Nader Elhuzayel and Muhanad Badawi, Already Tied to ISIL, Face New Federal Fraud Counts

Nader Elhuzayel is charged with 25 counts of bank fraud.
Two Anaheim men indicted in June for conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are named in a new indictment alleging bank fraud and financial aid fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

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With Deputies Refusing To Testify Under Oath In Snitch Scandal, It's Time For A Federal Probe

If public integrity section officials at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. needed an alarming fact to finally prompt a formal investigation of law enforcement corruption in Orange County, they have one today.

In recent hours, four veteran Orange County Sheriff's Department deputies--Seth Tunstall, Bill Grover, Bryan Larson and Ben Garcia--have refused to testify under oath in connection with a Santa Ana murder trial and defendant Eric Ortiz.

Their fear?

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Orange County Register Lawsuit: "You Dirty Mexicans . . . Are Lazy"

No! OC Weekly is not a subsidiary of the OC Register

This week, a fired veteran Orange County Register production employee sued the newspaper for allegedly tolerating numerous discriminatory practices by a manager who supposedly used violence and uttered workplace statements like, "You dirty Mexicans want a union because you are lazy."

Jerry Asencio, a Stanton resident, says he began as a Register pressman in 1981 and, according to his complaint--filed October 5 in Orange County Superior Court--"enjoyed his job for many years" before he "suffered repeated discrimination and harassment by a manager."

The lawsuit that names the Register's parent company--Freedom Communications, Inc.--as a defendant, asserts that the manager "made repeated comments" about the plaintiff's race, age, color, ancestry and national origin.

Asencio claims those statements included:

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Jamal Hurley of Garden Grove Caught Up in $1.4 Million Fraud Against Wells Fargo: FBI

With apologies to FX
Another crime caper
A former Wells Fargo employee who resides in Garden Grove is among eight people the federal government accuses of being part of a fraud ring that included bank workers who stole customer account numbers to eventually drain money from those accounts.

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Inmate Still Insists Orange County Sheriff's Deputies Instigated Grisly Jailhouse Murder

Jim Rugg / OC Weekly
Deputy-instigated jailhouse feeding frenzy?
The last you heard about Jared Petrovich may have been three years ago, when the Orange County man and several co-defendants received terms of 15 years to life in prison for the gruesome 2006 mutilation murder of John Chamberlain inside the Theo Lacy Jail.

Petrovich landed at the California Correctional Institution at Techapi and reports through a prison-pen-pal website that he's matured. He labels himself a green-eyed, straight, Christian Capricorn. Recent photographs suggest he has added ink all over his body, and perhaps rare for the gloomy surroundings, his face displayed a seemingly genuine smile, an expression missing from his 9-year-old mug shots stemming from a methamphetamine arrest at a seedy Costa Mesa hotel.

"Don't let the tattoos fool you," the onetime El Modena High School student now advises would-be female pen pals. "I'm just a local surfer and skater from the beach in Orange County."

Of course, Petrovich is much more. He is forever tied to one of the county's most notorious crimes. With jail deputies nearby and supposedly clueless, hoards of inmates punched, kicked, burned and sodomized Chamberlain, a Rancho Santa Margarita man awaiting trial for alleged child pornography possession. The victim's battered corpse didn't look human, and news of the horrific murder reached all corners of the nation.

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David Michael Bruce and Anaheim Schools Sued by One of Six Alleged Molestation Victims

Courtesy of the Anaheim Police Department
A suit accuses David Michael Bruce of molesting one boy on campus.
UPDATE, OCT. 7, 5 A.M.: One of the boys who was allegedly molested by David Michael Bruce is suing the since-retired junior high school drama teacher and the Anaheim Union High School District, according to the plaintiff's lawyer.

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Mercurial Mexican Mafia Boss Peter Ojeda Takes Dual Stances About His Guilt

La Eme power has privileges: Peter Ojeda (second from left) doesn't have to wear bland outfits
It appeared on Sept. 29 that Peter Ojeda, a longtime Southern California Mexican Mafia boss, finally conceded his guilt on federal racketeer influenced and corrupt organization (RICO) charges that have been pending for nearly half a decade.

That's the day Ojeda scribbled his signature on a "package deal" plea agreement that was contingent on U.S. Department of Justice prosecutors finalizing similar, pre-trial punishment reduction deals with his remaining three co-defendants--Suzie Rodriguez, Donald Aguilar and Jacobo Huanosto--by Oct. 5.

But on Sept. 30 the spry, legendary 72-year-old gangster abruptly reneged on the arrangement when asked to orally confirm his RICO guilt by U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna.

Craig Wilke, Ojeda's veteran Fullerton-based criminal defense lawyer, declined to comment about his client's flip-flop and indicated he is again preparing for an Oct. 29 trial launch inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.

A jury pool had already been selected, juror questionnaires distributed and heighten security measures by U.S. marshals plotted in anticipation for proceedings expected to last five to six weeks.

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Would Suspicious Eyewitness Statement Wreck A Prosecutor's Shooting Case?

Prosecutors say Ayala stood only 4-feet-10 but was lethal
Lying on a Santa Ana sidewalk beside two of his dead Walnut Street gang pals--ages 14 and 15, bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound to the stomach and believing he was dying late on a Dec. 17, 2006 afternoon, Fernando Garcia twice told police the name of his killer: "Juan Roldan."

But Garcia, 16, didn't die. He fell into a coma and emerged months later. After consulting with family members who expressed fear that Roldan, an intensely violent Lopers gang shot caller, would seek retaliation, Garcia changed his story.

Can a highly suspicious flip-flop undermine a successful homicide prosecution?

His shooter, Garcia now claimed, had been Oiram Roman Ayala--even though key facts didn't necessarily support the new tale. For example, Ayala stood more than a foot shorter than Roldan and was a far less powerful gangster. Never mind too that cops recovered the .38-caliber revolver used in the senseless turf war incident inside Roldan's house or that the gang boss shot and wounded another rival underworld character 11 days later.

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Irvin Tellez Faces More Than a Century in Prison for Murdering Nancy Hammour

Courtesy of Santa Ana Police Department
Irvin Tellez was convicted this week of murdering Nancy Hammour.
Remember Nancy Hammour, the alleged drug dealer who was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Mexican Mafia gang crackdown Operation Smokin' Aces around the same time her body was dumped from a Newport Beach bridge on Labor Day 2013?

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Lawsuit Claims Former LA Sheriff Lee Baca Helped Pal in Investment Scheme

R. Scott Moxley/OC Weekly
Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana: Where crime autopsies occur
In my world--one overloaded with journalists, politicians, cops, bureaucrats, lawyers and judges--a sales pitch that, say, a $3 million personal investment will swell into $100 million in weeks is a knee-slapping, cry-laughing joke. That's one of numerous reasons why the case of Stanley Toy Jr. stands out. A Los Angeles County medical doctor, veteran investor, political appointee and major Democrat donor with connections to President Barack Obama, Toy claimed con artists asserting secret, high-level banking-world connections and the ability to deliver rapid returns of more than 3,300 percent suckered him.

Sophisticated financial crimes are, of course, an everyday occurrence in Southern California, but Toy's mess is unique. From 2006 to 2007, he counted among his pals then-LA Sheriff Lee Baca and Undersheriff Larry Waldie, who made him a reserve lieutenant sheriff after taking his regular campaign contributions. Orange County experienced a similar unseemly pay-to-play scenario in which, before his FBI arrest and six-year prison trip, Sheriff Mike Carona routinely gave guns and official badges to wealthy businessmen seeking law-enforcement influence.

Toy used his own connections in hopes of buying a hospital that would nab lucrative government contracts for indigent patients, an idea he pitched to Arlene Shih, a senior vice president at Chinatrust Bank. Toy didn't know Shih's job served as front for her real occupation, which a California Court of Appeal later characterized as a serial embezzler with ties to men skillful at luring gullible investors into scams with intricate enticements heavy on mystery and big on promises.

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