According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, a mistrial was declared in the California fraud trial of Matthias Vheru, 53, who was accused by prosecutors of conning the district into placing a $3.7 million order to buy math textbooks that he had written. The math teacher who was the interim director of mathematics in 2004, allegedly persuaded the district to purchase about 45,000 copies of an algebra book he wrote. As a result of the district’s purchase, Verhu received approximately $930,000.
Following more than a week of deliberations, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, which is required to find Mr. Vheru guilty of the fraud charges. The panel was reportedly hung at 11 to 1 in favor of acquitting Vheru. The U.S. Attorney’s office has until March 23rd to decide if they want to retry Vheru.
Vheru’s fraud defense attorneys argued that their client obtained the proper approval from both the mathematics department and the accounting office before placing the order, and that disclosing royalties on the sale of books was not part of L.A. Unified’s policy.
Results such as the one in this Los Angeles fraud case do not happen by accident. They are the result of the work of an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. While white-collar crimes like fraud and forgery do not carry the negative social stigma that many other crimes do, they are nonetheless extremely serious charges.
Forgery can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor in California, depending on the circumstances and any prior convictions. A felony conviction carries prison time, whereas a misdemeanor carries up to a year in county jail.
In defending felony fraud in California, the first priority of Wallin & Klarich attorneys is always to look for ways to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor or reduce your punishment from prison time to probation. If you’re facing jail time call us today at 1-888-280-6839, or visit our website, www.wklaw.com for more information on setting up an appointment.