Developer Burum’s attorney says FBI searches unconstitutional

Joe Nelson, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 10/04/2011 01:59:35 PM PDT

Federal search warrants served at the home and business of Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum were unconstitutionally overbroad and vague, according to a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Riverside.

Burum’s attorney, Stephen G. Larson, is demanding that all of Burum’s property seized during the Sept. 15 FBI and IRS raid immediately be returned to him.

The warrants were served at nine locations in San Bernardino and Riverside counties in connection with a sweeping corruption scandal involving allegations of bribery, extortion and fraud, according to the federal search warrant.

The allegations stem from a $102 million legal settlement between the county and Burum’s development consortium, Colonies Partners LP, in November 2006.
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Postmus’ attorney concerned FBI investigation may target ex-county supervisor

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/29/2011 09:38:47 PM PDT

The attorney for Bill Postmus is concerned that his client, who is cooperating with state and local prosecutors in their investigation of San Bernardino County’s $102 million legal settlement with a Rancho Cucamonga developer, could be in legal jeopardy from a federal investigation into the deal.

The former county supervisor’s name appears in a federal search warrant served Sept. 15 by roughly 100 FBI and IRS agents in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The FBI and IRS are investigating allegations of bribery, extortion and fraud in connection with the record settlement with Rancho Cucamonga developer Colonies Partners LP, according to the warrant.

Stephen Levine, Postmus’ attorney, said he contacted prosecutor Lewis Cope, who heads the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit, last week to discuss the federal investigation and whether state and local prosecutors have some kind of agreement with the FBI in which Postmus would be immune from federal prosecution. The two have yet to discuss the matter.
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Boards to address FBI investigation at San Bernardino airport

An emergency joint meeting of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority board and the Inland Valley Development Agency board has been set for Friday to address the FBI’s serving of seven search warrants this week at the airport and the Riverside home of airport developer Scot Spencer.

The meeting was called by Josie Gonzales, who chairs the county Board of Supervisors, co-chairs the Inland Valley Development Agency board, and is a member of the airport authority board.

“I was angry,” Gonzales said. “I’m disappointed. I’m frustrated and angry because here we go again with not being able to get ourselves into positions of leadership and trust.”
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Rancho Cucamonga duo facing 75 counts bribery, money laundering

Lori Consalvo, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 11/10/2008 10:04:46 PM PST

A Rancho Cucamonga couple are facing a 75-count federal indictment on charges of bribery, money laundering and other charges for accepting payments to adjust the immigration status of aliens, officials said.

Constantine Kallas, a senior attorney with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and his wife, Maria Kallas, were originally arrested on June 26, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

They were originally indicted July 9 on charges of bribery and aiding and abetting. But further investigation led to more charges. The 75 counts, which were added by a federal grand jury on Oct. 29, include fraud and misuse of entry documents, false statements on foreign labor-certification petitions and federal workers’ compensation fraud, Eimiller said.
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Update: Preliminary hearing set in county bribery case

A preliminary hearing was scheduled in November for two men suspected of bribing the chief of staff for Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales for the approval of an auto recovery project in Bloomington.

During proceedings this morning, Judge Michael Dest set the preliminary hearing for Arshak Aroush Kouladjian and his brother, Vartan Aroush Kouladjian, for Nov. 5 in San Bernardino Superior Court.

The Kouladjian brothers appear in court again Nov. 3 to confirm the preliminary hearing.

At a preliminary hearing, prosecutors present some of the evidence against the defendants. A judge will then determine whether there is sufficient evidence to hold the defendants to answer the charges at a trial.

For more information, read a previous entry in The Sun’s “Inland Empire Courts” blog:

Brothers suspected in bribe of county official due in court Monday

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