Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Los Angeles White Collar Crime and Ponzi Schemes

Posted on: July 21, 2011 at 9:45 p.m.

Whenever a Los Angeles White Collar Crime Lawyer represents someone charged by the state or federal government, he has to do battle in court with some of the best attorneys in California. While drug crimes, sex crimes and violent crimes can involve people in the middle class or the poor, white collar crime always involves a high-level executive, government official or entrepreneur. In a recent article in the LA Weekly, a man known as the "Bernie Madoff of Beverly Hills" was highlighted as a high profile white collar criminal in need of some serious legal representation. He was reportedly forced into bankruptcy three years ago and left a trail of more than $1 billion in potential claims. Like many white collar criminals, he built a relationship with a tight knit community, in this case the Persian Jewish community in Los Angeles.

Currently, Ezri Namvar is living under house arrest in Brentwood in an $8 million mansion. He is awaiting his sentence for wire fraud, which is the typical type of charge that goes along with any white collar crime. In May of 2011, Namvar was convicted of four federal wire fraud charges for taking $21 million from people into his financial corporation, none of which has been paid back. According to the media and police, 400 people have lost their retirement savings, college funds, bar mitzvah money and more. This crime has torn apart the community which trusted this man, businesses, creditors and much more. What his Defense Attorney and his business allies are trying to argue, is whether or not he was committing fraud or just doing business poorly at a risky time. People accused of white collar crimes often claim that the poor economy was the culprit, not their business practices.

In this instance, the man was convicted of the crime and will have to spend years in federal prison. If you are accused of, charged with or arrested for a white collar crime, contact Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin. We can provide the kind of legal representation necessary to stay out of prison and free from fines. Their track record over the years has been superb, and they are ranked "Top Notch" by one of the most prominent lawyer ranking sites in the country.

Tagged as: white collar crime fraud theft laws

Los Angeles White Collar Crime and Lawyers

Posted on: July 11, 2011 at 10:21 p.m.

A major scam has occurred in the city, raising eye brows amongst Los Angeles White Collar Attorneys from Torrance to Tujunga. White collar crime is a highly complicated area of the law, and lawyers on both sides of any criminal trial need to know accounting, finance, wire fraud and more.

In Los Angeles Federal Court, a scammer was sentenced for a serious fraud issue. A man tricked people into investing in a bogus start-up Internet company (many different companies in fact) and evaded federal income taxes. Chase Norwood, who was also known as Thomas Gray, was convicted back in 2009 on 15 counts of federal mail fraud and tax evasion. Prosecutors said they will ask the judge to sentence the man to 60 months in federal prison. The 52 year old man solicited people to invest in his purported Internet start up companies, including one that was called Cal Broadband. He tricked investors into believing that the company had been in business for years and was internationally recognized in the wireless high speed Internet industry. The company was nothing more than a name however. He also lied to investors by telling them he had many licensing agreements and business affiliations with large technology companies, but none of that was true either. The Los Angeles Daily News reported that he used investors' funds to support a lavish lifestyle which included residences in some of the top hotels in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. White Collar Attorneys will also note that his money went towards rent for his mother's condo and to hire several unlicensed brokers and telemarketers to pick out and identify potential investors in his phone company.

Tales such as these seem to come along far too often these days, and the danger of heading to jail for five years or more is very real. This man was dealing with federal prosecutors who are some of the best lawyers in the country, and can only really be matched with highly skilled White Collar Attorneys who have an insider's perspective.

If you need assistance with a white collar crime, call the White Collar Attorney team at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP. With over 50 years of combined experience, our team can create a top-notch defense for you no matter how complicated the issue is. Call us today at 877-781-1570.

Tagged as: white collar crime fraud theft laws

Los Angeles Tax Fraud Attorneys

Posted on: May 27, 2011 at 5:14 p.m.

When a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer represents someone charged with a white collar crime, he usually invests a great deal of time into make sure that individual's background is completely investigated. Many times, when prosecuting these types of charges, the government shows a pattern of behavior. For any lawyer trying to get their client the best defense possible, using experts in finance, accounting, administration and other types of investigation can help create a great defense. At Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP, our Defense Attorneys have a great deal of experience with all manner of white collar crime, including tax fraud, wire fraud, payroll fraud and more. A recent case in Palos Verdes demonstrates just how important it is for anyone charged with a white collar crime such as tax fraud to hire a skilled, knowledgeable defense attorney who understands government prosecution techniques and who can craft a unique, effective defense.

A South Bay woman who owned and operated a boarding care facility for the mentally disabled pleaded guilty to tax fraud according to the IRS. The 51 year old woman living in Palos Verdes entered the plea in Los Angeles federal court in response to filing a false federal income tax return in 2003. The woman acknowledged failing to report about $1 million in income from her business on the returns she filed from 2003 through 2005, resulting in a loss of income of over $380,000 for the IRS. She faces a maximum sentence of three years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 when she returns to court for sentencing on September 19. According to her plea agreement, she maintained several bank accounts, including accounts in the name of her business, and deposited income into these accounts.

Fighting the IRS is more than an uphill battle, it's like trying to play football against the Green Bay Packers with a bunch of 12 year olds. If you are in this situation, you need a highly skilled, highly accomplished Attorney who can apply top notch minds to a case like this. Defending your freedom, being an ally and creating a great defense is something only a skilled lawyer can supply.

If you are facing serious challenges, contact the Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP by calling 877-781-1570. Call us today.

Tagged as: white collar crime fraud theft laws

Los Angeles White Collar Defense Attorneys and Ponzi Schemes

Posted on: April 10, 2011 at 9:54 p.m.

in LA, it is not uncommon for a Los Angeles White Collar Attorney to defend people charged with extremely shocking crimes, such as bilking seniors out of their money or stealing money from pension funds. However, what a lawyer knows is that a charge is not a conviction. To be charged with a crime is simply to be thought guilty, not to be actually convicted by a court. A white collar crime can make a person look shameful to the general public, and without a skilled lawyer working for you, the shame could follow you all the way to prison. A recent case in Topanga highlights just how publicly embarrassing it can be for anyone charged with a serious white collar crime in Los Angeles.

In Topanga, a man is accused of running a 15 year long Ponzi scheme that conned retired Los Angeles County train and bus operators out of roughly $7 million. He pleaded guilty to mail fraud and faces up to 20 years in federal prison. The man operated or used several companies to perpetrate the scheme, which targeted retirees, many of whom were employed as transit operators by the MTA. This crime was prosecuted by federal authorities, which means the penalties and prison time are far more severe. A Los Angeles White Collar Defense Attorney with a track record of success can be a great asset in such a case. The investigation process in a Ponzi scheme charge or any other white collar crime is in-depth, and only a knowledgeable lawyer can help defend against the accusations. The man is accused of portraying himself as a successful investment adviser, falsely promising high investment returns through stocks, bonds or real estate. He also insisted his investments were safe, lying to at least one victim that her investment money was insured by the federal government.

If you or someone you know has been accused of, charged with or arrested for a while collar crime in Los Angeles, you need a skilled lawyer working on your behalf. With over 50 years of combined experienced, including quite a few years working in the Los Angeles District Attorneys' office, the lawyers at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP can help create a great defense for your case.

Call us today at 877-781-1870 today!

Tagged as: white collar crime fraud theft laws

Los Angeles White Collar Defense Attorneys

Posted on: March 28, 2011 at 9:24 p.m.

A recent case in a Los Angeles Court highlights just how vital a Los Angeles White Collar Attorney is for anyone charged with a white collar crime. A woman from Canada is being sentenced for stealing thousands of millions of dollars from American citizens, all of them elderly, by using telemarketers to peddle fake credit card protection plans. The woman pleaded guilty in July, 2010 in Los Angeles Federal Court of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud according to a US Attorney. Both the woman and her husband were arrested back in 2007 by Canadian officials as part of an investigation in that nation. The couple ran the scheme from 1998 until 2001, hiring telemarketers to sell fraudulent credit card protection programs to seniors in Los Angeles and throughout the United States. These telemarketers were hired to falsely tell victims that they were calling from a security division of Visa, MasterCard or the consumer's credit card issuing bank. They were sold fake credit card protection for roughly $300. These victims were coerced to divulge their card numbers for verification purposes, which enabled the two to immediately charged the fee to the victim's credit cards. The woman was charged and will be sentenced in Los Angeles, however her husband remains in Canada, facing charges in his home nation.

As you can see, even crimes that are a decade old can lead to years in prison. These people are facing federal charges, which are often more of a threat than state charges. These people are facing years in prison for their crimes, because federal authorities only go after criminals they know they can prosecute, and do so with tenacity. Without a qualified, skilled Los Angeles White Collar Defense Attorney who understands federal crimes, no one has a prayer of defeating these charges. Their is great sympathy for the victims, who are elderly, many of whom might face financial ruin due to this crime. However, in even the most dire cases, having a knowledgeable lawyer working for you can mean the difference between years in prison and complete freedom.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a white collar crime, contact the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP. Our phone number is 877-781-1570, and we have people on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Tagged as: white collar crime fraud theft laws

Las Angeles White Collar Lawyers and Embezzlement

Posted on: February 10, 2011 at 10:26 p.m.

Throughout the city lately, Los Angeles White Collar Defense Lawyers are working overtime, defending people from a variety of criminal charges ranging from embezzlement to money laundering. A recent case in Van Nuys highlights how white collar charges can even impact those who work in the criminal law industry. A Van Nuys woman who worked as a bail bonds agent was in court on a felony count of grand theft by embezzlement. The woman is 55 years old and was taken into custody earlier this month; she faces a maximum of three years in prison if she's convicted. She allegedly stole from clients in order to use these funds personally. According to authorities, from February through April 2009 she executed 13 American Surety Co. bail bonds worth almost $400,000. She is accused of collecting at least $34,000 in gross premiums from 12 of the 13 defendants that she bailed out, but failed to repay over $5,000 in net premiums due to the Bail Bond company. The investigation also uncovered other alleged crimes, including failing to return or account for 11 bail bonds with a face value of $250,000 and worth $3,250 in premiums.

Investigators learned of the alleged embezzlement scheme last may and forced the woman to give up her license. Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly appropriating (stealing) assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted. Any white collar crime charge involves mountains of paperwork, bank statements, electronic transfer notices and much more. The government is trying to prove that the alleged criminal used money illegally, didn't pay taxes and didn't pay the people they were supposed to pay. Unlike a crime such as stealing a car or breaking into someone's house to steal their television, there are no finger prints or witnesses to a white collar theft crime. The government must build its case through paperwork and investigation.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for or accused of a white collar crime in Los Angeles, contact a qualified lawyer today at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin. We know how best to craft a defense. We use the best experts in the field of investigations, expert witnesses and accounting in order to build your case.

Tagged as: white collar crime fraud theft laws

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

Healthcare Fraud Defense

Posted on: July 8, 2010 at 10:52 p.m.

When it comes to white collar crime, the number of Healthcare Fraud cases is increasing. With Obama's new healthcare package, it seems individuals are taking advantage of programs on all sides, hospitals, healthcare practitioners, patients, drug companies and more. When a Los Angeles White Collar Defense Lawyer represents someone charged with Healthcare Fraud, he has to realize that it is an incredibly complex issue.

Recently, in Ohio, a federal court saw a woman and three of her former employees charged with Healthcare Fraud. They worked for a pharmaceutical company as sales people, insurance verifiers and more. The charges they are facing include: concealment of records from a federal investigation; conspiracy to conceal records from a federal investigation; two counts of conspiracy to obstruct a criminal investigation of a health care offense; and two counts of obstruction of a criminal investigation of a health care offense. These are not just criminal charges, they are felonies on the federal level, which means that serious prison time will be handed down for any of these individuals who are convicted of a crime. These crimes allegedly took place between 1987 and 2008 and revolve around over billing medical insurance companies for drugs and services.

In order for any Defense Attorney to provide top notch legal services, he must review countless pages of information from both sides. Insurance companies surely will have countless boxes of files, the FBI has tons of more pages of paper, and even the individuals themselves have as many pages of notes, evidence and so forth. Only a skilled lawyer who understands the complexities of white collar crime, and the challenges of any Healthcare Fraud Defense case, can provide the type of legal services needed.

At Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP, we have a successful track record necessary to provide a high level of legal defense. If you or someone you love is charged with Healthcare Fraud, contact our lawyers today at 877-781-1570.

Tagged as: white collar crime fraud theft laws

San Fernando White Collar Crime

Posted on: June 28, 2010 at 10:55 p.m.

For any White Collar Defense Attorney, defending people in San Fernando can be a tricky ordeal. White collar crimes have taken off in recent years, with the Internet making it easier for shady characters to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. However, the law has come down in a harsh manner, even on people who were obeying the law in making a profit. A recent case in Santa Clarita showed just how vital it is to get a quality White Collar Defense Attorney in your corner if you are charged with a white collar crime in San Fernando.

A woman who was dubbed a "financial predator" from Santa Clarita after she allegedly conned almost $4 million from people to whom she allegedly promised low interest, multimillion dollar loans from the Federal Reserve Bank. That woman was sentenced to eight years in prison for her alleged actions. The case was handled in a United States District Courtroom in downtown Los Angeles. The woman was also ordered by the judge to pay more than $3.8 million in restitution! So far, the government has already taken more than a million dollars from the woman to repay her alleged victims. In January, the woman pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of impersonating an employee of the Federal Reserve.

Some of the woman's crimes included offering loans as high as $20 million at fixed rates as low as 2. percent according to prosecutors. She asked for upfront payments, generally about 15 percent of the total loan amount. The woman allegedly defraud 14 victims, none of whom received a loan.

People in such situations need a quality Los Angeles White Collar Defense Attorney to provide them with top notch legal representation. With government coming down so hard on alleged white collar crimes, you could spend years in prison because of an accounting error, or because investors are upset their investment did not go as planned. However, with an experienced White Collar Lawyer, you could avoid serious jail time and/or not have to pay the humungous levels of restitution required by the courts.

If you are facing charges of fraud, bribery, larceny, money laundering or a similar type of crime, contact the Los Angeles White Collar Defense Attorneys at Kestenbaum Eisner & Gorin, LLP today at 877-781-1570. With over 50 years of combined experience, our lawyers know the law, the courts and how to get you the best result possible in your particular case.

Tagged as: white collar crime fraud theft laws

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

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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