For better or worse, jail informants are an important part of California’s criminal justice system. Countless cases have been solved and numerous murderers have gone to prison for life with the use of informant testimony being the basis for establishing guilt. Although criminal defense attorneys have been condemning the informant process for years, recent events have placed a spotlight upon prosecutors and county officials over how, and in what manner, cell mate snitches are to be used during the evidence gathering process. Continue reading
2013 was a great year for us: we had a variety of different impressive criminal defense trial wins, we assisted more clients than we ever had before, and we managed to produce several useful online resources that have been picked up by companies and individuals all over the globe.
Our popularity amongst Orange County locals has been growing for years, but we attribute much of our new-found success to our revitalized internet marketing efforts. Having always placed the needs of our clients first, we made a conscious decision last year to provide those looking for assistance with online resources that will truly assist them.
The world has embraced the internet as a place in which questions can be answered. We wanted to be a part of the movement and, so far, we have been able to aid countless individuals facing a wide variety of different criminal charges throughout Southern California.
Although we put a tremendous amount of time and energy into each online article that we produce, a handful were particularly useful to those combing the internet. So, without further ado, I present you with the best MacGregor & Collins, LLP Blogs of 2013. Continue reading
Methamphetamine sales in California and throughout the United States have been a constant for several years. Law enforcement has gone to great lengths to try and curb the use and distribution of crystal meth, but few could have predicted the resilience of those addicted. Whether dealers are using over-the-counter drug smurfs to make their meth at home, or they are smuggling in product from other areas, the ability to distribute methamphetamine is available to anyone with enough resilience to jump through hoops.
Unfortunately, the hoops are very very small, and you have to have an enormous amount of luck, brain, and skill to be a successful dealer. Ninety nine percent of those that try fail and many of those who succeed are murdered. These facts tend to baffle people who do not have an experience with highly addictive substances. “Why on earth would anyone put themselves in so much danger to make a decent wage under miserable circumstance?” Continue reading
A student’s academic record can be a blessing or a curse. If a student’s academic record is exceptional, they put themselves in a good position to get accepted into prestigious colleges, and even earn scholarships to help ease the financial burden on themselves and their families. Although these accomplishments are usually achieved through hard work and determination, an undisclosed number of students that attend Corona Del Mar High School were allegedly able to accomplish it by hacking into the school’s computer system.
According to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Corona Del Mar High School students were able to hack into the school’s computer system to access tests and change their own grades. Police are currently investigating the incident and, if the allegations are true, the police department will be able to file criminal charges against the students involved. Continue reading
Six years after the brutal slaying of a 20-year-old girl and her parent, the murderer has now been convicted and has been recommended to be put to death. Iftekhar Murtaza’s lengthy trial for the murder of his previous girlfriend’s sister and parent, as well as the attempted murder of her father, concluded with a conviction on November 22nd, 2013 and a recommendation for Murtaza to be punished by death being released earlier today.
An Orange County jury deliberated for three hours on Thursday December 12th, 2013 before reaching a verdict. Judge Thomas Goethals of the Superior Court chose to wait until Monday December 16th, 2013 to have the verdict read. Iftekhar Murtaza was one of three men convicted in connection with the murders that took place on May 22nd, 2007. The other two, Vitaliy Krasnoperov and Charles Murphy Junior, were also convicted and face life sentences for their offenses. Continue reading
Ever since the real estate market crashed, countless homeowners have been on the brink of bankruptcy looking for a way out. While some have successfully managed to renegotiate their home loans and others have managed to hire someone to renegotiate on their behalf, others have fallen victim to complex fraud operations and scams, the most recent alleged offender being a former attorney from the Orange County area.
Ronald Rodis, a 49-year-old former attorney from Irvine, has been accused of defrauding nearly 2,000 people. According to the U.S. attorney, Ronald Rodis and his partners were able to fraudulently obtain $12 million from homeowners under the business names Rodis Law Group and America’s Law Group. Both firms were well represented on the radio, with Rodis providing his own voice for promotional purposes. Continue reading
The clergy has taken countless public hits from sexual abuse cases over the last several decades, to the point that instances of sexual assault by members of the church have become quite common. These days, mothers and fathers have taken the threat of sexual abuse to their children by church members as a serious threat, with many taking preventative action to protect their children in one way or another.
A recent incident in which a man who claimed to be teaching bible study to two young male relatives once again exposes religious gatherings as an easy target for sexual predators. James Ray Guerrero, a 54-year-old man who was known to host meetings of the church and Bible study from his Westminster home was found guilty of lewd acts upon a child under 14, distributing pornographic materials to a minor, substantial sexual conduct with a child, and enhancements for doing so with more than one child. Continue reading
Itzcoatl Ocampo has long been suspected to be the culprit of several high-profile homeless man murders, and with good reason. Ocampo reportedly told Orange County police detailed information about why he chose to target homeless men for the murders in question. What drew special attention to Ocampo’s case may have been the number of people he allegedly murdered (sources say six), or even the number of times he was accused of stabbing his victims (some victims as many as 50 stab wounds), but it was instead the fact that Itzcoatl Ocampo was a decorated ex-marine.
Needless to say, Ocampo’s abilities allegedly helped him commit multiple murders throughout the Orange County area, and, in the end, helped him to seal his own fate. Ocampo’s defense attorney made statements that investigators believe Ocampo committed suicide by dosing himself with a lethal amount of Ajax powder, a common household product for which a similar substitute is given to inmates at their request to clean their own cells. Investigators did not relay the same information, but instead offered that it would be premature to say with certainty how Ocampo died.
Ocampo’s pretrial hearing was scheduled for a date in January of 2014 for murders committed between October of 2011 and January 2012. The people for which Ocampo was accused of killing included Juan Herrera, Raquel Estrada, James Patrick McGillivray, Lloyd Middaugh, John Berry, and Paulus Smit. All of the victims were fatally stabbed. Continue reading
UCI and Southern California schools in general have been lucky enough to have avoided instances of mass shootings, but had one student neglected to spot a 28-year-old male attempting to conceal a loaded firearm, a tragedy may have occurred. Last week, Manas Moole Reddy was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm, and possession of ammunition while on campus at UC Irvine. The district attorney alleges that Reddy was standing in a parking lot with a revolver loaded with six shots on Monday November 18th. With a shoulder bag strapped across his chest, a female student was able to see the gun, at which time Reddy realized that he had been spotted with a weapon. Reddy ran while the female called the police.
UCI Police immediately responded by establishing a perimeter and pursuing the gunman, which resulted in Reddy’s arrest soon after. The female student who identified Reddy has requested to remain anonymous. Continue reading
A Newport Beach plastic surgeon was arrested and charged last week for committing medical insurance fraud and perjury while under oath. The doctor, Jay W. Calvert, allegedly performed multiple unnecessary procedures on his clients which damaged their long-term health. According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Calvert over-billed his patient’s insurance company by more than $40,000 and performed additional procedures despite the patient’s request.
During a civil lawsuit pursued on behalf of Calvert’s patient, Calvert made statements that prosecutors believe are false. Now, in addition to Calvert’s criminal charges for committing health care fraud, he has also been charged for committing perjury while under oath. Continue reading