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February 21, 2014

TRUCK DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KILLING BICYCLIST IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH AFTER DRAGGING VICTIM THROUGH THE STREET

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 9:34 pm

FULLERTON - A truck driver is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow for killing a bicyclist in a hit-and-run crash after dragging the victim through the street. Filemon Reynaga, 48, is charged with one felony count of hit and run causing death and one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in state prison. He is out of custody on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

At approximately 5:35 a.m. on Oct. 30, 2013, Reynaga is accused of driving a semi-trailer truck with attached trailers out of a driveway on Missile Way onto Orangethorpe Avenue in Anaheim. He is accused hitting 19-year-old bicyclist Morales Rodriguez and dragging him, along with his bicycle, onto Orangethorpe Avenue and driving away from the scene without rendering aid to the victim, or contacting police.

Morales was subsequently struck by a second vehicle, but the driver in that crash stopped at the scene and cooperated with the Anaheim Police Department (APD), who investigated this case. Rodriguez died as a result of multiple blunt traumatic injuries in the two collisions.

APD arrested Reynaga on Jan. 8, 2014, after further investigation.

Deputy District Attorney Anna McIntire of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorneys Office / Case # 14NF0063 / February 20, 2014

February 20, 2014

Three Found Guilty for Roles in $20 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme Involving Bogus Prescriptions for Expensive Anti-Psychotic Drugs

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:03 am

LOS ANGELES – Three people linked to a Glendale medical clinic – including a doctor who took money to let his name be used thousands times on bogus prescriptions – were found guilty today of federal fraud charges related to a $20 million scheme to defraud Medicare and Medi-Cal by, among other things, fraudulently prescribing expensive anti-psychotic medications and then re-billing the government for those drugs over and over.

Today’s convictions stem from the first case in the nation alleging an organized scheme to defraud government health care programs through fraudulent claims for anti-psychotic medications. The evidence presented at trial showed how the operators of Manor Medical Imaging in Glendale operated a clinic authorized to make claims to Medicare and Medi-Cal, employed an unlicensed medical practitioner to write bogus prescriptions using an American doctor’s name and license number, and had close relationships with pharmacies and a fraudulent drug wholesale company that were used to funnel prescription drugs back to the pharmacies participating in the scheme.

In the largest case of its kind in Southern California brought against defendants who bilked Medicare Part D, prosecutors showed a federal jury how employees of Manor Medical generated thousands of prescriptions for identify theft victims – such as elderly Vietnamese beneficiaries of Medicare or Medi-Cal, military veterans who were recruited from drug rehab programs, and denizens of Skid Row. Members of the conspiracy created or doctored patient files to make it falsely appear the drugs were necessary and the patients were legitimately treated. After the prescriptions were filled at pharmacies and paid for by Medicare and Medi-Cal, they were sold on the black market and redistributed to pharmacies, where the drugs would be subject to new claims made to Medicare and Medi-Cal as though they were new bottles of drugs.

The scheme generated fraudulent billings of more than $20 million dollars, of which Medi-Cal and Medicare actually paid more than $8 million.

The three defendants convicted today are:                                                              (more…)

SELF-APPOINTED PASTOR/BIBLE STUDY LEADER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING TWO YOUNG MALE RELATIVES

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:57 am

WESTMINSTER – A self-appointed pastor who hosted regular “church” meetings and Bible studies in his Westminster home was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for sexually assaulting two young male relatives beginning when the victims were 12 years old. James Ray Guerrero, 54, Westminster, was found guilty by a jury Nov. 27, 2013, of eight felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14, one felony count of distributing pornography to a minor, and sentencing enhancement allegations for substantial sexual conduct with a child and lewd acts on more than one child.

The People objected to the sentence of 15 years to life in state prison by the Honorable Michael Beecher, arguing for a sentence of 120 years to life in state prison. The maximum possible sentence based on the conviction is 123 years to life in state prison.

John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 regularly attended Guerrero’s Bible study meetings in his Westminster home. Guerrero groomed the victims by frequently having the victims in his home and showing them pornographic movies.

Between January 2006 and December 2007, Guerrero sexually assaulted John Doe #1 on two occasions when the victim was 12 to 13 years old. The defendant invited John Doe #1 to his home and masturbated the victim.                                    (more…)

MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING GRANDMOTHER AND SETTING HOUSE ON FIRE WITH TWO YOUNG CHILDREN INSIDE FOUND SANE BY JURY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:53 am

SANTA ANA – A jury determined today that a man was legally sane when he murdered his grandmother and set her house on fire while his 8-year-old brother and 3-year-old niece were inside the home. Joseph Elija Ettima, 30, was found guilty by the same jury Feb. 4, 2014, of one felony count of second degree murder, one felony count of arson of an inhabited dwelling, two felony counts of child abuse, and a sentencing enhancement for arson with an accelerant. Ettima faces a maximum sentence of 27 years and eight months to life in state prison at his sentencing March 7, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

As Ettima entered pleas of “not guilty” and “not guilty by reason of insanity,” the trial was held in two phases. The first phase was the guilt phase, during which jurors heard evidence about the crime and the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime. In the second phase, the sanity phase, the same jury considered evidence to determine if the defendant was legally sane at the time of the crime, Ettima was found to be sane. When a defendant pleads “not guilty by reason of insanity,” the burden is on the defense to prove that the defendant was more likely than not legally insane when he committed the crime. To be considered legally insane, the defense must prove that the defendant had a mental disease or defect when he committed the crime, and also that this defect kept the defendant from understanding the nature of his act or from understanding that his act was morally or legally wrong.

On Jan. 19, 2009, Ettima visited the Los Alamitos home of his 69-year-old grandmother, Emma Louise Hardwick–Street, to see if he could move in with her. Hardwick-Street was already raising two young children in her home including the defendant’s 8-year-old brother and 3-year-old niece. When the victim refused to let Ettima move in, the defendant argued with his grandmother and stabbed her to death. The two children were present in the home at the time that Ettima murdered Hardwick-Street.

Ettima doused clothes and other flammable items in the house with rubbing alcohol and set the home on fire. He then fled the scene, leaving the two children. The 8-year-old boy was able to escape from the fire to the front of the house and rescued the 3-year-old girl by taking her with him.                                                (more…)

February 19, 2014

Woman Charged with Vehicular Manslaughter In Death of Friends

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 12:11 am

A 23-year-old woman has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence after her car struck a tree, killing two passengers and injuring two others, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jeanette Romero (dob 12/1/90) was arrested earlier this week and charged today in an amended complaint BA421146 with two counts each of vehicular manslaughter and two counts each of driving under the influence causing injury.

She is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $330,000.

Romero had been at a downtown Los Angeles club with four of her girlfriends on Nov. 3, 2013, celebrating 22-year-old Ana Cuadra’s birthday. Romero was driving northbound on the 110 Freeway when she hit a curb at a turnout, struck a chain link fence and a tree, prosecutors said.                                                       (more…)

Man Charged with Fatal Motel Stabbing

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:08 am

A Los Angeles man has been charged today with the stabbing of a man found dead in a motel room in January, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Oscar Richmond Bridges, 54 (dob 6/29/59), is charged with one count of murder with a special allegation that he used a knife.

The felony complaint also alleges Bridges was previously convicted for lewd act upon a child, a serious felony.

Bridges is scheduled to be arraigned in case YA089581 today in Department 5 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Inglewood Branch.                                            (more…)

February 18, 2014

Former NFL Player Charged with Rape

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — fayarfa @ 11:07 pm

Former pro football player Darren Sharper was charged today with drugging and raping two women, one in October and the other last month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Sharper (dob 11-03-75) is scheduled to be arraigned this morning in Department 30 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. He is charged in case BA421442.

Deputy District Attorney Stacy Okun-Wiese with Major Crimes said Sharper is charged with two counts of rape by use of drugs, four counts of furnishing a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance, all felonies.

The complaint alleges the controlled substances were zolpidem and morphine.                                                                 (more…)

February 17, 2014

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Arrest of Revenge Porn Operator in Oklahoma

Filed under: California Chid Pornography Attorney — fayarfa @ 10:24 pm

LOS ANGELES—Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of the alleged owner and operator of a revenge porn website who facilitated the posting of more than 400 sexually explicit photos of Californians and extorted victims for as much as $250 each to remove the illicit content.

Casey E. Meyering, 28, of Tulsa, Oklahoma was arrested yesterday in Tulsa by agents with the California Attorney General’s eCrime Unit, the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety and the Tulsa Police Department. The Attorney General’s Office is seeking a Governor’s warrant for Meyering’s extradition to California, and he remains in custody pending the extradition hearing. According to documents filed in Napa County Superior Court, Meyering has been charged with 5 felony extortion counts.

“This behavior is the very definition of predatory and this website made a game out of humiliating victims for profit,” Attorney General Harris said. “These actions at their core are about one individual exploiting the privacy and trust of others for financial gain. We will continue to investigate and prosecute those who participate in these deplorable and illegal activities.”

Court documents allege that in 2013, Meyering owned and administered the website WinByState.com, which solicits the anonymous, public posting of private photographs containing nude and explicit images of individuals without their permission. Commonly known as revenge porn, the photos maybe obtained consensually by the poster during a prior relationship, or are stolen or hacked.                    (more…)

FULLERTON POLICE OFFICER CHARGED WITH STEALING $24,000 FROM FINANCIAL LENDER AND CAR BUYER WHILE OFF DUTY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 10:22 pm

FULLERTON - A police officer has been charged with stealing approximately $24,000 from a financial lender and a wholesale automobile buyer after failing to repay a loan and fraudulently selling his truck, which was collateral for the unpaid loan. The officer was off duty at the time. Hugo Garcia, 32, is charged with one felony count of grand theft by false pretense and one felony count of embezzlement by debtor of security agreement. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail. Garcia is scheduled to be arraigned March 14, 2014, at the North Justice Center, Fullerton. The time and Department are to be determined.

In October 2012, Garcia is accused of taking out a loan for approximately $12,000 from a financial lender using his Chevrolet Tahoe as collateral. The defendant is accused of making two payments on the loan and then failing to make any additional payments.

In November 2012, Garcia is accused of advertising his Tahoe for sale on Craigslist, despite the financial lender having a security interest in the car. The defendant is accused of selling the vehicle to a wholesale buyer for $12,000 cash. The buyer was unaware that the car was being used as collateral for the loan and purchased the vehicle believing it was a legitimate transaction.

In March 2013, after Garcia is accused of failing to make multiple payments on his loan, the financial lender repossessed the vehicle from a third party who had purchased it after it was sold by the wholesaler.  The original wholesaler buyer re-paid the third party and, therefore, lost both the Tahoe and his $12,000 payment.

(more…)

February 14, 2014

BOARD MEMBER CHARGED WITH STEALING $750,000 IN LARGEST CHARTER SCHOOL THEFT IN CALIFORNIA HISTORY

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:34 am

SANTA ANA – A former board member for a charter school district has been charged with stealing $750,000 in the largest charter school theft in California history. Jeremy Landau, 43, Sherman Oaks, is charged with 13 felony counts of money laundering, two felony counts of misappropriation of public funds, and one felony count of conflict of interest in a sale and purchase, with sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing over $100,000 in loss, property loss over $200,000,  and fraudulent transactions over $150,000. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 14 years and eight months in state prison. Landau is being held on $750,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. He is expected to be arraigned Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

In May 2013, Landau is accused of joining the board of directors for California Virtual Education Partners (CAVEP), an Orange-County based charter school district that operates five online charter schools in California.

In June 2013, the defendant is accused of asking the other board members for $750,000 from CAVEP’s account with the promise of a $3 million return donation in January 2014. Landau is accused of using his position on the board to influence the other members to vote in his favor regarding the funds.

Landau is accused of laundering the money by moving it between various accounts and failing to repay any of the $750,000 to CAVEP. He is accused of stealing the money for personal gain.                                                (more…)

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