David Anthony Parga Gets 50 Years for Murder Originally Billed as Brown-on-Black Hate Crime

Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office
David Anthony Parga belongs to a La Habra gang with ties to the Mexican Mafia.

In March 2010, the Mexican-in-Chief wrote that, if the charges against David Anthony Parga were true, it was "time to welcome another group of racist nitwits to our county's collection of skinheads, Holocaust deniers, and queer bashers: Latino gang members intent on terrorizing African-Americans to the point of death." But prosecutors later dropped the hate-crime overtones, not that it spared 28-year-old Parga a long prison stretch in the end: He was sentenced today to 50 years to life in state prison.

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Federal Grand Jury Indicts Two Men For Using Child As Prostitute And Porn Star

A Southern California grand jury has indicted two men on charges involving the sex trafficking of a child and child pornography.

Antonio Dickerson (a.k.a. "Girbaud") and D'Antoine Thomas (a.k.a. "J.O.") are named in the two-count indictment revealed this week inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.

The case stems from an April 2011, event where Dickerson and Thomas allegedly recruited and transported a minor under the age of 18 to work as a prostitute, according to the indictment that does not give the victim's age, sex or state of residence.

The grand jury also claims the defendants coerced the minor "to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct" and plotted to make the images available through interstate and foreign commerce.

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Costa Mesa Con Artist Caught In Water Filtration Scam

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

For four years up until March 2011, T. Michael Haws made nationwide solicitations to lure investors in his DrinkRite, a Costa Mesa water filtration company, while concealing material facts.

Haws didn't tell his victims that he illegally diverted their investments to his personal use to pay for groceries, utilities, restaurant bills, pet care, medical expenses and to invest in an Iraqi Dinar scheme.

He also didn't tell his investors that he's a convicted felon who served a 37-month prison sentence stemming from a 1997 FBI arrest and grand jury indictment for a different con game.

Here's where the criminal justice system broke down in mindless secrecy that harms the public. If anybody--including potential investors--had wanted a full background check on Haws, they would have been blocked. Incredibly, then-U.S. District Court Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler sealed all records of the 1998 sentencing hearing and the fact that this crook had been sent to prison.

[Update/clarification on the secrecy point: For unknown reasons, the sentencing was originally sealed in 1998, but unsealed by a separate federal judge the following year. Still, to this very day, court records available to the public continue to show "sentencing under seal" in the disposition.]

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Mortgage Scam Suspect Arrested Boarding LAX Flight To Afghanistan

Knowing federal officials in Santa Ana were contemplating criminal charges against her for posing as an attorney and operating a mortgage scam, 30-year-old Najia Jalan decided this month to buy a one-way ticket from LAX through Dubai to Afghanistan on Emirates Airline.

But as the backpack-toting Jalan boarded the Oct. 18 flight, two special agents with the U.S. Department of Treasury's Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) arrested her on mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges.

Less than 48 hours earlier, Jalan--who has used the names Poh Yee Neo, Sarah Adams and Korina Taylor--met with Assistant United States Attorney Ivy A. Wang and federal agents inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse and learned the government contemplated her arrest, according to court records.

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Steven Joseph Bruno Guilty of Slaying Father

Courtesy of IPD
Steven Joseph Bruno GUILTY!
UPDATE, OCT. 29, 4:44 P.M.: After six hours of deliberation, a jury just found Steven Joseph Bruno guilty of second-degree murder for fatally shooting his adoptive father in the chest and head in his Irvine condo. The prosecution, which sought first-degree murder, claimed the slaying was premeditated so the 23-year-old could have money and a car to drive to Ohio to finally meet his Internet girlfriend. The defense countered Ernest Bruno was shot and killed about 9 p.m., Aug. 30, 2012, with a .40-caliber semi-automatic Glock handgun because the younger man feared the 60-year-old.

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Orange County Man Claims New York Antiques Dealer Conned Him In $3 Million Deal

Categories: Court

An elderly Orange County man claims Metropolitan Fine Arts and Antiques in New York City used "high-pressure sales techniques" to trick him and his now deceased wife into purchasing $3 million in "nearly worthless" art and jewelry, according to a federal fraud lawsuit.

Robert Plumleigh's complaint states that Sam Morano, owner of the store, "deceptively" assured him that the pieces "had been made in Europe," were "of museum quality" and "had been appraised for values far in excess of the purchase prices."

The lawsuit, filed in Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, alleges that the Plumleighs of Santa Ana were an "un-savvy couple" who "were such ripe targets" for Morano's "high-pressure sales tactics and unduly influenced by defendants' claims and representations."

Plumleigh, 84, reports that Morano sent a truck "full of pieces" to his home to make "lavish representations" about the quality, age and value of the items.

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From Poverty To NFL To Pimping, Marquis Horn Is Heading To The Slammer

Horn catches football and lengthy prison sentence for pimping
The 16-year-old Orange County High School for the Arts student wasn't exactly innocent in 2013 when two men in a large, white SUV picked her up from class.

Having worked as a model as well as a prostitute selling herself "to the highest bidder," the attractive, fit, brunette girl posed as an 18-year-old and caused the rendezvous by posting a risqué photo Internet ad that prompted one of the men, "Taylor," to contact her by phone.

Driven to a Santa Ana La Quinta Hotel off the 55 Freeway, the girl later told FBI agents that she believed she was there only to perform legitimate modeling services.

But when she arrived in a hotel room she saw numerous older women, was pressured to smoke marijuana and then "Taylor," actually Long Beach-native Marquis Horn, a onetime, training camp member of the New Orleans Saints and U.S. Olympic team hopeful turned Southern California pimp, got her alone and tried to sexually assault her before she escaped, according to an FBI report.

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Attorneys Spar Over Whether Anyone Other Than Goodwin Wanted Mickey Thompson Dead

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

Photo courtesy of Larry Cano
(From left:) movie producer Larry Cano, defendant Michael F. Goodwin and investigator Paul E. Blackford.

UPDATE, OCT. 28, 1:28 P.M.: From City News Service's report on oral arguments before a three-justice panel in state appeals court in LA today, Deputy Attorney General Louis Karlin said, "The motive is shown very strongly by the nature of the threats" against the late Mickey Thompson by convictee Michael Goodwin. "Only one person has that motive." ... There was no evidence that the crime was done for any reason other than "to assassinate these two people."

The defense's counter after the jump ...

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Michael D. Drobot of Pacific Hospital Fame Files $50 mil Defamation Suit Against Lawyers

Pacific Health Corp.
Michael D. Drobot, plaintiff
Obviously tired of being the target of state and federal investigations and defendant in various legal matters involving his Pacific Health Corp.Healthsmart Pacific, Michael D. Drobot is now suing some opposing lawyers for $50 million for alleged defamation, his lawyers announced Thursday.

The lawsuit alleges attorneys Brian Kabatek and Robert Hutchinson and the law firms of Kabateck Brown Kellner, Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy and Knox Ricksen falsely claimed in broadcast news reports that then CEO Drobot and his Pacific Hospital of Long Beach directed surgeons to install "counterfeit" screws in "thousands" of spinal-surgery patients.

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Fitness Trainer Pleads Guilty In Extortion Case Involving Wealthy, Republican Power Couple

John Gilhooley / OC Weekly
Toledano, former boss of Orange County Democrats, is now lone defendant in wild case
Near the eve of a trial and facing a potential prison trip if convicted, a onetime live-in fitness trainer for an ultra-wealthy Orange County couple pleaded guilty today to six criminal counts involving a $350,000 extortion plot over alleged sexual escapades.

In exchange for pleading guilty to two felonies and four misdemeanors, Michael Roberts, 49, accepted punishment from Superior Court Judge John Conley: a 180-day trip to jail, 100 hours of community service plus supervised probation for three years.

Jim Toledano--Roberts' co-defendant, a former chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party and a civil attorney--continues to maintain his innocence and faces trial in coming days in Conley's court.

The case stems from a bitter fallout involving Roberts and Priscilla Marconi and her husband Dick. Roberts spent a decade until 2005 as Priscilla's trainer before he was fired and ordered to move out of the couple's San Juan Capistrano guest house. They didn't like Roberts' ungrateful attitude while the trainer claimed Priscilla caused the breakup as a way to hide her heated sexual relationship with him from Dick, who was impotent, according to court records.

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