On The Record
The Monthly Newsletter from
San Diego County District Attorney
Bonnie M. Dumanis
Bonnie smiling
October 2009
Officials Warn Against Federal Stimulus Fraud
Sept09 Stimulus Fraud
With about $50 billion in federal stimulus money coming to California, officials delivered a stern warning to anyone who might attempt to scam this money out of the hands of Californians.
"Our message is simple: If you are thinking about messing with these precious dollars, know that we will find you and you will be brought to justice," said California Inspector General Laura Chick.
An estimated seven to ten percent of the incoming stimulus money could be lost to fraud.
"The San Diego County District Attorney's Office will work with our law enforcement partners to protect stimulus funds dedicated to local programs and projects," said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
Attorney Charged with Stealing From Clients
A long-time San Diego civil attorney has been charged with five felony counts stemming from allegations that he stole money from his clients over a five-year period, beginning in 2000. David Ronquillo, 64, is charged with two counts of embezzlement, two counts of grand theft and one count of financial elder abuse. Money held in the scales of justice.
An investigation by the State Bar of California confirmed allegations against Roquillo and he was arrested by District Attorney Investigators at his Escondido home.
The loss to the victims is more than $100,000. Roquillo has since pleaded not guilty to all charges and if convicted he faces up to five years and eight months in prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Dort who is prosecuting the case.

Community Forums On
Sex Crimes Announced
A first-of-its-kind series of community forums to help protect kids from becoming victims of sex crimes was launched this month as collaboration between the San Diego SAFE Task Force and County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.
The first forum was held in Hillcrest on September 29 and was co-sponsored by San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria.
The forums strive to educate citizens about the facts and myths of sexual offenses against children. "We can best protect our children when we have facts and know the red flags that may indicate abuse," said Deputy District Attorney Phyllis Shess, Executive Chair of the SAFE Task Force.
Phyllis Shess 
The neighborhood forums are set to be presented throughout San Diego County over the next two years.
DDA Phyllis Shess
SAFE Task Force Chair
US Attorney General Praises
San Diego DA's Office

Eric Holder
In Washington, DC, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently acknowledged the efforts of the San Diego County DA's Office and its role in prosecuting loan modification fraud.  The Federal Trade Commission announced two new law enforcement actions in a continuing crackdown on loan modification scams and mortgage foreclosure rescue. One of the newly announced actions came as a result of a San Diego Deputy District Attorney Will LaFond's work and an  investigation into the Nations Housing Modification Center.

DA 'Court Dogs' Help Young Victims

PAWSitive TeamsDistrict Attorney Bonnie Dumanis attended
PAWS'itive Teams graduation recently.  The group trains therapy dogs like Dory and
Naya (pictured at left with DA Dumanis), who go to court with young sexual and physical assault victims, calming them as they testify. 
DA Victim Advocate Nori Figueroa (below)  recently graduated from the program. Nori Figueroa PAWS'itive Teams
Other News in Brief... 
Gang Members Arrested
A collaborative multi-agency operation that targeted street gang members involved in homicides, attempted murders, gang shootings, drug and weapons trafficking, robberies and pimping culminated this month. Operation "Red Sky" resulted in 93 arrests and the confiscation of numerous amounts of weapons, drugs and over $60,000 in cash.
ID Theft Increasing
An Identity Theft Task Force was recently launched by the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) in response to the increasing amount of ID theft. Among those chairing the task force is the Honorable Chief Justice Richard Barajas and Cindy Charlebois, Director of Victim Services for the San Diego DA's Office. The task force will address critical issues of crime and develop practices for victim advocates across the nation.

Russians Visit San Diego DA Office 
Ten Russian Delegates visited the San Diego County District Attorney's C.A.T.C.H (Computer and Technology Crime High Tech Response Team) this month to gain insight on American anti-corruption efforts. The USAID-sponsored program is strives to provide knowledge that will help facilitate successful anti-corruption efforts upon their return to Russia.
In This Issue
Officials Warn of Federal Stimulus Fraud
Attorney Charged with Stealing From Clients
New Community Forum Seeks to Inform About Sex Crimes
US Attorney Praises DA's Office
'Court Dogs' Help Victims
News in Brief
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JOSE MAURICE CASTANEDA, 25, was sentenced to life in prison for fatally beating and torturing his girlfriend's 2-year-old son. Castaneda was convicted on first-degree murder charges, child abuse and assault on a child. 

MICHAEL KEEPER, 35, was sentenced to 35 years to life plus another life term for shooting his ex-girlfriend's husband five times during a fight over the defendant's 13-year-old son.
MILTON WILLIS, 53, was sentenced to 18 years in state prison for driving under the influence of alcohol and causing a wreck that killed a 24-year-old passenger in Del Mar. Willis pleaded guilty to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

DENNIS POTTS, 25, was convicted of strangling the mother of his child and killing his 10-month-old son.  He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced November 6th.

MAURICE ANTOINE SIMMONS, 32, was convicted of conspiracy, forgery and other felony counts in a real estate fraud case in which he filed fake grant deeds under the guise of a religious order.


The Employees of the San Diego District Attorney, in partnership with the Community we serve, are dedicated to the pursuit of truth, justice and protection of the innocent, and the prevention of crime through the vigorous and professional prosecution of those who violate the law.