July 12, 2000 |
Federal law enforcement authorities are joining the state's probe of corruption in the Department of Insurance under former Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush--a move that expands the investigation and increases the potential for criminal charges against state officials. Federal involvement gives prosecutors more latitude in filing criminal charges that could arise from violations of U.S.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 1992 |
An admitted hit man and underworld "debt collector" testified Thursday that he was hired to kill a Mission Viejo man who, prosecutors contend, stood in the way of an Orange County businessman's romantic pursuits. Blake Tek Yoon, 27, told a federal court jury that he was paid $3,000 to kill Wilbur Constable, 25. The payment was made by a reputed mobster who was arranging the murder contract for a "very wealthy" South County businessman, Yoon said.
December 10, 1999 |
A handyman suspected of plotting to blow up two huge propane tanks near Sacramento possessed all the volatile ingredients of an "Oklahoma City blast," a federal prosecutor said Thursday. In arguing against bail for Kevin Ray Patterson, reputedly a member of an anti-government militia, Assistant U.S. Atty. Jodi Rafkin said he is too dangerous to be on the streets.
June 19, 1999 |
Arsonists attacked three synagogues early Friday, gutting a library and leaving leaflets at two of the houses of worship blaming Jews for the war in Kosovo. The worst of the damage was at 150-year-old Congregation B'nai Israel, which calls itself the oldest synagogue in the West. The Reform synagogue's library housing tapes and other materials on Jewish history was blackened, its contents destroyed. The early morning fires caused nearly $1 million in damage.
June 9, 1990 |
Janet Faye McKinzie--convicted last March of looting the now-defunct North America Savings & Loan in Santa Ana--would receive a 20-year prison sentence and be forced to pay more than $18 million in restitution and fines if the federal government gets its way. On Friday, Assistant U.S. Atty. Paul L.
September 25, 1990 |
The final two defendants in the North America Savings & Loan scandal were each sentenced Monday to serve one month in a halfway house and ordered to pay $35,000 in restitution and fines for laundering $1.5 million stolen from the now-defunct thrift. Armando J. Vasquez, 53, and Frederick Youngdahl, 55, were convicted last month of bank fraud for submitting phony invoices to North America and then returning the money they received--minus a $25,000 laundering fee--to thrift Chairman Duayne D.
January 8, 1991 |
An El Toro accountant pleaded guilty Monday in federal court here to falsifying tax returns as part of a $19-million real estate fraud that investigators claim was perpetrated against more than 1,000 Southern California investors. Kenneth L. Shattuck, 46, admitted that he aided and abetted his employers--the now-defunct Newport Interstate Properties in Newport Beach--in securing a $135,000 line of credit from a bank by filing false financial statements.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 26, 1993 |
The U.S. Justice Department on Monday opened an investigation into allegations of embezzlement of federal funds by Stephen Wagner, the former school district executive who pleaded guilty to state charges of stealing more than $3.5 million from district accounts. Wagner already faces up to eight years and eight months in state prison for misappropriating public funds and filing false state income tax returns. Conviction on federal charges could add significantly to his prison term. U.S. Atty.
October 8, 1991 |
Six months after asserting his innocence and claiming that the government was conducting a "witch-hunt" against him, Orange County businessman David D. Sterns pleaded guilty Monday to charges of mail fraud, securities fraud and tax evasion in connection with the marketing of a "diet patch" product. "Guilty as charged," the 55-year-old defendant somberly responded as each of the three counts against him were read by U.S. District Judge Gary L. Taylor in Santa Ana.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 1987 |
In what a prosecutor described as the largest real estate equity skimming case ever tried in the United States, three men and a woman have been convicted by a federal jury of a real estate fraud involving 343 homes in Southern California worth $41 million. After five weeks of testimony, it took the jury two days to return guilty verdicts against Mark Christopher Meng, 35, of Signal Hill, Marcel Fernando Jordan, 31, of Long Beach, Carol Ann Hays, 34, of Long Beach, and Meng's brother, Charles H.