George Jaramillo Blinks in Showdown With Federal Judge Over $42,000 Corruption Fine

Earlier this month, George Jaramillo faced off against U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford over the former Orange County assistant sheriff turned convicted felon's failure to pay $42,000 in fines.

Jaramillo, who has served both state and federal prison sentences for public corruption, insisted that he didn't have the resources to pay but expected he might have the funds next year months after his probation ended.

To bolster his sincerity, Jaramillo repeatedly interrupted his own criminal defense lawyer to talk directly to Guilford about all his good intentions.

But having detailed knowledge of Jaramillo's profound slyness, Guilford ordered an Aug. 27 hearing where he planned to allow Assistant United States Attorney Brett A. Sagel an opportunity to question the ex-cop's witnesses under oath.

If he found that Jaramillo had been trying to con him, a stern-faced
Guilford said there would be additional jail time as punishment.

No problem, Jaramillo replied.

But there was a huge problem. Sagel told Guilford that Orange County officials had given Jaramillo $476,000 in May for back pay.

Jaramillo admitted the payment but described an excuse that Joel Baruch,
one of his criminal defense lawyers, cashed the county's check and
wouldn't share any of it until they'd resolved their own dispute over

Guilford didn't hide his suspicions and told Sagel, who
believes Jaramillo and Baruch are secret business partners, that he
could force Baruch to take the witness stand to undergo a grilling under

But today's hearing didn't happen. Jaramillo decided he had the money after all. On Aug. 20, he paid the $42,000 fine.

only remaining issue is whether Sagel can take Jaramillo's gold
sheriff's badge from trial evidence storage and give it to Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.

Jaramillo insists the badge was a personal gift from disgraced ex-Sheriff Mike Carona, who continues to serve his 66-month sentence at a federal prison in Colorado.

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R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.

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