Glass Emporium Jury Trial Delayed; Now Scheduled for January
25, 2010; Charges Range from Insurance Fraud to Harboring of Illegal
December 7, 2009
The jury trial of Glass Emporium owner Mehrdad "Tony"
Hakimian and vice president Emma Deguzman has been postponed until
January 25, 2010. The trial was originally scheduled for September,
but had been postponed until December-and was to begin today in
the U.S. District court for the Northern District of California.
Hakimian and Deguzman were indicted early this year and are charged
with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and harboring
illegal aliens while working together at Glass Emporium, which also
owns Glass Pro and Glass Masters and has locations throughout the
Under the conspiracy charges, the court alleges that Hakimian and
Deguzman directed the company's employees to bill insurance companies
"for the cost of more expensive windshields than those installed
knowing that less expensive windshields had been installed."
Likewise, the court charges the two with directing employees to
also separately charge insurance companies for mouldings, clips
and installation materials, "even when those costs were included
in the cost of the windshields."
Hakimian and Deguzman also are charged with directing two specific
employees, Aldy Antonio and Bobby Guinto, in these efforts, and
with advising Antonio to work from home and to log into the company's
system as Deguzman, to prevent the Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Agency (ICE) from finding out that Antonio was a citizen of the
Philippines and was employed illegally by the company, according
to the indictment issued against them.
The court also alleges that from January 2005 to July 2005, the
two helped to harbor another alleged illegal alien, "Luzviminda
Though Deguzman had motioned in November that her trial be held
separately from Hakimian's "based upon an alleged risk of prejudice
because of the amount of evidence against co-defendant Hakimian,"
that motion was denied in late-November. Hakimian also had supported
this motion, filing a statement with the court advising that he
and his counsel had not yet decided whether he would testify at
his own trial, and that the separation of the two trials would permit
him to testify at Deguzman's even if he did not testify at his own.
"I believe I have evidence to offer that would be favorable
to Ms. Deguzman on the issue of her guilt or innocence on the pending
charges," wrote Hakimian in a statement filed on November 20.
The jury trial will begin at 9 a.m. on January 25, and is expected
to last approximately two weeks.
The charges against Hakimian and Deguzman arose from an investigation
by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and were brought by
the U.S. Attorney's Office. (CLICK
HERE for related story.)
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