Last fall, a federal judge dropped a criminal antitrust case against a firm that specializes in finding lost heirs. The firm had pleaded not guilty to antitrust charges, including market allocation. A California firm pleaded guilty to conspiracy last year.
According to prosecutors, Kemp & Associates conspired with a number of similar firms to avoid competition and raise prices. The company argued that it provides a valuable service for persons who wouldn’t otherwise know of their inheritances.
The judge in the case ruled that the prosecutors had failed to provide evidence that the agreement stifled competition. He also ruled that the agreement expired in 2008, and the statute of limitations had also expired. The case is part of a Justice Department investigation into the inheritance-finding industry. Typically, firms discover prospective heirs, but do not reveal the name of the deceased person until the heir signs a contract. The heir agrees to split the proceeds of an inheritance with the company.
The company executives faced jail time and fines had they been convicted.
Ventura Antitrust Lawyer
Antitrust laws are complex. When you face antitrust charges, hire an experienced antitrust lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal courtroom experience. He takes cases in any federal circuit in the United States. He also takes criminal defense cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.
Mr. Helfend will work aggressively on your behalf to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. Many federal defendants plead guilty to charges, or assume they can’t win in court. That’s not true, but may clients fear the cost of an effective federal defense will bankrupt them. You may not have to plead guilty or declare bankruptcy. Work with an effective, aggressive defense attorney on 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 antitrust case.
Photo Credit: 401(k) 2012, via Flickr.com