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 The law can change rapidly and information in this blog can become outdated.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.
"Babulal Bera, father of Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in prison Thursday for election fraud involving the finances of his son’s campaign committee. U. S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley ignored the advice of a probation officer who recommended to spare the 83-year-old prison because of his age and health." Sacramento Bee. Here is an earlier Sacramento Bee piece describing the parties' sentencing positions.
A Loomis man has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for his role in a tax fraud scheme.
Slavic Khudoy, 37, was sentenced Wednesday in Sacramento by U.S. District Court Judge Kimberley J. Mueller, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. Khudoy pleaded guilty in April.
Court documents indicate that between 2010 and 2012, Khudoy and Clint D. Bonderer, 38, of Stockton, submitted income tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service for others that contained false information about the taxpayers’ income, filing status and address, and fraudulently claimed credits that the taxpayers were not entitled to receive.
Khudoy and Bonderer submitted 842 fraudulent tax returns, requesting more than $600,000 in refunds in the names of other people. In most cases, authorities said, the two men kept the refunds themselves.
Bonderer was sentenced March 10 to three years in prison for conspiring to submit false claims.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article96528522.html#storylink=cpy
A former Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in prison for illegally selling firearms, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
The deputy, Ryan McGowan, 34, of Elk Grove was also fined $7,000 for conspiring to make a false statement on a firearms record, Talbert said in a news release.
McGowan used his position to buy “off-roster” firearms, which are weapons not on the approved list for sale to the public. Off-roster firearms have not been certified by the Department of Justice or passed firing, safety and drop tests. Peace officers can buy off-roster firearms if they are brokered by a federal firearms licensee, but cannot use the private sales for profit.
The former deputy purchased 41 handguns and sold 25 between 2008 and 2011. Mcgowan purchased 33 of the guns from Snellings Firearms, according to the Department of Justice. He returned some of the weapons to Robert Snellings, the company’s owner, allowing Snellings to keep or sell unapproved weapons to the public, the DOJ news release said.
Prosecutors wanted Nicholas Teausant sent to prison for nine years for trying to join ISIS back in 2014.
The defense argued that about 2 1/2 years was more appropriate for the young man from the Lodi-area town of Acampo, saying his mental issues might be irreparably worsened by a long stretch in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez didn’t go for either pitch Tuesday, saying any crime related to terrorism is too dangerous to the public.
“There is no room for error,” Mendez told Teausant as he sentenced him to 12 years in prison and another 25 years of supervision after his release. “The risks are too high.”
Summarizing the parties' Sentencing Memoranda, the Sacramento Bee reports that the government seeks a 9-year sentence and the defense requests 33 months for Nicholas Teausant, the mentally ill, Islamic State wannabe from Lodi. Sentencing is June 7 before Judge Mendez.
Arstechnica summarizes the parties' sentencing positions for Matthew Keys, the journalist convicted after a jury trial of three counts involving computer hacking. The government seeks a 5-year sentence; the defense requests probation. Here are links to the governments's 12-page Sentencing Memorandum and the defense's 69-page Brief. Sentencing is set for March 23 before Judge Mueller.
A Placer County woman convicted in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Vera Kuzmenko, 46, of Loomis was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez for multiple counts of mail and wire fraud, witness tampering and money laundering associated with her involvement in the scheme that cost financial institutions more than $16 million, according to a U.S. attorney’s office news release.
On Dec. 4, after a 16-day trial in federal court in Sacramento, a jury returned guilty verdicts for Kuzmenko and Rachel Siders, 40, of Roseville. Siders is to be sentenced June 21.
Three men from Florida – Clorenzo Griffin, then a deputy U.S. marshal, Andre Jamison and Rodney Rackley – robbed 24 pounds of marijuana from three drug dealers at gunpoint in a Yuba City motel parking lot Oct. 11, 2014.
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On Wednesday in Sacramento federal court, Griffin, who pleaded guilty in December to plotting an interstate robbery, was the last of the three to be sentenced to prison by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller.
She handed out a 10-year term behind bars for Griffin, who was off duty at the time of the robbery and has been in jail since his arrest. He was fired by the U.S. Marshals Service after he was arrested. He primarily worked escorting prisoners to and from court in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and guarding them in the courtroom.