A Florida lawyer was just sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for alleged involvement in a money laundering and investment fraud scheme. This individual was originally charged in 2009, arrested in Nicaragua in 2013 and turned over to U.S. authorities. He reportedly pleaded guilty to charges in November 2013.
This individual along with other claimed co-conspirators were reported to have engaged in selling worthless stock to investors located in the United Kingdom. The investigation into this matter was said to have taken several years. They were claimed to have used telemarketers located mostly in Spain who then supposedly would prod individuals to wire money to bank accounts held in the Tampa Bay area. The lawyer was the last individual to be sentenced. In addition to jail time, he was also ordered to forfeit various properties and accounts and now also has a judgment of $42.5 million against him.
As this matter demonstrates, investigations of suspected white-collar crimes can ultimately cost individuals everything. That investigations of these matters can go on for years demonstrates just how complicated a white-collar case can be. It is crucial that anyone under investigation for a complex white-collar crime have an attorney as soon as the government investigation starts. Evidence that may be helpful to the person under investigation may be ignored by law enforcement and favorable witness testimony may be forgotten over time. An attorney experienced in white-collar crime will seek to protect a persons rights and find favorable evidence that may prevent an arrest or lead to a successful trial defense resulting in a jury returning a not guilty verdict.
Anyone charged with a white-collar crime or having indications that an investigation is ongoing should speak to an experienced attorney at their earliest possible convenience. The cost is too high to wait for the whole investigation process to come to completion.
Source: The Tampa Tribune, "Tampa-area lawyer sentenced in investment scheme," April 2, 2014