A Santa Paula woman will serve six months in the Ventura County Jail following a conviction for securities fraud. The woman also pleaded guilty to theft, money laundering, conspiracy and special allegations.
The case revolved around the purchase of a farm and the sale of raw milk to “investors.” The sale of raw milk is illegal in California, but farm owners may consume unpasteurized milk. The woman entered into a lease-to-purchase agreement for the farm. She and a co-defendant accepted money from investors to make a down payment on the property.
The pair used a third man’s credit to get a loan to buy the farm. In exchange for acting as a straw purchaser, the third man received 10 acres of the farm. The trio instructed multiple investors to wire money to the straw purchaser, or to the farm itself. The buyers gave the investors unsigned, unrecorded deeds of trust.
The trio did not disclose to the bank that investor funds were the true source of funds for the down payment. According to the woman’s defense attorney, all of the investors have been repaid. In addition to the six-month sentence, the woman must also complete five years of probation.
The third man, who actually took the loan from the bank, has repaid the loan on the property with interest. The judge sentenced him to 30 days in the county jail. As an alternative sentence, the judge granted him 30 days of work-release and three years of probation.
Santa Paula securities fraud attorney
In this case, all of the victims of the fraud were made whole before a judge imposed sentences. It’s a good example of why convictions for financial crimes can receive short sentences. Short jail terms enable restitution – which is what the victims really want. When you’re facing charges for financial crimes, hire an experienced securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend.
Robert Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in courtroom criminal defense. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He will work aggressively to defend you throughout the judicial process.
Mr. Helfend’s first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. This is exceptionally important when you face felony charges. In California, repeat felony convictions require extended sentencing. A third felony conviction for a violent crime can result in lifetime incarceration.
Financial crimes can be complex. Rely on an experienced attorney to defend 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 securities fraud case.
Photo Credit: Chiot’s Run, via Flickr.com