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April 25, 2014


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:40 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted and sentenced yesterday to four years in state prison today following an undercover sting operation for pimping three women for financial gain after advertising the victims on a sex website. Harvey Rashad McNight, 30, San Diego, pleaded guilty yesterday, April 23, 2014, to three felony counts of pimping.

Circumstances of the Case

McNight is a pimp/modern-day slave owner who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. In this case, he pimped three women, ages 20 to 40. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow. In this case, the defendant required the victims to address him as “Sir” or “Daddy.” The victims were required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical and/or emotional abuse.

In March 2013, the defendant advertised his victims on a website known for pimping and prostitution. In a sting operation by the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD), an undercover officer located the advertisement and posed as a sex purchaser. The officer arranged to meet the three victims in a Santa Ana motel room on March 8, 2013.

On March 8, 2013, McNight drove Jane Doe #1 to Orange County to engage in sex acts. He pimped Jane Doe #1 and two other victims by arranging for them to meet the undercover officer for sex acts that day. McNight was identified as the victims’ pimp based on identifying information at the scene.


April 24, 2014


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:04 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted yesterday of forcibly raping two women after luring them under the pretense of performing a spiritual cleansing. Alberto Flores Ramirez, 39, San Clemente, was found guilty by a jury yesterday, April 22, 2014, of two felony counts each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, one felony count each of sexual penetration by foreign object by force, attempted forcible oral copulation, and a sentencing enhancement for sex crimes against multiple victims. He faces a maximum sentence of 75 years to life in state prison at his sentencing June 13, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-43, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Jane Doe #1

Ramirez met 33-year-old Jane Doe #1 through an online dating website. On April 3, 2012, he met Jane Doe #1 at a McDonald’s in Santa Ana. Ramirez told Jane Doe #1 that he could help bring her children to California from Mexico by performing a spiritual cleansing on her to get rid of her negative vibes. Jane Doe #1 agreed to participate.

The defendant drove Jane Doe #1 from the McDonald’s to a motel in Santa Ana. Once inside a motel room, he instructed Jane Doe #1 to undress in order for him to perform the cleansing. Jane Doe #1 removed her clothing but left on her bra and underwear. Ramirez rubbed raw eggs on the victim’s body and fondled Jane Doe #1.

The defendant then forcibly orally copulated the victim. When the victim attempted to cover herself with the comforter from the bed, Ramirez jumped on top of the victim and restrained her. He strangled Jane Doe #1 and threatened her that she had to stop fighting and then digitally penetrated her and forcibly raped the victim.

After the sexual assault, Ramirez drove Jane Doe #1 back to her car. The victim drove away from the parking lot and called 911 from her car. The Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) responded and investigated this case. (more…)

Two Former Sheriff’s Deputies Charged with Conspiracy

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

Two former Los Angeles County Sheriffs deputies have been charged with conspiracy, perjury and other charges for allegedly planting guns inside a medical marijuana dispensary to justify an arrest, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Julio Cesar Martinez (dob 12/12/74) and Anthony Manuel Paez (3/06/82) are scheduled to be arraigned June 17 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30. The two were booked and released on April 18 on $50,000 bail each.

Deputy District Attorney Arisa Mattson with the Justice System Integrity Division said the two were charged in case BA423669 with one felony count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice and peace officer altering evidence.

In addition, Martinez was charged with two counts of perjury and one count of filing a false report. Martinez and Paez wrote a report claiming they witnessed a narcotics transaction and observed one suspect with a firearm while patrolling along West 84th Place in Los Angeles on Aug. 24, 2011. Martinez said he followed one suspect inside a medical marijuana dispensary where he discovered a discarded firearm near a trash bin and another firearm on top of a desk next to ecstasy pills.


Transient Pleads No Contest to Assault Charge inFatal Attack of Woman in Hollywood

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

A homeless man was sentenced today to two years in state prison after pleading no contest to an assault charge for his role in the fatal stabbing of a woman in Hollywood last June, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jason Joel Wolstone, 34, entered his plea to one count of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. He was sentenced to two years in prison by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Victor Greenberg.

Prosecutors said Wolstone, Dustin James Kinnear and Brian Joseph Widdows had their picture taken by victim Christina Calderon and a friend outside the Hollywood & Highland Center on June 18, 2013.

Calderon declined to give the trio money and a melee ensued where Wolstone pushed her and put her in a headlock, prosecutors said. Calderon died after she was allegedly stabbed by Kinnear.


April 23, 2014

Bay Area Man Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud by Insider Trading in The Walt Disney Company’s Acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in August 2009

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:34 am

LOS ANGELES – A San Francisco man who made approximately $192,000 in profits by purchasing Marvel Entertainment, Inc. stock options immediately prior to its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company in August 2009 pleaded guilty this morning to a federal securities fraud charge.

Toby G. Scammell, 29, pleaded guilty today to one count of securities fraud before United States District Judge S. James Otero.

According to a plea agreement filed in federal court, Scammell learned that Disney planned to acquire another company “that people would recognize right away” from his then-girlfriend, who was an extern at Disney in the summer of 2009 and who worked on the deal to acquire Marvel. Scammell later learned from a supervisor at his then-employer—which had periodically provided corporate consulting services to Disney and had confidentiality obligations to Disney—that Disney had previously been interested in acquiring Marvel. Scammell admitted that he learned the planned acquisition by Disney was estimated to close by Labor Day 2009, based on his observations of his girlfriend’s work schedule at Disney and their own travel plans at the time.

Scammell used the information that he learned from his girlfriend to acquire 659 call options to purchase Marvel stock for $5,465. He purchased more than half of the options in his brother’s account. Scammell did not tell his girlfriend or his brother about the purchases of the Marvel call options.


April 22, 2014


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:42 am

FULLERTON – A man faces charges of human trafficking and pimping a minor who was actually an undercover police officer on Facebook. Dwight Lamith Garris, 34, Palmdale, is charged with one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor, pandering, and pimping of a minor. If convicted, Garris faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison. Garris is being held on $50,000 and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. He was charged and arraigned on Friday, April 18, 2014, and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing April 28, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Circumstances of the Case

Garris is accused of being a pimp/modern-day slave owner who exploits women and/or children for financial gain.

Between April 8, 2014, and April 16, 2014, Garris is accused of befriending an undercover officer on Facebook, whom he believed to be a 17-year-old girl. The defendant is accused of attempting to recruit her to work for him as a prostitute and instructing her to recruit other sex workers for Garris.

On April 16, 2014, Anaheim Police Department (APD) investigators traveled to Los Angeles County and arrested Garris.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:38 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today and sentenced to 12 years in state prison for discharging his gun at Fashion Island. Mark Sariana Gurrola, 42, Garden Grove, pleaded guilty to a court offer to 54 felony counts of shooting at an occupied building and two felony counts of aggravated assault with sentencing enhancements for the use of a firearm. The People objected to the sentence, advocating for a lengthier state prison term.

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2012, Gurrola drove his white Honda Civic and parked in the Macy’s parking lot at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. He exited his vehicle armed with a Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun and six magazines. He raised his firearm and discharged 54 rounds of ammunition in the direction of the Macy’s building. As a result of the shooting, Gurrola caused a mother and her 4-year-old daughter to suffer injuries from being pushed by panicked shoppers, who were running for cover. None of the bullets struck the building.

The defendant dropped his weapon and surrendered to Newport Beach police officers. At the time of Gurrola’s arrest, police recovered ammunition for different weapons including .44 caliber, .380 caliber, and .38 caliber, and no other weapons.

The Newport Beach Police Department investigated the case.


April 21, 2014


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:16 am

SANTA ANA – A husband was convicted yesterday of the 2004 solicitation-murder of his wife. Magdi Faiz Girgis, 61, Westminster, was found guilty by a jury April 17, 2014, of one felony count of special circumstances murder, one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, and sentencing enhancements for murder for financial gain and murder to prevent testimony were found true. He faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility at his sentencing on May 30, 2014, in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Co-defendant Anthony Edward Bridget, 40, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder, one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, one felony count of aggravated assault, one felony count of false imprisonment by violence, and sentencing enhancements for murder for financial gain, murder by lying in wait, and murder during the commission of a burglary. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Bridget is scheduled for a preliminary hearing June 20, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center.

Prior to the murder, Magdi Girgis had a pending domestic violence case against him related to assaulting his wife, 55-year-old Ariet Girgis. A restraining order was issued, Ariet Girgis intended to divorce the defendant, and Magdi Girgis moved out of the couple’s Westminster home.

Magdi Girgis, then a respiratory therapist, planned to murder the victim because he wanted to avoid the cost of a divorce and did not want to lose his medical license by receiving a felony conviction. As a result, Magdi Girgis solicited at least one person to murder his wife.


Navy Petty Officer Based in Japan Charged in International Bribery Scandal

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:11 am

A fourth U.S. Navy official has been charged in a complaint unsealed today with accepting cash, luxury travel and consumer electronics from a foreign defense contractor in exchange for classified and internal U.S. Navy information.

Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California, Director Andrew Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Deputy Inspector General for Investigations James B. Burch of the U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General made the announcement.

Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug, 27, who enlisted in the Navy in September 2006, was arrested on April 16, 2014, in San Diego by special agents with NCIS and Defense Criminal Investigative Service.   Layug made his initial appearance today in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford in the Southern District of California.

According to the complaint, Layug received bribes in return for sending sensitive U.S. Navy information to employees of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), a defense contractor.   GDMA CEO Leonard Glenn Francis, 49, of Malaysia, had previously been charged with conspiring to bribe U.S. Navy officials, and GDMA executive Alex Wisidagama, 40, of Singapore, pleaded guilty on March 18, 2014, to defrauding the U.S. Navy.   Two other senior Navy officials – Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, 46, and Commander Jose Luis Sanchez, 41 – have been charged separately with bribery conspiracies involving Francis and have pleaded not guilty.   On Dec. 17, 2013, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau II, 44, pleaded guilty to bribery charges for regularly tipping off Francis to the status of the government’s investigation into GDMA.


Armenian Power Gang Leaders Convicted in Federal RICO Case

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:08 am

Power gang were convicted today of participating in a racketeering conspiracy that included extortion, firearms offenses, bank fraud and identity theft targeting elderly bank customers, as well as a sophisticated credit and debit card skimming scheme that stole account numbers and personal identification numbers (PINs) from thousands of people who used their cards at 99 Cents Only Stores across Southern California.

Concluding a four-week trial, a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against Armenian Power leaders Mher “Capone” Darbinyan and Arman “Horse” Sharopetrosian.  Rafael Parsadanyan, an associate of the gang, was also convicted for his role in the 99 Cents Only Stores skimming scheme.

The convictions today in United States District Court in Los Angeles were announced by United States Attorney André Birotte Jr., Acting Assistant Attorney General David O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Assistant Director in Charge Bill L. Lewis of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

Darbinyan, 38, of Valencia, was found guilty of 57 criminal counts, including racketeering conspiracy, extortion conspiracy, extortion, bank fraud, access device fraud conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to the evidence presented at trial, Darbinyan was a leader of Armenian Power who participated in extortions, firearms offenses, frauds, and identity theft, and repeatedly engaged in criminal activities with members of the Mexican Mafia prison gang. Among other things, Darbinyan operated a sophisticated bank fraud scheme that used middlemen and runners to deposit and cash hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent checks drawn on the accounts of elderly bank customers and businesses.  Separately, Darbinyan also organized and operated a sophisticated debit card skimming operation targeting customers of the discount chain 99 Cents Only Stores. This expansive scheme involved installation of skimmers in stores that were used to steal customers’ debit card numbers and PIN codes. The scheme targeted stores across Southern California, and involved the bank accounts of thousands of customers of the discount store. Darbinyan also conspired to extort and extorted funds from a member of the Armenian community using threats of violence against the victim and his family members. Darbinyan, on two separate occasions, possessed firearms and ammunition after having previously been convicted of felony grand theft for his role in a 2004 debit card fraud scheme. At sentencing, Darbinyan will face a statutory maximum penalty of 973½ years in federal prison.


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