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October 24, 2012

L.A. Man Sentenced to Over 6 Years in Prison for Using Information from Elderly Victims to Obtain Credit Cards and Buy Luxury Goods

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:38 pm

LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles man has been sentenced to 76 months in federal prison for his role in an international identity theft and credit card fraud scheme that targeted elderly victims.

Doren Harold Ward, 37, who resides in the Park La Brea district of Los Angeles, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Terry J. Hatter. In addition to the prison term, Judge Hatter ordered Ward to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution.

During yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Hatter asked Ward if he knew the credit cards belonged to real people, and despite a jury finding him guilty of six felony counts in June (see: http://www.justice.gov/usao/cac/Pressroom/2012/084.html), Ward continued to deny that he knew the credit cards he abused belonged to 45 victims of identity theft.

“Identity theft is a serious crime that often has far-reaching effects on its victims,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “This lengthy prison sentence should also have a far-reaching impact, sending a powerful message to thieves like Ward that their criminal conduct will lead to severe consequences.”

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June 3, 2012

Alleged Identity Thief, Hacker Charged for Computer Attacks

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 7:42 pm

LOS ANGELES – A convicted felon and alleged hacker deported from Sweden will face criminal prosecution for stealing the identities of numerous victims and waging cyber attacks on a Beverly Hills business and justice system officials. The defendant is expected to be arraigned today, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Steven Grant Almeida, 32 (dob 1/23/80), of Torrance is scheduled to be arraigned in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. He is charged in case No. BA397412.

“This cowardly cyber criminal will no longer be able to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet,” District Attorney Steve Cooley said. “He will be thoroughly exposed in court for the incredible harm he has wreaked on so many.”

Almeida faces 71 felony charges including identity theft, wiretapping, cutting a utility line, unauthorized disruption/denial of computer services, computer intrusion and grand theft.

The criminal complaint includes a prior conviction allegation in which Almeida was convicted in Los County in April 2007 of shooting at an inhabited dwelling. The criminal acts occurred in 2006. In that case, he was sentenced to a five-year state prison term.

The defendant is accused of disrupting the business operations of a Beverly Hills Pilates studio by high-jacking the phone lines and website. After purportedly gaining illegal control of the website, prosecutors allege that the defendant defaced the site.

Almeida is also accused of stealing the identities of four justice system officials. The defendant purportedly used the victims’ personal identifying information to shut off the electricity at their homes, doing so successfully in some instances. Almeida also is alleged to have gained access to credit card accounts and hacked into the private e-mail account of at least one victim.

The defendant’s bail is recommended at more than $2.3 million. If convicted as charged, Almeida faces a statutory maximum state prison sentence of 97 years.

May 10, 2012

USTIN, TEXAS MAN SENTENCED TO 61 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR BANKRUPTCY FRAUD AND IDENTITY THEFT IN CONNECTION WITH NATIONWIDE FORECLOSURE-RESCUE SCHEME

Filed under: Los Angeles Criminal attorney — Tags: , — fayarfa @ 2:58 am

Defendant Collected $1.6 million from more than 1,100 Distressed Homeowners

LOS ANGELES – An Austin, Texas man was sentenced today in the Western District of Texas for his role in operating a foreclosure-rescue scam in Southern California and elsewhere that charged distressed homeowners fees in exchange for fraudulently delaying foreclosure sales.

Frederic Alan Gladle, 53, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Lee Yeakel to 37-months for bankruptcy fraud, and to an additional 24-months for identity theft, for a total sentence of 61 months.
“Foreclosure-rescue scams are intentionally designed to victimize people in extreme financial distress,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr.  “Financial predators like Mr. Gladle need to be held accountable for the harm they cause and today’s sentence does just that, sending the message to scam artists like Mr. Gladle that the final outcome for their criminal schemes is a long stay in federal prison.”

“Mr. Gladle concocted an elaborate fraud scheme to use the financial crisis to his criminal advantage,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.  “He preyed upon vulnerable homeowners facing foreclosure, just as the housing bubble began to burst, and stood in the way of financial institutions attempting to collect on their debts.  We will continue to pursue scam artists like Mr. Gladle, and ensure that they are held accountable for their crimes.”

“This scheme was particularly insidious in that Mr. Gladle exploited victims who were already in financial straits,” said FBI Assistant Director Steven Martinez of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.  “This sentence should send a message to those contemplating similar fraud targeting vulnerable individuals or the banking system and, in addition, should encourage those trying to salvage their homes to beware of fraudulent rescue offers.”

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April 25, 2012

REAL ESTATE AGENT SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON FOR CONSPIRACY WITH DAUGHTERS AND SON-IN-LAW TO COMMIT OVER $16 MILLION IN REAL ESTATE FRAUD

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 10:58 am

SANTA ANA - A mother was sentenced today to eight years in state prison for conspiring with her two daughters and a son-in-law to commit over $16 million in real estate fraud by forging documents and purchasing homes using “straw buyers.” A straw buyer is a person who knowingly and willingly allows their credit to be used for the purchase of a property they never intend to control.

Sushama Devi Lohia, 74, Newport Beach, pleaded guilty to a court offer Dec. 12, 2011, to 12 felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 27 felony counts of forgery, 12 felony count of grand theft, eight felony counts of failure to file, four felony counts of identity theft, four felony counts of recording false and forged instrument, two felony counts of underreporting income and sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $3.2 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000.

Co-Defendants
Lohia’s daughter, Supriti Soni, 51, is charged with nine felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 17 felony counts of forgery, one felony count of identity theft, 12 felony counts of grand theft, with sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $3.2 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and a 2003 prison prior for perjury.

Lohia’s other daughter, Suniti Shah, 50, and Suniti Shah’s husband, Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah, 62, are both charged with five felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 13 felony counts of forgery, four felony counts of identity theft, four felony counts of recording false and forged instrument, five felony counts of grand theft, and sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $1.3 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000.

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