Wednesday, August 29, 2012

International Fugitive Arrested in Las Vegas

A 51-year-old German national wanted by law enforcement authorities in Germany for using his Florida-based financial firm to defraud investors of more than $100 million in a pyramid scheme was arrested last week in Las Vegas by special agents and officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), the U.S. Marshals Service and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Ulrich Felix Anton Engler is the subject of an international warrant issued December 4, 2007 in Mannheim, Germany. He is wanted on multiple criminal charges for jointly committing fraud on a repetitive and gainful basis, filed in the local court in Mannheim and Hamburg, Germany.

As gathered, Engler conducted the illegal scheme from his Florida office from June 2003 to December 2004 and used a marketing company which he had set up utilizing the Internet to defraud numerous investors in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. He falsely claimed to trade in shares and other securities in the form of so-called day trading through his company, Private Commercial Office, in Cape Coral. In total, Engler concluded 3,549 such contracts with investors involving a total sum of $100,896,836.61. The investors suffered damages in the amount of their investment capital. Once they had transferred the money to the United States, they no longer had any possibility to access the money.

At the time the arrest warrant was issued in Germany, Engler was believed to have been residing in Florida. In 2011, the U.S. Marshals Service in conjunction with INTERPOL Washington determined that Engler was perpetuating his fraudulent schemes in Nevada under the name of Joseph Miller. A fingerprint match in a Las Vegas-area drunken driving case in February led the authorities to the German fugitive. 

Engler is currently in ERO custody pending deportation to Germany where he will be turned over to law enforcement authorities. If convicted for his alleged crimes, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

More criminal charges related articles available at Criminal Defense Blog.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Reno Man Charged for Girlfriend’s Baby’s Death

A 22-year-old Reno man has been charged Wednesday with child abuse and first-degree murder in connection with the August 8 death of his girlfriend’s baby.

Donald Jackson was charged in the criminal complaint filed in court for the killing of Jayden Marion, who was the 19-month-old baby son of Jackson’s live-in girlfriend at her residence on Lakeside Ave. in Reno. He was also charged with child abuse for having allegedly struck the baby between June 15 and July 30 in previously unreported abuse that caused bruises and swelling. His court hearing has not yet been scheduled.

According to Reno Police, their investigation revealed that the baby’s mother had gone to work and had left her child with Jackson, who was then also watching his own young son, on the morning of August 8. Later that day, Jackson went to a neighbor saying the baby was “cold and not breathing”. The child was brought to Renown Regional Medical Center just before noon where it was pronounced dead. An autopsy showed that the baby suffered from non-accidental blunt force trauma to his abdominal area. The injury was so severe that it severed a part of his liver, and lacerated his spleen.

Jackson was arrested August 9 and was held at Washoe County Jail without bail. His girlfriend told investigators she had seen bruises on her son’s buttocks and legs during the past few months and that his feet and one of his hands were also swollen and bruised. 

Read more related articles and news at Ross Goodman Criminal Defense Attorney Blog

Friday, August 24, 2012

Murder Charge Filed vs. Henderson Woman for Strangling Boyfriend

A 36-year-old mother of five was arrested at her Henderson home and was charged with murder Thursday, about three months after she already admitted to police that she strangled her boyfriend until he died.

Tammy Lucero was booked into the Henderson jail and is being held there without bail for the killing of her 35-year-old boyfriend, David Hudson, whose body was found May 24 at their apartment near Lake Mead Parkway and Boulder Highway. She told investigators then that she acted in self defense. She is scheduled to make her appearance in court on Wednesday.

According to police report, Hudson punched Lucero in the face and was starting to choke her with both hands when she managed to push him off, grab hold of a computer cord, wrap it around his neck and hold on tight until he stopped breathing. Lucero told the police that she feared that Hudson would "beat or kill her if she let go” of the cord. She said Hudson had even stabbed her in the head two weeks before the strangulation incident.

Detectives assigned on the case noted that Lucero's injuries were consistent with her story of what happened on the day she killed her boyfriend. However, they apparently now feel that Lucero may have gone above and beyond self defense.

Both Lucero and Hudson have records of prior arrests, with Hudson for domestic battery and Lucero for drug charges. Neighbors told the police that the couple both seemed abusive toward each other, with Lucero being the more abusive of the two. They said Hudson seemed afraid of his girlfriend.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Missing Person Case Becomes Murder

An almost three-year-old missing person case has been reclassified as a case of murder after police learned that the body found near a rural desert road outside Las Vegas on October 2011 turned out to be that of the person reported as missing since December 2009.

On December 8, 2009, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department started its investigation on the disappearance of 56-year-old Dragon Rnic, Sr. who was reportedly last seen on December 1 driving a white Honda Odyssey mini-van. The vehicle was found abandoned the next day on the side of the State Route 160 near mile marker 20. However, there was no trace of Rnic. The case went cold after a while.

In October, a body was found in a desert area next to where the van had been found two years before. The Clark County coroner's office has yet to officially release the identity and cause and manner of death although the police already believe the body to be Rnic. In fact, they have already named 54-year-old Blazenko Jurasek as a suspect in Rnic's disappearance and probable murder.

A grand jury has indicted Jurasek for murder and the police said this Friday that they have already issued a warrant for his arrest.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

‘Innocence Lost’ Nets 23 in ‘Hot August Nights’ Sting

Twenty-two women and one man were arrested or cited on suspicion of prostitution during two days of an undercover sting during the ‘Hot August Nights’ classic car and nostalgia event across the Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe areas.

The sting came in the heels of the Innocence Lost National Initiative aimed at addressing the growing problem of domestic sex trafficking of children in the United States which was launched by the FBI, in conjunction with the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. As part of the initiative, detectives in the regional Street Enforcement Team on Thursday and Saturday arrested or cited some of the suspected prostitutes contacted on the Fourth Street corridor,  those contacted through online escort advertisements and those found at a Sparks hotel-casino.

The youngest suspect nabbed was an 18-year-old male from Reno while the oldest was a 45-year-old woman. Many told investigators they had children. Several admitted they were drug addicts. A sizeable number say they live in California and travelled to Las Vegas to take advantage of the ‘Hot August Nights’ classic car event.

Police surmise at least some of those arrested were working for pimps. Aside from suspicion of solicitation for prostitution, charges filed against some include obstructing or resisting a peace officer and those for drug-related offenses.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Las Vegas Defense Lawyer Charged for Having Sex with Client in Jail

A Las Vegas defense attorney was arrested and charged Monday with a felony offense for having oral sex with his client while on a visit at the Clark County Detention Center.

Curtis Cannon, 58, a member of the State Bar of Nevada since 2007, and his client, Crystal Wallis, 23, who was serving time at the detention center on drug charges and a charge of attempted possession of a stolen vehicle, were both indicted with voluntary sexual conduct between a prisoner and another person.

Responding to reports of Cannon’s alleged misconduct with his jailed female clients, detectives of the Criminal Intelligence Section of the Metropolitan Police Department installed a hidden  camera, with the audio turned off to avoid listening to private attorney-client conversations, in the visiting room where Cannon met Wallis last Thursday afternoon. They were able to get a detailed footage of the two kissing and while engaged in the sexual act.

When separately confronted with the evidence, both the defense attorney and his client admitted to having committed the alleged impropriety which will likely draw one to four years in prison. Cannon was expected to post the $5,000 bail for his provisional release.

Nevada’s State Bar, the organization that regulates lawyers, will also be looking into Cannon’s case.

Facing criminal charges? Hire criminal defense lawyer Ross Goodman to defend you. He has proven track record of results. Click the link to view his site. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hells Angels’ Trial Dismissed on Technicality

For failure on the part of the prosecution to observe proper procedures, a Nevada court judge declared a mistrial in the felony attempted murder and gang-related activity case against eight Hells Angels arising from a well-publicized December 2008 brawl with rival Mongols motorcycle club members at a wedding chapel in downtown Las Vegas.

Clark County District Court Judge Michael Villani ruled Wednesday that prosecutors failed to fully turn over to defense attorneys evidence, including photographs and documents to be used during the trial for eight of thirteen members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club who have been charged with bludgeoning three Mongols at the A Special Memory Wedding Chapel. The eight defendants on trial are Dominic Orlando, Frederick O'Dell, Brandon Young, James Sexey, John Dawson, Jeffrey Murray, John Merchant, and Armando Porras.

Villani made his decision after being told that a lead police detective in the case had testified in a child custody hearing for one of the victims years after the brawl. The detective's testimony has to do with the issue as to whether the victim remained a member of the Mongols after the brawling incident with the rival motorcycle club. The prosecutors apparently thought the testimony had very limited relevance to the case.

The defense lawyers maintained otherwise. They said not knowing about the testimony beforehand hampered the defense's ability to impeach or cross-examine witnesses. One of the Hells Angels’ attorney, Jim Oronoz argued that, "The government, like everyone else, has to play by the rules and turn over the evidence."

Friday, August 10, 2012

“Plaid Bank Robber” Nabbed

Officers from the Henderson and Las Vegas police departments and agents from FBI arrested a Nevada resident whom they say was the man the media dubbed as the “plaid bank robber.”

Maximilian Kvetan, 30, was apprehended and taken into custody Tuesday morning at a house near Hacienda Avenue and Sandhill Road in Henderson. He faces federal charges in connection with three bank robberies committed last month. He confessed to two bank robberies in Henderson and another one in Las Vegas. He denied any involvement in the July 18 robbery of the U.S. Bank branch inside a Smith's grocery store at 830 S. Boulder Highway.

According to reports, in each bank robbery, a man dressed in a plaid shirt handed a note demanding money to a teller. After receiving cash, he took back the note. He did not present any weapon and no one got hurt in any of his capers. Witnesses described the robber as a male Caucasian in his late 20s or early 30s, between 6-foot and 6-foot-2 and weighs around 180 pounds. At the time of the latest robbery, he was seen wearing a baseball cap, a blue and white plaid shirt, blue jeans and black tennis shoes. Police say Kvetan fit the description.

The amounts involved in the robberies have not yet been disclosed.

Follow this blog for more news & events. Criminal Defense Lawyer Ross Goodman offers free consultation. Contact him today to discuss your criminal charges.  +1 702 383-5088.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

25 Years in Prison for Florida Man Convicted of Killing Wife in 2010 DUI Accident

A Florida resident who dismissed his criminal defense lawyer and opted to represent himself in court for the accidental death of his wife during a drunk driving incident two years ago was sentenced to 25 years in prison, the maximum allowed by law.

Charles Peoples, 60, was found guilty of having his wife killed in a drunk driving accident in 2010 when he veered into the path of an oncoming car on Interstate 75. At the time of his arrest, he had a blood alcohol level of 0.204, which is well above the legal limit of 0.08 in Florida. He was then also already on probation and driving with a revoked license. Aggravating matters further, police said  he cut his wife’s seat belt and moved her behind the steering wheel in an apparent attempt to mislead investigators from learning that he was driving unlawfully.

Given his record of multiple arrests over the past 40 years, Circuit Judge Gregory Holder last week sentenced Peoples to 25 years in prison for having been found guilty on charges of DUI manslaughter, driving on a revoked sentence, and violating probation.

Representing himself at trial, Peoples initially pleaded not guilty. Later, he switched to a guilty plea apparently to avoid trial. A third motion to change his plea back to not guilty was already disallowed by the judge. When Peoples requested a delay in sentencing so a doctor could testify on his behalf, Judge Holder refused. Instead, the judge simply read the doctor’s written report.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nevada U.S. District Court Convicts Fugitive on Money Laundering Charges

After two years on the lam, a leading member of the anti-government “Sovereign Movement” was convicted July 24 in federal court in connection with a $ 1.3 million money laundering scheme.

Nevada U.S. District Judge James Mahan found Shawn Rice, 49, of Seligman, Arizona, guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, 13 counts of money laundering and four counts of failure to appear after a two-day trial. He could receive up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy and money laundering counts, and 10 years for each count of failure to appear. Rice will be sentenced October 24.

Based on testimonies during the trial, Rice and co-defendant Samuel Davis, 57, of Council, Idaho, had laundered $1.3 million, believed to have come from theft and forgery of stolen official bank checks, from March 2008 to March 2009. The two accused laundered the money through a nominee trust account controlled by Davis and a religious organization controlled by Rice. Reportedly, Davis received $74,000 for the laundering while Rice got $22,000.

Rice had originally been charged in March 2009, but he failed to show up in court for the next two years until he was rearrested in December 2011. Davis until now is still a fugitive.

Rice,a self-proclaimed rabbi and lawyer, waived his right to a jury and represented himself during the 1½-day trial before Judge  Mahan. He contended that he was entrapped and that the federal court had no authority to take action against him.

The evidence presented during the trial showed that Rice had laundered more than $705,000 of $1.3 million for undercover FBI agents. Rice argued that he had no predisposition to get involved in the conspiracy and was the victim of "unscrupulous" federal agents.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Las Vegas Man Arrested on Burglary, Attempted Sexual Assault Charges

Police arrested a 30-year-old man Thursday on allegations of burglary and attempted sexual assault.

Joseph Laurente, also known as Joe Lamrenje, a resident of Las Vegas, was booked at  the Clark County jail pending a court appearance on charges including battery, burglary, attempted sexual assault with weapon and coercion with force.

Authorities say Laurente was suspected of entering neighbors' apartments through sliding doors, attacking a sleeping woman in one unit and taking a purse from another woman in another unit.

Metro Police responded Tuesday to a report that a woman had been attacked in her home in the 8100 block of West Flamingo Road. The woman told police she was roused from sleep after finding an unknown man on top of her. She said the man put a pillow over her face and attempted to sexually assault her. The victim was able to fight off the man but she sustained several injuries to her face, neck and wrist. The suspect ran from the apartment.

On Wednesday, police responded to a reported robbery that happened at the same building as the attempted sexual assault. The victim in this incident reported that on July 19 she confronted a man who had entered her apartment. She told police she struggled with the suspect who threatened her with a sharp-edged weapon before he left the apartment with her purse.

The description of the burglary suspect and the sexual assault suspect were found to be matched. Police believe the suspect may have lived in the complex because there had been other reported incidents of burglaries in the same apartment building.