Embezzlement charge for celebrity manager
Embezzlement charge for celebrity manager
A former business manager for celebrities, including singer Alanis Morrissette, admitted to charges of embezzlement and filing false tax returns. Jonathan Schwartz, 48, formerly of Agoura Hills, worked for GSO Business Management in Sherman Oaks.

According to court papers, Schwartz admitted that he embezzled more than $6.5 million from clients of the agency, including Morrissette, whose losses constituted the majority of the stolen funds. Initially, Schwartz said that he invested the money in a marijuana growing operation, but acknowledged in the court filing that the statement was false.

In addition, Schwartz admitted to misappropriating about $1 million from another client, and nearly three-quarters of a million dollars from a third client. Initially he attributed those withdrawals to “home renovation” expenses, but later admitted to forging the clients’ signatures on checks. In addition, Schwartz pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax fraud, and owes the IRS $1.7 million in unpaid taxes on the stolen funds. As part of the plea agreement, Schwartz is likely to receive between 4 and 6 years in federal prison

Federal embezzlement attorney


Federal prosecutors are rarely satisfied with a single charge. Federal laws involving financial crimes often include tax evasion charges on top of whatever other matters they seek to address in court. If you’ve been arrested for embezzlement, wire fraud or other financial crime, you need the assistance of an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense for more than 30 years, and takes cases in both federal and state courts. He knows what it takes to confront federal allegations of embezzlement and fraud, and will fight aggressively on your behalf in court.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County embezzlement case.

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Ventura Neurosurgeon Sentenced for Fraud
Ventura Neurosurgeon Sentenced for Fraud
A former Ventura neurosurgeon was sentenced to nearly 20 years in federal prison for fraud and conspiracy. Dr. Aria Sabit admitted to performing unnecessary surgeries, improperly billing insurance companies and not disclosing his connections to a medical device supply company.

Sabit was accused of convincing Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura to implant devices from a distributor known as Apex Medical Technologies. Sabit failed to disclose that he was the co-owner of the company and that he earned money for each implant the company sold. Sabit worked at the hospital in 2010.

Sabit moved to Michigan in 2011 and continued to perform surgeries, including spinal fusions, at hospitals in Michigan. Most of the patients involved in the criminal case were Medicaid recipients. Many of Sabit’s patients suffered permanent debilitating injuries as the result of Sabit’s work. Patients from both Ventura County and Michigan testified against Sabit in court.

In addition to the criminal case against Sabit, he was named in dozens of lawsuits filed by patients he treated in both California and Michigan.

Ventura Fraud Lawyer


If you’ve been arrested or are charged by the federal government with fraud, you need an experienced federal fraud defense attorney by your side in court. Federal prosecutors are well prepared and well funded. Your best defense is an experienced attorney who will fight aggressively for your rights in court.

Robert Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for more than 30 years in federal circuits around the nation. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

He handles each case personally, so you will work directly with him on your defense. He will not pass your case to a less experienced attorney. Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced federal defense attorney.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura fraud/drug possession case.

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Ojai Identity Theft Suspect in Court
Ojai Identity Theft Suspect in Court
A man arrested last August on suspicion of identity theft was back in court this week. Jacob DeGrande, 46, is a transient with a history of mail theft and identity theft.

DeGrande was arrested in August following a string of mail thefts in Ojai. A resident reported that several checks had been stolen from his mailbox. Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives discovered that the checks had been cashed in several cities in Ventura County, including Ojai, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura. The detectives were able to obtain video surveillance of the suspect.

Patrol officers recognized DeGrande from the video footage and arrested him in early August because he had been acting suspiciously. At the time of his arrest, DeGrande was found in possession of hundreds of pieces of mail belonging to others, checks, check-forging equipment and blank check paper. In addition, DeGrande was charged with mail theft and a drug offense. DeGrande was arrested for identity theft in 2009 and 2013. He pleaded guilty to a single felony charge following his most recent arrest.

Identity Theft Attorney Lawyer


If you’ve been arrested for identity theft or any other felony, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for more than 30 years, and takes cases in Ojai and throughout Southern California.

A history of felony convictions in California can put you at risk of receiving a life sentence under the Three Strikes law. Avoiding felony charges becomes an important part of your defense strategy, but only a skilled defense lawyer can get charges against you reduced or dropped. Don’t risk your freedom.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County identity theft case.
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Oxnard Police Seek Domestic Violence Suspect
Oxnard Police Seek Domestic Violence Suspect
A man accused of breaking into his girlfriend’s home and kidnapping her is wanted by the Oxnard police. Earlier this month, police were called to an Oxnard home to respond to a report of a domestic violence assault.

At the scene, a woman reported that Jamell Taylor, 31, had broken into the home and forced her 29-year-old daughter to leave the house with him. Taylor was armed at the time of the kidnapping. The daughter was involved in a romantic relationship with Taylor.

Officers searched the area and located the woman about two hours later, but Taylor was no longer present. The woman was treated at the scene for minor injuries, and did not require hospitalization. Police have not yet found Taylor, who is wanted for questioning regarding the incident. He is also wanted for a parole violation.

Oxnard Domestic Violence Lawyer


Domestic violence charges can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If you have prior felony convictions, a domestic violence conviction can potentially send you to prison for the rest of your life under California’s Three Strikes Law.

The potential of a life sentence is the clearest reason you need the assistance of an experienced domestic violence defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney in Oxnard and throughout Ventura County.

Mr. Helfend handles each case personally, so you will always receive the full benefit of his experience. Unlike larger, less personal law firms, Mr. Helfend will not pass your case along to a less experienced criminal defense attorney.

Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced criminal defense attorney, and don’t attempt to defend yourself in court. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County domestic violence case.

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California man faces caffeine DUI
California man faces caffeine DUI
A Fairfield, CA man was charged with DUI by prosecutors in Solano County in Northern California following a traffic stop there in August 2015. Joseph Schwab was arrested by officers who said that he seemed “amped up” and that his pupils were dilated.

Officers searched Schwab’s car and found nutritional supplements, but no illegal substances or other intoxicants. Deputies administered a blood test, which came back negative for all substances except caffeine. The district attorney’s office was initially willing to proceed with the impaired driving charge, under the belief that Schwab was impaired by an unknown substance that was not tested for at the time of his arrest.

After consulting with forensic toxicologists, the DA rescinded the charge, saying that she no longer believed that she could demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Schwab was impaired. She said, however, that Schwab would still face a charge of reckless driving.

Ventura DUI attorney


We automatically think of alcohol when we hear the term “DUI” but many different substances can act as intoxicants. Driving while intoxicated (on anything) can put you at risk of a DUI charge. The consequences of a drunk driving conviction in California are severe, and can land you in jail (or prison), interfere with your employment, and cost you tens of thousands of dollars. That’s why you need the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in Ventura County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years, and can assemble the medical and legal resources you need to defend yourself effectively against a DUI charge.

Don’t attempt to defend yourself and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura DUI case.

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Theft Charge for Oxnard Couple
Theft Charge for Oxnard Couple
An off-duty Ventura County Sheriff’s deputy was instrumental in the arrest of an Oxnard couple suspected of auto theft, as well as firearms and drug charges. The deputy was returning home following his shift when he spotted a car that had been reported stolen earlier in the day.

The deputy followed the vehicle, which was later abandoned by the pair in Santa Paula. He contacted the Santa Paula Police Department and informed them that the stolen car had been abandoned in Santa Paula, but that a grey SUV, which was following the stolen car, was potentially involved in the theft.

The SPPD located the suspect SUV and conducted a traffic stop. Two Oxnard residents, Ryan Hotchkiss and Rosa Flores, were arrested. A search of the vehicle turned up cocaine, Ecstasy and a gun that had been reported stolen in Arizona. The off-duty deputy positively identified Flores as the driver of the stolen vehicle. She was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. Hotchkiss was charged with various drug and firearms offenses.

Santa Paula theft lawyer


Robert Helfend is an experienced Santa Paula theft lawyer who will assist you with any grand theft, drug possession or firearms-related offenses. Mr. Helfend has provided exceptional criminal defense services in Santa Paula and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years. He knows what it takes to deliver effective courtroom defense.

He has established a reputation for fighting aggressively for his clients, and will work to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney, or one who is not interested in fighting aggressively on your behalf.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura theft case.
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Simi Valley Drug Possession Bust
Simi Valley Drug Possession Bust
Simi Valley Police have arrested three people in connection with a heroin home-delivery ring operating in Ventura County. According to police, two Fullerton men and a Simi Valley resident were arrested and charged with drug possession and criminal conspiracy.

According to police, the men would take phone orders for drugs, and would send delivery personnel to an agreed-upon meeting place. Police conducted a three-month investigation of the delivery operations following the heroin-overdose deaths of two Ventura County residents.

Police developed information about the delivery service from friends of the men who died after using the delivered drugs. Police made heroin-delivery purchases in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and Moorpark. Ventura County law enforcement officials busted a similar drug delivery operation in 2014.

Police have aggressively pursued heroin dealers following a string of overdose-related deaths in and around Ventura County. In one case, a 16-year-old boy died from a fatal overdose of heroin. Police arrested a 19-year-old, whom they say provided the boy with the drug.

Simi Valley drug possession lawyer


While California is relaxing certain penalties associated with drug possession and use, drug possession related to drug sales is still being vigorously prosecuted. In addition, prosecutors are now establishing a pattern of prosecuting people who sell drugs for the outcome of a customer’s drug use.

If you’ve been arrested for drug possession, or accused of being a drug dealer, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has provided exceptional criminal defense services in Ventura County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years.

He will fight overzealous prosecutors aggressively, and will work to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. Don’t risk your freedom on inexperienced defense counsel.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura drug possession case.

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Murder suspect captured after brief chase
Murder suspect captured after brief chase
A 33-year-old Oxnard man wanted in connection with his wife’s murder last week was arrested in Somis, following a brief chase. Alfredo Ortiz argued with his wife, Theresa Ortiz outside of their Oxnard home. He dragged his wife into the home, where he shot her several times. The couple has six children together, and the children were at home at the time of the incident.

The children fled the home and neighbors called police. Ortiz fled the scene. Police located him near Somis, after a woman reported that Ortiz forced her to drive him there at gunpoint. While in Somis, police received a report from a man who said that a man fitting Ortiz’ description had tried unsuccessfully to steal his car. Police located Ortiz shortly afterward and arrested him.

According to the Oxnard Police Department, Ortiz has an arrest history that includes DUI and resisting arrest, but had no prior history of domestic violence or other violent felonies.

Oxnard murder lawyer


The most serious charge you can face in any courtroom is first-degree murder. In California, a first-degree murder conviction can result in life in prison with or without parole, or the death penalty. A list of “special circumstances” developed by the legislature and in some cases by California voters determines whether or not you’ll face the death penalty. Just because a “special circumstance” is present doesn’t automatically result in a death penalty case, but a special circumstance must be present if the prosecutor intends to seek a death sentence.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your arrest, if you’re being charged with murder, you need an experienced murder lawyer like Robert Helfend. Creating an effective murder defense is a time-consuming and exhausting effort. To succeed, you need the assistance of an aggressive, experienced attorney who will do what it takes to provide effective defense and counsel.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced lawyer, or one who isn’t committed to doing what it takes to defend your rights and freedoms. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County murder case.

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Thousand Oaks police arrest man for sex crimes
Thousand Oaks police arrest man for sex crimes
Thousand Oaks police arrested an Oak Park parolee last month for sex crimes, including possession of child pornography, annoying or molesting a minor, and sending sexually abusive materials to a minor.

According to police, Matthew Myers posed as a 17-year-old boy, and contacted a 15-year-old girl via the social media site Facebook. After conversing with the girl, he asked her for sexually explicit photos. He is also accused of contacting a 16-year-old boy and sending him sexually explicit photographs.

Myers is on parole for previous sexual assaults, and is monitored electronically. In September 2015, Thousand Oaks police, working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, developed information that Myers was engaging in behavior prohibited by the terms of his parole. They seized evidence from Myers’ computer that revealed his contact with at least a dozen minors.

Myers was arrested in Pasadena, and was held on a $1 million bail. Since he has committed a parole violation, he is not currently eligible for release on bail.

Oak Park sex crimes lawyer


Convictions for sex crimes have consequences that will last long after you’ve been released from supervision. Registered sex offenders may find it difficult – if not impossible to find work and housing. A growing number of restrictions work against you, effectively eliminating your opportunity to re-enter society successfully.

Lifetime enrollment on the state’s sex offender registry – which is required following most convictions – works to exclude convicted sex offenders from most meaningful activities. Moving doesn’t help. Your California sex offender status will follow you wherever you go.

If you’re facing sex crimes charges, you need the immediate assistance of an aggressive, experienced sex crimes lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend takes the tough sex crimes cases that most criminal defense attorneys shy away from, and he will fight aggressively for your future in court.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County sex crimes case.

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Securities Fraud Charge for Software Exec
Securities Fraud Charge for Software Exec
Late last year, federal authorities charged Christopher Salis, 39, of San Mateo with securities fraud and money laundering. According to prosecutors, Salis, who was a global vice president at software giant SAP, disclosed inside information about the company’s planned acquisition of Concur Technologies, a Washington-state based travel management software firm to Douglas Miller, a former Purdue University classmate.

Miller and his brother, Edward Miller, ran a car wash operation that was in financial difficulty. The Miller brothers purchased shares in Concur, based on Salis’ information. The brothers also shared the privileged information with their parents and other acquaintances. Investigators say that the privileged information resulted in profits of more than $500,000 to investors connected to Salis and/or the Miller brothers. Once the Miller brothers sold their shares, they paid a portion of their profits on the sale back to Salis.

According to prosecutors, the brothers made about $270,000 in profits from their investment in the travel company, and paid Salis about $90,000 in cash, which they transported to California on a commercial flight. Other investors made about $240,000 in profits. All three men were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, money laundering and structuring transactions to avoid reporting requirements. Prosecutors also allege that Salis and the Miller brothers had previously engaged in an insider-trading scheme that arose from Salis’ employment at Business Objects, a company that was acquired by SAP in 2007.

Salis is also charged with four counts of wire fraud and five additional counts of securities fraud. Douglas Miller is also charged with six counts of wire fraud, five counts of securities fraud and one count of lying to investigators. Edward Miller is charged with one count of wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of harassing a witness.

Federal securities fraud attorney


If you’re facing federal securities fraud charges, you need the assistance of an experienced securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in federal criminal defense and will fight aggressively on your behalf in court.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County securities fraud case.

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