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October 7, 2016

Owner of Los Angeles Medical Supply Company Sentenced to 60 Months in Prison for Multimillion-Dollar Medicare Fraud Scheme

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

A Los Angeles man who was the owner of a medical supply company was sentenced to 60 months in prison for his role in a scheme that fraudulently billed more than $4 million to Medicare.

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 L. Fike of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Christian Schrank of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Los Angeles Region made the announcement.

Valery Bogomolny, 44, was convicted of six counts of health care fraud following a jury trial on Nov. 6, 2015, before U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero of the Central District of California.  In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Otero ordered Bogomolny to pay $1,266,860.03 in restitution.

According to evidence presented at trial, between January 2006 and October 2009, Bogomolny used his company, Royal Medical Supply, to bill Medicare $4 million for power wheelchairs (PWCs), back braces and knee braces that were medically unnecessary, not provided to beneficiaries or both.  The evidence further showed that Bogomolny created false documentation to support his false billing claims, including creating fake reports of home assessments that never occurred.  PWCs were delivered to beneficiaries who were able to walk without assistance and Bogomolny signed documents stating that he had delivered equipment when, in fact, the equipment was not actually delivered.

The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case, which was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California.  Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Ritesh Srivastava and Claire Yan are prosecuting the case.


Thousand Oaks Man Sentenced to Nearly 5 Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Gun Sales Months After Firearm Conviction in State Court

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

LOS ANGELES – A Ventura County man who illegally sold five firearms in less than a month and agreed to sell three more during an undercover operation last year has been sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison.

Joshua Pineda, 24, of Thousand Oaks, was sentenced on Monday to 57 months in prison after admitting that he illegally sold five rifles during transactions in October and November of 2015 that took place in parking lots in Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks. After selling the rifles for thousands of dollars, Pineda agreed to sell three more to an undercover law enforcement officer.

Most of the eight firearms in this case were AR-15-type assault rifles, several of which did not have serial numbers. According to court documents, Pineda also sold more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition to the undercover agent.

“Parking lot sales of untraceable assault rifles by a convicted felon pose a serious danger to the community,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Transactions like these supply an illegal market for firearms that endangers law-abiding citizens when the deadly weapons make their way into the hands of criminals.”

Pineda pleaded guilty in February to federal offenses of selling firearms without a license and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Pineda previously pleaded guilty in Los Angeles Superior Court in February 2015 to a felony offense involve an assault rifle.


West Hollywood Store and Owner Sentenced for Violating Endangered Species Act by Illegally Importing Seahorses

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

LOS ANGELES – Necromance, a West Hollywood shop that sells novelty wildlife items, and its owner were sentenced today in federal court for violating the Endangered Species Act by unlawfully importing seahorses.

Necromance and Nancy Delap Smith, 56, of Studio City pleaded guilty in July to misdemeanor violations of the Endangered Species Act. Both defendants illegally imported items that were protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

During today’s sentencing hearing, Necromance was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and was placed on probation for two years.

Smith was placed on probation for a period of one year and ordered to serve 200 hours of community service.

Both defendants were sentenced by United States Magistrate Judge John E. McDermott.


October 6, 2016

Two Colombian Nationals Extradited to Los Angeles on Charges of Leading Multi-Ton Cocaine Conspiracy via Clandestine Air Shipments

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

LOS ANGELES – Two Colombian drug kingpins have been extradited to Los Angeles on federal charges of overseeing shipments of thousands of pounds of cocaine from Colombian laboratories to Central American distribution hubs, ultimately destined for sale in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the United States, including more than $70 million in cocaine recovered by international law enforcement.

In an indictment that was unsealed late yesterday, Dicson Penagos-Casanova, 36, and Juan Gabriel Rios Sierra, 34, are charged with spearheading the conspiracy to “coordinate aerial shipments of ton-quantities of cocaine” for sale to “cocaine-trafficking syndicates” in Central America.

Specifically, Penagos and Rios would “transport the cocaine via overland routes from production laboratories outside Meta, Colombia, to underground storage facilities near clandestine airstrips in the western Apure Department of Venezuela.” They would “arrange for bribes to be paid to Venezuelan military and government officials” in an effort to ensure that aircraft carrying cocaine loads “enjoyed safe passage through Venezuelan airspace.” Using jets that they acquired “through straw purchasers in the United States,” Penagos and Rios would hire pilots to fly the cocaine to the “Central American distribution hubs,” where the drugs would be offloaded “for further distribution” in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the United States and Mexico.

“By taking key players out of commission, we are disrupting the drug cartels’ ability to import their dangerous narcotics into our country,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “These defendants’ arrival in the U.S. for prosecution marks a significant victory for law enforcement here and in Central and South America, which have worked in concert to ensure justice is achieved in this case.”



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

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office filed drug and trespass charges today against a former star quarterback. Todd Marvin Marinovich, 47, Irvine, is charged with five misdemeanor counts including attempted aggravated trespass of a residence, trespass with interference of property rights, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and public nudity, and one infraction for possession of marijuana. If convicted, Marinovich faces a maximum sentence of three years in Orange County jail. The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 9, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-8, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

Marinovich was a professional quarterback with various American and Canadian football leagues between 1991 and 2001.

Sometime before 9:00 p.m. on Aug. 19, 2016, the Irvine Police Department (IPD) received a phone call from an Irvine resident reporting a naked man on the Venta Spur Trail near a home on Bluecoat.

Marinovich is accused of leaving a brown bag containing methamphetamine, marijuana, syringes, a marijuana pipe, and his wallet and driver’s license on a nearby trail.


Former LAPD Jailer, Couple Plead In Bail Solicitation Scheme

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

A former Los Angeles police detention officer who worked in the Valley Jail Division and a couple who owned a Sherman Oaks bail bond company pleaded guilty today to a bail solicitation scheme, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Leonard Jimmy Ramirez, 44, William Aroutounian, 35, and his wife, Iryna McCormick, 33, each pleaded guilty to one felony count of providing information for purposes of bail solicitation. They were immediately sentenced to three years of formal probation and ordered to complete 400 hours of community service by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Horwitz.

Deputy District Attorney Rosa Alarcon with the Justice System Integrity Division handled case BA446086.

Alarcon said Ramirez, a civilian employee who worked in the Van Nuys jail, provided contact information of arrestees to McCormick and Aroutounian, who owned BBB Bail Bonds Company, in exchange for kickbacks.

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Professional Standards Bureau launched an investigation after receiving a tip that Ramirez was illegally providing contact information to the couple, who in turn, would contact family members of arrestees.


October 5, 2016

Former President of San Fernando Valley Brokerage Firm Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Wire Fraud and Tax Convictions for Misappropriating Investor Funds

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

LOS ANGELES – The former president and CEO of the Sherman Oaks-based Morgan Peabody, Inc. brokerage and investment firm was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison for federal wire fraud charges stemming from an investment scam in which defendant misappropriated nearly $6 million from more than 100 investors.

David Williams, 54, of Studio City, a licensed securities dealer and investment adviser, was sentenced by United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer. In May 2015, in the midst of a jury trial, Williams pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud and two counts of tax evasion. As part of his plea agreement, Williams admitted that he directed Morgan Peabody representatives to sell securities in a fund that Williams personally had created, purportedly to invest in real estate. The Sherwood Secured Investment Fund, LLC, a Studio City business that Williams owned, offered a 9 percent annual return on investments. Williams used the majority of the $3.75 million investors put in the Sherwood Fund to pay for personal expenses, including lavish vacations and a $50,000/month lease on a $6 million residence in Toluca Lake.

The defendant was also held responsible for misappropriated funds from two other securities offerings that he created, for a total of almost $6 million in investor funds that he bilked from the three offerings. Williams was also found to have obstructed justice by lying to the Securities & Exchange Commission in its investigation of the offerings, and lying to the Judge and the Probation Office in seeking to withdraw his guilty plea.

“This sentence serves as a warning to criminals who commit fraud that they face very serious consequences,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “The defendant callously stole the hard-earned retirement savings of numerous victims and spent it on himself. His greed and lack of remorse will continue to harm his victims for many years to come, but now he too will be paying a price for more than a decade.”



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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged and arraigned yesterday for assaulting and attempting to murder a school police officer by gouging his eye and choking him. Enrique Martinez, 28, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of attempted murder on a peace officer, one felony count of attempted mayhem, one felony count of resisting an executive officer, one felony count of assault on a school police officer, one felony count of battery on a peace officer, one felony count of reckless driving while evading a peace officer, and one felony count of burglary. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. Martinez is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Oct. 13, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2016, Martinez is accused of approaching a Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) employee, who was sitting in a parked district vehicle outside an elementary school, and asking for the time. The defendant is accused of striking the passenger side window of the vehicle with a PVC pipe and walking away. Martinez is then accused of returning to the vehicle, striking at it again, and spitting on the vehicle.

A SAUSD Police Department (SAUSD PD) officer responded to the scene and commanded the defendant to drop his weapon. Martinez is accused of dropping the PVC pipe, fleeing in his vehicle, and failing to stop at a stop sign near a group of school children. The defendant is accused of parking in front of a stranger’s residence, hopping over the fence, and entering the occupied home by kicking down the door. The defendant is then accused of exiting the home and running from the officer, who was waiting outside.

Martinez is accused of continuing to flee before turning and charging the officer and attempting to tackle him. The defendant is accused of attempting to choke the officer by wrapping his arms around the victim’s neck and pulling the officer’s face against his chest, restricting airflow to his nose and mouth. During the struggle, the officer began to break away from the defendant. Martinez is then accused of attempting to gouge the officer’s eye out, temporarily blinding the victim. A plainclothes Santa Ana Police Department officer saw what was happening and assisted the injured officer in arresting Martinez at the scene. The officer was later taken to a hospital and treated for a corneal abrasion.


United States Attorney Announces Launch of Outreach Program to Address Heroin and Opioid Abuse

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

LOS ANGELES – United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker announced today the launch of a new community outreach program to address the growing epidemic of heroin and prescription opioid abuse.

Because of the public health crisis stemming from the abuse of prescription drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin and in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s recent Heroin and Opioid Awareness campaign, prosecutors and staff from the United States Attorney’s Office, partner law enforcement agencies and public health officials will present programs and panel discussions to area colleges. Over the coming weeks and months, the expert team will discuss this public health threat, highlight a multi-prong approach designed to save lives, and work to reduce the terrible impact these drugs have on individuals and families.

“The increased use of heroin and opioids has infected communities from coast to coast and in many neighborhoods within our district. At the United States Attorney’s Office, we are committed to stemming the flow of illegal opioids and heroin both in the courtroom and in the community,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Prosecutors in my office have targeted drug traffickers who import heroin and doctors who issue prescriptions for addictive painkillers without any medical purpose. We are working with our law enforcement colleagues to develop new strategies to investigate drug trafficking organizations that import and distribute opioids and heroin, to better track prescription drugs that may be diverted to street users, and to confront new challenges that include the increasing abuse and death rates associated with even more powerful narcotics such as fentanyl. Our enforcement efforts have helped reduce the availability of opioids on the street and have had a deterrent effect, particularly in the medical community.”

“Law enforcement agencies throughout the country are seizing record amounts of heroin and other opioids and first responders are witnessing the devastating effects of these substances in numbing proportions,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge John S. Comer. “DEA will continue to target the illicit trafficking organizations responsible for these detriments, but we’re also committed to educating the public about the dangers of drug misuse and reducing demand – awareness is a crucial element in combatting this epidemic.”


October 4, 2016

Mission Viejo Man Agrees to Plead Guilty to $2.3 Million Real Estate Investment Fraud Scheme

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

LOS ANGELES – A Mission Viejo man has agreed to plead guilty to taking more than $2,300,000 from investors in a fraudulent real estate investment scheme in which he used investor funds to pay for personal expenses, including travel and cosmetic surgery, to make cash withdrawals, and to make Ponzi-style payments to other investors.

Francisco “Frank” Hobson, 39, was named in a criminal information last Friday charging him with wire fraud. A plea agreement in the case was also filed, and, in the plea agreement, Hobson has agreed to plead guilty to the information and pay at least $1,584,941 to the victims of his crime. Hobson is expected to appear to be arraigned on the charge in the information this afternoon.

The information charges Hobson, who was at the time a licensed real estate agent, in connection with his scheme of luring victims to give him money, between December 2010 and June 2016, with his promises that their investments would be used to purchase properties. In reality, the properties that Hobson advertised to his victims were not actually for sale or simply did not exist, and Hobson sent victims purported purchase agreements for the properties which were fraudulent or forged.

Hobson continued to engage in the scheme for months after being interviewed in November 2015 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with complaints from two of his victims.


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