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December 11, 2013

Two Charged with Theft of a Vehicle Part Stemming from Paul Walker’s Fatal Collision

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

Prosecutors today filed criminal charges against two men accused of stealing a vehicle part from the wrecked Porsche Carrera GT in which actor Paul Walker died, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Sera Boyadjian of the San Fernando Branch Office said Jameson Brooks Witty, 18 (dob 11/18/95), and Anthony Edward Janow, 25 (dob 6/1/88), are charged with one felony count of grand theft of personal property.

Witty and Janow also are charged with two misdemeanor counts each of destroying evidence and resisting, obstructing and delaying a peace officer.

Janow is expected to surrender tomorrow in Dept. S of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando Branch. Witty, who was in custody but bailed out, has a return date of Jan. 3, 2014. The men are charged in case PA079026.

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December 10, 2013

Leader of Quarter-Billion Dollar Tax Fraud Scheme, Already Sentenced To 14 Years, Ordered to Pay $2.9 Million in Restitution

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:31 am

During Past 2 Years, 43 Defendants Linked to Inland Empire’s Old Quest Foundation Have Been Convicted, Including Attorney and 7 Tax Return Preparers.

SANTA ANA, California – Concluding sentencing proceedings in which he was already previously to serve a 14-year prison term, the former leader of the Fontana-based Old Quest Foundation was ordered this afternoon to pay $2,925,620 in restitution in relation to a tax fraud scheme that resulted in more than 400 fraudulent federal income tax returns being filed with the IRS that cumulatively sought more than $250 million in fraudulent refunds.

Arturo S. Ruiz, 55, of Moreno Valley, was sentenced by United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton, who issued the 168-month prison sentence on September 20.

The scheme run out of Old Quest was the largest tax refund fraud in history involving misuse of Original Issue Discount tax forms. The case against Ruiz and the other Old Quest defendants stems from Operation Stolen Treasures, an investigation conducted by Special Agents with IRS Criminal Investigation that led to 55 people being indicted by a federal grand jury in the fall of 2011.

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Members of Family Who Manufactured Homemade ‘Male Enhancement’ Drug Sentenced in Federal Conspiracy Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:26 am

LOS ANGELES – Three members of a Rowland Heights family involved in a home-based enterprise that manufactured a “male enhancement” drug that sold on the Internet and in retails stores nationwide have been sentenced for unlawfully importing tadalafil, the same active ingredient in the prescription drug Cialis.

Won Bae Kim, 61, was sentenced on Wednesday to 11 months in federal prison.

Two sons, Jong Ik Kim, 35, and Jong Heon Kim, 34, each were sentenced to one year probation, which will include six months of home detention.

The Kims were sentenced on Wednesday by United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson, who also ordered Won Bae Kim to pay a $10,000 fine.

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California Businessman Sentenced to Prison for Conspiring to Defraud the IRS

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:20 am

Gary Mach, of Palm Desert, Calif., was sentenced to 16 months in prison, two months of house arrest, and 18 months of probation and ordered to pay $270,725 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Justice Department and IRS announced today.  Mach previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States on Aug. 18, 2013.

Court documents state that, beginning around January 2002 and continuing through December 2010, Mach failed to report substantial income he earned from CSPS, a pool-servicing business operated throughout Riverside County.  Mach and others established fictitious trusts which they used to receive income and hold assets in an attempt to conceal the assets and income from the IRS.

According to court documents, Mach purported to operate a trust called “Quintessential,” and directed that his paychecks be made payable to Quintessential.  He also opened a bank account in the name of Quintessential where he deposited CSPS proceeds.  Mach admitted that he did not report to the IRS any of the income he earned from CSPS between 2002 and 2010, and used Quintessential to conceal income from the IRS.  In furtherance of the conspiracy, Mach also attempted to impede an IRS summons issued to a bank for business account records.  Mach closed his bank account after the bank complied with the IRS summons.  As set forth in the plea agreement, Mach admitted that his total unreported income for the tax years 2002 through 2010 was $1,410,430, upon which the total tax due and owed to the IRS is $270,275.

Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the department’s Tax Division, commended the investigative efforts of the special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, Tax Division Trial Attorneys Sonia M. Owens and Mark L. Williams, who prosecuted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra R. Brown and Paul Rochmes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, who assisted in the prosecution.

California Department of Justice / 13-1282-Tax Division / December 5, 2013

December 9, 2013

MAN CONVICTED OF SHOOTING-MURDER OF TEENAGER IN FULLERTON ALLEY ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:29 am

SANTA ANA - A man was convicted today of shooting and murdering a teenager who was changing a tire in a Fullerton alley. Charles Thomas Ramirez Jr., 36, Fullerton, was found guilty by a jury today of one felony count of first degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death.

The defendant faces a sentencing enhancement for a prior prison conviction for theft from 2008. Ramirez faces a maximum sentence of 51 years to life in state prison on Dec. 13, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on March 17, 2011, Ramirez approached 19-year-old Larry Ruiz, who was helping his friend change a tire in an alley behind Ruiz’s parent’s home in Fullerton. Ramirez confronted the victim and claimed that he had been involved in a physical fight earlier in the day with the defendant’s friend. Ruiz denied being involved in the fight. Ramirez then punched the victim in the face.

As Ruiz began to back away in an attempt to escape, Ramirez pulled out a firearm and shot the victim one time in the head. Ramirez fled the scene. Ruiz died at the scene. The victim’s friend was uninjured.

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Button-Down Bandit Linked to Four Robberies in Less Than Three Weeks in Orange and Riverside Counties

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:24 am

The FBI and law enforcement partners are seeking the public’s assistance in learning the identity of a serial bank robber known as the Button-Down Bandit, believed to be responsible for four bank robberies in the cities of Yorba Linda; Seal Beach; La Quinta; and Riverside.

During the robberies, the Button-Down Bandit enters the bank and presents a demand note to the victim teller. The suspect has made statements, including “Don’t make me do it” or “You have 30 seconds.” The suspect has also passed a note during the robberies demanding denominations of $50s and $100s, suggesting that someone would otherwise get hurt.

The Button-Down Bandit is further described as a white male with white hair; slender, between 150-160 lbs; and between 45-50 years old.

The FBI and law enforcement in Orange County and Riverside County are conducting a joint investigation.

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Valley Bandit Linked to Eight Robberies Over Past Year in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:21 am

The FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department are seeking the public’s assistance in learning the identity of a serial bank robber known as the Valley Bandit, an unidentified male suspect believed to be responsible for eight bank robberies in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles County since December 2012.

During the robberies linked to the Valley Bandit, the suspect enters the bank and states that he needs to make a withdrawal prior to brandishing a weapon and verbally demanding cash in various denominations. The Valley Bandit wears a dark-colored baseball cap and dark clothing during his robberies, and victim witnesses typically describe his weapon as a revolver. In some cases, the suspect has aimed the weapon at employees or customers and has threatened to kill victims if the teller does not comply with his demands.

The Valley Bandit has been linked to multiple vehicles, including a white Mercedes Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and a black Mercedes Benz sedan and may be working with a getaway driver, according to investigators.

The Valley Bandit is described as an Hispanic or Middle Eastern male with dark, unshaven facial hair. The suspect is further described as between 5’9” to 6’0” in height; between 180-200 pounds; and between 25-35 years of age.

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December 6, 2013

Operators of Loan Modification Scam That Targeted Struggling Homeowners Arrested in $12 Million Scheme

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:23 am

SANTA ANA, California – An attorney this morning became the third defendant taken into custody in relation to a scheme that offered bogus loan modification assistance to struggling homeowners.

Ronald Rodis, 49, of Irvine, surrendered this morning to federal agents on charges alleging that he participated in, and lent his name and the law license he formerly possessed to, the fraudulent operation. Rodis lost his license to practice law in California when he resigned from the State Bar in 2009.

Federal agents yesterday arrested Bryan D’Antonio, 47, of Brea, and Charles Wayne Farris, 53, of Aliso Viejo, for their roles in the operation of the Rodis Law Group and America’s Law Group, businesses that allegedly offered bogus loan modification assistance.

All three defendants were named in a federal indictment unsealed yesterday following an investigation by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

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For Second Time in Federal Court, Long Beach Man Guilty of Transporting Women across State Lines to Work as Prostitutes

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:17 am

SANTA ANA, California – A Long Beach man with a long history of forcing women into the sex trade pleaded guilty this morning in a sex trafficking case and is expected to be sent to prison for another decade.

William Earl Flavors, also known as “Andre,” 40, who formerly resided in Seattle, pleaded guilty this morning to a charge of transportation into prostitution.

Flavors pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton, who scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 9. While Judge Staton will make the final decision, prosecutors and Flavors agree that the appropriate sentence in this case is the statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. The 10-year sentence is much longer than the sentence that would be expected for this crime under the United States Sentencing Guidelines, and this 10-year sentence would run consecutive to a four-year sentence he is currently serving in relation to the same conduct.

In court this morning, Flavors admitted that he transported two victims in 2012 from Long Beach to Las Vegas, where they were forced or coerced to work as prostitutes. Flavors also admitted he used coercion and force – including physical abuse and threats of additional physical abuse – to make one of the victims work for him as a prostitute for an eight-month period in 2012.

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California Businessman Sentenced to Prison for Conspiring to Defraud the IRS

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:10 am

Gary Mach, of Palm Desert, Calif., was sentenced to 16 months in prison, two months of house arrest, and 18 months of probation and ordered to pay $270,725 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Justice Department and IRS announced today.  Mach previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States on Aug. 18, 2013.

Court documents state that, beginning around January 2002 and continuing through December 2010, Mach failed to report substantial income he earned from CSPS, a pool-servicing business operated throughout Riverside County.  Mach and others established fictitious trusts which they used to receive income and hold assets in an attempt to conceal the assets and income from the IRS.

According to court documents, Mach purported to operate a trust called “Quintessential,” and directed that his paychecks be made payable to Quintessential.  He also opened a bank account in the name of Quintessential where he deposited CSPS proceeds.  Mach admitted that he did not report to the IRS any of the income he earned from CSPS between 2002 and 2010, and used Quintessential to conceal income from the IRS.  In furtherance of the conspiracy, Mach also attempted to impede an IRS summons issued to a bank for business account records.  Mach closed his bank account after the bank complied with the IRS summons.  As set forth in the plea agreement, Mach admitted that his total unreported income for the tax years 2002 through 2010 was $1,410,430, upon which the total tax due and owed to the IRS is $270,275.

Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the department’s Tax Division, commended the investigative efforts of the special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, Tax Division Trial Attorneys Sonia M. Owens and Mark L. Williams, who prosecuted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra R. Brown and Paul Rochmes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, who assisted in the prosecution.

Department of Justice / 13-1282*Tax Division / Decemb8er 05, 2013

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