Social Security Number Cheater in Orange County Gets Convictions Overturned

cheater cheater 3.jpg
Lorena Colino immigrated to the United States from South America, got a job working as a service representative at the Social Security Administration in Orange County and secretly cheated to give social security numbers to illegal immigrants.

Believing that Colino was involved in a bribery scheme, federal agents arrested her and a 2006 jury found her guilty of 11 counts of honest services fraud with co-conspirator Ramon Antonio Rojas, a furniture salesman. She was sent to prison for 15 months and served the time.

But to Colino's delight the case wasn't over.

This week over the objections of federal prosecutors, U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter erased Colino's convictions on a technicality.

Here's why: After Colino's jury convictions, the U.S. Supreme Court tinkered with the jury instruction requirements for honest services cases to retroactively require that the government prove the offender didn't just cheat but also took bribes or kickbacks.

The ruling put Colino's prosecutors in a pickle because at the time of her trial they didn't have the requirement.

In fact, Rojas admitted that he charged $1,300 to $3,000 as the middleman in the scheme that lasted from January 2001 to January 2004. It didn't help Colino's cause that when interviewed by federal agents she denied knowing Rojas even though they were close friends, and her bank account contained more than $7,000 in suspicious deposits.

Federal prosecutors were unequivocal: "She did it for money, like Rojas."

But Colino recently told Judge Carter that she'd cheated only out of sympathy for the immigrants and, though Rojas insisted under oath that he split the bribes, never financially benefited from the scam.

Whether or not he believed her isn't known, but what's certain is that Carter determined that the new government burden hadn't been met in the old case and so he erased the convictions.

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8 comments
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BetaRayBill
BetaRayBill

See every one has a $$.  Aswasome!!! Too Bad she got cought...

PatrickR
PatrickR

Carter is a good judge, so there must have been legal justification for the actions he took?  Without knowing all the facts, I will give him the beneift of the doubt in this case.    Question is, why wasn't she deported? 

909Jeff
909Jeff

WTF Moxley??? 

The boss is out promoting his book so you guys are mailing it in? 

Yesterdays last post on Navel gazing was at 10:45am and now we haven't had a post since 9:30....

Am I gonna hafta go trolling on the LA Weekly or SF weekly until Gustavo gets back in the office? 

Duke
Duke

We live in hope ...

fuck itch lung
fuck itch lung

I think it is great that justice prevailed here.  Obviously, if she was caucasoidal (mayonnaise skin-colored), she would not have been charged to begin with and would probably have been allowed a free pass just like all of the other Republikkkan criminals walking free, although Pol Pot would have educated them otherwise.  The fact is:  whites are a diminishing and increasingly irrelevant impotent political element whose frustration results in internet trolling instead of institutional change.  Thank you Judge Carter, and there is nothing the silver spoon OC'rs can do to stop her from disseminating social security numbers to those deserving in the future.

mitch young
mitch young

"internet trolling instead of institutional change"

Some people can walk and chew gum at the same time. 

Then again, those people are usually sane.

Streets
Streets

Thanks, Mitch..........

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