Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 31, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:6


Mountain View News Saturday, March 31, 2018 




 A Pasadena man was 
sentenced Monday as part of 
sophisticated identity-theft 
ring that defrauded several 
victim financial institutions 
out of millions of dollars. 
Posing as shoppers’ they 
purchased Rolex watches, 
iPhones, Van Cleef & Arpels 
jewelry, and Chanel purses 
totaling millions of dollars.

 Lei Chen, 51, was sentenced 
by United States District 
Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald. 
Chen was further ordered 
to pay restitution to eight 
victim financial institutions 
– American Express, Bank 
of America, Barclays, Capital 
One, Chase Bank, Citigroup, 
Discovery, and U.S. Bank – in 
the amount of $2,725,451.96. 
He was also sentenced to over 
six years in prison followed 
by five years of supervised 

 Chen pled guilty in 2016 to 
conspiracy to commit wire 
fraud and bank fraud and 
aggravated identity theft. The 
conviction for aggravated 
identity theft required the 
Court to impose a mandatory, 
consecutive term of 24 months’ 
imprisonment in addition to 
the custodial sentence for the 
fraud conspiracy.

 Chen, known by the moniker 
“Uncle Chen,” was the leader of 
a large criminal organization 
that engaged in extensive credit 
card fraud and identity theft 
in Los Angeles and Orange 
Counties. According to court 
records, as part of their fraud 
scheme, defendant and his co-
conspirators obtained personal 
identifying information (such 
as names, dates of birth, and 
social security numbers) of 
the victims for the purpose 
of obtaining credit cards in 
those identity theft victims’ 
names. Chen’s subordinates 
contacted credit agencies 
and financial institutions to 
change the victims’ addresses 
to “drop addresses,” that is, 
locations controlled by the 
organization. Co-conspirators 
working for Chen then applied 
for credit cards in the names of 
the victims and picked up the 
cards once they were delivered 
to the drop addresses. 

 This case was investigated 
by the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation and is being 
prosecuted by Assistant United 
States Attorney Terrence P. 
Mann of the Santa Ana branch 

For more information go to

 Pasadena police arrested, 
last week, two men wanted 
in connection with a 
shooting in Northwest 
Pasadena earlier in March. 

 According to the Pasadena 
Police Department, officers 
responded to the 1200 
block of North Los Robles 
Avenue regarding multiple 
calls of shots being fired, 
March 03, at approximately 
9:53 p.m.. Officers arrived 
on scene and located a 
female adult suffering from 
a gunshot wound. Officers 
summoned the paramedics, 
who transported the victim 
to a local area hospital. 

 The on-going investigation 
culminated in the serving 
of multiple search warrants 
in the area as well as the 
identification and arrest 
of both suspects on March 
23. Interim Chief John 
Perez stated, “We continue 
to use our resources, 
expertise and partnerships, 
in collaboration with the 
public, to safeguard our 
local community. These 
Detectives worked with 
the commitment to ensure 
justice is served and that 
Pasadena remains the safe 
city it has always been”.

 The suspects are identified 
as Khy Charles, male adult, 
21 years old, Pasadena 
resident, and Davian 
Thomas, male adult, 23 
years old, Pasadena resident. 
The case was presented to 
the Los Angeles County 
District Attorney’s office on 

 One count of attempt 
murder with gun allegations 
was filed on Charles.

 One count of attempt 
murder with gun allegations 
was filed on Thomas.

 Both had bail set at 

 Anyone with information 
about can call Pasadena 
Police at (626)744-4241, 
or anonymously by calling 
“Crime Stoppers” by dialing 
(800) 222-TIPS (8477)

By Dean Lee

 Newly appointed Altadena 
Library Board President John 
McDonald suddenly resigned 
Friday morning, a day after 
numerous legal allegations 
were made against three 
sitting Altadena Library 
board members --during a 
special meeting-- including 
violations of open meeting 
laws and the intent to destroy 
government documents 
related to the violations. 
McDonald is also accused 
of conspiring against this 
newspaper for reporting 
related to the violations.

 McDonald was absent from 
Thursday night’s meeting.

 In emails dated January 24 
obtained by this newspaper, 
Boardmember Armando 
Zambrano wrote, “John 
[McDonald ] can we please 
prepare a draft news release 
about her [Altadena Library 
Executive Director Mindy 
Kittay] contract term, 
because the public is still 
being misinformed. I think 
you also need to prepare a 
response to allegations in this 
news article,” he said.

 Board members Ira 
Bershatsky and Gwendolyn 
McMullins were part of the 
email discussion, in violation 
of The Ralph M. Brown 
Act. The act guarantees the 
public’s right to open and fair 
public meetings. 

 Brown Act violations 
were the topic, Zambrano 
referenced, of the article in 
this paper, Jan. 20.

 Eagle Rock based attorney, 
Dale Gronemeier, said 
other emails between board 
members suggest that they 
are referring to Kittay’s 
contract being up for renewal 
this summer. Not renewing 
her contract would be a way 
to remove Kittay as director. 
Numerous other board 
emails refer to Kittay as being 
a problem.

 “We really need to start 
letting the public know about 
all the behind the scene 
problems at the library and 
all the pending lawsuits that 
have occurred as a result of 
Mindy’s management style 
and how the taxpayers may 
be on the hook for $$$,” 
Zambrano wrote.

 Gronemeier said he was 
only aware of one lawsuit 
Melloney Collier vs. Altadena 
Library District, Case No. 
BC682812. The issue was on 
the agenda Thursday night 
and discussed in closed 
session. The board reported 
no action was taken.

 At that meeting, Gronemeier 
and attorney Elbie 
Hickambottom Jr. made 
public other emails related 
to rewriting the board’s own 
bylaws in secret.

 “I agree with both Ira 
and Armando that we do 
not need input from the 
director [Kittay] or staff on 
this subcommittee. The By-
Laws are the rules governing 
the Board and neither of 
them are Trustees so this is 
really a task for us to address 
collectively,” McDonald 
wrote in an email Jan. 9.

 Hickambottom said the 
emails reflect a criminal 
mind that understands what 
is illegal.

At Thursday night’s meeting, 
McMullins said the ongoing 
process was transparent 
and that the by-law’s were 
posted on the website. She 
welcomed anyone that would 
like to help update them.

 Gronemeier said other 
emails showed that acting 
director Ryan Roy was 
appointed outside of a 
regular meeting in violation 
of the Brown Act.

 “I am okay with Ryan 
being named acting director 
immediately,” Bershatsky 
wrote in an email Jan. 23. 
”Can we pass along that she 
is on leave and say medical or 

 Bershatsky lashed out at 
Gronemeier saying he and 
Kittay, made Kittay’s, medical 
leave public, a private 
personal issue.

 Gronemeier said McDonald 
tried to delete the emails. 

 “He first deleted the January 
23 email from his library 
inbox,” Gronemeier said. 
“Then he deleted it from 
his trash folder by clicking 
‘delete’ and clicking ‘yes’ to 
the inquiry.”

 Emails were found in a 
backup folder on the library’s 
computers hard drives and 
obtained through a Public 
Records Act request by 

John Mcdonald

Altadena to Celebrate 
National Library Week

 From April 8 - April 14, 
the Altadena Library honors 
National Library Week, a 
time we use to celebrate the 
contributions of our nation’s 
libraries and librarians! 
Throughout the week, we invite 
you to stop by the Main Library 
to personalize a button to show 
your love of your library and 
reading! You can also meet us 
at the Altadena Farmers Market 
on Wednesday, April 11, as we 
celebrate National BookMobile 
Day with the launch of our 
Market Story Times and a visit 
from the Library’s BookMobile 

 For more information visit

Free Monthly Events at 
Pasadena Senior Center

 There is something for 
everyone at the Pasadena 
Senior Center, 85 E. Holly St

You do not have to be a 
member to attend. Some 
events require advance 
reservations as noted.

 A Toast to the Joys of 
Music – Tuesdays, April 3 
to 24, from 9:30 to 11:30 
a.m. Tom Campbell returns 
to play his guitar and sing 
covers of traditional country, 
country rock, blues, folk, 
gospel and classic rock 
music made famous by The 
Grateful Dead, Vince Gill, 
Merle Haggard, B.B. King, 
Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, 
The Rolling Stones and 

Scenic Walkers Club – 
Wednesdays, April 4 to 25, 
at 10 a.m. Join members of 
the Pasadena Senior Center’s 
Scenic Walkers Club for 
walks to scenic local places 
to enjoy the great outdoors 
and get some exercise. For 
more information, including 
where to meet up each week, 
contact Scenic Walkers Club 
coordinator Alan Colville at

Rental Scams – Thursday, 
April 5, at 10 a.m. The stress 
of finding an apartment or 
granny flat to rent is almost 
inevitable due to the search, 
competition, upfront money. 
Sometimes the rental process 
goes from aggravating to 
illegal. While the majority of 
rental listings are legitimate, 
rental scams are widespread. 
Come learn about the most 
recent scams and how to 
avoid them. Presented by 
Coldwell Banker.

 Domino Club – 
Thursdays, April 5 to 26, at 
1 p.m. If you’ve never played 
Chicken Foot dominoes 
before, or even if you have, 
come join the fun as Vicki 
Leigh leads participants in 
a rollicking version of the 
game that is easy enough for 
beginners yet challenging 
enough for seasoned players. 
The accompanying laughter 
is contagious! For more 
information call Vicki Leigh 
at 928-478-4654.

Friday Movie Matinees – 
Fridays at 1 p.m. Everyone 
enjoys the experience of 
watching movies and the 
pleasures they bring. April 
6: “Murder on the Orient 
Express” (2017, PG-13) 
starring Kenneth Branagh 
and Penélope Cruz. Thirteen 
strangers are stranded on 
a lavish European train 
where everyone is a suspect 
as the celebrated detective 
Hercule Poirot races against 
time to solve the mystery 
before the murderer strikes 
again. April 20: “Ladybird” 
(2017, R) starring Saoirse 
Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. 
A young woman comes of 
age in Sacramento while her 
strong-willed mother works 
to keep her family afloat after 
Lady Bird’s father loses his 

Parkinson’s Disease – 
Thursday, April 12, at 
10 a.m. Nearly 1 million 
Americans live with 
Parkinson’s disease, a 
chronic and progressive 
movement disorder with 
symptoms that worsen over 
time. The cause is unknown 
and there currently is no 
cure, although treatment 
options such as medication 
and surgery can help manage 
symptoms. Presented by 
Huntington Hospital. 

April 6, at 3:30 p.m. Guest 
artists will explore the human 
body – the original musical 
instrument, harnessing heart 
rhythms through listening 
and seeing harmonies, body 
percussion and movement. 
RSVP at the Welcome Desk 
or by calling 626-795-4331. 
All class participants will 
receive complimentary 
tickets to the HUMAN/
led by MUSE/IQUE artistic 
director Rachael Worby 
Sunday, April 8, at 5 p.m.

 LA Opera Talk: 
“Rigoletto”— Monday, 
April 16, at 1 p.m. An LA 
Opera community educator 
will lead participants through 
Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic 
masterpiece “Rigoletto,” the 
story of a lustful and immoral 
duke who ravishes the court 
jester’s daughter, only to 
have the jester’s revenge goes 
heartbreakingly awry.

 The Pasadena Senior 
Center is an independent, 
nonprofit organization 
that offers recreational, 
educational, wellness and 
social services to people 50 
and older.

Pet of the 

Chamber Hosts Annual Golf 
Tournament at Brookside


Support the Pasadena 
Chamber of Commerce 
at our annual Spring Golf 
Tournament. Tee Off at 8am 
on April 13th at Brookside Golf 
Club. A morning of fun on 
the links is followed by hosted 
cocktail reception and awards 

 Join Pasadena Chamber of 
Commerce members, business 
and community leaders for the 
annual Pasadena Chamber of 
Commerce Golf Tournament 
on Friday, April 13, 2018, at 
Brookside Golf Club. Shotgun 
start is at 8am following the 
putting contest. Registration 
begins that morning at 7am. 
On-course drinks, food and 
more included in the cost to 
play. Brookside Golf Club is 
located at 1133 Rosemont 
Avenue, adjacent to the Rose 
Bowl, in Pasadena.

 The tournament is sponsored 
by the International Union of 
Operating Engineers (IUOE, 
Local 12), Pacific Commerce 
Bank and Parsons Corporation. 
Dunkin’ is the breakfast 

 Proceeds from the Golf 
Tournament help fund the 
Chamber’s student internship, 
workforce development, 
business and economic 
development and member 
services efforts.

 Anyone wishing information 
or who wants to sign up to play 
or sponsor the tournament 
can call the Chamber at 626-
795-3355, or email leanne@ 
Information and sign up forms 
are posted at www.pasadena- 

 Golfers of all abilities are 
welcome. The Tournament can 
only accommodate 144 golfers, 
so register early to ensure a 
place. The Chamber holds a 
raffle, sells mulligan packages, 
hosts putting, longest drive and 
closest to the pin contests and 
adds a few special nuances to 
play, making the tournament 
fun for everyone. Raffle prizes 
may include iPad minis, a flat 
screen TV and items donated by 
Chamber members including 
dinner at some of Pasadena’s 
favorite restaurants, and much 

 All golfers get golf, a cart, 
gifts, on-course snacks and a 
hosted cocktail reception and 
awards ceremony. You can 
sign up as a single, two, three 
or foursome. Cost for golfers 
is $200 each or foursomes for 
$800. The cocktail reception 
costs $50. Sponsorships are 
also available. To sign up to 
play or sponsor visit: pasadena-

 The Pasadena Chamber 
of Commerce and Civic 
Association is a business 
service member organization 
that works to ensure the 
prosperity of its members 
through a variety of offerings 
including referrals, networking, 
workshops and seminars, 
events and much more. The 
Chamber serves 1450 member 

tee-off, play, 
hosted cocktail 
and awards 
ceremony all 
part of the fun

 At press time the Los Angeles 
County Sheriff’s Department’s 
Altadena Station detectives are 
seeking the public’s assistance 
in locating Lorena Alejandra 
Milian-Ramos.She is a 12 
year-old female Hispanic who 
was last seen at her residence 
located in the 100 block of East 
Woodbury Road, Altadena on 
Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 
7:15 a.m.

 Ms. Milian-Ramos is 
described as 5’6” tall, 120 lbs., 
brown hair, and brown eyes. 
She was last seen wearing black 
shorts, a burgundy sweater, 
black shoes and a light colored 
backpack. Possibly wearing 

 She suffers from a medical 
condition. Her family is very 
concerned and asking for the 
public’s assistance in located 

 Anyone with information 
about this incident is 
encouraged to contact the 
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s 
Department’s Altadena 
Station (626) 798-1131. If you 
prefer to provide information 
anonymously, you may call 
“Crime Stoppers” by dialing 
(800) 222-TIPS (8477), 
use your smartphone by 
downloading the “P3 Tips” 
Mobile APP on Google play 
or the Apple App Store or 
by using the website http://

 Clemson (A452150) is an 
adoptable adult male 
guinea pig. Clemson 
and his brother Syracuse 
were abandoned in 
a box in front of our 
adoptions office. They 
appear to be in good 
health and ready for a 
new home. As you might 
have guessed from his 
name, Clemson is part 
of our March Madness 
“Sweet 16” adoption 
tournament. His adoption 
fee is waived thanks to 
generous sponsors. 

 The normal adoption 
fee for guinea pigs is $10. 
Stop by our Shelter Shop 
on the way home to get 
your guinea pig pellets, 
treats and timothy hay. 

 View photos of 
adoptable pets at 
Adoption hours are 11 
a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; 
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday 
through Friday; and 9 
a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

 Pets may not be 
available for adoption 
and cannot be held for 
potential adopters by 
phone calls or email.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: