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November 2, 2017

Real Estate Investor Sentenced to 12 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.

Ramin Rad “Ray” Yeganeh was charged on June 25, 2015, in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of California. Yeganeh pleaded guilty on June 14, 2017, to one count of bid rigging at real estate foreclosure auctions in Alameda County. Today, Yeganeh was sentenced to serve 12 months in prison and to serve three years of supervised release. In addition to his term of imprisonment, Yeganeh was ordered to pay $149,733 in restitution.

“As today’s sentencing shows, antitrust crimes don’t pay,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “In addition to facing prison time, defendants can expect to pay restitution for their ill-gotten gains.”

Between September 2008 and January 2011, Yeganeh and other bidders at the auctions conspired not to bid against one another for selected properties, instead designating a winning bidder for the property at the auction. The members of the conspiracy then held a second set of 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…)

THREE SANTA ANA POLICE OFFICERS ADMIT COMMITTING PETTY THEFT AND VANDALISM DURING SERVICE OF SEARCH WARRANT ON MARIJUANA DISPENSARY

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Three Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officers admitted yesterday to committing petty theft and vandalism during a legal search of a marijuana dispensary pursuant to a search warrant.

Defendant Charges Terms and Conditions of Plea
Jorge Arroyo, 34

Nicole Lynn Quijas, 39

Submitted to the court a No Contest plea and admitted committing:

  • One misdemeanor count of petty theft
  • 40 hours of community service
  • $200 to victim witness emergency fund
Brandon Matthew Sontag, 33
  • One misdemeanor count of petty theft
  • One misdemeanor count of vandalism under $400
  • 80 hours of community service
  • Ordered to pay full restitution
  • $200 to victim witness emergency fund

Circumstances of the Case

  • At approximately 5:50 p.m. on May 26, 2015, Arroyo, Quijas, and Sontag, along with other SAPD officers, were serving a search warrant signed by a magistrate on Sky High Holistic, a marijuana dispensary on 17th Street in Santa Ana.
  • It was alleged that the dispensary was operating without proper permits to sell medical marijuana. The dispensary had two video surveillance systems, a visible 16-camera system and a hidden 4-camera system.
  • SAPD personnel legally disabled 16 surveillance cameras, following investigatory and officer safety protocol. The hidden 4-camera system continued to record during the execution of the search warrant. (more…)

Man Pleads to Raping Woman at Van Nuys Beauty Salon

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

A 32-year-old man pleaded no contest today to sexually assaulting a beauty salon worker as she closed the store last year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Enrique Orozco entered his plea to one count each of assault with the intent to commit rape, forcible rape and dissuading a witness by threat of force. He was immediately sentenced to 20 years to life in state prison.

Deputy District Attorney Nathan Bartos prosecuted the case.

On March 29, 2016, the woman was closing down the shop where she worked when Orozco, who had previously been in the salon, returned. As she attempted to get the defendant to leave, he blocked her exit and forced the store door closed. He dragged her to the back of the store and sexually assaulted her, the prosecutor said.

Case LA083137 was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, Robbery-Homicide Division.

Los Angeles District Attorney / Case LA083137 / November 1, 2017

November 1, 2017

Former O.C. Man Sentenced to over 8 Years in Prison for Bilking Insurance Companies by Billing for Tests that Were Never Performed

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:06 am

LOS ANGELES – A former resident of Aliso Viejo who submitted fraudulent bills to insurance companies that sought well over $8 million for tests and services that were never performed was sentenced today to 97 months in federal prison.

Michael Mirando, 40, who currently resides in Portland, Oregon, was sentenced by United States District Judge Percy Anderson, who also ordered Mirando to pay just over $3 million in restitution. At the conclusion of today’s hearing, Judge Anderson – who called the defendant “totally unrepentant” – remanded Mirando into custody.

Following a one-week trial, Mirando was found guilty in May of 15 counts of health care fraud. The federal jury deliberated for less than 30 minutes before issuing its verdicts.

The evidence presented during the trial showed that Mirando – who was an owner of Holter Labs, LLC, which provided cardiac monitoring services using an ambulatory electrocardiography device known as a Holter recorder – defrauded dozens of private insurance companies by submitting millions of dollars in claims for services that were never performed. Mirando handled most of Holter Lab’s business activities, including purchasing the Holter recorders, advertising, managing the company’s finances, and submitting the medical claims to the patients’ insurance companies. Holter Labs was based in Laguna Niguel until Mirando moved the company to Portland in 2012. (more…)

South Korean Maker of Contact Lenses, Company CEO Charged with Smuggling Products into U.S. by Failing to Declare Full Value

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:02 am

LOS ANGELES – Geo Medical Co., Ltd., a contact lens manufacturer based in the Republic of Korea that claims to be the “leading brand of circle lenses,” has been charged in federal court with illegally bringing contact lenses into the United States by dramatically undervaluing shipments in documents submitted to customs officials.

An indictment returned on Friday by a federal grand jury charges the company and its chief executive officer with five counts of illegal entry of falsely classified goods. The indictment against Geo Medical and Hwasung Pak, the company’s president and CEO, alleges they sent to the United States shipments of contact lenses with values ranging from $6,200 to $71,815, but declared all five shipments to be worth less than $200. This undervaluing allegedly allowed them to avoid import duties, as well as inspection and seizure by the FDA.

In 2013, Geo Medical was placed on an FDA “Red List” that restricted imports of its products after samples of its contact lenses were found to be contaminated with microorganisms. The import alert authorized the FDA to automatically detain any Geo Medical contact lenses coming into the United States.

In two other cases filed on October 27, two corporations that operate retail outlets in Los Angeles and Orange counties were charged with selling “misbranded” contact lenses without the necessary prescriptions. The criminal informations filed by prosecutors charge I-Takashima, Inc. and TS Group, Inc., which operate cosmetics and gift stores under the Takashima name in Irvine and Rowland Heights, respectively. The decorative contact lenses allegedly illegally sold by Takashima were marketed as Halloween and beauty accessories under the brand name Deja-vu and were manufactured by Geo Medical. (more…)

DUI Driver Sentenced For Killing LAPD Officer

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:59 am

A 37-year-old woman was sentenced today to 15 years to life in prison for 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 a no contest plea to one count of second-degree murder earlier this month.

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, 51, 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, prosecutors said. The 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 30, 2017

October 31, 2017

Tax Attorney for Ex-NFL Player Antrel Rolle Charged with Obstructing the IRS and Filing False Documents Without His Client’s Knowledge

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

LOS ANGELES – A tax attorney who represented retired professional football player Antrel Rolle surrendered this morning to federal authorities after being charged with fraudulently claiming refunds for Rolle, stealing those refunds, and then filing false documents with the Internal Revenue Service to cover up his scheme.

Hiram M. Martin, 69, a resident of the Northern California city of Fair Oaks, is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment on September 20 that charges Martin with attempting to obstruct and impede the administration of internal revenue laws and three counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false documents.

The indictment alleges that Martin submitted tax returns for Rolle that falsely claimed millions of dollars of charitable deductions and business expenses. As a result of these deductions, the IRS issued tax refunds of $322,008 for the 2005 tax year and $901,472 for the 2006 tax year. Martin allegedly directed the IRS to deposit the refunds into bank accounts he controlled or to mail the refunds to his address. He then used the money for his own personal benefit, according to the indictment. (more…)

SECOND STRIKER SENTENCED TO 24 YEARS IN PRISON FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING, PANDERING, AND ATTEMPTED PIMPING OF FICTITOUS MINOR USING SOCIAL MEDIA

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A second striker was sentenced today to 24 years in state prison for the human trafficking, pandering, and attempted pimping of a fictitious minor girl using a social media website.

Defendant

Charges

Sentence

Antonio Chavez Moses III, 39, Los Angeles

Found guilty by a jury on Sept. 29, 2017, of the following felony counts:

  • Human trafficking of a minor
  • Attempted pimping of a minor
  • Pandering by promise, threat, or violence

Sentencing Enhancements

  • Prior strike conviction for voluntary manslaughter with the use of a firearm in 1996 in Los Angeles County

24 years in state prison

Mandatory lifetime sex offender registration pursuant to PC 290

Circumstances of the Case

  • Moses is a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media outlets to locate potential victims.  The victims are often required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. (more…)

73-Year-Old Man Charged with Slitting Woman’s Throat, Animal Cruelty

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

A 73-year-old Pasadena man is scheduled in court today for arraignment on attempted murder and animal cruelty charges, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Ryan Erlich said Lance Anthony Semkus (dob 7/30/44) faces one felony count each of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder, mayhem, attempted seconddegree robbery and two counts of cruelty to an animal.

The charges include allegations of great bodily injury and use of a knife.

Arraignment is scheduled in Department D of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pasadena Branch. Case GA102199 was filed on Oct. 26.

Semkus is charged with attempting to steal a woman’s dog in front of a pet store on Oct. 23. Later on the same day, the defendant allegedly approached another woman and slashed her throat, the prosecutor said. The woman fought him off but is alleged to have suffered severe injuries to her neck and hand, the prosecutor added. (more…)

October 30, 2017

Los Angeles Man Found Guilty of Federal Narcotics Conspiracy Involving the Opioid Acetylfentanyl

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

LOS ANGELES – A resident of downtown Los Angeles was found guilty this afternoon of federal drug trafficking charges for participating in a conspiracy that imported acetylfentanyl, a drug very similar to fentanyl, which is a powerful and highly addictive opioid. Acetylfentanyl, which is five times more potent that heroin, is not approved for any use in the United States.

Christopher Bowen, 31, was found guilty by a federal jury of conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and distribute four narcotics, specifically: acetylfentanyl; a-pyrrolidinovalerophenone, a so-called designer drug also known as “PVP” that is sometimes used in “bath salts”; ecstasy (MDMA); and alprazolam, which is sold under the brand name Xanax.

Bowen was also found guilty of possession of acetylfentanyl with intent to distribute.

The evidence presented during a two-day trial in United States District Court showed that Bowen and other members of the drug organization imported acetylfentanyl from China, which they then used to produce homemade pills designed to look like pharmaceutical products. Bowen and his co-conspirators then distributed the pills in bulk across the nation.

The drug organization also obtained pill presses from China that were used illegally to make tablets in labs in a storage unit in Long Beach and a house in Baldwin Park. During the investigation, DEA agents seized more than 9 kilograms of acetylfentanyl from the organization. (more…)

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