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Law Office of Ronald G. Brower Blog


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Robbers Pose as City Employees

Official seal of Placentia
Official seal of Placentia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As children, we are taught to trust the police. However, on Tuesday night residents in Placentia, California learned the hard way to not trust all city employees. On Tuesday, a man in a blue polo shirt gained entry into homes by telling residents that there was a broken water line that was causing contamination and he would need to enter the home to run tests. In reality, the man was not a city employee, but simply a man with intent to burglarize.

The scheme went like this, one man would distract residents regarding the contamination while two additional men entered the home with the resident's consent to "run tests." However, the suspects were caught in the act at the first house by a housekeeper and were forced to flee.

At the second home, a mile away from the first, the resident told police that the main suspect stayed outside with him while the others entered the home. The main suspect communicated with the suspects inside via cell phone walkie-talkie.

Golden State Water Co. contacted police after hearing about the incident as none of their employees were working in that area.

Both suspects are described as 35-40 years old Hispanic males. Police are advising resident to have anyone claiming to be from a utility company show identification before entering.

Anyone with information regarding the burglaries are urged to call the Placentia Police Department at 714-993-8164.
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Orange County Stadiums Safest Around

Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here in Orange County, nothing beats taking in an Angel or Ducks game at Angel Stadium or the Honda Center. However, just a short distance away at Dodger Stadium concern over fan violence as risen. Luckily, police statistics show extremely low levels of crime at either Angel Stafium or the Honda Center. According to Sgt. Jerry Blair, who oversees stadium security for the Anaheim police Department, the stadiums are "really, really safe. I think you're hard-pressed to find a safer venue."

The proof is in the numbers. According to police reports, between 2007 and 2011, 91 simple assaults were reported at Angels games. That is less than one in every three home games. Further, beetween 2007 and 2011, 41 people were arrested for public drunkenness at Angels gmaes. That is roughly one person every 10 home games. At the Honda Center, between 2007 and 2011, police made 42 drunk- in- public arrests. That is roughly one person every 19 home games.

An exterior view of Honda Center before a play...
An exterior view of Honda Center before a playoff game. Anaheim, CA, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Anaheim police believe the stadiums are exceptionally safe for three reasons: (1) On-Duty officers, (2) lack of high profile incidents, and (3) respective fans. Unlike other stadiums, the officers at Angel Stadium and Honda Center are on-duty which means they file police reports like any other officer would. In stadiums across the country, off-duty officers patrol during games. Off duty officers handle incidents on their own without calling in an on-duty officer. Second, there has not been a high profile incident at either Orange County stadium. Unlike Dodger Stadium, whose image has forever been tarnished by the fan beating that took place last year, our venues have never been exposed to that. By maintaining a good image, police believe the stadiums are actually safer. Lastly, fans in Orange County are more respectful.

Last month a group of Southern California teams compiled a fan code of conduct which was meant to "foster a comfortable and safe atmosphere." Further, a new law requires stadiums to post numbers that fans can text or call to contact stadium security if they witness an incident of fan violence.

If you face a criminal charge in Orange County, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you in fighting your charges and/or reducing your sentence.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Arizona Man Charged With Murder in Orange County

Orange County Sheriff's Department (California)
Orange County Sheriff's Department (California) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In an unfortunate series of events, a young Californian girl was violently stabbed to death last week by her boyfriend, Derek Pinski. The girl, 24-year-old Alexandra Joyce Tang, was visiting her boyfriend's mother in the quiet community of Laguna Hills when police believe Pinksi murdered her. Pinski's mother found Tang and proceeded to call 911. Unfortunately, Tang was pronounced dead at the scene early Saturday morning.

In the aftermath of the crime, police located Pinski in the small town of Mesa, Arizona on Saturday evening. It is believed that Pinski fled Orange County to his father's house in Arizona. Although a motive has not been produced, Pinski is expected in Court this week.

Tang and Pinski met while attending University of California, Santa Barbara. Tang had graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's degree in psychology. Tang's family released a statement noting, "she was looking forward to a career helping others - her first job out of college was working with autistic children in south Orange County."

If you face a criminal charge in Orange County, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you in fighting your charges and/or reducing your sentence.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Justice for Ponzi Scheme in Orange County

English: Bernard Madoff's mugshot
English: Bernard Madoff's mugshot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Following the 2008 recession, a media storm erupted over the Bernard "Bernie" Madoff Ponzi scheme. Madoff was a stockbroker, investment adviser, financier, former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market. Madoff admitted to operating a Ponzi scheme which is considered the largest financial fraud in United States history. In the end, the scandal left countless people essentially robbed of their life savings.

Although the Madoff scandal will be remembered as the largest of its kind, numerous schemes just like this are still being prosecuted across the United States. Here in Orange County, two investment advisers were convicted on Tuesday of fraud. William J. Ferry and Dennis J. Clinton were both found guilty in U.S. District Court of eight fraud counts- one count of conspiracy, two counts of mail fraud and six counts of wire fraud. The jury convicted based on the prosecutions assertion that, "Mr. Ferry and Mr. Clinton tried to dupe undercover agents into believing their high-yield investment program would earn them extremely high rates of return."

As noted, Ferry and Clinton had been caught in a FBI sting while the pair was attempting to defraud an undercover agent of $1 billion between February 2006 and December 2006. The agent had been posed as a wealthy investor willing to invest $1 billion. The pair ran their scheme by telling possible investors of a program run by the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise funds for humanitarian work, such as natural disaster relief. The Reserve would then out-source the funds to a Swiss banker who would manage the money in an offshore account.

Although the pair will not be sentenced until February 1, 2013, they face a max sentence of 160 years- 20 years on each of the eight counts.

In addition to Ferry and Clinton, six other men were indicted in the case. In fact, Paul Martin, of New Jersey, was previously convicted of the same offenses in a separate trial. Martin is the former senior vice president and managing director of Bankers Trust. Of the other five indicted, two pleaded guilty, one was acquitted, one had all charges dismissed by the government, and one remains a fugitive.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer of the Department of Justice's criminal division took time after the trial to highlight how important undercover work is to stopping those engaging in fraud schemes before they get away with the life savings of innocent victims.
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