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March 24, 2016

Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Hack into U.S. Defense Contractors’ Systems to Steal Sensitive Military Information

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

LOS ANGELES – A Chinese national pleaded guilty today to participating in a years-long conspiracy to hack into the computer networks of major United States defense contractors, steal sensitive military and export-controlled data, and send the stolen information to China.

Su Bin, who is also known as Stephen Su and Stephen Subin, 50, a citizen and resident of the People’s Republic of China, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Assistant Director Jim Trainor of the FBI’s Cyber Division and Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division.

A criminal complaint filed in 2014 and subsequent indictments filed in Los Angeles charged Su, a China-based businessman in the aviation and aerospace fields, for his role in the criminal conspiracy to steal military technical data, including data relating to the C-17 strategic transport aircraft and certain fighter jets produced for the U.S. military. Su was initially arrested in Canada in July 2014 on a warrant issued in relation to this case. Su ultimately waived extradition and consented to be conveyed to the United States in February 2016.

In a plea agreement filed yesterday in United States District Court, Su admitted to conspiring with two persons in China from October 2008 to March 2014 to gain unauthorized access to protected computer networks in the United States, including computers belonging to the Boeing Company in Orange County, California, to obtain sensitive military information and to export that information illegally from the United States to China.

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MAN TO FACE TRIAL FOR CONSPIRACY, REVENGE-MURDER, AND ATTEMPTED MURDER OF FAMILY OF CO-DEFENDANT’S EX-GIRLFRIEND

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man is scheduled to face trial today for his role in a revenge-murder and attempted murder conspiracy targeting the family of his co-defendant’s ex-girlfriend. Two victims were murdered and set on fire and a third was left in a coma after suffering life-threatening injuries. Vitaliy Krasnoperov, 30, Hollywood, is charged with two felony counts of special circumstances murder, one felony count of attempted murder, and one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder. He faces sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, murder during the commission of a burglary, and murder during the commission of kidnapping. If convicted, Krasnoperov faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

This will be the third jury trial against Krasnoperov, a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on May 10, 2011. On Dec. 15, 2011, Krasnoperov was found guilty by a jury of the same charges and was sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole Nov. 9, 2012. In January 2015, the defendant’s conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeals, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three. Opening statements are expected to begin between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. today, March 22, 2016, in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Co-defendant Iftekhar Murtaza, 31, Van Nuys, was found guilty by a jury Nov. 22, 2013, of two felony counts of murder, one felony count of attempted murder and one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder with special circumstance sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, and murder during the commission of kidnapping. Murtaza was sentenced to death on March 3, 2015.

Co-defendant Charles Anthony Murphy, Jr., 31, Mission Hills, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 12, 2012, of two felony counts of special circumstances murder, one felony count of attempted murder, and one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder with sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, murder during the commission of kidnapping, and murder for financial gain. Murphy was sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole on Jan. 17, 2014.

Background

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March 23, 2016

Central Coast Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Copyright Infringement Offense Related to Online Sales of Pirated Adobe Software Packages

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:13 am

LOS ANGELES – A Lompoc man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of trafficking in counterfeit goods for using two websites to market and sell counterfeit versions of Adobe software

Jeffrey Scott Patterson, 52, pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court.

In his plea agreement and in court yesterday, Patterson admitted that, over the course of approximately eight years, he used two websites to advertise and sell counterfeit Adobe software at prices below retail. The software sold by Patterson – sometimes under the assumed name of “Bruce Allen” – included Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Creative Suite.

“Protecting the business community’s intellectual property from being stolen is an important aspect of protecting our nation’s economy,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime, and all consumers end up paying the costs associated with the theft of intellectual property.”

Patterson offered victims either a digital download or a CD version of the pirated Adobe software. To bypass Adobe’s security protocols, Patterson altered the software and used a “key generator” to give his customers a counterfeit “key code” that must be entered by a user when the software is installed on a computer. Many of the counterfeit key codes failed to work, which prompted numerous complaints to Abode and Patterson.

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L.A.-Area Man Sentenced to over 8 Years in Federal Prison for Two Fraud Schemes, including One that Cost Verizon Wireless $17 Million

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:08 am

SAN DIEGO – The owner of a Glendale-based ride-sharing business was sentenced in federal court today to more than eight years in prison in two separate fraud cases, including one involving the sale of more than 30,000 Apple iPhones fraudulently obtained from Verizon Wireless at substantially discounted prices.

Karen “Kevin” Galstian, 38, of Chatsworth, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz to 100 months in the scheme against Verizon Wireless that generated illegal profits of more than $13 million, and 87 months for defrauding Bank of America out of almost $700,000. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Judge Moskowitz also ordered Galstain to pay $17 million in restitution to Verizon and more than $200,000 in restitution to Bank of America.

Galstian pleaded guilty in November in San Diego to one count of wire fraud, admitting that he committed the offense while on pre-trial release in the case involving Bank of America. In that case, Galstian pleaded guilty in January 2014 to bank fraud.

“This defendant persisted in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme even while preparing to go to prison,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Today’s significant sentence and forfeiting the proceeds of his scheme may be the only meaningful deterrents to this defendant’s criminal conduct.”

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Leader of Scheme that Embezzled $8 Million from Commercial Laundry associated with Luxury Jeans Pleads Guilty

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:02 am

LOS ANGELES – An East Los Angeles man who oversaw a scheme that embezzled more than $8 million from an industrial launderer that provided finishing services for Citizens of Humanity, a manufacturer of high-end designer jeans, pleaded guilty this morning to federal charges.

Luis Mariano Rodriguez, 48, of East Los Angeles, who was the president of the Gardena-based CM Laundry, LLC, pleaded guilty today to one count of mail fraud.

Rodriguez admitted in court today that he and three other businessmen participated in a scheme that submitted fraudulent invoices to CM Laundry, which paid the bogus bills, with the proceeds being shared by the four men.

According to court documents, the invoices sent to CM Laundry were fraudulent in at least two ways. First, the invoices included fictitious and inflated charges. Second, the invoices were issued by companies operated by Rodriguez’s associates, which served to conceal Rodriguez’s role in the scheme.

Rodriguez admitted that he sent e-mails to two of his co-schemers that gave them detailed instruction on what information to include on each of the fraudulent invoices that were submitted to CM Laundry. At Rodriguez’s behest, the third associate established a fictitious business name (dba) for K&R Industrial Supplies, and Rodriguez used this dba to submit other fictitious and inflated invoices to CM Laundry.

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March 22, 2016

Organizer of Bank Fraud Scheme that Used Information Stolen by Wells Fargo Employees to Access Customer Accounts Pleads Guilty

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

LOS ANGELES – The lead defendant in a bank fraud case who oversaw a scheme in which Wells Fargo Bank employees stole customer account data – information that was used to impersonate customers and steal money from their accounts – has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges.

Ronald Charles Reed, 69, of Inglewood, pleaded guilty late yesterday to felony counts of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Reed was among eight defendants who were charged in two indictments returned by a federal grand jury last year (see: http://go.usa.gov/c7ZDY). Three of the defendants charged in the case have not yet been identified, and authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying and apprehending the currently unknown individuals.

Reed, who is also known as “Disco Ronnie,” pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Fernando M. Olguin, who is scheduled to sentence the defendant on July 15. As a result of the guilty pleas, Reed faces a statutory maximum sentence of 32 years in federal prison.

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Coachella Valley Doctor Pleads Guilty in Multi-Million Dollar Scheme that Duped Insurance Companies into Paying for Cosmetic Surgeries

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

SANTA ANA, California – A Rancho Mirage cosmetic surgeon pleaded guilty this morning in a scheme to defraud health insurance companies by submitting bills for more than $3.4 million for procedures that he claimed were “medically necessary” – but in fact were cosmetic procedures such as “tummy tucks,” “nose jobs” and breast augmentations.

Dr. David M. Morrow, 71, of Rancho Mirage, a cosmetic surgeon and dermatologist who was the owner of the Morrow Institute (TMI) in Rancho Mirage, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

In a plea agreement filed in United States District Court, Morrow admitted that he participated in a scheme to obtain money from insurance companies by false or fraudulent pretenses, which included submitting altered documents to the insurance companies. Morrow admitted that cosmetic surgeries were billed to insurance companies under the pretense that the procedures were “medically necessary” so that insurers would pay for them.

“Insurance companies provide a valuable service by providing financial support in a time of medical need – they are not designed to dispense cash to unscrupulous medical providers,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Medical professionals who defraud an insurance provider hurt every person who is forced to pay higher premiums.”

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Bankruptcy Court Approves Alternative Purchaser of Orange County Register and Riverside Press-Enterprise

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

Today, the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California approved Digital First Media as the purchaser of Freedom Communications Inc., publisher of the Register in Orange County and the Press-Enterprise in Riverside County, California.  After Tribune Publishing Company, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, had attempted to emerge as the winning bidder in the bankruptcy proceeding, the Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit seeking to block Tribune from acquiring Freedom Communications on March 17, 2016.  The next day, the Honorable André Birotte Jr., a federal judge in Los Angeles, granted the department’s application for a temporary restraining order to prevent Tribune from acquiring Freedom Communications pending further proceedings.

“Many Americans depend on local newspapers even in this age of electronic information,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “As Judge Birotte held in his well-reasoned opinion, newspapers play an important role in our democracy.  Preventing the Los Angeles Times from combining with the Register and thePress-Enterprise will ensure that citizens and advertisers in Southern California continue to benefit from competition and from a diversity of views in their local news coverage.  The Antitrust Division will remain vigilant in protecting competition in this important industry.”

In his ruling granting the department’s application for a temporary restraining order, Judge Birotte found that “local newspapers continue to serve a unique function in the marketplace: they are the creators of local content.  It further stands to reason that local advertisers in search of print advertising would choose to advertise with local news providers.”

Decision Follows TRO Halting Anticompetitive Sale to Owner of L.A. Times

Antitrust Division

Updated March 21, 2016

Central District of California DOJ / 16-324 / March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

Former Executive of Defense Contractor Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison for $30 Million Fraud Scheme

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

A former executive of a Singapore-based defense contracting firm was sentenced to 63 months in prison today for his participation in a fraud scheme that over-billed the U.S. Navy by more than $34 million for ship husbanding services.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California, Special Agent in Charge Chris D. Hendrickson of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Western Field Office and Director Andrew Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) made the announcement.

Alex Wisidagama, 42, of Singapore, the former global manager for government contracts of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California.  In addition to imposing the prison term, Judge Sammartino ordered Wisidagama to pay $34.8 million in restitution to the Navy.  In March 2014, Wisidagama pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to submit false claims for payment.  He is the third defendant to be sentenced in a massive fraud and corruption scheme involving GDMA, which provided port services to U.S. Navy ships in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to admissions made as part of his plea agreement, Wisidagama and his cousin, GDMA CEO Leonard Glenn Francis, 51, of Malaysia, perpetrated a scheme to defraud the U.S. Navy on ship husbanding contracts by, among other things, over-billing for the sale of goods, fuel and port tariffs.  Records show that GDMA’s contracts with the U.S. Navy allowed it to sell certain categories of supplies for which GDMA was the lowest bidder.  To make it appear that GDMA’s prices were competitive, Wisidagama and others created false price quotations purporting to be from third-party vendors and submitted them to the U.S. Navy, he admitted.  Because the contracts forbade GDMA from making up the price of fuel that it supplied to U.S. Navy ships, Wisidagama admitted that he and his conspirators created false invoices purporting to show that GDMA paid more to purchase fuel than was actually the case, which allowed GDMA to build undisclosed markups into the prices at which it supplied fuel to the U.S. Navy.  According to the plea, GDMA inflated the cost of port tariff expenses that it passed on to GDMA, despite the fact that the contracts did not allow GDMA to mark up these items.

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Man Convicted of Monterey Park Murder in 2014

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

A 20-year-old man was convicted today of fatally stabbing another man in Monterey Park, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The jury deliberated for a day before finding Angel Octavion Garcia guilty of second-degree murder in case GA095071.

Jurors also found true a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the crime.

Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced on April 8 in Department T of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Alhambra Branch. He faces a maximum possible sentence of 16 years to life in state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Theodore Swanson, who prosecuted the case, said on Oct. 14, 2014, Garcia stabbed Edward Mendoza, 35, in a Monterey Park parking lot.

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