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June 6, 2017

PHASE I CHARGES FILED ON 10 ATTORNEYS AND SIX CAPPERS IN MASSIVE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE REFERRAL SCHEME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Ten attorneys and six cappers were charged today for participating in a massive multi-million dollar workers’ compensation insurance referral scheme that exploited persons in predominantly Spanish-speaking communities. This is the first phase of filing resulting from a 3-year insurance fraud investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) Bureau of Investigation, Insurance Fraud Unit with assistance from the California Department of Insurance (CDI).

Charges Defendants (Attorney) Defendants (Cappers)
Charged on June 5, 2017, with multiple felony counts of:

  • Conspiring to refer clients for compensation
  • Referring patients/ clients with reckless disregard for commission of fraud
  • Insurance fraud

Sentencing Enhancements:

  • Aggravated white collar crime over $500,000
  • Loss over $1.3 million
  • Jon Woods, 56, Cypress,

State Bar #181388

  • Payman Zargari, 49, Sherman Oaks,

State Bar #208451

  • John Jansen, 49, Santa Ana,

State Bar #182405

  • Fari Rezai, 39, Irvine,

State Bar #195149

  • Lionel Eduardo Giron, 49, Pomona,

State Bar #200450

  • Dennis Ralph Fusi, 73, Lakewood,

State Bar #70905

  • Jorge Humberto Reyes, 39, Los Angeles,

State Bar #232350

  • Rony M Barsoum, 43, Los Angeles,

State Bar #231843

  • Robert Irving Slater, 67, Encino,

State Bar #67572

  • Robin Jacobs, 52, Sherman Oaks

State Bar: #167089

Maximum sentences range from seven years to 25 years and eight months in state prison

  • Carlos Arguello III, 35, Tustin

o  Maximum sentence: 29 years and eight months in state prison

  • Edgar Gonzalez, 50, Anaheim

o  Maximum sentence: 20 years and eight months in state prison

  • Boris Mikhayovich Dadiomov, 31, San Diego
  • Soraida Veronica Castro, 42, Imperial Beach
  • Tania Arguello-Plasencia, 31, Tustin
  • Dulce Gallegos, 30, San Ysidro

*Individual complaints specifying charges for each defendant are available upon request.

Circumstances of the Case

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COURT DENIES PUBLIC DEFENDER’S MOTION TO PRESERVE INFORMANT-RELATED EVIDENCE IN DANIEL WOZNIAK DEATH PENALTY APPEAL

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County Superior Court denied inmate Daniel Wozniak’s public defender’s motion to preserve evidence in his death penalty appeal. The motion, filed by the defense in May 2017, was an unsuccessful attempt to preserve what the Orange County Public Defender (Public Defender) purported to be “informant related evidence” in the People v. Daniel Wozniak case. The Honorable John D. Conley filed the court’s order denying the motion on June 2, 2017.

Circumstances of the Case

On May 21, 2010, Wozniak murdered his neighbor, 26-year-old Sam Herr, and the next day, the defendant killed Herr’s friend Juri “Julie” Kibuishi. After a thorough investigation, Wozniak was arrested on May 28, 2010, and subsequently charged with two felony counts of murder with special circumstances for committing multiple murders, murder for financial gain, and the personal discharge of a firearm causing death.

On Dec. 16, 2015, the defendant was found guilty by a jury of all charges, and the jury recommended the death penalty for Wozniak’s special circumstances murder conviction on Jan. 11, 2016. He was sentenced to death by the court on Sept. 23, 2016, and his case is currently on automatic appeal to the California Supreme Court.

Public Defender’s Motion

On May 10, 2017, the Public Defender submitted an 84-page brief detailing his request motion to preserve evidence in the Wozniak case, followed by three 3-ring binders of exhibits, totaling approximately 900 pages. As the court opined, the Public Defender lacks standing for the request, as he is “no longer the attorney of record for Mr. Wozniak.” The appeals process has begun and the California Supreme Court will be appointing an attorney for the inmate, however the Orange County Superior Court must resolve all discovery issues as the trial court.

Basis of the Court’s Ruling

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Long Beach Man Pleads in Death of Acquaintance Who Died After Fight

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

A 59-year-old man pleaded no contest today to one count of voluntary manslaughter for severely injuring another man during a fight, leading to his death, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Tapti Patel said Riccardo Gonzalez Rangel of Long Beach also admitted using a milk crate as a deadly weapon.

Rangel was immediately sentenced to 12 years in state prison.

On June 21, 2015, Rangel and victim David Garcia, 38, were at an apartment complex in Long Beach when the two men got into an argument, according to court testimony. The argument turned physical and the defendant hit the victim with a milk crate several times, the prosecutor said.

After being struck, Garcia fell and hit his head. The victim remained hospitalized and died more than six months later as a result of his injuries.

Case NA103391 was investigated by the Long Beach Police Department.

Los Angeles County District Attorney / Case NA103391 / June 05, 2017

June 5, 2017

Prisoner-Transport Officer Arrested for Sexual Assault

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

Eric Scott Kindley, 49, a prisoner-transport officer, was arrested yesterday in Stockton, California on charges related to sexually assaulting females in his custody, and threatening them with a firearm while doing so. During his initial appearance today, a federal judge in Sacramento, California ordered that Kindley be detained over the weekend, pending potential transport to Phoenix, Arizona, from where the complaint was issued. A complaint merely establishes probable cause, and Kindley is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

According to court documents, Kindley operates Special Operations Group 6, a company that contracts with local jails throughout the country to transport individuals who have been arrested on out-of-state warrants. The probable cause affidavit alleges that from January through May of this year, Kindley engaged in sexual misconduct in his Dodge Caravan with three different female prisoners during three different transports. The transports were from California to Arizona, Alabama to Arizona, and Mississippi to New Mexico. In each instance, the victim was handcuffed and restrained, and taken to secluded locations where Kindley sexually assaulted her. All the while, Kindley threatened each victim with his firearm and warned them that he will get away with his conduct because no one will believe them.

The probable cause affidavit further alleges that during the transports, Kindley bragged to the victims about sexually assaulting other female prisoners during prior transports.

This investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call the Phoenix Division of the FBI at (623) 466-1999, or can email the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice at Prisoner.Transfer@usdoj.gov.

This case is being investigated by the Phoenix Division of the Federal Bureau Investigation and is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Fara Gold and Trial Attorney Maura White of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Assistant United States Attorney Abbie Broughton Marsh of District of Arizona.

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SACRAMENTO PROTESTOR CHARGED FOR PUNCHING MAN IN THE FACE AND SLAPPING ANOTHER AT MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN MARCH

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A protestor from Sacramento was charged yesterday for punching a man in the face and slapping another twice at a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) march.

Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
Jessica Aguilar, 20, Sacramento Charged on June 1, 2017, with two misdemeanor counts of:

  • Battery
One year in county jail Arraignment

June 20, 2017, 8:30 a.m.

Department W-1, West Justice Court, Westminster

Circumstances of the Case:

  • On March 25, 2017, approximately 2,000 individuals gathered at Bolsa Chica State Beach for a MAGA march.
  • Aguilar is accused of attending the march as a protestor and punching John Doe 1 in the face.
  • The defendant is also accused of slapping John Doe 2 in the face twice.
  • California State Parks officers were onsite to keep the peace at the event and arrested Aguilar.
  • Four additional filing requests were submitted to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) in relation to the same march. Those cases were rejected because the OCDA could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt as to who started the physical altercation.

Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Brett Brian, Special Prosecutions Unit.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # TBD / June 02, 2017

Three Northern California Real Estate Investors Convicted of Rigging Bids at Public Foreclosure Auctions

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

A federal jury today convicted three real estate investors for their roles in a conspiracy to rig bids at public real estate foreclosure auctions held in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced.

After a three-week trial, the jury convicted Michael Marr, Javier Sanchez, and Gregory Casorso, on all counts. Marr, Sanchez, and Casorso were convicted for conspiring to rig bids at foreclosure auctions in Alameda County, California, between June 2008 and January 2011. Marr and Sanchez were also convicted on charges of conspiring to rig bids at foreclosure auctions in Contra Costa County, California between July 2008 and January 2011. The three defendants were charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of California on Nov. 19, 2014.

The evidence at trial showed that the defendants conspired with others to rig bids to obtain hundreds of properties sold at foreclosure auctions. The conspirators designated the winning bidders to obtain selected properties at the public auctions, and negotiated payoffs among themselves in return for not competing. They then held second, private auctions at or near the courthouse steps where the public auctions were held, awarding the properties to conspirators who submitted the highest bids.

Including today’s convictions, 68 individuals have pleaded guilty or been convicted after trial as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging at public foreclosure auctions in Northern California. Indictments are pending against other real estate investors who participated in the conspiracy.

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June 2, 2017

BROTHEL RINGLEADER SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR PANDERING 53 WOMEN TO COMMIT PROSTITUTION AT HIGH-END IRVINE APARTMENTS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 3:02 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A brothel ringleader was sentenced to 10 years in state prison today for pandering 53 women to commit prostitution at high-end apartments in Irvine.

Defendant

Charges

Sentence

Fadi Boulos Chaiban, 53, Ladera Ranch

Pleaded guilty today to:

  • 53 felony counts of pandering
  • Six felony counts of pimping
  • One felony count of conspiracy to commit pimping
  • One felony count of conspiracy to commit pandering
  • 10 years in state prison
  • Forfeited $465,000 in cash

Co-defendant Tina Lorraine Saunders, 53, Ladera Ranch, was charged on Feb. 2, 2017, with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit pimping, conspiracy to commit pandering, pimping, and pandering in Case # 17CF0268. If convicted, she faces a maximum of six years in state prison and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on June 30, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case

  • Between December 2014 and January 2017, Chaiban ran a sophisticated brothel operation at multiple high-end apartments in Irvine.
  • Saunders is accused of aiding and abetting Chaiban by renting an apartment for Chaiban to use as a brothel.
  • Saunders is accused of recruiting adult women to work for Chaiban by placing Internet advertisements to meet potential victims.
  • Once women were recruited, Chaiban took sexually explicit photographs of 52 separate victims and posted their photos of various websites commonly used to advertise prostitution.
  • He also operated his own website on a unique web domain.
  • Chaiban posed as a woman to communicate with sex purchasers in order to set up prostitution dates.
  • The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) located several Irvine luxury apartments where Chaiban arranged for sex purchasers to meet with the victims.
  • During the investigation, OCHTTF and Irvine Police Department (IPD) detectives observed dozens of men going into and out of the apartments in 30-minute and one-hour increments before the victims left each evening.
  • Chaiban entered the apartments to collect cash earnings left behind by the victims at the end of each day, kept the majority of the money for himself, and maintained a detailed client list.
  • On Jan. 31, 2017, OCHTTF arrested the defendants while they were leaving their home.
  • At the time of his arrest, Chaiban possessed over $465,240 in cash in a storage locker.

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YOUTH MINISTRY MENTOR CHARGED WITH COMMITTING LEWD ACTS ON TWO JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL BOYS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:59 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A youth ministry mentor was charged today with committing lewd acts on two junior high school boys.

Defendant Charges Court Date
Ruven Meulenberg, 32, Lake Forest
  • Three felony counts of lewd acts on a child
  • Two felony counts of lewd acts on a child under age 14

Sentencing enhancement

  • Multiple victims
Continued arraignment

  • June 9, 2017, 10:00 a.m.
  • Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana
  • Bail: $1 million

Circumstances of the Case

  • At the time of the crime, Meulenberg is accused of being a volunteer youth mentor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest in a position of trust with access to children.
  • Between May 2016 and May 2017, Meulenberg is accused of committing lewd acts on 13-year-old boys John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, both on and off church property.
  • Between May 18, 2017, and May 22, 2017, the defendant is again accused of sexually molesting the victims, who were then 14 years old.
  • On May 24, 2017, a Saddleback Church representative reported suspected inappropriate conduct to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), who investigated this case.
  • Meulenberg was arrested by OCSD on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

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Pimp Pleads Guilty to Federal Sex Trafficking Charge Related to Young Woman Forced to Work as Prostitute in Inland Empire

Filed under: Uncategorized — fayarfa @ 2:55 am

SANTA ANA, California – A local pimp who recruited a woman through a social media website and advertised her services as a prostitute in an online publication has pleaded guilty to a federal sex trafficking charge.

Lawrence T. Gunn Jr., 33, whose last known residence was in Woodland Hills, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

Gunn pleaded guilty before United States District Judge David O. Carter, who scheduled a sentencing hearing on October 2. As a result of yesterday’s guilty plea, Gunn faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, and he could be sentenced to as much as life in federal prison.

Gunn, who is also known as “Classified,” forced the victim to get a tattoo of his moniker on her face after he recruited her on Facebook, according to a plea agreement filed in United States District Court.

Gunn admitted that he used force, threats of force, fraud and/or coercion that led the victim to engage in commercial sex acts between May 2015 and late February 2016.

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June 1, 2017

Orange County Man Pleads Guilty to Taking $2.2 Million from Distressed Homeowners in Bogus Loan Modification Scheme

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

SANTA ANA, California – An Orange County man pleaded guilty this morning to federal charges relating to his operation of a fraud scheme that took $2.2 million from distressed homeowners through false promises that he could help them avoid foreclosure by obtaining modifications to their mortgages.

Kevin Frank Rasher, 45, who has been in custody since his arrest at his Coto de Caza residence one year ago, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of mail fraud.

Rasher pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton, who is scheduled to sentence the defendant on September 29. Rasher faces a statutory maximum sentence of 240 years in federal prison.

In a plea agreement filed in federal court, Rasher admitted that, between 2011 and March 2016, he falsely told distressed homeowners that he was an employee of HUD and/or an attorney, and that the homeowners had been approved for a reduced mortgage payment or interest rate. Rasher then instructed the homeowners to mail their mortgage payments to one of his businesses, claiming that he would forward the money to the homeowners’ mortgage lenders. Instead of forwarding the money to the mortgage lenders, Rasher deposited the money into his bank accounts and used it for his own personal expenses.

Rasher admitted that he fraudulently obtained approximately $2.24 million from more than 500 victims.

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