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October 9, 2014

Manager of Three Los Angeles Medical Clinics Indicted in $4 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

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

An indictment was unsealed today charging two managers and operators of three Los Angeles medical clinics with Medicare fraud and conspiracy to pay illegal kickbacks for medical procedures that were never actually provided.

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

Hovik Simitian, 47, of Los Angeles, and Anahit Shatvoryan, 49, of Glendale, California, were each charged in the Central District of California with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, six counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to pay health care kickbacks.

According to allegations in the indictment, Simitian and and Shatvoryan managed and operated three medical clinics – Columbia Medical Group Inc., Life Care Medical Clinic and Safe Health Medical Clinic – out of two suites in the same Los Angeles office building.  From approximately February 2010 through June 2014, Simitian and Shatvoryan paid marketers illegal kickbacks to recruit Medicare beneficiaries to the clinics.  They then submitted false claims to Medicare for services – including procedures such as anorectal manometry and nerve conduction tests – that were not medically necessary and never actually provided.

From approximately February 2010 through June 2014, the clinics allegedly submitted a total of $4,526,791 in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, and Medicare paid $1,668,559 on those claims. (more…)

MAN ARRESTED TODAY FOR 1998 COLD-CASE MURDER OF MOTHER-IN-LAW

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

SANTA ANA – A man was arrested today for the 1998 cold case murder of his mother-in-law. John Edward Moll Gutierrez, 47, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison. He is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time and date are to be determined.

At the time of the crime, Gutierrez is accused of living in a Laguna Beach condominium with his wife and the defendant’s 55-year-old mother-in-law Lillian DeVilla.

On the night of Jan. 29, 1998, Gutierrez is accused of getting into a dispute with DeVilla inside their home. The defendant is accused of getting into a physical altercation with the victim and causing her to suffer blunt force trauma to the head. Gutierrez is then accused of tying a plastic bag around DeVilla’s head, removing the body from the condo, transporting the victim to a field in Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach, and dumping the body.

On Feb. 4, 1998, two Laguna Beach Public Works employees discovered the victim’s body while they were repairing a fence. The Laguna Beach Police Department (LBPD) began investigating the murder but the case went cold.

In 2009, LBPD began working with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) Task Force Review Aimed at Catching Killers, Rapists, and Sexual Offenders (TrackRS) Unit and discovered additional evidence in the case. (more…)

Long Beach Man Charged with Assault, Kidnapping, Evading Police

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

A 27-year-old man accused of assaulting his child’s mother and then kidnapping her pleaded not guilty today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Isaul Sandoval (dob 6/27/87) of Long Beach was charged with three felony counts: injuring a child’s parent, kidnapping and evading an officer in case TA135377.

The charging document also alleges that Sandoval was previously convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in 2007, receiving stolen property in 2008 and unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle in 2011.

Deputy District Attorney Presciliano Duran, who is assigned to the case, said on Oct. 6 Sandoval and his child’s mother had a fight and he reportedly assaulted her.

(more…)

October 8, 2014

WOMAN CHARGED WITH PIMPING AND PANDERING FIVE WOMEN OUT OF BROTHELS IN IRVINE

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

NEWPORT BEACH – A woman was charged yesterday with pimping and pandering five women out of brothels in Irvine. Goan Suk Ko, 44, Los Angeles, is charged with five felony counts each of pandering and pimping. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and four months in state prison. She is being held on $250,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. She is scheduled for pre-trial Oct. 15, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

Circumstances of the Case

In July 2014, the Irvine Police Department began an investigation into a brothel in a residential area. Between September 2014 and October 2014, Ko is accused of operating a residential brothel and additional brothels in Irvine. She is accused of pimping five female victims and collecting the proceeds from commercial sex acts at these locations.

The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. The OCHTT is an organization established by partnership between the Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huntington Beach Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and community and non-profit partners committed to handling human trafficking crimes.

Deputy District Attorney Daniel Varon of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting this case.

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Retired LAPD Detective Charged With Embezzling Foundation’s Funds

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

A retired Los Angeles police detective pleaded not guilty today to a charge that he embezzled more than $150,000 from a foundation that represents black LAPD officers and employees, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

James Edwards (dob 12/16/49) was charged in case BA429952 with one count of embezzlement with an excessive-taking allegation of more than $50,000. Edwards entered his plea and is scheduled to return Nov. 6 for a preliminary hearing setting in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Prosecutors said Edwards began serving as president of the Oscar Joel Bryant Foundation in July 2011.

As president, Edwards was the only person authorized to write checks or make withdrawals from the group’s bank account, prosecutors added.

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Juvenile Camp Therapist to Stand Trial for Molesting Boy

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:02 am

A former therapist at a juvenile camp pleaded not guilty today after being ordered to stand trial for sexual conduct with a 16-year-old boy, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Seth Carmack said Ana Patricia Moennich (dob 12/19/77) faces one felony count each of contact with minor for sexual offense and oral copulation of a person under 18.

Case MA064057 also charges Moennich with a misdemeanor count of child molesting.

She pleaded not guilty to the charges today after being held to answer on all counts on Sept. 23.

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October 7, 2014

INSURANCE AGENT TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR DEFRAUDING OVER $1.4 MILLION IN COMMISSION SCHEME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:53 am

SANTA ANA – An insurance agent is scheduled to be arraigned today for defrauding over $1.4 million through an advance commission scheme. Eric Lee, 64, Brea, is charged with 10 felony counts each of grand theft and insurance fraud with sentencing enhancement allegations over $100,000, statute of limitation tolled, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000 and property damage over $1.3 million. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 28 years and eight months in state prison. The People will request he be held on $1.4 million bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond at his arraignment today at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Lee worked as an insurance agent for FMC Financial Group (FMC), a general agency for the insurance company Mass Mutual from October 2009 to November 2010. Between May 2010 and October 2010, Lee is accused of selling universal life insurance policies, in excess of one year, to new clients and fraudulently completing their insurance policy applications.

Lee is accused of illegally engaging in a practice known in the insurance industry as an advance commission scheme. An advance commission scheme occurs when insurance carriers offer a commission in excess of an annual premium that is paid up front. Agents sell policies with the intent of allowing them to expire after one year while keeping the excess of the annual premium/commission as a profit. This profit to the agent is a loss to the insurance company.

Lee is accused of illegally overstating the annual income, net worth, and the source of the applicants’ income on insurance applications in order for life insurance policies to be issued by Mass Mutual. He is accused of advising policy holders they would be receiving free insurance and writing them a personal check to pay for their first month’s premiums on the policy.

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TUTOR CHARGED FOR ILLEGALLY CHANGING GRADES OF THREE STUDENTS AT CORONA DEL MAR HIGH SCHOOL

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:47 am

SANTA ANA – A tutor was charged today with crimes related to illegally changing grades of students at Corona Del Mar High School during the 2012 to 2013 school year. Timothy Lance Lai, 29, is charged with one felony count of second degree commercial burglary and four felony counts of computer access and fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years and eight months in jail. The People will be requesting he be held on $200,000 bail at his arraignment in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time and date are to be determined.

At the time of the crimes, Lai was a private tutor for students who attended Corona Del Mar High School. In 2013, Lai is accused of breaking into Corona Del Mar High School and inserting a USB device into a teacher’s computer that was able to record the teacher’s keystrokes.

Between April 1, 2013, and June 14, 2013, Lai is accused of accessing the school’s network using the information from recorded keystrokes and changing the grades of three students from two different teachers.

On June 14, 2013, one of the teachers discovered that grades for students had been changed and contacted school administrators. The school administrators contacted Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) who investigated this case. In December 2013, during the investigation, another USB device was discovered on a third teacher’s computer.

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SIX MEN CONVICTED OF LOITERING WITH THE INTENT TO COMMIT PROSTITUTION, ENGAGING OR AGREEING TO ENGAGE IN PROSTITUTION, AND/OR ENGAGING IN LEWD CONDUCT

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:44 am

SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) convicted six men in September 2014 of loitering with the intent to commit prostitution, engaging or agreeing to engage in prostitution, and/or engaging in lewd conduct. The defendants in these cases approached a woman, whom they believed to be a prostitute, in areas known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County or loitered in areas known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County. Some agreed to engage in commercial sex with a woman and were subsequently arrested by law enforcement.

The Santa Ana Police Department and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) investigated these cases. Deputy District Attorney Kelly Manley of the HEAT Unit prosecuted these cases.

The defendants below each pleaded guilty to one or two misdemeanor counts each of loitering with the intent to commit prostitution, agreeing to engage in prostitution, or engaging in lewd conduct. The defendants were each sentenced up to three years informal probation, up to 45 days in jail with some defendants receiving the possibility of CalTrans in lieu of jail, and must also submit to AIDS testing and education. Some defendants must also submit to DNA testing and were required to donate up to $100 to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund.

·      Javier Medina Campos, 50, Fullerton

·      Ivan Cholula, 19, Stanton

·      Ramon Carcamo Del Cid, 25, Stanton

·      Pablo Ramirez Solares, 43, Stanton

·      Steven Mark Taylor, 48, Anaheim

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October 6, 2014

Northern California Real Estate Investor Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging and Fraud at Public Foreclosure Auctions

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

A Northern California real estate investor has agreed to plead guilty for his 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 Gernot Sebastian Zepernick of Concord, Calif.  To date, 47 individuals have agreed to plead or have pleaded guilty, as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California.

According to court documents, beginning as early as November 2008 until about January 2011, Zepernick conspired with others not to bid against one another, and instead to designate a winning bidder to obtain selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Contra Costa County.  Zepernick was also charged with conspiring to use the mail to carry out a scheme to fraudulently acquire title to selected 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.

“Collusion at the foreclosure auctions created an unfair playing field where the 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 corrupt the competitive process.”

(more…)

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