Best Defender Bytes:

June 6, 2014


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:39 am

SANTA ANA – A pimp was convicted and sentenced today for threatening a woman and having her perform commercial sex acts for his benefit. Rickey Lovelle Ward Jr., 30, Anaheim, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of conspiracy to commit pimping and criminal threats. He was sentenced to one year in jail, five years of formal probation, and six years and eight months in state prison stayed pending completion of probation.

Circumstances of the Case

Ward is a pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules may result in physical and/or emotional abuse.

Between Feb. 2, 2014, and Feb. 16, 2014, Ward pimped 23-year-old Jane Doe to sex purchasers and collected the money she received from performing commercial sex acts.

At approximately 10:45 p.m. on Feb. 16, 2014, Ward dropped Jane Doe off in Santa Ana in an area known for prostitution. Jane Doe agreed to perform a commercial sex act with undercover Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) and was taken into custody.


June 5, 2014

Los Angeles Physician Indicted in $33 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:23 am

A Los Angeles physician was indicted today for a $33 million scheme to defraud Medicare, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. of the Central District of California, Special Agent in Charge Glenn R. Ferry of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) for the Los Angeles Region and Assistant Director in Charge Bill L. Lewis of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

Robert A. Glazer, 67, of Los Angeles, California, was indicted in the Central District of California and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

According to court documents, Glazer operated a medical clinic located in Los Angeles. From approximately January 2006 through May 2014, Glazer allegedly billed Medicare for services that were not medically necessary, and at times were not provided to the Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, Glazer allegedly signed prescriptions, certifications, and other medical documents for medically unnecessary home health services, hospice services, and power wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment (DME). Glazer’s co-conspirators then sold the prescriptions and certifications to DME supply companies, home health agencies, and other providers, knowing that the prescriptions and certifications were fraudulent. Based on these fraudulent prescriptions and certifications, the DME supply companies, home health agencies, and other providers then allegedly submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.

As further alleged in court documents, from approximately January 2006 through May 2014, fraudulent prescriptions and certifications from Glazer were responsible for approximately $33,484,779 in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, and Medicare paid approximately $22,056,332 on those claims.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:20 am

SANTA ANA – A Northern California man on parole for pimping in Orange County was sentenced today to seven years in state prison for attempted human trafficking and attempted pimping of an undercover police officer, whom he believed to be a 17-year-old girl, after befriending the “girl” on Facebook. Eric Dejuan McMillian, 33, Oakland, pleaded guilty May 13, 2014, to one felony count each of attempted human trafficking and attempted pimping.

McMillian is a pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to turn over payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

At the time of the crime, the defendant was on parole stemming from a 2012 pimping case in Orange County.

In October 2013, while living in Oakland, McMillian became “friends” on Facebook with an undercover Anaheim Police Department (APD) officer, whom he believed to be a 17-year-old girl in Orange County. The defendant persuaded and induced the “girl” to work for him as a prostitute. He exchanged detailed messages on Facebook and through texts instructing the minor female to perform sex acts for money, directed her to follow his instructions, and told her to send money to him in Oakland. McMillian directed the female to take a train from Orange County to Oakland to continue working for him.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:16 am

SANTA ANA – Two men were convicted today of sex trafficking two minor girls, ages 16 and 17 years old. Michael Wayne Greer, 25, and Jaylin Juwan Marshall, 21, both of Sacramento, pleaded guilty today to one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor, pandering a minor over 16 years old by procuring, and pimping a minor. Marshall has a prior strike conviction for a 2011 residential burglary in Sacramento County. Marshall is expected to be sentenced to 10 years in state prison and Greer is expected to be sentenced to six years and four months in state prison at their sentencing June 13, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The defendants are also expected be sentenced to lifetime sex offender registration.

Circumstances of the Case

Greer and Marshall are pimps who exploit women and/or children for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

Months before July 2013, Greer befriended 17-year-old Jane Doe #1.

On July 29, 2013, Greer and Marshall met Jane Doe #1 and 16-year-old Jane Doe #2. They convinced the victims to go away with them with the intent to traffic them and sexually exploit the girls for a commercial purpose. Marshall posted sexual advertisements featuring Jane Doe #1 on Internet websites known for prostitution. The two defendants trafficked the teen victims to San Jose and then to Orange County. During this time, Marshall instructed Jane Doe #1 to perform sexual acts in exchange for money from sex purchasers.

On July 31, 2013, Greer and Marshall put both girls in a Santa Ana hotel room to engage in commercial sex. The defendants arranged two encounters for the victims with sex purchasers. One of the “sex purchasers” was an undercover officer from the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD). The defendants were arrested that day.


June 4, 2014

Former Hollywood Business Figure Arrested in Tax Conspiracy

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:52 am

LOS ANGELES – The former CEO of Axium International, Inc., which was a leading Hollywood payroll services company until its collapse in 2008, has been arrested on federal tax charges that allege he took millions of dollars of company funds and failed to report the income to the IRS.

John Visconti, 71, of Beverly Hills, was arrested Monday without incident by special agents with IRS - Criminal Investigation at a Los Angeles Superior Court facility where he had gone to appear on an unrelated matter.

Visconti was arraigned and the three-count indictment against him was unsealed during a hearing late Monday afternoon in United States District Court. Visconti entered a not guilty plea to the charges, and a trial was scheduled for July 29.

Axium was one of the largest payroll services companies serving the entertainment industry, at its height processing hundreds of millions of dollars in payroll for its clients. As the payroll services provider and employer of record for its clients, Axium regularly submitted payroll tax returns to the IRS and the tax authorities of several states. The filing of the tax returns regularly generated tax refunds. Axium collapsed in 2008, after revelations that it owed tens of millions of dollars in payroll taxes, which led to Axium’s lender foreclosing on its bank accounts. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy case for Axium, filed in January 2008, remains an active case.


Agents Bust Methamphetamine Conversion Lab, Seize Drugs Valued at $7.2 Million

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:49 am

SAN BERNARDINO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of two individuals suspected of operating a methamphetamine conversion lab in San Bernardino County. Agents with a California Department of Justice task force and detectives with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department seized a total of 206 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine and 250 gallons of liquid methamphetamine, which is capable of producing 1,250 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine. The street value of the methamphetamine seized is estimated at $7.2 million.

“Methamphetamine is one of the most toxic drugs available, destroying the bodies and minds of countless people,” Attorney General Harris said. “California is the national epicenter of its trafficking and distribution, so I have made it a priority of the California Department of Justice’s task forces to stop those who would sell and manufacture this debilitating drug. This bust significantly reduces the amount of methamphetamine on our streets, and I thank the agents and partners who worked collaboratively to seize these drugs.”

Agents and detectives arrested Jorge Valdez, 34, and Miguel Angel Sanchez, 24, of Hinkley. Both were booked at the San Bernardino County Jail and are currently being held on $1,000,000 bail each. Both are charged with two felony counts each for the manufacture and possession for sale of methamphetamine and are being prosecuted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

“I stand with my law enforcement counterparts with an unwavering commitment to stop the manufacturing and dealing of narcotics in San Bernardino County,” San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said. “Drug use undermines traditional values and it is our responsibility to put an end to it.”

“Thanks to the extensive work of the Attorney General’s task force and our Sheriff’s Department, we were able to prevent a significant amount of the destructive drug, methamphetamine, from making it to our streets,” San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “We look forward to prosecuting these individuals to the fullest extent of the law and sending the message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in San Bernardino County.”                                (more…)

Former Riverside County Deputy Public Defender Gets Year in Prison for Collecting Her Dead Grandmother’s Social Security Benefits

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:44 am

RIVERSIDE, California – An Upland attorney was sentenced today to one year and one day in federal prison for stealing $129,795 from the Social Security Administration (SSA) after her grandmother died in 2000.

Audrey Owens, 61, who until she retired in September was a deputy public defender for Riverside County, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

Owens pleaded guilty on March 3 to two counts of theft of government property, admitting that she bilked the government for 12 years.

According to court documents, from June 2000 through August 2012, Owens fraudulently obtained social security benefits intended for her grandmother, who died in May 2000. After her grandmother’s death, Owens changed the address of a joint account she shared with her grandmother and continued to receive the dead woman’s social security payments.


June 3, 2014

Man who traded on insider info provided by KPMG partner sentenced to five months in federal prison

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:37 am

Bryan Shaw, the owner of an Encino jewelry store who made about $1.6 million trading on inside information obtained from a then-senior partner at KPMG, was sentenced today to federal prison. United States District Judge George H. Wu sentenced Shaw to five months in federal prison. Judge Wu did not impose a fine in this case in light of the fact that Shaw previously paid $1.27 million in disgorgement to the SEC, as well as an additional penalty of $635,893.

This office is not issuing a press release on Shaw’s sentencing. We previously issued a release on the sentencing of Scott London, the former KPMG partner, which can be read here:


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

SANTA ANA – A third-striker was sentenced yesterday to 51 years to life in state prison for stabbing and murdering a man after an argument over a ride. Joseph Robert Suess, 39, Anaheim, was found guilty by a jury March 20 2014, to one felony count of first degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. The defendant has prior strike convictions for kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, and attempted robbery in 1994, and assault with a deadly weapon in 2002.

Co-defendant Heriberto Erick Vergara Calvillo, 28, Anaheim, pleaded guilty April 25, 2014, to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter. He is expected to be sentenced to 22 years in state prison at his sentencing June 27, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center.

At approximately midnight on Aug. 30, 2012, Suess, Calvillo, and 53-year-old Mikel Williams were drinking alcohol and socializing in an alley near Zeyn Street in Anaheim. Suess asked Williams for a ride out of the area but the victim refused.

Suess began arguing with Williams, which escalated into a physical altercation. Suess began to beat Williams by punching and kicking him. Calvillo is accused of participating in beating the victim. While the victim was laying on the ground unconscious, Suess robbed the victim of $200, grabbed a knife from Williams, and murdered the victim by stabbing him three times in the thigh.



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

WESTMINSTER – A drunken driver was sentenced today for killing a 25-year-old woman and severely injuring her 24-year-old fiancé by hitting their motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol. Tadashi Mizutani, 69, Huntington Beach, pleaded guilty May 9, 2014, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence, one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, one felony count of driving with blood alcohol .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, and a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury. He was sentenced today to serve one year in jail and five years in state prison stayed pending completion of three years formal probation.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. on June 1, 2013, Mizutani was driving his sports car northbound on Goldenwest Street in Huntington Beach. While turning left at the intersection of Goldenwest Street and Rio Vista Drive, Mizutani failed to yield for Taylor R. and Kelly Morehouse as they legally passed through the intersection on their motorcycle. Mizutani cut off the motorcycle and, despite Taylor R.’s efforts, the vehicles collided, causing both Taylor R. and Morehouse to be thrown from the motorcycle.

Mizutani caused the crash that killed Kelly Morehouse and resulted in Taylor R. breaking both of his legs.

Shortly after the crash, Huntington Beach Police Department officers arrived at the scene. Mizutani had a blood alcohol content of .13 percent.


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