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May 18, 2017

Two Women Charged in Connection with Road Rage Attack in Supermarket Parking Lot

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

Two women have been charged in connection with an attack of a man whose leg was severed after being pinned into a wall at a Beverly Hills supermarket parking lot, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Jamika Marie Abair (dob 9/14/94) of Long Beach faces one felony count each of attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon, a vehicle

Case SA095626 also alleges Abair caused great bodily injury upon the victim. Sarah Gabriella Huerta (dob 7/20/97) of Long Beach was charged with one felony count of accessory after the fact, knowledge of crime.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges yesterday and are due back on June 14 in Department W31 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

On May 12, Abair and Huerta reportedly got into an altercation with the victim in a supermarket parking lot in the 9400 block of Olympic Boulevard, prosecutors said. The confrontation ended with Abair allegedly driving her vehicle toward the victim, pinning him against a railing, severing one of his legs below the knee, prosecutors added.

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May 17, 2017

Longtime Fugitive who Owned Car Dealership Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Huge 1980s-Era Bank Fraud Scheme

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

LOS ANGELES – An Australian man who ran one of the largest automobile dealerships in the United States before fleeing the country 29 years ago was sentenced this morning to 120 months in federal prison in a bank fraud scheme that caused more than $64 million in losses to banks, one of which collapsed as a result of the losses suffered in the scam.

United States District Judge S. James Otero sentenced Eminiano “Jun” Reodica Jr., 72, this morning. Judge Otero called defendant’s scheme to defraud “extremely serious,” stating it caused “much disruption, much heartache” to “too many victims to count.” Judge Otero said defendant preyed upon members of the Filipino community as well as numerous federally insured financial institutions in perpetrating an extremely serious fraud scheme that resulted in total losses to both individuals and financial institutions of over $90 million.

Reodica, who fled the United States in the summer of 1988, has been in federal custody since he was arrested in late 2012 at Los Angeles International Airport during a layover while traveling from Australia to Canada.

On the day before he was set to go on trial in October 2015, Reodica pleaded guilty to 26 counts of bank fraud and making false statements to financial institutions. From 1984 through 1988, the fraud scheme victimized at least five banks – Union Bank, First Los Angeles Bank, Manilabank, First Central Bank and Imperial Savings.

“The scale of the fraud is virtually unparalleled,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. “[T]he financial institutions that defendant preyed upon suffered losses in excess of $64.2 million. Notably, Imperial subsequently failed and went into receivership with the FDIC based on the losses sustained as the result of defendant’s fraud.”

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United States Intervenes in Second False Claims Act Lawsuit Alleging that UnitedHealth Group Inc. Mischarged the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Programs

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

For the second time in two weeks, the United States has filed a complaint against UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UHG) that alleges UHG knowingly obtained inflated risk adjustment payments based on untruthful and inaccurate information about the health status of beneficiaries enrolled in UHG’s Medicare Advantage Plans throughout the United States, the Justice Department announced today. Today’s action follows the government’s filing of a complaint earlier this month in United States ex rel. Swoben v. Secure Horizons, a related action that also alleges that UHG submitted false claims for payment to the Medicare Program.

“The Department of Justice’s pursuit of this matter illustrates its firm commitment to ensure the integrity of the Medicare Program, including those parts of the program that rely on the services of Medicare Advantage Organizations,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

UHG is the nation’s largest Medicare Advantage Organization, with more than 50 Medicare Advantage and Drug Prescription plans providing healthcare services and prescription drug benefits to millions of Medicare beneficiaries throughout the United States. receives a monthly “risk adjustment” payment from Medicare for each enrolled beneficiary. The risk adjustment payments are based, in significant part, on the health status of the beneficiary, which are reflected by diagnosis that receives from treating physicians and subsequently submits to Medicare for each beneficiary.

The complaint filed today by the United States alleges that UHG knowingly disregarded information about beneficiaries’ medical conditions, which increased the risk adjustment payments UHG received from Medicare. In particular, the lawsuit contends that, for many years, UHG conducted a national Chart Review Program designed to identify additional diagnoses not reported by treating physicians that would increase UHG’s risk adjustment payments. However, UHG allegedly ignored information from these chart reviews showing that hundreds of thousands of diagnoses provided by treating physicians and submitted by it to Medicare were invalid and did not support the Medicare payments it had previously requested and obtained. By ignoring this information, UHG avoided repaying Medicare monies to which it was not entitled.

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U.S. Intervenes in Second ‘Whistleblower’ Lawsuit Alleging UnitedHealth Mischarged the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Programs

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

LOS ANGELES – For the second time in two weeks, the United States this afternoon filed a complaint against UnitedHealth Group Inc. that alleges the company knowingly obtained inflated risk adjustment payments based on untruthful and inaccurate information about the health status of beneficiaries enrolled in UnitedHealth’s Medicare Advantage Plans throughout the United States.

Today’s action follows the government’s filing of a complaint earlier this month in United States ex rel. Swoben v. Secure Horizons, a related action that also alleges UnitedHealth submitted false claims for payment to the Medicare Program.

United Health is the nation’s largest Medicare Advantage Organization, with more than 50 Medicare Advantage and Drug Prescription plans providing healthcare services and prescription drug benefits to millions of Medicare beneficiaries throughout the United States. UnitedHealth receives a monthly “risk adjustment” payment from Medicare for each enrolled beneficiary. The risk adjustment payments are based, in significant part, on the health status of the beneficiary, which are reflected by diagnosis that UnitedHealth receives from treating physicians and subsequently submits to Medicare for each beneficiary.

The complaint filed today by the United States alleges that UnitedHealth knowingly disregarded information about beneficiaries’ medical conditions, which increased the risk adjustment payments the company received from Medicare. In particular, the lawsuit contends that, for many years, UnitedHealth conducted a national Chart Review Program designed to identify additional diagnoses not reported by treating physicians that would increase its risk adjustment payments. However, UnitedHealth allegedly ignored information from these chart reviews showing that hundreds of thousands of diagnoses provided by treating physicians and submitted by it to Medicare were invalid and did not support the Medicare payments it had previously requested and obtained. By ignoring this information, UnitedHealth avoided repaying Medicare monies to which it was not entitled.

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May 16, 2017

COLORADO MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR 1994 COLD CASE MURDER OF TWO STRANGERS IN HUNTINGTON BEACH

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Colorado man will be arraigned today for the 1994 cold case murder of two strangers in Huntington Beach.

Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
Lamberto Ricci Castillo, 64, Alamosa, Colo. Charged on April 27, 2017, with:

  • Two felony counts of murder

Sentencing Enhancements:

  • (2) Use of a firearm
  • Additional 187 charge
Life in state prison Arraignment

May 15, 2017, 10:00 a.m.

Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana

There will be further details regarding this case released at a press conference, which is scheduled for Monday, May 15, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. The press conference will be held at City Hall next to City Council Chambers, located at 2000 Main Street, Huntington Beach, California 92648.

Circumstances of the Case

  • On the evening of March 31, 1994, Kenny Paul Sommer, 23, and Chen ‘Cosmo’ Maui Blanchard, 23, were socializing in downtown Huntington Beach.
  • The defendant is accused of verbally confronting Sommer and Blanchard as they urinating in the street near the area of Main Street and Orange Avenue.
  • Castillo is accused of walking away after the argument and returning at approximately 10:15 p.m. with a handgun.
  • An off-duty police officer witnessed the confrontation but not the shooting,
  • Castillo is accused of shooting Sommer and Blanchard multiple times before fleeing the scene.
  • Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) officers responded to multiple calls concerning shots fired in the area of Main Street and Orange Avenue and discovered Sommer and Blanchard lying on the ground.
  • Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

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MAN SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS AND EIGHT MONTHS IN PRISON FOR KIDNAPPING AND THREATENING WOMAN AFTER CARVING HIS NAME ON HER CHEST

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced to nine years and eight months in state prison today for kidnapping and threatening a woman that he had a romantic relationship with after carving his name on her chest.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Sergio Joaquin Mendoza, 27, Santa Ana Found guilty by a jury on March 9, 2017, of:

Felony counts:

  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal threats
  • False imprisonment by violence, menace, fraud, or deceit
  • (2) Domestic battery with corporal injury

Misdemeanor counts:

  • False imprisonment by violence, menace, fraud, or deceit

Sentencing Enhancement:

  • Causing great bodily injury
Nine years and eight months in state prison

Circumstances of the Case

  • Between March 17, 2015, and March 20, 2015, Mendoza engaged in multiple verbal arguments with Jane Doe and punched her on several occasions.
  • The defendant forced Jane Doe to sit in his car while he was at work and threatened her with violence in order to keep her from leaving the car.
  • On or about March 22, 2015, the defendant told the victim he would let her leave if she allowed him to carve his name onto her chest. Mendoza used a razor blade to carve his first name onto the victim’s chest and forced the victim to stay in the house.
  • Later that evening, the defendant forced the victim into his vehicle and drove her to several parking lots in Santa Ana.
  • Mendoza held the victim against her will in his vehicle by intimidating and threatening her with violence if she attempted to leave the vehicle.
  • On March 23, 2015, Mendoza punched Jane Doe in the face, attempted to strangle the victim by putting his hands around her neck, head-butted her in the face, and tried to hold her in the vehicle by grabbing her arm.
  • The victim was able to escape the defendant’s car and run to a local business where she reported the crime to an employee and called 911.

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MAN SENTENCED TO 52 YEARS TO LIFE FOR STABBING-MURDER OF MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND OUTSIDE RESIDENCE IN ANAHEIM

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

SANTA ANA, Calif – A man was sentenced to 52 years to life in state prison today for stabbing and murdering his mother’s boyfriend outside of a residence in Anaheim.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Ruben Martinez, 29, Anaheim Found guilty by a jury on March 3, 2017, of:

  • One felony count of first degree murder

Sentencing Enhancement:

  • Personal use of a deadly weapon

52 years to life in state prison

Circumstances of the Case:

  • At approximately 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2014, Martinez stabbed 52-year-old Maximino F. multiple times in the torso region while they were outside a home in a neighborhood in unincorporated Anaheim.
  • The crime was reported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) who arrived at the scene and discovered the victim’s body on a street near the home.
  • The victim died as a result of his injuries. OCSD arrested the defendant at the scene.

Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke, Homicide Unit.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 14NF4890 / May 12, 2017

May 15, 2017

Former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca Sentence to 3 Years in Federal Prison for Leading Scheme to Obstruct Investigation into Jails

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

LOS ANGELES – Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who was convicted of overseeing a scheme designed to obstruct a federal investigation into corruption and civil rights abuses at county jail facilities, was sentenced today to 36 months in federal prison.

Baca, 74, who also was found guilty of lying to federal investigators, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge Percy Anderson.

Judge Anderson, who presided over a series of trials that led to the conviction of 10 former members of the Sheriff’s Department involved in the scheme to obstruct justice, said Baca “knew what he was doing was wrong, and he had no problem using his office to further his own agenda.”

Judge Anderson ordered Baca to begin serving his sentence by July 25. In addition to the prison term, the judge ordered Baca to pay a $7,500 fine.

“Blind obedience to a corrupt culture has serious consequences,” Judge Anderson said.

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Former MLB Player Doug DeCinces and an Associate Found Guilty of Insider Trading Offenses for Using Non-Public Info to Trade Stocks

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

SANTA ANA, California – A federal jury today convicted former professional baseball player Douglas DeCinces of insider trading charges for using non-public information to purchase stock in an Orange County company in transactions that netted him $1.3 million in profits.

A second man who illegally took the insider information from DeCinces – David Parker – was also found guilty today of violating federal securities laws.

The guilty verdicts follow a trial that lasted nearly two months in United States District Court.

As a result of the guilty verdicts, DeCinces, 66, of Laguna Beach, and Parker, 65, of Provo, Utah, respectively face statutory maximum penalties of 220 years and 60 years in federal prison.

United States District Judge Andrew J. Guilford will schedule a status conference in the coming weeks to discuss future proceedings in the case, including sentencing hearings.

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GRAFFITI-TAGGING CREW MEMBER SENTENCED TO 16 YEARS TO LIFE FOR STABBING-MURDER OF 12-YEAR-OLD BOY

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A graffiti-tagging crew member was sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison today for the stabbing-murder of a 12-year-old boy who was walking home from school.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Bryan Ocampo, 24, Anaheim Found guilty by a jury on Dec. 19, 2016, of:

  • One felony count of second-degree murder

Sentencing Enhancement:

  • Personal use of a knife
  • 16 years to life in state prison
  • Ordered to pay restitution

Circumstances of the Case

  • At the time of the crime, Ocampo was an 18-year-old member of a graffiti-tagging crew.
  • On the afternoon of June 13, 2011, the victim, 12-year-old Juan Martinez, was walking home from Sycamore Junior High School on La Palma Avenue in Anaheim, where he was a student.
  • Ocampo walked up to the victim and engaged in a physical altercation with him.
  • The defendant pulled out a knife that was concealed on his personand stabbed Martinez in the abdomen two times and once in the chest.
  • The victim ran away from Ocampo and collapsed due to his injuries.
  • Anaheim Police Department (APD) officers arrived at the scene and found the victim in the parking lot of an apartment complex.
  • Martinez was transported to University of California, Irvine Medical Center in Orange, where he died as a result of the stab wounds.
  • Witnesses at the scene identified Ocampo, who was arrested later that night by APD.

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