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November 26, 2014

Man Found Guilty in 2008 Murders of Lancaster Woman and Three Young Daughters

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

A jury has found a 24-year-old man guilty of murdering a woman and her three young daughters and then setting their Lancaster home on fire, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Assistant Head Deputy Robert Sherwood said Corey Lynn King was found guilty of four counts of firstdegree murder with the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and torture for three of the victims in case MA043389.

King also was found guilty of one count each of arson of an inhabited structure and grand theft auto.

The penalty phase of the trial to determine whether King will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole or death is scheduled to begin on Dec. 2 in Department A19 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch.

The jury deliberated for three hours before returning with guilty verdicts following a trial that lasted four weeks.

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November 25, 2014

Two Northern California Real Estate Investors Agree to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging and Fraud at Public Foreclosure Auctions

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

Two Northern California real estate investors have agreed to plead guilty for their role in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced.

Felony charges were filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland against Su Chu Chou “Terry” Cheng and Chung Li “George” Cheng of Walnut Creek, California.

To date, as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, 49 individuals have agreed to plead or have pleaded guilty.

Between May 2008 and January 2011, according to the court documents, George and Terry Cheng conspired with others not to bid against one another, and instead designated a winning bidder to obtain selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.  George and Terry Cheng were also charged with conspiring to use the mail to carry out a scheme to fraudulently acquire title to selected Alameda and Contra Costa County properties sold at public auctions, to make and receive payoffs, and to divert money to co-conspirators that would have otherwise gone to mortgage holders and other beneficiaries by holding second, private auctions open only to members of the conspiracy.  The department said that the selected properties were then awarded to the conspirators who submitted the highest bids in the second, private auctions.  The private auctions often took place at or near the courthouse steps where the public auctions were held.

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JURY RECOMMENDS DEATH PENALTY FOR MAN CONVICTED OF RAPE AND STABBING-MURDER OF 22-YEAR-OLD WOMAN OUTSIDE OF BAR IN 1983

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

SANTA ANA – A jury recommended the death penalty today fora man convicted of raping and murdering a 22-year-old woman in an alley behind a bar in 1983. The defendant was previously convicted and sentenced to receive the death penalty in this case in 1985. In June 1990, Ramirez appealed to the California Supreme Court, who affirmed the defendant’s conviction. His conviction was later overturned by the Federal District Court for the Central District of California on writ of habeas corpus.

Richard Raymond Ramirez, 55, was found guilty by a jury in the re-trial of this case on May 15, 2013, of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of rape, one felony count of rape, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. A mistrial was declared in the previous penalty phase of the trial on June 3, 2013. Ramirez is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 6, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Crime
On the night of Nov. 20, 1983, 22-year-old Kim Gonzalez was at Mr. Barry’s bar in Garden Grove. Throughout the night, Gonzalez was seen in the bar with then-24-year-old Ramirez, whom she had met two weeks earlier at the same bar while out with her brother and a friend. The defendant spent the night drinking, talking, dancing with, and kissing the victim.

At approximately 1:00 a.m. on Nov. 21, 1983, Gonzalez left the bar through a door that led to the rear parking lot. Ramirez followed Gonzalez outside carrying a long-neck bottle of Budweiser beer. Once outside in a nearby alley, Ramirez attacked the victim.

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Pasadena Man Sentenced for Drugging, Raping, Spraying Woman With Caustic Gas

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

A 39-year-old man has been convicted of raping a woman after he drugged her and sprayed her with a refrigerant chemical at his Pasadena home, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney Tamu Usher said Piotr Igor Dudkiewicz (dob 1/19/75) was sentenced on Friday, Nov. 21, to 40 years and eight months to life in state prison in case GA089620.

He also is now registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

A jury found Dudkiewicz guilty on Oct. 30 of a total of 12 felony counts: one count each of mayhem; false imprisonment by violence; oral copulation of an unconscious person; oral copulation by anesthesia; attempted sodomy of an unconscious victim; attempted sodomy by anesthesia; rape of unconscious person; rape by use of drugs; forcible oral copulation; forcible rape and two counts of sexual penetration by foreign object.

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November 24, 2014

MAN WHO APPEARED ON HOME IMPROVEMENT TELEVISION SHOW SENTENCED FOR CONTRACTING WITHOUT LICENSE

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

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted and sentenced for home improvement contracting without a state license after appearing on the reality television show, “Catch a Contractor.” Myron Elliott Barker, 66, Irvine, pleaded guilty Nov. 19, 2014, to one misdemeanor count of home improvement contracting without a license and admitted to having a prior misdemeanor conviction in 2009 for the same offense. Barker was sentenced to 190 days in jail, three years of informal probation, and ordered to pay the homeowner-victim $10,000 in restitution.

Between June 23, 2013, and Aug. 21, 2013, Barker posed as a professional contractor for home improvement and kitchen remodeling. Barker did not have a valid state contractor’s license as required by law.

Barker solicited his experience, took thousands of dollars in construction funds from the victims in this case, and performed substandard and unpermitted work before abandoning the project.

The victims reported Barker to the Contractor’s State License Board, who investigated this case. While this case was being investigated, the victims were featured on the television show, “Catch a Contractor,” which included Barker being confronted on-camera about being an unlicensed contractor, performing substandard work, and abandoning the home improvement project.

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Woman Found Guilty of Murdering 90-Year-Old Father in Bellflower

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

A woman was found guilty today of second-degree murder for killing her 90-year-old father six years ago in Bellflower, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jurors deliberated for three days before determining that Linda Sue Copeland, 62, was guilty of murdering Ralph Stofleth. Copeland faces up to 15 years to life in prison when she’s scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 9 in Department G of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Norwalk.

Stofleth is believed to have been killed sometime between Feb. 1 and Feb. 8, 2008. His body, covered with sheets and cardboard, was found three months later partially buried near a shed in the backyard of a home where Copeland lived with her father. Neighbors had called authorities to express concern because they had not seen Stofleth for three months.

Deputy District Attorney Tina Hooks of the Elder Abuse Section said evidence presented at trial showed Copeland continued to collect her father’s retirement benefits even after he was killed.

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Sex Offender Charged with Assaults in Long Beach

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

A 19-year-old man accused of assaulting three women over several months in Long Beach pleaded not guilty yesterday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Miguel Avila (dob 4/28/95) of Long Beach has been charged with four felonies: three counts of assault with intent to commit a felony and one count of failure to register as a sex offender in case NA100784.

The charging document includes a special allegation that the defendant was previously convicted of sexual battery by restraint in March 2014 for which he was sentenced to state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Lee Ashley Cernok, who is prosecuting the case, said Avila reportedly assaulted three different women over a four-month span.

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November 21, 2014

San Fernando Valley Doctor Resolves Lawsuit That Alleged Fraudulent And Improper Pain Management Billing Practices

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

SANTA ANA, California – A doctor who operates a pain management clinic in Valencia has agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve allegations that he submitted fraudulent bills and received improper payments from federal and state health insurance programs.

In a case partially unsealed today, Dr. Narinder S. Grewal, of Chatsworth, and his pain clinic, the Santa Clarita Surgery Center for Advanced Pain Management agreed to pay $1,087,176.09 to the United States and $112,823.91 to the State of California.

The settlement concludes a federal “whistleblower” lawsuit filed by Chandana Basu, who used to provide billing and collection services to the Grewal’s clinic.

Basu’s lawsuit alleged that Grewal and his clinic obtained improper reimbursements from government-run health insurance programs, including Medicare, Medi-Cal and Tricare, a federal health insurance program for military and related military personnel. The lawsuit alleged that Grewal and his clinic submitted fraudulent claims by “upcoding” medical services, which means that he allegedly submitted bills that were not justified by the services that were actually provided.

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Eleven Northern California Real Estate Investors Indicted for Bid Rigging and Fraud at Public Foreclosure Auctions

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

A federal grand jury in San Francisco returned three multi-count indictments against eleven real estate investors for their role in bid rigging and fraud schemes at foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced.

The indictments, filed late yesterday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland, California, charge Northern California real estate investors Michael Marr; Javier Sanchez; Gregory Casorso; Victor Marr; John Shiells; Miguel De Sanz; Alvin Florida Jr.; Robert A. Rasheed; John L. Berry III; Refugio Diaz; and Stephan A. Florida with participating in conspiracies to rig bids and schemes to defraud mortgage holders and others.  The indictments allege that the defendants agreed not to compete at public auctions in return for payoffs and diverted money to themselves and others that should have gone to mortgage holders and other beneficiaries.  All defendants were charged with bid rigging and fraud in Alameda County, California.  Marr, Sanchez, Shiells, and De Sanz were also charged with bid rigging and fraud in Contra Costa County, California.  Additionally, Shiells and De Sanz were charged with bid rigging and fraud in San Francisco County, California.

To date, 47 individuals have pleaded guilty to criminal charges as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public foreclosure auctions in Northern California.  On Oct. 22, 2014, a federal grand jury in San Francisco returned an eight-count indictment against five additional real estate investors for their role in bid rigging and fraud schemes at foreclosure auctions in San Mateo and San Francisco Counties, California.

“Collusion at the foreclosure auctions created an unfair playing field where conspirators pocketed illegal payoffs at the expense of lenders and distressed homeowners,” said Brent Snyder, Deputy Assistant Attorney for the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program.  “The division will continue to investigate and prosecute local cartels that harm the competitive process.”

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Man Receives Multiple Life Sentences for 2010 West Hollywood Triple Murder

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

A 35-year-old man was sentenced today to three consecutive terms of life in state prison without the possibility of parole for killing three men in West Hollywood during a failed drug deal, the Los Angeles County District’s Attorney Office announced.

On Sept. 29, Harold Yong Park was found guilty in a non-jury trial of three counts each of first-degree murder and first-degree residential robbery in case SA075285.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark Windham also found Park guilty of one count each of first-degree residential burglary, person present and transportation for sale of marijuana.

Special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, murder during a robbery, murder during a burglary also were found true. Additionally, use of gun allegations were found to be true.

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