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December 24, 2015

BUSINESSMAN AND CPA WIFE TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR DEFRAUDING INVESTORS AND STEALING MORE THAN $3 MILLION IN AFFINITY SCHEME

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 4:51 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A businessman and his wife, who has a certified public accountant license, will be arraigned tomorrow on charges of defrauding investors and stealing more than $3 million in an affinity scheme. Steven Andrew McKinlay, 58, and Kristi B. McKinlay (licensed as Kindred), 56, both of Coto de Caza, are charged with 10 felony counts of using untrue statements in the purchase or sale of a security, one felony count of grand theft, and one felony count for the use of a device in a scheme to defraud, with sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, causing property damage with loss over $1.3 million. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 23 years and eight months in state prison. The McKinlays are in custody on $3 million bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. They are scheduled for a continued arraignment tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

Victims

The defendants are accused of victimizing more than 10 individuals, including a former Major League Baseball player, a family friend who came into money through a devastating personal injury, and a cancer patient who wanted to secure an inheritance for his family. Their investments ranged from $22,500 to over $700,000. Many of the victims had been associated with the defendants through the church they attended.

What is Affinity Fraud

The Securities Exchange Commission defines affinity fraud as:

Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly or professional groups. The fraudsters who promote affinity scams frequently are - or pretend to be - members of the group. They often enlist respected community or religious leaders from within the group to spread the word about the scheme by convincing those people that a fraudulent investment is legitimate and worthwhile. Many times, those leaders become unwitting victims of the fraudster’s ruse.

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DRIVER AND TWO PASSENGERS TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR IDENTITY THEFT AND RECKLESSLY EVADING PURSUING OFFICERS IN HIGH-SPEED CHASE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:49 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A driver and his two passengers are scheduled to be arraigned today on charges of identity theft and recklessly evading pursuing officers in a high-speed chase across Orange County and Los Angeles County. David Bryan Brown, 45, Jessica Smith Roten, 55, and Corey Dillon Richardson, 22, all of Anaheim, are each charged with one felony count of identity theft by retaining information on 10 or more victims with the intent to defraud. Brown is also charged with one felony count of evading while driving recklessly and sentencing enhancement allegations for prior prison convictions for the unlawful taking of a vehicle on two separate instances in 1993, possession of a controlled substance in 1994, second degree burglary in 1995, attempted grand theft, unlawful taking of a vehicle and evading while driving recklessly in 1996, receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled substance in 2000, second degree burglary and receiving stolen property in 2001, receiving a stolen vehicle and receiving stolen property in 2003, possession of a controlled substance in 2005, buying or receiving a stolen vehicle in 2006, second degree burglary in 2008, possession of a controlled substance and receiving stolen property in 2008, all in Orange County. If convicted, Brown faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and eight months in state prison. If convicted, Roten and Richardson face a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned today, Dec. 22, 2015, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

On Dec. 18, 2015, the defendants are accused of taking mail out of mailboxes across south Orange County, and possessing the personal identifying information of at least 21 victims. Brown is accused of driving the vehicle that the defendants used to take items from mailboxes.

A witness contacted the Orange County Sherriff’s Department (OCSD), who began investigating this case. OCSD deputies located the vehicle on the northbound Interstate 5 and attempted to stop the vehicle. Brown is accused of refusing to stop and driving recklessly away from pursuing OCSD deputies including driving into oncoming traffic, failing to stop at traffic lights and stop signs and nearly hitting other vehicles. Roten and Richardson are accused of throwing the stolen items out of the car windows while the pursuit was underway.

Officers from the Downey Police Department assisted OCSD in the arrest of the defendants at the conclusion of the pursuit.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 15HF1575 / December 22, 2015

Monterey Park Physician, Two Employees Plead In Insurance Fraud, Illegal Prescribing Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:45 am

A Monterey Park pediatric physician pleaded no contest today to Medi-Cal fraud and the illegitimate prescribing of drugs and will be sentenced to four years in custody when he returns to court in February, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Dr. Thomas Lin, 46, returns to Department 103 on Feb. 19 for sentencing before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Curtis Rappe in case BA414836. Prosecutors will ask that he pay $200,000 in restitution.

Deputy District Attorney John Niedermann of the Major Narcotics Division, who prosecuted the case, said Lin provided diet pills known as phentermine, a controlled substance, through his pediatrics clinic known as “Kid’s M.D.” on Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park.

Over the course of several months in 2012, investigators from the California Medical Board posed as new patients and were able to secure phentermine with little or no physical examination by Dr. Lin or his physician assistant, Nobel Lin. Investigators received the drug either by paying his front office staff or receiving the drug for free.

Nobel Lin, 42, no relation to the doctor, pleaded no contest today to four misdemeanor counts of illegitimate prescribing. He was immediately sentenced to three years on probation.

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December 23, 2015

Seal Beach Man Who Defrauded Dozens of Distressed Homeowners in Foreclosure Rescue Scheme Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:56 am

Riverside, California – A Seal Beach man who operated a bogus mortgage rescue scheme – in which he made false promises to dozens distressed homeowners, filed fraudulent bankruptcies to delay foreclosure and rented the properties to third parties as the foreclosure proceedings were delayed – was sentenced today to eight years in federal prison.

Terry Meisinger, 75, was sentenced by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips, who rejected Meisinger’s arguments that his age merited a lower sentence. Judge Phillips noted that, even if Meisinger was released from prison when he was 80 years old, he would still pose a danger to the public.

Judge Phillips also ordered Meisinger to pay $1.5 million in restitution to his victims.

Meisinger pleaded guilty in October to two counts of wire fraud.

“This man earned significant profits as the result of his scheme – profits that came as the result of significant financial harm inflicted upon victims,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This scheme operated for years and continued after my office filed a civil lawsuit and he was ordered to cease his fraudulent activities. This trail of victims, most of whom lost their homes, has earned this defendant the lengthy prison term imposed today.”

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Former Administrator at Los Angeles Law Firm Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison for Embezzling from Her Employer

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

LOS ANGELES – A former administrator of a Los Angeles law firm was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison for embezzling more than $3.3 million from her employer.

Esterlina Santos, 53, who resides in the Ladera Heights district of Los Angeles, was also ordered by United States District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell to pay $3,322,161 in restitution to her former employer and $781,109 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Santos pleaded guilty in June to one count of mail fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return.

According to court documents, from 2004 to August 2010, Santos fraudulently obtained approximately $3,322,161 from the Law Offices of Robert Smylie and Associates (RSA). While serving as the firm administrator for RSA, Santos used QuickBooks software to generate checks from RSA’s operating account to pay for expenses for her personal credit accounts, including those associated with American Express, Bank of America and Capital One.

After Santos generated checks from RSA’s operating account and mailed them to pay her personal credit accounts, she used QuickBooks to alter the checks to falsely reflect that they were paid to RSA’s vendors for services purportedly provided.

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Former HSI Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Taking Bribes from Korean Businessman Being Investigated for Human Trafficking

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

LOS ANGELES – A former special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) pleaded guilty this afternoon to accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from a man who had been accused of trafficking a woman into the United States to be a sex slave.

Joohoon David Lee, 43, who currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery before United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald.

“Corrupt officials who abuse their positions of power to line their pockets compromise our entire system of government,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “In this case, a federal law enforcement officer thwarted justice in exchange for just a few thousand dollars and hindered the ability of a possible trafficking victim to seek justice.”

Lee accepted money from a Korean man identified in court documents at “H.S.” According to a plea agreement filed in this case, Lee, who was assigned to HSI’s Human Trafficking unit in Los Angeles, interviewed a woman in March 2012 who claimed that she was entering the United States to be a slave for a Korean businessman named H.S.

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December 22, 2015

MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED HUMAN TRAFFICKING, PIMPING, AND PANDERING MINOR THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:08 am

FULLERTON, Calif. – A man has been charged with the attempted human trafficking, pimping, and pandering of an undercover police officer, whom he believed to be a minor, on a social media website. Michael Joseph Mata, Los Angeles, 33, is charged with one felony count of attempted human trafficking of a minor, one felony count of attempted pimping of a minor, and one felony count of pandering by procuring. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. The defendant is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Dec. 29, 2015,at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Circumstances of the Case
Mata is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women for financial gain. With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media to locate potential victims. Victims are often required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

Between Oct. 10, 2015, and Dec. 16, 2015, Mata is accused of using a social media website to contact an undercover officer, whom he believed to be a 17-year-old girl. Mata is accused of trying to recruit the officer to perform commercial sex acts for his benefit. The defendant is accused of arranging to meet with the officer and was subsequently arrested by the Orange Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) at the arranged meeting spot.

Members of the OCHTTF and the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. This case was investigated by OCHTTF, a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huntington Beach Police Department, Irvine Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and community and non-profit partners.

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Man Charged with Series of Robberies in Pomona

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:04 am

A 20-year-old man has been charged with robbing three bakeries and a gas station within a month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Wednesday, defendant Yvess Emmanuel Ibarra-Vega (dob 8/13/95) of Pomona was charged with seven felony counts of second-degree robbery in case KA111371.

The defendant was scheduled to be arraigned today, but the court appearance was continued to tomorrow in Department N of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch. Prosecutors will ask bail be set at $500,000.

Deputy District Attorney Lauren Guber, who is assigned to the case, said between Nov. 8 and Dec. 8, Ibarra-Vega reportedly armed himself with a replica gun and robbed four Pomona businesses, three of them twice.

The prosecutor said Ibarra-Vega allegedly robbed the same gas station on Nov. 8 and Dec. 8. Additionally, the defendant reportedly stole money from a bakery on Nov. 17 and 28, and another bakery on Nov. 18 and 28. A third bakery also allegedly was robbed by the defendant on Nov. 22.

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Trio Convicted of Capital Murder in Long Beach

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:02 am

A jury today found three men guilty of killing a robbery co-conspirator in 2010, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The jury deliberated for a week before finding Luis Orozco (dob 11/21/78), Shawn Verrette (dob 6/12/73) and Frank Ervin (2/2/62) guilty of three counts: first-degree murder, second-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime in case NA090280.

Jurors also found true a special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a robbery. Additionally, a gun allegation was found to be true.

Sentencing for the three defendants is scheduled for Feb. 4 in Department S24 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Long Beach Branch. The three men face a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

A fourth defendant, Rosa Orozco (dob 5/11/76), pleaded no contest on Sept. 26, 2013, to being an accessory after the fact. She was sentenced on Jan. 24, 2014, to three years of summary probation.

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December 21, 2015

San Fernando Valley Man Convicted of Giving Illegal Gifts to Government Employees in Exchange For Business

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:20 am

LOS ANGELES – A man who operated two businesses that sold office supplies to the federal government has been convicted by a federal jury of giving illegal gifts to federal employees who did business with his companies.

Ivan Greenhut, 57, of Tarzana, was convicted late yesterday afternoon in United States District Court of one count of conspiring to give gifts to federal officials who purchased products from Greenhut’s companies and one count of giving a gift to a public official, specifically a United States Army employee who purchased products from Greenhut’s companies.

“The public is entitled to impartial purchasing decisions by federal employees,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Mr. Greenhut’s illegal gift scheme cast doubt upon every purchase from his companies, thereby violating the public’s trust and confidence in its government. That scheme now has him facing a significant federal prison sentence.”

Greenhut operated two companies – Modern Data Products, which operated out of Canoga Park, and Modern Imaging Solutions, based out of the Philippines. These companies sold office supplies – for example, printer and photocopier supplies, toner cartridges, stationary and office furniture – to government and U.S. Army officials whose job it was to buy supplies on behalf of the federal government.

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