Best Defender Bytes:

May 6, 2015


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

SANTA ANA – A man will be arraigned today on charges of forcibly raping and stabbing a female victim in her home while their two young children slept nearby. Luis Javier Cervantes, 24, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of forcible rape, one felony count of aggravated assault, and a sentencing enhancement allegation for raping the victim during the commission of a burglary. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 29 years to life in state prison. Cervantes is in custody on $1 million bail and is scheduled for an arraignment today, Monday, May 4, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

In the late evening hours on April 28, 2015, Cervantes is accused of entering the home of the victim, whom he previously had a romantic relationship with. Jane Doe had left her home with their 7-year-old and 6-year-old sons during that time. Cervantes is accused of hiding in the bathroom.

After midnight on April 29, 2015, the victim returned home and put their two children to bed before heading to the bathroom to get ready for bed. Cervantes, who was still hiding in the bathroom, is accused of immediately making her undress. He is accused of then forcibly removing her clothes and forcibly raping Jane Doe and then stabbing her three times in the head.

Shortly thereafter, Cervantes is accused of fleeing the scene in Jane Doe’s vehicle. The victim managed to reach a phone and contacted the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD), who investigated the case.



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

FULLERTON – A contract truck driver was sentenced today to three years and four months in state prison for illegally selling Oakley eyewear intended for soldiers in the U.S. Military on eBay after repeatedly stealing shipments from DHL processing centers. Luis Albert Quintanilla, 48, Buena Park, pleaded guilty on Feb. 2, 2015, to 10 felony counts of grand theft with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000 and property loss over $200,000. Quintanilla was also required to pay $299,000 restitution and pay a $580,000 fine.

At the time of the crimes, Quintanilla worked as an independent contract truck driver for DHL. Between October 2012 and May 2013, Quintanilla stole 10 shipments of Oakley eyewear from DHL processing centers intended for delivery to appropriate United States Postal Service facilities. He auctioned the eyewear on eBay from his home under the name “havetime2sell” by posting photos of the merchandise with the packaging box to emphasize their authenticity.

The total value of the stolen merchandise was $290,000.

The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) investigated this case after Oakley Inc. alerted USPIS about large shipments of Oakley eyewear that were mailed and stolen before it reached USPIS for distribution to soldiers in the U.S. Military.


May 5, 2015


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:19 am

SANTA ANA – The former co-owner of the clothing brand RVCA is scheduled to be arraigned Monday for committing short-sale fraud of his home and causing a total loss of over $500,000 to the lender. Conan Hayes, 40, Topanga, is charged with one felony count of grand theft with a sentencing enhancement allegation for property loss over $200,000. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail. He is out of custody on $586,245 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, May 4, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Hayes was co-owner of the surf clothing brand RVCA and sold his interest in the company for over $7.5 million in July 2010. In October 2010, Hayes is accused of applying for a short sale of his home with his lender, Bank of America.

Short sales are a hardship based program offered by mortgage lenders to assist distressed homeowners who have suffered a financial hardship. If a property is sold pursuant to a short sale, the buyer avoids foreclosure and the lender agrees to settle the homeowner’s debt for the amount of the sale.

In March 2011, Hayes is accused of obtaining short sale approval from Bank of America by falsely claiming that he lost his position at work and was currently unemployed. He is accused of failing to inform the bank he had sold his business for over $7.5 million, causing $586,245 in property loss to the bank as a result of the fraudulent short sale.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:15 am

SANTA ANA – An off-duty Orange County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested today on charges of illegally obtaining prescription pills by lying to doctors about what prescription pills he was already taking.Mark Wayne Hewlett, 35, Yorba Linda, is charged with five felony counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, subterfuge, and/or concealment. If convicted, he faces a sentence ranging from probation to a maximum sentence of five years and eight months in jail. Hewlett is in custody on $20,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, May 5, 2015, at 10:00 a.m., in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. If the defendant bails out, the arraignment date and time is subject to change.

On five occasions between Sept. 9, 2013, and Nov. 15, 2013, Hewlett is accused of going to four different doctors to obtain a prescription for the controlled substance hydrocodone, more commonly known as Norco or Vicodin. When at a doctor’s office, Hewlett is accused of fraudulently omitting that he was recently prescribed and currently taking hydrocodone in order to illegally obtain an additional prescription of the same drug.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), who investigated this case, arrested Hewlett today, May 1, 2015.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:10 am

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 26 years to life in state prison for stabbing and murdering his ex-girlfriend and locking her body in the trunk of her car in 1994. Samuel Agustin Lopez, 43, Placentia, was found guilty by a jury on March 3, 2015, of one felony count of first degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.

Samuel Lopez’s cousin, Xavier Francisco Lopez, 43, Anaheim, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder involving the infliction of torture. He faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on May 29, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-34, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Samuel Lopez’s older brother, Armando Antonio Lopez, 46, Placentia, is charged with one felony count of accessory after the fact and one felony count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime. He faces a maximum sentence of 36 months in state prison and is scheduled for jury trial on May 15, 2015, in Department C-34, Central Justice Center.

Circumstances of the Case

Samuel Lopez, then 23 years old, had a previous on and off romantic relationship with Cathy Torrez, a 20-year-old California State University, Fullerton honors student. A week before the crime, Samuel Lopez and Torrez were in a romantic relationship, he had asked the victim to marry him, to which she declined.


May 4, 2015

Gang Member Sentenced to Life for South San Francisco Murders, Attempted Murder of Federal Agents and Racketeering Conspiracy

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

Victor Flores, 23, of Petaluma, California, a member of the 500 Block/C Street Gang of South San Francisco, was sentenced to life in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, Acting Special Agent in Charge Tatum King of Homeland Security Investigations and Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of FBI.

Flores was convicted after a three-month trial spanning from April through July of 2014 before the Honorable U.S. District Judge Susan Illston.  According to the evidence presented at trial, during the evening of Dec. 22, 2010, Flores, along with fellow 500 Block/C Street gang member Joseph Ortiz, shot at seven victims who they perceived to be members of the rival Cypress Park Locos gang as the victims walked down Eighth Lane in South San Francisco. Gonzalo Avalos, Omar Cortez and Hector Flores were killed while three of the others were wounded.  In addition, on May 3, 2012, when special agents of the Los Angeles Special Response Team of Homeland Security Investigations tried to arrest Flores at his home in Petaluma, Flores shot at the agents with an AK-47-style assault rifle, emptying two full magazines of ammunition and wounding three agents before eventually surrendering to law enforcement.

The jury convicted Flores of racketeering murders of Avalos, Cortez, and Flores; racketeering attempted murders of the other four victims on Eighth Lane; attempted murders of three federal agents; using a firearm in furtherance of the December 22, 2010, and May 3, 2012, murders and attempted murders; conspiring to conduct the affairs of the 500 Block/C Street Gang through a pattern of racketeering; conspiring to commit murder in aid of racketeering; and conspiring to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering.

“Nothing can erase the pain and sorrow caused by Flores’ vicious, unrepentant, criminal behavior,” said U.S. Attorney Haag.  “I hope that the life sentence imposed against him brings some measure of relief to Flores’ victims and their families and that they will at least feel a sense of justice.  I am extraordinarily proud of the professionalism and bravery demonstrated by the men and women of law enforcement in this case.  They are true heroes and we are especially thankful for their service and commitment to the pursuit of justice.”


Ten Chinese Nationals Charged With Violating Court Orders To Remain In U.S. As Witnesses For ‘Maternity House’ Investigations

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

SANTA ANA, California – Ten Chinese nationals who fled the United States earlier this month were charged today with violating federal court orders to remain in the country during investigations into “Chinese maternity houses” that allegedly helped women come to the U.S. on fraudulent visas so they could give birth to children who would become U.S. citizens.

Criminal complaints filed in United States District Court this afternoon accuse 10 of the defendants with obstruction of justice and contempt of court for leaving the United States after being ordered to remain in the country and provide information in an investigation into businesses that allegedly helped mainly Chinese women come to the U.S. to give birth.

In addition to the charges related to the alleged violations of the court orders designating them as material witnesses, 10 of the defendants are also charged with making false statements on visa applications for allegedly lying to federal immigration authorities about the true purpose of their trips to the United States.

An eleventh defendant who had not been formally ordered to remain in the United States as a material witness is charged only with visa fraud.


Chief Of Los Angeles Port Police Named In Federal Corruption Case

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

LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury today indicted the chief of police for the Port of Los Angeles on corruption and tax charges. The corruption charges in the indictment relate to a scheme in which the chief stood to financially benefit from the development of a social networking program that would become the official smartphone app for the Port and would then be marketed to other law enforcement agencies.

Ronald Jerome Boyd, 57, of Torrance, who in January was named as chief of public safety and emergency management at the port, was charged in a 16-count indictment returned by a grand jury. The indictment accuses Boyd of corruption, lying to FBI agents, failing to file federal corporate tax returns for a private security company he created, and tax evasion.

At the center of the case are four “honest services” wire fraud charges that accuse Boyd of executing “a scheme to defraud the citizens of the City of Los Angeles and the Harbor Department for the City of Los Angeles of their right to the honest services of defendant Boyd by means of bribery and kickbacks, materially false and fraudulent pretenses and representations, and the concealment of material facts.” The corruption scheme centers on a program called Portwatch, which was developed to provide information to the public and to allow citizens to report criminal activity at the port.

In 2011, Boyd and two business partners formed BDB Digital Communications, a company that entered into a revenue-sharing agreement with the unnamed company developing Portwatch. The parties involved with BDB intended to generate revenues by marketing and selling a similar app – called Metrowatch – to other government agencies. “Under the terms of this agreement, defendant Boyd would receive approximately 13.33 percent of all gross revenues generated by the sale of the Metrowatch application throughout the United States,” according to the indictment.


May 1, 2015

Hawthorne Woman Sentenced To 6½ Years In Federal Prison For Running Wheelchair Scam That Cost Medicare Nearly $3.5 Million

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:08 am

LOS ANGELES – A Hawthorne woman who ran a company that submitted more than $7 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare – primarily for power wheelchairs that were not needed by patients – and caused the government health insurance program to lose nearly $3.5 million has been sentenced to 78 months in federal prison.

Adeline Ekwebelem, 51, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by United States District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald, who also ordered the defendant to pay $3.45 million in restitution to the Medicare program.

Following a seven-day trial last September, a federal jury found Ekwebelem guilty of 16 counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and payment of illegal kickbacks.

The evidence presented at the trial showed that Ekwebelem’s Gardena-based durable medical equipment (DME) supply company, Adelco Medical Distributors, Inc., billed Medicare for medically unnecessary DME – primarily power wheelchairs – for beneficiaries often recruited off the street. As part of the scheme, which ran from January 2007 through December 2011, Ekwebelem illegally paid kickbacks to “marketers” who recruited those beneficiaries and then paid kickbacks to a handful of complicit doctors in exchange for fraudulent prescriptions for DME.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:04 am

NEWPORT BEACH – A physician was arraigned today for embezzling $220,000 from a hospital fund that was designated for donations for a charitable foundation to the Hoag Hospital Donation and tax evasion by willfully failing to file personal and business state income tax returns. Bruce Allan Hagadorn, 56, Newport Beach, is charged with one felony count of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust and eight felony counts of willful failure to file tax return, with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime and property loss. If convicted, Hagadorn faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and four months in state prison. He is out of custody on $200,000 bail and was arraigned today. He is scheduled for pre-trial on May 28, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

At the time of the crime, Hagadorn was the Chief of Staff at Irvine Regional Hospital and served as a board member of the Medical Executive Committee.

Between January 2009 and December 2010, Hagadorn is accused of misappropriating $220,000 from the medical staff account at Irvine Regional Hospital that the hospital physicians established and funded as a non-profit charitable organization. Prior to the hospital’s closure in January 2009, the Medical Executive Committee members voted to donate the funds remaining in the account to the Hoag Hospital Foundation and assigned Hagadorn with coordinating the donation.

Prior to donating any funds to the Hoag Foundation, the defendant is accused of writing numerous checks from the account, paying himself in cash, and depositing the money into his personal medical practice, Canyon Pacific OB/GYN, in Irvine.


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