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December 31, 2013

DRUNKEN, SPEEDING DRIVER CHARGED WITH MURDERING SLEEPING MAN BY CRASHING INTO VICTIM’S HOUSE WITH CAR

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:10 am

SANTA ANA – A drunken, speeding driver has been charged with murdering a sleeping man by crashing into the victim’s bedroom with his car. Kourosh Keshmiri, 27, Mission Viejo, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison if convicted. He is being held on $1 million bail and is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

Keshmiri is charged in a separate case (Case #13HM07953) from June 2013 with one misdemeanor count each of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol with a prior, driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more with a prior,  and sentencing enhancements and allegations for having a blood alcohol over .15 percent and having a prior DUI conviction from 2010. He faces a pre-trial hearing Jan. 23, 2014, in Department H-7, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach, in this case.

At approximately 4:00 a.m. on Dec. 29, 2013, Keshmiri is accused of speeding over 50 mph in a 25 mph residential neighborhood in Mission Viejo. He is accused of losing control of his car and crashing into a home, driving into the front bedroom where 60-year-old victim Kenneth Jackson was sleeping in his bed.

When Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) deputies arrived, the defendant is accused of displaying objective signs of intoxication and performed poorly on a field sobriety test.

The victim died as a result of his injuries.

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Man Accused of Killing, Burying Girlfriend Charged with Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:06 am

A 22-year-old Compton man who allegedly killed his live-in girlfriend and buried her body in his backyard is expected to be arraigned this afternoon, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Devion Keith Anderson (dob 7/10/1991) is charged with one count of murder with a special allegation that the was committed willfully, deliberately and with premeditation.

He is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Department 12 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Compton Branch. Anderson is charged in case TA131363.

Deputy District Attorney Jodi Link, who filed the case, said that on the evening of Dec. 23, deputies received a 911 call from a family member at Anderson’s home. Authorities were told the defendant may have killed and buried his girlfriend, an 18-year-old woman.

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Eastern California Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Bid Rigging and Fraud at Public Real Estate Foreclosure Auctions

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:10 am

An Eastern California real estate investor pleaded guilty today to conspiring to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Eastern California, the Department of Justice announced.

Anthony B. Joachim of Stockton, Calif., entered his guilty plea in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento.  Joachim was originally indicted by a federal grand jury in Sacramento on Dec. 7, 2011, along with three other investors – Andrew B. Katakis, Donald M. Parker and Wiley C. Chandler – and one auctioneer – W. Theodore Longley. All five individuals were charged with conspiring with other unnamed co-conspirators to rig bids and commit mail fraud when purchasing selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Joaquin County, Calif.  The indictment was superseded on May 8, 2013, to include an obstruction of justice charge against Katakis.  Chandler pleaded guilty on Feb. 24, 2012, and trial is scheduled to begin against the remaining individuals on Jan. 28, 2014.

According to court documents, Joachim conspired with others not to bid against one another and to instead designate a winning bidder to obtain selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Joaquin County.  Joachim was also charged with conspiring to use the mail to carry out a scheme to fraudulently acquire title to selected San Joaquin County properties sold at public auctions, to make and receive payoffs and to divert money to co-conspirators that would have otherwise gone to mortgage holders and others by holding second, private auctions open only to members of the conspiracy.  The department said that the selected properties were then awarded to the conspirators who submitted the highest bids in the second, private auctions.  The private auctions often took place at or near the courthouse steps where the public auctions were held.  According to Joachim’s plea agreement, he participated in the conspiracies between about April 2009 until about October 2009.

“Today’s plea is the 11th in the Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation of bid rigging and fraud involving real estate foreclosure auctions in the Eastern District of California,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “The division has uncovered similar schemes across the country and continues to prosecute those who profit by undermining competition at real estate foreclosure auctions.”

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December 30, 2013

Southern California Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Assist Al-Qai'da by Providing Weapons Training to Fighters in Pakistan

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:25 am

LOS ANGELES — An Orange County man pleaded guilty this morning to a federal terrorism offense, admitting that he intended to assist al-Qai’da by traveling to Pakistan, where he would provide weapons training to members of the terrorist group.

Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, 24, of Garden Grove, California, pleaded guilty this morning to one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Nguyen, who also used the name Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum, pleaded guilty this morning before United States District Judge John F. Walter, who is scheduled to sentence the defendant on March 21. At the time of sentencing, Nguyen faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.

In a plea agreement filed last Friday in United States District Court, Nguyen admitted that approximately one year ago he travelled to Syria where he joined opposition forces. Using a social network site during a four-month period he was in Syria, Nguyen told people that he was fighting against the Assad regime and that he had had a “confirmed kill.” After he returned to the United States, Nguyen told associates that he had offered to train al-Qai’da forces in Syria, but his offer had been turned down.

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FORMER MAINTENANCE WORKER AT ASSISTED LIVING SENIOR HOME SENTENCED FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 69-YEAR-OLD DISABLED WOMAN

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — fayarfa @ 6:19 am

FULLERTON – A former maintenance worker at an assisted living senior home was sentenced today for sexually assaulting a 69-year-old disabled woman. David Moreno, 29, Riverside, pleaded guilty Dec. 6, 2013, to one felony count each of sexual battery on an institutionalized victim and sexual penetration by foreign object of an incompetent victim. He was sentenced today to three years in state prison and lifetime sex offender registration.

At the time of the crime, Moreno was employed as a maintenance worker at Emeritus Senior Living in Yorba Linda. Between June 1, 2012, and July 24, 2012, Moreno entered the room of 69-year-old Jane Doe, a resident who was suffering from dementia, and sexually assaulted her. The victim made statements to a close friend indicating she had been assaulted by the defendant. The case was reported to the Brea Police Department (BPD), who investigated this case. BPD found DNA evidence in the victim’s room and was able to link it to Moreno. BPD arrested Moreno on Nov. 5, 2012.

Moreno’s lifetime sex offender registration bars him from entering County recreational areas and City parks which have passed the Sex Offender Ordinance. Visit www.orangecountyda.com to read the prior press releases on the County’s Sex Offender Ordinance as well as the 14 other cities that have enacted the Child Safety Zone Ordinance. The Child Safety Zone Ordinance in Irvine and Fountain Valley does not apply to Moreno because this case involves an adult victim.

Deputy District Attorney Nancy Hayashida of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 12NF3543 / December 27, 2013

December 27, 2013

Arraignment Scheduled for Reseda Man Accused of Shooting Elderly Couple

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:29 am

Prosecutors today filed criminal charges against a Reseda man accused of shooting an elderly couple, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Edward Nison said Ricardo Javier Tapia, 32 (dob 04/06/81), is expected to be arraigned today after 1:30 p.m. in Department 100 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch.

Tapia is charged in case LA076321 with one count each of murder and attempted, willful, deliberate and premeditated murder. The complaint includes gun-use allegations and also alleges that Tapia personally inflicted great bodily injury on the surviving victim.

The defendant allegedly shot Giam Kim Hoang, 73, and his wife, Ngoc Hoan Thi Nguyen, 61, on Dec. 20 after becoming agitated. The victims and the defendant both lived in the same apartment building, the prosecutor said.

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MAN CHARGED WITH SOLICITING MURDER OF EX-WIFE DURING CHILD SUPPORT AND CUSTODY BATTLE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

SANTA ANA – A man has been charged with soliciting the murder of his ex-wife during the pendency of child support and custody family court hearings. William John Wallace, 33, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, and two felony counts of solicitation to commit murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison. The People will request Wallace be held without bail at his arraignment today, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

Wallace is accused of being divorced from Jane Doe, with whom he shared a child. In 2013, the former couple was engaged in a child support and custody battle.

In August 2013, Wallace is accused of hiring a private investigator to try and find negative information about the victim that could be used against her in court, where child support payments would be decided. Beginning in September 2013, the defendant is accused of telling the private investigator that he wanted Jane Doe to be killed.

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December 26, 2013

MAN CONVICTED OF BLUDGEONING AND MURDERING VICTIM IN LAGUNA BEACH APARTMENT

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:04 am

SANTA ANA – A man has been convicted of the bludgeoning-murder of a Laguna Beach resident inside his apartment. Matthew Thomas Dragna, 23, Lake Forest, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 20, 2013, of one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of a robbery and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole at his sentencing Feb. 28, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

Co-defendant Jacob Anthony Quintanilla, 25, Lake Forest, faces the same charges and maximum sentence as Dragna. He faces a pre-trial hearing Jan. 10, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35.

Dragna has been convicted of the following and Quintanilla is accused of the following:

On Oct. 22, 2009, Dragna met 40-year-old Damon Nicholson for the first time after being introduced by a third person. The defendant and the victim engaged in a sexual encounter that night. After meeting the victim, Dragna planned to rob Nicholson the following night by going to his home under the pretense of another sexual encounter.

On Oct. 23, 2009, Dragna and Quintanilla went to the Laguna Beach home of 40-year-old Damon Nicholson. The defendants murdered the victim by bludgeoning him repeatedly in the torso and head with a baseball bat. They left the victim’s body on his couch and fled the scene after stealing personal items from Nicholson including a laptop computer and cell phone.

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December 25, 2013

CONSTRUCTION COMPANY OWNER AND FOREMAN CHARGED FOR DEFRAUDING EMPLOYEES BY TAKING $330,000 IN WAGES FROM TWO PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:53 am

SANTA ANA – A construction company owner and his foreman were arraigned today for defrauding employees out of $330,000 in wages and keeping the money for themselves from two public works contract. Mustafa Mohamed Bdaiwi, 41, Irvine, and Antonio Naranjo Jr., 40, Costa Mesa, are charged with 11 felony counts of taking and receiving a portion of a worker’s wage on public works project, two felony counts of recording a false and forged instrument, and sentencing enhancements for property loss over $200,000. If convicted on all counts, they face a maximum sentence of 12 years and four months in state prison. The defendants are each being held on $330,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. They are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Jan. 3, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Bdaiwi is accused of owning a construction company, Malcon Civils Inc. Naranjo Jr. is accused of working for Bdaiwi as his project administrator. In December 2010, Bdaiwi is accused of being awarded a project by the City of Irvine and given contracts to do work at an Irvine elementary school. Bdaiwi and Naranjo Jr. are accused of constructing a wall, which later began to lean over and subsequently needed to be removed due to faulty construction and causing a safety hazard. The defendants are also accused of being awarded a project by the City of Hemet, and upon completion, embezzling the funds meant to be used to pay their workers for the construction.

Between Jan. 11, 2011, and Aug. 10, 2011, Bdaiwi and Naranjo Jr. are accused of requiring workers to return a portion of their wages and threatening to terminate their employment if they did not comply. Over the course of the two projects, the defendants are accused of submitting fraudulent and forged certified payroll records showing the correct amount due to his staff for proper bookkeeping. The defendants are accused of having the employees return some of their wages back to them and keeping that money for their own personal use.

The defendants are being prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) for embezzling funds from their workers during the construction projects in Irvine and Hemet.

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December 24, 2013

MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDERING VICTIM BY HITTING HIM IN HEAD AND FACE WITH AXE HANDLE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:07 am

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for murdering a victim by hitting him in the head and face with the handle of an axe before fleeing the scene in the victim’s car.  Jorge Santiago Avalos, 27, was found guilty by a jury Oct. 18, 2013, of one felony count of second degree murder. A previous jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in April 2012.

On the afternoon of Sept. 12, 2008, Avalos went to the Santa Ana home of Hilario Urquiza to drink with the victim. While in the home, Avalos murdered the victim by hitting him more than 12 times in the head and face with the handle of an axe. He then left the victim face-down in a pool of blood, stole the victim’s Jeep, and fled the scene.

Shortly after the murder, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Avalos drove with a .16 percent blood alcohol level in the victim’s stolen car. Witnesses called 911 to report a possible drunken driver. At the intersection of Jackson Street and Camille Street in Santa Ana, the Jeep ran out of gas and the defendant attempted to abandon the car and leave on foot.

The Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) responded to the scene and observed the defendant near the car. When contacted by police, the defendant displayed objective signs of intoxication and was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. Officers found paperwork in a subsequent search of the Jeep showing that that car was registered to Urquiza.

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