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July 27, 2017

Redondo Beach Woman Pleads in Multimillion Insurance Fraud Scheme

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

A Redondo Beach woman accused of participating in a $150 million workers’ compensation insurance fraud scheme pleaded guilty today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Kennes Ma said Marissa Nelson (dob 11/29/76) pleaded to one felony count of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and admitted a special allegation of taking property of a value exceeding $3.2 million in case BA455469.

The sentencing hearing for Nelson is scheduled for July 27, 2018.

The defendant is one of a dozen people accused of fraudulently billing tens of millions of dollars to insurance companies for fraudulent surgeries, prescription medications, fake MRIs, falsifying medical reports and office visits.

Nelson was a personal assistant to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Munir Uwaydah. She is also the wife of codefendant Peter Nelson, a physician’s assistant who never attended medical school and allegedly performed invasive and sometimes unnecessary surgeries.

July 26, 2017

Celgene Agrees to Pay $280 Million to Resolve Fraud Allegations Related to Promotion of Cancer Drugs Not Approved by FDA

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

LOS ANGELES – Celgene Corp., a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, has agreed to pay $280 million to settle fraud allegations related to the promotion of two cancer treatment drugs for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Justice Department announced today.

Celgene agreed to pay the settlement to resolve a “whistleblower” lawsuit that alleged it had violated the federal False Claims Act by submitting false claims to Medicare. The lawsuit also alleged that Celgene violated the laws of 28 states and the District of Columbia by submitting fraudulent claims to state health care programs, including California’s Medi-Cal program.

Pursuant to the settlement, which was finalized last week, Celgene will pay $259.3 million to the United States and $20.7 million to the 28 states and the District of Columbia. California will receive $4.7 million, more than any other state. Celgene is expected to pay the settlement tomorrow.

The settlement resolves allegations brought in a “whistleblower” lawsuit that Celgene promoted two cancer drugs – Thalomid and Revlimid – for uses that were not approved by the FDA and not covered by federal health care programs. The allegations included the use of false and misleading statements about the drugs, and paying kickbacks to physicians to induce them to prescribe the drugs.

“Patients deserve to know their doctors are prescribing drugs that are likely to provide effective treatment, rather than drugs marketed aggressively by pharmaceutical companies,” said Acting United States Attorney Sandra R. Brown. (more…)

Monterey Park Man Arrested on Federal Smuggling Charges Stemming from Shipment of Live King Cobras

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

LOS ANGELES – A Monterey Park man was taken into custody late this morning on federal smuggling charges stemming from the seizure of a package that contained three king cobras hidden in potato chip canisters.

Rodrigo Franco, 34, was arrested this morning by special agents with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Office of Law Enforcement after he was named in a criminal complaint filed on July 21.

Franco, who is charged with one count of illegally importing merchandise into the United States, is expected to make his initial appearance this afternoon in United States District Court.

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, United States Customs and Border Protection on March 2 inspected a package sent from Hong Kong and discovered three live king cobra snakes – a protected and highly venomous reptile – each of which was approximately two-feet long. In addition to the three snakes, the parcel being sent through the United States Postal Service contained three albino Chinese soft-shelled turtles.

On the same date, Franco also mailed six protected turtles – desert box turtles, three-toed box turtles and ornate box turtles – from the United States to Hong Kong, but that shipment also was intercepted by the USFWS. (more…)

Man Charged in Series of Attempted Sexual Assaults in Beverly Hills

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

A 26-year-old man was charged today with three attempted sexual assaults in one night in Beverly Hills, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney David Berger said Joshua Daniel Stevens (dob 6/12/91) of Los Angeles faces three counts each of assault with intent to commit a sex crime and false imprisonment by violence.

Case SA096100 includes allegations that Stevens was convicted in 2016 of terroristic threatening in Baxter, Ark.

The defendant pleaded not guilty today to the charges and is scheduled to return on Aug. 22 in Department 31 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

Stevens is charged with assaulting two separate women as they walked to their vehicles in parking garages and a third woman walking on a sidewalk on July 20, the prosecutor said. All three victims managed to escape, the prosecutor added. (more…)

July 25, 2017

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Pleads Guilty to Hiding Offshore Bank Account from the IRS

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

LOS ANGELES – A Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who earned nearly $1.3 million while working in Dubai over a three-year period pleaded guilty today to failing to disclose a foreign bank account to the Internal Revenue Service.

Marc Edward Mani, 49, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner.

Mani pleaded guilty to one count of failing to file a foreign bank and financial account report (FBAR) for the 2013 tax year.

According to the plea agreement filed in this case, while working as a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, Mani began to travel to Dubai in 2011 to perform plastic surgery for a foreign medical center. Mani’s accountant, who was aware that Mani was earning foreign income, informed him that he would be required to report any foreign bank accounts under his ownership or control to the IRS.

In 2012, Mani opened a bank account with a financial institution based in Dubai and began depositing income he earned from abroad into this account. By February 2013, Mani’s foreign bank account held more than $400,000. However, Mani willfully failed to file a FBAR to disclose his foreign bank account for the calendar years 2012 and 2013.

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FORMER COSTA MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICER SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS IN JAIL FOR COMMITTING INSURANCE FRAUD AGAINST CITY OF COSTA MESA

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) officer was sentenced to six months in county jail today for committing insurance fraud by presenting a false insurance claim and making false material statements related to the claim.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Ryan Patrick Natividad, 32, Corona Found guilty by a jury on Feb. 16, 2017, of one felony count each of:

  • Insurance fraud
  • Making a fraudulent statement

  • Six months in county jail
  • Three years formal probation
  • Ordered to pay restitution

Circumstances of the Case

  • On Sept. 23, 2014, Natividad, who was employed as a CMPD officer at the time of the crime, reported a work-related injury to CMPD. (more…)

LAPD Officer Charged With Sexually Assaulting Teen

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

A Los Angeles police officer has been charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Robert Cain (dob 4/17/86) was charged late yesterday in case BA459344 with two counts each of oral copulation of a person under the age of 16, lewd acts upon a child and unlawful sexual intercourse. Cain is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Deputy District Attorney David Reinert of the Justice System Integrity Division is prosecuting the case.

Cain befriended the girl who was a Los Angeles police cadet, the prosecutor said. On June 14, Cain is accused of sexually assaulting the girl during three separate incidents at three different locations.

(more…)

July 24, 2017

Alleged ISIS Supporter Indicted for Attempting to Provide Material Support to Foreign Terrorist Organization

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

Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, 22, of Oakland, California, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in San Francisco with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch of the Northern District of California and Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office.

According to the indictment, Alhaggagi, 22, of Oakland, California, is alleged to have knowingly attempted to provide services and personnel to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), between July and November of 2016, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339B. ISIS is a designated foreign terrorist organization. The indictment alleges that the services Alhaggagi attempted to provide included opening social media accounts for the use, benefit and promotion of ISIS, and that the personnel he provided was himself.

The indictment also alleges three counts of identity theft offenses – two counts of identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. With respect to those charges, an affidavit previously filed by an agent of the FBI in connection with a criminal complaint in the same matter alleged that Alhaggagi had used a stolen credit card to make $4,932 in fraudulent online purchases from a clothing company.

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Ex-Correctional Officer at Federal Prison in Victorville Sentenced to 6 Months in Prison for Taking Bribe to Smuggle Contraband to Prisoner

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

SANTA ANA, California – A former federal correctional officer who worked at the United States Penitentiary in Victorville was sentenced today to six months in federal prison and six months of home detention for taking a $1,000 bribe to smuggle contraband to a prisoner inside the facility.

Ignacio Adrian Sobers Jr., 31, of San Bernardino, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton.

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Staton said, “Corruption in the prison system is no small matter…. If the officer corrupts that system, the system breaks down, and the public pays for that breakdown.”

Sobers pleaded guilty in March to one count of acceptance of a bribe by a public official.

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Beverly Hills Man Indicted for Impeding the Internal Revenue Laws and Filing False Tax Returns That Did Not Report Secret German and Israeli Accounts

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

LOS ANGELES – A Beverly Hills resident was indicted today by a federal grand jury for corruptly endeavoring to impede the internal revenue laws, filing false tax returns, filing false reports regarding his offshore bank accounts and making false statements to a federal agent, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Brown for the Central District of California.

The indictment charges that from 2006 through 2014, Teymour Khoubian impeded the administration of the internal revenue laws. According to the indictment, Khoubian filed false individual tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax years 2005 through 2010 that did not report his financial interest in multiple Israeli and German bank accounts or the interest income that he earned from those accounts. He also allegedly falsely claimed refundable tax credits to which he was not entitled, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is intended for low-to moderate-income working individuals. In 2008, Khoubian is alleged to have held approximately $20 million in assets in his undisclosed accounts. The indictment charges that Khoubian also filed a false 2011 tax return that underreported the interest income he earned from his Israeli accounts and continued to fail to disclose that he held an account in Germany. Khoubian is also alleged to have filed false 2012 and 2013 Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts forms (FBARs) with the U.S. Department of Treasury that concealed his German account. U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and permanent legal residents with a foreign financial interest in or signatory authority over a foreign financial account worth more than $10,000 are required to file an FBAR disclosing the account.

In addition to filing false tax returns and FBARs, Khoubian allegedly provided his German bank with a copy of his Iranian passport and a residential address located in Israel to prevent the bank from disclosing the account to the IRS. He also allegedly sent a letter to Bank Leumi falsely claiming he was living in Iran when, in fact, he resided in Beverly Hills, California.

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