Monday, July 28, 2014

OCSD Deputies Arrest Two Suspects in Rossmoor Residential Burglary Following 911 Call

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. – On Monday, July 21, 2014, Orange County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residential burglary in-progress in the Rossmoor community.  As deputies arrived, two male subjects fled on foot from the rear of the residence, jumping over fences onto the property of adjacent homes in the neighborhood.  After coordination of responding deputies, two male juveniles were detained and taken into custody for residential burglary.

The informant to the Sheriff’s Department was a 14 year-old female who was inside the residence when the two male juveniles attempted to make entry through several doors and windows.  The 14 year-old hid inside a bedroom closet and called 911,
   - audio of 911 call - providing dispatchers with information about what was occurring, ultimately leading to arrests of the two suspects.  The quick actions and calm demeanor demonstrated by the young informant led to an immediate response and arrest of the suspects.

The investigation is ongoing; however, investigators believe the suspects may be connected to other recent burglaries and thefts in the area.

The suspects were arrested and booked into Orange County Juvenile Hall.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department North Investigations Unit at (714) 647-7060 or (714) 647-7000.  Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or at

Friday, July 25, 2014

Woodland Garden Apartments settles for $80K on discrimination against families with children

Woodland Garden Apartments settles for $80K on discrimination against families with children

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - The Justice Department today announced an agreement with the owners and operators of Woodland Garden Apartments in Fremont, California, to settle allegations of discrimination against families with children.  Under the consent order, which must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the defendants are required to pay $77,500 to the victims of their discrimination and an additional $2,500 to the government as a civil penalty.  The settlement resolves a complaint filed by the department on Oct. 25, 2013.

The lawsuit alleged that the apartment complex maintained rules that discriminated against families with children in violation of the Fair Housing Act.  Specifically, the lawsuit challenged a rule that prohibited children from playing outside in the common grassy areas of the complex and provided that families would be evicted if they violated this rule.  The lawsuit also alleged that the actions of the defendants constituted a pattern or practice of discrimination.

The lawsuit arose as a result of complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by five families who lived at Woodland Garden Apartments and by Project Sentinel, a fair housing organization operating in Northern California.  After an investigation of the complaints, HUD issued a charge of discrimination and the complainants were referred to the department.

In addition to monetary payments, the consent order requires defendants to implement a nondiscrimination policy, establish new enforcement procedures for rule violations and undergo training on the Fair Housing Act.

Persons who believe they have experienced or witnessed unlawful housing discrimination may call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, e-mail the Justice Department at , or contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777.  More information about the Fair Housing Act can also be found at the department website or the HUD website .

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Porcelain Dolls Resembling Family Members Found on Porches at San Clemente Homes

Posted by CotoBlogzz

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. – On Tuesday, July 22, 2014 the Orange County Sheriff’s Department was notified regarding porcelain dolls being left on the doorsteps of numerous residences in the Talega community of San Clemente.  As many as eight homes have had porcelain dolls left on their doorsteps over the last week. Families in each of the homes where porcelain dolls were left, voiced concern that the dolls resembled their daughters.

Sheriff’s investigators are actively reviewing and following up on information provided by each of the families involved.  The porcelain dolls have been collected as evidence and are being examined in an attempt to identify their origin or discover clues as to who may be responsible for leaving them.  Investigators are working with community members and the impacted families in an attempt to locate any possible connection between the homes where dolls were left. 

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s South Investigations Unit at (949) 361-8224 or (714) 647-7000.  Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or

OCSD Seeking Public’s Assistance Identifying Male Body

 Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. – – The Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s (OCSD) Coroner Division is seeking the public’s assistance identifying and locating family of an unidentified male decedent.  On Tuesday, July 1, 2014, coroner investigators began conducting a death investigation following the decedent jumping from the Beach Boulevard overpass onto the southbound Interstate 5 freeway.

The unidentified male appears to be of Middle Eastern or Hispanic descent, approximately 50-65 years old.  He is 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 183 pounds, gray-brown hair, brown eyes and a short, gray goatee.  He had poor oral hygiene with two front canine teeth and recessed gums.

Anyone with information about the identity of this person is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Coroner Division at (714) 647-7411 and reference case #14-026

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

OCSD Seek Public’s Assistance in Identifying Ladera Ranch Armed Robbery Suspects

Posted by CotoBlogzz

LADERA RANCH, Calif. – – On Monday, July 21, 2014 at approximately 11:20 p.m., Orange County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an armed robbery at the Arco AM/PM gas station store at 27402 Antonio Parkway, Ladera Ranch.  The suspect used a black handgun and demanded cash from two registers in the store.  The suspect fled the location on foot with an unknown amount of cash and no vehicle was seen.

The suspect is described as a male, African-American, early 20’s wearing a grey shirt, PJ bottoms and a black baseball cap with a Pittsburg Steelers emblem.  He was wearing gloves and his face was covered with a green bandana.  A second suspect, who did not enter the store, was seen pacing outside the store just prior to the robbery and later discovered to have intentionally distracted a witness while the robbery was in-progress.  The witness was later identified as an off-duty police officer.  The second suspect is described as male, African-America or Hispanic, early 20’s or late teens, wearing a black t-shirt, grey jeans and a red/yellow baseball cap (possibly Washington Redskins)

Both suspects fled eastbound on foot to the rear of several adjacent businesses.  Immediately following the witness being made aware of the robbery by the clerk, he attempted to locate the suspects in the neighboring commercial complex but was unable to do so.


Anyone with information regarding this suspect is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (949) 425-1900 or (714) 647-7000.  Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or at

Monday, July 21, 2014

Coto de Caza Traffic Accident Rate at all Time High After one Fatality

Coto de Caza Accident  Rate is at all time high and CHP patrol is down 25% from lawsuit mitigation strategy, while CZ Master Association Board of directors encourages additional traffic. Ladera Ranch Traffic Accident Rate inches upward

Posted By CotoBlogzz 

Coto de Caza, CA - The California Highway Patrol  (CHP) traffic accident report for the second quarter of 2014  ending June 30, 204 (2Q2014) shows the traffic accident rate in Coto de Caza is at an all time high, after it registered its third traffic fatality in the previous quarter - while the California Highway Patrol hours are down 25% from a lawsuit mitigation strategy-  such strategy called for 40 random patrol hours per week.  

To make matters worse, while the CZ Master Association allowed as significant drop in CHP patrol hours, it continues to encourage additional traffic in the community:  The second quarter report includes seven property damage, three injuries and two DUI.  Now, the jump is so drastic from the previous quarter, that we question whether there is something wrong with the data - in more than one decade of reporting this data, we have never seen anything like:  So, we average the last three quarters to smooth the curve - even so, the average still shows the rate to be at all time high.

Coto de Caza 2Q2014 Traffic Accident Report:  Source, CHP SJC

Coto de Caza Traffic Accident Report ending March 30, 2014

Coto de Caza:  The three traffic fatalities in the community  always follow a high accident rate report

The 2Q2014 traffic accident report for Ladera Ranch shows the accident rate is inching upward, including 10 property damage, seven injuries and two DUI.

Ladera Ranch:  2Q2014 Traffic Accident Report:  Source:  CHP SJC


Posted by CotoBlogzz Coto de Caza, CA - at around 9:30 Sunday morning, several Orange  County Sheriff patrol cars, were dispatched to the ..

Coto de Caza, CA - The California Highway Patrol  (CHP) traffic accident report for the fourth quarter of 2013 ending December 30, 2013 (4Q2013) shows the traffic accident rate in Coto de Caza is at an all time high at rates comparable to the ones when the CZ Master Association board of directors fired the CHP with fatal consequences in December 2005 and March of 2006.

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – Qualys, a pioneer and leading provider of cloud security and compliance solutions announced yesterday that its newly released tool can detect the OpenSSL HeartBleed vulnerability announced Monday, April 7, 2014

Using the Qualys tool, the CZ Master Association’s website gets a  grade of F.   So does its security company’s, Universal Protection (UPS) website

Coto de Caza and Ladera Ranch 1Q2011 Public Safety Review

Coto de Caza, CA –By its own words and actions, it is fair to argue that Coto de Caza’s local governance is not only apathetic when it comes to public safety, but its own actions actually result increase the risk to residents. Worse, seems like adults in Coto de Caza have similar views as the local governance.

Our research over close to ten years indicate that whether a community is safe or not, is primarily a function of residents and local governance, not law enforcement. Consider that when a city in Orange County is deemed the safest city, what about the other 11 cities or the unincorporated areas? What about Coto de Caza with the highest crime rate in history in early 2010. After all, only common denominator is that the OCSD is the law enforcement agency. What does the OCSD do differently in the safest city, as opposed to the least safe city under its watch?

Coto de Caza's Traffic Incident Rate at Critical Danger Levels
Coto de Caza, CA - While the Coto de Caza's total population has been shrinking for the last ten years, including placement of 17 property liens for the month of January 2011 out of roughly 3500 homes, the policies pursued by the CZ Master association board of directors, the local governance, have consistently increased traffic with a reduction in CHP patrol hours, with predictable results. Consider that for close to a decade, we have consistently shown conclusive evidence that there is a direct correlation between the extent of the CHP traffic enforcement efforts and the number of traffic accidents in the community.

Coto Continues on Dangerous Course of Traffic Incidents

While Incident Rate Lower, Still at Critical Levels

Coto de Caza, CA - The good news for Coto de Caza residents is that the quarter-to-quarter accident rate for the quarter ending March 31, 2011 is significantly down from the previous quarter. The bad news is that it is still at the same levels as when the community experienced its two traffic fatalities within a three month period between December 2005 and March 2006

Coto de Caza Fires the CHP - Again!

Coto de Caza, CA - The CotoBuzz Journal has documented the one-sided hate-hate relationship between the CZ Master Association board of directors and law enforcement agencies in general, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) specifically (CHP). In an open board meeting for example, a board member called the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) extortionists! Despite the public abuse the CHP has received from the Coto de Caza board of directors ever since the board was coerced into bringing the CHP back for pro-active traffic patrol, figures indicate that the CHP has been doing its job: - The Chart below was published Sept. 30, 2006.

Rhianna Six Month’s Anniversary Mr. Manian’s Three Month’s Anniversary

It has been six months since Rhianna Woolsey died (December 7, 2005) in the first traffic fatality in Coto de Caza in the last ten years. Sadly, this week also marks the Three Month Anniversary of Mr. Morteza Manian’s death, as he was struck by a...

Bicycle Safety Within Coto de Caza
During the June 8, 2006 Coto de Caza board meeting Yo Orduno described a public safety situation in the Summerfield district including a warning about an increase of rush hour cyclists in and around Vista Del Verde, some even riding pairwise making the...

Coto de Caza - New Election Laws - Call for Candidates
Dear CZ Board Members:

In July, 2006 the new state law governing HOA elections will take effect. That means that shortly thereafter, the Board should send out information concerning the mechanisms the Board intends to implement in 2007 to comply with...

First 2006-2007 Coto de Caza Board of Directors Meeting, Standing Room Only!  …and Coto de Caza’s Tar Baby
The first 2006-2007 Coto de Caza Board of Directors Meeting, can best be described as standing-room only, with the local media well represented.  A political junkie would have felt right at home, as you could sense the excitement, the energy and the...

In its continued commitment to public safety, on June 1, 2006, CotoBuzz unveiled a Crime and Vandalism Management tool (see below for first installment), containing key metrics and a side-by-side comparison between Coto de Caza and Ladera Ranch....

COTO DE CAZA- SecurityAreNotUs
In today's Canyon Life, there was an article about Lyle Schlieder's leaving the BOD. Lyle was quoted as follows: "There are no patrols anymore. I am not sure if what we are dealing with is just a pretty face at the gate that we pay a lot of money for." So...


The April 21 issue of the CanyonLife reports that “Fred Lisanti of Pacific Oak Security, security consultants to the ( Coto de Caza) board, presented a report indicating the official crime...

CotoBuzz March 2006 Newsletter
First Traffic Accident Lawsuit Filed: Coto de Caza Public Safety Bandwagon is filling up Fast- Hop In!: . We just received the February 2006 CHP report – as previously reported in the Coto discussion forum, we had our first traffic accident in...

Lawless, Clueless Coto de Caza
Last night, December 12, 2006, the CZ homeowner’s association board of directors held their regularly scheduled open session meeting. Present were representatives from the LA Times and Freedom Communications.

Lawless, Values-less, Spiritual-less Coto de Caza
When we first moved to Coto de Caza over 12 years ago, we really thought there was No Place Like Coto. Shortly thereafter CNN/Money discovered Coto as well and included it in their list of One of the Best Places to Live/Best Places to Retire.

SCOTUS has rebuked President Obama on religious liberty and he is at it again

SCOTUS has rebuked President Obama on religious liberty and he us at it again

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, Ca - for a Self-described constitutional scholar, president Obama seems to define the three branches of government as me, myself and I, and when things go wrong, he blames everyone rise but I.  Or as he would say, the US Constitution is an anachronism:  see Obama Takes a Shot at Supreme Court Over Healthcare:

While the Supreme Court has already rebuked Obama twice on religious liberty, that isn't stopping him from launching another attack on religious liberty.  This time, Obama is using the purse strings of the federal government to marginalize employers with religious convictions.

President Obama today signed an executive order which demands that all federal contractors and subcontractors grant special treatment based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

The executive order signed by Obama thankfully preserves an exemption put in place by President George W. Bush which allows religious employers the freedom to favor employees of a certain religion in making hiring decisions. So under the new rules, a religious university could not fire a teacher for being a lesbian, but could fire her because she’s not a Catholic.

Legal experts say that Obama's new executive order will launch a flood of lawsuits against employers who have deeply-held convictions that certain kinds of sexual behavior is inconsistent with their moral or religious beliefs.

The executive order, expected to take full effect in 2015, will affect 24,000 companies employing approximately 28 million American workers, or about one-fifth of the country's workforce.

President Obama could have easily issued this executive order for LGBT employees while maintaining a robust exemption for religious liberty.

Once again, Obama has shown his strong hostility to religious expression in American life. In his mind, we have only “freedom to worship” inside the four walls of our church. But we dare not practice “freedom of religion” where we take our faith to the public square. If we do that, Obama, like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the far left,  believes that we must also sacrifice any religious principles out of sync with the federal government -  Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said people with religious beliefs who disagree with the Obamacare contraception mandate should be given a choice between living by their faith or being allowed to form a corporation to do business, for example:

In Obama's mind, and the far left, it's ok if you go to Church on Sunday, but don't you dare act like a Christian any other day of the week.

Jim Wong, former Qualcomm's President of Global Business Operations Pleads Guilty of Insider trading and Money laundering

Jim Wong, former Qualcomm's President of Global Business Operations Guilty of Insider trading and Money laundering

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA  - Jing Wang, 51, the former Executive Vice President and President of Global Business Operations for Qualcomm Inc., today pleaded guilty to insider trading in shares of Qualcomm and Atheros Communications Inc.   Wang also pleaded guilty to laundering the proceeds of his insider trading using an offshore shell company, according to announcement by  Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney L aura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California.

“Not satisfied with his lucrative executive position at Qualcomm, Jing Wang traded on insider information about the company’s acquisitions and earnings to gain an illegal advantage in the financial market,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.   “Wang then laundered close to $250,000 in insider trading profits, and created a cover-up story to hide his crimes"

“Jing Wang blatantly and repeatedly abused the trust placed in him by Qualcomm and the company’s shareholders,” said United States Attorney Duffy.   “To make matters worse, he then misused the financial system to conceal his insider trading profits and enlisted his brother and stock broker to obstruct several investigations.   Wang’s obstructive acts, though ultimately unsuccessful, were serious affronts to the rule of law."

According to court documents, Wang committed insider trading on three separate occasions over a ten-month period in 2010 and 2011.   In early 2010, Wang purchased approximately $277,739 of Qualcomm stock prior to the company’s unexpected announcement of a dividend increase and stock repurchase program.   In December 2010, while in Hong Kong, Wang purchased Atheros stock hours after Qualcomm’s Board of Directors made a non-public offer to purchase Atheros.   Just a few weeks later, in January 2011, Wang directed his stock broker, Gary Yin, to sell the Atheros stock in a brokerage account held in the name of an offshore entity, Unicorn Global Enterprises, and used the proceeds to purchase Qualcomm stock, one day before Qualcomm announced record earnings results.   In total, Wang illegally gained approximately a quarter of a million dollars from these three illegal transactions.

Wang also pleaded guilty to money laundering resulting from transferring the illegal proceeds in the Unicorn account – over $525,000 – to another nominee brokerage account in the British Virgin Islands for Clearview Resources Ltd.   Wang also admitted in his plea agreement to obstructing justice by conspiring with his brother, Bing Wang, and Yin to fabricate evidence and concoct a false cover story that Bing Wang conducted the illegal stock trades.

Wang was originally indicted in September 2013.   Bing Wang, who is currently believed to reside in China, remains charged and is wanted on an international arrest warrant.   Gary Yin pleaded guilty to conspiring with Jing Wang and Bing Wang to obstruct justice and launder money, and is currently scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 15, 2014.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s San Diego Field Office and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation’s San Diego Field Division.   The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney James P. McDonald of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric J. Beste of the Southern District of California.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Persecuted, the movie - a review

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA -  I don't usually watch movies, either at home or in cinemas, but when I do, I do so mostly due because a shared family experience is much more valuable than any possible entertainment value.  In fact, this year I have shattered my own attendance record by having watched Noah, America and now Persecuted.

The film stars a number of other recognizable actors as well, including James Remar of TV's Dexter, Bruce Davidson of the X-Men films, Dean Stockwell of Quantum Leap and even Fox News star host Gretchen Carlson.

The film depicts the actions of two of the most powerful politicians in the country launching a war against Christians proclaiming that America is no longer a Christian nation, echoing the words of President Obama, in favor of a world religion.

Standing in their way is a pesky evangelist John Luther, who refuses to get on board  with the world religion stuff and pays the price:  he gets framed for murder, so that his long time assistant can be used as a puppet to advance the state's objectives. Later, Luther's own father is assassinated by the secret service to recover evidence that proves Luther's innocence.

Luther takes his father's advice and keeps getting up every time he is knocked down.

The film is a dramatic fictional thriller with a plausible story line that feeds into a good number of conspiracy theories.  Compared to Noah and America, this movie is fast moving. To be clear, it is not NCIS or CSI - that is, forget about forensics, DNA collection, and certainly it is not typical Hollywood.

If you love Hollywood movies, you will probably not like persecuted.  If you are a far lefty, you will probably not like this movie.  Otherwise, you are good to go.

View the movie trailer here:

Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival - Final Weekend

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Leavenworth, WA -   The Icicle Creek Center for the Arts (ICCA,) ICCA, an independent, non-profit organization, presents the Final Weekend of its Creek Chamber Music Festival.

JULY 18, 8PM

Concert Sponsor - Mark Jennings
"From the Earth to the Ether"  featuring Chistina Dahl, piano; Alexandria Le, piano; Elisabeth Perry, violin; Richard Wolfe, viola; the Volta Piano Trio. Program including:
Handel-Halvorsen, Passacaglia for Violin and Viola
Walton, Sonata for Violin and Piano
Shostakovich, Piano Trio in E Minor, Op. 67
Ravel, Ma mère l'oye for Piano Four Hands

Concert Sponsors - Pat and Heather Murphy
"From the Profane to the Sacred"  with special guest emcee, Gillian Coldsnow from Northwest Public Radio. Featuring Christina Dahl and Oksana Ezhokina, piano; Elisabeth Perry, violin; Sally Singer Tuttle, cello; Richard Wolfe, viola.  Program including:

Stravinsky, Rite of Spring for Piano Four Hands
Brahms, Piano Quartet in A Major, Op. 26

Buy Tickets Now        

JULY 19, 1PM* - FREE Young Artist Concert
Concert Sponsors - Peter & Audi Reinthaler
Enjoy a lovely concert performed by the young artists of the Chamber Music Festival - FREE admission!              

ICCA Dream Team Reaches the finals - restructure supports momentum & diversified programming

Announced  restructure supports momentum & diversified programming such as on-going classical music series, theater, film, The Met: Live in HD opera series, continued festivals, educational programs and other community partner events.

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Leavenworth, WA   – there's a whole lot going on at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts (ICCA,) ICCA, an independent, non-profit organization, is supported by contributions and donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations. ) ICAA is a place where learning, creating, and performing inspire and nurture the human spirit in a spectacular mountain setting.

The ICCA Board of Directors formally approved the appointment of Rebecca Ryker as General Manager.  Ryker, is a well-known Executive in the Bellevue, WA area . Having directed the catering and food services department at the Harbor Club, she brings several years of management experience. She has directed youth camps and educational programs across the state and has won several accolades in sales. She comes with an educational background in the hospitality/business arena. Ryker was initially hired at ICCA to fill the Event Manager position but quickly moved into her new role as General Manager.

In its new structure,  ICCA announced two promotions: Lilia Grundy as Director of Marketing and Communications and Michael Caemmerer promoted to the newly created position of Director of Program Development. Both directors, along with Ryker will act and serve as the new ICAA executive team

Grundy continues to be an anchoring force and has led the rebranding efforts of the organization from its former name, Icicle Creek Music Center to the now ICCA. Grundy is a seasoned marketing professional with sixteen years of branding and business development experience among companies such as NBC Television, Telemundo Station Group and Kraft Foods.

Caemmerer joins ICCA after 15 years in New Delhi India where he served as head of Performing Arts, Theater Manager/Director and Director of the Visiting Artist series for the American Embassy School. He continues to direct theater productions, most recently working in Bloomington, Indiana as well as in Wenatchee with the Mission Creek Players. His work at ICCA will be focused on solidifying the strong base of current offerings as well as the development of new series and events.

Highlighting customer service as priority during strategic planning meetings, ICCA created a new Patron Services Coordinator position filled by Alex Weirich, a former ICCA intern and music major. Andrea Uchytil, a graduate from top-rated Washington State University’s hospitality program, was hired to serve as Event Manager. Lori Payne, experienced in accounting and finance, was recently hired to fill the Office Coordinator position.

In ICCA’s latest move to continue offering quality programming, filmmaker and writer Jamie Howell, founder/owner of Howell at the Moon Productions, has been contracted as the new Artistic Director for the nascent film program. He has also been hired to fill the Technical Services Director staff position by overseeing productions across the various performance facilities. He has been producing documentary films and commercial video productions since 1999. Pedal-Driven, his current bikeumentary, is currently airing nationally and internationally on the Universal Sports Network and was selected as a finalist in the Banff Mountain Film Festival film competition.

ICCA continues to build momentum as its programming has diversified over the last three years and now proudly features various performing arts series including the on-going classical music series, theater, film, The Met: Live in HD opera series, continued festivals, educational programs and other community partner events.

BRICS Development Bank Does Not Undermine US Dollar

By Chriss Street

As the three day meeting for the 6th annual “BRICS” conference of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa comes to a close, the most important accomplishment is the founding of the BRICS Development Bank and a currency stabilization pool known as the Contingency Reserve Arrangement.  At a puny $50 billion the BRICS Development Bank does not undermine the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  But it does recognize that most of the world’s coming growth will be from emerging economies and seeks to undermine political meddling by Western nations in investment decisions regarding that growth.
McKinsey and Company consultants estimate that from a 2010 base of 6.8 billion people in the world and about 2.4 billion people with enough disposable income to be consumers, by 2025 there will be 7.9 billion people and 4.2 billion consumers.   About 56% of the world’s GDP comes from 600 cities and the top 160 developed cities control 2/3.  But as urbanization creates another billion consumers by 2025, the emerging 440 cities will control twice the GDP of the developed cities.  About $23 trillion, or 47%, of the world’s consumer growth will come from these emerging cities as one billion of their residents gain enough disposable income to meet McKinsey’s definition of a consumer.
The BRICS believe that the world’s international financial institutions are all Western dominated and the West has increasingly used their control over investment decisions to undermine emerging nations’ sovereignty.  A few of the more egregious actions against BRICS include sanctions against Russia, steel import restrictions against China and travel restrictions against India’s new Prime Minister.      
The he World Bank started out as a development bank designed to help rebuild Europe after World War II, before growing into the global institution it is today.  The BRIC Development Bank will start out at $50 billion of initial capitalization in 2016 and is proposed to grow to $100 billion by 2021.  But this would still be fairly small institution.  But if the dozens of other potentially fast growing countries like Vietnam where I am teaching “Capitalist Business Strategy” to 50 young and very ambitious entrepreneurs were to join both new BRICS’ institutions relative quickly, the BDB and CRA could become powerhouses. 
More importantly to the developing world, building non-Western lending mechanisms would eliminate the self-serving political and business conditions that are regularly imposed on emerging nations by Western institutions.  It would also represent an effort to insulate the developing world from continuing financial crisis in the debt-laden Western economies.  The BRICS have suffered short-term capital flight as investors responded to U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank stimulus, quantitative easing and tapering announcements.  Developing country governments that traditionally held assets in Western financial markets fear being the victim of Western liquidity crisis.
The BDB will also promote infrastructure and sustainable development in emerging countries via loans.  Some estimates suggest the developing world lacks about $1 trillion annually in financing for economically justified infrastructure.  With many traditional Western donors and investors into other development banks now experiencing debt crises at home, the emerging world is being squeezed out. 
The BRICS Development Bank initially will be relatively small for a multilateral development bank. Even though China can anchor the BDB with its economy and financial power that dwarf the other BRICS members, the Contingency Reserve Arrangement’s $50 or $100 billion capitalization would be quickly exhausted in a global financial crisis.  The BRICS would still have to rely on the existing financial institution’s capitalizations: European Investment Bank at $331 billion; World Bank at $223 billion; Asian Development Bank at $163; Inter-American Development Bank at $129; and African Development Bank at 103 billion. 
China wanted the initial contributions to be based on each country's size and offered to put up all of an initial start-up capitalization for both the BRICS Development Bank and Contingency Reserve Arrangement to be $100 billion, but the other BRICS members rejected the risk of moving from one master to another.  It was negotiated that the BDB will start lending in 2016 with an initial capital base of $50 billion.  Ten billion dollars will be contributed by each member, with plans to increase the capitalization to $100 billion over the next five years.  The $100 billion Contingency Reserve Arrangement will be based on the size of each country's economy, with China contributing $41 billion. 
The interests within the BRICS have often diverged and there is no discussion about moving to a common currency to challenge the dominance of the U.S. dollar.  It will also take decades to determine whether the BRICS Development Bank and Contingency Reserve Arrangement can rival Western-led institutions.  But with the emerging markets expected to dominate economic growth, the BRICS believe that should increasingly control their own investment decisions.
The author welcomes feedback and will respond to reader comments
From July 15th to July 29th, Chriss Street is teaching “Entrepreneurship and Capitalist Business Strategy” at Ho Chi Minh University in Vietnam

Monday, July 14, 2014

Update on the Israel-Hamas hostilities and proposed cease-fire.

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita. CA - As Israel entertains an Egypt proposal to end the hostilities between Israel and Hamas,  Israel is demanding guarantees of an extended period of quiet, while Hamas seeks an easing of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, Hamas rockets continued to rain down on Israel, threatening the lives of millions.
The victims of Hamas are not just Israelis. Since July 8, 38 rockets fired from Gaza have fallen within Gaza. Hamas fires from civilian areas...and hits its own people.

In addition to rockets landing in Gaza, Hamas has also launched rockets that have struck Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

According the the Israeli Consulate in New York, yesterday, a Hamas rocket struck an Israeli power station, knocking out electricity to 70,000 residents in Gaza.  And despite  the barrage of rockets from Hamas, 69 truckloads containing a variety of goods and 111 tons of gas were delivered into the Gaza Strip yesterday.

And just this morning, 117 trucks entered Gaza from Israel, including 17 addition trucks full of medical supplies.

Citigroup settles with US for $7 billion for its involvement scheme to sell fraudulent securities t

Citigroup settles with US for $7 billion for its involvement

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - earlier today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced what he described as " . a landmark civil resolution with Citigroup totaling $7 billion in fines and consumer relief to address the bank’s involvement in a scheme to sell fraudulent securities that were backed by toxic loans.  This total includes a civil penalty of $4 billion, the largest penalty to date of its kind."

Among the Department of Justice complaints include that:
despite the fact that Citigroup learned of serious and widespread defects among the increasingly risky loans they were securitizing, the bank and its employees concealed these defects.

It misrepresented the facts, including the level of risk.

It sold defective loans to countless investors, including federally-insured financial institutions.  And they made false statements to investors, in marketing materials, and even in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It led investors and the public to believe that these financial products had been originated in compliance with the law and key underwriting guidelines when this was often not the case.

Under the terms of the announced settlement, the bank has admitted to its misdeeds in great detail.

Importantly, this agreement does not in any way absolve Citigroup or its individual employees from facing any possible criminal charges in the future.

Eric Holder stated that  " taken together, we believe the size and scope of this resolution goes beyond what could be considered the mere cost of doing business"

Unless certain Citigroup individual bank executives spend the rest of their lives in jail, something that is unlikely to happen, we are sure this agreement IS in fact just another example of the cost of doing business.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

DOJ's Update on Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker Malware Disruption

DOJ's Update on Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker Makware Disruption

Posted By CotoBlogzz

Ranch Santa Margarita, CA -  The Justice Department yesterday filed a status report with the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania updating the court on the progress in disrupting the Gameover Zeus botnet and the malicious software known as Cryptolocker.

CryptoLocker is a ransomware program that was released around the beginning of September 2013 that targets all versions of Windows including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. This ransomware will encrypt certain files using a mixture of RSA & AES encryption. When it has finished encrypting target files, it will display a CryptoLocker payment program that prompts the target  to send a ransom usually of $100 or $300 in order to decrypt the files. The screen will also display a timer stating that the target had 72 hours, or 4 days, to pay the ransom or it will delete the target's encryption key and the victim will not have any way to decrypt the victim's files. This ransom must be paid using MoneyPak vouchers or Bitcoins. Once the victim sends the payment and it is verified, the program will decrypt the files that it encrypted.

The disruption began in late May, when the Justice Department implemented a series of Court-authorized measures to neutralize Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker

Gameover Zeus is a sophisticated piece of malware (malicious software) which can take over your PC without your knowledge, giving those in control of it access to everything you do, as well as giving them the ability to record your keystrokes, video what you do on screen and even turn on your webcam.

Gameover is used by the criminal gang operating it to seek out and identify financial information stored on the victim's computer as well as capturing any credentials entered into online banking or shopping sites. Once they have this information, they use it to re-direct bank transfers into their own accounts.

In the status report, the Justice Department informed the Court that the technical and legal measures undertaken to disrupt Gameover Zeus and Cryptolocker have proven successful, and that significant progress has been made in remediating computers infected with Gameover Zeus.

The Justice Department reported that all or nearly all of the active computers infected with Gameover Zeus have been liberated from the criminals’ control and are now communicating exclusively with the substitute server established pursuant to court order.   The Justice Department also reported that traffic data from the substitute server shows that remediation efforts by internet service providers and victims have reduced the number of computers infected with Gameover Zeus by 31% since the disruption commenced.

The Justice Department also reported that Cryptolocker has been neutralized by the disruption and cannot communicate with the infrastructure used to control the malicious software.   As a result, Cryptolocker is effectively non-functional and unable to encrypt newly infected computers.

Computer users who believe they may be infected with Gameover Zeus are encouraged to visit the Department of Homeland Security’s dedicated Gameover Zeus webpage, which is located at .   Among other resources, the webpage includes links to tools from trusted vendors that can detect and remove the Gameover Zeus infection.

Germany-Brazil Game. Not psychology 101: Law of Attribution

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, a RSA post ( titled The power of positive thinking – and the destructive impact of negativity – was demonstrated by Brazil’s humiliation at the World Cup. Peter Sear FRSA explores the psychology of the host nation’s team psychologist Peter Sears blames the outcome on the power of negativity.
I disagree.  Below is my response posted BEFORE the Brazil-Netherlands game:  

The Law of Attribution says that putting the blame on the type of thinking, positive or negative, for the results of the Germany- Brazil game may be an indication of the poor state of psychology, a superficial analysis, a gross underestimation of the German's team potential, a gross underestimation of the talent -including its coach, of the Brazil team, or a combination thereof.
Positive thinking has been around professional sports for decades. Brazil brought in a psychologist precisely to overcome the loss of Neymar. Surely the psychologist would know about the power of positive thinking, prior to the game. The implications of blaming the outcome on negative thinking after this, is an indictment of Brazil's psychologist and makes the Brazil team look even more impotent.
There are other indicators that point the Brazil team being an overachiever with Neymar, and a mediocre one without him. Not to mention the tactical and strategic approach to the game.
Not too many people would argue against the use of positive thinking. Disregarding other factors in this case is a disservice to psychology, however.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The power of negativity blamed for Brazil's embarrassing performance in 2014 World Cup Semifinals

The power of negativity blamed for  Brazil's embarrassing performance in 2014 World Cup Semifinals

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA -  Peter Sear BSc Psychology and  Member of the British Psychological Society attributes Brazil's embarrassing performance in the 2014 World Cup Semifinals to the power of negative thinking and not necessarily to lack of talent, tactical or strategical failure.

Brazil had everything going for it.  It was the host country and it had one of the best players in the world in Neymar, then tragedy struck: Neymar was sidelined with injuries.

Brazil’s players entered the stadium on Tuesday, with each member of the squad wearing a Neymar cap. Sears argues that  the "presence of the caps rang alarm bells; bells that grew louder when the team stood on the pitch, all lined up to sing their passionate anthem, clutching onto the star players’ empty shirt. A Neymar shaped shadow dominated the team’s psyche....... Neymar’s empty shirt reminded the fans – the whole stadium – that success, in this vital semi-final, on home soil, was less likely. That the 11 players fighting to win were not as good as they could have been"

Arguably, Brazil's performance was embarrassing.  It is also intriguing that to overcome Neymar's absence, Brazil's coach brought in a psychologist to help the team prior to the game.

Using the Law of Attribution, should Brazil psychologist be to blame for the outcome?  Is Sears' argument merely a case of Monday Morning Quarterbacking!?  Or is it simply that psychology is irrelevant when everything is on the line?

Things are looking up in Laguna Woods Village

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Laguna Woods Village, CA - with Shari Horne joining the city council;  Lucy Shimon and Stan Feldstein joining The Golden Rain Foundation (GRF) there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, and it does not seem to be a train, or as Paul Loughrey might say:

Friends  and Neighbors,

Congratulations and good luck to Shari Horne our newly appointed LW City Councilor and to Stanley Feldstein and Lucy Shimon who were elected to the GRF board replacing Larry Souza and Heather Gerson.  Stanley (2007-2010) and Lucy (2009-2012) served honorably and ably on the Third Mutual Board.

Good luck to all of the above.  The future of our community looks brighter this morning.

Paul Loughrey

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Aliso Viejo Death of Brigitte Shaw Investigated as Murder-Suicide

Aliso Viejo Death of Brigitte Shaw Investigated as Murder-Suicide

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA  - On Monday, July 7, 2014, Orange County Sheriff’s investigators were notified by San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department investigators following discovery of Brigitte Julie Shaw, 49, Aliso Viejo, deceased inside her residence.

Shaw was discovered during execution of a search warrant at 23411 Summerfield, Aliso Viejo (St. Moritz Apartments).  Orange County Sheriff’s homicide investigators with San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department investigators determined there may be a connection between Shaw’s death and a death investigation in their jurisdiction.

On Sunday, July 6, 2014, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators initiated a death investigation in an unincorporated area near Hesperia.  Philip Alexander Smyth, 50, Aliso Viejo, was discovered deceased as a result of self-inflicted stab wounds.  Smyth’s death has been determined by the San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner to have been a suicide.

On Monday, July 7, 2014, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Investigators identified the residence at the St. Moritz Apartments as possibly being related to Smyth.  Investigators executed a search warrant at the Summerfield address and discovered Shaw deceased inside the residence.  It is believed Shaw had been deceased for several days; the manner and cause of death is pending toxicology results.

Based on the preliminary investigation and information collected at both scenes, it appears Smyth and Shaw had a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship and resided at the Summerfield address.  Evidence gathered from Orange and San Bernardino County has given investigators reason to believe the deaths are a result of murder-suicide with Smyth being the suspect.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Unit at (714) 647-7055.  Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or at occrimestoppers.o

Update on Israel's Operation Protective Edge

Update on Israel's Operation Protective Edge

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - The objective of Operation Protective Edge is to end the rocket fire, restore security to Israeli civilians whose daily lives have been harshly interrupted and restore deterrence.  During Operation Protective Edge, evidence of Hamas and other terror organizations use of human shields has surfaced.

Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, 300 rockets have been fired at Israel by terrorist group Hamas. Of those, 220 struck Israel. Just today alone (as of 6PM Israel time), 72 rockets hit Israel, according to Israeli Consulate in New York

These deadly weapons are threatening the lives of over 3 million Israelis who are in range of Hamas' attacks, from Sderot and the south all the way up to major population centers including Tel Aviv and our capital city, Jerusalem.

Hamas' assault on Israel has not only come by rockets, but also by land and sea. Palestinian commandos attempting to carry out a terrorist attack near Israeli beaches on the Mediterranean were neutralized by the IDF. By land, a terror tunnel from Gaza into Israel was discovered and destroyed.

Israeli families have been forced into shelters, their kids kept from their summer camps, and schools closed. While Hamas escalates attacks on Israel, all normal activities have been harshly interrupted. Israel called on Hamas repeatedly to stop its war crime tactics and they answered with more attacks. This is unacceptable. Attacks on Israeli towns and civilians continue as you read this message.

Hamas places weapons and missile launchers in densely populated areas. They also send men, woman and children to act as human shields for terrorists.
Innocent bystanders can be killed as a result of Hamas' abuse of its own civilians. Instead of keeping its citizens out of harm's way, Hamas encourages and even forces Gazans to join its violent resistance against Israel.

According to the Israeli Consulate,  the operation will continue until the firing at our communities stops and quiet is restored. All options are on the table.

DOJ. HHS Call for Action to Address Elder Abuse

Elder Justice Roadmap Outlines Critical Path to Combating Elder Abuse - Not Most Effective Use of Taxpayer Money

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA –Today, the Justice Department and Health and Human Services announced a framework for tackling the highest priority challenges to elder abuse prevention and prosecution, and called on all Americans to take a stand against the serious societal problem of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

Research suggests that one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 has experienced elder abuse or neglect, and that people with dementia are at higher risk for abuse.

The Elder Justice Roadmap, which is being published today, reflects the knowledge and perspectives of experts in the field and will be considered by the Elder Justice Coordinating Council and others in developing their own strategic plans to prevent and combat elder abuse. While the intent is good, the Roadmap is a gigantic waste if taxpayer money, mostly because of the glaring lack of accountability

To support the mission of elder abuse prevention and prosecution, DOJ has developed an interactive, online curriculum to teach legal aid and other civil attorneys to identify and respond to elder abuse.  The first three modules of the training cover what lawyers should know about elder abuse; practical and ethical strategies to use when facing challenges in this area; and a primer on domestic violence and sexual assault.  This training will expand to include six one-hour modules covering issues relevant to attorneys who may encounter elder abuse victims in the course of their practice.

HHS is supporting the mission by developing a voluntary national adult protective services (APS) data system.  Collecting national data on adult mistreatment will help to identify and address many gaps about the number and characteristics of adults who are the victims of maltreatment and the nature of services that are provided by APS agencies to protect these vulnerable adults.  In addition, the data will better inform the development of improved, more targeted policy and programmatic interventions.

In addition to informing federal elder justice efforts, the roadmap has already inspired private stakeholders to take action.  For example, as a result of the roadmap, the Archstone Foundation has funded a project at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California to develop a national training initiative, while other funders, such as the Weinberg Foundation, have begun to consider inquiries and projects outlined in the roadmap.  Likewise, the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College, The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale and the New York City Elder Abuse Center will be co-sponsoring a symposium in September 2014 focusing on innovations and challenges related to elder abuse multidisciplinary teams, a priority area identified in the roadmap.

“While federal and state governments certainly have critical roles to play, the battle against elder abuse can only be won with grassroots action at the community and individual level,” said Greenlee.  “Turning the tide against elder abuse requires much greater public commitment, so every American will recognize elder abuse when they see it and know what to do if they encounter it.”

Two steps local communities, families and individuals can take are:

• Learn the signs of elder abuse.  The National Center on Elder Abuse, a program of the Administration on Aging at ACL, has developed a helpful Red Flags of Abuse Factsheet (PDF) that lists the signs of and risk factors for abuse and neglect.

• Report suspected abuse when you see it.  Contact your local adult protective services agency.  Phone numbers for state or local offices can be found at the National Center for Elder Abuse website, or call 1-800-677-1116.

“We must take a stand to ensure that older Americans are safe from harm and neglect,” said Associate Attorney General West.  “For their contributions to our nation, to our society, and to our lives, we owe them nothing less.”

The Elder Justice Roadmap and accompanying materials are at:

Free online training for attorneys is at:

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

San Jose Medical Device Inventor Ashvin Desai Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud.

San Jose Medical Device Inventor Ashvin Desai Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud.

California Man Hid Millions in Bank Accounts in India and Dubai

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA -  Medical Device Inventor Ashvin Desai, of San Jose, California, was sentenced yesterday to serve six months in prison and six months and one day of home confinement for concealing more than $8 million in foreign bank accounts, according to joint announcement by the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

In October 2013, a jury convicted Desai, a medical device manufacturer, of failing to report his family’s foreign bank accounts to the government on tax returns and Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

The jury also found that Desai failed to disclose more than $1.2 million in interest income generated by these accounts between 2007 and 2009.  Desai was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila.

According to the evidence presented in court, Desai controlled several foreign bank accounts at HSBC in India and Dubai, including accounts held in the name of his wife and adult children.  Desai invested the funds in these accounts in certificates of deposit, which earned interest at rates as high as nine percent.  Desai funded these accounts by mailing checks from the United States and by transferring money from other undeclared bank accounts in Singapore and the United Kingdom to his family’s accounts in India.  Desai also sold medical devices abroad, and, on at least one occasion, directed that his customer wire funds directly to his undeclared HSBC India account.

Between 2007 and 2009, Desai paid approximately $17,000 in taxes.  However, Desai owed an additional $357,783 in taxes to the IRS on his unreported interest income.  Desai’s deposits into his foreign accounts also far exceeded the income he disclosed on his tax returns each year.  In 2008, for example, he deposited nearly $1.1 million into foreign accounts while only reporting income of $115,810.91 on his tax return.

In addition to failing to report his accounts on tax returns and FBARs, Desai also directed the bank not to mail bank statements to his house.  On one occasion, Desai wrote an email in which he asked an HSBC banker: “Why are all the statements coming to Home address?  I thought we had a different arrangement.”

This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Trial Attorney Melissa Siskind of the Tax Division.

OCSD Needs public's assistance in investigation of death of female in Aliso Viejo

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. –  On Monday, July 7, 2014, Orange County Sheriff’s investigators were called to the 23400 block of Summerfield, Aliso Viejo (St. Moritz Apartment Complex) following discovery of a deceased female inside an apartment.  The deceased female was located during execution of a search warrant by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department as a result of an ongoing investigation.

At approximately 6:00 pm,, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators contacted Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigators and notified them of their discovery.  Based on the preliminary evidence and information located at the scene, investigators have not been able to determine a manner or cause of death.

An autopsy of the body is scheduled for today, Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.  The identity of the deceased is pending official confirmation and next of kin notification.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Unit at (714) 647-7055.  Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or a

Monday, July 07, 2014

Saddleback College’s announces first free outdoor musical theatre event.

A New Family Summer Tradition Begins at Saddleback College with Godspell

Posted By CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita,  CA – The Department of Theatre Arts is thrilled to present a free musical under the stars at Saddleback College. Directed by Scott Farthing, choreography by Deidre Cavazzi and Musical Direction by Lex Leigh, the whole family is in for a treat with this interactive theatre experience on the lawn of Saddleback’s upper campus quad. Purchase great food from a variety of food trucks or bring a picnic then, sit back with friends and family and enjoy Saddleback College’s first free outdoor musical theatre event.

The Gospel According to St. Matthew is presented in a series of skits and songs with Jesus and his disciples presented in this family-fun musical featuring songs by Stephen Schwartz. Godspell is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

Dates are August 1st and 2nd. Festival seating starts at 6:00 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Bring blankets to sit on and low back chairs if desired. Glass bottles and alcohol will not be permitted. For further information, call the box office at 949-582-4656 (noon to 4 pm, Wed-Sat).

Saddleback College is located at 28000 Marguerite Pkwy in Mission Viejo.  Saddleback College is located at 28000 Marguerite Pkwy in Mission Viejo.  Enter the campus at the College Drive Entrance (nearest Mission Hospital) off Marguerite Parkway.  After entering the campus, turn right on College Drive West and park in Lot 9 on your immediate left. A free tram will also be available near the handicapped parking area in Lot 9.

Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides quality higher education and training to the greater south Orange County community.  Having served more than 500,000 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers over 300 degree and certificate programs to help students reach their personal, career, and educational goals.  For more information, please visit and for Fine Arts information, please visit

Vahe Tahmasian, of Glendale, was sentenced to 121 months for $1.5 million Medicare fraud scheme

Southern California Man Sentenced to 121 Months in Prison for Medicare Fraud and Identity Theft

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Vahe Tahmasian, 36, of Glendale, California, who was found guilty by a federal jury on March 21, 2014, for his role in a $1.5 million Medicare fraud and identity theft scheme, was sentenced to serve 121 months in prison today in federal court in Los Angeles.

In addition to his prison term of 121 months, he was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $994,036 in restitution to the Medicare program. Attorneys for the Justice Department made the announcement

Vahe Tahmasian, 36, of Glendale, California, was found guilty by a federal jury on March 21, 2014, for his role in a $1.5 million Medicare fraud and identity theft scheme.   In addition to his prison term of 121 months, he was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $994,036 in restitution to the Medicare program.

Between April 2009 and February 2011, Tahmasian operated a Medicare fraud scheme at Orthomed Appliance Inc. (Orthomed), a DME supply company in West Hollywood, California.   Tahmasian and his co-conspirator, Eric Mkhitarian, purchased Orthomed from the previous owners and put the company in the name of a “straw” owner.   The defendant and his co-conspirator then stole the personal identifying information of Medicare beneficiaries and doctors in the company’s patient files, and used that information to submit a large volume of fraudulent claims to Medicare.  

During a three-month period in late 2010, Tahmasian submitted more than $1.2 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare for services that were never prescribed by a physician and never provided to the Medicare beneficiaries.   Tahmasian and his co-conspirator then took out more than $622,000 in cash from the company over a six-week period in early 2011.   Tahmasian used a fake California driver’s license to further the fraud scheme.   Tahmasian submitted a total of $1,584,640 in claims to Medicare and received approximately $994,036 on those claims.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Los Angeles Region of HHS-OIG.   The case was prosecuted by Assistant Chief Benton Curtis and Trial Attorney Alexander Porter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.

To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: .

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Wilkinson and Frisch, Two insurance agents to be arraigned for fraud and falsifying life insurance policies

posted by CotoBlogzz

OCDA seeking potential additional victims
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA-   Tyler wilkinson and Ian Frisch, two insurance agents and three others will be arraigned today on charges of falsifying life insurance policies and defrauding $600,000 from insurance companies.

According to the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office, Tyler Wilkinson, 37, San Diego, and Ian Frisch, 31, Bonita, are charged with four felony counts of grand theft with sentencing enhancement allegations for causing over $100,000 in loss, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and property loss over $200,000.

Reuben Banuelos, 63, Aliso Viejo, Edward Putnam, 71, and wife Maxine Putnam, 68, San Juan Capistrano, are charged with one felony count of grand theft with sentencing enhancement allegations for causing over $100,000 in loss, property loss over $200,000.

At the time of the crime, Edward Putnam was an inactive member of the California State Bar and a licensed veterinarian who ran a clinic, Maxine Putnam was a licensed realtor, Wilkinson was an inactive member of the California State Bar and a licensed independent insurance agent, and Frisch was a licensed insurance agent working for an insurance carrier.

Between Aug. 2, 2010, and Nov. 15, 2010, Wilkinson and Frisch are accused of submitting falsified insurance policy applications on behalf of Banuelos and the Putnams, who are accused of knowingly making false statements on the application. Wilkinson and Frisch are accused of offering the other three defendants free insurance with no out-of-pocket loss by having them pay a first-time premium and getting reimbursed for the total amount paid for a full year of coverage. Banuelos and the Putnams are accused of not declaring in the applications that they were reimbursed for the premium and letting the life insurance policy lapse after one year and not making further payments. Wilkinson and Frisch are accused of profiting from the policies by collecting commissions over $600,000.

On June 6, 2014, after a lengthy investigation by the California Department of Insurance, the five defendants were arrested.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Andy Terhorst at (714) 347-8691.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Wayne Fong, disbarred attorney and former NYPD officer, convicted of embezzling over $469K

Wayne Fong, disbarred attorney and former NYPD officer, convicted of embezzling over $469K

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA- Wayne Martin Fong, a former vice president of a title insurance company pleaded guilty today to stealing over $469,000 from his company to spend on gambling

Wayne Martin Fong, 51, Tustin, pleaded guilty to a court offer of  seven felony counts of grand theft, five felony counts of money laundering, sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing over $100,000 in loss, aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, property loss over $200,000, and transactions exceeding $50,000.

Fong was sentenced by judge Robert R. Fitzgerald to ONLY six months in jail, five years formal probation, and must pay $309,000 in restitution.

According to the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office, Fong was hired in 1999 by Fidelity National Title Group (Fidelity) as the Associate Counsel and Vice President. He was responsible for working with and overseeing contracts with vendors who searched for and obtained missing assets for the company.

Fong signed a service agreement on behalf of Fidelity with a vendor, Global Discoveries (Global), in March 2009. In July 2009, Fong contacted Global, requesting by email to have all payments sent to a different account, and providing them with a different email address, phone number, and mailing address. The defendant embezzled over $469,000 by having payments intended for Fidelity deposited into his own personal account and using the stolen money for gambling.

One of Fidelity's vendors became suspicious about the change in email address, bank account number, and mailing address provided to them by Fong. The case was reported to the Irvine Police Department (IPD), who investigated this case. On Nov. 29, 2012, IPD arrested Fong. At the time of the crime, Fong was a licensed attorney but was disbarred on Jan. 27, 2012. Prior to becoming an attorney, the defendant was also a former New York Police Department officer.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Marc Labreche of the Major Fraud Unit prosecuted this case.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Duy Nguyen, Garden Grove man to be arraigned for fraudulent loan modification scheme.

Duy Nguyen, Garden Grove man to be arraigned for fraudulent loan modification scheme.

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Duy Nguyen, man is scheduled to be arraigned today for defrauding 42 victims of over $92,000 by operating a fraudulent loan modification company, according to the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office.

Duy Khac Nguyen, 34, Garden Grove, is charged with 37 felony counts of grand theft, five felony counts of theft from elder, with a sentencing enhancement for property loss over $65,000.  He is being held on $90,000 and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. Nguyen is scheduled to be arraigned this morning.

Between February and July 2010, Nguyen is accused of owning and operating a fraudulent loan modification company called HAMP Resources in Garden Grove. He is accused of falsely claiming to be affiliated with the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and obtaining a business license from the City of Garden Grove. The defendant's business and the federal government's HAMP are not affiliated in any way.

Nguyen is accused of promising loan modifications to victims and guaranteeing a refund of their money if they were not eligible. He is accused of advertising the business through local television advertisements in Hawaii and in various states through mail flyers and his website.

Nguyen is accused of collecting over $92,000 from 42 victims, who deposited checks to a HAMP Resources business account.  He is accused of failing to provide any loan modification services or refunds for the victims. Nguyen is accused of withdrawing the money from the company bank account and depositing it in his personal accounts. He is accused of closing the Garden Grove business, shutting down the website, and moving out of Orange County.

In April 2010, the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) received complaints from victims addressed to Nguyen that had been mailed to his former Garden Grove office.

USPIS and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program investigated this case. On June 12, 2014, Nguyen was arrested in Garden Grove by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department with assistance from the Garden Grove Police Department.

The Orange County District Attorney's Office, SIGTARP, and USPIS believes there may be additional victims in this case. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to call Supervising District Attorney Investigator Andy Terhorst at (714) 347-8691.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Pete Pierce of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.