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Man Wanted For 2017 Northridge Murder Arrested In Mexico, Returned To L.A.

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Northridge Murder FBI
Photo Courtesy of the FBI

A man wanted for murdering a victim outside a Northridge KFC restaurant on New Year’s Eve in 2017 was arrested in Mexico and returned to Los Angeles. 

Derek Bryan Dominguez allegedly killed Jorge Reyes Jr., 23, who was gunned down about 6 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2017, outside a KFC restaurant in the 8600 block of Balboa Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Dominguez was returned to Los Angeles by members of the FBI’s Los Angeles Fugitive Task Force to face prosecution announced Kristi K. Johnson, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office and LAPD Chief Michel Moore on Thursday.

According to detectives and a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in the Central District of California, Dominguez was inside a fast-food restaurant in Los Angeles, California, with his girlfriend and two sons when he made eye contact through the restaurant window with another male. The male was outside of the restaurant with the victim and another man.

Dominguez allegedly exited the restaurant and, after a brief verbal altercation involving the man with whom he made eye contact, punched the victim in the face. 

The victim attempted to defend himself, according to investigators, and punched back before Dominguez allegedly produced a handgun and fired multiple rounds, ultimately killing the victim.

The suspect fled the scene. Homicide detectives with the LAPD believed he fled to Mexico at the time.

Dominguez was charged with murder by the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, and a state warrant was issued for his arrest on Jan. 26, 2018.

A federal arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court for the Central District of California on Feb. 2, 2020, after Dominguez was charged federally with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. 

Following the arrest, Dominguez was booked into a Los Angeles jail and was expected to have an appearance in state court on the murder charge. 

The Los Angeles County District Attorney is expected to pursue homicide prosecution.

Dominguez is being held on $3 million bail, according to arrest records. 

Crime

Santa Clarita City Council To Support Sentencing Enhancements For Murder Of Michelle Dorsey

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Dorsey Family Santa Clarita Murder

The Santa Clarita Clarita City Council is set to draft a letter supporting sentencing enhancements for the murder of Michelle Dorsey. 

A five-signature letter is expected to be sent to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, requesting support in urging the District Attorney’s Office to file sentence enhancements in the murder of Michelle Dorsey to the “full extent allowable under state law,” according to the agenda for the May 11 meeting.

Michelle Dorsey’s estranged husband, James Mathew Dorsey, is accused of fatally stabbing the 39-year-old mother of three in her Saugus home. 

The District Attorney’s Office filed five counts against the accused murderer but did not file any sentencing enhancements, according to the City report. 

“By failing to file any sentencing enhancements, law enforcement and criminal justice officials have stated that Ms. Dorsey’s accused murderer potentially faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison,” the agenda reads. 

If sentence enhancements were applied, consistent with state law and findings related to the murder of Michelle Dorsey, including special circumstances of lying in wait and murder committed in the attempt to kidnap, the potential maximum sentence for the accused murderer could be a life sentence without the possibility of parole, according to the report. 

As part of the series of special directives, unilaterally adopted in December 2020, District Attorney George Gascon issued Special Directive 20-08, restricting prosecutors from filing a range of sentence enhancements. 

Specifically, Special Directive 20-08 restricts the filing of any prior-strike enhancements, including the Three Strikes Law; gang-related enhancements; violations of bail; and Special Circumstances allegations resulting in a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The City Council adopted a resolution of a vote of no confidence in District Attorney Gascon on March 9, citing significant concerns and opposition to some of the special directives adopted in December 2020, including Special Directive 20-08.

A GoFundMe has been created to support the Dorsey boys, ages 13, 11 and 9.

“Please help the Dorsey/Smith/Jordan family during this difficult time,” wrote Dayna Reed. “All donations will go to the boys and any extra costs the family will be accruing at this time.  Thank you for your kindness and generosity.  Please keep their families in your prayers.”

To donate to the fundraiser, visit here.

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Crime

$15 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme Results In 12 Arrests

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Crime LAPD Slider

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) announced the indictment and arrest of 12 individuals on 133 felony counts for allegedly operating a sophisticated mortgage fraud and green loan scheme throughout Southern California. 

The scheme resulted in a loss of approximately $15 million over several years. A dozen suspects were charged with conspiracy, mortgage fraud, grand theft, identity theft, forgery, filing a false or forged document, money laundering, as well as a special allegation for aggravated white-collar crime, according to the LAPD.

A Los Angeles County grand jury indicted Tamara Dadyan, Richard Ayvazyan, Artur Ayvazyan, Grigor Tatoian, Andranik Petrosyan, Artashes Martirosyan, Arshak Bartoumian, Lilit Malyan, Lubia Carrillo, Rosa Zarate, Estephanie Reynoso and Vanessa Bell, according to investigators. 

11 out of the 12 defendants were arrested on April 29 and pleaded not guilty at their arraignments on May 5.

The arrests were the result of a multi-year investigation led by the Los Angeles Police Department, assisted by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG). The Fraud and Special Prosecutions Unit of the California Department of Justices prosecuted this case.

Between 2014 and 2020, defendants collectively ran a scheme that used stolen identities to obtain mortgage and green loans. The identities belonged to real persons, some of whom were in state prison, had developmental disabilities or were deceased. 

The defendants allegedly seized control of these identities and commonly constructed synthetic identities with real identities. In constructing the synthetic identities, defendants created email accounts, shell companies, and bank accounts. 

They altered tax documents, payroll statements, and bank statements to reflect the identities as high-net-worth individuals. The suspects also forged the signatures, names, and personal information of the identities on loan applications, financial documents and county recorder documents. 

Using this fake construction, the defendants applied for millions of dollars in loans from unsuspecting lenders of mortgage and green loans, which were subsequently wired to bank accounts within the defendants’ control.

As a part of their operation, the suspects exploited Ygrene Energy Fund and Renew Funding. These companies provided funding to licensed contractors for energy-efficient home improvements for homeowners. 

The defendants also used the identities to obtain mortgage loans from conventional banks and hard money lenders. For years, they successfully applied for loans, culminating in a $15 million loss, according to police.

Additional victims or anyone with information is asked to please contact Detective Lyle Barnes, Commercial Crimes Division, at (213) 486-6979. During non-business hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-527-3247. 

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go directly here.

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Carjacking With Suspects Impersonating Police Officers Under Investigation

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Burbank Police Crime

An investigation is underway following an early morning carjacking by suspects impersonating police officers.

On Saturday at about 1:48 a.m., the Burbank Police Department (BPD) responded to the 3000 block of North Naomi Street after receiving a “suspicious circumstances” call, according to Sgt. Emil Brimway, spokesperson for the BPD.

Officers arrived on the scene and encountered two victims who were handcuffed, according to Brimway. 

“During their investigation, officers learned the victims had been carjacked at gunpoint by two suspects impersonating police officers,” the spokesperson said. 

The suspects were wearing shirts with the word “POLICE” written on the front, according to investigators.

The two suspects were described as Hispanic males, with shaved heads. The suspect vehicle

was described as a gray sedan, according to Brimway,

The investigation into this incident continues. No additional details are available as of Monday afternoon.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Burbank Police Department Investigations Division at (818) 238-3210.

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