This weekender you are updatered on: the sentence for a pimp who used a blowtorch on a teen to get her to turn tricks; the murder plea of a woman whose dead mother-in-law was found in her SUV; the guilty plea of an ex-doctor who keeps getting busted stealing stuff from local hospitals; and the fates of three sorry-ass fraudsters and someone who really sucks: the Santa Ana sucker (who does not work on East First Street).
Story: Richard Jordan Sandoval is a Pimp Who Used a Blowtorch to Get Teen to Turn Tricks Update: Richard Jordan Sandoval was sentenced this week to six years in state prison for trafficking an 18-year-old woman and physically assaulting her, including burning her leg with a blowtorch and attempting to force her to work as a prostitute for his benefit. The prison term came immediately after the 24-year-old Garden Grove resident pleaded guilty to felony assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, felony domestic battery with corporal injury, felony false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit, felony human trafficking and felony criminal threats. Which brings up the question: only six fucking years, really? This past July 8, Sandoval beat the teen he was in a relationship with, forcing her to run off. He followed her in a car and threatened her with violence if she did not get in--and then beat her after she did. The next day, he took her to a Garden Grove hotel and told her to turn tricks. When she did not comply, he beat her again and burned her leg with a blowtorch. She called the cops, who found scales, empty plastic bags, a large amount of cocaine and a blowtorch inside his vehicle. And they say love is dead!
Update: Un Young Lee pleaded not guilty this week to murdering her 77-year-old mother-in-law, whose remains were found inside an SUV in Tustin hours after fire crews doused a blaze at the victim's Diamond Bar home. The fire was knocked down around 1:30 a.m. March 25 in the 1200 block of North Diamond Bar Boulevard, but no body was found inside. Arson investigators then received a tip that 42-year-old Un Young Lee killed Young Ja Lee and drove away with the elderly lady's body. The younger woman was arrested after being stopped around 8 a.m. at the intersection of Tustin Ranch Road and Greenway Drive in Tustin, where the older woman's remains were found in bags inside the SUV, according to sheriff's officials. The prosecution claims Young Ja Lee died of sudden cardiac arrest after suffering a head injury during a physical altercation. Her daughter-in-law, who is in custody in lieu of $1 million bail, is due back in a Pomona courtroom on Nov. 24. A conviction would set her up for life in state prison.
Update: Former medical doctor Roy Chiwing Lung pleaded guilty this week to felony second-degree burglary for stealing about $25,000 worth of surgical equipment and supplies from an Irvine hospital. He was wearing scrubs and a wig when he was busted at Kaiser Permanente's Orange County-Irvine Medical Center about 4:40 a.m. Aug. 30. That was just a year after Lung was convicted of a similar crime--and sentenced to three years in jail. Lung, who had his California medical license suspended due to faulty emergency room care that led to two patient deaths and then revoked after earlier hospital theft convictions, has also struck at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, which led to convictions, probation and jail time. He has also been seen in scrubs at other area hospitals, although no theft allegations followed. Lung was accused in the past of continuing to practice at a physical therapy office in Pomona while his license was suspended. But his bedside manner: flawless!
Update: Twelve Southern California water suppliers have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for judgment in their case claiming that federal regulators' designation of 9,000 acres as critical habitat for the endangered Santa Ana sucker could adversely affect local water supplies. The suppliers, who are mostly inland from Orange County, claim that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2010 addition of the acres to the critical habitat for the three-inch-long fish will hamper water conservation and undercut their efforts to curb flooding in the Santa Ana River. The water agencies also accuse the regulators of not cooperating with the state and not preparing an environmental impact statement in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. A federal judge and U.S. Ninth Circuit appellate justices previously ruled in the government's favor, however.
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Story: Meet 32 of Your OC Friends and Fraudsters Update: Sharon Patrow pleaded guilty in federal court in Los Angeles this week to her role in a healthcare fraud scheme at a Covina hospice. The 44-year-old Placentia woman, who faces multiple years in federal prison at sentencing next May, is a chip off the old block. Her mother, Priscilla Villabroza, is currently serving a 4 1/2-year term at a federal prison in Victorville for running a separate health care fraud scheme. Villabroza also faces charges in the case involving her daughter and four others at the former California Hospice Care in Covina that momma purchased in late 2007. The government alleges that between March 2009 and June 2013, California Hospice submitted nearly $9 million in fraudulent bills to Medicare and Medi-Cal for purportedly providing end-of-life care to patients who were, in fact, not dying. The public health programs paid nearly $7.5 million on those allegedly bogus bills.
Story: Mortgage Scam Suspect Arrested Boarding LAX Flight To Afghanistan Update: Najia Jalan was sentenced this week to nearly six years in federal prison for operating a foreclosure rescue fraud scheme that targeted homeowners with bogus promises of mortgage relief. The 31-year-old Costa Mesa woman was also ordered to pay restitution of about $236,000 and serve three years of supervised release following her 70-month prison term, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Jalan pleaded guilty in July in Los Angeles to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. Her companies the National Legal Help Center, United National Mortgage Protection Center, OC NonProfit and American Consumer Law Center tricked struggling homeowners into paying her substantial fees for fake legal services that did nothing to save their homes. Jalan isn't even a lawyer. (Someone should set her up with the fake doctor. Jailee-harmony, anyone?)
Story: Shamseddin Hashemi-Mousavi Allegedly Cheated State and His AC-Heating Workers Update: Shamseddin Hashemi-Mousavi was convicted this week of failing to pay employees of his Irvine-based heating and air conditioning company a prevailing wage on public works projects and keeping the difference for himself. He now faces up to 26 years and eight months in prison at his scheduled Jan. 8 sentencing, according to Orange County Deputy District Attorney Donde McCament. The first defendant to go on trial in the state for prevailing wage fraud on a public works project, Hashemi-Mousavi can also brag that jurors acquitted him on four of the counts of workers' compensation insurance fraud. Meanwhile, Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Bromberg is allowing Hashemi- Mousavi to remain free on $140,000 bail until sentencing because the legal resident of Iran does not have a passport and has not seen family there for 15 years. McCament, who said Hashemi-Mousavi committed more than $120,000 in insurance and tax fraud, noted that the defendant was also convicted of forging and falsifying bank records to cover up the crime.