Theft Charges for Port Hueneme Women
Theft Charges for Port Hueneme Women
Ventura County Sheriff’s Department officers arrested two Port Hueneme women for a series of vehicle burglaries in Los Angeles County and Ventura County in April. Prosecutors charged the women with theft, burglary and identity theft. In addition, one of the women faces child endangerment charges because officers found a two-year-old child in the house, along with two ounces of methamphetamine.

Detectives said that the women made purchases with stolen credit cards. Detectives used purchase records to find the suspects. The women also stole cash and other valuables from at least 10 vehicles in Thousand Oaks, Oak Park and various locations in Los Angeles County. An Oxnard man at the home faces a misdemeanor drug possession charge.

Port Hueneme theft lawyer


If you’re arrested for theft, burglary or other similar charge, your first move should be to hire an experienced, aggressive theft lawyer. Robert Helfend has more than 30 years of experience exclusively in criminal defense. He knows exactly what it takes to develop an effective criminal defense.

Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on how they’ve been charged. Instead, he works aggressively to develop an effective defense for his clients. His first goal is to get charges reduced or dropped. That’s an important element, especially if you’re facing felony charges. When eliminating charges isn’t a possibility, Mr. Helfend will work tirelessly to bring you the best possible resolution, based on the circumstances of your case.

Don’t work with an inexperienced attorney and don’t settle for an attorney who won’t fight aggressively for your 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 theft 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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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.

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LA Securities Fraud Scam Nets CT Man
LA Securities Fraud Scam Nets CT Man
A Fairfield, CT man pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges in a Newark, NJ federal courtroom. The case centered on representations that James Trolice and a partner made regarding eAgency, a Los Angeles company.

The men told investors that their companies held warrants to purchase valuable stock in eAgency, a mobile security application developer. They sold shares of their own companies to investors, who believed they could reap a significant return.

Although the companies initially held warrants in eAgency, the men vastly misrepresented the amount and value of the warrants. Eventually, the men defrauded investors of more than $5 million. The men used investor funds for personal expenses and to finance gambling trips.

Trolice faces a potential sentence of 20 years in prison and a $5M fine when he is sentenced in July. He also faces a 10-year sentence and a $250,000 fine for his guilty plea on one count of transacting in criminal proceeds. His partner in the scheme received a sentence of 6.5 years in federal prison.

Federal securities fraud attorney


Hiring an experienced attorney is important because your attorney’s experience can make a major difference in your case. The best strategy to combat an experienced, aggressive prosecutor is to hire an experienced, aggressive securities fraud attorney. Robert Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively, as he has for more than 30 years. In that time, he has learned what it takes to defend clients facing federal charges.

Mr. Helfend offers exceptional defense, and unparalleled personal service. He manages every case personally, so you always get the most from his extensive experience in criminal defense. When you’re facing federal charges, you need the best, most experienced representation 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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Ojai Identity Theft Suspect in Court
Ojai Identity Theft Suspect in Court
A man arrested last August on suspicion of identity theft was back in court this week. Jacob DeGrande, 46, is a transient with a history of mail theft and identity theft.

DeGrande was arrested in August following a string of mail thefts in Ojai. A resident reported that several checks had been stolen from his mailbox. Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives discovered that the checks had been cashed in several cities in Ventura County, including Ojai, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura. The detectives were able to obtain video surveillance of the suspect.

Patrol officers recognized DeGrande from the video footage and arrested him in early August because he had been acting suspiciously. At the time of his arrest, DeGrande was found in possession of hundreds of pieces of mail belonging to others, checks, check-forging equipment and blank check paper. In addition, DeGrande was charged with mail theft and a drug offense. DeGrande was arrested for identity theft in 2009 and 2013. He pleaded guilty to a single felony charge following his most recent arrest.

Identity Theft Attorney Lawyer


If you’ve been arrested for identity theft or any other felony, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for more than 30 years, and takes cases in Ojai and throughout Southern California.

A history of felony convictions in California can put you at risk of receiving a life sentence under the Three Strikes law. Avoiding felony charges becomes an important part of your defense strategy, but only a skilled defense lawyer can get charges against you reduced or dropped. Don’t risk 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 County identity theft 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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MN man pleads guilty to securities fraud
MN man pleads guilty to securities fraud
Earlier this year, a Minnesota man pleaded guilty to operating the largest Ponzi scheme in Orange County history. According to federal prosecutors, Gerard Cellette, 51, of Andover, MN pleaded guilty to securities fraudand other charges. In all, Cellette pleaded guilty to 455 felony counts associated with a years-long Ponzi scheme that involved investors from all over the country.

Many of the victims came from Orange County, and provided about $150 million in funding to the scheme. Cellette told investors that he had printing deals with major retailers like Target, but needed capital to perform the work. In some cases, Cellette promised investors returns of 10% over 90 days.

Instead of investing the funds into his non-existent business, Cellette used new investor funds to pay off previous investors, and diverted a significant amount of the money to his personal expenses. Orange County investors lost about $21 million in the scam. Other investors around the nation lost an additional $34 million. According to prosecutors, Cellette used investor funds to purchase lakefront properties, luxury items, and commercial properties.

The guilty plea came with a 35 year sentence, a $40 million fine and a restitution order of $20 million. Cellette does not have the funds or enough assets to make restitution in full or to pay the court-ordered fine.

Ventura securities fraud attorney


Securities fraud charges are frequently prosecuted by the federal government. The size and scope of the fraud often determine who prosecutes the crime. If you’ve been arrested for securities fraud, investment fraud or other similar financial crime, you need an experienced federal criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience, exclusively in criminal defense, and he is ready to take your case. Federal prosecutions are intense, in part because the federal government is very well funded and well prepared to conduct extended prosecutions. You need an attorney who will fight aggressively or you.

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/federal defense case.

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Theft Suspects Nabbed in Ventura
Theft Suspects Nabbed in Ventura
Ventura police arrested three suspects in connection with a theft scam directed toward local banks. According to police, Wells Fargo Bank employees contacted them about a man who was attempting to use a credit card and a false ID to take a cash advance at the bank. The man fled the bank before officers arrived, but bank employees were able to provide a description of the suspect’s vehicle.

VPD received a second call from a different Wells Fargo Bank stating that a person was attempting to make a large withdrawal from the bank using a fake debit card. Employees were able to identify the vehicle being used by the person before he fled the location. The vehicle descriptions in both incidents matched.

Later VPD officers spotted the suspect vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. Inside the car were three men and a woman, all from Illinois. The men were wearing military uniforms, and officers found a large number of fake IDs, fake credit cards, equipment for manufacturing fake credit cards, logo information related to military charities, fake military documentation and more than $30,000 in cash.

The men were arrested on suspicion of identity theft, forgery and conspiracy. The woman was not charged, and was released. Police later determined that the men were successful in withdrawing cash from banks in Camarillo and Oxnard. One of the suspects, Glynn Ford, was arrested late last year in Illinois and charged in a similar fraud scam that targeted more than 1,600 people outside of Chicago.

Ventura Theft Lawyer


Theft charges, including identity theft and related crimes like forgery, can result in prison sentences and large restitution orders. If you’ve been arrested for identity misappropriation, burglary or forgery, you need the expert assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has provided criminal defense counsel in Venture County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years, and will fight 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 burglary(theft)case.

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Securities Fraud Scam Nets 5-Year Term
Securities Fraud Scam Nets 5-Year Term
A Newbury Park man was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for securities fraud. Rod Hommell, 59, was accused of stealing money from an elderly woman in his capacity as a financial advisor. Hommell pleaded guilty in May to selling fraudulent securities and theft from an elder. He was accused of pocketing more than $100,000.

This is not the first time Hommell has been accused of fraud. In December 2013, he was accused of using an elderly woman’s ATM card to withdraw cash. He also stole money from her over a four-year period, claiming to have put the money in non-existent investments. Hommell was ordered to pay restitution to the estates of both victims. He has also been permanently barred from working in the insurance industries.

Ventura securities fraud attorney


If you’ve been accused of securities fraud, investment fraud or other financial crimes involving an elder, your first response should be to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience exclusively in criminal defense, and has provided superior representation to thousands of Californians over the course of his career. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

Mr. Helfend handles all cases personally. That means your case will get personal attention from a highly qualified attorney. When you’re accused of a work-related felony, your freedom is at stake. In addition, convictions can permanently impact your professional credentials and your ability to make a living following the completion of a sentence.

That’s a lot to risk on an inexperienced attorney. Rather than taking a gamble on an inexperienced or timid defense attorney who isn’t willing to fight for you, 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 defense case.

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