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August 25, 2015

Former President of Bay Area Home Builder Pleads Guilty to MortgageFraud Conspiracy

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:31 am

Ayman Shahid, 39, of Danville, California, the former president of Discovery Sales Inc. (DSI), pleaded guilty in federal court in Oakland, California, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud announced U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the FBI’s San Francisco Division, Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas McMahon of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and Special Agent in Charge Leslie DeMarco for the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG).   Shahid is the most recent and highest placed individual charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of California as a result of a wide-ranging investigation by the FBI into mortgage fraud in connection with the sale of homes by DSI and its affiliates.

Shahid was the president of DSI, which was the sales arm of affiliated residential construction companies, including Discovery Home Builders and Albert D. Seeno Construction Co.  According to Shahid’s plea agreement that was unsealed today, DSI was created to sell new homes built by Discovery Builders Inc. (DBI), Albert D. Seeno Construction Co. Inc. (AD Seeno) and other entities affiliated with Albert Seeno III and the Seeno family.  The homes were built in developments throughout the East Bay Area, including in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

In connection with his plea agreement, Shahid admitted that he conspired with others to fraudulently cause bank underwriters to approve mortgage loans for unqualified buyers during the height of the financial crisis.  From 2006 to 2008, when Shahid was DSI’s vice president, buyers with little or no money of their own were induced to purchase homes at prices that were inflated through the use of financial incentives.  The buyers were not required to possess or post any of their own money when buying a home; DSI, the builders and their affiliates provided money to buyers to make down payments.  Further, DSI inflated the sale price of the new homes by offering significant cash and other incentives to new home buyers.  The primary purpose of the price inflation was to support a large line of credit maintained by the builders; the new homes and the property on which the homes would be built collateralized the line of credit.

Shahid’s plea agreement explained that it was important to the scheme to maintain inflated property values because if the home and property values dropped, the value of the collateral would drop and the line of credit would be put at risk.  Specifically, the line of credit could be reduced or terminated, or additional collateral would be required to secure the line of credit.  This is what has become known as a “builder bailout” scheme.

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Pair Charged With Murder in Leimert Park

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:28 am

Two men were charged today with murdering a 25-year-old man in Leimert Park last month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Tyree Davion Woods (dob 8/4/94) of Los Angeles and Dondre Williams (dob 8/28/93) of Palmdale were each charged with one count of capital murder in case BA439175. The complaint also alleges Woods personally used a handgun.

They are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

On July 20, Derron Jones and a woman were allegedly being followed in their car by the two defendants. As Jones attempted to make a U-turn, Woods is accused of cutting off the victim’s vehicle, getting out of his car and opening fire.

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August 24, 2015

MAN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR ATTEMPTING TO MURDER RELATIVE AS HE SLEPT IN THEIR TRABUCO CANYON HOME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:51 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced today to 10 years in state prison for attempting to murder his relative as the victim slept in their Trabuco Canyon home. John Edward Kudla, 19, pleaded guilty on Jan. 16, 2015, to one felony count of attempted murder and one felony count of aggravated assault with a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury.

Sometime before May 2013, Kudla moved into his relative’s Trabuco Canyon home, where another family member also lived. The victim, John Doe, was a reserve sergeant for Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), Search and Rescue.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. on May 22, 2013, Kudla woke up, took a large construction hammer from the kitchen area that was under renovation, and walked upstairs to John Doe’s bedroom. The defendant used the hammer to hit the sleeping victim in the head nine times. Kudla then got dressed, ate breakfast, and told his other family member that John Doe was sick and would probably stay in bed all day. The defendant stole the victim’s wallet and keys and drove John Doe’s Volkswagen convertible to school. The defendant met up with his friends and drove the victim’s vehicle to drop them off at a McDonald’s restaurant, but did not go back to school.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., the family member found the victim injured and bleeding, and John Doe was transported by paramedics to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, where he remained comatose in critical condition after an emergency life-saving surgery was performed. The victim suffered brain damage and severe injuries to his skull and required several brain surgeries.

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TWO MEN SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR ROBBERY IN CONCERT AFTER BREAKING INTO TWO HOMES FOR BENEFIT OF GANG

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:49 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Two men were sentenced today to 30 years to life in state prison for robbery in concert after breaking into two homes in Orange for the benefit of a criminal street gang. Andre Ricardo Pierson, 25, Inglewood, and Dwight Ladale Stephen, 26, Los Angeles, were found guilty by a jury July 29, 2015, of seven felony counts of first degree robbery of a dwelling in concert, one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon with sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and vicarious use of a firearm by a gang member. Pierson’s prior prison conviction for possession of a firearm by a felon in 2010, and Stephen’s prior conviction for unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm in 2008 were also found to be true.

Co-defendant Curtis Ray Robinson, 27, Los Angeles, pleaded guilty on April 28, 2015, to seven felony counts of first degree robbery of a dwelling in concert, two felony counts of assault with a firearm, one felony count of first degree residential burglary, and one count of street terrorism, with a sentencing enhancement for vicarious use of a firearm by a gang member. Robinson faces a maximum sentence of 27 years in state prison at his sentencing on Oct. 23, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center.

Pierson, Stephen, and Robinson are members of the same criminal street gang.

On Aug. 12, 2013, Pierson, Stephen, and Robinson drove to Orange and broke into three separate homes in the same neighborhood. Robinson broke into the first home while the owners were away. Robinson ransacked the house but did not take any items.

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Teenager Charged in Online Revenge Porn Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:46 am

A 19-year-old man was charged today with more than 150 counts after he was accused of extorting young girls into sending him naked photos, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Cesar Mauricio Estrada-Davila (dob 3/22/96) of Rosemead has been charged with 109 felony and 42 misdemeanor counts in case MA066758: 21 counts of possession of child or youth pornography; 21 counts of obscene matter; 21 counts of activity involving material depicting sexual conduct; 21 counts of distributing or showing child or youth pornography to a minor; 21 counts of contact with a minor for sexual offense; 21 counts of disorderly conduct by distributing a private intimate image of a minor causing emotional distress; 21 counts of extortion; and four counts of lewd act upon a child.

The felony complaint includes a special allegation that there were multiple victims.

Estrada is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department A1 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch. Prosecutors will ask bail be set at $3.08 million.

Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami, who is assigned to the case, said between January and April of this year, Estrada reportedly reached out to young girls and befriended them on a social networking website.

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August 21, 2015

MAN AND WOMAN CHARGED WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING, KIDNAPPING, ROBBING, AND ASSAULTING WOMAN

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:00 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man and woman were charged today with human trafficking, kidnapping, robbing, and assaulting a woman. Jarrod Neil Cross, 28, Sacramento, and Saquila Collete Osborne, 31, Rancho Cordova, are both charged with one felony count of human trafficking, one felony count of kidnapping, one felony count of first degree robbery, and one felony count of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. Cross also faces one felony count of pimping and one felony count of pandering with sentencing enhancement allegations for prior prison convictions for inflicting corporal injury in 2006 and 2010, refusing to comply with a peace officer in 2013, and not remaining free for a period of five years. If convicted, Osborne faces a maximum sentence of 23 years and eight months in state prison and Cross faces a maximum sentence of 28 years in state prison. Osborne and Cross were arraigned today and are scheduled for pre-trial on Aug. 28, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Circumstances of the Case
Cross and Osborne are accused of being human traffickers who exploit women for financial gain. Cross is accused of being a pimp and requiring his victims to turn over all payment to him that they received for sex acts from sex purchasers. Failure to follow these rules can result in physical and/or emotional abuse.

Between Sept. 2, 2014, and Aug. 15, 2015, Cross is accused of pandering to Jane Doe 2 by persuading and encouraging her to engage in commercial sex acts for his benefit. Cross is accused of pimping Jane Doe 2 by deriving support from the money that she received from sex purchasers.

Between Aug. 15, 2015, and Aug. 18, 2015, Cross and Osborne are accused of trafficking Jane Doe 1 from Las Vegas, Nevada, to places known for prostitution and human trafficking in Stanton. At that time, the defendants are accused of kidnapping Jane Doe 1 by forcing her to stay in a room at a Motel 6 in Stanton for several days. The defendants are accused of forcing Jane Doe 1 to remove her clothes and taking her belongings including her money and her cell phone. Cross and Osborne are accused of assaulting Jane Doe 1 in the motel room.

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Gang Members Convicted of Multiple Counts of Attempted Murder in Pomona Shooting

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:57 am

The second defendant in a gang-related shooting case was convicted yesterday of several counts of attempted murder and assault with a firearm, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

A jury convicted Derek Joshua Sommer (dob 10/28/87) of 11 felony counts in case KA107796: five counts of attempted murder, five counts of assault with a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Last week, Sommer’s co-defendant, Christian Miranda (dob 7/22/93), was found guilty in the same case of two counts, attempted murder and assault with a firearm.

Jurors also found true gun and gang allegations for both defendants.

Sommer is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 8 in Department T of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch. He faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison.

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West Covina Man Charged with Killing Father

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:51 am

A 20-year-old man was charged today with fatally stabbing his father at their West Covina home on Sunday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Maverick Jacob Jimenez (dob 5/1/95) has been charged with one count of murder in case KA110436.

The charging document includes a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the crime.

The defendant was scheduled to be arraigned today, but the court appearance was continued to Aug. 21 in Department F of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch.

Prosecutors said on Aug. 16 defendant Maverick Jimenez reportedly got into an argument with his father before he stabbed him.

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August 20, 2015

Ambulance Company Owner, Operator and Managers Found Guilty in Medicare Fraud Conspiracy

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:14 am

A federal jury in Los Angeles late yesterday convicted the former owner, operator and managers of a Southern California ambulance company of health care fraud charges in connection with a Medicare fraud scheme of at least $2.4 million.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California, Acting Special Agent in Charge Steve Ryan of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Los Angeles Region and Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division made the announcement.

Yaroslav Proshak, aka Steven Proshak, 47, of Valley Village, California; Emilia Zverev, 58, of Van Nuys, California; and Sharetta Michelle Wallace, 37, of Inglewood, California, each were convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud following a two-week trial.  Proshak’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 24, 2015, and Zverev’s and Wallace’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 30, 2015, all before U.S. District Judge S. James Otero of the Central District of California, who presided over the trial.

Proshak owned and operated ProMed Medical Transportation, an ambulance transportation company in the greater Los Angeles area that provided non-emergency ambulance transportation services to Medicare beneficiaries, many of whom were dialysis patients.  Zverev was the billing manager, and Wallace supervised ProMed’s emergency medical technicians (EMTs).

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Transient Charged with Recklessly Causing Lincoln Fire

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:11 am

A transient suspected of starting Sunday’s fire near the Whittier Narrows Reservoir was charged today with recklessly causing a fire, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Arturo Miallan Aguilar (dob 11/21/69) is scheduled to be arraigned after 1:30 p.m. today at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, in case BA439032. Prosecutors will ask that his bail be set at $20,000.

Deputy District Attorney Joy Roberts with the Arson Unit is prosecuting the case.

The so-called Lincoln Fire was first reported about 1:30 p.m. Sunday around the Montebello Hills. Aguilar was arrested later that same day.

Officials said the fire has burned approximately 300 acres and is about 80 percent contained. No structures have burned. Four people sustained minor injuries, officials said.

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