Best Defender Bytes:

January 26, 2018

Controller at Fontana Company Sentenced to over One Year in Federal Prison for Embezzling $1.5 Million from Employer

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

LOS ANGELES – A Riverside woman who was the controller at a Fontana-based metal forging company was sentenced this morning to one year and one day in federal prison for embezzling more than $1.5 million from her employer.

Jacquelin Dyer, 68, who was the controller and co-general manager at Pacific Forge, Inc., was sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu. In addition to the prison term, which Dyer will begin serving next week, Judge Wu ordered her to pay $1,365,556 in restitution to the victim company.

As the controller of Pacific Forge, Dyer was responsible for all aspects of accounting at the company, and she was authorized to sign corporate checks for amounts up to $5,000. According to court documents, Dyer used Pacific Forge corporate checks to pay her personal bills for about 10 years. Dyer printed and signed corporate checks that she made appear would be used to pay Pacific Forge vendors, but in reality were mailed to pay her personal expenses.

Dyer pleaded guilty in September to a mail fraud charge specifically related to a $4,752 check that she mailed to American Express on January 11, 2013 to pay her personal credit card bill. Dyer made false entries in the Pacific Forge books to make this check appear to be a payment to a vendor.

“[F]or about a decade, [Dyer] embezzled and stole over $1.5 million of funds that had been entrusted to her by her employer,” prosecutors wrote in papers filed with the court. “[Dyer] used this money to pay her credit card expenses, her mortgage, her car repairs, and other personal expenditures.” (more…)

Saugus Man Sentenced for Trying to Kill Father by Driving Pickup Truck Off Cliff

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

A Santa Clarita man has been sentenced to 13 years and eight months in state prison for purposely driving a pickup truck off a cliff with his 68-year-old father aboard, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney Emily Cole said Sean McClelland (dob 9/19/70) was sentenced yesterday immediately after pleading no contest to one felony count each of kidnapping and attempted murder.

McClelland was arrested on July 4, 2016, for threatening his father and his mother with a machete and then driving the vehicle more than 500 feet down an embankment near Templin Highway and Interstate 5, the prosecutor said.

Case PA086676 was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Clarita Station.

Los Angeles District Attorney / Case PA086676 / January 25, 2018

January 25, 2018

Two California Urologists Agree to Pay More than $1 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations Related to Radiation Therapy Referrals

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:26 am

Drs. Aytac Apaydin and Stephen Worsham, urologists based in Northern California, will pay $1.085 million to resolve allegations that they submitted and caused the submission of false claims to Medicare for image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) that was referred and billed in violation of the physician self-referral law (commonly known as the “Stark Law”) and the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Department of Justice announced.  Drs. Apaydin and Worsham own and operate Salinas Valley Urology Associates (SVUA) in Salinas, California.  They also owned Advance Radiation Oncology Center (AROC), located in Salinas, California, which dissolved in 2016.  IGRT is used to treat patients who are diagnosed with cancer, including prostate cancer patients.

“Health care laws prevent health care providers, and physicians in particular, from referring Medicare services in exchange for financial incentives,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing those laws and preventing physicians from improperly injecting profit motives into their decisions about patient care.”

The Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law are intended to ensure that a physician’s medical judgment is not compromised by improper financial incentives.  The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by federal health care programs, including Medicare.  The Stark Law forbids health care providers from billing Medicare for certain services referred by physicians who have a financial relationship with the entity performing the service, unless an exception applies.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting the residents of the district from unlawful financial schemes that compromise patient care,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alex G. Tse.  “Patients who use our federal health care programs deserve care that is free from fraud.  The few doctors who choose to engage in this type of conduct not only undermine the system, but impugn the many honest and dedicated medical professionals who serve our community.” (more…)

Monterey Park Man Sentenced to Federal Prison after Admitting He Smuggled nearly 2 Dozen Live King Cobras into United States

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:24 am

LOS ANGELES – A Monterey Park man has been sentenced to five months in federal prison after pleading guilty to a smuggling charge stemming from the seizure of three king cobras hidden in potato chip canisters.

Rodrigo Franco, 35, was sentenced Monday morning by United States District Judge George H. Wu. In addition to the prison term, Judge Wu ordered Franco to pay a $4,500 fine and to serve two years of supervised release after he is released from prison.

Franco was sentenced after pleading guilty in September to one count of wildlife smuggling. In a plea agreement filed in United States District Court, Franco admitted that he was responsible for three illegal shipments of king cobras that contained approximately 23 snakes.

In a sentencing memorandum filed earlier this month, prosecutors pointed out two key issues with the illegal smuggling: “King Cobras are venomous snakes that are: (1) legally protected because they are a vulnerable species at risk for extinction; and (2) deadly because they possess lethal venom that can kill an adult within 30 minutes if the person is bitten and anti-venom is not available (and, at the time of the offense, there was no known King Cobra anti-venom in Los Angeles).”

According to court documents, United States Customs and Border Protection in March 2017 intercepted a package sent from Hong Kong and discovered three live king cobra snakes, each of which was approximately two-feet long. In addition to the three snakes, the parcel contained three albino Chinese soft-shelled turtles. (more…)

MAN CONVICTED OF SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES DRIVE-BY SHOOTING MURDER ON 91 FREEWAY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:20 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was convicted today of special circumstances murder for the drive-by shooting of a man on the 91 Freeway.

Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
David Arzate Cabrera, 49, Anaheim Found guilty by a jury today of the following felony counts:

  • First degree murder
  • Possession of narcotics for sale
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon

Sentencing Enhancements

  • Personal discharge of a firearm causing death
  • Special circumstances murder by drive-by shooting
Life in state prison without the possibility of parole Sentencing March 23, 2018, 9:00 a.m. Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

  • At approximately 8:00 p.m. on July 14, 2014, Cabrera was driving a black Nissan westbound on the 91 Freeway in Anaheim.
  • The defendant drove up next to a Ford F-150 pickup truck and shot at the passenger side window of the truck, where 32-year-old victim Agustin Villegas was seated. (more…)

January 24, 2018

Former Employee of Glendale’s City Attorney Sentenced to Federal Prison after Embezzling nearly $700,000 of City Funds

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

LOS ANGELES – A former employee of the Glendale City Attorney’s Office has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison after she admitted embezzling nearly $700,000 in a scheme that used false documents to make it appear the money was being used to pay civil claims against the city. Cassandra Alexander, 53, who resides in the Winnetka district of Los Angeles, was sentenced Monday by United States District Judge George H. Wu. Alexander pleaded guilty in October to one count of theft from an organization receiving federal funds and admitted that she embezzled money for more than 15 years. Alexander was a claims and litigation support supervisor at the Glendale City Attorney’s Office, where she was responsible for assembling “Settlement Packets” that were used to resolve claims against Glendale for personal injury or property damage. Each Settlement Packet contained approval of the settlement by a member of the City Attorney’s Office and the City Council, as well as authorization for the city’s Finance Department to issue a check to the claimant. Alexander, who had unlimited authority to sign documents directing the Finance Department to issue checks, was responsible for picking up the checks and providing them to claimants’ attorneys. Beginning in July 2001, and continuing through March 2017, Alexander created and submitted fraudulent Settlement Packets that caused the Finance Department to issue 30 checks to her family members and acquaintances, according to a plea agreement filed in this case. Alexander also created bogus settlement agreements and fake minutes of City Council meetings. (more…)

Monrovia Man Found Guilty in ‘Hawala’ Scheme to Move Money for International Drug Trafficking Organizations, Included Drug Cartels

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

LOS ANGELES – A federal jury has convicted a Monrovia man for his role in an international money laundering organization that conspired to move millions of dollars in proceeds for narcotics traffickers that included the Sinaloa Cartel.

Harinder Singh, 32, who also goes by “Sonu,” was found guilty late Friday of conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

The jury deliberated for less than two hours on January 19 before finding Singh guilty of all three charges. With the verdicts against Singh, prosecutors have convicted 18 defendants who were named in a 2015 grand jury indictment that was the first major case in the United States involving “hawala” transfers of drug money.

The evidence presented during the two-week trial in United States District Court – which included Punjabi language wiretap calls, Punjabi-speaking witnesses and a money laundering expert – showed that Singh participated in a “hawala” conspiracy that was moving money generated from drug sales in Canada to the United States to pay for multi-kilogram drug shipments that were purchased in Los Angeles and then routed back to Canada for distribution.

According to the indictment, a hawala is an alternative form of money remittance which operates outside of traditional banking or financial systems. The transfer of monetary value occurs between the brokers – who are typically located in different countries, but sometimes in different cities in one nation – based solely upon the trust that exists between the brokers. The hawala system, which originated on the Indian subcontinent, does not rely on promissory instruments; rather, it relies on trust and long-established connections between brokers that are typically based on familial, ethnic, religious, regional and/or cultural grounds. Through hawala transactions, only the value of the money is transferred, not the money itself. (more…)

2 Men Charged With Conspiring to Illegally Obtain Technology and Computer Chips That Were Sent to China

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

Federal authorities arrested Yi-Chi Shih, 62, and Kiet Ahn Mai, 63, on Jan. 19, on federal charges that allege a scheme to illegally obtain technology and integrated circuits with military applications that were exported to a Chinese company without the required export license.

The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente; U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna for the Northern District of California; Assistant Director in Charge Paul Delacourt of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; Special Agent in Charge R. Damon Rowe of IRS Criminal Investigation; Special Agent in Charge Richard Weir of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Export Enforcement, Los Angeles Field Office.

“According to the complaint, the defendants allegedly schemed to illegally export semiconductors having military and civilian applications to a Chinese company,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Boente.  “Protecting this type of technology and preventing its illegal acquisition by our adversaries remains a key priority in preserving our national security.”

“This case outlines a scheme to secure proprietary technology, some of which was allegedly sent to China, where it could be used to provide companies there with significant advantages that would compromise U.S. business interests,” said U.S. Attorney Hanna.  “The very sensitive information would also benefit foreign adversaries who could use the technology to further or develop military applications that would be detrimental to our national security.”

“The FBI, working jointly with our law enforcement partners, remains committed to bringing to justice those who seek to illegally export some of our nation’s most sensitive technologies to the detriment of our national security and hard-working United States companies,” said Assistant Director in Charge Delacourt.  “Rest assured, the FBI will continue to diligently pursue any and all leads that involve the illegal exportation of U.S. technology which will cause harm to our long-term national security interests.” (more…)

January 23, 2018

DRUNKEN DRIVER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDERING MOTHER OF THREE IN HEAD-ON COLLISION WITH MINIVAN IN MISSION VIEJO

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A drunken driver was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison on Friday for murdering a mother of three after driving into oncoming traffic and crashing head-on into her minivan in Mission Viejo.

Defendant Charges Sentence
William Joseph Carroll, 51, Mission Viejo Found guilty by a jury on Nov. 13, 2017, of:

  • One felony count of second degree murder
15 years to life in state prison

Circumstances of the Case

  • At approximately 11:40 p.m. on May 7, 2013, Carroll was driving a pickup truck while under the influence of alcohol in Mission Viejo.
  • The defendant made a left turn from El Toro Road onto Santa Margarita Parkway and drove southbound in the northbound lanes.
  • Carroll drove approximately one-third of a mile into oncoming traffic before slamming head-on into a minivan being driven by 36-year-old Ana Martinez. (more…)

Los Angeles Man Sentenced For Sexually Assaulting Five Boys

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

A 58-year-old man was sentenced today to more than four decades in state prison for molesting five boys between 2000 and 2007, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Amador Valencia Santos was sentenced to 47 years and four months to life in prison by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus, who also ordered lifetime sex offender registration for the defendant.

In December, Santos was found guilty of three counts of oral copulation on a minor, two counts each of sodomy on a child, lewd acts upon a child and continuous sexual abuse and one count of attempted sodomy.

Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson of the Sex Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

Over a seven-year period, Santos sexually abused five boys ranging in age from 7 to 17 years old. The defendant preyed upon his victims, most of whom were being raised by single mothers, by often convincing the families he could be a surrogate father to the boys. (more…)

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress