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January 11, 2017

GRAND JURY UNSEALS INDICTMENTS ON WELFARE FRAUD AND PERJURY CHARGES FOR TWO WOMEN

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Orange County Grand Jury unsealed indictments last week on welfare fraud and perjury charges for two women. Liza Marina Sandoval, 43, Irvine, was indicted Nov. 15, 2016, by the Orange County Grand Jury on one felony count of aid by misrepresentation over $950 and three felony counts of perjury by false application for aid (Case # 16ZF0008). If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of six years and eight months in county jail plus restitution. Sandoval was arraigned on the indictment on Jan. 6, 2017, and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on March 17, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Norma Angelica Salcedo, 47, Tustin, was indicted Dec. 14, 2016, by the Orange County Grand Jury on one felony count of aid by misrepresentation over $950 and four felony counts of perjury by false application for aid (Case # 16ZF0009). If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of seven years and eight months in county jail plus restitution. Salcedo was arraigned on the indictment on Jan. 6, 2017, and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on March 17, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Cases

Between July 2013 and September 2014, Sandoval is accused of failing to report her employment at an engineering firm when she applied for welfare benefits under penalty of perjury through the Orange County Social Services Agency (SSA). The defendant received an overpayment of $13,049 in food stamps due to her omission.

Between June 2013 and April 2014, Salcedo is accused of applying for welfare benefits through SSA under penalty of perjury and failing to disclose her job as a nanny. The defendant received $5,295 in food stamps that she was not entitled to while she was paid $37,076 by her employer.

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January 10, 2017

Inland Empire Man Pleads Guilty in Wire Fraud Scheme Stemming from Use of Fraudulent Checks Made with Info Stolen from U.S. Mail

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:47 am

LOS ANGELES – A Hemet man pleaded guilty today to a federal conspiracy charge for participating in a scheme in which he and another man used information obtained from stolen mail to create fraudulent checks and identity documents which were used to purchase goods that were later returned to major retail outlets to obtain cash.

Jason William Leonard, 37, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, admitting he participated in a scheme that caused more than $114,000 in losses.

Leonard pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, who is scheduled to sentence the defendant on March 20.

In a plea agreement filed in United States District Court two weeks ago, Leonard admitted that he conspired with another man – Michael Joseph Tomassacci, 39, of San Jacinto – to create checks that they used in a scheme to purchase merchandise at retail stores with the intent to later return the merchandise for cash. In his plea agreement, Leonard specifically admitted that he and his co-conspirator used personal identifying information from approximately 265 victims to create checks that were used to purchase goods at stores, including Walmarts in Redlands and Santee.

The total intended loss of the conspiracy was more than $250,000, and actual losses totaled $114,565.

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WOMAN CHARGED WITH KIDNAPPING, FALSE IMPRISONMENT, AND FALSELY REPORTING CRIMES AFTER FRAMING HUSBAND’S EX-FIANCEE FOR STALKING AND ATTEMPTED RAPE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:44 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A woman has been charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, and falsely reporting crimes, after framing husband’s ex-fiancée for stalking and attempted rape. Angela Maria Diaz, 31, Phoenix, Arizona, was charged on Jan. 6, 2017, with two felony counts of kidnapping, two felony counts of false imprisonment by menace, fraud, or deceit, one felony count of perjury, one felony count of grand theft, two felony counts of forgery, two felony counts of possession of a forged check over $950, one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting a crime to a police agency, and 21 misdemeanor counts of falsely reporting a crime to a peace officer. If convicted, Diaz faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and eight months in state prison plus 11 years in county jail. The defendant is awaiting extradition from Arizona, and her court date is to be determined.

“As important as the filing of charges against Ms. Diaz, is the dismissal of the previous complaint and full exoneration of Michelle Hadley,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “This is a very detailed case. I wanted to make sure, however, that Ms. Hadley is cleared in every possible way – in the courtroom and in the court of public opinion. It should be clear in the media and in cyberspace. Ms. Hadley is an innocent victim of a diabolical scheme.”

Michelle Suzanne Hadley, 30, the defendant in felony case number 16NF2004, has been fully exonerated and cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. Her case will be dismissed by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) today, Jan. 9, 2017.

Diaz has been married to John Doe since February 2016. John Doe had a prior romantic relationship with Hadley from August 2013 to August 2015.

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YOUTH PASTOR SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS IN PRISON FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING TWO BOYS UNDER AGE 16 AT CHURCH EVENTS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:41 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A youth pastor was convicted and sentenced to six years in state prison today for sexually assaulting two boys under 16 years old at church events. Brandon Ernis Lee McDade, 31, Mission Viejo, pleaded guilty to one felony count of committing lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, two felony counts of committing lewd acts upon a child between the ages of 14 and 15, and one misdemeanor count of child annoyance. The defendant was also sentenced to mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.

At the time of the crimes, McDade was employed as a youth pastor at Grace Hills Church in Aliso Viejo and had access to children.

Between May 2012 and December 2015, McDade met the victims, both under the age of 16, while they were in his care at the church. McDade sexually assaulted the victims while the victims were on church property. The defendant also molested one of the victims at a movie theater in Orange County.

A parent of one of the victims contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) and reported the crime. OCSD investigated this case, and the defendant was arrested on Dec. 9, 2015.

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January 9, 2017

MAN SENTENCED TO 35 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR STABBING-MURDER OF ACQUAINTENCE AFTER CHASING AND STALKING HIM BEFORE FLEEING TO MEXICO

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

FULLERTON, Calif. – A man was sentenced today to 35 years to life in state prison for stabbing and murdering an acquaintance after chasing and stalking him before fleeing to Mexico. Mario Alberto Rodriguez, 27, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury on Aug. 2, 2016, of one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife. Rodriguez’s prior serious felony conviction for possession of a controlled substance for sale for the benefit of a criminal street gang in 2012 in Orange County was also found true.

On March 9, 2013, Rodriguez saw 26-year-old acquaintance Paul Anthony Garcia in front of the defendant’s family’s home in Santa Ana, and chased him on foot. Rodriguez and two associates followed Garcia for a few blocks until he entered the El Chile Picante restaurant on South Main Street.

Rodriguez entered the restaurant and attempted to grab Garcia to lead him outside. Restaurant employees informed the defendant that the business had video surveillance and asked the defendant to leave the building. Rodriguez left the restaurant and waited near the exit to further pursue Garcia

The defendant chased Garcia across the street to a parking area behind a business after the victim exited the restaurant. Rodriguez punched Garcia and stabbed the victim once in the chest. The victim ran across Main Street and collapsed on the sidewalk where he died as a result of the stab wound.

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HIGH SCHOOL SWIM COACH TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING THREE FEMALE STUDENTS BETWEEN 14 AND 16 YEARS OLD

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

FULLERTON, Calif. – A high school water polo and swim coach is scheduled to be arraigned today for sexually assaulting three female students between 14 and 16 years old. Joshua Christopher Owens, 23, La Palma, was charged today with one felony count of oral copulation of a minor under 16, one felony count of digital penetration of a minor, and six misdemeanor counts of child annoyance. If convicted, Owens faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in state prison plus six years in county jail. He is out of custody on $50,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned today, Jan. 6, 2017, in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton. The time is to be determined.

At the time of the crime, Owens was employed as a part-time water polo and swim coach at Kennedy High School (KHS) in La Palma and as a seasonal lifeguard in Long Beach. He is accused of being in a position of trust with access to minors from 2014 to 2016 and meeting all three victims through his position as a coach at KHS. The defendant is accused of assaulting the victims at various locations in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Between September 2014 and April 2015, Owens is accused of sexually assaulting Jane Doe 2 by orally copulating and digitally penetrating the victim. The defendant is also accused of molesting the victim by touching her breast.

Between January 2016 and June 2016, the defendant is accused of molesting Jane Doe 1 by touching the victim’s breast and masturbating in front of her.

Between March 2016 and June 2016, Owens is accused of sexually assaulting Jane Doe 3 by kissing the victim with sexual intent on multiple occasions.

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JEWELER SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS IN PRISON FOR STEALING CLIENTS’ DIAMONDS AND REPLACING THEM WITH FAKE STONES

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A jeweler was sentenced today to six years and four months in state prison for stealing clients’ diamonds and replacing them with fake stones. Charles Jayson Hanson, 53, Newport Beach, was found guilty by a jury on Oct. 25, 2016, of one felony count of first degree residential burglary, four felony counts of grand theft, and one misdemeanor count of petty theft. Sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000 were also found to be true.

In September 2013, Hanson was commissioned by his then friends and neighbors David and Debra S. to upgrade Debra S.’s engagement ring. The victims payed the defendant $16,000 and gave him the original ring which contained an authentic diamond. Hanson delayed returning the “upgraded ring” to the victims until Dec. 31, 2013. On Jan. 3, 2014, the victims had the ring appraised and discovered that the diamond was a cubic zirconium. When confronted about the fake diamond, the defendant denied having any knowledge as to what happened to the original stone and promised to replace the diamond. Hanson never returned the ring to the victims. The victims reported the crime to the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD), who investigated this case.

NBPD’s investigation revealed several more victims with similar encounters with the defendant.

In November 2012, Hanson was commissioned by Kenneth L. to re-work a family heirloom authentic diamond into a new ring. The victim paid the defendant $516 and gave him the original diamond ring. Hanson returned the “upgraded” ring to the victim in December 2012. In November 2014, the victim had the ring cleaned by a different jeweler and discovered the original diamond had been replaced with cubic zirconium.

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January 6, 2017

Huntington Park Man Sentenced for Murder of Acquaintance Near Police Station

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:45 am

A 23-year-old man was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison for shooting an acquaintance in the head in Huntington Park, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Seth Carmack, who prosecuted the case, said Jorge Godoy of Huntington Park was found guilty of second-degree murder on Oct. 12.

The jury in case BA434355 also found true that Godoy used a handgun to kill Daniel Ivan Santamaria Ramirez, 31.

According to the evidence presented at the trial, Godoy knew Ramirez and had tried to fight the victim prior to the date of the crime. On March 5, 2015, the defendant was near the Huntington Park Civic Center, less than a block away from a police station, when he was approached by the victim, the prosecutor said.

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Bloomington woman arrested on suspicion of stealing tools from truck

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:42 am

BLOOMINGTON >> Deputies arrested a woman Monday on suspicion of possessing stolen property, according to a San Bernardino County sheriff’s statement released Thursday.

Christalin Castelan, 28, of Bloomington was arrested at home Monday after investigators executed a search warrant and found property a man reported stolen Sunday as well as other suspected stolen items, the news release states.

Early New Year’s Day, a man in the 1800 block of Rose Avenue in Bloomington discovered his work truck, filled with tools, had been stolen from in front of his home. He later found the truck about half a mile away but his tools had been stolen, the news release states.

“The victim’s stolen items were located on an auction website and advertised for sale, some of which were identified as already being sold,” the news release states. Investigators identified Castelan as being associated with the online auction account and executed the search warrant Monday.

According to the news release, Castelan was booked into the Central Detention Center. A sheriff’s booking website Thursday had no information on her booking.

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3 dead, 1 critical in Fontana apartment shooting, man arrested

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

FONTANA >> In the wee hours of Wednesday, police say a 73-year-old man shot and killed three family members and wounded a fourth at a Fontana apartment complex, although one person managed to escape the gunfire.

“This appears to be a result of some sort of family issue, but we’re not certain of the exact nature,” Sgt. Kevin Goltara said Wednesday morning outside the Village Drive Apartments at 14520 Village Drive.

Police allege Ali Zafar, who lives in Orange County, killed his family members over a long-standing financial family issue.

Officers were called shortly before 3 a.m. for a shooting. Police at the scene confirmed it was a triple homicide. Two women and a man were killed and another man is in critical condition.

Another woman in the home managed to flee the apartment unharmed, police said.

“I heard about five shots and heard a woman screaming,” said Sarah Frias, who lives in the unit directly in front of where the shooting took place.

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