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November 5, 2013

Los Angeles Businessman Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud the United States by Concealing Israeli Bank Accounts

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:11 am

November 05, 2013

Defendant is Latest in a Series of Defendants Charged with Failing to Report Income from Undeclared Accounts in Israel.

David Raminfard of Los Angeles pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) announced.

According to court documents, Raminfard, a U.S. citizen, maintained undeclared bank accounts at an international bank headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, identified in court documents as Bank A.  The accounts were held in the names of nominees in order to keep them secret from the U.S. government.  One of the accounts was held in the name of Westrose Limited, a nominee entity formed in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  To further ensure that his undeclared accounts remained secret, Raminfard placed a mail hold on his accounts.  Rather than having his account statements mailed to him, Raminfard would receive them from an international accounts manager with Bank A in Israel, who brought the statements to Los Angeles and reviewed them with Raminfard during meetings at a hotel.

In or about 2000, Raminfard began secretly using the funds in his undeclared accounts as collateral for back-to-back loans obtained from the Los Angeles branch of Bank A.  Raminfard used one of the loans to purchase commercial real estate in Los Angeles.  By using back-to-back loans, Raminfard was able to access his funds in Israel without the U.S. Government finding out about his undeclared accounts.  These loans also enabled Raminfard to claim the interest paid on the loans as a business expense on his companies’ business tax returns, while not reporting the interest earned in Israel as income on his individual income tax returns filed with the IRS.  For tax years 2005 through 2010, Raminfard failed to report approximately $521,000 in income.  The highest balance in Raminfard’s undeclared accounts was approximately $3 million.

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FORMER DISNEYLAND EMPLOYEE CONVICTED OF POSSESSION OF DESTRUCTIVE DEVICE AFTER TWO EXPLOSIONS IN THEME PARK OF WATER BOTTLES CONTAINING DRY ICE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:07 am

FULLERTON – A former employee of Disneyland was convicted and sentenced today for possessing a destructive device after two water bottles containing dry ice exploded in a Toontown trash bag and vending cart. Christian Isaiah Barnes, 23, Long Beach, pleaded guilty to a court offer to one misdemeanor count of possession of a destructive device. He was sentenced to 36 days in jail, three years informal probation, 100 hours of community service, and ordered to stay away from Disneyland.

At the time of the crime, Barnes was an employee at Disneyland in Anaheim.

On May 28, 2013, Barnes was in possession of two water bottles containing dry ice. This combination can be used to create a destructive device in the form of a dry ice bomb.

Sometime after 4:00 p.m., a female employee went to relieve the defendant from his shift at a vending cart outside of Toontown. Barnes opened the vending cart, at which time the first water bottle containing dry ice exploded.

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November 4, 2013

THIRTEEN MEN CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR ATTEMPTING OR AGREEING TO ENGAGE IN PROSTITUTION

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

SANTA ANA – Thirteen men were convicted and sentenced for attempting or agreeing to engage in prostitution. Geobani Jonathan Benitez, 24, Tustin;  Eufermio Duarte, 36, Santa Ana; Ierusamlema Stevenson Faupusa, 37 Los Alamitos; Jeremy Fields, 38, Costa Mesa; Michael Allen Gomez, 51, Santa Ana; Juan Valdez Heredia, 67, Santa Ana; Noe Hernandez, 35, Santa Ana; and Arnulfo Martinez, 28, Santa Ana; each pleaded guilty in October 2013, to one misdemeanor count of agreeing to engage in prostitution. Jesus Quezada Cisneros, 55, Garden Grove, pleaded guilty Oct. 10, 2013, to one misdemeanor count of loitering with intent to commit prostitution.

Benitez, Cisneros, Duarte, Fields, Faupusa, Gomez, Heredia, Hernandez, and Arnulfo Martinez, were each sentenced to three years informal probation and 10 days in jail with the possibility of CalTrans in lieu of jail, and must submit to AIDS testing and education. Benitez, Cisneros, Duarte, Faupusa, Fields, and Hernandez, were also required to donate to the Victim/Witness Emergency Fund.

Felipe Barrera Vargas, 33, Garden Grove, pleaded guilty Oct. 11, 2013, to one misdemeanor count of agreeing to engage in prostition with one prior conviction and sentenced to three years informal probation, 45 days in jail, and must submit to AIDS testing and education.

Evaristo Nestor Martinez, 41, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty Oct. 24, 2013, to one misdemeanor count of agreeing to engage in prostitution with two prior convictions and was sentenced to three years informal probation, three months in jail, and must submit to AIDS testing and education.

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Montebello Man Charged with Selling Drugs Near a School

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:26 am

The husband of Montebello’s mayor is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 7 on six felony counts of selling methamphetamine near a school, the District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Ruben Guerrero, 44 (dob 6-16-69), was arrested on Oct. 17 after the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau set up an undercover sting operation. Guerrero is charged in case BA 417882 with three counts each of possession for sale of a controlled substance and sale or transportation of a controlled substance.

The complaint alleges Guerrero sold methamphetamine on three separate occasions – Sept. 26, Oct. 2 and Oct. 15. The complaint includes an allegation that the sales took place within 1,000 feet of Montebello Intermediate School.

Guerrero is scheduled to be arraigned at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, said Deputy District Attorney Ian Phan. Prosecutors will ask that his bail be set at $120,000.

If convicted, Guerrero faces up to 11 years in state prison.

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office / case BA 417882 / October 31, 2013

November 1, 2013

California Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud the IRS and Aggravated Identity Theft

Filed under: California Appeals Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:51 am

Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division Kathryn Keneally and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for the Northern District of California announced that Noemi Rubio Baez, of Salinas, Calif., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to file false claims for tax refunds with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to aggravated identity theft.

According to the plea agreement, beginning around Feb. 28, 2008 and continuing through April 16, 2012, Baez and a co-conspirator participated in a scheme to obtain and to help others obtain false claims from the IRS by electronically filing in her own name, and in the names of others, false federal income tax returns.  Baez and her co-conspirator created false income information in the names and Social Security numbers of multiple individuals, and filed materially false tax returns with the IRS claiming refunds derived from tax credits including the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit, and the Making Work Pay Credit.

According to court documents, in some instances, the taxpayers requested the returns be prepared, in others the taxpayers did not provide Baez or her co-conspirator with their personal identification information and were unaware that the returns had been filed in their names.  Baez and her co-conspirator filed more than 150 false and fraudulent claims unlawfully seeking more than $400,000 in tax refunds.

At the time of her sentencing, scheduled for January 23, 2014, before U.S. District Judge D. Lowell Jensen, Baez faces a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000.

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MAN CONVICTED OF $3.5 MILLION FRAUDULENT SCHEME BY FALSELY TRANSFERRING DEEDS ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES AND FRAUDULENTLY RENTING OUT HOUSES

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

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted yesterday of stealing over $3.5 million in a fraudulent scheme by falsely transferring residential property deeds and fraudulently renting out houses. Blair Christopher Hanloh, 50, Long Beach, was convicted by a jury yesterday, Oct. 30, 2013, of five felony counts of recording false and forged instruments. He faces a maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison at his sentencing Dec. 13, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Hanloh owned and operated as Blair Hanloh Trustee of Diversified Management Trust (Diversified Management). He started this company to record quitclaim deeds to fraudulently transfer properties from himself to Diversified Management. A quitclaim deed is a document filed with the County Clerk-Recorder’s Department to sever ownership from a specified property in order to pass ownership to another named party.

Prior to Feb. 1, 2010, Hanloh visited properties on Birch Tree Lane in Anaheim and Sea Bright Drive in San Clemente to assess whether they were vacant or mid-foreclosure. He did not own these homes. After a couple of weeks, Hanloh fraudulently took possession of the houses, drilled the locks, entered the homes, and then changedthe locks.

On Feb. 1, 2010, Hanloh recorded two fraudulent quitclaim deeds on Birch Tree and Sea Bright Drive homes. He fixed up the homes and posted them for rent on Craigslist. He then rented out the properties to unsuspecting renters by having them sign a fraudulent lease agreement.                                                       (more…)

October 31, 2013

More Corruption Charges Filed Against Noguez, Salari

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:59 am

Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez and a tax consultant who were charged last year in a massive corruption scheme to lower property taxes on favored individuals and businesses both pleaded not guilty today to a dozen new felony counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Noguez, 48, and tax consultant Ramin Salari, 50, appeared in court before Judge George Lomeli to set a date for their preliminary hearing when they were arraigned on three new counts each of grand theft and three counts each of embezzlement. The new charges involve three additional properties in downtown Los Angeles that were appraised at a lower value.

Prosecutors allege that Noguez accepted bribes from Salari to lower property tax assessments for some of Salari’s clients, whose properties were located in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Pasadena, Marina Del Rey and the South Bay. Prosecutors allege the new charges show Noguez was working with Salari as far back as March 1996.

In addition, prosecutors with the Public Integrity Division filed a separate case today charging Salari with three counts of felony tax evasion. Salari pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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Man Charged with Rape in El Monte Convenience Store Attack

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:56 am

An 18-year-old man accused of raping a clerk at an El Monte convenience store is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon on multiple felony charges, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Joseph Leo Amaya (dob 1/1/95) is charged in case KA103513 with two counts of forcible rape and three counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object. Amaya is due to appear in Department R of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch.

The complaint includes a special allegation that the defendant kidnapped the victim to commit the offenses charged. The case was filed for warrant Oct. 23.

The 19-year-old victim was working the night shift at a mini mart when Amaya allegedly approached the girl. The defendant left the premise but allegedly returned while the victim was getting ready to close the store.

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Singer CeeLo Green Charged

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:54 am

Singer-songwriter CeeLo Green was charged today with furnishing ecstasy to a female victim, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Green, whose real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, was charged with one felony count of furnishing a controlled substance in case BA417464. He is expected to be arraigned at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Department 30, sometime after 1:30 p.m. Prosecutors asked that his bail be set at $30,000.

Green, 38 (dob 5-30-75), allegedly slipped ecstasy to a 33-year-old female while the two were dining at a downtown Los Angeles restaurant sometime between July 13 and July 14, 2012. The two later went back to the woman’s hotel. Prosecutors declined to file a charge of rape of an intoxicated person, citing insufficient evidence.

If convicted, Green faces up to four years in state prison.

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office / case BA417464 / Oct. 21, 2013

October 30, 2013

Owners and Supervisor of Ambulance Transportation Company Plead Guilty in Los Angeles for Role in Ambulance Fraud Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:12 am

The owners and supervisor of Alpha Ambulance Inc. (Alpha), a now-defunct Los Angeles-area ambulance transportation company, have pleaded guilty in connection with an ambulance fraud scheme.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. of the Central District of California; Special Agent in Charge Glenn R. Ferry of the Los Angeles Region of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); and Assistant Director in Charge Bill L. Lewis of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.

Alex Kapri, aka Alex Kapriyelov or Alexander Kapriyelov, 56; Aleksey Muratov, aka Russ Muratov, 32; and Danielle Hartsell Medina, 36, pleaded guilty on Oct. 28, 2013, before U.S. District Court Judge Audrey B. Collins in the Central District of California to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.  They face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when they are sentenced on Feb. 24, 2014.

Kapri and Muratov were owners and operators of Alpha, an ambulance transportation company that operated in the greater Los Angeles area and that specialized in the provision of non-emergency ambulance transportation services to Medicare-eligible beneficiaries, primarily dialysis patients.  Medina was employed by Alpha and ultimately supervised the training and education of its employees.

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