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.

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Embezzlement Trial for Pasadena Trio Begins
Embezzlement Trial for Pasadena Trio Begins
Two former Pasadena city employees and a contractor will stand trial for embezzlement. Prosecutors say that a former management analyst diverted city funds for a decade between 2003 and 2013.

The employee worked in the Department of Public Works, and created phony invoices. Auditors believe that the employee directed more than $2M to a contractor and $40,000 to a temporary employee. He allegedly pocketed an additional $4.5 million, and directed payments from the city’s underground utilities budget to at least two area churches.

Investigators discovered the misappropriation after firing the employee for what city officials termed unrelated personnel matters. Auditors discovered about 300 phony invoices that the employee authorized and the city paid over a decade.

According to published reports, the city’s insurance company settled with the city for $5 million. Officials say that is the maximum amount covered under the city’s policy. Since that time, the City conducted a comprehensive financial audit and has changed many of its accounting and control practices to discourage fraud. The city will also seek restitution for its remaining loss, estimated at about $1.5 million.

The employee faces more than 60 charges related to the case, including multiple counts of embezzlement, public crime, grand theft and filing false tax returns.

Pasadena embezzlement lawyer


When you face fraud or public corruption charges, hire an experienced embezzlement lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in courtroom criminal defense, and takes embezzlement cases in Los Angeles County.

Money is at the heart of every public theft case, and money often figures prominently into a just resolution. Long jail sentences frustrate restitution, so experienced defense lawyers will work closely with prosecutors and judges to arrive at a fair and equitable resolution to an embezzlement case.

Don’t settle for an attorney 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 embezzlement case.

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Fraud Charge Hits Parking Lot Operator
Fraud Charge Hits Parking Lot Operator
A Los Angeles parking lot operator faces federal fraud charges. Federal authorities arrested the man last week, claiming that he had kept two sets of books for 15 years.

The man operated parking lots for the US Department of Veterans Affairs in Los Angeles. According to federal investigators, the man skimmed profits from the lots, and cheated the VA out of $11 million. Prosecutors say that the man both under reported income from the lots and overstated his expenses.

According to the indictment, the man used the proceeds to buy three luxury Santa Monica condominiums, a boat and collectible cars. The man will be in federal court on November 30 to enter a plea. In the meantime, federal investigators are attempting to seize the man’s assets.

Prosecutors say that in addition to withholding money, the man also bribed a VA official in 2003, when the agency awarded him the contracts. The former VA official, who retired in 2014, is cooperating with federal investigators.

The lots in question are located in West Los Angeles. The operator collected additional revenue from sporting events, including UCLA basketball games, which the government says the man did not report as income.

Los Angeles fraud attorney


Federal prosecutors are aggressive, so you need an aggressive fraud attorney when you face federal charges. Robert Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in federal criminal defense. He works aggressively to defend his clients against federal criminal charges.

Mr. Helfend will work directly with you on your case. He does not pass cases to less experienced attorneys. His attention to detail and his plain-English style means that you’ll always know what’s happening with your case.

Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney, or one who won’t fight 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 fraud case.

Photo Credit: Brian Wallace, via Flickr.com

Identity Theft Charge for LB Real Estate Broker
Identity Theft Charge for LB Real Estate Broker

A Long Beach real estate broker and his accomplice face identity theft charges related to fraudulent real estate sales. According to police, the pair ran a sophisticated scheme that targeted elderly property owners.

Between 2013 and 2017, the men impersonated homeowners of vacant properties in Los Angeles County. They forged paperwork and sold or attempted to sell the vacant properties. They also obtained home loans using the vacant homes as collateral.

Then the men laundered the proceeds by purchasing gold coins from out-of-state dealers. The pair had the coins shipped to mailboxes that they opened using false names. Although the men successfully obtained nearly $200,000 from the scam, authorities say that they attempted to steal more than $1M.

In addition to identity theft charges, the men also face forgery, money laundering, offering false instruments, grand theft and procuring charges. The broker received a bail of $645,000, but remains housed in the Los Angeles County jail. His accomplice remains jailed on a $500,000 bond, and has a schedule court appearance in December.

Long Beach Identity Theft Lawyer


Concerns about identity theft continue to grow as the number of cases rises annually. Most identity cases facilitate financial crimes, but a smaller percentage reflect a person’s desire to hide from the law. When you face identity theft charges, hire an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of courtroom criminal defense experience. He defends his clients aggressively in court, regardless of the charges against them. As your defense attorney, his first move will be to seek reduction or dismissal of the charges against you. Eliminating or reducing felony charges is essential, especially in light of the state’s Three Strike’s Law.

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.

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Domestic Violence Early Release Targeted By Initiative
Domestic Violence Early Release Targeted By Initiative
A new initiative may end early release for people sentenced for domestic violence. The initiative, supported by the California Public Safety Partnership, proposes eliminating early release for 15 crimes.

If enacted, the measure would reverse some benefits of Proposition 47 for certain convictions. Crimes including assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse, domestic violence, rape of an unconscious person and trafficking a child for sex are among those targeted. In addition, the measure would expand DNA collection and change the way the law treats some repeat misdemeanors.

Petty theft is a misdemeanor when the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950. Proponents of the measure say that some criminals keep their thefts under $950 in order to avoid felony convictions. This measure would make serial petty theft a felony.

Under this proposal, the law would require DNA collection for certain Proposition 47 misdemeanor offenses, including drug crimes. Supporters argue that DNA collection is needed in order to solve cold cases. They argue that the reduction in status of some crimes to misdemeanors could decrease the resolution rate of cold cases.

Another change involves parole revocation. The initiative would require courts to hold a parole revocation hearing for parolees who violate the terms of their parole three times. The murder of a Whittier police officer killed by a parolee with multiple parole violations inspired this potential change.

Petition supporters have until the end of April to collect about 370,000 valid signatures from registered voters. If successful, this measure will be on the ballot in November 2018.

Los Angeles domestic violence attorney


When you face charges for domestic violence, hire an experienced domestic violence attorney like Robert Helfend. The consequences for a domestic assault conviction are already onerous. This measure may further extend jail or prison terms for persons with a domestic assault conviction.

Don’t work with an inexperienced domestic assault defense attorney, and don’t attempt to defend yourself against these serious charges. 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/sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Andrew Bardwell, via Flickr.com

DUI Deaths Result in New State Law
DUI Deaths Result in New State Law
A DUI crash that killed two medical students resulted in a new law to prevent future DUI cases. Governor Brown recently signed the new law, which passed the Senate and Assembly with little opposition.

In May 2015, a wrong-way driver on Highway 163 collided with another vehicle. Five UCSD medical students were inside. Two of the occupants, Anne Baldock and Madison Cornwell, died from their injuries. Three other occupants received serious injuries. The wrong-way driver also received serious injuries.

The driver, from San Diego County, was a US Marine, and had undergone impaired driving training just weeks prior to the crash. He had been drinking with friends prior to the crash, and they warned him not to drive. The bar staff also warned the suspect not to drive. Despite ample warnings, the suspect drove anyway. At the time of the collision, the suspect’s blood alcohol level measured 0.14%.

The new law requires additional training for bartenders and servers to help them assess patrons who have been drinking. The training also teaches servers to avoid over-serving alcohol. Many California municipalities have alcohol management training ordinances. The new law now requires uniform training statewide.

The driver faces two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter. He also faces a felony count of DUI causing bodily injury and driving with a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.08. His next appearance in court is scheduled for November 27. He remains jailed in lieu of a $3M bond.

Los Angeles DUI Lawyer


When you’re accused of a DUI in LA or elsewhere, your first move should be to hire an experienced DUI lawyer. Robert Helfend is an experienced DUI defense lawyer, who takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Most drunk driving cases in the state result in misdemeanor charges. When a death or serious injury occurs as the result of drunk driving, felony charges result. Under no circumstances should you attempt to defend yourself when you face criminal charges of any type. Instead, 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.

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Drug possession Sentence in Oakland Handed Down
Drug possession Sentence in Oakland Handed Down
An Oakland man will spend 19 years and 7 months in federal prison after a drug possession conviction. Jeremy Luckett, 38, will also serve 5 years of supervised release once his sentence is complete.

According to federal prosecutors, Luckett conspired with a Southwest Airlines employee to evade airport security measures. Luckett supplied illegal drugs to the airline worker. Once inside the airport, employee passed the illicit substances to couriers. The couriers then took the drugs to Hawaii. Luckett purchased the airline tickets and hotel accommodations for the courier.

Airport security discovered the operation following an incident with one of Luckett’s couriers. The woman became intoxicated and TSA agents refused to allow her to board her flight. Security officers arrested the woman, and searched her luggage. Inside, they found more than 1.5 kg of methamphetamine and a kilogram of cocaine.

As the mastermind of the operation, Luckett faced a string of charges, including conspiracy to violate airport security, defrauding the United States, nearly 3 dozen counts of violating airport security, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; conspiracy to distribute cocaine; drug possession; and money laundering to promote drug trafficking.

Luckett’s seven co-defendants, including the airline employee and the couriers, have also pleaded guilty in the case. Six of the co-defendants are awaiting sentencing. A seventh co-defendant received a sentence of three years of probation.

Federal drug possession attorney

Drug possession convictions currently account for the majority of federal incarcerations. Federal prosecutors are especially aggressive in cases that involve significant quantities of drugs. They also have a strong interest in cases that involve novel smuggling methods. In this case, the defendant faced nearly 3 dozen charges of violating airport security. When you face federal drug possession charges, hire an experienced federal drug possession attorney like Robert Helfend.

Robert Helfend has nearly 35 years of criminal courtroom experience, and takes federal drug possession cases. Mr. Helfend can defend you in any federal circuit in which you face charges.

He will work aggressively to defend your rights and freedoms. Any good defense attorney needs to be aggressive because federal prosecutors are aggressive. You do not need to face the federal court system alone, and you should not assume that you have no options outside of pleading guilty.

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.
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Sex crimes Task Force Investigates Hollywood Accusations
Sex crimes Task Force Investigates Hollywood Accusations
The Los Angeles District Attorney established a taskforce to examine a wave of sex crimes allegations in Hollywood. Following allegations leveled against producer Harvey Weinstein, a number of entertainment industry workers also say they’ve been victimized. To address the rising tide of allegations, a special taskforce will investigate them. The goal is to determine whether they can prosecute any of the accusations.

The taskforce, which consists of sex crimes prosecutors and detectives, has not all subjects under investigation. Many accusers, however, have made their accusations public. Currently, the investigators say they are examining at least two dozen allegations against a number of entertainment industry executives. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has already acknowledged that it cannot prosecute some of the allegations. In a number of cases, the statute of limitations has already expired. The California legislature changed the statute of limitations for certain sex offenses in 2016, but prosecutors may not retroactively file charges.

One issue that will dog most allegations is the absence of physical or corroborating evidence against the accused. Investigators say that even if older cases can’t be prosecuted, they can still help establish a pattern of behavior.

Hollywood sex crimes lawyer


Sex crimes accusations can devastate a person, family or career. When you face charges related to a sexual offense, hire an experienced sex crimes lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. He takes sex offense cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Sexual offenses can be very difficult to prove. Even so, many criminal defense attorneys won’t take sex offense cases. Juries can be very sympathetic to victims, especially when they are underage or otherwise vulnerable. Mr. Helfend doesn’t judge his clients based on the accusations against them. He simply works hard to get charges against his clients reduced or dropped altogether.

Don’t work with an attorney who doesn’t want to defend you, and don’t risk a conviction for a sexual offense. Work with an experienced attorney who is willing and able 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 sex crimes case.

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Murder of East Los Angeles Brothers Nets Conviction
Murder of East Los Angeles Brothers Nets Conviction
A Bell Gardens man faces a life sentence after a jury found him guilty of murder. According to prosecutors, the man shot two brothers in November 2015 in Salazar Park in East Los Angeles. Police believe the shootings may be gang-related, but the prosecutor did not pursue a special allegation for this case. The suspect also faced special allegations of multiple murder, and murder using a handgun.

The brothers, 33-year-old Antonio Aguilar and 28-year-old Juan Valenti Aguilar, encountered the suspect and two other individuals in the park. While the men talked to each other, the suspect produced a gun and shot the two brothers. Witnesses said that the men’s conversation appeared to be casual prior to the shooting. Police believe that the suspect targeted the brothers.

The suspect and his acquaintances fled the scene in separate cars. First responders pronounced Antonio Aguilar dead at the scene, and his brother died at the hospital a short time later. Prosecutors charged the suspect in April 2016, following a several-month police investigation. He will return to court for sentencing on November 22. The 24-year-old suspect has an earlier conviction for weapons offenses.

Bell Gardens murder attorney

Murder is the most serious charge you can face in any courtroom. In California, prosecutors use special allegations to seek longer or more severe sentences. They can seek longer sentences for certain conditions, like multiple murders or using particular weapons. They can also seek the death penalty for multiple murder. When you face murder charges in California, hire an experienced murder attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of courtroom criminal defense experience. He has a reputation as an aggressive defender of his clients’ rights. His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. This is especially important in homicide cases. Eliminating special allegations can remove the death penalty from consideration.

Reducing the severity of the charges is also key to a successful defense strategy. You will receive “strikes” for repeat felony convictions. A third strike for a violent felony opens the door to lifetime incarceration, thanks to the state’s Three Strikes Law.

Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced attorney, or one who is not prepared to fight for your freedom. 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.

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