Articles Tagged with prison

Published on:

Peter Herz, a 61-year old Westminster resident, pleaded guilty to a possession of child pornography charge in February. This offense is among many that are eligible for lifetime sex-offender registration. Before his arrest and incarceration, Herz reportedly had a job as a pianist and musical director for Laguna Beach’s “Pageant of the Masters.” Sources say he was also an accompanist at Cal State Fullerton’s Theater Department.

Herz was targeted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) “Operation Predator,” an initiative designed to protect children from sexual predators and to identify and rescue victims of child exploitation.

While Herz was out on bond and waiting for trial, he allegedly obtained new electronic devices and obtained new images of child pornography on them. In total, Herz was reportedly in possession of more than half a million images and roughly 400 videos of child pornography.

Published on:

Sherri Lynn Wilkins, a substance abuse counselor in California, hit a man with her vehicle and drove two miles with his body plastered to her windshield. Wilkins was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

The 55 year old Wilkins had pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and two counts of driving under the influence (DUI).

In 2014, Wilkins was found guilty on similar charges relating to the same crime, but an appeals court threw out the conviction based on the fact that her whole life’s criminal history had been admitted into trial and could have possibly caused prejudice with the jury.

Published on:

Angel Bronsgeest, a 55 year old woman from Lake Forest, plead guilty on Monday to federal charges of being involved in a real estate scam that cost Southern California investors $3.5 million, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Bronsgeest admitted that she, along with Shawn Watkins, a 46 year old man from Utah, would allegedly solicit the victims at Orange County hotel seminars and ask them to invest in their company, The Equity Growth Group. The two claimed that their company managed hundreds of properties, generating income from their rents, which was used to buy new properties. The investors were told they would be getting interest payments and that their money was secured by collateral through filing deeds of property trusts.

“Investor money was not used to acquire new properties, nor was it secured by collateral, and many victims did not receive interest payments. In fact, money that was paid to some victims as purported interest or a return on their investment came from investments made by other victims,” the Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Published on:

Jane Maria Nicholson, a 25 year old transgender woman, was sentenced to more the 5 years in prison on Wednesday for engaging in sex acts with teenage boys, one of them only 13. She propositioned the boys on a street in North Torrance.

Authorities said that the boys did not know their female partner was biologically a male until they were contacted by detectives investigating a child molestation case.

Nicholson formerly served on the board of the South Bay LGBT center. In September 2015 in a Torrance CitiCable video news feature that was posted on YouTube, Nicholson said she was happy with her role helping gay, lesbian, and transgender people at the LGBT center at 16610 Crenshaw Blvd.

Published on:

On Wednesday in Portland, Oregon a U.S. District Judge sentenced Darren Bottinelli to 46 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for healthcare fraud. Bottinelli was also order to pay $3,093,918 in restitution to his victims. The purpose of his company was to put money into trust accounts for employees of his clients, who could then draw upon those monies for eligible health expenditures.

Darren Bottinelli was the sole shareholder, officer, and director of Axis, based in Portland, Oregon. His company administered employee health reimbursement and flexible spending accounts for client employers nationwide.

Some of his clients included Goodwill Industries, Job squad, Cascade Christian Services, VersAbility Resources, and Vets Securing America; which employed veterans, mentally and physically disabled adults, other vulnerable individuals, as well as government contractors and other companies who hire hourly and minimum wage contract workers.

Published on:

According to prosecutors, two men were arraigned in Orange County Superior Court on charges of trafficking and attempted pimping of a teenage girl in Costa Mesa.

The two men, one 25 years old and the other 23 years old, also face charges for pimping a woman for sex, according to the Orange County DA office and the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force.

The two men were arrested on Saturday night in Costa Mesa on suspicion of attempting to pimp a teenage girl and a woman between May 2016 and June 2016 in an area of Costa Mesa that is known for prostitution, the statement said.

Published on:

A 39 year old Los Angeles woman, Jennifer Choi, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to stealing nearly $1 million over her 10 year career.

Choi’s job was to schedule hairstyling and makeup services for HBO’s actors and actresses. Without HBO’s knowledge, Choi developed her own company called Shine Glossy, which claimed to provide makeup and styling services, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Through her company, Shine Glossy, she submitted phony invoices for services that were not provided, falsely using the names of actors, making the invoices appear legitimate.

Published on:

Several Ulta beauty stores have been hit by thieves all around the Southern California area, including the Cerritos, Lakewood, Tustin, Rosemead, Redondo Beach, and The Rolling Hills Estates stores. Stores are claiming estimated loss of $100,000.

Seargant Mark Moffet of the Lomita Sheriff’s Department has said the thieves operated in what he called a “mob style.” They would enter the store as a group, spread out and stuff as much merchandise in their pockets as they could, and then rush out before police had a chance to arrive.

An eight person team hit the Rolling Hills Estates store, where officers were able to identify a known gang member as one of the suspects. “Once we identified some players, the flood gates opened up,” Sergeant Moffet said.

Published on:

A man who had been working as a youth pastor at Grace Community Church in Lake Forest, Orange County has just been sentenced to two years in state prison and lifetime sex registration, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s website. He plead guilty to two felony counts of sexual battery by restraint and two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. The assaults are alleged to have occurred last year and involved four separate female victims. Some of the assaults occurred on the Orange County church property. The victims spoke to the man during his sentencing in court, describing their suffering in a “victim impact statement.” Under California’s Marsy’s Law, every adjudged victim is given this right to confront her perpetrator.

If you or a loved one are charged with sexual battery or are the victim of sexual battery seeking help with a victim impact statement, please contact Orange County criminal defense attorney Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

Published on:

NFL network star Darren Sharper has recently pled guilty or no contest to drugging and raping a total of nine women in multiple states reports say.

While working as an analyst for the NFL network Sharper reportedly approached two women at a nightclub in West Hollywood in October 2013. He invited them to a party telling them he had to stop by his hotel room first. While they were inside his hotel room he offered the women drinks. One of the women woke up naked to Sharper, while he was sexually assaulting her. A few weeks later he was at the same nightclub and again, invited two women to a party, telling them he needed to stop by his hotel room.The women apparently lost consciousness sometime after.

For several months Sharper allegedly repeated these tactics across four different states. Over a dozen women eventually came forward, which led to criminal convictions five jurisdictions, including federal court.