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September 24, 2014

Six Current And Former Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies Sentenced To Federal Prison For Obstructing Federal Civil Rights Investigation

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

LOS ANGELES – Six sworn deputies who were working in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department each were sentenced today to federal prison terms for interfering with a federal civil rights investigation into misconduct at the Men’s Central Jail.

The six defendants received prison terms of up to 41 months from a federal judge who said they all lacked “courage to do what is right” and then failed to show “even the slightest remorse.”

United States District Judge Percy Anderson issued the sentences after a federal jury determined that the defendants, including two lieutenants, attempted to influence witnesses, threatened an FBI agent with arrest and concealed an FBI informant who should have been turned over to federal authorities.

All six of the defendants were convicted of participating in a broad conspiracy to obstruct justice, a plot that began in the summer of 2011 after they learned that a jail inmate was an FBI informant and was acting as a cooperator in a federal investigation into corruption and civil rights violations at the jail.

“Blind obedience to a corrupt culture has serious consequences,” Judge Anderson told the defendants before ordering each of them to begin prison sentences in the coming months.

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MAN CHARGED WITH TRAFFICKING WOMAN FROM NORTHERN CALIFORNIA TO ORANGE COUNTY TO HAVE HER ENGAGE IN COMMERCIAL SEX

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

SANTA ANA – A man was charged today with trafficking a woman from Northern California to Orange County to have her engage in commercial sex. Eugene Lamar Corbett, 30, Sacramento, is charged with one felony count each of human trafficking, pimping, and pandering. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison. The People will request he be held on $250,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

Circumstances of the Case

Corbett is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow. In this case, Corbett is accused of requiring the victim to turn over all payment she received for engaging in commercial sex acts to the defendant. Failure to follow these rules can often result in physical and/or emotional abuse.

At the time of the crime, Corbett is accused of residing in Sacramento and being an acquaintance of 29-year-old Jane Doe. Between Sept 12, 2014, and Sept. 19, 2014, the defendant is accused of trafficking her to Orange County from Sacramento. Approximately one week later, Corbett is accused of pimping the victim by having her engage in commercial sex with sex purchasers and collecting her earnings. He is accused of taking all of the victim’s personal belongings to prevent her from leaving.

On Sept. 19, 2014, an Anaheim Police Department (APD) officer contacted Jane Doe and began an investigation. After further investigation, the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) located Corbett and arrested him later that evening.

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Pair Charged With Fatal Home-Invasion Robbery

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

The 17-year-old son of a Pico Rivera homeowner killed during a suspected home-invasion robbery and a second person were charged with capital murder today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jesus Rafael Adame (dob 4/13/96) and Sergio Anthony Gutierrez (dob 6/7/97), the homeowner’s son, have each been charged with one count of murder, two counts of home-invasion robbery and one count of first-degree burglary in case VA136976.

Deputy District Attorney Paul Minnetian said Adame and Gutierrez are scheduled to be arraigned today at the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Downey in Department 6.

The felony complaint includes a special circumstance allegation that the killing was committed in the commission of a robbery. Though 17-year-old Gutierrez was charged as an adult, he is not eligible for the death penalty.

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September 23, 2014

Leader of Fraudulent Internet Company and Longtime International Fugitive Pleads Guilty in $13 Million Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:56 am

SANTA ANA, California – A former Newport Beach resident who fled the country 15 years ago after federal agents executed search warrants relating to his fraudulent Internet company pleaded guilty this afternoon to federal fraud charges, admitting his role in a scheme that raised nearly $13 million from investors around the country in the late 1990s.

James Eberhart, 73, pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud before United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney. Eberhart has been in custody since he was arrested in Malaysia in 2012 after living as a fugitive abroad for more than 12 years.

Eberhart and his co-schemer, Eugene M. Carriere, operated a fraudulent Newport Beach company that used dozens of “boiler room” telemarketing firms and an unwitting celebrity spokesman, the late Tom Bosley, to raise investor funds. YES Entertainment Network, Inc. raised nearly $13 million from victims who were falsely told that the company was creating an 18-channel, multimedia, family-oriented entertainment website and that YES would generate profits through the sale of advertising on the website. Eberhart and Carriere told investors that the company planned an initial public offering of its stock for the fall of 1999, which would potentially make early investments worth millions of dollars.

Eberhart and Carriere used only 1 percent of the investors’ fund to build the YES website, and that was little more than a façade to reassure investors. Approximately 45 percent of the funds was used to pay sales commissions to the telemarketers. Most of the rest of the money was wired to bank accounts in Hong Kong and Singapore in the names of offshore corporations, all of which Eberhart had formed with the help of an attorney.

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Former Owner of Long Beach Medical Equipment Supply Company Sentenced to 2½ Years in Prison in $2.6 Million Medicare Scam

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:41 am

LOS ANGELES – The former owner of a Long Beach medical supply company was sentenced today to 30 federal months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $1.5 million in restitution for his role in a scheme to provide unnecessary power wheelchairs to Medicare patients.

Akinola Afolabi, 55, of Long Beach, received the sentenced from United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez.

Afolabi was the owner and president of Emmanuel Medical Supply, which sold durable medical equipment. Afolabi provided medically unnecessary power wheelchairs and other medical equipment to Medicare beneficiaries, and submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare for this equipment. Afolabi admitted that he paid “marketers” to obtain Medicare beneficiary information that he used on the false claims. Afolabi admitted that prescriptions for the equipment and related medical documents were fraudulent, and that some of the beneficiaries did not even receive the wheelchairs or other medical supplies that were the subject of bills submitted to Medicare.

From June 2006 through September 2009, Afolabi submitted approximately $2,668,384 in fraudulent claims to Medicare for power wheelchairs and related services, and Medicare paid approximately $1,490,532 on those claims.

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O.C. Resident Sentenced to Federal Prison for Selling Stolen Hospital Supplies over Internet in Scheme that Brought Him $1.8 Million

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:38 am

SANTA ANA, California – An Irvine man has been sentenced to serve 15 months in federal prison for selling stolen hospital supplies over the Internet, including on eBay and Alibaba.com.

Bahram Khandan, 50, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney, who also ordered the defendant to spend nine months on home detention following the completion of the prison term.

Additionally, Judge Carney scheduled a hearing for November 10 to determine how much Khandan shall pay in restitution to victim hospitals.

Khandan pleaded guilty on February 20 to misbranding of a drug with intent to defraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.

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September 22, 2014

Leader of Medicare Fraud Scheme that Submitted Over $7 Million in Bogus Bills for Unnecessary Equipment Convicted in Federal Court

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

LOS ANGELES – A Hawthorne woman who was responsible for more than $7 million in fraudulent Medicare billing for durable medical equipment – mostly power wheelchairs – was found guilty today of 16 federal charges stemming from the health care fraud scheme.

Adeline Ekwebelem, 51, was found guilty following a seven-day trial before United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald.

Ekwebelem was convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, 12 counts of health care fraud and three counts of paying illegal kickbacks for health care referrals. As a result of the 16 guilty verdicts, Ekwebelem will face a statutory maximum sentence of 145 years when she is sentenced by Judge Fitzgerald on December 15.

Ekwebelem becomes the fifth person convicted in relation to the scheme run out of her Gardena-based durable medical equipment (DME) supply company, Adelco Medical Distributors, Inc.

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FORMER EXECUTIVE SENTENCED TO SEVEN YEARS IN PRISON AND RESTITUTION FOR FAILING TO PAY TAXES ON OVER $180 MILLION IN UNREPORTED INCOME FROM POWER PLANT REFURBISHING BUSINESS

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

SANTA ANA - A former executive was sentenced today to seven years in state prison for failing to pay taxes on over $180 million in unreported income from their power plant refurbishing business. Richard Engel, 70, pleaded guilty Dec. 16, 2011, to three felony counts of filing false personal tax returns and five felony counts failing to file tax returns for himself and his company. The defendant also admitted to sentencing enhancements for fraud in excess of $500,000 causing a loss in excess of $1 million.  Engel will also be required to pay restitution in an amount to be determined by the Court.

Richard Engel’s ex-wife Jolene Engel, 63, pleaded guilty Dec. 16, 2011, to one felony count of failure to file tax returns for her corporation and one felony count of failing to provide material information in a tax return.  She was sentenced today to three years of informal probation and will also be subject to restitution in an amount to be determined.

At the time of their convictions in December 2011, both defendants were ordered to pay the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) approximately $1.2 million prior to sentencing.  Since the time of the restitution order, Jolene Engel has repaid approximately $1 million. Richard Engel has only repaid approximately $350,000

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MAN CONVICTED OF PIMPING AND PANDERING WOMAN BY DRIVING HER TO ORANGE COUNTY TO PERFORM COMMERCIAL SEX ACTS

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

WESTMINSTER - A man was convicted yesterday of pimping and pandering a woman from Riverside County by driving her to Orange County for the purpose of performing commercial sex acts for his benefit. Damaris Markyse Thompson, 24, Hemet, was found guilty by a jury Sept. 18, 2014, of one felony count each of pimping and pandering. He faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison at his sentencing Oct. 2, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. in Department W-9, West Justice Center, Westminster.

Circumstances of the Case
Thompson is a pimp who exploits women for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring them to address the pimp as “Daddy.” The victim in this case was required to turn over all payment she received for sex acts from sex purchasers to her pimp.

In 2011, Thompson was driving in Hemet and engaged in conversation with 22-year-old Jane Doe as she was walking on a street. He convinced the victim to go to Orange County with him. Later that evening, the defendant told Jane Doe that he owns her and provided revealing clothing for the victim to wear and a cell phone to communicate with when arranging meetings with sex purchasers.

Thompson pimped the victim by having her perform commercial sex acts with sex purchasers and collecting the money she made.

On a later date, Jane Doe attempted to leave the defendant. Thompson threatened Jane Doe by placing his hand around her neck and telling her he owns her.

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September 19, 2014

Four Defendants in Custody for Allegedly Making Credit Cards with ‘Skimmed’ Information in Schemes that Cost Banks at least $2 Million

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:33 am

LOS ANGELES – Four men were taken into custody this morning on federal charges related to alleged schemes involving the use of “skimming devices” to steal credit card data and using that data to manufacture and sell fraudulent credit cards.

The four were arrested pursuant to federal indictments returned late last month by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles. The two schemes involve stolen information from more than 10,000 accounts and more than $2 million in losses. Two federal indictments charge a total of five defendants.

Among those arrested this morning are three named in a 13-count indictment:

Armen Bislamian, 32, of Van Nuys;

Khachatur Bislamyan, 31, of Pasadena; and

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