As the countdown to the start of the NFL season continues, Orlando fans are making plans to trek west to Tampa to see games in person or arranging TV viewing parties with friends and family. Americans love football, but even more important, we love our Constitution and the guaranteed rights it describes.
Those two passions intersect in a case recently described by law enforcement officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI and federal prosecutors are charging four men with securities fraud. The men are accused of falsely representing to potential investors that they had green-laser technology that the NFL was about to use.
According to a U.S. Attorney, $2.4 million of stock was purchased from the alleged conspirators.
The laser technology generates a green line visible on the field to both players and fans watching on TV. In its press release announcing the mail fraud conspiracy charges, the FBI noted that "(a)n indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."
After someone has been accused of serious white-collar crimes, it's important that they speak with an attorney experienced in defending clients in similar cases. That attorney-client conversation should take place before the accused discusses the allegations, evidence or circumstances of the case with law enforcement agents or prosecutors, whether state or federal.
It is important that the accused understands that if they discuss their case without an attorney, they are in danger of misstating facts or having their statements misinterpreted. Defendants risk making other serious mistakes when talking unaccompanied with authorities, which is why it makes sense, and it is your right to decline to speak until a criminal defense attorney is present.
Source: FBI, "Four Charged in NFL-Related Securities Fraud Scheme Targeting Senior Citizens ," July 25, 2014