Best Defender Bytes:

December 18, 2014


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

SANTA ANA – A federal agent was charged today for defrauding the U.S. government and tax payers by claiming fraudulent overtime over a nine-month period. Myles Kui Zhang, 47, Chino, is charged with one felony count of grand theft by an employee. If convicted, Zhang faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. Zhang is being held on $20,000 bail and must prove that the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. The arraignment date and time are to be determined.

At the time of the crimes, Zhang worked as an immigration enforcement agent for U.S. Government Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations. Between Aug. 14, 2013, and May 18, 2014, she is accused of claiming fraudulent overtime in excess of $13,000 over a nine-month period.

“When a government employee acts illegally and takes advantage of her public position, it hurts the agency and the taxpayers,” said Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “I commend ICE for its zero tolerance policy on unethical conduct by its employees and for turning over the evidence to the OCDA.”

ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility investigated this case after Zhang’s supervisor reported irregularities in her timesheet. The investigation is ongoing and no other information will be released at this time.


Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Arrest of Four Suspects Running Emeryville Sex Trafficking Ring

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

SAN FRANCISCO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of four suspects accused of operating a sex trafficking ring out of Emeryville, California. Acucare Oriental Massage co-owner Jimmy Gong Lee and Tom Loi are also accused of making bribes to an Emeryville Police Captain—who was working undercover, posing as a corrupt officer—to further their illegal business operations.

Today’s arrests are the result of a joint investigation by the California Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations  (HSI), the California Attorney General’s Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement  Task Force, the Emeryville Police Department, the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Northern and Eastern Districts of California.

“Human trafficking is one of the world’s most profitable criminal enterprises, and it is having a devastating impact right here in our own backyard,” said Attorney General Harris. “Each year, thousands of women and children of all ages and backgrounds are forced into labor and prostitution. I thank our local, state and federal partners for fighting this serious threat and bringing these perpetrators to justice.”

“Illegal ventures like this degrade the quality of life in our neighborhoods as well as the women involved,” said Tatum King, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Francisco.  “HSI will continue to work closely with its law enforcement partners to identify, disrupt, and dismantle these kinds of enterprises that prey on the vulnerable and often bring other criminal activity into the area.”


Felon Pleads Not Guilty to Glendora Murders

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

A Glendora man accused of fatally stabbing two homeless men pleaded not guilty yesterday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Drew Alan Friis (dob 3/25/85) has been charged with two counts of murder in case KA102843. The charging document includes a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, as well as a special allegation of personal use of a deadly weapon, a knife.

Additionally, the felony complaint alleges that Friis was previously convicted of arson of property and grand theft of an automobile in 2010.

Deputy District Attorney Duke Chau, who is prosecuting the case, said on Aug. 15, 2013, Friis killed two homeless men, John Anthony Welch and Warren Jay Blagrave, both 52 years old.


December 17, 2014

Two Woodland Hills Men Charged With Running Ponzi Scheme Involving ATMs That Caused Investors To Lose Well Over $100 Million

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:42 am

LOS ANGELES – Two San Fernando Valley men were charged today in a federal fraud case that alleges they ran a 15-year-long Ponzi scheme that collected hundreds of millions from investors who were told their money would be used to purchase profitable automated teller machines.

Joel Barry Gillis, 74, of Woodland Hills, and Edward Wishner, 76, also of Woodland Hills, were charged today with mail fraud and wire fraud in a case that caused well over $100 million in losses to nearly 2,000 investors.

According to the criminal information filed today in United States District Court, Gillis and Wishner operated the Calabasas-based Nationwide Automated Systems, Inc. (NASI), which purported to place, operate and maintain ATMs in high-traffic locations, such as hotels, casinos and convenience stores. NASI claimed that it operated over 30,000 ATMs and was involved in more than $1 billion in ATM transactions every month.

The information further alleges that Gillis and Wishner told victim-investors that NASI would lease back the ATMs and pay investors 50 cents for each transaction performed at their particular ATM, guaranteeing annual returns of 20 percent on each ATM. In addition to these high-yields, NASI and its salespeople urged some investors to use their retirement savings “by claiming that investments in NASI’s sale/leaseback program would outperform most traditional retirement investment accounts,” according to the information.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:39 am

SANTA ANA – A DHL contract truck driver is scheduled to be arraigned today for illegally selling Oakley eyewear intended for soldiers in the U.S. Military on eBay after repeatedly stealing shipments from DHL processing centers. Luis Quintanilla, 47, Buena Park, is charged with 10 felony counts of grand theft with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000 and property loss over $200,000. If convicted, Quintanilla faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison. Quintanilla is being held on $290,000 bail and must prove that the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. The arraignment is scheduled for today, Dec. 15, 2014, at 11 a.m., at CJ1, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crimes, Quintanilla worked as an independent contract truck driver for DHL. Between October 2012 and May 2013, Quintanilla is accused of stealing 10 shipments of Oakley eyewear from DHL processing centers intended for delivery to appropriate United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) facilities. He is accused of auctioning the eyewear on eBay from his home under the name “havetime2sell” by posting photos of the merchandise with the packaging box to emphasize their authenticity.

The total value of the stolen merchandise is $290,000.

USPIS investigated this case after Oakley Inc. alerted USPIS about large shipments of Oakley eyewear that were mailed and stolen before it reached USPIS for distribution to soldiers in the U.S. Military.


Seventh Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Guilty of Obstructing Justice for Interfering with Civil Rights Investigation Sentenced to Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:34 am

LOS ANGELES – The seventh and final deputy in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department convicted of obstruction of justice for interfering with a grand jury investigation into misconduct at the Men’s Central Jail was sentenced this morning to 18 months in federal prison.

James Sexton, 30, was sentenced by United States District Judge Percy Anderson, who said the defendant “lost the courage to stand up when he knew things were wrong.”

After his case was severed from the other six defendants in the case, Sexton was found guilty in September of attempting to quash an investigation by the FBI into civil rights abuses at jail facilities operated by the Sheriff’s Department. The jury determined that Sexton was part of a broad conspiracy to obstruct justice – a plot in which conspirators, including two lieutenants, attempted to influence witnesses, threatened an FBI agent with arrest and concealed an FBI informant who should have been turned over to federal authorities. Sexton was found guilty of conspiring to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice.

The conspiracy to obstruct justice began in the summer of 2011 after sheriff’s deputies assigned to the Men’s Central Jail learned that a jail inmate was an FBI informant and was acting as a cooperator in a federal investigation into corruption and civil rights violations at the jail. The evidence showed that the defendants learned that the inmate received a cellular phone from a deputy sheriff who took a bribe and that the inmate was part of a federal civil rights investigation. Those involved in the obstruction scheme took affirmative steps to hide the cooperator from the FBI and the United States Marshals Service, which was attempting to bring the inmate into federal custody pursuant to an order issued by a federal judge. As part of the conspiracy, records were altered to make it appear as if the cooperator had been released, but he was re-booked under different names.


December 16, 2014

Southern California Physician Sentenced to 22 Months in Prison for Medicare Fraud

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:12 am

A Southern California physician was sentenced to 22 months in federal prison today for his role in a conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud.

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, Special Agent in Charge Glenn R. Ferry of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Los Angeles Region and Assistant Director in Charge Bill Lewis of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.

Dr. Jason C. Ling, 43, of Spring Valley, California, pleaded guilty in June 2014, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.  According to his plea agreement, between March and November 2010, Dr. Ling conspired with others to defraud the Medicare program by writing medically unnecessary prescriptions for expensive power wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment (DME).  Dr. Ling obtained patients for his Spring Valley medical clinic from a street-level recruiter, or “marketer,” who referred Medicare beneficiaries for medically unnecessary DME prescriptions.  Dr. Ling’s prescriptions were provided to owners of DME companies, including Eucharia Okeke, who used the fraudulent prescriptions to submit approximately $496,794 in false claims to Medicare.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge George H. Wu of the Central District of California ordered Dr. Ling to pay $311,145 in restitution to the Medicare program.


Former University Professor Sentenced to Prison for Engaging in Sexual Conduct with a Minor

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:09 am

A former university professor was sentenced today to five years in prison for traveling in foreign commerce to engage in sexual conduct with a minor, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Walter Lee Williams, 66, of Palm Springs, California, was charged with engaging in sexual conduct with minors in the Philippines, and arrested in Mexico in 2013 after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list.  In connection with his guilty plea, Williams admitted that he traveled from Los Angeles to the Philippines to engage in sex acts with minor boys.  Prior to his travel, Williams engaged in sexual activity via Internet webcam sessions with minors and expressed a desire to visit them in the Philippines to have sex.

In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez of the Central District of California sentenced Williams to ten years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay $25,000 in restitution and to register as a sex offender for life.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, and prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Ravi Sinha and Herbrina Sanders from the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS).


Justice Department Seeks to Shut Down California Tax Return Preparers

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:06 am

The Justice Department announced today that it has asked a federal court in California to permanently bar Vida Farley and AJV Bookkeeping Inc. from preparing tax returns for others.

According to the complaint, the government alleges that, for the past several years, the defendants engaged in a pattern of claiming false education credits and false or grossly inflated Schedule A deductions for charitable contributions, unreimbursed employee business expenses and other expenses on behalf of their customers.

According to the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Farley has been a tax return preparer for more than 20 years and since 2008, has operated a tax return preparation business through AJV Bookkeeping Inc.  The defendants’ practices of claiming false deductions and education credits have resulted in significant lost tax revenues as they understate tax liabilities and claim improper refunds, according to the suit.

Specifically, the suit alleges that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examined more than 200 returns the defendants prepared between 2010 and 2014, and that more than 96 percent of these returns have resulted in adjustments to tax, with the proposed deficiencies averaging roughly $4,000 per return.  The complaint alleges that the defendants prepared more than 17,000 returns between 2010 and 2014.


December 15, 2014


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:35 am

SANTA ANA – Two men were convicted yesterday for street racing and causing a crash that resulted in the death on an 18-year-old girl, who was a passenger and sister to one of the defendants. Jorel Dayoan, 22, Westminster, was convicted by a jury yesterday, Dec. 11, 2014, of one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by an unlawful manner of driving with gross negligence and one felony count of engaging in a speed contest causing specified injury.

Co-defendant Joshua Lautherboren, 26, Garden Grove, was convicted of one felony count of engaging in a speed contest causing specified injury and one felony count of being involved in an accident resulting in an injury or death and failing to stop.

Dayoan faces a maximum sentence of up to six years and eight months in state prison, and Lautherboren faces a maximum sentence of up to four years and eight months in state prison. Both defendants are scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 6, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-44, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 5:00 p.m. on April 5, 2012, Jorel Dayoan was driving southbound on Hoover Street in Westminster with the victim, his younger sister, 18-year-old Jessica Dayoan, to drop her off for her biology class at Golden West College. Jorel Dayoan began driving down a straightaway stretch of Hoover Street in his Toyota MR-2 when he engaged in a street race with Lautherboren who was driving a Dodge truck.


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