Articles Posted in White Collar Crime

People convicted of crimes often believe they have no further recourse. In some cases, however, they may have grounds for arguing that their conviction should be vacated. They must do so within the time constraints established by law, however, otherwise, their request may be denied as untimely, as illustrated in a recent Florida ruling in which the court denied a defendant’s request to vacate his bank fraud and identity theft convictions. If you are accused of committing a white collar crime, it is important to understand your rights, and you should consult a Tampa white collar crime defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was indicted by a federal jury for aiding and abetting bank fraud and aiding and abetting identity theft. He subsequently pleaded guilty to the identity theft offense via a plea agreement; as part of the agreement, he waived the right to appeal his sentence. The defendant was sentenced to 24 months in prison. Over two years later, he filed a motion to vacate his conviction and sentence.

Timeliness of Post-Conviction Motions

The court ultimately denied the defendant’s motion as untimely. The court explained that pursuant to the AEDPA (the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act), a person serving a sentence in a federal prison can move to correct, vacate, or set aside their sentence within a one-year period. Continue Reading ›

White-collar crimes generally do not involve physical harm, but they nonetheless cause significant damages. In many cases, the courts will order someone convicted of a white-collar crime to pay restitution for the financial losses they caused. Regardless of the defendant’s resources, such orders will often require the defendant to pay the entire restitution amount immediately, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling issued in a case in which the defendant was convicted of identity fraud and mail theft. If you are accused of a white-collar crime, it is in your best interest to speak to a knowledgeable Florida white-collar crime defense attorney regarding your rights.

History of the Case

Reportedly, the defendant pleaded guilty to multiple counts of mail fraud and aggravated identity theft for the fraudulent liquidation of numerous pre-paid college accounts that were owned by other people. She agreed to pay restitution in excess of $40,000 as well. The defendant’s presentence investigation report (PSI) recommended, in part, that upon her release, she be required to make payments towards any unpaid restitution in the amount of $150 per month.

Allegedly, at the defendant’s sentencing hearing, she requested that the court reduce the amount of the monthly restitution payment. The district court denied her request but verbally advised her it would reassess the monthly amounts owed at a later date if needed. It issued an order requiring her to pay restitution in the amount of $42,500. The written judgment required her to pay slightly more. The government moved to correct the written judgment to state that the restitution amount was due immediately. The defendant opposed the motion, which the court granted. The defendant appealed. Continue Reading ›

Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that is not widely used or understood. As cryptocurrency is a relatively new technological development, many states do not have laws regulating cryptocurrency transactions or case law defining whether the laws the pertain to money and money services should apply to cryptocurrency.

Recently, a Florida appellate court ruled that a defendant could be charged with money laundering and unlawfully engaging in money services business based on transactions involving cryptocurrency If you live in Tampa and are charged with a criminal offense arising out of transactions involving cryptocurrency you should speak with a trusted Tampa criminal defense attorney to determine how to defend against the charges you face.

The Defendant’s Bitcoin Transactions

Allegedly, an undercover detective contacted the defendant regarding the sale of Bitcoins. Bitcoins are a type of cryptocurrency with no backing by the government. The defendant and the undercover detective engaged in several transactions in which the defendant sold the detective Bitcoins in exchange for cash. The defendant was not registered under either the state or federal databases as a “money services business.”

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A recent Supreme Court decision is widely expected to make it easier for people wrongly convicted of Florida crime to get compensation. A later ruling out of Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, however, makes clear that there are still strict time limits on efforts to get that compensation.Defendant was charged with grand theft and uttering a forged instrument, executing a scheme to defraud a financial institution, and counterfeiting a license tag in three separate criminal cases. He eventually entered into a plea deal, under which Defendant plead no contest to the crimes. He also agreed to pay restitution to the victims of the forged instrument and scheme to defraud offenses. Defendant was sentenced to three years of probation on the scheme to defraud charge as part of the deal.

A federal court in 2009 overturned Defendant’s conviction on the scheme to defraud offense. The court held that writing a check that’s unsupported by sufficient funds doesn’t qualify as a fraudulent representation to a bank without proof of intent. So Defendant also went back to state court and asked a judge to scrap his plea deal and give Defendant back the restitution money he had paid for the scheme to defraud conviction. The trial court declined that request in 2009. Some eight years later, Defendant filed a “motion for damages” seeking the return of the restitution money. A judge said that this filing wasn’t timely.

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As workplaces adopt paperless record retention policies, electronic records are increasingly becoming the norm. These files are held on computer networks, and often only a few trusted employees have access to these records. These employees help companies ensure that their records are maintained in compliance with laws, rules, regulations, or court orders and may relate to sensitive information, such as financial records, employees, and company customers.

Florida criminal law addresses the destruction or hacking of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices to help protect companies from the actions of bad actors. The Tampa Bay Times reported on 11/1/2017 that a company’s former employee was arrested for allegedly destroying his former employer’s computer data after he was fired. The alleged costs to the company were substantial.

Florida Statutes Section 815.06 criminalizes offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices. The various crimes range from a first-degree misdemeanor to first-degree felonies. An example of a third-degree felony under this statute is destroying a computer network or electronic device with the specific intent to do so. An example of a first-degree felony under this statute is to disrupt a computer network associated with medical equipment or the direct administration of medical care.

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