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May 22, 2014

19 Arrested in International Round Up on Federal Fraud Charges

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

Fifteen individuals were arrested today in South Africa, Canada, California, Wisconsin and Indiana, pursuant to an eight-count federal indictment on fraud charges filed in the Southern District of Mississippi. A total of 19 individuals were arrested across the United States and internationally on charges brought by federal prosecutors in Mississippi, South Carolina and Georgia.

Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis for the Southern District of Mississippi, Raymond Parmer Jr., Special Agent in Charge of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New Orleans and Robert Wemyss, U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector in Charge made the announcement.

Another individual was arrested today in New York on a related Southern District of Mississippi complaint. Three defendants in South Carolina were arrested in Charleston, pursuant to a nine-count indictment, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia has filed related criminal complaints in Atlanta against two additional defendants. All of the indictments and complaints were unsealed yesterday.

The indictments allege the involvement of a West African transnational organized crime enterprise engaged in numerous complex financial fraud schemes over the internet. This mass marketing fraud includes romance scams, re-shipping scams, fraudulent check scams and work-at-home scams, along with bank, financial and credit card account take-overs.

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Palmdale Man Sentenced in Attempted Murder, Kidnapping of Female Roommate

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

A Palmdale man has been sentenced to more than 13 years in state prison for attacking and kidnapping his female roommate, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney Theodore Swanson said Omar Oswaldo Hernández, 27, was sentenced to 13 years and eight months late yesterday.

Hernández pleaded no contest on April 29 to one count each of attempted murder and kidnapping. A restitution hearing is scheduled for June 19 in Department A18 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Antelope Valley Branch.

On April 8, the defendant strangled and struck his roommate after she refused to be in a romantic relationship with him, according to the prosecutor. During the attack she lost consciousness and when she came to she was inside his truck. Not knowing where Hernández was driving to, she jumped out of the moving truck and escaped, Swanson added.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Palmdale Station.

Los Angeles County District Attorney / May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014

FORMER HIGH SCHOOL MATH TEACHER CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 17-YEAR-OLD MALE STUDENT

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — fayarfa @ 5:40 am

FULLERTON – A former high school math teacher was convicted today of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old male student. Michelle Lynn Johnson, 46, Anaheim, pleaded guilty to three felony counts of oral copulation of a minor and two felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse. She was sentenced to 270 days in jail, five years of formal probation, and must register as a sex offender while on probation.

At the time of the crime, Johnson worked as a math teacher at Brea Olinda High School in Brea. She also privately tutored several students during non-school hours and off school property. She was placed on leave from the high school.

Johnson met 17-year-old John Doe at Brea Olinda High School and befriended and groomed the victim. Between April and June 2013, the defendant engaged in an unlawful sexual relationship with the victim including oral copulation and sexual intercourse. The sexual assault occurred on multiple occasions outside of the school and at the school.

The victim’s parents contacted police after becoming suspicious of the relationship between Johnson and their son.

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MAN CONVICTED OF PIMPING 19-YEAR-OLD WOMAN IN GARDEN GROVE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:37 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of pimping a 19-year-old woman in Garden Grove. Trey Dimaria Bailey, 22, Oakland, pleaded guilty to a court offer to one felony count each pimping and pandering by receiving or giving money with a prior conviction for armed robbery in 2010. He is expected to be sentenced to four years in state prison at his sentencing July 21, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case

Bailey is a pimp who exploits women for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

Bailey met 19-year-old Jane Doe in Northern California and instructed her to begin working as a prostitute for him. The defendant drove the victim to Orange County to commercially sexually exploit her, and posted advertisements on websites known for prostitution offering sex acts with Jane Doe.

Bailey imposed rules that Jane Doe was forced to follow, including requiring her to give the defendant all of the money she was paid for sex acts. The defendant sent the victim text messages instructing her to make more money and referring to her in derogatory terms indicating that she worked for him.

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Montclair Man Pleads Not Guilty to Attempted Murder, Other Charges

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

An 18-year-old man accused of shooting at another and threatening his girlfriend pleaded not guilty today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Ulises Ponce (dob 5/12/96), of Montclair, was arraigned on two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a firearm and one count of criminal threats in case KA105238. Additionally, the felony complaint includes gun and gang allegations.

The defendant appeared before Commissioner Wade Olson at the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Pomona and his bail was set at $2.1 million.

Deputy District Attorney Martin Bean of the Hardcore Gang Division said Ponce reportedly tried to kill a rival gang member on Sept. 15, 2012. The defendant tried to kill the same victim again on March 24.

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May 20, 2014

San Gabriel Valley Teacher Who Pleaded Guilty To Child Exploitation Offenses And Admitted Molestation Sentenced To Over 23 Years

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — fayarfa @ 2:20 am

LOS ANGELES – A former teacher and athletic coach at Royal Oak Middle School in Covina, who pleaded guilty to producing child pornography and using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sex, was sentenced today to 282 months in federal prison.

John David Boyle, 52, of Glendora, received the 23½-year sentence from United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson.

At today’s hearing, Judge Wilson said Boyle’s crimes were “horrendous” and that “the damage done to the victims is incalculable.”

Boyle, who in addition to teaching was also an athletic coach, pleaded guilty in March to enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, admitting that he molested a 14-year-old boy who he met online. Boyle also pleaded guilty to production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

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TWO BROTHERS SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS IN PRISON FOR MOLESTING IN CONCERT AND TAKING TURNS SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 3 AND 7 YEAR OLD SISTERS

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — fayarfa @ 2:15 am

SANTA ANA – Two brothers were sentenced today to 50 years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration for molesting two sisters, ages 3 and 7 years old, who lived in the same neighborhood. Cristobal Ortiz Rodriguez, 38, Fullerton, pleaded guilty March 17, 2014, to 11 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 and four felony counts of continuous sexual abuse. Eduardo Ortiz Rodriguez, 36, Fullerton, pleaded guilty March 17, 2014, to 15 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two felony counts of continuous sexual abuse.

In May 2010, the Rodriguez brothers lived in a converted garage in a home in Fullerton. They gained access to 7-year-old Jane Doe #1 and 3-year-old Jane Doe #2, who lived nearby.

Between May 2010 and August 2011, the defendants molested the two little girls while the defendants were together, one after the other, and on their own at separate times. The sexual conduct included touching, masturbation, digital penetration, oral copulation, and showing pornographic images to the victims.

The defendants groomed the victims and bribed them not tell anyone about the sexual assault with candy and ice cream.

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May 19, 2014

PIMP SENTENCED TO 17 TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL IN FIRST ORANGE COUNTY PROPOSITION 35 CASE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:50 am

SANTA ANA - A pimp was sentenced today to 17 years to life in state prison for trafficking a 14-year-old girl into prostitution in the first Orange County case of human trafficking of a minor under Proposition 35 (Prop 35). Chuncey Tarae Garcia, 34, was found guilty by a jury March 7, 2014, of one felony count of human trafficking and one felony count of pimping a minor under 16, with a sentencing enhancement allegation for human trafficking of a minor by force, fear, or duress The additional sentencing enhancement allegations for prior prison convictions for possession for sale of cocaine in 2007 and transportation of cocaine in 2009 were found true today by the Honorable Michael J. Cassidy.

Co-defendant Cierra Melissa Robinson, 28, was found guilty by a jury July 11, 2013, of one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor and pandering of a minor under 16 years old by procuring. She was sentenced Aug. 23, 2013, to five years in state prison.

Circumstances of the Case
Garcia is a pimp and Robinson worked for him as a prostitute and recruited other women to prostitute for Garcia. In the pimp/prostitution subculture, pimps often assign ranks to the women they exploit. They often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to speak only when spoken to, address the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy,” setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill, and assigning seats in the car based on “rank.” Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical or emotional abuse. Robinson was the highest-ranking of Garcia’s prostitutes.

In February 2013, 14-year-old Jane Doe lived in another state and ran away from home. A missing persons report was filed by her family. After running away, Jane Doe met Robinson, who befriended the victim with the intention of procuring her as a prostitute for Garcia.

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May 16, 2014

Former Atascadero Real Estate Developer Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Investors In Central Coast-Based Real Estate Fraud Scheme

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

LOS ANGELES – A real estate developer who formerly resided in Atascadero pleaded guilty today to federal fraud and money laundering charges for bilking investors who put money into Central Coast real estate projects.

Kelly Gearhart, 53, who currently resides in Wadsworth, Ohio, pleaded guilty this morning to two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. Gearhart pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II.

In a plea agreement filed late yesterday, Gearhart admitted that he knowingly and intentionally made misrepresentations and omissions relating to the Vista Del Hombre real estate development project to induce victims to part with their money.

Gearhart was initially charged in a 16-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in 2012. The indictment alleged that Gearhart told investors that their investments – which he called loans and promised would be paid back with interest – were secured by specific lots. However, Gearhart admitted in court today that he sold lots associated with the Vista Del Hombre real estate development project, even though those lots were being used to secure others’ loans. Gearhart further admitted that he used those same lots to obtain bank financing. The plea agreement allows prosecutors to prove at sentencing that Gearhart made additional misrepresentations as part of the scheme.

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Man Found Guilty in Decades-Old Slayings of Two Redondo Beach Men

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

A 46-year-old man was found guilty today of kidnapping and murdering two Redondo Beach men two decades ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jurors deliberated for about four hours before deciding Howard Bloomgarden was guilty of two counts each of first-degree murder and kidnapping for extortion.

The jury also found the special circumstance of murder during the course of kidnapping to be true, making Bloomgarden eligible for the death penalty. The penalty phase of the trial is expected to begin Tuesday.

Deputy District Attorney Geoffrey Lewin of the Organized Crime Division said Bloomgarden orchestrated the kidnapping and murders of Peter Kovach, 26, and Ted Gould, 29, in October 1994.

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