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April 11, 2017

Garden Grove Man Who Traveled to Canada to Have Sex with Girl He Met Online Sentenced to over 7 Years in Federal Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:39 am

SANTA ANA, California – A Garden Grove man who convinced a 13-year-old girl he met online to send him explicit videos – and then traveled to Canada to have sex with the victim – was ordered this afternoon to serve 87 months in federal prison.

Paul Binh Do, 30, was sentenced by United States District Judge David O. Carter.

Once he completes the prison term, Do will be on supervised release for the rest of his life.

Do pleaded guilty in May 2016 to one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and one count of receipt of child pornography.

According to documents filed in United States District Court, Do began an online relationship with the then-13-year-old girl in September 2013, and soon thereafter they began exchanging naked videos of themselves engaging in sexual conduct.

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Investigations by IRS Lead to Cases Against Tax Return Preparers

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:35 am

LOS ANGELES –The United States Attorney’s Office and IRS Criminal Investigation today announced a 10-year prison sentence against one defendant and the filing of three criminal cases against four individuals who were involved in the preparation of fraudulent income tax returns.

While the vast majority of tax professionals provide honest and high-quality services, there are some dishonest return preparers who operate each filing season and perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers. IRS Criminal Investigation and federal prosecutors work closely to shut down tax fraud schemes and prosecute the criminals behind them.

“The majority of tax return preparers are focused on helping taxpayers comply with their obligations to file timely and honest tax returns. The IRS relies upon these professionals to file truthful and accurate returns to deter tax fraud,” said Acting United States Attorney Sandra R. Brown. “Dishonest tax return preparers who defy the tax laws, whether for their own personal financial gain or to fraudulently obtain money for their clients, will be shut down permanently and face federal prosecution, which can result in significant prison sentences.” (more…)

Orange County Man Sentenced to over 9 Years for Operating Fake Law Firms that Promised to Help Struggling Homeowners

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:32 am

SANTA ANA, California – A Brea man was sentenced today to 109 months in custody for operating a multi-million dollar fraudulent mortgage modification scheme that posed as a successful law firm.

Bryan D’Antonio, 50, was sentenced by United States District Judge David O. Carter, who ordered the defendant to spend 97 months in federal prison and to serve the final year of the sentence in a halfway house. In addition to the sentence of over eight years, Judge Carter ordered D’Antonio to pay $3,826,977 in restitution.

D’Antonio pleaded guilty last August to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in relation to his role as owner and operator of Rodis Law Group (RLG) and America’s Law Group (ALG). D’Antonio admitted that, between October 2008 and June 2009, he participated in a scheme that induced homeowners to pay between $3,500 and $5,500 for the services of RLG and its successor entity, ALG.

In connection with his gulty plea, D’Antonio admitted that the RLG and ALG schemes fraudulently obtained approximately $9 million from more than 1,500 victims.

RLG and ALG advertised on radio stations nationwide, urging struggling homeowners to call a toll-free number and stating that the companies consisted of “a team of experienced attorneys” who were “highly skilled in negotiating lower interest rates and even lowering your principal balance.” In fact, RLG and ALG were telemarketing operations that never had teams of experienced attorneys.

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April 10, 2017

Attorney General Xavier Becerra Announces Guilty Plea and Sentencing of Long Beach Gang Member and Mastermind of Tax Fraud Scheme

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

LOS ANGELES –Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that late yesterday, Dominique Lewis, an influential member of the Baby Insane Crips, a Long Beach street gang that operated a scheme to perpetrate tax fraud, pled guilty to 18 felony charges including identity theft, grand theft, and conspiracy. Lewis was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Lewis, who was brought into custody after being at large for 10 months, was a ringleader behind a theft scheme that compromised the personal identifying information of hundreds of Californians and resulted in losses of more than $3.2 million in taxpayer funds.

“Stealing the identity and personal information of hundreds of innocent people who work hard to earn their money is unconscionable, and it is also against the law,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Lewis is answering for his reckless behavior and the crimes he committed that put the privacy and safety of Californians at risk. I want to thank the Long Beach Police Department, United States Postal Inspection Service, the prosecution team from my eCrime Unit (eCU) and Financial Fraud and Special Prosecutions Section for their hard work in bringing Lewis to justice.”

Tax return fraud occurs when an individual files a fraudulent tax return with someone else’s personal identifying information and collects a tax refund from the IRS. Victims are unlikely to know their identities have been stolen until they attempt to file a tax return that is rejected by the IRS because one has already been filed.

The Attorney General’s Office has issued tips for Californians to avoid tax-related identity theft and on how consumers can protect themselves. These tips and additional resources can be found here.

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Ventura County Man Indicted by Federal Grand Jury for Allegedly Producing Child Pornography Involving 6-Year-Old Girl

Filed under: California Chid Pornography Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

LOS ANGELES – A Simi Valley man was indicted today by a federal grand jury on charges of producing child pornography in a case involving a 6-year-old girl.

Eric Allen Haensgen, 38, who until August 2015 lived in Huntley, Illinois, is also charged with distributing and possessing child pornography.

The indictment alleges that Haensgen produced still photos and videos of the young victim. Investigators found 83 images and three videos of a 6-year-old girl that had been shot with Haensgen’s iPhone and downloaded to a computer, according to court documents.

Haensgen allegedly distributed over the BitTorrent Network other examples of child pornography he obtained from the internet.

Haensgen was arrested on March 24 by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) after federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint that accused him of one count of producing child pornography.

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Hermosa Beach Couple Found Guilty in Tax Scam and Passing Fraudulent Financial Instruments to Pay Off Debts

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

LOS ANGELES – A federal jury this afternoon convicted a Hermosa Beach couple of a host of charges related to their participation in a scheme that filed fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service seeking millions of dollars in refunds and used bogus financial instruments as a way to pay off debt.

Sean David Morton, 58, and his wife, Melissa Ann Morton, 50, each were convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts each of filing false claims against the United States, and various counts of passing false or fictitious financial instruments (specifically, 26 counts against Sean Morton, and 25 counts against Melissa Morton).

On the fourth day of trial, the jury heard closing arguments and deliberated for approximately two hours before issuing the guilty verdicts.

The charges against the Mortons stem from their participation in a “redemption” scheme, which is the most common scheme used across the nation by tax defiers and “sovereign citizens.” Proponents of this scheme falsely claim that the United States government controls bank accounts – often referred to as “U.S. Treasury Direct Accounts” – for U.S. citizens that can be accessed by submitting paperwork with state and federal authorities. Individuals promoting this scam frequently cite various discredited legal theories and may refer to the scheme as “Redemption” or “Strawman.” This scheme, which repeatedly has been rejected by courts, predominately uses fraudulent financial documents that appear to be legitimate.

“These defendants orchestrated a scheme that used bogus ‘legal’ filings that sought to abuse the tax system and defraud the IRS out of millions of dollars,” said Acting United States Attorney Sandra R. Brown. “These fraudulent schemes are designed to do only one thing – victimize others for profit.”

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April 7, 2017

Man Sentenced to Prison for Killing Sister in San Gabriel

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

A 32-year-old man was sentenced today to 77 years to life in state prison for fatally shooting his sister in 2015, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Feb. 23, a jury found Johnny Goins of Pasadena guilty of four counts in case GA095841: one count of first-degree murder, one count of willful, premeditated and deliberate attempted murder and two counts of shooting at an inhabited dwelling.

Jurors also found true a special allegation that the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a firearm, that caused death during the commission of the murder.

At today’s sentencing, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Jared Moses also ordered the defendant to pay restitution in the amount of $14,200 to the California Victim Compensation Board and $1,300 to the victim’s mother for funeral expenses.

Deputy District Attorney Presciliano Duran of the Victim Impact Program, who prosecuted the case, said at the time of the crime Johnny Goins was angry with his sister, Tanaya Goins, 32.

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Gang Member Sentenced to Prison for Attempted Murder, Carjacking

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

A gang member was sentenced today to 35 years to life in state prison for an attempted carjacking and murder, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Aug. 19, 2016, a jury found Jessie Abbott Duran, 27, of Whittier, guilty of five counts in case VA134599: one count each of attempted murder, attempted carjacking, assault with a firearm, shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Jurors also found true special allegations that the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a handgun. Additionally, that the crimes were committed for the benefit and at the direction of, and in association with a criminal street gang, and with the intent to promote, further, and assist in criminal conduct by gang members.

Deputy District Attorney John Chang of the Hardcore Gang Division, who prosecuted the case, said on April 3, 2014, a man was sitting in a car near his Whittier home when Duran walked up to the vehicle and demanded the car. The man refused to give up his vehicle, drove away and alerted police, according to the prosecutor.

The victim then drove back to his home when he saw Duran coming at him again, the prosecutor added. The two men had an exchange and the defendant began shooting at the victim before fleeing the area. Although the victim was uninjured, one of the bullets hit a passing car, the prosecutor said.

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Homeless Man Charged With Deadly Stabbing at Metro Purple Line Station

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

A homeless man has been charged with murder for the deadly stabbing of a commuter at a Koreatown Metro Station, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney David Richman said Barry Lucky Timmons (dob 2/20/80) faces one count of murder in case BA455194.

The criminal complaint includes allegations that Timmons used a knife as a deadly weapon and he was convicted in 2010 of attempted second-degree robbery.

Timmons pleaded not guilty today and is scheduled to return on April 26 to Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. The case was filed on March 7.

The victim, Andres Ramos, 37, was allegedly attacked and stabbed to death on March 5 on the Metro Purple Line platform at the Wilshire/Normandie Station, the prosecutor said. Following the attack, Timmons reportedly went to a nearby fast-food restaurant where he barricaded himself for nearly an hour, the prosecutor added.

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April 6, 2017

Grand Jury Accuses Inland Empire Man of 17 Child Exploitation Offenses Related to Six Boys Coerced to Make Explicit Videos

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

RIVERSIDE, California – An Inland Empire man was named today in a federal grand jury indictment that charges him with a series of child exploitation crimes for allegedly coercing six boys around the nation him to send him sexually explicit videos.

Francisco Javier Soledad, 24, of Eastvale, was charged today in a 17-count indictment that alleges six counts of producing of child pornography, six counts of using the internet to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, two counts of advertising child pornography, two counts of distributing child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography on an iPhone.

Soledad was arrested on March 9 by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) after federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint that accused him of one count of producing child pornography in relation to one 13-year-old victim.

The indictment filed today outlines how Soledad victimized six boys between the ages of 12 and 15 over the course of several months in 2016. Soledad allegedly found the victims, who spanned the nation from California to Georgia, on social media sites.

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. Several of the victims refused demands to send additional images, which allegedly prompted Soledad to threaten to publish the previously sent images on social media platforms. In at least one instance, Soledad did in fact publish one of the victim’s nude images on Twitter.

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