Best Defender Bytes:

May 5, 2014


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:25 am

SANTA ANA – A nail salon manager is to be arraigned for pimping and pandering an employee. Cam Da Le, 47, Garden Grove, is charged with one felony count of pimping and one felony count of pandering. If convicted, Le faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison. The People will be requesting that the defendant be held on $250,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond at her arraignment today, May 2, 2014, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined. 

Circumstances of the Case

Le is accused of being a pimp/modern-day slave owner who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

On April 30, 2014, Le is accused of instructing 25-year-old Jane Doe to perform commercial sex acts on a customer of a nail salon they both worked at. Le is accused of taking all of the money the victim earned while performing sex acts and only paying the victim the tips she collected. The Orange Police Department (OPD) conducted an investigation as to whether the nail salon was acting as a brothel. Le is accused of deriving support from the earning and proceeds of the prostitution of Jane Doe knowing she was working as a prostitute. The defendant is also accused of causing, inducing, persuading, and encouraging Jane Doe to prostitute and procuring her for the purpose of prostitution and to agree to engage in commercial sex acts with an OPD undercover officer.

Deputy District Attorney Daniel Varon of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting this case                                                  (more…)

May 2, 2014

California Banker Charged with Helping U.S. Taxpayers Conceal Secret Israeli Bank Accounts

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

Shokrollah Baravarian, of Beverly Hills, California, was charged today in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California with conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.

According to the indictment, Baravarian, a former senior vice president at the Los Angeles branch of a bank headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, conspired to conceal the existence of undeclared accounts owned and controlled by U.S. customers in Israel.  The indictment alleges that these accounts were concealed from the IRS by opening them under pseudonyms, code names and the names of nominee entities set up in the British Virgin Islands and the island of Nevis.

“This charge results from an ongoing and extensive investigation into the use of undeclared bank accounts in Israel, and demonstrates the department’s determination to find and prosecute those who help U.S. taxpayers evade taxes through offshore accounts located anywhere in the world,” said Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole.

“IRS-Criminal Investigation and Tax Division prosecutors have been investigating the use of undeclared bank accounts globally, and charges have been brought against not only the U.S. taxpayers with undeclared Israeli bank accounts but also those who facilitate the hiding of assets and income abroad,” said Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally for the Tax Division.  “Whether it be Israel, Switzerland, the Caribbean or elsewhere, the Justice Department is finding the hiding places and is committed to prosecuting tax cheats.”


FBI Arrests Moorpark Man in ‘Sextortion’ Case that Targeted Fans of Teen Music Acts such as One Direction and Justin Bieber

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

LOS ANGELES – A Moorpark man accused of using social networking websites to trick and extort more than a dozen girls and boys into sending him naked photos and videos was arrested today on federal child pornography charges.

Jeremy Brendan Sears, 23, was arrested this morning without incident by the Ventura Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force (the Ventura S.A.F.E. Team), which is made up of agents and officers with the FBI and Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

Sears, who was named in a two-count criminal complaint filed yesterday, made his initial appearance this afternoon in United States District Court.

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, Sears approached many of his victims after finding them active in social-networking groups for fans of music acts popular with young teenagers, such as Justin Bieber or One Direction. Sears set up fake profiles on Facebook, Meetme, and other social networking websites that appeared to be from teenage boys and girls. Sears allegedly used the bogus profiles to communicate with real-life teenagers, sometimes beginning online romantic relationships with the real-life teens and then encouraging them to send him sexually explicit videos and photos of themselves.


Inmate Charged With 1997 Murder at LA County Jail

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

A 42-year-old man serving time for murder and robbery has been charged with the slaying of an inmate at the Los Angeles County Jail in 1997, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jaime Vidales was charged in case BA423892 with one count of murder. If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. He’s scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Prosecutors said Vidales was in county jail awaiting trial on murder and robbery charges when he allegedly strangled Miguel Sanchez in July 1997. Sanchez, who was in jail on a pending sexual assault case, was found by a sheriff’s deputy lying on a bunk bed in a dorm room occupied by inmates.

Prosecutors said Vidales was helped by another inmate to attack Sanchez but that man subsequently was killed in Los Angeles County Jail.


May 1, 2014

Beverly Hills Dentist PaysMore Than $780,000 for Insurance Fraud, Sentenced to 365 Days County Jail

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:40 am

A Beverly Hills dentist, who earlier this month pleaded to insurance fraud, today paid more than$780,000 in restitution and was sentenced to one year in county jail, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Grace Pak of the Healthcare Fraud Division said Tom K. Kalili, 59, pleaded no contest on April 10 to one felony count each of insurance fraud and failure to file income tax returns.

Kalili also admitted excessive taking allegations of more than $150,000.

Kalili paid $786,021 in restitution today at a morning hearing where Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Horwitz also sentenced him to five years of formal probation.


Former L.A. County Contractor, Two Others Plead Guilty to Embezzlement, Other Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:36 am

The former administrator of Peace and Joy Care Center, a Carson-based nonprofit organization that provided services for domestic violence victims under a contract with Los Angeles County, pleaded guilty today in a case involving the theft of more than $700,000 in public funds.

Wilma Wilson, 62, pleaded guilty to nine counts: four counts of grand theft by embezzlement; two counts each of embezzlement by a public or private officer and misappropriation of public funds; and one count of embezzlement by a trustee, executor or administrator.

Co-defendant and husband William Wilson, 74, pleaded guilty to three counts of grand theft by embezzlement and two counts of embezzlement by a public or private officer.

The Carson couple also admitted excessive-taking allegations of more than $500,000. The case was prosecuted by Marian Thompson, deputy-in-charge of the Internal Welfare Fraud Unit of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division.


April 30, 2014

California Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Racially Motivated Assault on White Man and African-American Woman

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:53 am

Perry Sylvester Jackson, 28, of Marysville, Calif., was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge John A. Mendez to serve 70 months in prison for violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in a 2011 racially motivated attack against a white man and an African-American woman in Marysville.  Jackson, who previously pleaded guilty on Dec. 17, 2013, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence and to pay restitution in the amount of $175.  Co-defendant Billy James Hammett, who also pleaded guilty, was sentenced on March 25, 2014, to serve 87 months in prison and three years of supervised release, as well as to pay $175 in restitution.  Anthony Merrell Tyler, 33, also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

According to documents filed with the court, around 10:45 p.m. on April 18, 2011, a white man and an African-American woman parked their car at a convenience store in Marysville.  Shortly afterward, the three defendants attacked the man and woman based on race.  After calling the male victim a “[racial slur]-lover,” Jackson, who has the words “white power” tattooed on his legs, punched him twice in the head through the open passenger window.  At the same time, Hammett kicked the woman in the chest.  A few seconds later, Tyler smashed the car’s windshield with a crowbar.  As the attack continued, the woman managed to take refuge inside the convenience store.  All three assailants then descended upon the male victim and began attacking him in the parking lot.  He sustained abrasions on his right forearm and knees, while the woman suffered bruising to her chest.  At the end of the incident, Tyler used a racial slur to refer to an African-American witness.

Tyler is scheduled to be sentenced on July 8, 2014, where he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case was investigated by the FBI.  The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner for the Eastern District of California and Trial Attorney Chiraag Bains of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

U.S. Department of Justice / 14-455 Civil Rights Division / April 29, 2014

Certified Public Accountant Convicted of Preparing False Returns

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:33 am

A federal jury convicted certified public accountant Jeffery Deshon Applewhite, aka Jeffrey Donald Mason, a resident of Los Angeles County, California, of 20 counts of aiding and assisting the preparation and presentation of false tax returns late yesterday, announced Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California and Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez.  Applewhite was not convicted on five charges of identity fraud.

The evidence presented during the five day trial before U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White showed that Applewhite, who owned and operated tax preparation businesses in Los Angeles and Oakland, California, prepared false and fraudulent income tax returns for clients during the years 2006 through 2011 on which he fabricated deductible expenses, including gifts to charity,  and other expenses.  Applewhite also fraudulently included residential energy credits and education credits to which his clients were not entitled on tax returns he prepared.  Applewhite prepared and filed false returns using the names Jeffery Deshon Applewhite and Jeffrey Donald Mason, and used the name and tax preparer identification number of another tax return preparer.

Applewhite’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 5, 2014, before Judge White in Oakland.  The maximum statutory penalty for each count of aiding and assisting the preparation of false tax returns is three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The case was investigated by Special Agents from IRS - Criminal Investigation . Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Stier and Trial Attorney Sonia Owens of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case.


April 29, 2014

Men Convicted of Murder in Marijuana Robbery Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:55 am

A jury today found two men guilty of killing a marijuana courier and they were immediately sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Rachel Hardiman said the jury convicted Charles Mackbee, 44, and Kenneth Johnson, 38, of first-degree murder. Jurors also found true a special allegation that the defendants used a revolver during the killing. A special circumstance that the men committed the murder in the commission of a robbery also was found to be true.

Furthermore, the felony complaint alleged that Mackbee was convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon in 1995, forgery in 2002, two counts of theft and unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle in 2002, and embezzlement in 2002. Johnson was convicted of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury in 2009.

A third man who participated in the murder, Marcel Mackabee, 31, was convicted in a separate case on July 19, 2013. Mackabee, Charles Mackbee’s cousin, also was sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.


Gold Broker Charged in $1.74 Million Fraud Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:52 am

Prosecutors have charged the owner of Discount Gold Brokers, a business that buys and sells gold bullion and coins, with 50 felony counts for allegedly defrauding 25 victims whose losses totaled more than $1.74 million, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Gregory Alker of the Consumer Protection Division said Michael Berman (dob 5/10/60) of Canyon Country pleaded not guilty to all charges today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center

Berman surrendered today after a felony complaint for arrest.  warrant was filed April 15.


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