Sex Crimes Charge Sticks Against "Surrogate" Father
Sex Crimes Charge Sticks Against “Surrogate” Father
A Los Angeles man may spend as much as 52 years in prison following a sex crimes conviction. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney, Amador Valencia Santos, known informally as “Omar” committed sex crimes against children in his care between 2000 and 2007. Additional evidence shows that he may have been abusing children as early as 1998.

    Valencia preyed on single mothers he met through mutual friends. He convinced the mothers that he could be a surrogate father to the victims. Investigators discovered five known victims between the ages of 7 and 17 when the assaults occurred.

    According to police, he gained the trust of the mothers by taking the boys to sporting events, amusement parks and movies. When the boys were away from their mothers, he showed them pornographic images and sexually abused them. A jury found Santos guilty of three counts of oral copulation of a minor, two counts of continuous sexual abuse, two counts of lewd acts upon a child, two counts of sodomy upon a child and one count of attempted sodomy.

    Police arrested Santos in February of this year and he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Prior to his arrest, police observed children entering Santos’ home. Investigators believe there may be additional victims who have not yet come forward in the case. Santos will return to court on January 22, 2018 for sentencing.

    Los Angeles sex crimes attorney


    When you face charges related to sexual offenses, hire an experienced sex crimes attorney like Robert Helfend. Few accusations are more damaging than those involving sexual offenses, especially when the victims are children. Convictions for sexual offenses can carry significant penalties that continue long after a prison sentence ends.

    Lifetime sex offender registration awaits most convicted sex offenders. Registration often means that offenders can’t find adequate housing or employment following their release from prison. In addition, registration requirements follow sex offenders from state to state. Rigid enforcement also means that offenders will be visited often to ensure compliance with registration requirements.

    Your best defense strategy is to hire an experienced sex crimes attorney to defend you in court. Many attorneys don’t like taking sex offense cases and will not fight aggressively for your rights and freedom. Don’t settle for an attorney who won’t fight on your behalf.

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

    Photo Credit: Ernesto D Quesada, via Flickr.com

Embezzlement sentence for Canyon Country woman
Embezzlement sentence for Canyon Country woman
A Canyon Country woman will spend two years in jail for embezzlement. The woman, who worked for a Valencia company, pleaded no contest to grand theft. She worked for the company as an administrative assistant. Prosecutors claim that over a period of nearly 6 years, she took more than $200,000 from her employer.

Authorities arrested the woman in August following an investigation. According to investigators, the woman embezzled money from the company between April 2010 and March 2016. Initially, the woman pleaded not guilty, but recently changed her plea.

Santa Clarita Embezzlement Attorney


Embezzlement is a crime of opportunity, so it can have significant financial impact on its victims. When you face embezzlement charges, hire an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in courtroom criminal defense and takes cases in Santa Clarita and throughout Southern California.

While prosecutors can and do charge grand theft as a felony, their primary concern is making the victim whole. Asking for long incarceration terms can interfere with a defendant’s ability to make restitution. A short incarceration term – or no incarceration at all – allows defendants to seek gainful employment and make restitution payments.

Mr. Helfend works directly with his clients on each case. He does not pass cases along to less experienced attorneys, which sometimes happens at larger law firms. His plain-English style also means that you’ll always know the status of your case. You’ll know exactly what you’re up against at all times.

Don’t work with a less experienced defense attorney, and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do to defend yourself. Put an experienced, aggressive defense attorney like Robert Helfend in your corner.

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

Photo Credit: jeffa, via Flickr.com

Fraud plea from San Gabriel attorney
Fraud plea from San Gabriel attorney
An El Monte attorney pleaded guilty to immigration fraud in federal court. Prosecutors alleged that she made more than $50 million by selling temporary green cards to foreign nationals. The attorney pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud an international money laundering.

The woman ran the California Investment Immigration Fund in San Gabriel with her father. The pair took advantage of a federal program that provides permanent green cards to foreigners. Under the program rules, foreigners must invest $500,000 into a US-based business and create 10 new jobs. In return, they become eligible to apply for permanent residency in the US.

The attorney submitted falsified applications on behalf of Chinese nationals. Some of the applicants were on China’s “100 Most Wanted” list for bribery and other crimes. In some cases, the attorney refunded the $500,000. She also used the money to buy California properties. As part of the plea agreement, the attorney has forfeited eight properties, and will also soon relinquish a ninth.

According to federal authorities, none of the “investors” were able to secure permanent residence in the United States because authorities intervened on the scheme before anyone received a green card.

San Gabriel Fraud Lawyer


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

Federal prosecutors are aggressive, so your primary strategy should be to work with an equally aggressive criminal defense attorney. Mr. Helfend manages each case personally, so you will work directly with him on every aspect of your defense. Federal prosecutors are well funded and they expect to win a conviction. Don’t fall victim to zealous federal prosecutions. Instead, hire aggressive counsel to fight on your behalf.

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

Photo Credit: Jude Matsalla, via Flickr.com

Identity theft plea for Canadian hacker
Identity theft plea for Canadian hacker
A Kazakhstan-born Canadian man pleaded guilty to identity theft and other charges in a San Francisco federal courtroom. The man, Karim Baratov, participated in a coordinated hack of email accounts hosted by Google and Yahoo!

Federal authorities filed charges against Baratov and three other men associated with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). The hack compromised more than 500 million Yahoo accounts. Federal prosecutors allege that FSB agents recruited and paid hackers to breach the US-based service provider. According to prosecutors, the hackers targeted Russian officials, executives and other high-profile users.

Federal authorities allege that the group took significant steps to conceal their actions. They include leasing servers in a number of different locations, stealing user account data, creating false accounts and using virtual private networks. The group also created manual “cookies” designed to fool Yahoo! servers into allowing access to user accounts.

Baratov sent the FSB agents at least 8 compromised Google passwords over the course of a year. He also admitted to illegally accessing more than 11,000 email accounts for a number of customers since 2010. Baratov had advertised his hacking services on a Russian-language hacking website. Last month, he pleaded guilty to eight counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of conspiring to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. As part of his plea agreement, Baratov agreed to pay restitution to his victims and also faces a fine of up to $2.25 million. He will return to court for sentencing in February. Authorities have indicted three other participants in the ring, but they are believed to be in Russia.

Federal identity theft attorney


When you face federal identity-related charges, hire an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal courtroom defense experience. He takes cases in any federal circuit.
Mr. Helfend manages each case personally, and you will work directly with him on your defense. Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney or one who won’t fight for your rights.

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

Photo Credit: KDE Espana, via Flickr.com

Domestic violence arrest for Signal Hill mayor
Domestic violence arrest for Signal Hill mayor
Long Beach police arrested the mayor of Signal Hill and a female companion for misdemeanor domestic violence. The officers booked both parties into the Los Angeles County Jail. After paying $20,000 bails shortly after their arrests, the couple left the jail separately.

Long Beach police responded to a disturbance at a local hotel on November 17. After investigating the incident, police arrested both parties on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence. Later, the female said that she did not suffer any injuries as a result of the altercation. She also said that she did not want to press charges against the mayor.

Long Beach domestic violence lawyer


This case illustrates a common result of a domestic assault arrest. In many cases, neither party has serious injuries and they don’t want to press charges. Unfortunately, in a domestic abuse case, the parties may not have the final say in the criminal process. When you’re facing domestic assault charges, hire an experienced domestic violence attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. He provides excellent representation for thousands of Southern Californians facing domestic assault charges. Because California law makes specific provisions for withdrawing domestic assault allegations, you need an experienced defense attorney. When the process is not followed correctly, the “victim” of an assault could end up facing charges.

You must work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can guide you and your family through the criminal process! Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he works aggressively to get charges reduced or dropped altogether. Don’t allow the criminal justice system to victimize your family because of an overzealous response to a private matter.

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

Photo Credit: William Warby, via Flickr.com

DUI Suspect Leads Police on Two Chases in Two Days
DUI Suspect Leads Police on Two Chases in Two Days
Los Angeles police arrested a woman for DUI following a morning chase through the San Fernando Valley. Officers finally arrested the woman in Santa Clarita.

Officers chased the woman on the 210 and 5 Freeways, and also on surface streets. The officers arrested the woman on McBean Parkway when she crashed into another vehicle at the intersection. A CHP officer reached into the woman’s car and pulled her out of the driver’s seat. He and a second CHP officer handcuffed the woman and led her away.

Police encountered the same woman the day prior to her arrest in Buena Park. They pursued her into Los Feliz, but called off the pursuit to avoid endangering other drivers. In addition to being suspected of driving DUI in LA, the woman may have violated a restraining order.

Los Angeles DUI attorney


Drunk driving arrests are complex, so your best strategy is to hire an experienced DUI attorney. When you face impaired driving charges, you’ll be dealing with both administrative and criminal processes. Each process can impact your ability to drive legally. The criminal process can also take away your freedom. A conviction can also require you to attend driver retraining, use an expensive interlock device, pay fines or surrender your driver’s license. An experienced DUI attorney – like Robert Helfend – can help you through the adjudication process.

Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in managing DUI arrests for his clients. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. Unlike some less personal law firms, Mr. Helfend personally handles each case he takes. You will always work directly with him on your legal matters.

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

Photo Credit: Brave Heart, via Flickr.com

Theft Of Firefighters' Gear Catches LA Man
Theft Of Firefighters’ Gear Catches LA Man
A Los Angeles man and a Buena Park woman received jail sentences for the theft of firefighting equipment.

The pair were arrested after stealing firefighting equipment from the car of an off-duty firefighter. He had parked his car at a Laguna Beach hotel. Laguna Beach police say they found a suspicious U-Haul van. While checking out the van, they discovered two people inside who were dressed in firefighting gear. They quickly determined that the pair were not firefighters. Following an investigation, the police discovered other victims among firefighters in nearby communities.

The man pleaded guilty to misdemeanor burglary and drug possession. The court dismissed a felony charge of receiving stolen property and two misdemeanor drug charges. The judge sentenced him to 90 days in jail and 100 hours of community service.

The woman pleaded guilty to felony charges of receiving stolen property and burglary. She also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. The judge sentenced her to 280 days in jail, however she will receive credit for time served. She remained in jail after her July 2 arrest, so she has served the majority of her sentence already.

Los Angeles theft lawyer


In California, theft can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on a number of factors. When you face theft charges of any sort, your first move should be to hire an experienced theft attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of courtroom defense experience, and will fight aggressively for your rights and freedom. He handles each case personally, so you will work directly and exclusively with him on your court case. Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney, or one who won’t fight aggressively for you.

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

Photo Credit: Heather Paul, via Flickr.com

Drug Possession Charge Stems from Planted Evidence?Drug Possession Charge Stems from Planted Evidence?
Drug Possession Charge Stems from Planted Evidence?
A story aired by CBS Los Angeles suggests that a man’s drug possession charge stems from planted evidence. The station claims that body camera video shows the officer planting cocaine in a suspect’s wallet.

Police initially arrested the suspect for his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run crash that occurred in April 2017. The video appears to show one officer holding a small plastic bag in his hand. Then, the officer bends down to pick up the suspect’s wallet. He motions to the arresting officer, while placing the bag in the wallet. The contents of the bag later tested positive for cocaine. In the police report for the incident, one officer stated that he located the drugs in the suspect’s shirt pocket. However, the video clearly shows the officer picking up the drugs from the ground and then putting it into the suspect’s wallet.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said that the video raised serious questions about what happened during the arrest. He said that the video did not conclusively prove that the officer planted drug evidence. Beck restricted one officer involved in the arrest from field duty while he investigates the incident.

At least one member of the police commission says that he does not believe the video shows the officer planting evidence. The District Attorney’s Office charged the suspect with hit-and-run, and also with drug possession.

Los Angeles Drug Possession Lawyer


When you’re facing drug possession charges, hire an experienced drug possession attorney like Robert Helfend. In this case, drug possession represents a second charge against the suspect. Nonetheless, it raises questions about how the police collect and process evidence during an arrest.

Robert Helfend has more than 30 years of courtroom criminal defense experience, and will work aggressively to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. Don’t trust an inexperienced attorney to defend you.

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

Photo Credit: Adrian Salgado, via Flickr.com

Murder Conviction in Pasadena Cold Case
Murder Conviction in Pasadena Cold Case
A Pasadena jury convicted a man of murder in a case that dates back to 1988. According to prosecutors, Albert Ahmad Clark fatally shot Leroy Galloway near Lake Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard. Galloway was selling jewelry out of his van when Clark allegedly killed him. Police did not provide a motive for the attack.

Pasadena police identified Clark as a suspect and then arrested him. Authorities released him in 1989, because they had insufficient evidence to link him to the shooting. In 2013, members of Galloway’s family asked the Pasadena police to review the case. Forensic advances allowed investigators to positively tie Clark to the crime. Police arrested Clark in December 2015, and he has been incarcerated since that time.

The jury heard the case and returned its verdict earlier this month. Prosecutors won a first-degree murder conviction, and a special allegation that Clark personally used a handgun to commit the attack. Clark will return to court on January 10 for sentencing. He could face as much as 32 years in prison on the conviction.

Pasadena murder lawyer


Homicide is the most serious charge you can face in California. Murder is a capital offense, so your life could literally be in the balance. When you face homicide charges, hire an experienced murder lawyer like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. He takes homicide cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. A first-degree homicide conviction can result in a life sentence with or without parole depending on your circumstances. That’s why your best defense is having an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side.

Don’t risk your life on an inexperienced attorney. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County murder case.

Photo Credit: John Graham, Flickr.com

Antitrust Case Involving CA Foreclosures Nets Guilty Plea
Antitrust Case Involving CA Foreclosures Nets Guilty Plea
The last of five California real estate investors facing federal antitrust charges pleaded guilty last month in federal court. Abraham Farag, 45, pleaded guilty to one Sherman Act violation. At his sentencing, he faces a maximum of ten years in prison and a $1M fine.

Farag admitted to conspiring with other investors to pre-determine the results of public real estate foreclosure auctions. The group also decided privately who among them would end up with the properties. The other four co-conspirators separately entered guilty pleas earlier this year.

As part of the plea deal, Farag agreed not to challenge a sentence that fit within the range specified in the plea agreement. If the court determines that a longer sentence is appropriate, he can appeal. He will return to court in March for sentencing.

Originally, the court intended to hear Farag’s case in January, but the plea agreement eliminated the need for a trial. The Department of Justice led the investigation into Northern California real estate auctions. To date, the investigation has produced 74 guilty pleas or convictions.

The case drew significant attention because several defendants complained that the FBI overreached in its recordings of some of the conspirators. While the judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, found in favor of the defendants, he determined that the illegal recordings did not undermine the DOJ’s entire case. Despite the disallowed evidence, federal prosecutors won convictions using evidence from other sources.

California Antitrust Attorney


If this case demonstrates anything, it shows the power of federal prosecutors. Even when the court disallows significant evidence, federal prosecutors can still win their cases. If it means nothing else, when you face antitrust charges, hire an experienced antitrust attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in federal criminal defense. He’ll work hard to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work to get the best possible outcome for your case.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney, or one who is more interested in settling than fighting. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County antitrust case.

Photo Credit: Taber Andrew Bain, via Flickr.com