Born in Los Angeles and raised in Newport Beach, California, Sean Erenstoft was an avid swimmer who excelled in water polo and won both athletic and academic scholarships to several of California’s top universities. After attending the 1984 Olympic water polo games at Pepperdine University, Sean decided that he would study business and politics at that fine institution. The Malibu college was the perfect place to surf in the morning and play polo in the afternoon. Sean was recruited to serve as a paid editor for the Pepperdine Law Review and thereby began his writing career.
By the end of his freshman year, he was enticed to attend the university’s unique Year-in-Europe program and found himself studying next door to the Heidelberg castle perched along the Neckar River in the heart of Germany. Pepperdine’s four-day school regimen was intended to encourage weekend travel (by train) throughout Europe. Once he and his cadre of friends discovered the science of the Eurail, Sean would explore the reaches of European continent. He turned 20 in the Monaco, France and continued to travel throughout the summer with little more than a backpack and a tent.
Arriving back in Malibu just in time for the Fall semester, Erenstoft had clearly been moved by his experiences abroad that were coupled with an extensive reading list assigned to him by a political historian who taught in Heidelberg. He would serve as the Junior Class President during his third year in college and changed his major from political science to business administration and management. Nonetheless, Sean turned his eyes toward Washington, D.C. and resolved to spend the next Summer trimester in the nation’s capitol.
With the aid and assistance of a friend’s well-placed father, Sean garnered an internship with United States Senator, Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire. Humphrey sat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and was quick to recognize Erenstoft as a stand-out. In concert with three other U.S, Senators, Sean graduated to the title of Legislative Assistant and began working on the then-pending Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty then being negotiated by the Reagan administration. His work took him across Capitol Hill to the Pentagon, the State Department, and to many of the think-tanks (including both the Heritage Foundation and the Brookings Institution) as he assisted in justifying the ratification of this momentous treaty with Russia. In the Fall, Sean would return to Malibu for his senior year and serve as Senior Class President.
His final trimester at Pepperdine was spent in Beijing, China where political tensions had been garnering world-wide attention and erupted in what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre. By May of 1992, the United States’ State Department had advised Sean and his class to leave Beijing and, again, Sean would find himself with a backpack and a tent — this time travelling throughout Asia.
By the fall of ’92, Sean was enrolled at Whittier Law School and began his legal career as a writer for the school’s newspaper; a member of the International Law Foundation; and a volunteer for the school’s fledgling Public Interest Law Foundation. During his law school career, Sean was tapped first by the Orange County District Attorney and then by the Los Angeles District Attorney to serve as a prosecutor handling largely misdemeanor matters through trial. By his final year in law school, Sean was working under Dan Bershin and Andy Flier handling a plethora of felony matters. Foregoing a career as a prosecutor, after Sean graduated law school, he went to work as an associate for a Lloyd’s of London sponsored law firm handling complex litigation typically involving oil and gas companies, large-scale construction concerns, and waste management. From there he formed his own firm handling both business, civil rights, and white collar crime matters.
Following his experiences in Washington, D.C., Sean had been moved by Senator Humphrey’s commitment to his fellow combat veterans and had decided to volunteer at his local American Legion. Sean also worked at providing homeless veterans access to their well-deserved benefits which typically involved Sean standing up a 4′ x 4′ card table in the homeless camps in Los Angeles’ skid row and utilizing a wireless access chip on his laptop to process veterans’ claims with the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
By 2011, Sean formed LA-Vets and continued to assist military veterans. By 2016, he launched the Jobs4Vets program and began to promote veteran job set-asides with job recruiters across the country. His efforts to assist vets now includes the alleviation of homelessness. Sean is a strident monitor of the Los Angeles City Council (and others) who are attempting to remove veteran encampments on and around the Los Angeles city center. “These are delicate matters that need a holistic and thoughtful solution. Merely sweeping people from one side of the street to the other is short-sighted and ineffective.” Erenstoft is lobbying for a permanent agency to be funded to assist the ebb-and-flow of L.A.’s homeless veteran population.
In 2011, Sean was set to publish his first book, Rampart: Crossing the [Blue] Line which promoted Sean’s whistleblowing activity exposing systematic corruption involving the hiding of evidence by county prosecutors. However, the book was confiscated from Sean’s Encino home in a raid orchestrated by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. Claims made by the Los Angeles District Attorney about the contents of the book were rejected by Judge Stephen Marcus who rightfully exclaimed that the contents were protected under the First Amendment.
Sean’s second book, L.A. Cutthroats includes much of the substantive contents of his first book but serves as a biographic about Erenstoft’s tribulations preceding his involvement as a lawyer in the famous “Bling Ring” case which made headlines when a cadre of teens were then vandalizing the homes of several of Hollywood’s young elite actors and actresses. That book is slated for publication imminently.