Best Defender Bytes:

March 8, 2017

Federal Case Charges San Bernardino County Father and Son in Conspiracy to Steal Cash from the U.S. Postal Service

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

RIVERSIDE, California – A father and son have been arrested and charged in federal court in connection with a robbery late last week at a United States Postal Service facility in Victorville.

According to court documents filed on Friday, the father and son – Corey Parker Sr., 46, and Corey Parker Jr., 23, both of Adelanto – also are suspects in a series of Postal truck robberies across Southern California that has caused more than $400,000 in losses.

The Parkers were charged Friday in a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court. The complaint charges both men with conspiracy to rob the Victorville Post Office on Thursday night.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaints, the pair also are believed to have committed a string of postal truck robberies over the last 18 months – thefts that occurred while the trucks were moving or otherwise in transit. During those robberies, the thieves jumped on the back of a postal truck and opened the rear door to steal the truck’s contents, specifically registered mail that included cash, checks and money orders.

The Parkers made their initial court appearances on Friday afternoon, and United States Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym ordered them detained – held without bond – pending trial. A preliminary hearing in this case was scheduled for March 17, and the two men are scheduled to be arraigned on March 22.

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GANG MEMBER LINKED TO ROBBERY THROUGH DNA ON CAR WINDOW CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER AND ROBBERY

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Santa Ana criminal street gang member was convicted today of robbing a couple at gunpoint outside of their home to steal their car after being linked to the crime through DNA using the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) local DNA database. Francisco Alberto Rodriguez, 27, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count each of attempted murder, second degree robbery, second degree vehicle burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon, and street terrorism. Sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity, personal use of a firearm, and gang member vicarious use of a firearm were also found to be true. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 29 years to life in state prison at his sentencing on April 28, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-29, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Co-defendant Jesus Humberto Mejia, 37, Santa Ana, a member of the same gang as Rodriguez, was found guilty by a jury on Aug. 18, 2015, of two felony counts each of attempted murder, first degree residential burglary, attempted first degree robbery, and possession of a firearm by a felon, and one felony count each of second degree vehicular burglary, second degree robbery, and street terrorism. Sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity, personal use of a firearm, and gang member vicarious use of a firearm were also found to be true. Mejia has two prior strike convictions for first degree residential burglary and active participation in a criminal street gang in 2007. The defendant was sentenced on Dec. 18, 2015, to an indeterminate term of 44 years to life and 62 determinate years in state prison.

Circumstances of the Case

On the night of Dec. 6, 2009, Rodriguez and Mejia entered a carport garage in Santa Ana belonging to a 43-year-old man and his 39-year-old wife. The defendants attempted to steal the victims’ car or its contents by breaking the car window.

The victims came outside upon hearing the noise in their carport. Rodriguez, who was seated in the car, stepped out of the vehicle and pointed a shotgun at the couple. Rodriguez pulled the trigger, but the firearm did not fire. Mejia stood near the car and pointed a handgun at the victims.

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March 7, 2017

FBI and U.S. Capitol Police Arrest Atlanta Man Threatening Staff of U.S. Congressman John Lewis

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

ATLANTA—Special Agent in Charge (SAC) David J. LeValley, FBI Atlanta, announces the following arrest involving a series of telephonic threats involving the office of U.S. Congressman John Lewis, (D), representing the 5th District of Georgia.

On Thursday, March 2, 2017, U.S. Capitol Police based in Washington, D.C., along with FBI agents based in Atlanta, arrested Dante Antoine Rosser, age 42, of Atlanta, Georgia, at his west Atlanta residence. Rosser was charged via federal criminal complaint with violation of Title 18 U.S.C. Section 115 (B), related to threats of assault against a United States official.

Beginning on or about January 2016, Rosser is alleged to have repeatedly called the Atlanta office of U.S. Congressman John Lewis (D), 5th District of GA, demanding that Congressman Lewis and his staff seek financial reparations on his and his family’s behalf. Between the dates of February 22-23, 2017, Rosser called Congressman Lewis’ office approximately 46 times. On February 23, 2017, Rosser is alleged to have threatened Congressman Lewis’ staff by stating that “I will blow your head off. You’re dead”. Rosser then allegedly stated that this staff member, as well as other staff members, should be concerned for their safety.

Rosser will have an initial appearance later today in front of a U.S. magistrate judge, Richard B. Russell Federal Building, Atlanta, Georgia.

The public should be reminded that the above are merely allegations and that all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Fay Arfa, Attorney

CA Bar Certified Specialist - Criminal Law

CA Bar Certified Specialist - Appellate Law

NBTA Certified - Criminal Trial Advocacy

10100 Santa Monica Blvd., #300

Los Angeles, CA 90067

Tel: (310) 841-6805

Fax: (310) 841-0817

info@bestdefender.com www.bestdefender.com

Federal Prosecutors’ Focus on Illegal Guns Results in 4 Recent Convictions for Illegal Weapons Possession and Gun Trafficking

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

LOS ANGELES – In three trials last week, federal juries convicted four Southern California men on charges of illegal weapons possession and gun trafficking.

After deliberating for only an hour on Friday, a jury in Los Angeles found two men guilty of illegally selling firearms. Francisco Juantonio Hilt, 39, of Compton, and Sean Ronaldo Alexander, 37, of South Los Angeles, each were convicted of multiple counts of gun trafficking.

Hilt and Alexander were found guilty in relation to seven illegal gun transactions involving a total of 30 guns, including military-style weapons and stolen firearms. The evidence at trial showed that the men believed they were supplying guns to the Armenian Mafia and the “Mexican Cartel,” and the firearms were sold to an individual that Hilt believed was a convicted felon. Both defendants were found guilty of conspiracy and engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license. Hilt was also convicted of several counts of being a felon in possession of firearms and sale of a firearm to a prohibited person.

Hilt and Alexander were charged as the result of an operation last year by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that targeted the sale of guns in and around Compton and Mona Park in Willowbrook. During the course of the year-long investigation, authorities took more than 100 illegally trafficked firearms off the streets, and 14 defendants were charged in federal and state court.

As a result of Friday’s guilty verdicts, Hilt, who has a previous drug conviction, faces a statutory maximum sentence of 90 years in federal prison, and Alexander faces a maximum sentence of 10 years, when they are sentenced on June 5 by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner.

A third defendant charged in this case – Jamie Maurice Thomas, 38, of South Los Angeles – pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy and selling a firearm to a prohibited person. Thomas faces up to 15 years in federal prison when he is sentenced by Judge Klausner on March 27.

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California Clinic Owner Sentenced to 63 Months in Prison for Role in Occupational Therapy Fraud Scheme

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

A rehabilitation clinic operator in Los Angeles County was sentenced to 63 months in prison today for his role in a $3.4 million Medicare fraud scheme that involved billing for occupational therapy services that were not medically necessary and not provided.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Eillen M. Decker of the Central District of California and Special Agent in Charge Christian J. Schrank of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Los Angeles Regional Office made the announcement.

Simon Hong, 55, of Brea, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu of the Central District of California.  Judge Wu also ordered Hong to pay $2,407,857 in restitution.  Hong pleaded guilty on Dec. 15, 2016, to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

As part of that guilty plea, Hong admitted that he owned JH Physical Therapy Inc., an occupational therapy clinic in Walnut, California, but hid his ownership in the name of a “straw”or nominee owner in an effort to execute and conceal the fraudulent scheme.  Hong admitted that as part of the scheme, he billed Medicare for occupational therapy services when no such services were provided to the Medicare beneficiaries.  Instead, the Medicare beneficiaries received acupuncture and massage services, which were not reimbursable by Medicare.  Hong further admitted that he directed co-conspirator therapists to falsify medical records to make it appear as if the services billed had been actually provided and funneled 87 percent of the proceeds from Medicare to himself.   (more…)

March 6, 2017

MAN CONVICTED OF KILLING MOTHER IN HER HOME AND DISPOSING OF VICTIM’S BODY IN LA HABRA

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:40 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was convicted today of killing his mother in her home and disposing of the victim’s body in La Habra. Gabriel Antonio Espinoza, 32, Santa Maria, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of first degree murder. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life at his sentencing on June 2, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

In the early morning hours of July 17, 2014, Espinoza killed his mother, 58-year-old Emma Espinoza-Posadas, in her Lompoc home. The victim died of asphyxiation due to severe chest compression. Espinoza moved his mother’s body to her car and drove south to La Habra.

On July 18, 2014, Espinoza disposed of Espinoza-Posadas’ body behind a carport in a residential area of La Habra. Three days later on July 21, 2014, a passerby discovered the victim and called 911. The La Habra Police Department (LHPD) responded to the scene.

During the course of their investigation, LHPD identified Espinoza as a suspect and arrested the defendant in Santa Maria on Dec. 23, 2014.

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FORMER FULLERTON CITY MANAGER CHARGED WITH DUI AND HIT AND RUN ON ELECTION NIGHT

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:38 am

FULLERTON, Calif. – The former city manager of Fullerton was charged today with driving under the influence and hit and run on election night. Joseph Burt Felz, 58, Fullerton, is charged with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol and one misdemeanor count of hit and run with property damage. If convicted, Felz faces a maximum sentence of one year in county jail. The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned on April 3, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-8, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Felz is accused of driving a vehicle under the influence in a residential area of Fullerton, driving over a curb and striking a tree. A witness to the incident called 911 and the Fullerton Police Department (FPD) responded and located Felz nearby. Felz is accused of unlawfully failing to stop his vehicle immediately.

FPD initially responded to the scene and then transferred the case to the OCDA for further investigation and legal review.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Nichols of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 17NM03367 / March 3, 2017

MAN CONVICTED OF STABBING-MURDER OF MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND OUTSIDE RESIDENCE IN ANAHEIM

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:36 am

SANTA ANA, Calif – A man was convicted today of stabbing and murdering his mother’s boyfriend outside of a residence in Anaheim. Ruben Martinez, 29, Anaheim, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of first degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 52 yearsto life in state prison. The court will hear a bifurcated trial on Martinez’s prior strike conviction for carjacking in 2009 in Fullerton and a prior conviction for the unlawful taking of a vehicle in 2008 in Riverside County, for which he served a prison term, at his sentencing on May 12, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-44, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2014, Martinez stabbed 52-year-old Maximino F. multiple times in the torso region while they were outside a home in a neighborhood in unincorporated Anaheim. The crime was reported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) who arrived at the scene and discovered the victim’s body on a street near the home. The victim died as a result of his injuries. OCSD arrested the defendant at the scene.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 14NF4890 / March 3, 2017

March 3, 2017

Attorney General Becerra Joins Price-Fixing Lawsuit Against Six Drug Companies

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

LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that California has joined a federal antitrust lawsuit with 39 other states charging six generic drug-makers with an illegal conspiracy to divide customers and markets and increase prices for two generic drugs.

The complaint alleges that the six pharmaceutical companies – Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc., Citron Pharma, LLC, Mayne Pharma (USA), Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.— had a well-coordinated and long-running conspiracy to fix prices and allocate markets for doxycycline hyclate delayed release, an antibiotic, and glyburide, an oral diabetes medication. The complaint alleges that the defendants routinely coordinated their scheme through meetings with competitors at industry trade shows, customer conferences and other events, as well as through direct email, phone and text message communications. The alleged anticompetitive conduct – including efforts to fix and increase prices, allocate markets and otherwise thwart competition – caused significant, harmful and continuing effects in the country’s healthcare system.

“All consumers deserve fair and reasonable drug prices,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Today’s lawsuit represents just one small step in what will be a robust and sustained challenge to anticompetitive practices in the pharmaceutical industry.  My office is committed to combating wrongful drug company conduct on behalf of all consumers in California.”

California joined the amended complaint filed in the federal court in Connecticut today along with 39 other states (Alabama, Arizona,  Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin). The lawsuit was filed under seal in the Connecticut federal court and portions of the complaint are redacted to avoid compromising the ongoing investigation.

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Two Los Angeles-Area Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Running Mortgage Scam that Purchased Homes with ‘Straw Buyers’

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

LOS ANGELES – Two defendants linked to a mortgage fraud scheme that cost at least $2.4 million when fraudulently purchased homes went into foreclosure have been sentenced to federal prison.

The case involves a scheme to fraudulently obtain mortgages for residential properties through the use of “straw buyers” – individuals who pretend to purchase the properties and have no intention of living in the homes. In this case, the straw buyers’ personal information was used to obtain mortgages without their knowledge. The scheme was run out of JTR Real Estate, Inc., a Norwalk-based real estate brokerage company which bought, renovated and sold residential properties.

The two defendants sentenced on Monday by United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer were:

· John Martynec, 41, of Long Beach, a licensed real estate broker and co-owner of JTR, who previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and was sentenced to two years in prison; and

· Elek Andrade 32, of Downey, who also previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison.

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