Articles Posted in White-Collar Crime

Although white-collar crimes do not typically cause bodily harm, the courts nonetheless punish people convicted of such offenses harshly. While the courts generally must comply with sentencing guidelines when issuing sentences, the guidelines allow for significant latitude, and as long as a sentence is not deemed unreasonable, it will likely be upheld, as demonstrated in a recent Florida case. If you are accused of committing a white-collar crime, it is wise to consult a Clearwater white-collar crime defense attorney to discuss your case.

Factual Background and Procedural History

It is alleged that in 2015, the defendant faced federal charges, including four counts of making false statements on a loan application and one count of aggravated identity theft. In 2016, he was convicted on all counts and sentenced to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release with a restitution order. The defendant’s supervised release conditions included truthfully answering the probation officer’s inquiries and providing requested financial information. After violating these conditions, a petition for a warrant was filed in November 2021.

It is reported that the defendant subsequently defendant faced a new charge for making false statements on a monthly financial report. Despite an initial rejected guilty plea, a second plea colloquy ensued, resulting in an accepted guilty plea. The presentence investigation report calculated the defendant’s guideline range as zero to six months, and at sentencing, he argued for leniency, presenting testimony regarding his employment. Nevertheless, the court sentenced the defendant to 28 months, comprising 18 months for the new charge and 10 months for the supervised release violation, citing concerns about his history of dishonesty. The defendant appealed.

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Under Federal law, banks are required to report cash deposits that exceed a certain amount on the basis that they may indicate that people are attempting to avoid paying income tax. Some people attempt to evade this requirement by structuring their deposits in a manner that will not trigger the reporting requirement. Structuring is unlawful, however, and it can lead to significant penalties. In a recent Florida case, the court described what evidence is needed to establish guilt for structuring, ultimately affirming the defendant’s conviction. If you are charged with a financial crime, it is in your best interest to meet with a Clearwater white color criminal defense attorney to discuss your options.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant, a former pain management clinic physician, faced numerous charges for allegedly distributing controlled substances from his clinic. While acquitted of these charges, he then faced charges two charges for illegally structuring payments from these operations. Specifically, the government alleged that he engaged in structuring transactions to evade federal bank reporting requirements. Namely, he made 22 cash deposits under $10,000 over seven days and followed a similar pattern with 38 cash deposits, some on consecutive days, over approximately seven and a half months. This deposit pattern raised suspicions of structuring. The jury found the defendant guilty on both counts, leading to concurrent 24-month sentences. The defendant appealed, arguing there was insufficient evidence to sustain his convictions.

Evidence Establishing Illegal Structuring

On appeal, the court rejected the defendant’s reasoning and affirmed his convictions. The court explained that when reviewing such convictions, they view the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict and consider all reasonable inferences and credibility choices in favor of the verdict.

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