Best Defender Bytes:

March 10, 2015

Justice Department Seeks to Permanently Shut Down California Tax Preparer and Convicted Felon

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:38 am

The United States has asked a federal court in Sacramento, California, to bar a Ripon, California, man from preparing tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today.

According to the government’s complaint, Sarad Chand has repeatedly prepared federal tax returns that understate his customers’ federal tax liabilities.

The complaint alleges that Chand, and others working with him under the business name S. Chand Tax & Accounting Services, prepared tax returns that falsely claimed inflated or fabricated tax credits or deductions.  The suit notes that Chand most frequently prepared returns that falsely inflated unreimbursed employee business expenses.  Chand also created Schedule Cs (Profit or Loss From Business) with false income, while for other clients he created false losses or inflated expenses, according to the suit.  According to the complaint, these fabrications served to improperly reduce the customers’ taxable income and resulted in reduced tax liability or inappropriate tax refunds.  Moreover, according to the complaint, Chand also led his customers to believe that he was a former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee, when he was not.

The suit also notes that on May 15, 2014, Chand pleaded guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false and fraudulent tax return in United States v. Chand, et al., Case No.1:12-CR-00425 (E.D. Cal.).  As part of his plea agreement, Chand agreed to the entry of a permanent civil injunction, according to the complaint.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:34 am

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced to nine years in state prison yesterday for killing a 3-year-old girl and severely injuring the child’s mother by crashing his girlfriend’s car into them as they passed through a crosswalk and then fleeing the scene. Carlos Antonio Parra, 23, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty yesterday, March 5, 2015, to one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, two felony counts of hit and run with permanent injury or death, and one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance.

Parra’s girlfriend Rebeca Beltran, 27, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty on Aug. 16, 2013, to one felony count each of accessory after the fact and possession of a controlled substance. She faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in state prison at her sentencing on March 20, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 6:00 p.m. on Feb. 8, 2012, Lady H., then 27 years old, was pushing her 3-year-old daughter Miranda Palacios in a stroller through a crosswalk on Gilbert Street in Westminster. The crosswalk is across from a school and leads to a residential neighborhood.

Parra was driving alone on Gilbert Street in his girlfriend’s tan Nissan Maxima and failied to brake, slow, or stop as he approached the crosswalk. He crashed into Lady H. and Palacios, throwing both from the crosswalk. Parra failed to stop after hitting the two victims and fled the scene. He abandoned the car nearby and left it parked and locked with the alarm activated on the street.


March 9, 2015

Two Found Guilty in Scheme that Bilked Insurance Plans for More Than $50 Million of Unneeded Medical Procedures

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

SANTA ANA, California –A federal jury has convicted two Southern California residents in connection with a scheme to defraud union and private health insurance programs by submitting bills for more than $71 million – and receiving over $50 million in payments – for medically unnecessary procedures performed on insurance beneficiaries who received free or discounted cosmetic surgeries.

A large number of the fraudulent claims were submitted to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Operating Engineers Union health insurance plans. Other victim insurers included Aetna and Anthem.

The two defendants found guilty yesterday are:



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

SANTA ANA - A former Signal Hill Police Department (SHPD) officer was arrested today on charges of using excessive force under the color of authority. Jacob Emory Swigger, 39, Lake Forest, is charged with one felony count of excessive force by a police officer and one felony count of assault with a firearm. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison. Swigger is out of custody on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on March 30, 2015. The time and department are to be determined.

At the time of the crime, Swigger was working as a police officer with SHPD. The defendant is accused of committing the crime on his way into work dressed in civilian clothing and driving his personal vehicle.

At approximately 7:00 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2014, Swigger was driving northbound on the Interstate 5 near the Bake Parkway exit when 50-year-old John Doe changed lanes in front of him. Swigger is accused of then honking and driving after John Doe for approximately one and a half miles. As John Doe continued to drive northbound with the flow of traffic, Swigger is accused of driving up alongside the victim’s vehicle and suddenly swerving his car directly in front of John Doe, forcing the victim to come to a complete stop. Swigger is accused of then exiting his vehicle in the middle of the freeway, during rush-hour traffic, and approaching John Doe. He is accused of approaching John Doe while pointing a gun at him, identifying himself as a police officer, and ordering the victim out of the vehicle.

When John Doe did not immediately comply, Swigger is accused of opening the victim’s car door, and pulling John Doe out of the vehicle, causing him to fall to the ground. The defendant is accused of further assaulting John Doe by repeatedly slamming the victim against his own vehicle, putting a gun to the victim’s head, and dragging him behind the vehicle in the middle of traffic.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:11 am

SANTA ANA – A former insurance agent was convicted and sentenced today to seven years in state prison for receiving over $900,000 in commission and premium payments from fraudulent insurance policies. Jacob Richard Bonzer, 28, Chicago, Ill. pleaded guilty today to 49 felony counts of grand theft, one felony count of forging a false Department of Insurance report of examination, one felony count of transacting insurance business without certificate of authority, 45 felony counts of insurance fraud, with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and a taking over $200,000. He was also ordered to pay $918,302 restitution to the victims.

Circumstances of the Case
Between 2009 and 2013, Bonzer committed three separate crimes. A joint investigation was conducted by the Brea Police Department, California Department of Insurance (CDI) and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office

Farmers Insurance Group Insurance Fraud #1
On Aug. 4, 2009, Bonzer obtained his insurance license and was hired the next day by Farmers Insurance Group (FIG) as a reserve agent at a FIG branch in Brea. On July 31, 2010, Bonzer was terminated from FIG for failing their career program.

After Bonzer’s termination, FIG opened an investigation and found 128 homeowner’s policies which listed their mailing address as Bonzer’s office. No premium was ever collected by FIG on any of these 128 policies. The policies were validly issued but the named of those insured did not own the properties thereby making the policies fraudulent.


March 6, 2015

California Department of Justice Special Operations Unit Assists in Oakland Gang Takedown

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:53 am

OAKLAND Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the takedown of an Oakland area criminal organization, including the arrest of 16 individuals and the seizure of 36 weapons.

The investigation, named 69th Avenue Village, represents the culmination of a five month long, joint operation with California Department of Justice’s Special Operations Units, California Highway Patrol and Oakland Police Department.

“We are committed to dismantling violent street gangs terrorizing our communities,” said Attorney General Harris. “I want to thank our Department of Justice agents, California Highway Patrol and the Oakland Police Department for their work to keep our communities safe.”

“We are relieved to have built cases on these violent individuals,” Oakland Police Department Chief Sean Whent said. “This extensive investigation was made possible because of the continued commitment of our partner agencies. We understand we have much more work to do and we are dedicated to our role in creating a safer Oakland.”


Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces 24 Year Prison Sentence For Leader of Mortgage Relief Scam

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:50 am

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California Benjamin B. Wagner today announced that Alan Tikal, the principal operator of a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme, was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

“Alan Tikal’s actions were illegal and will not be tolerated in California.  He and his partners defrauded hundreds of hard-working Californians who were fighting to keep their homes during our state’s foreclosure crisis,” Attorney General Harris said. “This predatory scheme robbed families of their life savings and in many cases, their homes. I thank our California Mortgage Fraud Strike Force and the U.S. Department of Justice for their work to bring these individuals to justice.”

“The financial crisis that hit our communities so hard made it very difficult for a lot of people to make ends meet,“ said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “Alan Tikal cynically took advantage of the desperation those people felt for his own profit, stealing payments meant to preserve family homes. Although we cannot undo the harm Tikal inflicted, today’s sentence provides a measure of justice.”

In September 2014, Alan David Tikal, 46, was convicted of 11 counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering by United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley. The case was jointly prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California and the California Attorney General’s Office.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:46 am

SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) convicted four men in February 2015 of loitering with the intent to commit prostitution or agreeing to engage in prostitution. The defendants in these cases approached a woman whom they believed to be a prostitute, or loitered in areas known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County. Each of the defendants below agreed to engage or loitered with the intent to engage in commercial sex with a woman and were subsequently arrested by law enforcement.




Aaron Graham Byrnes, 44, Newport Beach

Pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution

Three years of informal probation, must submit to AIDS testing and education and provide DNA sample, and donate $2,500 to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund

Albert Eunsuk Oh, 32, Garden Grove

Pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of agreeing to engage in prostitution

10 days of CalTrans in lieu of jail, three years of informal probation, and must submit to AIDS testing and education and provide DNA sample

Jesus Manuel Lopez, 48, Santa Ana

Pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of agreeing to engage in prostitution

Ten days of CalTrans in lieu of jail, three years of informal probation, must submit to AIDS testing and education, provide DNA sample, and donate $200 to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund

Joaquin Espinoza, 47, Pico Rivera

Pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution

Accepted a court offer of 10 days of CalTrans in lieu of jail, three years of informal probation, and must submit to AIDS testing and education

The OCDA places the booking photos when available and conviction details of defendants on the sex purchasers section of the OCDA’s website, and can be found at the following link:


March 5, 2015

California Resident Sentenced to Prison for Tax Evasion Resulting from Multimillion-Dollar Advance Fee Scheme in Maryland

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:04 am

A Corona, California, woman was sentenced today in the U.S. District Court in the District of Maryland to serve two years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to one count of tax evasion, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland. 

Yvette Johnson, formerly of Laytonsville, Maryland, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow.  As a special condition of Johnson’s supervised release, she is required to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to determine all taxes owed for tax years 2002 through 2009, and to pay the IRS all additional taxes, interest and penalties.

Johnson’s husband, Shannon Johnson, was sentenced in June 2014 to serve seven years in prison after pleading guilty to an advance fee scheme and tax evasion.  The Johnsons were indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2013 for mail and wire fraud charges, as well as tax fraud charges, in connection with a scheme to defraud investors.  Shannon Johnson admitted that he ran a fraudulent advance fee scheme from 2006 to 2009, wherein Johnson presented himself as a wealthy international investment banker who could provide millions of dollars and euros in financing to businesses and individuals.  In return for substantial advance banking fees, the indictment alleged that the Johnsons promised to provide investors with money which they claimed they held in an overseas bank account.  Shannon Johnson provided these businesses and investors with false documents purporting to be from the overseas bank to authenticate the funds.  The Johnsons developed relationships with pastors, ministers and religious-based organizations to sell themselves as philanthropists on a humanitarian mission.  Shannon Johnson received payments and gifts from pastors and ministers who believed substantial donations would be made to their churches.  Businesses and individuals wired and mailed the advance fees to multiple bank accounts controlled by the Johnsons in different states.  Yvette Johnson opened bank accounts and conducted financial transactions using proceeds obtained from the Johnsons’ business activities.

The Johnsons spent the $3.7 million in advance fees from individuals and businesses to support their lifestyle, which the indictment alleges included: the purchase of Bentley, Mercedes Benz and BMW automobiles; the leasing of a residence in California for $18,000 a month; travel on private jets; and the funding of the mortgage on their Laytonsville residence.  Shannon Johnson admitted that he obtained $3.7 million by victimizing at least 11 individuals and businesses.   (more…)

Orange County, California, Man Charged in New Indictment with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:00 am

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office announced today that an Orange County, California, man who attempted to travel to Syria last year has been indicted on a series of federal offenses, including attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Adam Dandach, 21, of Orange, California, was named in a superseding indictment returned today by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana, California.  Dandach, a U.S. citizen, also known as “Fadi Fadi Dandach,” is charged in the indictment with one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization; two counts of making a false statement on a passport application that was obtained in order to facilitate international terrorism; and one count of obstruction of justice for attempting to destroy records after his arrest last July.

Dandach was arrested on July 3, 2014, and initially charged in a federal criminal complaint with making a false statement on his passport application.  The complaint alleged that Dandach lied in order to replace his passport so that he could travel without being stopped by a family member who possessed his original passport.  At that time, Dandach was attempting to travel from Orange County’s John Wayne Airport to Istanbul with the intention of traveling to Syria.  Dandach told FBI agents that he was traveling to Syria for the purpose of pledging his alliance and assistance to ISIL, and that he believed the killings of American soldiers are justified, according to court documents.

On July 16, 2014, Dandach was indicted by a federal grand jury for making false statements on a passport application.  He entered a plea of not guilty in July 2014 and has been held in federal custody without bond since that time.  (more…)

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress