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August 23, 2017

Man Sentenced For Stealing Millions of Dollars from LAUSD

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

A 74-year-old man was sentenced today for bilking millions of dollars from the Los Angeles Unified School District by submitting fake invoices for irrigation clocks, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Karl Hauser was placed on formal probation for three years and must serve 50 days in jail. He also paid $3.1 million in restitution.

In February, Hauser and co-defendant John Paul Chapman, 76, each pleaded no contest to one felony count of embezzlement.

Chapman was previously sentenced to formal probation for five years, to pay $20,000 to LAUSD and ordered to complete 400 hours of community service. (more…)

August 22, 2017

California Man Sentenced to Prison for Perpetrating Trademark Scam

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

A California man was sentenced to prison today for his role as the mastermind of a $1.66 million mass mailing scam aimed at trademark holders.  The former manager of a Wells Fargo branch in Glendale, California, and his associate were also sentenced to prison today for their roles in laundering the scam’s proceeds.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Brown of the Central District of California, Inspector in Charge Nichole Cooper of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s (USPIS) Los Angeles Division and Special Agent in Charge Damon Rowe of IRS Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.  The sentences were issued by U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson.

Artashes Darbinyan, 37, of Glendale, was sentenced to 96 months in prison and was ordered to pay $1,557,979 in restitution.  Orbel Hakobyan, 42, of Glendale, was sentenced to 24 months in prison and was ordered to pay $1,218,024 in restitution.  Albert Yagubyan, 37, of Burbank, California, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and was ordered to pay $1,048,069 in restitution.  In December 2016, Darbinyan pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and Hakobyan pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.  Following a jury trial in March 2017, Yagubyan was convicted of one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, four counts of concealment money laundering and one count of false bank entries.

As part of his guilty plea, Darbinyan admitted that from September 2013 to September 2015 he ran a mass mailing scam under the names Trademark Compliance Center (TCC) and Trademark Compliance Office (TCO), which targeted small businesses that had recently applied for trademark protection with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.  The scam involved fraudulent offers of a service in which TCC and TCO promised to monitor an applicant’s trademark for infringing marks and to register the trademark with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which offers a real service that screens imports for possibly infringing trademarks.  The offers were made via mail solicitations and claimed the services would be provided for $385.  Darbinyan never monitored or registered, nor ever intended to monitor or register, any of the trademarks with CBP for the customers who paid the fee, he admitted. (more…)

Glendora Man Convicted of Lewd Acts on a Child, Forcible Rape

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

A 40-year-old man was found guilty today of molesting a minor and sexually assaulting a woman over span of nearly six years, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The jury deliberated for a day before finding Fadi Haddad (dob 11/17/76) of Glendora guilty of five felony counts in case KA112287: three counts of lewd act upon a child and two counts of forcible rape.

The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 6 in Department P of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch. Haddad faces a maximum possible sentence of 75 years to life in state prison. Additionally, he will have to register as a lifetime sex offender.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Matoba of the Victim Impact Program, who prosecuted the case, said Haddad began sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl in October 2009. The abuse continued for five years, the prosecutor added.

When authorities began investigating the child sexual assaults, they discovered Haddad also had been sexually abusing an adult family member of the child victim for nearly a year, according to the prosecutor.

(more…)

Palmdale Couple Sentenced for Murder, Torture of Toddler

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

A Palmdale woman and her boyfriend were each sentenced today to life in state prison for the killing of her 23-month-old son three years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Brandon Jerel Williams, 27, was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison and Rosie Lee Wilson, 23, received a 15-years-to-life sentence.

On May 30, Williams was found guilty of first-degree murder, torture and assault on a child causing death. Wilson was convicted of one count each of second-degree murder and child abuse.

Deputy District Attorneys Jon Hatami and Scott Yang prosecuted the case.

On Aug. 21, 2014, three months after Williams moved in with Wilson, victim Anthony Wilson was beaten so badly he remained in a vegetative state until he died at a hospital in October of that year, prosecutors said. (more…)

August 21, 2017

Attorney General Becerra Announces Settlement That Provides Over $51M In Debt Relief to Former Corinthian Students in California

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

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced a tentative settlement that provides over $51 million in debt relief for Californians who attended Corinthian Colleges. Corinthian intentionally targeted low-income, vulnerable individuals through deceptive and false advertising that misrepresented job placement rates and school programs. These unlawful activities were enabled by Aequitas Capital Management Inc., a private equity firm currently under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-imposed receivership.

Federal student loans made up almost 90 percent of Corinthian’s revenue. To maintain this revenue, Corinthian needed its mostly low-income students to receive these loans. Federal rules require for-profit colleges receive at least 10 percent of their revenue from sources other than federal student aid. To help fill this gap, Aequitas and Corinthian created a financial arrangement whereby Aequitas provided private loans to Corinthian students, and Corinthian guaranteed Aequitas a profit and agreed to buy back all non-performing loans.

The result was many Corinthian students were unable to pay back their federal student loans and private loans, as the education provided by Corinthian did not lead to good-paying jobs. Ultimately, the students defaulted and the American taxpayer was left holding the bag to pay off the federal student loans.

The California Attorney General’s Office led the charge against Corinthian, ultimately obtaining a $1.1 billion judgment in California state court. Now, Attorney General Becerra is holding Aequitas accountable for aiding and abetting Corinthian’s misconduct. Joined by 12 attorneys general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the settlement reached with Aequitas will in total provide $192 million for former Corinthian students across the country. California was a principal lead in settlement negotiations on behalf of the participating states. (more…)

FAKE NAVY VETERAN CHARGED FOR LYING UNDER OATH CLAIMING TO BE A WAR HERO

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am
Pete Kalamaris, 54, Corona Del Mar Felony

  • (2) Perjury
  • (2) Forgery
  • Falsifying Documents
  • Impersonating a veteran to defraud
Seven years and six months in state prison Arraignment

Aug. 31, 2017, 8:30 a.m.

Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged today with committing perjury and falsely representing himself as a war veteran of extensive military background and experience.

Circumstances of the Case

  • Prior to December 2016, Kalamaris is accused of applying for and receiving a high-level job with a six-figure salary based on his purported education and military experience.

· On Dec. 6, 2016, Kalamaris is accused of filing a declaration in a civil case claiming we was wrongfully terminated from his high-level job.

· Under penalty of perjury, Kalamaris is accused of falsely declaring, among other things, that he was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, served in the United States Navy for 22 years, was a fighter pilot, reached the rank of Commander, served in combat, earned an MBA from an esteemed university, and was a veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

· The defendant is further accused of attaching forged copies of his “transcript” from the United States Naval Academy, a Bachelor of Science degree certificate, and various photos of himself wearing a Navy uniform and medals of distinction that he did not earn.

  • On Nov. 14, 2016, Kalamaris is accused of testifying at a civil deposition under oath to graduating from the United States Naval Academy.
  • The United States Naval Academy has no record of the defendant graduating or attending.

Prosecutor: Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby, Consumer Protection Unit.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 17CF2080 / August 18, 2017

ADDITIONAL CHARGES FILED AGAINST THIRD-STRIKER MAN FOR OPERATING CRAIGSLIST “MODELING” SCHEME TARGETING TEENS AND COLLEGE STUDENTS TO PIMP AND PANDER

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

ADDITIONAL CHARGES FILED AGAINST THIRD-STRIKER MAN FOR OPERATING CRAIGSLIST “MODELING” SCHEME TARGETING TEENS AND COLLEGE STUDENTS TO PIMP AND PANDER

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Additional charges were filed today against a man who operated a Craigslist “modeling” scheme to recruit teens and college students to then pimp and pander. The man was previously charged with desensitizing and grooming a minor human trafficking victim by sexually assaulting her.

Defendant

Maximum Sentence

Court Date

Gilbert Antonio Castillo, 39, Mission Viejo

  • 52 years to life in state prison
  • Mandatory lifetime sex offender registration

Preliminary Hearing

  • Sept. 22, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
  • Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana
  • Bail: $1 million

Original Charges

Additional Charges

Sentencing Enhancements

Charged on Oct. 20, 2016, with the following:

Felony

  • Human Trafficking of a minor
  • Contacting of a child with intent to commit oral sex
  • Contacting of a child with intent to commit sodomy
  • Pimping a minor over the age of 16 years
  • Pandering with minor over 16 for purpose of prostitution
  • Oral copulation of a minor
  • Unlawful sexual intercourse with minor

Misdemeanor

  • Driving on a suspended license

Charged on Aug. 18, 2017, with the following felony counts:

  • (6) Pimping
  • (6) Pimping by procuring
  • Two prior felony strike convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in in Yuma, Arizona in 2000
  • Two prior misdemeanor violations for driving with a suspended license in Los Angeles in 2014

Co-defendant Yolymar Ojeda-Gomez, 22, Irvine, is charged in Case # 16CF2769 with one felony count of human trafficking a minor, one felony count of pimping a minor, and one felony count of pandering a minor over 16 by procuring. Ojeda-Gomez faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. She is out of custody after posting $70,000 bond and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 22, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

Castillo is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp and Ojeda-Gomez is accused of working with him and recruiting other women to prostitute for Castillo. In the pimp/prostitution subculture, pimps exploit women and/or children for financial gain and often assign ranks to the women they exploit. 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 to locate potential victims. Ojeda-Gomez is accused of being paid by Castillo when she found women and girls to work for them as sex workers. The victims are often required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in physical or emotional abuse. (more…)

August 18, 2017

Credit Union Employee and her Online Boyfriend Face Charges of Fraudulently Obtaining Lines of Credit Worth over $2.6 Million

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

LOS ANGELES – An Orange County woman who worked at a local credit union in Hawthorne and her online boyfriend have been named in a superseding indictment that alleges a conspiracy in which the woman secretly opened more than 30 fraudulent lines of credit for her boyfriend, who was able to draw down approximately $1.1 million before the scheme was discovered.

The indictment returned yesterday afternoon by a federal grand jury charges Indira Mohabir, 41, of La Habra, and Phillip Cook, 50, who appears to have recently resided in Ohio and Georgia.

Mohabir was initially charged in the case last year, and Cook was arrested in Ohio on July 28 after federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint in this case. Mohabir, who is free on bond, is currently scheduled to go on trial on October 31. Cook, who has been ordered held without bond, is being transported to Los Angeles by the United States Marshals Service.

The 15-count superseding indictment charges the two defendants with conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud, eight counts of unauthorized issuance of credit union obligations and six counts of financial institution fraud.

Mohabir, who worked as a business loan processor at Western Federal Credit Union, entered into an online relationship with Cook in November 2014 and agreed soon after to open lines of credit without the necessary oversight and approval from the credit union, according to the indictment. The scheme lasted about three months, from late 2014 to early 2015, but the majority of the credit lines allegedly were established – or were doubled – over just a few days in January 2015. (more…)

Man Pleads to Human Trafficking of Minor in Long Beach

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

A 28-year-old man entered a no contest plea today for trafficking a teenage girl for sex, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Kelly Kelley said Patrick Lamont Harris of Los Angeles pleaded to one count of human trafficking of a minor for a commercial sex act in case NA103753.

Harris was immediately sentenced to 11 years in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Harris met the 15-year-old victim in February 2016 and began pimping her on a website, the prosecutor said. According to court testimony, the defendant rented hotel rooms and drove the girl to various locations so that she could perform sex acts with men.

On March 9, 2016, investigators conducted a sting where they came into contact with the victim and learned about the defendant’s involvement with her, the prosecutor added. (more…)

NFL Player Charged with Assault on Man in Pasadena

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

An Oakland Raiders cornerback has been charged with an assault on his sister’s boyfriend in Old Town Pasadena, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Stogel said Sean Lee Smith (dob 7/14/87) faces one felony count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury.

The criminal complaint includes an allegation that Smith inflicted great bodily injury upon the victim.

Arraignment is scheduled on Sept. 29 in Department D of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pasadena Branch. Case GA101651 was filed for warrant on Aug. 16.

Smith allegedly beat and then stomped on the victim’s head near the corner of Arroyo Parkway and Colorado Boulevard early in the morning on July 4, the prosecutor said. (more…)

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