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Category Archives: 500 Assault / Violent Crime Victories

State v. Mr. B (DMC No. 12267) – Felony Mortgage Fraud ($140,000), Felony Fraudulent Schemes & Felony Vulnerable Adult Abuse – Not Charged – California Law Firm Investigated.

Mr. B owned a company that would buy houses, remodel them, and then “flip” them. He did this with the help of a partner. He became involved with an insurance agent that sold annuities to her clients. She would convince her clients to break their annuities in order to buy properties that Mr. B. would then sell. Unbeknownst to the clients, and unbeknownst to Mr. B., a $100,000 annuity that would be broken early by a client would have a $25,000 surrender fee to be paid to the insurance agent. When the insurance agent would refer over clients to buy houses from Mr. B., she would include her fee in the price (even though she wasn’t on the real estate documents) and he would send her the money for the property closed.

The alleged victim in this case was an 82 year old gentleman who claimed he did not know about the surrender fee on his annuities, and that he was basically taken advantage of by the insurance agent due to his age. He bought two houses from Mr. B. that were in Arizona while the alleged victim lived in California. One of the houses was being routinely vandalized and having copper and appliances stolen from it, so Mr. B. had one of his workers live in the house for six months (rent free) in order to protect it. The alleged victim was claiming that it was Mr. B. who was having the copper and appliances sold on the side in order to defraud additional funds out of the victim.

When Mr. B. received a threatening inquiry from a law firm in California regarding Mortgage Fraud, Fraud Schemes and Vulnerable Adult Abuse, he contacted us. After reviewing all documents involved in the sale, we then had Mr. B take a polygraph with the following two questions: “Did you work with [insurance agent] to encourage her clients to cash out stocks, annuity, etc. in order to purchase properties owned by your company?” and “Did [construction worker] pay you rent in order to stay in the property that was regularly vandalized?” He answered “No” to both questions, which was “truthful”. In addition, we obtained Affidavits from his business partner and the construction worker who lived in the house. All of this was assembled and sent to the Attorney in California. Working with the Attorney in California, he agreed that this was a civil matter and not a criminal matter. Mr. B. settled for a very small amount of money and was never charged with any crimes.

State v. Mr. G (DMC No. 14255) – (2 Counts) Felony Kidnapping, (10 Counts) Felony Sexual Conduct with a Minor (DCAC), (5 Counts) Felony Child Molestation, (2 Counts) Sex Abuse of a Minor and (10 Counts) Felony Aggravated Assault of a Minor – Not Charged – Phoenix Police Department Investigated (DR No. 20XX-XXXXXXX9); Maricopa County Attorney’s Office “Turned Down.”

Mr. G was the uncle and godfather of the alleged victim. He had not seen her in 3 years, when she reported multiple instances of Sexual Conduct and Abuse by Mr. G. She stated it started when she was 5 and ended when she was 7. She claimed that he would come into her room multiple times, hold his hand over her mouth and threaten to kill her or kill her whole family if she told anyone. He would then engage in sexual intercourse and other sexual activities with her.

Mr. G was told of these allegations by his family and he immediately contacted us. He denied all allegations and indicated that there were various issues going on between he and the rest of the family that had nothing to do with the alleged victim. He immediately stated he would be willing to do a Polygraph, which he passed regarding questions about touching the victim in any way in a sexual nature. We then prepared a letter and sent it over to the Detective handling the case. Even though he received all of these items, he still sent it to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for charges. We then spoke with the charging attorney in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Charging Bureau, and the case was ultimately “Turned Down.” If Mr. G were charged and convicted of all of these crimes, it could have carried a mandatory minimum of 10 consecutive life sentences, plus numerous additional years in prison. He was never charged with anything and has a clean record.

State v. Mr. B (DMC No. 14374) – Felony Aggravated Assault Dangerous (Car v. Police Officer) and Misdemeanor Obstructing Governmental Operations – Reduced to Attempted Aggravated Assault with Probation and 90 Days in Jail – Maricopa County Superior Court (Case No. CR2016-146209).

Mr. B was a 67-year old man who had an anxiety disorder. He had gone to Fry’s in order to pick up a prescription for his medication and some groceries. An hour later when he left the Fry’s store, he got into his vehicle and drove towards the exit, where he saw an Officer parked diagonally blocking the entrance to the street. The officer was there working on a different case/arrest.

As Mr. B approached the Officer, he asked the Officer to move his car and the Officer said no. The Officer claimed that Mr. B was screaming at him. The officer then stated that Mr. B got into his car and slowly drove at him and then accelerated rapidly. The Officer claimed he jumped to the side and pulled out his firearm, at which point Mr. B stopped his car. He then came up to Mr. B and holstered his weapon and asked for Mr. B’s license. Per the Officer, Mr. B then put his car in reverse and attempted to flee again. Mr. B was stopped by other Officers in the parking lot and he refused to get out of the vehicle. He was then forcibly removed and arrested for Felony Aggravated Assault Dangerous on a Police Officer and Misdemeanor of Obstructing Governmental Operations.

Once we became involved, we retrieved all of Mr. B’s medical records in order to present them as mitigation to the Prosecutor. In addition, we interviewed all of the other Officers involved, and the stories were not matching up. We also presented evidence of his military service in Vietnam and his long-term employment with the United States Postal Service. Mr. B had also performed numerous prior good acts of community support, he had strong family contributions and responsibilities, he lacked prior bad acts, he had good character reputation, he was filled with remorse, and he behaved admirably during his pretrial phase.

The Prosecutor ultimately agreed to a plea of Attempted Aggravated Assault with a 90-day jail sentence. At Sentencing, the Prosecutor wanted 3 years of Probation, and the victim/Police Officer wanted 90 days of flat jail time. The Judge ultimately only imposed 2 years of Probation and allowed the 90 days to be served in the infirmary due to Mr. B’s health conditions. Originally, Mr. B was facing 10.5 to 21 years in prison  if he were to be convicted on the Aggravated Assault Dangerous on a Police Officer.

State v. Mr. L (DMC No. 15390) – (2 Counts) Felony Armed Robbery (with Gun – $131,000) and (6 Counts) of Felony Aggravated Assault Dangerous – Dismissed – Maricopa County Superior Court (Case No. CR2017-114927).

The victim in this particular case was a member of the Salt River Indian Tribe. Pursuant to the tribal rules, whenever a tribal member turns 21 years old, they receive money that has been held in trust by the tribe, based on casino earnings. In this case, the victim had received $131,000 on his 21st birthday. The next day, while he was with several other individuals in his apartment, his door was kicked in and he was robbed at gunpoint.

The two people who broke in were wearing hoodies and bandanas. At one point, one of the victims called 911 and the phone is taken away from her. Unbeknownst to the robbers, the 911 operator was still on the phone and the Police were on their way. Eventually, one of the victims was shot in the stomach and the robbers fled before they could be caught. An Investigation proceeds and ultimately Mr. L is arrested at gunpoint.

When Mr. L was taken in, he stated he had knowledge of the robbery, but he was not involved. When asked if he looks like his younger brother he responds, “yes.” His younger brother had also been arrested. Once Mr. L was arrested and charged, we became involved in the case.

We were able to show that the guns found at Mr. L’s house did not match the guns that were used in the robbery. In addition, we presented a key alibi witness, who told Detectives Mr. L was nowhere near the scene. Lastly, we interviewed the witness who viewed the photo lineups, and it became apparent that this witness was coached into picking Mr. L out of the lineup. We conducted this interview with the Detective with the Prosecutor present, and then we discussed the filing of a Deserault Motion regarding the lineup being unduly suggestive. Ultimately, the Prosecutor saw all of the weaknesses that she had in her case, and she filed a Motion to Dismiss all charges against Mr. L. Originally, he was facing potentially the rest of his life in prison if he were to be convicted on all counts, and if they were to be run consecutively.

U.S. v. Mr. S (DMC No. 14784) – Federal Money Laundering ($50,000), Federal Bank and Wire Fraud, Federal Arms Trafficking (AK/AR-47s and 50-Caliber Rifles) and Felony Drug Trafficking (Meth, Marijuana) – Not Charged Due to Cooperation Agreement – Pinal County Attorney’s Office, US Attorney’s Office and ATF Investigated.

Mr. S had a female friend who asked to deposit some money into his bank accounts. He agreed and gave her his bank account numbers. Later on, she was contacted by a Pinal County attorney and she was questioned about the deposits. She said that she “sells cars” and that she would share the money with Mr. S. This turned out to be a lie. About one week later, the bank account of Mr. S was frozen, and he received a Forfeiture letter. Approximately $50,000 was deposited into his accounts over an 8-month timeframe.

Additionally, Mr. S had a male friend who would deposit money into the female friend’s account, who would then deposit it into Mr. S’ account. Every time Mr. S then returned an amount of $5,000 to the male friend, Mr. S would receive a $100 payment. It turned out that the male friend was selling drugs and was also running guns into Mexico for various organizations.

Once we became involved, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office had also brought the U.S. Attorney’s Office into the case. An Agent with the ATF also became involved, and we were able to negotiate a cooperation deal which would keep Mr. S from being charged with any crime. The US Attorney’s Office provided a Kastigar Letter and a Proffer Agreement. During the course of cooperation, Mr. S introduced undercover agents to various characters who were selling methamphetamine and guns. Ultimately, people were arrested and Mr. S was never charged with any crimes. In addition, we were able to stop any Forfeiture proceedings regarding the house owned by Mr. S by the Pinal County Attorney’s Office. Originally, Mr. S was facing decades in prison if he were to be convicted of all charges. Ultimately, he has no criminal record whatsoever.

State v. Mr. M (DMC No. 15188) – Felony Fraudulent Schemes ($72,500), Felony Vulnerable Adult Abuse and Felony Theft – Not Charged – Adult Protective Services Investigated (Case No. 31XXXX).

Mr. M had a website building and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) company who would reach out to various website owners in order to sell them their services. The purpose was to improve their websites’ rankings and increase the actual organic traffic to the websites. Mr. M made contact with Bruce (a former lawyer) who was 79-years old. Bruce had a law website, but had a dream of building a directory website that was similar to “Angie’s List” for businesses. He was ultimately quoted a flat fee of $15,000 and he signed a contract.

Throughout the building of the site, he was repeatedly asked for more money and ultimately paid $72,500. The purpose of the site was changed from a directory to a site that would help people improve their credit scores. That particular site actually ended up generating approximately $30,000 in revenue to Bruce.

As Bruce was now in his eighties, his daughters sought to get a conservatorship and claim that he was suffering from dementia. They made a claim with Adult Protective Services that Mr. M had Taken Advantage of a Vulnerable adult in the amount of $72,500.

We became involved with the case and we contacted the Investigator for Adult Protective Services. We were able to show all the work performed on multiple sites, along with the change in direction of the site’s purpose, would justify the full $72,500. During this time, Bruce’s daughter sought to get a civil lawyer involved to potentially file a lawsuit. We also dealt with the civil lawyer and no civil complaint was ever filed. In addition, Adult Protective Services declined to seek any prosecution and they relayed the “turn down” of prosecution by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to us. Mr. M was originally facing very serious felony charges which could have placed him in prison. Now, he has no criminal record whatsoever.

State v. Mr. D (DMC No. 15136) – Felony Fraudulent Schemes ($350,000 Misappropriated Wire Transfer), Federal Felony Bank and Wire Fraud, Felony Theft, Felony Vulnerable Adult Abuse and Felony Unlawful Use of Power of Attorney – Not Charged – Mesa Police Department Investigated (DR No. 20XX-XXXXXX3) and  CFA Institute Investigated.

Mr. D was a financial planner. His mother went in for surgery and passed away. After that, his father (actually his grandfather that adopted him when he was a child) asked for help with his financial affairs because he was getting older and more forgetful. They then met with an Attorney and signed a Power of Attorney. This gave Mr. D access to a joint account with his father.

At some point, Mr. D wired $350,000 into his own account which he used to pay off his own mortgage. Also, funds were used to pay off about $80,000 on a Discover card. That $80,000 was later clawed back by his father. Lastly, he took a $124,000 payment to himself.  The balance was then used to purchase a third condominium for his father’s trust. Mr. D also transferred two other condominiums into the trust, which resulted in a net positive of $65,000 to his father. Because everything totaled positive for his father’s trust, he assumed that he had done nothing wrong. However, he was contacted by Mesa Police and the CFA Institute regarding various improprieties. Mesa Police were looking into Felony charges of Fraud Schemes, Unlawful Use of a Power of Attorney, Theft, and Vulnerable Adult Abuse. There was also a potential for a Felony Federal Bank and Wire Fraud claim due to the use of the wire transfer to a federal banking institution.

We became involved and we were able to shut down the investigation and keep it purely as a civil matter.  Through the course of the civil lawsuit, a proposal was made to have Mr. D. repay his father $400,000, in exchange for merely keeping  all three condominiums. Ultimately, the case resolved civilly and there were no criminal charges ever brought against Mr. D. Originally, Mr. D was facing mandatory prison time due to the fact that the amount of loss was above $100,000.

U.S. v. Ms. G (DMC No. 14158) – Federal Felony Mortgage Fraud ($1,100,000), Federal Felony Bank and Wire Fraud, Felony Fraudulent Schemes, and Felony Forgery – Not Charged – Large National Bank Investigated.

Ms. G and her husband were going to purchase a large house for approx. $1,000,000. The appraisal information was sent from the loan originator, and the loan originator specifically asked if any funds were going to be pulled from a retirement account, to which Ms. G and her husband said “no.” Ultimately, discrepancies were found in the closing documents, and in order to close on the house, Ms. G had the house purchased in her husband’s name only. This was accomplished through a Special Warranty Deed signed by the husband “as a married man as his sole and separate property.” Ms. G signed a Disclaimer Deed disclaiming any interest in the property. Also, they both signed a Warranty Deed conveying property from husband’s sole and separate property to husband and wife.

The potential problem was that the Disclaimer Deed signed by Ms. G indicated that none of her assets or community assets were used in the purchase of the home. This is not accurate as a joint check was used for the purchase. In addition, the intent was always to use community assets to buy the home. After the closing, the bank discovered discrepancies and began investigating. A potential concern was that Forgery was committed, along with allegations of Fraudulent Schemes, and Mortgage Fraud per Arizona Revised Statue 13-2320. Lastly, a  potential for Federal Bank and Wire Fraud was also possible due to the federal loan documents which were signed.

We were able to show although Ms. G did not sign the document indicating the property was purchased with separate funds of the spouse, that it must be read in conjunction with the other documents signed by Ms. G at the same time. Specifically, that Mr. G. received title through the Special Warranty Deed the day before the Disclaimer Deed, and that he signed the Warranty Deed at the same time as the Disclaimer Deed, thereby suggesting that they were meant to function together to promote the buyers’ intent (as outlined in both the purchase contract and the loan pre-qualification form).

We were able to show that none of the documents were indicative of any intent to defraud. The only real issue had to do with community property issues down the road should they become divorced. Initially, Ms. G was facing the potential of multiple years in prison, but we were able to convince the bank not to turn this into a criminal matter and get the authorities involved.

State v. Mr. D (DMC No. 13039) – Felony Money Laundering ($1,100), Felony Conspiracy to Commit Sale or Transportation of Narcotics; Felony Sale or Transportation of Marijuana, Felony Use of a Wire Communication or Electronic Communication Device in a Drug Related Transaction and (3 Counts) Felony Aggravated Assault – Reduced to Facilitation, Assisting a Criminal Street Gang and Class 6 Aggravated Assault – All with Probation and a Total of 1 Year in DOC– Maricopa County Superior Court (Case No. CR2015-105571 and CR2015-114161).

The Phoenix Police Department was conducting an investigation into the North Side Mexican Brown Pride 21st Street Gang (MBP 21). This was done after they observed numerous hand to hand drug transactions between various gang members. The police had also documented purchases of heroin, rifles, shotguns and/or stolen vehicles between some of the gang members. At that point, they initiated a traffic stop in connection to an armed robbery suspect and discovered a stolen vehicle and $1,100 in cash. Upon questioning the driver, he stated that Mr. D had sold him some marijuana.

When Mr. D was detained, he admitted to selling marijuana to the juvenile just prior to the traffic stop. He was ultimately charged with Felony Money Laundering, Felony Conspiracy to Commit Sale or Transportation of Narcotic Drugs and Felony Use of a Wire Communication or Electronic Communication Device in a Drug Related Transaction.

Approximately 11 months after this incident with the police, he was also contacted regarding a claim by his then girlfriend that he had assaulted her. The allegations were that he pushed her onto a bed, held a hand over her mouth and grabbed her neck, which caused her air supply to be cut off for approximately 30 seconds. The girlfriend also claimed that he grabbed her by the throat a second time, kept her from leaving the apartment, and that he punched her in the arm. He was charged with 2 Counts of Aggravated Assault for the choking, and 1 Count of Misdemeanor Assault.

We became involved and were able to wrap up all the charges while Mr. D was being held as non-bondable for approximately 5 months in the county jail. We wrapped up the case with 1-year prison sentence, with credit for the 5 months he had already served. In addition, he received a two-month early kickout at the prison, which meant he spent another 5 months in custody before being released. He originally was facing a potential of over 15 years in prison if he were to be convicted of all charges and sentenced consecutively.

Mr. S was a high school student who got involved with two older high school students who sold drugs and had violent dispositions. Mr. S. had received a call from one of the Co-Defendants stating that he had been ripped off by two other kids in a drug deal and wanted Mr. S to go with them in order to “have their back.” At some point prior, Mr. S. provided them with some bullets for a gun he thought they would be shooting in the desert (completely unrelated to the drug robbery). Mr. S. was instructed to convince the two victims to go into the desert to “smoke some weed.”

When all 3 arrived at a predetermined location, the two Co-Defendants jumped out of the bushes and held the two victims at gunpoint and knifepoint. One of the victims was instructed to “suck his dick,” referring to the other victim. Both of them were males. The victims were pleading with the Co-Defendants not to shoot them and not make them participate in that activity, which they were still forced to do.

Mr. S. only stood-by as a lookout, and was not aware that any of that activity was going to be taking place. The two Co-Defendants had a gun and knife, and Mr. S. did not have any weapon on him. The victims were told to urinate on all of their clothing and throw it around the general area. The Defendants then left, and the victims contacted the police. Mr. S. was the only Defendant to cooperate with the authorities. He showed him where the gun was stored and the location of where other items were deposited. This was done with our help. Ultimately, we secured an offer that included no agreements as to sentencing.

One of the Co-Defendants was sentenced to 9 years in prison, and the other was sentenced to 5 years in prison. We presented extensive mitigation to the Court, and we were also able to secure a request for leniency from one of the victims’ mothers. Although the Judge was initially inclined to sentence Mr. S. to prison, or at least 1 year in jail, we were able to convince the Judge to defer all jail time. Mr. S. successfully completed probation, did not do any time in jail, and is currently enrolled in college. Originally, he was facing a potential of life in prison.

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