California Criminal Attorney Blog

Four people were injured when William Murray, 50, collided almost head-on with a Honda Civic over the weekend.  Murray was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated by Fullerton Police.

A female passenger in Murray’s vehicle was airlifted to a trauma center in Long Beach.  According to law enforcement, she has significant injuries but is expected to survive.  The driver of the other vehicle was taken to UCI Medical Center for internal injuries but he is also expected to survive.  The driver of the Honda also had his minor children in the care and they were taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

Murray is likely to be facing felony DUI charges causing great bodily injury if he was driving while intoxicated.

The former co-owner of clothing brand RVCA and professional surfer, Conan Hayes was charged in Orange County Superior Court with Real Estate fraud.  According to authorities, Hayes lied to Bank of America causing them to lose $586,245 on the short sale of a Costa Mesa home.

Hayes, who sold his interest in RVCA for over $7 million is alleged to have told bank officials that he had lost his job and got the bank to agree to short sell the Costa Mesa home.  The bank was unaware of Hayes’ assets from the sale of RVCA which may have been able to prevent the need for the bank to short sell the home.

Hayes, 40 was charged with one felony count of grand theft with sentencing enhancements of property losses over $200,000.  If he is convicted, Hayes faces up to five years in prison.

F.B.I agents arrested Khosrow Afghahi, 71, of Aliso Viejo on suspicion of sending over $24 million worth of electronic supplies over the last five years.  In addition to Afghahi, 4 other people were also arrested.  According to the indictment, the material being shipped is typically used in military type systems including surface-air missiles.

The four suspects face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of the illegal exportation of goods and possibly money laundering.

Jackson Roland Westermeyer pleaded guilty to 1 count of meeting a minor to commit a lewd act, 5 counts of possession or control of child pornography and 1 count of extortion.  All felonies, Westermeyer faced up to 10 years in prison before taking a plea that will sentence him to 180 days in county jail and registration as a sex offender.

Westermeyer used various social media sites to lure underage boys with explicit photos, Huntington Beach police reported when he was arrested in January 2014. The victims were 11 to 13 years old, Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke said.

Westermeyer also threatened to tag lewd photos of victims on other social media outlets if they did not send him more photos, police said.

A DUI and valid driver’s license checkpoint will take place in Anaheim tonight.  According to the Anaheim Police Department the checkpoint will last from tonight from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Cerritos Avenue and Euclid Street.

Officers said if you’re planning to be in the area, expect some delays because officers are looking for signs of driving under the influence, VC 23152.

Jacob Richard Bonzer, 28, worked for Farmers Insurance Group in Brea between 2009-2010.  Bonzer was terminated after failing the Farmers Career Program and after he was terminated, investigators found 128 homeowner policies listed to the Brea office that were not associated with the properties.  In all, more than $900,000 in commissions and premium payments for the fake policies were made to Bonzer.

Bonzer received 7 years in prison after pleading guilty to 49 counts of grand theft, one felony count of forging a California Department of Insurance Examination report, transacting insurance business without a certificate of authority, 45 felony counts of insurance fraud, with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white-collar crime totaling more than $500,000 and taking more than $200,000. He is also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $918,300.

 

Roger Alan Giese, 40, a former Buena Park choir teacher who fled the United States pending a jury trial was captured in the United Kingdom.  Giese fled the US in 2007 while awaiting trial on child sexual assault charges.  Giese had made court appearances from 2002 to 2007, however, on the eve of trial he fled.

Giese, 40, is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage choirboy he met while working as a voice coach for the All-American Boys Chorus in Buena Park between 1998 and 2002.

Giese, is charged with lewd acts on a child under 14, penetration by a foreign object and oral copulation of a person under 18. He also faces a sentencing enhancement for substantial sexual conduct with a child.

Authorities said Giese met the boy in 1998 when he was 13 and soon befriended the boy’s family. Giese even moved into their home, and that’s when the molestation started, prosecutors said.

 

Federal agents raided homes in Orange County, Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County in an effort to investigate the practice of “maternity tourism.”  An apartment complex near John Wayne Airport was one of the locations where search warrants were seized and documents and computers taken.

Law enforcement officials interviewed several pregnant women who paid tens of thousands of dollars to companies touting American citizenship, free education and other benefits of having their children born in the United States and thus, being American citizens.  Most of those interviewed and investigated where Chinese.

The women were promised Social Security numbers and United States passports for their newborn babies when they returned to their native country.  Many of the women were allegedly paying up to $50,000 to the operators of these companies.

Law enforcement authorities estimate the couple who operated You Win USA Vacation Resort in Irvine made $2 million in 2013 and helped women give birth to 400 children in Orange County, according to affidavits released Tuesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It is not illegal for foreign nationals to give birth in the United States.

In order to curb the practice of pregnancy tourism, authorities are looking into visa and tax fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.  Many of the women interviewed allegedly were told to hide their pregnancy at airports and avoid questions about why they were traveling to the United States in an attempt to conceal their real purpose.

You Win USA Vacation Resort, USA Happy Baby Inc. and Star Baby Care are the main companies law enforcement is focusing on pursuant to their warrants.

A Santa Ana man was charged with murder and felony hit and run causing death after killing Pearleen Hopkins on January 28, 2015.  Dallas Reichstein, 46 faces 34 years to life in prison after his SUV struck Hopkins on West MacArthur Boulevard in Santa Ana while she was crossing the street.  Hopkins died at the scene while Reichstein fled the scene.  Reichstein had been previously convicted in 2011 of driving under the influence in Orange County Superior Court.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed murder and attempted murder charges against Marion “Suge” Knight for allegedly running down two men in Compton. One of the men, Terry Carter, 55, was killed while Cle “Bone” Sloan, has been released from a hospital.

Knight at the time of the Compton incident was out on bail in a robbery case according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Initially bail was set at $2.2 million but has since been revoked.

To date, the murder and attempted murder charges are the most serious ever leveled against Knight. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

Police say former music mogul Knight, the co-founder of Death Row Records, was involved in a fatal hit-and-run in a Tam’s Burgers parking lot in Compton. Video taken outside Tam’s Burgers captured the fatal incident in the parking lot, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Biddle said.

“It looks like an intentional act,” said Biddle, an investigator who watched the video but declined to give more details.