Former O.C. Court Clerk Pleads Guilty to Heading Case-Fixing Scheme

Jeff Landa, LA Times, March 30, 2017

A former Orange County Superior Court clerk plead guilty Wednesday to reaping more than a quarter-million dollars as head of a bribery scheme that forged the results of criminal and traffic violations in exchange for money.

Anaheim resident Jose Lopez Jr., 36, admitted in a plea deal last week that from as early as 2010 until March 2015, he used his court computer system access to write fraudulent outcomes for more than 1,000 cases.

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Lopez would directly or indirectly receive money from nine middlemen to fix court records to show a favorable result for the persons charged, when in fact, the cases were never ruled upon, prosecutors said.

DUI cases drew the highest prices, as Lopez asked as much as $8,000 to fix those results, according to the indictment.

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Lopez faces up to 20 years in federal prison, but prosecutors have agreed to consider only as many as nine years, according to defense attorney Brian Gurwitz. {snip}

Lopez is one of 13 co-defendants under indictment.

Ten others have pleaded guilty so far. An eleventh is scheduled to plead guilty on April 21, and Javed Asefi, 44, of Ladera Ranch is scheduled to go on trial on May 2, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

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