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June 30, 2014

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Seeks Immediate Halt to Corinthian Colleges’ False Advertising to California Students

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 5:06 am

SAN FRANCISCO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris took steps to file additional charges against Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (CCI) alleging that the company is currently violating California false advertising and unfair competition laws and is requesting that a court immediately force CCI to tell prospective students the truth about the company’s dire financial situation and its agreement with the federal government to sell or close all of its schools.

“It is unacceptable yet not surprising that Corinthian Colleges continues to illegally target vulnerable Californians—including low income individuals, single mothers and veterans returning from combat—by lying about its dire finances and failing to tell prospective students that the schools to which they apply will all be sold or closed,” Attorney General Harris said. “My office is seeking expedited action to force Corinthian Colleges to put the interests of its students above its rapidly shrinking profits.”

Attorney General Harris filed a motion Wednesday asking San Francisco Superior Court for permission to move on an expedited basis to file a supplemental complaint enhancing the original complaint Harris filed against CCI in October 2013, which accused the company of false and predatory advertising, intentional misrepresentations to students, securities fraud, and unlawful use of military seals in advertisements. Wednesday’s motion also indicates Attorney General Harris’ intention to subsequently move for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction against CCI to force the company to immediately cease its misleading advertisements and inform prospective students about its dire finances.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on June 19th, CCI informed investors of its serious financial troubles and plans to close or sell its campuses. This week, CCI signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education wherein CCI agreed to close or sell its campuses to third-parties in the near future.

Despite these recent events, according to the proposed supplemental complaint, CCI has failed to inform prospective students about its dire financial condition or its plan to close or sell its schools and is, in fact, actively soliciting prospective students and enrolling new students without disclosing its current financial condition or the future of its schools. (more…)

TWO THIRD STRIKERS DUBBED “MARKET DUO” BANK ROBBERS SENTENCED FOR COMMITTING ROBBERIES IN FIVE ORANGE COUNTY BANKS

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:01 am

SANTA ANA - Two career criminals, dubbed the “Market Duo” Bank Robbers by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), were sentenced today for committing robberies in five Orange County banks and leading police on a high speed pursuit. A third defendant has already been sentenced in this case.

Andres Soto Jr., 52, Whittier, was sentenced to 140 years to life in state prison. He was found guilty by a jury March 11, 2014, of eight felony counts of second degree robbery and four felony counts of second degree commercial burglary. Soto was also convicted of sentencing enhancements for prior strike violations committed in Los Angeles County for a residential burglary in 1983 and two bank robbery convictions in 1993.

Richard Valdez, 54, La Habra, was sentenced to 40 years to life in state prison. He was found guilty by a jury March 11, 2014, of two felony counts of second degree robbery and one felony count of second degree commercial burglary. Valdez was also convicted of sentencing enhancements for prior strike convictions committed in Los Angeles County for a robbery in 1983, two robberies in 1987, and assault with a deadly weapon in 2003.

Paul Acosta Jr., 30, Los Angeles, was sentenced March 21, 2014, to six years in state prison. He pleaded guilty Feb. 18, 2014, to five felony counts of second degree robbery, one felony count of evading a peace officer while driving recklessly, and sentencing enhancements for prior felony prison convictions for drug possession and theft in 2008 and 2010 in Los Angeles County. Acosta cooperated with law enforcement and testified against his two co-defendants during their jury trial.

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MAN SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS IN PRISON FOR SEX TRAFFICKING TWO FEMALE MINORS, AGES 16 AND 17

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:57 am

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to six years and four months in state prison for sex trafficking two minor girls, ages 16 and 17 years old. Michael Wayne Greer, 25, Sacramento, pleaded guilty June 3, 2014, to one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor and pandering a minor over 16 years old by procuring.

Co-defendant Jaylin Juwan Marshall, 21, Sacramento, pleaded guilty June 3, 2014, to one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor and pandering a minor over 16 years old by procuring. Marshall has a prior strike conviction for a 2011 residential burglary in Sacramento County. Marshall is expected to be sentenced to 10 years in state prison at his sentencing July 18, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. Both defendants must also register as lifetime sex offenders.

Circumstances of the Case

Greer and Marshall are pimps who exploit women and/or children for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

Months before July 2013, Greer befriended 17-year-old Jane Doe #1.

On July 29, 2013, Greer and Marshall met Jane Doe #1 and 16-year-old Jane Doe #2. They convinced the victims to go away with them with the intent to traffic them and sexually exploit the girls for a commercial purpose. Marshall posted sexual advertisements featuring Jane Doe #1 on Internet websites known for prostitution. The two defendants trafficked the teen victims to San Jose and then to Orange County. During this time, Marshall instructed Jane Doe #1 to perform sexual acts in exchange for money from sex purchasers.

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June 27, 2014

L.A.-Area ‘Notarios’ Indicted in Scheme that Filed Fraudulent ‘Green Card’ Applications and Cost Some Immigrants Their Life Savings

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:06 am

LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles-area immigration consultant and one of her employees were arrested this morning after being named in an indictment that alleges they filed fraudulent “green card” applications on behalf of immigrants who were married to U.S. citizens, some of whom paid more than $20,000 for their services.

Claudia Arreola, 35, of El Monte, who owns California Immigration Services (CIS), and her business associate, Leticia Gutierrez, 35, Pico Rivera, were taken into custody this morning by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The two women were charged in a six-count indictment returned Tuesday by a federal grand jury.

“Fraud scams run by so-called notarios threaten the integrity of the immigration process and offer false hope to desperate people,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The two women in this case victimized immigrants for years by giving the false impression that they could fix immigration problems.”

According to the indictment, the defendants submitted paperwork to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of six foreign nationals who were seeking to obtain “green cards” – permanent resident status – based on legitimate marriages to U.S. citizens. The applications filed by the defendants allegedly included fraudulent I-94 cards indicating that the immigrants, who originally came to the U.S. illegally, entered lawfully on visitors’ visas.

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California Operators of Myredbook.com Website Arrested for Facilitating Prostitution and Money Laundering

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:02 am

Myredbook.com and Sfredbook.com Websites Seized by FBI

Eric Omuro, of Mountain View, California, a.k.a “Red,” was arrested today following his indictment by a federal grand jury on charges involving the use of the mail and the Internet to facilitate prostitution, and multiple counts of money laundering. Annemarie Lanoce, 40, of Rocklin, California, was also indicted and arrested today for use of the mail and the Internet to facilitate prostitution.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez of the San Francisco Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation made the announcement.

As part of today’s operation, the FBI seized the domain names sfredbook.com and myRedBook.com, which were allegedly operated by Omuro, with Lanoce’s assistance to facilitate prostitution in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the West Coast region of the United States.

According to information available on the publically accessible website as of the date of its seizure by the FBI, myRedbook.com purported to provide “Escort, Massage, and Strip Club Reviews.” Instead, however, the websites were used to host advertisements for prostitutes, complete with explicit photos, lewd physical descriptions, menus of sexual services, hourly and nightly rates, and customer reviews of the prostitutes’ services. The websites used acronyms for numerous sex acts, which were defined in graphic detail in the websites’ “Terms and Acronyms” section. Although the websites could be accessed for free, myRedBook.com advertised fees for premier placement of prostitution advertisements and for “VIP Memberships,” which purportedly allowed customers access to “private forums” and heightened capabilities to search reviews of the prostitution services.

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CHILD MOLESTER/FORMER TEACHER WITH 17 KNOWN VICTIMS TO BE RELEASED INTO COMMUNITY WITHIN 72 HOURS OVER VIGOROUS OBJECTION OF OCDA

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:57 am

SANTA ANA – Over the vigorous objection and arguments of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA), a child molester with 17 known victims will be released into the community within the next 72 hours. Alan Thomas Rigby, 66, has been in a state mental hospital for 16 years, where he was committed after serving 50 percent of a 19-year prison sentence.

At a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) probable cause hearing today, Judge KimberlyMenninger found that probable cause did not exist that Rigby is likely to engage in sexually violent predatory criminal behavior upon his release.  The standard of proof for probable cause is whether a reasonable person could entertain a strong suspicion that the offender is an SVP. The OCDA argued to keep Rigby civilly committed as an SVP and believes Rigby still poses a danger to the community based on his past crimes and propensity for sexual assaults against children. 

Rigby will be released into the community from Coalinga State Hospital within 72 hoursand plans to live with his sister in Pennsylvania, Michigan, or New York. He will be required to register as a sex offender within five days of release and be listed on the Megan’s Law website. The exact date and time of his release will be determined by the state mental hospital and is unknown at this time.

Deputy District Attorney Shannon Back of the Sexual Assault Unit handled this case for the OCDA.

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June 26, 2014

TWO PIMPS CHARGED WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING 19-YEAR-OLD VICTIM WITH MENTAL IMPAIRMENT AFTER BEFRIENDING HER ON FACEBOOK

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:46 am

SANTA ANA – A female and male human trafficker have been charged with pimping a 19-year-old woman with a mental impairment after the female defendant befriended the victim on Facebook. Jasmine De Johnette Marshall Parker, 21, Ontario, and Frederick Victoralan Phillips, 25, Rialto, are each charged with one felony count each of human trafficking, pimping, and pandering, and face a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison and lifetime sex offender registration if convicted. The People will be requesting the defendants be held on $250,000 bail each with a legal hold requiring the defendants to prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. Parker and Phillips are expected to be arraigned today, Monday, June 23, 2014, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

Circumstances of the Case

Parker and Phillips are accused of being human traffickers/pimps who exploit women and/or children for financial gain. With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media to locate potential victims.  The victims are often required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

Parker is accused of meeting Jane Doe, who has a mental impairment, on Facebook and engaging in an online friendship for approximately one year.

Parker is accused of meeting Jane Doe in person in May 2014 when the victim was 19 years old and introducing the victim to Phillips. The defendants are accused of driving Jane Doe to Anaheim and inducing the victim to engage in acts of prostitution for approximately one month by depriving her liberty through fraud, coercion and false promises.

The victim has a mental impairment, making her susceptible to false promises. The defendants are accused of taking advantage of Jane Doe’s impairment by promising to help her rent an apartment so she could live on her own, which was particularly important to the victim because she had never before been able to live on her own due to her impairment.

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ALBERTSONS TO PAY $3.3 MILLION SETTLING LAWSUIT CHARGING ILLEGAL DISPOSAL AND MISMANAGEMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:42 am

SANTA ANA – Albertsons, LLC (Albertsons) was ordered to pay $3.3 million to settle a lawsuit charging illegal disposal, transportation, storage, and mismanagement of hazardous waste. Albertsons has 188 retail stores and two distribution centers currently operating in California. The settlement is the culmination of a civil enforcement action signed June 4, 2014, in the Superior Court of California in Orange County on behalf of 11 agencies led by the District Attorney’s Offices in the Counties of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura, and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. The settlement pertains to all Albertsons retail stores in the State of California and was served to Albertson’s today, June 24, 2014.

Albertsons has agreed to pay $3.387 million including $2.7 million in civil penalties, $300,000 for the cost of the investigation, and $350,000 for supplemental environmental projects that will provide support for the future enforcement of California environmental law.

Albertsons violated California Hazardous Waste Law by unlawfully disposing of and transporting hazardous waste and failing to properly manage that hazardous waste at its California facilities. The hazardous waste Albertsons generated at each facility included, but was not limited to, over-the-counter medications, pharmaceuticals, aerosol products, ignitable liquids, batteries, electronic devices, pool chemicals, and other products that contain hazardous materials.

The Hazardous Waste Control Law requires hazardous waste to be properly handled and disposed of from the location where it was generated. This location would include the site where an item became unusable or unsalable due to damage, expiration, spills, or returns. Albertsons routinely and unlawfully disposed of hazardous waste in dumpsters, or transported hazardous waste to a third-party processor not certified to handle hazardous waste. Albertsons has not admitted fault or liability.

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Redondo Beach Doctor, Office Assistant Charged with Selling Narcotics

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

A Redondo Beach neurologist and his office assistant are awaiting arraignment today on charges that they sold powerful narcotics to undercover police, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Dr. Gerard Geoffrey Goryl (dob 8/29/55) and Wilfred Arvizo Jr. (dob 9/25/47) are scheduled to be arraigned after 1:30 p.m. at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Department 30. They are charged in case number BA425640. Prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $120,000 each.  Deputy District Attorneys Emily Street and John Niedermann of the Major Narcotics Division are prosecuting the case.

Goryl ran a medical clinic in Redondo Beach called “A Better Weigh,” located on Artesia Boulevard.  The complaint alleges that between April and May of 2014, both Goryl and his assistant, Arvizo, sold hydrocodone and Xanax to undercover Redondo Beach Police Department officers. Prosecutors alleged the drugs were sold without any type of physical examination or medical need.  Goryl is charged with nine felony counts including sales of a controlled substance as well as administering a controlled substance to an individual not under a doctor’s care. If convicted, he’s facing more than 11 years in local custody.

Arviso is charged with six felony counts, including sales of a controlled substance as well as possession of narcotics proceeds in excess of $100,000. If convicted, Arvizo is facing up to nine years in local custody.

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June 25, 2014

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces 20 Year Prison Sentence for Perpetrator of $17 Million Ponzi Scheme

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

SAN FRANCISCO—Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch today announced that defendant Aldo Joseph Baccala, who ran a Ponzi scheme that defrauded victims more than $17 million, was sentenced to 20 years in state prison and ordered to pay a fine of $6.4 million at a hearing today in Sonoma County.

“This fraudulent investment scheme cheated dozens of elderly investors out of millions of their hard-earned dollars,” Attorney General Harris said. “The dedicated investigators in our Financial Fraud Section, along with our local partners, will continue to protect California’s investors and consumers by bringing perpetrators like him to justice.”

“Along with the Attorney General’s Office, our office expended incredible resources in order to bring this scam artist to justice,” District Attorney Jill Ravitch said. “The scale and scope of this man’s fraud on unsuspecting investors is staggering. That so many of his victims lost their livelihoods, their homes and their retirement savings, to this man’s scheming and greed is beyond tragic. This was not just a fraud he perpetrated, but a crime against their futures and the emotional toll is incalculable. Thus, we believed his loss of liberty should be in proportion to their loss.”

Baccala was arrested in June of 2012 and charged with grand theft, securities fraud and elder abuse. On March 12 of this year, Baccala entered no contest pleas to 140 counts and admitted to excessive taking and white collar enhancements. The case was jointly prosecuted by both the Attorney General’s Financial Fraud and Special Prosecutions Section and the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.

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