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.
The CEO of the infamous website Backpage.com has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of money laundering in a California court, according to documents filed in the case. The CEO will face up to five years in prison for his crimes.
In 2017, the California legislature voted to make changes to Megan's Law, which requires that sex offenders register with the state. The primary change was to reduce the amount of time a person must spend on the state sex offender list. The new law will place those on the sex offender list into three categories. Tier I will be used for those who have committed nonviolent felonies and misdemeanors.
On Jan. 8, it was reported that three California-based insurance agents were sentenced to prison after they were convicted on charges associated with a fraudulent life insurance scheme. All three of the insurance agents were convicted on wire fraud and identity theft charges in early 2017.
Through laws and legislation, states aim to protect members of the public from individuals who commit sex offenses. California residents should be aware of what qualifies as a sex offense.
On Sept. 18, a 59-year-old California man who claimed he was a psychic was sentenced to six years in federal prison after he was convicted of filing fraudulent tax returns. His 51-year-old wife was also sentenced to two years in federal prison for tax fraud.
A 35-year-old former agent with the U.S. Secret Service who had investigated online criminal activity has accepted responsibility for his own crimes. Appearing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, he entered a guilty plea on money laundering charges. His charges arose from a theft of 1,600 bitcoins. At the time that he diverted the digital currency from a government account to a digital wallet that only he could access, the bitcoins had an approximate value of $359,005.
A 54-year-old former California labor organizer pleaded guilty to three felony counts for fraud-related offenses. He has been accused of taking money from people and entities he was supposed to be attempting to help organize.
California residents who are facing various types of federal criminal charges may also face longer sentences than they would have during the Obama administration. In 2013, Eric Holder, who was the attorney general at the time, issued a memo directing federal judges to limit mandatory minimum sentencing. The issue was that nonviolent offenders were facing long prison sentences, and that was costly for taxpayers.
In a plea agreement that was negotiated by her defense attorney with a U.S. prosecutor, a 36-year-old woman from San Francisco admitted to using identity information stolen from multiple credit card and debit card accounts to create new accounts. From February to July 2014, she opened credit accounts at a number of financial institutions in other people's names without their knowledge or permission.