Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Search Results for: +mail+fraud

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Fraud workshop scheduled

The El Dorado County Association of Realtors’ Education Committee will host a very informative program in conjunction with the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office on April 25. Robert Leach, criminal investigator in the Real Estate Fraud Division, will address what the DA’s Office is encountering with respect to mortgage and real estate fraud in […]

Foresthill man pleads guilty to Raley’s fraud

A Foresthill man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Jason Allen Smith, 47, schemed to defraud Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced in a press release. A former contract employee, Smith conspired with Raley’s former Director of Advertising David John […]

Former EDH man faces fraud and laundering charges

A former El Dorado Hills man was indicted on charges of mail fraud and money laundering and was scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Sacramento Wednesday morning. Gregory J. Chmielewski, 43, was indicted on 24 counts of mail fraud and money laundering in Feb. 2011, but the indictment was sealed until his Oct. […]

Stracener mailer attacks Hoffman: Allegations ‘much ado about nothing’

A mailer sent out as part of El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Warren “Curt” Stracener’s reelection campaign has stirred controversy over opponent Joseph Hoffman. The mailer alleges that “Joseph Hoffman may have aided Daniel Chartraw in the commission of interstate fraud.” As previously reported in the Mountain Democrat, between Jan. 1, 2007, and Nov. […]

State agency warns consumers of forged, fraudulent property deeds

Consumers urged to be proactive to guard against and repair the damage caused by scams  SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Real Estate recently issued a Consumer Alert about the growing number of scams that involve forged or fraudulent property deeds and what consumers can do to protect themselves against such fraud. The DRE is a state […]

Trio accused of $18M fraud against Thunder Valley tribe

An affidavit filed on March 20 by the IRS claims three men committed fraud against the United Auburn Indian Community, totaling $18 million. Gregory Baker, Bart Volen and Darrell Hinz are alleged to have committed crimes including money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy, the affidavit, written by Special Agent Daniel M. Norton, states. […]

El Dorado Hills man accused of mortgage fraud in federal case

An El Dorado Hills man and two accomplices were indicted last week by a federal grand jury for their alleged roles in a mortgage fraud conspiracy. Anthony Salcedo, 30, of El Dorado Hills; Sean McClendon, 45, of West Sacramento; and Anthony Williams, 44, of Carmichael; face 30 years in prison and up to $1 million […]

Suspected identity thieves busted; Shingle Springs mail reportedly involved

Two Northern California men were arrested Tuesday after allegedly stealing mail from Shingle Springs residents and then spending more than $100,000 throughout the region. Michael Ross, 27, of Folsom, and Vyacheslav Berezenko, 23, of Sacramento, were booked earlier this week into the Placer County Jail on suspicion of burglary, grand theft and identity theft after […]

Assessor warns against mailers

El Dorado County Assessor Karl Weiland has announced that county residents are again experiencing a rash of mailers offering to reduce property taxes for a fee. “Property owners can obtain the same tax relief without paying anyone a fee,” Weiland said. “All that is required is to contact our office.” Weiland added that the latest […]

How to avoid census fraud, scams

As census workers fan out into Northern California collecting 2010 Census information from households that did not mail back their form, the U.S. Census Bureau wants to remind people about how to avoid fraud and scams. As of May 1, the Census Bureau launched its door-knocking operation, where census takers personally visit households that didnÕt […]

Academic fraud?

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cucinelli has started an inquiry about whether global warming scientist and advocate Michael Mann falsely represented himself when he was hired by the University of Virginia from the University of Massachusetts or when he applied for government grants. Mann is the man with the hockey stick. He is prominently mentioned in […]

Tax schemes? EDH pair indicted

SACRAMENTO — A federal grand jury returned a 28-count indictment against Barbara Antonucci, 49, and Sherry Taggart, 54, both residents of El Dorado Hills, charging them with conspiracy to file false claims, filing false claims and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. According to court documents, beginning in March 2008 and continuing […]

Crime Log: March 13-15

March 13 12:05 a.m. 
Unknown suspect(s) smashed a window to business on Green Valley Road in Cameron Park and stole items. 7:24 a.m. 
Deputies responded to a battery report on Barkley Road in Camino. The victim was contacted at Marshall Hospital receiving medical attention for his injuries. The suspect, Kirkland Visman, 27, was contacted, arrested […]

Divide Wellness Clinic closed, partially reopened

The Divide Wellness Clinic in Georgetown was shut down on Feb. 4 for reasons still unclear, but was partially reopened on Feb. 10. “On Feb. 4, The Divide Wellness Center in Georgetown was served with a search warrant by the State Department of Justice,” wrote Marshall Medical Center’s Lourdes Edralin in an e-mail to the […]

Crime Log: Jan. 6-9

Jan. 6 12:00 a.m. Unknown suspect(s) attempted to kick in a 51-year-old male victim’s front door on Portillo Court in Cameron Park. 12:55 a.m. Unknown suspect(s) broke down the front door of a residence on Aquamarine Circle in Cameron Park during the night while the occupants were home. The suspect(s) left the residence without taking […]

Grace Foundation still waiting for a resolution

The footprints of countless volunteers and ebullient voices of children are all but gone though 127 horses and more than 80 other four-legged friends still live at The Grace Foundation, a 600-acre animal rescue and equine therapy ranch off Latrobe Road. Things are hardly back to normal since the foundation briefly closed and then reopened […]

Scams use scare tactics, promise of money

“Hello, my friend. I am a Nigerian prince and I require your help. My recently deceased, rich father left millions of dollars in a bank account that requires $2,000 to unlock. If you help me with this, I will give you a percentage of the inheritance.” The “Nigerian prince” or “419″ scam often begins similar […]

Getting Medicare information online

As 2014 gets under way, I wanted to give you a quick overview of the Medicare information you can now get online. The Website is and it has a wealth of information that you may find helpful. One terrific feature is the “Compare” Websites, which provide quality of care information on hospitals, nursing homes, […]

$2.1 billion mortgage settlement reached

California homeowners eligible to receive an estimated $268 million in first lien principal reductions and nearly $23 million in cash payments SAN FRANCISCO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris recently announced a $2.1 billion multistate and federal settlement with Ocwen Financial Corporation and Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (Ocwen) over alleged mortgage servicing misconduct. The settlement […]

Billboards, signage a complex issue

Updating the county’s sign ordinance is far more complex than the public and many county officials might have imagined. Sign law is specialized, and the county has hired the San Diego firm of Sabine and Morrison to lead its staff through a forest of regulations filled with “simple” issues that represent a host of cliffs, […]

Crime Log: Nov. 4-6

Nov. 4 12:44 a.m. Deputies responded to a verbal argument at a residence on Diamond Drive in Pollock Pines. Danielle Morgan, 30, was arrested for allegedly being under the influence of a controlled substance. 3:01 a.m. A vehicle window was broken out on Frascati Drive in El Dorado Hills and a bag was stolen. 5:08 […]

Imitation ‘Covered California’ Websites shut down

SAN FRANCISCO — Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced Nov. 15 the removal of 10 private health insurance Websites that misled Californians by imitating Covered California, the state’s official insurance marketplace for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Harris also released tips to help consumers avoid insurance scams. “These Websites fraudulently imitated […]


EDITOR: A few weeks ago, Mountain Democrat Editor Mike Raffety wrote a column which could be summed up thusly: If you want propaganda, read the front page of the New York Times, but if you want facts and truth, then go to the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Sure thing, Mike. And if […]

Nissensohn accused of molestation, jailhouse murder confession

Jessica Pillow lived her entire life in Texas. She was living in Fort Worth with her grandmother when her mother called — they were going on a road trip. Pillow was excited — she didn’t spend much time with her mother, who was effectively homeless. The next day, Teresa Pillow picked her daughter up in […]

Medicare changes limit access to local medical equipment

Starting July 1, El Dorado County Medicare patients found themselves with fewer options for accessing certain medical equipment locally as a result of changes in the way Medicare pays for it.

Called the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Competitive Bidding Program, 10 years ago Medicare began a test program in certain urban areas by seeking bids for sole-source providers of medical equipment. Since July 1 of this year, the program has expanded and now 99 urban centers are part of it, including El Dorado County.

Contractors State License Board stings nabs dozens

SACRAMENTO – Nearly 80 people face various criminal charges after being caught earlier this month by the Contractors State License Board during 13 undercover sting operations at seven locations throughout California. Among those arrested in CSLB’s summer California Blitz were a convicted felon, a registered sex offender, and two suspects caught with drugs or drug paraphernalia. Investigators from CSLB’s Statewide […]

Crime Log: June 6-11

June 6 3:25 p.m. A search warrant was executed at a residence on Friant Court in South Lake Tahoe, allegedly resulting in locating and recovering large amounts of suspected stolen property. 4:09 p.m. A subject with two active misdemeanor warrants, Jessica Day, 23, allegedly hid from deputies behind a couch inside a residence on Church […]

Crime Log: June 2-6

June 2 7:37 p.m. Unknown suspect(s_ stole a cell phone from a public restroom on Jameson Beach Road in Tahoe Paradise. 7:53 p.m. A chainsaw was taken from a shed on Toyan Drive in Diamond Springs. The lock was cut, but there was no other damage. No suspect(s) were identified. 7:59 p.m. An 8-year-old male […]

Heard over the back fence: Horseshoe tournament Saturday

 Check out the “365 Stupidest Things Ever Said” calendar, and you will see the following court testimony: “Lawyer: When did you last see Walter? Witness: At his funeral. Lawyer: Did he make any comment to you at that time? Witness: No, sir.” — From an actual court case. THROW THOSE SHOES!

Crime Log: April 15-18

April 15 9:23 a.m. A $3000 outboard motor was stolen off a boat while the boat was parked outside a repair shop on Greenstone Road in El Dorado. A vehicle at the repair shop was also tampered with. 11:50 a.m. A 23-year-old female victim reported petty theft from a vehicle by unknown suspect(s) on Country […]

Crime Log: April 1-5

April 1 8:55 a.m. A 46-year-old male suspect stole a trailer that was parked in the 54-year-old male victim’s garage on Mule Deer Circle in South Lake Tahoe. 12:01 p.m. A suspect used fear to take medication from a pharmacy on Missouri Flat Road in Placerville. The suspect, David Smith, 32, was located and arrested. […]

Crime Log: Jan. 24-25

Jan. 24 12:31 a.m. A 45-year-old male reported a physical altercation with his 42-year-old wife on Piazza Place in El Dorado Hills. The female could not be located. 5:23 a.m. Deputies responded to a residence on Pony Express Trail in Camino regarding a vehicle burglary report. A screwdriver was collected at the scene. No suspect […]

If you can dress, you can decorate

I know, I know, to many of you the idea of decorating an empty room feels as horrifying as one of those dreams where you’re suddenly in public naked. But I’m going to fix that. Although decorating a room from scratch is intimidating, here’s the truth: If you can dress, you can decorate. Stay with me. […]

Grace Foundation reopening as horse lawsuits continue

“All we want to do is reopen,” said Beth DeCaprio, executive director of The Grace Foundation of Northern California. The El Dorado Hills rescue group temporarily closed its programs, lessons, clinics and volunteer hours on Oct. 11, 2012. The January 2013 volunteer training was canceled. DeCaprio said the foundation has continued to care for all […]

Dave Barry’s Year in Review

By Dave Barry

McClatchy Newspapers

It was a cruel, cruel year — a year that kept raising our hopes, only to squash them flatter than a dead possum on the interstate.

Example: This year the “reality” show “Jersey Shore,” which for six hideous seasons has been a compelling argument in favor of a major earth-asteroid collision, finally got canceled, and we dared to wonder if maybe, just maybe, we, as a society, were becoming slightly less stupid.

But then, WHAP, we were slapped in our national face by the cold hard frozen mackerel of reality in the form of the hugely popular new “reality” show…

Three hurricanes, one homeowner’s horror and some heroes

So you think you’ve had contractor nightmares. I know I have. But I guarantee ours wither like flowers by the fire compared to what Linda Lipofsky’s been through. Lipofsky’s home saga involves an act of God, a nefarious contractor, a bankrupt insurance company and lost hope — all followed by absolute good. It’s a tale […]

Stracener violated canons

EDITOR: Judges and candidates for judicial office are required to abide by the Canons of Judicial Ethics. These rules promote and preserve judicial independence, fairness and competency. Canon 3 provides that “a judge shall perform the duties of judicial office impartially and diligently.” A subparagraph, Canon 3, Section B. sub.para (9) states, “A judge shall not […]

CA Fire Fee is extortion – let’s prosecute

EDITOR: I presented a longer form of this to the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 18. It was strongly supported by those there that day and Supervisor Ron Briggs asked for a copy of my speech, which I gave him. Please print the following: Great pains have been taken to consistently call this monstrosity a […]

Fire district watchdog helped find MLK’s assassin

Near the close of a January committee meeting, a nuts-and-bolts sit down where El Dorado Hills Fire District policies are hammered out before going to the full board, Director Lou Barber turned to the lone member of the public in attendance. “Dick, do you have anything else to add?” “I’m good,” replied Dick Ross, who’d […]

Grace Foundation lawsuit details

The Grace Foundation, an El Dorado Hills animal rescue non-profit, is seeking up to $20 million from the Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank, Orange County attorney Tim Ryan, who represents the banks and the owner of a Susanville ranch in a lawsuit filed on July 6. In November, 2011, the Mountain Democrat reported […]

Horse rescue sues banks

An El Dorado Hills animal rescue foundation has accused two large banks and their attorney of orchestrating the fraudulent transfer of 36 horses, 14 of which were pregnant, from the squalid and now-infamous Whispering Pines Ranch in Susanville to the Grace Foundation in August, 2011, ignoring a bankruptcy filing that protected the horses as assets […]

Heard over the back fence: Bat talk at library

 The “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” calendar offers the following sage advice: “Give up on the idea that “more is better.” It’s not that having a lot of things is bad, wrong, or harmful in and of itself, only that the desire to have more and more and more is insatiable. As […]

Embezzler gets prison

An embezzler formerly of El Dorado Hills was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Garcia on Friday afternoon. Thomas Tanke, 68, will also face five years supervised release and will pay $243,403 in restitution, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced in a press release. Tanke was […]

Heard over the back fence: Bob West golf tourney next week

The “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” calendar offers the following observation: “To remind yourself frequently what your children really want is not a strategy designed to make you feel guilty about how little time you have for your kids. The goal of this strategy is not about guilt, it’s about love. […]

Poor judgment

From a May 11 story in the Sacramento Bee about a fraud suspect arrested in Mexico by the FBI comes this item of interest about appointed Judge Warren Stracener of El Dorado County: “Warren Stracener, the sitting judge who is (Joseph) Hoffman’s other opponent, said he had been in communication with Kerekes and considered what […]

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More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 72 Comments | Gallery

Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3



My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 23 Comments

Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4




By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 20 Comments

Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 4 Comments



Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7



4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5



Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2



Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Bobby Lloyd Bridges

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Real Estate




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Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Working It Out

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TV Listings

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New York Times Crossword

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Flying McCoys

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Speed Bump

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