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October 17, 2016

Disbarred Attorney Indicted in Mortgage Modification Scheme

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

Victims Paid the Attorney Well Over $1 Million, Which He Allegedly Used for Personal Expenses and Never Reported as Income to IRS

SANTA ANA, California – A disbarred California attorney was arrested this morning on federal charges of running a mortgage modification scheme that defrauded more than 75 distressed homeowners in Orange County by inducing them to pay more than $1.4 million for services he never provided.

Moses S. Hall, 60, a resident of Blackwood, New Jersey, who formerly had a law practice in Fullerton, was arrested without incident this morning at his residence after being indicted this week on fraud and tax offenses.

According to the 16-count indictment returned Wednesday by a federal grand jury, Hall operated his mortgage modification scheme from 2008 until 2012 through his law offices, as well as businesses called “Salva Casas” and “Loan Modifications of America.” The indictment alleges that Hall told distressed homeowners to stop making their mortgage payments, and instead direct their monthly mortgage payments to him, purportedly so he could use that money to negotiate with the banks. Instead, as detailed in the indictment, Hall used the victims’ money for himself.

The indictment alleges that Hall concealed from victims that he was using their money to pay for personal expenses and that he was a previously convicted felon who had served years in state prison in New Jersey prior to being admitted as an attorney in California.

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Former NCIS Supervisory Special Agent Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Taking Bribes from Defense Contractor in Massive Fraud and Corruption Scandal

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

A former Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) supervisory special agent was sentenced in federal court today to 144 months in prison for disclosing sensitive law enforcement reports to a defense contractor who was the target of a criminal fraud investigation in exchange for cash, luxury travel and the services of prostitutes.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California, Director Andrew Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), Director Dermot O’Reilly of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and Director Anita Bales of the Defense Contract Audit Agency made the announcement.

John Bertrand Beliveau II, 47, of York, Pennsylvania, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California, who also ordered Beliveau to pay $20 million in restitution to the Navy.  According to admissions made as part of his plea agreement, Beliveau helped former Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) CEO Leonard Francis perpetrate a massive fraud scheme on the U.S. Navy by providing information that allowed Francis to avoid, stall and thwart criminal investigations into misconduct by GDMA.

“Beliveau tarnished his NCIS badge and sold sensitive law enforcement information for envelopes of cash, luxury travel and tawdry entertainment,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “His actions risked an important criminal investigation and the safety of witnesses who agreed to cooperate with law enforcement under the belief that their identities would be protected.  Today’s sentence reflects the gravity of those crimes and makes clear that we will not tolerate law enforcement corruption.”

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Inland Empire Man Linked to O.C. Gas Station Robberies Arrested

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

SANTA ANA, California – After conducting surveillance on a suspect in a series of armed robberies that targeted Orange County gas stations, federal agents and local authorities last night arrested a Fontana man on federal charges after he allegedly used what appeared to be a handgun to rob a Chevron station in Stanton.

Cyril Wallace, 49, was arrested in Stanton immediately after the robbery by special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF) and officers with the Brea Police Department.

After being held in custody overnight, Wallace was charged today in federal court with one count of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act robbery). At his initial appearance in United States District Court this afternoon, Wallace was ordered held without bond and was ordered to appear for an arraignment on October 31.

The criminal complaint charges Wallace with using an “airsoft” pistol last night to rob a Chevron gas station on Beach Boulevard in Stanton. The clerk behind the counter – who was forced to open the cash register after being threatened with a realistic-looking gun – identified Wallace as the robber minutes after he fled with approximately $111 in cash, according to the affidavit in support of the complaint.

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October 14, 2016

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Pleads Guilty in Expanding Bribery and Fraud Investigation

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

A U.S. Navy lieutenant commander pleaded guilty today to a bribery charge in federal court and admitted to accepting cash, luxury hotels and prostitutes from a foreign defense contractor in exchange for proprietary Navy information.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California, Director Dermot O’Reilly of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and Director Andrew Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) made the announcement.

Gentry Debord, 41, who is based in Singapore, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal of the Southern District of California.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 13, 2017.

In pleading guilty, Debord, who served in several logistical and supply positions in the Western Pacific, admitted that he instructed Glenn Defense Marina Asia (GDMA) executives to inflate their invoices to the Navy to cover the cost of various illicit gifts provided to him.  From November 2007 to January 2013, Debord provided former GDMA CEO Leonard Glenn Francis and others with internal and proprietary U.S. Navy information.  This information included inside Navy information about competitors’ bids and information about an investigation into GDMA’s billing practices.  Debord also admitted to misusing his position and influence in the Navy to advocate for and advance GDMA’s interests, including by approving inflated invoices for services never rendered that he directed Francis to submit.

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Rapper Coolio Charged in Firearm at LAX Case

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

The rapper known as Coolio was charged today after a firearm was allegedly discovered in a backpack at Los Angeles International Airport, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Artis Leon Ivey (dob 8/1/63) of Los Angeles faces one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon with two priors.

Case SA094091 lists convictions in 2001 for carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle and possession of cocaine base in 2009.

Ivey is scheduled for arraignment today in Department W30 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

On September 17, a handgun was allegedly found in the defendant’s bag while going though baggage screening at the airport, prosecutors said.

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Teen Convicted of Murder in USC Grad Student’s Death

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

A jury today found an 18-year-old woman guilty of the first-degree murder of a USC graduate student from China, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jurors also found true the special circumstance of murder during commission of an attempted robbery against Alejandra Guerrero, who was 16 at the time of the attack on 24-year-old Xinran Ji.

Guerrero and three male co-defendants were charged with attacking and killing the electrical engineering student shortly before 1 a.m. on July 24, 2014, as he was walking home from a study session.

Despite being badly beaten with a baseball bat and a wrench, Ji managed to make his way back to his apartment in the 1200 block of West 30th Street. His body was discovered about 7 a.m. the next day by a roommate.

In addition to the murder charge, Guerrero was convicted of one count each of robbery, attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon for a second attack on a man and woman at Dockweiler State Beach. That attack occurred two hours after the deadly attack on Ji.

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October 13, 2016

OCSD DEPUTY SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS PROBATION FOR UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT DATABASE TO VIEW CRIMINAL HISTORIES

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:13 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – An Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) deputy was sentenced to three years of informal probation today for unauthorized access of a law enforcement database to view criminal histories. Angel Lora Guerrero, 57, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of receiving unauthorized privileged information. He was also ordered to complete 80 hours of community service and donate $500 to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund.

At the time of the crimes, Guerrero was employed as an OCSD deputy for approximately 16 years.

Between Oct. 31, 2014, and Nov. 1, 2015, Guerrero accessed a law enforcement criminal history database to view the privileged records and criminal histories of two individuals for purposes unrelated to his duties.

OCSD investigated this case.

Deputy District Attorney Gautam Sood of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 16CM07158 / October 12, 2016

Former Chief of Los Angeles Port Police Sentenced to Two Years in Federal Prison for False Statement and Tax Evasion Charges Related to Corruption Case

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

LOS ANGELES - Former Port of Los Angeles Chief of Police Ronald Boyd has been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison. Boyd pled guilty on February 3, 2016, to federal charges of tax evasion and making a false statement to FBI Agents who were investigating his acceptance of a bribe in connection with the development of an official smart phone app to be marketed to other law enforcement agencies.

Ronald Jerome Boyd, 58, of Torrance, was sentenced today by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner who also ordered the defendant to pay $305,054 in restitution.

Boyd pleaded guilty to three offenses on the day he was scheduled to go to trial on a 16-count indictment that was returned by a grand jury last year.  Boyd admitted to lying to federal investigators about a scheme related to a smart phone app called Portwatch, which was developed to provide information to the public and to allow citizens to report criminal activity at the port.

In 2011, Boyd and two business partners formed BDB Digital Communications, a company that entered into a revenue-sharing agreement with the company developing Portwatch. The parties involved with BDB intended to generate revenues by marketing and selling a similar app – called Metrowatch – to other government agencies. Boyd was set to receive approximately 13.33 percent of all gross revenues generated by the sale of the Metrowatch application.

“It’s of paramount importance that public officials, particularly those in law enforcement, maintain the standards of honesty and trust they owe to the public,” said Lawrence Middleton, the Chief of the Criminal Division at the United States Attorney’s Office, “The sentence imposed by the court in this case demonstrates that those who betray such trust shall be met with serious consequences.”

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STATEMENT BY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY ON DV BIOLOGICS AND DAVINCI BIOSCIENCES UNLAWFUL SALE OF FETAL TISSUE FOR VALUABLE CONSIDERATION

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

SANTA ANA, Calif – “Today, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office filed a 21-page civil complaint alleging unlawful and unfair business practices against DV Biologics, DaVinci Biosciences, Andres Isaias, and Estefano Isaias.

DaVinci Biosciences is jointly owned and operated by Andres Isaias, Luis Isaias and Estefano Isaias. Two of the three owners, Andres Isaias and Luis Isaias, also own and manage DV Biologics. The two companies share the same office space, employees, and management. There is no separate accounting of the financials of the two companies, located in Yorba Linda, and the accounting of revenue and expenses for both companies is 100 percent commingled. The Franchise Tax Board forfeited DaVinci and DV Biologics’ powers, rights, and privileges in July 2015 and November 2014, respectively.

This is an unlawful, unfair, business practices case filed under CA Business and Professions Code section 17200.

Since this lawsuit is the first to be filed with respect to this subject matter, I will explain the applicable law, what facts led us to the filing of this case, and the remedy we are seeking. There is a lot of material so I thank you in advance for your patience.

This Office is continuing to investigate and develop this case. All of the evidence we are using in this case was put together by the District Attorney’s Office.

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October 12, 2016

BUSINESS OWNER SENTENCED TO JAIL FOR COMMITTING OVER $200,000 IN TAX FRAUD AND FAILING TO PAY EMPLOYEES PREVAILING WAGE ON PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTS

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – An Orange County business owner was sentenced to one year in county jail for committing over $200,000 in tax fraud and failing to pay employees prevailing wage for work performed on two public works contracts. Shamseddin Hashemi-Mousavi, 64, Irvine, was found guilty by a jury on Oct. 7, 2015, of 37 felony counts including taking and receiving a portion of worker’s wage on public works, attempted taking and receiving a portion of worker’s wage on public works, forgery, recording false and forged instruments, and willful failure to pay tax. At his sentencing one year later on Oct. 7, 2016, he was also sentenced to five years of formal probation without electronic confinement and is expected to be ordered to pay over $200,000 at a restitution hearing at a date to be determined later.

At the time of the crimes, Hashemi-Mousavi owned AAA-HVAC, an Orange County-based heating and air conditioning business.

Between 2009 and 2012, the defendant applied for and received two public works contracts in Los Angeles County. For these projects, the defendant fraudulently paid several of his employees less than prevailing wage in cash or by check and kept the extra money owed to his employees for himself.

Hashemi-Mousavi forged, falsified, and submitted bank records to fraudulently show that his employees had been paid their prevailing wage. The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Contract Administration (LA BCA) discovered this fraud and recovered money for the worker. Hashemi-Mousavi then filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court to recover the workers rightfully earned wages. He willfully failed to pay his tax to the Employment Development Department. In all, the defendant committed over $200,000 in fraud.

The case was investigated by the LA BCA and the Department of Industrial Relations at the California Labor Commissioner’s Office.

The City of Los Angeles submitted a written impact statement letter pursuant to Marsy’s Law, which was read aloud to the court by the People and said in part, “When an unscrupulous contractor deprives them of those wages, it is theft. Pure and simple. He did not stick a gun in their ribs, but the result is the same.” The letter went on to say, “Too often, non-violent crime is treated almost as if it is not a crime at all. In this case, money – in the form of wages – was stolen from a group of workers by someone they knew and should have been able to trust – their own employer.”

Deputy District Attorney Donde McCament of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

Remarks

“This joint enforcement action sends a message to all employers who attempt to cheat their workers out of hard-earned pay.  We stand ready to protect both the workers who get bilked out of a just day’s pay for a hard day’s work, as well as every honest employer who plays by the rules and gets undercut by unethical business owners,” said California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su.

The BCA is the City of Los Angeles’ lead contract compliance agency that enforces governing laws on City contracts and on public works construction projects. The Bureau protects the City and ensures the delivery of quality construction work. As an independent quality control agency, the Bureau’s dedicated Construction Inspectors and Compliance Officers promote a transparent and consistent contracting environment that secures economic development opportunities for new jobs and businesses while protecting tax payer funds and the public interest. For more information, please visit http://bca.lacity.org.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 13CF3627 / October 11, 2016

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