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October 21, 2013

DRUNKEN DRIVER SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS IN PRISON FOR KILLING MOTORCYCLIST AND INJURING ANOTHER DRIVER IN CHAIN-REACTION CRASH

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:43 am

SANTA ANA - A drunken driver was sentenced yesterday, Oct. 17, 2013, to nine years in state prison for killing a motorcyclist and injuring another driver in a chain-reaction crash. Leslie Juarez, 29, Laguna Beach, pleaded guilty Sept. 10, 2013, to one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing bodily injury, and driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury with an allegation for driving with a blood alcohol level of .20 percent or more and a sentencing enhancement inflicting great bodily injury.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. on March 29, 2012, Juarez consumed alcoholic beverages before driving her Mitsubishi Eclipse southbound on the Interstate 405 north of the Sand Canyon exit in Irvine. Juarez was speeding and swerved into another lane, and struck the passenger side of a Nissan Sentra driven by 21-year-old Joelle

Friedlander. Juarez caused Friedlander’s car to go over the center divider and spin out of control onto the northbound side of the freeway. The impact of the collision with the center divider disabled the engine and lights on Friedlander’s vehicle before it came to a stop facing eastbound in the two carpool lanes. Friedlander was able to exit the car and run to the center median.

Approximately two minutes later, a motorcycle driven by 32-year-old JC Droege, slammed into the disabled Sentra while he was riding on the northbound Interstate 405, throwing Droege from his motorcycle.

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MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 8TH GRADE STUDENT ON CAMPUS AND COMMITTING LEWD ACTS AGAINST TWO OTHER STUDENTS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:40 am

SANTA ANA - A middle school math teacher was sentenced today to eight years in state prison for sexually assaulting an 8th grade female student while alone with her on campus and committing lewd acts against two other female students. Richard John Rack, 51, San Clemente, pleaded guilty on Aug. 26, 2013, in the midst of jury trial, after the prosecution rested its case, to two felony counts of lewd acts on a child age 14 or 15, one felony count of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14, and one felony count of oral copulation of a minor under 16.

Rack worked as a teacher at Shorecliffs Middle School in San Clemente since 2002. At the time of the crimes, the defendant was a math teacher.

Between April and November 2011, Rack engaged in lewd conduct toward two students at the school, 13-year-old Jane Doe #1 and 14-year-old Jane Doe #2. Rack hugged and made lewd comments to the victims.

Jane Doe #1 told the school principal about the conduct, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) investigated the case.

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O.C. Doctor Who Illegally Prescribed Addictive Pain Medications, Often Meeting with Patients at Starbucks, Gets 11¼-Year Sentence

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 4:36 am

SANTA ANA, California – An Orange County physician who admitted that he illegally prescribed dangerous, addictive painkillers to “patients” he barely examined during meetings that were often held at Starbucks stores was sentenced late today to over 11 years in federal prison.

Alvin Mingczech Yee, 44, of Mission Viejo, was sentenced this afternoon to 135 months in prison by United States District Judge Andrew J. Guilford.

Yee pleaded guilty in April to seven counts of illegal distribution of a controlled substance by a practitioner. Yee specifically admitted that he prescribed drugs, such as oxycodone and alprazolam, “while intentionally acting outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.”

According to court documents previously filed in this case, Yee met with numerous “patients,” including three undercover operatives, during evening meetings at Starbucks across Orange County, where he wrote prescriptions for drugs best known by brand names such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Xanax.

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October 18, 2013

MOTHER CHARGED FOR ABDUCTING CHILD TO ZAMBIA AND KEEPING CHILD AWAY FROM FATHER FOR FOUR YEARS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:23 am

SANTA ANA – A father and son have been reunited after nearly four years apart after son was taken to Zambia. The child’s mother, Silvia Chilombo Mulenga, 34, is charged with one felony count of child abduction. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. She is currently a fugitive believed to be residing in Zambia.

Mulenga, a native of Zambia, and John Cotton Sr. were married in 2005 and divorced in 2008. The couple shared joint custody of their 4-year-old son.

In the fall of 2009, Mulenga lost her job, was evicted from her home, and her visa had expired. When she told the court that she intended to return to Zambia, a court order was issued prohibiting her from taking the child. In December 2009, Mulenga is accused of abducting her son and traveling with him to Zambia despite the court order.

On Dec. 4, 2009, John Cotton Sr. reported the abduction to the Cypress Police Department (CPD) who began investigating this case before referring it to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) who continued the investigation. On Dec. 17, 2009, the OCDA filed one felony count of child abduction against Mulenga. A family court awarded full custody to the father.

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Two Compton Men Plead Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:21 am

Resulting from New Year’s Eve Attack on African-American Youths LOS ANGELES – Two Latino men associated with a Compton street gang pleaded guilty this morning to federal hate crime charges stemming from a racially motivated attack on African-American juveniles on New Year’s Eve.

Jeffrey Aguilar, who is also known as “Terco,” 20, and Efren Marquez Jr., who is also known as “Stretch” and “Junior,” 22, each pleaded guilty to violating the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crime Prevention Act.

Appearing before United States District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr., Aguilar admitted that on December 31, 2012, he and another individual physically attacked a 17-year-old African-American, who was walking down a street in the City of Compton.  Aguilar chased down and struck the victim in the head with a metal pipe. During the incident, Marquez threatened to shoot another African-American juvenile who was present. Both Aguilar and Marquez admitted that the attack on the 17-year-old victim was substantially motivated by his race and color.

“The perpetrators of hate crimes hurt not only the individuals who are attacked, but also society as a whole,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “For this reason, we are dedicated to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that justice is brought to those who chose to commit such heinous crimes.”

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FORMER LOS ANGELES-AREA PASTOR SENTENCED FOR ROLE IN $11 MILLION MEDICARE FRAUD SCHEME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:16 am

WASHINGTON — A pastor and owner of a Los Angeles-area medical supply company was sentenced today for his role in a power wheelchair fraud scheme that defrauded Medicare out of more than $11 million. 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); Assistant Director in Charge Bill L. Lewis of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Joseph Fendrick of the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse made the announcement.

Charles Agbu, 58, of Carson, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu to serve 87 months in prison and was ordered to pay $5,788,725 in restitution to Medicare.  In December 2012, Agbu pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering charges based on his role as owner and operator of Bonfee Inc., a fraudulent durable medical equipment (DME) supply company that Agbu operated with his daughter and co-defendant, Obiageli Agbu, and members of his family from a nondescript office building in Carson.  Agbu admitted that he paid patient recruiters and doctors to provide him with fraudulent prescriptions for expensive, highly specialized power wheelchairs and other DME that he, Obiageli Agbu and their co-conspirators used in submitting more than $11 million false claims to Medicare.  Agbu billed the power wheelchairs to Medicare at a rate of approximately $6,000 per wheelchair even though he paid approximately $900 wholesale per wheelchair.  In many cases, the Medicare beneficiaries to whom Agbu and his co-conspirators claimed they supplied the power wheelchairs and DME did not have any legitimate medical need for the medical equipment, and, in some cases, never received the medical equipment from Agbu’s company.  At the time Agbu engaged in this fraud, he was a pastor at Pilgrim Congregational Church in South Los Angeles.

On Sept. 30, 2013, and Oct. 2, 2013, Agbu’s co-defendants, Alejandro Maciel, 43, of Huntington Park, Calif., and Dr. Emmanuel Ayodele, 65, of Los Angeles, were sentenced to serve 41 and 37 months in prison and ordered to pay $5,388,755 and $6,355,949 in restitution to Medicare, respectively.  Two other co-defendants, Dr. Juan Van Putten and Candelaria Estrada, have pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud charges and are scheduled for sentencing on Dec.12, 2013, and Oct. 31, 2013, respectively.  Obiageli Agbu was convicted by a jury on nine counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and health care fraud on July 19, 2013.  Her sentencing date has not been set.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG and the California Department of Justice and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Jonathan T. Baum and Alexander Porter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.

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October 17, 2013

YOUTH SOCCER REFEREE CONVICTED OF ENGAGING IN ORAL COPULATION WITH UNDERAGE TEENAGE BOY AND COMMITTING LEWD ACTS ON TWO ADDITIONAL BOYS

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — fayarfa @ 2:46 am

FULLERTON – A youth soccer referee was convicted yesterday of engaging in oral copulation with a teenage boy and molesting two additional boys. Jorge Diosdado Serafin, 31, Anaheim, pleaded guilty yesterday, Oct. 15, 2013, to three felony counts of oral copulation of a minor under 16 years old, one felony count of lewd act on a child, and one felony count of lewd act on a child under 14 years old. Serafin faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and eight months in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration at his sentencing Nov. 15, 2013, at 8:00 a.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

At the time of the crimes, Serafin was a referee for Oakview Soccer League in Huntington Beach.

In October 2012, Serafin communicated with 15-year-old John Doe #1, with whom he was previously acquainted, on Facebook. On two occasions, between Nov. 1, 2012, and Nov. 30, 2012, Serafin invited John Doe #1 to meet him in the parking lot of the defendant’s apartment complex. While there, Serafin orally copulated John Doe #1 on one occasion and was orally copulated by John Doe #1 on two occasions.

On Jan. 10, 2013, Serafin invited 14-year-old John Doe #2, who lived in the neighborhood, to use the computer in his apartment. While in the apartment, the defendant sexually touched the victim. Later in the day, Serafin massaged 10-year-old John Doe #3’s bare back with sexual intent while the victim, who also lived in the neighborhood, was inside Serafin’s apartment.

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SWIM INSTRUCTOR SENTENCED FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING TWO MINOR FEMALE STUDENTS WHOM HE MET THROUGH COACHING

SANTA ANA – A swim instructor was sentenced Friday to 16 months in state prison for having an unlawful sexual relationship with two minor female students. Todd Robert Sousa, 39, Irvine, pleaded guilty to a court offer June 28, 2013, to six felony counts of lewd acts upon a child and one felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse.

In a separate Case #11HF0810 connected to this one, Sousa had also pleaded guilty to a court offer Oct. 28, 2011, to 13 felony counts of lewd acts on a child, three felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, and two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and was sentenced then to 16 months in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.

At the time of the crimes, Sousa co-owned and taught swim classes for Swim Venture, an Orange County-based swim school and program that offered lessons in leased pools for children and adults throughout the County.

Case #11HF0810

The defendant met 15-year-old Jane Doe #1 while working as her swim instructor. He groomed the victim and had unlawful sexual contact with her, including kissing and touching her breasts and vagina over her clothes. Between April 1, 2010, and Feb. 18, 2011, Sousa escalated the unlawful sexual conduct including digital penetration, oral copulation, and sexual intercourse on several occasions. He sexually assaulted Jane Doe #1 in the Swim Venture office, an equipment closet, and in his car.

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43-YEAR-OLD MOTHER CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING TWO UNDERAGE TEENAGE BOYS WHO CAME OVER TO HER HOUSE

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

FULLERTON – A 43-year-old mother was convicted today of sexually assaulting a 14 and 16-year-old boy who came over to her house. Nicole Ethel McMillen, 43, Irvine, was found guilty by a jury today of four felony counts of lewd acts upon a child and three felony counts of oral copulation of a minor under 16 years old. She faces a maximum sentence of six years and three months in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration at her sentencing Jan.

10, 2014, at 8:00 a.m. in Department N-13, North Justice Center, Fullerton. The Court allowed McMillen to remain out of custody on $100,000 bail despite the People’s objection.

Between Jan. 1, 2012 and Feb. 28, 2012, McMillen had sexual contact with 14-year-old John Doe #1 who was over at her house to play with his friends. McMillen maintained a “fun” home where many children spent time with her children participating in activities which included watching movies or playing video games.

On multiple occasions between Jan. 2, 2012 and Feb. 8, 2012, McMillen fondled John Doe #1’s groin area over his clothing, touched his penis directly, and orally copulated the victim on two occasions.

John Doe #1 told his mother about the unlawful sexual contact on Feb. 13, 2012, and the family reported the crime to the Irvine Police Department (IPD) who investigated this case.

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October 16, 2013

MAN FACES TRIAL FOR MURDERING EX-GIRLFRIEND’S FATHER AND SISTER BEFORE SETTING THEIR BODIES AND HOME ON FIRE AND ATTEMPTING TO KILL HER MOTHER

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:43 am

SANTA ANA – A man faces trial tomorrow for murdering his ex-girlfriend’s father and sister and attempting to kill her mother. The two murdered victims were set on fire and a third was left in a coma after suffering life-threatening injuries. Iftekhar Murtaza, 29, Van Nuys, is charged with two felony counts of special circumstances murder, one felony count of attempted murder, and one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder. He faces sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, murder during the commission of a burglary, murder during the commission of kidnapping, and murder for financial gain. The Orange County District Attorney is seeking the death penalty against Murtaza. Opening statements are expected to begin tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Charles Anthony Murphy, Jr., 28, Mission Hills, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 12, 2012, of two felony counts of special circumstances murder, one felony count of attempted murder, and one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder. The sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, murder during the commission of kidnapping, and murder for financial gain were found true. Murphy was convicted in his third re-trial, as a previous jury was unable to reach a verdict and the second re-trial was declared a mistrial. He faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole at his sentencing Oct. 25, 2013, at 8:30 a.m., in Department C-41, Central Justice Center.

Co-defendant Vitaliy Krasnoperov, 27, Hollywood, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 15, 2011, of two felony counts of special circumstances murder, one felony count of attempted murder, and one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder. The sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, murder during the commission of a burglary, and murder during the commission of kidnapping were found true. This was the second jury trial against Krasnoperov, as a previous jury was unable to reach a verdict on May 10, 2011. He was sentenced Nov. 9, 2012, to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Background

In March 2007, 18-year-old Shayona Dhanak was a freshman at the University of California, Irvine, living in the campus dorms. Her father Jaypraykash Dhanak, 56, mother Leela Dhanak, 54, and sister Karishma Dhanak, 20, lived in the family home in Anaheim Hills.

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