Ojai Fraud Case Delayed
Ojai Fraud Case Delayed
The preliminary hearing for an Ojai medical marijuana cooperative owner has been suspended, and will resume in March. Jeffrey Kroll, 65, who owns the Shangri La Medical Marijuana Cooperative, may face charges of fraud relating to an elder, manufacturing concentrated cannabis, failing to file income tax returns, child endangerment and money laundering.

Kroll and the Shangri La Medical Marijuana Cooperative have been the ongoing focus of law enforcement officials in Ojai. They allege that Kroll diverted funds from the cooperative to his own personal accounts and other business entities, and bought marijuana from other cooperatives to resell to Shangri La Cooperative members. According to Kroll, the cooperative had about 700 members before it was shut down in April 2016.

Before the hearing was suspended, prosecutors offered testimony from an accountant who prepared a tax return for Kroll in 2013. She testified that she notified Kroll that it appeared as though he was commingling funds from the cooperative with his own personal finances. Detectives who investigated the case also testified that Kroll laundered money from the cooperative through other non-related businesses. The hearing will continue in March.

Ojai Fraud Attorney


If you’ve been accused of fraud in Ojai, you need to the assistance of an experienced fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense exclusively, and takes cases in Ojai and throughout Southern California.

He has specific experience in medical marijuana defense, and will fight aggressively for your rights in court. Much about California’s approach to drug laws has changed, but that may not stop overzealous prosecutors or federal officials from attempting to prosecute you or shutter your legal medical marijuana business.

Don’t hire an inexperienced criminal defense attorney, and don’t give up in the face of pressure from local law enforcement.

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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Drug Crimes Arrest For Medical Marijuana Co-op
Drug Crimes Arrest For Medical Marijuana Co-op
The head of an Oxnard medical marijuana co-operative was arrested last week and charged with drug crimes, including possession of marijuana for sale, conspiracy and perjury.
Chelsea Sutula, 39, who runs the Sespe Creek Collective, was arrested after deputies served a search warrant at her place of business. Investigators say that the collective was operating outside of the guidelines established by Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act.

According to Sutula, who was released on $50,000 bond, officers also raided her home, removed her pets from the home, confiscated her computer and seized cash. Ventura County has targeted marijuana production and dispensary facilities aggressively. Earlier this year, the department seized nearly 3,000 plants and more than 100 pounds of processed marijuana from a different operation outside of Fillmore.

In that raid, officials say that the operators were illegally diverting water from Sespe Creek to provide irrigation for their operation. According to investigators, the Fillmore operation was much larger than its permits allowed.

In April, Ventura authorities also arrested the head of an Ojai medical marijuana cooperative and accused him of embezzling funds from both the cooperative and the Humane Society of Ventura County, as well as overcharging cooperative members for marijuana products.
Sutula says that her cooperative works hard to comply with the provisions of Proposition 215. She has run the cooperative since 2011. She is scheduled to be arraigned in mid-November.

Ventura Drug Crimes Attorney


Ventura County continues to prosecute medical marijuana cooperatives that operate within the county, even as voters in the state prepare to vote on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. If you’ve been arrested in connection with the operation of a medical marijuana dispensary, you need the assistance of an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in Ventura County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years, and is ready to take your medical marijuana 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 drug crimes case.

Photo Credit: Carlos Gracia, via Flickr.com

Major Oxnard Drug Possession Arrest
Major Oxnard Drug Possession Arrest
Last month, Oxnard police arrested a resident after receiving a tip that the man was selling marijuana and cocaine. A search of Daniel Forhan’s Halifax Lane home turned up more than 100 pounds of marijuana, more than 700 hydrocodone pills, two ounces of concentrated cannabis, a limited quantity of methamphetamine, and 5 ounces each of psilocybin mushrooms and cocaine. Authorities also confiscated nearly $500,000 in cash from the home. Forhan was charged with drug possession for sale and weapons charges.

Work with an experienced drug possession attorney


Drug possession convictions may not seem like a big deal, but depending upon the circumstances, you can spend significant time in prison. Authorities are less concerned with people who possess small quantities of drugs, but they’re very interested in people who have large quantities of drugs for sale. Even if you want to leave the drug scene behind, a possession conviction can severely limit your ability to find gainful employment in your chosen field. In California, felony convictions can also put you in danger of lengthened prison sentences, under the terms of the state’s Three Strikes law.

If you’ve been arrested in Ventura County on possession charges, you need the assistance of an experienced Ventura drug possession attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience as a drug possession attorney in Southern California, including Ventura County. He can put together a skilled defense on your behalf. Mr. Helfend works hard to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. He has established a reputation as an aggressive attorney who fights for his clients’ rights at all times.

When you hire Robert Helfend, you work with Robert Helfend. He handles each case personally and will not pass your case to a less experienced attorney. That’s good news for his clients, because it means they get the full benefit of his more than 30 years of experience in Southern California courts.

Don’t trust your criminal defense to just anyone. Choose an experienced drug possession 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 drug possession case.

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Fraud Charge for Marijuana Cooperative CEO
Fraud Charge for Marijuana Cooperative CEO
Jeffrey Kroll, president of the Shangri La Care Cooperative in Ojai was arrested last week and faces a number of charges, including fraud, money laundering, failure to file an income tax return, cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, transporting marijuana, manufacturing concentrated cannabis and maintaining a place for using or selling a controlled substance.

Kroll also faces a number of misdemeanor charges including manufacturing drugs without a license, mislabeling and adulterating food products and operating a marijuana cooperative within 600 feet of a school.

Experienced Ventura County fraud attorney


If you’ve been arrested for fraud, grand theft or embezzlement, your first response should be to hire an experienced fraud attorney who can help you build a strong and aggressive defense strategy. Robert Helfend has worked as a criminal defense attorney in Ventura County for more than 30 years. He has taken on hundreds of clients, and is ready to take your case.

Convictions can have devastating impacts on your personal and professional lives. Aside from facing long prison terms and restitution, you could find other long-term challenges once a felony conviction is on your record.

Convictions on serious felony charges follow you around indefinitely. If your conviction arises from your conduct as a licensed professional, you may be required to surrender your professional licensure for some period of time, or perhaps even permanently. Even if you can retain (or regain) your license to practice, it may be next to impossible to find gainful employment following your release from prison.

You need the assistance of an experienced fraud attorney who will work to get your charges reduced or dropped. If that’s not possible under the circumstances, you need an experienced defense attorney who can work toward the best possible outcome in your particular circumstances.

Don’t risk your freedom on inexperienced criminal defense attorneys. 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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Marijuana Cultivation Axed in Simi Valley
Marijuana Cultivation Axed in Simi Valley
The Simi Valley City Council banned personal-use marijuana cultivation within the city limits. About two-dozen residents sought to address the council, hoping to persuade them to defeat the marijuana cultivation ordinance, but the City Council did not allow commentary at the meeting because the ordinance was receiving its second reading.

Medical marijuana cultivation banned in most cities


Medical marijuana cultivation is banned in most cities in Ventura County, but it is currently permitted in Ventura, Moorpark and in the unincorporated areas of the county. Under California law, cities cannot ban the use of medical marijuana by authorized patients, but the courts have ruled that cities do not have to permit personal cultivation. State health and safety codes do not ban personal medical marijuana cultivation.

Ventura County criminal defense attorney Robert Helfend takes medical marijuana defense cases. If you’ve been arrested for purchasing, cultivating, possessing or delivering medical marijuana, or have been arrested on other charges related to the state’s medical marijuana laws, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights in court. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience exclusively in criminal defense and has taken on hundreds of medical marijuana cases.

As a defendant in a medical marijuana case, the laws of the State of California are on your side. If you have the proper medical documentation, you have the right to possess and use medical marijuana within the limits established by California state law. When you’re facing medical marijuana related charges in California, you need a criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend beside you in the courtroom. His experience in criminal defense can help you defend your rights under California law.

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 medical marijuana/drug crimes case.

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Medical Marijuana in Ventura County
Medical Marijuana in Ventura County
In an effort to beat a state-imposed deadline of March 1, Camarillo, Fillmore, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula and Thousand Oaks have all taken steps to ban the cultivation of medical marijuana for personal use within their borders. Ojai, which already bans personal cultivation, will determine whether additional modifications to its current ordinance are needed to comply with state law. Commercial cultivation of marijuana is already prohibited countywide.

State will manage medical marijuana cultivation March 1


Beginning March 1, the state’s Department of Agriculture will take over the issuing of permits for marijuana cultivation throughout the state. The state will honor existing local ordinances to regulate the cultivation of marijuana, so many municipalities are rushing to enact controls ahead of the deadline.

Even though voters approved the use of marijuana in California for medicinal purposes nearly 20 years ago, marijuana still raises a number of legal challenges. To date, the US Supreme Court has declined to hear cases related to marijuana use in individual states. The current administration has said that it will not pursue prosecutions related to medical marijuana use, but people in California still face criminal prosecution at the local level for cultivating, using and providing marijuana.

If you’ve been arrested on charges related to your medical marijuana use, possession or distribution, contact Ventura criminal defense attorney Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced in Southern California courts for more than 30 years, exclusively in criminal defense matters and will take your marijuana defense case.

Mr. Helfend is an aggressive defender of his clients’ rights and will fight to ensure that unjust charges against you are dismissed. Don’t try to defend yourself in court or rely on the court to recognize your right to cultivate and use marijuana.

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 medical marijuana case.

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Ojai Medical Marijuana Co-op Raid
Ojai Medical Marijuana Co-op Raid
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office raided an Ojai medical marijuana cooperative for the second time in three months. In October, sheriff’s deputies raided the Shangri La Marijuana Cooperative and the home of co-op owner Jeff Kroll. During the raids, they seized bank accounts, business records, marijuana plants and cash, making it difficult for the business to operate, pay taxes and make payroll.

The Ventura medical marijuana cooperative was raided a second time in December in a coordinated operation involving a search of Kroll’s vehicle and home. An attorney for the cooperative said that the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department personnel also made vague statements to him regarding representation for medical marijuana cases.

Medical Marijuana is Legal in California


The production, distribution and consumption of medical marijuana are legal under California law. Additionally, several new laws now in effect allow medical marijuana cooperatives to receive state-issued operating licenses. Certain counties have been unwilling to accept this, and continue to prosecute and harass individuals who are acting legally in the state. Criminal defense attorney Robert Helfend can assist you if you’ve been arrested or charged with medical marijuana use, possession, production or distribution.

Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in California for more than 30 years. He provides aggressive defense for his clients, especially for medical marijuana users and caregivers, who are acting legally in the State of California. Currently, state and federal laws regarding medical marijuana conflict. Mr. Helfend’s extensive state and federal defense experience can help ensure that your rights are respected.

Robert Helfend fights aggressively for his clients’ rights, regardless of the nature of the charges against them. 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 medical marijuana case.

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