Colonies warrants, affidavits unsealed for defense lawyers

Nearly a dozen search warrants and their affidavits served by investigators probing the Colonies Partners LP $102million settlement with San Bernardino County were ordered unsealed Monday for defense lawyers.

Lawyers for Jeff Burum, co-managing partner of Colonies Partners LP, have been trying to secure release of the warrants since June as part of their effort to fight the criminal charges against their client.

Those charges are part of a sweeping criminal probe of alleged county corruption.
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Attorney: Former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin civil rights violated

Joe Nelson, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 10/17/2011 02:19:00 PM PDT

The attorney defending former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin in a sweeping corruption probe is alleging that an FBI search of Erwin’s home was flawed and that Erwin’s civil rights were violated.

A motion filed by attorney Rajan Maline in U.S. District Court in Riverside on Oct. 11 is the second to be filed in the last three weeks challenging the strength of the Sept. 15 FBI raid in connection with an investigation into the county’s $102 million legal settlement with Rancho Cucamonga developer Colonies Partners LP in November 2006.

On Oct. 3, attorney Stephen Larson, who represents Colonies’ co-managing partner Jeff Burum, filed a motion with the court alleging Burum’s civil rights were violated and FBI agents essentially lied to him and in an official court document, tainting the search altogether.
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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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Burum attorney argues DA has conflict of interest in corruption case

Alleging a conflict of interest exists, the attorney for Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum wants the district attorney recused from prosecuting his client.

The alleged conflict stems from conversations the pair had before conspiracy charges were filed against Burum, said attorney Stephen Larson.

Larson also said Tuesday in San Bernardino Superior Court that District Attorney Michael A. Ramos had appointed Burum to his advisory committee.

The relationship between the pair, says Larson, results in a conflict for Ramos in the prosecution of Burum.
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Prosecutors seek more discovery in former assistant assessor’s case

Former Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman appeared briefly in Superior Court Tuesday for a status hearing on his case stemming from what authorities say were his attempts to mislead a grand jury investigation.

The 25-year-old Aleman stood beside his lawyer Grover Porter as the court continued proceedings to November in San Bernardino Superior Court. Prosecutors are still awaiting more discovery, or evidence in the case, Judge John Martin told the court.

Accompanied to court by fiancee Kelly Kuntz, Aleman is scheduled to return to court Nov. 19.

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