Law & Order: Former Vituity Employee Charged with ‘Hacking’; Momeni Shifts Legal Team; Mail Theft Suspect Sentenced; Feds Charge Man in $800K ‘Romance Scam’

2 mins read

In this digest of stories, we focus on a a handful of criminal cases pertaining to Emeryville.

A former employee of Emeryville-headquartered healthcare industry company Vituity has been charged with sabotaging the company’s computer network after learning of his eminent dismissal.

The high-profile case of Emeryville resident Nima Momeni, accused of killing Tech Mogul Bob Lee, has taken yet another twist. Momeni abruptly parted ways with his high-profile attorney and is now being represented by a new high-profile, Florida-based legal team.

A South Bay man who had been charged with a rash of mail room thefts in Emeryville was recently sentenced to two years in prison. The mail theft charges were ultimately dismissed but he was convicted of other charges.

In addition, a fraud scheme that saw over $800,000 conned from as many as 120 victims centered around Emeryville. Barnabas Jime was charged on June 1 and is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


Former Healthcare Company Employee Facing Felony Allegations Of Misusing Computer Database

By Thomas Hughes / Bay City News

A Dublin man is facing federal felony charges of improperly accessing a former work computer system and changing its data.

Vamsikrishna Naganathanahalli, 47, pleaded not guilty in an Oakland federal courtroom on May 26, according to court records.

Naganathanahalli is accused by prosecutors of changing the password of a coworker’s account after Naganathanahalli learned his employment would soon be terminated, which allowed him to log on to that coworker’s account after his own access was revoked, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Prosecutors allege Naganathanahalli then used another coworker’s account to upload false data to a database maintained his former employer, Vituity, damaging the database. Vituity is an Emeryville-based group of companies that provide healthcare partnerships and services.

Naganathanahalli is facing three counts related to the “Transmission of a Program, Information, Code, and Command to Cause Damage to a Protected Computer,” according to court documents. He was released on $100,000 bond and was next scheduled to appear in court on June 15.

In addition, Emeryville was at the center of a recent fraud scheme where

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Attorneys Bradford Cohen, Saam Zangeneh, and Tony Brass appeared in court on Tuesday, representing Nima Momeni in the Bob Lee murder case. Photo by Eleni Balakrishnan

Bob Lee killing: Nima Momeni’s stacked legal team appears in court

By Eleni Balakrishnan

Nima Momeni’s Bay Area family and a cadre of five lawyers came to court on Tuesday morning to hear a judge set a July 31 preliminary hearing date for charges of first-degree murder in the case of tech executive Bob Lee.

Momeni’s two new Florida-based attorneys, Saam Zangeneh and Bradford Cohen, are awaiting approval to practice law in California for Momeni’s case, though both have taken California cases in the past. They have three California lawyers assisting them: Well-known San Francisco attorney Tony Brass, Zoe Aaron, and Douglas Horngrad.

Read more on MissionLocal.com 

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Emeryville: Suspect in romance scam acquired $800,000 through various cons, feds claim

Defendant released while case is pending

By Nate Gartrell / Bay Area News Group

Federal prosecutors have charged an East Bay man with allegedly acquiring $800,000 in schemes that targeted people searching for two of life’s greatest essentials: housing and love.

Barnabas Jime was charged June 1 with a single count of wire fraud, which carries up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Authorities say the investigation started back in July 2022, when the victim of a romance scam reported sending funds to an Emeryville resident named Thomas Kirkpatrick, who apparently took the money and ran.

Read more on EastBayTimes.com (subject to paywall)

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2-year sentence for Berkeley ID theft, ghost gun, meth defendant

Robert Joaquin Luz Preciado had also been charged in Alameda County with a rash of thefts at an Emeryville apartment building mailroom. Those charges were dismissed Friday.

By Alex N. Gecan

A South Bay man is headed to state prison for two years for his role in a scheme in which police say he and a co-conspirator took out car loans in unwitting victims’ names to buy cars for themselves.

Judge Thomas J. Nixon sentenced 26-year-old Robert Joaquin Luz Preciado to two two-year sentences, one each for single counts of drug possession with a firearm and fraudulent possession of personal identifying information, to be served concurrently.

Read more on Berkeleyside.com

Feature Image: Patrick Nouhailler / Wikimedia Commons

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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