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.

Photo Credit: Kyle Brown, via

Bribery charge for Court Clerk
Bribery charge for Court Clerk
Federal prosecutors charged a former Orange County court clerk last month with bribery for his role in terminating more than 1,000 criminal cases without appropriate judicial instruction to do so. According to federal prosecutors, Jose Lopez accepted more than $200,000 in payments to close criminal court cases prematurely.

In addition to charges against Lopez, prosecutors filed charges against 11 other defendants who acted as recruiters for Lopez. Recruiters typically found participants through car and truck clubs. Court records show that Lopez dismissed 69 DUI cases, 165 other misdemeanors and more than 800 traffic violations prior to his arrest. Lopez altered court records to show that the defendants in the cases had completed their sentences, paid fines or completed community service when they had not.

Federal prosecutors say that Lopez used the money to finance overseas vacations, trips to Las Vegas and to open a Garden Grove restaurant, which he later sold. Another court employee stumbled on to the scheme in 2015 by finding a record that Lopez had altered. That led to a more in-depth investigation, which turned up a series of altered records dating back to 2010. The Orange County court has since called back hundreds of defendants to account for the completion of their original sentences.

Bribery Attorney

Federal officials take bribery cases very seriously. Although bribery of a public official is a violation of state law, systemic crime of this nature is often prosecuted at the federal level. That’s why you need an experienced bribery attorney who can practice in federal courts. Federal bribery sentences can include incarceration of up to 15 years, and apply to any “public official” whether the person occupies an elected position or not.

Robert Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in Southern California for more than 30 years. He takes cases at both the state and federal levels. He will work aggressively to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. He has established an excellent reputation among his peers, and in courtrooms throughout Southern California. He handles all cases personally, so you will work with him directly on 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 antitrust/auto theft case.
Photo Credit: Photo courtesy Orange County Archives, via