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June 6, 2016

Trio Charged in Connection with Hacienda Heights Burglary that Ended in Deadly Crash

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

Three alleged burglars accused of evading police and causing a fatal traffic collision were charged today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Anthony Marcel Quisenberry (dob 4/9/81), the alleged driver, has been charged with three felony counts in case KA112715: murder, first-degree residential burglary and assault upon a peace officer.

Quisenberry’s co-defendants, Charles Archer Allen (dob 2/8/84) and Michael Vincent Smyer (dob 7/19/89), are each charged with one count of first-degree residential burglary.

The defendants were scheduled to be arraigned today, but the court appearance was continued to June 8 in Department N of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch.

The charging document alleges that Quisenberry was previously convicted of first-degree residential burglary in 2000 and 2005, identity theft in 2003, and conspiracy to commit a crime in 2005.

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June 3, 2016

CEO of Mortgage Brokerage Engaged in Equity-Skimming Scheme Sentenced to Nearly Eight Years in Federal Prison

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:47 am

LOS ANGELES – The chief executive officer and owner of a Westwood-based mortgage brokerage company that falsely promised to help distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure – but instead stole the equity in the homes and served as the homeowners’ impostor landlord – was sentenced this afternoon to 94 months in federal prison.

David Singui, 52, of Inglewood, the former CEO of Direct Money Source (DMS), was sentenced after pleading guilty to conspiracy, loan fraud, aggravated identity theft and tax evasion charges.

United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder sentenced Singui and ordered him to pay just over $4 million in restitution.

The scheme related to DMS caused distressed homeowners to lose more than $4 million and lending institutions to suffer losses of more than $11 million. Homeowners suffered losses when they were induced to sell their homes to straw borrowers sponsored by DMS, which was supposedly going to hold these properties for one year while the distressed homeowners repaired their credit and would then be in a position to repurchase these properties from the straw borrowers. In fact, DMS and Singui took permanent title to these properties and misappropriated the distressed homeowners’ equity, while DMS and Singui ended up serving as the landlord of these distressed properties and collected rent from the homeowners for over five years.

Previously in this case, Aziz Meghji, 37, of Los Angeles, who was the second-in-charge at DMS, was sentenced to four years in federal prison.

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MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR DEFRAUDING $2 MILLION FROM 380 TROUBLED HOMEOWNERS THROUGH LOAN MODIFICATION SCHEME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:44 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow for defrauding approximately $2 million from 380 troubled homeowners through a loan modification scheme. Kevin Frank Rasher, 44, Coto de Caza, is charged with one felony count of second degree burglary, 46 felony counts of grand theft, one felony count of aiding false or fraudulent return, and a sentencing enhancement for property damage or loss over $65,000. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 35 years and four months in jail. He is being held on $1 million and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday, June 3, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

Between June 13, 2011, and April 29, 2016, Rasher is accused of falsely representing himself as an official government Housing and Urban Development (HUD) attorney even though he was never a member of the State Bar of California. He is accused of advertising services of being able to assist distressed homeowners under different aliases including Kevin Carter and Kevin Fox. He is accused of telling his clients that they have been qualified for trial loan modifications and to send payments to his company called HUD-Make Homes Affordable. Rasher is accused of sending e-mails to his victims directing them to deduct taxes and resulting in the victims to file false tax returns. At least three victims in this case lost their homes. One of the victims reported the crime to the Orange County District Attorney Bureau of Investigation, who investigated this case.

Rasher is accused of never assisting his clients with loan modifications and spending the money intended for loan payments for personal use including renting a home in Coto de Caza for approximately $10,200 a month and also spending over $20,000 per month on personal living expenses.

Rasher was arrested at his home in Coto de Caza on May 26, 2016. To watch the video of the arrest, please visit the following link: https://youtu.be/WzaRxB82xkw or https://vimeo.com/169153679.

The defendant is also accused of publishing a video on YouTube advertising his services which can be viewed in this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkqMu40S2xI.

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DMV EMPLOYEE TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR ILLEGALLY TAKING PUBLIC FUNDS FOR PERSONAL USE THROUGH FRAUDULENT VEHICLE REGISTRATION TRANSACTIONS

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 1:40 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employee was arrested today and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday for illegally taking money from vehicle registration fees for personal use through fraudulent transactions. Sunila Dang, 48, Diamond Bar, is charged with five felony counts of misappropriation of public funds and five felony counts of altering public documents. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 13 years in jail. She is being held on $25,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned on Monday, June 6, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

At the time of the crimes, Dang worked as an employee at the DMV in Placentia. Between Jan. 31, 2014, and Feb. 28, 2014, Dang is accused of processing cars as junked that had existing credit on it. Credits are associated with a car if cash was used toward its fees but the registration or other transaction was not completed. Those credits become state money at the time a vehicle is registered as junked.

On five separate occasions, when a cash paying customer, who had no connection to the junked car, brought in a car or group of cars (bundled cars) for registration, Dang is accused of changing the transaction type code of the junked car from “in the process of being junked” to “in the process of transferring ownership.” She is accused of removing the identification of the person who applied to junk the car, allowing her to access the existing credit on the junked car.

Dang is accused of combining the junked car with the unrelated car or bundled cars that the customer brought in to register. She is accused of using the credit from the junked vehicle to pay toward the DMV fees of the unrelated car or bundled cars and keeping the money the customer believed they were using to pay for the registration fees. After the transaction was cleared, Dang is accused of finalizing the junked vehicle transaction after the credit had been removed. She is accused of stealing over $2,200 through these transactions. The DMV Investigations Division investigated this case.

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June 2, 2016

United States Attorney’s Office Files Lawsuit to Seize Life Insurance Payments of San Bernardino Shooter

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

LOS ANGELES – Federal prosecutors today filed a civil asset forfeiture lawsuit and an application that, if approved, would allow the seizure of the proceeds of two life insurance policies worth a total of $275,000 held by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, announced U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker and Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin.

Before the December 2, 2015, terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center, Farook obtained two insurance policies through his employment with San Bernardino County – one for $25,000 in 2012, and another for $250,000 in 2013. This afternoon, the United States Attorney’s Office filed the asset forfeiture lawsuit against the proceeds of the life insurance policies, as well as a request to seize the policies. The “application for arrest in rem” must be approved by a federal judge before the money can be seized by the government.

Under federal law, any assets derived from a crime of terrorism against the United States, its citizens or residents, or their property, are subject to forfeiture by the government.

“Terrorists must not be permitted to provide for their designated beneficiaries through their crimes,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “My office intends to explore every legal option available to us to ensure these funds are made available to the victims of this horrific crime. We will continue to use every tool available to seek justice on behalf of the victims of the San Bernardino terrorist attacks.”

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Justice Department Reaches Agreement to Protect the Rights of Spanish-Speaking Voters in Napa County, California

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

The Justice Department announced today that it has reached an agreement with Napa County, California, to ensure compliance with provisions of the Voting Rights Act that require the county to provide bilingual election materials and information in Spanish to voters.

The Voting Rights Act requires that jurisdictions determined by the Census Bureau to have a substantial population of minority-language citizens with limited English proficiency, such as Napa County, provide voting materials and assistance in the minority language as well as in English.

“The right to vote forms the foundation of our democracy, and language barriers should never keep eligible voters from accessing that right,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “This agreement ensures that Napa County’s eligible Spanish-speaking voters can access the election process and participate in our democracy by casting effective ballots.  The Justice Department commends Napa County for resolving the issue quickly and cooperatively.”

The agreement with Napa County requires implementation of a comprehensive Spanish language elections program for the county’s Spanish-speaking limited English proficient voters.  Under the terms of the agreement, the county will disseminate bilingual election-related information, materials and announcements.  Napa County will also ensure that Spanish-language assistance is available at all locations where election-related transactions are conducted, including polling places and voter assistance centers.

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Former Actor Convicted of Wife’s Murder

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

A former actor was convicted today of gunning down his wife at their Los Angeles home in front of the couple’s two young sons, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

A jury of six women and six men deliberated about two hours before finding Michael Andrew Jace, 53, guilty of the second-degree murder of April Jace on May 19, 2014. Jurors also found true the special allegation that Jace personally used a firearm.

Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef with the Major Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

The actor, who portrayed a police officer in “The Shield,” was upset his wife wanted a divorce and was obsessed with the belief that she was seeing someone else, Mokayef told jurors in opening statements. Jace waited in their home in the 5400 block of Brynhurst Avenue and when April came home around 8 p.m., he shot her once in the back, the prosecutor said.

Jace shot her two more times in the legs in front of their sons, who were 8 and 5 at the time.

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June 1, 2016

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Seizure of $10 Million in Cocaine

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:08 am

LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced that as part of an ongoing criminal investigation, the L.A. IMPACT task force, led by the California Department of Justice, today seized 83 kilograms of cocaine, worth an estimated street value of $10 million, from a bus traveling across the U.S. border from Mexico. The cocaine was sent through the San Ysidro Port of Entry from Tijuana, Baja California.

Agents also arrested Victor Fainz Miranda, 33, Jaime Jimenez, 50, and Humberto Vazquez, 48, at 545 North Avalon Boulevard, Wilmington, CA.  The suspects are currently in custody.

“Transnational criminal organizations terrorize our communities, traffic massive amounts of illegal drugs and guns into our neighborhoods, and undermine  public safety,” said Attorney General Harris.  “This operation shut down a multi-million dollar criminal enterprise  to traffic illegal narcotics across the border.  I want to thank our California Department of Justice Special Agents with L.A. IMPACT and our state, local, and federal partners for their tireless efforts to dismantle transnational criminal organizations.”

L.A. IMPACT is comprised of numerous local, state, and federal agencies and led by the California Department of Justice.

Attorney General Harris has called the trafficking of drugs by transnational criminal organizations, particularly methamphetamine, a growing threat to the state and a top priority for law enforcement in her 2014 report, Gangs Beyond Borders: California and the Fight Against Transnational Organized Crime, which was the first comprehensive report analyzing the state of transnational criminal organizations in California.  The report also outlined recommendations to address the flow of illegal drugs into the United States, much of it through the San Diego Port of Entry, which include increased funding for state anti-narcotics trafficking task forces and additional coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies in combatting transnational criminal organizations.

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MAN ARRAIGNED FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING FIVE GIRLS UNDER AGE 14 IN HIS HUNTINGTON BEACH HOME

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:05 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was arraigned today on charges of sexually assaulting five girls under the age of 14 in his Huntington Beach residence. Martin Rodriguez Garcia, 49, Huntington Beach, is charged with one felony count of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child 10 years or younger, one felony count of oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years or younger, 14 felony counts of committing lewd acts upon a child under 14, and four felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child with sentencing enhancement allegations for substantial sexual conduct with a child and for committing lewd acts upon multiple victims. If convicted, Garcia faces a maximum sentence of 288 years and eight months to life in state prison. Garcia is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on June 7, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in Department W-12, West Justice Center, Westminster.

At the time of the crime, Garcia lived in a neighborhood where young children also resided.

Between May 24, 1990, and March 18, 2011, Garcia is accused of sexually assaulting five girls between the ages of 5 years old and 14 years old while they were inside of his residence. The defendant is accused of sexually assaulting the victims on multiple occasions during that time, including sexual penetration, oral copulation, masturbation, and sexual intercourse.

In February 2016, one of the victims reported the crime to the Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD), who investigated this case. Further investigation by HBPD revealed that the defendant was living in Las Vegas, Nevada, and with the assistance of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the defendant was located, arrested and extradited back to Orange County for prosecution.

Deputy District Attorney Bobby Taghavi of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 16WF0797 / May 27, 2016

Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against California Skilled Nursing Facility

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 5:03 am

The Justice Department reached a settlement agreement today with Villa Rancho Bernardo Care Center (VRB), a skilled nursing facility in San Diego.  The agreement resolves the department’s investigation of VRB for discrimination against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The department’s investigation found that VRB discriminated against lawful permanent residents by requiring them to produce specific documents to prove their work authorization, while permitting U.S. citizens to show any valid work authorization documentation they chose.  Specifically, during the interview and hiring processes, including in certain online job postings, VRB requested that lawful permanent residents produce a permanent resident card (often known as a “green card”).  Lawful permanent residents are not required to show employers their permanent resident cards to work; like all workers, they can present their choice of valid documentation from the Department of Homeland Security’s lists of acceptable documents to establish their identity and work authorization.  For example, lawful permanent residents can establish their work authorization by presenting a state or federal identification document and an unrestricted Social Security card.

Under the settlement agreement, VRB will pay $24,000 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo department-provided training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA and be subject to monitoring requirements.

“The Civil Rights Division is committed to ensuring that individuals who are authorized to work in the United States do not face unlawful, discriminatory barriers,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “It is essential that employers review their employment eligibility verification practices to make sure they are in compliance with the law.”

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