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March 7, 2016


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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A drunken driver was sentenced today to four years in state prison for causing a rollover crash that killed a bicyclist. Dominic Devin Carratt, 20, Dana Point, pleaded guilty on Feb. 9, 2016, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, one felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, one felony count of driving with a blood alcohol of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, and a sentencing enhancement for great bodily injury. Carratt was ordered to pay restitution and his license will be suspended for three years after his release.

At approximately 11:15 p.m. on April 29, 2014, Carratt was driving his Acura Sedan, with a passenger inside, at a high rate of speed while under the influence of alcohol. Carrat was speeding southbound on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point near the intersection of Shoreline Drive, took a slight left turn, and lost traction of his vehicle.

Carratt lost control of his vehicle and continued through the turn for approximately 200 feet before the rear of his vehicle struck 39-year-old Haitham Gamal, who was legally riding his bicycle southbound on Pacific Coast Highway. The defendant dragged the victim with the car for approximately 500 feet before hitting a curb at the intersection of Golden Lantern Drive, which overturned his vehicle, and ejected the victim.

Paramedics arrived and pronounced the victim dead at the scene. The defendant and his passenger were taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. Carratt had a blood alcohol concentration of .15 percent while at the hospital.


March 4, 2016

Orange County Man Arrested on Federal Charges of Shooting Laser Pointer at Orange County Sheriff’s Department Helicopter

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:01 am

SANTA ANA, California – A Santa Ana man was arrested this morning on federal charges of intentionally aiming a laser pointer at a law enforcement helicopter.

Mario Deleon Lopez, 35, was taken into custody without incident by special agents with the FBI, and he is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court in Santa Ana.

Lopez was named in an indictment returned on February 24 by a federal grand jury. The indictment alleges one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, a felony offense that carries a penalty of up to five years in federal prison.

On the evening of November 14, 2015, tactical flight deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department were patrolling over Santa Ana when their helicopter was struck with the beam of a laser, according to investigators. The pilots reported that their aircraft was struck multiple times with a green laser that illuminated the helicopter’s cockpit.


Oceanside Man Pleads Guilty to Staging Online Attacks against Computer System Operated by His Former Employer

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:58 am

LOS ANGELES – An Oceanside man has pleaded guilty to launching repeated online attacks against a computer system operated by his former employer, a Rancho Dominguez-based manufacturer of precision laser and mechanical drilling equipment.

Conrad Pearson, 64, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of unauthorized damage to a protected computer.

When he pleaded guilty on Wednesday, Pearson admitted that soon after he stopped working for Excellon Automation, he began transmitting “attack scripts” to Excellon’s website. “The ‘attack scripts’ constituted automated actions against Excellon’s website, and included automatically downloading information from the Excellon website and automatically sending commands to the Partlink application of the website,” according to a factual statement filed this morning. The Partlink application allowed customers to check inventory of Excellon products.

The attacks on Excellon’s computer system, which were committed on a regular basis over the course of 10 months in 2009 and 2010, “caused the Excellon server to either cease functioning or to become inordinately slow,” according to the court document.


Man Convicted of Domestic Violence Related Attack in Pomona

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:54 am

A 32-year-old man pleaded no contest today to attacking his children’s mother and his family member last month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

At today’s court appearance, Robert Allen Shirley (dob 4/18/83) of Pomona pleaded no contest to three felony counts in case KA111879: injuring a child’s parent, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting executive officer.

Additionally, Shirley admitted a special allegation that he used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the crime.

The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced March 22 in Department R of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch. Shirley is expected to be sentenced to four years in state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Kelsey McKeever-Unger of the Victim Impact Program, who prosecuted the case, said on Feb. 21 Shirley got into an argument with his children’s mother in her Pomona home.


March 3, 2016

Former Customs and Border Protection Officer Sentenced to Nearly 4 Years in Federal Prison in Bribery and Smuggling Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:49 am

LOS ANGELES – A former supervisor with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) who conspired with his ex-wife to smuggle goods into the United States in exchange for bribes has been sentenced to serve 45 months in prison.

Sam Herbert Allen Jr., 54, of San Juan Capistrano (formerly of Diamond Bar), received the prison sentence late yesterday from United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson, who also ordered the defendant to pay $781,632 in restitution to compensate the United States for duties that were not paid on the smuggled goods.

At yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Pregerson said that society could not tolerate law enforcement “entrusted with border safety” who “sell their jobs.”

Allen pleaded guilty in February 2015 to conspiring to defraud the United States by deceitful and dishonest means.

“This defendant betrayed his sworn duty to uphold the law,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Defendant supervised the inspection of shipping containers entering the United States and thus played an important role in our border security.  His greed led him to commit a serious offense that cost the United States hundreds of thousands of dollars and presented an unacceptable security risk to our community and to the nation.”



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:45 am

WESTMINSTER, Calif. – A taxi cab driver is scheduled to face trial tomorrow for crashing into a pedestrian, resulting in the victim’s death, and driving away from the scene. Ronald Aviles, 57, San Clemente, is charged with one felony count of hit and run with permanent injury or death. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin tomorrow, March 2, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in Department W-8, West Justice Center, Westminster.

At approximately 3:00 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2015, Aviles is accused of driving his taxi van southbound on East Coast Highway. He is accused of crashing into 23-year-old Travis Marton, as the victim was crossing East Coast Highway westbound at the intersection of Newport Coast Drive in Newport Beach. Aviles is accused of unlawfully failing to stop his vehicle and failing to render assistance to the injured victim. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Newport Beach Police Department, who investigated this case, found Marton’s body lying in the intersection. The Laguna Beach Police Department located Aviles driving in his taxi van in Laguna Beach, approximately five miles from where the victim’s body was found, and arrested the defendant.

At the time of the arrest, Aviles is accused of driving the taxi with damage consistent with the collision, including a smashed windshield, dents on the hood, dented bumper, and a missing driver’s-side mirror. Aviles is accused of fleeing the crash that scattered debris at the collision site consistent with the damaged and missing vehicle parts.

Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 15HF0006 / March 1, 2016

Three Charged with Racially Motivated Attack in Lake Los Angeles Park

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:42 am

Three men have been charged with a racially motivated attack on Hispanic victims at a Lake Los Angeles park, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Ian Justine Plankey (dob 12/7/95), Richard Lawrence Daulton (dob 10/1/96) and Kevin Matthew Stewart (dob 10/23/90) all face two felony counts each of assault with a deadly weapon and one felony count of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Case MA068097 also charges Plankey, Daulton and Stewart with one count each of battery and assault with the added allegations that the named offenses were hate crimes and committed because of the victims’ status and perceived race or ethnicity.

The felony complaint filed yesterday includes the additional allegation that the defendants used a knife and that Stewart was convicted in 2014 of assault with a firearm in case TA131789.

The three defendants pleaded not guilty yesterday and are scheduled to return for preliminary hearing on March 11 in Department A02 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch.


March 2, 2016

Orange County Real Estate CEO Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Fraud Scheme that Ended in $169 Million Bankruptcy

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:41 am

SANTA ANA, California – The owner and CEO of a now-defunct Southern California real estate investment firm was sentenced today to 168 months in prison for perpetrating a scheme that ended with the bankruptcy of the company and hundreds of investors collectively losing as much as $169 million.

Michael J. Stewart, 68, of San Clemente, received the 14-year sentence from United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney, who also ordered the defendant to pay $9,234,914 in restitution to 120 victims.

Following a nine-day jury trial before Judge Carney, Stewart was found guilty in August 2015 of 11 counts of mail fraud. Stewart was remanded into custody at that time.

Stewart owned and was the chief executive of Pacific Property Assets (PPA), which had offices in Long Beach and Irvine. Along with co-defendant John Packard, Stewart created PPA in 1999 to purchase, renovate, operate, and resell or refinance apartment complexes in Southern California and Arizona. Typically, PPA financed property acquisitions through mortgages, and it raised money from private investors to pay for renovations to the properties. After several years, PPA would refinance (or sometimes sell) each property.


Orange County Attorney Who Pleaded Guilty to Federal Charges in $8 Million Fraud Scheme Sentenced to Over Five Years in Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:37 am

LOS ANGELES – An attorney who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion charges – and who prosecutors say defrauded a dozen clients out of at least $8 million in an investment fraud scheme – was sentenced today to 63 months in federal prison.

Stephen Young Kang, 46, of Newport Beach, was sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu, who rejected the defendant’s request for a three-year sentence.

During today’s sentencing hearing, several of Kang’s victims described in detail the devastating financial and emotional impact of the fraud scheme. Two of the victims commented that Kang’s fraud led to the “darkest years” of their lives.

Kang pleaded guilty in November to two counts of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion. When he pleaded guilty, Kang admitted to orchestrating a three-year-long scheme that defrauded clients who had engaged the attorney to provide legal or investment services. Prosecutors said that Kang used his position as an attorney to gain the trust of his clients, and then Kang bilked them in a Ponzi-like scheme in which none of the money designated for investments was actually invested.


Crime Spree Suspect Out of Hospital, Faces Arraignment on Two Dozen Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:34 am

The suspect who had been hospitalized following a wrong-way chase and police shootout in January is awaiting arraignment today on more than two dozen charges, including capital murder, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Artyom Gasparyan (dob 11/30/83) is scheduled to be arraigned sometime after 1:30 p.m. today in Department 30 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in case BA442550. Prosecutors will ask that he be held without bail.

Deputy District Attorney John McKinney with the Major Crimes Division is prosecuting the case.

Gasparyan is a suspect in a crime spree reaching across Los Angeles County, from Burbank to Long Beach and West Hollywood to Panorama City that began last August.

The first case filed for arrest warrant was in Van Nuys, LA081582, charging him with an attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon that occurred on Aug. 5, 2015.


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