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August 30, 2016

Man Sentenced to Prison for Kidnapping Elderly Woman During Home Robbery in San Gabriel Valley

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

A 53-year-old man was sentenced today to 95 years to life in state prison for kidnapping and robbing a 79-year-old woman, and burglarizing the home of another elderly woman, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On May 4, a jury found Alonzo Bernard Johnson guilty of three felony counts in case GA087078: first degree residential robbery, kidnapping to commit robbery and first-degree burglary, person present.

Jurors also found true a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the crime. Additionally, jurors found true that Johnson inflicted great bodily injury on an elderly victim.

Deputy District Attorney Presciliano Duran, who prosecuted the case, said on Aug. 6, 2012, Johnson entered a South Pasadena home and accosted the 79-year-old homeowner in her kitchen where he broke her nose.

Johnson demanded money from the victim in her kitchen and then pulled her to the bedroom while using a knife, where he forced her to lay face down on her bed and attempted to tie her up with an electrical cord.

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August 29, 2016

Federal Authorities Charge 33 People with Crimes Against the U.S. Postal Service, including Theft of Mail by Employees

Filed under: California Chid Pornography Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am

LOS ANGELES – Thirty-three defendants were charged as part of a sweep targeting criminal activity that has victimized the United States Postal Service (USPS) and its customers. Most of the defendants charged as part of the sweep are USPS employees who allegedly stole mail, embezzled from the agency or, in one case, failed to deliver nearly 50,000 pieces of mail.

Arrest warrants were issued for 6 of the 33 defendants, who were recently charged as a result of investigations by the USPS’s Office of Inspector General. Most of the defendants were charged in indictments that were returned by federal grand juries on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

The 33 defendants are charged across 28 cases, about half of which allege mail theft and/or possession of stolen mail by USPS employees and contractors. Other cases charge USPS employees with conspiracy, embezzlement, bank fraud, and false statements. Five of the cases allege crimes by non-employees, including mail theft and fraud related to the use of credit cards that had been stolen from the mail.

In one case announced today, the former local area president of the Mail Handlers Union was charged with conspiracy and possession of stolen mail. Jarol Garcia, 33, of Hemet, who formerly worked at the Moreno Valley Delivery Distribution Center as a mail handler, stole mobile phones from parcels going through the center and traded the phones after offering them for exchange on a website, according to an indictment, which also alleges that Garcia, in December 2015, possessed at least 166 mobile phones stolen from the mail.

Another case charges a mail carrier from the Mid-City District of Los Angeles with conspiracy to commit access device (credit card) fraud and to steal mail.  The indictment alleges that Norman A. Muschamp, 48, was part of a conspiracy to use information belonging to identity theft victims to order pre-paid PayPal debit cards that were sent to primarily non-existent addresses on his mail route.  Muschamp allegedly participated in the scheme by obtaining the PayPal debit cards from the mail and delivering them to co-conspirators in exchange for cash. Investigators who are continuing to investigate the overall scheme believe it caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

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Riverside Gang Leader and Three Associates Arrested in Meth Case

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

RIVERSIDE, California – Four individuals associated with the Eastside Riva gang – including its leader, Ernie “Gordo” Hernandez, 55 – were arrested yesterday after being charged earlier this week in federal court with distribution of methamphetamine.

The other defendants arrested– Angel “Bundy” Hernandez, 34, who is the son of Ernie Hernandez; Gilberto Diaz, 30; and Bryan Deniz, 25 – are also named in a criminal complaint that alleges they distributed methamphetamine from July 20 through August 9. Several of the drug transactions discussed in the complaint affidavit occurred at Primestone Tires Auto Repair on 14th Street in Riverside.

“Criminal street gangs like Eastside Rivera bring violence and drugs into our communities,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “As yesterday’s arrests demonstrate, law enforcement will continue to prosecute gang leaders and members to make our neighborhoods safer.”

The case against the four defendants is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Los Angeles Division.

“Criminal street gangs that claim its territory and attempt to traffic drugs and use firearms to bring violence into our communities for their profit will not be tolerated,” said ATF Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge Eric Harden. “ATF has zero tolerance for this criminal activity and will continue to eradicate it from our communities.”

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FORMER FEMALE HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER AND COACH SENTENCED TO JAIL FOR ENGAGING IN UNLAWFUL SEX ACTS WITH UNDERAGE STUDENT

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

FULLERTON, Calif. – A former high school teacher and coach was sentenced to jail for engaging in unlawful sex acts with an underage student. Rebecca Eileen Diebolt, 37, of Brea, pleaded guilty on Jan. 15, 2016, to one felony count of oral copulation with a minor under 16 and one felony count of sexual penetration with a foreign object of a minor. She was sentenced today to 3 years, 8 months in state prison stayed pending successful completion of 5 years formal, supervised probation, completion of 180 days in county jail, and completion of all sex offender terms. Diebolt was also sentenced to mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.

At the time of the crime, Diebolt was employed as a language arts teacher and a coach for girl’s swimming and water polo at Valencia High School in Placentia. Diebolt had been teaching at the school since 2003.

In 2004, Diebolt established an illegal sexual relationship with then 15-year-old Jane Doe. On multiple occasions between 2004 and 2008, Diebolt engaged in sexual acts with the victim in the defendant’s classroom at the high school and at the defendant’s home after school and on weekends. She continued the sexual relationship after Jane Doe graduated from high school and began attending college.

On June 4, 2014, the victim reported the sex acts to the Placentia Police Department, who investigated this case and arrested Diebolt one week later.

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August 26, 2016

Long Beach Man Pleads Guilty in $3 Million Foreclosure Rescue Scam

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

LOS ANGELES – A Long Beach man has pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge related to a long-running mortgage rescue scheme that involved nearly $3 million in illegal fees charged to distressed homeowners and about 200 fraudulent bankruptcy petitions.

Karl Robinson, 52, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of bankruptcy fraud before United States District Judge Manuel Real.

Robinson operated the foreclosure rescue scheme from 2008 until 2013 under his own name and other names, including “Stay In Your Home Today,” “21st Century Development” and “Genesis Ventures Corporation.” The businesses provided illegal foreclosure- and eviction-delay services to homeowners who had defaulted on their mortgages. The purpose of the scheme was to obtain money from distressed homeowners, and in exchange Robinson was able to hinder, delay and obstruct lawful foreclosure and eviction actions against property owners who had defaulted on their mortgages.

As part of the scheme, Robinson filed bogus grant deeds in county records offices and other fake documents in formal eviction proceedings to make it appear that fictional people held interests in distressed properties. He then fraudulently filed bankruptcy petitions in the names of the fictional people to trigger an “automatic stay” in the bankruptcy cases. The filing of a bankruptcy petition has the effect of suspending all creditor actions, including foreclosure proceedings commenced by mortgage lenders and eviction actions commenced by purchasers of foreclosed properties.

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Man Sentenced to LWOP for Killing Ex-Boyfriend

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

A 37-year-old man was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for killing a Glendale man in a scheme to collect on his $2.5 million life insurance policy, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On June 24, a jury found Hovanes “John” Maskovian, guilty of the first-degree murder and attempted kidnapping of his ex-boyfriend, Joshua West, 33.

Jurors also found true the special circumstances of lying in wait, murder for financial gain and murder during an attempted kidnapping.

A separate jury found Hovanes Maskovian’s younger brother, Hachik “Kriss” Maskovian, 31, guilty of the same charges in case PA076771 on June 23.

Deputy District Attorneys Geoffrey Lewin and Richard Dooley prosecuted the case.

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Mother Charged with Murder of Son Found Dead in Closet

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

A 39-year-old woman was charged today with killing her 11-year-old son, whose body was found in a closet in their home, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Verónica Aguilar (dob 3/31/77) of Los Angeles faces one count each of murder and child abuse resulting in death in case BA449570.

Arraignment is scheduled this afternoon in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

The child’s body was discovered on Aug. 22 after the victim’s stepfather called police, prosecutors said. The boy, identified on the criminal complaint as Yonatan A., allegedly died due to neglect and showed signs of severe malnutrition, prosecutors added.

The case is assigned to Deputy District Attorney Scott McPheron of the Family Violence Division.

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August 25, 2016

Defunct Cosmetology School’s Insurer Pays $8.6 Million to Resolve Claims that School Improperly Obtained Federal Student Loan Funds

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

LOS ANGELES – The insurance carrier for a defunct, for-profit cosmetology school has paid the United States $8,631,000 to resolve civil allegations that the school obtained federal student loan funds for ineligible students who received bogus high school diplomas.

B&H Education, Inc. (B&H), which operated the Marinello Schools of Beauty in locations across Southern California, was accused in a “whistleblower” lawsuit of improperly assisting adult students who did not have high school diplomas to obtain bogus high school diplomas. B&H allegedly allowed students seeking high school diplomas to take their tests without proctors, to use their phones and workbooks to look up answers during tests, and to repeat the same tests until they passed.

Many of the students who received their high school diplomas through this program then enrolled at B&H, and, with B&H’s assistance, applied for and received federal student loans for which they were not eligible. Under U.S. Department of Education (ED) regulations, a student must have a valid high school diploma or its equivalent in order to receive federal student loans.

“The operator of this school manipulated the system in order to fraudulently secure student aid funds without which the school could not function,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Today’s settlement demonstrates my office’s commitment to ensuring the integrity of federal programs, and the public monies used to support them.”

“Our students depend on higher education institutions to prepare them for careers through a quality education. Unfortunately, some schools violate their trust through deceptive marketing practices and defraud taxpayers by giving out student aid inappropriately. These unscrupulous institutions use questionable business practices or outright lie to both students and the federal government,” said ED Under Secretary Ted Mitchell. “In these cases we are taking aggressive action to protect students and taxpayers from further harm by these institutions.”

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Inland Empire Man with Lengthy Record Sentenced to 4 years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Stolen Handgun

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

LOS ANGELES – A Riverside man who pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a stolen handgun has been sentenced to four years in federal prison.

Joseph Sanchez, 37, received the 48-month sentence at a hearing yesterday before United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips.

Sanchez pleaded guilty on May 16 to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

This case stemmed from a September 18, 2015 probation search by the Riverside Police Department. When officers entered the residence, Sanchez was sitting on a couch with a bag on his lap. Inside the bag, officers found a loaded 9mm Glock. Investigators determined that the handgun was reported stolen from a Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy on July 3, 2015. In addition to the loaded handgun, police also found Sanchez to be in possession of another bag that contained another nine 9mm rounds.

“This defendant has a lengthy and serious criminal record which disqualifies him from possessing a firearm,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “His new prison sentence was warranted because, not only was he in possession of a handgun and ammunition, he knew the gun had been stolen from a police officer and he was under court supervision at the time after being convicted in a narcotics case.”

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Van Nuys Man Sentenced to over 12 Years in Federal Prison for Distributing Child Pornography

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

LOS ANGELES – A Salvadoran national from Van Nuys has been sentenced to 145 months in federal prison after being convicted of using the Internet to distribute child pornography.

Denis Aviles Salguero, 31, was sentenced on August 18 by United States District Judge Fernando M. Olguin. Following the completion of his sentence, Salguero will be on supervised release for 15 years.

Following a three-day trial in September 2013, Salguero was found guilty of 17 counts of distributing child pornography, one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.

The evidence presented at his trial showed that Salguero traded child pornography with others, sharing images in his possession to obtain new pictures and video files.

“This defendant freely shared his child pornography collection for the purpose of obtaining additional images, which resulted in his conviction for distribution of child pornography,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “The demand for child pornography drives a black market industry that relies on the sexual abuse of children and causes the continued victimization of those children as the images as spread around the world via the Internet.”

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