Posted On: June 30, 2009

New Florida Law To Cut Down Prescription Abuse

Governor Charlie Crist has signed into law a prescription drug tracking bill that will put a damper on the pill pipeline into eastern Kentucky. One such case that recently has been completed revolving around this "pipeline" is that of a Broward County pain clinic patient accused of obtaining pills and selling them in Kentucky. Oxycodone was the drug involved in this crime.

The new law will "definitely help," says Sheriff Terry Keelin of the Boyd County Sheriff Department in Kentucky. 90 percent of the suspects in the Boyd Sherrif Office have been obtaining their pills from Florida. "Operation Pill Crusher" has received 105 people indicted during the program, and of those a large number were also from Florida clinics.

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Posted On: June 29, 2009

Domestic Violence by Use of Cheetos Food Product

James Earl Taylor, 40, and Mary S. Childers, 44, were arrested last Sunday for domestic assault. Bedford County Sheriff's Department stated that their deputies arrived on the scene to find the couple in an argument. The two were "involved in a verbal altercation" during which the Frito-Lay product of Cheetos snacks were used to assault one of the partners. Sheriffs found evidence of the assault yet "no physical marks on either party and the primary aggressor was unable to be determined." Both members of the party were charged $2500 in bond.

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Posted On: June 26, 2009

Florida Man Caught Out of State as a Rape Suspect

Crescencio Rojas, 43, was arrested in Brownsville, Texas. Rojas was wanted in the perpetration of rape of an elderly person. More precisely, he was accused of sexual assault, battery, and lewd and libidinous acts against an elderly person. US Customs and Border Protection intervened at the Veterans International Bridge in the Brownsville area and apprehended Rojas as he was riding a bus coming back to the United States from Mexico. A warrant check on the national system showed that he had a warrant for sexual assault out of Dade County.

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Posted On: June 25, 2009

Florida Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty to Charges

Michael Mayer, 55, pled guilty to federal charges regarding his actions of supplying oxycodone pills and cocaine on a major level to street-level and other small distributors. Drug trafficking charges in this situation carry a sentence of at least 10 years of imprisonment as well as $4 million dollars in fines.

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute
is not a charge to be laughed at and Mayer will be paying the price for this. $2.64 million and forfeiture of real estate, cars, watercraft and other personal property in Mayer's homes in Costa Rica and Columbia are on the chopping block.

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Posted On: June 24, 2009

Florida Man Arrested for Murder

Alex Smart, 30, was arrested Monday afternoon with 2 counts of first degree murder and a count of second degree murder. Three slayings in the Orlando are allegedly connected to Smart, prompting federal agents to arrest the man. The murders were called "heinous" and "bloody" by many involved in the investigations. The shootings took place at the Palms Apartments on July 30.

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Posted On: June 23, 2009

Florida Coast Guard Seize Lots of Marijuana

A 29-foot US flagged white boat was found to be in possession of roughly $2.5 million dollars worth of marijuana. The Coast Guard boarded the vessel and found the 1250 pounds of pot and offloaded it at Sector Miami soon after detection and seizure. Initially the Coast Guard went on board to conduct a standard safety inspection but then quickly became alerted to the marijuana which was in plain view. This would be Cutter Dolphin's first drug bust in service for the Coast Guard. The smugglers caught on the ship were detained and transferred into custody of the US Customs and Border Protection. Overall, supervisors said this was one of the largest busts in recent history and a proud first for the crew of the Cutter Dolphin and Sector Miami Coast Guard division.

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Posted On: June 22, 2009

Multi-million dollar settlement of Florida mortgage company

Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. will be paying $9 million in a settlement to the state of New Jersey. In part of a multi-state settlement with a Florida-based mortgage company, the corporation was accused of mortgage fraud by selling high risk mortgages and using shady lending procedures. The state banking agency identifying as the plaintiff in this case also claimed that half of the money to be dispersed in the settlement will go to the national system in progress that will attempt to prevent fraud and make the mortgage regulation process more efficient.

Over $3 billion in assets were apparent in the Ocala, FL company. $30 billion in loans were made annually as well. TBW gave over $100,000 in refunds in response to erroneously charged fees to all their New Jersey customers from 2006. The Obama administration's foreclosure prevention program, known as the Making Home Affordable program, will be used in the guidelines the TBW corporation will adapt with in relations with their customers with loans.

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Posted On: June 19, 2009

Florida Mortgage Fraud Investigated by Attorney General

Gideon Rechnitz currently faces two lawsuits of mortgage fraud in Sarasota County, including one by 71-year-old Yolanda Rodriguez. She claims that in 2006 Rechnitz improperly evicted her and her deaf brother from their home, which he acknowledged in a deposition was worth far more than the $150,000 Rodriguez owed on her mortgage. Rechnitz said in the fall that his foreclosure rescue business had slowed considerably in 2008 because it was harder to find people like Rodriguez with substantial equity. But as home­owners who got 100 percent financing now struggle to renegotiate their mortgage terms, state records show he recently started a new company called Loan Modification Enterprises.

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Posted On: June 18, 2009

Florida Prosecutions of Mortgage Fraud: Part 14 Final

In conclusion of Attorney Ralph Behr's personal thesis on mortgage fraud prosecution:

On the other hand, this defense would not be legally cognizable under § 817.545, Fla. Stat. (2009) and two other federal statutes aforementioned.115 § 817.545, Fla. Stat. (2009) concerning violations committed during the mortgage lending process do not require a person or entity to rely or to be injured by a defendant’s fraudulent activity it is enough that “..any material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission…” is made “…with the intention that the misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission will be relied on…”116 This statute is more aligned with two other federal statutes punishing statements or omissions on applications or forms submitted to federally approved agencies that are in the business of extending credit, 18 U.S.C. § 1010 (2009) and 18 § U.S.C. 1014 (2009). The actual submittal of these forms or applications for loan or credit advances coupled with either the “…intent that such loan or advance of credit shall be offered to or accepted…”117 or “…for the purpose of influencing in any way the action of…” any federally approved agency in the business of extending credit118 would be sufficient for a conviction under either statute.


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Any use of the previous article requires written permission from Attorney Ralph Behr and from this website and its subsidiaries under State and Federal Law. DO NOT copy and use the text provided above and/or publish as your own. The document may only be used for private study or distributing among peers in paper, not on internet transmission, with no intent to make profit or sell without credit being due to the original author.

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Posted On: June 17, 2009

Florida Prosecutions of Mortgage Fraud: Part 13

§ 877.54, Fla. Stat. (2009) should be reduced to an attempt because the crime was not completed.108 The defendant reasoned the corporation “…was not deceived as a result of any false representations and issued the check in an attempt to lure her presence and facilitate her arrest.”109 The court agreed with the defendant and determined the record did “…not demonstrate reliance by the victim on the defendant’s misrepresentations.”110

Furthermore, § 877.54, Fla. Stat. (2009) and § 877.10, Fla. Stat. (2009) are similar to the mail, wire and bank fraud statutes because it is evidence of a defendant’s involvement in “…the scheme to defraud and not actual fraud that is required.”111 “No particular type of victim is required…nor need the scheme have succeeded.”112 Although the government need not prove there is any reliance or injury, it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the evidence shows a “…willful participation in [the] scheme with knowledge of its fraudulent nature and with intent that these illicit objectives be achieved.”113 However, a defendant may have a complete defense to wire fraud, bank fraud, or money laundering negating the specific intent element of the statutes if a jury determines a defendant acted in a good faith belief his or her actions were not illegal.114

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Any use of the previous article requires written permission from Attorney Ralph Behr and from this website and its subsidiaries under State and Federal Law. DO NOT copy and use the text provided above and/or publish as your own. The document may only be used for private study or distributing among peers in paper, not on internet transmission, with no intent to make profit or sell without credit being due to the original author.

Posted On: June 16, 2009

Florida Foreclosures On the Rise

The number of foreclosures in Miami-Dade and Broward continued rising last month, as mounting job losses crippled borrowers’ ability to make monthly payments and lenders lifted previous foreclosure moratoriums and resumed legal action against delinquent accounts. In Miami-Dade County, lenders filed 3,043 initial foreclosure actions against homeowners and reclaimed 819 homes through foreclosure. Hundreds more were scheduled for auction at the courthouse, according to a monthly foreclosure report from Irving, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.

Many lenders suspended foreclosures in the first half of the year as they waited for the Obama administration to release details of a national foreclosure prevention initiative. In February, it launched the Making Home Affordable Plan, which is expected to help as many as 9 million borrowers avoid foreclosure by refinancing or modifying their current mortgages.

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Posted On: June 15, 2009

Florida Woman Sentenced in Fraud Case

Lorraine Rich, 58, from Bangor, Maine, has been sentenced to jail for four months in a case US Attorney Paula Silsby has pursued. Rich received $33,000 from the government in a fraudulent manner. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been ordered as the recipient of fines to be paid in restitution by Lorraine Rich and her crime. Rich was documented as using veterans' benefits for her family member. Rich's aunt had continued to collect money even after the aunt's death. This fraudulent crime is a white collar crime of sorts and is just one of many that the government is currently collecting on during the massive tax and money crunch we all face in this economy.

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Posted On: June 12, 2009

Cocaine Florida Trafficker Sentenced Severely

Marco Antonio Perez Torres, 36, is in custody now stemming from charges of narcotics trafficking. Torres was arrested in 2007 during an operation conducted by the Volusia Bureau of Investigation. He pleaded guilty to charges of trafficking and conspiracy of 400 grams or more of cocaine. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will take custody of Torres following this conviction in order to process his deportation.

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Posted On: June 11, 2009

Florida Mortgage Fraud Ring Under Arrest

Nine people have been charged in connection with a $2.4 million dollar mortgage fraud conspiracy. The ring was led by a leader based in Alachua County as well as among for other counties. FDLE made all 9 arrests last Tuesday and said that 17 homes are under investigation in Marion County. William H. King, 52, and Beverly Ann King, 52, are the alleged leaders of the group. The formal charges levied against King and the other 7 in the ring were criminal racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering (RICO).

A chief investigator in the arrests said that the organization they had just apprehended is no different than any other organization in that it requires "a lot of people ot get the job done - mortgage brokers, notary publics, people working in a title company, people who are appraisers. It takes all of these people to get a loan through. And what these people did was work together to deceive the mortgage lenders."

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Posted On: June 10, 2009

Florida Burglary Suspects Nabbed in Deerfield

Four suspects from Palm Beach County were apprehended after breaking into an elementary school with the intent of stealing laptop computers. This wasn't the first time the thieves tried this. The first attempt occurred last Memorial Day weekend. A janitor came in to the school to find one of the classrooms was broken in to. Nearly $20,000 dollars in Apple iBooks were stolen from a locked cabinet which had been snapped open. Emboldened by the robbery, the thieves came back for another score, this time snagging 31 iBooks. Little did they know that Broward Sheriff Office deputies had been alerted by a silent alarm and were waiting outside for their immediate arrest.

The suspect plead to charges of grand theft, burglary, possession of burglary tools and obstruction without violence.

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Posted On: June 9, 2009

Cop Charged By Federal Authorities for Mortgage Fraud

Hidayatullah Ali Khalil, 29, has been charged for providing false information on a mortgage loan application in attempting to purchase two home which would eventually become foreclosed. He was arrested last Thursday on a complaint levied by three separate individuals. The FBI took notice and have in holding in order to be seen in a federal court under a $75,000 unsecured bond. The incident of mortgage fraud resulted in Khali buying homes in Elk Grove and Watsonville, CA in 2005.

Khali removed more than $100,000 cash from the Elk Grove property in two separate transactions. Further investigation is underway by the FBI into the Santa Cruz police officer and other related individuals.

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Posted On: June 8, 2009

Florida Mortgage Fraud Prosecutions: Part 13

Attorney Behr's mortgage fraud prosecutions series continues with the following excerpt:

§ 877.54, Fla. Stat. (2009) should be reduced to an attempt because the crime was not completed.108 The defendant reasoned the corporation “…was not deceived as a result of any false representations and issued the check in an attempt to lure her presence and facilitate her arrest.”109 The court agreed with the defendant and determined the record did “…not demonstrate reliance by the victim on the defendant’s misrepresentations.”110

Furthermore, § 877.54, Fla. Stat. (2009) and § 877.10, Fla. Stat. (2009) are similar to the mail, wire and bank fraud statutes because it is evidence of a defendant’s involvement in “…the scheme to defraud and not actual fraud that is required.”111 “No particular type of victim is required…nor need the scheme have succeeded.”112 Although the government need not prove there is any reliance or injury, it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the evidence shows a “…willful participation in [the] scheme with knowledge of its fraudulent nature and with intent that these illicit objectives be achieved.”113 However, a defendant may have a complete defense to wire fraud, bank fraud, or money laundering negating the specific intent element of the statutes if a jury determines a defendant acted in a good faith belief his or her actions were not illegal.114

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Any use of the previous article requires written permission from Attorney Ralph Behr and from this website and its subsidiaries under State and Federal Law. DO NOT copy and use the text provided above and/or publish as your own. The document may only be used for private study or distributing among peers in paper, not on internet transmission, with no intent to make profit or sell without credit being due to the original author.

Posted On: June 5, 2009

Florida Prosecutions of Mortgage Fraud: Part 12

Compared and Contrasted Against One Another

V. DEFENSES

Unlike § 817.545, Fla. Stat. (2009) and two other federal statutes concerning mortgage fraud previously discussed, both § 877.10, Fla. Stat. (2009) and § 817.54, Fla. Stat. (2009) require reliance by a person or entity by the fraudulent activity undertaken in order for a defendant to be convicted for either statute. § 877.10, Fla. Stat. (2009) specifically states this reliance requirement,102 but § 877.54, Fla. Stat. (2009) does not.103 However, the latter’s reliance requirement is laid out in the Third District Court of Appeal case, Adams v. State, 650 So.2d 1039 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995).

In Adams, the defendant gave “…an erroneous address and social security number, and misrepresented the address of…” an unregistered company the defendant owned to obtain a mortgage loan from a corporation.104 Subsequently, the company determined the information was false and notified law enforcement.105 “The police suggested issuing the check to lure the defendant to appear.”106 After exiting the corporation’s office, the defendant was arrested.107 A jury convicted the defendant and on appeal she argued her conviction for a violation of ...

To be continued in the next posting of Attorney Behr's prosecution series...


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Any use of the previous article requires written permission from Attorney Ralph Behr and from this website and its subsidiaries under State and Federal Law. DO NOT copy and use the text provided above and/or publish as your own. The document may only be used for private study or distributing among peers in paper, not on internet transmission, with no intent to make profit or sell without credit being due to the original author.

Posted On: June 4, 2009

Florida Man on Probation For Impeding Investigation

Michael Hernandez, a computer technician for the Department of Children and Families, is being placed on probation for supplying false information to authorities in their investigation of a former employee's child pornography case. The Tampa man admitted to deleting files off the person in question's computer, Al Zimmerman, yet later he attempted to assist federal investigators in building substantial evidence in the case against Zimmerman.

Violation of probation has not occurred in this offense, yet VOP is one of the most common charges faced in the criminal law field. A competent attorney can handle these criminal matters quickly and efficiently. Do not go with a lawyer that will not meet your requirements in legal skill or prowess.

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Posted On: June 3, 2009

Federal and Florida State Immigration Laws Seeked

On the national forefront of news, family immigration is being fixed by US lawmakers as a source of dishevelment in a currently creaky system. Representatives claim that families have been split apart for years by visa issues for immigrants based on backlogging. "The benefits cannot be overstated," Honda said. "American workers with families by their side are happier, healthier and more able to succeed than those distanced from loved ones for years on end." Family reunification
is being looked at as the primary target by the legislation currently lined up and set for Senate approval. The legislation would further go and allow Americans to bring same-sex partners into the country as "family members." Opposition to this provision has been made by pro-life organizations.

"There has always been somebody ... after they got here, then they wanted to close the door," Abercrombie told reporters. Neil Abercrombie, Hawaiian Democratic congressman, is one of the leaders in the increasingly liberal government voice. President Barack Obama has been keen on the issue of immigration reform and is said to have his own package coming up to public scrutiny in the next few weeks.

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Posted On: June 2, 2009

Florida Prosecutions of Mortgage Fraud: Part 11

Attorney Behr's mortgage fraud prosecutions series will continue with this portion of the article:

Dissimilar to the Florida statute, other states require “…a pattern of residential mortgage fraud…”99 to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt before being adjudicated of a higher penalty. Other states have even set out elemental qualifications for patterns of mortgage fraud. North Carolina’s legislature requires “…five or more mortgage loans which have the same or similar intents, results, accomplices, victims or methods of commission or otherwise are interrelated by distinguishing characteristics…”100 Kentucky, Georgia, Arizona, Mississippi and Nevada describe a pattern of residential mortgage fraud “…that involves two (2) or more mortgage loans…”101 Requiring state prosecutors to prove “a pattern of mortgage fraud” ensures those persons who intend to conduct schemes to defraud persons and lending institutions are truly deserving of heightened felonies. On the other hand, by not requiring “a pattern of mortgage fraud” the Florida Legislature has not only made Florida Assistant State Attorney jobs easier, but has also allowed those persons who conduct multiple acts of mortgage fraud to escape with only third degree felony convictions as long as the scheme total does not amount to $100,000.00.

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Any use of the previous article requires written permission from Attorney Ralph Behr and from this website and its subsidiaries under State and Federal Law. DO NOT copy and use the text provided above and/or publish as your own. The document may only be used for private study or distributing among peers in paper, not on internet transmission, with no intent to make profit or sell without credit being due to the original author.

Posted On: June 1, 2009

Florida Man Gets Arrested For Drugs in Relations to a Local Prosecutor

Anthony Mercer, 35, was arrested in possession of a significant amount of drugs located in a Fort Lauderdale warehouse. Mercer is married to a prosecutor in the Broward County State Attorney's Office and has been for 7 years. While in the warehouse, officers seized atleast an ounce of cocaine and approximately a pound of marijuana. As well as the cocaine and marijuana, he was found to be in possession of 21 prescription pills.

Cocaine possession, cocaine delivery, cocaine trafficking, in fact all criminal cases filed in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and throughout the state of Florida in which the state seeks criminal sanction for possession of controlled substances begins with a study of Florida statute 893. Statute begins by defining the important words and phrases used in this chapter. In a prosecution for possession of cocaine or possession of any other controlled substance begins with an indictment, which is called prosecutor information, under this statute.

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