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.
LOS ANGELES >> A San Dimas man who served as vice president of an Ontario tool wholesale company on Wednesday admitted to federal charges of defrauding a Pasadena-based bank out of more than $9 million, authorities said.
Chung Yu Yeung, also known as Louis Yeung, 39, served as vice president of Ontario-based Eastern Tools and Equipment Inc., U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement.
At an appearance Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles, Yeung admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and four counts of bank fraud, Mrozek said. He was scheduled to return to court June 20 to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder.
Between 2007 and 2012, Yeung admitted to setting up a network of shell companies, controlled by himself, to give the false illusion that Easter Tools was conducting far more business than he really was, officials said.
“Yeung admitted that the fictitious companies allowed him and other conspirators to falsely inflate Eastern Tools’ accounts receivable and financial statements in representations to East West Bank,” according to Mrozek.
After using fraudulent documents to boost his business’ line of credit, “Eastern Tools defaulted on the promissory note after East West Bank discovered the fraud, causing more than $9 million in losses to the bank, Mrozek said.
FBI and IRS agents conducted the investigation.
“This defendant went to great lengths to create the illusion of business that defrauded the victim bank out of millions, but law enforcement was able to penetrate the illusion,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said. “Crimes like these can threaten the stability of our financial institutions and therefore our national economy.”
Yeung was arrested in connection with the investigation in April of 2015. Alleged co-conspirator and Eastern Tools and former Equipment President Guo Xiang “David” Fan, 53, is also named in the same indictment charging Yeung. He remains at large.
COVINA >> Police arrested a probationer found with three handguns, a ski mask and cash in Covina Saturday afternoon, police said.
Police pulled over a car in which Thomas Michael Mulero, 28, of Ontario was riding as a passenger in just before 5 p.m. at Citrus Avenue and Rowland Street, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said. Officers stopped the car after noticing Mulero drinking beer.
A search of Mulero’s backpack turned up two semi-automatic pistols and one revolver, the lieutenant said. Police also seized a ski mask from the car and cash from Mulero’s person.
Mulero was jailed on suspicion of weapons violations, investigation of robbery and investigation of receiving stolen property as detectives continued looking into where the guns and cash came from, Walczak said.
The woman driving the car, as well as a second woman riding as a passenger, were not arrested.
Walczak said Mulero is already on Post Release Community Supervision, or felony probation, under AB 109 guidelines for a previous assault conviction.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Mulero was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending an arraignment hearing, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
PHOTO courtesy of the Covina Police Department.
ONTARIO >> Authorities Sunday identified an Ontario man they say fatally shot two family members at his wife’s grave at the Bellevue Memorial Park before turning the gun on himself.
Karapet Kalajian died after slaying his brother-in-law Misak Minasyan, 60, and sister-in-law Hripsime Minasyan, 59, both of North Hollywood, just after 3 p.m. Saturday at the cemetery, 1240 W. G Street in Ontario, according to San Bernardino County coroner’s officials.
Kalajian and his relatives encountered each other at the cemetery the day before the anniversary of the death of Kalajian’s wife, Ontario police Sgt. Jeff Higbee said in a written statement. Kalajian’s wife, who was Hripsime Minasyan’s sister and Misak Minasyan’s sister-in-law, died on Jan. 3, 2011, following a “prolonged battle with cancer.”
“Kalajian has had difficulty dealing with the death of his wife and had become estranged from the family for more than a year,” Higbee said.
Kalajian was already at the cemetery, sitting in his car, when Misak Minasyan, Hripsime Minasyan and a another elderly family member arrived, police said. The elderly family member, also related to Kalajian by marriage, used a walker.
“The suspect got out of his car with a handgun and walked directly toward the victims,” Higbee said. “He quickly shot one and then the other before turning the gun on himself. The woman with the walker was unharmed.”
The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact Ontario police Detective Josh Burks at 909-395-2912. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to WeTip at 800-782-7463, or online at www.wetip.com.
PHOTO by Wil Lester
Detectives Wednesday arrested a convicted sex offender from Ontario on suspicion of the rape of a Highland senior citizen during a home invasion earlier this month, authorities said.
Antawon Riley Stubblefield, 27, is accused of rape, oral copulation by force, false imprisonment and home-invasion robbery in connection with the attack and robbery, which took place on the afternoon of Dec. 8 at the victim’s home in the 7800 block of Lankershim Avenue, Highland police officials said in a written statement.
“Investigation revealed that an unknown suspect forced entry into the 67-year-old victim’s residence and attacked her as she watched television,” according to the statement. “The suspect then held the victim against her will inside of her home; during which he sexually assaulted her several times over a four-hour period.”
The attacker stole cash and other items from the victim before fleeing her home. The woman was hospitalized for treatment, and her attacker was not found.
Detectives were notified by crime lab officials Tuesday that DNA collected at the crime scene has been matched to Stubblefield, officials said. Stubblefield was already on felony probation and a registered sex offender for a previous assault conviction.
Officials obtained a warrant for Stubblefield’s arrest, and took him into custody Wednesday when he reported to his probation officer, police said.
Authorities added that detectives are seeking any additional people who may have been victimized by Stubblefield.
According to San Bernardino Superior Court records, Stubblefield was awaiting sentencing in his previous case at the time of the Highland attack. He was released from custody Nov. 16 after being granted a waiver allowing him to be free from custody pending formal sentencing.
The Highland home-invasion took place less than a month later.
Stubblefield had pleaded “no contest” to a count of assault likely to produce great bodily injury and engaging in prostitution stemming from a Sept. 1 arrest, records show. An additional count of attempted forcible rape was dismissed by the court.
He was sentenced under AB 109 guidelines, which state officials say is intended for “non-violent, non-serious and non-sexual” offenders.
He received a sentence of 150 days in jail, with credit for time already served and good behavior. He was also sentenced to three years of Post-Release Community Supervision and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
He was formally placed on felony probation at a hearing Tuesday, the same day his DNA was linked to the Highland crime scene.
Stubblefield was being held without bail Wednesday at the West Valley Detention Center pending his initial court appearance, officials said.
PHOTO of suspect Antawon Riley Stubblefield courtesy of the Highland Police Department.
The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a fake beard-clad serial bank robber dubbed “The Bluto Bandit” who has robbed or been spotted at six banks throughout Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties over the past week.
The bandit has robbed Chase bank branches in Pasadena, Duarte and Ontario, and has been seen “casing” other branches in Monrovia, Chino and Fontana, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
In each case, the bandit wore a thick, black, curly fake beard, prompting investigators to nickname him the Bluto Bandit, inspired by the bearded villain in the “Popeye” comic strip, Eimiller said.
He robbed a Chase bank at 3870 Foothill Boulevard in an unincorporated county area near Pasadena about 2:35 p.m. Tuesday, then robbed another Chase bank at 1000 Huntington Drive in Duarte about half an hour later, Eimiller said. The robber was also seen casing a Monrovia bank in between the two robbers, as well as a Fontana bank later in the afternoon.
In the Pasadena and Monrovia heists, the robber quietly approached tellers and handed over notes demanding cash, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Loy McBride said.
“He didn’t really even speak,” the lieutenant said.
But the serial bandit’s crime spree began June 10, when he robbed a Chase bank at 1070 N. Mountain Avenue in Ontario, according to the FBI. He was spotted casing a Chino Chase bank two days later.
Investigators described the robber as a Latino man, 28 to 30 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 195 pounds. In all of the crimes, he wore his fake beard and a blue, long-sleeve Pendleton-style shirt.
He’s been spotted getting into a white, newer-model Volkswagen Jetta with tinted windows and final three license plate digits of “665.”
No weapon has been seen during the crimes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI Los Angeles Office at 310-477-6565.
PHOTOS from robberies in Duarte (above) and unincorporated Pasadena (below) courtesy of the FBI.
INDUSTRY >> Coroner’s officials Sunday released the named of a Baldwin Park man and an Ontario woman who died when they car they were passengers in left the roadway and struck a tree along the 60 Freeway early Saturday.
Rafael Flores Reinoso, 49, of Baldwin Park and Michelle Alvarez, 23, of Ontario, died at the scene of the 2:40 a.m. crash along the eastbound 60 Freeway, just west of the 605 Freeway, in an unincorporated county area near Industry, Los Angeles County coroner’s Lt. Fred Corrall said.
They were passengers in a 2006 Scion tC being driven by a 24-year-old Ontario man that veered from traffic lanes and struck a tree along a gore point, California Highway Patrol officials said.
The driver and another passenger, described as a 45-year-old Ontario woman, were hospitalized with major injuries, according to the CHP. The cause of the crash remained under investigation.
An Upland man was arrested in connection with the Monday morning slaying of three in Ontario. This from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
Steven David James Carter, 34, was booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. Court records show he is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, although it is unclear if he has been charged in the case.
Officers said they plan to recommend to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office that Carter be charged with three counts of murder.
Police came to a home in the 1000 block of South Magnolia Avenue at 6:15
Police investigated the triple homicide Monday after receiving a report of an unconscious man lying in the driveway.
The man was dead of what investigators suspect was a gunshot wound. Police found two more bodies inside the home, but are unsure about their cause of death.
Officers identified one of the men in the house as Brandon Perez, 31, of Ontario. He resided in the home and appeared to be the target of the robbery, police said. The other man in the residence, one of Carter’s accomplices, was 25-year-old Albert Lamar Thomas of Ontario.
Police withheld the name of the third man because his relatives have not been notified.
ExtenZe, The “all-natural male enhancer” will honor an Ontario Cop for heroism at Fontana this weekend.
STATESVILLE, NC – Because he went above and beyond the call of duty in rendering aid to a young stabbing victim, ExtenZe Racing will honor Ontario Police Officer Mike Gonzales as an “ExtenZe Local Hero” and give him the rare privilege of being an Honorary Crew Chief at next weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
The ‘ExtenZe Local Hero’ program pays tribute to local heroes who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those people selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Each recipient receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world’s best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of the individual’s selflessness. Officer Gonzales has selected to donate his award to the Ontario Police Officer’s Assoc. Widows and Orphans Fund.