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April 18, 2014

Former Long-Time Treasurer of Fullerton Teamsters Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement from Union and Filing False Tax Return

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:51 am

SANTA ANA, California – The former treasurer of the Fullerton-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Graphic Communications Conference, District Council Number 2, has pleaded guilty to embezzlement from the union and filing a false tax return.

Fred W. Correll, 79, of Fullerton, who was the secretary-treasurer of the union since 1970, pleaded guilty to the two felony counts on Tuesday afternoon.

When he pleaded guilty, Correll admitted that during 2009 he embezzled $10,000 from the union for his personal use. Correll also admitted that he filed a false tax return for himself in 2009 when he failed to report that income on the 2009 tax return that he filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Correll resigned from the union three years ago.                            (more…)

WOMAN SENTENCED TO 13 YEARS IN STATE PRISON FOR SEARCHING ROOMS AND KIDNAPPING NEWBORN BABY GIRL IN HOSPITAL

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:43 am

SANTA ANA – A woman was convicted and sentenced Tuesday to 13 years in state prison for kidnapping a newborn baby from Garden Grove Medical Center after searching multiple hospital rooms in two different hospitals for a baby to steal. Grisel Ramirez, 50, Garden Grove, pleaded guilty April 15, 2014, to one felony count of kidnapping of a child under 14 years old and five felony counts of first degree burglary with a sentencing enhancement for the kidnapping of a child to deprive the parent of custody.

At approximately 10:00 a.m. on Aug. 6, 2012, Ramirez entered Garden Grove Medical Center in Garden Grove wearing medical scrubs, a visitor tag, and carrying a large tote bag with the intention of kidnapping a newborn baby girl. She entered the individual hospital rooms of four new mothers and asked questions about their babies including the sex and date of birth.

Ramirez entered the hospital room of Jane Doe #5, a mother with a newborn baby girl, and distracted the mother by asking her to take a shower in preparation for moving hospital rooms. While the mother was distracted, Ramirez placed 1-day-old Baby Doe in her tote bag. She then left the room and attempted to flee from the hospital.

Ramirez was contacted by hospital staff while still inside and attempted to leave the hospital after an alarm on the baby’s identification tag alerted hospital staff that Baby Doe was being moved. The defendant was arrested at the scene by the Garden Grove Police Department, who investigated this case.              (more…)

April 17, 2014

19 MEN CONVICTED OF LOITERING, SOLICITING, ENGAGING, AND/OR AGREEING TO ENGAGE IN PROSTITUTION

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:30 am

SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) convicted 19 men of loitering, soliciting, engaging, and/or agreeing to engage in prostitution. The men were convicted in March 2014. 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. They agreed to engage in commercial sex, engaged in prostitution, loitered with intent to commit prostitution, and/or solicited another to engage in prostitution with a woman or an undercover officer and were subsequently arrested by law enforcement.

The Buena Park Police Department, Garden Grove Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and Santa Ana Police Department investigated these cases. Deputy District Attorney Michael Bardeen of the HEAT Unit prosecuted these cases.

The defendants below each pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count each of agreeing to engage in prostitution, loitering with the intent to commit prostitution, and/or soliciting another to engage in prostitution. The defendants were each sentenced up to three years informal probation, up to 20 days in jail with the possibility of CalTrans in lieu of jail, and must submit to DNA testing. Some of the defendants were also required to donate up to $500 to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund.

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Justice Department Settles Sex Discrimination Lawsuit Against California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:27 am

The Department of Justice announced today that it has entered into a settlement agreement that, if approved by the court, will resolve allegations that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) discriminated against an employee because of his sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The department filed its complaint against CDCR in July 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  The complaint alleged that Joe Cummings, a male cook with CDCR, was sexually harassed by a female co-worker and that CDCR failed to take timely steps both to end the harassment and to remedy it.  Title VII prohibits discrimination in employment because of sex, which includes sexual harassment, as well as because of color, national origin, race and religion.

According to the complaint, Cummings’s co-worker made frequent unwanted sexual advances toward Cummings for more than a year.  The complaint alleges that the co-worker frequently made lewd and sexually suggestive comments to Cummings that he explicitly rejected as unwelcome.  The complaint further alleges that the co-worker’s inappropriate verbal communications with Cummings escalated, over time, to unwanted physical contact.  According to the complaint, Cummings and other CDCR personnel complained numerous times to CDCR supervisors about the harassment, but CDCR failed to take timely remedial action to both end the harassment and to discipline the harasser.  The complaint alleges that CDCR’s failure to take timely action to address sexual harassment violates both Title VII and CDCR’s own anti-harassment policy, which requires its supervisors to prevent sexual harassment and to promptly address complaints of sexual harassment.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, CDCR must pay Cummings $50,000 in compensatory damages and restore leave that he indicated he used to try to avoid the alleged harasser.  CDCR must also maintain appropriate anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies and procedures.  In addition, CDCR must provide appropriate training for its personnel on these policies and procedures.

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April 16, 2014

S.F. Valley Woman Who Orchestrated Health Care Fraud Scheme that Submitted Nearly $25 Million in Bogus Bills Sentenced to over 7 Years

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:06 am

LOS ANGELES – A North Hollywood woman who worked in the health care industry was sentenced this afternoon to 76 months in federal prison for orchestrating a scheme that submitted nearly $25 million in fraudulent bills to Medicare for services and supplies that were medically unnecessary and sometimes were never provided.

Susanna Artsruni, 46, who formerly owned a durable medical equipment (DME) company and worked at a number of medical clinics in Los Angeles, was sentenced by United States District Judge Margaret M. Morrow.

Artsruni, who often used the names “Mary” and “Rose,” was sentenced after pleading guilty earlier this year to one count of health care fraud and one count of money laundering. In addition to the prison term, Judge Morrow ordered Artsruni to pay $9,624,556 in restitution to the Medicare program.

In a plea agreement filed in United States District Court, Artsruni admitted that she defrauded Medicare in a number of ways. In one part of the scheme, Artsruni had physician’s assistants at three Los Angeles medical clinics sign prescriptions and orders for medically unnecessary DME and diagnostic tests that were later referred to other Medicare providers that billed for the equipment and tests. Artsruni also caused the three clinics to bill Medicare for medically unnecessary services.

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BOOKKEEPER CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING OVER $1.4 MILLION FROM TWO LAW FIRMS AND ISSUING UNAUTHORIZED CHECKS TO HUSBAND

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

NEWPORT BEACH – A bookkeeper faces charges for embezzling over $1.4 million from two law firms and issuing unauthorized checks to her husband. Shawna Renee Barretto, 39, Anaheim, was charged in March 2014 with 22 felony counts of computer access fraud, 21 felony counts of falsifying records, seven felony counts of grand theft, two felony counts of identity theft, one felony count of theft from elder, with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, property damage or loss over $65,000, property loss over $200,000, property damage over $1.3 million, money laundering over $50,000, and money laundering over $150,000. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 32 years in state prison.

Co-defendant and husband Roberto Nilo Barretto, 53, Anaheim, was charged in March 2014 with one felony count of grand theft. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail. Shawna Barretto is out of custody on $1.4 million bail and Roberto Barretto is out of custody on $20,000 bail. Both defendants were arraigned April 11, 2014, and face a pre-trial hearing Aug. 8, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

Between 2005 and 2012, Shawna Barretto is accused of working as a bookkeeper and an office manager for two law firms. Shawna Barretto is accused of embezzling over $1.4 million from the law firms through deceptive record-keeping. She is accused of making unauthorized payments to her personal credit card accounts and opening credit card accounts in the law firms’ names and hiding those fraudulent payments by entering false entries in the law firms’ computer-based accounting records. Shawna Barretto is accused of using those accounts to make payments on personal expenses including her children’s private school tuition, golf club memberships, and other unauthorized expenses.

Between 2005 and 2008, Roberto Barretto is accused of accepting five fraudulent checks issued by his wife totaling $10,825.

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MAN TO FACE TRIAL FOR THE FORCIBLE RAPE OF TWO WOMEN HE MET ONLINE UNDER PRETENSE OF PERFORMING SPIRITUAL CLEANSING

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — fayarfa @ 4:57 am

SANTA ANA – A man will face a jury trial tomorrow for forcibly raping two women after luring them under the pretense of performing a spiritual cleansing. Alberto Flores Ramirez, 39, San Clemente, was charged in April 2012 for Jane Doe #1 with one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, and sexual penetration by foreign object by force. In May 2012, he was charged for Jane Doe #2 with one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, and attempted forcible oral copulation. He faces a sentencing enhancement for sex crimes against multiple victims. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 75 years to life in state prison. Opening statements are expected to begin tomorrow, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-43, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Jane Doe #1

Ramirez is accused of meeting 33-year-old Jane Doe #1 through an online dating website. On April 3, 2012, he is accused of meeting Jane Doe #1 at a McDonald’s in Santa Ana. Ramirez is accused of telling Jane Doe #1 that he could help her to 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 is accused of driving Jane Doe #1 from the McDonald’s to a motel in Santa Ana. Once inside a motel room, he is accused of instructing 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 is accused of rubbing raw eggs on the victim’s body and fondling Jane Doe #1.

When the victim attempted to cover herself with the comforter from the bed, Ramirez is accused of jumping on top of the victim and restraining her. Jane Doe #1 struggled to get away and the defendant is accused of digitally penetrating the victim and then strangling her. He is accused of threatening Jane Doe #1 that she had to stop fighting and then forcibly orally copulating and raping the victim.

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April 15, 2014

Former Chief Administrative Officer for City of Bell Sentenced to Federal Prison for Cheating IRS to Avoid Taxes on Corrupt Activities

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:30 am

LOS ANGELES – Robert A. Rizzo, the former top administrator in the City of Bell who has admitted his role in a widespread municipal corruption scandal, was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison in a tax fraud scheme designed to hide part of the massive income he was bilking from the small Los Angeles County city.

Rizzo was sentenced today by United States District Judge George H. King, who said Rizzo’s activities demonstrated “greed in cheating the taxpayers of the United States after cheating the citizens of Bell.” In issuing the 33-month prison term, Judge King ordered that it run consecutive to a prison term Rizzo is expected to receive Wednesday when he is sentenced in Los Angeles Superior Court in his corruption case.

Rizzo, 60, of Torrance, pleaded guilty in January to federal charges – conspiracy and filing a false federal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service – in a scheme that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid federal income tax. At today’s sentencing hearing, Judge King ordered Rizzo to pay $255,984 in restitution, a figure that equals the amount of unpaid taxes directly attributable to the defendant.

In his plea agreement, Rizzo admitted that he created a corporation to fraudulently claim losses on his income tax return, which served to illegally reduce his tax liability on the significant income he was receiving from the City of Bell. Rizzo also admitted claiming personal expenses as business deductions.

Rizzo’s “conduct can only be described as corrupt,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo filed with the court. Not only did Rizzo fleece the City of Bell and its residents, he also bilked the Internal Revenue Service “in an extraordinary display of greed.”

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MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING UNCLE IN LA PALMA BEFORE DUMPING AND BURNING BODY IN SANTA BARBARA COUNTY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:15 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of murdering his uncle and dumping the victim’s body in a remote area of Santa Barbara County after setting it on fire in an attempt to destroy the evidence. Kirk Michael Galvin, 25, La Palma, pleaded guilty today to one felony count of second degree murder. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison at his sentencing May 23, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On July 27, 2011, Kirk Galvin murdered his 53-year-old uncle Douglas Galvin. He committed the murder in his father’s La Palma apartment while his father was out of town. Kirk Galvin drove the victim’s murdered body to Santa Barbara County, dumped it in a remote area, and attempted to destroy the body by setting it on fire. He then fled the scene.

On July 30, 2011, two people found Douglas Galvin’s burned body while out on a walk and contacted the police.  Following an investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and La Palma Police Department, Kirk Galvin was arrested Aug. 5, 2011.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 11CF2110 / April 14, 2014

Man Sentenced for Murder, Attempted Murder in Stabbing Spree

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

A man was sentenced today to life without the possibility of parole for the murder and attempted murder of two transients in the Hollywood area five years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry also sentenced 58-year-old Domingo Linares Rodas to two consecutive life sentences. Rodas was convicted last month of one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

Prosecutors said Rodas fatally stabbed Keith Fallin on Aug. 6, 2009 while he was asleep outside the Music Box Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.

A few hours later, Rodas attacked a second man with a knife. That victim was stabbed in the chest but survived the assault, prosecutors said. Rodas also stabbed and wounded a third man on the same day.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Ian Phan and Jeffrey Herring. It was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Los Angeles County District Attorney / April 14, 2014

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