- Reporters Desk
Art Piece Stolen on First Thursday
SAN PEDRO — Four men and a woman are suspected of stealing painting valued at $10,000 from TransVagrant /Warshaw Gallery in San Pedro.
The incident took place at about 7 p.m. July 7, during the First Thursday Artwalk in San Pedro. Security cameras caught the group of five people, all between 18 and 25 yearcos of age, walking into the gallery through 6th Street. The group lifted an oil on canvas painting by Neil Nagy named, Escondido 2004 and exited through the backdoor and onto the alley. Two of the suspects were seen turning west and onto Pacific Avenue.
Gallery curator Ron Linden is offering cash reward for the painting, no questions asked.
If you have information leading to the recovery of the painting please call (310) 600-4873.
Garecetti, POLA, Announce Clean Air Initiatives
WILMINGTON — On July 12, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Port of Los Angeles officials announced a series of clean air initiatives to reduce emissions from the goods movement industry.
The new initiatives call for zero-emission technologies. The announcement marks the official launch of the Pasha Green Omni Terminal, where a $26 million project for near-zero emission technologies is being developed for POLA.
Bicyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run
LONG BEACH — A bicyclist was killed July 9, after being hit by car on the 400 block East Market Street in Long Beach.
When police officers arrived at the scene they found the woman unconscious and the bicycle severely damaged. She was taken to a local hospital where she died shortly after arriving.
Investigators said the woman was riding her bicycle eastbound on Market Street in the center median. Her friend was riding on the north side of the street, eastbound Market Street. The woman was struck in the rear by a white Kia, which was travelling fast and illegally passing on the left. The car with, with four occupants, never stopped and continued going eastbound on Market Street at a high speed rate.
The Kia was later found abandoned in a parking lot in the 5300 block of Atlantic Avenue. The car had major front-end damage and a smashed windshield. Further investigation revealed the suspect vehicle, a 2013 Kia Optima, was reported stolen in a carjacking in the area of Pacific Coast Highway and Pine Avenue, in Long Beach, on July 8, 2016.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call (562) 570-5520 or visit www.LACrimeStoppers.org.
Traffic Fatality May Be Suicide
LONG BEACH — Investigators said that the death of woman, who was hit by a car near Cherry Avenue and Market Street, may have been a suicide. .
The incident took place about 10:30 p.m. July 6, when officers arrived at the scene, they found the woman laying on the street near Cherry Avenue and Cherry Avenue Industrial Circle.
A passerby had begun administering life saving measures on the victim, which officers continued until Long Beach Fire Department paramedics arrived. The woman sustained serious injuries. She was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. She died the following day.
Officials said the woman had run into traffic and was struck by a 2004 Nissan 350Z travelling north on Cherry Avenue. The woman, who had met with an acquaintance, was distraught. She had commented to her acquaintance that she was contemplating running into traffic. She ran into the street and was struck. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office will release victim’s identity at a later time. The driver ‘s was interviewed and released.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to call (562) 570-7355 or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.
Substance Abuse CEO Indicted for Counseling Fraud
LONG BEACH — On July 8, four people were charged in a superseding indictment unsealed today for allegedly participating in a scheme.
The four people submitted more than $50 million in fraudulent claims to California’s Drug Medi-Cal program for alcohol and drug treatment services for high school and middle school students that, in many instances, were not provided at all or were provided to students who did not actually have substance abuse problems.
Two of the defendants worked at the Long Beach-based Atlantic Health Services. President and Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mark Ciampa, was among those arrested.
The superseding indictment, which charges the defendants with health care fraud and aggravated identity theft and charges Ciampa with money laundering, alleges that Atlantic Health Services was paid more than $46 million after it submitted false and fraudulent claims for group and individual substance abuse counseling services.
- Richard Mark Ciampa, 62, of Long Beach, the president and CEO, who ultimately was responsible for the claims billed to Medi-Cal and received the bulk of ARS’ earnings;
- Gregory Hearns, 60, of Long Beach, the billing supervisor, who compiled the monthly billing and arranged for its submission to Medi-Cal;
- LaLonnie Egans, 58, of Bellflower, who managed counselors at three schools;
- Tina Lynn St. Julian, 52, of Compton, who worked as a counselor at two schools.
Egans and St. Julian were named as defendants in the original indictment and are expected to be arraigned on the superseding indictment in the coming weeks. Ciampa and Hearns were arraigned on the superseding indictment this afternoon in United States District Court.
Atlantic Health Services received contracts to provide substance abuse treatment services through the Drug Medi-Cal program to students in schools in Los Angeles County. The schools included various sites operated by Soledad Enrichment Action, and public schools in Montebello, Bell Gardens, Lakewood and the Antelope Valley.
The superseding indictment alleges that, during a 10-year period through April 2013, when Atlantic Health Services was shut down following a suspension of payments, Atlantic Health Services submitted bogus claims for payment to the Drug Medi-Cal program. Ciampa and Hearns are alleged to have caused the submission of these false claims and created an environment for rampant fraud by constantly warning Atlantic Health Services managers and counselors that they would lose their jobs if they did not increase the billing. Ciampa also directed managers and counselors to bill for two crisis intervention sessions per student per month, even though crisis interventions were to be billed only if the student had relapsed or faced an imminent threat of relapse, neither of which could be planned in advance.
If convicted, Ciampa faces a statutory maximum sentence of 194 years in federal prison; Hearns faces a statutory maximum sentence of 134 years in federal prison; Egans faces a statutory maximum sentence of 32 years in federal prison; and St. Julian faces a statutory maximum sentence of 42 years in federal prison.
JetBlue Fined More Than $56K for Noise Violations
LONG BEACH — JetBlue was fined more than $56,000 for noise violations between April and June.
|The fines followed several complaints about late night landing. The entire summary from the city prosecutor’s office is available here.|
Garcetti Appoints Senior Technology Advisor
LOS ANGELES — On July 11, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the appointment of Jeanne Holm as senior technology advisor.
Holm will continue serving as deputy chief information officer in the city’s Information Technology Agency — managing the agency’s Customer Engagement Bureau and working with Chief Information Officer Ted Ross on issues ranging from homelessness to traffic management.
Holm replaces the city’s previous highest-ranking technology officer, Peter Marx, who is returning to the private sector as an executive director in software development at GE Digital.
Holm has served as NASA/JPL’s Chief Knowledge Architect, creating some of the world’s largest collaboration systems, including an award-winning NASA portal that reaches billions. She was also Evangelist for the White House open data initiative, helping to build communities and introduce new technologies in partnership with the public, educators, developers, and international and city governments.
She most recently worked with the World Bank to create tech startup cultures and improve government practices in education, health, agriculture, and social justice in Sierra Leone and Uganda. Holm is a fellow of the United Nations International Academy of Astronautics and has been recognized as a Distinguished Instructor at UCLA. A third-generation Angeleno, Holm is a graduate of UCLA and Claremont Graduate University.