Theft

Attempted Carjacking in Greenbrae (CA Penal Code §215(a))

As Tina Humphrey (52), a contractor from Mill Valley, went about running errands in the Bon Air Shopping Center, it’s a good guess that becoming the victim of a carjacking was the last thing on her mind.  But, when Jeffrey Boyce, a Coos County man, came up to her as she was getting into her pickup truck, all of that changed in a split second.  It seems that Boyce was attempting to steal a car in order to reach the Russian Consulate in San Francisco as he bent Humphrey’s ear about a number of conspiracy theories he wholeheartedly believed.  Humphrey...

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San Francisco Extortion Ring Exposed (CA Penal Code §518)

We’ve all heard about scams involving psychics, like the ones that are seen on talk shows and television commercials.  Rarely, however, does a person encounter such a con artist in the everyday world.  For many Cantonese-speaking women in the San Francisco area, however, this all-too disturbingly became a living nightmare.  The case involves four Bay area con artists (Mudi Wu, Ying Liu Tam, Yong Hua Zeng, and Ah Bhung Liu) who tricked elderly women into giving them their valuables, including cash and jewelry, in exchange for “blessings” to prevent their sons from dying. The sting went something like this: one of the four...

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Social Media Journalist Fired on Allegations of Assisting Hacker (CA Penal Code §1030)

Last March, 26-year-old Matthew Keys was indicted on allegations of assisting others to hack the Los Angeles Times website and make changes to their web content – harmless alterations to random phrases.  Formerly an employee of Sacramento’s KTXL-TV Channel 40, the presumably disgruntled Keys has been accused of having posted sensitive login information in a chat room that was then used by a hacker named “Sharpie” to break into the system.  Keys was indicted on counts of conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, transmitting information to damage a protected computer, and attempted transmission of information to damage...

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Refinement of Plea Bargain Agreement in California Supreme Court

Usually, plea bargaining is the purview of prosecutors in criminal cases, but recently the California Supreme Court has unanimously determined that judges may inform defendants of their possible sentence if they plead guilty to the charges against them.  This dangerous precedent has caused quite a stir in the state and has  completely re-defined the roles of judges and attorneys.  A balance is meant to exist between the court’s representative, the judge, and the attorneys dealing with the case.  Normally, judges are meant to be impartial, upholding the law that already exists – not creating new laws or acting as lawyers...

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SAN MATEO COUNTY FORMER FINANCE DIRECTOR PLEADS NO CONTEST TO EMBEZZLEMENT (CA Penal Code §503)

62-year-old Jo Ann Seeney, former finance director of the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District, has pled “no contest” to the 10 felony embezzlement charges against her in San Mateo Superior Court for her assistance in taking $450,000 from the state. It seems that Seeney and a fellow co-worker stole from the agency in a number of ways, including padding their deferred compensation funds, transferring money from county accounts to their own, and using the mosquito control district’s credit card for personal purchases – among other means to garner themselves extra pay and get money for fake time...

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Trespassing case exonerated by attorney (CA Penal Code §602)

According to CA Penal Code §602, trespassing is a crime that involves illegally trampling on another person’s rights by accessing their property without their permission.  Charges of this kind can range anywhere from not leaving property when you have been asked to entering someone’s property for the purpose of causing destruction to it to what is known as “squatting.”In all these types of criminal trespass, the issue of intent becomes the focal point.  If the prosecution cannot prove that you “willfully” entered another’s property for criminal purposes – or at least for the purposes of disrupting some activity that was...

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Car theft in San Francisco (CA Penal Code §487(d)(1))

An unknown thief managed to steal a Yellow Cab taxi near San Francisco State University and then take it on a joy ride – leaving a hefty fare for the cabbie to contend with.  The cab was left with the engine running at  the corner of Banbury St. and Denslowe Dr. when the driver got out to assist an ill passenger into the vehicle.  Someone jumped in and took the yellow Ford Escape for a lengthy joy ride – with several police officers in a slow chase behind them after the car was reported near South of Market.  The joyrider drove quite...

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IDENTITY THEFT ARREST IN HERCULES (CA Penal Code §530.5)

Hercules police found two large suitcases of stolen mail in a man’s truck and more stacks of it in his home after 2 men bought cigarettes with counterfeited $20 bills.  Brandon Thomas-Harris (25) of Hercules and Justin Coulon (27) of Martinez were arrested this past Tuesday in the vicinity of “Cigarettes Cheaper” after trying to pay with fake bills.  When law enforcement officers towed the vehicle pursuant to their arrest, they found 2 large suitcases of stolen mail in it.  The mail found was from over 25 distinct Hercules addresses and 19 different Bay area counties, including but not limited...

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Murder of Witness results in San Francisco man sentenced to life (CA Penal Code §190.2(a)(10))

Tony Van Le, 44, was killed in 2008 by men who wanted to silence him and prevent him from testifying about a robbery in Bernal Heights at the Nasser Market.  Larry Blay Jr., 22, and Kevin Abram were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for shooting Le before he could speak in court.  Blay, in particular, gave instructions to a friend from jail to have the man murdered.In the state of California, the murder of a witness is considered a murder under special circumstances (CA Penal Code, §190.2(a)(10)) and carries with it severe penalties – penalties...

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Identity Theft Attorney Can Seek Reduction of Charges in San Mateo Burglary Wobbler

Marlo Lascamana, Roemo Natan, and Joel Lugtu have been charged recently in connection to an alleged credit card and identity theft scam involving a U.S. Postal Service worker.  Lascamana and his friends took advantage of their access to residents’ mail to use their credit cards to purchase items of their own, thus stealing their identities in the process.  While Lascamana has pled no contest to felony charges, he could face up to three years in the San Mateo county jail.  Natan has been charged with commercial burglary, credit card fraud, and identity theft, which could mean he’ll spend more than...

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