Antitrust Case Against StarKist Could Bankrupt Company
Antitrust Case Against StarKist Could Bankrupt Company
StarKist Tuna agreed last fall to plead guilty to criminal antitrust charges in a tuna price-fixing scheme. The case, which is proceeding in the Northern District of California, is moving in to the sentencing phase. According to StarKist’s attorneys, however, the potential fines could bankrupt the company.

StarKist admitted in court filings to selling $600M in tuna under a collusive pricing scheme. The company participated in the price-fixing arrangement between 2011 and 2013. Other major tuna producers have also entered guilty pleas in the case. Individually, executives from StarKist and Bumble Bee also face criminal charges.

Based on the company’s sales volume at that time, the prescribed monetary penalty is between $50M and $100M. The company’s attorneys say that if the judge applies the minimum fine, the company can continue operations. If the judge imposes the maximum fine, however, the company will cease operations. This is true, they argue, because the company expects to lose lawsuits from aggrieved commercial customers. The combined restitution and criminal fines could leave the company with no operating funds.

Bumble Bee, another defendant in the case, also pleaded with a federal judge to lower the possible fine during sentencing. The company argued that a high fine would leave the company insolvent. The judge agreed to the relief, provided that the company gave additional information about the operation of the scheme. In the StarKist case, the judge is not likely to be swayed by that argument, since StarKist pleaded guilty last. DOJ attorneys say they have evidence to prove that the company can pay the higher fine without bankrupting itself.

US District Court Judge Edward Chen will rule on the matter in June.

Federal criminal antitrust attorney


When you face charges of criminal antitrust, hire an experienced antitrust attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes criminal antitrust cases in any federal circuit in the United States.

Antitrust convictions can effectively end your professional career. That’s why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Mr. Helfend will fight aggressively to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not a possibility, he will work toward the best possible outcome for you.

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 antitrust case.

Photo Credit: Kai Schreiber, via Flickr.com

Sex crimes charges catch up with Santa Paula man
Sex crimes charges catch up with Santa Paula man
A Santa Paula man faces charges for sex crimes for a 2013 rape. According to police, a computer identified the man as a suspect after police entered his DNA into a crime database.

Santa Paula Police say that they arrested the man for an unrelated crime. As part of that arrest, they loaded his DNA into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). The database produced a match between the suspect and a previously unsolved sexual assault. Following the CODIS identification, police found additional evidence linking the man to the assault.

In that case, the suspect abducted a woman walking down the street. He forced her into a secluded area and assaulted her. He also threatened her with a knife. The woman reported the crime, but authorities could not locate the suspect at that time.

Police sought a warrant for the man’s arrest and located him in Fillmore. He currently works as a roofer. The suspect faces numerous charges related to the sexual assault. He also faces charges of kidnapping for robbery and dissuading a witness by force or threat. He has pleaded not guilty to four felonies and six special allegations related to the case.

Santa Paula sex crimes lawyer


When you face charges related to sexual offenses, hire an experienced sex crimes lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes sexual offense cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

Many defense attorneys don’t want to take sexual offense cases. They may be uncomfortable with the nature of the allegations, or the appearance of defending a violent criminal.

Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he simply works hard to achieve the best possible outcome for a case. The presence of DNA evidence doesn’t always guarantee a conviction. Faulty collection methods and poor handling can taint the evidence, rendering it meaningless. An aggressive criminal defense attorney will work hard to get this evidence suppressed at trial. This can make a conviction much less likely.

Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney, or one who won’t defend you aggressively. 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 sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Randy Robertson, via Flickr.com

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