John Balazs is an attorney in Sacramento, California, specializing in criminal defense, including appeals, habeas corpus, pardons, expungements, and civil forfeiture actions. After graduating from UCLA Law School in 1989, he clerked for Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. John was an Assistant Federal Defender in Fresno and Sacramento from 1992-2001. He currently serves as an adjunct professor in clinical trial advocacy at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Please email EDCA items of interest to Balazslaw@gmail.com. Follow me on twitter @balazslaw.
This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice. The law can change rapidly and information in this blog can become outdated. Do your own research or consult with an attorney.
Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. attorney for the Sacramento-based Eastern District of California, has been appointed co-chair of a subcommittee advising U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on white collar crime, according to an announcement Thursday from Wagner’s office.
A Sacramento federal judge has rejected a bid by Barclays Bank PLC and four of its employees to escape $453 million in fines for allegedly manipulating electricity markets in California and other Western states.
U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley ruled Wednesday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which sought to impose the fines on Barclays PLC and its four traders in July 2013, “has alleged both a sufficient factual and legal basis to support its claim of manipulation.”
Today, Judge Mueller issued a minute order stating that she would decide the defense's Motion for Reconsideration based on Section 538 of the Budget Act in the Schweder marijuana case without oral argument and vacating the July 1 hearing date.
Troy Stratos, the self-described entertainment entrepreneur and globe-trotting businessman, was found guilty Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento of concocting an $11 million fraud involving Facebook stock.
The eight-man, four-woman jury in U.S. District Court in Sacramento deliberated less than two hours on its verdict, which came at the conclusion of a nine-day trial before Judge Troy L. Nunley.
Stratos, who did not testify in the case and did not noticeably react to the verdict, still faces trial in the fall on charges that he swindled Nicole Murphy out of $8 million by promising to handle her financial affairs following her divorce from Eddie Murphy.
A domestic-violence victim took an unusual step Monday by stepping out in public and suing her ex-boyfriend — former Clovis police officer Kyle Pennington — of federal civil rights violations.
Besides Pennington, the suit names his parents and the Clovis and Sanger police departments, accusing them in federal court of civil conspiracy, negligence, and denying her right to due process and equal protection under the law.
In her lawsuit, Desiree Martinez contends Pennington abused and tormented her for more than year while the Clovis and Sanger police departments ignored her pleas for help.
Kyle’s parents, Kim and Connie Pennington of Sanger, are named as defendants in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Fresno because, either through “intentional or neglect conduct,” they helped conceal their son’s criminal behavior, said Fresno attorney Kevin Little, who represents Martinez.
The Sacramento Bee reported that a woman called the "Bank Robbing Babe" on the CNBC show, American Greed: The Fugitives, was sentenced by Judge Mueller today to 187 months imprisonment for various bank fraud offenses. No. 2:09-CR-325-KJM.
After a 12-day trial before Judge Mendez, a jury convicted all six defendants on all counts of wire fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. Sentencing is set for August 11, 2015. U.S. v. Markevich, No. 2:11-CR-490-JAM.
The Court today approved the parties' stipulation to vacate tomorrow's hearing and instead set a schedule for additional pretrial motions and jury trial in the Schweder, et. al., marijuana case. Defendants' motions are due July 1 with a motion hearing on September 23, 2015. A jury trial is scheduled to begin February 22, 2016.
The Markevich, No. 2:11-CR-0490, six defendant mortgage fraud trial before Judge Mendez winds down with closings arguments scheduled to begin about 10 a.m. Monday. It's in the 16th Floor Ceremonial Courtroom.
Also on Monday, another multi-week fraud trial begins in United States v. Troy Stratos, No. 2:11-CR-0537-TLN, before Judge Nunley in courtroom 2. Stratos is charged with a scheme to defraud a financial manager of more than $11 million by offering to sell him Facebook stock at a very favorable price before the company went public. Motions in-limine will be heard in the morning starting at 9:00 a.m and jury selection begins at 1:30 p.m. [updated 5/3, 9:30 p.m.]