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March 9, 2016

North Hollywood Man Sentenced to Four Years in Federal Prison in Tax Scheme that Fraudulently Sought over $1.2 Million in Refunds

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:24 am

LOS ANGELES – A North Hollywood man has been sentenced to 48 months in federal prison for his role in a tax fraud conspiracy scheme that fraudulently claimed more than $1.2 million in fraudulent tax refunds.

Antonio Jerome Cook, 37, received the prison sentence yesterday from United States District Judge George H. King. In addition to the prison term, Judge King ordered Cook to pay $537,309 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Cook pleaded guilty in October 2015 to one count of conspiracy to commit tax fraud.

According to documents filed with the court, starting in late 2008 or early 2009, Cook, along with two co-conspirators, developed a tax fraud scheme in which the defendants prepared and filed fraudulent tax returns for individuals. The fraudulent returns were filed on behalf of individuals who agreed to have the defendants prepare their tax returns (apparently without knowledge of the fraud scheme), as well as individuals whose identities were stolen.

The fraudulent tax returns indicated that the taxpayers were employed by Picaso Fashions, a business established by Cook in name only. In fact, Picaso Fashions did not have any employees and the taxpayers were never actually employed by Picaso.  The tax returns indicated that Picaso Fashions had excessively withheld income tax for each taxpayer, and each fraudulently filed tax return sought a tax refund the taxpayers were not entitled to receive.


Registered Sex Offender from Bay Area Found Guilty of Traveling to Cambodia to have Illicit Sexual Conduct with Young Girls

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:20 am

LOS ANGELES – A Bay Area man was found guilty this afternoon of travelling to Cambodia to have illicit sexual conduct with young girls.

Ronald Gerard Boyajian, 55, who resided in Menlo Park and previously spent time on the Palos Verdes peninsula, was found guilty of three child exploitation crimes.

Concluding a six-week trial, a federal court jury found Boyajian guilty of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in foreign places, and committing these offenses while being required to register as a sex offender.

United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder is scheduled to sentence Boyajian on June 13, at which time he will face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for each of the two travel offenses and a mandatory consecutive 10-year term for committing these offenses while being required by California law to register as a sex offender. Because two of his convictions carry potential sentence-doubling provisions, Boyajian’s total sentencing exposure is 130 years in federal custody.

Boyajian was arrested by the Cambodian National Police (CNP) in February 2009, while he was on his 35th trip to Asia over a nine-year period. Boyajian began traveling to Cambodia shortly after completing his parole following convictions for illegal sex with a minor and oral sex with a minor in 1994.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:17 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A 96-year-old man is scheduled to be arraigned for sexually assaulting two girls under the age of 14 in his home. Kenneth Leroy Collins, 96, Laguna Woods, is charged with four felony counts of committing a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14 with sentencing enhancement allegations for committing lewd acts against multiple victims and substantial sexual conduct with a child. If convicted, Collins faces a maximum sentence of 60 years to life in state prison. Collins is scheduled for a continued arraignment Friday, March 11, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Collins was acquainted with 10-year-old Jane Doe 1 and 11-year-old Jane Doe 2, who had visited his home.

On several occasions between Jan. 1, 2016, and Feb. 24, 2016, Collins is accused of sexually assaulting both of the victims. He is accused of touching Jane Doe 1’s vagina, buttocks, and breasts. Collins is accused of touching Jane Doe 2’s buttocks, and taking off his adult diapers and attempting to masturbate himself in front of the victim. The defendant is accused of making sexually explicit gestures including with his tongue to both victims. Collins is also accused of asking Jane Doe 2 to remove her clothes.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigated this case and arrested the defendant on Feb. 25, 2016.

Deputy District Attorney Mena Guriguis of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 16HF0296 / March 8, 2016

March 8, 2016


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:21 am

FULLERTON, Calif. – A man was arraigned Friday on charges of attempting to traffic and pimp an undercover officer posing as a minor girl on social media. Joseph Deandre Edwards, 21, Anaheim, is charged with one felony count of attempted human trafficking of a minor, one felony count of attempted pimping of a minor, one felony count of attempted pandering with a minor over 16 by promise, threat, and violence, 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. He is being held on $500,000 and is scheduled for pre-trial on March 14, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Circumstances of the Case
Edwards 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 December 2015, and March 2016, Edwards is accused of sending an undercover officer, whom he thought was a 17-year-old girl, a friend request on a social media website. He is accused of sending messages to the victim’s account and attempting to persuade the victim to work for the defendant by performing commercial sex acts for money despite knowing her age.

On March 2, 2016, Edwards is accused of arranging to meet with the victim at a location known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County. He was arrested by officers after arriving to the location of the meeting.


Man Sentenced For 2013 Murder of Live-In Girlfriend

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:18 am

A 45-year-old man was sentenced today to 25 years to life in state prison for fatally shooting his live-in girlfriend near the Porter Ranch house they shared, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Last week, Joseph Defalco pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree murder and admitted using a firearm.

Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer, who prosecuted the case, said Defalco shot Ann Risa Suggs, 52, twice in the head and then shot himself before returning to their home on June 14, 2013. After a standoff with police that lasted more than five hours, Defalco was arrested and treated for his injuries.

The defendant and the victim had dated for approximately 20 years and lived together for more than two years at the Porter Ranch house when the murder occurred, the prosecutor said.

Case PA077259 was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, Devonshire Station.

Los Angeles County District Attorney / Case PA077259  / March 7, 2016


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:16 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced today to 55 years to life in state prison for assaulting a 2-year-old child causing his death. Lae Thongphun, 34, Garden Grove, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 14, 2015, of one felony count of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of assault on a child under 8 years of age with force likely to cause great bodily injury causing death with a sentencing enhancement for a prior strike conviction for a first degree burglary in 2007 in Los Angeles County.

At the time of the crime, Thongphun was in a romantic relationship with a woman and lived with her and her two young children in an apartment in Garden Grove.

On Aug. 28, 2009, Thongphun was responsible for taking care of 2-year-old Fox Le and his sister, while their mother was out of the home to attend a birthday celebration. Shortly after the mother left the home, Thongphun intentionally stepped on Le’s stomach. The defendant then called Le’s mother to tell her that her son was not breathing.

At approximately 10:48 p.m., officers from the Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) and paramedics arrived at the home and found the victim not breathing and his face covered in blood. Paramedics rushed the victim to the hospital where Le was pronounced dead. GGPD subsequently arrested Thongphun.


March 7, 2016


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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A gang member who worked as a federal informant was sentenced today to 21 years in state prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm in public. Fernando Jose Perez, also known as Inmate F, 34, Theo Lacy Jail, was found guilty by a jury on March 9, 2009, of one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon with sentencing enhancements for crime-bail-crime, criminal street gang activity, and three prior strike convictions for possession of a firearm while on probation and street terrorism in 2000, being an active gang participant having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, gang member carrying a loaded firearm in public, possession of a firearm while on probation and street terrorism in 2001, and receiving and possessing stolen property and street terrorism in 2002, all in Orange County. He faced a maximum of 42 years to life in state prison.

On Aug. 3, 2015, the defense field a “Romero” motion, in which the judge can dismiss past strike allegations set forth in the complaint in order to sentence the defendant to less time in prison, in furtherance of justice.

Perez was sentenced today, March 4, 2016, by the Honorable Gregg L. Prickett, to 21 years in state prison, with more than 13 years of actual time served with credit, after the court took into consideration the United States Attorney’s Office and the FBI’s request for the court to take into consideration Perez’s work as an informant for a federal law enforcement task force, the “Romero” motion, and the defendant’s present felonies and past convictions, as well as the defendant’s background, character and prospects. Judge Prickett dismissed two prior strike convictions which made Perez eligible for a determinate sentence instead of a life sentence.

In light of the court’s ruling, the 06WF2819 case was dismissed today, as well as the crime-bail-crime enhancement in the 07WF0153 case, by the court at the request of the OCDA.



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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Additional charges were filed today for three defendants previously charged with escaping from custody at the Orange County Men’s Central Jail (OCJ). Bac Tien Duong, 43, Hossein Nayeri, 37, Newport Beach, and Jonathan Tieu, 20, Fountain Valley, are each charged with one felony count of the unlawful taking of a vehicle and one felony count of kidnapping to commit robbery. The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned today, March 4, 2016, at 10:45 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

On Jan. 25, 2016, the defendants were each charged with one felony count of escape from pending felony charges. Duong faces also faces sentencing enhancements for prior prison convictions for second degree burglary in 1995 in San Diego County, reckless evading of a peace officer in 2008, and possession for sale of a controlled substance in 2011.

If convicted, Nayeri and Tieu face a maximum sentence of 10 years and eight months to life in state prison for this case. Duong faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and eight months to life in state prison for this case.

Circumstances of the Escape

In January 2016, the defendants were in custody awaiting trial in four separate cases in OCJ.

Between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Jan. 22, 2016, Nayeri, Duong, and Tieu are accused of escaping custody through OCJ pipelines and by repelling themselves down from the building’s roof.



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.


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