Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Second Man Charged in $40 Million Folsom Ponzi Scheme
United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Drew Parenti, and IRS-Criminal Investigation Special-Agent-in-Charge Scott O’Briant announced that KENNETH KENITZER, 66, of Pleasanton, California has been charged for his role in a massive investment fraud scheme that caused losses of more than $40 million to approximately 150 investors.
Defendant KENTIZER has agreed to plead guilty to mail fraud and money laundering charges and to cooperate in this investigation. He is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Sacramento in the near future to enter his guilty plea. The defendant’s plea agreement is subject to court approval. The government previously charged ANTHONY VASSALLO with multiple counts of mail fraud and money laundering on March 20, 2009.
This case is the product of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations. The United States Securities & Exchange Commission assisted with this case.
Investment Ponzi Scheme
Assistant United States Attorney Robin R. Taylor, who is prosecuting the case, stated that according to documents filed in court, KENITZER, VASSALLO, and others operated Equity Investment Management and Trading, Inc. (hereinafter ?EIMT" or ?EIMT hedge fund") as a hedge fund investment program. VASSALLO, and others, offered and sold investments falsely representing that investors would make an annual return of up to 36 percent with virtually no risk of loss. The EIMT Hedge Fund investment program did not invest the money obtained as represented. Rather, KENTIZER, VASSALLO, and others operated EIMT as a vast Ponzi scheme that has generated over $40 million in investments from victims in the Eastern and Northern Districts of California.
According to court documents, VASSALLO, and others, identified potential investors through "sub-fund managers" and issued investors a Private Placement Memorandum ("PPM"). Many investors mailed their PPM to KENTIZER at his personal residence. VASSALLO falsely represented that he had proprietary software that allowed him to buy and sell stock options with little risk of loss. VASSALLO recruited many of the sub-fund managers and investors from his church. KENITZER, VASSALLO, and others represented to investors that their funds would be ttraded by them on the Russell 2000 index through Trade Station. Trade Station is a licensed securities broker-dealer and a registered futures commission merchant, and was in no way part of the fraud.
Court documents further reveal that in approximately September 2007, all trading stopped and funds were withdrawn from Trade Station. Nevertheless, KENITZER and VASSALLO continued to falsely tell investors that their money was invested and was making a high rate of return. KENITZER, VASSALLO, and others, carried out the fraud by providing "simulated" information to investors to make it appear that he was investing funds as represented and to fraudulently show that EIMT had $50 million on deposit with Trade Station. A simulated trade session is when a person can do simulated trades with simulated account funds to develop strategy. When a person is trading in a simulated trading session, that session is given a simulated account number. VASSALLO fraudulently provided this simulated financial information to investors as proof of funds on deposit.
According to court documents, KENTIZER, VASSALLO, and others took steps to keep investors in the dark about the fraudulent nature of the EIMT hedge fund program. Specifically, when investors asked about the status of their investments and distributions, VASSALLO falsely told investors that there were "problems with the Trade Station platform" and that he could not invest funds in November 2008. Further, when investors sought to have funds returned, VASSALLO falsely told them that Trade Station had contacted the SEC and that the SEC froze the funds in the accounts. According to Trade Station and the SEC, these representations by VASSALLO were false.
If convicted, KENTIZER faces up to 20 years in prison for the mail fraud and up to 10 years for the money laundering, with fines up to twice the value of the victims’ losses. However, the actual sentence will be dictated by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and will be imposed at the discretion of the court.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Republican Congressman Dan Lungren of Gold River praised yesterday’s announcement that SMUD would receive $127.5 million in federal stimulus money to install so-called smart meters in every home and business in its service area.
The smart meters will provide real time information to consumers of electric use and are believed to be an important tool in energy conservation efforts.
The SMUD grant was part of a larger $3.4 billion in grants issued Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Energy. The energy funds were part of President Obama’s American Recovery and Investment Act that was approved last winter.
On his website, Lungren said he advocated for SMUD in a July 27 letter to the Department of Energy saying the project was win-win for person and national stewardship of our resources.
“We have arrived at a point where our energy, environmental and national security interests all point to the need for a common solution," Lungren said on his website. "This is why I endorse SMUD's effort."
While Lungren says he supported SMUD request, he is not being entirely honest on his support for the project according to Andy Stone, Western Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“After voting against landmark clean energy legislation and the economic recovery package, now Congressman Lungren is claiming credit and hailing the results as the solution to ‘energy, environmental and national security issues,’” Stone said. “This latest example of Lungren’s hypocrisy, saying one thing in Washington and another in California, is off the charts.”
The SMUD grant came from stimulus funds contained in the American Recover and Revinetment Act. Lungren voted no on the package.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The Sacramento Metropolitan Red Light Photo Enforcement Detail has placed new digital red light photo enforcement camera systems at three intersections in the city of Sacramento. The intersections are:
* Mack Road and Valley Hi Drive
* Mack Road and Center Parkway
* Broadway and 21st Street
The new camera systems are currently being tested and are scheduled to go "live" on Wednesday, October 28, 2009. For a period of thirty days, red light violators will be mailed a warning notice.
On November 27, 2009, red light violators will begin to receive actual citations by mail from these intersections. When a citation is issued and received by the violator through the mail, they will be referred to a website where they can review the still and/or video images of their violation. The violator will be able to clearly see where their vehicle is in relationship to the intersection's limit line, and the green, yellow and red lights. The fine is currently $426 for red light running violations.
Increased traffic safety is the number one priority of the county's Red Light Photo Enforcement Program. There has been as much as a 76% reduction in red-light related crashes at the photo enforced intersections in the city and county since the implementation of the program.
Furthermore, there has been a 28% reduction in red-light running related crashes at all signal-controlled intersections in the city and county of Sacramento.
Same suspect also arrested on stalking charges
An Elk Grove Man was arrested late Friday night on suspicion pf stalking and peeping charges according to Elk Grove Police.
According to police reports, 28-year old KeMasson Washington was on the 8900 block of Park Meadows Drive when he approached his victim as she taking her trash outside. The suspect asked the victim for a glass of water and when the victim went to get it, Washington followed her to the front door and began to touch her face.
The victim immediately went in the house, locked the door and called for police. The victim could hear Washington attempting to open the door and was also observed looking into the residence through a front room window.
Upon arrival, officer arrested Washington on stalking and peeping charges. The suspect was transferred to the county jail.
Monday, October 26, 2009
SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown announced today that JEROME MICHAEL ENDSLEY II, 28, of West Sacramento, was sentenced Thursday morning by United States District Court Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to three years and 10 months for two counts of bank robbery. He was ordered to pay restitution of $14,678. He pleaded guilty on August 13, 2009.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Sacramento Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the City of West Sacramento Police Department, and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rodriguez, who prosecuted the case, ENDSLEY admitted serial commission of five Sacramento bank robberies in four months. He was arrested on April 15, 2009 after he fled the scene after robbing the Chase Bank located at 4701 Freeport Blvd. He pleaded guilty to that robbery as well as to robbing the Wells Fargo Bank at 3518 Marconi Ave. on March 27, 2009.
As part of his plea agreement, ENDSLEY admitted committing three additional robberies, as follows:
1. United Commercial Bank, 4790 Freeport Blvd., January 2, 2009;
2. Bank of America, 5600 Folsom Blvd., January 27, 2009;
3. Bank of America, 4740 Freeport Blvd., February 2, 2009.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Suspect used social networking site to prey on juvenile
This morning Elk Grove Police arrested 31-year-old Charles Licop of Sacramento for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old male.
According to police reports, officers received information that Licop had established communications with the 13-year-old high school student by way of a social networking site. Through this communication, arrangements were made to pick up the victim after school.
On October 21, 2009, Licop arrived at the high school located in Sacramento and picked up the victim. Charles Licop then drove the victim to a vacant residence in Elk Grove where the assault took place.
Licop had previously resided at this residence and had knowledge that the home was vacant. After the assault, Licop drove the 13-year-old victim back to school and dropped him off. The victim later reported the crime to local law enforcement.
The suspect was taken into custody in Sacramento and is currently in custody at the Sacramento County Main Jail. Licop is being held on charges of 288(a) Penal Code (Lewd or Lascivious act with a child under 14) and 286(c)(1) (Sodomy - Under 14 and more that 10 years younger that suspect).
Police seek information
The Elk Grove Police Department is asking anyone with information regarding this crime, or any knowledge of additional victims, to call the Elk Grove Police Department Detective Bureau at (916) 478-8060.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown announced today that MARK KESSELL, 51, of Sacramento, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge John A. Mendez to 52 months in federal prison. He had previously pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography on July 7, 2009.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Sacramento office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Laurel D. White, who prosecuted the case, the court also imposed a five-year term of supervised release to commence upon the termination the prison term, and ordered KESSELL to pay a $12,500 fine. While on supervised release, he will be subject to numerous conditions including the search of his premises and any computer equipment he possesses, and he will have to refrain from having contact with children under the age of 18, unless approved by his probation officer. The defendant will also be required to register as a sex offender.
In sentencing the defendant, Judge Mendez noted that the seriousness of the offense conduct, and the nature of some of the images possessed by KESSELL, justified the 52-month sentence that was higher than that recommended by the government and the United States Probation Officer. KESSELL, a former lieutenant with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s department, was ordered to report to the federal penal institution he will be designated to, or the United States Marshal Service, on December 4, 2009, to commence serving his 52-month sentence.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Main Defendant Sentenced for his Conviction on Conspiracy to Transport Stolen Property and Structuring Transactions
Hassan Swaid was sentenced in Oakland today to 78 months in prison for conspiring to purchase stolen merchandise from major retailers and shipping the stolen goods to out of state customers, and for structuring his finances to avoid currency transaction reports, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced.
Swaid, 40, of Fremont, Calif., was convicted on June 24, 2009, following a six week jury trial. Evidence presented at the trial showed that Swaid was the president, chief executive officer and owner of Rosemont Wholesale, Inc., from 1998 through February 2007. Swaid paid more than $9 million dollars for stolen goods and then shipped the stolen goods to out-of-state customers. Swaid was involved in a criminal ring that purchased merchandise that included baby formula and over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, teeth whitening products, and razor blades, which had been stolen by professional shoplifters, drug addicts and thieves from major retailers that included Safeway, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart. Rosemont then sold the goods over the Internet and shipped them to other states.
According the evidence, Swaid had two main sources of stolen goods, the owners of two Oakland convenience stores – Kings Food Market and 1 Star Discount Store – and the owners of a San Francisco convenience store – Jimmy’s Market. These convenience stores bought the stolen goods from professional shoplifters at prices far below their actual value and sold the products to Swaid. The stolen goods were brought to Swaid’s warehouse in Hayward, Calif., and were advertised over the Internet on a Web site owned by Swaid – www.wholesaleramp.com. The jury determined that Swaid had structured his payments to his illegal sources to evade the filing of Currency Transaction Reports by banks which would have caused scrutiny of these transactions.
On Feb. 8, 2007, federal agents executed search warrants at six locations in the East Bay including the two Oakland convenience stores and Rosemont Wholesale’s warehouse in Hayward. The searches uncovered more than $4 million of over-the-counter medications, baby formula, and personal hygiene products. Twelve trailer loads of merchandise were seized from Rosemont’s warehouse.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge D. Lowell Jensen. Judge Jensen also sentenced the defendant to a three year period of supervised release. The defendant was remanded to the custody of U.S. Marshals.
Convictions were also obtained against five other individuals:
Mossleh Abdo Amari, 49, of San Leandro, Calif., an employee at Kings Food Market, one of Swaid’s main sources of stolen goods, located in Oakland
Ammar Abdo Alamari, 27, of San Leandro, Mossleh Amari’s brother
Basheer Mossleh Abdo Ammari, 26, of San Leandro, Mossleh Amari’s son
Mona Aboushi, 32, of Elk Grove, Calif., and Mohammad Abbushi, 31, of San Francisco, Swaid’s other main source of stolen goods, operating out of a residence in Daly City, Calif.
On Sept. 9, 2008, Mossleh Abdo Amari pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport stolen property and to structure, structuring currency in order to evade filing Currency Transaction Reports, three counts of filing false tax returns and tax evasion. Alamari pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport stolen property and structure and structuring currency. Basheer Ammari pleaded guilty to structuring currency.
On April 7, 2009, Mona Aboushi pled guilty to making a false statement in conjunction with the investigation into the stolen goods. On May 8, 2009, Mohammad Abbushi pled guilty to conspiracy to structure currency and to transport stolen goods in interstate commerce.
This prosecution stems from a nearly two and one-half year investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Oakland Police Department.
Friday, October 16, 2009
SMUD Director and Democrat candidate for Congress Bill Slaton announced yesterday that he raised $253,000 during the third quarter ending September 30. Slaton has a total of $398,000 on hand.
I am pleased to receive support from all across California's 3rd Congressional District, as we continue to grow our grassroots campaign. The bottom line: People need jobs. The old Washington ways of thinking will not create new jobs for the future. Now more than ever, we need to redouble our efforts - to preserve the jobs we have, and grow new ones. If we want to change Washington, we need to change the people we send there - to get our economy back on track. With our fundraising success, we will continue to build a grassroots campaign to do just that," Slaton said
Slaton and Dr. Ami Bara are vying for opportunity to face incumbent Dan Lungren in next years race for California’s third congressional district. Elk Grove City Council member Gary Davis recently dropped out of the race.
Bera has money edge so far
While Slaton has raised a significant amount of money for his campaign, his opponent for the Democratic nomination, Dr. Ami Bera of Elk Grove, has proven to be an effective fundraiser. Bera recently reported he had raised $335,000 in the third quarter bring his total to $585,000.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The Elk Grove City Council announced last night that they will file a lawsuit against real estate developer Reynen & Bardis for $1.4 million in unpaid taxes.
The announcement came following the council's closed session. The litigation will seek payment of overdue taxes on Reynen & Bardis's Laguna Ridge project.
The Laguna Ridge project is a 1,900 acre specific planning area community that Reynen & Bardis was slated to build up to 3,000 dwellings. The development is also the planned site of Elk Grove's much vaunted new city hall.
Chapter 11 filing
Subsequent to the approval of the Laguna Ridge plan, owners Christo Bardis and John Reynen were forced into personal Chapter 11 bankruptcies as a direct result of the real estate collapse and worldwide credit crisis.
Generally speaking, when an Chapter 11 is filed a court ordered automatic stay is imposed and all collection activities are suspended.
Reynen & Bardis as such has ceased to exist and now operates as Buildco Inc., and is tasked with finishing projects with the intent of maximizing value for creditors.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Comes as a result of repeated late submission of mileage reimbursement by Scherman; see story below
Letter from EGCAPP
Dear Mayor Hume, Council members Davis, Detrick and Cooper:
Copy to Elk Grove City Clerk Susan Blackston with an official request to pull Consent Item 6.5 for discussion and public comment.
On behalf of EGCAPP, we hereby request that Consent Item 6.5 be pulled from the Consent Calendar at the October 14th Elk Grove City Council meeting and we officially request all of you vote "No" on this item. Reason is simple: Either the rules apply to everyone or they don't.
Also by voting on this current resolution (which, by the way, has no number to reference in the future), all four of you are hereby admitting that all of the reimbursements that Vice Mayor Sophia Scherman has turned in late are, in fact, in violation of Resolution 2006-295. Do you realize the implications here? All four of you received previous emails telling you exactly what was going to occur. Please do not look the other way here!
Ms. Scherman's current expenses are for July, 2009. Where is Ms. Scherman's August, 2009 reimbursement? That one is not in compliance either. Is another resolution on the way?
And by the mere fact that a resolution has to be passed means that you made the case for us that Ms. Scherman violated not only Government Code Section 53232, but also the city of Elk Grove's Resolution 2006-295. And at the last council meeting, City Attorney Susan Burns Cochran said Ms. Scherman didn't do anything wrong. If that is true, why this resolution?
Do the rules apply to everyone?
Again we ask: Do the rules apply to everyone? The buck stops with this city council and the examples set for everyone must start with this council.
At last Tuesday's Charter Commission meeting, Mike Quattrociocchi, Connie Conley and Council member Detrick held former Charter Commission Vice Chair Chris Orrock accountable for his actions, calling for his resignation because of violations of the city of Elk Grove's Code of Ethics. Is Ms. Scherman getting a pass here? No double standard is ever acceptable, or is it?
And frankly, shame on Ms. Scherman for putting all four of you in this position. What she should state is, "Lesson learned. I didn't comply with Resolution 2006-295 which I signed as mayor. Therefore, I request that Consent Item 6.5 be pulled. If I don't submit my reimbursements according to the resolution which I signed as Mayor of Elk Grove back in 2006, then I am SOL."
Furthermore, you must not look the other way even on the "little things," even if that little is thing $1.10 in mileage. And if Ms. Scherman is hurting that much that she must put in for that amount of mileage reimbursement, may we suggest that you rescind your $60.00 decrease in your monthly salary because it was just for show for the cameras during budget talks when the staff gave up their raises. Gives modern meaning to the quote by Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in the movie Sunset Boulevard, "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."
And on that same "vain," we citizens are no longer fooled by such theatrics. Who on staff filled out this expense reimbursement for Ms. Scherman? She goes from scribbled notes to a filling out an expense reimbursement with general ledger accounts numbers included. And we cannot resist asking: How stupid does Ms. Scherman think we citizens are?
All four of you have too much integrity to even compromise on the little things and please ask yourselves: Who put you in this position? Can't blame this one on those "pesky citizens" who get in the way? From Price Pritchett's book, The Ethics of Excellence, "How can we be trusted with big things if we're not trustworthy with things that are small? Don't allow your finer instincts to become a casualty of the little everyday crimes of ethical compromise."
The five of you must hold each other accountable. It is your duty to the citizens of Elk Grove whom you represent. Please send a loud message on ethics, and on principle, that this council does abide by the rules, and does not look the other way, by pulling Consent Item 6.5 and voting "No."
Sunday, October 11, 2009
On October 10, 2009, at 11:26 p.m., 40-year-old Sacramento resident Terrell Craig turned himself into Sheriff’s deputies at the Sheriff’s Department’s North Division station house at 5510 Garfield Avenue. After being questioned by homicide detectives, Craig was arrested and booked (see booking photo below) into the Sacramento County Main Jail on the charge of murder. Detectives believe Craig is responsible for the shooting death of 16-year-old Joshua Mayes which had occurred earlier that day on Greenholme Drive.
On October 10, 2009, at 11:36 a.m., Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 4300 block of Greenholme Drive regarding a shooting. When deputies arrived they found Mayes laying on the sidewalk. He had suffered at least one gunshot wound to his upper body. Paramedics arrived a short time later and pronounced Mayes dead at the scene.
The motive for the shooting is still under investigation. Anyone with information about this shooting is urged to call Homicide detectives at (916) 874-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP; or send a text message tip by texting to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter SACTIP followed by the tip information.
Craig is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on October 14, 2009, at 1:30 p.m., in Department 63.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Stars not aligning in Jim Cooper’s universe; Enough time to recover?
Since his formal announcement that he is seeking to become the next Sheriff of Sacramento County, things have not gone very well for Jim Cooper.
First there was current Sheriff John McGinness’ resignation announcement. While he did not make any endorsement at the time, he flatly said that he would not be supporting Cooper.
Nonetheless, Cooper was able to recover and snagged the endorsement of McGinness’s predecessor, Lou Blanas.
The next problem, or what looked like a problem, was the announcement from McGinness that his choice for sheriff, Scott Jones, was being endorsed by Elk Grove Mayor Patrick Hume. Although Hume quickly retracted McGinness, it was evident that Cooper may not even have the support of a fellow council member.
It didn't help Cooper's street cred either when former Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Simmons threw his support to Jones. As far as we know, Simmons has not done a "Hume" on Jones and backpedaled his endorsement.
Then there last week's story in the Sacramento News and Review. Depending on your perspective, Cooper did not come out looking that that nice of a guy. Just ask former Elk Grove council member Dan Briggs.
The story outlined Cooper’s imbroglio with the Sacramento County Grand Jury regarding relations with fellow council members, city employees and conflict-of-interest votes over the city’s contract with the sheriff’s department.
The story also covered Cooper’s term as the head of the county jail. During his tenure, the jail experienced a serious problem with inmate suicides.
All of this will undoubtedly become campaign fodder used against Cooper in the coming months. But if these obstacles have not deterred Cooper in three successful city council campaigns, another “L” word exploded last week that might prove to be difficult to overcome.
The Leary problem
Last week former Elk Grove City Council member Mike Leary was arrested on real estate fraud charges. Although Cooper is in no way associated with the arrest, The Sacramento Bee was seemingly quick to associate the duo.
Both were charter members of the Elk Grove City Council and both are long times veterans with the sheriff’s department. Also, the two were subjects of the scathing Sacramento County Grand Jury Report.
In reporting on Leary’s arrest, The Sacramento Bee wrote:
It has been a difficult period for both Leary and the department. Leary lost his bid in November for re-election to the Elk Grove City Council, where he served for years with sheriff's Capt. Jim Cooper, who is now running for sheriff.
Leary and Cooper had faced criticism in the past by the Sacramento County grand jury for their actions as members of the council.
A follow-up story contained the same phrase noted above. The interesting aspect of this story was that several of the comments took glee in tying Cooper to Leary.
In a SacBee blog posting on Leary’s legal problems, with no mention of Cooper, readers took the opportunity to slam Cooper.
Whether it is fair or not, Cooper will be baring the weight of Leary. Scott Jones and his supporters undoubtedly are aware of this and it will be interesting to see how, or if, they exploit it.
Whether or not Cooper can shake himself free of the Leary’s legacy between now and next June will be a determining factor in his bid to become sheriff.
Former Kern County Sheriff's Deputy Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison for Possession of Child Pornography
United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown announced that MICHAEL LYNN LEYDER, 27, of Bakersfield, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to four years and nine months for his conviction on one count of possession of child pornography. A 15-year term of supervised release will follow the prison term during which his access to minors, computers, and the Internet will be restricted.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bakersfield Police Department.
According to Assistant United States Attorney David Gappa, who prosecuted the case, LEYDER’s girlfriend discovered images of child pornography on LEYDER’s laptop computer in early May 2008. A forensic examination of the computer revealed that LEYDER had downloaded at least two video files of child pornography.
At least one of the videos contained images of violent or sadistic conduct involving a child under the age of 12. Many other file titles associated with child pornography were also recovered, although the files had been deleted. At the time the two video files were downloaded, LEYDER was employed by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy sheriff.
LEYDER pleaded guilty on July 28, 2009 and was remanded into federal custody.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
SACRAMENTO—United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown announced today that PATRICK BOYKIN, 33, of Yuba City was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge William B. Shubb to 210 months (17 .5 years) in federal prison. The defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine on July 27, 2009.
This case is the product of an extensive/joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Sutter County’s NET-5 drug task force.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Heiko P. Coppola, who prosecuted the case, BOYKIN admitted that he and his brother conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine between September 13, 2006 and March 29, 2007.
During the course of the conspiracy, BOYKIN was responsible for distributing approximately 382 grams of methamphetamine and approximately 106 grams of cocaine. Judge Shubb also found BOYKIN had possessed firearms during the course of the conspiracy.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
SACRAMENTO, CA—United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent-in-Charge Drew Parenti announced today that JOSHUA GERVOLSTAD, 31, of Redding, pleaded guilty today to one count of mail fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the FBI.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Matthew D. Segal, who prosecuted the case, GERVOLSTAD, who was a mortgage broker, submitted inflated appraisals and false lien documents for use in closing purchase transactions involving five different real properties located in Redding and in Lodi.
The closing statement for each property contained fraudulent papers requiring the payoff of a lien to an entity called “TPG Investments.” In each case, the lien did not exist.
In reality, GERVOLSTAD controlled TPG Investments and used its bank account to divert mortgage loan funds to himself and other persons. His conduct caused $1,798,888.91 in fraudulent payouts for liens that did not exist, affecting mortgages with a total value of $5,441,562. At least three of the properties were foreclosed and were sold for a combined loss of at least $1,170,000.
“The vigorous pursuit of real estate professionals who perpetrated mortgage fraud is a top priority for federal authorities in this region,” stated U.S. Attorney Brown.
GERVOLSTAD is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge William B. Shubb on December 14, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of mail fraud is 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and restitution of the full amount of the loss.
The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables and any applicable statutory sentencing factors.
Developers responsible for the Elk Grove Promenade are seeking court permission to pay 11 executives as much as $11.6 million in incentive bonuses according to court filings.
Prior to the stop of construction 14 months ago, The Elk Grove Promenade shopping center was being developed by Chicago-based General Growth Properties (GGP). Last April GGP sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
GGP’s April filing was the largest real estate bankruptcy in U.S. history after loading up on $27 billion in debt. GGP reportedly owes the City of Elk Grove more than $100,000 in development fees.
Attorneys tell judge lack of incentive ‘devastating’ for executives
In seeking court permission to pay the incentives, GGP’s attorneys wrote “without the employee incentive program, employees’ direct compensation potential will remain substantially below market and the effect on their incentives will be devastating.”
A hearing on the motion will be held on October 15.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Former Elk Grove Council Member Leary Accused Of Cheating Ex-Girlfriend, Filing Altered Real Estate Document
Former Elk Grove council member Mike Leary was arrested yesterday morning on four counts of real estate fraud and forgery involving a scheme to allegedly cheat his former girlfriend.
Leary, a lieutenant with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department has been placed on paid administrative lead according to a spokesperson. Leary was arrested, booked and released on a $15,000 bond Friday morning.
According to court documents, Leary is accused of seeking to defraud his former girlfriend, Alyc Maselli, out of her portion of a house they purchased jointly in 2006.
The complaint says the couple bought the house on 3301 Marina Cove Circle in Elk Grove and the original deed had only Leary’s name on it. The couple agreed after the house was purchased, Leary would deed an equal portion to Maselli.
Subsequent to Maselli’s name being added to the deed, Leary allegedly recorded an altered document in hand writing to show he owned a 90 percent portion of the property without informing Maselli. Leary reportedly supplied Maselli with a copy showing equal ownership.
By February of 2009 the couple had ended their relationship and Maselli had fallen behind on the mortgage payment when Leary sought her eviction. Maselli sought legal advise at the time and discovered the altered recorded documents.
The matter was brought to the attention of the district attorney's office who initiated the investigation.
In a story from the Sacramento Bee, Leary's attorney William J. Portanova said the case was as a result of a misunderstanding with an unsophisticated property owner. Maselli had been employed as a branch manager for North American Title Company.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Former Elk Grove City Council Member and Current Sac County Sheriff Lt. Mike Leary Arrested On Four Felony Charges
Former Elk Grove city council member Michael Patrick Leary was arrested on four felony charges this morning. Leary is also a 27-year veteran lieutenant with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
The four charges against Leary are PC 487 (a), Grand Theft; PC 470 (c), Forgery; PC 470 (d), Forgery and PC 115 (a), Forgery of a public document.
According to the Sacramento County Court's website, no hearing date has been set. Bail was set at $10,000.
On paid leave from Sheriffs department
Sacramento County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Sgt. Tim Curran said that Leary was placed on paid administrative leave as of this morning. Leary will continue to be paid until the criminal charges are resolved according to Curran.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
On September 23, 2009, the Elk Grove Police Department arrested 38-year-old Bradley Dayley for sexually molesting a 12-year-old female relative over a three year period.
During the course of the investigation, detectives recovered videotaped and photographic evidence of the molestation, which Dayley had distributed over the internet. Detectives have contacted an 18-year-old female who was also victimized by Dayley when she was 16-year-old.
The second victim is not related to Dayley, and the illegal activity took place over a two year period. Dayley was remanded into custody and today was formally charged with the additional crimes.
Dayley is currently in custody at the Sacramento County Main Jail and is being held on a bail of $1,500,000.00. Dayley’s new charges now include, 13 counts of 288(a) PC (Lewd or Lascivious act with a child under 14), 8 counts of 261.5(c) PC (Unlawful sexual intercourse - victim more than 3 years younger) and 288.7(b) PC (Oral copulation or sexual penetration of a child 10 or younger).
The Elk Grove Police Department is asking anyone with information regarding this crime, or any knowledge of additional victims, to call the Elk Grove Police Department Detective Bureau at (916) 478-8060.
Elk Grove's own John Kerry?
During the 2004 presidential election Sen. John Kerry was bludgeoned by Karl Rove and his band of mirth-makers for his flip-flop voting on funding of the Iraq war.
Along with being "Swiftboated," the attacks on Kerry worked and Bush narrowly won the popular vote.
From the sounds coming out of a host of sources, it looks like Elk Grove may have its own flip-flopper.
It all started last week during the press conference announcing Scott Jones candidacy for Sacramento County Sheriff. One of the first sentences uttered by retiring Sheriff John McGinness was not about Jones, but rather one his endorsements.
In fact the first endorsement McGinness announced (view the video) was from the Mayor of Elk Grove.
"The Honorable Mayor Patrick Hume, Mayor of the City of Elk Grove is a supporter."The announcement of an endorsement from a fellow politician is usually not an earth shattering event. They are common elements of the political game.
This announcement was significant though in that one of Jones' opponent is Hume's fellow Elk Grove City Council member, Jim Cooper. Endorsing a fellow council member's opponent this early in the game might not make for the most harmonious, and more importantly, constructive thing for Hume to do.
After all, what happens if Hume wins reelection in 2010 and Coopers loses his bid for sheriff. Unless Cooper resigns from the city council, there will be at least one council member with a grudge to carry.
Are these the type of working relationships that are best for the people of Elk Grove as we work through the most challenging period in our city's short history?
It was not surprising therefore to read in today's Elk Grove Citizen that Hume said he had not officially endorsed Jones. Was it possible the McGinness fabricated Hume's endorsement?
Given the fact that McGinness eagerly announced Hume's endorsement first, it would indicate it was a much sought after endorsement meant to kick some sand in Cooper's face. What better way to slap Cooper around than have Hume endorse Jones.
In any case, this flip-flopping reflects badly on Hume. You can't help but wonder if he is being played for a chump by the McGinness camp; just like he was last spring during Dan Lungren's faux town hall meeting.