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April 30, 2015

MAN CHARGED WITH DRIVING STOLEN VEHICLE AND SPEEDING AT OFFICERS ON FOOT NEARLY HITTING THEM

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:50 am

WESTMINSTER – A man was charged yesterday for driving a stolen vehicle and speeding at officers on foot and nearly hitting them in order to get away. Adrian Coates, 18, Huntington Beach, is charged with one felony count of unlawful taking of a vehicle and one felony count of aggravated assault on a peace officer. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison. He is being held on $50,000 bail and was arraigned yesterday April 28, 2015. He is scheduled for pre-trial on May 6, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department W-12, West Justice Center, Westminster.

At approximately 2:50 a.m. on April 26, 2015, Coates is accused of driving in a stolen vehicle when a Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) officer attempted to pull him over. The defendant is accused of failing to stop for the officer and driving into a cul-de-sac in a residential area. As HBPD officers prepared to block in the defendant, Coates is accused of driving toward officers, nearly hitting them, and driving away from the scene. An HBPD officer shot several times at Coate’s vehicle. None of the shots hit the defendant. HBPD officers were able to locate and arrest Coates.

The investigation in this case is ongoing. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigated this case.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Brett Brian of the special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.

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April 29, 2015

Leader Of Oxnard Gang And Mexican Mafia Associate Sentenced To Life Without Parole In Federal Prison For Drug And Gun Offenses

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:58 am

LOS ANGELES –– The leader of the Oxnard-based Colonia Chiques street gang was sentenced this afternoon to life without parole in federal prison, plus an additional 55-year consecutive term, for his conviction on a host of narcotics and weapons offenses, including leading a continuing criminal enterprise (CCE).

Luis Manuel Tapia, 39, of Ojai, the leader of the Colonia Chiques and a validated associate of the Mexican Mafia prison gang, was sentenced by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II.

At the conclusion of a trial in September, Tapia was found guilty of each of the 26 federal charges filed against him.

Tapia had previously sustained two narcotics convictions – one involving cocaine, and the second involving methamphetamine – in Ventura County Superior Court. Under federal law, the third drug trafficking conviction last year in federal court brought a mandatory life sentence. The CCE count – in conjunction with special findings made by the jury, such as the fact that the enterprise involved at least a kilogram of actual methamphetamine and that defendant was the organization’s principal leader – also carried a mandatory life sentence.

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Federal Judge Permanently Shuts Down Tax Preparer Who Operated Inland Empire Tax Service

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:55 am

LOS ANGELES – A federal court has permanently barred a woman who operated a Moreno Valley tax preparation service from preparing tax returns for others, the United States Attorney’s Office announced today.

Nancy L. Hilton, 69, who also used the name Nancy L. Olson, was ordered to never again prepare tax returns for others in a permanent injunction that was signed by United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald on April 22.

The permanent injunction concludes a lawsuit filed one week ago that alleged Hilton prepared fraudulent tax returns and supervised the preparation of fraudulent tax returns by at least five others who knew they were preparing false income tax returns. The fraudulent tax returns were prepared at Hilton’s business, Nancy Olson & Associates.

The suit alleged that Hilton obtained the names, dates of birth and social security numbers of numerous people, and that Hilton used this information to file fraudulent tax returns in the names of those people. Hilton would keep a portion – typically 50 percent – of the illicit refunds which resulted from the filing of the fraudulent returns. When Hilton learned of the government’s investigation into her tax preparation business, she intentionally deleted data from business computers in an attempt to impede and obstruct the government’s investigation, according to the government’s lawsuit.

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MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STABBING-MURDER IN FRIEND’S SANTA ANA HOME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:47 am

SANTA ANA – A man is scheduled to be arraigned today for stabbing and murdering a friend in the victim’s Santa Ana home. Miguel Angel Guerrero, 19, Menifee, Riverside County, was charged today with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison. The People will request he be held on $1 million bail at his arraignment scheduled today in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

At the time of the crime, Guerrero was friends with 54-year-old Javier Rodriguez Preciado.

At approximately 1:45 p.m. on April 26, 2015, Guerrero is accused of getting into a dispute with Rodriguez Preciado. Guerrero is accused of grabbing a knife and stabbing Rodriguez Preciado in the head and neck. The defendant is accused of then fleeing the scene.

Paramedics arrived to the home and pronounced the victim dead. At approximately 5:25 p.m., the Santa Ana Police Department, who investigated this case, arrested the defendant when he returned near the home.

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April 28, 2015

San Diego Jury Finds Former Iranian National Guilty of Illegal Scheme to Export Sensitive US Technology to Iran

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:59 am

On Thursday, April 23, a federal jury convicted a naturalized U.S. citizen and former Iranian national of violations of U.S. export and money laundering laws, arising from his involvement in a scheme to purchase marine navigation equipment and military electronic equipment for illegal export to, and end-use in, Iran, announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California.

Arash Ghahreman, 45, of Staten Island, New York, was convicted of attempted export to Iran, and conspiracy to do the same, in violation of the Iran Trade Embargo (formerly known as the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations); smuggling goods from the United States, and conspiracy to the same; and aiding and abetting the transfer of money from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), to the United States, in support of an illegal export activity, and conspiracy to do the same.  The case involved a seven-day jury trial, beginning on April 13, 2015, and ending on April 23, 2015, when the jury returned a guilty verdict on seven counts of a nine-count superseding indictment after one day of deliberation.  The jury was unable to reach a verdict on two of the counts involving the attempted exportation and smuggling of a fiber optic gyrocompass, used in both military and civilian marine navigation applications.

“The defendants used a front company to illegally send U.S. goods and technologies – including those used in military applications – to Iran,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “These violations of the Iran Trade Embargo have the potential to harm U.S. national security objectives, and we will continue to hold accountable those who seek to circumvent its restrictions.  I would like to thank the agents and prosecutors for their hard work in obtaining this conviction.”

The evidence presented at trial showed that Ghahreman acted an agent of an Iranian procurement network which used a front company in Dubai to acquire U.S. goods and technologies for illegal transshipment to, and end-use in, Iran.  Co-defendant Koorush Taherkhani, 43, an Iranian national and resident, was the managing director and founder of that front company, co-defendant TIG Marine Engineering Services.  Because of his German nationality, co-defendant Ergun Yildiz, 35, a resident of UAE, was hired by Taherkhani to be the “face” of the front company, as the president/CEO of TIG Marine.  Before Ghahreman immigrated to the United States in 2007, Ghahreman and Taherkhani had been friends and dorm mates at an Iranian university, where each received a degree in marine engineering.  Upon graduation, both Ghahreman and Taherkhani worked as engineers for various Iranian shipping companies, including the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and its subsidiaries.  After immigrating to the United States, Ghahreman was employed by various shipyards in the United States, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen.  Because of his employment and citizenship status, Ghahreman was well placed to act as an agent of the illegal procurement network.

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Applied Materials Inc. and Tokyo Electron Ltd. Abandon Merger Plans After Justice Department Rejected Their Proposed Remedy

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:53 am

Applied Materials Inc. and Tokyo Electron Ltd. abandoned their plans to merge after the Department of Justice informed the companies that their remedy proposal failed to resolve the department’s competitive concerns.

“The companies’ decision to abandon this merger preserves competition for semiconductor manufacturing equipment,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata B. Hesse of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “The semiconductor industry is critically important to the American economy, and the proposed remedy would not have replaced the competition eliminated by the merger, particularly with respect to the development of equipment for next-generation semiconductors.”

The proposed merger of Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron would have combined the two largest competitors with the necessary know-how, resources and ability to develop and supply high-volume non-lithography semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

During the investigation, the division cooperated with the Korean Fair Trade Commission, China’s Ministry of Commerce, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office and competition agencies from several other jurisdictions.

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THREE BUSINESSMEN CHARGED FOR TAKING WORKERS’ WAGES ON PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:50 am

SANTA ANA – Three businessmen have been charged for defrauding employees by taking their wages on a public works project. Saeed Kenari, 54, Tujunga, is charged with four felony counts of conspiring to take a portion of workers’ wages on a public works project, 34 felony counts of taking workers’ wages on a public works project, 20 felony counts of failure to pay taxes, four felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, and 10 felony counts of conspiring to file a false or forged document with a sentencing enhancement allegation for property loss over $200,000. If convicted, Kenari faces a maximum sentence of 56 years and three months in state prison. Kenari is being held on $340,000 bail and was arraigned today. He is scheduled for pre-trial on May 15, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Co-defendant Rina Arakelian, 62, Glendale, is charged with four felony counts of conspiring to take a portion of workers’ wages on a public works project, 34 felony counts of taking workers’ wages on a public works project, four felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, and 10 felony counts of conspiring to file a false or forged document with a sentencing enhancement allegation for property loss over $200,000. If convicted, Arakelian faces a maximum sentence of 27 years in state prison. Arakelian is being held on $340,000 bail and is scheduled for continued arraignment on May 15, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center.

Co-defendant Shahan Haider Zaidi, 44, Long Beach, is charged with four felony counts of conspiracy to commit fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years and six months in state prison. Zaidi remains a fugitive.

Between October 2006 and December 2012, Kenari is accused of operating Sunland Fire Protection (SFP) in Glendale. Kenari is accused of conspiring to take a portion of his workers’ wages on SFP’s public works projects from newly immigrated workers who were not familiar with the law. Kenari is accused of hiring Arakelian as a bookkeeper and Zaidi as an office worker and an estimator with SFP. Kenari is accused of accepting public works projects for SFP in both Los Angeles and Orange County.

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April 27, 2015

TWO FORMER PARKS AND RECREATION MANAGERS CONVICTED OF PUBLIC CORRUPTION FOR EMBEZZLING OVER $1.3 MILLION FROM CITY OF BUENA PARK

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:16 am

SANTA ANA – Two former parks and recreation (PAR) managers for the City of Buena Park were convicted and sentenced today for public corruption and embezzling over $1.3 million from the City. Former PAR maintenance manager Rudolph Peter Juarez, 58, Anaheim, pleaded guilty today to 233 felony counts of misappropriation of public funds and four felony counts of filing a false tax return and sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing over $100,000 loss, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and property loss over $1.3 million.

Former PAR supervisor Gabriel A. Garcia, 42, Chino Hills, pleaded guilty today to 186 felony counts of misappropriation of public funds and four felony counts of willful failure to file or making a fraudulent tax return and sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing over $100,000 loss, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and property loss over $1.3 million.

Juarez was sentenced to 10 years in state prison and Garcia was sentenced to six years in state prison over the People’s objections. The defendants were ordered to pay over $1.3 million in restitution to the City of Buena Park and over $2.6 million in fines. Juarez must pay over $235,000 to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and Garcia must pay over $89,000 to the FTB.

Circumstances of the Public Corruption and Embezzlement
At the time of the crime, Juarez was a PAR maintenance manager for the City of Buena Park and was responsible for supervision of maintenance of all public parks within the city. Garcia was a supervisor who worked under Juarez. The defendants were solely responsible for all time cards submitted to City payroll for their staff.

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DRUNKEN DRIVER CHARGED FOR ROLLING VEHICLE SEVERAL TIMES RESULTING IN THE DEATH OF 16-YEAR-OLD PASSENGER

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:14 am

SANTA ANA – A drunken driver was charged today for crashing and rolling vehicle several times ejecting his 16-year-old passenger who died at the scene. Antonio Jesus Escamilla, 21, was charged today with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence, one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, one felony count of driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, and a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison. The defendant is scheduled for pre-trial on May 28, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 1:40 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2013, Escamilla is accused of driving a Honda Civic while under the influence of alcohol, traveling southbound on Santiago Canyon Road, north of Silverado Canyon Road in unincorporated Orange County. The defendant is accused of having three other passengers in his vehicle at the time, including 16-year-old Marie Johnson who was sitting in the right rear passenger seat.

Escamilla is accused of following another car in front of him and driving approximately 65 to 70 mph in a 55 mph speed limit zone. He is accused of losing control of his vehicle and crossing the double yellow lines, driving southbound in the northbound lanes, and entering a dirt embankment on the east side of the roadway. The defendant is accused of driving off the roadway and rolling the vehicle several times causing Johnson to be ejected from the vehicle. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.

Escamilla is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .13 percent approximately one and a half hours after the crash.

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Wife of Slain Bell Gardens Mayor Indicted

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:10 am

The wife of slain Bell Gardens Mayor Daniel Crespo pleaded not guilty today to a Grand Jury indictment charging her with one count of voluntary manslaughter, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Lyvette Crespo (dob 6/16/71) was arraigned before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Harriford, who unsealed the indictment in case BA435205. Bail was set at $150,000 and she was remanded.

Deputy District Attorneys Beth Silverman and Tannaz Mokayef with the Major Crimes Division are prosecuting the case.

Lyvette Crespo allegedly shot her 45-year-old husband three times in the right chest while both were home on Sept. 30, 2014. The indictment includes an allegation that she personally discharged a handgun.

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