Meet More of Your Neighbors and Fraudsters, Orange County!

Photo by flickr user ivers
F is for fraud.
Two local men were recently sentenced, a third pleaded guilty, a fourth pleaded not guilty and a woman was charged in separate, unrelated frauds that stung victims for amounts ranging from the thousands to the millions of dollars, according to authorities.

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Mark Sostak Gets Year in Jail for Role in Land Scam That Falsely Included Arnold Palmer

Photo by flickr user Sean
Trying to confirm that the burned at least received this as a parting gift.
A 57-year-old man was sentenced to a year in jail Friday for his part in a $52 million real estate scam that had fraudsters falsely claiming golf legend Arnold Palmer was a partner on the way to wiping out the life savings of some retiree investors.

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Hieu Minh Ngo Gets 13 Years for I.D. Theft Service That Used Experian Subsidiary's Data

Socialist Republic of Vietnam
A real I.D. of Hieu Minh Ngo
A Vietnamese man was recently sentenced to 13 years in U.S. federal prison for running an identity theft service that was aided by the database from a subsidiary of Experian, the major credit bureau with operational headquarters in Costa Mesa.

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Theresa Fisher of Tustin Gets 3.5 Years in Scam That Gave Patients New Noses, Boobs, Tummies

Princess Cosmetic Surgery of Orange advertisement
Their tummy tucks were billed as "hernia disc surgeries."
A Tustin woman has been sentenced to nearly 3.5 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $2.6 million in restitution for her part in an Orange plastic surgery center's scam that gave new noses, boobs and tummy tucks to patients whose insurance companies were fraudulently billed for covered, medically necessary procedures.

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Marvin Jay Caukin Gets 135 Months in Prison for Flying Off with Gulfstream's $10 Million

Photo by flickr user Dean Morley
Gulfstream jet departs London Luton Airport in England.
The former director of finance and accounting at Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.'s Long Beach facility was sentenced this week to 11 years and change in federal prison for embezzling more than $10 million from his employer over a 13-year period.

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Deborah Mueller Busted for Allegedly Stealing $75,000 from Her Company ... Four Years Ago

Courtesy of Santa Ana Police Department
Police say Deborah Mueller stole $75,000 over a 14-month period.
An ex-office manager, who embezzled more than $75,000 from her Santa Ana company in 2010-11 and moved to Arizona after she was fired, was arrested near her new home in Huntington Beach Tuesday, according to police.

Deborah Mueller, 60, was arrested on a warrant charging her with grand theft, forgery, computer-access fraud and falsifying records, the Santa Ana Police Department reports.

She had been employed at Jorgenson Metal Rolling & Forming as the office manager for over a decade when, in January 2011, Mueller was suspected of embezzling a large amount of money and was terminated.

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Athena Maldonado and Christopher Harati Guilty of Scamming Debt Relief Customers

Photo by flickr user carnagenyc
Until debt do depart
Two Orange County residents pleaded guilty this week to having roles in a scam where what was supposed to be payment assistance for credit card debtors was diverted to upfront fees customers were not aware of, according to federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C.

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Are "Orange County" and "Ethics Reform" Mutually Exclusive? Kick It Around Wednesday

Christopher Victorio/OC Weekly
Would you buy an ethics commission from this board chairman?
Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Todd Spitzer hosts a roundtable discussion in Irvine Wednesday afternoon that is either part of genuine, much needed ethics reform or a continuation of a charade pulled on county voters last year.

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Pair Padded Chests in $50 mil Insurance Scam, Agent Padded Wallet in $900k Sales Schemes

Photo by flickr user Thijs van Exel
Don't hate me because I am beautiful.
Two women have been convicted in federal court for defrauding union and private health insurance firms out of $50 million for medically unnecessary procedures performed on insurance beneficiaries who received free or discounted liposuction, tummy tucks and boob jobs.

Meanwhile, an ex-insurance agent in Brea was convicted and sentenced to seven years in state prison recently for receiving more than $900,000 from fraudulent insurance policies that he spent on luxury high-rise apartments, travel, wine clubs and fine dining.

Which proves my theory the rich really are different than you and me.

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First House Detox of Newport Beach Hit with $10.25 mil Judgment in Bulimic Man's Death

Categories: Cha-Ching!, Court

Courtesy of Anna Menedjian/Sizemore Law Firm
Detox centers were accused of "buying and selling" young clients such as Brandon Jacques "like they were pieces of meat."
An Orange County Superior Court jury recently awarded more than $10.25 million to the parents of a young man who died while in the care of a Newport Beach drug and alcohol detox center, plaintiff attorneys announced.

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