San Bernardino tow company owner pleads no contest to fraud

By Melissa Pinion-Whitt
Posted: 09/29/2011 08:06:46 AM PDT

The owner of San Bernardino-based Wilson Towing, who is also a former Los Angeles police detective, pleaded no contest Tuesday to two counts of workers compensation fraud.

John Vach Jr., a 15-year veteran with the Los Angeles Police Department, was ordered to pay $105,000 in restitution to Los Angeles and given three years probation, police said.

Under his plea bargain, the Burbank man agreed to resign from the Police Department.

Investigators said Vach operated two private businesses while off work on a disability claim for stress related to his job at Los Angeles Police Department. He also sought a lifetime disability pension.

A warrant was issued for his arrest in October 2010.

Vach was initially charged with seven felony counts of workers compensation fraud, perjury and attempted grand theft.

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Two ordered held, third pleads guilty in Kinzey meth case

SAN BERNARDINO – A Redlands man and woman were ordered held on conspiracy charges at a hearing earlier this week in connection with a methemphetamine trafficking ring that was allegedly run by Cal State professor Steve Kinzey.

Co-defendants in the case, Chelsea Marie Johnson and Eric Cortez, appeared for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday before Judge Douglas N. Gericke in San Bernardino Superior Court, according to court records.

After listening to testimony from three witnesses, Gericke ruled that sufficient evidence existed to hold over the pair for trial, court records state.
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Woman gets prison time for threatening witness in San Bernardino

A woman, who was charged with threatening a witness during a San Bernardino murder trial involving gang members, took a plea bargain Wednesday that will give her eight years in state prison, prosecutors confirmed.

Loretta Ruiz Carrasco pleaded guilty to one count of criminal threats and a street gang sentence enhancement as trial proceedings were underway in her own case in San Bernardino Superior Court, according to Deputy District Attorney Robert Bulloch. The defendant returns to court Jan. 9 for sentencing.

Prosecutors alleged Carrasco, 39, made a threatening gesture to a witness who testified on Sept 25, 2007 at a trial for Jose Ralph Marquez, Daniel Olguin and Yolanda Marie Trivizo. Authorities immediately detained and questioned Carrasco in the courtroom.
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Predatory lending defendant pleads guilty in San Bernardino

Another defendant in the one of the county’s biggest predatory mortgage lending cases took a plea bargain today that will give him three years in state prison.

Defendant Eli Hassine, who is one of seven total defendants in the case, pleaded guilty to four counts and admitted a setence enhancement under the terms of a plea bargain before Judge John Martin in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Hassine, 25, was originally charged with 47 counts, including conspiracy, grand theft, forgery and filing false documents. As part of the plea bargain, Hassine wrote a four-page letter to the court and admitted that $2.5 million was taken from victims.
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After two deadlocked juries, man takes plea bargain in San Bernardino murder

Two different juries have deadlocked this year on murder charges against Edward Hernandez in the death of 22-year-old Jerry Hernandez in San Bernardino.

But Hernandez gave up the fight this week, when he took a plea bargain worth three years in state prison.

Hernandez, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of being an accessory, under the terms of the agreement with prosecutors, during proceedings Monday in San Bernardino Superior Court, according to court records.
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