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September 9, 2016

MAN CHARGED WITH INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER AFTER TEEN WAS SHOT IN DEFENDANT’S HOME

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged today with involuntary manslaughter after a teen was shot in the defendant’s home. Matthew Jacob Granados, 21, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter by a lawful act in an unlawful manner with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a firearm. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 14 years in state prison. He is being held on $75,000 bail and is scheduled for a continued arraignment on Sept. 30, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

The defendant’s father, Alexander Christopher Granados, 41, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of being an accessory to involuntary manslaughter after the fact. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in county jail. He is being held on $25,000 bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 15, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On Sept. 4, 2016, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Matthew Granados is accused of being in his room in his Santa Ana home on Hazard Street with the victim, 16-year-old Alex Ramirez. The defendant is accused of handling a firearm in a careless manner, which resulted in a single shot firing into Ramirez’s torso. The victim died as a result of the gunshot wound.

A person on the property called 911 and Matthew Granados is accused of fleeing the scene prior to the arrival of first responders. Alexander Granados is accused of making misleading statements about the shooting to Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officers in order to aid Matthew Granados in avoiding arrest.

SAPD arrested Alexander Granados on the morning of Sept. 5, 2016.

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Man Sentenced for Burglarizing Long Beach Church

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

A 26-year-old man was sentenced yesterday afternoon for stealing from a church last month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Aug. 22, Trevor Fix of Long Beach pleaded no contest to three felony counts in case NA104771: two counts of second-degree burglary and one count of identity theft.

At Wednesday’s sentencing, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Tomson T. Ong sentenced the defendant to three years formal probation and ordered Fix to perform 60 days of Caltrans service. Additionally, the defendant must attend a live-in substance abuse program for one year and pay restitution to the church. An amount will be determined at a later hearing.

Prosecutors said on Aug. 6 the defendant broke into the preschool at Lakewood Village Community Church in Long Beach and stole several electronic items.

Four days later, the church experienced a second break-in. Prosecutors said Fix stole cash, checks, a credit card and more electronics from the Long Beach church.

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Serial Arsonist Sentenced for Fire at Lancaster Motel Parking Lot

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

A registered arsonist was sentenced today to 16 years to life in state prison for trying to set a woman’s car on fire outside of a Lancaster motel, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On July 26, a jury found Edmund Crigler Pemberton (dob 6/6/60) of Lancaster guilty of two felony counts of attempt to burn property and one misdemeanor count of vandalism under $400 damage.

Deputy District Attorney Ashley Gadson-Andrews said Pemberton admitted he was convicted of arson in 2001 and then again in 2014.

According to evidence presented at the trial, on September 9, 2015, Pemberton attempted to burn the victim’s vehicle because he mistakenly believed she stole his wallet. A motel security guard was able to intervene and put out the fire, the prosecutor said.

The defendant was on parole for the 2014 arson case when he attempted to burn the woman’s car.

Case MA066920 was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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September 8, 2016

A Dozen People, including Former O.C. Superior Court Clerk, Indicted in Bribery Scheme to ‘Fix’ Criminal Cases and Traffic Charges

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:09 am
SANTA ANA, California – After a grand jury issued a federal racketeering indictment alleging corruption by a former clerk in the Orange County Superior Court, authorities this morning arrested 10 defendants on charges stemming from a bribery scheme in which the clerk improperly and illegally resolved cases on terms favorable to hundreds of defendants without the knowledge of prosecutors or judges. Authorities expect to soon have two remaining defendants in custody.
According to the 38-count indictment unsealed this morning, the court clerk allegedly “fixed” criminal cases in exchange for cash bribes as high as $8,000. As a result of the scheme detailed in the indictment, hundreds of defendants had charges dismissed, had fees reduced, or avoided mandatory jail time in drunk driving cases after paying bribe money to the clerk or middlemen who took bribes on his behalf.
The man at the center of the scheme – former clerk Jose Lopez Jr. – is charged with being at the center of a racketeering enterprise that engaged in bribery. Lopez, a 36-year-old resident of Anaheim, allegedly “resolved” cases by entering information into the court’s computers to make it appear that a defendant had paid required fees or had performed community service.
In some cases, Jose Lopez illegally created records to indicate that a defendant had pleaded guilty to reckless driving and that drunk driving charges had been dismissed – thereby avoiding the consequences of a drunk driving charge. According to the indictment, in other cases, Jose Lopez illegally entered court records that it made it appear second-time DUI offenders had served mandatory jail time, when they had not.
“The racketeering indictment charges the former court clerk with accepting bribes to falsify court records on the court’s computer system,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Some of the records indicated that a case had been resolved, when no such action had been approved by any judge of the court, and some records included signatures that appeared to be those of officers of the court, but were in fact forged. This defendant allegedly assumed the roles of judges, prosecutors and defense (more…)

Justice Department Settles with Humboldt County, California, to Resolve Americans With Disabilities Act Violations

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

The Justice Department filed a proposed consent decree today with Humboldt County, California, resolving claims that the county violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The consent decree, which is still subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, resolves the department’s complaint that the county’s facilities, programs, services and activities are inaccessible to individuals with disabilities in violation of the ADA, despite the county’s previous commitment to improve access by entering into a Project Civic Access (PCA) agreement with the United States.

“State and local governments must ensure that people with disabilities can access community services, programs and facilities without facing unlawful and discriminatory barriers,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “ADA compliance is not optional and the Justice Department works tirelessly to make sure that people with disabilities can live their lives with the dignity, respect and independence they deserve.”

“This office is committed to ensuring equal access to programs, both public and private,” said U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch of the Northern District of California.  “The federal government will not tolerate discrimination that results when individuals are excluded from public access.”

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LOS ANGELES MAN SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN PRISON FOR PIMPING AND PANDERING WOMAN IN STANTON AND ANAHEIM

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Los Angeles man was sentenced to four years in state prison today for pimping and pandering a woman in Stanton and Anaheim. Carlos Andrew Morehead, 27, pleaded guilty today to one felony count of pimping and one felony count of pandering by procuring.                                                                                                            

Circumstances of the Case

Morehead is a pimp who exploits women for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including address the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy.” The victims are often required to turn over payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.

Between Aug. 7, 2016, and Aug. 20, 2016, Morehead posted sexually explicit advertisements of Jane Doe soliciting commercial sex and used the money she received from the sex purchasers for his benefit. The defendant brought Jane Doe to areas known for prostitution in Orange County and arranged for her to solicit and engage in commercial sex.

On Aug. 19, 2016, members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) contacted Jane Doe on Beach Boulevard in Stanton. Officers discovered text messages on Jane Doe’s phone from “Poppa,” later identified as Morehead, containing language consistent with him pimping the victim from a nearby hotel.

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September 7, 2016

California Man Pleads Guilty in 2013 Shooting Spree at Los Angeles International Airport and Admits to First-Degree Murder of Transportation Security Administration Officer

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

A Sun Valley, California, man pleaded guilty today to charges related to a 2013 shooting at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in which he murdered a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, Secretary Jeh Johnson of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge Deirdre Fike of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.

Paul Anthony Ciancia, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of murder of a federal officer; two counts of attempted murder of a federal officer; four counts of violence at an international airport; one count of discharging of a firearm during a crime of violence causing death; and three counts of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, before U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez of the Central District of California.

“The 2013 murder of TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez was a tragic and reprehensible act of violence,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “With this guilty plea, the Department of Justice is making clear that wrongdoers who target our nation’s brave law enforcement officers will be held accountable for their crimes.  I want to thank the many federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who contributed to this critical investigation - including my colleagues in the ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service - and I want to once again express the Justice Department’s unwavering support for the brave men and women who wear the badge.”

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Executive Director of Coachella Valley Surgery Center Named in New Indictment that Adds Charges in $50 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

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

SANTA ANA, California – A Rancho Mirage woman who was the executive director of a cosmetic surgery center has been named in a superseding indictment that adds new fraud and identity theft charges to a case in which she is accused of participating in a scheme that billed insurance companies $50 million for cosmetic surgeries that were falsely claimed to be “medically necessary.”

Linda Morrow, 64, was named in a 31-count superseding indictment that was returned on August 31 by a federal grand jury. Morrow and her husband, who pleaded guilty earlier this year, were initially charged a year ago with participating in a scheme to defraud health insurance companies by submitting bills for more than $50 million for procedures that were claimed as “medically necessary” – but in fact were cosmetic procedures such as “tummy tucks,” “nose jobs,” breast augmentations, and vaginal rejuvenation.

The superseding indictment adds nine new charges against Morrow – three new mail fraud charges, three counts of identity theft and three counts of aggravated identity theft charges. The new indictment expands on forfeiture allegations in the original indictment that would require Morrow, if she is convicted, to forfeit all of the ill-gotten gains obtained from the scheme, a figure that may exceed $20 million.

The superseding indictment outlines a scheme in which patients were lured to The Morrow Institute (TMI) in Rancho Mirage, where Morrow was the executive director, with promises that cosmetic procedures would be paid for by their union or PPO health insurance plans. TMI allegedly submitted bills to insurance companies seeking as much as $100,000 for individual surgeries, and as much as $700,000 for multiple surgeries. The indictment further alleges that some patients who underwent multiple surgeries at TMI suffered severe medical complications from the procedures.

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San Fernando Valley Man Pleads Guilty in 2013 Shooting Spree at LAX and Admits First-Degree Murder of TSA Officer

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

LOS ANGELES – A Sun Valley man pleaded guilty this afternoon to 11 federal charges related to a 2013 shooting at Los Angeles International Airport in which he murdered Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez.

Paul Anthony Ciancia, 26, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of TSA Officer Hernandez on November 1, 2013.

As a result of the guilty pleas, Ciancia is expected to receive a sentence of at least life in federal prison, plus 60 years. The defendant could be sentenced to multiple life terms and additional years in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.

The guilty pleas were announced by Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch; Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker; and Deirdre Fike, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.

“The 2013 murder of TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez was a tragic and reprehensible act of violence,” said Attorney General Lynch. “With this guilty plea, the Department of Justice is making clear that wrongdoers who target our nation’s brave law enforcement officers will be held accountable for their crimes. I want to thank the many federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who contributed to this critical investigation – including my colleagues in the ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service – and I want to once again express the Justice Department’s unwavering support for the brave men and women who wear the badge.”

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September 6, 2016

President of O.C.-based Bulk Mail Company Pays $3 Million to Resolve Investigation into Scheme to Defraud U.S. Postal Service

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

LOS ANGELES – The president of an Anaheim-based bulk mailing company this week paid the United States $3 million to resolve a federal investigation into allegations that the mailer systematically misclassified postage and defrauded the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) out of millions of dollars in postage fees.

The payment, which was made on Wednesday and announced today, resolves a civil investigation into Advantage Mailing, LLC, which handles bulk mailings and provides design, printing and mailing services for a broad range of customers. An investigation by Postal authorities determined that Advantage had submitted to the USPS false postage statements that misrepresented, among other things, the type and amount of postage affixed to millions of pieces of mail handled by the company. As a result, Advantage paid less to the USPS – millions of dollars less – than was actually due in postal fees.

“By misclassifying postage and submitting false statements to the Postal Service, this company avoided paying millions of dollars,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “The settlement and the resulting multi-million dollar payment to the government puts others on notice that postal violations will not be tolerated and every entity that attempts to defraud the United States will be held accountable.”

Under USPS regulations, mailers must complete and submit a postage statement to the Postal Service that identifies the particulars of each mailing, such as type of postage used, the amount of pre-paid postage and number of pieces mailed. The USPS relies upon these postage statements to determine the amount of postage fees due, so mailers such as Advantage are required to truthfully and accurately complete the statements.

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