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Author Topic:   Gabe Suarez Sentenced to JAIL after pleading GUILTY to Multiple Felony Counts.
Mad Dog
Moderator
posted 09-28-2001 13:21     Click Here to See the Profile for Mad Dog   Click Here to Email Mad Dog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The wheels of justice may grind slow, but they grind exceeding fine.
Our industry breathes a huge sigh of relief as the infamous Gabe Suarez gets his just desserts.
-Mad Dog

Former Officer Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges

By Teresa Rochester

Sept. 27 -- A former Santa Monica police officer has pleaded guilty to Workers Compensation fraud, money laundering and grand theft and will begin serving a year-long jail sentence for the crimes next week.

Gabriel Saurez, a decorated 12-year veteran of the SMPD, will report to Los Angeles County Jail to begin serving his sentence on Monday as part of a plea agreement reached last week in Los Angeles County Criminal Court. Saurez, who recently resigned from the force, also was sentenced to five years probation.

Saurez, his wife Cheryl Saurez and Officer Jason Comer pleaded not guilty in April to charges of conspiracy, Workers Compensation fraud and grand theft. Saurez also faced two additional fraud charges.

Like her husband, Cheryl Saurez agreed to plea guilty during last Friday's hearing. She was ordered to serve one day in jail and also was sentenced to five years probation.

Comer's charges were dropped in June, and he remains on paid leave pending the conclusion of an administrative investigation, according to Police Chief James T. Butts Jr.

As part of the agreement, the charges of conspiracy against the Suarezes were dismissed, as were the two additional counts of Workers Compensation filed against Gabriel Saurez, said DA spokesperson Sandi Gibbons.

The Saurezes paid a $100 fine and $112, 250.01 in restitution on Friday, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Ellen St. John.

Chief Butts said Saurez's plea was a testament to the "hard work, time and effort that the risk management and our criminal division officers have put into this case.

"The good thing is the City of Santa Monica has received full restitution for all wages that were paid in this fraudulent claim," Butts said. "The jail sentence that was imposed by the judge sent a strong message that this type of misconduct will not be tolerated by the City of Santa Monica,"

Gabriel Suarez allegedly worked as a gun tactics trainer while receiving Workers Compensation for a slip and fall accident in the SMPD's locker room in 1999. Cheryl Suarez allegedly received payments for work done by her husband through a company she never worked for. The dismissed charges against Comer were based on allegations that he received and disbursed money for Saurez.

The Saurez case stemmed from a long-term investigation of Workers Compensation fraud within the police department launched late last year by the department, the District Attorneys Office and the State Department of Insurance.

The investigation also has resulted in charges filed against Officer Richard Robert Brulato, who pleaded not guilty in June to two counts of Workers Compensation Fraud.

Butts said the investigation is "definitely ongoing.

"We have other cases we are actively looking at and investigating. Fortunately at this point those cases are few," said Butts adding that they would be vigorously pursued.


Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001 surfsantamonica.com. All Rights Reserved.

[This message has been edited by Mad Dog (edited 09-30-2001).]

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Pat _Rogers
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posted 09-28-2001 15:23     Click Here to See the Profile for Pat _Rogers   Click Here to Email Pat _Rogers     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Amen

------------------
S/F

Pat Sends

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Kensho
Member
posted 09-28-2001 18:04     Click Here to See the Profile for Kensho   Click Here to Email Kensho     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Geez,
Can't wait to see if he tries to teach Weapon Tactics now that he's a convicted felon.

Or tries to spin it that technically he isn't in Ownership/Posession of it, merely demonstrating it's application.


This is goonna get good....

Where's the popcorn, I just gotta see this one....

------------------
"Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with truth."

The Beatings will continue,
untill the moral improves...

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Frogman
Moderator
posted 09-28-2001 20:35     Click Here to See the Profile for Frogman   Click Here to Email Frogman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dane Burns hasn't weighed in here, yet? Huh.

Frogman

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USMC03
Member
posted 09-29-2001 00:16     Click Here to See the Profile for USMC03   Click Here to Email USMC03     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We don't need people like that in our profession. The masses judge us on the acts of a small minority within our profession, and it makes it hard for the rest of us out there working hard and doing a good job.


Semper Fi
USMC03

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nyeti
Member
posted 09-29-2001 04:40     Click Here to See the Profile for nyeti     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is what happens when the almighty dollar becomes the most important thing in the world. I was in a similar situation as Gabe. I was injured at work, had a horrendous battle with risk management (whose actions are borderline criminal in how you are treated), and I lost one business, and over $10,000 in lost wages from outside employment because I couldn't do anything while out on work comp. There was no reimbursemnet for my loss of over $60,000. The system definately has something wrong, but Gabe should have known better than to work while out on workmans comp. The sad thing is that Gabe Suarez was a squared away instructor who was on the money on a majority of what he was teaching, and was one of the better writers in the gun rags. It is a shame that his warrior skills did not carry over into his ethics and his business dealings. He has burned a lot of bridges over the years, and it all comes down to the almighty dollar-shame on him.

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He who advances is sure of heaven, he who retreats is sure of eternal damnation.

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mcgrubbs
Novice
posted 09-29-2001 22:56     Click Here to See the Profile for mcgrubbs   Click Here to Email mcgrubbs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gabe tells his side of the story over at Glocktalk.com forums.

Sounds to me like he made the mistake of putting too much faith in his lawyer. He says that he pleaded guilty to misdemeanors only. He doesn't seem to answer the question about grand theft in his post.

His attitude says to me that everything will be just fine and dandy when he gets out of the pokey. I don't know. Guilty or not, these things tend to follow you around a long time. I have always felt when engaged in law and order type occupations you had better not ever let there be even a small impression of any wrongdoing.

I don't know what to think.

Pat do you have any thoughts on this deal?
Have you had any interaction with Gabe?
Business or otherwise?

[This message has been edited by mcgrubbs (edited 09-29-2001).]

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Westicle
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posted 09-30-2001 00:47     Click Here to See the Profile for Westicle   Click Here to Email Westicle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shortcut to the Glocktalk thread....
http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=39513

People make mistakes, get over it people.

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PROUD TO BE CANADIAN

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Pat _Rogers
Member
posted 09-30-2001 09:15     Click Here to See the Profile for Pat _Rogers   Click Here to Email Pat _Rogers     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Monty,

Here is what those in Police work call a clue.

How many times have you seen a cop's wife also arrested with her husband for the same crime?

It doesn't happen often.

More telling though, is how many husbands would have not accepted an earlier plea in order to spare his wife a jail sentance (short as it may be)?

There are a number of ethical issues here, and the state had overwhelming evidence to support the allegations.
Apologist's may believe what they want to believe, and others with personal dealings will believe what they believe because of those personal dealings.

He got away dirt cheap, that's for sure.

It is sad that it ever happened.

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scot475
Member
posted 09-30-2001 09:45     Click Here to See the Profile for scot475   Click Here to Email scot475     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess the guy I work with who was caught loding cement bags into his truck while he was out on a back injury should be counting his blessings!

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Mad Dog
Moderator
posted 09-30-2001 16:07     Click Here to See the Profile for Mad Dog   Click Here to Email Mad Dog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unfortunately, our industry draws nearly as many wastrels as does politics.

Yet, this is all in all a pretty small industry. Every professional usually knows and/or trusts a large number of others in the game. We network a LOT.
We have to interact in order to stay current; not only on training and tools, but also the "who is doing what to who" end of things. This is a defense mechanism as well as a way of staying abreast of new techniques.
For this reason, those that defecate where they eat are usually outed pretty quick, and their halflife is usually very short.
They are usually left with whatever core following of acolyte/apologists they may have conned into being "true believers", but these invariably drift away as other teachers rise to prominence and/or the acolytes wake up and smell the coffee.

Staying power requires talent AND integrity.

The chances of Gabe getting any signifigant support from others in the industry is small. Extremely small. If nothing else, we have looooong memories.
Credibility is precious coin, not to be squandered on the likes of him.

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Mendocino
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posted 10-01-2001 00:33     Click Here to See the Profile for Mendocino   Click Here to Email Mendocino     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There sure seems to be a lot of Suarez "boot licking" going on at that GT thread.

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Mad Dog
Moderator
posted 10-01-2001 02:33     Click Here to See the Profile for Mad Dog   Click Here to Email Mad Dog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Suarez is known to have several alternate cyber personalities that he uses there.
(He tried that here too, but we canked his IP. He may have re registered with a new IP...For example, the otherwise anonymous Magnumslug never posted here prior to this thread)
One wonders how much of his own boot licking he is doing...

Besides, Gabe's side of the story doesn't jive with what we were told by the investigating officers at SMPD Internal Affairs. Our own experiences with him have left us with the certain knowledge that he is (how can one put this charitably?) less than entirely honest...

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mcgrubbs
Novice
posted 10-01-2001 08:41     Click Here to See the Profile for mcgrubbs   Click Here to Email mcgrubbs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mendocino, you are quite right. It was getting a bit deep over there at Glocktalk.

Pat, I did not mean to put you on the spot. I just figured you could give us a fair opinion of the situation.

You did and I appreciate it. What you said made sense. It all just did not add up the way Gabe says it did.

I don't know for sure, but I really do think his chances of having what he did, are pretty slim now. Too bad. I think he did have something to contribute to our industry and has probably lost most of his "professional voice."

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Pat _Rogers
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posted 10-01-2001 09:57     Click Here to See the Profile for Pat _Rogers   Click Here to Email Pat _Rogers     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nope- you didn't put me on any spot. We were all prepared to testify under subpeona, and state the truth.
There are multiple other issues at play here, but as they were not stated in a court of law, are now- unfortunately, moot.

I do disagree with your thoughts on his proffesionalisim. There are some issues that i hold strong and dear, and i dislike strongly those without ethics.

His alleged swing to religion is common among those who suddenly face reality- convicted murderers whose appeals have been exhausted for example.

But i wonder how his wife will forgive him?
Then again, she was part and parcel of his scheme.

Again- he got away dirt cheap.

------------------
S/F

Pat Sends

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Mad Dog
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posted 10-01-2001 11:20     Click Here to See the Profile for Mad Dog   Click Here to Email Mad Dog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good points, Pat. I would like to add that with issues moot or otherwise, the looooong memories I mentioned earlier will certainly keep those issues alive, especially in the hearts and minds of those that have not been recompensed by Suarez.

Like Nyeti said, Suarez burned a lot of bridges in this industry, and those bridges will not be easily or willingly rebuilt.
Suarez may try to make a comeback of some sort after he is released, but without the wholehearted support of the industry, he will have a very hard road to hoe.

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St. Teryl
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posted 10-01-2001 11:36     Click Here to See the Profile for St. Teryl   Click Here to Email St. Teryl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gabe is a liar and a theif. That is an undisputed FACT which has now been proven in a court of law.

I knew this to be true before his conviction, because he stole from us and then lied about it on the forums.

He stole from the city of Santa Monica, and then lied about it (pleading not guilty).

He continues to lie on the forums, and those of you who were not directly victimized by him would ask us to "forgive and forget"?

The man does not deserve our forgiveness.

Remeber this; he would not have "repaid" his debt without being legally forced to.
He has not repaid his debt to those of us he has victimized. In fact, he STILL lies about it.
I will not forget that.
There are a LOT of us who will not forget that.

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Mad Dog
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posted 10-01-2001 15:23     Click Here to See the Profile for Mad Dog   Click Here to Email Mad Dog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Magnumslug,
Suarez also pleaded guilty to Grand Theft.
Since when is Grand Theft a misdemeanor?

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Marty Hayes
Novice
posted 10-01-2001 16:05     Click Here to See the Profile for Marty Hayes   Click Here to Email Marty Hayes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like it's time to burn some bridges, at least with some people here on tacticalforums.

Last summer when this hit, I signed onto this forum to read what was being said about Gabe. This situation effected me business wise, as we had a full class scheduled with him, which we had to cancel.

At about the same time, I was contacted by the lead investigator and I then became part of the investigation, since Gabe had taught for my company during the time in question. (BTW, there was no doubt that his back was screwed up at that time, but he held in there for the two days, which I was grateful for. In my opinion, (20 years as a cop myself), no way could he have worked a patrol shift).

The story I got from the investigator was essentially the same as Gabe now relates on GT.

By pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges, he saves his business, pays a heafty fine, (the back WC wages), and goes on with his life.

I see nothing wrong with what Gabe did. He ran a side business while working as a cop, many of the industry does just that. He got injured on the job, and couldn't work as a cop, but that should not prevent him from pursuing his side business if he could. Standing, (or sitting on a firing line) is not the same as wrestling to the ground a 300 pound gorilla.

Remember that he didn't hide any of his activities like a criminal would do, it was all done out in the open. The whole situation reeked of a inter-departmental squabble and political prosecution, of which I know a little. By giving up the felony charges, the department admits that it doesn't have enough evidence to convict for felony charges. He should never have been charged to begin with.

As far as Maddogs feelings towards Gabe goes, I recall several years ago meeting someone in the industry who was carrying some baggage with him, accused of theft, fraud etc. by others in the industry. I thought to myself, well, if he did all this why isn't he being pursued legally? The same question begs to be answered in this situation too. BTW, that person whom I be-friended several years continues to be a good friend of mine, well-thought of in the industry, and has never done anything remotely against me or anyone else that I know of. If I would have believed what I heard about him to begin with, I would have been lesser for the situation.

Will Gabe be shunned in the industry? I am sure by some people. So be it. I expect him to explain the situation many times over the next few years, and eventually people will forget about it. As far as our part of the world, The Firearms Academy of Seattle has scheduled him for another training engagement next year, and look forward to many more classes to come.

Marty Hayes, Director
The Firearms Academy of Seattle, Inc.

P.S. Don't bother to lock me out of tactical forums, I will not be posting here again.

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nyeti
Member
posted 10-01-2001 16:05     Click Here to See the Profile for nyeti     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to the California justice system Kevin. You can plea bargain to just about anything here. It is totally out of control. I went over and read Gabe's post on glocktalk-he took the short term benifit over the long term, and pissed on his badge in the process. I lost a ton of money in the process of dealing with the same problem-but integrity and honor do not have a price attached. For many of us in law enforcement, you will be shafted by the cities you work for, it is part of our reality. You just have to deal with it, just like working crappy shifts, not eating right, poor health, and low pay (the military guys can appreciate a lot of this as well). If Gabe had sat at home, ate his meds, and typed magazine articles, he would not have had a problem. When you go out in public and do combatives training while you are fighting for a disability rating is flat stupid. Gabe has been the on the line for years. The claims of being on a L.A. SWAT team were borderline (yes Santa Monica is in L.A. county, but they are not even in the ballpark with L.A.P.D. "D" platoon, or L.A.S.D. S.E.B.) His claims of being an "ace" with five shootings-my question, how many were dogs (I don't count unarmed domestic animals as anything to brag about on your abilities as a gunfighter). Gabe had so much potential as a brightlight in the gun magazines, his books were right on, and he does have very good real world experience, but he pissed it all away over some extra bucks every month-total stupidity.

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He who advances is sure of heaven, he who retreats is sure of eternal damnation.

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St. Teryl
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posted 10-01-2001 19:28     Click Here to See the Profile for St. Teryl   Click Here to Email St. Teryl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Marty Hayes,

Gabe is located in California. That makes suing him very expensive. More expensive than is worth our down time.

I would be happy to forward copies of my documentation to you which proves that Gabe was receiving stolen property across state lines.
I have his bank check numbers that correspond to the checks he wrote to HIS partner for the amount "invoiced" plus his partners cut of the profits.
I can also produce copies of faxes for orders sent by Gabe AND invoices/shipping info for same orders.
I can show you a letter that he sent to me AFTER receiving GunGlove orders inwhich he states that he "does not like our products" and would not pay for the GunGlove product that was shipped to him. He did not return the product either. That makes it theft, plain and simple.
After all was said and done, he STOLE over a thousand dollars (wholesale) of GunGlove product. Of course we were angry, wouldn't you be?

There was no "mistake", no regret, and no compensation of any kind. He profited by his theft, and judging from the tone of his letter, he enjoyed every minute of it.

Gabe let greed and arrogance dictate his actions at the expense of those who trusted him. If you condone this, you are no better than he.

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mcgrubbs
Novice
posted 10-01-2001 21:03     Click Here to See the Profile for mcgrubbs   Click Here to Email mcgrubbs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pat,
I think you may have misunderstood me a bit. I was not making any references to Gabe's character or professionalism.

When I said "professional voice" I meant something else. Sorry.

What I meant was his reputation or his ability to speak with authority and experience about a subject. In this case, weapons training.

In other words, in my opinion, you seem to have a good professional voice. People listen when you talk, they read when you write. And from what I hear and read, they perform when you teach them.

I frankly did have my own personal questions about Gabe long ago. But where I live we just don't have much in the way of tactical communities. Not many folks who participate in such things. So I never was really sure about him.

Pat, I just wanted to clear things up with you.

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mcgrubbs
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posted 10-01-2001 21:16     Click Here to See the Profile for mcgrubbs   Click Here to Email mcgrubbs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey Marty,

Come on man!! Let's say you were paying me to work for you and I got too hurt to work for you,and was out working for someone else. I was supposed to be at home, recovering because I was too hurt to work. And to top it off, the workman's comp insurance you pay for, is paying me the whole time.

That's just dishonest.

Marty, Clint Smith once said:"Nobody ever cares 'til it's their ox that's getting gored." I am sure you don't mind what Gabe did. Hell, it didn't hurt YOU did it??!

[This message has been edited by mcgrubbs (edited 10-01-2001).]

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Westicle
Novice
posted 10-01-2001 21:29     Click Here to See the Profile for Westicle   Click Here to Email Westicle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Being on Workers Comp from his Job may not mean that he could not perform other duties. More then Likely the department made the decision not to put him on light duties.

now realistically is teaching a defensive pistol class that physical.... ?

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PROUD TO BE CANADIAN

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Pat _Rogers
Member
posted 10-01-2001 22:23     Click Here to See the Profile for Pat _Rogers   Click Here to Email Pat _Rogers     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Monty,
Understood! Of course i didn't when i read it!

In the general scheme of things, Suarez, his wife, his new found religion, his self pity and others of similar unethical bent are of little consequence.
My Brother is in FDNY rescue. He lost 11 men from his Company alone. My partner's Brother lost 11 more from his Company. I know a large number of firefighters and cops who died on 911. They covered a wide spectrum of NYC, and they will all be missed.
They died doing their job. Suarez only soils the memory of real men who did real things.


------------------
S/F

Pat Sends

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