Former SeaWorld Attorney Pleads in Securities Fraud Case
Former SeaWorld Attorney Pleads in Securities Fraud Case
A former attorney for SeaWorld pleaded guilty to securities fraud in an insider trading scheme. According to prosecutors, the man used unreleased earnings information to time a major stock purchase.

The man purchased 18,000 shares of the company’s stock just days before it announced better-than-expected quarterly earnings. Following the announcement, the share price rose more than $4.25 per share. He then sold the stock, reaping a profit of nearly $65,000.

By purchasing company shares, the man violated both company policy and federal securities laws. The man should have sought permission from the company’s general counsel to both purchase and sell shares. Federal authorities contacted the company late in 2018 to inquire about the stock purchase and sale. SeaWorld conducted an internal investigation and determined that the man had used inside information to make his purchase decision.

In federal court last week, the man pleaded guilty to securities fraud as part of a plea agreement. The US District Court for the Middle District of Florida has not yet set a date for sentencing. At sentencing, the court will determine penalties, including incarceration, disgorgement and fines. The maximum penalty for insider trading is 20 years in prison and as much as a $5 million fine.

Federal securities fraud attorney


Investment fraud can take many forms, including insider trading. When you face charges related to profiteering on inside information, hire an experienced securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes federal criminal cases in any circuit in the United States.

Federal authorities aggressively pursue investment fraud and insider trading. Your best defense includes an experienced criminal defense attorney who will represent you throughout the judicial process. An experienced attorney will work hard to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. If you opt to take a plea deal, your attorney will work toward the best possible resolution for your case. This includes reducing any potential prison term and/or fines that may be associated with 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 case.

Photo Credit: Josh Hallett, via Flickr.com

Moorpark Mom Accused of Embezzlement
Moorpark Mom Accused of Embezzlement
A Moorpark woman faces embezzlement charges following the theft of money from a local school. The woman served as the treasurer of the Flory Academy of Sciences and Technology (FAST) Boosters. She also has a prior criminal history, which includes convictions for identity theft, commercial burglary and forgery.

According to investigators, the woman stole an undisclosed amount of money from the group. The group’s Facebook page says the group strives to raise $90,000 annually for the school. A spokesperson also said that when it discovered the fraudulent activity, the group immediately contacted the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. The school is part of the Moorpark Unified School District. The district has asked community members to participate in the school’s final two fundraisers for the year. It also indicated that the district would look at providing additional financial oversight to booster groups to deter future thefts.

Currently, the suspect faces six felony counts of grand theft, and also one special allegation of excessive loss exceeding $100,000. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges and also denied the special allegation. The woman will return to court on April 26 for matters related to her case.

Moorpark Embezzlement Lawyer


When you face charges of grand theft related to employment or volunteerism, hire an experienced embezzlement lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes embezzlement cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

Embezzlement can have a devastating effect on businesses and organizations. In many cases, the victims’ first concerns involve restitution. Experienced defense lawyers know that the key to a successful restitution does not involve lengthy incarceration. In fact, a short jail term or no jail at all gives the victims the best chance at being made whole.

Mr. Helfend will work aggressively to create the best possible outcome for your case. Sometimes, that includes getting the charges against you reduced or dropped. It also may mean securing a resolution that meets the needs of all parties and satisfies judicial interests.

Don’t assume that an arrest is the same thing as a conviction, and don’t assume that you have no options. Instead, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the judicial process.

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 Charge Lands Ventura Dentist in Boston Court
Fraud Charge Lands Ventura Dentist in Boston Court
A Ventura dentist faces fraud charges related to the college admissions scandal. Prosecutors have accused the man of paying $150,000 in bribes. He faces one charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of honest services mail fraud.

According to prosecutors, the man paid to portray his daughter as an elite lacrosse player. She did not play the sport. He also paid the USC women’s lacrosse coach a bribe of $50,000. The coach pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering last month. Prosecutors also charged the school’s water polo coach in the scandal.

The suspect is a professor at USC, where he worked for more than 30 years. He is currently on leave from the institution. According to his lawyers, the man has already lost three book contracts as a result of his arrest. He has been released on bail, and has the court’s permission to travel to previously scheduled international speaking engagements.

The Ventura man is one of more than 30 parents who face charges in the scheme. Parents paid to alter their children’s test scores and present them as athletes to prestigious universities. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He will return to court in Boston in June on matters related to his case.

Ventura Fraud Attorney


When you face criminal charges for fraudulent activity, hire an experienced federal fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 3 decades of experience in criminal defense. He takes federal criminal cases in any circuit in the United States. He takes state cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

Most often, monetary gain is the object of fraud, however sometimes other factors motivate it. Felony convictions can have a lasting impact on your life and your lifestyle. They can permanently tarnish your reputation, and result in loss of income. Even unproven allegations can impact your life. That’s why you need the assistance of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney by your side.

Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he simply works hard to get the charges against them reduced or dropped. Don’t take on federal prosecutors on your own and don’t assume that a guilty plea is your only option.

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.

Photo Credit: Peter, via Flickr.com

Identity Theft Charge for Camarillo Caregiver
Identity Theft Charge for Camarillo Caregiver
A Camarillo woman faces charge of identity theft after opening a credit line in a patient’s name. According to Simi Valley Police, the victim contacted them to report credit card fraud. A credit card company placed a call to her to inquire about an account in her name. She then indicated that she had never opened the account in question.

According to investigators, the victim had hired the caregiver several years earlier to walk her dog and clean her house. Eventually, the suspect took on more care responsibilities for the terminally ill woman. Using the victim’s personal information, the suspect opened a line of credit and made about $11,000 worth of purchases. She committed the fraud over a period of six months.

The woman faces charges of identity theft from an elder or dependent adult. She is free on a $50,000 bond and will return to court on April 17 for arraignment.

Simi Valley Identity Theft Lawyer


Authorities pay special attention to identity theft because it often signals other criminal activity, When you face charges for an identity related crime, hire an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes cases in Ventura County. During his more than three decades of practice, he has defended thousands of Californians against a variety of charges.

Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Many people find themselves in difficult criminal court situations. This may make them reluctant to seek help, or may make them more willing to accept a plea deal.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help by working to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. While this may not succeed all the time, even reducing the charges can have a major positive effect.

Don’t risk your freedom on inexperience and don’t assume that a plea deal is always in your best interest. (Often it is not.) 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.

Photo Credit: CafeCredit.com, via Flickr.com

Domestic Violence Conviction Leads to 29-Year Sentence
Domestic Violence Conviction Leads to 29-Year Sentence
A Ventura man will spend the next 29 years in prison following a domestic violence conviction. A jury found the man guilty of false imprisonment; inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant; and witness intimidation. The jury also found true 16 special allegations against the man, including a “third-strike.” The jury found him not guilty of exhibiting a deadly weapon, and the judge dismissed a charge of making criminal threats. In addition, the jury found not true one allegation of using a deadly weapon.

According to prosecutors, the man pinned his then-girlfriend to a table. The pair fell to the floor, and the woman suffered serious injuries on impact. The man also prevented the woman from moving following the fall. When the woman tried to change her clothes and seek medical treatment, the man threatened her. He also attempted to dissuade her from reporting her injuries to authorities.

The suspect has a history of domestic abuse, which included felony convictions for kidnapping and making criminal threats.

Ventura Domestic Violence Attorney


Domestic abuse charges can result in significant prison time, especially for those with a prior history of felony offenses. When you face charges for spousal abuse, hire an experienced domestic violence attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes domestic abuse cases in Ventura County.

Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he works hard to get the charges against them reduced or dropped. This case illustrates the chilling effect that a “third strike” can have on sentencing. The law doubles sentences for second felony convictions and can impose lifetime incarceration for a third violent felony.

That’s why your first move following an arrest should be to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Relying on an inexperienced defender can have significant negative consequences for you and your future.

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 domestic violence case.

Photo Credit: Steve Rhodes, via Flickr.com

Thousand Oaks DUI Could Send Lawyer to Jail For 10 Years
Thousand Oaks DUI Could Send Lawyer to Jail For 10 Years
A local attorney faces as much as 10years in prison for a DUI death. According to police, the man crashed into a tree in Thousand Oaks, killing his passenger. At the time of his arrest, the man had a blood-alcohol content that exceeded .15.

Police said that the man crashed into a tree and his vehicle overturned on Westland Avenue in Thousand Oaks. Both the man and his passenger suffered serious injuries in the collision. An ambulance crew transported the man and his passenger, a 38-year-old Canoga Park woman, to the hospital. Doctors there pronounced the woman dead.

The man faces charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He also faces two special allegations of committing a serious felony and driving with a BAC of .15 or more. He will return to court on May 8 for matters related to his case.

Thousand Oaks DUI Lawyer


When you face charges for a DUI in Ventura County, hire an experienced DUI lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. In his more than three decades of practice, he has defended thousands of Californians. He takes drunk driving cases in Ventura County.

Two out of three drunk driving cases in California result in misdemeanor charges. The remaining one-third result in felony cases. How the prosecutor charges you depends upon the circumstances of your case. Serious injuries or death typically result in felony charges. Additionally, the driver’s history with prior drunk driving arrests can also factor into the seriousness of the charges.

California’s drunk driving laws produce serious consequences, even for those facing misdemeanor charges. Immediately upon a drunk driving arrest, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license. You can challenge this suspension, but you must schedule a timely hearing with the DMV. It’s also important to know that the DMV operates independently of the court. A judge can extend this suspension as part of a criminal sanction.

Don’t assume that you can (or should) represent yourself in court. Instead, hire an experienced attorney who will represent you throughout the judicial process.

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 DUI case.

Photo Credit: Montgomery Lion, via Flickr.com

Drug possession arrest nets four Ventura residents
Drug possession arrest nets four Ventura residents
Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies arrested four city residents on suspicion of drug possession for sale. According to deputies, narcotics investigators had been monitoring the home of a subject suspected of selling drugs. They witnessed the subject conducting a drug sale in a vehicle parked outside of his home.

Once the suspected sale was complete, deputies conducted a traffic stop and arrested two women inside the car. Both women were on probation at the time of the traffic stop. Additionally, they both had outstanding warrants for their arrests. A search of the vehicle produced two ounces of methamphetamine and a small quantity of heroin prepared for sale.

Later, deputies conducted a second traffic stop of a man who had just left the investigation subject’s home. They arrested the driver of that vehicle, who also had a warrant out for his arrest. Upon searching the vehicle, deputies discovered drug paraphernalia and a small quantity of methamphetamine. They arrested the man on the outstanding warrant.

Deputies returned to the subject’s home and found him in a vehicle parked near his home. They searched the vehicle and recovered nearly a kilogram of methamphetamine, a small amount of heroin and cash. Deputies arrested the suspect and booked him into the Ventura County Jail. He was later released without being charged. The remaining three suspects remain jailed on the outstanding warrants and probation violations. They will return to court later this month to address the arrest warrants.

Ventura drug possession attorney


When you face charges for drug crimes, hire an experienced drug possession attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than three decades of experience in criminal defense. He takes drug cases in Ventura County.

Prosecutors love drug crimes because they represent easy convictions and long sentences. Without an aggressive attorney fighting for the defendant, this statement could be very true. In many cases, a prosecutor’s entire case rests on the legality of a search. If the search is not conducted properly, any evidence found during that search must be thrown out. Often, this makes a prosecutor’s case collapse.

Without an experienced defense attorney to challenge a prosecutor’s case, or the legality of searches, a defendant can find himself on a quick route to prison. That’s why you need to have an attorney by your side throughout the judicial process. An experienced attorney knows how to protect your rights. Don’t assume that you can represent yourself in court, and don’t admit to anything without consulting a lawyer 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 drug possession case.

Photo Credit: Craig Dietrich, via Flickr.com

Attempted Murder Arrest in El Rio Shooting
Attempted Murder Arrest in El Rio Shooting
Police arrested a Ventura man on suspicion of attempted murder in an El Rio weekend shooting. Hospital staff at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard informed police that they were treating a man with a gunshot wound. Medical personnel later transferred the man to the Ventura County Medical Center for additional treatment.

According to police, the suspect and the victim had engaged in an argument. The suspect produced a weapon and shot the man in the chest. The shooting took place in El Rio, just outside of Oxnard. Investigators identified the suspect and obtained search and arrest warrants. During the search of the suspects home, officers located a firearm, ammunition and also “a large quantity of narcotics.”

The suspect does not currently face charges of attempted murder, however he faces charges of assault, and weapons and drug charges. He also faces twelve special allegations, which, if true, could result in extended prison terms. The judge freed the suspect on a $170,000 bond and will return to court on April 5 for matters related to his case.

El Rio Murder Attorney


When you face charges for homicide or attempted homicide, hire an experienced murder attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience, exclusively in criminal defense. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

Homicide and attempted homicide are very serious charges in the State of California. Despite the governor’s recent moratorium on executions, the death penalty is still very much on the books. The moratorium on executions does not mean that death row prisoners received clemency, or sentence commutations.

When you face these serious charges, your best defense is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Having an aggressive, experienced and prepared defense on your side can make a major difference in the outcome of your case.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney, or hope that the state’s position on executions will change. 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: Randy Bayne, via Flickr.com

Rams coach pleads not guilty to Moorpark sex crimes
Rams coach pleads not guilty to Moorpark sex crimes
A strength and conditioning coach for the Los Angeles Rams pleaded not guilty to sex crimes charges. Authorities arraigned the man on several counts of sexual battery earlier this month. According to the complaint, a Moorpark woman accused him of intimately touching her without permission at a private residence. He pleaded not guilty to three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery. The incidents allegedly took place in June 2018.

Authorities arrested the man initially in January. He posted a $5,000 bond and authorities released him. He did not travel to New Orleans or to the Super Bowl with the Rams. The team released a statement saying that it was aware of the charges against the coach. The coach is currently on leave from the team and will remain so until the court resolves the charges.

He did not appear in court for the arraignment. His attorney entered the not guilty pleas on his behalf and indicated that he intends to fight the charges. The man will return to court on April 19 for a pretrial examination. If the case moves to trial, a conviction could result in an 18-month sentence. The court would also likely require him to register as a sex offender for life.

Moorpark sex crimes attorney


When someone accuses you of committing sexual offenses, your best move is to hire an experienced sex crimes attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend takes sex crimes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

Even misdemeanor sexual offense convictions are serious. They can trigger a sexual offender registry requirement that can follow you for life. Sex offender status can interfere with your ability to find work and housing. It can also interfere with family relationships and diminish your status in your community.

Don’t make the assumption that you can’t fight the charges against you, and don’t assume that a plea deal is in your best interest. Instead, work with an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney who will fight for your reputation, rights and freedoms.

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 sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Paolo Barzman, via Flickr.com

Securities fraud plea for former bank exec
Securities fraud plea for former bank exec
A former CEO of a now-defunct “bank” pleaded guilty to securities fraud in Texas earlier this month. Jason Rice admitted to stealing more than $4 million from his investors. According to the federal indictment, Rice made false statements to investors about the company’s capital and its services. He also told investors that the company had financial relationships it did not have.

Initially, the State of Texas issued a cease-and-desist order in January to Rice’s company, AriseBank. The entity used the word “bank” in its name although it was not authorized to provide banking services. Additionally, the entity promised investors returns of up to 20% on their initial investments. Rice later issued a press release claiming to have raised $600M in an initial coin offering (ICO). The release also indicated that the entity expected to receive $1B in initial investments. Regulators from the US Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating Rice at that point.

The SEC indicated in its complaint that AriseBank had not registered with the SEC, so its ICO was illegal. Regulators also noted that Rice’s literature claimed that his company could offer FDIC-insured bank accounts and bank transactions. The company also claimed to have a partnership with Visa. All of those statements were false.

The FBI arrested Rice in late November 2018. Federal prosecutors charged Rice and his partner, Stanley Ford, with securities fraud and wire fraud. Earlier this month, Rice pleaded guilty to a single count of securities fraud. The court has already ordered the men to disgorge more than $2.2 million in cash assets and nearly $70,000 in interest on the funds. Additionally, each man must pay a fine of nearly $185,000. The fines and fees do not preclude additional restitution orders. Rice will return to court on July 11 for sentencing. At that time, the judge could assign a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Securities fraud lawyer


When you face charges for investment fraud, hire an experienced securities fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend takes federal criminal defense cases in any federal circuit in the United States.

Securities can be governed by both civil and criminal laws. When you face criminal charges for investment fraud, your best defense is to hire an experienced federal criminal attorney to defend you. Federal prosecutors are aggressive and well-resourced. They will not drop a case they believe they can win. To defend yourself, you need an attorney who is aggressive and has federal defense experience.

Don’t assume that a guilty plea is your best option, and don’t assume that you can’t win in federal 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.

Photo Credit: Richard Patterson, via Flickr.com