Errol Henry Stambler – in person
Errol Henry Stambler
Specialization: Criminal Law
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Errol Stambler’s 45+ years experience representing criminal defendants in state and federal courts – together with his expertise as a California State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist — enables him to craft a knowledgeable and compelling criminal defense for a wide variety of prosecutions, including white-collar crime, HUD fraud, drugs and narcotics, juvenile indictments, gang-related activities, tax evasion, and a myriad of other federal charges. Stambler’s goal is to provide the very best and most diligent representation available in the field of criminal law. He frequently writes his opinion in the blog.
In 2002, the State Bar of California awarded Stambler official recognition for 20 years as a Certified Criminal Law Specialist.
Stambler opened his private practice in 1978 to defend those accused of crimes, particularly defendants indicted for federal crimes. Before that, he spent four years as a deputy district attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted felony and misdemeanor criminal offenses. For the past 30 years, Stambler has traveled throughout the United States representing individuals in federal criminal court prosecutions.
Since 1979, Stambler has been a member of the Central District’s Criminal Justice Act Panel, a group of approximately 90 seasoned criminal defense lawyers who represent indigent defendants in federal court. From 1994-96, Stambler served as the panel’s head representative. Because of the panel’s work, defendants who could not afford an experienced defense attorney have access to the same quality representation as Hollywood celebrities and rock stars.
Stambler represented an Italian financier charged with defrauding investors of $1.2 billion in Hollywood deals, among them the purchase of MGM through Canon-Pathe. Stambler devised a plea agreement in which his client pleaded guilty to conspiracy, two counts of securities fraud, and two counts of filing false reports with the SEC. He was sentenced to 41 months in an Italian prison, fined $100,000 and banned from entering the United States for 10 years. This client is now living in Italy and has yet to serve the sentence. His potential exposure without the plea agreement could have resulted in a 25-year sentence and a fine totaling millions of dollars.
Stambler represented a principal defendant in the largest money-laundering case in U.S. history, “Operation Polar Cap.” His client, a member of “La Mina” (the mine), a Los Angeles-based organization with ties to the Medellin Drug Cartel, was accused of operating a front company that received cash from drug sales which he would ship to gold refiners. The network, which stretched from Los Angeles to New York, was uncovered after a three-year investigation and involving the DEA, the FBI, the IRS and U.S. Customs. This client was charged with money laundering. This client cooperated with the authorities and received a five-year sentence. Everyone else convicted in the case got life sentences. “Washed in Gold,” by journalist Ann Woolner, details the history of this case.
Stambler took a perjury case to the U.S. Supreme Court after a three-judge 9th Circuit panel decided that a change in the law after the trial court judgment did not affect the fairness of the initial proceeding. Later, sitting en banc, the 9th Circuit reversed Keys’ conviction on equitable grounds. While the writ of certiorari was pending, the U.S. Supreme Court, that court decided another case similar to his client’s. His case was remanded back to the 9th Circuit, which upheld the conviction.
Wire Fraud/Income Tax Evasion
Stambler handled the highly publicized federal trial in which the defendant was charged with wire fraud, money laundering and income tax evasion. Prosecutors alleged this client was a con artist who engaged in a commodities scam that spanned several continents, that he claimed to be friends with prominent American citizens and politicians and that he had a history of fraud dating back to the 1940s. Stambler arranged a plea deal in which the client would receive an 18-month sentence; however, the client decided to go to trial. He was convicted on some of the charges and although he faced a potential of 270 years in prison, he was sentenced to 97 months and fined approximately $200,000.
Drug Trafficking/RICO Violation
Stambler represent an alleged Mexican Mafia member who at the time was #10 on the FBI’s most-wanted list. This client, who pled guilty to drug trafficking and RICO violations, was sentenced to 156 to 170 months in prison. On appeal, the 9th Circuit ruled that the facts didn’t support the sentence and reversed and remanded. Vasquez was resentenced to his time served, which was 56 months.
In this current case, Stambler represents a real estate appraiser in a high-profile Los Angeles bank fraud case involving allegations of money laundering and millions of dollars in inflated appraisals. Robinson is accused of inflating appraisals on more than 20 homes and receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent fees.
Stambler has represented a number of well-known musicians and actors in criminal charges including domestic violence, driving under the influence and alleged rape. In a tax evasion charge against the wife of an internationally famous rock band’s manager, Stambler obtained a not guilty verdict.
Areas of Practice
90% Criminal Law (State & Federal)
10% Appeals and Writs of Habeas Corpus
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Certified Legal Specialties
Criminal Law, State Bar of California, 1982
University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, Oklahoma
J.D. – 1973
Honors: With Honors
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
M.A. – 1972
University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia
B.A. – 1968
California Criminal Law Procedure & Practice , 2nd Ed.
Practice Consultant, 1994
U.S. vs. Gelfuso, 87-5306 (9th Cir. 1987)
U.S. vs. Keys, 95 F.3d 874 (en banc); 133 F. 3d 1282 cert (Supreme Court)
U.S. vs. Gaudin, 115 S.Ct. 2310 (1995)
U.S. vs. Houtchens, 90-50052 (9th Cir. 1991)
U.S. vs. Perez-Garcia, et.al.,, 93-50211 (9th Cir. 1995)
U.S. vs. Kilgore, 90-50542 (9th Cir. 1992)
U.S. vs. Johnson, 95-50550 (9th Cir. 1997)
U.S. vs. Ani, 97-50138 (9th Cir. 1998)
U.S. vs. Pinto, 94-50095 (9th Cir 1995)
U.S. v. Keys (En Banc), 93-50281 (9th Cir. 1998)
U.S. vs. Kilgore, 87-5308 (9th Cir. 1987)
U.S. vs. Pinto, 94-50095 (9th Cir. 1994)
Florio Fiorini of Italy (The MGM Fraud)
“The General” of London, England (Commodities Fraud)
Operation Polar Cap – Money Laundering South America (Book: Washed in Gold)
Operation Casa Blanca – Money Laundering (Mexico)
Honors and Awards
Received 20-year Recognition Award as Consecutive Certified Specialist, 2002
Super LawyerS – 2012, 2013 & 2014
AV Preeminent Attorney
Professional Associations and Memberships
California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Member, 1988 – Present
Association of Ex-Deputy District Attys., Los Angeles County, Member
Juvenile Courts Bar Association, Member, 1980 – 1989
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member, 2001
Advisory Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Member
Beverly Hills Bar Association, Member, 2010
State Bar of California, Member, Criminal Law Section
Past Employment Positions
Elected Member of Defender Services Division of the Administrative Office of the Federal Courts, a Washington D.C. advisory group
Los Angeles County, Deputy District Attorney, 1974 – 1978
Pro Bono Activities
Panel Member of the Central District of California’s Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel, 1979
Head Representative of the Central District’s CJA panel, 1991 – 1992
9th Circuit representative to Defender Services in Washington, D.C., 1991 – 1992
Anti Defamation Leagues – Committee of Attorneys, 2005 – Present
War Crimes International Crime Bureau for the Former Yugoslavia, 1999 – 2001