Last of 12 Defendants Found Guilty in OC Court Bribery Scheme

Kaitlin Washburn for Voice of OC

The Superior Court of California in Orange County seal.

Javed “Joey” Asefi was found guilty by a federal jury last week of participating in a five-year racketeering scheme that paid $250,000 to an Orange County Superior Court clerk in exchange for resolving more than a thousand criminal cases and traffic violations without the knowledge of prosecutors and judges.

Asefi was the last of 12 people who participated in the scheme to be found guilty, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

Asefi and others funneled information and bribes to the clerk, Jose Lopez Jr., through a middleman, who received bribes as high as $8,000 to change court records to show that cases had been dismissed or downgrade DUI charges.

Over more than five years, Lopez changed court records to make it appear that defendants pleaded guilty, paid required fees or performed community service.

“In some cases, Lopez fraudulently created records that made it appear drunk driving charges had been dismissed or defendants had served mandatory jail time,” according to the press release.

In total, Lopez admitted to fixing 1,034 cases, including 69 misdemeanor DUI cases, 160 other misdemeanor cases and 805 traffic-related infraction cases.

Asefi is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 8 and faces a maximum sentence of 45 years in federal prison. Lopez is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 22 and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, according to the press release.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.

  • Ed Romero

    I remember when I was employed at the Central Superior Court and the CASES AND CASES of expensive Wine, Jack Daniels, Scotch and Vodka were delivered. They were gifts from an Attorney Firm, Judges got some, Deputy Marshals and Clerical Staff, I was offered one but REFUSED the bottle. The things I saw in Court, this was back around 1974, I was in Court assisting a non-English speaking Defendant, the Sgt. said to me “See that Little Blonde, her Drunk Driving Case will be DISMISSED and it was, because the Judge liked Little Blondes. I also remember when I was in Juvenile Traffic Court one day, I noticed that Hispanics (Mexicans) and Blacks were being CHARGED DOUBLE. I reported this to my Officer Manager and I was no longer allowed in Juvenile Traffic Court, those 2 Judges resigned. There is more but why bother, nothing will change in Orange County, look at the Sheriff Department same old BS.

  • Paul Lucas

    wow

  • LFOldTimer

    How is it possible for one lowlife Superior Court Clerk to fix THOUSANDS of criminal cases and traffic violations? This is not just an indictment of the 12 bottom-feeders involved in the scheme – IT’S AN INDICTMENT OF THE ENTIRE COURT SYSTEM!!! Where the heck was the internal security check and balances?

    What about all the thousands who paid bribes to get their cases dismissed? Why aren’t they being indicted?

    More symptoms of OC being turned into a third world pig sty.

    Build that wall!!!!

  • David Zenger

    The backbone of the justice system.

  • verifiedsane

    Just the tip of a huge orange county court corruption iceberg….how about an investigation of the majority bad attorney’s, who then are appointed as bad judges, who then go about the business of taking care of their other bad attorney friends. The depth of court corruption in California is not simply a crisis….it an out of control pandemic with zero oversight or accountability…

    When is the audit of the California commission on judicial performance (the oversight body for bad and criminal judges) going to happen? Never!

    How about the state bar finally investigating & holding bad attorney’s accountable for their unscrupulous crimes? Once again, just not going to happen!

    Our justice system lye’s in a very secretive heap of ruins, and no one in Sacramento is going to do anything about it…Why? because it serves their own selfish interest, and the interest of their very deep pocketed and influential lobbyist pals.

    A tainted form of Justice today is only available & provided for the wealthy and well connected….the rest of the citizenry are just considered acceptable collateral damage under the broken promise of accessible and equal justice for all…This is the real news that our press doesn’t report upon or investigate…does anyone even have to wonder why anymore?

    • LFOldTimer

      Don’t expect any of the teflonized OCSD and OCDA insiders to get charged with the many crimes that they committed during the course of the illegal informant scandal in the jail.

      Business as usual for those sworn under oath to obey the law and defend the US Constitution.

      More third world stuff right in our backyard.