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Articles Posted in Federal Crimes

Florida has local human trafficking task forces in each of its sixty-seven counties.

The crime’s statistics have been precipitous; having a very steep ascent year after year.

Over the past seven years total cases have risen from a reported 931 contacts in 2012 to 1885 ending 2018; more than double.

Bank robbery has been a federal crime in the United States since 1934. This includes National banks, state member banks, savings and loans, credit unions, armored cars and related institutions that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC).

It was in the 1930’s when the John Dillinger gang also known as The Terror Gang caught the country’s attention wreaking havoc with their daring robberies of twenty-four banks. Since that era the FBI has become the leader of all investigations relating to any assault on the Federal Reserve System.

Dillinger became a folk hero to some when the press ran embellished accounts of his swagger and flamboyant personality, equating him to a then day Tony Soprano figure.

Our country is divided; with our politics reaching a level of intense polarization which most likely hasn’t been seen since the American Civil War.

One day after the release of the Mueller report, that’s primary focus was to deliberate on Russia’s seemingly successful interference of the 2016 presidential election; and if any American persons aided and abetted in the process, a South Florida man was arrested for leaving threatening voicemails on multiple Congresspersons’ voicemails.

This article is not political, but will point out how the apparent impenetrable divide in our country has caused certain people to become overly-passionate when it comes to their personal opinions about their political leanings. So much so, they arrive at a point where they believe they need to take action personal action.

After a two-week trial in federal court in the Southern District of Florida a well-known and highly respected South Florida attorney faces decades in prison after being convicted of multiple counts of federal crimes.

James M. Schneider, who is 77 years old, is now awaiting sentencing for the crimes he was convicted of earlier this month which could easily amount to a lifetime in prison due to his age. A U.S. District Judge is set to sentence Schneider on Feb. 14, 2019.

In October, 2017, Schneider was charged with multiple counts of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering and wire fraud. At sentencing, he now faces a maximum statutory sentence of twenty-five years for each count of the securities fraud and conspiracy counts, and ten years each for money laundering and the conspiracy to commit money laundering counts, as well as a fine up to $250,000 or double the proceeds of the scheme as to each.

Updating an article that was posted on this blog in mid-February, a North Lauderdale woman was sentenced to forty-one months in federal prison after the judge in the case determined that a tougher punishment for the crimes she committed was warranted.

Normally, in cases such as these some type of restitution and penalties are always assessed by the judge but it’s rare that such a harsh sentence is imposed. In fact, most of those that plead guilty to the crime she was found guilty of usually get a minimal sentence or even probation if their previous criminal record is fundamentally unsoiled.

Background

A North Lauderdale woman was jailed last month after a jury found her guilty of ninety counts of stealing federal funds. The jury deliberated for approximately thirty minutes before finding her guilty of all charges in Fort Lauderdale federal court. Her sentencing hearing is set for April 5, 2018 when she can be sent to federal prison for up to ten years. Additionally, she will most likely be slapped with a fine of up to $250,000 in addition to restitution of the stolen money and at least three years of supervised release after her sentence is served.

She was represented at trial by a Federal Public Defender.

Myriam Etienne illegally accepted more than $130,000 in Social Security benefits which were directly deposited into a bank account she jointly shared with her grandparents. For more than a decade Etienne illegally received her grandfather’s benefits as well as receiving her grandmother’s payments after she also died.

It was the height of the Holiday shopping season last month, when a middle aged woman wearing sweat pants and a dark colored hat walked into a bank and simply handed a teller a note which read “This is a robbery. Smile & act naturally”. She also told the teller that she was armed and wouldn’t hesitate to use her weapon, “so don’t act like a hero”, even though witnesses to the apparent robbery didn’t see a weapon in the woman’s possession, according to the federal criminal complaint.

After her arrest, which took place three days after the alleged robbery, and after being taken into custody, Sonya Clark, who is fifty two years old and works for a moving company also seemingly confessed to robbing a local branch of a TD bank in Boynton Beach late last year, near her residence. The bank that was hit in Fort Lauderdale was also a TD Bank
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Many people are arrested by police when suspicions are raised in cases when they’re pulled over for simple traffic stops. This also frequently happens when law enforcement is given access to people’s homes for indeterminate reasons, such as a 911 call for a domestic argument that wasn’t actually serious and may have even been resolved before police arrived.

For example, if a police officer notices a pouch of what appears to be marijuana with a box of rolling paper in plain view, they can possibly make an arrest, even though they were called to the scene for a totally different purpose.

But in many cases, when police notice items that cause them to assume that a more substantial crime may be involved due to what they feel to be evidence witnessed with their own eyes, they may choose to further investigate and hold parties they believe to be involved as they begin and continue the inspective process.

Michael Cohen is a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney whose practice concentrates on the defense of federal charges. In cases such as these, his help can be invaluable for resulting in the best outcome if charges are filed by the federal government or the State of Florida.

When an arrest takes place by law enforcement when they assume the evidence they stumbled upon by chance may be a fragment of a greater possible crime, in many cases they may be correct.

Such was the case when Miramar Police were investigating an armed home invasion that took place in 2013 at a residence inhabited by three men: Harlan and Frantz Decoste, and Francis Jeudy.

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Recently on my Website, I’ve been focusing on the topic of identity theft since tax season is fast approaching and the rise in these types of cases increases dramatically this time of year.

Most people submit their tax information to the IRS before the April 15 deadline hoping to receive their refund checks as early as possible.

But in many cases, others are already spending that expected money as people continually check their mailboxes for the check they assume to receive from the Department of the Treasury.

Tax Season has begun, and potential identity thieves are making plans.

After the New Year’s festivities end, up until the April 15 deadline (excluding extensions) people go through their records from the previous year and prepare to submit their completed income tax information to the IRS by themselves or through a representative, in the hopes of receiving a nice refund from the taxes they overpaid during the year; using the deductions they are legally entitled to.

But well before that date, plans are hatched by identity thieves imagining how to play the system by stealing people’s identities, and cashing the refunds that are due to others.

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