Akinola Afolabi Gets 30 Months for Billing Medicare $2.6 mil for Unneeded Equipment

Photo by flickr user Louish Pixel
Big money flowed from the government.
A Long Beach man who used to own a medical equipment supply company--and pleaded guilty in August 2013 to a $2.6 million Medicare fraud scheme involving unnecessary power wheelchairs--was sentenced Monday to 30 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution. Akinola Afolabi, the ex-owner and president of Emmanuel Medical Supply, paid "marketers" to obtain Medicare beneficiary information that he used on the false medical documents, prescriptions for the chairs and claims for benefits. Some beneficiaries did not even receive the equipment or any medical supplies that were on the bills Afolabi submitted to Medicare--to the tune of about $2.6 million.

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Is Queen of the Birfers Orly Taitz Orange County's First Known Enterovirus-68 Victim?

Public domain
Orly Taitz claims she must wear a positive pressure oxygen machine mask like this.

Four sick children in Ventura and San Diego counties have been confirmed by state health officials to be the first Southern California victims of enterovirus-68, a rare respiratory virus. But could victim No. 5 reside right here in Orange County? Rancho Santa Margarita lawyer/dentist/real estate saleslady/"The Lucy Ricardo of Law"* Orly Taitz is not a child but, according to documents she filed in federal court in Texas, she likely contracted a respiratory infection from a kid in the country illegally. An this is based from a courtroom expert-for-hire who believes Taitz makes a great case for the spread of enterovirus-68 by border crossers.

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Will Robert H. Dolin Lose Medical License for Going from Kaiser Chief to Child Porn Sicko?

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

Kaiser Permanente
Robert Harold Dolin
An Irvine doctor who pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography could lose his medical license while behind bars, but the even more interesting thing about the 55-year-old is what a big deal physician he is.

Or was.

Robert H. Dolin, a UC Irvine medical school graduate, has been licensed to practice since 1988, doing so last at Kaiser Permanente in Anaheim, where he was the company's chief terminologist. That had him working with fellow physicians, insurers, medical billers, the federal Health and Human Services Agency and other professionals on "semantic interoperability," or the accepted medical terms all entities use. In 2006, Dolin was elected president of the American Medical Informatics Association, "the center of action for more than 4,000 health care professionals, informatics researchers, and thought-leaders in biomedicine, health care and science."

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Richard Gardner Engel's Ex-Wife Defends Socialite Who Got 7 Years for Tax Evasion

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

UPDATE: Jolene Engel told City News Service's Paul Anderson today that she left Powerplant Maintenance Specialists Inc. in 1998 but remained president in name only through June 30, 2001, when Richard Engel assumed that position. She added she separated from Richard in 1999, was divorced by 2000 and had no idea the company's taxes were not being paid, saying she should have been more diligent. "I've been asking to pay the money since 2002," she said of restitution. "The DA kept changing their mind about what I owed." She agreed with her ex-husband that negative publicity hindered his ability to raise his restitution and said the prison term will likely cost him his law license that the state bar suspended in June 2012. "Like he said (in court), his life is gone,'' Jolene said of Richard. "... I feel very badly that he's going to prison. It's so hard to see someone you know for so many years go to prison." But Senior Deputy District Attorney Bill Overtoom told Anderson that Richard Engel could have avoided his fate. "He's had substantial income and he still hasn't paid his taxes," Overtoom said. "We all have to pay our taxes whether we like it or not, so state prison is appropriate."

OC Weekly archives
Richard Gardner Engel from his days on the Orange Coast society circuit.

A once-wealthy Newport Beach socialite failed to come up with $300,000 in restitution and was sentenced today to seven years in state prison for not paying taxes related to his former power plant refurbishing business. Richard Gardner Engel's ex-wife Jolene Engel, who was once president of the couple's Powerplant Maintenance Specialists Inc. (PMSI) business in Huntington Beach, already paid more than $1 million in restitution, had her felony charges knocked down to misdemeanors and was sentenced to three years probation.

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DEA: Beverly Hills Businessman Was International Cocaine, Pot and Ecstasy Dealer

Nguyen's Linkedin page
Tom Nguyen attributes the success of his Beverly Hills-based Alenta Global Alliance (AGA) to "proven business acumen" that provides his customers "access to privileged business portfolios."

"At AGA, we identify high-growth segments of the economy where we can establish a competitive advantage and generate superior returns," Nguyen wrote in an Internet ad for his venture capital company.

But, according to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, Nguyen masterminded a lucrative double life as a "high-ranking member of an international money laundering and drug trafficking organization" selling large quantities of Ecstasy pills, marijuana and cocaine in Mexico, Canada, California, Arizona and Florida.

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Reda Hassan Safieddine Guilty of Shotgun Murder of 17-Year-Old Tagging Crew Rival

Courtesy of FVPD
Reda Hassan Safieddine in 2012
A jury today found a 20-year-old Fountain Valley man guilty of murdering an unarmed teen rival from a "tagging crew" with a shotgun blast to the neck in the parking lot of a convenience store.

Jurors in Santa Ana deliberated about four hours before convicting Reda Hassan Safieddine, who as a DJ went by "Big Reda," of second-degree murder and brandishing a firearm and found true a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a gun.

He faces up to 40 years to life in prison at his scheduled sentencing Nov. 7.

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Vacation-Loving Credit Union Embezzler Faces 80-Year Prison Term

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

Victimized by insider
David Lugo appeared to enjoy a successful career inside the Schools First Federal Credit Union in Tustin.

Lugo began as a systems administrator in the information technology (IT) department and eventually became a vice president.

But the employee spent more than a decade embezzling nearly $2.7 million by buying unnecessary computer equipment with credit union funds and then privately re-selling the products.

Lugo used embezzled funds to take luxury vacations in Hawaii, Europe, Las Vegas and Florida as well as for casino gambling, jewelry from Tiffany & Co., new vehicles, clothes, cosmetic dental work, college tuition and expensive dining, according to U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor Jeannie M. Joseph.

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Israel Pena Lopez is Found Guilty of Santa Ana Drug Hit But Frankie Esteban Giraldo is Not

Courtesy of the Santa Ana Police Department
The late Alejandro David Sanchez (left), Frankie Esteban Giraldo (center) and Sanchez's convicted killer Israel Pena Lopez.
A jury Wednesday afternoon found a Santa Ana man guilty of murdering a drug dealer making himself a coffee in an Edinger Avenue bakery in October 2010, but the panel let a second defendant off. While the prosecution had claimed Frankie Esteban Giraldo was serving as a lookout for gunman Israel Pena Lopez, jurors obviously bought 32-year-old Giraldo's excuse: He'd shown up at absolutely the wrong time to buy drugs from Alejandro David Sanchez, who had 30 bindles of heroin and three disposable phones in his pocket when he was shot six times in the back.

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Forde's Theatre: Overpriced PR Consultant Confesses Great Park Plan Was A Dream

Irvine political boss Larry Agran is publishing a fake newspaper (above) to dupe voters
Having collected $7.23 million to do public relations for a government park that may never be fully built because of wasted spending, Newport Beach consultant Arnold Forde made clear at the outset of an Aug. 5 deposition that he is contemptuous of questions about his windfall.

The recipient of no-bid contracts for a decade because of his personal ties to Irvine political boss Larry Agran, Forde advised Anthony R. Taylor, the city council-hired attorney investigating corruption at the Orange County Great Park project, that he's the target of "a witch hunt."

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Peter Elijah Azevedo Could Face Homicide Count in Fight Death of Ramon Castaneda

Google Maps
The fight happened Sept. 5 in the 400 block of South Van Buren Street, Placentia.

A 28-year-old Placentia man pleaded not guilty Sept. 9 to assault and related charges that arose from a fight that injured a man four days before. But Peter Elijah Azevedo, who was due in court for another hearing today, may soon be fending off a homicide count as the 40-year-old victim died from his injuries Friday, according to prosecutors.

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