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February 4, 2015

FOUR MEN CONVICTED OF AGREEING TO ENGAGE IN PROSTITUTION

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

SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) convicted four men in January 2015 of agreeing to engage in prostitution. The defendants in these cases approached a woman, whom they believed to be a prostitute, in areas known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County or loitered in areas known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County. Each of the defendants agreed to engage in commercial sex with a woman and were subsequently arrested by law enforcement.

• Aaron Anthony Argueta, 20, Los Alamitos
• Wilmer Mijango Calderon, 28, Santa Ana
• Rigoberto Jimenez Mendez, 31, Santa Ana
• Ernest Reynolds Norton, 62, Santa Ana

The defendants above each pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of agreeing to engage in prostitution. Argueta and Mendez were each sentenced to three years informal probation and 20 days of community service in lieu of jail. Norton pleaded guilty to a court offer and was sentenced to one year informal probation and five days of community service in lieu of jail. Calderon pleaded guilty to a court offer and was sentenced to one year informal probation and a fine of $100 plus penalty assessments. All defendants must also submit to AIDS testing and education. Some defendants must also submit to DNA testing and were required to donate up to $300 to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund.

The OCDA also publishes the booking photos (when available) and conviction details of defendants on the sex purchasers section of the OCDA’s website which can be found by visiting the following link: http://orangecountyda.org/media/sexpurchasers.asp.

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February 3, 2015

Bay Area Woman Who Ran $24 Million Investment Scam Sentenced to Over 12 Years in Federal Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:51 am

SANTA ANA, California – A San Jose woman who was convicted running a Ponzi scheme that bilked over 200 victims out of more than $24 million was sentenced today to serve 151 months in federal prison.

Bich Quyen Nguyen, 60, received the sentence from United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton, who said the crime caused physical, emotional and psychological harm to victims who, in some case, lost their entire life savings.

In addition to the prison term of more than 12½ years, Judge Staton ordered Nguyen to pay $24,517,482 in restitution.

Nguyen was found guilty conspiring to commit wire fraud in December 2013 by a jury that heard about Nguyen’s investment scheme, which offered purported certificates of deposit issued by a Swedish financial institution that she supposedly ran. The evidence presented during a six-day trial showed that Nguyen told victims that she was the chief executive officer Sun Investment Savings and Loan, which guaranteed annual returns of more than 30 percent on one-year certificates of deposit involving at least $1 million. Nguyen told victims that she used “trading platforms” and made trades at a high frequency and velocity to achieve the high rates of return. Nguyen told victims that their investments were safe because the victims’ money would be in “blocked” accounts. Nguyen further told victims that she had prepared for the 2008 financial crisis so their returns were still protected and guaranteed.

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California Doctor Pleads Guilty to Failing to Report Foreign Account at Bank Leumi in Luxembourg

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:47 am

Dr. Baruch Fogel of Laguna Beach, California, pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to willfully failing to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) for tax year 2009, announced the Justice Department’s Tax Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

According to court documents, Fogel, a U.S. citizen, maintained an undeclared bank account held in the name of a foreign corporation at the Luxembourg branch of Bank Leumi.  The undeclared foreign bank account and foreign corporation were set up with the assistance of David Kalai, a tax return preparer who owned United Revenue Service (URS).  In December 2014, David Kalai and his son, Nadav Kalai, were convicted in the Central District of California of conspiracy to defraud the United States for helping certain URS clients set up foreign corporations and undeclared bank accounts to evade U.S. income taxes and for willfully failing to file FBARS for an undeclared foreign account that they controlled.

According to court documents and evidence introduced at the trial of David and Nadav Kalai, Fogel was a doctor who operated several managed health care businesses.  David Kalai suggested to Fogel that he could reduce his taxes by transferring money to a foreign bank account held in the name of a foreign corporation.  David Kalai advised Fogel to open up the bank account that was set up in the name of a British Virgin Islands corporation.  At a meeting facilitated and attended by David Kalai at the Beverly Hills branch of Bank Leumi, Fogel executed documents to open his Luxembourg bank account at Bank Leumi.  According to court documents, Fogel diverted at least $8 million to his undeclared bank account at Bank Leumi’s branch in Luxembourg.

U.S. citizens and residents who have an interest in, or signature or other authority over, a financial account in a foreign country with assets in excess of $10,000 are required to disclose the existence of such account on Schedule B, Part III, of their individual income tax returns.  Additionally, U.S. citizens and residents must file a FBAR with the U.S. Treasury disclosing any financial account in a foreign country with assets in excess of $10,000 in which they have a financial interest, or over which they have signature or other authority.

Fogel has agreed to pay a civil penalty in the amount of approximately $4.2 million to resolve his civil liability with the IRS for failing to file FBARs.  Fogel faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss to any person, whichever is greater. (more…)

CONTRACT TRUCK DRIVER CONVICTED OF ILLEGALLY SELLING OAKLEY EYEWEAR INTENDED FOR SOLDIERS IN U.S. MILITARY ON EBAY AFTER REPEATEDLY STEALING SHIPMENTS FROM DHL PROCESSING CENTERS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:37 am

FULLERTON - A contract truck driver was convicted today of 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, 47, Buena Park, pleaded guilty 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  is expected to be sentenced to three years and four months in state prison, $299,000 restitution, and pay a $580,000 fine at his sentencing May 4, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

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 Inspection Service (USPIS) 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.

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.

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February 2, 2015

TAXI CAB DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR HIT AND RUN CRASH THAT KILLED PEDESTRIAN IN NEWPORT BEACH

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

NEWPORT BEACH - A taxi cab driver is scheduled to be arraigned Monday for crashing into a pedestrian, resulting in the victim’s death, and driving away from the scene. Ronald Aviles, 56, San Clemente, is charged with one felony count of hit and run with permanent injury or death. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison. Aviles is out of custody on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

At approximately 3:00 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2015, Aviles is accused of driving his taxi van southbound on East Coast Highway. He is accused of crashing into 23-year-old Travis Marton, as the victim was crossing East Coast Highway westbound at the intersection of Newport Coast Drive in Newport Beach. Aviles is accused of unlawfully failing to stop his vehicle and failing to render assistance to the injured victim. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Newport Beach Police Department, who investigated this case, found Marton’s body lying in the intersection. The Laguna Beach Police Department located Aviles driving in his taxi van in Laguna Beach, approximately five miles from where the victim’s body was found, and arrested the defendant.

At the time of the arrest, Aviles is accused of driving the taxi with damage consistent with the collision, including a smashed windshield, dents on the hood, dented bumper, and a missing driver’s-side mirror. Aviles is accused of causing the crash that scattered debris at the collision site consistent with the damaged and missing vehicle parts.

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Los Angeles Pharmaceutical Company Barred from Distributing Unapproved Prebiotic Feminine Health Care Products

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

The Department of Justice today announced the entry of a consent decree of permanent injunction involving pharmaceutical company, Laclede Inc. and its president, Michael A. Pellico, concerning the distribution of unapproved over-the-counter vaginal drug products made by the company.

The consent decree, approved by U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson for the Central District of California on Jan. 29, permanently enjoins Laclede and Pellico from interstate distribution of unapproved drug products sold under the name Luvena Prebiotic unless and until these products receive approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The drug products include: Luvena Prebiotic Vaginal Moisturizer & Lubricant; Luvena Prebiotic Feminine Wipes; Luvena Prebiotic Enhanced Personal Lubricant; and Luvena Prebiotic Daily Therapeutic Wash.

Among other things, the decree also authorizes the FDA to order Laclede and Pellico to stop manufacturing products or to recall distributed products should the FDA determine that there is a violation of the terms of the decree.

Moreover, for the next five years, Laclede must notify the FDA before the company markets any new Luvena product or modify product labeling, and the company may not legally market such products until the FDA tells the company it may do so.

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DRUNKEN DRIVER MARINE SERGEANT SENTENCED TO 11YEARS IN PRISON FOR KILLING THREE FELLOW MARINES BY CRASHING INTO TREE

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

SANTA ANA – A former Marine sergeant was sentenced to 11 yearsin state prison today for killing three friends and fellow Marines by crashing into a tree while driving under the influence of alcohol. Jared Ray Hale, 28, was found guilty by a jury on Dec. 10, 2014, of one felony count each of driving under the influence causing body injury and driving with a blood alcohol of .08% or more causing bodily injury with sentencing enhancements and allegations for driving with a blood alcohol level over .15 percent and causing great bodily injury.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 13, 2012, Hale arrived at Hennessey’s Tavern in Dana Point with three friends. The defendant and his friends were all Marines stationed at Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton. The friends included Christopher Arzola, 21, of Mass., Jeremiah Callahan, 23, of Neb., and Jason Chleborad, 22, of S.D.

At approximately 1:50 a.m. on Feb. 14, 2012, the defendant drove away from the bar in his Dodge sedan with his three friends as passengers.

At approximately 2:00 a.m. Hale drove northbound on Golden Lantern in Dana Point. As he approached a curve in the road at the intersection at Terra Vista, the defendant lost control of his vehicle, ran over the landscaped center median, and crashed into a tree on the passenger’s side of the car. The car spun around the tree and came to rest against the tree on the median.

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January 30, 2015

DRUNKEN DRIVER CHARGED FOR KILLING PASSENGER BY LOSING CONTROL OF VEHICLE AND CAUSING ROLLOVER CRASH

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:04 am

SANTA ANA – A drunken driver was charged today for killing a passenger by losing control of his vehicle and causing a rollover crash. Colin Michael Selsted, 27, Irvine, is charged with one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, and sentencing enhancement allegations for driving with a blood alcohol level of .15 percent or more, and inflicting great bodily injury. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison. He is being held on $100,000 bail. The defendant was arraigned in court today and is scheduled for pre-trial hearing on Feb. 20, 2015, at 8:30 a.m., in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Jan. 26, 2015, Selsted is accused of drinking with a group of friends at a restaurant. The defendant is accused of traveling to a friend’s home and continuing to drink with the group. Later in the evening, the defendant is accused of leaving the home and driving in his Volkswagen Golf GTI with 23-year-old Devon W. seated in the passenger seat.

At approximately 10:55 p.m. the defendant is accused of losing control of the vehicle and spinning out on Shady Canyon Drive, just east of Cloverfield, causing the vehicle to rollover multiple times down a hill before coming to a stop after hitting a concrete block wall. A resident living near the site of the crash called 911.

Emergency personnel arrived and extracted the defendant and victim from the vehicle and transported them to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana. The victim suffered a severe skull fracture as a result of the crash. Approximately two hours after the crash, the defendant is accused of having a blood alcohol concentration of .17 percent.

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Convicted Drug Dealer Charged with Former Fox Executive’s Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:58 am

A convicted drug dealer was charged today with the murder of Gavin Smith, a former UCLA basketball player and Fox executive who disappeared in 2012, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

John Lenzie Creech (dob 7/22/72) is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, Feb. 2, at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, in case BA433266.

Creech is charged with the May 2, 2012 murder of Smith, whose remains were discovered last October in a remote area near Acton in northern Los Angeles County.

Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace with the Major Crimes Division is prosecuting the case. Smith, 57, was last seen on May 1, 2012, leaving a friend’s home in Ventura County.

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Sylmar Man Sentenced for Birthday Party Killing

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 7:54 am

A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison for stabbing a 19-year-old man to death at a house party, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney Kathy Ta said David Gage Silva of Sylmar was sentenced yesterday after a jury found him guilty on Dec. 8 of second-degree murder with a use of knife allegation in case PA075013.

The stabbing took place at a birthday party on Oct. 28, 2012, in the 13300 block of Sayre Street in Sylmar. The victim, Anthony Hernandez, and the defendant were both guests at the party, the prosecutor said.

According to court testimony, as the party was winding down an argument broke out between two groups of guests over the loudness of the music. The argument turned into a fight in which Hernandez was stabbed in the heart by Silva, the prosecutor added.

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