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February 22, 2017

Long Beach Woman Sentenced For Helping Ex-Husband Evade Taxes

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 6:03 am

A 70-year-old Long Beach woman was sentenced today for concealing her ex-husband’s income to help him avoid paying state taxes, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Linda Ann Knowlton was sentenced to formal probation for three years and ordered to pay $598,000 in restitution to the California State Franchise Tax Board. She pleaded no contest to one felony count of tax evasion in September 2016.

Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Stodel of the White Collar Crime Division prosecuted the case

Linda Knowlton was married to Tommy Knowlton, who made millions of dollars in the oil business. He stopped filing income tax returns in 1996 and between 2008 and 2011 funneled more than $70 million dollars to his ex-wife’s personal checking account.

During this time, Linda Knowlton had no other source of income other than from her ex-husband. They continued living together at a home she bought in spite of her lack of personal income.

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February 21, 2017

Man Sentenced to More Than 39 Years Prison in Revenge Porn Case

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

A 20-year-old man was sentenced today to 39 years and eight months in state prison for extorting young girls for nude photos, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Cesar Mauricio Estrada-Davila, aka Cesar Estrada, of Rosemead, pleaded no contest on Feb. 15 to a total of 38 felony counts: one count of lewd act upon a child; 21 counts of distributing or showing child or youth pornography to a minor and 16 counts of possession of child or youth pornography.

As a result of the plea, Estrada also must register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

Deputy District Attorneys Scott Yang and Steven Mac of the Antelope Valley Branch prosecuted case MA066758.

According to testimony at the preliminary hearing, Estrada reached out to young girls and befriended them on social media websites between January and April 2015. The defendant told the victims he was a modeling agent who could make them famous online. Estrada then asked the victims to send him pictures of themselves in their underwear, prosecutors said.

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Man Charged with 2001 Kidnapping, Sexual Assault of Teenage Boy in Northridge

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

A 54-year-old man has been charged with sexually assaulting a boy at gunpoint nearly 16 years ago in Northridge, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer said Mirek Paul Voyt (dob 10/25/62) of Los Angeles faces two felony counts: kidnapping to commit oral copulation and sodomy by force or fear; and forcible oral copulation.

The charging document includes special allegations that the defendant used a handgun during the commission of the crimes, as well as kidnapped and tied and bound the victim.

Voyt pleaded not guilty to the charges on Feb. 16.  His bail was set at more than $1 million.

The prosecutor said on June 22, 2001, the 14-year-old victim was walking with a friend near Vanalden Avenue and Chase Street when Voyt allegedly approached them, pointed a gun and forced the victim into his vehicle.

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Man Charged with Long Beach Burglaries, Sexual Assaults

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

A 39-year-old man has been charged with sexually assaulting three women – one of whom was 90 years old – while committing burglaries in Long Beach, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Deputy District Attorney L. Christmas Brookens said Melvin Earl Farmer Jr. (dob 12/28/77) of Lynwood faces 14 felony counts: one count each of sexual battery by restraint; dissuading a witness from reporting a crime; assault to commit a felony during the commission of a first-degree burglary; criminal threats; second-degree robbery and elder abuse, two counts of forcible rape and three counts each of first-degree residential robbery and first-degree burglary, person present.

Case NA105864 also charges Sophia Yim (dob 4/20/85) of Lynwood with one count each of first degree residential robbery and first-degree burglary, person present.

Farmer and Yim both pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to return on March 14 in Department S01 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Long Beach Branch.

Farmer is charged with going on a burglary crime spree between Feb. 2 and 9, the prosecutor said. During the burglaries, the defendant allegedly sexually assaulted two women ages 63 and 90.

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February 20, 2017

Chicago Woman Allegedly Attempted to Smuggle Heroin and Marijuana through LAX after Grammy Weekend in Los Angeles

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

LOS ANGELES – A Chicago woman is facing a federal drug trafficking charge for allegedly trying to smuggle at least a kilogram of heroin and four kilograms of marijuana on a plane leaving Los Angeles International Airport.

Beige White, 34, was arrested Wednesday at LAX by special agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration. White made her initial court appearance yesterday afternoon, at which time she was ordered held without bond and was directed to appear for an arraignment on March 24, 2017.

A criminal complaint filed Wednesday in United States District Court specifically alleges that White attempted to smuggle approximately 2.28 pounds of heroin and 9 pounds of marijuana through a security checkpoint at LAX on Monday.

The narcotics were discovered in White’s luggage after she had checked in for a Southwest Airlines flight to Chicago. After seeing something suspicious in one of the bags during an image scan, the Transportation Security Administration inspected the bag and discovered a clear plastic bag containing a substance later determined to be heroin, as well as multiple sealed plastic bags containing marijuana. Another piece of checked luggage in White’s name also allegedly contained marijuana.

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MAN CONVICTED OF THROWING OBJECT THAT DAMAGED CHP PATROL VEHICLE AND INCITING RIOT AT DONALD TRUMP RALLY

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was convicted today of throwing an object that damaged a patrol vehicle and inciting a group of protesters to riot at a Donald Trump presidential campaign rally in the City of Costa Mesa. Luis Fernando Alarcon, 20, Anaheim, pleaded guilty today to one misdemeanor count of vandalism with damage over $400 and one misdemeanor count of inciting a riot. The court reduced the felony vandalism charge to a misdemeanor. Alarcon was sentenced to one year in county jail suspended, 12 days in county jail, three years of informal probation, and was ordered to pay restitution.

On the night of April 28, 2016, a crowd protesting against the then-presidential candidate was blocking the street as the group moved south toward State Route 55. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) was dispatched to Fair Drive and State Route 55. A CHP officer activated their vehicle lights and sirens and was able to gain access to the ramp. The crowd cleared to the east and west sidewalks of Newport Boulevard. Another CHP officer who also responded observed the defendant in the crowd. Alarcon ran toward the second CHP officer’s vehicle, coming within 12 to 15 feet of the CHP officer’s patrol car, and yelled “F*** the police!” at the officer through the vehicle’s open window. The defendant again yelled as he reached into his pocket, took out an object, and hurled the object at the CHP officer’s patrol vehicle. The CHP officer heard a thud and observed an object that looked like a rock or roof tile fall to the ground. As a result, the vehicle sustained damages over $500.

Alarcon immediately turned around and went back into the crowd. The defendant was not taken into custody at that time due to the immediate need to close the ramp. The defendant continued to protest and obstruct traffic. Alarcon remained in front of the crowd of protesters and yelled toward the CHP officers, inciting the crowd of protesters while rocks were thrown at the CHP officers from within the crowd.

Alarcon was subsequently arrested by CHP, who investigated this case.

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WOMAN CHARGED WITH FATAL HIT-AND-RUN AND INSURANCE FRAUD AFTER LEAVING VICTIM AT THE SCENE AND FALSELY REPORTING VANDALISM

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A woman was charged yesterday with fatal hit-and-run and insurance fraud after leaving the victim at the scene and falsely reporting the damage as vandalism to her insurance company and police. Belen Sicairos, 23, Santa Ana, was charged on Feb. 15, 2017, with one felony count of hit-and-run causing death, three felony counts of insurance fraud, one felony count of insurance fraud through a written claim, and one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting a crime. If convicted, Sicairos faces a maximum of eight years in state prison. The defendant was arrested today by Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Investigators, and her arraignment date is to be determined.

At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 29, 2015, Sicairos is accused of driving a 2015 Honda Accord traveling westbound on First Street in Santa Ana. The defendant is accused of hitting 35-year-old Jorge Luis Lopez-Lobato as he was crossing the street. Sicairos is accused of driving away from the scene without stopping the vehicle to render aid or assistance to the victim. Witnesses at the scene called 911 and officers from the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) responded to investigate the hit-and-run. Lopez-Lobato was pronounced dead at the scene.

At 10:36 a.m., Sicairos is accused of filing an insurance claim with Alliance United Insurance Company (Alliance United) for vandalism on her vehicle. The defendant is accused of reporting that her vehicle was parked near 17th Street in Santa Ana and that she had found the vehicle with damage to the driver’s side and windshield area at around 2:30 a.m. Sicairos is also accused of filing a police report with SAPD on Dec. 2, 2015, claiming that her vehicle had been vandalized while parked. During Alliance United’s investigation of the insurance claim, Sicairos is accused of submitting a notarized Affidavit of Loss claiming vandalism was the reason for the damage to her vehicle.

After seeing media coverage seeking additional information about the fatal hit-and-run, a witness reported a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle involved was located at an auto body shop in Bloomington.

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February 17, 2017

U.S. Navy Commander Charged as Part of Expanding Navy Bribery Scandal

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

A current U.S. Navy Commander was charged in a complaint unsealed today with accepting luxury travel, elaborate dinners and services of prostitutes from foreign defense contractor Leonard Francis in exchange for classified and internal U.S. Navy information.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson 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.

Mario Herrera, 48, of Helotes, Texas, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with interactions with Leonard Francis, the former CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), a defense contracting firm based in Singapore.  Herrera was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, this morning and is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court in the Western District of Texas.  The United States will seek removal of Herrera to San Diego to face charges.

According to the complaint, Herrera participated in a bribery scheme with Francis in which he accepted luxury travel and entertainment expenses and the services of prostitutes in exchange for helping to steer lucrative U.S. Navy contracts to Francis and GDMA.  Herrera provided Francis with internal, proprietary U.S. Navy information and intervened on GDMA’s behalf in contract disputes.  According the complaint, Herrera directed ships to take alternative routes that benefitted GDMA on two separate occasions, costing the U.S. Navy $3.6 million.

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Riverside County Man Arrested on Federal Charges of Advertising, Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography

Filed under: California Chid Pornography Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am

RIVERSIDE, California – Federal authorities this morning arrested a Perris man who was indicted last week by a grand jury on child pornography offenses stemming from a large collection of illicit images found on his home computer and evidence that he was engaged in online trading of child pornography with others, including an undercover law enforcement officer.

Jerry Glen Moran Jr., 63, was taken into custody without incident by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. Moran is expected to be arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court.

A federal grand jury on February 8th named Moran in a four-count indictment that charges the defendant with one count of advertising child pornography, two counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

During the investigation, authorities recovered tens of thousands of images and videos on Moran’s home computer and in emails that he had sent and received. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reviewed many of the computer files and identified thousands of them as being known images and videos of child pornography.

The investigation into Moran began after he was found to be a user of a foreign photo-sharing website identified by law enforcement as a platform used by child pornographers to meet and trade child pornography.

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FORMER COSTA MESA POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICER CONVICTED OF COMMITTING INSURANCE FRAUD AGAINST CITY OF COSTA MESA

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) officer was convicted today of committing insurance fraud by presenting a false insurance claim and making false material statements related to the claim. Ryan Patrick Natividad, 32, Corona, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of insurance fraud and one felony count of making a fraudulent statement. Natividad faces a maximum sentence of six years in county jail at his sentencing on April 7, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-47, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On Sept. 23, 2014, Natividad, who was employed as a CMPD officer at the time of the crime, reported a work-related injury to CMPD. Natividad falsely claimed that earlier in the day, he struck his hand against a brick wall near the CMPD jail while transporting an arrestee for booking. The defendant claimed that the arrestee stumbled into the wall, prompting him to use his hand to prevent the arrestee from striking the wall. Natividad filed a fraudulent workers’ compensation insurance claim and was subsequently directed by CMPD to seek immediate medical attention.

Natividad listed a jail employee as a witness to the incident in his injury paperwork. The employee reviewed the jail surveillance camera footage, determined that the incident the defendant reported never occurred, and brought the video footage to his supervisor’s attention. The video was submitted with Natividad’s workers’ compensation insurance claim to the City of Costa Mesa.

The City of Costa Mesa, the city’s insurance company AdminSure, and a private investigation firm hired by AdminSure investigated Natividad’s workers’ compensation insurance claim and reported the fraud to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, who investigated this case.

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