Securities fraud arrest for UT man
Securities fraud arrest for UT man
Federal authorities arrested a Utah man in connection with a $65 million securities fraud scam. The scheme targeted investors in western states including Utah and California. The man faces charges of conspiracy, misrepresentations in the sale of investment opportunities. He also faces charges of theft from an elder and employing an artifice or scheme to defraud.

The man, who owned an investment firm known as Total Wealth Management, engaged in the sale of securities without proper licensure. He worked with at least two other individuals, including a California man. The US Securities and Exchange Commission sued the man in 2015, in an attempt to disrupt the scheme.

Investigators say that the man used client funds to pay SEC fines and legal fees. He also misappropriated client funds by disguising the fraud as administrative fees. Further, investigators found that the man accepted kickbacks from investments. They also discovered that many of the firm’s preferred investment vehicles were either bankrupt or close to it. In addition, the man had direct or indirect connections to many of the preferred investments.

The man regularly solicited new investors through a weekly radio program that focused on investments. In addition, investigators found that he regularly promised unprecedented returns on investments, or claimed to have made substantial gains, even during economic low periods.

California securities fraud lawyer


Federal prosecutors vigorously pursue people accused of financial crimes. The federal conviction rate is exceptionally high. That’s why you need an experienced securities fraud lawyer, if you’re accused of financial crimes. Those crimes may include securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, investment fraud, theft and other similar crimes.

Robert Helfend practices law in the Los Angeles area, but takes federal securities fraud cases anywhere in the United States. Securities fraud cases are complex, so you need an aggressive, prepared and experienced lawyer who is not afraid to take on a zealous federal prosecutor.

Don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do to defend yourself, and don’t take a plea without consulting an experienced attorney first.

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: Nazir Amin, via Flickr.com

Securities fraud settlement from local cannabis firm
Securities fraud settlement from local cannabis firm
A Los Angeles cannabis management firm and its owner settled securities fraud charges against the company earlier this month.

Vincent Mehdizadeh, the founder of Notis Global Inc., of Los Angeles, paid more than $12 million in fines to close a stock price inflation scam. Mehdizadeh is also banned from acting as a company officer for any public company.

The SEC says that Mehdizadeh developed a scheme to inflate the company’s earnings and manipulate its stock price. Investigators charge that Mehdizadeh, his fiancée, the company’s CEO and a third party participated in the scam.

The company, formerly known as MedBox, settled with the SEC as well. The SEC claims that the participants shifted stock and cash between themselves to boost apparent revenue. At one point, the company’s shares traded for nearly $100 each. The company restated its 2012, 2013 and 2014 earnings following an independent audit. That caused the share prices to collapse.

Mehdizadeh has previous criminal convictions for grand theft and intent to defraud, along with several misdemeanor convictions. He also owes the IRS more than $3 million. According to SEC filings, the company is currently operating at a loss.

Ventura securities fraud lawyer


Securities fraud convictions can seriously limit what you can do, and can significantly damage your professional reputation. If you face securities fraud charges, your first move should be to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense for nearly 35 years, and takes cases in any federal court in the United States.

Securities fraud cases are often complex. They may hinge upon subtleties, so you need an attorney who can bring together the resources you’ll need to defend yourself in court. Many defense attorneys don’t want to take federal cases because the federal conviction rate is so high. You need an attorney who will fight aggressively for you in court, and will work toward the best possible outcome for your case.

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/DUI case.

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Westlake Village Execs Plead Guilty To Embezzlement
Westlake Village Execs Plead Guilty To Embezzlement
A pair of executives at a Westlake Village payment processing firm pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges earlier this month. The former CEO and the SVP of Sales and Marketing at iPayment siphoned more than $5 million from the company.

According to prosecutors, the men set up phony sales offices and instituted a kickback scheme. That allowed them to divert funds from the company for their personal use. The Department of Justice case is just one of two federal actions against the men. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against the men. The SEC complaint also named three other executives of the firm, and accused them of participating in the scheme.

The two men face up to five years in federal prison on the embezzlement charges. Federal officials will address the SEC complaint in a separate action.

Westlake Village Embezzlement Attorney


Workplace related crimes will impact you significantly. Not only can you face criminal sanctions, you can also face professional sanctions that will limit or eliminate your ability to work in your chosen field.

Workplace crimes are almost exclusively financial in nature. Most victims of financial crimes simply want to be restored to their previous financial position. They also want to be certain that the individual(s) who targeted them cannot repeat their crimes.

Restitution plays a major role in workplace crime sentencing, but a defendant often can’t make restitution unless he or she is free to work. A skilled, experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney can help ensure that justice – restorative justice – is truly available to the victims of a workplace crime. If you’ve been accused of a workplace crime, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend has practiced criminal defense in Ventura County for more than 30 years. He will work to limit or eliminate charges against you. He will also work to ensure that a conviction or sentence doesn’t negatively impact your ability to fulfill restitution sentence requirements.

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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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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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.

Photo Credit: Chris Gehlen, via FreeImages.com

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 appeal settled
Securities fraud appeal settled
Earlier this year, the Second District Court of Appeals informally upheld a plea agreement by two former Southern California mortgage brokers that allowed the defendants to avoid trial and pay restitution of just over $100,000 in a securities fraud case that involved investor losses of more than $8 million.

A local San Luis Obispo judge initially overturned the plea agreement, but was instructed by the appeals court to reinstate the plea agreements for Rodney Jarmin and Tammy Jordan, who owned a firm called Real Property Lenders. In 2011, the District Attorney filed seven felony counts against the pair, including securities fraud. Prosecutors alleged that Jarmin and Jordan had failed to inform new investors that developers had defaulted on loans made by RPL and that the pair had stopped paying dividends on investors’ loans to the company.

In 2015, prosecutors and the defendants’ attorneys reached a plea deal that reduced all seven felony counts to misdemeanors, but prosecutors later objected to the deal and the judge in the case eliminated the plea agreement and rescheduled the trial on the original charges.

Defense attorneys for the pair argued that the judge should not have overturned the original plea agreement, and that it should still be in force. The Appeals Court agreed and indicated that the Superior Court should either accept the plea deal, or allow the prosecutors to plead their case to the Appeals Court.

The Superior Court reinstated the plea deal and the Jarmin and Jordan were sentenced according to the terms of the original deal. As part of the plea agreement, the pair received no jail time, and was ordered to make restitution to the investors in the amount of $114,000.

Ventura County securities fraud lawyer


Securities fraud charges are complex, and criminal cases often involve plea agreements. If you’ve been accused of securities fraud, your first move should be to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight to get the charges against you reduced or dropped.
As this case shows, reducing the severity of the charges can have a major impact on sentencing and restitution in a plea agreement. Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney or one who won’t fight for you 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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Ventura fraud lands Canyon Lake man in jail
Ventura fraud lands Canyon Lake man in jail
A Canyon Lake man has pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and three counts of grand theft in connection with a foreclosure fraud scheme he operated in Ventura.

Patrick Iturra, 46, promised clients that he could help them avoid foreclosure, and often took advance payments of thousands of dollars from them, even though he did nothing to help them avoid losing their homes. Iturra wasn’t the only person charged in the scheme. Robert and Rosalva Sanchez of Oxnard, were also indicted on grand theft and fraud charges pleaded guilty. They were ordered to serve 180 days in jail and make financial restitution to their victims.

The trio operated Mercury Business Group, which purported to offer financial services, including foreclosure avoidance, debt management, real estate investment services and credit education. The business operated out of a Pasadena address since 2009.

Ventura Fraud Lawyer


If you’ve been accused of fraud, grand theft or a similar crime, you should know that Ventura County fraud lawyer Robert Helfend is ready to take your case. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense, and takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

He handles each case personally, so you’ll always have the benefit of his extensive experience. His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work with prosecutors to ensure that you benefit from the best possible resolution to your case.

Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced criminal defense attorney when you can work with one of the best, most aggressive defense attorneys in 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 fraud case.

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Drug possession arrest for 3 from Ventura
Drug possession arrest for 3 from Ventura
Three Ventura residents were arrested in Carpinteria and charged with residential burglary, conspiracy, possession of burglary tools, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Santa Barbara deputies responded to a report of a residential burglary, and identified a red Ford Fiesta as a vehicle of interest. A few minutes later, deputies spotted a vehicle matching that description and conducted a stop at a local gas station. Upon searching the vehicle, deputies discovered items taken from the burglarized home, as well as methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and burglary tools.

Sarah Ringler, 27, Shannon Salas, 43, and Joseph Grizzaffi, 37, were booked into the Santa Barbara jail. Ringler was held on a $50,000 bond. Salas posted bail in the amount of $50,000 and was released. Grizzaffi was denied bail because he had an outstanding warrant on another matter.

Ventura Drug possession lawyer


If you’ve been arrested for drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia or any other charge, your first response should be to hire an experienced drug possession lawyer like Robert Helfend.

The drug possession landscape in California is changing for marijuana, but all drug laws and penalties are still in effect for every other drug. Drug enforcement is still a very high priority for the State of California, and enforcement efforts are likely to be increased for illegal drugs.

The majority of Californians who are in prison today are there for drug-related offenses. Becoming part of this grim statistic is unlikely to have a positive impact on your life. Aside from spending time in prison, you’re unlikely to recover meaningfully from incarceration.

Having an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend is your best defense strategy in a drug possession case. Mr. Helfend will fight aggressively for your rights and freedoms in court. Getting charges against you reduced or dropped is a key part of a defense strategy, especially if you have previous convictions. Additional felony convictions in California can extend prison sentences, so being able to reduce or eliminate charges against you may be critical for a positive outcome.

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/drug crimes case.

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TO Man Tapped in Securities Fraud Suit
TO Man Tapped in Securities Fraud Suit
The Securities and Exchange Commission is calling out three men for a phony investment scheme in which the trio told prospective investors that they could recycle agricultural waste into environmentally friendly building materials. Glenn Camp, 59, of Thousand Oaks is among the three who are accused of securities fraud. Joshua Mosshart of Malibu and William J. Pfeiffer of Haddonfield, NJ are also named in the suit.

The SEC alleges that Pfeiffer and Camp, who were not registered with the Commission in any way compensated themselves with investor funds through their association with the Enviro Board Corporation. Camp founded the company in the early 1990’s, but was unsuccessful in marketing its technology.

Camp and Pfeiffer told investors that the company would be commercially successful within 18 months and stood to make more than $180 million in its first three years of operation. The pair also told investors that the company would earn millions of dollars in federal tax credits; that it had already produced more than $160 million in product; and that the company would receive vendor financing from another company owned by Pfeiffer.

Mosshart had securities licenses during the time in which investments were being solicited, and was named in the suit because he referred investors to the Enviro Board Corporation.

Securities Fraud Attorney


Investment fraud prosecutions can be complex because securities fraud schemes are often complex. If you’ve been accused of investment fraud or a related crime, you need the assistance of an experienced federal securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend.

Securities fraud can be prosecuted civilly or criminally. In either case, you risk the loss of your professional credentials, your livelihood and your freedom. You need the assistance of an aggressive attorney who will defend you throughout the criminal process. Most investment fraud victims simply want their money back. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help make this happen.

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: Andrew Stawarz, via FreeImages.com