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October 29, 2014

California Woman Sentenced for Conspiracy to Defraud Internal Revenue Service and Wire Fraud

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:37 am

A Fresno, California, resident was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison and pay $703,537 in restitution for conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by aiding to obtain payment of fraudulent tax refund claims and committing wire fraud, the Justice Department and IRS announced today.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Kathryn Darlene Coryell pleaded guilty to two counts of a 44-count indictment on June 26.  Her co-defendant, Noemi Baez, pleaded guilty on Oct. 31, 2013, to charges of conspiring to defraud the IRS and committing aggravated identity theft.

According to the plea agreement, beginning around Feb. 28, 2008, and continuing through April 16, 2012, Coryell and Baez participated in a scheme to obtain and help others to obtain payment of false claims for tax refunds from the IRS by electronically filing fraudulent federal income tax returns.  Using the names and social security numbers of numerous individuals, Coryell and Baez fabricated income information and filed materially false income tax returns claiming tax refunds derived from credits, including the Earned Income Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit and the Making Work Pay Credit.  In the plea agreement, Coryell admitted that, during the conspiracy, she and her co-defendant filed more than 150 false tax returns claiming fraudulent tax refunds totaling more than $400,000.

The case was investigated by special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Erin S. Mellen, Sonia M. Owens and Charles A. O’Reilly of the Tax Division.

Central District of California DOJ / Release No. 14-1191 / October 28, 2014

Jury Convicts Man In USC Grad Student Slayings

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

A 22-year-old Los Angeles man was convicted today of the 2012 fatal shootings of two USC graduate students from China during a botched robbery, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

A jury of seven women and five men deliberated less than 1 1/2 days before finding Javier Bolden guilty of two counts of first-degree murder of Ming Qu and Ying Wu on April 11, 2012, during a robbery attempt. The two engineering students, both 23, were gunned down in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue.

Bolden also was convicted of one count of attempted murder and one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm in a separate shooting that occurred on Feb. 12, 2012. In addition, the jury found all special circumstances and special allegations to be true.

Deputy District Attorney Daniel Akemon with the Major Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

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October 28, 2014

Ex-San Bernardino Police Officer Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison In Civil Rights Case Stemming From Sexual Assaults Of Prostitutes

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:15 am

RIVERSIDE, California – A former officer with the San Bernardino Police Department was sentenced today to 300 months in federal prison for violating the civil rights charges of two women he forced perform sex acts while he was in uniform.

Jose Jesus Perez, 47, of Menifee, received the sentence from United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

Perez was found guilty by a federal jury in May of two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of deprivation of rights under color of law for sexually assaulting two victims in 2011. The jury determined that both felony offenses involved aggravated sexual abuse, and that one attack involved a kidnapping and bodily injury.

The evidence presented during a week-long trial showed that Perez groped a woman and coerced her to perform oral sex on him by using force against her on April 25, 2011.

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Former Orange County Teacher Named In Federal Sex Tourism Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:06 am

SANTA ANA, California – A former teacher with the Santa Ana School District has been charged with traveling to the Philippines to engage in sex with an underage girl and producing a video of the encounter.

Robert Ruben Ornelas, 63, of Santa Ana, was taken into federal custody Friday afternoon after being named in a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court.

The three-count complaint accuses the onetime school teacher and girl’s softball coach of engaging in sexual conduct in a foreign place, producing child pornography, and possessing child pornography.

Ornelas also faces state charges of lewd acts with a child, but the defendant was turned over to federal custody on Friday after the new complaint was filed.

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FORMER TEACHER SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS IN PRISON FOR UNLAWFUL SEX ACTS WITH 14-YEAR-OLD FEMALE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT AFTER SNEAKING HER PAST HIS ROOMMATES

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:03 am

SANTA ANA – A former JSerra Catholic High School (JSerra) teacher was sentenced Friday to three years and four months in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registrationfor engaging in unlawful sex acts with a 14-year-old girl he met at the school. Ricardo Aldana, 40, was found guilty by a jury on May 29, 2014, of three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child.

At the time of the crime, Aldana was a Spanish teacher and boys’ soccer coach at JSerra in San Juan Capistrano. He met 13-year-old Jane Doe while she was a student at the school. He befriended the victim and gained her trust.

In June 2011, after Jane Doe had turned 14 years old, Aldana inappropriately massaged Jane Doe’s shoulders over her clotheswhile they were alone in his classroom. He continued to groom the victim by frequently exchanging text messages and speaking with her on the phone.

In September 2011, Aldana picked up Jane Doe in his vehicle near her home while the victim’s mother was out of town. He drove the victim to his Dana Point residence and snuck her into his bedroom to avoid being seen by his roommates. Aldana engaged in substantial unlawful sex acts with Jane Doe. At approximately 4:00 a.m., Aldana dropped Jane Doe off at her home.

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October 27, 2014

Doctor Charged With Illegally Writing Prescriptions For Addictive Narcotics And Laundering Proceeds Of His Drug Dealing

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:04 am

LOS ANGELES – A San Gabriel Valley doctor has pleaded not guilty to federal drug trafficking charges that allege he illegally distributed drugs that include the powerful and addictive painkiller oxycodone.

Dr. Daniel Cham, 47, was arraigned on a 31-count indictment late Thursday afternoon, at which time a trial was scheduled for December 16.  Cham was arrested Wednesday afternoon at his residence in Covina. At yesterday’s arraignment, bond was set at $140,000, and Cham was ordered to serve home detention while free on bond and was prohibited from practicing medicine.

The indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury on October 7 and unsealed when the defendant was arrested, charges Cham with drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud and making false statements to federal authorities. The indictment focuses on prescriptions Cham wrote at various locations, including his medical offices in La Puente and Artesia. The drugs involved in the allegedly illegal prescriptions include oxycodone (a powerful narcotic painkiller best known under the brand name OxyContin), hydrocodone (a narcotic painkiller often sold under the brand names Vicodin and Norco), alprazolam (commonly known by the brand name Xanax), and carisoprodol (as muscle relaxer best known as Soma).

“The problem of pharmaceuticals being diverted to the black market continues to grow, which feeds drug addiction and leads to additional criminal acts by addicts,” said Acting United States Attorney Stephanie Yonekura. “Unscrupulous doctors who prescribe controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose are simply fueling a black market of narcotics. These doctors are the same as street dealers who face lengthy sentences in federal prison.”

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Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against Hearing Services Company

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:01 am

The Justice Department announced today that it reached an agreement with Serendipity Hearing Inc., doing business as Sonus Hearing Care (Sonus), a hearing services provider headquartered in the Los Angeles, California, metropolitan area.  The agreement resolves a claim, filed with the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), that the company violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by engaging in discriminatory documentary practices during the employment eligibility verification process.

The department’s investigation found that Sonus required the complainant, a lawful permanent resident it had hired, to produce a new employment eligibility document when her Permanent Resident Card expired, even though the Form I-9 and E-Verify rules prohibit this practice because lawful permanent residents have permanent work authorization in the United States after their Permanent Resident Cards expire.  When the complainant failed to present her new Permanent Resident Card, Sonus terminated her.  The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from making additional and unauthorized documentary demands based on citizenship status or national origin when verifying or re-verifying an employee’s employment eligibility.

“The Civil Rights Division is committed to identifying and tearing down discriminatory barriers that prevent work-authorized individuals from employment,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta for the Civil Rights Division.  “The Division commends Sonus for working to resolve this matter expeditiously.”

Under the settlement agreement, Sonus will pay $16,727 in back pay to the charging party and $400 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, revise its employment eligibility re-verification policies and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices.

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Long Beach Man Sentenced to Prison for Kidnapping

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:57 am

A 27-year-old man accused of kidnapping his child’s mother pleaded no contest today and was immediately sentenced to state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Isaul Sandoval of Long Beach pleaded to a single count of kidnapping in case TA135377. He also admitted prior convictions for receiving stolen property in 2008 and unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle in 2011.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John J. Lonergan sentenced the defendant to five years in state prison. Additionally, Sandoval was ordered to stay away from the victim for 10 years.

Deputy District Attorney Presciliano Duran, who prosecuted the case, said on Oct. 6 Sandoval and his child’s mother got into an argument. At one point, the defendant forced the woman into his car and drove off, the prosecutor added.

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October 24, 2014

Long Beach Man Sentenced to Prison for Kidnapping

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:40 am

A 27-year-old man accused of kidnapping his child’s mother pleaded no contest today and was immediately sentenced to state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Isaul Sandoval of Long Beach pleaded to a single count of kidnapping in case TA135377. He also admitted prior convictions for receiving stolen property in 2008 and unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle in 2011.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John J. Lonergan sentenced the defendant to five years in state prison. Additionally, Sandoval was ordered to stay away from the victim for 10 years.

Deputy District Attorney Presciliano Duran, who prosecuted the case, said on Oct. 6 Sandoval and his child’s mother got into an argument. At one point, the defendant forced the woman into his car and drove off, the prosecutor added.

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Former LAPD Officer Sentenced for Attack on Estranged Wife

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:37 am

A former Los Angeles police officer entered a no contest plea today and was immediately sentenced for an attack on his estranged wife, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Sam Ahmadpour said Jose Robert Figueroa, 29, pleaded no contest today to one count of injuring a spouse with the added allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury in case YA090345.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Scott Millington of the Inglewood Branch sentenced Figueroa to four years in state prison.

The then-LAPD officer went to his estranged wife’s apartment on May 17 and choked her until the point of unconsciousness and tied her up, the prosecutor said.

The case was investigated by the Inglewood Police Department.

Los Angeles County District Attorney / case YA090345 / October 23, 2014

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