Company,” a third-party financial services firm.

Instead of using the victims’ money to make investments, Murphy used the funds to make Ponzi payments to earlier investors and to pay for a variety of personal expenses, including refurbishing and maintaining classic automobiles, making payments on home loans and buying a members at a weight loss clinic.

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Wal-Mart Pleads Guilty to Federal Environmental Crimes, Admits Civil Violations and Will Pay More Than $81 Million

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:57 pm

Retailer Admits Violating Criminal and Civil Laws Designed to Protect Water Quality and to Ensure Proper Handling of Hazardous Wastes and Pesticides

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pleaded guilty today in cases filed by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco to six counts of violating the Clean Water Act by illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials at its retail stores across the United States. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company also pleaded guilty today in Kansas City, Mo., to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers at its stores across the country.

As a result of the three criminal cases brought by the Justice Department, as well as a related civil case filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wal-Mart will pay approximately $81.6 million for its unlawful conduct. Coupled with previous actions brought by the states of California and Missouri for the same conduct, Wal-Mart will pay a combined total of more than $110 million to resolve cases alleging violations of federal and state environmental laws.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, from a date unknown until January 2006, Wal-Mart did not have a program in place and failed to train its employees on proper hazardous waste management and disposal practices at the store level. As a result, hazardous wastes were either discarded improperly at the store level – including being put into municipal trash bins or, if a liquid, poured into the local sewer system – or they were improperly transported without proper safety documentation to one of six product return centers located throughout the United States.

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Former Senior Partner at KPMG Agrees to Plead Guilty in Los Angeles to Federal Charges Related to Insider Trading Scheme

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:54 pm

Former Chief of KPMG’s Audit Practice in Southwest Admits He Passed Confidential Information in Exchange for Cash Bribes

LOS ANGELES – A former senior partner at the accounting firm KPMG LLP has agreed to plead guilty to securities fraud for his involvement in an insider trading scheme in which he provided confidential information to a man who paid him with cash bribes and luxury items.

Scott London, 50, of Agoura Hills, who oversaw KPMG’s audit practice for the Pacific Southwest, was charged today in a criminal information with one count of securities fraud through insider trading. In a plea agreement also filed today in United States District Court, London agreed to plead guilty to the felony count that carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

According to court documents, London provided confidential information about KPMG clients to Bryan Shaw, a close friend of his, over a period of several years. Shaw then used this information to make highly profitable securities trades that Shaw has admitted earned him more than $1 million dollars in illegal proceeds.

“Over the course of several years, Mr. London secretly fed confidential, insider information to a man he knew would use that information to make trades,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “Behavior like this is an affront to people who follow the law and compromises the public perception in the inherent fairness of the markets by creating an uneven playing field. As a result of his illegal conduct, Mr. London has agreed to plead guilty and will face a lengthy prison term.”

Bill L. Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, stated: “This case illustrates the FBI’s commitment to investigating insider trading and working to ensure integrity in our financial markets. “We will continue to work with our partners to identify, investigate and prosecute securities fraud cases in order to maintain that confidence in the marketplace.”

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May 28, 2013

Federal Indictments Charge 20 Members and Associates of 18th Street Gang Clique for Their Roles in Methamphetamine Distribution Network

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:06 pm

LOS ANGELES—An investigation by a joint task force resulted in federal charges against 20 gang members and associates with known ties to the Mexican Mafia for their roles in a methamphetamine distribution ring, announced Bill Lewis, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; Charlie Beck, the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department; and Andre´ Birotte, Jr., the United States Attorney in Los Angeles.

The arrest operation on Tuesday marked the culmination of an investigation by a joint task force whose members include agents and officers with the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the Los Angeles County Department of Probation. In preparation and during Monday’s operation, the task force was assisted by the Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services; the Culver City Police Department; and the California Department of Parks and Recreation in northern California.

This investigation targeted the senior membership and “shot callers” of a local clique of the 18th Street Gang known as the Rancho Park Locos (RPK).

Multiple grand jury indictments, unsealed following the operation on Tuesday, were returned in United States District Court in Los Angeles charging a total of 19 defendants, several of whom were already in custody prior to today’s operation. A 20th defendant was charged in a federal criminal complaint.

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