Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog
     


Van Nuys Criminal Defense Attorney

Posted on: June 20, 2011 at 9:27 p.m.

There are major crimes going on every day in Southern California, and for those who stand accused, hiring a Van Nuys criminal lawyer is absolutely necessary for any theft crime accusation. In Van Nuys, one of the more populated parts of the San Fernando Valley, getting arrested for a theft crime could mean serious prison time, huge fines, and possibly even restitution for any stolen items. A recent, dangerous case in Van Nuys highlights just how complicated any criminal case can be. Three men who were armed with semi-automatic handguns broke into a Van Nuys home and tied up three women living there. They allegedly ransacked the residence, stole roughly $10,000 in cash and jewelry and all this before police arrived. The residence was located on Archwood Street and took place around 3:30 AM. The women were tied up with duct tape while the suspects searched the home, one of the women was taken to the hospital for treatment of a head wound. Two of the women were senior citizens and were tied up with one of the women's daughters, all three were Russian. Eventually, the daughter was able to escape and call the police, but obviously the situation was a nightmare.

There are countless nightmares in this situation, even for the accused. People who are accused have all sorts of complications in keeping their freedoms. In a public case such as this, it could be dangerous for someone falsely accused. The men were supposedly between the ages of 25 and 30, meaning that any Russian men in their 20's with an arrest record in their past could be facing arrest, accusation and even charges.

If you or someone you know is in need of a Theft Crime Defense Atorney in Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks or anywhere else in the San Fernando Valley, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, who can provide some of the best defense possible for you.

Tagged as: theft




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




San Fernando Theft Crimes and Celebrities

Posted on: October 14, 2010 at 11:07 p.m.

Lisa Rinna, former host of Merge, star of Melrose Place, former star of Days of Our Lives and currently on a reality show on TV Land co-owns a clothing boutique wither her husband Harry Hamlin (formerly of the hit 80's show LA Law). Unfortunately, while the two have experienced success on the camera, their boutique has become a target for thieves off the camera. The shop, located in Sherman Oaks, CA, was burglarized for the second time in less than a week! Police are investigating the two burglaries to see if there was any connection. The Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer who represents the alleged criminal will have his work cut out for him as the burglar allegedly made off with $4,000 worth of handbags, jewelry and accessories in a white pickup truck. The thief broke in through the back door, the breaking and entering adds serious consequences to the crime. In fact, Mr. Hamlin and Ms. Rinna were doing an interview for their new reality show when they were alerted to the crime. The two break ins were quite similar, happening at the same time of day (early morning) and in the same manner. What this means for any Defense Attorney is that whoever is arrested for one crime will most likely be charged with both burglaries.

Throughout Los Angeles, high end boutiques, department stores, and other retail shops get robbed on a daily basis. In order to thwart such crimes, authorities often crack down hard on anyone accused of, charged with or arrested for theft, burglary, robbery or any other such crime. having a skilled, knowledgeable Attorney representing you can mean teh difference between freedom and years in prison. Whether your crime is a misdemeanor or a felony, you can be facing serious consequences.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony grand theft crime or a misdemeanor petty theft crime, you need a skilled lawyer representing you. Contact the lawyers at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin today. We can help you get the results you need to stay out of jail and free from fines.

Tagged as: theft




Los Angeles White Collar Crime

Posted on: September 18, 2009 at 4:32 p.m.

White collar crimes usually consist of crimes of deception or theft perpetrated by professional people, as opposed to, say, crimes of force.  White collar crime can include such offenses as money laundering, extortion, embezzlement or bribery.  September 2009 has already seen two notable incidents of white collar crime.

Los Angeles real estate broker Mario Raul Guevara, 30, was recently charged with four counts of grand theft of personal property, two counts of forgery and two more of failing to file tax returns.  Guevara, who pleaded not guilty on September 15th, is accused of making millions of dollars through shady real estate transactions and bribes he accepted from investors.  According to the Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, Guevara forged a client’s signature in order to sell a North Hollywood property to an accomplice, a sale which netted him almost $800,000.  If he is convicted Guevara faces up to 14 years in state prison.

In another case of white collar crime, a former lawyer who practiced in California for more than 20 years pleaded guilty on September 15th to ten counts of “grand theft by embezzlement." The man was accused of misappropriating $150,000 from a client, as well as settling a case against the wishes of another client and embezzling the judgment money.  He was sentenced by a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge to serve three years in prison and to pay his victims more than $500,000 in restitution for his crimes.

Tagged as: theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




Los Angeles White Collar Crimes: Ponzi Schemer Gets 150 Years

Posted on: June 30, 2009 at 11:05 a.m.

Bernie Madoff, possibly the most famous criminal in America right now, was sentenced to 150 years for his role in a ponzi scheme. Madoff pleaded guilty to stealing billions of dollars from investors, may of whom were completely wiped out after his ponzi scheme was discovered.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from any actual profit earned. The Ponzi scheme usually offers returns that other investments cannot guarantee in order to entice new investors, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent.

Los Angeles White Collar Crime

White collar crimes are varied; they include embezzlement, bribery, ponzi schemes and more. A qualified Los Angeles white collar crime defense attorney must have a thorough knowledge of accounting laws, financial laws, SEC statutes and more. People in all walks of life are accused of Los Angeles white collar crimes, including school administrators, politicians, accountants, CEOs and others.

Los Angeles white collar crimes have serious consequences, especially now that the economy is so bad. People often blame executives for their roll in damaging an economy, especially if their roll was an illegal one. Throughout the news, people are being sentenced to decades in prison for their involvement in investment fraud, securities fraud and other Los Angeles white collar crimes.

The FBI even has a strategic white collar crime team that investigates all manner of fraud, including white collar crimes> that involve some form of fraud, including health care fraud, bank fraud and more. Some state laws govern white collar crime, but usually on a smaller scale. The larger crimes are prosecuted by federal law and carry with it much harsher penalties.

If you have been charged with a white collar crime, do not hesitate to call Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP at (877) 781-1570. Our knowledgeable legal team can evaluate your case and advise you of your legal options.

Tagged as: theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




Los Angeles White Collar Crimes

Posted on: June 9, 2009 at 11:33 a.m.

Bradley L. Ruderman, 46, of Los Angeles recently surrendered himself to federal agents after it was discovered he had defrauded roughly $44 million from investors in yet another white collar crime case. Ruderman allegedly persuaded several family members and friends to invest in two separate hedge funds that he founded and managed, promising returns as high as 60%. This white collar crime was performed by Ruderman apparently been sending false statements to his 22 investors since form his hedge funds in 2002.

Ruderman claimed through his account statements that his hedge funds had managed $206 million while the funds' actual net value at the beginning of 2009 was just $588, 246. Evidence compiled by federal investigators claims Ruderman spent over $8.7 million of investor money on personal expenses, including a summer vacation home in Malibu and two Porsches. Ruderman also admitted to losing as much as $5.2 million more of his investors' money in private poker games held at a Los Angeles-area hotel. Ruderman has officially been charged in a Los Angeles court with wire fraud.

Fraud is one of the most common examples of white collar crime, but still carries potential prison time if you are convicted of it. As in Ruderman's white collar case, fraud involves taking other people's money under false pretenses and through non-violent means. Both an individual and a business can be charged with fraud. In the case of a conviction, an individual can likely go to jail while a business would most likely be hit with substantial fines. In both cases, credibility would be ruined, making a return to business as usual near impossible.

Because fraud and white collar crimes in general deal with such large quantities of money, penalties for a conviction can land you in a state or federal prison for several years. With your reputation and your freedom on the line, you need an experience white collar crime defense attorney at your side if you have been charged with fraud. Call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin today to find out what your options are and being preparing your defense.

Tagged as: theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




Yet Another Los Angeles Area White Collar Crime

Posted on: December 17, 2008 at 10:03 a.m.

As the economy continues to tumble, and those involved in questionable real estate deals come to light, Los Angeles area white collar criminal defense attorneys are seeing more and more clients regarding white collar crime allegations. A recent case in Norwalk is a great example.

According to the Los Angeles Times, when federal postal inspectors raided a Spanish-language religious bookstore in Huntington Park, they said they found something unusual: envelopes filled with $3 million in cash.

The discovery helped federal prosecutors build a case against Norwalk businessman Milton Retana, a Salvadoran citizen. He was arrested Tuesday after being indicted on charges of white collar crimes, including fraud and making false statements as part of a scheme that, beginning in 2006, allegedly lured more than 2,000 people into investing an estimated $62 million.

With Wall Street white collar crimes reaching the $50 billion mark, $62 million may not seem like that much. However, Federal prosecutors will come down hard on any individual accused of white collar crimes, especially at a time when the public is anxious to see executives face serious jail time. Some blame the current economy on white collar criminals who presented one situation, yet stole countless amounts of money. Whether or not this is true, it will sway juries and even prosecutors who want to make a name for themselves (or in the case of District Attorneys, help their re-election chances).

A sign of the serious in this particular white collar criminal matter, Retana faces a maximum of 165 years in federal prison if convicted on all the charges.

There are a variety of white collar crimes that are prosecuted to the fullest extent by law enforcement. Commonly committed white collar crimes include:

  • Money laundering - Money laundering is the practice of engaging in financial transactions in order to conceal the identity, source, and/or destination of money, and is a main operation of the underground economy.

  • Pyramid schemes - A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves the exchange of money primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, without any product or service being delivered.

  • Counterfeiting - Counterfeiting describes forgeries of currency or documents, but can also describe clothing, software, pharmaceuticals, watches, or more recently, cars and motorcycles, especially when this results in patent infringement or trademark infringement.

  • Ponzi schemes - A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that involves paying abnormally high returns to investors out of the money paid in by subsequent investors, rather than from the profit from any real business.

  • Embezzlement - Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly appropriating or secreting assets, usually financial in nature, by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted.

  • Fraud - Fraud is a deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual.

  • Tax evasion - Tax evasion is a felony and the general term for efforts to not pay taxes by illegal means.

  • RICO - The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (commonly referred to as RICO Act or RICO) is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.

  • Extortion - Extortion is a criminal offense, which occurs, when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion.

  • Computer crimes - Computer crime, cybercrime, e-crime, hi-tech crime or electronic crime generally refers to criminal activity where a computer or network is the source, tool, target, or place of a crime.

  • Forgery - Forgery is the process of making, adapting, or imitating objects, statistics, or documents (see false document), with the intent to deceive.

  • Bribery - Bribery, a form of pecuniary corruption, is an act usually implying money or gift given that alters the behavior of the recipient in ways not consistent with the duties of that person or in breach of law.

  • Bankruptcy fraud - Bankruptcy fraud typically involves concealment of assets, concealment or destruction of documents, conflicts of interest, fraudulent claims, false statements or declarations, and fee fixing or redistribution arrangements.



Tagged as: theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




Los Angeles Politicians and White Collar Crime

Posted on: December 8, 2008 at 5:38 p.m.

The history of the City of Los Angeles is filled with stories of corruption among city officials, both law enforcement and elected officials. That history has been consistant, with a new controversy arising every few years. White collar crimes are the most common crime for a political official to be accused of, because of the money, power and relationships involved in politics. Los Angeles white collar crime attorneys know that such cases involve miles of paper work and countless hours of discovery and fact finding.

One such white collar criminal matter involves Three Valleys Municipal Water District Board Member Xavier Alvarez. Alvarez is accused of felony counts relating to illegally funneling health insurance benefits. Mr. Alvarez, who represents Pomona's first district on the board, is charged with 3 felony counts relating to illegally funneling health insurance benefits to his ex-wife for nearly $4,000. The charges include misappropriation of public funds, insurance fraud and grand theft.

Three Valleys Municipal Water District offers insurance coverage to board members and their dependents. According to Deputy District Attorney Sandi Roth, Mr. Alvarez has not been married since March 4, 2002, 5 years before he received health coverage for his ex-wife. If charged on all counts, Mr. Alvarez could be sentenced to anywhere from felony probation with community service, county jail time or a maximum of 6 years in state prison. The Public Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney

Tagged as: theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




White Collar Crimes, A Growing Situation

Posted on: October 21, 2008 at 11:33 a.m.

White collar crimes are criminal offenses that are usually committed by white collar professionals, such as managers, directors, supervisors, executives, politicians, and other individuals in respected, high-profile positions.

During the recent economic crisis and real estate/credit crunch, law enforcement authorities have been targeting individuals in real estate, banks and related fields, searching for white collar crime violations. While many of these cases won't garner the same attention as the recent Congressional hearings have, these matter carry serious consequences and the accused need experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles criminal attorneys to represent them.

There are a variety of white collar crimes that are prosecuted to the fullest extent by law enforcement. Commonly committed white collar crimes include: money laundering, pyramid schemes, counterfeiting, embezzlement, fraud, tax evasion, RICO, extortion, computer crimes, forgery, bribery, and bankruptcy fraud.

In California, lenders have foreclosed on $100 billion worth of homes over the last two years and are foreclosing at a rate of 1,300 houses every business day, according to a recent report. That sort of activity will lead to many angry citizens, and will lead to not only tougher laws, but action. People will be hostile towards the government and law enforcement if they think individuals are getting away with white collar crimes. That kind of public pressure has mounted before; after the Enron and energy crisis in California, tougher regulations were put in place and some individuals were prosecuted for their involvement. In fact, that particular crisis is one of the main reasons former Governor Gray Davis was recalled.

The FBI had about 1,000 agents deployed on banking fraud during the S&L bust of the 1980s and '90s, said Anthony Adamski, who oversaw financial crime investigations for the FBI at the time. The FBI says it now has about 200 agents working on mortgage fraud, and that number is expected to increase, especially depending upon the new president.

Due to the life-altering legal consequences that are involved, it is always in a person

Tagged as: theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




Unauthorized Practice of Law is Criminallly Prosecuted

Posted on: August 11, 2008 at 11:17 p.m.

While these criminal offenses are rarely seen in Los Angeles criminal courts, the crimes of Unauthorized Practice of Law, and similarly the Unauthorized Practice of Medicine, are in fact prosecuted in Southern California as violations of the California Penal Code, and the California Business and Professions Code. The offenses carry the possibility of jail time, fines, and even prison if victims demonstrate they were defrauded or suffered substantial pecuniary harm.

Oftentime, unsuspecting clients may be hurt by individuals posing as trained lawyers or doctors. An aggressive courtroom defense, or plea negotiations, are typically pursued of those who are criminally accused.

Recently the State Bar shut down a Montebello company accused of providing immigration legal services without a law license. The raid took place after the State Bar obtained the interim order pursuant to Business and Professions Code Sec. 6126.3. The law, which entered into effect in January 2006, allows a judge, on the petition of the State Bar, to grant the bar jurisdiction over a law practice if there is probable cause to believe that the practice is being illegally operated by a non-lawyer and that a client or other interested party is likely to be harmed if the practice continues.

Immediately after the order was issued, a team of State Bar investigators entered the company's offices and seized client files, served a court order on several banks to freeze the company

Tagged as: federal law and defense, theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




South Los Angeles and White Collar Crime

Posted on: June 24, 2008 at 11:53 a.m.

The media makes a big deal about white collar crime on Wall Street, with backroom deals and embezzlement seemingly around every corner, but Crenshaw Blvd. isn't all that different from Wall Street when it comes to white collar crimes. Fraud, embezzlement, theft and other such crimes have ruined the reputation and record of numerous officials and individuals in L.A.

For example:
Martin Ludlow, now a volunteer at Dorsey High, pled guilty to fraud when he was charged with using union workers and union money in his city council campaign.
Numerous officials of mortgage firms have been arrested on charges of fraud which are tied to the current real estate crisis in America, much of which is focused in Southern California where the real estate economy fell the hardest.
A number of city council and local government officials have been accused of fraud and theft in the last few years, which as affected the outcome of numerous elections.

White collar crime is defined as a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation. These crimes can harm a community, especially when the individual guilty of the crime is a respected member of his community. The crimes usual are fraud, insider trading or theft of funds. The penalties for white collar crimes include jail time, fines, and probation, as well as loss of respect and most likely losing one's job in the process.

Tagged as: theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




The Rule of Lenity, The Crime of Money Laundering

Posted on: June 15, 2008 at 9:50 p.m.

On the assumption that all readers will have by now be informed of the ridiculous (beastial pictures on judicial websites) and the sublime (yesterday's Supreme Court decision affirming the availability of habeas corpus for Guantanamo prisoners), let me deal with something in between: two defense victories in the Supreme Court on June 2nd in cases interpreting the federal money laundering statutes.

The unanimous opinion written for the Court by Judge Thomas in United States v. Cuellar is of more limited utility, in that it deals with a specific section of 18 U.S.C. section 1956 prohibiting the transportation of illegal proceeds to conceal them. Nonetheless, what is refreshing is that the Court does what so few lower courts do: it reads the statute narrowly, as criminals statutes should be read, rather than giving them the broad interpretation always desired by the prosecution. In Cuellar, money was being sent back to Mexico concealed in a car to pay members in a drug smuggling operation. The fact that the concealed money was clearly proceeds of a drug operation did not stop the Court from holding that the smuggling was not a money laundering operation, because, while the money was concealed in order to transport it, it was not being transported in order to conceal it, the required element in the relevant provision of section 1956. The Court ruled that the purpose of the money laundering statutes was to criminalize attempts to give criminal proceeds the appearance of "legitimate wealth." Remarkably, the decision did not merely reverse due to a faulty jury instruction, but actually held Cuellar not guilty as a matter of law.

In the second case, United States v. Santos, Justice Scalia demonstrated that while when he is bad, he is very bad (the Guantanamo cases), when he is good, he is very, very good. He threw future money laundering prosecutions into chaos by holding that the statute applies only to a criminal operation's profits, rather than simply gross receipts or operating expenses. When Justice Scalia believes in something, damn the consequences, and he does believe in fair notice to the citizen of what is criminal and he does believe in the rule of lenity. Writing for a four judge plurality (himself, Thomas, Ginsberg, Souter), joined by Justice Stevens' concurrence, Scalia observed that the term "proceeds" in the money laundering statute could mean either receipts or profits; given that ambiguity, "under a long line of our decisions, the tie must go to the defendant. The rule of lenity requires ambiguous criminal statutes to be interpreted in favor of the defendants subjected to them." Music to our ears, and language applicable to state statutes as well.

Tagged as: theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




Internet Crimes: What Are They and What Are the Consequences?

Posted on: June 12, 2008 at 10:29 a.m.

Every so often a new medium for communication comes along and brings with it a new field for the law. The Internet is nothing new in terms of historic advancements in the technology, however it is a new arena for the law. Internet crimes are many, and they include everthing from identity theft to sexual offenses.

An Internet crime is defined as any crime that involves the Internet. For example, when an individual over the age of 18 contacts someone under the age of 18 through the Internet for the purposes of a sexual encounter, that is an Internet crime. One of the challenges for the accused is that many Internet crimes can also be federal offenses and can carry with them far greater charges than the same crime committed under state jurisdiction. For sex crimes, if the offender contacts someone under age that is also in another state, then that's a double whammy as crossing state lines also makes it a federal offense.

Internet crimes include kidnapping, sexual offense, bank robbery, credit car fraud, harassment, phishing, scams, espionage and more. The level of offense can range from smaller crimes to major felonies, however due to the amount of research and investigation it usually takes to charge and convict someone of an Internet crime, most cases are on a grand scale.

Protecting children is often a major focus for Internet crime laws, as children as the most vulnerable. Using chat rooms to contact children for sexual purposes or with other unsavery motives is against the law. Having an attorney with experience and knowledge in defending the accused in Internet crimes is vital, as the law is ever changing and only someone with experience will be able to provide a solid defense.

Tagged as: high profile defense, internet crimes defense, sex crime accusations, theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




California Criminal Law: Robbery, Penal Code Section 211 vs. Theft, Penal Code Section 484 and 487

Posted on: May 14, 2008 at 12:43 p.m.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys are frequently confronted with the question of what constitutes a robbery: If the suspect steals some items from a store, and then chased by security does the conduct constitute a robbery or a petty theft?

California robbery laws are defined by the legislature in Penal Code Section 211: the crime is the taking of property from a person by using force or threats. The famous People vs. Estes decision that interpreted Penal Code Section 211 further expanded this definition, holding that a defendant who is running away (having shoplifted property from a store without force or fear) becomes a robbery suspect when he uses force or threats to dissuade security from detaining him.

The sentencing difference between a petty/grand theft and a robbery is important, as the former is typically a misdemeanor, while the latter is a felony that usually carries substantial prison time.

A recent Court of Appeals decision further discussed how a defendant

Tagged as: jury trial defense, theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




Prosecution and Defense of Consumer Fraud Crimes in Southern California Courts

Posted on: September 2, 2007 at 11:51 a.m.

Consumer Fraud is organized into several areas under the misdemeanor prosecution powers of the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office for fraud practices - Immigration, Contractor, Auto Insurance, Solicitation, Loan Scams, and Credit Repair Fraud. The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office prosecutes these criminal fraud cases as well, but typically as felony matters.

The Los Angeles Criminal Defense of all consumer felony and misdemeanor fraud matters requires timely intervention, especially with aggressive prosecution practices in Los Angeles and Southern California courtrooms. Often a California Criminal Lawyer's aggressive intervention can result in a felony theft matter being reduced to a misdemeanor charge.

In Los Angeles courts, one area of criminal law enforcement scrutinty is so-called Immigration Consultant fraud -- the investigation of people who are not attorneys, but pretend to be by misadvising clients about areas of law they have no expertise in, nor appropriate licensing. Under California law, an immigration consultant cannot provide a client with any advice on immigration matters. The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office feels these consultants are not lawyers and should not give legal advice. An immigration consultant may only provide a person assistance with translating information, locating and securing documents on your behalf, and completing immigration forms.

Another area of criminal investigation by Los Angeles prosecutors is Contractor Fraud. Often contractors have legal issues related to appropriate licensing, bonding, and pending complaints. Crimes of theft, fraud, and other legal matters are aggressively investigated and prosecuted as both felonies and misdemeanors. The decision to file charges depends on the level of loss, as well as the age and level vulnerability of the alleged victim. Again, Los Angeles Criminal Attorneys defend these allegations immediately, ensuring that restitution if any is paid, and that felony charges are reduced.

Another hotbed area for covert investigations, including undercover media reports, is Auto Repair Fraud, which includes appropriate licensing and fraudulent estimates/work inquiries by the police. The police often set up sting operations, and seek the filing of felony charges. Again swift and strategic legal action by a criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between jail, and no custody time, in Los Angeles and So. California courtrooms.

Identy theft is another area of Consumer Prosecution. Los Angeles prosecutors focus on prosecuting all individuals using others' personal data for fraud. This is on of the fastest growing crimes in the United States is identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone steals a person's identity and proceeds to ruin credit or commit crimes in the person's name.

Finally, Loan Scamming is a related area of criminal prosecution -- money is taken from a consumer, under the guise of a loan promise that nevermaterializes. Or, a consumer's equity is taken under the false promise of a home improvement, or refinancing. Again, these are fraud matters that Los Angeles criminal lawyers defend as either felony or misdemeanor cases. Southern California consumer fraud matters are typically aggressively prosecuted, and thus the criminal defense of these matters needs to be equally aggressive.

Tagged as: federal law and defense, theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




Small theft from a store: Petty Theft v. Burglary

Posted on: July 23, 2007 at 12:26 a.m.

California law defines a burglary as entry into a building with the intent to steal. Even if nothing is taken, a burglary is committed when the entry happens (with the intent to steal or commit a felony inside the store). For example, prosecutors may argue that someone entering a store with a booster bag (one with false bottom), and scissors, shows premeditated conduct to steal at entry, and thus even if something under $50 is taken, the criminal conduct is a burglary. A burglary is a wobbler which means it could be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Compare this to a Petty Theft, a violation of Penal Code Section 484. This crime is a misdemeanor. Anytime a theft occurs of items under $400 - California law deems a violation of this statute occurs. So, if there is no evidence of premeditation before entry into the store, a defendant is usually charged with a Petty Theft offense. If Defendant tells the police or store personnel that he or she planned the theft, a Burglary will also be charged.

Tagged as: california criminal laws, federal law and defense, theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws




If I am accused of stealing from the company I worked for, can I go to jail?

Posted on: June 24, 2007 at 10:22 p.m.

This criminal conduct is called "embezzlement," and is typically charged in California criminal courts as a violation of Penal Code Seciton 487(a), commonly known as Grand Theft (if the theft exceeds $400). The offense carries a maximum of 1 year in the county jail, or 3 years in prison. If the amount of theft exceeds $50,000, the "Economic Crimes" enhancements are applicable, and the prison time is increased to 4 years and up. The Criminal Law Blog authors have represented many clients charged with "Embezzlement." Where appropriate mitigation is presented to the Court, and the District Attorney, the large majority of our clients have not gone to jail or prison. This is because we worked out alternative dispositions involving community service, restitution, probation, and fines instead of jail. What if the employer wants to drop the charges? The police and prosecutors are usually unwilling to dismiss a case once it is filed, as they are concerned that resources have been expended to investigate, document, and bring the case to court. However, jail or prison are distinct possibilities whenever embezzlement, or other white collar crime charges, are prosecuted in state or federal court.

Tagged as: faq, theft, white collar crime fraud theft laws









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Firm partners provide legal commentary on national television and radio. The firm has also litigated a number of high-profile criminal defense matters which have been covered by the media.



Criminal Defense Court Victories - Part 1

Additional Defense Court Victories - Part 2

Additional Defense Court Victories - Part 3

LA DUI Defense Court Victories

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Our Criminal Defense Partners



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Dmitry Gorin


Prior Criminal Law Posts

  • arrest warrant (2)
  • arson pc 451 (1)
  • assault (1)
  • bail and release (7)
  • bench warrants (6)
  • california criminal laws (55)
  • child pornography pc 311_11 (12)
  • counterfeit goods pc 350 (15)
  • domestic violence pc 273_5 (7)
  • driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (1)
  • drug addiction and treatment (2)
  • drug crimes defense (24)
  • dui drunk driving defense vc 23152 (4)
  • faq (24)
  • federal law and defense (29)
  • firearms crimes (1)
  • gang allegations (9)
  • high profile defense (10)
  • immigration consequences (12)
  • internet crimes defense (5)
  • jury trial defense (38)
  • juvenile crime (1)
  • juvenile law (6)
  • los angeles child pornography defense attorney (2)
  • los angeles criminal defense attorney (21)
  • los angeles drug crimes defense attorney (4)
  • los angeles drug laws (1)
  • los angeles drug offense (1)
  • los angeles embezzlement (2)
  • los angeles federal crime defense lawyer (1)
  • los angeles marijuana laws (1)
  • los angeles medical fraud defense attorney (1)
  • los angeles medical marijuana attorney (4)
  • los angeles medical marijuana dispensary (1)
  • los angeles murder defense (1)
  • los angeles paparazzi law (1)
  • los angeles police brutality defense (1)
  • los angeles sex crime defense attorney (7)
  • los angeles violent crime defense attorney (6)
  • los angeles warrant (1)
  • los angeles white collar defense attorney (3)
  • medical marijuana (1)
  • medicinal marijuana laws (2)
  • motion to dismiss unlawful police search (15)
  • police misconduct (5)
  • pornography (1)
  • probation and sentencing laws (11)
  • resisting arrest pc 148 (2)
  • riverside kidnapping defense attorney (1)
  • san fernando violent crime defense lawyer (1)
  • sex crime accusations (38)
  • sex crimes (1)
  • theft (17)
  • three strikes laws (6)
  • untagged (2)
  • vandalism pc 594 (6)
  • violent crimes defense (24)
  • white collar crime fraud theft laws (23)



  • Local Courthouse Specialist: Specializing in Van Nuys, San Fernando, Sylmar Juvenile, and all other valley courtrooms.Email