Murder Charge Hits Hollywood Producer
Murder Charge Hits Hollywood Producer
A Studio City woman faces murder charges in the death of her sister three years ago. In addition, the woman also faces three animal cruelty counts.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges in March against Jill Blackstone, who now lives in Baltimore. She will not fight extradition back to California. Investigators say that Blackstone drugged her sister, who was deaf, and placed her three dogs in a Studio City garage, before setting it on fire. Authorities say that Blackstone attempted to disguise the scene as an accident. Investigators indicated that Blackstone was stressed by the financial responsibilities of taking care of her sister.

The coroner determined that Wendy Blackstone died from a combination of smoke inhalation and Xanax. Her attorney indicated that Wendy Blackstone had died in the garage following an uncontrolled fire in a barbeque grill. Authorities arrested Blackstone in 2015, but released her when prosecutor asked for additional evidence.

Blackstone’s lawyer vigorously denied the charges against his client and said that she looks forward to defending herself against the allegations.

Studio City murder lawyer


When you face homicide charges, hire an experienced, aggressive murder lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of practice experience in criminal defense. He takes homicide cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Homicide is the most serious charge you can face in California. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could face the death penalty. Even without the death penalty, you could face life in prison with or without parole. Your life is literally at stake in a homicide case.

While California hasn’t executed a prisoner in more than a decade, hundreds of people are currently on Death Row here. Nearly 800 people face the prospect of execution. Unless their sentence is commuted, or the court overturns their conviction, they can expect to die in a California prison. That’s an unpleasant prospect, to be sure.

It’s also why you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney when you face a homicide charge. During his years of practice, Mr. Helfend has defended thousands of Californians and will provide aggressive representation for you.

When you face murder charges, hire an experienced murder lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense.
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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Antitrust conviction lands investor in jail for 30 months
Antitrust conviction lands investor in jail for 30 months
A California real estate investor will spend 30 months in federal prison for antitrust violations. Federal prosecutors accused Michael Marr of conspiring to submit fraudulent bids at real estate foreclosure auctions.

According to prosecutors, Marr played a significant role in determining the outcome of real estate auctions. Through his process, he obtained ownership of hundreds of Northern California properties. Conspirators pre-selected winning bidders and arranged payoffs in exchange for not competing for properties.

Following a public foreclosure auction, the conspirators would hold private auctions to determine who ended up with the foreclosed property. Prosecutors accused Marr of sending several employees to submit phony bids. In a foreclosure action, the auction proceeds pay off debts on the property, and the foreclosed owner keeps any remainder. The scheme hurt hundreds of property owners in Northern California by keeping property prices artificially low.

Marr will spend 30 months in a federal prison, and will complete three years of supervised release afterward. In addition, the judge ordered Marr to pay a fine of nearly $1.4M. The Department of Justice Antitrust Division investigated the case. A federal grand jury issued an indictment against Marr in November 2014. His trial took place last year, and resulted in a conviction in June 2017.

California Antitrust Attorney


When you face criminal antitrust charges, hire an experienced criminal antitrust attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 3 decades of practice experience. He takes cases in all federal circuits in the United States.

Criminal antitrust actions can include price-fixing, bid-rigging and market allocation schemes. Antitrust actions can include civil proceedings, but they can also include criminal charges against individuals. When you face criminal charges, your best strategy involves hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Federal prosecutors have a high conviction rate, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to defend yourself. Work with an experienced defense attorney whose mission is to fight aggressively for his clients.

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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Sex crimes conviction yields 125 year sentence
Sex crimes conviction yields 125 year sentence
A former Disneyland employee will spend 125 years in prison following his conviction for child sex crimes. The 25-year-old Banning resident deliberately befriended single mothers to gain access to children.

At the time of his arrest, police discovered a manual on his computer that provided instructions for sexually abusing children. In February, a jury convicted the man of multiple counts of lewd acts upon a child. They also convicted him of possession of child pornography and other related sex crimes.

Police in Yucaipa learned of the man from a tip that he masturbated in front of two young children there. Upon investigation, police discovered additional victims ranging in age from 5 to 11. Police arrested him in December of 2014. At the time of his arrest, they learned that the man had worked at Disneyland since August 2014. He also volunteered at a children’s theater in the area. There is no indication that any assaults took place at Disneyland.

The man provided investigators with a detailed confession, describing single mothers as “easy targets.” At his sentencing last month, the judge ordered the man to serve 125 years in state prison.

Los Angeles sex crimes lawyer


This case underscores the seriousness of sex crimes charges. When you face legal action for a sexual offense, hire an experienced sex crimes lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 3 decades of practice experience in criminal courtroom defense. He fights aggressively for his clients, and takes sex crimes cases in Los Angeles County.

Sex crimes convictions can be among the most devastating, because their consequences can last a lifetime. California law requires lifetime sex offender registration for most sexual offense convictions. Being listed on the sex offender registry can interfere with your ability to find housing or employment.

Depending upon your profession, sex offense convictions can also limit or eliminate your ability to work in your chosen field. Your lawyer must fight aggressively for your rights and freedom both inside and outside the courtroom. Many lawyers don’t want to take sex offense cases because of the nature of the offense. Sympathy toward the accuser may make a fair trial difficult, or even impossible.

Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Don’t settle for an attorney who doesn’t really want to take your case. 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: Sean MacEntee, via Flickr.com

Securities Fraud Charge Hits Pocklington
Securities Fraud Charge Hits Pocklington
Peter Pocklington, a former owner of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, faces securities fraud charges. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Pocklington, his company, his attorney, his accountant and a trio of brokers last week.

According to the SEC, Pocklington’s lawyer structured the ownership of The Eye Machine to hide Pocklington’s involvement. Pocklington pleaded guilty in 2010 to perjury in federal court. He also paid more than $5 million in restitution to a series of securities fraud charges in multiple states.

From 2014-2017, The Eye Machine, Pocklington’s company, raised more than $14 million in investor funds. The company did not register the offerings and used unregistered brokers to solicit more than 250 investors.

The attorney and Pocklington failed to properly disclosed Pocklington’s involvement with the company. They also did not disclose how investor funds would be used. Pocklington misappropriated more than $600,000 in investor funds. He used the money to pay personal expenses, the expenses of another business venture and legal fees. In addition, the three unregistered brokers collected millions in sales commissions.

According to the SEC complaint, the company’s filings made it impossible for investors to discover Pocklington’s connection to the company. In addition, the SEC had previously barred one of the brokers from acting as or associating with a broker-dealer. The group recruited many investors through a “boiler room” operation located in Florida.

Pocklington may be best known for his ownership of the Edmonton Oilers NHL franchise. Pocklington famously moved to trade NHL superstar Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings for two roster players, cash and draft picks just hours after Edmonton won its fourth Stanley Cup in five years. He reportedly authorized the trade to help cover debts related to other businesses. Pocklington moved from Canada to California in 1998, and has been the subject of several federal and state prosecutions related to investment fraud since then.

Los Angeles securities fraud attorney


When you face securities fraud charges, hire an experienced securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 3 decades of experience in criminal courtroom defense. He fights aggressively for his clients, and will 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 securities fraud case.

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Embezzlement Sends Irvine Man To Prison for 10 Years
Embezzlement Sends Irvine Man To Prison for 10 Years
A former licensed public adjuster will spend 10 years in prison for <embezzlement . Jose Villa pleaded no contest in Los Angeles County Superior Court to eight felony fraud charges. According to prosecutors, Villa diverted insurance payouts to fire victims for his own personal use. In addition to the felony charges, Villa also admitted special allegations of excessive taking and white-collar crime.

Prosecutors say that Villa deposited the payouts into his business checking account. Prior to his arrest, Villa owned Statewide Claims Advisors, Inc. The fire damage claims at the center of the case arose on a commercial property and a residential rental property. Villa told Whittier and Los Angeles claimants that he would use the money to pay for demolition and reconstruction costs. Instead, he used the money for his personal expenses.

This isn’t Villa’s first appearance in court. A jury convicted Villa last May of embezzlement and forgery related to a similar scam. In those cases, Villa also took proceeds from fire victims’ claims. As a result of his first conviction, Villa received a 7-year sentence. The new 10-year sentence will run concurrently with that sentence. In addition, the judge imposed a $10,000 fine and ordered Villa to pay restitution of $1.2 million. The California Department of Insurance revoked Villa’s public adjuster license. The agency also permanently barred him from working in the insurance industry in California.

Los Angeles embezzlement lawyer


When you face fraud charges, your best defense strategy is to hire an experienced embezzlement lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of criminal courtroom defense experience. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Embezzlement convictions can result in lengthy prison sentences. In addition, judges will often impose significant restitution requirements and fines. Depending upon the nature of the case, a licensed professional risks permanent loss of his or her professional credentials. For a defendant, the stakes are very high!

Don’t risk your livelihood, freedom and financial well-being on 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 embezzlement case.

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Fraud Suspect Nabbed in Downey
Fraud Suspect Nabbed in Downey
A Downey man and his alleged partner-in crime face nearly 500 felony charges related to fraud. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office charged Ruben Gutierrez of Huntington Beach and Wilfrido Rodriguez of Downey last month.

According to prosecutors, the men stole software, seals and other items from a local civil engineering firm. The men worked at the Palos Verdes Engineering Company in Rolling Hills Estates. Between 2003 and 2014, the men posed as civil engineers and created drawings and engineering plans. Authorities estimate they duped more than 700 clients, who believed the men to be civil engineers with the firm. The men actually worked as architectural and engineering drafters, which did not require a license. The State is now questioning the safety of all of the projects the men worked on.

The questionable projects primarily include new residential construction, additions, remodeling work and repairs. The company first became aware of the potential fraud issue in 2014 and then notified authorities immediately. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office and Cyber Crimes Bureau began investigating. The District Attorney’s Office has charged the men with 487 felony counts of identity theft, forgery and grand theft. Gutierrez remains jailed on a $7.15M bond. Rodriguez remains in custody on a $15.5M bond.

Los Angeles fraud attorney


Money motivates fraud, but some cases can cause significant non-monetary problems. When you face fraud charges, hire an experienced fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. Recently, the Expert Network recognized him as one of the top 3% of defense attorneys in the area.

Mr. Helfend’s first priority will be to get the charges against you dropped altogether. This outcome is ideal because it has no impact on your criminal history. When this isn’t possible, he will work aggressively to get the charges against you reduced.

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 fraud case.

Photo Credit: Richard Bitting, via Flickr.com

Identity Theft Sentence For Pasadena Man
Identity Theft Sentence For Pasadena Man
A Pasadena man will spend six years in federal prison for his role in an
identity theft operation. In addition, the man must pay restitution to eight victims and complete five years of supervised release. The man pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and identity theft.

The victims in this case include American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Chase Bank, Citigroup, Discovery and US Bank. According to prosecutors, the man scammed those victims out of nearly $2.8 million.

Federal prosecutors say that the man operated a large criminal organization in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The scheme targeted banks and used stolen identity information to obtain credit cards. As part of the scheme, the man and his operatives changed the address information for legitimate bank customers and then applied for credit cards in the customer’s name.

Once the thieves obtained credit cards, they sent operatives to high-end retailers to purchase luxury goods, including Rolex watches, electronics, jewelry and designer merchandise. Three other defendants will go to trial this fall.

Pasadena Identity Theft Lawyer


When you face identity-related theft charges, your first move should be to hire an experienced identity theft lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes cases in both federal and state courts.

Identity theft is almost always a financial crime, but federal investigators follow it closely because it finances other criminal activity. Federal identity theft convictions trigger mandatory sentences, which may serve to extend a period of incarceration.

Working with an experienced, aggressive attorney can make a difference in the outcome of your case. Don’t rely 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 identity theft case.

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Domestic Violence Charge is False, R & B Singer Claims
Domestic Violence Charge is False, R & B Singer Claims
Tremaine Neverson, popularly known as Trey Songz, claims that a domestic violence charge against him is false. Los Angeles police officers arrested the singer following a month-long investigation. An acquaintance of the singer said he attacked her at a party in February.

The singer is on probation following a 2017 Michigan conviction for aggravated assault on a police officer. Shortly after his most recent arrest, he posted a $50,000 bond. On his Twitter account, the singer professed his innocence. In a tweet, he said that “personal gain” is motivating his accuser. He also said he would refrain from further comment on the matter.

The woman sought and received a temporary restraining order against Neverson. Neverson denies the charges.

Los Angeles domestic violence attorney


When you face domestic violence charges, hire an experienced domestic violence attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of courtroom experience. He takes criminal defense cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Domestic abuse cases can bring a lot of hardship to your home and family relationships. In many cases, a spouse or partner doesn’t really want to press charges. Unfortunately, the police or prosecutors may pressure them into doing so.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will help you develop an effective defense strategy that protects both you and your family. California law is very specific about how domestic abuse complaints must be withdrawn. When a complaint is improperly withdrawn, the complaining party can face legal consequences of their own.

Don’t risk your own freedom or that of a family member on inexperienced or ineffective counsel. Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney and see what a difference they can make in the outcome of your case.

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.

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DUI Driver Arrested in Palmdale After Standoff
DUI Driver Arrested in Palmdale After Standoff
A San Bernardino man will stand trial for DUI in LA following a slow-speed chase and standoff. The DUI drama unfolded following an early afternoon attempt by deputies to stop the driver.

The man led Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies on a slow-speed chase – sometimes moving as little as 5 mph. The chase took place on the Antelope Valley Freeway and the Angeles Crest Highway. At one point, the suspect left the freeway and led deputies down a dirt road.

During the attempted stop, the driver threw what appeared to be money out of the car window. Deputies placed spike strips on a stretch of road and successfully flattened three of the car’s four tires. The man came to a stop in a field adjacent to the dirt road. The man remained in his disabled vehicle and refused to exit for more than two hours. The suspect surrendered to SWAT team members about two-and-a-half hours after police first made contact with him. No one was injured in the incident. Emergency responders transported the man to a hospital for a medical evaluation before arresting him.

Palmdale DUI Lawyer


When you face drunk driving charges, hire an experienced DUI lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than three decades of criminal defense experience and takes cases in Los Angeles County.

Most California DUI cases result in misdemeanor charges. The law allows for more serious felony charges when certain special circumstances apply. When a police agency arrests you for impaired driving, your first move should be to call an experienced DUI lawyer.

Impaired driving will result in two parallel adjudication processes. One is administrative; the other is criminal. The DMV will immediately suspend your California driver’s license. This happens at the time of your arrest. The second process is criminal. The District Attorney will review the facts of your case and will determine whether and how to charge you. Since the DMV and the courts operate independently, you will need to attend to both processes.

Don’t face impaired driving charges without competent legal representation, and don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney for assistance. 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 arrests in West Hollywood show meth popularity
Drug possession arrests in West Hollywood show meth popularity
According to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office statistics, three-fourths of West Hollywood drug possession arrests involved methamphetamine. The statistics, from the last half of 2017, show the rising popularity of methamphetamine. The next most popular drug was cocaine. Officers reported confiscating cocaine in only 10% of West Hollywood drug arrests.

Despite the growing focus on opioids, officers recovered heroin in less than 8% of drug arrests in West Hollywood. They reported marijuana possession with the same frequency as heroin. More exotic drugs, including prescription medications, GBH and MDMA combined accounted for less than 5% of West Hollywood drug arrests.

In addition, officers noted that most distribution occurs within clubs or by a person-to-person arrangement. In addition, West Hollywood is a target for outside distributors hoping to sell their product.

West Hollywood drug possession attorney


When you face drug charges, hire an experienced drug possession attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of courtroom defense experience. He will fight aggressively for you in court.

Some drug possession laws are changing in California, but you can still face serious consequences for a drug possession conviction. These consequences can include jail time, fines and other sanctions. In addition, depending upon the circumstances of your case, drug possession can result in a felony conviction.

The state’s Three Strikes Law makes each felony conviction more dangerous. Multiple felony convictions can result in longer sentences. A third felony conviction for a violent crime can result in lifetime incarceration. Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney or luck to help you out in court.

An experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend is your best defense strategy. 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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