Fraud Defendant Lands Four-Year Sentence
Fraud Defendant Lands Four-Year Sentence
A man posing as a United States Navy officer will spend four years behind bars for fraud. The man is actually one of nine people indicted by federal authorities in a scheme to steal electronics worth millions of dollars.

The group used a fake identity to pose as a naval contracting officer in an attempt to get sensitive electronics from authorized military contractors. The identity was fabricated and did not represent an actual US Navy officer.

The co-conspirators, who operated from Los Angeles, Virginia, Maryland, Mexico and Nigeria posed as the fake officer to order computer equipment, communications equipment, iPhones and other electronic devices from three defense contractors. The contractors are located in the states of Washington, Maryland and Virginia. The firms shipped the goods to offices in Frederick, MD and Chantilly, VA.

Federal Express flagged the delivery as suspicious and would not complete the delivery. Two of the conspirators visited a FedEx facility in an attempt to get the delivery company to release the shipment. FedEx refused, and authorities arrested the pair, who are siblings. Six defendants have already been sentenced in relation to the fraud. Two others are awaiting sentencing. A ninth defendant is not in custody.

Federal Fraud Lawyer


When you face charges related to fraud involving a government agency, hire an experienced fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. With 35 years of experience, exclusively in criminal defense, Robert Helfend is a top-rated defender. He takes federal criminal cases in any US District Court. He also takes state level criminal cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Federal prosecutors are extremely aggressive when pursuing crimes against the government, like tax fraud. An aggressive, experienced defense attorney is essential to your defense strategy. Mr. Helfend has built a reputation for his assertive defense, and will fight hard for you in court.

Many defendants facing federal charges assume that their best option is to seek a plea deal. A plea deal may or may not be in your best interest. Whether a plea deal is a good idea depends entirely on the circumstances of your case. An experienced attorney can help you determine your best course of action, and provide legal support to you throughout the legal process.

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: DVIDSHUB, via Flickr.com

Identity theft charge for fake art dealer
Identity theft charge for fake art dealer
A Los Angeles man faces federal charges for identity theft and art fraud after attempting to sell fake artwork. The man sold paintings he claimed were created by modern artists, including Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

According to investigators, the man acquired fake artwork, then forged certificates of authenticity. He purchased embossers to make it appear as though the artwork was authenticated by the estates of the artists, all of whom are dead. The man sold one such painting in 2017 for $50,000 through a website devoted to art sales. About a year later, the work was positively determined to be fake. The website refunded the buyer the full purchase amount.

The man also used the fake artwork as collateral for loans. After receiving the money from lenders, he defaulted on the loans. When the lender attempted to sell the work at auction, the auction house determined that the piece was a fake.

In 2015, the man “donated” a fake piece to a charity, then claimed a write-off on his taxes. The write-off allowed the man to collect an income tax refund of about $55,000. He also claimed that other artwork had been stolen from his home, resulting in additional tax write-offs.

He has agreed to plead guilty to fraud, aggravated identity theft and tax fraud. He could be sentenced to as much as 25 years in prison when he returns to court for sentencing. He also faces a similar set of charges in the State of Florida.

Federal identity theft attorney


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

Your best defense begins with an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney. Mr. Helfend manages every case personally, so you will always have the benefit of his experience. Although federal prosecutors are aggressive, they’re not invincible. Don’t assume that your best option is a plea deal!

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: rocor, via Flickr.com

Domestic violence conviction for Disney star
Domestic violence conviction for Disney star
A former Disney child actor will spend a year in jail after pleading no contest to domestic violence charges. In addition to jail time, the man will also spend five years on formal probation. He is also expected to complete a 52-week domestic violence class and an outpatient alcohol treatment program. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case.

Last November, the 27-year-old actor allegedly attacked his girlfriend, leaving her hospitalized with a concussion. He left the scene before the police arrived, but officers arrested the man two days later. This is his second conviction for domestic violence. He pleaded no contest to a single count of spousal battery in 2018 for an incident that occurred in 2017.

According to the actor’s profile on IMDB, he began working when he was 12 and is still active.

Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer


When you face charges for spousal abuse or domestic assault, hire an experienced domestic violence lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience exclusively in criminal defense. He is a top-rated defender in Los Angeles County and takes domestic abuse defense cases.

Few cases are more emotional than one involving domestic assault. Many times, the “victim” does not want to pursue charges, but feels pressured to do so. In other cases, the victim reconsiders and would like to take a different approach to the relationship. Sometimes, the victim wants to press charges, but provable facts are scarce.

Regardless of the situation, your best defense is to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend does not judge clients based on the charges they face. Instead, he simply works hard to get the charges against them reduced or dropped. Avoiding felony convictions is very important. Felony convictions can make finding work and housing difficult upon release. An experienced attorney can help you through the adjudication process, and help you understand the impact of each decision you’ll be asked to make.

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: Rev. Dr. Disney Wizard, via Flickr.com

DUI driver in Huntington Beach crash sentenced
DUI driver in Huntington Beach crash sentenced
An Orange County woman who killed three teenagers in a Huntington Beach DUI crash will spend 51 year-to-life in prison. She was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and one count of causing great bodily injury while intoxicated. The teens, who were in California on spring break, were from Las Vegas.

According to police, the woman’s BAC was nearly 3.5 times the legal limit for intoxication at the time of the crash. She had been drinking at a number of bars the evening of the crash. The 29-year-old driver slammed into the back end of the teens’ vehicle, which was stopped at a red light in Huntington Beach. Upon impact, the teens’ car burst into flames. The crash and subsequent fire killed three of the four occupants. One teen who survived the crash suffered 2nd-degree burns in the incident.

Other drivers, who noticed the woman’s erratic behavior were reporting the woman to police when the crash occurred.

Huntington Beach 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, including DUI in LA.

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 just as hard to ensure that each client receives the best possible defense in court.

About two-thirds of drunk driving cases in California result in misdemeanor charges. When you have developed a history of DUI, or you have injured or killed someone in a crash, you’re likely to face felony charges. These cases require the assistance of an experienced, aggressive attorney. Do not attempt to represent yourself in court, and do not plead guilty without consulting an 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 DUI case.

Photo Credit: Larry Koester, via Flickr.com

Theft of Hearse in Pasadena Results in Arrest
Theft of Hearse in Pasadena Results in Arrest
A Montclair man faces charges of theft for stealing a hearse with a body still inside. According to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, a mortuary employee was delivering a body to a Pasadena church for a funeral service. He left the vehicle running with another casket inside.

When he returned to the parking lot, the hearse – a Lincoln Navigator SUV – was gone. The next day, a citizen reported seeing the stolen hearse on Interstate 110 in Los Angeles. Police located the vehicle and gave chase. The driver lost control of the Navigator and crashed, damaging several other nearby cars. The hearse – with the stolen corpse still inside – suffered significant front-end damage. Police arrested the suspect and transported him to the jail.

According to jail records, the man was on probation at the time of his most recent arrest. A judge in Los Angeles remanded the man to the custody of the Department of Corrections.

Pasadena theft lawyer


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

You can face 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. If you are already on probation, the prosecutor can take this into account when deciding how to charge you. It’s also important to remember that when you are on probation, you may already have a suspended sentence the court can use immediately – without trying your case!

That’s why it is important to have experienced counsel represent you in court. An experienced attorney can make a big difference 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 theft case.

Photo Credit: Truck Hardware, via Flickr.com

Drug Possession Cases In Los Angeles May Go Up In Smoke
Drug Possession Cases In Los Angeles May Go Up In Smoke
Certain drug possession convictions in Los Angeles may disappear soon. District Attorney Jackie Lacey is seeking to have 66,000 marijuana possession convictions dismissed and sealed.

The cases in question include convictions as far back as the 1960’s. Last year, Lacey said she would work to have the old cases dismissed. Marijuana convictions disproportionately affect minority defendants. Dismissing those cases and sealing the records could help affected Los Angeles residents in their search for jobs, federal financial aid and housing. A newly adopted state law requires jurisdictions to resentence eligible drug possession convictions according to current standards. In most cases, that would reduce felony drug convictions to misdemeanors.

Lacey’s move goes farther than the new law requires by both dismissing the cases and sealing the records. The move would leave affected people with no court record of a drug conviction or sentencing. According to Lacey’s office, almost 80% of the convictions applied to Hispanic and African American defendants. 62,000 cases targeted for dismissal resulted in felony convictions. An additional 4,000 cases were already classified as misdemeanors.

City attorneys in Burbank, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Redondo Beach Santa Monica and Torrance prosecuted the case. Individuals with convictions in these jurisdictions do not need to take any steps to seek a dismissal. The court will consider dismissal requests generally in reverse order. The more recent a conviction, the earlier it will be considered for dismissal. The oldest cases will likely be dismissed last, largely because dismissal will have less positive impact.

The DA’s office has not sought dismissal of certain drug offenses. They include offenses involving children and the manufacture of concentrated forms of cannabis. Likewise, if a person received multiple convictions (including weapons offenses, conspiracy, etc.) the other convictions will not be set aside.

Los Angeles Drug Possession Lawyer


Proposition 47 reduces previous convictions for crimes previously classified as felonies, including both drug- and non-drug offenses. If you have an old felony drug possession conviction on your record, a knowledgeable drug possession lawyer can help.

Ideally, you want a dismissal, but Proposition 47 doesn’t provide for that. By having the court resentence a felony conviction as a misdemeanor, you at least remove the most damaging kind of conviction. By itself, this can help you secure a job or housing more easily.

When you’ve been arrested for a drug crime or any other offense, hire an experienced attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. Mr. Helfend is a top-rated defender and will fight aggressively for 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 drug possession case.

Photo Credit: Torben Hansen, via Flickr.com

Murder Conviction Overturned in El Dorado Case
Murder Conviction Overturned in El Dorado Case
A judge in El Dorado County overturned a 15-year old murder conviction. The victim was a 54-year old journalist who died following a violent assault.

The woman and her daughter were staying at the home of acquaintances while the couple was out of town. Police were initially unable to develop any suspects in the 1985 case. In 1999, the former girlfriend of the homeowners’ son changed her testimony and identified the homeowners’ son as the murderer. Based on her testimony, a jury convicted Ricky Davis of the murder.

According to police, on the night of the slaying, the victim declined to allow her 13-year-old daughter to attend a party. The daughter then told her mother that she was spending the night with a friend. Instead, the daughter met up with three teenagers at a park.

When she returned home, the daughter, along with Davis’ girlfriend, discovered the homicide scene. The daughter told police that she had met up with a juvenile named “Michael Green” the night her mother died. A jury convicted Davis of the murder in 2005 and sentenced him to life in prison. DNA evidence collected from the victim’s clothing at the time of the murder did not match Davis.

The Innocence Project took up Davis’ case and pressed the court to reconsider his conviction. The girlfriend who had changed her testimony died in 2014. The prosecutor’s case relied on the girlfriend’s testimony. Using genealogical DNA, Innocence Project investigators were able to match the DNA from the victim’s clothing to Michael Green – the same man the daughter told police she met the night of the murder.

Last month, an El Dorado County judge declared Davis factually innocent of the crime and ordered his release. Michael Green is now in jail awaiting trial for the mother’s murder.

Los Angeles murder lawyer


In a homicide case, investigators and prosecutors are under tremendous pressure to come up with a suspect. In doing so, they sometimes cut corners and that leads to erroneous convictions. When you face charges for a homicide, your best defense includes working with a top-rated defender like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. He will challenge all evidence against you, and raise reasonable doubt about the prosecutor’s case. In the age of DNA evidence, there is no reason to settle for inconclusive results (or worse, wrong results), when DNA can exonerate 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 murder case.

Photo Credit: nosha, Flickr.com

Antitrust charge for former pharmaceutical exec
Antitrust charge for former pharmaceutical exec
A former executive of the pharmaceutical company Sandoz pleaded guilty to antitrust violations last month. According to the Department of Justice, the man admitted to conspiring to fix prices of clobetasol, a component of medicines to treat eczema, psoriasis and fungal infections.

The DOJ also identified a co-conspirator who worked for Taro Pharmaceutical Industries. Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against him for bid-rigging and price-fixing. Both actions fall under antitrust laws.

Novartis, which owns Sandoz, has agreed to pay a $195M fine for price fixing. Under the agreement, Sandoz admitted to four different price-fixing conspiracies with different generic drug manufacturers. Besides attempting to fix the price of clobetasol, Sandoz admitted its role in three other conspiracies.

They include attempting to fix the price of benazepril HCTZ with generic drug manufacturer Kavod Pharmaceuticals. Benazepril HCTZ is an ACE inhibitor and diuretic that can be used to treat hypertension.

Sandoz also admitted to conspiring with a Michigan manufacturer of generic drugs to fix the price of desonide topical ointment. This drug also treats eczema and other skin rashes. It also admitted to working with a Pennsylvania company to fix the price of tobramycin inhalation solution. This drug treats bacterial respiratory infections among cystic fibrosis patients.

As part of the plea agreement, Sandoz entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice. The agreement requires Sandoz to cooperate fully with the DOJ on ongoing antitrust investigations.

Federal antitrust Attorney


When you face criminal antitrust charges, your most effective defense strategy begins with hiring an experienced federal criminal antitrust attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 35 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes federal criminal antitrust cases in any circuit in the United States. He also takes state-level defense cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Working with an experienced attorney offers your best chance to prevail in a federal criminal trial. US attorneys have all of the resources they need to make their case against you. Their only interest is in securing convictions, so they avoid cases they’re not sure they can win.

In this situation, your choice of defense counsel means everything. In addition to knowing your case inside and out, your attorney must be able to stand up to aggressive federal prosecutors. Many federal defendants think their only viable option is to take 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 antitrust case.

Photo Credit: Katharine Shields, via Flickr.com

Sex crimes charges for up to 500 in human trafficking busts
Sex crimes charges for up to 500 in human trafficking busts
“Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” netted the arrests of more than 500 people in a statewide human trafficking sting. 518 people face charges for a range of offenses, including sex crimes, prostitution and human trafficking.

The operation lasted just one week and recovered 76 adult and 11 juvenile females who had been forced into prostitution. The taskforce reported the arrests of 266 adult men for solicitation and 27 suspected traffickers. The taskforce also made 225 arrests for other offenses.

Between January 26 and February 1, 70 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies participated in the taskforce. The operations taskforce included more than 200 detectives, and confronted both street-level and online sex-trafficking operations. Operation Reclaim and Rebuild first began in 2014, and has been conducted statewide since 2017.

Under California law, solicitation is not considered a sexual offense. Convictions for human trafficking involving minors can result in as many as 12 years in prison, fines of up to $500,000, probation following discharge and lifetime registration on the state’s sex offender registry.

Los Angeles sex crimes lawyer


When you face charges for Los Angeles sex crimes, lawyer Robert Helfend will take your criminal defense case. Robert Helfend has more than 35 years of criminal defense experience and takes cases involving sexual offenses.

A sex crimes conviction in California most often results in lifetime sex offender registration. This designation can be devastating for people when they look for new employment and housing. Some California communities restrict where sex offenders can live and work, even though this can conflict with state law.

Your best protection against this discriminatory behavior starts with your criminal defense. Hiring a top-rated defender like Robert Helfend may help you avoid the most serious consequences of a penal system that is stacked against you.

Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he just works hard to get the charges against them reduced or dropped altogether. Don’t assume that you can’t fight sex crimes charges, 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 sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Imagens Evangelicas, via Flickr.com

Securities Fraud Defendant Avoids Prison Time
Securities Fraud Defendant Avoids Prison Time
Marty Blazer, a former financial advisor and FBI informant avoided prison time following his guilty plea to securities fraud and identity theft charges. Blazer became a central figure in an FBI investigation of college sports programs. Allegedly, multiple college basketball coaches accepted money in exchange for directing players to agents after leaving college sports for the NBA draft.

Ultimately, Blazer’s cooperation led to plea deals with four college coaches, a former executive for sports apparel manufacturer Adidas, a sport management executive and another financial advisor.

Blazer settled a civil complaint against him from the Securities and Exchange Commission for $1.8M. The SEC accused Blazer of taking money from clients and investing it without their permission. In addition, the complaint alleged that he took money from some clients to pay other clients.

Despite the guilty pleas and the SEC settlement, a federal judge in los Angeles sentenced Blazer to one year of probation and $1.5M in restitution. The judge also ordered Blazer to pay a $2.3M fine. He currently has four complaints registered against him and cannot act as a financial advisor.

Los Angeles securities fraud attorney


When you face federal charges for investment fraud, hire an experienced securities fraud lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 35 years of experience exclusively in criminal defense. He takes cases in any federal circuit in the United States. He also takes state-level cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.

Securities fraud convictions can have serious consequences. The financial industry is self-regulating, so a conviction can result in long-term or permanent debarment from working in the industry. In addition, a conviction can result in long prison sentences and significant fines.

That’s why you need an experienced attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has defended thousands of Californians in his more than 3 decades of practice.

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: Ken Teegardin, via Flickr.com