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New York Criminal Defense Blog

Can Facebook be used against you in court?

You always felt like social media was a good way to interact with your friends and keep people involved in your life. It was fun, it was simple and you enjoyed it. You never thought much about what you posted or what people thought of it.

That is, you never thought about it until you got accused of a crime. Suddenly, you started worrying about everything you'd ever written. Could people use it in court? What would come back to haunt you? Had you forgotten completely about a post that would make you look very guilty -- whether you were actually guilty or not?

Prominent prime minister lives lavishly after embezzling funds

When peoples' jobs require them to work with large amounts of money, they often have access to significant resources and power to move them around as designated by their superiors. However, improperly implemented protocols for monitoring functions, as well as a lack of transparency can be incredibly damaging to any New York firm if they have employees who are dishonest. Participation in financial crimes can wreak an extreme backlash of consequences that can ultimately destroy a firm's reputation and brand name in the most severe cases. 

In a recent example of people misusing their power, a couple of bankers with Goldman Sachs have been indicted on charges of embezzling money that allowed Malaysia's Prime Minister to live a lavish lifestyle. Among his ludicrous purchases was a Picasso painting. A sovereign wealth fund was created and managed by the Prime Minister, but he relied on the help of the bankers to embezzle the funds that he used to support his lifestyle. 

Alleged bomb mailer arrested

Residents in New York and across the United States were aware that for a series of days, officials were reported to have intercepted multiple packages mailed to prominent persons. The contents of these packages were potential bombs and the intended recipients were all democratic politicians or well-known supporters of democratic politicians and the democratic party.

As reported by CNN, there were a total of 13 packages that are said to have been mailed with the intent of harming or killing the people to whom they were addressed. The official complaint refers to the contents of each package as an improvised explosive device. Of the 13 packages, two are said to have contained evidence that directed law enforcement officers to the person who they have since placed under arrest in conjunction with these devices and mailings.

With no money lost New York fraud case may be difficult to prove

The New York court system is no stranger to fraud cases, but a recent case involving bank loans to two media companies may prove difficult to prosecute because the banks who lent the money suffered no financial loss.

Defendants in the case include executives who allegedly funneled loan money into company accounts in order to pay off other loans and maintain a particular publication's credit profile. In order to obtain the loans, the executives allegedly provided the banks with false information and did not use the money to purchase high-end computer servers, the purpose expressed in the loan applications. 

Embezzlement charges await former Microsoft executive

When one is accused of embezzlement in New York, many might automatically assign guilt to them based on the assumption that charges would not be made without sufficient evidence to support them. Yet the fact is that an alleged embezzlement offense (or any financial crime, for that matter) might have several layers to it that might skew the lines between simple judgment errors to gross misconduct. It is for this reason that those accused of such crimes should not be viewed as culpable until all the facts pertaining to case have been revealed. 

Even in the face of seeming overwhelming evidence, judgment should be withheld until the appropriate moment. That the case of a now-former Microsoft executive. The man helped to broker the deal that allowed the software giant to partner with the National Football League in allowing the latter to use the former's products in its gameday operations. As a result of the partnership, Microsoft bought several tickets to the Super Bowl, which representatives from the NFL provided to the man assuming that he would distribute them to the appropriate parties. Instead, the man sold the tickets and pocketed the proceeds. It has also been alleged that he fraudulently billed for over $1.5 million in marketing services that were never provided and received payment for said services from third-party vendors and promotional providers. Microsoft investigated his actions and later fired him. He now faces federal fraud and embezzlement charges. 

How can homeowners avoid mortgage fraud?

Whether you're a first time home buyer or have owned before, most people who buy a piece of real estate use a mortgage to finance the transaction. This is a detailed process that involves many parties working together. There are many opportunities for some party involved to make a mistake or potentially falsify information to improve the transaction.

In no uncertain terms, this is typically considered mortgage fraud, which regulatory agencies take seriously. If you face charges of mortgage fraud, you may not only have a financial crisis on your hands: You may face criminal consequences. It's never wise to take mortgage fraud accusations lightly, so make sure that you prepare a strong legal defense to protect your rights and future opportunities if the need arises.

Determining the penalties for white collar crime

The notion of "Club Fed" refers to federal prisons that are perceived to be more like resorts than penitentiaries, with those "detained" inside enjoying the same lavish amenities they did on the outside. The common school of thought is that anyone convicted of a white collar crime in New York would be sent to such a place. While there are different levels of security in the prison system (which can be reflected in what is available to inmates), the notion that all white collar criminal activity earns one an all-expenses paid trip to Club Fed is simply false. 

Data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows the arrest rate for white collar crime to be 5,317 for every 100,000 people. Those 5317 offenses will likely differ in gravity and scope, and the penalties imposed for them may show that difference. Many white collar offenses are prosecuted at the federal level, and even those that are not may still follow federal sentencing guidelines. The question then becomes what are such guidelines? 

Is a Ponzi scheme a type of pyramid scheme?

As someone working in New York, you've likely heard of pyramid schemes and Ponzi schemes before. Sometimes, they're lumped together. Other times, people call Ponzi schemes a "type" of pyramid scheme. But is that actually accurate? While these two types of schemes are similar in many ways, they also have a number of fundamental differences.

FindLaw defines a Ponzi scheme as an illusion of profitability which is created by paying early investors with the money that is obtained from later investors. This makes it appear as though the enterprise is growing and returning the profits of original investors. In reality, that isn't the case at all. Rather than any actual investment taking place or any growth occurring, investors are simply paying each other.

What are the differences between federal and state crimes?

If you have committed a crime, you could end up in a state court in New Jersey or you could be tried at the federal level. It can help to understand the differences between state and federal crimes even if you are not facing a criminal charge because this is a confusing area that can be difficult to understand.

According to the Department of Justice, some crimes can be prosecuted at the state and federal levels because they are a violation of both state and federal laws. Some crimes are solely federal, such as mail fraud, tax crimes and crimes related to interstate commerce. If a crime falls within both state and federal jurisdiction, the U.S. Attorney General will work with prosecutors from the state to determine who will handle the case. It can be subjective.

Authorities allege psychologist bilked $80K from Medicaid

The common conceptual image that many in New York may have of fraud schemes is likely of a high-profile executive who steals millions from a large company and corporation. In reality, however, fraud can occur amongst anyone from any walk of life. Any action meant to financially injure a person or organization perpetuated through deceit and misrepresentations may qualify as fraud. Many such cases may even arise from people supposedly looking to take advantage of procedural holes in systems with which they are familiar. 

This is what is being alleged in the case of a Connecticut psychologist. She first came to the attention of authorities after a former employee told them that the doctor continued to receive payments from Medicaid despite frequently canceling appointments with patients. A subsequent investigation into the matter supposedly revealed that the doctor had bilked the state's Medicaid program of close to $80,000 by billing for hundreds of claims for services with reportedly were never rendered. The doctor was recently arrested by authorities and now faces several felony charges that could leave her facing several years in prison. 

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