Oxnard Murder Suspects Arrested
Oxnard Murder Suspects Arrested
Two men suspected of participating in an Oxnard murder last December face charges following their arrest. An FBI team served a federal search warrant and took one suspect into custody in Farmington, NM. Oxnard police arrested the other suspect locally.

The Oxnard man faces charges of being an accessory after the fact, and received a $110,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court again on May 31. Ventura County authorities seek to extradite the New Mexico suspect to murder face charges. At the time of the murder, the suspect lived in Oxnard, but relocated to New Mexico immediately afterward.

Police discovered the victim, Giovanni Vega, in the 200 block of Vineyard Avenue last December. Nearby residents reported hearing gunshots, so the police department dispatched an officer to investigate. The officer did not notice anything unusual. About six hours later, a caller asked police to perform a welfare check on an individual in the same area. At that time, they determined the victim died from a gunshot wound.

Oxnard Murder Attorney


Although California hasn’t executed a prisoner in more than a decade, the death penalty is still a very real threat. If you’re accused of committing a homicide, or participating in one, you face some very specific legal challenges. Therefore, you need the help of a very experienced murder attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of courtroom defense experience, and takes homicide cases in Ventura County. You risk losing your freedom permanently, so an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney can help you build a solid defense. Don’t bet 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 murder case.
Photo Credit: The West End, via Flickr.com

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.

Photo Credit: llnl.gov

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

Westlake Village Embezzlement Leads to 6-year sentence
Westlake Village Embezzlement Leads to 6-year sentence
Alanis Morrisette’s former business manager received a six-year federal sentence for embezzlement , wire fraud and tax crimes. Jonathan Schwartz, of Agoura Hills, stole nearly $5 million from the singer. He also stole more than $2 million from other clients of the GSO Business Management investment firm.

Morrisette was the only identified victim in the case. The firm represented other high profile clients, including Tom Petty, Katy Perry and 50 Cent. According to prosecutors, Schwartz began embezzling client funds in 2010, in part to pay for a gambling addiction, drugs and to fund a lavish lifestyle. As a partner in the firm, Schwartz earned a salary of $1.2 million.

A new financial manager that Morrisette hired discovered the scheme in 2014. While investigating the management of Morrisette’s funds, investigators also discovered losses in other client accounts. Schwartz made a great effort to disguise the losses in Morrisette’s account, which delayed the discovery of the scheme.

Federal judge Dolly Gee said that she believed Schwartz deserved a longer sentence, but federal guidelines called for a six-year term. She also ordered Schwartz to repay $8.6 million in restitution to his victims. Bernard Gudvi, who founded the investment firm, said that the firm expects to lose $20 million as the result of the scam, and that the firm laid off a dozen employees in the wake of the discovery. Schwartz’s actions also severely tarnished firm’s reputation.

Westlake Village Embezzlement Attorney


Embezzlement can be a devastating crime, both for the victim and the perpetrator. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced, aggressive embezzlement attorney when you’ve been accused of a workplace crime. Embezzlement victims are often angry, but at the end of the day, they want restitution over retribution.

An experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend knows that a convicted defendant can’t make effective restitution unless he or she is working. Limiting a person’s ability to work limits their ability to provide restitution to the victims.

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.

Photo Credit: 401(k) 2012, via Flickr.com

Fraud Sentence for Oxnard Tax Preparer
Fraud Sentence for Oxnard Tax Preparer
A federal judge sentenced an Oxnard tax preparer and former teacher to prison for fraud. Rodrigo Lozano received a 10-year sentence for filing more than $56 million in fraudulent income tax returns.

Lozano, 61, of Oxnard applied for and received thousands of individual taxpayer identification numbers, which undocumented immigrants can use to file tax returns. Federal investigators say that Lozano filed more than 13,000 fraudulent tax returns over a two-year period beginning in 2011.

Lozano and other conspirators fabricated identification documents, which they used to request ITIN numbers. They combined the numbers with fictitious W-2 forms, and fabricated dependents to maximize child-related tax deductions.

The Internal Revenue Service flagged the documents as false, but Lozano ordered his employees to file the phony returns anyway. He operated out of a number of locations in Oxnard.

In addition to the prison sentence, the judge ordered Lozano to repay $23 million in fraudulent refunds.

Oxnard Fraud Lawyer


Federal charges of any kind are serious, and sentences can be very lengthy. If you’re facing federal fraud charges, your best defense strategy is to work with an experienced federal fraud lawyer. Robert Helfend has more than 30 years of courtroom defense experience. He takes state and federal fraud cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He will take federal criminal defense cases in any federal circuit.

Don’t rely on inexperienced attorneys to defend you, especially in a federal courtroom. You need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who knows what it takes to win in federal court. When your freedom is at stake, only the best criminal defense counsel will 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 fraud/drug possession case.

Photo Credit: 401(k) 2012, via Flickr.com

Thousand Oaks Identity Theft Arrest Busts Gas Theft Ring
Thousand Oaks Arrest Busts Gas Theft Ring
Thousand Oaks police arrested a Van Nuys man for mail theft and identity theft. As a result of the identity theft arrest, they also discovered a connection to a Los Angeles-based gasoline theft operation.

A witness reported seeing the driver of a commercial truck stealing mail from a Thousand Oaks mailbox. Police located the driver of the truck and arrested him following their investigation. They searched the vehicle and discovered stolen mail, multiple gift cards and drug paraphernalia.

Thousand Oaks police impounded the truck. A further inspection of the vehicle revealed four makeshift diesel fuel tanks inside the bed of the truck. The tanks could each hold 200 gallons of fuel.

Police believe the man erased the magnetic stripes on the gift cards, then recoded them with stolen credit card information. He used the duplicate credit cards to pay for the fuel, then later resold the fuel to gas stations at a discounted price. Officers also found incriminating surveillance video footage showing the man stealing mail, and frequenting neighborhoods where residents reported mail thefts.

Prosecutors charged the man with one felony identity theft count and five misdemeanors, including mail theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Thousand Oaks Identity Theft Attorney


If you’re arrested for identity theft in Thousand Oaks, your first call should be to an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He takes identity theft cases defense in Thousand Oaks.

His first priority will be to get the felony charges against you reduced or dropped altogether. This is an important step because felony convictions can result in longer sentences or even lifetime incarceration, thanks to the state’s Three Strikes Law. If that’s not realistic, he will work to ensure 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 identity theft/murder case.

Photo Credit: Ines Hegedus-Garcia, via Flickr.com

Statewide Theft Crew Nabbed in Ventura
Statewide Theft Crew Nabbed in Ventura
Ventura authorities charged four people with theft following multiple commercial burglaries in Thousand Oaks. Police arrested the group after a wild chase that started in Camarillo and ended in Santa Barbara County.

Authorities say that the four, who reside in the San Francisco area, targeted Ventura County businesses. The four conducted an organized retail theft operation, and stole more than $100,000 in merchandise from Los Angeles and Ventura area businesses. Authorities say that the operation netted more than $1M in stolen merchandise across the state.

Store owners alerted police to the group’s activities last month at The Oaks mall. Police also connected the crew to several burglaries and strong-arm robberies in Glendale and Camarillo. According to police, the group stole more than $10,000 in merchandise in a single day.

Police contacted the group in late March and attempted to stop them. Instead, the suspects led police on a lengthy chase at speeds that sometimes exceeded 100 m.p.h. Police stopped the car after successfully deploying “stop sticks” in Gaviota. Deputies searched the vehicle and discovered more than $15,000 in stolen merchandise.

Prosecutors charged each member of the group with conspiracy, burglary and possession of burglary tools. In addition, they charged the driver with felony evading. Three of the four subjects pled guilty to the charges and are being held pending sentencing.

Ventura Theft lawyer


Repeat felony convictions in California can put you in danger of lifetime imprisonment, thanks to the state’s Three Strikes Law. If you’re facing felony theft charges, hire an experienced theft lawyer like Robert Helfend.

Robert Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively and takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He is an aggressive criminal defense attorney, who will fight to preserve your rights and freedoms in court. Don’t work with 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 theft case.

Photo Credit: Tom Marshall, via FreeImages.com

Drug Possession Charge for Sylmar Man
Drug Possession Charge for Sylmar Man
Simi Valley authorities charged a 24-year-old Sylmar man with drug possession after interrupting a large delivery of methamphetamine. Police conducted a traffic stop because they identified the man as a significant potential source of the drug in Ventura County.

During the search, police discovered 2 pounds of methamphetamine. Following the man’s arrest, police also served a search warrant on his home. During the second search, they discovered additional quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine and cash. The man posted bail and will return to court in early May.

Simi Valley Drug Possession Lawyer


California’s Proposition 47 changed the way California treats some drug crimes. Unfortunately, Proposition 47 did not change the way the law treats drug trafficking. Hire an experienced drug possession lawyer to defend you if you’re charged with drug possession involving non-personal quantities of drugs.

Robert Helfend takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He works aggressively to get charges against his clients reduced or dropped. During more than 30 year of practice, thousands of Californians chose him to defend them in court. Experience plays an important role in defense strategy. Reducing the number of felony charges against you also reduces your potential exposure under California’s Three Strikes Law. Each felony conviction you accumulate lengthens your sentences. If you incur a third, violent felony conviction, the state can incarcerate you for life.

Mr. Helfend manages each case that comes into his office. Because he works directly with his clients throughout their cases, his clients receive an unparalleled level of personal attention. You’re unlikely to get that level of personal attention if you work with a larger, less personal law firm.

When you’re facing a serious felony charge, don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney to defend 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 drug possession case.

Photo Credit: Simi Valley Police Department

Murder Suspect Pleads No Contest
Murder Suspect Pleads No Contest
A man already serving a life sentence in a California prison pleaded no contest to a 1985 Oxnard murder. Vincent Mackey, 54, was preparing for a trial involving the murder of Isabel Hernandez in 1985. Instead of proceeding to trial, he offered a no-contest plea in the case. According to prosecutors, DNA evidence collected at the time of the attack implicated Mackey.

Mackey broke into the apartment where Hernandez lived, raped her and stabbed her to death. The police could not identify a suspect, but they collected and preserved evidence from the scene. The Oxnard Police Department reactivated the investigation into Hernandez’ death in 2013, and tested the crime scene evidence.

In 2014, a computerized check of known felons produced a match between Mackey and the Oxnard crime scene. In 1987, a jury convicted Mackey of the murder of James Sprigg, Mackey’s employer. Mackey killed Sprigg less than a year after he murdered Hernandez. He received a life sentence with no possibility of parole in that case.

Because the prosecutor opted not to seek the death penalty, Mackey will receive another life sentence in the case. Mackey’s sentencing is set for April 20.

Oxnard murder lawyer


In California, murder will put you at risk of receiving the death penalty. Because your life is on the line, you need an aggressive murder lawyer to defend you. Robert Helfend is an experienced criminal defense attorney who takes cases in Ventura County. He has more than 30 years of experience exclusively in courtroom defense.

Mr. Helfend manages each case personally, so his clients always receive the benefit of his extensive experience. Don’t rely on an inexperienced or timid criminal defense attorney, especially when your life is at risk.

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.

Photo Credit: Stefan Mina, via Flickr.com

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.

Photo Credit: EuroPol Afghanistan, via Flickr.com