Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

International Child Porn Ring Busted!

Posted on: December 15, 2010 at 8:08 p.m.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys who represent people charged with possession, distribution or creation of child pornography know that the law enforcement challenges are numerous. Police, Sheriff's deputies and even FBI agents are involved in trying to bring child pornographers to justice, meaning that any Attorney not only has to battle the best lawyers the government has, but the best law enforcement officers as well. A recent case demonstrates just how effective and efficient government child porn busts can be. An international child pornography ring that covered three different continents and required members to post explicit images on a secure Internet message board was dismantled and arrests of a dozen people or more has ensued. This international investigation led to the closure of what was known as the "Lost Boy" bulletin board and suspects from Germany to New Zealand were identified. Allegedly 35 men traded and posted pictures of young boys who were either naked or engaging in unlawful sex.

The people who are implicated in this criminal activity are from a broad array backgrounds. One was a pediatrician, one was a lawyer and several were already registered sex offenders. According to authorities, a man from Los Angeles had been talking to an Italian national about child pornography and how to engage in child sex tourism in Romania. This is what tipped off European authorities to contact authorities in the United States. International search warrants were served at home and abroad with 16 people being arrested and charged with child pornography. Five men have pleaded guilty so far and face between five and thirty years in a federal prison. Other suspects have been charged in Brazil, in France, in Norway and the United Kingdom. As you can see, these are highly sophisticated investigations that get results and battling these allegations in court is incredibly difficult without a skilled attorney working for you.

If you or someone you know has been charged with or arrested for child pornography, you need a skilled Defense Lawyer who understands federal courts and lawyers. At Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP, we can assist you with any sex offense defense. Our number is 877-781-1570. Contact our lawyers today for your initial consultation.

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

Santa Claus and Child Pornography

Posted on: December 14, 2010 at 9:49 p.m.

It might be a parent's worst nightmare, but a town in Nebraska recently had a Santa Claus who was caught allegedly possessing child pornography. Daniel Davis pleaded not guilty in North Platte, NE to eight counts of possession of child pornography. Investigators say they found a Santa suit in Davis' home of the 57 year old man, although it was not immediately known if he was working as a Santa around town. Police allege they found still photos and video images of children in pornographic situations on the man's computer. There is a trial set for March 15, and each of the child porn counts carries a maximum of five years in prison (that's 40 years total for those counting at home).

Any Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer will tell you that defending someone facing child pornography charges is incredibly difficult. Even the most skilled attorney has to combat the law, motivated district attorneys, biased juries and even the press if they get wind of the case. For a 57 year old man, a 40 years sentence is essentially a death sentence. While the general public may have already put this man in prison for crimes he is only accused of, a Attorney knows that his client deserves the same unbiased justice system as everyone else.

It is also important to remember that computer files are a tricky thing. If you were to buy a computer, it might already have illegal images or information on it. Or, if you were to download a file from the Internet, you could be downloading something that is not what you think it is. Only a skilled, experienced Defense Attorney can analyze your case and build the best defense possible to whatever allegations the prosecution are armed with.

Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP possess the knowledge, background and track record of success people look for. They are a top rated law firm according to the top attorney ranking system Martindale Hubbell. If you or someone you know has been arrested for possession of child pornography, contact our attorneys now and get the legal representation you need. Call us today at 877-781-1570.

Tagged as: child pornography pc 311_11

Los Angeles Murder and the Food Channel

Posted on: December 13, 2010 at 8:23 p.m.

It is a grim day whenever a person goes away for a violent crime, and many Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys work overtime to make sure that never happens to their client. However, in one case this week, a celebrity chef is going to be spending years behind bars for a violent crime in Los Angeles. Former "Calorie Commando" chef Juan-Carlos Cruz is going to spend up to nine years in prison on a charge of soliciting two homeless men to murder his wife. Such a bizarre crime is odd, even by Los Angeles standards, but has been taken quite seriously by the Los Angeles Superior Court. Cruz pleaded no contest to the crime earlier this year and smiled and winked at wife Jennifer Campbell during his sentencing appearance. Cruz's lawyer said that Cruz will serve half of the nine year term because the crime was not a serious violent felony. Police initially arrested Cruz in May after some homeless men in Santa Monica told police they were offered $500 to kill Campbell. Prosecutors have not released any sort of motive int eh case and both Campbell and the Judge, Shawn Chapman Holley, have refused comment on the case.

While this case is incredibly unique, criminal courts in Los Angeles take any sort of violent crime seriously. Cruz is a celebrity, but still faces the full wrath of the law due to the murder charges. While in the past, celebrities have been able to avoid prosecution for certain offenses, it seems the tide is turning. Such celebrities as Phil Spector and DMX have spent quite a bit of time in prison lately because prosecutors are really focusing their attention on avoiding weak sentences for celebrities caught by the law. Even professional athletes who normally get off without so much as a slap on the wrist have been prosecuted and scrutinized heavily by the press and the courts.

For those facing arrest or conviction for violent crimes, having a knowledgeable and skilled Defense Attorney working with you can be the difference between years in prison and complete freedom. Having a lawyer who understands the law, the courts and how to properly create the best defense possible is absolutely vital. Violent crimes can lead to decades in jail, years of probation, mandatory counseling and limited career options if you are convicted.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Los Angeles White Collar Internet Crime

Posted on: December 7, 2010 at 7:47 p.m.

White collar and Internet crimes take all sorts of forms, from sex offenses to wire fraud. A recent case in Los Angeles highlighted just how complicated it can be for a Los Angeles White Collar Defense Attorney to represent someone charged with white collar crimes and Internet crimes at the same time. Federal prosecutors are bringing serious jail time requests against a man who was investigated for tricking people into investing in a fake "start-up" Internet company and evading federal income taxes. They are currently seeking a five year federal prison sentence for Chase Norwood, also known as Thomas Gray. He was convicted in December, 2009 on 15 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion. Prosecutors allege that the man solicited peopel to invest in his online companies, including one called Cal Broadband. Norwood also lied to investors, telling them he had licensing agreements as well as business affiliations with large companies in the computer and telecommunications industries. He used investors' funds to support a lavish lifestyle, according to prosecutors, which include part-time residences in top hotels in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. He also used the funds to rent a condo for his mother and to hire several unlicensed brokers and telemarketers. Additionally, a jury found that Norwood evaded his federal income taxes in 2000 and 2001.

As you can see, defending someone from a white collar crime, especially white collar crimes prosecuted by the federal government, can be one of the most difficult tasks for any Attorney. White collar crimes often involve charges of wire fraud, tax evasion and other hard to prove and hard to defend allegations. Bank records, mountains of paperwork, emotional testimony by people who feel they were taken advantage of and other highly volatile evidence can be used against anyone accused of such a crime. A Lawyer must investigate the issues, the evidence and the witnesses of such a crime and craft a highly technical defense against the prosecution. An in depth knowledge of the law and an advanced knowledge of federal prosecution tactics are absolutely necessary in order to effectively defend the accused.

Tagged as: white collar crime fraud theft laws

USC vs. UCLA = Brawl?

Posted on: December 6, 2010 at 8:44 p.m.

Every year, millions of people in Los Angeles either attend or watch the classic USC/UCLA football game that divides the city, literally, in half. While the game was not incredibly interesting, the real story is what happened before the game even began. Countless Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys will have to work with people who have been arrested for violent crimes.

Dozens of fans were involved in a brawl in the Rose Bowl parking lot in Pasadena before the game, leaving two men stabbed, two police officers with minor injuries and three men under arrest. According to police, an estimated 50 to 75 fans of both schools fought roughly three hours before the game. One person was stabbed in the cheek and another was stabbed in the back during the melee. Both individuals were taken by ambulance to Huntington Memorial Hospital, and their conditions were described as stable. Of the officers who were injured, one was treated for a sprained hand, the other for a sprained ankle.

Two men are in need of a lawyer, because police are charging them with violent crimes. The two men are accused by police of stabbing the victims and are being charged on suspicion of attempted murder. They are being held in Pasadena City Jail on $1 million bail, and a third man was arrested for investigation of assault on a police officer. No names were released for the victims or the alleged criminals. The police did not know who or what sparked the brawl, but drinking was involved. It is the first time since 2008 that there were arrests for the rivalry game, but there were no arrests for assault.

When a Attorney represents someone charged with a violent crime, he must analyze the issues surrounding the alleged events. People charged with violent crimes often find themselves in circumstances that are quite dangerous. There is a fine line between a violent assault and self defense, and only a skilled Defense Attorney can help you present that difference.

Tagged as: violent crimes defense

Sex Crimes in Granada Hills

Posted on: November 30, 2010 at 6:58 p.m.

The San Fernando Valley is no stranger to sex crimes and sex crime accusations, and the San Fernando Criminal Defense Attorney who has to represent someone charged with a sex crime is facing an uphill battle. When the sex crime involves violence or children, then the penalties and life time consequences become even more serious. Recently, a teacher at a Christian school in Granada Hills went to court, facing 20 sex related charges involving the alleged molestation of an underage student. The man, who is on leave from Hillcrest Christian School in Granada Hills is scheduled to be arraigned in San Fernando Superior Court in December. There was no comment from his San Fernando Criminal Defense Attorney, and no word on whether he had hired a private attorney to defend him.

The man is a 51 year old teacher who is charged with 16 counts of oral copulation with a person under the age of 18 years old, three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and one count of sodomy of a person under the age of 18 years of age according to the District Attorney's office. He was arrested in November by detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Sexual Assault Unit and released on bail. However, he was re-arrested later in November in connection with the charges and is currently in jail in lieu of $1 million bail. The alleged crimes occurred between April and November of this year, and police declined to offer the age or gender of the alleged victim. If this man is convicted, he faces a maximum state prison term of 15 years and eight months, as well as a lifetime on the California Sex Offender Registry. He has been employed at the school for eight years where he served as a health teacher, athletic director and assistant coach for the boys basketball and baseball teams.

As you can see, the consequences of being convicted for a sex crime against a minor are more than serious. The only real defense would be to hire a highly skilled, highly experienced San Fernando Criminal Defense Attorney to represent you in and out of court. At Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP, our attorneys possess over 50 years of combined experience, including many years in local District Attorneys' Offices. Their unique level of knowledge about the courts, prosecution tactics and police investigations allows us to provide our clients with top notch legal representation. If you have been charged with a sex crime, call us today at 877-781-1570.

Tagged as: sex crime accusations

Robbing a Bank...For Coins?

Posted on: November 20, 2010 at 12:55 a.m.

Theft crimes are no laughing matter. If you have been arrested for a theft crime of any kind, you could be facing a variety of punishments, including jail, probation and restitution. Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer who represent people charged with theft understand that the consequences can change a person's life, even a life sentence in prison. However, on occasion, there are theft crimes that truly make no sense. In Manhattan Beach, someone broke in and pried open quite a few teller drawers hoping to find cash. However, he came away with "a lot of change and coins" according to police. The break in was reported in the early morning hours on Sepulveda Boulevard in Manhattan Beach.

Police said the burglars took "change, apparently no paper money, according to the security company." Unfortunately, the thieves may have risked prison for just a few bucks.

There are many different types of theft crimes, each of which carries its own set of penalties:
  • shoplifting - this crime is often a misdemeanor treated as petty theft
  • carjacking - this crime was grown increasingly serious and carries with it serious jail time, especially if a weapon is used in the course of the crime
  • burglary - this crime involves breaking and entering
  • credit card fraud - this crime, because it involves identity theft, could lead to serious consequences, including prison time, probation and more
  • white collar theft crime - crimes such as larceny, embezzlement and money laundering involve potential federal laws, which could increase your prison time and make a criminal defense much more difficult.
If you have been charged with a theft offense, contact the Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP today The penalties involved in your crime could change your life forever, meaning you need a skilled, experienced lawyer.

Tagged as: theft

Celebrities and Drug Busts

Posted on: November 17, 2010 at 7:45 p.m.

Drug offenses are serious, for famous, infamous and the regular joe's of the world. Many people seem to think that California is somehow relaxing its drug laws, as Prop 19 was recently on the national ballot. However, state and federal authorities are prosecuting drug laws as serious as ever, and Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers are working harder than ever to keep their clients out of jail from drug prosecutions. A recent example of a celebrity being arrested for drugs involves disc jockey Darrin Ebron who runs Goodlife American Clothing and was the DJ at Eddie Murphy's wedding in 2008. Ricky Brascom and Charles Ransom, both of whom are executive officers of Behind da Scenes Entertainment, were arrested as well. Behind da Scenes Entertainment's main artist is rapper Paypa. The arrest was over an alleged drug ring, where authorities say nearly 300 kilograms of cocaine and $1.1 million were shuttle in private jets from Los Angeles to Baltimore, MD. The charges involve drug trafficking and money laundering, which will provide any Attorney enough work to fill the next six months to a year.

If these men are convicted, they could be facing up to life in prison for these drug offenses. Investigators used wiretaps to track the shipments. The U.S. Attorneys office said that even though 50 kilograms of cocaine were discovered in September, the drugs were still shipped across the country. Authorities allege that Brascom is the drug ring's leader while Ransom shipped cocaine to his own distributors in Baltimore. Famous entertainers such as Usher, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Kanye West have all been implicated in this situation as well, with one defendant claiming they are his clientele.

For the average person, being arrested for even a misdemeanor drug offense could lead to a lifetime or difficulties. Limited career options, difficulties in living areas and a mark on your legal record are all part of any conviction. Having a knowledgeable and skilled Defense Attorney working on your behalf could be the difference between spending six months in prison and having a clean record. The damage that can be done to your life, your family and your future from one drug conviction is irreparable.

Tagged as: drug crimes defense

Los Angeles Sex Offenders and KTLA

Posted on: October 28, 2010 at 11:40 p.m.

Audiences and Los Angeles Sex Crime Defense Attorneys paid special attention to a recent news cast on KTLA after a paroled sex offender surrendered to authorities on television after finding a reporter on an East Los Angeles street. Valentino Rodriguez Jr. was interviewed by KTLA's Eric Spillman. Rodriguez was wanted after cutting off his GPS tracking device and was interviewed live by Spillman. Station authorities notified authorities and a short time later Rodriguez was arrested by the Los Angeles County sheriff's department. The man told Spillman that he wanted to surrender after the Lord told him to. He says he cut off his GPS ankle device because he was paranoid and suicidal.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys deal with ankle devices all the time, because they are often used to track habitual offenders for sex crimes, drunk driving and more. The GPS monitors people under house arrest by sending a radio frequency containing location and other information to a receiver. If the device is taken outside a certain range, the wearer could be facing a probation violation and without a skilled lawyer he or she could spend years in jail.

Los Angeles sex offenders face a challenging legal situation. They have to navigate courts that want to either put them in jail or limit their overall freedoms, they have to face juries that are often not on their side and they have to face a general public that wants to completely eliminate them from society. Whether or not the alleged sex offender has committed any crime, the general public is always against you. This is just another reason you need a skilled Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on your side who will stick by you and be your advocate throughout the trial and pretrial processes.

If you or someone you love has been accused of a sex crime, contact the Los Angeles Lawyers at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP by calling 877-781-1570 today. Our legal professional are top rated by prominant legal ranking systems and our over 50 years of combined experience will help provide you with the best defense possible. Call us today for your initial consultation.

Tagged as: sex crime accusations

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys and Celebrities

Posted on: October 26, 2010 at 8:02 p.m.

Los Angeles is the home of many of the world's most famous celebrities. It is also the home of some of the nation's most prominent crimes and criminals. This week, more than a few celebrities have found themselves in need of a Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer including some repeat offenders.

  • Charlie Sheen, movie star and current star of the hit TV show "Two and a Half Men", allegedly woke up in a hotel room in New York next to a call girl and with a destroyed hotel room. Supposedly he went on either a drinking binge or a drug binge and destroyed the entire hotel room while on vacation with his ex-wife and children. Sheen has been in and out of rehab and has been on a drinking binge since his guilty plea in an Aspen domestic violence case in August. He has been in a constant state of needing a Attorney and it does not look like that is going to change any time soon.
  • Food Network chef Juan-Carlos Cruz copped a plea in a plot to have three homeless men kill his wife. He pleaded no contest to solicitation of murder. Sentencing is set for December 13. Cruz agreed to accept a nine year prison sentence, but the judge will ultimately have the final say. His wife wants to address the court before sentencing, and they both smiled at each other as Cruz left the court. Hopefully, Cruz consulted with a skilled Defense Lawyer before making any plea bargains.
  • Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Jessica White is accused of beating up another woman outside of a night club in New York this weekend. The woman, who allegedly dated Sean Penn and Terrell Owens was arrested Saturday after allegedly smacking another woman in the face quite a few times.
  • "America's Got Talent" contestant Joe Finley is in serious need of a Criminal Defense Attorney after he was arrested for drugs and his wife was found dead all within a matter of hours. According to Finely, he and his wife allegedly popped some ecstasy pills around 3:00 in the morning and his wife Laura was pronounced dead at 8:25 in the morning. The police have named Finley a "person of interest" in the death, although the man claims that he is innocent of the death
As you can see, even high profile celebrities need a Attorney to help them get through their legal troubles. If you or someone you love is facing serious legal issues, contact the lawyers at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin.

Tagged as: los angeles criminal defense attorney

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