Antitrust Case Nets Guilty Plea
Antitrust Case Nets Guilty Plea
A former salesman for a North Carolina furniture firm pleaded guilty to antitrust violations in federal court in Charleston, NC. Prosecutors had accused the man of rigging bids for furnishings for US embassies around the world.

The man provided a federal employee with inducements to award contracts to the man’s firm. Those inducements included meals and entertainment tickets to concerts and ballets. The man admitted that he had received information regarding competing bids prior to receiving the contract from the State Department.

Prosecutors said that the man gained a competitive advantage over at least three other bidders in the scheme. The man, who previously worked for Bernhardt Furniture Co., of Lenoir, NC. In addition to receiving bid information, the man also received design plans. Using the information, he constructed a highly competitive bid.

When he returns to court, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. The judge could also impose another three years of supervised release following the incarceration period. The State Department’s Office of the Inspector general initiated the investigation into the bids after finding irregularities in the process.

Los Angeles antitrust lawyer


When you face federal charges for an antitrust violation, hire an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of criminal defense experience and takes federal cases in any US circuit. Additionally, he takes state level antitrust cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Antitrust laws provide both civil and criminal penalties. Criminal antitrust violations include bid rigging, price fixing and market allocation schemes. Any anticompetitive practice is subject to federal and state antitrust laws.

Many federal defendants assume that their only option in federal court is to plead guilty. With the right attorney and the right strategy, it is possible to prevail against federal prosecutors. Sometimes, the evidence is overwhelming and a guilty plea may be your best option, but it shouldn’t be your primary strategy.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney, or one who won’t fight aggressively 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 antitrust/identity theft case.

Photo Credit: Catalyst Workplace Activation, via Flickr.com

Sex Crimes Plea From Youth Basketball Coach
Sex Crimes Plea From Youth Basketball Coach
A former Santa Clarita basketball coach pleaded no contest last month to sex crimes involving children. The plea included nine felony counts including lewd acts on a child and sexual battery. As part of the deal, it’s likely that the man will serve nine years in state prison.

Los Angeles Police Department detectives began investigating the man last year after a victim came forward. During the investigation, police located an additional eight victims. According to police, the incidents dated back to 2008 and the victims were between 14 and 17 at the time of the incidents.

Prosecutors say that the man molested the boys at their homes under the guise of delivering physical therapy treatments. The man gained access to the boys through local high school basketball programs. He also worked to gain the trust of the boys’ parents. The man also persuaded the parents to allow him to offer private coaching sessions to improve their game skills.

Investigators have not identified all of the schools where the man worked, but he did formerly coach at West Ranch High School, Canyon High School and Trinity Classical Academy. Prosecutors have said that none of the assaults happened on school grounds.

Los Angeles sex crimes attorney


When you face charges for sexual offenses, your best defense strategy is to hire an experienced sex crimes attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience in criminal defense.

Sex crimes convictions can have a lifelong impact on you. Most sex offense convictions require lifetime registration on the state’s Sex Offender Registry. This potentially limits where you can live and work. Despite state court rulings to the contrary, many localities still attempt to enforce illegal ordinances that attempt to dictate where you can live and who you can live with.

An experienced, aggressive attorney can help you fight the sexual offense charges against you, and potentially get them reduced or dropped. Many attorneys don’t want to defend people accused of sexual offenses. This results in weak defenses and poor outcomes in court for those accused.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney and don’t assume that there’s nothing you can do to defend yourself. M 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: mvongrue, via Flickr.com

Securities fraud suspected arrested at Los Angeles airport
Securities fraud suspected arrested at Los Angeles airport
Authorities arrested a man suspected of securities fraud at the Los Angeles International Airport. He now faces charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The man’s sister also faces charges of wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.

Federal prosecutors in New York say the siblings orchestrated a massive cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. Known as OneCoin, the fraud purported to be a multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency company. In reality it was nothing but a scam.

Investigators say that the pair initiated the scam in 2014 and enticed investors to give the company their money. OneCoin investors received commissions for recruiting other investors into the scam. According to the FBI, between late 2014 and 2016, the conspirators amassed more than $3B in investor funds. Emails between one defendant and an unnamed co-conspirator show that the writer understood that their commission model was unsustainable. It also directly appealed to “greedy” investors. The defendant also claimed to be able to manipulate the exchange to change the cryptocurrency’s worth.

Initially, the sister ran the fraud, but she disappeared in 2017 and remains out of custody. At that time, the brother took over the company’s operations. He traveled worldwide soliciting investors in the OneCoin scheme. The company itself is based in Bulgaria, and the defendants are Russian citizens. The pair perpetuated the fraud by providing investors with phony documentation about the currency’s actual worth.

The fraud gained the attention of law enforcement agencies around the world. While the brother remains jailed in the United States, authorities continue to look for his sister.

Los Angeles Securities fraud lawyer


When you face charges for irregularities in the sales of securities, hire an experienced securities fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes federal cases in any US District Court. He also takes cases in state courts in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Securities fraud cases can be very complex. Proper defense may require the use of financial experts who can testify on your behalf. Sometimes, the prosecutor’s case against you is overwhelming, and an acquittal is not a possibility. When that’s your circumstance, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will work hard to get selected charges against you reduced or dropped. This can help reduce the impact of a conviction on you and limit the judge’s sentence.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced lawyer for this kind of help. 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.

Photo Credit: Richard Patterson, via Flickr.com

Embezzlement Plea Lands LA Man In Prison
Embezzlement Plea Lands LA Man In Prison
A Los Angeles man will spend 6 years in federal prison for embezzlement following a guilty plea. The sentence represents the first of several expected in a scheme involving a Houston construction project.

According to federal prosecutors, the nine co-conspirators submitted fake invoices to the Beck Group for a building renovation project. One of the participants, a Houston man, served as the construction manager for the project in 2016 and 2017. He approved the phony invoices from the shell companies, which the general contractor then paid.

The Los Angeles man created shell companies to submit invoices for products and services. Following payment, the men shifted payment proceeds to themselves and the other conspirators. In addition, they received kickbacks from the other conspirators. The conspirators provided nothing of value to the project. All of the co-conspirators have pleaded guilty to the scheme.

According to prosecutors, the conspirators submitted phony invoices totaling $3.4M for non-existent work on a luxury hotel redevelopment project. The general contractor completed the hotel rehabilitation project, using federal funds from a controversial immigration program, in 2017. Prior to the redevelopment project, the building in downtown Houston, had been abandoned.

The remaining co-conspirators will return to court in the following weeks for sentencing. They could face as much as 20 years in prison and maximum fines of $6.8M.

Los Angeles Embezzlement Attorney


When you face federal or state charges related to theft from an employer, hire an experienced embezzlement attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes federal cases in any US District Court. He also takes state cases in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.

Embezzlement is primarily a financial crime of opportunity. When the alleged theft involves federal funds, the prosecution can be brutal. That’s why you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney in court.

While federal laws do have significant penalties, an experienced criminal defense attorney can sometimes get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that isn’t possible, the experienced attorney will work toward the best possible outcome for the client. Positive outcomes could include reduced sentences and/or reduced fines.

Don’t settle for 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 embezzlement case.

Photo Credit: Marriott

Identity theft conviction for Northridge man
Identity theft conviction for Northridge man
A jury found a Northridge man guilty of a slew of charges, including identity theft, fraud and conspiracy. Jurors convicted the man of all 51 counts he faced as the leader of a theft operation.

According to federal prosecutors, the man and his conspirators used stolen Social Security numbers to apply for and get credit. They also used stolen information to open shell corporations, bank accounts and get loans. Additionally, the conspirators purchased homes and cars.

Conspirators sought loans on cars that they had already shipped overseas. Additionally, the group persuaded some merchants to participate in the scheme. Merchants allowed conspirators to withdraw money through Point-of-Sale transactions. In addition, the leader reported no income whatsoever to the IRS between 2009 and 2017.

When authorities initially attempted to arrest him in Atlanta, he fled to a home he owned in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. They later took the man into custody there. Authorities then searched the man’s home in Northridge and two Los Angeles area storage units. During the search, investigators found stolen Social Security numbers, identity documents and dozens of fraudulent credit cards.

The man will return to federal court on August 5 for sentencing. He faces a maximum sentence of more than 1,000 years in prison.

Northridge identity theft attorney


When you face charges for identity related crimes, hire an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of federal criminal defense experience. He takes cases in any federal circuit in the United States.

Federal prosecutors are well resourced and can stack up an impossible number of charges against you. This is enough to scare any defendant! Often, defendants choose to plead guilty rather than face the uncertain outcome of a trial. With an experienced federal criminal defense attorney on your side, it is possible to successfully defend yourself.

Don’t rely on inexperience and don’t assume that a guilty plea is your best move. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County identity theft case.

Photo Credit: ristok, via Flickr.com

Domestic violence investigation dropped against Rick Schroder
Domestic violence investigation dropped against Rick Schroder
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office will not pursue domestic violence charges against actor Rick Schroder. Police arrested the actor on May 1, after Schroder’s girlfriend reported an assault.

According to police, Schroder’s girlfriend called 911 to report that the actor had punched her. Police dispatched deputies to the scene, but the woman became uncooperative with them. She refused to tell deputies what happened and would not allow them to take pictures. During the 911 call, she told the operator that Schroder had punched her in the face. The following day, the woman told investigators that she believed Schroder hit her accidentally after she startled him while he slept. At the time of the incident, she claimed that Schroder was under the influence of Ambien and alcohol.

This is the second time Schroder has been arrested for domestic violence. According to investigators, they arrested Schroder last month for an incident his girlfriend described as “a big misunderstanding.”

In evaluating the case, the District Attorney’s Office acknowledged that moving forward with the case would have been difficult. The victim was non-cooperative and allegedly under the influence of alcohol when the event occurred.

Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer


When you face charges for domestic assault, 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 and throughout Southern California.

This case demonstrates the difficulty you can encounter in a domestic assault case. Often victims and witnesses don’t want to cooperate with police or the District Attorney. People may find themselves in challenging domestic situations, and misunderstandings do occur. When you find yourself facing charges, your best strategy is to hire a knowledgeable, experienced criminal defense attorney to represent 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 domestic violence case.

Photo Credit: zacharmstrong, via Flickr.com

DUI Crash Results in Not Guilty Plea in Lancaster Death
DUI Crash Results in Not Guilty Plea in Lancaster Death
An elementary school principal from Pearblossom pleaded not guilty to murder charges in aDUI death last fall. The crash occurred on November 15, 2018 in Lancaster. According to witnesses, the woman crossed the center line and crashed head-on with another car.

The driver of the other vehicle, a 29-year old Lancaster woman, died at the scene. The suspect suffered non-life-threatening injuries

According to court records, the principal, a 36-year-old woman, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. She remains jailed in lieu of a $2M bail. The suspect will return to court on June 3 to determine the date of her preliminary hearing. If convicted, the woman could receive a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

Lancaster DUI attorney


When you face charges related to a DUI in LA, hire an experienced DUI attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes drunk driving cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

This case represents the worst possible scenario for someone arrested for drunk driving. When impaired driving results in injury, you can face felony charges. When impaired driving results in death, you can face second-degree murder charges. In this case, the suspect, an active member of the community, sits in jail because of a high bail.

In most cases, a high bail isn’t warranted. If this describes your situation, an experienced attorney will first work to get excessive bail lowered or eliminated. The next priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. This strategy is key to limiting (or eliminating) the possibility of significant prison time. It may not work in all circumstances, but an aggressive, experienced defense attorney will pursue all possible avenues on his client’s behalf.

Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney, and don’t assume that you don’t have any defense options. Instead, work with an experienced, aggressive attorney who 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 DUI case.

Photo Credit: Chris Yarzab, via Flickr.com

Theft Suspects Indicted in Federal Court
Theft Suspects Indicted in Federal Court
A Los Angeles federal grand jury indicted five people for theft for their roles in elaborate jewelry heists. According to investigators, the suspects would follow their intended targets before robbing them of money and gems.

All five suspects are already in federal custody. Each faces charges of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery.

Three of the suspects have local addresses in Los Angeles and Pomona. The remaining suspects hail from Australia and Colombia. One of the Los Angeles suspects, along with the Australian man also face second counts of interference with commerce by robbery. Investigators claim that the men began operating in 2017 and conspired to commit robberies in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.

Police identified one of the Los Angeles suspects as the ringleader and say he recruited Colombians to assist in robberies. According to investigators, the group targeted jewelers in stores or malls in Orange County or in Los Angeles’ Jewelry District. In addition, they located other victims at certain trade shows.

One member of the crew would follow the intended target, who was carrying large sums of cash or jewelry. The scout would wait for an opportunity to rob the victim, even if it meant following the victim for days.

Authorities arrested three of the men last month as they were targeting an intended victim at a Santa Clara show. The men tailed the intended victim to jewelry stores, a home and the Santa Clara Convention Center. Police arrested a fourth suspect in Las Vegas, NV and arrested the fifth suspect in Los Angeles the next day. Three of the men face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The other two suspects face as much as 40 years in prison, if convicted.

Los Angeles theft lawyer


When you face charges related to stealing, hire an experienced theft lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes cases federal cases in any US District Court. He also takes state cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Don’t attempt to represent yourself and don’t assume that a guilty plea is your best strategy 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 theft case.

Photo Credit: Mathilda Samuelsson, via Flickr.com

Drug Possession Bust Yields $1.25M in Meth
Drug Possession Bust Yields $1.25M in Meth
Alhambra and West Covina police arrested two men in San Bernardino County for drug possession. According to investigators, the suspects had 500 pounds of methamphetamine, as well as fentanyl, cash and weapons. The arrests took place at an Apple Valley auto repair facility. The suspects, a 55-year old man from Apple Valley and a 21-year-old man from Ontario face a range of charges. They include possession of methamphetamine for sale, transporting methamphetamine for sale and possession of methamphetamine while armed.

Officers from Alhambra and West Covina in Los Angeles County investigated the suspects as part of a larger operation. The larger investigation targeted drug trafficking by the Sinaloa cartel in the region.

Los Angeles 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 cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

While California has changed some of its drug laws, possession for sale is not among them. You can face serious prison time and fines for a possession conviction. In addition, you can face additional penalties for possessing certain types of drugs, even in small quantities. Working for or as part of a gang can also put you in jeopardy of federal RICO statutes. Conviction in a RICO case could send you to prison for life.

That’s why you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney following an arrest. In his more than 30 years of practice, Mr. Helfend has defended thousands of Californians against the most serious charges. His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will always work toward the best possible resolution for your case.

Don’t settle for inexperienced counsel, or an attorney who isn’t interested in exploring all avenues of 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 drug possession case.

Photo Credit: Pictures of Money, via Flickr.com

Murder Suspect Arrested in Barry Crane Murder
Murder Suspect Arrested in Barry Crane Murder
Police in Rutherford College, NC arrested a murder in a 1985 Los Angeles cold case. The victim, Barry Crane, was a television producer and director. The 57-year-old Crane died after being beaten and strangled by an unknown assailant. A housekeeper found Crane’s body wrapped in bedding in the victim’s garage. Crane, who was a champion bridge player, attended a tournament the night before he died.

Police could not identify any property or missing valuables from Crane’s home, however his car was gone. Investigators found the vehicle near Frazier Park the same day they discovered Crane’s body. They collected fingerprints, cigarette butts and blood samples, along with Crane’s personal property.

The case went cold almost immediately and the police did not develop any suspects in the case. Last year, a fingerprint specialist informed the LAPD investigators that she could analyze the fingerprints they’d recovered from the car in 1985. One of the prints matched a man whom police in Utah arrested in 1997 for domestic violence. Investigators obtained a search warrant for a social media site and a cell phone carrier. Using the search warrant, they located the man in Rutherford College, NC.

At the time, the man worked in a local auto repair shop. Police there observed the man discarding a disposable coffee cup, and several cigarette butts. They collected the evidence and extracted the suspect’s DNA. The DNA on the freshly discarded cigarette butts matched the DNA from cigarette butts retrieved from Crane’s car.

Last week, police in Los Angeles charged the man with Crane’s murder. Hiatt professed to have no recollection of the victim, but said he remembered the name after a reporter asked. The suspect also said he did not recall killing Crane, but acknowledged his heavy drug use in 1985. Los Angeles authorities are seeking to extradite the suspect to Los Angeles for trial.

Los Angeles murder lawyer


When you face charges for 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. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you could face the death penalty. While the governor has declared a moratorium on executions, prosecutors can still seek and win the death penalty in some cases.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney to defend you, or one who doesn’t really want to work aggressively on 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 murder case.

Photo Credit: Umberto Salvagnin, Flickr.com