Best Defender Bytes:

May 1, 2016


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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A recently transplanted Colorado man was arraigned on charges of trafficking, pimping, and pandering a woman. Michael James Swanson, 52, Anaheim, was charged yesterday with one felony count of human trafficking, one felony count of pandering by procuring, and one felony count of pimping. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 21 years and four months in state prison. He is being held on $250,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. He was arraigned yesterday and is scheduled to appear for a pre-trial hearing on May 5, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Circumstances of the Case
Swanson is accused of being a pimp who exploits women for financial gain. Victims are often required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in physical and/or emotional abuse.

Between April 21, 2016, and April 25, 2016, Swanson is accused of trafficking Jane Doe and forcing her to work for him as a commercial sex worker. The defendant is accused of posting sexually explicit advertisements of Jane Doe on a website known for prostitution. Swanson is accused of collecting all of the money Jane Doe earned from engaging in commercial sex. Jane Doe fled from the motel she was staying and contacted law enforcement.

On April 25, 2016, a concerned family member of Jane Doe contacted the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) and shared that the victim was living in fear and needed help. OCHTTF arrived and discovered Jane Doe was at nearby restaurant and had contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD). Jane Doe was visibly scared while speaking to law enforcement. A short time later, Swanson drove in to the same location and was subsequently arrested by OCSD.


U.S. Navy Captain Select Sentenced to Over Six Years in Prison for Accepting Cash and Prostitutes in International Bribery Scheme

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

A U.S. Navy Captain Select was sentenced today to 78 months in prison for bribery charges, admitting that he accepted cash, gifts, travel expenses, entertainment and the services of prostitutes from foreign defense contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) in exchange for classified U.S. Navy information, including ship schedules that contained information related to the U.S. Navy’s ballistic missile defense operations in the Pacific.  In addition, he was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $100,000 and to forfeit $95,000 in proceeds for the scheme.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy of the Southern District of California, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations James B. Burch of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and Director Andrew Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) made the announcement.

Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, 49, of San Diego, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California for one count of conspiracy and one count of bribery.

According to admissions in his plea agreement, from January 2011 until September 2013, Misiewicz provided classified U.S. Navy ship schedules and other sensitive U.S. Navy information to the defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, CEO and owner of Singapore-based GDMA.  GDMA provided port services to U.S. Navy ships and submarines when they arrived at ports throughout the Pacific.


California Doctor Pleads Guilty to $2.4 Million Medicare Fraud

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

LOS ANGELES – A Valencia doctor pleaded guilty today to federal charges for submitting more than $2.4 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare.

Dr. Gary J. Ordog, 61, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Fernando M. Olguin to one count of health care fraud. Judge Olguin is scheduled to sentence Ordog on August 18.

According to admissions made as part of his plea agreement, Ordog, a physician specializing in toxicology, submitted false claims to Medicare for purported visits with Medicare beneficiaries, when in fact those visits never actually occurred. Ordog admitted the he submitted bills for services purportedly performed on deceased Medicare beneficiaries, supposedly performed when he was out of the country, and that totaled more than 24 hours for one day. Ordog fabricated patient records to support false claims, he admitted.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker, Special Agent in Charge Christian Schrank of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Los Angeles Region and Special Agent in Charge Joseph Fendrick of the California Department of  Justice’s Orange County and San Diego Office made the announcement.

“Medical professionals who defraud Medicare drive up the costs associated with healthcare for everyone,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This crime harms both taxpayers and patients.”


April 30, 2016

Gardena-Based Pimp Faces Life in Federal Prison for Trafficking Seven Children Forced or Coerced to Work as Prostitutes

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

LOS ANGELES – A Gardena man has been found guilty of 14 felony counts for trafficking seven girls who worked as prostitutes, several of whom worked under threats of force, fraud or coercion.

Laron Carter, also known as “Birdd” and variations of that moniker, 39, was found guilty yesterday afternoon by a federal jury in Los Angeles.

Following a five-day trial, the jury convicted Carter of seven counts of sex trafficking of a minor by force, fraud or coercion, and seven counts of transporting a child to engage in prostitution.

The evidence at trial showed that Carter trafficked girls as young as 13 and subjected some of them to beatings, which included victims being punched in the face and whipped with a belt.

The case was tried before United States District Judge Virginia Phillips, who is scheduled to sentence Carter on July 18. At sentencing, Carter will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life without parole.


Three People Connected to Shooter in San Bernardino Terrorist Attack Arrested on Federal Conspiracy, Marriage Fraud and False Statement Charges

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

RIVERSIDE, California – Three people with family connections to Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the perpetrators of the December 2, 2015 terrorist attack at the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center (IRC), were arrested this morning on federal conspiracy, marriage fraud and false statement charges.

A five-count indictment returned yesterday by a federal grand jury charges three defendants in a marriage fraud conspiracy that involved making false statements under oath for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits for one of the defendants.

The three defendants arrested this morning are:

· Mariya Chernykh, 26, of Ontario, who, according to official records, is married to Enrique Marquez, Jr., who is awaiting trial on charges of conspiring with Syed Rizwan Farook in 2011 and 2012 to provide material support to terrorists;


District Court Enters Permanent Injunction Against San Francisco Rice Noodle Company and Senior Officers to Stop Distribution of Adulterated Products

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

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against Kun Wo Food Products Inc. (Kun Wo) and the firm’s co-owners, Zi Xing Liu and Zi Cheng Liu, to prevent the distribution of adulterated rice noodles, the Department of Justice announced today.

The department filed a complaint in the Northern District of California on April 12, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The complaint alleged that the defendants have a history of processing rice noodles under insanitary conditions.  As detailed in the complaint, the company prepared, processed, manufactured, packed, held and distributed rice noodles to local customers in the San Francisco area.  The complaint alleged that Zi Xing Lui has ultimate authority over all of the firm’s operations, including financial expenditures, production processes and employee supervision and that Zi Cheng Liu shares responsibility with Zi Xing Liu for the firm’s production processes and is also responsible for product distribution.

In conjunction with the filing of the complaint, the defendants agreed to settle the litigation and to be bound by a permanent injunction.  As part of the settlement, the defendants represented that they have ceased receiving, preparing, processing, packing, holding, or distributing any type of food at or from any location.  Under the permanent injunction, if the defendants seek to resume such activity, they must first inform FDA, take specific steps to improve the firm’s manufacturing practices, and then receive written approval from FDA.

“Kun Wo Food Products was repeatedly informed that the sanitation practices at its facility were deficient,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “The Department of Justice will continue to aggressively pursue food companies and individuals responsible for the production of food under insanitary conditions in order to protect the American people and make sure America’s food supply is safe.”


April 29, 2016

Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd. to Plead Guilty for Fixing Price of Electrolytic Capacitors

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

Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd. will plead guilty for conspiring with competitors between 2002 and 2010 to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors sold to customers in the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced today.

“Hitachi Chemical subsidiaries and co-conspirators fixed the prices of capacitors, a fundamental component of widely used electronic products,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder.  “This is the second guilty plea in this investigation, and we will continue to pursue companies and individuals that conspire to undermine competition for technology components of all shapes and sizes.”

“We will not tolerate the behavior of companies or individuals who attempt to profit unfairly from business practices that ultimately hurt our economy and the consumer,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Bertram Fairries of the FBI’s San Francisco Division.  “We will pursue and bring to justice those who commit these types of crimes.”

Electrolytic capacitors store and regulate electrical current in a variety of electronic products, including computers, televisions, car engine and airbag systems, home appliances and office equipment.

The one-count felony charge was filed today in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California in San Francisco.  In addition to pleading guilty to that charge and paying a criminal fine, Tokyo-based Hitachi Chemical has agreed to cooperate in the department’s ongoing investigation.  The plea agreement is subject to court approval.


Orange County Pilot Charged with Flying Private Jet with Passengers Onboard without Having Proper License Issued by FAA

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

LOS ANGELES – An Irvine man was arrested this morning on federal charges of illegally flying a twin-engine Falcon 10 turbojet airplane with passengers onboard without having a valid pilot’s license.

Arnold Gerald Leto III, 36, was charged in a criminal complaint filed yesterday in United States District court with operating an aircraft in air transportation without a valid airman’s certificate.

The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint alleges that Leto’s pilot’s license was revoked earlier this year, he operated the Falcon without having the required co-pilot, and he was never certified to fly this type of aircraft.

Leto is scheduled to be arraigned on the felony offense this afternoon in United States District Court.

Leto is charged will illegally flying the Falcon 10 from Van Nuys Airport to Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 8. Leto allegedly operated the aircraft with approximately eight passengers on board.


Manager of Clothing Factory Found Guilty of Offering Bribe to Federal Labor Investigator in Exchange for Closing Wage Investigation

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

LOS ANGELES – The general manager of a La Puente garment factory has been found guilty of federal charges of offering to pay bribes to an investigator with the United States Department of Labor in exchange for the investigator closing an investigation into wage violations.

Howard Quoc Trinh, 42, of Arcadia, the manager of Seven-Bros. Enterprises, was convicted late Tuesday by a federal jury. The jury returned guilty verdicts on two counts of bribery after prosecutors presented evidence that Trinh offered to pay $10,000 in bribe, and actually paid $3,000 to a Department of Labor Wage and Hour investigator. As part of the bribery scheme, Trinh promised to pay the balance when the investigation was closed.

“Companies and their managers victimizing their own employees through wage violations cannot perpetuate their conduct through bribes,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This jury verdict strikes a blow against both corruption and the exploitation of workers.”

The Labor Department investigator was investigating Seven-Bros. for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets standards for minimum wage and overtime pay. The Wage and Hour investigator led a team that conducted an unannounced visit to Seven-Bros on March 10, 2015. The investigation into wage violations covered a period from May 2012 through March 10, 2015, and found that Seven-Bros owed approximately $100,000 to compensate employees for FLSA violations over that period. As part of the investigation, the Labor Department issued a “hot goods” Notice to Restrain the Shipment of Goods, which prevented the company from shipping certain inventory until the back wages were paid to employees.

The investigator returned to Seven-Bros on March 18, at which time Trinh said he did not owe his employees any back wages and that he wanted to “take care” of the investigator. In response to Trinh’s statements, the Labor Department’s Office of Investigator General (OIG) initiated an investigation and outfitted the investigator with recording equipment. On the evening of March 18, during a recorded meeting, Trinh offered the investigator $10,000 to close out the investigation without finding any violations and to lift the Hot Goods objection.


April 28, 2016

School Police Officer Indicted by Federal Grand Jury on Attempted Sex Trafficking Charges for Allegedly Using Internet to Entice Minor

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:59 am

LOS ANGELES – A police officer employed by the Los Angeles Unified School District was taken into federal custody this morning after being named in an indictment that charges him with the attempted sex trafficking of a child.

Mauricio Edgardo Estrada, 28, who has been placed on administrative leave by LAUSD, surrendered himself to federal authorities after he was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury.

The two-count indictment charges Estrada with attempted sex trafficking of a child and use of the Internet to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.

The case against Estrada is the result of an undercover operation by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes representatives of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. The Task Force was conducting an anti-sex trafficking operation in Artesia and posted an advertisement on the Craigslist website that was designed to attract individuals interested in engaging in commercial sex acts with minors.

“Protecting children from sexual exploitation means focusing our resources on all aspects of the industry that preys upon young people,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Prosecutors in my office who deal with sex crimes against children have a long history of targeting those who produce, distribute and possess child pornography. We also aggressively prosecuted pimps who prostitute minors and use physical violence to establish and maintain control over their victims. Now we are turning our attention to customers who seek out young prostitutes, because their demand fuels an industry that causes so much harm to so many young people.”


« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress