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Defendant in Vehicle Fraud Scheme Free on $75k Bail


Friday, June 6th, 2014
Issue 23, Volume 18.


RIVERSIDE - Because she was able to post bail, arraignment was postponed today for one of six alleged conspirators in a fraud scheme that involved selling unsafe vehicles by falsifying documents regarding the cars' origins.

Sara Cristina Flores, 43, of Riverside was arrested Thursday at a Department of Motor Vehicles office on Brockton Avenue after a clerk recognized her from a law enforcement bulletin and notified police, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

Flores was booked into the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. Over the weekend, she posted a $75,000 bond and was released from custody.

Prosecutors informed Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez of the development this afternoon, prompting the judge to reschedule Flores' arraignment to Aug. 1.

The defendant is one of a half-dozen individuals implicated in a years-long scam investigated by the California Highway Patrol. The other alleged co-conspirators are:

-- Javier Naranjo Geronimo, 58, of Moreno Valley;

-- Jesus Machuca, 30, of Riverside;

-- Jose Enrique Patron, 47, of Riverside;

-- Marcos D. Solorio, 50, of Moreno Valley; and

-- Jahangir "John" Toughian, 53, of Corona.

Machuca and Patron are free on bail of $25,000 and $75,000, respectively. The remaining defendants are in custody in lieu of sureties ranging from $375,000 to $1.27 million.

Geronimo and Solorio are scheduled to appear before Superior Court Judge Becky Dugan Thursday for a status hearing, while Patron and Toughian are slated to appear before Hernandez on Friday for a felony settlement conference. Machuca is set to be arraigned before Hernandez on July 28.

All of the defendants are charged with felonies, including conspiracy, forgery, deliberately altering vehicle registrations and perjury.

According to the District Attorney's Office, investigators from the CHP's Inland Division, with the assistance of other agencies, initiated a probe seven years ago that culminated in criminal charges being sought and eventually filed against the defendants.

Investigators allege the ring routinely engaged in selling vehicles that had been dumped in salvage yards without providing buyers with authentic records regarding the cars' histories.

The used vehicles were sold without first undergoing mandatory inspections by state officials and often had bogus registration certificates, according to prosecutors. The scheme also enabled the defendants to sidestep paying state sales taxes, prosecutors allege.

Other motorists were potentially endangered by these vehicles sharing the road with them, according to the D.A.'s office.


Defendant in Vehicle Fraud Scheme to be Arraigned

RIVERSIDE - One of six alleged conspirators in a fraud scheme that involved selling unsafe vehicles by falsifying documents regarding the cars' origins is slated to be arraigned today on felony charges.

Sara Cristina Flores, 43, of Riverside was arrested Thursday at a Department of Motor Vehicles' office on Brockton Avenue after a clerk recognized her from a law enforcement bulletin and notified police, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

Flores is being held in lieu of $75,000 bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. She's one of a half-dozen individuals implicated in a years-long scam investigated by the California Highway Patrol. The other defendants are:

-- Javier Advertisement
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Naranjo Geronimo, 58, of Moreno Valley;

-- Jesus Machuca, 30, of Riverside;

-- Jose Enrique Patron, 47, of Riverside;

-- Marcos D. Solorio, 50, of Moreno Valley; and

-- Jahangir "John" Toughian,, 53, of Corona.

Machuca and Patron are free on bail of $25,000 and $75,000, respectively. The remaining defendants are in custody, held in lieu of sureties ranging from $375,000 to $1.27 million. Most have hearings scheduled this week.

All of the defendants are charged with felonies, including conspiracy, forgery, deliberately altering vehicle registrations and perjury.

According to the District Attorney's Office, officers from the CHP's Inland Division, with the assistance of other agencies, initiated an investigation seven years ago that culminated in criminal charges being sought and eventually filed against the defendants.

Investigators allege the ring routinely engaged in selling vehicles that had been dumped in salvage yards without providing buyers with authentic records regarding the cars' histories.

The used vehicles were sold without first undergoing mandatory inspections by state officials and often had bogus registration certificates, according to prosecutors. The scheme also enabled the defendants to sidestep paying state sales taxes, prosecutors allege.

Other motorists were potentially endangered by these vehicles sharing the road with them, according to the D.A.'s office.


Sixth Person Wanted in Vehicle Fraud Scheme Arrested

RIVERSIDE - The last of six alleged conspirators in a fraud scheme that involved selling unsafe vehicles by falsifying documents about the cars' origins was being held today in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Sara Cristina Flores, 43, of Riverside, was arrested at a Department of Motor Vehicles office on Brockton Avenue Thursday after a clerk recognized her from a law enforcement bulletin and notified police, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

Flores was booked into the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

She was one of a half-dozen individuals wanted in connection with a years-long scam investigated by the California Highway Patrol. The other defendants are:

-- Javier Naranjo Geronimo, 58, of Moreno Valley;

-- Jesus Machuca, 30, of Riverside;

-- Jose Enrique Patron, 47, of Riverside;

-- Marcos D. Solorio, 50, of Moreno Valley; and

-- Jahangir "John" Toughian, 53, of Corona.

Machuca and Patron are free on bail amounts of $25,000 and $75,000, respectively. The remaining defendants are in custody, held in lieu of sureties ranging from $375,000 to $1.27 million. Most have hearings slated for next week, including

Flores, who's scheduled to be arraigned Monday at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

All of the defendants are charged with felonies, including conspiracy, forgery, deliberately altering vehicle registrations and perjury.

According to the District Attorney's Office, officers from the CHP's Inland Division, with the assistance of other agencies, initiated an investigation seven years ago that culminated in criminal charges being sought and eventually filed against the defendants.

Investigators allege the ring routinely engaged in the practice of selling vehicles dumped in salvage yards without providing buyers with authentic records regarding the cars' histories.

The used vehicles were sold without first undergoing mandatory inspections by state officials and often had bogus registration certificates, according to prosecutors.

Other motorists were potentially endangered by these vehicles sharing the road with them, the D.A.'s office said.


 

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