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December 5, 2016

Former Supervisory Contracting Officer Sentenced to 72 Months in Prison as Part of Expanding Navy Bribery Scandal

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:32 am

A former supervisory contracting officer was sentenced to 72 months in prison today for accepting bribe payments in exchange for steering U.S. Navy contracts to the president and chief executive officer of a defense contractor.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California, Director Andrew L. Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Director Dermot F. O’Reilly of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) made the announcement.

Paul Simpkins, 62, of Haymarket, Virginia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California for his role in steering contracts to Leonard Francis, the president and CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).  Judge Sammartino also ordered Simpkins to pay $450,000 in restitution, to forfeit $150,000 and pay a $50,000 fine.  Simpkins pleaded guilty on June 23 to conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery.

“Paul Simpkins abused his position as a Navy contracting officer to obtain cash, air travel, hotel rooms and prostitutes,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “Along with others convicted in this ongoing investigation, Simpkins tarnished the reputation earned by the U.S. Navy officers and enlisted and civilian personnel who honorably serve this nation every day.”

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Former Property Management Company Agrees to Pay More Than $1.6 Million for Defrauding Military Housing Projects

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 7:29 am

American Management Services LLC, based in Seattle, agreed to pay more than $1.6 million pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve criminal charges that the company defrauded the U.S. Army and Virginia-based Clark Realty Capital LLC (Clark) while performing property management services for military housing at Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Irwin, California; and the Presidio at Monterey, California.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia; Director Frank Robey of U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) Major Procurement Fraud Unit; Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office; Assistant Director in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Director Anita Bales of the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton of the Eastern District of Virginia entered an order approving the agreement.

In connection with today’s resolution, American Management Services (also known as AMS or Pinnacle) admitted that from 2004 to 2011, it fraudulently obtained approximately $1 million by skimming and concealing undisclosed fees from insurance premiums paid by entities that oversaw privatized housing at the four bases.

According to factual stipulations agreed to by AMS, beginning in or about 2003, the U.S. Army entered into a series of agreements with AMS and Clark to implement the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, which was established to improve housing conditions for members of the armed forces.  At each base, a Clark-affiliated entity was given responsibility for developing new housing and general oversight, and an AMS-affiliated entity was given responsible for routine property management services, including obtaining property and general liability insurance.

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December 2, 2016

Court Authorizes Service of John Doe Summons Seeking the Identities of U.S. Taxpayers Who Have Used Virtual Currency

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

A federal court in the Northern District of California entered an order today authorizing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to serve a John Doe summons on Coinbase Inc., seeking information about U.S. taxpayers who conducted transactions in a convertible virtual currency during the years 2013 to 2015.  The IRS is seeking the records of Americans who engaged in business with or through Coinbase, a virtual currency exchanger headquartered in San Francisco, California.

“As the use of virtual currencies has grown exponentially, some have raised questions about tax compliance,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.  “Tools like the John Doe summons authorized today send the clear message to U.S. taxpayers that whatever form of currency they use – bitcoin or traditional dollars and cents – we will work to ensure that they are fully reporting their income and paying their fair share of taxes.”

“Transactions in virtual currency are taxable just like those in any other property,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  “The John Doe summons is a step designed to help the IRS ensure people doing business in the emerging economy are following the tax laws and meeting their responsibilities.”

Virtual currency, as generally defined, is a digital representation of value that functions in the same manner as a country’s traditional currency.  There are nearly a thousand virtual currencies, but the most widely known and largest is bitcoin.  Because transactions in virtual currencies can be difficult to trace and have an inherently pseudo-anonymous aspect, taxpayers may be using them to hide taxable income from the IRS.  In the court’s order, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley found that there is a reasonable basis for believing that virtual currency users may have failed to comply with federal tax laws.

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WOMAN SENTENCED TO ONE YEAR IN JAIL FOR FALSELY ACCUSING EX-BOYFRIEND OF STALKING AND MAKING CRIMINAL THREATS RESULTING IN HIS ARREST FOUR TIMES

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A woman was convicted and sentenced today to one year in jail for falsely accusing her ex-boyfriend of stalking and making criminal threats, resulting in his arrest four times. Stephani Renae Lawson, 25, Las Vegas, Nevada, pleaded guilty to one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit, and one felony count of perjury. She was sentenced to one year in county jail, three years of probation, and was ordered to pay restitution.

Prior to September 2015, Lawson was living in Lake Forest and created a Facebook account that falsely depicted her ex-boyfriend, John Doe. The defendant posed as the victim and sent herself numerous threats. Lawson filed multiple police reports with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) in which she stated John Doe violated a restraining order, stalked, and threatened to kill her. Lawson reported to OCSD that the threats came from the victim’s Facebook account. John Doe was subsequently arrested four times between September and December 2015 and charged with multiple felonies.

On May 3, 2016, and May 4, 2016, Lawson sent herself more threats through Facebook using her own devices and Internet provider address.

On May 5, 2016, Lawson testified under penalty of perjury at John Doe’s preliminary hearing and stated John Doe threatened her on May 3, 2016, and May 4, 2016, through Facebook. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) Bureau of Investigation conducted a follow-up investigation into the statements Lawson made while on the witness stand even after the case was bound over for trial. The OCDA investigation revealed that the true victim was John Doe and he was not guilty of the crimes.

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Man Convicted of Domestic Violence Killing of Live-In Partner, Setting Bedroom on Fire

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

33- year-old live-in partner in their apartment and then setting the room on fire, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Angela Jordan said Ezekiel Jamal Dear, 27, was found guilty on Oct. 19 of one count each of voluntary manslaughter with a knife use allegation and arson in case LA083774.

Dear stabbed Yazmin Michael P. to death during a dispute and then set their apartment on fire on Jan. 31, 2015, according to trial testimony.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, Van Nuys Division.

Los Angeles County District Attorney / case LA083774 / December 1, 2016

December 1, 2016

Alleged Pimp Arrested on Federal Sex Trafficking Charges Related to 16-Year-Old Victim Who Worked as Prostitute in Inland Empire

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

RIVERSIDE, California – Law enforcement authorities have arrested an alleged pimp who is charged with trafficking a 16-year-old girl and advertising her services as a prostitute in an online publication.

Lawrence Gunn Jr., 32, was arrested without incident Tuesday afternoon at a Woodland Hills apartment complex where he appears to have been residing. Gunn was arrested pursuant to a criminal complaint filed last week in United States District Court that that charges him with sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud or coercion.

The arrest of Gunn was announced today when the criminal complaint was unsealed. Gunn made his initial appearance in the case this afternoon in federal court in Riverside and remains in custody.

Gunn, who is also known as “Classified,” allegedly branded his prostitutes with tattoos of his moniker to mark his “stable” of sex workers.

The investigation into Gunn began in February when the 16-year-old victim was traced to a Moreno Valley motel, where authorities discovered five victims who were working for Gunn – three of whom were minors. Several of the victims had tattoos that read “Classified,” including the 16-year-old victim, who had the tattoo over her right eye.

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Carlsbad Man Sentenced for Role in Scheme to Launder Money for Drug Rings, Including the Sinaloa Cartel

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

LOS ANGELES – A Carlsbad man was sentenced this week to five years and three months in federal prison for his part in an international money laundering organization that conspired to move more than $15 million dollars in drug money for organizations that included the Sinaloa Cartel.

Bradley John Martin, 55, pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to launder money and operating an unlicensed money remitting business. The illegal scheme spanned the world and involved operatives in Canada, India, the United States and Mexico who laundered drug trafficking proceeds generated from multi-kilogram and multi-pound sales of narcotics in Canada and the United States for and on behalf of the Sinaloa Cartel and their affiliated drug trafficking organizations. The laundered money was to have either been transported to the Sinaloa Cartel as profits or reinvested in additional narcotics to be sold and distributed in the United States and Canada.

In his plea, Martin admitted that he was a repeat money courier in an international “hawala” ring that transferred narcotics proceeds for the Sinaloa drug cartel and other drug trafficking organizations. Specifically, Martin admitted to personally transporting over $1,800,000 in cash, which he knew was drug trafficking proceeds.  When his sentence is complete, Martin will be on supervised release for three years.

“Law enforcement will continue to use every available tool to cripple the operations of major drug trafficking operations like the Sinaloa Cartel,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This case shows that membership in the cartel is not a prerequisite to prosecution; criminals outside of the cartel that enable drug trafficking will also face substantial prison sentences.”

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South Bay Man Sentenced to over 7 Years in Federal Prison for Receiving Child Pornography and Compiling Large Collection

Filed under: California Chid Pornography Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:03 am

LOS ANGELES – A Torrance man has been sentenced to 87 months in federal prison for amassing a collection of more than 20,000 images and videos of child pornography that he made available to others via the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file-sharing system.

Jace Jeanes, 39, was sentenced on Monday by United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald. Following the completion of his prison term, Jeanes will be on supervised released for the rest of his life.

Jeanes pleaded guilty in July to one count of receiving child pornography. In a plea agreement filed with the court, Jeanes admitted possessing approximately 19,885 images and approximately 243 videos of child pornography.

In relation to the charge of receiving child pornography, Jeanes admitted receiving child pornography on his laptop computer in March 2014, specifically two videos depicting graphic images of child molestation. Days after receiving the child pornography, an undercover law enforcement officer used BitTorrent to download more than 2,800 images and videos of child pornography from Jeanes’ computer and two hard drives.

“Every act of child molestation is a heinous offense, and the victimization of the child continues when the act is recorded and the recording is shared or possessed,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “These images and videos are a permanent record of the initial crime, and my office is committed to prosecuting participants of the underground market of visual depictions of that crime.”

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November 30, 2016

LAGUNA NIGUEL MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STABBING-MURDER OF ACQUAINTANCE AFTER ARGUMENT

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Laguna Niguel man is scheduled to be arraigned today for the stabbing-murder of his acquaintance after they argued in the victim’s home. Steve Richard Gilbert, 59, Laguna Niguel, is charged with one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife. If convicted, Gilbert faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison. He is scheduled to be arraigned today, Nov. 29, 2016, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

Before 9:50 p.m. on Nov. 27, 2016, Gilbert is accused of getting into an argument with 53-year-old Thomas Marston at the victim’s home in Laguna Niguel. The defendant is accused of stabbing Marston in the chest with a knife and fleeing the scene. A witness called 911 about an unconscious man in the residence.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) and emergency medical personnel responded to the home and located Marston on the floor inside. The victim was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead as the result of a fatal stab wound.

Later that night, OCSD, who investigated this case, identified Gilbert as a suspect. Deputies located Gilbert at a gas station in Mission Viejo shortly after 10:00 p.m. and later arrested him.

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Los Angeles Sheriff’s Custody Assistant Charged in Inmate Assault Case

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

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s custody assistant has been charged with assault for his role in the attack of a jail inmate two years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Jonathan Grijalva (dob 12/6/88) was charged in case BA451349 with one count of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. He is expected to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

The case is being prosecuted by the Justice System Integrity Division.

On Feb. 15, 2014, Grijalva was working at the North County Correctional Facility and assigned to supervise inmates in several dormitories. Grijalva was allegedly approached by an inmate who asked the defendant to leave the area so another inmate could be beaten.

Grijalva is accused of walking away and then refusing access to medical attention to the inmate who was assaulted. The inmate suffered a fractured jaw and nose.

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