Investigators made the recordings as part of a warrantless surveillance program of defendants in a bid-rigging case. The recordings captured judges, attorneys and courtroom staff, in addition to the five investigation targets.
The San Francisco ruling contradicts an earlier ruling that allowed the use of secret recordings in a similar case in Alameda. According to US District Judge Charles Breyer, the San Mateo case involved people who tried to keep their conversations private. In contrast, the people in the Alameda case talked openly.
In each case, the defendants colluded to keep the auction prices of foreclosed properties low. Later, both groups held private auctions to determine the property’s permanent ownership. In both cases, the court ultimately convicted the defendants of bid-rigging, an antitrust violation. The court also convicted the participants of conspiracy.
Los Angeles antitrust attorney
Although federal prosecutors have significant resources, this ruling shows that an aggressive defense attorney can make a difference. Both antitrust cases involved evidence collected secretly. The secret collection of evidence isn’t always illegal, but it may also not be admissible. An aggressive defense attorney will fight to have significant evidence excluded if investigators collect it improperly.
Robert Helfend is an experienced antitrust attorney in Los Angeles. With more than 30 years of courtroom defense experience, Mr. Helfend knows what it takes to successfully defend his clients. Mr. Helfend will fight aggressively to get charges against you reduced or dropped altogether. In addition, he will fight to exclude evidence that is central to the prosecution’s case.
When you face federal charges, don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney, or one who won’t fight for you. Instead, choose an experienced, aggressive attorney 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 antitrust case.
Photo Credit: Ognian Mladenov, via Flickr.com