Sex crime suspect arrested in Camarillo
Sex crime suspect arrested in Camarillo
A Sacramento man faces four felony sex crimes charges following his arrest in Camarillo.

Authorities in Ventura County received information from a Sacramento-area police detective retarding a possible human trafficking victim in Ventura County. Ventura authorities located the 14-year-old victim and two other females at a Camarillo hotel. Police searched the hotel room and talked to the women. After interviewing them, authorities concluded that a Sacramento man, who was not present, was trafficking them.

Ventura County detectives also learned that the suspect may be in the company of two other women. They later found the man and one of the women as they prepared to check into a Manhattan Beach hotel. Officers arrested the man and booked him into the Ventura County Jail. The other female, a 16-year old, was located in Sacramento.

Authorities charged James Powell, 31, of Sacramento, with two counts of human trafficking. They also charged him with two counts of inducing a minor to engage in commercial sex acts. A judge set Powell’s bail at $510,000. He will return to court on April 25 on matters related to the case.

Camarillo sex crimes attorney


When you face sex crimes charges, hire an experienced sex crimes attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 3 decades of criminal courtroom experience. He will fight aggressively for you in court.

Sex crimes convictions can damage you for life. Sex-related human trafficking is a felony, and can put you in prison for up to 20 years. In addition, a judge can impose a fine of $500,000. In California, a sex-related human trafficking conviction also requires you to register as a sex offender. Sex offender registration follows you, usually for life. No matter where you live upon your release, you’ll be required to register. This can impact your ability to get a job or find a place to live. In addition, sex offender status comes with onerous personal conduct regulations that you must adhere to. Failure to uphold registration requirements can put you back in prison.

When the stakes are this high, 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 sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Beyond Neon, via Flickr.com

Securities fraud laws could be changing
Securities fraud laws could be changing
Today, both federal and state courts can hear Securities fraudcases. If one Wall Street veteran has his way, however, only federal courts will be able to hear securities fraud cases.

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, former chairman of mega-insurer AIG, wants Congress to trim the provisions of a 1921 law that allows state civil courts to tackle investment related crimes. Greenberg agreed to pay a $9 million settlement to the State of New York last year to close a long-running securities case against him. The agreement may have settled the case against him, but Greenberg wants to change the rule that snared him.

Greenberg helped author and supports a bill to curb the states’ powers to prosecute securities crimes under the Martin Act. The bill, introduced by former AIG employee and current New Jersey representative Tom MacArthur, would do just that. That has some states’ Attorneys General crying foul.

While supporters of the bill say that it doesn’t limit the states’ rights to pursue criminal securities fraud charges, opponents disagree. State officials say that the Martin Act is an important tool in the fight against low-level securities scams.

Former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer used the law to tackle Greenberg in 2005. At the time AIG inflated its apparent reserves to appease critics. Additionally, the company buried losses from one division by hiding them in an off-shore entity. Both actions had the effect of misstating the company’s earnings. In 2005, AIG ousted Greenberg as its chairman. In 2006, the company restated its earnings and paid more than $1.6B in fines. It also ended the questionable practice of off-shoring losses, which it had done for more than two decades.

It’s unclear whether the Congress will adopt legislation to weaken securities fraud enforcement. It’s clear that the bill’s backers believe now is the right time to make that move.

California securities fraud lawyer


Securities fraud can be a civil or criminal matter, and today, states can pursue charges in either court system. When you’re facing investment related charges, hire an experienced securities fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in courtroom criminal defense. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

His first move will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not a possibility, he will fight aggressively on your behalf in court. Don’t settle for an attorney who won’t 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 case.

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Embezzlement Charge Nets Simi Valley Police Officer
Embezzlement Charge Nets Simi Valley Police Officer
A Simi Valley police officer faces charges of embezzlement related to time card fraud. Authorities accuse the officer of padding his paycheck by more than $100,000 in bogus overtime charges between 2014 and 2017.

He faces four counts of felony grand theft and one count of attempted felony grand theft. The case first came to light in August 2017. Supervisors noticed a discrepancy in the officer’s time sheet. The officer’s time card noted that he worked a shift, but the supervisor did not see the officer that day. The department reviewed previous time sheets and determined that there was a pattern of misrepresentation of time worked.

The officer had worked in various positions in the department, and was working as a school resource officer at the time of the discovery. Prior to transferring to Simi Valley, the officer worked for the Los Angeles Police Department. He also served in the US Army for six years prior to becoming a police officer.

The Simi Valley police chief said the department’s use of an “antiquated paper system” facilitated the theft. He also said that his priority to review the department’s overtime spending contributed to the incident’s discovery.

The officer has pleaded not guilty to four counts of felony grand theft and one count of attempted felony grand theft. A judge released him on a $20,000 bond. The officer is due back in court at the end of the month on matters related to the case.

Simi Valley Embezzlement Attorney


When you face embezzlement charges, hire an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 3 decades of criminal defense practice experience and will fight aggressively for you in court.

Embezzlement, grand theft and other workplace crimes can have a serious impact on your life. In addition to facing the prospect of a criminal conviction and jail time, you can also expect other sanctions. These may include restitution and fines. Felony convictions in California can also put you at risk of lengthened sentencing for subsequent convictions.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney or one who won’t fight aggressively 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 embezzlement case.

Photo Credit: Damian Gadal, via Flickr.com

Fraud Plea From Oxnard Business Owner
Fraud Plea From Oxnard Business Owner
An Oxnard businessman pleaded guilty to four felony fraud charges last week. According to the Ventura District Attorney’s Office, the man made fraudulent statements to reduce his workers’ compensation insurance premiums. He also admitted special allegations of excessive loss over $100,000 and taking more than $200,000.

The man owned a Ventura cleaning service. Between 2010 and 2015, he underreported his payroll to his workers’ compensation insurance carrier by more than $1 million. This had the effect of lowering his premiums, but also left workers without adequate injury insurance coverage.

The man will return to court in early June for sentencing. At that time, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a restitution order of nearly $500,000.

Oxnard Fraud Lawyer


Workers’ compensation insurance makes a ripe target for fraud investigations. When you face fraud charges, hire an experienced fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend to represent you in court. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in both federal and state courts. He takes fraud cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He also accepts fraud cases in any federal circuit in the United States.

Fraud can carry stiff incarceration terms, as well as fines and restitution. Hiring a prepared, aggressive criminal defense attorney is your best defense strategy. Mr. Helfend’s first priority will be to get the charges against you dropped altogether. When that’s not a possibility, he will work toward getting the charges reduced to lesser charges. These strategies are effective because they minimize or eliminate the risk of jail time. Additionally, they prevent the creation or extension of a felony history.

In California, minimizing felony convictions is essential, due to the state’s Three Strikes Law. A history of California felony convictions can result in lifetime incarcerations. Don’t risk your freedom on an attorney who won’t fight aggressively for 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 fraud case.

Photo Credit: California Department of Insurance, via Flickr.com

Camarillo Identity Theft Suspect Pleads Guilty
Camarillo Identity Theft Suspect Pleads Guilty
A homeless Los Angeles man pleaded guilty to identity theft last month. Authorities arrested the man at Los Angeles International Airport on suspicion of identity theft. They believe the man posed as other people and stole more than $20,000 from victims in Ventura and Orange counties.

One victim reported the theft of $6,500 from his accounts at Chase Bank. The man made each withdrawal from a different branch location. Using bank security camera footage, the police identified the suspect. Following publication of the man’s photo, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office indicated the same man could be responsible for additional thefts there. Those thefts also involved Chase Bank withdrawals in Mission Viejo and Irvine. The Orange County thefts occurred in 2016 and involved the loss of $15,000.

While in court on the charges, the man pleaded guilty to felony identity theft, and two special allegations. The special allegations include identity theft in multiple jurisdictions and having a prior felony conviction. The judge sentenced the man to two years and four months in the Ventura County Jail.

Camarillo Identity Theft Attorney


When you face identity theft charges, hire an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than three decades of criminal defense experience. He’ll fight aggressively for your rights and freedom in court.

Identity theft is both a state and federal offense. You can face prosecution in either court system. In addition, you can face a range of penalties and special allegations that will serve to extend your sentence. Your best defense strategy is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will represent you in court.

Mr. Helfend’s first priority will be to get the charges against you dismissed. When dismissal isn’t a possibility, he will fight aggressively to get the charges against you reduced. In California, this is exceptionally important, given the state’s Three Strike’s Law. Conviction for a third violent felony can put you in prison for life.

Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney, or one who won’t 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 identity theft/murder case.

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart, via Flickr.com

Domestic Violence Incident Leads To Camarillo Conviction
Domestic Violence Incident Leads To Camarillo Conviction
A Camarillo man will return to court for sentencing following a domestic violence conviction. The incident took place on New Year’s Eve in 2015. According to police, the man beat and choked his girlfriend to the point of unconsciousness. Neighbors heard the commotion and then notified the police.

Police responded to the scene and found the injured woman, bleeding and with a broken nose. The District Attorney charged the man with assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. In addition, the man also faced a misdemeanor battery charge. Officers arrested the man at the scene, but a judge later released him on his own recognizance. The court dismissed the initial case against the man, but prosecutors refiled it in 2017.

Prior to sentencing, the courts will evaluate his eligibility for alternative disposition in Veterans’ Court. If he is ineligible for alternative consideration, he faces up to four years in state prison.

Camarillo domestic violence lawyer


When you face charges related to a domestic assault, hire an experienced domestic violence attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 3 decades of practice experience in courtroom criminal defense. He is recognized among the top 3% of criminal defense attorneys in Ventura County.

Domestic abuse can have a lingering effect on you and your family. It has many causes and often, the best approach to justice may not involve the Department of Corrections. An aggressive, experienced lawyer can help you resolve domestic abuse charges, and begin the process of rebuilding relationships and families. Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney, and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can 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 County domestic violence case.

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DUI Charges Can Apply to Driving High
DUI Charges Can Apply to Driving High
When you hear the term “DUI” you automatically think, “drunk driving.” Some drivers may be surprised to know that they can face DUI charges for driving under the influence of anything that can impair driving performance. Last year, one California District Attorney even attempted to charge an over-caffeinated driver with DUI. Those charges didn’t stick, but many substances can impair driving performance.

California law enforcement officials face a growing issue in determining who is and isn’t impaired by marijuana use. Field sobriety tests typically detect alcohol impairment. While some drugs may significantly impair some drivers, they may not have a uniform effect on everyone.

Recreational marijuana use is legal in California today, and marijuana use can impair driving performance. Unfortunately, the state has no clear standards marijuana impairment. Instead, California currently relies on “drug recognition experts” to determine driver impairment. The courts will consider a police officer who has completed a two-week training course a drug recognition expert.

A trained California officer conducts tests and notes physical indicators of drug impairment during a traffic stop. His or her findings are exclusively a judgment call. Proponents of this method say that the traffic stop itself is the only time that another person can assess or determine impairment. Opponents say that overzealous officers could unfairly target individuals on the basis of race or class.

Other states that have legalized marijuana use take different approaches to determining impairment. Washington and Colorado established a “per se” legal limit for marijuana consumption. Those states deem users with more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in their system impaired.

However, even with a “bright line” standard, a person exceeding a state’s “per se” limit may not actually be impaired. Blood-alcohol intoxication standards can generally predict impairment in most people. Per se THC standards, on the other hand, do not successfully predict impairment nearly as well. Confounding the problem is the fact that normal metabolism can eliminate 70% or more of the psychoactive THC in a person’s bloodstream in an hour. This makes documenting actual THC levels at the time of arrest almost impossible.

Ventura DUI attorney


When you face charges for a DUI in Ventura, especially involving marijuana impairment, hire a DUI attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. The laws and science regulating marijuana impairment are still evolving. An experienced attorney can positively help you resolve a marijuana DUI.

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 DUI case.

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Law enforcement officials in Ventura County arrested three individuals in relation to a vehicle theft scheme. According to investigators, the trio targeted a Ventura car dealership where one of the men worked.

Detectives were investigating the thefts of vehicles from the dealership when they discovered two stolen cars in Thousand Oaks. They located the stolen vehicles on a residential street. They secured a search warrant for a home there, and arrested a male and a female suspect during the search.

A week later, they arrested an employee of the dealership with ties to the pair. Following his arrest, detectives searched his home and found additional evidence linking him to the stolen vehicles. The former employee faces charges of conspiracy and embezzlement, and a special allegation of commission of a felony on bail. Additionally, he faces felony identity theft charges and misdemeanor drug possession, DUI and drug paraphernalia possession charges. The additional charges result from an earlier arrest. He received a bail of $40,000 and will appear in court several times in the next two weeks.

The female suspect in the case faces charges of conspiracy and receiving stolen property. Additionally she faces special allegations of committing a felony while on bail and a prior felony conviction. She will also appear in court for a prior unrelated arrest for identity theft and receiving stolen property. She received a bail of $50,000 and is due back in court this week. The second male suspect faces charges of conspiracy and receiving stolen property. He received a bail of $20,000 and is due back in court this week.

Thousand Oaks theft lawyer


When you face theft charges in Ventura County, hire an experienced, aggressive theft lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in courtroom defense. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. This is exceptionally important when you have a felony history, or have multiple charges pending.

Don’t settle for 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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Drug Possession Charges for Ventura County Heroin Dealers
Drug Possession Charges for Ventura County Heroin Dealers
Ventura County law enforcement agencies are celebrating the arrests of 30 people for
drug possession. In addition to the arrests, officers seized a pound of heroin, $80,000 in cash, 10 weapons and three cars.

Authorities began investigating the heroin trade in Ventura County following a sharp increase in the number of heroin overdoses. Earlier this year, they discovered a drug delivery service operating in the county. Investigators learned that the ring was most active in Camarillo, Moorpark, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks.

Detectives targeted a Los Angeles man as the leader of the distribution operation. Their investigation revealed that he took orders, dispatched drivers and made deliveries. At different times during the investigation, officers arrested all of the ring’s drivers. In addition, officers observed drug transactions at various locations in the county.

Investigators obtained search warrants for the homes of all three drivers, as well as the home of the operation’s leader. It was at the leader’s home that authorities recovered more than $75,000 in cash. In other searches, authorities discovered thousands of doses of heroin packaged for sale, as well as bulk quantities of the drug. As part of the investigation, authorities arrested an additional four street-level dealers and 22 buyers.

Ventura Drug Possession Lawyer


While California has relaxed some drug possession laws, certain offenses don’t qualify for this treatment. Heroin sales are strictly prohibited. When you face drug possession charges, hire an experienced drug possession lawyer like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in courtroom criminal defense. He works aggressively to defend his clients and provide exceptional counsel and representation. Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney, and don’t work with someone who doesn’t want to take your case. Instead, work with an experienced lawyer who will make a positive impact 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 drug possession case.

Photo Credit: National Crime Agency, via Flickr.com

Murder Suspect In Thousand Oaks Shooting Identified
Murder Suspect In Thousand Oaks Shooting Identified
Thousand Oaks police have identified the suspect in a murder
murder – suicide attempt at The Oaks Mall earlier this month. Kevin Crane, a local realtor and former Disney child actor shot his ex-wife, then attempted to kill himself. Crane remains hospitalized. The couple had two children and divorced in 2017.

Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Crane in 2014 on suspicion of domestic battery. Following his arrest, the VCSO seized a handgun belonging to Crane. The prosecutor in the case asked the judge to confiscate the gun. The judge approved that request. Ultimately, the prosecutor’s office dropped the charges against Crane in the case. Crane retrieved the gun from the VCSO, which erroneously released the weapon to him. That gun was later used in the shooting.

It is not clear when or if charges will be filed against Crane in the matter. According to witnesses, he went to a store in the mall where his former wife worked. They argued briefly, and then he shot her several times before shooting himself. Authorities placed the mall on lockdown while they investigated the incident. No one else was injured.

Thousand Oaks murder lawyer


When you face homicide charges, your best strategy is to hire an experienced murder lawyer like Robert Helfend. You cannot face a more serious charge in California. To defend yourself, you must hire an experienced attorney.

Robert Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense practice experience. He takes cases in Thousand Oaks and throughout Southern California. Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against him. He will fight aggressively to defend you, regardless of the case against you.

Homicide is the most serious charge you can face in a California court. Your life is literally at stake. Don’t rely on an overworked attorney for an effective defense. Hire an experienced lawyer who wants 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 murder case.

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