Santa Clarita Coach Accused of Sex Crimes
Santa Clarita Coach Accused of Sex Crimes
A former Santa Clarita youth basketball coach facessex crimes charges. Prosecutors charged the Orange County man with 15 sexual offenses, including committing lewd acts on a child. The court arraigned the suspect in February. According to investigators, the suspect coached students at several schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District. He also coached students at a local private school.

Initially, the man faced sex-related charges. Later, prosecutors added one additional charge. Currently, the man faces 8 charges of sexual battery and 6 counts of committing lewd acts on a child. He also faces a single count of possessing child pornography. Police say they have identified as many as nine victims dating back to 2008. According to investigators the victims ranged in age between 14 and 17. The assaults took place over nearly a decade, but none occurred on school properties. If convicted, the man faces as much as 14 years in prison.

Santa Clarita sex crimes attorney


Convictions for sexual offenses have a long, painful impact on your life. In most cases, offenders must register for life on the state’s sex offender registry. This status follows you around, regardless of where you move. When you face charges for sexual offenses, hire an experienced sex crimes attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes sex crimes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Many criminal defense attorneys don’t want to take sex offense cases. Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he simply works hard to get the charges against them reduced or dropped.

Reducing the severity and number of charges can have a major positive impact on the outcome of your case. It may or may not impact registration requirements, but it can reduce or eliminate incarceration. Don’t assume that you have no options when you’re facing charges for sex-related offenses. Work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can make a positive difference in 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.

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Securities fraud charge snares LA real estate developer
Securities fraud charge snares LA real estate developer
A former Los Angeles luxury real estate developer faces federal securities fraud for allegedly operating a massive Ponzi scheme. Despite having settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission last year, the man now faces criminal charges. In the SEC settlement, the man agreed to pay a $120 million fine.

The man, along with two former investment directors, face charges of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. In addition, the developer faces charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and tax evasion. All three men have pleaded not guilty to all charges. The director remains jailed without bail, while the other two men are free on bond.

According to prosecutors, the men targeted older investors with high-pressure and deceptive sales tactics. They told investors that their investment products carried a low risk. Alternately, they characterized them as safe, and conservative. The men particularly targeted people with substantial retirement savings. In reality, the men used investor monies to pay off previous investors. The developer also used about $35 million in retirement assets on luxury travel, personal real estate purchases and luxury cars. He also used some investor funds to satisfy tax obligations.

The men operated the scheme from offices in Sherman Oaks and Boca Raton, FL. The investment company eventually filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, causing massive investor losses. In all, 13 people face charges in the scam. Approximately 2,600 people invested about $1.3 billion and lost at least $400 million in assets in the scheme.

Los Angeles securities fraud lawyer


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

Securities fraud cases often involve a lot of victims and high dollar amounts. They attract a lot of attention from the public and from federal prosecutors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t win in court. Don’t attempt to represent yourself in federal court and don’t assume that your best move is a guilty plea.

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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El Segundo Embezzlement Leads To 12-year Prison Term
El Segundo Embezzlement Leads To 12-year Prison Term
A Beverly Hills man will spend 12 years in prison for a $2.4 millionembezzlement scheme. According to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, the man worked as an executive at the company, which mass produces wall art. He negotiated licensing agreements with professional and collegiate sports teams for the company’s products.

The man misappropriated the funds while working as the company’s Vice President for sports licensing. He worked there between 2010 and 2015. According to prosecutors, he authorized payments from his employer to seven shell companies for hundreds of phony licensing agreements. In many cases, the “licensed” art was already in the public domain. New owners purchased the company in 2015 and conducted an audit, which revealed the licensing scam. He pleaded guilty to 35 felony charges, including grand theft and money laundering.

Separately, the defendant also operated a network of vegan culinary schools, which abruptly closed and cancelled all classes last August. The closures of PlantLab, formerly owned by celebrity chef Matthew Kenney, left students who had already paid for classes empty-handed. Although students and employees claimed that the man had simply “disappeared” with their money, in fact, authorities arrested him. To date, the culinary school students have not received reimbursement for the cancelled classes. Last month, the California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau for Private Post-Secondary Education (BPPE) fined PlantLab $100,000. The BPPE found that PlantLab operated as an unapproved private post-secondary institution in violation of the California Education Code. The order requires PlantLab to cease operations; it does not require the business to refund students’ money.

El Segundo Embezzlement Attorney


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

Embezzlement is a financial crime of opportunity, and most victims want their money returned. As your defense attorney, Mr. Helfend will first try to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work toward the best possible outcome for your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney can use the victim’s desire for restitution to help reduce the length of incarceration. In addition, he can work to liquidate assets on hand to reduce or satisfy restitution requirements.

Don’t attempt to represent yourself in court, and don’t assume that a guilty plea is in your best interest. 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: Mike Boening Photography, via Flickr.com

Fraud charge nets Michael Avenatti
Fraud charge nets Michael Avenatti
Attorney Michael Avenatti faces federalfraud charges in a case stemming from California. According to investigators, Avenatti misappropriated client funds to prop up a set of Tully’s coffee shops in California and Washington. In addition, Avenatti faces federal charges in New York for allegedly attempting to extort the sporting apparel company Nike.

In California, investigators say that Avenatti provided a Mississippi bank with fraudulent tax returns to secure a $4M loan. Avenatti sought the loan to support his company, Global Baristas, the operator of a chain of Tully’s Coffee shops. Tully’s Coffee stores closed in March for “rebranding.” Keurig, which owns the Tully Coffee brand, said Global Baristas’ licensing deal lapsed in 2017. In addition, creditors are seeking about $7.5M from the company for unpaid rent, bills and taxes.

Recently, a former partner successfully sued Avenatti for nearly $5 million after his firm failed to pay a debt. Last month, a federal bankruptcy judge also rejected a bankruptcy petition by Eagan Avenatti. The petition marked the second time in two years that the firm sought to declare bankruptcy. In that case, a former lawyer at the firm accused Avenatti of sheltering millions in assets from the bankruptcy trustee.

Los Angeles Fraud Lawyer


When you face charges for defrauding an individual, a corporation or the government, hire an experienced fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes federal cases in any circuit in the United States. He also takes state cases in Southern California courts.

Fraud cases may attract a lot of attention because they often involve huge dollar amounts. At its core however, fraud is a financial crime that violates both state and federal laws. Your best defense is to hire an experienced lawyer who will fight aggressively for you in court.

Federal prosecutors are well prepared and well-resourced. They’re often looking for an easy conviction. That’s why you need a lawyer who will fight tirelessly on your behalf. 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 you.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney to defend you in federal 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.

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Identity theft, bank fraud charges sink credit union
Identity theft, bank fraud charges sink credit union
The former manager of the CBS Employees Federal Credit Union faces charges of identity theft and bank fraud. According to investigators, the 62-year-old man pilfered possibly as much as $40M from the credit union over a period of 20 years.

Another credit union employee discovered the theft after seeing an unexplained $35,000 draft from the credit union to the manager. A subsequent audit discovered nearly $4M in checks made to the manager bearing another employee’s forged signature. The audit covered just those checks written in 2018. An audit conducted by the National Credit Union Administration showed a history of loss of $40.5M.

According to investigators, the man admitted to stealing funds initially to pay off his personal credit cards. He later spend additional funds at casinos, and on luxury items. The suspect also gave his wife a $5,000 per week “allowance.” Investigators also say the man purchased a Porsche, a Tesla and a second home in Reno, NV.

The credit union suspended the manager last month, pending further investigation. Following his suspension, the man’s wife notified authorities that her husband was attempting to flee the country. Law enforcement officials arrested the man and he remains jailed. He is cooperating with investigators on the case.

Following the NCUA audit, the credit union self-liquidated and ceased operations. University Credit Union of Los Angeles assumed CBS Employees’ members, assets and loans. Prior to joining the now-defunct credit union, the suspect had worked as an examiner for the NCUA. He told authorities that he used this experience to help avoid detection.

If convicted, the man faces as much as 30 years in federal prison, and a $1M fine, He would also face a mandatory consecutive term of two years for aggravated identity theft.

Los Angeles identity theft attorney


When you face charges related to an identity crime, hire an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience. He takes cases in any federal circuit. He also takes cases in state courts in Southern California.

Investigators are very interested in identity theft because it often facilitates larger crimes. Your best defense strategy is to hire an experienced defense attorney to represent you in court. An experienced attorney will fight aggressively to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. That can have a major impact on the outcome of your case.

Don’t rely on inexperience to help you out, and don’t assume that you have no 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 identity theft case.

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Domestic violence case dropped against Sheck Wes
Domestic violence case dropped against Sheck Wes
Rapper Khadimou Rassoul Cheikh Fall, who performs under the name Sheck Wes, will not face domestic violence charges. Fall had been in a relationship with singer Justine Skye, who accused the rapper of domestic abuse and stalking. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office declined to pursue charges citing a lack of evidence. Skye still maintains a personal protection order against Fall. The case related to that order is still active.

According to the complaint, the incident in question took place at the Montrose Hotel in West Hollywood last summer. Fall denied the accusation. Skye claimed that Fall was present when a group of his associates stalked and beat a group Skye was with. She also claimed that he hit her at the Montrose hotel, after throwing her phone across the room. Skye also claims that Fall was verbally abusive to her. Skye and Fall continue to exchange accusations and denials of abuse and violence via Twitter.

Following publication of Skye’s accusations, Major League Soccer dropped Fall from an advertising campaign.

West Hollywood domestic violence lawyer


Domestic abuse claims can be serious. In addition to facing criminal charges, accusations – whether true or not – can have a major impact. When you face charges for abusing a spouse or partner, hire an experienced domestic violence lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Prosecutors can file domestic assault charges as either a misdemeanor or a felony, based on the circumstances. A history of past assault convictions can also have an impact on how the court handles your case.

Your best defense is to hire an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney to represent you in court. Many people believe that they can effectively represent themselves, and just explain the events to a judge. Quite possibly, that’s the worst way to defend yourself in court.

An experienced attorney will represent you and work hard to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. Ideally, your attorney can get the charges dropped. In some cases, your attorney may be able to dissuade the District Attorney from filing charges at all. The attorneys on the case will conduct a careful evaluation of the evidence against you before seeking charges. An experienced defense attorney will fight to exclude evidence and show that it won’t support a conviction.

Don’t risk your freedom on an inexperienced defense attorney, and don’t attempt to represent 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: Patrick Feller, via Flickr.com

DUI Laws In California May Get New Look
DUI Laws In California May Get New Look
In addition to reducing the DUI impairment standard to 0.05%, the Assembly may also take aim at current interlock rules. Under a new law, repeat drunk driving offenders must use an ignition interlock device to retain their driving privileges. Now, one bill aims to require interlock device use for motorists convicted of driving with a blood-alcohol reading ≥ 0.08%. The new proposal would apply to all drivers, regardless of repeat convictions.

The proposals are part of the state’s renewed efforts to reduce drunk driving fatalities on California roads. The lowered impairment standard is modeled after legislation the State of Utah recently adopted. Several other states, including Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Washington will also consider reducing their standards. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended lowering the legal impairment standard for years. Additionally, more than 100 countries have also adopted the 0.05% impairment standard.

European countries reported a greater than 50% decrease in alcohol related driving fatalities when they lowered the impairment standard. The drop occurred within 10 years of redefining impairment.

Los Angeles DUI attorney


When you face charges for a DUI in LA, hire an experienced DUI attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, and takes impaired driving cases in Los Angeles County.

Currently, about two-thirds of drunk driving arrests in California today result in misdemeanor charges. Misdemeanor charges, however, can still produce serious consequences. In addition to facing jail time, fines and other sanctions, drivers may also lose their driving privileges. Repeat offenses now require a mandatory ignition interlock device if you intend to or need to drive.

Reducing the impairment threshold will result in an increase in the number of drunk driving arrests and convictions. If interlock restrictions pass, any person convicted of impaired driving must install an ignition interlock. Other impacts of a drunk driving conviction will include an increase in the cost of your insurance premiums. Some insurers won’t even write policies for convicted drivers.

In many cases, an aggressive, experienced attorney can help you address your arrest in a way that minimizes its impact on your life. Don’t attempt to represent yourself in court and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do about a drunk driving arrest.

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: Andreas Lederer, via Flickr.com

Theft Ring Smashed in Glendale
Theft Ring Smashed in Glendale
A Van Nuys woman and a Los Angeles man face charges for operating a $100,000 retail theft operation. According to police, the pair received merchandise stolen from a host of retailers across the country. A spokesperson for the Glendale Police Department characterized the situation as a “major fencing operation.”

The investigation began last month following a shoplifting incident at a local mall. Following leads, the police sought search warrants for an apartment in Van Nuys. During the search, officers located merchandise from Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Calvin Klein, Champion, Gap, Hollister, Lululemon, Nike, Ralph Lauren Polo, Sunglass Hut, the Disney Store, Tommy Hilfiger, Ugg, Victoria’s Secret, and Zumiez.

Officers recovered nearly $40,000 in stolen sunglasses, some of which had been stolen in other states. Also among the stolen goods were designer handbags, backpacks and sports jerseys. They also located more than $50,000 in cash stashed in a bedroom. Loss prevention specialists from several retailers accompanied officers on the raid to identify their stores’ merchandise.

Both individuals face charges of receiving stolen merchandise. They could also face charges under the state’s new organized retail theft law. If convicted, they could face as much as three years in prison. If they also face organized retail theft charges, they could face a sentence of four years in prison.

Glendale theft lawyer


When you face accusations of stealing property, 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.

A prosecutor can bring theft charges in a number of ways, depending upon the circumstances. You could face either misdemeanor or felony charges, and a conviction could send you to jail or prison. That’s why having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is essential.

Mr. Helfend is an aggressive, experienced defender and has provided exceptional counsel to thousands of Californians in his decades of practice. He knows what it takes to successfully defend his clients, and he doesn’t cut corners.

Mr. Helfend manages each case he takes personally. That means you’ll always work directly with him on your matter. He does not pass cases to junior attorneys, so you’ll always have the benefit of his experience.

Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney and don’t assume that you have no options following an arrest. 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: Thomas Hawk, via Flickr.com

Murder charges await mother, boyfriend in child's death
Murder charges await mother, boyfriend in child’s death
A woman and her boyfriend will face murder charges in the death of a 9-year-old girl. Workers found the body of the girl stuffed into a duffel bag in Hacienda Heights.

Authorities extradited the girl’s mother from Texas to face charges here. They arrested the woman’s boyfriend earlier. According to police, the child died on or around March 1. Authorities in Texas stopped the couple at a border crossing March 8 and arrested the mother on an outstanding warrant. The boyfriend was allowed to continue driving to California. Authorities arrested him in a parking lot in San Diego on March 9. Following his arrest, prosecutors in Los Angeles charged him with one count of murder. He has a prior conviction for child abuse dating back to 2005. The mother also has a prior conviction from 2016 for enticing a minor into prostitution.

According to investigators, the couple and the child had moved from Long Beach about 10 months ago. The family had been living in motels and in their car just prior to the child’s death. If convicted, the mother and her boyfriend face as much as life in prison.

Los Angeles murder lawyer


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

Homicide is the most serious charge you can face in California. Juries in Los Angeles are more likely to approve the use of the death penalty than elsewhere in the US. Although the Governor has issued a moratorium on executions, that does not mean the death penalty has been overturned. Governor Newsom will not authorize the execution of any prisoner while he remains in office. Only the voters can eliminate the death penalty.

Even if a homicide conviction does not result in a death sentence, it could still result in a life sentence. That’s why you need an experienced, aggressive attorney by your side. An attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system and potentially avoid the most serious consequences.

Don’t hesitate to engage with an experienced attorney, and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do. 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: Sandy Dover, Flickr.com

Antitrust Case Against California Bail Firms
Antitrust Case Against California Bail Firms
A new antitrust case in California pits bail bond companies against consumers.

In the United States, people have a constitutional right to bail. The purpose of bail is to help preserve the presumption of innocence and ensure that the accused returns to court. Unless a judge determines that a person poses a serious flight risk, a serious risk to himself or others, or has been accused of a “capital” or “infamous” crime, a judge must set a bail amount.

California is considering changes to the state’s cash bail system. Although legislators passed a law that scraps system, that law is currently on hold. Instead, voters will decide in November 2020 whether to revive or ditch cash bail. Until then, judges may continue to require bail from suspects awaiting trial.

In many cases, individuals do not have the money on hand to post the required bail. In those cases, the judge may allow someone to post 10% of the required bail to a bail bond company. With the 10% in hand, the bail bond company will then post the bond on the person’s behalf. The bail bond is like an insurance policy that guarantees a person’s appearance. It can also guarantee the payment of fines and fees. The arrested person (or a family member) guarantees the remaining 90% of the bond with collateral – usually valuable property. If a person does not appear in court, the bond company sells the collateral to pay off the bond. If the person appears, the court may dissolve the bond. The person gets the collateral released and the bond company keeps the 10% as a fee.

In 1998, California voters approved a law that allowed bail companies to reduce the 10% premium. In 2004, the court upheld this practice of “rebating” premiums as legal. Bail companies in the state however have not lowered the premiums on bonds. In fact, they’re accused of misleading the public into believing that 10% is a required minimum. Bail bondsmen that have attempted to lower the premium have felt the ire of other bond companies. As a result, a new antitrust lawsuit alleges that consumers have suffered. Unlike overpayment consequences of other antitrust suits for price-fixing, the result here is that some people lose their freedom.

Although the state’s cash bail system may evaporate in November 2020, attorneys argue that consumers have been harmed. A standing agreement among bond companies means that consumers have paid higher bond premiums than necessary. The practice has also eliminated competition among bond providers.

California Antitrust Attorney


Although this case is an example of civil antitrust, it affects the treatment of criminal defendants. When you face charges of criminal anticompetitive activities, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for nearly 35 years. In that time, he has defended thousands of Californians in both federal and state courtrooms.

Don’t rely on inexperience when your freedom is at stake. 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: Thomas Hawk, via Flickr.com