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Local Updates from ABC News Radio for San Francisco.

Wednesday
Oct222014

Real Estate Investors Charged with Rigging Bids at Public Auctions 

(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Five real estate investors were charged for their alleged roles in rigging bids at public foreclosure actions, officials announced Tuesday.

Northern California investors Joseph Giraudo, Raymond Grinsell, Kevin Cullinane, James Appenrodt, and Abraham Farag are accused of defrauding mortgage holders and others by agreeing to stop bidding for properties during events in San Mateo and San Francisco counties.

The investors took the actions in return for payoffs and concealed the fact that funds were diverted from homeowners and mortgage holders.

From 2008 to 2011, the defendants planned to rig bids in order to obtain several properties sold at auctions. They also allegedly paid others not to bid and accepted bribes.

“These charges demonstrate our continued commitment to investigate and prosecute individuals and organizations responsible for the corruption of the public foreclosure auction process,” said David J. Johnson, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Office. “The FBI is committed to work these important cases and remains unwavering in our dedication to bring the members of these illegal conspiracies to justice.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct222014

Danville Couple Charged with Tax Fraud, Accused of Pocketing Donations

(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Officials charged a Danville couple with tax fraud, accusing the pair of collecting donations for an Islamic organization and pocketing some of the funds.

From 2005 through 2008, Kamran Azizi was responsible for collecting the money at several MTO centers in Northern California, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Members of MTO, a Sufi Islamic organization, made donations through cash or checks.

Hedyeh Shoar, who served as an MTO accountant, worked for the group during the three years her husband accepted donations. Officials allege Azizi kept a portion of the funds for his own benefit with the assistance of his wife, then filed tax returns that omitted the donations.

Azizi was arraigned Monday, while Shoar remains a fugitive, authorities said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct222014

Police Arrest Three in 'Point Break' Bank Robberies

(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- Police have arrested three men Tuesday, alleged to be part of the "Point Break" crew, in connection to a string of robberies.

San Jose Police announced that they've arrested Antonio Chavez, 22, Daniel Chavez, 32, and Jesse Hernandez, 24.

The men are charged with multiple counts of bank robbery, gun enhancement and false imprisonment for the purposes of benefiting a gang.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Tuesday
Oct212014

Two Convicted in Oakland Murder Plot 

(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Alameda County officials convicted two men Monday in an Oakland conspiracy to commit murder.

Authorities said Patrick Shields, an alleged member of an Oakland criminal street gang, directed Wynn Brewer and two others to drive to an area residence in order to shoot and kill the intended victim.

An investigation revealed the plot before the incident, allowing police to stop the suspects' car before they could commit the crime.

Officers recovered two loaded pistols intended for the murder.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct212014

Officials Seize 500 Pounds of Meth in Mexican Cartel Drug Bust 

(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Officials seized 500 pounds of methamphetamine and arrested 22 people in the takedown of an international criminal organization based in Contra Costa County, Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Monday.

An investigation revealed that crews delivered meth from Mexico to the Nitro Gang, a drug trafficking organization based in Southern California.

The gang would then make regular "road trips" to Contra Costa County to distribute to other groups, including the Urtiz gang based in Northern California.

Over the course of the year, the operation resulted in confiscation of more than $700,000 in U.S. currency.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio