Best Defender Bytes:

August 20, 2014


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:58 am

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to four years in state prison for conspiracy to commit pimping and pandering by operating brothels in Irvine and Torrance. Gao Yang Zhou, 35, Rowland Heights, pleaded guilty to a court offer to 12 felony counts including three felony counts each of pimping, pandering, money laundering, and one felony count each of conspiracy to commit pimping, conspiracy to commit pandering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, with a sentencing enhancement for money laundering over $50,000.

Co-defendant Yuzhen Xie, 32, Rowland Heights, faces the same charges and enhancement as Zhou and faces a maximum sentence of 11 years and eight months in state prison if convicted. Xie is currently a fugitive and a warrant is out for her arrest.

Between April 1, 2013, and Dec. 12, 2013, Zhou and Xie conspired to commit pimping, pandering, and money laundering. During this time, Zhou paid for website advertisements for prostitution located an apartment in Irvine from which to run a brothel.

On May 24, 2013, Xie is accused of signing a lease to an Irvine apartment on Alton Parkway, which Zhou turned into a residential brothel. The defendants induced Jane Doe #1, Jane Doe #2, and Jane Doe #3 engage in commercial sex in exchange for money. Xie and Zhou maintained numerous bank accounts, where they deposited the money made by the victims in the brothel. Zhou also maintained multiple bank accounts to pay for expenses associated with the brothel, including advertisements.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:54 am

WESTMINSTER – A man is scheduled to be arraigned today for posing as a deliveryman and committing home invasion robberies of occupants at gunpoint in Garden Grove. Jerry Cleveland Coleman, 34, Garden Grove, is charged with seven felony counts of first degree robbery in concert, seven felony counts of imprisonment by violence or deceit, seven felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, two felony counts of dissuading a witness by force or threat, two felony count of criminal threats, and sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a firearm and committing a crime against a vulnerable victim. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 100 years in state prison. The People will be requesting he be held on $1 million bail at his arraignment today in Department W-2, West Justice Center, Westminster. The time is to be determined.

At approximately 3:45 p.m. on Aug. 11, 2014, Coleman is accused of posing as a deliveryman by carrying a bouquet of flowers and a clipboard and knocking on the door of a Garden Grove home occupied at the time by two teenagers and a 23-year-old woman. When one of the victims opened the door, Coleman and another man are accused of forcing their way inside the home using a handgun along with a third accomplice. The defendants are accused of threatening the victims and taking the victims’ property. Coleman is accused of being seen on home surveillance before fleeing the scene.

At approximately 11:00 a.m. on Aug. 13, 2014, Coleman and two men are accused of walking into a gated residential complex in Garden Grove while one of them was carrying a large bundle of balloons posing as a deliveryman, and entering a home through the open garage. The men are accused of using plastic zip-ties to bind three children and two adults inside the home. Coleman is accused of forcing the two adult victims at gunpoint to disclose where the valuables inside the home were located while the other two men are accused of robbing the victims of their home belongings. The defendants are accused of then forcing the bound victims into a downstairs bathroom, threatening them, and fleeing the scene.

On Aug. 15, 2014, the Garden Grove Police Department, who investigated this case, arrested Coleman after following up with leads during the investigation. The investigation by GGPD is ongoing.


Man Charged with Attempted Murder of Sheriff’s Deputy

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:52 am

A Bell Gardens man arrested Friday for allegedly beating a sheriff’s deputy unconscious was charged today with attempted murder and other counts, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Frankie Estrada (dob 4/06/93) is scheduled to be arraigned today at the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Bellflower, Department 5.

Estrada is charged in case VA136455 with one count each of attempted murder of a peace officer, aggravated mayhem and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, all felonies. He also is charged one misdemeanor count of battery. Prosecutors will ask that his bail be set at $1 million.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Kim with the Crimes Against Peace Officers Section is handling the case.


August 19, 2014

Leader Of $20 Million Fraud Scheme Involving Bogus Prescriptions For Expensive Anti-Psychotics Sentenced To 8 Years In Federal Prison

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

LOS ANGELES – The leader of a $20 million health care fraud scheme based at a Glendale medical clinic was sentenced today to eight years in federal prison for overseeing a plot to fraudulently prescribe expensive anti-psychotic medications and to sell those drugs back to pharmacies through the black market, where the drugs would be billed to the government over and over.

Lianna “Lili” Ovsepian, 33, of Tujunga, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge S. James Otero, who stated that “we can’t have a situation where crime pays.” In addition to the prison term, Judge Otero ordered Ovsepian to pay $9,146,137 in restitution to Medicare and Medi-Cal.

Last November, Ovsepian pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit identity theft.

Ovsepian was the manager and owner of Manor Medical Imaging, Inc. in Glendale, which generated thousands of fraudulent prescriptions for unneeded and expensive anti-psychotic medications for “patients” who were typically low-income beneficiaries of the government-funded health care programs Medicare and Medi-Cal, and who did not need those drugs. The prescriptions appeared to be issued by co-conspirator Dr. Kenneth Johnson, who pre-signed thousands of blank prescriptions that were filled out by Ovsepian’s mother-in-law, Nuritsa Grigoryan.


Armenian Power Associate Sentenced to More Than 13 Years in Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy

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

An associate of the Armenian Power gang, who was convicted at trial for his role in a racketeering conspiracy that included stealing personal and financial information of elderly bank customers for accounts valued at more than $25 million, was sentenced to serve 160 months in prison today in federal court in Los Angeles.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge Bill L. Lewis of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez of the Central District of California.

Andranik Aloyan, 41, of Los Angeles was found guilty by a federal jury on Feb. 11, 2014, of racketeering conspiracy, attempted bank fraud, access device fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to evidence presented at trial, Aloyan possessed personal and financial information belonging to more than 75 mostly elderly customers of banks operating throughout the country. This information was stolen by Aloyan and his associates. The combined value of the accounts for which Aloyan possessed account information exceeded $25 million dollars. In addition to his prison term of 168 months, Aloyan was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $3,516,711 in restitution to victims.

Aloyan was among 90 individuals charged in two indictments, including a 140-count indictment in July 2011 charging 70 defendants with a variety of criminal activities associated with the Armenian Power gang. The indictment accused 29 defendants, including Aloyan, of participating in the Armenian Power racketeering conspiracy that involved a host of illegal activities such as sophisticated bank fraud, identity theft, debit-card skimming, manufacturing counterfeit checks and money laundering. In addition, defendants in the case were allegedly involved in a variety of violent crimes, such as kidnapping, extortion and firearms offenses, along with other crimes including drug trafficking and illegal gambling. Eighty-one defendants have previously been convicted or pleaded guilty to the charges, including 24 defendants who were convicted of or pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.


SoCal Doctor Found Guilty Of Distributing Addictive Painkillers And Laundering Monetary Proceeds Of His Drug Trafficking

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

LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles-area doctor has been found guilty of federal drug trafficking charges for illegally distributing the powerful painkillers, such as Vicodin and Norco, and laundering the proceeds of his drug dealing.

Dr. Andrew Sun, 78, of La Mirada, was found guilty late Thursday by a federal jury in Los Angeles.

Following a three-day trial, the jury convicted Sun of 17 felony counts, including three counts of money laundering. Sun was found of guilty distributing controlled substances outside of the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose, including seven counts of distributing of hydrocodone (best known under the brand name Vicodin), four counts of distributing alprazolam (best known under the brand name Xanax), one count of distributing carisoprodol (best known under the brand name Soma), and two counts of distributing promethazine with codeine (known as the street as “purple drank” and “sizzurp”).

As a result of the guilty verdicts, Sun faces a statutory maximum sentence of 157 years in federal prison when he is sentenced by United States District Judge Manuel Real on November 10.


August 18, 2014

Former Owner of Los Angeles Medical Clinic Management Company Pleads Guilty in $3.2 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

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

The former owner of a Los Angeles medical clinic management company pleaded guilty today in connection with his role in a scheme to defraud Medicare.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge Bill L. Lewis of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.

Mihran “Mike” Meguerian, 37, of Glendale, California, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Beverly R. O’Connell in the Central District of California to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

According to court documents, Meguerian owned Med Serve Management (Med Serve), a medical clinic management company located in Van Nuys, California. Meguerian admitted that from approximately July 2008 through February 2009, he engaged in a conspiracy to commit health care fraud, in part through the operation of Med Serve. Meguerian admitted that he oversaw medical clinics that wrote prescriptions for medically unnecessary power wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment (DME). Meguerian and his co-conspirators then sold the prescriptions to DME supply companies, knowing that the prescriptions were fraudulent. The DME supply companies submitted the fraudulent prescriptions to Medicare in false and fraudulent claims.


Los Angeles Grand Jury Indicts Chinese National in Computer Hacking Scheme Allegedly Involving Theft of Trade Secrets

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

LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury has indicted a Chinese national on five felony offenses stemming from a computer hacking scheme that involved the theft of trade secrets from American defense contractors, including The Boeing Company, which manufactures the C-17 military transport aircraft.

Su Bin – who also used the names “Stephen Su,” “Stephen Subin” and “Steven Subin” – was named in a five-count indictment returned Thursday afternoon and filed in United States District Court.

Su is currently in custody in British Columbia, Canada, where he is being held pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant submitted by the United States. Su was previously charged in a criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles, but the indictment is now the operative charging document.

The indictment alleges that Su, a 49-year-old businessman, worked with two unindicted co-conspirators based in China to infiltrate computer systems and obtain confidential information about military programs, including the C-17 transport aircraft, the F-22 fighter jet, and the F-35 fighter jet.

The indictment specifically alleges three charges related to unauthorized computer access, a conspiracy to illegally export defense articles and a conspiracy to steal trade secrets. The charges carry a total maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison.



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

SANTA ANA – A Garden Grove man will be arraigned today for the special circumstances shooting-murder of a man and attempted murder of two women in Santa Ana. Dustin Sean Ross McDonald, 23, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder by lying in wait, and two felony counts of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation. He also faces sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death or great bodily injury. If convicted, he faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.McDonald is scheduled to be arraigned today, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 12, 2014, McDonald is accused of arranging to meet with the victims for a possible drug transaction. The defendant is accused of driving up and stopping alongside the victims’ vehicle, which was parked in the area of 12th and Main Street in Santa Ana. McDonald is accused of then stepping out of his vehicle, walking around to the front passenger side of the victims’ vehicle while armed with a firearm, and firing approximately seven to 10 gunshots. He is accused of murdering the front passenger, Aaron Chavez, 23, and wounding both the 21-year-old female driver of the vehicle and the 28-year-old female passenger.

The Santa Ana Police Department responded to the scene and investigated this case. McDonald was arrested on Aug. 13, 2014.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.


August 15, 2014


Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:19 am

NEWPORT BEACH – A former planning commissioner for the City of Lake Forest is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow for possessing child pornography. Jerry Zechmeister, 61, Lake Forest, is charged with two felony counts of possession and control of child pornography. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of threeyears and eight months in state prison and lifetime sex offender registration. He is out of custody on $20,000 bail and is scheduled for continued arraignment tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

In October 2013, Zechmeister is accused of using his home computers to view and download approximately 160 sexually explicit videos depicting minors under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct. Zechmeister is accused of accessing and sharing child pornography on the Internet for approximately seven years.

The Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force (OCCETF), along with special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations and detectives from the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD), began investigating this case. On Oct. 9, 2013, OCCETF investigators arrested Zechmeister at his Lake Forest home.

OCCETF is comprised of members from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Orange County Sheriff’s Department; Federal Bureau of Investigation; United States Postal Inspection Service; Huntington Beach Police Department; and NBPD. OCCETF investigates Internet-related crimes against children and crimes involving the possession, production and distribution of child pornography.


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