November 16, 2014

Anaheim Physician Charged with Sexually Assaulting Patient

Dr. Sri Wijegunaratne, has been charged with sexually assaulting a patient at a Riverside medical marijuana clinic. According to records, Dr. Wijegunaratne is prohibited from practicing medicine while he is out on bail in his criminal case.

A female patient reported to authorities that she was sexually assaulted on May 19, 2014 while he was working at the clinic. The Riverside County District Attorney's Office filed two felony counts, forcible penetration and sexual battery.

This is not the first time Dr. Wijegunaratne has faced criminal charges, In 2013, a federal grand jury found him guilty of sex counts of health care fraud and conspiracy. While out on bail pending an appeal, Dr. Wijegunaratne faces 27 months in federal prison.

November 16, 2014

Newport Beach Physician Indicted on Child Pornography Charges

A federal grand jury indicted Dr. Mark Rettenmaier, 62, of Newport Beach, on two counts of possession of child pornography. Rettenmaier, who specializes in gynecologic oncology is alleged to have possessed the child porn images on November 20, 2011 and February 14, 2012 on a computer and iPhone. According the indictment, the offenses occurred both in Orange and San Bernardino counties.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs which is the governing body of the California Medical Board shows Dr. Rettenmaier still maintains an active license. If convicted, Dr. Rettenmaier faces lifetime registration as a sex offender which would automatically cause his medical license to be revoked.

October 23, 2014

DaVita to Pay $350 Million Over Allegations of Kickbacks

DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc. has agreed to pay $350 million over allegations they paid kickbacks to induce referral fees for dialysis treatment. The allegations involve kickbacks that were paid between 2005 and 2014 to physicians and physician groups that had large number of patients suffering renal disease.

The United States Attorney General's Office alleged DaVita would employ a three part business model to induce referrals. First, DaVita identified physicians and physician groups with a large number of patients suffering from renal failure in certain geographic locations. DaVita gathered intel on the physicians to determine if they were a "winning practice" which included those young physicians who were in debt.

Next, DaVita offered their targeted physicians/groups a lucrative opportunity to enter a joint venture involving DaVita's purchase an interest in dialysis clinics owned by the physician/groups. Finally, DaVita ensured future referrals through additional agreements with their physician/group partners.

The investigation began as a whistleblower claim (Qui Tam) by David Barbetta who was a Senior Financial Analyst in DaVitas M & A department. Mr. Barbetta will be compensated under the False Claims Act.

October 18, 2014

Canadian Pilot Arrested for Conspiracy to Smuggle Drugs Into John Wayne Airport

A Canadian pilot and his passenger were arrested October 10, 2014 for allegedly trying to smuggle $2 million in ecstasy into John Wayne Airport. Giles Lapointe, 61 and Krista Boseley, 30 are in federal custody on charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
Lapointe, the pilot was approached by Orange County Sheriff detectives after receiving information that the plane was attempting to smuggle drugs or cash into Orange County. Lapointe allowed officers to search his belongings and plane where they found a large sum of cash and 50,000 ecstasy pills and 90 pounds of ecstasy powder.
Laponte and Bosely are scheduled to appear Friday for a preliminary hearing.

October 15, 2014

Anaheim Physician Placed on Probation with the California Medical Board

Dr. Violeta Moyer De Jesus was placed on five years of probation by the California Medical Board after the board found her unsafe to practice safely due to her bipolar condition. Dr. De Jesus was subjected to a psychiatric evaluation las fall while working as a locum tenens physician at Colusa Regional Medical Center.

Terms of Dr. De Jesus' probation include not practicing medicine alone, not supervising physician assistants, further psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

October 15, 2014

Laguna Niguel Man Arrested For Attacking Real Estate Agent

23-year-old John Glenn, a transient has been arrested for attacking a real estate agent last weekend. The real estate agent, a 55-year-old woman was punched in the face and put in a choke hold just after 1:00 p.m. The woman was attacked from behind and lost consciousness after securing the lock box to the home.

A neighbor who heard the commotion also got into a fight with Glenn who fled the scene after the attack. Investigators stated Glenn admitted trying to break into the house and that he had been high on drugs. Bail is set at $50,000.

September 6, 2014

Deputy L.A. City Attorney Charged with Possessing Child Porn

Christopher Richard Garcia, 57, a deputy city attorney for the city of Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of possessing and distributing child pornography. Garcia had been under investigation for ten months and a warrant to search his home produced computers and other electronic devices.

Authorities said they found some questionable images on his computer and after a forensic search, found child exploitation. Law enforcement official say that Garcia has been charged with sending obscene material into the state for sale and possessing material depicting minors engaged in sexual activity.

Garcia who has been on placed on administrative leave remains free of custody after positing a bond in the amount of $40,000.

September 6, 2014

Former USC Professor Pleads Guilty to Having Sex With Minors Overseas

A former anthropology and history professor for the past 20 years was arrested and plead guilty to engaging in illegal sexual contact with minors in foreign places. Walter Lee Williams, 65, appeared in federal court yesterday and federal prosecutors recommended the disgraced professor receive no more than five years in federal prison and 10 years of supervision upon release.

Williams, traveled frequently to Southeast Asia/Pacific region and used his profession as a ruse to go overseas and research the topic of sexuality. While there, authorities allege he had sexual intercourse with boys aged 13-15-years-old.

Williams, was listed on the FBI's Most Wanted List in June 2013 after being indicted. He was captured in Playa del Carmen a coastal town in Mexico.

September 3, 2014

Boeing Engineer Arrested On Pornography Charge

Keith Gartenlaub, 46, formally of Irvine but now living in Laguna Hills was arrested by the F.B.I. on allegations of possessing child pornography. Gartenlaub, was being monitored by federal agencies and had his home searched pursuant to a warrant. According to law enforcement, Gartenlaub had what appeared to be pornographic videos of children appearing to be around 10-12 years old.

Gartenlaub was a senior engineer at Boeing for over 20 years and worked on "sensitive military matters." Gartenlaub is out of custody on bail and subject to electronic monitoring. If convicted, Gartenlaub faces 9-11 years in prison.

August 21, 2014

Man Arrestred for Home Invasion Robbery While Posing As Delivery Man

Jerry Coleman, 34, of Garden Grove was arrested for suspicion of posing as a delivery man and committing two home invasion robberies at gunpoint in Garden Grove. Coleman, is charged with first degree robbery in concert, false imprisonment, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, dissuading a witness, imprisonment by violence and criminal threats. Several of the felonies were charged seven times, likely indicating there were seven occupants of the homes at the time of the home invasion robberies.

According to law enforcement, on August 11, 2014 around 3:45 p.m. Coleman allegedly was carrying a bouquet of flowers and a clipboard, posing as a flower deliveryman. When the resident opened the door, Coleman and his accomplices pushed their way into the home. There were three people home in the residence who were allegedly threatened and had their property taken by Coleman.

On August 13, 2014, authorities again allege Coleman and accomplices, posing as a deliverymen, enter a home through an open garage. The men are accused of using zip ties to tie up three children and two adults who were inside the home. The two adults were ordered at gunpoint to disclose where their valuables were located and threatened with great bodily harm.

If convicted, Coleman faces 100 years in state prison. Coleman is currently being held on $1 million bail.

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.