Weekender Updater: Deadly Texting Driver Gets 6 Years in Prison; Jail for Doc and iPhonies
Jorene Ypanto Nicholas gets a sixer.
This weekender you are updatered on a deadly texting driver who turned down a year in jail getting six in prison, and that year in lockup going instead to a tax evading chief doctor at Hoag Hospital and a father and son who sold counterfeit iPhones, iPads and other name brand electronics in Fountain Valley.
Story: Jorene Ypanto Nicolas Backs Out of Plea Deal in Distracted Driving Manslaughter Case Update: That loud whiffing noise you heard coming from the Orange County courthouse was from Jorene Ypano Nicolas. Last year, the 32-year-old San Diego resident was one juror away from a conviction for texting and chatting on her cell phone before slamming her Toyota Prius into the back of an idling car on the 405 freeway in Westminster, killing 23-year-old softball star Deanna Mauer on April 27, 2011. In March, Nicolas told Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Bromberg she wanted to accept a judge's plea offer under which she would have faced a year in jail, 500 hours of community service and five years of probation. But at the hearing to make that official, she instead fired her lawyer and hired a new one, saying the crash was the dead woman's fault. The jury at retrial convicted Nicolas last month, spurring her tearful apology to Mauer's family. "The thought of you not being with your daughter is absolutely killing me every day," said Nicolas. "From the bottom of my heart, from the bottom of my pain, I'm sorry you can't physically be with your daughter anymore." Bromberg didn't buy it, imposing the maximum six-year prison sentence and saying Nicolas' lack of remorse was "deafening."
Story: Two Chief Doctors at Orange County Hospitals Face Wrath of Medical Board, Prosecutors Update: Dr. Bruce Allan Hagadorn pleaded guilty Monday to tax evasion and was sentenced to a year in jail in connection with the misappropriation of $220,000 earmarked for a foundation supporting Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian Newport Beach. The 56-year-old Newport Beach resident also paid restitution of $103,865 to the state Franchise Tax Board and $250,000 to the charitable foundation and was placed on three years of formal probation. He has until Nov. 6 to surrender to authorities, according to defense attorney Kate Corrigan, who negotiated the plea deal with prosecutors. Hagadorn is applying for home confinement that will allow him to continue working, his lawyer said.
Story: Rateb Said Najjar, Son Eyad Rateb Najjar Face 104 Years for Sales of Fake iPads, iPhones, Etc. Update: RatebSaid Najjar, 60, and his 36-year-old son Eyad Rateb Najjar were each sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to forfeit $500,000 to the Orange County General Fund for money laundering and conspiring to sell counterfeit electronic goods valued at nearly $3 million, including fake iPhones and iPads. If the pair does not successfully complete three years of formal probation, their time behind bars will balloon up to eight years and four months. An investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) and the Fountain Valley Police Department determined the father and son sold counterfeit electronics from China and Hong Kong at their Fountain Valley business, and that they laundered more than $5 million. They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit trademark counterfeiting, trademark counterfeiting, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering, all felonies, and admitted to sentencing enhancements for the value of the counterfeit merchandise seized being over $1.3 million and money laundering over $2.5 million. A third defendant, Amir Ali Shaerzadeh, 36, of Irvine, is currently a fugitive.