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January 28, 2015

Newhall Father Charged With Murder, Sexual Assault of Newborn Daughter

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:46 am

A Newhall man was charged today with sexually abusing and killing his 19-day-old daughter, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer said Matthew Brendan Warner (dob 11/12/84) faces one count each of murder, assault on a child causing death, torture, oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years or younger and aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Arraignment for case PA082876 was scheduled for today but continued to Feb. 18 in Department S of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando Branch.

According to the felony complaint, the murder and sexual assault happened on Jan. 23. Bail was set at $2.25 million.

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January 27, 2015

Attorney General, Manhattan U.S. Attorney, and FBI Announce Charges Against Russian Spy Ring in New York City

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:57 am

Spy Ring Attempted to Collect Economic Intelligence and Recruit New York City Residents as Intelligence Sources; Evgeny Buryakov, a/k/a “Zhenya,” Worked Under “Non-Official Cover” as a Bank Employee in Manhattan

Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John S. Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and Randall C. Coleman, the Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) for the Counterintelligence Division, announced charges today against EVGENY BURYAKOV, a/k/a “Zhenya,” IGOR SPORYSHEV, and VICTOR PODOBNYY in connection with BURYAKOV’s service as a covert intelligence agent on behalf of the Russian Federation (“Russia”) in New York City, without notifying the United States Attorney General of BURYAKOV’s status as an agent of Russia, as required by federal law. BURYAKOV was placed under arrest earlier today in Bronx, New York, and is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn in Manhattan federal court later today. SPORYSHEV and PODOBNYY no longer reside in the United States and have not been arrested. By virtue of their prior positions in the United States on behalf of Russia, both of them were protected by diplomatic immunity from arrest and prosecution while in the United States.

Attorney General Eric Holder said: “These charges demonstrate our firm commitment to combating attempts by covert agents to illegally gather intelligence and recruit spies within the United States. We will use every tool at our disposal to identify and hold accountable foreign agents operating inside this country—no matter how deep their cover. I want to thank the dedicated men and women of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and New York Field Office, the National Security Division’s Counterespionage Section, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for their skilled handling of this complex and highly sensitive matter.”

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Following our previous prosecution with the FBI of Russian spies, who were expelled from the United States in 2010 when their plan to infiltrate upper levels of U.S. business and government was revealed, the arrest of Evgeny Buryakov and the charges against him and his co-defendants make clear that—more than two decades after the presumptive end of the Cold War—Russian spies continue to seek to operate in our midst under cover of secrecy. Indeed, the presence of a Russian banker in New York would in itself hardly draw attention today, which is why these alleged spies may have thought Buryakov would blend in. What they could not do without drawing the attention of the FBI was engage in espionage. New York City may be more hospitable to Russian businessmen than during the Cold War, but my Office and the FBI remain vigilant to the illegal intelligence-gathering activities of other nations.”

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MOTHER SENTENCED TO 11 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR ATTEMPTING TO MURDER HER TWO CHILDREN BY STABBING THEM WHILE THEY WERE ASLEEP

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:52 am

SANTA ANA – A mother was sentenced Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, to 11 years to life in state prison for attempting to murder her two young children by stabbing them while they were asleep. Thuy Thi Le, 43, Westminster, was found guilty by a jury Feb. 4, 2014, of two felony counts each of attempted murder, and child abuse and endangerment with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon and committing great bodily injury. On Oct. 27, 2014, a unanimous jury found the sentencing enhancement for premeditation and deliberation for the attempted murder charge to be true following a retrial of the sentencing enhancement as a former jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, finding 11 to one for the sentencing enhancement to be true. The defendant, who entered pleas of “not guilty” and “not guilty by reason of insanity,” was found to be legally sane at the time of the murder by the jury on Oct. 31, 2014.

At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 16, 2009, Le spent the night at a family member’s home with her children, 5-year-old Child Doe #1 and 3-year-old Child Doe #2. Her boyfriend, who is the father of the children, was at work. Le slept with her two children together on a mattress in the family room. The defendant went into the kitchen, picked up a knife from the sink, walked back over to the children, stabbed each of them in the chest, and then stabbed herself nearly 25 times. She then called 911.

Child Doe #1 suffered a stab wound to the chest and the knife penetrated her heart. Child Doe #1 was sent to University of California Irvine Medical Center and underwent emergency open-heart surgery to save her life. Child Doe #2 suffered a stab wound to the chest area, but the stab wound missed any vital organs.

Senior Deputy District Attorney John Christl of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.

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Lakewood Woman Who Embezzled Hundreds of Thousands in a Scheme That Caused the Failure of a Credit Union Sentenced to Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:48 am

A Lakewood woman who pleaded guilty to a protracted embezzlement scheme that resulted in the failure of a credit union was sentenced today to 21 months in federal prison.

Wendy Wall, 50, was sentenced by United States District Judge James V. Selna, in Santa Ana, California. In addition to the prison term, Judge Selna ordered a four year term of supervised release, to include 12 months of home confinement, and ordered Wall to pay $480,273.77 in restitution.

Wall pleaded guilty to bank fraud on September 2, 2014, for engaging in the embezzlement scheme while employed at the Pepsi Cola Federal Credit Union.

Beginning in 1993 and continuing to February 2014, Wall was the manager and sole employee at the Pepsi Cola Federal Credit Union, a small financial institution in Orange County that served local Pepsi Bottling Company employees. While employed there, Wall operated an embezzlement scheme over a period of more than a decade by using her position to create fictitious bank accounts. Wall withdrew funds against those accounts by creating fictitious loans and by writing checks using the accounts. Wall then deposited the misappropriated funds into bank accounts belonging to Wall or her family members.

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January 26, 2015

LAW ENFORCEMENT SEEKS PUBLIC’S HELP IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL VICTIMS OF CEO CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT OF MINORS AND POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:01 am

SANTA ANA – Law enforcement is seeking the public’s help identifying potential additional victims of a chief executive officer of a publicly traded company located in Irvine charged with sexually assaulting minors and possessing child pornography. Qayed Murtaza Shareef, 39, Aliso Viejo, was charged today with 30 felony counts of lewd acts with a child under 14, one felony count of using a minor for sex acts, one felony count of distributing pornography to a minor, one felony count of possession or control of child pornography, with a sentencing enhancement for substantial sexual conduct with a child under 14 years old and committing lewd acts upon multiple victims. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 752 years to life in state prison. He is being held on $2 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon, Jan. 23, 2015, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

On multiple occasions between Dec. 25, 2013, and Dec. 29, 2013, Shareef is accused of contacting 10-year-old John Doe #1 and 9-year-old John Doe #2 using an online application called Tango. The defendant is accused of connecting to the program using a fake name of Jeremy Stevens.

The defendant is accused of having sexually explicit conversations with the victims through the application. He is then accused of convincing and directing John Doe #1 and John Doe #2, who live in Virginia, to commit sex acts with each other and to record photos and videos of the sex acts using their ASUS tablet. Shareef is accused of directing the victims to send the photos and videos of themselves to the defendant’s Tango account.

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MAN SENTENCED TO 40 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF HIS FATHER IN IRVINE HOME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:56 am

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 40 years to life in state prison for murdering his father by shooting him in their Irvine home. Steven Joseph Bruno, 23, Irvine, was found guilty by a jury Oct. 29, 2014, of one felony count of second degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death.

At approximately 9:00 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2012, Steven Bruno murdered his 60-year-old father Ernest Bruno in the victim’s home by shooting him in order to take the victim’s car and money to visit a girlfriend in another state. The defendant locked his father’s body in a bedroom and fled the scene in the victim’s car. Steven Bruno drove his father’s car to Colorado.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. the following afternoon, family members went to the victim’s home and called 911 after discovering a large pool of blood inside. The Irvine Police Department (IPD) responded to the scene and located the victim in the locked bedroom.

IPD provided a description of the defendant and the vehicle to law enforcement partners. At approximately 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 31, 2012, the Logan County Sheriff’s Department in Colorado arrested Steven Bruno during a traffic stop.

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MAN SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON FOR FALSE IMPRISONMENT BY VIOLENCE AND GROPING FOUR WOMEN WITH SEXUAL INTENT

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:51 am

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced todayto three years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration for false imprisonment by violence and groping four women by grabbing them on the buttocks with sexual intent in public. Matthew Andrew Linville, 20, Westminster, pleaded guilty today to one felony count of false imprisonment by violence and four misdemeanor counts of sexual battery.

At approximately 6:45 a.m., on Aug. 28, 2013, Linville approached 34-year-old Jane Doe #1 as she was jogging through a neighborhood in Huntington Beach. Linville grabbed the victim on the buttocks, pushed her to the ground, and groped her. He then fled the scene.

On Sept. 13, 2013, at approximately 10:40 a.m., Linville approached 43-year-old Jane Doe #2 at a Burlington Coat Factory in Huntington Beach. The defendant grabbed the victim’s buttocks as she was shopping and again fled the scene. Sometime after that, at approximately 11:20 a.m., Linville approached 34-year-old Jane Doe #3 at a parking structure across the street from the Bella Terra outdoor shopping mall. The defendant lifted the victim’s skirt up from behind and caused her to fall. Linville then grabbed the victim’s buttocks and fled the scene. Less than half an hour later, at approximately 11:45 a.m., Linville approached 48-year-old Jane Doe #4 in the parking lot at Hoover Golf Center in Westminster as she was preparing for golf lessons. Linville then walked up to the victim from behind and grabbed her buttocks.

None of the victims knew Linville and each reported the crimes to the Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) and Westminster Police Department, who investigated this case. HBPD officers were able to identify Linville by reviewing surveillance video recorded at Burlington Coat Factory, which matched the description of Jane Doe #2’s incident. On Sept. 18, 2013, HBPD located Linville at Bella Terra and arrested him.

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January 23, 2015

California Charter Bus Company Bookkeeper Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud and Bank Home Mortgage Fraud

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

A San Jose, California, woman was sentenced to serve 22 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for committing tax fraud and bank fraud, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo for the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California announced today.

Elena Moreno, 40, was also ordered to pay $422,962.13 in restitution and to forfeit $3.328 million as well as her interest in two pieces of real property.  Prior to pleading guilty in this case, Moreno and her co-defendants, Arturo and Fidencio Moreno, paid more than $200,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for losses associated with their fraud.

According to court documents, beginning in 2005 and continuing through at least 2010, family members Arturo Moreno, Elena Moreno and Fidencio Moreno conspired to defraud the United States by failing to report all of the gross receipts from their charter bus company, Quality Assurance Travel (QAT), on the corporate tax returns for QAT and on their personal income tax returns that they filed with the IRS.  The total amount of unreported gross receipts during those years exceeded $966,908.  Arturo and Fidencio Moreno were each 50 percent owners of QAT.  The unreported income consisted primarily of cash receipts that were paid by passengers as they boarded the bus, but were not deposited into the business bank accounts or disclosed to the Moreno’s tax return preparer.

According to court documents, between 2005 and July 2013, Elena Moreno and her co-defendants also conspired to commit bank fraud and wire fraud by submitting false and fraudulent loan applications that overstated the applicants’ income and assets in order to acquire and refinance homes in San Jose.  In total, the defendants fraudulently obtained more than $3.3 million in loans through their conspiracy.  After the defendants fell behind with the loan payments, they attempted to avoid foreclosure by submitting false and fraudulent applications to modify these loans.  One of the four properties was ultimately sold through a short sale in 2013, while another was foreclosed upon in 2014.  The total losses to the financial institutions resulting from the foreclosure exceeded $200,000.

The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.  Trial Attorney Todd P. Kostyshak of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Moore and Katherine L. Wong prosecuted the case.  (more…)

Georgia Man Pleads Guilty In Wire Fraud Scheme That Bilked Airlines By Obtaining Free ‘Non-Rev’ Tickets For Non-Employees

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

LOS ANGELES – A Georgia man who fraudulently booked airline reservations by pretending to be a flight crew member pleaded guilty today to a federal wire fraud offense.

Gilbert Myers Jr., 38, of Atlanta, pleaded guilty this afternoon to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a charge that carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

Myers admitted orchestrating a conspiracy to defraud air carriers in which travelers would illegally board aircrafts while pretending to be employees of other airlines. In exchange for arranging their travel as “non-rev” employee travelers, Myers typically charged approximately $2,000 for one year of unlimited free flights.

Myers fraudulently booked hundreds of flights on victim airlines that include AirTran Airways, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines and United Airlines.

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Jury Finds Former Doctor Guilty of Patient’s Death

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

A former Encino doctor has been found guilty of causing the death of a patient during a liposuction surgery, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney Rachel Greene of the Forensic Science Section said the jury returned the verdict late yesterday finding Ehab Aly Mohamed, 48, guilty of one count each of involuntary manslaughter with great bodily injury and elder abuse.

Sentencing for case LA075002 is scheduled on Feb. 3 in Department S of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch. He faces up to five years in state prison.

On Aug. 22, 2010, 61-year-old Sharon Carpenter died in Mohamed’s Encino office following a liposuction operation in which she was given a lethal combination of lidocaine, fentanyl and oxycodone during the procedure that lasted more than 10 hours, the prosecutor said. She died after midnight in the office.

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