Antitrust Action Takes Aim At StarKist Exec
Antitrust Action Takes Aim At StarKist Exec
An executive at StarKist faces federal antitrust charges related to a price fixing scheme. Federal prosecutors charged the exec in federal court last week. Earlier this year, Bumble Bee Foods pleaded guilty to price fixing related to the price of the company’s canned tuna products.

According to prosecutors, StarKist, Bumble Bee and others conspired to set, raise and maintain US packaged seafood prices. Prosecutors say the conspiracy operated successfully between 2010 and 2013.

Last year, retail giant Walmart filed a federal lawsuit against Bumble Bee, StarKist and Chicken of the Sea parent company, Tri-Union. The suit claims that the manufacturers worked together on anti-competitive strategies for more than a decade. Walmart charged in its suit that the companies reduced product sizes while keeping prices artificially high.

Federal officials are looking more closely at food production as a source of antitrust violations. Recently, milk and poultry producers have also come under federal price fixing scrutiny. Federal regulators found that milk producers unlawfully slaughtered hundreds of thousands of dairy cows to inflate the price of milk. That action is the subject of a multi-state settlement that provides rebates directly to customers.

Ventura County antitrust attorney


Antitrust statutes are complex. They feature both civil and criminal penalties, and represent a real danger to executives. If you’re accused of antitrust violations – price fixing, bid rigging, market allocation, kickbacks or other crime, call Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend is a noted federal criminal defense practitioner. He has the experience to serve as your antitrust attorney.

Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of courtroom defense experience. He takes cases in both federal and state courts. He offers an aggressive style of defense, and will work endlessly to protect your rights and 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 antitrust case.

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Antitrust Charges Against Oakland Contractors
Antitrust Charges Against Oakland Contractors
Several Oakland area contractors pleaded not guilty last month to antitrust violations, including bid rigging on federal contracts. The two-year investigation produced guilty pleas from a State Senator and a former San Francisco School Board member. Prosecutors also won a racketeering conviction against the leader of a San Francisco street gang.

Prosecutors accuse the contractors of colluding on bids in order to direct federal contract work to a particular bidder. They also claim the contractors accepted bribes as part of the arrangement. An undercover FBI agent posed as an Atlanta “bidder” at the center of the scheme. The agent claimed he wanted to get in on federal building contracts in California. To do that, he paid local contractors bribes to induce them to submit high bids.

Authorities also charged the son of a local Oakland City Council member in the scheme. Prosecutors say he accepted payments in exchange for help on receiving federal building contract work. Seven men face federal charges as part of a second major wave of prosecutions related to the case. All seven pleaded not guilty to the antitrust charges.

California Antitrust Lawyer


Federal prosecutors devote a staggering amount of resources to high profile prosecutions. They only try cases when they have a high degree of confidence in the outcome. Therefore, the federal conviction rate is extremely high. Currently it exceeds 90%. That’s why you need an experienced federal antitrust lawyer who can defend you in court.

Robert Helfend is an aggressive, experienced antitrust lawyer with more than 30 years of criminal defense experience. He knows what it takes to provide effective defense in a federal criminal case.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do if you’re facing a federal antitrust prosecution. 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.

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Antitrust indictment without borders
Antitrust indictment without borders
The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice is five-for-five in its efforts to prosecute foreign nationals for antitrust actions committed in the United States. In the most recent case, the DOJ successfully arrested and extradited an Israeli citizen in Bulgaria.

The DOJ charged the executive with defrauding the Foreign Military Financing program. He allegedly falsified bid documents to disguise evidence of bid rigging. The program provides funds to foreign governments to allow them to purchase military goods and services.

Interpol agents arrested the executive under a Red Notice, which is like an international arrest warrant. Following his return to Connecticut in October 2016, a federal judge detained the man for trial.

Last month, the defendant pled guilty to felony four counts. They include including mail fraud, wire fraud and major fraud against the US government. In addition to falsifying bid documents, the executive also falsely certified statements regarding the payment of commissions and the use of non-US content and services in the contract. The next hearing in the case will take place in June 2017.

Federal antitrust attorney


Although federal white collar prosecutions are down overall, the government never rests when it comes to prosecuting financial fraud against the government. Because federal contracting almost invariably features high-dollar contracts, prosecutors take special interest it prosecuting contract fraud. That’s why you need an experienced federal antitrust attorney like Robert Helfend if you’re facing antitrust charges.

Robert Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in federal criminal defense, and will work tirelessly to create an effective defense strategy. Although most federal prosecutions don’t involve international extradition, these cases demonstrate the influence that the US government can exercise.

Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced 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 antitrust case.

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New Trial Request in Antitrust Conviction
New Trial Request in Antitrust Conviction
Three defendants convicted on federal antitrust charges related to a public foreclosure auction scheme requested new trials. According to the request, the defendants say pretrial motions unfairly limited their defense. Additionally, prosecutors referred to banks and homeowners as “victims.” The judge previously instructed prosecutors not to use the term.

Federal prosecutors accused he three defendants of Sherman Act violations and conspiring with other investors to lower action prices. According to federal prosecutors, the defendants conspired to purchase foreclosed properties at below-market prices. Following the county auction, the buyers held a second, private auction among themselves to determine who got the property.

The defendants’ first trial resulted in a hung jury. A new judge presided over the second trial, but allowed some instructions from the first trial to stand. At the center of the defendants’ request are the carryover instructions, which they say the prosecutors ignored.

Additionally, the government permitted conspirators who agreed to testify against the defendants to keep the properties they’d purchased at the second auctions. They argue that had the jury known that the cooperators benefited, the verdict may have been different.

The defendants will be sentenced on April 5. The judge has indicated that he will rule on the request for a new trial prior to the sentencing hearing.

Ventura Antitrust Lawyer


Antitrust trials are long because the subject matter is complex. They often rely on the testimony of experts, so it’s critical to bring together subject matter experts who can testify on your behalf. You need an experienced antitrust lawyer who can create an effective defense.

The conviction rate in federal prosecutions is extremely high. That’s because the government doesn’t try cases it doesn’t believe it can win. You need an attorney who will fight aggressively on your behalf. This ensures you can get the best possible outcome under the circumstances.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney, and don’t assume there’s nothing you can do to help yourself. 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.

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Antitrust Conviction for Bid-Rigging
Antitrust Conviction for Bid Rigging
In February, a federal jury handed down an antitrust conviction for a real estate investor accused of bid rigging. The jury found Thomas Joyce guilty on a single charge, after prosecutors dropped two counts of mail fraud against him.

According to prosecutors, Joyce and others conspired to buy foreclosed properties at lower-than-market prices. The conspirators also paid off other prospective bidders to eliminate competition at auctions.

Once Contra Costa County auctioned the properties, the conspirators held a second, private auction. The second auction determined the sale price of the property. It also determined the amount of the payoff for the suppressed bids. Joyce is one of more than 5 dozen people to plead guilty or be found guilty of antitrust violations related to foreclosure auctions. According to prosecutors, they have pending indictments on several other individuals in foreclosure related actions.

California antitrust attorney


Antitrust charges are complex, and often difficult to defend against. Federal prosecutions are also difficult to win. Currently, federal prosecutors have a conviction rate that exceeds 90%. That doesn’t mean you should give up or give in. It means that you need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend to defend you in court.

Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney. He takes cases in both federal and state courts. He will fight aggressively for your rights, and will work toward the best possible resolution of your case. Mr. Helfend handles each case personally, so your case receives his full and complete attention. That’s not something you’ll receive from a larger, less personal law firm that relies on less experienced attorneys to try cases.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Antitrust crimes prosecuted aggressively by Feds
Antitrust crimes prosecuted aggressively by Feds
The US Department of Justice reported that it prosecuted 44 individuals in FY 2014 for antitrust violations. Many actions are brought against companies, but individual executives can also be charged with criminal violations of the federal anti-competition laws.

Criminal activities that are governed by the federal statutes include price fixing, bid rigging and market allocation schemes. Of the 44 prosecutions in 2014, the DOJ says that 22 of the defendants were executives in auto parts companies. 11 defendants were real estate investors.

In the past twenty-five years, the average number of antitrust prosecutions per year has risen from 13 in the 1990’s to 29 between 2010 and 2014. In other words, the DOJ has more than doubled its average number of prosecutions. In addition, the average prison sentence for convictions has also more than tripled during the same time. In the 1990’s, the average prison sentence for convictions was 8 months. Today, the average prison sentence for the same crimes is 25 months.

This signals the federal government’s plan to pursue more prosecutions and more aggressive prosecutions for antitrust violations. In addition to more prosecutions and longer jail terms, the federal government is expanding its sphere of influence. In 2013, the Department of Justice secured its first ever extradition of a foreign national for prosecution on anti-competitive practices in the US. That extradition was quickly followed by a second extradition in an unrelated case.

Ventura County Antitrust Lawyer


The greater Los Angeles area is a prime target for federal prosecutions because so much business is conducted here. The Port of Los Angeles is the largest port in the United States, and one of the largest in the world. Each year, the Port of Los Angeles handles more than $300 billion in goods coming to and leaving from the United States. It is an area of prime interest for the federal government, and the DOJ is getting very good at breaking up multinational antitrust conspiracies. Having a foreign address may not offer much protection against federal investigators.

That’s why you need the assistance of an experienced antitrust lawyer like Robert Helfend. If you’re facing federal antitrust charges, don’t settle for an inexperienced lawyer! Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience at both the state and federal levels.

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.

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Securities fraud plea for Ventura man
Securities fraud plea for Ventura man
A Ventura man pleaded guilty last month to charges related to a securities fraud scheme involving California real estate. Peter Woodard, 48, of Ventura pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Between 2007 and 2008, Woodard and his partner Michael Llamas of Tracy, began working with Lee Loomis, of Loomis Wealth Solutions. The men obtained the right to purchase discounted homes in California and other states. The homes were then sold to dozens of investors.

Loomis made a number of representations to the investors regarding the value of the homes, the management of the properties, and the amount of the monthly income associated with each property. As part of the fraud, the investors were not required to make down payments. Several investors purchased multiple properties.

Loomis, Llamas and Woodard the obtained mortgages on the properties for their full market value. They failed to disclose to the mortgage underwriters that the homes had been offered for sale at a discount. Further, the trio used mortgage funds to make the required down payments on the properties without disclosing this to the lenders. The trio split the difference between the purchase price and the mortgage amount, and generated $3.5 million in profits between them. Approximately 220 properties were involved in the scam.

Woodard will be sentenced in February 2017 on the wire fraud charges. He faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Securities fraud attorney


If you’re facing securities fraud, investment fraud or conspiracy charges, you need the assistance of an experienced federal securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for more than 30 years. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California, including cases tried in federal courts. Don’t risk your freedom by working with 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 securities fraud case.
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