Bystander nabs Oxnard sex crimes suspect
Bystander nabs Oxnard sex crimes suspect
An Oxnard resident heard a woman crying for help last week and saw a suspect fleeing the area. He then followed the man until Oxnard police arrived. They detained the suspect on suspicion of sex crimes including sexual battery on a woman.

According to police, the victim said a man attacked her as she was walking down the street around 1:40 PM. He restrained her and assaulted her. She broke away from the suspect and ran away. Following the arest, the victim positively identified the suspect, whom police later identified as Luis Borunda, 25.

They arrested Borunda and charged him with felony sexual battery. Ventura County Jail records show that he left the jail on February 26, and is due back in court on March 13.

Oxnard sex crimes lawyer


If you’re facing sex crimes charges in Oxnard, including sexual battery or sexual assault, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend takes sex crimes defense cases in Oxnard and throughout Southern California. His 35 years of experience can help you defend yourself against these serious charges..

A sex crimes conviction often leads to enlistment on the state’s sex offender registry. Sex offender status can prevent you from finding appropriate housing or employment. Employers often fire workers who have been accused of sexual offenses, even before they’re convicted of a crime. Sex offender registration often follows you for life. Even if you leave the State of California, you must register as a sex offender in your new city of residence.

Having an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you minimize the impact of convictions related to sexual offenses. Don’t simply plead guilty because you think the evidence against you is overwhelming, and don’t attempt to defend yourself against sex crimes charges.

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.

Photo Credit: Nina A.J., via Flickr.com

Securities Fraud Plea Leads To SEC Inquiry
Securities Fraud Plea Leads To SEC Inquiry
A recent guilty plea to charges of securities fraud by LA financier Jason Galanis triggered an SEC investigation into the Banc of California. CEO Steven Sugarman resigned last month as the bank’s executive officer after the bank acknowledged it was under investigation.

Galanis pleaded guilty last summer to securities fraud charges, for his role in falsely inflating a company’s stock price. Once other investors had poured money into the company, Galanis sold his holdings in the company. He then transferred the gains to other companies. Those companies had ties to Banc of California board members, and Jason Sugarman, the brother of Steven Sugarman.

Jason Sugarman is a part owner of the MLS Los Angeles Football Club. The club sold the naming rights to its stadium to Banc of California for more than $100 million. Team officials say that they do not intend to withdraw from the naming-rights deal. The bank will not confirm its continued participation.

Analysts speculate that the investigation may focus on a statement issued by the bank last fall. The statement said the Board of Directors hired an independent law firm to investigate Jason Galanis’ connections to the bank. Last month, the bank acknowledged that the first law firm was actually hired by bank management executives. They also acknowledged that the firm had ties to the bank and to Steven Sugarman. The Board of Directors later hired an outside law firm with no previous ties to the bank or to its executives.

Ventura securities fraud attorney


Securities fraud cases – and financial fraud cases in general – can be very complex. Often, allegations of impropriety tread a fine line, and actions that may seem illegal are not. A qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney can hire expert witnesses to help the judge or jury understand the finest points of a securities fraud case.

Robert Helfend is a securities fraud attorney who has practiced criminal defense for more than 30 years in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He knows what it takes and can bring together the resources needed to defend clients against serious financial fraud charges.

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.

Photo Credit: Pictures of Money, via Flickr.com

Embezzlement Charge for Simi Valley Director
Embezzlement Charge for Simi Valley Director
After a months-long investigation, the former executive director of the Simi Valley Community Foundation finally faces charges of embezzlement. Joanne Abruzzese, 58, of Simi Valley faces multiple grand theft charges and a single forgery charge.

Prosecutors say that Abruzzese began working for the foundation in 2012. She used the Simi Valley Community Foundation’s checkbook to pay her mortgage. Because checks from the Foundation require two signatures, Abruzzese regularly forged the second signature. Foundation records show that she misused more than $55,000 over a period of two years.

Following her arrest, she was charged and released on a bail of $10,000. She will appear in court again in March. Investigators say that Abruzzese acted alone to steal funds from the foundation. Foundation officers filed an initial complaint with authorities because they discovered accounting irregularities.

The Simi Valley Community Foundation acts as an umbrella organization for a number of charitable organizations in Simi Valley. Initially, the group intended to bring together administrative services for the charities and provide office space in a single location. Due to Abrruzzese’s arrest, many residents now doubt the future of that plan. The Foundation has not yet made a decision about the future of its Under One Roof initiative.

Simi Valley Embezzlement Lawyer


If you face embezzlement, fraud or grand theft charges, your first move should be to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Robert Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. With more than 30 years of experience, he manages each case personally. Because he manages each case personally, your defense will not be handed off to a less experienced attorney.

Mr. Helfend is an aggressive criminal defense attorney who actively fights for his clients’ rights and freedoms. Don’t rely on an inexperienced criminal defense attorney and don’t wait to begin your defense.

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 embezzlement case.

Photo Credit: Janeen, via Flickr.com

Ventura business owner sentenced for mortgage fraud
Ventura business owner sentenced for mortgage fraud
A Riverside County man who operated a mortgage rescue business in Ventura County will serve a year in jail for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme. Two co-defendants, Roberto and Rosalva Sanchez, of Oxnard, received six-month sentences in jail as well as restitution.

Patrick Iturra, will serve 365 days in jail after pleading guilty to two felony counts of fraud and three felony counts of grand theft. Operating under the name Mercury Business Group, Iturra promised homeowners that he could save their homes from foreclosure. Iturra collected fees from the homeowners but did not take any steps to prevent foreclosure. Victims lost more than $100,000 in cash to the scheme, and all but one of the victims lost their homes.

In addition to the jail sentence, Iturra received 5 years of probation and will pay $100,000 in restitution to his victims. In addition, the judge ordered him to refrain from working in real estate or any business related to foreclosure prevention.

Iturra’s victims all spoke Spanish, and many did not understand the foreclosure process. In some cases, victims had already lost legal possession of their homes by the time they contacted Mercury Business Group. Iturra pleaded not guilty to the charges last April, but changed his plea to guilty in December 2016.

Ventura fraud attorney


If you’ve been arrested for fraud or a similar crime in Ventura County, you need the assistance of an experienced Ventura fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for more than 30 years in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

Mr. Helfend handles each case personally, which means that you’ll work directly with him on your defense. Your case will not be handed over to a less experienced 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 fraud case.

Photo Credit: Taber Andrew Bain, via Flickr.com

Identity Theft Suspects Arrested in Ventura
Identity Theft Suspects Arrested in Ventura
Six people were arrested in Ventura for a variety of offenses, including identity theft, domestic violence, drug offenses and gang-related activities. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made arrests as part of a larger immigration sweep operation.

The entire operation netted arrests of 161 people in Southern California. According to ICE, more than 90% of those arrested have previous criminal convictions. The agency reported that those arrested came from 13 different countries. The majority of those arrested came from Mexico. Other arrestees were from Central and South America, Africa, Australia, Asia and the Caribbean.

The operation primarily targeted foreign nationals with criminal convictions and gang affiliations. It also targeted people who re-entered the country after deportation or disregarded an order to leave the country. ICE conducted the entire operation. According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, ICE officials did not inform them of the operation.

Ventura Identity Theft Lawyer


If prosecutors charge you with identity theft, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Both the state and federal courts prosecute identity theft. Depending upon your circumstances, you may be charged in either court. Additionally, prosecutors can charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony. The distinction is important because felony convictions in California can have significant consequences.

Federal authorities take an interest in identity related crimes because they are a “gateway” to more serious offenses. While some identity crimes support illegal immigration, others simply facilitate illegal monetary gain.

If you’re facing theft charges involving identity in either federal or state court, don’t attempt to defend yourself. Since Mr. Helfend handles each case personally, he will work directly with you on your defense. Don’t rely on an inexperienced criminal defense attorney to protect your freedom. Work with an attorney who will fight aggressively for 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 identity theft case.

Photo Credit: Diane Herr, via FreeImages.com

Domestic Violence Suspect Arrested in Oak View Stabbing
Domestic Violence Suspect Arrested in Oak View Stabbing
Police arrested a Ventura man recently in connection with a domestic violence assault in Oak View. In December, Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a domestic assault in Oak View. When they arrived on the scene, deputies found a woman who had received a significant knife wound. She then identified her attacker as Colin Meyer, her boyfriend.

According to police, Meyer stabbed the woman in the face and throat before fleeing the scene. Paramedics transported the woman to the Ventura County Medical Center for treatment.

Police then obtained search warrants for Meyers’ home in Ventura, and conducted a search the day after the alleged assault took place. When they entered Meyers’ residence, police found him suffering from a self-inflicted injury, and transported him to the hospital for treatment.

Police then arrested Meyer and booked him into the Ventura County Jail on suspicion of domestic violence, attempted murder and aggravated mayhem. Meyer remains at the jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond. He will appear in court in April.

Ventura Domestic Violence Attorney


If the police arrest you for domestic violence in Ventura, or any related charge, your first move should be to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience and has defended thousands of clients in that time. Mr. Helfend’s clients rely on his extensive defense experience to help them navigate the criminal court system.

Domestic violence charges in California can be tricky for both the defendant and the victim. It’s definitely not a situation to face alone. If prosecutors accuse you of a domestic assault or you face charges related to domestic abuse, do not attempt to defend yourself in court. Rely on the experience of an attorney with a 30+-year track record of successful criminal defense.

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.

Photo Credit: James Case, via FreeImages.com

Simi Valley stops produce DUI Arrest
Simi Valley stops produce DUI Arrest
A Simi Valley police officer on patrol arrested two drivers last month on suspicion of DUI and distracted driving. In both cases, officers observed the drivers using their phones while driving.

In the first case, an officer noticed that a man driving through a residential area was using his cell phone. The officers performed a traffic stop and saw signs of impairment. Upon further investigation, which included a Breathalyzer test, the officer discovered that the man was driving with a blood-alcohol level of .10. The officer arrested him and booked him into the Ventura County Jail on suspicion of drunk driving and distracted driving. Both charges are misdemeanors.

In the second case, a traffic enforcement officer observed a Glendale man using his phone, which was in his lap, while driving. The officer stopped the driver, and further observed that the driver showed signs of impairment. He performed field sobriety tests as well as a breath test and discovered that the man’s BAC was more than twice the legal limit. The driver was arrested and booked into the Ventura County Jail on misdemeanor counts of suspicion of DUI and distracted driving.

Ventura DUI lawyer


If you’re arrested for DUI in Ventura, you need the assistance of an experienced DUI lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense in Ventura County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years, and has defended hundreds of individuals accused of drunk driving in Ventura.

Drunk driving arrests can be expensive, and can result in a host of penalties – even for first time offenders. Repeat offenses require escalated penalties and costs. Without experienced legal counsel, you risk a slew of penalties, fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges and other sanctions. Don’t risk your freedom and do not attempt to defend yourself against a drunk driving charge.

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 DUI case.

Photo Credit: Nicolas Nova, via FreeImages.com

Santa Paula couple busted for drug possession
Santa Paula couple busted for drug possession
Santa Paula police arrested a couple and charged them with drug possession earlier this month. After observing a suspicious vehicle, police conducted a traffic stop involving Jeremie Prado,26, and a companion.

According to police, they conducted a traffic stop on Prado because he was on probation. The officer noted a large quantity of what appeared to be drugs in Prado’s possession at the time of the stop. The woman was also in possession of drugs. The officer confiscated more than 9 grams of methamphetamine from Prado, and an additional quantity of the drug from his companion.

Police arrested Prado and charged him with possession of a controlled substance for sale, which is a felony. They charged his companion with a misdemeanor count of drug possession. Prado’s next court date is February 16.

Santa Paula Drug possession Attorney


Following a drug crimes arrest, you need the assistance of an experienced drug possession attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense in Ventura County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years, and knows what it takes to get charges against you reduced or dropped.

Probation or parole violations can return you to prison immediately upon arrest, so having aggressive representation is your best defense. The majority of individuals who end up in county jails or California’s state prisons are serving sentences for drug-related convictions. In most cases, however, incarceration doesn’t address the underlying issues of drug addition and employability.

An aggressive defense attorney will fight to get you the help you need while satisfying the court’s desire for justice. Don’t go to court without an experienced defense attorney, and don’t attempt to defend yourself against drug charges.

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 drug possession case.

Photo Credit: Drew Stephens, via Flickr.com

Arrest in 2012 Oxnard murder case
Arrest in 2012 Oxnard murder case
Police arrested an Oxnard resident last month in connection with a murder that occurred here in 2012. Oxnard police arrested Hugo Sanchez, 25, of Oxnard for the shooting death of Jose Gonzalez in July 2012. Police say that Sanchez also shot Gonzalez’s companion at the same time, but he survived.

Police worked through a number of tips to determine than Sanchez shot the men in an Oxnard neighborhood. According to police, a number of individuals confronted the victims, and then shot them during the altercation. Gonzalez died at the scene. Police believe the assault to be gang-related.

Sanchez faces charges of felony murder and felony attempted murder. A judge set bail for Sanchez at $1,000,000. He will appear in court next in March.

Oxnard murder attorney


Homicide is the most serious charge you can face under California law. Because homicide can be classified as a capital crime, the prosecutor can elect to pursue the death penalty in a homicide case under certain circumstances.

The State of California has not executed any prisoners since 2006, but the death penalty is still alive and well in California. The way California implements the death penalty has generated a lot of controversy, but in November 2016, voters defeated a ballot measure to abolish the death penalty in this state. They also voted to streamline the appeals process to facilitate future executions.

The 10-year gap in conducting executions doesn’t mean that judges no longer apply the state’s death penalty. In fact, between 2010 and 2015, 31 prisoners received the death penalty in Los Angeles County alone. In fact, Los Angeles County uses the death penalty more frequently than in any other county in the United States.

That’s exactly why you need a skilled, experienced murder attorney to represent you in court, if you face a homicide charge. Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney to defend you!

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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Guilty plea for CA company in antitrust case
Guilty plea for CA company in antitrust case
The US Department of Justice continues to prosecute a wide-ranging market-allocation antitrust against a Utah firm that is accused of colluding with other companies to divide up “heir-finding” services. A Sacramento, California-based firm that allegedly colluded with firms around the nation has already pleaded guilty to antitrust violations.

Federal prosecutors in Salt Lake City have accused Kemp and Associates of colluding with other “heir-finding” firms to divide the country into non-overlapping territories. According to prosecutors, the firms conspired to set non-competitive fee schedules to provide services within their assigned territories.

Heir-finding firms work to locate individuals who may be entitled to benefit from the estates of persons who have died without having a will. There is no reason heir-finding firms cannot or should not compete with each other for the right to find potential heirs. According to prosecutors, Kemp & Associates, along with a number of other named and unnamed firms colluded with each other for a period of about 15 years between 1999 and 2014. The collusive arrangement allowed the firms to profit without the need to compete with each other.

Ventura Antitrust Lawyer


Market allocation is one of a number of antitrust actions that can be charged as a criminal offense. Market allocation occurs when two or more individuals or companies agree to divide territories, avoid competing with each other, and/or set non-competitive pricing. These antitrust actions violate federal law and will be prosecuted in federal court. If you’ve been arrested for a prohibited business practice, you need the assistance of an experienced antitrust attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has practiced federal criminal defense for more than 30 years, and takes antitrust cases in any federal circuit in the United States. He also takes criminal defense cases in state courts in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

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 antitrust case.

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall, via Flickr.com