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October 24, 2016

Former State Senator Ronald Calderon Sentenced to 42 Months in Federal Prison for Receiving Over 150,000 Dollars in Bribes

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

LOS ANGELES – Former California State Senator Ronald S. Calderon was sentenced today to 3½ years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a federal corruption charge and admitting that he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for performing official acts as a legislator.

Ron Calderon, 59, of Montebello, received the 42-month sentenced this afternoon from United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder, who also ordered the defendant to serve 150 hours of community service.

Ron Calderon pleaded guilty in June to one count of mail fraud through the deprivation of honest services. In a plea agreement filed in this case, Ron Calderon admitted accepting bribe payments from the owner of a Long Beach hospital who wanted a law to remain in effect so he could continue to reap tens of millions of dollars in illicit profits from a health care fraud scheme. Ron Calderon also admitted taking bribes from undercover FBI agents who were posing as independent filmmakers who wanted changes to California’s Film Tax Credit program.

Ron Calderon’s brother, Thomas M. Calderon, 62, also of Montebello, a former member of the California State Assembly who became a political consultant, was sentenced last month to 10 months in custody for his conviction on a money laundering charge for allowing bribe money earmarked for his brother to be funneled through his company.

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Alleged Architect of $30 Million Mortgage Relief Fraud Scheme and Four Other Los Angeles Residents Indicted in Conspiracy to Defraud Banks and Homeowners

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

WASHINGTON – The alleged architect of a $30 million mortgage relief fraud scheme and four other former employees of a purported mortgage relief company were charged in an indictment unsealed today for their alleged participation in a conspiracy to defraud banks and homeowners.

Yun Soon Matsuba, aka Dorothy Matsuba, 65; Thomas Matsuba, 64; Jane Matsuba Garcia, 40; and Jamie Matsuba, 31, all of Chatsworth, and Young Park, 53, of Koreatown, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, make false statements and commit identity theft.  In addition, the 18-count indictment charges Dorothy Matsuba with five counts of wire fraud, five counts of making false statements and six counts of aggravated identity theft; Jane Matsuba Garcia with one count of wire fraud, two counts of making false statements and one count of aggravated identify theft; and Jamie Matsuba with one count of making a false statement.

Dorothy Matsuba, Thomas Matsuba, Jane Matsuba Garcia and Jamie Matsuba were all arrested this morning and are making court appearances this afternoon; Park remains a fugitive.  Thomas Matsuba is Dorothy Matsuba’s husband and Jane Matsuba Garcia and Jamie Matsuba are Dorothy Matsuba’s daughters.  Young Park is Dorothy Matsuba’s brother.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California, Assistant Director in Charge Deirdre Fike of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division, Acting Special Agent in Charge Anthony J. Orlando of IRS Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Los Angeles Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Leslie P. DeMarco of the Federal Housing Finance Agency-Office of Inspector General’s (FHFA-OIG) Western Region and Sheriff Jim McDonnell of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department made the announcement.

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Brea Man Who Operated Physical Therapy Clinics Convicted in Scheme that Stole Millions from Medicare Program

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

SANTA ANA, California – A Brea man who operated rehabilitation clinics in Walnut, Torrance and Los Angeles has been convicted by a federal jury of defrauding Medicare out of millions of dollars.

Simon Hong (who is also known as Seong Wook Hong), 54, was convicted Wednesday of eight counts of healthcare fraud, nine counts of illegal kickbacks related to healthcare referrals and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

The scheme revolved around clinics operated by Hong’s companies called Hong’s Medical Management, Inc., CMH Practice Solution, and HK Practice and Solution, Inc. According to the evidence presented at trial, Hong conspired with others to submit false claims to Medicare. As part of the scheme, Hong recruited Medicare beneficiaries and provided uncovered services like massage and acupuncture for them. Even though the beneficiaries did not receive actual physical therapy, the co-conspirators billed Medicare for physical therapy, and then funneled 56 percent of the reimbursement funds back to Hong.

Through this scheme Hong and his co-conspirators billed Medicare from the spring of 2009 until November 2013 and received approximately $2,929,775 in reimbursements, of which Hong received approximately $1,640,674.

After the jury returned its verdicts, United States District Judge David O. Carter set Hong’s sentencing hearing for January 9, 2017, at which time Hong will face a statutory maximum sentence of 129 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.

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October 21, 2016

Former IRS Special Agent Charged with Filing False Tax Returns, Theft of Government Money and Obstructing a Federal Investigation

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

A federal grand jury in Sacramento, California returned an indictment today charging a former Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) special agent with six counts of filing false income tax returns, one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the internal revenue laws, one count of theft of government money and one count of destroying records during a federal investigation, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch of the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge Rod Ammari of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Acting Special Agent in Charge Darrell Waldon of IRS-CI.

According to the allegations in the indictment, Alena Aleykina, of Sacramento, a certified public accountant and former IRS-CI special agent, filed false individual income tax returns for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011, on which she claimed false filing statutes, dependents, deductions and losses and tax returns on behalf of two trusts.  The indictment further alleges that, between 2008 and 2013, Aleykina attempted to obstruct the IRS by preparing false tax returns for herself, family members, trusts and partnerships and by making false statements to representatives of the Department of the Treasury and attempted to obstruct a federal investigation by destroying evidence on a government computer.  Aleykina is also charged with fraudulently causing the IRS to issue IRS Tuition Assistance Reimbursement payments to her.

If convicted, Aleykina faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison on each count of filing a false tax return and corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the internal revenue laws, 10 years in prison for the charge of theft of government money and 20 years in prison for the destruction of evidence charge, as well as a period of supervised release and monetary penalties.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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FORMER TEACHER CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former teacher was convicted today of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. Jeffrey Scott Jones, 56, Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury of two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one felony count of continuous sexual abuse. He faces a maximum sentence of 68 years to life in state prison at his sentencing on Nov. 4, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-28, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crime, Jones was working as a teacher for advanced placement English at Libra Academy in Huntington Park. Prior to the crime, the defendant had regular access to children as a teacher for 27 years, including at Bell High School in the City of Bell. Jane Doe was not one of the defendant’s students.

Between Sept. 1, 2012, and April 30, 2013, Jones, who held a position of trust, frequently and continuously sexually assaulted 13-year-old Jane Doe. On May 4, 2013, and May 9, 2013, Jones raped the victim, stating that he would ruin her life if she told anyone what he was doing. The victim went to a friend’s home and the defendant went to get her. The friend’s mother refused to allow the defendant to take Jane Doe.

In May 2013, the crime was reported to the Huntington Beach Police Department, who investigated the case and arrested Jones at his home on June 27, 2013.

During the trial, a female relative of the victim testified for the defendant and gave an alternative explanation as to how the defendant’s semen was found inside of the victim’s cervix. In rebuttal, evidence was introduced that the defendant had sex with two minor former students for an extended period of time.

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Second Man Charged With Vandalizing Vietnam War Veterans Memorial Wall

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

A 20-year-old man has been charged with defacing the Venice POW/MIA Mural, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Luis Daniel Medina, aka Pheb, (dob 9/16/96) of Los Angeles faces one felony count of vandalism over $400 damage-graffiti and one misdemeanor count of possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti in case SA094119.

Arraignment is scheduled today in Department W30 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch. The case was filed on Oct. 13.

A second man, Angel Castro, 24, was charged on July 15 with one felony count of vandalism over $400 damage-graffiti with an allegation that he was convicted of robbery in 2015. Castro is scheduled back for a pretrial hearing on Nov. 16 in Department W82 in case SA093405.

On May 26, Medina and Castro are accused of vandalizing the Veterans Memorial Wall on the 100 block of Sunset Avenue, belonging to Metro, prosecutors said.

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October 20, 2016

Second California Man Who Participated in Conspiracy to Provide Support to ISIL Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison

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

Muhanad Elfatih M.A. Badawi, 25, of Anaheim, California, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for conspiring with another man to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge Deirdre Fike of the FBI’s Los Angeles Office. The sentence was issued by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter.

At the conclusion of a trial in June, Badawi was found guilty of conspiring with another man to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, as well as aiding and abetting his codefendant’s attempt to provide support to ISIL, and for federal financial aid fraud designed to generate funds for the scheme.

Three weeks ago, Judge Carter sentenced Badawi’s codefendant – Nader Elhuzayel, 25, also of Anaheim, California – to 30 years in prison.

“Defendant Badawi was a radicalizer, recruiter and facilitator, and like codefendant Elhuzauyel, defendant Badawi aspired to die a martyr fighting jihad for ISIL,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed with the court.

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Moreno Valley Man Sentenced to Nearly 20 Years in Prison for Advertising, Distributing, and Possessing Pornographic Images of Toddlers and Infants in Online Chatroom

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

LOS ANGELES – A Moreno Valley man has been sentenced to nearly two decades in federal prison for advertising child pornography in a members-only online chatroom for people with a sexual interest in infants and toddlers.

Angelo Harper Jr., 21, was sentenced on Monday to 235 months in prison and lifetime supervised release by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner. Harper was convicted of advertising child pornography after a trial in July. Harper also pleaded guilty in July to distributing child pornography and possession of child pornography.

The evidence presented at trial showed that Harper used the Kik Messenger social media platform to access a chatroom for those interested in nepiophilia, which is a sexual interest in infants and toddlers. Last year, an agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations entered the chatroom using an undercover Kik account, and accessed several postings about child pornography – made by an individual later identified as Harper – which included images depicting child pornography and a link to an explicit video. At one point, Harper wrote: “I have tons of pics and vids of little boys and girls. Pm me for chat and trade of kids under 6 [winking face emoji].”

“Pedophiles who use technology to share child pornography re-victimize each child and perpetuate the market for this criminal behavior,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This case highlights the fact that defendants like this one will not escape prosecution by hiding in the dark corners of the Internet.”

As a result of the investigation, HSI agents seized numerous digital devices from Harper that contained child pornography, and Harper admitted to using Kik to transmit child pornography. In total federal agents seized approximately 9,000 images of child pornography and over 500 videos.

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Man Found Guilty For Death of Transient Outside Fast Food Restaurant

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

A homeless man was found guilty today of murdering another transient outside a fast food restaurant in downtown Los Angeles last year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

A jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding 42-year-old Charles Allender guilty of second-degree murder. He faces 37 years to life in state prison when he is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7.

On Feb. 7, 2015, Allender and Derek Miller, 31, attacked Derrick Hamilton, 45, in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant in the 700 block of Cesar Chavez Avenue.

Both Allender and Miller beat and stomped the victim. Hamilton was taken to a hospital where he died.

Last month, Miller pleaded no contest to one count of voluntary manslaughter and is expected to be sentenced to 11 years in state prison on Oct. 31.

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October 19, 2016

Compton Man Sentenced to More Than Ten Years in Prison for Illegal Firearm and Methamphetamine Sales

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

LOS ANGELES – A Compton man has been sentenced to more than ten years in federal prison for illegal methamphetamine and firearms sales.

Luis Rodriguez Jr., 29, was sentenced on Monday to 121 months in federal prison by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner. Rodriguez pled guilty earlier this year to distribution of methamphetamine and illegal firearm sales without a license.

Rodriguez pled guilty to selling methamphetamine and three firearms to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confidential informant on multiple occasions. The firearms included a Smith & Wesson, Model 66 .357 caliber Magnum revolver, a Ceska Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ 52 7.62mm caliber Tokarev rifle, a Ruger Model 22/45 MK III .22 caliber pistol, which had been reported stolen in Texas, and a Colt Model 1911 U.S. Army .45 caliber pistol.

Rodriguez obtained the firearms from his sister and co-defendant, Laura Salas, who was sentenced on April 25, 2016 to 120 months’ imprisonment for her participation in the crimes. The government stated in its sentencing position that, for one of the firearms transaction, a young boy who appeared to be Salas’s son handled the firearm.

“The actions of this defendant were intended to place dangerous drugs and guns on the streets,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Having illegal drugs and guns readily available contributes to violence in our community. This case is an example of my office’s commitment to curbing violent crime by eliminating its sources.”

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