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June 15, 2015

Former DEA Agent Arrested At LAX On Fraud And Passport Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:03 am

RIVERSIDE, California – A former special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration has been arrested on federal fraud charges for allegedly posing as an active FBI agent and helping a man who posed as a former federal prosecutor to defraud a man who enlisted their help in recovering money lost in two fraudulent investment schemes.

David Garcia Herrera, 70, of Torrance, was arrested last night at Los Angeles International Airport by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Herrera, who is expected to be arraigned on a nine-count indictment this afternoon in United States District Court in Riverside, was arrested as he returned from a trip abroad.

Herrera is one of two defendants charged in an indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury on June 5 with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud and one count making false statements in a passport application.

The second defendant in the case – Jerome Arthur Whittington, 65, of La Quinta, who allegedly posed as a successful attorney and told at least one victim that he was a former federal prosecutor – is currently in custody after being indicted in June 2014 in relation to two other fraud schemes.

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Multiple Life Sentences for Defendant in 2011 Halloween Murder of Good Samaritan

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

A 21-year-old man was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus multiple life terms for the murder of a good Samaritan in Canyon Country, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Bradley Lieberman said Diamonte Jerome McGhee of Canyon Country was found guilty on Oct. 30, 2014 of one count each of first-degree murder and second-degree robbery, four counts of attempted murder and five counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

The jury found true a special circumstance allegation that the murder occurred during the commission of a robbery. And McGhee also was found to have personally fired the handgun during the murder and attempted murder.

Eric Michael Edwards, 21, of Lancaster was found guilty of one count each of first-degree murder and second-degree robbery and four counts each of attempted murder and assault with a semiautomatic firearm in case PA071844.

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Man Convicted of Assaulting, Killing Ex-Girlfriend in Watts

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

A 51-year-old man was convicted today of assaulting his ex-girlfriend in 2013 and killing her in 2014, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The jury deliberated for less than two days before finding Mark Anthony Little (dob 12/6/63) guilty of first-degree murder, two counts each of corporal injury to a cohabitant and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, and one count each of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, simple battery of a cohabitant and criminal threats in case TA133341.

Additionally, jurors found true a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the killing.

Little is scheduled to be sentenced July 20 in Department C of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Compton Branch. The defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of 122 years to life in state prison.

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June 12, 2015

MAN FACES MULTIPLE ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR USING FACEBOOK TO RECRUIT FOUR UNDERAGE GIRLS AND NINE ADULT WOMEN TO WORK AS COMMERCIAL SEX WORKERS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:31 am

SANTA ANA – A man faces multiple additional charges for using Facebook to recruit four underage girls and nine adult women to work for the defendant as commercial sex workers. Allen Kahrion Jackson, 22, Stockton, was charged yesterday June 10, 2015, with 10 felony counts of pandering by procuring, four felony counts of human trafficking of a minor, three felony counts of pandering with a minor over 16 years old by procuring, one felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse, and one felony count of pandering with a minor over 16 years old as inmate in house of prostitution. If convicted on all the new charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 33 years and 11 months in state prison. He was previously charged on Feb. 23, 2015, with two felony counts of pimping and two felony counts of pandering as inmate in house of prostitution. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison for these charges. Jackson is being held on $100,000 bail and must prove the funds are from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. He is scheduled for pre-trial on the previous charges and a continued arraignment on the new charges. Both cases will be heard on July 29, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case
Jackson is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women and/or children 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. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

Between April 4, 2014, and Feb. 15, 2015, Jackson is accused of using Facebook to reach out and recruit four 17-year-old girls and nine women throughout the state to work for the defendant as commercial sex workers. The defendant is accused of having a sexual relationship with one of the underage girls.

Between Feb. 14, 2015, and Feb. 19, 2015, Jackson is accused of arranging a date at an Anaheim motel for 27-year-old Jane Doe 1 to perform commercial sex acts with a man who was an undercover officer. Jackson is accused of walking out of the motel room with 19-year-old Jane Doe 2 when the undercover officer arrived. Members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF), who investigated this case, arrested the defendant at the motel. The investigation in this case is ongoing.

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Former DWP Employee Charged with Conflict of Interest, Misappropriation

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:28 am

A former audio-visual technician for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) has been charged with more than two dozen felony counts for allegedly misappropriating more than $4 million in public funds, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Thatcus Carl Richard (dob 5/23/51) of Moreno Valley is expected to be arraigned next week in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

He is charged with 27 counts: nine counts each of conflict of interest, public officer crime and embezzlement by a public officer with an excessive-taking allegation of more than $1 million.

Deputy District Attorneys Kennes Ma and Susan Choi of the Public Integrity Division are prosecuting the case.

The defendant was in charge of managing video and audio jobs for the utility. Between July 1996 and March 2014, Richard allegedly enlisted friends to establish audio-visual companies and then he helped award DWP contracts to them, the prosecutor said.

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Compton Man Charged with Severely Beating Toddler

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:24 am

Prosecutors have charged a 23-year-old man accused of beating his girlfriend’s young son, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Rodrigo Hernandez (dob 1/16/92) of Compton has been charged with two felony counts: attempted murder and assault on a child becoming comatose in case TA137386.

The felony complaint includes a special allegation that the defendant inflicted great bodily injury on the victim, who was under the age of five years, during the commission of the crime.

Hernandez is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 12 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Compton Branch.

Prosecutors said on June 7, Hernandez was reportedly watching his girlfriend’s 13-month old son while the mother was in another room in the apartment.

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June 11, 2015

San Diego Man Who Ran Investment Scam That Promised ‘Reverse Life Insurance’ Policies Sentenced To Over 10 Years In Federal Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:54 am

SANTA ANA, California – The founder and chief executive officer of a firm that solicited more than $5 million from victims who thought they were investing in “reverse life insurance” policies has been sentenced to 121 months in prison.

Daniel Christian Stanley Powell, 34, of San Diego, was sentenced on Friday by United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton. In addition to the prison term, Judge Staton ordered the defendant to pay $4,447,290 in restitution to 59 victims.

In imposing the sentence, Judge Staton cited the impact on the victims: “Many [victims] were devastated financially and emotionally, and robbed of their futures and their children’s futures.”

Following a three-week jury trial last November, Powell was convicted of five counts of mail fraud, five counts of wire fraud and three counts of obstruction of justice.

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3 Involved In Inland Empire Loan Modification Scam That Targeted Financially Distressed Homeowners Guilty Of Federal Fraud Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:50 am

RIVERSIDE, California – A federal jury today convicted three defendants who worked at a Rancho Cucamonga business that offered bogus loan modification programs to thousands of financially distressed homeowners who lost more than $7 million when they paid for services, including loan modifications that were never provided.

The three Southland residents found guilty today of federal fraud charges were associated with a telemarketing operation known under a series of names – including 21st Century Legal Services, Inc. – that bilked more than 4,000 homeowners across the nation, many of whom lost their homes to foreclosure.

The defendants found guilty today are:

Christopher Paul George, 45, Rancho Cucamonga, a co-owner of 21th Century, who was found guilty of one count of mail fraud affecting a financial institution, three counts of wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution, and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud;

Crystal Taiwana Buck, 40, of Long Beach, a sales “closer,” who was convicted of three counts of mail fraud; and

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Reality Television Personality Charged with Resisting Arrest, Battery on Peace Officer

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:48 am

A reality television personality has been charged with three misdemeanor counts that include resisting arrest following her removal from a Beverly Hills hotel, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney Leila Tahmassebi said Kim Erica Richards (dob 9/19/64) faces one misdemeanor count each of public intoxication, resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer.

Arraignment in case 5WA31677 is scheduled for tomorrow in Department W73 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch. The original filing date was May 11.

On April 16, Richards was removed from The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel after reportedly refusing to leave, the prosecutor said. While at the police station, the defendant is accused of kicking an officer, the prosecutor added.

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June 10, 2015

ATTORNEY FACES ADDITIONAL CHARGE FOR ILLEGALLY POSSESSING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS IN JAIL

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:16 am

SANTA ANA – An attorney is facing an additional charge of possessing a controlled substance while she was being held in custody at jail. She is awaiting sentencing for crashing her car and killing a bicyclist while driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti, 41, Rancho Santa Margarita, was charged May, 26, 2015, with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility. She previously pleaded guilty March 10, 2015, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (Case #13HF2830). She is scheduled for sentencing tomorrow, Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-13, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

Circumstances of Case #13HF2830
At approximately 6:45 p.m. on March 15, 2013, Fakhrai-Bayrooti was driving her car southbound on Santa Margarita Parkway in Mission Viejo after consuming prescription drugs, including Xanax and Suboxone. She swerved into a bike lane, crashing into 54-year-old bicyclist Eric Billings between the intersection of El Toro Road and Los Alisos Boulevard, causing the victim to roll over the hood and windshield. The victim died at the scene as a result of sustaining multiple traumatic injuries from the crash.

OCSD arrived at the scene and investigated this case. OCSD arrested the defendant on Sept. 24, 2013, after the Orange County Crime Laboratory analyzed the blood evidence.

At the time of the crime, Fakhrai-Bayrooti had been an active member of the State Bar of California since 2005.

Circumstances of Case #15CF1119

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