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January 18, 2017

Member of Dockworkers Union Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison in Scheme Involving Fraudulently Billing for Chiropractic Services

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

LOS ANGELES – A member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Local 13, has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme in which two medical clinics submitted more than a quarter-million dollars in bills to the union’s health care plan for chiropractic services that were not provided or were not medically necessary.

David Gomez, 53, of San Pedro, was sentenced on Monday, January 9, by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner. Gomez was convicted in October of 20 counts of mail fraud. Gomez has been in custody since a federal jury returned its guilty verdicts.

The ILWU represents dockworkers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Members of the union receive benefits, including health care benefits, through the ILWU-Pacific Maritime Association Welfare Plan.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Gomez and his co-defendant, Sergio Amador, opened a clinic in Long Beach in 2009 that operated under the name Port Medical and provided medical and chiropractic care. The next year, they opened a second clinic operating under the same name in San Pedro.

Gomez and Amador also created medical management companies that they used to receive funds generated by the medical clinics, which they then used to pay themselves and to pay incentives to ILWU members. These incentives were often paid as “sponsorships” of basketball or softball teams, with the understanding that the ILWU member receiving the “sponsorship” would visit, and encourage other team members to visit, Port Medical.

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McKesson Agrees to Pay Record $150 Million Settlement for Failure to Report Suspicious Orders of Pharmaceutical Drugs

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

McKesson Corporation (McKesson), one of the nation’s largest distributors of pharmaceutical drugs, agreed to pay a record $150 million civil penalty for alleged violations of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the Justice Department announced today.

The nationwide settlement requires McKesson to suspend sales of controlled substances from distribution centers in Colorado, Ohio, Michigan and Florida for multiple years. The staged suspensions are among the most severe sanctions ever agreed to by a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registered distributor. The settlement also imposes new and enhanced compliance obligations on McKesson’s distribution system.

In 2008, McKesson agreed to a $13.25 million civil penalty and administrative agreement for similar violations. In this case, the government alleged again that McKesson failed to design and implement an effective system to detect and report “suspicious orders” for controlled substances distributed to its independent and small chain pharmacy customers – i.e., orders that are unusual in their frequency, size, or other patterns. From 2008 until 2013, McKesson supplied various U.S. pharmacies an increasing amount of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills, frequently misused products that are part of the current opioid epidemic.

The government’s investigation developed evidence that even after designing a compliance program after the 2008 settlement, McKesson did not fully implement or adhere to its own program. In Colorado, for example, McKesson processed more than 1.6 million orders for controlled substances from June 2008 through May 2013, but reported just 16 orders as suspicious, all connected to one instance related to a recently terminated customer.

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FORMER TREASURER FOR CONGRESSMAN’S ELECTION COMMITTEE CONVICTED OF EMBEZZLING OVER $300,000 FROM CAMPAIGN FUNDS AND SEPARATE EMPLOYER

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former volunteer treasurer for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s re-election committee was convicted today of embezzling over $300,000 from campaign funds and business the where the defendant worked. Jack Wenpo Wu, 46, Newport Beach, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of grand theft by embezzlement, 21 felony counts of forgery, with sentencing enhancement allegations for theft exceeding $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property loss over $200,000. He faces a maximum sentence of four years and four months in state prison in a court offer at his sentencing on March 13, 2017, in Department C-49, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

In 2004, Wu worked as a volunteer, non-paid treasurer for the Committee to Re-elect Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (Committee). Wu paid taxes owed by the Committee, filed Federal Election Committee reports, was the custodian of records, and ran the Committee’s bank accounts.

In 2008, Wu was employed by Russell Fischer Inc. (RFI) as a controller with an annual salary of $70,000. He was responsible for all accounts receivable, all accounts payable, reconciling all of RFI’s bank accounts, and other duties related to payroll.

On March 30, 2012, Wu’s pay at RFI was reduced to $2,000 every two weeks as an independent 1099 contractor. Wu worked two days out of the week at RFI while managing his own accounting company, Wubell Services.

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January 17, 2017

Navy Officer Sentenced to 30 Months in Expanding Bribery and Fraud Investigation

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:45 am

A U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for accepting cash, hotel expenses and the services of a prostitute from foreign defense contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) in exchange for classified Navy information.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson of the Southern District of California, Director Dermot O’Reilly of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and Director Andrew Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) made the announcement.

In October 2016, Gentry Debord, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and admitted that in 2007 he began a corrupt relationship with Leonard Glenn Francis, the former president and CEO of GDMA, a company that provided port services to U.S. Navy ships and submarines throughout the Pacific.  In addition to his prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California ordered Debord to pay a $15,000 fine and $37,000 in restitution to the Navy.

As part of the scheme, between 2007 and 2013, Debord accepted cash, luxury hotels and the services of prostitutes from Francis in exchange for proprietary Navy information that benefitted GDMA.  During this period, Debord served as a supply officer aboard the U.S.S. Essex and later as a logistics officer for the Pacific Fleet.  Debora further admitted that he provided Francis and others with internal, proprietary U.S. Navy information; directed Francis and GDMA to inflate invoices to reflect services not rendered; advocated for the U.S. Navy to procure items from GDMA under its husbanding contracts; and otherwise used his position and influence in the U.S. Navy to advocate for and advance GDMA’s interests.

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California Attorney General’s Office Announces $150 Million Settlement with Financial Services Company Moody’s For Inflating Mortgage-Backed Securities Ratings

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:43 am

LOS ANGELES – Acting Attorney General Kathleen A. Kenealy, along with the U.S. Department of Justice and the attorneys general of 20 other states and the District of Columbia, today announced an $863.8 million settlement with Moody’s Corporation (Moody’s), a business and financial services company, to resolve federal and state civil claims related to the company’s misconduct in inflating ratings of residential mortgage-backed securities.

An investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Office showed that Moody’s Corporation systematically misrepresented to the public, and to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), that its ratings of structured finance securities were based on an objective and reliable analysis and not influenced by Moody’s economic interests.  Moody’s clients relied on these ratings to invest in the structured finance securities, the collapse of which led to the 2008 financial crisis.

“Moody’s Corporation misled their clients about the objectivity of its ratings and their misconduct caused significant losses to Californian’s pension funds,” Acting Attorney General Kathleen Kenealy said. “I want to thank our California Department of Justice attorneys for their great work to hold Moody’s accountable.”

Moody’s will pay a total of $863,791,823 to federal and state government entities. The Office of the Attorney General will recover $150 million in damages for the State of California, and the settlement recovers losses sustained by CalPERS and the CalSTRS on their investments. The remainder of the total settlement proceeds will be distributed among the U.S. Department of Justice and the other 21 state attorneys general.

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Temple City Man Charged with Murder, Attempted Murder, Assault

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:40 am

A 44-year-old man was charged today for allegedly killing a woman and stabbing three others over a span of ten hours, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

John Ralph Perales (dob 5/4/72) of Temple City has been charged with seven felony counts in case KA114353: one count of murder, three counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

The felony complaint includes a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the crime.

The charging document also alleges the defendant has been previously convicted of accessory after the fact in 1991, burglary in 1992, attempted first-degree burglary in 1996, unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle in 2001, prisoner in possession of a weapon in 2001, carrying a dirk or dagger in 2011 and false imprisonment by violence in 2014.

The defendant was scheduled to be arraigned today but the court appearance was continued to Feb. 2 in Department N of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch. Perales is currently being held on $6.21 million bail.

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January 16, 2017

Ringleader of Bank Fraud Scheme that Used Information Stolen by Wells Fargo Employees Sentenced to over 7 Years in Federal Prison

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

LOS ANGELES – The organizer of a bank fraud scheme in which Wells Fargo Bank employees stole customer account data – information that was used to impersonate scores of customers and steal well over a half-million dollars from their accounts – was sentenced today to 89 months in federal prison.

Ronald Charles Reed, 70, of Inglewood, was sentenced this afternoon by United States District Judge Fernando M. Olguin. In addition to the prison term, Judge Olguin ordered Reed to pay $580,332 in restitution to Wells Fargo Bank.

Reed pleaded guilty in March 2016 to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Reed, who is also known as “Disco Ronnie,” admitted that he worked with former Wells Fargo employees and “runners” in a scheme that caused Wells Fargo to suffer approximately $580,000 in losses.

Reed recruited four Wells Fargo employees in 2013 and 2014, asked them to access the bank’s computer records, and then purchased personal identifying information belonging to bank customers. The stolen information included dates of birth, account numbers, driver’s license numbers, and social security numbers.

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Former Manager at HBO Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison

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

LOS ANGELES – A San Fernando Valley woman who pleaded guilty to three felony charges stemming from a scheme in which she submitted fraudulent bills and illegally collected approximately $1 million from HBO was sentenced this morning to 30 months in federal prison.

Jennifer Choi, 39, of Valley Village, who formerly worked as manager in HBO’s Talent Relations Department, was sentenced by United States District Judge John A. Kronstadt.

Choi pleaded guilty last year to two counts of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion for failing to report the ill-gotten gains to the Internal Revenue Service.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Kronstadt today ordered Choi to pay $1,285,742 in restitution – just over $1 million to HBO and $283,706 to the IRS.

When she was terminated by HBO in September 2014, Choi had worked at the company for nearly 10 years. As part of her job, Choi was responsible for scheduling services – such as hairstyling, wardrobe and make-up – for actors associated with HBO. Choi set up a company called Shine Glossy, LLP, which she used to submit bogus invoices to HBO for style and make-up services supposedly provided to actors. To make the invoices appear real, Choi listed real actors and real stylists on the invoices.

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64-YEAR-OLD WOMAN CHARGED FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF FAMILY MEMBER OUTSIDE BREA HOME

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A 64-year-old woman was charged yesterday for the shooting-murder of a family member outside a Brea home. Eunsoo Bae, La Habra, is charged with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm. If convicted, Bae faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison. The defendant is being held on $1 million bail. She is scheduled for a continued arraignment on Jan. 27, 2017, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

On Jan. 10, 2017, at approximately 4:45 p.m., Bae and several family members were in front of a house in Brea preparing to leave for dinner. The defendant is accused of pulling a firearm out of her purse and firing 10 rounds at the victim, 40-year-old Jennifer L. Family members subdued Bae and called 911.

Jennifer L. was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead as the result of multiple bullet wounds. Bae was arrested at the home by the Brea Police Department, who investigated this case.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 17NF0108 / January 13, 2017

January 13, 2017

Syed Raheel Farook Pleads Guilty in Immigration Fraud Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:54 am

RIVERSIDE, California – Syed Raheel Farook, the brother of deceased San Bernardino attacker Syed Rizwan Farook, pleaded guilty today in federal court in an immigration fraud case stemming from the investigation of the December 2, 2015 attack in San Bernardino in which 14 people died and 22 were wounded.

Syed Raheel Farook, 31, of Corona, California, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud before United States District Judge Jesus Bernal.

As a result of today’s guilty plea, Syed Raheel Farook faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release. Judge Bernal is scheduled to sentence the defendant on November 13.

Syed Raheel Farook; his wife, Tatiana Farook; and his sister-in-law, Mariyah Chernykh, were charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in April 2016. All three were charged with conspiracy to knowingly make under oath a false statement with respect to a material fact in an application, affidavit, and other document required by the immigration laws and regulations of the United States, and to commit perjury.

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