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August 14, 2015

Cold Case Fugitive Wanted for Crimes Against Children in Northern California Arrested in Los Angeles

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:53 am

A former northern California school teacher wanted for alleged crimes against children was arrested this morning in Los Angeles by members of the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force, announced David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, and David Johnson, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office.

Frank Joseph Montenegro, 52, a current resident of Los Angeles, was taken into custody following a foot pursuit and struggle with task force members this morning.

Montenegro, who had been residing at a community home in the Brooklyn Heights section of Los Angeles, is currently in state custody in Los Angeles awaiting transfer to the custody of officials in Alameda County, California.

According to a federal criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in San Francisco on August 15, 2001, Montenegro was charged by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office on July 25, 2001, following an investigation by detectives with the Fremont Police Department. Montenegro was charged with multiple counts of sodomy of a child under 14 years of age against the victim’s will; oral copulation; and the continued sexual abuse of a minor. At the time, Montenegro had been working as an elementary school teacher. After investigators had established that Montenegro fled across the southern United States border to Mexico, the FBI was asked to assist in finding him. The federal complaint charged Montenegro with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution (UFAP).

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DISTRACTED FREEWAY DRIVER CONVICTED OF KILLING MOTORIST BY CRASHING AT 85 MPH INTO CAR STOPPED IN TRAFFIC

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:38 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – An inattentive driver was convicted today of killing a motorist by crashing into the victim’s car at approximately 85 mph after failing to notice that traffic had come to a stop. Jorene Ypanto Nicolas, 32, San Diego, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. On April 16, 2014, a previous jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in this case finding 11 to one in favor of guilt and the trial resulted in a mistrial. Nicolas faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison at her sentencing on Sept. 4, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-28, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 11:00 a.m. on April 27, 2011, Nicolas was speeding while traveling northbound on Interstate 405 near Edwards Street in a Toyota Prius. She became distracted and inattentive while driving and failed to notice that the traffic ahead had come to a complete stop.

Nicolas was driving at approximately 85 mph and failed to brake or slow when she slammed into the back of a Hyundai sedan, which was just starting to move after being at a full stop in traffic, driven by 23-year-old Deanna Mauer. Mauer’s sedan was pushed into the car in front of her and then traveled and struck the center divider before coming to a stop facing southbound in the northbound lanes.

After crashing into the victim’s car, Nicolas lost control of her own vehicle and also crashed into the center divider. Nicolas was transported to the hospital and treated for minor lacerations.

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Bumble Bee Foods to Pay State’s Largest Known Workplace Violations Settlement for Death of Employee Trapped Inside Industrial Oven

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:34 am

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey today announced a settlement agreement that will require Bumble Bee Foods LLC to pay $6 million for willfully violating worker safety rules, causing the 2012 death of an employee who became trapped inside an industrial oven at the company’s Santa Fe Springs plant.

The settlement is the largest known payout in a California criminal prosecution of workplace safety violations involving a single victim. The case was prosecuted by Consumer Protection Division Assistant Head Deputy Hoon Chun and Deputy District Attorney Christopher Curtis.

The payout will be applied as follows:

  • The company will pay $3 million to replace all of their outdated tuna ovens with new ovens that are automated and will not ever require workers to set foot inside the super-heated, pressurized steam cookers. (more…)

August 13, 2015

Former Executive Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Bribe Panamanian Officials

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:30 am

A former regional director of SAP International Inc. pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by participating in a scheme to bribe Panamanian officials to secure the award of government technology contracts for SAP.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Division and Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas McMahon of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.

Vicente Eduardo Garcia, 65, of Miami, pleaded guilty to a one-count information charging him with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.  Sentencing before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California is scheduled for Dec. 16, 2015.

According to plea documents, in late 2009, SAP sought a multi-million dollar contract to provide a Panamanian state agency with a technology upgrade package.  In connection with his guilty plea, Garcia admitted that, to secure the contract, he conspired with others, including advisors and consultants to SAP, to pay bribes to two Panamanian government officials, as well as to the agent of a third government official (with the understanding that at least a portion of the money would be transmitted to the third official).  According to Garcia’s admissions, the conspirators used sham contracts and false invoices to disguise the true nature of the bribes.  Garcia further admitted that he believed paying such bribes was necessary to secure both the initial contract and additional Panamanian government contracts.

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NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD MASSEUR TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING SENIOR CITIZEN IN HER APARTMENT

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:27 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A 19-year-old masseur is scheduled to be arraigned today for sexually assaulting a woman, who is in her 70’s, in her apartment. Ahkail Demyers, 19, Long Beach, is charged with one felony count of forcible rape, one felony count of assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense during the commission of a first degree burglary, one felony count of sexual penetration by force, one felony count of elder abuse, and sentencing enhancement allegations for aggravated kidnapping and commission of forcible rape and sexual penetration by force during the commission of a burglary. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 61 years to life in state prison. Demyers is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned today, Aug. 11, 2015, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

At the time of the crime, Demyers worked as a masseur and was visiting a family member who lived in a senior living apartment complex in Huntington Beach.

At approximately 7:50 p.m., on Aug. 9, 2015, Demyers is accused of approaching Jane Doe near the apartment complex. The defendant is accused of telling the victim that he was a masseur and offering to give the victim a therapeutic massage.

Once inside the residence, the defendant is accused of forcing the victim into her bedroom, forcibly sexually assaulting Jane Doe and sexually penetrating the victim.

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Orange County Man Pleads Guilty to Providing Material Support to ISIL and Making False Statements in Passport Application

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:25 am

SANTA ANA, California – A resident of the City of Orange pleaded guilty today to federal charges of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and making a false statement in a passport application.

Adam Dandach, 21, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge James V. Selna.

In a plea agreement filed today in federal court, Dandach admitted that, beginning in approximately November 2013 and continuing until July 2, 2014, he attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIL with the purpose of providing material support to the designated foreign terrorist organization. He further admitted that he knew that ISIL was a designated foreign terrorist organization that engaged in terrorist activity and terrorism.

“This case demonstrates the need for continued vigilance and swift action to fight the false allure of foreign terrorist organizations that threaten the security of the United States,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “As Mr. Dandach succumbed to ISIL’s online recruiting efforts, the Joint Terrorism Task Force was able to uncover his plan before he left the United States, which prevented this young man from becoming a foreign fighter. As a result of today’s guilty pleas, Mr. Dandach now faces a lengthy term in federal prison.”

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August 12, 2015

CALIFORNIA WOMAN SENTENCED TO OVER 10 YEARS FOR HER ROLE IN DEFRAUDING ELDERLY THROUGH OFFSHORE SWEEPSTAKES SCHEME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:27 am

A California woman was sentenced to 130 months in prison for her role in a half-million dollar Costa Rica-based “sweepstakes fraud” scheme that victimized hundreds of U.S. residents.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose of the Western District of North Carolina made the announcement.

Patricia Diane Clark, 57, of Sacramento, California, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney of the Western District of North Carolina for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.   Clark was also ordered to pay $642,032 in restitution and to forfeit the same amount jointly and severally with her co-defendants.

In connection with her guilty plea, Clark admitted that, from approximately 2007 through February 2013, her co-conspirators called U.S. residents from Costa Rican call centers, falsely informing them that they had won a substantial cash prize in a “sweepstakes.”  The victims, many of whom were elderly, were told that in order to receive the prize, they had to send money for a purported “refundable insurance fee.”  Clark admitted that she picked up money from the victims and sent it to her co-conspirators in Costa Rica.  Clark also admitted that she managed others who picked up money from the victims in the United States and that she kept a portion of the victims’ payments.

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TWO DRIVERS CHARGED IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH FOR SPEEDING THROUGH RED LIGHT AND KILLING 9-YEAR-OLD BOY CROSSING STREET

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:23 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Two drivers were charged today for a hit-and-run crash after speeding through a red light and killing a 9-year-old boy who was crossing the street. Miguel Villagomez Jr., 26, Anaheim, and Roderick Kent Jerro, 50, Orange,are each charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Jerro is charged with one additional felony count of hit and run with permanent injury and death and a sentencing enhancement for a prior strike conviction for a 1986 residential burglary in Los Angeles County. If convicted, Villagomez faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prisonand Jerro faces a maximum sentence of 22 years in state prison. Villagomez is out of custody on $100,000 bail. Jerro is being held on $100,000 bail. Both defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 28, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 6, 2015, Villagomez is accused of getting into a minor traffic collision with Jerro’s vehicle on Tustin Street and Palm Avenue in Orange and attempting to drive away. Jerro is accused of pursuing Villagomez’s vehicle.

Both defendants are accused of speeding northbound through a red light at the intersection of North Glassell Street and Wilson Avenue. Jerro is accused of hitting 9-year-old Jesse Rosales as he was crossing the street with his older sister. The defendants are accused of failing to stop to render aid or assistance to the victim. Rosales was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Villagomez is accused of continuing to drive northbound, attempting to make a left turn on West Taft Avenue, and crashing into a brick wall, which disabled his vehicle. Jerro is accused of stopping his vehicle near the site where Villagomez had crashed. Both defendants were arrested a short time later by the Orange Police Department, who investigated this case.

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MAN ARRAIGNED IN TWO SEPARATE BURGLARY AND ROBBERY CASES FILED TODAY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:19 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was arraigned today on two separate burglary and armed robbery cases filed today. John Williams Rodenborn, 37, Huntington Beach, is charged with one felony count of second degree robbery and one felony count of criminal threats, with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm in Case 15WF1740. He is also charged with one felony count of second degree commercial burglary and one misdemeanor count of aggravated trespass of a dwelling in Case 15WF1737. Rodenborn has two prior strike convictions for residential burglary in 1999 and 2006, and three state prison priors for the 1999 and 2006 residential burglary, and a 2002 vehicle theft. Rodenborn is scheduled for a continued arraignment on Aug. 18, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

Case 15WF1740
At approximately 4:30 a.m. on April 2, 2015, Rodenborn is accused of walking into a Chevron gas station convenience store on Beach Boulevard in Westminster and asking the store clerk for cigarettes. He is then accused of pulling out a firearm and demanding money and threatening to shoot the victim if he didn’t comply. The victim took out money and placed it on the counter. Rodenborn is accused of taking the cash from the counter and fleeing the scene, leaving behind a used cigarette butt.

The store clerk and witnesses called 911 and the Westminster Police Department, who investigated this case, arrived at the scene. Rodenborn was connected to the crime through DNA found on the cigarette butt and video surveillance.

Rodenborn is being held on $1 million bail and faces a maximum sentence of 46 years to life in state prison in this case.

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August 11, 2015

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Indictment of 32 Members and Associates of Long Beach Crip Street Gang Tied to $14.3 Million Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Scheme

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

LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced today the takedown of a Long Beach Crip street gang that operated an identity theft scheme to perpetrate tax fraud, stealing over $3.3 million and attempting to steal over $11 million via tax fraud. The operation resulted in 22 members of the Insane Crip street gang being taken into custody on charges that include 283 counts of criminal conspiracy, 299 counts of identity theft, 226 counts of grand theft and 58 counts of attempted theft.

“This violent street gang orchestrated a sophisticated scheme to steal the identities of hardworking Californians and defraud the government of millions in taxpayer money,” Attorney General Harris said. “These victims had their identities stolen and face financial harm as a result of this theft. My office is committed to dismantling these criminal organizations and targeting their illicit income sources. I thank our law enforcement partners for their thorough investigation in this matter.”

“Our detectives did an outstanding job uncovering this crime scheme,” said Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna, “Our partnership with assisting law enforcement agencies was instrumental in bringing this case together. These financial crimes are funding gang activity within our city and impacting the lives of many people through monetary loss and concerns about vulnerability.”

“Today’s arrests are a victory for law enforcement in the ongoing battle against gangs who commit financial crimes through our nation’s mail system and victimize an entire nation of law abiding citizens,” said Robert Wemyss, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service.  “Postal Inspectors remain dedicated to collaborating with our law enforcement partners in the investigation of these crimes that victimize our citizens and finance criminal enterprise.”

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