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Law Office of Ronald G. Brower Blog


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Man Guilty of Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme

Pictured Above: William Warren Baker. Source: Orange County Sheriff's Department.
William Warren Baker was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to 13 felony counts of making false statements in the sale and purchase of securities and one felony count of grand theft from the U.S. Social Security Administration. Baker recruited acquaintances from his church to invest in his business which he claimed involved the purchase, remodel and sale of distressed homes. However, Baker did not own a business, and instead was running a $1,000,000 Ponzi scheme. After pleading guilty to 14 felony charges, Baker now has to pay around $900,000 in restitution and $1.8 million in state fines.

California Securities Fraud occurs when a person lures another to buy or sell something based on false information. Here, Baker convinced people that he was running a lawful business when in fact he was just investing the money into one piece of property that he deeded to his son. Punishments for fraud include jail/prison time, probation, restitution and court fines. If the fraud occurred in more than one state, it would be a federal crime and would come with additional penalties. Therefore, if you are charged with fraud or grand theft, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Convicted Child Molestor Charged With Third Abuse

Pictured Above: Scott A. Christensen. Source: Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Scott A. Christensen was a former childcare worker in Orange County who has now been charged with molesting three boys. In 2005, he was charged and convicted of molesting a 6-year-old boy. In 2006, Christensen was found guilty of two felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts against another 6-year-old boy. He had met these boys while working for an after school program in Orange County. Now, authorities believe that Christensen assaulted a third boy who was 14-years-old. Christensen already faces 10 years in prison for his past convictions and now faces 15 more years per count since he has assaulted multiple victims.

Child molestation charges carry serious ramifications. Besides facing probation and prison time, an accused person will have to register as a sex offender, which can affect their personal and professional reputation. Therefore, if you are charged with child molestation, sexual assault or other sex crimes, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. A criminal defense attorney will do proper investigation into the charges by interviewing witnesses and parties involved, reviewing police reports and evidence and preparing for trial. Often times, the only witnesses are the accused and the alleged victim and there is not much physical evidence, however, the state and police want to accuse a person anyway. Therefore, it is imperative to seek an experienced attorney to assist you in fighting your sex crime charges.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gang Members Arrested for Robbery, Burglary & Theft Ring

Pictured Above: Evidence seized during the raid. Source: Long Beach Police Department.

On Wednesday, 17 gang members were arrested after a robbery ring crackdown occurred in Long Beach. These gang members were from various Asian gangs in Orange County, Los Angeles and Long Beach who were involved in home invasion robberies in Orange County and Long Beach. After being arrested, they were charged with the felonies of forgery, fraud, robbery, theft, burglary, drug possession, possession of stolen items and parole violations.

The felonies of fraud and robbery are already serious crimes. However, if these crimes are done in furtherance of the gang, defendants face even harsher punishments. For example, if a felony robbery is committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang, a mandatory term of prison time is added to the robbery sentence. In addition, if a gun is used, the defendant faces even more prison time.

Therefore, if you are charged with a crime in furtherance of a criminal street gang, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you. Common defenses to robbery include lack of intent to take the item, mistaken identity, no force used to take the item or false accusations.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Man Found Guilty of Drugging, Raping, and Murdering Young Man in San Diego

Pictured Above: Dane Williams. Source: OC Register.

Philong Huynh was found guilty of drugging a Hurley intern in 2008. After drugging Dane Williams, Huynh then raped Williams and then murdered him. Williams' body was found three days later in San Diego. Huynh had a record of raping young straight boys after drugging them. Because of the rape and murder of Williams, Huynh was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, Huynh first has to serve 10 years in prison for another sexual assault conviction.

If a killing results during the commission of an enumerated felony, such as felony rape, the person will be charged with first degree murder and faces a punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole or even capital punishment. A possible defense to murder besides self defense or the defense of others is the insanity defense. If one can prove that they did not understand the nature of the act or couldn't distinguish right from wrong, then they are entitled to acquittal.

If you are charged with murder or rape contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Redmond O'Neal Arrested For Drug Possession And Probation Violation

Pictured Above: Redmond O'Neal. Source: KTLA-TV.

Earlier this week, Redmond O'Neal, son of Ryan O'Neal and the late Farrah Fawcett, was arrested for drug possession and a probation violation. O'Neal had ran a red light so police stopped him for a traffic violation. After searching his car, pursuant to O'Neal's probation terms, officers discovered heroin in O'Neal's car. O'Neal was then book for a minor traffic infraction, violating felony drug probation and possession of a controlled substance. O'Neal faces jail/prison time, drug treatment programs and probation for continuously committing drug offenses.

Automobile searches of a car are legal with a warrant, if the driver is on probation, or if they have reason to suspect your car contains evidence of a crime. However, often, automobiles are searched without a reason. Therefore, if you are charged with a drug crime, a criminal defense attorney may be able to fight your charges with defenses such as illegal search and seizure, entrapment or mistaken identity. If there is an illegal search, everything that results from the illegal search is not admissible in court. Therefore, it is very important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to help you fight your drug charges.

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