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October 20, 2017

Lancaster Man Sentenced for Hit-and-Run Death of 11-Year-Old Girl

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

A Lancaster man has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison for killing an 11-year-old girl in a hitand-run crash this summer, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney David Delgado said Eduardo Medrano Jr., 25, was sentenced yesterday. On Sept. 6, Medrano pleaded no contest to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

His girlfriend, Alicia Torres, 23, pleaded no contest on the same day to one count of accessory after the fact, knowledge of crime. She was sentenced yesterday to three years summary probation.

The crash occurred just after midnight on July 18. Medrano drove through a red light on 20th Street East and collided with a vehicle causing Emily T. to be ejected from the victim’s vehicle, the prosecutor said.

Following the collision, Medrano fled the scene. While Medrano was at large, Torres lied to police about her knowledge of Medrano’s whereabouts. (more…)

DUI Driver Pleads to Killing LAPD Officer

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

A 37-year-old woman pleaded no contest today to killing a Los Angeles police officer when her SUV slammed into his motorcycle three years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Qaneak Shaney Cobb entered her plea to one count of second-degree murder. She is scheduled to be sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison on Oct. 30.

Deputy District Attorneys Mary Murray and Garrett Dameron of the Crimes Against Peace Officers Section prosecuted the case.

On April 5, 2014, LAPD Officer Christopher Cortijo was stopped at a red light behind another vehicle at Lankershim Boulevard and Saticoy Street when a Chevrolet Blazer driven by Cobb hit him from behind.

The SUV was traveling about 53 mph at the time of impact, according to prosecutors. The 51-year-old officer was killed when he was crushed between two vehicles. Cobb was driving under the influence of cocaine at the time of the crash, prosecutors added.

Case BA435352 was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Los Angeles District Attorney / Case BA435352 / October 19, 2017      

October 19, 2017

Orange County CPA Pleads Guilty to Obstructing an IRS Investigation into Tax Returns Seeking Millions of Dollars in Tax Refunds

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

SANTA ANA, California – A certified public accountant who worked at a tax preparation firm in Irvine has pleaded guilty to federal charges resulting from her obstruction of a federal investigation into millions of dollars in tax refunds claimed in tax returns that were prepared by her firm.

Antonia Rios, 52, of Irvine, who was a partner at Quick Rios & Associates, pleaded guilty late yesterday afternoon to one count of attempting to interfere with the administration of the internal revenue laws.

During yesterday’s hearing, Rios admitted that Quick Rios had prepared federal tax returns for approximately 200 clients – including a number of Fortune 500 companies – that cumulatively sought more than $100 million in refunds based on the Telephone Excise Tax Refund – the so-called TETR – which was available to compensate individuals and businesses that paid excess telephone excise taxes from 2003 to 2006.

Rios admitted that she submitted to the Internal Revenue Service altered documents related to TETR to support refunds claimed in the tax returns Quick Rios had prepared for its clients. Rios additionally admitted that, during an April 2011 meeting with IRS auditors, she had presented to IRS personnel a fake email she had fabricated in an attempt to show “proof” that Quick Rios was properly calculating the TETR credit. When the IRS questioned Rios and her business partner about the fake email, Rios and her business partner falsely blamed others at Quick Rios for fabricating the email, instead of admitting that she had done it. (more…)


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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was found guilty by a jury today of robbing several marijuana dealers at gunpoint during two large scale drug deals at a resort in Newport Coast.



Maximum Sentence

Court Date

Thomas Lamarr Prince, 40, Anaheim

Found guilty by a jury today of the following felony counts:

  • (4) Robbery

Sentencing Enhancements

  • Prior conviction for robbery in Los Angeles in 2015

25 years state prison


Dec. 15, 2017, at 9:00 a.m.

Department C-28, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

  • On Feb.18, 2017, and March 21, 2017, Prince met victims in a parking lot in Newport Coast to purchase large quantities of marijuana worth over $100,000.
  • On each occasion, the defendant drove the victims to a nearby resort to conduct the illegal exchange inside a private hotel villa. (more…)

Fontana Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Attempting to Kill CHP Officer

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

A Fontana man has admitted that he tried to kill a California Highway Patrol officer in 2015 during a traffic stop in West Covina, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

John Alfred Garcia, 32, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of attempted murder of a peace officer in case KA110677.

Garcia also admitted discharging a semiautomatic shotgun causing great bodily injury.

The defendant was immediately sentenced to 40 years to life in state prison.

Deputy District Attorneys Jack Garden and Robert Serna of the Crimes Against Peace Officers Section prosecuted the case.

On Sept. 11, 2015, a CHP officer attempted to pull over Garcia who was driving an SUV in West Covina. After the officer approached, a gun battle ensued, resulting in serious injuries to the officer. (more…)

October 18, 2017

Former San Bernardino County Income Tax Preparer Sentenced to Eight Months in Federal Prison for Filing Fraudulent Returns

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

RIVERSIDE, California – A San Bernardino County man who prepared and filed fraudulent tax returns for both his clients and himself that claimed false business losses has been sentenced to serve eight months in federal prison.

Mervyn Gucilatar, 46, of Yucaipa, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal. In addition to the prison term, Judge Bernal ordered Gucilatar to pay $573,440 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Gucilatar, who operated his tax preparation business under the name JM Tax Solutions, pleaded guilty in February to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return and one count of making and subscribing to a false tax return.

According to the plea agreement filed in the case, while working with another unidentified return preparer, Gucilatar prepared fraudulent tax returns that claimed false partnership losses to which his clients were not entitled. The false partnership losses related to a limited liability corporation that was created with no legitimate purpose.

The fraudulent tax returns included personal expenses and fictitious expenses for the partnerships that had no business purpose other than to create a loss. The false losses to the partnerships were passed through to the personal tax returns of Gucilatar’s clients, thereby reducing their income tax liability. (more…)

Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Bid Rigging in Northern California Public Foreclosure Auctions

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

A real estate investor pleaded guilty for his role in conspiracies to rig bids at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced.

Raymond A. Grinsell pleaded guilty to two counts of bid rigging in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco.  Grinsell was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on October 22, 2014.

According to court documents, Grinsell participated in conspiracies to rig bids by agreeing to refrain from bidding against other co-conspirators at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Mateo and San Francisco counties.  The conspiracies began as early as August 2008 and continued until January 2011.

The primary purpose of the conspiracies was to suppress competition in order to obtain selected properties offered at San Mateo County and San Francisco County public foreclosure auctions at noncompetitive prices.  (more…)


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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A woman was sentenced today to five years in state prison for kidnapping, false imprisonment, and falsely reporting crimes, after framing her husband’s ex-fiancée for stalking and attempted rape.




Angela Maria Diaz, 32, Phoenix, Arizona

Pleaded guilty today to the following:


  • (2) Kidnapping
  • (2) False imprisonment by menace, fraud, or deceit
  • (2) Forgery
  • (2) Possession of a forged check over $950
  • Perjury
  • Grand theft


  • Falsely reporting a crime to a police agency
  • (21) Falsely reporting a crime to a peace officer

Court offer of five years in state prison

Michelle Suzanne Hadley, 30, the former defendant in felony case number 16NF2004, has been fully exonerated and cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. Her case was dismissed by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) on Jan. 9, 2017. “If not for the hard work of law enforcement continuing to investigate and seek the truth in this case, Ms. Hadley could have continued to face life in prison. It is unfathomable why Ms. Diaz would concoct such a diabolical scheme to hurt an innocent person,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Even while pleading guilty, Diaz showed no remorse, compassion, or empathy for the victim. We hope the resolution of this case brings some closure to Ms. Hadley so she can move forward in her life.” (more…)

October 17, 2017

Inland Empire Man Pleads Guilty to Using Internet to Entice Boy to Make Sexually Explicit Videos

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

RIVERSIDE, California – An Inland Empire man pleaded guilty late this afternoon to a federal child exploitation offense after coercing at least six boys around the nation to send him sexually explicit videos – some of which were posted on the internet when victims refused to send additional images and videos.

Francisco Javier Soledad, 25, of Eastvale, pleaded guilty today to one count of using the internet to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.

In a plea agreement filed in United States District court, Soledad admitted victimizing six boys between the ages of 12 and 15 over the course of several months in 2016. Soledad found the victims – who lived across the nation, from California to Georgia – on social media sites he accessed under the handle “linkinparkrocks.” Soledad pleaded guilty to one count related to a victim in Illinois, but he admitted engaging in similar conduct with at least five other boys he communicated with via Snapchat, text messages and email.

According to court documents, Soledad assumed different personas – sometimes a 13-year-old boy, and other times an adult woman – to convince the victims to send him explicit photographs and videos. When several of the victims refused demands to send additional images, Soledad threatened to publish the previously sent images on social media platforms. In at least one instance, Soledad published one of the victim’s nude images on Twitter along with the victim’s Twitter handle.

Soledad further admitted in his plea agreement that he possessed on his digital devices more than 5,000 images and videos of child pornography and child erotica. The majority of the child pornography images appear to have been produced by the children depicted. Law enforcement is reviewing the thousands of images and is continuing to try to identify all of the children Soledad appears to have victimized. (more…)

Former AFLAC Employee Who Stole over $4 Million from Insurance Company with Fake Disability Claims Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

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

SANTA ANA, California – A one-time sales representative for AFLAC was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison after being convicted of federal fraud charges related to a scheme that used bogus disability claims to bilk the insurance company out of more than $4 million.

Patricia Diane Smith Sledge, 61, of Redlands, was sentenced today by United States District Judge James V. Selna. In addition to the prison term, Judge Selna ordered Sledge to pay $4,166,063 in restitution.

Following a two-week jury trial late last year, Sledge was found guilty of six counts of mail fraud, as well as two counts of witness tampering.

The fraud scheme involved fictitious employers and bogus employees who falsely claimed to have suffered injuries that prevented them from working.

The evidence presented at trial showed that Sledge – who was residing in Irvine while working for the company formally known as American Family Life Assurance Company – sold disability insurance policies to bogus companies and people who supposedly worked for those companies. Sledge then orchestrated the filing of fraudulent disability claims and directed the purported employees to doctors that would sign off on the fake injury claims. (more…)

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