Best Defender Bytes:

November 9, 2017


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A woman is scheduled to be arraigned for lying under oath to protect her boyfriend, who continually sexually abused and raped a 13-year-old minor in her care.

Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
Cynthia Marie Dunaway-Erickson, 50, Huntington Beach Charged on Nov. 2, 2017, with the following felony counts:

  • (1) Perjury under oath
  • (2) Accessory after the fact
Five years and four months in state prison


To be determined

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas stated, “A 13-year-old child must be protected not just from child molesters but from adults who lie to protect that child molester. This type of crime is simply reprehensible.”

Circumstances of the Case

  • On Oct. 13, 2016, Dunaway-Erickson is accused of taking an oath to testify as a witness on behalf of defendant Jeffrey Scott Jones in case #13WF1948.
  • Between September 2012 and May 2013, Jones, who held a position of trust, continuously sexually abused and raped 13-year-old Jane Doe, a minor in Dunaway-Erickson’s care. Jones was found guilty by a jury on Oct.19, 2016 of two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one felony count of continuous sexual abuse.  Jones was sentenced to 46 years to life in prison on March 17, 2017.
  • While testifying under oath during the trial, Dunaway-Erickson is accused of providing a false explanation as to how Jones’ semen was found inside the victim’s cervix.
  • Dunaway-Erickson is further accused of providing false information of jury tampering to the court in order for defendant Jones to avoid conviction.
  • Based on the inconsistencies between Jane Doe’s statements and the defendant’s previously recorded statement to Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD), the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and HBPD began investigating this case.
  • HBPD arrested Dunaway-Erickson today in Huntington Beach.

Prosecutor: Deputy District Attorney Denise Hernandez, Special Prosecutions Unit

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 17CF2707 / November , 2017

District Court Enters Order Against Los Angeles Area Telemarketing Companies and Their Executives

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

A federal court entered an order against three Los Angeles area telemarketing companies and two executives, the Department of Justice announced today.  That order, entered by Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald in the Central District of California, permanently bans the companies and one executive from future telemarketing activity and restricts the telemarketing activities of another executive.  The order also imposes a civil monetary penalty.

The Department filed a complaint on March 10, 2016, alleging that three companies, KFJ Marketing LLC, Sunlight Solar Leads LLC, and Go Green Education, initiated at least 1.3 million telemarketing calls that violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule.  Those calls, which were intended to entice consumers to schedule appointments with solar panel providers, began with a prerecorded message warning consumers of a “pending 14% rate increase” in their energy bills.  Francisco and Julio Salvat owned and operated all three companies.

“Unwanted telemarketing calls invade the privacy of American consumers,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “The Department of Justice will continue to work with the Federal Trade Commission to ensure telemarketers adhere to laws designed to protect against abusive and deceptive telemarketing practices.”

The filing of the suit was prompted by numerous complaints made by consumers to the Federal Trade Commission about the defendants’ telemarketing calls.  The complaint alleged defendants called telephone numbers listed on the National Do-Not-Call Registry, initiated unlawful robocalls, displayed false information on consumers’ Caller IDs, and ignored consumer requests not to receive additional calls.  The government’s complaint sought a permanent injunction to prevent future unlawful calls and a civil monetary penalty. (more…)

November 8, 2017

Ventura County Man Who Used Peer-to-Peer Network to Distribute Child Pornography Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison

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

LOS ANGELES – A Simi Valley man who admitted that he distributed child pornography – including a video with a filename indicating an 8-year-old girl was being abused – has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

Eric Allen Haensgen, 38, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Percy Anderson.

Haensgen pleaded guilty on August 22 to one count of distribution of child pornography, admitting that he used peer-to-peer software on his computer to share files that he knew depicted minors, some of whom were under the age of 12, engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

During the execution of a search warrant in 2016 at Haensgen’s residence, federal law enforcement authorities recovered digital devices that contained at least 114 images of child pornography and at least 3 videos of child pornography.

During yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Anderson noted Haensgen’s history of possessing child pornography, citing evidence that the defendant in 2003 had paid a website for child pornography. Judge Anderson also found that Haensgen had sexually abused a minor by taking photographs and videos of a 6-year-old girl that focused on her genitals. (more…)

U.S. Army Contracting Officer Representative Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Accepting Bribes from South Korean Companies

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

LOS ANGELES – A U.S. Army contracting officer representative who admitted taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from South Korean contractors in return for approving fraudulent invoices was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison.

Marcus D. Flowers, 51, of Enterprise, Alabama, was sentenced by United States District Judge Percy Anderson. In addition to the prison term, Judge Anderson ordered Flowers to pay $351,043 in restitution to the United States Army.

Flowers pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Flowers, who worked as a contracting officer representative for the United States Army, was responsible for approving invoices related to the installation of closed circuit televisions at U.S. military installations in the Republic of Korea after verifying the completion of work by contractors. According to court documents, Flowers accepted $351,043 in cash over the course of four years in return for approving payments despite the fact that some contractors never installed the CCTVs, or they installed inferior CCTV models than those required by the contracts.

“This case presents an extreme example of pervasive corruption,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court. “For at least four years, [Flowers] essentially engaged in a business of betraying his country and dispensing government money in return for cash. The scope was massive, cheating taxpayers out of millions of dollars and reaping [Flowers] the benefit of hundreds of thousands of dollars.” (more…)

Long Beach Psychiatrist Found Guilty of Paying $30,000 Bribe to IRS Revenue Agent Sentenced to 51 months in Federal Prison

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

SANTA ANA, California – A licensed psychiatrist who practices in Long Beach has been sentenced to over four years in federal prison for paying a $30,000 cash bribe to a revenue agent with the Internal Revenue Service who was auditing the man’s tax returns.

Dr. Harshad Shah, 62, of Cypress, was sentenced on Friday by United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney.

Shah was convicted of one count of bribery of a public official by a federal jury after a five-day trial in October 2016. The federal jury found that Shah paid a $30,000 cash bribe to an IRS revenue agent who had determined Shah owed $410,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties.

Prior to pronouncing the sentence on Friday, Judge Carney denied defense motions for a new trial, to dismiss the indictment, to acquit Shah, and to strike the pre-sentence report.

In denying Shah’s motion to dismiss the indictment, Judge Carney addressed the defendant’s renewed claims of entrapment, writing: “The Government played multiple recordings of Defendant’s own words at trial that demonstrated that Defendant was not induced by the Government to commit bribery. The recordings provided direct evidence that Defendant controlled the relationship with [the IRS revenue agent], initiated the bribe offer, and continued to pressure [the revenue agent] to accept the bribe despite [the revenue agent]’s reluctance and multiple reminders that this conduct was illegal.” (more…)

November 7, 2017


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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former student is scheduled to be arraigned today for threatening a mass shooting at Soka University (Soka) in Aliso Viejo on YouTube and in emails to a staff member.

Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
David Kenneth Smith, 39, Los Angeles Charged today with:

  • One felony count of criminal threats
Three years in state prison Arraignment

Nov. 6, 2017, time to be determined

Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana

Bail: $1 million

Circumstances of the Case

  • Smith is a former student at Soka who is accused of posting videos on YouTube while holding firearms, praising the perpetrators of recent mass shootings, and discussing the possibility of carrying out an attack at the university.
  • On Oct. 31, 2017, Smith is accused of sending emails to a staff member at Soka that and threatened violence on the campus and included a link to one of his videos. (more…)

Hunter Charged With Illegally Killing Deer in Monrovia Neighborhood

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

A Duarte man was charged today in connection with the fatal shooting of a deer in Monrovia, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Michael Jackson Rodriguez (dob 2/5/84) was charged in case GA102229 with one felony count of procuring and offering a false or forged instrument and one misdemeanor count each of discharge of a deadly weapon within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling, possession of wildlife taken unlawfully and shooting a bow and arrow within Monrovia.

He is expected to be arraigned Nov. 30 in Department D of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pasadena Branch.

Deputy District Attorney Richard Magleby of the Environmental Crimes Division is prosecuting the case.

Rodriguez is accused of fatally shooting a deer with a bow and arrow in a Monrovia neighborhood on Sept. 14. It is illegal to shoot a deer or discharge a deadly weapon within 150 yards of a home, the prosecutor said. (more…)

Man Sentenced for Murdering Palmdale Gas Station Attendant Nearly 40 Years Ago

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

A 60-year-old man was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the kidnapping and killing of a Palmdale gas station attendant in 1978, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Neal Antoine Matthews was convicted in September of one count of first-degree murder. Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegations of murder during a robbery, murder during a kidnapping and murder during a rape.

Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef of the Major Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

Leslie Long was working a night shift on Dec. 3, 1978, when she was robbed and kidnapped. Authorities began searching for her and three days later her body was found off the 14 Freeway in Acton. Investigators believe Long was shot and killed at that location.

Co-defendant Terry Moses, 61, was sentenced last month to three consecutive terms to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He pleaded guilty in January 2016 to one count of first-degree murder and admitted the special circumstance allegations of murder during a robbery, murder during a kidnapping and murder during a rape. (more…)

November 6, 2017

Former Compton Deputy Treasurer Sentenced to 78 months for Embezzlement of over $3.7 Million in City Funds

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

SANTA ANA, California – The former deputy treasurer for the City of Compton was sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison on charges stemming from his embezzlement of more than $3.7 million of city funds over the course of six years.

Salvador Galvan, 47, of La Mirada, was sentenced by United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton, on one count of theft from an organization receiving federal funds.

According to court documents, when Galvan entered his guilty plea in July, 2017, he admitted that he stole $3,721,924 from the City of Compton from May 2010 through December 2016.

Galvan, who worked as the Deputy Treasurer in the Compton Treasurer’s Office for more than 20 years, was responsible for tallying the cash received by the city as payment for parking tickets, business licenses and other fees. After the cash was counted, Galvan prepared the money for deposit into a city bank account.

According to court records, Galvan skimmed cash from the daily receipts on numerous occasions, sometimes taking as much as $8,000 per day. (more…)

Inland Empire Pimp Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Sex Trafficking Twenty Women and Girls as Prostitutes

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

SANTA ANA – A pimp, known by the moniker “Classified,” who recruited approximately 20 women and girls through a social media website and advertised their services as prostitutes in an online publication, was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison for sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud or coercion.

Lawrence T. Gunn, Jr., 33, of Woodland Hills, who was previously convicted for similar conduct, was sentenced by United States District Judge David O. Carter.

According to court documents, Gunn forced his victims into prostitution through physical and verbal abuse and tattooed his moniker “Classified” on their bodies including on the faces of some of his victims who he recruited on Facebook. He branded his victims with the tattoo to permanently mark his sex workers as his own. Gunn admitted that he used force, threats of force, fraud and/or coercion to cause the victims to engage in commercial sex acts between May 2015 and late February 2016. He then took all of the money the victims collected from customers.

Gunn physically struck the women if they attempted to keep any of the money or if they tried to leave, breaking a young victim’s nose on one occasion. Gunn also admitted that he threatened to kill one 16-year-old victim, who he had tattooed “Classified” over her right eye, if she tried to leave him. (more…)

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