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March 20, 2014

Covina Man Pleads Not Guilty to Attempted Murder, Other Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:52 am

A Covina man accused of breaking into a house and attempting to assault the homeowner pleaded not guilty yesterday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jeffrey Benjamin Jimenez, 37 (dob 1/11/77), was arraigned on one count each of attempted murder, first-degree burglary with person present and vandalism with over $400 damage in case KA105077.

The defendant appeared at the Los Angeles County Superior Court in West Covina and his bail was set at $1.7 million.

Additionally, the felony complaint alleges that Cervantes was convicted of methamphetamine possession for sale in 1999 and burglary in 2001, 2005 and 2010.

Prosecutors said the victim was in his home on March 15 when Jimenez reportedly walked through the front door holding a metal rod.

The homeowner told Jimenez to leave and the defendant exited the house. Soon after, Jimenez allegedly returned to the house and kicked in the front door, prosecutors said.Jimenez reportedly tried to stab the homeowner with the metal rod, but the victim was able to distance himself with a table. At some point, the defendant exited the home and then smashed the home’s windows before he ultimately left the scene, according to prosecutors. (more…)

March 19, 2014

HUSBAND TO FACE TRIAL FOR 2004 SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES CONSPIRACY-MURDER BY SOLICITING MURDER OF WIFE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:33 am

SANTA ANA – A husband will face a jury trial tomorrow for the 2004 solicitation-murder of his wife. Magdi Faiz Girgis, 61, Westminster, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder, one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, and one felony count of false imprisonment by violence, and sentencing enhancements for murder for financial gain and murder to prevent testimony. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility. Opening statements are scheduled to begin tomorrow morning, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Co-defendant Anthony Edward Bridget, 40, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder, one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, one felony count of aggravated assault, one felony count of false imprisonment by violence, and sentencing enhancements for murder for financial gain, murder by lying in wait, and murder during the commission of a burglary. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Bridget is scheduled for a preliminary hearing June 20, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center.

Prior to the murder, Magdi Girgis is accused of having a pending domestic violence case against him related to assaulting his wife, 55-year-old Ariet Girgis. A restraining order was issued, Ariet Girgis intended to divorce the defendant, and Magdi Girgis is accused of moving out of the couple’s Westminster home.

Magdi Girgis, then a respiratory therapist, is accused of planning to murder the victim because he wanted to avoid the cost of a divorce and did not want to lose his medical license by receiving a felony conviction. As a result, Magdi Girgis is accused of soliciting at least one person to murder his wife.

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MAN TO FACE TRIAL FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING TWO WOMEN IN IRVINE AND NEWPORT BEACH

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

SANTA ANA – A man is scheduled to face trial tomorrow for the sexual assaults of two women in Irvine and Newport Beach. Travis Dewayne Batten, Jr., 31, Irvine, is charged with two felony counts of forcible rape, one felony count each of assault with intent to commit a sexual offense, assault with intent to commit a sexual offense during the commission of first degree burglary, sodomy by force, sexual penetration by foreign object by force, dissuading a witness by force or threat, kidnapping to commit a sex offense, and first degree residential burglary. He also faces sentencing enhancement allegations for committing sexual offenses during the commission of a burglary and tying up or binding a person. If convicted, Batten faces a maximum sentence of 176 years to life in state prison. Opening statements are expected to begin tomorrow, March 18, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. in Department C-27, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Between May 2005 and November 2006, Batten is accused of breaking into the residences of two women, whom he did not know, while wearing a mask. He is accused of raping an Irvine woman and sexually assaulting a woman who lived in Newport Beach.

At approximately 9:00 p.m. on May 20, 2005, Batten, then-23, is accused of wearing a mask and breaking into the Newport Beach residence of 40-year-old Jane Doe #1 while she was out. When the victim arrived home, the defendant is accused of attacking her and throwing Jane Doe #1 to the ground. Batten is accused of forcing the victim to her bedroom and duct taping her hands and mouth. He is accused of sexually assaulting Jane Doe #1’s breasts and vagina. Batten is then accused of punching the victim twice in the head and threatening the victim by stating he would come back and get her if she contacted police. He is accused of fleeing the scene. Jane Doe #1 called 911.

Newport Beach Police Department officers responded to the scene and investigated the case. Batten is accused of leaving DNA at the scene, which was collected by police, processed by Orange County Crime Laboratory (OCCL), and entered in the local DNA database.

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TWO BROTHERS CONVICTED OF MOLESTING IN CONCERT AND TAKING TURNS SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 3 AND 7 YEAR OLD GIRLS

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

SANTA ANA – Two brothers were convicted today for molesting two little girls, ages 3 and 7 years old, who lived in the same neighborhood. Cristobal Ortiz Rodriguez, 38, Fullerton, pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 and four felony counts of continuous sexual abuse. Eduardo Ortiz Rodriguez, 36, Fullerton, pleaded guilty to 15 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two felony counts of continuous sexual abuse. Both defendants are expected to be sentenced to 50 years in state prison and lifetime sex offender registration at their sentencing May 19, 2014, in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

In May 2010, the Rodriguez brothers lived in a converted garage in a home in Fullerton. They gained access to 7-year-old Jane Doe #1 and 3-year-old Jane Doe #2, who lived nearby.

Between May 2010 and August 2011, the defendants molested the two little girls while the defendants were together, one after the other, and on their own at separate times. The sexual conduct included touching, masturbation, digital penetration, oral copulation, and showing pornographic images to the victims.

The defendants groomed the victims and bribed them not tell anyone about the sexual assault with candy and ice cream.

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March 18, 2014

Temecula Student Sentenced to Federal Prison in ‘Sextortion’ Case

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:54 am

SANTA ANA, California – A Temecula college student who hacked into as many as 150 online accounts to extort young females into sending him nude photos and video – or submitting to Skype sessions in which he convinced two teens to undress – was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison, concluding the latest in a series of federal “sextortion” cases in Southern California.

Jared James Abrahams, 20, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge James V. Selna.

After being arrested last year by special agents with the FBI, Abrahams pleaded guilty on November 12 to one count of computer hacking and three counts of extortion.

Abrahams targeted young women he knew, and he identified other victims after hacking into Facebook pages. Using hacking software, Abrahams took control of victims’ email accounts, social media accounts and even their computers – which allowed him to remotely turn on web cameras and occasionally take pictures of naked victims.                                        (more…)

INDICTMENT TRANSCRIPTS UNSEALED AGAINST FATHER AND SON FOR $300,000 THEFT OF EMPLOYEE WAGES ON PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS

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

SANTA ANA – Grand jury transcripts were unsealed today in an indictment against a father and son for embezzling over $300,000 from employee wages on public works jobs. Daniel Jacob Siapin, 58, and his son Gabriel Daniel Siapin, 35, both of La Habra Heights, were indicted by the Orange County Grand Jury on Feb. 25, 2014, on 28 felony counts of taking and receiving a portion of worker’s wage on public works with a sentencing enhancement for property loss over $200,000. If convicted, they face a maximum sentence of 24 years in state prison. The defendants are out of custody with $120,000 placed in a trust account in lieu of bail and are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing May 2, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Daniel Siapin owned Siapin Horticulture, a landscaping, irrigation, and maintenance company, which he ran with his son Gabriel Siapin.

The defendants are accused of violating the law on a public works job, which requires a minimum “prevailing wage” be paid to workers. Prevailing wage consists of a base salary and “fringe benefits,” or benefits in addition to base pay such as vacation pay and pension money. Fringe benefits must be paid directly to the worker or may be put into a fund for later withdrawal by the worker if they do not work a full 40 hours a week.

The California Labor Commissioner’s office and the Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) received a complaint alleging underpayments of prevailing wages to workers on the Lakeside Middle School alterations project located in Lakeside, California.  In a collaborative effort, the California Labor Commissioner provided Orange County with evidence to support allegations of underpayments of fringe benefits to workers on three different projects, including Lakeside.                                     (more…)

CONTROLLER FOR REAL ESTATE COMPANY CONVICTED OF EMBEZZLING OVER $370,000 FROM EMPLOYER

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

SANTA ANA – A controller for a real estate company was convicted Friday of embezzling over $370,000 from her employer. Paula Rae Donnell, 54, Fullerton, was convicted in a court trial Friday, March 14, 2014, of one felony count of grand theft, five felony counts of filing a false tax return, and seven felony counts of filing a false statement, with sentencing enhancements for property loss over $200,000 and aggravated white collar crime over $100,000. She faces a maximum sentence of 13 years in state prison and is scheduled to be sentenced April 18, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On June 3, 2002, Donnell was hired as the controller for Ultimate New Homes Sales & Marketing (UNHS). She was responsible for maintaining the company’s accounting records, calculating and writing payroll checks for employees, handling employee benefits and insurance, and interacting with the California Employment Development Department (EDD) related to unemployment or disability insurance issues with current or former UNHS employees. She earned a base salary and a closing bonus for each home that closed escrow.

Between 2004 and 2010, Donnell embezzled over $373,000 from UNHS, by creating false entries in the company’s check ledger to hide checks and online transfers made to the defendant, paying herself commissions as a sales agent even though she actually was not one, and paying herself the closing bonus far in excess of the company’s actual home sales closings per month. On one occasion, during the housing recession, UNHS closed escrow on 27 homes and Donnell paid herself bonuses on 100 homes closing in that month.

In 2007, Donnell stopped paying herself payroll with taxes withheld and instead paid herself as an independent contractor with no taxes withheld. On March 17, 2010, Donnell claimed that she had been laid off and filed five continued claims for unemployment benefits with EDD. In the next two months, she fraudulently stated she had earned no money during that time period despite continuing to receive money from UNHS. On June 2, 2010, Donnell resigned from her position at UNHS.                                             (more…)

March 17, 2014

SCHOOL TEACHER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR ANIMAL ABUSE AFTER HOARDING AND IMPROPERLY HOUSING OVER 400 SNAKES

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:31 am

SANTA ANA – An elementary school teacher is scheduled to be arraigned Monday for animal abuse after hoarding and improperly housing over 400 snakes. William Frederick Buchman, 53, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of animal abuse by a caretaker. If convicted, Buchman faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. He is out of custody on his own recognizance and is expected to be arraigned Monday, March 17, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 6:45 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2014, Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) Animal Services Section responded to complaints made by several neighbors around the residence concerning a foul smell coming from the house.

Buchman is accused of hoarding over 400 ball pythons inside his home and failing to properly care for them. He is accused of neglecting care for the snakes which led to the deaths of 240 pythons, which were at various stages of decomposition.

Buchman is accused of improperly caring for 182 snakes, which were still alive but malnourished, dehydrated, and covered with mites and/or maggots. He is s also accused of having hundreds of live and dead mice as food for the snakes.

Following the SAPD recovery of the 182 living pythons, 20 died shortly after being impounded, and the 162 remaining pythons were treated and released to rescue groups throughout Southern California (more…)

MAN DUBBED “SNOWBOARDER BANDIT” SENTENCED TO OVER NINE YEARS IN PRISON FOR COMMITTING ROBBERIES IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY AND ORANGE COUNTY BANKS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:07 am

SANTA ANA – A man dubbed the “Snowboarder Bandit” was sentenced today to two years in state prison for committing robberies in nine Orange County banks. He was sentenced Feb. 3, 2014, to seven years and eight months in state prison in Riverside County. The sentences will be served consecutively. Michael Brandon Franks, 31, Riverside, pleaded guilty in the Orange County case, Nov. 7, 2013, to a court offer to 10 felony counts of second degree robbery and two felony counts of attempted second degree robbery.

Franks pleaded guilty in Riverside County on Feb. 3, 2014, to four felony counts of burglary, three felony counts of robbery, and two felony counts of attempted robbery.

The People argued today for a sentence of 12 years in state prison for the robberies he committed in Orange County.

Between Dec. 20, 2011, and March 21, 2012, Franks committed 10 robberies and two attempted robberies at nine different banks in Orange County. The bank chains included Bank of America in Anaheim, Chase Bank in Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel, Citibank in Irvine, two robberies at the Schools First Federal Credit Union branch in Anaheim, Union Bank in Newport Beach, US Bank in Irvine and Ladera Ranch, and Wells Fargo in Irvine.

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MAN CONVICTED OF PIMPING AND PANDERING WOMAN FOLLOWING TRAFFIC STOP BY UNDERCOVER OFFICERS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:58 am

SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of pimping and pandering a woman after being stopped by undercover Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officers. Raphael Jared Scally, 27, Hesperia, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count each of pimping and pandering. Scally faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison at his sentencing April 25, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-43, Central Justice Center.

Co-defendant Darryl Da Keis Gillard, 27, Hemet, is charged with two felony counts each of pimping and pandering with a sentencing enhancement for crime-bail-crime, indicating that the defendant was out of custody on bail for another felony (2010 residential burglary case) at the time of the crime. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of nine years and four months in state prison and is scheduled for jury trial April 22, 2014, at 8:45 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center.

Co-defendant Christopher Robert Butler, 29, Moreno Valley, pleaded guilty Oct. 29, 2013, to one felony count of possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to one year and four months in state prison.

Circumstances of the Case (more…)

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