Seth P. Chazin earned a significant victory over the federal government, obtaining an outright acquittal for his client charged in Federal District Court in San Francisco with eight federal fraud-related crimes. The case was part of the United States Attorney's sweeping efforts to indict and convict alleged MS-13 gang members in San Francisco. Among the thirty defendants charged by the federal government, Mr. Chazin's client was the first to go to trial.
The government expended an astronomical amount of money and effort to convict Mr. Chazin's client of attempted exportation of stolen vehicles. Immigration Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and the California Highway Patrol (“CHP”) collaborated to perform a sting operation, whereby undercover agents purchased allegedly stolen vehicles from the defendant. Using a confidential informant, the government obtained hours of videotapes and wiretap recordings of the alleged buys. All of this evidence was presented to the jury in a six day trial.
Despite the overwhelming evidence offered by the government, Mr. Chazin was able to plant the seeds of doubt in the jurors' minds, pointing out gaps in the government's evidence and attacking the credibility of the confidential informant and undercover agents. Mr. Chazin also effectively argued an entrapment defense, causing many of the jurors to believe that the government's sting operation was inappropriate, unconscionable, and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Ultimately, after two full days of deliberations, the jury agreed with Mr. Chazin's arguments, acquitting the defendant of all charges.
Seth P. Chazin is a highly experienced criminal defense attorney with over twenty years of experience practicing in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a criminal defense lawyer, he has represented many defendants charged with serious felonies in federal court. He has also handled thousands of cases in state court, ranging from simple DUIs to homicide.