Identity Theft Couple Arrested in Ventura
Identity Theft Couple Arrested in Ventura
The spending habits of a Ventura couple led to their arrest on identity theft charges. According to police, they received a complaint from an Ojai business owner about unauthorized use of their business checks.

Investigators discovered a series of thefts beginning in March 2017, and then identified a Ventura pair as suspects. Detectives noted that the man purchased an expensive sports car valued at nearly $100,000. He paid for the vehicle with a fraudulent cashier’s check apparently from Bank of America.

Police obtained a warrant and searched the couple’s home. Inside they found stolen Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, passports, checks, credit cards and other property belonging to at least 117 different people. In addition, they found blank check paper and check printing equipment.

Police arrested the couple, and then transported them to the Ventura County Jail. The court released the woman on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to appear in court today on matters related to the case. Prosecutors charged the man with seven felony counts and two misdemeanors. The charges include identify theft, forgery, grand theft auto, obtaining credit with another person’s identity, possessing personal information of more than ten people, a weapons charge and receiving stolen property. The suspect has a criminal history that includes previous felony convictions. He remains in jail on a $250,000 bond, and will also appear in court today on matters related to the case.

Ventura Identity Theft Lawyer


Identity theft often leads investigators to other criminal activity. As a result, police and prosecutors are serious about pursuing these cases. Under California law, identity theft charges can be felonies or misdemeanors, depending upon the circumstances. When you’re facing felony charges, you need the assistance of an experienced identity theft lawyer like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend’s first priority will get charges against you reduced or dropped altogether. This alone can provide protection for you from the state’s Three Strike’s Law. Whether or not you have a prior history of felony convictions, it is important to limit the law’s ability to impact your future.
Don’t settle for an attorney who won’t fight aggressively on your behalf and don’t assume that an arrest automatically means a conviction.

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 Murder Suspect Arrested in Ventura
Domestic Violence Murder Suspect Arrested in Ventura
Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man wanted in connection with a Sherman Oaks domestic violence murder. Ventura deputies arrested the man after finding him injured in the roadway.

According to officers, the man may have stabbed his wife to death in front of the couple’s 12-year-old son. After the assault, he fled the scene in Sherman Oaks. Rescue personnel transported the injured woman to the UCLA Medical Center, but she died from her injuries.

A deputy sergeant recognized the injured man as the suspect wanted by Los Angeles police, and then arrested him. Los Angeles officers booked the man into the Van Nuys Jail, where he is being held on a $2M bond. According to police, the man has a prior criminal history, but it does not include spousal abuse allegations or convictions.

Ventura Domestic Violence Attorney


Most cases of domestic assault fortunately don’t lead to murder, but police and prosecutors take domestic violence cases very seriously. When you’re facing charges related to a domestic assault, you need the assistance of an experienced domestic violence attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience and takes domestic violence cases in Ventura County. Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he works aggressively to defend his clients in court.

In California, prosecutors can treat domestic assault cases as misdemeanors or felonies, depending upon the case circumstances. Because domestic assault cases often involve minors and family members, many victims don’t want to press charges. In those circumstances, California law governs the withdrawal of a domestic violence complaint. You’ll need an experienced attorney to help you and your family manage a spousal assault allegation.

Don’t attempt to defend yourself and 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 County domestic violence case.

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Drug possession law eliminates 200,000 convictions
Drug possession law eliminates 200,000 convictions
Thanks to Proposition 47, experts estimate that as many as 200,000 Californians have reduced felony convictions to misdemeanors for drug possession. Proposition 47 also applies to certain other crimes, but no definitive statistics exist for conviction modifications under Proposition 47.

Many people know that Proposition 47 changed the status of certain felonies to misdemeanors. They may not realize that they can reclassify prior felony convictions to misdemeanors.

Eliminating felony convictions from a person’s criminal history gives people a fresh start, although the law has limits. Passed by voters in 2014, Prop 47 allows judges to reclassify non-violent, non-serious felonies. Potentially eligible felony convictions include shoplifting, theft, receiving stolen property, fraud, passing bad checks and personal drug possession. Judges can reduce only certain convictions, because property values involved in a case may not exceed $950.

Ventura drug possession Attorney


If you have a past conviction for drug possession, consult with an experienced drug possession attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend will analyze the circumstances of your conviction, then help you determine whether your conviction qualifies for a reclassification under Proposition 47. To seek reclassification, you’ll need to file papers with the court, then have a judge examine your case.

The benefits of reclassification are immense because felony convictions can prevent you from getting the job you want, renting a particular home or apartment, or providing guardianship for vulnerable individuals. Reclassifying a felony conviction can also reduce your risk of enhanced incarceration under California’s Three Strikes Law.

Proposition 47 offers a significant opportunity for people with non-violent felony convictions who have made changes in their lifestyle. If you would like to consult on the status of your felony record, 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: Mark Strozier, via Flickr.com

Murder Suspect In Santa Paula Won't Stand Trial
Murder Suspect In Santa Paula Won’t Stand Trial
A homeless man in Santa Paula will not stand trial for murder in the fiery homicide of Antonio Fuentes.

Police say that Jorge Chavez, Jr., 36, set fire to Fuentes as Fuentes slept on a park bench in Veteran’s Park. Chavez’s court appointed psychiatrist said that Chavez is delusional and paranoid, so he is not competent to stand trial. Officials will transfer Chavez to a state psychiatric facility for treatment.

According to the prosecutor, Chavez may become competent to stand trial after treatment. Should that happen, he will return to Ventura County for a hearing regarding his mental status. Chavez could face first degree murder and arson charges only when doctors find him competent. He could also face special allegations of torture, heinous murder and using deadly weapons in the assault.

Santa Paula Murder Attorney


If you’re facing homicide charges, you need the assistance of an experienced murder attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of criminal defense. He has provided exceptional representation and counsel to thousands of Californians since 1984.

Competence is a central question in any criminal case, so your attorney must raise the issue of competence early. He or she must also fight aggressively for proper medical and psychiatric evaluations.

Mr. Helfend will fight aggressively for you in court, especially when the issue of competence is in play. Without being forced to examine the competence of a defendant, many prosecutors would happily convict mentally unstable individuals. This could put mentally ill people in danger of lifetime incarceration or even execution.

If you face felony charges like homicide, don’t settle for an attorney who won’t defend your rights. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County murder case.

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Antitrust Convict Loses New Trial Bid
Antitrust Convict Loses New Trial Bid
A man convicted of bid-rigging will not receive the new trial he sought on antitrust charges. Federal prosecutors won a 2014 conviction against Andrew Katakis. Katakis said new evidence proved that his co-defendants conspired against him, then made a deal with the prosecutor. He argued that such a deal amounted to prosecutorial misconduct.

Prosecutors charged that Katakis participated in fraudulent foreclosure auctions in Northern California in 2008 and 2009. Ultimately, jurors convicted Katakis of orchestrating the conspiracy, which netted a profit of nearly $2 million for him. Katakis argued that his co-defendants admitted that they cheated Katakis in the scheme, and then one of the co-conspirators made a deal with prosecutors to implicate Katakis as the mastermind.

Katakis failed to persuade the Appeals Court that evidence regarding his co-conspirators amounted to prosecutorial misconduct. The Court ruled that prosecutors presented ample independent evidence of Katakis’ guilt, and also his true role in the bid-rigging scheme.

Ventura Antitrust Lawyer


Antitrust is one of the most complex criminal cases heard in courts today. Criminal anti-trust actions can involve bid-rigging, price-fixing and market allocation schemes. When you’re facing anti-trust charges, you need an experienced, aggressive antitrust lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively and takes cases in all federal circuits.

The number of criminal anti-trust prosecutions fluctuates yearly, but federal records show a greater than 20% drop in the number of antitrust prosecutions from 2015 to 2016. However, antitrust prosecutions of individuals in 2016 increased by more than 50% over 2013 prosecutions. The average incarceration for anti-trust convictions in 2016 was 22 months.

Federal prosecutors have an exceptionally high conviction rate, so you need to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney when you’ve been indicted. Mr. Helfend fights tirelessly and aggressively for his clients when they face federal prosecutions.

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.

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Simi Valley Assault leads to sex crimes charge
Large On Black
door to outside from basement and cellar stairwell entryway
Oxnard police arrested a man for sex crimes related to a Simi Valley burglary. According to police, the man attempted to break into the home of a Simi Valley woman. He attempted to restrain the woman with duct tape, but she fought him off.

The man fled the apartment, but police collected physical evidence at the scene. They later matched the evidence to a known parolee. Police arrested the man and held him on a parole violation. Prosecutors subsequently filed charges of first degree residential burglary. He also faces charges of burglary with intent to commit sexual assault.

The man remains in custody on a $110,000 bond. He appeared in court earlier this week on the charges.

Simi Valley sex crimes attorney


If you’re facing sex crimes charges in Ventura County, your first move should be to hire an experienced sex crimes attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for nearly 35 years. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

A sex crimes conviction can literally follow you around for life in California. California is one of four states that requires lifetime registration for sex offense convictions. Being on the state’s sex offender registry can limit employment and housing options following your release.

In addition, felony convictions can put you in jeopardy of Three Strikes penalties. In California, repeat felony convictions can result in longer sentences, or even lifetime incarceration. Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney. Instead, work with an attorney who will 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 sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Michael W. May, via Flickr.com

Embezzlement Halts Work Of Simi Valley Foundation
Embezzlement Halts Work Of Simi Valley Foundation
The Simi Valley Community Foundation suspended operations last month following an embezzlement scandal. Former executive director Joanne Abruzzese pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $50,000 from the organization. She will serve six months in jail and five years’ probation in the case. Abruzzese has already satisfied the $45,000 restitution requirement.

Abruzzese worked for the foundation for four years, and served as its executive director for about half that time. While serving as the director, she used the non-profit’s account to pay her mortgage.

The Simi Valley Community Foundation does not intend to cease operations. Instead, it will review its administrative and financial practices.

Prior to discovering the missing funds, the foundation planned to develop a multi-agency health and human resources center. Once they discovered the theft, the foundation could not retain support for the project. The foundation may still fund agencies that had planned to occupy the center.

Simi Valley Embezzlement Attorney


This case demonstrates the impact of embezzlement on an organization. It also shows that most victims want restitution over incarceration. If you’re facing embezzlement charges, you need the assistance of an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend works aggressively for his clients to get charges against them reduced or dropped. Theft is always aggravating, but in an employment-related theft, most employees don’t intend to damage their employer. Instead, they simply misappropriate funds, often for personal use. An experienced attorney can help his clients avoid significant prison time in favor of a sentence that emphasizes restitution. In such cases, alternative sentences often work best for all parties involved.

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: Richard, via Flickr.com

Fraud Charge Nabs Ventura County Retailer
Fraud Charge Nabs Ventura County Retailer
A man with business interests in Ventura County pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud. He also pleaded guilty to sales tax evasion, filing false tax returns and failing to pay taxes on employee wages. In addition, he accepted responsibility for two special enhancements – white collar crime and excessive taking.

The man, Jeong Hwan Kim, 59, of Los Angeles operated more than 50 retail clothing stores in Southern California. He had stores in Los Angeles County as well as Orange County, San Diego County and Ventura County.

Investigators from the Department of Insurance say that Kim failed to report more than $29 million in retail sales. He also failed to accurately report $39 million in taxable income and $8 million in employee wages. By under-reporting, Kim evaded tax payments of nearly $6 million and reduced workers’ compensation insurance premiums by $350,000.

As part of his sentence agreement, Kim will repay more than $7.6 million in restitution and will serve two years in the county jail. If he does not complete the restitution within six months, he faces a sentence of 17 years in prison.

Ventura Fraud Lawyer


Governmental agencies vigorously prosecute attempts to defraud them. If you’re charged with fraud against a government agency, your first move should be to hire an experienced fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively and takes cases in Ventura County. In nearly 35 years of practice, he has provided exceptional representation and counsel to thousands of Californians.

He fights aggressively for his clients to reduce or eliminate charges against them. That’s essential in California, where an accumulation of felony convictions can add up to lifetime imprisonment. Don’t settle for a timid defense attorney, or one who won’t fight for your rights in court.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura fraud case.

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Identity Theft Arrest For Oxnard Pair
Identity Theft Arrest For Oxnard Pair
Oxnard police arrested two men on suspicion of felony identity theft last week. Police responded to an early-morning call for an auto theft in progress. They found two men matching the suspect description in another vehicle.

Inside the men’s vehicle, police found stolen property from the burglarized vehicle. They also found personally identifying information for an unrelated person, and methamphetamine. One of the men remains jailed on $65,000 bail and will return to court on August 15. He faces misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and petty theft of lost property. In addition, he faces a charge of receiving stolen property under $950. He also faces two felony counts of identity theft with a prior conviction.

Prosecutors charged the other man with two felonies, including attempted grand theft auto, attempted unlawful taking of a vehicle. They also charged him with misdemeanor possession of burglary tools, identity theft and petty theft. He will appear in court for a preliminary exam on August 15.

Oxnard Identity Theft Attorney


Identity theft can be a serious charge, and repeated convictions can lead to longer sentences. Therefore, you need the assistance of an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively and has provided excellent counsel and representation to Californians for nearly 35 years. He knows what it takes to defend the rights and freedoms of his clients.

Mr. Helfend’s first priority will be getting charges against you reduced or dropped. That’s because repeated felony convictions earn longer sentences, or even life imprisonment. California’s Three Strikes Law imposes increasingly longer sentences on repeat felony offenders. To avoid a devastating incarceration, your lawyer must work to reduce or eliminate felony charges.

Don’t hire an attorney who won’t fight for your rights. Instead, work with an experienced attorney when you face criminal charges.

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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Ventura County Domestic Violence Center of Port Angeles Case
Ventura County Domestic Violence Center of Port Angeles Case
A potential criminal case in Port Angeles, WA hinges on an alleged domestic violence assault in Ventura County. Port Angeles resident Michael Cobb said he used a false address on his voter registration to protect his live-in partner.

Cobb is running for a county commission seat. He says he wants to correct the record, but doesn’t want to disclose his address. Cobb listed the marina where he docks his boat as his residence, instead of using his actual residence. He also said he was unaware of any disclosure options when he filed his paperwork.

Cobb says his live-in partner was a victim of domestic violence in Ventura County. He said that his partner’s former husband also stalked her and threatened her. According to Cobb, he confronted the ex-husband in defense of his partner while they lived in Ventura County. Ventura County court records show a misdemeanor battery conviction for Cobb in 2012. The court sentenced him to three years’ probation, fines and costs. Since that time, the court records for that case were expunged and no additional records for that case exist.

Filing false information on a voter registration application is a Class C felony in Washington State. Cobb’s opponent in the race filed a challenge to his candidacy on the false registration grounds. The county auditor rejected the claim on technical grounds. Recently, Cobb’s opponent said she no longer intends to challenge Cobb’s candidacy, but another resident will challenge Cobb’s filing.

Ventura Domestic Violence Lawyer


Domestic violence is a serious charge that can have long-lasting consequences. Therefore, you need the assistance of an experienced domestic violence attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. In his nearly 35 years of criminal defense practice, he has served thousands of Californians’ defense and counsel needs.

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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