car dealership owner who used voodoo to influence the outcome of his case – were sentenced to state prison today.
Deputy District Attorney Eugene Hanrahan of the Major Fraud Section, who prosecuted the case, said Ruben Hernandez, 34, owner of Downey Motorcars, was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Co-defendant Joel Rodriguez, 45, owner of Coast to Coast Mortgage, was sentenced to a prison term of 12 years, eight months.
Hernandez and Rodriguez were convicted by a jury on May 6. Hernandez was found guilty of four counts of filing a false application and three counts of grand theft. Rodriguez was convicted of six counts of filing a false application and five counts of grand theft.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance Ito, who presided over the trial and sentencing hearing, ordered Hernandez to return on June 9. Hernandez faces an additional 28 counts, including charges of grand theft and filing a false application, for allegedly engaging in fraud in his used car dealership.
Hernandez purchased six properties using false social security information and bank statements. Rodriguez used false social security numbers to purchase two properties, obtain home equity lines of credit and open a bank account.
Rodriguez was arrested shortly after the case was filed in January 2008. Hernandez, however, eluded authorities. About a year later, Hernandez was tracked down to a bungalow in Pasadena by Investigator David Ishibashi of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation, Investigator Steve Louie of the Department of Motor Vehicles and Deputy U.S. Marshal Sal Reyes.
On Feb. 12, 2009, as Hernandez and his wife, Aida Gutierrez, 24, were coming out of their driveway, authorities moved in. Hernandez, ultimately, was arrested after engaging investigators in a mile-long, 80-mile-per-hour pursuit.
When authorities executed a search warrant on the home where Hernandez was staying, they discovered a voodoo shrine, the prosecutor said. The shrine included various artifacts and voodoo dolls, dunked head first in cups of water with pins in their eyes. The names of the prosecutor, the investigators and the case number were written on the dolls.
Media contact information for Randy Economy and Brian Hews and Los Cerritos Community Newspaper
Randy Economy and Brian Hews are "two of the best" Investigative Reporters in all of Southern California. They are responsible for uncovering the biggest 'political pay to pay scandal' in the HISTORY of Los Angeles County government, deep inside the Los Angeles County Assessor's Office. Randy and Brian's work has been featured on Fox News, NBC LA, CBS/KCAL, KTLK-AM 1150, The Mark Isler Show, The David Cruz Show, Univision Radio Network, KTLA News, Los Angeles Times, LA Daily News, KFI Talk Radio, KABC Talk Radio, KABC Eyewitness News and dozens of other media outlets across America. He is the On-Line Editor for Hews Media Group who publishes Los Cerritos Community Newspaper and the La Mirada Lamplighter. If you are interested in interviewing Randy and Brian for your news program, radio talk show, etc., drop an email to Randy@CerritosNews.net, or call 562 407-3873 during regular business hours. Thanks for all of your AMAZING SUPPORT and INTEREST! America's community newspapers are the BACK bone of a FREE MEDIA. Los Cerritos Community Newspaper can be found at www.loscerritosnews.net. Investigative Reporting is becoming a "lost art" here in the United States. Randy Economy and Brian Hews are determined to "keep politicians" on their toes and accountable.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
"VOODOO" CAR DEALERS FROM DOWNEY SENT TO PRISION FOR 12 YEARS FOR FRAUD
on 6/02/2010 09:24:00 PM
|What's THE REaction:|
LISTEN TO RANDY ECONOMY AND BRIAN HEWS ON KFI TALK RADIO
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper Publisher Brian Hews and Reporter Randy Economy were featured on KFI AM 640 on the Tim Conway Jr. Show on Thursday, October 17 to discuss the arrest of Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, Property Tax Agent Ramin Salari and Assessor Major Property Appraiser Mark McNeil on dozens of felony charges. The segment was broadcast live to millions of listeners throughout the Western United States. LCCN will post additional interviews by Mr. Hews and Mr. Economy in the future.
WATCH: LCCN, Randy Economy featured on Fox News
Los Angeles Local News, Weather, and Traffic Los Cerritos Community Newspaper’s exclusive groundbreaking coverage into the corruption probe at the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office is now the focal point of a multi part series that began airing Wednesday night on Fox News 11 in Southern California. LCCN was the first media outlet to break the story about the massive criminal investigation that has now gripped the entire Los Angeles County Hall of Administration. “We thank Fox News for recognizing featuring Los Cerritos Community Newspaper in their coverage,” said Brian Hews, President and Publisher of Hews Media Group. “LCCN has been working with dozens of media outlets across the country on this massive scandal for the past eight months,” Hews said. Featured in this report is LCCN Investigative Reporter Randy Economy who tells about how the community newspaper was able to “piece the puzzle together” that has resulted in the arrest of one former property appraiser, and the recent departure of Assessor John Noguez on a “paid leave of absence.” Look for more segments on Fox News 11 during the next several days and weeks. Reporter Gina Silva is featured in this segment.
Randy Economy appears on NBC News Non Stop California with Colleen Williams
Randy Economy appears on California Non Stop with Colleen Williams from NBC News. Randy Economy appeared on NBC New's Non Stop California in June, 2012. This is what NBC said about Randy and Los Cerritos Community Newspaper. "Los Cerritos Community Newspaper recently published hundreds of e-mails between Los Angeles County Assessor John R. Noguez and several property tax agents. The emails were obtained by the newspaper through a series of public document requests. This is the second set of documents published by the community newspaper that has been at the forefront of reporting and exposing the alleged pay to play activities between tax agents and Noguez for the past two years. Reporter Randy Economy joins Colleen Williams on Nonstop News LA to discuss how their investigation began on June 25, 2012.”
Hear Randy Economy and Brian Hews on the David Cruz Show!
Hear Los Cerritos Community Newspaper Publisher Brian Hews and Reporter Randy Economy on The David Cruz Show during the week of June 25, 2012 on KTLK AM 1150 in Southern California. The segment begins at the 56:00 part in this clip and lasts for thirty minutes.
Brian Hews, Randy Economy on CBS 2 News KCAL 9 with Investigative Reporter Dave Bryan
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper featured CBS News with Investigative Reporter Dave Bryan CBS/KCAL Investigative Reporter Dave Bryan interviews Randy Economy and Brian Hews from Los Cerritos Community Newspaper the day more than 300 law enforcement officials raided 12 different locations in the political scandal that is consuming Los Angeles County. Thanks CBS News for acknowledging the hard work of LCCN!