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October 13, 2017

California Is Right to Curb the Sex Offender Registry

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

Say what you want about Governor Jerry Brown, but never say he’s not brave. He just signed a law that could eventually purge 90 percent of the names off of California’s lifetime registry for sex offenders.

I expect that he, and the legislators who passed it, will be subjected to the withering outrage that accompanies any action or statement, however mild or correct, that seems “soft” on sex offenders. I once wrote a column suggesting that pedophiles who are attracted to children but do not act on their impulses need more support from society to help keep them on the straight and narrow. Of course I was roundly scorned as being, at best, a woolly-headed liberal with a permanently broken moral compass, and at worst, probably a pedophile myself.

This is how we have ended up with the absurdities of the sex offender registries. In which teenaged boys who slept with their underage girlfriends can be required to spend years of their life (perhaps all the years of their life), fending off revolted stares from neighbors who think they’re child molesters. In which men have to sleep under bridgesbecause there is no abode in the county that is far enough from a child for them to legally take residence. In which work, marriage, travel or even a roof over your head become near-impossible dreams for anyone ever convicted of any sexual offense — and you may even be liable for these penalties if you are accused of exploiting … yourself.

The results can occasionally be not only absurd, but also tragic. At 19, William Elliott had sex with his then-girlfriend, who was a few weeks shy of her 16th birthday. Five years later he was shot to death by a pedophile-hunting Canadian gunman who found his name on Maine’s sex offender registry.

In this context, California’s step back is rather modest; they are allowing sex offenders to be removed from the registry 10 or 20 years after they serve their sentence, provided they haven’t committed another serious crime in the meantime. What’s remarkable about the legislation is that it happened at all; it stalled for years, because lawmakers were afraid of being seen as soft on crime. (more…)

Suge Knight’s Girlfriend Pleads to Violating Court Order

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

The girlfriend of Marion “Suge” Knight pleaded no contest today to violating a court order by selling video evidence that is under seal in connection with the former rap mogul’s murder trial, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Toilin Kelly, 37, entered her plea to one count of conspiracy to violate a court order. She was placed on formal probation for five years and to perform 100 hours of community service. Kelly also must pay $55,000 in restitution to Tam’s Burgers.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Douglas Sortino ordered Kelly to not have any contact with Knight.

Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich is prosecuting the case.

A grand jury returned an indictment against Kelly and business partner Mark Blankenship, 57, on July 28, accusing the pair of arranging the sale of the video of a fatal hit-and-run involving Knight about two weeks after the Jan. 29, 2015, incident. (more…)

October 12, 2017

Mexican National Designated as Key Drug Trafficking Target Indicted on Federal Narcotics Charges Related to High Desert Meth Lab

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:32 am

RIVERSIDE, California – A Mexican national who was previously designated as an important target because of his links to international drug trafficking was indicted today by a federal grand jury on narcotics charges related to a meth lab in Hesperia where multiple pounds of methamphetamine were seized.

Adrian Ulises Garcia-Ruiz, 37, a native of Michoacán, Mexico, was named in a two-count indictment that alleges he supplied liquid methamphetamine that was turned into crystal meth at the San Bernardino County drug lab.

The indictment names a second defendant – Carlos Miguel Gallardo-Valdovinos, also a Mexican national – who allegedly converted the narcotics into crystalline form.

According to the indictment, Garcia-Ruiz coordinated shipments of liquid methamphetamine into the United States, where it was converted into crystalline form for distribution. Gallardo-Valdovinos allegedly purchased acetone which he used to convert the liquid methamphetamine into crystalline form at the Hesperia lab.

In May 2014, authorities executed a search warrant at the Hesperia drug lab, where they seized approximately six gallons of liquid methamphetamine, more than nine pounds of crystal methamphetamine and $60,000 in U.S. currency. (more…)

Father Charged with DUI Crash That Injured Daughter

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:28 am

An Inglewood father was charged today with DUI and child abuse for a crash that injured his 10-yearold daughter, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Gil Paul Hernandez (dob 3/2/62) faces one felony count each of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury, driving with a .08 percent or more blood alcohol content causing injury and child abuse.

Case YA097022 includes an allegation for all three charges that Hernandez personally inflicted great bodily injury in the commission of the offenses.

The defendant pleaded not guilty today and is scheduled to return on Oct. 25 in Department 4 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Torrance Branch.

On Oct. 6, Hernandez was driving near 182nd Street and Prairie Avenue in Torrance when he allegedly crashed into two vehicles, prosecutors said. The defendant’s daughter was in the passenger seat and was severely injured, prosecutors added.

If convicted as charged, Hernandez faces a possible maximum sentence of nine years in state prison. Bail is set at $100,000.

The case remains under investigation by the Torrance Police Department.

Los Angeles District Attorney / Case YA097022 / October 11, 2017

October 11, 2017

Four suspected gang members charged in slaying of 1-year-old Autumn Johnson, shot in her crib in Compton

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

After more than a year and a half, authorities have charged four suspected gang members in connection with the 2016 killing of a 1-year-old girl who was shot in her crib in Compton, officials said Wednesday.

The four suspects in the Feb. 9 killing of Autumn Johnson in the 300 block of North Holly Avenue have all been taken into custody or were already incarcerated, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Davion Douglas, 27, Denzel Hull, 25, and Ronzay Richards, 24, have each been charged with murder and attempted murder, officials said.

Ray Patterson, 24, who was arrested on suspicion of murder last year but then released, has now been charged with being an accessory to murder, officials said.

Hull, who is already incarcerated on an unrelated burglary charge, was also charged with attempted murder in an unrelated incident in Compton about a month after Autumn was killed, Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said. Douglas and Patterson are also already incarcerated; Richards was taken into custody Wednesday, authorities said. (more…)

Suspect in fatal double stabbing in Chinatown ordered to stand trial

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

It was a typical afternoon at Hop Sing Tong, the Chinatown social club frequented by elderly Chinese immigrants.

By 2:45 p.m., some were playing mah-jongg, while others stood and watched.

It was then that a bloody confrontation unfolded, ending in two fatal stabbings that stunned Los Angeles’ Chinatown community.

On Tuesday, based on the testimony of three witnesses, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor ruled there was sufficient evidence to try Vinh Dao, 37, in the Jan. 26 deaths of Joe Hoe “Tony” Young and Kim Kong Yun.

Young, 64, had been pursued by law enforcement officials for decades as a suspected leader of the Wah Ching, a notorious Chinese gang.

In recent years, Young had apparently led the quiet life of an immigrant retiree, spending many of his days at the Hop Sing Tong mah-jongg tables

Tuesday’s hearing in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom did little to illuminate a possible motive for the stabbings, which do not appear to be related to Young’s past. Detectives have previously said that Dao was angry because Hop Sing Tong, which traditionally helps immigrants with financial difficulties, did not give him enough money to pay for an impounded vehicle. (more…)

October 10, 2017

California Man Sentenced to Prison for Filing False Corporate Return

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

A Dublin, California man was sentenced to prison today in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California for filing a false tax return, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch for the Northern District of California.

Shiv D. Kumar, 60, was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison.  According to documents filed with the court, Kumar was the sole shareholder and president of A-Paratransit Inc. (API), a company that provided transportation services to disabled individuals.  Kumar filed false corporate returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax years 2009 and 2010, which underreported API’s gross receipts by $2,229,216 and $2,412,435, causing a tax loss of $1,584,055.  Kumar deposited API’s receipts into three separate bank accounts held at different banks.  To conceal API’s true income, Kumar provided his accountant with false books and records from which he had omitted gross receipts relating to two of API’s accounts.  Kumar used the unreported funds for personal expenditures, including purchasing property in the Vallejo, California area.

In addition to the term of prison imposed, Kumar was also sentenced to serve one year of supervised release. Restitution will be decided at a later date. Kumar pleaded guilty in March to filing a false return.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and U.S. Attorney Stretch thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney José A. Olivera and Trial Attorney Rebecca J. Sable of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website. (more…)

Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty To Bid Rigging In Northern California Public Foreclosure Auctions

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

A real estate investor pleaded guilty for his role in a conspiracy to rig bids at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced.

Jim Appenrodt pleaded guilty to two counts of bid rigging in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. Appenrodt was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on October 22, 2014.

According to court documents, Appenrodt participated in a conspiracy to rig bids by agreeing to refrain from bidding against other coconspirators at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Francisco County and San Mateo County from as early as August 2008 until January 2011.

“The Antitrust Division has prosecuted scores of real estate investors who, for their own benefit and profit, conspired to corrupt the bidding process at foreclosure auctions,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “Today’s guilty plea demonstrates the Division’s continued commitment to bringing to justice the individuals who committed these crimes.”

Today’s guilty plea is the result of the Department’s ongoing investigation into bid rigging at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties, California. To date, 63 individuals have agreed to plead or have pleaded guilty. (more…)

West Hollywood Man Sentenced for Attempted Murders

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

A West Hollywood man was sentenced today to 14 years and four months in state prison for the stabbing of two victims at an apartment complex, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Keri Modder said Alexander Tor McDonald, 31, pleaded no contest on Oct. 2 to two counts of attempted murder and admitted a great bodily injury allegation in case SA087007.

On April 7, 2014, the defendant held three men at knifepoint inside apartments on Palm Avenue. As sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene, one man ran out with a wound on his neck followed by a second victim, the prosecutor said.

Deputies fired their weapons believing the second victim was the attacker, injuring the man that was bleeding and killing the second man, the prosecutor added.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, West Hollywood Station.

Los Angeles District Attorney / case SA087007 / October 6, 2017

October 9, 2017

Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against California Staffing Companies

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

The Justice Department announced today that it has reached a settlement with CitiStaff Solutions Inc., and CitiStaff Management Group Inc. (collectively CitiStaff), companies that provide staffing services in the greater Los Angeles, California area.  The settlement resolves the department’s investigation into whether CitiStaff violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against work-authorized immigrants when verifying their work authorization.

Based on its investigation, the department concluded that CitiStaff routinely requested that non-U.S. citizens present specific documents to prove their work authorization, such as Permanent Resident Cards or Employment Authorization Documents, but did not make similar requests for specific documents to U.S. citizens.  The department’s investigation also found that CitiStaff unnecessarily required lawful permanent resident workers to prove their work authorization again when their Permanent Resident Cards expired, while not making similar requests to U.S. citizen workers when their documents expired.

All work-authorized individuals, whether U.S. citizens or non-U.S. citizens, have the right to choose which valid documentation to present to prove they are authorized to work, and employers should not reverify Permanent Resident Cards.  The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from subjecting employees to different or unnecessary documentary demands based on employees’ citizenship, immigration status or national origin.

Under the settlement, CitiStaff will pay a civil penalty of $200,000 to the United States, train its staff on the law, and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements for three years. (more…)

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