Claremont residents among those charged in “purple drank” scheme

A Claremont mother and son are among four people named in a federal indictment alleging they operated a money laundering scheme related to the distribution of a powerful cough syrup nicknamed “purple drank.”

A trial is set to begin November 29 for Lucita Uy, 70, and her 42-year-old son, Lemuel Libunao, both of Claremont, in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, according to a statement Friday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

Two defendants from Texas appeared Friday in U.S. District Court in Houston.
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Seized files to be returned to Burum

In a rare move, federal prosecutors have agreed to return materials to a Rancho Cucamonga developer that were seized in September as part of an investigation into alleged corruption surrounding the $102 million lawsuit settlement between Colonies Partners LP and San Bernardino County.

The materials were seized by FBI agents serving search warrants at the offices and home of developer Jeff Burum, Colonies co-managing partner, and looking into alleged bribery and conspiracy related to the landmark 2006 settlement.

Stephen Larson, Burum’s attorney and a former federal judge, argued in the days after the Sept. 15 search that agents erred by taking documents and other materials not covered under the warrant.
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Defense motions postponed in Old Fire case

SAN BERNARDINO — A series of motions filed by the lawyers representing Old Fire suspect Rickie Lee Fowler were continued for another several weeks.

Fowler, 30, appeared today in San Bernardino Superior Court for a scheduled hearing for two motions, one which seeks to dismiss the indictment against Fowler and another which aims to recuse the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting the case in favor of state prosecutors.

The 170-page dismissal motion alleges prosecutors failed to present exculpatory evidence – which tends to show a person should not be indicted – to a criminal Grand Jury assembled in August 2009 to hear witness testimony about the wildfire.
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Dozens in Inland Empire indicted in huge tax fraud scheme

Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/03/2011 12:25:41 PM PDT

A federal investigation into the practices of two San Bernardino County tax service companies has resulted in one of the largest indictments issued for tax fraud, federal officials said.

The Fontana-based Old Quest Foundation Inc. and Rancho Cucamonga-based De la Fuente and Ramirez and Associates filed false federal income tax returns containing bogus claims for refunds that sought more than $250 million, officials said.

The IRS investigation, code named “Operation Stolen Treasures,” resulted in 32 federal indictments that name a total of 55 defendants. Nearly half were arraigned in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana.
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Leggio arraigned in illegal campaign contributions case in San Bernardino

By Mike Cruz on December 5, 2008 10:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Upland businessman Mark Anthony Leggio and three other co-defendants entered not guilty pleas today in San Bernardino Superior Court during an arraignment on charges of alleged illegal campaign contributions in state political races.

Prior to the arraignment, Judge Bryan Foster denied a defense motion to dismiss the charges based on a late filing of an amended indictment by prosecutors. But prosecutors responded that they were simply complying with a deadline set by the court.

Foster responded that no specific date had been given, and that he “would try to be more specific in the future.”
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Settlement reached in illegal campaign contributions case

Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/02/2008 09:26:45 PM PST

Upland businessman Mark Anthony Leggio has tentatively agreed to settle allegations of campaign contribution violations with the state.

However, any impact of the settlement on his criminal case in San Bernardino County remains to be seen, said Riverside County prosecutors who are pursuing the case after the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office bowed out, citing a conflict of interest.

“I don’t believe there will be any (impact),” said Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Michael Cabral when asked about the settlement with the state Fair Political Practices Commission.
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Aleman’s lawyer receives more discovery in court

Lawyers in the political corruption case against former assistant assessor Adam Aleman received additional evidence during an appearance this morning in Superior Court.

Aleman, who wore jeans and a blue golf shirt, stood next his lawyer Grover Porter during proceedings before Judge John Martin in San Bernardino Superior Court.

“We’re under the impression that there’s supposed to be some additional discovery here in court,” Porter told Martin, during the proceedings. A court clerk gave Martin manila envelopes, which appeared to be full of documents, and who then gave one each to the lawyers.
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Former assistant assessor to appear in court again Wednesday

By Mike Cruz on November 18, 2008 3:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Former Assistant Assessor Adam Aleman is scheduled to return to court Wednesday for a status hearing in his alleged political corruption case.

The 25-year-old Aleman and his lawyer, Grover Porter, are scheduled to appear in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Proceedings were met with delay at a Sept. 30 court appearance when lawyers in the case announced they were still receiving and reviewing additional discovery.
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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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Bail bond case in San Bernardino postponed

The arraignment of eight defendants indicted in San Bernardino County’s bail-bond investigation, which includes a son of former Sheriff Floyd Tidwell, was expected to be postponed this afternoon because a defense lawyer was recovering from surgery, prosecutors said.

The defendants have yet to enter a plea on an ammended indictment filed by Deputy District Attorney William Lee, which was originally issued by a special criminal grand jury in December.

The defendants are accused of participating in a scheme using jail inmates to help corner the county’s market on bail bonds from 2001 to 2003, according to court records.

Lee confirmed today’s hearing in San Bernardino Superior Court would be postponed.
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