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.

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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.

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SD Woman Convicted for Oxnard Embezzlement
SD Woman Convicted for Oxnard Embezzlement
A San Diego woman pleaded guilty to an embezzlement scheme involving three Oxnard car dealerships. The woman, who pleaded guilty to three counts of grand theft, admitted to stealing more than $65,000. Prosecutors say the actual amount of the losses exceeded $140,000.

Alexander of Oxnard hired the woman as an accountant in 2012. She began to divert funds from both payroll and petty cash. She used the money to pay off credit card debts. The judge sentenced the woman to 24 months in jail and ordered her to make full restitution. She must also serve 28 months of supervised release following her jail term.

According to prosecutors, a related Arizona car dealership is suing the woman to recover nearly $350,000 that she allegedly stole while working in a similar position there.

Oxnard Embezzlement Lawyer


Workplace crimes are common, and they’re almost always financially motivated. A workplace crime conviction can have a long-lasting impact on your life. If you’re facing a workplace-related criminal charge like embezzlement, lawyer Robert Helfend can take your case.

Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively, and in his more than 30 years of practice, he has defended thousands of Californians. Mr. Helfend is known as an aggressive defender of his clients rights. His clients love his straightforward, “plain-English” approach to criminal defense.

They also appreciate the personal attention Mr. Helfend gives their cases. He handles each case personally, so his clients work directly with him on their defense. Experience counts for a lot in criminal defense, so be sure your first step in defending yourself is the right one. Choose an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent 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 embezzlement case.

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Fraud Suspect Arrested In Ventura
Fraud Suspect Arrested In Ventura
Ventura police arrested a woman suspected of fraud, identity theft, grand theft, perjury, drug possession for sale and insurance fraud. An identity theft victim reported that someone used her identity to rent an apartment. The same person also applied for and received more than $10,000 in state welfare benefits.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for the apartment, and arrested the suspect there. At the apartment, they collected evidence that linked the suspect to other identity thefts. As a result of the search, they also believe the suspect sold drugs from the home.

Ventura Fraud Attorney


Fraud is usually a financial crime. In this case, the State of California is the victim. The state investigate and prosecutes misappropriation of welfare benefits because most welfare funds come from the federal government. The state could likely lose federal welfare funds if they do not fully investigate and prosecute benefit theft. If a prosecutor accuses you of fraud of any type, you should seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend aggressively defends his clients, regardless of what they’ve been accused of. When you hire Mr. Helfend, you will work directly with him to develop your defense. He will work tirelessly on your behalf because you must offer the best possible defense in court.

Mr. Helfend takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He has more than 30 years of practice experience exclusively in criminal defense. In that time, thousands of Californians chose Mr. Helfend to provide aggressive, thorough defense and counsel. Don’t rely on an inexperienced criminal defense attorney, and don’t attempt to defend yourself. When you’re confronted with an aggressive prosecution, you must counter with an aggressive 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 fraud case.

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Camarillo Grand Theft Suspect Pleads Guilty
Camarillo Grand Theft Suspect Pleads Guilty
A Camarillo man was accused of stealing more than $750,000 from a victim. Recently he pleaded guilty to 5 counts of grand theft, two counts of forgery and 11 counts of money laundering.

The defendant, who worked at the Camarillo Airport, helped the victim purchase airport hangar leases. After negotiating the purchase of the leases for the victim, the defendant forged the buyer’s signature on two leases. He then transferred to other people over a period of 18 months. Following the transfer, the defendant misled the victim for more than seven years regarding the lease ownership.

The suspect received rents for hangar space of nearly $780,000 over seven years. During that time, he did not turn over any of the money to the original leaseholder. The defendant will be sentenced in October for his role in the fraud. He could receive a sentence of as much as 22 years in prison.

This is not the defendant’s first brush with the law. In 2010, he received a 6 month jail term and fines of more than $300,000 following a state tax evasion conviction. He failed to pay income tax on nearly $2 million in personal income over 9 years. He also failed to file state tax returns and pay corporate income tax on nearly $10 million in sales between 2000 and 2008.

Camarillo grand theft lawyer


If you’re facing theft charges, hire an experienced, competent and aggressive criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense for more than 30 years in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He is an aggressive, prepared and respected criminal defense attorney, and is well regarded among his peers.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced criminal defense attorney when your freedom is at stake. 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/securities fraud case.

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Embezzlement charge for celebrity manager
Embezzlement charge for celebrity manager
A former business manager for celebrities, including singer Alanis Morrissette, admitted to charges of embezzlement and filing false tax returns. Jonathan Schwartz, 48, formerly of Agoura Hills, worked for GSO Business Management in Sherman Oaks.

According to court papers, Schwartz admitted that he embezzled more than $6.5 million from clients of the agency, including Morrissette, whose losses constituted the majority of the stolen funds. Initially, Schwartz said that he invested the money in a marijuana growing operation, but acknowledged in the court filing that the statement was false.

In addition, Schwartz admitted to misappropriating about $1 million from another client, and nearly three-quarters of a million dollars from a third client. Initially he attributed those withdrawals to “home renovation” expenses, but later admitted to forging the clients’ signatures on checks. In addition, Schwartz pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax fraud, and owes the IRS $1.7 million in unpaid taxes on the stolen funds. As part of the plea agreement, Schwartz is likely to receive between 4 and 6 years in federal prison

Federal embezzlement attorney


Federal prosecutors are rarely satisfied with a single charge. Federal laws involving financial crimes often include tax evasion charges on top of whatever other matters they seek to address in court. If you’ve been arrested for embezzlement, wire fraud or other financial crime, you need the assistance of an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense for more than 30 years, and takes cases in both federal and state courts. He knows what it takes to confront federal allegations of embezzlement and fraud, 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 embezzlement case.

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Theft Charge for Oxnard Couple
Theft Charge for Oxnard Couple
An off-duty Ventura County Sheriff’s deputy was instrumental in the arrest of an Oxnard couple suspected of auto theft, as well as firearms and drug charges. The deputy was returning home following his shift when he spotted a car that had been reported stolen earlier in the day.

The deputy followed the vehicle, which was later abandoned by the pair in Santa Paula. He contacted the Santa Paula Police Department and informed them that the stolen car had been abandoned in Santa Paula, but that a grey SUV, which was following the stolen car, was potentially involved in the theft.

The SPPD located the suspect SUV and conducted a traffic stop. Two Oxnard residents, Ryan Hotchkiss and Rosa Flores, were arrested. A search of the vehicle turned up cocaine, Ecstasy and a gun that had been reported stolen in Arizona. The off-duty deputy positively identified Flores as the driver of the stolen vehicle. She was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. Hotchkiss was charged with various drug and firearms offenses.

Santa Paula theft lawyer


Robert Helfend is an experienced Santa Paula theft lawyer who will assist you with any grand theft, drug possession or firearms-related offenses. Mr. Helfend has provided exceptional criminal defense services in Santa Paula and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years. He knows what it takes to deliver effective courtroom defense.

He has established a reputation for fighting aggressively for his clients, and will work to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney, or one who is not interested in fighting aggressively on your behalf.

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.
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Camarillo Man Sentenced for Identity Theft
Camarillo Man Sentenced for Identity Theft
In 2015, a Camarillo man was arrested and charged with identity theft, grand theft and financial abuse of an elder after police say he used a terminally ill man’s identity to acquire construction materials fraudulently. Officers from the Oxnard Police Department and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office investigated the crime over the course of about a month.

According to police, Josh Evans stole his former employer’s identity and impersonated him to acquire construction materials from a number of local suppliers in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Upon searching Evans’ home and vehicle, police found more than $20,000 worth of stolen goods that Evans allegedly obtained using his employer’s identity.

Evans pleaded guilty to two counts of grand theft and a single count of financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult and will be sentenced on January 6, 2017. He will also appear in court on two unrelated charges at that time.

Camarillo Identity Theft Lawyer


If you’ve been arrested for identity theft in Camarillo, attorney Robert Helfend is ready to take your case. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for more than 30 years in Camarillo and throughout Southern California. He has built a reputation as a skilled, aggressive criminal defense attorney and works selflessly to ensure that his clients’ rights are respected in court.

It’s essential to defend yourself against all employment-related crimes. A felony conviction for a work-related crime will make it difficult – if not impossible – to find gainful employment following the completion of your sentence. A skilled criminal defense attorney will work aggressively to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. That can reduce or eliminate your risk of incarceration, as well as the impact of a conviction on your criminal record.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced criminal defense attorney, or one who won’t fight for your rights 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 identity theft case.

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Identity Theft Arrest in Ojai Burglary
Identity Theft Arrest in Ojai Burglary
An Oceanside man was arrested in connection with an Ojai burglary in October. He was also charged with vehicle theft and identity theft.

According to police, Jonathan Jessop, 37, broke into an Ojai home and stole credit cards, which he later used to buy more than $10,000 worth of merchandise. He also stole a vehicle from the home. Jessop used the credit cards at home improvement stores in Ventura, Los Angeles and San Diego counties before he was arrested. Police used surveillance videos from the stores to identify Jessop. He was arrested in San Bernardino County in late November after briefly fleeing from police. Police recovered the stolen vehicle, which Jessop had been using.

Jessop is a transient and has a series of arrests on his record. He has a past criminal record that includes burglary and drug possession. He was charged with three counts of burglary, multiple counts of identity theft and grand theft. His bail was set at $500,000.

Ojai Identity Theft Attorney


If you’ve been arrested for identity theft, burglary or any similar charge, Ojai identity theft attorney Robert Helfend is ready to take your case. Mr. Helfend has provided exceptional criminal defense in Ventura County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years.

He has represented thousands of Californians who face criminal charges, and works hard to get the charges against his clients reduced or dropped. Mr. Helfend has established an excellent reputation among prosecutors, attorneys and judges as an aggressive defender of his clients’ rights.

Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney, and don’t rely on a firm whose attorneys will pass your matter on to less experienced 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 County identity theft case.
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Securities fraud sentencing stalled for dairy farm scheme
Securities fraud sentencing stalled for dairy farm scheme
Sharon Palmer, the Santa Paula woman who was convicted of securities fraud in 2015 has yet to be sentenced for the crime. James Stewart and Larry Otting were convicted of grand theft, and a special enhancement of aggravated white-collar crime for their role in the financing scheme for a farm that sold unpasteurized milk.

Stewart formed Rawesome Foods as a members-only cooperative, and sold raw milk produced at Palmer’s Health Family Farms. Palmer wanted to exercise an option to purchase the farm property, which she leased. Palmer, Stewart and Otting conspired to use Otting’s line-of-credit to secure funds for Palmer’s down payment on the farm. In exchange for the use of Otting’s line of credit, Palmer promised Otting the use of 10 of the farm’s 51 acres.

The trio then attracted other investors to repay Otting’s loan. Under the plan, Palmer would make the mortgage and tax payments. The investors were given unsigned deeds of trust, which proved worthless. Investors were instructed to wire the money directly to Otting, or to Healthy Family Farms in an effort to disguise the source of the funds. Palmer, Stewart and Otting knew that the bank that issued the mortgage would have denied the loan had it known that third party investments were involved in the purchase.

This is not the first time that Palmer has run into legal trouble. In 2011, she was accused of purchasing thousands of dollars worth of meat, poultry and eggs, and selling it at local farmers’ markets while claiming that the products originated from her farm, and that the animals had not been feed commercial feed products. In addition, Stewart was accused of illegally importing unpasteurized milk from Pennsylvania and selling it to consumers.

Santa Paula Securities Fraud Lawyer


If you’ve been arrested for securities fraud in Santa Paula, or anywhere in Southern California, you need the assistance of an experienced securities fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in Southern California for more than 30 years, and has established a reputation as an aggressive defender of his clients’ rights.

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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