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November 5, 2014

CONTRACTOR CHARGED WITH MISAPPROPRIATION OF PUBLIC FUNDS BY FALSIFYING INVOICES FOR MORE THAN $130,000 AGAINST THE COUNTY AND EMBEZZLING MORE THAN $440,000 AGAINST EMPLOYER

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:07 am

SANTA ANA – A county contractor was arraigned today on charges of misappropriation of public funds by falsifying invoices for more than $130,000 submitted to the county for reimbursement and embezzling more than $440,000 by making unauthorized payments with his company’s credit card. Brian Cleveland Dunn, 61, Capistrano Beach, is charged with one felony count of misappropriation of public funds and one felony count of grand theft by embezzlement, with sentencing enhancements of aggravated white collar crime, property damage, and property loss. If convicted, Dunn faces a maximum sentence of 11 years and four months in state prison. He is out of custody on $200,000 bail and is scheduled for pre-trial on Nov. 20, 2014, in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Vintage Marina Partners (VMP) is a company that manages a portion of the Dana Point Harbor called the Commercial Core. In 2004, Dunn was working as VMP’s General Manager. In 2008, he started up a new company called Organic Tree to purchase landscaping materials for county projects.

Between 2008 and 2012, Dunn is accused of purchasing landscaping materials and marking up the price of his purchases by 100 percent. He is accused of submitting and overbilling the County for over $130,000.

Between 2007 and 2011, the defendant is accused of making unauthorized payments using VMP’s company credit card on personal expenses costing over $400,000. Dunn is accused of making unauthorized purchases on clothing, travel, and improvements to his home in Hawaii.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Brett Brian of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 14CF3709 / November 3, 2014

November 4, 2014

United States Reaches Settlement with Hyundai And Kia in a Historic Greenhouse Gas Enforcement Case

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:01 am

The Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a historic settlement with the automakers Hyundai and Kia that will resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations based on their sale of close to 1.2 million vehicles that will emit approximately 4.75 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in excess of what the automakers certified to EPA.

The automakers will pay a $100 million civil penalty, the largest in Clean Air Act history, to resolve violations concerning the testing and certification of vehicles sold in America and spend approximately $50 million on measures to prevent any future violations.  Hyundai and Kia will also forfeit 4.75 million greenhouse gas emission credits that the companies previously claimed, which are estimated to be worth over $200 million.  Automakers earn greenhouse gas emissions credits for building vehicles with lower emissions than required by law.  These credits can be used to offset emissions from less fuel efficient vehicle models or sold or traded to other automakers for the same purpose.  The greenhouse gas emissions that the forfeited credits would have allowed are equal to the emissions from powering more than 433,000 homes for a year.

“This unprecedented resolution with Hyundai and Kia underscores the Justice Department’s firm commitment to safeguarding American consumers, ensuring fairness in every  marketplace, protecting the environment, and relentlessly pursuing companies that make misrepresentations and violate the law,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.  “This type of conduct quite simply will not be tolerated.  And the Justice Department will never rest or waver in our determination to take action against any company that engages in such activities – whenever and wherever they are uncovered.”

“Greenhouse gas emission laws protect the public from the dangers of climate change, and today’s action reinforces EPA’s commitment to see those laws through,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  “Businesses that play by the rules shouldn’t have to compete with those breaking the law.  This settlement upholds the integrity of the nation’s fuel economy and greenhouse gas programs and supports all Americans who want to save fuel costs and reduce their environmental impact.”

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Bio-Rad Laboratories Resolves Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigation and Agrees to Pay $14.35 Million Penalty

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:58 am

A California-based medical diagnostics and life sciences manufacturing and sales company, Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. (Bio-Rad), has agreed to pay a $14.35 million penalty to resolve allegations that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by falsifying its books and records and failing to implement adequate internal controls in connection with sales it made in Russia.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office made the announcement.

“Public companies that cook their books and hide improper payments foster corruption,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “The department pursues corruption from all angles, including the falsification of records and failure to implement adequate internal controls.   The department also gives credit to companies, like Bio-Rad, who self-disclose, cooperate and remediate their violations of the FCPA.”

“The FBI remains committed to identifying and investigating violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” said Special Agent in Charge Johnson.  “This action demonstrates the benefits of self-disclosure, cooperation, and subsequent remediation by companies.”

According to the company’s admissions in the agreement, Bio-Rad SNC, a Bio-Rad subsidiary located in France, retained and paid intermediary companies commissions of 15-30 percent purportedly in exchange for various services in connection with certain governmental sales in Russia.  The intermediary companies, however, did not perform these services.  Several high-level managers at Bio-Rad, responsible for overseeing Bio-Rad’s business in Russia, reviewed and approved the commission payments to the intermediary companies despite knowing that the intermediary companies were not performing such services.  These managers knowingly caused the payments to be falsely recorded on Bio-Rad SNC’s and, ultimately, Bio-Rad’s books.  Bio-Rad, through several of its managers, also failed to implement adequate controls, as well as adequate compliance systems, with regard to its Russian operations while knowing that the failure to implement such controls allowed the intermediary companies to be paid significantly above-market commissions for little or no services. (more…)

MOTHER FOUND SANE FOR PREMEDITATING AND DELIBERATELY CARRYING OUT ATTEMPTED MURDER OF HER TWO YOUNG CHILDREN BY STABBING THEM WHILE THEY WERE ASLEEP

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:54 am

SANTA ANA – A mother was found by a jury Friday to have been sane and had premeditated and deliberately carried out the attempted murder of her two young children by stabbing them while they were asleep. Thuy Thi Le, 43, Westminster, was found guilty by a jury Feb. 4, 2014, of two felony counts each of attempted murder, and child abuse and endangerment with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon and committing great bodily injury. This case was a retrial of the sentencing enhancement for premeditation and deliberation related to her attempted murder conviction as a former jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, finding 11 to one for the sentencing enhancement to be true. A unanimous jury found the sentencing enhancement to be true on Oct. 27, 2014, which makes the punishment an indeterminate “to life” sentence. Le faces a maximum sentence of two life sentences plus five years in state prison at her sentencing Jan. 16, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. in Department C-39, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

As Le entered pleas of “not guilty” and “not guilty by reason of insanity,” the trial was held in two phases. During the second phase, the jury considered evidence to determine if the defendant was legally sane at the time of the crime. To be considered legally insane, the defense has the burden of proof by the preponderance of evidence that the defendant was legally insane: that the defendant had a mental disease or defect when he committed the crime, and also that this defect kept the defendant from understanding the nature of his act or from understanding that his act was morally or legally wrong.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 16, 2009, Le spent the night at a family member’s home with her children, 5-year-old Child Doe #1 and 3-year-old Child Doe #2.  Her boyfriend, who is the father of the children, was at work. Le slept with her two children together on a mattress in the family room. The defendant went into the kitchen, picked up a knife from the sink, walked back over to the children, stabbed each of them in the chest, and then stabbed herself nearly 25 times. She then called 911.

Child Doe #1 suffered a stab wound to the chest and the knife penetrated her heart. Child Doe #1 was sent to University of California Irvine Medical Center and underwent emergency open-heart surgery to save her life. Child Doe #2 suffered a stab wound to the chest area, but the stab wound missed any vital organs.

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November 3, 2014

Inglewood Gang Member Sentenced To Nearly 5 Years In Prison For Running Identity Theft Ring The Produced Counterfeit Credit Cards

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:42 am

LOS ANGELES – An Inglewood gang member was sentenced this afternoon to 57 months in federal prison for running an identity theft ring that victimized scores of individuals and merchants in three states, resulting in an estimated $1 million in financial losses.

Lancelot Joshua Wilburn, who used the moniker “El Dog,” 33, a member of the Queen Street Bloods street gang, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee. In addition to the prison term, Judge Gee ordered the defendant to pay just over $50,000 in restitution.

Wilburn pleaded guilty in June to four felony counts: possessing counterfeit or unauthorized access devices (credit cards), possessing device-making equipment, using counterfeit access devices and aggravated identity theft.

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GANG MEMBER SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR 2006 MURDER OF COLLEGE SENIOR OUTSIDE HALLOWEEN PARTY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:36 am

SANTA ANA – A La Habra criminal street gang member was sentenced today to 50 years to life in state prison for shooting and murdering a college student outside of a Halloween party. David Anthony Parga, 27, formerly of La Habra, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 20, 2013, of one felony count of second degree murder and sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and criminal street gang activity.

On the early morning of Oct. 29, 2006, Parga was at or near a Halloween party at a house in La Habra. The majority of the attendees at the party were members of a criminal street gang. Victim Leland Washington was not in a gang and had no gang affiliations. Washington arrived at the party with a friend at the invitation of two other high school friends.

Outside of the house, Parga approached Washington and shot him without provocation several times in the torso. Parga murdered the victim for a criminal street gang purpose. Washington and Parga did not know each other, and the victim had no previous contact or conflict with anyone at the party.

After shooting Washington, Parga fled the scene. Washington’s friends put him in the car, called 911, and drove him two blocks to the La Habra Police Department station. The victim was transported from the police department to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Washington was a student at California State University, Fullerton, and was one semester away from graduating.

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Two Found Guilty of Fatal Stabbing on High School Campus

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:26 am

Jurors today convicted two gang members for the murder of an 18-year-old man on the campus of Cleveland High School in Reseda, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Scott Marcus said brothers Anthony Carpio, 18, and Michael Steven Carpio,  20, were both found guilty of one count of second-degree murder in case LA073936.

The jury also found true gang allegations for both defendants. Additionally, a knife-use allegation was found true for Anthony Carpio, who carried out the stabbing.

The Carpio brothers face a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison at a hearing scheduled on Dec. 9 in Department R of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch

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October 31, 2014

Dignity Health Agrees to Pay $37 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:30 am

Dignity Health has agreed to pay the United States $37 million to settle allegations that 13 of its hospitals in California, Nevada and Arizona knowingly submitted false claims to Medicare and TRICARE by admitting patients who could have been treated on a less costly, outpatient basis, the Justice Department announced today.  Dignity, formerly known as Catholic Healthcare West, is based in San Francisco and is one of the five largest hospital systems in the nation with 39 hospitals in three states.

“Charging the government for higher cost inpatient services that patients do not need wastes the country’s vital health care dollars,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “This department will continue its work to stop abuses of the nation’s health care resources and to ensure patients receive the most appropriate care.”

The settlement resolves allegations that 13 Dignity Health hospitals knowingly overcharged Medicare and TRICARE, part of the military health care program, for inpatient services for patients who should have been treated on a less costly, outpatient basis.  Because hospitals generally receive significantly higher payments from federal health care programs for inpatient admissions as opposed to outpatient treatment, the admission of numerous patients who do not need inpatient care, as alleged here, can result in substantial financial harm to federal health care programs.

The United States alleged that from 2006 through 2010, 13 Dignity hospitals billed Medicare and TRICARE for inpatient care for certain patients who underwent elective cardiovascular procedures (e.g., stents, pacemakers) in scheduled surgeries when the claims should have been billed as outpatient surgeries.  In addition, the government alleged that from 2000 through 2008, four of the hospitals billed Medicare for beneficiaries undergoing elective kyphoplasty procedures, which are minimally-invasive and performed to treat certain spinal compression fractures that should have been billed as less costly outpatient procedures.  Lastly, the government alleged that from 2006 through 2010, 13 hospitals admitted patients for certain common medical diagnoses where admission as an inpatient was medically unnecessary and appropriate care could have been provided in a less costly outpatient or observation setting.

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Suspected Shooter Charged In Pomona Officer’s Death

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:25 am

The man suspected of fatally shooting Pomona Police Officer Shaun Diamond on Tuesday while the SWAT officer was serving a search warrant was charged today with capital murder, the Los Angeles

County District Attorney’s Office announced.

David Martinez (dob 3/02/78) is scheduled to be arraigned today at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, in case BA431000. Prosecutors will ask that he be held without bail.

Deputy District Attorneys Jack Garden and Andrew Kim in the Crimes Against Peace Officers Unit are assigned to the case.

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Compton Man Sentenced to Prison for Killing Young Niece in 2010

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:22 am

A 29-year-old Compton man convicted of fatally stabbing his niece and hiding her body in a closet was sentenced today to 31 years to life in state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Feb. 20, a jury found Julian Carter (dob 5/6/85) guilty of second-degree murder in case TA112779.

In the sanity phase of the trial, jurors also found that the defendant was sane when he killed the girl.

Deputy District Attorney Emily Spear, who prosecuted the case, said at the time of the killing, Carter and his 5-year-old niece, Mireya McCall, lived with other family members at a home in Compton.

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