Fraud Charges Await Manafort Son-In-Law
Fraud Charges Await Manafort Son-In-Law
The former son-in-law of Paul Manafort faces fraud in Los Angeles federal District Court. Prosecutors accuse the West Hollywood man of inflating property values to get large loans from lenders. They also accuse him of collecting rent on property he did not own.

This is not the first time he has been in trouble with the law. He is currently awaiting sentencing on similar charges. The judge in the case has revoked his bond. The defendant pleaded guilty to earlier real estate fraud charges. He now faces new charges of identity theft and wire fraud.

Prosecutors say the new charges are very similar to the charges he pleaded guilty to. Some new charges involve some of the same victims from the first case. According to the latest federal complaint, the man took money from investors, and used the funds for his own expenses. In some cases, he used new investor funds to pay existing investors. The fraud unraveled when investors sought their money back. The man was unable to produce the funds, wrote bad checks or made phony wire transfers.

He will be sentenced in federal court on the initial charges in January. In those cases, he allegedly defrauded banks of more than $15 million in loans. He told the lenders that he would use the money to rehabilitate homes in Hollywood Hills. He then defaulted on the loans and attempted to stop the foreclosure through bankruptcy filings. The new charges involve about $6 million in investor losses and more than $500,000 in bounced checks.

The defendant and Manafort’s daughter, Jessica, divorced in 2017. He will remain jailed until his sentencing.

West Hollywood fraud lawyer


When you face fraud charges in West Hollywood, hire an experienced fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend takes cases in both federal courts and Los Angeles County courts. He also takes cases in other Southern California counties.

Federal prosecutors are well resourced, and rarely take cases they don’t think they can win. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced, aggressive federal criminal defense attorney. His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not a possibility, he will work toward the best possible outcome for your case.

Don’t risk your freedom 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 fraud case.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Levine, via Flickr.com

Identity theft facilitates Cerritos car thefts
Identity theft facilitates Cerritos car thefts
Police in Orange and Los Angeles counties say that car theft via identity theft is on the rise.

Last month, a man pleaded not guilty to three car thefts using false identities. According to police, the man forged a driver’s license and falsified bank statements to steal high-value cars. The thefts, which exceeded $200,000, reflect an increasingly popular way to steal cars. The putative buyer poses as another individual, and provides a forged ID and financial statements. After taking “legal” possession of the vehicle, the thief drives off never to be seen again. Police report that thieves have used the identities of dead people, as well as fake Social Security numbers. They may also steal the identity of people with similar names to their own.

Victims may become aware that the identity theft only when the car company calls to collect on late payments. In this case, police recovered only one of three stolen vehicles, a 2018 Audi RS5. Two other vehicles, a 2019 Nissan 370Z and a 2018 Infiniti Q60 remain missing. According to court records, the thefts occurred between August 31 and September 8 in Orange County and in Cerritos.

The man faces three felony charges of unlawful taking of a vehicle. He also faces three enhancements of white-collar crime between $100K and $500K. In addition, he faces a felony charge of making false financial statements and using a forged driver’s license. The defendant denies all charges. He remains jailed without bail and will appear in court on November 20 for a preliminary hearing.

Cerritos identity theft attorney


When you face charges for identity crimes, hire an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes identity theft cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Identity theft attracts a lot of attention, because it often facilitates other crimes. Identity theft has a broad definition. It can include everything from using someone else’s credit card to manufacturing false identities. Identity theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. It can also be charged as a state or federal offense.

Your best defense against identity theft charges is to hire an experienced, aggressive attorney. Don’t rely on an inexperienced lawyer and don’t attempt to represent yourself in court! 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 haunts former LA Kings defenseman
Domestic violence charge haunts former LA Kings defenseman
Former LA Kings defenseman Slava Voynov pleaded guilty to a domestic violence in 2015. Following that, he spent two months in jail, voluntarily retired from the National Hockey League (NHL) and returned to Russia. Now Voynov wants to come back.

Earlier this year, Voynov petitioned the NHL for reinstatement. As a result of his arrest, the Los Angeles Kings cancelled Voynov’s $25 million contract. They also placed him on the club’s voluntary retirement list. He returned to Russia to avoid immigration issues that could have arisen from his arrest and conviction. After returning to Russia, he played for three seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and appeared in the 2018 Olympics.

This summer, the Los Angeles Superior Court dismissed Voynov’s misdemeanor domestic assault conviction. That could eliminate any immigration issues that would prevent Voynov from re-entering the United States.

According to the NHL, the league will conduct a fact-finding investigation into the matter. At the conclusion, the league commissioner Gary Bettman will determine whether Voynov can return to the NHL. Although the Kings canceled Voynov’s contract, they still retain his signing rights. If he is cleared to return, the Kings could re-sign him, trade his rights to another team, or release him. If the club releases him to free agency, he could negotiate with any other team in the league. The Kings have not expressed an interest in re-signing Voynov, but he was the team’s number 2 defenseman in 2015.

Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer


This case illustrates the complexity of overcoming a domestic assault conviction. When you face domestic abuse charges, hire an experienced domestic violence lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense in Los Angeles County.

Domestic abuse convictions can have a wide range of effects on you, your spouse or partner and your family. Convictions can result in jail time, loss of income, and other significant consequences. That’s why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side throughout the judicial process.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney and don’t attempt to defend yourself. 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: Dinur, via Flickr.com

DUI Driver Charged in San Gabriel Deaths
DUI Driver Charged in San Gabriel Deaths
A San Gabriel man with a DUI history will face charges in two hit-and-run deaths.

According to police, the man struck a West Covina woman as she pushed her 1-year-old granddaughter in a stroller. The pair were crossing the street at a crosswalk at the time of the collision. They were transported to a local hospital, where they both died from their injuries.

Following the crash, the driver fled, but video from the scene helped to identify the suspect’s vehicle. Following tips from the public, police located the vehicle involved in the crash. The vehicle was not registered to the suspect, but evidence from inside the truck connected it to the man. Four days after the crash, police arrested the suspect following his release from a local medical facility.

Police say the suspect has a history of DUI convictions. They also say that they did not know the man’s intoxication status at the time of the crash. Currently, he faces charges of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter. If convicted, the man could face as much as six years in prison. In court, the suspect pleaded not guilty to the charges. He remains jailed in lieu of a $250,000 bond. He will return to court in December for matters related to his case.

San Gabriel DUI attorney


The worst possible outcome of a drunk driving arrest involves the injury or death of another person. When you face drunk driving charges, hire an experienced DUI attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes drunk driving cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work toward the best outcome for your case. Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he works hard to ensure that you get the best, most aggressive representation available.

Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney, and don’t attempt to represent yourself in court. 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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Theft Suspect ID'd by stolen strawberries
Theft Suspect ID’d by stolen strawberries
A burglary suspect faces theft charges, thanks to some stolen strawberries. Police used the discarded stems to collect DNA evidence from the perpetrator.

Glendale Police responded to the report of a burglary of a catering van in May. An officer noted that the thief had made off with some fresh strawberries. A search of the area turned up discarded stems, which the police submitted for DNA testing.

The DNA belonged to a 23-year-old man with a prior arrest in 2017. In addition to the DNA, police also located surveillance footage of the suspect entering a home near the burglarized van. In that break in, the suspect stole a wallet. Based on the DNA evidence, officers sought a search warrant and arrested the man at his home. Inside, they found evidence from the burglaries, as well as other items that connected the man to a string of thefts. Police also allege that the suspect stole a set of car keys from a home, and also stole the car.

He remains jailed on a $250,000 bond. He will return to court at the end of November on matters related to his case.

Glendale theft lawyer


When you face grand theft charges, hire an experienced theft lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes theft cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether. When that’s not a possibility, he will work toward the best possible outcome for your case. Eliminating felony charges is essential in California. Accumulating a history of felony convictions here can result in a life sentence.

Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he works aggressively to provide excellent representation for his clients. Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney, and don’t assume that you have no defense options.

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: Kamil Porembiński, via Flickr.com

Drug Possession Charges Lead Inglewood Gang Arrests
Drug Possession Charges Lead Inglewood Gang Arrests
Federal authorities arrested 14 members of an Inglewood street gang. They face charges for drug possession and weapons offenses. Prosecutors have filed charges against 13 of the arrestees. They have not yet charged one man with federal offenses.

According to prosecutors, the gang has expanded beyond Inglewood. It also has ties to drug sales in Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Prosecutors characterize those arrested as leaders of a criminal enterprise.

The Los Angeles Police Department, the Inglewood Police Department and the FBI conducted arrests sweeps late last month. Prior to the arrests, officers purchased drugs and firearms through their gang contacts. Various gang members supplied cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine to undercover officers.

Charges include selling firearms without a license; drug possession for sale; and possession of a firearm by a felon. Several people also face charges of aiding and abetting. If convicted, the 11 men and one woman – ranging in age from 23-54 – face between 10 years and life. One man has already pleaded guilty and will spend a year and a day in prison. The fourteenth man remains jailed on a probation violation and does not yet face federal charges.

Inglewood Drug Possession Lawyer


When you face charges for drug crimes, hire an experienced drug possession lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes drug crimes cases in any federal circuit in the United States. He also takes state drug cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Nearly half (46.1%) of all federal inmates currently in custody serve drug sentences. That’s more than 2.5 times the next largest group of federal inmates, who serve time for weapons offenses. The federal government is serious about prosecuting drug offenders, and can use RICO statutes to combat gang activity.

Don’t on an inexperienced federal defense attorney in court. Hire an aggressive, experienced federal defender when you face charges for drug offenses. 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 suspect arrested in Los Angeles
Sex crimes suspect arrested in Los Angeles
Authorities arrested a man wanted for Pacific Beachsex crimes in Los Angeles. According to police, a Pacific Beach woman awoke to find a man sexually assaulting her in her home. The man fled before police arrived. They believe he entered the home through an open window.

The incident took place October 1, but authorities did not arrest him until today. San Diego Police identified the man as a suspect, and released an image of him to the public last week. Authorities in Los Angeles arrested the suspect without incident just after 4:00 AM.

Police also said that the suspect, who is 55, was enrolled as a student at San Diego City College and San Diego Miramar College. The assault took place off campus and is not associated with either facility.

Los Angeles sex crimes lawyer


When you face charges related to a sexual offense, hire an experienced sex crimes lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal courtroom defense. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Sex offense convictions can have lifetime consequences. Most convictions for sexual offenses require lifetime registration on the state’s sex offender registry. Lifetime registration comes with restrictions that can make it difficult for convicted offenders to find appropriate housing and employment.

In addition, lifetime registration follows you wherever you go. Even if you move out of state, the registration requirement will follow you. This is a heavy price to pay. Worse, many criminal defense attorneys don’t want to handle sexual offense cases. That can make it difficult to get the representation you need in court.

Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do. Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney and see what a difference it 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 sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Bart Everson, via Flickr.com

Securities Fraud Suspect Sentenced After Los Angeles Arrest
Securities Fraud Suspect Sentenced After Los Angeles Arrest
A self-styled “fracking” expert pleaded guilty to securities fraud in Dallas following his Los Angeles arrest. The man, who raised more than $80 million from oil and gas investors kept nearly $25 million for himself.

The man convinced investors to pay for a fixed portion of drilling and exploration costs in exchange for production royalties. He inflated the investor costs by as much as 800% and pocketed the difference between the actual and stated costs.

He oversold shares of drilling operations, commingled investor funds among multiple projects, and diverted investor funds for his own use. In addition, he understated his income by at least $4.5 million in 2014 alone. During that year, he did not file a federal tax return or make any federal tax payments.

He pleaded guilty to securities fraud, engaging in illegal monetary transactions and tax evasion. He faces at least 12 years in federal prison as part of a plea deal in the case. He must also pay $350,000 in fines and must make restitution to his victims.

Federal securities fraud attorney


When you face federal charges for investment fraud, hire an experienced, aggressive securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend takes federal defense cases in any circuit in the United States. He also takes state cases in Southern California.

Federal prosecutors are well funded and aggressive. You cannot approach a federal defense without excellent representation. Many defendants choose to plead guilty because the prospects of going to court are overwhelming. You don’t have to plead guilty and a conviction is not automatic. When you work with an aggressive, experienced federal defense attorney, you can get good results!

Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney or one who isn’t prepared to fight on your behalf.. 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 securities fraud case.

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Embezzlement Charge For Santa Clarita Accountant
Embezzlement Charge For Santa Clarita Accountant
A former accountant from Santa Clarita faces embezzlement charges after allegedly stealing funds from the Girl Scouts and a cancer center.

The woman, 52, was a Certified Public Accountant. Her license, which had been under another name, expired in 2016. The woman did not renew her license at that time. She faces two felony charges of embezzlement by a public or private officer. According to investigators, the woman served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Beverly Hills Cancer Center. She also volunteered as the treasurer for two local Girl Scout troops and a local Girl Scout service unit. Authorities say the woman stole at least $93,000 from the organizations involved. They also indicated that she had volunteered with the Girl Scouts for about 20 years.

According to police, the woman used nearly $60,000 of the stolen Girl Scout funds for her personal expenses between 2013 and 2017. She then diverted money from the Cancer Center before taking it for herself.

If convicted on all charges, the woman could spend nearly four years in prison. She was released on a $20,000 bond the day of her arrest. Prosecutors indicated however, that they would seek a higher bail amount.

Santa Clarita embezzlement lawyer


When you face charges of theft from an employer, hire an experienced embezzlement lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of criminal defense experience. He takes cases in Santa Clarita and throughout Southern California.

Personal financial gain almost exclusively motivates embezzlement. Likewise, while most victims want justice, they also want their money back! An experienced criminal defense attorney can use this to help clients avoid long prison terms and work toward restitution.

When you face charges, don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do, and don’t attempt to defend yourself in court. Your best defense strategy is to hire an experienced lawyer to represent you in court.
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: Laura, via Flickr.com

Fraud charges may rise from Montebello audit
Fraud charges may rise from Montebello audit
Independent auditors recommend that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office investigate the Montebello Unified School District for fraud. This is the second time the issue has arisen from the school district.

The MUSD faces increasing pressure to account for bond funds originally designated for construction projects in the school district. Voters passed the bond request in 2016. Auditors have focused on one contractor that no longer provides services to the district.

The report detailed numerous instances where the contractor initially provided one price for services, but later switched services. In many cases, the contractor provided no services, but collected about 4% of the bond money for “project management.”

The district has 28 buildings and planned to use the bond money to repair and upgrade its facilities. According to auditors, the district was a rich target for fraud, and said employees had no idea how to account for the bond money. The district had contracted with the provider in 2005, but canceled the first contract for poor performance.

According to investigators, many of the district’s facilities personnel questioned the district’s choice of that particular contractor in 2016. They say that the company billed nearly $100,000 every month, regardless of the services it performed. The company provided little to no documentation to support invoices. District personnel also say district lawyers never reviewed the company’s contract. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating the district’s bond program.

Montebello fraud attorney


When you face fraud charges, hire an experienced fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes fraud cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

He does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead he works hard to ensure that his clients receive the best possible representation in court. 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: Dave Fischer, via Flickr.com