On Jan. 6, a Social Security Administration employee received a 15-month federal prison sentence for fraud. The 36-year-old California woman was accused of stealing $176,015 in Social Security payments while she had access to the beneficiaries' computer records. She was taken into custody in September 2019 and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud the next month.
A California man who ran three financial services companies that offered to help borrowers to reduce their student loan obligations has pleaded guilty to money laundering and wire fraud. The 42-year-old Sonoma County resident faces up to 20 years in a federal prison on each count when he is sentenced. The guilty pleas were announced on Dec. 20.
A California congressman from the U.S. House of Representatives is planning to plead guilty to misusing campaign funds. Despite previously denying the charges and saying that he was the victim of a witch hunt by the opposing party, California Rep. Duncan Hunter has reversed course and prepared himself for receiving a sentence. In a statement to the press, he stated that he wants to spare his three children from a trial and avoid the publicity that comes with the process.
A California man who admitted to federal prosecutors that he paid a college admissions consultant $400,000 and a university official $50,000 to secure his two children places at the University of Southern California will spend six months behind bars. The former insurance executive learned of his fate during a sentencing hearing held in a Massachusetts district court on Nov. 11. His sentence is the harshest yet handed down to parents connected to a major college admissions scandal.
Many people in California treat their pets like members of the family, and federal lawmakers have taken action to strengthen federal laws against animal cruelty. The passage of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act in the U.S. House of Representatives addressed the criminality of interstate commerce when it contributes to acts of animal cruelty. The U.S. Senate has a similar bill in the works, and final legislation could head to the White House for the president's signature.
On Oct. 8, federal authorities announced the arrest of over 120 California residents following a three-month gang enforcement campaign dubbed "Operation Triple Beam". The campaign took place in Fresno County.
The wealthy political donor known for contributing to high-profile candidates like Barack Obama and Gavin Newsom could face a mandatory minimum 20-year prison sentence if convicted on federal drug charges. A grand jury in a California federal court indicted the 65-year-old man after he was arrested on state charges for allegedly operating a drug house in West Hollywood.
California resident Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison on Sept. 13 for the role she played in the largest college admissions scandal in the nation's history. Huffman admitted in May that she paid a college counselor $15,000 to improve her daughter's SAT score. The payment was allegedly concealed as a charitable contribution. The Oscar-nominated star of 'Desperate Housewives" will also serve one year of supervised release, pay a $30,000 fine and perform 250 hours of community service. Huffman will begin serving her sentence on Oct. 25.
Federal prosecutors in California have announced that a 25-year-old Westwood man has admitted to using a Bitcoin kiosk to launder approximately $25 million for a list of clients that included drug dealers who used illicit websites to sell narcotics on the dark web. According to an Aug. 23 press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California, the man has entered guilty pleas to four felony counts including operating a money transmitting business without a license and distributing methamphetamine. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance in September.
Federal authorities say that the Modesto Hells Angels president and two others were taken into custody on multiple drug charges. Another person faces charges, but police are not sure where he is. Specifically, they were charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine as well as conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. According to authorities, the president's wife delivered drugs to various people in Ceres while a prospect was tasked with finding drugs and delivering them to the club president.