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August 28, 2013

Los Angeles Man who Recruited ‘Patients’ from L.A.’s ‘Skid Row’ as Part of $10 Million Health Care Scam Sentenced to Federal Prison

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:51 am

LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles man who recruited homeless people from the “Skid Row” section of Los Angeles as part of a widespread scheme to defraud Medicare and Medi-Cal by providing unnecessary health services was sentenced this morning to 18 months in federal prison.

Estill Mitts, 68, who lives near the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles, was sentenced by United States District Judge George H. King. In addition to the prison term, Judge King ordered Mitts to pay more than $9.8 million in restitution.

In sentencing Mitts, Judge King stated that Mitts’ conduct was “fueled by greed to enrich himself,” and “breeds contempt for, leads to a lack of confidence in, and threatens the stability of” the Medicare program.

Mitts pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, money laundering and tax evasion. Mitts’ sentencing was delayed a number of times as he provided assistance to the government’s investigation that has led to 11 defendants being charged and convicted.

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FORMER OWNER OF LOS ANGELES MEDICAL EQUIPMENT SUPPLY COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO $2.6 MILLION MEDICARE FRAUD SCHEME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:46 am

WASHINGTON – A former owner of a Los Angeles-area medical equipment supply company pleaded guilty today to a $2.6 million Medicare 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.

Akinola Afolabi, 54, of Long Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez in the Central District of California to one count of health care fraud.

According to court documents, Afolabi was the owner and president of Emmanuel Medical Supply, a durable medical equipment (DME) supply company located in Long Beach.  Afolabi admitted that from approximately June 2006 through September 2009, he engaged in a scheme to commit health care fraud through the operation of Emmanuel by providing medically unnecessary power wheelchairs and other DME to Medicare beneficiaries and by submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.  Afolabi admitted that he obtained Medicare beneficiary information through various means, including “marketers,” whom he paid to refer Medicare beneficiaries to Emmanuel for the purpose of using that information to submit, and cause the submission of, false and fraudulent claims to Medicare on behalf of Emmanuel.

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August 27, 2013

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 8TH GRADE STUDENT ON CAMPUS AND COMMITTING LEWD ACTS AGAINST TWO OTHER STUDENTS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:42 am

SANTA ANA – A middle school math teacher pleaded guilty today in the midst of jury trial, after the prosecution rested its case, of 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 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. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration at his sentencing Oct. 18, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-27, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

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.

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PIMP TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR SEX TRAFFICKING 16-YEAR-OLD GIRL AND 22-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:39 am

SANTA ANA – A pimp is scheduled be arraigned today for sex trafficking a 16-year-old girl and a 22-year-old woman. Omaka Cash Johnson, 24, Oakland, is charged with one felony count each of pimping, pandering, pimping a minor, and pandering with a minor over 16 years old by procuring. If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. He is scheduled to be arraigned today, Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, in Department CJ-1, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

Circumstances of the Case

Johnson is accused of being a pimp/human trafficker who exploits women and children for financial gain. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

In January 2012, Johnson is accused of meeting 16-year-old Jane Doe #1 at a concert in Sacramento and getting involved in a sexual relationship with the victim. Approximately two days later, Johnson is accused of picking up Jane Doe #1 at her home and exploiting her as a prostitute on the streets in Sacramento for two weeks. The defendant is accused of collecting the victim’s payments she earned from engaging in commercial sex.

The defendant is accused of having Jane Doe #1 work as a prostitute in Oakland, Chatsworth, and Lake Forest. The defendant is also accused of having 22-year-old Jane Doe #2 work as a prostitute throughout various cities in Northern California.

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WOMAN SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN STATE PRISON FOR RECRUITING AND SEX TRAFFICKING 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL IN FIRST ORANGE COUNTY PROPOSITION 35 CASE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:34 am

SANTA ANA – A woman, who was also a prostitute, was sentenced Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, to five years in state prison for recruiting and sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl into prostitution in the first Orange County case of human trafficking of a minor under Proposition 35 (Prop 35). Cierra Melissa Robinson, 28, was found guilty by a jury July 11, 2013, of one felony count of human trafficking of a minor and pandering of a minor under 16 years old by procuring.

Co-defendant Chuncey Tarae Garcia, 33, is charged with one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor by force or fear, pimping a minor, and forcible rape, with sentencing enhancement allegations for forcible rape of a minor 14 years of age and prior prison convictions for possession for sale of cocaine in 2007 and transportation of cocaine in 2009. If convicted, Garcia faces a maximum sentence of 28 years to life in state prison. Garcia is scheduled for jury trial Sept. 23, 2013, at 8:45 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case

Garcia is accused of being a pimp and Robinson worked for him as a prostitute and recruited other women to prostitute for Garcia. In the pimp/prostitution subculture, pimps often assign ranks to the women they exploit. They often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to speak only when spoken to, address the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy,” setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill, and assigning seats in the car based on “rank.” Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical or emotional abuse. Robinson was the highest-ranking of Garcia’s prostitutes.

In February 2013, 14-year-old Jane Doe lived in another state and ran away from home. A missing persons report was filed by her family. After running away, Jane Doe met Robinson, who befriended the victim with the intention of procuring her as a prostitute for Garcia.

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August 26, 2013

CALIFORNIA MAN SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS IN PRISON FOR RUNNING FRAUDULENT MEDICARE CLINIC

Filed under: Federal Crimes Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:38 am

PHILADELPHIA – George Baginyan, 33, of Glendale, California, was sentenced late last night to two years in prison for operating a fraudulent clinic and defrauding Medicare.  Baginyan was the owner of New Era Health Center Inc. (“New Era”), a purported clinic that was located near the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

Between December 2008 and October 2009, Baginyan used the National Provider Identification number (NPI) of an elderly and frail doctor of osteopathy to bill Medicare for medical services and tests, making it appear that the doctor had provided those services and tests when he had not.  The doctor had, in fact, never set foot in New Era.  In total, Baginyan caused the submission of fraudulent bills to Medicare totaling more than $250,000, which resulted in payments from Medicare totaling $132,848.81.  On October 15, 2012, Baginyan pleaded guilty to 10 counts of health care fraud and 10 counts of making false claims to the government.  At his plea hearing, Baginyan admitted that he was fully aware of the fraud he was committing when he submitted the phony claims.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg ordered restitution to Medicare in the amount of $132,848.81, a special assessment of $2,000, and three years of supervised release.

“George Baginyan traveled from California to set up a fraudulent Medicare business in Philadelphia where he stole a physician’s identity; submitted false claims for unnecessary, substandard medical procedures; and robbed our Medicare program of more than $100,000,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Nick DiGiulio with the Inspector General’s Office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in Philadelphia.  “Other fraudsters should make note of the sentence in this case and should know that HHS-OIG will continue to pursue those who steal from ur government health insurance programs.”

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MAN FACES TRIAL FOR RAPING, TORTURING, ROBBING, AND MURDERING 84-YEAR-OLD WIDOW AFTER BREAKING IN THROUGH BROKEN WINDOW

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:31 am

SANTA ANA – A man faces trial Monday for the special circumstances murder of an 84-year-old woman after breaking into her home and raping, torturing, and stabbing her before stealing her car. Anthony Darnell Wade, 28, Los Angeles, was indicted April 22, 2010, on one felony count of special circumstances murder. The special circumstances include murder in the commission f rape, robbery, burglary, and murder with torture. He was also indicted on one felony count each of elder abuse, first degree robbery, first degree residential burglary, torture, forcible rape, the unlawful taking of a vehicle, and sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury to an elder. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Prior to seeking the death penalty, a special circumstances committee consisting of the District Attorney, the Senior Assistant and Assistant District Attorney in charge of the Homicide Unit, and other prosecutors experienced in capital cases, meets and discusses the nature of the crime, the vulnerability of the victim, the defendant’s criminal record, and other factors. The committee also considers mitigating circumstances presented by the defense attorney.

California law permits the District Attorney to seek the death penalty if the aggravating factors substantially outweigh the mitigating factors.  Aggravating factors are any facts above and beyond the circumstances of crime that increases the wrongfulness of the defendant’s conduct, the enormity of the offense, or the harmful impact of the crime.  Mitigating factors are any facts that reduce the defendant’s blameworthiness or otherwise support a less severe punishment. The final decision to pursue the death penalty rests on the District Attorney.

Circumstances of the Case

At approximately 12:00 a.m. on Jan. 10, 2010, Wade is accused of walking through an Anaheim neighborhood on Paradise Road and looking through windows with the intention of finding a vulnerable victim from whom he could steal a car. The defendant is accused of breaking into the home of 84-year-old widow Bessie Whyman through a broken window.

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MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN STATE PRISON WITHOUT POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE FOR STABBING-MURDER OF NEIGHBOR AND ASSAULTING SECOND VICTIM WITH METAL OBJECT

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:24 am

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional eight years in state prison for murdering his mobile home park neighbor by stabbing him to death and assaulting a second victim two days later. Robert Eugene Vasquez, 36, San Juan Capistrano, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of special circumstances murder by lying in wait, one felony count of aggravated assault, and sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury.

On the morning of Dec. 1, 2011, Vasquez waited outside of the home of his neighbor, Bobby Ray Rainwater, Jr., with the intention of murdering him because the victim was a registered sex offender. When the victim left his home, Vasquez attacked Rainwater by punching him in the back of the head. The defendant then stabbed Rainwater multiple times, nearly decapitating him. After murdering the victim, Vasquez fled the scene. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) began investigating this case.

On Dec. 3, 2011, Vasquez was at a friend’s residence in San Juan Capistrano. He used a metal object to hit victim Lance Lyons in the face as the victim was lying down. The defendant attempted to hit the victim a second time, but was stopped by Lyons’ brother. The victim survived but suffered major injuries to his nose and mouth.

Occupants in the home called 911 and OCSD arrested Vasquez that day. In the course of their investigation, OCSD determined that Vasquez was also responsible for the murder of Rainwater.

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August 23, 2013

UCI PROFESSOR SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS IN STATE PRISON FOR SETTING FIRES AT SON’S HIGH SCHOOL, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL’S HOME, AND NEARBY PARK

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:09 am

SANTA ANA – A professor at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), who authored e-mails detailing plans to murder students and administrators at an Irvine high school, was sentenced today to 14 years and four months in state prison for committing a series of arsons at the high school, a home, and park. Rainer Klaus Reinscheid, 49, Irvine, pleaded guilty to a court offer July 9, 2013, to one felony count of arson of another’s property, three felony counts of arson of forestland, two felony counts of arson of a structure, three felony counts of attempted arson, one misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer, and sentencing enhancements for the use of an accelerant. Reinscheid is scheduled for a restitution hearing Nov. 15, 2013, at 1:45 p.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Reinscheid was a professor at UCI. In March 2012, Reinscheid’s 14-year-old son, who attended University High School in Irvine, was disciplined at school for a minor theft-related incident. The following day, the defendant’s son committed suicide in Mason Park Preserve in Irvine.

Between July 4, 2012, and July 24, 2012, Reinscheid committed six arsons and three attempted arson by lighting various objects on fire including newspapers, brush and vegetation, a book, and a plastic porch chair. He used fireplace logs in some cases as an accelerant. Reinscheid committed these arsons on the campus of University High School, in Mason Park Preserve, and at a school administrator’s home.

At approximately 12:40 a.m. on July 24, 2012, Reinscheid attempted to set a fire in Mason Park Preserve using newspaper and lighter fluid. Officers from the Irvine Police Department (IPD), who were conducting increased patrols of the park due to the recent arsons, observed the defendant and arrested him near the scene. When contacted by officers, Reinscheid refused to comply with their orders to stop and attempted to resist arrest. Reinscheid posted $50,000 bail and was released from custody that day. IPD continued their investigation.

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MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR EVADING SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES AND HIT AND RUN WHICH LEFT ANOTHER INJURED AFTER BEING INVOLVED IN OIS

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

SANTA ANA – A man will be arraigned today for evading Orange County Sheriff’s deputies and causing a hit and run in Yorba Linda that left another male driver injured after being involved in an officer-involved shooting (OIS) at a traffic stop. Bryan Song Yang, 37, Lake Elsinore, is charged with one felony count each of evading while driving recklessly, resisting and deterring an executive officer, hit and run with injury, and one misdemeanor count of hit and run with property damage. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years and four months in state prison. The People will request the defendant be held on $100,000 bail at Yang’s arraignment today, Aug. 22, 2013, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) is investigating the officer-involved shooting incident involving this defendant. At the end of the investigation, the OCDA will release a full factual detailed report regarding this incident. It is the policy of the OCDA office to not release further details at this time.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Mark Gutierrez at (714) 347-8544.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 13NF2780 / August 22, 2013

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