August 6, 2014

Former Lobbyist Charged in Embezzlement Scheme

Rob Katherman, 68 and his wife Marilyn Katherman, 65 were both charged with felony counts of misappropriation of public funds. Rob Katherman worked as a lobbyist for Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price but has since resigned.

Authorities allege that the Katherman's illegally sent money from a nonprofit organization in Torrance to cover personal expenses for Ronald Smith, a member of the board of West Basin Municipal Water District. Smith, has also been charged with one county of financial conflict of interest, two counts of misappropriation of public funds and four counts of perjury. Smith has pleaded not guilty to all counts.

In total, authorities allege the Katherman's funneled about $20,000 to Smith by way of writing checks on behalf of his children for tuition, tennis lessons and dance classes. In addition, checks sent by the Katherman's also covered rent and repairs to Smith's boat.

If convicted, the Katherman's face up 4 years in state prison.

August 6, 2014

Huntington Beach Man Arrested for Newport Beach Bank Robbery

A Huntington Beach man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of robbing a bank in Newport Beach. 28-year-old Christopher Mellies was arrested by Newport Beach police for allegedly robbing a Wells Fargo Bank on East Coast Highway July 20, 2014.

Newport Beach investigators are looking into other similar bank robberies to see if Meilles can be tied to additional criminal conduct.

August 4, 2014

DUI Arrests in San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano

The Orange County Sheriff's Department in conjunction with with the California Office of Traffic Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made nine arrests over the weekend for driving under the influence. Sheriff deputies saturated the areas with patrol cars and stopped 92 vehicles and conducted 16 sobriety tests. In addition to the nine DUI arrests, there were additional citations for unlicensed drivers and suspended licenses.

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol has serious consequences that can lead to heavy fines, jail, loss of driving privileges and even loss of employment. Anyone arrested for DUI in Orange County should contact our office for a consultation.

August 2, 2014

Grandfather Arrested for Allegedly Shooting Grandkids

Michael Fredrick Molle was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of attempted murder after allegedly shooting his two step-grandchildren. Molle 72, of Rossmoor allegedly shot his step-grandchildren after a domestic dispute at their home. No word on what led to the shooting.

Neighbors reported that there seemed to be a party at Molle's home prior to hearing ambulance and police sirens. Both victims are in their early 20's and the male victim was said to have been released from a local hospital while the female victim suffered life threading injuries and remains hospitalized.

Molle was booked into Orange County Men's Central Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. Molle faces possible charges including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and enhancements including discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury.

July 30, 2014

Orange County Woman Wanted in $5 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

Federal authorities are on the hunt for a Fullerton woman who they say is involved in a scheme to defraud Medicare of millions of dollars. Ji Have Kim, 43, of Fullerton is the woman they are looking for.

Kim, a registered nurse worked for GreatCare Home Health Inc., a Los Angeles based home health care company. Authorities allege Kim prepared false forms for Medicare home health care patients and falsified nursing notes to look as though she was visiting the patients when she in fact was not.

The insurance fraud scheme first came to light when a former employee filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the company and Hee Jung Mun, the owner, in 2010. In 2011, Kim pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and was out of custody pending sentencing. Kim never showed up for sentencing. Mun was sentenced to 57 months in prison.

July 28, 2014

Man Sentenced for Cold Case Sexual Assault in Orange County

Raul Moreno-Perez, 34, was sentenced to 25 years to life and lifetime registration as a sex offender for a crime he committed in 2001. On November 3, 2001 a 19-year-old girl was waiting at a bus stop in the city of Orange when Moreno-Perez asked her if she wanted a ride. She declined. Minutes later, Moreno-Perez got out of his car and sat next to the girl on the bus bench telling her he wanted to take her home. Again she declined so Moreno-Perez forced her into his vehicle.

Once in the vehicle, Moreno-Perez forced Jane Doe to orally copulate him. Jane Doe was able to escape and reported the assault where physical evidence was collected and stored. In March 2012, Moreno-Perez provided a DNA sample to the OCDA DNA data bank on an unrelated case where a match to the prior crime was made.

July 26, 2014

Cypress Resident Charged with 24 Felony Counts of Lewd Acts

Michael Mordaunt, 45, of Cypress was arrested and charged with 24 felony counts, including 7 counts of lewd acts with minors under 14. According to authorities, Mordaunt was posing as a teenage boy on social media connecting with underage girls. He alleged used MySpace and Facebook between 2009 and 2014 contacting girls between the ages of 12 and 16. Authorities are also alleging that he did in fact meet several of the girls in person and had inappropriate physical contact with them.

Mordaunt, worked in the IT department at Boeing and was arrested by a joint task force. If convicted on the felony lewd act counts and related substantial conduct enhancement, Mordaunt could face up to 27 years in prison.

July 25, 2014

Big Win for Defense in San Bernardino County Colonies Case

Judge Michael A. Smith dismissed conspiracy charges against all four defendants in the Colonies Partners LP case citing the expiration of the statute of limitations. Jeff Burum, Paul Baine, Jim Erwin and Mark Kirk are accused of conspiring to approve a $102 million settlement between San Bernardino County and Burum's investment group, Colonies in November 2006.

Conspiracy carries a three-year statute of limitations and the defense successfully argued that the alleged conspiracy was known in 2006, more than three-years prior to the filing of a criminal complaint. The defendants are currently pending other criminal charges that Judge Smith is also considering dismissing. The judge needed time to make an informed and accurate decision and continued the case one day.

On Thursday, Judge Smith indicated he was leaning toward dismissing another 12 felony counts against the defendants because of statue of limitation issues. The judge gave both the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office and The California Department of Justice attorneys additional time to argue why he should not dismiss the charges and he is taking their argument under submission.

The charges Judge Smith is currently considering dismissing are misappropriation of public funds, bribery and conflict of interest. If those charges are dismissed, the entire case against Burum will be dismissed. However, if the court allows the prosecutors to amend their complaint, it may prevent a dismissal.

July 25, 2014

Long Beach Man May Face Murder Charge for Killing Pregnant Burglar

A 80-year-old Long Beach man arrived at his home around 9:00 p.m. to find two burglars. The pair punched and body slammed the elderly man while they attempted to break into his safe. The homeowner, Tom Greer was able to retrieve a firearm and confronted the burglars who fled on foot out of the house. One of the burglars was a Andrea Miller, 28, of Long Beach who yelled to Greer not to shoot her because she was pregnant. Greer shot her anyway, twice, killing her. The second assailant, 26-year-old Gus Adams was able to run away unharmed. Adams is being held on $1 million bail for burglary and murder. In California, an accomplice can be charged with murder when during the commission of a crime and accomplice is killed.

Long Beach Police are currently looking into whether Greer had a lawful right to defend himself by shooting at fleeing suspects. If prosecutors feel the assailants fleeing negated an immediate fear of death or serious bodily injury by Greer, he can be faced with murder charges as well.

July 24, 2014

Man Arrested for Lewd Act with 16-year-old Girl

A man was arrested after San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff found him performing a sexual act on a minor. 40-year-old Adelanto School District substitute teacher, Rakshannah Ranney was arrested yesterday and charged with Penal Code Section 288, Lewd and Lascivious Acts on a Minor, PC 459, Burglary and PC 261.5, Unlawful Sex with a Minor.

Ranney is believed to have had an ongoing sexual relationship with the minor, who was not one of his students. Police report that the two men online. If convicted, Ranney faces up to 5 years in state prison.

July 24, 2014

Jurors Deliberating in Santa Ana Brawl Case

The jurors began deliberating Wednesday following the trial of two women accused of kicking Kim Pham, 23, in the head outside The Crosby in Santa Ana. Candace Brito and Vanesa Zavala are both charged with second-degree murder in the fatal beating of Pham which has caused a stir in the community because by all accounts, Pham was the person who "threw the first punch."

Witness testimony was varied on what if any role Brito and Zavala had in the death of Pham. According to the defendants own testimony they were at The Crosby celebrating a friend's birthday when that friend became involved in a confrontation with Pham. Pham punched the friend and a fight ensued. Pham was knocked to the ground and those involved continued to fight with her. Brito and Zavala testified that they did not kick Pham in the head, contrary to the prosecutions theory.

Jurors are expected to continue deliberating today and can choose lesser included offenses such as voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.

July 23, 2014

Chino Hills Man Arrested for Vehicular Manslaughter in Pomona

Rick Krujin Lee, 25, of Chino Hills was arrested after striking a bicyclist in Pomona. Police arrested Lee for vehicular manslaughter and DUI causing death and he is currently being held on $100,000 bail.

According to law enforcement, Lee was traveling down Garey Avenue in a white 335i BMW at about 2:30 a.m. when the car struck the bicyclists. The victim is described as a man in his 40's or 50's and was hit from behind by Lee. Further, upon police questioning, Lee admitted to drinking alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel of the car.

It appears this may be the first driving under the influence charge for Lee, because in California, a person can be charged with 2nd Degree Murder if after being convicted of a prior DUI they commit a second driving under the influence of alcohol and kill someone.
It must also be pointed out that there were no indication if Lee was actually over the legal limit when arrested.