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April 19, 2018

Man Charged with Child Sexual Abuse in Covina

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:20 am

A Baldwin Park man pleaded not guilty today to entering a Covina hotel room that was not his and sexually assaulting a young girl, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Douglas Rivera (dob 7/20/77) has been charged with three counts in case KA117858: lewd act upon a child, first-degree burglary, person present and indecent exposure.

Deputy District Attorney Michelle Graves of the Victim Impact Program is assigned to the case.

Prosecutors said on Feb. 7, Rivera reportedly drove to a hotel in the 1200 block of East Garvey Street in Covina and parked his vehicle in front of a room where two young girls were staying.

The defendant then allegedly exposed his penis, before he entered the hotel room and inappropriately touched one of the girls, prosecutors added. (more…)

Man Sentenced for Killing Parrot in Long Beach

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:18 am

An 18-year-old man pleaded no contest today to killing a pet parrot late last year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

At today’s court appearance, Edward Cervantes pleaded no contest to one felony count of animal cruelty in case NA108127. Following the plea, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James D. Otto immediately sentenced the defendant to five years of formal probation.

Additionally, Cervantes was ordered to attend 48 animal cruelty classes and complete 30 days of Caltrans service. Moreover, the defendant was ordered to stay away from the victims for five years and pay restitution in the amount of $3,272.

Finally, as a condition of his probation, Cervantes must either obtain a full-time job, be enrolled in school full-time or have part-time work while going to school.

Deputy District Attorney Dan Novey, who prosecuted the case, said at the time of the crime Cervantes had been staying at a home in the 1300 block of East Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach. (more…)

California Resident Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to File Fraudulent Tax Returns Seeking More Than $9.7 Million in Refunds

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:16 am

A  Salinas, California, resident pleaded guilty today to conspiring to file fraudulent claims for income tax refunds, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Alex G. Tse for the Northern District of California.

According to documents and information provided to the court, during 2012, Ana Bajo a/k/a Ana Covarrubias, 43, conspired with others to obtain the personal identifying information of others and use it to file more than 2,300 fraudulent income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  These returns reported fake wages and years in prison, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and Acting U.S. Attorney Tse commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael G. Pitman and Trial fraudulently claimed dependents, education expenses and tax credits.  In total, the returns sought approximately $9.7 million in refunds, of which the IRS paid more than $7.5 million.  Bajo, and her co-conspirators, directed the fraudulently obtained refund checks into bank accounts that they controlled.

U.S. District Court Judge Koh scheduled sentencing for Sept. 26.  Bajo faces a statutory maximum sentence of ten (more…)

April 18, 2018

Encino Doctor Sentenced for Sexual Battery and Exploitation of Patients

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:39 am

A 69-year-old general practitioner in Encino was sentenced today to one year in county jail and three years of formal probation for sexually assaulting five of his female patients during medical visits, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Richard Quiñones said Dr. Michael Popkin pleaded no contest today to one felony count of sexual exploitation by a physician upon several patients and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery.

Popkin also was ordered to complete 52 weeks of sexual compulsion counseling, register as a sex offender, relinquish his medical license and not practice medicine. Additionally, Popkin is to refrain from having any contact with the victims for a period of ten years.

The doctor will begin serving his jail sentence on May 1.

The defendant engaged in conduct ranging from forcibly kissing a patient to inappropriate fondling of patients, the prosecutor said. The incidents charged in case LA084895 occurred over the course of two years on or between the dates of June 12, 2014 and October 31, 2016, the prosecutor added. (more…)

Woman Charged in South Los Angeles Robbery Spree

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:37 am

A South Los Angeles woman has been charged in a spree of convenience store robberies, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Chaney Armstrong (dob 9/19/71) was charged late yesterday afternoon with 11 felony counts of second degree robbery and six felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm in case BA467250. The charges include allegations of personal use of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

An arraignment was scheduled for yesterday but was continued until May 16 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Bail was set at more than $1.5 million.

According to prosecutors, Armstrong used a handgun to rob multiple stores, including convenience stores and markets, from Jan. 11 to April 10 within a several-block radius of her residence.

She faces up to 195 years in state prison if convicted as charged. (more…)

Man Convicted of Murder, Attempted Murder in South Los Angeles Attacks

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:35 am

A man was convicted today of murder and attempted murder in two separate attacks in South Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

A jury found Floyd Odell (dob 8/29/66) of Los Angeles guilty of one count of murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. Jurors also found true firearm allegations and an allegation of causing great bodily injury.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 21 in Department 101 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Odell faces up to 50 years to life in state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Stefana Antonescu, who prosecuted the case, said Odell fatally shot his friend Charles Wilson on May 18, 2015, at the victim’s home in the 700 block of West 79th Street. Wilson was shot multiple times and died at the scene.

That followed another incident just days earlier, on May 12, 2015, when Odell shot his nephew and his nephew’s wife in the 6900 block of Menlo Avenue. The couple were walking to their car when Odell shot his nephew in the pelvis area and the woman in the hand. Both were taken to a local hospital and treated for their injuries. (more…)

April 17, 2018

FORMER EMPLOYEE OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AMBULANCE COMPANY SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR ROLE IN MEDICARE FRAUD SCHEME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:09 am

LOS ANGELES – A former employee of a Southern California ambulance company was sentenced today to 36 months in prison for his role in a scheme that resulted in more than $1.1 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare.

Aharon Aron Krkasharyan, 54, of Los Angeles, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu, who also ordered Krkasharyan to pay $484,556 in restitution to Medicare, jointly and severally with his co-conspirators, who await sentencing.  On Nov. 27, 2017, Krkasharyan pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Today’s sentencing was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney Nicola T. Hanna, Special Agent in Charge Christian J. Schrank of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Los Angeles Region, and Assistant Director in Charge Paul D. Delacourt of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division.

Krkasharyan was employed as the Quality Improvement Coordinator for Mauran Ambulance Inc. (Mauran) of San Fernando, an ambulance transportation company operating in the greater Los Angeles area that provided non-emergency services to Medicare beneficiaries, many of whom were dialysis patients. As part of his plea, Krkasharyan admitted that between June 2011 and April 2012, he conspired with other Mauran employees to submit claims to Medicare for ambulance transportation services for individuals who did not need such services.  Krkasharyan also admitted that he and his co-conspirators instructed Mauran emergency medical technicians to conceal the patients’ true medical conditions by altering paperwork and creating fraudulent reasons to justify the ambulance services. (more…)

San Pedro Man Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Making Death Threat Against United States Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:05 am

LOS ANGELES – A San Pedro man who called the Washington, D.C. office of United States Representative Maxine Waters and threatened to kill the congresswoman pleaded guilty today to a federal felony offense stemming from the threat.

Anthony Scott Lloyd, 45, pleaded guilty to one count of threatening a United States official.

Lloyd entered the guilty before United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, who scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 16. At the time of sentencing, Lloyd will face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

According to a plea agreement filed in this case, Lloyd called Rep. Waters’ office on October 22, 2017 and left a voicemail laced with expletives and epithets. The message used the words “dead” and “kill” a total of four times.

Lloyd admitted in the plea agreement that he “left this recorded message with the intent to impede, intimidate, interfere with, and retaliate against Congresswoman Waters, while she was engaged in and on account of the performance of her official duties.” (more…)

Attorney General Becerra Charges Individual for Price Gouging After North Bay Wildfires

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:02 am

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today filed three misdemeanor charges against Melissa “Missy” Echeverria, a real estate agent, for allegedly raising the monthly rent on property she owns in Novato, California by more than 10 percent following the devastating fires in Northern Bay Area counties last year. Due to the blazes, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on October 9, 2017. Price gouging during a state of emergency is illegal under Penal Code Section 396.

“In times of crisis, the overwhelming majority of Californians do what is right: we come together and help one another. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case,” said Attorney General Becerra. “There are some unscrupulous individuals who engage in price gouging, taking advantage of those who are already suffering. It’s wrong, it’s unconscionable, and it’s illegal. At the California Department of Justice, we are committed to ensuring that it’s not open season on innocent victims. I appreciate the strong partnership between my office and the Marin County District Attorney’s Office in this particular case.”

The investigation was conducted by attorneys and Division of Law Enforcement special agents from the California Department of Justice.

California law generally prohibits hiking the price of an item or service by more than 10 percent of what it cost before a state or local emergency was declared. This law applies to those who sell food, emergency supplies, medical supplies, building materials and gasoline. The law also applies to repair or reconstruction services, emergency cleanup services, transportation, freight and storage services, hotel accommodations and rental housing. Exceptions to this prohibition exist if, for example, the price of labor, goods, or materials has increased for the vendor. (more…)

April 16, 2018

2 South L.A. Men Indicted on Federal Charges of Robbing Undercover Secret Service Agent during Counterfeit Money Investigation

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:50 am

LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury this afternoon returned an indictment that charges two men in a scheme to rob an undercover agent with the United States Secret Service at gunpoint under the pretense of selling the law enforcement officer counterfeit money.

Richard Taron Henderson, aka “Profit,” 22, and Tyre Jordan Simmons, aka “Reckless,” also 22, were named today in a six-count indictment that alleges one transaction involving counterfeit United States currency and an armed robbery of the undercover agent.

Both men are charged with conspiracy, robbery, assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon, and using a firearm during a crime of violence. Henderson is further charged with dealing counterfeit money, and Simmons is accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The indictment alleges an October 18, 2017 incident in which Henderson allegedly sold 250 counterfeit $20 Federal Reserve Notes as part of a Secret Service investigation into the trafficking of counterfeit money.

As the investigation continued, Henderson allegedly negotiated a deal to sell $40,000 in counterfeit money. However, according to the indictment, the deal was a pretense to rob the undercover agent who was attempting to purchase the counterfeit money. (more…)

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