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April 30, 2014

California Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Racially Motivated Assault on White Man and African-American Woman

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:53 am

Perry Sylvester Jackson, 28, of Marysville, Calif., was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez to serve 70 months in prison for violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in a 2011 racially motivated attack against a white man and an African-American woman in Marysville.  Jackson, who previously pleaded guilty on Dec. 17, 2013, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence and to pay restitution in the amount of $175.  Co-defendant Billy James Hammett, who also pleaded guilty, was sentenced on March 25, 2014, to serve 87 months in prison and three years of supervised release, as well as to pay $175 in restitution.  Anthony Merrell Tyler, 33, also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

According to documents filed with the court, around 10:45 p.m. on April 18, 2011, a white man and an African-American woman parked their car at a convenience store in Marysville.  Shortly afterward, the three defendants attacked the man and woman based on race.  After calling the male victim a “[racial slur]-lover,” Jackson, who has the words “white power” tattooed on his legs, punched him twice in the head through the open passenger window.  At the same time, Hammett kicked the woman in the chest.  A few seconds later, Tyler smashed the car’s windshield with a crowbar.  As the attack continued, the woman managed to take refuge inside the convenience store.  All three assailants then descended upon the male victim and began attacking him in the parking lot.  He sustained abrasions on his right forearm and knees, while the woman suffered bruising to her chest.  At the end of the incident, Tyler used a racial slur to refer to an African-American witness.

Tyler is scheduled to be sentenced on July 8, 2014, where he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case was investigated by the FBI.  The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner for the Eastern District of California and Trial Attorney Chiraag Bains of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

U.S. Department of Justice / 14-455 Civil Rights Division / April 29, 2014

Certified Public Accountant Convicted of Preparing False Returns

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:33 am

A federal jury convicted certified public accountant Jeffery Deshon Applewhite, aka Jeffrey Donald Mason, a resident of Los Angeles County, California, of 20 counts of aiding and assisting the preparation and presentation of false tax returns late yesterday, announced Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California and Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez.  Applewhite was not convicted on five charges of identity fraud.

The evidence presented during the five day trial before U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White showed that Applewhite, who owned and operated tax preparation businesses in Los Angeles and Oakland, California, prepared false and fraudulent income tax returns for clients during the years 2006 through 2011 on which he fabricated deductible expenses, including gifts to charity,  and other expenses.  Applewhite also fraudulently included residential energy credits and education credits to which his clients were not entitled on tax returns he prepared.  Applewhite prepared and filed false returns using the names Jeffery Deshon Applewhite and Jeffrey Donald Mason, and used the name and tax preparer identification number of another tax return preparer.

Applewhite’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 5, 2014, before Judge White in Oakland.  The maximum statutory penalty for each count of aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns is three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The case was investigated by Special Agents from IRS - Criminal Investigation . Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Stier and Trial Attorney Sonia Owens of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case.

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April 29, 2014

Men Convicted of Murder in Marijuana Robbery Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:55 am

A jury today found two men guilty of killing a marijuana courier and they were immediately sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Rachel Hardiman said the jury convicted Charles Mackbee, 44, and Kenneth Johnson, 38, of first-degree murder. Jurors also found true a special allegation that the defendants used a revolver during the killing. A special circumstance that the men committed the murder in the commission of a robbery also was found to be true.

Furthermore, the felony complaint alleged that Mackbee was convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon in 1995, forgery in 2002, two counts of theft and unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle in 2002, and embezzlement in 2002. Johnson was convicted of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury in 2009.

A third man who participated in the murder, Marcel Mackabee, 31, was convicted in a separate case on July 19, 2013. Mackabee, Charles Mackbee’s cousin, also was sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

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Gold Broker Charged in $1.74 Million Fraud Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:52 am

Prosecutors have charged the owner of Discount Gold Brokers, a business that buys and sells gold bullion and coins, with 50 felony counts for allegedly defrauding 25 victims whose losses totaled more than $1.74 million, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Gregory Alker of the Consumer Protection Division said Michael Berman (dob 5/10/60) of Canyon Country pleaded not guilty to all charges today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center

Berman surrendered today after a felony complaint for arrest.  warrant was filed April 15.

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April 28, 2014

German Company Ordered to Pay $1.25 Million after Failing to Report Hazardous Condition on a Cargo Ship in the Port of Long Beach

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:39 am

LOS ANGELES – A German company has been sentenced to pay a $1 million fine and another $250,000 to support environmental causes after pleading guilty to two felony environmental charges related to a cargo ship that entered the Port of Long Beach last year with an open crack in its hull that may have caused oil to leak into the port.

The company – Herm. Dauelsberg GmbH & Co. KG – pleaded guilty yesterday morning and was sentenced immediately by United States District Judge George H. Wu. The company pleaded guilty to a felony count of failing to maintain accurate records relating to the overboard disposal of fuel oil and to a felony count of failing to report a hazardous condition aboard the M/V Bellavia to the United States Coast Guard.

This case was initiated after four members of the M/V Bellavia crew provided significant information to the United States Coast Guard, including pictures and videos of discharges from a fuel tank into the ocean. Using a federal law that allows a federal judge to award up to half of any criminal fine to “whistleblowers” who provide information concerning certain environmental crimes aboard vessels, Judge Wu ordered that the four crewmembers receive a total of $500,000 from the fine amount.

The M/V Bellavia is a 960-foot-long, Panamax-size ship that normally transports cargo between European, Central American and North American ports. In 2011, the M/V Bellavia sustained cracks in the ship’s hull while transiting through the Panama Canal. On an unknown number of occasions over the past three years, the hull cracks opened to such an extent that seawater could enter one of the ship’s fuel tanks. As a result of the damage, bunker fuel – a heavy, thick fuel oil – could have been released from the fuel tank into the sea..

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Two San Gabriel Valley Men Who Participated in ‘Black Market Peso Exchange’ that Moved Money Out of U.S. Sentenced to Federal Prison

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:36 am

LOS ANGELES – Two men and the South El Monte import-export company they used to move millions of dollars linked to illegal activity from the United States to Mexico were sentenced today for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. The three defendants received large sums of cash – often hidden in duffel bags – and they worked with “peso brokers” in Mexico to illegally convert the dollars to pesos.

The three defendants sentenced today by United States District Judge John A. Kronstadt are:

Peace & Rich Import, Inc., a wholesale distributor of silk flowers and other goods, which was sentenced to pay a $75,000 fine and to be on probation for four years with stringent conditions;

Chaur Hwan “Kenny” Lin, 67, of Temple City, the president and co-owner of Peace & Rich, who was sentenced to one year in federal prison and ordered to pay a $6,000 fine; and

Antonio Pareja, 54, of San Gabriel, the manager of Peace & Rich, who was sentenced to one year and one day in prison.

Judge Kronstadt also ordered Peace & Rich and Lin to forfeit more than $2 million of funds related to the crime.

Lin and Pareja ran Peace & Rich as an informal money transfer system that was involved in the transfer of money outside of the conventional financial institutions system. An investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Los Angeles determined that Lin and Pareja used Peace & Rich to receive large amounts of cash derived from illegal activity. The cash – as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars – was typically delivered by couriers working in conjunction with a peso broker in Mexico.

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Former Senior Partner at KPMG Who Provided Confidential Client Information that Was Used to Make Stock Trades that Generated More Than $1.25 Million in Illegal Profits Sentenced to Federal Prison

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:33 am

LOS ANGELES—A former senior partner at the accounting firm KPMG LLP was sentenced today to 14 months in federal prison for his involvement in an insider trading scheme in which he provided confidential information about publicly traded clients to a man who paid him with cash bribes and luxury items.

Scott London, 51, of Agoura Hills, who oversaw KPMG’s audit practice for the Pacific Southwest until he was terminated last year after 29 years at the firm, was sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu.

In addition to the prison term, which London was ordered to begin serving on July 18, Judge Wu ordered him to pay a $100,000 fine.

London pleaded guilty last July to one count of securities fraud through insider trading.

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 allowed Shaw to realize more than $1.27 million in illegal proceeds.

London was a senior partner at KPMG who supervised more than 500 accounting professionals at the firm and personally handled audits for major KPMG clients, including Herbalife Ltd. and Skechers USA, Inc. As a result of his position, London had access to confidential information about KPMG?s clients before that information was disclosed to the public. In his plea agreement, London admitted that he disclosed inside information to Shaw regarding at least 14 separate earnings announcements or acquisitions for KPMG clients.

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April 25, 2014

U.S. SEEKS TO RECOVER OVER $700,000 IN KLEPTOCRACY PROCEEDS OF FORMER SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT CHUN DOO-HWAN

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:45 am

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California seeking to recover more than $700,000 in alleged corruption proceeds of Chun Doo-hwan, the former president of the Republic of Korea.

These monies were seized in February 2014 from the sale of a house located in Newport Beach, Calif., which President Chun’s son, Chun Jae Yong, had purchased in 2005 with proceeds allegedly traceable to his father’s corruption.  The United States is working with the Republic of Korea’s Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office to forfeit these corruption proceeds.

The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Assistant Director in Charge Bill L. Lewis of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division and Assistant Director John G. Connolly of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of International Affairs.

While serving as Korea’s president, Chun Doo-hwan betrayed the Korean people by taking over $200 million in bribes, some of which his family members then illegally laundered into the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General O’Neil.  “Through the department’s Kleptocracy Initiative, we are making crystal clear that the United States will not tolerate the use of its financial system by corrupt foreign officials – or their relatives – to harbor their ill-gotten gains.”

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Justice Department and Bazaarvoice Inc. Agree on Remedy to Address Bazaarvoice’s Illegal Acquisition of Power Reviews

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:43 am

Remedy Will Fully Restore Competition Eliminated in the Provision of Online Product Ratings and Reviews Platforms

The Department of Justice and Bazaarvoice Inc. have agreed on a remedy that will address Bazaarvoice’s illegal acquisition of PowerReviews Inc. by requiring Bazaarvoice to divest the assets it acquired from PowerReviews and adhere to other requirements to fully restore competition in the provision of online product ratings and reviews platforms.

On Jan. 8, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco ruled that Bazaarvoice violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act when it acquired PowerReviews, its only serious competitor.  Today’s proposed remedy, if approved by the court, will resolve the department’s competitive concerns associated with Bazaarvoice’s acquisition of PowerReviews.

“As a result of today’s agreement, Bazaarvoice will remedy the harm caused by its unlawful acquisition of PowerReviews,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “In addition, Bazaarvoice has agreed to meaningful additional measures that will allow a divestiture buyer to quickly achieve the competitive position that PowerReviews would have occupied today, absent the unlawful transaction.”

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MAN SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN STATE PRISON FOR PIMPING THREE WOMEN AFTER POSTING AD ON SEX WEBSITE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:40 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted and sentenced yesterday to four years in state prison today following an undercover sting operation for pimping three women for financial gain after advertising the victims on a sex website. Harvey Rashad McNight, 30, San Diego, pleaded guilty yesterday, April 23, 2014, to three felony counts of pimping.

Circumstances of the Case

McNight is a pimp/modern-day slave owner who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. In this case, he pimped three women, ages 20 to 40. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow. In this case, the defendant required the victims to address him as “Sir” or “Daddy.” The victims were required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical and/or emotional abuse.

In March 2013, the defendant advertised his victims on a website known for pimping and prostitution. In a sting operation by the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD), an undercover officer located the advertisement and posed as a sex purchaser. The officer arranged to meet the three victims in a Santa Ana motel room on March 8, 2013.

On March 8, 2013, McNight drove Jane Doe #1 to Orange County to engage in sex acts. He pimped Jane Doe #1 and two other victims by arranging for them to meet the undercover officer for sex acts that day. McNight was identified as the victims’ pimp based on identifying information at the scene.

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