Best Defender Bytes:

October 11, 2017

Suspect in fatal double stabbing in Chinatown ordered to stand trial

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

It was a typical afternoon at Hop Sing Tong, the Chinatown social club frequented by elderly Chinese immigrants.

By 2:45 p.m., some were playing mah-jongg, while others stood and watched.

It was then that a bloody confrontation unfolded, ending in two fatal stabbings that stunned Los Angeles’ Chinatown community.

On Tuesday, based on the testimony of three witnesses, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor ruled there was sufficient evidence to try Vinh Dao, 37, in the Jan. 26 deaths of Joe Hoe “Tony” Young and Kim Kong Yun.

Young, 64, had been pursued by law enforcement officials for decades as a suspected leader of the Wah Ching, a notorious Chinese gang.

In recent years, Young had apparently led the quiet life of an immigrant retiree, spending many of his days at the Hop Sing Tong mah-jongg tables

Tuesday’s hearing in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom did little to illuminate a possible motive for the stabbings, which do not appear to be related to Young’s past. Detectives have previously said that Dao was angry because Hop Sing Tong, which traditionally helps immigrants with financial difficulties, did not give him enough money to pay for an impounded vehicle. (more…)

October 10, 2017

California Man Sentenced to Prison for Filing False Corporate Return

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

A Dublin, California man was sentenced to prison today in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California for filing a false tax return, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch for the Northern District of California.

Shiv D. Kumar, 60, was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison.  According to documents filed with the court, Kumar was the sole shareholder and president of A-Paratransit Inc. (API), a company that provided transportation services to disabled individuals.  Kumar filed false corporate returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax years 2009 and 2010, which underreported API’s gross receipts by $2,229,216 and $2,412,435, causing a tax loss of $1,584,055.  Kumar deposited API’s receipts into three separate bank accounts held at different banks.  To conceal API’s true income, Kumar provided his accountant with false books and records from which he had omitted gross receipts relating to two of API’s accounts.  Kumar used the unreported funds for personal expenditures, including purchasing property in the Vallejo, California area.

In addition to the term of prison imposed, Kumar was also sentenced to serve one year of supervised release. Restitution will be decided at a later date. Kumar pleaded guilty in March to filing a false return.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and U.S. Attorney Stretch thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney José A. Olivera and Trial Attorney Rebecca J. Sable of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website. (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 a conspiracy to rig bids at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced.

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

According to court documents, Appenrodt participated in a conspiracy to rig bids by agreeing to refrain from bidding against other coconspirators at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Francisco County and San Mateo County from as early as August 2008 until January 2011.

“The Antitrust Division has prosecuted scores of real estate investors who, for their own benefit and profit, conspired to corrupt the bidding process at foreclosure auctions,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “Today’s guilty plea demonstrates the Division’s continued commitment to bringing to justice the individuals who committed these crimes.”

Today’s guilty plea is the result of the Department’s ongoing investigation into bid rigging at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties, California. To date, 63 individuals have agreed to plead or have pleaded guilty. (more…)

West Hollywood Man Sentenced for Attempted Murders

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

A West Hollywood man was sentenced today to 14 years and four months in state prison for the stabbing of two victims at an apartment complex, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Keri Modder said Alexander Tor McDonald, 31, pleaded no contest on Oct. 2 to two counts of attempted murder and admitted a great bodily injury allegation in case SA087007.

On April 7, 2014, the defendant held three men at knifepoint inside apartments on Palm Avenue. As sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene, one man ran out with a wound on his neck followed by a second victim, the prosecutor said.

Deputies fired their weapons believing the second victim was the attacker, injuring the man that was bleeding and killing the second man, the prosecutor added.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, West Hollywood Station.

Los Angeles District Attorney / case SA087007 / October 6, 2017

October 9, 2017

Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against California Staffing Companies

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

The Justice Department announced today that it has reached a settlement with CitiStaff Solutions Inc., and CitiStaff Management Group Inc. (collectively CitiStaff), companies that provide staffing services in the greater Los Angeles, California area.  The settlement resolves the department’s investigation into whether CitiStaff violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against work-authorized immigrants when verifying their work authorization.

Based on its investigation, the department concluded that CitiStaff routinely requested that non-U.S. citizens present specific documents to prove their work authorization, such as Permanent Resident Cards or Employment Authorization Documents, but did not make similar requests for specific documents to U.S. citizens.  The department’s investigation also found that CitiStaff unnecessarily required lawful permanent resident workers to prove their work authorization again when their Permanent Resident Cards expired, while not making similar requests to U.S. citizen workers when their documents expired.

All work-authorized individuals, whether U.S. citizens or non-U.S. citizens, have the right to choose which valid documentation to present to prove they are authorized to work, and employers should not reverify Permanent Resident Cards.  The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from subjecting employees to different or unnecessary documentary demands based on employees’ citizenship, immigration status or national origin.

Under the settlement, CitiStaff will pay a civil penalty of $200,000 to the United States, train its staff on the law, and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements for three years. (more…)

MAN SENTENCED TO 60 DAYS IN JAIL FOR HATE CRIME AFTER THREATENING TO KILL PERSIAN HOOKAH LOUNGE CUSTOMERS IN LAKE FOREST

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced today to a court offer of 60 days in jail for hate crimes after threatening to kill Persian hookah lounge customers in Lake Forest.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Andrew Alan Carruthers, 29, Lake Forest Pleaded guilty today to:

Felony

  • Criminal Threats

Misdemeanor

  • Resisting and obstructing an officer
  • Violation of civil rights

Sentencing Enhancement

  • Hate crime
Court offer of 60 days in county jail

Circumstances of the Case

  • On Sept. 15, 2017, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Carruthers walked into BluFig Hookah Lounge in Lake Forest and acted aggressively toward the patrons, who were mainly of Persian descent. (more…)

MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR COLD CASE MURDER OF WOMAN WHOSE BODY WAS LEFT IN SANTA ANA PARKING LOT IN 2007

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison today for the cold case murder of a woman whose body was left in a parking lot in Santa Ana in 2007.

Defendant Felony Charges Sentence
Jose Esteban Cardenas Zuniga, 41, Mammoth Lakes Found guilty by a jury on July 20, 2017 of:

  • First Degree Murder
25 years to life in state prison

Circumstances of Case

  • On or about Oct. 20, 2007, Zuniga murdered 24-year-old Yacshicka W. by strangling her and leaving her body outside in a parking lot of a commercial business center in Santa Ana.
  • Hours later, transients discovered the victim’s body and contacted Santa Ana Police Department, who began investigating this case. (more…)

October 6, 2017

Real Estate Investor Sentenced to 14 Months in Prison for Rigging Bids at Northern California Public Foreclosure Auctions

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

A real estate investor was sentenced today for his role in a conspiracy to rig bids at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced.

Brian McKinzie was charged on June 30, 2011, in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of California. McKinzie pleaded guilty on Oct. 26, 2016, to two counts of bid rigging at real-estate foreclosure auctions in Alameda and Contra Costa County. Today, McKinzie was sentenced to serve 14 months in prison and to serve three years of supervised release. In addition to his term of imprisonment, McKinzie was ordered to pay a criminal fine of $10,000 and $652,824.43 in restitution.

“Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of offenses that subvert the competitive process,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “The Division remains firm in its resolve to seek prison terms for individuals who commit antitrust crimes.”

Between November 2008 and January 2011, McKinzie and other bidders at the auctions conspired not to bid against one another for selected properties, instead designating a winning bidder to win the property at the auction. The members of the conspiracy then held second, private auctions, known as “rounds,” to award the properties to members of the conspiracy and determine payoffs for other conspirators who had agreed not to bid against each other at the public auctions. The private auctions often took place at or near the courthouse steps where the public auctions were held. (more…)

Man Sentenced for High-Speed Pursuit That Ended at Hollywood and Highland

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

A Rancho Cucamonga man was sentenced today to three years in state prison for leading police on a high-speed pursuit that ended at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Robert DuFour said Tony Carl Calloway Jr., 24, pleaded no contest today to one felony count of fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving recklessly.

On March 9, the defendant stole a car in Colton. He was later spotted by police driving the stolen vehicle on the 101 Freeway near Parkway Calabasas, the prosecutor said. An approximately hour-long pursuit ensued and ended in Hollywood with police deploying spike strips.

When the pursuit ended, the defendant lit a cigarette and refused orders to exit the vehicle before eventually being arrested, the prosecutor added.

Case BA455372 was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, Hollywood Division

Los Angeles District Attorney / Case BA455372 / October 5, 2017

Man Sentenced to Prison for Fatal DUI Crash in Maywood

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

A 33-year-old man was sentenced today to 18 years and eight months in state prison for driving under the influence of alcohol, fatally striking a pedestrian and injuring another, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Aug. 22, Leopoldo Leon of Walnut Park pleaded no contest to two felony counts in case VA144209: gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense.

The defendant also admitted special allegations that he fled the scene of the crime and inflicted great bodily injury. Moreover, the defendant admitted that he was previously convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol content or more in 2007.

Deputy District Attorney Brianna Peden, who prosecuted the case, said on the afternoon of March 3, Leon was driving while under the influence of alcohol in Maywood when he struck pedestrians Jose Luis Lopez, 28, and his brother.

Following the collision, Leon exited his vehicle and fled on foot, the prosecutor said. A bystander ran after the defendant and, with the assistance of another motorist, apprehended Leon until authorities arrived and arrested the defendant, the prosecutor added. (more…)

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