A Department of Homeland Security investigation based in California has led to the indictment of 19 people accused of taking part in a "birth tourism" scam aimed at Chinese residents. The scheme was designed to aid Chinese parents obtain birthright citizenship in the United States for their children.
California residents might be aware of a case going on in Los Angeles, where a man allegedly drove his family off a pier in order to collect insurance benefits. The defendant has denied all accusations and has pleadednot guilty to the federal charges levied against him, some of which are mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering.
Hate crimes are serious, especially because they could be committed by individuals or groups aligned with terrorists. Perpetrators also have the potential to commit acts of terror on their own. A hate crime is one in which the perpetrator singles out the victim based on one or more specific attributes.
Telemarketers have made many Californians wary of answering their telephones. Considering the telephone scam that was recently shut down by federal prosecutors, it's easy to understand that sentiment. An indictment against three men alleges that they ran a call center overseas for the purpose of posing as the Internal Revenue Service or a payday loan company. The U.S. attorney handling the case said that the men collected $2.3 million while committing their alleged crimes and that they should forfeit property of equal value.
Identity theft is a growing problem for authorities in California and around the country, and protecting the community is especially difficult because technology designed to make life easier is providing criminals with new ways to obtain confidential consumer information. Identity thieves use people's personal or financial data, such as their Social Security number or login details, without their knowledge or consent to commit crimes like fraud or theft. One of the chief problems faced by police officers and federal agents investigating identity theft is that victims often do not find out that their information has been used without their consent until they receive credit card bills with unusual charges.
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter appeared with his wife in federal court in San Diego for a hearing after a 60-count indictment detailed their alleged misuse of over $250,000 in political campaign funds. Hunter's lawyer requested another status conference because he needed more time to prepare motions prior to a trial. He wanted the judge to excuse the congressman from that hearing, but the judge refused the request.
A representative from California has been indicted on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy. He was also indicted on charges that he falsified records and violated campaign finance laws. According to the indictment, campaign funds were used to cover personal expenses such as dental bills that were past due as well as vacations and school lunches. Furthermore, it said that the representative and his wife engaged in a conspiracy to siphon campaign funds for their own personal use.
After being arrested out of state, a 70-year-old man formerly of Hillsborough has been scheduled to appear in San Francisco federal court to answer for charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. Federal prosecutors claim that he launched a real estate Ponzi scheme in 2010 and used the money collected from investors to pay for personal expenses, buy stocks and sometimes pay investors.
On July 17, it was reported that a 49-year-old California man pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud. He had been accused of using investor money for personal expenses instead of purchasing and reselling tickets for profit.
A 69-year-old man residing in Roseville received a guilty verdict from a jury after a weeklong trial in federal court in San Francisco. He had been accused of misleading Japanese investors in a classic Ponzi scheme that paid early investors with cash supplied by new investors. Damages to investors totaled $6.8 million. The jury convicted him of conspiracy to launder money, money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 17 counts of wire fraud. He now awaits his sentence.