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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 25, 2022

West L.A. Man Sentenced to 18 Years in Federal Prison for Harassment Campaign Targeting Female Doctors at VA Facilities

Federal Judge Said He is Calling a Defendant for the First Time 'a Menace to Society'

          LOS ANGELES – A West Los Angeles man who engaged in a harassment campaign targeting two female doctors at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and two other female doctors working at the VA’s Loma Linda facility in San Bernardino County, was sentenced today to 216 months in federal prison.

          Gueorgui Hristov Pantchev, 51, was sentenced by United States District Judge John F. Walter, who said Pantchev “is a menace to society – a description that I don’t think I have ever used in describing a criminal defendant.”

          A federal jury on July 18 found Pantchev guilty of four counts of stalking. According to evidence presented at his five-day trial, Pantchev’s conduct with respect to two of the doctors began in 2011 with numerous threatening communications sent to West L.A. VA doctors identified in court documents as Victim C and Victim D. As a result of this harassment, Pantchev was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and was convicted in 2014 of seven counts of stalking and witness intimidation.

          After serving a state prison sentence, Pantchev was paroled in 2017, and he was barred from the West L.A. VA Medical Center. Pantchev then began seeking medical services at the VA’s Loma Linda facility, where he started stalking, harassing, and intimidating Victims A and B.

          Notwithstanding the parole conditions that prohibited him from going to the West L.A. facility, Pantchev sought care there in 2020 and began sending harassing and intimidating communications to colleagues of Victims C and D.

          Pantchev deluged Victims C and D and their colleagues with hundreds of lewd, sexually explicit and defamatory fliers bearing large pictures of Victim C and Victim D. Pantchev repeatedly distributed these flyers around the West L.A. VA facility and numerous other locations in the Los Angeles area.

          “This defendant earned a lengthy prison sentence by terrorizing his victims for years,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “The women subjected to his attacks suffered severe emotional distress, including constant fear for their physical safety and the safety of their families. Protecting victims is critical to the mission of our office, and I hope today’s sentencing brings them a sense of justice and security.”

          On the morning of Pantchev’s arrest in January 2021, he drove to Victim D’s home and her child’s elementary school and distributed more sexually explicit flyers that included the victim’s home address and contact information. During a search of Pantchev’s residence, law enforcement found more copies of the same flyers, along with printed copies of some of the letters and emails Pantchev sent to victims.

          Prosecutors wrote in court documents filed in relation to the sentencing that Pantchev’s “conduct was manifestly harmful and specifically designed to terrorize the victims and their families.”

          Pantchev has been in federal custody since his arrest in January 2021.

          During today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Walter said Pantchev’s “extreme anti-social behavior puts him in the top five to 10 defendants among the thousands that I have seen in over 20 years on the bench.”

          The FBI and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs investigated this matter.

          Assistant United States Attorneys Khaldoun Shobaki and Lauren Restrepo of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section prosecuted this case.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Thom Mrozek Director of Media Relations thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov (213) 894-6947
Press Release Number: 
22-226
Updated October 25, 2022