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Two injured in fight outside Costa Mesa bar

COSTA MESA – Police are investigating a fight outside a bar that sent two men to the hospital early Sunday morning, authorities said.

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A man is transported to the hospital with multiple stab wounds after a fight in the back parking lot of Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa around 2 a.m. Sunday. KEVIN WARN, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Costa Mesa police said officers were called to Goat Hill Tavern, 1830 Newport Blvd., about 2 a.m. after reports of a fight in a parking lot behind the bar.

Police said a group had been celebrating inside the bar when they were asked to leave because of rowdy behavior. When they left and headed to the parking area, a fight broke out for unknown reasons.

One man was struck in the face with an unknown object and suffered two cuts, while another man was stabbed in the thigh. Both were transported to area hospitals and were later released, police said.

An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the fight is asked to call Detective Sgt. Ed Everett at 714-754-5397.

Source: www.ocregister.com

By CHRISTOPHER EARLEY  / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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2 men hospitalized after shooting Saturday night

Police are investigating a shooting that sent two men to the hospital Saturday night, authorities said.

Long Beach police Sgt. Brad Johnson said officers responded about 9:07 p.m. to reports of shots being fired in the 2300 block of Eucalyptus Avenue and found two men with gunshot wounds.

Both men were taken to a hospital, Johnson said, but no details were available on their conditions.

Johnson said the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Source: www.ocregister.com

By CHRISTOPHER EARLEY  / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

Con man’s latest crime: forging judge’s signature

orange county bail bondsFor most of his adult life, Gerald McComber has been either committing fraud or serving prison time for it – and sometimes both.

His record includes 14 felony fraud convictions. A probation officer wrote in a report that since 1989, the longtime Orange County resident “has repeatedly committed serious financial crimes unabated except for periods of his incarceration.”

But last year, McComber picked perhaps his most audacious target yet: He forged a federal judge’s signature.

On Monday, a different judge sentenced him to 10 months in federal prison.

McComber, 58, pleaded guilty in January to forgery. Gray-haired and balding with a mustache, he appeared in court wearing a white inmate jumpsuit and walking slowly with a cane.

“Your honor, I’m just disappointed in myself,” he said, speaking softly from a lectern.

McComber said he had lost his job and simply wanted another one. His lawyer has said he forged the signature to try to clear a tax lien that was a blemish on his credit report.

“It was a stressed position. I made a poor error, and I’m sorry for it,” McComber said.

Since the judge McComber impersonated sits in Orange County, the case was heard in Los Angeles to avoid a possible conflict of interest.

In February 2013, McComber applied for a job selling life insurance for One America Services. He was offered a contract position contingent on a background check.

When a check of his credit report showed an outstanding tax lien, company official Mark Anderson called McComber to ask about it. McComber said it had been taken care of and he would send proof.

Shortly, a faxed letter arrived on Anderson’s desk, purportedly written months before to McComber, then living in Rancho Santa Margarita.

“As of the date referenced above, the Tax Lien #0508725R has been released from your name, and the amounts in question have been satisfied completely,” the letter began. “There are no outstanding fees or penalties due, and your record has been cleared of any restrictions or liens.”

Below a signature, it said: “Alice Marie Stotler, US District Judge.”

Suspicious, another company official sent the letter to the Santa Ana office of Alicemarie H. Stotler, a real judge who’s been on the federal bench since 1984.

McComber knew of Stotler, since she once sentenced him to prison for filing a falsetax refund claim. But he still didn’t spell her name right.

Like any other citizen, the judge reported the crime. When FBI agents confronted McComber, “he was cooperative and made a full confession,” his lawyer wrote.

He could have faced up to five years, but his lawyer and the prosecutor agreed to the 10-month sentence.

“You are a 58-year-old man who made what can only be characterized as a huge mistake to sign the name of a United States District Court judge,” Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell told McComber. “But it was to be gainfully employed, which is in your favor.”

But the fraud was futile. Even if the faked letter from the judge had fooled everyone, McComber never would have gotten the job. According to a court filing, a company official told the FBI he quickly discovered McComber’s long criminal record, which he hadn’t disclosed when he applied.

Because he turned himself in in September, McComber should be released from prison in July. He’ll be on supervised release for one year.

A probation report found “prior terms of supervision have proven ineffective in every instance from deterring (defendant) from engaging in criminal conduct.”

McComber even managed to commit crime while he was in prison. In 1997, he admitted filing a false tax refund claim while serving a five-year federal prison term for securities fraud. Stotler gave him another 33 months and ordered him to pay back $82,705.

His lawyer told the Los Angeles Times in 1997 that McComber only committed the crime to provide for his ex-wife and young daughter.

The earliest fraud on record dates to 1985, when McComber forged his wife’s signature on a deed to finance a real estate venture, a scam that ended with her losing her home in Anaheim Hills, according to a lawsuit she later filed and won.

Nearly 30 years after that forgery, as deputy U.S. marshals prepared to take McComber from the courtroom, O’Connell told him, “Good luck to you, Mr. McComber. Stay out of trouble now.”

He replied, “Yes, your honor. Thank you.”

Source: www.ocregister.com

By ERIC HARTLEY  / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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Huntington Beach brawl began with Angels-Dodgers dispute, police say

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HUNTINGTON BEACH – A weekend melee that left three Marines stabbed and a woman injured was sparked by a dispute between fans of the Angels and Dodgers, police said Monday.

Six people were initially arrested in connection with the fracas that broke out around 1:45 a.m. Sunday near Main Street and Walnut Street in Huntington Beach.

Four were later released pending further investigation. Two were booked into the Huntington Beach Jail.

They were identified Monday as Manuel Alexis Alvarez, 23, of Downey, and Victoria Robledo, 20, of Norwalk, both arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, police said in a statement. They have been released on $50,000 bond.

Police responding to the incident found a large fight involving multiple people.

As officers attempted to break up the brawl, they observed Alvarez stab a man in the face with a broken bottle, police said.

Another man who had been stabbed in the fight was found in the area. Both men were hospitalized, and police described their status as stable.

A third man who also was stabbed was located Sunday morning at a San Diego hospital, where he was treated and released, according to police.

All three of the stabbing victims are Marines and were attacked while attempting to aid a woman who was being assaulted, police said.

The Marines did not know any of the people involved in the brawl, police said.

Witnesses reported the altercation began over an argument between the female victim, who was wearing an Angels jersey, and Robledo and another female suspect, who made statements about the Dodgers being better, police said.

A video of the brawl posted on Facebook shows Huntington Beach police struggling to gain control of the large, rowdy crowd. Several people in the crowd can be seen in the video taking photos with their cellphones and heard shouting insults at the police.

“It’s dangerous for police to wade into a crowd to break up a fight because it becomes a mob mentality,” said Huntington Beach police Lt. Mitch O’Brien. “If you are not careful, it can go south. It’s not uncommon for police to get assaulted when they wade into these crowds.”

Anyone who has information regarding the melee or has cellphone video of it is asked to call the Huntington Beach police tip line at 714-375-5066.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227). Individuals can also contact Orange County Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) from a cellphone. All text messages should begin with the letters “OCCS.”

Source: www.ocregister.com

By SCOTT SCHWEBKE  / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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Former executive of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach appears in court

SANTA ANA – A former hospital executive from Corona del Mar who admitted bribing a state senator and paying millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks appeared in federal court Monday for the first time.

Michael D. Drobot Sr., 69, has agreed to plead guilty to two charges – conspiracy and payment of kickbacks – and to cooperate with the federal prosecution of Sen. Ronald Calderon.

But in what the U.S. Attorney’s Office called a formality, Drobot, the former CEO of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, appeared before a magistrate judge Monday and pleaded not guilty.

His lawyer, Jeffrey Rutherford, said Drobot entered that plea only because the magistrate cannot accept a guilty plea in such a case. Drobot is expected to plead guilty at his next court date, which has not been scheduled but could be in about two weeks, prosecutors said.

Meanwhile, attorneys in a separate civil prosecution against Drobot, his son and related companies were also in federal court in Santa Ana on Monday. A lawyer for Drobot’s son, pharmacy sales executive Michael R. Drobot Jr., said he could face criminal charges.

In February, Drobot Sr. signed a plea agreement admitting he helped pay $20 million to $50 million in kickbacks to doctors, chiropractors and others who referred patients to his hospital for spinal surgeries.

In the plea agreement, Drobot Sr. also said he paid Calderon bribes so the senator would support legislation that made the kickback scheme easier. The bribes included golf outings, private plane flights and expensive dinners, the plea agreement says.

Calderon has pleaded not guilty to charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, tax fraud, bribery and money laundering. His brother, former Assemblyman Tom Calderon, pleaded not guilty to similar charges.

In the civil case, which was filed before the criminal prosecution, the State CompensationInsurance Fund accuses the Drobots and their companies of “massive workers’ compensation fraud.” The lawsuit says the Drobots inflated the prices of spinal implants and medication and got reimbursements that cost the state fund millions or hundreds of millions of dollars.

Nicholas Roxborough, a lawyer for Drobot Jr., is seeking to delay part of the civil case by six months because his client is facing possible criminal charges. Roxborough said Drobot Jr. should not have to show up to a deposition and be forced to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege to remain silent when that silence can be used against him in a civil case.

A lawyer for the State Compensation Insurance Fund, John Hueston, said the defendants have asserted the Fifth Amendment “frivolously” and too broadly. Hueston said Drobot Jr.’s lawyer has “stonewalled” discovery, the process in which the two sides of a case must exchange information.

Hueston said a delay could push back a trial date set for February.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford did not issue a ruling Monday.

Source: www.ocregister.com

By ERIC HARTLEY   / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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6 arrested after 4 injured in Huntington street fight

orange county bail bondsHUNTINGTON BEACH – Four people were injured after a fight on a Huntington Beach street early Sunday morning, authorities said.

Huntington Beach police Lt. Gary Faust said officers responded to a large fight in the 200 block of Main Street about 1:45 a.m. Sunday and found two men stabbed in the face and head. One woman had been kicked in the head during the fight, Faust said.

Faust said a tip alerted police to a fourth victim later Sunday morning, and a man was found with stab wounds on his arms. It wasn’t clear if he had been taken to the hospital.

Four men and two women were arrested shortly after the fight and are believed to be responsible for the injuries, Faust said.

All the victims were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, Faust said.

While the cause of the fight is under investigation, Faust said police do not believe it was gang-related.

Source: www.ocregister.com

By CHRISTOPHER EARLEY   / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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Man wounded by police dog during pursuit

HUNTINGTON BEACH – A man is under arrest on suspicion of assault and in the hospital after being bitten by a police dog during a pursuit in Huntington Beach Sunday morning, authorities said.

Huntington Beach police Lt. Gary Faust said officers responded to reports of shots being fired in the 7800 block of Barton Drive about 1:15 a.m. Several minutes after arriving in the area, officers reportedly spotted a speeding car on Warner Avenue and attempted to pull it over. Instead of yielding, the male driver sped off.

After running a red light on Beach Boulevard, the driver lost control of his car and rolled it on the freeway onramp just east of Warner Avenue and Magnolia Street, Faust said.

Faust said officers chased the man on foot before releasing a dog, which assisted in taking the man into custody about 2 a.m.

Officers also found a gun at the scene of the crash, but Faust could not confirm what type it was.

The man is currently in custody at a local hospital, where he is being treated for dog bites to his lower body.

Source: www.ocregister.com

By CHRISTOPHER EARLEY   / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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Driver arrested after boy is struck, critically injured in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA – Police arrested a woman on suspicion of driving under the influence after a 10-year-old boy was hit in a crosswalk, leaving him with life-threatening injuries.

Suray Leon, 33, was driving west on East 17th Street near Cabrillo Park Drive about 6:45 p.m. Sunday when she ran a red light, said Sgt. Mel Sarabia of the Santa Ana Police Department.

Her 2008 Ford F-150 pickup struck the boy, who was walking in a crosswalk with his adult brother, Sarabia said.

The impact threw the boy into westbound traffic lanes. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition, Sarabia said.

Leon remained at the scene and was booked into Santa Ana Jail on suspicion of felony DUI.

Source: www.ocregister.com

By CLAUDIA KOERNER   / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

Ex-O.C. youth pastor accused of molestation commits suicide

orange county bail bondsA former Dana Point youth pastor who was charged with sexually assaulting an 8-year-old boy in Colorado committed suicide Monday, officials said.

Nicholas Henshaw, 35, who was a junior-high pastor at Capo Beach Church in the early 2000s, was investigated on similar allegations when he was in Orange County, but wasn’t charged, officials said.

Henshaw was found dead in a hotel room in Loveland, Colo., said Stephen Hanks, a deputy investigator with the Larimer County Coroner’s Office. Death was caused by suffocation by asphyxiation with helium and has been ruled a suicide, Hanks said.

Henshaw was arrested Feb. 24 in the Colorado case and charged with sexual assault of a child by one in a position of trust, according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. He was free on bail and was expected to return to court for his next hearing April 4.

In Colorado, sexual-assault cases involving minors can carry a sentence of up to life in prison, said Linda Jensen, spokeswoman for the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office.

Source: www.ocregister.com

By LINDSEY RUTA  / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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Former Costa Mesa man gets prison sentence for tax fraud

SANTA ANA – A former Costa Mesa resident was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison Monday for filing fraudulent tax returns on behalf of clients seeking large refunds from the government.

Ronald Vernon Strawn, 69, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. Strawn was ordered to pay $1.9 million in restitution to the IRS and spend a year on supervised release following his prison term.

In July 2013, Strawn pleaded guilty to three counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns, according to IRS officials.

Strawn filed federal income tax returns in 2005 and 2006 on behalf of clients which listed false business losses, reducing taxable income by as much as $201,500 per return.

Strawn has remained in federal custody since his arrest in Arizona in April of 2012.

 

Source: www.ocregister.com

By SCOTT SCHWEBKE  / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.

 

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