If you have not noticed, we have moved to www.cotobuzz.com
If you have not noticed, it does not much matter anyway
If you have not noticed, we have moved to www.cotobuzz.com
If you have not noticed, it does not much matter anyway
Posted By CotoBlogzz | 01-04-2009 6:30 PM
SANTA ANA, CA - Jeffrey Gordon Butler was sentenced today to 90 years and eight months in state prison for stealing the life savings of over 125 unsuspecting elderly victims in a Ponzi scheme by fraudulently soliciting more than $11 million in investments through the illegal sale of unqualified promissory notes or stocks and filing false tax returns on his ill-gotten profits.
Butler, 51, San Juan Capistrano, was found guilty by a jury June 30, 2009, of 693 felony counts for making untrue statements of material fact in the offer and sale of securities, the offer and sale of unqualified securities, theft from elderly persons, using a scheme to defraud in the sale of a security, and filing false tax returns for years 2001 through 2004. A restitution hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 29, 2010
The defendant’s wife, Peggy Warmath Butler, 49, San Juan Capistrano, was also convicted June 30, 2009, of four felony counts of filing false tax returns and excessive taking sentencing enhancements. Peggy Butler was sentenced to one year in jail, seven years of formal probation, and will have to serve seven years in state prison if she violates her probation. The Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) office objected to the sentence, advocating for a minimum sentence of three years and four months.
“Many of Jeffrey Butler’s victims had trouble believing that he was capable of stealing their life’s savings. He stole more than money from the people who trusted him. Jeffrey Butler also stole his victims’ dignity, independence, and dreams,” stated Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “By sentencing him to 90 years in prison it means that Jeffrey Butler will spend the rest of his life in prison unable to victimize another person.”
A Ponzi scheme is when investors are offered high, short-term returns on investments, but instead of the investments generating actual income and legitimate profits, the money from the investors is kept for the benefit of the defendant or used to repay earlier investors. Jeffrey Butler sold more than 300 promissory notes or stocks without obtaining a license for the notes from the California Department of Corporations, as required by law. The majority of the victims involved in this case were over 65 years old and unaware of the risks of their investments. Several of the victims lost their life savings and many died awaiting the jury trial.
Jeffrey Butler first met many of his victims while operating a company called Senior Information Services, which offered to assist senior citizens in the creation of living wills, trusts and other estate planning structures for a fee. Through this business, the defendant gained the trust of many of his clients, whom he later victimized. Between 1995 and 2004, in a series of businesses that changed forms and names, Jeffrey Butler failed to provide his investors with any documents or other information about his companies, how the companies made money, or any of the risks of investing in the companies as required by law to protect consumers and investors. The defendant transferred investments between companies on several occasions without informing or providing only limited information to his elderly investors. The defendant immediately took 10 percent of the investors’ money for himself without their knowledge or consent.
In 2000, Jeffrey Butler moved his clients’ funds to his newest venture, Global Network Providers (Grenada), Inc. (GNPG), without the knowledge of the investors. The clients’ money went to the development of a “telecommunications” company supposedly located on the eastern Caribbean island of Grenada. The company had very few assets and no income.
Jeffrey Butler convinced investors that GNPG paid 12 percent interest per year on promissory notes, when in fact the notes did not require payment for up to three years, and did not specify a time or method of payment. Investors were not made aware that these investments were not authorized to be sold in California. Some of the victims agreed to invest after being misled into believing that GNPG was an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) qualified investment, when in reality the investments were not IRA qualified. In an effort to fool his investors, Jeffrey Butler simply had “IRA” typed at the top of the promissory notes. He failed to inform many of the investors that the “telecommunications” company was based in Grenada. Being that GNPG was on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean, the company was not subject to U.S. laws. Butler eventually ran out of funds to maintain his scheme and sent his victims a letter in which he continued to lie to investors, claiming that Hurricane Ivan had caused a delay in payments.
Peggy Butler worked with her husband, Jeffrey Butler, by maintaining the financial records for each of the Butlers’ companies and accounting for the deposits and expenditures of investor funds. Between 2001 and 2004, the Butlers filed false tax returns and failed to report income of more than $5.5 million, resulting in an unpaid tax liability of more than $530,000.
For the trial against the Butlers, a jury of 12 people and eight alternates was selected from a pool of 2,200 prospective jurors. The jury trial began Nov. 7, 2008 and lasted almost eight months. It included testimony from 92 victims, including 82 elderly victims, and video testimony from 49 victims, which was recorded prior to trial to ensure that the victim’s testimony was preserved in the event that they were unavailable to testify at trial due to death or illness. At least six victims died during the course of the trial and 52 victims died prior to the case being brought before the jury. Due to the large number of criminal charges, it took two days for the verdict to be read against the two defendants.
Senior Deputy District Attorney William Overtoom of the Major Fraud Unit prosecuted this case.
OCDA’s Tips on How to Avoid Becoming an Investment Fraud Victim: If it sounds too good to be true, it is not! For instance, when listening to someone about a great investment opportunity, ask yourself:
1. Why are they offering this to me? Why can’t they get money from the bank?
2. Why are they offering me such a great deal when they can get my money cheaper in other ways?
3. Can I afford the higher risk for the promise of a higher return?
4. Why have other brokers/investors/businesses passed on this deal?
5. Has the promoter provided professional references, not including other investors with a vested interest, for the promoter and his investment?
Before investing, always check with the Department of Corporations (www.corp.ca.gov) to find out if the promoter and the investment have been qualified. Never turn over your life’s savings without first discussing it with a qualified, independent professional.
Posted by CotoBlogzz | 01-04-2010 04:00PM
FULLERTON, CA - Jeffrey Michael Drach and Justin Wesley Case were convicted today of breaking into the home of an off-duty Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent through a partially-open garage door. Drach, 20, Yorba Linda, and Case, 21, Placentia, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of first degree residential burglary with a sentencing enhancement for a non-accomplice present during a residential burglary. Drach and Case were each sentenced to two years in state prison.
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 18, 2009, Drach and Case entered the residence of the FBI agent. through a partially-open garage door. The victim, was awake and had temporarily exited his home through the garage door to get his canine from the back yard prior to an early morning briefing.
When the agent returned to his garage, Drach and Case were standing inside. The victim identified himself as a law enforcement officer and ordered the defendants to stop. One of the defendants physically struggled with James M. before both Drach and Case fled the scene in a nearby car. The victim approached the car and attempted to stop the defendants, firing at the vehicle as they fled the scene. Drach and Case were not injured.
The victim immediately called 9-1-1 and the Brea Police Department and FBI responded to the scene. Later that morning, a citizen called 9-1-1 to report a suspicious car parked outside of their home, which was approximately two miles from James M.’s home. The car was identified as the vehicle used during the burglary of James M.’s home and Drach and Case and arrested that morning.
Deputy District Attorney Keith Bogardus of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.
The Swine Flu Scare, a teachable moment and a peek into scare tactics and manipulation behind the push for vaccines by the government and drug companies so that the population will be more wary of any future “mandated” policies.
For instance, anyone living in Massachusetts, should be voting out the lawmakers who voted YES on the mandatory vaccine bill. (S2028 Senate version subsequently titled H4271 House version)
Ron Paul warned the country about the “hysteria” back in April.
Dr. Mercola and others also warned the public.YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXSB2oca7f8)- 9/22/09 Judge Napolitano on Forced Vaccinations in … will a pandemic lead to Martial Law? A DOWNRIGHT SCARY PORTENT OF WHAT COULD HAPPEN IN THE US SOME DAY
Senate bill 2028 known as the “Pandemic Response Bill” (http://www.naturalnews.com/026934_health_public_health_quarantine.html) would impose fines of up to $1000 a day and up to thirty days in jail for refusing to submit to health authorities during a public health emergency.
Pandemic Bill Passes House - Not over yet !!! | MassLPA(http://www.masslpa.org/content/pandemic-bill-passes-house-not-over-yet)
YouTube - 4/30/09 Swine Flu Skeptic Ron Paul on ABC: The Sky …http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ty73YK8e0U
Dr. Paul was a freshman Congressman in 1976, during the last swine flu panic. (http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/04/not-everyone-pa.html) He says he was one of just two members of the House who voted against the emergency swine flu vaccination program ordered by President Ford. An extreme position? Not really. Only one person died from the swine flu then, but at least 25 people died because of the vaccine.
Harvard Takes it Back and Says Swine Flu was Oversold (http://rda.mercola.com/redirect/view.aspx?Emailfirstname.lastname@example.org&Retur)
Was the swine flu pandemic ever a threat? New research reveals the massive deception and manipulation of the truth. Dr. Russell Blaylock recently shared some information that shows health officials knew very early on that H1N1 was probably not much more of a threat than the seasonal flu that surfaces every year. He says:
“Once the pandemic had been declared, virologists tested the potency of this virus using a conventional method, that is, infecting ferrets with the virus. What they found was that the H1N1 virus was no more pathogenic than the ordinary seasonal flu, even though it did penetrate slightly deeper into the lungs.
It in no way matched the pathogenecity of the 1917-1918 H1N1 virus. It also did not infect other tissues, and especially important, it did not infect the brain.
Next, they wanted to test the ability of the virus to spread among the population. The results of their tests were conflicting, but the best evidence indicated that the virus did not spread to others very well.
In fact, an unpublished study by the CDC found that when one member of a family contracted the H1N1 virus, other members of the family were infected only 10% of the time — a very low communicability.”
Of course, nothing sells vaccines like panic, so you likely did not hear about this in the media. That is, until now.
The CDC Was Way Off … Why are They Still Pushing the Vaccine?
The CDC previously estimated that the U.S. death toll from the swine flu would be around 90,000. Even using their own numbers — some 80 percent of which are in all likelihood unrelated to H1N1 — 9,820 people have actually died from H1N1 from April through November.
That would still, according to their own statistics stating that the flu kills 36,000 Americans a year, put us squarely in the middle of the mildest flu season in recent memory.
George K. Staropoli Author of Establishing the New HOA-land America - http://starman. com/starpub HOAGOV videos: http://youtube. com/hoagov Responds to the Berlind | Weil post titled “Why Won’t They Serve? Homeowners won’t volunteer for boards of directors of community associations another nail in the coffin? (http://www.berding-weil.net/articles/why-wont-they-serve.php)
Berlind | Weil apologizing for the failures of the HOA legal scheme — as I read this article. There does appear to be some descent from the lofty ivory towers where the “philosopher kings” wear rose colored glasses. More and more of these legal-academic aristocrats are forced to admit to the reality before them.
Let me reply to a few of his 5 reasons:
Reason 1. Lack of awareness. “Many owners of property in common interest developments have little knowledge of the operation of the homeowners’ association. ” And why is that? Could it be the unclean hands of misrepresentation? The cooperation of state governments not to warn consumers of the dangers of HOA governance?
“They simply do not connect the operation of the association with anything in which they have a personal interest.” Perhaps because they were led to believe that they were just buying a home, not a stake in a corporation, as is now the trend in describing HOAs by their supporters, no more “care-free living” in a healthy and harmonious community”.
Reason 4. “Us vs. them.” Now, where did I hear that before? “They do not see a board member as simply a fellow owner volunteering his or her time, but rather an incompetent bureaucrat.” First, is “volunteers” a valid excuse for incompetence, or is it a defect in the legal scheme? Second, their incompetence speaks for itself. The Berlind answer: “But this should open the door to challenging an existing board member at the next election–not to providing more reasons for no one to run.” Oh, somewhere a competent persons will surface to make the HOA function as intended? And what about the adhesion contract covenants that do not make the HOA a true democracy, but a pretend democracy? When has a corporate form of governance, as admitted by the author, ever been described as democratic?
Then, the scare tactics follow in his discussion. “If the corporation cannot function because it has no members willing to be directors, the alternative is to seek assistance from the courts, often by petitioning the court for the appointment of a receiver, a very expensive proposition. . . . There is also an argument that the entire scheme of association operation and management—by volunteer owners—is essentially flawed . . . .”
And here comes a far-out rationalization in order to convince oneself that HOAs are democratic. Democracy needs volunteers! Say what? “I call these, and similar ideas the ‘de-democratization ‘ of community associations. That sounds bad, but what good is representative democracy if there is no representative? For the democratic volunteer management system to work, there have to be volunteers.”
Well, you need to descent further out of the ivory tower and face the world as it is, and then maybe you can supply workable solutions to solve the problems with HOAs over the past 45 years (since the publication of the HOA “bible, the Homes Association Handbook).
Posted By CotoBlogzz
Pareto-Rules in Common Interest Development/Homeowners Association CID/HOA communities: Different association, same story: disputed elections, a city official threatened with arrest, armed guards stationed at the association headquarters and even the Boys and Girls Club got caught in the middle.
Complete story: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-scottsdale-estates20-2009dec20,0,826786.story
By George K. Staropoli Author: Establishing the New HOA-land America - http://starman. com/starpub
HOAGOV videos: http://youtube. com/hoagov
On the question of transfer fees and the need to raise income for the HOA (excerpts)
[Note: I am not aware of precedent in any state that upheld transfer fees where the fee was collected for purposes other than to offset actual, direct administrative costs pertaining to the preparation of state mandated documents; or that did not require an amendment to the CC&RS in order to assess or establish any additional fees relating to the sale of a home.]
Further evidence that HOAs are an instrument of state or public policy created by the real estate legal-academic aristocrats can be found in Sec 3.5, Indirect Restraints on Alienation, of the Restatement Third, Property:Servitudes. In short, the would-be “philosophy- kings” promote the validity of covenants that reduce the money received by a seller, in favor of the benefit of somehow — unexplained — creating more wealth for the greater society. Section 3.5 addresses the technique to increase HOA revenues, not quite challenged in the courts, of the so-called “transfer fee” demanded by the association upon the sale of a home. Comment c states,
“Fees imposed on the transfer of units in a development are generally valid under the rule stated in this section. Fees to cover the administrative costs entailed by a transfer of ownership, or occupancy, and education of new members are justified, as are fees designed to discourage speculation in units and encourage owner occupancy. . . . So long as there is some rational justification for the imposition of such fees, they are not invalid as indirect restraints on alienation . . . .”
And the Arizona members, Carpenter and Hazelwood, of the CAI College of Community Association Lawyers are all too willing to make use of Sec. 3.5 in their efforts to generate income for HOAs in order to offset declining assessment revenues (see their October 23, 2009 eNewsletter on Resale Assessment Amendment). Their “Save the HOAs” campaign, usually requiring another “sacrifice” by its members for the “state”, the HOA, is an example of the reversal of what is the purpose of government. They reject the principle that the people in a democracy are the government, and that the state serves the interests of the people, not the other way around as in a fascist state.
Most strikingly arrogant, Hazelwood says in effect, I’ll show you how to make it binding on the third-party buyer, and not on the seller. (That would require some sort of an amendment that would mandate that the seller contain a provision in his sales contract stipulating that the buyer is to pay the transfer assessment, which, of course, unlike the HOA CC&Rs, the buyer could reject or walk away from the purchase). Talk about contract interference!
I know it’s easy for board members to assume that they are a special class of member, and in one way they are: They have duties and obligations specified by the governing documents, and, forgetting all too often, under state corporation laws. But, they must remember that the advice given to them affecting the rights and financial status of members also applies to them! Are they governing for the members, or for the state, the HOA? Or are they being governed by the attorneys?
Read the full Commentary at Transfer fees: http://pvtgov.org/pvtgov/downloads/gov-statepolicy.pdf
By George K. Staropoli, Author: Establishing the New HOA-land America - http://starman. com/starpub
HOAGOV videos: http://youtube. com/hoagov
For those who have read my classification of HOA true believers as neo-Americans, that is, those who truly believe in the legal, economic and social values and benefits of HOA-land, allow me to clarify my reference to neo-Americans from those whom I classify as “truly hopefuls.”
Many of you out there, and allow be to generalize here, like the perceived benefits of HOA living — the amenities, the gardening maintenance, and the “other guys’, the HOA, enforcement of rules that you personally don’t have to put up with. Just complain to the board and let them do the enforcement. These homeowners also realize that life in an HOA is just not exactly the way they would like it to be, and on purely personal grounds, want some changes to the way the HOA does its business. Change this rule, make this new rule, etc. In short, you agree to the basic design of the HOA government, and see no reason to make substantive changes to it. Like make it accountable to the state via enforcement of HOA violations of the governing documents and state laws. These people seem to be confused with the reality that the HOA is a form of government that regulates and controls the people within the planned community subdivision and the real estate “package”.
I classify these persons as “truly hopefuls”, because they truly hope that these non-fundamental changes will make the HOA a better place to live, as it will now be in conformity to their personal views. Truly hopeful that still, after some 45 years of problems and resistance by the legislatures and national lobbying group, CAI, these changes will indeed come about.
My view has always been that the legal HOA scheme must be made subject to the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, as required of all other forms of political government in this country. The real estate “package” of the planned community with its amenities can remain, and still be workable with respect to local voice of the community, but under the American system of democratic government. In order for this to happen,
Posted By CotoBlogzz 12-24-2009 12:00 PM
SANTA ANA, CA - Terry Shields was sentenced today to 151 years to life in state prison for molesting and taking pornographic photographs of three little girls, two of whom he met while driving their school bus and one whom he kidnapped by luring her into his car with the promise of a trip to Disneyland.
Shields, 55, Buena Park, was found guilty by a jury Dec. 1, 2009, of 15 felony counts and sentencing enhancement allegations for committing lewd acts on multiple children, substantial sexual conduct with a child, and kidnapping to commit a sexual offense against a child.
The 15 felony counts include three counts of forcible lewd acts on a child under 14, three counts of using a minor for sex acts, and one count of kidnapping to commit child molest for Jane Doe #1. For Jane Doe #2, Shields was found guilty of four counts of lewd acts on a child under 14. For Jane Doe #3, the defendant was found guilty of three counts of lewd acts on a child under 14. He was also convicted of one count of possession of child pornography.
Jane Doe #1, age 7
On the morning of June 9, 2004, Jane Doe #1 was walking to school in Anaheim. Shields, who did not know Jane Doe #1, pulled over in his car and lured the victim into his vehicle with the promise of taking her to Disneyland. He assured her that he would let her mother know. Once Jane Doe #1 was in the car, he ordered her to get into the trunk and kidnapped her by driving the victim from Anaheim to his Buena Park home.
Shields made Jane Doe #1 take off her clothing and pose naked as he took graphic, sexual photos of her. He molested the victim. After several hours of photographing and molesting the child, Shields dropped Jane Doe #1 off at a nearby McDonalds. A woman found the victim wandering in the parking lot and called 9-1-1.
Los Angeles County Case
On October 4, 2006, Shields was seen viewing child pornography on a computer at a cyber café in Bellflower. A disgusted café employee flagged down a passing police officer as he was leaving work to alert them about Shields, who was arrested at the scene. The defendant was found to be in possession of dozens of discs and computer files depicting graphic child pornography, some featuring infants and toddlers.
A subsequent search of Shields’ car revealed that the defendant was in possession of sexual paraphernalia, photographic equipment, and lures for children including toys and candy. Further investigation by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Team, found graphic pornographic images on video tapes and CDs of thousands of unidentified children in the defendant’s home. SAFE is a federal task force aimed at preventing Internet crimes against children by targeting online predators and those who possess, produce, or distribute child pornography.
As a result of the investigation, Jane Doe #1 was identified as one of the victims depicted in the pornographic images. Victims Jane Doe #2 and Jane Doe #3 were also identified as victims.
Jane Doe #2, age 11, and Jane Doe #3, age 5
Shields met Jane Doe #2 and Jane Doe #3, who suffered from a mental disability, while working as a bus driver for the Los Alamitos School District. The defendant gained the trust of the victims’ parents in order to gain access to the two girls.
Between November 2000 and December 2003, Shields sexually assaulted Jane Doe #2 while he was alone with the victim.
During the same time period, Shields sexually assaulted Jane Doe #3 while he was alone with the victim. The defendant took graphic, sexually explicit photographs of the naked victim.
During the sentencing today, Jane Doe #3’s mother asked that Shields receive the maximum sentence and explained that she will never know the full extent of what the defendant did to her young daughter, as Jane Doe #3 is unable to describe it due to her disability. The victim’s mother stated that Shields not only hurt the children he molested, but he also hurt their families and friends.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted this case.
Posted By CotoBlogzz 12-24-2009 | 11:00 AM
WESTMINSTER, CA - Timothy Han was sentenced today for smoking marijuana and having an unlawful relationship with a 15-year-old girl in the parking lot of the church.
Han, 21, Fullerton, pleaded guilty Oct. 8, 2009, to one felony count of unlawful relationship and one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 90 days in jail.
Han, a youth group leader at Miracle Land Korean Baptist Church in Cypress, met 15-year-old Jane Doe through the church. On June 22, 2008, Han met with Jane Doe and drove to the church, where he parked, then smoked marijuana with the victim and illegally engaged relations with her in his car.
The police were contacted after church officials became aware of the unlawful relationship.
Deputy District Attorney Nikki Buracchio of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted this case.