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September 20, 2017

Boyfriend Sentenced for Domestic Violence Killing of Attorney-Turned-Reality Star

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

A Redondo Beach man was sentenced today to 16 years to life in state prison for the stabbing death of his girlfriend, star of the reality show “Loredana, Esq.”, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

A jury deliberated for three days before finding Robert Brian Reagan, 53, guilty on Aug. 25 of second degree murder.

Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski said jurors also found true an allegation that a knife was used in the killing.

The victim, Loredana Nesci, 47, was stabbed to death on July 22, 2015, during a domestic dispute at the Redondo Beach home she shared with the defendant, the prosecutor said. According to evidence presented at the trial, Nesci and Reagan were separating at the time of the killing and the defendant wanted to avoid a custody battle over the couple’s son.

Case YA092768 was investigated by the Redondo Beach Police Department.

Los Angeles District Attorney / Case YA092768 / September 19, 2017

September 19, 2017

Engineer at Defense Contractor who Sold Satellite Secrets to Person Posing as Russian Spy Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison

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

LOS ANGELES – An engineer who worked for a defense contractor was sentenced this morning to 60 months in federal prison for selling sensitive satellite information he stole from his employer to a person he believed to be an agent of a Russian intelligence service.

Gregory Allen Justice, 50, of Culver City, who worked as an engineer on military and commercial satellite programs, was sentenced this morning by United States District Judge George H. Wu.

In imposing the sentence, Judge Wu said it was “extremely troubling” that Justice was willing to sell the secrets to the Russians because it is well known that their government “is not friendly to this country.”

Justice pleaded guilty in May to two counts – attempting to commit economic espionage, and attempting to send restricted information out of the United States in violation the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. When he pleaded guilty, Justice admitted that he stole proprietary trade secrets from his employer and provided them to a person he believed to be a Russian agent – but who in fact was an undercover FBI employee. (more…)

Hermosa Beach Couple Who Filed Fraudulent Tax Returns and Passed Bogus Financial Instruments Sentenced to Federal Prison

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

LOS ANGELES – A Hermosa Beach man was sentenced this afternoon to six years in federal prison for filing fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service that sought millions of dollars in refunds and using bogus financial instruments in an attempt to pay off debt. His wife was also sentenced today to two years in federal prison.

Sean David Morton, 59, was sentenced by United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, who further ordered Morton to pay $480,322 in restitution to the IRS.

Sean Morton’s sentencing follows a four-day trial in April in which he was found guilty by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts of filing false claims against the United States, and 26 counts of passing false or fictitious financial instruments. Sean Morton was originally scheduled to be sentenced in June, but he failed to appear for that hearing and was a fugitive for over two months.

Melissa Ann Morton, 51, also of Hermosa Beach, who was convicted of conspiracy, two counts filing false claims and 25 counts of passing false or fictitious financial instruments, was also ordered to pay $480,322 in restitution to the IRS. (more…)

Female Teacher Charged With Sexually Assaulting 17-Year-Old Student

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

A Brentwood School teacher was charged today with having unlawful sex with a student earlier this year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Aimee Palmitessa (dob 1/9/72) was charged in case SA096485 with seven counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, two counts each of sodomy and sexual penetration by foreign object of a person under the age of 18 and one count of oral copulation of a person under 18.

She is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department W30 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

Deputy District Attorney Adrian Roxas of the Sex Crimes Division is prosecuting the case.

Palmitessa has worked at the elite private school for about nine years and the victim was once a student in one of her classes. Between June 12 and Aug. 11, Palmitessa is accused of sexually assaulting the teenage boy, according to the criminal complaint.

(more…)

September 18, 2017

Attorney General Becerra Announces Sentencing of Vallejo Pastor and Co-Conspirator for Defrauding Members of Congregation

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

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced a state prison sentence of 23 years and eight months for Luther Feltus-Curry, a Vallejo pastor who masterminded a malicious fraud scheme preying on members of his own church congregation. Earlier this year, his co-conspirator Alma Perez was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for her role in the scheme.

“This is a despicable case in which church congregants trusted their pastor and then lost their life savings,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Today’s sentence serves as a stern warning – the California Department of Justice will vigorously descend on individuals who use positions of trust to scam people.”

While serving as pastor for a church in Vallejo, Feltus-Curry identified congregants who were retiring or who came upon large sums of money and took advantage of his position of trust to defraud them. From 2008 to 2012, the defendants created shell companies to package investments, promising the unsuspecting victims low risk and high returns. Instead, the victims’ funds were deposited into accounts controlled by Perez, where she transferred the money back to Feltus-Curry. The defendants used nearly $900,000 of the victims’ money on personal expenses and get-rich-quick schemes. The victims were defrauded of their entire investment.

In February 2017, a jury found Feltus-Curry guilty of 27 felony counts of theft and securities fraud and Perez guilty of 11 felony counts, including the special enhancements for the large dollar loss taken from the victims.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra / Friday, September 15, 2017

MAN SENTENCED TO ONE YEAR AND FOUR MONTHS IN PRISON FOR PLANTING WEAPONS AND METHAMPHETAMINE IN VICTIM’S TRUCK AND MAKING FALSE REPORT TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced today to one year and four months in state prison for planting weapons and methamphetamine inside the bed of a woman’s truck and making false reports to law enforcement.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Kevin Brown, 44, Laguna Hills Pleaded guilty on Aug. 30, 2017, to:

Felony

  • Conspiracy to commit a crime
  • False imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit

Misdemeanor

  • False report of emergency
  • Altering evidence

Sentencing Enhancement

  • Prior prison for second degree burglary in Los Angeles in 2010
One year and four months in state prison

Co-defendant Jennifer Michele Beale, 38, Laguna Hills, pleaded guilty to the same felony and misdemeanor charges on Aug. 3, 2016, and was sentenced to one year and four months in county jail.

Circumstances of the Case

  • On March 23, 2016, Beale and Brown conspired to plant a replica Sig Sauer BB gun, a 12-inch hunting knife, methamphetamine, a scale, small plastic bags, a note with names and dollar amounts, and a glass pipe in 40-year-old Jane Doe’s vehicle in order to get the victim arrested. (more…)

MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH 4-YEAR-OLD FEMALE RELATIVE

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison for having sexual intercourse and committing lewd acts on his 4-year-old female relative.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Ricardo Interiano-Rivas, 50, Costa Mesa Found guilty by a jury on June 29, 2017, of the following felony counts:

  • Sexual intercourse with a child younger than 10 years old
  • (2) Lewd act upon a child under 14

Sentencing Enhancement Allegation

  • Substantial sexual contact with a child
  • 25 years to life in state prison
  • Mandatory lifetime sex offender registration

Circumstances of the Case

  • On July 20, 2015, Interiano-Rivas had sexual intercourse with and committed lewd acts on 4-year-old Jane Doe.
  • The defendant was caught by Jane Doe’s teenage relative, who immediately contacted the Costa Mesa Police Department.
  • DNA and medical evidence linked Interiano-Rivas to the assault.
  • Jane Doe, then 6 years old, testified during the trial.

Prosecutor: Deputy District Attorney Bobby Taghavi, Sexual Assault Unit

Orange County District Attorney / September 15, 2017

September 15, 2017

OCDA TO OPPOSE PAROLE OF MAN ELIGIBLE FOR EARLY RELEASE DUE TO PROP 57 WHO DEFRAUDED OVER 100 ELDERLY INVESTORS OUT OF $11 MILLION IN PONZI SCHEME

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas is opposing the parole of a man who stole the life savings of numerous seniors in an elaborate Ponzi scheme and failed to pay $530,000 in taxes on his ill-gotten profits.Jeffrey Gordon Butler, 59, San Juan Capistrano, is currently being held at Correctional Training Facility prison in Soledad, California. Butler was sentenced on Jan. 4, 2010, to 90 years and eight months in state prison. He is currently scheduled for a parole hearing tomorrow, Sept. 15, 2017, at the prison before the Board of Parole Hearings, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations.

Butler is being considered for early parole due to the passage of Proposition 57, voted in by Californians last November. The legislation, which focused on reducing prison overcrowding through the early release of “non-violent” offenders was lax on language as to who would be considered and which crimes were deemed violent, one of several reasons the OCDA vehemently opposed the measure. Moreover, early release decisions will be made without a public hearing, with prosecutors and victims only receiving 30 days, when properly notified, to provide written objections. Prosecutors and victims are not allowed to attend the hearing.

“We believe the short notice for this proceeding violates the victim’s right to due process,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “The victims in this case were elderly when the crimes took place,” he continued. “We requested additional time to locate them and believe many have passed on, but we would still like the opportunity to seek out their families or representatives and give them the option of being heard; unfortunately our request was denied.”

“Butler ruthlessly destroyed people’s lives and dreams after gaining their trust,” said Rackauckas. “If released, Butler will no doubt return to what he knows best — preying on the vulnerable. He is certainly not who voters had in mind when addressing prison overcrowding, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous to the public. It also sends the wrong message to fraudsters who are thinking about committing these crimes,” concluded Rackauckas. (more…)

Lakewood High School Teacher Charged with Lewd Acts with Student

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

A 52-year-old woman has been charged with having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a teen over the span of three years, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Mary Jahn (dob 9/10/65) of Lakewood has been charged with nine felony counts in case NA107331 four counts of sexual penetration by foreign object, three counts of lewd act upon a child and two counts of oral copulation of a person under 18.

The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Department S01 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Long Beach Branch. Prosecutors are asking that bail be set at $750,000.

Deputy District Attorney Troy Davis of the Victim Impact Program, who is assigned to the case, said at the time of the reported crimes Jahn was a teacher at Lakewood High School.

In July 2008, the defendant allegedly began having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female student, the prosecutor said. The sexual molestation reportedly continued until July 2011, the prosecutor added. (more…)

Man Charged with Killing Girlfriend in Whittier

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

A 56-year-old man was charged today with fatally shooting his girlfriend in their home on Monday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Rafael Ayala Castillo (dob 2/21/61) has been charged with one count of murder in case VA145805. The felony complaint includes a special allegation that the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a firearm, which caused great bodily injury and death to the victim.

Castillo is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in Department 6 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Bellflower Branch. Prosecutors are asking that bail be set at $3 million.

Prosecutors said Castillo and his girlfriend, Sandra Rodriguez Polanco, 54, had been in a relationship for nearly 10 years and shared an apartment together in the 11700 block of Floral Drive in Whittier.

On Sept. 12, a family member of Polanco’s went to her home and found the victim with a fatal gunshot wound to the head, according to prosecutors. (more…)

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