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April 27, 2018

Man Charged in Downtown Vehicle Attack on Pedestrians

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:13 am

A man who allegedly drove his vehicle into a group of pedestrians in downtown Los Angeles has been charged with felony assault, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Ryad Boudghenestambo (dob 7/4/84) was charged yesterday afternoon with five counts of assault with a deadly weapon in case BA467562. His arraignment is scheduled for today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

According to prosecutors, Boudghenestambo was asleep early Monday morning in his vehicle in a parking lot at Vignes Street and East Cesar Chavez Avenue when he was awoken by a group of people who had approached his SUV. As the five pedestrians walked away, the defendant allegedly drove his vehicle at the group, hitting and injuring the victims.

Boudghenestambo’s SUV continued forward and hit a brick fence, where it stopped. Police officers then arrived and arrested him.

The defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of eight years in state prison if convicted as charged. Bail was set at $150,000. (more…)

April 26, 2018

Man Sentenced to Prison for Temple City Murder

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:48 am

A 39-year-old man was sentenced today to 25 years to life in state prison after he was convicted of murder in connection with the killing of a man whose body was found in a car trunk, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On March 23, a jury found Andy Yalau Chen of Baldwin Park guilty of two felony counts in case GA098556: first-degree murder and cultivating marijuana.

Deputy District Attorney Kevin Keeland, who prosecuted the case, said on March 21, 2016, a Monterey Park resident called authorities to report a foul odor coming from a parked vehicle near her home.

When police arrived at the location, they found an unlocked car, the prosecutor said. Police discovered the decomposing body of Chinese national Min Gu in the trunk of the vehicle. The victim had been shot twice, the prosecutor added.

Authorities began an investigation into the homicide and learned that the defendant had been one of the last people in contact with Gu while he was still alive, according to the prosecutor. (more…)

Connecticut Man Charged with DUI, Child Abuse For Crash With Train

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:46 am

A father has been charged with driving under the influence with his two 16-year-old sons aboard and getting into a crash with a Metro train in Santa Monica, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Anthony Manual Beltran Sr. (dob 8/10/63) of Connecticut faces two felony counts of child abuse and one felony count each of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury and driving with a .08 percent or more blood alcohol content causing injury.

Case SA097866 also charges Beltran with two misdemeanor counts of giving an alcoholic beverage to a person under 21 years of age and includes allegations of causing great bodily injury and having a blood alcohol content of .20 percent or more.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges yesterday and is due back on May 16 in Department W31 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch.

On April 18, Beltran allegedly drove with his two sons through a red light near Lincoln Boulevard and Colorado Avenue and his vehicle was struck by the train, prosecutors said. The defendant and the boys were all injured in the crash, prosecutors added.

Bail is set at $410,000. If convicted as charged, Beltran faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years in state prison. (more…)

April 25, 2018

Federal Law Enforcement Agent Convicted of Criminal Charges Related to Helping Mexican National Enter the United States

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:51 am

LOS ANGELES – A special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has been found guilty of four federal offenses related to assistance he provided to a Mexican national with a criminal record to re-enter the United States.

Felix Cisneros Jr., 44, of Murrieta, an 11-year veteran of ICE who is now on indefinite suspension from the agency, was found guilty late Monday afternoon following a four-day trial in United States District Court.

The jury found Cisneros guilty of four felony counts: conspiracy to aid and assist the entry of an alien convicted of an aggravated felony into the United States, acting as agent of another person in a matter affecting the government, falsification of records in a federal investigation, and making false statements.

According to court documents and the evidence presented to the jury, Cisneros agreed to help a friend’s business associate re-enter the United States after traveling to Mexico City in September 2013. The business associate, Santiago Garcia-Gutierrez, was a lawful permanent resident of the United States, but because of prior criminal convictions and an outstanding warrant for his arrest, he was barred from being legally admitted into the United States upon his return. United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had seized Garcia’s Mexican passport and his “Green Card” when he attempted to enter the United States two months earlier, but he was paroled in –meaning he was temporarily allowed into the United States – pending the resolution of his criminal case. (more…)

Attorney General Becerra Secures $1.6 Million Judgment Against Seller of Lead and Cadmium Tainted Jewelry

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:50 am

LOS ANGELES – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced today that the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) secured a default judgment against Luxy Accessory, Inc. (Luxy), a jewelry distributor based in Los Angeles, and its owner Hyun Sook Kim for selling jewelry with excessive levels of lead and cadmium. Much of the jewelry was intended for children, and some was mislabeled as “lead free.” These acts constitute a violation of California’s Metal Containing Jewelry Law and the Unfair Competition Law. They also constitute unlawful advertising. The judgment consists of $1,626,000 in civil penalties and an order to comply with all statutes and regulations applicable to the manufacture, distribution, or sale of jewelry in California.

“We’re holding Luxy accountable, as it should be. Lead and cadmium are highly toxic metals that can cause serious physical and behavioral health problems even at low levels of exposure. This is especially true for our children,” said Attorney General Becerra. “I’ve seen firsthand how working families are too often the victims of the collective damage lead can cause to children. Today’s judgment should send a strong message to all: the California Department of Justice will aggressively prosecute those who violate our laws and jeopardize the well-being of our sons and daughters.”

In 2012, the Attorney General and DTSC jointly sued Luxy and a number of other jewelry distributors for selling jewelry that contained excessive levels of lead. Luxy’s owner and sole proprietor, Hyun Sook Kim, failed to respond to the lawsuit and ignored repeated attempts that were made to contact her. As a result, in 2014, the Attorney General’s Office obtained a default judgment against Luxy for $145,000 in penalties and injunctive relief.

The present case arises from subsequent inspections. Last November, inspectors from DTSC returned to Luxy’s warehouse to inspect all of its jewelry for lead and cadmium. Using field screening devices, the inspectors identified approximately 150 boxes of jewelry suspected to contain excessive amounts of lead and cadmium. DTSC seized the jewelry while conducting laboratory testing to confirm the violations. The Attorney General’s Office obtained a preliminary injunction against Luxy in January to prevent it from selling any more noncompliant jewelry, and the Court has now issued the default judgment after Luxy and its owner failed to appear in court. (more…)

Man Charged with Lewd Acts on Children at Theme Park

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:50 am

A 34-year-old audiologist has been charged with lewd acts upon two girls, ages 12 and 14, at Universal Studios Hollywood earlier this year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Kelly Kraetsch said Hershel Louis Korngut (dob 1/6/84) of Los Angeles faces two felony counts of lewd act upon a child, one felony count of possession of child or youth pornography and one misdemeanor count each of indecent exposure and sexual battery.

Arraignment is scheduled today in Department 100 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Van Nuys Branch. Case LA087938 was filed on March 1.

Korngut allegedly exposed and rubbed himself against the unwitting victims on Jan. 1, the prosecutor said.

If convicted as charged, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of 18 years in state prison.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, West Hollywood Station.

Los Angeles District Attorney / Case LA087938 / April 24, 2018

April 24, 2018

Promoter Who Defrauded Investors in Concerts and WWE Events that Never Took Place Sentenced to Nearly Five Years in Federal Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:01 am

LOS ANGELES – A promoter who bilked investors, promoters and performers who invested in concerts and World Wrestling Entertainment events – stealing at least $1.7 million from the victims – was sentenced today to 57 months in federal prison.

Gabriel Martin Reed, 47 – a former Malibu resident who currently lives in McKinney, Texas – was sentenced by United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez.

Reed pleaded guilty in November to one count of wire fraud and admitted that he defrauded his victims by making false promises and then using their money for personal expenses.

Reed, who conducted business under the name Gabe Reed Productions, took money from victims after falsely telling them that events would take place, certain performers had agreed to participate in those events, and their funds would be used to organize and promote the events. Instead of using the money for concerts and other events as promised, Reed used investor funds to pay his rent, utility bills and travel expenses. (more…)

Medical Doctor Who Illegally Wrote Prescriptions – including for Highly Addictive Opioids – Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:57 am

LOS ANGELES – A doctor who operated a medical clinic in Lynwood was sentenced today to 60 months in federal prison for illegally issuing prescriptions for powerful narcotics and sedatives without a medical purpose, mostly for young “patients” who paid cash.

Dr. Edward Ridgill, 65, a resident of Indio, California, was sentenced by United States District Judge S. James Otero.

During today’s hearing, Judge Otero said, “With all due respect to Dr. Ridgill, he is not a doctor. He has a license to practice, [but] he is not practicing medicine.” The judge also noted Ridgill’s prior history of improperly writing prescriptions, which “reveals he has not learned his lesson from the past.”

Today’s sentencing follows a one-week trial late last year in which a federal jury found Ridgill guilty of 26 felony counts of illegally distributing controlled substances. Prosecutors presented evidence that Ridgill illegally prescribed the opioid painkiller hydrocodone, which is often sold under the brand name Norco; alprazolam, best known by the brand name Xanax; and carisoprodol, a muscle relaxer often sold under the brand name Soma. Young “patients” traveled from places as far away as Victorville, Palmdale and Desert Hot Springs to Ridgill’s clinic in order to obtain prescriptions from Ridgill, where his “illegal drug business enabled him to work a mere three hours a day at his Lynwood office in exchange for significant amounts of cash,” according to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors. (more…)

Leader of MS-13’s Hollywood Clique Pleads Guilty to Federal Narcotics and Weapons Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:44 am

LOS ANGELES – A longtime member of the MS-13 transnational street gang, who is described in court papers as the “shot-caller” of the gang’s Hollywood clique, pleaded guilty today to federal narcotics and weapons violations.

Jose Ricardo Alfaro, aka “Shyboy,” 40, of Hollywood, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Alfaro was arrested in May 2017 during a major operation that targeted MS-13 following the filing of a racketeering indictment that charged nearly three dozen gang members and associates, including a dozen other “shot-callers” who led a majority of the gang’s cliques in the Los Angeles region. Alfaro was not charged in the racketeering indictment, but he was arrested after authorities executed a search warrant and discovered ammunition in his vehicle. Subsequent investigation revealed Alfaro’s role in orchestrating drug trafficking and firearms activities.

In a plea agreement filed in federal court, Alfaro admitted that he and other co-conspirators acquired methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, and they “communicate[d] using multiple cellular telephones and coded language to organize and discuss their drug-dealing business.”

Alfaro admitted that he was involved in the distribution of at least 3.5 kilograms of cocaine, and that he and his co-conspirators used firearms as part of the narcotics conspiracy. “For example, on or about April 9, 2017, [Alfaro] and a co-conspirator discussed acquisition of AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles,” according to the plea agreement. (more…)

April 23, 2018

Owner of Schools that Illegally Allowed Foreign Nationals to Remain in U.S. as ‘Students’ Sentenced to 15 Months in Federal Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 10:05 am

LOS ANGELES – The owner of four schools that enrolled hundreds of foreign nationals who fraudulently obtained immigration documents allowing them to remain in the United States as “students” – even though they rarely, if ever, attended classes – was sentenced today to 15 months in federal prison and ordered to forfeit more than $450,000.

Hee Sun Shim (also known as Leonard Shim and Leo Shim), 54, of Hancock Park, was sentenced by United States District Judge George H. Wu. Shim, who was ordered to begin serving his sentence in 60 days, was further ordered to forfeit to the government $431,508 seized from bank accounts and $34,860 in cash seized during the execution of a federal search warrant at his former residence in Beverly Hills in March 2015.

Shim pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud and one count of immigration document fraud in relation to what prosecutors called “a sophisticated, extensive, and lucrative fraud scheme that operated for many years in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles.”

Shim, along with two co-defendants – ran a “pay-to-stay” scheme through three schools in Koreatown – Prodee University/Neo-America Language School; Walter Jay M.D. Institute, an Educational Center (WJMD); and the American College of Forensic Studies (ACFS). A fourth school in Alhambra – Likie Fashion and Technology College – was also involved in the scheme, which ran for at least five years. (more…)

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