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May 10, 2017

FONTANA MAN ARRAIGNED FOR TRAFFICKING MINOR FROM SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY AND PIMPING VICTIM IN SANTA ANA

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Fontana man was arraigned yesterday for trafficking a minor girl from San Bernardino County and pimping the victim in Santa Ana.

Defendant

Charges

Maximum Sentence

Court Date

Armani Montrale Green, 20, Fontana

One felony count each of:

  • Human trafficking of a minor
  • Pimping a minor
  • Pandering a minor

One misdemeanor count of:

  • Driving without a valid driver license
  • 13 years in state prison
  • Six months in county jail

Pre-trial hearing

May 16, 2017, 8:30 a.m.

Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

Green is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to speak only when spoken to, address the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy,” assigning seats in the car based on “rank,” and setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. The victims are often required to turn over all payments they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical and/or emotional abuse.

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Man Sentenced to Jail for Soliciting Prostitute

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

A 56-year-old man was sentenced today to 30 days in jail for soliciting a prostitute last year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On April 10, Raymond Edward Bernasconi pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of soliciting a prostitute in case 6PC05400.

At today’s court appearance, Bernasconi was remanded into custody following his sentencing.

Prosecutors said on Oct. 12, 2016, Bernasconi made arrangements online to meet a prostitute at a motel in Claremont.

When the defendant arrived at the location, he was arrested and taken into custody by law enforcement participating in a multi-agency human trafficking sting, according to prosecutors.

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Three Men to Stand Trial in Series of Cell-Phone Store Robberies

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

Three homeless men were arraigned today after being ordered to stand trial in connection with a dozen mobile phone store robberies, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Renell Samuel Collins (dob 6/13/65) faces 14 counts of second-degree robbery and one count of attempted second-degree robbery.

Deputy District Attorney Casey Jarvis said Dexter Powell (dob 7/16/68) faces four counts of seconddegree robbery and Stephen Wayne Rodgers (dob 4/10/71) is charged with three counts of seconddegree robbery.

All three defendants were each held to answer for the charges on April 24.

The three defendants pleaded not guilty today and are due back on June 13 for a pretrial conference in Department 113 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

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May 9, 2017

Bumble Bee Agrees to Plead Guilty to Price Fixing

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

Bumble Bee Foods LLC has agreed to plead guilty for its role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of shelf-stable tuna fish, such as canned and pouch tuna, sold in the United States, the Department of Justice announced.

According to a one-count felony charge filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, Bumble Bee and its co-conspirators agreed to fix the prices of shelf-stable tuna fish from as early as the first quarter of 2011 through at least as late as the fourth quarter of 2013. In addition to agreeing to plead guilty, Bumble Bee has agreed to pay a $25 million criminal fine, which will increase to a maximum criminal fine of $81.5 million, payable by a related entity, in the event of a sale of Bumble Bee subject to certain terms and conditions. Bumble Bee has also agreed to cooperate with the Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation. The plea agreement is subject to court approval.

“Today’s charge is the third to be filed – and the first to be filed against a corporate defendant – in the Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation into price fixing among some of the largest suppliers of packaged seafood,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Andrew Finch of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “The division, along with our law enforcement colleagues, will continue to hold these companies and their executives accountable for conduct that targeted a staple in American households.”

“We echo the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s sentiment,” said Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett of the FBI’s San Francisco Division. “Companies small and large hold a great deal of the American peoples’ trust and this type of unfair, greedy behavior will not be tolerated.”

Today’s charge is the result of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into the packaged seafood industry, which is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office and the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office. Anyone with information on price fixing, bid rigging or other anticompetitive conduct related to the packaged seafood industry should contact the Antitrust Division’s Citizen Complaint Center at (888) 647-3258, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.html, or call the FBI tip line at (415) 553-7400.

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WOMAN CONVICTED OF VIOLATING PROTECTIVE ORDER BY FACILITATING COMMUNICATION BETWEEN CHILD RAPE VICTIM AND THE PERPETRATOR

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

WESTMINSTER, Calif. – A woman was convicted of violating a protective order by facilitating communication between a child rape victim and the perpetrator.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Jessica Lee Pearles, 37, Garden Grove Pleaded guilty on May 5, 2017, to

  • One misdemeanor count of violation of a protective order
Court offer:

  • 30 days in county jail
  • 30 days of community service
  • Three years of informal probation

Circumstances of the Case

  • Between April 29, 2016, and Nov. 22, 2016, Pearles facilitated phone contact between 9-year-old family member Jane Doe and a man in Orange County Central Men’s Jail.
  • The man was charged in a separate case with raping Jane Doe multiple times in 2014.
  • Any and all contact between the victim and the man violated a protective order prohibiting communication with the victim.
  • Pearles spoke to the man on a recorded line about the stay-away order and willfully violated it by allowing his conversations with Jane Doe.
  • The Garden Grove Police Department investigated this case and arrested Pearles on Feb. 10, 2017, at her workplace.

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Two Men Found Guilty in 2001 Murder-for-Hire of Pregnant Woman

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

A man accused of arranging the murder of his pregnant girlfriend more than a decade ago and the hired hitman were both convicted today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced.

Derek Paul Smyer, 36, was found guilty today of one count each of first-degree murder with the special circumstances of murder for financial gain and multiple murders, second-degree murder and conspiracy and two counts of solicitation of murder.

A separate jury found Skyler Jefferson Moore, 35, guilty today of two counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstances of lying in wait and multiple murders and one count of conspiracy.

Deputy District Attorneys Danette Meyers and Rosa Zavala prosecuted case SA079068.

The penalty phase to determine whether the jury will recommend the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole for Moore is scheduled to begin on May 10 in Department 101 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

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May 8, 2017

Two Southland Men Arrested on Federal Charges of Attempting to Smuggle Heroin Worth Nearly Half a Million Dollars Through LAX

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

LOS ANGELES – Two men were arrested Tuesday at Los Angeles International Airport and charged in Federal court with attempting to smuggle heroin in luggage on two commercial airline flights.

Cristian Santos, 21, of Compton, was arrested by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) after boarding a Delta Airlines flight. Special agents with the DEA also arrested Joel Aron, 18, of Tijuana, Mexico, after he boarded a Hawaiian Airlines flight. Both Santos and Aron appeared in court yesterday afternoon and are scheduled to next appear in District Court in Los Angeles on June 8, 2017.

A criminal complaint filed yesterday alleges the narcotics were discovered in Santos’s luggage after he checked in for a flight bound for Indianapolis. After seeing something suspicious in one of the bags during an image scan, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inspected the bag, and discovered an item that resembled a flattened pillow wrapped with black electrical tape, which was concealed inside the inner layer of the luggage. After a TSA Bomb Detection Officer determined that the package inside the bag was not an explosive, the TSA Officer used a box cutter to make an incision and examine the contents inside the package which resembled brown tar. A subsequent test confirmed the presence of heroin. It is alleged that the street value in Indiana of the heroin in Santos’s luggage is $250,000.

Los Angeles Airport Police located Santos on his Delta Airlines flight, and escorted him off the airplane. During a subsequent interview, Santos admitted to DEA special agents that the luggage belonged to him, and that he was working with other individuals in exchange for payment.

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THREE MEN CONVICTED OF DEFRAUDING OVER $70 MILLION FROM WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE CARRIERS IN OVERBILLING SCHEME

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Three men were convicted today of defrauding over $70 million from insurance companies in an overbilling scheme.

Defendant Pleaded Guilty on May 5, 2017, to: Sentence
  • Jeffrey Edward Campau, 42, Yorba Linda
  • Landen Alan Mirallegro, 41, Yorba Linda
Felony counts in Case # 13ZF0179:

  • (24) Medical insurance fraud
  • (24) Manufacturing documents in support of a fraudulent claim

Sentencing Enhancements

  • Aggravated white collar crime over $500,000

Felony counts in Case # 16CF1842:

  • (7) Referral of clients for compensation
  • 10 years in state prison suspended pending successful completion of:
  • One year in county jail
  • 5 years of formal probation
  • Ordered to pay restitution (details below)
  • Ordered to stop collecting and dismiss all claims for the following companies: Aspen Medical Resources, National Marketing dba National DME, Elite Diagnostic and Regional Imaging
Abraham Khorshad, 65, Beverly Hills Felony counts in Case # 13ZF0179:

  • (3) Medical insurance fraud

Sentencing Enhancements

  • Aggravated white collar crime over $500,000
  • Nine months in county jail
  • 3 years of formal probation
  • Ordered to pay restitution
  • Ordered to stop collecting and dismiss all claims for the following companies: Aspen Medical Resources, National Marketing dba National DME

Terms of the Restitution for Case # 13ZF0179

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PAROLED MURDERER FOUND GUILTY OF ARMED ROBBERY AND INITIATING POLICE PURSUIT FOUR MONTHS AFTER RELEASE FROM PRISON

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A paroled murderer was convicted today of armed robbery and initiating a police pursuit four months after his release from prison.

Defendant Maximum Sentence Court Date
Chandler Emile Graham, 54, Los Angeles 48 years and eight months in state prison Sentencing and trial on prior convictions

  • June 30, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
  • Department C-37, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana
Charges Prior Convictions
Felony counts Graham was found guilty of by a jury on

May 5, 2017:

  • Four counts of second degree robbery
  • Assault with a firearm
  • Evading while driving recklessly
  • Unlawful taking of a vehicle
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon

Sentencing enhancement found true:

  • Personal use of a firearm
  • Second degree murder in 1995 in Orange County
  • Felon in possession of a firearm in 1989 in Los Angeles
  • Grand theft in 1990 in Los Angeles
  • Possession of a controlled substance in 1992 in Los Angeles

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May 5, 2017

CPA Sentenced to 6 years in Federal Prison for Embezzling $7.2 Million from Alanis Morissette and Other Celebrities

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

LOS ANGELES – A certified public accountant who was the business manager for singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, as well as other well-known entertainment and sports figures, was sentenced today to six years in federal prison for stealing approximately $7.2 million from his clients.

Jonathan Todd Schwartz, 48, a Westlake Village resident who was living in Agoura Hills at the time of the criminal conduct, was sentenced this evening by United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee.

The sentencing follows Schwartz’s guilty pleas in February to wire fraud and tax fraud charges.

Schwartz was a member of GSO Business Management, LLC, a business management firm based in Sherman Oaks that provides financial guidance to high-net worth clients. Schwartz admitted in court that he stole his clients’ money and falsified account records to conceal the embezzlement.

Judge Gee described Schwartz’s crimes as “insidious” and “audacious,” noting that they caused “grave economic and psychological harm” to Schwartz’s victims, whose lives were “upended by the financial turmoil [he] caused.”

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