Securities Fraud Scheme Nets 6
Securities Fraud Scheme Nets 6
A Sacramento-area man is serving 12 years in federal prison on securities fraud charges. The man, who recruited a half-dozen accomplices, initially pleaded guilty to operating a Ponzi scheme. He defrauded nearly 200 investors over a 2-year period.

The man initially caught the attention of federal investigators who were reviewing a mortgage fraud operation. As the investigation progressed, FBI and IRS agents realized that mortgage fraud was only one facet of the scheme.

Investigators say the man offered prospective investors a “wealth-building” program. He held seminars at hotels and casinos to attract potential investors. In addition, he offered financial planning services including college tuition and retirement investing. During the seminars, he asked prospective investors to submit their tax returns and pay stubs. He also asked them to supply information about the value of their homes and other assets.

Armed with the investors’ financial information, he divided them into tiers. He directed some investors to purchase whole-life insurance policies on which he secretly received a commission. The man directed other investors to take home equity loans and investing the proceeds into his funds. He also directed them to move their retirement savings to his funds. The man directed still other investors to purchase homes in California, Florida and Arizona, which he selected. He used phony appraisals on the properties to make investors think they had purchased property below market value.

He used some funds to pay initial investors, his co-conspirators and himself. In 2008, the real estate market collapsed and he could no longer operate the scheme. Some investors lost all of their savings, while others actually lost their homes.

California securities fraud attorney


Initially, federal authorities charged the man in 2012. He pleaded guilty to the charges in 2016, but when he returned for sentencing, he fired his attorney. He also claimed that he had been pressured to plead guilty, and asked to represent himself. The judge ultimately rejected his arguments, and refused to set aside his guilty plea. The judge sentenced the man in February 2018 to 12 years in prison. Five other co-conspirators are already serving prison sentences. A sixth co-conspirator died prior to sentencing. A restitution hearing for one of the defendants will be held next week.

This case demonstrates how complex securities fraud cases can be. When you face investment fraud charges, hire an experienced securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in courtroom defense. He has represented thousands of Californians in both federal and state courtrooms.

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 Scheme Lands Camarillo Man, Lawyer In Court
Embezzlement Scheme Lands Camarillo Man, Lawyer In Court
A Camarillo man accused of embezzlement in Santa Barbara County will appear for a preliminary hearing next week. Prosecutors say that the man partnered with a local attorney to fleece senior citizens of more than $1.2 million dollars. The scheme allegedly ran between 2011 and 2016. Authorities in Santa Barbara arrested the pair, but the attorney claims that he had nothing to do with the fraud.

The primary suspect located victims through a church in Carpinteria and also a legal aid business he operated. According to the Department of Insurance investigators, one defendant convinced people to invest their money with him. He offered to invest on their behalf or manage their money. After taking the money, he diverted it for his own personal use. He also used the power of attorney privileges to repay other victims or issue promissory notes.

According to investigators, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission sanctioned him in 2007 for soliciting funds under false pretenses. In that case, he failed to pay the nearly $700,000 in sanctions that the commission ordered him to.

CDI investigators say that the primary suspect received help from his attorney co-defendant in at least one case. The attorney, however, claims that his co-defendant also defrauded him. The attorney is the managing partner of a Pasadena mediation firm that the other defendant founded.

Camarillo Embezzlement Lawyer


Grand theft cases involving embezzled funds can be exceptionally complicated. When you face financial theft charges, hire an experienced embezzlement lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

Cases that involve multiple defendants require special care and preparation. Your defense attorney must be experienced and aggressive. Mr. Helfend has defended thousands of Californians and knows what it takes to build a successful defense. Don’t rely on an inexperienced 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 County embezzlement case.

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Fraud Scheme Lands Insurance Agents In Prison
Fraud Scheme Lands Insurance Agents In Prison
Two former insurance agents will spend 4-6 years in prison for fraud. The pair falsified life insurance applications to collect more than $150,000 in commissions. One former agent will spend 6 years in state prison, and must pay $105,000 in restitution. The other agent will spend 4 years in prison and will pay $45,000 in restitution. The men pleaded no contest to multiple counts of grand theft, forgery and insurance fraud

California Department of Insurance investigators teamed up with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). They found that the men had created more than 200 fraudulent life insurance policy applications. The men recruited participants with promises of money and free life insurance policies. In other cases, they stole personal information to complete applications. Many policy applications listed the agents as the policyholders.

The men fabricated details on the applications, including income, net worth and beneficiary designations. In addition, they forged signatures on policy applications. The agents paid the initial premiums on the policies.

Ventura Fraud Attorney


Insurance fraud can be a serious crime. In California, the California Department of Insurance actively investigates and prosecutes these crimes. When you face fraud charges of any kind, hire an experienced fraud attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in the courtroom and has defended thousands of Californians. His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. Avoiding felony convictions in California is important because the state’s Three Strikes Law can quickly accelerate penalties. A felony history can land you in prison for life!

When avoiding charges or a conviction isn’t possible, Mr. Helfend will work toward the best possible resolution of your case. That may include getting charges dismissed as part of a plea deal, or getting a sentence reduced.

Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney or one who doesn’t want to take your case. Instead, 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: InvestmentTotal.com, via Flickr.com

Identity Theft Suspect Nabbed in Motel Raid
Identity Theft Suspect Nabbed in Motel Raid
Ventura County Sheriff’s investigators arrested a woman with a history of felony identity theft during a raid at a Ventura motel. The woman was among six people arrested as part of a narcotics sweep.

Investigators suspected their primary target of selling heroin and methamphetamine from the motel. They arrested him in the parking lot and entered his room. Inside, they found five other people, drugs and stolen weapons, as well as a large sum of cash. Four of the five people had previous felony convictions for various offenses and active, outstanding warrants.

The primary suspect, along with two women in the room had felony warrants for their arrests. Detectives arrested a fourth man for weapons offenses, including weapons possession and possessing a sawed-off shotgun. He had a prior felony conviction, and was ineligible to possess weapons legally. They also arrested a fifth man from Kern County for illegal weapons possession. He also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Ventura Identity Theft Lawyer


California ranks third in the country for identity theft, so investigators work hard to identify and arrest ID theft suspects. When you face stolen identity charges, hire an experienced identity theft lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience representing Southern Californians in court. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

Prosecutors can charge identity theft as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of your case. Regardless of the charges against you, hiring an experienced defense attorney is the first step in building a solid defense. Mr. Helfend will work tirelessly to ensure that you’re well represented in court.

Mr. Helfend manages each case personally, so you will always work directly with him on your defense. His plain English style also ensures that you’ll always understand the status of your case. Don’t settle for inexperience and don’t settle for an attorney who doesn’t want to work hard on your 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 identity theft case.

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Domestic Violence Appeal Focuses On Expert Testimony
Domestic Violence Appeal Focuses On Expert Testimony
Lawyers for Jane Laut say that expert testimony regarding domestic violence may have changed the outcome of her case. A jury convicted Laut of first degree murder in the death of her husband.

Laut’s attorneys claim that the judge erred when he denied them from presenting expert testimony on her mental state. In addition, they also claim that prosecutorial misconduct and omitted jury instructions led to Laut’s conviction. Her attorneys also claim that the judge would not allow them to present evidence of her husband’s anabolic steroid use.

Laut shot her husband, a high school coach and former Olympian, in the front yard of the couple’s home in 2009. Following the shooting, Laut called 911 and reported a prowler and hearing gunshots in front of her home. She later admitted that she lied to police, saying that she shot her husband after he threatened her. She also claimed that her husband threatened to kill their son and the family dogs.

Prosecutors initially charged Laut in 2009. They dropped the charges against her, only to refile them days later. The trial took place in January 2016. During the trial, Laut claimed that she was a victim of domestic violence. She turned down the prosecutor’s offer of a six-year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. Following the trial, a judge sentenced her to a mandatory 50 years to life in prison.

Laut’s appeal rests in part on a California case decided months after Laut’s conviction. In that case, an appeals court ruled that the trial court improperly limited psychiatric testimony that supported the defendant. Laut’s lawyers want her conviction overturned. Alternately, they seek a new sentencing hearing, if the appeals court does not overturn the conviction. California law recently extended discretion to sentencing judges to strike firearms allegations. A new sentence that strikes the firearms charge could cut Laut’s sentence in half.

Oxnard Domestic Violence Attorney


When you face charges involving domestic abuse, hire an experienced domestic violence attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

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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Oxnard DUI Suspect Charged with Second Degree Murder
Oxnard DUI Suspect Charged with Second Degree Murder
An Oxnard man will return to court later this month to face DUI and second degree murder charges. According to police, the man struck two women while driving under the influence of alcohol. The women had stopped to assist a person involved in a previous hit-and-run accident.

Investigators say that the women came across a hit-and-run accident on East Pleasant Valley Road. They parked their car and activated the vehicle’s hazard lights. Shortly thereafter, the suspect drove through the area, striking the women, and both parked vehicles. One of the women died at the scene. A second woman suffered a serious leg injury. Police located the man a few hours after the accident and took him into custody. Police are still looking for the initial hit-and-run driver.

The suspect has a prior misdemeanor conviction for DUI. He now faces charges of second degree murder, DUI causing injury and leaving the scene of an injury accident. The man remains jailed in lieu of a $530,000 bond. He will return to court on August 31 for matters related to the case.

Oxnard DUI Lawyer


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

About two thirds of California’s impaired driving arrests result in misdemeanor charges. When an injury occurs, or you have a history of impaired driving, the charges escalate quickly. Prosecutors typically seek felony charges for a drunk driving accident that causes injury or death.

You should never attempt to represent yourself in court, however you need professional representation when you face felony charges. Felony drunk driving charges can easily result in long prison sentences, as well as other sanctions. When you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, 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.

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Drug possession Charge Leads to Plea from Simi Valley Man
Drug possession Charge Leads to Plea from Simi Valley Man
A Simi Valley man pleaded guilty to felony drug possession, a firearm charge and a misdemeanor drug charge. Police conducted a traffic stop after noticing the man’s vehicle registration had expired.

During the stop, the man admitted that he had a loaded firearm in the vehicle, as well as a large quantity of narcotics. Upon searching the vehicle, police found a .38 revolver, 100 rounds of ammunition, Xanax pills and 2.5 ounces of methamphetamine. They also found syringes.

The man also had felony warrants for his arrest, which made him ineligible for bail. He pleaded guilty to a single felony firearm count, and a felony drug possession for sale count. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug possession count. In addition, he admitted to five special allegations related to the case.

He will return to court on August 16, 2018 for sentencing.

Simi Valley drug possession attorney


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

Mr. Helfend manages each case personally, so you’ll always work directly with him on your defense. He uses a plain English style of communicating, so you’ll always understand your status.

His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. This is helpful in a number of ways. First, an accumulation of felony convictions in California can result in lengthened sentencing, including lifetime sentences. Second, reducing the number and severity of charges can help offset the tendency of overzealous prosecutors to overcharge a defendant.

Don’t settle for an attorney who won’t fight for you, or one who doesn’t have the experience to take on a federal 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 possession case.

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Antitrust Case Produces New York Conviction
Antitrust Case Produces New York Conviction
A developer in New York with close ties to Governor Andrew Cuomo faces decades in prison following the conclusion of his antitrust trial. The developer is accused of conspiring with others in a billion-dollar bid rigging scheme fro revitalization construction in Buffalo.

The four-week trial is the latest in a string of corruption accusations involving people close to Governor Cuomo. Earlier this year, a jury convicted one of Governor Cuomo’s top aides of accepting bribes from state contractors. No one has accused Cuomo of wrongdoing.

A jury convicted Alain Kaloyeros, formerly the president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute of conspiring to defraud the University. Kaloyeros and a co-conspirator directed building contracts to two construction companies. The jury also found three executives of the companies guilty of conspiracy and wire fraud.

The men all face sentencing in October.

Federal Antitrust Lawyer


Federal antitrust statutes involve both criminal and civil violations of the law. When you face criminal antitrust charges, hire an experienced antitrust lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has provided exceptional representation and counsel to federal defendants around the country for more than 30 years.

Criminal antitrust violations can include bid rigging, price fixing and market allocation schemes. Executives of companies that participate in these anti-competitive practices can face criminal charges.

Federal prosecutors, backed by federal investigators, are well funded and extremely patient. They have the resources of the federal government on their side. Not surprisingly, federal prosecutors have a conviction rate that exceeds 90%. Their statistical success doesn’t mean that you can’t win at trial however. Hiring an experienced aggressive attorney should be a key component of your defense strategy.

Don’t hesitate to engage an aggressive defense attorney immediately, and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do to defend yourself. 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 antitrust case.

Photo Credit: Mikey, via Flickr.com

Sex crimes suspect from Thousand Oaks arrested
Sex crimes suspect from Thousand Oaks arrested
Police arrested a Thousand Oaks man for sex crimes involving minors last month. According to investigators, they have tied the man to assaults on at least five teenage girls from the area. Police classified the victims as runaways and said the assaults took place over three years.

Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the man in June after a 17-year-old girl identified the suspect. Investigators set up an undercover operation posing as a 16-year-old girl. The suspect sought to meet the “girl” for sex. Deputies arrested him when he arrived at the meeting location in Camarillo.

Following the man’s arrest, investigators located at least four other minors from Camarillo that the suspect had assaulted. Authorities say that the suspect would pick up the victim and take her to a hotel room in Thousand Oaks, Ventura or Camarillo. The suspect would incapacitate the victim with drugs or alcohol and then assault her.

The man remains jailed in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

Ventura sex crimes attorney


When you face sexual assault charges, your best defense strategy is to hire an experienced sex crimes attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of criminal defense experience and takes sex offense cases in Ventura County.

Many criminal defense attorneys don’t want to take sex assault cases. They are uncomfortable defending a potential sex offender, or they don’t want to confront potential victims in court. This limits your ability to get high quality representation, just when you need it most. Mr. Helfend doesn’t judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he provides aggressive, uncompromising defense and counsel.

Most sex offense convictions in California require lifetime sex offender registration. Moving from place to place does not eliminate the registration requirement. You’ll still be required to register as an offender even if you move away from California. The stigma of lifetime sex offender registration may limit your ability to find housing or employment. It also means that you’ll need to maintain regular contact with local law enforcement officials indefinitely.

Don’t settle for inadequate representation, and don’t hire an attorney who doesn’t want to take 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 sex crimes case.
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Securities fraud suspect gets reduced bail
Securities fraud suspect gets reduced bail
A securities fraud suspect accused of defrauding seniors of more than $2M had his bail reduced. The suspect, an El Dorado Hills resident, faces 126 felony charges of financial fraud. Initially, the judge set the suspect’s bail at more than $4M.

Attorneys from the California Department of Justice argued that the suspect warranted a high bail. They claim that the man attempted to instruct investors to mislead state investigators. In addition, the suspect faces as much as 134 years in prison, if convicted. After hearing arguments regarding the man’s flight risk, the judge reduced his bail to $200,000.

In addition to the lowered bond, the man must have no contact with the investors. He must also surrender his passport and wear an electronic tether. Additionally, the judge scheduled a hearing to determine whether the suspect’s bail came from illegal activities. Finding that it did not, the judge declined the CDOJ’s request to restore the man’s initial bail.

California DOJ officials first noted the suspect’s activities following a complaint in November 2016. During the investigation, they discovered fictitious client account statements and evidence that the suspect used client money for personal expenses. In addition, the suspect promised his investors a generous, fixed rate of return.

The suspect will return to El Dorado County Court on September 4 for a preliminary hearing.

Ventura securities fraud lawyer


Financial fraud can take place anywhere and can impact investors no matter where they live. When you face a financial fraud charge, hire an experienced, aggressive 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.

Financial fraud cases get a lot of attention, especially when they involve a lot of money. As much as victims want retribution, they also want restitution. When given a choice, they prefer restitution over punishment. An aggressive criminal defense attorney can use this to his client’s advantage. When a defendant cannot avoid a conviction, a short prison term enables the defendant to concentrate on restitution. A long prison term frustrates the goal of restitution.

Your best defense strategy begins with an experienced aggressive attorney – one who will fight for you. Robert Helfend has a reputation for being an aggressive, dedicated criminal defense attorney. He doesn’t judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he goes to work to get the charges against them reduced or dropped altogether.

Don’t settle for an attorney who won’t fight for you, or is interested in settling immediately. 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: Mike Cohen, via Flickr.com