Best Defender Bytes: Crime after Crime

October 31, 2017

Tax Attorney for Ex-NFL Player Antrel Rolle Charged with Obstructing the IRS and Filing False Documents Without His Client’s Knowledge

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

LOS ANGELES – A tax attorney who represented retired professional football player Antrel Rolle surrendered this morning to federal authorities after being charged with fraudulently claiming refunds for Rolle, stealing those refunds, and then filing false documents with the Internal Revenue Service to cover up his scheme.

Hiram M. Martin, 69, a resident of the Northern California city of Fair Oaks, is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment on September 20 that charges Martin with attempting to obstruct and impede the administration of internal revenue laws and three counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false documents.

The indictment alleges that Martin submitted tax returns for Rolle that falsely claimed millions of dollars of charitable deductions and business expenses. As a result of these deductions, the IRS issued tax refunds of $322,008 for the 2005 tax year and $901,472 for the 2006 tax year. Martin allegedly directed the IRS to deposit the refunds into bank accounts he controlled or to mail the refunds to his address. He then used the money for his own personal benefit, according to the indictment. (more…)


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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A second striker was sentenced today to 24 years in state prison for the human trafficking, pandering, and attempted pimping of a fictitious minor girl using a social media website.




Antonio Chavez Moses III, 39, Los Angeles

Found guilty by a jury on Sept. 29, 2017, of the following felony counts:

  • Human trafficking of a minor
  • Attempted pimping of a minor
  • Pandering by promise, threat, or violence

Sentencing Enhancements

  • Prior strike conviction for voluntary manslaughter with the use of a firearm in 1996 in Los Angeles County

24 years in state prison

Mandatory lifetime sex offender registration pursuant to PC 290

Circumstances of the Case

  • Moses is a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media outlets to locate potential victims.  The victims are often required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. (more…)

73-Year-Old Man Charged with Slitting Woman’s Throat, Animal Cruelty

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

A 73-year-old Pasadena man is scheduled in court today for arraignment on attempted murder and animal cruelty charges, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Ryan Erlich said Lance Anthony Semkus (dob 7/30/44) faces one felony count each of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder, mayhem, attempted seconddegree robbery and two counts of cruelty to an animal.

The charges include allegations of great bodily injury and use of a knife.

Arraignment is scheduled in Department D of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pasadena Branch. Case GA102199 was filed on Oct. 26.

Semkus is charged with attempting to steal a woman’s dog in front of a pet store on Oct. 23. Later on the same day, the defendant allegedly approached another woman and slashed her throat, the prosecutor said. The woman fought him off but is alleged to have suffered severe injuries to her neck and hand, the prosecutor added. (more…)

October 30, 2017

Los Angeles Man Found Guilty of Federal Narcotics Conspiracy Involving the Opioid Acetylfentanyl

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

LOS ANGELES – A resident of downtown Los Angeles was found guilty this afternoon of federal drug trafficking charges for participating in a conspiracy that imported acetylfentanyl, a drug very similar to fentanyl, which is a powerful and highly addictive opioid. Acetylfentanyl, which is five times more potent that heroin, is not approved for any use in the United States.

Christopher Bowen, 31, was found guilty by a federal jury of conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and distribute four narcotics, specifically: acetylfentanyl; a-pyrrolidinovalerophenone, a so-called designer drug also known as “PVP” that is sometimes used in “bath salts”; ecstasy (MDMA); and alprazolam, which is sold under the brand name Xanax.

Bowen was also found guilty of possession of acetylfentanyl with intent to distribute.

The evidence presented during a two-day trial in United States District Court showed that Bowen and other members of the drug organization imported acetylfentanyl from China, which they then used to produce homemade pills designed to look like pharmaceutical products. Bowen and his co-conspirators then distributed the pills in bulk across the nation.

The drug organization also obtained pill presses from China that were used illegally to make tablets in labs in a storage unit in Long Beach and a house in Baldwin Park. During the investigation, DEA agents seized more than 9 kilograms of acetylfentanyl from the organization. (more…)


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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas obtained a $13.9 million settlement in a civil lawsuit againstGeneral Motors LLC (GM) alleging GM endangered motorists and the public by intentionally concealing serious safety defects in GM vehicles to avoid the cost of a recall or replacing defective parts. The settlement was filed in Orange County Superior Court on Oct. 24, 2017, and was signed today by The Honorable Kim Dunning. The 2014 complaint stated that GM endangered the public through deception regarding vehicle safety and reliability and gained advantage over its competitors by engaging in unfair business practices. At least 124 people died, and 275 were injured, as a result of these failures. On behalf of the State of California, the California Attorney General settled a separate multistate lawsuit and received $7 million earlier in October 2017.

“In Orange County and California, our cars we drive must be safe; even if we are not driving a GM car, we rely on the safety of other cars on the road. Second to our homes, our cars must carry precious cargo and hold value for resale,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “We must protect our consumers from businesses that put profits over people by keeping cars on roads safe and avoiding preventable accidents. We must also encourage all businesses to be fair and live up to safety standards, and must not allow those engaging in unfair practices to punish those businesses that don’t cut corners by compromising safety. All businesses should be held to competing fairly.”

Deceptive Practices

The OCDA asserted in its lawsuit that:

  • GM failed to disclose and/or concealed known defects in millions of GM vehicles. The safety defects include power steering, airbag, and brake-related problems. By knowingly hiding the existence of defects and marketing their vehicles as safe and reliable, GM enticed consumers under false pretenses to purchase GM vehicles.
  • GM continued to sell and lease its vehicles while knowingly concealing and suppressing information about the defects from California consumers. GM valued cost-cutting over safety, and intentionally falsely represented to the public that GM-manufactured vehicles were safe and reliable, despite its knowledge of the defects, to avoid the cost and negative attention of a recall. As a result of the defective vehicles and failure by GM to disclose defects to consumers prior to lease or purchase, victims have been injured and killed, owners and lessees of GM vehicles have suffered property damage, economic damage, and many are unable to sell or trade their cars.

Unfair Competition

The OCDA asserted in its lawsuit that: (more…)

CHP Officer Charged With Child Pornography

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

A California Highway Patrol officer has been charged with possession of child pornography, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.

Robert Tamayo (dob 3/3/80) was charged yesterday in case BA462267 with one count each of distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography. He made his initial court appearance today but arraignment was continued until Dec. 12.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Pellman Pentz of the Justice System Integrity Division is prosecuting the case.

In May, Tamayo is accused of sharing child pornography on a social media app. He also allegedly had more than 600 child pornography images on his computers and cell phones, the prosecutor said.

If convicted as charged, Tamayo faces a possible maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison.

The case was investigated by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation after receiving a tip about the defendant from the FBI. The CHP also has cooperated with the investigation.

Los Angeles District Attorney / case BA462267 / October 27, 2017

October 27, 2017

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Pomona Police Officer on Civil Rights Offense for Allegedly Assaulting Minor at L.A. County Fair

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

Three officers with the Pomona Police Department (PPD) surrendered this morning to face federal charges that allege one officer violated the civil rights of a minor who was beaten at the Los Angeles County Fair two years ago, and that all three took illegal steps to justify and cover-up the attack.

PPD Corporal Chad Kenneth Jensen is charged with deprivation of rights under color of law for allegedly beating the minor victim on September 16, 2015. The indictment alleges that Jensen violated the victim’s constitutional rights, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable and unnecessary force, and that the assault resulted in bodily injury.

Jensen and his partner–PPD Officer Prince Taylor Hutchinson–are charged with preparing false reports that attempted to justify the use of force.  The indictment alleges that, in a report prepared soon after the incident, Jensen falsely wrote that the minor victim attempted to punch Jensen’s face, and that the minor victim came within arm’s reach of another officer who was escorting an individual who had been placed under arrest. Hutchinson similarly is accused of writing a report that falsely stated the victim had come within two to three feet of the officer who was escorting an individual who had been placed under arrest, and that the victim had attempted to incite unrest among at the crowd at the Fair as Hutchinson escorted the minor victim to a holding facility at the Fair.

Jensen and Hutchinson are further charged with obstruction of justice for giving false testimony during state court proceedings regarding criminal charges against the victim.  Both Jensen and Hutchinson gave false testimony similar to that in their reports and created the false impression that the minor posed a physical threat to other officers before Jensen assaulted him. (more…)

Report to IRS Whistleblower Program Leads to Guilty Plea from L.A. Man who Failed to Report to IRS over $3 Million in Overseas Income

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

LOS ANGELES – A West Los Angeles resident who earned more than $3 million over a three-year period while working in Dubai has pleaded guilty to a federal tax evasion charge for failing to report this income to the Internal Revenue Service.

Fallah Alfallah, 49, who resides in the City of Los Angeles adjacent to Beverly Hills, pleaded guilty to the felony offense yesterday afternoon before United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee.

According to a plea agreement filed in this case, Alfallah is a naturalized United States citizen who lived in Dubai during the years 2008 through 2010 while working as an investment advisor for the Bahrain-based Unicorn Investment Bank. Alfallah admitted that his salary and bonuses totaled $1,512,557 in 2008, $830,691 in 2009, and $658,794 in 2010.

Although he earned more than $3 million during those three years and despite being advised by his tax preparer that he had a legal obligation to report his overseas income to the IRS, Alfallah did not file income tax returns with the IRS. By pleading guilty, Alfallah admitted that he intended to avoid paying taxes on this income and took affirmative steps to evade the tax due for those three years.

As a result of Alfallah’s conduct, the government sustained losses of $933,492.

Alfallah pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion related to his unpaid taxes for 2009. (more…)

North Hills Man Sentenced for Hate Crime Killing of Son, Murder of Wife

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

A 71-year-old man was sentenced today to two terms of life in state prison without the possibility of parole for stabbing his wife at their North Hills home and then shooting his son because of his sexual orientation, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

On Sept. 28, a jury found Shehadeh Khalil Issa guilty of two counts of willful, deliberate and premeditated murder with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders in case PA086010.

The jury also found true a hate crime allegation and allegations of use of a knife and a shotgun as deadly weapons.

Deputy District Attorneys Emily Cole and Leila Tahmassebi prosecuted the case.

Issa fatally stabbed his wife, Rabihah Shibi Issa, 68, on or between March 27 and 29, 2016, prosecutors said. Shehadeh Issa then fatally shot his son Amir Issa, 38, on March 29, 2016, prosecutors added.

According to evidence presented at the trial, police responding to the family’s home after the shooting discovered the bodies of Amir Issa outside of the house and Rabihah Issa’s body was found inside a bathroom. The murders were motivated by the defendant’s desire to sell the house they all shared and an extreme hatred of his son’s sexuality, prosecutors said.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Los Angeles District Attorney / case PA086010 / October 26, 2017

October 26, 2017

Man Charged With Sexually Assaulting Boy at Pico Rivera Park

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

A man was charged today with sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy at a park in Pico Rivera over the weekend, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Eduardo Ciarelli (dob 3/27/79) was charged in case VA146133 with one count of forcible lewd act upon a child. He is expected to be arraigned today in Department 5 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Downey Branch.

On Oct. 22, the victim was with his family at Smith Park. The boy went to the restroom that was adjacent to a snack bar where his father was. After a couple of minutes, the father went to check on his son and found the boy crying.

The boy pointed to the defendant who is accused of sexually assaulting him and was standing behind a stall door. Ciarelli ran outside but was apprehended by the father and a security guard.

If convicted, Ciarelli faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Los Angeles District Attorney / case VA146133 / October 24, 2017

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