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October 31, 2014

Dignity Health Agrees to Pay $37 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:30 am

Dignity Health has agreed to pay the United States $37 million to settle allegations that 13 of its hospitals in California, Nevada and Arizona knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare and TRICARE by admitting patients who could have been treated on a less costly, outpatient basis, the Justice Department announced today.  Dignity, formerly known as Catholic Healthcare West, is based in San Francisco and is one of the five largest hospital systems in the nation with 39 hospitals in three states.

“Charging the government for higher cost inpatient services that patients do not need wastes the country’s vital health care dollars,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “This department will continue its work to stop abuses of the nation’s health care resources and to ensure patients receive the most appropriate care.”

The settlement resolves allegations that 13 Dignity Health hospitals knowingly overcharged Medicare and TRICARE, part of the military health care program, for inpatient services for patients who should have been treated on a less costly, outpatient basis.  Because hospitals generally receive significantly higher payments from federal health care programs for inpatient admissions as opposed to outpatient treatment, the admission of numerous patients who do not need inpatient care, as alleged here, can result in substantial financial harm to federal health care programs.

The United States alleged that from 2006 through 2010, 13 Dignity hospitals billed Medicare and TRICARE for inpatient care for certain patients who underwent elective cardiovascular procedures (e.g., stents, pacemakers) in scheduled surgeries when the claims should have been billed as outpatient surgeries.  In addition, the government alleged that from 2000 through 2008, four of the hospitals billed Medicare for beneficiaries undergoing elective kyphoplasty procedures, which are minimally-invasive and performed to treat certain spinal compression fractures that should have been billed as less costly outpatient procedures.  Lastly, the government alleged that from 2006 through 2010, 13 hospitals admitted patients for certain common medical diagnoses where admission as an inpatient was medically unnecessary and appropriate care could have been provided in a less costly outpatient or observation setting.

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Suspected Shooter Charged In Pomona Officer’s Death

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:25 am

The man suspected of fatally shooting Pomona Police Officer Shaun Diamond on Tuesday while the SWAT officer was serving a search warrant was charged today with capital murder, the Los Angeles

County District Attorney’s Office announced.

David Martinez (dob 3/02/78) is scheduled to be arraigned today at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, in case BA431000. Prosecutors will ask that he be held without bail.

Deputy District Attorneys Jack Garden and Andrew Kim in the Crimes Against Peace Officers Unit are assigned to the case.

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Compton Man Sentenced to Prison for Killing Young Niece in 2010

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:22 am

A 29-year-old Compton man convicted of fatally stabbing his niece and hiding her body in a closet was sentenced today to 31 years to life in state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Feb. 20, a jury found Julian Carter (dob 5/6/85) guilty of second-degree murder in case TA112779.

In the sanity phase of the trial, jurors also found that the defendant was sane when he killed the girl.

Deputy District Attorney Emily Spear, who prosecuted the case, said at the time of the killing, Carter and his 5-year-old niece, Mireya McCall, lived with other family members at a home in Compton.

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October 30, 2014

CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR TO FACE TRIAL FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 12-YEAR-OLD RELATIVE AND 9-YEAR-OLD CHILD OF FAMILY FRIEND

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:09 am

SANTA ANA – A children’s book author will face trial tomorrow for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old relative and a 9-year-old child of a family friend. Michael William Snyder, 47, San Clemente, is charged with five felony counts of committing lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old and one felony count of oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years old or younger with a sentencing enhancement for committing lewd acts against more than one victim. If convicted, Snyder faces a maximum sentence of 90 years to life in state prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, at 9:15 a.m. in Department C-44, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Between Jan. 1, 2008, and Sept. 7, 2010, Snyder is accused of having then 9-year-old Jane Doe #2 in his San Clemente home before taking her to San Diego Zoo and orally copulating her.

Between June 2010 and March 2011, Snyder is accused of sexually assaulting then 12-year-old Jane Doe #1, a female relative, at his home. Snyder is accused of having Jane Doe #1 sit on his lap and putting his hands up her shirt with the intent to sexually arouse himself or the child by rubbing her chest and stomach under her shirt on several occasions. Snyder would then instruct Jane Doe #1 to not tell anyone.

Jane Doe #1’s mother became suspicious that Snyder was sexually assaulting Jane Doe #1 when Jane Doe #1 did not want to be left alone with Snyder. Subsequently, Jane Doe #1 disclosed the molestation to her mother. Jane Doe #1’s mother reported the abuse to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, who investigated this case.

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MAN CONVICTED OF SHOOTING-MURDER OF HIS FATHER IN IRVINE HOME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:07 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of murdering his father by shooting him in their Irvine home. Steven Joseph Bruno, 23, Irvine, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of second degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. He faces a maximum sentence of 40 years to life in state prison at his sentencing Dec. 18, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 9:00 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2012, Steven Bruno murdered his 60-year-old father Ernest Bruno in the victim’s home by shooting him in order to take the victim’s car and money to visit a girlfriend in another state. The defendant locked his father’s body in a bedroom and fled the scene in the victim’s car. Steven Bruno drove his father’s car to Colorado.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. the following afternoon, family members went to the victim’s home and called 911 after discovering a large pool of blood inside. The Irvine Police Department (IPD) responded to the scene and located the victim in the locked bedroom.

IPD provided a description of the defendant and the vehicle to law enforcement partners. At approximately 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 31, 2012, the Logan County Sheriff’s Department in Colorado arrested Steven Bruno during a traffic stop.

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MAN TO FACE TRIAL FOR SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES STABBING-MURDER OF FORMER GIRLFRIEND IN SANTA ANA ALLEYWAY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:03 am

SANTA ANA – A man is scheduled to face trial tomorrow for stabbing and murdering his former girlfriend in a Santa Ana alleyway. Luis Antonio Garcia Morales, 26, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of special circumstance murder by lying in wait with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. If convicted, Morales faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Opening statements are scheduled to begin tomorrow, Oct. 30, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On the evening of Nov. 13, 2012, Morales is accused of arranging to meet with 21-year-old Maria Isabel Cerrillo, with whom he had a previous romantic relationship, by pretending to be someone else. The defendant is accused of meeting his ex-girlfriend in an alleyway in Santa Ana, murdering her by stabbing her repeatedly, and fleeing the scene. The victim died from multiple stab wounds.

Morales was arrested on the morning of Nov. 15, 2012, by Santa Ana Police Department officers, who investigated this case.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 12CF3351 / October 29, 2014

October 29, 2014

Yucca Valley Man Who Worked At Local Schools Sentenced To 23 Years In Federal Prison In Federal Child Pornography Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:40 am

RIVERSIDE, California – A school custodian who sexually abused a child over a period of several years and uploaded visual images of the molestations to the Internet has been sentenced to 276 months in federal prison for his conviction on child pornography charges.

Matthew Frazer, 39, of Yucca Valley, was sentenced Friday by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

Frazer pleaded guilty in July to one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. In a plea agreement, Frazer admitted filming the molestation of the victim, who was between 4 and 8 at the time, and uploading the films onto the internet to share with others.

Prior to his arrest on January 31, Frazer was employed as a custodian with the Morongo Unified School District. The victim did not attend the schools where Frazer worked.

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California Woman Sentenced for Conspiracy to Defraud Internal Revenue Service and Wire Fraud

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:37 am

A Fresno, California, resident was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison and pay $703,537 in restitution for conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by aiding to obtain payment of fraudulent tax refund claims and committing wire fraud, the Justice Department and IRS announced today.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Kathryn Darlene Coryell pleaded guilty to two counts of a 44-count indictment on June 26.  Her co-defendant, Noemi Baez, pleaded guilty on Oct. 31, 2013, to charges of conspiring to defraud the IRS and committing aggravated identity theft.

According to the plea agreement, beginning around Feb. 28, 2008, and continuing through April 16, 2012, Coryell and Baez participated in a scheme to obtain and help others to obtain payment of false claims for tax refunds from the IRS by electronically filing fraudulent federal income tax returns.  Using the names and social security numbers of numerous individuals, Coryell and Baez fabricated income information and filed materially false income tax returns claiming tax refunds derived from credits, including the Earned Income Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit and the Making Work Pay Credit.  In the plea agreement, Coryell admitted that, during the conspiracy, she and her co-defendant filed more than 150 false tax returns claiming fraudulent tax refunds totaling more than $400,000.

The case was investigated by special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Erin S. Mellen, Sonia M. Owens and Charles A. O’Reilly of the Tax Division.

Central District of California DOJ / Release No. 14-1191 / October 28, 2014

Jury Convicts Man In USC Grad Student Slayings

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:34 am

A 22-year-old Los Angeles man was convicted today of the 2012 fatal shootings of two USC graduate students from China during a botched robbery, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

A jury of seven women and five men deliberated less than 1 1/2 days before finding Javier Bolden guilty of two counts of first-degree murder of Ming Qu and Ying Wu on April 11, 2012, during a robbery attempt. The two engineering students, both 23, were gunned down in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue.

Bolden also was convicted of one count of attempted murder and one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm in a separate shooting that occurred on Feb. 12, 2012. In addition, the jury found all special circumstances and special allegations to be true.

Deputy District Attorney Daniel Akemon with the Major Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

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October 28, 2014

Ex-San Bernardino Police Officer Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison In Civil Rights Case Stemming From Sexual Assaults Of Prostitutes

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:15 am

RIVERSIDE, California – A former officer with the San Bernardino Police Department was sentenced today to 300 months in federal prison for violating the civil rights charges of two women he forced perform sex acts while he was in uniform.

Jose Jesus Perez, 47, of Menifee, received the sentence from United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

Perez was found guilty by a federal jury in May of two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of deprivation of rights under color of law for sexually assaulting two victims in 2011. The jury determined that both felony offenses involved aggravated sexual abuse, and that one attack involved a kidnapping and bodily injury.

The evidence presented during a week-long trial showed that Perez groped a woman and coerced her to perform oral sex on him by using force against her on April 25, 2011.

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