Month: February 2017

Attorney General Becerra Urges Review in People ex rel. Pierson v. Superior Court

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a letter in the California Supreme Court today, urging it to grant review in People ex rel. Pierson v. Superior Court. In Pierson, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled unconstitutional a 2015 law that requires prosecutors to use public preliminary hearings, rather than closed-door grand jury proceedings, in cases involving peace officers’ use of lethal force. The law’s stated purpose was to increase transparency and accountability in court proceedings that determine whether charges will be brought against an officer who uses deadly force during an arrest.

California Auctioneer Charged in Rhinoceros Horn Smuggling Conspiracy

Jacob Chait, 34, the head of acquisitions and auctioneer of a Beverley Hills, California gallery and auction house (“Auction House #1”), appeared yesterday in Manhattan federal court in New York to face charges of conspiring to smuggle rhinoceros horns, in violation of the Lacey Act. A one-count indictment charging Chait was returned by a federal grand jury on February 15.

FORMER OCSD DEPUTY CONVICTED AND SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS IN JAIL FOR COMMITTING INSURANCE FRAUD AGAINST COUNTY OF ORANGE

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) deputy was convicted and sentenced to six months in Orange County jail and three years informal probation today on charges for committing insurance fraud by failing to disclose his true physical abilities and activities to his health care providers. Nicholas Zappas, 36, Laguna Niguel, pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of insurance fraud. In addition to his jail time and probation, Zappas was ordered to pay $34,838.97 in restitution to the County and $1,000 to the Worker’s Compensation Fraud Assessment Fund. The defendant is also required to dismiss his 2011 and 2015 worker’s compensation claims with prejudice as a condition of his probation.

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

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.

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