Best Defender Bytes:

May 6, 2014


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:33 am

SANTA ANA – A parolee from Vermont was convicted and sentenced today to seven years and four months in state prison for stealing over $280,000 from a 98-year-old widow. John Thomas Windsor, 44, Costa Mesa, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of first degree residential burglary, caretaker theft from an elder, fraudulently using an access card, and three felony counts of forgery with sentencing enhancements and allegations causing over $100,000 in loss, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property loss over $200,000. Windsor was also ordered to pay $296,000 in restitution and fined over $592,000.

Windsor’s mother was an independently-hired live-in caretaker for 98-year-old widow Edna M., who was blind, deaf, suffered from dementia, and was confined to her Newport Beach home. In 2007, Windsor moved into the victim’s home without her knowledge. Windsor was on parole in the State of Vermont at the time for domestic violence and violating a restraining order.

Between August 2007 and December 2008, Windsor stole over $280,000 from Edna M. by depleting her bank accounts and making purchases on her credit card. He spent the victim’s money without her knowledge or consent to buy expensive personal items including but not limited to two pre-owned cars, a Tiffany & Co. engagement ring for his girlfriend, a classic record collection, and a sex swing.

Windsor had Edna M. sign over her power of attorney to him, which medical experts later determined the victim did not have the capacity to sign or understand what she was doing.                    (more…)

Desert Hot Springs Man Who Planted Pipe Bombs Near Ex-Girlfriend’s Residence in Palm Springs Pleads Guilty to Explosives Charge

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:01 am

RIVERSIDE, California – A man who left pipe bombs in a residential neighborhood in Palm Springs near the residence of an ex-girlfriend – and who became a fugitive after escaping from custody in a related case – pleaded guilty today to a federal charge of possession of an unregistered destructive device.

Edward Allen Costa, 49, who resided in Desert Hot Springs but was a fugitive for a time last year, pleaded guilty to the felony charge before United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

Costa pleaded guilty in 2012 to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to a year in prison and was finishing his sentence at a halfway house in Rubidoux when he walked away from the facility in August 2013. The fugitive was taken into custody in November by the Banning Police Department and the FBI.

While a fugitive last year, Costa was indicted for possessing six pipes bombs that were left in a Palm Springs neighborhood from May 8 through May 12 of 2012. Prior to being indicted for the pipe bombs, Costa was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a .357-magnum revolver, as well as 106 rounds of ammunition.                               (more…)

May 5, 2014


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:36 am

WESTMINSTER – A fleeing parolee driving under the influence of alcohol was sentenced today to 27 years and eight months to life in state prison for killing an innocent driver and causing great bodily injury to two people while recklessly running from the police. Oscar Javier de la Torre Villalobos, 27, Menifee, was found guilty by a jury Feb. 27, 2014, of one felony count each of second degree murder, driving under the influence and causing bodily injury, driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level of over .08 percent causing bodily injury, and evading the police while driving recklessly and causing serious bodily injury and death. The sentencing enhancement allegations for personally inflicting great bodily injury on non-accomplice victims, driving with a blood alcohol content over .20 percent, and two prior prison convictions of possessing a firearm as a felon and felony domestic violence were found true.

At approximately 7:40 p.m. on June 15, 2009, Villalobos was driving a red 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck in Anaheim. His passenger, 22-year-old Alejandro Serrano, exited the truck and got into a verbal and shoving dispute with a man on the sidewalk. Following the dispute, Villalobos and Serrano drove to a nearby Home Depot parking lot. 

Within minutes, Anaheim Police Department (APD) officers located the pick-up truck in the Home Depot parking lot and began to approach the vehicle to question them about the incident. The Home Depot was open at this time and there were parked vehicles, moving vehicles, and customers going in and out of the store. Villalobos looked at one of the officers, started the engine, and refused to comply with the APD officer’s command to turn off the engine. Villalobos then sped off, spinning and squealing the tires, and led the police on a high-speed pursuit. APD officers driving in two marked black and white police vehicles, with activated sirens and lights, began following the defendant’s truck. Three other police vehicles later responded to assist in the pursuit. 

Villalobos drove out of the parking lot going eastbound on Gramercy Avenue and nearly collided with two other vehicles. While fleeing from police, Villalobos drove through multiple stop signs, weaved in and out of traffic, and nearly collided with several vehicles and pedestrians. He drove approximately 90 mph on Crescent Avenue, which has a 40 mph speed limit.                          (more…)


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:29 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of murdering eight people and attempting to murder a ninth in the largest mass-murder in Orange County history. Scott Evans Dekraai, 44, Huntington Beach, pleaded guilty to eight felony counts of special circumstances murder for committing multiple murders and one felony count of attempted murder.

Dekraai’s sentencing date will be determined pending completion of ongoing hearings. The defendant faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

When the case moves to the penalty phase, a jury will consider the aggravating and mitigating circumstances of the evidence presented by the People and defense to determine the defendant’s penalty, death or life without the possibility of parole. An aggravating circumstance is any fact, condition, or event relating to the commission of a crime that increases the wrongfulness of the defendant’s conduct, nature of the offense, or harmful impact of the crime that supports the decision to impose the death penalty. Mitigating circumstances support not imposing the death penalty by providing any fact, condition, or event that reduces the defendant’s blameworthiness of the crime, even if it does not legally justify or excuse the crime.

The Seal Beach Police Department (SBPD) investigated this case. Assistant District Attorney Dan Wagner and Senior Deputy District Attorneys Howard Gundy and Scott Simmons of the Homicide Unit are prosecuting this case.       (more…)


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:25 am

SANTA ANA – A nail salon manager is to be arraigned for pimping and pandering an employee. Cam Da Le, 47, Garden Grove, is charged with one felony count of pimping and one felony count of pandering. If convicted, Le faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison. The People will be requesting that the defendant be held on $250,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond at her arraignment today, May 2, 2014, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined. 

Circumstances of the Case

Le is accused of being a pimp/modern-day slave owner who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

On April 30, 2014, Le is accused of instructing 25-year-old Jane Doe to perform commercial sex acts on a customer of a nail salon they both worked at. Le is accused of taking all of the money the victim earned while performing sex acts and only paying the victim the tips she collected. The Orange Police Department (OPD) conducted an investigation as to whether the nail salon was acting as a brothel. Le is accused of deriving support from the earning and proceeds of the prostitution of Jane Doe knowing she was working as a prostitute. The defendant is also accused of causing, inducing, persuading, and encouraging Jane Doe to prostitute and procuring her for the purpose of prostitution and to agree to engage in commercial sex acts with an OPD undercover officer.

Deputy District Attorney Daniel Varon of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting this case                                                  (more…)

May 2, 2014

California Banker Charged with Helping U.S. Taxpayers Conceal Secret Israeli Bank Accounts

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

Shokrollah Baravarian, of Beverly Hills, California, was charged today in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California with conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.

According to the indictment, Baravarian, a former senior vice president at the Los Angeles branch of a bank headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, conspired to conceal the existence of undeclared accounts owned and controlled by U.S. customers in Israel.  The indictment alleges that these accounts were concealed from the IRS by opening them under pseudonyms, code names and the names of nominee entities set up in the British Virgin Islands and the island of Nevis.

“This charge results from an ongoing and extensive investigation into the use of undeclared bank accounts in Israel, and demonstrates the department’s determination to find and prosecute those who help U.S. taxpayers evade taxes through offshore accounts located anywhere in the world,” said Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole.

“IRS-Criminal Investigation and Tax Division prosecutors have been investigating the use of undeclared bank accounts globally, and charges have been brought against not only the U.S. taxpayers with undeclared Israeli bank accounts but also those who facilitate the hiding of assets and income abroad,” said Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally for the Tax Division.  “Whether it be Israel, Switzerland, the Caribbean or elsewhere, the Justice Department is finding the hiding places and is committed to prosecuting tax cheats.”


FBI Arrests Moorpark Man in ‘Sextortion’ Case that Targeted Fans of Teen Music Acts such as One Direction and Justin Bieber

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

LOS ANGELES – A Moorpark man accused of using social networking websites to trick and extort more than a dozen girls and boys into sending him naked photos and videos was arrested today on federal child pornography charges.

Jeremy Brendan Sears, 23, was arrested this morning without incident by the Ventura Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force (the Ventura S.A.F.E. Team), which is made up of agents and officers with the FBI and Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

Sears, who was named in a two-count criminal complaint filed yesterday, made his initial appearance this afternoon in United States District Court.

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, Sears approached many of his victims after finding them active in social-networking groups for fans of music acts popular with young teenagers, such as Justin Bieber or One Direction. Sears set up fake profiles on Facebook, Meetme, and other social networking websites that appeared to be from teenage boys and girls. Sears allegedly used the bogus profiles to communicate with real-life teenagers, sometimes beginning online romantic relationships with the real-life teens and then encouraging them to send him sexually explicit videos and photos of themselves.


Inmate Charged With 1997 Murder at LA County Jail

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

A 42-year-old man serving time for murder and robbery has been charged with the slaying of an inmate at the Los Angeles County Jail in 1997, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jaime Vidales was charged in case BA423892 with one count of murder. If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. He’s scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Prosecutors said Vidales was in county jail awaiting trial on murder and robbery charges when he allegedly strangled Miguel Sanchez in July 1997. Sanchez, who was in jail on a pending sexual assault case, was found by a sheriff’s deputy lying on a bunk bed in a dorm room occupied by inmates.

Prosecutors said Vidales was helped by another inmate to attack Sanchez but that man subsequently was killed in Los Angeles County Jail.


May 1, 2014

Beverly Hills Dentist PaysMore Than $780,000 for Insurance Fraud, Sentenced to 365 Days County Jail

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

A Beverly Hills dentist, who earlier this month pleaded to insurance fraud, today paid more than$780,000 in restitution and was sentenced to one year in county jail, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Grace Pak of the Healthcare Fraud Division said Tom K. Kalili, 59, pleaded no contest on April 10 to one felony count each of insurance fraud and failure to file income tax returns.

Kalili also admitted excessive taking allegations of more than $150,000.

Kalili paid $786,021 in restitution today at a morning hearing where Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Horwitz also sentenced him to five years of formal probation.


Former L.A. County Contractor, Two Others Plead Guilty to Embezzlement, Other Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:36 am

The former administrator of Peace and Joy Care Center, a Carson-based nonprofit organization that provided services for domestic violence victims under a contract with Los Angeles County, pleaded guilty today in a case involving the theft of more than $700,000 in public funds.

Wilma Wilson, 62, pleaded guilty to nine counts: four counts of grand theft by embezzlement; two counts each of embezzlement by a public or private officer and misappropriation of public funds; and one count of embezzlement by a trustee, executor or administrator.

Co-defendant and husband William Wilson, 74, pleaded guilty to three counts of grand theft by embezzlement and two counts of embezzlement by a public or private officer.

The Carson couple also admitted excessive-taking allegations of more than $500,000. The case was prosecuted by Marian Thompson, deputy-in-charge of the Internal Welfare Fraud Unit of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division.


« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress