The Scientology Money Project

People of the State of California vs. Rizza Islam et. al.

By Jeffrey Augustine

The links below are the summary of the court reporting I did during the preliminary criminal trial of Rizza Islam and his co-defendants in the Los Angeles Downtown Criminal Courts (Case # BA435374). The felony charges against Ronnie Steven “Rizza” Islam and his co-defendants center around a $3.8 million dollar Medi-Cal insurance fraud committed during the operation of the now defunct Scientology-licensed World Literacy Crusade and the American Health and Education Clinic located in Compton, California.

Thanks to Tony Ortega for covering my reporting in real time — along with his added news and commentary — at The Underground Bunker. The Bunker commenting community added many outstanding and insightful comments. Special thanks to Lisa Bartley of ABC 7 Los Angeles Eyewitness News for providing video coverage along with the sketches by ABC sketch artist Mona S. Edwards.

This story has now become a part of the decades-long story of Scientology and criminality.

The sovereign citizen defense offered by Rizza and his mother Hanan Islam at the preliminary trial failed badly and served them both a hard lesson that legal fictions do not work in the real world. Both Rizza and his mother were sentenced to five days in jail and fined $1000 for contempt of court due to their flagrant disrespect towards the court in asserting their nonsensical sovereign citizen arguments. The defendants will be arraigned on October 22 and I will be there to report on it.

October 1: SCIENTOLOGIST ARRESTED IN L.A. COURT: Narconon fraud defendants in wild scene

October 3: Scientologists led away in handcuffs after stunning evidence of fraud heard in L.A. court

October 4: Scientologist removed from L.A. court again after screaming at judge in fraud hearing

October 8: As Scientologists face another day in L.A. court, we have a bizarre twist to the case

October 8: Scientologists will face trial after judge cites ‘sophisticated fraud’ scheme

October 8: ABC7 in Los Angeles covers the Scientology Narconon fraud hearing — with sketches!

UPDATE: Rizza Islam spoke in a video from jail. In this video Rizza stated that he was being held in jail for contempt of court. This is not entirely accurate. While Rizza and his mother were each sentenced to five days in jail for contempt of court on October 2, 2019, they completed their sentences for contempt on October 6. Thereafter, Rizza and his mother were held in jail on bail based upon the charges for which they were  bound over for trial. Rizza spun his jail time as being for contempt only; he did not forthrightly speak to the underlying criminal charges for which he was being held. Rizza has never directly addressed these charges in social media.

Here is what actually happened: On the final day of the preliminary criminal trial, Judge Pastor ruled that the State had met its burden of proof and he ruled that all defendants were to be bound over for trial on all charges.

The Judge next raised the question of bail. All defendants had been free on their own recognizance since they were charged in October 2015. The Judge allowed Nimat Islam and Zakiyyah Islam to remain free on their own recognizance as they have always appeared as ordered and have no prior convictions.

Judge Pastor cited the “dramatically changed circumstances” based upon the evidence presented at the preliminary criminal trial as it concerned Hanan Islam and Rizza Islam.

Judge Pastor turned his attention to Hanan Islam and said the evidence showed she had engaged in “an extremely aggravated fraud scheme” that involved educators and “innocent high school students.” Judge Pastor further stated that Hanan had played games with the court and engaged in nonsense. Here, he was clearly referring to Hanan’s time-wasting and contemptuous sovereign citizen defense that had gotten her five days in jail and a $1,000 fine. He further characterized her actions as a “sophisticated fraud” in which she was “ripping off the taxpayers.” Accordingly, he set her bail at $250,000 and revoked her release on her own recognizance. There is an additional $5,000 bail hold on Hanan and so her total bail is $255,000.

Judge Pastor set Rizza Islam’s bail at $100,000 and revoked his release on his own recognizance. Once Rizza was booked into Los Angeles County Jail an old warrant from when he was a minor was discovered. The bail on that warrant is $31,000 and this brings Rizza’s bail to $131,000. Rizza can present his case at arraignment and ask for bail reduction or to be released on his own recognizance. So can his mother Hanan.

Below are the screenshots from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Inmate Locator site; readers can verify this information for themselves:

Rizza Islam’s bail for $131,000:

Hanan Islam’s bail for $255,000:

The defendants will be arraigned on October 22, 2019:


Charging documents for the defendants. Note: Please hover your cursor over the document to invoke the page up/page down controls at the bottom of the page frame.

Rizza-Islam-et-al-charge-documents

 

6 replies »

  1. The crimes for which Rizza Islam is in jail were committed in the period 2010-2013 when Rizza worked at the Scientology-licensed World Literacy Crusade and the Scientology-licensed American Health and Education Clinic. Rizza was doing nothing except Scientology 100% of the time. He began in Scientology in 1999 according to his own words.

    Rizza was charged with the alleged crimes he committed as a Scientologist in October 2015 following an investigation by the State of California.

    Rizza’s born date in the Nation of Islam is June 16, 2015. It appears Rizza formally joined the Nation when it became apparent he would be indicted for crimes committed in 2010-2013 as a Scientologist.

    Rizza is in jail because the judge revoked his bail on the two felony charges for which he is to stand trial:

    1) Presenting false Medi-Cal claims.

    2) Insurance fraud.

    Rizza was part of a fraud scheme in which $3.8 million was stolen from California taxpayers in the years 2010-2013. Rizza and his co-defendants used delaying tactics from October 2015 until October 2019 to put off the preliminary criminal trial.

    The defendants apparently hoped the charges would be dropped or reduced from felonies to misdemeanors if enough time passed. However, the defendants ran an insurance fraud in which taxpayers were scammed out of $3.8 million. These serious charges weren’t going away — and they were not reduced to misdemeanors as the amount involved constituted Grand Theft. Time ran out on the delaying tactics and the preliminary criminal trial was held in October 2019.

    ****
    Rizza used the period 2015-2019 to build his presence online as a member of the Nation of Islam. He was granted extraordinary access because of his stepfather Alfreddie Johnson’s close relationship to Tony Muhammad.

    In October 2019, however, Rizza’s past caught up with him. He was arrested for contempt of court and served five days. His bail was revoked in the underlying criminal case. His bail was set at $100,000. An old warrant caught up with him when he was booked into Los Angeles County Jail. $31,000 was added to his bail on the old warrant making for a grand total of $131,000.

    Rizza is in jail for the crimes of which he is accused; he was not jailed for speaking out. To reiterate: Rizza’s past caught up with him.

    Rizza never told his audience on social media that he was facing criminal charges for fraud. This is why so many people were shocked by the news that Rizza is in jail. Why did Rizza withhold this information and keep it secret from his audience?

    The Nation of Islam and the ultra-rich Church of Scientology have not paid Rizza’s bail. Rizza’s followers have not started a Gofundme campaign to pay Rizza’s bail.

  2. Too many instances of slander to take this seriously. The entire M.O. you guys use is highly traceable because whites do not correctly process hatred. it wouldn’t even BE hatred if you guys could correctly please your women, but that’s another story..

  3. Slander? It’s all there in the receipts. Read the documents. Up your confront. As for your comments about white people: I expect these sorts of suppressive generalities to come from Scientologists in the Nation of Islam as you clearly are. Go read and M9 LRH again: Generalities are one of the characteristics of SP’s.

    Attacking the messenger for reporting on the facts is a deflection away from the facts: Rizza Islam has been criminally charged along with his mother Hanan and his two sisters. What they need is a robust criminal defense. Attacking the messenger is pointless at this juncture.

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