Best Defender Bytes:

March 18, 2015

New York Real Estate Heir Charged with Cold Case Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:56 am

New York real estate heir Robert Durst was charged today with the 2000 murder of his friend, Susan Berman, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Durst (dob 4/12/43) is charged in case SA089983 with one count of first-degree murder with the special circumstances of murder of a witness and lying in wait and gun use allegations. Durst, who was arrested Saturday by FBI agents in New Orleans, is being held without bail.

Deputy District Attorneys John Lewin and Habib Balian with the Major Crimes Division are assigned to the case. Prosecutors have been working closely with the Los Angeles Police Department for the past two years investigating the cold case murder.

Durst is charged with murdering Berman on or about Dec. 23, 2000. Her body was discovered in her Benedict Canyon home on Christmas Eve.

(more…)

Former NFL Player Charged with DUI in Manhattan Beach

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:52 am

A former tight-end with the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was charged today in connection with a DUI arrest in Manhattan Beach earlier this year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Juree Kim said Jerramy Ryan Stevens (dob 11/13/1979) is charged with one misdemeanor count each of driving under the influence of alcohol within 10 years of another DUI offense and driving with a .08% blood alcohol content within 10 years of another DUI offense.

Case 5SY02142 alleges that Stevens refused a chemical test; that he had a blood alcohol concentration that was .15 percent or more; and that he had a 2007 DUI conviction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Arraignment is scheduled on March 19 in Department P of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Torrance Branch.

(more…)

March 17, 2015

Los Angeles-Area Pharmacist Pleads Guilty to Medicare Part D Fraud Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:02 am

A pharmacist who owned and operated a pharmacy in Los Angeles pleaded guilty today in connection with a Medicare fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, 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.

Rouzbeh Javaherian, 34, of Beverly Grove, California, pleaded guilty to health care fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud the Medicare Part D program through a pharmacy called Emoonah Inc., doing business as Westaid Pharmacy and Medical Supply (Westaid).  According to admissions in the plea agreement, Javaherian was a licensed pharmacist and owner of Westaid, which was located in Los Angeles.  From January 2008 to November 2014, Javaherian devised and executed a scheme to defraud the Medicare Part D program by paying illegal cash kickbacks to Medicare beneficiaries to induce them to submit their prescriptions to Westaid.  Javaherian then filled some of those prescriptions, but also submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare Part D plan sponsors for prescriptions that he did not actually fill.

From January 2008 to November 2014, Javaherian received approximately $644,060 in overpayments from Medicare as the result of the fraud scheme.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 1, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson of the Central District of California.

(more…)

Department of Justice Files Suit Against Storage Company for Unlawfully Selling Service Members’ Belongings

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

The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to recover damages from a storage company that allegedly violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) when it sold service members’ personal property without obtaining the necessary court orders.  The defendants in this lawsuit are Daniel E. Homan and Horoy Inc., doing business as Across Town Movers—a San Diego, California, storage company.  Homan is the President and sole owner of Horoy Inc.

The SCRA protects the rights of service members while on active duty by suspending or modifying certain civil obligations.  The law states that a storage lien may not be enforced against service members during, or 90 days subsequent to, their period of military service without a court order.  The Department of Justice’s complaint alleges that, since 2011, Across Town Movers sold the personal property of 11 service members without obtaining a required court order.

The complaint further alleges that after illegally selling one of the service member’s personal property, Across Town Movers continued to receive regular payments from the United States for storage of the sold property.  That service member is U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Thomas E. Ward.

In 2006, Master Chief Ward, a 30-year veteran, was deployed overseas.  He placed his valuable car parts and many household items into storage, and entrusted Across Town Movers to keep his personal property safe until he returned.  Just before he returned home, he learned that Across Town Movers had auctioned all of his stored personal property, including vintage original car parts.

(more…)

Car Salesman Sentenced to Prison for Odometer Fraud Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:53 am

A car salesman was sentenced earlier today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to serve one year and one day in prison on charges related to an odometer tampering scheme, the Justice Department announced.

Jeffrey Levy, 63, of Woodland Hills, California, was also ordered to pay $115,818.80 in restitution to victims who purchased vehicles without knowing the odometers displayed incorrect mileages.  In November 2014, Levy pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to tamper with odometers.

“A car salesman should know better than anyone that odometer tampering is a fraud and a crime,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “As this prosecution demonstrates, criminals with an electronic tool can easily alter electronic vehicle odometers, defrauding future car buyers.”

Levy was a salesman at Galpin Ford in North Hills, California.  In his guilty plea, Levy admitted that he referred customers and friends to his co-conspirator, Shamai Salpeter, who rolled back odometers in the driveway of his residence in Woodland Hills. Salpeter was also charged and pleaded guilty to odometer tampering and conspiracy to commit odometer fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 13.

Levy knew that some of his customers had exceeded the maximum allowed mileage under the terms of their leases and wished to avoid fees and penalties.  He knew that other customers wanted to lower the mileage on their odometers to make their vehicles more valuable when they traded in the vehicles.  After Salpeter altered the odometers, Levy’s customers returned or traded in their vehicles with false, lower mileage readings.  Levy accepted the vehicles without alerting Galpin Ford that the odometer readings were false.  Future purchasers of the vehicles were defrauded because they purchased vehicles with false odometer readings.  Galpin Ford cooperated with the government’s investigation. (more…)

March 16, 2015

NEPHEW TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF UNCLE AFTER ARGUMENT AT BIRTHDAY PARTY

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

WESTMINSTER – A nephew is scheduled to be arraigned today for the shooting murder of his uncle. Daniel Lee Duvall, 37, Westminster, is charged with one felony count of murder with sentencing enhancements for personal discharge of a firearm causing death, three sentencing enhancements for crime-bail-crime, prior felony convictions for residential burglary in 1996, possession of a firearm by a felon in 2002, possession of a firearm by a felon in 2008, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell in 2010. Co-defendant Tina Pauline Arbogast, 48, Westminster, is charged with one felony count of accessory after the fact.

If convicted, Daniel Duvall faces a maximum sentence of 85 years to life in state prison. Arbogast faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. Both defendants are scheduled to be arraigned today, March 13, 2015, in Department W-12, West Justice Center, Westminster. The time is to be determined.

At the time of the crime, Daniel Duvall was out on bail for three separate open cases.

On the evening of March 8, 2015, Daniel Duvall is accused of attending a birthday party being held for Arbogast at her home in Westminster. Approximately 15 to 20 people were in attendance at the party.

At approximately 10:00 p.m., Daniel Duvall is accused of getting into a verbal argument with his uncle, 56-year-old Frank Duvall inside the home. At some point during the argument, Daniel Duvall is accused of brandishing a loaded firearm.

Daniel Duvall is accused of then following his uncle out of the party as the victim was attempting to leave in his van. Daniel Duvall is accused of shooting Frank Duvall once in the torso as the victim sat in the driver’s side of his van. The victim died as a result of the gunshot wound.

Immediately after the shooting, Arbogast is accused of approaching Daniel Duvall and asking for the firearm. Arbogast is accused of taking the firearm and then fleeing the scene in her own vehicle. Daniel Duvall is accused of fleeing the scene shortly thereafter on his motorcycle. The defendants are accused of fleeing to Riverside County.

On the afternoon of March 10, 2015, the Westminster Police Department, who investigated this case, located the defendants in a gated community in Canyon Lake and arrested them.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

*Co-defendant girlfriend is charged as an accessory after the fact in this case

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 15WF0501 / March 13, 2015

HUSBAND SENTENCED TO 28 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR STABBING-MURDER OF WIFE IN ANAHEIM HOTEL ROOM

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

SANTA ANA – A husband was sentenced today to 28 years to life in state prison for stabbing and murdering his wife in an Anaheim hotel room. Bruce Allen Ohlwine, 50, was found guilty by a jury March 5, 2015, of first degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. On March 11, 2015, the same jury found that the defendant, who had entered pleas of “not guilty” and “not guilty by reason of insanity,” was legally sane at the time of the murder. The court found the sentencing enhancement that the defendant committed the crime while out on bail to be true.

On Feb. 12, 2013, Bruce Ohlwine was staying in an Anaheim hotel with his wife, 37-year-old Saori Ohlwine. At some point during the day, the defendant used a knife and stabbed the victim seven times in the chest, eye, and legs. The next day, hotel staff contacted the Anaheim Police Department (APD) to evict the defendant and his wife from their hotel room after the defendant had refused to leave.

APD officers entered the room and found a large amount of blood covering the walls and floors. APD found the victim’s body in a bathtub filled with bloody water. APD found the defendant in the hotel room and had him transported to the hospital to be treated for a stab wound to his torso and a severed middle finger.

APD investigated this case. Senior Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 13CF0492 / March 12, 2015

Man Sentenced For Murder, Attempted Murder Outside of Westlake District Church

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:01 am

A gang member was sentenced today to 100 years to life in state prison for killing a man and attempting to kill another person outside a Westlake district church in 2012, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Pedro Martinez, 26, was sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Curtis Rappe. In December, a jury found Martinez guilty of one count each of first-degree murder, attempted murder and felony vandalism. Gang and gun allegations also were found to be true.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Rabbani of the Hardcore Gang Division said Martinez was responsible for the slaying of 25-year-old Andres Ordonez on Nov. 4, 2012.

Janeth Lopez, 24, is accused of spray-painting graffiti on the walls of the Iglesia Principe de Paz church in the Westlake area when Ordonez and another parishioner came outside, the prosecutor added.

Martinez, who was sitting in a car nearby, got out of the vehicle and opened fire, killing Ordonez and wounding the other churchgoer.

Lopez and Ivy Navarrete, 33, are pending trial in October for one count each of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of vandalism.

Case BA404685 was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Los Angeles County District Attorney / Case BA404685 / March 13, 2015

March 13, 2015

Exide Technologies Admits Role In Major Hazardous Waste Case And Agrees To Permanently Close Battery Recycling Facility In Vernon

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

LOS ANGELES – The United States and Exide Technologies have reached an agreement that calls for the battery manufacturing company to immediately and forever close a battery recycling facility in Vernon and to pay $50 million to clean-up the site and surrounding neighborhoods, which have been affected by environmental toxins for close to a century.

The agreement approved late yesterday calls for Exide to permanently close the plant which, the company admits, produces a host of hazardous wastes, including lead, cadmium, arsenic and volatile organic compounds.

“The reign of toxic lead ends today,” said Acting United States Attorney Stephanie Yonekura. “After more than nine decades of ongoing lead contamination in the City of Vernon, neighborhoods can now start to breathe easier.”

Exide had planned to resume operations at the recycling facility as early as next month, but the agreement calls for the facility to be shuttered, demolished and cleaned up. Exide is also required to make expedited payments that will complete funding of a $9 million trust fund that will be used to clean up 216 nearby residences in the Boyle Heights neighborhood and the City of Maywood.

(more…)

Justice Department Announces Settlement with California Bank for Knowingly Facilitating Consumer Fraud

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

The United States filed a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California today against Plaza Bank of Irvine, California, for knowingly facilitating consumer fraud by permitting a third-party payment processor to make millions of dollars of unauthorized withdrawals from consumer bank accounts on behalf of fraudulent merchants.  To resolve the case, Plaza Bank has agreed to pay $1.225 million and enter into a permanent injunction that reforms the bank’s practices to prevent such fraud in the future.  The proposed consent decree has been filed with the court, which will determine whether to enter the order.

“Today’s complaint alleges that, in exchange for fee income, the bank ignored its responsibilities and looked the other way while a third-party payment processor and its merchants defrauded unsuspecting victims of millions of dollars,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “A part of our responsibility at the Justice Department is to stop those who knowingly facilitate consumer fraud, and those in the financial industry are no exception.”

The complaint alleges that from July 2007 to mid-2010, Plaza Bank knowingly permitted fraudulent merchants, acting through an intermediary called a third-party payment processor, to illegally withdraw millions of dollars from consumers’ bank accounts.  The complaint further alleges that these unauthorized withdrawals resulted in: abnormally high rate of rejected transactions, which hovered between 50 and 55 percent; hundreds of consumer complaints each month in which consumers stated, by sworn affidavit, that withdrawals from their accounts were unauthorized; and inquiries from other banks and law enforcement, both of which expressed their belief that the payment processor’s transactions were fraudulent.

According to the complaint, when Plaza’s chief compliance official raised concerns about these numerous warning signs of fraud, she was brushed aside by Plaza’s chief operating officer—who, unknown to the compliance officer, was one of two corporate officials who also happened to be a part-owner of the payment processor.  Plaza thus continued to give fraudsters unfettered access to the bank accounts of tens of thousands of consumers.

(more…)

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress