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Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Blog

From corner office to under the bus: Execs deserve counsel

When trouble strikes, companies often use the tried-and-true strategy of blaming someone at the just right level and position to plausibly be at fault.

Many professionals are emotionally and legally unprepared for the role of scapegoat, especially if they’ve made valuable, influential and loyal contributions for a long time. They may need a reminder that corporate counsel represents the corporation. Professionals have a right to their own attorney.

Man pleads guilty to role in bank, tax fraud scheme

It is not unusual for individuals to have various ways in which they could handle criminal charges. The manner in which they choose to approach their defense could depend on a number of factors associated with their cases. For instance, some parties may feel that it is in their better interests to enter a guilty plea when accused of fraud, especially if a plea bargain is available.

It was recently reported that one man in California chose to enter a guilty plea after being charged in a tax and bank fraud scheme. Purportedly, the man helped launder money obtained through the scheme by using his power as a bank branch manager. He allegedly admitted to unfreezing bank accounts that had been frozen due to suspected fraudulent activity.

Guilty plea in bribery scheme at California military base

Those facing criminal charges likely have a great deal of questions about their options and how their cases will proceed. While some people may choose to fight certain allegations in court, others may opt to accept a plea deal. For example, a former contractor at a Navy base in California has recently pleaded guilty following allegations that he was involved in a bribery scheme.

The crimes for which the man is accused are said to have begun in 2008. The man, a civilian, was in charge of service contracts and approving payment to vendors, among other responsibilities. However, law enforcement officials claim that he conspired with a businessman who owned three companies that received contracts from the Navy.

The thin line between fraud and bribery

According to the U.S. News & World Report, the 51st person was charged in the college admissions scheme on June 28. Jefferey Bizzack pleaded guilty to paying $250,000 so his son could attend the University of Southern California as a volleyball recruit.

Bizzack is only one of many to face serious charges in this widespread scandal. The sheer number of charges included in this scandal can bring forth a lot of questions, particularly the relationship between fraud and bribery.

Infamous imprisoned doctor facing new criminal charges

A former California doctor, currently imprisoned for a lucrative spinal surgery fraud scheme, is now facing new criminal charges after selling his classic cars in violation of a court order.

Michael D. Drobot pleaded guilty in 2014 to charges of conspiracy and paying illegal kickbacks, part of a bribery scheme the U.S. Department of Justice says directed hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of spinal surgeries to his hospital. He made millions of dollars for himself and was sentenced to five years in prison, in part for agreeing to testify against a former California state senator also involved in the scheme. Now he's facing additional criminal charges - and decades more in prison.

What constitutes white collar crime in California?

Facing accusations of a crime is a stressful prospect. If you find yourself in this situation, you could help alleviate at least some of that stress by gaining an understanding of what you face. For instance, you may know that you face allegations of a white collar crime, but you need more information about what that means here in California.

The term "white collar crime" is a general term that applies to a group of offenses. You need to know what exactly government officials accuse you of doing before you can take steps to prepare a defense strategy. If you work in public service, you could face allegations of public corruption, which includes fraud, money laundering and more. If you face other allegations of fraud, it could relate to mail fraud, medi-Cal fraud, wire fraud and more.

Ex-Stanford coach first to be sentenced in bribery scandal

The college admissions bribery scandal that shocked the country has seen its first sentence. A former sailing coach at Stanford University faced charges of racketeering conspiracy in the scandal.

The Washington Post reports that prosecutors sought steep penalties of 13 months in prison and one year of supervised release. However, a federal judge imposed a less harsh sentence of just one day in prison, a $10,000 fine and two years of supervised release, which will include six months of home confinement. The coach, John Vandemoer of California, became the first to receive a sentence out of 50 facing federal charges.

Could tip lines cause false public corruption charges?

The mandate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is to investigate alleged violations of federal law across the country, including here in California. In doing so, the organization uses a variety of information gathering and investigative methods. In the digital age, one of those tools is the internet. For instance, the FBI has a public corruption webpage, along with other sites such as social media pages, designed to take in tips regarding possible violations of federal law by public officials.

In a politically divisive age, candidates for public office and incumbents need as much of an edge as they can get in order to retain or obtain their positions. Everyone has an opinion regarding what constitutes wrongdoing, especially in the public sector. Both of these circumstances could easily lead to well-intentioned individuals providing false information to the FBI regarding a public official.

Embezzlement, other charges brought against Stan Lee's ex-manager

No one wants to find him or herself accused of a serious crime. Some actions could be viewed by others as manipulative or even illegal, and as a result, a person could face charges for embezzlement and other serious allegations. In such a predicament, it is wise to understand how to potentially defend against the criminal charges.

One man will certainly want to understand his best options after recently being charged in California. According to reports, Keya Morgan was the former business manager for comic book icon Stan Lee. Apparently, an investigation began last year into claims that Morgan was abusing Lee. Lee's daughter stated that Morgan was isolating Lee, manipulating him and attempting to gain control over Lee's financial affairs, which led her to file a request for a restraining order.

Little League treasurer facing embezzlement charge

When individuals begin to have concerns about where money for an organization or company is going, suspicions could quickly come against those in charge of handling funds. In some cases, those suspicions may become so great that an investigation begins to determine whether funds have been inappropriately used. Unfortunately, some parties could end up accused of embezzlement if evidence stacks up against them.

It was recently reported that one woman was taken into custody due to allegedly embezzling funds from a California Little League organization. The woman reportedly acted as treasurer for the organization and came under suspicion when thousands of dollars allegedly went missing. The league's president and other officials asked the woman about the funds, but they apparently did not receive adequate answers. As a result, they contacted the authorities, and an investigation began.

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