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September 18, 2012


Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:18 pm

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to 26 years to life in state prison for murdering his ex-girlfriend by stabbing her on her way to work. Ruben Retana Perez, 34, Whittier, was found guilty by a jury Aug. 1, 2011, of one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.

Beginning in 1996, Perez had an on and off 5-year romantic relationship with 29-year-old Rocio Leon. Perez and Leon had a baby boy in 1999. Following their son’s birth, Perez became abusive toward Leon and her child from a previous relationship.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on April 18, 2001, Perez got in Leon’s truck and drove with the victim to take her to work at an Orange County Register newspaper distribution center in Garden Grove. While driving to Leon’s work, Perez got out of the car and murdered Leon by slitting the victim’s throat using a kitchen knife and stabbing her two times in the chest. The defendant got back into the car and ran over Leon’s body before fleeing the scene.

Later that morning, Perez went to his work and requested a $1,000 cash pay advance. Perez never returned to work and abandoned the victim’s car in Stanton before fleeing the state. After further investigation linking Perez to the murder, a warrant was issued for his arrest, Dec. 17, 2002.

Approximately five years later, on July 19, 2008, Perez was arrested by police in Arkansas under the alias of Yovani Cortez for driving under the influence of alcohol. Arkansas authorities learned of the defendant’s true identity and the Orange County warrant for Leon’s murder. In September 2008, Perez was extradited back to Orange County to face the murder charges.

Three Charged in Flying Cash Police Pursuit

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 5:16 pm

SAN FERNANDO – Three reputed Rollin’ 40s Crips gang members were charged today with robbing a Canyon Country bank on Wednesday then leading police on a high-speed chase as they threw cash out the car’s window, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Phillip Ely, 29 (dob 1-5-83); Lavelle Mosley, 22 (dob 1-13-90); and Terion Lamarr (CQ) Collins, 25 (dob 12-25-86); are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon at San Fernando Superior Court, Department S, said Deputy District Attorney Moira Curry.

The three were charged in case PA074598 with four counts each of second-degree robbery and one count each of kidnapping to commit another crime. The complaint alleges street gang and gun use allegations against each defendant.

In addition, Ely is charged with evading an officer and auto theft with prior convictions.

The three, along with a fourth unnamed suspect who has not been arrested, allegedly robbed a Bank of America in Canyon Country shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday. Sheriff’s deputies began a pursuit of a dark-colored SUV.

The hour-long chase ended when the suspects were trapped by traffic on a busy residential street by cars and throngs of people who ran to scoop up cash thrown out the fleeing vehicle.

Prosecutors will ask bail be set for Ely and Collins at $1.35 million and for Mosley at $1.3 million. If convicted, each faces life in prison.

Suspended Deputy Sent to Jail in Sex with Minor Case

Filed under: Los Angeles sexual assault attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:14 pm

LOS ANGELES – A 46-year-old suspended Sheriff’s deputy was ordered today to spend 90 days in county jail as part of a five-year supervised probation sentence for having sex with a teenage girl.

Deputy District Attorney Andrea Thompson said Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark E. Windham also specified that Kenneth Alexander must spend at least 60 days in the county jail, but could serve the remaining 30 days on electronic monitoring.

Alexander also must attend 52 weeks of sex offender counseling. In addition, the judge ordered that the defendant stay away from the victim and her mother during the probationary period. The suspended deputy also may not possess weapons while he is on probation.

The defendant pleaded no contest in August to one count of oral copulation of a minor. He was charged last October and has been free on bail since turning himself in on Oct. 29, 2011.

Alexander, who had been assigned to the Sheriff’s Marina Del Rey Station, reportedly had sexual contact with the victim at her home over a five-month period in 2010 and 2011. She was 15 and 16 at the time, authorities said.

The defendant must start his jail term before Oct. 15, Thompson said.

September 17, 2012

Los Angeles Doctor Convicted of Health Care Fraud for Submitting to Medicare About $1 Million in Bills for Tests Never Performed

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 6:17 pm

LOS ANGELES – A doctor already serving a lengthy prison sentence in a narcotics case has been convicted of health care fraud for submitting approximately $1 million in fraudulent bills to Medicare in just seven months.

After less than a day of deliberations, a federal jury on Monday afternoon convicted Dr. Owusu Ananeh Firempong of five counts of health care fraud.

Firempong, 61, who resided in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles and had been practicing in the Los Angeles region for more than three decades, submitted fraudulent bills for nerve conduction tests and sleep studies that were never performed.  As a result of the fraudulent bills, Medicare paid him nearly $700,000.

During a four-day trial in United States District Court, prosecutors presented evidence that Firempong obtained information about Medicare beneficiaries who were not his patients and then used that information to bill Medicare.


17 Charged in ‘Structuring’ Scheme Involving Nearly $9 Million in Cash Withdrawn from Pharmaceutical Company’s Bank Account

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 4:52 pm

Prosecutors Tell Court that Money Came from ‘Diverted’ Prescription Drugs

LOS ANGELES – Federal agents this morning arrested 10 defendants who allegedly were involved in just under $9 million worth of “structured” currency transactions designed to avoid federal reporting requirements.

According to an indictment unsealed today, from the beginning of 2009 through April 2011, a total of 17 people allegedly were involved in the scheme to structure cash withdrawals to avoid the federal currency transaction reporting requirement that requires domestic banks to report any currency transaction of more than $10,000. The indictment lists 251 instances of structured transactions totaling $8,980,900.

The scheme was allegedly orchestrated by two principals of a Philadelphia-based company called Independent Wholesale Drug, Inc. (IWD) – Peter Kats, 31, of Beverly Hills, and Aziz Nurhan, 30, of North Hollywood. Kats and 9 other defendants were arrested this morning. Nurhan has agreed to surrender to federal authorities tomorrow.

This case is the result of an investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Kats and Nurhan, along with the 15 other defendants named in the indictment, were allegedly part of a scheme to “structure” currency withdrawals of more than $10,000 in a scheme designed to evade a currency transaction reporting requirement.



Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:48 pm

SANTA ANA - A bail bonds agent was sentenced today to six months in jail and three years of formal probation for illegally soliciting clients from the Orange County Jail. James Everett Morris Jr., 49, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty June 29, 2012, to three felony counts of paying a person who is not a bail licensee commission in connection with a bail transaction and one felony count of having an arrangement with a person incarcerated in jail to inform and notify defendant of arrests. As a result of his conviction, the California Department of Insurance will revoke Morris’ bail bonds license.

Morris’ Case # 12CF0727
Between Oct. 9, 2009, and Feb. 18, 2010, Morris, a licensed Bail Bonds Agent and owner of James Morris Bail Bonds, made an agreement with an inmate incarcerated in the Orange County Jail for the inmate to notify Morris when other inmates needed bail. Morris paid this inmate commissions on five separate bails based on the information he received from this inmate.  He paid the commission by putting money on the inmate’s financial book in exchange for information on other inmates.

Kenneth Hendrick’s Case # 12CF0728
Morris’ only other licensed bail bonds agent employee at James Morris Bail Bonds, Kenneth Lance Hendrick, is charged in a separate but related case. Hendrick, 49, Mission Viejo, is charged with 11 felony counts of having an arrangement with a person incarcerated in jail to inform and notify defendant of the arrest, two felony counts of a bail agent recommending the name of an attorney to an arrestee, one felony count of a bail agent allowing a non-bail licensee to solicit bail on the agent’s behalf, and one felony count of possession of a controlled substance in jail. If convicted on all charges, Hendrick faces a maximum sentence of 11 years and eight months in state prison. He is out of custody on $50,000 bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Oct. 19, 2012 and preliminary hearing Nov. 7, 2012, in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Between March 4, 2010, and Dec. 6, 2010, Hendrick is accused of making an agreement with 11 different inmates incarcerated in the Orange County Jail for the inmates to notify Hendrick when there were other inmates needing bail.


September 14, 2012

Driver Convicted in Fatal Car Chase that Killed Little Girl

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:25 pm

SAN FERNANDO – A Panorama City man was convicted today of second-degree murder and evading police that caused a death in a 2010 police chase that ended with the death of a 6-year-old girl in Lake View Terrace, the District Attorney’s office announced.

A jury deliberated one day before convicting Aaron Esqueda Rojas, 35, of driving a red sedan that struck and killed Kayla Woods as she was playing with friends. Rojas and two other defendants were evading police when the accident occurred on June 10, 2010, in the 11900 block of Fenton Avenue, said Deputy District Attorney Louis Avila.

Rojas is facing life in prison when he returns Oct. 11 for sentencing before Superior Court Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell.

Co-defendant Juaquin Hiriarte, 27, the front-seat passenger who tossed guns from the vehicle during the police pursuit, was sentenced in July to 21 years in state prison. He earlier pleaded no contest to assault with a semi-automatic firearm, sale or transportation of a controlled substance and felon with in possession of a concealed firearm in a vehicle.

The third defendant, 52-year-old Manuel Araujo Ydiarte, who was riding in the backseat during the chase and accident, pleaded guilty in June 2011 and was sentenced to three years in state prison for possession for sale of a controlled substance, heroin.


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 4:23 pm

NEWPORT BEACH - A former President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce (COC) will be arraigned tomorrow for stealing over $129,000 from her employer using the COC credit card and checking account.  Nichole Lashawn Chambers, 39, Highland, is charged with three felony counts of grand theft by an employee with sentencing enhancements and allegations for over $100,000 in loss, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, and property damage over $65,000. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of over six years in state prison. The defendant is being held on $130,000 bail and is scheduled for a continued arraignment tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

At the time of the crime, Chambers is accused of working as the President/CEO of the Dana Point COC. She is accused of working as a paid employee hired by the Board of Directors responsible for daily operations.

Between January 2008 and October 2010, Chambers is accused of stealing over $129,000 by using the COC’s credit card and checking account for personal expenses not authorized by the Board of Directors including clothes, child care, dining out, a trip to Las Vegas, and other items.

In October 2010, a member of the Board of Directors became suspicious when Chambers failed to provide proper financial records for review. Chambers is accused of resigning from the COC later that month and is accused of paying back approximately $2,500 of the $129,000 to the victims.

September 13, 2012

Former Long Beach City Employee Sentenced to Prison, Ordered to Repay Nearly $650,000 in Restitution

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 6:15 pm

LOS ANGELES – A former Long Beach City clerk who admitted embezzling money from the city’s Animal Care Services Bureau was sentenced today to three years state prison and ordered to nearly $650,000 in restitution, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Dana Aratani of the Public Integrity Division said Jongluck Mutrais, 59, was ordered to pay $600,000 to Long Beach Animal Care Services and $48,194 to the state’s Franchise Tax Board. Mutrais was sentenced by Commissioner Robert Kawahara.

The City of Orange resident pleaded guilty on Aug. 24 to one felony count of misappropriation of public funds and one felony count to filing a false income tax return. In exchange for her plea, the remaining seven counts were dismissed today.

Mutrais, who resigned in August 2010, was charged in May with embezzling the money over the 10 years that she worked for the agency.

Aratani said the theft came to light in August 2010 after the bureau, which is responsible for kennel operations, dog licensing, adoption and general animal control, implemented a comprehensive computer system to track funds.

Reputed Gang Member Charged with Murder, Evading Police

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 6:12 pm

COMPTON — A 30-year-old reputed gang member was charged today with fatally shooting a woman and pushing her from a car during a chase, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Juan Diego Valencia, (dob 3-30-82), is scheduled to be arraigned sometime after 1:30 p.m. at Compton Superior Court, Department 12, said Deputy District Attorney Kenneth Lynch, assistant head deputy of the Hardcore Gang Division.

Valencia was charged in case TA124850 with the Sept. 6 murder of Selene Mayoral, 24, and evading police. The complaint includes gun and gang allegations. Prosecutors are asking bail be set at $2.05 million.

Authorities said when sheriff’s deputies tried to stop a green Mercury Cougar for an unspecified traffic violation in Lynwood about 11:15 p.m. Thursday, the driver took off.

At one point, the driver pulled the car over at the intersection of Josephine Street and Harris Avenue in Lynwood, allegedly opened the door and pushed the body of a female passenger out and sped away. She had been shot once in the head and died at the scene, authorities said.

Valencia was arrested early Friday after barricading himself in an apartment in Hawthorne at the end of the chase.
If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

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