Ex-Ontario tool company exec from San Dimas gets 5 years for bank fraud

LOS ANGELES >> A San Dimas mad who formerly served as vice president of an Ontario-based tool company received a sentence of more than 5 years in federal prison Wednesday for a $9.6 million bank fraud scheme, authorities said.
Chung Yu Yeung, 39, pleaded guilty in late-March to four counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
At his sentencing hearing Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles, U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder sentenced Yeung to 63 months in prison and ordered him to pay $9,618,908 in restitution to his victim, East West Bank, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement.
He was also ordered to forfeit a property in San Dimas that he purchased “with proceeds of the scheme,” Mrozek said.
Yeung previously admitted that while working at Eastern Tools and Equipment Inc., Yeung admitted that he and his co-conspirators defrauded East West Bank by misrepresenting the company’s accounts receivable and financial statements in order to obtain loans the company otherwise would not have been able to get, Mrozek explained.
“The conspirators created numerous shell corporations to act as purported suppliers and retailers doing business with Eastern Tools, when, in reality, these shell corporations were entirely under the control of Yeung and existed for the sole purpose of creating the illusion of such business,” Mrozek said. “Yeung also admitted that the fictitious companies allowed Yeung and other conspirators to falsely inflate Eastern Tools’ accounts receivable and financial statements in representations to East West Bank.”
“Yeung created companies and profits that were nothing but illusions, tricking a bank into loaning him millions of dollars,” U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California Eileen M. Decker said. “This was a sophisticated crime that caused substantial losses, warranting the punishment imposed by the Court today.”
Yeung’s co-defendant in the case, former Eastern Tools president Guo Xiang Fan, remains a fugitive, Mrozek said.
IRS Criminal Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge Anthony J. Orlando described the scene as “truly astounding.”
“(It) illustrates the lengths to which fraudsters will go to game the financial system for personal gain. IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to work with our law enforcement partners by lending our financial expertise in these complex investigations,” he said.

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Pomona woman killed in freeway crash identified

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POMONA >> Coroner’s officials have identified a Pomona woman who died in a solo-car crash on a freeway connector road early Friday.
Chelsea Tarin, 23, died at the scene of the 6:30 a.m. crash on the transition road from the southbound 57 Freeway to the eastbound 10 Freeway, on the border between San Dimas and Pomona, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
POMmapShe was at the wheel of a 1993 Toyota Camry when it went of the left side of the roadway, struck a lamp post, then struck a cement support pillar beneath the 57 Freeway along the right side of the connector road, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez.
Paramedics pronounced Tarin dead at the scene.
An autopsy determined Tarin died as a result of “traumatic injuries,” and the death was ruled accidental, Smith said.
A fund to benefit Tarin’s family has been set up online at www.gofundme.com/2jjhcak.
Friday’s fatal crash was the second fatality reported on the same transition road in just over a week.
Juan Manuel Machuca Jr., 22, of San Bernardino died on Aug. 4 when his Ford Explorer veered off the side of the road and overturned, according to the CHP.

PHOTO by Beatriz Valenzuela

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UPDATED: Pomona woman killed in crash on freeway transition road

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POMONA >> A 23-year-old Pomona woman died Friday morning in a solo-vehicle crash on a connector road between the 10 and 57 Freeways in San Dimas, officials said.
The fatal crash took place just after 6:30 a.m. on the transition road connecting the southbound 57 Freeway to the eastbound 10 Freeway, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
The woman’s name was not released pending positive identification and notification of family, coroner’s officials said.
“(The woman) allowed her Toyota to drift to the left off the roadway and enter into the dirt embankment on the east side of the connector road,” CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said in a written statement.
The Toyota continues along the dirt embankment before striking a lamp post and a concrete pillar supporting the 57 Freeway overpass, the officer said.
Paramedics pronoucned the driver dead at the scene, he said.
A Sig Alert on the transition road remained in effect until shortly before 11 a.m.
The crash is being investigated by the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office. Anyone with information can reach the office at 626-338-1164.

PHOTO by Beatriz Valenzuela

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Deputies team up to replace bike stolen from man with Down Syndrome in San Dimas

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SAN DIMAS >> Joel “Joey” Gutierrez has been riding the same bicycle through the streets of San Dimas every day for 20 years.
Each morning, he dons his headphones, sings his favorite songs and goes for a ride around the neighborhood, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Andy Berg said.
“Riding his bike and singing is his daily routine and it brings him great joy,” Berg said of Gutierrez, 41, who has Down Syndrome. “The victim is well liked by everyone in the neighborhood.
So when two opportunistic thieves stole Gutierrez’s black and white BMX-style bicycle from his garage in the 1000 block of Sherwood Court about 10 a.m. Saturday following his daily ride, that didn’t sit well with the deputy who took the report, or his colleagues.
“Once the handling deputy realized the significance of the stolen bike, he and his
patrol partners from San Dimas Station jumped into action,” Berg said. “Within two hours deputies pooled their money, contacted Incycle (Bicycles), San Dimas, and purchased a new bike.”
Deputies cheerfully presented the new bike to Gutierrez and his father Saturday afternoon in the lobby of the sheriff’s station.
Neighbors reported seeing two male thieves leave Gutierrez garage with his bike and flee the neighborhood in a newer-model, white car.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Man killed in freeway crash in San Dimas


SAN DIMAS >> A man died Thursday afternoon after losing control of his SUV and crashing on a San Dimas freeway transition road, authorities said.
The man killed in the 4:04 p.m. crash on the southbound 57 Freeway connector road to the eastbound 10 Freeway had not been identified Thursday night, Officer Hammond of the California Highway Patrol’s Baldwin Park area office said in a written statement.
He was driving a 2004 Ford Explorer “at an unsafe speed for roadway conditions” when he veered off the road at as it curved to the left, Hammond said.
“The Ford Explorer then traversed a dirt embankment on the east side of the connector road before striking a concrete jersey wall and overturning back onto the roadway,” he said.
Paramedics pronounced the driver dead at the scene.
Authorities issued a Sig Alert on the connector road through 8 p.m.. Hammond said.
Any witnesses are asked to contact Officer K. Croxford of the CHP’s Baldwin Park office at 626-338-1164.

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2 sought in takeover robbery at San Dimas cell phone store


SAN DIMAS >> Two gunmen fled with more than $30,000 worth of cell phones following a takeover robbery at a San Dimas cell phone store Friday afternoon, authorities said.
The crime unfolded just after 1 p.m. at a Sprint store, 875 W. Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Omar Carbajal said.
Two robbers both brandished handguns when they entered the store and confronted two employees in the front of the business, the sergeant said.
The robbers ordered the two employees to the back of the store, where two other employees were working, he said.
Carbajal said the robbers ordered an employee to open up a locked case containing cell phones. They helped grabbed 47 Samsung and Apple phones, values at $32,600.
The robbers locked the four employees in a bathroom at the store and fled, Carbajal said. No injuries were reported.
The gunman were last seen fleeing west along Arrow Highway in a black pickup truck, he added.
Detailed descriptions of the robbers were not available.
No injuries were reported as a result of the robbery.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Suspect identified in slaying of San Dimas sandwich shop owner

"LASD Lieutenant David Coleman of the Homicide Bureau speaks during a press conference seeking the publicÕs assistance in locating the suspect involved in the murder of San Dimas Quiznos sandwich shop proprietor Pravin Patel that occurred on Tuesday, June 2 at 3:20 p.m. in the 1000 block of West Arrow Highway. Patel, was shot after being robbed at gunpoint in his restaurant. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune) "

“LASD Lieutenant David Coleman of the Homicide Bureau speaks during a press conference seeking the publicÕs assistance in locating the suspect involved in the murder of San Dimas Quiznos sandwich shop proprietor Pravin Patel that occurred on Tuesday, June 2 at 3:20 p.m. in the 1000 block of West Arrow Highway. Patel, was shot after being robbed at gunpoint in his restaurant. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

SAN DIMAS >> Homicide detectives have identified a man already in custody for a custody in connection with armored car robberies and the shooting of an armored car driver as the alleged gunman in the fatal shooting of a San Dimas sandwich shop owner in San Dimas last year, authorities announced Friday.
Sergey Gutsu, 24, is suspected in the June 2, 2015, slaying of Pravin “Peter” Patel during a robbery at the Quiznos shop Patel owned and operated at 1034 W. Arrow Highway in San Dimas, Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
He is already in custody in Sonoma County, where he and alleged accomplice Ivan Morales, 24, are accused of shooting an armored car driver during a robbery in Windsor on Tuesday, then fired shots at deputies during a chase that preceded their ultimate arrests, according to Sonoma and Los Angeles county sheriff’s officials.
“During the course of the investigation, “(Violent Crimes Investigation Unit) detectives developed information that Gutsu and Morales were likely involved in other crimes throughout the state,” Sonoma County sheriff’s Sgt. Cecile Focha said in a written statement.
“Although we cannot divulge specific details of the investigations, we are confident that one or both are responsible for an armored car robbery in Granada Hills and a robbery/homicide in San Dimas.”
Los Angeles County homicide detectives met with Gutsu in Santa Rosa on Wednesday, officials said.
“During the interview, the suspect admitted to being involved in the murder of victim Patel,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Morales had not been linked to the San Dimas slaying, Corina said.
Q2In the San Dimas case, Patel was working behind the counter when a gunman robbed the sandwich shop, Lt. David Coleman of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said at the time.
Patel turned over the money from the register, amounting to no more than a few hundred dollars, when the robber threatened to shoot two customers inside the store, officials said.
But once the robber left, Patel followed him outside and became involved in a struggle with the robber, Corina said. The gunman opened fire, mortally wounding Patel.
Patel, 62, described by Coleman as a “loving, kind man,” worked alongside his wife at the family restaurant.
Authorities released a composite sketch of the killer and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors authorized a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of Patel’s killer. But the gunman remained elusive, and unidentified, until he implicated himself in the slaying on Tuesday, Corina said.
A gun seized from Gutsu at the time of his arrest in Sonoma County is of the same caliber used in Patel’s killing, Corina said. Forensic testing was pending to determined whether the weapons were one and the same.
Gutsu grew up in Arcadia, and more recently split his time between southern and northern California, Corina said.
According to Sonoma County booking records, Gutsu remains in custody without bail on charges of robbery attempted murder, along with special allegations that he personally used a gun.
The investigation into his alleged crimes in Los Angeles County and elsewhere remained ongoing, officials said.
“We’re still working our case and putting it together,” Corina said.

PHOTO of victim Pravin Patel, below (courtesy)

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Police: Suspect attacks Glendora police dog after pursuit ends in San Dimas


SAN DIMAS >> A man attacked a Glendora police dog after leading officers on a chase that ended in San Dimas Friday morning, authorities said.
Driver Armando Nunez, 28, of El Monte and passenger Vitoria Yvonne Narvaez, 29, of Pomona were ultimately arrested, Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab said.
Nunez was hospitalized for treatment of dog bites. The K-9 that apprehended him suffered injuries to its ear.
Nunez was already being sought by police in West Covina in connection with another chase and crash last week, West Covina police Lt. Travis Tibbets said.
The incident began shortly before 11 a.m. when an officer spotted a car in La Verne and found it suspicious, the chief said.
The officer approached the car when it pulled into a parking lot at Foothill Boulevard and San Dimas Avenue in San Dimas, he said. The car fled “at high speeds.”
Glendora police pursued the fleeing car to a residential cul-de-sac in the 900 block of Sedona Court, officials said. Both the driver and passenger abandoned the car and continued fleeing on foot.
Officers immediately captured the passenger, later identified as Narvaez, Staab said. But the driver, Nunez, fled into the surrounding neighborhood.
Police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies set up a search perimeter.
“One of the homeowners alerted us to their backyard,” the chief said. The resident noticed the storage shed in the backyard had become inexplicably unlatched.
Police ordered anyone inside the shed to surrender. After receiving no response, officers sent in a Glendora Police Department K-9 named Bo.
“Second later, both of them burst out of the storage shed,” Staab said.
“The male suspect had the K-9 in a headlock,” he said. “With the other hand, he grabbed its left ear and twisted its head around.”
Police tried to subdue Nunez with a Taser, but he continued fighting with officers before they wrestled him into custody.
“The suspect wouldn’t stop fighting,” Staab said. “Two of my experienced detectives said they’ve never fought with somebody so prolonged.”
No officers were hurt, Staab said.
Bo’s normally upright ear remained limp from the attack, but he appeared otherwise OK, Staab said. The K-9 was to be examined by a veterinarian.
Nunez was treated for dog bites to his face, arm and leg prior to booking, Staab said. He was expected to face charges including evading police and assault on a police dog.
He was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
West Covina police had been seeking Nunez since Sunday, when he allegedly led police on another chase in a stolen car, which ended in a crash at Amar Road and Valinda Avenue, Tibbetts said.
After crashing the stolen car after a brief chase, Nunez ran from the car, leaving a seriously injured woman who had been riding as a passenger behind, Tibbetts said. Officers did not find him that day, but investigators identified Nunez as the suspected driver.
Narvaez, was booked on suspicion of resisting police, Staab said. She is on parole for a prior burglary conviction and was being held without bail, according to officials and booking records.
The ignition system of the car the suspects were riding in Friday had been tampered with, Staab said. Detectives were investigating whether or not it had been stolen.

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UPDATED: Brush fire breaks out in San Dimas, prompts Sig Alert

SAN DIMAS >> Despite wet weather, firefighters battled a two-acre brush fire that ignited along the 57 Freeway in San Dimas Friday afternoon, officials said.
The fire was first reported about 1:15 p.m. as several small spot fires along the southbound 57 Freeway near Via Verde, Los Angeles County Fire Department Firefighter Humberto Agurcia said.
A “full response,” including fire-fighting aircraft, were summoned to the scene as the blaze scorched about two acres within an hour, fire officials said.
“All of our engines are working this aggressively,” Agurcia said as the fire continued burning.
Fire officials declared the 2-acre fire 100 percent contained just before 3 p.m.
No injuries were reported, and no structured were threatened, he said.
The fire remained confined to the west side of the freeway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials added.
The California Highway Patrol issued a Sig Alert for the two right-hand lanes of the southbound 57 Freeway as firefighters continued their work Friday afternoon.

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Man suspected of striking another man with chain during San Dimas robbery


SAN DIMAS >> Deputies arrested a homeless man after he whacked another man with a chain and robbed him of his backpack, officials said.
Jason Nicks, 37, was booked on suspicion robbery in connection with the incident, which unfolded about 1:15 p.m. along Arrow Highway, just east of Valley Center Avenue, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records.
Nicks struck the victim, another homeless man with whom he was acquainted, with a chain and stole the victim’s backpack, sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said. The victim was treated for injuries believed to be minor.
Deputies searched the area and soon found Nicks nearby. He was detained without a struggle and ultimately arrested in connection with the robbery, the lieutenant said.
Nicks was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment hearing Friday in Pomona Superior Court, records show.

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