Domestic violence case against actress dropped
Domestic violence case against actress dropped
Police in Florida will not file domestic violence charges against actress and former Fox News commentator Stacey Dash. Police in Pasco, FL arrested her after she called 911 to report a domestic assault.

When police arrived at the home Dash shares with her husband, police noted signs of injury on him. They arrested her and removed her from the scene. Her husband appeared in court on her behalf and declined to press charges. Authorities released Dash following the court appearance and will not pursue charges. Dash has been vocal about her experiences as a domestic violence victim in prior relationships.

In February 2018, Dash briefly entered the race for California’s 44th District seat in the US House of Representatives. She ran as a Republican. In March 2018, Dash withdrew from the race. The 44th District includes South Los Angeles, but is mostly Hispanic. Ultimately, incumbent Nanette Barragán, a Democrat from San Pedro, won a second term.

Originally a Democrat, Dash switched her party affiliation in 2012 and supported Mitt Romney. She signed with Fox News as a commentator in 2014 and parted company with the network in 2017. Dash maintains her support for the Republican Party, but claims that Hollywood has blacklisted her based on her political views.

Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer


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

This case illustrates a common outcome for a domestic assault arrest. The victimized party does not want to press charges and must address the legal issues that arise from an arrest. California has very specific laws about bringing and withdrawing domestic assault claims. If you and your spouse are dealing with an arrest, your best approach includes an experienced defense attorney.

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 domestic violence case.

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DUI Suspect Surrenders After Stealing CHP Vehicle
DUI Suspect Surrenders After Stealing CHP Vehicle
A suspected DUI driver surrendered to police after making off with a marked CHP vehicle. Police spotted a reckless driver in Palmdale earlier this month and attempted to stop the driver. Police initially broke off the pursuit as the driver sped down the 14 Freeway, but later re-engaged with the driver in an attempt to stop the car. The driver led police into Kern County and then pulled over. At that time the driver, stole a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and continued to flee.

The driver left the road several times and also struck pursuing Sheriff’s deputies. The driver then crashed the stolen truck and fled on foot. A woman also exited the stolen truck. While officers chased the suspect on foot, he got into an unoccupied CHP vehicle and fled the scene. Responding officers cornered the suspect and he eventually surrendered. Officers also located the woman and arrested her.

The man faces charges of driving while intoxicated, auto theft, fleeing police and assaulting an officer.

Los Angeles DUI attorney


When you face charges for drunk driving, hire an experienced DUI attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience in criminal defense. In his more than 3 decades of practice, he has defended thousands of Californians facing criminal charges.

Mr. Helfend does not judge clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he works hard to get charges against his clients reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he works hard to ensure that each client receives the best possible defense in court.

Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney. Instead, contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County DUI case.

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Theft Targeting Long Beach Woman Leads To Three Arrests
Theft Targeting Long Beach Woman Leads To Three Arrests
Three people face charges of grand theft after targeting older Hispanic women in several Southern California cities. One woman approached potential victims claiming to have a winning lottery ticket. She told the mark that she needed $15,000 in cash to pay the taxes on the windfall. If the victim would agree to provide cash up front, the winner would share a portion of the proceeds from the victim.

The second participant in the scam pretended to help the “winner” by making a cash contribution. The third participant in the scam pretended to work with California Lottery and “validated” the winning ticket over the phone. Following the arrests, police also discovered that the third participant is also suspected of operating a similar scam in San Diego.

The trio spent hours traveling through El Monte, Long Beach, North Hollywood, Ontario, Pacoima and San Fernando looking for victims. Once they found a mark, the “winner” would take the mark to her bank or back to her home to retrieve cash or valuables. Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department discovered the scam and observed the trio over several days before arresting them.

They face charges of grand theft and theft from an elder. If convicted, the three participants could face as much as four years in prison.

Long Beach theft lawyer


When you face charges related to grand theft, hire an experienced theft lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes theft cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

A prosecutor can bring grand theft charges as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Your charges will depend on the facts of your case and any prior criminal history. Regardless of the charges you face, your best defense begins with an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney. Having an attorney represent you in court can make a major difference in the outcome of your case.

Don’t rely on inexperience to defend you and don’t attempt to represent yourself in any criminal matter. 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: òscar, via Flickr.com

Drug Possession Charge In Rapper's Death
Drug Possession Charge In Rapper’s Death
A Los Angeles federal grand jury indicted three men for drug possession and distribution in the death of rapper Mac Miller. The men, residents of West Hollywood, Westwood and Lake Havasu, AZ face charges of conspiring to distribute controlled substances resulting in death and distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. One of the men also faces charges of being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Prosecutors allege that the three men provided Malcolm McCormick, whose stage name was Mac Miller, with fentanyl-laced narcotics. The distribution took place two days prior to McCormick’s death on September 7, 2018. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office listed McCormick’s official cause of death as “mixed drug toxicity.” The entertainer reportedly had cocaine, fentanyl and alcohol in his system at the time of his death.

Investigators allege that one of the men agreed to provide McCormick with 10 oxycodone pills, cocaine and Xanax. Instead of providing unadulterated oxycodone, the man provided counterfeit oxycodone laced with fentanyl. One of the other indicted men provided the counterfeit pills and the other delivered them to the third man, who sold them to McCormick. Investigators also said that another unindicted individual provided McCormick with additional drugs prior to his death, but the additional drugs did not contain fentanyl.

Following McCormick’s death, the supplier continued to provide the fentanyl-laced drugs to McCormick’s dealer. Police also said that the delivery man warned another individual about police undercover informants following McCormick’s death.

If convicted on the drug charges, the men face a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years, and could receive life sentences. The weapons charge could also add 10 years to one man’s sentence.

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 three decades of experience, exclusively in criminal defense. He takes drug possession cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. He also takes drug cases in any federal district in the United States.

While there is such a thing as “simple drug possession,” drug possession laws are not simple! As this case demonstrates, the law can hold you responsible for the death of someone if you provided them with illicit drugs.

Your best defense in this case is to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Don’t settle for less than the best 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 drug possession case.

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Murder Suspect Faces Death Penalty in Hollywood Killings
Murder Suspect Faces Death Penalty in Hollywood Killings
A man convicted of murder in the stabbing deaths of two women in Hollywood faces the death penalty. Michael Gargiulo, an air conditioner repairman, maintains his innocence following his August conviction. A jury found him guilty of the deaths of two women in 2001 and 2005. He is also suspected in the death of a neighbor in Chicago in 1993. Based on Gargiulo’s statements, police believe he may be responsible for more murders.

Prosecutors painted Gargiulo as a serial killer who derived a psychosexual thrill from killing women. In both cases, the killer attacked and mutilated the victims in their homes. A third woman who survived an attack in Santa Monica in 2008 testified against the man in court. Also testifying was actor Aston Kutcher, who planned a date with one of the victims the day she died. Kutcher testified that he had plans to pick up one of the victims, who was a student at the time of her death. He said he was late and when he knocked on her door, there was no answer. He looked in the window and saw a “wine stain” on the carpet. Police later said the stain was the victim’s blood.

Kutcher testified that he contacted police immediately upon learning of the woman’s death. He said he knew his fingerprints were on the woman’s door and thought the police might consider him a suspect. Investigators told Kutcher that he was never considered a suspect. At the time of the woman’s death in 2001, Kutcher was starring in the Fox television show, “That 70’s Show.”

Police developed Garguilo as a suspect after collecting his blood at the scene of the unsuccessful Santa Monica attack. They arrested him two months later. Prosecutors in Illinois have charged Gargiulo with murder but will not try their case until the conclusion of the California cases. Although Gargiulo has been incarcerated since 2008, numerous delays prevented his trial from moving forward. The delays arose because Gargiulo changed attorneys multiple times. Also, he represented himself for a period of about three years. Gargiulo proclaimed his innocence in a 2011 episode of the CBS true-crime show, “48 Hours.”

In August, a jury convicted the man of two counts of first-degree murder and special allegations of multiple murders and lying in wait. The special allegations make Gargiulo eligible for the death penalty. In addition, the jury convicted him of one count of attempted murder and attempted escape.

Santa Monica murder lawyer


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

When you face homicide charges in California, your life is literally at stake. Circumstances of the case against you can make you eligible for the death penalty. While the current governor has issued an execution moratorium, you can still receive the death penalty. Currently, about 750 Californians sit on death row awaiting execution.

Because the consequences of the death penalty are permanent, you need to have an aggressive, experienced attorney working on your defense. This case demonstrates the impact of switching attorneys and even representing yourself. Eleven years between arrest and conviction is a long time to wait for trial. An effective, aggressive attorney can help guide you through trial preparation, and the trial process.

Don’t rely on inexperience and don’t attempt to represent yourself in a homicide 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.

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A federal judge ordered StarKist Tuna to pay a $100M fine for antitrust violations. The company participated in a two-year price-fixing scam with other tuna producers to artificially inflate canned tuna prices.

StarKist was the last of three companies to plead guilty in the scam. The company had sought to lower the fine to $50M, saying that a $100M fine could bankrupt it. The judge declined the request, noting the company’s assets and its ability to borrow money. The company can also seek an extended payment schedule on the fine. The current payment schedule calls on the company to pay $16M before the end of 2020. Between 2021 and 2024, the company will pay $21M per year in fines.

A failed attempt to buy Bumble Bee (a StarKist competitor) by Thai Union Group revealed the scam in 2015. Thai Union Group owns Chicken of the Sea, a participant in the scam. Chicken of the Sea agreed to cooperate with federal investigators in exchange for avoiding prosecution. Bumble Bee Foods pleaded guilty in 2017 and paid a $25M fine. Prosecutors in that case wanted a $136M fine against Bumble Bee Foods. They chose to seek a lower amount because a high fine would have bankrupted the company. The three companies are also facing civil lawsuits related to the scam from retailers like Walmart, Target and Kroger. The retailers claim that the price fixing scheme artificially inflated the price of tuna, and damaged their sales. The retailers have already settled similar claims against Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee.

Federal Criminal Antitrust Attorney


When you face charges of criminal anticompetitive practices, hire an experienced antitrust attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience as a federal criminal defense attorney. He takes cases in any US District Court. He also takes state-level cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Anticompetitive practices like price fixing, bid rigging and market allocation can lead to both criminal and civil complaints. When you face criminal charges, it’s essential to work with an experienced, aggressive attorney. Federal prosecutors are aggressive, so you need to fight back with an attorney who will stand up for you.

Don’t settle for 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: Rusty Clark ~100K Photos, via Flickr.com

Sex crimes land Los Angeles coach in prison for 71 years
Sex crimes land Los Angeles coach in prison for 71 years
A former San Fernando and Sun Valley wrestling coach will spend 71 years in prison for sex crimes. The man worked in a number of different schools for 25 years before complaints surfaced about the man. According to victims, the coach groomed students, then coerced them into performing sex acts with him and other students.

The man told students that “loyalty” was important above all other things to prevent them from informing authorities. Prosecutors presented 9 victims who were pre-teens at the time the abuse began. A jury convicted the man in May of 47 felonies that occurred between 1991 and 2017.

The man coached children at both John H. Francis Polytechnic High School and the Boys and Girls Club. According to investigators, the abuse occurred on school’s campus and in vehicles owned by the Boys and Girls Club. Additionally, some abusive acts occurred in the coach’s personal vehicles and in the victims’ homes.

At least twelve victims, including those who brought criminal charges, are suing the LAUSD and the Boys and Girls Club. In the lawsuit, the victims claim that the LAUSD missed obvious warning signs regarding the coach. The lawsuit contends that the organizations failed to properly supervise the coach, enabling him to abuse his victims. A female campus aide at the high school lodged a complaint against the coach in 2015. In that incident, the victim said the coach propositioned her and offered money for sex. The school responded to the complaint by suspending the man for one year.

Police arrested the coach in 2017 after a victim filmed a sexual encounter between herself and the coach. She turned the video over to the Los Angeles Police Department. She did not report the matter to the LAUSD because she did not think the LAUSD would believe her.

Los Angeles sex crimes lawyer


When you face charges for sexual offenses, hire an experienced sex crimes lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes sex offense cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Convictions for sexual offenses aren’t like other convictions. In most cases, a sexual offense conviction will require you to register as a sex offender. That designation will follow you around no matter where you go.

It will impact your ability to find housing and employment. It can also affect your ability to travel outside the country. You may also need to follow restrictions on computer usage, and who you can live with and near. In addition, local law enforcement officials will conduct compliance checks to ensure that your registration information is up to date. If you fail to register or update your registration, you could return to prison.

Your best defense is an aggressive, experienced criminal defense attorney, who will work hard to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. 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: Mark Lundy, via Flickr.com

Securities Fraud Sentence for Long Island Men
Securities Fraud Sentence for Long Island Men
Two Long Island, NY residents who targeted elderly investors will spend 6-10 years in federal prison for securities fraud. The men were just two of more than a dozen people indicted in the scheme in July 2017.Other indicted participants worked in Los Angeles, San Diego and St. Petersburg, FL.

Investigators said the team operated a “pump-and-dump” investment fraud that targeted vulnerable investors. The participants sold essentially worthless stocks whose price had been artificially inflated. The two Long Island residents operated a “boiler room” that tried to pressure investors to purchase the inflated stocks.

As part of the plea agreement, one man pleaded guilty to securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. The other man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The judge in the case ordered both men to pay restitution to their victims. The judge also ordered them to forfeit assets.

In some cases, the men told investors that the Walt Disney Company was about to purchase a stock he was selling. Another pitch led investors to believe that a stock being offered had similar potential to Twitter. Two other participants have already been sentenced in the scam. Four participants are still awaiting trial and the rest have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Los Angeles securities fraud attorney


When you face federal or state charges related to investment fraud, hire an experienced securities fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes federal cases in any US District. He also takes state-level cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively and directly manages every case he accepts. He does not pass cases to less experienced attorneys. This practice can sometimes happen in larger, less personal law firms.

His plain-English style also means that you’ll always know the exact status of your case. He will accompany you to every court appearance and will help you navigate the federal justice system.

Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney and don’t assume that a plea bargain is your best defense strategy. 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.

Photo Credit: Richard Blank, via Flickr.com

Embezzlement Sentence For Credit Union Manager
Embezzlement Sentence For Credit Union Manager
The former manager of the CBS Employees Federal Credit Union will spend 14 years in federal prison for embezzlement. The scheme, which bankrupted the credit union, went unnoticed for more than two decades. During that time, the man took more than $40M from the credit union.

He spent the money on luxury goods, trips and gambling. He also bought luxury cars, traveled on a private jet and paid his wife a $5,000 per week allowance. The same day authorities announced the charges against the man, the credit union closed its doors. The University Credit Union in Los Angeles assumed the bankrupt credit union’s assets and operations.

As part of the plea deal, the man agreed to forfeit property, jewelry and luxury vehicles. He spent much of the stolen money on a gambling habit and services. He was able to move depositor funds to his accounts by making online payments to himself. He also forged the signatures of other employees on checks written to himself.

A credit union employee discovered the scheme after finding a $35,000 check written to the manager with no explanation. The employee quietly conducted an audit for the 2018 calendar year and found nearly $4M in similar payments. The following week, the credit union suspended the manager. The same day, the manager’s wife called police to say that her husband was planning to leave the country. Police took the man into custody immediately.

Following his arrest, he admitted to stealing money from the credit union for 20 years. Prior to working as the credit union manager, the man worked as a bank examiner. He told investigators that his past experience helped him to disguise the fraud.

Los Angeles embezzlement lawyer


When you face charges for work-related theft, hire an experienced embezzlement lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes embezzlement cases in any US District Court. He also takes state-level cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Mr. Helfend specializes exclusively in criminal defense. He has earned a reputation as an aggressive criminal defense attorney, and knows what it takes to succeed in court. He does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. His first priority is to get the charges against his clients reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work toward the best possible resolution to each client’s case.

Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney. Instead, hire counsel with the knowledge and experience to defend 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: Robert Huffstutter, via Flickr.com

Fraud Charges for Los Angeles area medical practitioners
Fraud Charges for Los Angeles area medical practitioners
Federal authorities charged several Los Angeles County medical practitioners with fraud earlier this month. Investigators accused providers from Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Alhambra, Whittier, Los Angeles and Huntington Beach of bilking Medicare and Medicaid. Another provider from Calabasas faces charges of conspiracy to commit honest services mail and wire fraud.

Investigators say that the defendants created or participated in billing schemes worth about $150 million. In most cases, the doctors ordered unnecessary tests and prescriptions. In other cases, they submitted bills for services that they never provided.

Other providers from North Hollywood and Valley Village face charges of trying to defraud Medi-Cal of $10M. In that case, the providers submitted bills for services, testing and prescriptions that were not provided.

Investigators from multiple agencies, including the FBI and California agencies participated in the investigations and arrests.

Los Angeles Fraud Attorney


When you face charges of insurance fraud or related fraudulent activities, your best defense is to hire an experienced Los Angeles fraud attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes federal cases in any US District Court. He also takes state-level cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he simply works hard to get the charges reduced or dropped. When that’s not possible, he will work toward the best possible resolution to your case.

Convictions for insurance fraud can have a devastating effect on your ability to practice and maintain your professional licensure. These consequences can carry on well after you have resolved the case against you.

Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney, and don’t assume that a plea bargain is your best option in a federal case. 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 fraud case.

Photo Credit: Lauren, via Flickr.com