Placer County woman arrested for mail fraud

US-Department-Of-Justice-SealSACRAMENTO, CA – A Placer County woman was arrested today in connection for mail fraud with ties to a Ponzi scheme based out of Folsom.

According to a statement released by United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, 42-year-old Kari Sonovich was taken into custody today at her home in Meadow Vista.

According to court documents, between July 2008 and April 2009, Sonovich recruited investors to invest with her Las Vegas company, B&B Consulting Group LLC, by telling them she could place their funds with an international trader who operated at an extremely high level, promising returns of up to 500 percent every 90 days. When investors deposited funds with her, Sonovich kept some or all of the funds for herself. The indictment alleges that Sonovich received more than $3 million from investors. To date, no investor has received the promised returns, and in most or all instances, no investor has received any of their initial investment back.

Some investors in Sonovich’s scheme became involved at the same time that an earlier investment fraud scheme in which they had invested was collapsing. Anthony Vassallo and Kenneth Kenitzer ran that Folsom-based Ponzi scheme through their company Equity Investment Management & Trading (EIMT). Both were convicted for that scheme, Vassallo is serving a 16-year prison sentence and Kenitzer is scheduled to be sentenced on February 14, 2014.

On January 31, 2014, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment, charging Sonovich with mail fraud. The indictment was unsealed today after her arrest. Sonovich is scheduled to be arraigned today in federal court in Sacramento at 2:00 p.m.

If convicted, Sonovich faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to twice the losses resulting from the scheme. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jean M. Hobler is prosecuting the case.



SUV crashes into Starbucks 8 injured

Courtesy Folsom PD

Courtesy Folsom PD

FOLSOM, CA – Eight people have been injured after an SUV plowed into a Starbucks store.

According to the Folsom Police Department at around 2:50 p.m. Tuesday, a Lexus SUV crashed through the storefront of the Starbucks store located at 603 East Bidwell Street.

The driver of the vehicle was parking her vehicle when the SUV accelerated over a parking barrier onto East Bidwell Drive then back toward the building. The car crashed through a side window and into the main area of the shop.

The driver of the vehicle and her passenger were not injured. However, eight customers who were inside the store at the time suffered injuries. Six people were transported to area hospitals with varying injuries. One person was listed in serious condition.

According to police substance abuse was not a factor and the driver did not have a medical condition.

Help identify two suspected burglars

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AUBURN, CA – The Placer County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a series of vehicle burglaries in North Auburn and is seeking the public’s help in identifying a man and woman believed to be responsible.

The pair are suspects in several Folsom area burglaries and investigators believe the two are also responsible for vehicle burglaries in North Auburn.

Please contact Detective Ross Byers at (530) 889-7815 if you have any information leading to the identity of these subjects.1383047_558762934178208_2039793383_n

Help identify this robbery suspect in Folsom

Photo of suspect provided by witness

Photo of suspect provided by witness


FOLSOM, CA – Folsom police are asking for your help in identifying a suspect in a strong-arm robbery that occurred in late July.

Just after 5 p.m. on July 22, three men robbed several minors near the intersection of Folsom Boulevard and Greenback Lane. The men punched and kicked the victims, causing minor injuries, say police.

The suspects are described as males around 18 years old. One suspect is described as white with short blonde hair, another is black with short black hair and the third is Hispanic with long brown hair.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to contact Det. Rick Olson with the Folsom Police Department at (916) 351-3323 or

PowerHouse Pub catches fire

PH_Logo_301SACRAMENTO, CA – PowerHouse Pub, a popular Folsom bar and music venue caught fire around 5 a.m. Saturday, damaging the 100-plus-year-old building.

According to Sacramento Metropolitan Fire it appears the fire started on the pub’s two-story deck, after a cigarette was smoldering for a couple of hours after the bar closed.

Arson investigators are still trying to trying to confirm that the cigarette was the cause.

A sprinkler system saved the remainder of the pub and other businesses in the area.

The bar suffered smoke and water damage and a bathroom was destroyed.

UPDATE: PowerHouse Pub opened the night after the fire and remains open.

Rocklin Police looking for this woman

Help identify this woman

Help identify this woman

ROCKLIN, Calif. – Rocklin police could use a hand in finding a person of interest who may have withdrawn cash from someone else’s bank account.

According to the Rocklin Police Department, an unknown person entered a bank in Folsom on February 1 to withdraw cash from an account belonging to a Rocklin Resident.

Detectives have obtained a photograph from surveillance cameras and are asking for the publics help in identifying the woman in the photo.

Please call 916-625-5443 and refer to case number 13-112-5 with any information.

The milkman cometh


Photo: Youtube

In what has got to be one of the worst crazes on YouTube, ‘Gallon Smashing’ appears to be going viral, and now pranksters have hit stores in Elk Grove and Tracy in the last couple of days.

Typically, at least two people are involved. One armed with a video camera, the other with a gallon or two of milk. The prankster then fakes a tumble throwing the milk in the air, as patrons run to assist their fellow shopper.

There could be some humor in this, if the pranksters cleaned up the mess they made and paid for the damage done, but they don’t. They leave the store, and the mess, behind and head home to upload their latest show of brain power to YouTube.

Guess what guys. As cities fight back, your well-honed tumbling skills are going to land you on the wrong side of the law.

There are various reports of young kids being charged with theft and disorderly conduct in other cities, Elk Grove and Tracy are no exception as they track down the perpetrators. If someone were to be hurt during one of these wonderfully planned out shows of idiocy, they could be facing jail time.

There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to Gallon Smashing. Here’s what one boy genius wrote.

“Ok, so this gets messy and someone will have to clean it up… but people do get paid for cleaning so what’s the problem? Think about all the people that drop bottles of wine or eggs (or anything messy)… it still needs cleaning up. Everyone I know that has seen these videos have laughed so hard. The world needs more laughter. Destroying private property? Milk/juice is not private property… it’s available for the public, in a public store.”

Simply brilliant.

So is it funny or felony?

Concert Review: Madison Hudson

Madison Hudson - Click for more images

Madison Hudson – Click for more images

Madison Hudson is quickly becoming a local favorite in the country music world, as she’s starting to play larger venues such as Toby Keith’s Bar and Grill in Folsom, Calif.

I was first introduced to Hudson’s singing abilities at, of all places, a Doobie Brothers concert at Thunder Valley Casino Resort. Film star and singer, Branscombe Richmond brought Hudson up on stage to sing “Listen to the Music,” along with the Doobie Brothers.

The 15 year-old Hudson is country pop singer from the small town of Wheatland, located in rural Northern California. She’s been singing the national anthem at sporting events and from time to time has been making appearances with singer songwriter Rachel Steele and the band Road 88.

Rachel Steele - Click for more images

Rachel Steele – Click for more images

Opening at Toby Keith’s was a big move for the country singer as she was joined by Rachel Steele, and Road 88 band members Scott Prentice (guitar) and Billy Haggard (guitar). She also had a special guest singer Courtney Chapman, but more on that in a minute.

Kicking off their set, Hudson and Steele performed Pistol Annies’ “Hell on Heels” and Sugarland’s “Stuck Like Glue.” Hudson appeared nervous, but quickly overcame any nerves after “Stuck Like Glue.”

Hudson went on to perform solo, singing Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go ‘Round” and Hudson’s original song “Tommy.” She hit her stride as she began “Tommy,” and never looked back, as she performed a number of songs, both solo and with Steele, sounding more like a veteran performer than a 15 year-old up and coming star.

Scott Prentice - Click for more images

Scott Prentice – Click for more images

Courtney Chapman - Click for more images

Courtney Chapman – Click for more images

Halfway through her performance Hudson brought her special guest, and close friend, Courtney Chapman onstage to provide vocals. The duo brought the house down with a wonderful rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Mean.” Chapman did a sterling job on vocals and I was looking forward to hearing more from her, but that was not meant to be, as Chapman exited the stage after performing “Mean.”

Hudson has been hinting on her Facebook page that bigger things were coming this summer as she is scheduling more appearance and bringing Chapman along.

Billy Haggard - Click for more images

Billy Haggard – Click for more images

“Well I said 2013 would be crazy!” she wrote, “I will be working on stage with several artists working up to this summer. But I would like to introduce you all to Courtney! Courtney will be joining me starting this summer. We will be a new team and I am so lucky!! You will see us out and about together soon getting ready to rock it country style!!”

Looking forward to it!

Madison Hudson is someone to keep an eye on. You can find more information about her and Rachel Steele at the below links.

Visit Madison Hudson on:

Official Website
See Hudson perform “Tommy


Rachel Steele with Road 88 can be found at:

Official Website

Rock concert breaks out at country bar

Rachel Steele and Jeff Keith – Click for more images

It was a magical night at Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill in Folsom, California as singer, songwriter Rachel Steele and country band Road 88 were joined by the venerable rocker Jeff Keith, lead singer for the rock band Tesla.

Keith joined forces with Steele and her band to celebrate the release of his new CD “Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends.” The Album is the result of a side project Keith’s been working on with friends Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band. Pat Boone is not the really old guy who likes to drink milk, but the not-so-really old guy who likes country music.

Frank Hannon – Click for more images

When Steele was halfway through her set Keith, donning a cowboy hat and blue jacket, jumped up onstage  singing several songs from his new album. As if that wasn’t enough to get everyone on their feet, Tesla’s Troy Luckketta (drums) and Frank Hannon (guitar), who were there in support of Keith, joined him to perform Tesla’s hit “Signs,” followed by a fantastic rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”  Only Brian Wheat (bass) and Dave Rude (guitar) were missing from Tesla.

Frank Hannon and Billy Haggard

Road 88’s guitarist Billy Haggard and Hannon brought the house down with a killer battle of guitars, with Hannon finishing off the battle playing the guitar using a beer bottle up and down the neck of the guitar.

It gave more than a few people the goosies!

Road 88’s members include Scott Prentice (guitar, vocals), Billy Haggard (guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Todd Prout (bass), Paul Southerland (lap/pedal steel, dobro) and Maggie Keith (backup vocals).

So how did Keith get mixed up in all things country?

Jeff Keith (center) and Road 88

Apparently Goodson and Boone met Keith after a Tesla concert in Canada and the next thing you know, the three of them are paddling around in a pontoon boat somewhere in the middle of Nashville, slamming down sasparillas, and singing country songs – go figure.

The album is solidly in the country genre with song titles like “Same Ol’ Cowboy,” Oklahoma Bound,” and my favorite “Oh Hell.” You can read the complete review here.

Keith also wants to assure all of his Tesla fans that he’s not quitting his day job –  or would that be his night job? He remains with Tesla and they are currently planning out their 2013 schedule, including the Monster of Rock Cruise in March.


Folsom Fitness Extravaganza

Concert Stock Photography

Click for more images

The annual Folsom Fitness Extravaganza was held at Folsom Middle School on Saturday. The event was hosted by the National Gym Association (NGA) and Fitness in Mind.

Fifty individuals, male and female, competed for various categories including Mr. and Ms. California, bodybuilding, fitness and bikini. All competitors had to undergo a polygraph the night before the event to ensure there had been no drug use over the past seven years. Both the NGA and Fitness in Mind’s Johnny “The Motivator” Carrero are dedicated to ensuring this event remains drug-free and all-natural. Proceeds from the event benefit local educational programs teaching young athletes the harmful side-effects of anabolic steroids.

This was my first bodybuilding event, and I have to say the amount of effort the competitors put into this competition is amazing. It’s like a musician preparing for a concert. Not only are these people hitting the gym for hours a day, but they are religious about what they put into and on their bodies. Yes, on their bodies. They lather on coloring to give them either a dark or light tan and, in some cases, a golden hue. Paul Alberts was a real golden color. Alberts’ wife shouted words of encouragement during the morning show, much to the audience’s amusement.

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Concert Stock Photography

Paul Alberts posing at the NGA Mr/Ms California bodybuilding competition in Folsom, CA (Image by: Randy Miramontez)

I overheard one competitor talking about being flat and how he needed to eat some protein bars with more sodium and drink a gallon of water before the evening show. He was still going to eat his bioplex whey and add another coat or two of color. And these people strive for all-natural?

All-natural aside, these folks are ripped. I was going to say these kids, but there were several groups referred to as masters, aka seniors. The age groups for the masters are Masters (40-49), Grand Masters (50-59) and Ultra Masters (60 and up). Mohammed Daunish was the only competitor in the Ultra Masters, at the young age of 73!

Concert Stock Photography

Mohammed Daunish posing at the NGA Mr/Ms California bodybuilding competition in Folsom, CA (Image by: Randy Miramontez)

The big prize for the evening was pro status for the Men’s and Women’s Open, earning the right to compete at the professional level. The winner of the Men’s Open received a very cool sword, while the winner under the womens category received a trophy and flowers. Below are all the winners for the evening’s events. They were all rock stars in their own right, deserving their own concert.

Men’s Ultra Masters: Mohammed Daunish
Men’s Grand Masters: Dave Blumgold
Men’s Masters: Paul Alberts
Men’s Overall: Dave Blumgold
Women’s Masters (40+): Debbie Lockwood
Masters Figure Short: Kelly Lombardi
Masters Figure Tall:  Jennifer Burger
Women’s Overall:  Jennifer Burger
Bikini: Meredith Murdock
Women’s Open: Debbie Lockwood
Men’s Light Weight: James Simmons
Men’s Middle Weight: Daniel Korman
Men’s Light Heavy Weight: Erik Holm
Men’s Heavy Weight: Dave Blumgold
Open Figure Short: Jennifer Flores
Open Figure Medium:  Jennifer Burger
Open Figure Tall: Teo Schoer
Ms. California (pro qualifier):  Jennifer Burger

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Concert Stock Photography

Jennifer Burger wins the Ms. California title at the NGA Mr/Ms California bodybuilding competition in Folsom, CA (Image by: Randy Miramontez)

Mr. California (pro qualifier): Erik Holm

Concert Stock Photography

Erik Holm wins Mr. California at the NGA Mr/Ms California bodybuilding competition in Folsom, CA (Image by: Randy Miramontez)

To get more information visit Fitness in Mind or National Gym Association.

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