John Balazs is an attorney in Sacramento, California, specializing in criminal defense, including appeals, habeas corpus, pardons, expungements, and civil forfeiture actions. After graduating from UCLA Law School in 1989, he clerked for Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. John was an Assistant Federal Defender in Fresno and Sacramento from 1992-2001. He currently serves as an adjunct professor in clinical trial advocacy at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Please email EDCA items of interest to Balazslaw@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter @balazslaw.
This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice. The law can change rapidly and information in this blog can become outdated. Do your own research or consult with an attorney.
On Friday, after a three-day trial, a Fresno jury found the defendant guilty of five counts of bank fraud, one count of possessing stolen mail, and one count of aggravated identity theft before Judge O'Neill. U.S. v. Sorrells, No. 1:14-CR-140-LJO.
On Monday evening, after a week-long trial, a Sacramento jury convicted a Roseville woman of bank fraud, making a false statement on a loan application, and aggravated identity theft involving a property in Roseville. The jury hung on similar charges related to a second real estate transaction. United States v. Siders, No. 2:12-CR-226-JAM. Sentencing is set for June 9, 2015, before Judge Mendez.
On Thursday, a Sacramento jury returned a guilty verdict after a three day jury trial on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft in United States v. Ray, 2:11-CR-0216-MCE.
The alleged leader of a far-flung identity theft ring was sentenced today to 70 months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $91,000 in restitution to some 50 victims.
Alfred Darnell Ford was accused of running a network of accomplices who used stolen credit cards and other information to buy materials for a never-finished 5,500-square-foot home near Bethel and Clinton avenues east of Fresno.
A Fresno man charged with building a 5,500 foot home with the proceeds of an identity theft scheme pled guilty Monday after federal prosecutors charged his wife with a felony. Fresno Bee, 9/14/09. As set forth in an earlier post, my blog, 8/26/09, Alfred Ford had requested a speedy trial and claimed he was being vindictively prosecuted based on a 2006 acquittal.He pled only after the government stated it would dismiss his wife's charge at sentencing.
The Fresno Bee reports on the upcoming trial in U.S. v. Alfred Ford, which is set to start before Judge Wanger in Fresno next month:
For three years, Alfred Ford and his wife, Renatta Carter-Ford -- at the time, a federal court employee -- worked on the house, a sprawling 5,500 square-foot home on two acres in the upscale neighborhood. An iron fence stretches across the front of the property, with the letters 'A' and 'R' decorating the two entrance gates.
Federal authorities allege that Alfred Ford built the home using materials bought with stolen credit cards and labor provided by people who owed him drug money. He is in Fresno County Jail on multiple identity theft and wire fraud charges.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Fresno is trying to seize the property at 11880 East Harvard Ave. in a rural area near Bethel and Clinton avenues.
Carter-Ford not charged
The land is owned by Renatta Carter-Ford. After the charges were filed against Alfred Ford, she left her job as clerk in jury services at the federal courthouse in Fresno. Eastern District officials would only confirm that she is no longer employed with the court. Renatta Carter-Ford has not been charged with any crimes.
Gary Huss, the attorney representing Alfred Ford, said the charges are bogus, cooked up by federal law enforcement officials who were angry after Ford was acquitted in 2006 of drug dealing charges.
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Huss, however, said none of the material authorities said was stolen was found in the house. He said an informant involved in the case is the thief and is trying to pin blame on Ford.