Best Defender Bytes: Crime after Crime

December 29, 2017

FEMALE GANG ASSOCIATE SENTENCED TO 45 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDERING WOMAN BY DRAGGING HER WITH CAR

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A female associate of a criminal street gang was sentenced to 45 years to life in state prison today for murdering a woman by dragging her several blocks on the outside of her car.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Lynn Ai Quach, 27, Garden Grove Found guilty by a jury on Sept. 4, 2014, of:

  • One felony count of murder

Sentencing Enhancements

  • Criminal street gang activity
  • Vicarious discharge of a firearm by a gang member
45 years to life in state prison

Co-defendant and criminal street gang member, Christopher Dai-Ichi Yu, 22, Fountain Valley, was found guilty by a jury on June 8, 2011, of one felony count each of murder, attempted murder, and street terrorism, with sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity, personal discharge of a firearm, and vicarious discharge of a firearm by a gang member. He was sentenced Nov. 18, 2011, to 74 years to life in state prison.

Circumstances of the Case (more…)

SANTA BARBARA MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR KILLING HIS MOTHER IN HER HOME AND DISPOSING OF VICTIM’S BODY IN LA HABRA

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:06 am
SANTA BARBARA MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR KILLING HIS MOTHER IN HER HOME AND DISPOSING OF VICTIM’S BODY IN LA HABRA

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison today for killing his mother in her home and disposing of the victim’s body in La Habra.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Gabriel Antonio Espinoza, 33, Santa Maria Found guilty by a jury on March 3, 2017, of:

  • One felony count of first degree murder
25 years to life in state prison

Circumstances of the Case:

  • In the early morning hours of July 17, 2014, Espinoza killed his mother, 58-year-old Emma Espinoza-Posadas, in her Lompoc home.
  • The victim died of asphyxiation due to severe chest compression. Espinoza moved his mother’s body to her car and drove south to La Habra.
  • On July 18, 2014, Espinoza disposed of Espinoza-Posadas’ body behind a carport in a residential area of La Habra. (more…)

Camarillo Man Found Guilty of Being Felon in Possession of Firearms

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

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A jury convicted a former felon Thursday of unlawful possession of one Heckler & Koch machine pistol and one Sig Sauer automatic rifle after multiple prior felony convictions in California, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Steve W. Myhre for the District of Nevada.

Following a three-day jury trial, Jack Benjamin Hessiani, 39, of Ventura, California, was found guilty of one count of a felon in possession of a firearm. United States District Judge Larry R. Hicks presided over the trial and scheduled sentencing for March 22, 2018. At the time of sentencing, Hessiani faces the statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phillip N. Smith Jr. and Alexandra Michael are prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide commitment by the Department of Justice to reduce gun and gang crime in America by networking local programs that target gun and gun crime and providing these programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, visit www.justice.gov/usao-nv. (more…)

December 28, 2017

Two Charged with Running $11 Million Sleep Study Scam that Billed UPS and Costco Health Care Benefit Programs for Unneeded Tests

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

LOS ANGELES – The owner of a Studio City clinic and a driver for United Parcel Service have been indicted on health care fraud charges related to unnecessary – and sometimes never-performed – sleep studies that resulted in more than $11 million in bills being submitted to health care benefit programs, primarily for employees of UPS and Costco.

Anna Vishnevsky, 49, of Valley Village, the owner of Atlas Diagnostic Services, Inc., and Eddie Hernandez, 43, of Torrance, who is the UPS driver, were arrested on Tuesday pursuant to an 11-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on December 14.

Vishnevsky and Hernandez were arraigned on the indictment Tuesday afternoon in United States District Court. After the two defendants entered not guilty pleas to the charges in the indictment, a trial was scheduled for January 30. Vishnevsky was released on a $200,000 bond, and Hernandez was freed on a $30,000 bond.

The case was announced today after United States District Judge George H. Wu signed an order late yesterday unsealing the indictment.

According to the indictment, Vishnevsky, Hernandez and others recruited “patients” by offering cash in exchange for participating in sleep study testing. They also allegedly offered additional cash to those who brought dependents and referred co-workers to participate in the scheme. Vishnevsky and Hernandez allegedly recruited patients knowing that no doctor had prescribed sleep study testing for them, and regardless of whether the testing was medically necessary. (more…)

L.A. Fashion District Company and Two Owners Plead Guilty to Federal Charges Stemming from Money Laundering Scheme

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

LOS ANGELES – In a case stemming from an investigation into Fashion District businesses using “Black Market Peso Exchange” schemes to launder narcotics proceeds for international drug cartels, an import-export textile business and two executives have pleaded guilty to federal money laundering and tax charges.

Pacific Eurotex Corp. and its owners – Morad “Ben” Neman and Hersel Neman – pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges in an indictment that accused them of using the business to receive bulk cash that they knew or believed to be the proceeds of narcotics trafficking.

The defendants admitted in court documents that they failed to report to federal authorities the receipt of this bulk cash, and that they “structured” frequent deposits of the cash, in amounts less than $10,000, to avoid a bank reporting requirement that would have drawn the scrutiny of law enforcement.

The Nemans also pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by maintaining two sets of business records in order to conceal income for tax purposes.

A Black Market Peso Exchange scheme is designed to assist drug traffickers who have United States currency that they want to send to a foreign country, such as Mexico, and convert into pesos. As part of the scheme, a broker finds business owners in the foreign country who buy goods from U.S. companies and who need dollars to pay for those goods. The broker arranges for the illegally obtained dollars to be delivered to the United States-based vendors, such as Pacific Eurotex, and these illegally obtained dollars are used to pay for the goods purchased by the foreign customers. Once the goods are shipped to the foreign country and sold by the foreign business, the pesos are turned over to the broker, who then pays the drug trafficker in the local currency of the foreign country, thus completing the laundering of the illegally obtained dollars. (more…)

3 Linked to Medical Supply Firms in Hawthorne and Ventura Arrested in $24 Million Scam Involving Power Wheelchairs and Repairs

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

LOS ANGELES – The operator of two now-defunct medical supply companies in Hawthorne and Ventura, as well as two former employees, have been arrested on federal healthcare fraud charges for allegedly billing Medicare well over $24 million for medically unnecessary power wheelchairs (PWC) and the repair of medical equipment.

The scheme is outlined in a 29-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury on December 14 and unsealed yesterday after the three defendants were arrested by special agents with the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the indictment, Tamara Yvonne Motley operated Action Medical Equipment and Supplies, which was based in Hawthorne until 2014, and Kaja Medical Equipment & Supply, which was based in Ventura until late 2016. Motley allegedly orchestrated a scheme in which corrupt physicians prescribed medically unnecessary durable medical equipment (DME), such as PWCs, and Motley oversaw the submission of fraudulent bills to Medicare.

In January 2011, when Medicare changed the reimbursement rules for PWCs, Action largely stopped Medicare billing for PWCs and, instead, started billing Medicare for PWC repairs. Action and Kaja allegedly submitted bills for PWC repair or replacement services that were not medically necessary, were not needed to make the PWCs serviceable, and often simply were not performed. The majority of bills submitted in this case allegedly involve fraudulent repair work.

The defendants taken into custody yesterday are: (more…)

December 27, 2017

Attorney General Xavier Becerra Announces $125 Million Settlement Against Royal Bank of Scotland For Misleading California’s Pension Funds

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 8:57 am

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced a $125 million settlement with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), an international financial conglomerate, over misrepresentations about residential mortgage-backed securities sold to California’s public employee and teacher pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, respectively. Mortgage-backed securities are complex investments which include thousands of mortgage loans of potentially varying quality, where the buyer typically relies on assurances that the loans have been carefully screened and are not too risky.

An investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Office found that the descriptions of these mortgage-backed securities to investors failed to accurately disclose the true characteristics of many of the underlying mortgages, and that due diligence to remove poor quality loans from the investments was not adequately performed. RBS was aware of the misrepresentations but failed to correct them. This resulted in millions in losses to CalPERS and CalSTRS.

“RBS decided to mislead California’s pension funds in order to line its own pockets – plain and simple,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Today’s settlement returns to our pension funds, which hardworking Californians rely on upon retirement, money that RBS wrongfully took from them.”

The settlement with RBS is the latest action by the California Department of Justice to recover losses suffered during the financial crisis and to hold accountable the institutions that contributed to it. (more…)

SANTA BARBARA MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR KILLING HIS MOTHER IN HER HOME AND DISPOSING OF VICTIM’S BODY IN LA HABRA

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison today for killing his mother in her home and disposing of the victim’s body in La Habra.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Gabriel Antonio Espinoza, 33, Santa Maria Found guilty by a jury on March 3, 2017, of:

  • One felony count of first degree murder
25 years to life in state prison

Circumstances of the Case:

  • In the early morning hours of July 17, 2014, Espinoza killed his mother, 58-year-old Emma Espinoza-Posadas, in her Lompoc home.
  • The victim died of asphyxiation due to severe chest compression. Espinoza moved his mother’s body to her car and drove south to La Habra. (more…)

GANG INFORMANT SENTENCED TO 17 YEARS IN STATE PRISON FOR 2005 ATTEMPTED MURDER OF RIVAL GANG MEMBER

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

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A gang informant was sentenced today to 17 years in state prison for the attempted murder of a rival gang member in 2005. The defendant’s informant work and testimony led to the federal and state convictions of 79 criminal street gang members affiliated with the Mexican Mafia, a notorious Hispanic prison gang infamous for their violence and criminal enterprise, and resulted in dozens of prison sentences totaling 293 years. All of these cases involved complex and difficult to prove gang crimes and many would not have been able to be successfully prosecuted without Moriel’s cooperation and testimony.

Defendant Charges Sentence
Oscar Daniel Moriel, 37, Santa Ana Pleaded guilty today to:

  • One felony count of attempted murder

Sentencing Enhancement

  • Personal use of a firearm
17 years in state prison

Co-defendant Luciano Hernandez, 28, pleaded guilty on May 7, 2010, to one felony count each of attempted murder and street terrorism, with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a firearm, vicarious discharge of a firearm by a gang member causing great bodily injury, and criminal street gang activity. Hernandez was sentenced to 12 years and eight months in state prison. Hernandez did not cooperate with law enforcement.

In a detailed letter to the Honorable Patrick H. Donahue, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in collaboration with the U.S. Attorneys’ Office requested leniency at Moriel’s sentencing as a result of the defendant’s ongoing cooperation and assistance in identifying multiple criminal street gang members affiliated with the Mexican Mafia. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) gave great deference to the FBI’s and U.S. Attorney’s request. The full letter may be found here.

Circumstances of the Case (more…)

December 26, 2017

California Man Arrested for Attempting to Provide Material Support to A Terrorist Organization

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

A federal complaint was unsealed today, charging Everitt Aaron Jameson, 26, of Modesto, with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. Jameson was arrested today and is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe in Fresno, California at 2pm.

According to court documents, Jameson had several online interactions with a confidential source in which he expressed support for the October 31, 2017, terrorist attack in New York City and offered his services for “the cause.”  In subsequent communications with an undercover agent, Jameson referred to his training in the U.S. military and noted he had been trained for combat and war.  Jameson later met with another undercover agent whom he believed to be associated with the senior leadership of the foreign terrorist organization, ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, also known as ISIL).  During his interactions with this undercover agent, Jameson offered to carry out violent acts and to provide financial support for the terrorist organization.

“The Department of Justice works resolutely every day to prevent terrorist attacks,” said Attorney General Sessions.  “In my time back at the Department, nothing has impressed me more.  Today, our incredible law enforcement officers have once again helped thwart an alleged plot to kill Americans. I want to thank the FBI agents and federal prosecutors and everyone else who helped make this possible. The threat from radical Islamic terrorism is real—and it is serious—but the American people can be assured that the Department of Justice remains vigilant in protecting our homeland.”

U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert stated, “I want to express my thanks to the FBI for working in partnership with my office on this case.  We are grateful that our hardworking law enforcement partners remain vigilant in protecting our communities, especially during this holiday season.”

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Dawrence W. Rice and Christopher D. Baker are prosecuting the case, together with Trial Attorney Brenda Sue Thornton from the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division, Counterterrorism Section. (more…)

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