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Mail Fraud

May 19, 2010 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
The owner of a Hermosa Beach loan company has pleaded guilty to a felony mail fraud charge related to a scheme in which she defrauded 90 investors of about $7 million, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said Wednesday. Mary Elaine Perkins, who owned Carlton Financial Enterprises Inc., entered into the plea agreement Monday, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office. Parker told investors that she would use their money to make short-term, high-interest loans to residential real estate owners who had difficulty obtaining financing.
March 4, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
A Northern California man was convicted of fraud for duping investors out of $7 million with false promises of big returns in alternative energy technology, prosecutors said Tuesday. Richard Rossignol of Shingle Springs, Calif., was accused of defrauding more than 300 investors from 2001 to 2010. A jury at the federal courthouse in Los Angeles convicted Rossignol, 63, on Friday of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 16. PHOTOS: The 10 wealthiest people in the world During a seven-week trial, prosecutors alleged that Rossignol conspired with William A. Stehl of Ventura to defraud investors by falsely claiming that several companies had agreed to license technology that Stehl had developed.
March 29, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy and Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Political treasurer Kinde Durkee is expected to plead guilty to mail fraud charges and could face up to 12 years in prison for allegedly pilfering more than $7 million from at least 50 candidates and nonprofit groups, according to people close to the case. Durkee is scheduled to appear Friday in federal court in Sacramento to face five counts of mail fraud involving the misuse of campaign accounts for clients including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Federal prosecutors have approved a plea agreement in which they will recommend that the judge consider a sentencing range of 8 to 12 years, said people with knowledge of the deal.
February 5, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
FBI agents arrested the owners of a now-closed Southern California real estate investment firm for allegedly using the business to run a Ponzi scheme in which victims lost more than $110 million. John Packard, 63, of Long Beach and Michael Stewart, 66, of Phoenix were indicted in January by a federal grand jury on 11 counts of mail fraud, three counts of bank fraud and two counts of bankruptcy fraud. They are accused of using new investor money to make payments to early investors, while pulling out millions of dollars for themselves, as their company, Pacific Property Assets, headed to bankruptcy.
April 6, 1986
A participant in a Ponzi scheme accused of defrauding hundreds of investors out of $3 million to $5 million was convicted in Los Angeles Federal Court on 20 counts of mail fraud. Asst. U.S. Atty. Ronald J. Nessim said Harold Mote Pruett, 47, who maintains residences both in West Hollywood and Santa Barbara County, operated the scheme between 1979-81 with his mother, Gertrude M. Pruett, who was not tried and is still a fugitive.
February 17, 1985 | NANCY RIVERA
The advertisements appeared on the back pages of women's magazines and Sunday newspapers, promising such attributes as a fuller bust or a slimmer waist. The products promoted by Jack and Eileen Feather, major shareholders of Cambridge Plan International, went by such names as the Mark Eden Bust Developer, Astro-Trimmer (a waist reducer) and Slim-Skins (sauna pants that are attached to a vacuum cleaner).
January 6, 1998 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Former NHL union boss Alan Eagleson, charged in two countries with betraying the players he represented, agreed in Boston on Monday to a plea bargain that will keep him out of a U.S. prison so he can serve at least 18 months in Canada. Eagleson, 64, is scheduled to plead guilty today to three counts of mail fraud in U.S. District Court.
February 10, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
A former state judge was sentenced in New Orleans to more than four years in federal prison for mail fraud in a case that alleged he took bribes from a bail bond company. Alan Green was accused of taking $20,000 in cash, golf trips and meals from the company in return for reducing the bonds of dangerous criminals to levels they could afford. That way, Bail Bonds Unlimited could collect hefty fees for guaranteeing their court appearances.
January 29, 1988 | Associated Press
A federal judge Thursday threw out the mail-fraud conviction for which former Gov. Ray Blanton served time in prison but upheld his extortion conviction in the scheme to award liquor licenses to friends. Two former aides also were cleared of the charges for which they served prison terms, and their fines were ordered refunded. Judge Bailey Brown of the U.S.
December 2, 1997
A former acting controller at Los Angeles County's Metropolitan Transportation Authority was convicted Monday on 29 counts of mail fraud for cheating the transit agency out of about $58,000. Jeannie I. Johnson became the second former MTA official to be convicted in federal court. She faces up to five years in federal prison and a $2-million fine when she is sentenced March 2. Johnson's attorney, Stanley L. Friedman, said his client maintains her innocence and will appeal the verdict.
December 3, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- A federal jury in Sacramento after a five-week trial has returned guilty verdicts against three men who operated an Orange County-based "foreclosure rescue scam," according to U.S. Atty. Benjamin Wagner. Convicted on Monday were Charles Head, 36, a former Los Angeles resident; Benjamin Budoff, 46, of Colorado Springs; and Domonic McCarns, 39, of Irvine. Wagner described Head as the leader of the operation that extracted more than $5.7 million in equity from victims' homes, many in California.
May 30, 2013 | By Ken Bensinger, Los Angeles Times
Ronald Holmes, father of former UCLA basketball star Shabazz Muhammad and himself a former hoops standout, has been indicted on federal fraud charges. Holmes, 51, was detained Thursday in Las Vegas. He has pleaded not guilty to bank fraud, as well as counts for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud. According to the indictment, which was unsealed Thursday, Holmes and several unnamed associates used fraudulent information and straw buyers to obtain home mortgages and buy and sell houses, keeping the proceeds for themselves.
April 5, 2013 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
Former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona will continue serving time in federal prison on a witness tampering conviction after a judge denied a request by the former lawman's attorneys to shorten his sentence. Attorneys for Carona, 57, who was once hailed as "America's sheriff," argued that a 66-month sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford on a witness tampering conviction should be adjusted because of changes in the law. So far, he has served two years of 5 1/2-year prison sentence.
April 5, 2013 | By Nicole Santa Cruz
A federal judge has denied a request that Orange County's former sheriff be re-sentenced, a move that will keep him incarcerated in a Colorado prison on a corruption-related conviction for about three more years. Attoneys for Michael S. Carona argued in court this week that the 66-month sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford on a witness tampering charge should be adjusted because of changes in the law. Carona's conviction was based in part on testimony from former Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, who secretly recorded a conversation in which Carona asked him to lie to a grand jury investigating suspected wrongdoing in the department.
February 20, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court refused Wednesday to block the deportation of a Chicago woman and thousands of other immigrants who before 2010 were not warned by their lawyers when they pleaded guilty to serious crimes and were targeted for removal. The decision highlights the stark consequences for noncitizens of having a criminal record. The law calls for mandatory deportation for immigrants, including lawful residents, who have an "aggravated felony" on their record. The term can describe a variety of state and federal offenses.
December 11, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - State employees misused $613,000 in taxpayer funds through bribery schemes, mail fraud, waste, and improper billings for travel and pay, officials said Tuesday. The misdeeds were detailed in a report by state Auditor Elaine Howle on whistle-blower investigations concluded by her office in the last two years. "This report details nine substantiated allegations involving several state departments," Howle wrote to Gov. Jerry Brown. The biggest loss occurred in the bribery case, in the Los Angeles offices of the state Franchise Tax Board and the Secretary of State.
November 28, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Former campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for fraud and ordered to repay more than $10.5 million to politicians from whom she stole. U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ordered that Durkee, a former go-to treasurer for Democrats, serve her time in federal custody in a facility that can provide her with mental health services. Mueller said Durkee lacked the ability to control impulses, which led to criminal activity. The judge called Durkee's crime a "significant and egregious offense" and a "deep violation of trust" that hurt not only her clients but also the democratic process.
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