Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog
     


Los Angeles White Collar Crime Defense

Posted on: January 16, 2010 at 12:14 a.m.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Monday that it has charged Beverly Hills, California-based NewPoint Financial Services, Inc. and its co-owners and controller for conducting an unregistered offering fraud aimed at Iranian-Americans in the Los Angeles area. The SEC obtained an emergency court order to freeze their assets and preserve remaining funds that were collected from investors. The SEC also seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions and civil penalties against the defendants.

The SEC’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that NewPoint, co-owners John Farahi and Gissou Rastegar Farahi, and its controller Elaheh Amouei targeted investors in the Iranian-American community by touting New Point on a daily finance radio program that John Farahi hosts on a Farsi language radio station in the Los Angeles area. The SEC alleges that the Farahis or Amouei misled more than 100 investors into purchasing more than $20 million worth of debentures that they falsely told them were low-risk. Many investors also were falsely told that they were investing in FDIC-insured certificates of deposit, government bonds, or corporate bonds issued by companies. The SEC alleges that most of the money raised was instead transferred to accounts controlled by the Farahis to, among other things, fund construction of their multi-million dollar personal residence in Beverly Hills.

According to the SEC allegations, Farahi and Amouei also made further misrepresentations to investors in an effort to lull them into keeping their money with NewPoint, saying that their money is safe and that they are guaranteed to get the entirety of their investment back.

A hearing on whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against the defendants and whether a permanent receiver should be appointed is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2010, at 10:00 a.m.

A white collar crime is defined as an illegal act(s) using deceit and concealment to obtain money, property, or services, or to secure a business or professional advantage. This can differ from violent crimes because they usually don’t involve physical violence and tend to relate to financial matters instead. A conviction can carry heavy consequences depending on the severity of the crime.

In the case of the NewPoint co-owners and controller, there may be penalties as well as civil consequences that the defendants might face if convicted. An experienced team of Los Angeles white collar crime defense attorneys can guide you through the process of white collar trials and devise a strategy that can prove your innocence or reduce consequences. Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP can offer you advice and legal counsel if you have been accused or charged with a white collar crime.

Tagged as: los angeles embezzlement, los angeles white collar defense attorney




White Collar Crime and Los Angeles

Posted on: December 31, 2009 at 6:11 a.m.

Los Angeles white collar defense is incredibly complicated for many reasons: juries like to convict "crooked" executives; the evidence can be difficult to follow; prosecutors can make a name for themselves convicting a high profile individuals; etc. This is why defense attorneys must be knowledge regarding the law and equipped to go "toe to toe" with the city, state or federal government's best lawyers.

High profile defense attorney must be able to speak with the press without getting flustered or giving too much information away.

In a recent white collar case, a New York man was formally charged last week in scam at New York University. John Runowicz, who worked as an administrator for NYU’s Chemistry Department, has been accused of falsely submitting receipts by attaching them to University reimbursement request forms. Investigators in the case believe Runowicz scavenged discarded receipts at a local liquor store and claimed that they were departmental expenses to be paid for by the department’s petty cash reserves. Investigators estimate that Runowicz submitted roughly 13,000 false receipts between 2003 and January of 2009, conning the University out of more than $409,000 in petty cash expenses. Runowicz, who was fired from the University this past summer after an internal audit revealed his activities, has been charged with falsifying business documents in both the first and second degrees, and grand larceny. If convicted, he could be facing up to 15 years in prison.

When most people think of criminal activities, they tend to think of violent crimes such as robbery or assault. However, many crimes are committed everyday in Los Angeles that, like Runowicz’s alleged criminal activity at New York University, is entirely without violence. Crimes such as embezzlement, fraud or identity theft are typically committed with no threat of violence whatsoever. These crimes are commonly called “white collar" crimes, and while they may not appear as dangerous as violent crimes, they are also taken very seriously in Los Angeles.

Most white collar crimes also involve lengthy jail sentences, large fines and either probation or parole in the case of a conviction. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime such as embezzlement or fraud, call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today. Let us fight for you, call us at 877-781-1570.

Tagged as: los angeles embezzlement, los angeles white collar defense attorney









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