Credit card fraud charges can result from any act of theft or fraud committed through the use of a credit card. In most credit card fraud cases, the prosecution alleges the defendant used a credit card illegally to obtain goods and/or services. Anyone who is under investigation for credit card fraud will need to act quickly to build a solid defense strategy. In such cases, the prosecution must prove that the defendant had fraudulent intent to deceive another for unlawful gain. Prosecutors may claim that the defendant used someone else’s credit card without consent, that they used their own card knowing that it has expired or was revoked, or knowingly used a stolen or fraudulent card to receive items or services.
Therefore, one of the most common legal defenses for credit card charges in Orange County is proving that the defendant did not intend to commit fraud. Perhaps the defendant was a victim of mistaken identity or did not realize that he or she was not permitted to use the card. There are many ways that a misunderstanding or a lack of communication can lead to credit card fraud charges. While mistakes may be made, they should not result in criminal charges, which could have far-reaching consequences. Read the rest »
The Orange County District Attorney’s office has filed murder charges against the 32-year-old driver of a Toyota 4Runner SUV who officials say struck and killed a 29-year-old man and his dog. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the incident that occurred on March 19 also left the victim’s fiancée injured. The driver now faces murder and DUI charges.
The Orange County man who faces murder charges for this fatal crash previously pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in an Idaho case in 2009. According to the report, that was his first offense. So the Nez Perce County judge put him on probation instead of imposing a conviction. He served 24 hours of community service, paid a fine, and later filed a motion with the court to have the guilty plea dismissed. Read the rest »
An Orange County jury has made a decision regarding the fate of a man who has been convicted of fatally shooting two people in February 2009. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the jury has handed down the death sentence to the 42-year-old Garden Grove man, who was convicted of killing a 49-year-old woman and a 42-year-old man in order to steal the woman’s white 2004 Lexus GS 300. He was a real estate agent and allegedly wanted to use the car while showing homes to prospective buyers. Read the rest »
A 52-year-old Mission Viejo woman has been arrested and charged with defrauding the Orange County Social Services Agency of nearly $150,000. According to a news report by The Orange County Breeze, she faces one felony count each for medical insurance fraud and misappropriation of public funds, with sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, property loss over $65,000, and $100,000 in other losses. Officials believe that she fraudulently claimed to be the full-time caretaker for her parents, inflated the number of hours spent as caretaker and claimed more hours than permissible under the law. She faces up to eight years in state prison and is being held on $150,000 bail. Read the rest »
A 43-year-old man has been charged with committing the largest charter school theft in California history. According to a news report in The Orange County Breeze, the man has been charged with 13 felony counts of money laundering as well as two felony counts of misappropriation of public funds, one felony count of conflict of interest in a sale and purchase, and a number of sentencing enhancements. He faces up to 14 years and eight months in state prison and is being held on $750,000 bail.
Officials say that the man used his position on the school board to influence the other members to give him $750,000 with the promise of a $3 million return donation. According to the report, he has been accused of laundering that money and keeping it for personal gain. Read the rest »
A 27-year-old Santa Ana woman is the second woman arrested in connection with the brutal beating death of a 23-year-old Westminster woman. According to an Associated Press news report, the 23-year-old woman was found unconscious on the sidewalk near The Crosby nightclub in Santa Ana during the early morning hours of January 22. Officials say the woman was leaving the club with a group when a fight ensued. Police say that only women were involved in the fight and they have arrested a 25-year-old woman who has pleaded not guilty to murder. It is unclear if the 27-year-old woman will be charged with murder as well. Officials are also seeking a third woman who is considered a “person of interest.”
Murder is defined by California Penal Code Section 187 (a) as “the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.” Malice in a California murder case may be expressed or implied. That means that an individual could face murder charges if he or she deliberately intended to take a life or when there was no apparent provocation. In other words, an individual can face the same charges for intentionally killing someone or for killing someone while acting “with wanton disregard for human life.” Read the rest »
A conviction, whether you are a juvenile or an adult, will result in the creation of a record. A criminal record is a reflection of your past behavior and character. Whether or not you are a danger to society, having a record can affect your ability to get a job, obtain certain state benefits, run for public office, get a loan, or even travel. It is a common misconception that juvenile records do not matter, or that they go away once you are an adult. Unless you take action, your juvenile record will appear on your criminal record even after you turn 18.
If you have a juvenile record in Orange County, you can petition for your records to be sealed once you turn 18. Once your records are sealed, no one, not even a potential employer, will gain access to them. Furthermore, your juvenile records will be destroyed five years after they are sealed. Read the rest »
Wire fraud is a white-collar crime, which is handled in federal court. A conviction for wire fraud in Orange County can result in years of incarceration as well as long-term professional consequences. Wire fraud is defined as “a scheme to deprive of property through use of an interstate telephone calls or electronic communication including the Internet, wire transfers, and even the use of television and radio.” It is a crime that could be committed when making a phone call, writing an email, or even when sending a text.
In order for the prosecution to prove that you have committed wire fraud, they must show that you: Read the rest »
The murder trial of a transient man suspected of bludgeoning his victim to death in a Costa Mesa driveway is on hold as the court determines if he is mentally competent to stand trial. Daily Pilot reports that the 34-year-old man has been behind bars since Sept. 11 when Costa Mesa police arrested him on suspicion of killing a 54-year-old man. An Orange County Superior Court commissioner has appointed two mental-health professionals to assess the defendant.
The defense attorney in this case apparently asked for the evaluation after he began to have doubts about his client’s mental state. Reports say that the man was confused about what year or month it was and sometimes was unable to recognize even his lawyer. The defense attorney said a private doctor who performed an examination determined that the defendant was paranoid and schizophrenic. Read the rest »
A former stockbroker from Newport Beach has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for his role in an investment scheme that was designed to defraud an investor of $1 billion. According to a news report in The Daily Pilot, in 2006, the 71-year-old man and his co-conspirators promoted a bogus plan they claimed was regulated by the Federal Reserve Bank with the purpose of raising money for charitable purposes including relief for Hurricane Katrina victims.
Prosecutors said that the scheme promised an “extremely high return” at little or no risk to the principal. Of the three men involved in the scam, two received 30-month prison sentences. All three were convicted in July 2012 of conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Read the rest »