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July 16, 2012

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Arrest by eCrime Unit of Man Selling Pirated Software Online

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 7:17 pm

SANTA CRUZ — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that bail has been set at $50,000 in the case of Michael Anthony Gomez, Jr., 55, of Capitola, who was charged in Santa Cruz Superior Court with five charges of selling pirated software.

“Illegally selling pirated software rips off both consumers and developers of the programs, and undermines the strong technology-based segment of California’s economy,” said Attorney General Harris. “Criminals are moving their crimes online, and law enforcement must embrace innovation to counter this emerging threat.”

Gomez is alleged to have used Craigslist to sell illegally pirated versions of software programs, including Final Cut Studio III, Microsoft Office for Mac, Rosetta Stone Spanish and Mandarin, AutoDesk Revit and Filemaker 12.  These products retail for up to thousands of dollars, but he sold them for substantially less than the suggested retail prices.

The case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s eCrime Unit and was investigated by the Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force (NC3TF). The task force has its main office in Napa County and is one of five inter-agency Computer Crimes Task Forces in California. eCrime Unit prosecutors are assigned to all five task forces.

In April 2012, Gomez was contacted by an investigator with the NC3TF, who observed a post on Craigslist that offered for sale a copy of the program AutoDesk Revit.  On or about April 10, Gomez agreed to sell a 2013 version of the program for $50. Its suggested retail price is $5,000.

Gomez mailed the investigator a DVD containing a version of the program, but it would not load.  Gomez later provided the investigator with a software patch to ensure the program would function.  Properties embedded in the program indicated it was a copy downloaded from the Internet and then burned onto the DVD.

Gomez was charged with Counterfeit of a Registered Trademark Penal Code section 350(a) (2), a felony, as well as four counts of Counterfeit of a Registered Trademark.  He pled not guilty to all charges.  Gomez was arrested on July 10 and a preliminary hearing on the charges is set for July 23.

Gomez is on probation for a 2010 conviction of previously selling pirated software.


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 7:16 pm

SANTA ANA - A former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to 19 years and eight months plus four consecutive life terms in state prison today for violently torturing and forcibly sexually assaulting his wife and another man. Robert Avery McClain, 38, Irvine, was found guilty by a jury May 10, 2012, of one felony count each of aggravated mayhem, torture, forcible oral copulation, attempted sexual penetration by foreign object by force, spousal rape by force, sodomy by future threat, false imprisonment, and domestic battery with corporal injury. The jury found true the sentencing enhancements and allegations for the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a sexual assault, personally inflicting great bodily injury to more than one victim, personal use of a deadly weapon, personal use of a firearm, use of a firearm during a sexual offense, causing great bodily injury to a sexual assault victim, and causing great bodily injury in the course of domestic violence. McClain was found guilty by the same jury May 18, 2012, to have been legally sane when he committed the violent torture and sexual assault.

As McClain entered pleas of “not guilty” and “not guilty by reason of insanity,” the trial was held in two phases. The first phase was the guilt phase, during which jurors heard evidence about the crime and the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty of the crime. In the second phase, the sanity phase, in which the same jury considered evidence to determine if the defendant was legally sane at the time of the crime, McClain was found to be sane. When a defendant pleads “not guilty by reason of insanity,” the burden is on the defense to prove that the defendant was more likely than not legally insane when he committed the crime. To be considered legally insane, the defense must prove that the defendant had a mental disease or defect when he committed the crime and that this defect kept the defendant from understanding the nature of his act or from understanding that his act was morally or legally wrong.

At the time of the crime, McClain was a 10-month deputy on probation with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The defendant was married to 31-year-old Jane Doe and the couple had four children. McClain became angry because he was suspicious that his wife was having an affair with 23-year-old John Doe, a resident of the Irvine apartment complex where Jane Doe worked in the leasing office.


Former Major League Baseball Player Lenny Dykstra Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Bankruptcy Fraud and Money Laundering

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 7:14 pm

LOS ANGELES – Lenny Kyle Dykstra, an All-Star outfielder who played for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, pleaded guilty today to bankruptcy fraud and other federal charges for selling items pilfered from his mansions in Ventura County.

Dykstra, 48, who was known by the nickname “Nails,” pleaded guilty to three felony counts – bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets, and money laundering. As result of the guilty pleas, Dykstra faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Dykstra is currently in state custody after having been convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court on unrelated charges.

In court today, Dykstra admitted that he filed a bankruptcy case on July 7, 2009, and later lied about taking and selling items that were part of the bankruptcy estate. Dykstra specifically admitted he committed bankruptcy fraud by lying about whether he had taken and sold items from his $18 million mansion in Sherwood Estates that he had purchased from Wayne and Janet Gretsky. Dykstra also admitted that he concealed property from the bankruptcy estate, items that included baseball memorabilia stored in his other Sherwood Estates mansion. And, Dykstra admitted that he sold some of the memorabilia and laundered the proceeds by taking $15,000 earned from the sale and purchasing a cashier’s check in another person’s name.


July 13, 2012

Business Owner is Charged with Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud in Orange County

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 4:55 am

GUERRERO, JOSE LUIS Between March 2005 and March 2009, Guerrero, a tree trimming business owner, is charged with illegally paying employees with $2 million which he failed to report to avoid paying Workers’ Compensation Insurance premiums and State taxes.

Guerrero is accused of denying his employees the benefit of State unemployment and disability insurance.

When an employee was injured, Guerrero is accused of filing an insurance claim against his SCIF policy without having paid a premium for that employee. On May 2, 2007, one of Guerrero’s employee’s was seriously injured, rendering him unable to work.

The defendant is accused filing an insurance claim against his SCIF policy for this employee, even though he had never claimed or paid an insurance premium for him.

On Nov. 7, 2007, an employee was killed while working and Guerrero is accused of filing an insurance claim against his SCIF policy to collect benefits for Gonzalez’s family without ever having paid an insurance premium. SCIF discovered the fraud while reviewing Guerrero’s business following employee’s death.

During a subsequent search of the defendant’s home, Guerrero is accused of being in possession of an assault weapon.


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 4:53 am

SANTA ANA - A man will be arraigned today for the shooting-murder of his live-in girlfriend during a confrontation. Thomas Michael Wilhelm, 48, Costa Mesa, is facing one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison. Wilhelm is being held on $1 million bail and will be arraigned today, July 10, 2012, in Department CJ-1 Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

At approximately 6:25 p.m. on July 8, 2012, Wilhelm is accused of entering a neighbor’s home on Redwood Avenue in Costa Mesa to retrieve a handgun without the neighbor’s permission to enter his home or use the handgun. The defendant is accused of returning back to his own home to confront his live-in girlfriend of several years, 45-year-old Christine Murray. The defendant is accused of pulling out the firearm and shooting the victim several times until he ran out of ammunition. He is then accused of returning back to his neighbor’s home, where he found a shotgun and fired one round into the ground.

Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) officers, who investigated this case, arrived at the defendant’s home minutes after the initial gunshot in response to third party 911 calls. CMPD officers found the victim with gunshot wounds to her chest. She was rushed to Western Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. CMPD officers recovered the firearm at the scene and arrested the defendant as he was walking back home.


SANTA ANA - A male nurse’s assistant faces trial tomorrow for sexually assaulting two women while they were in his care.  Alejandro Arias, 39, Cypress, is charged with five felony counts of forcible lewd acts upon a dependent person by a caretaker, five felony counts of sexual battery on an institutionalized person, three felony counts of lewd acts upon a dependent person by a caretaker, one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object by force, and one felony count of attempted sexual battery. If convicted on these charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 51 years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. Opening statements are expected to begin tomorrow, July 11, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Arias, a certified nursing assistant and assistant physical therapist at Anaheim Terrace Care Center, is accused of sexually assaulting two female patients while they were in his care and unable to resist due to medication and their medical conditions.

Between April 1, 2008, and July 18, 2008, Arias is accused of sexually assaulting 60-year-old Jane Doe #1 and 50-year-old Jane Doe #2 on separate occasions while they were in his care for temporary in-patient rehabilitation therapy. The victims do not know each other. He is accused of entering their respective rooms under the pretense of performing legitimate medical responsibilities. Arias is accused of assaulting the women including digital penetration, sexually touching their breasts and vaginas, and making them or attempting to make them masturbate his penis. Both victims reported the sexual abuse after leaving the care center.

July 11, 2012

Anaheim Hills Man Sentenced to 144 Months Imprisonment for Wire Fraud Conspiracy and Tax Evasion in Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:42 pm

Over $1.1 Million in Restitution Ordered to Victims and IRS

RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA - Today, Gregory Flores, former manager at All Fund Mortgage in Anaheim Hills, was sentenced to 144 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release.  U.S. District Judge J. Virginia Phillips also ordered Gregory Flores to pay over $1 Million in restitution to homeowner victims and over $98,000 in restitution to the IRS for his role in a mortgage fraud conspiracy and evading taxes.
On February 24, 2012, Gregory Flores pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of tax evasion.  According to the plea agreement, Flores, along with other co-conspirators including Sheri Gale, a realtor in La Mesa, and Amy Hall (also known as: Amy Truijillo) also of Anaheim Hills, a loan processor, executed an illegal scheme by wire communication to defraud distressed homeowners facing foreclosure and lenders who made mortgage and home equity loans.

According to court documents, beginning around May 2003 through around June 2006, Flores managed satellite “All Fund Mortgage” offices, a mortgage company based in Tacoma Washington, in Anaheim Hills and Murrieta.  Flores or his co-conspirators, using various names including “All Fund,” “Advantage 2000,” “Crown and Associates,” “Ichthommol Trust,” “B Owned,” or “Right Way, Inc.” contacted numerous homeowners, mostly in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, to sell or refinance their homes to others controlled by co-conspirators.  Flores and others falsely claimed they could save the homeowners from foreclosure.    Homeowners were also solicited through advertisements in mailings such as the “Penny Saver” or by conducting “knock and talk” and typically had poor credit.


Loma Linda Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Federal Prison in Southern California Ponzi Scheme that Caused Over $16 Million in Losses

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:38 pm

RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA – The last of three defendants was sentenced today to 168 months in federal prison for his participation in a Ponzi scheme that collected, in total, almost $20 million from hundreds of investors around Southern California and that caused over $16 million in losses for those investors.

David Lincoln Johnson, 73, of Loma Linda, who was the president of Gentech Fabrication, Inc., a custom manufacturer of metal products located in Chino, was sentenced by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.  In addition to the prison term, Judge Phillips ordered Johnson to pay $17.2 million in restitution.

“Investor fraud causes serious harm and long-lasting grief to the individual investors who are victimized through fraud and deceit” says André Birotte Jr., whose office prosecuted the case. “Mr. Johnson and his cohorts violated the trust of investors and they will now pay the price with federal prison sentences. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to work with its partners in law enforcement to bring financial criminals to justice.”

Johnson was convicted of fourteen counts of mail fraud in August 2011 following a six-day jury trial.

According to sentencing documents filed with the court, beginning at some point in 2004 and continuing until the beginning of November 2004, Johnson, Christiano Kawika Hashimoto, Jr., 52, of Riverside, and Catherine Lipscomb, 44, of Moreno Valley, devised and executed a scheme to defraud investors.


Former Atascadero Real Estate Developer Charged with Defrauding Investors in Central Coast Real Estate

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 5:36 pm

LOS ANGELES—A real estate developer who formerly resided in Atascadero was indicted today on federal fraud and money laundering charges that accuse him of bilking investors who put money into Central Coast real estate projects—money that was siphoned off for other purposes, including maintaining a lavish lifestyle.

Kelly Gearhart, 50, who currently resides in Wadsworth, Ohio, was named in a 16-count indictment returned today by a federal grand jury. The indictment charges Gearhart with 10 counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, and two counts of money laundering.

The indictment alleges that Gearhart fraudulently solicited investments in specific real estate development projects by falsely promising that he would use the funds to develop those projects. Gearhart also told investors that their investments—which he called loans and promised would be paid back with interest—were secured by specific lots.

The indictment alleges that Gearhart failed to disclose a number of things to investors, specifically, that he was using victims’ funds to pay for his and his wife’s lavish living expenses, that he was using their money to develop different real estate projects than those intended by the victims, and that he was using victims’ money to make interest payments to other investors.


July 9, 2012


Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 6:44 pm

SANTA ANA - A fugitive wanted for murder in Santa Cruz County has been charged with the stabbing murder of a 67-year-old man following a robbery on the 4th of July. Felipe Jesus Delgado, 21, Anaheim, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain and in the commission of a robbery, and one felony count of robbery. If convicted, the defendant faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole and is eligible for the death penalty. Delgado is being held without bail and is expected to be arraigned today, Friday, July 6, 2012, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

The defendant has a homicide warrant for his arrest in Santa Cruz County.

On the night of July 4, 2012, Delgado is accused of approaching 67-year-old Daniel Rowlett outside of a business on Olive Street in Anaheim. The defendant is accused of robbing the victim of his wallet and then stabbing him over a dozen times in the legs and chest before fleeing the scene on foot.

At approximately 10:45 p.m., the Anaheim Police Department (APD), who investigated this case, responded to the scene after receiving a call regarding a possible traffic accident. Rowlett was found by officers bleeding in the driver’s seat of his truck and was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Delgado is accused of leaving a trail of blood from the crime scene to his home on Julianna Street in Anaheim, which APD officers followed to locate the defendant. When contacted at the home by officers, Delgado is accused of wearing bloody socks, having bloody clothes on the bedroom floor, and having a fresh cut on his hand. The defendant is accused of being in possession of the murder weapon, a folding knife, which was hidden under his bed.

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